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Teachings of Joseph Smith on the Gift of the Holy Ghost and Gifts of the Spirit


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I'm appreciating this very interesting discussion about the "Gift of the Holy Ghost," or "Gifts of the Holy Spirit."

This is an area where, if I am following the conversation, Latter-day Saints echo historic Christians, at least in measure.

Specifically, Catholics and Orthodox teach that Confirmation by the laying on of hands is a sacrament. The mainline protestant churches often have some variation on laying on of hands and gifts of the Holy Spirit (charismata), but non-denominational churches, so far as I can tell, don't consider the laying on of hands a sacrament, because they don't have sacraments.

I believe Latter-day Saints consider the laying on of hands for Confirmation an 'ordinance,' which seems comparable to a 'sacrament,' but which can be confusing on my end, because Latter-day Saints also call the blessing of bread and water the 'sacrament.'

An interesting aspect of all of this for me is that while a sacramental ministry is sketched in the New Testament, it certainly isn't filled in. For example, the laying on of hands as an important component of Confirmation is only gestured to in Acts 8 and Acts 19, and there isn't specificity or explanation. That is, there aren't verses in the New Testament that explicate Confirmation, specify wording, or give absolute parameters. Catholics and Orthodox rely on Sacred Tradition for these things, and I surmise that Latter-day Saints must have their own traditions in this area, and/or perhaps there are additional instruction in the Latter-day Saint canon.

Just for clarity's sake, here are a couple of relevant passages from the Catechism that emphasize that, in Catholic understanding, Confirmation increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit and gives a special strength of the Holy Spirit. This emphasis seems different from the intermittent quality that Latter-day Saints allow for the influence of the Holy Spirit on those who aren't LDS:

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    III.      THE EFFECTS OF CONFIRMATION

1302 It is evident from its celebration that the effect of the sacrament of Confirmation is the special outpouring of the Holy Spirit as once granted to the apostles on the day of Pentecost. (731)

1303 From this fact, Confirmation brings an increase and deepening of baptismal grace: (1262–1274; 2044)

— it roots us more deeply in the divine filiation which makes us cry, “Abba! Father!”;

— it unites us more firmly to Christ;

— it increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit in us;

— it renders our bond with the Church more perfect;

— it gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross:

    Recall then that you have received the spiritual seal, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of right judgment and courage, the spirit of knowledge and reverence, the spirit of holy fear in God’s presence. Guard what you have received. God the Father has marked you with his sign; Christ the Lord has confirmed you and has placed his pledge, the Spirit, in your hearts.


Catholic Church, Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd Ed. (Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1997), 330.

 

I'll add that my testimony of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is vigorous.

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4 hours ago, mfbukowski said:

An odd notion, I know, to actually see what the church teaches instead of the yahoos on this board, including and especially me- 

But let's break the rules and actually see what the church says!  

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/gospel-principles/chapter-21-the-gift-of-the-holy-ghost?lang=eng

 

I've read that lesson ten times. It doesn't answer any of my questions. 🙃

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2 hours ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

I'm appreciating this very interesting discussion about the "Gift of the Holy Ghost," or "Gifts of the Holy Spirit."

This is an area where, if I am following the conversation, Latter-day Saints echo historic Christians, at least in measure.

Specifically, Catholics and Orthodox teach that Confirmation by the laying on of hands is a sacrament. The mainline protestant churches often have some variation on laying on of hands and gifts of the Holy Spirit (charismata), but non-denominational churches, so far as I can tell, don't consider the laying on of hands a sacrament, because they don't have sacraments.

I believe Latter-day Saints consider the laying on of hands for Confirmation an 'ordinance,' which seems comparable to a 'sacrament,' but which can be confusing on my end, because Latter-day Saints also call the blessing of bread and water the 'sacrament.'

An interesting aspect of all of this for me is that while a sacramental ministry is sketched in the New Testament, it certainly isn't filled in. For example, the laying on of hands as an important component of Confirmation is only gestured to in Acts 8 and Acts 19, and there isn't specificity or explanation. That is, there aren't verses in the New Testament that explicate Confirmation, specify wording, or give absolute parameters. Catholics and Orthodox rely on Sacred Tradition for these things, and I surmise that Latter-day Saints must have their own traditions in this area, and/or perhaps there are additional instruction in the Latter-day Saint canon.

