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

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Busting the Mormon Monopoly on Truth

In response to my recent post, "Why I Blog," I was slapped with this drive-by snarkism:
Jeff, you would not know the truth if it slapped you in the face. You are wrapped up in a belief system and any challenge to that belief system is discarded without serious contemplation. Of course why would you need to? You are in possession of the complete truth. :) You are Typical of those that think they know it all. I have read your blog and you just use the same sarcastic remarks for anyone who disagrees with your thinking. It shows what a little person you really are.
I can only shake my head and wonder at this mentality. The complete truth?? Do any Mormons actually believe that? Has anybody heard such a thing preached? Is it in the scriptures anywhere? Or my blog?

My Website and this blog have provided many relatively serious efforts to contemplate rather than ignore challenges to our faith. Maybe I haven't regurgitated the kind of bitter diatribes that this anonymous enemy of Mormonism would like to see, but I have frequently pointed out that we do not have a monopoly on truth, that we do not know it all, and that I especially do not know it all.

In fact, one of our articles of faith teaches that we believe that there will be many great things revealed in the future - meaning we are still missing all sorts of important information. And the foundations of our religion point to many books of scripture that we do not yet have - the Book of Lehi, the writings of the brother of Jared, etc. In fact, we only have 1/3 of the scriptures on the gold plates of the Book of Mormon, and there were numerous other ancient writings that we do not have, and numerous truths and insights and facts that will yet be revealed in the Millennium and throughout the eternities. Complete truth? Not a chance.

And as we've noted on this blog many times, we have much to learn from the examples, experiences, and writings of those outside our faith. We have something to offer the world, something missing in other faiths, but we can never afford to forget that we have a lot to learn as well.

In a style that I find far too typical among the most vocal anti-Mormons, our passer-by makes sweeping comments allegedly based on familiarity with our faith and with my writings, when that basis is rather lacking. Like the anti-Mormons who tell the world all the strange things that we supposedly teach - including things you just don't hear in our churches and classes and homes - the attack is based on a twisted stereotype of Mormons and the LDS faith rather than the substance of who we are and what we believe. No sir, I don't know it all and don't think we have anything close to a monopoly on truth. If we did, you know the Federal Trade Commission would shut us down in a hurry! (Or we'd be acquired by Google.)

135 comments:

Angstrom Angst said...

Someone from the RFM community, no doubt. The fear of Mormon sarcasm gives that away!

Mormanity said...

RFM, for newcomers to LDS topics, refers to critics who are "recovering" from Mormonism. Mormonism is one of those diseases that you can recover from without actually being infected, though the RFM crowd has many genuine recuperators as well. I think the vocal (though often anonymous) anti-Mormon RFMsters are a small minority of former LDS people, many of whom simply sincerely disagree with the Church and are still kind and sometimes even supportive of our faith.

Some of us have occasionally mistaken RFM with RTFM, a computer and customer service term that refers to people who need to read the fine manual before getting upset at apparent problems. Actually, it fits all of us, for we all need to do a better job reading the fine manuals of the Book of Mormon and the Bible, the best manuals for life.

erelis said...

Having just finished Chapter 5 of Terryl Givens' People of Paradox (titled "The Glory of God is Intelligence") on the emphasis in Mormon theology and culture given to knowledge and learning, I'd have to say that our snide passerby is full of hogwash.

The suggestion that Mormons are incapable of critically examining their faith has all the weight of "My daddy can beat up your daddy." It's a cheap way to insult without offering any substance.

Its other benefit is that it allows the perfect cop-out. If someone else rejects your undeniably reasoned view of Truth, it isn't because your view of Truth is not as undeniably reasoned as you think. It's because the other person is too brainwashed to see things from your perspective. You are free and enlightened, and others with a different perspective are mindless sheep who are to be pitied.

Finally, the argument goes against all the evidence -- there's plenty out there to suggest that Mormons are quite capable of critical introspection of their beliefs, and that they can remain faithful members all the same.

Marc said...

This is one of my favorite posts of yours, Jeff.

The original commenter's style fits anti-LDS troll style #1 on my not-yet-complete list:

1. Outright slamming
2. Positive remarks, more positive, acting like I'm a fellow believer but having said all that, SLAM/false factoid
3. Offer praise, then link people to your website where they can read blatantly false anti-LDS information (www.grace-offered-to-cultists.com, or some such thing)
4. Pretend to be a member of the church, and say, "it's impossible to disagree with the fact that we believe in FALSE DOCTRINE X, but anyway, that's beside the point."
5. Asking a "big" question that supposedly comes from your brother, a stake president with years of experience, which even HE can't answer (but everyone at FAIR, and every LDS blogger can)

Anyway, I love the way you explore the fact that we're waiting on TONS of information. Reminds me of the invitation to non-members and friends: "Bring what you have with you"...as in, we're not here to make you drop all your beliefs - we believe you may have been born to contribute.

Latter-Day James said...

Nice post Jeff. I like your comment Marc. Especially the last sentence.

KC said...

Jeff, regarding the question: "The complete truth?? Do any Mormons actually believe that?" I might have to say yes.

Your rebuttal points are valid and accurate, but I have indeed heard many a lesson or talk where the term "fullness of the Gospel" is used interchangeably with "full truth" or "complete truth." It often comes while explaining why others can feel the spirit at their churches-- they have "some truth," but not "the full truth," like us.

I am one, like you, to quickly point out our own doctrine that states that we have much more truth coming our way, but I'm afraid that among Mormons, the idea that the restoration endowed us with the "full" or "complete" truth is alive and well.

Thanks for the post, though, hopefully it will clear things up for some.

jglanfield said...

Excellent post. I think we should remember that there's a clear difference between 'knowing' all truth and 'embracing' all truth.

BTW Jeff... you spelled "hear" as "here" (in case you want to know).

jondh said...

While I agree with Jeff's post, I also agree with kc. It's true that we do not have the full truth and that we are often wrong, but is it then true that the doctrine of the Restoration is no more or less correct than any other sectarian doctrine, and that, as far as accuracy goes, it's nothing special? I know ex-mormons are probably yelling "YES!" but count me as a believer in the Lord's statement in the D&C that this is His only true and living church. However, I don't think this means we have a monopoly on truth or that we don't need to reexamine our belief that we have the "full" truth. Maybe clarification is needed. Any thoughts?

Ryan said...

Interesting accusation... the Dec 12, 2007 Mormanity post linked to an article by Terryl Givens where he said the following:

Today I want to show how my own appreciation for and understanding of the pre-existence has been enriched, and broadened, by a comparative study of the idea and its myriad appearances in the history of philosophy, theology, and literature. What I have come to appreciate is this cardinal insight: If the restoration is not yet complete, then other traditions have much to teach us. Not by way of confirming, corroborating, or verifying the truths we already have. But by way of actually adding to the body of revealed doctrine we call precious and true. The Restoration is neither full nor complete.

Ryan said...

Oops... took too long composing my reply and missed some good questions...

Do LDS believe that all doctrines required for our salvation have been restored/revealed? Yes.

Do LDS believe this necessary and sufficient set of doctrines can be found, intact, in other churches? No, just like every other denomination, Christian or otherwise (else why would they care to differentiate themselves from the rest?).

Do LDS believe that we currently have (or invented) all truth in the universe, or that other groups have no truth? Oh, please...

Do LDS believe that all truth is ultimately compatible with LDS doctrine? Yes (Brigham Young, this time): If you can find a truth in heaven, earth or hell, it belongs to our doctrine. We believe it; it is ours; we claim it.

Teranno4x4 said...

Jeff - Good, well written topic.

Is it possible to ask contributors here (without being critical in any way) -

What is Truth?

How is it defined in the Bible?

Can there be more than one Truth ?


Also Ryan - you left a quote about the 'Restoration' as if it is being discussed in the quote like an ongoing project.

Sor far in previous comments on this sub-topic that have been directed my way, it is something that was always described in the past tense as in 'restored'. Restored tends to lend it's meaning to a completeness.

If you apply this teminology to an old jalopy (I like this American word), then it would tend to lend an understanding that the jalopy be returned to it's original showroom condition. There wouldn't be any more improvements to make.

Restoration would mean that the jalopy project would be somewhere mid-term and not quite ready for the road.

Please can someone help me to understand whether your doctrines are 'restored' or under 'restoration' ?

Lastly Ryan - I also just noticed your last added comment. Question - As a presumed Christian, why would anyone want to adopt the truth of a hell doctrine, just so that you can claim it (quoted Brigham Young)?

Interested,

Teranno4x4

jondh said...

Ryan, I think those are pretty good answers.

sundaypage said...

Teranno-

Good point. I agree that "restoration" does imply a sense of completeness, but the degree to which a restoration is complete depends on our concept of the original. In this case, the original Christ-established church was also "true" in the senses outlined by Ryan, but, like the Modern church, still awaited further revelation from God.

So it may be more accurate to say that the Restoration returned Christianity to the same level of "incompleteness" as existed in the first-century church.

Teranno4x4 said...

So does that mean that LDS define themselves as the 'restored' church undergoing continual 'restoration' ?

Ryan said...

Teranno4x4 said:
So does that mean that LDS define themselves as the 'restored' church undergoing continual 'restoration' ?

Try "the restored church undergoing continual *revelation*." The restoration is complete in the sense that it brought back the doctrines necessary for salvation. Those haven't changed since. It is incomplete in the sense that, someday (mostly during the Millenium), all things that were ever known in any dispensation to any one will be restored, and many things that were never before revealed will be revealed. So, while it won't affect our salvation to know more about the pre-existence, Terryl sees evidence that more was known about it in the past than we have now.

Teranno4x4 said:
why would anyone want to adopt the truth of a hell doctrine, just so that you can claim it?

Oh, please... where did he say anything about accepting hellish doctrines as truth? Sheesh.

if you can find a truth.... Truth is truth, regardless of where it might be hiding. I think it's safe to say the devil knows the Bible inside out. Does that make it untrue? What if there were a copy locked up in a vault of the underworld somewhere?

The most effective temptations and heresies alike are the ones that put a subtle spin or twist on... truth. Gotta know it to spin it. The condemned are justly punished exactly because they do know the Truth and the Word, but do not accept, follow, respect, or teach Him...

Anonymous said...

I read Jeff's web site until he started Mormanity. In all of this reading I can't say I remember Jeff ever taken pot shots at non-Mormons. Actually I think he exhibited a great deal of patience with some of our more rabid anti-Mormon friends. There are non-Mormons where I work that I discuss religion with from time-to-time. They don't mind telling me just how false Mormonism is and how far off the wall the Book of Mormon is. But neither has nor will read the Book of Mormon. I have come to the conclusion that non-Mormons can never concede a single point to us no matter how obvious we are right. Because the minute they do they might have to admit we really do know what we're talking about. That puts them and not us in the tight spot. Richard G.

glo said...

I think that Most people think that the LDS think they have the finel say on what is and is not truth because they claim that all other churches are apostate, and that the LDS is the only true church. (paraphase from Joseph smith though i haven't the reference point). many mormons have infomed me that they have more truth. that seems to say that of all the truth we have avalible They have the most, therefore a monoply. I mean isn't that the point of having a prophet?

What is Truth? that all depends on which philosopher you choose to ascribe to. Is it as Plato said and Truth is out side of the cave and unatainable? or is it knowable and in the world around us as Aristotle said.

as for these statements of not having all truth because this truth has not been reviled. Okay I am sorry but because that truth is not avalible it is irrelivent. it is truth as Kant spoke which could not be known because it is completely Other, therefore unatainible by the tangible world. it might as well not exist.

on a side note, i am not a mormon nor an Exmo.

cold pizza said...

Jeff, it seems that drive-by snarkist was wrapped up in his own belief system. So sad. You can almost see the mists of darkness.

***

There are two types of truths being discussed: Spiritual truth and temporal truth.

First: the truth necessary for salvation--that Jesus IS the Christ (and all the accompanying truths of His ministry and His teachings). By knowing (through the Holy Spirit) the first truth, we shall be set free. LDS hold that many essential truths were lost or distorted during the first centuries after the manifestation of Jesus and that it was necessary for a restoration of those truths (some doctrinal, some related to priesthood authority). Enough spiritual truth was restored so that the church could function in a way to prepare the world for the return of the King.

Second: "Temporal" truth is all other worldly knowledge--the "facts" that we might like to know, but if we don't know the answers it won't impact on our eventual salvation.

Do Mormons have a lock on all types of both truths? Hardly. Are there aspects of truth found in other religious traditions that would help us understand God and His creation more? Certainly.

Do we NEED these additional truths for us to comprehend the greatness of the Gospel and to be received into the Kingdom of God. No. But as true disciples of Christ we have been admonished to seek out the truth of all things and it is through our love for God that we would voluntarily seek additional truths, to the limit that we are capable of understanding, so that our own appreciation of the majesty of God may be expanded.

In every tradition (including LDS), you'll find people who proclaim "the truth, the truth; we have got the truth. What need we for any additional truth?" As though the bare minimum necessary required for salvation, while yea verily sufficient, is still going to be a weak sign of someone's proclaimed devotion to the Savior.

It as though we've reached a plateau of truth. We've set up a base camp and everything we need is here. However, we are surround by peaks on all sides--the mysteries of Godliness stretching up into the heavens.

Find what is true, hold fast to that which is good. Break camp and pick a peak--there are many to choose from (but also never forget where your tent is based). -cp

Anonymous said...

"They have the most, therefore a monopoly." Monopoly means there's only one - refers to an exclusive position with sole control of a market. Having the most or being the best in some way doesn't make you a monopoly. Jay Leno may be the best and have the most humor, but there's plenty of competition.

Anonymous said...

I think much of the anger and RFM vitriol to which you refer comes not from Mormons claiming to have ALL truth but claiming that Mormonism is the ideal path for all the follow. This infers that those choosing a different life path are either morally bankrupt, deceived or at best misinformed.

Ranbato said...

@Anon 11:56
Just because we claim to have a little more truth than others doesn't mean we look down on them. It means we want to lift them up.

I am not terribly insulted when people who know more about cars, or biology, or economics help me in my understanding of those topics. I may be a bit hurt and experience some confusion if I find out some of the things I thought I knew were wrong -- and I may resist the new information -- but in the end, I am better off for knowing it.

Faith and belief are just such touchy subjects that it is easy to come across incorrectly or hear only what we want to hear

Anonymous said...

ranbato,
I think your words demonstrate perfectly what I mean, you said that you want to 'life them up' and also compare it to being taught by someone who 'knows more about' a particular topic.

You are thus insinuating that you are elevating them from a debased state and bringing them out of ignorance.

Nothing you stated gives any room for the posibility, for example, that someone who is an active member who knows all about the Church could decide on a different religion, or no religion at all, and by doing so would be moving in a direction that is right for them. Thus you infer that such a choice as leaving the Church could only result from moral bankruptcy, ignorance, or self-deception. I am right or do you feel differently?

Anonymous said...

Sorry ranbato, I meant 'lift them up' not 'life them up'.

chad said...

I have been surfing and engaging blogs like this one for a liitle while now...and I cannot remember a post I have read here that indicated in anyway that the author was maligning any other faith.

As a non-Mormon who is curious about LDS faith and the church I find Jeff's writings a great help in my studies. Keep up the good work...it's a shame that some people choose to focus on what the are against instead of focusing on what they are for.

pepektheassassin said...

Applause!

cold pizza said...

Anonymous, everyone is ignorant. The question is, do we fight against receiving further light and knowledge, resisting and resenting Prometheus? Could you recognize Prometheus if he passed you in the street? Do you “cry unto the heavens” that God will show you the way? If you believe you are on the path, do you seek affirmation from celestial realms to give you strength to continue on the path?

Everyone must take the path that is right for them; to try and pretend otherwise is to live a lie and the end result must be misery. A close friend of mine left the LDS church a couple years ago after having been raised LDS. However, she felt constrained by her parent’s rules and never felt the need to experiment upon the word. It was easier to just go along until she was old enough to leave home. I know that she never sought out God; she never wrestled with her conscience or petitioned before the throne of God. To receive acknowledgement would have meant that her parents were right. The story of Alma the younger comes to mind, but without the conversion. Her parents are heartbroken, but understanding. They have hope that someday the seeds planted long ago will bear fruit.

True (truth) spiritual conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ can only come through the witness of the Holy Spirit, only to those who humble themselves and seek it.

What do we LDS have to offer? An understanding of the life cycle of the soul—from a pre-physical existence to an eventual judgment and inheritance. An understanding of the nature of God, and the relationship of man to God, outside of the Greek philosophical roots. An explanation of priesthood authority as the authorization to act on the behalf of divinity to officiate in the rites and ceremonies that have eternal impact, and why this authority must be sanctioned by God and not merely awarded by academies of men. And we have a way where anyone can verify for themselves that these doctrines are spiritually true and correct—but the price is too high for most—being a contrite spirit and a broken heart and a willingness to go humbly before the throne of God.

-cp

NM said...

Great post Jeff =D

The subject of 'truth' is certainly the hot topic for philosophers...and a topic that has existed for thousands of years...

Whether or not we categorise truth as spiritual or temporal, 'truth' is simply 'truth'.

Sadly, it seems we have been overtaken by a society who determine truth subjectively. Certainly as someone speaking from within the realm of psychotherapies - 'subjective truth' is very apparent. The notion of, this is my truth - that is your truth.

Truth affects every aspect of our lives, right? We live in a society that abide by the 'law'. If we break the law, we end up in a court which determines the 'truth' of what we are saying, scrutinized by the 'truth' of the evidence.

