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snowflake

Why isn't the Book of Enoch accepted in the LDS canon?

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21 hours ago, Sevenbak said:

I also noticed that you didn't include the culminating statement following what you snipped.  Verse 38:

38 What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.

The Lord, though his spirit, speaks to his servants to establish his word.  If one thinks His word actually means something else, then I suppose that's a problem... for the individual thinking that.   It's comforting to know that the doctrines don't change via committees of intellectualism.  They tried that with the creeds of early Christendom.  Look where that led.

But the whole point of the passages from D&C 1 that I quoted was to establish that while what the Lord has spoken will be fulfilled, not everything that his servants has spoken is his word.  That is the whole point the statement that D&C 1 contains a description of "mine authority and the authority of my servants."  It is not God who is subject to error, sin, and who learns things from time to time based on both inquiry on the human side and expedience on God's side. 

If it significant that Joseph Smith explained the problem with creeds.

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This is why Joseph Smith opposed creeds, not because they are false teachings,28 but because “creeds set up stakes, and say, “Hitherto thou shalt come, and no further’; which I cannot subscribe to.”29 The message of the First Vision is not that a true creed had come to replace the false ones, but that the heavens had opened. You don’t need to worship at a cistern when you’ve got a fountain (see Jeremiah 2:13). Creeds tend to create rigid background expectations which become “abominable” by promoting static authoritarianism that resists further light and knowledge.30 This is not to say that we should bow without resistance to every wind of doctrine that happens to blow by (Ephesians 4:11-16), but that resistance to new ideas should be just as carefully considered as acceptance of such (Acts 10:9-28).

The problem with creeds, according to several apt quotes by Joseph Smith, is not their content, but their function.

In your comfortable knowledge that "doctrines don't change via committees of intellectualism", you forgo Jesus's own definition of what is, and what is not doctrine, and what happens to a the stability and strength of any person's foundation when they try to build on any other.   (See 3 Nephi 11:23-40, which, I notice does not include any discussion of Peleg or the flood or the location of Cumorah or Zarahemla or the age of the earth within the formal definition).

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Alma is especially instructive on the nature and extent and sources for prophetic knowledge:

Now as to this thing I do not know. . . . But behold, the Spirit hath said this much unto me. (Alma 7:8-9)

Now I unfold unto you a mystery; nevertheless, there are many mysteries which are kept, that no one knoweth them save God himself. But I show unto you one thing which I have inquired diligently of God that I might know. . . . Now when this time cometh no one knows. . . . Now, whether there shall be one time, or a second time, or a third time, . . . it mattereth not; for God knoweth all things; and it sufficeth me to know in this case . . . what becometh of the souls of men is the thing which I have inquired diligently to know; and this is the thing of which I do know. . . . Behold it has been made known unto me by an angel. . . . Now, whether . . . I do not say; let it suffice, that . . . I do not say that . . . but behold, I give it as my opinion.” (Alma 40:3-5, 9, 11, 19-20)

Alma was very conscious of his limits, of what he knew by revelation, and that such knowledge did not cancel out the existence of his human opinions.

Joseph was also very concerned about the tendency of some Saints to resist new information that ran contrary to their expectations:

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But there has been a great difficulty in getting anything into the heads of this generation. It has been like splitting hemlock knots with a corn-dodger for a wedge, and a pumpkin for a beetle. Even the Saints are slow to understand.

I have tried for a number of years to get the minds of the Saints prepared to receive the things of God; but we frequently see some of them, after suffering all they have for the work of God, will fly to pieces like glass as soon as anything comes that is contrary to their traditions: they cannot stand the fire at all.

FWIW

Kevin Christensen

Canonsburg, PA

Edited by Kevin Christensen
typo
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15 hours ago, pogi said:

What causes you to have that hope?  Is it not a yearning for what is right, Godly, fair, perfectly just and merciful, light, and true, which draws you to this hope?

Now, there may be some miscommunication happening here about a "second chance to accept Jesus".  What do you mean by that specifically?  Is this life the first and only chance for all people, regardless?  How can you justify that given that some people in this life literally never hear the word of God preached, and therefore can never attain faith in Christ.  For as we know, "faith cometh by hearing..."

