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The uniqueness of the LDS Church


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39 minutes ago, James 1 5 said:

The concept of the Trinity doesn't make this any less confusing to many people.  We say one God with many persons who are that one God and many Christians call that polytheism while we say again no, we said only one God, so only monotheism.

It is confusing because of what some people think of a person who is called God.  Call 3 people God and some will say that is 3 Gods.  You might say it is one God and I would agree.  Whether 3 people are God or an infinite number of people are God, I would say that is only one God.  Many other people would not agree and think that is confusing.

In the end, it's really just semantics.
They say 3 gods in one god.  We say 3 gods in one godhead.

The difference is actually pretty minimal.  

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14 minutes ago, teddyaware said:

To be clear, I'm not saying she wasn't a virgin prior to conceiving, just that that's not what the scripture in Isaiah and quoted in Matthew/Nephi was saying.  The word used means maiden, not virgin.  But she was probably both.

But I personally don't believe she conceived by any method differently than everyone else, ie remained a virgin after conception.  Just different circumstances surrounding the conception.

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8 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

No, you said the biggest dividing issue in Christianity today is whether there is one God or more than one God. My response is that is absolutely not a dividing issue. At all. Christianity is monotheistic.

Not quite right. I said "I think this is probably one of the biggest doctrinal issues that divides all of so-called Christianity.  The issue of whether there is only one God, or more than one God.

I as a latter-say saint am a Christian, and I believe other latter-day saints are also Christians.  Do you see as I do how this issue divides all who are Christians or so-called Christians from unity with each other?

I see this issue as one of the biggest doctrinal issue because it involves the being we worship, God, and what we believe God is.

 

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1 minute ago, James 1 5 said:

Not quite right. I said "I think this is probably one of the biggest doctrinal issues that divides all of so-called Christianity.  The issue of whether there is only one God, or more than one God.

I as a latter-say saint am a Christian, and I believe other latter-day saints are also Christians.  Do you see as I do how this issue divides all who are Christians or so-called Christians from unity with each other?

I see this issue as one of the biggest doctrinal issue because it involves the being we worship, God, and what we believe God is.

 

Yes, it divides the LDS from non-LDS Christians. But there are only 16 million LDS in the world. There are 2.3 billion non-LDS. That means the LDS make up about 0.7% of Christianity.

That is too small to say it is an issue that divides Christians, much less as you say in bold: "probably one of the biggest doctrinal issues."

And to be clear, I'm not saying the numbers say anything about the truthfulness of the LDS position. I'm just saying that the numbers show that it is not a big doctrinal divide in Christianity.

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On 1/26/2022 at 2:56 PM, James 1 5 said:

I think I understand this a little bit.  The power of the Holy Ghost sometimes refers to a particular degree of power which the Holy Ghost has, which others can also have.   Angels, which are other divine messengers, often speak with the power of the Holy Ghost, or as much power as the Holy Ghost has when he speaks.  So the fact that Jesus was conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost doesn't mean the Holy Ghost begat him. Only that Mary conceived Jesus by that degree of power.  The Holy Ghost is a spirit, just as Jesus was a spirit before our Father begat him through Mary, so I tend to think of the power of the Holy Ghost as as much power as a spirit can have before being resurrected.  Maybe the ultimate degree of spirit power, before resurrection.

So God didn't have enough power Himself to do the job?  He needed an assist from the Holy Ghost?

 

I tend to agree with JHL.  It is all sounding a bit like Eve coming from a rib territory.

Edited by california boy
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3 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

Yes, it divides the LDS from non-LDS Christians. But there are only 16 million LDS in the world. There are 2.3 billion non-LDS. That means the LDS make up about 0.7% of Christianity.

That is too small to say it is an issue that divides Christians, much less as you say in bold: "probably one of the biggest doctrinal issues."

And to be clear, I'm not saying the numbers say anything about the truthfulness of the LDS position. I'm just saying that the numbers show that it is not a big doctrinal divide in Christianity.

