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

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Mormon Conspiracy?

In one recent discussion with a critic of my faith, I was given a list of reasons why Mormons aren't Christian (standard stuff: we don't agree with 100% of the critic's doctrines and interpretations of Scripture, so we must be worshipping a different Jesus - see CultMaster 2000 for details on how to do this.) I get this all the time now. His rant included this statement: "Now days with a Mormon Presidential campaign, the LDS community sees a need to be merged with the Christian community." Ah, that's it! Mormons apparently are just beginning to profess faith in Christ in order to help out the Romney campaign. Our departure from our traditional demonic roots is part of a conspiracy to help Romney look better. And based on that hair, it seems to be working.

But I suppose this conspiracy goes back even before the start of the Romney campaign, all the way to 1820, when our religion began with Joseph Smith praying to know which Christian church to join, and having the First Vision in which he saw Jesus Christ and heard the voice of God saying "This is my beloved son. Hear him!" And so began the great Mormon conspiracy, teaching Mormons to look to Jesus Christ and "hear Him" right from the beginning. And since the founding of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, our members join by being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ to make a covenant to follow Jesus Christ; we are taught to pray in the name of Jesus Christ; we remember Jesus Christ each Sunday when we partake of the "sacrament" to remember the sacrifice of his flesh and blood and the Atonement He worked for us; and we are taught to look to Christ for salvation and to study His word in the Bible and in The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. This is a deep and sinister conspiracy, carried out faithfully for almost 180 years to raise a people that appear to believe in Christ just so we can launch a presidential campaign in 2007 to send a Mormon to the White House. Joseph Smith surely foresaw all this and designed this great conspiracy just for this purpose. Wow, did he foresee the future and plan all that just for this moment in history? Now that's one heck of a false prophet.

138 comments:

Rick said...

Hi, actually, the post is being a bit disingenuous. In it, you say that Jesus appeared to Joseph, and he heard God's voice from heaven. What really happened, is that both God and Jesus appeared to Joseph Smith. It is by this that the church makes its claim that the Father and Son are two different personages which both have physical bodies. The voice heard from heaven according to the church was the voice of the Holy Ghost. That the church says is proof according to the church that there are three persons in the Godhead. Father and Son with bodies of flesh and bone, and the Holy Ghost who is a spirit personage. Now, considering this, your critic is accurate, because mainstream christianity believes that the Father, Son, and Holy ghost are one. Made up of one substance, do not have bodies of flesh and bone. Therefore, it can not be the same Jesus. Therefore, your critic is correct that mormons and mainstream christianity
do not worship the same Jesus.

Prove all things, hold fast that which is good.

And the truth shall set you free.

Mormanity said...

Rick, thanks for the post. So would you say, then, that the disciple Stephen in Acts 7:55,56 was not an authentic Christian when he reported having a vision in which he saw Christ standing on the right hand of God?

Latter-day Saints fully accept the declaration of Christ that "I and my Father are one." The oneness of God, however, has been an issue of great controversy among faithful Christians for centuries, because there are many different theories about HOW the Father and the Son are one. Interpreting the scriptures differently on this unclear and hotly debated topic doesn't make one non-Christian, unless your working definition of Christian is "someone who thinks exactly the way I do." I'm sure that's not how you see it, but many people use that as their working definition, and so we find that attempts to paint Mormons as non-Christian end up excluding (unintentionally) many early Christians as well, sometimes even Jesus Christ. (Example: "Christians must believe that God and the Son are fully co-equal," but Christ said "My Father is greater than I" in John 14:28. Out He goes!)

The nature of the Godhead and the meaning of the oneness of God has been an area where reasonable and faithful Christians have disagreed among themselves for centuries. The Nicene Creed and the creeds from other great councils in the fourth and fifth centuries were post-biblical attempts by committees of men (not apostles and prophets of God) to deal with some of those issues. Some Christians believed God and the Father were distinct Beings who were one in purpose and heart, fully united but still distinct, with Christ being subordinate to the father (e.g., the Arian controversy). Others took a path influenced more heavily by Greek philosophy (Neoplatonism) and advocated that to be truly divine, God and Christ had to be of one immaterial substance, one Being somehow having three fully co-equal persons. The latter definitions came out on the winning side. But those who lost these debates, while sometimes condemned for heresy, were still counted as Christian. They were faithful Christians before the non-revelatory decisions were handed down, and they didn't suddenly get cast out as non-Christians because of what the winners saw as a doctrinal error.

So yes, we may not agree with all of your doctrines, but I don't think it's appropriate to say that we are not Christian for not accepting creeds that aren't in the Bible, especially when your filter for Christianity would exclude people like Stephen and even Christ, based on their testimony.

A good place to understand the true nature of the oneness of God is John 17, the great intercessory prayer of Christ to the Father. Look at verses 11-13 and 21. Christ prays that Christians might be one, just as Christ and the Father are one. Isn't that a pretty strong clue that the oneness of God is not oneness in substance, or a oneness in the form of a single immaterial Being, but a oneness in heart, mind, and purpose?

So are you still committed to saying that we aren't Christian because Joseph Smith, like Stephen, saw Christ on the right hand of the Father? Serious question. Sometimes people do think about what I right and actually respond, one way or the other. Others just throw out the next anti-Mormon argument. But in any case, thanks for writing and best wishes.

Joel Glanfield said...

The problem with this type of discussion is the foundation. This is not an honest attempt of some inquisitive individual to find out what we believe. Rather, it is probably more frustration with the fact that Romney both has more votes and delegates than Mike Huckabee, and that even if Romney does not progress in the primaries - Mike Huckabee certainly doesn't have a leg to stand on.

There is ample information on this blog that has already covered our differing views on things. We hold on to these differences because not only do we know them to be true - but they distinguish us from that which is not complete.

To say that someone isn't Christian because they do not believe the Godhead to be one in essence has always mystified me. Are the Catholics Christian because they hold to the Nicean Creed - although they pray to others than God? Heaven forbid.

JayFlow22 said...

Hate to post off topic...but I just noticed that your "christ.org" link on your page goes to "christ.com" which is not the link for the mormon.org site.

Also...Mormons are Christian...just for the record

Kathleen said...

"This is a deep and sinister conspiracy, carried out faithfully for almost 180 years to raise a people that appear to believe in Christ just so we can launch a presidential campaign in 2007 to send a Mormon to the White House. Joseph Smith surely foresaw all this and designed this great conspiracy just for this purpose."

*snorts* :D

Teranno4x4 said...

Hi Jeff,

I will avoid the political slant of your post and really look at the dialogue between Rick and yourself.

The Bible states that 'no man shall see God and live' .
Exodus 33:20 "And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. "

So if Rick's claim is accurate that Joseph Smith actually met with the Father and Jesus in body AND both at the same time - do you choose to believe God's spoken Word from the Bible or the witness of Joseph Smith ?

If you believe the Bible account of God's unchanging message (see why Moses had to hide in the cleft of the Rock - another wonderful message for us today), then who did Joseph Smith meet with ?

I would encourage you to take a look at Rev ch 4 and Rev ch 5 and see what the key differences are in the setting of both chapters. What has changed ? Is it possible that the Godhead can change as chapter 5 would suggest ? Why ?

Why does one have to fully understand the nature of the Godhead, 'Trinity', or any perceived doctrines on these matters to accept the Gospel message and believe in Jesus? Will any man (excluding Jesus) have that full understanding of the total nature of God, before the true restoration of the 'righteous' back to Himself ?

Teranno4x4

Joel Glanfield said...

It is not always fruitful to try and explain ones position based on the Bible. For example, teranno has quoted:

Exodus 33:20 "And he said, Thou canst not see my face: for there shall no man see me, and live. "

However, you cannot ignore verses such as:

Genesis 32:30 “And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel; for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.”

Exodus 33:11 “And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.” (right from the same chapter you quoted)

Clearly we could all attach varying interpretations to each of these verses (“well, Moses didn’t really see God face to face”). However, given that the author of this post is LDS, there is obviously something that some don’t understand. Let me continue...

It is a fundamental doctrine of Latter-day Saint theology that each dispensation stands independent of others in terms of knowledge and understanding of the Gospel plan. This implies that our beliefs are independent of what is written in the Bible – although we happen to believe the Bible (and in my argument, more than others). Joseph Smith once said “I believe the Bible as it read when it came from the pen of the original writers”.

Hence, to try to explain our beliefs away by an appeal to the Bible is fruitless. We rely on revelation and wisdom of modern prophets. Although others disagree, this is what we stand by. One may appeal to the Bible and verbalize an apparent contradiction – but we believe in constant revelation, and that the canon of scripture is not closed.

We’ve learned from modern scripture and revelation (and I would argue from a correct understanding of the Bible) that man may indeed see God face to face. However, this would require a change over his body so that he could endure His presence. This is called ‘transfiguration’. It happened to Jesus on the mount. Our belief in this does not require others to believe it, but we still hold to it. But to try to contradict a Mormon’s belief by interpreting the Bible in a certain way will not accomplish anything – simply because our beliefs are not based on the Bible in the sense that other Christian denominations think they should be. Thanks for reading.

Bookslinger said...

"...because our beliefs are not based on the Bible in the sense that other Christian denominations think they should be."

That's a good way of putting it. Another way I heard:

"Our religion is not based on the Bible; it's based on what the Bible is based on: revelation from God."

Dan and Wendy said...

Since I think that the religious angle is well covered already, I'll take the political one...;-)

I've found it interesting when I mention to non-LDS co-workers of a certain presidential candidate from Arkansas that keeps throwing my church under the bus, that they look at me as if I've grown horns. Yeah, I know, I'm a Mormon, so my having horns, is probably expected by some.

When I explain some of the stuff he has said, they confess they had no idea about it. Therefore, are Mormons too paranoid, about the religious bigotry being shown by Huckabee, or is Huckabee simply giving the secret message to his fellow religious bigots in broad daylight and no one sees it?

Dan

Trip Toe said...

When the Southern Baptist Convention produced thousands of anti-Mormon videos misrepresenting our faith and sent people out to Utah to hang them on the doors of Mormons, they surely didn't think that they were showing any kind of bigotry or being anything less than faithful Christians. But bigotry was built into what they are doing, especially in the demeaning and unfair slams in the video. But that's life in the religious fast lane. It's OK, I guess, albeit ugly.

Halibut said...

Mormon's certainly are not christians in the same manner as those who believe in the Trinity. Face it, LDS believes in Multiple Gods. Other Christians believe in one God.

We do not do many things that other "mainstream" Christians do. That make us very different. I.E.--LDS aversion to crosses. We do not celebrate religious occasions in church as others do. I.E.-Advent, Christmas, Lent, Holy week including Maundy Thursday, good Friday etc.

Anonymous said...

"Other Christians believe in one God."

Most Christians don't know what they believe and as I explain with the scriptures the concept that there is three in the Godhead they agree. Only after they go to their pastor do they back track.

Anonymous said...

Teranno4x4, Said:

Man can not see God and live.

Genesis 32:30 “And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel; for I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved.”


Exodus 33:11 “And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.” (right from the same chapter you quoted)

Again, you must give all scriptures equal weight. If you just pick and choose you might as well cut out the ones you don't like and keep the ones you agree with.

O' how they try to limit their God.

Who to believe, T4x4 or the scriptures?

Teranno4x4 said...

Dear Anon,

This is the second time in as many days that you have appealed publically on who to believe - me or another writing.

In this instance (seeing as you didn't pick up on the last hint) please refer back to the Words from God !

The verses that I quoted expressly conclude that God Himself states that 'No man shall see Him and live'. I did not say it - God did !

Both you and also (a very well written and gently suggested, much appreciated) Joel Glanfield wrote a couple of other verses from Moses writings. One referring to the comment from Jacob after he wrestled with the Man; and the other by Moses himself describing his relationship to God.

This second verse that you offer is found before the verse where God is recorded speaking directly to Moses. It takes place inside the Holy of Holies inside the tabernacle. Notice that the pillar of cloud comes down to outside the tabernacle door. At this time it can also be suggested that there was no physical manifestation of God to Moses, only the audible voice in the direct vicinity in perfect conversation (see also the burning bush scenario). This is the meaning of 'face to face' and why later God makes his direct claim that 'no man shall see his face and live'. At this latter time Moses makes a request for God to show him His glory. God replies and then makes again a very simply understood comment :
"22 And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by:
23 And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen. "

Why is this said by God if Jacob has already seen his face in previous times. Why go to this extreme of protecting Moses by shielding him with His hand ? Is this favouritism or could it be that Jacob really did not see God's face as was his understanding ?

I really can not see these scriptures from your understanding and by taking every one completely literally without looking into the Hebrew vocabulary, grammar and true meaning of each on their own merit - I would suggest that maybe you do. New conclusions may be revealed to you as I have tried to assist with.

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

Joel, whilst I accept that you have your dispensations and differences in beliefs and doctrines, I also would like to point out that Moses enjoyed a 'very Special' relationship with God ! Should I ignore that in favour of your 'new prophets and revelations' just because they claim that the translations from the manuscripts are not preserved as they were originally penned ?

I see this as dangerous ground and would suggest that you take yourself off to your nearest synagogue and discuss your ideas and 'interpretation' on their own preserved Hebrew theology and see how they respond.

For the record - I am a Christian and not a Jew. But I would be interested if you follow my suggestion especially on these verses....

Teranno4x4

Teranno4x4 said...

Joel,

One other verse for you from the NT...

No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. John. 1:18.

Maybe John was also incorrect or mis-interpretted from the Greek too ?

Joel Glanfield said...

Teranno,

I appreciate your reply. I feel this is a discussion worth having. However, I think one of my points may have been missed (I realize I tend to ramble on occasion). I said:

“We rely on revelation and wisdom of modern prophets. Although others disagree, this is what we stand by. One may appeal to the Bible and verbalize an apparent contradiction – but we believe in constant revelation, and that the canon of scripture is not closed.”

I stand by this statement. Even if I were to walk down to the nearest synagogue and get some teaching there, that will still – for me – come second to the words of modern prophets and apostles. So, when you say:

“Should I ignore that in favour of your 'new prophets and revelations' just because they claim that the translations from the manuscripts are not preserved as they were originally penned?”

If the antecedent of “that” in your question is Moses’ relationship with God – then possibly your question is asking about something I wasn’t suggesting. We could talk about his relationship in another post. But if by “that” you are being more general – and suggesting that our beliefs should be consistent with the teachings of living oracles, then I would answer a resounding “yes”.

Again, this is one of our main differences with a lot of “mainstream” Christianity. I acknowledge that with no hesitancy or excuse.

Here is a quote by a former apostle in our church that I feel communicates what I’m trying to say better than I’m saying it:

“We have the Bible, the Book of Mormon and the Book of Doctrine and Covenants; but all these books, without the living oracles and a constant stream of revelation from the Lord, would not lead any people into the Celestial Kingdom of God. This may seem a strange declaration to make, but strange as it may sound, it is nevertheless true.

