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The Restoration


Alan

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I have been thinking about this quite a lot recently. What is the purpose of the restoration? Was it so that we can be saved in the celestial kingdom? (temples, priesthood, baptism etc). I think the answer to that must be no.

Joseph Smith saw his brother, Alvin, in the celestial kingdom and marvelled that he could be there given that he had not received the gospel or baptism for the remission of sins either while on the earth or by proxy. He was told that all those who did not hear the gospel but would have received it if they had (God's foreknowledge) are heirs of the celestial kingdom.

So we don't need the church here right now in order for us to qualify for the celestial kingdom. So the presence of the church must be for some other reason.

I have personally concluded that we have the church/gospel/priesthood/temples etc in order to assist us in establishing Zion. I mean a real "flesh and blood" Zion such as was had in the days of Enoch or in 4 Nephi. I'm talking about the united order, stewardship etc and a utopian society. Zion must be established in order to receive the Lord at his second coming. If we fail to establish it we may well delay his return and he may lose patience with us and raise up another people to do it. I believe there is a real possibility of that happening.

I beleve we are as far from establishing Zion now than we have ever been.

Thoughts anyone?

Alan

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So we don't need the church here right now in order for us to qualify for the celestial kingdom. So the presence of the church must be for some other reason.

Well... I think that may be a bit too sweeping. Granted, there are scriptures in both the BoM and the D&C that endorse that the Church of Christ is really quite open, though in both the cases I'm thinking of, these were written prior to the 1830 organization of the Church. Therefore, when they were given, there was no Church to join (via baptism, anyway). Same for Alvin, he did not have the option of joining.

Today, the situation is somewhat different for most of the West, anyways, though I do agree that God can do His work, with or without a Church. However, there now IS a Church, authorized by Him to do what can be done to further His work. The three-fold mission of the Church is given by angelic appearance and commission, and as such is directly related to preparation for the Savior's second coming.

I have personally concluded that we have the church/gospel/priesthood/temples etc in order to assist us in establishing Zion. I mean a real "flesh and blood" Zion such as was had in the days of Enoch or in 4 Nephi. I'm talking about the united order, stewardship etc and a utopian society. Zion must be established in order to receive the Lord at his second coming. If we fail to establish it we may well delay his return and he may lose patience with us and raise up another people to do it. I believe there is a real possibility of that happening.

Thoughts anyone?

Alan

I think the Church is an absolutely unparalleled method to bring people to the Church of the Firstborn. This, as an individualistic work, is inseperable, in my opinion, from the group work of the ZION mission.

HiJolly

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If I understand correctly, we as members of the Church in this dispensation cannot influence the time of the Second Coming by wickedness or righteousness any more than former saints could influence His first coming.

Parenthetically, Brigham Young speculated that the Law of Consecration would likely be the last thing the Saints would be able to do. If I understood him correctly he expected that order to be established when Christ returns, though wished, and tried to get it going in his day as well. I mentioned it in my blog this week. :P

Also, keep in mind his Kingdom has come already, to an extent, to anyone who follows the designated path. See the latest FARMS review for a great paper on Apocalypse theology.

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I have been thinking about this quite a lot recently. What is the purpose of the restoration? Was it so that we can be saved in the celestial kingdom? (temples, priesthood, baptism etc). I think the answer to that must be no.

Joseph Smith saw his brother, Alvin, in the celestial kingdom and marvelled that he could be there given that he had not received the gospel or baptism for the remission of sins either while on the earth or by proxy. He was told that all those who did not hear the gospel but would have received it if they had (God's foreknowledge) are heirs of the celestial kingdom.

So we don't need the church here right now in order for us to qualify for the celestial kingdom. So the presence of the church must be for some other reason.

I have personally concluded that we have the church/gospel/priesthood/temples etc in order to assist us in establishing Zion. I mean a real "flesh and blood" Zion such as was had in the days of Enoch or in 4 Nephi. I'm talking about the united order, stewardship etc and a utopian society. Zion must be established in order to receive the Lord at his second coming. If we fail to establish it we may well delay his return and he may lose patience with us and raise up another people to do it. I believe there is a real possibility of that happening.

I beleve we are as far from establishing Zion now than we have ever been.

Thoughts anyone?

Alan

I am less firmly attached to the core traditions of the Latter Day Saints' Restoration Movement, than

you are, Alan -- but a few folks here still consider me to be a part of that historic process -- so I'll add

my thoughts to yours.

