Discussions of Book of Mormon issues and evidences, plus other topics related to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

The Apparent Use of So-Called Magic Objects for Divination: A Sound Reason to Reject Joseph as a Prophet?

Should we condemn the prophet Joseph for apparent use of techniques that we would call magic or occult in our day? Things like using a solid object for purposes of divining or seeking revelation? Because of our modern discomfort with such concepts, do we reject him as a prophet of God and reject the scriptural records associated with him? I think that would be an unfortunate mistake, though the evidence of his "guilt" in this area is hard to overlook completely. Here is the primary evidence, straight from a part of the LDS scriptures, Genesis 44, which describes Joseph's use of an object that plays a key role in the interesting story of that record:
5 Is not this it in which my lord drinketh, and whereby indeed he divineth? ye have done evil in so doing.
This is from the story in which the great ancient prophet, Joseph, used his cup, the cup he allegedly used for "magical" or revelatory divination, to frame one of his brothers as a thief in a clever scheme to save his entire family. It's a beautiful, touching, inspiring story, infused with a touch of the occult, at least when viewed from our modern perspective. Do we therefore reject Joseph, his revelations and inspired deeds as a prophet, and the scriptural records associated with him and that praise him--you know, records like the Bible? Personally, I think that would be a mistake.


Anonymous said...

Moses used a magic stick. Might as well reject him too...

Deila said...

I never caught that before -- the cup used to divine. Great information. I love that. I have been reading Rough Stone Rolling and love that book. I would agree with Bushman, that the magic, treasure seeking, and such, prepared Joseph to accept the golden plates, hidden in the hill. I have no problem with so-called magic objects. Jesus used spit and mud when healing the blind. Joseph, peering into his hat? I am good with that too. Seer stones - yep those are fine by me. People still use those divining rods in some places.

Anonymous said...

I agree about the book Rough Stone Rolling. A must read.

Anonymous said...

Once again, Jeff directs his argument to the Christian fundamentalist who accepts the Bible as the inerrant word of God. Evangelicals are the Washington Generals to his Harlem Globetrotters. May I suggest that Evangelicals and similarly believing Christians are becoming less important as debating opponents? The new challenge is to make your case to people who don't view the Bible as inerrant.

Whether we should "condemn" Joseph Smith for scrying is a question of little interest. A more relevant question is, why shouldn't we treat the revelations that Joseph Smith received through scrying as we would the "information" that anyone else receives from scrying? I recommend a little reading on the subject of scrying to get a feel for just how commonplace the practice was (and is). Check out the history of John Dee and Edward Kelley. They used seer stones to commune with angels in the late 1500's. John Dee at least had good intentions; he wanted to commune with the divine. His partnership with Kelley ended soon after the angel Uriel revealed that they should share their wives with each other. Why should I take Joseph Smith's scrying any more seriously than Edward Kelley's?

Quantumleap42 said...

I think Anonymous #3 has a good point. Some of the things that Jeff has been pointing out are only a problem if you take a hard view of sola scriptura. There are actually very few Christians that take the hard view of sola scriptura. It is something that is more common in the United States, due to the large presence of Evangelicals but it is by no means a majority view. There are some Protestants (who are sympathetic towards Catholicism) who think that sola scriptura is a load of tripe (see link below).


And Catholics themselves tend to roll their eyes at the thought of sola scriptura since it is only a Protestant doctrine.

But in Jeff's defense (not like he need me to defend him though) perhaps the reason why many of his posts are geared towards the sola scriptura crowd is because that is who comes by his blog and comments so much. I'm sure that if there were more Catholics commenting here then his posts might take a different approach. We can only explain our faith to the people who we think are in our audience.

Anonymous said...

Scripture gives us examples of prophets receiving revelation from God... Ergo, Mohammed, who received revelation from God, is an authentic prophet.

Sure, this "argument" works only for the already-converted. That's the point.

Bookslinger said...

Other prophets and High Priests in the O.T. used Urim and Thummim too.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it is as good a reason as any. I dont' believe in magic or occult practices. Which leads me to believe that Joseph was making it all up the same way I think mediums are making it up today. If the church in it's handbook today says stay away from the occult how is it even remotely possible that Joseph was able to use a stone to look for burried treasure and "translate" the book of Mormon, which was interesting burried gold, sounds a lot like burried treasure to me. Seriously how can the church be true when Joseph used a rock to look for buried treasure and then used the stone to translate the burried treasure. Some please tell me how that makes sense.

Anonymous said...

Sorry my previous post is poorly written and I can't edit it.

Papa D said...

Anonymous, if you reject the concept of prophets and using cultural means in a magic-imbued world to tap into that which is outside us, there is no reasonable answer for you.

If you don't reject truly and fully human prophets, there is a reasonable answer - that God works with the people he's got.

The point of this post is that rejecting Joseph for this reason should accompany rejecting pretty much all prophets throughout history for the same reason. If you do that, there is no argument; if you don't, it's inconsistent of you to reject one and not others.

That's all.

Anonymous said...

To quote the church:
"Church members should not engage in any form of Satan worship or affiliate in any way with the occult. "Such activities are among the works of darkness spoken of in the scriptures. They are designed to destroy one's faith in Chris t, and will jeopardize the salvation of those who knowingly promote this wickedness. These things should not be pursued as games, be topics in Church meetings, or be delved into in private, personal conversations" (First Presidency letter, Sept. 18, 1991)."

Is scrying occult? Is using a medium occult? I think so. By the churches own warning, Joseph could not have been inspired by God.

mkprr said...

You bring up an argument that appears at first to hold water but coming from an evangelical pov at least, it seems to be pretty full of holes.

There are two problems Mormons have to deal with when looking at Joseph Smiths history with the occult. The first is the involvement in his early years as a scryer seeking for treasure. The second, is his use of stones and other objects later in life for receiving revelations and healing the sick.

He gave up scrying for treasure as he learned more about the gospel just as he gave up on hundreds of his former religious notions as the restoration unfolded and he learned more. We see this pattern in many of the characters we read of throughout the Bible. (Moses Paul and Peter all immediately come to mind) They start with all kinds of bad theology and sinful behavior that is steadily removed from their lives as they turn to God.

The second I think Jeff and others commenting here addressed pretty well in this post. The bible is full of practices that have occultic parallels and counterfits.

Anonymous said...

So you are saying it is possible to take Joseph Smith's revelations from a rock seriously even though he previously used the rock to look for burried treasuer? It was just an evolutionary thing? Did you read the quote I posted from the church? At one point the rock was associated witht the works of the devil and then later the works of God? Seriously?

Papa D said...

