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Showing content with the highest reputation on 12/09/19 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    When I hear of an unusual teaching in the Church we need to remember this counsel given to us: "Elder Christofferson taught: 'It should be remembered that not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. It is commonly understood in the Church that a statement made by one leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, not meant to be official or binding for the whole Church.' In the following conference, Elder Andersen taught this principle: 'The doctrine is taught by all 15 members of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve. It is not hidden in an obscure paragraph of one talk." -- October General Conference 2019, Trust in the Lord -- Dallin H. Oaks
  2. 2 points
    I was making a cynical objection to the statement to the quoted reason why people leave the church. I believe people leave the church because they have no reason to keep going. I've been through a lot of situations where going to church is an uphill battle. Several times, there has been nothing to entice me to return, no spiritual food, so-to-speak. I get more from personal study than I do from church and I can't share what I've learned because everyone else poo poo's my observations. Sitting in Sunday School is like sitting in a room full of bobbleheads. But I still go. There is a reason for that and, unfortunately, it's not a reason that I could bottle and replicate. I did all the things opposite of what I was told would give me the answers I was seeking and still the reason for my hope came. Sadly, after I'm homebound, I know no one from the church will come visit me. I won't get the sacrament or get to listen to any more dry and boring unprepared talks from fledgling members of the church. It seems odd that I'd miss that, but I think I would. Sorry, I was prognosticating there and not really addressing your statement. In response, I will go back to a statement I made in answer to another comment. The reason they leave is because there's no reason to keep going. He has a lot of questions, really means, he's not getting any answers ... to anything. That could be a result of some personal issue. We could blame it on pornography or internet game playing or blogging on LDS sites, but if the man has a lot of questions, that means he's getting more questions than answers and church isn't filling that gap. I don't believe any of those things I listed for reasons he's not getting answers are valid. Lots of people who do all those things still go to church and will continue until they are homebound. It could be his own doing but it could also be spiritual starvation, like deer who starved to death with their bellies full of hay. It's okay if we disagree. I'm fine with that. Tell me, when you pointed out that man didn't really have any questions, do you think that helped him or do you think that helped alienate him?
  3. 2 points
    The most official statement I know if is canonized in the D&C section 20. Read verses 17 to 28. Highlights: verse 17, "by this we know that there is a God in heaven who is infinite and eternal..." verse 21, "...the Almighty God gave His Only Begotten Son..." verse 27, "...the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of the Father and of the Son." concluding in verse 28, "Which Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one God, infinite and eternal, without end. Amen." There's no discussion of ousia or any attempt to talk about the philosophy of what it means to be three in one and one in three. Beyond that, I am unaware of any official, prophetic statements that try to explain exactly what we mean by three in one, one in three. You can find various statements by individual apostles and prophets about the Nicene Creed or what they believe we mean by three in one, one in three. I could be wrong, but I am not aware of anything that will rise to the philosophical rigor of Nicea or subsequent theologians who have thought in great depth about it. I will be interested in others' responses to this query as well to see what statements and such that they choose to reference. For me, I find the statement in the D&C sufficient to declare myself monotheistic while still finding myself confused and befuddled at mystery that is a single three in one one in three God.
  4. 2 points
    We are indeed most definitely monotheistic. In revealed religion, semantic discussions must always yield to revelation. Through the ages, philosophers have proposed various models for who and what God is. Terms like polytheism, monotheism, and henotheism are by-products of this philosophical discussion. None of them fit reality very well, but some come closer than others. Revealed truth shows that all of these terms are deficient. Nevertheless, we need to communicate with our brothers and sisters here who don't know or believe LDS doctrine. To do that, we make...approximations. We talk about "repentance" and describe it using five (or six, or seven) steps—as if God has a list that he checkmarks off for us to see if we've actually repented! We call ourselves "monothestic" (and we do!), even though the term itself is inexact and not a robust representation of eternal reality. It's true, but deficient. Nevertheless, it's less false than calling ourselves "polytheists" or "henotheists", both of which carry nuances and baggage that go far beyond any bounds of truth. We even call God our Father, as if he stands in the same place as the biological men who generated us, though of course he is far more than they. In doing this, we are just following our Lord, who called God "Father" and commanded us to do likewise. He revealed a "celestial" kingdom, though "celestial" just means "of the heavens," but he added new, more defined meanings. He spoke of man being "exalted", which just means "made high", but again, he imbued new meaning into the term. He revealed a doctrine of "plural marriage", which by the definition of words sounds pretty much like "polygamy" (which it is also called). But of course, it is unlike the polygamy practiced by many civilizations down through the ages and even now. Yet God himself used "plural marriage" to describe the unions. We talk of heavenly things, but in doing so, we are of necessity restricted to earth-bound language. The Spirit can and does teach beyond language, an absolutely vital need for Saints. Surely this is the reason that we are given the gift of the Holy Ghost, our most important gift besides eternal life itself, right up front, when we very first enter into the kingdom of God. But we are still heavily dependent on the divine gift of human language. So God reveals things to us is our weakness, using our weak language to try to give us some dim inkling of what he's talking about. We do well to be careful in drawing strict literal semantic lines in every case; in at least some of those cases, we will be cutting ourselves off from the truth.
  5. 2 points
    Before we go further I would love some input on this. My understanding is that believing in many gods but worshiping only one is called henotheism. Some LDS scholars accept that the LDS Godhead could be called henotheistic. However, such is not church doctrine. Most here, and I believe the official church stance, is that LDS are monotheistic--that the Godhead is truly one God. So, before I go about defending belief in the one God, can others help and inform us as to whether there is an official church teaching on this (or perhaps utterances from prophets)?
  6. 2 points

