Are LDS Leaders, “Prophets” of God? Gospel Principles: Lesson 9

This weeks Gospel Principles Lesson focuses on Prophets of God. One LDS prophet–Wilford Woodruff, gives you this promise: “The Lord will never permit me or any other man who stands as President of this Church to lead you astray. It is not in the programme.”

But what if President Woodruff was a false prophet when he made this declaration? Wouldn’t his false promise “lead you astray“?

Just over ten years ago the LDS prophet and apostles wrote down their testimony: “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles”. It is featured on the home page at lds.org and was signed by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. When I read it, I discovered something that could only be meant to intentionally “lead astray” its readers.

The LDS Apostles quoted Ephesians 2:20 but took out part of the passage and replaced it with “…”. My suspicion gets raised when I see a Bible passage quoted with missing words. It’s amazing how easy it is to change the intended meaning of a passage by leaving certain words out. My purpose for writing this post is to warn you of the danger you are in. It is my hearts desire to share my Jesus with you!

First off, I want to establish why “…” is used in a quote. In general, the purpose of using “…” is to shorten a quotation by removing words that are not pertinent to your discussion. But, if someone uses “…” to substantially change the meaning of a quotation, then they are being deliberately deceptive!

In their testimony, LDS Apostles state: “We declare in words of solemnity that His priesthood and His Church have been restored upon the earth—“built upon the foundation of … apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone” (Ephesians 2:20).

Here is the entire passage as it appears in the Bible: “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

Now, take a closer look at how this passage appears in the testimony of LDS Apostles. What “phrase” has been removed from the quotation? Actually, only one little word was left out—the word “the“! One must ask the question “Why was the word ‘the‘ taken out of the passage?” Does this deletion shorten the quotation? Obviously it doesn’t; in fact the word “the” takes the same amount of space as the “…” it was replaced with!!!

If using “…” doesn’t shorten the passage, then what could have been the purpose for removing this word? These apostles had to know that taking out the word “the” before the words “apostles and prophets” substantially changes God’s meaning for this passage! In fact, the majority of times that Ephesians 2:20 is used in official LDS literature, this word is taken out.

There is a huge difference between the intended meaning of this passage and the way LDS leaders have changed it. If God’s Church is “built upon the foundation of “…” apostles and prophets” the emphasis is placed on the office of apostles and prophets. Doing this gives credence to the LDS teaching that God’s Church must continue being led by new prophets and apostles. However, if God’s Church is “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets” then the emphasis is placed upon a specific group of Apostles and Prophets, namely the New Testament Apostles and the Old Testament Prophets.

The word “foundation” helps clarify that God did not intend for His Church to continue being led by apostles and prophets. Just think about the meaning of the word. When building any building, how many times is a foundation laid? Once! The truth revealed here is that Jesus is the chief cornerstone in the foundation of God’s house. The New Testament Apostles and the Old Testament Prophets are the “foundation” of God’s house! The founding work of these Apostles and Prophets is their teachings, and can be found in God’s word–the Bible. The rest of God’s house, His Church; is built upon this foundation. (The Apostle Peter wrote about remembering the words of these prophets and apostles, in 2 Peter 3.)

The writer of Hebrews gives us additional insight as to why God’s Church isn’t led by modern day prophets:

“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son” (Hebrews 1:1-2a) In fact, do a simple Bible search and you will find that when the New Testament refers to “latter-day” prophets, the word “false” is associated.

The Gospel Principles Lesson claims: “Many people live in darkness, unsure of God’s will. They believe that the heavens are closed and that people must face the worlds perils alone.” (Chapter 9: Prophets of God, p. 32)

Christians certainly don’t live in darkness and face the worlds perils alone! Jesus promised us all “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:20) Every Christian knows this personally because Jesus, God the Father and the Holy Spirit all dwell inside our hearts:

“That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” Ephesians 3:10-19

Every time I read “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles” I turn to God in thankfulness for rescuing me from these false prophets! I beg you to test your prophets and apostles. Compare their words with those of the Prophets and the Apostles of old, who are the foundation of God’s Church!

__________________________________
2 Peter 3:1-2: “This second epistle, beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance: That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour:”

Link to “The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles”:
http://jesuschrist.lds.org/SonOfGod/eng/testimonies-of-him/articles/the-living-christ-the-testimony-of-the-apostles-of-the-church-of-jesus-christ-of-latter-day-saints.html

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171 Comments

  1. sdrogers said,

    May 7, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Jonah.

    Jeremiah.

    Nathan.

    Do you consider them “false prophets?”

  2. echoechoecho said,

    May 7, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    The word “THE” in the Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary has the following definition:

    “Definite article (not indefinite) 1.Used with a specifying or particularizing effect as apposed to the indefinite or generalizing force of the indefinite article.

    The definition of the word “THE” therefore shows that when it is used, it is specifying something in particular as apposed to an indefinite or ongoing succession or article. So the word “THE” is refering to something specific that is already in place rather than something that continues in succession, without stopping.

    The second point about this verse that you mentioned on your blog post and that I think needs repeating for emphasis is that the verse is speaking about “building” the church on a “foundation.”

    If we think of the foundation of a house, we could never build on that foundation until the foundation was first completed. If the concrete foundation was continually being poured, which is what the LDS Apostles imply by removing the word “THE” from God’s word, that suggests in and of itself that building on that foundation can not even begin until the foundation is completed.

    So the verse without the deletion of the word “THE” clearly shows that the foundation of the church is already complete and finished, built on the apostles and prophets in the Bible and not on an ongoing succession of apostles and prophets as the LDS apostles claim.

  3. shematwater said,

    May 8, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    Just a few thoughts.

    The Apostles is a phrase that would apply to all those holding the apostleship at that time. I agree with this. However, I would also say that all those who have been called as apostles in these days held that calling at the time that this was written. After all, Jeremiah was called to be a prophet before he was born, so why couldn’t these men have been called previously.

    As to the foundation, what do you do with the foundation of a building that has collapsed from neglect and abuse, especialling what you are missing many stones from the original foundation?
    Would it not be advisable to rebuild the foundation, and use new stones to replace those that are missing?
    This is what has happened in these days. The church fell away into apastacy, and Christ has rebuilt it with a new foundation, but one made of the same material as the first.

  4. shematwater said,

    May 8, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Oh yeah, while taking out “the” does not shorten it in writing, it does in speaking.

  5. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    May 8, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    Shem, you wrote:

    “As to the foundation, what do you do with the foundation of a building that has collapsed from neglect and abuse, especialling what you are missing many stones from the original foundation? Would it not be advisable to rebuild the foundation, and use new stones to replace those that are missing? This is what has happened in these days. The church fell away into apastacy, and Christ has rebuilt it with a new foundation, but one made of the same material as the first.”

    The LDS belief that God’s church has collapsed and needs its foundation rebuilt is totally false! The problem begins when Mormonism defines God’s “church” as an “organization” or “religion” This is not true! You believe that God’s true church is the Mormon Church. But, the truth is that there is not one single “religion” that is God’s true church. God’s true church is made up of His people. Every single person with faith in Jesus is part of God’s true church. The Apostle Paul wrote “Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours” (1 Co 1:2)

    Remember what the Ephesians 2:20 passage said? The very foundation of God’s Church is made up of people: Jesus, the prophets and the apostles. But then look at verses 21 & 22: “In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

    From the time of Christ’s resurrection, God’s true church has existed and will continue to exist forever. When the angel appeared to Mary to tell her she would give birth to the Messiah, she was told “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” (Lk 1:30-33) Jesus told His Apostle Peter “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Mt 16:18)

    Jesus promised “I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Mt 18:19-20) Even if only two believers are alive, God’s true Church is on the face of the earth.

    Jesus promised he would be on earth, with believers “unto the end of the world”: “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” (Mt 28:18-20)

    The Apostle Paul declared that Christ’s glory would be in the church throughout all ages: “And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. 20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, 21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” (Eph 3:19-21)

    In spite of the LDS leader’s attempts to convince the world that power comes through the Priesthood, it doesn’t. The power and authority to act in God’s name comes through the Holy Spirit and is given to every single believer—man woman and child. (To read more on this, go to my post “Should LDS Women be Allowed to Hold the Priesthood?” from February 27th.) Verse 18 of Ephesians 2 explains that through faith in Jesus, both Jews and Gentiles (meaning every person who will ever live) have “access by one Spirit unto the Father.”

    The foundation of the church is Jesus Christ, His apostles and the prophets of the Old Testament. This foundation is not lost, nor is it missing. The Holy Spirit inspired writers to record the truths that they taught–every word found on the pages of the Old and New Testaments. Scripture is literally “God-breathed!” “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Ti 3:15-17)

    God the Father, the Holy Spirit and Jesus, dwell inside the hearts of every believer! We have the Bible, God’s love letters written to us, His dear children, with His promise: “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” (Psalm 12:6-7)

    God’s true Church has all it needs. I pray that you might have life through belief in His name!

  6. ckuhrasch said,

    May 11, 2010 at 6:30 am

    Well said. What better to unify a diverse population like that of the earth than the love of Christ, the Word of God and the Holy Spirit? No church can unify like that!

  7. shematwater said,

    May 11, 2010 at 7:53 am

    You can say what ever you want, and quote as many scriptures as you please. The church is the Faithful, and I will never deny this. Those who believe in the the true and living Christ are of his church. The problem is that all other churches deny the true Christ, replacing it with that which is no God. As such we still have the only true church, for we are the only ones who believe in the true Christ and God of the scriptures.

    Thus every verse you use only goes to support the LDS church. The real problem is that no one else understands the true nature of God. Every scripture you cite I am in full agreement with.
    Christ is with his church, in all ages. However, he can be with his church in heaven when it is absent on Earth, and thus still be with it. The faithful are his church, but when there are no truly faithful people the church does not exist. When corruption twists the truths of the Bible and correct doctrine is lost, and thus faith in it cannot be obtained and the church cannot exist.

    There are many things that are not in the Bible, known by the many references that are made to the almost two dozen books written by prophets that we do not have. Many of these were had at one time, and spoken of as being good for all men. They were written by the prophets under the direction of the spirit, and are thus scripture. But they are the missing blocks of the original foundation that were replaced by the modern revelations given to the prophets of our day.

    And in studying I have come to the conclusion that the word “The” does not render the verse to mean what you claim. Though it is possible to see this meaning, it is also possible that the verse refered, not to men, but to positions in the church. Just as certain powers were confered by the constitution on “the congress” with the intent that new men would fill the positions vacated by the old. So too, Paul refers to “the apostles” as an organization, and one that was expected to have new members called into it when the old ones left it.

  8. sdrogers said,

    May 11, 2010 at 10:32 am

    I’m still waiting for a response on my question about the prophets of the Old Testament, and whether their mistakes similarly disqualify them from the post.

  9. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    May 11, 2010 at 10:58 am

    Okay, Seth, I’ll take your bait. You originally wrote:

    “Jonah. Jeremiah. Nathan. Do you consider them “false prophets?”

    You know that I don’t consider these men to be “false prophets”. So, please tell me how “Jonah, Jeremiah, and Nathan” twisted God’s Word and intentionally changed it’s meaning as a way to “lead astray” those who trusted and followed them.

  10. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    May 11, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    Shem, you wrote:
    “There are many things that are not in the Bible, known by the many references that are made to the almost two dozen books written by prophets that we do not have. Many of these were had at one time, and spoken of as being good for all men. They were written by the prophets under the direction of the spirit, and are thus scripture. But they are the missing blocks of the original foundation that were replaced by the modern revelations given to the prophets of our day.”

    How do you know there were “missing books” that “were written by the prophets under the direction of the spirit“?

  11. sdrogers said,

    May 11, 2010 at 11:45 pm

    Lost books mentioned in the Bible text itself:

    1. The book of the covenant – Ex. 24:4, 7 *
    2. The book of the wars of the Lord – Num. 21:14
    3. The manner of the kingdom recorded by Samuel – 1 Sam. 10:25 *
    4. The book of Jasher – Josh. 10:13; 2 Sam. 1:18
    5. A book of statutes – 1 Sam. 10:25
    6. The book of the acts of Solomon – 1 Kin. 11:41
    7. The book of Samuel the seer – 1 Chron. 29:29
    8. The book of Nathan the prophet – 1 Chron. 29:29; 2 Chr. 9:29
    9. The book of Gad the seer – 1 Chron. 29:29
    10. The prophecy of Ahijah – 2 Chron. 9:29
    11. The visions of Iddo the seer – 2 Chron. 9:29; 12:15; 13:22
    12. The book of Shemaiah the prophet – 2 Chron. 12:15
    13. The book of Jehu – 2 Chron. 20:34
    14. The acts of Uzziah recorded by Isaiah – 2 Chron. 26:22 *
    15. The sayings of the seers – 2 Chron. 33:19
    16. An epistle of Paul to the Corinthians – 1 Cor. 5:9
    17. An epistle of Paul to the Ephesians – Eph. 3:3
    18. An epistle of Paul to the Laodiceans – Col. 4:16
    19. An additional epistle of Jude – Jude 3
    20. The prophecies of Enoch – Jude 14

    * Possibly included in current Bible books

  12. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    May 12, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    Hi Seth,

    Hey, I didn’t expect you to be answering this comment. I thought you were “still waiting for a response” on your “question about the prophets of the Old Testament”?

    As far as the supposed “missing books of the Bible” I am surprised that you would have responded to that tired LDS argument. The bottom line to this argument is this:

    If the LDS Church believes the Bible is inaccurate, why don’t they use the Joseph Smith Translation as their “official” Bible? Why in the world would they continue to use a Bible that they claim has so many errors?

    Simply because the Bible mentions books that were of common knowledge to the people of their day does not mean these books are lost scripture. The reason these books aren’t in the Bible is because they were never considered scripture to begin with!

    The most important evidence that the Bible is not missing any books comes from Jesus Himself! Fifteen of the twenty books that you listed as missing come from the Old Testament–the scripture that Jesus used Himself. Wouldn’t Jesus have known that there were so many missing books? If Jesus believed that there were missing books, why wouldn’t He have warned His followers, just as Joseph Smith warned his followers?

    Jesus accepted each of the main divisions of the Old Testament canon (the law, the poetic books and the prophets) as being authoritative and accurate. (Josephus, the Jewish historian, recorded that the Old Testament canon was considered to be closed at the time of Ezra.) Many times Jesus quoted from these books. He used God’s Holy Word as His weapon when He battled Satan in the dessert (Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12, 13; Luke 4:1-13). He used scripture to chastise those who were in error regarding God’s truth (Matthew 22:27-33; Mark 12:18-27; Luke 24:25-30; John 5:37-47).

    Never once do we see Jesus doubting the authenticity or accuracy of The Old Testament. Never once does He claim that there are missing books. Instead, He placed His stamp of approval on it! In Luke 24:44-46 He said: “These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. 45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, 46 And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:”

    Secondly, Mormons who claim that books are missing from the Bible–because those books are mentioned in the text of scripture, must also use that same criteria with the Book of Mormon:

    “While Mormons are quick to assert that cited books not included in the text of Scripture are proof that the Bible is incomplete, they fail to apply this same standard to their Book of Mormon which has no less than 10 books cited that are not included in its text. Are we to argue that the Book of Mormon is incomplete because these books are not included?
    • Book of Remembrance (3 Nephi 24:16)
    • Prophecies of Zenos (1 Nephi 19:10; Jacob 5:1)
    • Prophecies of Zenock (1 Nephi 19:10)
    • Prophecies of Neum (1 Nephi 19:10)
    • Missing Plates from Laban (1 Nephi 3:3-4)
    • Lost Teachings of Benjamin (Mosiah 1:8)
    • Lost Word of Amulek (Alma 9:34)
    • Lost Words of Alma (Alma 13:31)
    • Lost Teachings of Alma (Alma 8:1)
    • Lost Teachings of Helaman (Helaman 5:13)” (taken from 4mormon.org)

    And last but not least, we have the promise of our mighty and powerful God:

    “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” (Psalm 12:6-7)

  13. sdrogers said,

    May 12, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Actually no, we aren’t applying a double-standard here.

    Unlike Evangelicals, Mormons believe that God WILL someday reveal those lost books. And we’re looking forward to it.

    This is in contrast to your position that everything God could ever possibly have to say is in your NIV Bible. So pointing out that the Bible mentions other books of scripture that you don’t have presents a problem to you. But it does not present a problem to us – because “we believe all that God HAS revealed, all that he DOES reveal, and believe that he WILL reveal many great and important things.”

    It comes with worshiping a living and present God rather than one stuck in a book.

    Humanity changes. Why wouldn’t God’s words change in order to reach them?

    Final note on the Joseph Smith translation. Joseph didn’t mean the word in the same sense you do. He meant the work as an inspired and even revelatory commentary on the Bible.

    And you are ignoring that the majority of the Joseph Smith Translation IS in our scriptures and is regarded as highly authoritative by modern LDS. The biggest example is the Book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price – part of Joseph’s work on the Book of Genesis. Various other passages are included in the footnotes throughout the officially published and distributed LDS King James Bible. There is also an appendix in the back of the KJV containing longer passages from the JST.

    So short answer – we DO use it as scripture.

  14. sdrogers said,

    May 12, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    As far as my list of Old Testament prophets, I think it better to retract it.

    I listed them as examples of prophets who had prophesied something that ultimately didn’t come to pass.

    But, reading your original post more carefully, it seems that you were not making the broad point that prophets never say anything untrue, but rather than prophets don’t twist God’s words deceivingly. So I withdraw that line of argument (though I have a feeling you could still find biblical examples on point).

    That said, I still think your critique lacks much force. As other commenters here have mentioned, it’s a rather trivial omission ultimately.

    Don’t get me wrong though, I’m as irritated as anyone that they left it out. Leaving it out was, in my view, inappropriate.

  15. sdrogers said,

    May 12, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    This is a tangential point, but it should be pointed out that the article “the” does not exist in the original Greek. So even if the LDS apostles were deliberately leaving the word out, they were not changing the meaning of the scripture itself – if you follow the original Greek text.

  16. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    May 12, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Seth, you wrote:

    “Actually no, we aren’t applying a double-standard here. Unlike Evangelicals, Mormons believe that God WILL someday reveal those lost books. And we’re looking forward to it.”

    Good point. I hadn’t thought about LDS doctrine when I used human logic to counteract your argument. However, that was where I made a huge mistake. Shame on me for doing so. Because I added human logic to the very Words of Jesus, it caused you to completely ignore all of the important things found in the very Words of God—the fact that Jesus fully endorsed the Old Testament—the fact that He disagrees with the Mormon belief that there are missing books. Also, you seemed to have missed the promise from God Himself that He would preserve His Word:

    “The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. 7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.” (Psalm 12:6-7)

    As well, we Christians certainly don’t worship a God that is stuck in a book. Our God literally lives inside of us. LDS prophets claim that this is not true. But God’s Word proves otherwise:

    “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; 19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” Eph 3:10-19

    “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” Eph 4:4-6

    “No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. 13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.” 1 Jn 4:12-16

    “And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” 2 Co 6:14-16

    “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” 1 Corinthians 3: 16

    “And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.” 1 Co 14:25

  17. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    May 12, 2010 at 6:36 pm

    Seth, you wrote:

    “This is a tangential point, but it should be pointed out that the article “the” does not exist in the original Greek. So even if the LDS apostles were deliberately leaving the word out, they were not changing the meaning of the scripture itself – if you follow the original Greek text.”

    Where did you come up with this false information? I have several Greek Bibles as well as a software program with a Greek Bible. The Greek definitely includes the article “the“.

    Don’t you remember when I originally posted this article, way back on January 1st, 2009? Back then you asked:

    • sdrogers said,
    January 2, 2009 at 10:26 pm •
    “Interesting catch. One question. Does Greek even use the word “and?”

    sdrogers said,
    January 2, 2009 at 10:26 pm •
    I mean “the.” Doh.
    Seth R.

    I then responded to your question:

    latterdaysaintwoman said,
    January 3, 2009 at 2:50 pm •
    “Hi Seth, Great question: “Does Greek even use the word “the?” The answer is yes! The Greek definitely has “the” before the words “apostles and prophets”. In the Greek, it looks like “twv”. I have a software program that provides the original languages, but to make sure I understood this passage correctly, I asked an expert in the Greek language. He had eight years in college studying the original Biblical languages. As well, he has an additional 28 years of reading the Bible in its original language in his personal studies.
    Thanks for your respectful comment.”

    You replied back:

    sdrogers said,
    January 4, 2009 at 10:09 am ·
    “Thanks.”

  18. sdrogers said,

    May 12, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    Actually, I was going to retract that Greek point a couple hours ago. But I got sidetracked taking the kids shopping.

    The article “the” most certainly does exist in Greek. I was thinking of indefinite articles like “a”.

    My bad.

  19. sdrogers said,

    May 12, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    But on the other point, you may be trying to employ logic, but I don’t think it’s working.

    Where does Jesus ever state that the Bible is complete?

    If I endorse a music CD, does that automatically mean I think that CD is the ONLY one you’ll ever need or want?

  20. echoechoecho said,

    May 12, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    Seth said: This is in contrast to your position that everything God could ever possibly have to say is in your NIV Bible. So pointing out that the Bible mentions other books of scripture that you don’t have presents problem to you

    First, nowhere in the Bible does it say that these missing books are “books of scripture” as you claim. Prove they were books “of scripture”. You said it; you take responsibility for saying it otherwise you are spreading lies.

    Second, the fact that there are missing books mentioned in the Bible presents no problem for us whatsoever. If they are missing, they are missing because God willed it that way. Is God in complete control of this world or not? If not, he is not an all-powerful God and that means that someone; somewhere has more power than he. Can anyone bow down and worship a God who is less powerful than a man?