Yes, anonymous, seriously. The serpent almost ALWAYS is a token of Satan, but Moses held one up and told the children of Israel to look at it to be healed. We wouldn't think of doing that today. Joseph of Egypt used a cup as a divining tool. We wouldn't dream of doing that today. Jesus used mud and saliva. We would be appalled at that today. Joseph Smith used a hat and a peep stone. We don't understand that today.

I can accept that Moses and Joseph and Jesus and Joseph did things that we no longer do with no problem whatsoever.

Papa D said...

Oh, and "occult" in the quote you used obviously refers to things that the FP consider to be associated with Satan worship and ceremonial rituals - not treasure seeking and seer stones.

If you're going to quote someone, at least try to convey their intended meaning.

Mormography said...

Anynomous3, Quataumleap42, and the other anonymous, have all recognized how antiquated the Evangelical verse Mormon show down is in our modern, globalized world. One would think a person that moves to China would understand this.

Mormanity is right to point out that just about any reason to reject Mormonism can be used to reject Evangelicals. However, this also means just about any Mormon reason to reject Evangelicals can used to rejects Mormons. All Mormanity has done is demonstrate how antiquated the one-true-faith paradigm is, which is the same as proving Mormonism wrong.

If the ship is going down, take --everyone else (strikethrough)-- Evangelicals with you?

Quantumleap42 said...

Due to a brief mention of my previous comment I thought that I would go a little off topic and say that if the US were more heavily Catholic then perhaps Jeff would be answering questions more related to ideas dealing with the magisterium (google it if you don't already know) or how we fit within the consensus fidelium (though we already get a bit of that here).

As the Church moves more into heavily Catholic countries we (members in general) will most likely have to answer a different set of questions. The same will be true with members in China, or India or Russia or Sudan etc. But in each case I think we have a very good case to make and have the Help to back us up. Far from being the death knell of "the one-true-faith" our doctrine has the ability to answer a multitude of questions from any conceivable position. A strength we should take advantage of.

Anonymous said...

PapaD, so are you saying the first presidency would be ok with me sharing revelations given to me through a rock in a hat during sacrament meeting? Would anyone in my ward not think I was insane? Would the bishop not usher me off the stand?

Are you saying scrying and using a medium are not occult?

And I don't think it is obvious at all that they are saying some occult things are ok and some are not. I am pretty sure they are saying all occult things are bad. I don't know how old you are but I can't count the times I was warned about ouija boards as a youth.

And I am quite certain the prophets in the scriptures are just stories.

PapaD, I guess I just think differently than you. I don't think there is anything wrong with that.

mkprr said...

You said "However, this also means just about any Mormon reason to reject Evangelicals can be used to rejects Mormons."

I'm not following that logic. As I've always understood it, the only logical reason Mormons have to reject the evangelical world view is that God has revealed more today. Other than that, we share very similar world views. How can that reason be logically used by an evangelical to reject Mormonism?

mkprr said...

Anon said:
"At one point the rock was associated witht the works of the devil and then later the works of God? Seriously?"

Just for clarification, in JS' time (as is probably the case today) there were occult practices that focused on gaining power from satan, and there were occult practices meant to help one obtain power from God. As far as I can tell Joseph emphatically followed the later.

The church today of course would warn against any occult practices so it may seem like a mute point but I think intentions are always important.

Anonymous said...

mkprr, what makes you think this? I have never read anything to show this?

"As far as I can tell Joseph emphatically followed the later."

Of course you could be 100% right and I could be 100% wrong neither of us has any idea, other than our opinions.

Papa D said...

"PapaD, so are you saying the first presidency would be ok with me sharing revelations given to me through a rock in a hat during sacrament meeting?"

Of course not, and nothing I said implies that.

Ouiji boards are a great example of something is that understood explicitly to be Satan-focused. What I'm saying is that we tend to classify lots of things we don't understand or that were / are done in other cultures as "occult" - and we tend to mean "Satan-focused" when we say "occult" - and we reject as "occult" many things that really aren't "Satan-focused" - and I include prophets, apostles and local leaders in that "we".

Iow, I believe the biggest problem in our modern culture with regard to this topic is that we mis-label many things just because we don't understand them and, therefore, reject them. That's sad.

It is impossible for me to see Joseph's use of a divining rod, a hat and a seer stone as "Satan-focused" even though they absolutely are "occult" in pure definition - but, as I said, I think modern Mormons generally have no clue what they're talking about when they talk about "the occult".

Anonymous said...

PapaD, I don't see your average teenager using ouija board as satan focused. The kids are just goofing around, the same as a magic 8 ball. I wouldn't say Joseph using a stone as a medium to look for treasure wasn't satan focused either. I would say that Joseph had no idea what he was doing. It is like the time he had a revelation to sell the book of mormon copyright in Toronto. A revelation I believe he recieved after placing the rock into his hat. They came back from Toronto without selling it and he made a statement like, some revelations are from man some are from God and some are from the Devil.

Papa D said...

"I don't see your average teenager using ouija board as satan focused."

I agree, but I think it's hard to say that the adults who forbid them don't see them as Satan-focused (or, perhaps more accurately, as tapping into evil). That's my point.

mkprr said...

Anonymous, you insinuate that Joseph sought the power of the devil in his youth for help finding treasure, I suggested that he sought the power of God. You wanted some evidence of that. This isn’t the place for an extensive study on the subject but here are a few things to consider:

First, Non-mormon historian Alan Taylor commenting on the treasure seeking folk lore and its popularity among Christians in that era said: “For many rural folk, treasure-seeking was a materialist extension of the Christian Faith as well as a supernatural economy.”

Second, the artifacts the smiths seemed to have used were unmistakably linked to Christianity. For example 3 magical parchments that the smith family seems to have owned included the “Holiness to the Lord” parchment, to win its user the favor of good angels, and the “Saint Peter bind them” and “Jehovah, Jehovah, Jehovah” parchments both used to protect the user from evil spirits. These were all God centered parchments used in Christian magic.

Third, we know from testimony in the 1826 trial that Joseph Smith seems to have always attributed his abilities with the seer stone to the power of God.

So there are a few reasons at least to suppose that while in the early years the Smiths were involved in some very strange, extra biblical occult practices that the church today would warn us against getting involved in, they seemed to be attempting to obtain help from God in their endeavors, not satan.

I am by no means an expert on this subject but it is one that at one time bothered me a lot so I read everything I could find on the subject. I'm always opened to viewing more evidence.

Mateo said...

"I'm not following that logic. As I've always understood it, the only logical reason Mormons have to reject the evangelical world view is that God has revealed more today. Other than that, we share very similar world views. How can that reason be logically used by an evangelical to reject Mormonism?"