    Third Hour forum get together

    Here ya go:
  7. 1 point
    Literally no redeeming value. Truly a waste of resources and human effort. It defiles everything it touches and everyone associated with it. Apropos of nothing in particular. Carry on.
  8. 1 point

    Progression between kingdoms?

    I think it's interesting to note that his son also had differing views.
  9. 1 point
    I did teach that to my class and they all revolted. Now I'm not in the EQ presidency anymore. LOL .The temple endowment clearly shows a movement up and down the rungs and as far as I can see, there is no difference between Romney's and Smith's statements concerning the rungs of Jacob's ladder. These are all temple related. As I was thinking about this, we symbolize the Terrestrial world in the temple, but in reality we are still in a telestial world. IOW, when we go to the temple, we repeatedly climb that ladder only to return to our telestial world. Joseph also indicated that by sealing our posterity, family, in the temple, we can reach through the eternities and bring them with us or words to that effect. The idea is that a lost son or daughter can be recovered from their condition and brought up with us. How is this possible if Bruce's concept of being locked into a particular kingdom is correct. We already know that many who will live in the telestial kingdom will arrive there after spending time in hell. The workings of life hereafter is not well known and there is very little doctrine concerning it. However, it is evident that many have asked questions about it and some have obtained answers that, when it was received, it was significant enough to be included in the scriptures. Two instances come to mind, though there are many subtle statements, mostly made in parables, but the two that come to mind are Joseph Fielding Smith's preaching to gospel to the dead and Alma the Younger's explanation about the state of the soul betwixt the time of death and the resurrection. Outside of these, there is precious little so everything else is speculation. I personally think McConkie taught the gospel according to McConkie. He said several things that I just can't accept, so I wouldn't rely on him as the final word on anything. He is one GA who has had to apologize for more statements than any other GA I know, but a lot of members still accept what he said as gospel and I think that is why I had such a hard time with my lesson. The source of my topic actually came from Elder Oaks' talk referring tot he woman who wanted to know if she would have a separate house or would have to live with her husband's other wife in the same house. The gist of that talk was that we not dwell on speculation nor teach it in our classes. Specifically, he stated that such conversations are ok for small intimate groups but are inappropriate for a public discourse. Joseph Fielding Smith made this statement: Those born under the covenant, throughout all eternity, are the children of their parents. Nothing except the unpardonable sin, or sin unto death, can break this tie. If children do not sin as John says, "unto death," the parents may still feel after them and eventually bring them back near to them again.... If this is true, it seems that parents can reach their children and bring them up with them. How is this possible without the possibility of moving up from one capacity to another, from one glory to another? Joseph Smith said pretty much the same thing in the KFD. He said this continues until the resurrection. It would have to also continue in the spirit world in that time between death and the resurrection. The question then becomes, when is the resurrection and frankly, I don't think anyone can specify when the last resurrection will be, but I suspect will will be a sufficient time for every person who will have lived on this earth to accept or reject the teachings of Christ. We cannot force anyone to do something they don't want to do. I personally believe that every person will obtain the kingdom they are willing to accept the principles that govern that kingdom. We might think that given the chance, everyone will want to do what God does, but I don't think that's true. What God does is hard. It's painful and comes along with a lot of grief, but it also comes along with a lot of inexplicable joy. There are some people who simply are not willing pay the price.The joy they have without the grief is enough. And what about those who had the truth here and then turned away? That is not really a subject we can judge. I know we teach there are no second chances, but how can we say who really had it the first time? We can't. I would never suggest that anyone decide on these ideas that they can let go of the iron rod and play in the mist of darkness because even if they ende up in the great and spacious building, they might still have a chance at celestial glory. Those who are on the right path have so much the advantage over those who never had it and over those who decided to take a vacation from it. I am curious about what others have said on this subject... Good topic.
  10. 1 point
    Hopefully, you will note that before the three are defined as one, there is one who is called God who is infinite and eternal. There IS A God and then there are three beings who ARE ONE God. @Traveler gave an excellent example of divine investiture of the supreme being and his vassals. In this sense, any one of the three is the same as the one God in heaven who is infinite and eternal... Certainly, there all three of them together would constitute the same authority as the one God mentioned in verse 17.
  11. 1 point
    We are not monotheistic and that is not our doctrine. The Godhead is three gods, three beings who are one in purpose. I don't know what others believe on this board, but no one, that I know of, has ever claimed that we are monotheists in the strictest sense. Anyone who tries to make that claim is either unaware of his blunder or is trying to find common ground between the beliefs of other Christian teachings and our teachings. We believe that God, The Father, has a body of flesh and bone just as Jesus has a body of flesh and bone. Both are resurrected beings.
  12. 1 point