    Contrary to what you believe, we believe God is in complete control of all the events and outcomes in History.

    Here is a bit of LDS history on what is missing from the Bible and the consequences that resulted from that:

    “Clyde J. Williams, “Plain and Precious Truths Restored,” Ensign, Oct 2006, 50–54 “In the spring of 1820 Joseph had learned from his First Vision that the churches of his day were teaching false creeds and doctrines (see Joseph Smith History 1:18–19). Several years later, while Joseph was translating the Book of Mormon, he came to understand clearly why the doctrines of the churches were corrupt. From a vision given to the prophet Nephi, Joseph learned that when the ancient biblical prophets and apostles had written their books, they came forth “in purity” (1 Nephi 13:25). Sadly, as their writings went forth, parts of the gospel that were “plain and most precious” and “covenants of the Lord” were “taken away” (1 Nephi 13:26). Nephi saw that these changes and omissions would cause “an exceedingly great many [to] stumble” (1 Nephi 13:29). Satan would gain “great power” through all of this (see 1 Nephi 13:34). But the Lord prepared the Book of Mormon to “make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away” (1 Nephi 13:40). Moreover, the prophet Mormon, in his final words, reaffirmed that the Book of Mormon was “written for the intent that ye may believe” the Bible (Mormon 7:9). A careful examination of the Book of Mormon reveals many significant insights not found in the Bible. These precious truths include new insights about biblical people and events, prophecies, visions, and doctrinal principles.

    The BOM is missing some books. So we can also conclude that the BOM is missing many plain and most precious truths and that many covenants of the Lord were taken away. We can also conclude that these changes and omissions to the BOM will cause an exceedingly great many to stumble. We can also conclude that Satan will gain great power through all of this.

    And more form the LDS:

    “Rex C. Reeve Jr., “A Latter-day Testament of Biblical Truth,” Ensign, Jan 2001, 24 When the Bible was first written, it contained the plain and precious truths of the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Nephi saw that many of these plain and precious truths, as well as the covenants of the Lord, were taken from the Bible (see 1 Ne. 13:24–29). In this dispensation the Prophet Joseph Smith declared, “We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly” (A of F 1:8). He later wrote, “From sundry revelations which had been received, it was apparent that many important points touching the salvation of man, had been taken from the Bible, or lost before it was compiled.

    The LDS must now also conclude that the BOM has many important truths touching the salvation of man that have been taken away/removed/lost from the BOM.

    From the BOM:

    1 Nephi 13:26-27

    And after they go forth by the hand of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, from the Jews unto the Gentiles, thou seest the formation of that great and abominable church, which is most abominable above all other churches; for behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away. 27 And all this have they done that they might pervert the right ways of the Lord, that they might blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men.

    Maybe JS took away some of the books in the BOM? Or Maybe later, early LDS leaders took away these missing books from the BOM? For behold, the BOM has remained ONLY in the hands of the LDS church from the beginning and now books are missing! The LDS believes that truth was restored but if books are missing from the BOM, we can’t say that it was restored. Maybe the early LDS church has taken away many parts which are plain and most precious from the BOM and also many covenants of the Lord they have taken away? And maybe they did this so that they might pervert the right ways of the Lord and blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men? How are you going to know? Your not going to know! Not ever! Not for certain! Books are missing from the BOM!

    That’s the problem when you believe in a God who is incapable of preserving his word throughout every generation and who simply has less power than a mere man. That’s what happens when you believe in a God with very little power if any at all.

    We believe God can and has preserved his word in PURITY and fullness. Nothing has been lost. God has preserved every single word for EVERY generation. We believe there are no plain and precious truths missing. How do we know? How can we be sure? Because God said so himself and WE believe him!:

    The words of the Lord are pure words, as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever” Psalm 12:6-7

    Seth said: But is does not present a problem to us – because “we believe all that God HAS revealed, all that he DOES reveal, and believe that he WILL reveal many great and important things.

    You do NOT believe all that God HAS revealed to us, he has revealed to us that his word is perfect, you say it isn’t perfect. He has revealed to us that he will preserve his word for all generations, you say he has not preserved his word. He has revealed to us that the Bible contains everything we need to know for this life and for salvation, you say it doesn’t. Nor do you believe all that he does reveal to you now. We keep revealing these things to you and you don’t believe it.

    Seth said: It comes with worshipping a living and present God rather than one stuck in a book

    We worship a living and present God. That’s not the point. Israel served a living and present God. Yet God spoke to his people through prophets and not directly to each and every one of them. Those prophets were the “means” God used to speak to his people. The Bible is the “means” that God now uses to speak to us.

    The foolish look for God where God cannot be found:

    The truly foolish (who are wise in their own eyes) look for a God who is popular and well liked.

    The wise (who are truly wise) find God by looking for the one who was despised and rejected.

    The foolish look for God to be among the righteous and worthy
    The wise find God amongst the lowly sinners and the unworthy

    The foolish look for a God who is powerful and can help himself.
    The wise find God laying in a lowly manger, a helpless baby boy.

    The foolish look for a God amongst the rich
    The wise find God amongst the poor

    The foolish look for God amongst the honored
    The wise find God amongst the humiliated

    The foolish look for God riding in a fancy chariot with expensive horses
    The wise find God riding on a lowly donkey

    The foolish look for God who performs miracles, Signs and wonders
    The wise find God suffering and dying on a cross

    .The foolish look for God to speak to them through unusual ways
    The wise find God speaking to them through his words in a book.

    Do you see a pattern here?

    1 Corinthians 1:27-29 “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; 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

    That’s right Seth, the foolish look for God where God cannot be found!

    Whatever “mighty” places you think you can find him, you can be sure you won’t find him there! He can only be found where you least expect him! In the foolish things of the world, the weak things the base things and the things that are despised.

    You can only find God speaking to you in a simple and lowly “book” which you think is foolish, weak, base and which you despise. That is foolishness to you isn’t it Seth?

    1 Corinthians 2:14 “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him:

    Seth said:Humanity changes. Why wouldn’t God’s word change in order to reach them?

    When you believe the Bible Seth, which I know you don’t, you learn that there is never anything new under the sun. That includes humanity.

    Ecc 1:9-10 “ What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new”? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.

    Shem said: “so short answer – we Do use it as scripture”

    The point is, that the KJV is the LDS advertised official version of choice rather than the JST. The JST and the KJV contain verses that contradict each other yet the KJV is the advertised official bible of the LDS church rather than what the LDS claims is more truer than the Bible. That’s idolatry to promote falsehoods that you know are falsehoods over and above what you believe is the truth.

  21. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    May 12, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    Seth, you wrote

    “Where does Jesus ever state that the Bible is complete? If I endorse a music CD, does that automatically mean I think that CD is the ONLY one you’ll ever need or want?”

    You misunderstand what I am saying. Jesus certainly did not say that the Bible was complete. The New Testament had not even been written while He was still alive. What I am saying is that Jesus placed His trust in the Old Testament scriptures. Jesus read and re-read Old Testament scripture and would have known that it referenced books that were not part of Old Testament scripture.

    Instead of claiming that the Old Testament was “missing” books”, He testified, over and over, that the Old Testament books were literally the Words that held God’s truth. When the Jews wanted to know about whether marriages lasted in heaven, Jesus

    “answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. 31 But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, 32 I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” Mt 22:28-33

    Notice how Jesus said to the Jews who were alive during His life: “have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God“. Jesus is quoting Exodus 3:6, the Jews asking Him these questions were not alive when God spoke these words. What Jesus meant is that when you read God’s Words found in the Bible—God is actually speaking to you. We read in Hebrews 4:12:

    “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Quick is the KJV word for “alive“. God’s Words are alive and the Holy Spirit brings us to faith through hearing or reading it. Our God speaks to us personally whenever we read His Words—the words that the Holy Spirit inspired.

    Also, notice in the Matthew 22 passage: “I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” There are no “dead” prophets of God. They are alive, and have never tasted death. Jesus taught us in John 5:24 that the very moment we come to faith we cross over from death to life:

    “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

    Seth, I truly pray for you. I pray that you will hear Jesus’ Word and believe.

  22. sdrogers said,

    May 12, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    Yes. Jesus read from the Old Testament and placed his trust in them.

    And if he were to appear today, I imagine he would quote approvingly from books like 1 Corinthians, Revelations, and even one of the Four Gospels. Surely you agree with this statement, correct?

    Likewise, if he were to appear today, he would approvingly quote from the Book of Mormon.

    You’re using the right logic, it just seems you are deliberately refusing to take that train of logic to its full conclusion. If Jesus could speak approvingly of the Old Testament scripture and the door was still open for New Testament scripture – then that door is still open RIGHT NOW.

  23. sdrogers said,

    May 12, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    “If they are missing, they are missing because God willed it that way. Is God in complete control of this world or not?”

    I take it you’re a Calvinist Echo? If so, you’ve got much bigger problems than missing scriptures to deal with.

    But to answer your question…

    Actually no – while I believe God is all powerful, I do not believe God is in complete control of everything that happens in this world. I believe he voluntarily limits his influence here so as to preserve our free will.

    Or are you suggesting that God wills evil? Because if you are going to claim complete control, that’s the only logical conclusion you can reach.

  24. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    May 13, 2010 at 12:49 am

    Seth, you wrote:

    “Likewise, if he were to appear today, he would approvingly quote from the Book of Mormon. You’re using the right logic, it just seems you are deliberately refusing to take that train of logic to its full conclusion. If Jesus could speak approvingly of the Old Testament scripture and the door was still open for New Testament scripture – then that door is still open RIGHT NOW.”

    Oh no, I see your logic. You are correct. The Bible does not say that the door is closed for the possibility of more scripture and I agree that the door for more scripture has not closed.

    But, the Bible does say that if someone speaks “not according to this word” then that person is not from God:

    “To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.” (Is 8:16-20)

    The words of anyone claiming to speak for God must be in agreement with what God has already revealed in His Word.

    “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” Ga 1:6-9

    Jesus would NEVER “approvingly quote from the Book of Mormon”. The majority of Mormon doctrine is in direct opposition to God’s already revealed Word.

    The Bible clearly and vehemently claims that forgiveness is obtained only through blood and faith in that blood. John wrote that Jesus has already washed us from our sins with His blood (Revelation 1:5-6). The Apostle Peter taught that the remission of sins is received through belief (Acts 10:43)

    In contrast, Joseph Smith taught that forgiveness comes through repentance AND keeping the commandments (D&C 1:32). I could go on for 15 pages exposing the false LDS teaching about all the works that have to be done before you can receive forgiveness of sins. (In fact, I have, you can find it on my blog under Pages titled “The LDS Process of Repentance”.

    Even if an angel appeared to Joseph Smith and gave him the LDS gospel, we can know that it is false—because it is not according to the Word of God. This proves that there is no light in LDS Apostles and Prophets.

    LDS prophets look very righteous, kind and good. But false prophets they are and they are smart ones. They know that comparing their words with already revealed scripture is how God wants someone to test them. So they have negated God’s way to test them by claiming that the Bible has been compromised—that there are many plain and precious truths that have been removed from it.

    In doing this, they can scream “It’s the Bible translators fault” every time their words are in direct disagreement with God’s Words. It is no wonder that over 14 million people are deceived.

    The Apostle Paul taught:
    “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” 2 Co 11:13-15

    The prophet Jeremiah taught: “Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD. 17 They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.”

    LDS prophets teach the false belief that only a handful of people will spend eternity in hell. They tell the world that even those who never come to faith in Jesus, those who were the worlds vilest sinners, will end up in a kingdom of Heaven—a Kingdom so glorious that you would commit suicide just to go there. If you want to read the truth as Jesus taught it, go to Matthew 25:31-46 and Luke 16:19-31. Here, you can read His own words; and see how Mormon prophets disagree with the very Son of God—which proves that “there is no light in them“.

    Seth, my heart goes out to you and every Mormon who is deceived by the false prophets of the Mormon Church. That is why I have devoted my life to sharing the truth with my people—the Mormons. My hearts desire is to share the truth of God’s undeserved love shown to them through the forgiveness of all their sins.

  25. sdrogers said,

    May 13, 2010 at 8:48 am

    Oh, are we changing the subject again? Are we going to discuss how the Book of Mormon differs from the Bible now?

  26. echoechoecho said,

    May 13, 2010 at 10:30 am

    Seth said: “I take it you’re a Calvinist Echo? If so, you’ve got much bigger problems than missing scriptures to deal with.”

    I’m not Calvinist, I am a WELS Lutheran

    Seth said: ” I do not believe God is in complete control of everything that happens in this world.”

    If God is not in complete control then it is impossible for you to believe, trust or rely on his promises. Since you cannot believe, trust or rely on his promises, that’s unbelief.

    Seth said: “Or are you suggesting that God wills evil? Because if you are going to claim complete control, that’s the only logical conclusion you can reach.”

    God does not Will evil. God uses evil to serve his Will.

    Joseph’s brothers did evil against Joseph. God did not will the evil but God did use the evil to serve his good will:

    Genesis 50:20 “But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.”

  27. shematwater said,

    May 13, 2010 at 10:53 am

    First, no single book can contain all truth, and thus to depend on any book for all truth is illogical and can only lead to confusion as was seen in the Dark Ages when men relied solely on the Bible.
    The attempt at logic that the Book of Mormon has been altered because it references books we don’t have is false. The only conclusion from these references is that it does not contain all truth, not that the books within it are not complete.

    The evidence of things being lost from the Bible is not in the missing books, but in the apparent contradictions that can be found within the text. These contradictions are not found in the Book of Mormon and thus we can conclude that it remains unaltered.

    Talking about Christ, to say that since he doesn’t reference these missing books is evidence that they are not scripture is foolish. John tells us that we don’t have even a fraction of what Christ taught, so how can any person claim that he didn’t approve of these scriptures and even quote from them. We know Jude quoted the prophecies of Enoch, which is not in our Old Testiment. How can we logically say that Christ and the other Apostles didn’t quote from books we don’t have.

    As to modern revelation needed to match up with Biblical doctrine, I agree with this statement. However, I see nothing in the Book of Mormon, or any other modern scripture, that is in opposition to what I read in the Bible. It may be in opposition to what you believe, but that is a very different thing.

  28. sdrogers said,

    May 13, 2010 at 11:40 am

    Well then, if you don’t believe that God wills evil, then you must believe it came from somewhere not under his control. Either it came from God, or it came from somewhere else.

    Which is it Echo?

  29. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    May 13, 2010 at 11:49 am

    Seth,

    For you to say that, I obviously have not explained myself very well. I apologize–I do not have the gift of writing.

    I am not changing the subject. We were discussing the LDS teaching that the Bible has missing books. That teaching came from false prophets. Very specifically, a prophet is someone whom God has sent to speak His Words. Hence, the “fruit” of a prophet are his words.

    God has told us that we are to compare the words of anyone claiming to be one of His prophets, with the words of the men who truly are His prophets. The Old Testament contains God’s Words, spoken through His prophets, and written down. These words “are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3).

    Referring to Jesus, you were the one who brought up the Book of Mormon when you made the statement “Likewise, if he were to appear today, he would approvingly quote from the Book of Mormon.”

    The Book of Mormon was written by prophets. Are these men truly God’s prophets? Did God send them to speak and write the words found in the Book of Mormon? (Or, any other words that are spoken by LDS prophets and apostles, men who claim that their words are revelations from God?) If they have truly received visions and revelations from God; then, (as you stated) if Jesus “were to appear today, he would approvingly quote from the Book of Mormon.”

    But these men are false prophets and Jesus would never approvingly quote from the Book of Mormon. We can know that the Book of Mormon is not written by God’s prophets, because the words found within it disagree with already revealed scripture!

    After Christ’s death and before the New Testament was written, how was someone to know whether Jesus truly was the Christ? By going to already revealed scripture to determine whether Jesus’ followers were speaking truth. Jesus Himself used scripture after He was resurrected when He told the disciples on the road to Emmaus:

    “These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:” (Luke 24:44-46)

    The Bereans were considered more noble than the Thessalonians because they searched already revealed scripture (The Old Testament) to determine if what Paul and Silas was telling them, was truly from God:

    “And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.” (Acts 17:10-12)

    Likewise, when an LDS apostle or prophet proclaims that he has been sent by God to “restore” the gospel of Christ, we are to “search the scriptures daily, whether those things were so”. In doing so, anyone can determine that the Book of Mormon, The Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price were all written by false prophets.

    My original point was this: False LDS prophets have negated God’s stated method for testing prophets. They have done this by proclaiming that the Bible is true only so far as “it is translated correctly”. These false prophets do not mean “translated correctly”.

    What they really mean is that the Bible is true as long as it agrees with their false words. LDS prophets have reversed God’s stated method for determining truth; and changed God’s Words. They claim that the way to tell if the Bible is correct is if it agrees with them. In contrast, God has claimed that there is a way to know if a prophet was been sent by Him. We are to test his words with already revealed scripture to see if it agrees with God’s Word!

  30. sdrogers said,

    May 13, 2010 at 11:58 am

    “In contrast, God has claimed that the way to tell if a prophet is correct is to test his words and see if it agrees with the Bible.”

    In which case, the Book of Mormon passes the test quite nicely.

  31. shematwater said,

    May 13, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Actually, the test I see laid out in the scriptures is not to compare them to the Bible, but to ask God. After all he does tell us to ask if we lack wisdom (James 1: 5) and to ask and we will receive (Matthew 7:7).

    I am not saying that we should disregard the scriptures. They are full of great truths and doctrines that all men need to study and learn. But when you come to a passage that you can’t quite understand what do you do. Since you lack wisdom to discern the meaning you ask of God and he will give you the understanding.

    As such, the only real test of anything it whether or not God confirms it for you.

  32. echoechoecho said,

    May 13, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    Seth said: “Well then, if you don’t believe that God wills evil, then you must believe it came from somewhere not under his control. Either it came from God, or it came from somewhere else.

    Which is it Echo?”

    Look into your own heart and you tell me where evil comes from. Despite the evil in your own heart, God is still in control, his Will will be done.

  33. echoechoecho said,

    May 13, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    Shem said: “I see nothing in the Book of Mormon, or any other modern scripture, that is in opposition to what I read in the Bible”

    Here is a CLEAR contradiction:

    The Bible: Romans 4:5 “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

    The Joseph Smith Translation: Romans 4:5 “But to him that seeketh not to be justified by the law of works, but believeth on him who justifieth not the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness”

    Now who are you going to believe? Joseph or God?

  34. sdrogers said,

    May 13, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    And who exactly created my heart that way Echo?

  35. echoechoecho said,

    May 14, 2010 at 12:02 am

    Before the fall, Adam and Eve had the free will to remain in the perfect fellowship with God in which they were created. Regrettably, they chose not to remain in that perfect fellowship. God created them with free will. But Adam and Eve are the authors of their own evil. You inherited your evil heart from them.

  36. sdrogers said,

    May 14, 2010 at 12:10 am

    And who created Adam and Eve to act that way Echo?

  37. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    May 14, 2010 at 1:27 am

    Shem, you wrote:

    “Actually, the test I see laid out in the scriptures is not to compare them to the Bible, but to ask God. After all he does tell us to ask if we lack wisdom (James 1: 5) and to ask and we will receive (Matthew 7:7).”

    Reading both of those passages in context, show me even one hint that what James or Jesus is speaking about has anything to do with testing the words of a prophet.

  38. echoechoecho said,

    May 14, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Seth said: “And who created Adam and Eve to act that way Echo?

    Mathew 22:18 “But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me?

    For the LDS, God is the creator and cheerleader of evil because the LDS “celebrates Eve’s act” of sin. In the LDS church, and because of this celebration of Eve’s act, God becomes the Author, Promoter and Encourager of SIN.

    This is why all people, including the completely vile and wicked and wretched reach a level of the LDS 3- tiered heaven.

    That’s because the LDS God is the author, promoter and encourager of SIN. In LDS theology the only people who don’t reach any level of LDS heaven are those who come to see that God is NOT the author, promoter and cheerleader of SIN but rather SATAN is! And it is these people that the LDS defines as “sons of perdition!”

    The reality is Seth that you are unknowingly in Satan’s church working your way to the highest level in his kingdom of outer darkness. With each and every trap you set for me, you move higher and higher in his kingdom where your everlasting suffering will be greater and greater.

    We celebrate Eve’s act and honor her wisdom and courage in the great episode called the Fall. … ” Click here to go to the link at lds.org:

    My heart is afraid for you Seth. I worry about you and all LDS people! Open your ears to the truth and escape this trap of the devil.

  39. sdrogers said,

    May 14, 2010 at 11:08 am

    Yeah, except that, unlike you echo, Jesus was actually coming from a defensible theological position.

    Nice attempt to equate yourself with Jesus here, but I’m afraid I’m forced to point out, echo, that “you’re no Jesus.”

  40. echoechoecho said,

    May 14, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    I have not said that I equate myself with Jesus and you should not falsely assume I have. The proper and righteous thing to do would be to ask me whether or not I equate myself with Jesus and see how I answer you rather than choosing and being willing to bear false testimony against your neighbor. Yet I suppose I am asking too much from someone who ***celebrates sin*** and despises God’s commandments.

    1 John 3:8 “He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning

  41. sdrogers said,

    May 14, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    Righto then.

    And maybe you should ask me if I intended to equate myself with Satan before accusing me of doing so.

    And in the meantime, maybe you can actually answer my question as to who created Adam and Eve such that they would sin. The fact that you’re throwing around all this righteous anger song-and-dance suggests to me that you don’t have a clue how to answer the question and are simply trying to save face at this point.

    I know! How about accusing me of having the spirit of contention or something?

    That’s always a good way to end a debate you are losing.

