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InCognitus

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Posts posted by InCognitus

  1. On 4/29/2024 at 8:17 AM, theplains said:

    Maybe the entire world or all of America was a stretch.

    I was positing a theory that if the Book of Mormon was true, and if the descendants of Manasseh 
    had some parts of America as their lands of inheritance, and if Jesus visited all the dispersed 
    tribes after his resurrection, then Ephraim (assuming Zoram and Ishmael and his family were 
    Ephraimites) would also have some parts in America as their land of inheritance and the rest of 
    Ephraim (who was dispersed to other parts of the world) could theoretically have those parts of 
    the world as their inheritance.  Also add the members of the other 9 tribes that were also 
    scattered around the world.   

    If Ephraim would have the entire world as their inheritance, then it would mean all the other 11 
    tribes would be excluded.  Then we have all the other descendants of non-Israelites (the Chinese, 
    Japanese, those from Ishmael son of Hagar, etc) theoretically having none or being mixed in with 
    Ephraim and Manasseh.  If Ephraim inherits the whole world, then sorry for Manasseh and the others. 
    Unless Ephraim and the other 11 tribes are all mixed together and they have parts all over the 
    world as their inheritance, without designating "this country for you, that country for you, etc).

    But LDS theology seems to focus predominantly on all of America as the 1979 General Conference 
    sermon said:

    To Joseph Smith the Lord revealed that "the whole of America is Zion itself from north to south".
    https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/1979/10/a-witness-and-a-warning?lang=eng

    When you said that Ephraim would be allotted the entire world (in your post on February 29), you weren’t positing a theory if the Book of Mormon was true.  It had nothing to do with the claims of the Book of Mormon.   We were discussing Jacob’s blessing to Ephraim in Genesis 48:19, where it says that his seed “shall become a multitude of nations” (Genesis 48:19).

    It was in response to this quote from me:

    On 2/25/2024 at 11:17 PM, InCognitus said:

    In verse 13 of chapter 47, it reads, “Thus saith the Lord GOD; This shall be the border, whereby ye shall inherit the land according to the twelve tribes of Israel: Joseph shall have two portions.”

    That is their allotment in that area of the world.  Obviously, the redesign of the allotments in the holy land cannot possibly accommodate all the people of the literal tribes of Israel and all their posterity, or even that which was promised by Jacob when he blessed Ephraim that his seed “shall become a multitude of nations” (Genesis 48:19).  How could a “multitude of nations” fit into that area?  They can’t, and therefore even though that land area is a portion of their inheritance, it can’t possibly be all their land inheritance.  There can be more than just one land inheritance as indicated by their blessings.

    So how can “a multitude of nations” be crammed into the little land area allotted to them by Joshua?  They can’t.  So obviously the little land area allotted to them by Joshua was only a portion of their overall inheritance.  

    And these lands of inheritance aren’t exclusive.  They weren’t exclusive during Bible times, so why should it be that way in the future?

    On 4/29/2024 at 8:17 AM, theplains said:

    If the Book of Mormon is true, then Jesus visited all the scattered tribes around the world after 
    his resurrection, and we may have other forthcoming "scripture" down the road.

    Exactly right.

    On 4/29/2024 at 8:17 AM, theplains said:

    Regarding our discussion about Isaiah 11, I see that verse 10 only applies to Christ.

    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.

    Christ is the root who will stand as an ensign to the people. To him will the Gentiles seek and 
    Christ's rest shall be glorious.    

    If this verse is applying to multiple servants of God, then you would have to interpret each of 
    these servants as being the "root of Jesse" and the latter part of the verse would equate to "and 
    their rest shall be glorious".

    First of all, I have never said that verse 10 applies to multiple servants.  I only said that about verse 12, where it says “the Lord” shall assemble the outcasts of Israel and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.  “The Lord” will do that through his servants.

    Second, your interpretation that verse 10 only applies to Christ is problematic from the standpoint that you and I both agree that the gathering of Israel has already begun to some degree (and you didn’t address that portion of my comment above).  Isaiah 11 says (in verse 10) that the “root of Jesse” shows up and an ensign is raised, and the Gentiles shall seek it, and then in verse 11 it says, “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”.  In other words, there is a direct correspondence with the root of Jesse showing up and the gathering of Israel beginning shortly after that.

    So I’ll ask the question again:  Since the gathering of Israel has already begun, when did Jesus show up to begin this gathering?  Was it on April 3, 1836, at the Kirtland temple?   Or do you have something else in mind?  How can Isaiah 11:10 be talking about Christ since the gathering of Israel has already begun?

    On 4/29/2024 at 8:17 AM, theplains said:

    Does the birthright (the right of the first born) extend to all the sons of a father?

    Not for individuals, but a blessing to a tribe is different (as it was in Genesis 48-49 and Deuteronomy 33).  Those blessings are to the future of those tribes as a people, as is obvious from the context (Gen 49:1) and scope of those blessings (they were reiterated to the tribes over 400 years later by Moses in Deuteronomy 33).  Those blessings extend to the tribes and their posterity.  And the birthright blessing to Joseph is clearly seen as extending to the tribe in the future in Jeremiah 31:9.

    On 4/29/2024 at 8:17 AM, theplains said:

    What is the portion Ephraim received but Manasseh and Joseph's brothers did not?

    The “one portion above thy brethren” was given to Joseph, not specifically to Ephraim, although it extends through Ephraim in his inheritance.  In the reallotment of the lands in Ezekiel 47:13-14, it says “Joseph shall have two portions”.  

    On 4/29/2024 at 8:17 AM, theplains said:

    Yes, I believe those promises but not to the extent you believe.

    By "Joseph (as a tribe) had the birthright", I assume you mean both the tribes of Manasseh and 
    Ephraim?  Or is it just Ephraim?

    In simple terms, what do you believe having the birthright means?

    Joseph was given the "double portion" birthright blessing (as pertaining to his sons Ephraim and Manasseh), but Ephraim was placed as the firstborn among the tribes of Israel when Ephraim and Manasseh they were adopted by Jacob (i.e. "And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; as Reuben [replaced by Ephraim] and Simeon [replaced by Manasseh], they shall be mine." (Genesis 48:5)).

    As for what it means, a birthright is the right of inheritance of the firstborn, which normally includes land and other things. 

    On 4/29/2024 at 8:17 AM, theplains said:

    Regarding my previous mention of Exodus 19:5-6, do you believe God intended for Israel to be a 
    kingdom of priests with the exclusion of women?

    Does Doctrine and Covenants 76:50-56 and Revelation 1:6 exclude women?

    We’ve already had this discussion related to Exodus 19:5-6. (See our prior discussion on this from June 23, June 29, June 30, July 4, July 6, July 16, July 18, and July 24, 2023.)  Did Exodus 19:5-6 include women?  Since you never found any examples of women being included in the priesthood in Bible history, why would it be different in the reinstatement of that same priesthood opportunity today?

    On 4/29/2024 at 8:17 AM, theplains said:
    On 4/19/2024 at 7:02 PM, InCognitus said:

    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.

    Could second- and third-borns serve in the temple without being priests?

    They would be priests, just not the high priest ("ha- kohen").

    On 4/29/2024 at 8:17 AM, theplains said:

    Based on what the Bible says about the land of inheritance in many places, there is no mention 
    of land outside of Israel.  Despite the Book of Mormon saying the Nephites built temples in what 
    some assume to be "America", the Old Testament indicates Jerusalem is the only place where God 
    put his name (1 Kings 8:29; 1 Kings 9:3; 1 Kings 11:36; 1 Kings 14:21; 2 Kings 21:4,7, 23:27; 
    2 Chronicles 6:5-6,38; 2 Chronicles 7:12-16; 2 Chronicles 12:13; 2 Chronicles 33:4,7-8; 
    Nehemiah 1:8-9; Isaiah 18:7; Jeremiah 25:29).

    In regards to lands of inheritance around the world, my previous post was only based on the 
    theory that the Book of Mormon was true.  I addressed it earlier.

    But again, your prior comment about the “lands of inheritance around the world” had nothing to do with a “theory that the Book of Mormon was true”.  I addressed that earlier.  We were talking about the blessings given to Joseph by Jacob in the Bible, not the Book of Mormon.  Would you say the same of the lands of inheritance around the world on the theory that the Bible is true?

    And it’s really easy to disprove claims like: “Based on what the Bible says about the land of inheritance in many places, there is no mention of land outside of Israel”, and “the Old Testament indicates Jerusalem is the only place where God put his name”, because all it takes is one contrary example to prove those claims wrong.

