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InCognitus

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  1. It's late and I'm sleepy, and I haven't even watched this video yet, but my sister just sent me a text telling me that the guy (his name is David) who has the YouTube channel, "52 Churches in 52 Weeks" got baptized this week! The point of his YouTube channel was to visit a different church every week for an entire year and talk about his experience in his video. I started wondering about the guy when he visited a different ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints more than once and attended General Conference a year ago this month, and I posted about that last year: I watched a few of his videos for some of the various churches he visited, but obviously the Latter-day Saint encounters were of the most interest to me. But here is his latest video: He says in a comment, "One thing I didn't address is the future of the channel. I do hope to visit various churches in the future while diving into LDS, though will need to be very strategic and wouldn't plan to be 52 consecutive weeks. Travel, expenses, and time would be too much. I'll address further in the future."
  2. But none of the above has anything to do with the portions of the Savior's sermon that are parallel to the sermon on the mount. As the manual Religion 275 manual states: "3 Nephi 12:1–16, 43–45; 13:1, 5–7, 16–18, 22–24, 33; 14:1–5, 21–27 - Christ’s sermon at the temple in Bountiful teaches us how to be like Him". The sermon on the mount portion doesn't start until chapter 12. That the Book of Mormon version is differing from Matthew on those verses shows that the Book of Mormon account is far more aware of the context of that sermon than was included in Matthew. The Book of Mormon account reads as follows in those verses: "And now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words he looked upon the twelve whom he had chosen, and said unto them: Remember the words which I have spoken. For behold, ye are they whom I have chosen to minister unto this people. Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?" (3 Nephi 13:25-26) Compare the above to the context that Luke includes for this same portion of the sermon, in Luke 12:22-24, where Jesus shifts his focus of his discussion from "the innumerable multitude of people" that had gathered (Luke 12:1) to his disciples: "And he said unto his disciples, Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. The life is more than meat, and the body is more than raiment. Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?" (Luke 12:22–24) Yes, Matthew left that part out. But there is clearly an indication that Jesus shifted his audience in the account provided by Luke. This commentary explains it quite well, from Joseph F. McConkie, Robert L. Millet, and Brent L. Top, volume 4 of Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon:
  3. Do you believe the tabernacle was also extravagant (as commanded by the Lord), with the overlay of pure gold for the ark of the covenant, and the mercy seat of pure gold, and the two cherubim of gold, and the table of shittim wood overlaid with pure gold, and the pillars of wood overlaid with gold and their hooks of gold, and the altar of incense overlaid with pure gold etc. etc.? (See Exodus 25-26, 28, 30). Are you suggesting there were no impoverished people in that region? Israel had commandments regarding the poor among them going back to the beginning (i.e. Exodus 23:11). And years later, when Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians, it says "Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against the city, and his servants did besiege it... And he carried out thence all the treasures of the house of the Lord, and the treasures of the king’s house, and cut in pieces all the vessels of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the Lord, as the Lord had said. And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land." (2 Kings 24:11–14) And in 2 Kings 25:12, when more of the people were carried away into Babylon, it says "But the captain of the guard left of the poor of the land to be vinedressers and husbandmen." (2 Kings 25:12) (Jeremiah 40:7 says something similar).
  4. This has been my point all along, that there is a gathering that occurs prior to them returning to their own lands. It happens when the tribes of Israel are taught the gospel and come to Christ and come to recognize who they are. I also don’t believe all Israelites need to become Christians before being gathered back to their land, but the people among the lost tribes need to recognize who they are somehow, and coming to Christ is one of the ways they do that. Previously you did not accept that view, but now I see that you recognize that has to be the case. I also realize you don’t believe places like America are lands of inheritance, although you did recognize that Ephraim would basically be allotted the entire world (in your post on February 29). So what's the difference? I see it mentioned in the Old Testament seminary manual. Some believe Ishmael and/or Zoram were Ephraimites and the Mulekites were of Judah. If the stick of Joseph is a reference to the Book of Mormon, then what is the testimony of Ephraim in it? Where does the Old Testament seminary manual say that the two writing tablets do NOT represent the two nations? (Hint: They don’t). This is what the Old Testament Institute manual says about this topic: Notice that the manual doesn’t say that this interpretation is “wrong”, it says “such an interpretation is by no means complete”. That’s exactly what I said: “such an interpretation is incomplete, because the two writing tablets have further meaning than merely representing the two nations. They also represent the testimony of the two nations.” And this is what the Old Testament Seminary manual says about it: “When the twelve tribes of Israel were divided into two kingdoms, the Northern Kingdom was ruled by the tribe of Ephraim and the Southern Kingdom was ruled by the tribe of Judah. When all of the Lord’s people receive the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, the twelve tribes will be reunited.” (Old Testament Seminary Student Material, p. 731) It goes on to say: Both manuals make it clear that Ephraim is the representative tribe of the Northern Kingdom and not necessarily the subject matter of the witness contained on the writing tablets, and the “stick of Joseph” is for the descendants of Joseph (not limited to the tribe of Ephraim). In the case of the Bible, we have some ancient manuscripts in Greek and Hebrew that can be viewed for translation purposes. Different translators used them to produce various English equivalents. In the case of the Book of Mormon, we have to rely on it being a translation from Reformed Egyptian into English and other languages but the original was reportedly taken back to heaven. The Dead Sea Scrolls did not increase my testimony of God or change my view of God's involvement with the house of Israel. You didn’t really answer my question. You refer to various known Bible manuscripts and related texts but they are all about the Bible lands and are related to existing scripture. And that isn’t really addressing the reality of God’s possible involvement in other nations with the scattered tribes of Israel, or that God is the same God today as he was in Bible times and would work with people today in the exact same way he did in Bible times and give more scripture. Yes, we will at some point. You are drawing assumptions again from verses out of context. John was writing about his gospel when he wrote what’s in John 21:25, and he wasn’t addressing the “sufficiency” of his gospel as it applied to all the works of God and his Son or even to the “sufficiency” and totality of the canon of scripture, because he says nothing of the sort. Rather, he was only writing of events related to the ministry of Jesus Christ within his time. He wrote enough that we might believe in Jesus Christ and have life through his name, but John makes it clear elsewhere that there is much more to what God offers, and even more to teach the people of the church than what John wrote in his epistles (2 John 1:12, 3 John 1:13-14 for example). Those aren’t the kinds of covenants the title page is talking about. There are 154 references to “covenants” in the Book of Mormon. The covenants being referred to in the Book of Mormon (and on its Title Page) are the covenants made with Abraham and his seed, as well as to the house of Israel. Those covenants include them being gathered again in the latter days. The Book of Mormon makes that quite clear, and there are not many Christian groups today, other than the Latter-day Saints, that recognize those ancient covenants. And they are covenants that are still valid. Regarding my discussion of the context of Isaiah 11:10-12 where I said that the "he" in verse 12 is Christ [the Lord] doing those things through a servant (or servants) in the hands of Christ, you said: Short of Jesus returning to the earth for his second coming and doing this personally, how do you propose that Jesus would be doing this already? You’ve already agreed in prior posts that the gathering of