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Why did Jesus revere Abraham?


The Mormonator

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God looks at the good traits in people, Abraham had faith, and a lot of it. He was faithful to God and was willing to do anything God asked of him, including sacrificing Isaac.

I love this line of logic! It's just killer! Abraham was so full of faith that he was willing to tie up his only son, the one he'd waited so long to have and which had come to him only via divine intervention, and raise a knife to his son with full intent to kill him.

However, this same Abraham was apparently so weak he couldn't keep it in his pants! Way too funny. In fact, keeping it in their pants seems to have been a major biblical problem. Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David. Hugh Hefner apparently had nothing on these guys. In fact, it was -- apparently -- so pervasive a problem that rather than legislate against it, God was forced to incorporate it into the law. Rather than just tell Abraham (whom the New Testament extols for his obedience) and his kin to knock it off, God is forced to incorporate into his laws given to Moses.

Yeah, you gotta love that logic.

C.I.

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CI: so pervasive a problem that rather than legislate against it, God was forced to incorporate it into the law.

RA: yeah, kind of like divirce and slavery, huh. What did jesus say? Something about divorce and the hardness of men's hearts? Oh, never mind, I must be mistaken. :P I'll just stand by what David Whitmer said. What a guy!

RA

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Ok. Maybe I'll see if the local library has your book.

RA: Ok, well, how about I just say that I stand in agreement with David Whitmer, witness to the Book of Mormon. He said: "I do not endorse Polygamy or Spiritual wifeism. It is a great Evil, Shocking to the moral Sense; and the more so because practiced in the name of religion. It is of man not God, and is Especially forbidden in the Book of Mormon itself"

I do not at all doubt that David Whitmer said this. He probably did. If I were in David Whitmer's shoes I would probably have said the same thing. Since I personally think that my faith would not have been strong enough to accept such a difficult thing as polygamy. Only the most faithful accepted it. I think the Lord needed to test the saints. He used it as a sifting tool of sorts.

If the Lord can command a man to strap his own son down and to slaughter him with a knife like a lamb to test his faith (Gen 22:1-12), then I have no problem with the Lord using Polygamy to test the faith of the early Latter Day Saints. But I am not suggesting that is the only reason he commanded it, though it is certainly one purpose polygamy served. Only the best and most faithful saints remained with the church and moved west.

Peter denied Jesus Christ. What does that mean??? It simply means that during that difficult and trying time, Peter's faith was not strong enough. The same with David Whitmer. His faith was not strong enough to accept such a difficult thing. Even Brigham Young and many others struggled with it.

RA: sure. ok. But remember a few things: the action is set in a different time, the text is in a different language, the people are of a different mindset, the backdrop is a different culture.

But none of that matters right. Ultimately, polygamy is always good or always bad, or dependant on what God commands (as the LDS view it).

Culture does not matter.

Time does not matter.

Unless you are suggesting that the parts of the OT where the Prophets practice plygamy was incorrectly translated, then the language does not matter either.

In the end we have Abraham and Jacob practicing Polygamy, and Jesus revering them both, saying they are in the Kingdom of Heaven and suggesting that people should do the works of Abraham.

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RA: sure. ok. But remember a few things: the action is set in a different time, the text is in a different language, the people are of a different mindset, the backdrop is a different culture.

Is that a recommendation to understand and accept scripture for what is means. or a suggestion to us today to only accept the parts we like?

Acceptable to God under his commandment is what both the Bible and BoM say . . the key here is to be REALLY careful it is under His commandment. We can all agree that commandment does not exist today.

The real issue is probably how we are going to deal with it when we face God and He tells us we don't have the right here and now to pick and choose what we agree with that He has commanded.

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God looks at the good traits in people, Abraham had faith, and a lot of it. He was faithful to God and was willing to do anything God asked of him, including sacrificing Isaac.

I love this line of logic! It's just killer! Abraham was so full of faith that he was willing to tie up his only son, the one he'd waited so long to have and which had come to him only via divine intervention, and raise a knife to his son with full intent to kill him.

