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lostprophet83

On the Restoration and the Double Apostasy

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The work for the dead is not a solution. What of those people that you cannot name or assign a number? I must admit that my own understanding of the practice is limited as I have never preformed one. I would appreciate enlightenment on the subject, it may be another topic. Please post a link here if you do discuss it.

After the Second Coming, during the Millenial reign of Christ vicarious ordinances will be carried out for all who we could not find a name or number for before His coming. Until that time we are doing the work as best we can.
I accept your concession that the KJV is a mystery. But I think its original and continued use by the LDS church seems to contradict a total apostasy doctrine. Do you not agree?
That depends on what you mean by "total apostasy". The LDS do not believe that all true doctrine was lost during the Great Apostasy. What defined the Great Apostasy was that no Priesthood Authority was allowed to act (at least, not openly) on the Earth during that time and there was no formal organization recognized as the Church of Jesus Christ by Jesus Christ himself.

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But I will take your admission that the restored church is not free from error

You asked for serious discussion and then you dropped this strawman on me?

You, OBVIOUSLY aren't taking my comments seriously at all. But rather just looking for opportunity to inject into them what you want to see.

Name me a church on the entire earth that is "error free"!

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lostprophet83:

God will not force anyone to believe.

Bingo, it has to do with teh agency to choose and God will not take that away.

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I sort of agree with most of this, and it's a nice saying, but it's not quite right, thus false.

Protestantism wasn't a "course correction", while yes they DID course correct a couple of false ideas that had entered Christianity, they actually ADDED even MORE corruptions of the Gospel. The Restoration was the "actual" course correction, for it was only one directed by God Himself. There were no Prophets, visions, etc. involved in the Protestant Reformation. After all, in just one of their big battles they sacked the Vatican, killed everyone, raped nuns, and killed the Pope (did they kill him that time, or did he escape, can't remember). Point is, the Reformation didn't have "God" in it at all. I'm of course not saying every person was like that, but God wasn't the head.

To say the Reformation "didn't have "God" in it at all" is contrary to what your own LDS leaders have said of the Protestant Reformers. If bad actions by some followers determines the whole status of a movement, then the Restoration falls short by your standard also.

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Name me a church on the entire earth that is "error free"!

The problem here is that he misrepresented what I said.

He said,

Point (2) seems to indicate that a person can never be assured that the church is preserved free from error.

To which I responded.

Well, since the church is peopled with imperfect people, why should anyone ever expect it to be free from error?

Which he twisted into,

But I will take your admission that the restored church is not free from error.

And thus the question (not an admission) remains unanswered.

Why should anyone ever expect it (the church or any church) to be free from error?

If he is really serious about a discussion, he could answer the question rather than turn it into an "admission".

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Obi wan, I will try and get to all your points. Thanks for the great response.

You do know that God "established" his church and people MANY times in history and there have been MANY apostacy's??? Even when Christ came there was a current apostacy at the time. You do know that don't you??? You also forget something else. God's authority and keys are only exercised on the principles of righteousness and by those in said authority. So, my question to you would be "why wouldn't there by an apostacy"? I mean, we are still mortals, and the last I checked there isn't much different between people over 2,000 years ago compared to those for the last 2,000 years.

While your definition of apostasy is technically correct (From the Greek apo-stasis; 'to stand away') it seems unlike the LDS doctrine of total apostasy,

From The Pearl of Great Price - Joseph Smith History 1:19: 'I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight.'

The deviations of the Israelites were not like the LDS doctrine in that there were still righteous and true believing people on earth. From the establishment of the priesthood until the time of Christ there is not a gap in the Levitical priesthood or teaching authority as Christ himself acknowledges

A few problems with you comment.

First you are confusing "The Church" (that is the authorized representatives of God) with Righteousness and the Holy Spirit. There have been righteous men, there have been righteous Christians, the light of christ and the Holy Ghost STILL was there for anyone who wanted to be good. This has always been the case from the beginning of man. But man has not always been "authorized" to organize the Church and lead the people per God's Word. Thus, the world wasn't "dominated by paganism".

The other problem is you are apparently coming from Christian Traditions which tell you that "the Church" is simply the Holy Ghost and feeling good and righteous, i.e. following Christ. That has NEVER been "the Church", even when Christ was on the earth. Look for example in Mark/Luke 9 & Matthew 18 in which there were other believers who were not with the Church nor having Church authority who were just that, other believers who were still children of Christ, could do miracles, and per Christ's own words should not be attacked. But, it was clear they had not "church authority", hence the Apostles initial reaction, and Christ didn't correct that part.

I like those chapters as well because they clearly indicate that anti-mormonism is directly against God.

No I do not think so. I am confusing the "Church" with an orthodox and unwaivering teaching authority that is worthy of belief. I do believe that the since the time of Christ 'a man' has been authorized to inerrantly teach the faith, and not feeling good and righteousness. I believe in dogma and mystery, not feelings, are the basis of faith.

