Jump to content

Was Joseph Smith in error?


consiglieri

Recommended Posts

This morning in seminary class, the teacher related the story of how Oliver Cowdery believed Joseph Smith was in error in what has come to be canonized in D&C 20:37, and wrote him a letter commanding him in the name of the Lord to remove it from the revelation.

Cowdery had several Whitmers behind him, and Joseph Smith refused to remove the offending passage, but worked long and hard with all opposing parties to convince them of its truth.

This story was related in order to illustrate that there is only one person at a time who is authorized to receive revelation for the Church.

I asked the teacher if she knew what it was about the passage that was so controversial.

She allowed as how she did not, even though she had just read it from her manual.

I asked what the purpose of baptism is.

Everybody knew the answer--for the remission of sins.

I then said that the passage was so controversial because it says that in order to qualify for baptism, a person has to first "truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins."

Oliver Cowdery, et al, believed that it was through baptism that one obtained a remission of their sins, and hence thought Joseph Smith in error on the subject.

The teacher read the passage again from her manual and the light went on for her.

I would like very much to have known what Joseph said to Oliver to get him to change his mind on the subject.

In the meantime, does anybody here have any thoughts on the subject?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

Link to comment
In the meantime, does anybody here have any thoughts on the subject?

Not this one specifically but "received of the Spirit of Christ" might reveal this verse to be a definition for D&C 76's "receive the testimony of Jesus" which I interpret as having become a member of the Church (through baptism). In other words, only members of the Church can inherit the Celestial or Terrestial. Those who remain Baptist or Catholic or Hindu even after the opportunity in the afterlife can only inherit the Telestial ala D&C 79-99-101 because they did not receive the testimony of Jesus but believed (or said they believed) in Jesus anyway (vs. 100).

Link to comment

Doesn't the fact that one gets baptized "witness before the church that they have truly repented of all their sins, and are willing to take upon them the name of Jesus Christ, having a determination to serve him to the end, and truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins...." Getting baptized is the works showing their repentance.

Link to comment

SNIP

I then said that the passage was so controversial because it says that in order to qualify for baptism, a person has to first "truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins."

Oliver Cowdery, et al, believed that it was through baptism that one obtained a remission of their sins, and hence thought Joseph Smith in error on the subject.

--Consiglieri

Interesting observations Consiglieri.

I think Joseph was right. Baptism is necessary, richly symbolic, and a beautiful thing to behold and experience, but it is, after all, an outward symbol that should reflect an inner conversion by the Spirit of Christ. I would guess that the discussion with Joseph Smith had to do with just what a symbolic ordinance does and does not do, and perhaps, who and what actually does the remitting of sins.

Kevin Christensen

Pittsburgh, PA

Link to comment

In other words, only members of the Church can inherit the Celestial or Terrestial. Those who remain Baptist or Catholic or Hindu even after the opportunity in the afterlife can only inherit the Telestial ala D&C 79-99-101 because they did not receive the testimony of Jesus but believed (or said they believed) in Jesus anyway (vs. 100).

Hello BCSpace,

For clarity, if I may ask:

Does this mean that only LDS will spend eternity in the presence of God?

There will indeed be A LOT of elbow room for y'all, no?

Peace,

Ceeboo

Link to comment

Hello BCSpace,

For clarity, if I may ask:

Does this mean that only LDS will spend eternity in the presence of God?

There will indeed be A LOT of elbow room for y'all, no?

Peace,

Ceeboo

Ceeboo it is not just LDS but those who are members of the Church of the First Born. That is those who have accepted Christ and have received the ordinance of baptism by one having the authority to administer said ordinance, either in this life or by proxy. The key being the ordinances must be performed by one having authority.

It will be more crowded than most might imagine, I think.

Link to comment

Hello BCSpace,

For clarity, if I may ask:

Does this mean that only LDS will spend eternity in the presence of God?

There will indeed be A LOT of elbow room for y'all, no?

