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Everything posted by Islander

  1. Special Brachot - benedictions - are traditionally said in Hebrew before eating any food or drinking any beverage. They are slightly different, depending on whether it is bread (grains) or fruit/vegies, etc. It may date back to the time of the Maccabees when reading the Torah was prohibited
  2. I addressed the issue of the temple ordinance on a previous response so I will be brief here. We are commanded to participate in the vicarious ordinance as an act of love and obedience. But the ordinance as such is symbolic just like every other ordinance performed on earth. It is not a mechanical process with linear relationship or impact across the veil. At the end, it is the will of a sovereign God the pours His grace and mercy on the living and the dead. So, there is no direct efficacy on any temporal ritual perform on behalf (notice; NOT for) the dead. There is a significant difference. We praise and offer thanksgivings to our Heavenly Father for the privilege or participating on the ordinance but it ends there. The temple work benefits those in the spirit world that died in faith but unaware of or unable to participate in the ordinances of salvation while in their temporal existence. Those that died in sin or refused the Gospel salvation are done. There is no temple or prayer that can bridge the gulf of woe and misery as warned in Alma 34:32-35, Helaman 13:30-39. The Savior warned about hell and outer darkness as a definitive place beyond hope: Matt 10:28; see also 5:29-30; 23:15,33; Luke 10:15; 16:23 and eternal punishments in Matt 25:26. Again, there is absolutely no scriptural support; ancient or modern revelation, for an efficacious prayer for the dead, as the Roman Catholics practice or a "personal prayer for a dead kin" which was the original argument of the post.
  3. Write it as part of your testimony and walk of faith to your children and posterity. Other than than, it has no particular value other than whatever feelings it evokes in you when you remember that period of your life. Otherwise you run the risk of sounding like you are boasting, even when that may not have been your intention. Just my two cents.
  4. Official canon is the scriptures. For the LDS it relates to the OT, NT, BoM, D&C and the PGP. Beyond that, we have counsel from the GA's, ecclesiastical direction and guidance, church policies and procedures and instruction which we hold as authoritative. Direct revelation from God is a completely different category. The prophet would be obligated to say: "thus sayeth the Lord..." because after all direct revelation is the actual voice/words of God. It can never be confused with opinion, well informed as it may be. And that has not happened in 150 years.
  5. Of course, there is no certainty as to the reliability of that report. But, in middle America it is a fact that the Church has been in decline for many years. I have been in 3 wards since we left CA in 2010 with zero convert baptisms in 3 years or more. In my current ward 4 years. The list of "less actives" is larger than the weekly sacrament attendance, by far. The Sermon on the Mount was an early warning trumpet and revelation of things to come: "Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." Mat. 7:13-14
  6. I believe the issue hinges on one's view of scripture. A high view of scripture as the true, sound and authoritative word of God would render it as the final arbiter when it comes to theological issues. Because scripture is the ONLY true interpreter of scripture. In it we have a clear view of the character, attributes, promises and actions of God in regards to His people and His own words. So, an issue that may not be clear in one passage would be made transparent in another. Now, if a (later) prophet contradicts the explicit word of God; what He has said and settled previously, according to His words (scripture) as articulated earlier, he is a false prophet. "If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder, And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him. And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken to turn you away from the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed you out of the house of bondage, to thrust thee out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put the evil away from the midst of thee." Deut 13:1-5 To "go after other gods" in the language of the OT means to worship, embrace doctrine or practices not commanded or prescribed by the Lord. So, we go the scriptures and see what God has said about its own word, what the Savior has stated about the written word of God and we have a clear pattern. Any pronouncement, regardless of who it comes from, that is contrary to what God has said is therefore false and unreliable.
  7. My ability, and at times willingness, to engage in these endless debates is finite. So I will be brief and move on to other things. We are not going to agree in regards to the the Apocryphal books which were never accepted by the Jews as authoritative. Tose were written during the "silent years" wen there was no authorized prophet on the earth and for all practical purposes God did not direct or commanded anyone to write those things. They are 100% the work of men. The early Church rejected them and later the Reformers followed suit. Beyond that, you can allude to anything you want; private interpretations, extrapolations, feeling, desires or lack of apparent "harm" to support your desire and practice to pray for the dead. But if we are to be intellectually honest, you would have to admit that within the 39 books of the Bible, there is no theological support for such practice. I pointed to passages in the bible wen certain people did something they "though/believe" was right or appropriate, given the circumstances. And God thought otherwise and His response to the violation of His prescribed order of worship was swift, punitive which made that patently clear. That is undeniable. But feel free to do as you please.
