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Everything posted by Islander

  1. I suggest that in many wards there is no true fellowship. People are isolated, aloof and withdrawn from one another and unable to trust in anyone in order to share the pain and suffering they may be experiencing. There is an enormous pressure to "be perfect". The health and wealth disease has infected the church in a significant way. I heard a man say in church that "poverty is the result of sin". I confronted him with the fact that there are millions of very faithful saints that will never attain the financial position we enjoy in this country while making greater sacrifice and enduring privation and persecution which are unknown to us in America. People are mostly self absorbed and disconnected. We come to church on Sunday and Wednesday for a couple of hours, smile as a matter of protocol and go home and to our own world. People move from ward to ward chasing financial opportunities for their families wile diluted thinking that "we prayed about it". God does not care where you live and work but where you are to be more useful to the building up of His Kingdom. Moved to the new ward, spent 5 years and did nothing, really, and on to the next. I think covid provided the proverbial scape hatch for a lot of people. It's been over a year since we went back to church and there are a number of families that remain unaccounted for by choice. Again, it is hard to discern what is actually taking place.
  2. It is difficult to discern what is actually taking place but several families did not return to church after covid. They remain aloof and have avoided contact since then. Only time will tell.
  3. It is worth looking at the whole passage to gain insight in to the context rather than assign meaning to a sentence. Samuel expands later in the text: “For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry” (1 Sam. 15:23). Disobeying God is rebellion against Him. Samuel equated it to paganism and witchcraft. In Saul’s case, it was also connected to his pride. Saul decided he knew better than God. All rebellion is idolatry, a form of self-worship. Samuel said, “Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, he has rejected you as king.” God took away Saul’s throne and cut his dynasty short (1 Samuel 13:14; 15:28). Rebellion wasn’t Saul’s only wrongdoing. For Saul, fear of man—and desiring their praise—offset God’s priority of obedience. We see that in his confession in verse 24: “I have sinned. I violated the Lord’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the men and so I gave in to them.” Saul was afraid of losing people’s adulation. Even when he said, “I have sinned,” he also said, “please honor me before the elders of my people and before Israel” (1 Sam. 15:30). Saul then, usurping the priestly privilege of the prophet Samuel decided to stage a sacrifice in an effort to offset his transgression. The prophet rejected it and thus stated that obeying the word of the Lord is better than and outward show of piety. God and the prophets have always rejected the outward performance of the law when used in exchange for a truly contrite heart and humility. "Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting." Isa. 1:13
  4. The earliest reference to the NT books date from 250 A.D., Origen produced a complete list of all 27 New Testament books–more than a hundred years before Athanasius. In his typical allegorical fashion, Origen used the story of Joshua to describe the New Testament canon. This is 200 plus years prior to any catholic council. Subsequent councils reaffirmed what the primitive church had established since early on. The letters of Paul were in circulation in the 50's AD.
  5. Well, the people to whom the revelation was given believed it. If you don't believe that revelation you should not believe any other. The scriptures are not a buffet line to pick and chose what you would like to believe and discard what you would not.
  6. Again, you are speculating as to the likelihood of the text being edited. We know that the Genesis was extemporaneous; a revelation of God to Moses. but subsequent books are not likely to be distant from the source. The same the Gospels and all of Paul's letter being written within a few decades after the events and during the lives of many eyewitnesses. The Greek texts are translations and thus not relevant to the discussion.
  7. Those are good questions. Apologists twist into a pretzel to explain those changes. I tend to question the changes. In Hebrew every letter has a numerical equivalent so the sentences are totaled by the scribes to ensure accuracy. The changes are problematic, no doubt. There is no history of prophets during OT times editing revelation. God seems clear in Deuteronomy about the fate of a prophet who says something in the name of the Lord that the lord has not spoken. It seem God did not extend any margin for error to His prophets.