Israel has already begun to some degree. So how is Jesus the sole servant doing this right now without the assistance of Christians? Biblically speaking, the Lord frequently causes things to happen according to his will through his servants, i.e. 1 Kings 8:53: “For thou didst separate them from among all the people of the earth, to be thine inheritance, as thou spakest by the hand of Moses thy servant, when thou broughtest our fathers out of Egypt, O Lord God.” In the latter days the Lord has been gathering Israel in the same way he brought them out of Egypt, speaking his word through his servants and sending his servants out to gather Israel. I believe Joseph Smith is the most likely candidate to be that person, yes. Yes, I did see it. But what are your thoughts on the church's teaching about the literal changing of the blood into the blood of Abraham? I don’t have any particular thoughts about it. They speak for themselves. I answered this previously (see my post on March 16). I said, “the firstborn son was given a right to the priesthood in ancient Bible history prior to Israel breaking the covenant that God made with them on Mount Sinai. This isn’t explicitly taught in the Bible, but it is part of Jewish tradition that this was so.” There are hints of this in the Old Testament (like with the priests of Exodus 19:22 and the other references elsewhere in this post), but it mostly comes from sources outside the Bible. And the Jewish sources I quoted demonstrate that this belief is not “peculiar to the LDS faith”, as you claimed. I don’t have any direct belief related to your question above. We simply don’t have that information. But Joseph received this same kind of blessing from the Lord as did Benjamin and Naphtali, because in verse 16 (using the NIV translation) it says Joseph is blessed “with the best gifts of the earth and its fullness and the favor of him who dwelt in the burning bush.” The Lord favors Joseph. Yes, you quoted the verses (just as I did). Can you see how this is greater than all the other blessings? Joseph is blessed here in everything he does and even in his posterity, and even with favor from the Lord (the one whose presence was in the bush). That verse doesn’t specify specific land boundaries, but I believe his land inheritance is the same as what Jacob bestowed upon Ephraim in Genesis 48:19, saying that his “seed shall become a multitude of nations”, basically covering the entire world, as you agreed in your post on February 29: The "entire world" covers everything. Yes, and it’s the “one portion above thy brethren” birthright that was given to Joseph through Ephraim in place of Ruben among the tribes of Israel (Genesis 48:5 and 22). This verse actually says that “Simeon had their inheritance within the inheritance of them [Judah]”, which is a fulfillment of Genesis 49:5-7 (they are scattered in Israel). Otherwise, what’s your point in quoting this? Yes, two portions to Joseph (among the “twelve” tribes) which establishes that he (as a tribe) was given the double portion birthright blessing. Again, you aren’t considering the actual promises and are limiting your views to the land allotted at the time of Joshua. Clearly there is more to the inheritance of Joseph than that land area, considering that he would “become a multitude of nations” (Genesis 48:19) and that he received “one portion above” his brethren (Genesis 48:22). And this doesn't account for the re-allotment of the land as described in Ezekiel 47 and 48. You did acknowledge previously that Joseph’s inheritance would be to all the world, so you really can’t discount America as being part of that. So, after everything you posted above to those three questions I asked in my prior post, do you believe the promises of God related to Joseph and Ephraim? If you do, then you should see that those blessings of Joseph obviously surpass the blessings of his brethren because Joseph (as a tribe) had the birthright. This “right” belongs to the firstborn, and it says, “Firstborns had a special role in the sacrificial service”, but nowhere does it say that none of the others can hold the priesthood. And the fact that the firstborns had a “special role” implies that others had a role of some kind. So, you are merely assuming that none of the others can hold the priesthood without any evidence. Yes, the verses above indicate that God intended for Israel to be a “kingdom of priests” and not just limiting the priesthood to the Levites, as was done later on. It is true that “Israel” is also called God’s firstborn in Exodus 4:22, because “Israel” as a people were the firstborn of the people of God. But in the context of that verse, the northern and southern kingdoms did not even exist yet, so it would be wrong to use that verse out of context to try to explain why the northern kingdom (Ephraim, which is sometimes called “Israel”) is called the “firstborn” over 850 years later at the time of Jeremiah when Judah was being taken captive by the Babylonians. I think the Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers, speaking about Jeremiah 31:9, puts this in its proper context: “Ephraim is my firstborn.—Ephraim stands here, as often elsewhere (e.g., Hosea 11:3; Hosea 11:12; Hosea 13:1; Hosea 13:12) for the whole northern kingdom of the Ten Tribes, of which it was the most conspicuous member. The term ‘firstborn’ is used, as an echo of Exodus 4:22, as marking out Ephraim as the object of the special favour of Jehovah, the birthright of Reuben having been transferred to the sons of Joseph (1Chronicles 5:1). The prominence of Ephraim over the other tribes is conspicuous throughout the whole history (Judges 12:1-3). The prophet apparently recognized it as taking its place once more in the restored unity of the people, when the king should be of the house of David, Jerusalem the centre of worship, Ephraim the leading tribe. (Comp. the contemporary prophecy of Ezekiel 37:19.) It is not without interest to note how the northern prophet looks to Judah as more faithful than Ephraim (Hosea 11:12), while Jeremiah turns from the sins of the princes and priests of Judah to look with hope on the remnant of Israel.” God’s firstborn was not Levi, rather, Levi took the place of the firstborn’s right to the priesthood: “And I, behold, I have taken the Levites from among the children of Israel instead of all the firstborn that openeth the matrix among the children of Israel: therefore the Levites shall be mine; Because all the firstborn are mine; for on the day that I smote all the firstborn in the land of Egypt I hallowed unto me all the firstborn in Israel, both man and beast: mine shall they be: I am the Lord.” (Numbers 3:12–13) God’s firstborn is still Ephraim (Jeremiah 31:9). I don’t find anywhere that the priesthood was limited only to the firstborn, but rather the firstborn had a special role in the sacrificial service. It’s not the piling on alone that’s the problem. Remember, as your webpage says, “confusion arises when scripture is taken out of context”. You and your webpage present only one side of what the Bible says about Ephraim and Judah (and from primarily one part of Israel’s history), and don’t even acknowledge the promises that are made to Ephraim as well as Judah, both from the beginning and in the future. It’s a hypercritical objection to Latter-day Saint doctrine that causes a severe one-sided misreading of scripture. Instead of trying to find flaws with Latter-day Saint teachings or focusing on the differences between Latter-day Saint teachings and Protestant beliefs, you should try the positive approach taken by the Bereans, where they searched the scriptures to see “whether those things were so” (Acts 17:11 – they searched to find out if the things Paul taught were true, not to find fault with what he said). If you are searching only to find fault, it may prevent you from seeing what the scriptures actually say and lead to serious error. (A thread where you tried to pick apart what President Nelson said concerning the events that transpired on the mount of transfiguration comes to mind). That they are given the land of Israel doesn’t negate the other promises made to some of the tribes, where they inherit other lands as well. Remember, there is more to some of their promises than just the land of Israel as you agreed with regard to Joseph (inheriting the entire world, essentially, which does not specifically exclude America). Again, your whole assumption about Jesus being the only high priest is based on picking and choosing information about the high priest in Old Testament times. You are thinking only in terms of the post exilic function of a high priest under the law of Moses. Remember, prior to Israel breaking their covenant on Mount Sinai, the firstborn son of every family functioned as the High Priest of their family. So there were multiple high priests at that time. And during this period Moses prepared and sanctified many “priests” (Exodus 19:22) who were to later go up to Sinai with Moses, where Moses further prepared them (Exodus 24:1-8) until at last: “Then went up Moses, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel: And they saw the God of Israel: and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone, and as it were the body of heaven in his clearness. And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: also they saw God, and did eat and drink.” (Exodus 24:9–11). These were obviously high priests, because this privilege of going into the presence of God was later only afforded to the high priest. And not only that, but there is good indication that the function of the high priest was changed when the priestly code was established in the post exilic period, because prior to that time there are indications where there was more than one high priest, like when Abiathar and Zadok were high priests at the same time under David and Solomon. Here are some examples where Abiathar and Zadok simultaneously bore the title "ha- kohen": 2 Samuel 8:17: “And Zadok the son of Ahitub, and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar, were the priests; and Seraiah was the scribe”. 