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Definition of the Term Christian when Referring to a Person


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2 hours ago, RAD DAD said:

Salvation: Broken down into two categories:  Individual or personal salvation (more correctly termed “exaltation“) and general salvation that everyone receives through the Atonement and grace. According to tenth LDS President Joseph Fielding Smith: “Salvation is twofold: General – that which comes to all men irrespective of a belief (in this life) in Christ- and, Individual – that which man merits through his own acts through life and by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel” (Doctrines of Salvation 1:134).

 

The road to individual salvation begins with a belief that Joseph Smith was a true prophet sent by God.  Smith stated that there is “No Salvation Without Accepting Joseph Smith” (Doctrines of Salvation 1:189). Exaltation requirements include living a life of good works and temple participation. Keeping the whole law is absolutely essential, as Smith said, “Those who gain exaltation in the celestial kingdom are those who are members of the Church of the Firstborn; in other words, those who keep ALL of the commandments of the Lord” (Doctrines of Salvation 2:41). General salvation, otherwise called salvation by grace, was obtained through the death of Christ and is nothing more than universal resurrection, which occurs to all people regardless of their beliefs or lifestyle.

 

 

I will post more on general salvation later. The meaning of salvation is the biggest difference between Christianity and the LDS faith.

 

 

Wait a minute! Your point is, and you have said several times that non-LDS Christians claim a "general salvation" that is insufficient. Then you cite LDS leaders as the source of the term? Joseph Fielding Smith? Oh my! 

Now in this last reply you create a dichotomy between Christianity and the LDS faith? If I did that, I would be castigated for believing that LDS faith holders are not Christian. In you mind is not the LDS faith a Christian faith? As for me and my house we don't see a significant difference between Christianity and the LDS faith, since the LDS Faith is a true and living Christian community.

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22 minutes ago, Navidad said:

Wait a minute! Your point is, and you have said several times that non-LDS Christians claim a "general salvation" that is insufficient.

LDS doctrine claims non-LDS Christians can not make it to the presence of God the eternal father in the celestial kingdom. So good Christian living is insufficient if your goal is to be in the presence of God. That's LDS doctrine 101.

 

26 minutes ago, Navidad said:

If I did that, I would be castigated for believing that LDS faith holders are not Christian.

LDS doctrine states that the true Christian gospel was restored when Joseph Smith formed the LDS faith.

 

28 minutes ago, Navidad said:

As for me and my house we don't see a significant difference between Christianity and the LDS faith, since the LDS Faith is a true and living Christian community

The LDS faith is THE true and living community. Other Christian denominations can not guide you back to God. That's LDS doctrine. 

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1 hour ago, bluebell said:

You know that we believe that JS received knowledge of the three kingdoms of glory via revelation Tacenda.  You might disagree now that you don't believe anymore, but you should still be aware of our beliefs about how JS restored this church (and it wasn't a reliance on the bible).

So much does come through from the Bible though. Such as 132 verse 1. And Joseph's translation of it. Must be pretty important. He was reading the bible when he read in James to go and ask for answers to his questions.

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2 hours ago, RAD DAD said:

So good Christian living is insufficient if your goal is to be in the presence of God. That's LDS doctrine 101.

It is also non-LDS Christian doctrine 101. Good Christian living is insufficient for anything more than . . . well . . . good Christian living. It sure beats bad Christian living.

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15 minutes ago, RAD DAD said:

LDS doctrine claims non-LDS Christians can not make it to the presence of God the eternal father in the celestial kingdom. So good Christian living is insufficient if your goal is to be in the presence of God. That's LDS doctrine 101.

 

LDS doctrine states that the true Christian gospel was restored when Joseph Smith formed the LDS faith.

 

The LDS faith is THE true and living community. Other Christian denominations can not guide you back to God. That's LDS doctrine. 

I believe I will live with God and so glad that notion holds no place with me any longer.

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2 hours ago, RAD DAD said:

Other Christian denominations can not guide you back to God. That's LDS doctrine. 

Again that belief is also non-LDS doctrine. No denomination can guide someone back to God. Only a personal and individual relationship with Christ can enable a human to experience eternal life with Christ. That isn't a denominational thing. We agree.

