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  1. The great apostasy

    Ok, Thanks for indulging my ignorance on the Catholic position, 3DOP. Acts 1:20 seems to be referring to Psalms 69:25, but I don't see anything there about bishopric. It does say let not another take his place or tent. Is there another Psalms or scripture that the Catholic Church is basing that on? Or am I misreading something?
  2. The great apostasy

    Jesus didn't leave word about the replacement of apostles, but the apostles clearly felt they were to replace themselves, and did so. If not, there would have been no Paul the apostle, and we can chuck out that part of the NT. Are you in with that? Acts talks about the replacement of several apostles. What happened? Why does your church have no apostles? The destroyer came and destroyed Jerusalem, and killed Peter and Paul. John was translated. Bishops were not apostles, but were ordained by them. Where does Christ say to do that in the NT? Many, many things about the priesthood simply aren't taught in the scriptures, but the few clear things don't support your view. Yeshua didn't tell the apostles they could not be together - he gave them a mandate to go declare His word. In the restored Church, the apostles were routinely sent on missions. As the church grew, their need as missionaries was not as great, and they gained more responsibilities in Church governance, however, the apostles continue to travel all over the world, and now their words can be projected around the world. It is not like they just sit in SLC unheard. Lastly, having authority is not the same as having gifts. Despite this, many apostles have healed the sick. Priesthood gifts are given to all members of the priesthood. Someone does not need an apostle to receive a healing blessing. A high council member related a story to my ward about an incident on his mission. I don't recall all the particulars, but I think they had had an unsuccessful day, but felt compelled to go down this one street. Whatever the case, a lady answered her door with "where have you been?" "Come, in and heal my son" or something like that. The boy was dead. Neither missionary really wanted to give this blessing, but this high councilman did, and blessed the boy to regain health, and be able to play ball. Nothing happened. They kind of sheepishly left. But they went back a few weeks later just to check on her, and she said her boy was out playing ball, and they began to give her and the boy lessons. You can also watch a similar type of story in the movie "The Other Side of Heaven" - one of my faves. I recommend it highly. Another good true story is in the movie "Ephraim's Rescue." I am still moved by that movie. Ephraim Hanks was not an apostle nor any kind of authoritative figure in the Church, but healed many through the Lord - some from gangrene on an ill-fated hand cart trek. Again rank of authority does not equal spiritual gifts nor revelatory gifts - despite what some may think.
  3. Do I sense a bit of rankling or is that more of a challenge? I think it fairly clear that we don't have all the Lord's thoughts on this matter. Verse 66 says: "I will reveal more unto you, hereafter; therefore, let this suffice for the present." So, it seems the Lord has more yet to say on this. I don't really believe the Lord commanded JS to marry any specific woman, but if He did, I suppose Emma was also bound by that commandment, and if He did, it was apparently the only known case in history. I don't believe the Lord commanded Sarah to give Hagar to wife. I believe Sarah did that because under the law, anything of Hagar's was Sarah's. In other words, since Hagar was Sarah's bondmaid, any child Hagar had was legally Sarah's, which gave Sarah the right to pass inheritance to that child. Sarah really wanted Abraham to have a child so she allowed Abraham to take Hagar to wife. So, I think we see the Lord here talking about a law of inheritance. I don't see any compulsion about it. Later, Abraham also took Keturah to wife. Despite, I think Chronicles, which gets translated as Keturah being a concubine, I believe this to be in error. Keturah was probably a cousin to Sarah, and fully legal wife, which made Midian a fully legal son, and Jethro a fully legal inheritor of the priesthood - a fact later Jews probably didn't like.
  4. You are quite entitled to your beliefs on the matter, but I just want to air mine so that "my silence" is not mistaken for agreement. Brian Hales wrote two volumes on the details of Joseph's polygamy, so I don't believe he ignored the details or is trying to paint over them. He just provides a lot of alternate details from those normally aired in the books of critics. If there is an area of Joseph's life most subject to scandalization and rumor mongering this is it. So it helps to have access to the journals of the women involved, and how they felt about it all rather than just the usual stereotypical print-every-rumor-style of critics. I have not denied that I feel it probable that JS sinned on the matter, and even quoted D&C 132:56, which seems to imply that he did, and that he needed to seek the forgiveness of his wife, Emma. However, to conclude from that, that polygamy is entirely wrong is not correct either nor that it all was a "sad, huge mistake." Prophets are men - men sin. It doesn't make their revelations wrong. D&C 132 makes it clear that if men want an additional wife, the permission of the first is needed to not sin against her. JS probably messed up in communicating his intent or the extent of his intent, or the like. However, I am not his judge - nor are you. That is why we have a Savior who God has given to be our Judge. For us to second guess the nature of this sin or to pass judgment on it is wrong. I do not believe D&C 132 is a "sad, huge mistake." I think Joseph and BY's interpretation of it was probably mistaken. And yes, I believe that interpretation was a sad, huge mistake. The idea that men and women have to engage in temporal polygamy in order to