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New Book about the Apostasy. Any thoughts or comments?


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51 minutes ago, InCognitus said:

A person can't be both, and someone who actively fights against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and intentionally misrepresents our doctrines or history to others (which is how I would define an anti-Mormon) would definitely not be considered a member of the church of the Lamb of God (in my opinion).  It's like what Bluebell said....  

I wonder . . . if a member of the LDS church actively fights against a non-LDS church and intentionally misrepresents their doctrines or history to others (however sincerely) . . . would they be considered for membership in the church of the Lamb of God? Is it a one-way street or does the traffic go both ways in such consideration? Thanks for considering the question. 

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8 minutes ago, Navidad said:

I wonder . . . if a member of the LDS church actively fights against a non-LDS church and intentionally misrepresents their doctrines or history to others (however sincerely) . . . would they be considered for membership in the church of the Lamb of God? Is it a one-way street or does the traffic go both ways in such consideration? Thanks for considering the question. 

Excellent question.  Intent is the key, and what it is they are fighting against. 

Some people spread misinformation unknowingly, of course, but intentionally spreading misinformation to attack a particular organization is a sin, no matter what.   I don't think sin (in and of itself) puts us in one camp or the other (because all have sinned), but it is the particular act of fighting against "Zion" and the true principles and values of God that would put us into the "church of the devil".   So my answer is:  It is definitely a possibility, but it depends :).

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Navidad, Hermano Muy Mio,

I hate to keep derailing your apostasy thread ;), but can you tell me more about the volume that covers the earlier part of J. Reuben Clark's life?  Do you know the title and the author?

Gracias!

-Ken

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9 hours ago, Kenngo1969 said:

Navidad, Hermano Muy Mio,

I hate to keep derailing your apostasy thread ;), but can you tell me more about the volume that covers the earlier part of J. Reuben Clark's life?  Do you know the title and the author?

Gracias!

-Ken

Sure . . . it is J. Reuben Clark: The Public Years by Frank W. Fox. Well researched and written. Warning however, it is "Quinn worthy" at over 700 pages.

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14 hours ago, InCognitus said:

Excellent question.  Intent is the key, and what it is they are fighting against. 

Some people spread misinformation unknowingly, of course, but intentionally spreading misinformation to attack a particular organization is a sin, no matter what.   I don't think sin (in and of itself) puts us in one camp or the other (because all have sinned), but it is the particular act of fighting against "Zion" and the true principles and values of God that would put us into the "church of the devil".   So my answer is:  It is definitely a possibility, but it depends :).

Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I guess it depends on your definition of "Zion." In the OT, it referred to both a specific location and Israel as a whole. When I think of Zion I think of the gathering place for all of Christianity. It also has been used as a gathering place for specific Christian groups, like the LDS folks, Anabaptists and even local churches - Zion Baptist Church for example. I have spoken at a number of Zion . . . . local churches, especially in the inner cities and in the south. So in my thinking, if one was to apostatize from Zion, one would have to abandon Christianity as a whole. If one went from being a Mennonite to a member of the LDS church, one would not be apostatizing from Christianity or from being Mennonite. One would simply be migrating to another branch of Christianity.

There could be lots of reasons for such a migration. For example, my wife and I have been faithful non-members in an LDS ward for five years. Why? There are no other English-speaking congregations of any Christian group within four hours of where we live. I thought about starting a new English-speaking fellowship, but decided against that. We also wanted and continue to want to learn more about the LDS faith.

I am especially interested in how its history has formed and then modified its doctrine over the years. We didn't apostatize from either our Mennonite or Baptist backgrounds. I still speak at meetings of both groups. I also speak at least once a month to LDS groups, especially those from the US who come here to learn more about their roots. I hope still sometime in my ancient days to write a book on the subject.

Mennonite history and culture has had a tremendous impact on its unique doctrinal formation, identity, and priorities. Much has already been written on that. Best wishes.