“Of course, these records are all of infinite value. They cannot be too highly prized, nor can they be too closely studied. But in and of themselves, with all the light that they give, they are insufficient to guide the children of men and to lead them into the presence of God. To be thus led requires a living Priesthood and constant revelation from God to the people according to the circumstances in which they may be placed.” (George Q. Cannon)

And another of my personal favorites:

“If we had before us every revelation which God ever gave to man; if we had the Book of Enoch; if we had the untranslated plates before us in the English language; if we had the records of the Revelator St. John which are sealed up, and all other revelations, and they were piled up here a hundred feet high, the church and kingdom of God could not grow, in this or any other age of the world, without the living oracles of God.” (Wilford Woodruff)

Again, I acknowledge that these are differences. But I think if people realize how deeply we feel about this, that maybe we could move on. We simply do not believe in the infallibility of the Bible as others do. However, while we do not hold this against others – it is held against us. I do not believe that someone who believes the Bible is infallible is on a road to hell – I just feel that he is missing out on further light and knowledge that would elevate his desires and satisfactions and his soul in general.

Sorry for the lengthy post!

Joel Glanfield said...

Terrano,

"One other verse for you from the NT...

No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. John. 1:18.

Maybe John was also incorrect or mis-interpretted from the Greek too?"

Again, we could throw Biblical scripture around all day long - but you misunderstand our fundamental belief here. Please refer to my latest post for clarification, since there's really nothing else I can add here (except that in terms of study, you do yourself a disservice by selecting scriptures and reading them as being independent. For example, John's own words here should be taken in context with his own words in John 6:46).

Anonymous said...

T4x4, said:



"I really can not see these scriptures from your understanding and by taking every one completely literally without looking into the Hebrew vocabulary, grammar and true meaning of each on their own merit."

All of this literal meaning, vocabulary, and grammar depends on which expert you want to listen to. Even now with all the knowledge they can not agree.

Teranno4x4 said...

Dear Anon,

The Truth is there and accessible for everyone. Experts are not needed and that is the beauty of the Gospel message.

It can be found, starting in Genesis and concludes in Revelation.

Whilst I agree with you that it is always better to find the original penned documents wherever possible, let me explain that with all the modern translations of the Bible, the KJV is the closest, accurately translated English version according to the ultimate and defining message of the originally penned manuscripts. I still maintain that without the Bible the LDS denomination would not have any foothold in demonstrating the life and work of Jesus Christ. Why, because the gospels written about Him can only be found in the NT and nowhere else.

Expert or no expert - this is fact.

Teranno4x4

Teranno4x4 said...

Dear Joel,

I really appreciate your tone of comunication and I am understanding more of the angle you are coming from in your stance.

I hope that you can also take my comments in the similar manner in which they are intended ?

My personal viewpoint is that God will choose His prophets as He sees fit for the divine purpose. I do not see a constant stream of modern-day oracles being applied for our time, mainly because it was never so in the past. I am not intending to limit God or His capabilities with this statement, only recognising how in past times, God chose to appoint a prophet for a critical time in His chosen people's history and was in full control of the important message to be declared to the people.

Maybe we should just choose to disagree on this point. My reasoning - can an individual find God (or can God find an individual) without a church, a prophet, a Bible or a combination of the previous. I believe so, but the proceeding relationship can be far more enhanced by the declaration of His character by these also including these means of witness.

For the Biblical verses, I did not presume that I was just pulling them up randomly, the verse selected in John was carefully considered and I also knew the following verse that you refered to.

Can you discuss why God in these two verses (OT and NT - by Jesus) would have stated this if it is not true , bearing in mind it was man that claimed to have seen God (not God declaring that He had been seen by man!) ?

Incidentally I was refering to the relationship of God with Moses in the question of 'that' ...

I guessed that you would say 'yes' otherwise ...

(Enjoying the conversation) :-)

Tearanno4x4

Joel Glanfield said...

Teranno,

You're right - we'll have to respectfully disagree on the point you mentioned. However, might I suggest a sincere study of the Book of Mormon at some appropriate time? For me, the foundation of all I believe is based on the truthfulness of that book. It has changed my life immensely for the better - and it stands to reason that, if the book is the word of God as claimed, then it could not have been written by a false prophet.

As for your question about those verses in the Bible. Both of those verses make complete sense to me, in the context of modern revelation. The truth is - if God were to appear in front of me this moment, I would die. I could not endure His presence. However, we believe that there are instances where the He does appear to men, and that in those cases the necessary changes take place in the person's body in order to endure the divine presence.

If we take Joseph Smith as an example, either what he said was true or false. There's no room for the conjecture that "oh he was just having nice dreams". Nice dreams do not produce the fruit that has been produced as a result of his work.

If Joseph did not see God - then we could take the stance that you have from those verses and conclude that no man has seen God (although, in my mind it is still difficult to reconcile other cases in the Bible itself - i.e. those I've already quoted, add to those Stephen's account, etc). However, if Joseph did see God, then there is something missing in our understanding of the Bible.

So - rather than debate the scriptures quoted, why not ask if Joseph really did see God? To me, the answer is found in a sincere study of the Book of Mormon. A testimony of that great book then sets the foundation for testimony in latter-day prophets and continuing revelation, which will then expand our view on those things written in the Bible.

Cheers.

Teranno4x4 said...

Dear Joel,

For me the question still comes - can God's face be seen by man (in our human form of weakness) ? If we take God at his own voice, then we must come to the conclusion - no. Four exceptions to the rule are : Jesus (God incarnate), Enoch (translated - walked with God), Elijah (translated) and Moses (resurrected). All are exempt from the influence of sin and are already in receipt of their reward. Jesus' ministry is still continuing on our behalf in heavenly realms.....

If God is represented by God the Son on earth, whether OT or NT, then maybe this is the answer to some of these situations. The other possibility is that there could be a difference between a physical appearing of God to the eyes of the beholder (man) or the manifestation of God or heavenly matters in a vision as given to both Daniel and John, taking both OT and NT again... The latter is how I explain the witness of Stephen. He was sincerely telling the Truth like it was before his own eyes, but because the Holy Spirit was filling his every pore, he ascended in eyesight in vision.

" But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God "

For me the emphasis and subject matter of the sentence is the 'glory of God' and not God himself or God's face. So from this I personally deduce that the verses we have discussed so far are also consistent with the words from God's own mouth.

What if Joseph Smith did not see God, either through false witness or through a misunderstanding because of deceipt ? What then for your testimony? I know that this is a pro-LDS blog and I am not anti in any way, but I do have to analyse all possibilities quite openly ...! I do enjoy the doctrinal differences and discussion here!

In terms of accepting your invitation to read the Book of Mormon, I own a copy (provided by friends), I have read large chunks but not in it's entirity. I have a number of books that I am trying to read at the moment, so it is down on my list of priorities. Again (and you won't like this), the parts that I have read have not spoken to me in any particular way. I find the relevences to my own life weak and when examined for Truth alongside the Bible, I am sorry but the Bible is the priority for 'leading me in the paths of righteousness' to steal a quote from David.

Enjoy your weekend,

Teranno4x4

Joel Glanfield said...

I think we may be at the point of splitting hairs now. I’ve explained my point of view the best I know how – and will have to leave it at that. I’m not even sure what you mean when you say “he ascended in eyesight in vision”. But when you say “the latter is how I explain the witness of Stephen, I agree – it is your explanation.

Glory of God – God’s presence – God appearing literally to man while man is somehow transfigured – these are all similar to me.

As for your argument about Joseph being deceived, it is a valid one. But, if he was deceived, then how did he produce the Book of Mormon? The answer that “the parts I have read have not spoken to me in any particular way” is simply inconsistent with the response of any I’ve met or heard of who has given the book serious consideration and study. To say that it has no relevance to your own life is also contradictory to many millions who have had it help them in their own lives – including my own. You also state that it is “weak when examined for truth alongside the Bible”, but I find the sermons on similar subjects to surpass those of the Bible.

You don’t have to apologize, and surely don’t have worry about me not liking something you’ve said (unless you begin an attack of course). If you’re concerned about the veracity of Joseph’s experience and the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, then lean on my faith while you patiently but sincerely search for yourself. I’ve read the Book of Mormon dozens of times, and I am not some uneducated follower. I know how to think for myself – but most importantly, I have no troubles recognizing the quiet peace of the Holy Spirit.

Anonymous said...

Dear Joel Glanfield,

I wanted to respond specifically to a comment you made regarding Catholics praying to others besides God. That comment is a typical comment I hear from non-Catholic who have an utter lack of understanding of what the Communion of Saints is. As an LDS member, at least I assume that you are, you should be aware of the danger of making a comment such as this. Consider that many of us non-mormons have been taught that you LDS guys actually worship Joseph Smith. And from an outside perspective looking at how revered he is in your faith, it does appear that you worship him. Only by digging deeper and listening to your church members and asking questions could someone actually find that you do not worship Joseph Smith, but instead hold him in high esteem.

That is exactly what Catholics do with regard to the Saints. We do not worship the saints, instead what we do is ask the saints to pray with us, and intercede with for us. That may be a question of semantics for many, but there is a significant difference between worshipping others and asking others to pray with us.

This is a practise that the LDS Church engages in too, though you may not recognize it as that. But when you are baptizing the dead...baptism by proxy, you are praying with and for others, and in fact interceding on thier behalf to God so that they can be brought into the fullness of the gospel. You are in fact praying for and with others who have gone before you when you engage in your temple services. So be careful about slinging mud.

Catholic Defender

tatabug said...

T4x4,

Excuse me while I butt into the conversation, but you asked "Why is this said by God if Jacob has already seen his face in previous times. Why go to this extreme of protecting Moses by shielding him with His hand ? Is this favouritism or could it be that Jacob really did not see God's face as was his understanding ?"

If you will recall, earlier in Exodus 33, the Lord is angry with Israel because they are a "stiffnecked people." Because of His anger, He said that His presence would not go with them "lest I consume thee in the way." Later in the chapter, Moses petitioned the Lord and was able to gain the Lord's favor. The Lord was still angry, which is why Moses was not able to see the Lord's face, but only His backparts.

Previously, in Ex. 24:9-11, Moses, Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, and the seventy elders of Israel "saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone,..." There are other instances in the Bible which report seeing God, and I don't think these people are confused about what they saw. Most of the time they are amazed that they had seen Him and lived.

An understanding of why it's been stated that man cannot see God and live is important. It isn't that it isn't possible or that it's never happened; it's that it of course doesn't happen frequently, but more importantly that certain conditions are necessary for it to happen.

In Moses 1:11, Moses says, "But now mine own eyes have beheld God; but not my natural, but my spiritual eyes, for my natural eyes could not have beheld; for I should have withered and died in his presence; but his glory was upon me; and I beheld his face, for I was transfigured before him."

Then if you go back to Exodus 34:29-35, it says, "...when Moses came down from mount Sinai...that Moses wist not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with him. And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him. ...And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a vail on his face. ...And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses' face shone: and Moses put the vail upon his face again, until he went in to speak with him."

In Matthew 17:2, Jesus went up to the mount, "and was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light." Jesus was in the presence of God, and was transfigured accordingly, and a "bright cloud" overshadowed Peter, James, and John, from which the voice of God spoke unto them, testifying of the Son. Jesus was transfigured before them and for whatever reason, the apostles were not, and so they required the protection of the cloud.

In a Jewish Christian work called the Clement Homilies, Peter says, "For I maintain that the eyes of mortals cannot see the incorporeal form of the Father or Son, because it is illumined by exceeding great light...For he who sees God cannot live. For the excess of light dissolves the flesh of him who sees; unless by the secret power of God the flesh can be changed into the nature of light, so that it can see light."

This is why so often in the scriptures, God is surrounded by a cloud. If He were to manifest His glory, men would die. He either has to somehow cover His glory, or He has to change men to a form which can withstand His glory.

In Acts 9 when Saul (Paul) is visited by the Lord, he becomes blinded by the light which fell to the earth.

The sinful, natural man is indeed unable to see God and live. We don't know all of what is entailed in God being able to manifest himself unto men, but we do know that it is possible through God's power.

Therefore, I submit that Joseph Smith accurately cleared up the matter when he retranslated the verse in Ex. 33:20 to actually read, "And he said unto Moses, Thou canst not see my face at this time, lest mine anger be kindled against thee also, and I detroy thee, and thy people; for there shall no man among them see me at this time and live, for they are exceeding sinful. And no sinful man hath at any time, neither shall there be any sinful man at any time that shall see my face and live." And then again in John 1:18, "And no man hath seen God at any time, except he hat borne record of the Son; for except it is through him no man can be saved."

Joel Glanfield said...

Anonymous,

I apologize for my comment - it was not well worded and I misrepresented myself. I certainly did not mean to portray that Catholics pray to other Gods. Although I did not say that specifically - I should have clarified.

Now that I have an opportunity to clarify myself, I will do so. All I was trying to do was to give an example of how some Christians have beliefs and/or practices that differ with other Christians - yet they can all agree that they are still indeed Christians. That is all that I meant.

It was certainly not my intention to "sling mud" in the slightest. I appreciate your addressing it and allowing me to clarify myself. Hopefully this makes more sense - and I'll be more careful in the future (I'm new to blogging within the past 2 weeks or so).

Spencer in Texas said...

Loved this post! One of my favorites...

Latter-Day James said...

CD I have heard, please help me, that Catholics also pray to Mary sometimes. Is this true? If not, where does this misconception come from?

halibut I could easily answer you by saying that most Christians are not Christian because they do not believe in Christ and our Heavenly Father as being 2 separate beings, God the Father and God the Son.

Halibut said...

I do not think that the Catholics pray to Mary, as much as they ask Mary to pray for us. Not really a lot different than if I would ask you, my Stake President, my Bishop to pray for me. Of course a blessed Virgin who has endless love for us would also hear our petititons and pray for us in our time of need.

Hail Mary, blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus.
Hail Mary, full of grace, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.

Anonymous said...

"It was certainly not my intention to "sling mud" in the slightest."

Just a good food fight.

Shiver Shiver said...

Wait, if no man can see God, and if Christ is God, what did people see when they tried to look at Christ? Nothing?

I think we need to be less dogmatic about making absolute statements from one little verse. Realize that there may be ifs, ands, and buts for every doctrine, and that there is plenty of room for differences in understanding. Fundamentalist pounding of a handful of scriptures is very annoying.

Anonymous said...

Becareful not to call my friend T4x4 a fundamentalis. I don't think he like the term.

Anonymous said...

