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Difference in doctrine

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Perhaps the most profound difference between LDS doctrine and most other religions appears to me to be the doctrine that all humanity existed as spirit beings of intelligence before physical birth (human creation) in the presents of G-d. I am not sure that many LDS appreciate and understand the profound impact this doctrinal revelation has on both the LDS communality of the faithful believers and the world in general. For me, because I love and appreciate rhetorical logic, this provides a platform for understanding that solves all of the great debates that exists in Traditional Christianity (freewill vs determination: character from nurture or nature) as well as many other religions ideas competing in the market place of human affairs and understanding.

For one – this means that we as individuals were not created to be the individuals we are but rather we are “chosen” by G-d and enabled by covenant for our individual contribution while experiencing mortality. This also means that we are evolving entities – all of which means that we can evolve into eternal salvation by following the path and way of G-d – meaning we walk where G-d has walked, do the things he and done, learn what he learned and become what he is. This evolution comes through agency we are given through G-d to develop a propensity of good or evil. We were not created by G-d with a pre determined propensity for good or evil but rather we evolved by following the disciplinary path or way of G-d –forging our own evolution into eternity.

So what doctrines do you think set the LDS gang apart in the religious community?

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The family is an essential and eternal unit of God's kingdom.

 

I haven't really seen many religions emphasize this like the LDS church does, but most people I've talked to of other religions believe in familes that are eternal also. I wonder how many mainstream religions have specific doctrine in those regards as ours is.

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Do they? I mean I've always heard 'till death do us part and seen pictures of cherub baby angles singing. Granted I'm not all that familiar with other faiths teaching on family but I was under the impression marriage dissolved upon death. I've even had verses quoted at me to counter our perspective on an eternal family unit.

Edited by jerome1232

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I'd say we're at odds with much of Christianity.  The thing that ties us together with Christianity is our core belief in Jesus.

 

1) He was the Only Begotten of the Father in the Flesh.

2) He was born of a virgin mother (Mary).

3) He lived a perfect life.

4) He suffered more than it is possible for man to suffer when He performed the Atonement.

5) He died, was buried, and rose again on the third day never to die again.

6) In so doing, He made it possible for all mankind to be saved in the Kingdom of Heaven.

 

We believe in similar values of living in this life.

 

Apart from that, I believe we disagree on almost everything else.

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What doctrine makes us different from other Christians?

I believe it is our affirmation that God, the Eternal Father, is really a father; that is, He is the literal Father of Jesus' body and His spirit, and of our spirits as well.

As our Father, He wants us to become what He is. He wants the best for each of us individually and collectively.

As I understand it, most Christians reject the concept of true fatherhood for God: they claim that Jesus was, as the Father is, uncreated, and eternal, in the same way He, the Father, is: that calling Jesus "Son" is merely figurative.

We Saints know Him as our Father, not because of some "choosing" on one of our parts, but because we are literally His spirit children. This gives Him a vested interest in our lives. We are not mere creatures, we are not some passing fancy, or a science experiment: we are His children. He loves us as we love our own children, only more so: more perfectly, more deeply, more devotedly. So much more that He gave His Only Begotten Son to rescue us from our own stupidity and rebellion: from the bondage of sin intowhich we have sold ourselves.

This doctrine (that I call "the universal fatherhood of God") is rare (if it exists at all) among non-LDS Christians. Calvinists believe us to be a sort of puppet species: he built us all to throw into the fire, and, for unknowable reasons, grabs a few of us to "save". One imagines them, along with Him, watching the rest of us broil endlessly for His amusement, and to make the few all the more grateful for His having pulled them off the slaughter line.

Some believe that there are no true punishments, that God will punish us with a few stripes and then save us all in His kingom. "Saved" to do what, no one knows, but, trust us, it'll be great! Why we exist in the first place is a mystery.

The fact of His fatherhood also leads us to the knowledge (scant though it may be) of a loving Mother Who, in some unknown and ineffable way, brought us into spiritual existence, and watches as we come to earth to try, to fail, to reject both our Parents, and, for some, try again to align our lives with the Plan of Salvation. How She must weep for our stupidity, for our rebellion, for our clumsy attempts to find Her First-Born Son and His Path to return to Her loving arms!