However, this same Abraham was apparently so weak he couldn't keep it in his pants! Way too funny. In fact, keeping it in their pants seems to have been a major biblical problem. Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David. Hugh Hefner apparently had nothing on these guys. In fact, it was -- apparently -- so pervasive a problem that rather than legislate against it, God was forced to incorporate it into the law. Rather than just tell Abraham (whom the New Testament extols for his obedience) and his kin to knock it off, God is forced to incorporate into his laws given to Moses.

Yeah, you gotta love that logic.

C.I.

(emphasis mine)

But isn't this sort of reminiscent of what Christ said about divorce- "In the beginning it was not so, but because of the hardness of your hearts..." I think that it's also really reminiscent of the Manifesto, no? For what it's worth, I don't know what to make of Abraham's test of faith except that it's a very powerful type of the Atonement. Always hoping to disagree agreeably,

Random

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You wrote:

Relate that to what I said and perhaps I can answer. Jacob 2:30 applies to more than one item listed. It equally applies to polygamy and to whoredoms. Perhaps you can tell me if the God of the BOM makes exceptions to whoredoms?

sr

My response: Actually, God is often silent on the issue of whoredoms that occurred in the Bible. When Judah purchased his daughter-in-law's pleasures for a time, God did not strike him down nor cause him to be stoned. Rather, from that event came the ancestor of Jesus Christ. Solomon was also the child of whoredom, as David slept with Bathsheba and staged Uriah's death prior to marrying her.

There are other instances where God seems to look the other way.

As it is, the commandments became more exacting on whoredoms with the beginning of the Mosaic Law, but still does not explain Solomon as ancestor to Jesus.

Finally, Jacob speaks primarily of the multiple wives and concubines, not of whoredoms. Or rather, he compares those relationships to whoredoms, because they have not been sanctioned of God. And that is where Jacob's catch-all-phrase comes in: that if God chooses to raise up seed unto himself, he will command it.

Now, why wouldn't God command whoredoms? Because marriage is better than whoredom, protecting both woman and child, and causing the man to face his responsibilities. Whoredoms, as you are viewing it, basically prostitution IOW, iare not a relationship at all, and not what Jacob is referencing here.

Why should LDS accept your interpretation of our scriptures, BTW? It is as senseless as seeking the understanding of Jews or Muslims on New Testament scripture. There is some semblance of knowledge, but the viewpoint from which we get it is totally alien from what the original author meant (and this would hold true, whether one believes Jacob wrote his own book, or Joseph Smith wrote it).

I could easily go into the NT and read "Judge Not Lest Ye be Judged" and decide from that that you are going to be judged because of your judgments against Mormons. But then, that would be a judgment, wouldn't it? Or I could ask you why you haven't given Mormons your cloak to go along with the coat, since we seem to be treading heavily on your turf; and yes, you can walk twain miles for me, as well. It is easy to interpret scriptures a certain way. The Bible has been twisted by men for centuries, and you and I are no exception. I've seen people explain why Jesus was a communist, and I've seen people explain why he was a libertarian. Go figure.

In reality, he is both and neither. Trying to delimit God and His teachings is an effort in futility. Try to interpret a book that one is antagonistic toward, is also an effort in futility, as it is too easy to make one's own interpretation of "the facts."

Look at politics. To some, George Bush is the devil. To others, it is John Kerry. Both sides were very capable to providing fodder against the other side. But on deep inspection, most of the fodder from either side was tainted with heavy spin. So it is with your insistence that Jacob couldn't have meant what Jacob said.

Your interpretation of Jacob is really over the top. You attempt to make yourself the key expert, when really you are not. How many times have you read the Book of Mormon, seeking to understand it, if not as a believer, then as a scientist? Or has the majority of your information come from crib notes distributed by the local anti-Mormon blog?