Tatabug, said:


"Therefore, I submit that Joseph Smith accurately cleared up the matter when he retranslated the verse in Ex. 33:20 to actually read, "And he said unto Moses, Thou canst not see my face at this time, lest mine anger be kindled against thee also, and I detroy thee, and thy people; for there shall no man among them see me at this time and live, for they are exceeding sinful. And no sinful man hath at any time, neither shall there be any sinful man at any time that shall see my face and live." And then again in John 1:18, "And no man hath seen God at any time, except he hat borne record of the Son; for except it is through him no man can be saved."

How did T4x4 miss this. Ho, yes, he does not believe in a modern prophet of modern revelation.

Anonymous said...

T4x4, said:


"Four exceptions to the rule are : Jesus (God incarnate), Enoch (translated - walked with God), Elijah (translated) and Moses (resurrected)."

This only accounts for some of the many people that say they say God in the scriptures. Could we have a list please?

Anonymous said...

T4x4, Said:


"For me the question still comes - can God's face be seen by man (in our human form of weakness)."

In Joseph Smiths case, the bible, and other people we do not know if they are in Gods presence or see God in a vision. In a vision they would not be in Gods physical presence and therefor could live through the experience.

Anonymous said...

T4x4, said:


"Can you discuss why God in these two verses (OT and NT - by Jesus) would have stated this if it is not true , bearing in mind it was man that claimed to have seen God (not God declaring that He had been seen by man!) ?"

Not just a man a prophet. Why would so many apostles and prophets lie or be decived?


If Joseph Smith and other people of the bible did see God, then there is something wrong in our understanding of the scriptures. Could the scriptures be in error?

Anonymous said...

T4x4, said:


"The Truth is there and accessible for everyone. Experts are not needed and that is the beauty of the Gospel message."

Reality is that without experts and many of the Catholic, we would not have the scriptures. It goes back even further to the Old Testiment when the scriptures were translated in to different languages.

Anonymous said...

Catholic Defender, said:


"So be careful about slinging mud."

And I would never suggest that you belong to a cult or have cultish type religious practices.

Vanceone said...

Hey, hate to spoil this thread some... but not sure where else to put this.

Jeff, on the political forum I frequent, there's this poster who is a dedicated anti-mormon.

Apparently, while pretending to love Mormons, etc. etc. he or she has come across you: and explicitly claims you are worse than Dr. Walter Martin.

I was curious as to if you wanted to respond to that or not.

Here's the link. This poster is probably known to the LDS apologetics community somehow; they are too dogged to not have run into one of you before.

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Vanceone: There's no sincere dialogue going on there. Just a bunch of immature guys giving each other rhetorical slaps.

Halibut said...

O Magnum Mysterium

Shiver Shiver said...

I didn't call T4x4 a fundamentalist, but his manner of taking one verse and making it a hammer that smashes everything else - even other verses in the Bible - is what I described as "fundamentalist pounding." Sorry, it is not especially fair to fundamentalists, for whom I actually have a lot of respect because of their sincerity and commitment to high Christian values (in spite of their general hostility to Mormons and others), but it does describe a tendency among some of them, and it's a tendency that is quite strong with 4x4. But 4x4 is a nice guy and has been very good about engaging in discussion and disagreeing with politeness in general.

Anonymous said...

Our new and improved T4x4. And yes I like him too.

Teranno4x4 said...

Dear Shiver Shiver,

I haven't had time to read all of the comments since my last one - only yours regarding my beating of one scripture.

Please understand that I am not a fundamentalist. I have been so determined by Anon previously and he is right - it is not an accurate description as I do not partake nor support any of the other activities that you describe in your report.

I take the Bible as a whole. I have a Christian understanding of the nature of God, the Godhead and His will for all our lives. This belief I will protect unto death as many have before me in days gone by. Does this make me a fundamentalist? Was Stephen a fundamentalist. Answer is no to both questions - why because we are both active followers of Jesus. Different eras, but genuine just the same. Dogged beatings from me - no. Doctrinal differences - yes. And I will not force a square peg into a round hole. In terms of this topic I have offered a few verses to support the same point. If you need more, I can offer more. That is how the Bible tends to answer itself...

For you Anon, I will be taking the original Hebrew text found in Ex 33:20 and looking at the direct meaning, so you can keep the re-interpreted version from J.S. until I have dug further. Point - I haven't missed anything ...

Teranno4x4

Anonymous said...

Thanks T4x4, it is always good to have your imput.

Teranno4x4 said...

Dear Shiver Shiver,

"Fundamentalist pounding (using a hammer) of a handful of scriptures is very annoying"

So is your ignorance and lack of understanding at obviously comprehending the contrasting divinity / humanity concept of Jesus when He decided to make his decision to come to this earth to live and dies as a man, sinless in order to redeem the world from it's sin, and freely give everyone an equal opportunity of accepting eternal life through His grace. If you will be objectively critical of my comments, please try to accurately research or know something about the subject matter before swallowing your foot ;-) .

If Jesus (born of the Holy Spirit and human Mary), has emptied Himself of everything divine to become human (made lower than the angels, who do appear to humans), then of course all men could look upon Him without any danger to their immediate health. He chose to leave His glory behind in the cosmos that is His home. see Heb 2:9, Philippians 2:5-8.

Teranno4x4

Mormanity said...

4x4, that wasn't an especially kind or helpful response, IMHO.

Shiver's point seems to be this: are there conditions in which a man can see God? Didn't hundreds see Christ both as a mortal and also after returning to His Father in Heaven as a glorified Being? And didn't Stephen see God the Father and Christ at the right hand of God? If Stephen could, and if Moses could, how can that one verse of scripture you are "pounding" with actually mean that no man can ever see God and that Joseph Smith therefore must not have seen God? Explain, please, if you can, without insults about "ignorance" and "swallowing one's foot." It's OK to disagree, but go easy on other readers.

Teranno4x4 said...

Dear Tatabug & Anon,

Not purposely wanting to upset you in any way, but knowing that my comments now probably will.

I have just re-read the verses in Exodus 33 as recorded in Hebrew.

I would like you to put your ideas / concepts / J.S. 's "re'interpretation" (more acurate a term than re-translated) to a Hebrew scholar and try to convince him / her of your sincerity.

The Hebrew does not state any emotion of God towards Moses whatsoever, implied or literal. Yes, he does say that the children of Israel are a 'stiffnecked people', but this is as a result of their leaning back towards idolatry and demonstration of little faith despite how far they had come through all the miracles and wonders.

The interpretation of J.S. is way off mark in terms of the original language, interpretation, vocabulary and grammar. It is interesting to see how you compare Exodus to the Book of Moses from the Pearl of Great Price and try to 'make it fit' as I stated before like a square peg into a round hole.

When one can understand quite correctly your terminology : "This is why so often in the scriptures, God is surrounded by a cloud. If He were to manifest His glory, men would DIE. He either has to somehow cover His glory..........

The sinful, natural man is indeed unable to see God and live. "

These are the two sentences that I take up issue with :
" He has to change men to a form which can withstand His glory.

We don't know all of what is entailed in God being able to manifest himself unto men, but we do know that it is possible through God's power."

God is Holy. His Holiness is enough to make us perish in His very presence as we can not behold Him in His glory. This part of the Bible message is completely constant and unwavering. Yet you go on and try to find excuses for God as to why sometimes He changes His own rules....

What about when the Son may require to manifest Himself to men in human form. Would man perish (Abraham and heavenly visitors for example) ? What about if an angel was sent by God to perform His request (Balaam and donkey)? These are also unquestionable alternatives that would also keep the Bible message of God's own voice and words completely consistent throughout!

My point is that in Exodus 33 & John 1:18, the two passages are consistent and I personally have the conviction that no man has seen God the Father. Any claims I dismiss as false on this principal.

Also no man other than Jesus has been transfigured at any time. Elijah was translated and Moses was resurrected. Both are now celestial and living with God, Elijah representing the living at Jesus second coming, and Moses representing those who are asleep and resting in Jesus. These two groups collectively will comprise the 'saints' of the kingdom.

It is interesting to notice that the cloud covered the mount after Jesus face shone, demonstrating to the disciples the nature of His own glory, qualified also by the presence of the Father hidden by the cloud.

This is also consistent with the verses used in Exodus and John.

Men are not changed to any form to withstand God's in His glory. They may see the glory of God, but not be able to behold God (personage) in His glory.

The Bible records that denote that man has seen God, are records made by man and not words of God Himself, so of course they are to be questionable as to the situation that really happened. Deeper research into the account in Hebrew / Greek is necessary, not a re-translation or interpretation.

Teranno4x4

Teranno4x4 said...

Dear Jeff,

I did seriously consider this comment before posting and if it causes you or Shiver shiver any offense then I apologise to you and he.

Shiver shiver's assumption of my 'tendancies' and his declaration of my 'hammer pounding' of one scripture, I felt were slightly mis-aligned.

Whilst slightly on the harsher side - I was attempted to be a 'tongue in cheek' comment - not one of unkindness or ridicule. Speck and plank in eyes situation again ...? I am all too aware of my own plank and that's my issue...

Teranno4x4

Just in answer to your query - Stephen saw Jesus standing at the right side of the 'glory of God' . Question - with his normal eyesight (that others could see too), or in vision ? Two points to consider there ...

Anonymous said...

Something to point out and maybe this is a good place for this inquiry. Joseph says in his First Vision that Two Personages stood above him and one of them call him by name. But never is there a reference within the account of this vision that it is God the Father and Jesus Christ....Joseph always says that "the Personage" keeps instructing him. Why is that if it's Christ talking to him? Why doesn't Joseph say that it's Christ?

Teranno4x4 said...

Dear Anon,

Maybe you (or Jeff) could please provide further clarification into an understanding of the 'first vision' that is described?

When you state 'first vision', do you take it literally as a physical manifestation as appearing as if there is an ability to touch, dialogue and fully engage the physical senses ?

Or do you take it as being caught up in the Holy Spirit and taken away to receive a revelation (as in the case of Daniel or John) ?

Thanks in advance for your replies ...

(A re-freshed, calmer)

Teranno4x4

tatabug said...

T4x4,

Your comments were not upsetting to me at all, but thanks for the concern. If anything, I might just be a little frustrated with your 'stiffneckedness' :)

If I knew of any Hebrew scholars, I would certainly speak with them about this, but since I don't, I can't. Would a Jew who converted to Mormonism work?

"The Bible records that denote that man has seen God, are records made by man and not words of God Himself, so of course they are to be questionable as to the situation that really happened."

I agree, but this is a dangerous position for you to take, because the words in John 1:18 are also the words of a man and not God himself. In fact, you could honestly say that the entire contents of the Bible are the words of man. Yes, they were inspired words for the most part, but nonetheless subject to man's imperfection.

But how do you decide which words you will consider as man's and which words will you consider to be God's? This is where your position gets precarious, because you then become your own prophet when you make that differentiation.

"Also no man other than Jesus has been transfigured at any time. ...It is interesting to notice that the cloud covered the mount after Jesus face shone, demonstrating to the disciples the nature of His own glory, qualified also by the presence of the Father hidden by the cloud."

Did you not notice also in Deuteronomy 34 which I quoted that Moses' face shone also? So much so that he had to use a vail to cover his face when he went out in front of the people? 2 Cor. 3:7, "..the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance;..."

"The Hebrew does not state any emotion of God towards Moses whatsoever, implied or literal. Yes, he does say that the children of Israel are a 'stiffnecked people', but this is as a result of their leaning back towards idolatry and demonstration of little faith despite how far they had come through all the miracles and wonders."

And you don't think that might give the Lord cause to be just a little upset at them because of it? Especially after all those miracles and wonders? Didn't He say (in v. 5), "I will come up into the midst of thee in a moment, and consume thee: therefore now put off thy ornaments from thee, that I may know what to do unto thee." Sounds like He might just be a little bit perturbed to me.

"Yet you go on and try to find excuses for God as to why sometimes He changes His own rules...."

I'm not trying to find excueses for why God sometimes changes His own rules. I don't believe that He changed His rules in this regard. I just believe differently than you in that I don't believe that "no man hath seen God." I believe these scriptures have been misunderstood or mistranslated to mean something different than what at first glance they may seem to imply.

And then if you want to say that the accounts of seeing God (ie Stephen) in the Bible account for nothing more than a vision, then you could also say the same thing about Joseph Smith's first vision (notice it is even titled a 'vision') because as far as I know, there was no physical contact, and no way to determine whether it was a vision of some kind or a full-glory, physical manifestation. There was an ability to dialogue as Joseph asked specifically which religious sect was right, and which he should join. He was also seized upon by some dark power just prior to the start of his prayer, such that his tongue was bound and he was unable to speak. As soon as the light appeared, the dark power was removed from him. Even given the obvious physical experience that Joseph encountered, it may be entirely possible that the Father and Son appeared in vision. But either way, if it was genuine, and of God, wouldn't it be just as significant?

I fully understand that it isn't possible for the natural man to withstand God in His full glory. But God HAS revealed Himself to men, whether through a vision, or transfiguration, or by whatever means God may use for this purpose. To deny that is to say that everyone in the scriptures who claimed to see God is mistaken, and then where do you draw the line at what to believe and what not to believe relative to the Bible?

Anon @ 6:41,

True, the account of the first vision doesn't include the titles Heavenly Father or Jesus Christ, but the one personage said, "This is My Beloved Son, Hear Him!" That sort of leaves little doubt as to who the two personages are supposed to be, IMO.

tatabug said...

As a little aside, if anyone were going to claim to be a prophet of God, they would be right to assert that they had seen God. According to Numbers 12:6, "...If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream."

Teranno4x4 said...

Dear Tatabug,

Stiffneckedness or singlemindedness in a desire to serve God in His righteousness ? Could the same be implied in reverse (without any inclination to offend this time)?

When the Bible says "The Lord said" or "God spake unto ..... saying ... ", will you denounce the speech that follows as an interpretation by man ? Why do you not believe in Gods' words ?

I was accused by one commenter of a fundamentalist's outlook on the 'pounding of one scripture' and these other verses I offered to be consistent to this cause. I can still offer more, but I don't feel that they would be accepted for the same reasons.

I do not claim to be a prophet or interpret the Bible for myself. I will - when challenged - go the the Hebrew to find the meaning and content, but when I can plainly see that the original manuscripts are not consistent with the words of a 'modern-day' prophet, then I must question the reasoning and the interpretation offered. BTW a Jew converted to Mormonism will not suffice - try to find a Rabbi to communicate your thoughts .... I would be keen to hear how he would receive J.S's 'new' interpretation of this portion of scripture.

Talking of Moses when his face shone - he was not transfigured in any way. Because he had spent so much time communicating with God, he was reflecting God's glory as the moon reflects the light from the sun. The moon does not possess any energy and neither did Moses have any of his own divine power (ever whist alive on earth) - he is man. Hence he did not look upon the face of God. This is a very important point that you make.

