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Hoffer, Exclusivity and a Luther Quote Worthy of Ahab!


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1 hour ago, pogi said:

I'm not entirely clear how this differs from what we believe.  In fact, the underlined part sound distinctly Latter-day Saint (the light of Christ).  Those who receive and respond to that light are exalted.  Those who don't are not.  No difference whatsoever.  We also believe it is Christ's responsibility to balance mercy and justice (he does so perfectly).

This also aligns perfectly with Latter-day Saint belief.  No denominations.  No Mormons, Baptists, etc.  All will be united as members of the Church of the Firstborn.  All will have come from divergent backgrounds  and lifestyles.   There is literally nothing here that differs from what we teach and believe. 

Hi Pogi: I have always thought our beliefs (the big ones) are more similar than different.  I am not 100% sure about the spirit world however. I don't think I understand the spirit world as an intermediate place for "to be absent from the body it to be present with the Lord." I am not sure I have ever quite understood  what happens to us prior to judgment day. I know the LDS have a very well-defined image of all that. I don't.

I think I understand the LDS concept of the Church of the Firstborn. As an aside, I have been very involved lately with the earthly fundamentalist Church of the Firstborn of the Fullness of Times here in Mexico. I was supposed to give a talk on the interrelationships between that group, other fundamentalist groups, and the LDS folks here in Mexico. The conference was cancelled. The murders here in Mexico of the women and children last November heightened the world's interest. Each of the two stakes here as a public relationship person. I think there is some hesitancy to get involved in all of that, so sometimes the lot falls to me, not related to the doctrine, but to the history. Margarito Bautisto and Ossmen Jones were two pretty interesting folks who crossed over between the groups. Add in Roulon Allred who was born about five miles from my house and all the Lebarons who all grew up in Colonia Juarez and you have an interesting mix. I understand that I will give the talk in 2021 in Rochester. We will see. Take care.

Edited by Navidad
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24 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

If you are pondering universality and exclusivity of LDS beliefs, I invite you to consider a funeral at an LDS chapel.

How are the deceased of different beliefs, LDS and non-LDS, treated?

Hi: I have been to a number of LDS funerals here and have preached quite a few non-LDS funerals in my time. I have never seen a funeral for a non-LDS person in the chapel, nor have I ever seen a funeral for an LDS person in a non-LDS environment. I am not sure exactly what you mean. Tell me more! The LDS funerals seem to include only some hymns, special music, family reminiscences about the deceased and then a brief summary by someone in authority about the general LDS gospel and a meal for the family. There is also a grave dedication. I do know an LDS Melchizedek priesthood holder is allowed to give a dedicatory prayer at a non-LDS person's graveside. The only thing that I have ever seen that I thought was unique was twice a generic negative story about a Protestant pastor was included!  I wasn't sure what the purpose of that was. I sang in the ward choir those days so I was up on the platform/stand listening. That was kind of interesting. Tell me more please about what you are thinking about! Take care.

 

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18 minutes ago, Ahab said:

No, no, no.  He is really old.  I think I remember him saying he is like 80 years old, in Earth years. So it's actually more correct to imagine him as a really really old guy sitting at a table, rather than as a younger brother.  He's probably one of the oldest people who posts here.

I mean really, really old.

Nice.  Yes, they do a pretty good job of describing what doctrine is and how we should approach understanding our doctrine.

Hey, I resemble that! Actually I am 71. I just feel like I am 99 lately. I think there are several older! Now, how about some respect for your elders! Ha!

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2 minutes ago, Navidad said:

Hey, I resemble that! Actually I am 71. I just feel like I am 99 lately. I think there are several older! Now, how about some respect for your elders! Ha!

Oh okay.  Not as old as I thought or thought I remembered you saying you were. Just about 12 years older than me, in Earth years. I don't remember how old I was before I came down here. Few of us do, I think.

But anyway, nevermind then about my idea that old age might be the reason you're not grasping all of the info and nuances we have tried to share with you.  Must be some other explanation. 

Or maybe you do understand us and you still don't agree even though you understand. In that case the only hope I see for you is that you will maybe someday change your mind so that you will agree with us who are in agreement with God.

That wouldn't necessarily be something you would consider to be a bad thing.  You might even think you are right and that we should be in agreement with you, while you think you are in agreement with God.  And I would wonder if you would ever see that you are wrong.

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54 minutes ago, Navidad said:

Hi Pogi: I have always thought our beliefs (the big ones) are more similar than different.  

I agree.  I guess I am saying that in terms of exclusivity, I don't see much a difference either.  I think we both are equally exclusionist in the same sense that you say - "For all those who have never heard, for all those who have lived without a message of the gospel, for those who have apparently accepted (to the human mind) the gospel, only Christ knows for sure, to all those who lived before Christ, he will determine their eternal destiny based on their faith and light."  That could have been written by a Latter-day Saint.   We both are exlusionist in the sense that those who receive not the light, and who don't exercise faith in that light, are excluded from exaltation.  Period.  You don't pretend to know how the "fruit" of that faith in Christ will be manifest in time, but we do (baptism).  That is the only difference.  But ultimately it all boils down to the exact same exlusionary principle of receiving light and having faith in it.  In that light (pun intended) we are 100% equally exclusionist.  

