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Bob Betts

Universal Apostasy Or Not?

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If we can't trust the written word of your religion, which IS in black and white, then we have a fundamental communication problem. If your religion puts it in print for investigators, and tells us an apostasy happened after Christ and His Apostles died, taking the priesthood authority from the earth, but your religion also says that one of those Apostles, along with three Nephites didn't actually die, but instead, went on a mission "unto all the ascattered tribes of Israel, and unto all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, and shall bring out of them unto Jesus many souls," then you can accuse me of anything you want, But it still won't make sense out of that glaring contradiction. If one Apostle and three Nephite priesthood holders were still on the earth, doing their calling until Christ returns, then there was no apostasy as claimed.

The problem isn't in the written word of our religion, but in your straited interpretation of those words. The texts do not make the claims for themselves which you do on their behalf.

You are simpyl presenting a false dichotomy out of an extremely jaundiced interpretation of a non-canonical text.

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If we can't trust the written word of your religion, which IS in black and white, then we have a fundamental communication problem. If your religion puts it in print for investigators, and tells us an apostasy happened after Christ and His Apostles died, taking the priesthood authority from the earth, but your religion also says that one of those Apostles, along with three Nephites didn't actually die, but instead, went on a mission "unto all the ascattered tribes of Israel, and unto all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, and shall bring out of them unto Jesus many souls," then you can accuse me of anything you want, But it still won't make sense out of that glaring contradiction. If one Apostle and three Nephite priesthood holders were still on the earth, doing their calling until Christ returns, then there was no apostasy as claimed.

I read your original post again just before posting this as to keep to your original question. I see that they were granted eternal life, so they can continue the Lord's work. But, excuse my inexperience, I failed to see where it says ALL the apostles were needed to be dead for the apostasy to occur. The ones that could die did, and again I failed to see where it says John and the three Nephites were commissioned to always teach, without exception. They stopped for a time, thus the apostasy took place.

Now I hate to derail anything, but if you have a moment please answer my question as to how the Once Saved, Always Saved rule can be if someone converts to LDS after they've been saved and they are no longer saved? You said it in this thread, and it is there that I asked you the question.

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It would be a matter of station given to him as he lived on and on when all the others died and corruption covered the church.

He (and the nephites) were given power and priesthood keys of Christ's ministry, and power over death, to bring souls to Christ until the end. They were "uniting as many to the church as would believe in their preaching; baptizing them, and as many as were baptized did receive the Holy Ghost."
He wasn't the 12 all in one person. He couldn't call others.
Call them to what? Look at the obvious uses of LDS priesthood authority he (they) COULD minister. The question remains, if Christ called them to do those things, until His return, and they were doing them, then how could your church claim the authority was taken from the earth?
That wasn't what he asked to do. He didn't ask to continue the church, but rather to continue to bring souls to Christ.
But your scripture DOES say they "uniting as many to the church as would believe in their preaching; baptizing them, and as many as were baptized did receive the Holy Ghost." And, again in verse 23. Aren't these activities indicative of continuing the church, and more importantly to my OP, indicative of priesthood authority in action, with the power and keys of Christ's ministry? How, then, can it be claimed that the priesthood authority was taken from the earth?
Do we know if he was influential in the restoration? as in influencing Martin Luther? Or others of other churches who were remember even now because they gave great things to mankind via perhaps a meeting with John?
Um, I don't believe either the story of the universal apostacy or the stories in the BoM. So, my answer would be no. John didn't live on and there was nothing to restore. There WERE thing to reform, thus the reformation, and reformers.

I'm just showing you that your apostacy claim and scriptures contradict.

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I'd like to see Mr. Betts produce a definition of "apostacy" that every Mormon can agree to. So far, I have never seen one.

Sargon

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I'd like to see Mr. Betts produce a definition of "apostacy" that every Mormon can agree to. So far, I have never seen one.

Sargon

I'm not sure whether that's an indictment of Betts or not. Where you have three Mormons you'll find five opinions, as Paul Ray proved yesterday.