We live in a world which contain natural laws. Physicists among us might incline to agree that the universe we all live in seem to be governed by 'law' and these laws can be reduced to mathematical 'truths'... 1 + 1 = 2 (I think)...

Our world seems to to predictable. Therefore, we are able to measure it, we are able to make predictions about it, and we are able to make statements, which are 'not true' about it.

It seems the quest for 'truth', certainly since Descartes has taken somewhat of an unexpected turn. Much of what has happened during 'modernity' are mere reflections and discussions during ancient greece. Aristotle, being the first scientist, when he said that 'truth' exists 'out there' and not 'in-here' was further expounded upon by the likes of Francis Bacon, Voltaire etc. In fact, I think the 'enlightnment' (which although was a society still influenced by the church and religious 'deism') was a time when 'truth' was no longer dependent upon God, but upon Man (in general) - it suddenly became fashionable to think that Man was the centre of the universe.

To cut a long story short, I think that since the Enlightenment era, Man has become more and more disillusioned by promises which were made - and because of it, philsophers like Neitzche, Sartre, Camus, Wittgenstein (to name only a few) are seen to be the people who have hailed the absurdity of the world that we live in. =(

'God is dead', a famous phrase, coined by Neitzche. Inevitably, nihilism was born: the idea that there is no 'truth'. And if there is no 'truth' - THERE IS NO MEANING. I guess the next generation that came into being were people like Camus and Sartre who said that even though that, 'there is no truth': 'we make our own truth'...eep.

Hence the post-modern world we live in today =/

...but here we have a gospel, which contain the words of a man, when just a little over two-thousand years ago claimed to be the embodiment of 'truth' =D

"I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life..." John 14

Staggering, isn't it? The nerve!! Who does this guy think He is?! So what if He can make the blind see? the lame to walk? the dead to live?

=)

Bookslinger said...

"Just because we claim to have a little more truth than others doesn't mean we look down on them. It means we want to lift them up."

The Nephite disease (arrogance and pride) is alive and well in the LDS church today. All the modern prophets have preached against it. Presidents Benson and Hinckley specifically pointed it out as a problem in the church, and said we have to overcome it.

It's a delicate balance that needs to be maintained in order to be respectful of people and their faiths, and at the same time to respectfully offer them the information, the "good news of Jesus Christ," which we have been commanded to teach everyone who is willing to listen.

Ryan said...

++ NM

The nerve, indeed! Who cares if He created the universe we know...

NM said...

So, I guess the trick for us who know a little bit about this guy who embodied 'truth', is: who has the correct 'truth' of Him?

The Bahai' followers among us might consider Jesus as something, and maybe those who follow Sikhism might say another. Followers of Muhammad certainly have their view on who Jesus might be and also followers of Sun Myung Moon might also have their take on who Jesus might be...

Just as 'truth' is a constant, which determines whether something is 'true' or 'not-true'...we need to determine who holds the truth of who THE TRUTH (Jesus) is =)


*I have a headache*

Anonymous said...

cold pizza-
Again you demonstrate so aptly what I meant. You accuse your friend of leaving the Church because of personal shortcomings.
You assert that anyone willing to 'pay the price' would ulimately be better off in your Church. You are in essence insinuating that those who choose to not join the Church or who leave the Church are slothful, rebellious, deceived, or misinformed. Wouldn't it make you angry if I insinuated that about your decision to stay in the Church?

Anonymous said...

NM-
I think that while truth is not subjective because our ability to discern truth is impeded I think it gives us great room for tolerance and being open-minded. When we arrogantly state that we 'know' that we have the truth we have essentially ended the discussion. We have stated there is no room for alternative ideas or theories, that anyone who chooses a different path than us is WRONG. Is essence, the learning, at least in respect to that which we claim to 'know', is over. Such an attitude can never lead to mutual respect, at best it can only lead to mutual toleration.

cold pizza said...

Anonymous,
Should everyone who attends a college class get the same grade regardless of effort? When someone doesn't show up and bombs the exams, should they also qualify for an "A" grade when you've done everything in my power to learn the material and attend every class? Should we judge someone just because they signed up for the class but never attended?

Of if they opt out because it's too hard for them at the time, does that make them "slothful, rebellious, deceived, or misinformed?"

You might as well say anyone who quits (insert social organization here) did so because they were "slothful, rebellious, deceived, or misinformed." If the church did not meet perceived needs, look for fulfillment elsewhere. The LDS church meets my needs because I've taken the effort to really dig into it. I know some Catholics who enjoy the richness of Mass and the depth of traditions. I know some Baptists who find joy in the Holy Bible.

I have not been slothful, I have worked hard to be where I am. I am not misinformed, I have read both LDS, non-LDS and hostile literature. I have taken the issue seriously. If I have been deceived, then it is God Himself who has lied to me for I have received powerful spiritual witnesses time and again. I am what I am because I have been shaped by God to be so. I have found answers, joy and happiness in a way that I never earlier imagined possible.

My friend IS rebellious and spirtually slothful. She's also still very young. She has no desire for ANY religious belief. The key is, she has never received a witness of the Holy Spirit and the paradigm shift that takes place.

I was rebellious. I still am, to a degree, and I shall answer for it someday.

And, yes, I do assert that anyone willing to "pay the price" of studying and prayer is going to receive an answer and is going to be better off in the LDS church. If I didn't believe, if I didn't know for myself, I wouldn't have joined. -cp

Anonymous said...

Once when stopped by your Elders, I was told that I would know the truth of their message by the feeling of the Spirt. It would convey the truth to me. I asked how it was that I get that feeling when I pray ( in my method) and attend my church. Why is it that the Spirt fills me when I hear the sermons from my minister?
I was told that I did not get the full feeling of the Spirt and that I was only able to get the full feeling of the Spirt in the LDS church. Because the LDS church has the fullness of the Gospel of Christ and my Church only had partial truth.
So, I would suggest that this attitude of " We are the true Church. We have the True Gospel of Christ." is evident in your members and missionarie's attitudes. It comes across as a holier than thou attitude. I get the same feeling from some of Jeff's snarky remarks to anyone who does not believe as he. Too bad, because, with the readership here he could be doing a world of good but only seems to turn people off that dare to differ in opinion.
Good day to all.

Halibut said...

At least in part I agree with the previous post by anonymous. Many LDS people are "smug" because they are the only ones with the truth. A bad attitude to convey.

EXAMPLE-----ask an LDS person if they believe in the Bible? Some/many will answer: as long as it is translated correctly.

With that answer you have invalidated all churches that are based on the bible, with a simple smug comment.

Read the Church position on the Bible here:

http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/commentary/reverence-for-the-bible

This is not a smug response that the Church has. Be positive.

Slept Through Seminary said...

Prometheus? man, I'm getting rusty. Was that Helaman's second son?

Slept Through Seminary said...

Anon wrote: "I get the same feeling from some of Jeff's snarky remarks to anyone who does not believe as he."

Man, I must have slept through all those posts that put down the non-Mormon infidels. Can you remind me which ones you are talking about?

Anonymous said...

Good day to all., said:

"It comes across as a holier than thou attitude."

Ok, You are one of the early Christians and you are telling the Jews that they are missing out on the whole truth. And yu "come across as a holier than thou" Jewish Christain. Now Joseph Smith has all these events happen to him and is told to tell the world about. He and its members have a holier than now attitude. What are we to do? Disobey God and follow you?

Stephen said...

It is amazing how often people can read about how little we are certain of and come to the drive-by conclusion we are certain on everything.

http://mormonmatters.org/2008/01/29/joseph-smith-on-his-own-terms/

RFM and RFTM ... that made me laugh.

tatabug said...

Excellent post, and some equally excellent comments and discussion.

I for one am completely in agreement that we don't have all of the truth, and that there is truth to be found outside the Church. In addition, I believe that we must be careful that we don't become prideful because of the truth that we do have. But I think that we also have to be careful that we don't diminish the fact the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only true and living Church upon the earth. D&C 1:30 says, "And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased,..." This knowledge should inspire not only great joy, but at the same time great humility within us that we have been so blessed. What I am afraid of, is that in our effort not to offend or appear self-righteous to people of other faiths and beliefs, we may eventually lose sight of this fact and begin to water it down to please the world. We should be respectful in our efforts to share this gospel, but we must not fear being bold in declaring what we believe to be true. Romans 1:16 says, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." We shouldn't be ashamed to profess the truth as it has been revealed to us. Professing that we are the only true and living Church should not make us prideful unless we start to think that it somehow makes us better than everyone else. If we don't lose sight of the fact that we are all children of God upon this earth, and that God is no respecter of persons, then we shouldn't become prideful. We should be grateful that we have such a wonderful message to share with our brothers and sisters who haven't yet receive the truth as contained in the restoration of the true Church and gospel of Jesus Christ.

In saying this, I don't wish to imply that anyone here is leaning in that direction, but that in reading all of the comments, it just seemed to me that in our efforts to not be viewed so negatively, that I could see the potential within the Church to gloss over this fact and lose sight of who we are and what makes us unique in all the world. I thought it was a subject worth some additional thought, and I am anxious to hear if anyone else has any thoughts about this, yea or nay.

Anonymous said...

cold pizza,
I am happy that, as you stated, 'The LDS church meets your needs'. My point is that it would do a lot to help people have a peaceful transition out of Mormonism if more Mormons were willing to publicly acknowledge that those who choose to leave the LDS Church(even if that means embracing a non-religious philosophy) have found something that also 'meets their needs' and not label it as a 'wrong' choice. If Mormonism is truly helpful and useful to you living a happy and productive life then I am happy for you and I believe that you have the insight to know that is the best choice for you. Would you be willing to say the same about my choice to be a humanist?

NM said...

Hi Tatabug,

You said, "I for one am completely in agreement that we don't have all of the truth, and that there is truth to be found outside the Church. In addition, I believe that we must be careful that we don't become prideful because of the truth that we do have. But I think that we also have to be careful that we don't diminish the fact the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only true and living Church upon the earth"

Just for fun:

If the LDS church was some sort of desktop application, say it was called 'LDS Word Version N' it would have to contain all necessary code for it to function independently. All other versions would be a N -1...So Methodism, Evangelicalism, Catholicism, Orthodox etc would be expressed as 'LDS Word Version N(-1)'...

How can the LDS church state that it is the one true church then say, "Ah, but we can also learn other 'truths' from other organisations outside the church"?

A complete desktop application (just as it states in D&C 1:30 about the uniqueness of the LDS church) would all the necessary code, which might include all 'other application' codes for it to function independently.

You cannot add more 'truth' to this 'one and true living church' from its surrounding peers. Rather, it can only receive 'more truth' from a transcendent source; an upgrade if you will =)

Anonymous,

You say that you are a humanist. What do you mean exactly by this? I'm not a LDS by the way...

chad said...

As I said before I like this blog and Jeff doesn't come across as snarky to me at all...

However I add that there are some prettey strong truth claims made by all religions and institutions and the LDS church does also...

Hear is something Elder Amasa Lyman once said

"I want you to learn that "Mormonism" is worth everything; that it is all there is of life-that it is all there is of truth-that it is all there is of everything that is worth having; and you will then comprehend, as I do, that to merit it, you will have to throw in all that you have got... May God bless you and me with His Holy Spirit, that we may be led into all truth, and fully comprehend and appreciate that salvation which we seek, is my prayer, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen (Journal of Discourses 3:213-221)."

chad said...

here is something not "hear"

Carlos U. said...

D&C 93: 24
24 And truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come;

I'm not offended at all by the Church claiming to be the True Church. Early on my spiritual life, once I had decided I believed in God, and I believed Christianity to be right, I was faced with the question of which of all those diferent congregations were right. I had studied with the Jehova's Witness and with different evangelical churches. The JV claimed to be the True Church. Others also claimed to have the truth. I agreed with the JV's in one point: There had to be One True church, or there were no true churches on the face of the earth. But it was not possible for more than one church to be true. God is a God of Truth, and not of confusion. Either baptism is an essencial requirement, or it is not. Either we are baptized by inmersion, or by springkling. Either we are phisically resurrected, or we are not and we exist as Spirits in Heavent. But all of those things , contradictory as they are, cannot be "true" at the same time. We look for Truth in Mathematics, Science, and we should in religion, too.

When I starte meeting with the missionaries, I was impressed by the boldness of the claim of being the one true church. I found the theology of the church to be more logical and internally consistent than any others, and to be strongly supported by the Scriptures. I find it to be so to this day. That by itself would not have been enough for me. But I also found a spiritual confirmation, and an abundance of Spirit that I had not found anywhere else. At last, the Spirit changed this heart of mine, and I was baptized.

Of course there is much truth out there, and of course other churches have a large portion of the truth. We have benefited much from learning from them. After all, they have been around much longer than we have. We do have the complete Gospel that we need, but not the totality of knoledge. Both Mormons and others would do well and recognize we all have much left to learn.

Anonymous said...

NM,
A humanist, while there are textbook definitions, is to me someone who doesn't believe in God but believes in the value of enriching human life through relationships built on reciprocity, education, and the improvement of living conditions for the human race.

NM said...

Anonymous (Humanist),

Excellent definition =) I only aksed for clarification because as you said, there ARE varying definitions of 'humanism'.

At one point in my life, I too was a humanist. More specifically an atheistic existentialist; an avid reader of Sartre and Camus (and some) Neitzche =)

Can I ask you a question? Why are you a humanist? What I mean is, what led you to follow humanism rather than something like Buddhism? You don't have to answer if you don't want to =)

tatabug said...

NM,

"How can the LDS church state that it is the one true church then say, "Ah, but we can also learn other 'truths' from other organisations outside the church"?

I suppose that it isn’t an easy thing to explain, so I will resort to using an example.

When it comes to baptism, we believe we have the true mode, method, and proper authority in order to administer it. We also believe that baptism is an essential saving ordinance. To that, it may be possible for another source to expand our understanding of it, although I don’t know what that might be. So while someone might be able to enrich our understanding or give us other ways of looking at it, which may turn out to be true, but which isn’t essential for the “application…to function independently.” Other truths may serve to enhance what we know, but those things aren’t necessary for us to know. Does that make sense? I know it isn’t the best example, but it’s all I could come up with off the top of my head.

I truly believe that other Churches contain truth in one degree or another, and they can serve to open our eyes to a greater understanding of things. I will admit that even though I don’t agree with you completely with regard to grace, I have gained a greater appreciation of it because of your emphasis and very personal experience with it. In my belief, you do have knowledge of some very important and fundamental truths and your passion about them is inspiring, but at the same time, I see that there are gaps in your understanding. This is what we mean by others have truth also. The essential truths, however, are the ones we already have. I know this sounds bold and perhaps even ‘holier than thou’ but I just don’t know how else to put it without being frank so that you can understand what we mean. Please know that it isn’t my intention or my disposition to make myself superior to others because of my beliefs.

"You cannot add more 'truth' to this 'one and true living church' from its surrounding peers. Rather, it can only receive 'more truth' from a transcendent source; an upgrade if you will =)

I like this statement :)

Anonymous said...

NM,
I am essentially a humanist because I find the evidence for religious claims inadequate and yet I want to hold to values that, in my view, improve the human condition.

NM said...

Anonymous (Humanist),

Thanks again for the [further] clarification =)

So, I'm guessing your bag, by the fact that you are here at this blog and more specifically that you have responded to Jeff's 'Mormonism and Truth' post, means you are taking a stand against 'religious' organisations claiming stake on the-only-truth. Would that be a correct assumption?

Also, I found what you said really interesting, "I am essentially a humanist because I find the evidence for religious claims inadequate..."

Bearing in mind that I am not you and you are not me, I can empathize with you here and maybe dare say that I used to feel EXACTLY the same way as you do about the lack of evidence of 'truth' in religion.

What tipped it for me was seeing SO MANY (almost like a supermarket) of so many religious groups claiming their organisation having sole claim on 'truth'. So, we have the Buddhism stall with their pantheism at half price, we have the Islamic group with their dutiful buy-one-get-one-free service to Allah as a way to know truth and the Ba'hai people with their 'anything-goes-it's-all-about-all-truths' 33% off bargain etc... to which I suddenly thought about how absurd human beings all are. We might as well have a religion for people who have found their personal meaning in knitting. =/

Of course everything that I've said have been mere projections of my own experiences and I acknowledge that I might even be misunderstanding you altogether in my attempt to click with your mind-set.

Can I ask you another question? You said you found that the evidence for religious claims to be inadequate... My question is: inadequate to do what? What purpose, in your mind, is it found lacking in. Or, to put it another way, what did you have in mind as the end goal that it cannot meet? Are you talking specifically about Mormonism? Or all 'religions'? If you can, be verbose =) I'd really like to hear more from you...

Tatabug,

I knew you'd like that comment =)

I think I was merely alluding to the fact that the 'one-true-church' CANNOT learn from its surrounding other churches - otherwise it would not be the 'one-true-church'. You cannot add anything new to something that is already true, otherwise it would be: not true. Or at least, found lacking - which would also have significant affects on its 'one-trueness'. =)

I guess what I ultimately driving at is that you can't have it both ways. IF it is the 'one-true-church', it must take its rightful position and stand like a beacon, head and shoulders above the rest. =)

The operative word being 'IF' =P

Anonymous said...

We Mormons or LDS folk say True Church, this is what we mean, church reorganized by Jesus Christ by His prophet Joseph Smith. Church with authority (priesthood) restored to the earth to Joseph Smith and others.

Like Jeff said and others. We don't have it all but enough for salvation. The rest will come.

