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curtishouse

Founded by the devil?

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Hmmm......I believe that much of the chapter summaries are taken from Doctrinal New Testament Commentary and quotes from books like the Millenial Messiah and the Promised Messiah are used in teaching manuals. So, maybe we should take the teaching manuals with a grain of salt as well?

No. The manuals are Church approved. To my knowledge, the other books you've referenced are not. Isn't it always best, when given a choice, to study the scriptures instead of commentary on the scriptures?

(Which is not to say that manuals are scriptures, but they contain that which the First Presidency wishes taught in official Church settings. Anything else, while potentially enriching or uplifting, does not fall under that same umbrella.)

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No. The manuals are Church approved. To my knowledge, the other books you've referenced are not. Isn't it always best, when given a choice, to study the scriptures instead of commentary on the scriptures?

(Which is not to say that manuals are scriptures, but they contain that which the First Presidency wishes taught in official Church settings. Anything else, while potentially enriching or uplifting, does not fall under that same umbrella.)

But it's okay for the manuals to reference material that you suggest should be taken with a "grain of salt"..... when his writings are referenced in the standard works and in teaching manuals as explanations for scriptural passages, etc?

And yes....it is best to study the scriptures...of course. ;)

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That particular McConkie (Bruce) is a now-deceased Apostle of the Lord, FYI. Even so, I don't like quoting very much from his book "Mormon Doctrine", which is NOT doctrine at all.

Thus saith Hi Jolly? It is not an official church publication, BUT...it DOES contain church doctrine.

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But it's okay for the manuals to reference material that you suggest should be taken with a "grain of salt"..... when his writings are referenced in the standard works and in teaching manuals as explanations for scriptural passages, etc?

And yes....it is best to study the scriptures...of course. ;)

What the manuals reference, I accept. I just bristle somewhat when non-Church-official publications are consistently referenced in place of actual sanctioned material.

Thus saith Hi Jolly? It is not an official church publication, BUT...it DOES contain church doctrine.

Contain is the key word there. Yes, Mormon Doctrine does contain Mormon doctrine, but it is not canon, and should not be treated as such, which it so often is. I feel the same way about The Miracle of Forgiveness, which is another quintessential and oft-quoted non-LDS LDS book.

But I'm happy to agree to disagree with you on this. :)

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Personally, I like to read up on what MANY religions have to offer. I actually think some of the most beautiful words on the matter of other religions and weather they are good or bad, come from the Muslim Koran. They are very kind words, very loving and accepting of other religions (many modern churches should look to this belief for an example) even if the radicals don't admit that the Koran says this:

[2:62 & 5:69] "Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the Christians, and the converts; anyone who (1) believes in GOD, and (2) believes in the Last Day, and (3) leads a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord. They have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve. "

Personally, I think that's a more mature approach than "Only WE are right, and everyone else is going to burn in hell". lol. Good people come in many different shapes, colors, sizes, and belief systems. The sooner people learn to acknowledge that, the sooner this world will be a more peaceful place to live.

Edited by Melissa569

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Personally, I like to read up on what MANY religions have to offer. I actually think some of the most beautiful words on the matter of other religions and weather they are good or bad, come from the Muslim Koran. They are very kind words, very loving and accepting of other religions (many modern churches should look to this belief for an example) even if the radicals don't admit that the Koran says this:

[2:62 & 5:69] "Surely, those who believe, those who are Jewish, the Christians, and the converts; anyone who (1) believes in GOD, and (2) believes in the Last Day, and (3) leads a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord. They have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve. "

Personally, I think that's a more mature approach than "Only WE are right, and everyone else is going to burn in hell". lol. Good people come in many different shapes, colors, sizes, and belief systems. The sooner people learn to acknowledge that, the sooner this world will be a more peaceful place to live.

What classifies as a good person though? I'm sure there are nice people the world over that do help others and such but there is not a righteous person, no not one. (Romans 3:10)

Also if we don't have faith in Jesus, it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6)

I agree that there are wonderful works of literature throughout other religions, but there can only be one way to God.

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)

Also you speak of peace...But what did Jesus say about it?

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. (Matthew 10:34)

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The good thing is that if somebody with a chip on their shoulder regarding other faith traditions publishes his own questionable speculations, then the Church is not obligated to abide by it and may even choose to discontinue it and supersede it with their own Encyclopedia of Mormonism.

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What classifies as a good person though? I'm sure there are nice people the world over that do help others and such but there is not a righteous person, no not one. (Romans 3:10)

Also if we don't have faith in Jesus, it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6)

I agree that there are wonderful works of literature throughout other religions, but there can only be one way to God.