2 Samuel 19:11: “And king David sent to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests”. 2 Samuel 19:11: “And king David sent to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, saying, Speak unto the elders of Judah, saying, Why are ye the last to bring the king back to his house? seeing the speech of all Israel is come to the king, even to his house.” 1 Kings 1:7–8: “And he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest: and they following Adonijah helped him. But Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and Nathan the prophet, and Shimei, and Rei, and the mighty men which belonged to David, were not with Adonijah.” 1 Kings 4:4: “And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the host: and Zadok and Abiathar were the priests”. So there is really no Old Testament precedent for the idea that Christ “is the one and only High Priest” in New Testament times. In fact, through his atonement, Jesus makes it possible for us to be unto me a kingdom of priests unto God, and an holy nation (Exodus 19:6), so that there are many high priests who can pass through the veil and enter the holy place, very much like the time prior to Israel breaking their covenant with God when Moses was preparing the elders of Israel to go up and see God (Exodus 19 and 24). It is Ephraim (the single tribe) that represents the other nine tribes in that context (which also explains why Ephraim is called the “firstborn”), as it was explained in the two commentaries I quoted in my last post. I don’t have any information on this other than what God promised that tribe in those blessings. Obviously, God had something more in mind in those promises than what we know about, which is why we can’t put limits on what we think these tribes will inherit. It’s certainly more than what got allotted to Zebulun when Joshua divided the lands. And I’ll quote you again on this one from your post on February 29: Where do you see the land inheritance of America being excluded in a promise that he would allotted the entire world? Do you view Joshua being given a "charge" the same as Joshua being ordained a priest? He laid hands on him for the ordination, the “charge” means to commission or appoint him. The Brenton translation of this verse (Numbers 27:23) from the Septuagint reads: “And he laid his hands on him, and appointed him as the Lord ordered Moses.” And from the NKJV: “And he laid his hands on him and inaugurated him, just as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses.” And from the NASB20: “Then he laid his hands on him and commissioned him, just as the LORD had spoken through Moses.” Parts of 2 Nephi chapter 3 are references to Joseph Smith, that is true. But that’s not all you are “just saying”. You’ve offered nothing new to support your misconstruing of the meaning of those verses, and the Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual certainly doesn’t support your interpretation that Joseph Smith is of the lineage of Lehi, so why would you even quote it? As explained before, you are misconstruing the phrase “rise up…among them” (in verse 24) to mean being of the lineage of those people, and that view is not supported from the context. This was answered already above.
  5. There’s a difference between “teachings of Christ” and directives given by Jesus to the men he called to represent him. And I’m saying that it is dangerous to take verses out of context and assume that if Jesus says something to one person, then it applies to all. The context generally gives us clues about how the teachings or directives apply. We know from other verses that these gifts of the spirit apply to other people as well (Acts 2:1-18, 1 Corinthians 12-14). So this doesn’t help your case for trying to make Mark 16:17-18 apply to everyone. Do you drink poison and handle snakes? If not, why don’t you apply Mark 16:17-18 the same way to those items? The Bible doesn’t say how the person in Luke 9:49-50 received his authority. So, we can treat this example in one of two ways: Do we do what you are doing, and assert that the person received the authority directly from God by believing he had the authority without any biblical support whatsoever? Or do we look at the rest of the Bible and see that this same “power” was given by ordination to others, like the way it was given to apostles and elders all through the New Testament? I say the biblical approach is much more reasonable. But I understand why you might prefer the non-biblical approach, because otherwise how will you support any claims to authority? But this goes against your whole argument, because Paul goes on to explain that not everyone has each of these gifts given to them. He compares the church to a body that has many members. The body has ears, eyes, a nose, etc., and every member is different. He even points out that not all are apostles or prophets or teachers or workers of miracles or have the gift of healing, as you assume by taking Mark 16 out of context. And the fact that these gifts come from the Holy Spirit doesn’t negate that some of them are bestowed through blessings of ordination, like what Paul wrote to Timothy: “Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.” (1 Timothy 4:14) Except you have no scripture to back up that claim. It’s a non-Biblical idea, made-up to try to legitimize the schisms from Catholicism. Yes, they were not authentic followers because they tried to assume they had authority simply by believing. They believed they could cast out demons in the name of Jesus, but they couldn’t. Isn’t that the same approach you are taking? Ananias had not ordained Paul. Paul was called [ordained] of God (Romans 1:1, 1 Corinthians 1:1). In a similar way, John the Baptist was called [ordained] from the womb; baptized with the Holy Spirit (Luke 1:15). To be “called” is not the same as being “ordained”. As Jesus said, “many are called, but few are chosen” (Matt 22:14). And none of the verses you provided say that Paul was ordained by God. In fact, Romans 1:1 shows that Paul refers to being set apart unto the gospel of God, which recalls a situation similar to the incident in Acts 13:1-3 where Paul and Barnabas were set apart for the ministry. As for 1 Corinthians 1, it says Paul was “called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God”. We can again look to Acts 13:1-3 and see that both Paul and Barnabas were called by the Holy Ghost and “set apart… for the work whereunto I have called them”, and they were ordained by the laying on of hands. This was definitely “through the will of God”. Do you want to try again? All of this has already been addressed earlier in my post. Jesus called Paul. But do you have a verse that says Jesus ordained Paul? No. Did Paul “seek” the calling? On the contrary, he was preaching against Jesus until he was set straight. So who gets to be the one to decide if you are interpreting and sharing the scriptures accurately? You? You say you don’t need someone like Peter or Paul to authorize your teachings, but how would you know? You teach that Jesus ordained Paul without a shred of scriptural support. You teach that Mark 16:17-18 applies to everyone instead of just the eleven individuals that Jesus was addressing (with the snake handling and poison drinking included), which is contrary to what Paul taught later in 1 Corinthians 12. This kind of thinking leads to what Paul referred to as being “tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine”, and he explained that the very thing that prevents that from happening is the authorized leadership that you seem to reject. As he explains in Ephesians 4:11-14: “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers” And why did he give them? “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” And how long did he intend for us to have them? “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” And what does this prevent? “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” Are we in the unity of the faith yet? It doesn’t matter what I think about Paul meeting with Peter. What matters is why did Paul feel the need to include his going to meet with Peter in his defense, to the Galatians, for his authority as an apostle of Jesus Christ? It seems like such an incidental thing to include unless it meant something to Paul in his defense of his authority, for that is what Paul was trying to establish.