  42. echoechoecho said,

    May 14, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    Seth said:The fact that you’re throwing around all this righteous anger song-and-dance…

    I am not angry at all actually Seth, I am as calm as can be, gentle as a lamb. The only desire I have is to lead you to the truth so that you and I can be friends or acquaintances for all eternity.

    I truly fear for your soul. You’re on the wide open road to an eternity in outer darkness where everyone who celebrates sin will go. Satan celebrates sin!

    The anger you are experiencing is not coming from me. I care about what happens to your soul so I speak the truth in love and sometimes love must be tough love especially when a heart is suspected as being as hardened as yours unfortunately seems to be. That saddens me!

    Seth said: And maybe you should ask me if I intended to equate myself with Satan before accusing me of doing so.”

    I didn’t equate you with Satan or accuse you of doing so. When you sin such as you have now and have done in the past unrepentantly, the Holy Spirit works through his word to convict you himself. Therefore whatever you conclude about yourself or whatever you think I am concluding about you, that is what the Holy Spirit himself is concluding about you as he speaks to you through his own word which I did give you from the scriptures. It is not what I am concluding about you. I hope your heart hasn’t become so hard that you resist that work of the Holy Spirit working through his word and within you to lead you to true repentance. (Hebrews 4:12) For repentance isn’t your work but it is his work in you through his word found in scripture. (Romans 2:4; 2 Timothy 2:25) I urge you not to resist the Holy Spirit by hardening your heart.

    Seth said: And in the meantime, maybe you can actually answer my question as to who created Adam and Eve such that they would sin.

    Why ask such a hypocritical question of me? Let’s look at your beliefs and answer it from the LDS perspective:

    Who created Adam and Eve such that they would sin?

    The Fall was a necessary part of Heavenly Father’s plan for us” (www.lds.org)

    What are some events that are important enough to be the “pillars of eternity” that make salvation possible? (Elder McConkie said that these pillars are the Creation, the Fall, and the Atonement, which are all part of God’s plan for our salvation” (www.lds.org)

    Adam and Eve later rejoice in the blessings of the Fall” (www.lds.org)
    “The Fall was a necessary part of Heavenly Father’s plan to bring to pass our immortality and eternal life
    ” (www.lds.org)

    God willed that you sin as part of his plan! Salvation is dependant on sin! Sin is glorified as a “pillar” of salvation and eternity!

    What a hypocrite you are. Your God Willed that Adam and Eve sin and YOU Celebrate that sin and your asking me who created them such that they would sin?!

    Seth said: I know! How about accusing me of having the spirit of contention or something? That’s always a good way to end a debate you are losing.

    That’s the difference between you and me; I am not in this conversation with you to win a debate. What is your concern? Is it to win a debate so you can delight when I fall? My concern is to win your soul for eternal life so I can rejoice that you won’t ever fall. I could care less about winning a debate. Losing a debate is fine with me.

  43. sdrogers said,

    May 14, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    “I am as calm as can be, gentle as a lamb.”

    And apparently exceedingly humble. Seriously, how sanctimoniously self-congratulatory can you get?

    With Mormon theology, the answer to Adam and Eve doesn’t run into the same problems you have – because God didn’t create Adam and Eve out of nothing. They were both pre-existent free beings. Therefore God is not the author of any sins they committed.

    But with you however… we are forced to conclude that God deliberately created Adam and Eve to sin. Thus making God the author of sin.

    You can pull the holier-than-thou act till you’re blue in the face it still doesn’t mean you’ve answered this charge or proven that under your own theology God is not the author of sin.

  44. echoechoecho said,

    May 15, 2010 at 12:29 am

    Seth said: “And apparently exceedingly humble. Seriously, how sanctimoniously self-congratulatory can you get?”

    Was Jesus “sanctimoniously self-congratulatory” when he said this:

    Mathew 11:29 “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.” KJV

    Mathew 11:29 “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” NIV

    Or was he simply resting in the power of God’s love and truth in confidence and letting them know what he was “truly” like in the face of all the false charges against him. I believe he wanted to show them the truth about himself so as to calm their fears about him because he really wanted them to know he was holding out a loving invitation to them to come and find rest too.

    Seth said: “With Mormon theology, the answer to Adam and Eve doesn’t run into the same problems you have – because God didn’t create Adam and Eve out of nothing. They were both pre-existent free beings. Therefore God is not the author of any sins they committed.

    Who created these pre-existent free beings?

  45. sdrogers said,

    May 15, 2010 at 1:01 am

    No one created these beings Echo.

    In LDS theology, spirits are eternally uncreated. We have always existed eternally. Mormons reject creation ex nihilo.

  46. echoechoecho said,

    May 15, 2010 at 2:29 am

    Heavenly Father created your spirit, and you lived with Him as a spirit before you received your physical body and were born on earth.(Click on this link to lds.org and go down to #9)

  47. sdrogers said,

    May 15, 2010 at 9:10 am

    Abraham 3:18:

    “Howbeit that he made the greater star; as, also, if there be two spirits, and one shall be more intelligent than the other, yet these two spirits, notwithstanding one is more intelligent than the other, have no beginning; they existed before, they shall have no end, they shall exist after, for they are gnolaum, or eternal.”

    http://scriptures.lds.org/en/search?search=Abraham+3%3A18&do=Search

    Here are some quotes from “The Words of Joseph Smith” with page numbers:

    “God never had power to create the spirit of man” (341)

    “I am dwelling on the immutibility of the spirit of man, is it logic to say the spirit of man had a beginning & yet had no end, it does not have a begining & yet had no end, it does not have a begining or end, my ring is like the Exhistanc of man it has no begining or end, if cut into their would be a begining & end, so with man if it had a begining it will have an end, if I am right I might say God never had power to create the spirit of man” (346)

    “their Spirits coexisted with God” (352)

    “God never had power to create the Sp of Man at all” (352)

    “their spirits existed coequal with God” (359)

    “God never did have power to create the spirit of man at all.” (360)

  48. sdrogers said,

    May 15, 2010 at 9:15 am

    Some have suggested that Joseph was merely conflating the idea of “spirit” with that of “intelligence.” See D&C 93:29-30:

    29 Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.
    30 All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence.

    http://scriptures.lds.org/en/search?type=words&last=intelligence&help=&wo=checked&search=D%26C+93%3A29-30&do=Search&iw=scriptures&tx=checked&af=checked&hw=checked&sw=checked&bw=1

    Under this model, you have eternal “intelligences”, which are basically the core of human will and identity. God takes these and organizes them into spirit form. That’s one model. Another takes the above Joseph Smith quotes at face value and declares that spirit form itself is eternal. Under this model, we become “children” of God via a voluntary process of adoption prior to mortal life. I prefer this model.

  49. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    May 15, 2010 at 10:17 am

    Seth,

    You have actually taught me an official LDS doctrine that I had never heard of before.

    First, you wrote: “In LDS theology, spirits are eternally uncreated. We have always existed eternally. Mormons reject creation ex nihilo.”

    I knew that LDS prophets falsely teach that God did not create the Universe—that He merely “re-organized” already existing materials. But I had never heard that this teaching was also true for human spirits—that human spirits co-existed eternally with God and were not created by Him.

    I only use official LDS literature to verify if a doctrine is currently an official LDS belief—i.e. it must be found at lds.org. I know that there are many unusual teachings that were taught by LDS prophets that are not considered official today. So, last night when you wrote your first comment stating that human spirits are “eternally uncreated” I did a search on lds.org and found this from President Kimball:

    (Chapter 1: “To Live with Him Someday”, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball, (2006),1–10)

    “When we were spiritual beings, fully organized and able to think and study and understand with him, our Heavenly Father said to us, in effect: “Now, my beloved children, in your spirit state you have progressed about as far as you can. To continue your development, you need physical bodies. I intend to provide a plan whereby you may continue your growth. As you know, one can grow only by overcoming.” (page 2)

    “We mortals who now live upon this earth are in our second estate. Our very presence here in mortal bodies attests the fact that we “kept” our first estate. Our spirit matter was eternal and co-existent with God, but it was organized into spirit bodies by our Heavenly Father. Our spirit bodies went through a long period of growth and development and training and, having passed the test successfully, were finally admitted to this earth and to mortality.” (pages 3-4)

    Link to LDS Lesson:

    This is the only thing I could find at lds.org to verify your words. But, it is enough for me. It truly is official lds teaching.

    Now, this morning, you have given more proof of your statement. Quoting Joseph Smith, you wrote:

    God never had power to create the spirit of man” (341)

    “I am dwelling on the immutibility of the spirit of man, is it logic to say the spirit of man had a beginning & yet had no end, it does not have a begining & yet had no end, it does not have a begining or end, my ring is like the Exhistanc of man it has no begining or end, if cut into their would be a begining & end, so with man if it had a begining it will have an end, if I am right I might say God never had power to create the spirit of man” (346)

    “their Spirits coexisted with God” (352)
    God never had power to create the Sp of Man at all” (352)
    “their spirits existed coequal with God” (359)
    God never did have power to create the spirit of man at all.” (360)

    Now that you have sent this, I understand where Kimball got his doctrine from—Joseph Smith himself!

    Seth, don’t you see how these words are blasphemous!!!??? How can you believe this crap? Don’t you see how every LDS prophet elevates man and lowers God? Man’s spirit matter is not “co-existent” with God! God did not even create man spiritually in some “preexistence” that Joseph Smith made up. The first man came into existence when God created him after the universe was created:

    “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Genesis 2:7

    To claim that God has never had the power to create the spirit of man is blasphemy!!! God holds a special place of torment in hell for false prophets who lead people away from Him!

    Jeremiah, one of God’s true prophets, testified:
    “Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts concerning the prophets; Behold, I will feed them with wormwood, and make them drink the water of gall: for from the prophets of Jerusalem is profaneness gone forth into all the land.

    16 Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Hearken not unto the words of the prophets that prophesy unto you: they make you vain: they speak a vision of their own heart, and not out of the mouth of the LORD. 17 They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you.

    18 For who hath stood in the counsel of the LORD, and hath perceived and heard his word? who hath marked his word, and heard it? 19 Behold, a whirlwind of the LORD is gone forth in fury, even a grievous whirlwind: it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked. 20 The anger of the LORD shall not return, until he have executed, and till he have performed the thoughts of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it perfectly.

    21 I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied. 22 But if they had stood in my counsel, and had caused my people to hear my words, then they should have turned them from their evil way, and from the evil of their doings. 23 Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off?

    24 Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD. 25 I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed. 26 How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart; 27 Which think to cause my people to forget my name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal.

    28 The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD. 29 Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces? 30 Therefore, behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that steal my words every one from his neighbour.

    31 Behold, I am against the prophets, saith the LORD, that use their tongues, and say, He saith. 32 Behold, I am against them that prophesy false dreams, saith the LORD, and do tell them, and cause my people to err by their lies, and by their lightness; yet I sent them not, nor commanded them: therefore they shall not profit this people at all, saith the LORD. (Je 23:15-32)

    Seth, I beg you to turn to the one and only true God! This God has the power to do anything He pleases: “Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is now their God? 3 But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.” Ps 115:1-3

  50. sdrogers said,

    May 15, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Well yes. It does elevate man.

    But it does not lower God. You seem to be operating under some sort of zero sum game where more for me means less for God. But why should this be the case?

    Keep in mind as well that there are highly differing opinions on the origin of spirits among past apostles and prophets. Some LDS believe in a spirit birth model – though if you pressed them on it, most would admit they don’t really know what exactly that means. Certainly it seems ridiculous to think that birthing a SPIRIT requires sex, pregnancy, and vaginal delivery (like “The Godmakers” implies). Some LDS like myself prefer the notion of free adoption over one of actual birth. Orson Pratt had some really unusual ideas that you hardly hear mentioned at all in the modern LDS Church.

    So I suppose I shouldn’t act like my view is the one and only allowed view under LDS theology. I don’t even know if my view is the most popular or not.

    You just have to take the scriptures and all the teachings and opinions of LDS authorities together and make up your own mind.

  51. echoechoecho said,

    May 15, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    Seth,

    Since you believe “the Fall was a necessary part of Heavenly Father’s plan for us”, your God is the author of evil.

    If a family needed money to live and the Father made a plan that requires their son to go out and rob a bank so that the family can be blessed with money, this Father would be the author of this evil.

  52. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    May 15, 2010 at 6:44 pm

    Seth, you wrote:

    “But it does not lower God. You seem to be operating under some sort of zero sum game where more for me means less for God. But why should this be the case?”

    Claiming that God never had enough power to create the spirit of man lowers God!! Joseph Smith said:

    “God never had power to create the Sp of Man at all” (352)
    “their spirits existed coequal with God” (359)
    God never did have power to create the spirit of man at all.” (360)

    Here is what Jesus would tell Joseph Smith: “Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.” Mt 22:29

    John the Beloved testified: “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” Re 4:11

    Power itself belongs to God: “God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God.” Ps 62:11

    The only true God—the God of the Bible, can do anything. There is nothing too hard for God: “Then came the word of the LORD unto Jeremiah, saying, Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?” Je 32:26-27

    Seth, you wrote:

    You just have to take the scriptures and all the teachings and opinions of LDS authorities together and make up your own mind.”

    No you don’t. If you do that, you will never come to know the God of love–the Savior who won you the forgiveness of sins–and the Holy Spirit who is the giver of life. What you must do is what those in the church at Ephesus did–try those who say they are apostles of God. When you do, you will know of a surety that they were not sent from God:

    “I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars.” Re 2:2

    Then, join me as my brother in Christ and praise the one and only God:

    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 Ch 29:11

  53. sdrogers said,

    May 15, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    I see you’ve pretty much given up on trying to explain how your God is not the author of evil if he created everything.

    For Mormon theology, we simply say that sin is never unavoidable. Even if sin is highly likely, it is never a given.

    Besides, I don’t have to blame God for evil in a universe that he did not create ex nihilo. Evil is simply a pre-existent reality in a universe that is co-eternal with God. Kind of like 2+2=4. Just the way things are.

    And it is a universal law that good can have no meaning without evil.

    LDSwoman,

    Does God have the power to create a rock so big he cannot lift it?

    Now, be careful how you answer, because if you say no, then you have – in your own words – “diminished God.”

  54. osbornekristen said,

    May 15, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    I have been reading the comments on this particular post in shock and silence for the past several days. I am overwhelmed with such dismay and sadness as I read through Seth’s comments. To even suggest that God didn’t create our spirits is just insane!! Our all-powerful, amazing, loving God who can calm the seas with a mere whisper, cause mountains to crumble, knit together a baby inside the womb is not powerful enough to create our spirits??? REALLY??

    I will certainly be saving this new LDS info to discuss with next set of missionaries who show up at my door. Boy, I guess this is why the LDS church trains its missionaries to teach milk before meat. Because, if they were to knock on doors and share these beliefs people would see right away that they are not just “another Christian denomination.”

    This just makes it clear that LDS do not believe that God is all-powerful. Shocking! I’m disgusted………really. I think I may call the local bishop in my area and ask him about this info. I’m glad you posted this Seth. It only deepens what I already knew……….Joseph Smith is a liar, a fraud and a false prophet, who attempted to take glory away from God.

    It is impossible to believe the Bible and believe the words of Smith. Run, run, run into the arms of Jesus!!!

  55. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    May 15, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    Seth,

    I am familiar with that trick and you trying to use it on me does not show your better side. You have no interest in God’s truths. I am so thankful that God has opened my heart and mind to the truth. I will continue to pray for you.

    “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

    19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

    20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:” Romans 1:16-20

  56. sdrogers said,

    May 15, 2010 at 9:26 pm

    Apparently the Protestants here are better at expressing shock and sadness than they are at actually formulating a decent argument.

    1 Peter 3:15

    If all you guys are going to do is put on a pious act of sorrow and indignation, then for heaven sakes, get off the Internet and participate in your religion in a way that suits you better.

    Emotional appeals don’t work on the Internet.

    I don’t know any of you personally. For all I know you could be faking it just to score brownie points with your other Evangelical cronies here. I can’t see you, I don’t know you, I have no way to judge your intentions other than to take your word for it.

    So can the emotionally overwrought hand-wringing. It’s not working, and it’s never going to work here.

    In fact, the way you all are using it merely makes me think you don’t really care one way or the other what I think, or whether I end up in hell or not, but rather you are more interested in putting on some pharasiacal act of piety hoping this nonsense will score you points with God or something.

    If you really cared about me one way or the other, you’d actually be listening and engaging what I’m saying rather than tripping over yourselves in eagerness to display just how “lovingly concerned” you all are.

    So you’re concerned about me?

    Then come up with a decent argument already!

  57. catzgalore said,

    May 15, 2010 at 10:04 pm

    Seth, latterdaysaint woman has already given you a decent argument. Just prayerfully study what she is saying. Could you do that?

    What I do know is that the only way you will listen is if God gives you ears to hear. Arguments make no difference, you aren’t listening anyway– you can’t… If you were listening, you would hear the decent argument that is already here.

  58. echoechoecho said,

    May 15, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    Seth said: “I see you’ve pretty much given up on trying to explain how your God is not the author of evil if he created everything.”

    Evil is the absence of good just as darkness is the absence of light. God created Satan, Adam and Eve good. Satan sinned, Adam sinned, Eve sinned. They are ALL the author of their own evil.

    The Fall ruined God’s perfect creation and brought sin, suffering and death to the entire world.

    Seth, while you continue on celebrating every sin ever committed since the creation of the world because “sin is a pillar of your salvation”, we will continue to mourn and weep until our redemption. Who knows, perhaps your God will bless you with an abundance of suffering in the hands of those who sin against you so you can celebrate to your hearts content!

    Unfortunately I think that is your only hope at seeing the true light.

  59. sdrogers said,

    May 15, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    A decent argument about what? Because on the recent subjects, I must have missed it.

  60. sdrogers said,

    May 16, 2010 at 12:11 am

    Which simply begs the question of why God created a universe with places where he is not.

    Why didn’t he create Adam and Eve such that they would have no such absence?

    You answer is no answer at all.

  61. echoechoecho said,

    May 16, 2010 at 12:59 am

    God fills the universe:

    Jeremiah 23:24 “Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.

  62. catzgalore said,

    May 16, 2010 at 7:47 am

    I read the thread again. The original question was answered well and seems to have been discussed. The topic went all sorts of directions. People got defensive, and you ended up bringing up the old “Does God have the power to create a rock so big he cannot lift it?” question again. What kind of answer are you seeking? To ask that question of the God of the Bible shows you are ignorant of His true nature.

    “It was God Himself who set in motion the laws that define and allow evil. He did this by establishing a righteous standard and then allowing His created beings, angelic and human, the freedom to accept or reject that righteous standard. Evil stems from wrong choices—the rejection of what is right.”

    John Meakin- Robert Boraker

  63. sdrogers said,

    May 16, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    Echo, if he fills the universe, that must mean he encompasses the evil parts to – which would then be ultimately his responsibility, with him as the source of them.

    catz, the rock-so-big analogy was simply meant to point out that God is bound by the rules of logic – even under you theology.

    For a Mormon, God’s status as God is simply contingent upon his being totally in harmony with universal realities of order and good. Since he is perfectly in harmony with those universal principles, he is “God.”

    Again, I fail to see why this diminishes God at all. It’s little different from what you yourselves believe.

  64. echoechoecho said,

    May 16, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Seth said: Echo, if he fills the universe, that must mean he encompasses the evil parts to – which would then be ultimately his responsibility, with him as the source of them.”

    Jeremiah 23:24 “Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.

    Seth, God himself said he fills heaven and earth, therefore your argument is against God, not me.

    Any explanation I would give you clearly would never satisfy you or penetrate into your hardened heart because you won't even let God's own word penetrate your heart. Your arguing against his word! If God's word can't penetrate your heart, then no human being stands a chance of ever convincing you of anything.

    Take care Seth

  65. catzgalore said,

    May 16, 2010 at 3:02 pm

    There are so many things about my faith that are not “logical”. God does not have to be bound by the rules of logic. He doesn’t have to be bound except by His own choosing.

    The rock question is just silly. My God created the heavens and the earth. He can do as He pleases, and He doesn’t have to be limited by “logic”. I do not have to understand, in fact, I can’t understand everything about God. That’s okay with me. My God is God BECAUSE HE IS GOD. Not because He fulfills any requirements at all. You seem to be saying that He has to “qualify” somehow. That fits with the LDS position that He isn’t the ONLY god; NOT with the Christian position that he is the ONLY GOD. Back to the foundational difference– the very nature of God. If you do not agree with that fundamental thing, then nothing else matters. It is then quite useless to discuss anything else.

  66. shematwater said,

    May 17, 2010 at 8:49 am

    First, it was put to me that there was a difference in modern scripture (using the JST) and the Bible. It is a bad example, as I would simple say that the JST is the original text, and thus the contradiction is not with modern scripture, but with mortal translations of the Bible.

    Now, more to the cuurent foolishness going on.

    ECHO
    If God created Adam, Eve, and Satan so that they could sin, he thus created sin as it was work that made it possible. They chose sin, but the choice was created by God. This is the logical conclusion.
    This is not a problem for the LDS, as Seth said, as we accept that Evil and sin simply exist. They were never created and they will be. They are a law of existance.

    CATZ
    I love the defense that your doctrine doesn’t have to be logical. After all, with this argument and discussion are useless as they are solely based on logic. So, by saying that you don’t need logic is basically saying that you refuse to listen to reason, or even use the reason God gave.
    For me, and it seems for Seth as well, we are eager to use the reasoning that God has given us, and accept his invitation to “come, let us reason together.” (Isaiah 1: 18). As God has offered to reason with us, not just tell us things, I look forward to the logic he uses to bring to my understanding all the truths of eternity.
    For this reason I will reject anything that is not logical.

  67. osbornekristen said,

    May 17, 2010 at 10:06 am

    Colossians 1:16 “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him”

    Deuteronomy 32:6 “Do ye thus requite the LORD, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee?”

