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Is the Encyclopedia of Mormonism (1992) a Publication of the Church and a Valid Source for Understanding Mormonism?


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11 hours ago, InCognitus said:

Somewhere on this board we had a similar discussion, and I posted this correction to the graph:

362718686_RestoredChristianity1.jpg.0742252600185b4e04215abc793bf446.jpg

"Restored Christianity" is a reestablishment of the original gray line on the graph through divine means, and not a branch of one of the existing lines.

Your chart in my opinion, is highly revealing, but perhaps not in the way you intended. Because of their shared trinitarian understanding of the Godhead,all Christian branches can be seen to have their roots in the same original line of Christianity. On your chart, however, the restored gospel (Mormonism) is not a branch, it is not a restoration, it is the start of a new line. You've accurately articulated how the majority of Christians feel about Mormonism! No other Christian denomination acknowledges more than one God. Possibly billions of Gods. The LDS faithful should stand alone, and be proud in our beliefs!

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2 minutes ago, John L said:

Your chart in my opinion, is highly revealing, but perhaps not in the way you intended. Because of their shared trinitarian understanding of the Godhead,all Christian branches can be seen to have their roots in the same original line of Christianity. On your chart, however, the restored gospel (Mormonism) is not a branch, it is not a restoration, it is the start of a new line.

Correction, it's a restoration of the original line, the way it existed in the beginning.  It restores the original doctrines and teachings and ordinances.

3 minutes ago, John L said:

You've accurately articulated how the majority of Christians feel about Mormonism! No other Christian denomination acknowledges more than one God. Possibly billions of Gods. The LDS faithful should stand alone, and be proud in our beliefs!

I guess you haven't read what the early Christians taught about multiple gods and men becoming gods.  We have had many discussions on this board on that topic.   For example, see herehere, here.  

Why does it sound like you are not an actual member of the church?  You seem to be drawing your comments from many of the one-sided anti-Mormon arguments against the church.

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1 hour ago, Eschaton said:

The restorationist movement, and from it the LDS tradition, does in fact spring from the protestant tradition. It didn't just spring up out of nowhere. While the LDS tradition does have unique beliefs, it also shares many beliefs with Catholicism and Protestantism that don't appear in the first century, and conversely, first century Christianity had many characteristics that don't appear in LDS tradition or mainstream Christianity. I would say this graph is fair and accurate. In fact in many ways first century Christianity doesn't exist anymore. 

Sure, we share some beliefs with protestants and culturally we do spring from them.  We are not an exact replica of the first century church, but if we think of this graph in terms of origins of priesthood authority, then we cannot correctly be tied to or branch from Protestantism of Catholicism in any way. 

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37 minutes ago, John L said:

Your chart in my opinion, is highly revealing, but perhaps not in the way you intended. Because of their shared trinitarian understanding of the Godhead,all Christian branches can be seen to have their roots in the same original line of Christianity. On your chart, however, the restored gospel (Mormonism) is not a branch, it is not a restoration, it is the start of a new line. You've accurately articulated how the majority of Christians feel about Mormonism! No other Christian denomination acknowledges more than one God. Possibly billions of Gods. The LDS faithful should stand alone, and be proud in our beliefs!

The LDS Godhead seems to be a modified version of the Christian Trinity.  

Edited by Eschaton
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Just now, pogi said:

Sure, we share some beliefs with protestants and culturally we do spring from them.  We are not an exact replica of the first century church, but if we think of this graph in terms of origins of priesthood authority, then we cannot correctly be tied to or branch from Protestantism of Catholicism in any way. 

Well, I think it if were a graph about claims about priesthood authority (what it is, where it comes from, is it important) it would look very different. 

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2 minutes ago, Eschaton said:

Well, I think it if were a graph about claims about priesthood authority (what it is, where it comes from, is it important) it would look very different. 

Ya, I don't think any graph could be a perfect representation, but it gets my point across that we are a square Christian peg that some are trying to fit into a circle Christian hole.  We are not related via priesthood. 

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1 hour ago, InCognitus said:

Why does it sound like you are not an actual member of the church?