    As for the land of inheritance, I already pointed out that Psalm 37 (which was written to Israelites and Israel at the time of David) says in multiple places that the righteous “shall inherit the earth” (Psalm 37:9, 11, 22, 29, 34), and it will be an inheritance that “shall be for ever”.  There is no exclusion there of any of the tribes of Israel in this inheritance.

    As for the claim that Jerusalem is the only place where God put his name, it should be no surprise that none of the verses you referenced support your claim, as none of them indicate that Jerusalem is the only place that God ever did or will ever put his name.  Furthermore, in my post on March 16, I referred to Deuteronomy 12:5 and 21, and Deuteronomy 14:23-25 in connection with where the Lord will “put his name”, and those verses are in reference to the tabernacle set up at Shiloh, as noted in Joshua 18:1.  And the tabernacle set up at Shiloh is not in Jerusalem (it's 19 miles north).

    And in my post on April 7, I also pointed out that true believers are even said to have “the Father’s name written in their foreheads” (Rev 14:1).  This is more than sufficient to disprove the notion that “Jerusalem is the only place where God put his name”.

    On 4/29/2024 at 8:17 AM, theplains said:

    This is my rationale for a previous post.  I will include some context in [].

    Verses 23-24 say

    Wherefore, because of this covenant thou [Lehi's son Joseph] art blessed; for thy seed [the seed 
    of Lehi's son Joseph]
    shall not be destroyed, for they shall hearken unto the words of the book.

    And there shall rise up one mighty among them [the seed of Lehi's son Joseph], who shall do much 
    good, both in word and in deed, being an instrument in the hands of God, with exceeding faith, to 
    work mighty wonders, and do that thing which is great in the sight of God, unto the bringing to 
    pass much restoration unto the house of Israel, and unto the seed of thy brethren.

    Who do you believe is the mighty one in verse 24 if not a descendant of Lehi's son Joseph (of 
    Manasseh)?

    I’ve already answered this exact same “rationale” from you in my post on August 8, 2023.  Read it again.  My answer is the same.

    Also see my post on August 24, 2023.

  2. On 4/22/2024 at 10:55 AM, GoCeltics said:

    I acknowledge the presence of impoverished individuals in the land during the time of 
    Babylon's conquest. However, I am not aware of any scripture that mentions the same 
    concerning those in the vicinity of Jerusalem when Solomon completed the construction 
    of the temple centuries earlier or the poor being neglected as money and resources
    where diverted to the temple so as not to violate those commandments in Exodus.

    That there were poor during Solomon's time is indicated by Solomon's writings about the poor (i.e. Proverbs 22:22 is one of many examples).  But Solomon's taxation system contributed to the problem (1 Kings 5:13-18 as an example). And 1 Kings 12:1-4 describes the agitation the Israelites had over the burden of heavy taxation and forced labor under king Solomon.  So there was definitely poverty during that period of time.

    On 4/22/2024 at 10:55 AM, GoCeltics said:

    Christians in the New Testament were never directed to construct temples as they spread
    to distant regions.

    As Stargazer has already explained, the temple at Jerusalem was different given that it was constructed for operation under the Mosaic law.  But even so, the temple was seen as important enough in Christian times, so much so that Luke both begins and ends his gospel in the temple.  

    On 4/22/2024 at 11:02 AM, GoCeltics said:

    In the era when the church was expanding to distant regions like Spain and Italy, did 
    Christians in those areas feel compelled to journey to the Jerusalem temple? If so, what 
    was the purpose of their visits?

    Do you mean after the temple was destroyed in 70 AD?  (It didn't exist anymore).   But if you mean before that, the book of Acts includes numerous visits to the temple and Paul returned to Jerusalem to go to the temple (Acts 21:26-30).  But it was not for the same reasons we go to the temple today.

  3. 5 hours ago, jonah747 said:

    Matthew 16:19 says “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and 
    whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt 
    loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven
    ”.

    In this scenario, the keys are meant for both binding and loosing. I don’t regard it 
    as a single individual holding all the keys and then subsequently delegating sub-level 
    tasks of binding and loosing to others. I also don’t regard the context as representing 
    many keys – one key for this, another key for that, and so on and so on.

    Christ spoke in Matthew 18:10-20 (specifically “Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye 
    shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth 
    shall be loosed in heaven
    ”).  

    Does this apply solely to Peter, or does it extend to all the disciples He is addressing?

    I already addressed this question (indirectly) in my post on March 19, although not a clear as I could have said it.  Jesus Christ holds all the keys of the priesthood pertaining to His Church.  And Jesus conferred upon each of his apostles all the keys that pertain to the kingdom of God on earth.  Peter (who was the presiding leader of the church at that time) was the only person on earth authorized to exercise all those priesthood keys until the time of his death.  And this would be how it applied to the verses in Matthew 18.

    5 hours ago, jonah747 said:

    Mark 16:18 is not about Jesus suggesting the disciples to knowingly drink poison and 
    provoke snakes to bite them.  These are for the cases when the disciples unknowingly 
    consume a poisoned drink or a snake bites them (like what occurred to Paul).  We are 
    not to tempt the Lord by doing such things on purpose, like "See what I can do".

    This was my point, but it also shows that this was not intended "for all believers".  The same goes for the gifts of the Spirit.  You can't just take those verses to mean that anyone can do all of what is said there to the eleven apostles, the signs have a specific context.

    Regarding my comments on Luke 9:49-50, you said:

    5 hours ago, jonah747 said:

    You never did further detail his authority or his ordination.  Who gave him authority?  
    Who ordained him? How?  By the laying on of hands? 

    Would you like to explain instead of focusing on the disciples who had rebuked him?

    For now, I would rely on the words of Christ – “And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him 
    not: for he that is not against us is for us”. 

    This is a commendation for that unknown person, not a rebuke.  Jesus did not instruct 
    his disciples to seek out that man and confer authority upon him through ordination 
    at their hands.

    I'll repeat what I said last time (since you are asking the same question again): "The Bible doesn’t say how the person in Luke 9:49-50 received his authority."

    Where did I focus on the disciples who had rebuked him?  (I didn't).  And did I say he didn't have the authority to do what he did?  No.  So why are you making up an argument to attack that I did not make?  (That's known as the "straw man" logical fallacy, by the way).

    So I'm going to repeat what I said last time.  Since the Bible doesn't say how the man received his authority, 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. 

    5 hours ago, jonah747 said:

    I believe I have authority to cast out demons in the name of Jesus, yet I feel I lack 
    the necessary faith and prayer to utilize this authority.

    I realize you believe this.  I just don't find any biblical support for that approach (and I've looked).  

    5 hours ago, jonah747 said:

    What role do you believe Peter, James, or John had in authorizing and determining the 
    scope of the ministry of Paul and Barnabas when they were being set apart?

    The Bible doesn't provide the complete details, but clearly Paul and Barnabas viewed the apostles at Jerusalem to be the authority on those matters given what we find in Acts 15 (especially verses 2-4 and 22-29).

    6 hours ago, jonah747 said:

    Who set Paul straight before he preached the gospel in Damascus before he met with Peter?

    Obviously Jesus did when Paul had his vision on the road to Damascus.   Jesus rebuked Paul for persecuting him and his people, and afterward Paul testified to others of his vision and conversion and to the reality that Jesus is the Christ and his resurrection (as any of us would certainly do under the same circumstances).

    6 hours ago, jonah747 said:

    In addition to the twelve apostles and Paul, there are a few other individuals who 
    are specifically identified as apostles in the New Testament: (Barnabas, Acts 14:14; 
    James the brother of Jesus, Galatians 1:19 and 1 Corinthians 15:7).  We have no record 
    indicating they felt it necessary to convene with Peter for the purpose of confirming 
    their authority.

    Apart from those already specified, the New Testament does not explicitly designate 
    any additional individuals as apostles. Nevertheless, numerous early adherents of Jesus 
    undoubtedly held pivotal positions in propagating the Gospel and laying the foundation 
    of the nascent Christian community. While these figures might have been termed disciples, 
    missionaries, or leaders within the Christian fold, the title "apostle" typically 
    pertains to those directly selected and commissioned by Jesus during his ministry or 
    acknowledged as such by the early Church.

    The additional apostles do emphasize the fact that the office of apostle was intended to continue on in the church until "we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God".  And you acknowledge here that the apostles had to be "acknowledged as such by the early Church", which is exactly what I have been saying.  