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On 10/28/2022 at 7:04 AM, Navidad said:

... [M]y wife and I have been faithful non-members in an LDS ward for five years. Why? There are no other English-speaking congregations of any Christian group within four hours of where we live. ...

Oh, come on!  Suck it up!  O Ye of Little Faith!  Eight-hour round trip to church?  What's the problem?!!  

:P ;);)

Edited by Kenngo1969
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1 hour ago, Navidad said:

Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I guess it depends on your definition of "Zion." In the OT, it referred to both a specific location and Israel as a whole. When I think of Zion I think of the gathering place for all of Christianity. It also has been used as a gathering place for specific Christian groups, like the LDS folks, Anabaptists and even local churches - Zion Baptist Church for example. I have spoken at a number of Zion . . . . local churches, especially in the inner cities and in the south. So in my thinking, if one was to apostatize from Zion, one would have to abandon Christianity as a whole. If one went from being a Mennonite to a member of the LDS church, one would not be apostatizing from Christianity or from being Mennonite. One would simply be migrating to another branch of Christianity.

And this is precisely why I put "Zion" in quotes, because it could mean something like what you are talking about.   "Zion" is defined as the "pure in heart" in Doctrine and Covenants 97:21, and in Moses 7:18-21, the Lord "called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind".   

That definition puts this verse from 2 Nephi 10:16 in a different light:  

"Wherefore, he that fighteth against Zion, both Jew and Gentile, both bond and free, both male and female, shall perish; for they are they who are the whore of all the earth; for they who are not for me are against me, saith our God."  (2 Nephi 10:16)

Fighting against "Zion" would therefore be fighting against the pure in heart and those striving to be of one heart and one mind in the Lord (however we arrive at that).

1 hour ago, Navidad said:

I am especially interested in how its history has formed and then modified its doctrine over the years. We didn't apostatize from either our Mennonite or Baptist backgrounds. I still speak at meetings of both groups. I also speak at least once a month to LDS groups, especially those from the US who come here to learn more about their roots. I hope still sometime in my ancient days to write a book on the subject.

You have a very unique perspective, and I hope you do get a chance to write that book.  

1 hour ago, Navidad said:

Mennonite history and culture has had a tremendous impact on its unique doctrinal formation, identity, and priorities.

I think I have mentioned previously on this board that I have a friend who is an Anabaptist, and when we first started talking about religion together I was surprised to find out how much he and I have in common in our beliefs (I had no prior experience with Anabaptist or Mennonite beliefs before meeting him).  We have had some very interesting discussions about the beliefs we share, but also our differences.  And because of my association with him I have a high respect for that particular tradition and approach to Christianity.  And I see that in your approach as well.  Thank you for that example.

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I love the Great apostasy doctrine.  One of the best evidences of the LDS church that exists in my opinion.  However sometimes it is misunderstood by people using the loss of many doctrines in the original New Testament church.  That is true but that is a symptom of the disease rather than the disease itself.  The disease was the loss or removal of the priesthood.  A man could start their own church and organize it identically to the LDS Church.  It could have the exact same doctrines of the LDS Church but the church he builds would be a dead church and worthless if the eyes of God without the priesthood.  The only real issue is when did the priesthood get removed.  Was it an event like the death of the last apostle or a gradual thing that happened over time as each ordained priesthood holder died off or left the church? 

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20 hours ago, InCognitus said:

A person can't be both, and someone who actively fights against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and intentionally misrepresents our doctrines or history to others (which is how I would define an anti-Mormon) would definitely not be considered a member of the church of the Lamb of God (in my opinion).

It's the animosity that identifies who's holding the attacker's leash (as opposed to the target of the animosity).

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2 hours ago, InCognitus said:

the Lord "called his people Zion, because they were of one heart and one mind"

I like this a lot and had forgotten about it. Now we are down to the question of who are the Lord's people - "his people?" Methinks "his people" are all those who have accepted the reality and salvific nature of the atonement. All the other denominational specific tenets are appendages.

