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David Waltz

The Great Apostasy - How, Why, and When?

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And what about my question regarding the primacy of the Roman bishops?

Thanks for your thoughts.

T-Shirt

I am still interested in your thoughts about evidence of the Roman Bishop being considerd a central authority by the whole church. I see no strong eveidence of this before about AD 570 with Greggory the Great.

My apologies. I did gloss over that question of yours...a couple of times. :P

I'm certainly not in the same class with someone like David Waltz, so I will need to do my homework in order to answer your question. I'll post as soon as I can.

Peace be with you.

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Hi Kevin,

I would first like to address your second question; you asked:

>>Is it a covenant or isn't it?>>

Here are a few quotes from the CF

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Hello again Kevin,

Now to your first question; you asked:

>>

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Hey David, thanks for the response. It seems we both agree that baptism is in fact a covenant with God. But this agreement begs another question: How can an infant make a covenant?

== The new Catechism of the Catholic Church is quite clear on this, and lists 5

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I think the idea that baptism replaced circumcision, and the comparison of the two regarding infants, is untennable. As I understand it, baptism was practiced among the jews long before Christ. There are apochraphal accounts that speak of baptism going back to Adam and Eve. (Which, of course, LDS would agree with)

From an LDS source:

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David and all,

T-Shirt just led me to another thought concerning the association of circumcision and baptism.

While the Apostles yet lived they debated if circumcision was still required. It seems that despite the fact that Baptism was performed there was still a question as to the necessity of circumcision. I think if it was very clear that infant baptism replaced infant circumcision then this debate among the apostles would not have happened, or the solution to this debate would have clearly linked the two practices.

Charity, TOm

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Hi Kevin,

Before I attempt to answer/address the issues raised in your last post to me, I would like to relate a bit of personal history. As you know, I was raised a 4th generation JW, and as such was taught from a very age that infant baptism was sure sign of apostasy. After leaving the JW

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Hey David,

== The doctrine of original sin as it pertains to baptism is without any doubt a late (late 4th century/early 5th century) development, and as such, is not relevant to the issue of the PRACTICE of infant baptism prior to this development.

Not sure how this makes any sense, and maybe I'm not making myself clear. I asked you what the purpose of baptism was. You just said that one of the purposes of baptism was to remove sin. I'm trying to figure out how this could possible apply to infants who had no sin to begin with. What purpose would baptism play for innocent babies with no sin? Would you drive a car straight off the showroom floor, into a carwash?

== And this fact sure seems to add strength to the contention that the practice of infant baptism was apostolic rather than a result of a theological development (btw, Pelagius and his followers did not repudiate the practice of infant baptism).

Not sure how. Pelagius lived during the mid 4th and early 5th century, and can hardly be used as a source to determine what was considered apostolic during the 1st century. The argument that, "it must be apostolic since we have no record of a big debate about it" seems kinda weak to me. And I am not convinced that it wasn't practiced during the first century. It very well may have been. The question is, was it theologically sound to practice it? There was very little systematic theology left behind when Christ died, and the apostles were notorious for "getting things wrong" even when Christ was walking the earth. I'm sure some practiced this. I'm not saying apostles condoned this practice, but that the state of the Church was in chaos at the time, and I doubt infant baptism was an important issue to cause pause for anyone.

== Why on earth would believing Christian parents not opt to extend the above benefits to their children?

This doesn't really answer the question though. Is it sensible that salvation can be foisted upon another living creature without his or her compliance? This is essentially what infant baptism does according to the "benefits" you listed above. If this theology contradicts everything we know about the NT notion of free agency, then what am I to make of it? Christ called people to him. He didn't say bend over while I dump water on your head and pull you into my Church. Everyone in the NT who taught baptism made it clear that it was a choice. Children who are baptised at birth are robbed of this right, and it has a backfiring result when they later resent it.

== Do not LDS parents provide their children with a Christian education and environment?

Sure. But what has this to do with infant baptism, which is not merely an attempt to create an environment conducive to conversion. On the contrary, it is forcing conversion without the compliance of the recipient - environment be damned. Again, there is nothing in the New Testament to support any of this. The fact that the later Church leaders didn't contest the practice seems irrelevant to the fact that no logical argument can be made in support of it unless we first adopt the premise of original sin. It is circular reasoning that has its beginning in the 4th century and tries to work its way backwards to the first century.

== Do they not attempt to instill the commandments of God

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Guest johnny_cat
== when LDS children die before the age of 8 (or before they receive baptism), when is baptism for the dead provided for them? Why baptize them at all, since they have not sinned?

Because in the spirit world they will have the "choice" to accept it. BFTD guarantees nothing except that one will have the choice to accept it.

This is not correct. Children who die before the age of 8 are not baptized by proxy.They don't have to choose to accept baptism because they do not require baptism.

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== This is not correct.

Oh?

== Children who die before the age of 8 are not baptized by proxy.

Source please?