    Christmas Music

  13. 1 point

    Progression between kingdoms?

    If you keep reliving the same life, and are never able to make the commitment to achieve Celestial worthiness, isn't it the same thing, whether it happens once or a thousand times, the outcome is the same.
  14. 1 point

    Progression between kingdoms?

    And my point was, that it's not the "I want the celestial kingdom" that defines what you get, but rather the "I want to relax already" or "I want challenges and hard work to do" and that kind of want which will determine your worthiness. In other words, as has been said elsewhere, if you don't really want the life of an exalted being, you won't be doing those things here which qualify you for it. If you're going through the motions, following the rules, but your heart isn't in it, you won't make it. If your heart is in it, regardless of how often you fall, you'll make it. And wherever your heart is, that's the kingdom you'll both want, and qualify for. In other words, regardless of how much we don't know, each of us is already becoming a particular sort of person. IMO, people frequently claim to want things they don't really want (as much as other things - often laziness). Those things we truly want, we work for, we don't just wish for them. And they are in our hearts, minds, and efforts. Anyone who will reject the celestial kingdom will also never qualify for it, because it's way too much work to get there without it being completely in your heart, mind, and efforts.
  15. 1 point
    Some differences, and I would argue that they might be significant differences, are that D&C 76 also includes some information about a kingdom that is not a kingdom of glory, which is an idea completely absent in Jacob's vision, (verses 25 - 46 of section 76) and Doctrine and Covenants also describes the characteristics of those who will go to each kingdom. But its not only the vision that we need to consider, but also how it is interpreted. The interpretation by Brother McConkie of Joseph Smith's interpretation of Jacob's vision includes the idea that the ladder represented not just three kingdoms, but that it also "represented progression from telestial to terrestrial, and from terrestrial to celestial degrees of glory." This idea of progression is not readily apparent in either the original recording of Jacob's vision, in Genesis, or in the visions recorded in D&C 76
  16. 1 point

    Progression between kingdoms?

    I know some on this site are not fond of some of the progressive ramblings elsewhere in the bloggernacle, but I recall a post by historian Johnathan Stapley where he talks a little about who taught what as to progression between kingdoms https://bycommonconsent.com/2017/05/22/plans-of-salvation/ He includes Elder McKonkie that is cited in the OP, but he also cites a few other apostles and authorities who were less concerned with progression between kingdoms. Because of Elder McKonkie published Mormon Doctrine and other, it seems that his opinions and teachings carry a lot of weight in our late 20/early 21st century beliefs, but I find it interesting that others before him seemed to have different views.
  17. 1 point

    Progression between kingdoms?

