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Everything posted by InCognitus

  1. We just call them "Church Historic Sites". I don't know of anyone that would consider them "shrines" or a "pilgrimage" kind of thing.
  2. See: Church Finalizes Pageant Decision
  3. I've attended the Mesa Arizona Temple Easter Pageant for years now, including this year after it reopened after the renovation of the temple and temple grounds. I created a thread about that in April in the News section (here). As you might guess, the missionaries are on site there and are available to ask questions and to assist people who may have an interest in the church. They set up appointments with interested individuals and teach them at another time and place. But there are also a wide range of "evangelization" attempts by detractors at the Easter Pageant. They gather on street corners and near the entrances to the temple grounds, trying to counteract the message of the church. People come from all over the country to this event, just to hand out their tracts and to try to give pageant attendees their point of view on "Mormonism". I didn't see anyone using a bullhorn this year, but I have seen that in prior years. They usually carry signs and banners.
  4. Not confusion in the post I don't think, but an attempt to show confusion in the original documents, and it's a red-herring to the whole first vision topic. The name "Nephi" in that particular document is in the handwriting of Howard Coray, and the name was either misspoken by the dictator, or written in error by the scribe. That error is often used to try to say Joseph Smith made the story up, or changed the name from Nephi to Moroni later on. But that theory doesn't square with the historical facts, because elsewhere Joseph is consistent in saying it was Moroni who first appeared to him in 1823 and introduced him to the plates. Edit: Apparently the error originated from a document in the handwriting of James Mulholland, of which the others are copies.
  5. How exactly is this relevant to the first vision accounts?
  6. Obviously the Grand Canyon is to blame for Arizona's "heights" scare fame. How Many People Fall in the Grand Canyon? Falling is not the most common death in the Grand Canyon, but it's a real hazard. Read these safety tips before your visit to enjoy the park safely. "Dying from heat or dehydration is more common than falling off the edge in the Grand Canyon, but it is still a major concern. According to the Arizona Daily Sun in 2015, of the “55 who have accidentally fallen from the rim of the canyon, 39 were male. Eight of those guys were hopping from one rock to another or posing for pictures, including a 38-year-old father from Texas pretending to fall to scare his daughter, who then really did fall 400 feet to his death.” I'm surprised the number is only 55.
  7. It's all about agency, yes, so we have to be given a choice. God's plan places a high emphasis on man's agency... .. and opposition in all things.
  8. No, the identity of "The God" is God the Father. He is the one God "above all" (Eph 4:6, see also Abraham 3:19).
  9. Do you pay your tithing? If so, then go for it. But be a good steward and turn it off when you're done using it
  10. Are you referring to the language "born of the Father before all ages... begotten, not made" in the creed? If so, how does that state that Christ was "eternally begotten of the Father"? Also, the statement that Jesus was "incarnate of the Holy Ghost and of the Virgin Mary and was made man" does appear in the creed here.
  11. Yes One of the things "official" about the 1838 version is that it was published in the Times and Seasons in 1842 (an early Latter-Day Saint newspaper) and made it into the Latter-day Saint canon of scripture in 1880 by virtue of its publication in the Pearl of Great Price (originally compiled in 1851 by Franklin D. Richards in Liverpool, England). I don't think the church has a single "official" version of what happened, as each of the versions gives us more information as to what happened. But the 1838 version is also included in the official "History of the Church", so I suppose that makes it a little more official, since that is the version prepared by Joseph Smith for publication. Edit: I don't know if you followed some of the publications and podcasts that were put out in 2020 for the 200th anniversary of the First Vision. The Joseph Smith Papers website has a lot of good material on this, and some of it provides good information about the historical context of how each of the versions were written and the intended audience for each version. See: The First Vision: A Joseph Smith Papers Podcast And: Accounts of Joseph Smith’s First Vision
  12. And of course this is consistent with what is taught about Jesus in the scriptures and in early Christian teachings. For example, Origen (185-254 AD) in his commentary on John 1:1, taught: Joseph Smith, by revelation, restored the original teachings about Jesus.
  13. The LDS cannon does include these teachings, although I think you may have some added meaning in your thinking that you aren't articulating here. Both are in the Bible: Jesus is the firstbegotten of the Father: Hebrews 1:6 Jesus was God in the premortal life: John 1:1-3
  14. Cory, thank you for posting this. Your personal story about your introduction to the Book of Mormon and your developing interest in it was fascinating, and this also introduced me to KC Kern's website, which I hadn't seen previously. Thank you!