Sincere seekers of truth will either decide to accept or reject Mormonism. Those involved in anti-Mormonism are only in it for one thing: to destroy. What a shame that so many would wish to destroy something that many people find beautiful. If I dislike a piece of art in the museum, I don't go out and destroy it. I go on to the next painting, seeking the light I need for me. I can't understand the type of person that insists on standing in front of the Van Gogh he hates, shouting curses at it, until the curator comes along and removes it. Yet, the curator never does come around to remove it. So the crowd of angry people continue shrieking at the hated painting, while the crowd of those who do love it quietly grows.

BTW, thanks for calling attention to Mormonism. Hopefully you'll help many to look at the painting that it is, and fall in love with it, despite your own personal disgust.

rameumptom

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But isn't this sort of reminiscent of what Christ said about divorce- "In the beginning it was not so, but because of the hardness of your hearts..." I think that it's also really reminiscent of the Manifesto, no? For what it's worth, I don't know what to make of Abraham's test of faith except that it's a very powerful type of the Atonement. Always hoping to disagree agreeably,

I suppose the point is valid but I think it raises some questions. For example, there is no question that the OT procribes all sorts of sexual behavior, and it expected those proscriptions to be followed, so why not plural marriage?

It just doesn't make sense to me that Abraham was so faithful to the Lord that he'd willingly sacrifice his own son, while simultaneously being so weak that he had to have multiple sexual partners.

C.I.

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CI: It just doesn't make sense to me that Abraham was so faithful to the Lord that he'd willingly sacrifice his own son, while simultaneously being so weak that he had to have multiple sexual partners.

RA: I believe the answer might lie in the 30 years or so between when Isaac was conceived and when he was opffered up as a sacrifice (Isaac was not a child, as is commonly thought). In other words, Abraham and his grown adult son walked up that mountain. Extraordinary, really. And so, I suppose that thirty years of walkinbh with God might change a guy's spirituality and faith. just my thoughts.

RA

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Of course, such explanation always ignore the fact of levarite marriage which, under Jewish law, required certain men to enter into polygamous relationships.

In this case, you can't make the comparison to divorce or slavery. Your argument there is, essentially, that these sins were so prevalent that the Lord couldn't curtail them therefore he simply made exceptions for them.

But in the case of levarite marriage, a man was required to enter into a polygamous marriage, even if he didn't wish to.

It's one to thing to explain it away as sinful behavior that God couldn't curtail. It's quite another when you find a case of God actually requiring that behavior.

C.I.

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RA: I believe the answer might lie in the 30 years or so between when Isaac was conceived and when he was opffered up as a sacrifice (Isaac was not a child, as is commonly thought). In other words, Abraham and his grown adult son walked up that mountain. Extraordinary, really. And so, I suppose that thirty years of walkinbh with God might change a guy's spirituality and faith. just my thoughts.

RA

Funny how, after thirty years of gaining wisdom and having his faith and spirituality changed by God, his grandson, Jacob, picked up right where he left off. Abraham was aparently not very good at teaching this new wisdom to his descendants. And yet, Jacob was loved and accepted by the Lord as well.

T-Shirt

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And so, I suppose that thirty years of walkinbh with God might change a guy's spirituality and faith. just my thoughts.

However your thoughts do not seem to be agreeable with what the text of the Bible actually says. You say that Abraham's spirituality and faith may have changed in the thirty years. This implies that there was a point where he was living a sinful life void of spirituality. But the Bible does not make this suggestion anywhere.

When Jacob had his four wives the Bible does not suggest anywhere that Jacob was living a sinful life. In fact, the Bible suggests the contrary.

And what about King David and his polygamy. According to the Bible, the Lord gave David his wives.

2 Samual 12:7-8

7  And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;

8 And I gave thee thy master

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The Mormonator: I never claimed the Bible commands polygamy.

And I never claimed that you did.

The Mormonator: But I would like you to show me the text where it says that Abraham's and Jacob's plygamist marriages were not blessed by God.

Why? Do you even know what we are discussing?

I stated "Abraham's taking of the handmaid was not blessed by God" I said nothing about Jacob or polygamy. It is easy to show that it was not the intention of God that Abraham take the handmaid, the promise was that Sarah would concieve.