  8. So, it is the word of God, in part, with errors, thus not reliable or trustworthy? So why bother? Notice that is just opinion rather. You have absolutely no evidence that the word of God lacks precision and certainty. That is a very low view of God and scripture. I guess we'll have to disagree on that point.
  9. I am talking about direct revelation from the mind of God to the mind of the prophet. Your view of the God of the universe is too low. You do not believe that He can use the words, language and intelligence of men to get a clear and concise message to them, meaning precisely what He wants to say while ensuring they understand precisely what He means? You may be worshiping another God. Because, by the same argument, we can not be sure then than the translation and revelation of the Restoration are accurate. After all Joseph was mostly illiterate and unsophisticated. You can't have it both ways. Either the revelation is what God intended to say or is not. There is but ONE meaning to the word of God. Applications may very but God says what He means to say and what He intends us to understand from His word. How does that applies to our lives is a different story.
  10. You missed the point. It was important for God to issue such command. What is said in the name of God is equally important now. Lucky us we are under grace and no longer under the Law. Otherwise we should have put to death all of the prophets from B. Young to S.W Kimball for a racial ban that was never revelation from God but rather just racial bias. Which kept millions of God's children from the blessings of the temple and the priesthood. Given that during the life of Joseph black men were ordained to the priesthood and there is absolutely nothing in the biblical record that God himself had such restrictions. To the contrary. Moses was married to a black woman and had children that were counted among the Levites. Simon, also called Niger was counted among the "teachers and prophets" in the church in Antioch. But I digress.
  11. Personal revelation is irrelevant and subjective if the facts are wrong. The divorce rate within the church is evidence. They were all sure their was a marriage forever, this was the person that was intended to be with and chosen by God and it failed later. That is how marriage is sold to converts the world over. Facts matter and the church spends millions to package the facts about the truth claim of the Restoration because they are important. God commanded to put to death anyone that spoke as a prophet when in fact it was not so. Why? Because whether or not He speaks and what He says matters. There is no room for error there. if you want to find an accommodation in view of inconsistencies, go right ahead. But you find yourself outside of what God says when it comes to His revelation.
  12. What happens is that pretty soon nobody knows what sound doctrine is. It is not a free for all. Either God decides who He is and what are we to do to worship Him as he desires or chaos descend on the church as it is evident in some denominations. It destroys confidence in the word of God. We also have creeds. The temple interview is a good example of it. Try and say that you do not pay tithing or adhere to the word of wisdom and see what happens. LIke I said, as long as it does not clash with explicit LDS doctrine is a free for all.
  13. I understand that human beings are imperfect. However, God has relied on human beings as a channel for revelation for thousands of years and there is no room for error when revelation is concerned. Either God said something of He did not. Otherwise there is absolutely no confidence in ANYTING that has been allegedly revealed. If we can question anything and everything a prophet says they he might as well not say anything. You are attempting to create room for errors and omissions when, otherwise, God is very clear about wen and how He speaks. If a prophet says something that God has not said that "prophet should be put to death..." that sounds very serious to me.
  14. I'm sorry, but direct revelation from God is A LOT more important that some work meeting. What actually happened has cosmic implications and such a claim HAS to be validated and solidly confirmed by the historical record at every turn. No room for ambiguity or inconsistencies there.
  15. Women function under that authority of the priesthood and under such they are directed to perform certain tasks in the church building and in the temple. But their is no ordination to the office as such.
  16. That is by far the larger issue. The Church can not bring itself to disavow such statements without, by the same token, place in jeopardy the "authority" of B. Young and subsequent leaders. However, such "doctrines" have no biblical or historical support. Moses wife, as well as her father were Ethiopians and thus clearly African. His sons were ranked with the Levites although is not clear to what extent they were involved with priesthood duties (Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary, Vol. I, p. 498, Robert Jamieson). A relevant character is mentioned in Acts 13:1 as being one of the "prophets and teachers" in the church of Antioch: In the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. This Simeon was undoubtedly of African descent. In sum, there is absolutely nothing in terms of revelation from Joseph in regards to the priesthood ban for people of African descent that remained in place under B. Young until the tenure of S.W Kimball. Elijah Able (sometimes spelled Abel or Ables) was an early African-American member of the Church and the best-known of the few black men who were ordained to the priesthood during Joseph Smith’s lifetime. Everyone is free to draw their own conclusions given the facts.