I believe that because of what Christ did, and for "whoever believes on him" they will have salvation. You are correct in that we know that God is a loving, patient, kind and just God. The Bible seems to point that Jesus must become our Lord and King in this life, there will not be "a second chance" to accept Christ. I have known people that flat out refuse Jesus, they say they can get to heaven on their own or just flat out deny God.  Do these people get a "second chance" after death to hear the LDS gospel?

Romans 2:15 gives us some insight to the people that literally never heard the word of God preached and they are to be judged by Christ as well. And I think you have a very good and fair point. What happens to babies, "good" people that were raised in a hole in Antarctica that never heard of Jesus? But the bible does elude to the answer to this.

14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:

15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

Like we both know, God is a fair, loving, just, merciful God. 

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15 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Why do the evangelicals deny Christ his great Atonement?  Why are they so intent on hating their neighbor?  In fact, LDS theology is remarkably consistent and solid. That is how outside scholars see us.  For example, Ernst Benz on the Mormon doctrine of apotheosis:

Not sure where you are coming from on this. EV's don't deny Christ or are intent on hating their neighbor. I do think that some EV's  have a "holier than thou" attitude and seem to look down on their neighbors as "lost souls" in desperate need of saving, but there is some truth to that as well. This attitude prevails with the LDS, the attitude that "if I would just read the BOM and pray about it i could come to know the truth theme" runs rampant through Mormonism as well. 

LDS theology is remarkably consistent and solid to you, but to even most LDS folks they can see that with "continuing enlightenment" doctrines are changed, LDS prophets don't always agree with each other or the ancient Prophets. I mean who knows polygamy could come back tomorrow. Just in my short life i've seen massive changes to the temple rituals, blacks and the priesthood, attitudes toward homosexuality, (baptizing children of homosexuals).   

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9 minutes ago, snowflake said:

I believe that because of what Christ did, and for "whoever believes on him" they will have salvation. You are correct in that we know that God is a loving, patient, kind and just God. The Bible seems to point that Jesus must become our Lord and King in this life, there will not be "a second chance" to accept Christ. I have known people that flat out refuse Jesus, they say they can get to heaven on their own or just flat out deny God.  Do these people get a "second chance" after death to hear the LDS gospel?

Romans 2:15 gives us some insight to the people that literally never heard the word of God preached and they are to be judged by Christ as well. And I think you have a very good and fair point. What happens to babies, "good" people that were raised in a hole in Antarctica that never heard of Jesus? But the bible does elude to the answer to this.

14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:

15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

Like we both know, God is a fair, loving, just, merciful God. 

Thanks for your response. 

First, I will address Romans 2.  Great scripture!  I am happy to hear that you do see that circumstances of life will afford some people the opportunity to accept Jesus in the next life.  If this life is their first chance, then many will be given a second chance to accept Jesus, per these scriptures.

Is simply hearing about Jesus and doubting what you hear enough to warrant eternal torment in hell?  How is that perfectly merciful and just given the many understandable reasons which might cause one to doubt due to imperfect understanding.  I don't like to get into hypothetical's about who will be saved and who wont be saved, as only God can look upon the inner man and judge the heart.  We are simply asked to not judge or condemn anyone as to their final state.  

Mormon's also believe that there are no second chances beyond a certain point of rejection, but that point of no return is not for us to judge.  Has a person been sufficiently instructed?  Has all misunderstandings been properly addressed?  Has the spirit had opportunity to sufficiently witness of Christ?  If he had lived another day, week, month, or year, would opportunity have afforded him a better chance to properly understand and accepted Jesus?  These are matters of the heart that I cannot judge.  But again, we too agree that there are no second chances beyond a certain point, and that this life is the time to prepare to meet God:

Alma 34:31-38:

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Yea, I would that ye would come forth and harden not your hearts any longer; for behold, now is the time and the day of your salvation; and therefore, if ye will repent and harden not your hearts, immediately shall the great plan of redemption be brought about unto you.

For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors.

And now, as I said unto you before, as ye have had so many witnesses, therefore, I beseech of you that ye do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end; for after this day of life, which is given us to prepare for eternity, behold, if we do not improve our time while in this life, then cometh the night of darkness wherein there can be no labor performed.