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)

Also you speak of peace...But what did Jesus say about it?

Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. (Matthew 10:34)

I think that as you evaluate the LDS ideology you will find that the definition of what constitutes "the way" is more moderate and broad than traditional Protestant views even though we call it "the straight and narrow path."

We believe that God, for whatever wise purpose, allows religious diversity here on the earth. He understands how the ways of man sometimes interfere with the acceptance of His gospel and that God inspires various leaders with different levels of light/knowledge to help the people.

In addition to that, we believe that God provides a way for people to hear and accept the gospel in the spirit world after death and before judgment. Even the LDS definitions and explanations of salvation and exaltation allow for all the different configurations of "good" and for eternal rewards to literally be custom fit for the individual.

I offer this only to explain how LDS believers can accept and incorporate all the scriptures you listed and still believe in a salvation that applies to the good people of this earth regardless of religious affiliation.

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10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:

11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.

12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:

14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:

15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:

16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:

17 And the way of peace have they not known:

18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.

Romans chapter 3

Is not talking about everyone on the whole planet. It is talking about certain people at a certain time.

What decides a good person? We don't. God does. We will be judged according to our works at the last day.

Judge by the fruits. Good fruit cannot come from a bad tree.

Sometimes faith in God eventually leads to faith in Jesus Christ. People learn at different speeds, it may be hard to wait for others to believe in Christ, but we are not supposed to condemn each other. Jesus came into the world not condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. The way to him is not one of force, He calls to us, and when we are ready, we answer. Sometimes, like with the Old Testament prophet, Samuel, He has to call more than once.

Be patient with others, like you want the Savior to be patient with you.

Edited by jayanna

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I'm just reading through the BofM for the first time and I came across 1Nephi 14:3. What church is the "abominable church, which was founded by the devil and his children"?

For an official position, you go to the book/manual officially endorse by the Church. The Book of Mormon Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual has this much to say:

Elder Bruce R. McConkie said, “The titles church of the devil and great and abominable church are used to identify all churches or organizations of whatever name or nature—whether political, philosophical, educational, economic, social, fraternal, civic, or religious—which are designed to take men on a course that leads away from God and his laws and thus from salvation in the kingdom of God”

The great and abominable church is a symbol of apostasy in all its forms. It is a representation of all false doctrine, false worship, and irreligious attitudes. It does not represent any specific church in the world today.

Insofar as any actual Church intentionally leads people away from God and into blindness and sin, they are doing the will of Satan and not God. Thereby they are the antithesis of the shepherds in God's Kingdom, seeking to lead God's children into eternal damnation, misery and despair. It represents all organizations that zealously attack the true Gospel of Jesus Christ wherever it appears. Insofar as the Catholic Church may have once done so in any way, then for that period of their existence they would become part of the Great and Abominable Church. The RCC of today really doesn't fit the description though. I would leave it to the student of history to determine if the RCC ever was.

A better qualifier would be this: Can you think of any organizations or entities whose goals lead humankind away from God? Are there any organizations that seek to demonize and/or persecute the Restored Church and Kingdom of Jesus Christ? Yes there are such organizations and by doing what they do, whether knowingly or in ignorance, they do the will of Satan and become the Great and Abominable Church. They are the shepherds leading the sheep away from Christ and towards disaster.

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For an official position, you go to the book/manual officially endorse by the Church. The Book of Mormon Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual has this much to say:

Insofar as any actual Church intentionally leads people away from God and into blindness and sin, they are doing the will of Satan and not God. Thereby they are the antithesis of the shepherds in God's Kingdom, seeking to lead God's children into eternal damnation, misery and despair. It represents all organizations that zealously attack the true Gospel of Jesus Christ wherever it appears. Insofar as the Catholic Church may have once done so in any way, then for that period of their existence they would become part of the Great and Abominable Church. The RCC of today really doesn't fit the description though. I would leave it to the student of history to determine if the RCC ever was.

A better qualifier would be this: Can you think of any organizations or entities whose goals lead humankind away from God? Are there any organizations that seek to demonize and/or persecute the Restored Church and Kingdom of Jesus Christ? Yes there are such organizations and by doing what they do, whether knowingly or in ignorance, they do the will of Satan and become the Great and Abominable Church. They are the shepherds leading the sheep away from Christ and towards disaster.

Thanks. I quoted Bruce R. McConkie in the 3rd post of this thread. But I really think it sums it up well.

