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Queolby

The Bible is simply an LDS book

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20min read...

I need some constructive criticism! 

I've been reading and studying the New Testament and taking notes on all the things that I find fascinating.  I have been writing a paper on how the Bible is an LDS book and pointing out all the facts on why. Now, I was wondering if I could get some constructive criticism on it. Stuff regarding doctrine, or false teachings, or even arguments that don't work. OR maybe I'm looking into a scripture all wrong and getting the wrong interpretation. I guess the target audience I had in mind was mainstream Christianity but only if the spirit permits will I share this. And mostly, I just wanted to write this for me! 

Your help will be much appreciated! It starts with the Great Apostacy. here it is...

 

 
The Great Apostasy
This apostasy happened and then some Apostles were killed and some went into hiding, and if God's church is "built upon a foundation of apostles and Prophets"(Ephe2:19) That means His foundation died off too, which means His church is not on the earth. So naturally, the biblical saints of the church apostatized or died out and the words of the apostles were taken and controlled by wicked men, like the Roman emperor Diocletian who took control and burned scripture and forced the church members to make sacrifices to pagan gods. And then Constantine came into play and helped with preserving scripture. The scriptures as we know it are a copy of a copy of a copy.
 Eventually, The Catholic Church took control of the scriptures and regulated it. During all this, it is easy to surmise that lots of books of scripture were lost or altered and that "the everlasting covenant" was broken. (Isaiah 24:5) 
Lost books: the covenant(Ex. 24:7), the wars of the Lord (Num. 21:14), Jasher (Josh. 10:13; 2 Sam. 1:18), the acts of Solomon (1 Kgs. 11:41), Samuel the seer (1 Chr. 29:29), Nathan the prophet (2 Chr. 9:29), Shemaiah the prophet (2 Chr. 12:15), Iddo the prophet (2 Chr. 13:22), Jehu (2 Chr. 20:34), the sayings of the seers (2 Chr. 33:19), Enoch (Jude 1:14)
This is evidence that God has a lot more scripture outside of the Bible and, or, revelations. Why aren't those revelations just as important as what's in the bible? They are.
This is also why prophets are so important to have in His church, so they can make up for the loss. Why would God allow his word to be altered? Because He respects the agency of man. But God has always prepared for the folly of man.
 
Prophecy of apostasy.
 
Amos 8:11-12
"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord:
12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it."
A prophecy says that there will be an apostasy before Christ comes again,
"...THE DAY of Christ is at hand.
                                                  Let no man deceive you by any means: for THAT DAY SHALL NOT COME, except there come a FALLING AWAY FIRST..." (2Thessalonians 2:2-3)
  "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." 2 Timothy 4:-3-4 
 
The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
 
Revelations 14:6
"And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the EVERLASTING GOSPEL to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,"
 John is saying that an angel who had the EVERLASTING GOSPEL, which implies that the fullness of the gospel is not fully on the earth during his time. The same with Matthew 17-11, "And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things." Elija came to Joseph and Oliver Cowdrey who witnessed the event.
In these next verses, it is going to use the word 'dispensation' which means, "the act of dealing out to different persons or places...the dealing of God to his creatures..."(1828 Websters Dictionary)
"Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 
10 That IN the DISPENSATION OF THE FULLNESS OF TIME he might gather together, in one, all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him." (Ephesians 1:7-10)
Now verse 10  above is talking about a period of time when His kingdom will have the fullness of all dispensations at one place in time. Remember, Dispensation: "the act of dealing out to different persons or places " And the verse is obviously talking about the future because He says that "he might gather together," which means it hasn't happened yet. Now all the power and blessings from all those dispensations are now located in one dispensation. That was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. 
 According to the Bible alone, look at all the times that God spoke to man through divine revelation, from Adam all the way to John the Revelator. Why stop there?  
"To whom also he showed himself alive after his suffering by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God...they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore AGAIN the kingdom to Israel?
 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power." (Acts 1:3, Acts 1:6-7 
If you noticed, it used the word "again" which shows that God has restored his kingdom before. 
 