    Isaiah 44:24 “Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself”

    These verses make it clear that God is the creator off ALL things. It DOES not say the “organizer of all things.>” And, from doing a quick search on lds.org, it seems that many of your prophets, leaders and even the B of M agree that God is Omnipotent.

    Omnipotence (from Latin: Omni Potens: “all power”) is unlimited power. So, I don’t get it. Either he is all-powerful and has the ability to create all……….including our spirits or he does not. It seems that the folks who “claim” to have a direct line to the Heavenly Father and receive direct revelations from Him are confused themselves. Talk about contradictions.

    Marion G. Romney: “They answered and said, Caesar’s. “And he said unto them, Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s. “And they could not take hold of his words before the people: and they marvelled at his answer, and held their peace.” (Luke 20:23–26.) Not only was Jesus all wise, he was also omniscient and omnipotent. All these things—the events of his premortal life, the evidence of his wisdom, of his omniscience and omnipotence, and his victory over.” Gospel Library > Magazines > Ensign > September 1974

    King Benjamin’s people declared, “The Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually” (Mosiah 5:2).

    Gordon B. Hinckley: “His power is greater than the power of nature, for He is the Creator Omnipotent.” Gospel Library > Magazines > Liahona > July 2006 Ezra Taft Benson: “Jesus Christ was and is the Lord God Omnipotent.” Gospel Library > Magazines > Ensign > June 1990

    So, is God all-powerful and the Creator Omnipotent……meaning Creator all-powerful, or is he not?

    Seth, I think your last comments……which were obviously directed at me……were uncalled for. I know you don’t know me……or any of us on this site personally. I just honestly, truly feel for you and all LDS who have been fooled by leaders who can’t even keep their answers straight and inline with the claims of their predecessors. It does SADDEN me. I think all of us Christians, on the site have intimate, personal investments in the lives of LDS members. We are on here because we love one or more LDS members personally and want them to learn the TRUTH.

    I have learned a lot about the LDS religion from ldswoman and her very thoroughly documented sources……but I have learned even more about the truth of Mormonism by reading comments from LDS folks just like you. LDS always claim that Christians spread false info about them or don’t understand the truth of what they believe. But, when you state your beliefs on here……there really isn’t much left to doubt about what you believe……you, yourself, claim what you believe…and quote the sources where your beliefs come from. That is why I visit this site…….to hear LDS beliefs straight from the horses mouth.

    When I compare what you claim to believe to the Bible…….there are obvious and blatant contradictions. I am very tired of the whole LDS claim that Christians are just misinformed about LDS beliefs and have been given false info via the internet and other sources. The truth is……..when we hear true LDS views from folks like you…..they are often even stranger and more unbiblical than what we have read about on “anti-Mormon” sites. The more I read and learn about what LDS really do believe……the sadder I become……..not only for you and all LDS…….but for those members I know and love on a personal basis.

    I’m not sure why you were so harsh to me in one of your last postings. I don’t need to earn any respect or applause from anyone. I only answer to Christ himself…….thankfully, he is the only one who has authority over me. I don’t have to prove my righteousness or works to a bishop, stake president, etc. In fact, I don’t have to prove my righteousness to Heavenly Father himself…….Christ already did that for me on the cross……His blood is my righteousness…..I don’t need to score brownie points with Him or other Christians. I live for Him because I love Him and want to work out the salvation/(the reward of spending eternity with Him) that HE HAS ALREADY GIVEN ME!!!

    I’m just glad that by reading comments from LDS members like you, I am learning what LDS truly believe instead of the glossed-over, milk before meat…… “we believe a lot like you,” “just another Christian denomination,” claims that I have heard from the young men who have shown up at my door. And yes, the more I learn……the sadder I become. I truly had hoped that many of the LDS beliefs I had read about from other sources were indeed false…..but that unfortunately has not been the case. My fear and worry for those I love has grown even more and I am more sure now than ever before that Smith was a complete fraud……..a good fraud……but a fraud none the less.

  68. sdrogers said,

    May 17, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    I don’t really care much what you all think about me and it’s not really a matter of interest to me whether your hearts are full of love or concern. I don’t know you. This is the Internet. For all I know you could all be a perverse bad of atheists masquerading as right-wing fundamentalist Protestants (highly unlikely – but it’s not like I have a way to check). There is no personal connection here.

    All you have here are your arguments. And if those fail, then your presence here on the Internet fails. I’m not going to waste time and energy agonizing about whether you really care or not. It’s irrelevant to the issues anyway.

    Colossians 1:16 “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him”

    Deuteronomy 32:6 “Do ye thus requite the LORD, O foolish people and unwise? is not he thy father that hath bought thee? hath he not made thee, and established thee?”

    Isaiah 44:24 “Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself”

    None of those verses establish creation ex nihilo.

    Each and every time, it is YOU who are ASSUMING that words like “create” and “made” automatically mean “out of nothing.”

    The word create means no such thing.

    I “made” $500.00 at work yesterday. Then I went home and did some “creative” writing.

    But I didn’t do either ex nihilo, let me assure you. So your scriptures here fail to establish the point.

    As for omnipotence.

    I believe God did not create anything ex nihilo.

    And I believe God is omnipotent.

    I see no contradiction. Don’t know why you do.

  69. echoechoecho said,

    May 17, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    I am the LORD that maketh all things” Isaiah 44:24

    God has made ALL things. That means that nothing existed that he did not make. ALL means ALL.

    Once again Seth, you argue against God’s own word and not us. And once again, anyone who does not listen to God most certainly won’t listen to us.

    .

  70. sdrogers said,

    May 17, 2010 at 4:03 pm

    Nice try echo, but you missed the point.

    The key word is not “all things.”

    The key word is “maketh.”

    Tell me, why are you assuming that the word “made” automatically means ex nihilo?

    That is not the usual usage of the word “made.”

    Usually the word “made” imply creation from something already there. In this case, God “made” the universe out of pre-existent material.

    What else you got?

  71. echoechoecho said,

    May 17, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    No! The emphasis isn’t “made” it is “made ALL things” Don’t subtract from God’s word!

    For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist” (Colossians 1:16).

    Once again you refuse to accept God’s own word.

  72. sdrogers said,

    May 17, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    You’re the one subtracting from God’s word echo.

    You’re the one forcing it into your own agenda – despite open meaning of the actual text.

    Even if we emphasize “all things” it still doesn’t make your point.

    Because I agree God made “all things.”

    Out of a pre-existing eternal universe.

    Perhaps it is you Echo who is dismissing the scriptures. Because from what I’ve seen here, you are more interested in your own ideology than you are in the Biblical text.

  73. osbornekristen said,

    May 17, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    So, you refuse to accept that God can create something out of nothing….I get that is what YOU believe.

    We have shown you verses that biblically refute this thought. So, where are the passages in scripture that support your view that God cannot or does not create things ex nihilo. I’m interested to see what actual passages support the fact that God is not able to create something out of nothing.

  74. catzgalore said,

    May 17, 2010 at 8:19 pm

    Seth, you said…”All you have here are your arguments. And if those fail, then your presence here on the Internet fails.”

    No, our presence here doesn’t fail. We aren’t doing this to earn anything, or to “do good works”. That is not our intent. We love the Lord, we love Mormons. If you or Shem never believe, we have not failed. We will not be rewarded any less because of you.

    You are not the only ones who follow this blog, or read it. We pray for those who read. We pray that those that are truly seeking will find the Lord. Obviously, you are not really seeking, you are only here to refute whatever is said. We pray for you too, that God would let you see and hear.

    We pray that those that are reading can see, as we have, the truth of what Mormons believe. So many of the anti-Mormon sites are inflammatory and condemning. We are glad you are here to provide information that is, as Echo said, from the horse’s mouth. God is using you here.

    We pray that there are people that are encouraged by this blog. If it makes you think, and someday you decide to follow the Lord instead of the LDS church, we would rejoice! But not because we get any “points” or earn a higher place in heaven.

  75. sdrogers said,

    May 17, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    Hey, you guys are the ones forwarding the strange notion that everything came out of nothing.

    So you guys prove it.

    So far, you’ve failed to establish anything. You’ve just thrown out a bunch of scriptures that I’ve already demonstrated don’t establish your claim.

    So the ball is in your court.

    So far, you’re fumbling it.

  76. sdrogers said,

    May 18, 2010 at 1:25 am

    catzgalore, you write:

    “We aren’t doing this to earn anything”

    Then you immediately contradict yourself in the same paragraph with this:

    “We will not be rewarded any less because of you.”

    Interesting how these little slip-ups reveal the true nature of a person. Glad to know I’m not preventing you from earning your brownie points. Carry on.

  77. catzgalore said,

    May 18, 2010 at 6:46 am

    LOL Seth if you don’t see it you don’t see it. What more can be said?

    LDS doctrine is famous for having expanded meanings and I guess this is one of them. The truth is, the LDS god couldn’t have created the Heavens and the Earth, it doesn’t fit your theology. Creating out of nothing would elevate your god above all the other gods! Comparing the Christian GOD– the Great I AM– and the LDS god is like comparing an apple and a green bean. Not the same. You are trying to convince us that the One we call GOD is only a pea in a pod ( I am NOT saying God is an apple, LOL). He didn’t REALLY create the universe, it was already here. Just in a different form. He’s not the ONLY god, just the god of THIS world.

    The God of the universe is way bigger than you think. He is beyond logic, beyond time, beyond space, beyond comprehension. You are free to continue to try to fit Him in a box and explain everything within your set of rules; you are free to change definitions so things mean something they are not.

    I was never a good ball player. You should see me play tennis (except nobody will; I played for the last time many years ago, LOL) If you want to brag about your victory go ahead.

    Just think about what you are saying in your victory… Your god is not as great as you think. He’s not all powerful, he’s not really the ultimate Authority. He’s not in charge of EVERYTHING; he’s only in charge of this earth. It’s possible to become a god just like him and then you can create your own world. YOU CAN BE GOD!
    If you can’t see that LDS doctrine elevates man and brings God down to man’s level then you can’t see it. There’s nothing to say to you that will convince you. I pray that someday God convinces you of His greatness and that you will see Him for what He is. I pray that someday you will know the priceless Gift that He gave.

    Have a fun victory party!

  78. osbornekristen said,

    May 18, 2010 at 7:29 am

    The one who is fumbling it you, Seth. Again, I would like…..no love, to see scripture point to the fact that God does NOT have the power to merely speak something into being. If my verses prove nothing, then where are yours that do??

    If you believe in this idea of God not creating our spirits or not having the power to speak life or matter into being……then where, biblically, have, you gotten your info??

    The ball is in YOUR court……..we have shown you where the Bible says that God makes all things……seen and unseen……..where are your scriptures that say otherwise.

    You realize that by saying, “God can’t” you are lessoning His might and power…….making Him more human (having to have things with which to create) and less God. Again, where do you get your proof?? It is your turn.

  79. osbornekristen said,

    May 18, 2010 at 7:57 am

    “Now, I ask all who hear me, why the learned men who are preaching salvation, say that God created the heavens and the earth out of nothing? The reason is, that they are unlearned in the things of God, and have not the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
    –Joseph Smith; compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith, Teachings, p. 350.

    “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” [Hebrews 11:3, KJV]

    “By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” [Hebrews 11:3; NIV]

    Which is it……..do you believe the Bible or Smith……you can’t trust in both!

  80. shematwater said,

    May 18, 2010 at 10:04 am

    Seth is right in this argument. The word “made” and the word “create” are rarely used to mean “out of nothing.” In fact they are never used in this way, except by the general christian body to explain their doctrines concerning God.
    Here are the various definitions given in the online dictionary.
    1.to cause to come into being, as something unique that would not naturally evolve or that is not made by ordinary processes.
    2.to evolve from one’s own thought or imagination, as a work of art or an invention.
    3.Theater. to perform (a role) for the first time or in the first production of a play.
    4.to make by investing with new rank or by designating; constitute; appoint: to create a peer.
    5.to be the cause or occasion of; give rise to: The announcement created confusion.
    6.to cause to happen; bring about; arrange, as by intention or design: to create a revolution; to create an opportunity to ask for a raise.

    None of these definitions speak to creation of of nothing. All speak to the creating of something out of what was there. As such, for the LDS to use these definitions in interpreting the Bible is perfectly sound. So any scripture you try to use to support “ex nihilo” is easily seen as a support for the LDS doctrine. To prove your point you can’t just give a scripture that he created everything, but you must give one that states directly that he created out of nothing.

    As to Omnipotent, I see no contradiction. From your own definition of the Latin word you can see the LDS doctrine. Kristen said “Omnipotence (from Latin: Omni Potens: “all power“)” God does have “All Power.” Does this mean “unlimited.” No. All and Unlimited are not synonomous. To have all power means that God is in possession of “All Power” available to any existant being. With this it is perfectly logical to say that there are some powers that are not available to any being. Thus, God can be Omnipotent, and yet there can still be things that God cannot do.

  81. sdrogers said,

    May 18, 2010 at 11:09 am

    Hebrews 11:3, says in the KJV: “Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.”

    According to another translation of the same passage:

    “It is by faith that we understand that the ages were created by a word from God, so that from the invisible the visible world came to be” (NJB).

    What this text says is that God created visible things literally “from” invisible things (ε’ις το μη ‘εκ φαινομενων). But the invisible things are not nothing; they already exist.

    Calling something “invisible” doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

    Radio waves are invisible. Does that mean they don’t exist?

  82. echoechoecho said,

    May 18, 2010 at 12:39 pm

    What this whole discussion boils down to is this:

    The power of the LDS God pales in comparison to the God of Christianity. The power of the LDS God is put to shame and disgrace by the power of the God of Christianity.

    The LDS God is not “ALL-POWERFUL” for he cannot create anything out of nothing. This God is just like a mere man, he can only create something out of something.

    The Christian God is “ALL-POWERFUL” for he can create everything out of nothing.

  83. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    May 18, 2010 at 1:35 pm

    LDS prophets teach that matter has always existed. As well, they declare that the spirits of humans have eternally existed and are co-existent with God.

    But God’s Word declares that God existed BEFORE anything else:

    “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” Col 1:16-17

  84. sdrogers said,

    May 18, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Nice way to dodge the argument again Echo.

    Is caricature of the other side’s argument really the only tool in your belt?

    ldswoman – again you bring up a scripture that is irrelevant to the point you are trying to make.

    I too agree that God “created” things – out of pre-existent matter.

    By all means, keep throwing out Bible verses. But not one of them so far has made the point you’ve been trying to make.

  85. shematwater said,

    May 18, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Again, every body is being silly. The arguement cannot be proven either way by any scripture that both sides accept as such.
    The LDS accept scripture other than the Bible, and it is in this scripture that we learn of the eternal nature of all things. But as others do not accept this scripture it cannot be effective used to prove anything to those who refuse to accpet it.

    Echo
    You said “The power of the LDS God pales in comparison to the God of Christianity. The power of the LDS God is put to shame and disgrace by the power of the God of Christianity. The LDS God is not “ALL-POWERFUL” for he cannot create anything out of nothing. This God is just like a mere man, he can only create something out of something. The Christian God is “ALL-POWERFUL” for he can create everything out of nothing.”

    As far as I am concerned your god is a walking contradiction that makes no sense and is therefore unbelievable. On the other hand, while I will never fully understand him in this life, the LDS God is a God of reason, a God whose existance holds no contradiction, and thus is a God that is believable. His power is greater than the power of your god because the power of your god cannot exist, and is thus only fantasy. His power is very real. He has all power, for there is nothing that could possibly done that he cannot do. You god has all the imaginary power, while ours has all the real power.

    LDSWOMAN

    God did exist before all things, in this world. Verse sixteen gives us the context of verse 17. He created all things in the heaven and in the Earth, and existed before all of them. But what is the Heaven and the Earth. It is this planet and surrounding worlds without number. It is not all eternity.

  86. osbornekristen said,

    May 18, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    Again, I ask……..what verses do you have that prove that God does not have unlimited power?? What verses do you have that limit God’s power to the inability to create one’s spirit? You have given me nothing……except to argue against mine. Where are yours??

    Do believe God is almighty? I am pretty sure that almighty and all powerful are the same thing.

    If you believe that God is omnipotent (all-powerful) then according to the English language, you are stating that he is all-mighty and unlimited in power as well…….at least according to thesaurus.com.

    Main Entry: almighty
    Part of Speech: adjective
    Definition: having complete power, control
    Synonyms: absolute, all-powerful, invincible, mighty, omnipotent, puissant, supreme, unlimited

    Apparently, omnipotent (all-powerful) and unlimited ARE in fact synonyms. Maybe Smith should have written his own translation of dictionaries and thesauruses as well…….. so you would have a better case.

    Just so you know, your leaders think God is almighty:

    Hymns of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
    “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of creation! Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy way and defend thee.Surely his goodness and mercy shall ever attend thee.Ponder anewWhat the Almighty can do,Who with his love doth befriend thee.4.”Gospel Library > Support Materials > Teaching

    Marion G. Romney:
    So likewise the Father is almighty, the Son almighty, and the Holy Ghost almighty; and yet there are not three almighties, but one almighty. God the Father himself declared that we are his children. “At a time when Moses was caught up into an exceedingly high mountain, “… He saw God face to face, and he talked with him, … “And God spake unto Moses, saying: Behold, I am the Lord God Almighty, … “And behold, thou art my son” (Moses 1:1–4). Gospel Library > Magazines > New Era > April 1984

    D&C 19: 20 the Lord humbles men with his almighty power. D&C 20: 24 Son to reign with almighty power.

    Gordon B. Hinckley:
    The family is a creation of the Almighty. Again, what a glorious and wonderful provision the Almighty has made through His revelation to His Prophet.
    Gospel Library > Magazines > Ensign > May 2005

    . Eldon Tanner:
    So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Ghost Almighty; and yet there are not three Almighties, but one Almighty.
    Gospel Library > Magazines > Ensign > November 1978

    I could go on and on, and on and on……………………..

    I am assuming that they didn’t check to make sure that almighty and unlimited weren’t synonyms either.

    yourdictionary.com
    almighty definition
    al·mighty (ôl mīt′ē)
    adjective
    having unlimited power; all-powerful

    I could go on with various dictionaries and thesaurus’s as well……..

  87. echoechoecho said,

    May 18, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    Shem said: “As far as I am concerned your god is a walking contradiction that makes no sense and is therefore unbelievable.”

    And that is exactly what the Bible teaches also. That all the wisdom there is in the world cannot comprehend God. To a man like yourself Shem, the wisdom of God is foolishness just as the scripture predicts:

    1 Corinthians 1:20 “Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?”

    1 Corinthians 1:21 “For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.”

    1 Corinthians 1:25 “For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.”

    1 Corinthians 3:19 “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight”

    1 Corinthians 2:14 “The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.

    Those who don't believe the "foolishness" of God do not belong to him. And we cannot convince you because as the scripture says;The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from God because it is foolishness to him. So this discussion with you is totally pointless. We need to move onto the discussion that is going on in the other thread here because the Spirit comes through hearing the message. And that message is being spoken about in the other thread on repentance.

    Shem said: ” the LDS God is a God of reason, a God whose existance holds no contradiction, and thus is a God that is believable.”

    God’s reason contradicts our human reason:

    Isaiah 55:8 “”For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.”

    1 Corinthians 3:19 “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight”

  88. shematwater said,

    May 19, 2010 at 8:30 am

    ECHO

    The verses that you use prove nothing, as shown very nicely by myself and by Seth. As I said, the verses that prove our argument are not found in the Bible. They are found in the word of God given to man, but as you refuse to accept all of his word there is nothing we can do. But as you also fail to give even one scripture that states your position directly we are on even ground with our arguments when it comes to scriptural support. However, me and Seth have the advantage of logic which you do not.

    As to your synonyms for “Almighty,” I agree that unlimited is one of them. But it is only one. It is not the only one. No two words carry the exact same meaning. There are always slight variations of definition. As such, the simple fact that two words can be used synonymously means very little. As such we are again on even ground in the way of definitions.

    Even the phrase “Unlimited” does not always carry the meaning you are giving it. It is still bound by natural laws and reasoning. After all, a country may be given the right to “unlimited trade” but they would still be restricted by their ability to export and import goods. When people use the term “umlimited” in the way you are they are always speaking of an impossible hypothetical, such as “Unlimited resources.” Your use of the words in inconsistant with the English Language.

    I am glad you agree that those without faith see the truths of the gospel as foolishness. Maybe you will take this to heart and stop considering the truths offered by God through the LDS church as foolishness.
    Accusations can always be turned around, so let us refrain from using them.

    As to not understanding God, I never claimed to be able to, at least not completely. But God has declared that we are as he is, knowing good and evil. We have the same intelligence as God, and because of this he has invited us to “Reason together” with him. If we had not the capacity to understand in a logical manner the truths of the gospel, why would he invite us to do so?
    God’s reason does not contradict ours. They are in perfect harmony, when we actually try to ulilize our faculties. His thoughts are not our thoughts. He lives in the eternal worlds where nothing begins and nothing ends. We live in a mortal world where everything begins and ends. He has the experience of endless time. We have only a glimpse at a brief moment in eternity. We cannot share his thoughts because we cannot share his experience. That does not mean we cannot understand his reasoning when it laid before us.

  89. echoechoecho said,

    May 19, 2010 at 11:54 am

    I just want to highlight a point for all the readers of this blog that Shem made:

    “the verses that prove our argument are not found in the Bible. ”

  90. sdrogers said,

    May 19, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    Because apparently God lost the power of speech after about 100 AD, right Echo?

  91. echoechoecho said,

    May 19, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    He who “celebrates sin” belongs to his father the devil for the devil has been sinning since the beginning:

    1 John 3:8 “He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.”

    Therefore he who “celebrates sin” will listen to you.