Gen 21: 10 Wherefore she said unto Abraham, Cast out this bondwoman and her son: for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, even with Isaac.

11 And the thing was very grievous in Abraham's sight because of his son.

12 And God said unto Abraham, Let it not be grievous in thy sight because of the lad, and because of thy bondwoman; in all that Sarah hath said unto thee, hearken unto her voice; for in Isaac shall thy seed be called.

A logical argument can be made that the bible supports polygamy. No doubt about that. I think I have been clear enough on my stance to avoid any more statements from you to defend or explain biblical instances of polygamy. The point is, there is no logical argument to explain the contradiction of the prohibition of plural marriage and concubinage in the BOM with LDS doctrine and history. Jacob 2:30 does not explain anything, at best it creates a contradiction within the same book. Plural marriage does not equate to more "seed" than does monogamy. In fact, the BOM used monogamy to raise seed up to God. Polygamy and concubines are not required for this. In addition, during the polygamy years, there were more men in the LDS Church than women.

The Mormonator: But when Joe Smith and the Mormons practice it, it's a terrible greivous sin that must be absolutely condemned!!! Joe Smith could in no way be a Prophet of God!!! He's a dirty polygamist pervert!!!

The plural marriages and outright adultery of Joseph Smith is not comparable to biblical polygamy. There were no "secret" marriages in the bible that I recall. But, even if there were, you wouldn't lift up Joseph Smith, you would drag down biblical prophets. That still doesn't help your cause.

The Mormonator: Oh, but Fathers Abraham and Jacob. Bless their Holy Righteous souls.

I don't have much time for posting at all, and certainly no time for foolishness.

sr

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I stated "Abraham's taking of the handmaid was not blessed by God" I said nothing about Jacob or polygamy. It is easy to show that it was not the intention of God that Abraham take the handmaid, the promise was that Sarah would concieve.

It says nowhere in the text that Abraham's taking of the handmaid was not blessed by God. You are adding that yourself. The text shows that there were some problems in the polygamist relationship. But that is all it says. It draws no conlcusions. You have drawn the conclusion yourself about the lack of God's blessing. Let's try and stick with the actual text.

A logical argument can be made that the bible supports polygamy. No doubt about that. I think I have been clear enough on my stance to avoid any more statements from you to defend or explain biblical instances of polygamy.

Ok then. Abraham and Jacob both participated in polygamy, and both were revered by Jesus as being in the Kingdom of Heaven with all the Prophets. Then it is reasonable to conclude that Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and others practiced polygamy under the command of God.

The point is, there is no logical argument to explain the contradiction of the prohibition of plural marriage and concubinage in the BOM with LDS doctrine and history. Jacob 2:30 does not explain anything, at best it creates a contradiction within the same book.

The BoM clearly states that polygamy is only allowed when God says it is. If you think it says something else then that is your problem. But that is what the text says. There is no contradiction whatsoever. It is in complete accordance with the LDS theological belief of Polygamy.

The plural marriages and outright adultery of Joseph Smith is not comparable to biblical polygamy. There were no "secret" marriages in the bible that I recall. But, even if there were, you wouldn't lift up Joseph Smith, you would drag down biblical prophets. That still doesn't help your cause.

Outright adultery??? If you hold Abraham and Jacob to the same standard then they are also both out right adulterists. Yet it's interesting that Jesus still considers them to be worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven right alongide the other Prophets.

Of course the plural marriages of Joseph Smith are not comparable to biblical polygamy. That is because you are holding them to different standards. If you hold them to the same standard then they are comparable. You should try it some time.

Ultimately every faithful Christian must confront this issue, and utlimately every honest-to-self Christian must concede that Abraham and Jacob were involved in polygamist marriages and, despite this, Jesus still regards them as being worthy of the Kingdom of Heaven. This contradicts what the majority of Christians believe about polygamy; that it is a terrible sin. If it is true - that polygamy is a terrible sin - why then would Jesus say that two polygamists are in the

Kingdom of Heaven???

