The Death Penalty for Even One Sin?

A commenter recently stated “I know that not all sins are equal in nature, and some sins carry a greater penalty with them, making them more difficult to repent of. I know that a person who lives an honest life, helps all those around him, and strives to be like Christ, and yet lives a little too lightheaded, or has a short temper is a good man, and a better man than one who murders, or violates the daughters of God. Logic and Justice show that a small lie is not equal to murder, or adultery, or any of these other sins.

I remember when I used to believe as this person does. I felt that I was a much worse sinner than most people because I had committed sexual sins. I certainly didn’t equate my sins on the same level as someone who merely told an occasional lie. But I thought this way because I believed what my LDS prophets had taught me. It wasn’t until I dug into God’s Word that I learned that even though we humans like to “grade” sins and think that some aren’t as important as others, God doesn’t do this. No matter how small a sin appears to us, when we sin, we are still rebelling against our Majestic God. The greatness of our guilt can be measured by only one yardstick and that is the infinite Majesty of our God whom we have sinned against.

Let me give an illustration using a story about my “little” brother. One day, when we were in High School, this kid said something very rude to me. My brother Ralph heard about it during lunch hour and proceeded to teach him a lesson. Ralph hit the kid a few times and then grabbed his arm and brought him to me. When I heard a loud commotion, I looked and saw a huge crowd all following my brother as he was dragging the kid behind him. Then Ralph threw him down in front of me and forced him to apologize to me. After doing so, the kid ran away crying. Then a teacher took Ralph to the Principal’s office. He was suspended from school for three days, but he says he has always felt like he did the right thing. I certainly never had to worry about being bothered by that kid again (or anyone else for that matter).

But, what if a policeman had said something rude to me and Ralph had done the same thing to the policeman? The consequences would have been much worse than merely being suspended from school. And, if we took that one step further, what if the President of the United States had insulted me and Ralph took a swing at the President? His transgression would have been much more serious.

In a similar way, this is why any sin is serious—because of whom we have sinned against. Every time we sin we break the greatest commandment: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.Every sin justifies the eternal death sentence.The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23). This is why James testified: “For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.” It’s not just the blatant sinner who has a big problem. As Jesus himself said “there is none good but one, that is, God.

Anytime human “logic” is placed over God’s truth, you are likely to get yourself into trouble. Human logic determines that a person who “lives a little too lightheaded, or has a short temper is a good man, and a better man than one who murders”. But Jesus has declared differently! He equated anger with murder, which are both in danger of the judgment (Matthew 5:21-22). The Bible clearly shows the same consequence for all sin—an eternity with Satan and his demons! While there are specific sins that God claims to hate (pride, lying, murder… Proverbs 6:16-19) each sin has the same consequence—eternal separation from Him.

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.

Think of this balloon as your hope for eternal life. Think of this pin as one “minor” sin. Prick the balloon (commit the sin) just once and your dream is destroyed.

Except for Jesus, no one has or will live a life good enough to qualify for God’s pardon. Logic tells us we have no hope. But again God’s revealed truth defies logic: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36). Because Jesus lived perfectly for us, fulfilling every demand of Justice; Heavenly Father can offer us a full pardon. We only need to believe in His undeserved gift.

Unbelievers are lost because they think their sins aren’t so bad. They choose to wear their own robe of righteousness, which is like filthy rags in God’s eyes (Isaiah 63:6). Those with faith in Jesus know how sinful they are without Christ. They wear His protective garment—His robe of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10) and will spend eternity in the loving arms of their majestic God!

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66 Comments

  1. catzgalore said,

    March 24, 2009 at 8:23 am

    God has given you a gift, thank you for using it!
    🙂
    My stepson and daughter-in-law are Mormon, and I pray for them daily that God would open their eyes. I have researched Mormon beliefs for a long time, not as a seeker, but as a refuter (is that a word, LOL?) My heart aches that anyone could be caught in this trap. We all have traps that we fall into. This one is such a “light” filled one. I went to my grandson’s baby blessing after much agonizing. It was such a solomn, dark thing, so unlike our church where BOTH parents joyfully present their baby. My daughter in law was in the hallway with the other babies, not even in the room.
    Thank you again for listening to the prompting of the Lord and doing this.

  2. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    March 24, 2009 at 12:31 pm

    You’re welcome!

  3. jumpingjackagain said,

    March 24, 2009 at 7:31 pm

    hi catzgalore,

    I have a question. I have only been to the LDS church once and every one was so friendly. What do you mean by a solomn “dark thing”.

    thanks,
    meg

  4. shematwater said,

    March 26, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Hope you don’t mind, but I am the one that was quoted in this article.

    I just wanted to make one comment about the article, where they mention human logic taking the place of God’s truth.

    First, I believe in truth, plain and simple. God cannot change what is true, nor can make something true that is not.
    Second, Genesis proclaims that our understanding of Good and Evil is like God’s. Genesis 3: 22 “And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil.” Our understanding of Good and Evil, and therefore of sin, is the same as God’s and therefore not all sin can be equal to God, as our own logic (which is God’s) tells us otherwise.
    While even one sin can keep us from the presence of God, each will put us at a different distance from him. This is much like light and shadows. God is pure light, and only those who are pure light can exist with him. Those who are 90% light will be allowed closer than those who are only 40%, who are closer than those who are 10%. However, even 0.000001% of darkness will put you at least some distance out of his presence.

    CATZGALORE
    I am sorry for you daughter-in-law, but that is not the common practice. Usually a baby is blessed during the sacrement meeting where all can watch, and a number of the priesthood brethren are asked to stand in the circle. I know I had my two oldest blessed with my wife, my parents, and my in-laws present. I have been to few events that compare to the blessing of a child in beauty and spirit.

  5. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    March 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm

    Shem,
    You wrote: “I just wanted to make one comment about the article, where they mention human logic taking the place of God’s truth…Genesis proclaims that our understanding of Good and Evil is like God’s. Genesis 3: 22 “And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil.”
    Our understanding of Good and Evil, and therefore of sin, is the same as God’s and therefore not all sin can be equal to God, as our own logic (which is God’s) tells us otherwise.

    Shem, our understanding of anything is so far from God’s understanding:

    But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God. 25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. 26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: 27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.”
    (1 Corinthians 1:23-29)

  6. roxy77 said,

    March 30, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    jumpingjackagain,
    After leaving the LDS church last year, I have not stepped foot into the LDS church until yesterday when I went to a baby blessing for a nephew of mine. I understand where Catzgalore is coming from. After being caught in the trap after that religion or in her case seeing it happen to a family member it is such a hard thing to go back and visit those memories/emotions of something that feels so wrong. It really can mess with your emotions re-vsiting something that you don’t agree with or can now fully see and understand with an open-mind.

    It was very hard to bring myself to attend this meeting. I have avoided other invitations to go to other events there but I convinced myself to go this time and be there for the family. It’s a hard thing to understand how people feel one way or the other, but I would have to say experiencing it first hand really does help to comprehend. I was so stubborn when I first joined a few years ago. I didn’t care what anyone said to me about the church. I barely researched both sides. All I knew was that my husband was in it and I trusted him. The messages sounded positive and I knew I wanted to be on the same level with him relgiously. Turned out I was unhappy with myself a year later and knew things didnt feel right to me. I felt like I was in conference meetings, not church meetings worshiping my Father in Heaven. Just be true to youself! 🙂

  7. shematwater said,

    March 30, 2009 at 2:55 pm

    LATTERDAYSAINTWOMAN

    This is true, as we can never know the all the contigencies and variables that effect every choice made by any person. God has a greater wisdom because he can see things we cannot.
    this does not change the fundamental fact that Adam, and thus us by way of birth, became like God in knowing Good and Evil. However, when we judge we are limited to our understanding of the world. As his understanding is complete he is a wiser judge.
    As you see, it is not or knowledge of Good and Evil that makes us less wise, but our understanding of the world and each other.

  8. jumpingjackagain said,

    March 30, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    Roxy77,

    thanks so much for writing back to me. I guess catz doesn’t check the blog very often! I still am a little in the dark about what they do to the baby. Is it bizarre? Explain what “dark and solemn” means, please. If you were allowed to be there, then why do you think catzgalores daughter had to stay outside? thank you.

    meg

  9. catzgalore said,

    April 2, 2009 at 8:01 am

    Shemawater,
    If it was the common practice, I don’t know how Mormon women would stand for it. I asked my daughter in law why the women didn’t participate, and she never answered me.
    Jumpingjackagain, I forgot to check the notify box, so didn’t think there were further comments. 😦
    It is my practice at baby blessings to pray for the family. I tried to pray and it was like there was this black dark wall there. Nobody was smiling, they were all just standing there. All the men gathered around, and my stepson said they were doing a blessing as members of the Melchesidek priesthood, so it wasn’t like they were asking God’s blessing… they just said they wanted him to have a good life and be a good LDS. It didn’t seem like prayer. My daughter in law was handed the 2 year old who started screaming, that’s why she left, but they didn’t wait or anything, it was like it didn’t matter. From what I have been reading, only the men “hold” the priesthood, you have to be worthy.
    Your comment about a conference meeting was how it felt to me. They passed around the elements for communion and everyone was still talking and laughing. It is just way different than I am used to.
    I am just trying to understand.
    I checked the little square this time. 🙂

  10. shematwater said,

    April 8, 2009 at 8:51 am

    CATZGALORE

    I like what my mother said. She is relieved that she does not hold the priesthood, as all it does is give you more work to do. The Priesthood, the authority to perform the ordinances of the gospel, places a greater burden of the men than is on the women. We must be worthy to perform these ordinances. We must be willing. We are the ones who will be held accountable for all those that were willing to join the kingdom but could not because we did not do our duty.
    People think of the priesthood as a way of supressing woman, but it never was. Woman, even without the priesthood, can perform any miracle a man could. The miracles of God are based on faith, not priesthood authority. Woman can heal, woman can prophecy, woman can speak in tongues or interpret them, woman can command mountains to move or turn rivers from their course, woman can do all this. But woman are free of the responsibility of leadership, they are not accountable for the performing of the ordinances. So what is the big deal.

    As concerning the blessing, from what you say I think the major problem was that it was different, and that made you uncomfortable. I don’t think there was anything wrong with the ordinance, or with ceremony. You were not used to the idea, it was foreign. I understand this, and I would have the same feeling attending any other church.
    On a final comment, it was not a prayer, it was a blessing. A blessing has a specific perpuse. When we pray we voice our thoughts and desires, asking God if they are good and to grant them if they are. When blessing we say nothing of ourselves, we say only that which God tells us to say, as for that moment we are the spokesmen of God. A prayer goes to God, a blessing comes from him.

  11. catzgalore said,

    April 9, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    Hi Shema–
    Thank you for your comments. It helps me understand a bit of where you are coming from.

    So would you be uncomfortable attending a baby blessing where both parents were allowed to participate?
    You are right, it was different. A month before, I attended my other grandson’s baby baptism in the Catholic church. That was different, too. It was a joyous occasion where parents, grandparents, and godparents gathered around and agreed to raise the child in the faith. It was different than MY church; but it was not uncomfortable, it was filled with light.
    If a woman (without the priesthood) can do whatever a man does, what is the purpose of the priesthood? I don’t understand. A priest as I understand it serves as a mediator between people and God. Doesn’t that mean that women (who don’t hold the priesthood) can’t go to God, if I follow the logic of that, except through a man? From my point of view, it doesn’t make sense.

    I can see I have a lot of studying to do!
    Catz

  12. shematwater said,

    April 10, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    CATZGALORE

    I cannot say why the feeling was so different. I think it was in part to it being different. But I would also ask what you knew of the LDS church before this. What had you learned? What did others tell you concerning the church? What was your impression? All this has an effect on your perception of this ordinance. Do you see chatholics as being Christian? If so you have a great common ground to easy your feelings at their ceremonies. Do you see the LDS as being Christian? If not than you have widen the space between yourself and us, and thus our ceremonies and ordinances will seem more foreign, more uncomfortable.
    I would feel a little uncomfortable attending any meeting of another church. I have attended some, and felt very out of place. It would make me no more uncomfortable to see a woman in this ordinance in another church, as they do not follow the same doctrine. If it was in an LDS meeting that a woman was taking an active part I would be very uncomfortable, and would likely talk to the Bishop about it afterwards, because it is expressly forbidden.

    Now, I never said that a woman can do everything a man does, I said she can do anything that the average woman would want to do. Without the priesthood there can be no ordinances. No one could be baptised, no one could be ceiled as a family, no one could bless their children. There would also be no authority to lead. Each calling in the priesthood carries certain responsibilities. As a home teacher it is my responsibility to visit all those families that I have been assigned. I am to know their needs. I am to know their desires. If I do not know this, and if I do not act to assist them with these things, I will be held accountable for not using the priesthood that I was given. To help me fulfill this duty I have a right to receive divine guidance. In higher callings the duty becomes greater, but so does the right to divine help. The President of a quorum must see to the needs of all members of that quorum, as well as their familes. The Bishop must see to the needs of every member in the ward, and when possible to every nonmember as well. The Stake President has responsibility over all the wards in his stake. The Area president over his area. The general authorities have responsibility over the entire earth. The President of the church has the added responsibility of introducing new commands are warning the people of coming dangers. Each one must fulfill these callings, for they will be called to give an accounting of them, and teh state of every person they were to minister to. Besides all this, the men are accountable for baptisms, for the sacrament, for all the ordinances of the gospel.
    I don’t see how I can explain it any other way.

    I will point out that in the Bible you will never see a woman holding the priesthood or participating in the ordinances of the gospel. There are those who prophecy, or may perform miracles, but none have the priesthood.