I would take it a step farther (further) by saying that his people are ultimately those who successfully pass through the judgment on judgment day. Of course, today we have no idea who that will be, beyond knowing that Christ will make that decision based on a perfect balance of His righteousness and mercy. The heart and mind are two metaphorical tools. I am doing my best to figure out exactly what is meant by the heart and mind - both material and immaterial? What does it mean to be "of one heart and one mind?" Even my wife and I are not always of one heart and mind.

Are ''his people" limited to those in one branch of Christianity? That is a bridge much too far for me. II Chron 7:14 is a beautiful reminder of who are His people. "If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." In the early 70s I had the privilege of singing in Los Angeles in two huge productions of "If My People" by Jimmy Owens. It was a tremendous spiritual experience as thousands of people came together in praise to the Lord. I will never forget it. There were folks there, both performing and listening from every corner of Cristendom. It was broadcast live. Maybe some of you old-timers remember it. Barry McGuire (anyone remember him?) was the lead singer.

I have been truly blessed to have had so many richly spiritual experiences across the spectrum of Christianity, including the LDS community and excluding none. It was but a few years ago that our ward bishop and the stake patriarch came up to me after a sacrament meeting, telling me with great joy how they had attended a Mennonite praise service in another community the night before. They told me they couldn't understand a word that was said (it was all in low German - plattduetsch). They told me that they each had experienced a powerful sense of the Spirit among the Mennonites even without words. It seems to really have touched them. Methinks "my people" is a broad, wonderful and Godly people who can be found in every corner of Christianity.
 

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26 minutes ago, Chum said:

It's the animosity that identifies who's holding the attacker's leash (as opposed to the target of the animosity).

Well said. I might suggest however, that the target of the animosity may be much more acutely aware of the same than the attackers themselves. Blind spots are a huge barrier to individual and group growth.

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1 hour ago, carbon dioxide said:

I love the Great apostasy doctrine.  One of the best evidences of the LDS church that exists in my opinion.  However sometimes it is misunderstood by people using the loss of many doctrines in the original New Testament church.  That is true but that is a symptom of the disease rather than the disease itself.  The disease was the loss or removal of the priesthood.  A man could start their own church and organize it identically to the LDS Church.  It could have the exact same doctrines of the LDS Church but the church he builds would be a dead church and worthless if the eyes of God without the priesthood.  The only real issue is when did the priesthood get removed.  Was it an event like the death of the last apostle or a gradual thing that happened over time as each ordained priesthood holder died off or left the church? 

Let me know if you read the new book. I ordered it and can't wait to get up to New Mexico in a few weeks to pick it up at our mail place.

 

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4 minutes ago, Navidad said:

I might suggest however, that the target of the animosity may be much more acutely aware of the same than the attackers themselves.

This would be why small faiths are polite faiths.

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I received my copy of this book yesterday evening.  I'm about half way through reading it (I was reading it in between the kids coming to the door for Halloween).   It's easy reading.  I may hold off on posting my thoughts until others have a chance to read it too.  But for now (and so far in my reading) I'll just say that I think my assessment that the jacket cover description is click-bait is correct :) 

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Quote

Latter-day Saints believe that, following the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the death of the original apostles, a Great Apostasy occurred that took God’s authorized servants from the earth and with them, direct revelation from God. This forced people to fend for themselves spiritually, which only resulted in lost truths, false doctrines, and a state of confusion that could only be remedied by a restoration. This, Mormons believe, was initiated by Joseph Smith, God’s chosen mouthpiece for this new era. But many church members’ understanding of this apostasy is tinged with tainted suppositions and misunderstandings. Statements such as “the priesthood was taken from the earth” and “the gospel was shattered into many pieces” are not only inaccurate but are curtly dismissive of fellow Christians. Gregor McHardy examines the fate of the apostles, the actual dissipation of authority following their deaths, the gradual onset of changed doctrines, and similar topics.
 

This is from the Amazon description. The bold portion is absolutely essential to be understood. Perpetuating such misconceptions and lies is a serious pandemic.

