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Religion

Found 10 results

  1. In the string @Grunt started about a question by an investigator, the dilemma of how we know when the spiritual sense we have is true--that it is the Holy Spirit speaking to us--came up. Immediately my Protestant background kicked in and I thought: sola scriptura. The Bible is the final authority. No prompting of the Spirit will contradict it. Then I considered Catholicism. A friend of mine converted to that faith, and says he no longer claims the right to interpret scripture--that the church leadership has that authority. Then I remembered the beliefs of my friends here. Members do interpret scripture, but they look beyond the Bible. They also follow the modern prophets of the church, sometimes quoting from their speeches and writings. So...what is the answer when there is uncertainty about a spiritual prompting? Pray? Go to scriptures? Consider the sayings of the prophets? If so, what's the "go to" order?
  2. I am 20 years old and married. My sister has a baby and her and her fiance live with my parents, as do me and my husband because we are going through a move. My husband wants kids so badly and he is so good with them but I have absolutely no desire. No matter how cute or sweet a baby or kid is, I still can only get myself to be around them for a short time. Everyone is pressuring me saying I have to have kids and I feel absolutely guilty that I want nothing to do with them. I am repulsed by them and I honestly think I would be a bad mom. I think most kids are spoiled little brats and when I see my sister let my 1 year old niece get away with everything, it angers me even more. I want to want kids for my husband but I have absolutely no desire and I don't know what to do. I have never had the urge to have kids and I have never liked babysitting since I was of age to and I avoided babies like the plague. I don't know what to do, I don't think I will ever change my mind...
  3. There are literally hundreds of Bible versions in English. Why? Can all of them be "correct"? It is a heated debate among evangelicals: the "King Jimmy"/KJV-Only crowd, and the rest in opposition. Where does the Mormon church stand? (I am not referring to LDS belief in a restored gospel - I am only concerned with what is the most complete, accurate, translation of the Bible, and how the leadership views modern versions.) Supporters of modern Bible versions (NIV, the Message, NASB, Living Bible, etc.) do so usually for intellectual reasons that have no relevance to scripture, except to those who see the Bible as only a work of Man, which is not meant to be taken literally, or is deemed by them to be incompatible with modern values. The other reason I hear is that the newer ones are easier to read. The KJV crowd feels that modern "per-versions" as they call these upstarts, are made out of greed for profit (we really don't NEED a hundred English Bible versions, do we?) since the KJV of 1611 is Public Domain. They raise the issue of whether UN-godly men have any right to handle the Word of God and translate it with their worldly judgment. I can tell you that a search of the publishing company Zondervan led me to a parent company, and thence to Hearst Publications...purveyors of smut like Hustler and Playboy! Are such persons trustworthy with anyone's holy writings? Especially the Bible, which condemns much of their own conduct? I can tell you that, as a published writer, I know it is impossible for all the Bibles to be, in truth, genuine, God-inspired Bibles. How? Well, look up publishing copyright law. To be granted a copyright, a work must be "substantially different" from "all other" versions! Thus, all these Bibles cannot be equally Bibles. Each has a copyright. This creates a problem in any church, if the body of believers use a variety of Bibles. There is a spirit of discord created by the confusion these sow. People cannot be in 'one accord' if they cannot even read verses together in harmony. Young converts can be overwhelmed by the choices and the disagreements.IMO this plethora of modern Bibles is harmful to followers of Jesus Christ. It is written: God is not the author of confusion. To restate the question: how does the LDS view modern Bible versions, and what is their preferred Bible for study/corporate prayer? Taking this article as an example of academic scholarly thought on the matter gives us some facts to check and ponder. It's a bit of a history lesson, too. https://bible.org/article/why-so-many-versions
  4. Something I have pondered and thought would be best for a general discussion rather than an LDS Gospel Thread. I find it interesting that Peter was the Prophet upon the death of Christ, yet, we have very little written by Peter. We have more of Paul's words, who wasn't the prophet, which gives way to the idea that revealed word, doesn't always come from the Lord's prophet. Is there anything written as to why Peter's words were not written? Maybe similar to Samuel the Lamanite and the Lord appearing asking the Nephites why they had not written the words of Samuel?
