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Everything posted by Finrock

  1. Good afternoon HizWife! Just wanted to point out that the logic of your statement is problematic. I think we can look at many real world applications and see this. For instance, a car dealership may be giving away a free car for those who come to their show room. Well, the car is free, yet a condition exist. You must come to the show room. I do not recall you postulating the belief that salvation is free to all, even those who do not accept Christ as their Savior. Consider that if we accept the conclusion that can be derived from your statement, then you must also reject your own belief; because your position is also conditional. Namely, salvation is free as long as one accepts Christ. In short, I have seen no Christian religion that does not require a condition be met before salvation is given. Given that your belief also requires a condition be met before salvation is recieved, it appears your argument is special pleading. In other words, both positions here require that some condition(s) be met before salvation is given freely, yet without justified reason, you are claiming that your position is salvation given freely, while the LDS position is not. This position isn't logically sustainable. Regards, Finrock
  2. Greetings YellowLight! I hope you are enjoying your day. I will be disagreeing with you, somewhat, in my post here, but please do not misunderstand my disagreement to mean that I count you as an enemy. I appreciate your questions and concerns. They shouldn't be scoffed at, in my opinion, but rather genuinely considered and sincerely answered to the best of one's ability. My observation, based on your posts after your initial questions, tends to show that you are not taking an objective approach to this. I say this because the evidence for what you postulate simply isn't as conclusive as you are making it out to be. In regards to the Kinderhook plates, we have two contradictory statements that claim that some translation was given by Joseph Smith. Neither of the statements are Joseph's own words, but what other's claim Joseph said. "The elements that these two accounts have in common suggest a basic jist to the hearsay stories circulating in Nauvoo and also that Joseph Smith with others saw and wondered about the nature of the material that had been brought to Nauvoo. But there is, obviously, leagues of difference between an actual translation of sacred records and a consideration of artifacts of uncertain origin—the former requiring study, prayer, and revelation; the latter characterized perhaps by an examination for points of similarity, etc., in a setting where various suggestions are likely aired by those present and elaborated on as discussion continued. And the actual presence of William Clayton or Parley P. Pratt in any discussion on the topic with Joseph Smith is simply unknown" (Source). Most telling, however, is that no translation was ever forthcoming. Nothing was produced. There are also statements which indicate that Joseph Smith would not translate the plates until they were verified. Also, there is no evidence that the Kinderhook event has been nefariously hidden by the Church. It simply wasn't a significant issue. All evidence seems to indicate that Joseph Smith never accepted the plates as authentic and never produced a translation. It was a hoax. For what purpose would the Church propogate that information. It is unreasonable require that all events, whether significant or relevant, should be recorded and passed on as part of the Churches history by the Church. However, there has been plenty of information available regarding it. There simply is no preponderance of evidence that would lead an unbiased and objective individual to conclude anything nefarious or underhanded, in regards to this. The evidence actually would lead one away from anything nefarious, and instead towards an appreciation of Joseph Smith as a true prophet. Thank you for taking the time to read my post. As I stated in my introduction on this post, I may be disagreeing with you, but I still respect your perspective and the concerns you present. I hope that you find my post helpful. Regards, Finrock
  3. You're welcome. Regards, Finrock
  4. You're welcome HizWife. Perhaps this equation will be helpful. Let me define terms that I use in the equation. Conditions means the conditons 1-4 listed above and in my post. Other sin means all other sin except blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. Please consider the equation below: 1. Conditions + murder = unpardonable sin 2. Conditions + other sin ≠ unpardonable sin Therefore, 2 allows for forgiveness as far as scripture is concerned. To phrase it another way. We can be forgiven for all sins except for blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. The conditions outlined and committing murder constitutes blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, therefore, it is not possible to be forgiven. So, really, the issue is not really murder, it is blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. I hope this has been understandable to you. Regards, Finrock