    6 hours ago, jonah747 said:

    The keys to bind and to loose are not specifically mentioned in the Book of Mormon or 
    the more recent Doctrine and Covenants.

    CV75 addressed this already above.  

    6 hours ago, jonah747 said:

    The board’s moderators are giving me subtle hints I am not welcome here. After a few 
    soft bans over the last year (in which the site was accessible but a “You have been 
    banned” message was displayed, I was able to eventually log in after a few weeks), this 
    time they resorted to blocking my ip address, which prevented even an attempt to load 
    the site.  So this may be the last time I am able to communicate with you unless I just 
    use another ip address.  Reddit is more open to my communications.

    I'm sorry to hear that.  I'm sure the moderators have their reasons, there are board rules (and I've been trying to warn you about that by having multiple login names).

    I'm going to be busy this week anyway, I have a business trip all week and a talk to give in Sacrament meeting next Sunday.  So I'll be out as well.

  4. On 4/12/2024 at 6:32 PM, GoCeltics said:

    Constructing an extravagant temple within an impoverished community sends a negative message.

    I know I've already commented on what you said above, but I've been in the process of preparing a talk for Sacrament meeting next Sunday (I'm going to be out of town this week so I can't procrastinate), and I came across this statement from (then) President Gordon B. Hinckley from an April 1998 Conference address:

    "Now, in conclusion I wish to make an announcement. As I have previously indicated, in recent months we have traveled far out among the membership of the Church. I have been with many who have very little of this world’s goods. But they have in their hearts a great burning faith concerning this latter-day work. They love the Church. They love the gospel. They love the Lord and want to do His will. They are paying their tithing, modest as it is. They make tremendous sacrifices to visit the temples. They travel for days at a time in cheap buses and on old boats. They save their money and do without to make it all possible.  They need nearby temples—small, beautiful, serviceable temples.  Accordingly, I take this opportunity to announce to the entire Church a program to construct some 30 smaller temples immediately....."

    As has already been said by others, I think this sends a positive message to people in this situation to provide to them easier access to temples.

  5. On 4/16/2024 at 9:43 AM, marineland said:

    I'm into lesson 22 of the Religion 275 class manual.  

    Page 104 - Remind students that when the resurrected Savior appeared to His people at the
    temple in Bountiful, He delivered a sermon that was similar to His biblical Sermon
    on the Mount.
     
     

    One difference I observe from the Book of Mormon is it adds words that are not found
    in the Bible, thus splitting Christ's message between two groups in the audience.

    The records indicate that Jesus manifested himself to the Nephites and commences speaking 
    to the entire congregation (as recounted in 3 Nephi 11:9). However, in 3 Nephi 11:18-41, 
    it appears that his discourse is directed primarily towards Nephi and the eleven. Verse 
    41 directs them to convey this message to the multitude (as outlined in verses 29-40). 

    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.

    On 4/16/2024 at 9:43 AM, marineland said:

    The Book of Mormon's version of 3 Nephi 13:25-26 is different from Matthew 6:25-26. In 
    3 Nephi 14:1-2 (also departing from Matthew 7:1-2), Jesus ends his conversation with the 
    twelve and turns and speaks to the multitude.

    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)

    On 4/16/2024 at 9:43 AM, marineland said:

    There is no indication in Matthew 7:1-2 that Jesus shifts his audience. According to the
    Bible, he continues delivering the rest of his message to the multitude seamlessly, maintaining 
    the flow from the previous chapter (Matthew 6).

    Yes, Matthew left that part out.  But there is clearly an indication that Jesus shifted his audience in the account provided by Luke.

    On 4/16/2024 at 9:43 AM, marineland said:

    Regarding baptism, 3 Nephi 11:21 says the Lord gave Nephi power to baptize the people after 
    he ascended back into heaven.  But Nephi was already baptizing and ordaining people before 
    this (3 Nephi 7:24-26).  

    Wasn't he authorized to baptize before, or was he using the wrong method (sprinkling as 
    opposed to immersion), or was he using incorrect words?

    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:

    Quote

    21-26.  Reading these verses, one may wonder whether Nephi did not already have priesthood authority and whether the ordinance of baptism was not already being practiced among the Nephites. The answer to both questions would be yes. Nephi already had authority, and baptism was already being practiced.

    The doctrinal significance of these verses is not merely to reiterate the importance of baptism by the proper priesthood authority but rather to demonstrate the establishment of a new gospel dispensation among the Nephites and the accompanying ordinations and ordinances that a new dispensation necessitated. Of the events described in these verses, President Joseph Fielding Smith taught: “There is nothing strange in the fact that when the Lord came to the Nephites, Nephi was baptized and so was everybody else although they had been baptized before. The Church among the Nephites before the coming of Christ was not in its fulness and was under the law of Moses. The Savior restored the fulness and gave them all the ordinances and blessings of the gospel. Therefore, it actually became a new organization, and through baptism they came into it.

    We have a similar condition in this dispensation. The Prophet Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were baptized by command of the Angel John the Baptist. Several others were baptized before the organization of the Church. However, on the day the Church was organized, all who had been previously baptized were baptized again, not for the remission of sins, but for entrance into the Church. In each case the reason was the same.” (Answers to Gospel Questions 3:205-6; see also 4:96-97.)

    21.  I give unto you power] Nephi was not being given any additional priesthood by the Lord, but rather he was receiving new authority to perform ordinances associated with the “new organization” that Christ established among them. With “old things” done away, Nephi was given power and authority to administer in the “new things” in a dispensation with the fulness of gospel ordinances. Nephi, in turn, was then able to ordain (or in our terminology “set apart”) others to establish and set in order this new Church.

    Joseph Fielding McConkie, Robert L. Millet, Brent L. Top, Doctrinal Commentary on the Book of Mormon, Vol. 4, p. 55-56

     

  6. On 4/17/2024 at 9:30 PM, GoCeltics said:

    If I recall correctly, it was God who provided Moses with the design for the tabernacle
    but the design of the temple came from David. In turn, God allowed Solomon to build it. 
    But I feel the temple was extravagant to say the least.

    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).  

    On 4/17/2024 at 9:30 PM, GoCeltics said:

    Regarding the question you posed, which impoverished people are you referring to?

    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).

  7. On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

    There are two main gatherings – the scattered tribes of Israel returning back to the land 
    of their inheritance (Israel) and believers to the Church of Christ. I don't believe places 
    such as America, Europe, or Russia are "lands" of inheritance.  I also don't believe 
    Israelites have to become Christians before being gathered back to their land.

    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?

    On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:
    On 4/7/2024 at 12:52 AM, InCognitus said:

    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.

    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:

    Quote

    (27-21) Ezekiel 37:15–20. What Is the Symbolism of the Two Sticks Being Joined Together?
    This passage is another example of the dual nature of prophecy. Sperry explained: “What is the meaning of these ‘sticks’ and what is their significance? Most commentators simply believe that each piece of wood represents one of the two kingdoms, either Judah or Israel (Ephraim), which are to be bound together or united under the Lord’s direction. This act symbolizes the reunion of Ephraim and Judah into one kingdom. … However, the Latter-day Saints insist that such an interpretation is by no means complete. … What they do believe is that each of the sticks represents a scripture, a significant piece of writing. The Bible represents the scripture of Judah. To an average person not of our faith this conclusion may seem reasonable, but he will ask immediately what scripture represents the stick of Ephraim. To which we reply, the Book of Mormon. The Nephite scripture is the record of the descendants upon this continent of Joseph who was sold into Egypt.” (Voice of Israel’s Prophets, pp. 226–27.)

    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:

    Quote

    In addition to representing the tribes of Judah and Joseph, the “sticks” mentioned in Ezekiel 37:15–17 also represent written records. The word sticks in this context refers to “wooden writing tablets [or scrolls that] were in common use in Babylon in Ezekiel’s day” (verse 16, footnote a; see also Boyd K. Packer, “Scriptures,” Ensign, Nov. 1982, 51).

    The stick of Judah, or the Bible, is the record that was preserved primarily through the Jews, many of whom were of the tribe of Judah. The stick of Joseph, or the Book of Mormon, is the record that Lehi and his descendants kept. Many of those who kept the records now contained in the Book of Mormon were descendants of Joseph, who was Judah’s brother. Both Judah and Joseph were sons of Jacob.

    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).

    On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:
    On 4/7/2024 at 12:52 AM, InCognitus said:

    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?

    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.

    On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

    It seems that since Jesus reportedly visited those of Manasseh and Ephraim in other 
    lands, we will (may?) have many more undiscovered testimonies (nations) that will run 
    together.