  13. catzgalore said,

    April 11, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    I don’t want you to think I am not reading what you are saying, but I want to think and not answer quickly.

    In my reading, I have been trying to read the LDS church readings, because it isn’t fair otherwise. But what I see is confusing. On the basic beliefs page, this is what it says:

    “As promised, Heavenly Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to earth. Jesus Christ lived a perfect, sinless life. He established His Church, taught His gospel, and performed many miracles. Incredibly, even Jesus Christ was rejected. Following His death, many people began to drift away from or distort Christ’s true teachings. As a result, God withdrew His authority to direct the Church that Christ had established.”

    This makes NO SENSE… is it saying that JESUS is no longer the Head of His Church? JOSEPH SMITH is the leader? How can you believe Jesus sacrificed himself for our sins if God withdrew His authority? According to my interpretation, it means that Jesus didn’t do a good job, so Joseph Smith had to take over. So Joseph Smith is also God, or Jesus is not God. How can it be both ways? And if Jesus’ death was nothing but his death and He was not successful in your church doctrine, then no, the LDS church is not Christian.

  14. shematwater said,

    April 16, 2009 at 3:42 pm

    You do misunderstand. It is difficult to see all the details of the LDS doctrine. You have to understand that all the doctrines of salvation are interconnected, that no one can truly be singled out and stand by itself.

    I will try to clarify this confusion. Christ succeeded in all that he was supposed to do. Christ is the head of the church. But he is more than just our head, he is the head of the church in all ages of teh world. As it is written, He is a God of teh Living, not of the dead.
    But as God’s house is a house of order there must be those who are under Him, but are over us. This is separated by time, ages of the world, or as the LDS say, Dispensations. Adam was the first man, and is the head of the first dispensation. Enoch was then called, and is the head of the second. Noah is third, Abraham Fourth, Moses Fifth. Christ was Sixth, but as he is elevated about the rest, Peter acts in his place. The last dispensation it that of our day, and Joseph Smith is the head of it. I refer to these seven as the Archangels of Heaven (For Adam is Micheal and Noah Gabrial). They are the heads of the dispensations, but they act under the direction of Christ who is the head of the Church in all dispensations.
    I cannot give an exact date as to when each started, and the previous stopped. I also do not know exactly how it is judge which one a person is in, as some people are born around the time that they change. But all those in this dispensation are under the Direction of Joseph Smith, who takes his orders from Christ. (It is like Christ is the president and these seven men are the joint chiefs.)
    (I also believe that the seven seals spoken of in the book of Revelation are refering to these seven dispensations, which is just further evidence; at least to me.)

    To understand why he would take the wuthority away would take a while to explain, so I will refrain from doing so. However, I will say that even though the authority was gone God did not condemn those that lived during this apostacy to hell. While it is true they could not perform the ordinances at that time, God has instituted the ordinances for the dead, and has called the spirts of the righteous who have gone before us to preach to the spirits of these men and women. All who except their world will be saved through the administration of ordinances by the living in behalf of the dead.

  15. catzgalore said,

    April 17, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    If all traditional Christian churches that have survived from Jesus’ time are apostasy, why would the LDS church wish to be affiliated with them? Or if we are Christian too, then what is the point of a “restoration of the gospel”?
    I think then what the Mormon church is saying is THEY are “Christian” but the Christian churches are not– we are still in apostasy, therefore going to hell. Unless a Mormon gets baptized for us after we are dead. Am I getting this?

  16. shematwater said,

    April 22, 2009 at 9:12 am

    Again, you do not have all the details.
    All the churches are in apostacy, but they are still called Christian as their faith is based in the same man that ours is, which is Jesus the Christ. With this traditional meaning of the term Christian we are all Christians. However, as I like to seperate things, the LDS are the saints of God, those who have the fullness of the Gospel. All you worship Christ are Christians, but only those belonging to his church, that is directed by his priesthood authority, are the saints.
    The restoration was necessary because such a great portion of the truth was lost. This is not the first restoration that has occured. Moses restored the Gospel to the Israelites who had fallen into pagan traditions of Egyptian origin. Christ restored the Gospel to the Jews who had fallen from the truth through the traditions of the Elders. I believe Enoch restored it to those who had fallen away at his time, and Abraham restored it at his time. All of these were restorations of the Gospel. They were bring people who had fallen from the true path because of the traditions of their ancestors back to the true Gospel. Joseph Smith headed the last and final restoration.

    As to going to Hell, and needing a Mormon to baptize for you, let me explain a little more. Heaven and Hell have verious meanings. To get technical, there are many levels of Heaven, but three main Kingdoms, or glories. The Highest is the Celestial, then the terrestial, then the telestial. We do not believe that the mainstream christian churches are going to Hell, but they are not able to reach the Celestial kingdom either. They will, for the most part, enter into the terrestial, or second kingdom. They will be in heaven, but they will not have the highest glory, and they will no longer be able to progress or have an increase.
    Hell is a temporary place where people go to pay for their sins, if Christ does not claim them. When this payment is made they will come out of Hell and enter the lowest kingdom. Hell is only permanent for those who cannot pay for their sins. This includes all the spirits that were cast from heaven in the great war, as well as those that blaspheme the Holy Ghost.

  17. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    April 22, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    Shem, You wrote: “Hell is a temporary place where people go to pay for their sins, if Christ does not claim them. When this payment is made they will come out of Hell and enter the lowest kingdom. Hell is only permanent for those who cannot pay for their sins. This includes all the spirits that were cast from heaven in the great war, as well as those that blaspheme the Holy Ghost.

    This sentence is true: “Hell is only permanent for those who cannot pay for their sins.

    What is sad and should scare you, is that no one can pay for their sins. Unless someone believes that Jesus’ payment paid the entire debt for their sins, they will spend eternity in Hell with Satan and his demons. Jesus has already paid the entire debt for all sins. Those who don’t believe this, reject Christ’s gift and will not be given a second chance to pay for their sins.

  18. shematwater said,

    April 23, 2009 at 11:59 am

    Notice I said “If Christ does not claim them.” This would indicate that none of us can pay for our sins without Christ. So, in this we agree.

    I think the only disagreement is that I believe Christ is there to help us, not do it for us.

  19. catzgalore said,

    May 6, 2009 at 9:36 am

    Shem, you said,
    I refer to these seven as the Archangels of Heaven (For Adam is Micheal and Noah Gabrial). They are the heads of the dispensations, but they act under the direction of Christ who is the head of the Church in all dispensations.

    On the LDS website, it says that Jesus created the earth. I heard that your church teaches that Michael and Jehovah “organized” the earth… if Adam is Michael, then ADAM created the earth? What am I not getting, this makes no sense at all.

  20. shematwater said,

    May 11, 2009 at 9:54 am

    CATZGALORE

    Read the book of Abraham. In it this is all explained.

    We read that among the spirit children of God there were many noble and great ones. God set forth the plan of the Earth. Then one like unto God (or Christ) went to these noble and great ones and as a group they organized the material and formed the Earth. So, Christ did create the earth, as he was the overseer of the work, but many people took part in the work. Among them were Abraham, Adam, and all the great prophets.

    Basically, God the Father is the architect, Christ is the contractor, the Archangels are the overseers, and the rest of the prophets were the works.

  21. catzgalore said,

    May 12, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    LDS doctrine adds so much to the scriptures. I’m sure you agree, but we have different reactions. I have not read the entire Book of Mormon, but enough to not want to read any more. I have read the Book of Abraham, but it didn’t make a whole lot of sense. So I’ve been reading ABOUT the Book of Abraham, and I know you wouldn’t listen because it isn’t an LDS source, but historically a number of people have re-translated Joseph Smith’s source for the Book of Abraham, and say Smith’s “translation” is pure fabrication.
    Just one excerpt:

    In 1912, Reverend Franklin S. Spalding sent copies of the three Facsimiles from the Book of Abraham to some of the world’s leading scholars of Egyptology. All eight of the scholars that responded were unanimous in their condemnation of Joseph’s translations as being incorrect. For example, Dr. Arthur Mace, Assistant Curator for the Department of Egyptian Art of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York explained:

    “The Book of Abraham, it is hardly necessary to say, is a pure fabrication. Cuts 1 and 3 are inaccurate copies of well known scenes on funeral papyri, and cut 2 is a copy of one of the magical discs which in the late Egyptian period were placed under the heads of mummies. There were about forty of these latter known in museums and they are all very similar in character. Joseph Smith’s interpretation of these cuts is a farrago of nonsense from beginning to end. Egyptian characters can now be read almost as easily as Greek, and five minutes’ study in an Egyptian gallery of any museum should be enough to convince any educated man of the clumsiness of the imposture.” (F.S. Spalding, Joseph Smith Jr., As a Translator, 1912, p. 27)

    And if I believe that the Bible is all I need, why would I want to add to it? And certainly not a book that doesn’t have any credentials except from its so-called translator.

    more here: http://www.bookofabraham.com/intro.html

    Yes, I believe that Mormons are deceived. It makes my heart ache. I pray for those sincere seekers that are caught up in its web.

  22. osbornekristen said,

    May 13, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    The Mormon Church claims “the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly.” Surely they should have the same claim for The Book of Abraham……and clearly it was NOT translated correctly. I cannot understand why the Mormon Church still believes these teachings to be true. But I am even more baffled as to why LDS put more faith in this creation story than the account given in the Bible?

    There is NO doubt that Joseph Smith knew a little something about creation. He “created” a whole lot of fiction and scholars agree. I have read numerous far-fetched “explanations” given by Mormon apologists and FARMS scholars who attempt to make “sense” out Smith’s nonsense. Here is one example:

    “Did he [Joseph Smith, Jr.} really think he was translating? If so he was acting in good faith. But was he really translating? If so, it was by a process which quite escapes the understanding of the specialists and lies in the realm of the imponderable….“Today nobody claims that Joseph Smith got his information through ordinary scholarly channels. In that case one wonders how any amount of checking along ordinary scholarly channels is going to get us very far.” (Dr. Hugh Nibley, Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Summer 1968, page 101)

    I don’t understand why a new Mormon Prophet has not just had a “new revelation” to do away with the Book of Abraham …..that has seemed to satisfy doctrine issues in the past. For example:

    In October 1976 general conference, Spencer W. Kimball declared the Church’s official position on Brigham Young’s Adam-God theory :
    “We warn you against the dissemination of doctrines which are not according to the Scriptures and which are alleged to have been taught by some of the General Authorities of past generations. Such, for instance, is the Adam-God theory. We denounce that theory and hope that everyone will be cautioned against this and other kinds of false doctrine”

  23. catzgalore said,

    May 14, 2009 at 10:11 am

    There are many sites that dispute the translations of Joseph Smith. One that seems the most documented is this one:
    http://www.bookofabraham.com/index.html

    I could find nothing outside the Mormon church that collaborated Smith’s story. I could find plenty that said it was false.

  24. osbornekristen said,

    May 14, 2009 at 2:29 pm

    Last night, I was trying to explain the whole Book of Abraham dispute to my hubby (who grew up Mormon). He had NO idea what I was talking about. He had never heard about the whole contraversy. From discussions with him, his family and Mormon friends……I have come to the conclusion that many Mormons are not aware of Joseph Smith’s errors and doctrinal issues because they are told not to research it or discuss it…..they are told this is “not faith promoting.” They are encouraged to read only scholarly works that the church deems appropriate (those written by Mormon apologists). I have read that BYU professors have to walk on egg shells to make sure that they only give their students material that is supported by the General Authorities. When I have asked Mormon friends and family to read information like the site Catz gave above…..they have refused and said “it is not faith promoting.” It is clear that church authorities are afraid that people will discover that they have been deceived. Also, when I have discussed Mormon doctrine with them, often I have been told “we don’t believe that….or that’s not true!” even when I have quoted who said it and where it came from. It seems that some members don’t even know what their church believes! Very, very sad.

  25. catzgalore said,

    May 18, 2009 at 8:17 am

    Obviously it isn’t “faith promoting” if it challenges you to the core. If you question anything and actually start finding the truth, your whole LIFE is in jeopardy. I was at a wedding (of course waiting in the hallway– with the non-LDS bridesmaids!! If I had known that I was going to be waiting in the hallway because I wasn’t worthy I would NOT have gone– a Mormon lady who could not attend the wedding because she wouldn’t give up tea (!) was talking about how she had doubts, and her daughter said “Mother! Don’t talk like that! You could get us excommunicated!” So a Mormon is risking losing his FAMILY if he/she questions anything.
    The other thing is that they believe that the current “prophet” can change the doctrine any way they want, because there is continuous revelation. So things that were once true (dark skinned people could not inherit Eternal Life; you must be polygamous to enter the Celestial Heaven) are no longer true.

    But Shema said: “First, I believe in truth, plain and simple. God cannot change what is true, nor can make something true that is not.”

    But humans can?

  26. geoff456 said,

    May 18, 2009 at 9:57 am

    Catz,

    I left you a message on “do you have an eternal family”. It basically said: I think it would be helpful for you to talk openly to your LDS family members and or the missionaries and not rely on heresay and half-explanations to understand the LDS church and their doctrine.

    You seem to hear a little truth and then add your own conclusions to it until it is un-recognizable to LDS. For example: NO WHERE does it say that dark skinned people could not INHERIT Eternal Life! Negro men were not permitted to hold the priesthood for a time. When the time was right, the Lord allowed it. SECOND EXAMPLE: In your April 11 post, you quote an LDS source that “God withdrew His authority to direct the Church” and then you interpret that to mean that God withdrew Jesus Christ as the Head of the Church. Kindly re-read that source and you will see your error. (BTW, there was apostacy even a short time after the Saviors death! See the Book of James where he spends time re-teaching the doctrine of works and faith!)

