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lostprophet83

On the Restoration and the Double Apostasy

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We must look at who said what and why he said it. Peter responded to Christ

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It would be imputed by God.

Except God didn't.

As God is the author of scripture . . .

But He isn't, men are. Inspired men yes, but men just the same. Paul claimed authorship of his epistles. Luke claimed authorship of his work. Etc.

if scripture contains errors, then those errors are at least partially God's.

No, not really.

As He chose the instrument of His inspiration and the manner of inspiration, and He foreknew the consequences of acting in a the particular way, and could correct the errors by choosing a different method.

This is a bald assertion. You need to document the existence of those "different" methods.

Since God chose to communicate in this way if there are errors in his communication, as it is written, they are his.

Not really. Just as the failure to correctly understand the scriptures is the result of human failing, the failure to correctly write the scriptures is the result of human failing. God doesn't hold their hand while writing, nor your brain while reading.

You either serve a fallible God or He is not the author of scripture.

A false conclusion based on faulty logic and reasoning.

Also the contrary position to inerrantcy has the troubling implication that if there are errors in the text then there is NO correct interpretation of some passages.

The fact that it may be troubling doesn't change the fact that the Bible is not inerrant. Read it and weep.

If these passages are important then that scripture would be rendered useless.

Quite possibly. That is why Jesus taught his disciples to trust the Spirit more than the scriptures.

I believe that the power of God constantly overcomes human limitations and imperfections, e.g. salvation.

God doesn't override the agency of individuals. He doesn't force anyone to heaven. He doesn't prevent error or evil, He compensates for it. In this case, God has provide more scripture and modern prophets to compensate for the errors of the past.

I don't believe that God's power is dependent on our ability. My main question is why don't you believe this?

My main question is why do you claim that I believe that. Nothing in that requires me to believe that, your faulty logic not withstanding.

I can if you would like, but I do not know what you would considered authoritative support for my position.

That is an important consideration. I don't see that you have any more authority to declare doctrine than I do. I don't even see where you have even tried to establish what authority you think you have. Why should I believe your interpretation over my own? Who are you that I should believe you?

How do you know that statement of Christ is true except by scripture?

The Spirit!

If true than your first principal is the validity of scripture, because it lead to your belief in the Holy Ghost as a source of truth.

Not so, The Spirit verified the scripture. It is the Spirit that led me to truth.

I don't know how revelation can be bedrock without an assurance of an inerrant message.

Really, Paul would disagree.

Gal 1:11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.

12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

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Interesting, but the method seems unclear to me. Why can God not overcome the flaws in one errant human and proclaim a inerrant message, but He can overcome the flaws in two humans to produce knowledge that would seem to assurance of truth?

Because the Spirit doesn't use the limitations and flaws of human language to communicate, but speaks in pure knowledge.

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Because the Spirit doesn't use the limitations and flaws of human language to communicate, but speaks in pure knowledge.

Is that 'pure knowledge' then subject to your ability to interpret the message of the spirit?

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Is that 'pure knowledge' then subject to your ability to interpret the message of the spirit?

You mean you don't know? You've never had an experience where the Spirit told you something?

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Vance, you cannot get out of the problem of interpretation just by saying that "the spirit confirmed"

Your reasoning seems to be this. (You can correct it if I am misstating);

I cannot know except by the confirmation of the Spirit.

I trust the Spirit because Christ taught his disciples to do so.

The teaching of Christ is found in the scriptures.

I know the teaching of Christ found is scripture is true because the Spirit confirmed the teaching.

Therefore, you cannot know except by the confirmation of the Spirit.

Epistemologically, if you cannot know except by the confirmation of the Spirit then the Spirit's confirmation is your first principal. But you cannot demonstrate the necessity of the Spirit's confirmation without appealing to the teachings of Christ. You cannot get to the teachings of Christ without the scriptures. And you cannot confirm the scriptures without the spirit.

You could say that my structure is flawed and I should start with the teaching of Christ, but how do you know that the teachings of Christ are true without the Spirit's Confirmation? I do not know another way to order the argument. If I start with the teachings of Christ, then the argument is subject to the limitations of scripture. Either the passage must be incapable of error, which would allow the assumption that it is true, or the Spirit's confirmation is circular.

If you cannot know something without first assuming it is true, then the thing is not rational. If the revelation of the Spirit is the first principal than the reasoning is subjective not objective and I cannot argue against it.

