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InCog...Briefly...

This gets us back to the Immaculate Conception. The end of the passage from Moses speaks of babies being delivered "from the foundation of the world", from the sins of our first parents, because of Christ's merits. Of course, this would refer to the future work of Christ during His Passion. This exactly how we affirm it worked for the Blessed Virgin:

"We declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine which asserts that the Blessed Virgin Mary, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God, and in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the human race, was preserved free from every stain of original sin is a doctrine revealed by God and, for this reason, must be firmly and constantly believed by all the faithful."

---Ineffabilis Deus, Pope Pius IX, Dec. 8, 1854

And so Thursday is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and because I work for a Catholic employer, it is a paid holiday. Woowho!

Maybe you LDS need to have a church calendar of your own? Its up to you all of course. Maybe someday LDS employers will be offering paid holidays for a Feast of the Immaculate Conceptions!

Rory

Edited by 3DOP
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I reviewed the Book of Mormon passage in First Nephi that mentions our Lady, and in finding the Wikipedia about Mary in the Book of Mormon, I learned that the passage that now says, "the mother of the Son of God" used to say, "the mother of God, after the manner of the flesh."

If it just read, "the Mother of God," I'd be all dimples and grins. However, while the "mother of the Son of God" could be read in a Trinitarian fashion, it could also be read in a the-Father-and-the-Son-are-separate-beings fashion. Also, does the "after the manner of the flesh" part indicate that Mary was only mother to The Son's human nature, and not his divine nature? I'm having trouble understanding how that "after the manner of the flesh" part makes sense if humans and gods are of the same nature.

Why was the change in the wording made, and what are the implications for LDS belief?

Please learn me on this.

 

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On 12/3/2022 at 7:59 PM, InCognitus said:

The Prophet Mormon wrote the following words of Christ: "Little children are whole, for they are not capable of committing sin; wherefore the curse of Adam is taken from them in me, that it hath no power over them" (Moro. 8:8)

This is not to say that little children cannot commit transgressions. But because of their innocence it is not imputed to them as sin, for which they must repent, and Christ's atonement covers them without repentance. Thus we do not baptize them, since it is unnecessary.

I know they can commit transgressions, however, from personal knowledge. When I was 5 years old, in 1956, I took $10 off our kitchen table and walked to a local hobby store. There I bought a bag of plastic army figures, for which I gave the clerk the ten dollar bill. He did not give me any change, and I'm pretty sure the bag's price was somewhere around 50 cents, if not less. According to the inflation calculator, in today's money that $10 was the equivalent of $109.56 today. The clerk pocketed my change, and that was definitely theft.

My father gave me a good talking-to. It wasn't my father's money, but money that had been paid to him by a customer for an insurance policy (he was a life insurance agent at the time). So I impacted his job. But he was gentle in his correction of me, and afterwards we played together with the army figures I had bought. He knew that my understanding of right vs wrong was still very primitive.

Edited by Stargazer
fixed syntax and meaning
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2 hours ago, Stargazer said:

This is not to say that little children cannot commit transgressions. But because of their innocence it is not imputed to them as sin, for which they must repent, and Christ's atonement covers them without repentance. Thus we do not baptize them, since it is unnecessary.

I know they can commit transgressions, however, from personal knowledge. When I was 5 years old, in 1956, I took $10 off our kitchen table and walked to a local hobby store. There I bought a bag of plastic army figures, for which I gave the clerk the ten dollar bill. He did not give me any change, and I'm pretty sure the bag's price was somewhere around 50 cents, if not less. According to the inflation calculator, in today's money that $10 was the equivalent of $109.56 today. The clerk pocketed my change, and that was definitely theft.

My father gave me a good talking-to. It wasn't my father's money, but money that had been paid to him by a customer for an insurance policy (he was a life insurance agent at the time). So I impacted his job. But he was gentle in his correction of me, and afterwards we played together with the army figures I had bought. He knew that my understanding of right vs wrong was still very primitive.

What a jerk of a clerk.

But great dad…

Edited by Calm
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On 12/9/2022 at 10:33 AM, InCognitus said:

This was a change made by Joseph Smith in the 1937 edition of the Book of Mormon, probably to remove the ambiguity as to who the verse is referring to (since both the Father and Son are referred to as "God" in the Book of Mormon and in LDS doctrine). 

Fair enough. Is there scholarship that digs into the changes of this sort? I'm accustomed to Bible scholarship that digs in on issues of translation and word choice, but am unfamiliar with scholarship of this sort for the Book of Mormon. 

I'm having questions around Sabellianism, Arianism, and Nestorianism, Maybe I'll ask them at some point.

On 12/9/2022 at 10:33 AM, InCognitus said:

Jesus and Mary (and all of us) existed as spirits with God the Father before all creation.  We are all the same kind of being as God in that sense (we are his "offspring" - Acts 17:28-29).  But each of us are born on earth to mortal human parents in the flesh.  We acquire mortal bodies of flesh and blood.  So Mary is the mother of the Son of God in the flesh, meaning she gave birth to his body of flesh and blood.  Mary is not the mother of his spirit.  His spirit came from God. 

Does that help?

What you've written here is helpful, I think.

There seems to be a fundamental impasse between LDS theology and Trinitarian theology in this area. Specifically, for Trinitarians the Creator is Eternal God; there is only one Being that is God (there is only one "what," or Divine Essence). For this Trinitarian, what you've written removes distinctions between God and man, between God the Creator and man a creation in the image of God. What you've written in terms of our Lady (Mary) would, if I'm understanding, not have Mary the "mother of my Lord," (Elizabeth's declaration in Luke 1), but only the mother of the Son's human nature, or maybe just giving birth to his human body, and not necessarily his human nature since his human nature is identical to God's nature?

Maybe I'm just confused.

I don't imagine we can resolve this in a few posts or anything, just sharing that this seems to be a fundamental impasse.