I'll give you pass on this section since you made a reasonable assumption.

Let me ask you this. Do you really think man would have killed Christ "today"? I don't think so. I mean, the amount of mircles and with modern communication even back in 1820, there would be no doubt to all that that man was of God. Further, you're forgetting something else. Christ fullfilled many prophecy's by coming back then, many of which aren't even in the Bible but are mentioned in the New Testament. For example, do you know WHO is of the line of David today???

Further, there are many indications in the Old and New Testament that there WOULD be an Apostacy prior to the Second Coming of Christ. I don't know about you, but we follow the scriptures, while your christian traditions "don't" follow certain things of the scriptures. I know this personally because I grew up in many of your religions, and reading the Bible for myself and saw for myself how your various religions simply did not follow or weren't consistent with certain things of the Bible. Only when I came upon mormonism did a religion FULLY fit what the Bible stated.

Yes, I believe that they would kill Christ today. But I think your view comes from the fact that Christian morality underpins America's moral tradition. I think you are confusing the result of Christian Culture with its cause. Also Christians are killed all over the world by the thousands in the Middle East, China, and Africa. It would not be hard to find someplace that Jesus would die.

I am unaware of something about the scripture that I do not follow except Levitical law. I believe the Book of Acts and Pauls letter to the Romans allow this though. You could enlighten me

As for the Apostasy, I agree that there will be a great 'falling away' but this could be fulfilled by any number of heresies, the foundation of protestantism, or the restorationist movement itself. I would also suggest that it would not be a total apostasy, but I would have to know to which scripture you are refering.

Of course a person can be "assured" that the Church is free from error, it's called having Prophets & Apostles on the earth, having his organization and doctrines established and unchanging. That is what we have had since 1830. At other times in history, without those, people should have just been reading the scriptures themselves, and waiting for the true authorized servants. But instead, people in their lusts for power and prestige created their OWN religions, after their OWN doctrines, mixing the doctrines of men with the doctrines of God, just as the Bible warns.

Yes, it's done it many times. As to again, well, it's been prophicied several places that this last time around it won't fall into apostacy again because it will be right before Christ's coming and it's the Fullness of Times. There is also no such thing in LDS theology about any man even Prophets being "free from error". Even the scriptures are not free from error. All things must be taken together, Prophets, Scripture, and the Holy Ghost through the authorized Priesthood to KNOW what is really the Church and doctrine. It's the same thing for the scripture also. You can't proof-text one section and say THIS is God's doctrines while ignoring other scripture which clearly debunks such an assumption, such as with Grace or with God being Spirit Alone.

Humans have a bad habit of doing this. Let me give you an example. It's being promoted around the internet that Mitt Romney denied the LDS First Vision, even posting the video of it. Well, when you actually watch the video, a person that is not blinded in their hate of Romney will see that he says "Moses and the burning Bush, and possibly others". Clearly he isn't denying the first vision at all, he simply didn't "emphasis" it, emphasising instead Moses, and including the first vision in the second part of the statement. The is exactly the same as the God is Spirit belief but in reverse. Other Christians "add" the word alone to the scripture, when the scripture doesn't say that at all. The scripture simply says that God is spirit, same as other scriptures state that man is spirit. In other words, an entire doctrine has been created by first adding an additional condition which is not in the scripture AND ignoring other scriptures which would contend against such an idea.

Anyway, some thoughts....

I agree with almost all of this, except the prophets part. I believe that revelation ended with Christ as he is God and therefore the fullness of revelation to humanity, no need for prophets just apostles.

But I do ask 'If the prophets are not free from error, why follow them?" This does not inspire trust in the church leadership. Are you suggesting that the Prophets could be wrong? Could they be teaching incorrect doctrine now? If your fundamental basis for your faith is that Prophets are needed then shouldn't they speak "the word of God" and shouldn't you be able to believe that word? If you cannot be assured of the truth of things like a proclamation of a prophet on a matter of faith, then you are really in the same boat as the protestants.

In fact several of the responses say that you should pray about doctrine to see if it is true. This is also what Mormon missionaries ask people to do with the Book of Mormon. But if this is the case, How then are you not also being pulled along by "the Holy Ghost and feeling good and righteous?" If your acceptance is based on the acceptance of doctrine based on personal revelation or interpretation, then that is protestantism, at least in my perspective. I could be wrong.

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To say the Reformation "didn't have "God" in it at all" is contrary to what your own LDS leaders have said of the Protestant Reformers. If bad actions by some followers determines the whole status of a movement, then the Restoration falls short by your standard also.

Some of the reforms were improvements, some were not. In fact, some were the introduction of new, but false, doctrine.

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I appreciate your answer ELF 1024, It was of the kind that I was looking for, but it is lacking in several respects.

Oh goody.... Here comes the "evidence" of your not being as "sincere" as you claim. Already a know it all about mormonism and how it's false, having your 1830 BOM and all etc.