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Vance, you cannot get out of the problem of interpretation just by saying that "the spirit confirmed"

Your reasoning seems to be this. (You can correct it if I am misstating);

I cannot know except by the confirmation of the Spirit.

I trust the Spirit because Christ taught his disciples to do so.

The teaching of Christ is found in the scriptures.

I know the teaching of Christ found is scripture is true because the Spirit confirmed the teaching.

Therefore, you cannot know except by the confirmation of the Spirit.

Epistemologically, if you cannot know except by the confirmation of the Spirit then the Spirit's confirmation is your first principal. But you cannot demonstrate the necessity of the Spirit's confirmation without appealing to the teachings of Christ. You cannot get to the teachings of Christ without the scriptures. And you cannot confirm the scriptures without the spirit.

You could say that my structure is flawed and I should start with the teaching of Christ, but how do you know that the teachings of Christ are true without the Spirit's Confirmation? I do not know another way to order the argument. If I start with the teachings of Christ, then the argument is subject to the limitations of scripture. Either the passage must be incapable of error, which would allow the assumption that it is true, or the Spirit's confirmation is circular.

If you cannot know something without first assuming it is true, then the thing is not rational. If the revelation of the Spirit is the first principal than the reasoning is subjective not objective and I cannot argue against it.

James 1

5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him

6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

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Vance, you cannot get out of the problem of interpretation just by saying that "the spirit confirmed"

That is an interesting statement coming from you. How do you know that your interpretation is correct? What do you use as confirmation that you have it right. The scriptures? Or scripture interpreting scripture? Talk about circular problem of interpretation.

BTW, I don't have a "problem of interpretation", so I don't need to get out of it.

I cannot know except by the confirmation of the Spirit.

This is supported by examples recorded in scripture.

I trust the Spirit because Christ taught his disciples to do so.

No, I trust the Spirit because the Spirit taught me to do so.

This is supported by examples recorded in scripture.

The teaching of Christ is found in the scriptures.

True.

I know the teaching of Christ found is scripture is true because the Spirit confirmed the teaching.

True.

Therefore, you cannot know except by the confirmation of the Spirit.

True.

Epistemologically, if you cannot know except by the confirmation of the Spirit then the Spirit's confirmation is your first principal.

True.

But you cannot demonstrate the necessity of the Spirit's confirmation without appealing to the teachings of Christ.

It is true that I can't truth to you, but the Spirit can, and the Spirit doesn't need to appeal to the teachings of Christ to do it.

You cannot get to the teachings of Christ without the scriptures.

Not so. The Spirit can reveal the teachings of Christ directly. No scriptures required.

There are examples of this recorded in scripture.

And you cannot confirm the scriptures without the spirit.

True.

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To start asking this question is the primary reason that I joined the board. I must admit that I am not a Mormon, but I would not consider myself hostile to the LDS. I am trying to understand your point of view. So without further delay my question;

Why would Christ establish his church on two continents, only to have it destroyed (by apostasy or war) on both continent?

This goes to my fundamental intellectual problem with the idea of the restoration and the book of Mormon. It seems improbable that Christ would establish the church on one continent only to know that it would degenerate into apostasy for a millennium and a half. But for him to establish the church on two continents knowing that both would be lost seems almost foolhardy. Now the likely response to this would be that he knew that the restoration would happen. But the restoration itself is problematic. I think it says two things. 1) That God would allow the world to be re-dominated by paganism for 1500 after giving the world the gospel, seems to indicate that there was a flaw in the original church. In that it could not sustain itself and fell into apostasy. 2) That God was unable to preserve the church from error in the face of human evil.

Point (1) seems to indicate that there was something lacking in the gospel, in which case "Why would Christ bother to come at that time?" It would make more sense for him to accomplish his aims in the 1820's rather than to suffer and die in Roman era Jerusalem as it would have been more efficient than allowing the church to be destroyed and then rebuilt. But this would of course eliminate the need for Joseph Smith.

Point (2) seems to indicate that a person can never be assured that the church is preserved free from error. If the church can fall into apostasy once, why could it also not do so again. If true this would have troubling implications for modern LDS as they would not be able to state definitively that the prophet and the twelve apostle cannot be free from error. At least, this would be true without a further showing of how the restored church is superior to the previous church.

I look forward to the discussion. Please, serious and substantial answers only.

I haven't read the thread; but I am guessing that you are Catholic! This is a kind of question that only a Catholic would ask.

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You mean you don't know? You've never had an experience where the Spirit told you something?