  5. This is an article I wrote for the Examiner a few years ago. I mentioned the evacuation to Pella in a thread earlier this evening and I thought some readers might want some more info. I hope this cuts-and-pastes from the Examminer OK. If not, the original article is found here: http://www.examiner.com/article/the-evacuation-to-pella-the-value-of-continuing-modern-revelation The Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem, by David Roberts (1850).David Roberts (1850). In Matthew 24, we read the prophecy of Jesus Christ against Jerusalem, uttered in 33 A.D. Because the Jewish nation, particularly its religious leaders, had rejected Jesus, he knew that a terrible judgment would come upon them. The astonishing specificity of the fulfillment of this prophecy was recorded by Josephus after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. I would like to use this prophecy to illustrate the relative limitations of written scripture compared to current revelation from living oracles in our day. The passage in Matthew 24 addresses questions posed by the disciples of Christ after Jesus prophesied the utter destruction of the Jewish Temple. They inquired, "Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world." There are three distinct concerns they have: 1) When will the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple occur, 2) What is the sign of the Second Coming , 3) and the end of the world. Thus this prophecy has as much to do with the last days as it did with the preservation of the Church in the fall of Jerusalem. After the crucifixion and subsequent resurrection of Jesus, the gospel spread throughout the Middle East and eventually into faraway lands. Some of the apostles and other church leaders were martyred. The first of the gospels were written perhaps as early as 54-59 A.D. The early Church would have had the Jewish canon (which was still not finalized and wouldn't be until the Council of Jamnia in 90 A.D) and other texts considered sacred like the Book of Enoch. Various epistles and apocalyptic books were also circulated, but the New Testament wouldn't be constituted until the fourth century With that understanding, we can acknowledge that the ancient Church had a body of written scripture, although it was not, and would not be completely formalized for some time. It was guided by living revelators who had authority from Jesus himself. The Church of Jesus Christ had apostles and prophets for its foundation, with Jesus being the chief cornerstone. The Bible as we know it was not available to them. However, the Jews who rejected Christ believed they had all the revelation they needed for that day and for future needs. They had a closed canon of scripture, though it would be several decades before it was finalized and the last of the disputed texts rooted out and discarded. Certainly, someone had written down the prophecy concerning the destruction of Jerusalem before the Gospel of Matthew was written, which most scholars believe was between 70-100 A.D. Even with the written word, there was no date, nor time specified when Jesus said his followers should flee Jerusalem. It is apparent that the center of the Church remained at Jerusalem until just shortly before its destruction. However, the believers escaped while some two million Jews in Jerusalem perished in the siege and battles, and some 97,000 carted off as slaves. How did the Christians know when to flee? In 325 A.D., Eusebius, commenting upon Josephus' account of the destruction Jerusalem, marveled that the Savior's prophecy in ever aspect was fulfilled so literally and completely. Josephus gives his assessment that the reason for God's judgment upon Jerusalem was because the Jews had succumbed to false messianic movements and clandestine groups of robbers that preyed on Romans and Jews alike. These analogs to the secret combinations described in the Book of Mormon are uncanny. Josephus also said it was the Jews' own confidence in their written scriptures that made them overly confident that God would deliver them, though they were steeped in wickedness and false, corrupt religious traditions: An "ambiguous oracle, likewise found in their sacred scriptures" was the cause of their pride, arrogance, and overconfidence. Does this not describe the attitude of modern Christendom, who use the Bible to determine who is saved and who is not, who is Christian and who is not? Like the ancient Jews who used their scriptures to reject Jesus and his apostles, so do modern "scribes and Pharisees" among Christian sects base their rejection of living prophets and apostles based on their man-made creeds and errant Bible interpretations. The very nature of written scripture makes it an "ambiguous oracle" subject to the interpretations of uninspired men. "...what more than all else incited them to the war was an ambiguous oracle, likewise found in their sacred scriptures , to the effect that at that time one from their country would become ruler of the world. This they understood to mean someone of their own race, and many of their wise men went astray in their interpretation of it." (Josephus, The Jewish War, trans. H. St. J. Thackeray, Harvard University Press, 1976, 111: 351—354. Vol. I—III, published in 1976; Volumes IV—VII published in 1979.) "Thus it was," said Josephus, "that the wretched people were deluded at that time by charlatans and pretended messengers of the deity." Yet, "as if thunderstruck and bereft of eyes and mind, [they] disregarded the plain warnings of God." The Jews had embraced false teachers and false messiahs who led them to their destruction. What were the plain warnings of God that came to them? It was these warnings that preserved the Christian Church in Jerusalem from utter destruction. Let's examine how