  15. This all came about (in my opinion) by later Christians undoing what Jesus taught us in the New Testament. Jesus came to bring God and man back together. He taught us that God is our "Father" in heaven, and that we are his children. But later Christians, in their attempts at defending Christianity against the critics and philosophers, thought it necessary to increase the distance between God and man, pushing the gap farther and father, ultimately making God the only eternal thing in the universe, and everything else contingent upon him. Creation ex-nihilo became necessary from that point of view. And it's interesting that creation ex-nihilo is at the center of several other doctrinal changes and issues, like the problem of evil and the shift toward absolute monotheism.
  16. First I wanted to say that I was hoping you would pop in to comment on this thread because of your research in this area. Thank you for your comments. Regarding the bolded part above, I can understand that Joseph Smith's use of the GAEL for translation demonstrates that he had some degree of confidence in the work put into the creation of the GAEL, but does his use of it necessarily prove that Joseph participated in its creation? I'm just trying to look at this logically. I use tools created by other people all the time without having participated in the creation of those tools. Certainly his use of the GAEL could mean that Joseph participated in the process, but I don't think it demonstrates that he did so absolutely, unless there is something else that I'm missing. Is there something I'm missing?
  17. Regarding the incarnation and humanity of Jesus, I think these verses say it well: Heb 2:16-18: "16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. 17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted."
  18. Dan McClellan and Brad Kramer are doing a live stream multi-part discussion on the series. Their first episode streamed this evening. I like their approach:
  19. I haven't taught Primary for a long time, but a very memorable lesson for me was while serving as the assistant scout master and teaching the Deacons Quorum about 8 or 9 years ago or so. At the time we were taking turns teaching the lesson each Sunday, and once a month we would ask one of the deacons to teach the lesson. We asked the young men to pick a topic from the list of lessons for the month they were going to teach. One 12 year old boy picked the topic from the Aaronic Priesthood Come Follow Me manual, "How can I find comfort when someone I care about dies?" I thought to myself, "really"? He picked THAT lesson as the one he wanted to teach? That's a heavy duty topic for a 12 year old. When he taught that lesson, he related personal experiences about the recent death of his uncle, and that young man had the Spirit with him. He handled the topic with the wisdom of a 90 year old prophet. I can't remember another lesson where I felt the Spirit stronger. The adviser and I later found out from the Stake leaders that we weren't supposed to be letting the youth teach the lessons (we were supposed to be teaching all of them). But I'm glad we didn't find that out until after this young man had the opportunity to teach that lesson. He's currently serving a full time mission. I'm sure he's touching people's lives wherever he goes.
  20. I know this is several weeks after the fact, but I was just transferring photos from my phone, and have a better photo (taken from a different night's visit) of the Easter Pageant this year. This shows the full panoramic scope of the seating area of the new arrangement in front of the Mesa Arizona Temple: Here's another view up next to the stage:
  21. Time travel is possible, but we can only go forward in time at a steady pace of one second intervals. And that's a bummer, because it's impractical for anything useful other than getting older. It is possible to look into the past, but we just can't travel there. We all do it every day without realizing it. If we look up at the sun, we're looking back in time 8.33 minutes, because that's how long it takes for the light to travel to us from the sun. The light from the nearest star (Alpha Centauri) is from 4.3 years ago. The light from the Orion Nebula is from 1500 years ago. If we could get someone to install a really really large mirror near the Orion Nebula, we might be able to use an extremely powerful telescope to see the history of the earth from 3000 years ago by looking at the earth's reflection in the gigantic mirror. Wouldn't that be fun.
  22. I wish the rest of Christianity would explain "consubstantial" the same way you did here. But then of course, in our view, we would all be consubstantial (since all of us are the offspring of God - Acts 17:28-29). Even so, we would still distinguish Jesus as being divine, compared to the rest of us, in a unique way.
  23. You can also highlight a section of a post and then click the "Quote selection" tab that pops up at bottom of the highlighted piece (instead of using the "Quote" button at the bottom), as shown below: But if you are quoting multiple pieces of a post, you need to go back and forth to the original post to highlight specific pieces, and that can get awkward depending on how many posts are in between the edit window and the post you are quoting. But it works too.
  24. I think most Latter-day Saints would view your statement above as problematic, since the distinction that we see between the doctrine of the Trinity and the doctrine of the Godhead is in a specific Trinitarian definition and interpretation of how the Father and Son are "one" (homoousios, "consubstantial") that wasn't taught by the Apostles and isn't found in scripture, and is even scant in the assume "Apostolic Tradition" prior to the First Council of Nicaea . Certainly the scriptures and apostles and apostolic tradition teach of the divinity of Jesus, and of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and if that was all there was to the modern doctrine of the Trinity we would all agree and be happy about it.
  25. That is exactly the way I consider it to be.
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