Of course, other evangelical denominations are much more exclusionist than you, or we, proclaim to be. 

Edited by pogi
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2 hours ago, Ahab said:

Oh okay.  Not as old as I thought or thought I remembered you saying you were. Just about 12 years older than me, in Earth years. I don't remember how old I was before I came down here. Few of us do, I think.

But anyway, nevermind then about my idea that old age might be the reason you're not grasping all of the info and nuances we have tried to share with you.  Must be some other explanation. 

Or maybe you do understand us and you still don't agree even though you understand. In that case the only hope I see for you is that you will maybe someday change your mind so that you will agree with us who are in agreement with God.

That wouldn't necessarily be something you would consider to be a bad thing.  You might even think you are right and that we should be in agreement with you, while you think you are in agreement with God.  And I would wonder if you would ever see that you are wrong.

I beg of you not to think of my confusion or lack of understanding as either old age or some nefarious purpose. It has zero, nothing to do with agreement. I have not staked out any opinion on which I think I am right, therefore you are wrong. I simply do not understand your position. When one member of this forum on the same day says "of course we are exclusive" and another says "to say we are exclusive is absurd" ---- do you really think that difference is my fault, the result of my age, or some underhanded purpose? Perhaps you all are confused about what you believe when it comes down to specifics and nitty-gritty. Or you have differing opinions on what it means to be "exclusive." The only thing similar to what you are suggested that I would own, is this: I do not believe that the LDS church is the sole and only conduit for the message of the gospel on earth. I do not believe the LDS priesthood to be any different than the royal priest mentioned in the New Testament. That comes from personal observation of LDS men over years. No less and no more! I don't know exactly, and it appears there is difference among you about what D&C 1:30 means. I believe the Holy Spirit led men to ordain me. I believe the Holy Spirit has led me in my Christian life. I believe, to use your word, I am not a faker. I hope that helps.

 

Edited by Navidad
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1 hour ago, pogi said:

Of course, other evangelical denominations are much more exclusionist than you, or we, proclaim to be. 

Hi amigo. I would suggest that is not true. What is true is that other "fundamentalist" denominations are much more exclusionist than I or you proclaim to be. To be accurate you must make a distinction between fundamentalists, evangelicals, and mainstream non-LDS Christians. That seems to be something you all are hesitant to do. Just as I am struggling and working hard to understand LDS Christians, I would ask you to do the same to understand non-LDS Christians. Is that fair?

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2 hours ago, Ahab said:

No, no, no.  He is really old.  I think I remember him saying he is like 80 years old, in Earth years. So it's actually more correct to imagine him as a really really old guy sitting at a table, rather than as a younger brother.  He's probably one of the oldest people who posts here.

I mean really, really old.

Nice.  Yes, they do a pretty good job of describing what doctrine is and how we should approach understanding our doctrine.

We are the same age, approx 71, 72.

He is Young in the gospel.

 

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10 hours ago, pogi said:

I have attended both.  I can say that the difference was mostly cultural.  The LDS funerals were much more uplifting and pleasant.  I attended a Catholic funeral in the Philippines - talk about weeping and wailing!  It seems that the louder you mourn, the more you love the person who is deceased.  It is just a cultural thing, but I found it very unpleasant and overly dramatic for my cultural sensibilities.  The event lasts 3 days.   I have also attended a funeral for someone who would be considered inactive and potentially apostate in an LDS chapel.  It was equally uplifting, hopeful, and pleasant.   What are you getting at exactly?

By saying 

"consider a funeral at an LDS chapel.

How are the deceased of different beliefs, LDS and non-LDS, treated?"

I mean to consider a funeral at an LDS chapel for an LDS person versus a funeral at an LDS chapel for a non-LDS person. This can happen when the nearest surviving relatives of the deceased are LDS.

(By the way, weeping and wailing can be a good thing. I think there is such a thing as toxic positivity when people die which can disrupt the mourning process.)

In reply to you and also @Navidad as well:

What I am getting at is that if LDS beliefs were more universalist than exclusive, you could imo expect to see more inclusivity in LDS funerals, in practice and policy. The disconnect is perhaps most apparent in funerals for non-LDS at LDS buildings.

I think that the universality of Mormonism is more like "in the end, everyone will go through our ritual." The very-streamlined nature of LDS funerals exemplifies this LDS belief of the afterlife.

That's LDS universality, which is very different from the idea that there are equally valid paths. If I understand the common Christian universality, it is more inclusive, without a ritual unique to them, where a relationship to Christ is paramount and where there is no additional ritual needed. 

In universalist Christianity, Christ is the necessary path, independent of any denomination. In LDS universality, the LDS church is the necessary path to Christ.

I haven't talked about universalism that is inclusive of non-Christian paths, but that should perhaps be remembered in the conversation, too.

 

Edited by Meadowchik
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10 hours ago, Calm said:

Just in case Mark's comment above isn't clear, (I haven't read all the posts), "eternal life" means "exaltation" in Mormonspeak.