    Also, can you name ONE TIME when “DOCTRINE” was changed? Nope, because it hasn’t happened! Our Prophet speaks for the Lord and His truths, HIS laws don’t change. Circumstances change. For example there is a time and a circumstance for polygamy. It is not something that a MAN decides for himself, but the Lord directs it. You might compare it to civil laws. Speed limits change, they are man-made laws! But spousal abuse is against God’s basic law and even IF the law of the land changed, you would still be wrong to beat your wife.
    There are Bible stories in the Old Testament that can turn your stomach and are MUCH more controversial than anything in the Mormon church!

    My family are non-LDS and I have experienced much of the same “prejudice” from them. It is very hurtful for a family member to find out they are talked about behind their back. How much better to speak up! Ask questions! Get all these questions out in the open. Have a sense of humor about the situation!
    I am NOT saying to quit praying for your son and his family. No one in the LDS church would ever dream of “forcing” our religion on you. But tearing down anyones belief is counter productive. I love it when my parents attend our “religious” events with a smile and good attitude and share in our happiness. After all, that is one thing that ALL Christians have in common..good will!

    ~Geoff

  27. shematwater said,

    May 18, 2009 at 11:30 am

    ON THE BOOK OF ABRAHAM

    First, we have only a few small fragments from the collection that Joseph Smith had. As such, how can anyone truly say that these are what Joseph Smith Actually used to translate the books.
    Besides this, there are many accounts from people at the time that state there were several pieces of papyri, some small in size, but at least one to be a scroll of great length. What happened to the rest of the papyri that Joseph Smith worked with (especially this large scroll)?
    Also, the description of the papyri that the Book of Abraham came from, as given by more than one person, does not match the fragments we have.

    The fragments we have are more likely from the smaller pieces that were with with the large scroll, which we do not have. Thus we have no way to verify this translation from the original text.

    This should be sufficient for people to at least except that there is no proof the book is false.

    CATZGALORE

    As to adding to the scriptures: What is so wrong with it? Why would you reject the idea of receiving more of Gods word if it is out there. The Bible itself references many writings that were had at one time that are scripture. Here is a list of references:
    book of the Wars of the Lord (Num. 21: 14);
    book of Jasher (Josh. 10: 13; 2 Sam. 1: 18);
    book of the acts of Solomon (1 Kgs. 11: 41);
    book of Samuel the seer (1 Chr. 29: 29);
    book of Gad the seer (1 Chr. 29: 29);
    book of Nathan the prophet (1 Chr. 29: 29; 2 Chr. 9: 29);
    prophecy of Ahijah (2 Chr. 9: 29);
    visions of Iddo the seer (2 Chr. 9: 29; 2 Chr. 12: 15; 2 Chr. 13: 22);
    book of Shemaiah (2 Chr. 12: 15);
    book of Jehu (2 Chr. 20: 34);
    sayings of the seers (2 Chr. 33: 19);
    an epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, earlier than our present 1 Corinthians (1 Cor. 5: 9);
    possibly an earlier epistle to the Ephesians (Eph. 3: 3);
    an epistle to the Church at Laodicea (Col. 4: 16);
    and some prophecies of Enoch, known to Jude (Jude 1: 14).

    Would you reject these writings if they were found.
    Think of King Josiah in the Old Testestement. When he sent his men to rebuild the temple they found a book in the rubble. When they read it they found great truths that had been lost from the Law of Moses and feared God because they had not followed this book, even though it was not known to them.

    No where in the Bible does it say that we will never be given more scriptures.

  28. osbornekristen said,

    May 18, 2009 at 6:32 pm

    I applaud Catz for “blogging” to find information about her daughter-in-law’s religion. It is VERY difficult to really understand the Mormon religion by asking missionaries or relatives questions. Often, the terminology used by Christians and Mormons seems the same but has VERY DIFFERENT meanings. For example, I asked a family member if she (a Mormon) thought Jesus’ death on the cross gave her salvation. She said, “Yes, of course!” To a Christian, Jesus’s death is a completed work for the believer…….a FREE gift of grace for those (and only those) who accept Christ. But, after much research and “blog” discussions I now understand that the “salvation” she spoke of is very different. She believes that Jesus’ death gives everyone (whether they accept or reject Him) eternal life. But, this eternal life is not necessarily spent with the Father in His glorious kingdom……..there are other requirements. Christians believe that non-believers will spend eternity apart from the Lord in Hell…..not in a lesser paradise with second chances to accept Mormonism.

    So Geoff, it is not enough just to talk to Mormons about these issues…….becasue often they don’t understand Christian terminolgy and we don’t understand theirs. Mormonism is so very different form the Christian faith……but it takes much study of LDS doctrine to understand that it is. I think it is wonderful that Catz wants to find out more about the Mormon faith. If there is nothing “weird” to uncover, then why does it upset folks that she is researching through various channels such as blogging and reading info from an ex-Mormon?

    You said to Catz, ” You seem to hear a little truth and then add your own conclusions to it until it is un-recognizable to LDS” Frankly, that is what Christians believe Joseph Smith did in Mormonism. He heard/read TRUTH from the Bible and added his own twists until LDS doctrine became unrecognizable to the Christian faith. Mormon doctrine is “ever-changing” and even the doctrine given in the Book of Mormon is different that given by Prophets. And yes, there have been significant doctrinal changes.

    There was a deletion of a section from the Doctrine and Covenants that was 68 pages long, containing more than 20,000 words. This section found in the original 1835 edition wasn’t removed until 1921. 11. Entitled “Lectures on Faith” and consisting of seven lectures within this larger section, this series of Lectures was deemed so important by Joseph Smith and early Church leaders that they even referenced these lectures in their preface to the 1835 edition by stating that the lectures embraced “the important doctrine of salvation.” The reason for the exclusion of this section is likely due to the fact that in these lectures, Joseph Smith taught a doctrine that the Mormon church now calls heresy—the idea that God the Father is “a personage of spirit” and that there are only “two personages” who comprise the “Godhead.”

    “We shall, in this lecture speak of the Godhead: we mean the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. There are two personages who constitute the great, matchless, governing and supreme power over all things….They are the Father and the Son: The Father being a personage of spirit… The Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, is a personage of tabernacle…And he being the only begotten of the Father…received a fulness of the glory of the Father—possessing the same mind with the Father, which mind is the Holy Spirit.” —Doctrine and Covenants, 1935 edition, Lectures Fifth of Faith, Section V, p. 52-53 (Note: In 1921, This Lectures of Faith section was removed from Doctrine and Covenants)

    “I will preach on the plurality of Gods…I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and that the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods.” —Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 370

    Another section of Doctrine and Covenants that has undergone major revision is Doctrine and Covenants Section 5. When it was originally published in the Book of Commandments in 1833, it stated that God had told Joseph Smith that he would only have one “gift” to translate one book—that being the Book of Mormon:
    “And now, behold, this shall you say unto him:—I the Lord am God, and I have given these things unto my servant Joseph…and he has a gift to translate the book, and I have commanded him that he shall pretend to no other gift, for I will grant him no other gift. And verily I say unto you, that wo shall come unto the inhabitants of the earth.…” —Book of Commandments, Chapter 4:2-3

    When Joseph Smith allegedly translated the “Book of Abraham” in the LDS Scripture Pearl of Great Price from an Egyptian papyrus, Smith was compelled to change the wording of this revelation to accommodate his new gift to translate the Egyptian papyrus. The revelation now reads:
    “And now, behold, this shall you say unto him—he who spake unto you, said unto you: I, the Lord, am God, and have given these things unto you, my servant Joseph Smith, Jun.…And you have a gift to translate the plates: and this is the first gift that I bestowed upon you; and I have commanded that you should pretend to no other gift until my purpose is fulfilled in this; for I will grant unto you no other gift until it is finished. Verily, I say unto you, that woe shall come unto the inhabitants of the earth.…” —Doctrine and Covenants, Section 5:2,4-5 12.

    Such drastic changes to “scripture” certainly cannot be of God. Just as LDS Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith noted in his Doctrines of Salvation, if Joseph Smith’s “claims and declarations were built upon fraud and deceit, there would appear many errors and contradictions, which would be easy to detect. The doctrines of false teachers will not stand the test when tried by the accepted standards of measurement, the scriptures.”—Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, p. 188

    As for the Book of Abraham, I anticipated this response from Shem. The pictures from part of the papyri that Smith translated is in my hubby’s old 1981 copy of the Book of Abraham. Scholars say they drawings (no matter what he used to translated them) are fabricated……wrong……..even laughable. Even if he did use more papyri than those that have been uncovered……the drawings he placed in the Book of Abraham are incorrect. Many aspects go against Egyptian custums and would never have been drawn. Have you researched information other than that given by Mormon apologetics?

  29. catzgalore said,

    May 19, 2009 at 12:40 am

    geoff–
    when my mother in law tried to talk to my daughter in law, she covered her ears and said “I’m not listening” over and over. So how open to discussion do you think she is?
    And from the book of Nephi, in the Book of Mormon–
    21 And he had caused the acursing to come upon them, yea, even a sore cursing, because of their iniquity. For behold, they had hardened their hearts against him, that they had become like unto a flint; wherefore, as they were white, and exceedingly fair and delightsome, that they might not be enticing unto my people the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them.
    22 And thus saith the Lord God: I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy people, save they shall repent of their iniquities.
    23 And cursed shall be the seed of him that mixeth with their seed; for they shall be cursed even with the same cursing. And the Lord spake it, and it was done.

    And now, the dark skinned people, who once were cursed, are now allowed.

    shem–
    I would not reject the writings, I might read and learn from them, but I would not add them to the Bible, or create another gospel.

  30. catzgalore said,

    May 19, 2009 at 11:37 am

    Geoff, most Mormons that I have known think that if you would only listen, God will tell you that LDS doctrine is true. I HAVE spent time with Mormon missionaries. Many years ago I sat through lessons with my elderly grandmother who just wanted company, and “they are such nice boys”

    Thank you, Shem, for not resorting to personal attacks.

    I HAVE tried to talk to both my son and daughter in law. The reason that the church doesn’t encourage research into historical things not put out by the church is it is not “faith promoting” so guess what, they won’t listen. And as Kristen said, your words mean things very different than traditional Christianity. So it’s like we are talking different languages.
    I am NOT a scholar. You can talk around me in a minute. 🙂

    Thank you Kristen for answering– I can just say AMEN!!

  31. geoff456 said,

    May 19, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    Catz,

    Did I misunderstand you, or did you misunderstand me? I thought you wanted to know about LDS beliefs(?) Your opening line stated that your mother-in -aw was TALKING, not ASKING. I think your daughter-in -aw would ANSWER thoughtful, non-confrontational questions. From reading your posts, it sounds like there is plenty of water under the bridge. Maybe at this point there isn’t a chance of non-confrontational “questions”.
    Speaking from experience, I know that I AM TALKED ABOUT at family gatherings. I know that MY RELIGION is maligned and made fun of. That does NOT make for happy family relations. IF YOU WANT some peace in the family, my suggestion (and hey,who am I??) is to ASK questions, not try to “set her up” or “beat her up”. I LOVE it when my parents attend our family activities and just GET ALONG!! No nasty comments about our prophet, no nasty comments about our “superiority” because we don’t swear, drink, watch R-rated movies or wear tank tops. We don’t really think we are better than anyone else. We just love the Lord, the Gospel and our family and are trying to live our religion and serve the Lord!

    Your daughter in law has heard every anti-mormon rant out there. She has heard people like Osborne who will try (with false information) to malign her church and her leaders. If I wanted YOUR biography I wouldn’t ask your neighbor (who may or may not even like you), I WOULD ASK YOU!
    You may not agree with our church on ANY point, but at least you would have the truth from an unbiased source. Blogging with ex-members of the Church is counter productive. LDS Woman sounds like a very nice gal….but she would not be the objective voice on the beliefs of the LDS Church. Just like I would not be the one to ask about Lutherans, Methodists, Congregationalists, or Baptists!
    My older brother has handled my conversion the best. He has agreed to live and let live. He doesn’t judge me and I don’t judge him. I am happy to answer questions (California’s Prop 8 brought up a few) and I have even heard that he defends my choice of religion at family gatherings. Now that is what a brother is for!
    Realistically, you are not going to change their minds and they aren’t going to change yours. Respecting their choice to practice their own religion is going to bring you so much closer to them. And closer to grandchildren. My mom has said things to my children that have been hurtful and have caused them to pull away from her. (I guess she thought they wouldn’t repeat it to me) things like “coffee isn’t really bad for you”, and “your mom and dad don’t REALLY believe in all that hocus-pocus do they?”. You are only doing yourself a disservice if you do or say hurtful things (no accusation intended)…..they will go on their merry way and be happy without you in their lives! (I have) So….if your ultimate goal is a happy family, then I say 1. have a sense of humor! 2. live and let live 3. pray for understanding and peace of mind. The Lord is in charge!

    ~Geoff

  32. geoff456 said,

    May 19, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    OsborneKristen,

    you said, ” I now understand that the “salvation” she spoke of is very different.”

    I don’t think you DO understand. I don’t know of a single Mormon who would characterize resurrection as “salvation”. So, if that is the information you dug up, it most certainly did not come from an LDS source.
    I am curious why you do so much research about our church?
    I guess I am wondering about your motivation. Do you want to know more about the LDS church and its doctrine? Or do you disagree with it and want to chat about that to other non-believers? (why waste your energy?)