The Book of Mormon is written in prophecy.
A little context first. 
God said the House of Israel is his chosen covenant people. And He had made a covenant with them which consists of the 12 Tribes of Israel. The 2 tribes that I want to pay particular attention to is the House of Judah and the House of Joseph.
Joseph had 2 sons and one of the sons was named Ephraim. 
God promised that the house of Ephraim would prosper.
 
Zachariah 10:6-9
"...and I will SAVE THE HOUSE OF JOSEPH, and I will Bring Them Again To Place Them; for I have mercy upon them: and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am the Lord their God, and will hear them.
7 And they of Ephraim(son of Joeseph) shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as through wine: yea, their children shall see it, and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the Lord.
8 I will hiss for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them: and they shall increase as they have increased.
9 And I will sow them among the people: and They Shall REMEMBER ME IN FAR COUNTRIES; and they shall live with their children, and turn again."
 
God promised to come visit The House of Israel, or the 12 Tribes.
"...Joseph saw Ephraim’s children of the third generation: the children also of Machir the son of Manasseh were brought up upon Joseph’s knees.

24 And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you..." Gen 50:23-24                                                                                      "And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you," Genesis 50:25                                                             "...I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel." (Matt15:25) If Christ was not sent but unto the House of Israel, and He visited Judah already by being born and ministering for 3 years and being resurrected and showing himself to 500 people (1Corinth 15:6), it makes sense that he would visit all the Tribes, or at least, the righteous ones, because He made a promise in Genesis above. Jesus said "I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."John 10 14:16, I think mainstream Christianity believes that He was talking about the Gentiles, Christ was not going to visit the Gentiles. Remember, He said, "...I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel." "For they understood not that the Gentiles should be converted through THEIR preaching." 'THEIR' means Israel descendants. "...and they understood me not that the Gentiles should not at any time hear my voice—that I should not manifest myself unto them save it were by the Holy Ghost." 3rdNephi15:22-23.

The Gentiles are not of the House of Israel and would be adopted in later, the first shall be last and the last shall be first.
He visited the House of Ephraim because they are of the House of Israel! The Nephites are of the house of Joseph and Ephraim. And Christ did "surely visit them." Gen 50:23-24  
Prophecy is written that 2 books would be written by the descendants of, or the House of Judah(TheBible), and the descendants of, or the House of Joseph (Book of Mormon), would come forth and that they would be one in God's hand. The verses below will use the word stick, which means scripture or scroll. 
 
Ezekiel 37:16-19
"...thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions:
  And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand."
"...Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand."
 
 
 
Proper Authority
 
"For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid..." 1 Corinthians 3:11
His church members "are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone." Ephesians 2:19-20
"And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints(his church), for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 TILL WE ALL COME IN UNITY OF THE FAITH, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine..."              (Ephesians 4:11-14)
Verse 13 says God will only use prophets & apostles "till we all come in unity" 
Read again above.
"Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets." Amos 3:7
"And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets," 1Corinthians 12:28
Apostles are prophets as well. They have paralleled theophanies to old testament prophets. They speak on behalf of God, they see visions and prophesy in the name of God.
It would take a revelation to know that there is no more revelation.  All the scriptures that mainstream Christianity uses to prove that God is done with prophets do not hold water. If they are proving that God is done with prophets and apostles by using those verses, they are vague and not very direct, i.e Hebrews 1:1-2. & Luke 16:16.
 The context in Hebrews 1, Paul is writing to the Hebrews, "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, who has in these last days spoken unto us by his Son..." Paul said, "unto us." Who is 'us' in this context?  Paul and the rest of the Apostles, who, Jesus Christ speaks unto! Basically, Paul was saying that God used prophets in the old testament times and now Jesus uses us, the Apostles. Apostles are prophets as well as I have aforementioned. They are prophets because they have the "testimony of" Jesus Christ which is the "spirit of prophecy."(Rev. 19:10)
 Luke 16:16, "The law and the prophets were until John: since that time the kingdom of God is preached, and every man presseth into it." Jesus is simply stating that we have the Law of Moses and the prophets all the way up to John the Baptist, and now people are "pressing into" that gospel. No one in the bible has said it as simple as this, "after us, there will be no more authority from God, and that you should cling unto these words only, until He brings you up."  Nothing that simple in the bible!
In Acts 1:12-26 the Apostles replace Judas. Why would God have them replace Judas as an apostle if that office was not supposed to continue? 
Another example in Matthew23:34(NIV), "Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town."  This scripture is future tense. The early church was filled with prophets – so much so that Paul  needed to counsel on how prophets should talk to each other in church gatherings(1Corinth14:29)   
 The bible talks about false prophets in the last days...as opposed to true prophets? If there are false prophets then there have to be true prophets, right? Further, It would have been unwise for the Apostles to only use the Torah to explain the need for apostles and prophets or to convince them of the Messiah. The Torah wasn’t enough for Isaiah, the Old Testament wasn’t enough for Mark, Mark wasn’t enough for Luke, and Peter’s epistles weren’t enough for John. I find it ironic that even the Jews rejected more of God's revelations. I guess history repeats itself...
 