  6. There is a difference between Jesus talking to “disciples” in a generic sense, and the twelve disciples that he chose and ordained as apostles and gave them power. All followers of Christ are disciples, but not all are chosen to be his apostles, and you shouldn’t confuse the two. As it says in Matthew 10: “And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease….. These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matthew 10:1, 5-6) The verses above don’t apply to all disciples, but only to the twelve that Jesus chose and ordained. And it is dangerous to take verses out of context like you did, where you assume that the same authority applies to everyone, or you may end up just like the seven sons of Sceva thinking you have authority that the demons didn't recognize at all (i.e. "And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?") And it is quite clear that in both Mark 16:17 and Matthew 28:18-20, Jesus is only speaking to the “eleven” apostles: “Afterward he appeared unto the eleven… And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world….” (Mark 16:14-15) “Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain… And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying… Go ye therefore, and teach all nations…” (Matthew 28:16-19) I’m not saying that Jesus couldn’t command others (including women) to do the same thing (I certainly believe he has at different times), but you can’t make that call just from reading those verses out of context. This still doesn’t explain why Paul thought it was important to say that he went to see Peter when he was trying to establish his authority to the saints at Galatia, some of which were accusing him of teaching a different gospel than Christ taught so that his message would appeal to the Gentiles. You post offhand and offtrack red-herring comments like the above, and you wonder how it is that I know you are the same person as theplains, marineland, TheTanakas, and telenetd. How could anyone ever question it? The quote you posted is from Moroni’s fourth visit to Joseph Smith, not the first vision, by the way. Acts 9:15-20 - “But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake. And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized. And when he had received meat, he was strengthened. Then was Saul certain days with the disciples which were at Damascus. And straightway he preached Christ in the synagogues, that he is the Son of God. There’s no mention of ordination at all in the passage above. Do you want to try again? Ananias laying hands on Paul to heal him (by restoring his sight) is not an ordination. Again, there is a big difference between us going out on our own and sharing and preaching the gospel message with others (we all can do that), and a person who is called and set apart and ordained as an official representative of Christ’s church to preach the gospel. There is order in Christ’s church. Jesus said to his twelve apostles, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” (John 15:16). “And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils” (Mark 3:14–15). “Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.” (Luke 9:1–2) As Paul taught to the Ephesians, “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers” (Ephesians 4:11), and not all are apostles or called by the church and set apart to preach the gospel (1 Corinthians 12:28-29). If there was no authority required by Peter to preach, then why do the verses I quoted above say that Jesus gave them the authority to do just that? When Paul had his vision, he rightly preached what he learned and what he witnessed to others, just as any of us would. But he wasn’t authorized as an official representative of Christ’s church until he was called and sent out later (as Acts 13:1-3 partially shows). And this is the very thing that Paul was trying to establish in his letter to the Galatians in his defense of his authority as an apostle of Jesus Christ. I think the aspect of ordination applies primarily to individuals seeking a formal role within the church structure, such as serving as an elder or teacher. This is just wrong. This isn’t something that an individual “seeks”. Remember, Jesus said “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you”. Paul wrote to Titus that there “are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake” (Titus 1:10–11). Those are among the kind of people who “seek” to preach to others. And in the same letter, Paul told Titus to “set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee” (Titus 1:5). These offices are not sought by the individuals, nor are they assumed simply by believing one has the authority, rather they are appointed and ordained by those who are in authority, the God chosen leaders of the church. As explained above, there is a big difference between Paul preaching of his conversion and his vision experience to others (the mere turn around of his attitude toward Christ’s church would definitely get attention and be a witness to the power of Christ on its own), and Paul being called to the ministry as he was later on. The former requires no authority, but the latter definitely does as the verses I listed above demonstrate.
  7. This is a good description of one of them: "And the house, that is, the temple before it, was forty cubits long. And the cedar of the house within was carved with knops and open flowers: all was cedar; there was no stone seen. And the oracle he prepared in the house within, to set there the ark of the covenant of the Lord. And the oracle in the forepart was twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in the height thereof: and he overlaid it with pure gold; and so covered the altar which was of cedar. So Solomon overlaid the house within with pure gold: and he made a partition by the chains of gold before the oracle; and he overlaid it with gold. And the whole house he overlaid with gold, until he had finished all the house: also the whole altar that was by the oracle he overlaid with gold." (1 Kings 6:17–22) Do you think that temple sent a negative message to the impoverished people of that community?