You still don't understand what I said.  I think it is one of the biggest doctrinal issues that divides all of us from unity with each other because the doctrinal issue is all about the kind of being we all worship.  We don't all agree about what we are worshipping.

What bigger issue can you think of than who and what we worship?

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8 minutes ago, James 1 5 said:

You still don't understand what I said.  I think it is one of the biggest doctrinal issues that divides all of us from unity with each other because the doctrinal issue is all about the kind of being we all worship.  We don't all agree about what we are worshipping.

What bigger issue can you think of than who and what we worship?

But 99% of Christianity DOES agree on what kind of being we worship, so this issue doesn't divide Christianity. It divides LDS from mainstream Christianity, yes, but it doesn't divide Christianity in any major way at all. Yet you somehow think it is one of the biggest issues. That doesn't make sense. But, as usual, a lot of what you say doesn't make much sense, yet somehow I always get sucked into arguing things with you.

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34 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

In the end, it's really just semantics.
They say 3 gods in one god.  We say 3 gods in one godhead.

The difference is actually pretty minimal.  

I can concede this in the issue of Trinity vs. Godhead. I think it is more than just minimal, but it does dwarf in comparison to the issue of the nature of God. 

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13 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

But 99% of Christianity DOES agree on what kind of being we worship, so this issue doesn't divide Christianity. It divides LDS from mainstream Christianity, yes, but it doesn't divide Christianity in any major way at all. Yet you somehow think it is one of the biggest issues. That doesn't make sense. But, as usual, a lot of what you say doesn't make much sense, yet somehow I always get sucked into arguing things with you.

The doctrinal issue is the big deal, in my opinion. If we ALL agreed that we agreed on this doctrinal issue then I think we would ALL feel like we were more united as Christians than most of us feel we are united now. 

 

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52 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

To be clear, I'm not saying she wasn't a virgin prior to conceiving, just that that's not what the scripture in Isaiah and quoted in Matthew/Nephi was saying.  The word used means maiden, not virgin.  But she was probably both.

But I personally don't believe she conceived by any method differently than everyone else, ie remained a virgin after conception.  Just different circumstances surrounding the conception.

Can a virgin female who conceives by means of artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization still be considered a virgin?

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14 minutes ago, teddyaware said:

Can a virgin female who conceives by means of artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization still be considered a virgin?

Yes, she could still be a young woman and she could still be sexually pure, never having had sexual relations through sexual intercourse with any man.

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30 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

But 99% of Christianity DOES agree on what kind of being we worship, so this issue doesn't divide Christianity. It divides LDS from mainstream Christianity, yes, but it doesn't divide Christianity in any major way at all. Yet you somehow think it is one of the biggest issues. That doesn't make sense. But, as usual, a lot of what you say doesn't make much sense, yet somehow I always get sucked into arguing things with you.

Since within Jesus Christ there exists “all the fullness of the Godhead bodily,” could it be said that Christ is superior to Father because while he is indeed everything the Father is he also possesses a perfected human body, something the Father doesn’t possess and has no means to experience and enjoy (for example, Christ can eat food and physically embrace his followers in his arms, something the Father can’t do)?

Conversely, might some Christians perceive Christ to be inferior to the Father in nature because possessing a physical body is considered to be an encumbrance to the fullest expression of pure spirituality?

image.jpeg

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5 hours ago, theplains said:

Somehow Jesus was conceived with a miraculous conception. I do not believe Heavenly Father "came
down from his station of dominion and power to become the Father of a Son who would be born of
Mary, ‘after the manner of the flesh
.’” (December 2001 Ensign).
 

I don't see the difference, since He was conceived in the womb (of flesh), grew in the womb (of flesh) and was born of Mary (who had a body of flesh) having an infant body of flesh. Are you suggesting that Luke 1:34-35 did not take place in Mary's flesh?

