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Offenders for a Word


coolrok7

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Dr. Peterson, your work, the title for the thread, often referred to by yourself and others will be the backdrop for what I have to say here.

I have read at minimum half of the book and skimmed other parts which I purchased at a local Deseret Book store years ago. In the front of the book you provide a quote from Isaiah 29 where the title of the book comes from:

That make a man an offender for a word and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the just for a thing of nought . . . .

The basic premise of Mormonism is the so called â??totalâ? â??completeâ? apostasy argument, which is the purported basis for the need of a â??Restorationâ? of which it is argued that the Mormon Church is the logical fulfillment:

3. There was a complete apostasy affecting both Catholic and Protestant churches. . . .2. There was a total apostasy affecting the Catholic and Protestant churches. . . . (A UNIFORM SYSTEM FOR TEACHING INVESTIGATORS, Aug. 1961, pp.32, 58)

Joseph Smithâ??s First Vision

The second cornerstone is the First Vision of the prophet Joseph Smith. . . .This transcendent experience opened the marvelous work of restoration. It lifted the curtain on the long-promised dispensation of the fullness of times. (The Ensign, President Gordon B. Hinckley, February 2004, p.5)

Josephâ??s vision of the Father and the Son opened this dispensation. Then came the Restoration of the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ with the same organization that existed in the primitive Church, built upon the foundation of apostles and prophets. . . . (The Ensign, President Boyd K. Packer, September, 2005 p.16)

We appeal to the Bible to prove. . .truths received through the restoration. . .are in accord with its teachings. (A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, LeGrand Richards, p.1)

The Mormon Church being the fruit of this â??Marvelous work and a wonderâ?, part of the same earlier quote from Isaiah:

Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvelous work among this people, even a marvelous work and a wonder. . . .

I believe that the following is an example of how LDS apostles/apologists have distorted the idea of the â??restitution of all thingsâ? which is interpreted as the calling of Joseph Smith, â??to inaugurate this present era.â? For example, under the heading of â??Prophetsâ? in â??AN APOSTLEâ??S TESTIMONYâ? pamphlet:

We also believe in prophets. God has always taught His children. . .through prophets. . . . Likewise we believe that Joseph Smith was called by God as the prophet to inaugurate this present era, known as â??the dispensation of the fullness of timesâ? (see Ephesians 1:10; Doctrine and Covenants 112:30; 121:31; 124:41; 128:18, 20; 138:48). . . .Previous dispensations include those identified with Adam,. . .Noah. . .Moses, and with Jesus and His Apostles in the meridian of time.â? (Elder Russell M. Nelson, pp.5-6)

Note the following Mormon â??scriptureâ? references to, â??the meridian of timeâ?:

. . .even him whom he declared should come in the meridian of time, . . .; And the Lord said: it shall be in the meridian of time, . . . (POGP, Moses 6:57, 7:46a;)

Paul identifies the â??fullness of the timeâ? with when Jesus was born, not with Josephâ??s â??meridian of timeâ? in â??Mormonâ? scripture (or Joseph himself):

Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all, but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. (Galatians 4:1-5)

It is precisely at this point where I believe the premise for the whole book, Mormonism (and its additions) being â??Christianâ?, is inconsistent with the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy which was the coming of Jesus as the Messiah:

Therefore let it be known to you, brethren, that through this Man is preached to you the forgiveness of sins; and by Him everyone who believes is justified from all things from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses. Beware therefore, lest what has been spoken in the prophets come upon you:

â??Behold, you despisers,

Marvel and perish!

For I work a work in your days,

A work which you will by no means believe,

Though one were to declare it to you. (Acts 13:38-41)

Mormonism says it was Joseph Smith. The focal point of the Old Testament was the coming of Jesus, not Joseph Smith. This is how the apostle Peter states it:

â??Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also knowâ??Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it. For David says concerning Him:

â??I foresaw the LORD always before my face,

For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken.

Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad;

Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope.

For You will not leave my soul in Hades,

Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.

You have made known to me the ways of life;

You will make me full of joy in Your presence.â??