  8. I was still able to view it on my phone, but the count column seemed to land in a gray area of the screen (literally)
  9. Did anyone else notice how many times "temples" and temple covenants were discussed in this General Conference? I did a count of the word "Temple" Tuesday evening when the conference transcripts came online (not counting "Temple" in the talk title), and this is what I came up with: Session Speaker Title Temple Sat AM Jeffrey R. Holland Motions of a Hidden Fire 1 J. Anette Dennis Put Ye On the Lord Jesus Christ 8 Alexander Dushku Pillars and Rays Ulisses Soares Covenant Confidence through Jesus Christ 27 Jack N. Gerard Integrity: A Christlike Attribute Henry B. Eyring All Will Be Well Because of Temple Covenants 29 Sat PM David A. Bednar “Be Still, and Know That I Am God” 3 Massimo De Feo Rise! He Calleth Thee Brent H. Nielson A Record of What I Have Both Seen and Heard 6 Jose L. Alonso Jesus Christ at the Center of Our Lives Gerrit W. Gong All Things for Our Good 11 Michael T. Nelson In Support of the Rising Generation Quentin L. Cook Be One with Christ 1 Sat PM2 Shayne M. Bowen Miracles, Angels, and Priesthood Power 3 Steven R. Bangerter Foreordained to Serve Andrea Muñoz Spannaus Faithful to the End Matthew L. Carpenter Fruit That Remains 3 Dieter F. Uchtdorf A Higher Joy Sun AM Ronald A. Rasband Words Matter 4 Susan H. Porter Pray, He Is There 1 Dale G. Renlund The Powerful, Virtuous Cycle of the Doctrine of Christ 1 Paul B. Pieper Trust in the Lord Patrick Kearon God’s Intent Is to Bring You Home 1 Brian K. Taylor Swallowed Up in the Joy of Christ Dallin H. Oaks Covenants and Responsibilities 17 Sun PM D. Todd Christofferson The Testimony of Jesus 2 Taylor G. Godoy Call, Don’t Fall 5 Gary E. Stevenson Bridging the Two Great Commandments 1 Mathias Held Opposition in All Things Neil L. Andersen Temples, Houses of the Lord Dotting the Earth 28 Mark L. Pace It Is Wisdom in the Lord That We Should Have the Book of Mormon Russell M. Nelson Rejoice in the Gift of Priesthood Keys 27 Total Mention of the word "Temple" 179 Out of 32 talks, 20 of them talked about the temple one or more times. And the word "temple" was mentioned 179 times in all of General Conference. Edit: Sorry about the formatting for those who try to view this on a smart phone, I tried to skinny it up, and it didn't work out too well.
  10. Of course it comes down to whether or not it is God's will or not, but in the situation with the seven sons of Sceva, it's obviously more than just that, because the demons didn't recognize their authority at all (i.e. "And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye?") It's as if the demons were saying, "who are you to command me? You have no authority over me." (Even though they were commanded in the name of Jesus). Given that the context of Mark 16:17 shows that those words were spoken to the eleven apostles (see verse 14), I don't see how you can make that assumption. That's pure speculation. Don't try to twist my words. Paul going to see Peter obviously meant something to Paul in trying to prove his authority to the Galatians, or otherwise he wouldn't have mentioned it in his defense regarding the validity of his apostleship, Oh really? Can you show me where the text says that Paul was ordained by Christ on the road to Damascus? None of this answers the question. If the authority to do these things is simply assumed by a believer because they believe in Christ, why then were they ordained and set apart to do those very things they were called to do? And where did the people who ordain them get their authority to call them and ordain them? But then why would Paul find it important to say he went to Peter to tell him of his experience, when Paul was trying to establish his authority as an apostle of Jesus Christ to the saints at Galatia? How would conversing with Peter help his case? It doesn't hurt anything, and I'm not mistaken. It helps me to know where you're coming from.
  11. Both of those are often taken out of context to try to assert that all of Brigham Young's talks in the Journal of Discourses are as good as scripture. The context is important. For example, the first one from Journal of Discourses, Vol.13, p.95, Brigham Young, January 2, 1870: "Well, brethren and sisters, try and be Saints. I will try; I have tried many years to live according to the law which the Lord reveals unto me. I know just as well what to teach this people and just what to say to them and what to do in order to bring them into the celestial kingdom, as I know the road to my office. It is just as plain and easy. The Lord is in our midst. He teaches the people continually. I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men, that they may not call Scripture. Let me have the privilege of correcting a sermon, and it is as good Scripture as they deserve. The people have the oracles of God continually. In the days of Joseph, revelation was given and written, and the people were driven from city to city and place to place, until we were led into these mountains." Did Brigham Young do that? The second quote also includes the same form of correction and approval process.
  12. It seems Paul had a similar experience: "At midday, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me." (Acts 26:13)
  13. Or Bethlehem of Galilee, that's another theory (but just a theory). I guess that's another good reason to have the Book of Mormon account.
  14. You can always just show him the 1830 edition of the Book of Mormon. Alma 7:10 is on page 240 in the middle of the page: https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/book-of-mormon-1830/246 Or you can go even further and show him the printer's manuscript of the Book of Mormon. It's on page 186 of this online version, and you'll need to type 186 into the page indicator at the top left corner of the viewer in order to access that page (the page numbers aren't included in the link): https://bookofmormon.online/fax/printer This was always one of my favorite criticisms against the Book of Mormon since it actually boomerangs back and helps demonstrate that the Book of Mormon comes from an ancient setting. For example, this page from the book, The Dead Sea Scrolls Uncovered, by Robert H. Eisenman and Michael Wise, ( https://archive.org/details/TheDeadSeaScrollsUncoveredEisenmanWise1992/page/n55/mode/2up ) shows the following translation: Translation: "Column 1 Fragment 1(1)... Jeremiah the Prophet before the Lord (2)[... wh]o were taken captive from the land of Jerusalem, and they went..." And the commentary about this fragment is interesting, it states: "Another interesting reference is to 'the land of Jerusalem' in Line 2 of Fragment 1. This greatly enhances the sense of historicity of the whole, since Judah or 'Yehud' (the name of the area on coins from the Persian period) by this time consisted of little more than Jerusalem and its immediate environs." Here's another web page from the same book: https://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/scrolls_deadsea/uncovered/uncovered02.htm#9. Pseudo-Jeremiah Then there's the "Bethlehem Bulla", an inscribed seal that was found in an archaeological dig on the eastern slope of the city of Jerusalem a little over a decade ago linking Bethlehem to Jerusalem, and is apparently the first Hebrew epigraphical find to mention Bethlehem as a place name. The bulla is dated within the eighth-seventh centuries BCE. See: Reich, Ronny. “A Fiscal Bulla from the City of David, Jerusalem.” Israel Exploration Journal 62, no. 2 (2012): 200–205. http://www.jstor.org/stable/43855625. You can search for "Bethlehem Bulla" and find several popular news articles on the find, such as this one: https://phys.org/news/2012-05-ancient-bethlehem-unearthed-jerusalem.html A couple of excerpts from the above article: "The tiny clay seal's existence and age provide vivid evidence that Bethlehem was not just the name of a fabled biblical town, but also a bustling place of trade linked to the nearby city of Jerusalem, archaeologists said." And, "The stamp, also known as 'fiscal bulla,' was likely used to seal an administrative tax document, sent from Bethlehem to Jerusalem, the seat of Jewish power at the time."