Just for clarity's sake, here are a couple of relevant passages from the Catechism that emphasize that, in Catholic understanding, Confirmation increases the gifts of the Holy Spirit and gives a special strength of the Holy Spirit. This emphasis seems different from the intermittent quality that Latter-day Saints allow for the influence of the Holy Spirit on those who aren't LDS:

I'll add that my testimony of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is vigorous.

I can assure you that non-denominational churches have sacraments and/or ordinances, and are very conscious and aware of covenants. What would lead you to think/believe that they don't? There are also many mainline non-denominational churches as well. I pastored a non-denominational church for years and grew up in one as a boy and youth. For us, communion (the Lord's table, the Lord's supper, or sacrament), marriage, baptism, dedication of infants, ordination, licensure, feet washing, and the installation of pastors were all ordinances. I am pretty sure as soon as I hit "Submit reply" I will think of more. In the course of many of these, the person impacted by them made public covenants, either to God or to their prospective spouse. I hope that helps.

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2 hours ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

it gives us a special strength of the Holy Spirit to spread and defend the faith by word and action as true witnesses of Christ, to confess the name of Christ boldly, and never to be ashamed of the Cross:

This is very much inline with my experience of the explanation of the benefit of the Gift of the Spirit. It says it beautifully.

2 hours ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

'll add that my testimony of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is vigorous.

Amen and Ditto!

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2 hours ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

I believe Latter-day Saints consider the laying on of hands for Confirmation an 'ordinance,' which seems comparable to a 'sacrament,' but which can be confusing on my end, because Latter-day Saints also call the blessing of bread and water the 'sacrament.'

From the way I have seen it used, Saints would—if they understood the sacraments—see them as ordinances of a special class, set apart for a special time in a person’s life, our required for progression ordinances which include the temple ordinances plus baptism, confirmation, and priesthood ordination would appropriately be called sacraments imo if we had not chosen that term for one ordinance, our communion, the Sacrament.  All but the Sacrament will be performed by proxy for those who have not received it before death, the salvific ordinances.

I am not sure how Catholics and others view healing blessings, if there are specific rituals associated with that.  Or what other blessings outside the Sacraments they have.  For Saints, there are also building and grave dedications, naming blessings, setting apart for a calling, patriarchal blessing, father’s blessings, and likely others I am forgetting. 

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1 hour ago, Calm said:

I am not sure how Catholics and others view healing blessings, if there are specific rituals associated with that.  

There are.

One used to be called "Extreme Unction", an annointing before death, which LDS folks would find quite interesting.  It entailed annointing various body parts. Not sure how it has changed since Vatican II.

Also similar to the Coptic Orthodox confirmation sacrament. Both are available online 

Coptic Orthodox liturgies are supposedly among the most ancient and allegedly little changed

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anointing_of_the_Sick_in_the_Catholic_Church

Coptic Orthodox:

https://www.copticchurch.net/introduction-to-the-coptic-church/sacraments/2_confirmation

I have botched the formatting here, strongly suggesting you go to Coptic site 

The person being confirmed is dressed in sacred garments and body parts are annointed with specially mixed oils, named "Myron"

 

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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9 hours ago, Calm said:

From the way I have seen it used, Saints would—if they understood the sacraments—see them as ordinances of a special class, set apart for a special time in a person’s life, our required for progression ordinances which include the temple ordinances plus baptism, confirmation, and priesthood ordination would appropriately be called sacraments imo if we had not chosen that term for one ordinance, our communion, the Sacrament.  All but the Sacrament will be performed by proxy for those who have not received it before death, the salvific ordinances.

Very interesting. There's a similarity between Catholics and LDS in the broad category of actions taken on behalf of the departed. Prayers and Masses given on behalf of the departed who may be in Purgatory are super common. If someone walks into a Catholic church during the week and finds people kneeling in prayer or in Adoration, many of those people are praying on behalf of the departed.  