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12 minutes ago, Tacenda said:

So much does come through from the Bible though. Such as 132 verse 1. And Joseph's translation of it. Must be pretty important. He was reading the bible when he read in James to go and ask for answers to his questions.

I totally agree about the Bible.  I've loved studying the OT this year.  It's amazing.

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On 11/18/2022 at 1:49 PM, Navidad said:

Greetings all. I am interested in reading your various definitions of the word Christian when applied to an individual, for example 'He is a Christian." I ask because it seems that like other terms, this word may mean different things to different of us. I am not as interested in what a dictionary says as what you all, the members of this forum mean when you use the term to refer to individuals. Or perhaps the word has the same meaning for you whether using it about a community, a faith, or a church in an adjectival or descriptive sense? Someone offered a definition earlier this week that he indicated was a "generic" definition. I am wide open to any or all input that you care to offer. Thanks so much.

What qualifies someone as a Christian? According to my observations, the majority of Christians hold that salvation occurs the instant one accepts or embraces Jesus Christ as lord and savior, placing complete faith in his finished work in accepting his life, death, burial, and glorious resurrection as atonement in full for their present and future sins.

 I belong to the LDS faith, and I think that everyone born on earth is given the gift of salvation. We have been given the gift of redemption (immortality) so that we can work for the loftier objective of exaltation, which is eternal life.  Exaltation reconnects us with the Almighty. Salvation = immortality, angel status, Heavenly servant to the gods. Exaltation = eternal life, godly attributes and eventually becoming a God!

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4 hours ago, John L said:

What qualifies someone as a Christian? According to my observations, the majority of Christians hold that salvation occurs the instant one accepts or embraces Jesus Christ as lord and savior, placing complete faith in his finished work in accepting his life, death, burial, and glorious resurrection as atonement in full for their present and future sins.

 I belong to the LDS faith, and I think that everyone born on earth is given the gift of salvation. We have been given the gift of redemption (immortality) so that we can work for the loftier objective of exaltation, which is eternal life.  Exaltation reconnects us with the Almighty. Salvation = immortality, angel status, Heavenly servant to the gods. Exaltation = eternal life, godly attributes and eventually becoming a God!

Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I am interested in and uninformed on the "heavenly servant to the gods" concept in your second definition. Everyone will be saved and become heavenly servants is what I read. Who exactly are the gods? Former mortals who do what and when to achieve godhood status as distinguished from heavenly servants?  By the way, welcome to the forum!

Edited by Navidad
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I can't help but notice the absence of the concept of "sanctification" in the replies. I also notice its absence in teaching in our ward and in conference talks. Is sanctification a concept recognized as important in the LDS church? To me, it is the post-conversion and hopefully continual growth in godliness, holiness, and maturity of the Christian, probably in this life and the next. It is the process of becoming what we are declared to be positionally in Christ.

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12 hours ago, Navidad said:

I can't help but notice the absence of the concept of "sanctification" in the replies. I also notice its absence in teaching in our ward and in conference talks. Is sanctification a concept recognized as important in the LDS church? To me, it is the post-conversion and hopefully continual growth in godliness, holiness, and maturity of the Christian, probably in this life and the next. It is the process of becoming what we are declared to be positionally in Christ.

I think my third definition, a Christian is an aspiring "christ" via ritual somewhat addressed Sanctification in different terms. One may be counted before belief, foreordained or chosen, or justified by mere belief. The ordinances are ideally a transformative process from being justified to becoming clean and holy. This is where baptism and good works starts a divide. The path to "Exaltation" and the "Celestial Kingdom" is how we say "Sanctification" exactly as you say. The idea of there being three "kingdoms", the divisions of the saved, starts with one who may believe and be justified of their sin to escape punishment and earns a place in heavenly glory without baptism or works. There is more to be had than just "salvation". What the Bible calls "rewards" and "treasures in heaven" according to "works of righteousness", righteous acts or ordinances.  A wicked or slothful believer might not be able to dwell in God's presence, not dio to physical barriors, it may be beyond the tolerance of both parties. If they cannot obey Celestial law, while there, they may not wish to be there.