Peace,

Ceeboo

For the most part, only LDS (including spirits who accept a proxy LDS-style baptism and Temple ordinances) will spend eternity in the presence of God (the Father).

As for elbow room, our doctrine holds that all those who die before the age of 8 get to be in the CK too. Considering historical infant mortality rates (and depending on post-mortal conversion rates), traditional LDS might be a very small minority.

Link to comment

When we think of baptism, we think of only the water. However, there are two baptisms: water and Spirit. Joseph Smith taught that baptism by water is only half a baptism. When a non-member is moved upon by the Spirit, the beginning of remission of sins commences. Peter noted that Cornelius and his household were filled with the Spirit prior to baptism, and accepted them as redeemed of Christ, and as a witness that they were ready for baptism. However, redemption's complete fulfillment is in receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and not just the Spirit alone. Oliver and others believed no one could receive a remission of sins without baptism. Joseph taught that God does forgive sins, even without baptism - otherwise no person could be saved outside the Church. Christ's atonement touches all mankind, even without baptism.

However, the baptism of the Gift of the Holy Ghost (symbolized by water baptism) can cleanse us to higher levels of salvation and grace, even until we are exalted (D&C 93). Joseph understood this, while others thought one could not be saved without baptism. D&C 76 would show that Joseph was correct. Even murderers could be saved without baptism in a kingdom of glory, yet could not enter into the Celestial Kingdom and exaltation without baptism.

Link to comment

For the most part, only LDS (including spirits who accept a proxy LDS-style baptism and Temple ordinances) will spend eternity in the presence of God (the Father).

As for elbow room, our doctrine holds that all those who die before the age of 8 get to be in the CK too. Considering historical infant mortality rates (and depending on post-mortal conversion rates), traditional LDS might be a very small minority.

Hey ya cinepro,

Considering that the LDS make up a mere fraction of one single percent of Christ followers, I would suggest that there will be A WHOLE LOT (99 plus% of Christians) that will not spend eternity in the presence of All Loving God. Under no circumstance do I find this teaching to be even a remote possibility.

Also, if I understand you correctly, there will be Billions and Billions of kids under age 8 and a mere few LDS adults. Hope they have Aspirin there! (Is that right?)

Peace,

Ceeboo

Link to comment

Hey ya cinepro,

Considering that the LDS make up a mere fraction of one single percent of Christ followers, I would suggest that there will be A WHOLE LOT (99 plus% of Christians) that will not spend eternity in the presence of All Loving God. Under no circumstance do I find this teaching to be even a remote possibility.

Also, if I understand you correctly, there will be Billions and Billions of kids under age 8 and a mere few LDS adults. Hope they have Aspirin there! (Is that right?)

Peace,

Ceeboo

Ceeboo, as someone who's LDS, I agree with you.

Along with the recognition we have than in the end, eventually everyone will come to a knowledge of the truth of God and His Kingdom, all will be given the opportunity to submit to his authority, be cleansed of sin, and enter into His Kingdom (The kingdoms/degrees of Glory are all a part of God's kingdom), or choose to remain outside (Outer Darkness).

Within the Kingdom of God are degrees of glory where individuals will be comfortable according to who they are - who they are will determine their proximity to God. Those who submitted to the Lord completely and did His will as it was made known to them, of their own free will in choice, will have been cleansed by the attendant Spirit, and their consciences, wills, and desires will be clear that will be able to comfortably and joyously dwell in God's presence. The remaining 'courts' will be where those will be who did not fully humbly submit to the Lord, and allow His spirit to fully cleanse their wills and desires, by degrees. I do not believe there will be bouncersd keeping people from one court/kingdom/degree to another, but individuals will keep themselves in check, based on the proximity they will feel comfortable and endurable in approaching.