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/gospel-topics/eternal-life?lang=eng

 

Thanks.  I think he knew that but anyone else repeating it is useful.

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6 hours ago, Navidad said:

Hi amigo. I would suggest that is not true. What is true is that other "fundamentalist" denominations are much more exclusionist than I or you proclaim to be. To be accurate you must make a distinction between fundamentalists, evangelicals, and mainstream non-LDS Christians. That seems to be something you all are hesitant to do. Just as I am struggling and working hard to understand LDS Christians, I would ask you to do the same to understand non-LDS Christians. Is that fair?

No more fair than for me to actually expect you to respond to my philosophical questions, I guess.   I think that is a topic about which we are not interested.  

Edited by mfbukowski
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On 9/9/2020 at 4:25 PM, Navidad said:

Ok I apologize, I guess. That seems to be what you want me to do. Maybe just spell it out clearly and I will know how to better conform to the group's expectations for what I post. Let me just say - this is the topic about the LDS faith that interests me the very most. It is the most critical component of LDS doctrine that I don't want to get wrong. So yes, I bring it up a lot. Mark, you bring up your philosophical perspectives in almost every post. Others may bring up BOM historicity and translation issues. Others LGBQT issues. I could go down a list of folks on this forum and predict with enough accuracy to declare myself a prophet about what they will post most of the time.  Am I to be criticized for my interest in a such a key LDS doctrine? Is there such a monolithic perspective on D&C 1:30 that I am not allowed to express interest when someone presents a unique perspective, one that is out of the box, so to speak? I simply thought the Luther quote embedded in the Hoffer quote was quite interesting and fascinating so I shared it. I didn't advocate anything about it in my OP, did I? I didn't present my opinion on these quotes in my OP, did I?  I did nothing more than ask for your thoughts.

Is it not enough to make it interesting that some respond by saying that to assert that the LDS religion is exclusive is absurd, while others assure me that of course the LDS faith is exclusive; a one of a kind faith! HUH? And it is not permissible for me to be confused? Is it not enough that Kevin is kind enough to explain his unique perspective on D&C 1:30, or that a well-respected former bishop (by all whom I have asked outside of this forum) gave a completely unique exposition of D&C 1:30 at last year's Sunstone Forum? Is this subject not more important for eternity than Nephite swords in Nicaragua? After all, I really have nothing to do in my life, so I just bore myself by perpetually coming back here to seek greater clarity on something that is very important to me, even knowing that your eyes will roll and I will be scorned in the attempt? Do you really think I just want to irritate you all?

So please help me out. . . are there any other topics I am not allowed to bring up on this forum? Certainly some of you must have a list in mind that are verboten for Navidad. I really want to fit in and learn from you all. In order to be accepted for who I am (not necessarily who you think I am), I will do my very best to conform.

I will just add one more thing for clarity's sake. When I use the word exclusive, I do not mean that in any pejorative way. I am neither scolding, mocking, nor criticizing. If Marriott offers exclusive discounts to its members with so many points, that is nothing to be criticized about by Wyndham members, is it?  If Walmart opens an hour early exclusively for shoppers 70 and over, is that really something for those who are thirty years old or who prefer Target to criticize?

It seems to me that the LDS faith exclusively restricts access to eternal life full-time with Heavenly Father and Christ to certain worthies. One must be even more worthy to be exalted to then become as God, or gods. To procreate spirit children in eternity is an exclusive privilege of the most worthy, is it not? Is that not why you teach that to start on the path of exaltation, one must open the dam by being baptized exclusively in an LDS ordinance by an LDS priesthood holder who is exclusively worthy to perform the same? Are there not necessary and LDS-exclusive endowments, sealings and perhaps other ordinances unknown to me, for one to be worthy enough for the many blessings the most worthy will exclusively achieve? Are not all or most all of the necessary prerequisites for worthiness only to be found exclusively in the LDS Church? Is this not more than kind-of-a-just-possibly-important-topic? My confusion and questions are about exaltation, not salvation. I really did not just come back from a several month absence to just start offending you all, all over again. Sorry.

 

Sorry- I thought I could get to this today but the day got complicated.

As soon as I can, I will.

I would invite @Calm to take a shot at it.

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Is it not enough to make it interesting that some respond by saying that to assert that the LDS religion is exclusive is absurd, while others assure me that of course the LDS faith is exclusive; a one of a kind faith

The two are not contradictory as they refer to different things. Something can be unique, only available through a particular community without being exclusive (having standards that prevent someone who is willing to live the life style of the community from joining).
 

These are the definitions of “exclusive” that google brings up and which align with how I see it being used by members. 
 

Quote

1.  excluding or not admitting other things.

"my exclusive focus is on San Antonio issues"....

2. restricted or limited to the person, group, or area concerned.

"the couple had exclusive possession of the condo

In terms of the first definition, I think saying the Church will not include ideas it views as apostate (adultery, for example) is accurate. Culturally we are likely more exclusive than doctrinally.  For example I don’t think there is anything doctrinally against wearing a cross as a reminder of one’s faith, similar to how we wear CTR rings and pins, but some members see a cross more like an idol or go for the whole would you wear an execution device as jewelry thing...which is silly to me because that is not what the symbol is meant to be anymore than the pictures of missionaries or moms putting on the armor of God means they are intending to go out and kill people with the sword.  
 

