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Everything posted by InCognitus

  1. I addressed this same argument when it was posted by LDS Watchman here. You wouldn't happen to know him, would you? Your arguments sound very familiar.
  2. And there again lies the reason for the living apostles and prophets, and why they are to continue. We're not all in the unity of the faith yet. But don't assume that all the people that post on LDS online forums, such as this one, are active members of the church. And not all topics discussed by active members of the church, where there are differences of opinion and varying viewpoints, carry the same weight. Since we are encouraged to grow in truth, some of us are still working out how to understand the revelations we've been given and how to fill in the gaps where information is lacking. There is much to be learned by sharing viewpoints, since we may not always consider possibilities that may be relevant.
  3. Indeed. One of the ways that Mark Hofmann was able to produce the illusion of provenance was by stirring up rumor to as many people as he could spread it. That way the "source" didn't always seem to come from him, because so many different people were his pawns and were talking about it. The internet has a way of doing the same thing these days, without Hofmann's help.
  4. As the verse you quote points out, it is not just "the only true church", but rather, "the only true and living church". There's a big difference. The "living church" is the only one on earth guided by revelation from God to apostles and prophets. And as you probably know, Joseph Smith acknowledge the existence of truth in other Christian denominations, mixed with error (see History, 1838–1856, volume E-1 [1 July 1843–30 April 1844]). But he also told us we should gather up all the good and true principles in the world and treasure them up. So the "only true and living church" doesn't have a monopoly on truth, but it embraces all truth, where ever it is found. As to your question, "why should someone join the church? What does the church today offer that can't be found anywhere else?" The answer to that question, to me, is summed up in Ephesians 4:11-14: The only true and living church offers: Living apostles and prophets (etc.) which are: For the perfecting of the saints For the work of the ministry For the edifying of the body of Christ And these continue until: We all come to a unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God Unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ For these reasons: So that we are no longer children tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive. No other church on earth offers this. And without this, the result may be chaos and confusion.
  5. Maxwell Institute of Silence I'm sorry, but when I first saw the title of this thread, I thought it was going to be a parody.
  6. If you get the book, let us know what you think of it and if it answers your question. I'm curious about the book too. I think most accounts of that nature would be from the journals or public statements of other individuals who heard Joseph Smith discuss those kinds of details in casual conversation, and not in public sermons from Joseph Smith himself. A few that come to mind can be found in Don Bradley's book, The Lost 116 Pages - Reconstructing the Book of Mormon's Missing Stories. Here's one example from Don Bradley's discussion on "The Lineages of Laban, Ishmael, and Zoram" starting on page 157. He quotes an 1896 account from Elder Franklin D. Richards, who recalled hearing Joseph Smith explain how the Book of Mormon could fulfill Ezekiel's prophecy of "the stick of Ephraim" or "stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephriam" (Ezek. 37:16, 19): He also quotes Erastus Snow as also hearing Joseph Smith talk about Lehi and his family, and Nephi marrying Ishmael's daughters, and their linage being that of Ephraim.