I'm trying to pull threads together, though. In that sense, if someone can tell me how what you've said about "offspring" connects to the LDS idea of intelligences, I might be less clueless. Also, are the "offspring" and/or intelligences material (or made of matter)? I ask because in Trinitarian thinking the Divine Essence is immaterial (and is therefore not "made" and not of "matter").

On 12/9/2022 at 10:33 AM, InCognitus said:

I don't think there are implications for LDS belief in this change.  I think it was done to remove ambiguity in the text.  The Book of Mormon clearly calls Jesus Christ "THE ETERNAL GOD" elsewhere (like on the title page), but there is no ambiguity in those other places.   Another example is in 2 Nephi 26:12;  "And as I spake concerning the convincing of the Jews, that Jesus is the very Christ, it must needs be that the Gentiles be convinced also that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God".  It is clear that this verse is referring to Jesus Christ and not God the Father.  

What you've written here seems to be "the impasse" again, at least in terms of LDS and Trinitarian theology. For a Trinitarian there is one Eternal God, one Divine Essence, one "what" of God. If you were referring to the Divine Persons, to the "who" of God, there could be interesting conversation, but if I'm understanding you are indicating that Jesus Christ is "THE ETERNAL GOD" and that either The Father is either another "THE ETERNAL GOD" and The Holy Spirit is yet another "The Eternal God" or that The Father (and the Holy Spirit?) is something else. Perhaps you mean that there is more than one Divine Being, that The Father is a Divine Being, that The Son is a separate Divine Being, and that The Holy Spirit is yet another Divine Being (Three separate and distinct "Divine Beings," which for Trinitarians would be heresies every which way).

I appreciate that for a Latter-day Saint you're just laying things out the way you understand them. For Trinitarians what you've written is going to be a series of category errors/heresies, which is just a fancy way of saying that I don't think we have compatible understandings of God, or that when we're talking about God, we're using the same word, i.e., "God," but have incompatible definitions.

You probably already understand this and I'm just the idiot trying to play catch up. My apologies if that is the case. I feel like I'm learning a lot about LDS theology, even if it doesn't seem that way.

Edited by Saint Bonaventure
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3 hours ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

Fair enough. Is there scholarship that digs into the changes of this sort? I'm accustomed to Bible scholarship that digs in on issues of translation and word choice, but am unfamiliar with scholarship of this sort for the Book of Mormon. 

I'm having questions around Sabellianism, Arianism, and Nestorianism, Maybe I'll ask them at some point.

There likely is, there's more timelines for when the changes are made, since the vast majority of them happened very early by JS. Translations I would usually hear historical stories as to how it was first translated into a different language less so than the nitty gritties. But this is also not an area of big interest for me, so I'm likely just ignorant of the body of work that may be done around this.  

3 hours ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

What you've written here is helpful, I think.

There seems to be a fundamental impasse between LDS theology and Trinitarian theology in this area. Specifically, for Trinitarians the Creator is Eternal God; there is only one Being that is God (there is only one "what," or Divine Essence). For this Trinitarian, what you've written removes distinctions between God and man, between God the Creator and man a creation in the image of God. What you've written in terms of our Lady (Mary) would, if I'm understanding, not have Mary the "mother of my Lord," (Elizabeth's declaration in Luke 1), but only the mother of the Son's human nature, or maybe just giving birth to his human body, and not necessarily his human nature since his human nature is identical to God's nature?

Maybe I'm just confused.

I don't imagine we can resolve this in a few posts or anything, just sharing that this seems to be a fundamental impasse.

 

What you've written here seems to be "the impasse" again, at least in terms of LDS and Trinitarian theology. For a Trinitarian there is one Eternal God, one Divine Essence, one "what" of God. If you were referring to the Divine Persons, to the "who" of God, there could be interesting conversation, but if I'm understanding you are indicating that Jesus Christ is "THE ETERNAL GOD" and that either The Father is either another "THE ETERNAL GOD" and The Holy Spirit is yet another "The Eternal God" or that The Father (and the Holy Spirit?) is something else. Perhaps you mean that there is more than one Divine Being, that The Father is a Divine Being, that The Son is a separate Divine Being, and that The Holy Spirit is yet another Divine Being (Three separate and distinct "Divine Beings," which for Trinitarians would be heresies every which way).

I appreciate that for a Latter-day Saint you're just laying things out the way you understand them. For Trinitarians what you've written is going to be a series of category errors/heresies, which is just a fancy way of saying that I don't think we have compatible understandings of God, or that when we're talking about God, we're using the same word, i.e., "God," but have incompatible definitions.

You probably already understand this and I'm just the idiot trying to play catch up. My apologies if that is the case. I feel like I'm learning a lot about LDS theology, even if it doesn't seem that way.

I don't know if this will help or not, but in your first set of questions, I thought it would be also important to look at this passage in mosiah 15: 1-9.... though the whole chapter holds merit. It doesn't mention Mary directly, but it explains a bit of how we view the titles "Father" and "Son" not just as specific beings, but as innate descriptors of what They do and are to us/each other. Mary isn't as venerated in our faith as catholic or eastern orthodox traditions. This doesn't mean she's not important, just that some of the grander claims and relationship with her isn't there for us. I, personally, am one who deeply values and seeks HM in study/understanding. I see Mary as a type of Her, filling a sacred role by taking on Her nature here in a very sacred call. That's why this passage directly parallels her to the Tree of Life, an ancient symbol of HM. Of course you don't have to go that esoteric to understand, that Mary was chosen of a very sacred role to bring Christ here and give Christ the nature/state of all humankind needed to accomplish His work. 

I do think there is definitely a more blurred distinction in what is sacred, what is God, and how we humans relate to both. This doesn't mean there isn't any distinction....this distinction is in the full realization of God's divine nature. We are better described as divine potential. Potential that can be realized through Christ if we subject our will to the order of Christ to be healed and redeemed. As that happens we are incorporated into the order of God and partake in Their fullness. It's like saying a seed is a tree. It's not, but it has the potential to become one if cared for properly.  