Edited by pam

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Thanks. I quoted Bruce R. McConkie in the 3rd post of this thread. But I really think it sums it up well.

I know, the point is I'm not copying and pasting from "Mormon Doctrine" by Bruce R McConkie. I'm copying and pasting from the official Book of Mormon manual for teaching Sunday School. The manual just happens to quote Elder McConkie.

The underlying thing is this: If you want an "official position" go to the books that have "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints" stamped on the binding and/or cover. The Book of Mormon manual quotes Bruce's revised entry from "Mormon Doctrine" thereby endorsing that as the official position of the Church on the matter. "Mormon Doctrine" itself does not have the name of the Church stamped on the binding or cover, but most if not all of its contents are accurate. But if you want an official position, you go to official publications.

Ultimately, I think the best answer to the question is that the Great Whore and Great and Abominable Church are the shepherds that lead God's children away from God rather than leading them towards Him.

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It seems that Mr. McConkie is quoted quite a bit here on the boards. Isn't he vehemently against the LDS church now?

I just did a google on him. All I found was a ton of McConkie bashing. Everything from him being a racist to telling people there's no possible way to gain a testimony without reading the BOM first. Yikes. But maybe someone here knows more and has links to reliable resources. I'm guessing what I found is inaccurate?

I don't think a clear enough answer has been given to these concerns. Elder Bruce R McConkie lived and died as an Apostle of Jesus Christ. At no point did he leave the Church, nor was he ever relieved or removed from the Apostlehship. Nothing even remotely close to this ever happened. He is one of the brightest, most accomplished scholars in our history.

His first edition of "Mormon Doctrine" contained some things that were speculative and/or unofficial. Some of the content was a bit undiplomatic as well. The First Presidency asked McConkie to amend those parts, and in so doing "Mormon Doctrine" better aligns itself with the official Church teachings. It still does contain some speculative and unoffical content on some hot-button issues, the curse upon Cain and his descendants being a major one.

It's the title of the book that leads people to assume that everything in "Mormon Doctrine" is the official position of the Church. The VAST majority of the content therein aligns perfectly with the official Church stance. Some of the content goes beyond the official Church position, attempting to explain and reason out things we don't have a revealed explanation from God for. It's on those touchy, highly sensative issues where "Mormon Doctrine" and other published works of McConkie get people riled up and angry. And it's got nothing to do with McConkie actually trying to be offensive. He just speaks his mind and tells you why he thinks things happened the way they did. He doesn't ever actually contradict the official stance of the Church, but some might say he creates "official policy" where there is none. The reality is he's just sharing his strongly held opinion on the matter.

Edited by Faded

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What I've always heard is that, 1 Nephi 13 is historical in nature and refers to specific entities--including the pre-reformation church from which the Catholic church is descended. Chapter 14, by contrast, is "apocalyptic" in nature and doesn't necessarily refer to specific institutions.

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Okay, here's my view on the Book of Mormon scripture:

All churches teach good principles. However, not all churches have the revelation, priesthood and gospel to help us to return back to the Celestial Kingdom.

Think about the definition of heaven with other churches. In my opinion, it sounds exactly like the Terrestial Kingdom. No marriage, no work. Just an eternal rest.

So, what is the "church of the devil"? Irreligion as defined by Elder Neal A. Maxwell.

We are now entering a time of incredible ironies. Let us cite but one of these ironies which is yet in its subtle stages: We will see a maximum, if indirect, effort made to establish irreligion as the state religion. It is actually a new form of paganism which uses the carefully preserved and cultivated freedoms of western civilization to shrink freedom, even as it rejects the value essence of our rich Judeo-Christian heritage.

[...]

Brothers and sisters, irreligion as the state religion would be the worst of all combinations. Its orthodoxy would be insistent and its inquisitors inevitable. Its paid ministry would be numerous beyond belief. Its Caesars would be insufferably condescending. Its majorities—when faced with clear alternatives—will make the Barabbas choice, as did a mob centuries ago when Pilate confronted them with the need to decide.

Irreligion sounds like THE religion where "bad is good" and "bitter for sweet" reigns. This religion is DEFINITELY one where the Devil is at the head... and yet it seems to not be an "organized" religion with defined leadership. Many groups resemble and represent this "irreligion" to forward its cause.

There are some people who are FOR the irreligious groups agenda who are "believers in Christ" - in all denominations and sects. This is why there is a mention of "taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away. And all this have they done that they might pervert the right ways of the Lord, that they might blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men." 1 Nephi 12:26-27

It's too easy to think that this is the "Catholic Church" since they were the only ones to have the writings of the Prophets in the Bible. Yet, I don't believe it was the Catholic Church, but those who belonged to it who had other ideas and swayings.