  15. I realize you “believe” this, but scripture doesn’t directly support that view. As for other Christian groups claiming they can do this, see the following web links: Pro: https://heavens-beauty.com/?page_id=2435 https://www.cornerstonemountainassembly.com/ministries/intercessory-prayer-friday-7-00-pm/pages/have-mercy-on-me-o-lord https://jesuschristislordmdc.net/a_prayer_against_demons_of_incest__rape_and_petefilia__10_25_12 Con: https://www.equip.org/articles/matthew-1818-binding-satan-prayer/ https://thewartburgwatch.com/2010/04/09/a-“bind”-a-day-keeps-satan-away/ https://theharborchurch.net/binding-and-rebuking-satan https://www.gty.org/library/questions/QA150/does-the-bible-teach-that-christians-can-bind-satan-and-demons https://www.brazospointe.com/pickspointe/2019/5/9/can-we-rebuke-or-bind-satan As for whether one can simply call upon the name of Jesus and cast out devils, that certainly didn’t work for the seven sons of Sceva: Acts 19:13-16, “Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.” (Acts 19:13–16) Obviously this ability doesn’t apply for all believers, or there wouldn’t be Christians dying from snake bites like the Wikipedia article showed. There must be something more to it than simply believing you can do it. The text doesn't say if establishing authority was the reason he went. I didn’t say the text said that Paul went to Peter to establish authority. I said that the Galatian church was obviously questioning Paul’s authority, and in his letter to the Galatians Paul included his visit to Peter in his defense as part of the way that he was establishing his authority. Paul going to see Peter obviously meant something to Paul in that regard, or else why mention it in his defense against their distrust of his authority? Obviously, Ananias knew that Jesus had “chosen” Paul for that purpose, but being chosen is just the first step, because Paul hadn’t been ordained and given authority yet: “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” (John 15:16) There’s a big difference between people preaching boldly about their experience with coming to Christ and being specifically commissioned by Christ to preach the gospel. Otherwise, why was Stephen, Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas specifically called and set apart for that purpose in Acts 6:5-6? And why were Paul and Barnabas set apart for that purpose in Acts 13:1-3? Why was that even necessary if, as you believe, he already had that “authority”? This has nothing to do with Paul’s defense of his authority to the people at Galatia. Obviously Paul had his reasons for mentioning that he went to see Peter, and it had something to do with him establishing the fact that he was a true apostle of Jesus Christ. Asking questions that you have discussed in prior threads (using the same language) is just one of the tells. But asking the same question over and over in the same thread after it has already been answered in the same thread is a greater tell. For example, you asked: And I answered: Then you asked the very same question again (ignoring my prior answer): That’s a typical behavior of theplains, and one of the many reasons I know you are the same person (and there are other reasons).
  16. There’s nothing wrong with bringing up previous topics that you and I have talked about as long as you have something new to add to the discussion. But repeating the same questions over and over and over again without even acknowledging or engaging in the arguments made from the prior discussions is pointless. When that happens, I’ll just refer back to my prior answers in every case. But everything you say above goes against your prior argument. If God is gathering Israel, his people, “unto the place that I [the LORD] have chosen to set my name there”, then that could be anywhere. The true believers are even said to have “the Father’s name written in their foreheads” (Rev 14:1). But for the scattered tribes of the house of Israel, in order for them to become true believers they must be taught the gospel and come unto Christ, and in doing so they come to a knowledge of who they are, as one of the tribes of Israel. And this is how Israel is gathered prior to returning to the lands of their inheritance. These are clearly distinct and separate steps. Of course you didn’t engage my response at all, and you just repeated what you said before. Nobody has said the two writing tables do not represent the two nations. I simply said that such an interpretation is incomplete, because the two writing tablets have further meaning than merely representing the two nations. They also represent the testimony of the two nations. The Jews at the time of Christ also "knew" that God is God, but they rejected Jesus as their Messiah because they refused to accept the full scope of the works of God. Are you saying that the coming forth of additional scripture witnessing to the reality of God would not change your view of God’s involvement with the house of Israel in various lands throughout the world? Do you think it would change your view of how you interpret the Bible? The context of the verse I quoted from 2 Nephi 29:8 also makes this point: “Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word? Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another? Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also. And I do this that I may prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure. And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever.” (2 Nephi 29:8–9) You keep switching around the verses and ignoring the context. Don’t take verses out of context. In my prior post I was responding to the question you asked about verse 12. You asked: The “he” in verse 12 is not the same as the “root” you are asking about (regarding Joseph Smith) in verse 10. And Doctrine and Covenants 113:5-6 only addresses the question of the identity of the “root of Jesse” in verse 10, not the rest of it. The same with the church manual article that I linked and you posted above. Look at the context of Isaiah 11:10-12: “10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. 11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. 12 And he [the Lord] shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” (Isaiah 11:10–12) So who is “he” in verse 12? The same as I said last time: It is Christ [the Lord] doing this through a servant (or servants), in the hands of Christ. This is also what the church teaches on this matter. For example, see the Institute Old Testament Student Manual, section (13-61) Isaiah 11:10, 12. “An Ensign of the People”: “Following the raising of this ensign, the Lord sent forth his elders clothed with the priesthood and with power and authority, among the nations of the earth, bearing witness unto all peoples of the restoration of his Church, and calling upon the children of men to repent and receive the gospel; for now it was being preached in all the world as a witness before the end should come, that is, the end of the reign of wickedness and the establishment of the millennial reign of peace. The elders went forth as they were commanded, and are still preaching the gospel and gathering out from the nations the seed of Israel unto whom the promise was made.” As I said before, the verse I quoted already answers that question: “And I will bless them through thy name; for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed, and shall rise up and bless thee, as their father” (Abraham 2:10) I didn’t say it did. But it does prove that the firstborn was given the priesthood up until the time Israel broke their covenant on Mount Sinai (something that you previously stated was “peculiar to the LDS faith”). As I keep saying, the promise of the priesthood to Ephraim is because of the right they have as the seed of Abraham (as do others of the seed of Abraham), and not necessarily because they are the firstborn. I believe the Bible. Don’t you? So, I’ll ask you these questions: Why was the tribe of Joseph (and Ephraim) given a greater blessing from Moses more than 400 years after Joseph (Ephraim) was blessed by his father Jacob in Deuteronomy 33:13-17? Why was the tribe of Joseph (and Ephraim) given a double portion when Joshua was allotting land to the tribes of Israel (even though they didn’t think it was enough) in Joshuah 17:14-18)? Why will the tribe of Joseph (and Ephraim) be given a double portion when the lands allotments are realigned in the future, as described in Ezekiel 47:13? Why did this happen? Where does the quote say that the priesthood was denied to anyone who is not the firstborn? That it was the firstborn who was to serve as a priest in the temple is not the same thing as saying the priesthood was denied to anyone else. See the questions I asked you above. You should address your comments above to the Jewish people instead of me because I wasn’t the one making those claims. I only quoted what the Jewish sources said of their tradition. When you ask them please let me know what they say. This is interesting. Earlier in the thread you were denying that the “priesthood was a