    If you truly want to know, and as a member of the Church I will be bold enough to say to you that you will regret NOT knowing someday, then ask a member or a missionary of the LDS church to explain it to you. (many, many members of the church used to belong to other churches and understand the difference in lingo). No one will EVER force you to listen, pray, read, or understand. Missionaries are generally 19 -20 year old boys who are fun, and charming….not threatening or menacing.
    If you simply want to exchange stories, gasps and groans about the church, then there is plenty of false information out there to tickle you silly!

    good luck in what ever you do!

    ~Geoff

  33. catzgalore said,

    May 19, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    someone (Shem or Geoff–can’t find it again, LOL) quoting you: “In your April 11 post, you quote an LDS source that “God withdrew His authority to direct the Church” and then you interpret that to mean that God withdrew Jesus Christ as the Head of the Church. Kindly re-read that source and you will see your error.”

    Here is the source:

    As promised, Heavenly Father sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to earth. Jesus Christ lived a perfect, sinless life. He established His Church, taught His gospel, and performed many miracles. Incredibly, even Jesus Christ was rejected. Following His death, many people began to drift away from or distort Christ’s true teachings. As a result, God withdrew His authority to direct the Church that Christ had established.
    Our loving Father in Heaven is the “same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (see Hebrews 13:8). As in ancient times, He has followed His simple pattern in our day. He has again established the gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth through a prophet. This prophet whom the Lord called to restore God’s truth is named Joseph Smith. The evidence of this Restoration is found in the Book of Mormon, which you can read, ponder, and pray about.

    This is the URL of that:
    http://www.mormon.org/mormonorg/eng/basic-beliefs/the-restoration-of-truth/the-restoration-of-truth

    This is what I understand from these paragraphs. First, that Jesus lived a sinless life. That He was rejected by the general population. That He was the head of the church. That He died. People drifted away, so “God withdrew His authority to direct the Church that Christ had established.”
    That sentence makes no sense. Who is “His”? If it means God withdrew His own authority (as the sentence structure suggests) then God withdrew Himself from authority? If it means God withdrew JESUS’ authority, then Jesus is no longer Head of the church. If He still had authority, He would still be Head, and if He no longer had authority, He would NOT be the Head. I don’t understand how else this can be interpreted. FROM MY UNDERSTANDING… if God withdrew Jesus’ authority, it would be like taking power away from a King– what happens to that King? He is no longer King!

    “He has again established the gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth through a prophet.”

    AGAIN? So Jesus is only just another prophet, or Joseph Smith is equal to Jesus? FROM MY UNDERSTANDING of the sentence, it has to be saying either/or. That doesn’t make sense either.

    Catz

  34. geoff456 said,

    May 19, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    Catz,

    It was me, Geoff, that said the above.

    You said:
    “First, that Jesus lived a sinless life.” ME: true.
    That He was rejected by the general population.” ME:true
    That He was the head of the church.” ME:true
    That He died.” ME: true
    People drifted away, so “God withdrew His authority to direct the Church that Christ had established.” ME: TRUE. The authority died out as the Apostles were killed off. The Priesthood authority was lost and NOT RESTORED (until Joseph Smith, as an instrument in God’s hands, was the first to again receive the Priesthood and the right to preside, or “direct” the Church.) Joseph did this under the direct authority of Jesus Christ. God withdrew His Prophets because the people rejected them…. And when there are NO Prophets on the earth, there is no priesthood authority. The Priesthood is the “way” God’s kingdom on earth is directed. No one can take the authority upon himself. He must be ordained of God.

    This was not the first time that Priesthood authority was restored to the earth. For example, God gave Moses priesthood authority and he “restored” the Gospel to the Israelites who had lost it. Every time the priesthood authority is re-introduced to the earth it is called a “Dispensation”. So far there have been 7 recorded dispensations.

    So, you see, Heavenly Father did not take away the Savior’s authority.(We worship and adore our Savior, we do not equate Joseph Smith with the Savior.) Heavenly Father withdrew the authority for people on earth to act in His (meaning God) name ON THE EARTH, by not sending more prophets. Jesus Christ retains His authority forever and ever.

    and finally you said:

    “He has again established the gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth through a prophet.”

    ME: YES!!! The Gospel of Jesus Christ has existed from the foundation of the world when He agreed to become the Savior of the world. His Gospel has been on the earth numerous times! He is called Jehovah in the Old Testament. The whole Bible is based on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is a prophet AND King…not just “another” Prophet. I would say that members of our Church love and reverence the Savior as much or more than ANY people on the earth! You would not be correct to think that WE THINK of Him as something less.
    The Priesthood authority if of utmost importance. Without it there is no authority for ordinances (baptism, gift of the Holy Ghost), no one authorized to receive revelations for the Church and no Church organization.
    When Joseph was in the grove of trees he was told that the religions of the day “draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”
    This means that the people no longer thought that priesthood power (the power and authority to act in God’s name) was important. That is still true with the Christian denominations today. They deny the power of the priesthood.
    Now, I mean no offense by any of this. Perhaps there has been some “offense taking” with your family. I know there has been with mine. When I asked my mom to quit saying the Lord’s name in vain in front of my children, she became furious with me. (My children did not like to be around her because she has quite a salty tongue. ) She accused me of being self-righteous and on and on.
    If you truly want to understand your daughter in law and her beliefs (and it sounds like your son is converted, too) then you must keep an open mind. If your motivation is to convert them to your brand of Christianity by pointing out how wrong they are, you will be very frustrated. I feel like life is too short to be out of sorts with family! A dear friend of mine dropped dead recently and it really reinforced my motto of “live and let live”! I wouldn’t want to waste a single minute with my family being contentious!

    The missionaries really could help you understand our beliefs. But, then again, you must examine your heart and discover YOUR motivation. You don’t want to be cut off from them, and if there is contention, that is a likely outcome.

    good luck,
    Geoff

  35. catzgalore said,

    May 19, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    I do not wish to “convert” anyone. I want them to know my precious Jesus. I want them to have a personal, wonderful relationship with the Lord.
    My mother in law was asking questions, but they weren’t answering. She wanted to ask them questions about a program she had seen, and wanted to know if it lined up with what their church taught… but they wouldn’t listen to what the program said!

    We’re not contentous, we do fine with them. We have a wonderful time with their family.I think what bothers me most is that they would never honestly ask ME questions; they don’t want to know what I believe. They are only interested in talking about what THEY believe. So we don’t.

    And I don’t drink, swear, wear tank tops, am pro life and I voted for Prop 8.
    I still don’t believe LDS doctrine. I do believe I know better where you are coming from. So thank you. I asked my son and daughter in law the same questions. Will see what they say.
    An LDS friend of mine told me it was a shame I was such a strong Christian; I would make a good Mormon. I’ll take that as a compliment.
    So live and let live.
    And there’s no such thing as luck. 🙂

  36. osbornekristen said,

    May 19, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    Geoff,

    Actually, my motivation for wanting to learn more about Mormonism is due to the fact that my mother-in-law is a Mormon and my husband grew up as a Mormon. We have children who are often invited to attend church activities with their grandmother. I also have close friends that I love dearly who are LDS. I am not trying to poke fun or just argue. And, trust me……I am not searching because I am considering conversion…I have already walked that road. Many years ago, out of love and deep concern for my Mormon friends, I said that I would not simply believe that the Book of Mormon/LDS Church was not true until I studied, prayed and researched for myself. I did just that…….and I assure you that my study has not just been to “blog” or converse with ex-Mormons. I have spoken with MANY missionaries in my home. I have listened to ministering teachers from my husband’s former ward. I have visited the Mormon Church and attended some activities. I have read my husband’s old scriptures. I have read books by apostles and prophets. I have read articles in the Ensign, scoured official LDS websites. I with have gathered facts from my husband and spoken with my mother-in-law (who has asked my husband and I NEVER to discuss Mormonism with her…ever….not because we made fun of her, belittled her or were confrontational. Basically, the questions we asked and the doctrinal questions we brought up she felt were not “faith promoting.” When we asked questions, quoting from Mormon doctrine, she often said, “That is not true or I don’t believe that!” but never offered to give an explanation and refused to look at our sources….and yes, we were speaking in love.)

    I love her and Mormon people. I think they are some of the most moral, kind, loving people I have ever met. But, I believe that they have been deceived. I have NEVER, ever, condemned them or assumed to know their eternal destiny. I want to understand what they believe so I can have a Biblical response ready should there be an opportunity. I also want to be able to field my children’s questions someday. So, if I don’t understand Mormon doctrine, how can I understand what they are talking about to prepare a Biblical response? It IS helpful to read information written by an ex-Mormon because she can give an informed response.…….but the majority of information I have gained by reading this blog has been from practicing Mormons, like yourself, who post what they believe is truth. Should I not believe what they are saying either?

    Trust me… I wanted nothing more to discover that the LDS church was just another Christian denomination. That is what I really what I set out to prove. My basis for believing Mormonism to be false is based on the simple fact that LDS beliefs go against the Word of God…..the Bible. I know you disagree with me, but I am confident that you simply cannot believe that the Bible is true and believe the doctrine of the LDS church.

    “to the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”—Isaiah 8:20

    I could list a million reasons LDS doctrine contradicts the Bible, but until the Holy Spirit allows you to see the truth, you will find some Mormon scholar’s creative reasoning or quote a Prophet’s new revelation to back up your ideas. My question is have you actually researched what your church believes or have you just prayed for a “burning” sense of truth? Have you read about controversial doctrine issues from all angles and scholarly sources? Have you been open to both sides? I have.

    You quoted in your post, “She has heard people like Osborne who will try (with false information) to malign her church and her leaders.” What false information do I use? In my post, I quoted your own Prophets. What is “false” that I have said? I don’t understand. You certainly cannot be speaking of the doctrine changes that I quoted because I read those words in black and white in LDS doctrine for myself. It seems that Mormons often claim that Christians have false information about them…..when the information upsets them or proves an error. You say to ask Mormons for information……but it seems that when you hit them with tough questions or quotes they don’t have an explanation for……they claim your information to be false. Also, you speak as though Mormons never criticize or scoff at mainstream Christian beliefs….of course they do. Family members have gossiped and spoken badly of our church because we believe in the Trinity and have a paid pastor. I have heard family mention the Word of Wisdom as we drink sweet tea while they sip on a caffeinated soda. I have set in a Mormon pew and have been told not to take sacrament because I was not a worthy Mormon while my church offers it to all confessing believers of Christ.

    You said someday I will regret NOT knowing. As a child of the King, whose name is written in the Book of life, who is saved by grace and loves the Lord with all her heart, and lives to please Him, I can boldly say that I DO know enough about Mormon doctrine to say that I will NEVER regret not accepting it as truth or God’s word. I know I will spend eternity will the Lord (actually with Him in all fullness of Heavenly glory, not in a lesser paradise, which I believe does not exist by the way). I sincerely hope I’ll meet you there.

    Oh, and the whole salvation terminology issue that I said was confusing….. that is not false by the way. I got this from lds.org (that is an official church site….is it not?) Isn’t this exactly what I said in reference to the salvation issue with my m-in-l? Is this site giving false info too? How would this not be completely confusing to a Christian?..…and there are five more definitions for salvation also given. It seems confusing even for a Mormon.
    This is what they had to say about the word salvation:

    “Salvation
    “In the doctrine of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the terms “saved” and “salvation” has various meanings. As used in Romans 10:9–10, the words “saved” and “salvation” signify a covenant relationship with Jesus Christ. Through this covenant relationship, followers of Christ are assured salvation from the eternal consequences of sin if they are obedient. “Salvation” and “saved” are also used in the scriptures in other contexts with several different meanings. “
    Additional Information
    If someone were to ask if another person had been saved, the answer would depend on the sense in which the word is used. The answer might be “Yes” or perhaps it might be “Yes, but with conditions.” The following explanations outline six different meanings of the word salvation.
    Salvation from Physical Death. All people eventually die. But through the Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, all people will be resurrected—saved from physical death. Paul testified, “As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:22). In this sense, everyone is saved, regardless of choices made during this life. This is a free gift from the Savior to all human beings. “

  37. geoff456 said,

    May 20, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Catz,

    “Good Luck” is just a kind remark. No offense meant. (I heard once that it’s source is “good lucifer”.)
    that is NOT how I intended it. Just a habit and a good will wish.

    ~Geoff

  38. geoff456 said,

    May 20, 2009 at 2:48 pm

    OsborneKristen,

    wow, sorry to open up a can of worms. I am not interested in volleying doctrine back and forth. It serves no purpose. I used to be a denominational Christian. I found it very empty and unsatisifying to my soul. I searched and tried out different denoms (Nazerene, Methodist, Presbyterian and Catholic) before finding the LDS church. I have found the Bible to be FULL of evidence that the LDS doctrine is correct. I love truth and that love of truth led me to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

    Truth is not relative, but the perception of truth, sadly, is.
    So, I wish you well in your endeavors.
    I always thought it was interesting that “our” church has a back up plan for people who missed out on hearing the Gospel in this life…and denominational Christians say they are damned to hell. This is probably why your mother in law doesn’t want to discuss the Gospel. I just tell my family that I will outlive them all and do their temple work after they are dead!
    Of course that drives some of them crazy!! But I have to have a little fun with them!
    ~Geoff

  39. osbornekristen said,

    May 20, 2009 at 9:31 pm

    Geoff,
    I appreciate you being more kind to me in your last post. I don’t wish to debate with you either. However, I must say that it proves my point that Mormons often accuse us (Christians) of giving false info about them….but refuse to explain what exactly that we said that was untrue. You made a pretty harsh accusation that I was “trying (with false information) to malign [Mormon] church and leaders. But, then you deny me the understanding of what I said that was so wrong. This seems to be the normal LDS reaction and I just don’t understand why…except that they just don’t find it “faith promoting” to research and study their own doctrine. I think it would be faith promoting if they did.