The "kingdoms" are an analogue of the Temple itself (it is designed after heaven, as the Jews say, as above, so below), a triple partite structure that separated the Israelites in the Courtyard, the priests of the Holy Place and the High Priests of the Holy of Holies where the presence of God is, like the Celestial Kingdom. As I was saying, if one believes that a "Christian" means: "a follower of Christ", as the Epistle to the Hebrews describes it, we are aspiring to follow Christ through the temple veil and "draw nigh unto God". Not as some think; that with Christ as our High Priest there is no need of earthly Priests to reach God, rather we are to follow Christ into the High Priesthood. You are entering Gods presence because *you*, as the fully idealized Christian, are a High Priest. Sanctified to be there. Consider the Three Degrees of Glory by these Christian concepts of the divisions of salvation. 

image.jpeg.ad606d494be3bf6284dc7efbe7ce0726.jpegJustification, Sanctification, & Glorification (And What It Actually Means  for You) – TravisAgnew.org

Edited by Pyreaux
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9 hours ago, Navidad said:

I can't help but notice the absence of the concept of "sanctification" in the replies. I also notice its absence in teaching in our ward and in conference talks. Is sanctification a concept recognized as important in the LDS church? To me, it is the post-conversion and hopefully continual growth in godliness, holiness, and maturity of the Christian, probably in this life and the next. It is the process of becoming what we are declared to be positionally in Christ.

Please provide your definition of sanctification to make sure we are on the same page, but I am pretty what you call sanctification is taught extensively as part of the repentance and Atonement process, we just don’t always label it as “sanctification”, though it happens quite a bit in my experience.  I think usage may vary depending on where you live, just like other language choices…if one or two start using a word a lot, others may pick up on the use and then suddenly everyone is using it; this may stay relatively local though or spread church wide (like how “covenant path” has become very popular lately).

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/ensign/2001/06/justification-and-sanctification?lang=eng
 

Being washed clean by the blood of the Saviour is a frequent theme in church lessons and talks in my experience.

 

Edited by Calm
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10 hours ago, Navidad said:

"heavenly servant to the gods"

Those in the telestial kingdom will be heavenly servants

 

10 hours ago, Navidad said:

Everyone will be saved and become heavenly servants is what I read

LDS believe salvation is a gift from Jesus Christ. Everyone is saved. But not everyone is exalted. 

 

10 hours ago, Navidad said:

Who exactly are the gods?

Eternal progression produces multiple God's 

Joseph Smith said 

"I will preach the plurality of Gods. I'm going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea and take away the veil so that you may see." 

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On 11/18/2022 at 10:49 AM, Navidad said:

Greetings all. I am interested in reading your various definitions of the word Christian when applied to an individual, for example 'He is a Christian." I ask because it seems that like other terms, this word may mean different things to different of us. I am not as interested in what a dictionary says as what you all, the members of this forum mean when you use the term to refer to individuals. Or perhaps the word has the same meaning for you whether using it about a community, a faith, or a church in an adjectival or descriptive sense? Someone offered a definition earlier this week that he indicated was a "generic" definition. I am wide open to any or all input that you care to offer. Thanks so much.

Since there are so many flavors of Christianity, when I hear the word it means to me that this person is not of any other religious group and that, therefore, i have a better idea about what to expect from him or her.   The tenants of Christianity, themselves, are quite beside the point.

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On 11/21/2022 at 5:41 AM, Reign Gurl said:

Of course we do! 

"And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of Darkness, the only true and living church on the face of the whole Earth..."

Doctrine and Covenants, section 1, v.30

I see you didn't include exaltation in your list of what we don't hold a monopoly on. That's key! Because salvation doesn't get you back to Heavenly Father or the highest Heaven where he lives. Christians only receive salvation, meaning they won't live eternity with God in the afterlife. 

Out if the 1000s of churches in Christendom, how many are true and living?

This is not a coherent counter of anything I said. Perhaps my sixth sense is broken, but is there a reason I get this sense you are an LDS-Poser? Perhaps it's the prepared collection of non-doctrinal and seemingly uncharitable Journal of Discourse and Seer quotes you are most likely to find stacked like that on an Ant-Mo website, intended to encourage Christians to be uncharitable about the term "Christian" because turnabout is fair-play, and this is your first post? Then keep saying "we". Pray-tell, do "we" not believe in that Exaltation is universally accessible to all Christians, via a mere formality of a Spirit World missionary discussion and a Temple going descendant? That our knowledge and our experiences on earth are an advantage in the eternities, including secular schooling.