    He who loves God hates sin and will listen to him.

  92. sdrogers said,

    May 20, 2010 at 12:04 am

    To summarize:

    “I’m right (and exceedingly virtuous) – blah, blah, blah… 1 John 3:8 – you’re evil… blah, blah, blah.”

    What is this? Apologetics for dummies?

  93. shematwater said,

    May 20, 2010 at 11:44 am

    ECHO

    Your attempt at accusations all fall rather short of the truth, and are thus hollow. I know of no one here who celebrates sins. For the simple fact that the LDS do not believe it was sin, as Adam and Eve had not the proper knowledge to commit such an act.
    Now you can disagree with this all you want, I really don’t care.

    The accusation of celebrating sin can just as easily be applied by us to you. After all you follow ministers who never received their calling from God, and are thus taking his name in Vain, one of the Ten Commandments. You are celebrating the works of sinners, and thus you have the devil as your father.

    See how easy it is? So let us stop the foolish attacks and accusations. They do you no good.

  94. osbornekristen said,

    May 20, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    Shem, you wrote: “After all you follow ministers who never received their calling from God, and are thus taking his name in Vain, one of the Ten Commandments.”

    Please explain the above quote you made to me. I REALLY would like to know your thoughts on this one. How do you know they were not called by the Lord?? You don’t even have ministers and let anyone in your ward give “talks” to teach people. Have they all received a calling??? I’m really interested to know your thoughts on this since this is once topic that I recently discussed with a missionary………who really had no clue about it…….but he was young and I just let it go. Please…….enlighten me.

  95. echoechoecho said,

    May 20, 2010 at 9:56 pm

    Shem said: Your attempt at accusations all fall rather short of the truth, and are thus hollow. I know of no one here who celebrates sins. For the simple fact that the LDS do not believe it was sin, as Adam and Eve had not the proper knowledge to commit such an act.
    Now you can disagree with this all you want, I really don’t care.

    I have accused you of nothing, the LDS Church accuses you by their statement that they “celebrate Eve’s act.” For it is written: “The wicked shall fall by his own wickedness” ( Proverbs 11:5) For again it is written: “The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips” (Proverbs 12:13)
    Therefore as long as you are a member of the LDS Church, you stand accountable for the SIN of celebrating Eve’s transgression.

    The LDS denies that Eve sinned. Instead they say what she did was a transgression. All the dictionaries I have looked into define transgression as “rebellion.”

    The Bible also defines transgression as rebellion:

    Ezekiel 2:3 “And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath rebelled against me: they and their fathers have transgressed against me, even unto this very day.”

    The Bible says that sin IS transgression:

    1 John 3:4 “Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin IS the transgression of the law.”

    The LDS celebrates rebellion against God. For it is written: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

    The LDS justify the wicked by the very act of celebrating sin!:

    Proverbs 17:15 “He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD.”

    Those who praise the wicked, such as would be the case in celebrating Eve’s transgression, forsake the law:

    Proverbs 28:4 “They that forsake the law praise the wicked:”

    It matters not whether you reject the biblical definition of transgression because the Bible says that both sinners and transgressors will equally be destroyed:

    Isaiah 1:28 “And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sinners shall be together, and they that forsake the LORD shall be consumed.”

    But transgressors will be destroyed as well as those who celebrate transgression because transgression is wickedness and you celebrate wickedness:

    Psalm 37:38 “But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.”

    Psalm 59:5 “Thou therefore, O LORD God of hosts, the God of Israel, awake to visit all the heathen: be not merciful to any wicked transgressors. Selah.”

    In the verse below the righteous grieve over transgressors but in contrast the LDS celebrates transgressors! Transgressors are those who don’t keep God’s word. The LDS therefore celebrates those who don’t keep God’s word!

    Psalm 119:158 “I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; because they kept not thy word.”

    The LDS celebrates perverseness! They celebrate those who will be destroyed by perverseness because that is a transgression!

    Proverbs 11:3 “The integrity of the upright shall guide them: but the perverseness of transgressors shall destroy them.”

    The LDS celebrates those who are naughty because that is a transgression!:

    Proverbs 11:6 “The righteousness of the upright shall deliver them: but transgressors shall be taken in their own naughtiness.”

    The LDS celebrates those who will eat violence because thats what happens to transgressors:

    Proverbs 13:2 “A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence.”

    The LDS celebrates the whore and those who transgress along with her because that is transgression.

    Proverbs 23:27-28 “For a whore is a deep ditch; and a strange woman is a narrow pit. She also lieth in wait as for a prey, and increaseth the transgressors among men.:

    The LDS celebrates thieves because thieves are transgressors!

    Mark 15: 27-28 “And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left. And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors.

    The LDS celebrates those who deal treacherously against God because that is transgression!:

    Hosea 6:77 But they like men have transgressed the covenant: there have they dealt treacherously against me.

    Shem said: The accusation of celebrating sin can just as easily be applied by us to you. After all you follow ministers who never received their calling from God, and are thus taking his name in Vain, one of the Ten Commandments. You are celebrating the works of sinners, and thus you have the devil as your father.

    See how easy it is? So let us stop the foolish attacks and accusations. They do you no good.

    I don’t follow ministers, I follow God above all men therefore I am not celebrating the work of sinners and not taking his name in vain. . It is a sin to choose to follow a man rather than God himself which is your sin, not mine. The men you follow have NOT received their calling from God! Your own sin of celebrating sin and of following man over God is what attacks and accuses you. For it is written: “The wicked shall fall by his own wickedness” ( Proverbs 11:5) For again it is written: “The wicked is snared by the transgression of his lips” (Proverbs 12:13)

  96. sdrogers said,

    May 20, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    You know… it’s just so cute when Evangelicals throw out dozens of scriptures like it proves their point. The little dears.

  97. ckuhrasch said,

    May 21, 2010 at 7:18 am

    I have been following this post for a while now and while it has gone in many directions, I have been trying to look at the reasons behind what is being said. I am trying to discern our respective needs for believing what we do. One of the issues that has arisen seems to be the nature of God. Our beliefs about Him are vital to us because they determine what we believe about the nature of man.

    We all love God and want to be loved by God in the deepest sense possible, but we have to be careful not to blur the lines between us. The greatest sin of all is the pride of wanting to be like God. “You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God” C.S. Lewis, in The Problem of Pain states, “This act of self-will on the part of the creature, which constitutes an utter falseness to its true creaturely position, is the only sin that can be conceived as the Fall.”

    Lewis also makes the distinction between God and man clear when he says “What God begets is God; just as what man begets is man. What God creates is not God; just as what man makes is not man. That is why men are not Sons of God in the sense that Christ is. They may be like God in certain ways, but they are not things of the same kind. They are more like statues or pictures of God.”

    Of course we want to be the best we can be for the One who so lovingly created us. But it is only by admitting the difference between us and our complete need for Him in all things, even our sanctification toward perfection, that we truly demonstrate our love and awe of Him.

  98. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    May 21, 2010 at 9:50 am

    Cindy,

    Very well said! Thanks.

  99. echoechoecho said,

    May 21, 2010 at 10:12 am

    Well said ckuhrasch.

  100. sdrogers said,

    May 21, 2010 at 10:30 am

    ckuhrasch,

    Evangelicals like to point to Genesis 3:4-5 like it proves that the desire to become like God is sinful.

    The scripture passage makes no such point.

    The usual Evangelical arguments I hear on this verse usually boil down to – “Well, Satan said it – so that makes it bad!”

    This is just silly.

    Something is not bad just because Satan said it.

    What about the evil spirit who declared Jesus Christ to be the Son of God? Do you consider that being to have been lying? Is Jesus not the Son of God just because a demon said he was?

    Well, of course not – that’s ridiculous. Even demons can speak the truth when it suits them. And in Genesis 3:4-5, Satan is speaking the truth – or a half-truth if you like. Knowledge of good and evil does make one like God – and since God is perfection itself, then knowledge of good and evil must be – by definition – a good thing. Wouldn’t you agree?

    But you don’t have to take my word for it. God himself affirms the truth in the serpent’s words only a few verses later in Genesis 3:22:

    “And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil”

    There you are – plain as day.

    The serpent was right.

    Eating the fruit did make Adam and Eve “like God.”

    Which is – by definition – a good thing.

    The end.

  101. sdrogers said,

    May 21, 2010 at 10:34 am

    It might be helpful for a few of you here to take a step back and ask yourself:

    How screwed up must your belief system be if it’s got you actually making straight-faced arguments that wanting to be like God is a bad thing?

    I mean, are you serious?

    God is a bad thing? Really?

  102. catzgalore said,

    May 21, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    Seth, you said…
    You know… it’s just so cute when Evangelicals throw out dozens of scriptures like it proves their point. The little dears.

    Can you see how silly this makes you sound? It makes me sad– you just don’t have any answers so you must belittle. Is this a mature, well thought out, respectful reply?

  103. shematwater said,

    May 22, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    ECHO

    As I said, I really don’t care what you believe or say about the LDS belief. There is no point in arguing as it can not lead to any real conclusion. The only thing one can do is to analyze the doctrine of each religion, and than ask God which is the “One Church” and the “One Faith.”

    As to Adam and Eve, please show me where it says that Eve commited sin. Your only basis is that God gave a command and Eve broke it. Fine. I’ll admit this. But the account tells us that Adam and Eve had not the Knowledge of Good and Evil. One cannot commit evil when one does not know what evil is. Just like little children, whom Christ said we must all be like. They are guiltless because they lack understanding. Are they still violating the law? Of course they are. But they are not accountable for those violations, because they do not understand.

    I will not waste time in giving scriptural references, nor will I read any more from you. It doesn’t matter. This is what I believe, and what the Church teaches. We do not celebrate sin. We celebrate a very necessary act made by a person who did not understand what she was doing.

    CKUHRASCH

    There are some problems with Lewis’s analysis is that God states that it was true.

    Genesis Chapter Three
    4-5 “And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”

    There are two things stated here. One, that she would not die. And two, that she would be like God. Which one was the lie, or were both a lie?

    22: “And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil.”

    Here we have our answer. The serpant did lie, but not on both points. The lie was that they would not die. But God says that they became like him, and in the way that the serpant said they would. This is the trickiest of all diceptions, the lie mixed with the truth.

    The other problem with Lewis’s analysis is when he talks about us not being sons of God, and thus not being like God. Without giving them, as I am sure you are aware of them, let me refer your mind to the many references to us not only being the sons of God, but his being the “Father of Spirits.” What Lewis says is only true when you reject the pre-existance. As we do not reject it, but embrace the truth that we are the literal offspring of diety in the spirit, we can say to Lewis “You are right that what God begets is God, and since he begat us we are of the same as he.”

    OSBORNE

    Of course we have ministers. We have plenty of them. There are the quorum presidencies, the Bishopric, the Stake Presidencies, the Home Teachers, The Sunday School Presidency, the teachers in each class, the primary presidency, the High Councel, etc. All of these are ministers called of God. All have been set apart for their calling. Even those who give the talks in Sacrement Meeting are ministers, as they receive the call from God, and before the meeting are blessed to faithfully carry out the assignment. They are not set apart by the priesthood as it is a one time thing (though they may be called again).
    The way that I can tell others have not been called of God is that we are told in Hebrews that “No man taketh this honor unto himself, save he who is called of God as was Aaron.” (Heb. 5: 4) As Aaron received his call by revelation through a prophet of God, anyone who has not had a similar calling cannot honestly claim to have the authority of God.

    This is one reason that the brethren of the LDS church frequently carry with them a record of their priesthood ordination line. It is a recod of who ordained them, who that person was ordained by, who that person was ordained by, following the line all the way back to Joseph Smith, who was ordained by Peter, James, and John, who were ordained by Christ. This priesthood geneology is escencial to prove that one has received their priesthood and calling in the approriate way.

  104. sdrogers said,

    May 24, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    catz,

    At least I haven’t called anyone here a child of Satan.

    Hope that puts things in perspective for you.

  105. echoechoecho said,

    May 24, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    Seth said: “The serpent was right. Eating the fruit did make Adam and Eve “like God.” Which is – by definition – a good thing.”

    The serpent was wrong. Eating the fruit made Adam and Eve like Satan. Adam and Eve rebelled against God and Satan is the Father of rebellion against God. Sinful Rebellion against God NEVER makes a person like God.

    Seth said: “It might be helpful for a few of you here to take a step back and ask yourself: How screwed up must your belief system be if it’s got you actually making straight-faced arguments that wanting to be like God is a bad thing? I mean, are you serious? God is a bad thing? Really?”

    Wanting to be like God morally is a good thing. On the other hand, making “straight faced arguments” that sins of rebellion against God result in a person becoming like God is the result of a “screwed up belief system”. The only God that the sin of rebellion results in us becoming like is Satan. Satan is the God of this world and has been sinning since the beginning. Rebellion against God makes us like God? Perhaps you should consider asking yourself your own question: “Are you serious?”

    What the Bible means by “To know good and evil” is this: to have total and absolute autonomy. It means to be totally in charge of our own existence. It means we are accountable to no man NOR God. It is man making his own decisions as to what is good and what is evil without having to be in alignment with God’s own revealed Will. It is man making choices independent of God’s revealed Will. Something the LDS clearly does.

    God is autonomous – he is not accountable to anyone outside of himself. God is the creator. Mankind are his creatures. Creatures are accountable to their creator. Having this “knowledge of good and evil” means that man resists God’s will for him and instead lives by his own Will thus implying that man is not accountable to God and that man desires to be independent from God. That is what the sin of rebellion against God does. The LDS celebrates rebellion against God.

    Prior to the Fall into rebellion, Adam and Eve were created on this earth to live forever. To never die! This is made clear by their access to the tree of life (Genesis 3:22)

    When God said: “Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil” , he was saying that now that man has made himself autonomous, becoming his own God or THE God rather than being accountable to his creator. And since man is declaring independence from God, the tree of life was no longer accessible to man. (Gen 3:22-23)

    What a profound picture of man’s complete inability to access eternal life by anything we do now that the Fall has taken place! The only way that man can again eat of the tree of life is if God himself and God alone leads man to once again to be so fully and completely dependant on him in all things and for all things that we are left with empty hands like a beggar, left helpless like an infant, left like a dead person who cannot bring himself back to life. Left beating our breast like the publican who had empty hands:

    Luke 18:13-14 “And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”

    This death sentence is serious business! Not only did the fall bring physical death to Adam and Eve. As long as Adam and Eve remained independent from God and autonomous – they would reap an eternity in outer darkness with no escape! Rebellion against God is NOT something to be celebrated! The moment that physical death overcame them, this is the same moment their spiritual death would overcome them. An eternity in outer darkness with no escape. No second chance after their physical death. Man’s physical death not only a physical reality but also a sign of the spiritual reality that takes place at the same moment in time. Upon physical death, our eternal fate is set in stone and unchangeable thereafter. But thanks be to God alone, he saw to it that Adam and Eve did not remain autonomous.

    The LDS Church clearly declares autonomy against God in celebrating rebellion against God.

  106. echoechoecho said,

    May 24, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    Shem said: “The only thing one can do is to analyze the doctrine of each religion, and than ask God which is the “One Church” and the “One Faith.”

    Nowhere in the Bible does God ask us to ask God to see which church is the one church and which is the one faith. God has already revealed the truth in the scriptures. Those who contradict his word in the scriptures like the LDS Church does don’t belong to the one church or the one faith.

    Those who are noble in God’s eyes search the scriptures:

    Acts 17:11 “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”

    Those who ask God to reveal truth apart from his already revealed word or in some other way are in fact testing God and that is a sin.

    Shem said: “As to Adam and Eve, please show me where it says that Eve commited sin.

    Romans 5:12 “Wherefore, as by one man [Adam] SIN entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned”

    Shem said: “One cannot commit evil when one does not know what evil is.”

    The moment God told them not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they knew it was something God had forbidden them to do.

    James 4:17 “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”

    Shem said: ” will not waste time in giving scriptural references, nor will I read any more from you. It doesn’t matter. This is what I believe, and what the Church teaches. We do not celebrate sin. We celebrate a very necessary act made by a person who did not understand what she was doing.”

    Rebellion against God was never a necessary act and was never a pillar of salvation.

    Shem said: “I will not waste time in giving scriptural references,”

    It’s unfortunate that you believe that giving people God’s very own word is “a waste of time” yet giving your own words and opinions on everything are not a waste of time to you. Not surprising I suppose, coming from one who celebrates rebellion against God. It only makes sense that you would exalt your own word as having much more credablitly than God’s own word. The same can be said of Seth.

    For me, giving my own word is a waste of time. It’s God’s word that should be the only thing used to convince people of anything.

  107. echoechoecho said,

    May 24, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    Seth said: “At least I haven’t called anyone here a child of Satan. Hope that puts things in perspective for you.”

    Seth, the theology of the LDS church fits. I wouldn’t tell you this to insult you but rather, I tell you in order to open your eyes and to save you from it. You too can be adopted into God’s family. That’s what I truly hope for you.

    Praying for you!

  108. sdrogers said,

    May 24, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    Incidentally, I disagree with Shem.

    I think taking the fruit was a “sin” – an “act of rebellion” as some here have stated.

    And incidentally, I don’t think anything but an extremely stupid and uncharitable reading of Shem’s comment could come up with the conclusion that he considers the scriptures a “waste of time.”

    Not at all.

    He considers quoting them TO YOU a waste of time.

    Which is a big difference.

  109. echoechoecho said,

    May 25, 2010 at 12:40 am

    Seth said: “He considers quoting them TO YOU a waste of time.

    Then why is he here posting to me?

  110. sdrogers said,

    May 25, 2010 at 12:46 am

    Sure echo. And I meant everything I said in an informative manner too. If any of that got through to you – great.

  111. echoechoecho said,

    May 25, 2010 at 1:27 am

    Seth said: “And incidentally, I don’t think anything but an extremely stupid and uncharitable reading of Shem’s comment could come up with the conclusion that he considers the scriptures a “waste of time.”

    Perhaps it was uncharitable for which an apology would be in order but I am uncertain that it was uncharitable since the majority of his posts are simply human opinion alone because he doesn’t back up his words with scripture. He claims he can back it all up with scripture but forces everyone to take his word for it. That is really tempting everyone to trust in him “rather than” or “more than” in God.

    If anyone wants to convince anyone through human opinion alone they are really wasting their time doing it that way. Only scripture has the power to change minds and hearts. “Let God be true and every man a liar” Romans 3:4 Shem should know that.

    And so he would then be considering me a “waste of time” before giving me any real words from God to show me that what he is saying is true thus cutting me off because I won’t fall to the temptation to trust him more than God himself.

    However God would have it be the other way around. He would have Shem exhaust himself giving me scriptures and instead leave out any personal opinions that he has that can’t be backed up by scripture, since God wants me and you and Shem to trust God above every man.

    Honestly, I don’t think he has scripture to back up what he says and unless he is willing to back up everything he says with scripture, I suppose he is wasting his time because I am a Berean through and through. I study the scriptures diligently to see if what is being said by someone is true. Human opinions and doctrine are of no value apart from God’s own word. That includes my human opinions also which is why I make use of the word so much! I don’t want people to believe me, I want them to believe God!

  112. sdrogers said,

    May 25, 2010 at 9:25 am

    All scriptural interpretation is – by definition – “human doctrine” echo.

    You don’t get an exemption from that just because you slapped the “Berean” label on yourself.

  113. shematwater said,

    May 25, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    ECHO

    I force no one to accept anything as true simply on my word. However, I do expect people to accept what I believe on my word.

    I feel it a waste of time to give scriptural references for the very simple reason that I do not believe you would even listen to them. You already have your opinion concerning their meaning, and no matter what I argued or explained concerning them you would reject it all, regardless of how accurate, logical, or reasonable they were.

    I can give the references, and I have given them in the past on the same subject, and many others. But the tone of your posts in this threads convinces me it would do no good to do so now.

    However, I did ask where it stated they sinned, and so I will comment on the scripture you made.
    Romans 5: 12 states that the result of the Fall was sin entering the world. It does not state that the action leading to the Fall was sin. There is a difference here. Adam and Eve transgressed the law, causing them to fall. In doing so they aquired the understanding that allowed them to know Good and Evil, and would then pass this to their children. Because they now had this understanding, as did their children, they became capable of sin. Thus, by one man sin entered the world. But his initial act was not sin.

    Your definition of “The Knowledge of Good and Evil” has no real logic in it. It is a vain attempt to make a very simple phrase fit with an idea that is completely contradictory to its actual meaning. The knowledge of Good and Evil is exactly what it says; the ability to understand not only that we are not supposed to do something, but that the act is by nature wrong.

    Even phscologists will tell you that little children do not have this understanding until around the age of eight years. The question was put to them: Two sons; one accidentally bumps the table and breaks three of his mothers dishes when they fall; the second, in anger, throws a plate and breaks it; Who commited the worse act? To all those who understand good and evil the answer is obvious. It is the second, for his was a willful act of destruction. But to one who does not understand the difference between good and evil it is the first who was more in the wrong, for he broke three, while the second only broke one.
    Simply having a commandment given is not enough to constitute sin if it is broken. For sin to be commited one must have agency, which they cannot have without this understanding of good and evil. The laws are also necessary.
    Thus, considering your second scriptural reference, I have to agree with it, but would point out that Adam and Eve did not know good, as they lacked this understanding.

    Now, I am going to be leaving these discussions for a few weeks. Personal events prevent me from commenting on them any further. I have enjoyed the conversation and hope to see you in future blogs.