    I’m sorry that you found Christianity to be “empty.” However, to Christians our hope and “satisfaction” is not found in a church or through a religious denomination….it is through a person….Jesus. An intimate, love-relationship with Christ is the only way to every “satisfy your soul.” Though church membership allows us to worship and be strengthened by a body of believers, our personal relationship with Christ is the only thing that can fulfill us.

    Actually, the Bible is pretty clear about there being no second chances. (Luke 16…. I realize this parable is perceived differently in Mormon thought. I’ve heard the reasoning from a real live missionary…..I just don’t agree :)) Christians did not come up the damnation to Hell thing……..God did. For the Christian there is no condemnation because Christ, the ONLY Perfect Priest, literally stands in our place. Seriously, when a Christians dies, Jesus says, “This one is one of mine…..case closed.” It sounds too good to be true……but it is true!

    Hebrews 7:24-28 “but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25Therefore he is able to save completely[c] those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. 26 Such a high priest meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. 28For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.”

    So, we don’t need to do temple work or have it done for us. Jesus intercedes for us…..completely. HE is the ONLY perfect priest in the order of Melchizedek……the only one who fits the requirements. It is ALL about HIM…….and not about us. We are here to worship and serve Him…..not because it will bring us glory in eternity but because we want to bring glory to Him now and forever.

    As for those who have never heard. The Bible says that even creation testifies to God’s glory. How could anyone see the marvels of His creation and not believe that there is a loving creator?

    Ps 19:1-4 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. 2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. 3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. 4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun.

    You don’t have to respond. Many blessings.

  40. geoff456 said,

    May 21, 2009 at 8:05 am

    O.K.,

    Sorry if you ever thought I was being “harsh”. That was not my intention, and of course sometimes that happens in print…when you cannot hear a voice, but instead attach your own interpretations. Make sense? anyway, what I should have said: Many people out there in the blogosphere will represent facts to be from an official source, and can even cite that source…but what they don’t tell you is that it is 1. out of context, 2. incomplete, 3. they have an agenda. So, don’t trust sources that aren’t PURE LDS….i.e. LDS.org.

    And as I have said before, unless you have a complete knowledge of the Gospel, you can be “shocked” when you hear something without knowing the background of it. For example, you just told me that God is the one who came up with “the damnation thing”. Yet you think that “Mormons” are hard on Christians because we think “they draw near to me with their lips yet their hearts are far from me……”, but THAT COMES STRAIGHT FROM JESUS CHRIST. It is NOT something LDS people talk about,like, you know: “Boy, those Christians sure draw near the Lord with their lips, but their hearts are far from Him”.
    So, what I guess I am saying, is LIVE AND LET LIVE!

    We both love the Lord and serve Him as best we can.

    thanks for listening,

    ~Geoff

  41. catzgalore said,

    May 21, 2009 at 8:35 am

    Kristen, you say it well. I was thinking, trying to figure out how best to respond. What I was going to say you said very well. It isn’t about denominations and who is right. It is about JESUS!!

    And I am praying that God would open the eyes and hearts of Geoff and Shema– They are reading this for a reason, and I pray that they would see JESUS.

  42. geoff456 said,

    May 21, 2009 at 10:52 am

    Catz,
    you said: ” It isn’t about denominations and who is right. It is about JESUS!!”

    YES!!!! Thank you!!!

    It is ALL about Jesus! And that is why we worship Him, consider ourselves Christians and our Church is named after His name, because it IS HIS CHURCH!!

    thanks for making that point!!

    ~GEOFF

  43. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    May 21, 2009 at 12:19 pm

    Geoff,

    You wrote: “Yet you think that “Mormons” are hard on Christians because we think “they draw near to me with their lips yet their hearts are far from me……”, but THAT COMES STRAIGHT FROM JESUS CHRIST. It is NOT something LDS people talk about, like, you know: “Boy, those Christians sure draw near the Lord with their lips, but their hearts are far from Him”.

    Actually, it was Joseph Smith who said it first; and his words stating this are considered official LDS scripture. I think that is why many LDS people apply these words to non-Mormon Christians, because they are following the example of their prophet Joseph Smith:

    My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)—and which I should join. 19 I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.” (Joseph Smith History)
    Link:

    In the footnotes to this LDS scripture it references Isaiah 29. Joseph Smith claimed this chapter was prophesying about Christianity in the 1800’s and referred to the coming forth of the Book of Mormon and the Mormon Church.

    Here are the passages in Isaiah 29:
    And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: 12 And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. 13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: 14 Therefore, behold, I will proceed to do a marvellous work among this people, even a marvellous work and a wonder: for the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall be hid.

    But, the truth is as you claimed; these words do come straight from Jesus’ mouth. His testimony disagrees with Joseph Smith’s and claims that Isaiah’s prophecy was referring to the Jews of His time:

    Ye hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying, 8 This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. 9 But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” (Matthew 15:7)

  44. geoff456 said,

    May 21, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    sorry, you lost me. Are you saying that since the church footnoted the Joseph Smith history with the scripture references it means that Joseph didn’t hear what he heard? (aside from the fact that you don’t believe in Joseph’s mission or message)

    And if I were to follow the reasoning you gave, then the scriptures are only for the Jews and do not apply to us today? wow, we would be in a world of hurt without them!

    I would consider scriptures a way the Lord can convey His message to all men in all times. And of course, the Book of Mormon says we should liken the scriptures to us.

    I guess I would say that I will stick with Joseph and the Church. It makes a lot more sense to me.

    thanks,
    ~Geoff

  45. catzgalore said,

    May 22, 2009 at 10:02 am

    Quote:
    Catz,
    you said: ” It isn’t about denominations and who is right. It is about JESUS!!”

    YES!!!! Thank you!!!

    It is ALL about Jesus! And that is why we worship Him, consider ourselves Christians and our Church is named after His name, because it IS HIS CHURCH!!

    thanks for making that point!!

    ~GEOFF

    Ah, Geoff, the point you understood is not the point I made. Let me say it more clearly.
    The truth about GOD cannot be found in ANY denomination. NOBODY HAS IT RIGHT. NOBODY has all the answers. You may think that YOUR church is the true one and that’s who you should follow; it isn’t. The true church is those who are Christ-followers; not church followers. We humans have this group and that group and they all claim that they are the TRUTH but only Jesus is the truth. I am not claiming to be a part of the “true [human] church”, I am claiming to be a part of the Church of the Redeemed. That church has no walls. Latterdaysaintwoman, even though I have never met her, is my sister! So is Kristen. We are members of the same church! We do not need a priesthood; we serve the Eternal Priest. We may have doctinal differences, but we all agree on one thing. Jesus, and Him crucified. Jesus paid the debt for our sins. So if you believe that Jesus died for YOUR sins and there is NOTHING you can do to save yourself, then you are a part of that Church of Jesus Christ; a SAINT called to delight in God and worship HIM forever. True SAINTS want no glory for themselves, here or in the hereafter. Soli Deo Gloria.

  46. geoff456 said,

    May 22, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    Catz,

    I get a chuckle out of people like you who think they “write” the book on who and who will not go to “heaven”. Why did Christ organize a Church if it is not important? Why did he have apostles, priests, bishops, deacons, elders, etc. if they were not important to speading the Gospel? Why did he “fulfill” all righteousness by being baptized by immersion? (by one, who incidentally held the priesthood, you know that priesthood that you don’t think needs to exist). Why does He give “commandments”? Why does He ask us to repent? Why did He speak to, about and for His “Father” if it is just his alter ego?(denominational teaching called “trinity” and why is the word trinity never mentioned in the bible?)
    Why did he speak of Judgement and good works if they mean nothing? Why do we “return” to Him when we die if we were NEVER there to begin with? (denominational Christianity teaching)

    My Church answers all these questions and more! It is the Church of Jesus Christ….just like He organized when He was upon the earth. His house is a house of order! There are ordinances necessary to our salvation and a Church and the priesthood are the vehicles for salvation!

    This is PRECISELY why I joined the LDS church. My pastor could NOT answer any of these questions. Poor guy, he was totally lost! he knew one refrain….come to think of it, it is the same one you sing!! 🙂

    I LOVE the Gospel of Jesus Christ!! There is POWER in the priesthood and there is POWER in our covenants, and denominational Christians STILL DENY THE POWER THEREOF!!!

    I do not wish to be offensive in any way! You have family members that are LDS and they undoubtedly feel as I do! They love the Gospel and are probably trying to live the Gospel the best they know how!
    The message of this is: Please don’t assume that LDS people have NO relationship with the Savior. It is a totally false assumption! And please don’t judge their heart, that job belongs to our Savior. HE is the one who will say who enters into the kingdom of Heaven.

    One Lord, One Faith, One Baptism

    ~Geoff

  47. catzgalore said,

    May 22, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    You “get a chuckle out of people like you (me)”. Glad to make you laugh. But I didn’t write the book GOD DID!!

    You say you do not wish to be offensive. Yet you say I am LOST… just like your old pastor, poor clueless, lost guy. I know that you love your version of the gospel. I know you are probably trying to live it the best you know how. I know you are trying to work your way to the highest celestial heaven. I know that you are writing here because you wish to convert people. You are undoubtedly very devoted. You have the best of intentions, you are living what you believe. I admire that in LDS. They certainly are, for the most part, moral, upstanding citizens.

    You said..

    “There is POWER in the priesthood and there is POWER in our covenants, and denominational Christians STILL DENY THE POWER THEREOF!!!”

    You are not judging?? Sounds like it to me. Sounds like you are upset that I didn’t just say, oh Geoff, I believe! I believe!! But according to you, I get a second chance, so don’t worry about me.

    Remember what I said–

    “if you believe that Jesus died for YOUR sins and there is NOTHING you can do to save yourself, then you are a part of that Church of Jesus Christ; a SAINT called to delight in God and worship HIM forever.”

    Is that what is in your heart? It could be. I cannot see into your heart. Only God can. As you say, that job belongs to our Savior. HE is the one who will say who enters into the kingdom of Heaven. I hope to see you there.

    I know LDS that are wonderfully kind, compassionate, loving people; they do not speak to me harshly and make fun of me and then say they do not wish to be offensive. People generally get offensve when things are not going their way.

    I wish to glorify the Lord. I have been baptized; I take communion. I fellowship with believers. I even work at a church! But that’s not what makes me a Christian. I do not trust my “denomination” to be my leader. It is JESUS who paid the price for MY SINS… THAT is why I am a Christian; for that I thank HIM.. and not any human church.

  48. geoff456 said,

    May 23, 2009 at 7:42 am

    Sorry, I truly did not mean to be offensive. Just honest. I am not criticizing YOU or your beliefs. I was totally referring to the things you said to me. I never said you were lost, I was referring to my old pastor who couldn’t answer a single question for me…..duh! it is his job! He should have been able to answer EVERY question.
    I have been where YOU are. I have been a Christian. Now I am LDS. There is a huge difference. I find that in general, Christians think I am going to hell because I don’t believe like they do. I find that amusing, sorry. “They” assume that because I don’t pick out a few Bible passages and hang my hat on them that I don’t believe in the Bible. LDS people believe in the Bible. We honor the words of the ancient Prophets….so much so that we understand the need for a prophet today and honor our current prophet as well.
    I am not “working” my way to heaven. I am trying to keep the commandments because my Savior said so. I am trying to be obedient because my Savior said so.
    I am not trying to convert you…far from it. The Spirit converts, not man.

    And how is saying you “deny the power of the priesthood” offensive? Is that not a fact? Do you believe in the priesthood? Do you believe in covenants and ordinances of the Gospel? Last I checked, “Christians” do not.
    It was simply a fact. Like saying you like butter, I like margerine. There was no offense intended in the least.

    I, too, am sure that you are a wonderful person, devoted to the Lord and your family. I thought you were on this blog to find out more about the LDS church…to understand your family members better. I WAS trying to help. But sorry to say, it has been difficult.
    you said, “People generally get offensve when things are not going their way.”
    And that was so funny to me because I was thinking the same thing!
    You see, we are alot alike and would probably be friends…..that is if we could talk honestly with each other and not take offense.

    ~Geoff

  49. catzgalore said,

    May 25, 2009 at 8:46 am

    The thing is, if I do not accept Joseph Smith as a prophet, then I have no basis for a restored priesthood. If I don’t read it in your scriptures, I can’t understand what the LDS priesthood is about!

    from the LDS site–

    Through the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood, Church leaders guide the Church and direct the preaching of the gospel throughout the world. In the ordinances of the Melchizedek Priesthood, “the power of godliness is manifest” (D&C 84:20). This greater priesthood was given to Adam and has been on the earth whenever the Lord has revealed His gospel. It was taken from the earth during the Great Apostasy, but it was restored in 1829, when the Apostles Peter, James, and John conferred it upon Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery.

    (Melchizedek is only mentioned a few times in the Bible–
    and from what I’ve found, there is nowhere it says that EVERYBODY is a priest after the order of Melchizedek–Worthy MALES anyway–JESUS is called a Priest Forever after the order of Melchizedek– )

    Here’s a link to the scriptures about Melchizedek–

    http://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?quicksearch=melchizedek&qs_version=50

    Or use your own BIBLE– not the Book of Mormon– and see them for yourself. Look at it from MY point of view– the Bible only– and you will see why I don’t accept the LDS priesthood.

    And the Aaronic priesthood– in your church given to worthy males as young as 12–
    God gave Aaron and his sons the priesthood, but according to the law only his descendants could be in the priesthood! Can you prove that you are descendants of Aaron? What they did was kill animals for sacrifice! Do your Aaronic priests do that?? (I was reading in Exodus 28, where the priesthood was given.)