  7. Please ignore if this appears as a duplicate. In our church, begotten does not mean being born of heavenly parents. There is a reference to Jesus being the first begotten of the dead. Jesus, as God, became a man and thus put aside his status. In the resurrection, he was exalted back to his former state. Exaltation (with its many references in the Bible and Book of Mormon) does not mean becoming a god/God. There are also references to firstborn in the scriptures. Joseph, though not the firstborn of Jacob, received the inheritance as though he were the firstborn (1 Chr. 5:1–2), as also did Ephraim (Gen. 48; Jer. 31:9)." Exodus 4:22 says, "And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even my firstborn." Speaking of David (verses 20), Psalm 89:27 says, "Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth." Jeremiah 31:9 says, "They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn." The fact that there are other meanings of "firstborn" in scripture does not mean that "firstborn" does not mean "first born": Except when it does, for example: Luke 2:7 "And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes..." You alluded to Colossians 1:18, but the context of the passage puts Jesus as "the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature" (verse 15), and "he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence." Clearly there are literal and figurative ways to understand "firstborn" going on here. And before the beginning, before creation, Jesus was the "firstbegotten" of the Father. But please note my question: Do you believe Jesus was "begotten before the worlds"? Your answer seems to indicate that you do not believe that. Why does it seem like a lot of modern Protestant Christians are distancing themselves from the doctrine that Jesus is the "firstborn" of the Father, that he was begotten of God from the beginning? This is, or was at one time, a central tenant of creedal Christianity. For example, the Nicene Creed states: "We believe (I believe) in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, and born of the Father before all ages. (God of God) light of light, true God of true God. Begotten not made, consubstantial to the Father, by whom all things were made". The Athanasian Creed states: "The Father is made of none, neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created, but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father, and of the Son neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding… For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess, that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man. God, of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and Man, of the substance of His mother, born into the world. Perfect God and Perfect Man, of a reasonable Soul and human Flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His Manhood." And the Creed of the First Council of Constantinople (A.D. 381): "We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, begotten of his Father before all worlds, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made." The teachings of the early Christian Fathers are also clear on this point, and also their teaching that Jesus is an "offspring" of God. Is the shedding of this doctrine a Protestant thing? Or is it a change in doctrine only because it is too close to what those "Mormons" believe?
  8. Much of what Joseph Smith taught about New Jerusalem and its location came straight from the Book of Mormon. This is found on the Joseph Smith Papers site in History, 1838–1856, volume B-1 [1 September 1834–2 November 1838], under a 2 October 1835 entry quoting a "Letter to the Saints from Joseph Smith", for publication in the Messenger and Advocate. The quote below is the same text as it reads in Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 85-86: Also related to Book of Mormon geography, no doubt you are familiar with the Times and Seasons article (basically a book review) on Incidents of Travel in Central America, Chiapas and Yucatan, by John Lloyd Stephens. Joseph Smith was the editor of the paper at this time, but it's not known for certain that he wrote the article. But the fact that Joseph had personally received the book as a gift from John M. Bernhisel just a few months earlier is documented by a letter from Joseph Smith dated 16 November 1841, where he thanks Mrs. Bernhisel for the book (see Joseph Smith Papers: Letter to John M. Bernhisel, 16 November 1841.) The first paragraph of the letter is relevant to your question, since he confirms that the book supports the testimony of the Book of Mormon: The review article of Stephen's book found in Times and Seasons, Vol. III. No. 23 (Oct. 1, 1842) was printed eleven months later, and carries with it the same sentiment as that expressed by Joseph Smith in his correspondence to John M. Bernhisel. Here are some relevant paragraphs from that article: Also, there is a book that appears to be on the topic of your question that I have not read, but I have seen it reviewed in BYU Studies. It is Gerald E. Smith. Schooling the Prophet: How the Book of Mormon Influenced Joseph Smith and the Early Restoration (Provo, Utah: Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship, BYU, 2016). I'd like to hear from anyone who has or has read this book. The review of the book, by Mark Layman Staker, can be found in BYU Studies Quarterly, 55:3 here or here in PDF.
  9. I was really sad to see this news. I love his bookstore, and in a way I feel like I got to know him somewhat recently (when I went to Utah in June) by listening to interviews with him on Gospel Tangents, regarding his involvement with Mark Hofmann. For anyone interested, he's featured in Gospel Tangents episodes 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, and 42 (all linked to the numbers here).
  10. Didn't Paul, in the New Testament, say something about men wearing face coverings? (Got it wrong. I just looked it up: It was women and heads, not men and faces. Easy mistake.)
  11. I think you mean interspatial flexure. Wormhole is a layman's term (to quote Torat in Star Trek: Voyager [Season 5, Episode 10])
  12. I think bishops are strict on who goes to the temple (I know of people the bishop is working with to help them get things in order so they can get a recommend). But the temple recommend questions really put the weight of the decision on the person answering the questions, not the person asking them. #15 sums it up: "Do you consider yourself worthy to enter the Lord’s house and participate in temple ordinances?"