LDS Doctrine teaches that authorized Baptism now is the gate that leads towards a complete cleansing by the spirit that leads one to be able to dwell in God's presence. It is taught that all except a very few will eventually accept and recognize the authorized Covenant of Citizenship in God's Kingdom (whether in this life, or the hereafter), enter into a Covenant with Christ the King, and receive a remission of their sins. However, this does not mean a change in their natures - it does not mean the rebellious in heart will have the time and opportunity to be sanctified, and able to endure God's presence - even though they would be allowed to enter there. There's a big difference between being allowed in God's presence, and being able to endure it.

So I believe that a vast majority will end up in God's Kingdom. I do believe, however, that the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the Lord's best instrument to best prepare His Children in this life to not only be admitted into his presence, but to prepare them to be ready for it when the time comes.

In the end, it won't be different interpretations of knowledge that keeps one from God's presence. It will be who you have become.

Alma 5 gives the best discourse on personal questions to ask yourself to know whether you would be ready to dwell with God. Of note: He's giving this sermon to baptized members of the authorized Church who are not prepared to meet God.

I'm sure there will be many who are Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, and Catholic(!) today, and even at their death, who in the last day will pass by members of this Church who have gone through the ropes of being baptized, endowed, and sealed-in-this-life that will not be able to abide dwelling in God's presence because they choose not to give up their pride, and view themselves as better than the others. God is far more loving, and has expressed his loving will far clearer than even many LDS give Him credit for.

Matthew 21:28-32

28

Link to comment

Baptism is only the symbol to fullfill the requirements of the law, even as Christ Himself did, the remission of sin must still occur in the heart first.

In other words, Baptism is the Sign of the Covenant, not the Covenant itself. The Sign ratifies the covenant (which is generally made through what is known as the Baptismal Interview), and makes it public.

Link to comment

Baptism is only the symbol to fullfill the requirements of the law, even as Christ Himself did, the remission of sin must still occur in the heart first.

This makes some degree of sense, but isn't there that pesky fourth Article of Faith?

4 We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

P.S. The place where seminary is held is far from our house, so I am unable to just drop my daughter off, but have to wait and take her to school afterward; that's why I am "attending" seminary, though in actuality I am just periodically "auditing" the class.

Link to comment

Hey ya cinepro,

Considering that the LDS make up a mere fraction of one single percent of Christ followers, I would suggest that there will be A WHOLE LOT (99 plus% of Christians) that will not spend eternity in the presence of All Loving God. Under no circumstance do I find this teaching to be even a remote possibility.

Also, if I understand you correctly, there will be Billions and Billions of kids under age 8 and a mere few LDS adults. Hope they have Aspirin there! (Is that right?)

Peace,

Ceeboo

Hey Ceeboo..... You need to read what Cinepro said a little more carefully, specifically his (parentheses) section.

That is a qualifier statement which would include MUCH MORE than simply those who were LDS in this life. I had to double take read it again carefully again also, because at first it seemed like he was disqualifying everyone else when that wasn't the case.

Link to comment

Ceeboo, as someone who's LDS, I agree with you.

Me, too.

In the end, it won't be different interpretations of knowledge that keeps one from God's presence. It will be who you have become.

Amen.

Alma 5 gives the best discourse on personal questions to ask yourself to know whether you would be ready to dwell with God. Of note: He's giving this sermon to baptized members of the authorized Church who are not prepared to meet God.

On my mission, I referred to this as the 7th discussion - a discussion for lazy members. We taught it all too often.

I'm sure there will be many who are Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, and Catholic(!) who in the last day will pass by baptized, endowed, and sealed-in-this-life Latter-day Saints who have gone through the ropes that will not be able to abide dwelling in God's presence because they choose not to give up their pride. God is far more loving, and has expressed his loving will far clearer than even many LDS give Him credit for.

Amen and amen!

Link to comment

This makes some degree of sense, but isn't there that pesky fourth Article of Faith?

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

Actually, it's not "pesky" at all.... The Baptism for the remission of sin is the "completion" of that process.

Let me give you another example. If I ask you "when" the Atonement by Christ actually occurred, when do you say?