be exalted I think is still embedded in Church psyche, and I disagree with it. I believe it has resulted in much pain and sin mostly in the offshoots of the Church such as the FLDS. If it weren't for this teaching, we may not be having this discussion now. Further, the continual charge that Joseph "married" the wives of other men with all their alleged sordid details needs to be addressed with the fact that they don't smell quite right, because JS didn't produce any progeny from these alleged earthly unions, and that at the time the Church did recognize sealings for eternity only. While these women did have babies, it has been shown with genetic testing that they weren't Joseph's - it doesn't get much more real than that, so while you are being "honest" with what we do know, be sure to air those scientific facts. I believe they serve to quell the hysteria of the critics that JS was promoting polygamy for his own prurient desires. My personal belief is that Joseph was commanded to teach polygamy, and he took that to heart and tried to live an example and promote it as permissible or even desirable with God, but that brings up the point that if it was necessary for exaltation, JS did a poor job of it, because he didn't even publish D&C 132. He didn't air polygamy to the Church for the better part of a decade - that doesn't sound like he was actually told that people had to live polygamous relationships in order to be exalted does it? If so, I would say he was an utter failure. Unfortunately, in my view BY took this issue by the horns and made it a calling card for exaltation. I know some may disagree with that, but that is MHO. But to make all polygamy a horrible mistake is to declare most of God's ancient prophets horribly mistaken and in direct, constant conflict with God - and the BoM shows they could be in the way they lived polygamy. It was not and never has been necessary for exaltation, and that is the message the Church needs to stick with. To the extent that some early teachings disagree, they were mistaken.
  5. Well, while it may be tempting to agree with you at least somewhat, I think it incumbent to realize you are speaking in generalities. I have raised 3 millennials. I have seen their friends grow up and raised them in the milieu that is our modern society. Most I know who did not grow up in the Church are somewhat rudderless and what I would call troubled. They got their girl friends pregnant, and some to their credit, are at least trying to raise these kids. Knowing their society was going to be like this, we had daily scripture reading and somewhat routine family home evenings. When we got to places in the scriptures that talk about this kind of stuff, I made sure to pause and talk about it. I talked about why I decided at a young age not engage in premarital sex, and about the social pressure to be "cool" and "in" - about listening to other boys brag about it while I grew up, etc. I talked about areas I do not feel JS or BY were perfect or where I disagree with their opinions, and the danger I perceive in just following. I talked about a few areas I disagree with the Church, and just aired my point of view. Sometimes the discussion even got a little heated because my wife is def more "Molly" Mormon than I am "Manfred" Mormon...LOL. But I wanted to let them know that I love the restored gospel and why even if don't always agree with everything every church leader has said - that that is possible. I wanted to discuss some of the "difficult" areas of Church history/teachings, and how I deal with them, because I realized these would probably come up in talking with their friends. My oldest son kept his nose clean and even went against the grain of some of his friends. However, there were times when he didn't want to go to church - while we invited him, I did not get angry with him or unduly pressure him - and my wife fretted. Usually, the next week he would go. He worked some for me growing up, and had a bit of an independent streak. He aired he wasn't even sure there was a God at one point, and I told him about my various stages of development, and how I became inactive, but why I came back, and encouraged him to just pray to the Lord for guidance, and be patient. Well, about the time he reached HS graduation, he said he was asked to talk about the 1st Vision, and the HS just hit him "like a freight train" and convicted him of its truth. He went on to work a little while and he paid for his own mission. My other two boys are on their missions right now, and have worked at least some to help pay for their missions. I couldn't be more proud of them all. They have also seen what some of their cousins are like who have had everything handed to them. To be quite truthful I feel very disconnected from the millennial generation at large. I don't feel I really know how to relate to them with some exceptions, so I am not going to pretend that I really know what will work best for them. To a large extent my heart goes out to them because I perceive many of them as being quite rudderless and lost. I agree that many feel entitled, and are looking to the government to solve all their problems. However, I do see glimmers of change and hope as well. I see some backlash against the consequences of the asinine leftist policies and PC speech of micro-aggressions. Some millennials have had enough of it. Those are the ones I believe who will be most open to the restored gospel. I am also encouraged by the efforts of the Church to have a palpable presence at a few colleges around the nation rather than just in Utah and Idaho. With a resurgence to foundational, "conservative" or what I call Liberal roots of at least segments of our society, I perceive a door opening for the Church in the United States. The Church can be there for those searching for what is true in life. I am also encouraged by the Church's increasing willingness to deal with some issues of its past. Although I believe it has essentially been "forced" to do it, it is doing it.
  6. Holy Envy

