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


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16 hours ago, Grug the Neanderthal said:

People can have charity, hope, faith, wisdom, knowledge, etc. to varying degrees without these being gifts of the Spirit.

But only members of the Lord’s church those who have received the Gift of the Holy Ghost following baptism and the laying on of hands by those who hold the Aaronic and Melchizedek priesthoods are bestowed with gifts of the Spirit.

If they aren't gifts of the spirit, from whence do they come?

Aren't we taught that all good things come from God? 

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Sure, but I don’t believe that they are considered to be gifts of the Spirit in these cases. For example, a very wicked and unbelieving man can have wisdom, but this doesn’t mean that he has been given a gift of the spirit.

What the church says about wisdom seems to contradict your position that it can be used for wickedness. 

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The gift of “the word of wisdom” (1 Corinthians 12:8; Doctrine and Covenants 46:17). This does not refer to the law known as the Word of Wisdom (see Doctrine and Covenants 89). Rather, it is the gift of wisdom—the ability to use knowledge in righteous ways.

The gift of wisdom is "the ability to use knowledge in righteous ways."  Anyone who has that attribute is utilizing a gift of the Spirit. 

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1 hour ago, Navidad said:

It is not just as risky to attribute the work of false spirits to the Holy Ghost as it is to attribute the work of the Holy Ghost to false spirits.

The Holy Spirit is not a sign. The Holy Spirit is the presence of the Godhead here on earth at this time. We and others know we are Christians by our manifestation of the Gift and the gifts of the Holy Spirit. When you limit the work of the Spirit; you are limiting the Godhead. Methinks that is not a good thing for any believer, LDS or not to do.

You are validating my belief that you are limiting the work of the Holy Spirit in this dispensation by your second use of the word "only" in your third paragraph. You seem to have no fear of causing the Holy Spirit pain, grief, or limiting the Spirit's ability to do as the Spirit sees fit whenever and wherever. Because of the many Biblical admonitions against it, I certainly do.

I thought I posted a response to this, but it seems to have vanished into thin air.  

I agree with what you say in general.  I think it is wisdom ;) that you speak.  I agree that we should not limit the work of the Holy Spirit.   One point I want to question you on - you say that "we and others know we are Christians by our manifestation of the Gift of and the gifts of the Holy Spirit", what if I see many of these gifts in non-Christians too?  To use them as a sign of our Christianity is perhaps too limiting?  

I believe that every child of God is endowed with spiritual gifts.  I think we all developed spiritual gifts in the pre-mortal existence that give us our unique attributes/gifts that we see from birth, and we have the capacity to develop those gifts further throughout life and develop new ones too.   I see the goodness and gifts of God in their non-Christian faces, their inspiring knowledge, their profound wisdom, their enduring hope through the most difficult trials, their endless charity, etc. 

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3 hours ago, pogi said:

I thought I posted a response to this, but it seems to have vanished into thin air.  

I agree with what you say in general.  I think it is wisdom ;) that you speak.  I agree that we should not limit the work of the Holy Spirit.   One point I want to question you on - you say that "we and others know we are Christians by our manifestation of the Gift of and the gifts of the Holy Spirit", what if I see many of these gifts in non-Christians too?  To use them as a sign of our Christianity is perhaps too limiting?  

I believe that every child of God is endowed with spiritual gifts.  I think we all developed spiritual gifts in the pre-mortal existence that give us our unique attributes/gifts that we see from birth, and we have the capacity to develop those gifts further throughout life and develop new ones too.   I see the goodness and gifts of God in their non-Christian faces, their inspiring knowledge, their profound wisdom, their enduring hope through the most difficult trials, their endless charity, etc. 

Thanks Pogi. Whenever we discuss, preach about, write about, or debate the gifts of the Holy Spirit we tread on murky unsure ground. I will respond from my frame of reference, not necessarily that of the LDS.