I'm not sure if I really followed Mormonography's point or if it really works. What I do see though is that LDS members see Evangelicals as "lost" due to a stubborn adherence to the bible and the throwing out of anything else. I think that evangelicals assume mormons to be lost because they are taking on a book that by their interpretation of the bible cannot exist. Also from the way they see it (and I can see mormon's arguing against this) the see the LDS church as placing the BoM above the bible in terms of importance. It's rather hard to argue that LDS members DON'T see it this way as most of them (I was in this boat at one time) assume that because the BoM passed through less translations and was not at the mercy of malicious intent over the ages, it's words are more accurate to what god wants from his children so if there is a point of contention between something stated in the bible and the BoM you're more likely as an LDS member to believe the biblical passage is either being taken out of context or to have been translated poorly.

I would totally agree though that if a person is religious that criticizing Joseph for doing "magic" is kinda hypocritical. It really feels like a person making fun of another for believing in Superman (and all the while pointing out how contrary to reason it is to believe in such a person) and all the while this person believes that Wonder Woman is real. If prophets are real then Joseph's supposed abilities aren't all that weird.

For me, as an LDS member, a lot of times I'd scoff at the silly beliefs of others. Like the catholics on my mission that believed praying to a statue would heal them or help them get something they wanted/needed. Or the Evangelicals with their ridiculous certainty that their religious outlook was the only valid one and that Jews, Muslims and all other religious outlooks would lead to hell and damnation. Then I started to look at my own religion and found the exact same level of incredulity in it. Having been raised mormon the idea of Josephs story didn't sound that weird. When I tried to see it from an outside perspective I suddenly realized, "wow, this story sounds completely and totally ridiculous."

TL;DR version, if people turned their own critical thinking (that they constantly do towards all other faiths) towards the religion that they follow... there wouldn't be many religious people anymore. Which is where the saying comes from that the only difference between and atheist and a monotheistic person is that the atheist rejects one more definition of god (due to it being a ridiculous and unsubstantiated one) then the person that is a monotheist.

Papa D said...

Excellent comment, Mateo - and I think you hit the heart of this post.

My central argument in most situations where Mormons are called "weird" is, at the core, "We might be a peculiar people, but our beliefs aren't any weirder than other Christian beliefs."

Seriously, when you start with the foundation of the resurrection, the miracles in the Bible, etc. . . . it's straining at gnats to complain about the stuff of Mormonism.

We're weird - just like all religious people are weird.

mkprr said...

Do you feel like as an atheist you aren’t in the same boat? I haven’t come across a naturalistic explanation of the universe that is any less reliant on untestable assumptions than Christianity is.

Anonymous said...

mkprr, I like the info in your post.

I am confused though. Are you saying it was understandable for Joseph to do occult things because he thought he was accessing the power of God?

To the topic of the post, every religion is "weird" in it's own way. It is really hard to trash one but not another due to weird stuff. But Joseph's use of a magic stone as a medium to receive revelation goes against current Mormon teachings on the occult and revelation. I don't think that Moses used his staff to divine water and then perform miracles.

Papa D said...

"I don't think that Moses used his staff to divine water and then perform miracles."

Um, that's exactly how it's presented, even if you don't believe it. That's the real point, isn't it - what the people who lived then believed?

Anonymous said...

Papad, I see what you are saying. I meant prior to becoming a prophet, he wasn't walking around with a magic stick looking for water. The bible tells us he struck a rock twice and water came out, or something like that but he was already a prophet then, I think anyway.

Papa D said...

I see what you mean, Anon - but I just don't think it matters when you step back and look at the big picture. What I'm saying is that Moses was just fine using the "magic" or "occult" that was acceptable in his time in the performance of prophetic duties, if you will - and just because we don't have any record of him doing that prior to the events leading up to the exodus, that doesn't mean he was opposed to it before then and suddenly changed his mind when the Lord said, "Hey, it's OK for these things. It's bad otherwise, but it's OK now."

Frankly, I take most of the Old Testament stories as mythological in nature (or simply as parables), but I think it's inescapable that lots and lots of prophets throughout scripture (including Jesus of Nazareth) are portrayed as participating actively in the "magical" culture of their time - and only condemning the people who were doing so in the worship of "false gods" in their eyes.

"These signs shall follow them that believe" is followed by a bunch of miracles - some of which we generally would consider to be occult in our own time (like handling serpents and being bitten without dying).

To each their own, I say - and, again, I think we "moderns" simply misunderstand and mis-apply the term "occult" when we talk about it.

Mormography said...


Mormons reject Evangelicals as having an invalid priesthood authority. I believe Evangelicals declared their priesthood authority as derived from the Bible. Would it be fair to say that because Mormon’s accept the Bible that Evangelicals do not reject Mormon Priesthood because Evangelicals believe Mormon’s possess a Biblically derived priesthood authority? Of course not.

It sounds as if you are suggesting that Mormon's don't reject Evangelicals, Mormon's don't think Evangelicals need Mormonism to experience true happiness, Mormon's think the Evangelical priesthood is sufficient, and Mormon's think baptized Evangelicals that become Mormon don't need to be re-baptized, because Evangelical baptism is accepted by Mormons. That may be the way you understood it, but it is not true. Mormon’s reject Evangelicals has much as Evangelicals reject Mormons. However, the hostilities originate with the Mormons (ex: great and abominable church, professors were all corrupt, etc).

In Joseph Smith History Presbyterianism (Scottish Calvinism) is declared “not true”. I agree with you that this odd, because as far as a world paradigm is concern, Mormonism is just another American take on Calvinism.

Try this one mkprr: 1--In Mormon tradition, God renounces all Evangelical movements of Smith’s time as teaching things of men for true doctrine with a false form of godliness. 2--Even Mormanity has openly recognized that many LDS doctrines that have been taught and dearly held believes were never official doctrine, essentially declaring the teachings of men have been wrongfully taken/given as doctrine. Given 1 and 2, the LDS faith should be rejected, though LDS fundamentalist may not necessarily be rejected.

Of course you will not accept this logical and will find ways to explain how it does not apply. This brings you back to your core argument which is that Mormon stuff somehow smells different than Evangelical stuff.

mkprr said...

I just want to add that I think the problems you point out are very reasonable, I also think they have some reasonable solutions.

You said: “But Joseph's use of a magic stone as a medium to receive revelation goes against current Mormon teachings on the occult and revelation.”

I have two thoughts. First when the church uses the word occult, they are using it from their point of view. I think those outside of Christianity would label some of what Christians do as occultic. For example, taking on new names in order to obtain power or favor with supernatural beings is a well documented occultic practice. Nevertheless, Most Christians (mormons included) emphatically teach that we must take upon us the name of Christ to be saved.

Second, Even within Mormonism I think you are right that if I found a rock and used it to attempt to receive revelation like JS did, my bishop would be concerned. There are many things that God commands only a specific person to do in a limited circumstance. I’m not sure why that is, but it’s common in scripture. (the image of the brazen serpant comes to mind) Likewise, it doesn’t necessarily follow that if God has one man translate scripture using a seer stone, that we all should seek to do the same.