birthright blessing to the first born” and were claiming that the right of the firstborn only pertained to the “immediate family” and not an entire tribe, and now you are completely flipflopping on both of those claims and alleging that Levi became the firstborn. I’m not taking you seriously on this comment. Verse 40 answers the question of the “chosen seed”, as it says the priesthood “rightly belongs to the literal descendants of the chosen seed, to whom the promises were made.” (Doctrine and Covenants 107:40) The same promises were given to Abraham later on. It has to do with the children of the covenant. The sons mentioned in those verses were the high priests and patriarchs of their families. Awesome. I was wondering when you were going to get around to posting this part of your tribe of Ephraim webpage. As you say there, “Far from Ephraim receiving a greater blessing, Judah has. It has in the past, and it will again in the future.” But that’s just plain wrong. Because again, you forget the context and ignore the rest of the Bible. Most of the verses in your list come from the period of history shortly after the northern tribes separated from Judah, and during the period just before the northern tribes were taken captive by Assyria. Hosea was written during this period (0755 to 722 BC). But later on, Judah falls into the same degree of condemnation prior to and during the period they are taken captive into Babylon, and even more so at the time of Christ. As Jeremiah says: “Cut off thine hair, O Jerusalem, and cast it away, and take up a lamentation on high places; for the Lord hath rejected and forsaken the generation of his wrath. For the children of Judah have done evil in my sight, saith the Lord: they have set their abominations in the house which is called by my name, to pollute it…. Then will I cause to cease from the cities of Judah, and from the streets of Jerusalem, the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride: for the land shall be desolate.” (Jeremiah 7:29–30, 34) And: “Thus saith the Lord, After this manner will I mar the pride of Judah, and the great pride of Jerusalem. This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing. For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah, saith the Lord; that they might be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear.” (Jeremiah 13:9–11) But God never forgets the promises he made to his people, for God is faithful. Look at what he says to them later on (at roughly 520 BC) through the prophet Zechariah, where he prophesies of a future time: “And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them again to place them; for I have mercy upon them: and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am the Lord their God, and will hear them. And they of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as through wine: yea, their children shall see it, and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the Lord. I will hiss for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them: and they shall increase as they have increased. And I will sow them among the people: and they shall remember me in far countries; and they shall live with their children, and turn again. I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and place shall not be found for them. And he shall pass through the sea with affliction, and shall smite the waves in the sea, and all the deeps of the river shall dry up: and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the sceptre of Egypt shall depart away. And I will strengthen them in the Lord; and they shall walk up and down in his name, saith the Lord.” (Zechariah 10:6–12) They were of the seed of Abraham (either naturally or adopted in), i.e. “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.” (Galatians 3:29), and “for as many as receive this Gospel shall be called after thy name, and shall be accounted thy seed” (Abraham 2:10) They were of the house of Israel from among all the tribes. The New Testament never says Christ is the one and only High Priest, it simply says Christ is the great High Priest. As for the Bible and Book of Mormon containing those ordinances, some of them are found there. But neither the Bible or Book of Mormon claim to contain every single instruction that God gave to mankind (in fact the Bible specifically says it does not contain all those things). It obviously did prior to the time before Israel broke their covenant with God on Mount Sinai. But not after that time. We did discuss this, and you said Jeremiah 31:9 is referring to Ephraim as the representative of all ten tribes, where Ephraim’s tribe was predominant. I don’t disagree with that, since Ephraim is the tribe that is the representative of all the ten tribes, and Ephraim (as a tribe and people) is still the firstborn of Jacob’s family (Israel). You never really came up with a good reason why the Lord refers to Ephraim as his “firstborn” in this verse. The only option that makes sense is that Ephraim as a tribe is the firstborn of Jacob’s family (Israel). As these two Bible commentaries say: “Ephraim is my firstborn] see 1 Ch5:1. God will not forget the house of Joseph the head of northern Israel.” (The One Volume Bible Commentary, Edited by The Rev. J.R. Dummelow, M.A., Queens' College Cambridge, Macmillan Publishing Company, 1936, p. 473) “Ephraim is my first-born - Ephraim, being the most considerable, is often put for the whole of the ten tribes.” (Adam Clarke Commentary). Some of the land inheritance blessings (or lack thereof) are found in Jacob’s blessing to a few of his sons in Genesis 49 (v. 7 - Simeon and Levi shall have no land inheritance – they will be scattered among Israel, v13 – Zebulan shall dwell at the haven of the sea and his border shall be unto Zidon, v22-26 – Joseph’s inheritance to all the world). And you seem to forget about Moses blessing each of the tribes over 400 years later in Deuteronomy 33, where at least one of the land inheritance promises were repeated (Zebulan still has a blessing related to the seas, v19). As for whether this “curse” was passed to their descendants, it did in the sense that they had no land inheritance and they were scattered among the other tribes. As it says on the “Got Questions” website: “Jacob’s pronouncement, ‘I will scatter them in Jacob and disperse them in Israel’ certainly came true. The tribe of Levi was scattered through Israel. But they became, by God’s grace and through their loyalty to God (Exodus 32:26–29), the priestly tribe and residents of the cities of refuge. They never possessed their own designated region, as the other tribes did, but Levi’s priestly office was certainly a privileged one.” (Got Questions - What can we learn from the tribe of Levi / the Levites?) Those are truly great blessings since David and Christ would come through the lineage of Judah. But Joseph, as a tribe, was blessed in everything he did and in his posterity and received a worldwide land inheritance and had the blessing of the firstborn. It seems they, as a people, had a greater blessing. "And Moses did as the Lord commanded him: and he took Joshua, and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation: And he laid his hands upon him, and gave him a charge, as the Lord commanded by the hand of Moses.” (Numbers 27:22–23) Or, it could just mean they were actually priests. Rashi’s commentary on Exodus 19:22: "וגם הכהנים AND THE PRIESTS ALSO — the first born sons also, through whom the sacrificial service was carried out (Zevachim 115b)” 2 Nephi 3:23-24 doesn’t say Joseph is from the tribe of Manasseh. We’ve already had the discussion about how you are misconstruing those verses, and I already explained why your view is wrong. See my posts on August 9, 2023 and August 25, 2023. And your definition of speculation is inaccurate. According to your definition, it is speculation for the original twelve apostles to say that they saw the resurrected Jesus. Even though the apostles wrote about what they say, we don't have Jesus in front of us to examine, so that's just "speculation". (Right?) But actual speculation would be like the web link you posted about the twelve apostles being called from each of the tribes of Israel (there’s absolutely no support for any of it). But it is not speculation when there is evidence for something, like when Joseph Smith (and others) actually saw the content of the 116 page manuscript and reported that it said Ishmael was of the lineage of Ephraim. They saw it. See my responses to our prior discussion on this topic from June 23 2023, June 29 2023, June 30 2023, July 4 2023, July 6 2023, July 16 2023, July 18 2023, and July 24 2023. This has been thoroughly covered. Come up with something new. If the Catholics have that authority, then there is no need for Protestantism at all. And if the Catholics don’t have the authority, then neither do the Protestants (or where would they get it?). Certainly, the authority doesn’t come simply by believing one has it or simply by calling on the name of Jesus, because that didn’t work for the seven sons of Sceva in Acts 19:13-16.