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If we can't trust the written word of your religion, which IS in black and white, then we have a fundamental communication problem. If your religion puts it in print for investigators, and tells us an apostasy happened after Christ and His Apostles died, taking the priesthood authority from the earth, but your religion also says that one of those Apostles, along with three Nephites didn't actually die, but instead, went on a mission "unto all the ascattered tribes of Israel, and unto all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, and shall bring out of them unto Jesus many souls," then you can accuse me of anything you want, But it still won't make sense out of that glaring contradiction. If one Apostle and three Nephite priesthood holders were still on the earth, doing their calling until Christ returns, then there was no apostasy as claimed.

You are correct in that if we believe John the Beloved and the Three Nephites have been on the earth ministering, then there never was a time when ALL priesthood authority left the earth. Meaning, they never "lost" their authority and in reality they probably had greater authority than they had during their earthly lives.

Yet we can equate the concept of universal apostasy in terms of denominational apostasy. Meaning, while these individuals continued to minister, they were not bringing people too or affiliating with a particular denomination. Rather, they were always bringing people to Jesus Christ. This for me is an important distinction.

Can we agree that apostasy happens when the church as organization seeks to bring people to the institution over the Lord or seeks mastery over individuals? Can we also agree that when a church promotes its superiority over other churches this too is a form of apostasy (becoming the very thing Joseph was warned against joining)?

If we can agree with these things, then we can understand the apostasy the Restoration Movement was meant to correct!

In Christ I Serve,

Thunderfire

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If we can't trust the written word of your religion, which IS in black and white, then we have a fundamental communication problem. If your religion puts it in print for investigators, and tells us an apostasy happened after Christ and His Apostles died, taking the priesthood authority from the earth, but your religion also says that one of those Apostles, along with three Nephites didn't actually die, but instead, went on a mission "unto all the ascattered tribes of Israel, and unto all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, and shall bring out of them unto Jesus many souls," then you can accuse me of anything you want, But it still won't make sense out of that glaring contradiction. If one Apostle and three Nephite priesthood holders were still on the earth, doing their calling until Christ returns, then there was no apostasy as claimed.

This is a key difference between Mormons and evangelicals. Forgive me for stereotyping, but for many evangelicals, the Word is everything. The text of the Bible is God-breathed and infallible and is to be taken literally and exactly as transmitted. Thus the idea that the "written word of [Mormon] religion ... IS in black and white." Most Mormons and even exMormons would find that a foreign approach to the written word. In the LDS religion, the word of God is not restricted to the written standard works. It is received through priesthood leaders, including prophets and apostles, and through the personal ministry of the Holy Ghost. Hence, there isn't much in black and white, and the word of God is fluid and "adapted to the capacity of the weak and the weakest of all saints."

Again, Bob, you're projecting an evangelical approach to the scriptures and then acting bewildered that Mormons can't see what you do. You'd be much better served if you actually tried to understand what Mormons believe instead of playing this prooftexting game of spiritual "gotcha."

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Bob can you address my last two posts?

Regards,

T-Shirt

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This is a key difference between Mormons and evangelicals. Forgive me for stereotyping, but for many evangelicals, the Word is everything. The text of the Bible is God-breathed and infallible and is to be taken literally and exactly as transmitted.

Yet is there a belief that the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, or the revelations given by GBH to be God breathed, infallible, and to be taken literally and exactly as transmitted? I'm wondering if it's appropriate to afford these books this level of innerancy yet not the Bible?

I don't see a difference between LDS and Evangelicals when it comes to a belief in the infallibility of the prophets they accept.

Just pondering...

In Christ I Serve,

Thunderfire

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No Bob you are trying to brush off my answer, that is not what the passage says here read it again:

(Mormon 1:13-14) "But wickedness did prevail upon the face of the whole land, insomuch that the Lord did take away his beloved disciples, and the work of miracles and of healing did cease because of the iniquity of the people. And there were no gifts from the Lord, and the Holy Ghost did not come upon any, because of their wickedness and unbelief."