I can imagine why this would be a hard one to wrap one's head around. IMO, I think the trinity and our view on God is one of the more profound and understated differences out there. I went on a deep study of it recently, wanting to understand it better since my brother has fairly recently adopted a trinitarian view....but I also wanted to understand the general evolution of understanding the nature of God in general over the millenia. It gave me some sense of understanding about what's people, though it ironically made me less caring about who we lds defined God as seen as heresy or not. The Trinity to me was a means to maintain doctrinal stability and thread the hole between a monotheistic inheritance in Judaism and a divine trio overtly explained by Christ in a time when doctrine was very recently extremely diverse and loose in interpretation, including several that were flat out wrong. But I don't recognize the authority of the counsels that determined this interpretation and it's not explicitly laid out in the Bible without a presumption that it's there. Not that it flat out contradicts the bible, it's just not obvious or plainly laid out. (Funny side story, the same bro tried to prove that trinitarianism was plainly taught in the bible and not a godhead of three distinct beings who were one in purpose....only to choose 2 verses in a bible version that pointed to the reverse).

Prior, I remember feeling a sense of needing an absolute definition of God that fit the categorizations we generally have available. But after the study, I stopped caring. We're not exactly polytheistic, henotheistic, monotheistic, or any other clearly defined -ist out there....and neither is the history. We believe in a God that is basically Family....in holy oneness in relating/counsel and that we are both from and can return in full oneness with Them. God is both One and Them...Gods and God. And likewise our definition of sacred/holy can be both specific and expansive. Our definition from a trinitarian orthodoxy, is flatly not orthodox, even at its most basic construct. That's not really our aim anyways. Nor do we recognize the process that led to the codifying of the trinity doctrine as authoritative. You're not wrong on that. Not that I see that distinction as meaning we don't worship the same God. We just don't understand God in the same way.  I would also not that the same research paradoxically gave me more respect for the trinity view. I personally see it as a means that clipped at some really outlandish views that could have meant losing more truth in the process of maintaining strange ideologies. Just because I don't view the trinity as fully right doesn't mean that I think it was wholly wrong either. 

Also in my studies, I found that the biggest fundamental difference for me when exploring how I relate to these doctrinal differences, was less in the how and what....but the why. As in the purpose and deeper meaning as to why God is the way God is and what it means for/to us. For me, God's nature has a fundamentally personal aspect to this. Knowing the nature of God is key to knowing the nature of me, those around me, our purposes, and all that there is. I still have struggled to understand the why of the trinity. As in why is it important both generally but personally as well? And I'm not sure if my focus on why is a personality/cultural difference in religious focus or just something I'm not getting. If you have a why I would love to hear it. I respect your perspectives and questions and would really like to more deeply understand what makes a trinitarian view so fundamental. 

 

Quote

I'm trying to pull threads together, though. In that sense, if someone can tell me how what you've said about "offspring" connects to the LDS idea of intelligences, I might be less clueless. Also, are the "offspring" and/or intelligences material (or made of matter)? I ask because in Trinitarian thinking the Divine Essence is immaterial (and is therefore not "made" and not of "matter").

Spirit is described in D+c 131 as a more purified/refined matter, that we can't see because we are not fully purified enough to see it. We don't believe in the immaterial. Offspring, spirits, children of God, intelligences, etc can be used fairly interchangeably. Though they may hold specific use or meaning depending the context of the use. So for example, we are all children/offspring of Heavenly Parents. But we are not all born again as children of Christ (eg God). Intelligence can also increase....it's not a fixed state.

Hopefully this adds more clarity than mud. But I can try to explain more clearly if this is just as confusing.

With luv,

BD  

 

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10 hours ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

Fair enough. Is there scholarship that digs into the changes of this sort?

How much reading time do you have? You could look at Royal Skousen's Analysis of Textual Variants of the Book of Mormon https://bookofmormoncentral.org/content/analysis-of-textual-variants-of-the-book-of-mormon

The "son of" change in 1 Nephi discussion starts on page 230 (in part 1), with amendments/corrections on page 3969 (in part 6). But you'll need to read the intro as well to see what his change style notation means.

Edited by JustAnAustralian
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12 hours ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

Fair enough. Is there scholarship that digs into the changes of this sort? I'm accustomed to Bible scholarship that digs in on issues of translation and word choice, but am unfamiliar with scholarship of this sort for the Book of Mormon. 

I'm having questions around Sabellianism, Arianism, and Nestorianism, Maybe I'll ask them at some point.

What you've written here is helpful, I think.

There seems to be a fundamental impasse between LDS theology and Trinitarian theology in this area. Specifically, for Trinitarians the Creator is Eternal God; there is only one Being that is God (there is only one "what," or Divine Essence). For this Trinitarian, what you've written removes distinctions between God and man, between God the Creator and man a creation in the image of God. What you've written in terms of our Lady (Mary) would, if I'm understanding, not have Mary the "mother of my Lord," (Elizabeth's declaration in Luke 1), but only the mother of the Son's human nature, or maybe just giving birth to his human body, and not necessarily his human nature since his human nature is identical to God's nature?

Maybe I'm just confused.

I don't imagine we can resolve this in a few posts or anything, just sharing that this seems to be a fundamental impasse.

I'm trying to pull threads together, though. In that sense, if someone can tell me how what you've said about "offspring" connects to the LDS idea of intelligences, I might be less clueless. Also, are the "offspring" and/or intelligences material (or made of matter)? I ask because in Trinitarian thinking the Divine Essence is immaterial (and is therefore not "made" and not of "matter").

What you've written here seems to be "the impasse" again, at least in terms of LDS and Trinitarian theology. For a Trinitarian there is one Eternal God, one Divine Essence, one "what" of God. If you were referring to the Divine Persons, to the "who" of God, there could be interesting conversation, but if I'm understanding you are indicating that Jesus Christ is "THE ETERNAL GOD" and that either The Father is either another "THE ETERNAL GOD" and The Holy Spirit is yet another "The Eternal God" or that The Father (and the Holy Spirit?) is something else. Perhaps you mean that there is more than one Divine Being, that The Father is a Divine Being, that The Son is a separate Divine Being, and that The Holy Spirit is yet another Divine Being (Three separate and distinct "Divine Beings," which for Trinitarians would be heresies every which way).