(1) The "Restoration" is a process, and not a single event (nor series of late 1820s-early 1830s events).

(2) The Latter Day Saints play a part in a larger "Institutional Restorationism," that includes the various

Christians in the "Stone-Cambell Restoration Movement" and other, less known "restorationists."

(3) The Saints' contribution in this great effort, has mainly been to question the orthodoxy of mainstream

Christianity, and to offer alternative precepts, professions and experiences -- all of which ostensibly

direct our attention back to Apostolic Christianity.

(4) The Saints' future contribution very well may consist of their popularizing certain little-known aspects

of the early Christian experience, which other Christians have forgotten or discarded. The Saints also

stand in a unique position, to show/teach the rest of the Judeo-Christian world how a "covenant people"

find the strength and testimony to "stick together," even after their learning that a great deal of their

most cherished beliefs/scriptures have been demonstrated to be mistaken, or outright pious frauds.

The main problem being, that the Latter Day Saints are largely unaware of their place within this larger

Restoration process -- and are equally unwilling to investigate their own past experiences in that light.

Finally -- to be fully dedicated Restorationists, we need to summon up the courage and conviction to

carry our restoring quest backwards in time, to the days before Apostolic Christianity solidified.

That is, we must be open to the possibility that "apostasy" from Jesus' Gospel began with his own apostles.

Uncle Dale

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I am less firmly attached to the core traditions of the Latter Day Saints' Restoration Movement, than

you are, Alan -- but a few folks here still consider me to be a part of that historic process -- so I'll add

my thoughts to yours.

(1) The "Restoration" is a process, and not a single event (nor series of late 1820s-early 1830s events).

(2) The Latter Day Saints play a part in a larger "Institutional Restorationism," that includes the various

Christians in the "Stone-Cambell Restoration Movement" and other, less known "restorationists."

(3) The Saints' contribution in this great effort, has mainly been to question the orthodoxy of mainstream

Christianity, and to offer alternative precepts, professions and experiences -- all of which ostensibly

direct our attention back to Apostolic Christianity.

(4) The Saints' future contribution very well may consist of their popularizing certain little-known aspects

of the early Christian experience, which other Christians have forgotten or discarded. The Saints also

stand in a unique position, to show/teach the rest of the Judeo-Christian world how a "covenant people"

find the strength and testimony to "stick together," even after their learning that a great deal of their

most cherished beliefs/scriptures have been demonstrated to be mistaken, or outright pious frauds.

The main problem being, that the Latter Day Saints are largely unaware of their place within this larger

Restoration process -- and are equally unwilling to investigate their own past experiences in that light.

Finally -- to be fully dedicated Restorationists, we need to summon up the courage and conviction to

carry our restoring quest backwards in time, to the days before Apostolic Christianity solidified.

That is, we must be open to the possibility that "apostasy" from Jesus' Gospel began with his own apostles.

Uncle Dale

You understand so little.

:P

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I am less firmly attached to the core traditions of the Latter Day Saints' Restoration Movement, than

you are, Alan -- but a few folks here still consider me to be a part of that historic process -- so I'll add

my thoughts to yours.

(1) The "Restoration" is a process, and not a single event (nor series of late 1820s-early 1830s events).

(2) The Latter Day Saints play a part in a larger "Institutional Restorationism," that includes the various

Christians in the "Stone-Cambell Restoration Movement" and other, less known "restorationists."

(3) The Saints' contribution in this great effort, has mainly been to question the orthodoxy of mainstream

Christianity, and to offer alternative precepts, professions and experiences -- all of which ostensibly

direct our attention back to Apostolic Christianity.

(4) The Saints' future contribution very well may consist of their popularizing certain little-known aspects

of the early Christian experience, which other Christians have forgotten or discarded. The Saints also

stand in a unique position, to show/teach the rest of the Judeo-Christian world how a "covenant people"

find the strength and testimony to "stick together," even after their learning that a great deal of their

most cherished beliefs/scriptures have been demonstrated to be mistaken, or outright pious frauds.

The main problem being, that the Latter Day Saints are largely unaware of their place within this larger

Restoration process -- and are equally unwilling to investigate their own past experiences in that light.

Finally -- to be fully dedicated Restorationists, we need to summon up the courage and conviction to

carry our restoring quest backwards in time, to the days before Apostolic Christianity solidified.

