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By Bernard Gui
In 2 Nephi 2, Joseph, son of Lehi, is given this promise by his father:
There is some question who this "one mighty among them" will be. It's not Joseph Smith, because the one will be a descendant of Lehi. Joseph Fielding Smith and Spencer Kimball suggested it would be a future prophet to come out of the remnants of Lehi (a "Lamanite" or "Indian" prophet).
Let me propose another candidate, one who we all know well but perhaps take for granted.
He did much good in word and deed. He was an instrument in the hands of God. He had exceeding faith. He worked mighty wonders. He did that thing which is great in the sight of God in bringing restoration to the house of Israel and the seed of Lehi. 1. He did much good in word and deed.
2. He was an instrument in the hands of God.
3. He had exceeding faith.
4. He worked mighty wonders.
5. He did that thing which is great in the sight of God in bringing the restoration to the house of Israel and the seed of Lehi.
Yes, I'm talking about that giant of a Nephite, the Prophet Mormon. As a boy, he was a leader of men. As a man, he was one of the greatest prophets of God. As a prophet, he was fearless in his faith and secure in his knowledge. As a warrior, he gave his life in defense of his people. As a father, he inspired greatness in his son Moroni. As a historian, he was entrusted to make and preserve the record of his people that became the foundation of the Restoration. Truly, he was "one mighty among them."
Granted, some may point out that he claimed to be a descendant of Nephi, not Joseph, but it is reasonable to conclude that the descendants of the faithful Lehites (Nephi, Sam, Joseph, Jacob, and Zoram) intermarried and all could claim to be descended from Nephi. In fact, all the descendants of those Lehi sons became grouped under the head of Nephi. But is it not possible that this man was the one prophesied to come and bring restoration to Lehi's family?
Others may have come to this conclusion, but I'm not aware of any who have proposed Mormon. Feel free to burst that bubble of pride.
Turns out this kid's family attends Church in the same building I do, but in the neighboring ward. Looked at his plaque on the wall.
How amazing is it that the snarky, largely anti-religionist press finds a way this time not to redact all mention of G-d! I am greatly impressed that he took the opportunity to thank and give credit to Him who truly is the author of the safety we enjoy in a very dangerous world.
This may turn out to be the most effective missionary moment of 2016 ... if not the decade.
Well done, young sir!
Greetings. I'm working on a new piece about what battle was like for the average Nephite soldier. This is a face of battle approach somewhat common to military history but relatively lacking in regards to the Book of Mormon. (I can send a copy of the current draft to interested readers.) I remember reading somewhere about an article that compares Moroni (or Mormon) and his writings to a survivor of the holocaust, or somebody that shows he went through trauma or suffers from PTSD. Does anybody know about this piece and where I can find it? I know my description is somewhat vague, but I've only heard about this from an off hand comment at a conference. I've done my best but can't seem to find it. I appreciate any help you could offer. Thanks.
By Joshua Valentine
[i saw the lower case LDS too late, and couldn't find a way to edit it. I apologize for the error. Please let me know if there is a way to edit topic titles. Thanks!]
This topic is not about whether or not Mormons are Christians. It is not about whether Mormonism is a Christian religion.
It is about whether and how the LDS leadership undermines its own position, and that of the membership - that other Christian groups should recognize it, them, as Christians - when it refuses to recognize other Mormon groups as Mormons.
Following are statements made by the LDS Church:
1) A recent news story referred to fugitive Warren Jeffs as a “fundamentalist Mormon” and “leader of a polygamist breakaway Mormon sect.”
Polygamist groups in Utah, Arizona or Texas have nothing whatsoever to do with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. To refer to them as “Mormon” is inaccurate.
There is no such thing as a "fundamentalist" Mormon. Mormon is a common name for a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Church discontinued polygamy more than a century ago. No members of the Church today can enter into polygamy without being excommunicated. Polygamist groups in Utah, other parts of the American West and elsewhere have nothing whatsoever to do with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
3) Recent news reports regarding various issues related to the practice of polygamy, especially focusing on groups in Southern Utah, Arizona and Texas, have used terms such as "fundamentalist Mormons," "Mormon sect" and "polygamous Mormons" to refer to those who practice polygamy.
There is no such thing as a "polygamous" Mormon. Mormon is a common name for a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The Church discontinued polygamy more than a century ago. No members of the Church today can enter into polygamy without being excommunicated. Polygamist groups in Utah, Arizona or Texas have nothing whatsoever to do with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
4) "...it is estimated that approximately 30,000 Mormons live in polygamous households in Utah."
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints discontinued the practice of polygamy more than a century ago. No members of the Church today can enter into polygamy without being excommunicated. Groups that practice polygamy have nothing to do whatsoever with the Church and should not be referred to as Mormons.