It's possible that Lord will command his people in general to use seer stones (see D&C 130:10) but until then I think the church would encourage us to avoid them along with other means of contacting the divine that aren't specifically encouraged for us at this time in scripture.

mkprr said...


Just to clarify if my other post was vague, I think mormons do reject the part of the evangelical view that states the Bible is all there is and we reject all of the views that spring from that erroneous view. We accept however the part of their view that says the old testament and new testament are true inspired scripture.

I think you bring up an important problem in the 4th paragraph of your last post. I don't think this thread is the appropriate place to go into it since it is on a different topic but if there is another post on this blog or somewhere else that talks about this issue email me and I’ll meet you there to discuss it you want.

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

No, this is the appropriate thread. This thread is one of many where Mormanity declares the Evangelicals to be full of contradictions and double standards. I am always here to remind everyone, that despite the air of superiority, Mormon nonsense is no better than Evangelical nonsense. Mkprr, you quickly pretended that Mormon’s don’t rejected Evangelicals the same way Evangelicals reject Mormons. Then you had to backtrack.

It is not uncommon for me to soundly end a discussion on Mormanity as I have done here. One of the surest signs that I have is when I am told to stay on topic. Despite your reassurance that a valid response exist out in the ether somewhere, it does not really matter. You have already recognized that the reasoning is indeed problematic, but you are not willing to accept it. You have indicated that you will hunt down the intellectual contortions necessary to believe that the Mormon’s are different than the Evangelicals. In the end all you have done is validity my original assessment:

Any reason to reject the Evangelicals can be used to reject the Mormons. All Mormanity has done is demonstrate how antiquated the one-true-faith paradigm is, which is the same as proving Mormonism wrong.

Bookslinger said...

Mormography: Wow. That's a heaping load of sophomoric reasoning.

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

Bookslinger: So sophomoric you could not even explain how. As usual when you cannot attack the argument you attempt to attack the person. Though considering that the attempted insult came from you it is really a complement. Just another feather in my cap in my record of stumping you into frustration.

Anonymous said...

Q: Should we condemn the prophet Joseph for apparent use of techniques that we would call magic or occult in our day?

A: Yes. I mean, duh. I mean, a "peepstone"? Inside a hat?

The only reason people like Jeff defend this sort of thing is their prior commitment to their beliefs. Beliefs come first, common sense second. I'm not saying that's bad, just that it is what it is.

Some of us can set aside our common sense enough to continue believing in stuff like urims and thummims (or Aaron's rod or burning bushes for that matter) and some of us can't. Me, I just can't do it. Guess I'll never become a god.

-- Eveningsun

Lamdaddy said...

"Try this one mkprr: 1--In Mormon tradition...."

Mormography, you've presented two things, and said that "Given 1 and 2, the LDS faith should be rejected."

Preposterous. 1 can be true, but it does not invalidate the things that ARE true within LDS doctrine. Men have had their own views and interpretations of doctrine, but that doesn't erase true revelations, priesthood, scriptures, etc. We do accept and acknowledge truth found in other Christian denominations, but reject the man-made doctrines and creeds (you'll even notice that God told Joseph that their *creeds are an abomination).
It can be said that any false teaching, even within the LDS church, is abominable in comparison to truth. Some LDS teach that Coke shouldn't be drank. Heresy! But it has no impact on priesthood authority.
Your second flaw is that you mentioned that these doctrines aren't official doctrines of the LDS Church, yet you're comparing them to official doctrines of Evangelicalism. Apples to oranges? If they aren't official doctrines, why are we even discussing it?

Mormography said...

Lamdaddy - First flaw ?? In your attempt to describe a supposed flaw you are validating my point. You clearly apply one standard to the LDS and a different one to the Evangelicals. Your justification for the LDS can be applied equally as well to also NOT reject the Evangelicals. What you are doing is trying to pretend Mormon's don't reject Evangelicals the same way Evangelicals reject Mormons. This is unequivocally contradicted by the canon in 1. Second Flaw ?? I did not declare anything official doctrine or unofficial doctrine, which means you completely missed the point. I was merely pointing out that even Mormanity himself has indicated that Mormonism has been lead down a path of men wrongfully giving/taking teachings as doctrine (the motive for rejection in 1).

Papa D said...

Mormography, you're misreading comments and condemning them for things they don't say - just as you often do with Jeff's posts.

It's not backtracking to clarify, but every time someone tries to clarify something that you've twisted, you claim they are being inconsistent and avoiding the issue. It's circular reasoning, and it has no potential to go anywhere and be mutually enlightening in any way.

You disagree with Jeff - vehemently. We understand that. You disagree with Mormonism. We understand that, too. We simply don't agree with your reasoning, and I'm sure you understand that, as well. The biggest concern isn't the disagreement; it's your continual misrepresentation of what we say that is the most frustrating - and I honestly don't know if you understand that or not. I'm not sure if your misinterpretations are intentional or not - but I suspect they are not intentional. I suspect your inability to understand what we are saying and respond accurately is like our inability to understand what you are saying. I suspect we simply don't and can't understand each other.

That probably won't change - ever. It's probably a good idea to recognize and admit that openly, so both sides can get on with constructive discussion and leave the banging of heads in a fruitless attempt to convince the other.

Mormography said...

It is usually me that accuses Mormanity of misrepresenting me. This is the first I have heard that it is I that misrepresents others. Give me an example and I gladly apologize if true. Mormanity’s past misrepresentation of me have been deliberate, despite his denials. He and you do not disagree with my reasoning, he and you just ignore it. My reasoning is sound, therefore, he usually has to pretend I reasoned something I did not in order to play dumb and pretend the reasoning does not present challenges. My charges of “avoiding the issue” are valid, and making that charge is not the definition of circular reasoning.

Mkprr was clearly backtracking. He/she went from Mormon’s only reject one and only one item of Evangelicals (continuing revelation item). Then suddenly the “clarification” of that one item came to include a lot more things. A clarification so broad it went from a rebuttal to validating my original assessment.

Mutual enlightenment? I am not sure what you are asking for. Asking me to use politically correct language (backtracking -> clarification) to avoid embarrassing someone is running away from the challenges, not facing them to find enlightenment. So what is my enlightenment for facing the challenges?

I believe Mormons have stated goals of 1. Proselytizing and 2. Perfection of its members. These can be orthogonal goals at times. Example: Prohibition of alcohol and tobacco is guaranteed to reduce the number of converts (in conflict with goal 1) but help some saints perfect themselves (in support of goal 2). You just cannot have your cake and eat it too.