  13. You are missing a key phrase (bolded above). Not all recommendations from government leaders are wise and thoughtful, the same could be said for some "medical experts" (depending on their area of medical expertise). And I take President Nelson to be a wise and thoughtful medical expert as well as our prophet. It seems like the appropriate time for his service.
  14. They look happy. And you are much shorter than I imagined you to be.
  15. Ah, but he is a spirit child of heavenly parents who became God. Same question addressed elsewhere here. Do you believe Jesus was "begotten before the worlds"? Do you believe Jesus was "highly exalted" by his Father?
  16. I can't think of one exhaustive treatment of this topic by an LDS scholar, but there are several sources you can find that depict the Latter-day Saint understanding of the final judgement. In this talk by Dallin H. Oaks, The Challenge to Become, he explains that our judgement is determined by the "state" of our character at the time we come to judgement: Also, these thoughts by President Brigham Young explain that the judgement is based on the light and knowledge we have available to us, rather than some standard that is impossible for us to grasp: You asked, "Will a Catholic on earth be judged as a Catholic in the final judgment?" I would answer "yes", at least according to the way I understand these teachings.
  17. The Priest says, "What kind of bar is this anyway? Where are the drinks?" The Mormon Bishop says, "I recognize it! It's the pleasing bar of God, which bar striketh the wicked with awful dread and fear.'" The Rabbi answers, "There's nothing pleasing about this bar. I think you mean the pleading bar of God. It's a legal term. Clearly we are here to be judged". At this point Saint Peter approaches the bar and looks the three of them over and says, "If you are going to make jokes, get some new material. Royal Skousen was in here a few minutes ago, and used exactly the same routine."
  18. Oh yeah, Windy, not Wendy. I actually knew that at one time (everyone SHOULD know it's Windy), but it's easy to make the name association (no pun intended).
  19. Well then, the church must have carefully planned for the Come Follow Me lessons for section 132 to fall on a second Sunday this year (it's scheduled for November 8-14, for Individuals and Families, and Sunday School), so that the "Spirit would not leave" when plural marriage is discussed in those lessons in a classroom setting. (It should be the priesthood / Relief Society lesson on the second Sunday). Plural marriage / polygamy is discussed in both of the lesson plans.
  20. Oh come on, everyone knows it's Wendy (dum dum dum dum)
  21. Why would the Son be sinless, and not the Father? I think these ideas are linked to Abraham 3:19 and what I just posted in the other topic (here). "And the Lord said unto me: These two facts do exist, that there are two spirits, one being more intelligent than the other; there shall be another more intelligent than they; I am the Lord thy God, I am more intelligent than they all." (Abraham 3:19)
  22. If you could hie to yesterday...
  23. Perhaps the difference between God and man is not that we are different kinds of beings (I don't think we are), but that we are different in our stage of progression: "And the Lord said unto me: These two facts do exist, that there are two spirits, one being more intelligent than the other; there shall be another more intelligent than they; I am the Lord thy God, I am more intelligent than they all." (Abraham 3:19) If you bristle at the idea that God the Father and Jesus Christ have never sinned because that would make them different than us and make something less of our own progression, could it be that they simply established the rules by which righteousness is to be judged and are ahead of the game, and we are being offered an opportunity to participate in the same kind of life and discipline that they enjoy? We are also told that God's work and glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. We may at some point receive all the intelligence and "all things" that God has, but on the scale of work and glory, will we ever be the same as he is? He will always be our God and we will always be his children. Not different kinds of beings, but certainly different in our experiences.
  24. Do we know that Jesus Christ never sinned? (I'll answer for you: the answer is yes). Do we know that Jesus said he only did what he saw his Father do? (Again, the answer is yes). So why would anyone imagine that God the Father ever sinned?
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