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InCognitus

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  1. April 25th, 4246 BC, 4:25 PM (just kidding - I have no idea!) I tend to agree with Hugh Nibley, here's a quote from his article Before Adam If you prefer audio, here's a link on Youtube: Before Adam - Hugh Nibley
  2. Two reasons: No genealogical records More importantly, the children of God started later, with Adam and Eve.
  3. A developing person that, in most cases, the woman chose to participate in the act that led to the development of that person.
  4. And, as I know you are aware, the early pre-Nicene Christians handled it well too, and discussed the plurality of gods quite often. It wasn't until later that the Greek philosophy people messed everything up.
  5. I just wanted to say that I find your questions to be both thoughtful and interesting. Thank you for your participation on this board. I wish I had more time to consider them (my life has been crazy). I know this one is a week old, but I wanted to provide my point of view on these things: I'll break my response down into these numbered concepts: 1. The teaching that God does not change. I think people often misunderstand (or misconstrue) this teaching in the scriptures. The Bible teaches this (Malachi 3:6, James 1:16), as does the Book of Mormon (1 Nephi 10:18-19, Mormon 9:9, Moroni 8:18) and our Doctrine and Covenants (D&C 20:12, 17). The Bible also teaches the same thing about Jesus Christ: "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever" (Hebrews 13:8). But, the Bible also says that Jesus (the Word) was "made flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:14), and was born of Mary as an infant and "grew, and waxed strong in spirit" (Luke 2:40) and "increased in wisdom and stature" (Luke 2:52) and "learned he obedience" and was "made perfect" (Hebrews 5:8-9) and was "highly exalted" by his Father (Philippians 2:9). So when the Bible says that Jesus is "the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever", it can't possibly be teaching us that Jesus didn't progress as a man on this earth, or that he didn't pass from a spirit life into a physical body, and then die and ascend to heaven with a resurrected body and become exalted. It must be referring to something else, like the consistency of his ways and his teachings and truth. I submit that God's "unchangeableness" is entirely centered around the consistency of his ways and his teachings and truth, and this is exactly what is being conveyed about the "unchangeable" God in the Book of Mormon. In Mormon chapter 9 of the Book of Mormon, Moroni is lamenting over the unbelief of his brethren and their denial of the consistency of God's dealings with mankind. First, he focuses on those who claim that there are no more revelations or prophecies (etc.): Moroni reasons that since God does not change, then there is no reason to assume that there are no longer any prophecies or revelations. God is consistent in his ways. Then later in the chapter, he focuses more on the idea that miracles no longer exist: So clearly the point here is that God doesn't change his ways. God is a God of continuing revelation (and therefore an assumed open canon of scripture), and God is a God of miracles, and those who deny these things are in effect asserting that God is a changeable God. But God does not change. It is not saying that God never lived on an earth or that God never increases in glory, or anything like that, for clearly Jesus did those things and he is "the same" yesterday, today, and forever. 2. The plurality of Gods: I think this one can be explained most easily with a quote from the apostle Paul: Paul states that there "be gods many, and lords many", but "to us" there is but one God. In other words, even though there are many gods, only one God is our God, only one God is relevant to us. He is the Supreme God, the "God of gods" (Deut 10:17), and the "One God and Father of all, who is above all" (Eph 4:6). Jesus Christ is his Divine Son and the representative God the Father. And the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are "one God" in unity, to fulfill the purposes of God the Father (3 Nephi 11:36). So when the Book of Mormon teaches there is "one God", it is referring to the one and only God who is our God: God the Father, as represented by his Son, Jesus Christ, and born witness of by the Holy Ghost. The Book of Mormon also provides teachings on the potential for other gods, such as in 3 Nephi 28:10: "And for this cause ye shall have fulness of joy; and ye shall sit down in the kingdom of my Father; yea, your joy shall be full, even as the Father hath given me fulness of joy; and ye shall be even as I am, and I am even as the Father; and the Father and I are one;" 3. How "God came to be God": I believe Joseph Smith was referring to God's relationship to us when he spoke of how "God came to be God". Elsewhere (in scripture revealed by Joseph Smith), we are taught that spirits "have no beginning; they existed before, they shall have no end, they shall exist after, for they are gnolaum, or eternal" (Abraham 3:18-19), and that God is "without beginning of days or end of years" (Moses 1:3). So Joseph was not suggesting that God came into being at some point in time, but that he came to be "God", our God, in the aspect of our relationship to him. Now, to the questions: Is there a principle of expanding understanding at work here? And, does the Book of Mormon trump the King Follett sermon? I don't see any reason for any "trumping". Many of the same concepts co-exist in Bible teachings and in our other books of scripture (Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price). We just need to try to understand what is being taught in these statements, and they can live together perfectly fine.