I believe all humans are endowed with the image of God - that divine spark. As such (humans) we are capable of manifesting great compassion, love, patience, etc. We are also capable of manifesting great harm, anger, jealousy, pride, etc. Whether or not the latter is a reflection of our being endowed with the image of God, I don't now. Certainly the God of the Jews in the OT was capable of great wrath and anger. I don't want to sugarcoat that. I do believe we are capable of much good (the former) that we derive from our humanness as beings made especially in God's image. So I agree with you. All humans may manifest the fruits of being made in God's image.

I think there might be a difference between spiritual gifts and the fruits as described in Galatians 5. Just as there is a distinction made there between the flesh and the spirit in that section. God breathed his Spirit into us. The fruits of that work are described in Galatians 5. But the passage doesn't stop there. It goes farther (further). Paul talks about those who belong to Christ as having the ability to crucify the flesh with its passions and desires. While my LDS friends don't believe in original sin, they must believe in the flesh which we must combat throughout our human (mortal) existence. As those who live in the Spirit, we have the ability to struggle to control the flesh in a way that the non-living-in-the-Spirit human does not. So yes, I believe all humans have the unique God-given capacity to exhibit fruits, but there is more.

The gifts of the Spirit as described in I Cor 12 are a different thing altogether. They are a manifestation of some pretty unique and specific attributes for the Christian. Of course, Paul at the end of the chapter and in the next one assures us that those Gifts aren't worth very much if they are not bathed and saturated with love, one of the fruits. So in that sense the gifts and the fruit interconnect. Paul also says there may be all kinds of diverse gifts that come to the believer when the believer is filled with the Spirit and in that sense receives the Gift of the Spirit - that unique resource for the Christian that enables one to practice one or more gifts (small g) and to crucify the flesh (to one degree or another) and manifest the fruits in a very special way. So, I believe the fruits, the gifts and the Gift are all interconnected. As humans we are endowed with the ability to manifest the fruits. As Christians we are endowed with the ability to manifest the gifts, thanks to the Gift of the Holy Spirit. 

My LDS friends when talking to me like to divide the last two (gifts and Gift) because it makes it easier to stand there and say to their non-LDS spiritually-minded friend, "Oh of course you can manifest the gifts sometimes, you just can't have the Gift!" That fails to see how interconnected they are - and don't forget the fruits! Galatians 5 and I Cor 12 and 13 are certainly interconnected.

Of course I have Fundamentalist friends who say that no one in this dispensation has the sign gifts anymore, because they were cancelled when the Spirit was given at Pentecost. I don't buy that either. I have never heard a modern prophet of any church prophesy as did the OT prophets - with both a foretelling and a forthtelling ministry. I can't think of any Mennonite, Pentecostal, or LDS leader who ever foretold something specific and tangible that came to pass already. That is a different subject however. I certainly believe in modern-day prophets who have the gift of forthtelling.  I won't go on.

I hope this helps explain my reaction to your comments. I agree with everything you said - I would simply separate the fruits and the gifts and interconnect both to the Gift. The image of God is the spark; the Gift is the flame and the gifts are the fuel, while the fruits are the physical visible heat, which is reflected to one potential degree or another in us as children of God. I hope in some small way that makes sense. best wishes.
 

Edited by Navidad
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3 hours ago, Navidad said:

The Holy Spirit is not a sign.

I never said it was. I said that the gifts of the Spirit are.

3 hours ago, Navidad said:

You are validating my belief that you are limiting the work of the Holy Spirit in this dispensation

I'm not limiting the work of the Holy Spirit, but I do believe in the gift of the Holy Ghost rationally and as taught in the scriptures like Joseph Smith said.

3 hours ago, Navidad said:

You seem to have no fear of causing the Holy Spirit pain, grief, or limiting the Spirit's ability to do as the Spirit sees fit whenever and wherever.

I don't appreciate your thinly veiled accusation that I am guilty of offending and even blaspheming the Holy Ghost for believing what Joseph Smith taught. I would remind you to be a peacemaker and ask you to please refrain from making these types of insinuations. 