As to why Christ would overlook any of his people, I would ask the Japanese and Chinese. Also the diaspora Jews in Africa. And the entirety of the world for 1500 years. If your point is that the appearance in America is to save all of God's people why would he leave them Shepherd-less for 1500? Did the middle ages world deserve a chance for salvation?

You actually sort of prove our point. There is no reason in God's mind why "the Church" MUST stay around all the time, never having an apostacy, as you claim. The Church exists to establish God's laws to the world, to his chosen servants at the time. That doesn't mean others of the world won't get a chance to know the Gospel and choose based on their hearts. After all, Christ went to the spirit prison and taught them who are dead according to those in the flesh. The dead no matter who will ALL get a chance to know Christ. Remember, God placed everyone, thus he clearly wanted MOST who have ever lived to not know the Gospel in this life.

As to your point about the multiplication of churches, I am not a protestant so I feel little need to defend them. I would say that when people stray from the firm apostolic foundation, error then comes naturally. I might also mention that the Restorationist Churches are not immune from this phenomenon with the RLDS (Now CoC), The Temple Lot Church, The FLDS, and several dozen others. If multiplication is your standard in a short 170 year period the Restorationist Churches are in the hundreds.

His point was demonstrating that "apostacy" is actually REAL, even of the Church. Multiplication wasn't the point.

This is true but then brings up several more Restorationist problems.

Like what?

1) The Bible; LDS seem to consider the KJV to be an authoritative source of divine revelation. But the KJV came 16 centuries after Christ. Even accepting that the Church was apostate by 325 AD (As is commonly referenced by Mormon commentators), that leaves 1300 years after the apostasy before the KJV was written. Did the apostate church keep an inerrant core of scripture for 1300 years? If not, it would be difficult to explain why the LDS Church does not use the Joseph Smith Translation (Other than the fact that they do not own the copyright).

1. You are confused. LDS do not consider ANY scripture to be the "source of divine revelation". The actual source is God Himself through the Holy Ghost and some of which is recorded in scripture and through the words of living Prophets.

2. The KJV is the "English" language version of LDS scripture. Other languages use different versions.

3. The JST is inspired commentary, some revelation, clarification and a type of pseudografica. It is not meant to replace what is, but to supliment, to be a helpmate.

4. The "Bible" whatever version expounds the fullness of the Gospel of Christ, thus we use it. Since we don't consider any scripture "infallible", we have no problem using it and loving it as any other scripture. Any other things out there that may exist or may have existed doctrine wise that is important is either in the Bible or restored through latter-day scripture. Thus, God has given us what we need for our day, until he says otherwise. Is that such a difficult concept to understand?

2) The Book of Mormon; Should be its own discussion under the heading of apostasy. It poses an astronomical number of problems to the idea of restoration. Principal among them why two different sets of scripture? Even if Christ intended the two Church's, wouldn't he want to reveal the same things about the nature of God to the whole world? Or was his message culture specific? Then we need to bring in the Japanese and Chinese and Africans again because they did not get similar treatment. Also, you do not actually have the scriptures of the the New World but its English translation, which seems to negate the need for it to be originally written because God could have revealed the text wholesale to Smith himself and had no different effect on the nature of the text.

The peoples of the BOM were "remnants" of the Jews, thus they had a purpose, and that purpose was essentially for our day. The peoples of the BOM didn't really have the BOM you know.

Frankly, part of your problem is your trying to judge us when you don't even really know us. Have you been fully active in an LDS congregation for about a year at least, delving deep and learning and doing everything you can, so you can understand us? Likely not. Because many of your questions can be answered by simply sincerly learning about us. I mean, thinking there is "astronomical problems" with having a Bible and BOM tells me that you don't even understand the basics of mormonism, and how it all fits together. What you are doing is like trying to describe a tree to someone who's never seen a tree, you have no foundational basis of being able to understand how our perspective works, and really compares.

Oh, and I've spent years in your religions, so I can compare accurately.

And the Messiah was foretold by them as well. But you seem to imply that the prophecy is self-interpreting and could have no other meaning than the church being obliterated in both America and the rest of the World. I do not think so, but you could demonstrate this point with scripture. Also a global apostasy on two continents seems to violate Jesus's proclamation to Peter in Matt 16:18 that the gates of hell would not prevail against the church.

You speak of interpreting, you have just shown how you've interpreted the traditional Christian way Matt. 16, rather than what the verse actually states and means. Simple understanding of the English language let alone the original Greek demonstrates that the "subject" being discussed in that verse and the context thereof is "Revelation" NOT "the Church" as you believe. It is revelation that the gates of hell shall prevail against, not the Church. Your religions have perverted that text for their own purposes to justify their existance and authority, when they have no authority.

See, you come to us from a religious viewpoint with already formed views on certain subjects, and then wonder why our Faith doesn't make sense. You need to realize that you need to remove yourself from your already formed judgements, to find out if those judgements are REALLY "Gods" views on a matter, or if it's simply the doctrines of men.