Again it does not refer to Zarahemla, it says the face of the whole land!

I never denied that. Whether the land of Zarahemla, or the face of the whole land surrounding Zarahemla, doesn't change my argument in the least. Heck, make it the whole continent if you prefer. Your point was wrong that it was the whole world.
You could argue that it does not say the whole world, but it plainly states that the Nephites and Lamanites had become apostate.
Then your argument was useless. Making a big deal out of how widespread the "the face of the whole land" is, adds nothing to the discussion.
It also sets the conditions in which they (John and the three Nephites) can minister, and when they are withdrawn (because of wickedness and unbelief which is by definition apostacy.)
Whether it does or not, they were still called to the rest of the world to use their priesthood authority until Christ's return. Thus, it was never taken from the earth.
So don't try to wrest "our" modern day scriptures the way you wrest the scriptures of the Bible. As for D&C 7 it also states this:Did you get that? It does not give the time period in which John will minister, and it says that Peter, James and John "will have the keys of this ministry until I come." Now Peter, James, and John (the three in this scripture who were given the keys) gave the same keys to the Prophet Joseph Smith in June of 1829 about two months after this revelation was given to the Prophet. The apostacy was gradual but it was complete and no amount of pulling quotes out of context from "our" scriptures and placing your own false conclusion on them will prove otherwise.
You can believe everything Smith and Cowdery said all you want. That's not the issue of this thread.

Whether you want to claim an apostasy happened gradually or instantly, you cannot refute the priesthood activities described in your scriptures which were to continue until Christ's return. Therefore, the claim to the authority being taken from the earth, is contradictory.

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Yet is there a belief that the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, or the revelations given by GBH to be God breathed, infallible, and to be taken literally and exactly as transmitted? I'm wondering if it's appropriate to afford these books this level of innerancy yet not the Bible?

I have never seen anyone approach LDS scriptures or prophets with the kind of inerrancy I see in some evangelicals. Not even close. Even Joseph Smith found it perfectly acceptable to revise and rewrite scripture. That's hardly the stuff of infallible, God-breathed stuff.

I don't see a difference between LDS and Evangelicals when it comes to a belief in the infallibility of the prophets they accept.

Then you're not looking particularly hard. :P

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I'm not sure whether that's an indictment of Betts or not. Where you have three Mormons you'll find five opinions, as Paul Ray proved yesterday.

Well Betts' entire argument rests on one particular definition of the word "apostacy". To my knowledge there are as many definitions of this word as there have been books or articles written on the subject. Once one realizes that Betts' definition is not the only one, his argument crumbles.

John W said:

This is a key difference between Mormons and evangelicals. Forgive me for stereotyping, but for many evangelicals, the Word is everything. The text of the Bible is God-breathed and infallible and is to be taken literally and exactly as transmitted. Thus the idea that the "written word of [Mormon] religion ... IS in black and white." Most Mormons and even exMormons would find that a foreign approach to the written word.

I think you hit it squarly on the head. If a contradiction were found between 'Preach my Gospel' and a particular doctrine of the church, it wouldn't shake my faith at all. If a contradiction were found between D&C and D&C, that too would not shake my faith at all. I have never believed that any of our scriptures were infallible or inerrant, for many of the same reasons I reject the bible as such.

Sargon

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Bob,

I know your busy. Thank you for your time. I know there are a lot of questions and you have to admit it is mostly fun. Now if you can just look abck and see my last 2 or 3 posts. See what you think.

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Bob,

Lightbearers post totaly destroyed your argument. I know you dont see it this way. But that is to bad. You cannot argue it any more. The scriptures that Lightbearer gave spacifically give qualifications that when wickedness prevails the servants will not be found.