9 hours ago, Calm said:

I am not sure how Catholics and others view healing blessings, if there are specific rituals associated with that.  Or what other blessings outside the Sacraments they have.  For Saints, there are also building and grave dedications, naming blessings, setting apart for a calling, patriarchal blessing, father’s blessings, and likely others I am forgetting. 

In the Catholic Church only priests and bishops can offer the sacrament of anointing the sick. However, anyone could have the gift of healing, as it is not exclusively tied to ordination to the priesthood. I would think the diocese would discourage people having notoriety and calling themselves 'healers,' but there are Catholics with this gift. I know of a Franciscan nun, who while very humble, has the gift of healing.

Blessings of people, homes, and gravesites are common (the latter is known as the Rite of Committal Service). 

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On 3/5/2023 at 8:18 PM, Navidad said:

I can assure you that non-denominational churches have sacraments and/or ordinances, and are very conscious and aware of covenants. What would lead you to think/believe that they don't? There are also many mainline non-denominational churches as well. I pastored a non-denominational church for years and grew up in one as a boy and youth. For us, communion (the Lord's table, the Lord's supper, or sacrament), marriage, baptism, dedication of infants, ordination, licensure, feet washing, and the installation of pastors were all ordinances. I am pretty sure as soon as I hit "Submit reply" I will think of more. In the course of many of these, the person impacted by them made public covenants, either to God or to their prospective spouse. I hope that helps.

I don't doubt, not even a little, that you believe what you are writing. I've noticed a pattern, though, where folks sometimes jump in with certainty, and then eventually it is discovered that such certainty, while genuinely held, just doesn't correspond with the other person's worldview. I appreciate that, and at the same time think that maybe a flurry of words can be avoided if I can clarify a little.

Where you've written the phrase "sacraments and/or ordinances" is, I think, one of those places where we just don't have correspondence. Specifically, I don't think we mean the same things by the word "sacrament" and the word "ordinance." Here's where I'm coming from, with a bolded portion for emphasis. It's from the entry on Sacraments in the Catholic Encyclopedia:

Quote

 

Necessity and nature

In what sense necessary

Almighty God can and does give grace to men in answer to their internal aspirations and prayers without the use of any external sign or ceremony. This will always be possible, because God, grace, and the soul are spiritual beings. God is not restricted to the use of material, visible symbols in dealing with men; the sacraments are not necessary in the sense that they could not have been dispensed with. But, if it is known that God has appointed external, visible ceremonies as the means by which certain graces are to be conferred on men, then in order to obtain those graces it will be necessary for men to make use of those Divinely appointed means. This truth theologians express by saying that the sacraments are necessary, not absolutely but only hypothetically, i.e., in the supposition that if we wish to obtain a certain supernatural end we must use the supernatural means appointed for obtaining that end. In this sense the Council of Trent (Sess. VII, can. 4) declared heretical those who assert that the sacraments of the New Law are superfluous and not necessary, although all are not necessary for each individual. It is the teaching of the Catholic Church and of Christians in general that, whilst God was nowise bound to make use of external ceremonies as symbols of things spiritual and sacred, it has pleased Him to do so, and this is the ordinary and most suitable manner of dealing with men. Writers on the sacraments refer to this as the necessitas convenientiae, the necessity of suitableness. It is not really a necessity, but the most appropriate manner of dealing with creatures that are at the same time spiritual and corporeal. In this assertion all Christians are united: it is only when we come to consider the nature of the sacramental signs that Protestants (except some Anglicans) differ from Catholics. “To sacraments considered merely as outward forms, pictorial representations or symbolic acts, there is generally no objection”, wrote Dr. Morgan Dix (”The sacramental system”, New York, 1902, p. 16). “Of sacramental doctrine this may be said, that it is co-extensive with historic Christianity. Of this there is no reasonable doubt, as regards the very ancient days, of which St. Chrysostom’s treatise on the priesthood and St. Cyril’s catechetical lectures may be taken as characteristic documents. Nor was it otherwise with the more conservative of the reformed bodies of the sixteenth century. Martin Luther’s Catechism, the Augsburg, and later the Westminster, Confessions are strongly sacramental in their tone, putting to shame the degenerate followers of those who compiled them” (ibid., p. 7, 8)


Daniel Kennedy, “Sacraments,” ed. Charles G. Herbermann et al., The Catholic Encyclopedia: An International Work of Reference on the Constitution, Doctrine, Discipline, and History of the Catholic Church (New York: The Encyclopedia Press; The Universal Knowledge Foundation, 1907–1913).