    It seems to me that this is temple symbolism. In the temple, we use ascension through (not progression between) the kingdoms of glory as an explanatory metaphor for the purpose of our lives here. We go from a lesser glory to a greater glory. Our lives here in mortality are called "telestial", and the earth of our mortality is specifically referred to as a telestial kingdom. But that does not mean that we have been finally judged and assigned to THE telestial kingdom. Our mortal probation is accomplished in this fallen state so that we can experience both the evil and the good, and see if we want to choose the good. I can certainly understand how such teachings might somehow seem to be talking about post-resurrection progression between kingdoms of glory. But I think that's a misapprehension of the teachings. We have been taught repeatedly, from many sources, that THIS LIFE is the time for us to prepare to meet God, and that after our resurrection, we will be assigned to the eternal glory for which we have fitted ourselves. I think the "progression between kingdoms" doctrine is a dangerous one, because it openly encourages the attitude of "eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die, and it shall be well with us...Yea, God will beat us with a few stripes, and at last we shall be saved in the kingdom of God." I strongly believe it to be a false doctrine; but even if it were true, it's still dangerous, because it encourages people to do the wrong thing. Until the prophet comes out openly teaching that doctrine—which he never will—I think it best to declare the doctrine of progression between kingdoms as a false doctrine. (Which it is, and would remain even if it happened to be factually correct, which I reiterate is a thing I strongly disbelieve.)
  18. 1 point
    Hanging out at a friend's house is completely different from a date. They are 2 different things and it's good if you can spot the difference between the 2 just by your daughter's behavior and not just relying on her telling you (because, they don't always tell you). Here's a perfect example from my experience with my son. My brother and I live in Florida. My brother's wife has a brother who lives in Colorado. They are very close to us and we usually end up visiting each other or our other siblings scattered across the USA. When we're all together we usually all camp out in either of our houses and the kids just sleep all together on a giant mat on the floor. They've been doing this since they were babies. Fast forward 14 years after my son was born and I notice my son developing a different relationship with my brother's wife's brother's daughter... so I sat my son down and we had a talk about this new development. They still all hang out all through spring/summer/winter breaks in one house... but we had to put new rules down regarding the sleeping arrangement. My son was only 14, his girlfriend was 15, close to 16. We still live in Florida, she still lives in Colorado so their relationship is mostly over the phone. I've known her since she was born so I know she has good character. I know my son too and how serious he is about his Priesthood and his desire for an eternal marriage. I was fine with their relationship but the rules we established included not going anywhere together without my other son to accompany. His girlfriend was Catholic. When my son got ordained a Priest, he flew to Colorado to baptize her. Now, my son is 18, she's almost 20, and my son is headed to the MTC in January while she is in her 2nd year at BYU-I. They haven't been anywhere without either my other son or her sister (who also got baptized with her) accompanying them. They just never felt a need to go anywhere alone. It's good to have that initial worry - it prompts you to think deeply about everything before setting arbitrary rules or disciplinary actions.
  19. 1 point