What you might be wondering in my opinion, is why I don't just agree with the other mormons. What is making you uneasy, I believe, is the fact that I would rather be seen as a Saint than a Christian. I believe it is dishonest for our religion to demand to be seen as "Christian" when we believe in multiple gods. Christianity has a rich and wonderful history. Additionally, we are requesting to be part of Christianity as a whole while simultaneously telling every other denomination in Christianity that we are the only denomination with power from God. 

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6 minutes ago, John L said:

What you might be wondering in my opinion, is why I don't just agree with the other mormons. What is making you uneasy, I believe, is the fact that I would rather be seen as a Saint than a Christian. I believe it is dishonest for our religion to demand to be seen as "Christian" when we believe in multiple gods. Christianity has a rich and wonderful history. Additionally, we are requesting to be part of Christianity as a whole while simultaneously telling every other denomination in Christianity that we are the only denomination with power from God. 

Historically Christianity was extremely diverse - ridiculously diverse, in fact. I don't think believing in the existence of other Gods disqualifies LDS people from the Christian label. Paul seems to have believed that other gods existed, after all. 

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9 minutes ago, John L said:

What you might be wondering in my opinion, is why I don't just agree with the other mormons. What is making you uneasy, I believe, is the fact that I would rather be seen as a Saint than a Christian. I believe it is dishonest for our religion to demand to be seen as "Christian" when we believe in multiple gods. Christianity has a rich and wonderful history. Additionally, we are requesting to be part of Christianity as a whole while simultaneously telling every other denomination in Christianity that we are the only denomination with power from God. 

You use the word "mormons".  You assume that a belief in multiple gods makes one not a "Christian".  You remark that Seventh Day Adventists have more members and came after the restoration, so you think they should be included in the restoration.  You seem to be unaware of the portions of Bruce R. McConkie's comments that contradict your premise where you claim that our sanctification process is entirely "works-based".  Those things don't make me "uneasy", they are red flags that I've seen time and time again.  It's a one-sided stereotype and caricature that doesn't represent our true beliefs.  

I believe in being completely honest about my beliefs, especially those beliefs that are unique to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  But that also includes being honest about beliefs we have in common with the rest of Christianity.  We don't "request" to be part of "Christianity", we are followers of Christ and his teachings, and that makes us Christians.  We don't need the permission of others to be Christians, since the only true judge on that issue is Jesus Christ.  His word on that is all that matters.

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26 minutes ago, InCognitus said:

You use the word "mormons". 

Youe above statement is all I need to know about who I'm dealing with. We're discussing topics on a board called Mormon Dialogue &Discussion Board and you criticize for using the word Mormon. 

 

30 minutes ago, InCognitus said:

You assume that a belief in multiple gods makes one not a "Christian". 

Yes I do. 

 

32 minutes ago, InCognitus said:

You remark that Seventh Day Adventists have more members and came after the restoration, so you think they should be included in the restoration.

Do you know for a fact SDA are not a part of the restoration?

33 minutes ago, InCognitus said:

You seem to be unaware of the portions of Bruce R. McConkie's comments that contradict your premise where you claim that our sanctification process is entirely "works-based". 

Nope!

34 minutes ago, InCognitus said:

  Those things don't make me "uneasy", they are red flags that I've seen time and time again.

Are you uneasy with being challenged?

 

 

If we are Christians, what other Christian denominations do we share priesthood authority with?

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16 minutes ago, John L said:
52 minutes ago, InCognitus said:

You use the word "mormons". 

Youe above statement is all I need to know about who I'm dealing with. We're discussing topics on a board called Mormon Dialogue &Discussion Board and you criticize for using the word Mormon. 

Are you unaware of President Nelson's request that we refer to ourselves by the real name of the church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints?

16 minutes ago, John L said:
52 minutes ago, InCognitus said:

You assume that a belief in multiple gods makes one not a "Christian". 

Yes I do. 