In answer to what to believe and not what to believe in the Bible - believe ALL of it ! If you can not understand something that is difficult, it means that you are not searching or digging hard enough. I sometimes get the feeling that discussions like this are only taking the words on paper into account as presented in 2D. I would encourage you to take it to the next dimension - search in 3D or even 4D .... see what happens (use of metaphoric terminology of course). The Bible will provide answers for itself.

Regarding God's attitude to the people - I would not say that he was angry towards them as we understand this emotion. I read His messages to contain disappointment and righteous indignation (targetted at the people and not Moses in particular see Ex32:32,33). That is why I can not equate what happens later in chapter 33.
ie. idolatrous Israel + talking as 'face to face' = anger , when Moses asks to see His glory and protection by His hand ...

To me as a logical thinker it does not add up, especially in light of many other Biblical verses regarding similar matters. Remember that this meeting is a physical manifestation after which the 10 Cammandments are re-written by God's finger not a vision or a dream. Sorry that I can not agree with you. I think that the points are too important to gloss over with 'new revelation' or just ignore entirely.

Teranno4x4

Teranno4x4 said...

Dear Tatabug,

I can not qualify the 'First Vision' that Jeff and yourself describe. This is something that needs to be persoanlly accepted by the individual contemplating it.

I have my own understanding of it, having read the account, but sadly again, my opinion would disappoint you.

However I will share with you the Biblical ways to identify a 'true prophet'. Measure this with all the acclaimed prophets of the Bible and they all will pass.

1) A true prophet's message will be in complete harmony with the word of God and the law of God.

2) A true prophet's predictions must come to pass.

3) A true prophet prophesies to edify God's people, counseling and advising in religious matters.

4) A true prophet will exalt Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the Saviour of mankind.

5) The true prophet will speak with authority:

...for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Matthew 7:29

Jesus is the supreme example, and He spoke those things which He had seen and heard from the Father (John 8:26,28,38). A prophet will likewise reveal those things with authority that have been revealed to him by God.

6) The true prophet will bear good fruit.

7) The true prophet, when in vision, will exhibit physical signs:
a) In vision, the prophet's eyes will be open.
b) In vision, the prophet will have no breath in him, and no strength of his/her own.

The prophet is sustained by God whilst in vision. In summary, a prophet in vision:
i) falls down weak
ii) is raised up and strengthened by God
iii) has the eyes wide open during the vision
iv) does not breathe, even though he/she speaks.


Can the same be said for the account / witness of J.S. ?

Teranno4x4

Anonymous said...

"This is my Beloved Son..." etc. Yes I can see why there would be no room for doubt, except when comparing this with D&C he says plainly many times that he is talking for the Lord. This is the only time he doesn't make mention of who the Personage actually is. Let's not forget that he wrote this account many years after it occurred. This is just a little something I was curious about.

Anonymous said...

Dear Latter Day James,

I don't want to go too much into this topic on this blog space, since the discussion is a bit off topic, but I will take time to answer your question about Catholics and Mary.

First off, Catholics do not pray to Mary. This is a huge misconception that many non-catholics have, just as many non-LDS have the misconception that LDS pray to Joseph Smith. The better, and more accurate picture is to put Mary in the same position of reverence that you LDS put Joseph Smith. She is very highly regarded because of her willingness to be the mother of Christ. Just like Joseph Smith to you is very important, Mary has the same importance to Catholics.

But that said, her importance is even greater to Catholics than JS would be to mormons because Mary is an intercessor on our behalf, and is a revelator much like you might consider Moroni. \

Mary takes on the great importance because she agreed to be the mother of God. I will note here that I may not fully understand the LDS teachings on this, but my impression of LDS teachings on Mary is that you treat her with great respect because of her obedience to God in following God's will. For Catholics that respect goes considerably deeper because we look at her faith far more than her obedience. What I mean by that is if you consider how women in Christ's time were treated, it took great faith on Mary's part to trust God to protect her from her own people. Consider that adultery was a crime punishable by death. Also consider that in Mary's time women were consider chattels, not full fledged human beings. Mary showing up pregnant out of wedlock should have resulted in a death sentence for her. So upon hearing an angel come down and say you're going to be the mother of Jesus Christ, and its all going to be okay if you agree to do this is far more than an act of obedience when Mary says yes. Its an act of extreme faith and trust in God. The obedience only resutls from the faith, without the faith the obedient act would have been meaningless. So for Catholics, that simple act of faith is an example of how we should all live our lives. That's why Mary is so important to Catholic teaching.

But she also is important because as the Mother of God, she is in a unique position that only a mother could truly appreciate. Look at your own mother, and the experiences a mother has with her children. There's a bond and closeness there that can not be duplicated or truly explained. But because of that closeness Mary is a person who can pray for us and intercede on our behalf.

Thirdly, Mary is a bringer of revelation to Catholics, and to the world if the world would listen. You draw on examples of this through JS and the first vision, and the various accounts of angels appearing in the BOM. You also draw upon this with your teachings about Gordon Hinckley and continuing revelations to prophets. Well Mary works the same way. Over the years she has appeared to several people with teachings and concerns and guidance. These have been documented throughout history, though not everyone believes these occurences have happened. But her guidance has been important.

I've sort of given you a longer answer than I intended, but Mary for me is near and dear subject because I have felt her comforting influence when I've needed to have surgery over the years, and when my son passed away. She's one of the reason I can not join the LDS faith, because your church doesn't hold her in the same regard as mine, and joining would deny the experiences I've had and no to be true. Hope I've answered your questions.

Catholic Defender

Anonymous said...

CD,

Then where does the Vicarious Body of Christ...the Papa fall into this hierarchy with Mary? And why wouldn't Christ have indicated that we are to ask Mary to intercede for us? He said "Pray to the Father always, in my name." Not Mary's. Maybe that's why there is an miscommunication between Catholics, the Hail Mary and Protestants.

jglanfield said...

My question about Catholics and Mary is, if they are not praying to her when they ask her to pray on their behalf, then what is that communication called according to Catholic theology?

Thanks.

Teranno4x4 said...

Dear CD,

A few questions for you if I can find the words to put them across politely ..... Also Jeff - can I ask these as CD has hinted at his comment being off topic ?

How do you come to the conclusion that Mary is the mother of God, when she was the instrument by which Jesus was born into the world, meaning that she is only an earthly mother? Since when did she become deity ?

I have also heard it stated by catholics that Mary's mother must also have immaculately conceived : if this is the case then where does the immaculate conception in previous generations, end ?

Finally, how can you apply the ministerial work of Jesus - interceding on our behalf in realms of glory, to the Father - as so beautifully described in the book of Hebrews, if Mary is the one interceding ? I thought that it was Jesus who suffered and died for our transgressions? Where are the Bible verses to give Mary any authority - aren't these authorities papal institutionalised?

I am sorry that I can not agree with your Mary doctrine, as I do not believe that she is alive today in any form.

Teranno4x4

Freedom 4 All said...

Dear CD ,

Please examine the ancient Egyption religion of the gods there : Isis, Osiris and Horus.

Below is an excerpt for you relating to this taken from a pro-egyptian website ...

"These poetic-philosophic legends and symbols profoundly affected Christian ritual and theology.

Early Christians sometimes worshiped before the statues of Isis suckling the infant Horus, seeing in them another form of the ancient and noble myth by which woman (i.e., the female principle), creating all things, becomes at last the Mother of God. "

Have you ever seen pictures or images of (presumably) Mary suckling the infant. Particularly at 'holy' relic sites, like the nativity grotto in Bethlehem for example.

Similarity or coincidence? What about the sun dimensions / image typology relating to the sungod Horus found in and around the vatican city complex ? I have been there and seen with my own eyes .... sun worship idolatry, similarity or coincidence ?

dave d said...

Terrano4x4,

It has been a while since I have commented, but I thought a reply here was worthwhile. You put together a good series of measuring sticks for a prophet – except there is one that I have never heard before: not breathing. I am curious where you got this one.

In any case, I think Joseph Smith fits very nicely in this prophetic role by these metrics.

1) I find that Joseph Smith’s message is in complete harmony with the word of God and the law of God as revealed by previous prophets, at least how I interpret it. Now your interpretation may be different and you probably don’t agree. But I’m sure you could say the same thing to a Jew who says the New Testament is inconsistent with the word of God and law of God in the Torah because his interpretation of the Old Testament is different than yours.

2) Prophecies uttered by Joseph Smith have come to pass, at least the ones that are not still waiting to be fulfilled. Among those, he predicted the Civil War and where it would start and some of the subsequent geo-political turmoil and events that happened in WWI and WWII.

3) I think Jeff has done a wonderful job in a recent post saying how he has seen the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ uplift and edify those that choose to follow it – much of that due to the revelations of God through Joseph Smith.

4) I cannot read the Book of Mormon or the revelations through Joseph Smith without coming even more to appreciate that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and the Saviour of mankind.

5) Joseph Smith did speak with authority when he spoke as a prophet. The Doctrine and Covenants of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a good place to start to see this.

6) Good fruit –refer to #3

7) Joseph Smith was able to speak and write while in vision.

7a) In vision, Joseph said that he “saw”. I guess that would entail having your eyes open.

7b) Not sure where you got this again. Nothing was ever said about him not able to breath while in vision.

Finally, Joseph and others that had visions did report to be physically drained from the experience.

Anonymous said...

Hi All,

I'm not gonna discuss the doctrine on Mary any further here in this blog posting. Latter Day James had a question, I answered his question, fairly thoroughly I might add. Whether or not you believe in the doctrine or agree with the Catholic Church's teachings on it, this neither the time nor the place for that discussion. You're all intelligent free thinking folks, do your research, draw your own conclusions. Meanwhile I'll believe as I believe. Sorry if I drew the topic off Jeff, had a feeling I would when I answered the question.

Catholic Defender

Latter-Day James said...

Thanks for the response CD. I appreciate it. I must admit I do not know much about the Catholic/Mary relationship except that it is a strong one. I have much respect for her and she must have a very special spirit indeed to be picked for the woman to carry the Son of God.

In response to what Terrano has said about her not being alive: As LDS people we believe that spirits do not die and are alive in every sense of the word. For all we know she may be a translated being or resurrected but I am not sure so I will not say anything else about that except that she is alive in at least the spirit form.

I do have one question. How does one differentiate between the Holy Ghost or the Spirit of Mary? Don't take this the wrong way. I am trying to understand this concept. I am not questioning your belief, just how did you arrive at that. We are taught that the Holy Ghost comforts us and helps us in the way that Mary has helped you. Is this the same for you?

Anonymous said...

Hi Latter Day James,

You asked a pretty tough question regarding differentiating between Mary and the Holy Spirit. I have to say I've never given that much thought because it really has never been an issue for me. What I can tell you is that at times when I've felt my lowest and loneliest I've felt the Holy Spirit with me. At those same times I have also found myself praying the Rosary and felt a comforting maternal spirit as well. Its very difficult to put into words, much like you trying to describe your temple experiences to a non-mormon. Its deeply personal and defies description. I can tell you that for the various saints to whom Mary appeared, she appeared in a form much like your first vision accounts. Off the top of my head Saint Bernadette of Lourdes comes to mind. You could also research Fatima and find some great descriptions there. Not much of an answer for you I would guess. Hope its helpful though.

Catholic Defender

Anonymous said...

Catholicism and Eastern Orthodoxy focus on Mary as a living person who can intercede to her Son, Jesus, on behalf of humanity. From the beginning of the Church, "Catholic theology has maintained that Christ is the sole Mediator between God and Man.[1] Yet as theologian Ludwig Ott observes, "there is nothing to prevent others in a certain way (secundum quid) from being called mediators between God and man, insofar as they, by preparing or serving, cooperate in uniting men to God" (emphasis added)."

Anonymous said...

"Mary the Mother would come to be known in Catholic circles as: "Ark of the Covenant, Seat of wisdom, Morning star, The burning bush, Jacob's ladder, Benefactress, Advocate, Helper, Guide, Foundation of the church, Sign of hope, Restorer of life, Majestic cloud that led Israel, The rainbow, Co-mediatrix, Co-redemptress, etc."

"Nazoreans, the earliest Christians, understood Her in a similar, but slightly different, light. The Nazorean view of Miriam the Mother is also complicated by Her confusion with Miryai (Mary Magdalene) whom Nazoreans portray as once married to Yeshu (Jesus). In this comparrison it contrasts the Nazorean teachings of Miriam (and Miryai) with those found on Mary in the Official Roman Catholic Catechism. "

Teranno4x4 said...

Oh dear - look how far eastern mysticism has clouded the doctrines of the Christian church (in certain quarters).

Why not take the explanation of certain events to be what they , rather than searching to whack a peg into hole where it is not welcomed by God?

There is so much religio-spin on these so called 'doctrines' inherited from pagan sources that I am surprised that more heads in the world aren't physically spinning around !

Mary, co-redemptress ? - come on there is only one Redeemer - Jesus!

LD James - I knew that you would come up with the whole 'spirit doctrine' as a kind of answer. Without wanting to repeat myself you can find further comments on my opinions for 'spirit world' on Jeff's recent posting titled : 'Looking past Lenin's tomb...'

There are no replies as yet to some questions that I had - probably because my comments are Biblically based and you do not see the Bible as accurately recorded for modern day useage (as per J.S. teachings....).

Teranno4x4

tatabug said...

T4x4,

I apologize in advance for the lengthiness of my response, but I felt it necessary to address the numerous issues and charges you raise. It's also the reason it has taken me so long to respond.

"Stiffneckedness or singlemindedness in a desire to serve God in His righteousness ? Could the same be implied in reverse (without any inclination to offend this time)?"

Absolutely! I'm not in denial here, and I do believe you are sincere in your devotion to Christ.

"When the Bible says "The Lord said" or "God spake unto ..... saying ... ", will you denounce the speech that follows as an interpretation by man ? Why do you not believe in Gods' words ?"

No, I wouldn't denounce it. I don't denounce any of the words of God spoken by Him or through His prophets. My intent was to point out that prophets are still men, however inspired they may be. They can make mistakes and their words can be misunderstood. There are also men involved in the writing, copying, and translation aspects of producing scripture, and through the many years of the existence of the Bible, though it has come through remarkably well considering the circumstances, it hasn't come through unblemished by the imperfections which man has imposed upon it. I believe in all of the words of God and those which have been inspired through the prophets, and I would say that I accept more of God's word than do you, but that is an argument that you won't concede, I'm sure.

Regarding transfiguration, I believe you are confused about what it means. It is a means of transforming mortals into a condition where they are able to withstand God's presence. It is not a transfer of divine power so far as I know, and assuming I understand what you are implying.