The universal fatherhood of God and the corrolary doctrine of our Eternal Mother in Heaven make us different from other Christians in ways that even the Priesthood of God, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, or the concept of the eternal Family (without a knowledge of our Parents' family) do not. With this understanding, these rest have deeper meanings, more powerful impact, and greater comfort for us as we seek to be one with Christ.

Lehi

Edited by LeSellers

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I haven't really seen many religions emphasize this like the LDS church does, but most people I've talked to of other religions believe in familes that are eternal also. I wonder how many mainstream religions have specific doctrine in those regards as ours is.

I don't know how doctrinal common the belief is, but I run into many who believe personally the family is eternal.

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I'm going to have to modify my previous post.  I've reflected on many conversations I've personally had as well as quotes from famous individuals.  I am amazed at how many people completely agree with Mormon doctrine while refusing to agree with Mormon doctrine.

 

Individuals believe in the separate nature of the Godhead because they are ignorant of their own faith's tenets.

Individuals believe in the eternal nature of the family because they are ignorant of their own faith's beliefs on the matter.

Individuals believe that you "have to be good" to "earn" your way to heaven because they are ignorant...

 

Individuals believe all sorts of things on their own that are much closer to LDS doctrines than other Christian beliefs.  Yet they continue to believe they're with the "correct" faith and refuse to acknowledge anything correct about "Mormonism".

 

I also am amazed how many things are at their core similar, but just because of perspective, they appear to be radically different.

Edited by Guest

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I haven't really seen many religions emphasize this like the LDS church does, but most people I've talked to of other religions believe in familes that are eternal also. I wonder how many mainstream religions have specific doctrine in those regards as ours is.

Do they? I mean I've always heard 'till death do us part and seen pictures of cherub baby angles singing. Granted I'm not all that familiar with other faiths teaching on family but I was under the impression marriage dissolved upon death. I've even had verses quoted at me to counter our perspective on an eternal family unit.

What individuals believe and what their churches teach are not always synonymous.

Most ministers I have talked to reject any notion of an eternal family. They claim that we'll all be in heaven (or, maybe not us LDSs, just them), and we'll be happy. We'll know our wives/husbands, and our children, but we'll just be brothers and sisters, and there won't be any special love between people who just happened to be married in the previous life (this one).

Many people, on the other hand, believe something similar to what we know: they will be married, and they will have a close relationship with their children. They base this on their deep affection and love for each other, but not on scripture. They do not believe that any sexual relationship will exist, or, if it does, that it could result in anything like children.

How grateful I am for sections 76 & 132!

Lehi

Edited by LeSellers

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What individuals believe and what their churches teach are not always synonymous.

 

 

This is kind of what I was getting at.  The problem is that you can't really say what other faiths believe because either

1) There is no central leadership to determine what is the "correct" belief.  So anyone with any belief can say theirs is the correct Christianity. 

2) There IS a central leadership to some organized sects, but those beliefs may change much more readily and quickly than simply adapting with the times.  e.g. Episcopals accept gay marriage.

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I'd say we're at odds with much of Christianity.  The thing that ties us together with Christianity is our core belief in Jesus.

 

1) He was the Only Begotten of the Father in the Flesh.

2) He was born of a virgin mother (Mary).

3) He lived a perfect life.

4) He suffered more than it is possible for man to suffer when He performed the Atonement.

5) He died, was buried, and rose again on the third day never to die again.

6) In so doing, He made it possible for all mankind to be saved in the Kingdom of Heaven.

 

We believe in similar values of living in this life.

 

Apart from that, I believe we disagree on almost everything else.

What is interesting to me about your list of 6 things is how often these points of doctrine were believed to have happened in the ancient world. For example, Zoroaster, Baal, Alexander the Great Hercules among others.

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I don't know how doctrinal common the belief is, but I run into many who believe personally the family is eternal.