    Yes, we will at some point.

    On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

    John wrote something similar, but he focused on the sufficiency of what was already 
    written in regards to the identity and works of Christ.

    "And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be 
    written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that 
    should be written. Amen
    " (John 21:25).

    That is why I wouldn't put emphasis on what the Book of Mormon records on its Title page.

    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).

    On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

    Which is to show unto the remnant of the house of Israel what great things the Lord hath 
    done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are 
    not cast off forever—And also to the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the 
    Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations.

    I assume "Jesus manifesting himself unto all nations" could be an allusion to Jesus 
    personally visiting more of the scattered tribes around the world after his resurrection 
    as the Book of Mormon records.

    As for knowing the covenants of the Lord, the LDS Church has several key teachings and 
    practices which are not even mentioned in the Book of Mormon (Word of Wisdom, Celestial 
    Marriage, proxy baptism, secret/sacred handshakes, and wearing temple garments for 
    spiritual protection to name a few).  So the Book of Mormon cannot even be used to know 
    the covenants of the Lord when they are not present therein.

    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:

    On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

    I've always understood Jesus being the sole servant (and not with the assistance of 
    Christians) who is gathering the outcasts of Israel and the dispersed of Judah back to 
    their land.

    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.
     

    On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

    What are your thoughts on the LDS Church identifying Joseph Smith as both the root and 
    the rod in the Doctrine and Covenants manual we keep referring to?

    Here are the key parts:

    "Despite this reasoning, we still have the uneasy feeling that better proof of Joseph 
    Smith's being the ‘rod' should be available. I believe there is better proof and that it 
    is found in Doctrine and Covenants 113:5–6. …

    "Quite obviously the ‘root of Jesse' is a man, a descendant of Jesse and Joseph (as the 
    Lord explains), who seems to have a great mission to perform in connection with gathering 
    the remnant of Israel, as explained in Isaiah 11:11–16. [Most likely] the ‘rod' of verse 
    1 and the ‘root of Jesse' of verse 10 refer to the same man, Joseph Smith.

    Who better fits the description of the words in italics than Joseph Smith?

    Do you believe this?

    I believe Joseph Smith is the most likely candidate to be that person, yes.

    On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:
    On 4/7/2024 at 12:52 AM, InCognitus said:

    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)

    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. 

    On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

    What Old Testament (or other) scripture identifies the lineage of the first born men of 
    their respective families who were was given the priesthood up until the time Israel broke 
    their covenant on Mount Sinai?

    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.

    On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

    In what ways do you believe Ephraim and/or his lineage exercised the priesthood prior to
    the birth of Christ?

    I don’t have any direct belief related to your question above.  We simply don’t have that information.

    On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

    I would use Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh) instead of Joseph (and Ephraim).

    1] When I read that part of Deuteronomy 33, I'd say the blessing of Benjamin (even though 
    one line) in verse 12 and Naphtali (verse 23) looks greater than Joseph.

    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.

    On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

    But since you believe Deuteronomy 33:13-17 is the greater blessing, let's take a look at 
    it.

    Deu 33:13 And of Joseph he said, Blessed of the LORD be his land, for the precious things 
    of heaven, for the dew, and for the deep that coucheth beneath,

    Deu 33:14  And for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious 
    things put forth by the moon, 

    Deu 33:15  And for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things 
    of the lasting hills, 

    Deu 33:16  And for the precious things of the earth and fulness thereof, and for the good 
    will of him that dwelt in the bush: let the blessing come upon the head of Joseph, and 
    upon the top of the head of him that was separated from his brethren. 

    Deu 33:17  His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his horns are like the 
    horns of unicorns: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth: 
    and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh. 

    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).

    On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

    What do you believe is the geography of "his land" (verse 13) and "the ancient mountains/lasting 
    hills" (verse 15)?

    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:

    On 2/29/2024 at 7:38 AM, theplains said:

    Since the prophetic utterance of Ephraim (… and his seed shall become a multitude of nations;
    Genesis 48:19), it is technically possible that the tribe of Ephraim would be allotted the 
    entire world.

    The "entire world" covers everything.

    On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

    2] The double portion for Joseph is the one portion for Ephraim plus the one portion for Manasseh.

    Let's talk about "portions" for a bit.

    Deuteronomy 21:15-17 says the right of the first born is a double portion.  This was a 
    right afforded to Ishmael, not Isaac.

    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).

    On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

    Joshua 19:9 says the land portion for Judah was too large for them so a part of their 
    portion was given to Simeon.

    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?  

    On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

    Ezekiel 47:13-14,21 and 48:29 speaks of the land inheritance for Joseph and for the other 
    sons of Jacob.  Two portions are given to Joseph (one for Ephraim, one for Manasseh). 

    Yes, two portions to Joseph (among the “twelve” tribes) which establishes that he (as a tribe) was given the double portion birthright blessing.

    On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

    If you look at some Old Testament maps, the land that Manasseh occupied on both sides of 
    the Jordan River exceeded the land area of Ephraim. 

    In a future time, Zechariah 2:12 says "And the Lord shall inherit Judah his portion in the 
    holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again".

     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.

    On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

    3]  Answered above in the reference to Ezekiel 47:13-14,21 and 48:29.  In addition, the 
    land of Ezekiel 47:13-23 is the land of Israel, not the land of America.

    Latter-day Saints also try to juxtapose America in their interpretation of Isaiah 2:1-4.

    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.

    On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

    Regarding the Wiki article

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firstborn_(Judaism)

    It says the following:

    According to the Law of Moses, a father's firstborn is entitled to receive a double portion 
    of his father's inheritance (compared to the other siblings). Deuteronomy 21:15–17 prohibits 
    a husband with more than one wife from declaring the first son of the favoured wife to be 
    his firstborn, if the unfavored wife has an older son.

    Firstborns had a special role in the sacrificial service. The Torah requires firstborn humans 
    and animals to be "sanctified".[4] Abel brought the firstborns of his flock as a sacrifice,
    [5] and the Torah requires firstborns of the flock and herd to be brought as sacrifices.[6] 
    Firstborn humans and firstborn non-kosher animals, being unsuitable for sacrifices, were to 
    be redeemed;[7] Levites received the priestly role which originally belonged to firstborns.[8]

    Originally, the firstborn of every Jewish family was intended to serve as a priest in the 
    temple in Jerusalem as priests to the Jewish people but they lost this role after the sin 
    of the golden calf when this privilege was transferred to the male descendants of Aaron.[16] 
    However, according to some, this role will be given back to the firstborn in a Third Temple 
    when Messiah comes.[17] Until this time, they say, a firstborn son still has certain other 
    roles. Besides receiving double the father's inheritance and requiring a pidyon haben, a 
    firstborn son is supposed to fast on the eve of Passover[18] and in the absence of a Levite, 
    a bechor washes the hands of the Kohen prior to blessing the Israelites (see: Priestly 
    Blessing).

    This right does not belong to second borns, third borns, etc.

    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. 

    On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

    Let me try to clarify and/or correct something I said in my last reply.

    The term "firstborn" is used several times.  Here is some commentary I found.

    https://clearbibleanswers.org/books-michael-pedrin/intriguing-questions/question-answer-old-testament/17-who-is-the-firstborn-of-god-israel-or-ephraim-see-exodus-4-22-and-jeremiah-31-9.html

    God chose the nation Israel as his peculiar people through which He would bless the world. 
    When He brought them out of the land of Egypt God told them,

    Exodus 19:5, 6 "Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then 
    ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And 
    ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which 
    thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel."

    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.

    On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

    In this context God told Pharaoh that nation Israel was his firstborn as they were the 
    people of promise. The scripture says,

    Exodus 4:22 "And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even 
    my firstborn"

    Israel had 12 sons whose descendants were the 12 tribes of Israel. The firstborn was Reuben 
    but he did not receive the promises as he proved unfaithful. Joseph and Judah received 
    special blessings of the promises. The scriptures says,

    1 Chronicles 5:1, 2 "Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the 
    firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given unto 
    the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the 
    birthright. For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; but 
    the birthright was Joseph's:)"

     Yes, the "birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel". And we know 
     the story how Joseph brought his two sons for blessings. Manasseh was the firstborn of 
     Joseph but Ephraim the second son gets the promised blessing. Joseph tried to correct his 
     father "error", but Jacob was guided by God to do that.

    Genesis 48:13-15 "And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel's left 
    hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel's right hand, and brought them near unto 
    him. And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim's head, who was the 
    younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh's head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh 
    was the firstborn. And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and 
    Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day".