I appreciate that for a Latter-day Saint you're just laying things out the way you understand them. For Trinitarians what you've written is going to be a series of category errors/heresies, which is just a fancy way of saying that I don't think we have compatible understandings of God, or that when we're talking about God, we're using the same word, i.e., "God," but have incompatible definitions.

You probably already understand this and I'm just the idiot trying to play catch up. My apologies if that is the case. I feel like I'm learning a lot about LDS theology, even if it doesn't seem that way.

I would like to respond more fully, but I think the problem is simply that you do not understand our theology yet, which is to be expected, of course. It's wonderful that you are even interested.

I suggest reading D&C 93 carefully and I will respond tomorrow.

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@Saint Bonaventure, before I respond to what you wrote, I just want to say that I really appreciate the response given by @BlueDreams.  Her perspective on this is helpful because of her recent discussions with her brother, and I really want to see other people's approach to this topic, and I like what she said. 

And, as I was writing my original response to your question (the one you wrote on 12/09/2022), I kept thinking that there are some big differences in how Catholics and Latter-day Saints understand some of the terminology, and those differences have become even more evident to me as I read your response from this morning.  And since I have never been a Catholic I don't know if I can explain things well enough or not (it's the philosophical words in the theological definitions in Catholicism that I don't fully understand, and they don't translate at all to Latter-day Saint thought).  But I hope we can try to understand our different points of view. 

9 hours ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

Fair enough. Is there scholarship that digs into the changes of this sort? I'm accustomed to Bible scholarship that digs in on issues of translation and word choice, but am unfamiliar with scholarship of this sort for the Book of Mormon. 

There was an original manuscript to the translation of the Book of Mormon and a hand written copy was made from the original manuscript to provide to the printer for publication of the Book of Mormon (known as the "printer's manuscript").  So some differences in the text were introduced (accidently) in making that copy.  Then, Joseph Smith made changes between the first printed edition (1830) and the second (1837) and third edition (1840).  And other changes may be noted between the various editions after that (for various reasons).

@JustAnAustralian already posted this before I could finish my post, but (as he said) a good detailed list of changes can be found published on the Book of Mormon Central website, and is part of the studies done by Royal Skousen.  The Analysis of Textual Variants in the Book of Mormon is broken into six parts, and Royal Skousen's discussion of the verse you brought up can be found in Part One: 1 Nephi - 2 Nephi 10, on page 236.  

Royal Skousen's later publication is also good: The Book of Mormon - The Earliest Text, Edited by Royal Skousen, Yale University Press, 2009, available online (in an online read-only version) at:  https://bookofmormoncentral.org/content/book-mormon-earliest-text.   Page xxx of the introduction, and page 739 of the appendix to this book includes a good summary of the different editions, and a detailed list of the "Significant Textual Changes" (without any editorial commentary) can be found on pages 745-789.

9 hours ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

I'm having questions around Sabellianism, Arianism, and Nestorianism, Maybe I'll ask them at some point.

I can see why you have questions about these.  I'd like to discuss them with you (or see those things discussed by others in this thread).  So please elaborate on what you are thinking here.

10 hours ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

What you've written here is helpful, I think.

There seems to be a fundamental impasse between LDS theology and Trinitarian theology in this area. Specifically, for Trinitarians the Creator is Eternal God; there is only one Being that is God (there is only one "what," or Divine Essence).

I think the fundamental differences in our understanding have to do with the material realm and what is involved in creation.  You (if I'm not mistaken) believe that God created all things out of nothing (ex-nihilo).  We believe that God the Father created (formed) all things through his Son, Jesus Christ, from unformed matter.  We believe that matter cannot be created or destroyed, it is eternal and existed with God eternally.  And as BlueDreams pointed out, Doctrine and Covenants 131:7-8 teaches us that our spirits are also material:  "There is no such thing as immaterial matter. All spirit is matter, but it is more fine or pure, and can only be discerned by purer eyes;  We cannot see it; but when our bodies are purified we shall see that it is all matter."  And, as Abraham 3 and Joseph Smith taught, our intelligences or spirits existed eternally too.

I can tell that the above may cause confusion in how we define "God", since I know that some of the later Christian Fathers believed that anything eternal would be "God", but I see that as a later interpretation in Christian philosophical thought (after the introduction of the doctrine of creation ex-nihilo).  The Latter-day Saint understanding of God has to do with his role in relationship to us and as our creator.  We still have a big distinction in our theology between creation and the Creator, but definitely not the same way as the "wholly other" God in later Christian thought.  In our view, God the Father is the greatest being that exists.  He is defined by his holiness, his sinlessness, his attributes and his dominion.  He possesses all power and all knowledge.  And, he organized a council in the beginning (before creation) and provided a plan so that others can participate with him in all that he has.  Therefore, we are his subjects, he is our King and our God.  And, since his plan is designed so that others can participate with him, there are others who God trusts to rule with him and represent him.

Jesus Christ is considered to be the "firstbegotten" of the Father (Heb 1:6).  He (Jesus) was made both "Lord and Christ" (Acts 2:36), appointed by the Father to be our Savior and mediator.  And he has the same attributes of God the Father.  Jesus is sinless and he was given "all power" in heaven and earth.  He is worthy of the title "God", even before creation, the same as his Father, and Jesus represents God the Father to us, as he is the very "word" of God.  

With respect to monotheism, you say "there is only one Being that is God".  We also believe there is only "one God" who is "above all" (as it says in Eph 4:6), that is God the Father.  But God's divine Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit (who are separate and distinct beings), participate with God the Father in a covenant relationship we call "the Godhead".  The three persons of the Godhead are "one God" in their unity of will and purpose, and the Son and Holy Spirit represent the Father in carrying out his great work.   Consequently, it is completely proper to refer to these three individuals as the "one God" we worship.  We worship God the Father, in the name of the Son, and do so through the Holy Spirit.  