From 1 Nephi 111:

16 And he said unto me: Knowest thou the acondescension of God?

17 And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things.

18 And he said unto me: Behold, the avirgin whom thou seest is the bmother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh.

19 And it came to pass that I beheld that she was carried away in the Spirit; and after she had been carried away in the aSpirit for the space of a time the angel spake unto me, saying: Look!

20 And I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a achild in her arms.

21 And the angel said unto me: Behold the aLamb of God, yea, even the bSon of the Eternal cFather! Knowest thou the meaning of the dtree which thy father saw?

Edited by CV75
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38 minutes ago, teddyaware said:

Can a virgin female who conceives by means of artificial insemination or in vitro fertilization still be considered a virgin?

Sure.  But I dislike this comparison.  Why assume artificial insemination over a loving act from a Father to produce a child?
Scripture tells us things on earth are types and shadows of things in heaven.  I don't see that that has to exclude sex.

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20 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

Sure.  But I dislike this comparison.  Why assume artificial insemination over a loving act from a Father to produce a child?
Scripture tells us things on earth are types and shadows of things in heaven.  I don't see that that has to exclude sex.

It may not seem like much of an issue to you but I think most people "dislike" the idea of any Father having sexual relations with one of his daughters, magnified by about a gazillion if that Father is her and our Father in heaven.  It just doesn't seem right.

All that was needed was some way for our Father to fertilize one of Mary's eggs, if Jesus needed to be an actual child of our Father in heaven, the one referred to as Jehovah before he was named Jesus.  A son of Mary as well as our Father and his Father.

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27 minutes ago, James 1 5 said:

It may not seem like much of an issue to you but I think most people "dislike" the idea of any Father having sexual relations with one of his daughters, magnified by about a gazillion if that Father is her and our Father in heaven.  It just doesn't seem right.

All that was needed was some way for our Father to fertilize one of Mary's eggs, if Jesus needed to be an actual child of our Father in heaven, the one referred to as Jehovah before he was named Jesus.  A son of Mary as well as our Father and his Father.

Victorian prudery.  Not doctrine.

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2 minutes ago, JLHPROF said:

Victorian prudery.  Not doctrine.

Some is doctrine.  The part saying our Father was needed to put Jesus into Mary's womb.  For some reason Jesus could not do that by himself.  It wasn't enough for his spirit to merge with one of Mary's eggs.  Her egg needed more than that to produce a body for the spirit of Jesus to merge with.  We're just not totally sure how our Father impregnated one of Mary's eggs and the way you think he did it is, yes, not amenable to our somewhat Victorian sensibilities.

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1 hour ago, teddyaware said:

Since within Jesus Christ there exists “all the fullness of the Godhead bodily,” could it be said that Christ is superior to Father because while he is indeed everything the Father is he also possesses a perfected human body, something the Father doesn’t possess and has no means to experience and enjoy (for example, Christ can eat food and physically embrace his followers in his arms, something the Father can’t do)?

Conversely, might some Christians perceive Christ to be inferior to the Father in nature because possessing a physical body is considered to be an encumbrance to the fullest expression of pure spirituality?

image.jpeg

Before I respond to your questions, can you explain what point you are trying to make with the picture of the woman? Thanks. 

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1 hour ago, The Nehor said:

It is also a bit odd to think that the writers of Matthew and Luke had some special insight into how Jesus was conceived beyond miraculously.

I watched a very interesting documentary on Jesus that talks about where the books of the New Testament came from and how who Jesus is evolved over time.  I found it quite interesting and for what it is worth would recommend taking a look at it.  I will probably watch it again.  There is so much content, it is hard to absorb all that is being presented.   The film is called The Marketing of Messiah.  

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12 hours ago, theplains said:
On 1/25/2022 at 3:01 PM, InCognitus said:

Except it wasn't a physical relationship, Mary was a virgin when Jesus was born.  So how is that not "miraculous"? 