  114. ckuhrasch said,

    May 25, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    I appreciate the chance to examine this issue. For me, as it may be for many like me who grow up within a system that question what they are being taught, it is the first time I have thought deeply about my beliefs. The questions posed here have inspired me to spend great time in prayer and study. I especially appreciate those of you who express your questions in a patient and kind manner, as it is easy for people like me, for whom this is new, to feel dumb or even guilty for not exploring the mysteries of God before this point in my life.

    The strong response by some to my statement, “The greatest sin of all is the pride of wanting to be like God” has caused me to consciously consider what I had previously unconsciously accepted as truth. As I re-read Genesis again and prayerfully asked for understanding, I realized that it isn’t a desire to be like God in nature which is sinful, but the desire to be like God in terms of being in control of my own life that is. As a matter of fact, I can see now how man truly WAS like God when he was placed in the garden. He was made in the image of God and couldn’t have sinned because he didn’t know the difference between good and evil and because God can’t abide any sin in His presence.

    Then what do I make of Eve’s decision to eat of the forbidden fruit? And why did God place the tree (of knowledge of good and evil) and its restriction in the garden anyway? Here are my thoughts:

    God made man in His image, told him to multiply and have dominion over the earth and placed him in the garden
    In the garden, man couldn’t sin because he didn’t know the difference between good and evil and because he was under the loving rule of His father
    God gave man free agency by placing one restriction in the garden in which man could make a choice
    That choice represents man’s belief in and obedience of God
    God cautioned that disobedience to this restriction would cause death
    Man believed the words of the serpent more than trusting God, disobeyed the rule and became like God by receiving the knowledge of good and evil
    With that new knowledge came the responsibility for self-rule
    Without God’s protection over his life man was subject to the influence of the serpent (evil)
    Because God can’t abide any sin man had to be separated from Him
    God knew that man’s self rule (with the influence of evil surrounding him) would inevitably result in sin so he banished him from the garden and the potential to eat of the tree of life and be trapped forever in his sins

    This experience is allowing me to see, ever more clearly, how loving and gracious a Father we truly have. And all this BEFORE He sends us salvation…wow…

  115. sdrogers said,

    May 25, 2010 at 12:31 pm

    ckuhrash,

    A lot of that is actually part of my conclusions about the Adam and Eve story. I view Eve’s choice a little more positively though.

    Desire for knowledge was necessary for progression on Eve’s part – there wasn’t anything inherently sinful in this, per se.

    However, it necessarily entailed an estrangement from God and a desire not to depend on him. This was a bad result (“sinful” even) – and a breach that must be mended. Thus God sent his son to mend the breach.

    Basically, I view the Adam and Eve account as presenting a catch-22 where a good result was desired, but could not be had without some very bad consequences. It puts me in mind of the catch-22s we all find ourselves in every day as a part of living in a fallen world. I am grateful for the idea that a way out has been provided.

  116. echoechoecho said,

    May 25, 2010 at 3:23 pm

    Seth said: “All scriptural interpretation is – by definition – “human doctrine” echo.”

    I respectfully disagree with you. Not all doctrine is human doctrine although I would agree that much doctrine out there these days is human doctrine. Any doctrine that comes from the Bible and that doesn’t contradict a single thing a person says, doctrine that takes into consideration the whole council of God and doesn’t exclude a single word in scripture or add a single word to scripture, doctrine drawn in context and not out of context, that is the doctrine of the Lord:

    Acts 13:12 “Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord

    Romans 6:17 “But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.”

    2 Timothy 3:16 “ All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine”

    Those who “hold fast” to the already revealed word cling to sound doctrine as apposed to those who move on to new teachings, new books, new prophets which isn’t “holding fast” but rather “letting loose” and moving away from sound doctrine:

    Titus 1:9 “Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.”

    Joseph Smith introduced a new doctrine that completely contradicted God’s own word when he said that God doesn’t justify the ungodly. The Bible says God does indeed justify the ungodly and it has this to say about Joseph Smith’s doctrine:

    2 John 1:10 “If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed”

  117. echoechoecho said,

    May 25, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    Shem said: “Romans 5: 12 states that the result of the Fall was sin entering the world. It does not state that the action leading to the Fall was sin.”

    The action leading to the Fall was sin for it is the evil thoughts mankind has that defile him before God:

    Mathew 15:19-20 “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts…These are the things which defile a man”

    Shem said: “Your definition of “The Knowledge of Good and Evil” has no real logic in it. It is a vain attempt to make a very simple phrase fit with an idea that is completely contradictory to its actual meaning. The knowledge of Good and Evil is exactly what it says; the ability to understand not only that we are not supposed to do something, but that the act is by nature wrong.”

    Adam and Eve had the ability you are talking about the moment God told them not to eat or they would die. This was BEFORE the Fall. When God told them that, they KNEW what they were not supposed to do and that the thought to do it is by nature wrong because God had clearly laid it out for them.

    Shem said: “Even phscologists will tell you that little children do not have this understanding until around the age of eight years. The question was put to them: Two sons; one accidentally bumps the table and breaks three of his mothers dishes when they fall; the second, in anger, throws a plate and breaks it; Who commited the worse act? To all those who understand good and evil the answer is obvious. It is the second, for his was a willful act of destruction. But to one who does not understand the difference between good and evil it is the first who was more in the wrong, for he broke three, while the second only broke one.

    Your analogy doesn’t fit with what is happening in scripture though. The more correct analogy would be that the Parents informed BOTH CHILDREN that throwing the plates in anger and breaking them would have certain clearly defined consequences. The children don’t have to throw the plates in anger before learning that it is wrong. They already know it is wrong because their parents told them it was wrong.

    There is a law that pedophilia is wrong. Do you have to go ahead and do what a pedophile does before you have the knowledge that it is evil? Even if you were to simply think like a pedophile without actually acting on your thoughts, are not your thoughts still sinful and evil? They most certainly are!

    Adam and Eve had free agency the moment God told them not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They had the opportunity to express that free agency by obeying him willingly.

    Having the knowledge of good and evil is in itself rebellion against God because it is choosing for ourselves what is good for us and what is evil for us rather than listening to God. Eve chose to be like God or be her own God and used her own knowlege to decide that eating the fruit was good and not evil. (knowledge of good and evil)

    Shem said: “Now, I am going to be leaving these discussions for a few weeks. Personal events prevent me from commenting on them any further. I have enjoyed the conversation and hope to see you in future blogs.”

    Hope it’s nothing serious, but just in case it is, I will pray for you.

  118. echoechoecho said,

    May 25, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    ckuhrasch,

    Your post was an excellent contribution to the thread. You made some wonderfully clear points and it seems to come easy for you. I on the other hand have to struggle to make my thoughts clear in writing but I continue to work on it. 🙂

    I just want to clarify one thing I said and try to explain it more clearly than I have and that is that Adam and Eve, by choosing to disobey God, actually exercised their “self-knowledge of good and evil” (autonomy). They, through and by their own knowledge, chose to think of the fruit as good rather than evil.

  119. echoechoecho said,

    May 25, 2010 at 5:07 pm

    Seth said: “A lot of that is actually part of my conclusions about the Adam and Eve story. I view Eve’s choice a little more positively though.

    Desire for knowledge was necessary for progression on Eve’s part– there wasn’t anything inherently sinful in this, per se.”

    Rebellion against God is never the way to gain knowledge. God doesn’t give knowledge to the sinner; he gives it to the man that pleases God:

    Ecc 2:26 “For God giveth to a man that is good in his sight wisdom, and knowledge, and joy: but to the sinner he giveth travail, to gather and to heap up, that he may give to him that is good before God.” KJV

    Ecc 2:26 ” To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God.” NIV

    Rebellion against God doesn’t lead to progression, the reverse happens!

    The Fall wasn’t necessary to have children, God commanded Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply before the event of Fall. Nowhere in scripture does it state that the fall was necessary to progress, to gain knowledge or to have children.

  120. sdrogers said,

    May 25, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    Those scriptures don’t prove your point echo.

    That verse only lists part of the story – not the whole story.

    And it doesn’t really matter to me if something is not in the Bible. I’ve got other scriptures. As long as an idea isn’t refuted by the Bible, it’s all good as far as I’m concerned.

  121. echoechoecho said,

    May 26, 2010 at 8:52 am

    Seth said: ” I’ve got other scriptures. As long as an idea isn’t refuted by the Bible, it’s all good as far as I’m concerned.”

    “Other Scriptures” that contradict the word of God. That alter the word of God to the point of completely contradicting the word of God.

    So that what the “other scriptures” of the LDS church boil down to is this:

    *Those who celebrate sin, rebellion, transgression against God go to heaven. Those such as the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars go to Heaven.

    *Those who grieve and mourn over sin, rebellion, transgression against God go to outer darkness (Hell)

    Contradicts:
    Romans 12:9 “Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”

    Proverbs 28:4 “They that forsake the law praise the wicked:”

    Isaiah 5:20 “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”

    What the Church that clings to the Bible alone boils down to is this:

    *Those who grieve and mourn over sin and rebellion against God go to heaven.

    Psalm 119:158 “I beheld the transgressors, and was grieved; because they kept not thy word.”

    * Those such as the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars all go to outer darkness (Hell)

    Revelation 21:8 “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

    Seth, your on the road to outer darkness for eternity and you can’t change that fact once you die. The moment you die, the place you spend all of eternity in is unchangable. The false teachings of the LDS Church are leading you down that road at full speed whether you realize it or not.

    Seek him now while you live!

    That’s what I am praying for!

  122. sdrogers said,

    May 27, 2010 at 1:05 pm

    Well Echo, it’s a good thing my scriptures don’t contradict the Bible, isn’t it?

  123. catzgalore said,

    May 28, 2010 at 9:02 am

    Back to the original question, are LDS leaders prophets…
    Elder Jeffery Holland states the following….

    “I know that there is no other name given under heaven whereby a man can be saved and that only by relying wholly upon His merits, mercy, and everlasting grace can we gain eternal life.
    Jeffrey R. Holland, “The Only True God and Jesus Christ Whom He Hath Sent,” Ensign, Nov 2007, 40–42

    I followed the references that were provided, and indeed, there are LDS scriptures that say that. Reading in 2 Nephi chapter 2, it says
    Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah…and they that believe in him shall be saved.

    BUT Gospel Principles says…

    We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind
    may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.
    Gospel Principles (p. 306)

    and Elder Bruce D. Porter–
    “The ordinances of baptism and the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost are ordinances of salvation. are mandatory prerequisites for entry into the celestial kingdom.Those who would enter into the highest degree of that kingdom, inheriting exaltation and “all that my Father hath” (D&C 84:38), must further receive the higher ordinances of exaltation found only in the holy temple. The first principles and ordinances of the gospel, therefore, are not only requirements of salvation but also preparatory steps to entering the temple and fulfilling the conditions of exaltation. To receive those temple ordinances and live worthy of their promise should be the aspiration of every righteous Latter-day Saint.
    Bruce D. Porter, “The First Principles and Ordinances of the Gospel,” Ensign, Oct 2000

    Which is truth? From a Christian viewpoint, both cannot be true. It seems that Holland highly simplifies things to prove his point that LDS = Christian.

    My final answer is go ahead and call yourselves Christian, it doesn’t really matter, what matters is are you truly Christ’s?

  124. ckuhrasch said,

    May 28, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Thanks again for your thoughtful responses to my postings. I am continuing to pray and study the origin and fall of man, and I have to say, it has made me more and more aware of God’s love and draws me closer to Him each day…beautiful…

    My study has caused me to wonder about God’s purpose for our existence on this earth. I went to the words of Christ to seek His truth, and I found that His focus was clear…

    “But He said, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.”

    So it seems to me that His focus and God’s purpose must be the same…to create a kingdom in which He could share His essence-love- with others in community and in which that community would glorify His essence as well…the Kingdom of God.

    So God placed man in the garden, in perfect community with God as the ruler, but it was type and shadow of the Kingdom of God because man hadn’t consciously chosen to accept God as his ruler.

    God gave man free agency by placing one restriction in the garden in which man could make a choice-that choice represents man’s belief in and acceptance of God as the ruler of his life.

    God knew that the serpent would present information to man that would test his desire to accept God as the ruler of his life. Man believed the words of the serpent more than trusting God, disobeyed the rule and became like God by receiving the knowledge of good and evil.

    With that new knowledge came the opportunity for self-rule, but because man consciously chose against God, he had to be separated from God.
    Man was banished to the realm where Satan is the ruler-we are now under Satan’s sinful influence-we are slaves to sin-and, oh, do we sin…

    The Old Testament demonstrates God’s inability to abide any sin and His requirement for atoning sacrifice. It also chronicles man’s inability to provide the sacrifice on his own-but it also declares the coming of a Messiah who can.
    God provided the perfect payment-Christ- for all the sins of man and allows us to choose to believe and receive Christ as the full sacrifice for our sins.

    Through Christ, God provides another chance at accepting His dominion over our lives. If we consciously accept God’s gift of Christ’s death on the cross as the complete sacrifice for our sins we are accepting God, once again, as the ruler of our lives. Our work, then, is to completely obliterate any desire we have for self-rule from our lives…to gratefully and humbly accept God’s gift and to demonstrate our acceptance of that gift through the extravagant love of others in our lives.

    Thank you all again for this forum in which to explore our loving God.

  125. sdrogers said,

    May 28, 2010 at 12:14 pm

    catz,

    Are you aware that there is a long tradition within historic Christianity that states that even though salvation is by grace, you can gain greater or lesser rewards in heaven by good works?

    Basically goes off that statement by Jesus that in his father’s house, there are “many mansions.”

    How exactly is this idea of differing rewards in heaven different from the LDS idea of differing degrees of glory in heaven.

    We consider, the Celestial, Terrestrial and Telestial Kingdoms to ALL be a part of “Heaven.” Nowhere in LDS theology is Heaven equated solely with the Celestial Kingdom. So what makes you think that a person in the Telestial Kingdom was not “saved” by Christ’s grace?

  126. May 28, 2010 at 12:38 pm

    to this original question “Are LDS prophets of God?” I would say NO!

    1.for this I point first to the Book of Mormon

    Alma, 5:27-states that prophets must walk humble and blameless.

    Would Elijah “take” a girl as a wife

    2. The Bible says that if a prophet is to get one “prophecy” wrong then he is a false prophet

    Joseph smith got all of these wrong:

    * INDEPENDENCE, MO TEMPLE: Temple in Independence, Missouri was to be built in Joseph Smith’s “generation” (D&C 57:1-3; D&C 84:3-5). Temple Lot is a vacant lot to this day.
    * ZION ESTABLISHED IN MISSOURI: Zion was to be established in Independence, Missouri and would not be “moved out of her place” (D&C 57:1-3; 97:19-20; 101:16-20). Mormons were driven out of the area and moved “Zion” to Salt Lake City, Utah.
    * ZION’S CAMP TO REDEEM ZION: Once driven out of Independence, Joseph Smith was commanded to raise an army of people to “redeem” Zion by physical “power.” The operation completely failed as a plague swept through the army before they reached Independence, MO. (D&C 103; History of the Church, vol. 2, pp. 114-116)
    * FAR WEST, MO TEMPLE: Temple in Far West, Missouri was to be built, beginning in 1838. Mormon were commanded not to cease working on the temple until it was complete. (D&C 115:1, 7-8, 10, 12) They got as far as laying the corner stones (still visible today), but were driven out of the area and the temple was never built.
    * MISSION OF APOSTLE DAVID W. PATTEN: Patten was to accompany the twelve apostles in performing a mission “over the waters” in the spring of 1839 (D&C 114; 118:4), but Patten died in October 1838 defending Mormon territory in the Mormon Missouri War. Some Mormons try to excuse this false prophecy by claiming that Patten was somehow unworthy, but Joseph Smith proclaimed that Patten died as “a very worthy man” (History of the Church, vol. 3, p. 171).

    1. 1. In D&C 87:1-3 Smith stated that all the nations of the world would be in the American Civil War—they were not it involved as its name suggests only America.– Many of Smith’s prophecies have been revised over the years. I don’t think that counts as a prophecy not being fulfilled yet.

    3.Today’s “prophets” can’t agree on many of the current doctrines of today’s LDS–now won’t it make sense that all the prophets would be on the same page–not to mention that all of today’s prophets claim spiritual linage to Joseph Smith; what does that say?

  127. shematwater said,

    May 28, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    Hello. I am back for only one day, but I had to say a few things.

    ECHO

    You miss the point of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. I never said that it was in doing something that one gains this knowledge. This knowledge is simply grown into by all people when they reach the age of about eight years.
    Back to the phsycology example, the rule was that you don’t take mothers dishes of the table. The first son did this, but by accident, and is thus not in the wrong. The second son did this, but on purpose and thus holds the blame. However, to a person who has not the understanding of Good and Evil the motivation does not factor into their thoughts. The only thing they are thinking is “We are not to get mother’s plates down. Thus the son whos quantity of action was greater became the worse to their mind, because all they considered was the resulting damage done.

    Adam and Eve gained the knowledge of Good and Evil through, as I understand it, a transformation of both mind and body caused by eating the fruit. They literally became mortal, changed from the immortal state they were in. In the previous state their minds were veiled, but in the mortal state the veil was not present, allowing this understanding. However, this is a very unique case.
    This is also why the Tree of Life presented a problem and they were prevented from eating it. It would have changed back to the eternal state, but would not have restored the veil on the mind.

    As I said before, simply knowing the law is not enough to make one accountable for their actions. One must have the understanding of good and evil, which the Bible tells us that Adam and Eve did not have. One must be a free agent. To be a free agent four things are needed.
    1. We need the power to choose, which God gave Adam and Eve.
    2. We need laws to tell us what is right and what is wrong, which was given in the command to multiply, and to obstain from the one tree.
    3. We need oppostion, which can be seen in the two trees, one being forbidden, the other not (life and knowledge, two separate choices in opposition to each other).
    4. We need the “Knowledge of Good and Evil.” This was aquired in the eating of the fruit.
    Thus, before they ate of the fruit Adam and Eve had not the capacity to sin, for they lacked this four requirement to make them accountable.

    As to other scripture not contradicting the Bible, I have yet to see any scripture of the LDS church contradict anything the Bible says.
    Of course, the argument is an old one, frequently used by the Pharisees in their great debates with Christ. They accused him, and the Apostles, of altering the “Law of Moses,” and giving new doctrine. Most of them were killed for it. Just as Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum, along with dozens of the early saints, were killed because they declared what was called new doctrine. In truth, nothing Christ of the ancient Apostles taught was in any way contradictory to the scriptures at hand, but they were still killed under this accusation. And, in like manner, nothing Joseph Smith, or any leader of the LDS church, has taught is truly contraditory to the Bible, but this has not stopped people of accusing such, and killing many of the early leaders.

    CKUHRASCH
    If you want a more detailed explanation of the LDS doctrine concerning the Fall of Man, I would suggest that you read in the Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi, Chapter two. Also, read the first twelve verses of the fifth chapter of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price. If you don’t have a copy you can find them at scriptures.lds.org

  128. catzgalore said,

    May 28, 2010 at 6:13 pm

    Seth, you said…
    Are you aware that there is a long tradition within historic Christianity that states that even though salvation is by grace, you can gain greater or lesser rewards in heaven by good works?…We consider, the Celestial, Terrestrial and Telestial Kingdoms to ALL be a part of “Heaven.” Nowhere in LDS theology is Heaven equated solely with the Celestial Kingdom. So what makes you think that a person in the Telestial Kingdom was not “saved” by Christ’s grace?
    Yes, I am aware that there is a tradition of rewards. I don’t disagree with that. It is a difference in definition of “Heaven”. Anyone in your Celestial Kingdom will theoretically live in the presence of God, but not those in your two other levels. Christians define “Heaven” as living in the presence of God, therefore your lower two levels would not be considered “Heaven” from our point of view.

  129. sdrogers said,

    May 28, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    “Would Elijah “take” a girl as a wife?”

    Sure, why not? Everyone else back then was doing it. Why would Elijah be different.

    And if it comes to that, exactly how old was the Virgin Mary? Any complaints about that one?

    And how does Joseph being sealed to a 14 year old make him a “child molester?” Massive leap of logic you’re making there.

    As for your supposed false prophecies, let’s go through them.

    Independence Temple:

    First off, this is an INSTRUCTION – not a prophesy. It’s something God told the people to do, and was contingent on their performance. The early saints sinned in Missouri and did not follow God’s commands. Therefore they didn’t get a temple. Easy enough. Next.

    Zion in Missouri:

    See above. Next.

    Zion’s Camp:

    See above – but in addition – God only told them to go and do it. He never said they would succeed. Next.

    Far West Temple:

    See above. Next!

    David Patten:

    This wasn’t a prophesy – it was an instruction. A calling. It was not a prophesy that he would serve a mission. I was a call for him to get his affairs in order so he COULD serve a mission.

    And I wonder Massey, how you view Matt. 19:28 where, as one of the Twelve Apostles, Judas Iscariott is promised that he would sit on one of twelve thrones with the other apostles and judge the twelve tribes of Israel. I suppose Massey, by your own criteria, you consider Jesus to be a false prophet, right?

    As for D&C 87:1-3, you’re misreading it. It never says all nations would be involved in the American Civil War – but rather that after it, war would be “poured out on all nations.”

    Which it was.

    World War I
    World War II

    What else ya got Massey?

  130. echoechoecho said,

    May 28, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    Shem said: “As I said before, simply knowing the law is not enough to make one accountable for their actions. One must have the understanding of good and evil, which the Bible tells us that Adam and Eve did not have. One must be a free agent. To be a free agent four things are needed.
    1. We need the power to choose, which God gave Adam and Eve.
    2. We need laws to tell us what is right and what is wrong, which was given in the command to multiply, and to obstain from the one tree.
    3. We need oppostion, which can be seen in the two trees, one being forbidden, the other not (life and knowledge, two separate choices in opposition to each other).
    4. We need the “Knowledge of Good and Evil.” This was aquired in the eating of the fruit.”