    Notice what Joseph says while blessing them.

    Genesis 48:16 "The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name 
    be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a 
    multitude in the midst of the earth."

    "Let my name be named on them". The name of Israel would also be their name. Ephraim who 
    received that coveted blessing from Israel was later called by the name Israel many times. 
    The kingdom of Israel was called Ephraim as well. We see this clearly in the book of Hosea 
    where God rebukes the nation Israel using the name Ephraim, the one who received Jacob's 
    blessing and name. 

    We see God interchangeably using the name of Ephraim and Israel in many places.

    Hosea 11:8 "How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver thee, Israel?"

    Hosea 11:12 "Ephraim compasseth me about with lies, and the house of Israel with deceit"

    In the book of Jeremiah the prophet calls Ephraim as the firstborn of God because another 
    name of Israel was Ephraim and another name of Ephraim was Israel. The Lord said,

    Jeremiah 31:9 "For I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn."

    So who is God's firstborn—Israel or Ephraim? Both the answers are correct!

    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.”

    On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

    I would add that the birthright blessing does not automatically include the priesthood for 
    Ephraim, Judah, and the other tribes. God's firstborn was Levi but Levi did not have the 
    birthright in Jacob's family. Levi's first born son would have the birthright blessing in 
    Levi's family, unless he lost it to one of his other brothers.

    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).

    On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

    I understand that the chosen seed pertains to the descendants of Abraham, particularly 
    through Isaac.

    Romans 4:9-12 gives a brief description of the seed of Abraham.  I summarize it in this 
    way. The physically circumcised become spiritually circumcised by faith in Christ. The 
    physically uncircumcised become spiritually circumcised by faith in Christ.

    To whom rightly belongs the priesthood? To the literal (physical) descendants of the 
    chosen seed or the nonliteral (spiritual) descendants of the chosen seed?

    From the above, it sounds like all the sons (whether first, second, or third born) can 
    have the priesthood in their families, regardless of their literal lineage in Jacob's line.  

    Is that how you see it?

    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.  

    On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

    I didn't mean to pile on Ephraim (the northern kingdom) but I feel the LDS Church puts 
    way too much emphasis on Ephraim (the tribe).

    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).

    On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

    Yes. Judah received much condemnation, probably even more than was heaped upon Judah (the 
    southern kingdom).  They had the priests and the temple but they profaned the holy place 
    and God's holy name.

    In fact, the spiritual centers of both Ephraim and Judah (Samaria and Jerusalem) are 
    regarded as the whore sisters Aholah and Aholibah (Ezekiel 23:1-48).

    Yes. God does not forget his problems. 

    He promises a spiritual restoration of these two nations (representative of Ephraim and 
    Judah).  "And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I 
    will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh

    (Ezekiel 11:19).  "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within 
    you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart 
    of flesh
    " (Ezekiel 36:26). "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new 
    covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the 
    covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring 
    them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto 
    them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of 
    Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write 
    it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people
    " (Jeremiah 31:31-33).

    Right next to Ezekiel 11:19 is a picture of this physical gathering. "Therefore say, Thus 
    saith the Lord GOD; I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the 
    countries where ye have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel
    " (verse 17).  
    In one of my previous replies, I provided a slew of scriptures which mention the land of 
    Israel as this place of gathering to in the future.  It's not America.

    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).

    On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

    In the Old Testament, one High Priest served in the Holy of Holies to represent the people. 
    When he died, another took over.  Or his duty was for a yearly period and then someone else 
    took his place. I can't recall. Those whom he (the high priest) served were not permitted 
    to enter through the veil into the Holy Place. In the New Testament, Jesus our High Priest 
    permits us to enter the Holy Place through his Atonement.  The Old Testament veil of the 
    temple becomes a new veil (his flesh). The Old Testament Holy of Holies becomes the throne 
    of grace in the New Testament (Hebrews 4:16). This is explained in Hebrews chapters 4 and 
    10.

    Heb 4:14 - Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, 
    Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.
    Heb 4:15 - For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our 
    infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
    Heb 4:16 - Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, 
    and find grace to help in time of need.

    Heb 10:19 - Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of 
    Jesus,
    Heb 10:20 - By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, 
    that is to say, his flesh;
    Heb 10:21 - And having an high priest over the house of God;
    Heb 10:22 - Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts 
    sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

    That is why we don't need other high priests over the house of God.

    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).

    On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

    Yes. We keep going over this.  I mentioned that Ephraim (representative of the ten tribes) 
    is referred to as the firstborn  in Jeremiah 31.  It is not Ephraim (the single tribe) at 
    the exclusion of the other nine tribes. I think my previous comment on Israel and Ephraim 
    as the firstborn might answer your question.

    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.

    On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

    "They shall call the people unto the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of 
    righteousness: for they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid 
    in the sand
    ".

    What seas and sands do you believe Zebulan would be blessed with?

    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.

    On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

    Where does scripture say Ephraim and Manasseh would receive a land inheritance in America?

    And I’ll quote you again on this one from your post on February 29:

    On 2/29/2024 at 7:38 AM, theplains said:

    Since the prophetic utterance of Ephraim (… and his seed shall become a multitude of nations;
    Genesis 48:19), it is technically possible that the tribe of Ephraim would be allotted the 
    entire world.

    Where do you see the land inheritance of America being excluded in a promise that he would allotted the entire world?

    On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:
    On 4/7/2024 at 12:52 AM, InCognitus said:

    "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)

    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.”

    On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

    I looked at your posts on August 25 and 29.

    I'm just saying that the LDS Church teaches 2 Nephi 3 is a reference to Joseph Smith.

    Parts of 2 Nephi chapter 3 are references to Joseph Smith, that is true.  But that’s not all you are “just saying”.

    On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

    The Introduction notes of 2 Nephi 3 says, "Joseph in Egypt saw the Nephites in vision—He 
    prophesied of Joseph Smith, the latter-day seer; of Moses, who would deliver Israel; and 
    of the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. About 588–570 B.C.
    "

    This is from the 2017 Book of Mormon Seminary Teacher Manual

    Lehi recounts the prophecy by Joseph of Egypt about the Prophet Joseph Smith.

    Before class, draw the accompanying diagram on the board.

    1st figure (Lehi's son Joseph - 2 Nephi 3:3)
    2nd figure (the Joseph who was sold into Egypt - 2 Nephi 3:4)
    3rd figure (Prophet Joseph Smith - 2 Nephi 3:14) 
    4th figure (Joseph Smith Sr. - 2 Nephi 3:15)

    Lehi is speaking to his youngest son, Joseph, in 2 Nephi 3.  The "one mighty among them" 
    of 2 Nephi 3:24 (a descendant of Lehi's son Joseph as explained in verses 22-23,25) is a 
    reference to Joseph Smith.  The lineage of Lehi and his sons is Manasseh.  Therefore, 
    Joseph Smith is reportedly of the lineage of Manasseh, despite a church teaching that 
    Joseph Smith is a pure Ephraimite.

    https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/bofm/2-ne/3?lang=eng#note24a

    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.

    On 4/16/2024 at 7:54 AM, theplains said:

    What part of the Book of Mormon was written by someone in the lineage of Ephraim?

    This was answered already above.

  8. 4 hours ago, jonah747 said:

    If we follow your line of thought, you are limiting certain teachings of Christ to only 
    those he directly addressed.

    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.

    4 hours ago, jonah747 said:

    Let's examine Mark 16:17 alongside a selection of other verses.

    “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; 
    they shall speak with new tongues”.

    Is this only for the twelve apostles he was directly speaking to? Would it exclude the 
    fifteen current LDS apostles today because he was not speaking to them?

    Then there’s the speaking in new tongues. 

    Do LDS female missionaries speak with new tongues under the influence of Satan because 
    Jesus was not speaking to them in Mark 16:17?

    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?

    4 hours ago, jonah747 said:

    Then there’s Luke 9:49-50.  

    “And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; and we 
    forbad him, because he followeth not with us. And Jesus said unto him, Forbid him not: 
    for he that is not against us is for us”.

    This authority came to an unnamed individual from God.  He was not numbered among the 
    twelve.

    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?

    4 hours ago, jonah747 said:

    In 1 Corinthians 12:7-11, it discusses certain gifts granted by the Holy Spirit to both 
    men and women, such as the ability to heal, perform miracles, prophesy, discern spirits, 
    speak in different tongues, and interpret tongues. It’s important to note these gifts 
    come directly from the Holy Spirit and are not conferred by the fifteen LDS apostles.

    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)

    4 hours ago, jonah747 said:

    Every disciple of Christ possesses that authority.

    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.

    4 hours ago, jonah747 said:

    However, the seven sons of Sceva 
    were not authentic followers.  

    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?

    4 hours ago, jonah747 said:
    On 4/13/2024 at 11:36 PM, InCognitus said:

    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. 

    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?

    4 hours ago, jonah747 said:

    Earlier, I shared two sources indicating Paul was called by God to preach.

    Whom do you think authorized him as an official representative of Christ’s church?

    Who bestowed the authority upon the unnamed person to cast out demons in Luke 9:49-50?

    All of this has already been addressed earlier in my post.

    4 hours ago, jonah747 said:

    Jesus chose and ordained Paul as he chose and ordained the twelve.

    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.  

    4 hours ago, jonah747 said:

    1 Corinthians 12:28 and Ephesians 4:11 offer various insights into these roles.

    “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly 
    teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities 
    of tongues”.

    “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, 
    pastors and teachers”.

    Elders could be viewed as teachers and pastors.  But there are evangelists and teachers 
    outside an officially recognized church building.  These would be home churches or 
    those who decide to participate in the Great Commission.  As long as I interpret and 
    share the scriptures accurately and responsibly, I don't feel the need for someone like 
    Peter or Paul to formally authorize my home Bible studies or approve of my involvement 
    in missionary work to unreached people.

    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?

    4 hours ago, jonah747 said:

    You've highlighted the importance of Paul meeting with Peter on multiple occasions. Do 
    you believe this encounter marks the moment when Paul was called and granted authority 
    for the ministry by Peter? If not, which other individuals do you believe were involved 
    in calling Paul to the ministry and authorizing him?

    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.

  9. 8 hours ago, jonah747 said:

    Mark 16:17 says “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall   
    they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues”.

    Which of these only applies to men?

    Matthew 28:18-20 says “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is 
    given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, 
    baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 
    Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am 
    with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen”.

    Which of these only applies to men?

    In Luke 11, when Jesus is speaking to his disciples, he said "Ask and it will be 
    given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For 
    everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the 
    door will be opened".

    Are women excluded because they are not present?

    Addressing his disciples in Matthew 18, Jesus said "And he said: “Truly I tell you, 
    unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom 
    of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest 
    in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me”
    .

    Is this teaching solely applicable to men given the absence of women in this setting?

    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.  

    8 hours ago, jonah747 said:

    He likely understood that Peter held a position of leadership, evident from his role 
    as the primary speaker on the Day of Pentecost.

    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. 

    8 hours ago, jonah747 said:

    This situation might bear resemblance 
    to Joseph Smith recounting to his father his vision of seeing Heavenly Father and 
    Jesus Christ in the sacred grove.

    “The first thing that I can recollect was a voice speaking unto me, calling me by name. 
    I looked up, and beheld the same messenger standing over my head, surrounded by light 
    as before. He then again related unto me all that he had related to me the previous 
    night, and commanded me to go to my father and tell him of the vision and commandments 
    which I had received. I obeyed; I returned to my father in the field, and rehearsed 
    the whole matter to him. He replied to me that it was of God, and told me to go and 
    do as commanded by the messenger.

    This situation brings to mind Muhammad and his role as the prophet of Islam. He 
    initially doubted his encounter with a divine messenger until he was persuaded by 
    his wife and uncle.

    Muhammad's wife, uncle, and Joseph Smith's father lacked the spiritual qualification 
    from God to confirm the vision.

    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.

    8 hours ago, jonah747 said:
    On 4/11/2024 at 11:21 AM, InCognitus said:

    Oh really?  Can you show me where the text says that Paul was ordained by Christ on the road to Damascus?

    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. 

    8 hours ago, jonah747 said:

    There is no authority required by Peter for Paul to preach.

    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.

    8 hours ago, jonah747 said:
    On 4/11/2024 at 11:21 AM, InCognitus said:

    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? 

    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.

    8 hours ago, jonah747 said:

    As previously stated or mentioned in an earlier post, there's no evidence suggesting 
    Paul sought authority from Peter, James, or John. He had already begun preaching the 
    gospel in Damascus following his conversion.

    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.

  10. 11 minutes ago, GoCeltics said:

    Constructing an extravagant temple within an impoverished community sends a negative message.

    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?

  11. 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.

  12. On 4/9/2024 at 9:21 AM, jonah747 said:

    Faith, prayer, and calling upon Christ for help is important. Ultimately it is his will 
    as to whether you will drive out the demon in the end or not.

    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).

    On 4/9/2024 at 9:21 AM, jonah747 said:

    Not all have the ability 
    as you mentioned but I don’t see Mark 16:17 excluding women.

    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.

    On 4/9/2024 at 9:21 AM, jonah747 said:

    Ok. So I think we agree that Peter did not authorize Paul.

    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,

    On 4/9/2024 at 9:21 AM, jonah747 said:

    Paul had been ordained and authorized by Christ when he saw him on the road to Damascus. 

    Oh really?  Can you show me where the text says that Paul was ordained by Christ on the road to Damascus?

    On 4/9/2024 at 9:21 AM, jonah747 said:

    Acts 6:5-6 is about being set apart for assisting the widows. It was not about Stephen 
    and the other six being commissioned to preach the gospel. It should also be noted the 
    seven were not chosen by the Twelve.  They were chosen by a multitude of disciples and 
    accepted by the Twelve. Did only the Twelve pray and lay their hands on the seven or 
    did they all, with the multitude of disciples, participate in prayer and in the laying
    on of hands?  I would say the latter.

    This would not preclude the seven from also preaching.  Later we see others dispersed 
    by persecution preaching the gospel as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch (Acts 11:19). 
    There is no formal sending out or commissioning by Peter, James, or John.

    In Acts 8:14, it is the apostles who send (commission) Peter and John to those in 
    Samaria.

    In Acts 13:1-3, Paul and Barnabas are commissioned by the Holy Ghost in Antioch to go 
    to a specific area. There is no involvement by Peter, James, or John to ordain them or 
    grant them authority or lay hands on them.  These are other prophets of God that the
    Holy Ghost spoke to.

    As a personal note, I do not have to be commissioned by any of my church leaders to 
    boldly preach the gospel in my city’s downtown during the busiest time of day. Jesus 
    has already given us the great commission.

    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?  

    On 4/9/2024 at 9:21 AM, jonah747 said:

    We don't know the reasons why, but there is nothing to indicate Paul sought ordination 
    or authority from Peter.  I think it is more in line with Paul telling Peter what Christ
    had revealed to him.

    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?

    On 4/9/2024 at 9:21 AM, jonah747 said:

    I hope you don't let that mistaken thought hurt our conversations.

    It doesn't hurt anything, and I'm not mistaken.  It helps me to know where you're coming from.

  13. 1 hour ago, PortalToParis said:

    Also from the HMD website (Section 39):

    "I have never yet preached a sermon and sent it out to the children of men [in other words had it transcribed and published], that they may not call scripture."

                                                                                                                                    Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 13, p. 95

    "I say now, when they [his discourses] are copied and approved by me they are as good Scripture as is couched in this Bible..."

                                                                                                                                    Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 13, p. 264

    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.

  14. On 3/30/2024 at 9:27 PM, Anakin7 said:

     I have an LDS critic from The Iglesia Ni Cristo church on Facebook who states the The Original Copy of The Book of Mormon for Alma 7:10 says Christ Jesus was born in "The City of Jerusalem" not "The Land of Jerusalem" in its 1st edition but because Joseph Smith got called for this by critic's he changed it to "The Land of Jerusalem".  Is this claim Empty, Null, Void of Truth. Any links I can provide him ?. Thank you in advance.

    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. On 3/27/2024 at 8:02 AM, jonah747 said:

    I was just indicating that Christ, in Mark 16:17 gave that as a sign, which I believe can apply to
    both men and women having authority to cast out devils.  I am not aware of Christian groups
    who claim they do this today. But I have heard of it in Catholicism.

    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)

    On 3/27/2024 at 8:02 AM, jonah747 said:

    I think this ability is there for all believers.  But that does not mean they were going out of their
    way to search for opportunities to do so.  They are special circumstances as you said.

    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.

    On 3/27/2024 at 8:02 AM, jonah747 said:
    On 3/25/2024 at 12:11 PM, InCognitus said:

    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.

    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?

    On 3/27/2024 at 8:02 AM, jonah747 said:

    The Lord said to Ananias, "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
    ".

    Ananias knew that Jesus had given Paul 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)

    On 3/27/2024 at 8:02 AM, jonah747 said:

    I don't know exactly all what the Lord said to Paul but I think it was something 
    similar. Acts 9:27 gives us a little peek into it.

    "But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how 
    he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had 
    preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus
    ".

    So by the same token, Barnabas and the other apostles knew Christ had commissioned
    Paul to preach the gospel. I view this as authority too.  There is no need for anyone
    to say, "I approve, you are now authorized".

    That is why I don't think Paul was seeking to establish his authority with Peter, James,
    Barnabas, or the other disciples in Damascus or Jerusalem. He was only revealing details 
    of his encounter. Paul was already preaching the gospel to the Jews in Damascus in 
    Christ's authority (Acts 9:20-22).

    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”?

    On 3/27/2024 at 8:02 AM, jonah747 said:

    There is an incident recorded in Luke's gospel.

    "... And John answered and said, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name; 
    and we forbad him, because he followeth not with us. And Jesus said unto him, Forbid 
    him not: for he that is not against us is for us" (Luke 9:49-50).

    This unknown person was performing these so-called exorcisms with Christ's authority.
    He did not need to establish his authority by going to Peter, John, or the others.

    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.

    On 3/27/2024 at 8:02 AM, jonah747 said:

    With ChatGPT and other forms of AI, anyone can almost sound and look like anyone. As for asking
    questions, it's almost impossible to ask questions that have not been asked before.

    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:

    On 3/23/2024 at 8:01 AM, jonah747 said:

    Made an apostle by whom?

    And I answered:

    On 3/23/2024 at 6:10 PM, InCognitus said:

    The text doesn't provide that information.

    Then you asked the very same question again (ignoring my prior answer):

    On 3/25/2024 at 10:42 AM, jonah747 said:

    Who ordained Paul and Barnabas to the apostleship?

    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. On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

    I apologize in advance for repeating some questions in this reply. It was due to your 
    mentioning similar themes at various parts of your last reply
    .

    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.

    On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

    In the Old Testament, Jerusalem is the only place specifically identified as where the 
    Lord would place his name (1 Kings 8:29; 9:3; 11:36; 14:21; 2 Kings 21:4,7,23:27; 
    2 Chronicles 6:5-6,20,38; 7:12-16; 12:13; 33:4,7-8; Nehemiah 1:8-9; Isaiah 18:7; 
    Jeremiah 25:29).  This is for the Israelites who lived in the Law period.

    In the New Testament, this place (where God would place his name) has nothing to do with 
    lands of inheritance or the temple which the Romans destroyed in 70 AD.  Believers are 
    the temple of the Holy Ghost (1 Corinthians 6:19). The Lord is where two or three are 
    gathered in his name (Matthew 18:20).  But we do gather together for worship in designated 
    places like churches or homes since we do not require temples for our ordinances.

    I believe Jerusalem will also play some role in the future (Isaiah 2:3).  But I see that 
    Latter-day Saints have taken this verse to identify two places (one in Israel and one in 
    the United States; most likely Independence City, Missouri).

    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.

    On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

    Fortunately, we have Ezekiel 37 to teach us that the two sticks represent two nations – the 
    house of Israel and the house of Judah.

    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.

    On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

    The Book of Mormon - Seminary Teacher Manual (2017) indicates that these two nations 
    of 2 Nephi 29:8 are the Bible and Book of Mormon. For some reason, this teaching was 
    not explicitly mentioned in the 2024 version.

    https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/book-of-mormon-seminary-teacher-manual-2024?lang=eng

    https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/book-of-mormon-seminary-teacher-manual-2017/introduction-to-the-second-book-of-nephi/lesson-39-2-nephi-29-30?lang=eng


    Let's extrapolate this church teaching with some hypotheticals.

    From what I have read, the Book of Mormon teaches that Jesus visited others of the 
    scattered tribes in other nations. Let's pick the nation of Sweden where various Israelite 
    tribes (including Ephraim) were scattered to.  So, these "two nations" of 2 Nephi 29:8 
    could also apply to a grouping of the two nations Sweden and Israel.  Suppose the records 
    of those in Sweden whom Jesus supposedly appeared to was called the "Book of Swen".  In 
    this case, the nations would be the "Book of Swen" and the "Bible". Let's pick another 
    nation, China, where various Israelite tribes (including Ephraim) were also scattered to.  
    So, these "two nations" of 2 Nephi 29:8 could also apply to a grouping of two nations 
    China and Israel.  Suppose the records of those in China whom Jesus supposedly appeared 
    to was called the "Book of Ing".  In this case, the nations would be the "Book of Ing" 
    and the "Bible".

    Besides, if one tries to do mental gymnastics and equate any nation with books (like the 
    Book of Mormon or Book of Swen or Book of Ing), I would not need another nation (book) to 
    be an additional witness to me that God is God.  And all other nations (books soon to be 
    revealed) would not be required by me as a witness to know that God is God either.

    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)

    On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

    The LDS Church teaches that the root of Isaiah 11:10-12 is Joseph Smith and doesn't apply 
    its interpretation to anyone else as you do. 

    Do you believe how the church identifies the root?

    https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/manual/doctrine-and-covenants-student-manual/section-113-isaiah-interpreted?lang=eng

    As for Isaiah 11:12, I don't see "servants" (plural) as you see.  I see "he" (singular).

    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:

    On 3/11/2024 at 12:20 PM, theplains said:

    Who is the "he" in verse 12?

    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.”

    On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

    Yes. You mentioned that in your previous post.

    But how do you identify the seed of Abraham? Do you mean the literal seed (whether they 
    came from Jacob or not), or people whose blood changes into the blood of Abraham when 
    acted upon by the Holy Ghost (as the LDS Church teaches), or both?

     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)

    On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

    Later in your post, you quoted from a Wikipedia article - Firstborn (Judaism)

    Originally, the firstborn of every Jewish family was intended to serve as a priest in 
    the temple in Jerusalem as priests to the Jewish people but they lost this role after 
    the sin of the golden calf when this privilege was transferred to the male descendants 
    of Aaron.[16] However, according to some, this role will be given back to the firstborn 
    in a Third Temple when Messiah comes.[17] Until this time, they say, a firstborn son 
    still has certain other roles. Besides receiving double the father's inheritance and 
    requiring a pidyon haben, a firstborn son is supposed to fast on the eve of Passover[18] 
    and in the absence of a Levite, a bechor washes the hands of the Kohen prior to blessing 
    the Israelites

    The above Wiki quote and Deuteronomy 33:13-17 have nothing to do with specifically 
    Ephraim and a priesthood.

    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.  

    On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

    You keep believing that all worthy sons of Ephraim's lineage have the right of the first 
    born whether they are born first or not.

    I believe the Bible.  Don’t you?

    So, I’ll ask you these questions:

    1. 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?
    2. 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)?
    3. 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?
     

    On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

    Firstborn (Judaism) - Wikipedia 

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Firstborn_(Judaism)#:~:text=The firstborn's service to the Jewish people,-See also%3A Priestly&text=Originally%2C the firstborn of every,the male descendants of Aaron

    https://www.sefaria.org/Jerusalem_Talmud_Megillah.1.11.3?lang=bi&with=all&lang2=en

    Thank you for those two links.

    Yes. I see the passage - "Originally, the firstborn of every Jewish family was intended 
    to serve as a priest in the temple in Jerusalem as priests to the Jewish people but they 
    lost this role after the sin of the golden calf when this privilege was transferred to 
    the male descendants of Aaron".

    I don't know if you can put the Talmud on the same level as the Old Testament since that 
    first part is not indicated in the Hebrew Bible. 

    Besides, as the quote you referenced above mentions, this privilege is denied to everyone 
    who is not the first born.  

    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.

    On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

    So, there never was a scenario where all the worthy sons of 
    Ephraim or all his worthy male descendants were considered the first born.

    See the questions I asked you above.

    On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

    The KJV renders Genesis 27:15  as "And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her eldest son 
    Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them upon Jacob her younger son". The ESV 
    renders it as "Then Rebekah took the best garments of Esau her older son, which were with 
    her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son".

    You're making a huge leap in your interpretation. These are not priestly garments. Esau 
    was not a High Priest. There was no tabernacle or temple in those days.  You may be drawing 
    from Islamic legend about Abraham and Ishmael building the Kaaba in Mecca and performing 
    some priestly roles there.