5) There is no such thing as a “Mormon Fundamentalist.” It is a contradiction to use the two words together.
-President Gordon B. Hinckley
All of these official statements made by the LDS Church deny the use of “Mormon” when referring to polygamous or fundamentalist groups. How is this to be justified when the LDS Church and its members decry Christian groups that refuse to refer to LDS as Christians or the LDS Church as a Christian church?
In all of these quotes the term “Mormon” is being defined as a member of the LDS Church. But that is at least an outdated definition - denying the reality of the existence and legitimacy of other groups that embrace Joseph Smith’s restoration and scriptures. It is certainly self-serving, especially if used to differentiate between the “Mormon” issue and the “Christian” issue.
Why do Christians deny that Mormons are Christians? Why does the LDS Church deny that off-shoot Mormons are Mormons?
See the following (especially in bold):
6) The Associated Press style guide tells its reporters that the term Mormon “is not properly applied” to the other churches that resulted from the split after Joseph Smith's death. It should be obvious why the AP has adopted that policy. It is widely understood that the word “Mormon” refers to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which sends out “Mormon missionaries,” sponsors the “Mormon Tabernacle Choir” and builds “Mormon temples.” Associating the term ‘Mormon’ with polygamists blurs what should be a crystal-clear line of distinction between organizations that are entirely separate.
While the terms LDS and Mormon are not brands in the commercial sense, these terms reflect the identity, reputation and teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The LDS Church has the right and expectation that the use of these terms will convey certain impressions to those who become aware of them. This is known in the business world as brand equity and in the words of NetMBA.com it "is an intangible asset that depends on associations made by the consumer."
Christians don’t want the public (consumers) to confuse Mormonism for Christianity. LDS leadership doesn’t want the public to confuse Mormon off-shoots for Mormonism or the LDS Church.
Insofar as the LDS Church denies off-shoot groups the name “Mormon”, the LDS Church undermines its call for non-LDS Christians to accept it as Christian. In nearly every way that the LDS Church justifies denying “Mormon” to off-shoots, it justifies Christians denying “Christian” to Mormonism.
This is my journey, my story, my path. I believe that if anywhere were a safe place to confide, this would be it.
In 2008, I made a brave decision to leave a mentally and emotionally abusive marriage. My dad bought me a train ticket and I had a close friend of mine drive me to stay in a bus stop for the night until the next morning when my train would leave. He wound up refusing to leave me there and bought me a hotel room and stayed in one adjacent to mine.
Three days later, I was in a new place. Somewhere cold and somewhere I had never dreamt of living. My dad took me on as his assistant and I took phone calls for all of his real estate clients. He paid me, but letting me live there was honestly payment enough. Although, having a few extra bucks made me feel somewhat independent.
I was 19, young and naïve and ready to start fresh. I'm not going to lie. I was depressed and wanted no social life for nearly 6 months. Then, one day while my dad and his family were out and about, there was a knock on the door. An annoying knock that forced me out of bed and when I opened the door I was a mess. And the young gentlemen that gazed upon me could tell I was in need of saving. I had been crying, I hadn't showered in days and honestly, wanted nothing to do with them. But, the southern hospitality in me let them in and offered them a glass of lemonade.
My dad wound up giving me a car and that Sunday I was at a new church with new people and I was way under dressed. Despite the way I looked, everyone welcomed me in. The missionaries I met were there and they introduced me to Bishop Pippo and the two gentlemen that would guide me spiritually and unknowingly change my life.
After my baptism and Confirmation, I enlisted into the united states military and in 2013 I married my high school sweetheart and best friend of almost 10 years. I have known him since 2005. His brother and I have been friends since 2002.
So, while this is my path to God, I guess it is only fair to admit that from June 1, 2011 until now I was distant from the church. I got into another bad relationship for a few months and let myself down the wrong path for a while. Now, with my life finally going well, I want to continue moving in a positive direction. Because that is the word I use to describe my life now, positive. And I honestly feel that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the place I need to be. The place I always needed to be. Everyone is always asking for a sign, a knock on the door and I literally got mine. Granted, yes I followed, I also took a wrong exit and headed down the same road that I needed to escape from.
My dear and beloved Father in Heaven,
I ask that you guide me in a positive direction of your seeing.
I ask that all I do and all I am reflects you.
I ask that the burdens of my past be lifted.
I thank you for all the blessings in my life.
I am so unbelievably grateful for everything you are. Everything you have ever been.
My dear and beloved Father in Heaven,
your forgiveness has washed over me lord and I truly believe that spirit within me will guide me towards you.
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen