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Posts posted by jmordecai

  1. ......

    You didn't even read what I said, did you? I never said anything about accepting "all the things" that other people believe. Come on, dude. Your habit of putting words in my mouth is absolutely ridiculous.

    Please, read what I actually said and comment on that.

    You make statements, and then take them back as soon as they are scrutinized. Now again you deny making such claims. Suppose I retract this... then I have nothing to work with because you aren't offering any arguments that are relevant to the conversation. If you are now suggesting that other religions do indeed have false teachings... then we agree... and therefore I must ask what is your point then?

    To clarify, this is what you said:

    These religions may be missing a very important aspect (Jesus Christ), but obviously none of them are "counterfeits" by any means...

    "None are counterfeits... by any means." So this tells me that the only problem with other religions is not that they have wrong or false teachings, but only part of the truth...

    ...then you will accept the truth in the experiences that the Muslim, the Buddhist, and the Hindu all claim to have, as well as in the things that they believe...

    You stated I should accept the truth... in the things that they believe. Since you never qualified what percentage of their "truth" I should accept, and you just prior to this qualified that none of them are counterfeits by any means, I have no choice but to conclude what I did.

    So if I misunderstood what you were saying, and again, the other religions do hold false and wrong teachings... then again I must ask... what is your point then?

  2. I was simply responding to what you said here:

    I do have to respond to this, though. It is not just a "burning in the bosom" for Latter-day Saints. We call it that sometimes, but it is much more than that, as myself and others have already explained in this thread. The internal dwelling of the Holy Spirit is found in almost every religion out there: all people have access to the power of the Holy Ghost. However, the other three you mentioned are not simple "spiritual experiences," nor are they witnesses; Sufism in Islam is a practice of turning away from everything except God. In Buddhism and other Indian religions, nirvana is a total liberation from greed, hatred, suffering, and delusion, and moksha in Hinduism is liberation from all worldly things to become reconciled with the supreme being. Is there not truth in those things? Are we not taught to turn away from all worldly things, all greed, hatred, suffering, and delusion, in order for us to truly become one with our Savior, and aren't we taught to look to Him and what He did for us so that such liberation becomes possible?

    These religions may be missing a very important aspect (Jesus Christ), but obviously none of them are "counterfeits" by any means. If you believe all that Christ taught regarding our journey to leave all evil and worldly things behind in order to find true happiness, then you will accept the truth in the experiences that the Muslim, the Buddhist, and the Hindu all claim to have, as well as in the things that they believe. All it takes is an open mind and a more loving, Christlike perspective in order to see these truths.

    Yeah, Jesus accept all the things the Pharisees believed. Paul and John accepted all the things the Gnostics believed.

    They didn't warn about false prophets (Mt. 7:15, 24:11, 24:24, Mk. 13:22, 2 Pt. 2:1, 1 Jn. 4:1, Rev 16:13).

    That sounds all warm and fuzzy, but that's simply not the Christianity that Jesus Christ and his apostles taught.

  3. If you read my words carefully, you will see no indication that one person's witness is any more true than another's. We all receive the truth we are capable of bearing...

    So from that, we can conclude that a witness that the LDS church is true... and a witness that the LDS church is false... are both equal. Got it. You really don't know if your witness is true, since all witnesses are equal.

    Here are a few passages from the Bible:

    Here's the problem jo.

    1. You stated "the only way to know if any so-called scripture is true or not is ONLY through the Power of the Holy Ghost."

    2. I then asked you to qualify that statement.

    3. In response, you pointed me to... scripture.

    The very thing you need to prove: the truthfulness of scripture; is the very thing you cite in order to prove it. That is circular.

    The notion that the spirit provides confirmation of truth does not exist in a vacuum, but rather comes from the scriptures. Thus the scriptures must be true in and of themselves in order to be a trustworthy guide to how the spirit works.

    Most EV's believe the biblical texts are true, in and of themselves, irrespective of any personal feelings one has towards them. Since we believe they are true, by virtue of preservation, historicity, authenticity, duplication, quotations, etc., they serve as the constitution of our faith. They act to arbitrate between folks who claim "God told me THIS" and others who claim "God told me THAT".

    Since I think the Book of Mormon was written deliberately to appear as an authentic ancient text (KJV English, wholesale quoting of the Bible), and its author took deliberate measure to make sure it would be hard to dissect (i.e. use an unknown language, add layers of abridgments upon abridgments, exterminate the people, destroy the land with natural disasters, no plates to examine, etc.) the LDS is left to claim that scripture itself cannot stand on its own, but must be authenticated by a spiritual witness. Yet the LDS is unable to demonstrate the notion how the witness itself is the determining criteria without appealing to... the scriptures.

  4. No.

    "Nuh uh" is not an argument. You need to explain how, according to LDS arguments here, the Holy Spirit will give specific revelation, testimony, witness, etc., that the LDS church is the one true church, while at the same time he can give revelation, testimony, witness, etc., to another that another religion is true, and even that the LDS church is false.

    I can believe my faith is correct (or more correct) than others without denying them any light from God at all. You present a false dilemna. Your arguments also ignore my point that our doctrines afford others courtesy to believe as they may and our practices do not seek to inhibit them.

    oh, and the entire existance of the LDS Church is based on the fact that God lives, His Son Jesus Christ is our Savior and that He speaks to us today through living prophets.

    The founding and existence of the LDS church deems that no other church or religion may be true. That there may be some "truths" found in other religions is of no redeeming value.

    The Book of Mormon claims to be a divinely inspired record, written by a succession of prophets who inhabited ancient America. It professes to be revealed to the present generation for the salvation of all who will receive it, and for the overthrow and damnation of all nations who reject it. This book must be either true or false. If true, it is one of the most important messages ever sent from God to man, affecting both the temporal and eternal interests of every people under heaven to the same extent and in the same degree that the message of Noah affected the inhabitants of the old world. If false, it is one of the most cunning, wicked, bold, deep-laid impositions ever palmed upon the world, calculated to deceive and ruin millions who will sincerely receive it as the word of God, and will suppose themselves securely built upon the rock of truth until they are plunged with their families into hopeless despair. The nature of the message in the Book of Mormon is such, that if true, no one can possibly be saved and reject it; if false, no one can possibly be saved and receive it. Therefore, every soul in all the world is equally interested in ascertaining its truth or falsity.

    Orson Pratt, Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, p.1

    The one line in the Joseph Smith History that refers to the sects of the day as being incorrect and an abomination is just that. One line among thousands of lines of doctrine and revelation that agree more with other Chrisitan faiths than they disagree.

    This "one line" is the entire premise and motivation of the First Vision. Without the First Vision there is no LDS church. If all the sects were wrong then... are they now right today?

    I really encourage you to go to an LDS source to find out what we believe instead of playing gotcha with anti-mormon sources and out of context quotes.

    That comment is inappropriate.

  5. Put them in context.

    No amount of "fiery" preaching or whatever excuses you have diminishes the fact that General Authorities made degrading remarks against other religions.

    It is also to the Book of Mormon to which we turn for the plainest description of the Catholic Church as the great and abominable church. Nephi saw this ‘church which is the most abominable above all other churches’ in vision. He ‘saw the devil that he was the foundation of it’ and also the murders, wealth, harlotry, persecutions, and evil desires that historically have been a part of this satanic organization.

    Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p.130 1958

    Who founded the Roman Catholic Church? The Devil, through the medium of Apostates.

    Orson Pratt, The Seer, p.205

    This sentiment is pervasive in church history, despite whatever polish you want to give it.

  6. This is not a hypothetical for me. I've had this told me by close friends and even lapsed members of my priesthood quorums who I had stewardship to lead and teach.

    Doesn't this debunk the notion that the Holy Ghost is the source of all testimonies, witnesses and spiritual experiences?

    Again I ask you to consider the fact that there are no LDS sponsored ministries to root out and debunk other religions or their beliefs.

    I beg to differ. The entire existence of the LDS church is based on the notion that true Christianity suffered an apostasy sometime after the twelve apostles died. Your statement can only be true if you recant the notion that the LDS church is "the only one true church".

  7. Jmordecai- excuse me if I'm mistaken but it sounds like you have been treated with intolerence by a Latter-day Saint. I hope that is not true but if it is I am sorry to hear that.

    It is a basic tennant of our faith (in fact in our Cannonized Articles of Faith) that:

    "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may."

    It is my hope that all Latter-day Saints would remember this doctrine and never engage in the kind of tearing down of other faiths we have been subjected to ourself. Being human I know it can happen- but I for one remind my fellow believers that it is not Christlike to do so.


    What do we do with these statements?

    Are Christians ignorant? Yes, as ignorant of the things of God as the brute beast.

    John Taylor, Journal of Discourses 6:25

    The Christian world, so called, are heathens as to their knowledge of the salvation of God.

    Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 8:171

    With regard to true theology, a more ignorant people never lived than the present so-called Christian world.

    Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 8:199

    What does the Christian world know about God? Nothing; yet these very men assume the right and power to tell others what they shall and what they shall not believe in. Why, so far as the things of God are concerned, they are the veriest fools; they know neither God nor the things of God.

    John Taylor, Journal of Discourses 13:225

  8. Conversely the Holy Ghost is not limited to testifying to only one or a select set of denominations. It will confirm the truth of all things to anyone who is prepared to ask and receive the answer. I would never contend that a Baptist, Evangelical or Catholic could not or has not received revelation about Christ or the important things in their life. The light of Christ is available to anyone.

    I wouldn't even contend that a devout Muslim or Buddist has not received instruction or revelation from God to guide them.

    That there are conflicting doctrines in the world is obvious - but those of us who claim the priveledge of hearing God's voice should be charitable when others claim they have heard it even if their conclusions are different from ours.

    What do you do when a person claims the Holy Ghost told them the LDS church is false?

  9. I would offer that these experiences are not as cut and dried as to be either false or "equally true". The Bible clearly teaches that there are layers of truth to be understand when it talks about the differences between milk and meat. The Holy Ghost, who is the witness of Christ and truth on the earth, is also the one who leads us to all truth. It doesn't happen all at once. See how the Apostles learned at different rates. See how three of them were chosen to witness Jesus' Transfiguration. See how Jesus taught all of the Apostles for around 40 days (I would imagine He taught with great earnestness, intensity, and detail) before His Ascension; and yet He still told them that He had NOT taught all that He could have. Even they, the very Apostles (again, three of whom had witnessed His Transfiguration) were STILL not able to bear any more truth. Thus it was the Comforter was sent to us for this purpose. Remember how Moses' face shone so brightly after coming down from the mountain that he had to place a veil over has face in order for the people to be able to look upon him. His physical body had changed because he had spent time with Jesus on the mount. Among other things (layers of understanding), these instances should be revealing to us that ALL truth is NOT learned instantly; that each of us has his own ability and capacity to have truth revealed to him at his own individual and personal pace.

    With this understanding, it is not difficult to then also consider how each of us comes with their own personal POV which is based on oh so many different factors which will absolutely effect HOW they will UNDERSTAND what is being revealed to them. Therefore, when they are seeking truth, Heavenly Father then determines what each person is able to bear. What they then learn is filtered through their POV. The Holy Ghost only passes on what Father has specifically instructed Him to (the Holy Ghost does not reveal in accordance to what He knows, but in accordance to what He hears the Father tell Him to reveal). Then, as we learn line upon line and precept upon precent, more and more is revealed to us as we are able to bear it. Thus, I would offer that when any man is sincerely and earnestly seeking truth, they will receive it. Yet the portion of truth they receive will rarely be perceived 100% exactly the same as others who have had the same truth revealed to them, based on what I have explained above. Therefore, what may appear to some as being a "different" truth, is really just an incorrect interpretation of what has actually been manifested.

    Now, the Holy Ghost is not going to sit us down and have a conversation with us. He reveals things to us sometimes with very powerful experiencing (such as feeling as though a powerful force of energy has entered our bodies from the tops of heads and flowing through the rest of our body), to subtle whisperings into our hearts and minds, to the occasional audible "yes" or "no" or of our name, to complete silence and a feeling that maybe our prayers haven't been heard (and then later, suddenly, the answer enters our mind's eye), to the awesome epiphany when unexpectedly our mind is literally opened momentarily to the actual Kingdom of God at which time something becomes crystal clear to our spirit's understanding, etc. Once we start experiencing the Holy Ghost, we are able to discern Him more and more easily. Most people who are accustomed to experiencing the Holy Ghost know that they must be sincere and very specific about questions they are asking. Many times, we realize that WE must do the footwork and learn all we can about certain issues, make a decision based on what we have learned and reasoned over, and then bring that decision to Father in prayer; then wait and listen quietly to discover if our decision is the right one, or the wrong one. Sometimes, the decision is neither right or wrong; and it tutns out Father is okay with whatever WE decide on and wants us to learn from the experiences of those choices. So He will not confirm or disconfirm to us. Sometimes, if we get confused in our prayer with what we are trying to figure out, we have learned to identify this as a stupor of thought. This is also an answer; it is an answer telling us that we haven't got it all figured out yet, or we are completely off track, or it just isn't necessary for us know yet. We also learn that if we ask an ambiguous question, that we won't be able to hear an answer at all. When we feel comfort and peace, we have learned that this too is an answer, even though we may not see its application until at a later time.

    This is all fine and dandy, but it presumes that the LDS witness, testimony, experience, etc., is true. How do you know its more true that the same premonitions, promptings, feelings, etc., other religious folks experience?

    ... The only way to KNOW if ANY so-called "scripture" is true or not is ONLY through the Power of the Holy Ghost...

    What do you base this argument on?

  10. No, it's not fair to conclude that at all. I said that truth may be found in all religions, yes, but the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only religion in which truth may be found in its fullness. But we do not claim to be the only religion that God works through.

    What criteria are do you apply to measure that the LDS church is the most true of all?

    Actually, I was talking about spiritual experiences, not personal witnesses.

    The OP is about "EV witness" and "LDS testimony". That is what we are talking about. If you want to quibble about "spiritual experiences"... I recommend finding a different thread.

  11. Back to Rob points. It seems to me from your explaination that Evangelicals limit themselves in what they believe the Holy Ghost will confirm or testify of.

    The identity of God's authorized church on the earth seems important enough to be within the scope of the knowledge that the Holy Spirit will confer...

    Here you are suggesting that a personal witness will confirm the truth of a specific organization, namely the LDS church.

    Yet, another LDS, altersteve, says that the a personal witness in other religions are genuine and not counterfeit:

    Or, we can conclude that each of those spiritual experiences contain at least some truth, and we don't have to believe that any of them are "counterfeits" by any means. I sure as heck don't.

    So here we have an obvious problem. How does one claim a personal witness will confirm the identity of the true church, while at the same time maintaining that it does so for every religion?

  12. It is not too difficult to understand particularly for those of such enlightenment that they are able to discount all spiritual experiences. First, pharisees were great at twisting belief into anything they wanted; they had perfected how to make law say anything they wanted. Second, philosphers often can twist themselves into such a twisted maze built solely on the understanding of man that they don't even know where they are. Third, for those without God there is a host of those who work darkness; those who reject the Holy Spirit are at their mercy. Fourth, sadly we create our own h*** in this earthy existence. Those who reject the witness of the Holy Spriit in the name of pseudo intelligece, much as we might wish them peace, are condemned to a life bereft of the Spirit of Light and truth.

    Not very difficult at all.

    Okay, but I don't know what this has to do with my post? Rejecting the "witness of the Holy Spirit" first requires that it is the true witness out of the many. How do we do that?

  13. Of course I do, I never said otherwise. I only meant that the Church has never taught that it is the only religion that teaches truth. If a Muslim, Catholic, Protestant, Buddhist, or Hindu tells me that he had a strong spiritual experience, I have no reason to deny it, nor am I in any position to.

    God works in and through all religions on this earth and has raised up teachers and leaders here and there around the world and throughout the ages, and He continues to do so, even outside the Church, as 2 Nephi 29 so clearly tells us. In the words of Elder Orson F. Whitney:

    So its fair to conclude that there's no reason to join the LDS church, since truth and strong spiritual experiences can be had in all religions.

  14. Viola, and they said Pharisees died out. Take that philosphy and twist into any pretzel you wish. For for those who seek to have no belief there is a host other beings that will have them. You make me think of a scripture in Eph 6:12 "For we awrestle not bagainst cflesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the drulers of the edarkness of this world, against spiritual fwickedness in high places."

    Friend, may you find peace in the h*** that you create.

    Your point is lost on me.

  15. The LDS (burning of bosom), the EV (internal dwelling of the Holy Spirit), the Muslim (Sufism), the Buddhist (Nirvana), the Hindu (Moksha), etc., all claim to have spiritual experiences.

    We can conclude that all spiritual experiences are false, but all cannot be equally true. If we accept the notion that one amongst the crowd is true, then the rest are counterfeits.

    Now, if we make the witness itself the sole authenticator of which religion is true, then we have no way to arbitrate which religion is true, as we can get a witness in any religion.

    This is like saying “I know my gold is real because look at the joy it gives me!” All who possess gold (religion) may experience joy (witness). But the only joy that counts in the end is the one who possesses the genuine gold (the real religion from amongst the imposters).

    So how does a bystander determine what religion is true? By examining the gold (the truth claims about the religion)... not by experiencing the joy (the experiential claims from the religion).

    This is why a witness is a byproduct of a religion, but it is not the sole verity of it. Take Christianity, it rests on the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Either it happened (adding evidence to its truth claims) or it didn’t (and the whole thing is false)—irrespective of whatever personal feelings I experience. That Christ was resurrected does not rest upon whatever feelings I may or may not possess. The same with Mormonism: either Joseph Smith was visited by God the Father and Jesus Christ and Moroni, and the Book of Mormon is an authentic ancient text... or the whole thing is false. The Book of Mormon must be true of itself, with or without any feelings we have over it.

  16. I disagree. To me, and I trust most believing LDS, the KP is as inconsequential to the verity and intents/purpose of the gospel and Joseph's calling as a prophet of God as the bad meat. It is also outside the means God has availed us for determining whether Joseph was a prophet of God.

    Non-believers are free to make it of utmost importance, and they sometimes "spin it" that way. And, they are free to rely on this man-made (arm of flesh) mode of assessment to judge the things of God.

    To each their own.

    Thanks, -Wade Englund-

    You deem the KP inconsequential since you live on the side of history that concludes they are bogus. That wasn't the same buzz back then...

    Ancient Records

    Circumstances are daily transpiring which give additional testimony to the authenticity of the Book of Mormon... The following letter and certificate, will, perhaps have a tendency to convince the sceptical, that such things have been used, and that even the obnoxious Book of Mormon, may be true; and as the people of Columbus' day were obliged to believe that there was such a place as America; so will the people in this day be obliged to believe, however reluctantly, that there may have been such plates as those from which the Book of Mormon was translated...

    It will be seen by the annexed statement of the Quincy Whig, that there are more dreamers and money diggers, than Joseph Smith, in the world, and the worthy editor is obliged to acknowledge that this circumstance will go a good way to prove the authenticity of the Book of Mormon...

    Times & Seasons 4:185-186

    The plates above alluded to, were exhibited in this city last week, and are now, we understand, in Nauvoo, subject to the inspection of the Mormon Prophet. The public curiosity is greatly excited, and if Smith can decipher the hieroglyphics on the plates, he will do more towards throwing light on the early history of this continent, than any man now living.

    Quincy Whig, vol. 6, No. 2

    Why does the circumstance of the plates recently found in a mound in Pike county, Ill., by Mr. Wiley, together with ethmology and a thousand other things, go to prove the Book of Mormon true?—Ans. Because it is true!

    Times & Seasons 5:406

    These plates were found about eleven feet under the surface of a long mound in the vicinity of Kinderhook, Pike County, Illinois. On removing the dust that had collected about them, hieroglyphics were found engraved, the meaning of which no one was able to divine. They were sent to Jo. Smith, in order to get his opinion of their meaning. Jo has a fac simile taken, and engraved on wood, and it now appears... that he is busy in translating them. The new work which Jo. is about to issue as a translation of these plates will be nothing more nor less than a sequel to the Book of Mormon.

    The Warsaw Signal, May 22, 1844

    A recent rediscovery of one of the Kinderhook plates which was examined by Joseph Smith, Jun., reaffirms his prophetic calling and reveals the false statements made by one of the finders...

    The plates are now back in their original category of genuine... Joseph Smith, Jun., stands as a true prophet and translator of ancient records by divine means and all the world is invited to investigate the truth which has sprung out of the earth not only of the Kinderhook plates, but of the Book of Mormon as well."

    Welby W. Ricks, BYU Archaeological Society President, Improvement Era, Sept. 1962

  17. We LDS agree that that there are things that the prophets have done which were not inspired. Joseph Smith once ate some bad meat and got violently ill for a time. Clearly, he wasn't inspired in that case. There are countless instances like this in each of the daily lives of the ancient and modern prophets.

    What you, as an EV may not know, but Kevin certainly would, is that we LDS don't view our prophets as constantly in a state of divine revelation and having perfect insights into all things. We don't view our prophets as infallible, but prone to making the mistakes of men. Our concern isn't with the presumed mistakes that prophets have made in matters that are inconsequential to the intents and purpose of the restored gospel (like the Kinderhook plates), but regarding those things that will enable us to progress in salvific and exalting faith to become like Christ. In that regard, we have no complaints.

    In short, the fact that the disbelievers focus on non-prophetic matters, and use non-godly means, to assess certain men's claims of being prophets of God, while we LDS do the opposite, merely explains, in part, why the difference in belief and unbelief.

    Thanks, -Wade Englund-

    Bringing up "bad meat" is just redirection. The KP is not inconsequential, as its the same behavior (interpreting ancient texts) that is the source for much LDS scripture. Spin it however you want, but that Smith got it wrong, again, is just more of the same.

  18. As an EV myself, I would like to echo Kevin's statement. EV's don't believe that Smith or any LDS Prophet, Seer, and Revelator possesses such power to begin with. That Smith got Kinderhook wrong is just another in a string (i.e. Mark Hoffman forgeries, Book of Abraham papyri, Anthon script, Greek Psalter, Inspired Version, etc.) that confirms for us that they didn't know what they were doing. That apologists now admit Smith wasn't inspired only confirms what we've already known.

  19. cdowis

    Clearly you have never read the BOM.

    So ancient Jews never lived the Americas?

    Getting to the basics, as you say, what language did the Nephites speak, according to the BOM.. hebrew, egyptian, or something else.

    "the language of the Egyptians" (1 Ne. 1:2).

    Now YOU get back to the basics, and actually read the BOM.

    I've read it. Do you offer any data points other than insults?

  20. You are ignoring the problem on your side. What is the standard we will use and are you prepared to use it for the Bible or not?

    I apply the same standards to Mormonisms as I do Christianity, or any religion for that matter. The first criteria I ask is if the spiritual teachings are rooted in authentic ancient history.

    With the Bible I can answer "probable" so that allows me to move forward.

    I can't answer "yes" with the Book of Mormon, so the whole thing is moot to me.

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