  5. Good afternoon Yellowlight! I have read your introduction in your first thread. From it, I understand that you have seriously and sincerely been studying and trying to understand your concerns. I would speculate also from your introduction, that you have tried to remain objective and consider the facts as they stand. Given that these assumptions are true, I would invite you to consider, first in a general sense, if all change is always change of substance? Consider a simple example. I assume that we both agree that loving and serving others is an eternal principle. Now, suppose I understood this principle and wanted to apply it in my life. Suppose that I decided that I would cut my neighbors lawn, free of charge. Now, further suppose that I did this for 15 years. However, one day, I decided that a change would be good. I decided that instead of cutting the lawn for my neighbor, it would be more beneficial for my neighbor if I brought them cookies. And, thus I change 15 years of presidence. The question to you, then, is this: Was my change in action a change in substance? Did I change the principle by which I had been living under for 15 years? I think the answer is obvious and that is no. The principle of loving and serving my neighbor remained the same, however, how I implemented that principle in actuality changed to accomodate changes in reality (ie., cookies were now more beneficial for my neighbor). This same type of change has taken place with the Temple ordinances. There has been no change in substance, only a change in how the eternal principles are taught. This has been done to accomodate the conditions, mind set, and understanding of the generation of mankind involved. But, the principles taught are still being taught and they have not changed. I think that it is important that any claims of change must be properly segregated between change of substance or change of application. It seems transparent that any objective observer would have to make that distinction if their questioning is to remain relevant and fair. I appreciate your questions and I hope that my post was not too long. If you got this far, I thank you for your time. Regards, Finrock
  6. Good afternoon lostnfound and as well Hizwife! From reading some of your responses it appears that there is a misunderstanding going on in regards to this point of doctrine. First, let me point out that Vanhin, at least, has answered your questions in regards to this matter. I point Vanhin's post out because it describes very concisely your concern dealing with murderers and are they forgiven. If I may, I would like to reiterate what Vanhin posted in hopes of making sure you recognize that your points have been addressed. It is not categorically true that LDS believe that murders can not be forgiven. This is the misunderstanding that both of you seem to be stumbling on. Below is the position that is being postulated by the LDS members here. I have separted it from the rest of the text and placed it in bold letters so that it does not get lost in the text. Hopefully this will allow you to see it and comprehend the position better. The position is succincly this: Most people can be forgiven for murder. Some people can not be forgiven for murder. The following are conditions which would prevent some people from being forgiven for murder (they are numbered only for convienience and legibility): 1. If a person has received a witness of God and his gospel through the Holy Ghost... 2. If a person has been baptized... 3. If a person has received the New and Everlasting covenant... 4. If a person knows the truth pertaining to God and his gospel... ...then, if that person murders, they can not be forgiven, because they have committed the unpardonable sin, which is blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. All other murderers canbe forgiven if they repent and apply the atonement of Jesus Christ. This comes down to a difference between those who knowingly and openly rebel against God having a sure knowledge of His existence and his laws, versus those who have never received a witness nor do they have a sure knowledge of God's existence and his laws. Thank you for your time and I hope that this post has been helpful in answering your questions. Regards, Finrock
  7. Evening lostnfound! Thanks for letting me know what your point was. I appreciate you taking the time. I hear you, lostnfound (meaning I agree with the principle you are speaking to). God has warned us and given us counsel to beware so we are not deceived. Even when we feel we have personal revelation, we must be careful that it is in compliance with revealed scripture, both modern and ancient. I have no problem with testing anything. However, I do not think that the list you provide is necessarily authoritative. What I mean, is that although the list you have isn't bad, not all of the scriptures used seem to be specific criteria on how to judge a prophet. This is what I was asking with my other question a couple of posts ago. I'll try to rephrase it here, since you asked me to. Some of the scriptures you use to support your list do not speak about prophets at all. They are general guidance on how everyone should live their life. My question is, if they are general guidance on how everyone should live, how do they apply to the test of judging if a prophet is a true prophet or not? Let me give an analogy in case it helps to make my point clearer. Suppose I wanted to judge who is a fireman. Here is a hypothetical list I could come up with: 1. A fireman works for the fire department. 2. A fireman puts out fires. 3. A fireman is hired by the city or township to be a fireman 4. A fireman gets trained in a fireman school. 5. People should brush their teeth every night. 1-4 seem to be relevant and speak specifically of what a fireman is. 5 is good counsel, but doesn't speak to being a fireman at all. One would wonder what does 5 have to do with judging who is a fireman. The same applies to some of the scriptures you have to support your list. They are good scripture, but one wonders how they apply to testing a prophet. Please, if you do not mind answering, I would close this post with one more question: Is it your position then that Joseph Smith or other LDS prophets are somehow invalidated because the facts in the list you have provided would preclude them from being true prophets? Regards, Finrock
  8. Hi lostnfound! Thanks for answering the first question I had. Did you also have an answer to the second part of my last post here? In any case, to answer your post here, please consider this reference concerning Abraham. In Genesis chapter 20, Abraham lies to Abimelech, telling Abimelech that Sarah is his sister. This, Abraham does, fearing for his own life (not very honorable, if you ask me). Regards, Finrock