 
Modern Temples
 
First of all, the New Testament says nowhere that God is done using temples. Bible infers otherwise. 
We should remember that Jesus frequently went to the temple and even called it his "Father's house" (John 2:16). According to the Bible, the disciples, even after the resurrection, often went to worship at the temple, "Now Pete and John went up together into the templeat the hour of prayer"(Acts3:1) "And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen." (Luke 24:53), "And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,"  (Acts 2:46;) "And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ."(Acts 5:42; 22:17). Paul also offered sacrifice in the temple, "Then Paul took the men, and the next day purifying himself with them entered into the temple, to signify the accomplishment of the days of purification, until that an offering should be offered for every one of them."  Acts 21:26 Also see Numbers 6:14-18. I think this is a very odd thing for him to do if the temple had been completely superseded after Christ's ascension. There are also prophecies of a future temple in the book of Revelation. Finally, and most importantly, Paul had a vision of Christ in the temple (Acts 22:14-18), paralleling Old Testament theophanies, and strongly implying a special sanctity in the temple, where God still appears to men even after Christ's ascension.
 
Work For The Dead
 
If the purpose of the Lord's sacrifice was for mankind's mistakes, then why not the mistake of worshiping the wrong god? Jesus said that ignorance is not sinful. He said, "if I had not come and spoken to them, they would NOT BE GUILTY OF SIN"(John15:22NIV) It sounds like you're only guilty of sin when His word is revealed. How many people out there have not heard God's word, which means that they have not sinned? Why should they be sent to hell? They didn't know better. They never knew the God of Israel! Especially the Gentiles. The gospel was denied to the Gentiles until the Messiah would come, now are the Gentiles--from Abraham to John the Baptist--in hell right now? How is that fair? They never had a chance to know God's word because His word was only allowed to be given to the Israelites. And because of this, they were not "GUILTY OF SIN" and were left in ignorance.
In LDS doctrine, we believe that you are only accountable to the things that you can comprehend and understand. But you still have to repent of ignorant sin when you want His grace.
When Jesus said unto one of the thieves next to Him, "Today shalt thou be with me in paradise"(Luke23:43) Jesus did not mean heaven where the Father dwells, because, after Jesus was resurrected, He came unto Mary Magdalene and said, "I am not yet ascended to my Father..."(John 20:17) Where did He go if not heaven? LDS doctrine suggests that He went and organized a place to teach the Gospel for the dead, a place we call spirit prison and paradise, a temporary place to preach the gospel to those that never knew God and that have never had a chance to receive the gospel--the ignorant. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live."(John 5:25)
Christ went unto the dead of Noah's time, "By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah while the ark was preparing..."(1Peter 3:18:20) You see, you know that this verse is not talking about an earthly prison or spiritual death in the flesh. Because, Peter said, that Jesus went unto the people of Noah's time, who are PHYSICALLY dead.
These next verses talk more on the subject of preaching to the dead
"But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
 For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit." (1Peter 4:5-6 NIV)
Now, what's the point of preaching to them if they can't get baptized? 
Baptism For The Dead.
It is interesting to note that the main point of this next verse is not baptism for the dead. Rather, Paul is emphasizing the point that people will be resurrected. "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?" (1Corinthians15:29) Paul basically asked, what good does it do to get baptized for the dead if the dead are not resurrected? From this, we gather that baptism for the dead was such a common practice that Paul used it as a backdrop to strengthen teaching about the Resurrection.
 