With membership numbers proven to be vastly exaggerated and conversion rates stagnate why not abandon the whole rock to fill the whole earth thing and embrace the air superiority. Admit that Mormons believe that Evangelicals are lost souls unless they repent. The spirit is easy to listen to, just admit that there are only a few thousand Mormons out of the several billion people on the planet that have not hardened their hearts to list to it. There is only one exit out of Plato’s cave and anyone that claims to have found another one must still be stuck in the cave. If it is true why not have the courage to overcome your Luke warmness and say the truth sharply?

mkprr said...


To clarify for you, evangelicals reject Mormonism because we accept modern revelation. We reject their doctrines because they don’t. That is the overarching reason and from it comes every other doctrinal difference we have with one another (and there are many differences).

This overarching reason for rejecting one another’s teachings can’t be interchanged. This is why your statement that “Any reason to reject the Evangelicals can be used to reject the Mormons.” doesn’t make any sense from someone in Evangelical or LDS circles.

However the more I read your posts the more I gather that you probably mean that from an outsiders perspective, when mormons and evangelicals quibble over historical events and doctrines, it all just makes their world view look more unbelievable. Is that the point you are making?

Mormography said...

Mkprr, Your assertion is just flat out false.

1. There are an abundance of threads on Mormanity about faith/works, godhead, etc doctrines as being a major bone of contention (not principally modern revelation).
2. Evangelicals do not reject modern revelation (excluding semantics). Claiming Evangelicals do not believe in modern revelation is like claiming that modern LDS do not believe modern revelation because since Joseph Smith there have been no significant scriptures, revelations, prophecies, etc. Pat Robertson famously has prayer revelation sessions regarding what is to come and his revelations are bolder than the Mormon prophets.
3. Your assertion is also countered by the now admitted problematic example I have already given.

The fact that you think Evangelicals do not believe in modern revelation indicates that conversing with you on the subject is rather pointless. Now you are absurdly suggesting that Evangelicals agree with your assessment that “Any reason to reject the Evangelicals can be used to reject the Mormons” does not make sense. Your assessment is a false construct and over simplification in order to psychologically dismiss valid reasoning.

The point I am making is that it is a matter of fact that Mormanity’s same technique of pointing Evangelical rejection criteria back at themselves can be done with Mormon’s as well, as I have already demonstrated.

mkprr said...
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mkprr said...

Ok how about I add a short clause into my last statement to help you understand my point.

"Evangelicals reject Mormonism because we accept modern revelation" ..that specifically has come through Joseph Smith and other LDS leaders... "We reject their doctrines because they don’t".

And by the way, our understanding of grace, if it differs from some evangelicals, differs because of the emphasis we have received from our modern prophets. Which of course demonstrates my point rather well.

You then said "The point I am making is that it is a matter of fact that Mormanity’s same technique of pointing Evangelical rejection criteria back at themselves can be done with Mormon’s as well, as I have already demonstrated."

I can't find the post where you have demonstrated this, can you give an example?

Am I the only one missing the point Mormography is trying to make here?

Mormography said...
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Mormography said...

Sigh Mkprr,

Thank you for once again validating my point. Mormonism rejects Evangelical leadership as corrupt just as Evangelicals reject Joseph Smith, to them he was either falsely believed his own mental invention or he was a charlatan. Ergo, you yourself have given yet again demonstrated how a Mormon reason for rejection can be pointed back at Mormons. Claiming that if Evangelicals did not reject Joseph Smith, then there would be no other items of disagreement does not demonstrate your point. It merely says that there exist only one root cause item of disagreement. However, that item is used mutually used by both religions to reject the other which is exactly my point.

Also, you might carefully reread what you wrote. Your new “clarification” modifies the overarching reason from modern revelation to acceptance of Jospeh Smith (a huge difference). Your statements are Mormons accept Joseph Smith, Evangelicals do not, ergo Mormon’s reject Evangelicals. You essentially said Mormon’s reject Evangelicals because Evangelicals reject Mormons. To quote your original post which you removed: “lol are you serious?”

On so many levels stating that modern revelation is the overarching disagreement is what does not make sense. What you are calling modern revelation is either 1. A mortal personage supposedly divinely authorized to lead humanity (Monson today?) or 2. The canonized writings for one man over 150 years ago. If it is 1, then you merely recognizing that while Evangelicals do have an ecclesiastical hierarchy, their hierarchy is much more limited and regional than Mormons, Catholics, and Episcopalians; hardly an overarching item of disagreement. If it is 2, may I point out that when Christianity reopened the canon that ended with Malachi, the reopening involved a greater number of people and lasted for a longer period of time than the LDS reopening. The LDS reopening was essentially limited to one man and many of the doctrinal items that distinguish Mormons come from that man’s extra-canonical teachings. If you are to argue that while in practice the LDS canon is closed, it is theoretically open, I could just as easily retort that the Evangelical canon is theoretically open until Jesus returns.

“Try this one mkprr: 1--In Mormon tradition, God renounces all Evangelical movements of Smith’s time as teaching things of men for true doctrine with a false form of godliness. 2--Even Mormanity has openly recognized that many LDS doctrines that have been taught and dearly held believes were never official doctrine, essentially declaring the teachings of men have been wrongfully taken/given as doctrine. Given 1 and 2, the LDS faith should be rejected, though LDS fundamentalist may not necessarily be rejected.”

You know full well the above cut and paste is the post I was talking about. However, playing dumb and pretending like you do not know what I talking about just proves you were never really interested in genuine dialogue to start with. You have already admitted it is problematic, but without knowing a retort you said you would hunt one down, which is not the way a genuine pursuit of truth works. You have now proven yourself to be disingenuous and facing defeat you are now begging your blog compatriots to jump in to your rescue.

mkprr said...

Thanks for adding further clarification.

In short summary, and correct me if I am still missing the point, jeff was reasoning with evangelicals to not judge Joseph Smith more harshly than they would judge Biblical prophets, and you are saying that Mormons are equally hypocritical as the evengelicals Jeff was addressing when we judge evangelicals for the sin of teaching for doctrine the commandments of men, a sin that we too are guilty of.

I apologize for not getting that when you first wrote it I thought you were changing the subject but now I see how it relates to the topic. I’m not out to harass you I just simply missed the point you were making wich is my bad not yours of course.

mkprr said...

Here is the list of complaints God gave to Joseph about the churches of his day:

“they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”

I would note however, that God never promised that the mormons would never fall into these same sins from time to time, in fact he implies in D&C 1 that they will. His promise was however that as often as they turned to him, he would deliver them from these errors. See D&C 1: 24-28

So yes, you are right, we should as a church collectively, and certainly as individuals, point that same criteria at ourselves. We should point it constantly at ourselves. That is how we can assure that we are staying close to God and not putting our trust in man. It certainly proves that we have been in the wrong from time to time in the past and that we need to carefully look today to see what errors may be creeping in unawares.