 

At funerals we talk about seeing our dearly departed again.  It may also be that many expect to live with their family in heaven.  Yet, there is that scripture where Jesus says we'll be like the angels, not marrying or giving in marriage.  So, the traditional belief is different.  Yet, I'd never say that we will have less love for our families in heaven--nor that we will fail to enjoy seeing them again, immensely. 

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Pre-mortal existence is a core difference that clarifies very succinctly, God's Love for us.

 

One of my nagging questions as a Catholic has always been the reconciliation of God's attributes - being Loving and being All-Knowing and being All Powerful.  How can God love us when he created us knowing that a whole slew of us are going to roast in hell.  Ex nihilo means that God didn't have to create us.  Being nothing is surely better than roasting for all eternity...

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Anatess,

 

That was exactly the reason I couldn't accept a benevolent God + Ex-nihilo.  It never made sense to me.  

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Perhaps the most profound difference between LDS doctrine and most other religions appears to me to be the doctrine that all humanity existed as spirit beings of intelligence before physical birth (human creation) in the presents of G-d. I am not sure that many LDS appreciate and understand the profound impact this doctrinal revelation has on both the LDS communality of the faithful believers and the world in general. For me, because I love and appreciate rhetorical logic, this provides a platform for understanding that solves all of the great debates that exists in Traditional Christianity (freewill vs determination: character from nurture or nature) as well as many other religions ideas competing in the market place of human affairs and understanding.

For one – this means that we as individuals were not created to be the individuals we are but rather we are “chosen” by G-d and enabled by covenant for our individual contribution while experiencing mortality. This also means that we are evolving entities – all of which means that we can evolve into eternal salvation by following the path and way of G-d – meaning we walk where G-d has walked, do the things he and done, learn what he learned and become what he is. This evolution comes through agency we are given through G-d to develop a propensity of good or evil. We were not created by G-d with a pre determined propensity for good or evil but rather we evolved by following the disciplinary path or way of G-d –forging our own evolution into eternity.

So what doctrines do you think set the LDS gang apart in the religious community?

I agree after the "there is no god", and "there is no devil", the third lie would be is that we aren't remotely alike and it is blasphemy to even consider we were or that we can become anything like god it seems.

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Pre-mortal existence is a core difference that clarifies very succinctly, God's Love for us.

 

One of my nagging questions as a Catholic has always been the reconciliation of God's attributes - being Loving and being All-Knowing and being All Powerful.  How can God love us when he created us knowing that a whole slew of us are going to roast in hell.  Ex nihilo means that God didn't have to create us.  Being nothing is surely better than roasting for all eternity...

You are touching on a notion that really swells within me; grave concerns over the very foundations of what many worship in G-d and think to emulate to any degree and call it goodness. My concern is how can anyone trust and worship a being that creates an individual knowing fully before he creates that individual that they will be so evil that it would be nessary to damn them forever in Hell? If he can create an Abraham, Moses, Job and other great men of profound renowned knowing of their goodness from the attributes he creates for them – why would he create any being of evil – and in particular Satan or any of his legions? Knowing that such beings will be so evil and knowing it before he created them? And then to think that G-d has no responsibility, what-so-ever, in the grand scheme of things for the incredible evil he has knowing created with the attributes he created for them and unleashed such evil to afflict so many others?

If not for the LDS doctrine of a pre-existence I would at minimum be an agnostic. I could not ever join or worship with a religion with such inner conflicts.

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You are touching on a notion that really swells within me; grave concerns over the very foundations of what many worship in G-d and think to emulate to any degree and call it goodness. My concern is how can anyone trust and worship a being that creates an individual knowing fully before he creates that individual that they will be so evil that it would be nessary to damn them forever in Hell? If he can create an Abraham, Moses, Job and other great men of profound renowned knowing of their goodness from the attributes he creates for them – why would he create any being of evil – and in particular Satan or any of his legions? Knowing that such beings will be so evil and knowing it before he created them? And then to think that G-d has no responsibility, what-so-ever, in the grand scheme of things for the incredible evil he has knowing created with the attributes he created for them and unleashed such evil to afflict so many others?