Just my opinion and it suits me. :)

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1 Ne. 14:3

3 And that great pit, which hath been digged for them by that great and abominable church, which was founded by the devil and his children, that he might lead away the souls of men down to hell—yea, that great pit which hath been digged for the destruction of men shall be filled by those who digged it, unto their utter destruction, saith the Lamb of God; not the destruction of the soul, save it be the casting of it into that hell which hath no end.

• • •

13 And it came to pass that I beheld that the great mother of abominations did gather together multitudes upon the face of all the earth, among all the nations of the Gentiles, to fight against the Lamb of God.

The great sign and indication those that follow after Satan and his church is that they will fight against Jesus, his apostles, his church and his sheep. In general I avoid those that are more against stuff than what they are for.

The Traveler

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Bruce R. McConkie was one of the great scriptorians in the Church. Much of what you read in the Bible Dictionary and the Topical Guide in the scriptures came from his notes. It was common to see him speaking from the pulpit without notes, quoting extended passages of scripture. He was one of the great defenders of the Church.

Those of us old enough to have heard his sermons will all tell you that they were electrifying. He spoke with a boldness and spiritual power that was startling. I remember hearing him speak the very first time. In those days, around 1978 or so, chapels back East didn't have satellite dishes. We used to dial into a WATS line (the predecessors of 800 numbers) and we sat in the chapel listening to the conference. I was a new convert to the Church and when I heard Elder McConkie speak, I felt the Spirit powerfully bear witness that these men were true apostles of Jesus Christ.

In a war, the combatants always try to take out the enemy's strongest weapons first. They will persist until the target is effectively neutralized and then move to less dangerous targets. It is no surprise that anti-Mormons so bitterly attack Elder Bruce R. McConkie. He did much to boldly shake up Satan's kingdom and the Adversary's minions were inspired to hatred by their master.

Although I enthusiastically support and sustain the living apostles, I feel very sorry for young latter-day saints who never had the blessing of hearing Bruce R. McConkie, LeGrand Richards, and Mark E. Petersen. One thing the Church has always been blessed with is a richness of preachers of righteousness.

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In a war, the combatants always try to take out the enemy's strongest weapons first. They will persist until the target is effectively neutralized and then move to less dangerous targets. .

The same is true today, though it's Elder Boyd K Packer that seems to be the new favorite apostle to attack.

Seems that those who fearlessly and unyieldingly defend truth are the ones most often targeted by critics.

It should be pointed out that areas where Elder McConkie offended some people are not things that were found in commonly in his addresses to the Church. Most of those will never say anything about blacks and the priesthood or about the RCC being the Great and Abominable Church. Those were his opinions, one of which he later recanted entirely (blacks and the priesthood.) These are areas where people like to snipe and nitpick at the human imperfections of an amazing man and fearless defender of Christ and of the faith.

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...

In a war, the combatants always try to take out the enemy's strongest weapons first. They will persist until the target is effectively neutralized and then move to less dangerous targets.

...

This is not entirely true. There are many different strategies employed in various theaters of war. During the French and Indian war the USA was introduced to what has become known as gorilla warfare. This employs the concept that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. In this philosophy “soft” targets that are most vulnerable are selected.

One of the strategies that made Alexander The Great so great was his study of tactics. The Persians used chariots with 6 foot blades attached to the wheels that they would run in formation along the front lines of their enemies. Alexander realizing the nature of horses used a tactic to stop the horses rather than concern himself with the chariots. Once the chariots were stopped close to his front lines they were easily captured and used against his enemies later.

I guess what I am saying is something I have said before. One of the most effective military strategies is to realize how one’s enemies will address a conflict and rather than engage the enemy as the enemy has planned – one engages the enemy with a surprise of using their tactics to your advantage. Let me give an example:

If the anti-LDS accuse us of being a cult; rather than try to convince others that we are not a cult - respond with the idea the term cult comes from the concept and idea of culture. And then thank them for noticing that we are a cultured and civilized people asking why they are opposed to such things.

The Traveler

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The same is true today, though it's Elder Boyd K Packer that seems to be the new favorite apostle to attack.

Seems that those who fearlessly and unyieldingly defend truth are the ones most often targeted by critics.