those warnings arrived. Eusebius tells us: "...the people of the church at Jerusalem, in accordance, with a certain oracle that was vouchsafed by way of revelation to approved men there, had been commanded to depart from the city before the war, and to inhabit a certain city of Peraea. They called it Pella. And when those who believed in Christ had removed from Jerusalem, as if holy men had utterly deserted both the royal metropolis of the Jews itself and the whole land of Judaea, the justice of God then visited upon them all their acts of violence to Christ and His apostles, by destroying that generation of wicked persons root and branch from among men. (Eusebius: The Ecclesiastical History and the Martyrs of Palestine, III.7.6 trans. Hugh Jackson Lawlor and John Ernest Leonard Oulton, London, S.P.C.K., 1954, p. 74.) The body of the Christian Church, which believed in living prophets were warned by revelation to "approved men" to relocate to a safe place. This is the function of the priesthood of God in the Church then and now. In 375 A.D., Epiphanius, bishop of Salamis, wrote of the nature of this warning the Church received: "For when the city was about to be captured and sacked by the Romans, all the disciples were warned beforehand by an angel to remove from the city, doomed as it was to utter destruction. On migrating from it they settled at Pella , the town already indicated, across the Jordan . It is said to belong to Decapolis " Four years before the sacking of Jerusalem, an angel of God was sent to the living revelators in the Church of Jesus Christ, to tell the saints specifically when to flee and to where they must gather in order to survive. Every latter-day saint is familiar with the procedure. Men, called by prophecy and the laying on of hands, who serve without salary, possessing the gifts of the Spirit of God, are among us today who receive these warnings from God for our time. The destruction of Jerusalem is a type and shadow of things to come. In a day when men's hearts will fail them, when destruction threatens all people, those who follow a God to whom they have denied utterance, will parse scripture passages, seeking a place of escape and safety. They will wonder why no "Rapture" has lifted them up from the tribulation at hand. They will vainly seek to command in the name of Jesus, only to be overcome by the events of the times. In the midst of all this, a group of believers, who follow a line of living prophets, descending from Joseph Smith in the 19th century to the present day, will receive timely warnings, instructions, counsel, and commandments to prepare. Inasmuch as they follow those warnings, they will prevail as did the saints who escaped the destruction of Jerusalem. There is a world of difference between an "ambiguous oracle" of scriptures interpreted at the hands of people who say God is mute and will never speak again and the "more sure word of prophecy" to "approved men" who hold the keys of the kingdom of God on earth. This is the difference between the limitations of ancient, written scriptures and the power of current, modern day revelation to unambiguous, living oracles. Among the various sects of Christendom, only the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is led by living apostles and prophets of the Lord Jesus Christ today.
  6. (Note: This is an article I wrote several years ago for the Examiner. I thought you all might enjoy it and that it will lead to interesting discussions.) Latter-day Saints love the Bible and believe it as scripture. Indeed, Joseph Smith went so far as to say that we are the only people who truly believe it as it is written. Modern, sectarian Christians hang Bible verses like ornaments on an artificial tree constructed of man-made creeds, ignoring the passages which conflict with or contradict their doctrines. In the process, they have allowed a number of myths about the Bible to be promulgated because it serves their own ends. The following eight myths are summarized from "Here We Stand" by Joseph Fielding McConkie (1995, Deseret Book) McConkie is a professor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University. 1. The Bible is a single book McConkie points out that the Bible is a collection of books which were gathered together by men over thousands of years. The Jewish Bible consists of 24 books that Christians call the Old Testament. The actual books that are agreed upon by Jews came from a council in 90 A.D. in Jamnia (near Joppa, Israel). At his council, it became so contentious that it resulted in bloodshed. (McConkie, 36) Christians have divided these 24 books into 39 and ordered them differently. Their version of the Old Testament comes from the Greek Septuagint, which was rejected by Jews, because of the influence of Greek thought and the inclusion of the Apocrypha. Catholics accept the Apocrypha as scripture because they sustain otherwise unscriptural doctrines, such as masses for the dead and the existence of Purgatory. (McConkie, 37-38) The origin of the New Testament begins with two second-century heretics. Marcion, a bishop's son and a wealthy ship owner, was the first to create a canonical list of books. His list rejected the Old Testament entirely as scripture and "was closed to all but ten of the epistles of Paul and the Gospel of Luke." Macrion's false teachings caused him to be excommunicated from the ancient Church. Macrion's excommunication was so final that the Church gave him back all the money he had donated.