Ye cannot say, when ye are brought to that awful crisis, that I will repent, that I will return to my God. Nay, ye cannot say this; for that same spirit which doth possess your bodies at the time that ye go out of this life, that same spirit will have power to possess your body in that eternal world.

For behold, if ye have procrastinated the day of your repentance even until death, behold, ye have become subjected to the spirit of the devil, and he doth seal you his; therefore, the Spirit of the Lord hath withdrawn from you, and hath no place in you, and the devil hath all power over you; and this is the final state of the wicked...

And now, my beloved brethren, I desire that ye should remember these things, and that ye should work out your salvation with fear before God, and that ye should no more deny the coming of Christ;

That ye contend no more against the Holy Ghost, but that ye receive it, and take upon you the name of Christ; that ye humble yourselves even to the dust, and worship God, in whatsoever place ye may be in, in spirit and in truth; and that ye live in thanksgiving daily, for the many mercies and blessings which he doth bestow upon you.

 

For those whose understanding of Jesus were not adequate or sufficient to pass a fair and lasting eternal judgement, they will be further taught the gospel in the next life (1 Peter 3:19), and be offered opportunity to accept Jesus, given a fair and adequate understanding first, and to accept baptism by water and spirit (1 Corinthians 15:29).  As Christ explained, "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God (John 3:5)."

By these passages we know that those who die without the sufficient opportunity to hear of, and accept, Jesus in this life, they will be taught in spirit prison, and have the opportunity to receive the requisite baptism by water and spirit in order to be accepted into the kingdom of God - or else there is no hope for them.

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29 minutes ago, pogi said:

For those whose understanding of Jesus were not adequate or sufficient to pass a fair and lasting eternal judgement, they will be further taught the gospel in the next life (1 Peter 3:19), and be offered opportunity to accept Jesus, given a fair and adequate understanding first, and to accept baptism by water and spirit (1 Corinthians 15:29).  As Christ explained, "Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God (John 3:5)."

By these passages we know that those who die without the sufficient opportunity to hear of, and accept, Jesus in this life, they will be taught in spirit prison, and have the opportunity to receive the requisite baptism by water and spirit in order to be accepted into the kingdom of God - or else there is no hope for them.

1 Corinthians 15 is about  those who deny the resurrection....
I think you are taking this out of context to support baptizing for the dead. What is the reason (in the LDS world) that would allow people be able to accept Jesus after death in the spirit realm but not get baptized after death in the spirit realm? 

Also if baptism is a mandatory requirement, do you think the thief on the Cross made it into heaven (paradise)? Why or why not? 

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7 minutes ago, snowflake said:

1 Corinthians 15 is about  those who deny the resurrection....
I think you are taking this out of context to support baptizing for the dead. What is the reason (in the LDS world) that would allow people be able to accept Jesus after death in the spirit realm but not get baptized after death in the spirit realm? 

Also if baptism is a mandatory requirement, do you think the thief on the Cross made it into heaven (paradise)? Why or why not? 

You are right that I Corinthians 15 is about the resurrection.
But verse 29 specifically speaks of baptism and asks why be baptized for the dead if there is no resurrection.
Clearly Paul knew that people were being baptized for the dead and was asking why bother if there is no resurrection.

As for the thief on the cross, that always bears a little analysis.
He states that the thief would be with him in paradise that day.  But yet after his resurrection three days later Christ tells Mary that he had not yet ascended to heaven.

Maybe, just maybe, the term paradise that Christ used on the cross and heaven are two different places.
The thief would go to one, but perhaps not to the other without baptism.

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20 minutes ago, snowflake said:

1 Corinthians 15 is about  those who deny the resurrection....
I think you are taking this out of context to support baptizing for the dead. What is the reason (in the LDS world) that would allow people be able to accept Jesus after death in the spirit realm but not get baptized after death in the spirit realm? 

Also if baptism is a mandatory requirement, do you think the thief on the Cross made it into heaven (paradise)? Why or why not? 

What JLHPROF said.

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43 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

You are right that I Corinthians 15 is about the resurrection.
But verse 29 specifically speaks of baptism and asks why be baptized for the dead if there is no resurrection.
Clearly Paul knew that people were being baptized for the dead and was asking why bother if there is no resurrection.

