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Everything posted by Justice

  1. I believe there was not a first. If there was, then there would be an ultimate beginning. I believe this is the way "things" have always been. It certainly raises more questions than answers, but just because I can't understand something doesn't mean it's not true. It causes others to question terms like "Alpha and Omega" or "First and Last," or that God is without beginning of days or end of years. All things that we would need the mind of God to understand how He meant them. I believe you have to stick to basic foundational beliefs when you ponder things not revealed. If what you're supposing doesn't fit the basic foundations of our teachings then there must be another possibility.
  2. I don't have anything to contribute directly to the topic, but one of the off-topics. In the "Sermon on the Mount" delivered in 3 Nephi, we see Jesus speaking directly to the "twelve" disciples or Apostles, and then turning to the multitude and speaking. If you follow this pattern and compare it to the same sermon as delivered in the Bible, you can see that parts of it were directed specifically at the twelve, or leaders.
  3. There can be a "rest" in a song, but it doesn't mean the song is over, nor does it mean anything has "stopped" or shut down. It could be that He "rested" because the creation process was complete, and not because He was tired. He was possibly allowing creation to "take over" and begin to thrive on it's own, relinquishing dominion to man. He was pausing before entering a new step of His plan, like songs do so often before entering a different movement.
  4. I pondered over this lesson for quite a while before I taught it. You know, what can possibly be greater? Of all the things that man has imagined over the centuries that attempt to explain the destiny of man, what can be greater than what Joseph Smith taught? Can we imagine or teach anything more meaningful for man? I think many don't embrace it simply because it's beyond man's imagination to even conceive. In a strange way, it's one of the evidences that Joseph Smith was a prophet. On his own, man would never think to say, "You know, the final destiny of man is to be as God is." Considering what the current belief was in his day about who God was, it would have never enter man's mind to think man could possibly become that. Even today, people of other religions simply cannot believe this because of who or what they believe God is. Even we can see how ridiculous it is to imagine that we can ever become a triune being made up of three persons, yet only be one being, without physical body. I agree with them. We can never become that. This is the greatest restored teaching, in my opinion, and it must be accompanied by an understanding of who God really is... or it can't work.
  5. 2013 Edition Scriptures Is anyone else excited to dive in?
  6. What do you say? Do you know right from wrong? How did you learn it? Look inside yourself. How can any man know right from wrong if it were not a gift from God? The light of Christ, or the knowledge of good and evil, is given to every man born into mortality, not just to Adam and Eve. If God does not exist, then we know nothing. If God does not exist, then we cease to exist when we die, and this existence is meaningless. If God does not exist, then there is no hope; no love; no family. What do you say? Does God exist?
  7. The answer is found, not in how much God knows, but in whether He will interfere. If you think aboout it, it really doesn't matter how much He knows, but whether He will force any man along one path or the other. If we truly have agency, which is a fundamental principle of the restored gospel, then we are free. I learned a long time ago that God will not interfere with out agency. Consider this song: 1. Know this, that ev'ry soul is free To choose his life and what he'll be; For this eternal truth is giv'n: That God will force no man to heav'n. 2. He'll call, persuade, direct aright, And bless with wisdom, love, and light, In nameless ways be good and kind, But never force the human mind. 3. Freedom and reason make us men; Take these away, what are we then? Mere animals, and just as well The beasts may think of heav'n or hell. 4. May we no more our pow'rs abuse, But ways of truth and goodness choose; Our God is pleased when we improve His grace and seek his perfect love.
  8. I found out about it by something Orson S. Card wrote. I don't know if you saw it but it was about the election, but more about why Mormons believe in the God of the Bible and modern Christianity does not. If you're interested I can find a link. It was just a short newspaper article, but I loved it.
  9. Awww. That means a lot... even if the thoughts weren't quite so nice (but I can't picture that coming from you). I don't know how I got by without my Kindle Fire HD my whole life. I can't believe that when I go to church all I have is this little "thing" and my notebook. My wife won it at work and knew I wanted one so she gave it to me for Christmas. She's so awesome!
  10. One option is to talk to your Stake President first and tell him your concerns about confidentiality for your kids. No matter what you decide, I wish you the best.