True, but this point I think needs to be flesh out some more. Are you saying that people fall into heretical ways? That would be true. But in this instance Moses was faithful and brought the people back to God. It is not as if there was people of Israel for 1600 years.

Yet, at some point after Moses or other later leaders there was an apostacy. After all, the Jews at the time were in apostacy, save those who followed John the Baptist, who was specially called to prepare the way for Christ. If you claim to know your Bible as you think you do (rather than what you are told it says) you would know very well there have been many apostacy's. That's an uncontestable fact.

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You asked for serious discussion and then you dropped this strawman on me?

You, OBVIOUSLY aren't taking my comments seriously at all. But rather just looking for opportunity to inject into them what you want to see.

I'm sorry that was an 'in kind' response. I admit that my lawyerly nature pops out once and a while. I am sorry for not taking your comments seriously, I though your response was sarcastic because of the one comment, and the subtitle on your profile. I apologize for not taking you more seriously.

I think I have responded to most of your points in other posts though.

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Some of the reforms were improvements, some were not. In fact, some were the introduction of new, but false, doctrine.

And new, but false, doctrines have been introduced into the various churches of the Restoration. That is why I said it will all come together when New Jerusalem is built and the pure in heart gathered.

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I agree with almost all of this, except the prophets part. I believe that revelation ended with Christ as he is God and therefore the fullness of revelation to humanity, no need for prophets just apostles.

If this this were true....

1) Why did Prophets continue In the church many years after Christ, Paul is even listed as one of them?

Acts 13

1 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.

2) Why was Paul revealing mysteries... MANY years after Christ?

1 Cor 15

51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed

3) Why did Paul say we should "covet to prophecy"... and he would rather that we prophecy than speak in tounges if all revelation had ended?

1 Cor 14

1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.

2 For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.

3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.

4 He that speaketh in an unknown tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church.

5 I would that ye all spake with tongues, but rather that ye prophesied: for greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues, except he interpret, that the church may receive edifying.

6 Now, brethren, if I come unto you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you, except I shall speak to you either by revelation, or by knowledge, or by prophesying, or by doctrine?

7 And even things without life giving sound, whether pipe or harp, except they give a distinction in the sounds, how shall it be known what is piped or harped?

8 For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?

9 So likewise ye, except ye utter by the tongue words easy to be understood, how shall it be known what is spoken? for ye shall speak into the air.

10 There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.

11 Therefore if I know not the meaning of the voice, I shall be unto him that speaketh a barbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a barbarian unto me.

12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.

13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.

14 For if I pray in an unknown tongue, my spirit prayeth, but my understanding is unfruitful.

15 What is it then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.

16 Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?

17 For thou verily givest thanks well, but the other is not edified.

18I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all:

19 Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.

20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.

21 In the law it is written, With men of other tongues and other lips will I speak unto this people; and yet for all that will they not hear me, saith the Lord.

22 Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe.

23 If therefore the whole church be come together into one place, and all speak with tongues, and there come in those that are unlearned, or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?

24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:

25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.

26 How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.

27 If any man speak in an unknown tongue, let it be by two, or at the most by three, and that by course; and let one interpret.

28 But if there be no interpreter, let him keep silence in the church; and let him speak to himself, and to God.

29 Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.

30 If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace.

31 For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted.

32 And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets.

33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law.

35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?

37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord.

38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant.

39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.

40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

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To say the Reformation "didn't have "God" in it at all" is contrary to what your own LDS leaders have said of the Protestant Reformers. If bad actions by some followers determines the whole status of a movement, then the Restoration falls short by your standard also.

There is a difference between recognizing the "good" some poeple have done and accepting ALL they did as being "good" or from God.

Further, I already stated that it wasn't "all", thus your last statement is irrelvant.

Also, even with the warts of the Restoration, it most certainly DOES NOT "fall short" even by my supposed standard. Nothing comes close in mormonism to what occured back then, other than MMM. Even it doesn't compare the same to the evils done back then in the name of the Reformation or the Catholic Church.

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Just to add a non-serious response...

What's with the double apostasy? Is that like double secret probation? (animal house reference)

Perhaps I could get an order of Orthodox, well done, with a double side order of apostasy? Yum Yum, better than funeral potatoes....

now returning you to your regular scheduled responses....

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There is a difference between recognizing the "good" some poeple have done and accepting ALL they did as being "good" or from God.

Further, I already stated that it wasn't "all", thus your last statement is irrelvant.

Also, even with the warts of the Restoration, it most certainly DOES NOT "fall short" even by my supposed standard. Nothing comes close in mormonism to what occured back then, other than MMM. Even it doesn't compare the same to the evils done back then in the name of the Reformation or the Catholic Church.

The "Yeah, but look how bad THEY were." deflection has never interested me much.

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If this this were true....

1) Why did Prophets continue In the church many years after Christ, Paul is even listed as one of them?

2) Why was Paul revealing mysteries... MANY years after Christ?