I also think you misunderstand what revelation is and what it means. By its very nature, it will either conflict with former revelations, or it will introduce something completely new or something which has been lost. There would be no need for any revelation were this not the case. Adam didn't receive revelations for Noah's day when God commanded him to build an ark. Moses didn't receive revelations which were revealed at the time of Christ which did away with many fundamental aspects of the law revealed to Moses. You seem to think that by comparing the revelations of Joseph Smith to those of the Bible that you can determine whether or not they are true. You will even go so far as to go back to the Hebrew as though that is a sure indicator. If Joseph was indeed a true prophet, there would be no means for comparison within the Bible to prove that. You might find many things that are in harmony with his teachings, but you will not be able to verify everything revealed through him on that basis, because by its very nature, there will be different revelations. (But even when there are apparent conflicts, that may be entirely due to one's own interpretation of scripture, which may not necessarily be correct, would you agree?) Revelations which apply specifically to our day and time and special needs. Revelations which replace truths once contained in the Bible, but which became corrupted, and in some cases, lost entirely over time. The Book of Mormon was written and preserved for our day by God who foresaw the corruption that would occur. You cannot read it with any preconceived ideas that it is just going to prove itself to you. Anyone looking to find out whether or not it's true, must approach it with faith and an open heart that it might literally be the word of God and seek to know from God if it is true.

With regard to the 'standard' by which a prophet can be discerned, I am curious to know directly from where you get this information. Some of it I can agree with, but some of it I have never heard of. I would however like to add a few thoughts and quotes to some of the standards you outline in light of what Dave D has already shared.

1) A true prophet's message will be in complete harmony with the word of God and the law of God.

I'm not sure where this comes from and I'm not sure I agree with it, but I do believe that everything Joseph Smith revealed was in complete harmony with the word of God and the law of God.

2) A true prophet's predictions must come to pass.

Joseph Smith made many 'predictions' which came true. In 1832, nearly 30 years prior to the Civil War, he predicted a war between the Northern and Southern States and that the rebellion would begin at South Carolina, eventually resulting in "the death and misery of many souls." Verse 3 of the revelation reads, "For behold, the Southern States shall be divided against the Northern States, and the Southern States will call on other nations, even the nation of Great Britain, as it is called, and they shall also call upon other nations, in order to defend themselves against other nations; and then war shall be poured out upon all nations."

He also prophesied his own death.

These are not his only prophecies which were fulfilled, and before you attempt to give examples which might show prophecies which weren't fulfilled, remember that there are prophecies by Bible prophets which went unfulfilled as well.

"Through Ezekiel, the Lord declared that the Lebanese city of Tyre would be destroyed by the Babylonian king Nebuchadrezzar, never to be rebuilt (Ezekiel 26, especially verses 4, 7, 12, 14). Though Nebuchadrezzar laid siege against Tyre from 598 to 586 B.C., he was never able to take the city. The Lord then told Ezekiel that, in compensation for his not taking Tyre, Nebuchadrezzar would be given the land of Egypt, (Ezekiel 29:17-10). Its people would be slain and its rivers dry up (Ezekiel 30:10-12; 32:11-15) and the land of Egypt would remain uninhabited for forty years (Ezekiel 29:11-13). But though Nebuchadrezzar defeated an Egyptian army in battle, he never conquered Egypt either.

"Isaiah, in his prophesy against Babylon (Isaiah 13:1), declared that the Medes would slay men, women and children and that Babylon would "be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation" (Isaiah 13:17-20). In 539 B.C., Cyrus, king of the Medes and Persians, took Babylon without bloodshed, and made it one of the principal cities of his empire. Babylon remained inhabited for centuries afterward." (Source: "The Nature of Prophets and Prophecy" by John A. Tvedtnes)

Don't forget Jonah either. He prophesied that the city of Ninevah would be destroyed in 40 days. No ifs, ands, or buts. But that indeed did not happen, as I'm sure you know. The people repented and the Lord removed the impending sentence.

This isn't to imply that we should reject these prophets as false. On the contrary, we should try to better understand them. Sometimes prophecies don't come to pass because the people involved don't do what they are supposed to do, or people listen to the words of the prophets and repent.

3) A true prophet prophesies to edify God's people, counseling and advising in religious matters.

I would agree with this statement, and would add that Joseph has met that requirement.

4) A true prophet will exalt Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the Saviour of mankind.

From revelations through Joseph Smith, and this is just a very small sampling:

"And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives! For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father--That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God." D&C 76:22-24

"Therefore, in the beginning the Word was, for he was the Word, even the messenger of salvation--The light and the Redeemer of the world; the Spirit of truth, who came into the world, because the world was made by him, and in him was the life of men and the light of men." D&C 93:8-9

5) The true prophet will speak with authority:

...for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Matthew 7:29

Jesus is the supreme example, and He spoke those things which He had seen and heard from the Father (John 8:26,28,38). A prophet will likewise reveal those things with authority that have been revealed to him by God.


Joseph spoke with great power and authority, as attested by many. One such example was given by George Q. Cannon regarding one of the most powerful discourses Joseph ever gave. "A special conference was held, beginning on the 6th day of April, 1844, at which Joseph addressed a congregation of twenty thousand people. He chose for his subject the death of Elder King Follett, who had died a few days before, and he uplifted the soul of the congregation to a higher comprehension of the glory which comes after death to the faithful. His address ceased to be a mere eulogy of an individual, and became a revelation of eternal truths concerning the glories of immortality. The address occupied three hours and a half in delivery, and the multitude were held spellbound by its power. The Prophet seemed to rise above the world. It was as if the light of heaven already encircled his physical being. In imparting these glorious principles and bestowing these keys and powers upon his fellow apostles, the Prophet was filled with Godlike power. More important doctrines and ordinances were never imparted unto man. The spirit which rested upon Joseph in teaching and upon the people in listening to them…will never be forgotten by those who heard him."

6) The true prophet will bear good fruit.

I submit that Joseph Smith bore much good fruit. His teachings have affected my life profoundly. I am a much better and happier person because of the gospel which he was instrumental in restoring.

7) The true prophet, when in vision, will exhibit physical signs:
a) In vision, the prophet's eyes will be open.
b) In vision, the prophet will have no breath in him, and no strength of his/her own.


Huh?

The prophet is sustained by God whilst in vision. In summary, a prophet in vision:
i) falls down weak
ii) is raised up and strengthened by God
iii) has the eyes wide open during the vision
iv) does not breathe, even though he/she speaks.


?
I'm not sure about all of these but there certainly is evidence that Joseph fell down weak, having lost his strength. From Joseph's account of his first vision, “When I came to myself again I found myself lying on my back looking up into heaven; When the light had departed I had no strength, but soon recover[ed] in some degree.”

Regarding the visitation of the Angel Moroni to Joseph, "The physical and mental strain upon the Prophet because of these experiences of that eventful night was doubtless great; and plainly manifested in his appearance the next day. On going to the field with his father and elder brother Alvin for the purpose of harvesting their grain, he found himself so far exhausted as to be unable to proceed with his part of the work. Observing which Alvin, the elder brother, gently spurred him on by saying, “we must not slacken our hands, or we will not be able to complete our task.” The father, however, observing the weakness and occasional abstraction of Joseph, and discovering that he was very pale, thought him ill, and insisted upon his going to the house to receive attention from his mother. ..., Joseph started for home; but in attempting to get over a fence, on leaving the field, his strength entirely failed him, and he fell unconscious to the ground. The first thing of which he was conscious on coming to himself was that he was in the presence of the messenger of the night before, who was standing over him, surrounded with the same effulgent light, and calling him by name." (Source: "Comprehensive History of the Church" by B.H. Roberts)

Can the same be said for the account / witness of J.S. ?

For the most part, yes, assuming that all of what you suggest as a 'standard' is in fact true.

Latter-Day James said...

CD, thanks for that. I enjoy learning people's thoughts, feelings, experiences with the Holy Ghost or other names it may go by. I believe it all comes from the same source. Thats what is most important. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

T4x4,

*"1. Where does the animal kingdom fit into this structure in terms of spirits ?"
We do not know for sure and for the purpose of eternal salvation it is not important.

*"2. If spirits pre-existed man in order to 'progress' spiritually, how can they 'return to God' on death of the body, when LDS believe that they will enter into a spirit prison that suggests that they are seperate from God (if you literally read and believe the verse in 1 Peter 3:19)? Even if you suggest that some return to God and some to prison, that denotes a judgement, which is not the meaning of the Hebrew. As we both know, Biblical judgement is not made at the time of death. So when is this judgement made and how and why is it performed ?"
Because spirit prision is just another location separate from heaven just like earth is. Gods judgement can come any time He decides and how He decides. Why don't you tell us all about what it means in Hebrew.

*"3. What do spirits know? Do they contain the memories and knowledge from human existence? What about babies that died a cot-death that had no knowledge, human development or experience? Is this a fair system for them as undeveloped beings?"
Yes, they contain the knowledge from human existence. Babies that die a cot-death will have the necessary experiences which makes it a fair system.

*4. Can spirits see what is still happening in the world now ? Is it fair that they witness the suffering of loved ones if they can ? If they can't see anything, then why not ? Do they influence our world in any way ?"
If God wills that spirits are able to see what is still happening in the world the He can. They could see the suffering of love ones when they were on the earth and many times could do nothing to help. They may not be able to see this world but we can not see anything other than this earth unless God wills it. They can influence our world as God wills.

*"5. If you attribute the spirit world to our existence, then what part do the angels play in the heavenly order of ministering to us ? Hebrews 1 : 13,14."
Angels minister at Gods order.

*"6. What are evil spirits that are depicted throughout the Bible? Are they not demons that are from the evil angelic host of satan ? Can spirits transfer between angelic and demonic? When and how? Who controls this or when was it defined for them?"
Yes. They can transfer if God decides it is necessary. Again when God decides.

*"7. What is the point of a resurrection of a body, if there is a life form 'spirit' existence that is already immortal and can not die ?"

Because Christ and others of the New Testiment were resurrected and there are thing that a physical body can do that a spiritual body can not.

*"8. Can any pro-LDS commenter claim to have experienced or have experience of another 'spirit' (without body) from the 'spirit world' other than the one that lives inside you ? "

I have know idea.

*"9. What does the 'second' death mean (Rev20:14) ?"

Perment removal from God presence.

I did not use scriptures the bible or LDS because.....

Teranno4x4 said...

Dear Jeff,

Do you (as this is your blog site) agree with the comments of Anon immediately above ?

I for one am more confused by his answers than before I asked the questions.....

Regards in advance...

Teranno4x4

Anonymous said...

"which is not the meaning of the Hebrew."

What is not the meaning of the Hebrew?

Anonymous said...

"As we both know, Biblical judgement is not made at the time of death."


Luke 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

Anonymous said...

"What do spirits know? Do they contain the memories and knowledge from human existence?"

Maimonides describes an entirely spiritual existence for souls, which he calls "disembodied intellects," Nahmanides discusses an intensely spiritual existence on Earth, where spirituality and physicality are merged.

Anonymous said...

T4x4

That quote that you used was ill conceived to be used as a final say that Judgment happens at the time of death. How are we then to take Revelation 20:12 which happens after the resurrection? One cannot study the New Testament without finding that we are not judged and the sorted out at death to our final abode. If we die and our spirit goes to dwell with God, what happened to all that talk of the Resurrection? Are we to assume that will not happen then? I think not.

tatabug said...

T4x4,

I'm not sure what the source of your confusion is, but hopefully I can clarify things a bit for you. I will use direct quotes from LDS prophets and scriptures so you can be sure that it is in harmony with our beliefs.

"The spirits of all men, as soon as they depart from this mortal body, whether they are good or evil,...are taken home to that God who gave them life, where there is a separation, a partial judgment, and the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they expand in wisdom, where they have respite from all their troubles, and where care and sorrow do not annoy. The wicked, on the contrary, have no part nor portion in the Spirit of the Lord, and they are cast into outer darkness, being led captive, because of their own iniquity, by the evil one. And in this space between death and the resurrection of the body, the two classes of souls remain, in happiness or misery, until the time which is appointed of God that the dead shall come forth and be reunited both spirit and body, and be brought to stand before God, and be judged according to their works. This is the final judgement." Joseph F. Smith

"When you lay down this tabernacle, where are you going? Into the spiritual world...Where is the spirit world? It is right here. Do the good and evil spirits go together? Yes they do....Do they go beyond the boundaries of the organized earth? No, they do not....Can you see it with your natural eyes? No. Can you see spirits in this room? No. Suppose the Lord should touch your eyes that you might see, could you then see the spirits? Yes, as plainly as you now see bodies." Brigham Young

I do not know for sure, but I believe I read that those spirits who departed this life and live amongst us, though we can't see them, they can see us. Now whether or not they can all of the time or sometimes, I don't know either.

I have family members and friends who have encountered spirits, including evil ones. When I was about 2, I saw an angel or some sort of spirit, though I don't recall anything other than a bright light and a human form. This was confirmed when I was older and I talked to my mother about remembering seeing a bright light in my room, and she told me that after the occurrence, though I was quite small, I told her that a man was in my room.

We believe that animals, like humans have spirits in the form of their bodies (D&C 77:2). They were created spiritually before they were created physically upon this earth, just as we were. They are mortal and subject to death just as we, and the prophet Joseph Smith taught that they will be saved through the atonement of Christ. "Animals will be found in heaven, in myriad forms, from myriad worlds, enjoying eternal felicity, and praising God in languages God understands."

"Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come." D&C 130:18-19

6. What are evil spirits that are depicted throughout the Bible? Are they not demons that are from the evil angelic host of satan ? Can spirits transfer between angelic and demonic? When and how? Who controls this or when was it defined for them?"
Yes. They can transfer if God decides it is necessary. Again when God decides.


I'm not sure I understand this question, or that I agree with the answer. I do not believe that angels can transfer between angelic and demonic. They either serve God or they serve the Devil. They don't switch masters. The Devil's angels are the third of those, who in the premortal existence, rejected God's plan and chose to follow Satan.

Regarding resurrection and the premortal existence, we believe that God is not only composed of spirit, but also of physical matter. In the premortal existence, we were only spirits. Those spirits are immortal. Part of our purpose in coming to earth was to gain a physical body. When we die, we will be separated from our physical body. When we are resurrected, our spirits will reunite with our physical body to become immortal physical beings. The Satan and his angels were denied the opportunity to receive bodies because of their rebellion, which is why they try to possess ours. When Jesus cast out devils from two men, the devils were so desirous to possess a body, that they were willing to possess the bodies of swine (Matt. 8:28--33). That is how desirable it is for a disembodied spirit to possess a body, in whatever form it may be.

I hope this helps. Please don't hesitate to ask for further understanding.

Teranno4x4 said...

Dear Tatabug,

I have no confusion about my own belief.

This thread is about A mormon conspiracy'.

The contributor Anon is plaguing me with his own words ideas and interjections based on your faith that do not add up or logically equate.