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1 hour ago, Navidad said:

Thanks Pogi. Whenever we discuss, preach about, write about, or debate the gifts of the Holy Spirit we tread on murky unsure ground. I will respond from my frame of reference, not necessarily that of the LDS.

I believe all humans are endowed with the image of God - that divine spark. As such (humans) we are capable of manifesting great compassion, love, patience, etc. We are also capable of manifesting great harm, anger, jealousy, pride, etc. Whether or not the latter is a reflection of our being endowed with the image of God, I don't now. Certainly the God of the Jews in the OT was capable of great wrath and anger. I don't want to sugarcoat that. I do believe we are capable of much good (the former) that we derive from our humanness as beings made especially in God's image. So I agree with you. All humans may manifest the fruits of being made in God's image.

I think there might be a difference between spiritual gifts and the fruits as described in Galatians 5. Just as there is a distinction made there between the flesh and the spirit in that section. God breathed his Spirit into us. The fruits of that work are described in Galatians 5. But the passage doesn't stop there. It goes farther (further). Paul talks about those who belong to Christ as having the ability to crucify the flesh with its passions and desires. While my LDS friends don't believe in original sin, they must believe in the flesh which we must combat throughout our human (mortal) existence. As those who live in the Spirit, we have the ability to struggle to control the flesh in a way that the non-living-in-the-Spirit human does not. So yes, I believe all humans have the unique God-given capacity to exhibit fruits, but there is more.

The gifts of the Spirit as described in I Cor 12 are a different thing altogether. They are a manifestation of some pretty unique and specific attributes for the Christian. Of course, Paul at the end of the chapter and in the next one assures us that those Gifts aren't worth very much if they are not bathed and saturated with love, one of the fruits. So in that sense the gifts and the fruit interconnect. Paul also says there may be all kinds of diverse gifts that come to the believer when the believer is filled with the Spirit and in that sense receives the Gift of the Spirit - that unique resource for the Christian that enables one to practice one or more gifts (small g) and to crucify the flesh (to one degree or another) and manifest the fruits in a very special way. So, I believe the fruits, the gifts and the Gift are all interconnected. As humans we are endowed with the ability to manifest the fruits. As Christians we are endowed with the ability to manifest the gifts, thanks to the Gift of the Holy Spirit. 

My LDS friends when talking to me like to divide the last two (gifts and Gift) because it makes it easier to stand there and say to their non-LDS spiritually-minded friend, "Oh of course you can manifest the gifts sometimes, you just can't have the Gift!" That fails to see how interconnected they are - and don't forget the fruits! Galatians 5 and I Cor 12 and 13 are certainly interconnected.

Of course I have Fundamentalist friends who say that no one in this dispensation has the sign gifts anymore, because they were cancelled when the Spirit was given at Pentecost. I don't buy that either. I have never heard a modern prophet of any church prophesy as did the OT prophets - with both a foretelling and a forthtelling ministry. I can't think of any Mennonite, Pentecostal, or LDS leader who ever foretold something specific and tangible that came to pass already. That is a different subject however. I certainly believe in modern-day prophets who have the gift of forthtelling.  I won't go on.

I hope this helps explain my reaction to your comments. I agree with everything you said - I would simply separate the fruits and the gifts and interconnect both to the Gift. The image of God is the spark; the Gift is the flame and the gifts are the fuel, while the fruits are the physical visible heat, which is reflected to one potential degree or another in us as children of God. I hope in some small way that makes sense. best wishes.
 

What of the gift of knowledge, wisdom, charity?  Are those not "gifts of the spirit" mentioned in 1 Cor, rather than "fruits"?  Do non-Christians not plainly manifest those gifts?  

While I respect you greatly, this has long been my observation - you and Neanderthal are speaking the same language but just using different borders of exclusivism by how you define "the Church".