A church that teaches truths of gospel, the resurrection, faith and repentance, etc is a true church. The "live" portion is indeed a monopoly, concerning divine authority. Though we believe the Pope holds no authority that we recognize, he might still receive inspiration for his own people, be blessed by his faith and righteousness though doctrinally incorrect and is due credit for leading many to believe in Christ and so leading them to salvation. Many may blame those "Christians" for priestcrafts, hypocrisy, causing conflict or confusion with us, can also serve ultimately as a stepping-stone for greater truths and put many on the path to exaltation. For in the end, the designs of God will not be thwarted, and He will succor His captive people and the gates of death cannot prevail against Him.

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Edited by Pyreaux
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3 hours ago, Pyreaux said:

This is not a coherent counter of anything I said. Perhaps my sixth sense is broken, but is there a reason I get this sense you are an LDS-Poser? Perhaps it's the prepared collection of non-doctrinal and seemingly uncharitable Journal of Discourse and Seer quotes you are most likely to find stacked like that on an Ant-Mo website, intended to encourage Christians to be uncharitable about the term "Christian" because turnabout is fair-play, and this is your first post?

The user name "Reign Gurl" is a twist on one of the other board member names, which also supports your theory.  I've been thinking what you posted since the user's first post (but I've been to crazy busy to post anything), so thanks for posting this.

You'll notice several new board members posting to this topic as well.  It seems unusual. 

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21 hours ago, Navidad said:

I can't help but notice the absence of the concept of "sanctification" in the replies.

That's because sanctification in the LDS church has a completely different meanng than what Christians consider it to have. Sanctification is dependent on OUR actions because we think that by obeying God's commands, rising everyday, and making a sincere effort not to sin, we can become pure and clean. Here's a verse to clarify things for you.

D&C 88:68

Therefore sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him; for he will unveil his face to you, and it shall be in his own time and in his own way, and according to his own will.

Moroni 10:32

Yea come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind, and strength,then is his grace is sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ and if by the grace of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can nowise deny the power of God.

 

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21 hours ago, Navidad said:

can't help but notice the absence of the concept of "sanctification" in the replies.

Would it be accurate to argue that, in contrast to the LDS view, which holds that sanctification is something we may achieve via our deeds, scriptural Christianity holds that sanctification is what God does to us? The majority of Christians I've encountered think that God sanctifies us, that he shapes us into the people he wants us to be, and that sanctification is a result of God's work, not ours, Here is a scripture that Christians will cite to support the idea that God sanctifies us rather than requiring that we do it on our own.

John 17-19

Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.

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22 hours ago, Navidad said:

I also notice its absence in teaching in our ward and in conference talks

While not perhaps one of the more common terms, the concept has been mentioned from in conference talks. You can search here for words used in talks:

https://www.lds-general-conference.org

Sanctification, sanctify, and sanctified have together been used around 200 times since 2000. 

Edited by Calm
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1 hour ago, Calm said:

Sanctification, sanctify, and sanctified have together been used around 200 times since 2000

Yes, but in my perspective, what Christians mean by sanctification is different from what LDS Believers mean by it. Do you agree that wearas LDS believe sanctification is something we do to ourselves, Christians feel it is something god does to the believer? Are you aware that our church is works-based? 

Mcconkie said this about sanctification.  " To be sanctified is to become clean, pure, and spotless; to be free from the blood and sins of the world; to become a new creature of the Holy Ghost, one whose body has been removed by the rebirth of the spirit. Sanctification is a state of saintliness, a state attained only by conformity to the laws and ordinances of the gospel." I don't know many Christians who would agree with Mcconkie.

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39 minutes ago, John L said:

Mcconkie said this about sanctification.  " To be sanctified is to become clean, pure, and spotless; to be free from the blood and sins of the world; to become a new creature of the Holy Ghost, one whose body has been removed by the rebirth of the spirit. Sanctification is a state of saintliness, a state attained only by conformity to the laws and ordinances of the gospel." I don't know many Christians who would agree with Mcconkie.