    Itching Ears -- Alive and Well

    I wonder how that squares with our mutual baptismal covenant as outlined in Mosiah 18. As a community we can do a lot over the Internet—but we can’t do everything. We need each other (and I say that in spite of being myself a dedicated misanthrope). We need that ward drama, as surely as we need our marital drama and our family drama. It’s a big part of what knocks off our rough corners and makes us into something more like the divine. Exaltation is not an individual activity (no matter how much I may wish it otherwise.) Moreover, it strikes me that the solution to a Mormons-only social circle probably isn’t to simply terminate one’s real-life associations with other Mormons.
  20. 1 point
    I believe you are missing the ancient Near Mid Eastern Suzerain - Vassal treaties defining Kingdoms and the concept that man is fallen and exiled from the Kingdom of heaven. Because this idea of Kingdoms is not a modern concept and also because the ancient Suzerain - Vassal law or covenants were significantly modified - both by the Roman empire and the feudal system of the Dark Ages there are misconceptions in our Western Culture of the covenant relationship between a Suzerain and their legal Vassal(s). In all cases in scripture G-d the Father is presented as the Supreme Suzerain of the Kingdom of heaven and Jesus Christ (Messiah) is presented as the Vassal and appointed King (G-d or ruler) of fallen man. I challenge anyone - especially @prisonchaplain to find and present a single example in Scripture to invalidate the Suzerain - Vassal law of the Near Mid Eastern Kingdoms which defined and illustrated the purpose and meaning of a Kingdom when the Old Testament and New Testament were preserved. As I posted the term "Ehad" specifically demands that relationship. In addition Jesus never implied or referred to himself as "equal" to the Father but rather in all cases he refers to himself in terms to designate that he is the Vassal of the Supreme Suzerain and one (similar to one in marriage). I would point out that as a "Mediator" of the Supreme Suzerain and under the Law - a Vassal had full "power of attorney" to act as the Supreme Suzerain and would also speak in the first person as if they were the Supreme Suzerain. This was not confusing to the subjects of the "lessor" kingdom. For example at the trial of Christ the Jews (citizens of a lessor kingdom to Rome) cry out "We have no King but Cesar". One might ask, "Who then was Herod?" Because Herod was the appointed Vassal of the Supreme Suzerain (Cesar) he was not consider a different or another king other than Cesar - but in our modern culture and understanding Cesar was a King and a different person from Cesar. It would be folly to say that this event in scripture proves that Cesar and Herod were really one individual acting in separate roles. That Jesus Christ is the Son of G-d, the only begotten of the Father and the Mediator are all terms that full substantiate and validate the modern revelation that there is a Kingdom of Heaven from which mankind is fallen and governed by a Vassal of the Supreme Suzerain that is the Son of G-d that is the Supreme Suzerain. I purport that this is the only consistent concept of the relationship of the 3 persons of the G-dhead presented in the Holy and Sacred scriptures. I would also point out that the various creeds of traditional Christianity that attempt to redefine this sacred relationship - is not scripture but the desperate creation of men for the single purpose to redefine what was scripture for thousands of years. The Traveler
  21. 1 point
    Interestingly, that is almost the exact same answer I got from a 7th day Adventist preacher when I asked him a different question with a similar principle foundation. I asked something along the lines of, "Jim is shipwrecked and doesn't know what day it is but wants to keep the Sabbath day Holy. He makes a calendar, has a private worship service, and observes the sabbath every 7th day, however, it turns out that, unintentionally, his 7th day is Wednesday. Will God reject his sabbath adherence because he didn't know which day was the real 7th day?" The preacher's response was that in that situation he believes God would reveal the correct Sabbath day to the man. Personally, I disagree that would be God's default response, although I don't reject it as impossible. Overall, I get where you're coming from; I agree in principle, but disagree on timeline (clearly, as I believe in baptism for the dead). I think this is key, and I agree with this statement 100%, but I think we may disagree on the 'real world' application of this statement. Once again, gospel of person0 here but, I believe God often avoids revealing the truth of things to those who do not have 'ears to hear'. Take someone like you, for example: Part of the reason I would never suggest that you could be limited to Terrestrial Glory based on your current rejection of the Restored Gospel is because, for all I know, God has intentionally withheld revealing the truth of the Book of Mormon to you by the power of the Holy Ghost because He knows you are not willing to accept it, or in your words, would be 'resisting the Spirit and pridefully clinging to error'. Now, please don't mistake this as an accusation against you. I merely wish to demonstrate how I think our Father loves us so much that he sometimes obscures information from the unprepared in order to reduce their personal liability for knowingly rejecting the truth. Hence, 'he who hath ears to hear, let him hear'. On a similar but somewhat different note: As a missionary, the parents of a family I was teaching literally told me to my face (admittedly, after pulling it out of them) that they had not, and would not pray about the Book of Mormon because, if God revealed it to be true, they would have to change, and that was something they were not prepared to do. Sometimes that's the best answer any of us can give. 🙂
  22. 0 points

    "A Lot Like Christmas!"

    Yesterday, all the family were together in the the car listening to a CD of Michael Bubble singing Christmas songs. When he got to one particular song I had a brilliant idea for a "joke" to kick off the holiday season. I described it, but no one thought it would be funny. ("That's just another Dad Joke!") But I thought I'd do it anyway: just 5 minutes of photoshopping before work...I just need to get a picture of a clown and...oh... That's right. Someone else had got there before me! NEVER MIND - MERRY CHRISTMAS
  23. 0 points

    Unhappily Married an emotional financial mess

    Yeah a quick karate or judo chop to the head might help.
  24. 0 points

    Is it really coming to this?

    In case my drawing skills are too poor, or the logo too unfamiliar....
  25. 0 points