In relation to these gifts, the Mormonism I believe in sees only 2 churches which are not delineated by membership in the institutions and religions found on earth, but by the light they choose to follow.  Members in the Church of the Lamb of God belong to all religions, all cultures, all peoples, all continents, and all languages.   I believe that we are all born into that church with certain spiritual gifts.  Our membership is evidenced by our birth into mortality - a sign of passing our first-estate in choosing to follow Christ.  Some may fall away from that church in the process of mortality, but I believe that we all are born into it, endowed with spiritual gifts.  Of course, this is the gospel according to Pogi based on some Mormon teachings, but my conscience and experience with non-Christians prevents me from seeing it any other way. 

If exclusivism bothers you, I invite you to see the "church" beyond the limits of Christianity.  

Edited by pogi
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1 hour ago, MustardSeed said:

Grug.  Can you not see that everywhere you step you seem to create contention? Why is that, don’t you wonder? 

I don't think I'm the one creating the contention. I think it's just a certain set of more progressive LDS or non-LDS individuals on this board who don't like my more traditional LDS views who give me push back and then get upset when remain firm in my views. That's were the contention comes from.

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25 minutes ago, Grug the Neanderthal said:

I don't think I'm the one creating the contention. I think it's just a certain set of more progressive LDS or non-LDS individuals on this board who don't like my more traditional LDS views who give me push back and then get upset when remain firm in my views. That's were the contention comes from.

Respectfully there are many traditional view (even black and white members) here who present their beliefs in ways that are inclusive and considerate and don’t incite conflict.  It’s not the content it’s the process.  IMO. 

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2 hours ago, pogi said:

If exclusivism bothers you, I invite you to see the "church" beyond the limits of Christianity.  

I want to very much, but I am not sure I follow you. Tell me more.

In I Corinthians 12 Paul refers to different "kinds" or "varieties" of gifts. The only word on both lists (gifts and fruits) is "faith." Love is not listed as a gift on the list of gifts. It doesn't appear until I Cor 13. Paul seems to be saying any and all of the gifts must be wrapped up in love which is a fruit of the spirit. Of course all humans can love, can have wisdom, and knowledge. But I do think the list of gifts in I Cor 12 is referring to different gifts given to different people for different ministries, workings, and services within the body of Christ. This is not a regular form of wisdom or knowledge. It is a supernatural form of wisdom or knowledge that can only come from the Holy Spirit. The whole point of the chapter is to point out that different people have different gifts, none of them have any of them exclusively. I think all of the Spirit provided gifts in I Cor 12 are rare. Whether speaking in tongues, interpreting tongues, healing, having Spirit-gifted knowledge or wisdom each of these is given sparingly "as He (the Spirit) wills. I don't believe many Christians have the I Cor 12 gifts.

Can the Holy Spirit grant them to non-Christians as well? Sure, because it says He grants them as He wills. Far be it for me to limit the Spirit. On the other hand it is my understanding is that they are given for the building up of the Church - the worldwide community of Christ. I believe these gifts are supernaturally granted. That differentiates them from wisdom, knowledge, etc. of a different kind - that of human wisdom and knowledge which in and of itself is wonderful, yet limited. That is why I believe the manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit are rare, even within the Christian community. I believe I have known many wise and knowledgeable people both in and out of the Christian community. I may have known three who I believe had the gift of wisdom (one of which was LDS). I can't think of anyone I have ever met who manifests the Spiritual gift of knowledge. I can't think of anyone I have ever met who manifests the gift of interpretation of tongues. I believe many have the fruit of faith in their lives; very few have the gift of faith. Dietrich Bonhoeffer comes to mind as someone who might have had the spiritual gift of faith.

So tell me more. Is what I just wrote somehow exclusive in your mind? Isn't the whole lesson of Gal 5 and I Cor 12 that none of the gifts or fruits are exclusive. I genuinely want to understand. Can a Muslim leader be wise? Sure! Can a Muslim leader have the Spiritual gift of wisdom? If I truly believe the Spirit grants His gifts to whomever He wills, then I would have to say yes, with the caveat that I believe the spiritual gifts are for the building up of the universal Church. I'll go back to Bonhoeffer again. I believe he was Lutheran. His gift of faith (if I am correct in believing he had it) was not given to build up the Lutheran church, but the universal church as his faith has blessed millions, and may have led some to faith. I don't always do so well explaining myself, so let me know if I have further muddied the waters! Thanks.