As for the thief on the cross, that always bears a little analysis.
He states that the thief would be with him in paradise that day.  But yet after his resurrection three days later Christ tells Mary that he had not yet ascended to heaven.

Maybe, just maybe, the term paradise that Christ used on the cross and heaven are two different places.
The thief would go to one, but perhaps not to the other without baptism.

I would give you the fact that in verse 29 people were apparently being baptized for the dead, Paul doesn't seem to endorse it or identify it as heresy. The chapter is all about Christ's resurrection and the heresy of denying it.  Usually important doctrinal issues are addressed in more that one place in the Bible and this verse seems vague.... 

The thief on the cross to most EV's is evidence that one can find salvation in Jesus up to the last possible moment before death. No baptism necessary. But you make a good point too. I wonder why Jesus didn't use a term like "telestial kingdom", or "terrestrial kingdom".  Paradise sounds pretty sweet the way Jesus puts it in the scripture though. Luke 23:

39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.

40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?

41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.

42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.

43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

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1 hour ago, snowflake said:

1 Corinthians 15 is about  those who deny the resurrection....
I think you are taking this out of context to support baptizing for the dead. What is the reason (in the LDS world) that would allow people be able to accept Jesus after death in the spirit realm but not get baptized after death in the spirit realm? 

Also if baptism is a mandatory requirement, do you think the thief on the Cross made it into heaven (paradise)? Why or why not? 

Jesus did not say the thief would be with Him in heaven. Paradise is not heaven. It is part of the spirit world. As yet the thief was not resurrected, and perhaps is still not. Perhaps the man did receive a baptism for him. If baptisms for the dead were being performed in Jerusalem, who is to say that one was not performed for this man?

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4 hours ago, snowflake said:

Not sure where you are coming from on this. EV's don't deny Christ or are intent on hating their neighbor.

I did not say that evangelicals deny Christ, I said that they deny him his Atonement.  Please pay attention to the assertions they (and you) actually make.  Only deep hatred directed at Mormons by the evangelicals could account for that haste to find fault, to reject any political candidate who just happens to be Mormon, etc.  This is a visceral, emotional thing for them, somewhat akin to their willingness to justify virtually anything done by their favorite President.

4 hours ago, snowflake said:

I do think that some EV's  have a "holier than thou" attitude and seem to look down on their neighbors as "lost souls" in desperate need of saving, but there is some truth to that as well. This attitude prevails with the LDS, the attitude that "if I would just read the BOM and pray about it i could come to know the truth theme" runs rampant through Mormonism as well. 

The difference is, however, crucial:  The LDS just do not establish hate clinics with which to attack evangelicals, while evangelicals have deliberately established and funded many online hate clinics with which to attack Mormons.  You speak as though there is some sort of equal fault on both sides.  It is not without reason that Dr Richard Mouw has repeatedly accused his fellow evangelicals as follows:

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I am now convinced that we evangelicals have often seriously misrepresented the beliefs and practices of the Mormon community.  Indeed, let me state it bluntly to the LDS folks here this evening, we have sinned against you.  Mouw in Salt Lake Tabernacle, Nov 2004, as quoted by Tom Thorkelsen in Latter-day Trumpet, 5/9 (Oct 2007):6; cf. Richard J. Mouw’s harsh criticism of his fellow evangelicals for “bearing false witness against” Mormons (in the foreword to F. Beckwith, C. Mosser, and P. Owen, The New Mormon Challenge [Zondervan, 2002], 11).

4 hours ago, snowflake said:

LDS theology is remarkably consistent and solid to you, but to even most LDS folks they can see that with "continuing enlightenment" doctrines are changed, LDS prophets don't always agree with each other or the ancient Prophets. I mean who knows polygamy could come back tomorrow. Just in my short life i've seen massive changes to the temple rituals, blacks and the priesthood, attitudes toward homosexuality, (baptizing children of homosexuals).   