Do you believe that the earliest Christians who taught that Jesus is the "second God" and that men become gods, and many other gods exist are not really Christian?   They are included in the body of writings of the early Christian fathers, and that teaching is spread across several early Christian writers, not just one or two.

16 minutes ago, John L said:

Do you know for a fact SDA are not a part of the restoration?

Yes.  Do you think they are?  If so, why?

16 minutes ago, John L said:
52 minutes ago, InCognitus said:

You seem to be unaware of the portions of Bruce R. McConkie's comments that contradict your premise where you claim that our sanctification process is entirely "works-based". 

Nope!

Then why were you not up front about his actual teachings on those issues?

16 minutes ago, John L said:
52 minutes ago, InCognitus said:

  Those things don't make me "uneasy", they are red flags that I've seen time and time again.

Are you uneasy with being challenged?

Try me :) 

16 minutes ago, John L said:

If we are Christians, what other Christian denominations do we share priesthood authority with?

The New Testament Christians, obviously.

Edited by InCognitus
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20 minutes ago, John L said:

Do you know for a fact SDA are not a part of the restoration?

By "the restoration" are you referring to the restoration of priesthood authority to Joseph Smith, or are you referring to restorationsit movements in general?  I hope the later, otherwise I am really confused.  If the former, please explain who you are and what strange splinter group you belong to.

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4 hours ago, John L said:

Are the Seventh Day Adventist part of "Restored Christianity"  gray line?

The SDA church was founded sometime around 1860 and their membership has far surpassed ours. 

Yes, and there are any number of other restorationist movements from the 14th century on (separate from the mainstream Magisterial Reformation). Some of the earliest included the "Johns" - Jan Hus (Bohemian), John Wyclif (British) John Smyth (British – former Anglican influential in Baptist and Mennonite formulations - he influenced the religious thinking of John Locke), John of Leiden - Johan Beukelszoon (Dutch), and Jan Matthys (Dutch). All of these were at one time, or another deemed “radical” by both Protestant reformers and Catholics.  

The LDS faith perhaps has roots in the Radical Reformation or Restoration led by the above from the 14th to the 17th centuries. Certainly, in those cold nights in New York, the Whitmers could have told Joseph Smith stories of their Anabaptist fore-bearers (of both Mennonites and German Baptists or Brethren). A number of works by church history scholars mention the Anabaptist influence on early Mormonism. Ditto for the influence of the Disciples of Christ (Campbellites) and one of their leaders, Sidney Rigdon. The Disciples of Christ grew, expanded, and divided into differing forms. It too claims, in its several forms to be restorational. They even styled themselves the “New Lights.” The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) today has its own seminary in Indianapolis which I was privileged to attend.

Think of the acknowledged (by President Woodruff) influence of Presbyterian Robert Mason on his spiritual growth over the first two decades of the 1800’s prior to “the restoration.” Mason even has several references on the official LDS website! Apostle Woodruff’s apocalyptic 1880 Desert, Wilderness, or Sunset revelation about the future of Zion (which Anabaptists also tried to establish in Muenster, Germany in the 1530s) was powerfully reminiscent of the language of early Anabaptists. It was ruled by the leaders of the church in 1881 to be profitable for the church members, but not as revelation for the whole church.

The LDS genesis is part Methodist and Anabaptist (both Arminian), part Masonic (I was a Master Mason), and part generic orthodox Christianity of the time. After all, regarding the First Vision, Joseph Smith had no problem recognizing who the two figures were. He had a grounding in New Testament Christianity, much of which he never rejected. After the Book of Mormon, revelations increasingly came that helped establish a particular doctrine of eschatology (future things), ecclesiology (the church), theology (the Godhead), and anthropology (humans) within the church. Over time, doctrines became increasingly less orthodox and thus the idea of a singularly unique church took root. That it had no seeds, soil, or roots in the existing church or previous restorational movements, that it sprung up uniquely and ex-nihilo (out of nothing) is a claim that requires a specific faith to believe.

 

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6 hours ago, InCognitus said:

Correction, it's a restoration of the original line, the way it existed in the beginning.  It restores the original doctrines and teachings and ordinances.