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3 hours ago, pogi said:

Aren't we taught that all good things come from God?

Yes, but that doesn't mean that all good things which come from God, even those which come via the Holy Ghost, constitute the gifts of the Spirit spoken of in the scriptures. Joseph Smith was very clear on there being a difference between the Holy Ghost and Gift of the Holy Ghost and also how the gifts of the Spirit are obtained, which is by receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands by those who hold the Melchizedek priesthood. 

 

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6 minutes ago, MustardSeed said:

Respectfully there are many traditional view (even black and white members) here who present their beliefs in ways that are inclusive and considerate and don’t incite conflict.  It’s not the content it’s the process.  IMO. 

I don't incite conflict. I present my views in considerate and respectful way. But I'm not going to downplay the significance of the restoration or the traditional teachings of the church. That serves no purpose. We're all adults here and should be able to respectfully disagree about doctrine without accusing those whose views we disagree with of blaspheming the Holy Ghost, being a misogynist, not being honest, etc. It's when people resort to these kinds of things that things become contentious. 

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8 minutes ago, Grug the Neanderthal said:

I don't incite conflict. I present my views in considerate and respectful way. But I'm not going to downplay the significance of the restoration or the traditional teachings of the church. That serves no purpose. We're all adults here and should be able to respectfully disagree about doctrine without accusing those whose views we disagree with of blaspheming the Holy Ghost, being a misogynist, not being honest, etc. It's when people resort to these kinds of things that things become contentious. 

Ok.  

 

Edited by MustardSeed
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2 hours ago, Grug the Neanderthal said:

I don't think I'm the one creating the contention. I think it's just a certain set of more progressive LDS or non-LDS individuals on this board who don't like my more traditional LDS views who give me push back and then get upset when remain firm in my views. That's were the contention comes from.

Let me assure you that as a member of the "non-LDS" community you have referred to, you have never upset me. I am not pushing back on you. In my last post, I gave you some counsel, just as many on this forum have given me counsel over my six years here. I am not insinuating or accusing.

As an elder in my community I am both used to and comfortable with providing counsel. I do believe (just as you have beliefs, so do I) that it is a Scriptural obligation that we speak of the Spirit in the most careful of terms and that we must be very careful about speaking of Him in terms that limit His initiative and will. I will never ask you to agree with my counsel, but to receive it. Often times offering counsel is one of the best ways to be a peacemaker. Others here have offered you counsel as well. Please consider it. That is all I ask. This forum is a wonderful place to learn, stretch, and grow in one's understanding of the gospel. All you have to do with me, is ask me to provide you no more feedback and I will accede to your request. We might both lose then. I find it wonderful what I can both learn from and then offer to those who are different from me.

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38 minutes ago, Navidad said:

Let me assure you that as a member of the "non-LDS" community you have referred to, you have never upset me. I am not pushing back on you. In my last post, I gave you some counsel, just as many on this forum have given me counsel over my six years here. I am not insinuating or accusing.

As an elder in my community I am both used to and comfortable with providing counsel. I do believe (just as you have beliefs, so do I) that it is a Scriptural obligation that we speak of the Spirit in the most careful of terms and that we must be very careful about speaking of Him in terms that limit His initiative and will. I will never ask you to agree with my counsel, but to receive it. Often times offering counsel is one of the best ways to be a peacemaker. Others here have offered you counsel as well. Please consider it. That is all I ask. This forum is a wonderful place to learn, stretch, and grow in one's understanding of the gospel. All you have to do with me, is ask me to provide you no more feedback and I will accede to your request. We might both lose then. I find it wonderful what I can both learn from and then offer to those who are different from me.