 
Becoming gods
 
In the beginning, even God said it about Adam and Eve,(Gen.3:22) "And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil..." Us? That's plural. Plural gods? The "Lord God" said that Adam has become "one of us."  Who's is 'us'? Elohim and Jehovah. 
"Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? 
  If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken" John 10:34-35
In the NewTestament, the church members were called saints. "Do you not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Know ye not that we shall judge angels?"(1 Corinthians 6:2-3) Who are we, as humans, to judge the world and angels unless we are to be joint-heirs with Christ in judgment?  Revelations 20:4 helps to validate this.
"Hath not God chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith, and HEIRS OF THE KINGDOM  which he hath promised to them that love him?"(James2:5) "Come, ye blessed of my Father, INHERIT THE KINGDOM prepared for you from the foundation of the world" (Matt.25:34) 

"...we are the children of God:And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together."(Rom.8:16-17) What does heir mean? Someone who is in line for the throne. But in this case, it is a shared throne. "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." (Rev3:21) Because we are "heirs of the Kingdom" and are "joint-heirs with Christ," we thus sit in His "throne" and become like Christ and His Father to rule with them in the Kingdom.                                                                                                                                                   

The Godhead is separate.
 
"And God said, Let US make man in our image, after our likeness " (Gen.1:26) 
"God said, Behold, the man is become as one of US, to know good and evil..." (Gen.3:22)
Tower of Babel, "let US go down, and there confound their language"
In all three of these verses, you get the word "US" used, which is plural. Who is the Lord God talking to? Jehovah did everything under the direction of the Father.
I personally believe, in these next verses, that Jesus is using the believers of the gospel as a model on how Jesus and the Father are one, but also, on how they are separate beings, "neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; That they ALL MAY BE ONE..." Now Jesus is saying that the people who believe on Him should be "ONE" together, which obviously means that they should be one in purpose because the believers are all separate beings. To continue, "...that they ALL MAY BE ONE as THOU, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be ONE IN US..." He wants the believers who are one in purpose to be like Him and the Father who are one in purpose.  And if they are one with Him they are one with the Father as well. Jesus is one with the Father because the will of the Son is swallowed up in the will of the Father's, thus making the Son one with the Father. Being 2 God's but also being 1 God because Their will is the same!
  "I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father."(John 8:38) Again, I believe Jesus is using the Jews as a model on how Him and the Father are one. They're father's taught them by example, and now, they are doing what they're father's do, who are separate beings.   "The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do, for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
20 For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth him all things that himself doeth..." (John 5:19-20) Those last verses also suggest that the Father is an exalted man. The Son did nothing of himself, for what the Son saw was what the Father did as well and the Father showed the Son all things the He did. 
"And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God." (Acts 7:56)
 
Faith With Works

"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast." This verse is often quoted to show that works do not matter, but they seem to neglect the following verse, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus UNTO GOOD WORKS, which God hath before ordained that we should WALK IN THEM." (Ephesians 2:8-10) "WALK IN" the good works. Another one I think is often quoted by mainstream Christianity, Romans 3:27-28, "Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." But is there a contradiction?  Here is another verse from Romans to show that works are necessary. Romans 2:13-13 "For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified." What is going on here?? The answer is simple.  Paul in this context is speaking to Gentile members of the Church who are not as concerned as they should be about works, rather they are thinking that since they have been baptized and are members of the church, they don’t need much else. Therefore, Paul’s emphasis to them is that they must pay much closer attention to righteous works and deeds. We must keep Paul’s writings in their context, in their setting in the scriptures. For instance, in our example above, of Romans 3: 27–28, Paul is speaking to Jewish members of the Church who, because of their past tradition and rich culture before their baptism, they are going through the motions of a new religion, where they once did the works of rituals and sacrifices, etc., but this was old habits seeping into their new religion. Therefore, Paul emphasizes faith to them and downplays empty works, which won’t save them. Also, the “law” in verse 28 refers to the Law of Moses, which was fulfilled by the Savior and that's why it is saying the Law will not save you. Here are some more, "But glory, honor, and peace, to every man that WORKETH GOOD, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile" (Romans 2:10-10), "For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the DOERS OF THE LAW shall be justified."(Romans 2:13) "They profess that they KNOW God; but in WORKS, they DENY him..."(Titus1:16) If you pay close attention, this line is saying that the only way to know God is by His works. God said in this verse if you really knew me you would do the work! Continuing, "Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is."(1 Corinthians 3:13–14), "Wherefore we labor, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him." (2Corinthians 5:9) I think James settles all the confusion, "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? Can faith save him?...faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say: Thou hast faith and I have works: show me thy faith without thy works, and I will show you my FAITH BY MY WORKS, But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?"  "You see that HIS FAITH AND HIS ACTION WERE WORKING TOGETHER, and his  FATIH WAS MADE COMPLETE BY WHAT HE DID." "For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also." (James 2:14–26 KJV&NIV) Faith is a principle of action. When people see those actions they see our faith, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father..."(Matt.5:16)  Actions can be anything from taking the Sacrament to taking in your neighbor's garbage cans. These sacrifices are not the price we pay to enter the Celestial Kingdom, it is the essence of the Celestial Kingdom. Testimony is not the word that gets us through the gates; it is the language spoken inside. Charity is not an audition piece for a heavenly choir; it is the celestial music. Service is not a vegetable we put in our mouth and have to force down; it is the celestial diet. Those who do not learn to value God's way, speak his language, or acquire his tastes are not going to be happy where he is. Scriptures make it clear that we will be judged for our works, but these works are not fruitless attempts to make just the right number of deposits in some heavenly bank account, or ticks on a celestial to-do list. we will be judged by our works because of how those works will have shaped us, even "unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ"