The original thread for his interjection was copied from Jeff's posting 'looking past Lenin's tomb'. Comments should have been made there to keep the thread active.

I will reply to your earlier comment here and the latter one back on the 'looking past Lenin's Tomb in the area where it should be.

Please understand that the questions are mine - but none of the answers are. The questions were open ended and they are interlinked logically. This is why I was confused at face value, when the answers posted by Anon made me gulp 'uh' !

Teranno4x4 said...

Dear Tatabug,

I need more time to look at your comments and read them rather than just scanning which I am able to do now.

I will just offer you my two-penny-ha'penny on the topic of transfiguration. I am not confused with it's meaning at all.

I will state again: No mortal man except Jesus has been transfigured in this earth's history. Elijah and Moses (who were present at the transfiguration) were translated and resurrected respectfully.

I think that you do me a dis-service by claiming that I misunderstand.

Please let me explain using some key words from Matt 17 ....

2. Transfigured. Gr. metamorphooµ, “to change into another form,” or “to transform.” This was one of the occasions when divinity flashed forth through Jesus’ humanity, to meet the radiance of heaven (see Luke 2:49). It was while Jesus was praying and the disciples were asleep that the mysterious transformation took place.
The description of the experience by the three synoptic writers precludes any suggestion that it was a subjective experience on the part of the disciples, or perhaps only of Peter. It was more than a dream or hallucination due to weariness from the day’s journey and worry about Christ’s prediction of His death; it was a real experience. Many years later Peter declared that he and his fellow disciples “were eyewitnesses” of the “majesty,” “honour,” and “glory” of Jesus, and testified to having heard the voice proclaiming Jesus’ Sonship to the Father (see 2 Peter 1:16–18). Peter presents this outstanding experience as one of the great confirmations of the Christian faith. See on John 1:14.
His face. The description of Christ here recorded closely resembles that given by Daniel (see Dan. 10:5, 6) and by John (see Rev. 1:13–15). The appearance of Jesus’ face became different (see Luke 9:29) under the influence of this radiant white light. It was a luminous glory that appeared to come from within. This was the glory that Jesus had in heaven before He assumed the form of humanity (see John 17:5), and is the glory with which He will return again to this earth (see Matt. 25:31; 1 Thess. 4:16, 17). A similar glory radiated from the face of Moses as he descended from the Mount of the Law (see Ex. 34:29; 2 Cor. 3:7). When Jesus returns and bestows the gift of immorality upon His faithful ones, no doubt they also will reflect this glory (see Dan. 12:3). For other moments in the life of Christ when His divinity flashed forth see on Luke 2:48.
White as the light. Mark compares Jesus’ “raiment” to snow (see Mark 9:3). The “white raiment” of the saints (see Rev. 3:4, 5, 18; etc.) will reflect the glory of Jesus’ own garments of righteousness in the earth made new.


Transfiguration was a temporary demonstration of the divinity of Jesus in His incarnate human form as accepted and authorised of God, specificically for the benefit of the disciples of discernment - Peter, James and John. The ones who Jesus trusted with the responsibility to utilise God's divine witness in their own testimonies at the correct time when necessary.

Take the account of the appearance of Jesus in Luke 9:28-36 as well as the one that we have already discussed in Matthew.

If you compare this account to Moses own experience after being in the very presence of God on Mt Sinai, notice that it was only his face that was shining and not his whole being as with Jesus. Therefore Moses did not experience a transfiguration, but was simply still radiantly reflecting being in the presence of the glory of God.

I hope that you can better understand my non-confused standing in these passages of scripture.

BTW - I am happy to concede anything - for me there is no competition. I have in my heart what I know and give the glory to God as a result!

Thanks for your interest. I will try to reply more when I have more time available.

Teranno4x4

Teranno4x4 said...

Dear Anon,

Please read Daniel, 1 Thes and Revelation and you should come to the conclusion that there is one judgement where probation closes shortly before Jesus' second coming.

The sentence is pronounced on the righteous (including the first resurrection only for the righteous dead or 'asleep in Jesus') , which is Eternal Life.

Then there is the period of the 1000 year investigation and judging of evil angels by the saints in glory.

After the 1000 years, the new Jerusalem descends to earth, the second resurrection takes place only for the wicked this time (remember probation has closed for them) and their judgement / sentences are pronounced - second death. All evil including all wicked beings - humans and angels will suffer the second death and eternal physical / spiritual separation from God.

It's all there in those three books as plain as day.

Teranno4x4

Teranno4x4 said...

I restate for you again now Anon :

"Biblical judgement is not made at the time of death" (or sleep as described by the NT)."

tatabug said...

T4X4,

Regarding the "Looking Past Lenin's Tomb" comments, I wasn't implying that you were confused about your own beliefs. On the contrary, I believe you are quite confident of your own beliefs, and I'm sorry if I offended you. It was obvious to me that those were questions you asked regarding OUR beliefs, and you expressed that you were confused about what we believe on certain particulars. I was also aware that the answers came from anonymous, some of which I found to be incorrect, according to my understanding. You may prefer not to spend any more time on that particular thread, which is fine with me. I was only hoping to clear up any issues with regard to our doctrines to the best of my understanding of them.

Anonymous said...

T4x4 said: Way too much.

Judgment is for Christ to decide. The everlasting kingdom of the saints that Daniel is discussing is some kind of organization on the earth during the last days that will be given His authority to make judgement while on the earth. Whether or not that "kingdom" is actually here, leaves much to be discussed. I guess the Mormons could claim that, but so can the Catholics with there "endless" chain of authority dating back to Peter. Protestants can't really claim as much since they, in general, don't study their scriptures and are "led to and fro as waves of the sea."

As for Revelation and the Millineum, I guess that one will have to be a wait to see to believe. Granted I may not agree with your...ideals...but don't place me in the same boat as these...Latter Day Saints. There is a judgment prescribed to all humans, however partial, at death. Hence the "I'll see thee in Paradise" verse you quoted. But that didn't mean the thief was suddenly forgiven and was going to "heaven". At least the Mormons and the Catholics have, to some degree, a type of doctrine stating that after death, or "while asleep", there is a waiting period until the Resurrection and the final judgment whether it be Purgatory or Spirit World, at least there is an understanding of the Bible, taken from the Bible that there is at least a waiting period before the Finale.

I don't apologize if I come off to obtuse and obtrusive for there is no need. The attacks aren't personal, unless you choose to make them personal.

As far as Mormon conspiracies go, I'd like to see more about real conspiracies, ie the Granite Vaults of endless genealogy, or the idea of blood atonements that some LDS performed back in the old days, and I wouldn't be surprised to know that they still go on somewhere in Mormondom, etc.

tatabug said...

Anonymous @ 7:13,

I am confused as to your identity, since we have several anonymouses floating around here which makes it difficult to distinguish who's who. Are you the same anonymous who answered the numbered questions yesterday which were asked by Teranno4x4 which caused him confusion? Or are you a new anonymous?

To all of these anonymous posters, it has been asked of you before by several others to please take up a name. It really is quite simple and you can still remain anonymous, but at least we can determine which anonymous poster is which. You don't even have to log in or sign in officially. All you have to do is click on the "nickname" category above the "anonymous" category. Then, you just add any name or nonsensical title you wish. Just please be sure to use the same one each time so that we know which anonymous person we are talking to. You could call yourself "Spongebob," or "Q," or "1 of 9," or "Forrest Gump," or "Git-R-Done" or "ABC123," or even "anonymous 21" for all I care. Or if you don't want to go to that trouble, continue to click on "anonymous" and then give us your nickname at the end of your comment. Now is that too much to ask? I for one am about fed up with it and will likely discontinue acknowledging any who choose to post anonymously without distinguishing themselves from other anonymous posters. It is frankly discourteous and cowardly to engage in a conversation that goes beyond one random comment without distinguishing yourself in some way, regardless of if you are LDS or not. Hopefully, I haven't offended any anonymous poster, and maybe I am overreacting, but I hope I have gotten your attention. I am glad you want to be a part of the conversation, but please identify yourself to help avoid confusion and misunderstanding.

Anonymous1 said...

I am not the one that said all of those...quasi-spiritual things. No I am not the man. Does this help?

Anonymous1 said...

BTW, it's not cowardly to engage in conversation and not state who one is. If you are not trying to offend, then don't state such things and then try to say that you are not trying to offend.

Anonymous1 said...

And one more thing, I don't care how you feel or how much time you seem to like to waste ranting and raving about every anon posting. If you choose not to say anything to the random anon postings, I could care less. If you are fed up, go study your Scriptures and maybe read about "Blessed are ye, if ye are not offended in me." Some of us, like being anon because it gives us the freedom to say as we please, within the guidelines set by the Administrator, ie Jeff, and for others out there, it gives us the freedom to mess with you and to play the advocate from time to time without the meaningless, condescending, "Christian" attitude with the "i don't mean to offend you Tatabug, or I am not trying to offend you Terrano", and all of that "trying not to offend" shlock. Christ offended many and never asked to be forgiven for being such. He was warm, compassionate, and bold, all at the same time. So, if you are fed up, with all of the anons, go pray to your God and ask him to give you patience, compassion and understanding for us anons. I hope I didn't offend you.

tatabug said...

Thank you very much "Anonymous1." That helps greatly.

You may not agree with me that it isn't cowardly, but I will continue to disagree. What other purpose is there to remain anonymous? If you have a good reason, I would really like to know.

Read my words more carefully. I did not say I was TRYING not to offend. To say that I was trying would imply that I had carefully planned my words so as to be as non-offensive as possible. That wasn't the case, so I opted to only HOPE that I didn't offend. There's a difference, however subtle.

But I should apologize to you if you are a new anonymous, because I didn't intend direct my harsh words to those who haven't been asked before to take up a name of some sort. Please understand, if you are new to these discussions, that they can become very tedious at times, and trying to differentiate between anonymous posters only adds confusion to the mix.

tatabug said...

Anonymous1,

As I was posting my previous comment, I saw that you had posted your most recent comment, and it rather proved my point about being cowardly. You like the freedom of remaining anonmymous so you can do and say whatever you want without retribution. That is a sure sign of a coward. Given that, I take back my apology to you, which was intended sincerely, because you have proven that your intent is to engage in childish games, which I equate with dishonesty.

Anonymous 1 said...

And once again I could care less what you think and care less about your apology, since they are just words.

You prove nothing, except that your own pride gets in the way of your own understanding, since you take the bait so easily in these "childish games".

Cheers,

Latter-Day James said...

Wow anonymous1 I am waiting for you to start sticking out your tongue or some other childish thing. You have already performed its equal in the last few posts. I guess you didn't notice that this is a board where people try (keyword here is try) to have somewhat civil conversation where we discuss religious issues and ideas led by Jeff. I hope you have had fun. ...and no I don't care if you care what I have said. Another thing, tatabug, terrano, nm and others are exhibiting Christlike behavior when expressing their hope of not offending. It is called "being polite". This, if you need translation, is a Christlike behavior. The whole point of mormantiy or a major portion involves Christ since He is the center of the LDS Church. Is this going to help at all with your behavioral issues? I doubt it, but hey, I can't keep my big mouth shut. Sorry Jeff.

Aaron Glanfield said...

Interesting discussion. I would like to say, aside all criticism, that as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, we do believe in modern day revelation.
The writings in the Bible have been debated about ever since the prophets began writing it.
You see what we're doing here? Debate after debate about what is contained in the Bible will never end. That is why we need the Book of Mormon, to set aside all the arguments, and to bring to oneness the true doctrines of God. The Bible, combined with the Book of Mormon proves what is true doctrine, and what isn't.
I am able to debate the Bible, pulling out scripture after scripture to prove my point, but that ultimately leads to nowhere. But because I do know that God gives revelation to men today, not just to prophets but to us as well, I can say that I know that God has revealed to me the truthfulness of the Godhead, and the revelations given through His ancient prophets, as well as His modern day prophets.
The only thing we invite the world to do is to find out for themselves. But until this happens, people will bring out their objectives against our faith. John 7:17, "If any man will do his will, he shall KNOW of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." Even Jesus said "do what I say, and you'll know that it's of God." To all reading, I would invite with the same challenge, read the Book of Mormon, with an open heart, and pray about it in humility, believing that you'll receive an answer, and you too will know that it is of God, and ultimately that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. He is only a continuation of the way God has always revealed His word.

Teranno4x4 said...

Dear Aaron Glanfield,

Unfortunately, I am not a member of the LDS denomination, but as a Bible believing Christian I find some of your comments difficult to perceive. I know that this is a pro-LDS site, but please bear with me.

Your comments can only be fully appreciated, firstly if one accepts the BOM as an authentic message from God and secondly if the accounts circulating the delivery of the message are also attributed to God.

You would give a resaounding positive answer to both questions, I know that in advance. Exactly the same for all other like members that comment here. But there are some of us Christians who do beg to differ in belief and who do want to find out some of the reasons as to 'why'?

The Bible is so consise in it's Gospel message and that my friend is something that the BOM just can not compete with. In the Bible you have the four accounts of the literal Gospel, which record Jesus' life, words, ministry and sacrifice for us all. Can the same be mirrored by the BOM ? My findings to date are not. So without the Bible where does that leave mankind?

You stated that Jesus said "do what I say, and you'll know that it's of God." You suggest to carry on and read the BOM. This is not what Jesus said. He said " do what I say " ! Where can you read what Jesus says - in the Bible.

This is why there is the difficulty for me in understanding why you have such a high emphasis on the guidance of Joseph Smith and the BOM, when ultimately it is Jesus and His life ministry, sacrificial death and Resurrection that will save us. Where can you find all of this - in the Bible !

I do not dispute the possibility for a modern-day prophet or modern-day revelations that serve to enhance scripture, but to offer a complete 'alternative' or 'another testament' is something that I am not comprehending so I can not accept either the BOM or J.S. as either.

Appreciatively in opposition,

Teranno4x4

Latter-Day James said...

Hello Teranno,

As a bible-believing Christian myself I have to make a few comments (answers?)to your comments.

"The Bible is so consise in it's Gospel message and that my friend is something that the BOM just can not compete with. In the Bible you have the four accounts of the literal Gospel, which record Jesus' life, words, ministry and sacrifice for us all. Can the same be mirrored by the BOM ? My findings to date are not. So without the Bible where does that leave mankind?"

The subtitle on the front of The Book of Mormon reads Another Testament of Jesus Christ. If it reads as such then it must be alluding to one that is also a testament of Jesus Christ. That of course is the Bible. I believe the BOM adds to the truthfulness of the Bible. You will also find Christ in the BOM. He visits people of the Americas. Jesus Christ states in John 10:16. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd. We believe He is talking about those that the BOM discusses within its pages. In 3rd Nephi, we see that Christ does visit them and shares with them the Gospel as well.