Andrew Miller said...

great post, Jeff. Interesting how many comments it generated.

http://strongreasons.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

"'religious' organisations claiming stake on the-only-truth. Would that be a correct assumption?"
NM,
Yes, you are correct. I think that because all religions have unverifiable truth claims that adopting a religion is in many ways a process of finding an organization whose rules and practices resonates with that individual. In that respect I think that everyone has a religion (or non-religious philosophy) that works best with that individual's innate characteristics. To assume that the religion that works for you and gives you complete peace will do the same for me is to assume that we are exactly the same. I really don't have time right now to answer your other question, so I apologize, I'll see if I can squeeze it in sometime later.

Anonymous said...

Hi All,

At the risk of being controversial and highly criticized, I thought I'd weigh in on the debate about truth.

Glo made the following observation about Non-LDS "I think that Most people think that the LDS think they have the finel say on what is and is not truth because they claim that all other churches are apostate, and that the LDS is the only true church. (paraphase from Joseph smith though i haven't the reference point). many mormons have infomed me that they have more truth. that seems to say that of all the truth we have avalible They have the most, therefore a monoply. I mean isn't that the point of having a prophet?"

Glo brings up an interesting question here. As a Non-LDS person, what I find in my dealings with LDS Persons, is that there is an air of arrogance regarding knowledge of the truth. I'm not saying that this is intentional, in fact I'm certain most of your members have no idea that they are conveying such arrogance, but its there just the same. I believe that arrogance stems from JS's teachings that all other churches are an abomination in the eyes of God. That statement regarding the position other christian churches standing in the eyes of God lends itself to a certain unavoidable arrogance.

I have had it pointed out to me that my own church has claimed to hold the whole truth on the issue of God's church and salvation. I am aware of that teaching, but its one thing to say we have the whole truth. And its quite another thing to say, all other churches are an abomination, which is what JS and LDS Doctrine teaches. The word abomination invokes a feelings of being offensive, distasteful, ostracism, condemnation of one's actions. In using that wording, abomination in the eyes of God, the message being conveyed, albeit unintentional, is a feeling of we are better than you because we have the truth and you do not. That message of holier than though, even in the most well intentioned, devout LDS Church Members shines through even when your members try to avoid conveying such a message.

Consider how you refer to your parishioners. People who belong to the Mormon Faith are called members, people who do not are called non-members. I know of no other church that uses such a marked delineation, except perhaps Judaism in which case you're either a Jew or a Gentile. In Mormon teaching though you're either a member of the LDS Church, or you're not. If you're not, you're out of the club that holds the truth.

Consider your missionary efforts worldwide. Without even trying to say this, and even taking great pains to avoid saying that your church is better than the people you're proselitizing to, the message still comes through...that is, "the Mormon Church is better than yours because it holds the truth, yours is an abomination in the eyes of God." That's an extremely arrogant message to convey to someone in who's home you are a guest. In defense of your missionaries though, I do hold them in high regard, they are trying to live their faith, are generally well mannered, and strong believers in the message they are conveying. But, to those of us non-LDS members, the unspoken message is that your church is better than mine. Do you realize how offensive that is to a non-member?

In terms of what is truth, I believe there are many truths, and many answers to what is God's true church. I have said before that God's church is a metaphor for a way a living, not a literal place for praying. Truth as it relates to God, is that truth which is revealed to one through devote pray, and deep contemplation of what the Holy Spirit tells us is true. No one church holds a majority on the what is the truth. Christ actually does hold that majority, which is why we are all directed to believe in him and follow his path to the best of our abilities. God's grace will make up for our shortcomings in those areas where we are less than perfect. This is the promised truth that is consistent with all Christian teachings.

Sincerely

Catholic Defender

tatabug said...

Catholic Defender,

Since you are someone not belonging to our faith (notice I didn't use the word non-member, although it would've made for a shorter sentence), I don't feel highly critical of your comment. You are merely stating how you feel as a result of our beliefs and our approach to truth.

What I want to do is to sort of turn the table on you, because I want to test a hypothesis. Firstly on the issue of differentiating between member and non-member, in the Catholic religion, as I assume you are Catholic, how do Catholics refer to people of other faiths or others of no particular faith? I would assume you would say, not Catholic, non-Catholic, or something to say, hey this person isn't Catholic. If so, I would assume that there is no intention of implying exclusivity. It would merely be a way of making pertinent information known about the religious background of the person concerned. Whether you say non-member or non-Catholic, I really don't see how it is different. It still makes the statement of hey, this person isn't a member of the 'Catholic club.' Does that make sense or am I completely off-base?

In terms of truth, I wonder if it ever occurs to anyone that when Mormons are in a religious discussion with others, that we Mormons might also feel that others are also being a bit arrogant. After all, when you disagree with us on a point of doctrine, you are in essence telling us that we are wrong, which basically means that you know the truth of the matter. We all believe that we know the truth. People don't associate with a religion because it is false. They want to believe that they are subscribing to truth. Maybe they don't want to be so bold as to actually proclaim it using the word truth, but that's what it is in essence. That to me is akin to political correctness; just putting a nicer spin on things. I understand the need for political correctness at times, but it should be recognized that it still means the same thing as it did before. Again, maybe I'm wrong, but that's how I see it.

Next, there is absolutely nothing we can do about what past leaders said about other religions being an abomination. But please know that there is a differentiation between the Churches themselves and the people. We believe that there are many good, honest, and faithful people of all different religious backgrounds.

tatabug said...

Sorry Catholic Defender, I should've paid closer attention to your 4th paragraph.

But please consider how God may view those religions that teach falsehoods about Him which lead people from the truth. Do you think He would engage in political correctness, or do you think He would make it quite clear and plain how he feels? We are Christians, but when you look at non-Christian religions, such as Buddhism or Islam or even Wiccan, might you feel even slightly inclined to consider them abominations in God's eyes?

tatabug said...

Catholic Defender,

Sorry, but I had another thought. I may be wrong, but I don't think that the leaders of the Church have ever specifically stated that all other religions are an abomination. I would be interested to know if you know of any specifics statements that might suggest otherwise. I do know that many Protestants and Martin Luther have linked the prophecy in Revelation 17 about the whore of all the earth with the Roman Catholic Church, and I think there may be members of the Church who may ignorantly do the same and even extend that to other religions as well, but the teachings of the Church, as far as I know don't subscribe to that, and I don't know for sure that it is an official teaching that all other churches are an abomination. In our own teachings, I understand that with regard to other specific religions, the early agents of apostasy in the Jewish and Christian tradition were also considered an abomination, or the great and abominable church. I just don't know that such a thing could be accurately attributed by us to current religions now. In our Doctrine and Covenants 18:20, it says, "Contend against no church, save it be the church of the devil." That to me means that we don't consider other churches to be of the devil, who is the founder of the great and abominable church.

Ryan said...

tatabug,

I believe he is referring to the account of the First Vision, found in Joseph Smith History, verse 19:

"I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all awrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight..."

Jeff said...

CD, Joseph Smith never said that other churches are an abomination. But the Lord did tell him that their creeds were an abomination. Harsh language, but it's directed at the creeds, not the people or the Churches. And frankly, I think I can sympathize with the Lord on this one. Step out of your paradigm for a moment and imagine a Heavenly Parent, in whose physical image we are created, and his real, tangible, resurrected Son, also in our physical image, watching committees of men in the 4th and 5th centuries striving to make Christianity more acceptable to a world dominated by the "science" of pagan Greek philosophy with its loathing of the material and its love of abstract forms. Imagine the frustration at watching these men determine that God must be the god of the philosophers, without body, parts, or passions, and be wholly immaterial, completely other, not the Father of our Spirits whose offspring we are and in whose image we are created, but a metaphysical construct designed to be utterly incomprehensible and alien to children who need to know that we are sons and daughters of God. These creeds that redefined His nature and obscured so much of the truth of the Gospel would surely be viewed as an abomination, as a barrier to truth. All the meaningless debates about the philosophical implication of who "proceeds" from whom and what "one substance" means and so forth would all appear to be grotesque perversions of truth. Surely the Lord is not over-reacting in dismissing those man-made, uninspired creeds with such harsh language.

Halibut said...

A little harsh there. The men in the 3rd century were only doing their best. And who were they? Our ancestors.

The Catholic church is very good about including those who are not baptized in their communion.

tatabug said...

Halibut,

I get the sense that your comment is directed at me. If so, I would agree that there were men in the third century who were just doing there best. I have no doubt that there were extremely sincere and righteous men doing their very best to preserve the pure doctrine of Christ's Church. But just as in all ages of time, there are men who are not at all sincere, and instead, work to fulfill their own ambition.

With regard to Catholics and their inclusion of others who haven't been baptized, I think that is great. I am not familiar enough with the religion itself to know. I even acknowledged that I may have been off-base. My intent was to point out that just because we differentiate between member and non-member doesn't mean that it is some sort of exclusive club. It is a means to establish a base of understanding so we know where someone is coming from. If someone is a non-member, we would obviously need to relate to them a bit differently (in religious terms) than we would someone who is a member. We are extremely welcoming of anyone who wishes to join us. We consider our membership a blessing, not an entitlement, and it doesn't make us superior to anyone.

Pops said...

There seems to be some confusion arising from the failure to distinguish between "church" and "gospel".

The Gospel of Jesus Christ embodies all truth and encompasses all things, including hell itself.

The Church of Jesus Christ is an organization dedicated to the proposition of perfecting the saints, proclaiming the Gospel, and redeeming the dead. It does not purport to possess all truth, nor does it need to in order to accomplish its mission. It requires a knowledge of how we must live in order to receive exaltation, it must provide a pathway for communication from God to the church and to the world, and must possess the authority to act in behalf of God in all things required of us by God.

Pops said...

One of the hallmarks of genuine revelation is that it sometimes is inconvenient, to put it mildly.

When Jesus Christ looked Joseph Smith in the eye and told him that the creeds of all Christian sects then extant were an abomination to Him, it was hardly convenient for the 14-year-old Joseph Smith. It resulted in tremendous persecution that lasted throughout his life, and eventually cost him his mortal life.

I suspect that perhaps some people today deny the possibility of revelation from God because of the fear, conscious or subconscious, that God may require them to do something that is inconvenient.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

"What are you afraid of Jeff? Don't want people to know the truth?"

It looks like you got you truth out so what is the problem? I they want more about these views thay can look on the web. So what is the problem? Your problem is that Jeff has decided what he wants posted and all these topics he and others in the church have covered before. So our version of these events or others version of these events. So what is the problem?

Anonymous said...

"No one church holds a majority on the what is the truth."


So Christ's church that was left to Peter did not have the whole, pure, majority truth? Upon this rock I build this church....? I am confused.

Anonymous said...

"...that we Mormons might also feel that others are also being a bit arrogant."

A Catholic told me they a the keepers of Christ's priesthood through Peter and all other churchs lack this priesthood unless given by the Catholic church. To me this is not arrogant but a statement fact if true.

Anonymous said...

"In terms of what is truth, I believe there are many truths, and many answers to what is God's true church."

There is only one truth anything else is belief. Christ is the Son of God, fact; if not then it is just a belief.

Teranno4x4 said...

Dear Anon,

Jesus said :
"And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."

He did not say - upon YOUR rock I will build my church.

He definitely said "this rock". He was referring to Himself. Jesus is known as the Rock, the cornerstone or our one foundation. This can be found throughout OT and NT teaching.

Peter was given the responsibility of the keys to the kingdom of heaven: "And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven."

This does not mean that he is sitting at the commonly depicted 'pearly gates' and letting people in like a door-man at a private club. Nor does it mean keys to priesthood or holding up the early church. Only that the guidelines of spreading the message were handed to Peter now that the disciples were about to temporarily lose their Inspiration.

No slightly more down to basics : When we read Revelation ch 3 Jesus says again of Himself :
"he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name."
Here Jesus describes Himself as the open door, that many can walk through Him to achieve salvation. It is the keys to this door that Peter has the keys to. It is more accurately defined as truth, wisdom, knowledge and understanding to pass on the theology of the Gospel to the whole world to let them know that Jesus is the open door to eternal life.

Jesus did tell the truth as the gates of hell can not match or overcome this given message. The battle is already one and we are now only awaiting the final conclusion.

It really is that simple!

Teranno4x4

Anonymous said...

Hi again,

Just weighing in briefly. I gotta go with Terrano 4 x 4 on this one in terms of truth. I think the reference to Matthew 16 is a poignant one. The interpretation of Jesus telling Peter that he is the rock upon which he will build his church is one that has been subject to multiple interpretations. But, every translation of the Bible that I have read, very clearly states what Terrano has quoted, albeit the word choices may be slightly different in the various translations.

But for a comparison, I use the Douay Rhiems translation, I believe that Terrano uses the KJV, but may be wrong on that. But the wording of the two translations is almost identical. Just using those two translations its very clear that what Jesus is saying is that Peter is to be given the responsibility of carrying the keys of the kingdom, and that Hell would not prevail against Christ's church.

While it may not be an accurate depiction of Peter, I rather like the tradition of Peter managing the pearly gates. I don't actually take that literally, but the spirit of it is that Peter is responsible for carrying Christ's message to the world.

Catholic Defender

Anonymous said...

Hi Tatabug,


I wanted to respond separately to something you said about LDS Members being very welcoming of non-members. I actually do agree with you, but with a caveat. My experience in attending my wife's church, she's LDS by the way, is that I have always been greeted, and made to feel welcome in her church, but have I also always felt that the welcome was coupled with a pressure to join your church as well. It isn't anything that has ever been said, its just an omnipresent feeling that comes from a teaching that the LDS Church holds the truth and no one else really does. Hopefully that makes sense.

I would also point out that I think you're generally correct in that many of your members do hold your membership as a blessing, not an entitlement, at least in speaking to them about their faith. But there is also a sense of entitlement as well. I'll give you an example.

Typically I'll go to mass on my own, then will go with my wife to her service. We'll stay for the whole service. I'll sit in priesthood and listen to the lessons. Invariably and without fail, those priesthood lessons will at some point turn to someone's observations about non-members and how unfortunate it is that they don't hold the truth. That is the type of entitlement I was referring to in my earlier comment. It isn't a direct statement of "we're better than you because...;" instead its a subtle unspoken sentiment that stems from the teachings of JS about other creeds and other churches. I realize in further reading that JS said other creeds are an abomination, but the sentiment seems to be that other churches are.

This is just one example. But to put it in perspective, I have never sat in mass and had a priest talk about the poor protestants who don't have access to the truth. I never once in a Sunday school class while growing up, heard a disparaging comment about another christian denominations teachings. But I have on more than one occasion, while sitting in an LDS Sacrament Meeting, and the various meetings that follow heard members of the LDS Bishopric, and other members of the LDS faith make disparaging comments about catholic teachings as well as protestant teachings. These seem to be well intentioned comments, but just the same, they convey an sense of entitlement because the speaker is LDS and therefore privy to the "truth."

The point though is that none of us here has proof that are respective church holds the truth. There's no intrinsic evidence or empirical data that says Catholics are right, or Mormons are right. What is true is something we have to take on faith. It would be a good idea for LDS members as well as the rest of us to remember that when talking about another's church or faith.

Sincerely

Catholic Defender

Tara said...

Actually, the rock in Matthew 16 is referring to REVELATION. What did Jesus say in the preceding verses?

He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

Notice Jesus asking Simon how he knew he (Jesus) was the Christ. He said he knew through revelation. It was immediately after that when Jesus said, "upon this rock I will build my church."

"Through direct revelation from God Peter knew that Jesus was the Christ; and upon revelation, as a rock of secure foundation, the Church of Christ was to be built. Though torrents should fall, floods, roll, winds rage, and all beat together upon that structure, it would not, could not, fall, for it was founded upon a rock; and even the powers of hell would be impotent to prevail against it. By revelation alone could or can the Church of Jesus Christ be builded and maintained; and revelation of necessity implies revelators, through whom the will of God may be made known respecting His Church." Talmage, Jesus the Christ

Interestingly, the Savior engages in a little word-play. In the Greek, Peter (petros) means small rock and 'rock' (petra) means bedrock. Christ is the Stone of Israel. So through the 'rock of revelation' Jesus (the Stone of Israel) will build his kingdom, with Peter (a small rock) holding the keys of the kingdom.

Ambiguous said...

... When talking about truth its always seem a general thought that "everyone has truth", only the simple reason that everyone has access to the Bible....... and I think the Bible wolud really not tell itself what is truth in it but us or how we interpret it, and that would mean we would never know the whole truth or which is truth thats inside the Bible.... unless, everyone stop arguing? peace!

Ambiguous said...

..... what I really meant was if everyone has truth, then I might also have or gain that truth and perhaps... that would mean that I can tell other people what truth that I gained or totally make my own religion! my own set of beliefs and give people the "truth" which everyone here tells that all has it.. just being critical.. If everyone has it then everyone owns it and there is no "we" "us" in truth. If anyone of you has the truth then be proud to tell it but arguing about it just blurs out truth correct??

Anonymous said...

