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spamlds last won the day on August 10 2014

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  1. Perhaps we might inquire of the word of the Lord on this subject, namely the scriptures. There are a couple of questions that this topic boils down to: 1. What does the Lord think about ordinances that are performed without proper authority (even though they may look similar to those done by the saints)? 2. What has the Lord said about other religious sects and denominations? 3. What is the duty of the saints in regard to other churches? The scriptures are very clear on these things and it is simple to apply the teachings. 1. See Numbers chapter 16. Korah, Dathan, and Abiram challenged Moses. They claimed that everyone of the congregation of Israel were holy, not just the priests who were given authority to serve the Lord in the tabernacle. Moses challenged them back, and dared them to bring an offering of incense before the Lord the next day. Moses warned them about the consequences of performing ordinances without the proper priesthood authority. When they made the offering, the earth opened up and swallowed them. In Acts 19, we read of some "vagabond Jews" who pretended to be exorcists and called out to a possessed person, "We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth." The evil spirit in their "patient" jumped upon them and thrashed them, sending them fleeing. As he did so, the evil spirit said, "Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are ye?" The evil spirit did not obey because these Jews had falsely assumed authority without proper ordination. Lesson: the Lord does not trifle when it comes to priesthood and ordinances. 2. In the First Vision, the Lord commanded Joseph to "go not after them," meaning the other churches. We do not practice tolerance by participating in the false ordinances of other religions. The Lord told Joseph in no uncertain terms that their creeds were abominations, their professors corrupt, and that they "draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof" (JS-History 1:19). Other churches are not simply mistaken or almost true. They are the instruments that blind the eyes and harden the hearts of men. 3. Our responsibility is to invite all to come unto Christ. That means they come to his kingdom by baptism. The Book of Mormon points the way to his kingdom. Baptism is the gateway to the kingdom. We are to invite them to repent of their errors and abandon them, not to partake of the errors in a spirit of goodwill. Some will say this is not a humble approach and that it will offend people. We do not have to be disagreeable to cry repentance. The Lord said, "...Ye are not sent forth to be taught, but to teach the children of men the things I have put into your hands by the power of my Spirit" (D&C 43:15). We have the word of the Lord. Why is it nobody looks in for answers?
  2. Thanks. I've been super busy and I'm about to get busier. (Starting graduate school in May!)
  3. For several years, I operated a web site called "The Society for the Prevention of Anti-Mormonism" (hence the name SPAMLDS). It was not so much as a "defend the faith" apologetics site as it was an information portal through which to study the phenomenon of anti-Mormonism. It became fairly well known and was hated by anti-Mormons and ex-Mormons. One of the things I came to understand was that there is a distinct line between someone who thinks Mormons are cultists because their preacher told them or someone who has a grudge against the Church because they couldn't go to their daughter's wedding because they hadn't paid tithing for years. Anti-Mormonism is an industry. They actually refer to themselves as the "counter-cult industry." This industry consists of about 800 "ministries" and "parachurches" that work with a number of publishers and content producers. Many of these are for-profit enterprises. They are not "ministries" in the traditional sense. These groups sell their services to your average neighborhood evangelical church. Those services range from holding seminars to selling them packets of brochures and booklets to give their members. We found and exposed some of these for-profit ministries who posed as non-profits and solicited donations. These companies (that's what they really are) can have an international reach, thanks to the Internet. We outed one "ministry" in Arizona that had set up a web site with a Canadian Internet service provider and posted a web site called "African Ex-Mormons for Jesus." They were somewhat angry and threatened to sue us when we showed that this African ministry was run by a couple of white guys in Arizona. Over the time we ran the web site, we identified and categorized the various attacks they use into six categories. Just being able to identify the type of attack goes a long way to disarming their arguments. You see it's part of a scheme they've worked out. They don't have to prove anything to be true. Their mission is to instill doubt. Arguing with them is pretty pointless. As soon as you have proven your point to someone, the accuser will pivot to a new topic. There will always be a new challenger who joined the effort who will send you the "Jesus and Satan are brothers" attack, even though you may have answered it a hundred times before. There is no end to them. I think that's why there are few Mormon apologetics sites. The opposition will just wear you out. It's the same old thing over and over. They aren't sincere. They don't research. They will not "ask of God" at all. Their hearts and minds are closed. Ultimately, the organized anti-Mormon effort is part of a hate movement, as the FBI describes them. I wrote an article about it that I posted on this forum a couple of years ago. Here's the link: When you realize that true anti-Mormons (whether they be apostates, dissenters, or critics outside the Church) are engaged in hate, you can use the methods the FBI suggests in this article. It works for neo-Nazis and it works for anti-Mormons. Hate is hate, after all. The way to deal with it is basically the same.