“The condescension of God, of which the scriptures speak, means that the Immortal Father - the glorified,
exalted, enthroned ruler of the universe - came down from his station of dominion and power to become
the Father of a Son who would be born of Mary, after the manner of the flesh” (Bruce R. McConkie, A New
Witness for the Articles of Faith, Salt Lake City: Deseret, 1985, Ensign, December 2001, "The Condescension
of God").

You posted this reference in three different posts (to me, to James 1 5, and to CV75).  Apparently you believe, or have been told, that Bruce R. McConkie is saying this was a "physical relationship" (because of your response to my comment), and that it was not "miraculous" (according to what you said to CV75), and you stated it was a "literal interaction" when you posted this to James 1 5.

Have you not read what McConkie taught about the virgin birth?   

Quote

Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p.822,  VIRGIN BIRTH

Virgin Birth

See ANNUNCIATION, BIRTH, CHRIST, IMMACULATE CONCEPTION THEORY, MARY. Our Lord is the only mortal person ever born to a virgin, because he is the only person who ever had an immortal Father. Mary, his mother, "was carried away in the Spirit" (1 Ne. 11:13-21), was "overshadowed" by the Holy Ghost, and the conception which took place "by the power of the Holy Ghost" resulted in the bringing forth of the literal and personal Son of God the Father. (Alma 7:10; 2 Ne. 17:14; Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38.) Christ is not the Son of the Holy Ghost, but of the Father. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, pp. 18-20.) Modernistic teachings denying the virgin birth are utterly and completely apostate and false.  (McConkie, Bruce R. Mormon Doctrine. 2nd ed., rev. Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966.)

And also:

Quote

Bruce R. McConkie, The Promised Messiah, pp.463-464

"Jesus was thus conceived in the womb of Mary. He took upon himself the nature of man in the same way that all men do. And yet the account is particular to say Mary "was found with child of the Holy Ghost," and "that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost." If this is interpreted to mean that the Holy Ghost is the Father of our Lord, we can only say the record has come down to us in a corrupted form, for the Holy Spirit and the Father are two separate personages. But providentially there are parallel passages that clarify and expand upon the paternity of Him whom Mary bare.

"The Messianic language of Abinadi, speaking of things to come as though they had already happened, says: "He was conceived by the power of God." (Mosiah 15:3.)

"Gabriel's great proclamation to Mary was: "Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end." Mary asked how this could be, "seeing I know not a man?" Gabriel replied: "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." (Luke 1:31-35.)

"All ambiguity and uncertainty of meaning, if there is any, is removed by Alma, whose Messianic utterance announced: "The Son of God cometh upon the face of the earth. And behold, he shall be born of Mary, . . . she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God." (Alma 7:9-10.) Jesus, thus, is the Son of God, not of the Holy Ghost, and properly speaking Mary was with child "by the power of the Holy Ghost," rather than "of the Holy Ghost," and she was, of course, "overshadowed" by the Holy Spirit, in a way incomprehensible to us, when the miraculous conception took place."   (McConkie, Bruce R. The Promised Messiah. The Messiah Series, vol. 1. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1978. , pp.463-464)

So, Bruce R. McConkie clearly says that Mary was a virgin when Jesus was born, and that the conception was "miraculous".  Obviously you have either misunderstood or misrepresented him if you think he was talking about a physical interaction with Mary in the quote you posted from the Ensign article.

12 hours ago, theplains said:

"Becoming sons of God" is by adoption.  As Romans 8 says:

"For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back
into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself
bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs
with Christ
."

From what I have read of LDS manuals, the sons of God are *joint-heirs* with Christ (which is a euphemism for
eternal life; i.e. exaltation).

We are all children of God in a literal way (God is the Father of spirits, we are his offspring), but we must 'become" his children (by adoption, because of sin, through receiving Jesus Christ) in a figurative behavioral sense of the word.  But Jesus has been the Son of God since the beginning, from before the creation of the world.  