Doesn't matter. Christ's calling on the four was, "unto all the ascattered tribes of Israel, and unto all nations, kindreds, tongues and people," and shall bring out of them unto Jesus many souls, that their desire may be fulfilled, and also because of the convincing power of God which is in them." They could leave one place and go to another. But, they would be fulfilling their callings, using their priesthood authority until the return of Christ. That's what they said they desired, and that's what Christ granted them. No "priesthood authority taken from the earth."
Lets try this. IF 4 people had the priesthood on the earth and were not allowed to preach until the time of JS what good what that priesthood do that those 4 carried?
No good. But, according to 3 Nephi 28:18 they were "uniting as many to the church as would believe in their preaching; baptizing them, and as many as were baptized did receive the Holy Ghost," beginning in A.D. 34-35. They were granted permission to preform these priesthood responsibilities until Christ's return. Nothing about an 1,800 year layoff is hinted at.
Accrouding to our scritpures the qualification must be met. As has been said before there can only be some speculation as to what the 4 priesthood holders were doing for the past 1500 years. No volume of scripture I have read have given any d etails.
I don't know why I must keep repeating the same answers to people. But, both D&C 7 and 3 Nephi 28, tell us what they would do, where they would do it, and how long they would do it. To speculate they did nothing for 1,800 years, seems extraordinarily counterproductive, and contradictory to Christ's plan of using them to bring souls to Christ, "uniting as many to the church as would believe in their preaching; baptizing them, and as many as were baptized did receive the Holy Ghost," all over the world, until His return.

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No good. But, according to 3 Nephi 28:18 they were "uniting as many to the church as would believe in their

THank you for the reply. I will wait until others get a reply first.

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Dear Bob Betts,

You may have missed my post near the bottom of page 5. I'm interested in your response.

Thanks,

Zeta-Flux

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I believe this question was answered about four decades ago.

Was the Priesthood Ever Completely Taken from the Earth?

Question: "It is frequently stated that there was a complete apostasy from the gospel throughout the entire world following the death of our Savior and his Apostles. It seems if this is literally true, that the inhabitants of the world were left entirely to the enticing influence of Satan and his followers. Will you please enlighten us on this point?"

Answer: There has never been a time from the beginning when the influence of the Spirit of the Lord has not been active on the face of the earth. Our Eternal Father has never surrendered the human family completely to the power and influence of Satan. It is true that the time came when there was no one left in mortal life with authority to organize and set in order the kingdom of God. However, there never has been a time when the inhabitants have been entirely subject to Lucifer and his followers without some means of inspiration.

THE DARK PERIOD AFTER THE DEATH OF THE APOSTLES

During the dark period after the death of all but one of the apostles and their rightful successors holding the divine authority, there was no person on the earth who was authorized to restore the Holy Priesthood. Nevertheless, during these dark years there were many righteous persons endeavoring to keep the commandments of the Lord to the best of their ability and understanding. Mormon in writing to his son Moroni made this enlightening statement:

For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God. (Moroni 7:16.)

This must have been true even in the dark days of universal departure from the way of eternal life. However, after false teachings and organizations had been introduced, the time came when the pure gospel of Jesus was not found among men on the earth; false ordinances and doctrine had been substituted for the divine truth in all parts of the earth; and the Holy Priesthood had been replaced by false creeds and a spurious order of priesthood. This does not argue or prove that the influence of the Lord had disappeared and that the earth had been surrendered entirely to Satan. In the Doctrine and Covenants we have this divine revelation given by the Prophet Joseph Smith:

REVELATION GIVEN TO PROPHET JOSEPH SMITH

Thus saith the Lord; for I am God, and have sent mine Only Begotten Son into the world for the redemption of the world, and have decreed that he that receiveth him shall be saved, and he that receiveth him not shall be damnedâ??And they have done unto the Son of Man even as they listed; and he has taken his power on the right hand of his glory, and now reigneth in the heavens, and will reign till he descends on the earth to put all enemies under his feet, which time is nigh at handâ??I, the Lord God, have spoken it; but the hour and the day no man knoweth, neither the angels in heaven, nor shall they know until he comes.Wherefore, I will that all men shall repent, for all are under sin, except those which I have reserved unto myself, holy men that ye know not of. (D. & C. 49:5-8.)