It should be pointed out that areas where Elder McConkie offended some people are not things that were found in commonly in his addresses to the Church. Most of those will never say anything about blacks and the priesthood or about the RCC being the Great and Abominable Church. Those were his opinions, one of which he later recanted entirely (blacks and the priesthood.) These are areas where people like to snipe and nitpick at the human imperfections of an amazing man and fearless defender of Christ and of the faith.

Elder McConkie defended the truth as he understood it--and he understood it better than almost anyone. Then the Lord changed things by revelation. At that moment, such as the lifting of the priesthood ban in 1978, Elder McConkie readily admitted that he was in error and that, once the Lord speaks, there was no arguing. It is a testimony of his faith, integrity, and submission to the Lord.

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In conjunction with 1 Nephi 14:3 there is also (and please forgive me if someone has already brought this up on this thread):

"I [Joseph Smith] asked the Personages [God the Father and Jesus] who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)—and which I should join. I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their ehearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof"

-Joseph Smith History 1:18-19, Pearl of Great Price

Those sects in context would be: "The Presbyterians ...the Baptists ...and [the] Methodists..." (1:9), yet the implication is much farther reaching than just those three if Joseph Smith is commissioned to begin a whole new church.

What I find strange is how quickly you all seem to backtrack from this. Of course, non-Mormon Christians do the same all to often with the issue of whether or not Jesus is the only way. Eyebrows raise when we say these kinds of things. We have friends, bosses, etc. on the other side of this issue. It's a sticky issue. We risk being labeled "intolerant" for saying we know the right answer and everyone else who says differently is wrong. Yet we could still be right... Galileo stood alone, and so did Athanasius before him.

So why back down from the assertion that your church with its gospel is the only true church with the true gospel? It seems to me that if you water that down at all then you defeat your whole purpose for exiting as a distinct entity.

Non-LDS Christians the world over, especially Evangelicals, don't even recognize the idea of there being only one true church on earth (in the institutional sense), but instead see the true church as spiritual, existing within individuals throughout many denominations. The issue is about one's core confession of faith, not membership.

When some Christians start saying that God can be found through other religions, or in other words that Christ is the way but many ways lead to Him, then they defeat the purpose for preaching the gospel altogether, because they remove the need for repentance in response to this other gospel of theirs. It helps us feel better, to say that some need not hear or receive the gospel and still be saved. We don't want to think of those people in hell. But they may as well stop being Christians if they back down on the exclusive claim of the Gospel.

Likewise with you: why back down? I know you will say that other churches have some truth and that yours has the whole truth, but a statement which contains both truth and falsehood is still false. It certainly seems clear enough that what you consider to be scripture teaches that all other churches are wrong. Why not own up to it?

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In conjunction with 1 Nephi 14:3 there is also (and please forgive me if someone has already brought this up on this thread):

"I [Joseph Smith] asked the Personages [God the Father and Jesus] who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)—and which I should join. I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their ehearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof"

-Joseph Smith History 1:18-19, Pearl of Great Price

Those sects in context would be: "The Presbyterians ...the Baptists ...and [the] Methodists..." (1:9), yet the implication is much farther reaching than just those three if Joseph Smith is commissioned to begin a whole new church.

What I find strange is how quickly you all seem to backtrack from this. Of course, non-Mormon Christians do the same all to often with the issue of whether or not Jesus is the only way. Eyebrows raise when we say these kinds of things. We have friends, bosses, etc. on the other side of this issue. It's a sticky issue. We risk being labeled "intolerant" for saying we know the right answer and everyone else who says differently is wrong. Yet we could still be right... Galileo stood alone, and so did Athanasius before him.

So why back down from the assertion that your church with its gospel is the only true church with the true gospel? It seems to me that if you water that down at all then you defeat your whole purpose for exiting as a distinct entity.

Non-LDS Christians the world over, especially Evangelicals, don't even recognize the idea of there being only one true church on earth (in the institutional sense), but instead see the true church as spiritual, existing within individuals throughout many denominations. The issue is about one's core confession of faith, not membership.

When some Christians start saying that God can be found through other religions, or in other words that Christ is the way but many ways lead to Him, then they defeat the purpose for preaching the gospel altogether, because they remove the need for repentance in response to this other gospel of theirs. It helps us feel better, to say that some need not hear or receive the gospel and still be saved. We don't want to think of those people in hell. But they may as well stop being Christians if they back down on the exclusive claim of the Gospel.

Likewise with you: why back down? I know you will say that other churches have some truth and that yours has the whole truth, but a statement which contains both truth and falsehood is still false. It certainly seems clear enough that what you consider to be scripture teaches that all other churches are wrong. Why not own up to it?

Wonderful post!

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