12 hours ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

For this Trinitarian, what you've written removes distinctions between God and man, between God the Creator and man a creation in the image of God.

The distinction between God and man is that God created this physical world we now live in for us, and along with it he created our bodies that we obtain by birth through our earthly parents.  We were created in God's image, but our physical bodies came from the dust of this earth (via our parents back to Adam).  We are distinct from God in that (1) God the Father is the most intelligent and greatest of all beings that exist (and always will be), and (2) that we are subject to him and depend upon him in our development, and (3) we are vastly different in our current abilities, and (4) he is our creator and we are the created, God the Father is the "uncreated cause of all things" with respect to us in this creation.  

12 hours ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

What you've written in terms of our Lady (Mary) would, if I'm understanding, not have Mary the "mother of my Lord," (Elizabeth's declaration in Luke 1), but only the mother of the Son's human nature, or maybe just giving birth to his human body, and not necessarily his human nature since his human nature is identical to God's nature?

I'm curious about your understanding of the phrase "mother of my Lord" in Luke 1:43.  Jesus created all things under the direction of God the Father (John 1:1-3), and we understand Jesus to have existed before his birth to Mary on earth, and that he is the LORD (Jehovah) of the Old Testament.  So I don't understand why you would think that would mean that Mary is not "the mother of my Lord" (with respect to what Elizabeth said).  Can you elaborate on what you are thinking there?  Mary did not give birth to the divine nature of the Son, but she brought the Lord Jehovah into the world in the flesh.  He was "made flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:14), and "he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham", so that "in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren" so he could "make reconciliation for the sins of the people" (Heb 2:16-17). 

With respect to "human nature", earlier in this thread I explained to 3DOP (here and here) that we don't really think of God the Father as "human" or having a "human nature" (or at least that's the case with me).  I tend to think of the word "human" in association with our mortal bodies in this fallen world, we have bodies that decay and die.  Our human (mortal) experience represents only one small stage of our progression.  And in my mind, our "human nature" is our fallen nature.  So I don't ever associate "human nature" with God the Father or even Jesus.  Jesus was "made flesh and dwelt among us", and he became mortal in doing so, but he never had a fallen (human) nature in my view (other than that he had a body that could die).   

12 hours ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

I'm trying to pull threads together, though. In that sense, if someone can tell me how what you've said about "offspring" connects to the LDS idea of intelligences, I might be less clueless. Also, are the "offspring" and/or intelligences material (or made of matter)? I ask because in Trinitarian thinking the Divine Essence is immaterial (and is therefore not "made" and not of "matter").

Hopefully I addressed this question regarding the material aspect of spirits above (as did BlueDreams), and I explained our differences on the creation of matter.  But we don't know a lot about how the LDS idea of intelligences connects with our being the "offspring" of God.  Scripture tells us that God is the "Father of spirits" (Heb 12:9), and thus we are all children of God.  I believe the understanding of us as the "offspring" of God is explained by the meaning of the Greek word genos in Acts 17:28-29, the word that is translated as "offspring" (i.e. we are the kind of being that God is).  I personally tend to think that we, as intelligences or spirits, aligned ourselves with God and his plan in the beginning, before creation, thus becoming his children (this is my own speculation, not something I can point to officially), but there may be more to this that makes us his children that hasn't been revealed to us.

12 hours ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

What you've written here seems to be "the impasse" again, at least in terms of LDS and Trinitarian theology. For a Trinitarian there is one Eternal God, one Divine Essence, one "what" of God. If you were referring to the Divine Persons, to the "who" of God, there could be interesting conversation, but if I'm understanding you are indicating that Jesus Christ is "THE ETERNAL GOD" and that either The Father is either another "THE ETERNAL GOD" and The Holy Spirit is yet another "The Eternal God" or that The Father (and the Holy Spirit?) is something else. Perhaps you mean that there is more than one Divine Being, that The Father is a Divine Being, that The Son is a separate Divine Being, and that The Holy Spirit is yet another Divine Being (Three separate and distinct "Divine Beings," which for Trinitarians would be heresies every which way).

We understand the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to be three separate and distinct beings, but "one God" in unity and will (as explained earlier).  Our major difference with Trinitarian theology is in how you define the three to be "one".  

As noted above, God the Father made Jesus both "Lord and Christ", and Jesus is the LORD Jehovah of the Old Testament.  Thus, God the Father directs his affairs on this earth through his divine Son.  The Son is the representative of the Father.  And so it is completely accurate to refer to Jesus as the "God of Israel" (as he is called in the Book of Mormon - 3 Nephi 11:14).  I also think this is taught the same way throughout the Bible.

But clearly there is a hierarchy in the Godhead (or Trinity, if you will) in that God the Father is said to be the very God of Jesus Christ (John 20:17, Rom 15:6, 1 Cor 11:3,  2 Cor 11:31, Eph 1:3, Eph 1:17; Heb 1:8-9, 1 Pet 1:3), and Jesus is even said to be eternally subject to the Father (1 Cor 15:28).  And I don't believe this can be explained as the human aspect of Jesus being in subjection to the Father, because even the resurrected Jesus, who sits at the right hand of God, refers to God the Father as "my God" no less than four times in Revelation 3:12.  