== They don't have to choose to accept baptism because they do not require baptism

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Guest johnny_cat

Here's an article in the June 1981 Ensign that may help clarify. Of course, it does come with the "not official" disclaimer, but it seems to represent current church practice:

I Have a Question

If infants and little children pass from this life before being baptized, and if the only way to enter the celestial kingdom is through baptism, won

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This is very interesting, and if true, then I have a serious issue with it. The entire purpose of our existence on earth is so we can choose who we want to serve. God or Satan. This is done by removing our memory from our preexistence with God and then having to face the trials of life to see who will follow whom. Free agency is crucial to that process. But now millions of spirits have a loophole by being killed early on?

If Hitler was accidentally killed at age 7, does this mean he makes it to heaven hands down? Of the millions of aborted babies over the years, are we to presume that none of them would have committed murder, or become atheist if given the chance? Can a man and woman guarantee the salvation of their children by murdering them before their 8th year? According to this doctrine, yes. It seems to me that in the preexistence, I would be hoping I land myself in a life where I would be killed before age 8. At least that guarantees me my salvation before I even have a chance to screw it up by being myself. Why risk eternal damnation when you can just be killed early and make it to heaven? This is illogical.

This throws an unwelcomed wrench into the entire paradigm which I had always been taught. I was always taught that everyone who had ever lived would be baptized. It all made sense to me then. When I perform ordinances in the temple, I don't realize the age of the deceased so this never became an issue. Until now.

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Infant baptism powerfully witnesses to the fact that salvation is a free gift of God, which no one--baby or adult--can do anything to merit. When parents in faith bring their child to be baptized, they do so moved by the Holy Spirit. When over the next years, they provide a Christian home and environment in which the child's faith can grow, they do so assisted by Christ's grace. It is Christ who baptizes and Christ who saves the growing child and brings him to the point when he can ratify the promises made in his behalf by his parents at the baptismal font.

Peace be with you.

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Guest johnny_cat
It seems to me that in the preexistence, I would be hoping I land myself in a life where I would be killed before age 8. At least that guarantees me my salvation before I even have a chance to screw it up by being myself. Why risk eternal damnation when you can just be killed early and make it to heaven? This is illogical.

This throws an unwelcomed wrench into the entire paradigm which I had always been taught. When I perform ordinances in the temple, I don't realize the age of the deceased so it never became an issue. Until now.

I didn't intend to throw a wrench, welcome or not, into your paradigm.

I look at this this way. I get to experience many things that these children will never experience. For whatever reason, which Heavenly Father knows, I need to learn some things that they apparently don't need to learn. In the end, God is just. He judges us based on our capacity to willfully disobey him.

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Problem for me here is the fact that we didn't come here for the purpose of "experiencing" or learning cool stuff. We came here for the purpose of salvation. We came here because God wanted to find out who would serve him faithfully and who would not. The only way to do this was by sending us to a world and removing our memory and then testing us to see "what kind" of spirits we really are.

What you're telling me is that literally billions of humans are exempt from this process. I have to endure an entire lifetime of trials and suffering to prove my faithfulness to God, while dumb luck determines it for billions of others who were fortunate enough to die before their 8th year.

This doesn't bode well for me, and if it is official Church doctrine, then I have a serious issue.

== In the end, God is just. He judges us based on our capacity to willfully disobey him.

So it doesn't matter what we do, but rather our capacity to willfully disobey? If that were true, then we wouldn't need to be here in the first place. He would have just judged our hearts in the preexistence. Lucky for some odd billions, they'll never have to worry about having to find out if they would have been "willfully disobedient" if given the same opportunity as others.

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Kevin,

I don't know if this will be helpfull or not, but can you answer a question?:

When, in your opinion, will a child who has died before the age of eight, be subject to the temptaions of Satan?

T-Shirt

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Guest johnny_cat
Problem for me here is the fact that we didn't come here for the purpose of "experiencing" or learning cool stuff. We came here for the purpose of salvation. We came here because God wanted to find out who would serve him faithfully and who would not. The only way to do this was by sending us to a world and removing our memory and then testing us to see "what kind" of spirits we really are.

You have a different concept of the plan of salvation than mine. God sends us here to prove us. He already knows who will do what; he already knows what kind of spirits we really are, so it is not a matter of his wanting to "find out" who will serve him and who will not. Rather, we are here to learn faith, to have joy, and to become like our Father. It is the experience of life that proves us, that teaches us. Some people apparently don't need that experience for some reason.

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Good morning Kevin,

As always, your message board discussions with me are challenging. In your last post to me you wrote:

Kevin:>>== The doctrine of original sin as it pertains to baptism is without any doubt a late (late 4th century/early 5th century) development, and as such, is not relevant to the issue of the PRACTICE of infant baptism prior to this development.

Not sure how this makes any sense, and maybe I'm not making myself clear. I asked you what the purpose of baptism was. You just said that one of the purposes of baptism was to remove sin. I'm trying to figure out how this could possible apply to infants who had no sin to begin with. What purpose would baptism play for innocent babies with no sin? Would you drive a car straight off the showroom floor, into a carwash?>>

Me: I think you are missing the point I am trying to drive home. One of the purposes of baptism in it

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It was always my understanding that in the spirit world, the gospel would be taught to all spirits that didn't have the opportunity to accept it. That baptism was a universal standard for everyone. This included Children.