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7 hours ago, Damien the Leper said:
Quote

Latter-day Saints believe that, following the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the death of the original apostles, a Great Apostasy occurred that took God’s authorized servants from the earth and with them, direct revelation from God. This forced people to fend for themselves spiritually, which only resulted in lost truths, false doctrines, and a state of confusion that could only be remedied by a restoration. This, Mormons believe, was initiated by Joseph Smith, God’s chosen mouthpiece for this new era. But many church members’ understanding of this apostasy is tinged with tainted suppositions and misunderstandings. Statements such as “the priesthood was taken from the earth” and “the gospel was shattered into many pieces” are not only inaccurate but are curtly dismissive of fellow Christians. Gregor McHardy examines the fate of the apostles, the actual dissipation of authority following their deaths, the gradual onset of changed doctrines, and similar topics.
 

This is from the Amazon description. The bold portion is absolutely essential to be understood. Perpetuating such misconceptions and lies is a serious pandemic.

The red text above is one of the areas where I think the book description is playing with words somewhat to make the book sound more controversial than it really is (click bait).   I didn't have time to read last night, but I'm at least that far in the book to know what he has to say on that issue.  I'm sure I'll get to the other items in that list when I get time to read some more.

But for the red text in the quote, the author of the book is arguing (correctly, in my opinion) against the idea that the priesthood was "taken from the earth" overnight, at the moment the priesthood keys were lost.  His argument is that the priesthood wasn't "taken", but rather it "died out" over a period of time.  He even says (quoting from page 43): 

Quote

"But you're just playing with words," you may say.  "Whether priesthood power was taken or whether it died out really doesn't make any difference.  It was still gone in the end."  I grant that the end result is the same, but finding out how long it took to reach the end gives us a better idea of how the great apostasy actually came about, and to what extent it affects today's LDS Church.

I think he is playing with words :)  The priesthood was "lost" from the earth, it wasn't "taken".  It died out eventually.  

The author explains how the priesthood lingered for a time in language that Latter-day Saints can relate to:

Quote

     Let me show you what I mean.  Eusebius recorded that, sometime in the 90s CE, John ordained a thirty-something-year-old man named Polycarp (meaning "very fruitful") to the office of supervisor.  Polycarp lived another sixty years after that--his rather brutal death being documented in 155 CE.  At the time of his death, he was honored for being a marvelously faithful and considerate man.  He had, after all, sixty years of service to the Lord under his belt.  Polycarp's case shows that priesthood authorization endures independently of its authorizer.  But what about Polycarp's ability to propagate his priesthood?

    If the post-primitive church followed the modern precedent of LDS stake presidents and bishops needing to be authorized by apostles, Polycarp could not have designated his own successor.  However, modern LDS priesthood leaders are authorized to ordain new elders, priests, teachers, and deacons, along with organizing and leading the church in their geographic area-- all without having to get approval from Salt Lake City.  Likewise, up until 155 CE, Polycarp may have appropriately authorized the ordination of new elders.  (pp 44-45)

He deals with the issue of priesthood keys in a later chapter.

Edited by InCognitus
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5 hours ago, InCognitus said:

The red text above is one of the areas where I think the book description is playing with words somewhat to make the book sound more controversial than it really is (click bait).   I didn't have time to read last night, but I'm at least that far in the book to know what he has to say on that issue.  I'm sure I'll get to the other items in that list when I get time to read some more.

But for the read text in the quote, the author of the book is arguing (correctly, in my opinion) against the idea that the priesthood was "taken from the earth" overnight, at the moment the priesthood keys were lost.  His argument is that the priesthood wasn't "taken", but rather it "died out" over a period of time.  He even says (quoting from page 43): 

I think he is playing with words :)  The priesthood was "lost" from the earth, it wasn't "taken".  It died out eventually.  

The author explains how the priesthood lingered for a time in language that Latter-day Saints can relate to:

He deals with the issue of priesthood keys in a later chapter.

