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David Ostler's book Bridges on LDS faith crisis

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On 8/7/2019 at 2:38 AM, Nacho2dope said:

But couldn’t you just say you have a testimony about priesthood blessings? Is the backstory  necessary? I think may testimonies start this way with a long back story and they get caught up in the story and never really get to the testimony. Just a thought. Thanks for your post!

Something that is faith-affirming isn't necessarily a testimony -- probably isn't, in fact.

For example, I have had two experiences where I was told explicitly who was going to be, in one case, our new branch president, and in the other, our new bishop.  The HG just up and volunteered the information.  My wife once experienced the same thing, except in this case it was who was going to be the new stake president.  These experiences aren't testimonies, they are affirmations through the Spirit that (a) personal revelation is available and (b) the Lord is leading the Church.  And thus my testimony is that the Lord will reveal to us that which we could not know of ourselves, and that He is leading His Church.  I don't need to tell the backstory, as you put it, because it isn't the testimony.  Though I could tell the backstory in support of the testimony, if the Spirit told me it was expedient.  

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On 8/7/2019 at 2:54 AM, Duncan said:

Pres. Packer addressed this in 1982,  “The spiritual part of us and the emotional part of us are so closely linked that is possible to mistake an emotional impulse for something spiritual. We occasionally find people who receive what they assume to be spiritual promptings from God, when those promptings are either centered in the emotions or are from the adversary.” https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/1983/01/the-candle-of-the-lord?lang=eng

I've learned to distrust or at least downplay the emotional response.  I have walked out of too many cinemas with a strong emotional boost, and yet what was the film about? Just worldly stuff with no eternal consequence or teaching. Just warm fuzzies.  I've heard beautiful stories that were uplifting and got an emotional "high" from them, but upon reflection realized that the "high" was not the Spirit of God.  I observe that the testimony of the Spirit is sometimes associated with a strong emotional response, but I have learned that they are NOT one in the same.  I have received explicit revelatory experiences in which there was no emotional content whatsoever -- there was just pure knowledge.  And I have received strong spiritual impressions which contained no knowledge, per se, but showed me that God was watching and He either approved of what I was doing, or was directing me further -- likewise with no emotional "high".

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1 hour ago, Stargazer said:

For some people it is hard.  Sometimes the struggle is something they are ashamed of and are afraid that others will judge them for their struggles. Other times they feel the struggle is personal and don't want to burden others unnecessarily.

During the time my late wife was dying I was struggling with the day-to-day observation and handling of her gradual decline.  It was just one of those things, and there was nothing I could do about it, and talking about it with someone was just something that wouldn't have helped me.  So I kept it to myself and just dealt with it.  Some might say that it is a bad thing to keep such things "held in", and in some cases that might be true, but not here.  The cards were dealt and I played them as best I could.

I get that but I have found that unless I am surrounded by jerks people are attracted to vulnerability particularly if you have good humor about it. I hope I am light hearted about it and avoid being light minded. The best humor comes out of serious and authentic stuff in any case.

I was also blessed with friends in college that I trust pretty much completely because I know they love me. They were the only people who could criticize me without me getting defensive and vice versa. I am trying to generalize that more. I also find that the better I know myself the less others can hurt me in any case if I am vulnerable. When someone does attack you can recognize them as human garbage trapped in pain and move on and hope somehow they can be cured some day.

Edited by The Nehor
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25 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

I've learned to distrust or at least downplay the emotional response.  I have walked out of too many cinemas with a strong emotional boost, and yet what was the film about? Just worldly stuff with no eternal consequence or teaching. Just warm fuzzies.  I've heard beautiful stories that were uplifting and got an emotional "high" from them, but upon reflection realized that the "high" was not the Spirit of God.  I observe that the testimony of the Spirit is sometimes associated with a strong emotional response, but I have learned that they are NOT one in the same.  I have received explicit revelatory experiences in which there was no emotional content whatsoever -- there was just pure knowledge.  And I have received strong spiritual impressions which contained no knowledge, per se, but showed me that God was watching and He either approved of what I was doing, or was directing me further -- likewise with no emotional "high".

precisely, I can listen to Coolio's Gangsta's paradise and cry but I wouldn't expect the HG to bear witness to me the Church is true

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On 8/7/2019 at 6:57 PM, RevTestament said:

The valley of Adam ondi Ahman is not the place of Adam ondi Ahman in Spring Hill. I believe it to be a valley just east of Eden which one of the four rivers flowed through. So it is you who has misinterpreted the context of what Joseph Smith said - like BY did(and Smoot and Ripley). If we would stop doing that we could actually believe what our canonical scriptures tell us instead of hearsay! What a concept!

You believe it to be...  Do you really have to elevate the Bible literally over every other thing in the Standard Works, and what has been affirmed by latter-day prophets?

And not just Brigham Young.  

What do we know about the location of the Garden of Eden?

  • Brigham Young stated, “Joseph the Prophet told me that the garden of Eden was in Jackson [County] Missouri.”  Was he lying, or just hopelessly confused?
  • Heber C. Kimball said: “From the Lord, Joseph learned that Adam had dwelt on the land of America, and that the Garden of Eden was located where Jackson County now is.”  Was he lying, or just hopelessly confused?
  • President Joseph Fielding Smith said: “In accord with the revelations given to the Prophet Joseph Smith, we teach that the Garden of Eden was on the American continent located where the City of Zion, or the New Jerusalem, will be built. When Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden, they eventually dwelt at a place called Adam-ondi-Ahman, situated in what is now Daviess County, Missouri. … We are committed to the fact that Adam dwelt on [the] American continent.”  

Brigham says A. Heber agrees with A. JF Smith affirms A.  But RevTestament disagrees: "It's B!"  Because the Bible tells you so?

Whatever, Rev. Fortunately, I don't think your salvation depends upon whether you agree with latter-day prophets about the location of the GoE.  But I don't think it does you any credit to reject their testimonies on the subject.  

I get the impression that you think that everything in the Bible that we have today is literally all true, accurate and complete.  So the 8th Article of Faith is not valid in your opinion?

We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly...

I don't know how you can reconcile your uncompromising reliance upon a scriptural book that obviously has omissions and interpolations from the hands of men with that Article of Faith.  It isn't just the translation of it that is in question, it's the very transmission of it.  Do we have all of it?  No!  Are falsehoods embedded in it?  If not, what of the Johannine Comma (1 John 5:7-8) ?Was it really originally written by John, or was it a much later interpolation by someone trying to insert a fraudulent scriptural foundation for the Nicene Creed's Trinity?  And if it is an interpolation by an unauthorized scribe trying to drive a certain narrative, is it the only thing in the book that is such?

You're going to run into some trouble with science, for example, that has great reasons to be sure that the sun didn't really stand still in the sky during that battle in the OT.  And even with Hebrew scholars who consider it to be a metaphor for the long duration of the battle, and not a literal fact.

Ah well. You've had plenty of discussion with @clarkgoble who seemed to me to be presenting plenty of excellent grounds for reconsidering your position to be untenable, so I don't know what I think I'm doing attempting it.  If he can't raise any reconsideration in you, I'm certainly wasting my own time trying.

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6 hours ago, Robert F. Smith said:

I'm sorry.  I must still say that it reminds me of the absurd Two-Cumorahs theory.

There were two Jerusalems - one in the Old World and one in the New. The name Adam ondi Ahman has a purpose connected with Adam obviously. i do agree that the two Cumorah theory is absurd, because there is no scripture to support it. It's a fiction of a matter of convenience. But here is an example of what I think is happening:

Doctrine and Covenants 125:3

3 Let them build up a city unto my name upon the land opposite the city of Nauvoo, and let the name of aZarahemla be named upon it.

So do you believe that the city across from Nauvoo was the Zarahemla of the Book of Mormon? If not, why not? I don't think it is anymore than Spring Hill was where Adam left Eden to live in the valley of Adam ondi Ahman.

Quote

I don't know what Awmen means (it is a name) but here is my take on the whole phrase, Adam-ondi-Awmen (cf. Adam-Ondi-Ahman D&C 117:8,11; McIntire Minute Book “the Great God has a name By wich He will be Called which is Ahman” [1]Joseph Smith’s journal indicated that a site in Daviess County, Missouri, which was selected on 19 May 1838 for a settlement of the Saints, was “after wards named by the mouth of [the] Lord and was called Adam Ondi Awmen”[2]):

Sumerian Á-DAM, a2-dam “country, pasture, habitation” (= Akkadian namû, nawû “flock, pastureland,[3] steppe-dweller”[4]; = Nauvoo).

Since Sumerian is an agglutinative language, we could take Sumerian AN, an “sky, heaven (God of); upper; high; crown (of tree)” (= Akkadian šamû), and combine it with Sumerian TI, til, til3 “"to live; to sit (down); to dwell" (= Akkadian ašābubalāţu), to maybe refer to an-ti Awmenj as “Living-God-of-Heaven, Awmen." of the whole phrase as "Habitation of the God of Heaven Awmen."

Compare, for example, Sumerian combinations such as AN.EDIN, an-eden, aneden “the high steppe, high plains” (= Akkadian şēru); anta, an-ta “upper”; AN.TUR, diĝir-dumu "divine son."

Sumerian AN also appears in such Jaredite names as Coriantumr, Moriancumr, etc.  Coriantumer, for example, can be etymologized as hypothetical Sumerian *KUR.I.AN.TIMER “Heavenly-Dragon-god," with KUR as "dragon," AN for "heavenly," and TIMER, TIMMER as "god" in north Sumerian Emesal dialect (normally DINGIR).  In ancient Mesoamerican parlance, the name fits very well a warrior of the Feathered Serpent moiety.  The other is the Jaguars.

Thanks for the input.

Edited by RevTestament

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49 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

You believe it to be...  Do you really have to elevate the Bible literally over every other thing in the Standard Works, and what has been affirmed by latter-day prophets?

And not just Brigham Young.  

What do we know about the location of the Garden of Eden?

  • Brigham Young stated, “Joseph the Prophet told me that the garden of Eden was in Jackson [County] Missouri.”  Was he lying, or just hopelessly confused?
  • Heber C. Kimball said: “From the Lord, Joseph learned that Adam had dwelt on the land of America, and that the Garden of Eden was located where Jackson County now is.”  Was he lying, or just hopelessly confused?
  • President Joseph Fielding Smith said: “In accord with the revelations given to the Prophet Joseph Smith, we teach that the Garden of Eden was on the American continent located where the City of Zion, or the New Jerusalem, will be built. When Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden, they eventually dwelt at a place called Adam-ondi-Ahman, situated in what is now Daviess County, Missouri. … We are committed to the fact that Adam dwelt on [the] American continent.”  

Brigham says A. Heber agrees with A. JF Smith affirms A.  But RevTestament disagrees: "It's B!"  Because the Bible tells you so?

Whatever, Rev. Fortunately, I don't think your salvation depends upon whether you agree with latter-day prophets about the location of the GoE.  But I don't think it does you any credit to reject their testimonies on the subject.  

I get the impression that you think that everything in the Bible that we have today is literally all true, accurate and complete.  So the 8th Article of Faith is not valid in your opinion?

We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly...

I don't know how you can reconcile your uncompromising reliance upon a scriptural book that obviously has omissions and interpolations from the hands of men with that Article of Faith.  It isn't just the translation of it that is in question, it's the very transmission of it.  Do we have all of it?  No!  Are falsehoods embedded in it?  If not, what of the Johannine Comma (1 John 5:7-8) ?Was it really originally written by John, or was it a much later interpolation by someone trying to insert a fraudulent scriptural foundation for the Nicene Creed's Trinity?  And if it is an interpolation by an unauthorized scribe trying to drive a certain narrative, is it the only thing in the book that is such?

Although I've been posting on this forum several years now, you don't seem to know me very well, so I'll repeat myself for your sake. Our modern Bible is not perfect. It has mistakes, omissions, and additions such as the Johannine Comma which I have brought up myself. But here we have a modern restored revelation in Moses which is being ignored as in error too. What do you say about that? The Johannine Comma is really a harmless addition. I essentially agree with it. Even if it were removed would we still baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost? Why are we doing that? Because Yeshua told us to 2000 years ago.

49 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

You're going to run into some trouble with science, for example, that has great reasons to be sure that the sun didn't really stand still in the sky during that battle in the OT.  And even with Hebrew scholars who consider it to be a metaphor for the long duration of the battle, and not a literal fact.

Ah well. You've had plenty of discussion with @clarkgoble who seemed to me to be presenting plenty of excellent grounds for reconsidering your position to be untenable, so I don't know what I think I'm doing attempting it.  If he can't raise any reconsideration in you, I'm certainly wasting my own time trying.

There is much in the Bible I do not take literally. I think my posts in this thread show that in my discussions about the allegorical nature of the garden of Eden story. But Assyria is not allegorical. It's an historical place which wasn't in the Americas.

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On 8/6/2019 at 2:19 PM, churchistrue said:

Anyone read this?   https://gregkofford.com/products/bridges

I think it's fantastic. I rank it up with Mason's Planted as the best book available to understand the LDS faith crisis problem.

Here's my review of it if you want to see a bunch of quotes and get the gist of the book. 

https://www.churchistrue.com/blog/david-ostler-bridges-review/

I loved this book. If you don't know the background, David Ostler is a former mission president who was called to be a service missionary to less active single adults in his stake. He met personally with hundreds of people that had left the church due to faith crisis issues. He decided to do what we all should do facing such a daunting challenge. Shut up and listen. He listened to their stories. He did an online survey. After this exhaustive effort, he developed an empathy and understanding that is nearly unprecedented among the upper tier faithful LDS. I hope everyone peripherally involved with the LDS faith crisis issue will read his book and promote it among their sphere of influence. The key idea from the book is that those who pass through faith crisis, ie the dark night of the soul, can be retained in the church if three conditions are met.

They feel like they can trust church leaders.
They feel like they belong.
They can find meaning in the church with a non-traditional testimony.

You use the phrase, "dark night of the soul". This particular phrase was first used by St. John of the Cross in Roman Catholic spirituality. It describes a spiritual journey toward union with God, but not seen as a crisis, but rather a deepening of faith in God while recognizing that the individual does not feel spiritually led. In other words, those that experience this do not turn from God or the Church. 

A few examples of those individuals that have experienced this dark night are St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, OCD, a 19th-century French nun and Doctor of the Catholic Church,. She wrote of her experience. Another would be St. Paul of the Cross in the 18th century. His experience endured 45 years - he never left the faith, but persevered and endured to the end. The most recent individual revealed in our day was St. Teresa of Calcutta who endured from 1948 almost until her death in 1997. Again, never left the Catholic Church and a life of faith.

A person who has a faith crisis and walks away, is not have a dark night of the soul. Quite the contrary, their faith has been abandoned and they are on a wholly different path. 

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1 hour ago, Storm Rider said:

You use the phrase, "dark night of the soul". This particular phrase was first used by St. John of the Cross in Roman Catholic spirituality. It describes a spiritual journey toward union with God, but not seen as a crisis, but rather a deepening of faith in God while recognizing that the individual does not feel spiritually led. In other words, those that experience this do not turn from God or the Church. 

A few examples of those individuals that have experienced this dark night are St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, OCD, a 19th-century French nun and Doctor of the Catholic Church,. She wrote of her experience. Another would be St. Paul of the Cross in the 18th century. His experience endured 45 years - he never left the faith, but persevered and endured to the end. The most recent individual revealed in our day was St. Teresa of Calcutta who endured from 1948 almost until her death in 1997. Again, never left the Catholic Church and a life of faith.

A person who has a faith crisis and walks away, is not have a dark night of the soul. Quite the contrary, their faith has been abandoned and they are on a wholly different path. 

Many like myself aren't turning their backs on God, they are doing exactly as you mentioned, they are finally having a journey to find God when their faith came under a crisis, they don't want to quit believing in him despite the hurdles now that they've lost the belief of a certain organization and having been led. They are now in the driver's seat and it's quite the journey finding it w/o someone else leading or telling them how to believe. 

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15 hours ago, Stargazer said:

You believe it to be...  Do you really have to elevate the Bible literally over every other thing in the Standard Works, and what has been affirmed by latter-day prophets?

And not just Brigham Young.  

What do we know about the location of the Garden of Eden?

  • Brigham Young stated, “Joseph the Prophet told me that the garden of Eden was in Jackson [County] Missouri.”  Was he lying, or just hopelessly confused?
  • Heber C. Kimball said: “From the Lord, Joseph learned that Adam had dwelt on the land of America, and that the Garden of Eden was located where Jackson County now is.”  Was he lying, or just hopelessly confused?
  • President Joseph Fielding Smith said: “In accord with the revelations given to the Prophet Joseph Smith, we teach that the Garden of Eden was on the American continent located where the City of Zion, or the New Jerusalem, will be built. When Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden, they eventually dwelt at a place called Adam-ondi-Ahman, situated in what is now Daviess County, Missouri. … We are committed to the fact that Adam dwelt on [the] American continent.”  

Brigham says A. Heber agrees with A. JF Smith affirms A. 

If Joseph thought Adam-ondi-Ahman was in Missouri a natural inference would be that Eden was to the east of that given the description in scripture. By and large early members tended to take a rather literalist trustworthy approach to all scripture. It's not quite Protestant inerrancy but getting into that territory. Of course Joseph's had clear revelations about scriptural corruption and Brigham said that were he to have translated the Book of Mormon it'd have read differently. So they also recognized a degree of looseness or "good enough" aspect to scripture. However the revealed texts themselves often house a huge degree more complexity than early members were aware of. (Which to me is a testament to their not being fictions)

Of course Spring Hill is in Daviess County whereas Jackson County is to the south and a bit west of that. So that whole "eastward in Eden" bit becomes problematic. If Joseph interpreted these in a literalistic scheme, it entails that the "eastward in Eden" be erroneous it'd seem. Although the Abraham text shifts this somewhat. It becomes "the Gods planted a garden, eastward in Eden" suggesting it's eastward from their location and not necessarily Abraham's or Adam's. i.e. the reference is to the makers not the hearers of the text.

It'd have been interesting to see how the text would have continued but unfortunate Abr 5 ends well before the second creation account ends and Adam is cast out. 

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18 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

There have been almost no objective questions the past few months here on the forum. I think some of us who like discussions to keep our scripture study interesting latch on to the few that pop up. Everything else seems like outrage reactions or quasi-political opinion. So when an actual objective discussion pops up, particularly ones tied to actual scripture and actual evidence, we tend to enjoy it. I don't think any of it is meant to be personal but just to actually have arguments we can engage.

Oh, I wasn't speaking of you and Robert. I mean in general.. but I am glad you are enjoying it :) It's a nice change.

18 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

As to the main issue, I don't think the point is so much over whether Eden is in America. As I said I tend to think it a place in a heavenly ascent and thus not on the earth at all. I think though you weren't only saying Eden wasn't in America but neither was the scriptural Adam-ondi-Ahman.

Well, Eden is the first representation of the temple. It was there, but God removed His glory from it - much like Sinai. It is a real place and is still there. When understood in the light of scripture it teaches about the nature and the order of heaven. People go on it, but do not understand it, and do not see. God's glory is removed from it. It looks like surrounding mountains. But in the light of scripture, it still illuminates the world. 

Quote

I also think you were arguing Eden was in the Middle East which I think is problematic in terms of the evidence. Again, I'm less interested in what you believe than the arguments for it. If you just said, "it's what I believe but I acknowledge I don't have good evidence" I'd almost certainly not engage. Heaven knows I have beliefs like that.

What about Eden being in the Middle East is problematic in terms of evidence? All the scriptural evidence points directly at that. I don't see why that is a problem. 

18 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

 Yes, although I think that's more for late historic reasons. It first arises out of the Enochian tradition where the Watchers are fallen angels who interbreed with humans and produce the giants. When later angelology develops in the Hellenistic period to replace earlier pre-exilic divine pantheons then the notion of a fallen angel becomes significant. It's not quite clear how to take Nephi's use of Isaiah 14 there. Even Isaiah 14 is itself a heavily disagreed upon text. For a long time (and you still find this in some commentaries) Biblical scholars saw this as a reflection of the Battle between Baal and Yam or Mot. For various reasons Canaanite scholars have really undermined that. (If you do a search on that here you can find a discussion where I change my mind on that due to newer evidence) The question then becomes whether the Book of Mormon passages reflect 19th century views or an earlier tradition of a devil like figure or whether Nephi himself is discovering the fallen angel motif out of a prophecy about Babylon's king which then becomes a type for Satan. And of course it's also possible that the Enochian traditions go back to pre-exilic times in some form. There's also a chance that it reflects a Sethian myth out of Egypt, perhaps dealing with how Seth changes from a quasi-good divine figure into an evil one possibly tied to the backlash to Canaanite influence in Egypt or the recently discovered Canaanite uprising to Egyptian influence around 1000 BC.

So I'd say the term isn't used consistently and you have to be clear what period you are talking about. With regards to scripture that gets hard since we don't know when texts were written and most are composite in various ways. 

I'm not sure if you believe about Satan or his "angels." I do believe Satan reached the stage of a son of the morning. But, he rebelled against God, and fell - unlike "His Son." When this was I really do not know. It must have been many worlds ago. The name Lucifer is his own corruption - trying to usurp the place of the bright day star with a paltry morning star. But there is a church which believes Lucifer is Christ. Lucifer's followers work hard to corrupt scripture like this.  How much evidence can I muster for my belief? No more than you know about. But I might just have a different perspective about it.

18 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

The theological picture based upon Abr 3 is that they all kept the law as given to them until the plan when Satan and company rebel. So by that sense Satan is Eloheim until he rebells and humans are Eloheim until they rebel unless they accept the law. The point being that the divine council in Abr 3 is the gods. Something Joseph emphasizes more later in the King Follet Discourse.

At one point Satan probably was Elohim. I rather take the view presented in the endowment. He's done the same thing in other worlds he is doing here. He's the "pro" at it. Hence, he remains the head of outer darkness.

Quote

So I think you're equivocating a bit here. Who is Elohim (or part of the divine council) depends upon the time/council in question and the time period of the scripture.

How much the early Hebrews understood Elohim is unknown. I believe Elohim is presented accurately in the Torah. The later Jews definitely did not understand it, and viewed it more in the way of a royal we. But from the beginning Elohim is presented as a family of God. YHVH Elohim tell Adam and Eve "now the man has become one of us knowing good and evil." In Deut El says I am an El of Elohim. Who would those Elohim be? Would they be the kings of the King of kings? I think an even bigger issue is presented by the use of Elim in scripture, which has been obfuscated over the course of history. The Greek Septuagint is not helpful in this regard, but rather presents a more monotheistic view - which is why I think the early orthodox church liked it and promoted it.

18 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

The rivers all coming from a common source simply don't fit the description. That's the point Richard and I are talking about, not Cush. I think that names might relate to extant places but that most likely reflects textual corruption of the underlying source. So for example, if you accept that Adam at Adam-ondi-Ahman is Spring Hill, then the Canaanites of Moses can't be the Canaanites of the near east.

 It's inconsistent in that the descriptions don't match the area to the east of them. (I don't think it's clear where Abraham is in Abr 3 I should add. Verse 1 talks about Ur (which we don't know the location of with any confidence although many have their own opinions) but only in terms of where he got the Urim and Thummin and not that it is where he is talking to God.

The rivers don't come from a common source  - the river divides into four heads. I don't understand what is so confusing about that. That is why four different geographical locations are discussed. All we have of the original Genesis is the late Masoretic Text, the Samarian version of it, and a few Qumran fragments of it. But they are fairly consistent. Then we have the restored version in Moses, and a bit in Abraham. Why are you so suspicious of corruption? Why do you doubt Moses - a restored text? The Jews had strict tradition and law about changing the text. See Deut. 4.

Quote

Again I suspect there's textual corruption here or at least references we don't understand. It's worth noting that in the early forms of the endowment Joseph lifts the Tyler role from Masonry (basically a guard for the ceremony) and transforms him into a single angel with sword guarding the endowment. This became reduced over time to where it's now just a guy at the elevator to see if your name is stamped. But in the earlier forms it represents this guard to entering Eden thereby emphasizing part of the ceremony as a return to Eden by the individual.

I know essentially nothing about the original endowment, but I rather believe BY that Joseph didn't finish it. There shouldn't be one guard but two. There were two cherubim guarding the way. They hold keys and must be believed. The lentel of a door has two doorposts supporting its openness does it not? 

18 hours ago, clarkgoble said:

For the identity of cherubim again it depends upon the time period you're discussing. By the late Hellenistic period it's one of the fantastical creatures of Apocalypse or possibly Merkabah literature. So it's a bull or lion with eagles wings and a human head. As Judaism (and later Christianity) develop extensive angelology it becomes the second order of angels and thus a class of angels rather than just one or two beings. Their role is as a guard. If we talk later periods, especially the Renaissance, semiotic drift has combined it with Roman myth and it's a baby with wings. If we talk about Genesis 2-3 then it gets tricky since we don't know the origins of that text in its final form or when the guard appears. It's in the Book of Mormon so I think in some form it's most likely pre-exilic and most likely tied to the Seraph on the Ark of the Covenant and the temple. They appear in Isaiah 6 (there as Seraphim and with six wings) but also Ps 99 as cherubim where they are in the temple. (The first temple since there weren't cherubim in the second temple)

Joseph appears to think it's a traditional Mormon angel. How that relates to his claim about angels always being resurrected isn't clear. I think it clear he sees it as a divine figure you have to pass as part of a heavenly ascent. I don't think it's guarding an actual Eden on this earth. I further don't think the whole planet falls ala BRM/JFS model.

This gets a bit confusing because God tends to use imagery familiar to the culture He is talking to. So in the Eden account the word is represented by a sword. In the BoM the word is represented by an iron rod. So I will admit that I don't fully understand cherubim and seraphim and whether there is any important difference. But no, the cherubim are not guarding an actual modern day Eden. The closest to that will be Adam ondi Ahman in Spring Hill. A reign of peace will eventually occur in this millennium when Satan will not have power and all men will call each other their neighbor. 

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8 hours ago, RevTestament said:

Although I've been posting on this forum several years now, you don't seem to know me very well, so I'll repeat myself for your sake.

I know you well enough that whenever you post something here it is noteworthy and I usually agree with you.  If you remember, I've taken issue with only one other thing that you've posted as a matter of doctrinal knowledge: the idea that we were embodied in the pre-existence, but left our bodies behind when we came here.

8 hours ago, RevTestament said:

Our modern Bible is not perfect. It has mistakes, omissions, and additions such as the Johannine Comma which I have brought up myself. But here we have a modern restored revelation in Moses which is being ignored as in error too. What do you say about that?

The verses in question mention four rivers that flow out of Eden, with a common source river that is unnamed, to which we could perhaps give the name Eden.

Genesis: 10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.
Moses: 10 And I, the Lord God, caused a river to go out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.

Now, where on earth is there a river system that features a single source that splits into four?  To the best of my knowledge there are none, in fact it isn't common for a river to split into two, let alone four rivers.  There is a case, however, where this might be seen to occur if a river flows into a basin which fills up (forming a lake), where the basin has four outlets.  It's certainly possible, I suppose, but to the best of my knowledge (I'm not a famous hydrologist) there is no such current system, nor is there a fossilized system.  I don't doubt that such a place existed, but where was it?  To be fair, I don't think such a system appears to have existed in Missouri, either.

Genesis: 11 The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold;
Moses: 11 And I, the Lord God, called the name of the first Pison, and it compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where I, the Lord God, created much gold;

So, where is Pison today?  Or where is Havilah?  Some think that Pison is the Nile. There other schools of thought that identifies it with two different dry wadis that end up near either Medina or Kuwait in the Arabic Peninsula.  As for Havilah, I've seen a map produced in 1861 that shows three different locations, one near the Horn of Africa, one near Sheba on the Arabian Peninsula, and one in today's Kuwait.  In short nobody has any idea where Havilah was. Or what river was the Pison -- which is actually pronounced Pishon, by the way.

Genesis: 13 And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.
Moses: 13 And the name of the second river was called Gihon; the same that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia
.

Ethiopia is not even on the same continent as Assyria -- they're separated by the Red Sea and the Arabian Peninsula.  And Ethiopia is not surrounded or compassed by any river.  And geologically there's no relationship.  So where's the Gihon?

Genesis: 14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.
Moses: 14 And the name of the third river was Hiddekel; that which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river was the Euphrates.

Hiddekel is usually identified as the Tigris River, along with the Euphrates, and of course both rivers are found in Mesopotamia.  But what of that?  Place names are notorious for being very much in flux.  People who move long distances from their homes very frequently name features and places in their new homes after things in their old.  As you know, North America is full of places named after places in Europe.  So, lets consider what might have happened if, for sake of argument, the GoE was in fact in Missouri.  Along comes The Flood and Noah's family floats around for months and finally find themselves at Ararat in what is now Eastern Turkey.  They need place names, so they start naming places after the places they knew before the Flood, which are now located thousands of miles away.  And the Tigris and Euphrates being so closely associated with each other, it would have been perfectly reasonable to give these two rivers names that corresponded to the two associated rivers near where they were from.  

What is the Book of Moses anyway?  It's clearly a faithful retransmission of Genesis.  Which was given to Moses long after the Flood, when people had long since named things in a particular way, but the original locations were far, far away.  How does God reconcile all this?  He can't!  So he says that the river they call the Tigris (Hiddekel) goes to the east of Assyria -- and that's actually the case because that's where the Tigris is now.  It's not the same Tigris, but what is He going to do?  There's only two rivers now, not four, but God goes with the closest approximation.  Assyria, after all, didn't exist when Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden.

8 hours ago, RevTestament said:

The Johannine Comma is really a harmless addition.

Harmless, maybe because we recognize it as an interpolation.

8 hours ago, RevTestament said:

I essentially agree with it. Even if it were removed would we still baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost? Why are we doing that? Because Yeshua told us to 2000 years ago.

The fact that it enumerates the members of the Godhead merely means that it is not heretical. If I got in my handy time machine and went back to, say, 600 AD, to add "Jesus wants me for a sunbeam" to somewhere in 1st Corinthians that would probably be harmless, too, except there would bound to some fallout over it, with some sect branching out to make sunbeams some sort of cult symbol, and annoy people with it.

8 hours ago, RevTestament said:

There is much in the Bible I do not take literally. I think my posts in this thread show that in my discussions about the allegorical nature of the garden of Eden story. But Assyria is not allegorical. It's an historical place which wasn't in the Americas.

I know, I know.  It existed as early as 25th century BC, about 12 centuries before Moses, and was located around the Tigris, which was named after the original Tigris in Missouri, and so of course the Tigris gets identified with the Assyrians.  But is it the same Tigris?  I don't believe it is.

Sometimes it feels like we're all arguing over how many angels can dance on a pinhead.  

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14 hours ago, Tacenda said:

Many like myself aren't turning their backs on God, they are doing exactly as you mentioned, they are finally having a journey to find God when their faith came under a crisis, they don't want to quit believing in him despite the hurdles now that they've lost the belief of a certain organization and having been led. They are now in the driver's seat and it's quite the journey finding it w/o someone else leading or telling them how to believe. 

We all learn from others Tacenda. You learned from your parents, who learned from theirs, etc. None of us represents an island. Just because an organization is wrong about a few things doesn't mean it is not worthwhile. What can you glean from this scripture?

Is. 60:

16 Thou shalt also suck the amilk of the Gentiles, and shalt suck the breast of bkings: and thou shalt know that I the Lord am thy cSaviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob.

...

22 A alittle one shall become a thousand, and a small one a bstrong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in chis time.