3) Why did Paul say we should "covet to prophecy"... and he would rather that we prophecy than speak in tounges if all revelation had ended?

And why did Christ say He sends prophets? (As in a method of operation).

Matt. 23:34

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If this this were true....

1) Why did Prophets continue In the church many years after Christ, Paul is even listed as one of them?

2) Why was Paul revealing mysteries... MANY years after Christ?

3) Why did Paul say we should "covet to prophecy"... and he would rather that we prophecy than speak in tounges if all revelation had ended?

Not to mention the popular mis-intrepretation of Matthew Chapter 16: 15-18

15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

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

He's not saying that Peter is the rock, but that REVELATION is the rock.

18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock (REVELATION) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (REVELATION).

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The "Yeah, but look how bad THEY were." deflection has never interested me much.

Not deflection, just the facts....

So you think those within "Mormonism" has been things so terrible in degree and scope that come close to comparing, examples should be easy to list.

I'm even less interested in moral relativism. Like trying to comparing George Bush/American Military with being no different than Fanatical Islam.

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And new, but false, doctrines have been introduced into the various churches of the Restoration.

The "Yeah, but look how bad THEY were." deflection has never interested me much.

:P;):crazy:

The irony!!!

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Theres always these uncomfortable facts about New Testament prophets revealing things AFTER Jesus... too...

Acts 11:27

27

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Theres always these uncomfortable facts about New Testament prophets revealing things AFTER Jesus... too...

Acts 11:27

27

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18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock (REVELATION) I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (REVELATION).

Even if you assume this,

"and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (THE CHURCH).

It isn't a guarantee against total apostasy.

Notice that "gates" are defensive in nature and it is the "gates of hell" that don't prevail. It isn't Hell (Greek "hades", the world of the dead) that is assaulting the Church but rather the Church that is assaulting the gates of the world of the dead (to preach the gospel no doubt). Even total apostasy by the ancient church doesn't affect the outcome of the assault of the church on the gates of the world of the dead.

Edited to correct spelling error pointed out by Mola

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Even if you assume this,

"and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it (THE CHURCH).

It isn't a guaranty against total apostasy.

Notice that "gates" are defensive in nature and it is the "gates of hell" that don't prevail. It isn't Hell (Greek "hades", the world of the dead) that is assaulting the Church but rather the Church that is assaulting the gates of the world of the dead (to preach the gospel no doubt). Even total apostasy by the ancient church doesn't affect the outcome of the assault of the church on the gates of the world of the dead.

Did you mean to say "guarantee". Because a "guaranty" is something vastly different from a guarantee.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/guaranty

1. a warrant, pledge, or formal assurance given as security that another's debt or obligation will be fulfilled.

2. something that is taken or presented as security.

3. the act of giving security.

4. a person who acts as a guarantor.

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Obi wan, I will try and get to all your points. Thanks for the great response.

Sure, have the time at the moment.

While your definition of apostasy is technically correct (From the Greek apo-stasis; 'to stand away') it seems unlike the LDS doctrine of total apostasy,

From The Pearl of Great Price - Joseph Smith History 1:19: 'I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight.'

Total Apostacy refers to the Keys of the Priesthood, Christ's Organization, and the Fullness of the Gospel of Christ without the doctrines of men mingled.

Total Apostacy has NEVER meant there is "no truth" or "no gospel truth" anywhere on the planet. It facinates me that people try to take such a stance, taking things out of context, when being critical of us on this point.

The deviations of the Israelites were not like the LDS doctrine in that there were still righteous and true believing people on earth. From the establishment of the priesthood until the time of Christ there is not a gap in the Levitical priesthood or teaching authority as Christ himself acknowledges

There has ALWAYS from the beginning of man been righteous people and believers on the earth. The Apostacy or Total Apostacy doesn't change that fact.

CFR on Christ adknowledging that there was NEVER been an apostacy, or break in the Levitical Priesthood?

Further, you do remember that Christ created a "new Church". He even states such, that he does not put New Wine into an Old Jar. Christians were a completely and authoritatively "separate" group from the Jews and Levites of the time. Thus, your statement is scripturally and historically false.

No I do not think so. I am confusing the "Church" with an orthodox and unwaivering teaching authority that is worthy of belief. I do believe that the since the time of Christ 'a man' has been authorized to inerrantly teach the faith, and not feeling good and righteousness. I believe in dogma and mystery, not feelings, are the basis of faith.

I understand you believe that, but such is a non-scriptural belief. Who for example is "orthodox" and worthy of belief and following??? Who really has the authority to speak for God and simply didn't assume it? Is the "man" you follow, was he called of God as Aaron? Did someone lay their hands on him and ordain him, and can he trace his lineage to Christ and the Apostles. I can, can you???

I'll give you pass on this section since you made a reasonable assumption.

Ok

Yes, I believe that they would kill Christ today. But I think your view comes from the fact that Christian morality underpins America's moral tradition. I think you are confusing the result of Christian Culture with its cause. Also Christians are killed all over the world by the thousands in the Middle East, China, and Africa. It would not be hard to find someplace that Jesus would die.