    This has been good for me, I’m learning what the Bible says about the priesthood! It doesn’t seem to be anything like the LDS priesthood. And “restored” means brought back the same, doesn’t it? When you “restore” your teeth to their original brightness, they are still your teeth.(of course I am laughing at that analogy, but it’s all I could think of– kind of like the butter and margarine comment)
    How is saying “deny the power of the priesthood” offensive? Because you are denying my Lord Jesus the power of the priesthood! You are putting yourselves on the same level as Jesus!!

    Old Testament priests provided a way to God. Jesus fulfilled the law– HE provided the way to God. So yes I believe in the power of the priesthood, JESUS’ priesthood. not the LDS priesthood. It is offensive because yet again YOU are RIGHT and I am WRONG. And, LOL, (tease coming) I DO prefer butter. Margarine is yukky. 🙂

  50. geoff456 said,

    May 25, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    catz,
    Of course I can see it from your point of view….I used to be a denominational Christian. (I use that term to keep denom. Christians and Mormon Christians separate…no offense intended)

    If you have an LDS bible, look up in the topical guide how many times the word “power” is used. It is amazing. God has given power to man, the power to act in His name! All of the ordinances of the ancient tabernacle or “temple” (including sacrifice….the Lord came to fulfill the LAW, His priesthood was still necessary for the ordinances on earth, i.e. baptism) are performed with the power of the Lord…or the “priesthood”.
    Repentance gives us POWER over sin. Covenants give us POWER over temptation. Prayer gives us POWER. All of these “powers” are very real. The “priesthood” is the official power, kind of like the “energy” that runs the universe, needed to bless the people on earth.It is the way the world was created. Jesus is a High Priest after the ORDER of Melchizedek. An order is a group, i.e. an order of monks. The scriptures say that Jesus is a High Priest forever, but it never says he is the ONLY High Priest. As a matter of fact there are several places in the Bible that talk about other priests.
    This is why Jesus went to John the Baptist to be baptized; John had the priesthood authority to baptize. ( the children of Israel were a mess and needed the law of Moses for a “schoolmaster”. The tribe assigned the priesthood duties was the tribe of Levi…hence the “Levitical priesthood”. Aaron (and Moses his brother) were of the tribe of Levi and performed their priestly duties….hence the “Aaronic priesthood”. The tribe of Levi had that assignment, but it doesn’t say that ONLY the Levites could hold the priesthood, only that ALL LEVITE males had the “right” to hold the priesthood…..and yes, if a person can prove direct lineage he will be ordained to a Bishop, the president of the Aaronic priesthood. Jesus was a Jew, from the tribe of Judah.
    To say that I am “denying the Lord Jesus the power of the priesthood” is just wrong. NO WHERE did I say that.
    I would suggest a “reading comprehension” refresher course, except you would probably take offense at that!
    The bottom line is this:

    You don’t want to understand.

    And believe me, I get it! After 30 years of answering questions and TRYING to explain things to my family, I get it. Well, I don’t “get it”, but I have seen it happen so much that I am not surprised by it anymore.

    There WILL come a day when you will remember these conversations VIVIDLY. And you will cringe that you had the chance to listen and learn….but instead you made fun, belittled and ignored.
    But, hey, no skin off my nose for trying!

    And actualy, I like butter better, too. Good bye.

    ~Geoff

  51. catzgalore said,

    May 25, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    I asked you to look in the BIBLE. You told me to look in the Book of Mormon.
    Yet you say I am the one not listening.

    You tell me to take a reading comprehension refresher course.
    Yet you say I am the one belittling.

    You follow your scriptures. I will follow the Author and Finisher of my faith.
    God alone knows what will happen.

  52. osbornekristen said,

    May 25, 2009 at 9:43 pm

    I have to agree with Catz that the Mormon “priesthood” has some serious Biblical doctrinal errors. The “priesthood” of the Mormon Church has been created by men. It is not the same “priesthood” described in the Bible……it is not a “restored priesthood” but a completely new one….an unnecessary one….an unbiblical one.

    In fact, though John the Baptist had every lineal right to be a priest…..(He was of priestly descent. His father, Zacharias, was a priest of the course of Abia (1 Chr. 24:10), and his mother, Elisabeth, was of the daughters of Aaron (Luke 1:5).) The mission of John was to prophecy the coming Messiah. (Matt. 3:3; Isa. 40:3; Mal. 3:1). The Bible tells of him being a Nazarite. (Luke 1:15; Num. 6:1-12). This vow was voluntary and could be made by any true Israelite. (Num. 6:2). The one making the vow was not to drink wine and strong drink or alcoholic beverage, or the fruit of the vine. The Nazarite was not to cut his hair during the period of his vow. At the end of the period of the vow, the Nazarite was to shave his head at the door of the Tabernacle and burn the hair as peace offering. (Num. 6:18) He was not to touch the dead. While he did baptize new believers (which was not a priest’s duty), the Bible does not mention Him doing duties of a Levitacal/Aaronic priest.

    The biblical priest was a man who represented the people before God. And so, under the Old Covenant, the priests served as mediators between men and God. They interceded for their fellow-men and offered sacrifices on their behalf. The tribe of Levi was set apart by God to be the sole priestly line. Because the Lord Jesus came from the tribe of Judah, He didn’t qualify to hold the Levitical priesthood.
    Hebrews 7:11 ”If perfection could have been attained through the Levitical priesthood (for on the basis of it the law was given to the people), why was there still need for another priest to come—one in the order of Melchizedek, not in the order of Aaron?”

    If God decreed that Christ Himself didn’t qualify for the Levitical/Aaronic priesthood because he had the wrong lineage, then what makes Mormons believe that they’re entitled to qualify? Their excuse that they are the “spiritual” Israel doesn’t hold water, because if anyone could have qualified on those grounds, surely it would have been the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

    My husband received the Aaronic priesthood and he is not Jewish…….he is American Indian and English. And science has proven, American Indians have NO link to Jewish ancestry. Today, with DNA research, the familial relationship and common ancestry, traced to a single individual, of today’s Aaronic priests can be confirmed. Just because someone gives you a “blessing” and lays hands on you and tells you what Jewish “tribe” you have been adopted into does not qualify you for the priesthood mentioned in the Bible. Geoff mentioned that Bishops are always lineal Jews…..I would like to see the DNA samples because I’m pretty sure the Bishops I know do NOT have the lineage needed as it is taught in the Bible.

    When John the Baptist “restored” the priesthood to Smith, he must have decided that he wanted a less complicated way to bestow it because the LDS version is VERY different from the Bible’s version:
    Leviticus 8:6-13 describes the procedure. : “6 Then Moses brought Aaron and his sons forward and washed them with water. 7 He put the tunic on Aaron, tied the sash around him, clothed him with the robe and put the ephod on him. He also tied the ephod to him by its skillfully woven waistband; so it was fastened on him. 8 He placed the breastpiece on him and put the Urim and Thummim in the breastpiece. 9 Then he placed the turban on Aaron’s head and set the gold plate, the sacred diadem, on the front of it, as the LORD commanded Moses. 10 Then Moses took the anointing oil and anointed the tabernacle and everything in it, and so consecrated them. 11 He sprinkled some of the oil on the altar seven times, anointing the altar and all its utensils and the basin with its stand, to consecrate them. 12 He poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron’s head and anointed him to consecrate him. 13 Then he brought Aaron’s sons forward, put tunics on them, tied sashes around them and put headbands on them, as the LORD commanded Moses.”

    My hubby said that this was not the way the Aaronic Priesthood was confirmed on him. If John the Baptist “restored the Aaronic priesthood,”…….he must have forgotten to mention a few things to Smith.

    By “restoring” the temple and its Levitical/Aaronic priesthood, laws and ordinances, the LDS church has taken Mormons back into the Old Covenant of Law. If the LDS version of the priesthood bears no resemblance whatsoever to that of the Bible, how Joseph Smith could ever have imagined that these things were being “restored” is beyond a thinking person’s comprehension. Nevertheless, the restoration of Old Covenant practices and of reverting to earning one’s right to salvation amounts to the same thing as trampling underfoot the blood of Christ that ratified the New Covenant of forgiveness of sins by grace through faith alone.

    However, The Melchizedek Priesthood is probably one of the BIGGEST red flags that Joseph Smith was a deceiver. As I studied Mormon doctrine…….the Melchizedek Priesthood being given to humans (men I should say), REALLY shocked me!

    The name Melchizedek has its root in two Hebrew words, “melek” – meaning “King” and “tzedek” (see tzadik) – meaning “righteous(ness)” Literally then, “The King of Righteousness” or “The Righteous King”.

    There is one “Righteous King”……..King Jesus. Catz is absolutely right! By bestowing the Melchizedek Priesthood to mere men……LDS are attempting to make themselves equal to Christ or “Righteous Kings.” Jesus is God in essence…..he is not our literal brother or the holiest of God’s many offspring.
    John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” HE IS GOD in the FLESH! John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” Sure, we strive to be like Him….but being a “righteous King” is something we can NEVER be! There is one King! When we accept Christ we are like adopted Princes and Princesses not Kings. My son has a sign in his nursery that says, “Prince…Son of a Heavenly King” Our God reigns forever……we will NEVER, EVER be a King…..and the only righteousness we have is in Christ alone.

    Melchizdek is mentioned in Genesis 14:18-20 “Then Melchizedek king of Salem [d] brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, 19 and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High,
    Creator [e] of heaven and earth. 20 And blessed be [f] God Most High,
    who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.”

    Though we can’t be sure….the fact the Abram gave him 10% of his riches ,as a tithe, makes many biblical scholars believe that this was in fact the Lord Jesus himself. I read on lds.org that “Between the time of Moses and the coming of Jesus Christ, several prophets held the Melchizedek Priesthood. Some of these prophets were Elijah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lehi, Daniel, and Ezekiel.” Please give me some BIBLICAL EVIDENCE….not Mormon doctrine….lds.org gave No rscripture references at all.

    Besides the fact that believing you hold the Melchizedek Priesthood is in my opinion blasphemy, (because essentially, you are claiming to have righteousness and power equal to Christ) men cannot hold it because they don’t meet the Biblical requirements. Let’s look at the requirements:

    Hebrews 7: 13-17 He of whom these things are said belonged to a different tribe, and no one from that tribe has ever served at the altar. 14For it is clear that our Lord descended from Judah, and in regard to that tribe Moses said nothing about priests. 15And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, 16one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. 17For it is declared:
    “You are a priest forever,
    in the order of Melchizedek.”

    So first, how can one hold the Aaronic Priesthood and the Melchizedek Priesthood? These verses state that Christ couldn’t. It says that no one from this tribe has ever served at an alter…….isn’t that what LDS Aaronic Priestholders do…serve sacrament, etc? So, how can men receive both priesthoods and serve at an alter and then receive the Melchizedek one too? It is very clear that one cannot hold both priesthoods……it is impossible biblically speaking.

    These verses also claim that one must have an indestructible life. Joseph Smith sure didn’t! I don’t think he thought he did either or he would not have smuggled in a pistol to Carthage Jail and shot 3 people trying to “defend himself.” Christ qualified in this regard as the grave couldn’t hold Him, and He arose out of it in bodily form!

    Hebrews 7: 18The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19(for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God. 20And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, 21but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him:
    “The Lord has sworn
    and will not change his mind:
    ‘You are a priest forever.’ “[b] 22Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantee of a better covenant.

    These verses even say that the Levitical/Aaronic Priesthood is “weak and useless” and that “Jesus became the guarantee of a better covenant!” This covenant is GRACE! If the Bible says the old regulation, which was having Levitical priests offer sacrifices to remove sin debt……then why do we need them today? The answer is……..we don’t!

    Hebrews 7: 23Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25Therefore he is able to save completely[c] those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. 26Such a high priest meets our need—one who is holy, blameless, pure, set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens. 27Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. 28For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak; but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.

    First, these verses tell us that Christ is able to save completely!! It also says that such a high priest is “holy, blameless, pure and set apart from sinners, exalted above the heavens.” By claiming to hold the Melchizedek Priesthood, LDS absolutely ARE claiming to BE these things. Do you see how it takes the glory away from Christ and places glory on men? It can’t be “All about Jesus” when you, yourself, want to exalted like Him as well. You do realize that this is what the Bible, not the D&C, says that Satan did to be cast out of Heaven?

    Isaiah 12:15 “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! 13For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: 14I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. 15Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”

    The Melchizedek priesthood was never practiced by the Jews, even although they were God’s chosen people. Nor was it ever given to ordinary people at all. I, like Catz, urge LDS members to study the Bible for themselves. Don’t get the words of your prophets mixed up with true the Word of God. Just because men claim to have all the answers doesn’t mean they do! Trust the Word of God not the words of man!

    PS.—Trust us Geoff…..we will not be sorry. In death, we will be with our Righteous King…..the ONLY PERFECT HIGH Priest….worshiping Him and living in His kingdom! There will be no need to be sorry for not believing in the LDS priesthood. The only person I believe who will be truly sorry for the priesthood thing is Smith himself….I’m sure he is VERY, VERY sorry. Please read what the Bible has to say and don’t confuse its truth with the contrived word of mere men.

  53. geoff456 said,

    May 25, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    read again…..I said the LDS version (king james) BIBLE!

  54. osbornekristen said,

    May 26, 2009 at 2:36 pm

    Geoff,
    I do not only use the KJV. Why?……because it is no more accurate than the NIV or the New American Standard Version.