â??Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne, he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses. Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear. (Acts 2:22-33)

DISPENSATION OF THE FULLNESS OF TIMES

The gleams of prophetic light which flashed across [*] Emersonâ??s mind were shining forth with full radiance right at the time in another section of America. God the Eternal Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, had already spoken to that â??new teacherâ??the Prophet Joseph Smithâ??and had, through him, inaugurated another Gospel dispensation. The decree had gone forth from the heavens that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was given to this Prophet â??never to be taken from earth again nor given to another people.â? (THE MERIDIAN AND FULLNESS OF TIMES in the book, The Gospel through the Ages, Milton R. Hunter, p.93)

[* Emerson had been a Unitarian minister- believed heretical doctrine; became a teacher of philosophy]

Gordon B. Hinckley, the â??Mormon Prophetâ? just before President Monson stated the following:

â?? . . .this is the pivotal thing of our story. Every claim we make concerning divine authority, every truth that we offer concerning the validity of this work, all finds its roots in the First Vision of the boy prophet. Without it we would not have anything much to say. . .This becomes the hinge pin on which the whole cause turns. If the First Vision was true, if it actually happened, then the Book of Mormon is true. Then we have the priesthood. Then we have the Church organizations and all of the other keys and blessings of authority which we say we have. If the First Vision did not occur, then we are involved in a great sham. It is that simple. (Teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley, p.237)

What you think and argue for is of course your opinion of which Iâ??m not obligated to accept unless where it squares with the truth as taught in the Bible. This is the perspective in how I approach your challenge.

You of course are not a â??General Authorityâ? and do not speak in any official capacity as far as setting doctrine goes even though you are a bishop and hold the â??priesthoodâ? in the Mormon Church (no disrespect intended):

I'm an LDS bishop. LDS bishops don't set the doctrine of the Church. (from the Mormonism and the Trinity thread post #276

Outside of that Iâ??m sure youâ??re a likeable enough person as I did attend a lecture of yours (concerning the â??evidenceâ? for the BofM back in 1998 at a local Mormon Ward.

I disagree in the â??strongest possible wayâ? with the basic premise of the book but I can agree in general with some of the arguments made. You state on p. 16 of your book the following which is your prerogative to believe as you see fit:

We reject in the strongest possible way the false declaration that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is non-Christian. We declare, in the strongest words that we can find to do so, that Mormons are Christian, and that Mormonism is a Christian faith.

To defend oneself from what one considers to be an â??attackâ?, in this context religiously speaking, is understandable if one is being misrepresented as to what is taught/believed (in this case Mormonism).

I acknowledge that this does happen. It is also true that Mormonism does much of the same thing at times as well to others of which it has not corrected itself of.

These, in the sense of misrepresenting what others teach/believe, in the context of other groups own writings as well as the Bible in my perspective. This is one of the reasons why Iâ??m here and was in ZLMB where I first saw you posting after being invited there by Kevin Graham.

The basic question stemming from the belief by Mormons of Mormonism being â??Christianâ? to the outsider is whether or not Joseph Smith is a true or a false prophet?

THE DIVINE MISSION OF JOSEPH SMITH

CHURCH STANDS OR FALLS WITH JOSEPH SMITH

Mormonism, as it is called, must stand or fall on the story of Joseph Smith. He was either a prophet of God, divinely called, properly appointed and commissioned, or he was one of the biggest frauds this world has ever seen. There is no middle ground. If Joseph Smith was a deceiver, who willfully attempted to mislead the people, then he should be exposed; his claims should be refuted, and his doctrines shown to be false, for the doctrines of an imposter cannot be made to harmonize in all particulars with divine truth. If his claims and declarations were built upon fraud and deceit, there would appear many errors and contradictions, which would be easy to detect. The doctrines of false teachers will not stand the test when tried by the accepted standards of measurement, the scriptures. (Doctrines of Salvation, Joseph Fielding Smith, p.188, 1954 edition)

If Joseph Smith can be a â??true prophetâ? he can also be a â??false prophetâ?. If false, which I believe is the case, I have no obligation whatsoever to trust or believe what he says God says or those that follow him and his teachings.