    She (Rebecca) put Esau's clothes upon Jacob, his good clothes, which, it might be supposed, 
    Esau would put on, in a token of joy and respect to his father, when he was to receive the 
    blessing.  If these were priestly garments and they were required to approach Jacob, then 
    we would have an account of Esau putting on special garments or mentioning to his father 
    that his priestly garments are missing or have been stolen.

    So, you're making quite a stretch. Neither Esau or Jacob needed to wear priestly garments 
    to receive the blessing from their father in their home.  Jacob went into Isaac dressed 
    in better attire whereas Esau seems to have come to his father directly after hunting, 
    without changing clothes.

    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.

    On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

    The tribe of Levi later became God's firstborn and they were granted the priesthood. Levi 
    being named the firstborn brought with it the priesthood.

    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.

    On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

    I read Doctrine and Covenants 107:40-52.  Verses 40-41 says, "The order of this priesthood 
    was confirmed to be handed down from father to son, and rightly belongs to the literal 
    descendants of the chosen seed, to whom the promises were made. This order was instituted 
    in the days of Adam, and came down by lineage in the following manner …
    ".

    The rest of the verses mention the names of the first born son, excluding Abel who was 
    slain, and stops at Noah.

    Two questions :  Why only to the first born son?  Who are the chosen seed?

    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. 
     

    On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

    I would say Ephraim lost whatever blessings Jacob had pronounced on him (and his 
    descendants if you believe it extended to his entire lineage afterwards).   That may 
    explain why Ephraim is portrayed with jealousy in Isaiah 11:12-13. They rebelled and 
    tried to establish worship by enticing the people of the northern kingdom with their 
    idols in Bethel and Samaria. 

    Here is how Ephraim (representative of the ten northern tribes or the singular tribe 
    that you may prefer to classify "Ephraim" as):

    2 Chronicles 25:7 - the Lord is not with the children of Ephraim.
    Psalm 78:9 - the children of Ephraim turned back in the day of battle.
    Isaiah 7:8 - Ephraim will be broken from being a people.
    Jeremiah 7:15 - cast out all the seed of Ephraim.
    Hosea 4:17 - Ephraim is joined to idols, let him alone.
    Hosea 5:3-4 - Ephraim has committed whoredom. They have not known the Lord. 
    Hosea 6:10 – the whoredom of Ephraim.
    Hosea 7:1-16 - more condemnation on Ephraim. 
    Hosea 8:11-13 – Ephraim made many altars to sin.
    Hosea 9:16-17 - Ephraim shall not bear fruit.
    Hosea 10:6 – Ephraim shall receive shame.
    Hosea 11:12 - Ephraim surrounded God with lies.
    Hosea 12:14 - Ephraim provoked God to anger.
    Hosea 13:13 - Ephraim is an unwise son.

    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)

    On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

    It seems you are referring to the Melchizedek priesthood, right?

    Was there a particular lineage of the Christian saints in the New Testament who held this 
    priesthood?

    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)

    On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

    Other worthy males from what lineage?

    They were of the house of Israel from among all the tribes.

    On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

    Significant ordinances of the LDS Church (celestial marriage, proxy baptism, temple 
    endowment) are absent from the churches described in the Bible and Book of Mormon.  A 
    restored church?  I would say a "reformed" church instead.  The New Testament church had 
    only one High Priest, he being Christ (see Hebrews chapters 9 and 10).

    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).

    On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

    But the blessing of the first born (the birthright) did not come with a priesthood.

    It obviously did prior to the time before Israel broke their covenant with God on Mount Sinai.   But not after that time.

    On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

     The only 
    place where Ephraim is called the firstborn is in Jeremiah 31, but as discussed, this 
    doesn't refer to Ephraim the individual or solely the tribe of Ephraim.

    Jeremiah is writing to the northern kingdom, not specifically to one tribe.

    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).

    On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

    It was specifically Levi and Simeon to whom Jacob is referring. This was in reference to 
    them killing the men of Shechem after their sister Dinah was raped (Genesis 34).  This 
    curse did not pass to their descendants.  As a side note, I don't believe the descendants 
    of Cain and Canaan were cursed.

    There was no land inheritance in the days of Jacob.  The lands of inheritance would be 
    allotted later (see the Book of Joshua). I find no indication of repentance by either Levi 
    or Simeon.  They had already died before Moses was born.

    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?)   

    On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

    While Ephraim was blessed over Manasseh, I would say Judah was blessed above his brethren.

    "Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine 
    enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee
    " (Genesis 49:8).

    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.

    On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

    Regarding Moses laying his hands on Joshua (Deuteronomy 34:9), he was working in conjunction 
    with  Eleazer the priest and God himself (Numbers 27:18-23).

    "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)

    On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

    Psalm 99:6 refer to Moses and 
    Aaron among the priests but never refers to Joshua as a priest.  The use of the Urim for 
    counsel was done by Eleazer, not Moses (Numbers 27:21). Joshua is also never mentioned as 
    using Urim.

    As for the elders of Israel being referred to as priests, I don't know what it was called 
    or what lineage they were from.  Were they considered descendants of "the chosen seed" 
    mentioned in Doctrine and Covenants 107?  I don't know.  Were they also all first born?  
    I don't know. What do you think?

    The title of "priests" could also be a euphemism for being "separated unto God".

    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)”
     

    On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

    While they sound faith-building, they are not supported by the canon of scriptures.
     
    I have also seen speculation that Joseph Smith was a pure Ephraimite despite the church 
    teaching that he's the Joseph in 2 Nephi 3, from the tribe of Manasseh.

    Unless you or the church have the lost 116 page manuscript, whatever is said about the 
    contents therein is purely speculation.

    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.  

    On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

    Are women excluded from Revelation 1:6 and Doctrine and Covenants 76:54-58?

    1 Peter 2:5,9 says "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy 
    priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. But ye 
    are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye 
    should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his 
    marvellous light
    ".

    I see that women can offer up spiritual sacrifices and show forth the praises of Christ 
    who called them out of darkness. So I would say Peter is including women too.  Does that 
    sound like a fair statement?

    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.

    On 3/26/2024 at 7:49 AM, theplains said:

    Can I assume you don't believe the Protestant and Catholic churches have authority to 
    ordain elders and priests or to perform authorized baptisms?

    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. 34 minutes ago, pogi said:

    I think there may be some considerations potentially skewing the data here.   For example, is this counting members of record, or those who self-identify as "Mormon" only?  Likely the second.   Those who identify as "Mormon" are guaranteed more likely to attend church because of the expectation.   Most other faiths don't have the same high expectations of weekly church attendance, so it is more likely for one to still identify as a Catholic (for example) even if they haven't set foot in a church in years.   "Mormons" who never attend are probably less likely to identify as Mormon.  Perhaps because of the expectations.  It is perhaps easier to not identify as a Mormon, then to identify as a Mormon knowing that you are not meeting expectations as a Mormon - if that makes sense.    It is easier to disengage from identifying with a group then to maintain identity in a group and feel inadequate or judged in some way. 

    This from Copilot AI:

     

    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. 1 hour ago, jonah747 said:

    Does an LDS bishop of a local ward able to handle this on his own authority or would he need authority
    granted to him by one of the 15 apostles?

    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).

    1 hour ago, jonah747 said:

    I don't know how it would apply to a demon and I don't have an example of a woman
    casting out a demon in the Bible.

    Then why did you bring it up?  And why do some Christian groups assume they can do this today?

    1 hour ago, jonah747 said:

    While I don't advise going out of our way to search
    for demons, I see that this ability is given to believers, but prayer is very important
    (Mark 9:29)

    "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; 
    they shall speak with new tongues
    " (Mark 16:17).

    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.

    1 hour ago, jonah747 said:

    I can't speculate why Paul went to see Peter.  Maybe a Catholic would say he went to
    kiss the ring.

    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.

    1 hour ago, jonah747 said:

    Who ordained Paul and Barnabas to the apostleship?

    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. 3 hours ago, CV75 said:

    It was part of an object lesson for the discussion on resurrection.

    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. 9 hours ago, jonah747 said:

    Under the direction of someone who holds the keys was Jesus. He was the one doing the giving
    in Matthew 18.  

    Jesus was teaching them how to do things so they could minister in the church after his departure.  

    9 hours ago, jonah747 said:

    If healing or casting out a demon from a possessed person are examples of this
    binding and loosing, then women can perform this too under the authority of Christ.

    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?

    9 hours ago, jonah747 said:

    Made an apostle by whom?

    The text doesn't provide that information.

    9 hours ago, jonah747 said:

    What was Paul reporting to Peter and to no one else before?

    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.

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