I rather agree that I don't care for someone telling me what to believe, but I have been led in my life. Leaders were all once led. A leader in God is still led. One cannot find truth in scripture without being led. Take what is true, and consider what is presented. Rather than being upset that others got things wrong, take what is right and build upon it even if it is milk. One cannot be ready for meat unless they can digest the milk. 

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18 hours ago, Stargazer said:

Something that is faith-affirming isn't necessarily a testimony -- probably isn't, in fact.

For example, I have had two experiences where I was told explicitly who was going to be, in one case, our new branch president, and in the other, our new bishop.  The HG just up and volunteered the information.  My wife once experienced the same thing, except in this case it was who was going to be the new stake president.  These experiences aren't testimonies, they are affirmations through the Spirit that (a) personal revelation is available and (b) the Lord is leading the Church.  And thus my testimony is that the Lord will reveal to us that which we could not know of ourselves, and that He is leading His Church.  I don't need to tell the backstory, as you put it, because it isn't the testimony.  Though I could tell the backstory in support of the testimony, if the Spirit told me it was expedient.  

If directed by the Spirit to share an experience or story, it should always be shared. I apologize if I made it seem that I didn't agree with that. Thanks 

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19 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

What about Eden being in the Middle East is problematic in terms of evidence? All the scriptural evidence points directly at that. I don't see why that is a problem. 

19 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

The rivers don't come from a common source  - the river divides into four heads. I don't understand what is so confusing about that. That is why four different geographical locations are discussed.

Some of named rivers can be seen on a map and they don't all come from a central point. Two dol feed into a single river. Although I'd add that interpreting Genesis 2-3 in terms of a common river end rather than a common river source for four rivers is problematic textually. "A river flowed out of Eden to water the garden  Typically those seeing it as actual geography point to the mountains of Turkey where both the Tigris and Euphrates originate. Typically the other two rivers are identified as the Nile in Egypt and the Pishon as the Ganges in India. In other words it's a symbolic view of the major rivers of the (then) known world and thus representing the world itself.

As I mentioned earlier in the thread that Babylonian artificial canals did connect disparate rivers so some scholars think that might be referenced. (Typically ones who see the second creation account as arising out of Babylon during the exile) Others (such as I think yourself) move things to where the Tigris and Euphrates meet in Kuwait. However even there you have the problem of the Pson and Gihon. So if you think he place names are significant geographically rather than just symbolic or late corruptions you have to deal with the geography not lining up. Some see the Pison as a dry ancient river in Saudi Arabia but you are still left with it not meeting the other rivers.

There are other views I've seen that assume Creationist views of the flood so that all the land was changed. I think the evidence is overwhelming that didn't happen but if it did then it'd seem to me that all bets are off locating geography.

The other view, which I think goes back quite far, is that when Adam and Even were cast out of Eden that Eden itself moved and the rivers flow underground to the sources of these rivers. That actually lines up somewhat with the Canaanite view where you have a more mythic view of the earth with waters in the sky and under the ground. Of course ancients didn't typically understand aquifers, water cycles, or the like. In this case Eden's water shouldn't be seen as historic/temporal waters but cosmic waters. Again lining up with the garden in the cosmic mountain in Canaanite mythology.

21 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

I do believe Satan reached the stage of a son of the morning. But, he rebelled against God, and fell - unlike "His Son." When this was I really do not know. It must have been many worlds ago. The name Lucifer is his own corruption - trying to usurp the place of the bright day star with a paltry morning star. But there is a church which believes Lucifer is Christ. Lucifer's followers work hard to corrupt scripture like this.  How much evidence can I muster for my belief? No more than you know about. But I might just have a different perspective about it.

I think the narratives around Satan are affected by the surrounding regions. The morning star (Venus) connection comes to be applied to Satan. I'm not sure I take particularly Isaiah's metaphors as implying too much detail about what really happened in the council. So I'm very, very cautious there. I think he tends to use existing myth or symbolism to communicate something. But as I said, we're not really sure about all the allusions and references he's making due to our relative ignorance about all things pre-exilic. 

24 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

How much the early Hebrews understood Elohim is unknown. I believe Elohim is presented accurately in the Torah.

I'm much, much, much more skeptical of Old Testament accuracy. I think the text is extremely corrupt and only compiled into it's current form in the Hellenistic form after many things had already been lost. While the documentary hypothesis is under quite a bit of attack the past few decades, the basic idea remains. There were competing interests with their own political and theological aims and the texts reflect that. There also was continual influence from Canaanite, Egyptian and other sources particular prior to the exile and afterwards there seems strong evidence of Babylonian and Persian influences as well. That's not surprising. Our own religious beliefs are shaped as much by American traditions as scripture. However it does suggest we should have a certain cautionary approach to scripture. i.e. what gets called literalism ends up tied to a problematic quasi-inerrancy.

28 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

I think an even bigger issue is presented by the use of Elim in scripture, which has been obfuscated over the course of history. The Greek Septuagint is not helpful in this regard, but rather presents a more monotheistic view - which is why I think the early orthodox church liked it and promoted it.

I think most scholars all accept that the earlier pre-exilic Jewish belief was much more similar to the Canaanite pantheon. Angelology pops up in the Hellenistic era due to Persian elements (although the evidence for that is weaker than most realize - most of the compared texts are quite late) as well as the move to monotheism and treating divine beings as non-divine. There's also issues with names and so forth. A lot of these earlier pantheon and more anthropomorphic views of God pop up in weird ways such as anthropomorphizing wisdom.

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37 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

What is the Book of Moses anyway?  It's clearly a faithful retransmission of Genesis.

I don't think that's accurate. Some people think that one the basis of Moses 1. But I don't think Moses 1 should be treated as part of say Moses 2 but a relatively independent revelation. The rest is Joseph working out fixes to the texts. That is they are explicitly an inspired revision of Genesis but not a retransmission of the original of Genesis. That's doubly true now that we see part of Joseph's studying the text out involved consulting the popular Biblical commentary of the time - particularly with the NT. Treating Moses differently from the rest of the JST simply because it's its own book in the Pearl of Great Price is a mistake.

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8 minutes ago, clarkgoble said:

I don't think that's accurate. Some people think that one the basis of Moses 1. But I don't think Moses 1 should be treated as part of say Moses 2 but a relatively independent revelation. The rest is Joseph working out fixes to the texts. That is they are explicitly an inspired revision of Genesis but not a retransmission of the original of Genesis. That's doubly true now that we see part of Joseph's studying the text out involved consulting the popular Biblical commentary of the time - particularly with the NT. Treating Moses differently from the rest of the JST simply because it's its own book in the Pearl of Great Price is a mistake.