  11. Hi everyone! Long time no see. Has anyone read this book? And, if so, what do you think? How Greek Philosophy Corrupted the Christian Concept of God: Richard R. Hopkins: 9780882907826: Amazon.com: Books
  12. These companion scriptures will help answer your question: John 17: 3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. 1 John 2: 3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
  13. Nope. Never linked the 2. I'm not sure it's the intent to link those, although I can't tell you what the intent is. I'll have to do some pondering. Thanks for bringing it up.
  14. PC, that was not the lie though. Genesis 1: 4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 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. 22 And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: Satan and God said the same things... before and after. The lie was in verse 4, that they wouldn't die. Genesis 2: 17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
  15. That is what I said, that we worship Him as the Son of God (entailing all He has done for us, Savior, Redeemer, etc.). Yet, you already made the clarification. That's not the only conclusion one can draw. I draw the conclusion that we do not worship the 2 the same way. Jesus worshipped the Father. He taught us how to do the same. He wants to bring us back to the Father. It is the Father's will He is trying to bring about, on earth as it is in heaven. The simple instructions we give to our Primary kids and investigators on how to pray makes this distinction very clear. We pray to God the Father in the name of Jesus Christ by the power of the Holy Ghost. They are all involved in worship, but it is directed to the Father in Christ's name, because we cannot approach the Father without Christ. I think you're being too hard on people who say "we worship only the Father." He should be the primary source of our worship. He is the one responsible for all we have, even for having Jesus Christ, and even ultimately for everything Christ did for us. Well spoken. The Father is the point of direction for our worship. Bold added for emphasis. You quote this from the Church as an official declaration, then you say: When, the clarification is self-contained right in the words you quoted... "as the divine Son of God." It's not shocking, it's a misunderstanding. By saying we direct our worship to the Father not the Son, we are recognizing the source of everything we have. There is no disrespect meant toward the One who gave Himself so that we can return to the Father, but without the Father even Christ would be nothing and I'm certain He would be the first to tell you that. We follow Him to the Father, and recognize it is the only way to get there. The Father stated "this is my beloved Son, hear Him." So, we listen; we heed. It's not shocking. It's just a different way of stating the same thing. We owe Christ our very lives, but we owed it to the Father first.
  16. We worship Him as the Son of God. We worship the Father as the God and Father of Christ the Son, and the God and Father of mankind. John 20:17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. Christ was our perfect example of how to worship the Father, so by emulating Him (or worshiping Him) we can truly worship the Father as Jesus did. We do worship Christ because we emulate Him. But, only because it's the perfect way to worship the Father... by doing what Jesus did. We worship the Father as the One True God, and Jesus Christ as His Son. If our devotion was to Christ only, He would not be pleased with our worship. He brings us to the Father, not to Himself. By "coming unto Christ" we are brought to the Father. There is a difference in the way we worship them. Our ultimate worship in the One True God should be directed toward The Father, through Jesus Christ. It is only through Jesus Christ we can approach the Father.
  17. It is necessary because the very scripture you're quoting does... not once, not twice, not three times, but... 11 ...that they may be one, as we are. 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us... 22 ...that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one...
  18. Define "Spirit of Christ in us" for me, please.
  19. Now, to address your question. Because it says we are given "power to become" sons of God. If we are already sons of God, why would we need to be given power to become what we already are? I understand the LDS view, and I'm not telling you I don't believe it. I'm answering your question as to how it can mean what others believe it to mean. But, again, I'd like to focus on what "power to become" means. We've spent enough time discussing whether we are or not.
  20. dberrie, you will find a lot of us here try to look at the words of the Bible literally, and open our minds to all possible interpretations. It doesn't have to change our views, but it might if we seek truth. It also allows us to understand what others believe and have meaningful conversations with those of other faiths. I do not think they are stupid or ignorant because they believe differently than I do. They have a belief for a reason, and I am always curious to hear their story and understand how they arrived at a particular belief. I do not believe that the verse in question is saying we are not offspring of God, but I can certainly see, by it's wording, where those of other faiths can take it to mean that we're not. Your offering of comparing it to having heavenly and earthly fathers is the kind of input I was looking for. But, I expect others to have other ideas that might refute your idea as well. I will not be offended by another's beliefs; I will not be offended if another person does not believe the way I believe. What I hope is to engage in meaningful topics where we can learn from each other... regardless of our individual beliefs. I've noticed in other threads you seem to have a hard time engaging those of other faiths, and seeing (really seeing) that anyone can possibly have a different interpretation other than yours. Your interpretation may be right, but I assure you, it's not the only one. :) Welcome to the conversation.