There are several important prophets who were granted the privilege of remaining on the earth. John the Revelator was one of these, and in the Doctrine and Covenants, section seven, is an account of this. Elijah evidently was another, for no living soul could have received the resurrection until after our Redeemer had opened the graves. The scriptural inference is that Moses also was translated as was Alma. In the case of Alma we read in the book of Alma the following:

And when Alma had done this he departed out of the land of Zarahemla, as if to go into the land of Melek. And it came to pass that he was never heard of more; as to his death or burial we know not of.Behold, this we know, that he was a righteous man; and the saying went abroad in the church that he was taken up by the Spirit, or buried by the hand of the Lord, even as Moses. But behold, the scriptures saith the Lord took Moses unto himself; and we suppose that he has also received Alma in the spirit, unto himself; therefore, for this cause we know nothing concerning his death and burial. (A1ma 45:18-19. )

It is a very reasonable thought to believe that both Moses and Alma, like Elijah and John, were translated to accomplish some work which the Lord had in store for them at some future day.

Joseph Fielding Smith, 5 Answers to Gospel Questions 36-38 (1966)

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Bob, I have pointed this out to you already. I don't know if you missed it or ignored it.

I certainly didn't mean to ignore it. I'm taking each post in order, trying to get caught up.

You have to read more than two verses. The baptizing and bringing people to the church was done while the church was still on the earth, before the apostasy was complete.
This argument doesn't square with other verses. What Christ granted the four was for the duration of time until Christ's return. Wouldn't Christ have known that His own Church would be taken from the earth, BEFORE he granted permission to those four to perform priesthood responsibilities until His return?
When the people became too wicked and unbelieving, they no longer baptized, but were taken from among the people.
It only talks about taking them from the people in and around the land of Zarahemla. At the most that's one continent. Christ's promise to them extended to "all the ascattered tribes of Israel, and unto all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, and shall bring out of them unto Jesus many souls, that their desire may be fulfilled, and also because of the convincing power of God which is in them" until His return.
The work they did from that time forward was done in anonymity, they were no longer known to the world.
However, verse 30 "And they are as the angels of God, and if they shall pray unto the Father in the name of Jesus they can show themselves unto whatsoever man it seemeth them good. Taking into consideration that their callings were to all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, then they would certainly be showing themselves to men all over the world, until Christ's return.
Because the world was in apostasy. The organization of the Church no longer existed.
The claim is, "With the death of the Apostles, priesthood keys and presiding priesthood authority were taken from the earth." That didn't happen if those four were on the earth.
Now, you can continue to repeat yourself all you want, but it will get you nowhere. The answer has been given and it is perfectly logical and sound. Your proof-texting from LDS scripture is not working.

T-Shirt

Your opinion is noted.

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Mr. Betts,

I apologize if an earlier post of mine offended you. It was duly removed. However, I think as people noted, this argument you are advancing might be effective in persuading an evangelical not to become Mormon, since how you have been proof-texting the cited sources in a manner which is consistent with how evangelicals interpret the scriptures. However, this argument will not be persuasive to Mormons, because they do not approach any scriptures the way evangelicals do. This line of arguing is essentially playing to your base of supporters, and it has been give a response which is adequate to Mormons, but inadequate to you. If I were you, I'd just agree to disagree, and stop :P .

Sincerely yours,

Notquite

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The word is translated, not "transfigured." Peter, James and John were transfigured on the Mount. Later, John and the three Nephites were translated while Peter and James were resurrected.

(Richard O. Cowan, Answers to Your Questions About the Doctrine and Covenants 14 (1996)

(Joseph E Taylor, 1 Collected Discourses 128-144 (2 June 1888)

The word "translated" never shows up anywhere in 3 Nephi 28. Only "transfigured."

I wish your quotes showed up when I clicked on "Reply", but they don't.