    Re number 4 above. We don’t need to eat the fruit to have the knowledge of good and evil. God gave Adam that knowledge that it was evil by telling them not to eat of the tree in the first place.
    What you are saying is that each of us have to commit every sin there is in order for us to know whether or not it is good or evil. There are alot of sins I have never committed and I know darn well they are evil.

    Shem said: “As to other scripture not contradicting the Bible, I have yet to see any scripture of the LDS church contradict anything the Bible says.”

    The LDS JST of Romans 4:5 “…but believeth on him who justifieth not the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness”

    The Bible: Romans 4:5 “… but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

  131. echoechoecho said,

    May 28, 2010 at 8:24 pm

    Seth, so basically your saying this:

    “Independence Temple:” contingent on their performance

    “Zion in Missouri” contingent on their performance

    ” Zion’s camp” contingent on their performance

    “Far West Temple” contingent on their performance

    “Judas Iscariott is promised that he would sit on one of twelve thrones with the other apostles and judge the twelve tribes of Israel” contingent on his performance

    So the Early LDS Church is a group of Judas Iscariot’s. All were contingent on their performance, all failed to perform. All betrayed Jesus, since none of these things came to pass. That is the church your faith is built upon?

  132. osbornekristen said,

    May 28, 2010 at 11:48 pm

    Seth,
    I just wanted to point out one thing. The Bible does speak of “many mansions”……..but it does not say that in my Father’s house there are “some mansions, some split-foyers, some duplexes and some trailor parks.” It just says “many mansions.” I don’t see how this referes to different rewards or varying levels of Heaven. Jesus just said mansions………one kind of dwelling. Think about it. If some of his children were going to end up in a Heavenly trailor park, why would he have only mentioned there being mansions?? That is the only dwelling stated……..so I don’t get how that has anything to do with different rewards being handed out.

    Talk about using verses out of context and filling in your own agenda……Smith was REALLY searching on this one.

  133. sdrogers said,

    May 29, 2010 at 1:06 am

    echo, we are all failures at some point or another. This is as true of latter-day saints as it has been of the saints in any age. The covenant people have always been disobedient children. Always a disappointment to their father. This is nothing new. It has all happened before, and will all happen again.

    But, the name of “Israel” means “one who strives with God.”

    As Israel, we continue to strive with God, in spite of our failings. We continue to hope for a relationship with our father. No matter how many times we may fail at it.

    And as for our father – “for all this, his anger is not turned away – but his arm is stretched out still.”

  134. echoechoecho said,

    May 29, 2010 at 8:36 am

    Seth said: “We continue to hope for a relationship with our father.”

    This is the saddest thing I have ever heard you say. You “continue to hope for a relationship with the Father”.

    We don’t hope for a relationship with the Father, we HAVE a relationship with the Father.

  135. May 29, 2010 at 11:00 am

    sdrogers—you assert that since the saint’s sinned they did not get the temple?–Solomon sinned to; Didn’t he build a temple? Moses sinned didn’t he get the commandment to start the Jewish priesthood? Don’t you think if god wanted the temple built it would have been no matter what?

    Me–the Independence temple was going to be built ”

    Me–this temple was said to be built in smith’s generation (D&C 84:4-5)

    I refer you again to Deut 18

    Me–What about when Smith said in 1835 that Jesus would return in 1891(History of the Church, vol. 2, p. 182)

    Me–what about the prophecy that Isaiah 11 would be fulfilled (Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith, History, verse 40). .

    SDrodgers–you assert that the prophecy referencing Patten was a calling– a closer reading of D&C 114; shows it a prophecy. The mission that patten was to go on would take place “next spring” those simple words speak of a future event. We see in History of the Church(Vol. 3 p.336). that David Patten was not part of the mission in Apr 1839 (History of the Church Vol. 3, p. 171)

  136. shematwater said,

    May 29, 2010 at 11:09 am

    MASSEY

    Seth did a great job at explaining the “supposed” prophecies of Joseph Smith. I would also refer you to D&C 124: 49-51, where God declares that the work done was accepted by him, because the Saints gave all diligence to doing the work, but were prevented in finishing it by the evil and designing men of the world.
    I think the same can be said of all the “Intructional” passages you use as examples of prophecy. People fail for various reasons, and as long as tehy are giving their all to the work it will be accepted of God.

    Just a note on the wars prophecy, beginning with the Civil War. Did you know that since the beginning of the American Civil War there hs been only one day that some war was not being faught somewhere in the world. I remember seeing the headline back in the early 90’s. First day of world peace since the Civil War, and the next day another war started. I would say this is good proof of the fullfillment of this prophecy.

    And I have to agree with Seth on the whole “child melestor” thing. Considering that in the 1800’s it was not uncommon for girls to be married around the age of 14, and such is still legal in many states.
    Besides this, I have done a little reading into the account you mention. From all the evidence it seems obvious that the marriage to Helen Kimbol was more a diplomatic one, and that there was no sexual relation between the two. It was simply to unite the two familes. Helen herself wrote a book about how great it was to be married to the prophet.

    ECHO

    If Adam and Eve had the Knowledge of Good and Evil, than why does God declare that they aquired it in eating the fruit? Why does it state at the end of Chapter two in Genesis that they were naked “and were not ashamed?” The evidence that they had no understanding is clearly taught in the Bible. You are simply confusing the knowledge of the Law with the knowledge of Good and Evil. They are very different from each other, and the Bible itself declares so.

    CATZ

    By LDS doctrine all people will enjoy the presence of at least one member of the God Head. Thus, to be in heaven is to be in the presence of God. Not necessarily the Father, but God.

    OSBORNE

    It is true that only mansions are mentioned. But then, mansion is a relative term. After all, a mansion in New York is a lot smaller than some of the mansions those movie stars build for themselves.
    All the degrees of glroy can be described accurately as being mansions, as all are glorious beyond our comprehension. However, not all mansions are of the same grandour, and thus the verse is still appropriately applied to varying rewards, or degrees.
    Add to this the rather obvious allusion that Christ will not be in all mansions and we get the very real and reasonable interpretation of the degrees of glory. For there are many mansions, and within them Christ is preparing a place for the saints that they may be with him, or in his neighborhood.

  137. echoechoecho said,

    May 29, 2010 at 12:57 pm

    Shem said: “If Adam and Eve had the Knowledge of Good and Evil, than why does God declare that they aquired it in eating the fruit? Why does it state at the end of Chapter two in Genesis that they were naked “and were not ashamed?” The evidence that they had no understanding is clearly taught in the Bible”

    Assuming you know and believe that pedophilia is evil. Did you acquire that knowledge by:

    A) Becoming a pedophile?

    OR

    B) Through God’s law written on your heart?

    If eating of the tree was necessary as the LDS claims – “A pillar of Salvation” , God would NOT have forbidden it. He would have told them to eat it.

  138. echoechoecho said,

    May 29, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Shem said: “By LDS doctrine all people will enjoy the presence of at least one member of the God Head. Thus, to be in heaven is to be in the presence of God. Not necessarily the Father, but God.”

    But the LDS uses the “many mansions” to refer to the 3 seperate levels of heaven. The Celestial kingdom of the Father-all who go here are in the presence of the Father, the Terrestrial kingdom of Jesus-all who go here are visited by or in the presence of Jesus and the Telestial Kingdom- the Holy Spirit.

    But the Verse says that all the Mansions are built in “MY FATHERS HOUSE”
    The Fathers house is the celestial kingdom.

    Jesus’ house it the Terrestrial kingdom and the Holy Spirit’s house is in the Telestial kingdom

  139. sdrogers said,

    May 29, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Yup, the wording speaks of a future event. It never guaranteed it would happen though. Sorry.

    Also, I didn’t mean to suggest that lack of faith or righteousness on the part of the saints was the only reason things didn’t happen. The horrible wickedness and murderous rages of their good slave-holding Protestant neighbors had something to do with it too.

    And they did get a temple – in Kirtland, Nauvoo, and then Salt Lake. So your comparison to Solomon isn’t really on-point.

    Also, see D&C 124:49:

    “I say unto you, that when I give a commandment to any of the sons of men to do a work unto my name, and those sons of men go with all their might and with all they have to perform that work, and cease not their diligence, and their enemies come upon them and hinder them from performing that work, behold, it behooveth me to require that work no more at the hands of those sons of men, but to accept of their offerings.”

    Seems clear enough, doesn’t it?

  140. sdrogers said,

    May 29, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    “This is the saddest thing I have ever heard you say. You “continue to hope for a relationship with the Father”. We don’t hope for a relationship with the Father, we HAVE a relationship with the Father.”

    Echo, your Bible speaks of “hope” all the time.

    Now you just look desperate to find something wrong with what I’m saying – because seriously, that was just trivial. If that’s the best you got, this debate really must not be going well for you.

    I HAVE a relationship too. But that doesn’t mean I don’t hope for it, and hope for a continuation of it. You seem determined here to fulfill that talk about “offender for a word” in the Bible.

  141. sdrogers said,

    May 29, 2010 at 2:18 pm

    Oh, and as for the supposed prophecy about Christ returning in 1890 (you got the date wrong), there is no such prophesy. I know exactly the scripture passage you are referring to Massey, and you’ve completely misread it.

    Read it more closely – and without a pamphlet from Utah Lighthouse Ministries in your hand this time.

    14 I was once praying very earnestly to know the time of the coming of the Son of Man, when I heard a voice repeat the following:
    15 Joseph, my son, if thou livest until thou art eighty-five years old, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man; therefore let this suffice, and trouble me no more on this matter.
    16 I was left thus, without being able to decide whether this coming referred to the beginning of the millennium or to some previous appearing, or whether I should die and thus see his face.
    17 I believe the coming of the Son of Man will not be any sooner than that time.

    Let me break this down for you:

    14 – Joseph is bugging God to know when Christ will come.
    15 – God tells him that IF he lives to 85 years old HE – Joseph Smith – would see the face of Jesus (no mention of the Second Coming at all). Now quit bothering me.
    16 – Joseph then states that he has no clue whether this refers to: a) the Second Coming; b) Christ simply appearing – but not for the Second Coming; c) or whether Joseph is just going to die and meet him.
    17 – Joseph is forced to conclude that the Second Coming will not be sooner than 85 years, but whether it will be then, Joseph admits he has no idea.

    Some “prophecy.”

    Seriously you guys, you’ve got to come up with better material. These are softballs.

  142. sdrogers said,

    May 29, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Massey, I know exactly the scripture passage you are referring to with this Second Coming in 1890 (you got the date wrong), and it wasn’t a prophecy at all. Try reading the full passage and not just the selection that Utah Lighthouse Ministries likes to dishonestly quote out of context:

    D&C 130:14-17

    14 I was once praying very earnestly to know the time of the coming of the Son of Man, when I heard a voice repeat the following:
    15 Joseph, my son, if thou livest until thou art eighty-five years old, thou shalt see the face of the Son of Man; therefore let this suffice, and trouble me no more on this matter.
    16 I was left thus, without being able to decide whether this coming referred to the beginning of the millennium or to some previous appearing, or whether I should die and thus see his face.
    17 I believe the coming of the Son of Man will not be any sooner than that time.

    Let me break this down for you:

    14 – Joseph is pestering God to know when Christ’s Second Coming will be.
    15 – God tells him that if HE – Joseph Smith – lives to 85 years old, HE – Joseph Smith alone – will see the face of Jesus. God then tells him to quit bothering him.
    16 – This answer is so non-committal that Joseph Smith has no idea whether it means: a) the Second Coming; b) just an appearance by Jesus personally to Joseph, but NOT the Second Coming; c) or whether Joseph is simply going to die at that time and see Jesus
    17 – Based on this very vague response, Joseph Smith concludes – well, I guess Jesus won’t have his Second Coming for at least 85 years.

    Some “prophecy.” It doesn’t say anything at all about the Second Coming. In fact, it doesn’t even commit to anything. And obviously Joseph Smith died well before 85 years – so the entire thing was a moot point.

    Seriously Guys, you need to come up with better material. These have all been softballs.

  143. sdrogers said,

    May 29, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    Sorry for the double-post. Technical difficulties.

  144. echoechoecho said,

    May 29, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    Seth,

    Your relationship with the Father is no “trivial” thing. It is the most important thing in life! I know you wouldn’t argue this with me! I will give you that much credit at least!

    It’s equally heartbreaking to hear you say that you have to hope for a continuation of a relationship with the Father. There is so much uncertainty in both your statements. Your uncertainty comes from placing ALL your hope in yourself rather than putting ALL your hope in Jesus. Please hear me out, listen to me carefully, I mean you well; I mean for only good to come to you in all that I say. A friend caring about a friend.

    Whenever we hope in ourselves, we can have no confidence, no assurance. This is unbelief, this is sinking sand.
    Whenever we hope in Jesus, we can be absolutely confident and assured! This is faith. This is the solid Rock on which we stand.

    Hope isn’t uncertainty, it is assurance and confidence!

    HOPE: G1680 Strong’s Concordance:

    “Anticipate with confident hope; Trust (believe) confidently in someone.”

    Without confidence and assurance we have no faith!

    “My hope is built on nothing less
    Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness
    I dare not trust the sweetest frame
    But wholly lean on Jesus’ name
    On Christ the solid Rock I stand
    All other ground is sinking sand.”
    (Uncertain of the Author)

    Your lack of confidence (unbelief) is fueled by your belief that you must obey ALL the commandments when in reality, your not obeying them! You sin, I have witnessed many of your sins, some willful, others not and even your lack of repentance, that is more frightening than your sin! ALL sin is godlessness. Both your sin and mine. Our sins make us ungodly! Lack of repentance KILLS, it DESTROYS SOULS for all eternity!

    Every sin you and I have ever committed deserves God’s wrath! If you continue to trust in yourself rather than in Jesus, your going down in the sinking sand! You will reap God’s Wrath! Listen to Joseph Smith: The LDS JST of Romans 4:5 “…but believeth on him who justifieth NOT the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness” That’s nothing other than uncertainty and only leads to despair for both of us, for all of us! Please listen to me, I am telling you this for your good! I want to help you! You don’t fit the LDS mold, your sins testify to that. You don’t fit in here! Your playing the part of a white washed tomb!

    Take off the whitewash! Be like the rest of us! If you admit your ungodly there is certain hope and assurance in store for you because now you are speaking the truth that God requires of you. He most certainly will get it out of you in the judgment if you don’t’ willingly do it now! You can have Hope that does not disappoint! A sure and certain hope! Listen to God:

    The Bible: Romans 4:5 “But to him that worketh NOT , but believeth on him that JUSTIFIETH THE UNGODLY, his faith is counted for righteousness”

    What can be more certain than that????? You fit right in there! That is a confident hope, an absolute assurance, an absolute certainty that you will have a relationship with the Father from this very moment and lasting forever!

    Don’t spend your life living in fear, spend your life living in perfect peace.

    Romans 5:1 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”

    Jesus shed his blood for you, he died for you! Don’t say that his perfect sacrifice wasn’t good enough for you, that it wasn’t good enough for your exaltation! Because every thing you do for exaltation is a denial of what Jesus did for you. What Jesus did… It was enough!

  145. sdrogers said,

    May 29, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    And again, this merely demonstrates how desperate you are for an argument here.

    How does hoping for a relationship with God preclude having one right now? The two aren’t exactly mutually exclusive you know. I’d like to know how you intend to prove or demonstrate here that you have any more of a relationship with God than I already have. Somehow, I doubt you’ll be able to come up with anything except a lot of pious-sounding noise.

  146. osbornekristen said,

    May 29, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    This post is going off in all different directions……..but I did want to reaffirm what Echo said about the “mansions.” The bible does say, In my FAther’s house there are many mansions………this can’t be describing the 3 levels because the FAther’s house is only in the Celestial Kingdom according to LDS and the other stuff that was mentioned by Shem that Jesus won’t be in all the mansions or that some mansions will be bigger or better than others is COMPLETELY OUT OF CONTEXT. It is not only not there…….but not even alluded to either………that is something that LDS have completely conjured up. It just isn’t there in this verse! Jesus was telling his disciples that he was going to prepare a place for them (his followers). He did not say, some of you will get the big house and some the trailor. It just isn’t there at all. You know it isn’t…….you are just going off that verse because that is what you have heard all your life.

  147. echoechoecho said,

    May 29, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    Seth said: “How does hoping for a relationship with God preclude one right now?”

    I wasn’t talking about right now; I was talking about the future, up to and including entering the Celestial kingdom. Your future hope for a relationship with the Father is absolutely Uncertain, it all depends on you. My future hope for a relationship with the Father is absolutely CERTAIN and SECURE it all depended on Jesus.

    And it is exactly because you are so INSECURE in your future relationship with the Father that you resort to statements like this: “this merely demonstrates how desperate you are for an argument here” and “I doubt you will be able to come up with anything except a lot of pious-sounding noise”

    Your Insecurity continues to lead to your multitude of sins against your neighbor.
    Security leads to love and respect for your neighbor.

    Seth said: “I’d like to know how you intend to prove or demonstrate here that you have any more of a relationship with God than I already have”

    I already have demonstrated this in my last post but it was all “NOISE” to you so there is no point in repeating it. If you really want to know, it’s all there.

    Praying for you Seth.

  148. shematwater said,

    June 1, 2010 at 2:43 pm

    OSBORNE and ECHO

    The Father’s House is not just the Celestial Glory. That is simply his dwelling place. His house is a reference to all things that are his, or his Kingdom. The Terrestial and the Telestial are still vary much a part of his house, as he still rules over them.
    The passage says that Christ is preparing a place among these mansions for his saints, that they may be with him. This would indicate that he will not be in all areas of his Father’s house, giving the vary clear understanding that the LDS have of the passage.

    MASSEY

    Solomon did not sin until after he had built the temple. Also, a temple is not a blessing for a sing man, but for a people. The People at the time the Temple was built were doing fairly well, and were thus blessed.
    As to Moses, again, you speak about a blessing intended for a people, and not a person. Moses did sin, and was prevented from entering the Promised land because of it. But would it have been just to the people to with hold the law because Moses had sinned?

    As to your other prophecies
    “The Independence temple was going to be built ” As pointed out before, this was a command, not a prophecy.

    “This temple was said to be built in smith’s generation (D&C 84:4-5)” It was a command to that Generation. There has not been a temple there because no other generation has received that command, and that Generation was excused from building it because of the evil of the People around them.

    “I refer you again to Deut 18”
    I think I missed something here.

    “What about when Smith said in 1835 that Jesus would return in 1891(History of the Church, vol. 2, p. 182)”
    He never made this prophecy. I have seen this used before. I think that Seth is thinking of a different one. I believe you are refering to a foot note in the Church History book were Parly P. Pratt (or another one of the Apostles) references this in his Journal.
    First, this is not a record of the actual words used by Joseph, but one mans understanding of his words. Can we be sure that his understanding was the actual, intended meaning? No, as all things are subject to the bias of the hearer. Thus we cannot know what Joseph Smith actually prophecied without knowing his actual words.
    Second, even this passage does not actual predict the second coming. The passage (I do not have it right on hand, but I can give the basic idea) says that the Apostles have one last chance to preach the word before the Second Coming, “Even 56 years should wind up the scene.” 56 years after 1835 would be 1891. However, a careful reading will show that this time frame is not a reference to the second coming, but the time that these twelve would have to complete their ministry. Or, “Before Christ returns we have one last time to serve inthe ministry, or 56 years to serve.” Thus, when we realize that all the original twelve were dead by 1891 (or had left the church) we see that the prophecy was fullfill.

    “What about the prophecy that Isaiah 11 would be fulfilled (Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith, History, verse 40).”

    This has been fulfilled. The Stem of Jesse (Christ) has sent fourth a rod (Joseph Smith) to restore the gospel. “And the spirit of the Lord [did] rest upon him (the rod-Joseph Smith), the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord.” The ensign (the church, and more particularly the temple) has been lifted up. The gathering of Israel has been spreading over the entire Earth with Missionary work, and the Jewish people have been turning back towards Caanan in record numbers ever since the land was dedicated by the church in the 1830’s. The only part of this prophecy not yet fulfilled are those parts dealing with the Milenium after the second coming, and since that hasn’t happened yet I am not surprised.
    The entire prophecy began to be fullfilled when the Church was organized, and has been continued to be fullfilled ever since, and will continue until the second coming and we enter the Milenium.

    Sorry, but none of these really prove your point.

  149. echoechoecho said,

    June 1, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    Shem said: “That is simply his dwelling place”

    Fathers house=fathers dwelling place. You can’t escape it. It’s a no brainer.

  150. June 1, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    no shem you have!

  151. shematwater said,

    June 3, 2010 at 10:47 am

    ECHO

    What about “Household?” Back in the time of King James the term “House” was a reference to the entire estate, including servants and family. It was used in this same way in the 1800’s, seen in the several references to a man “getting his house in order.”
    When it speaks of many mansions in the Father’s House, it is using this meaning. The Father commands a great estate, on in it there are many mansions, or dwelling places. Christ is preparing some of these dwelling places for the saints so they can live in the same area that he does.
    I agree, it is a no brainer.

    MASSEY

    Not sure of you meaning here. I have what?

  152. catzgalore said,

    June 3, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    Shem said…
    By LDS doctrine all people will enjoy the presence of at least one member of the God Head. Thus, to be in heaven is to be in the presence of God. Not necessarily the Father, but God.

    If you weren’t in the Celestial heaven, you would spend eternity knowing you didn’t do enough. How could that be “heaven”?

    Another subject…The prophecies about Joseph Smith came from Joseph Smith himself! Do true prophets produce their own prophecies about themselves? I don’t know if this has ever been the case; I am wondering. Of course I know that if you believe someone is a prophet, and they say they are revealing ancient writings, then you would not believe they were producing them from themselves. It just doesn’t make sense to me.