 

I'm accounting for a notion of Sacrament with which I find some correspondence, at least in measure, amongst the historic, mainline protestants. Lutherans, Anglicans, maybe even with the Methodists. But when we arrive at today's non-denominational folks, in my experience they see all of that Catholic or Orthodox "sacramental stuff" as externalities that may even be harmful. This is why they emphasize the "Sinner's Prayer," for example, and know next to nothing, let alone believe, teachings about the laying on of hands and the Sacraments that are found in the homilies of St. John Chrysostom, and in the writings of other leaders in the historic church. 

I hope I'm clarifying that I don't think we are attaching comparable meanings to the words "sacrament" and "ordinance."

I also hope I'm clarifying that Latter-day Saints seem to have a certain similarity with Catholics and Orthodox in their insistence on certain sacraments or ordinances, the correct statement of particular words and forms in those sacraments or ordinances, etc. 

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

I don't doubt, not even a little, that you believe what you are writing. I've noticed a pattern, though, where folks sometimes jump in with certainty, and then eventually it is discovered that such certainty, while genuinely held, just doesn't correspond with the other person's worldview. I appreciate that, and at the same time think that maybe a flurry of words can be avoided if I can clarify a little.

Where you've written the phrase "sacraments and/or ordinances" is, I think, one of those places where we just don't have correspondence. Specifically, I don't think we mean the same things by the word "sacrament" and the word "ordinance." Here's where I'm coming from, with a bolded portion for emphasis. It's from the entry on Sacraments in the Catholic Encyclopedia:

I'm accounting for a notion of Sacrament with which I find some correspondence, at least in measure, amongst the historic, mainline protestants. Lutherans, Anglicans, maybe even with the Methodists. But when we arrive at today's non-denominational folks, in my experience they see all of that Catholic or Orthodox "sacramental stuff" as externalities that may even be harmful. This is why they emphasize the "Sinner's Prayer," for example, and know next to nothing, let alone believe, teachings about the laying on of hands and the Sacraments that are found in the homilies of St. John Chrysostom, and in the writings of other leaders in the historic church. 

I hope I'm clarifying that I don't think we are attaching comparable meanings to the words "sacrament" and "ordinance."

I also hope I'm clarifying that Latter-day Saints seem to have a certain similarity with Catholics and Orthodox in their insistence on certain sacraments or ordinances, the correct statement of particular words and forms in those sacraments or ordinances, etc. 

Now you are the one who is seeming certain. Please forgive me if I don't agree with your summary as to my reply. I am not trying to "attach comparable meanings" to my definition of ordinance or sacrament with yours. You have your definition, stipulated by the Catholic church and I have mine. I don't suggest that what I am saying corresponds with "your worldview. " I honor and respect yours, even if you don't or perhaps can't honor and respect mine. It seems to me you are responding to a very limited knowledge of the meaning of an ordinance in a non-denominational perspective, especially since there is not one normative definition in the large and extraordinarily diverse non-denominational community which today includes many from Anglican to Methodist to Fundamentalist Baptist traditions. Best wishes.

Edited by Navidad
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12 hours ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

I don't doubt, not even a little, that you believe what you are writing. I've noticed a pattern, though, where folks sometimes jump in with certainty, and then eventually it is discovered that such certainty, while genuinely held, just doesn't correspond with the other person's worldview. I appreciate that, and at the same time think that maybe a flurry of words can be avoided if I can clarify a little.

Where you've written the phrase "sacraments and/or ordinances" is, I think, one of those places where we just don't have correspondence. Specifically, I don't think we mean the same things by the word "sacrament" and the word "ordinance." Here's where I'm coming from, with a bolded portion for emphasis. It's from the entry on Sacraments in the Catholic Encyclopedia:

I'm accounting for a notion of Sacrament with which I find some correspondence, at least in measure, amongst the historic, mainline protestants. Lutherans, Anglicans, maybe even with the Methodists. But when we arrive at today's non-denominational folks, in my experience they see all of that Catholic or Orthodox "sacramental stuff" as externalities that may even be harmful. This is why they emphasize the "Sinner's Prayer," for example, and know next to nothing, let alone believe, teachings about the laying on of hands and the Sacraments that are found in the homilies of St. John Chrysostom, and in the writings of other leaders in the historic church. 