When I have, I can tell it is the Spirit because I can evaluate the message by criteria external to me that I trust. I cannot trust 'pure knowledge' because I have to evaluate its message by something outside myself to determine its source and veracity. But if it is consistent with what has already been revealed, then I would be able to believe it, if it was also prudent.

If I said "I had a powerful experience where the Spirit was telling me kill." You would respond "That violates the moral law (Prior Revelation contained in scripture) , and therefore it is unlikely that the Spirit of Truth is speaking to you." You would be most correct to do so, as the Spirit will not contradict other truth. You would likely conclude that I am insane. I cannot make the evaluation based on internal criteria because I would be subject to constant self-deception (e.g. I respond to your statement by saying "The Spirit revealed it to me, and you are contradicting the Spirit, so you must be wrong".

But if the teaching is consistent with revealed truth, e.g. The spirit reveals that I should help the poor in Haiti, and the circumstances surrounding the experience suggest that it would be prudent and good to do so, then I would consider it true.

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You could say that my structure is flawed . . .

And I do.

and I should start with the teaching of Christ,

I don't recall making this statement but so what?

but how do you know that the teachings of Christ are true without the Spirit's Confirmation?

I don't!

I do not know another way to order the argument. If I start with the teachings of Christ, then the argument is subject to the limitations of scripture. Either the passage must be incapable of error, which would allow the assumption that it is true, or the Spirit's confirmation is circular.

I don't follow you here. How and why do you think you can start with the inerrancy of scripture? Especially since scripture makes no such claim for itself.

If you cannot know something without first assuming it is true, then the thing is not rational.

How do you know that "scriptural inerrancy" is true? Did you not first assume it to be true? Are you then saying that "scriptural inerrancy" is not rational?

I am not following you here.

If the revelation of the Spirit is the first principal than the reasoning is subjective not objective and I cannot argue against it.

Sorry to break the news to you here but EVERYTHING is subjective. Objectivity is an illusion.

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When I have, I can tell it is the Spirit because I can evaluate the message by criteria external to me that I trust.

And you know you can trust it because of your subjective experience with it right?

I cannot trust 'pure knowledge' because I have to evaluate its message by something outside myself to determine its source and veracity.

This is prima facie evidence that you haven't actually experience the Spirit sufficient for you to properly adjust your subjectivity scale.

But if it is consistent with what has already been revealed, then I would be able to believe it, if it was also prudent.

You mean if it agrees with what you have already subjectively decided is true, then you deem it true as well.

Interesting approach.

If I said "I had a powerful experience where the Spirit was telling me kill." You would respond "That violates the moral law (Prior Revelation contained in scripture) ,

This beg the question, how do you know that what you think is scripture is actually scripture. How do you know that the Bible is scripture and the Koran is not?

Again, you are starting with an assumption about what is true and you claim that that isn't a rational approach.

:P

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I have not read all the other responses.

I don't see the double "apostasies" as terrible tragedies.

The Light of Christ has always been with humanity, individually and collectively, even during the periods of time or places where organized religion (or nonreligion) seems or seemed furthest from the "best" or the most "true". The world was a better place and people were generally better and better off because Jesus had revealed (again) God's gospel during His ministry. I think Mormons sometimes overemphasize the deficiencies and underestimate the good in Christianity in the last 2000 years. The ordinances may not conform in form or authorization, but the teachings and general practices were probably better than we give credit. Why didn't God restore a fullness sooner? Many Mormons argue God did not because God could not (i.e., supposed lack of sufficient religious freedom to accommodate it). This may or may not be true, but I choose to grant God more capability than that. I choose to believe God opened the Joseph Smith period of revelation and dispensation because humankind needed it then (and now), more than it was necessary before then. I view the restoration as icing on a cake of fundamentally sound faith and faithfulness (and organized religion) throughout the world, rather than a mostly whosesale replacement of something fundamentally unsound. Thus, I like the invitation phrase extended by the Church, "Bring all that you have that is good, and we will add more good to it."

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as I said we diverge at the gates. Gates from my understanding of scripture are used in dozens of contexts and can be the place of meeting, separation, scheming, they can symbolize justice, and they can symbolize homecoming. But what I do know of classical culture is that gates were also a symbol of the projection of power. I recall the Port Ottoman, as a projection of the power of the turks. ancient gates are usually ornate and seem to symbolize the strength of a nation. While your interpretation of the meaning of gates would be a possible interpretation, I would more easily go with the interpretation of a variety of scholars and say that the represent the power (both offensive and defensive) of hell. But I would accept that it also means the power of death, as the Hebrew version "Gates of Death" is prevalent throughout scripture.