That is, we must be open to the possibility that "apostasy" from Jesus' Gospel began with his own apostles.

Uncle Dale

Nicely said, Unk. I don't know that Uncle understands "so little." Surely there are several things with which I expressly disagree, but this little summary is pretty good. I like it.

Two things:

The main problem being, that the Latter Day Saints are largely unaware of their place within this larger Restoration process -- and are equally unwilling to investigate their own past experiences in that light.

I'm not certain it is entirely necessary for the Latter-day Saints to fully comprehend their exact place in the winding up scenes. Being unaware of all the nuances doesn't neccessarily prevent their playing an intregal part collectively and/or individually. It is a complex dynamic, though, and I'm glad you mentioned it.

to be fully dedicated Restorationists, we need to summon up the courage and conviction to

carry our restoring quest backwards in time, to the days before Apostolic Christianity solidified.

That is, we must be open to the possibility that "apostasy" from Jesus' Gospel began with his own apostles.

I'm not sure I've read much on the subject of the original apostles falling away, or specifically contributing to an apostasy. Do you have anything you'd recommend on the subject?

Thanks!

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I think your right when you touch on Zion. God will have a covenant people. We are preparing the world for Christ's second coming and fulfilling God's promises to saints of old. As part of the convenant made with Abraham we have access to the temples first where soon everyone in the millenium will help save the dead.

We are dotting the earth with temples, preparing leaders and teachers and getting the Priesthood to its operating potential.

I think there is very little that we do in the church that doesn't have great significance. Even our food storage will play a great role in establishing Zion when the prince of peace returns.

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Do you have anything you'd recommend on the subject?

The Gospels -- especially Mark, read in parallel with the Coptic Gospel of Thomas.

James' epistle may also shed some light here.

You might also look at the very early anti-Pauline Christian literature, such as the so-called

"Pseudo-Clement." This material is available in English translation on-line.

Nearly all modern Christians are heirs to the Pauline/Petrine branch of Jesus followers. However,

they were not the only group that professed Jesus, nor the only group that produced scripture.

I believe that it is at least a concept worth keeping in the back of our minds, that some of

the apostles strayed from Jesus' teachings. We of course see this with Judas, and a little in the

passion narrative's denials of Peter, and even a hint in the doubting of Thomas. The evangelists

continually picture Jesus' apostles as being rather dense guys, who do not fully comprehend his

nature and mission. There is no reason to assume that they suddenly became perfect vessels the

day that Saul converted, or on Pentecost, or at some specific date in history.

UD

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The Gospels -- especially Mark, read in parallel with the Coptic Gospel of Thomas.

James' epistle may also shed some light here.

You might also look at the very early anti-Pauline Christian literature, such as the so-called

"Pseudo-Clement." This material is available in English translation on-line.

Nearly all modern Christians are heirs to the Pauline/Petrine branch of Jesus followers. However,

they were not the only group that professed Jesus, nor the only group that produced scripture.

I believe that it is at least a concept worth keeping in the back of our minds, that some of

the apostles strayed from Jesus' teachings. We of course see this with Judas, and a little in the

passion narrative's denials of Peter, and even a hint in the doubting of Thomas. The evangelists

continually picture Jesus' apostles as being rather dense guys, who do not fully comprehend his

nature and mission. There is no reason to assume that they suddenly became perfect vessels the

day that Saul converted, or on Pentecost, or at some specific date in history.

UD

Indeed, I have read the Clementine Recognitions. Interesting stuff.

I've touched on some of the gnostic gosepls, not in depth, however.

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Indeed, I have read the Clementine Recognitions. Interesting stuff.

I've touched on some of the gnostic gosepls, not in depth, however.

We have to be careful when we read the gnostic stuff -- in some cases it preserves the words and

message of Jesus, but embedded within the rhetoric of a spiritual tradition which I think is no more

"true to Jesus" than was Paul and his group.

In recent years Mormons have begun to look at the extra-canonical "scriptures" and "non-orthodox"

writings of very early Christians. In doing this, the Mormons have begun to uncover ways of looking

at the religion which have been mostly ignored for nearly 2000 years.

I applaud and support the Mormons in these sorts of "off the beaten path" restorationist investigations.

UD

You understand so little.

Educate me -- I've got the rest of the day free and can take notes on what you have to teach.

UD

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