Do you believe God is the Father of spirits and that we are his offspring? 

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9 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:
On 1/25/2022 at 4:25 PM, James 1 5 said:

I think this is probably one of the biggest doctrinal issues that divides all of so-called Christianity.  The issue of whether there is only one God, or more than one God.

This confuses me. 99% of Christianity is Trinitarian, so this isn't the biggest doctrinal issue that divides Christianity. In fact, it is almost absurd to me that you are claiming that a main issue of Christianity is monotheism vs. polytheism. We've pretty much been settled on monotheism for 2000 years :)

It just seems like the doctrine of the Trinity evolved to what it has become today as a way of trying to sound monotheistic.  The pre-Nicene Christians didn't seem to have that concern.   I've said this elsewhere, but the pre-Nicene Christians taught that Jesus is the "second God" (Origen, Lactantius) or that Jesus is "another God and Lord subject to the Maker of all things" (Justin Martyr), and several of the pre-Nicene Christian writers taught that men become gods and that other gods exist (Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, Irenaeus - more, Origen, Hippolytus, Novatian, as some examples).  It was a very very different kind of "monotheism" at that time.

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13 hours ago, InCognitus said:

It just seems like the doctrine of the Trinity evolved to what it has become today as a way of trying to sound monotheistic.  The pre-Nicene Christians didn't seem to have that concern.   I've said this elsewhere, but the pre-Nicene Christians taught that Jesus is the "second God" (Origen, Lactantius) or that Jesus is "another God and Lord subject to the Maker of all things" (Justin Martyr), and several of the pre-Nicene Christian writers taught that men become gods and that other gods exist (Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, Irenaeus - more, Origen, Hippolytus, Novatian, as some examples).  It was a very very different kind of "monotheism" at that time.

The purpose of an ecumenical council is to gather together the bishops (the successors of the apostles) to determine the doctrine related to a particular issue or issues. The First Council of Nicaea had the main purpose of determining the doctrine of the nature of God and the relation of the three Persons of the Trinity. Arianism was a spreading heresy in the Church, and the Council of Nicaea declared it so. The fact that theologians and saints prior to the council could have held differing views (from each other and from the council) doesn't mean the council was wrong. In fact, prior to all councils you can find differing views. That's the purpose of calling the council.

Perhaps an analogy could be pointing to the statements concerning blacks and the priesthood prior to the 1978 revelations. LDS do not doubt the revelation based on those who said it wouldn't happen. I admit this could totally be a flawed analogy, since I know far less about this situation than you.

I can see how the idea that the oldest writings in the Church are more authentic can be appealing, especially to those who believe in apostasy. If an apostasy occurred, then going to the beginning is going to find the truest expression of Christianity. But I think another analogy to the LDS church could be helpful here. What was spoken by Brigham Young, closer to Joseph Smith's time, is not as important or binding as that which is spoken by President Nelson (except for JLHPROF ;)). The truth builds and its best expression is found now. The apostles were given the full deposit of faith and the full revelation of God. However, that deposit of faith continues to be developed and more fully understood through the years through the popes and the councils under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

At least, that's my take.

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On 1/20/2022 at 6:50 AM, Tacenda said:

I know you were a bishop :) I should have emphasized not all bishops do this. I'm going off letters written during the Sam Young campaign about bishop interviews. And felt bad later on after I couldn't delete my comment, that I would derail the topic. It may or may not be a Utah thing. 

:)

Thanks!

See, I have never HEARD of Sam Young, or his "thing"  

But honestly "Utah things" really ARE a "thing"  Everyone in CA knows what a Utah Mormon is, and we kind of chuckle about it.

SLC even has a whole newspaper that creates Utah Things out of thin air! ;)

It's ok. It keeps even MORE California Mormons from moving there, and keeps your housing prices lower! ;)

 

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