Let me ask you..... Why do most people kill other people, especially in relation to religious reasons? It's because of ignorance. Christ traveled all over the place performing miracle after miracle. Back then communication was slow, etc. Today, if Christ did the same, much more people would know and see who he was. Are all those Christians who die in the world are they as Christ? No they aren't. They kill for ignorance. The same situation, different time periods, Christ would be killed back then, but wouldn't today, save maybe some other way, but not the Jews, not being able to fullfill multiple prophecy's etc. But, this point is really irrelevant. My point was that THEN was clearly the time he HAD to do what he did for mankind. Your saying why didn't he come today, etc. etc. is weird to me. Is the Jewish Temple still here today, especially the main one which was prophecied for certain things to happen? No. But it was then. And another point. If Christ came today, would we have the same "Faith" in him because of missing information of the past? No, we would have more "facts", thus less Faith would be required. Bottom line, dumb question if you ask me, sounds more like tempting God than a sincere desire for the truth.

I am unaware of something about the scripture that I do not follow except Levitical law. I believe the Book of Acts and Pauls letter to the Romans allow this though. You could enlighten me

Well, depends on what group you are with and what interpretation you interpret things. Every religion is different, and they all claim to follow the Bible. While technically correct, not necessarily ultimately so. For example, LDS are accused of not following the Bible, but we know very well we follow it fully, save the Levitical Law as you state.

But, to give you just two small examples. Do you follow God's Annointed as the Bible states to do? Do you accept ALL of His Word? From an LDS viewpoint you don't do either of these. For living prophets are again on the earth as well as additional scripture.

As for the Apostasy, I agree that there will be a great 'falling away' but this could be fulfilled by any number of heresies, the foundation of protestantism, or the restorationist movement itself. I would also suggest that it would not be a total apostasy, but I would have to know to which scripture you are refering.

Okay, so you do agree.... Remember then what I wrote above, "Total Apostacy" does not mean what you are thinking it means.

Now, your job will be to see "when" the great "falling away" occured, and also when the restoration occured. Remember that was prophecied also, that at the beginning of the fullness of times the Church would be restored. (paraphrasing the idea of course). Don't you think we are in the fullness of times? When do you think those times basically started? Early 1800's??? We see it that way, and history shows it. There is a book written also called "The Bible says 1830". I think you can read the whole thing online, or I can email it to you also. It shows from the Bible that the basic date and period of the Restoration was prophecied.

I agree with almost all of this, except the prophets part. I believe that revelation ended with Christ as he is God and therefore the fullness of revelation to humanity, no need for prophets just apostles.

Well, nice thought, but as others have mentioned, Church authority and Prophets continued even after Christ as recorded in the Bible, so clearly you are assuming something your religion has told you, and the fact that there are no actual prophets today in your mind, so it just must be that way, but that's not what the Bible states. Remember also that the Apostles ARE Prophets, Seers, & Revelators. When Christ is not on the earth there is a Head Prophet. In Christ's time it was Peter, today it's Thomas S. Monson.

But I do ask 'If the prophets are not free from error, why follow them?" This does not inspire trust in the church leadership. Are you suggesting that the Prophets could be wrong? Could they be teaching incorrect doctrine now? If your fundamental basis for your faith is that Prophets are needed then shouldn't they speak "the word of God" and shouldn't you be able to believe that word? If you cannot be assured of the truth of things like a proclamation of a prophet on a matter of faith, then you are really in the same boat as the protestants.

Let me ask you first. Do you follow the Prophets of the Bible?

You do know right that they made mistakes, sometimes spake presumply, etc., and where still prophets? You do know that even Christ's Apostles made mistakes? I even gave you one such mistake in Mark/Luke 9. But, as individuals they also made mistakes and had their own opinions sometimes. Take Paul for example. Do you believe Pauls words that it's better not to be married, or for women to remain silent in Church???

The Gospel of Christ isn't every uttered word by a Prophet, it's what is directly said to be the Gospel by the Church and Prophets as a WHOLE. Do you follow every uttered word of whatever Church leader you follow as the perfect Gospel truth? Likely not, it's the same for LDS leaders. But, there IS a difference. Our leaders almost never make a mistake. Most of the mistakes anti-mormons claim are mistakes by LDS leaders are perversions by anti-mormons, not actual mistakes by our leaders. Thus even then there is less.

We "trust" in our Church leadership in as much as they follow God and speak his words. And since we have the scriptures for ourselves and the Holy Ghost, and the Priesthood of God, we can determine what is and isn't from God, and is or might be opinion.

Let me give you an example..... Bruce R. McConkie and Orson Pratt were two leaders in our Church. They both had personal opinions that the Catholic Church was the Church of the Devil. These ideas of course came from protestantism. However, they were mistaken in their judgements on this subject. Church doctrine teaches otherwise. Pratt was sensured and corrected and McConkie removed that incorrect belief from his book. "The Church" on the other hand, wasn't fazed by it. Anti-mormons on the other hand latch onto anything negative and try to claim such LDS doctrine. That's the devils work, not our problem.