Mormography said...

I believe you are saying DC1 allows individual Mormons to be mislead on minor items from time to time. However, I have not encountered LDS who believe the LDS Church as a whole will be mislead on any substantive concerns before the second coming. see link here

Linked here are the comments I have made on Mormanity previously regarding the official/unofficial doctrine topic.

All of Mormanity's threads against the existence of rejection criteria only point one thing out: One man's prophet is another man's sorcerer. I am no expert in the bible, but there are plenty of verses regarding rejecting of other religions of time whether for occult practices or not. To be consistent, Mormanity would as have to argue that the Bible is hypocritical to denounce other religions of the time.

Mateo said...

"I haven’t come across a naturalistic explanation of the universe that is any less reliant on untestable assumptions than Christianity is."

I'm super late in responding, but do many people claim that Naturalism is "proven"? Such a claim seems impossible to me because it would necessitate being able to prove that all things that have happened have not had a super natural element involved.

Naturalism is, by the way I understand it, the disbelief in the supernatural claims of theology and mythology. Also the belief that things which happen in our universe happen because of some sort of physical explanation. Obviously it will never be able to prove that this is the case. It does, in my opinion, seem a more likely possibility then theological or mythological explanations mainly because I've never encountered anything that gives those sorts of explanations creedance and I've seen loads of naturalistic explanations of things that seem more likely.

I think the problem here is that oftentimes those that "know" that the church is true, assume that someone who disagrees must "know" some other world view with surety. My point is more that, as near as I can tell, most folks that are deeply religious don't "know" that their belief is any truer then anyone else's, as they define knowledge in that sense much differently then they would in other scenarios, and if a person with a "knowledge" in a contradictory idea confronted them they would have no problem throwing out the methods the other person used as either misguided, or improperly understood. The discussion that's been had in this thread is a fairly good example as neither the Evangelical or the Mormon has any good verifiable evidence on their behalf yet both of them claim to "know" that the other guys are wrong.

Lamdaddy said...

Mormography, I do understand what you are saying, but again, the problem that you are running into that you have not addressed, is that (to us), God has revealed things that were absent since the time of the apostles. This includes the nature of God, priesthood, purpose of life, etc. Human misunderstanding and interpretation don't erase that. So yes, Joseph can say that God has said that other church's creeds are invalid, while this church's doctrine, while not always taught accurately, is still valid. The difference is that correct doctrine and ordinances ARE to be found here. Of course, it comes down to a matter of faith and cannot be proven in an argument, but your point misses this aspect in my opinion. Both us and other religions need calibrations, which is why we believe in continuing revelation through the means that God has established.

Lamdaddy said...
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Lamdaddy said...


In regards to revelation, we don't believe that the canon is closed or was limited to one man. There are additional appendages to what Joseph produced, albeit minimal. What we declare is that the canon is the opposite of closed, in theory or practice.
I think I would be chuckling if you were making this argument to an Evangelical. Being a once-missionary, even mentioning an open canon or an apostle/prophet figure with the authority to dictate new canon is anathema to them, even if you're trying to be logical about it.
In addition, where is proof that the canon is open with Evangelicals, and who has the authority to dictate it? You are making a very strange argument that both sides would very much disagree with.

Mormography said...


Sighh .. You did not explain how your points in favor of Mormons do not also does apply to Evangelicals ergo you have not explained how my point misses.

The Mormon cannon is closed in practice, it is only open in theory. Your own confession of "albeit minimal" is enough said. The extremely pro-Mormon point of view itself is not very convincing.

Lamdaddy said...


You are starting with this premise: "In Mormon tradition, God renounces all Evangelical movements..."

That is what we are working in. Of course it will be an "extremely pro-Mormon point of view"!! Your question is about why Mormonism should not be rejected like Protestantism, *from the Mormon standpoint. And I explained why. Now you're trying to remove it from the standpoint of Mormonism and into an objective viewpoint. Then we would have to remove the First Vision from the picture, and the given that prophets, priesthood, etc. exist in the LDS church, and then it's just a battle of opinions not worth having.
Kept in the realm of the "in the Mormon tradition," read my comments again and I think they will make sense how I can reconcile your 2 points. If you're actually interested in that and not more interested in proving a point, that is.

Lamdaddy said...

"The Mormon cannon is closed in practice, it is only open in theory. Your own confession of "albeit minimal" is enough said."

This is about as logical as saying "since you're not eating right now, you only eat in theory."

'Albeit minimal' is what it is--minimal, but existent. You can't say it doesn't happen in practice when it clearly did/does. What a fallacy to say that 'because it's not happening right now it doesn't happen.'

Mormography said...

Nope. You just do not get it, or do not want to understand. Not much I can do there.

When an extremely pro-Mormon point of view confesses “albeit minimal”, it is a pretty good indication that the truth is that the canon is closed in practice and only open in theory. Still clear as mud?

I am not trying to remove anything. Your excuse to exempt Mormons from the rejection criteria can be used to exempt Evangelicals as well (think protestant reformation). This has been the point from the start. Yes you are right, Evangelicals and Mormons have different believes and mutually reject each other. It is merely a matter of faith for each side. Mormanity’s methodology of pointing Evangelical rejection criteria back at themselves can be use on Mormons as well. This has been the point from the start. Mormanity knows this and that is why he never provides his rejection criteria when pressed and runs away from genuine dialogue.

Do you have an actual question for me or are you just “more interested in proving a point.”

Lamdaddy said...

I have no point-- but you do, as you've said, and it looks like you stand by it, despite the requirement for circular logic to do so. You haven't addressed the things that I've said or explained, but just return to your "points." Congratulations, you've made your points (but they don't make sense, as I've pointed out). You really don't understand the difference between minimal and non-existent?
No use arguing with someone who's chasing their tail.

Mormography said...

You are funny. You have “no point”, but say “as I've pointed out”. Then instead of asking a question, clarification, you introduce a new charge of circular logic without any explanation. You obviously do not understand what circular logic is. I addressed your false accusation of removing something (I always made my points from an objective point of view, contrary to what you claim), and in response you accuse me of not addressing you, but returning to my points. Congratulations, you’ve made it very clear you are more interested in proving a point than genuine dialogue.

To help you understand, this posting was about occult devices. As Mormanity points out, occult devices are use by Evangelically accepted Biblical prophets. As Mormanity does not point out, the Bible also speaks against occult devices. So, as I have already pointed out all Mormanity has really done is pointed out that one man’s prophet is another man’s sorcerer (You obviously missed it so I repeat it, that annoys you?). It all depends on whose side you are on.