I hope I'm clarifying that I don't think we are attaching comparable meanings to the words "sacrament" and "ordinance."

I also hope I'm clarifying that Latter-day Saints seem to have a certain similarity with Catholics and Orthodox in their insistence on certain sacraments or ordinances, the correct statement of particular words and forms in those sacraments or ordinances, etc. 

I will use a rather unreligous, schoolyard analogy, but I think it works:   drawing a line in the sand, and asking others to step across that line to be on one side or the other in some game or whatever. 

They are the next step for which one must prepare, and decide to live the Covenants then, perform the ordinance, feel the spirit then on to the next step of progression in Covenants 

Ordinances foster progression psychologically,  step by step.

Like steps on a ladder, or more like climbing a mountain, you start at base camp, contemplate the next step, commit to it, do it, learn more, then on to the next one

For me, that is what an ordinance is like. It's not a magic spell.

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20 hours ago, Saint Bonaventure said:

I don't doubt, not even a little, that you believe what you are writing. I've noticed a pattern, though, where folks sometimes jump in with certainty, and then eventually it is discovered that such certainty, while genuinely held, just doesn't correspond with the other person's worldview. I appreciate that, and at the same time think that maybe a flurry of words can be avoided if I can clarify a little.

Where you've written the phrase "sacraments and/or ordinances" is, I think, one of those places where we just don't have correspondence. Specifically, I don't think we mean the same things by the word "sacrament" and the word "ordinance." Here's where I'm coming from, with a bolded portion for emphasis. It's from the entry on Sacraments in the Catholic Encyclopedia:

I'm accounting for a notion of Sacrament with which I find some correspondence, at least in measure, amongst the historic, mainline protestants. Lutherans, Anglicans, maybe even with the Methodists. But when we arrive at today's non-denominational folks, in my experience they see all of that Catholic or Orthodox "sacramental stuff" as externalities that may even be harmful. This is why they emphasize the "Sinner's Prayer," for example, and know next to nothing, let alone believe, teachings about the laying on of hands and the Sacraments that are found in the homilies of St. John Chrysostom, and in the writings of other leaders in the historic church. 

I hope I'm clarifying that I don't think we are attaching comparable meanings to the words "sacrament" and "ordinance."

I also hope I'm clarifying that Latter-day Saints seem to have a certain similarity with Catholics and Orthodox in their insistence on certain sacraments or ordinances, the correct statement of particular words and forms in those sacraments or ordinances, etc. 

Yes, I would call ours the saving ordinances that have that similarity. The other ordinances like the sacrament would be different. Probably closer to baptism in denominations that don't require baptism.

That's interesting with the grace thing with catholsism. You could say the grace works for children under 8 and those without the mental capacity because we don't require the ordinances for them.  For others the grace comes through the proxy ordinances after death. So yes similar on both the requirements and grace and not the same.

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This thread seems to be moving the direction of the conversation of the woman at the well. Half way through she gets doctrinal and inserts that Samaritans worship on the mountain and Jews in Jerusalem. "Certainly one is right and one is wrong . . . God is not a God of confusion" is what she is saying.

Christ then prophesies (in an Old Testament sense) for the second time in the conversation. He says the time is coming when the important thing is that people will worship (wherever) in the Spirit and in Truth. My friends, we are now in that time. We should be letting go if the distinctions between groups and focusing on worshiping in the Spirit and in Truth and honoring those who do the same. Is that not the foundational message in this Biblical account?

When anyone or any group claims to be the only one worshiping in the Spirit and in Truth, they are trudging back up the mountain or up to Jerusalem, in direct contradiction to the witness of the Savior at the well. "Your ordinance or sacrament doesn't carry the same mode, method, or manner as mine, therefore your worship is somehow less than mine."