Well, for $17 I hope to get at least a little bit of controversy! Sounds pretty LDS orthodox to me! My subscription to the New York Times gets me lots of controversy for just $4 a month. Or I could begin a thread-long discussion with Mark for free! 😀

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6 hours ago, InCognitus said:

The red text above is one of the areas where I think the book description is playing with words somewhat to make the book sound more controversial than it really is (click bait).   I didn't have time to read last night, but I'm at least that far in the book to know what he has to say on that issue.  I'm sure I'll get to the other items in that list when I get time to read some more.

But for the red text in the quote, the author of the book is arguing (correctly, in my opinion) against the idea that the priesthood was "taken from the earth" overnight, at the moment the priesthood keys were lost.  His argument is that the priesthood wasn't "taken", but rather it "died out" over a period of time.  He even says (quoting from page 43): 

I think he is playing with words :)  The priesthood was "lost" from the earth, it wasn't "taken".  It died out eventually.  

The author explains how the priesthood lingered for a time in language that Latter-day Saints can relate to:

He deals with the issue of priesthood keys in a later chapter.

The episcopacy and apostolic succession was never lost. Rod Bennett addresses this in his book The Apostasy that Wasn't. I have yet to read it yet as I'm currently reading From Apostles to Bishops by Francis Sullivan, S.J.

Edited by Damien the Leper
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The idea of apostasy seems so backward to me. Why would God not choose to work through as many religions, cultures, and time periods with equal validity as possible? If you were in God’s shoes, would you seriously limit yourself to such limited populations and time periods as the doctrine of the great apostasy suggests if your end goal is the eternal life of man? It makes zero sense to me.

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6 hours ago, Benjamin Seeker said:

The idea of apostasy seems so backward to me. Why would God not choose to work through as many religions, cultures, and time periods with equal validity as possible? If you were in God’s shoes, would you seriously limit yourself to such limited populations and time periods as the doctrine of the great apostasy suggests if your end goal is the eternal life of man? It makes zero sense to me.

This criticism is equally applicable to God’s covenantal relationship with the House of Israel. 

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On 11/3/2022 at 1:33 AM, Benjamin Seeker said:

The idea of apostasy seems so backward to me. Why would God not choose to work through as many religions, cultures, and time periods with equal validity as possible? If you were in God’s shoes, would you seriously limit yourself to such limited populations and time periods as the doctrine of the great apostasy suggests if your end goal is the eternal life of man? It makes zero sense to me.

Because man has not understood the work of God. There have been 144,000 given the task of spreading the gospel, yet man has gone astray in every dispensation. Man has thought  it must all be accomplished here on thie earth without realizing there have been many many worlds before this one, and will be more after this one to accomplish the task of granting eternal life to all of mankind.

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1 hour ago, RevTestament said:

Because man has not understood the work of God. There have been 144,000 given the task of spreading the gospel, yet man has gone astray in every dispensation. Man has thought  it must all be accomplished here on thie earth without realizing there have been many many worlds before this one, and will be more after this one to accomplish the task of granting eternal life to all of mankind.

A God that is omnipotent but acts like that is not a God that makes sense to me or one that I can believe in.

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On 10/26/2022 at 5:41 PM, InCognitus said:

As has been said already by others, the events described in 1 Nephi 13 were taking place long before there was such a thing as a Catholic church.  The Catholic church simply inherited the effects of the apostasy.

THE Catholic Church of 21st century, headed by the current Bishop or Rome, Pope Francis, traces the beginning of their Church to Jesus Christ Himself, who appointed Simon/Peter as the rock upon which he would build His church. 21st century Catholics also identify this Peter as their first Pope. I think I will trust Catholics as to when their Church began...

Grace and peace,

David

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13 minutes ago, David Waltz said:

THE Catholic Church of 21st century, headed by the current Bishop or Rome, Pope Francis, traces the beginning of their Church to Jesus Christ Himself, who appointed Simon/Peter as the rock upon which he would build His church. 21st century Catholics also identify this Peter as their first Pope. I think I will trust Catholics as to when their Church began...

Grace and peace,

David

Point taken, it is not my intent to tell people what to believe about their own church. 

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