Agreement with Biblical teaching is what is required for faith in light of the following statement (Mormonism doesnâ??t stand on the basis of what is quoted by President Benson):

Third, how important is the Book of Mormon? Joseph Smith called it â??the keystone of our religion.â? (History of the Church, 4:461.) â??Take away the Book of Mormon and the revelations,â? he said, â??and where is our religion? We have none.â? (History of the Church, 2:52.). . .(The Ensign, President Ezra Taft Benson, Nov. 1984, p.6)

My premise is that they can be taken away as they are not of God. The following is part of a past conversation I had with Kevin [Wayne] Graham from his Mormon Answers website (first my statement, then his response; this was from back in May of 1999):

When your Church teaches that what I believe as a Protestant Christian is â??paganâ? and â??hereticalâ? and that Iâ??m wrong, my point back is to give a defense of both what I believe from scripture (the Bible) and what I have been told officially by members of the LDS Church.

In reference to the word â??someâ? Paul as you know wrote both 1&2 Timothy as well as 1&2 Thessalonians. The word apostasy in Thessalonians and some that would fall away in Timothy is speaking about the same thing. . .There will always be people falling away from the truth which will eventually culminate in the final delusion of the last anti-Christ (Paul identifies as the son of perdition)(there have been many anti-Christâ??s as John says), who will be destroyed at the appearing of Jesus in the clouds. The point being there was and always will be the truth as contained in the Bible, preserved by the Holy Spirit of God. . . .

Excellent post Roy, and I do agree with most of what you stated. You have made an interesting argument about the two epistles to Timothy, and I do appreciate this, since I have never heard this as a defense for â??someâ? apostasy. It is well noted! But I do have to say that the â??Falling awayâ? passage never literally said â??Completeâ? either, and is perhaps one of the weaker scriptures used to defend the LDS position of a â??complete apostasyâ?, although it is probably the most cited. . . .

The following quote is from an individual Christianâ??s response to Stephen E. Robinsonâ??s book asking, â??ARE MORMONS CHRISTIANS?â? (I agree with the following statement except for the being bold in public part):

The top leadership of the LDS Church in public and often in official capacity have boldly stated that all Christian churches are wrong and their teachings an abomination. . . .Traditional Christians say the Mormon Church is not truly a Christian church. Is that really so different from Mormons saying that the LDS Church is the only true Church? There is something inherently wrong with proclaiming: â??All Christian churches are wrongâ??we are a Christian church too!â? By its own claims Mormonism cannot be a Christian church too. If all professing Churches are false, Mormonism must be Christian instead. There is no middle ground. This has been the historic positionâ??not just of

Mormonismâ??s criticsâ??but the LDS Church itself.

Why is it wrong to say, â??Mormonism is Christian?â? It is because to say Mormonism is a true Christian church is to admit that no other church is. If true, then Christianity ceased to exist before Joseph Smith restored it in 1830. Christians who are knowledgeable of Mormonismâ??s claims realize what they are being asked to do. Traditional Christians are being asked to declare bankruptcyâ??a price most find to high. (A RESPONSE TO STEPHEN E. ROBINSONâ??S ARE MORMONS CHRISTIANS, SUBMITTED TO E. RAY CLENDENEN, PH.D., IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE COURSE GED 702 RESEARCH SEMINAR BY JAMES K. WALKER, DECEMBER, 1991 (REV. JUNE 1992)

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the title for the thread

I've noticed the same thing in many of the discussion threads. If one meaning of a word is used to explain a doctrine, then the questioner reverts to another meaning of the word. When that is addressed, yet another meaning, or a reversal to the original context of the word, is resorted to. Or the questioner holds fast to a rigid, narrow definition of a word.

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What is that premise?

Why do you disagree with it?

The premise in the sub-title of the book. I disagree with it because of what I already stated throughout the post.

I don't dispute that some end up playing word games. I don't attack Mormons. I defend against what I perceive to be false doctrine being taught in God's name. My experience is that Mormons (not all of course) do that quite well themselves too. I don't think I do or consciously do intentionately.

In the introduction it is stated:

The somewhat cryptic title of this work--Offenders for a Word--comes from the twenty-ninth chapter of the book of Isaiah, a chapter that is only replete with propheies of the restoration of the gospel and the coming forth of the Bookof Mormon, but with predictions of the kind of opposition that would greet the latter-day work. Much of this opposition, as we are convinced and attempt to show in the pages that follow, rests upon the manipulation of language, upon illegitimate semantic games that truly make an innocent people "offenders for a word."