  4. Don't invest your children with your fears. Build their confidence and teach them how to protect themselves. One of the best things you can do for your children is get them martial arts training, especially your daughters. It's more than just the ability to fight back. It instills confidence, common sense, and teaches them to be calm when danger appears. Don't let them become victims. They will be a strength for others.
  5. Looking ahead, what is going to happen eventually is that the Church will grow and the two wards will split into three or more wards. That happens all the time. The boundaries will be redrawn once again and the whole problem starts over. You get to pick where you live. You don't get to pick your bishop, the ward leaders, or the saints who attend with you.
  6. A couple of remarks to some of the points made so far: In the Doctrine and Covenants, Sections 28 and 54, the Lord himself spoke to Joseph by revelation and referred to Native Americans as Lamanites. Some of the first missionaries sent out were to the Lamanites, and they were sent to the West, to Missouri. I don't know if all Native Americans are Lamanites, but I'm assuming that the Lord knew who he was sending the missionaries to when he directed them to Missouri, unto the "borders of the Lamanites" (D&C 54:8). People can argue over DNA science all day and never arrive at the truth. The Lord's word is truth. It's enough for me. One last point--we presume wrongly that the Lamanites at the Book of Mormon's finish are the same "race" that was called Lamanites at the beginning of the book. The narrative tells us that, after the Savior's appearance among them, they became one single people. Ethnic and racial differences were blended (See 4 Nephi 1:17). Intermarriage would have occurred. When the wicked began to rebel some 200 years after the Lord's appearance, they split away and became a society defined by ethnicity and social classes once again. The differences were more political than racial at that point, due to the mixing of the various groups. To say a Native American today is a pure "Lamanite" is probably inaccurate. It's likely that Lehi's DNA is in many of them, but it would be impossible to say now who was purely Lamanite, Nephite, Jacobite, Lemuelite, etc.
  7. Traveler, the logic I mentioned was simply a return to the OP's question. That was, did Jesus address homosexuality? The logic used was to connect the statements of the premortal, mortal, and resurrected Christ. If you're reading anything more to it than that, you're looking for something that isn't there. The answer to the question asked is affirmative. Jesus did address homosexuality, before he was born in the flesh, through his servant Moses. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
  8. Here's the logical way to approach this. 1. Jesus Christ was Jehovah, the God of the Old Testament. 2. Jehovah gave Moses a law that Israel was supposed to obey. Jesus is Jehovah, he is the giver of the Law. In the Book of Mormon, Jesus said to the Nephites, "I am he who gave the law" (See 3 Nephi 15:5). 3. The penalties for various sexual sins, including incest, fornication, adultery, and homosexuality are listed in Leviticus, Chapter 20. Verse 13 specifically addresses male homosexual acts and lists the penalty as death. Again, Jesus is Jehovah. It is he who gave the law. 4. Jesus fulfilled the law of Moses by the shedding of his own blood (3 Nephi 15:8). Instead of giving specific commands and penalties, he upped the standard and stated that individuals were now accountable to God directly, not only for their acts, but also their thoughts. Earthly religious leaders no longer enforced capital punishment for those sins. All they can do is withdraw fellowship, as in excommunication or disfellowshipment. 5. In modern revelation, D&C 59:6, the Lord stated: Thus sexual sins like adultery, fornication, and homosexual acts are still forbidden. D&C 42:22 says, The current leaders of the Church have urged latter-day saints to be tolerant and kind toward those who struggle with sin, including those who struggle with attraction toward the same sex. They have not lowered the bar on the expectations of obedience. The consequence of disobedience is eternal punishment. Repentance is the remedy we all need to use, regardless of our various individual transgressions.