Mormanity’s methodology is to show inconsistencies in the Evangelical rejection criteria. (It should be noted that he rarely does this without demonstrating inconsistencies in the Bible itself.) Just as you say that Evangelical’s professors are corrupt and Mormon professors are not, an Evangelical could apply the corrupt professor rejection criteria to the Mormon’s. Obviously, Mormons are going to claim they exempt from the rejection criteria, just as Evangelicals are going to claim their prophets are exempt from the occult device criteria.

Obviously, you are going to deny that the canon is in practiced closed and any contradictory teachings must have never been official doctrine. When you confesses “albeit minimal”, it is a pretty good indication that the truth is that the canon is closed in practice and only open in theory. Not that “albeit minimal” is the truth. Evangelicals have official conferences, proclamations, etc. If that is what makes the LDS canon open in practice, then by the same definition the Evangelical canon is open. That which is called a rose would still smell the same by another name. Still clear as mud?

I repeat everything because obviously you did not understand. Getting upset with clarification just proves that you are not interested in genuine dialogue.

Papa D said...

"Getting upset with clarification just proves that you are not interested in genuine dialogue."

That's probably at least the fifth or sixth time I've read that statement from you - directed at everyone who doesn't agree with your logic. It's getting really tiring, fwiw, to have every comment that disagrees and gets exasperated with your line of reasoning be dismissed as the result of close-mindedness and being disingenuous. It's an easy discussion killer, but it's fallacious and condescending.

I've never once accused you of not being interested in genuine dialogue. I think you are interested in that; I just think you have no idea at this point how to have a genuine dialogue with those of us who are active Mormon and comment on this site. I think most of us here have failed completely to find a way to have that type of dialogue with you, as well - but I submit it's because you are so dismissive as to make it totally impossible.

I'm sure you are 100% correct in some cases - that some of those who end up here aren't trying to read, understand and engage in genuine dialogoue - but it gets really old, really fast when you lob that charge at everyone, including those who have tried (hard) to do so and been rebuffed at every turn.

Just saying.

Mormography said...

I am glad you think I am interested genuine dialogue. Mormanity claims that I am not and without apology. If you find my approach a discussion killer, fallacious, and condescending it is only Mormanity’s reflection that you are seeing.

PapaD, it takes two to tango. How can you possibly criticize me without criticizing Lamdaddy?

Jeff Lindsay said...

Mormography, always the Accuser. It's late--I grow weary.

Papa D said...

I'm done.

Mormography said...


I learned from the best


However, I am not sure there was an accusation in my post. I was merely pointing out that my postings were following a precedent set by you. A point reinforced by the way you responded.

Yes, growing weary is part of being human. I find working with sound reasoning gives me extra patience.

Lamdaddy said...

Yeah Papa, I guess I am with you there, I failed.
Mormography, a person can rebut claims and "point" things out without trying to prove a "point." I know it's confusing because it's the same word, but it means different things in this case.
You presented a scenario with two alternatives, I explained why they don't work given the context of the problem, you didn't address the context, you return to your original points (even in your latest post), which I already understand.
You don't understand Evangelicals, as they will tell you themselves that the canon is closed. Your logic may not be circular, but your arguments and points are. And now you've resorted to just flipping my words around on me, which doesn't interest me. Blaming Mormanity for what you're saying is childish, and people who take the time to comment and respond are usually interested in genuine dialogue. I'm just not interested in it with you anymore.

mkprr said...
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mkprr said...

You asked “do many people claim that Naturalism is "proven"?“
I don’t know how many claim it is proven but they certainly put their trust in it. As one atheist website put it:

“Nobody can prove God exists, yet they will stand on their heads saying they're sure. Well, if they can be sure despite evidence to the contrary, we can be sure in light of evidence in support of atheism.”
They of course make no attempt to provide this supposed evidence.

You said “I think the problem here is that oftentimes those that "know" that the church is true, assume that someone who disagrees must "know" some other world view with surety.”

Whether an atheist claims to know with surety or not, they are still in the same boat. If they believe there is no god, but can’t give a reason for how life came to being without a creator, they have no rational case because of course, life exists.

If an atheist demands a testable verifiable reason to believe in a creator, but they don’t demand a testable verifiable reason to believe that life can come into existence without a creator, they certainly aren’t basing their worldview on rationality. The agnostic world view I think is rationally sound. Atheism however, for the above reasons, doesn't make any sense.

Mormography said...


Hmmm, I am blaming Mormanity, that is an interesting take. That sort of implies I acknowledge some sort of wrong doing, which of course I do not. But I understand you could not resist finding a way to get yet another jab in like calling me childish (another example of a person not interested in genuine dialogue). I don’t know ……. may be I am childish for participating here with people such as you. But if I am, then so is PapaD, Mormanity, etc, which of course was the “point” of my post. In case you misunderstood, the “point” was that my behavior fits right here. To call me out is to call yourself and Mormanity out.

I clearly addressed your supposed first and second flaw. Your inability to adequately retort does not mean I failed to address your points. You keep claiming I have asked questions I did not ask and made contexts that I did not make. In correcting you, you get annoyed and declare that I just return to my “points” without addressing your “points”, despite the fact that I have addressed your “points”.

If look above you will see that I claimed that Mormons will of course seek out intellectual contortions of why they are exempt from their own rejection criteria. You have demonstrated this. Your extensive rebuttals, of course is not “proving a point”, but rather pointing something out. =)

You claim that I have not addressed your “points” regarding Mormons believing in modern revelation. This simple is not true. I have addressed how Evangelicals believe in revelation every bit as much as Mormons (aside from the works of Joseph Smith) and I gave the example of Pat Robertson. Euphemistically labeling current “revelation” open or closed canon is not very interesting. In Evangelicalism the ultimate revelation is the physical incarnation of Jesus, hence the humor in saying if you are going to play the “theoretically” open canon game, an Evangelical could also declare the canon closed, but theoretically open until Jesus’s second coming.

Another sign of someone not interested in geninuine dialogue is making statements like “I’m done” or “I'm just not interested in it [dialogue] with you anymore.” A person interested in genuine dialogue would not feel the need to engage in biting banter to declare that no longer interested in conversing.

mkprr said...

The Westminster Confession has been accepted by most Calvinist and Presbyterian traditions, and has only been slightly modified to accommodate Congregationalists, Baptists and countless other variations of these groups. It’s view on scripture is commonly held among evangelical Christians. (There are of course some exceptions.)

It reads:
“II. Under the name of Holy Scripture, or the Word of God written, are now contained all the books of the Old and New Testament, which are these: “ (and then lists the old and new testament books)

“VI. The whole counsel of God concerning all things necessary for His own glory, man's salvation, faith and life, is either expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary consequence may be deduced from Scripture: unto which nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men.”

Contrast this with the articles of faith:

9. We believe all that God has revealed, all that He does now reveal, and we believe that He will yet reveal many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.