    I’ve been trying to learn from the Mormon writings directly.
    I finally found an online copy of “The History of the Church” that is referenced so much on lds.org
    http://www.boap.org/LDS/History/History_of_the_Church/

    In volume 6 ( I started here because I wanted to read a quote in context and not take someone else’s word for what it meant) I found some “Truth Gems” that are written on a statue of Joseph Smith…

    The contents of the tablet on the east side of the base of the
    Prophet’s statue are these gems from his teachings:

    TRUTH GEMS.

    The glory of God is intelligence.

    It is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance.

    Whatever principles of intelligence we attain unto in this life will rise with us in the resurrection.

    There is a law irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world upon which all blessings are predicated; and when we obtain any blessing from God it is by obedience to that law on which it is predicated.

    This is the work and glory of God: to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

    Adam fell that man might be; and men are that they might have joy.

    The intelligence of spirits had no beginning, neither will it have an end.
    Jesus was in the beginning with the Father’ man was also in the beginning
    with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made,
    neither indeed can be.

    The spirit and body is the soul of man; and the resurrection from the
    dead is the redemption of the soul.

    It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the
    character of God; and to know that man, (as Moses) may converse with Him
    as one man converses with another.

    I am incredulous. If you are intelligent here on earth, then work hard to improve your intelligence, then you will do well in eternity. What about those mentally challenged? They get to be mentally challenged for eternity?
    If our spirits really had no beginning, then why does God have to make them immortal?
    And in the last gem is he saying that the most important thing about God is that he is really a man like ourselves?
    I could say so much more. but I will leave it at that.

  153. sdrogers said,

    June 3, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    Catz,

    Obviously the mentally challenged will no longer be mentally challenged after the resurrection, so your objection is completely irrelevant.

    Mormonism has always considered the pursuit of knowledge to be something that continues after death.

  154. sdrogers said,

    June 3, 2010 at 6:02 pm

    And God does not make our spirits immortal. Where did you pull that from?

    The resurrection unites BODY and spirit immortally.

    As for God being a “man.” Check your Bible for the different titles of God.

    “Man of Holiness.”

    Bang.

  155. catzgalore said,

    June 3, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    From these Gems, it is NOT obvious that the mentally challenged will not be mentally challenged. It says, Whatever principles of intelligence we attain unto in this life will rise with us in the resurrection. That seems to mean that whatever intelligence we are given in this life is what we will get for eternity. Intelligence is something that we have or don’t have. So I have to assume that even the word “intelligence” means something different for LDS than the traditional English meaning!
    Definition of “intelligence” from about.com– this is the best thing I found quickly online…
    There are probably as many definitions of intelligence as there are experts who study it. Simply put, however, intelligence is the ability to learn about, learn from, understand, and interact with one’s environment. This general ability consists of a number of specific abilities, which include these specific abilities:

    •Adaptability to a new environment or to changes in the current environment
    •Capacity for knowledge and the ability to acquire it
    •Capacity for reason and abstract thought
    •Ability to comprehend relationships
    •Ability to evaluate and judge
    •Capacity for original and productive thought

    So what “intelligence” is to a Mormon can’t be the traditional meaning of intelligence. It must mean “gaining knowledge” or something similar. So God’s glory is what he knows?

    Oh, and “Man of Holiness” comes from YOUR scriptures, not the Bible.

  156. catzgalore said,

    June 3, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    oh, and bang bang, although I am not trying to “shoot you down” I am trying to clarify the definitions of words you use. The words mean something different to me, but I am getting used to expecting that, and trying to read a lot in context to try to figure out what is being said.

  157. christiangirl19 said,

    June 3, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    Hello,

    I’ve been “lurking” for quite a while, but haven’t had anything in particular to post until now. I have a question, mainly for sdrogers, but it applies to shematwater as well.

    From my screen name, I’m obviously a Christian, and I have to agree with what echo, catzgalore, osbornekristen, etc are writing. My question is- assuming what you are saying about interpreting the prophecies and Bible/other scripture is true, how on earth is anyone (especially someone new to your church) ever supposed to know how to figure out and know what the true meaning is? It seems as if you have an answer to everything, but the answers are so confusing and often times convoluted (eg it was a command not a prophecy, the mansions meaning different levels of heaven, Joseph Smith’s translation of the Bible that is so vastly different from other translations, etc) that it is no wonder people are so confused. If I were to pick up the Book of Mormon (or heck even the Bible for that matter) how would I know how you are supposed to interpret it?

    I hope that makes sense. Thank you.

  158. June 3, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    Shem–Not sure of your meaning here.. I have what?

    Me–proved in numerous blog post like other mormons you rely on canned-speeches and lectures instead of what the Bible which is the physical revelation of God has to say (2 Tim 3 16-17)

  159. sdrogers said,

    June 4, 2010 at 12:22 am

    christian girl,

    Don’t lump me in with Shem. The argument about mansions is his, not mine. I don’t really feel quite so confident as he does about the line of argument he is taking. That’s why I’ve largely stayed out of that debate.

    Your question is a very, very good one. One of the deepest human needs met by religion is the need for certainty in a world were everything else seems dangerous, uncertain, ambiguous, and unreliable. People want to be certain about something – for many that something becomes God. This security becomes the person’s primary interface with religion – everything in the religious life of some people is dedicated to maintaining this sense of security.

    But this is not the only motivating drive in religion. Religion is also about exploration, gaining knowledge and truth, going new places. Religion can serve, and has served, as a motivation for some of the most stunning developments in human history. Christianity, for instance, has provided a exploratory framework for some of the greatest minds in human history. Some of our best and most powerful art and music came from tortured and frightening steps into the unknown taken by men of powerful faith. Advances in science, astronomy, medicine, philosophy, and theology. All of this could be said to be encouraged by our God. A God who encourages us to take risks, to take that fearful step into the darkness and find our way forward illuminated.

    The essence of faith is an action borne from uncertainty.

    So on the one hand you have the comfort of uncertainty. On the other hand you have the excitement of faith and exploration. These two powerful features of religion will always be in conflict with each other. How you balance them is an ongoing debate and probably impossible to answer fully.

    However, God has tasked us to strike the balance. And it is not easy.

    Any time you feel certain about something, you have automatically shut down other options. The more things you feel certain about, the more things you become close-minded about. This is why those religious traditions that focus only on the security side of the religious equation are so dangerous. They have become secure about so many things that they are no longer capable of hearing anything new from God. Even if God were to appear today and present them with something new, they would be incapable of hearing it.

    I doubt the hijackers of the airplanes on September 11 were listening to anything other than their own overwhelming sense of security in Allah and their own twisted version of him. If they had been willing to exercise faith and explore a bit, they might have reached different conclusions.

    Both Mormons and Evangelicals who emphasize their own sense of security and shut themselves off to lives of true faith run the risk of painting themselves into a corner of false religious ideas. Many of the false doctrines of religions can become a trap in this way. Once in the trap, the religious person is simply unwilling to free themselves, because freedom would simply be too scary.

    Here’s the thing…

    While we worship a God of ultimate promises and assurances, we also worship a God who has commanded us to be humble, to be open to the possibilities that we are wrong, and to be ever seeking for truth. He has also told us that we can never fully know him – in spite of our best efforts.

    That is not an assurance at all. That is not reassuring. If you cannot fully know God, then it logically follows that you cannot always know what he is going to do, right?

    This is something crucial to keep in mind – not all God’s declarations are declarations of comfort and security. But many strains of Mormonism and Evangelicalism act like the security package is all there is.

    In short, I would say christiangirl, that insecurity is the unavoidable lot of the human race and being in the true religion does not exempt you from that reality. God wishes for us to find him by faith. That is not going to be a comforting and easy journey. You are going to have your faith severely challenged and NOT find answers in order to make that journey. God is a promise, but he is also a challenge that you must rise to meet. And you cannot expect him to provide you with answers for every dilemma you find yourself in. Sometimes things simply have to be taken on faith.

  160. sdrogers said,

    June 4, 2010 at 12:45 am

    I realize this doesn’t give you much to go on about how to actually navigate things though. Hopefully I can get to that later. Gotta go for now.

  161. echoechoecho said,

    June 4, 2010 at 1:29 am

    Shem said: “What about “Household?” Back in the time of King James the term “House” was a reference to the entire estate, including servants and family”

    The term” Household” that you are refering to is Oikos in Greek. (G3624 )
    The term “House” used in the verse is Oikia in Greek (G3614)

    “House” which is used in the verse we are discussing denotes the dwelling itself where family lives, whereas “household” which is not used in the verse refers to one’s entire property including servants.

  162. catzgalore said,

    June 4, 2010 at 10:31 am

    from the gems…

    This is the work and glory of God: to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
    I replied If our spirits really had no beginning, then why does God have to make them immortal?
    Seth replied to me
    And God does not make our spirits immortal. Where did you pull that from?

    Well two things. I believe that on earth, we need both body and spirit. It is one unit. Without the spirit the body is nothing but dust. Our spirit is what dwells with God, and our bodies will be different. Our current bodies return to dust. I assumed LDS teachings were the same.
    Secondly, I assumed something else. I read what Brigham Young wrote…
    “Our Father in Heaven begat all the spirits that ever were, or ever will be, upon this earth [see Hebrews 12:9]; and they were born spirits in the eternal world. Then the Lord by his power and wisdom organized the mortal tabernacle of man. We were made first spiritual, and afterwards temporal (DBY, 24).”
    From this, I assumed that spirits had a beginning– they were born spirits in the eternal world. But Joseph Smith taught something that seems different…
    The intelligence of spirits had no beginning, neither will it have an end.
    so then I thought he was teaching that men’s spirits must be eternal. But there’s that word “intelligence”. So does this mean that the “intelligence” is eternal but the individual spirit has a beginning? I am assuming that because I read that LDS believe they will progress to be gods of other worlds and have spirit children. So then “spirit children” have a beginning but the collective intelligence does not?

    The resurrection unites BODY and spirit immortally.
    So you are saying that what Jesus did was to make it possible for our body and spirit to stay together eternally?

    This is what I am seeing that your church teaches, please correct my misconceptions…

    There are a lot of gods, not only one.
    God was once a man like us who has lived a physical life and has progressed to godhood.
    Each human has a spirit that is eternal (or was born? not clear to me). At any rate, existed before the earth was formed.
    We were present at the creation of the earth.
    We existed in spirit form before we came to earth. We progressed some, but there comes a time when we need bodies to learn specific things that we need to learn to become gods. A veil of forgetfulness was placed so we wouldn’t remember our past life.
    Our purpose on the earth is to continue in the progression to become a god.

    Of course this is simplified. This only touches the surface. Seth and Shem, I am not putting beliefs in your head. I am just sharing what I am learning on the LDS church’s website, assuming that since it is on their website, they endorse it. I am trying to put it in my own words so it might make sense to me.

    Brigham Young taught that Some would have us believe that God is present everywhere. It is not so. He is no more every where present in person than the Father and Son are one in person (DBY, 23–24).
    God is… present with all his creations through his influence, through his government, spirit and power, but he himself is a personage of tabernacle
    (has a body), and we are made after his likeness (DBY, 24).
    Read about Brigham Young’s teachings on the nature of the godhead on the lds site…
    http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=1&locale=0&sourceId=5259cb7a29c20110VgnVCM100000176f620a____&vgnextoid=88021b08f338c010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD

    But I actually found something that Brigham Young said that I agree with…
    It is not for man, with his limited intelligence, to grasp eternity in his comprehension. … “

  163. echoechoecho said,

    June 4, 2010 at 12:54 pm

    Seth said: “Your question is a very, very good one. One of the deepest human needs met by religion is the need for certainty in a world were everything else seems dangerous, uncertain, ambiguous, and unreliable. People want to be certain about something – for many that something becomes God. This security becomes the person’s primary interface with religion – everything in the religious life of some people is dedicated to maintaining this sense of security.

    But this is not the only motivating drive in religion. Religion is also about exploration, gaining knowledge and truth, going new places. Religion can serve, and has served, as a motivation for some of the most stunning developments in human history. Christianity, for instance, has provided a exploratory framework for some of the greatest minds in human history. Some of our best and most powerful art and music came from tortured and frightening steps into the unknown taken by men of powerful faith. Advances in science, astronomy, medicine, philosophy, and theology. All of this could be said to be encouraged by our God. A God who encourages us to take risks, to take that fearful step into the darkness and find our way forward illuminated.

    This is brilliant and well written.

    Seth said: “So on the one hand you have the comfort of uncertainty.”

    How can uncertainty be comfort? Uncertainty drives us to look for certainty just as cancer drives us to look for a cure. There is no comfort in having cancer. The only comfort is in the cure.

    Seth said: “I doubt the hijackers of the airplanes on September 11 were listening to anything other than their own overwhelming sense of security in Allah and their own twisted version of him. If they had been willing to exercise faith and explore a bit, they might have reached different conclusions.”

    Seth, I totally disagree with this. It isn’t security in Allah that drove these people to do this. It was their INSECURITY in Allah that drove them to do this in order that they might have hope to feel secure! That’s the problem with God’s of uncertainty such as Allah and the Mormon God.

    Seth said: “While we worship a God of ultimate promises and assurances, we also worship a God who has commanded us to be humble, to be open to the possibilities that we are wrong, and to be ever seeking for truth. He has also told us that we can never fully know him – in spite of our best efforts.”

    This is a commendable statement you have made. I agree with it. But I want to expand on it.

    The foundation of faith should first of all rest in security. Once that is in place, everyone can: “be open to the possibilities that we are wrong in all other things, and to be ever seeking for truth as we come to know God better and better. He has also told us that we can never fully know him – in spite of our best efforts. But we can begin to build on a secure foundation.

    This is taught in the Bible:

    1 Cor 3:11-15 “For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames. ”

    The foundation is secure and certain. We build upon the secure foundation as we THEN begin to learn more about him. This is where being open to possibilities that we are wrong, and to be ever seeking for truth comes in. In Christianity the foundation is “Jesus” and that gives certainty. (The verse above says that Jesus is the foundation) In Mormonism, the Foundation is “Jesus and YOU”. That’s what causes uncertainty. In Islam the foundation is “Allah and YOU”. That’s what causes uncertainty.

    Even in the Corinthians verses above, the foundation is certain. That is expressed by “he himself will be saved.” And also by the fact that the foundation has already been laid . It’s what we build on the foundation that is uncertain. As is expressed by: “and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward. If it is burned up, he will suffer loss”

    “gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw”

    Gold, silver and costly stones represent pure doctrine and life and wood, hay and straw represent poor doctrine and life.

    The problem with Allah and the God of Mormonism is that the foundation is uncertain and uncertainty leads to events such as Sept 11.

    You can’t build a house of any kind on a foundation that isn’t solid and secure. If the foundation isn’t secure, the house will go crashing down to the ground no matter how well and perfectly it was built!

  164. christiangirl19 said,

    June 4, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    Thanks for indulging me, sdrogers.

    I would say that I want to have (and do have) absolute certainty that God is who he said he is (all powerful, creator of earth, loving, just, redeemer, shepherd, no beginning and no end, etc), and the certainty that what Jesus did on the cross for me is sufficient to cover all of my sins. I would say uncertainty on these issues would shatter my faith if I am not utterly convinced that my sins are paid for. (I am agreeing with what echo said about building house on a solid foundation.)

    However, I agree with you that problems occur when you become too comfortable and don’t ask questions. My pastor always encourages us to look things up ourselves and not just blindly follow him and accept what he says as ultimate truth. There are certainly some issues that I am not sure about (for example, some Christian churches believe that women can speak in a pastor-type role in front of men, and others don’t- and both are using the Bible to back up their beliefs). I can’t say for certain which view is correct, but this allows me to research the issues myself, and not just become a clone who follows my pastor without any thought required. To me, if it is not an issue of basic salvation (Jesus’ death on the cross) and God’s character, then I do not mind some uncertainty/disagreement.

    Anyway, thanks again. I look forward to hearing anything else you might have to add.

  165. shematwater said,

    June 5, 2010 at 10:20 am

    CHRISTIANGIRL

    I agree with Seth that we should not be lumped together on specific doctrines. I do hold some views he does not, and he holds some I do not.

    However, to answer your question: I like what Seth said, but he did not give any indication of how we know something is true once we have found it. I understand why he did not do this. However, I think I would like to say what the LDS church has always taught concerning this.
    The only way to gain a sure knowledge of the truth is through the Spirit of God as it reveals it personally to you. No one can gain knowledge of the truth be simply reading the Bible, or any other scripture. No mortal has the capacity to discern truth on thier own, no matter what the source. We must study it out, find what we consider to be the truth, and then ask God if we are right. If we are he will confirm the truth of it to us. If we are wrong he will tell us (or as it is written, send “a stupor of thought”). This is the only way to know the truth.
    However, one cannot receive this confirmation without having first done their part to aquire the correct information.

    Me and Seth, and all the other members of the Church and teach you anything about the church, but until you ask God, and he confirms it, you should not take it as true. However, you should not reject it until God tells you to either. This is the doctrine of the LDS church, what we call the Testimony.

    CATZ

    What you say is actually fairly accurate. In all truth, the exact nature of the Spirit and Intelligence and eternity is unknown. There are hints and suppositions, but no hard facts of doctrine. So, let me explain how I understand it, but with the understanding that I could be vary much in error.

    First, all matter eternal. The matter that makes up our physical bodies is just as eternal as the spirit.
    Second, the quote you gives says “The Intelligence of Spirit.” It does not say the spirit, but the Intelligence. The Intelligence is an eternal thing. As far as I understand, this use refers to a state of being, the core element that makes us who we are. It is our personality. I, as an individual, have existed from eternity to eternity. I did not always have a physical body, nor did I always have a spirit body. But I always existed.

    Thus, when Brigham Young speaks of the spirits being born to the Father in the eternities, I take this literally. I do not understand the exact workings of it, but it is a process that is rightly termed being born.
    We know that Blood is an element of mortality (Gen 9: 4; Lev. 17: 11 – Blood is mortal life), but an immortal body have a different fluid flowing in their veins (Christ said he had flesh and bones, but did not mention blood). It has been theorized (and I like the idea) that a body with blood produces mortal children, but a body with the immortal fluid produces spirit children. I really con’t say if this is true, but I like the idea.

    As pure Intelligence we could not progress. Our Progression began with our spiritual birth. In this way the spirit was with God from the Beginning, or was born to God in the beginning of our progression.
    (Now, to be a little more confusing, in the Book of Abraham it talks about the Itelligences. In this case I think it is refering the an Intelligence that has a Spirit body, as it is discussing the Grand Counsil of Heaven, after we were all born as spirits.)

    As to aquiring intelligence in this life, and the mentally retarded: No one was mentally retarded before they came to this Earth. The mental retardation is a condition imposed by the physical body, not the spiritual. Thus, in the resurrection they will be restored to the intelligence they had before their mortal life, as the defects of the physical body will be corrected. They will then have the opportunity of increasing their knowledge throughout eternity. This use of the word is the standard defenition that most people understand it to be.

    One thing that you need to know: The mentally retarded are counted as children, not being held accountable for their actions. They are saved through atonement, and are thus admitted to the Celestial Kingdom.
    There are many who, before this life, grew in intelligence to where they did not need that in mortal life, and were thus given other trials.
    I like this story: A young man who was told in his Patriartical blessing that he was born retarded to protect him from Satan. That he had been in the group to cast Satan out and Satan had sworn in his wrath to seek out and destroy the yound man. So, for his protection, God sent him to the Earth with mental handicaps, preventing Satan from fulfilling his oath.
    Now, I cannot say this is true. It is just a story. But it is nice.

    These things could not be known through reading the “Truth Gems” you quote. “Truth Gems” are meant for the average person, not the exceptions. They are also meant for those who have a full understanding of the doctrine. No one who has studied the doctrine of the Church should see any problem in the phrase, because they would understand the truths concerning the exceptions. It is those who do not yet have a full understanding of these exceptions that will find error in the “Truth Gems.”

    (I mean no insult.)

  166. sdrogers said,

    June 5, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    christiangirl,

    I was going to post something involved about how I navigate the varying sources of authority in the LDS Church, but I realized I’d basically already written a blog post about it.

  167. echoechoecho said,

    June 5, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    Shem said: “The only way to gain a sure knowledge of the truth is through the Spirit of God as it reveals it personally to you. No one can gain knowledge of the truth be simply reading the Bible, or any other scripture”

    Everyone can gain knowledge of the truth simply by reading the Bible. Only the devil himself will convince you that you can’t. And when he succeeds at that, he is now able to lead you away from truth.

  168. christiangirl19 said,

    June 6, 2010 at 9:03 pm

    Hey Seth,
    Navigating LDS doctrine still seems very confusing to me.

    Thanks for you input too, shematwater, and I apologize for lumping you two together.

  169. shematwater said,

    June 7, 2010 at 9:35 am

    ECHO

    If truth is gained simply by reading the Bible than why are there so many varying religions and interpretations? Why are not all Christians agreed as to what the Bible teaches?

    You yourself, in a different thread, said that when we depend on the flawed logic of humans we get flawed doctrine. If we are to depend on our understanding of the Bible would that not result in a flawed understanding?

    You claim that we have not the capacity to find truth on our own, and then claim that we do. Can you not see the contradiction in what you say?

    CHRISTIAN GIRL

    Your welcome.

  170. shematwater said,

    June 7, 2010 at 9:36 am

    ECHO

    I never thanked you for the prayers you offered on my behalf. So, thanks.

  171. catzgalore said,

    June 7, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Seth, I guess I assumed that if you considered yourself LDS that you took the whole package without question like my dear daughter in law.


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