  9. Greetings lostandfound! I read your list. Thank you for sharing it. My first question is this, and I do not mean to be smug, if it comes across that way, as I sincerely want to know: What is the point of this list? My second observation is that as I read the scripture references by which this list is justifying the criteria, I saw that some of the scriptures do indeed speak specifically of prophets and prophecy. However, some of the scriptures do not seem to be speaking of a specific prophetic criteria, but rather they seem to be general counsel. My question, then, is this: How do you link the apparent general counsel of some of the scriptures to being specific criteria of how a prophet should be judged? I thank you in advance for your answer. Regards, Finrock
  10. Thank you for the advice. I've been following the thread from pretty much it's inception. However, it wasn't reading from page one that led me to my conclusion, but rather how the tone and intention of your posts here have not enlightened my mind nor fed my spirit. This tells me something is awry. Kind Regards, Finrock
  11. Just as a general observation and as a way of clarification, having been lurking this thread for a bit, I'm prone to say that on this thread, Hemidakota doesn't seem to be advocating the type of religion I believe in as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I'm not sure by what authority Hemi decides he wants to start passing final judgment on folks, but I wouldn't worry about it, in case someone is. Also, don't mistake his views here as being the official view of the Church or even the mainstream of it's members. Regards, Finrock
  12. In the name of Elvis Presley, the king, I rebuke all of you. Regards, Finrock
  13. So, you are saying that this is something we should be able to have since they had it in the past? Do you think that there are any limits to what we should be able to have that has been had in the past? How far should we take this advice? Should I question whether the letter Q really is a Q? I mean, Q falls in to the category of "everything", right? I'm assuming then that you are saying that because we should question everything, we should question the Word of Wisdom. Is that correct? Should I question your line of reasoning and conclusions too? Regards, Finrock
  14. Assuming that what you claim is indeed a fact: Are there any exceptions to this line of reasoning? Meaning, for instance, if they had the plague, should we also be able to have that as well? (Priesthood part deliberately ignored so as to keep on topic) What does your statement mean and how does it relate to the topic? Regards, Finrock
  15. What you should do and what you have a right to do are separate creatures. The Word of Wisdom tells us what we should do. Your "rights" to drink whatever you wish to drink are inalienable. Meaning, God has specifically endowed you with a right to drink beer (or any substance for that matter). The Word of Wisdom does not take that right away. As a matter of fact, no commandment ever takes any agency away. Any commandment is simply directing us to what we ought to do if we desire peace and happiness and then warns us of the consequences for disobedience (anxiety and misery). But, having a right to choose between any given number of choices, does not mean we have the right to choose the consequences of our choices. Natural laws do not allow it and neither do Spiritual laws. Regards, Finrock
  16. Just curious, when did the church deny your right to drink beer? Regards, Finrock
  17. A much more interesting question to entertain would be: Do the Masons (the actual people) come from the temple ordinances? Regards, Finrock
  18. Greetings Funkyfool! I would like to make some observations and then give you my advice. It seems from your posts that your dilemma at this point is not that your patriarchal blessing is similar or even almost exactly like your brothers, but rather that you haven't a testimony to stand on or the foundation of your faith is on shaky ground. This isn't the end of the world, of course. All of us must go through a period of gaining our faith or our testimony. However, I think this quote of yours, and others similar to it, is telling: Taken with other things that you have posted, you are essentially saying that you aren't someone who is interested or motivated at this point in your life in obedience. This, also, isn't the end of the world. I think it is quite common and correctable. But, consider what Christ said: "If any man will do [the Father's] will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God..." (John 7:17). Suppose you are laying in your bed and you want to go to the store and the store is a few blocks from your home. If you really want to get to the store to buy you a delicious slurppy (for instance), then at some point you are going to have to get up and start walking, running, or doing some form of locomotion. If you don't, and you continue to lay in bed, then, obviously, you would never get to enjoy your delicious slurppy. My point is this. If you want to know the answers to your questions that you have posed then you are going to have to start obeying God's commandments. So, "...dispute not because [you] see not, for [you] receive no witness until after the trial of your faith" (Ether 12:6). My advice then is to start being a person who does pray and who does fast. Not only that, start being a person who obeys God. You have a desire. The seed is planted within you. You must now start nourishing that seed through your obedience. As you obey, you will be blessed, and your faith will grow and you will know that what you've been taught is good and true. Remember, there are no shortcuts, but if you have a desire to know truth, then you can. Also, in the end, you are only giving up pride and vanity in order to receive true and lasting happiness. That sounds like a bargain to me! Kind Regards, Finrock