We would describe ourselves as inclusive to all forms of truth; spiritual, moral, scientific, etc.  Of course what those truths are is going to be debated even among members (evolution, politics, death penalty, revelations).  There are a limited number of defined truths that individuals need to accept in order to be baptize (exclusive) and while those beliefs may drastically change once a member without them being excommunicated as long as they don’t proselytize them, generally members assume other members believe them.  Also what will be debated is the proper way to express the varied, wide range of acceptable truths so they are consistent with the behaviour best suited for living the limited required truths. For example, a required truth is that prophets lead the Church, we are required in behaviour to sustain them, but how that is done can vary from member to member and only extremes would lead to a discussion with leadership on altering one’s approach. 
 

The second definition is one that deals with group boundaries, where those outside the boundaries are not seen as members and those inside are, which is exclusive. The boundary itself is represented by the act of baptism and confirmation. Anyone having those without excommunication is considered technically a member. Depending on the context of a discussion, membership may be seen as more commitment to the community in certain ways, but that gets much more into personal interpretations, so I am just going to stick with baptism as the standard of membership.

Even if baptism is the boundary line, it is a porous boundary in that people can enter and exit. How porous depends on POV. Members generally see it as very porous in that anyone can choose to learn the gospel and be baptized, which is inclusive. Others may not see it that way as they think we have some hard doctrines to accept, again exclusive; such as our view of God, our view of eternal families, tithing and the Word of Wisdom, etc.  However, since all the requirements are under the control of the individual (once they are adults), we see our standards as highly inclusive.  If someone wants to live the life of a member, they can join.  Sex, race, nationality, age (over 18, under 18 with approval of parent), educational level, salary, disability (besides mental that removes accountability), etc....nothing they cannot change precludes them from becoming members. In some cases we may discourage it as in cases where it causes problems with a spouse or family, but exceptions will be may if the person shows they understand and can handle it (a Muslim student of my husband chose to be baptized and go into hiding from her family, it took permission from the First Presidency iirc, but she was a capable and wise young woman, so it was believed she understood the risk and could be safe).

So I would say we are exclusive in terms of a limited number, but significant beliefs and behaviours that make us unique/one of a kind and inclusive in regards to humanity, anyone can join if they agree to the terms (we would rejoice if every last human being chose to live the Gospel and become baptized and confirm).

An analogy would be a concert where free tickets (Inclusive) are given out to anyone who promises not to eat in the concert hall, use only their assigned seat, and no cell phone use during the symphony (exclusive, but not unreasonable, it makes the symphony more enjoyable for everyone).  You can only get a ticket from the concert hall ticket office. No scalping or counterfeits or tickets for events elsewhere. (Exclusive) Once they get a ticket (Baptism), they can attend as many concerts as they want (Inclusive).  The score for the symphony is original and is copyrighted (the full Gospel) and only played at this one concert hall (exclusive, one of a kind). Anyone who has attended a concert can also become a performer (Inclusive), but their part is chosen for them by the conductor (exclusive).

I could go on and on with this analogy, but the purpose was to demonstrate depending on what one is talking about, the Gospel is both exclusive and inclusive.

And we believe that all the requirements that open the doors so those who want to can walk in are requirements set by God, not man. And because they are set by God, it would be sinful of us to pretend they don’t exist and make excuses for people to be baptized when they aren’t willing to commit to God’s commandments.  Even more important, we believe that God has structured his requirements and his blessings in such a way that anyone who truly wants to live the Gospel can, though we all start small with living part of it and as we grow spiritually we are able to live more of it until after death there will come a time we fully understand and therefore can fully accept the Gospel as part of us forever. 

Edited by Calm
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6 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

No more fair than for me to actually expect you to respond to my philosophical questions, I guess.   I think that is a topic about which we are not interested.  

Ok. That is quite a revealing quote. The difference is I am neither that interested or knowledgeable about philosophy, so I don't talk about it in response to your quotes. On this forum a lack of knowledge of (beyond the anecdotal) and interest (as you say) in non-LDS Christianity does not seem to preclude folks from making cringe-worthy comments about it with regularity and great confidence.

Edited by Navidad
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4 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Sorry- I thought I could get to this today but the day got complicated.

As soon as I can, I will.

I would invite @Calm to take a shot at it.

Mark - Please don't worry about it. Sometimes you get on me for not answering you. I just wanted to make sure you knew I had responded via a post that I think you missed. No hay de que, as we say here!

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1 hour ago, Calm said:

The two are not contradictory as they refer to different things. Something can be unique, only available through a particular community without being exclusive (having standards that prevent someone who is willing to live the life style of the community from joining).
 

These are the definitions of “exclusive” that google brings up and which align with how I see it being used by members. 
 