I guess you haven't read what the early Christians taught about multiple gods and men becoming gods.  We have had many discussions on this board on that topic.   For example, see herehere, here.  

Why does it sound like you are not an actual member of the church?  You seem to be drawing your comments from many of the one-sided anti-Mormon arguments against the church.

It has never dawned on me that folks might come on this forum to pose as members of the church to state the most radical positions and thus cast a negative light on the church. That is a fascinating concept. Has that happened before?

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1 minute ago, Navidad said:

Over time, doctrines became increasingly less orthodox and thus the idea of a singularly unique church took root.

Or rather, increasingly more orthodox in the early Christian teaching sense of things.  (Such as the early Christian teachings about other gods and Jesus Christ as the "second God", the doctrine of creation from unformed matter, God having a body, etc. etc., all doctrines found in the earliest of the Christian writings). 

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1 minute ago, Navidad said:

It has never dawned on me that folks might come on this forum to pose as members of the church to state the most radical positions and thus cast a negative light on the church. That is a fascinating concept. Has that happened before?

Yes, it's why the board rules list it as one of the banned behaviors:  "Pretending to be someone you aren't, or faking membership in a religion to fool others".

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4 hours ago, John L said:

What you might be wondering in my opinion, is why I don't just agree with the other mormons. What is making you uneasy, I believe, is the fact that I would rather be seen as a Saint than a Christian. I believe it is dishonest for our religion to demand to be seen as "Christian" when we believe in multiple gods. Christianity has a rich and wonderful history. Additionally, we are requesting to be part of Christianity as a whole while simultaneously telling every other denomination in Christianity that we are the only denomination with power from God. 

I notice you use a small g for the multiple gods. Is there a significance to that? Are they Gods of a lesser kind? Like I am a Christian of a lesser kind? Ha!

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2 hours ago, InCognitus said:

Or rather, increasingly more orthodox in the early Christian teaching sense of things.  (Such as the early Christian teachings about other gods and Jesus Christ as the "second God", the doctrine of creation from unformed matter, God having a body, etc. etc., all doctrines found in the earliest of the Christian writings). 

You are stylizing non-normative early beliefs as normative. Taking the fringe of any movement from any time and making it normative, like certain fringe early Christian beliefs isn't quite accurate. I could come up with a number of fringe quotes from LDS Church leaders like Joseph Fielding Smith about race, and assert that they are normative. That would not be accurate or fair.

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2 hours ago, InCognitus said:

Yes, it's why the board rules list it as one of the banned behaviors:  "Pretending to be someone you aren't, or faking membership in a religion to fool others".

Wow, after five years and achieving the highest level of something or other on this forum, I now must admit I am really a pantheistic, animistic, pagan shaman, or maybe some of you already guessed that?

Edited by Navidad
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4 minutes ago, Navidad said:

You are stylizing non-normative early beliefs as normative. Taking the fringe of any movement from any time and making it normative, like certain fringe early Christian beliefs isn't quite accurate. I could come up with a number of fringe quotes from LDS Church leaders like Joseph Fielding Smith about race, and assert that they are normative. That would not be accurate or fair.

I completely disagree.  What you are calling "non-normative early beliefs" is a judgement call based on later developments in doctrine, because the doctrines I described above were not considered "non-normative" in early Christianity.  The teachings that men become gods and that there are other gods is a wide spread teaching among many early Christian fathers (I've documented that in separate threads, and can provide many examples of such).   The same with the teaching that Jesus is the "second God".  

One of the early Christians who taught that there are many gods and that Jesus is the "second God" and that Jesus was the "the first to be with God, and to attract to Himself divinity" was Origen (185-254 AD).  At the time he wrote those things he was under examination by two councils of the church, not because of his doctrines or teachings, but because of his ordination to the priesthood, which was disputed by Demetrius (he was said to be jealous of his popularity).  And at the time of those examinations it was said of him (according to the Catholic Encyclopedia article:  Origen and Origenism), "St. Jerome declares expressly that he was not condemned on a point of doctrine":  So at the time his writings, his doctrines were considered to be orthodox.