    Actually, I read and studied all of the verses I posted about the priesthood in KJV, NIV and NL versions. Because the bible is how we come to know God intimately and personally…..we must be able to understand what we read! God speaks to us most often through His word….the Bible. Unless, you speak Old Shakespearean English…….then the KJ version is very hard to understand. I have a degree in English Literature (with an emphasis in the British language)……but, even I still cannot always makes sense of the KJ version. The King James Version, has been a standard for centuries and is loved and revered around the world. But language has changed a lot since 1611, words often don’t mean the same thing today. The KJV is a literary masterpiece but it’s tough to read. It’s also a little less accurate than modern translations which have the benefit of many recent archaeological and manuscript discoveries, like the Dead Sea Scrolls.

    Many folks mistakenly think that the KJ version is the most accurate because they assume it is the oldest, English version. However, if you are looking for the oldest, most popular version to hit the American continent……you need to read the Geneva Bible. The Geneva Bible was the most widely read and influential English Bible of the l6th and 17th centuries, which was printed from 1560 to 1644 in over 200 different printings. As a product of superior translation by the best Protestant scholars of its day, it became the Bible of choice for many of the greatest writers, thinkers and historical figures of its day. The Geneva Bible was even brought with the Pilgrims when they set sail on the Mayflower and was the generally accepted text among the Puritans.

    The key feature of the Geneva Bible that distinguished it from all other Bibles of its time and made it so popular were the extensive marginal notes that were included to explain and interpret the scriptures for the common people. In addition to being the reason for its popularity, the marginal notes of the Geneva Bible were also the reason for its demise. These strongly Protestant notes so infuriated King James that he considered it “seditious” and made its ownership a felony. James I was particularly worried about marginal notes such as the one in Exod 1: 19, which allowed disobedience to Kings. Consequently, King James eventually introduced the King James Version, which drew largely from the Geneva Bible (minus the marginal notes that had enraged him). During the reign of James I and into the reign of Charles I the use of the Geneva Bible steadily declined as the Authorized King James version became more widely used. In 1644 the Geneva Bible was printed for the last time.

    So you see, the KJ version was simply commissioned by King James (a mere man) who wanted a version that he felt was “safer” for his crown. Of course it rose in popularity because it was the only version authorized and allowed by the King.

    Due to new discoveries of older texts and for the simple fact that most folks cannot easily understand the KJV, other versions have been created. The King James Version was translated from Erasmus’ printed Greek New Testament which made use of only five Greek manuscripts the oldest of which dated to the 1,100 A.D. These manuscripts were examples of the Byzantine text-type.

    A.The New American Standard Version and the New International Version rely more heavily on the Alexandrian text-type while making use of all 5,664 Greek manuscripts. The reasons that the NASV and NIV find the Alexandrian text-type more reliable are the following:
    1.This text-type uses manuscripts date from 175-350 A.D. which includes most of the papyri, Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus.
    2.The church fathers from 97-350 A.D. used this text-type when they quoted the New Testament.
    3.The early translations of the New Testament used the Alexandrian text-type.
    B.The King James Version was translated from Erasmus’ printed Greek New Testament which made use of only five Greek manuscripts the oldest of which dated to the 1,100 A.D. These manuscripts were examples of the Byzantine text-type.

    So you see, the NIV version uses older documents (leaving less time for translation error) and makes use of thousands more manuscripts (giving more information and details).

    The Living Bible and versions like the Message are not really meant for word for word study. They are very simple to understand and are helpful to look to when trying to decipher other, more accurate….literal texts.

    I am not saying the KJ is worthless. It is beautifully written for an audience in 1611 who wrote and spoke in that same tongue. To truly understand scripture for yourself, it is important to read several translations so you can have the best understanding of the heart of God. The Bible is God’s love letter to us. If we can’t understand what he is saying, we won’t understand Him and his truths. If your own father spoke to you in Old English……wouldn’t you ask him to repeat what he said in American English so that you could understand?

    Just because the General Authorities direct you to only read the KJV doesn’t mean that is what God wants. He wants you to know Him and to study His word for yourself. I think Mormons often rely on their prophets and apostles for truth because they can’t understand what the KJV is saying. God wants you to know Him and His Word…..the Bible…and not just accept every revelation or interpretation of scripture given by LDS authorities.

    Don’t put your hope in the words of mere men…….let God show you truth in His Word.

  55. geoff456 said,

    May 26, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    ko,

    you are hilarious.
    this has been an eye opener! To be so blatently misquoted is amazing!( the statement you attributed to me is 100% different from what I wrote.) 🙂

    YOU also need a refresher course in reading comprehension AND a refresher course in Old Testament History. JEWS are not the only members of the House of Israel. They are just ONE tribe out of 12. Your bible references do not support your conclusions. period.

    I personally do not care what you believe. have a great life…..learn to read! its fun! ( and learn to properly quote people. )

    Look for me in the Spirit World (Heaven)….I will be the one standing with the Prophet Joseph Smith waving at you!! LOL
    ~geoff

  56. catzgalore said,

    May 26, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    I need one of those embarrassed emoticons. LOL
    You didn’t capitalize Bible and I didn’t recognize it? um. sorry.
    I also assumed that you meant Book of Mormon because I didn’t know that there was an LDS version of the Bible. My misunderstanding.
    I will look it up in the KING JAMES BIBLE (traditional version)

    Here’s some that caught my eye– I will have to read more in context– I LOVE reading about the power of the LORD!!

    God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect.
    2 Samuel 22:32-34

    Thine, O LORD is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all.
    1 Chronicles 29:10-12

    And said, O LORD God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? and rulest not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? and in thine hand is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand thee?
    2 Chronicles 20:5-7

    But if thou wilt go, do it; be strong for the battle: God shall make thee fall before the enemy: for God hath power to help, and to cast down.
    2 Chronicles 25:7-9

    The hand of our God is upon all them for good that seek him; but his power and his wrath is against all them that forsake him.
    Ezra 8:23

    Be thou exalted, LORD, in thine own strength: so will we sing and praise thy power.
    Psalm 21:12-13

    Maybe I need that refresher course, or maybe just new glasses. Or to be 40 years younger 🙂

  57. geoff456 said,

    May 26, 2009 at 8:09 pm

    ko,

    My wife says I need to apologize for being obnoxious….she thinks my weird sense of humor doesn’t transfer well through the written word. So…sorry if I sounded rude. It is NOT intended.

    Have you ever run these theories of yours past a REAL mormon? It would take me weeks to sort out the false teachings you espouse. Two things:

    1. Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is the CREATOR of this earth and probably many others. He is ALL powerful, He is ALL knowing and YOU SAY He can’t hold the Aaronic priesthood??? Sorry, YOU are wrong.

    2. IF you believe the Bible, (incidentally I don’t read the KJ Bible JUST because it is KJ….I read the LDS version because it is cross-referenced and has a wonderful topical guide and dictionary) then you MUST know that Noah is the ancestor of EVERY living person on earth…so HOW COME we have SO many different kinds of DNA?? Oh, the Bible must be mistaken??? NO, I think not.

    see ya

    ~Geoff

  58. geoff456 said,

    May 26, 2009 at 8:12 pm

    catz,

    The power of the Lord is a great thing.

    Don’t believe every thing you read about Mormons. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is simple, straight forward, it is not weird, bizarre or outlandish.

    Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. If you would look into his life and you would see.

    But, alas, there are none so blind as those who will not see.

    take care,
    ~Geoff

  59. osbornekristen said,

    May 26, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    I’m not sure how I misquoted you….when did I quote you? I just explained my reasoning for not believing in the priesthoods of the Mormon Church and my belief that the KJV is not the only correct version…or even the most correct. Again……you accuse but don’t explain…..another example of how Mormons accuse Christians of giving false info…but refusing an explanation.

    And, yes…..the scriptures I quoted do prove my points…..you just don’t want to accept that your Church’s doctrine is unbiblical.

    The Aaronic priesthood can only be held by Jews of the line of Aaron. For Christians…….that priesthood is over….it is unecessary…….it is useless. But, nevertheless…..you don’t have the right to hold it according to the Bible…even if you have been told that you belong to “The House of Israel.”

    lds.org says, “Patriarchal blessings are given to worthy members of the Church by ordained patriarchs. Patriarchal blessings include a declaration of a person’s lineage in the house of Israel and contain personal counsel from the Lord. As a person studies his or her patriarchal blessing and follows the counsel it contains, it will provide guidance, comfort, and protection.

    A patriarchal blessing includes a declaration of lineage, stating that the person is of the house of Israel—a descendant of Abraham, belonging to a specific tribe of Jacob. Many Latter-day Saints are of the tribe of Ephraim, the tribe given the primary responsibility to lead the latter-day work of the Lord. Because each of us has many bloodlines running in us, two members of the same family may be declared as being of different tribes in Israel.

    It does not matter if a person’s lineage in the house of Israel is through bloodlines or by adoption. Church members are counted as a descendant of Abraham and an heir to all the promises and blessings contained in the Abrahamic covenant (see Abrahamic Covenant). ”

    Geoff, I get that you believe this……..the blessing comes from a man…..not God. It is just words…again given by mere men not God. You are so mixed up in LDS doctrine that you can’t seperate the Bible from the words of your prophets.

    I don’t need to “learn to read” I have a Master’s Degree in it and actually teach it. But, I think you are clearly bothered by what I say……and I pray that is the Holy Spirit nudging you to study scripture outside of LDS teachings.

    You, my friend, need to read scripture for yourself instead of depending on false teachers to guide you.

    I do hope to meet you in Heaven……but I can say for certain that you won’t be with Joseph Smith……because unfortunately I don’t think he’ll be there. And, according to the Mormon idea of how one attains “Celestial Glory” how are you sure that you’ll make it to the “highest level anyway?”

    President Spencer Kimball said that only those who are living all the commandments” are guaranteed “total forgiveness of sins” and assured of “exaltation (The Miracle of Forgiveness, p.208).

    Apostle Bruce R. McConkie said “a man may be damned for a single sin” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary 3:257).

    D & C 88:22 says that only those who abide a celestial law can hope to achieve the celestial kingdom.

    D& C 25:15 says that unless a person keeps the commandments “continually,” he cannot go where God is.

    Spencer Kimball taught that “each command we obey sends us another rung up the ladder to perfected manhood and toward godhood; and every law disobeyed is a sliding toward the bottom where man merges into the brute world” (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p.153).

    Which “rung” are you on Geoff?

  60. geoff456 said,

    May 27, 2009 at 10:07 am

    KO,

    You misquoted me when you claimed I said that ONLY descendants of Aaron can be Bishops. I didn’t say that. I said that if someone IS a descendent of Aaron or the tribe of Levi he has the RIGHT to become a Bishop. Big difference.

    Can YOU say that all of the priesthood holders in the New Testament were of the tribe of Levi? No, because they were not. It was an assignment for the children of Israel. Assignments change.

    And to show that YOU do not understand the House of Israel, you said this:
    “The Aaronic priesthood can only be held by Jews of the line of Aaron.”

    Jews are of the tribe of Judah. Aaron was from the tribe of Levi. Your statement is equivalent to saying “The Aaronic priesthood can only be held by Mexicans of the line of the Japanese Emperor.” The two just don’t mix.

    Masters Degree or not, explaining things to you is like trying to explain rocket science to a 7 year old. If I were to go back to being a denominational Christian (absolutely the farthest thing from my mind), it would be the equivalent of a Christian becoming a Buddhist; forsaking my belief in Christ and the Restoration of His Gospel to the earth AS PROPHESIED.

    Oh and by the way, you yourself fulfill prophecy without even knowing it! Joseph was told that his name would be had for good and evil on the face of the WHOLE earth. Quite a prophecy for a backwoods farm boy! But, look! It has come to pass! I am 100% sure that Joseph will be standing at the right hand of his master, the Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Along with ALL the prophets. ( Including Adam who is SO often thrown under the bus by denoms.)

    Oh and as for which rung I am on??? The one above yours! 🙂

    ~Geoff

  61. catzgalore said,

    May 27, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    Did your wife read this thread, LOL?