Please, let's focus on honoring the worship of all others who do so in the Spirit and in Truth, remembering that Christ is the Truth (He said that about Himself) and the Spirit is the Spirit! Thanks

Edited by Navidad
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24 minutes ago, Navidad said:

This thread seems to be moving the direction of the conversation of the woman at the well. Half way through she gets doctrinal and inserts that Samaritans worship on the mountain and Jews in Jerusalem. Certainly one is right and one is wrong . . . God is not a God of confusion.  Christ then prophesies for the second time in the conversation. He says the time is coming when the important thing is that people will worship (wherever) in the Spirit and in Truth. My friends, we are now in that time. We should be letting go if the distinctions between groups and focusing on worshipping in the Spirit and in Truth and honoring those who do the same. Is not that the foundational message in this Biblical account? When anyone or any group claims to be the only one worshipping in the Spirit and in Truth, they are trudging back up the mountain or up to Jerusalem, in direct contradiction to the witness of the Savior at the well. "Your ordinance or sacrament doesn't carry the same mode, method, or manner as mine, therefore your worship is somehow less than mine." Please, let's focus on honoring the worship of all others who do so in the Spirit and in Truth, remembering that Christ is the Truth (He said that about Himself) and the Spirit is the Spirit! Thanks

That sounds lovely.  But we’ve been taught (our whole lives) that our way is literally the only safe way back.  So that’s hard to embrace.  

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2 hours ago, pogi said:

God created us didn't he?  We are the masters of confusion...

Yes we are! BTW, I wasn't saying that in my post - I was quoting what I thought she was saying and what so many of us often say!

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2 hours ago, Navidad said:

When anyone or any group claims to be the only one worshiping in the Spirit and in Truth, they are trudging back up the mountain or up to Jerusalem, in direct contradiction to the witness of the Savior at the well. "Your ordinance or sacrament doesn't carry the same mode, method, or manner as mine, therefore your worship is somehow less than mine."

This is a pretty bold claim: that Catholics are "in direct contradiction" of the Savior by claiming, as we have for two millennia, that there are such things as valid and invalid sacraments. (I'm only saying Catholics here because the LDS can respond from their point-of-view)

The claim seems rather self-contradictory: All Christian denominations are equal, except for those denominations who believe in valid/invalid sacraments -- those denominations are going against Christ.

Do you mind elaborating on your claim before I respond more in-depth?

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19 minutes ago, MiserereNobis said:

This is a pretty bold claim: that Catholics are "in direct contradiction" of the Savior by claiming, as we have for two millennia, that there are such things as valid and invalid sacraments. (I'm only saying Catholics here because the LDS can respond from their point-of-view)

The claim seems rather self-contradictory: All Christian denominations are equal, except for those denominations who believe in valid/invalid sacraments -- those denominations are going against Christ.

Do you mind elaborating on your claim before I respond more in-depth?

Bravissimo!  AND a great point as well

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3 hours ago, MiserereNobis said:

This is a pretty bold claim: that Catholics are "in direct contradiction" of the Savior by claiming, as we have for two millennia, that there are such things as valid and invalid sacraments. (I'm only saying Catholics here because the LDS can respond from their point-of-view)

The claim seems rather self-contradictory: All Christian denominations are equal, except for those denominations who believe in valid/invalid sacraments -- those denominations are going against Christ.

Do you mind elaborating on your claim before I respond more in-depth?

Thanks for allowing me to elaborate. Of course I think you are misquoting me just a bit! 😃 I didn't say you were in direct contradiction of the Savior or going against Christ - I said In direct contradiction of the witness of the Savior at the well. Let me explain before you pounce. Then if you still want to pounce - have at it. I can take it!

The woman tries to engage the Savior with the thousand or more year-old doctrinal issue of where is the correct place to worship - Jerusalem or Mount Gerazim. Christ doesn't take the bait. In fact, in contrast He points out that the time is coming, and is here now when they won't worship either on the mountain or in Jerusalem. This debate was of course long-standing and both sides were confident that their doctrine of the correct place to worship was correct. They held differing doctrines and couldn't or wouldn't reconcile the two. Christ ignores the debate and goes deeper by saying "The hour is coming, and is now here when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth" (emphasis mine). He cast aside the tired old doctrinal debates - what is the right way, where is the right place, who can do it, and on and on that separated Jews from not only the Samaritans, but others as well -in fact even Jews from Jews. Which worship is true? That which is done in spirit and in truth.  Could both mountain and Jerusalem be true? Of course. Could neither mountain or Jerusalem be true? Of course.

True worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth - a statement in direct contrast to her doctrinal debate, which of course was one of the very distancing mechanisms that kept Jews and Samaritans apart from each other.

Worshiping the Father in Spirit and in Truth is the here and now true form of worshiping. What format, method, mode, place is that? It is both all or none.  It is internal. . . of the heart. It is worship in the Spirit (Holy Spirit) and in Christ (the Truth). In the same way the writer of Acts says the "most high no longer dwells in houses made by human hands" and Paul again says in I Cor 6 that God indwells people, not places, the New Testament reveals a transition from the old to a new way of worship. Gone are the old divisive doctrines - it is now worshiping in Spirit and Truth. That was the message of Christ in this sermon at that well to this woman. I think it is a marvelous sermon.

I think the idea of "my" ordinance done in "my" way or even "our" way is the only valid form of this ordinance in the world (see mountain versus Jerusalem), and all other forms of the same ordinance are incorrect and not really worshiping, is in direct contrast to the sermon not on the mount, but at the well, a sermon in fact preached by Christ and accompanied by prophesy. So, if I practice the ordinance wherein I wash feet and start with the left foot first and you start with the right foot as an means of learning and embracing humility- mine is valid; yours is of course false. -- that is not the gospel of worshiping in spirit and in truth - it is the law, not because of the ordinance but because of my attitude/belief.  So, if I baptize by immersion with my arm at the square in the name of the Godhead, and declare that your baptism by pouring water over the head (BTW, I had the former, my son had the latter) is not really worshiping because you are doing it in the wrong way, that is a testimony to the mountain versus Jerusalem debate and is not worshiping in Spirit and in Truth not because of the difference in ordinances but because of the heart.

What if you don't even have an ordinance to wash feet? Horrors, how can you call yourself a Christian I say - bringing back the old debates of the mountain versus Jerusalem.
 

Marriage is an ordinance in my church. Sealing is an ordinance in another church. Neither is an ordinance in a third church! Which is the mountain, which is Jerusalem? More important, which is Spirit and Truth - perhaps that which is found in the church with no ordinance! Or all three. Or neither

I believe Christ would have us live in the place that we worship in Spirit and in Truth. That place is not limited to any one group; it is resident in the commitment and heart of the individual Christian.     OK, now you have it. This is what I think Christ was teaching to the woman at the well in Syphar, I think it was. I think it was a teaching for a new way - the way of the Spirit and Truth, not the way of sectarianism as is found in My Church versus your church! The grace of Christ and worshiping in Spirit and in Truth transcends the church. It is found in the heart and mind of the believer, wherever and whenever they worship or practice ordinances. OK, now you can pounce.

Keep in mind I am not trying to be or speak for Catholics. I am not trying to be or speak for LDS. OK? I am me. My interpretations of Scripture are simply my own. I own them as my own. I share my own truth. Are there invalid/valid sacraments or ordinances? I have no idea. When I practice those of my belief, I do all I can to practice them in Spirit and in Truth. Oh, and I believe you practice yours in Spirit and in Truth as well. Oh, and I believe Mark and Pogi and the vast majority of folks here practice theirs in Spirit and in Truth too. It isn't the manner or mode of the ordinance that makes the difference. It is the heart! It isn't the mountain or Jerusalem! Just like it wasn't at the well! Ok, pounce away!

Edited by Navidad
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/8/2023 at 5:00 PM, MiserereNobis said:

This is a pretty bold claim: that Catholics are "in direct contradiction" of the Savior by claiming, as we have for two millennia, that there are such things as valid and invalid sacraments. (I'm only saying Catholics here because the LDS can respond from their point-of-view)

The claim seems rather self-contradictory: All Christian denominations are equal, except for those denominations who believe in valid/invalid sacraments -- those denominations are going against Christ.

Do you mind elaborating on your claim before I respond more in-depth?

How does this work with the catholic church actually? I mean...you guys also receive the holy ghost after you got batpized right?? 

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