(McConkie, 38) The second "heretic" was Montanus who declared that he was the incarnation of the Holy Ghost promised by the Savior to come. He denounced the absence of revelation in the church and the lack of spiritual gifts. To counteract his claims, the church began to teach that there would be no further disruptive revelations and that the canon of scripture was closed. Over the next two centuries, Origen of Alexandria divided the books in his New Testament into classes of acknowledged books and disputed texts. The list of disputed books included James, 2nd and 3rd John, 2nd Peter, Jude, the Letter of Barnabas, and the Shepherd of Hermas. This constituted the oldest Greek manuscript, consisting of 29 books. (McConkie, 39) Eusebius of Caesaria omitted not only the Shepherd and Barnabas from his list, but also the Book of Revelation. Most Greek manuscripts omit it also. Other disputed books which Eusebius rejected were the Acts of Paul, the Revelation of Peter, and the Teachings of the Apostles. (McConkie, 39) In 367 A.D., Athanasius sent an Easter letter to the churches of his diocese, listing the books approved for reading in the church. This list matches the current-day New Testament. Thus it wasn't until the fourth century that there was any consensus on which books comprised the Bible. 2. The Bible preceded doctrine Since the Bible didn't exist in its current form in the time of the Bible, how did it then form the basis for the doctrines taught by Jesus, Peter, Paul and the other apostles? "The book was created by the church, not the church by the book." (McConkie, 40) An example of doctrine preceding the Bible would be the Nicene Creed, which was devised by a council in 325 A.D. The doctrine of the Trinity emerged from this council, which took place after the church had declared that revelation had ceased, but before the time that the canon of the Bible was agreed upon. (McConkie, 41) 3. True religion is Bible religion Since the Bible didn't exist in the time of Peter and Paul. "No one who lived within the time period of the Bible ever had a Bible." (McConkie, 41) Therefore, their religion was not "Bible religion." The Bible is the testimony that God interacts with man via revelation and spiritual gifts, directly and personally. It was not based solely upon the words of God to ancient prophets, but to living ones. Why should it not be so today? 4. Everything in the Bible is the Word of God The Bible is the word of God so far as it is translated correctly, but every word in it was not uttered by God. The Bible contains the words of the devil to Adam and Eve in the Garden and to Jesus Christ during his temptation in the wilderness. It contains the words of Adam, Eve, a serpent, angels, prophets, apostles, and their scribes. It even contains the words spoken by Balaam's mule, who chastened him for his cruel treatment. All these are in addition to the words of God spoken to prophets and the words of Jesus Christ himself. (McConkie, 43) 5. The canon is closed Nowhere in the books of the Bible does it say that the canon of scripture is closed. Many will refer to the last lines of Revelation to claim that the book cannot be added to. Since the Bible didn't exist at the time of the writing of the Revelation of John, it couldn't refer to the Bible as a whole. The Revelation remained a disputed book for two centuries after John penned it. Thus the commandment that it should not be added to must refer to that particular scroll which John wrote. We should understand that most scholars believe that John himself "added to" the Bible, because it is commonly believed that he wrote Revelation before the Gospel of John. The Gospel of John came AFTER the book of Revelation in the chronological sequence of Bible texts. The apostle John told us that "...there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one...that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written." A similar interdiction against adding to God's word appears in Deuteronomy. Following the logic of those who say the Bible can't be added to because of John's statement, we must consider tossing anything that comes after Moses and Deuteronomy. Man's rejection of further revelation is an attempt to "mute" God and deny that he has power to reveal anything new or essential to mankind. It defends the status quo, having a "form of godliness" but denies the power thereof. Since the Bible itself doesn't claim to contain all God's words, it would require a revelation from God to tell us that the Bible is inerrant, sufficient, persipicacious, and the final authority in all things. Thus, you can see the quandary: it would require a revelation to tell us that there will be no more revelation. The position is logically untenable. 6. The Bible can be interpreted independent of a predetermined ideology McConkie poses a hypothetical situation. Suppose an angel took a copy of the Bible to a people who had no knowledge of it whatsoever and had no predetermined views on its contents. Suppose they built up a church using the Bible as their guide. Can we realistically imagine that they would, using the Bible alone, come up with anything remotely resembling the doctrine of the Trinity? Neither can we imagine that they would come up with a doctrine that one is saved solely by God's grace, without the requirement of faith and obedience to the commandments of God and the ordinances. (McConkie, 50) The Bible doesn't clearly explain how to baptize, who can perform the ordinance, and at what age the ordinance the ordinance can take place. It doesn't explain the duties of bishops, deacons, and elders and what are the limits of their ecclesiastical authority. Thus everyone, including Mormons, must interpret the Bible through an ideological lens. The lens the Jew uses is different than the Christian. The historian will use a different lens altogether. The Mormon's view must necessarily differ from that of Jews, the Christians, and the historian. This realization is important, because we must understand that, without modern day revelation to guide us, one Bible