Continuing revelation is certainly a primary principle in Mormonism, but that has always been true -- throughout the Bible.  Your failure to distinguish between policies and revelations is key, and one frequently encounters that same misunderstanding in evaluating the Bible.  The reason why non-Mormon historians and theologians find the Mormon version of reality more accurate is not because of any slight-of-hand, but of solid historical and theological considerations.  Two evangelical scholars took a close look some years ago (Mosser & Owen), and came to the unsettling conclusion that the evangelicals had lost the debate with the Mormons and did not know it.

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20 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

I did not say that evangelicals deny Christ, I said that they deny him his Atonement.  Please pay attention to the assertions they (and you) actually make.  Only deep hatred directed at Mormons by the evangelicals could account for that haste to find fault, to reject any political candidate who just happens to be Mormon, etc.  This is a visceral, emotional thing for them, somewhat akin to their willingness to justify virtually anything done by their favorite President.

I'm still not following what you mean by denying him his Atonement...

 

21 minutes ago, Robert F. Smith said:

The difference is, however, crucial:  The LDS just do not establish hate clinics with which to attack evangelicals, while evangelicals have deliberately established and funded many online hate clinics with which to attack Mormons.  You speak as though there is some sort of equal fault on both sides.  It is not without reason that Dr Richard Mouw has repeatedly accused his fellow evangelicals as follows:

The prophet Joseph was quite critical of Christian sects: 

19 I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all awrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those bprofessors were all ccorrupt; that: “they ddraw near to me with their lips, but their ehearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the fcommandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the gpower thereof.”

20 He again forbade me to join with any of them; and many other things did he say unto me, which I cannot write at this time.

The LDS send out thousands of missionaries around the world, they have softened their attacks on Christian churches but when I was younger the LDS church would call Christian churches the "Church of the devil" per BOM, so please don't act like your group is innocent of the same type of smear.  

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1 hour ago, snowflake said:

I would give you the fact that in verse 29 people were apparently being baptized for the dead, Paul doesn't seem to endorse it or identify it as heresy. The chapter is all about Christ's resurrection and the heresy of denying it.  Usually important doctrinal issues are addressed in more that one place in the Bible and this verse seems vague.... 

Baptism for the Dead didn't start until after Christ.  That limits any mention of the practice to the post-gospel part of the NT.  Considering how little information we have of that time period the fact that it is mentioned at all is significant.  Nor is this a practice created by Mormons, since there is ample historical evidence of its practice by other Christian and Gnostic sects..

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The thief on the cross to most EV's is evidence that one can find salvation in Jesus up to the last possible moment before death. No baptism necessary. But you make a good point too. I wonder why Jesus didn't use a term like "telestial kingdom", or "terrestrial kingdom".  Paradise sounds pretty sweet the way Jesus puts it in the scripture though. Luke 23:

39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.

40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?

41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.

42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.

43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.

My point is, that reading the Bible, there is a clear differentiation between "paradise" to which our Savior and the thief went at the time of death and "heaven" to which the Savior did not ascend until after his resurrection.

Therefore, paradise and heaven are two different places.  I Peter 3:18-21 also makes clear that Christ was in the world of the spirits after death and later entered heaven and God's presence.
(And verse 21 makes it clear that "even baptism doth also now save us.).

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1 minute ago, snowflake said:

The prophet Joseph was quite critical of Christian sects: 

19 I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all awrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those bprofessors were all ccorrupt; that: “they ddraw near to me with their lips, but their ehearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the fcommandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the gpower thereof.”

20 He again forbade me to join with any of them; and many other things did he say unto me, which I cannot write at this time.

The LDS send out thousands of missionaries around the world, they have softened their attacks on Christian churches but when I was younger the LDS church would call Christian churches the "Church of the devil" per BOM, so please don't act like your group is innocent of the same type of smear.  

There is a difference between being critical of beliefs and attacking the believers.

As a general practice, anti-Mormons like to do both.  Joseph did criticize Christian sects and beliefs, but he also taught that man had the right to worship as he saw fit.
 

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1 hour ago, RevTestament said:

Jesus did not say the thief would be with Him in heaven. Paradise is not heaven. It is part of the spirit world. As yet the thief was not resurrected, and perhaps is still not. Perhaps the man did receive a baptism for him. If baptisms for the dead were being performed in Jerusalem, who is to say that one was not performed for this man?