I honestly think the person who explains this the best is Origen (185-254 AD).  I know I've posted this quote below before, and I'm not trying to prove anything about the early Christian views in posting this now, but I really think he does a good job in explaining what I'm trying to say above using terminology that might make sense to you.   What he says here sounds very much like the Latter-day Saint view.  This is from his commentary on John 1:1:

Quote

2. IN WHAT WAY THE LOGOS IS GOD. ERRORS TO BE AVOIDED ON THIS QUESTION.

    We next notice John's use of the article in these sentences. He does not write without care in this respect, nor is he unfamiliar with the niceties of the Greek tongue. In some cases he uses the article, and in some he omits it. He adds the article to the Logos, but to the name of God he adds it sometimes only. He uses the article, when the name of God refers to the uncreated cause of all things, and omits it when the Logos is named God. Does the same difference which we observe between God with the article and God without it prevail also between the Logos with it and without it? We must enquire into this. As the God who is over all is God with the article not without it, so "the Logos" is the source of that reason (Logos) which dwells in every reasonable creature; the reason which is in each creature is not, like the former called par excellence The Logos. Now there are many who are sincerely concerned about religion, and who fall here into great perplexity. They are afraid that they may be proclaiming two Gods, and their fear drives them into doctrines which are false and wicked. Either they deny that the Son has a distinct nature of His own besides that of the Father, and make Him whom they call the Son to be God all but the name, or they deny the divinity of the Son, giving Him a separate existence of His own, and making His sphere of essence fall outside that of the Father, so that they are separable from each other. To such persons we have to say that God on the one hand is Very God (Autotheos, God of Himself); and so the Saviour says in His prayer to the Father, "That they may know Thee the only true God;" but that all beyond the Very God is made God by participation in His divinity, and is not to be called simply God (with the article), but rather God (without article). And thus the first-born of all creation, who is the first to be with God, and to attract to Himself divinity, is a being of more exalted rank than the other gods beside Him, of whom God is the God, as it is written, "The God of gods, the Lord, hath spoken and called the earth." It was by the offices of the first-born that they became gods, for He drew from God in generous measure that they should be made gods, and He communicated it to them according to His own bounty. The true God, then, is "The God," and those who are formed after Him are gods, images, as it were, of Him the prototype. But the archetypal image, again, of all these images is the Word of God, who was in the beginning, and who by being with God is at all times God, not possessing that of Himself, but by His being with the Father, and not continuing to be God, if we should think of this, except by remaining always in uninterrupted contemplation of the depths of the Father.  (Commentary on the Gospel of John (Book II, 2))

There's more to this, but this should hopefully help explain what I'm trying to say above.

So in our view, there is "One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all." (Ephesians 4:6)  And even though there be "gods many, and lords many", to us there is but "one God the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him, and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him" (1 Cor 8:4-6).  And the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are "one God" in their actions, their will, and their unity of purpose.  

13 hours ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

I appreciate that for a Latter-day Saint you're just laying things out the way you understand them. For Trinitarians what you've written is going to be a series of category errors/heresies, which is just a fancy way of saying that I don't think we have compatible understandings of God, or that when we're talking about God, we're using the same word, i.e., "God," but have incompatible definitions.

You probably already understand this and I'm just the idiot trying to play catch up. My apologies if that is the case. I feel like I'm learning a lot about LDS theology, even if it doesn't seem that way.

I'm sure you consider some of our views as heresy.  But I would argue that our differences were only deemed to be heresy in later councils, and that they were the orthodox views of New Testament Christianity.  Again, I'm not saying this to argue with you about these points, but I'm just trying to explain how we see it from our point of view.  And hopefully what I wrote here helps get us started in conversing on this further.  

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49 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

I would like to respond more fully, but I think the problem is simply that you do not understand our theology yet, which is to be expected, of course. It's wonderful that you are even interested.

I suggest reading D&C 93 carefully and I will respond tomorrow.

I hope you can respond, because your Catholic background might help explain some things.  And let me know if you disagree with anything in my response above.

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@Saint Bonaventure

In my mind, the problem is HOW 3 persons can be one God.

Catholics, in my mind, use terms like "substance, essence, nature" and others which are highly ambiguous.

I do not know WHAT "substance" means as a noun without a qualifying adjective before it like "a metallic substance" or a "greasy, hard, soft, gooey, wood-like etc. substance".  Is substance as a noun a person, place, or thing? What kind of thing?

Anyway, our Godhead is one in "PURPOSE" as any human family can be ONE in painting the house, washing the car, or winning a game, voting for a candidate, etc.   

Imagine a family unified in communication. There's no "Go ask mom" when dad doesn't know how to handle a problem.  They are One and think and act as one person.

The purpose of our God Family is to bring to pass the "immortality and eternal life of mankind"

It's that simple.

We are all made in their image; the question becomes do we act as they would?  We also have within us a spark of their divinity; do we fulfill it to the best of our ability?

More later, if this is useful. I don't want to waste your time or mine if not  :)

 

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3 hours ago, InCognitus said:

I hope you can respond, because your Catholic background might help explain some things.  And let me know if you disagree with anything in my response above.

Well it's a start, on my part, but you are doing fine imo! But yes, you don't know the jargon, and I agree that is a handicap in these kind of discussions.

I am currently wondering how our paradigm would be harmed by the idea that Mary is the incarnation of Heavenly Mother.

Seriously.

"The only Begotten daughter...."  ???

No lightning strikes here yet.... 😰

In fact She already acts as our version of the Divine Feminine, Wisdom, and fits the Proc. on Fam. As an exemplar... Cana wedding: Christ obeys his Mother.... ???

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14 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

In my mind, the problem is HOW 3 persons can be one God.

Catholics, in my mind, use terms like "substance, essence, nature" and others which are highly ambiguous.

I do not know WHAT "substance" means as a noun without a qualifying adjective before it like "a metallic substance" or a "greasy, hard, soft, gooey, wood-like etc. substance".  Is substance as a noun a person, place, or thing? What kind of thing?

The more I have studied this, the more I have come to realize the impact that the introduction of the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo had on all of these doctrines.  I remember in the mid 90's, the first time I read Peter Hayman's 1991 Journal of Jewish Studies article, Monotheism-A Misused Word in Jewish Studies?, I wondered why did he spend so much space on the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo, and what did that have to do with monotheism?  It took me a while to understand, but creation ex-nihilo changes everything.   And since the general scholarly consensus is that the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo was first introduced at around 177 AD by Tatian and Theophilus of Antioch, it explains why the earlier Christian writings were more relaxed on the idea of the existence of other gods and even in referring to Jesus as the "second God".  With the adoption of creatio ex nihilo, it is no wonder that councils had to be called to try to straighten things out.  It (along with other things) transformed their thinking.