"Blest are you, Simon son of John! No mere man has revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. I for my part declare to you, you are 'Rock,' and on this rock I will build my church, and the jaws of death shall not prevail against it." Note who the "I" is: the "I" is a divine person, the subject of action is divine; God himself institutes the Church. The Church is not a mere human institution. Christ, the eternal Word, the Father's Son, institutes and builds his Church on the "Rock."
All through the Old Testament, "Rock" with an uppercase "R" refers to God himself Then in the Gospel of Matthew referred to above, we see Jesus, the "Rock," because he is a divine subject of action, renaming Simon "Rock." Jesus, the real "Rock," is also referred to as the "bridegroom" or "groom" as well in Scripture. The Church is his "bride" (#796). We know, also from the Word, that in marriage, whether natural or supernatural, the "two become one flesh." Jesus and his church are one; bridegroom and bride are one. Hence, Christ is naming Peter "Rock", one with himself. There is no other "Rock" other than Christ absolutely speaking. However, the Rock, in a mystical marriage, unites his beloved bride, the Church, to himself. Simon is named "Rock", and whoever hears the Rock Peter is hearing the Rock who is Christ; whoever rejects the Rock who is Peter, rejects the Rock Christ and the One who sent him, the Father.
You cannot separate the Lord Jesus from his beloved body and bride, the Church. To reject the teaching of Peter and his successors the Roman pontiffs, together with the bishops who are united with the Holy Father in teaching the one faith which has been handed down faithfully form the apostles, is to reject the teaching of Jesus Christ, and the One who sent him, the Father (cf. Luke 10:16).
The Catholic Church can never fail if it is built on the Rock of revealtion and the priesthood of Melchizedek given by Christ and holds the key to Heaven.


RESTORATION OF THE MELCHIZEDEK PRIESTHOOD.--The promise to confer upon Joseph and Oliver the Melchizedek Priesthood was fulfilled. The voice of Peter, James and John was heard declaring themselves as "possessing the keys of the kingdom, and of the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times;" for which appearing and declaration there could be no other occasion than the ordination of Oliver and Joseph to the Melchizedek Priesthood in fulfillment of the promises made by John the Baptist. The time at which the ordination took place was 1829.
You must choose the Catholic church or the LDS church which holds the keys. All must choose and come to one or the other because there is no other way to obtain the keys necessary to enter the Kindom of Heaven.

Teranno4x4 said...

Dear Tara and Anon,

Your claim that 'the Rock' in the text in Matthew relates to REVELATION is falling short of the TRUTH ! If you look closer at what the REVELATION reveals, it reveals more about the nature and majesty of Jesus Christ - not more about doctrines or church manuals. Hence the last book in the Bible - Revelation (of what?) Rev1:1 "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:"

Jesus IS THE ONLY ROCK on which to build the foundation of TRUTH. Why - because He IS the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE. No man goes to the Father except through HIM !

Anon, I am surprised at your prompting to choose either Catholic or LDS church. What makes you think that either hold the monopoly on truth or that the order of Melchizedek needs to rest here. When reading the book of Hebrews I see the constant reference to Jesus as our High Priest and no references to any earthly group of people. This is a man made 'assumed' doctrine that holds no Biblical weight. Jesus IS the only way to the Father!

Take a look to these quotes by the Catholic church on Sunday keeping and then explain to me how either organisation dominates with 'Truth' ???

Not the Creator of the Universe, in Gen 2:1-3, but the Catholic church "can claim the honor of having granted man a pause to his work every seven days." - S.C. Mosna, Storia della Domenica, 1969 pp 366-367.

"Reason and common sense demand the acceptance of one or the other of these alternatives : either Protestantism and the keeping holy of Saturday, or Catholicity and the keeping holy of Sunday. Compromise is impossible." The Catholic Mirror, Dec 23, 1893.

"Sunday is therefore to this day the acknowledged offspring of the Catholic church as spouse of the Holy Ghost, without a word of remonstrance from the Protestant world." Editorial, The Catholic Mirror (Baltimore), Sept 23, 1893.

"You may read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, and you will not find a single line authorizing the sanctification of Sunday. The Scriptures enforce the religious observance of Saturday. A day which we never sanctify." Cardinal Gibbons, The Faith of our Fathers - 92nd ed.rev. Baltimore: John Murphy Company, p89.

"The Sunday ... is purely a creation of the Catholic church." American Catholic Quarterly Review, Jan 1883

"Sunday ... It is a law of the Catholic church alone ..." Catholic American Sentinel, June 1893.

" ... the observance of Sunday by Protestants is an homage they pay, in spite of themselves, to the authority of the Catholic church." Monsignor Louis Segar, Plain Talk about the Protestantism of Today, p 213.

"But the Protestant says : How can I receive the teachings of an apostate church ? How, we ask, have you managed to receive her teachings all your life, in direct opposition to your recognized teacher, the Bible, on the Sabbath question? " The Christian Sabbath (2nd Ed.; Baltimore; The Catholic Mirror, 1893) p. 29,30.

The Adventists are the only body of Christians with the Bible as their teacher, who can find no warrant in it's pages for the change of day from the seventh to the first. Hence their appellation, "Seventh-Day Adventists." Catholic Mirror, Sept 9, 1893.

"The (Catholic) church changed the observance of the Sabbath to Sunday by right of the divine, infallible authority given to her by her Founder, Jesus Christ. The Protestant claiming the Bible to be the only guide of faith, has no warrant for observing Sunday. In this matter the Seventh-Day Adventist is the only consistent Protestant." - "The Question Box", The Catholic Univers Bulletin, Aug 14, 1942. p4.


So Anon, you as LDS claim that we can choose either Catholic or LDS. The Catholics claim that we must choose either their faith or the Seventh-Day Adventists, who also appear to follow Biblical teaching.

Now the dilemma is who really is telling he Truth and what is it based on. God's teaching, man's teaching or some other evil supernatural deception ?

Really puzzled, but deciding to stay close to God and His Truth,

Teranno4x4

PS. Catholic Defender - if you are still following, I resonate with your last comment, thanks! My comments above are not left to aggravate or to demean your faith in any way, shape or form. I am merely trying to highlight to Anon that different faiths point to other beliefs as contrary to their own with the reasons why, and ultimately we must choose which belief system to follow - if any ! And yes - I prefer the KJV.

Anonymous said...

The Catholic church eather has the Keys of the Kingdom of God left to Peter or they do not. If not then they can't give what they don't have. The LDS is the only other church to state that Peter came and restored the Keys of the Kingdom of God. The rest say it is not need or they get it out of thin air.

Anonymous said...

"the Seventh-Day Adventists, who also appear to follow Biblical teaching."

Follow all you want. That is different from having Peter laying his hands on someones head and restoring the Keys of the Kingdom of God.

Anonymous said...

"The (Catholic) church changed the observance of the Sabbath to Sunday by right of the divine,"

If Peter is the rock that Christ built the Catholic church and the Pope obtained a commandment to change then they would have the Keys of the Kingdom of God to do so. This power is to act in Gods name.

tatabug said...

Catholic Defender,

Very interesting that your wife is LDS.

Of course we want you to join. We want everyone to join us, and it is by divine mandate that we share this gospel with others. Not only that, but as we come to understand the true worth of souls, and can relate to what it means to love others as we love ourselves, we can't help but want to share this gospel which is so dear to us with our brothers and sisters.

The pressure you feel is quite understandable. But if you feel welcome, and nobody is saying anything to pressure you to join, I don't get the problem.

Should we deny the teaching that the Church is the only true Church on Earth? Do you think the Catholic Church would ever do something like that?

Perhaps you've never sat through a mass or Sunday School lesson where the deficiencies of other religions were discussed, but I have watched Catholic television programming which does. The particular program I saw was directed at the Mormon Church and how foolish we were for trusting in our 'feelings.'

I'm sorry for your negative experiences with the Church and your perceptions of us. All I can say is that we can and should try to do better. However, it is likely that no matter how nice and tolerant we are, most will not be happy until we apologize for claiming to have the true gospel and then stop pestering others to join.

Teranno4x4 said...

Dear Anon,

Isn't a Biblical teaching a more accurate way to the Truth (Jesus Christ) and eventually the Father, than a man-made doctrine and belief system, such as keys to the Priesthood ? This is only assumed and has been convoluted in such away that it taints all that the OT prophecies that point to Jesus as our Messiah, our Saviour, High Priest and our Redeemer.

It seems that holding keys literally seems to be of a very high importance for you, probably as high as I hold Jesus in my own esteem, so who is right ? This is where the rubber meets the road and where Truth seperates from error. On the one hand - you need to acknowledge the efforts of the early church under the dictate of Rome, and on the other hand you attempt to distance yourselves from Catholicism, because you have the 'restored gospel'. To say that you have the keys also doesn't necessarily mean that it is the truth.

You only believe this because of a couple of semi-appropriately linked Bible verses and advice from Joeseph Smith based on verses in Mal 4. He failed to recognise that this prophecy led many of the Jews of later times to expect a return to earth of Elijah himself (see John 1:21). However, this is a prophecy of someone who was to come in “the spirit and power” of Elijah (Luke 1:17), that is, who would preach a message similar to that of Elijah. Before the first advent of Christ this work was done by John the Baptist (Matt. 17:12, 13; Luke 1:16, 17; see on Mal. 3:1)

The Catholics stated "The Adventists are the only body of Christians with the Bible as their teacher", but the bigger deception that you seemed to preferrably ignore is that most of Christendom has been duped into Sunday worship by authority of the Catholic church alone. Remember that next time you go to your Temple meetings that it is by authority of the Catholic church and through no Biblical evidence or sanctification by God that you actually worship on a Sunday!

Peter was given the responsibility by Jesus. Peter did NOT have the authority to pass the responsibility on like a baton in a relay race. At his death, the work was to be complete and the foundation for Christianity finished. How individuals treated the global church since then is questionable, due to the gnostic and mystical ideals that started to creep in, unifying pagan traditions of the time with beliefs and worship styles.

Simplicity, or pomp and ceremony ? When you prove to me the material majesty of Jesus whilst he was here on earth - maybe I will accept your doctrine and teaching. Until then I will continue to follow my Saviour's leading in simplicity, without any creed and as much humility as can be provided from above leading me into His Truth.

That is the way that I like it - unpolluted and direct.

Psalm 139:23,24
23Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
24And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Teranno4x4

NM said...

Terrano,

I know this is completely off-subject (as ever), but I really admire Peter. I resonate with him most for his speak-before-thinking attitude. On the one hand he wasn't afraid to say what needed to be said - but in another way, you can almost sense his many insecurities with the way that he only said what he said because it made him look good. =)

I admire him most when he was at his most broken =)

What a thing to deny your truest friend. And furthermore, to know that your truest friend whom you claimed love knew also that he was going to be denied.

I don't know if you (or anyone else) have ever noticed the significance between the dialogue between he and Jesus on the shore in John 21, when Jesus asks Peter three times if he loves him. Most people stop at oh, it's because Peter denied Jesus three times etc...but the dialogue runs far deeper... THEN we can somehow get a glimpse of how Peter is the way he is in the Book of Acts. What happened exactly between the deflated Peter, which we see in the latter parts of the gospels and the beginnings of the church the book of Acts?

Sorry for the slight tangent...

GB said...

Tx4: Peter did NOT have the authority to pass the responsibility on like a baton in a relay race.

GB: Do you have a Bible verse that states that in clear and understandable terms?

Tx4: At his death, the work was to be complete and the foundation for Christianity finished.

GB: Do you have a Bible verse that states that in clear and understandable terms?

Anonymous said...

"The Adventists are the only body of Christians with the Bible as their teacher","

I would have the Rock of Revelation and Priesthood authority Peter was given.

"Isn't a Biblical teaching a more accurate way to the Truth (Jesus Christ) and eventually the Father, than a man-made doctrine and belief system, such as keys to the Priesthood ?"

I rather have God Prophets and the Holy Spirit than just Biblical teachings as this is what the bible scriptures state God will do.

You are missing out on the other two.

Teranno4x4 said...

Dear NM,

I really resonate with Peter myself too. You may have noticed that often I shoot straight from the hip and ask questions afterwards. Why ? - because I enjoy straight, upfront and frank communication and will defend Truth.

Peter was very bold and brash throughout his life, but as Bible history records, he also became kind, loving, humble and full of Joy in His Saviour, through the obvious work of the Holy Spirit in His daily life.

I have many inadequacies in my character and by looking to Peter's example gives me great encouragement.
------------------------

Dear GB

Do you have the Bible verse that states that Peter DID have the authority to hand over like a baton ?
Do you have the Bible verse to state that the foundation of Christianity is still ongoing in 2008?

Presumptiom is one thing - fact is another!
------------------------

Dear Anon,

As you know I am a Christian. Now you do not know me personally, so how can you claim what I have and what I do not have in my life - again this is entirely presumption. I can openly state that I have God in my life. I have the influence of the work of prophets in my life. I also have the work of the Holy Spirit in my life. I have my High Priest Jesus in my life. I have also been baptised by immersion and I believe led by the Holy Spirit in many ways.

I name that as a FULL house ! How can you assume differently for me ? Are you my judge and jury now ?


Greetings to all,

Teranno4x4

Anonymous said...

I was not questing you faith in Jesus Christ but up until your last statement the only thing we knew about you was that you study the bible and take it very literality. Nothing wrong with that except... well sometimes it locks you into looking at things just one way. What I was trying to point out was your reference that the Catholics pointed out that you follow the bible very closely.


"The Adventists are the only body of Christians with the Bible as their teacher, who can find no warrant in it's pages for the change of day from the seventh to the first. Hence their appellation, "Seventh-Day Adventists.""

Again, this statement of "the Bible as their teacher," can it get a person the priesthood authority? Or just knowledge or close to Christ so a person can be forgiven by grace and saved by faith. If no more is needed then you have arrived. But the view that there was a priesthood given to Peter the Rock, now where is it. With the Cahtolics, Mormons, or with any beliver?

Teranno4x4 said...

Hi Anon,

You are back-tracking.

The Bible does not say that Jesus named Peter as the Rock. I already explained that in a previous comment.

Tara in fact claimed that 'rock' meant 'revelation' and now you claim that it in fact is Peter.... again.

This idea of priesthood authority - please show me where this whole concept started and I will prove that it is only through the assumption of the early Roman church based on a tradition designed by men. How can a statement of Jesus, 'keys to the kingdom of heaven' be contorted into different words like 'priesthood' and 'authority'. And you have the nerve to accuse me of putting my own spin on Bible interpretation ? (laughs)

It is such a dangerous doctrine as it completely rubbishes the heavenly ministry of Jesus as we speak - as our advocate before the Father. You may as well rub out most of the book of Hebrews and just ignore it for your 'preferred doctrine'.

There is no instruction that this was to be an ordained doctrine of the church - unless you then refer to modernism and include 'revelation' from Joseph Smith.

As NM has stated many times already in his comments - it boils down to who should one believe and why ?

You see I answered above - I follow only the doctrines and the Commandments of God, made into flesh in the form of Jesus Christ who died so that I may have the chance to live.

Again you are presumptious that I am Seventh-Day Adventist because I believe in Bible teaching and the book of Hebrews?

Teranno4x4

GB said...

Tx4: Do you have the Bible verse that states that Peter DID have the authority to hand over like a baton ?

GB: If you don’t mind I will quote from your resent posts. OK?

You said ‘Peter was given the responsibility of the keys to the kingdom of heaven: "And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." ‘

This specifically gives Peter authority and encapsulated in that authority is the authority to pass it on to someone else. After all he had the authority to bind the keys on to someone else, right. You basically confirm this ability to pass the keys on in you following statement.

You said ‘When we read Revelation ch 3 . . . . It is the keys to this door that Peter has the keys to. It is more accurately defined as truth, wisdom, knowledge and understanding to pass on the theology of the Gospel to the whole world to let them know that Jesus is the open door to eternal life.’

Although we likely disagree about what the “keys” are, here you clearly state that the keys can and should be passed on “to the whole world”.

It is obvious that you are contradicting yourself.

Tx4: Do you have the Bible verse to state that the foundation of Christianity is still ongoing in 2008?

I asked these question because you said “Isn't a Biblical teaching a more accurate way to the Truth (Jesus Christ) and eventually the Father, . . . “

Since it appears that you believe everything we need to know is in the Bible, I thought it interesting that you were making assertions that have no Biblical support.

Perhaps it would be helpful to have a definition of “foundation of Christianity”. Do you have one?

I do believe that there are numerous Biblical verses that describe the “foundation” of the Christian Church. But I am not aware of any that plainly and clearly define the “foundation of Christianity”.

Indeed “Presumption is one thing - fact is another!”

You might find this interesting since you have posted Catholic quotes about the Adventists.

http://www.bycommonconsent.com/2008/01/a-footnote-to-the-strength-of-the-mormon-position/

Teranno4x4 said...

Hi GB,

Please explain how I contradict myself ?

I have read and re-read my comment and I just can't see it unless you twist them out of context. Or maybe I wasn't clear enough in my explanation the first time...

We need to step back slightly before you rush ahead too fast. I never stated, agreed or insinuated in any way that 'to bind' or 'to loose' effectively spins into 'hand over'.

There is still no authority 'hand over' of possession here in you highlighted verse!

This verse basically means that the fruits of Peter's endeavours and activities will be resultant in many people who are saved into the kingdom of heaven.

I personally don't see any passing on of authority , since 'to loose' and 'to bind' are both opposite verbs and neither means to 'pass on'.

Truth, wisdom, knowledge and understanding I defined rightly as the keys. The theology of the Gospel (death and resurrection of Jesus Christ) is the subject matter to pass on. I definitely did not define the subject matter as the keys!!

I think that you are quite mistaken and have read my comment completely out of context.

Peter had the keys (Truth, Wisdom, Knowledge & Understanding) to the door (Jesus Christ).

Unless I am mistaken a person's brain is completely individual. One can impart one's own knowledge and life experience, but only in a very limited capacity by teaching in speech or written form. We all have our own experiences and can not transplant them in one single easy motion like handing them down. Only Jesus has the power and authority to do that, and clearly he recognised that Peter was ripe in his own experience to have big enough shoulders to deal with the great responsibility of driving Christianity forward in the way in which it absolutely was necessary at that time. We would do well to emulate the same effort today and open ourselves to the prompting of the Holy Spirit.