How are you sure paradise is not heaven and is just part of the spirit world? Does everyone who is not baptized get into paradise? 

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13 minutes ago, snowflake said:

I'm still not following what you mean by denying him his Atonement...

Evangelicals hasten to find fault, but ignore what Christ did, and feverishly want to deny it to all -- except those whom they strictly approve, setting themselves up as judge, jury, and executioner.  Desiring to place the Scarlet Letter on everyone whom they don't like.  Where is evangelical Christian love and kindness?  Where is their compassion?  The Atonement is central to all of that, but their hatred knows no bounds, requiring them to lie on behalf of God in order to deny the Atonement to any except those whom they approve -- in the fashion of the Sadducees and Pharisees at their most hypocritical.

13 minutes ago, snowflake said:

The prophet Joseph was quite critical of Christian sects: 

19 I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all awrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those bprofessors were all ccorrupt; that: “they ddraw near to me with their lips, but their ehearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the fcommandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the gpower thereof.”

20 He again forbade me to join with any of them; and many other things did he say unto me, which I cannot write at this time.

The LDS send out thousands of missionaries around the world, they have softened their attacks on Christian churches but when I was younger the LDS church would call Christian churches the "Church of the devil" per BOM, so please don't act like your group is innocent of the same type of smear.  

Yes, God was very harshly critical of mainstream Christianity (it is biblical), but Joseph was also very clear on the Mormon desire to be good neighbors, and to see the good in other religious groups.  Unfortunately, those other groups were on constant attack right from the beginning, including rape and murder in their repertoire.  Christians (so-called) told any lie and engaged in any kind of mobbing, robbing, and extermination policies.  You might want to ask whether those so engaged could possibly be real Christians.

There has never been any moral equivalency between the Mormon stance on other religious groups (we have always been kind and respectful of them) and  the stance they have taken toward us.  We haven't smeared other religions in the same way we have been smeared, even though some missionaries might long ago have referred to the Roman Catholic Church as "GA Church" (Great and Abominable Church).  One just never hears that nonsense today, and I never tolerated it among my fellow Mormons then (I condemned one guy so harshly, that he became a lifelong enemy).  Moreover, we never established hate clinics of the kind established by the evangelicals.  Even when confronted by their evil, they have simply gone into denial.  You might want to ask whether those so engaged could possibly be real Christians.

Now, of course, people like Pres Richard Mouw and Dr Rob Bowman have been very kind, considerate, and civil in their discourse with and about Mormons, and that is always welcome.  That doesn't stop them from making true observations about Mormon theology (from their POV), but they do it without rancor and with mutual respect.  And that is nice.

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49 minutes ago, snowflake said:

How are you sure paradise is not heaven and is just part of the spirit world? Does everyone who is not baptized get into paradise? 

Because Christ said he and the thief would be in Paradise that day.  But he didn't ascend to Heaven till many days later.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, snowflake said:

How are you sure paradise is not heaven and is just part of the spirit world? Does everyone who is not baptized get into paradise? 

Here is a good explanation of Mormon understanding.  Read the whole link for a better understanding of the spirit world. 

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The essential requirement for entrance into paradise in the spirit world is, therefore, baptism. As stated by Elder Parley P. Pratt, “As in earth, so in the spirit world. No person can enter into the privileges of the Gospel, until the keys are turned, and the Gospel opened by those in authority, for all which there is a time, according to the wise dispensations of justice and mercy” (JD 1:11). Baptism for the dead must be performed vicariously before those who are in the spirit prison can leave the state of the wicked. Elder Melvin J. Ballard, in speaking of the celestial kingdom said: “And those who are prepared to enter into this exaltation, before they can pass by the angels to their glory and their exaltation, must subscribe to every gospel principle, not only live it in the spirit world, but be judged according to men in the flesh. They cannot ignore baptism” (227). It should be remembered that the phrase “the wicked” is a general category for those who have not been baptized (see D&C 62:5; 84:49–51). One of the oft-cited scriptures by those who object to the idea that baptism is a requirement for entering paradise is the promise of Jesus to the thief on the cross: “Today thou shalt be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). The objection is answered by the following explanation by the Prophet Joseph Smith:

I will say something about the spirits in prison. There has been much said by modern divines about the words of Jesus [when on the cross] to the thief, saying, “This day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” King James’ translators make it out to say paradise. But what is paradise? It is a modern word: it does not answer at all to the original word that Jesus made use of. Find the original of the word paradise. You may as easily find a needle in a haymow. Here is a chance for battle, ye learned men. There is nothing in the original word in Greek from which this was taken that signifies paradise; but it was—This day thou shalt be with me in the world of spirits: then I will teach you all about it and answer your inquiries. And Peter says he went and preached to the world of spirits [spirits in prison, I Peter, 3rd chap. 19th verse], so that they who would receive it could have it answered by proxy by those who live on the earth, etc. . . .

Hades, the Greek, or Sheol, the Hebrew, these two significations mean a world of spirits. Hades, Sheol, paradise, spirits in prison, are all one: it is a world of spirits.

https://rsc.byu.edu/archived/selected-articles/state-soul-between-death-and-resurrection

Even non-Mormon interpretations see it the same way, sort-of.  This is from the Berean Bible Society:

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We know that Jesus Christ went “into the lower parts of the earth” (Eph. 4:9), that is to Sheol/Hades, “in the heart of the earth,” for three days and nights while his body was in the grave (Mat. 12:40). The Lord Jesus told the repentant thief that he would join Him in Paradise that same day (Lk. 23:42,43). This tells us that Paradise was located in Sheol/Hades at that time. 

 Is paradise the same as Hades?  Or was this a general reference to the world of spirits, where Christ went and taught the gospel upon his death (1 Peter 3:19)? 

Edited by pogi

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49 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

My point is, that reading the Bible, there is a clear differentiation between "paradise" to which our Savior and the thief went at the time of death and "heaven" to which the Savior did not ascend until after his resurrection.

Therefore, paradise and heaven are two different places.  I Peter 3:18-21 also makes clear that Christ was in the world of the spirits after death and later entered heaven and God's presence.
(And verse 21 makes it clear that "even baptism doth also now save us.).

Paradise, prison......Heaven, hell......seem like the same place to me but you make a good point, paradise might be somewhere different. You point out a great area of scripture, but there are many scriptures that say one can be "saved" without baptism.  Is there a scripture you know that points to Jesus going to "paradise" before his ascension? 

I find it interesting the highlighted section: 

21 The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: 

By being baptized we show our devotion and love toward God.....not just the act of being baptized but the attitude. 

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1 hour ago, snowflake said:

How are you sure paradise is not heaven and is just part of the spirit world? Does everyone who is not baptized get into paradise? 

Can't really answer that question. I believe those who do not need to repent are admitted into paradise. Therefore, they escape the punishment of hell before their resurrection. See Rev 20-21. Yeshua forgave this man's sins, and therefore, He went to paradise with Jesus "this day." That does not mean he was resurrected to heaven. Yeshua still had to go teach those in spirit prson/hell. 1 Peter 3-4. I believe those awaiting resurrection are not admitted to heaven. Upon His resurrection Jesus said He had not yet ascended to His Father, but He had told the thief he would be with Him in paradise already. That strongly implies Paradise and Heaven are different.  

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16 hours ago, pogi said:

Here is a good explanation of Mormon understanding.  Read the whole link for a better understanding of the spirit world. 

Even non-Mormon interpretations see it the same way, sort-of.  This is from the Berean Bible Society:

 Is paradise the same as Hades?  Or was this a general reference to the world of spirits, where Christ went and taught the gospel upon his death (1 Peter 3:19)? 

And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.
How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
 
Just based on the KJV use of the word "paradise", It does not appear to be the same as Hades, but thank you for the LDS take in your post. 

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3 minutes ago, snowflake said:
And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.
How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
 
Just based on the KJV use of the word "paradise", It does not appear to be the same as Hades, but thank you for the LDS take in your post. 

That’s not really what I was saying.  If you read the whole link (it’s not very long), you will get a better explanation.  Non-Mormons agree that its use depends on its context.