In terms of the first definition, I think saying the Church will not include ideas it views as apostate (adultery, for example) is accurate. Culturally we are likely more exclusive than doctrinally.  For example I don’t think there is anything doctrinally against wearing a cross as a reminder of one’s faith, similar to how we wear CTR rings and pins, but some members see a cross more like an idol or go for the whole would you wear an execution device as jewelry thing...which is silly to me because that is not what the symbol is meant to be anymore than the pictures of missionaries or moms putting on the armor of God means they are intending to go out and kill people with the sword.  
 

We would describe ourselves as inclusive to all forms of truth; spiritual, moral, scientific, etc.  Of course what those truths are is going to be debated even among members (evolution, politics, death penalty, revelations).  There are a limited number of defined truths that individuals need to accept in order to be baptize (exclusive) and while those beliefs may drastically change once a member without them being excommunicated as long as they don’t proselytize them, generally members assume other members believe them.  Also what will be debated is the proper way to express those varied acceptable truths so they are consistent with the behaviour best suited for living the limited required truths. For example, a required truth is that prophets lead the Church, we are required in behaviour to sustain them, but how that is done can vary from member to member and only extremes would lead to a discussion with leadership on altering one’s approach. 
 

The second definition is one that deals with group boundaries, where those outside the boundaries are not seen as members and those inside are (exclusive) The boundary itself is represented by the act of baptism and confirmation. Anyone having those without excommunication is considered technically a member. Depending on the context of a discussion, membership may be seen as more commitment to the community in certain ways, but that gets much more into personal interpretations, so I am just going to stick with baptism as the standard of membership.

Even if baptism is the boundary line, it is a porous boundary in that people can enter and exit. How porous depends on POV. Members generally see it as very porous in that anyone can choose to learn the gospel and be baptized (inclusive). Others may not see it that way as they think we have some hard doctrines to accept (exclusive), such as our view of God, our view of eternal families, tithing and the Word of Wisdom, etc.  However, since all the requirements are under the control of the individual (once they are adults), we see our standards as highly inclusive. If someone wants to live the life of a member, they can join.  Sex, race, nationality, age (over 18, under 18 with approval of parent), educational level, salary, disability (besides mental that removes accountability), etc....nothing they cannot change precludes them from becoming members. In some cases we may discourage it as in cases where it causes problems with a spouse or family, but exceptions will be may if the person shows they understand and can handle it (a Muslim student of my husband chose to be baptized and go into hiding from her family, it took permission from the First Presidency iirc, but she was a capable and wise young woman, so it was believed she understood the risk and could be safe).

So I would say we are exclusive in terms of a limited number, but significant beliefs and behaviours that make us unique/one of a kind and inclusive in regards to humanity, anyone can join if they agree to the terms (we would rejoice if every last human being chose to live the Gospel and become baptized and confirm).

An analogy would be a concert where free tickets (Inclusive) are given out to anyone who promises not to eat in the concert hall, use only their assigned seat, and no cell phone use during the symphony (exclusive, but not unreasonable, it makes the symphony more enjoyable for everyone).  You can only get a ticket from the concert hall ticket office. No scalping or counterfeits or tickets for events elsewhere. (Exclusive) Once they get a ticket (Baptism), they can attend as many concerts as they want (Inclusive).  The score for the symphony is original and is copyrighted (the full Gospel) and only played at this one concert hall (exclusive, one of a kind). Anyone who has attended a concert can also become a performer (Inclusive), but their part is chosen for them by the conductor (exclusive).

I could go on and on with this analogy, but the purpose was to demonstrate depending on what one is talking about, the Gospel is both exclusive and inclusive.

And we believe that all the requirements that open the doors so those who want to can walk in are requirements set by God, not man. And because they are set by God, it would be sinful of us to pretend they don’t exist and make excuses for people to be baptized when they aren’t willing to commit to God’s commandments.  Even more important, we believe that God has structured his requirements and his blessings in such a way that anyone who truly wants to live the Gospel can, though we all start small with living part of it and as we grow spiritually we are able to live more of it until after death there will come a time we fully understand and therefore can fully accept the Gospel as part of us forever. 

Calm - Thanks for responding. I have two thoughts in response. I notice that you have affirmed several times and in several ways that the LDS church is exclusive. No one is going to remonstrate with you for you saying that. Whenever I say that I think the LDS church is exclusive someone responds with a degree of what I perceive as irritation. I guess that is because I am an "other" and as such LDS folks are conditioned from childhood that "others" are the enemy, are against, are less than, or whatever words are appropriate to indicate that someone is thereby saying something negative about the Church. I guess there is no way around that. That "force" is strong within Mormonism. I have not encountered anything like it within other faiths.

Second, you focused primarily on exclusivism related to membership - baptism, etc.Just as a point of information, I never think about that when I make my comments because certainly every group has the right to set requirements and restrictions on membership. I understand that completely. I am not sure if I meet those requirements to join. I guess that is up to the individual bishop or mission president to decide. My use of the word exclusive related to the LDS is all and only about eternal destiny. My eternal destiny is in a combination of my and your hands. You believe God has given me the agency to decide,  and you the methodology to actualize my eternal relationship with God. That is the only way I use the term exclusive in relationship to the LDS. Certainly there is cultural and membership exclusivity, but being Mennonite I could never comment on that. Mennonites are highly culturally exclusive. That is all changing since today more Mennonites in the world are non-white, than white. The whole Mennonite cultural model has had to change. That is a wonderful thing. I see it happening in Mormonism (the broader umbrella) as well. Some may think that is good and others, not so much. That is none of my business.