While our interpretation of this verse's use of "gates" may differ (depending on the context), the real divergence is in our understanding of the word "hell".

You claim to accept that, in this passage, Jesus was talking about the hell of death, not the hell of punishment (Gehenna). So what difference does any distinction in the definition of the word "gates" make in that context?

Because the gates of hell shall not prevail against the Church of Jesus Christ, it must be that His Church will be actively doing something against which those gates (whatever they are) will be fighting, but the church will overcome them, prevail against them.

Please name one thing any church besides The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is doing that it could reasonably be said that the gates of death is fighting against. Because, as I said in the original message, the Church I belong to is doing it. It goes beyond baptism for the dead, but once a person accepts that, then the rest follows because it's all one pattern with divergent pieces.

And Christ prophesied that His Church would do them.

Lehi

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Hello Lost Prophet,

Please refer to Romans Chapter 11. The Apostasy came because of the wickedness of Israel. As we know Paul was known as an apostle to the Gentiles. Paul states in this chapter Israel fell so salvation could come unto the Gentiles and also to provoke Israel to jealousy.

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Dear all,

I am thankful for the responses. I am sorry I haven't been on the board in several days but it was the last few days of finals at school. I wanted to summarize the responses I received and ask for any comments on my accuracy of their presentation.

Why the Apostasy?

The apostasy was allowed because it was both foretold by the prophets and because of the wickedness of individuals within the church. Apostasies happen throughout the history of scripture. An apostasy is not a bad thing because the people who don't know Christ can still be saved through the baptism for the dead. The church does not need to be around for the entirety of human history because ordinances for the dead can be performed at any time.

The Apostasy also produced the Bible and the Book of Mormon which are useful in training in faith but may have errors because of the limitations of human language.

On knowing and belief generally:

Nothing is knowable except by the confirmation of the spirit. Revelation is both personal and public. Public revelation being scripture and the proclamations of living prophets. All public revelation is subject to private confirmation by the individual believer.

That's what I got. Let me know if there are any additions or corrections to make.

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Why the Apostasy? Read Romans Chapter 11. The Apostasy came because of the wickedness of Israel. Because of their wickedness salvation has come unto the Gentiles. It was foretold by Israelite prophets. The first shall be last and the last shall be first. Israel is last right now because the Gentiles have the gospel but Israel will get it back when the Time of the Gentiles closes.

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The apostasy was allowed because it was both foretold by the prophets and because of the wickedness of individuals within the church. Apostasies happen throughout the history of scripture. An apostasy is not a bad thing because the people who don't know Christ can still be saved through the baptism for the dead. The church does not need to be around for the entirety of human history because ordinances for the dead can be performed at any time.

Apostsy is a bad thing because when it is in effect people cannot have their present life blessed by the gospel, no matter whether they can eventually be saved through vicarious ordinances.
The Apostasy also produced the Bible and the Book of Mormon which are useful in training in faith but may have errors because of the limitations of human language.
? You might very well argue that the Bible was produced by a church that was in apostasy, but how did the Apostasy produce the Book of Mormon?

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The apostasy was allowed because it was both foretold by the prophets and because of the wickedness of individuals within the church.

The apostasy was not allowed because it was foretold by the prophets; it was foretold by the prophets because it was inevitable. It was caused by the wickedness of individuals within the church.

Apostasies happen throughout the history of scripture.

True.

An apostasy is not a bad thing because the people who don't know Christ can still be saved through the baptism for the dead.

Apostasy is always a bad thing. However, since not all of those who have lived in times of Apostasy have been responsible for it, they will not lose any blessings which they may have been worthy of as a result of it, but the Lord has made contingency arrangements for them to receive all the full blessings of the gospel in His own time and way. Ordinances for the dead are part of those contingency arrangements.

The church does not need to be around for the entirety of human history because ordinances for the dead can be performed at any time.

It is God

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I think Mormons sometimes overemphasize the deficiencies and underestimate the good in Christianity in the last 2000 years.

The Lord will not force himself upon people, and if they do not believe, they will receive no revelation. If they are content to depend upon their own limited calculations and interpretations, then, of course, the Lord will leave them to their chosen fate.

(Spencer W Kimball, CR, April 1977)

Why didn't God restore a fullness sooner?

You might want to ask William Tyndale for his point of view on this statement. Being strangled at the stake before his body being burned doesn't exactly paint a picture for an environment ready for a restoration.

MD

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