This is off topic, but I am interested how you would answer this biblically since you are one of the VERY few highly educated non- LDS Christians on the board.

Where is the Holy Ghost mentioned in the bible as a "person" and therefore part of the Trinity?

Obviously the Father and the Son are highly mentioned, but I am trying to understand the interpretation of the Holy Ghost as a "person" so that one can postulate "Three persons in one substance".

I know it is vague because it is beyond our understanding, yet IN our understanding, how is that established?   Pardon my ignorance- I am far far from being anything even LIKE a Biblical scholar.  I can go into nuances of Kant's philosophy all day long- but the bible?  Ah jest ain't got it!  ;)

This is the way I see it from the Stanford Encyclopedia of philosophy:

The underlining is mine.

https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/trinity/trinity-history.html

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This supplementary document discusses the history of Trinity theories. Although early Christian theologians speculated in many ways on the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, no one clearly and fully asserted the doctrine of the Trinity as explained at the top of the main entry until around the end of the so-called Arian Controversy. (See 3.2 below and section 3.1 of the supplementary document on unitarianism.) Nonetheless, proponents of such theories always claim them to be in some sense founded on, or at least illustrated by, biblical texts.

Sometimes popular antitrinitarian literature paints “the” doctrine as strongly influenced by, or even illicitly poached from some non-Christian religious or philosophical tradition. Divine threesomes abound in the religious writings and art of ancient Europe, Egypt, the near east, and Asia. These include various threesomes of male deities, of female deities, of Father-Mother-Son groups, or of one body with three heads, or three faces on one head (Griffiths 1996). However, similarity alone doesn’t prove Christian copying or even indirect influence, and many of these examples are, because of their time and place, unlikely to have influenced the development of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity.

A direct influence on second century Christian theology is the Jewish philosopher and theologian Philo of Alexandria (a.k.a. Philo Judaeus) (ca. 20 BCE–ca. 50 CE), the product of Alexandrian Middle Platonism (with elements of Stoicism and Pythagoreanism). Inspired by the Timaeus of Plato, Philo read the Jewish Bible as teaching that God created the cosmos by his Word (logos), the first-born son of God. Alternately, or via further emanation from this Word, God creates by means of his creative power and his royal power, conceived of both as his powers, and yet as agents distinct from him, giving him, as it were, metaphysical distance from the material world (Philo Works; Dillon 1996, 139–83; Morgan 1853, 63–148; Norton 1859, 332–74; Wolfson 1973, 60–97).

Another influence may have been the Neopythagorean Middle Platonist Numenius (fl. 150), who posited a triad of gods, calling them, alternately, “Father, creator and creature; fore-father, offspring and descendant; and Father, maker and made” (Guthrie 1917, 125), or on one ancient report, Grandfather, Father, and Son (Dillon 1996, 367). Moderatus taught a similar triad somewhat earlier (Stead 1985, 583).

Justin Martyr (d. ca. 165) describes the origin of the logos (= the pre-human Jesus) from God using three metaphors (light from the sun, fire from fire, speaker and his speech), each of which is found in either Philo or Numenius (Gaston 2007, 53). Accepting the Philonic thesis that Plato and other Greek philosophers received their wisdom from Moses, he holds that Plato in his dialogue Timaeus discussed the Son (logos), as, Justin says, “the power next to the first God”. And in Plato’s second letter, Justin finds a mention of a third, the Holy Spirit (Justin, First Apology, 60). As with the Middle Platonists, Justin’s triad is hierarchical or ordered. And Justin’s scheme is not, properly, trinitarian. The one God is not the three, but rather one of them and the primary one, the ultimate source of the second and third.

Justin and later second century Christians influenced by Platonism take over a concept of divine transcendence from Platonism, in light of which

no one with even the slightest intelligence would dare to assert that the Creator of all things left his super-celestial realms to make himself visible in a little spot on earth. (Justin, Dialogue, 92 [ch. 60])

 

...And on it goes....