interpretation is no more authoritative than another. The restoration of the Gospel, the First Vision, the Book of Mormon, all provide additional light and knowledge that give us the keys to interpret the Bible correctly. Without revelation, it would be impossible to determine whose interpretation is correct, because each interpretation will be influenced by the world view of its proponents. The same scriptures that convince a Jew that it is unlawful to turn on a light switch on the Sabbath day also convince him that Jesus couldn't have been the Messiah. (McConkie, 48) The same Bible that convinces Christians to proclaim an end to revelation and miracles also led a young Joseph Smith to "ask of God" and receive a glorious vision of the Father and the Son. 7. To know the Bible is to understand it The Bible is probably the most misquoted book in existence. Paul is probably the most misquoted person ever. The Bible was written by living oracles of God to people who were accustomed to and accepting of the principle of contemporary revelation from God. The counsel and guidance the apostles gave were to people who had a shared understanding. It makes no sense to preach grace to those who haven't repented, been baptized,and had a remission of their sins. It doesn't add up to teach about spiritual gifts and the fruits of the spirit to those who have no right to them. The scriptures don't ask the reader to accept Christ as a personal Savior or to make a committment for Christ, because it is addressed to those who had already accepted Christ by covenant. (McConkie, 53) The cafeteria-style doctrinal approach of contemporary Christian churches is the result of their rejection of modern revelation as a possibility. Without revelation to guide, one must try to cobble together some theology by picking and choosing what fits into one's world view and reject the rest as "metaphors" or "symbolism." (McConkie, 54) 8. The Bible is common ground in missionary work This statement applies especially to Latter-day Saints. We often assume that the Bible is the common ground from which we can build understanding. If there was any semblance of agreement in modern Christianity, do you think there would be a thousand quarelling sects and denominations? (McConkie, 54) Joseph Smith went into the grove to pray because he came to the conclusion that it was impossible to find out which Church he should join by studying the Bible alone. This is a true statement. In this "war of words" and "tumult of opinions" that rages in Christendom, the only way to find the truth is to "ask of God." (James 1:5) Thus the Book of Mormon becomes the preeminent tool for conversion. It offers clear and plain gospel teachings free of sectarian interpretations. It clarifies the Bible's teachings and helps identify the interpolations of men. It also identifies to the sincere seeker, where and how to locate the conduit of personal revelation for himself, independent of anyone or anything else. Latter-day Saints will be more effective by teaching the gospel from the Book of Mormon than from any other source. We should encourage all interested parties to seek truth in prayer and from the Book of Mormon. Finding the truth in this manner identifies the means of obtaining personal revelation, the source of restored authority, how to obtain the ordinances of salvation, and how to live in such a manner as to obtain and keep a remission of one's sins.
  7. The Folk Prophet

    Fulness of the Gospel

    I was listening to the introduction to the Book of Mormon while driving yesterday. The first paragraph states: "The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible. It is a record of God’s dealings with ancient inhabitants of the Americas and contains the fulness of the everlasting gospel." There are several other places where the Book of Mormon is indicated to contain the fullness of the gospel as well. (D&C 20:9, for example) So the thought I had, which I felt might be interesting to discuss, was: If the Book of Mormon contains the fulness of the gospel, where does that leave things that are not in the Book of Mormon? Take, for example, Eternal Marriage. Nothing in the Book of Mormon, right? But would it be accurate to say that eternal marriage is not part of the gospel? Hardly. I know there are reasonable ideas to be had concerning this. I have a few. I also haven't done any level of research into it. Yet. But I thought it would be interesting to pose the question without any conjecturing to begin with. Just to add to the conversation: The version I have on mp3 (which I presume is pre-2013 changes) is slightly different (see bolded): "The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible. It is a record of God’s dealings with ancient inhabitants of the Americas and contains, as does the Bible, the fulness of the everlasting gospel."
  8. What size of quadruple should i buy? i want to have new quadruple before my birthday, any ideas what size should i buy and why? any style, i just want the leather one.
  9. In Sunday School classes, 2012 will be focus on The Book of Mormon. I, being the Sunday School teacher in my branch, am quite excited to be delving into the pages of this great book of scripture. Once, on my mission, I ran into someone of another faith and he asked me a good question, "Why is the Book of Mormon necessary?" "Why do we need it if we have the Bible?" I gave him the best answers I had at the time (clearness of doctrine, 2nd witness of Christ, etc.). I wanted to hear some of your input on why we need The Book of Mormon. What does it offer to you? Any input is welcome. Thanks.
  10. LeKook

    Which Study Manual?

    Which study manual for the Book of Mormon is more in-depth, the Seminary Manual or the Student Manual? Thanks! :) -LeKook