14 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

Anyway, our Godhead is one in "PURPOSE" as any human family can be ONE in painting the house, washing the car, or winning a game, voting for a candidate, etc.  

Imagine a family unified in communication. There's no "Go ask mom" when dad doesn't know how to handle a problem.  They are One and think and act as one person.

I know that you know these verses, but they also fit perfectly with what you said above:

"20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.  22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:  23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me."   (John 17:20–23)

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4 hours ago, InCognitus said:

The more I have studied this, the more I have come to realize the impact that the introduction of the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo had on all of these doctrines.  I remember in the mid 90's, the first time I read Peter Hayman's 1991 Journal of Jewish Studies article, Monotheism-A Misused Word in Jewish Studies?, I wondered why did he spend so much space on the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo, and what did that have to do with monotheism?  It took me a while to understand, but creation ex-nihilo changes everything.   And since the general scholarly consensus is that the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo was first introduced at around 177 AD by Tatian and Theophilus of Antioch, it explains why the earlier Christian writings were more relaxed on the idea of the existence of other gods and even in referring to Jesus as the "second God".  With the adoption of creatio ex nihilo, it is no wonder that councils had to be called to try to straighten things out.  It (along with other things) transformed their thinking.

I know that you know these verses, but they also fit perfectly with what you said above:

"20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.  22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:  23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me."   (John 17:20–23)

Yes, thanks, the first think I did is start reading up on the philosophy of Mormonism even before I got baptized.  The fact is that Mormonism fits perfectly with contemporary philosophy especially in what is known as, now, as "Neo Pragmatism" and "Radical Empiricism" which was originated by William James, philosopher and often credited with being the father of modern Psychology.  Before James they were feeling for bumps on the head to find out the causes of "human nature".  And yes, I know those quotes- in fact they appear in Section 93 as well - which I recommended reading a few posts ago!

There IS no such think as "human nature"- the very concept is circular and question-begging.  I will soon post an article on that from the BYU boys. ;)

Quote

 

hu·man na·ture

/ˌ(h)yo͞omən ˈnāCHər/

noun

the general psychological characteristics, feelings, and behavioral traits of humankind, regarded as shared by all humans.

"he had a poor opinion of human nature"

 

In other words, human nature is what it is to be human.   Divine Nature is what it is to be Divine.   A dog's "nature" is what it is like to be a dog.  An elephant's nature is what it is like to be an elephant.   And on it goes.   

No definitions, simply "the general psychological characteristics, feelings, and behavioral traits of (singular X ) regarded as shared by all (plural X).

<<<< Look to the left column; as it says I was looking for a PHILOSOPHY not particularly a religion, and then God decided to bonk me big time with a spiritual experience I will never forget.   So I knew all this stuff before I got baptized, and so I can relate to others who want to know it ALL before taking it seriously.   But it was the experience, not the philosophy that finally prevailed.   I guess God knows a little about human psychology.  ;)

Here is the link I was going to post later from some BYU boys discussing this in detail.  https://www.sciencemeetsreligion.org/lds/lds-natural-law.php

Perhaps this will also help @Saint Bonaventure

"Divine Nature", for us IS human nature raised to its highest level of progression.

For us, God is immanent and part of the universe as its creator- no Ex Nihilo, and as you say, that explains it all.  You can't be a "Father" if you are transcendent, and we are the equivalent of bacteria.   How can you be the father of bacteria?

As an exalted human, you want a house?  (Universe/ Multiverse)? You build it yourself out of existing matter, just as we little baby embryo gods do out of wood and drywall.   But the elements obey you- as they obeyed Jesus during the storm on the Sea.

But HE has built universes without number.

There are no miracles- there is only science we do not understand yet.

Think of television or radio in the 3rd century BCE- voices and pictures out of a box?  You'd be strung up SO FAST...    A Tesla coil shooting "lightning"?

You would control the world!   But it's just trickery to us!

 

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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On 12/6/2022 at 7:07 PM, 3DOP said:

InCog...Briefly...

This gets us back to the Immaculate Conception. The end of the passage from Moses speaks of babies being delivered "from the foundation of the world", from the sins of our first parents, because of Christ's merits. Of course, this would refer to the future work of Christ during His Passion. This exactly how we affirm it worked for the Blessed Virgin:

"We declare, pronounce and define that the doctrine which asserts that the Blessed Virgin Mary, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God, and in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, Saviour of the human race, was preserved free from every stain of original sin is a doctrine revealed by God and, for this reason, must be firmly and constantly believed by all the faithful."

---Ineffabilis Deus, Pope Pius IX, Dec. 8, 1854

And so Thursday is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, and because I work for a Catholic employer, it is a paid holiday. Woowho!

Maybe you LDS need to have a church calendar of your own? Its up to you all of course. Maybe someday LDS employers will be offering paid holidays for a Feast of the Immaculate Conceptions!

Rory

I cannot help it.... When we get one, it will be correcting all the errors which have crept in with Catholicism, beginning with Christmas on Dec 25. Neither is it 2022 years since Christ's birth. It is 2025 years... so even the CE nomenclature is wrong.... Christ was actually born in Sept 3 BC.... so He was born 3 years Before Christ...... well, we will have to change that..... ;) And was crucified on the Passover in 30 AD... not on a Friday 3 years later as Catholicism would have us believe.... Lest I appear too haughty, I have to admit my own Church has made some errors, but we haven't enshrined them in our own calendar as of yet, but I have been feeling the need for a corrected Church calendar...  maybe I will work on that... But changing all of recorded English history by 3 years will be very confusing, so I suppose I will  have to come up with a new nomenclature.... Interesting suggestion BTW. Obviously the feast of the Immaculate Conception will not be included since we do not believe in the doctrine of original sin nor a sinless Mary. Mind you this is no reflection on you personally.... I  find you to be a wonderful person.

Perhaps strangely enough, I do believe in original sin.... Sin occurred after the law was given... without the law man was innocent and could not sin under the law... sin is a legal concept of God.