"You stated that Jesus said "do what I say, and you'll know that it's of God." You suggest to carry on and read the BOM. This is not what Jesus said. He said " do what I say " ! Where can you read what Jesus says - in the Bible."

We read what Jesus said in the Bible AND in the BOM. He spoke through his prophets in the Bible and the BOM as he does this day with modern day prophets.

"This is why there is the difficulty for me in understanding why you have such a high emphasis on the guidance of Joseph Smith and the BOM, when ultimately it is Jesus and His life ministry, sacrificial death and Resurrection that will save us. Where can you find all of this - in the Bible !"

The LDS Church teaches all of these things. The emphasis is on the teachings of the Bible, BOM, and modern day prophets.

"I do not dispute the possibility for a modern-day prophet or modern-day revelations that serve to enhance scripture, but to offer a complete 'alternative' or 'another testament' is something that I am not comprehending so I can not accept either the BOM or J.S. as either."

There is no alternative to the Bible. Like you said, there is "another testament".

We use them in conjunction. One with the other. My LDS scriptures I carry to church every Sunday include both the King James version of the Bible and the BOM.

Teranno4x4 said...

And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

Why does this verse have to apply to Jesus visiting people in the Americas?

Can it not apply to the unfallen worlds which is why the parable of the lost sheep can apply to our world complete and not just one of the continents. Why America and not Australasia? Why not Europe or Africa?

To force a doctrine important to a whole belief system based on a single verse is a dangerous practice and not one that I condone for myself.

Talking of other worlds, the Bible elsewhere in the NT discusses this concept too, so this interpretation for this parable is not alone.

The parable can also apply to a 'lost' individual and be read in conjunction with the verse in Rev. 'Behold I stand at the door and knock....' .

I am sorry but I just do not see an America connection.

Teranno4x4

Latter-Day James said...

Teranno,

It is easy to see the American or Americas connection. Read 3rd Nephi of the BOM. There it shows the story of Jesus coming to visit and preach.

This doesn't mean that He did not visit Australia, Asia, Europe, Africa, New Zealand, members of the lost tribes of Israel and on and on. Maybe he visited more people. Maybe He visited those on other planets. I tend to think He visited those who believed in Him. But I am not quite sure. If they were His sheep I would think they were His followers.

Teranno4x4 said...

Dear LD James,

This is where the theology becomes interesting.

For a manuscript penned as a historical document sometime in the 1800's compared to a parable of Jesus contained in the Bible - if a world or a planet containing other beings is not lost, then why go to find them when you can access them anytime?

This is the key to the understanding. Jesus came to save us from our 'lost' status. He even used the analogy of wolves coming in after He had gone to ravage the flock. This is why the parable of Him as our shepherd has such importance in a universal and also on a personal level, that I can still not see how (in particular) it can be applied to the Americas or anywhere else on our earth to that matter.

Do you see my point? Jesus was not referring to the BoM prophetically when he said it or to how you interpret this scripture, because you can only arrive to your level of understanding after accepting the BOM. And then - you place the emphasis of the Americas story over the salvation of our 'lost' planet which is the true meaning.

Sorry I still don't get it.

dave d said...

T4X4:

Several comments ago you said that Moses was resurrected on the mount when Jesus was transfigured. Was this a typo? If not, what do you make of the passage in 1 Cor. 15:20-23 where it states that Christ is the first to be resurrected (firstfruits)? At the time when Jesus was transfigured, he had not yet been resurrected.

I think the unlost planet theory is an interesting extrapolation from the Bible. How did you get to it?

Also, why not visit America? I don't see anything that precludes Jesus from visiting wherever He chooses. So why not the Americas? It doesn't have to be the Americas exclusively either - in fact the Book of Mormon states and implies in many passages that there are others in other parts to the world that He visited too (whose records we apparently do not yet have).

Anonymous said...

I love how quick Christians are willing to put limits on God.

passer by said...

Love this conversation but it's going on to nothing... Too bad T4x4 seems not convinced of a God that is perfect..

Latter-Day James said...

Teranno, surely you don't believe that Christ only had followers among the people around that part of the world exclusively? God had several prophets in the Bible prior to the birth of Jesus Christ, but these were recorded in the Bible because that is the area in which the records that were converted into the Bible came from.

People lived across the globe, most likely millions, outside of that region. Why would He not be reaching out to them prior to His birth?

We believe that the Book of Mormon, similar to the Bible, was converted from ancient records into a book. But these records were from people of a different region. And as someone just stated, there may be more from other regions. Perhaps even with stories of Christ's visit after His resurrection.

Why is this impossible to believe? Not even a possibility? I believe this Scripture to be of God. The same God that is worshiped in the Bible.

Teranno4x4 said...

Dear all recent commenters,

I hope to address all your comments in one....

Dear Dave D :

Yes I did - no typo and I thought that I had explained the reason why too! Maybe this can assist you with some further understanding...

First begotten. Gr. proµtotokos, “firstborn” (see on Matt. 1:25; Rom. 8:29; cf. on John 1:14).
Though Jesus was not the first to rise from the dead in point of time, He may be regarded as first in the sense that all others resurrected before and after Him gained their freedom from the bonds of death only by virtue of His triumph over the grave. His power to lay down His life and to take it again (John 10:18) sets Him apart from all other men ever to come forth from the grave, and characterizes Him as the source of all life (see Rom. 14:9; 1 Cor. 15:12–23; see on John 1:4, 7–9). This title, with the one that follows, reflects the thought of Ps. 89:27.


Dear Passer by - I believe in a God that is Almighty, omnipotent, supreme and perfect in all His ways. Can I be any clearer?

Dear Anon - I will NEVER restrict the powers of God. Why because that is exactly what I beieve in through my FAITH.

Dear LD James - I could believe in your comment more, if there were any historical evidence for the worship of Jesus Christ in the Americas before the pilgrim fathers set foot there. I see idol worship, sun worship, human sacrifice and many other pagan practices not dis-similar to the countries surrounding Israel BC (historically speaking). Where is the history that is discovered incorrect ?

The rest, my friend is down to personal conscience and conviction. For me - I just don't see things as you do. That is not me limiting God, it is practically evaluating and praying about the evidence presented. The answers that I have received are that your whole system of belief is not from God. That is my opinion and it is not stated to upset, belittle or rebuke in any way.

Thoughtfully,

Teranno4x4

Anonymous said...

"God had several prophets in the Bible prior to the birth of Jesus Christ, but these were recorded in the Bible because that is the area in which the records that were converted into the Bible came from. Why is this impossible to believe? Not even a possibility? "

Because it is the old clever ploy. If it is found in the Bible then Joseph Smith plagiarized it but if it is not in the bible then he just made it up. Until Teranno is willing to reject the idea that only those that except Jesus Christ in this life will be saved and except the idea that Christ will preach the gospel to everyone, so they can except it before they are judged, can he make the paradigm shift. Only thought prayer. Trying to study your way though it will only cause a suspension of disbelief.

There is a good book "Christ walked the Americas." I know it is not fact but these stories can be found all around the world. It is much like the bible, just stories written down and passed around. But only through prayer can some one know for sure.

Anonymous said...

"I could believe in your comment more, if there were any historical evidence for the worship of Jesus Christ in the Americas before the pilgrim fathers set foot there."



"He Walked Americas" by Taylor Hansen.


http://www.amazon.com/He-Walked-Americas-Taylor-Hansen/dp/0964499703

Here again, no amount of proof will prove the bible or Christ in America. Only by prayer, but if it is a prayer without the commitment to give up every thing to join the Restored Church then God will most likely not answer you.

Anonymous said...

"That is my opinion and it is not stated to upset, belittle or rebuke in any way."

Most of the time we are not upset, feel belittled or rebuked but your same question, as with other people, keep coming up. If you have prayed the God has given you the answer that you are not ready to except the Restoration and should stay where you are working in faith.

Anonymous said...

"Though Jesus was not the first to rise from the dead in point of time, He may be regarded as first in the sense that all others resurrected before and after Him gained their freedom from the bonds of death only by virtue of His triumph over the grave. His power to lay down His life and to take it again (John 10:18) sets Him apart from all other men ever to come forth from the grave, and characterizes Him as the source of all life (see Rom. 14:9; 1 Cor. 15:12–23; see on John 1:4, 7–9). This title, with the one that follows, reflects the thought of Ps. 89:27"


I have no idea how you got that Moses was resurrected before Christ from this or the Bible. You must be using other bible or you are the strangest Christian I have ever heard of.

Teranno4x4 said...

Hi Anon,

Climb down off your high horse and stop this deliberate confrontational exercise. You even upset people in your own denomination with your attitude to commenting.

READ MY COMMENTS - I STATED THAT I "EVALUATE AND PRAY". What more do I need to say.

Your accusations of how I live my life lends me to think that you actually know who I am, what makes me tick and what drives me forward - but then again I know that you derogatory remarks are pure guesswork. Keep trying - in your loving way!

As you have been reminded politely before - we are trying to discuss religious and topical items, not the intricacies of my own beliefs. Unless of course you doubt your own ?

Do the Bible texts quoted look like a different Bible to you - have you actually read the verses? It is called perception and understanding - not taking literal meaning. Otherwise with all the parables, you would be searching for REAL historical characters.

Oh dear - I must be strange then with blue skin and yellow hair - but funnily enough still a devout Christian ... :) BTW, I don't think any less of you. Mis-aligned , but still a child of God.

Teranno4x4

Anonymous said...

Just asking the question about how "Moses was resurrected before Christ?"

Thanks for helping me back up on my high horse. Sorry did not mean to hurt your feeling. Did not mean it as a slam. Just kidding and all that good stuff.

dave d said...

T4x4

Thanks for your reply about Moses on the mount with Jesus. If I remember right, you don't believe in the physical existence of the soul between death and resurrection and that we are basically recreated by God at the resurrection. Am I right? The only other people I have run into that believe that are the Jehovah's Witnesses. Yet they do believe that, chronologically, Christ was the first to be resurrected (and I asked one of them the same question I asked you). You are the first I have met that does not believe that Christ is the firstfruits or firstborn from the grave in a chronoligical sense.

I guess this just highlights how two different people can arrive at vastly different conclusions based on the interpretation of meanings of words mixed with their own preconceived ideas. And both can claim to be consistent in their interpretation. I tend to think that the LDS interpret the Bible in a more literal sense than most, but others might disagree....

Teranno4x4 said...

Dear Dave,

This discussion and your observation about Moses is quite an interesting one.

Did Moses live out his life? I hope that we would agree - yes.

Did Moses Die ? Well the Bible says that he did - Deut 34 : 5 So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD.

So we can deduce that he was not translated and neither did he go to a Spirit World.

How can I deduce this. We as you rightly stated I believe in the concept of sleep (unconciousness), where life energy provided by God goes back to God at death. The Hebrew for this is ruach.

Maybe you could look at the meaning of the Hebrew words 'Ruach' and also 'Nephesh' to understand more the Bible verses where they are used (in the original language)

I also believe (as you rightly stated) that God reprovides the (same) body for those who were dead, but immortalised at the second coming for those faithful followers chosen by Jesus in the judgement. Those still alive - the Bible says will be changed (mortal to immortal) 'in the twinkling of an eye'.

You see there is the difficulty of both the chronological resurrection of Moses (obviously before the Transfiguration of Jesus) and also the fact that he was not in any spirit after death.

Why ? - when we read Jude verse 9, (the whole book discussing wonderful topics) we can see that the devil wanted the bones of Moses. What would the bones do for him if the spirit was away and gone to some spirit world ? The importance here is that any remains of Moses were still at rest in the ground (asleep) and the devil wanted to 'illegally' (if I can be inventive) assume the controlled destiny of one of God's dearest servants, for one of his own.

So if God decided to rescue Moses in this situation (through Michael - who I believe is Jesus) with a resurrection to depict the group of the faithful that die before seeing Jesus coming back again in all His glory, then of course he would then be at the Transfiguration having received His reward.

His reward is only justified in the 'firstborn' of the resurrection (maybe if you substitute firstborn with principal or pinnacle then you get the better image of how I understand firstborn). If Jesus had succumbed to temptation and sin, the whole plan of redemption would have failed and Moses would have lost his right to eternal life.

That is how much importance was on Jesus and why what happened on the mount of transfigutation, re-energised His mission and focus to succeed.

I hope that this helps and gives a better insight.

Lastly - no - I am not a JW.

Greetings,

Teranno4x4

Teranno4x4 said...

From the last comment made, do you really think that my belief is pre-conceived and not Bible based ?

Teranno4x4

Anonymous said...

T4x4, said:

"From the last comment made, do you really think that my belief is pre-conceived and not Bible based ?"

No, I was just looking for more informantion on how you came to this understanding because we have something like this in the LDS church from Joseph Smith.




Moses in Mormon thought
Main article: Book of Moses
Members of the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also called Mormons) generally view Moses in the same way that other Christians do. However, in addition to accepting the Biblical account of Moses, Mormons include the Book of Moses as part of their scriptural canon.[57] This book is believed to be the translated writings of Moses, and is included in the LDS Church's Pearl of Great Price.[58] Latter-day Saints are also unique in believing that Moses was taken to heaven without having tasted death (translated). In addition, Joseph Smith, Jr. and Oliver Cowdery stated that on April 3, 1836, Moses appeared to them in the Kirtland Temple in a glorified, immortal, physical form and bestowed upon them the "keys of the gathering of Israel from the four parts of the earth, and the leading of the ten tribes from the land of the north." [59]

Teranno4x4 said...

Dear Anon,

If you believe this then you are holding to a belief that is in direct contradiction to the teaching of the Bible in Deuteronomy and Jude. OT and NT confirm the death and inate body of Moses lying in the grave.

Remember the first death is only 'sleep'. The second death is eternal seperation in terms of real death and being no more. This is the death that Jesus returned from in His resurrection and had victory over. 1 Cor 15:55-57 -
55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
57But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

In this aspect Jesus is also the first and the only one, because He tasted the second death so that we as His rightful heirs to the kingdom (Christians) should not ever have to.

Teranno4x4

Anonymous said...

Matthew 27:53

"They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus' resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people."

Of course if you disreguard this scripture.

Anonymous said...

Mat 27:52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,


Mat 27:53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

Teranno4x4 said...

Dear Anon,

I DO regard these verses.

Why because they speak of exactly how things happened.

Jesus was among the 'firstfurits' - notice the plural, but I still refer to my earlier comments on this.

We were discussing regarding Moses, but I can examine your 'new' supported evidence from the verses in Matthew.

There is one important key word in verse 53 which I type in bold for you to see more clearly :
Mat 27:53 And came out of the graves AFTER his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

The Bible is quite clear about this.

Teranno4x4

dave d said...