  9. Perhaps another reason we have an angel with a trumpet on the temples is that the plates which Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon came forth on the very date of the Hebrew Feast of Trumpets in 1823. See the January 2000 Ensign article "The Golden Plates and the Feast of Trumpets." That is the date that Moroni gave Joseph the plates. (He had seen them previously, but was not permitted to take them.) The trumpet symbolizes the call for Israel to gather. It's the call to repent and prepare for the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) and the Feast of Tabernacles (God's return to his covenant people) in preparation for the coming New Year (Rosh Hashannah). Another significant date from the Hebrew calendar that coincides with Church history is that Moses, Elijah, and Jesus appeared in the Kirtland Temple on April 3, 1836. That was the Passover in that year. The Passover seder sets a place at the table reserved for Elijah's return. There seems to be a synchronicity that we don't altogether understand with events of the Restoration and the Jewish calendar.
  10. As I mentioned in my conversion story in an earlier thread below, at age 11 I found one of those Chick Publications tracts on the school bus. It was the one about the Apocalypse, with all the dragons and stuff from Revelation, Daniel, and Ezekiel. I took it home and looked up some of the references in the Bible. It was scary for a kid because I didn't understand any of the symbolism. Nevertheless, it sparked an interest in Bible prophecy and revelation that persists to this day. I'm sure he'd be upset that his pamphlet was one of the things that prepared me for conversion to Mormonism! )
  11. Realize that belief is a choice. Without knowing, we choose to believe and act. There is tremendous power in that. How many times did Jesus simply ask people to believe? All the temple recommend questions ask if you believe. Nothing wrong with believing.
  12. My two youngest kids loved Halloween and they always wanted me to try to scare them somehow on Halloween night. Several years ago, when they were still pretty young, we lived in a really rural area, about two hours from any sizable city. The October nights were always dark, creepy, with foggy fields, full moons, bats, and cobwebs. There was a small town a few miles away where my wife and I would take them Trick-or-Treating. On the way home, we used to head to one house out on a remote country road that was always decorated to the hilt, to finish off the night. As we left the last house, we pulled back into our street, which was a rutted dirt road surrounded by fields and woods. There were no street lights and I had intentionally left the porch light off. As we approached the house, I started telling my son, age 6 and his sister, age 12, that there had been reports of a strange creature that had been spotted in the area. My daughter, suspecting that this was my attempt to scare them, just said, "Da-ad!" in that dismissive tone that only Jimmy Fallon can imitate. As we pulled into the driveway, I was describing the mysterious creature and it's claws. My daughter was rolling her eyes and the little brother was joking about it, too. I turned the car's lights off and it was almost pitch black around the car as I stopped in the driveway. As they got ready to open the door, I said, "Wait! There's something coming up behind the car!" "Da-ad!" was the reply. What the kids didn't know was that the rubber on the rear window's windshield wiper had fallen off the day before. I had discovered this by accident when I turned it on during a brief rain shower and it made a loud, scratching noise against the glass that made me nearly jump out of my skin in broad daylight. In the inky blackness that surrounded us, I sneaked my hand up to the button and turned on the rear windshield wiper. "SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEECH!" the thing went. The children's screams were authentic as were the tears afterward. Old dad had pulled a good one on them. I don't think I ever laughed so hard in my life. Does your family have any good Halloween traditions or have you pranked them in a memorable way to celebrate the season?
  13. I find that I have come to favor the North American model. There's linguistic and DNA evidence of links between the Cherokee people and the Middle East. So far that hasn't turned up in Central America. When Joseph sent missionaries to preach to the Lamanites in 1831, he sent them to the Central Plains, not Central America.
  14. On "angels" or pre-mortal spirits having free will, we should look at D&C 93. When I read this, the Lord correlates intelligence, agency and existence. We don't know what "intelligences" are and how they differ from spirits, but I would propose that, in our premortal progression, an intelligence occurs when we become self-aware. When we become self-aware, we can start to exercise agency. Otherwise there is no existence. Satan or any of us can choose not to follow the will of God at any point in our existence. We don't need to be tempted by another. I can't recall where I read it long ago, but Joseph Smith said that the devil doesn't get credit for all the evil in the world. Much of the evil comes from us and our choices. If solely he was responsible, we'd could not be held accountable. As it relates to the OP's question, Lucifer didn't have to be tempted by any external being or force. The existence of choices makes it possible to act contrary to the Lord's will.