  17. I was wondering the same thing, but this has to be based on those who are surveyed and self identify as Latter-day Saints, answering the question about how often they attend church (i.e. "How often do you usually attend church, synagogue, mosque or temple -- every week, almost every week, about once a month, seldom or never?") It can't really come from church membership statistics, because as your source says, "The LDS Church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) does not officially release statistics on church activity". I think the results would be quite different if the survey also asked, "Are you currently on the membership records of any church, synagogue, mosque or temple"?
  18. A bishop is given priesthood keys as part of his calling. Those keys are bestowed upon him by those in authority to do so, as directed by the one who holds all the keys (the prophet). Then why did you bring it up? And why do some Christian groups assume they can do this today? In the context of that verse it also says "They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them" (Mark 16:18). One of those specific things happened to the apostle Paul (Acts 28:3-6). I've heard of snake handling Christians too (and some of them aren't very good at it because some have died: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snake_handling_in_Christianity). Do you think all of those things apply to all believers, or does this mean that when special circumstances arise (like with the apostle Paul) they will be protected? If the latter, then certainly it isn't expected that ALL believers would be casting out devils, and this certainly wouldn't be proof that anyone could do it. But you do see that Paul had a good reason for mentioning that he went to "see Peter". It was to establish his authority as an apostle. Now you really sound like theplains (and the other users associated with him), because he likes to ask the same questions, and over and over again, even after they have already been answered. I answered this in my last response. "The text doesn't provide that information".
  19. I can see that as an object lesson for the resurrection, and it's better than what came to my mind first (which was this verse, "And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion; yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell." (2 Nephi 28:21)) So where did he get the duck? Did he carry one around with him and use it as a door approach? (That sounds like one of those jokes... "A Rabbi, a priest, two Mormon missionaries, and a duck walk into a bar...", or is that a rabbit instead of a duck?)
  20. The right way to do it: The wrong way to do it: Not sure how useful it is unless you are a duck farmer like the guy in the first video.
  21. Jesus was teaching them how to do things so they could minister in the church after his departure. That's not an example of binding and loosing. The context of Matthew 18:18 is for how to handle trespasses and church members who don't abide by the order of the church. There is no place in the Bible where we have any examples of a person "binding" or "loosing" a demon with that language. Even so, how exactly would the statement, "Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven" pertain to a demon? Would demons be "bound in heaven"? I've heard of other Christian groups taking this phrase out of context and using it for other purposes. It seems to be a popular thing to do these days. As for women casting out demons, do you have a verse in the Bible showing where a woman did this? The text doesn't provide that information. The text doesn't provide that information. But what is more important is why Paul would include this information in his epistle to the Galatians. Paul seems to be on the defensive in Galatians chapter 1, and he is explaining his authority. Regarding these verses (Galatians 1:10-20), the Jerome Biblical Commentary explains: “The Judaizers had apparently accused Paul of having derived his message not from Christ, but from other preachers, and of having watered it down for the Gentiles by eliminating the obligation of circumcision. His reply is to reaffirm the divine origin of his apostolic commission and to explain his relations with the mother church of Jerusalem.” (The Jerome Biblical Commentary, ed. Raymond E. Brown, Joseph A. Fitzmyer, and Roland E. Murphy, 1968, p. 2:238) Apparently Paul going to Peter was important to him explaining his understanding of the gospel (which he received "by the revelation of Jesus Christ") and his authority as an apostle.
  22. Actually, the "keys" are to authorize and "direct" the binding and loosing, which may be done by others. "What Are Priesthood Keys?;The keys of the priesthood are the rights of presidency, or the power God gives to man to govern and direct the kingdom of God on the earth (see Matthew 16:15–19). Priesthood keys are necessary to direct the preaching of the gospel and the administration of the ordinances of salvation and exaltation." So the disciples being told to bind and loose in Matthew 18 doesn't prove they hold the keys for doing so, it just means they were directed and authorized to do so under the direction of someone who holds the keys. By the same token, I don't see Paul or Peter elevated above each other or any other disciple or apostle. Then why did Paul report to Peter? Paul makes it very clear he is talking about the very same event as Acts chapter 9 in Galatians 1:14-20, as he describes his vision (verse 16) and explains what he did immediately following. Barnabas wasn't made an apostle until the same time as Paul when they were ordained and set apart together (Acts 13:1-3). And neither one of them is ever referred to as an apostle until Acts 14:14. Furthermore, Paul says in Galatians 1:19 that "other of the apostles saw [he] none, save James the Lord's brother". So if you are saying Barnabas was also an apostle that he saw, then Paul is not telling the whole truth (and Paul says "I lie not" - verse 20). So no, Barnabas couldn't have been included as an apostle in Acts 9. Galatians 1:14-20 isn't just a "visit" to Peter. Paul specifically says, "I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter". In other words, that was the determined purpose of his visit. Paul was reporting to Peter.
  23. The earliest Christians weren't as all over the place as those that came later, but I agree with your point (they weren't completely uniform in their teachings). And this was really my point about saying that Christians of today might cut us a little slack if they actually studied the teachings of that time, and also because it certainly wasn't the same "Orthodoxy" and beliefs about God at that time as they might understand under the term "historic Christianity" today. I agree completely. Regarding the Godhead, the earliest Christians taught that Jesus was the "second God" and "another God subject to the Maker of all things", for example. That doesn't sit well with their modern ideas about "historic Christianity". But all of this really underscores the problem in defining "historical Christianity". And what does a person mean when they say "Mormonism" is different than "historical Christianity"? "Historical Christianity" is all over the board. I really don't think the church is trying to be considered a "valid Christian denomination" as much as they are just trying to be understood for what we actually believe and teach. We believe in Jesus Christ and salvation through him. If someone doesn't classify us as "Christian", then it projects a perception that we don't believe in Jesus Christ and salvation through him. That is the underlying problem in the "Christian" comparison, in my opinion, and the message the church is trying to address.
  24. I think very few Christians today really know what was taught in the earliest "historic Christianity" and even what might have been considered "Orthodox Christianity" in the first three centuries A.D.. Most people today think only in terms of how it all turned out after the Protestant Reformation, and that is their "historic Christianity". I really wish more people would study what was taught in the writings of the earliest Christians. I think they would cut us some slack if they did.
  25. I hope those criticizing him will take the time to try to understand what he's saying. If not, I suspect this will make the criticism worse for him (i.e. "he's being deceived by those crafty Mormons").
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