Terrano4x4:

I wouldn't say your beliefs are not bible based at all. In fact, you have shown that you try very hard to understand and adhere to the bible. But I would think it is disingenuous of anyone, including myself, to not realize that our understanding is tainted by our worldview and experiences. We bring certain things to the table when we study any subject. There is also a beauty in that because as we progress through life, our interpretations that we receive through the Spirit or our own reasoning are somewhat a product of our current situation and needs.

I do find it interesting to understand better what you believe and I see that it is very well reasoned out and consistent. My understanding is different on a few points (but the same on many) because I have my own background and worldview which I bring to the table. So on certain points, we read the bible differently, but we both have well reasoned and consistent understandings. I hope you will concede that.

Anonymous said...

"If you believe this then you are holding to a belief that is in direct contradiction to the teaching of the Bible in Deuteronomy and Jude. OT and NT confirm the death and inate body of Moses lying in the grave."

Yes, we have stated that many times. We believe in modern revelation and this help correct any thing that might have been added or lost in the scriptures. Also more ideas that are not found in the bible.

Anonymous said...

"The Watchtower assertion: Jesus was, in his pre-human existence, Michael the archangel. After his ascension into heaven, he again took up his name “Michael”. All following scripture citations are from the New World Translation, copyright 1961"

Anonymous said...

"So if God decided to rescue Moses in this situation (through Michael - who I believe is Jesus) with a resurrection to depict the group of the faithful that die before seeing Jesus coming back again in all His glory, then of course he would then be at the Transfiguration having received His reward."

This why we say that Moses was transfigured and not resurrected is because Christ was the first to be resurrected.

Anonymous said...

Seventh-day Adventists teaches that Jesus is Michael the Archangel, but Ellen White said He was Michael.

Anonymous said...

Seventh-day Adventists teaches that Jesus is Michael the Archangel, but Ellen White said He was Michael.

Anonymous said...

Adventists believe that when you die you go into the grave, ... Jesus also refers to death as sleep, so we sleep in the grave to await the coming of Jesus.

Bruce said...

Honestly, reading all of this would turn you atheist! What neither party will admit is that no religion can be 100% correct and true - it is not possible, otherwise it means that other religions are false. If LSD followers truly believe the Book of Mormon is divinely inspired then old world Christians are going to say that's hokum. Similarly, LSD people infer the bible is not the last word of God and that living prophets make up for its inadequacies, this means they think old world Christians are falling short and probably totally wrong too.

Either way, you can all argue black is white with each other, and although it may seem like a good old theological natter, it's actually nothing more than 'my religion is less rubbish than yours'

There isn't a religion that truly teaches all religions are equally valid, all have a Unique Selling Point, and it's called Salvation - if we don't buy it we're all toast, I presume?

Which means someone's totally wrong or we are indeed all toast, with no exceptions.

Anonymous said...

"Which means someone's totally wrong or we are indeed all toast, with no exceptions."

Whats your point? Even Christ said some people were totally wrong. There can be those that is correct and have the true priesthood such as the Catholic church. And everyone else is toast.

Teranno4x4 said...

Dear Dave D,

I can fully appreciate where you are coming from, since I am one of the few / many (you pick the definition) of 'many prvious generation' Christians who decided to opt out of Christianity to pursue weekend activities in the name of sports and recreation (what a choice of word)!

Having come back to Christianity mainly due to arriving at the perceived 'crossroads' in my life, I made sure that I viewed it from a totally unpolluted viewpoint without any preconceived ideas or 'worldviews'.

So whilst I can appreciate your comment as one that I would have conceded in my youth being within a denomination, I now would beg to differ.

Reason - when we give our life to Jesus in the sense of 'conversion', the whole process of repentance, baptism, justification and daily sanctification is one that is Holy Spirit led. We achieve nothing ourselves in this regard apart from emptying ourselves of our former selves and allowing the Spirit to 'mould' our new characters. This is what Jesus was refering to with his comment "I am the potter, thou art the clay'.

So if we empty ourselves in order for the Spirit to take up 100% of our very being, then what preconceptions can we bring to the table ? Nada, because the Spirit leads.

This is exactly the experience of Saul / Paul. Can you see any of his worldview preconceptions being brought to the table in any of his letters in the NT? All I see is a complete 180 degree u-turn.

The unfortunate situation for you is that you did not know me before in order to judge my own preconceived worldviews. I can assure you that some of them were quite extreme !

Teranno4x4

Teranno4x4 said...

Dear Bruce,

Only if one has atheistic leanings to start off with !

Interpretation of the Bible is a wonderful thing as we all have the power to make our own choices.

Those choices can lead to right or wrong and can harbour Truth or error.

Such is the tightrope and fine line due to corruption and deception that investigation is necessary for a deep foundation in Jesus. He ultimately is the source of our salvation and in Him only can be found the Truth.

Not once have I stated, implied or resoned that the LDS faith is ultimately rubbish. Faith is a wonderfully personal attribute and the Holy Spirit leads in an even more astounding way. I will sensitively oppose, but not 'rubbish'. Such is the delight of wisdom, counsel and understanding!

Seeing as Jesus will finally decide who will be and who will not be toast, why not just follow Him. What is there to lose?

Teranno4x4

kaya pala said...

"Interpretation of the Bible is a wonderful thing as we all have the power to make our own choices.

Those choices can lead to right or wrong and can harbour Truth or error."

Thank you for this thought, now I understand why....

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

Dear Kaya Pala,

I am not claiming that I interpret the Bible myself - maybe the choice of words here was not the best to make myself understood (if you are attempting to be critical).

Maybe a better word to use would be 'Discernment' or even better, 'Comprehension'.

I confirm that I interpret nothing other than either you or I can read the passages.

The rest is up to us to decide. This is the power of choice that I was referring to exactly.

I apologise if you read my comment out of context and took a different slant.

Regards,

Teranno4x4

Anonymous said...

.... I haven't read what you said that Jeff removed there, but I thank You for your reply, I might only have said that because as I understand of what a choice is, there is something that leads us to such a choice, and there are as you said it "choices can lead to right or wrong and can harbour Truth or error." And that would mean that the scriptures can lead you to "truth or error" depending on the reasons why you read or why you study them and also why you would want to preach or talk about them or even your comprehension or grammar understanding, and I think that I got a little excited about the word ERROR because that would mean that my or any other man's understanding is never sufficient to explain the scriptures... and that would really be something that would need Revelation, specially today? I am an observer, and am not a native to the English language and am sorry if you felt insulted of what I said... I do not try to belong myself to any religious group but as I understand the teachings of this "Mormons" I think they got a lot of sense there... thank you T4X4... sincerely, Kaya Pala

Teranno4x4 said...

Dear Kaya Pala,

I removed the comment because it wasn't grammatically correct the first time of posting. (I still missed a word out of one sentence after checking it through).

This highlights what happens when we try to interpret for ourselves and this is why we can easily be led into truth or error.

I liked your reply and I can see that in that sense we are in agreement. I have been criticised heavily previously for my considered 'staunch' belief in the Bible teachings, so that is why I neded to check to see that my comment was accepted graciously and not mis-taken out of it's intended meaning.

I didn't take any insults - I was just trying to check which direction your comment was coming from. Thanks for clarifying.

Out of the many denominations, I do have a high respect for members of the LDS faith. Mostly their intentions are noble and their lifestyles wouldn't go un-noticed if emulated by many people living in a state of debauchery around the world. It would certainly improve in many areas.

Having said that, there is a health message that is second to none in the world and personally speaking I DO disagree with the doctrines based on Joseph Smith, his interpretations and teachings and the BoM. BUT I still have the utmost respect for members of the faith individually!

I try to keep my own guidance under the watchful promptings of the Holy Spirit, which I do not believe would lead me down the wrong path.

Have you considered that we have Revelation today - it is a book in the Bible. One of the early verses in the book states : "Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand."

Considering that this book uses many references from the OT and John's personal viewpoint of the Spirit's leading to confirm the prophecies and offer weight to the testimony, should we not read to understand? If we do read it (with prayer and supplication), this verse also explains what will happen to us - we will be blessed. By who ?

I also was non-denominational, like you for a number of years. I am convinced that there are many more like you in the world. For me it is way more important to have the foundational relationship on a very personal level with God, so that a denomination is not able to pollute or take this away from you. This is the one aspect that unites all martyrs who have been put to death for the God that they were vindicating. The church was designed to have many aspects and offer many roles, but it's one purpose was for like-minded unity in Jesus. If you do (at some time) decide to join a church, please do ensure that your faith is built on the Rock !

Thanks again for your comment.

Teranno4x4

dave d said...

T4X4:

I would still beg to differ - there are ALWAYS preconceptions that we bring to the table. I have felt the “Aha!” moments of the Spirit teaching me directly – when something suddenly becomes so clear that you wonder what you were ever questioning. I too seek to understand things as they really were, as they really are, and as they really will be. But I do not claim to be inerrant in my understanding – nor complete for that matter.

You mentioned Saul/Paul as one who was emptied of all preconceptions and only had a clear view (as God sees?). What about Peter who obviously was filled with the Spirit and knew by revelation that Jesus was the Christ? He still brought earlier (and maybe even true) understandings to the table with regard to the new revelation about preaching to the Gentiles. Even though he was the one who had the revelation and therefore should have known better, Paul still took him to task on apparently favoring those of the circumcision. Of course, we don’t have Peter’s side of the story, so we don’t know if he was also following the Spirit in that case – providing the opportunity for someone to take the first baby-steps towards accepting the Gospel by being careful of the current cultural climate instead of alienating that person. But there was obviously conflict so it would be hard to say that both were emptied of their own ideas in this case. If they were emptied of their own ideas, would they not become puppets? I think God lets us move forward with our own shortcomings and little by little we learn and change and are molded by the Master. But for now, we “see through a glass darkly”.

Andrew Miller said...

I found this very insightful. Over on a political blog some folk were attacking Romney on the basis of him being Mormon. One poster responded:

"Note to the idiots who are continuing to attack Romney with his religious beliefs. Your motives are transparent. I could take on any religion, including your own, and show you all kinds of strange beliefs that would make you look stupid in front of others. Ease up you myopic automatons. You’re attitude isn’t very much like the man you claim as your savior. Instead you look more like the snobby pharisees who didn’t care much for Christ."

Amen to that! Even if you don't think Romney is a great candidate, surely an honest person wouldn't oppose him on the basis of his religion.

Teranno4x4 said...

Dear Dave D,

I guessed that you may still beg to differ. I can accept your viewpoint, even though I see it slightly differently.

I was wondering if you could highlight for me any instances where Paul has written with any pre-conceived ideas or ideals in any of his NT writings, to support your standpoint? The reason that I selected Paul is that he had a complete u-turn from his phariseeical background to one of following Jesus.

The example of Paul, Peter and the subject of circuscision that you provide is intriguing, especially as this is one key evidence of the importance of 'ceremonial law' for the early church and why this needs to be completely separated from the unchangable 10 Commandment 'Eternal / Royal law'. The ceremonial law is the one that was 'nailed to the cross' , whereas the 10 Commandment law still stands effective today.

If you read into the prophecies of Daniel, especially ch 9:27 you will notice that this Messianic prophecy points specifically to the baptism, ministry and ultimate sacrifice of Jesus. But the verse talks about 1 week, which in the day for a year principal, means that Jesus would have been cut off after 3.5 days (midst of the week) or 3.5 years in realistic time. This prophecy was spot on in terms of accuracy. Well what about the remaining 3.5 years that equate for the second half of the prophetic week ? Well, this relates to the time where the gospel was intended to be preached to the Jews exclusively and this time period also finished fairly accurately with the stoning of Stephen.

This was the launchpad for the official rejection of the message by the Jewish authorities and subsequent release of the Gospel to the Gentiles. This is how Paul was correctly led by the Spirit in terms of understanding this calling.

If they were emptied of their own ideas, would they not become puppets? Good question - although the answer is to be found again in the Spirit. As Christians we desire to be like Jesus. We have no desire to be Jesus, question or experience his position, title and authority in the Godhead. BUT, we want to assume His character for ourselves. This is only possible if we allow the Spirit to lead. Do we learn of our own conscience - or does the Spirit lead and we follow ?

God does not dictate or coerce us in any way - all choices are of our own accord. This is our free-will. The Spirit prompts us to follow His divine calling. We then respond - or go the other way. We can do that , but the Spirit never gives up on us until we absolutely refuse to come to repentance against our substituted desire to sin. This is defined as 'blasphemy against the Holy Spirit' and leads to the unpardonable sin.

Such a choice is attributable to all our lives and will form a major part of who we decide to be. Robots we aren't, but we will choose whose side we prefer to listen to and camp. Jesus or satan. There is no in-between.

Kind regards,

Teranno4x4

dave d said...

Terrano4x4,

The question of Paul and his preconceptions presents difficulties for me for a few reasons. His writings make up the bulk of the New Testament and are the basis for much of what we consider Christian doctrine today. In other words, the worldview of Paul had a strong influence on the future of Christianity. Now, whether that worldview was 100% dictated by God or if there were some remnants of Paul’s own opinions based on former experiences may be debated. I do believe the Bible, including Paul’s doctrinal writings, to be scripture inspired by God, but written down by humans in their own language. But, there are obviously some parts of Paul’s letters that weren’t inspired and were not written to portray any heavenly inspiration (as when he asks Timothy to bring his cloke in 2 Timothy 4:13). There are also some counsels of Paul regarding marriage (1 Cor. 7) and the role of women (1 Cor. 11) for which we are either missing the context or which most of Christianity largely ignores and may just be the opinion of Paul.

Having said that, I believe apostles to be entitled to revelation and their role is to keep the doctrine pure. But they are also imperfect men and I put no label of infallibility on them. They have disagreements among themselves from time to time as witnessed by the argument between Peter and Paul, because they are still entitled to their own opinions and are not always speaking prophetically.

We, as Christians, have an ideal of giving our will over to God and responding to the prompting of His Spirit, as you have said. But I don’t think any of us does that perfectly. I don’t believe that we are asked to be a puppet either, but to bring our will into harmony with God’s will by our own choices. By doing so, we will see the beautiful thing our life becomes.

Your citation of Daniel’s prophecies is interesting. Combining the numerology in Daniel and Revelations, I have seen a number of different interpretations. I think your citing of the 70 weeks prophecy has a fairly standard interpretation though, with which I agree (although the mortal ministry of Christ lasted only 3 years, not 3 1/2 – just enough time to go through the whole law and the prophets – but that was still in the “midst of the week”).

jane said...

I was born into the mormon church and taught everything there is to know about mormonism. With that I am sure that the mormon church is not the only true church in this world. Joseph Smith did not see God. How is it that so many smart people are easily duped into believing this madness? Mormonism has so many holes, too many to list. C'mon people use your heads please!!!!!

Anonymous said...

"Mormonism has so many holes."

No they don't. Where?