We are not the same as the Protestants because the Church is separate from any one man. There are checks and balances in many areas and levels. And we have the scriptures and spirit for ourselves to know what is from the Lord and what is not. And because of the Priesthood, and that system, little error occurs. And when it does, we know it and it's corrected, or that person is removed if necessary.

The Lord set up a "perfect" system in the latter-days, His Kingdom on the Earth. THAT is how we can trust our leaders. We trust in His Word, not the word of a man or men. Man's words must conform to Him, not the other way around. THAT is how we can trust.

In fact several of the responses say that you should pray about doctrine to see if it is true. This is also what Mormon missionaries ask people to do with the Book of Mormon. But if this is the case, How then are you not also being pulled along by "the Holy Ghost and feeling good and righteous?" If your acceptance is based on the acceptance of doctrine based on personal revelation or interpretation, then that is protestantism, at least in my perspective. I could be wrong.

Of course there are elements of similarity between religions, after all we are ALL Christian religions who follow the Bible. What I was refering to in relation to the "feeling good and righteous" is in relation to authority from God. Other christians believe they have his authority simply because they feel his spirit and know the Bible. LDS have his authority by both spirit and power. In other words, by both the Holy Ghost and direct authority given by those who have the authority to give it. In other words, we assume nothing unto ourselves. Aaron was given his authority by one in authority. Likewise we do the same. Catholics do the same, being the original church Christ established. Anyone that want's to see how Christ's Church should look like should start with the Catholic or Orthodox Churches. For, while they did change much and lost much, there is still much retained that was original to what Christ Himself and His Apostles established. Who is ANYONE to change any of that without direct authority to do so???

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Oh goody.... Here comes the "evidence" of your not being as "sincere" as you claim. Already a know it all about mormonism and how it's false, having your 1830 BOM and all etc.

The 'lacking' is not an attack, but the points (from my perspective) have flaws or at least elicit questions. I am a law student by trade and I believe that truth comes from reason, and reason is usually the product of adverse positions. My sincerity is not a question in my mind, I did not state that I would be persuaded. I merely want to understand the reasoning, and trial by fire is my default method. I am not a troll and I am not looking to convert anyone here. I came for the one thing that only believing Mormon's can give, an explanation of the line of thinking.

I do have significant experience with the LDS, but I didn't see that as a problem. And I don't "know all about mormonism and how its false" because I don't 'know' (in an empirical sense) that it is false. I have strong belief's and am unlikely to be dissuaded. My point isn't showing the flaws, it is challenging to get an answer. I think this is a product of legal education.

I do sincerely appreciate your responses as they are exactly what I am looking for. I cannot prove my sincerity except by saying so. I will try to be civil and let you decide. If I fail in this (as is common) I ask that you correct me.

You actually sort of prove our point. There is no reason in God's mind why "the Church" MUST stay around all the time, never having an apostacy, as you claim. The Church exists to establish God's laws to the world, to his chosen servants at the time. That doesn't mean others of the world won't get a chance to know the Gospel and choose based on their hearts. After all, Christ went to the spirit prison and taught them who are dead according to those in the flesh. The dead no matter who will ALL get a chance to know Christ. Remember, God placed everyone, thus he clearly wanted MOST who have ever lived to not know the Gospel in this life.

I think the point of the Church is that it 'stays around'. Salvation is one purpose of the church, but preventing heresy is another. Giving people the opportunity to know God in life is the point of religion, otherwise he would just save us after death (It would be easier). I don't see why God would have to chose between keeping the church the church on earth and allowing apostasy. His grace seems sufficient to preserve a church from error, I do not see why he would not do so.

But if this is a linear progression (Christ visits the spirits in prison-apostasy-Restoration and baptism) That leaves out all the people that cannot be baptized because there is no record of their birth or death. I am thinking of people in the middle ages.

His point was demonstrating that "apostacy" is actually REAL, even of the Church. Multiplication wasn't the point.

But he didn't show that total apostasy (Am I spelling this right, everyone else has a different spelling) is real, here merely showed that heresy was real. And I do believe in heresy, even big half-the-church-consuming heresies like Arianism. But I still don't understand the idea that there was NO Church on earth for over a thousand years.

But a sub-point, do you then thing that the multiplication of Churches based on the BoM would be evidence of a total apostasy in LDS chruch?

1. You are confused. LDS do not consider ANY scripture to be the "source of divine revelation". The actual source is God Himself through the Holy Ghost and some of which is recorded in scripture and through the words of living Prophets.

2. The KJV is the "English" language version of LDS scripture. Other languages use different versions.

3. The JST is inspired commentary, some revelation, clarification and a type of pseudografica. It is not meant to replace what is, but to supliment, to be a helpmate.