Edited by mfbukowski
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11 minutes ago, Benjamin McGuire said:

I think that the problem is that you are 1) asserting that your fundamentalist views are in fact mainstream within the LDS Church, that 2) in a similar fashion you are trying to label those with a difference of opinion as progressives (using the term derogatorily), and 3) you repeated refusal to engage in dialogue which would put you in the position of having to recognize the limitations of your claims. Inciting conflict? Only perhaps in the disdain that you seem to be oozing towards those who disagree with you.

👍🏾👍🏻

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On 2/28/2023 at 10:28 PM, Grug the Neanderthal said:

This post is an answer to a request by @MiserereNobis about the teachings of Joseph Smith on the Gift of the Holy Ghost and Gift of the Spirit.

You started this thread by referencing me and the teachings of Joseph Smith.

16 hours ago, Grug the Neanderthal said:

No, you asked me to provide specific statements of Joseph Smith which were only his opinion. I’m declining this request and inviting you to do your own research and to share your findings here if you would like to discuss them. 

So why, then, are you declining my request for you to share teachings of Joseph Smith that are only his opinion?

 

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1 hour ago, Navidad said:

I want to very much, but I am not sure I follow you. Tell me more.

In I Corinthians 12 Paul refers to different "kinds" or "varieties" of gifts. The only word on both lists (gifts and fruits) is "faith." Love is not listed as a gift on the list of gifts. It doesn't appear until I Cor 13. Paul seems to be saying any and all of the gifts must be wrapped up in love which is a fruit of the spirit. Of course all humans can love, can have wisdom, and knowledge. But I do think the list of gifts in I Cor 12 is referring to different gifts given to different people for different ministries, workings, and services within the body of Christ. This is not a regular form of wisdom or knowledge. It is a supernatural form of wisdom or knowledge that can only come from the Holy Spirit. The whole point of the chapter is to point out that different people have different gifts, none of them have any of them exclusively. I think all of the Spirit provided gifts in I Cor 12 are rare. Whether speaking in tongues, interpreting tongues, healing, having Spirit-gifted knowledge or wisdom each of these is given sparingly "as He (the Spirit) wills. I don't believe many Christians have the I Cor 12 gifts.

Can the Holy Spirit grant them to non-Christians as well? Sure, because it says He grants them as He wills. Far be it for me to limit the Spirit. On the other hand it is my understanding is that they are given for the building up of the Church - the worldwide community of Christ. I believe these gifts are supernaturally granted. That differentiates them from wisdom, knowledge, etc. of a different kind - that of human wisdom and knowledge which in and of itself is wonderful, yet limited. That is why I believe the manifestation of the gifts of the Spirit are rare, even within the Christian community. I believe I have known many wise and knowledgeable people both in and out of the Christian community. I may have known three who I believe had the gift of wisdom (one of which was LDS). I can't think of anyone I have ever met who manifests the Spiritual gift of knowledge. I can't think of anyone I have ever met who manifests the gift of interpretation of tongues. I believe many have the fruit of faith in their lives; very few have the gift of faith. Dietrich Bonhoeffer comes to mind as someone who might have had the spiritual gift of faith.

So tell me more. Is what I just wrote somehow exclusive in your mind? Isn't the whole lesson of Gal 5 and I Cor 12 that none of the gifts or fruits are exclusive. I genuinely want to understand. Can a Muslim leader be wise? Sure! Can a Muslim leader have the Spiritual gift of wisdom? If I truly believe the Spirit grants His gifts to whomever He wills, then I would have to say yes, with the caveat that I believe the spiritual gifts are for the building up of the universal Church. I'll go back to Bonhoeffer again. I believe he was Lutheran. His gift of faith (if I am correct in believing he had it) was not given to build up the Lutheran church, but the universal church as his faith has blessed millions, and may have led some to faith. I don't always do so well explaining myself, so let me know if I have further muddied the waters! Thanks.