    Ever since being a young man, I have held a certain fascination and respect for the mental discipline of Buddhists. Since Buddhism is more a philosophy than a religion in that it does not teach the worship of a God, I also do not feel it harmful to incorporate those aspects of its practices which are helpful into my own life. Moreso than any other religion/philosophy outside of Christianity, I have striven to incorporate some ideas of Buddhism into my life. I took a course on Eastern religions, but to my chagrin, the teacher seemed more interested in Taoism than Buddhism. I have never really had a planned daily practice of meditation, so I envy you Bro Pogi. But I have striven to rid myself of anger, fear, and extreme negative emotions - taking a cue from Buddhism. And I do believe a type of meditation could help me. Right now, I tend to get stuck on certain things, I really need to get past, and I think meditative practice can help with that. I do not accept all the ideas of Buddhism - for instance it seems to conflict with the ideas of dualism taught in the Book of Mormon, but in general I find the eight fold path to be useful, and mostly congruent with Christianity with a little bit of tweaking.
  7. I'm certainly not a millennial but I have a certain amount of resistance to the "cookie-cutter" Mormon mold. I wear red, blue, and accru shirts quite regularly. I can only imagine what young millennials coming to our churches may think about pressures to conform. I have said I believe our acceptable Church hymns could use a little updating - or maybe even a lot. While we cannot change the sin of fornication, we may be able to address it differently like that one church did. Rather, than talks which may fill perpetrators with guilt, talks which provide other motivations to change I think could certainly be in order. Judging from all the available statistics, un-wed sex, and single parent families have become the norm in our society, and maybe just pointing out the statistics pertaining to fatherless families would help - but then being there are so many, I'm sure some would feel offended at such an approach. It is a somewhat sticky subject, but if we address it the right way, perhaps we can draw in millennials not finding help elsewhere. Perhaps those who provide professional counseling for troubled relationships have already developed "a feel" for what approaches work best.
  8. Well, one problem is knowing what did take place. Most of the info is decades after the fact, and the anti's get their chance at "expanding" the knowledge of it, and many "facts" do not agree. I do not disagree with the possibility or probability that JS erred somewhere along the line. D&C 132:56 And again, verily I say, let mine handmaid forgive my servant Joseph his trespasses; and then shall she be forgiven her trespasses, This seems to speak to what you are referring to. Does sin bother me? Well, it does bother me that JS seemed to do some of this without consent, but it seems the Lord was willing to forgive him, if Emma was. Our second-guessing what actually happened doesn't seem too right to me either. I would have more problem with it all if Joseph's sealings to the wives of other men were popping out Joseph's babies, but it just seems like that never happened. The critics certainly paint the picture, but the physical evidence doesn't comport with their picture, so I have to conclude that in actuality something else was going on than what the critics want us to believe. I am willing to believe that these particular sealings ie "marriages" were for eternity only. For those who want to read something other than a Critics-only Viewpoint, I would suggest this author: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1589586859/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1
  9. http://hwcdn.libsyn.com/p/5/f/5/5f536b8e62fa8da6/LDSP_Hales_and_Peterson.pdf?c_id=17171825&expiration=1513060428&hwt=cc12172d197a511824b9b7ca7122a97f esp pp 12-13
  10. Well, all the critics call it marriage, but I have never seen any convincing evidence that JS consummated a "marriage" to women already married. No progeny, etc. Their children seem to always be the children of their husbands. So, I readily believe these were sealings for eternity, and not legally binding "marriages" the civil law would recognize. If you are that uncomfortable with JS marrying a 14 year old girl, then it seems you would have problems with many, many marriages of ancient prophets. That was not an unusual age back then. The Bible just doesn't give ages, but if it did, you would probably be shocked.
  11. I tried that once - well not the on Sunday part - and not the Versace suit part.... And finally not the 4 wheeler part - which is probably why I didn't make it. The map showed a road connecting to Strawberry, but dang if I would call it a road - more like a torture course. Pretty country tho.
  12. The great apostasy