And even the doctrine that God has a body has evidence to indicate it was an early belief widely held in the church.  And several studies have documented that the doctrine of creation ex-nihilo was first introduced at around 177 AD by Tatian and Theophilus of Antioch, and was developed further by Irenaeus, Tertullian, and Origen.  It was a change introduced later, and the earlier teachings were of creation from unformed matter.

These things are at the core of the question on "apostasy".  It's easy to say many popular early teachings were "non-normative" when we are far removed from the environment of those teachings and influenced by later changes in doctrines, like those introduced at the First Council of Nicaea. 

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6 hours ago, John L said:

Mormon Dialogue &Discussion Board

Since posters include nonmembers, this is obviously referring to more than just members, which is not how you used the term.  Culture, history, and all things related to the Restored Church including break off sects which the Church has asked us and others to not affiliate*** some of them with the Church are all topics here, thus the global term “Mormon” is used appropriately in the title of the board imo as directed by the Church’s leadership since the board does not focus only on what is “unique” to the Church…

*Though I have to admit their instructions were shortsighted in my view because I believe there is plenty about the culture of the Church and some of the lifestyle that we should not be claiming to be part of the restored gospel because they are based on traditions and influences outside the revelations and teachings of the gospel.  For example, the brawls of church basketball are/were definitely part of church culture and lifestyle, but were, imo, contrary to the gospel.

”The term “Mormonism” is inaccurate and should not be used. When describing the combination of doctrine, culture, and lifestyle unique to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the term “the restored gospel of Jesus Christ” is accurate and preferred.”

***”When referring to people or organizations that practice polygamy, it should be stated that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not affiliated with polygamous groups.”

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/church/news/mormon-is-out-church-releases-statement-on-how-to-refer-to-the-organization?lang=eng

Edited by Calm
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8 hours ago, Navidad said:

It has never dawned on me that folks might come on this forum to pose as members of the church to state the most radical positions and thus cast a negative light on the church. That is a fascinating concept. Has that happened before?

While it is not frequent that it gets proven (this may occur because they brag elsewhere about what they are doing and this is noticed by a board member or because they admit to it), it generally becomes clear when more and more extreme and absurd claims are made as well as inconsistencies in their stories show up.  I am guessing there is usually one semi active (in terms of posting on the board) troll around off and on trying to convince others they are the perfect example of a traditional in the pew Saint/“Chapel Mormon”.  They will do a lot of posts for a bit, disappear for a few months and show up again, disappear again.  My guess is most only last a few of these rinse, repeat cycles, but I think we currently have a very persistent one who is using multiple aliases at the same time.

Edited by Calm
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10 hours ago, Eschaton said:

The LDS Godhead seems to be a modified version of the Christian Trinity.  

It's actually the other way around.  The Nicene Creed of 325 AD presented a modified version of the early Christian view of the Godhead (which sounds a lot like the LDS view of the Godhead), and the interpretation of that creed which prevailed eventually became the modern doctrine of the Trinity.  

I've said this (and documented this) in many other places on this board, but the Christians prior to 325 AD taught that Jesus is the "second God" or "another God" subject to the maker of all things.  Of course they also taught of the divinity of Jesus Christ, but this is described (by Origen, or similarly by Clement of Alexandria) as Jesus being the "first-born" and "the first to be with God, and to attract to Himself divinity", and he "is a being of more exalted rank than the other gods beside Him, of whom God is the God", all of which sounds very much like the LDS view of the Godhead.

The LDS view of the Godhead is therefore a restoration of the original teachings on the Godhead.

Edited by InCognitus
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On 11/22/2022 at 7:53 AM, Stormin' Mormon said:

"Distinguish themselves from Christians of other traditions" is NOT "distinguish themselves from Christianity."  I think the first sentiment expresses a desire to be seen as a unique kind of Christian, neither protestant, Catholic, nor orthodox.

Even that second statement from Kimball contains a similar desire to be seen as a unique kind of Christian.   

Nihil Obstat, Imprimatur MFB, 2022

😇👍

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