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16 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

Evangelicals hasten to find fault, but ignore what Christ did, and feverishly want to deny it to all -- except those whom they strictly approve, setting themselves up as judge, jury, and executioner.  Desiring to place the Scarlet Letter on everyone whom they don't like.  Where is evangelical Christian love and kindness?  Where is their compassion?  The Atonement is central to all of that, but their hatred knows no bounds, requiring them to lie on behalf of God in order to deny the Atonement to any except those whom they approve -- in the fashion of the Sadducees and Pharisees at their most hypocritical.

Please tell me what you mean when you say atonement? 

My local church is very loving and accepting, in our small church (around 700 members) we have a homeless veteran ministry, have a food bank for local families, have a ministry of supporting a Christian church in Laos (and orphanage), youth center, local orphan and foster children ministry.

I consider that biblical Christianity, compassion and love. We accept Jesus as lord and savior. 

 

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38 minutes ago, pogi said:

That’s not really what I was saying.  If you read the whole link (it’s not very long), you will get a better explanation.  Non-Mormons agree that its use depends on its context.

Ok I read your link, sorry i missed that before. 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, snowflake said:
And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.
How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.
 
Just based on the KJV use of the word "paradise", It does not appear to be the same as Hades, but thank you for the LDS take in your post. 

 

Paradise was typically the 3rd heaven in a heavenly ascent of 7 heavens. You see that explicitly in Revelation which it's where the Garden of Eden is in the 3rd heaven. This was typical in heavenly ascent literature. 1 Enoch doesn't use that instead using the older mountain cosmology for the most part. However most other Merkabah texts go through the cosmology. Rev 2 in particular adopts this at least allegorically and possibly literally where each of the seven Churches is also a step through a heaven along with enduing of particular divine qualities or tokens. Again characteristic of heavenly ascent literature of the era.

Generally the conception of seven heavens (which over time sometimes became more heavens) arose out of Babylon. By the time of Jesus it was mainstream Jewish thought. 

Paradise or the third heaven usually includes the tree of life and elements of Eden. (As in Revelation) 2 Enoch in particular goes through the geography quite a bit on this point. (There are differences in 2 Enoch from how Mormons would be comfortable talking about things though since punishments of the wicked are going on there) In the NT 2 Corinthians 12:2–4 is relevant since Paul seems to be referencing these traditions along with allusions to the text of the Assumption of Moses. It's worth noting that the third heaven according to the Talmud has manna on the basis of Ps 78:23. (i.e. the rabbis tie that scripture to the third heaven, much as we find in Rev)

Anyway, I bring this up to just not that in terms of the culture of the time given the wide assortment of texts we have, it's rather easy to read Paradise as a third heaven of seven or even more.

Edited by clarkgoble
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1 hour ago, clarkgoble said:

 

Paradise was typically the 3rd heaven in a heavenly ascent of 7 heavens. You see that explicitly in Revelation which it's where the Garden of Eden is in the 3rd heaven. This was typical in heavenly ascent literature. 1 Enoch doesn't use that instead using the older mountain cosmology for the most part. However most other Merkabah texts go through the cosmology. Rev 2 in particular adopts this at least allegorically and possibly literally where each of the seven Churches is also a step through a heaven along with enduing of particular divine qualities or tokens. Again characteristic of heavenly ascent literature of the era.

Generally the conception of seven heavens (which over time sometimes became more heavens) arose out of Babylon. By the time of Jesus it was mainstream Jewish thought. 

Paradise or the third heaven usually includes the tree of life and elements of Eden. (As in Revelation) 2 Enoch in particular goes through the geography quite a bit on this point. (There are differences in 2 Enoch from how Mormons would be comfortable talking about things though since punishments of the wicked are going on there) In the NT 2 Corinthians 12:2–4 is relevant since Paul seems to be referencing these traditions along with allusions to the text of the Assumption of Moses. It's worth noting that the third heaven according to the Talmud has manna on the basis of Ps 78:23. (i.e. the rabbis tie that scripture to the third heaven, much as we find in Rev)

Anyway, I bring this up to just not that in terms of the culture of the time given the wide assortment of texts we have, it's rather easy to read Paradise as a third heaven of seven or even more.

I have never heard this take on "paradise" before. 

Do you find any significance in the fact that the thief on the cross asked Jesus to remember him in his kingdom?  

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