So my use of the term exclusive that I apply to the LDS faith relates to its belief and certainty that God has restored the Christian church and placed it solely and uniquely in the hands of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to provide the conduit through which the means and assurance of eternal life flow for all humans on the earth; past, present, and future. I think Meadowchik said it well that  "In the end, everyone will go through your ritual," with few exceptions, therefore you can also sincerely declare an inclusiveness about your faith. After all, it is not your doing, that God chose you to be His sole conduit. At the same time, that must be a great privilege and burden. Take my faith and add your ordinances, authority and God-approved processes and there is hope (not assurance) for me that one day I will live forever in the presence of God the Father and Son. You, I believe would add that there is hope as well that I might even become more fully as They are, since I have Their essence within me already as a spirit child born of their loins.

In conclusion, I am wondering if you would agree with this last paragraph regarding its use of the term "exclusive" regarding the LDS church? If so, then I can come to a sense of peace and conclude that I have understood it well. Thanks so much.

Edited by Navidad
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5 minutes ago, Navidad said:

 Take my faith and add your ritual (to use her word) 

Just adding something you might already know, the LDS-specific word is "ordinance." I use ritual here because it is a more generally-used term.

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45 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

Just adding something you might already know, the LDS-specific word is "ordinance." I use ritual here because it is a more generally-used term.

Thanks. I edited my reply to use the word ordinances. Take care!

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20 hours ago, Navidad said:

I have been the invited speaker at Catholic marriage retreats. I have never heard a Catholic say to me that only those who somewhere at some time accept Catholicism as the true Church of Christ will be afforded all the blessings of heaven. From my knowledge of Mexican religious history, Catholics certainly believed that at one time. But not in my lifetime or experience.

Hi.

From the current Catholic Catechism. Bold is mine:

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816 "The sole Church of Christ [is that] which our Savior, after his Resurrection, entrusted to Peter's pastoral care, commissioning him and the other apostles to extend and rule it.... This Church, constituted and organized as a society in the present world, subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him."267

The Second Vatican Council's Decree on Ecumenism explains: "For it is through Christ's Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help toward salvation, that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained. It was to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, that we believe that our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant, in order to establish on earth the one Body of Christ into which all those should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the People of God."268

Now, there are certainly Catholics who think differently, but that doesn't negate the official teaching of the Church. The Catholic Church is the sole Church of Christ. The Church of Christ was given to the Apostles, with Peter at the head, and is governed today by the Pope and Bishops in communion with him.

The Catechism goes on to say that the protestant "reformation" wounded the unity of the Church of Christ:

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817 In fact, "in this one and only Church of God from its very beginnings there arose certain rifts, which the Apostle strongly censures as damnable. But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions appeared and large communities became separated from full communion with the Catholic Church - for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame."269 The ruptures that wound the unity of Christ's Body - here we must distinguish heresy, apostasy, and schism270 - do not occur without human sin:

Catholicism does not deny that protestants are Christian. It also doesn't deny that there is truth and goodness and sanctification to be found in protestant communities:

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818 "However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation those who at present are born into these communities [that resulted from such separation] and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers .... All who have been justified by faith in Baptism are incorporated into Christ; they therefore have a right to be called Christians, and with good reason are accepted as brothers in the Lord by the children of the Catholic Church."272

819 "Furthermore, many elements of sanctification and of truth"273 are found outside the visible confines of the Catholic Church: "the written Word of God; the life of grace; faith, hope, and charity, with the other interior gifts of the Holy Spirit, as well as visible elements."274 Christ's Spirit uses these Churches and ecclesial communities as means of salvation, whose power derives from the fullness of grace and truth that Christ has entrusted to the Catholic Church. All these blessings come from Christ and lead to him,275 and are in themselves calls to "Catholic unity."276

 

Notice, though, that the "elements of sanctification and of truth" that are in protestant communities are "calls to 'Catholic unity.'" In other words, the truth and blessings that non-Catholics are given from Christ are there to help lead them back to the Catholic Church.

The Catechism continues in the section "Towards Unity":

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822 Concern for achieving unity "involves the whole Church, faithful and clergy alike."287 But we must realize "that this holy objective - the reconciliation of all Christians in the unity of the one and only Church of Christ - transcends human powers and gifts." That is why we place all our hope "in the prayer of Christ for the Church, in the love of the Father for us, and in the power of the Holy Spirit."288

We pray for the "reconciliation of all Christians in the unity of the one and only Church of Christ." We pray that all Christians will come to the sole Church of Christ, which subsists in the Catholic Church.

I hope this helps clarify the official teaching of the Catholic Church.