  62. geoff456 said,

    May 28, 2009 at 8:26 am

    catz,

    Yes, as a life long member, she is less “zealous” in this department than I am. And she is usually right, so I am wise to listen.

    take care,
    Geoff

  63. shematwater said,

    June 9, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    CATZGALORE
    I know this comes a little late, but I have been giving this entire thread serious thought. I have tried to be polite and explain things so that you could understand them. However, I have come to realize that you do not want to understand them. From such statements as “I have researched Mormon beliefs for a long time, not as a seeker, but as a refuter,” and your refusal to read the entire Book of Mormon, it is obvious that you do not want to know LDS doctrine. What you want is to know only how to argue against it. This makes your arguments rather weak as you really don’t understand what you are arguing against. For this same reason you sound almost scared to actually know what the LDS doctrine is.
    To show you a few points in which you are completely wrong about LDS doctrine, I reference a few things you have said in this thread.
    You quoted Nephi and then said, “And now, the dark skinned people, who once were cursed, are now allowed.” I can only assume that you are talking about the ban that was on blacks concerning the Priesthood. You quoting from the Book of Mormon is out of place as these people were never banned from holding the Priesthood. The only curse on them was the changing of their skin color. The ban was put on descendents of Cain (and thus Ham as he married such a descendent). The Lamanites, though black, were still Israelites, descended from Shem, not Ham, and so had no such restriction on them.
    You also said “The reason that the church doesn’t encourage research into historical things not put out by the church is it is not “faith promoting” so guess what, they won’t listen.” This is a common, yet gross misrepresentation on what the church has said. The LDS church encourages all learning in all areas, including all historical events and facts. However, they do discourage the members from reading the works and literature of those whose only purpose is to destroy the church. Those who right objectively, covering all possible facts and theories and presenting them in an honest way are great sources of information. However, those who rely in half truths, lies, unsupported theories, or personal opinion are not worth reading or listening to. Example: Though I hate to bring it up, there are those who still claim that Brigham Young was the mastermind of a conspiracy that resulted in what is known as the “Mountain Meadows Massacre.” However, true history research and study has shown this to be false. For this reason, we ignore those who still claim it.
    Now I would like to say a few things about some misconceptions you have concerning the Priesthood as it is given in the Bible. A more detailed description can be found in my comment that I will shortly give in response to Osbornekristen, but I must say a few things here. You say that only Aaron and his descendants could hold the Priesthood. This is not true. Joshua 18: 7 states that the Priesthood is the inheritance of the Levites, which is why they were not given any land. Now, Hebrews 7: 11-12 says “If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.” Now that we have the higher law, the laws that restricted the Aaronic Priesthood to the tribe of Levi are no longer in force, as they needed to be changed to match with the new law. Thus, in this time, as well as in the time of the early Christian church, the Priesthood was made available to the worthy males.
    There is another point that I must make concerning other comments you gave. You stated that “It isn’t about denomination and who is right.” This could not be further from the truth. Christ is the center of our faith, but if we are wrong in even one part of his gospel we do not have what is needed to gain salvation. The question of “what is true” must be answered before salvation can even be hoped for. One denomination requires baptism and another doesn’t. Both cannot be true, and the one that isn’t teaches false doctrine, and is therefore rejected by Christ along with all those who follow after it. One teaches hierarchy priesthood, one does not. Therefore one is of God and one is not, and the one that is not of God is rejected of him along with all those who follow after it. Ephesians 4: 5 tells us that there is “One Lord, one faith, one baptism.” If there is one faith how can so many denominations teach different faiths and still be accepted of him.
    You also said “Nobody has it right.” This is a sad statement. This tells us that Christ has abandoned us to our own understanding. He has left us in the dark. As long as Christ is the head of the church, that church will have it right, because he has it right. If no church has it right than no church has Christ has its head and we are all rejected of him. How can a loving Father, or a loving Savior, let us live in this darkness? This is exactly the same thought that caused Joseph Smith to seek the Lord’s guidance and brought about the restoration. There has to be a true church, a church that has it right, or there can be no salvation for man.
    You also said “Because you are denying my Lord Jesus the power of the priesthood.” I understand that this would be insulting, but you are doing the same thing to my Lord. We believe in two different beings. Our faith is based in the same writings from ancient prophets, but our interpretation has brought forth different understandings of that writing to the point where we do believe in a different God. Only one of us can be right, and therefore only one of our Gods can have this priesthood.
    To my question concerning the books of scripture that we do not have, but know exist, you said “I would not reject the writings, I might read and learn from them, but I would not add them to the Bible, or create another gospel.” The question was a little more complicated in substance, and this answer confirms exactly what I thought. You would not accept them. If the first epistle that Paul wrote to the Corinthians was found and stated in plain terms the ordinance for the redemption of the Dead, and explained how it was done you would reject that doctrine because it does not fit with what you believe is in the Bible. If the visions of Iddo the seer were found and described a counsel of Gods in heaven you would reject this. If the Book of Gad the Seer was found and stated directly that men could become Gods you would reject it. You are not willing to change your doctrine (gospel), even if it was proven that the word of God taught differently. You would accept them as nice books, but not as scripture, even though they are mentioned as scripture in the Bible.
    I quote here from 2 Ne. 29: 3, 6, 10, which show the very attitude that you have shown in this statement. “And because my words shall hiss forth—many of the Gentiles shall say: A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible. • • • Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews? • • • Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written. ”
    LATTERDAYSAINTWOMAN
    Yes, the Lord did reference this quote from Isaiah. However, he did not reference the rest of the chapter. Please explain how this entire chapter was fulfilled by Christ. Who spoke out of the ground? When were the prophets and seers hid? What book was sealed, and who were the learned and unlearned that were asked to read it? Where was the darkness that was described?
    The chapter began to be fulfilled in times of Ezekiel (Ezekiel 33: 30-33). This state of honoring with the mouth, but not the heart has prevailed in men for thousands of years. So, Christ was right in saying that it applied to the Jews in his day, but it also applied to the Christians of the 1800’s, and still applies to them. However, the rest of what Isaiah prophesied in this was not fulfilled at that time.
    OSBONEKRISTEN
    While I will give a detailed response to your lectures on the Priesthood, I want to make only one comment right now. It is concerning the Book of Abraham. You said “The drawings he placed in the Book of Abraham are incorrect. Many aspects go against Egyptian customs and would never have been drawn.” I wish to point out the lack of any actual thought put into this statement. As the book was written by Abraham, who was Hebrew and not Egyptian, it wouldn’t have Egyptian customs. In fact it would go against those customs because the Gospel (which Abraham had) was opposed to the Egyptian customs. Abraham, as told in the Bible, spent some time in Egypt and was honored by the Pharaoh. He would have entered into religious discussions with him and others in the king’s court. Is it so impossible that he would have written and drawn various topics and stories for these men, whom he was friends with? And as they had a different style of artwork it would have been an honor to them for him to do so in their style. It does not surprise me that what Abraham taught was contrary to Egyptian custom, but it does surprise me that supposedly intelligent people can’t seem to understand this.

    I will post concerning the priesthood tomarrow

  64. catzgalore said,

    June 9, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    I can’t begin to answer all of what you say. Too much. But one thing you said–

    “You quoting from the Book of Mormon is out of place as these people were never banned from holding the Priesthood. The only curse on them was the changing of their skin color. ”

    I can see that in that passage, the skin change is the curse. BUT…

    “In June 1978 he announced a revelation from God that was to have a tremendous effect on missionary work worldwide. For many years the priesthood had been denied to persons of African descent, but now priesthood and temple blessings would be granted to all worthy male members.”

    it is from your own lds.org site(long link):
    http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=32c41b08f338c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=eff2c106dac20110VgnVCM100000176f620a____&hideNav=1

    which is truth, your statement or your church’s statement? How can both be true?

  65. shematwater said,

    June 10, 2009 at 11:19 am

    The church and I are in complete agreement. They state that it was denied to those of African decent (which is where Ham settled after the flood). The Book of Mormon speaks of those of Israelite decent, and so the curse in the Book of Mormon did not restrict people from the Priesthood. This is all I meant.
    What you said was basically correct, except you were putting the right curse with the wrong people.

  66. shematwater said,

    June 10, 2009 at 11:20 am

    Here is my discourse on the Priesthood in the Bible. I will not respond to anything else spoken of by KRISTEN as it seems like it will do little good.

    The Priesthood in Genesis
    In the book of Genesis the Priesthood is mentioned only once. This is in chapter 14: 18. Here it describes Melchizedek as “the priest of the most High God.” Even though this is the only time that the priesthood is directly mentioned, there are many places in Genesis that show evidence that it was had from the beginning and by multiple people.
    First we read in Genesis 4: 3-4 “And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof.” Could Abel or Cain offer sacrifices to the Lord if they did not hold the Priesthood? No, for the authority to offer a sacrifice has always been part of the priesthood, given to those who are part of that order. Thus we see that the children of Adam and Eve held the Priesthood.
    In Genesis 8: 20 we read “And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.” Again, without the Priesthood he would not have had the authority. The question then becomes, how did he get the Priesthood?
    Other accounts of men in Genesis offering sacrifices or building altars can be found as well. In 12: 7-8 we read Abraham built an altar to God. In 22 we read the story of Abraham sacrificing Isaac. In 26: 25 Isaac builds a Altar. In 28: 18 Jacob makes a pillar (or altar) and offers oil on it.
    Besides this we read concerning the Birthright. This was the right of the Firstborn to be the presiding head of the Family. It went first to the Eldest of the first wife, then to the Eldest of the second. For this reason Isaac received this birthright, and the renewing of the covenants made to Abraham (chapter 26). It was also dependant on the personal worthyness of the firstborn. For this reason it went to Jacob instead of Esau, for Esau treated it lightly and sold it to Jacob for pottage (25: 30-33, Hebrews 12: 16) Thus the birthright was lost by the firstborn, and given to the second. This was also the case with the sons of Jacob. Reuben was the eldest of the first wife (Leah) but he defiled his father’s bed with Bilhah his Father’s concubine (35: 22, 49: 3-4). Thus the Birthright passed to Joseph, the Eldest of the second wife (Rachel) (1 Chronicles 5: 2). This birthright was then given to Ephriam (48: 15-22, Jeremiah 31: 9). What is this birthright but the Priesthood authority of the Patriarch to preside in the Family.
    My point in showing the priesthood in Genesis is not to say that we should follow this order. It is simply to show that the priesthood was had before the time of Moses, and therefore was had by those outside of Israel, making the argument that only the Levites can hold it wrong. One last point I would make on this subject is that even at the time of Moses we know of at least one man who held the Priesthood who was not of Israel. We read in Exodus 18: 1 that Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, was a priest, but he was of the house of Midian, not of Israel (Midean being a son of Abraham and half-brother of Isaac-Genesis 25: 2). In Exodus 18: 12 we read of Jethro offering burnt offerings to God, and Moses and Aaron honoring him. Thus the Priesthood was had outside of Israel.
    The Levitical Priesthood
    The Levitical Priesthood was a lower, or second order of priesthood (2 Kings 23: 4) that was given to the tribe of Levi during the time of Moses. This was done in exchange for the First Born of Israel (Numbers 3: 41). This priesthood was given to all the male members of the tribe (Joshua 18: 7, 2 Chronicles 29: 34) not just to Aaron and his sons. However, to Aaron and his sons was given the presidency of this Priesthood (Exodus 29: 9, 40:15, Numbers 18: 7, 25: 13). Aaron was the High Priest of this priesthood, and his sons the priests. The rest of the tribe served in the tabernacle under their direction. This limiting of this priesthood to the tribe of Levi was done in consequence of Israels doubt and unbelief. Paul tells us that the Gospel taught in the New Testiment was the same that was originally taught to ancient Israel, but it was changed due to their unbelief. That is why Christ had to restore the true gospel and the Higher Priesthood. (See Hebrews 3 and 4.)
    However, since the Levitical Priesthood is a lower, or second order, there must also be a first, or higher order. This is called the Melchizedek Priesthood. It is a higher order, and governs over the lesser or Levitical priesthood. This is plainly evidenced by the fact that even though Aaron was the High Priest of the levitical Priesthood, Moses still had authority over him. At one time Aaron tried to claim this authority and was rebuked by God (Numbers 12). At another point Korah, who was a Levite, and so held that priesthood, united with Dathon and Abiram to claim this Higher Priesthood. In Number 16: 8-10 Moses says to him “Hear, I pray you, ye sons of Levi: Seemeth it but a small thing unto you, that the God of Israel hath separated you from the congregation of Israel, to bring you near to himself to do the service of the tabernacle of the LORD, and to stand before the congregation to minister unto them? And he hath brought thee near to him, and all thy brethren the sons of Levi with thee: and seek ye the priesthood also?” Since he already had the lower priesthood what Priesthood could he be seeking but a higher one?
    This higher priesthood was not limited to the Tribe of Levi. In Numbers 27: 18-23 we read of the calling of Joshua to the authority that Moses had. In Numbers 13: 8 we are told that Joshua was of the tribe of Ephriam, which was earlier shown to be the tribe of the Birthright.
    After Joshua the time of the Judges started, during which time there was no prophet of this order (1 Samuel 3: 1). The next great prophet of this order to be called was Samuel, as given in 1 Samuel 3. We do not know what tribe he was from. After Samuel, in the reign of the Kings, we have references to both Prophets and High Priests. Haggai 1: 1 makes a distinction between the two. We do not know the progression of the leader of the church in its exactness after Samuel, but from all I have read it seems that Nathan was the leader (president of the Melkizedek Priesthood) in his days, as was Elijah, then Elisha (we even have the telling of Elijah’s mantle, or sign of authority, falling on Elisha-2 Kings 2). After this is Isaiah in the days of Hezikiah, and then Jeremiah. After Jeremiah it seems that this priesthood was again lost, until the Lord came restored it himself.
    Priesthood as Set Forth in the New Testiment
    The New Testiment, being the New Conenant, is the time that we should model our priesthood after. Paul tells us in Hebrews 7: 12 that the Priesthood was altered in some way. A hint as to how it was altered is given in us by Peter (1 Peter 2: 5, 9) when he tells the saints of the region now called Asia Minor (and thus gentile saints) that we are a Holy Priesthood. This would indicate that the Priesthood was then available to all worthy males.
    Another way in which the Priesthood was changed was in the Organization of the Church. Christ called Twelve Apostles (Mark 3: 14, Luke 6: 13). These were more than just disciples, but were given a special calling to lead the church after Christ’s assention. The importance of there being twelve is shown plainly in the first chapter of Acts when the eleven that remained counseled together to fill the vacancy made by Judas. It is also true that Christ ordain Seventy others (Luke 10: 1) with a special calling and priesthood, as they had power over devils. In Acts 14: 23 we are told that they ordained Elders in every church, even the ones that were not Israelite (Titus 1: 5). We also know that there were Bishops and Deacons (Philipians 1: 1). All these callings in the church are discussed in some detail by Paul at one time or another, and all are confirmed as being necessary by him in his epistle to the Ephesians (4: 11-Pastors being Bishops).

    Here is the evidence of the Priesthood, its several forms and callings as given in the Bible. This is the Priesthood I believe in, and the it is the power by which God governs all existence, including his church.


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