Other Christians might say on the Cross, but this is not accurate. The Atonement actually began in the Garden when Christ took on the sins of the world, this was something "internal" he had to experience. And then it was "finished" or completed on the Cross, which was an "external" act you could say "sealing" the duty.

It is the same kind of idea in relation to Baptism. The general Christian world has often separated the necessity of the authoritative physical acts of Faith, emphasizing the spiritual only. The true methodology is spirit AND body.

Link to comment

I believe that a vast majority will end up in God's Kingdom.

In the end, it won't be different interpretations of knowledge that keeps one from God's presence. It will be who you have become.

Nackhadlow,

I hope this doesn't get you in any trouble around these parts but might I suggest that I am quickly becoming a huge fan of your contributions on this board. :P

I might even invite you to my next "world famous" Ceeboo BBQ pulled pork day. (Wear clothing that you don't care if they get stained)

I only posted the above part of your post because I absobatoootly agree with it/you.

As for the rest of the said post, I appreciated it in large measure and found it to be a most interesting contribution (Thanks for taking the the time share it with me/us)

Peace,

Ceeboo

Link to comment

This makes some degree of sense, but isn't there that pesky fourth Article of Faith?

--Consiglieri

The first Principles of the gospel are 1)faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and 2) repentence. I think that D&C 20:37 "truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins." constitutes what repentence is all about. Baptisim for the remission of sins is the outward ordanence that symbolizes the inward principle of repentence! Just as a person may recieve a manifestation of the Holy Ghost without the laying on of hands, the laying on of hands is the ordanence whereby we recieve the gift of the Holy GHost!

There is no contradiction between D&C 20:37 and the Articles Of Faith once you understand the difference between a principle and an ordanence.

Mike

Link to comment

The first Principles of the gospel are 1)faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and 2) repentence. I think that D&C 20:37 "truly manifest by their works that they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins." constitutes what repentence is all about. Baptisim for the remission of sins is the outward ordanence that symbolizes the inward principle of repentence! Just as a person may recieve a manifestation of the Holy Ghost without the laying on of hands, the laying on of hands is the ordanence whereby we recieve the gift of the Holy GHost!

There is no contradiction between D&C 20:37 and the Articles Of Faith once you understand the difference between a principle and an ordanence.

Mike

I appreciate your efforts to reconcile D&C 20:37 with currently received LDS doctrine.

But doesn't this just create another problem?

If number four (after baptism for the remission of sins) is the laying on of hands for receipt of the Gift of the Holy Ghost, why is it that the Holy Ghost (OK, the "Spirit of Christ") is received unto the remission of sins PRIOR to baptism in D&C 20:37?

And really, if all of these wonderful things happen BEFORE the ordinance is performed, it leaves one to wonder why these ordinances have to be performed at all, not to mention why they are considered "essential to salvation."

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

Link to comment

I only posted the above part of your post because I absobatoootly agree with it/you.

I expect it is only because nackhadlow buys into some sort of crazy idea like that attributed to Hyrum Smith that all the inhabitants of the terrestrial kingdom will eventually move into either the celestial or telestial kingdoms; thus explaining why the moon is its symbol--because it waxes and wanes. :P

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

Link to comment

I appreciate your efforts to reconcile D&C 20:37 with currently received LDS doctrine.

But doesn't this just create another problem?

If number four (after baptism for the remission of sins) is the laying on of hands for receipt of the Gift of the Holy Ghost, why is it that the Holy Ghost (OK, the "Spirit of Christ") is received unto the remission of sins PRIOR to baptism in D&C 20:37?

And really, if all of these wonderful things happen BEFORE the ordinance is performed, it leaves one to wonder why these ordinances have to be performed at all, not to mention why they are considered "essential to salvation."

All the Best!

--Consiglieri

See AofF #3

We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.

That's the way the Lord set it up. You need to ask Him yourself!

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...