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16 hours ago, Navidad said:

Hi amigo. I would suggest that is not true. What is true is that other "fundamentalist" denominations are much more exclusionist than I or you proclaim to be. To be accurate you must make a distinction between fundamentalists, evangelicals, and mainstream non-LDS Christians. That seems to be something you all are hesitant to do. Just as I am struggling and working hard to understand LDS Christians, I would ask you to do the same to understand non-LDS Christians. Is that fair?

Are you claiming that no evangelical denominations are exclusivist in terms of claiming that non-Christian people can't achieve eternal life?

I know I have personally met some self-proclaimed evangelicals who tell us that we can't be saved because we are not Christian.  So, how is what I said untrue?  This seems to happen more often than not with evangelicals, in my experience. 

Do you think that the belief that other non-Christian groups can't achieve eternal life is a fundametalist belief?  If so, perhaps fundamentalist beliefs are more pervasive with self-proclaimed evangelicals than you lead me to believe.  How do you explain these numbers?

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However, evangelicals are less likely than other groups to say that non-Christian faiths can lead to eternal life. About two-thirds of evangelicals (64%) who see multiple paths to salvation say that Judaism, for example, can bring eternal life, lower than the 73% among mainline Protestants and the 77% among white Catholics who say this. And only about one-third of evangelicals who say there are multiple paths to salvation say that Islam (35%) or Hinduism (33%) can lead to eternal life, with fewer still saying that atheists (26%) can achieve eternal life.

https://www.pewforum.org/2008/12/18/many-americans-say-other-faiths-can-lead-to-eternal-life/

Trends in Opinions About Religious Exclusivity

Figure 2

It appears that only 35% of white evangelicals believe that Muslims or Hindus can achieve eternal life, while only 26% believe that atheists can achieve eternal life.   

Help me understand why you think what I said is "not true".  These polls, and my personal experience with other evangelicals, seem to show otherwise.

 

 

Edited by pogi
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1 hour ago, MiserereNobis said:

Hi.

From the current Catholic Catechism. Bold is mine:

Now, there are certainly Catholics who think differently, but that doesn't negate the official teaching of the Church. The Catholic Church is the sole Church of Christ. The Church of Christ was given to the Apostles, with Peter at the head, and is governed today by the Pope and Bishops in communion with him.

The Catechism goes on to say that the protestant "reformation" wounded the unity of the Church of Christ:

Catholicism does not deny that protestants are Christian. It also doesn't deny that there is truth and goodness and sanctification to be found in protestant communities:

Notice, though, that the "elements of sanctification and of truth" that are in protestant communities are "calls to 'Catholic unity.'" In other words, the truth and blessings that non-Catholics are given from Christ are there to help lead them back to the Catholic Church.

The Catechism continues in the section "Towards Unity":

We pray for the "reconciliation of all Christians in the unity of the one and only Church of Christ." We pray that all Christians will come to the sole Church of Christ, which subsists in the Catholic Church.

I hope this helps clarify the official teaching of the Catholic Church.

Thanks. I always appreciate the beauty of your replies. May I ask two rather straight forward questions? - Will there be folks in heaven living and learning for eternity at the feet of Christ who were not in life members of The Catholic Church? Does the Catholic Church teach that after death, non-Catholic Church members will need to adopt The Catholic Church's teaching and ordinances to qualify to dwell in heaven, living and learning for eternity at the feet of Christ? Thanks so much.

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4 hours ago, Navidad said:

...my use of the term exclusive that I apply to the LDS faith relates to its belief and certainty that God has restored the Christian church and placed it solely and uniquely in the hands of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to provide the conduit through which the means and assurance of eternal life flow for all humans on the earth; past, present, and future.

That is a crude way to say what is basically true ion our view of things.  The name "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" is the name that our Lord Jesus Christ himself specified as the name that his church would be known by in these latter-day before his so-called second coming.  It is his church, and he has only one church, and his church in these latter days is to be known by a specific name that he chose to name it.  In other dispensations or periods of time on this planet his church was known by some other names, whatever those names were, but in these days his church is to be known by that name, and only that church is it, at least as far as his church pertains to the mortals who are still living on this planet.  I don't think that means that when you die that every true Christian you meet is going to say he was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while he lived his mortal life on this planet.  He may have lived thousands of years ago and when he was living as a mortal the church of Christ was known by some other name, if not simply the church of Jesus Christ.  So be a little more careful there before you say something like you just said.  Past, present and future time periods cover a very long range of time, but you should expect the principles ordinances and teachings of the gospel for the church of Christ to be basically the same.

 

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1 hour ago, Ahab said:

That is a crude way to say what is basically true ion our view of things.  The name "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" is the name that our Lord Jesus Christ himself specified as the name that his church would be known by in these latter-day before his so-called second coming.  It is his church, and he has only one church, and his church in these latter days is to be known by a specific name that he chose to name it.  In other dispensations or periods of time on this planet his church was known by some other names, whatever those names were, but in these days his church is to be known by that name, and only that church is it, at least as far as his church pertains to the mortals who are still living on this planet.  I don't think that means that when you die that every true Christian you meet is going to say he was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while he lived his mortal life on this planet.  He may have lived thousands of years ago and when he was living as a mortal the church of Christ was known by some other name, if not simply the church of Jesus Christ.  So be a little more careful there before you say something like you just said.  Past, present and future time periods cover a very long range of time, but you should expect the principles ordinances and teachings of the gospel for the church of Christ to be basically the same.