  17. I tend to agree. But, there is an aversion in the Church to correct erroneous doctrine spoken from the pulpit or within a class setting if such is not blatantly juxtaposed to explicit Church doctrine or dogma. That is a petri dish for wild and convoluted "theories" and theological positions. Also, there are statements from GA's and the like in the historical record that the Church can not retract from which today sound pretty outlandish. But such "statements" fall under the lose and rather dubious category of "revelation". All the Church can do is attempt to sweep it under the proverbial rug which is becoming increasingly harder to do in the information age.
  18. I read de JS Papers and the Church acknowledged that much.
  19. Unfortunately, facts are not in our favor. in practice LDS people are rather insular, withdrawn,, elitist and quite pharisaic in life style. The evidence is that in 5 years there has not been ONE baptism in my current ward. We are known for many things but not for being truly Christ-like in real life at a personal level. I was just reflecting a "testimony" by a member a month ago where went on to give thanks for "...being able to pay tithing, for fasting, for personal righteousness, for the holiness in his home..." Truly it sounded like the prayer in the temple court by the Pharisee in Luke 18:11. He left the pulpit pretty pleased with himself while completely oblivious 0ot what he had said. more importantly, what the Savior had said about the likes of him. Can you imagine of every family in the ward would pour itself out and truly loved one person and showed them the same level of care, attention, interest, love and affection they spend on themselves? If every family would bring JUST 1 person into the church in a year, the church would double in size. But that will never happen, based on what has happened in the last decade or so.
  20. And all renditions are based on available information. in the case of the Joseph Smith "translation" the rendition and narrative of the process is now known to be false as there were never plates present and Joseph relied on a stone in his hat where he placed his face in order to dictate. The curch has acknowledged that much. So, in general, renditions are rather a totally subjective and personal expression of events, people or places (when it comes to history) that often bares no resemblance to reality whatsoever.
  21. I agree with your position. I just tried to point out that these were not transient, recent converts.
  22. Recently, two families have left the church in my ward and withdrew their memberships. We were friend with one of them and just dismissing them as "loosing their testimony for lack of faith" or "they were not converted" ignores the deeper issues. These were solid, life long members of the church and esteemed brothers and sisters. We owe them time, attention and consideration. To do otherwise betrays our shallow friendship, apathy and total disregard for them. Half a dozen families have left since the publication of the Gospel Topic Essays by the church. Truth be told, there are a significant number of "historical issues" that have no plausible explanation and others where the church has either misrepresented the facts or the facts are not supported by evidence. I mean, for example, the fact that now we know that the Book of Abraham, as depicted in the POGP, is not a translation from the facsimile and bares absolutely no reference to what is reported in the text, was a blow to many. The fact that for 180 years the church depicted the translation process as Joseph running his finger over the plates and now the narrative changed to him looking into a stone in his hat and dictating from there cast a huge shadow over the truth claims of the church. We can not just write these families off. They made a decision after years of struggle and turmoil and decided that they could no longer believe given what they perceived as lies and misrepresentations. Just like the dear brother said to me with tears in his eyes: "...brother, what else is not true..." These are not fringe members, these are families with deep, multigenerational roots in the church that felt they could not remain given that they no longer believe the truth claims of the church.
  23. True. But I am more persuaded by the trials they faced without the benefit of the scriptures as we enjoy them today.
  24. Well, I have been to 28 countries and speak 4 languages, and can attest to that fact. You claim I am mistaken but offer no element to support your assertion.
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