  21. I posted a while back about this also. It doesn't seem to be getting a lot of attention. Are you aware the Church built the replica set used in these videos of ancient Jerusalem in Utah? You should look for the story on it's construction. It describes it's purpose, what they plan to do with the videos, and where and how they plan to use them. I'm not sure where to find it or I'd post a link. But, I read it in the news section of the church website, so if you search there I bet you can find it.
  22. The Father is glorified and perfected. He has walked the walk; He knows the path to be trod. He is our Father/creator, and does all that He does for our benefit. His entire creation is for us, not Him. To me, the most sincere form of worship is emulation. It's more than just wanting to be like Him, but worship in it's most sincere form is actually being like Him. I want to be like Him. My hope is through Christ that I one day can. Anything less, and I don't think it's pure worship. This all depends on what you mean by worship. Jesus was our perfect example... of the Father. We emulate Jesus so we can become like the Father. Jesus never invited worship or praise, but gave all praise and glory (or worship) to the Father. I would say that the Father probably says somthing like if you want to be like me you must first learn to be like Jesus. So, there may be a fine line. The intent is to worship the Father, and that is who we pray to. But, we have a perfect example to emulate... Jesus. Whether Christ was actually married on earth is a whole different discussion, but I'm guessing you mean married before He was born as a man. Where did you hear that Christ "was exalted" and that it was a pre-requisite for being a member of the Godhead?
  23. Time for part 2 of this discussion. I've had it mostly typed up and waiting for the other thread to die down, or until someone brought up this scripture. I'm surprised someone didn't bring up this scripture earlier in the other thread, and I'm also surprised it was a LDS that brought it up, not someone who believes in the Trinity. Untli now, I have been adamant about son = offspring. But, now I must defend myself against the words of the Bible that claim there are other ways to understand "son." John 1:12 “power to become” But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. This scripture, if taken literally, means that we are not offspring “sons” of God before we “receive” or “believe” on his name. So, let's take a look at it and hear both both side's responses. I realize we can discuss what it means to receive him, believe on his name, or even what it means to be a son of god, but what I want to focus on is what "power to become" means. Here is where I have to admit that the Bible is in need of interpretation. In light of this verse it does not have to mean that we are not literal offspring, even though it seems to be saying that very thing. It also seems to be saying we were not alive as spirits before being born here. This verse could be used as a valid argument to refute these two ideas LDS claims. But, this verse is not conclusive proof. We're going to have to mutually admit that neither side will be able to prove their interpretation with one verse before we can talk about "power to become." So, let's admit it and focus on "power to become," and hope the discussion about the other parts of the verse are kept to a minimum, or on an only as needed basis. Christ told His followers that if they had faith as a grain of mustard seed they could speak to otherwise inanimate objects and they would obey. He is quoted in 2 different books, I will add them both. Luke 17:6 And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you. Matthew 17:20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Here's my question. By these verses are we to believe that God is literally giving men this power, or is this something that God will perform for men because they speak the words? To clearly illustrate my question I'd like to referenfce Peter walking on water. Peter said (paraphrasing) if it be you, Lord, bid me come unto you. Christ responded that he should come. Peter stepped onto the water and began to walk. After a short while, he began to sink when his faith doubted. Now, did Peter walk on water or did Christ do it for him? If you believe it was Peter, then we can move on to the discussion about what "power to become" means. If you believe it was Christ doing it for him and that God really never gives us any power like this, we first need to discuss why, if it was Christ, Peter began to sink because of his own lack of faith. So, which do we talk about first? Is God literally giving us power to do, or is He acting with His power through us and isn't really giving us any real power? Let me quote again: John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.
  24. I have, actually, many times. I used to work with a man who is Catholic (I've known many Catholics, I used to date one and went to a few Catecism classes with her and had one on one sessions with the priest -- interesting stories... priest told her never to see me again) and we each decided to go to each other's church. Turns out he only wanted me to go to his, he never came to mine. Same went for the Baptist friend I had who made the same agreement with me. I'm curious to know what you think... and how you feel.