    Just a little friendly dig here 3DOP - then isn't an apostle needed to ordain another apostle? How can a bishop be an apostle or receive apostolic keys? Why should I believe someone who says he has apostolic keys if he was not ordained by an apostle to be an apostle, nor hold the office of apostle?
  13. The great apostasy

    Spirits don't have fathers and mothers despite what you may have perceived the LDS Church as teaching. Hebrews makes it plain that Jesus was "adopted" as the Son of God in Spirit. Hebrews 1:4 Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name(what name was that? could it have been YHWH or the Son?) than they. 5 For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? So the Father chose Yeshua to be His only Begotten Son - He was not so before the Father said these things. A spiritual Son-Father relationship is being taught here - one of adoption or words/covenant. So despite Mary giving birth to Jesus, is she His spiritual mother? I pose the Christian must say no - gasp.... In the same way once Melchizedek received the everlasting priesthood of God, he no longer was linked to his earthly father or mother, but to his heavenly Father, the Father of spirits who is without beginning of days in priesthood - something his earthly parents could not give him, but became LIKE the Son of man having inherited an everlasting priesthood - a much greater sealing than any earthly one. Many of the prophets including Moses were a "type" of Jesus to come. Yes, this includes Melchizedek. But Melchizedek was a real man - he was not Yeshua, so the priesthood was not really his anymore than the levitical priesthood was Aaron's.
  14. The great apostasy

    Well, snowflake I admit to probably being an army of 1 on this particular topic, although Tertullian said it. Despite him saying that, he gets called the father of Latin orthodoxy, whereas I would surely be burnt at the stake not too long ago. I think this was an ongoing debate in early Christianity which is the reason why the Nicene Council was called by Constantine, and not the oft quoted reason that they needed to settle whether Jesus was the first creation of God or not. As for what I mean by begotten - may I refer you to that statement I made in my last post. I don't know how to explain it much better. There was a time on a different world where Jesus was a son of God: Hebrews 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; 8 Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; 9 And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; At this point the Lord literally told him: "Thou art my Son, this day I have begotten thee." Heb 5:5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. 6 As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. Acts 13:33 God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. 34 And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David. 35 Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. This conclusion is supported by many other scriptures, but I simply cannot address them all here. One must understand the scriptures in their totality. On this world Jesus was YHWH Elohim with the Father from the beginning. He was also the El Shaddai of the OT. The Father was always El Elyon, the Most High El, and Jesus made this clear by always deferring to the Father as one greater than He, but whom He followed saying He could do nothing of Himself, but that He seeth the Father do. It is just interspersed throughout the scriptures. One does not see it until one chooses to be open to it. Trinitarian doctrine is designed to shut out that possibility so Trinitarians don't see those truths when they read the scriptures - they read with a preset mindset that gives them blinders. They do things like try to force the angel of the YHWH to be Jesus incarnate, when Jesus was YHWH - one/echad YHWH with the Father from the beginning.
  15. The great apostasy

    I think there is good evidence that many of the early churches/bishoprics claimed a founding apostle. I believe the tendency to refer to who baptized you was a reason Paul refused to baptize converts - he didn't want them asserting authority over others by saying "well, Paul baptized me..." as is wont for men to do. I can't point them all out now, but even the Roman Catholic Church did it.... forgetting that Christ himself set up the Church in Jerusalem, and surely, Peter ordained many other bishops than just the one in Rome where he died. Many early churches made apostolic claims of authority according to the early literature - a fact which the Roman Catholic church got around by emphasizing that Peter died in Rome - although how that meant the keys passed only to the Roman bishop is still a mystery.....