Do you define Christianity differently to the Christian church?

GB said I asked these question because you said “Isn't a Biblical teaching a more accurate way to the Truth (Jesus Christ) and eventually the Father, . . . “

Since it appears that you believe everything we need to know is in the Bible, I thought it interesting that you were making assertions that have no Biblical support.


Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6 - Biblical

Teranno4x4

Teranno4x4 said...

By the way - I did find the comment interesting - but it has no bearing on Truth if the keys can not be passed down as we are discussing...

It just leads to a false Roman church belief and tradition.

GB said...

First you asked
“Do you have the Bible verse that states that Peter DID have the authority to hand over like a baton ?”

To which I responded, but now you are changing the topic/question to something else.

“There is still no authority 'hand over' of possession here in you highlighted verse!”

I never expressed or implied that the verses stated that Peter actually handed over the authority that he had. My point was and is that he had the authority and that he “could” pass it on. And there are no Biblical verses that state otherwise.

If you are unwilling to acknowledge that Peter clearly had authority and could pass it on, that is fine by me. But you have NO Biblical basis for such a belief.

I do find it interesting that you are extremely literal with this statement “I personally don't see any passing on of authority , since 'to loose' and 'to bind' are both opposite verbs and neither means to 'pass on'.”

And yet provide absolutely no Biblical support for this statement “Truth, wisdom, knowledge and understanding I defined rightly as the keys.”

In fact you explicitly state that it is you (and not the Bible) that defines the keys as “Truth, wisdom, knowledge and understanding”.

Perhaps I am wrong to assume that you subscribe to the doctrine of “sola scriptura”. If so then I apologize.

Tx4: Please explain how I contradict myself ?

It is obvious that “to pass on the theology of the Gospel to the whole world” requires that the “truth, wisdom, knowledge and understanding to” (or as you define the “keys”) do so, must also be passed on. After all Peter didn’t live to see the job done, did he?

Tx4: Do you define Christianity differently to the Christian church?

Yes I do. I was wondering how you define them.

Tx4: Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6 - Biblical


And so it is, but to state that Peter couldn’t pass on his authority isn’t. And that was my point.

Tx4: It just leads to a false Roman church belief and tradition.

So how then can a live branch be taken from a dead tree?

Anonymous said...

The Link Between Matthew 16 and Isaiah 22
When Jesus gave the keys to Peter in Matthew 16 He was referencing Isaiah 22, even the NASB translation links the two passages, proving that Catholics are not the only ones who see the link.
When Jesus said, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven,” it was a reference to Isaiah 22. Proper understanding of Matthew 16:18-19 requires knowledge of Isaiah 22. The keeper of the keys is an office of authority. Isaiah 22 says this about the person who holds this office:
he is a steward (v. 15)
he is in charge of the royal household (v. 15)
he holds an office (v.19)
his authority will be entrusted to someone else (v.21 )
he will become a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah (v. 21, Papa, Pope?)
the key to the House of David will be upon this new guy’s shoulders (v.22, sounds very familiar to Matthew 16:19)
whatever he opens no one will shut (v. 22, again sounds like the binding power given to Peter in Matthew 16:19)
God will drive him like a peg in a firm place (v. 23, a rock upon whom the church is built?)
he will become a throne of glory to his father’s house (v.23, even though he will be called a father as in v. 21)
I can’t help but wonder about v. 25:
”In that day,” declares the LORD of hosts, “the peg driven in a firm place will give way; it will even break off and fall, and the load hanging on it will be cut off, for the LORD has spoken.”
I’ve never heard Catholic commentary on this verse. I have just been wondering to myself if this is not prophetic words about those who break away from that peg (that office of authority, the Pope?). If indeed, the chair of Peter is that peg, then it seems that those who break away from that chair of unity, place themselves at risk of being cut off.
The Twelve Apostles and Their Successors are Priests Forever in the Order of Melchizedek
I believe that Jesus ordained Peter to be the keeper of the keys and charged him with feeding His (Jesus’) sheep. Jesus placed Peter in charge of the royal household, the Church. If the Judas’ office was not to remain empty, how much more so the office of Peter? Peter and the Apostles were ordained by Christ to be part of the ministerial priesthood in the New Covenant. They are not Levitical priests who offer up animal sacrifices. They are priests forever in the order of Melchiziedek who feed us the Bread from Heaven and offer us the Cup of the New and Everlasting Covenant. Only Christ is the True Priest; they are only His ministers. As ministerial priests of Christ, they have the authority to teach. As it is written, “For the lips of a priest should preserve knowledge, and men should seek instruction from his mouth; for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.” Malachi 2:7

Teranno4x4 said...

Dear GB,

The doctrine of the 'keys of priesthood' was unheard of until the 6th Century AD. This was well after Constantine had established the organised Roman church.

This makes the doctrine nothing more than a fabricated tradition of man, whichever way you analyse it.

Regarding the keys and a Biblical definition have you considered the passage in Luke 11 :
49 Therefore also said the WISDOM of God, I will send them prophets and apostles, and some of them they shall slay and persecute:
50 That the blood of all the prophets, which was shed from the foundation of the world, may be required of this generation;
51 From the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, which perished between the altar and the temple: verily I say unto you, It shall be required of this generation.
52 Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the KEY OF KNOWLEDGE: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.
53 And as he said these things unto them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to urge him vehemently, and to provoke him to speak of many things:
54 Laying wait for him, and seeking to catch something out of his mouth, that they might accuse him.


Jesus Himself speaking more words of Truth! This IS what I believe - not my words, but the words of Jesus! You have them backed up again in Revelation.

The verse cited, John 14:6 explains that Jesus IS the sole authority. Can you argue differently? MY point is that if Jesus provided Peter with the responsibility to build up the Eraly Christian church, then the authority still belongs to Jesus and it is not Peter's to pass on!

After all Peter didn’t live to see the job done, did he? You must be reading a different Bible to me. In Acts I read that each time Peter was preaching after the day of pentecost, thousands were baptised on hearing the Gospel. That reads like a suitable foundation to me!

"Sola Scriptura" - depends on understanding of the exact definition used for the term.

In the context of 2 Tim 3:16, then yes I subscribe wholeheartedly to this text.

In the context of translational, grammatical, punctuational errors combined with corpoate-religio corruption, then yes I acknowledge that this too must be considered. BUT then examine the history of the manuscripts available and you will arrive at 3 distinct possibilities for the sources of all translations today : Lost Manuscripts of the traditional text - (Gothic version, Peshitta Syriac, Codex W, Codex A, Extant), Ancestor of Alexandrian Family - Lost (Papyrus 75, Papyrus 66, Codex B, Codex Aleph) and finally Ancestor of the Western Family - Lost (Old Latin version, Latin vulgate, Codex D, Codex D2 and Codex E2).
Look into some of these manuscripts and you will see the errors of manipulated 'spin' for yourself, including this sub-addressed keys to priesthood man-made tradition. It all boils down to corporate control of the masses, greed, corruption and deception.

So which version do I read - as close to the traditional text as I am able and for a deeper study to try and source a prayerful understanding of the context from the original language.

Take from that explanation what you want, but the concept of 'sola scriptura' has its own failings in my view.

My point was and is that he had the authority and that he “could” pass it on. And there are no Biblical verses that state otherwise. Likewise there are no Biblical verses to also state that he had the authority to pass it on! This is the whole presumption. Using your same logic, should we also presume that Lazarus is still alive today, just because there are no Bible verses to state that he died a second time (maybe of old age). Was he raised back to life or was he resurrected ?

Christianity and the Christian church is a whole new topic that I am not going to enter into here.

So how then can a live branch be taken from a dead tree? Maybe it's a dead branch taken from a dead tree. Or maybe its a distorted clone and not REALLY alive!

Christian greetings.

Teranno4x4

Teranno4x4 said...

Dear Anon,

There are a few oversights or maybe 'errors' in your explanation :

1. The passage in Isaiah 22 is closer to the very words of Jesus in Rev 3 than the texts in Matt 16. Let me compare for you :

Isaiah 22:
20 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah:
21 And I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah.
22 And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.
23 And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father’s house.
24 And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father’s house, the offspring and the issue, all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons.
25 In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall the nail that is fastened in the sure place be removed, and be cut down, and fall; and the burden that was upon it shall be cut off: for the LORD hath spoken it.

Rev 3:
7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;
8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.



It is clear from Biblical teaching that Jesus IS from the root of Jesse - from the house of David. He defines Himself as the open door who has the authority alone to open and close it. It is also evident just from these two passages that the keys are an understanding to the Gospel message. Where does that come from ? From the personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the teaching from / listening to the Holy Spirit sent to be with all of us after Jesus ascended to heaven.

Now let us examine a bit closer in Rev 3 :
These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; 8I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. So this person that hath the key of David, is holy, is true and opens a door that no man shuts and shuts that no man opens - HE IS JESUS - not PETER !

From the verses in Isaiah then - they MUST be Messianic prophecies. Which means that the 'new Guy' that you also refer to :
"the key to the House of David will be upon this new guy’s shoulders (v.22, sounds very familiar to Matthew 16:19)
whatever he opens no one will shut (v. 22, again sounds like the binding power given to Peter in Matthew 16:19)
God will drive him like a peg in a firm place (v. 23, a rock upon whom the church is built?)
he will become a throne of glory to his father’s house (v.23, even though he will be called a father as in v. 21)
I can’t help but wonder about v. 25:
”In that day,” declares the LORD of hosts, “the peg driven in a firm place will give way; it will even break off and fall, and the load hanging on it will be cut off, for the LORD has spoken.”
"

I personally wonder where-else the Bible describes Jesus as being 'cut-off'. Oh yes - clear as day - Daniel 9:26
26And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself:

This verse even tells you that it IS Jesus - our Messiah.

So the conclusion is that the peg in Isaiah 22 is also talking about Jesus.

So then - what to make of Matthew 16 and the 'Rock'. In light of the above, we come to the conclusion that anything other than the above cross references is merely spin, conjecture and man-designed deception.

Why do you feel the need to draw from certain mainstream translations and commentaries? I thought that the LDS denomination is ever so careful about being fed deception from mainstream Christianity. Oh sorry for mis-understanding. You choose it when it is convenient for you. Just because a doctrine is adopted by mainstream Christianity doesn't make it true. Take the named 'Eucharist' for eaxample - really the body of Christ ? Urrggh!

That is entirely why I take the Bible as the reference point (not exclusively) for my daily walk with God.

Teranno4x4

Mormanity said...

Teranno, again, the tone of shouting at people like you're the only one who believes Jesus is annoying and not welcome here.

The concept of priesthood authority being passed on by an authorized, ordained holder to another is hardly a modern innovation, but dates back to the times of Moses and beyond. The priesthood as administered by Moses involved ordination by authorized priesthood holders. And the importance of that principle is still manifest in the New Testament. Hebrews 5:4 reminds us that no man can take the honor of the priesthood upon himself unless he is called of God as was Aaron, and the Bible is quite clear that Aaron's call and ordination came through Moses.

Christ ordained 12 apostles. When one of them was missing, the 11 gathered together and selected and ordained a replacement. Christ did not have to come down personally to do that. Peter held the keys of the kingdom and could do that work in the place of Christ on earth. That's what the priesthood is all about - the call and bestowal of authority to servants on the earth who can carry out the work of the Lord. That work includes leading the Church, teaching, baptizing, healing the sick, etc.

I really can't fathom how you can interpret the dramatic giving of the keys to Peter as: "
Only that the guidelines of spreading the message were handed to Peter now that the disciples were about to temporarily lose their Inspiration.
The roles of apostles and prophets in the Church were not meant to be for one generation only, but until the great work of bringing all to a unity of the faith had been accomplished (Eph. 4:11-14), which clearly has not happened yet.

But good news: prophets and apostles have been restored upon the earth, with the authority that Christ have them in the beginning, and the gift of ongoing revelation as was known in the early Church and later lost when the apostles were rejected and killed, etc.

Anonymous said...

"The doctrine of the 'keys of priesthood' was unheard of until the 6th Century AD. This was well after Constantine had established the organised Roman church."


It was known before in the bible and other documents of the time (Dead Sea Scrolls and others) but was lost in the Great Apostasy and then restoration to Joseph Smith.


Thanks Jeff.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tatabug

I don't want you to get the impression that I've had a negative experience with LDS Church Members. The contrary is true. In general I have found that mormons are pretty pleasant people to be around. I'll try to explain what I was saying from a different direction.

I have friends who are protestant as well as catholic and LDS. With the protestant friends, there is no pressure to join their church, or convert. Its just a genuine friendship. With the LDS Friends, there is a pressure to convert that does stem from the concept of the Mormons have the truth, therefore you need to convert. Like I said though, no one ever says anything, its just that because of that pressure, and that opinion in Mormons that they hold the truth.

What that tends to do is cloud the friendship and brings the question of does this person like me because they like me, or does this mormon just like me because they want to bring another into the fold of Mormonism.

I will admit that part of that feeling stems from myself and my own upbringing. But, there is still an element of that discomfort level that comes from your LDS members own directive to convert the masses and bring the truth of the restored gospel to all God's people. Hopefully this makes more sense.

Catholic Defender

tatabug said...

Catholic Defender,

I understand when you say you don't know if LDS people are your friends because they like you or because they want to convert you, and how this could lead you to doubt their sincerity.

But I don't know how we can change that perception of us. We certainly should make sure that our intentions are sincere and that our friendships are genuine, but aside from that, it is unavoidable that we will likely try to share our beliefs with others, particularly those we care about the most.

I would suggest though, that Mormons are not much different from most people in that if they have ulterior motives for friendshipping, they won't hang around for too long before they give up on you and move on if they can't get what they want. You likely have every right to be skeptical, but a genuine friendship should stand the test of time and trial.

Darion Alexander said...

Catholic Defender,

while it is true that one of our missions of the Church is Missionary Work...not all of us try to convert our friends or seek friendship for the sole purpose of conversion. At least I don't. I don't see the point. My friends know that I am LDS and they know if they have questions, I am always available. But I don't try to push my beliefs on them, because my view is that the Holy Ghost will inspire those who seek.

NM said...

100th comment...hyesss.

*ahem*

The most wonderfully life-changing thing that has ever happened to us should be the most natural thing we talk about most, right? =)

I have a quote here by John Owen:

" A man preacheth that sermon only well unto others which preacheth itself in his own soul. And he that doth not feed on and thrive in the digestion of the food which he provides for others will scarce make it savoury unto them; yea, he knows not but the food he hath provided may be poison, unless he have really tasted of it himself. If the word do not dwell with power in us, it will not pass with power from us."

Although the emphasis is on 'preaching', the same applies when it comes to sharing the gospel/Biblical principles: we can only communicate what we ourselves truly know. And I guess the subject which makes Christianity attractive is the subject of 'grace', right? That although we make mistakes, we have an advocate who has absorbed the punishment that we deserve =)

If we do not exude a natural fondness of the gospel - the stoic-ity, which we try to communicate it with - will stick out like a sore thumb and people around us will label us as just another religious freak. 'Religion 'in Christianity does not look attractive =/

As we all know: Christianity is the sweetest of relationships with Jesus =)

Teranno4x4 said...

Hi Jeff,

Firstly, congratulations on your 1000th post.

Secondly, please allow me to explain that I would like to apologise - not for the textual content of my writing, but for running out of expressions that could emphasise the writing.

Italics tend to be adopted for quoting another person's comment or work, whilst bold is used as another highlighted emphasis. In the comment that you respond to (and maybe also others previously) it was not my intention to come across as 'shouting' with the capital letters. Merely to change the emphesis of these words in the complete sentence. It is not my style to shout (except on a sports field...)!

Passionate - yes , agressive - no.

In reply to your comment, I acknowledge the appointment, ordination and lineage of the priesthood starting with Aaron. My point in disagreement was attempting to request some proof for the same after the ministry of Jesus?

You cited Hebrews 5:4 which also seems to contradict the point that you make, seeing as no-one can seem to provide Biblical proof of the authority bestowed on Peter to hand the LDS / Catholic concept of 'keys of Priesthood', as this is reserved as a right of God.

My previous comments go into much detail with Anon, but the entire book of Hebrews makes no mention of the necessity of an earthly priesthood, only that we have Jesus as our high priest.

Hebrews 7
24 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.
25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.
28 For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.


I understand the need to have apostles, disciples, elders, deacons, priests etc. as these functions within the church (with Jesus at the head of the body etc) are Biblical but the authority specifically in the complete context of the priesthood and 'the keys' is what I am questioning here. I really dont get the NT perspective offering support for your doctrine after the verse where Jesus hands Peter the keys to the kingdom (which to me does not equate with priesthood in the same sense as Aaron or Melchizedek).

I hope that you can accept this message with the humility offered. Again sorry for use of the capital letters...

Teranno4x4

Anonymous said...

Tx4,

I can see how you and others draw the conclusions you do if you only use the bible and ignore about have of the scriptures on any given topic. If you only read the bible for an understanding of what the people thought at the time and exclude all the other document finds, of those times, that have come to light in the last 50 years, I can see why you cling to those ideas. They are not wrong jus limited

Anonymous said...

"There are a few oversights or maybe 'errors' in your explanation."


These are not oversights or errors from me as in almost everything that I post come from other religious leaders other than LDS. I do this to show that because of many of the new document finds many religions are starting to state things like the LDS church have been claiming for 200 years. But if it comes from us or others you will always go back to you view of the scriptures rather than study out side the bible.

Anonymous said...

"I understand the need to have apostles, disciples, elders, deacons, priests etc. as these functions within the church (with Jesus at the head of the body etc.) are Biblical but the authority specifically in the complete context of the priesthood and 'the keys' is what I am questioning here."