I think that is fine.   I don't think one can manifest the fruit of faith, for example, without faith being bestowed first as a gift.  How does the fruit get there if not via the gift of the spirit?   The gifts are not for our personal benefit per se, but are for sharing the fruits of these gifts with others.  A gift of the spirit is like a tree, it will wither and die and not bear any fruit for others to enjoy if it is not nourished.  A gift is not pragmatically good unless it bears fruit.   

The way I see it, one can have a gift without fruit, but one cannot have fruit without a gift.  The one is born of the other.  In other words, if one manifests the fruits of the spirit, then they have a gift of the spirit. A person can have a gift without bearing fruit (they tuck it away and don't utilize it so it bears no fruit), but one cannot have fruit without a gift.  In this way, the fruits mentioned in Galatians are simply manifestations of a gift properly utilized - they manifest in non-Christians too and are for their benefit too. 

By defining the "universal church" in a way that includes non-Christians too, we don't see these gifts/fruits as evidence of our Christianity and for the good of the Christian church only (exclusive benefits) but for the good of all those who are followers of the Spirit as it manifests in their lives.  

Edited by pogi
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Some teachings of Joseph Smith- and a note to fundamentalists, in my opinion.   I have added the underlining.   Clearly Joseph disagreed with the "doctrine", and yet affirmed that it was within "thinking and believing as (one believes)" and therefore should not be punished.

Quote

I now see before me, has been preaching concerning the beast which was full of eyes before and behind; and for this he was hauled up for trial before the High Council. I did not like the old man being called up for erring in doctrine; it looks too much like <the> Methodists, and not like <the> Latter Day Saints. Methodists have creeds which a man must believe or be kicked out of their church. I want the liberty of thinking and believing as I please; it feels so good not to be tramelled. It does not prove that a man is not a good man, because he errs in doctrine. The High Council undertook to censure and correct Elder Brown because of his teaching in relation to the beasts; whether they actually corrected him or not I am a little doubtful, but don’t care. Father Brown came to me to know what he should do about it. The [HC 5:340] subject particularly referred to, was the four beasts and four and twenty elders mentioned in Rev. ch 5. v 8: ‘And when he had taken the book, the four beasts, and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of Saints.’ Father Brown has been to work and confounded all Christendom by making out that the four beasts represented the different kingdoms of God on the earth. The wise men of the day could not do anything with him; and why should we find fault? Anything to whip sectarianism, put down priestcraft, and bring the human family to a knowledge of the truth: a club is better than no weapon for a poor man to fight with. Father Brown did whip sectarianism, and so far so good; but I could not help laughing at the idea of God making use of the figure of a beast to represent His kingdom on the earth consisting of men, when he could as well have used a far more noble and consistent figure....

 

https://www.josephsmithpapers.org/paper-summary/history-1838-1856-volume-d-1-1-august-1842-1-july-1843/165

 

 

Edited by mfbukowski
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6 minutes ago, pogi said:

I would caution against doing any research on google for "divine threesomes".   

LOL!

I wish I could take credit for that, but it was part of the quote from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy!  ;)

 

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2 hours ago, Rain said:

@Grug the Neanderthal This wasn't a rhetorical request or argument.  It is a true question I have.  Trying to figure out the differences, the only thing I could come up with is the amount of charity someone has, but that doesn't work because I've seen non members have overwhelming charity.  So please help me see the differences you see.

Sorry, wasn't trying to avoid the question. I've been working all day and have only been able to respond to a few comments during breaks. 

I don't have the answer to what exactly the difference is. All I could do is suggest some possible answers.

I just know that Joseph Smith plainly taught that there is a difference and that the Gifts of the Spirit are obtained and can only be enjoyed by receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands. I believe that it's only rational that if the Gift of the Holy Ghost is only received by the laying on of hands by a Melchizedek priesthood holder (which is still the official position of the church today) that there must be something tangible that is received when one received the Gift of the Holy Ghost that cannot be received in any other way. There must also be some visible sign of the true and living church upon the earth. Multiple apostles have stated that at least one such sign is the Gifts of the Spirit. 

 

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