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1 hour ago, RevTestament said:

Obviously the feast of the Immaculate Conception will not be included since we do not believe in the doctrine of original sin nor a sinless Mary.

I know of no faith which has a doctrine of a sinless Mary, including Catholicism.

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13 minutes ago, mfbukowski said:

I know of no faith which has a doctrine of a sinless Mary, including Catholicism.

I don’t know if it is official…why would she need to be immaculately conceived if she then went on to sin?

If I understand the reasoning, Mary has to be pure from sin from the moment of her conception to her death to be a fit new Ark of the Lord, just as the old Ark was untainted by anything impure in its construction and care.

https://www.catholic.com/qa/does-scripture-support-marys-sinlessness

https://www.catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/hail-mary-conceived-without-sin

Quote

Not a few Protestants are surprised to discover that the Catholic Church actually agrees that Mary was “saved.” Indeed, Mary needed a savior! However, Mary was “saved” from sin in a most sublime manner. She was given the grace to be “saved” completely from sin so that she never committed even the slightest transgression. Protestants tend to emphasize God’s “salvation” almost exclusively to the forgiveness of sins actually committed. However, Sacred Scripture indicates that salvation can also refer to man being protected from sinning before the fact:

Now to him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you without blemish before the presence of his glory with rejoicing, to the only God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and for ever (Jude 24-25).

Six hundred years ago, the great Franciscan theologian Duns Scotus explained that falling into sin could be likened to a man approaching unaware a deep ditch. If he falls into the ditch, he needs someone to lower a rope and save him. But if someone were to warn him of the danger ahead, preventing the man from falling into the ditch at all, he would be saved from falling in the first place. Likewise, Mary was saved from sin by receiving the grace to be preserved from it. But she was still saved.

But what about “all have sinned” (Rom. 3:23) and “if any man says he has no sin he is a liar and the truth is not in him” (1 John 1:8)? Wouldn’t “all” and “any man” include Mary? On the surface, this sounds reasonable. But this way of thinking carried to its logical conclusion would list Jesus Christ in the company of sinners as well. No faithful Christian would dare say that. Yet no Christian can deny the plain texts of Scripture declaring Christ’s full humanity, either. Thus, to take 1 John 1:8 in a strict, literal sense would apply “any man” to Jesus as well.

The truth is, Jesus Christ was an exception to Romans 3:23 and 1 John 1:8. And the Bible tells us he was in Hebrews 4:15: “Christ was tempted in all points even as we are and yet he was without sin.” The question now is, are there any other exceptions to this rule? Yes—millions of them.

Both Romans 3:23 and 1 John 1:9 deal with personal rather than original sin. (Romans 5 deals with original sin.) And there are two exceptions to that general biblical norm as well. But for now, we will simply deal with Romans 3:23 and 1 John 1:8. First John 1:8 obviously refers to personal sin because in the very next verse, John tells us, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.” We do not confess original sin; we confess personal sins.

The context of Romans 3:23 makes clear that it too refers to personal sin:

None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands, no one seeks for God. All have turned aside, together they have gone wrong; no one does good, not even one. Their throat is an open grave. They use their tongues to deceive. The venom of asps is under their lips. Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness (vv. 10-14).

Original sin is not something we do; it is something we’ve inherited. Romans 3 deals with personal sin because it speaks of sins committed by the sinner. With this in mind, consider this: has a baby in the womb or a child of two ever committed a personal sin? No. To sin, a person has to know that the act he is about to perform is sinful while freely engaging his will in carrying it out. Without the proper faculties to enable them to sin, children before the age of accountability and anyone who does not have the use of his intellect and will cannot sin. So there are and have been millions of exceptions to Romans 3:23 and 1 John 1:8.

Still, how do we know that Mary is an exception to the norm of “all have sinned”? And more specifically, is there biblical support for this claim? Yes, there is much biblical support.

And [the angel Gabriel] came to [Mary] and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God” (Luke 1:28-30).

Quote

St. Luke uses the perfect passive participle, kekaritomene, as his “name” for Mary. This word literally means “she who has been graced” in a completed sense. This verbal adjective, “graced,” is not just describing a simple past action. Greek has another tense for that. The perfect tense is used to indicate that an action has been completed in the past, resulting in a present state of being. “Full of grace” is Mary’s name. So what does it tell us about Mary? Well, the average Christian is not completed in grace and in a permanent sense (see Phil. 3:8-12). But according to the angel, Mary is. You and I sin, not because of grace, but because of a lack of grace, or a lack of our cooperation with grace, in our lives. This greeting of the angel is one clue into the unique character and calling of the Mother of God. Only Mary is given the name “full of grace,” and in the perfect tense, indicating that this permanent state of Mary was completed.

 

 

Edited by Calm
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21 minutes ago, Calm said:

I don’t know if it is official…why would she need to be immaculately conceived if she then went on to sin?

If I understand the reasoning, Mary has to be pure from sin from the moment of her conception to her death to be a fit new Ark of the Lord, just as the old Ark was untainted by anything impure in its construction and care.

https://www.catholic.com/qa/does-scripture-support-marys-sinlessness

https://www.catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/hail-mary-conceived-without-sin

 

Very interesting, I was unaware of that view.

I would like to see something with an imprimatur/ nihil obstat on it though.

So then Mary might BE the incarnation of Heavenly Mother ! 😱

Maybe I am a Mormolic or Cathmon after all! ;)

 

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On 12/13/2022 at 12:01 PM, mfbukowski said:

Cathmon after all!

Sounds like Pokémon or Digimon…(mon is short for “monster” in case you didn’t know…pocket monster and digital monsters…still can’t get the digimon theme song out of my head even two decades later).

Edited by Calm
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4 minutes ago, Calm said:

Sounds like Pokémon or Digimon…(mon is short for “monster” in case you didn’t know…pocket monster and digital monsters…still can’t get the digimon theme sone out of my head even two decades later).

Dang

Looking for an imprimatur and I should have cleared that part with my daughter! ;)

 

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