What I don't understand is why would there be a need for prophets, apostles, disciples, elders, deacons, priests, etc. if there was not preisthood from God? I understand that people feel the calling and start or join a church and become one of the above leaders and have been moved by the Holy Spirit but to me this is totally different that being called of God and given the priesthood of God as in the Old Testiment. I understand that some say that it has been done away with but I find very little in the New Testiment to support this. I do find all of these offices of the priesthood a part of Christ and His church to be Biblical. If it is Biblical it could (must) be true.

GB said...

Tx4,
You seem to be operating under the assumption that Peter was the ONLY one to whom the keys of the kingdom (from which the power to bind and loose derive) were given.

Am I correct?

Teranno4x4 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Teranno4x4 said...

Dear GB,

Yes, to your question, but I don't see it as an assumption unless you can show me differently ? Could I say that you are making a presumption in assuming that anyone else had the authority to hold the keys ? My understanding is that only Jesus has the authority.

You see Peter was actually ignored in terms of the understood authority of the early church. It seems to me that James was a far more influential character in terms of coordinating the regular meetings by the apostles. Then steadily Paul grew in terms of reference once he had been fully accepted into the fellowship of the brethren.

Teranno4x4

Anonymous said...

T4x4, said,

"I understand the need to have apostles, disciples, elders, deacons, priests etc. as these functions within the church (with Jesus at the head of the body etc) are Biblical but the authority specifically in the complete context of the priesthood and 'the keys' is what I am questioning here. I really don't get the NT perspective offering support for your doctrine after the verse where Jesus hands Peter the keys to the kingdom (which to me does not equate with priesthood in the same sense as Aaron or Melchizedek)."

Hebrews 7
"24 But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.
25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;
27 Who needeth not daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifice, first for his own sins, and then for the people's: for this he did once, when he offered up himself.
28 For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore. "

I am glad that you have acknowledge the need for the offices of the priesthood but why have the offices without the priesthood (power, authority, permission) to govern the offices in Christ's church. Your statement and example is typical of someone that has been trained in the view that we are saved by grace or faith and that any works or ordinances beyond these concepts are not necessary. The priesthood is separate from being saved. I think you stated once that you feel that works some how gains you a greater reward even though you are saved. Just as the priesthood is not necessary for salvation it is how God conducts the government of His church, just as He did with the nation of Israel. When His church is on the earth it is as if His nation is on the earth. I am not addressing you personally in this, but just the general mind set many Christian religions have, that feel the priesthood is no longer needed.

Peter calls Christians "a holy priesthood", to offer up "spiritual sacrifices" (1 Pet 2:5).1 Peter 2:5
5 " and ye yourselves, as 'living stones', are built up, a 'spiritual house', a 'holy priesthood', to offer up 'spiritual sacrifices' acceptable to God through Jesus Christ."

In various places Christ and others use the analogy of the stone (rock of Christ and of Peter) to build His house and it is tied in to the holy priesthood as in this scripture.

As to the book of Hebrews. If you start with a mind set that the priesthood is not necessary then you will look for all supporting scriptures to prove your case. When I read this book and other scriptures talking about the priesthood I only see where it was present in the early church, that it is needed as one of the tools that our Heavenly Father gave to His children to help over come evil. This priesthood was given through The Christ as a pattern of the Government of Heaven just like the temple ( tabernacle ) is a pattern of heaven. This small book tells when, where, how, and why Christ obtained the priesthood. It also follows that we need it more than He because we are the weaker of Gods sons and daughters. When a Mormon reads this book we feel right at home and understand much from it. It was written to the new Jewish\Gentile\Christian converts introducing them to the concept of the priesthood under the new covenant as is stated in the document. The topic of the priesthood the author address is building on the basics or teaching of the gospel and teaches some of the deeper concepts of the Gospel of the Priesthood. It was addressed to the men and would be called by the LDS church as a general priesthood meeting or introduction to the priesthood.

{Here before I go any further some glaring questions about the Book of Hebrews cry out to be answered on the Priesthood of Christ. As some contend that Hebrews is talking only about doing away with the old priesthood then why go on and on about Christ having or needing, or obtaining the Melchizedek priesthood? Why make such a big deal about how Christ obtained this priesthood? Why was He not just borne with it? Why would it be eternal? Why give it a name "after the order of Melchizedek" and draw such strong parallels or patterns to the priesthood and the tabernacle or temple? Which by the way the Christian world also believes was to be done away with. Why point out that Christ is a priest forever? Why would the Son of God need a priesthood? Why would a God (Christ) need a priesthood? Where did Christ obtain the priesthood? Are we not the weaker of Gods children in more need of having all of the tools that Heavenly Father can offer so we can fight evil and return to him?}

This book evokes many questions and can only be answered if you believe the priesthood is real and necessary. If not why have the book at all?

In both Old and New Testaments, there are three ranks of priests, which are commonly referred to as the high priests, the ministerial priests, and the universal priests.
Furthermore, since the top, Old Testament office of high priest corresponds to Jesus, the New Testament high priest, and since the bottom, Old Testament universal priesthood corresponds to the New Testament universal priesthood, the middle, ministerial priesthood in the Old Testament corresponds to a middle, ministerial priesthood in the New Testament.

This priesthood is identical with the office of elder. In fact, the term "priest" is simply a shortened, English version of the Greek word for "elder" -- presbuteros -- as any dictionary will confirm. This is any some Old Catholic translations render the word as "priests" where Protestant Bibles have "elder." For example, in the Douay-Rheims Bible (the Catholic equivalent of the King James Version) we read:
"For this cause I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldst set in order the things that are wanting, and shouldst ordain priests in every city, as I also appointed thee" (Titus 1:5).

"Is any man sick among you? Let him bring in the priests of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil, in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick man; and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he be in sins, they shall be forgiven him" (James 5:14-15).
We can see the fusion of the two concepts in Romans 15:15-16. In the New International Version of this passage, we read:

"I have written you quite boldly on some points, as if to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles with the priestly duty [literally, "the priestly work"] of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit."

A second passage revealing the fusion of the offices of Old Testament elder and Old Testament priest is Revelation 5:8, where we read:

"And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints."
Here we have the twenty-four heavenly elders (presbyteroi) depicted as offering incense to God in bowls, just as the Old Testament priests did with their own gold incense bowls (Num. 7:84-86).

It is especially important to note that this was a function only priests could perform, as indicated a few chapters later, in Numbers 16, which records the story of Korah's rebellion.

This brings us to the principle sacrifice of the New Testament priesthood, which is the Eucharist or Lord's Supper. To see the sacrificial dimension to the Lord's Supper, note first that it is the New Testament equivalent of the Old Testament Passover feast, in which the sacrificed paschal lamb was consumed (1 Cor. 5:7-8). The New Testament Eucharist, like the Old Testament Passover, is thus a sacrificial meal. It is especially important to note that this was a function only priests could perform.

Why is this priesthood so important?

Matthew 7:21-23

21 `Not every one who is saying to me Lord, lord, shall come into the reign of the heavens; but he who is doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, lord, have we not in thy name prophesied? and in thy name cast out demons? and in thy name done many mighty things?
23 and then I will acknowledge to them, that -- I never knew you, depart from me ye who are "working lawlessness."

How could good works in the name of Jesus Christ be considered "working"(s) of "lawlessness"? Unless you have the authority to act in Gods name you are considered lawless. You must have Gods permission, power, authority to be legal in the eyes of God. This is not to say that all your good works will be condemned but that once you are able and willing to obtain this priesthood in this life or the next your good works will be made lawful.

More of the priesthood concepts that was present in the early Christian church are being better understood and excepted by present day Christians. Because of the new document finds like the Dead Sea Scroll and The Nag Hammadi Library shows that the concept was fully developed and excepted, but because it is not biblical they do not know how to go about administering it. I commend you on your biblical stand but the bible just brings you back to where you started, the bible. The LDS church celebrates the Good News of the Restoration that there was more than the bible as it is state in the bible. The world at large just does not have it. But we proclaim to the world the we have been given a greater amount of knowledge and priesthood to share with the world.

Anonymous said...

T4x4, said:

"It seems to me that James was a far more influential character in terms of coordinating the regular meetings by the apostles."

You just better prove the case that the priesthood was not just for Peter and that others were put in charge of important matters of the priesthood. Peter just held the keys as a prophet the apostles held the keys of apostles, bishops held the keys of bishops. Each to their call are given the key of power to act in Gods name and in His church.

GB said...

Tx4: Yes, to your question, but I don't see it as an assumption unless you can show me differently?

I will say that it is obvious that the keys of the kingdom from which derive the power to seal and loose were given by Jesus to unnamed disciples (presumably the Apostles) as clearly stated in Matt 18:18. Notice the context. For it is clear that he is talking to more than just Peter.

Tx4: Could I say that you are making a presumption in assuming that anyone else had the authority to hold the keys ?

You could say it, but that doesn’t make it so.

Tx4: My understanding is that only Jesus has the authority.

Are you then presuming that He is incapable of sharing that authority with others? Does this mean that no one can be authorized to preach the gospel? Or administer ordinances like Baptism?

To go back to your 4:35 AM, February 08, 2008, post. I must say that just because knowledge has a key, as you correctly show, still doesn’t substantiate your assertion about what the keys of the kingdom entail. My house also has a key, does that make it a part of the “keys of the kingdom”? I think NOT!

Tx4: You must be reading a different Bible to me. In Acts I read that each time Peter was preaching after the day of pentecost, thousands were baptised on hearing the Gospel. That reads like a suitable foundation to me!

I am still looking for a Bible verse that shows were Peter passed “on the theology of the Gospel to the WHOLE WORLD”. It is that “whole world” part that that I was talking about.

Tx4: The verse cited, John 14:6 explains that Jesus IS the sole authority.

Actually John 14:6 says NOTHING about authority. You are reading something in to it that isn’t there.

Darion Alexander said...

Anon....all I have to say is Dang skippy....very informative and not in the least bit condescending. Thank you.

Teranno4x4 said...

Dear GB,

"I will say that it is obvious that the keys of the kingdom from which derive the power to seal and loose were given by Jesus to unnamed disciples (presumably the Apostles) as clearly stated in Matt 18:18. Notice the context. For it is clear that he is talking to more than just Peter.

I looked up some other definitions of these verses to find myself backed up and slightly corrected in my belief. I guess that it is understanding the level of authority bestowed and if that authority can be passed on. In that instance I am correct, but excluding authority from the 'keys' then I am corrected. But then again 'authority' is not the only characteristic of the 'keys'. Slight differences, but critical to our objective communication....

Matt 16
19. The keys. The “keys” to the kingdom of heaven are the words of Christ (John 1:12; 17:3). It is important to note that Christ Himself speaks of the “key” here referred to as “the key of knowledge” of how to enter the kingdom (see Luke 11:52). The words of Jesus are “spirit” and “life” to all who receive them (see John 6:63). It is the words of Christ that bring eternal life (see John 6:68). The word of God is the key to the new-birth experience (1 Peter 1:23).
As the words spoken by Jesus convinced the disciples of His divinity, so their repeating of His words to other men, as His ambassadors, was to “reconcile” them to God (see 2 Cor. 5:18–20). The saving power of the gospel is the only thing that admits men and women into the kingdom of heaven. Christ simply bestowed upon Peter and all the other disciples (see on Matt. 18:18; John 20:23) the authority and power to bring men into the kingdom. It was Peter’s perception of the truth that Jesus is indeed the Christ that placed the “keys” of the kingdom in his possession and let him into the kingdom, and the same may be said of all Christ’s followers to the very close of time. The argument that Christ bestowed upon Peter a degree of authority greater than, or different from, that which He gave to the other disciples, is without scriptural basis (see on Matt. 16:18). As a matter of fact, among the apostles it was James and not Peter who exercised administrative functions over the early church in Jerusalem (see Acts 15:13, 19; cf. chs. 1:13; 12:17; 21:18; 1 Cor. 15:7; Gal. 2:9, 12). Upon at least one occasion Paul “withstood” Peter “to the face” for a wrong course of action (see Gal. 2:11–14), which he certainly would not have done had he known anything about Peter’s enjoying the rights and prerogatives that some now claim for him upon the basis of Matt. 16:18, 19.
Kingdom of heaven. As frequently used throughout the ministry of Christ, the “kingdom of heaven” here refers to the kingdom of divine grace in the hearts of those who become its citizens, here and now (see on chs. 4:17; 5:2). No one can ever hope to enter the future kingdom of glory (see on ch. 25:31, 34) who has not first entered the present kingdom of His grace.
Bind. The entire statement reads literally, “Whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” The meaning evidently is this, that the church on earth will require only what heaven requires and will prohibit only what heaven prohibits. This seems to be the clear teaching of the Scriptures (see on Matt. 7:21–27; Mark 7:6–13). As the apostles went forth to proclaim the gospel, according to the commission entrusted to them (see Matt. 28:19, 20), they were to teach converts “to observe all things whatsoever” Christ had commanded—no more and no less.
To extend the meaning of “bind” and “loose” to the authority to dictate what members of the church may believe and what they may do, in matters of faith and practice, is to read into these words of Christ more than He meant by them, and more than the disciples understood by them. Such a claim God does not sanction. Christ’s representatives on earth have the right and the responsibility to “bind” whatever has been “bound in heaven” and to “loose” whatever has been “loosed in heaven,” that is, to require or to prohibit whatever Inspiration clearly reveals. But to go beyond this is to substitute human authority for the authority of Christ (see on Mark 7:7–9), a tendency that Heaven will not tolerate in those who have been appointed to the oversight of the citizens of the kingdom of heaven on earth.

Matt18
18. Whatsoever ye shall bind. See on ch. 16:19. Here the power of “binding” and “loosing” is committed to “the church” (see on ch. 18:17). And even here Heaven’s ratification of the decision on earth will take place only if the decision is made in harmony with the principles of Heaven. All who deal with erring brethren should ever remember that they are dealing with the eternal destiny of souls, and that the results of their work may well be eternal.


GB said : I am still looking for a Bible verse that shows were Peter passed “on the theology of the Gospel to the WHOLE WORLD”. It is that “whole world” part that that I was talking about."

T4x4 answered : I was talking about the foundation as it is clear that the Gospel is around the whole world today. There are possibly only tiny pockets of civilisation not to have heard the message. Matt 28 18-20 states that Jesus is with us until the end of the world. Why then would His authority be given to Peter and others following Peter if He is still presiding over us ?

Could it be something different that he gave to Peter as I have suggested?

In respect to John 14:6, this does say everything about the authority of Jesus. No man goes to the Father axcept through Him. We are not worthy. Jesus is the sole authority to 'present us faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy'. Authority defined and by entry to the kingdom. It is not Peter that has this role.

Anonymous said...

Anon....all I have to say is Dang skippy....very informative and not in the least bit condescending. Thank you.



If you are all that and a box of crackers why don't produce a white paper on the subject and get back to us in a couple of years.

GB said...

Tx4: I guess that it is understanding the level of authority bestowed and if that authority can be passed on.

GB: Unfortunately, the Bible is insufficient to clearly and totally resolve this issue. However there is a lot of information there that you are neglecting. And although I am no Bible scholar, I do have a basic understanding of the priesthood/authority and how it “can be passed on”.

Take Mark 3:14 And he ORDAINED twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,

And, John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ORDAINED you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. (emphasis mine)

Now what does ORDAIN mean?

From the American Heritage Dictionary;
or•dain
1.
a. To invest with ministerial or priestly authority; confer holy orders on.
b. To authorize as a rabbi.
2. To order by virtue of superior authority; decree or enact.

So then, when one is ordained, one is given authority.

We also have this
Luke 9:1 Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.
2 And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.

So to preach the Gospel “. . .no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.” Heb 5:4 (See Exodus 28:1)

Called and ordained/authorized/given the priesthood.

In the kingdom of God, like any kingdom, authority comes from the top down. Those in higher authority have greater authority and greater (more) keys.

The Apostles had the greatest authority and keys given to them. They were general authorities and traveled from place to place preaching the gospel and organizing local churches (or what could be called branches of the greater/whole church).

Acts 6:2-6 clearly shows that as the church grew and the Apostles had less and less time to take care of the spiritual needs of the church they called and authorized (ordained) others to whom the Apostles delegated responsibilities. Notice how the authority was passed on, by the laying on of hands, which is the Biblical pattern.
Also see Acts 8:18, 13:2, 14:23, 16:4, 1 Tim 2:7, 4:14, and Titus 1:5.

Tx4: But then again 'authority' is not the only characteristic of the 'keys'.

GB: But with regard to the “keys of the kingdom” it is.

Tx4: Slight differences, but critical to our objective communication....

GB: You keep trying to force “the key of knowledge” into one of the “keys of the kingdom”, which it clearly isn’t

Luke 11:52 Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered.

Obviously the “lawyers” couldn’t take away any authority/keys that God had bestowed on anyone. Nor could they limit Jesus’ ability to disseminate His word. The only thing the “lawyers” had control over were the writings of the prophets, or in other words, the scriptures. Now why would Jesus accuse them of removing important information from the scriptures?

T4x4 answered : I was talking about the foundation as it is clear that the Gospel is around the whole world today.

GB: Actually it isn’t that clear at all. Just who is authorized to preach the “Gospel”? And if one isn’t authorized and doesn’t understand the need for authority (as the Bible clearly shows), how can what they are preaching be the complete and true Gospel of Jesus Christ?

Tx4: Matt 28 18-20 states that Jesus is with us until the end of the world.