I think the apostle Paul was a Christian:  

Quote

1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.
2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.
3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;
5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:
6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.
7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.
8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.
9 But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.
 10 And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more;
11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.
(1 Thessalonians 4:1–12)

I guess some Christians disagree with Paul?

Incidentally, Paul is laying this out as a preparation for the saints to be able to go up and meet Jesus when he returns (see verse 17).   This is all very much in parallel with the sanctification process that Moses had Israel go through in Exodus 19:14-23, in preparation for Israel to go up on the mountain and see the God of Israel (Exodus 24:9-11).

Edited by InCognitus
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1 hour ago, John L said:

Yes, but in my perspective, what Christians mean by sanctification is different from what LDS Believers mean by it. Do you agree that wearas LDS believe sanctification is something we do to ourselves, Christians feel it is something god does to the believer? Are you aware that our church is works-based? 

You have this a bit confused and one-sided.  A person can't really sanctify himself without the atonement of Jesus Christ and receiving of the Holy Ghost.  Even the McConkie definition you provided makes that clear:

Quote

Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p.675 SANCTIFICATION
See BAPTISM OF FIRE, BORN AGAIN, HOLINESS, HOLY GHOST, JUSTIFICATION, SALVATION, SANCTIFIER. To be sanctified is to become clean, pure, and spotless; to be free from the blood and sins of the world; to become a new creature of the Holy Ghost, one whose body has been renewed by the rebirth of the Spirit. Sanctification is a state of saintliness, a state attained only by conformity to the laws and ordinances of the gospel. The plan of salvation is the system and means provided whereby men may sanctify their souls and thereby become worthy of a celestial inheritance.

Sanctification is a basic doctrine of the gospel (D. & C. 20:31-34); indeed, the very reason men are commanded to believe, repent, and be baptized is so they "may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost," and thereby be enabled to stand spotless before the judgment bar of Christ. (2 Ne. 27:19-21.)

Nobody can do what Jesus did through his atonement, and nobody can be sanctified without the Holy Ghost.  So no, "our" church is not entirely works-based.  Works are necessary for salvation, but our works don't save us (for all have sinned.)  If we aren't changed by what Jesus teaches us and our receiving the Holy Ghost, then we are no better off than we were before.  

Consider all the passages in this definition of Sanctification in the Guide to the Scriptures:

Quote

Sanctification

The process of becoming free from sin, pure, clean, and holy through the Atonement of Jesus Christ (Moses 6:59–60).

  • God hath chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit, 2 Thes. 2:13.

  • We are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus, Heb. 10:10.

  • Jesus suffered that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, Heb. 13:12.

  • High priests were sanctified and their garments were washed white through the blood of the Lamb, Alma 13:10–12.

  • Sanctification cometh to those who yield their hearts unto God, Hel. 3:33–35.

  • Repent that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, 3 Ne. 27:20.

  • Sanctification through the grace of Jesus Christ is just and true, D&C 20:31.

  • Jesus came to sanctify the world, D&C 76:41.

  • Sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, D&C 88:68.

 

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On 11/22/2022 at 8:20 PM, Pyreaux said:

A church that teaches truths of gospel, the resurrection, faith and repentance, etc is a true church

Are you trying to mislead anyone who reads this who is not a Mormon by writing this remark in this way? May I ask, if these "true" churches you're referring to aren't living in your opinion, does that imply that other Christian congregations that hold just the "truth" are dead? Does a baptism from one of the churches you're describing which possesses simply the "truth" but isn't living, satisfy the requirements to enter the presence of God after death?

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3 hours ago, Reign Gurl said:

Are you trying to mislead anyone who reads this who is not a Mormon by writing this remark in this way? May I ask, if these "true" churches you're referring to aren't living in your opinion, does that imply that other Christian congregations that hold just the "truth" are dead? Does a baptism from one of the churches you're describing which possesses simply the "truth" but isn't living, satisfy the requirements to enter the presence of God after death?

What Pyreaux said about other faiths having truth is correct.  But a "living" church is different, and I take that to mean one that is directed by revelation from Jesus Christ at the head of the church, one that is open to continuing revelation, including the possibility of more scripture.  

Edited by InCognitus
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