This same kinf of "word game" or denial of what they teach innacurately concerning what others truly believe is played by Mormons themselves in what I've seen and experienced over the last thirty years I've been observing and interacting with the Mormons I personally come into contact with.

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This same kinf of "word game" or denial of what they teach innacurately concerning what others truly believe is played by Mormons themselves in what I've seen and experienced over the last thirty years I've been observing and interacting with the Mormons I personally come into contact with.

First, I think you missed the thrust of the book, but I am unclear on how that is even possible, given that the authors hammer it home in so many different ways as to make the book grow tedious by the end. Second, whether or not various Mormons play "word games" and so forth is irrelevant to the point of Dan's book, and it's not addressed in depth for that reason, I suspect.

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That's incorrect.

That is not the premise.

[perhaps you can give me a shorthand version of your premise then?]

I've already tried to discuss the book with people who don't understand its argument. I'm done with that.

How is the sub-title not part of if not the premise of the book? (from an online dictionary)

A proposition upon which an argument is based or from which a conclusion is drawn.

The last paragraph of your last chapter in your book entitled, "Mormonism as a "Cult" :The Limits of Lexical Polemics"

As Tertulian insisted, truth requests ony "that she not be condemned without a hearing." Latter-day Saints and doubtless others currently stigmatized as "cultists" ask little more than their doctrines and teachings be granted a fair hearing, with the wy cleared of impediments, lexical or otherwise.

One of your own leaders, Bruce R. McConkie, was an apostle when he died back in 1985. The following statement was contained in an in-house letter of correction to Eugene England (February 19, 1981), a professor at BYU (now deceased), who had been instructing certain things in relation to the concept of God always increasing in knowledge. In response, writing as a Mormon apostle, Elder McConkie was in disagreement with that idea. I think it is instructive in how the recognized leadership of the Church views their authority in establishing what doctrine the Church teaches:

Dear Brother England: This may well be the most important letter you have or will receive (p.1). . . .It is not in your province to set in order the Church or to determine what its doctrines shall be. . . .This means, among other things, that it is my province to teach to the Church what the doctrine is. You do not have a divine commission to correct me or any of the Brethren. The Lord does not operate that way. If I lead the Church astray, that is my responsibility, but the fact remains that I am the one appointed with all the rest involved so to do. The appointment is not given to the faculty at Brigham Young University or to any of the members of the Church. . . .And those at (p.8) the head of the Church have the obligation to teach that which is in harmony with the Standard Works (p.9). . . .

In a footnote in a response to Stephen Robinson's book, "Are Mormons Christians?" by a James K. Walker:

Robinson's chapters on doctrina exclusion concern the real pivotal issue, and he wisely devotes the most space to it. The chapters on misrepresentation(4) and name-calling (5), while dealing with important matters, are not really critical to the thesis. . . .

(5)Here Robinson is disturbed with those that label Mormonism as a cult," complaining that this label is used in a pejorative, non-objective way that is foreign to the three most common meanings for the word in Webster's. Robinson fais to point out that Mormon leaders label as "cults" false and heretical splinter groups who claim to be the "true church" but are doctrinally in error when compared to their own beliefs.

LDS apostle, Bruce R. McConkie, uses "cultists" to describe Mormon splinter groups to describe all Christian denominations. "CULTS, see SECTS. . . . SECTS. see Apostasy, Christianity, Creeds. . . . the sects of Christendom." Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. (Salt Lake Cityookcraft, 1966), 18, 174, 699.

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I've noticed the same thing in many of the discussion threads. If one meaning of a word is used to explain a doctrine, then the questioner reverts to another meaning of the word. When that is addressed, yet another meaning, or a reversal to the original context of the word, is resorted to. Or the questioner holds fast to a rigid, narrow definition of a word.

I see this being done on both sides of discussions. I would says it's unfair to limit this assessment to those who are critical of mormon doctrines. It's just a poor debate tactic that gets employed by both sides.

Theseus

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First, I think you missed the thrust of the book, but I am unclear on how that is even possible, given that the authors hammer it home in so many different ways as to make the book grow tedious by the end. Second, whether or not various Mormons play "word games" and so forth is irrelevant to the point of Dan's book, and it's not addressed in depth for that reason, I suspect.