I guess I've always thought of it as a revelation on a par with the Book of Mormon -- that the text was given directly to Joseph.  I appreciate your revision of my assumption.

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18 hours ago, The Nehor said:

I get that but I have found that unless I am surrounded by jerks people are attracted to vulnerability particularly if you have good humor about it. I hope I am light hearted about it and avoid being light minded. The best humor comes out of serious and authentic stuff in any case.

I was also blessed with friends in college that I trust pretty much completely because I know they love me. They were the only people who could criticize me without me getting defensive and vice versa. I am trying to generalize that more. I also find that the better I know myself the less others can hurt me in any case if I am vulnerable. When someone does attack you can recognize them as human garbage trapped in pain and move on and hope somehow they can be cured some day.

Very true, it's those that act out etc. and do that for the very reason that someone has harmed them in the past or they feel threatened and want to guard themselves. They in short, don't feel loved one iota.

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On 8/6/2019 at 11:42 AM, RevTestament said:

For instance I have a testimony that Eden is in the Middle East rather than America.

 Did the Holy Ghost also tell you that the American continent and the continent the Middle East is now on were once part of a united continent before they separated into 2 separate continents?

I like it when I get a little bit of a testimony here and then later a little bit more of a testimony there and everything just fits together so nicely.

 

And yes I know this post was on the first page of this now 6 page thread but I just now started to read this thread and thought I would throw in my 2 bits.

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On 8/6/2019 at 12:59 PM, Duncan said:

I want to know what is meant by "non traditional testimony? Did the Holy Ghost bear witness to XYZ that Jesus is the Christ or didn't he? it's like saying you are kind of a dentist, well, either you are or you aren't, you can't be kind of, licensed to practice or not (a student let's say) I don't want to hear about someone's beliefs about Church teachings and exclude the Holy Ghost. A testimony is what the HG bears witnesses to, not what you think about something, excluding the HG

traditional testimony = I know the Church is true, I know Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, I know God lives and Jesus loves me, and I know the current president of the Church whoever he is is a true prophet of God, etc.

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18 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

I know you well enough that whenever you post something here it is noteworthy and I usually agree with you.  If you remember, I've taken issue with only one other thing that you've posted as a matter of doctrinal knowledge: the idea that we were embodied in the pre-existence, but left our bodies behind when we came here.

Well thank you Stargazer. I respect you as well, and enjoy reading your posts. How else can we receive progression without agreeing to go through the process again? Otherwise many will be stuck as angels forever - or elohim forever. Not that that is terrible. I'm sure being elohim is pretty good in the celestial kingdom. I am not going to rehash the many scriptures which speak to this subject. but there is also what JS said in the King Follet discourse which got forgotten under BY in favor of promoting polygamy as the necessary exalting ingredient. Did Yeshua do what He saw the Father do or not? What implications does that have for Yeshua? For the Father?

18 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

The verses in question mention four rivers that flow out of Eden, with a common source river that is unnamed, to which we could perhaps give the name Eden.

Genesis: 10 And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.
Moses: 10 And I, the Lord God, caused a river to go out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads.

Now, where on earth is there a river system that features a single source that splits into four?  To the best of my knowledge there are none, in fact it isn't common for a river to split into two, let alone four rivers.  There is a case, however, where this might be seen to occur if a river flows into a basin which fills up (forming a lake), where the basin has four outlets.  It's certainly possible, I suppose, but to the best of my knowledge (I'm not a famous hydrologist) there is no such current system, nor is there a fossilized system.  I don't doubt that such a place existed, but where was it?  To be fair, I don't think such a system appears to have existed in Missouri, either.

Genesis: 11 The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold;
Moses: 11 And I, the Lord God, called the name of the first Pison, and it compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where I, the Lord God, created much gold;

So, where is Pison today?  Or where is Havilah?  Some think that Pison is the Nile. There other schools of thought that identifies it with two different dry wadis that end up near either Medina or Kuwait in the Arabic Peninsula.  As for Havilah, I've seen a map produced in 1861 that shows three different locations, one near the Horn of Africa, one near Sheba on the Arabian Peninsula, and one in today's Kuwait.  In short nobody has any idea where Havilah was. Or what river was the Pison -- which is actually pronounced Pishon, by the way.

How do you know the Sumerians spoke about rivers the same way we do? I do believe they knew which end of the river was the head. Flowing out of Eden into four heads simply means that the river which fed Eden divided into four heads when one followed it out of Eden. Many rivers can fit that description. Don't make a simple translation issue an insurmountable mountain. It's just a little molehill. Was there gold in the direction of those wadis you speak of? How much water was in the area 6000 years ago? Hint: was the Sahara a dessert then?

18 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

Genesis: 13 And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia.
Moses: 13 And the name of the second river was called Gihon; the same that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia
.

Ethiopia is not even on the same continent as Assyria -- they're separated by the Red Sea and the Arabian Peninsula.  And Ethiopia is not surrounded or compassed by any river.  And geologically there's no relationship.  So where's the Gihon?

Genesis: 14 And the name of the third river is Hiddekel: that is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river is Euphrates.
Moses: 14 And the name of the third river was Hiddekel; that which goeth toward the east of Assyria. And the fourth river was the Euphrates.

Hiddekel is usually identified as the Tigris River, along with the Euphrates, and of course both rivers are found in Mesopotamia.  But what of that?  Place names are notorious for being very much in flux.  People who move long distances from their homes very frequently name features and places in their new homes after things in their old.  As you know, North America is full of places named after places in Europe.  So, lets consider what might have happened if, for sake of argument, the GoE was in fact in Missouri.  Along comes The Flood and Noah's family floats around for months and finally find themselves at Ararat in what is now Eastern Turkey.  They need place names, so they start naming places after the places they knew before the Flood, which are now located thousands of miles away.  And the Tigris and Euphrates being so closely associated with each other, it would have been perfectly reasonable to give these two rivers names that corresponded to the two associated rivers near where they were from.  

As I have already discussed. Ethiopia is a red herring. It's a late English gloss. The Hebrew reads Cush. Was there a Cush/Kush to the east?

Place names are in flux. The Sumerians or Babylonians apparently called the Tigris Hiddekel. Euphrates too is a later Greek gloss. 