If not for the LDS doctrine of a pre-existence I would at minimum be an agnostic. I could not ever join or worship with a religion with such inner conflicts.

 

 

There is another aspect to the Mormon position.  If you believe God is all knowing, and he knew what the Intelligence of what now know as Satan, would do and become.  Then the only way a Just and Merciful God, could give Satan that chance is even his eventual fallen state he was better off, then before God acted.   And that really says something about what our state must have been before.

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Ex nihilo means that God didn't have to create us.

The odd part is that most people who accept ex nihilo as dogma also purport to believe that that Bible is all they need -- and ex nihilo is not in the Bible.

Even our own footnote for Gen 1:1 says that "create" is always divine activity. The Hebrew word bara translated as create does not mean creatio ex nihil. It means to form or fashion, to shape as with an axe. Joseph was correct when he told us that God organized the materials for the earth (and the rest of the universe). these are several places in the Bible where the subject of the verb bara is a human being. It is not "always divine activity". Even the most strident adherents of creatio ex nihil must accept that only God could create out of nothing. But if it does exist, the Bible does not mention it. There is no other verb used for create, only bara.

We've all had the discussion with "Bible-only" believers who simply cannot grasp that their interpretation of the Bible does not become truth merely because it's what they believe or what their pastor told them. Ain't it great to have living prophets?

Lehi

Edited by LeSellers

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[T]he only way a Just and Merciful God, could give Satan that chance is even his eventual fallen state he was better off, then before God acted. And that really says something about what our state must have been before.

There is another option: God is both merciful and just, meaning that He will not force anyone to be in a kingdom where he is uncomfortable.

"Milton the Mormon" reports that Satan preferred to rule in "hell" than to serve in heaven. So Father said, "Go ahead." (Not Milton's words, but you get the idea.)

He could not leave a rebel in any part of heaven: justice disallows that. He could not destroy Satan: whatever the transition between Intelligence and spirit is, it gives us a parallel right to exist as spirits that the transition from spirit to corporeal body gives to exist as corporeal (resurrected) bodies. So He gave him his choice.

We know very little about our state in the pre-moral existence. What we do know is that we were happy there, at least as happy as we allowed ourselves to be. Satan, it appears, made himself unhappy, so your conclusion, that "ruling in hell" was preferable for him than any possible alternative, is correct. So, we could amend your statement to read: that really says something about what his state must have been before.

Lehi

Edited by LeSellers

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There is another option: God is both merciful and just, meaning that He will not force anyone to be in a kingom wherehe is uncomfortable.

"Milton the Mormon" reports that Satan preferred to rule in "hell" than serve in heaven. So father said, "Go ahead." (Not Milton's words, but you get the idea.)

He could not leave a rebel in any part of heaven: justice disallows that. He could not destroy Satan: whatever transition between Intelligence and spirit gives us a parallel right to exist as a spirit that the transition from spirit to corporeal body gives the right to exist as corporeal (resurrected) bodies.

We know very little about our state in the pre-moral existence. What we do know is that we were happy there, at least as happy as we allowed ourselves to be. Satan, it appears, made himself unhappy, so your conclusion, that "ruling in hell" was preferable for him than any possible alternative, is correct. So, we could amend your sttement to read: that really says something about what his state must have been before.

Lehi

 

I can see that...  The Idea still holds though...  For every Son of Perdition no matter how horrible that status might be, it is still a step up for them, from whatever it was they had before God worked with them.

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For every Son of Perdition no matter how horrible that status might be, it is still a step up for them, from whatever it was they had before God worked with them.

You are correct. The only issue I had with your original wording was that it made it sound as if we were all miserable enough to make Satan's status of Perdition an improvement for any of us. I'm sure no one would actually understand your words that way, but there are people "out there" who seem to be purposefully dense enough to "misunderstand", and others who might take your words and twist them to mean something along the lines mentioned abouve.

Lehi

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