4. The "Bible" whatever version expounds the fullness of the Gospel of Christ, thus we use it. Since we don't consider any scripture "infallible", we have no problem using it and loving it as any other scripture. Any other things out there that may exist or may have existed doctrine wise that is important is either in the Bible or restored through latter-day scripture. Thus, God has given us what we need for our day, until he says otherwise. Is that such a difficult concept to understand?

Sorry, I did not explain what I meant by "Source of divine revelation." I was not abrogating God as the source of all revelation, the bible would be for me a subsidiary source like a lake is to a river.

I don't get the "Living Prophets"? Do you mean living at the time, or now?

Then is there no inerrant scripture? Then how is " All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:" (Not proof -texting, just illustrating) If it is not infallible, then how is it useful for doctrine? It would seem that if you want a firm foundation in doctrine you would need something worthy of belief, and fallible source material would seem to not be very firm. And doctrine that is fallible is not worthy of trust. I guess you could respond that humans are fallible and we still trust them, but I am really looking for a trust that will not disappoint in my religion as I consider it a first principal.

This is a fundamental problem to me. If scripture is really "God Himself through the Holy Ghost....recorded in scripture." then how could it have errors. Is it the a defect in the word of God, The living prophets, or some intermediary? This is my principal question.

The peoples of the BOM were "remnants" of the Jews, thus they had a purpose, and that purpose was essentially for our day. The peoples of the BOM didn't really have the BOM you know.

Frankly, part of your problem is your trying to judge us when you don't even really know us. Have you been fully active in an LDS congregation for about a year at least, delving deep and learning and doing everything you can, so you can understand us? Likely not. Because many of your questions can be answered by simply sincerly learning about us. I mean, thinking there is "astronomical problems" with having a Bible and BOM tells me that you don't even understand the basics of mormonism, and how it all fits together. What you are doing is like trying to describe a tree to someone who's never seen a tree, you have no foundational basis of being able to understand how our perspective works, and really compares.

Oh, and I've spent years in your religions, so I can compare accurately.

I get that the people of the BoM was not for the people of the BoM. But that raises another issue. Why write a book that won't be read for 1500 years? I think I have asked that question already.

I don't know your background so I cannot say your comparison is accurate. I would say that what you suggest would only apply to ex-mormons, and does not seem to be a very accurate way of obtaining truth. If I had to 'sample' all religions to get answers to questions it would be a very long process filled with errors and contradictions. I think a religion's truth should be at least explainable from lengthy discussion. I understand that faith is required, but faith is a gift that is the result of finding clear truth. Truth is not always obvious, hence the discussion.

I only have one religion. I don't believe I have stated it. Then how have you "spent years in my religions." Furthermore, I would ask how you knew your comparison was accurate? I will only state that I was at one time at least somewhat of a protestant, and for a while a skeptic. I did not find either of those periods particularly edifying. I do not intend to repeat the process unless there was a firm foundation. Prudence would not allow anything else.

You speak of interpreting, you have just shown how you've interpreted the traditional Christian way Matt. 16, rather than what the verse actually states and means. Simple understanding of the English language let alone the original Greek demonstrates that the "subject" being discussed in that verse and the context thereof is "Revelation" NOT "the Church" as you believe. It is revelation that the gates of hell shall prevail against, not the Church. Your religions have perverted that text for their own purposes to justify their existance and authority, when they have no authority.

See, you come to us from a religious viewpoint with already formed views on certain subjects, and then wonder why our Faith doesn't make sense. You need to realize that you need to remove yourself from your already formed judgements, to find out if those judgements are REALLY "Gods" views on a matter, or if it's simply the doctrines of men.

The subject of the respective sentences in Greek in Matt 16:18 is rock. I do not understand how revelation is mentioned. "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter (rock), and (conjunctive) upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Revelation is mentioned in the previous verse, when Christ refers to Peter as Simon bar Johna. But 16:18 is a new sentence (not just a new verse because of the numbering) in Greek as Jesus prefaces the statement "And I say to you." The clear subject of the verse is Peter, as he is reference by name and the comparison of stone. I know that you will likely have a different take on this.

I cannot get rid of my judgement, how would truth form error then? The first person to make this argument would have me. I can only form my current judgement with reliable information.

Yet, at some point after Moses or other later leaders there was an apostacy. After all, the Jews at the time were in apostacy, save those who followed John the Baptist, who was specially called to prepare the way for Christ. If you claim to know your Bible as you think you do (rather than what you are told it says) you would know very well there have been many apostacy's. That's an uncontestable fact.

Few facts are 'incontestable' but many are not contested. I do not submit that all the Jews were in apostasy because Jesus states that they have a valid teaching authority Matt 23:2-3. I do state that the same Jews would not be worthy of following in practice, but at least there was valid teaching and therefore not in Apostasy. John the Baptist did not preach any new doctrine or correct any old doctrine, rather he called for repentance from personal and corporate sin (Which is distinct in my mind from heresy and apostasy).

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