I got the thrust of the book. I understand english in context. It was tedious which is why I only read half and skimmed the rest. The issue as raised by Dr. Peterson is about "word games" which is the sub-title of the book which Mormons are often involved in as well as misrepresenting what others actually believe. It's the "pot calling the kettle black".

We all have our own shortcomings which the Bible calls sin in which sent Jesus to the cross. Where we differ in the doctrine is in the difference between eternal life and eternal punishment.

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Perhaps you should make an attempt to answer the points the book raises, rather than focusing on the subtitle as something different. I am beginning to suspect you didn't read much of the book at all, aside from the subtitle.

Pick a point then.

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Dr. Peterson, your work, the title for the thread, often referred to by yourself and others will be the backdrop for what I have to say here.

Perhaps a Private Message or an e-mail to Dr. Peterson would be a better way to try and discuss his book with him. Or perhaps a phone call. I'm quite certain he is reachable in a number of other ways that are vastly superior to posting on an Internet Discussion Board. I read your rather lengthy post and, I haven't the slightest idea what you were trying to say. I got the sense Dr. Peterson also struggled with what you were trying to say.

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Perhaps a Private Message or an e-mail to Dr. Peterson would be a better way to try and discuss his book with him. Or perhaps a phone call. I'm quite certain he is reachable in a number of other ways that are vastly superior to posting on an Internet Discussion Board. I read your rather lengthy post and, I haven't the slightest idea what you were trying to say. I got the sense Dr. Peterson also struggled with what you were trying to say.

He is basically saying the same thing over and over. Here is the concise overview:

cliffnotes.jpg

1. The subtitle of Dan Peterson's book says that anti-Mormons play "word games" to indict Latter-day Saints.

[Note that there is little-to-no discussion on the specific "word game" the entire book discusses, namely: the claim that Mormons are not "Christian."]

2. Past Mormon leaders have made statements I deem as disrespectful toward "traditional" Christianity, of which I consider myself a part.

3. Said leaders have not always been accurate in the comments I have selectively hand-picked to assert my point.

4. Thus, Dan's book is fatally flawed because Mormons play word games too.

5. Further, past Mormon leaders have differentiated their beliefs with other Christians, which is tantamount to an admission that Mormons, then, are either not "Christian," or are claiming that they are the only actual "Christians" on the planet.

[Note again, the actual "word game" addressed by the entire book is not actually discussed, that being whether Mormons can be considered "Christian" or not based on many different views of that term throughout the centuries.]

This basic overview leaves out the bunch of quotations coolrok routinely quote-mines to employs on the board.

Pick a point then.

OK, here's one from the first section of the book, near the end. Peterson and Ricks claim:

Beyond any question, the Latter-day Saints worship the same Jesus as do other Christians.
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I personally enjoy the use of "quotation marks" to drive home the "message" that the "words or phrases" used within the "quotation marks" are something that the "OP" generally views as "false or ridiculous."

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I don't follow. :P

Using quotation marks as a means of deriding whatever's contained within.

An example in the OP...:

The basic premise of Mormonism is the so called â??totalâ? â??completeâ? apostasy argument, which is the purported basis for the need of a â??Restorationâ? of which it is argued that the Mormon Church is the logical fulfillment

...leaves no doubt how the OP feels about the idea of a "total" and "complete" apostasy requiring a "restoration". Anyone who believes that claptrap is obviously foolish, for the quotation marks hath spoken thus.

It's not evidence of a good faith discussion. ;)

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Using quotation marks as a means of deriding whatever's contained within.

An example in the OP...:

...leaves no doubt how the OP feels about the idea of a "total" and "complete" apostasy requiring a "restoration". Anyone who believes that claptrap is obviously foolish, for the quotation marks hath spoken thus.

It's not evidence of a good faith discussion. :P

;)

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Gotcha, I "see" what you mean "now."

I also hope coolpaste will respond to the one point I raised from DCP's book:

Beyond any question, the Latter-day Saints worship the same Jesus as do other Christians.