One might as well ask, how could anyone in the spirit world reject the gospel when it is taught to them? Obviously it is possible, but I do not know what the exact environmental conditions would be to make that so. I would think that equal justice would require that everyone having to make "the choice," would be under the same pressures, whether in this life or the next.

But I think I just learned that LDS apologists have no business using John 3:1-5 as a proof text for the necessity of baptism. Obviously baptism isn't a requisite and a person doesn't really need to be "born of water" in order to enter the kingdom of God. All he really needs to do is make sure he doesn't live past his seventh year.

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Guest johnny_cat
It was always my understanding that in the spirit world, the gospel would be taught to all spirits that didn't have the opportunity to accept it. That baptism was a universal standard for everyone. This included Children.

I've always thought the scriptures were clear that baptism was expressly not necessary for children. I recently discovered that my grandmother had a brother who died as an infant and whom we had not know about until now. He was born in the covenant, and so no ordinances are to be performed for him.

I'm sorry to have thrown a wrench into things, but I figure you would have heard this soon or later.

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Problem for me here is the fact that we didn't come here for the purpose of "experiencing" or learning cool stuff.

I don't know that I would use the term "cool stuff", but I would say that gaining experience is one of the benefits of mortality. (D&C 130:18-19) However, I would not say this is the primary reason.

We came here for the purpose of salvation.

This is a very general explanation, yet accurate.

We came here because God wanted to find out who would serve him faithfully and who would not. The only way to do this was by sending us to a world and removing our memory and then testing us to see "what kind" of spirits we really are.

I think I would disagree to an extent here. It is true that life is also a test, there is no question about this. But, I am also very confident that the Father already knew us so well, that he knew what kinds of choices we would make. However, he could not judge us without us actually doing what we are being judged for. We had to excercise our agency in order for justice or mercy to be administered. He must have known with complete confidence, what choices the Savior would make, or He would have run the risk of the whole plan crumbling. Does the fact that the entire plan of salvation was resting on the shoulders of the Savior during his mortal life, in any way, indicate that the Savior was not given His agency?

The primary reason for earth life is for the purpose of gaining a mortal body. This is an essential step in our progression. It is a step that cannot be skipped. All other purposes of mortality can be learned or administered in other ways, if life is cut short.

What you're telling me is that literally billions of humans are exempt from this process.

Yes. But how long do you think we were in the premortal life? We had our agency their, and were exposed to and subject to the adversary. He was obviously very good at what he dai, he was successful in convincing on third of Father's children to follow him. I am confident that we were there substantially longer than we live in mortality. I don't believe that all of Father's children were of equal levels of obedience in the premortal world. This is evident by by what we learn in Abraham. Is it possible that their were and are children of our Father that proved themselves so well in their premortal life, that they have no need of experiencing all of mortality? I think you would agree that this would apply with the Savior. His purpose for mortality was not for Himself, (other than gaining a body) but was for us.

I have to endure an entire lifetime of trials and suffering to prove my faithfulness to God, while dumb luck determines it for billions of others who were fortunate enough to die before their 8th year.

I don't think it is "dumb luck", nor do I see how agency is compromised. Remember, it is not sin that will keep us from heaven, but our unwillingness to repent. If these children were permitted to remain, they most certainly would have sinned, but I think the Father knows them well enough to know of their willingness to repent.

This doesn't bode well for me, and if it is official Church doctrine, then I have a serious issue.

I understand how you feel. I am coonfident you will resolve the issue.

== In the end, God is just. He judges us based on our capacity to willfully disobey him.

So it doesn't matter what we do, but rather our capacity to willfully disobey?

Actually it has more to do with our willingness to repent.

If that were true, then we wouldn't need to be here in the first place.

Yes we would. We cannot progress without the mortal body.

He would have just judged our hearts in the preexistence. Lucky for some odd billions, they'll never have to worry about having to find out if they would have been "willfully disobedient" if given the same opportunity as others.

What do you think should be the alternative? If a child dies, should God send them somwhere so Satan can take a few wacks at them before they are judged? They will always have their agency, but remember, they did excercise that agency in keeping their first estate. They will not lose that agency in the spirit world or in the millenneum, but they will not be exposed to the temptations of Satan in either of these places. So, again, how do you think it should work?

Regards,

T-Shirt

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Hey Kevin,

I think we should focus on one thing at a time. You posted:

>>== I find it very interesting that D&C 137:10 clearly states,

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P.S. On a side note, historically speaking, have/do children of members of the CoJCoLDS who die before the age of 8 receive proxy baptism?

No.

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Guest johnny_cat
On a side note, historically speaking, have/do children of members of the CoJCoLDS who die before the age of 8 receive proxy baptism?

Not as far as I know.

What compliance are you speaking of?

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