  6. I had COVID recently in Utah, and the T-Shirt example in your post looks very much like some of the questions on the COVID contact tracing questionnaire I received in e-mail shortly after testing positive for COVID. This is an actual screen shot from the Utah survey.
  7. "Hysteria"? "Totally unfounded"? "Severely distorted"? All I did was post an article that said exactly what I was talking about. Isn't that a true statement? Are schools suppose to only address "church approved" families? There is nothing wrong with that statement (if that's all that was going on). But why did you pick the only sane statement in the article as an example? Why not include the context (quoted below)? Why put ideas like this into the minds of little children who would otherwise never even consider such things?
  8. You are definitely right about that. Anyone who reads the pre-Nicene Christian Fathers will have a really hard time finding Protestantism in any of it. But what I think the reformers did do is begin to brake down the walls of "captivity" (that's a term the Book of Mormon uses a lot to describe the period of time prior to the Renaissance era). They paved the way for making alternative views available, thus making an environment for the restoration to take place.
  9. I don't know what's being "sold", but I only hear what the teachers and a school assigned police officer in my last ward told me, what my granddaughter has said, and what I see in headlines like those included in my last post.
  10. Washington Post: Gender identity lessons, banned in some schools, are rising in others Kids in my last ward were encountering it.
  11. How is this different than gay and gender identity agendas being pushed on children in schools?
  12. Me. In the non-LDS Bible study I participated in for nearly 12 years, we covered one chapter every week in a one hour and 45 minute period of time. Sometimes that wasn't enough time for one chapter, so we continued on the chapter the next week. It was awesome, especially in getting viewpoints from other members of the group. If we only had more time in our lives. Reminds me of Teyve in Fiddler on the Roof, and how things would be if only he were a rich man: If I were rich, I'd have the time that I lack to sit in the synagogue and pray And maybe have a seat by the Eastern wall And I'd discuss the holy books with the learned men, several hours every day And that would be the sweetest thing of all
  13. Again, it depends on a lot of things that only God can answer, but under the right circumstances in the right time and place, then God would lead the person to join his church.
  14. That's not my call. Only God can answer that one, and it would depend on circumstances and many other factors. However, there are many reasons why The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the one church authorized by the Lord, and the most important of those reasons is that he is the one who established it through divine revelation.
  15. Depends on what the person is seeking. If they are specifically looking to know first, if there is "one true church", and then second, to be led to find the "one true church", then God will lead them that direction.
  16. When you say you’re confident that god will lead sincere truth-seekers to his one true church, does that mean that anyone not in the true church is therefore somehow insincere in their search? I realize you were originally asking about how to determine whether the official church instituted by Jesus in The New Testament was still in operation today, but in my response I intentionally left out exactly where the sincere truth seeker would be led by asking God for guidance. God will lead humble and sincere truth seekers to go exactly where he wants them to be if they allow themselves to be led. Sometimes that may include serving others in places outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. God directs people in other faiths to do great things in their own areas. So obviously, that does not mean that "anyone not in the true church is therefore somehow insincere in their search". Furthermore, your question also assumes that anyone not in the true church is actually "seeking". Most people in other faiths assume that they already have it right without doing any seeking or asking God. Some prefer to rely on their own intellect to figure things out on their own. Others tend to just follow what they have been taught, or just accept what their preacher tells them. Some rely on tradition. But honest, humble, and sincere people (of any faith) who ask God for direction in their quest for truth will receive direction from God on those matters, in one way or another. And they will be led to wherever God wants them to be.