I suppose you must set your sights high so as to appear to have a positive attitude, but I predict Cool will definitely question that which is "beyond any question." Because if we're all Christians, including LDS, then they have no argument against us, since salvation is a free gift dependent upon a declaration of faith in Jesus Christ, and if we declare Him our Savior, we're saved, by their own standard. Regardless of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and the Book of Mormon. Thus we cannot be seen to worship the same Jesus Christ. At that point, how many angels can stand upon the head of a pin (i.e. the Nicene Creed) will be used as a proof text against us.

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I believe everyone is entitled to their own belief, but I don't believe in judging others nor putting down one's Faith in God. We all were created in God's Image and what a blessed gift that is in itself:)

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I personally enjoy the use of "quotation marks" to drive home the "message" that the "words or phrases" used within the "quotation marks" are something that the "OP" generally views as "false or ridiculous."

The purpose in using the quotes was to give the Mormon belief, not the Christian belief, in the need for a "restoration" which is not true. This derives from Joseph's claim to that they are the:

only true and living church on the face of the whole earth. (D&C 1:30)

The basic premise of Mormonism is the so called â??totalâ? â??completeâ? apostasy argument, which is the purported basis for the need of a â??Restorationâ?.

The realization that the Lordâ??s true church was not only vulnerable, but destructible, comes as a shock to many people. But if wicked men were able to put to death the Messiah himself, is it so strange that they should have power to destroy his church? (APOSTASY AND RESTORATION pamphlet, p.11)

3. There was a complete apostasy affecting both Catholic and Protestant churches. . . .2. There was a total apostasy affecting the Catholic and Protestant churches. . . . (A UNIFORM SYSTEM FOR TEACHING INVESTIGATORS, Aug. 1961, pp.32, 58).

Salvation comes only through Jesus Christ. In him and in him alone is there redemption. But he works in his own way. Godâ??s way is not manâ??s way. The Lord provided that salvation should come through his gospel functioning through his church, wherein are prophets and apostles â??for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.â? (Ephesians 4:12). . .Is there such a church upon the earth? Until 1830 there was not. It had been lost through the falling away we have described in this pamphlet. (Which Church is Right pamphlet, p.17)

A falling away from the true religion that Christ preached, from the ordinances he performed, and from the church he organized was foretold in the Bible. Confirming this loss of truth are many of historyâ??s great Christian reformers. Many of them sought to conform with the Holy Scriptures; some looked for the restoration â??of all thingsâ? that Peter had prophesied. The Latter-day Saints not only recognize that this falling away did occur, but also announce that God has made himself known to mortal men in these modern times and has restored his church in detail as it was anciently. . . .Christianity Has Ceased to Exist- I have sought nothing beyond reforming the Church in conformity with the Holy Scriptures. . . .I simply say that Christianity has ceased to exist among those who should have preserved it. . . .MARTIN LUTHER. . .The Gospel of Jesus Christ Restored Through a Modern Prophetâ??Joseph Smith (The Falling Away And Restoration Foretold pamphlet, pp.1, 4, 5, 14, 15)

It is not Biblically correct to use those terms "complete" "total" in light of "some will fall away". Paul said the following was according to the Holy Spirit:

But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron, . . .In pointing out these things to the brethren, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, constantly nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which you have been following. (1 Timothy 4:1 2, 6)

â??Mormonsâ? end up putting more weight on Mormon so-called â??Scriptureâ? than they do the Bible:

Third, how important is the Book of Mormon? Joseph Smith called it â??the keystone of our religion.â? (History of the Church, 4:461.) â??Take away the Book of Mormon and the revelations,â? he said, â??and where is our religion? We have none.â? (History of the Church, 2:52.). . .(The Ensign, President Ezra Taft Benson, Nov. 1984, p.6)

Elder Bruce R. McConkie stated, â??Men can get nearer to the Lord, can have more of the spirit of conversion and conformity in their hearts, can have stronger testimonies, and can gain a better understanding of the doctrines of salvation through the Book of Mormon than they can through Bible. . . .There will be more people saved in the kingdom of Godâ??ten thousand times overâ??because of the Book of Mormon than there will be because of the Bible.â? (Address at Book of Mormon Symposium, Brigham Young University, 18 Aug., 1978.) (The Ensign, Pres. Benson, Nov. 1984, p. 7)

There is a spiritual power in the Book of Mormon that is unique to all other scriptures, . . .(The Ensign, Pres. Benson, Sept. 1987, p.78)