GB: Jesus wasn’t talking to you or me when He said that. Verse 16 clearly indicates that He was only talking to the eleven disciples (Apostles). Although it does stand to reason the He would stand by all whom have been properly authorized.

Anonymous said...

If you do a careful study on the concepts of a royal PRIESTHOOD, twelve disciples gave them authority and power, order of Melchizedek priesthood, priests, deacons, apostles, prophets, bishops, keys, the book of Hebrews with the view that these events in total show there was a purposeful top down origination of churches at the time of Christ found in the bible. If you just look at it objectively you can only conclude that there was something there but we do not have the complete picture because it books of the bible were not written to be an instruction manual on how to set up and run the church. This is true with any topic. If someone decides to stop chasseing their tail around and around the bible like T4x4 and look other places it becomes even more clear that these above concepts of an organized priesthood with keys of authority did exist at that time.

The big question is how did we get the bible? We obtained it from the Catholic church. If ye trace these concepts back through the Catholic church history and see where changes were make that may differ from the scriptures then we see that those that had the records that were closest to the source would know more that someone that just studies the bible in its present form. Only after people the this church abused this central authority did others feel the need to do away with any priesthood authority. This makes it easier to live with but not necessarily correct.


Because it is a reality that only two major religions clame this priesthood keys of authority and try or are faithful to the biblical scriptures in these concepts then you must conclude that it is the Catholics or the LDS church that have the true priesthood keys of authority .

Anonymous said...

"Authority defined and by entry to the kingdom. It is not Peter that has this role."

He gave Peter to bind on earth and in heaven. He trusted Peter and gave him that authority and Christ will honor His word to Peter. For you to say other wise is just refering to being forgiven of sin not saved in Gods kingdom. You always confused the two.

Darion Alexander said...

Anon,

Why does it have to be crackers? Why not a Reese's? I prefer those over crackers.

Teranno4x4 said...

Dear GB,

How do you get to the same conclusion over 'keys', 'priesthood' and 'ordained' ? Why must they be combined like you explain ?

GB said...

Tx4: How do you get to the same conclusion over 'keys', 'priesthood' and 'ordained' ? Why must they be combined like you explain?

GB: If I give a key (to my house) to someone, I am giving them authority to enter at their will. I would only give them a key if I trusted them to use it wisely and in my interest. Therefore key = authority.

Priesthood is, by definition, authority to act for (or in the place of) God to perform certain functions/ordinances. Therefore priesthood = authority.

One receives the priesthood by ordination. And as I showed in my previous post, ordained = authorized.

I hope that answers your question.

Anonymous said...

"Why not a Reese's? "


Reeses are the happening thing. They are good when reading the BofM.

Teranno4x4 said...

Hi GB,

I understood your answer and I can see where you are coming from, but these three attributes do not all equate to the same authority. This is what I was trying to explaim myself.

Also :

a. If you give the keys of your house to an individual that you trust - would you be pleased to learn that they passed on your keys to someone that you didn't know or that wasn't worthy to be trusted with them ? My opinion is that you would want to have them returned by the person to whom you gave your trust....? This is where the authority provided comes into undoubtable question. The person to whom you have given your keys can not just presume that he then has the sole authority to your house. To sell it maybe, to have a party there, to let in some travellers, or just to live in it himself until you return. Only you have the power to make those choices - or not ? Maybe the world is different where you live.... ?

b. Priestly functions yes - but as a member of the clergy or as a minister, it is not only reserved for a priesthood. This brings tomy mind similarities to medieval 'orders' that were also given 'authorities' by the roman church. 'Order of the knights of.... ' etc... An order of anything is not what Jesus wanted. he wanted to break down religio barriers of this nature to get his disciples to act with humility number one. They could not act righteously if they were recognised to be of the 'order of the apostles'. They were apostles by name only and not by status or position. Their 'power' was direct from the authority of the Holy Spirit (in the name of Jesus) and not of their own doing. Let us not forget this important aspect.

c. Is it the priesthood that has the power to investiture or 'ordination' or is it the working of the Holy Spirit (in the name of Jesus) as I stated above? Who really has the authority?

Teranno4x4

Darion Alexander said...

T4x4 said:

"If you give the keys of your house to an individual that you trust - would you be pleased to learn that they passed on your keys to someone that you didn't know or that wasn't worthy to be trusted with them?"

If the person holding the keys is receiving revelation and talking with Christ, then Christ would instruct him on whom to ordain. You cannot suppose that Christ doesn't know the person receiving the keys or the ordination, since He is the Head of the Church and besides, He's a GOD, so how could he not know?

"They were apostles by name only and not by status or position. Their 'power' was direct from the authority of the Holy Spirit (in the name of Jesus) and not of their own doing. Let us not forget this important aspect."

This is a mere repositioning of conversation to try and shift the focus of the topic at hand. What would have been the purpose of Christ ordaining them "by the laying on of hands" if they were not set apart to some kind of official or priestly status? And what would have been the point to have others ordained under the hands of the Apostles to be Seventy's, Bishop's etc, if they were not as stated "by status or position"?

This statement is a misinterpretation of the authority given to the Apostles by Christ. The Apostles also confirmed members by the laying of hands to receive the Holy Ghost, so there was a distinction and an order among the members of the Church. "For God is a God or order, not a God of Chaos." This subject could go on and on, but there have been facts that have been plainly shown with the Bible, mind you, but as was stated by Christ "they have a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof" which correctly describes the prior quotes made by our friend.

Teranno4x4 said...

Dear Darion Alexander,

I do not misrepresent anything.

Unlike you I do not combine the authority as a 3 in one authority for keys, priesthood and ordination. I recognise them, but not in the same way that you group them as identical.

I could say the same about Jesus. Yes after His ascension He became God again. On earth He acted through no power of His own but by the power of the Father vested in Him. Why do we have to limit the constraints of appointing the apostles to the way that you describe. Do you too prefer to limit the actions of Jesus.

I know that God is a God of order and not chaos, but for humans to assume an order is another matter.

Accusations are a dangerous game to play...

Point the finger and there will be 4 pointing back at you.

If I give credit for power to the presence of the Holy Spirit (in the name of Jesus) , what part doesn't qualify by the last verse that you quoted regarding denial ?

Teranno4x4

Darion Alexander said...

First, the whole pointing finger thing is very childish and the subtle threat about accusations being a dangerous game to play is even more childish and really reflects on your character. If you want to continue to do that to yourself then by all means, do so.

As for limiting Christ, the same could be said for your comments. There is no assumption made about an order, the order was there when Christ ordained His Apostles, it doesn't take a genius to figure that one out. Anon and GB pretty much cleared that up as well as the links on Jeff's site. The same assumption can be taken to say that there was no order put in place by Christ, but are you going saying that Christ did not put in order His Kingdom?

It's not up to you to give credit or not for the power of the Holy Ghost, because the gift of the Holy Ghost has to be given, as Peter and James did for the Saints that were baptized by Phillip because they had the authority to do so, given to them by Christ. One can feel the presence of the Holy Ghost, but without confirmation from one who held the office,role, whatever you feel to call it, of Apostle, one cannot receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Hence why Peter invited all those on the day of Pentecost who felt the HG and asked him what they should do and he invited them all to be baptized in the name of Christ and then they were confirmed.

But regardless, there have been some good commentary on this topic from both sides.

GB said...

Tx4: . . . but these three attributes do not all equate to the same authority.

GB: I didn’t express or imply that they equated “to the same authority”. But all of them are authority of one kind/level or another. If the ”=” bothers you, feel free to replace it with “is/are”.

If no authority is had, it matters not how sincere ones efforts are, they will not be accepted by God. Matt 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

There are many other Bible scriptures that show the importance of authority. But what has already been presented should be sufficient.

I submit that authority is of primary concern. Without authority it is irrelevant what your doctrine is, because without authority your doctrine can NEVER be totally correct.

The “keys to my house” analogy is just that, an analogy. As with all analogies it breaks down at some point.

Tx4: Priestly functions yes - but as a member of the clergy or as a minister, it is not only reserved for a priesthood.

GB: I’m sorry, I don’t have a clue what you meant by that.

Tx4: This brings tomy mind similarities to medieval 'orders' that were also given 'authorities' by the roman church. 'Order of the knights of.... ' etc...

GB: I’m not sure what that has to do with our discussion.

Tx4: An order of anything is not what Jesus wanted.

GB: Apparently you are incorrect, because He was a member of an order Himself. Psalms 110:4, Heb 5:6,10, 6:20, 7:11, 17, 21.

Tx4: They could not act righteously if they were recognised to be of the 'order of the apostles'.

GB: Sorry, but that is an assertion without foundation. You seem to believe that pride and arrogance are automatically acquired characteristics when one is given Gods authority. You are applying worldly behavior to those who are not to be worldly.

The call of God is not a call to be served or elevated above others, but a call to serve others. No TRUE servant (or disciple, or apostle, or any holder of priesthood authority) is in it for self aggrandizement. See Luke 22:24-27 and Matt 23:11-12. After all, both we and they are to emulate Jesus Christ.

Tx4: They were apostles by name only and not by status or position.

GB: That appears to contradict many of the scriptures that have already been quoted. Acts 1:22-26 makes it clear that apostleship was a position and that the authority of it could be passed on to another. (also see Acts 14:14, 1 Cor 12:28-29, Gal 1:1)

Tx4: Their 'power' was direct from the authority of the Holy Spirit (in the name of Jesus) and not of their own doing.

GB: Their “power” was direct from the authority of Jesus Christ to be more accurate. The Holy Ghost provided the guidance on when and where to use it as was promised by Jesus Christ. (See John 16:13)
Let us not forget this important aspect.


Tx4: Is it the priesthood that has the power to investiture or 'ordination' or is it the working of the Holy Spirit (in the name of Jesus) as I stated above?

GB: You are presenting a false dichotomy. The authority came from Jesus Christ. The direction or guidance on when and where to use it and share it/pass it on also comes from Jesus Christ through the Holy Ghost.

Tx4: Who really has the authority?

GB: ONLY those to whom it has been given.

Teranno4x4 said...

Dear Darion Alexander,

There was no subtle threat made by me.

You wrote :"but as was stated by Christ "they have a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof" which correctly describes the prior quotes made by our friend."

You made a judgement call based on a verse that I know very well and in context. It contains a very negative connotation to be applied amongst communicating 'Christians'.

I wanted to serve you a polite reminder that only God is our judge and jury so how can you claim on His behalf that I 'deny the power thereof'? That is not childish behaviour and does not reflect badly on my character however you may like to stick it on me.

Carry on if you so wish, but I have made my point.

It is a shame because I too have enjoyed the communication and looking at both perspectives.

Teranno4x4

Teranno4x4 said...

Hi GB,

Most of what you wrote either you chose not to understand my comment or preferred to split hairs .

For example -

"GB: I’m sorry, I don’t have a clue what you meant by that."

or

I stated : "Their 'power' was direct from the authority of the Holy Spirit (in the name of Jesus) and not of their own doing." maybe I missed out the word 'acting' as in (acting in the name of Jesus)

GB wrote: "Their “power” was direct from the authority of Jesus Christ to be more accurate. The Holy Ghost provided the guidance on when and where to use it as was promised by Jesus Christ. (See John 16:13)
Let us not forget this important aspect."


This I see as splitting hairs and choosing not to honour the meaning of my writing. I could also be as ungenerous and spout off verse after verse instead of trying to communicate one to one.

You are correct about your analogy. That is the whole reason why your believed doctrine of the 'keys' breaks down too in my humble opinion. Please show me somewhere in the NT (after the life of Jesus and not referring to Jesus) when any priest is mentioned in human form.

This is also why the order of Melchizadek stopped with Jesus - because of that very reason. It is a type relating to the real deal - embodied in Jesus Christ. Exactly the same reason why the sacrificial system and the ceremonial laws also finished after the cross, because they were all types pointing to the real deal, Jesus Christ.

More simply let us refer to Hebrews 7 to answer this very issue on authority and 'priesthood' :

11 If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?
12 For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.
13 For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar.
14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.
15 And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest,
16 Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.
17 For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.
18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.


A disannulling. A stronger term than “being changed” (v. 12). The law of the Levitical priesthood was designed to operate only until Jesus Christ, the great High Priest, took over His office. Then it was to be annulled.


The priesthood need after Jesus is effectively 'cancelled'.

Please show me where in the Bible (after the life of Jesus), that the 'priesthood' is mentioned (in terms of Christianity, not Judaism) and contradicts this terminology for my belief of this passage in Hebrews.

Teranno4x4

GB said...

Tx4: Most of what you wrote either you chose not to understand my comment or preferred to split hairs

GB: I have read and reread your statement and I still don’t have a clue what you meant by it. In the interest of trying to communicate one on one, I let you know that and gave you an opportunity to help me understand. If that caused you a problem, there isn’t much I can do about that.

I try to be very precise in what I am writing. I saw what I perceived to be an inaccurate attribution to the Holy Ghost as the source of authority. I felt the need to correct it. If you saw it as splitting hairs, then so be it.

The problem we have here, is much, if not most of the information about the priesthood that is available is from extra-Biblical sources. I understand that you don’t accept those sources so to show respect for your belief, I refrain from introducing them.

Tx4: Please show me somewhere in the NT (after the life of Jesus and not referring to Jesus) when any priest is mentioned in human form.

GB: And as I said before the Bible has insufficient information to resolve the issues of this topic. Unfortunately there wasn’t included in it a “Priesthood Handbook”. And none of the gospels or epistles or Revelation were written to be such a handbook. And as you know lack of evidence isn’t proof of absence.

But we do have this in Hebrew 5 (with my comments)
1For every high priest taken (notice the non use of the past tense “was taken”) from among men is (notice the non use of the past tense “was”) ordained for men in things pertaining to (notice the non use of the past tense “that pertained to”) God, that he may offer (notice the non use of the past tense “offered”) both gifts and sacrifices for sins:
2Who can (notice the non use of the past tense “did” or “could”) have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are (notice the non use of the past tense “were”) out of the way; for that he himself also is (notice the non use of the past tense “was”) compassed with infirmity.
3And by reason hereof he ought (notice the non use of the past tense “did” or “should have”), as for the people, so also for himself, to offer (notice the non use of the past tense “offered”) for sins.
4And no man taketh (notice the non use of the past tense “took”) this honour unto himself, but he that is (notice the non use of the past tense “was”) called of God, as was Aaron.

Sometimes what is not said is as important as what is said. If it was, as you suggest, the author of Hebrews easily could have and should have used past tense verbs in these verses. To me the fact that the author didn’t use past tense is very strong evidence that the order of Melchizedek continues.

Tx4: This is also why the order of Melchizadek stopped with Jesus . . . .

GB: An unsupported assertion. And as mentioned earlier, why spend so much effort explaining it if it wasn’t to continue?

Tx4: It is a type relating to the real deal - embodied in Jesus Christ.

GB: Who we are to emulate by living worthy to be called to join this order of the priesthood.

Tx4: Exactly the same reason why the sacrificial system and the ceremonial laws also finished after the cross, because they were all types pointing to the real deal, Jesus Christ.

GB: To be more accurate it was the sacrifice for sin by the shedding of blood and the law of Moses that was “finished after the cross”. The law of sacrifice and the law of the Gospel of Jesus Christ continue. 1 Pet 2:5Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

Those to whom Peter was writing were “an holy priesthood”. More evidence that the priesthood continued after the ascension. And they were to offer up spiritual sacrifices. So then the law of sacrifice continued after the ascension. That is interesting.

Tx4: A disannulling. A stronger term than “being changed” (v. 12). The law of the Levitical priesthood was designed to operate only until Jesus Christ, the great High Priest, took over His office. Then it was to be annulled.

GB: I disagree. The “disannulling” refers to the law of Moses (carnal commandments) not to the priesthood.
Heb 7:18 For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof.

Rom 8:3For what the law (of Moses) could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

It was the Law of Moses that was weak and unprofitable and disannulled.

As an aside, nowhere in the Bible do I find “the law of the Levitical priesthood”. Did you just make that up?

Anonymous said...

As a result of the failure of the Israelites to observe the gospel law administered by Moses under the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood, the Lord gave an additional law of performances and ordinances and “confirmed a priesthood also upon Aaron and his seed, throughout all their generations” to administer it. This priesthood was of lesser power and authority than the priesthood of Melchizedek, and was used to administer the outward ordinances, particularly as characterized by the ceremonies of the law of Moses. The terms Aaronic and Levitical are sometimes used synonymously although there are some specific differences in the offices existing within the Levitical Priesthood. For example, the lesser priesthood was conferred only upon men of the tribe of Levi. However, within the tribe, only Aaron and his sons could hold the office of priest. And, still further, from the firstborn of Aaron’s sons (after Aaron) was selected the high priest (or president of the priests). Thus Aaron and his sons after him had greater offices in the Levitical Priesthood than did the other Levites.

Anonymous said...

Levitical Priesthood is an office of level in the Aaronic Priesthood. If you look close this priesthood is in charge of passing the sacrament of flesh and blood of Christ just as they did before Christ came. He was the true sacrificial lamb. The Levitical lamb was symbolic just as the Bread and Wine are emblems (symbols) of Christ payment for our sins. I can see how others say this priesthood has been done away with, however it is just as supportive in the scriptures that it continued as part of Christ functioning Church (Synagogue). As it is also traced through the Catholic Church because it was something important as part of the functioning Christ Church. Those that are saved by grace see no need for anything else once they have been saved because nothing further is needed. They don't see the need because they don't want to see it.

Anonymous said...

T4x4, said:




"Please show me where in the Bible (after the life of Jesus), that the 'priesthood' is mentioned (in terms of Christianity, not Judaism) and contradicts this terminology for my belief of this passage in Hebrews."