  8. If you can't see the difference I can't help you. We know that we are commanded to participate in the ordinance for our dead kindred. But its effect beyond the veil are dependent on God's will and that or the deceased. Our insight into that process is very limited. We participate in the ordinance out of love and obedience rather than theological certainty. Again, we are NOT commanded to pray for the dead anywhere in scripture and such practice does not appear until the 4th century AD.
  9. Again, the point I have labored to make is that every current heresy in Christianity is a departure from scriptural orthodoxly and revelation. They are ALL the result of personal belief, erroneous interpretation of the scriptures and/or infusion of pagan practice into the Christian realm. I have made reference to scriptural passages where God makes a clear statement of rejection to a certain practice or event that attempted to change or corrupt the prescribed order. Again and again, people refer to their feelings, beliefs and skewed scripture interpretation to support their position. The experience of Pentecost in Acts refers to a foreign language. Others in the room (who came from other lands and spoke other than Aramaic or Hebrew) could understand the Galileans, in their own language. Noting like that happens today. The current "speaking in tongues" is just gibberish, not an actual intelligible language that anybody can understand. No way of knowing whether a satanic manifestation or an emotionally driven mimicking behavior.
  10. Rather circular and skewed, as logic is concerned. Christ and our Heavenly Father are not dead. But again, feel free to do as you please. Everybody alludes to "logic" and history. I remain firm in my point. It is not supported in scripture, from the LDS standpoint.
  11. Talk about ill-informed Catholic. The prayer for the dead a well established Catholics dogma: What exactly is purgatory? The Catechism says, “All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven. The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification” (1030–1031). That’s precisely why you pray and offer Masses for those in purgatory. As Catholic scripture claims, your intercession helps them: “For it is . . . a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins” (2 Maccabees 12:46, Douay).PT Again, that is outside LDS theology (wich was my only point of argument) and is NOT supported by scripture, from where I stand.
  12. The second Commandment forbids worship of man-made things that represent false gods. We usually think of “graven images” as idols, but we can make idols of anything we place before God. This Commandment teaches that nothing should take the place of the personal presence of the Invisible God. I fail to see how you can draw such conclusion that it would be OK to pray for the dead.
  13. I really take no issue with what people do, in general. The prayers for the dead is a very old heresy imported from pagan religions (just like most of them that have made their way into Christianity) and is still around. Christ never prayed for the dead. He did pray and clarified in the prayer that His promises to His disciples extended also to future believers (John 17:20) and that was God's will. You seem to be willing to stretch the scripture to give cover to a practice that has NO biblical support. That that was my point fr om the very first post. Again, people are free to do as they please.
  14. Discerning the truth is part of the work and ministry of the Holy Spirit. So, regardless of the source, you are entitled to personal insights, guided by the Spirit and also your diligent search of the scriptures. You do not need counsel from anybody as a personal decision when you have access to the God of the universe, our Father in Heaven, to guide you in the process! There is no human wisdom that can surpass the wisdom of God: "According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue..." 2 Pet. 1:3
  15. I am also a convert and share in some of your experiences. In addition, we should remember that not everything that comes our of the mouth of man, whether a prophet or GA, is actually revelation. They are, after all, human, fallen and fallible being, just like the rest of us. Joseph made plenty of mistakes as a man, but the doctrine of the Kingdom was without error. It is hard for us at times to see the difference.
  16. I certainly understand your viewpoint. However, "true love rejoices in the truth". It is not loving to allow others the fall into heretical practices and potential damnación in order to be "sensitive". It is clear from scripture, and the Savior marked the path in the Sermon of the Mount, we must confront error in order to be faithful to the word of God.
  17. Yes!!!! We are all sinful, broken, unworthy creatures, fallen short of the glory of God. A humbling and sobering fact, is it? “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” 1 John 1:8 "Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts." Isa. 6:5 "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy [menstrual] rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away." Isa. 64:6-7 Nevertheless, notwithstanding the great goodness of the Lord, in showing me his great and marvelous works, my heart exclaimeth: O wretched man that I am! Yea, my heart sorroweth because of my flesh; my soul grieveth because of mine iniquities. I am encompassed about, because of the temptations and the sins which do so easily beset me. And when I desire to rejoice, my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted. 2 Ne 4:17-19 I could quote many others but I hope you see my point. Sin is part of our DNA (so to speak) and we are all sinners that have been redeemed by the Atoning blood of our Savior. The Lord in His infinite grace and mercy has provided the means for our salvation. We did not deserve it not can we earn it on account of our "works". It is simply priceless. We can never do enough, pay enough tithing, pray enough, go to the temple enough times, serve enough. That is the message of Mosiah. We sin every single day! But the grace and mercy of our Lord is infinite for endless in His Atonement. Just like Nephi, we cry: "...my heart groaneth because of my sins; nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted..." in Christ our Redeemer.