 

That was not crude at all.

It was actually a very respectful and neutral way to describe LDS exclusivity beliefs from the moment of the First Vision down to the present day when we teach our children to sing "we will be the Lord's missionaries, to bring the world His truth:"

They are not taught that they will be joining the LDS message to some larger Christian, equally-inspired chorus. Rather, they're taught that they're the special voices of the Restored church bringing the truth to an apostate Christianity and others of the world who do not have the fullness of the gospel.

The popular LDS song for youth I am referencing:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/music/library/childrens-songbook/well-bring-the-world-his-truth-army-of-helaman?lang=eng

Edited by Meadowchik
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5 hours ago, Navidad said:

Calm - Thanks for responding. I have two thoughts in response. I notice that you have affirmed several times and in several ways that the LDS church is exclusive. No one is going to remonstrate with you for you saying that. Whenever I say that I think the LDS church is exclusive someone responds with a degree of what I perceive as irritation. I guess that is because I am an "other" and as such LDS folks are conditioned from childhood that "others" are the enemy, are against, are less than, or whatever words are appropriate to indicate that someone is thereby saying something negative about the Church. I guess there is no way around that. That "force" is strong within Mormonism. I have not encountered anything like it within other faiths.

Second, you focused primarily on exclusivism related to membership - baptism, etc.Just as a point of information, I never think about that when I make my comments because certainly every group has the right to set requirements and restrictions on membership. I understand that completely. I am not sure if I meet those requirements to join. I guess that is up to the individual bishop or mission president to decide. My use of the word exclusive related to the LDS is all and only about eternal destiny. My eternal destiny is in a combination of my and your hands. You believe God has given me the agency to decide,  and you the methodology to actualize my eternal relationship with God. That is the only way I use the term exclusive in relationship to the LDS. Certainly there is cultural and membership exclusivity, but being Mennonite I could never comment on that. Mennonites are highly culturally exclusive. That is all changing since today more Mennonites in the world are non-white, than white. The whole Mennonite cultural model has had to change. That is a wonderful thing. I see it happening in Mormonism (the broader umbrella) as well. Some may think that is good and others, not so much. That is none of my business.

So my use of the term exclusive that I apply to the LDS faith relates to its belief and certainty that God has restored the Christian church and placed it solely and uniquely in the hands of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to provide the conduit through which the means and assurance of eternal life flow for all humans on the earth; past, present, and future. I think Meadowchik said it well that  "In the end, everyone will go through your ritual," with few exceptions, therefore you can also sincerely declare aisted started the Churchn inclusiveness about your faith. After all, it is not your doing, that God chose you to be His sole conduit. At the same time, that must be a great privilege and burden. Take my faith and add your ordinances, authority and God-approved processes and there is hope (not assurance) for me that one day I will live forever in the presence of God the Father and Son. You, I believe would add that there is hope as well that I might even become more fully as They are, since I have Their essence within me already as a spirit child born of their loins.

In conclusion, I am wondering if you would agree with this last paragraph regarding its use of the term "exclusive" regarding the LDS church? If so, then I can come to a sense of peace and conclude that I have understood it well. Thanks so much.

No, you are mistaken. Christ started the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints then we (the members) decided to join.

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18 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

That was not crude at all.

It was actually a very respectful and neutral way to describe LDS exclusivity beliefs from the moment of the First Vision down to the present day when we teach our children to sing "we will be the Lord's missionaries, to bring the world His truth:"

They are not taught that they will be joining the LDS message to some larger Christian, equally-inspired chorus. Rather, they're taught that they're the special voices of the Restored church bringing the truth to an apostate Christianity and others of the world who do not have the fullness of the gospel.

It was crude just as your own comments are crude.  and I mean crude by definition in a natural or raw state; not yet processed or refined.

Read again what I said and compare, and I'll throw in some bold text for you to bring out some highlights:

The name "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" is the name that our Lord Jesus Christ himself specified as the name that his church would be known by in these latter-day days before his so-called second coming.  It is his church, and he has only one church, and his church in these latter days is to be known by a specific name that he chose to name it.  In other dispensations or periods of time on this planet his church was known by some other names, whatever those names were, but in these days his church is to be known by that name, and only that church is it, at least as far as his church pertains to the mortals who are still living on this planet.  I don't think that means that when you die that every true Christian you meet is going to say he was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while he lived his mortal life on this planet.  He may have lived thousands of years ago and when he was living as a mortal the church of Christ was known by some other name, if not simply the church of Jesus Christ.  So be a little more careful there before you say something like you just said.  Past, present and future time periods cover a very long range of time, but you should expect the principles ordinances and teachings of the gospel for the church of Christ to be basically the same.

It would be incorrect and improper to portray so-called Christendom as equally inspired and equally valid, and for lack of a better term "apostate" is what the majority of the so-called Christian world is.  They are not us and we are not them.

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