  17. Given the wide variety of opinions of what "the official church instituted by Jesus in the New Testament" means, and the differing interpretations that people have of the teachings in the Bible, there is one and only one way that a question like that can be answered with any confidence: Ask God. God knows how to correctly interpret the Bible. God knows the right meaning of "the official church instituted by Jesus". I'm confident that he will point any sincere truth seeker in the right direction.
  18. We don't believe the church disappeared completely off of the planet, but the church "fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God" (Revelation 12:6) and remained there until the restoration of the gospel, which was "the rising up and the coming forth of [of the Lord's] church out of the wilderness" (Doctrine and Covenants 5:14). Acts 20:28-31: "Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears." Mat 13:24-25: "Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way." Not so. Through the restoration, the Lord reestablished his prophets and apostles upon the earth. And after the death of Joseph Smith there was a continuation of apostles and prophets and that same organization continues until this day. The Bible teaches us that the offices of apostles and prophets are essential to the organization of the church, and are intended to continue until we all "come in the unity of the faith", giving us the leadership so that "we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men": Ephesians 4:11-14 "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive" After the apostles were killed, the church was left to be "tossed to and fro and carried about by every wind of doctrine". The persecution of Rome caused the death of the faithful saints, and they died as martyrs. The apostles were among these martyrs. This is exactly why an apostasy came about. The apostle John wrote, "Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time." (1 John 2:18). In John's view, there were only two options: Either faithful martyrdom or unfaithful apostasy: Rev 2:10 "Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life."
  19. I interpret that to mean exactly what it says, that Jesus is "Eternal" and Jesus is "God". I don't think you need to read anything else into that. Jesus is eternal, and Jesus is God. Exactly right. And just like the Bible teaches too, three separate and distinct personages, each a distinct being and distinct God, but one in unity of will and purpose. They are "one God" in unity, but not "one Being" like some other churches teach. Remember from the last post? God the Father is the God of Jesus Christ. In Revelation 3:12, the resurrected Jesus refers to God the Father as "my God" four separate times in that verse. So God has a God. That's impossible if they are one being. And I found these other teachings: John 17:11 "And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are". John 17:20-23; "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the GLORY which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me." John 14:20 "At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you".
  20. Is that like Pregatory? (I don't think our Catholics friends have thought of that one yet).
  21. Depends on who's fall is being talked about. If the account of the fall is (as OGHoosier speculates in this post here) a ceremonial script putting each of us in the place of Adam and Eve, we all participate in "The Fall", and there was no death before we fell. We all chose to be here in the Council in Heaven.
  22. I agree, but I think they are walking a thin line so as not to offend a lot of people who follow the Joseph Fielding Smith opinion on the topic (I know several, and have seen it on this board too).
  23. That's a good summary of the historical issues, and it does a nice job of implying (although not overtly stating) that we are open to the idea of evolution.
  24. I haven't totally kept up with this thread, so forgive me if someone has already posted this, but many of the comments in this thread have reminded me of Elder Richard G. Scott's rather famous October 2009 conference talk, "To Acquire Spiritual Guidance". I'll quote the parts relevant to being enlightened by both good and bad lessons (or talks), and the differences between them. First, the good lesson: Now the not-so-good lesson: Elder Scott stated that he benefited from both lessons. In the first example he benefited from the principles being conveyed by the humble teacher. In the second example, he received guidance on how to be more effective as an instrument in the hands of the Lord (probably not the intended message of that instructor, but a lesson to be learned for sure).
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