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Bob, is your main assertion that "Preach My Gospel" is slightly inaccurate/incomplete? Or are you claiming something stronger?

Stronger. I'm claiming a complete contradiction.
Do you believe that teaching tools for missionaries must be absolutely complete?
I believe they should be accurate and scripturally sound. The Preach My Gospel statemment and the scriptures I've presented conflict with each other's message.
In other words, why is this issue significant to you?
Contradictory beliefs within your religion? Why ISN'T this issue significant to all LDS?
There are numerous points where doctrine could be clarified. What makes this one special?
It's foundational to the LDS belief system, yet doesn't make sense to me for the reasons repeatedly given. It goes to credibility. Why do the LDS scriptures contradict the most important LDS claim?
Thanks,

Zeta-Flux

You're welcome.

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Dear Bob Betts,

Thank you for your response. If the "Preach My Gospel Manual" had instead said: "With the death of the Apostles, priesthood keys and presiding priesthood authority were taken from mortals on the earth" would you still consider this a contradiction with our scriptures? If so, could you explain where you see the contradiction?

Thanks,

Zeta-Flux

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The word "translated" never shows up anywhere in 3 Nephi 28. Only "transfigured."

That is correct. Nevertheless, the correct word is "translated" as illustrated in my prior quotes.

Here is some additional explanation.

Transfiguration should not be confused with translation of the body, though both possibly affect the body in similar ways. Transfiguration describes a momentary change, whereas translated beings experience a long-term change that ends only when they pass from mortality to immortality (3 Ne. 28:8 ). Among those translated are Enoch and the city Zion (Moses 7:18-23, 27; MD, p. 727), Elijah, the apostle John (D&C 7), and the three Nephite disciples (3 Ne. 28:4-11, 15-40).
Encyclopedia of Mormonism 1485 (1992)
Mormon uses the word transfiguration to describe the condition the Three were in while beholding the glorious things of God (3 Nephi 28:15, 17). The scriptures are not clear on the exact differences between transfigured beings and translated beings. However, the scriptural use of these terms seems to indicate "that transfiguration is more temporary, as in Matthew 17:1-9 and Moses 1:11, occurring primarily to permit one to behold spiritual things not possible in the mortal condition" (Mark McConkie 4:1486). Conversely, "translated beings experience a long-term change" that culminates at the time of their resurrection (Mouritsen 4:1485). It appears that these Nephite disciples were first transfigured and then translated.
M. Nyman & C. Tate, Jr., eds., Third Nephi 9-30: This Is My Gospel 244-245 (1993)

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My question for Bob would be, "Why do you even care what a bunch of stupid Mormons believe??"

You have no intention of joining our Church... You seem to believe we are a bunch of mindless sheep, who are all going to Hell anyway... You seem to believe our scriptures provide teachings contrary to the word of God... And you obviously think you are far superior to we lowly "Mormons"... You know all, we know nothing... This appears to be a big game of semantics to you... You are playing games with things that we hold dear?? I am sorry that you have such an Un-Christian attitude... It makes me very sad for you....

Why don't EVs realize that you can disagree with others, and still be loving to them?? I guess it wouldn't score you as many "points" in your little game... That REALLY makes me sad for you...

Silver Girl

:P

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My question for Bob would be, "Why do you even care what a bunch of stupid Mormons believe??"

You have no intention of joining our Church... You seem to believe we are a bunch of mindless sheep, who are all going to Hell anyway... You seem to believe our scriptures provide teachings contrary to the word of God... And you obviously think you are far superior to we lowly "Mormons"... You know all, we know nothing... This appears to be a big game of semantics to you... You are playing games with things that we hold dear?? I am sorry that you have such an Un-Christian attitude... It makes me very sad for you....

Why don't EVs realize that you can disagree with others, and still be loving to them?? I guess it wouldn't score you as many "points" in your little game... That REALLY makes me sad for you...

Silver Girl

:P

Because he loves us. <_<:unsure::ph34r::angry:

Sargon

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