Mormography said...


I am not sure what your point is. We all agree that Evangelicals consider the canon closed since the New Testament and that the LDS believe that the canon was reopened with Joseph Smith, but since JS is open at best “minimally”, though I would say truthfully only theoretically, not at all like the Strangites who truly believed the canon was continuously open.

Your example gives the false impression that Mormon's believe that the gospel has still not yet been fully restore, whereas the current BoM introduction indicates that the BoM contains the fullness. Furthermore, the introduction used to say “The Book of Mormon contains, as does the Bible, the fullness of the everlasting gospel." Your Evangelical quote indicates that Evangelicals believe that the gospel is fully contained in the Old and New testaments (as Mormon’s apparently use to believe) and there is no necessity to add to it. It does not say there might be unnecessary parts (Songs of Solomon). It does not say there will not be more witnesses to the gospel. It does not say that Evangelicals do not believe in revelation. Oh, and bytheway, the Westminster Confession is not in the New Testament, is it? So if we are going to play the theoretically open game we could say your example is an indication that the Evangelical canon is theoretically open.

So, yes Mkprr, the ever changing introduction to the BoM is another indication that Mormons fail their own rejection criteria. "2--Even Mormanity has openly recognized that many LDS doctrines that have been taught and dearly held [beliefs] were never official doctrine, essentially declaring the teachings of men have been wrongfully taken/given as doctrine."

mkprr said...

My point is simply that it isn’t a failure of rejection criteria for mormons and protestants to reject one another over the LDS view of an open canon because their views on the subject truly are fundamentally opposed. You have been arguing that the mormon cannon is open “by the same definition the Evangelical canon is open” Which simply isn’t true. The mainstream Protestants’ view is that “nothing at any time is to be added.”

You then said “Your example gives the false impression that Mormon's believe that the gospel has still not yet been fully restore”

I can’t control what impressions you’ll have when you read what I write, however If you would like to debate about something I actually did write I’m game. If I had written what you claim I impressed upon you, I agree that it would be false.

The 9th article of faith which is the only thing I quoted on the subject of LDS revelation, states that modern and future revelations will be about “important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God.” Not about God finally getting around to revealing the fullness of the gospel. You are correct in stating that the fullness of the gospel is in the BOM and the Bible, you are wrong in asserting that I or anyone else here have been implying otherwise.

mkprr said...

I’m not sure where you are going with your statement about the introduction of the BOM being a failure of Jeff’s rejection criteria. You’ll have to explain that one further.

As for your second point, again I agree with you, Mormons should do their best to be ready always to reject doctrines of men both inside and outside the church. To do otherwise is hypocritical. As you point out, Jeff has rejected doctrines that show signs as being of men, wouldn't this show that he is consistent with his rejection criteria?

Mormography said...

1. What you half quoted and declare not true is true when quoted in its entirety: “If that is what makes the LDS canon open in practice, then by the same definition the Evangelical canon is open. That which is called a rose would still smell the same by another name.” It is interesting to see you and Lamdaddy focus on a humorous triviality. It shows the core point must have been very frustrating for you.
2. You said contrast the Westminster Confession with the LDS Articles of Faith 9. The Westminster Confession declares that the Bible contains the fullness of the gospel and Article of Faith 9 talks about continuing revelation. To suggest they are to be contrasted is to give the impression that the gospel is not fully restored or that Evangelicals do not believe in revelation (which has already been thoroughly discussed). Your bad, not mine. I did what you suggested and you get upset. Who understands you?
3. What is Jeff’s rejection criteria? In my posts above I was referencing rejection criteria in the LDS canon, not by any one here. I merely used the extremely pro-Mormon apologist point of views here to indicate that even they confess the LDS church has had a problem of teachings of men given/taken as doctrine. The fact that you missed that means that you are not even trying to understand.

mkprr said...

You asked “what is jeffs rejection criteria?” I meant to say mormons rejection criteria. Sorry about that.

Did someone state that holding conferences is what constitutes the LDS open canon of scripture or is that another impression you got while reading?

As I understand the LDS canon, being ever willing to add to the canon as the Lord sees fit to reveal important things pertaining to the kingdom is what makes it open. Similar to how a cafe can be opened even though nobody is ordering food at the moment, the canon is opened even if God isn't commanding us to add anything for the time being. We are however, ready to add at any given moment.(I know it's not a perfect metaphor but maybe it's helpful?)

Evangelicals have closed the canon by proclaiming “nothing at any time is to be added, whether by new revelations of the Spirit, or traditions of men.” The difference seems significant. Does this address the point you were making or am I still not seeing it?

You say ”the core point must have been very frustrating for you.” And then you say “The fact that you missed that means that you are not even trying to understand.”

Believe it or not I am interested in understanding your pov. That’s why I’m writing with you. I honestly am just having a difficult time following how your reasoning relates to your accusations. If I'm frustrating you I apologize for that, it isn't intentional. We are coming from completely different points of view so communicating with each other takes effort. I think it's worth the effort though if you are still interested. I see value in what I have understood from you so far.

Mormography said...

No, no frustration on my part. You will have to cut and paste the “reasoning” and “accusations” that you feel do not relate. However, as we have seen from the last post when things are quoted in the entirety they do relate.

My “pov” is pretty simple. Mormanity arrogantly declares the Evangelical rejection criteria contradictory. My response is to point out that the Mormon rejection is no better than any other religion.

For example, the false prophecy scriptures of the Bible are used by Mormon critics to reject JS. Mormanity’s response is to deny that the Bible believes that false prophecies make a prophet false. Most fascinating is that Mormanity never explains why the false prophecy verses are in the Bible or what it is those verse must really mean. (Hence one of the true Evangelical/Mormon bones of contention is the constant Mormon attack on the Bible). Mormanity also frequently accuses people of not looking at his FAQ for answers first. The same could be said of Mormanity, because all one has to do is google Jonah false prophet and find direct Evangelical responses to why Mormons and JW are wrong regarding Bible and false prophecy. A similar scenario plans out here with occult devices. There are verses in the Bible speaking against occult devices and occult devices are used by Biblical prophets.

Just as you claim the LDS history of following the teachings of men as given/taken for doctrine does not make the LDS guilty of their own rejection criteria, I am sure you understand Evangelicals do the same with false prophecies and occult devices. Mormanity knows full well the minute he explicitly states his rejection criteria for Strangites, Warren Jeffs, etc (who hold the same priesthood and believe in the same God) I would easily point the rejection criteria right back at him the way he does with Evangelicals.

Drum roll …. So the point is Mormanity’s attempts to demonstrate that the Evangelical logical universe is inferior to the Mormon logical universe is just flat out wrong, dishonest, and completely against a spirit of humility.