  18. The issue get muddied when Church members form a majority in places like Utah and Idaho. The tendency to try and run the government like a theocracy is just too appealing. But that is a colossal mistake. We are not to force our morality, way of life and practices on others. In fact, that is not done anywhere else in the Western world. Such imposition breeds resentment and animosity from the rest of the world. There is no mandate in the scriptures to change society. Our calling is to change the individual, to be the means and ready instruments of salvation to the mass of humanity on the edge of the abyss. In Titus 3 the Apostle Paul counsels: "Put them in mind to be subject to principalities [governments] and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, to speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another." We are not to get entangled in politics, revolts or civic disobedience. We are not to attempt to force others to conform to our morality, behaviors or beliefs. They don't know God or do not care. But we are to treat all people with courtesy, kindness and love. Keeping in mind that some of us were just as wicked before our salvation. We must be a true example of the believer by the love that radiates through us, pursuing a peaceful existence of service and dedication to the welfare of our neighbors. The business world is not our world. We should just render to Cesar what is Cesar's and to God what is God's.
  19. Your response moves in several different tangents but it fails to address my position from the beginning. I really do not concern myself with what people do. I just argued that there are practices that fall completely outside of LDS religious orthodoxy, are not found in scripture; ancient or modern, and have never been revealed to the prophets. If that is the case, it is just a human invention with no religious support and, based on scripture, it falls in the barrel of meaningless practices that have been rejected by the Lord from the beginning of time. People go to mediums, card readers, fortune tellers and necromancers looking for answers they "believe" they need, feel entitled to or want, just to apease themselves. I suggest God has revealed ALL that we need to understand about His character, nature, attributes, history with His children, promises and will. Anything else is "shooting beyond the mark" and ultimately serves to deceive ourselves. But, again, people are free to do as they please.
  20. The issue is NOT what you think or believe. But rather what GOD has said and revealed about Himself, worship and prayer. The road to apostasy is paved with good intensions. I maintain that whatever has not been revealed in scripture or by direct revelation to the prophets has NOT been condoned by the Lord and is nothing but human invention. Which, of course, you are free to engage in any time. You don't need my permission.
  21. Again, you are skirting the argument. Religion frequently degrades over time, and often ends up in corrupted practices rejected by the Lord again and again. I sustain that ANY practice not explicitly revealed by the Lord (like missa pro defunctis) is outside revelation and thus a human invention. When it comes to the worship of God man does not decide and since there is no prescription for such prayers in revelation (ancient or modern), I suggest it finds itself outside of the will of God and thus useless.
  22. You did not offer ANY scriptural support for your argument.
  23. One thing I've noted in this forum is that everyone seems quite set in their ways and no matter what the point argued is there is no true intent or ability to actually discuss the subject in a cogent way. If we can all do whatever we like based on preference or feeling, just because it is not explicitly prohibited in the scriptures, we all soon will be rolling around on the floor "slayed in the spirit" handling snakes or speaking gibberish languages like charismatics down the streets. How about drinking oil from the Temple? It is consecrated and ought to purify us internally and promote health and well being? The reason why a person has to be COMPLETELY immersed during the ordinance of baptism, for example, is because the LORD has said so. No matter how many times it HAS to be repeated, it will be so because the LORD has commanded and prescribed how it HAS to be performed. When an ordinance is not observed with precision, over time small changes are introduced and eventually it will no longer resemble the original. You can see that in the apocope that occurs in language over time. There are some 600 prayers in the bible and none of them are in reference to the dead. Prayer being the primary means of communication with our Heavenly Father, if prayer for the dead was important or necessary, God would have said so. I guess some of you believe improvement in that area is needed when the Lord did not deemed it necessary. The traditions of men are irrelevant when it comes to worship. God decides how He wants to be worshiped and thus anything not prescribed by Him is outside of His approval and blessing. I quoted scripture on the previous post that point to the displeasure of God with strange practices outside of His revelation. But EVERYBODY, conveniently, avoided discussing it and digressed in favor of human commentary and historical anecdotes. But, have at it.
  24. You digressed. Still, there is NO scriptural support for praying for the dead.
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