Somebody has yet to answer this question without any deflection.

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Jacob 2:30 does not explain anything, at best it creates a contradiction within the same book.

Which is what an exception is . . .

Plural marriage does not equate to more "seed" than does monogamy.

Except it does, for those who practice it.

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Jacob 2:30 does not explain anything, at best it creates a contradiction within the same book.

Which is what an exception is . . .

Plural marriage does not equate to more "seed" than does monogamy.

Except it does, for those who practice it.

Illogical if there were more men in the LDS Church than women during the polygamy years. And there was. Monogamy would equate to more children than polygamy, this being the case. Each woman would get more attention with their own husband than if they shared a man with 60 or so other women.

So then, what about concubines? Jacob 2:30 most certainly includes concubines. Did God re-instate that as well? Could he use concubines to raise up seed? Sure he could, if he could use polygamy.

LDS and their scramble to use Jacob 2:30 is amusing. The passage just doesn't help the LDS viewpoint, unless you completely take it out of context. Actually, like the rest of the BOM, the passage doesn't make much sense anyway. Obviously, "these things" are plural. Something other than polygamy must be included. What is it? :P

sr

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Mornin' Governator Mormonator <_<

I'd be happy to comment on your original post from my own perspective, which I believe is somewhat based upon both the Scriptures and a look at the big picture, but must admit I've read no other posts relating to your original as of yet.

Mormonator:

This is a question for all Christian critics of Mormonism.

I want to know what your thoughts are on this issue.

First, read the following NT verses:

Matt 8:11

QUOTE 

11 And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven.

Elihu: I don't see the product of Abrahams polygamus offspring listed here, so I don't think God was saying it was blessed or even of His will - as He said another time: 'from the beginning it hath not been so'.

Luke 13:28

QUOTE 

28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. 

Elihu: That's a somber verse, one which we would all do well to both heed and ponder. The issue is why Abraham and others are listed and why others won't make it. What do you think was the dividing point according to Jesus?

John 8:39,40

QUOTE 

39 They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham

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Here is my take on this subject (taken from a debate I had on this board over a year ago):

God never condoned polygamy as the normal or natural state of marriage. It was never the ideal relationship.

I am not saying polygamy was considered to be an evil on the level of adultery or murder. Rather, it was less than ideal

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David was also a murderer and an adulterer. Does it follow that God approved of these things?

And he was cursed by God for those sins. He was - before he fell for Bathsheba - was given wives from God... or don't you trust the bible.

It is quite the double standard amongst some of bible thumpers that choose to overlook the fact that MANY OT prophets had more than one wife. This was never condemed by God in the Bible. Well I do know of two exceptions, David and Solomon. David not because he had more than one wife but because he took that which was not his to take. Soloman, not because he had more than one wife, but because he was taking wives out of the covenant for political purposes. Both cases the men did not act with the sanction of God. In the BoM we see that plural marriage when not sanctioned of God is wrong in His eyes.

The NT we see one verse with Paul recomending that Bishops only have one wife (I always wondered what type of wife Paul might have had - he sure seems to have a low opininion of women and marriage). This may be a divine sanction against polygamy for that period (much like bishops today are recommended to only have one wife :P ), Paul's opinion, or a wise suggestion for that partucular calling in the church (being a bishop - like a father to the ward - and have a huge family with multiple wives would be quite stressfull. My great great grandad did it, but I do not know how he mannaged it!).

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E: It is quite the double standard amongst some of bible thumpers that choose to overlook the fact that MANY OT prophets had more than one wife. This was never condemed by God in the Bible.

RA: Not really sure which Bible thupers you've vbeen talking to, but all of teh ones I know don't overlook it at all, and have discussed it at length. I think you may need to read something othber than FARMS and FAIR articles. Not necessarily to change your views, but simply to become better informed about other positions. And to see why folks like myself (the non-Bible thumpers who also have not ignored OT polygamy) see God indeed condemning polygamy.

I guess I'll just have to side with David Whitmer on this one, him being a BOM witness and all.

RAbanes

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