A written statement in Josephâ??s own handwriting:

At about the age of twelve years my mind became Seriously imprest with regard to the all important concerns for the wellfare [sic] of my immortal soul which led me to Searching the Scriptures believing as I was taught, that they contained the word of God. . .thus from the age twelve years to fifteen I pondered many things. . .and by Searching the Scriptures I found that. . .there was no society or denomination that built upon the gospel of Jesus Christ as recorded in the new testament. . . (An Analysis of the Accounts Relating Joseph Smithâ??s Early Visions, by Paul R. Cheesman, Masterâ??s thesis, Brigham Young University, 1965, pp.127-28)

The Bible for me is the standard or rule that all doctrines are to be tested by. Your own leaders agree:

We appeal to the Bible to prove. . .truths received through the restoration. . .are in accord with its teachings. (A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, Elder LeGrand Richards, p.1)

The doctrines of false teachers will not stand the test when tried by the accepted standards of measurement, the scriptures. (Doctrines of Salvation, Joseph Fielding Smith, p.188)

The New Testament contains. . .teachings. . .of. . .Man of Galilee. This book, therefore, will be our standard of judgment or the norm by which we measure the Gospel truths of all the dispensations. (The Gospel Through the Ages, Elder Milton R. Hunter, p.91)

The Bible became/was the standard way before Islam and the split between the east/west. Also the more modern groups that claim to being the only â??true religionâ? came on the scene in dispute with others of the same or similar claim.

The apostles (some others not apostles) were the ones who wrote what is now acclaimed by all to be the â??Word of Godâ?. What the Bible teaches takes priority over anyone else. This is what should be believed. Long before the New Testament was compiled the letters and the gospels were being read by the different groups who were sent the letters and who had access to them.

The following verses from the New Testament, I think, provides an under-standing of how one can arrive at the concept of â??Sola Scripturaâ? (exegesis- read out of, not eisegesis- read into). I believe there is internal Biblical evidence for it. This would include the idea of an expanding but historically limited cannon (the NT over time being joined to the OT as the record of the fulfillment of prophecy and further instruction from Jesus and His apostles):

Jesus said to him, â??Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.â? And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name. (John 20:29-30)

For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures, we might have hope. (Romans 15:4)

Now these were more noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily, to see whether these things were so. Many of them therefore believed, . . . (Acts 17:11-12a)

But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:14-17)

Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. (1 Thessalonians 5:21)

Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively applied to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that in us you might learn not to exceed what is written, in order that no one of you might become arrogant in behalf of one against the other. (1 Corinthians 4:6)

Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. (1 Corinthians 10:11)

And when this letter is read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and you, for your part read my letter that is coming from Laodicea. (Colossians 4:16)

I adjure you by the Lord to have this letter read to all the brethren. (1 Thessalonians 5:27)

But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary of doing good. And if anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of that man and do not associate with him, so that he may be put to shame. And yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. (2 Thessalonians 3:13-15)

I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long; but in case I am delayed, I write so that you may know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth. (1 Timothy 3:14-15)

Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. (2 Timothy 1:13)

You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, these entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. (2 Timothy 2:1-2)

Remind them of these things, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God not to wrangle about words, which is useless, and leads to the ruin of the hearers. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:14-15)

Along with those were also writings that werenâ??t considered to be on par with the apostolic writings and as time went on the disputes were hammered out in which the present cannon of the twenty-seven New Testament books are what have been accepted:

As Latter-day Saints we accept the following scriptures as the standard works of the Church: the Bible (consisting of the Old Testament and the New Testament), the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, and official statements made by our leaders. Regarding the Bible: There is a misconception that the Bible is one book instead of a collection of sixty-six books, thirty-nine of which comprise the Old Testament and twenty-seven of which constitute the New Testament. (The Ensign, Church magazineâ??contains official statements of leaders, Church Conference, Elder Henry D. Taylor, Nov. 1976, p.63)

In, â??Offenders for a Wordâ?, Dr. Peterson gives his view concerning the belief of others identified as â??anti-Mormonsâ? that don't accept "Mormonism" as "Christian". Those who are not Mormon dispute the teaching that the "Mormonism" of Joseph Smith is Christian in spite of the contrary claims.

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