I don't believe in a world wide flood in Noah's day. The world was once a water world like Genesis seems to imply, and the land was brought forth out of the water. Since that time there has always been land. There have been world wide floods in the sense that all the oceans have risen and lowered. When you read Genesis pay attention to the description of how high the water got. It washed everyone off the plain. "All the earth" is a common descriptor in the Bible which never means the whole world in the OT.

18 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

What is the Book of Moses anyway?  It's clearly a faithful retransmission of Genesis.  Which was given to Moses long after the Flood, when people had long since named things in a particular way, but the original locations were far, far away.  How does God reconcile all this?  He can't!  So he says that the river they call the Tigris (Hiddekel) goes to the east of Assyria -- and that's actually the case because that's where the Tigris is now.  It's not the same Tigris, but what is He going to do?  There's only two rivers now, not four, but God goes with the closest approximation.  Assyria, after all, didn't exist when Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden.

The Book of Moses describes itself as what the Lord told Moses more accurately than our current Genesis. It is using a name for a place Moses would recognize, but wasn't named that in the days of Eden. 

There are still three rivers now - not two. The Karun actually has more flow than the Tigris or the Euphrates. The fourth is still there in parts, but no longer reaches out of the mountains into Iraq because in the last 6000 years the earth has turned on its axis in its 20,000 year cycle. At the time the Sahara area was full of giant lakes. You say you are not a famous hydrologist, but this is easy to look up. There was a fourth river.

18 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

Harmless, maybe because we recognize it as an interpolation.

Well an interpolation which got added from a side  note. I believe it is harmless even if read as being original. What is harmful about it? I don't see it really supporting the doctrines of the trinity. It is just speaking of the godhead.

18 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

The fact that it enumerates the members of the Godhead merely means that it is not heretical. If I got in my handy time machine and went back to, say, 600 AD, to add "Jesus wants me for a sunbeam" to somewhere in 1st Corinthians that would probably be harmless, too, except there would bound to some fallout over it, with some sect branching out to make sunbeams some sort of cult symbol, and annoy people with it.

My guess is the Coma was added after the harm was already done by the Nicene Creed. The doctrine of the trinity would still have developed like it did. The Coma was just to help justify it, but doesn't really.

18 minutes ago, Stargazer said:

I know, I know.  It existed as early as 25th century BC, about 12 centuries before Moses, and was located around the Tigris, which was named after the original Tigris in Missouri, and so of course the Tigris gets identified with the Assyrians.  But is it the same Tigris?  I don't believe it is.

Sometimes it feels like we're all arguing over how many angels can dance on a pinhead.  

The Assyrian Empire brought about the final demise of Sumeria as independent city states, and was definitely around in Moses' day, but not as such. The powers then were Egypt and the Hittite Empire. Nevertheless, Moses would have recognized the name Assur. 

I simply do not believe the garden of Eden was in the Americas. It is an error. I believe BY and other church members are responsible for it rather than Joseph, but it is possible Joseph misinterpreted the situation as well. He did believe fifty six years should wind up the scene....

It is an error which will be corrected. It matters not to me whether this Church believes it, because it is not important to its salvation and exaltation. It simply matters to understanding the hidden things of God. One cannot understand the deeper things if the foundation is not good. That is why it is important. The Lord loves His Church and will lead it along. There is nothing to fear. You shall rise up with the saints Stargazer. :) 

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On 8/8/2019 at 6:55 AM, RevTestament said:

That Spring Hill is being named after the place where Adam dwelt has been my position all along Robert - for years now - because says the Lord, that is where Adam will return and sit. It's not some new position or reasoning. You will see that is obvious in all my posts on the subject. I also believe the name is a Sumerian name, and have come to strongly suspect that Sumerian is the "Adamic" language JS spoke about. Sumerian has no known linguistic source. It's unique. Ahman seems to be a word meaning something like "companion in the word." I am not yet sure about ondi though. 

Where Adam dwelt after he left Eden, I think is your meaning.  Which would mean that he went West when he left Eden, which was somewhere in the Middle East region of what is now the African continent but which in the past was part of the one continent that included both the present American continent and the African continent.

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2 minutes ago, Ahab said:

Where Adam dwelt after he left Eden, I think is your meaning.  Which would mean that he went West when he left Eden, which was somewhere in the Middle East region of what is now the African continent but which in the past was part of the one continent that included both the present American continent and the African continent.

No. I believe Spring Hill is named Adam ondi Ahman not because it was near the Eden of the OT, but because, like the Lord told Joseph, that is where Adam will come to sit. It is being named after the first Adam ondi Ahman which I believe was just east of the garden of Eden in one of the four river valleys, rather than west. From Adam ondi Ahman Adam could look over the garden of Eden. Adam's daughter probably married a man eastward as well. My guess is the land of Nod was further up that river valley, but I have to say I am not sure. That was a long time ago.

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On 8/6/2019 at 11:19 AM, churchistrue said:

The key idea from the book is that those who pass through faith crisis, ie the dark night of the soul, can be retained in the church if three conditions are met.

They feel like they can trust church leaders.
They feel like they belong.
They can find meaning in the church with a non-traditional testimony.

I am more concerned that former members gain a testimony through the power of the Holy Ghost than that they come back to the Church.  With that kind of power they can learn lots of good things, including the fact that most people are good and have good intentions and that they can feel like they belong in the Church just as much as any other member belongs to it.  It doesn't take much to belong to the Church.  Any member is someone who belongs to it as long as he or she wants to belong to it.  Or they can leave if they want and stay away from it as much as they can.

Even without a testimony members can still feel like they belong to the Church, though.  Just like they can belong to any social club or government organization.  All it takes is membership, and anyone can be a member if they want to be.

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3 minutes ago, RevTestament said:

No. I believe Spring Hill is named Adam ondi Ahman not because it was near the Eden of the OT, but because, like the Lord told Joseph, that is where Adam will come to sit. It is being named after the first Adam ondi Ahman which I believe was just east of the garden of Eden in one of the four river valleys, rather than west. From Adam ondi Ahman Adam could look over the garden of Eden. Adam's daughter probably married a man eastward as well. My guess is the land of Nod was further up that river valley, but I have to say I am not sure. That was a long time ago.

Hmm. Okay, I suppose what is now the American continent could have moved Eastward rather than Westward from what is now the African continent.  I really don't know which way it moved.  I think the American continent part is the part that moved though, while the part that is now the African continent stayed in the same general area, otherwise those rivers would likely have been messed up if the African continent part had been the part that moved from the American continent part.

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