This priesthood is identical with the office of elder. In fact, the term "priest" is simply a shortened, English version of the Greek word for "elder" -- presbuteros -- as any dictionary will confirm. This is any some Old Catholic translations render the word as "priests" where Protestant Bibles have "elder." For example, in the Douay-Rheims Bible (the Catholic equivalent of the King James Version) we read:
"For this cause I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldst set in order the things that are wanting, and shouldst ordain priests in every city, as I also appointed thee" (Titus 1:5).

"Is any man sick among you? Let him bring in the priests of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil, in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick man; and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he be in sins, they shall be forgiven him" (James 5:14-15).
We can see the fusion of the two concepts in Romans 15:15-16. In the New International Version of this passage, we read:

"I have written you quite boldly on some points, as if to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles with the priestly duty [literally, "the priestly work"] of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit."

Teranno4x4 said...

Dear GB,

Thanks to Anon for his expansion on the term 'levitical law'. This is just an alternative terminology for the temporary 'old covenant law / book of Moses / law of Moses / book of the law / ceremonial law /mosaic law'. They are all one and the same, and yes I agree they were all done away with at the cross as illustrations of typology that in one way or another point to Jesus.

None of them are to be confused in any way with the '10 Commandment law / Decalogue / Royal law / law of Love / Eternal law', which are all just as important today as the day they were presented.

Unfortunately the order of the 'levitical priesthood' was also 'disannulled' at the same time and for the same reasons.

This is doubly emphasised by Jesus our high Priest, not from the lineage of Levi, but from the tribe of Judah ! It can not continue for this very same reason.

Teranno4x4

Anonymous said...

Right, this is why the Catholic has a priesthood from Peter. You must use a different bible.

GB said...

Tx4: Unfortunately the order of the 'levitical priesthood' was also 'disannulled' at the same time and for the same reasons.

GB: Scriptural reference please!! Or can I assume you don’t have one because you didn’t post it?

The Levitical, Aaronic or lesser priesthood has always been an appendage to the higher or Melchizedek priesthood. So where ever the Melchizedek priesthood is had, the Aaronic/lesser by default is also there. (see Anon post 11:17 pm Feb 14).

All of this is interesting, but the main issue is authority or in your case the lack thereof.
Rom10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
15 And how shall they preach, except they be SENT? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! (emphasis mine).

Need I repost Heb 5:4?

So the Tx4 where does your preacher get his authority? And how did he get it?

Tx4: This is doubly emphasised by Jesus our high Priest, not from the lineage of Levi, but from the tribe of Judah !

GB: Jesus not being from the lineage of Levi is independent from the continuation of the lesser priesthood. You are indeed grasping at straws here.

Tx4: It can not continue for this very same reason.

GB: Clearly the Bible indicates otherwise. It is ok with me if you don’t believe what the Bible says, but at least you should be honest enough to admit it to yourself and others. I wonder if this is also why you don’t want to discuss the foundation of the Christian church as put forth by the Bible. Could it be that you don’t believe what the Bible says about it either?

Anonymous said...

Since the king of Jerusalem was also a priest, David became a priest, not because he was a Levite, but because he continued the tradition established by Melchizedek. This is what Psalm 110:4 is trying to communicate. The words of verse 4 are addressed to the king: “The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind, ‘You are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.’”

Melchizedek now becomes a type of the Davidic king. The descendants of David will be king and they will be priests; this is clearly expressed in 2 Samuel 8:18: “and David's sons were priests.”

The priesthood of Melchizedek is used by the author of the book of Hebrews to prove the claim that Jesus Christ was a high priest. In Israel, the high priest had to be a Levite and a descendant of Aaron. Since Jesus was from the tribe of Judah and a descendant of David, it was impossible for the writer of Hebrews to say that Jesus was a high priest.

But, this is precisely what the author of Hebrews is emphasizing in his writing. As a high priest, Jesus presented a sacrifice for sins. Jesus Christ was the “great high priest who has passed through the heavens” (Hebrews 4:14). Jesus Christ was the high priest who opened the way for people to approach the throne of grace (the Mercy Seat) with confidence so that they “may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:15-16).

The writer of the book of Hebrews then is saying that Jesus became a high priest, not because he was a descendant of Aaron. Jesus because a high priest after the order of Melchizedek because he was a descendant of David and a legitimate successor of the legacy left by David when he became king of Jerusalem. Christ was a human sacrifice to replace the office of Levitical order of the Aaronic priesthood.

By saying that Jesus became a priest after the order of Melchizedek, the author of Hebrews is emphasizing that Jesus “become a priest, not according to a legal requirement concerning bodily descent” (Hebrews 7:16-17), but because of the promise made to David that he and his descendants would become priests forever after the order of Melchizedek (Psalm 110:4).


Claude Mariottini
Professor of Old Testament
Northern Baptist Seminary
*Why did Christ need to obtain the priesthood?
Hebrew 2
9and him who was made some little less than messengers we see -- Jesus
John 3:13
No one has ever ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven, the Son of Man, who is in heaven.
The word "hell" often being used in Scripture to denote a grave. I grant that what they put forward concerning the meaning of the word is true: "hell" is frequently to be understood as "grave." But two reasons militate against their opinion, and readily persuade me to disagree with them. How careless it would have been, when something not at all difficult in itself has been stated with clear and easy words, to indicate it again in words that obscure rather than clarify it! Whenever two expressions for the same thing are used in the same context, the latter ought to be an explanation of the former. But what sort of explanation will it be if one says that "Christ was buried" means that "he descended into hell"?

"He will redeem the captives from the waterless pit" [Zechariah 9:11 p.]. It is childish to enclose the souls of the dead in a prison. What need, then, for Christ’s soul to go down there to release them? "Christ came and preached to the spirits were in a ‘watchtower — commonly rendered ‘prison’" [1 Peter 3:19, cf. Vg.]

The Christ in the Garden Gethsemane , therefore, "praying with tears and loud cries, …is heard for his …fear" [Hebrews 5:7 p.];he does not pray to be spared death, but he prays not to be swallowed up by it as a sinner because he there bore our nature, and surely no more terrible abyss can be conceived than to feel yourself forsaken and estranged from God; and when you call upon him, not to be heard.

Does not that prayer, coming from unbelievable bitterness of heart and repeated three times — "Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me" [Matthew 26:39]

Christ obtain the priesthood to return to His Father in Heaven and to pass it on to us and show us the way so we to would have the keys of Peter so we could return to Our Father in Heaven. First He descended from the highest to the lowest giving up His power and (priesthoods) authorities the obtain them and ascended to the highest.

*When did Christ need to obtain this priesthood?

4having become so much better than the messengers, as he did inherit a more excellent name than they.
5For to which of the messengers said He ever, `My Son thou art -- I to-day have begotten thee?' and again, `I will be to him for a father, and he shall be to Me for a son?'

When did Christ obtain this priesthood? When was the only two times when The Christ was introduced by the Heavenly Father as His Son. At His baptism He obtained the Aaronic priesthood from John the Baptist. A the Mount of Transfiguration from Moses, Elijah, and His Most Holy Father.

Hebrews 5
4and no one to himself doth take the honour, but he who is called by God, as also Aaron:
5so also the Christ did not glorify himself to become chief priest, but He who spake unto him: `My Son thou art, I to-day have begotten thee;'

6as also in another [place] He saith, `Thou [art] a priest -- to the age, according to the order of Melchisedek;'
When did He obtain the Melchisedek priesthood? When He became of age and proved Him self worthy. Christ was made perfect by learning things which He suffered and remained obedient. And "…having been made perfect, he did become to all those (that follow him) obeying Him (in) a cause of salvation (become a priest according to the order of Melchisedek.) or age-during.

8through being a Son, did learn by the things which he suffered -- the obedience,
9and having been made perfect, he did become to all those obeying him a cause of salvation age-during,
10having been addressed by God a chief priest, according to the order of Melchisedek,
*Who should obtain this priesthood?

Hebrews 2

3how shall we escape,
10For it was becoming to Him, because of whom [are] the all things, and through whom [are] the all things, many sons to glory bringing, the author of their salvation through sufferings to make perfect,

11for both he who is sanctifying and those sanctified [are] all of one, for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,

12saying, `I will declare Thy name to my brethren, in the midst of an assembly I will sing praise to Thee;' and again, `I will be trusting on Him;'

13and again, `Behold I and the children that God did give to me.'
Hebrews 4
14Having, then, a great chief priest passed through the heavens -- Jesus the Son of God -- may we hold fast the profession,

Hebrews 5
1For every chief priest -- out of men taken -- in behalf of men is set in things [pertaining] to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins,

With the new priest's to offer "sacrifices for sins" as they exercise the priesthood that God has given them through His Son Jesus Christ to administer the Flesh and Blood for the sin of all man kind.

In the new temples under the new covenant these sacrifices, gifts would be a form of wave offering and would not be of any effect to forgive sin, but to help others.again as with the priests of the old temple they are a show of obedience and devotion.

David that he and his descendants would become priests forever after the order of Melchizedek (Psalm 110:4)
At the very least the sons of David. Where are they. Well direct descendents we do not know for sure. But what of the rest of us. "Behold I and the children that God did give to me." We are adopted in to the House of Israel or of Judah, or David or any family God see fit for us.

"Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is." To be like Him we must obtain the same priesthood that our Father in Heaven gave to His Son. We are and become sons of the Father when we follow His Son, Jesus Christ.

*Why should we obtain this priesthood?
When Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter (which means rock) and said, “upon this rock I will build My church,” (Matt 16:18) it was a reference to the metaphor of Abraham being a rock upon which Israel was built. “Look to the rock from which you were hewn…Look to Abraham your father…” (Isaiah 51:1-2)

When Jesus said, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven,” it was a reference to Isaiah 22. Proper understanding of Matthew 16:18-19 requires knowledge of Isaiah 22. The keeper of the keys is an office of authority. Isaiah 22 says this about the person who holds this office:

We to are referred to as stones and a royal priesthood. For us to perform marriages, baptisms and other ordinances and make them binding on earth and in heaven in necessitates that we obtain the same priesthood as Peter.

1Peter 2
5.and ye yourselves, as living stones, are built up, a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6.Wherefore, also, it is contained in the Writing: `Lo, I lay in Zion a chief corner-stone, choice, precious, and he who is believing on him may not be put to shame;' 7.to you, then, who are believing [is] the preciousness; and to the unbelieving, a stone that the builders disapproved of, this one did become for the head of a corner, 8.and a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence -- who are stumbling at the word, being unbelieving, -- to which also they were set; 9and ye [are] a choice race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people acquired, that the excellences ye may shew forth of Him who out of darkness did call you to His wondrous light;

So the Bible clearly states that Christ's followers should have a priesthood present in His church. (1 Peter 2:5, 9),

"For this cause I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldst set in order the things that are wanting, and shouldst ordain priests in every city, as I also appointed thee" (Titus 1:5).

"Is any man sick among you? Let him bring in the priests of the Church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil, in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith shall save the sick man; and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he be in sins, they shall be forgiven him" (James 5:14-15).

Romans 15:15-16
15But I have written very boldly to you on some points so as to remind you again, because of the grace that was given me from God,

16to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, so that my offering of the Gentiles may become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

*Why did The Christ do this?
10For it was becoming to Him, because of whom [are] the all things, and through whom [are] the all things, many sons to glory bringing, the author of their salvation through sufferings to make perfect,

11for both he who is sanctifying and those sanctified [are] all of one, for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,

12saying, `I will declare Thy name to my brethren, in the midst of an assembly I will sing praise to Thee;' and again, `I will be trusting on Him;'

13and again, `Behold I and the children that God did give to me.'
14Seeing, then, the children have partaken of flesh and blood, he himself also in like manner did take part of the same, that through death he might destroy him having the power of death -- that is, the devil --

"unto the perfection we may advance"
Ephesians 4
12 "unto the perfecting of the saints"
*Why were these things being taught in the Book of Hebrews?

Hebrews 5
11concerning whom we have much discourse and of hard explanation to say, since ye have become dull of hearing,
12for even owing to be teachers, because of the time, again ye have need that one teach you what [are] the elements of the beginning of the oracles of God, and ye have become having need of milk, and not of strong food,

13for every one who is partaking of milk [is] unskilled in the word of righteousness -- for he is an infant,
14and (of perfect men is the strong food), who because of the use are having the senses exercised, unto the discernment both of good and of evil.

Hebrews 6
1Wherefore, having left the word of the beginning of the Christ, (unto the perfection we may advance), not again a foundation laying of reformation from dead works, and of faith on God,

2of the teaching of baptisms, of laying on also of hands, of rising again also of the dead, and of judgment age-during,

3and this we will do, if God may permit,
4for [it is] impossible for those once enlightened, having tasted also of the heavenly gift, and partakers having became of the Holy Spirit,

5and did taste the good saying of God, the powers also of the coming age,
6and having fallen away, again to renew [them] to reformation, having crucified again to themselves the Son of God, and exposed to public shame.

*Why should we obtain this priesthood?
This brings us to the principle sacrifice of the New Testament priesthood, which is the Eucharist or Lord's Supper. To see the sacrificial dimension to the Lord's Supper, note first that it is the New Testament equivalent of the Old Testament Passover feast, in which the sacrificed paschal lamb was consumed (1 Cor. 5:7-8). The New Testament Eucharist, like the Old Testament Passover, is thus a sacrificial meal.

Further confirmation is found in the words Jesus used to instruct his ministers to perform it. His statement, "Do this in remembrance of me," may also be translated, "Offer this as my memorial sacrifice"

Jesus' word anamnesis, usually translated "remembrance," also has sacrificial overtones. For example, in the NIV of Hebrews 10:3 we read,

"But those sacrifices are an annual reminder [anamnesis] of sins." If you read Romans 12:1, you find out that we present ourselves to God as wave offerings, for Paul tells us to offer our bodies to him as a living sacrifice.We thus see the function of the temple -- offering of sacrifice -- being brought together with the function of the synagogue -- teaching the people -- into the New Testament church. Those who preside over the church thus incorporate both the functions of the Old Testament priest and the Old Testament elder

Jesus' word anamnesis, usually translated "remembrance," also has sacrificial overtones. For example, in the NIV of Hebrews 10:3 we read,

*What does this priesthood to do with the temple?

Hebrews 6

and entering into that within the veil,
20whither a forerunner for us did enter -- Jesus, after the order of Melchisedek chief priest having become -- to the age.

Here we see that Christ was the first to enter within the veil as a forerunner for us to enter after He obtained the Melchisedek priesthood as then we also need to obtain the same priesthood to be able to follow.

If the priesthood changed from the Levitical priesthood to the Melchizedek priesthood in the First Century, "of necessity there is also a change of the Law" (v.12).

Thus, the Law is not thrown out, it is just changed and refined (Matthew 5:18).
Without the priesthood one can not function in the temple. Now Christ is our more superior High Priest, and as believers in the finished work of Jesus we partake of His better priesthood. We can now enter the Holy of Holies by Him. Hebrews 10:19-20 says that the faithful enter into the sanctuary by the “blood of Jesus, by the new and living way which he opened for us through the veil, that is, through his flesh.”

*How shall we have a pattern to follow?

Hebrews 8
1And the sum concerning the things spoken of [is]: we have such a chief priest, who did sit down at the right hand of the throne of the greatness in the heavens,

2of the holy places a servant, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord did set up, and not man,
3for every chief priest to offer both gifts and sacrifices is appointed, whence [it is] necessary for this one to have also something that he may offer;

4for if, indeed, he were upon earth, he would not be a priest -- (there being the priests who are offering according to the law, the gifts,

5who unto an example and shadow do serve of the heavenly things, as Moses hath been divinely warned, being about to construct the tabernacle, for `See (saith He) thou mayest make all things according to the pattern that was shewn to thee in the mount;') --

6and now he hath obtained a more excellent service, how much also of a better covenant is he mediator, which on better promises hath been sanctioned,

7for if that first were faultless, a place would not have been sought for a second.
8For finding fault, He saith to them, `Lo, days come, saith the Lord, and I will complete with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah, a new covenant,

He did make a new covenant with Judah and who is the new house of Judah? All that follow Him and His new commandments and priesthoods under this new covenant must obtain this priesthood to be made perfect like our Father In Heaven which is perfect.

*Why would such ordinances or descriptions need to be emphasized if the priesthood and the temple is no longer needed. Remember a temple could be any building that is set apart for such activities. It did not require the temple in Jerusalem we know this from archeology that other small temples existed.

Hebrews 10
19Having, therefore, brethren, boldness for the entrance into the holy places, in the blood of Jesus,
20which way he did initiate us into the new and living covenant, through the vail, that is, his flesh as a high priest over the House of the Lord,
22may we draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having the hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and having the body bathed with pure water;

Again the author invites the initiates to enter in to holy places (temple) because Christ will initiate us in the new and living covenant through the veil as high priest in the House of the Lord, entering with a pure heart, full of faith, being sprinkled with the assurance of being washed clean of the evil of this generation and our bodies washed pure with pure water.

*Christ's calling to you?
Many think talk of a priesthood is authoratic or arrogant and has been done away with but if we approach the scriptures with an open mind we can see that a priesthood was to be a part of Christ's church and that the Book of Hebrews is laying the ground work for a introduction for His members. Although at times members may not live up to all the ideal standards most LDS that I have known are truly humbled as it relates to the priesthood. At this relates to NM, T4x4 and all the world we humbly invite all to repent, be baptized, obtain this priesthood as did our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

1Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider the apostle and chief priest of our profession, Christ Jesus,