 Paul himself constantly counsels his people to show by the lives they live that they truly believe in Christ. The point is that works alone cannot save us. The Law of Moses, as modified and added to by the Jews over many centuries, had led many to believe that works alone could save them. These were old habits that the converts wrestled with. Imagine, these people, who use to live the Law of Moses and where it was so ingrained in their culture that they placed all emphasis on strictly following the details of their religious laws, and failed to become personally righteous. For example, the Savior scolded them severely in Matthew 23:23(NIV) when he said “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices, But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy, and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, WITHOUT NEGLECTING THE FORMER" 

 
 
Edited by Queolby

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My honest reaction (so it's not going to be all good). If I want something that will speak into my echo chamber and reinforce the things I as a member of the Church already believe, it all sounds good. However, I suspect that most of this is a non-starter in other Christian echo chambers. Your treatment of the apostasy, for example, is right in line with how we LDS have always talked about it -- and other Christians have never found those proof-texts at all compelling.

It is your project and you decide exactly what kinds of purposes you want your project to have. For me, I find myself looking more for something that will not only echo well in my echo chamber, but something that will tell me what the other echo chambers are saying. You can speak the normal stuff on why the Trinity/Godhead are separate persons/personalities/beings, but then I would like to see a follow up on how traditional Trinitarians see it and then how Modalists see it and then how Jews and Muslims (who like to accuse all of us Christians as polytheists) see the discussion.

Members of the Church have been using these kinds of proof-texts and arguments to defend our faith for a long time, and the rest of Christianity is not breaking down our doors to join us. I find myself looking for explanations for why broader Christianity is not convinced by our "excellent" arguments like these.

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This essay is long, and it covers many topics. I agree with @Jane_Doe: Who is your target audience, and what is your goal?

I guess that the target audience is members of other Christian churches. I cannot guess what the goal is. Oh, wait, yeah, I can. The purpose, it looks like, is to show people how the LDS church is correct. This paper covers a lot of topics, so I have to say it's long. Divide this paper into other papers with a goal and target audience for each subject. As for this review, I'm trying to ignore the editing that this paper needs and focus on the content. The Faith and Works section is too long. At least, it looks too long. Decide on some arguments to remove. Move Prophecy of Apostasy to the beginning. There are more lost books of the Bible; however, that isn't relevant considering your target audience of other Christian members.

This paper is a good beginning--or rough draft. There's more to consider regarding your arguments, but I think this is a good start. 

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Thanks, guys. I have edited the post to explain my audience a little better. And fixed some unintentional errors. I agree it's absolutely too long. I just needed to get it all out on paper as a first draft. 

I mostly needed some impute on doctrine, and interpretation of scripture.

Thanks for what you guys have done so far!  

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23 minutes ago, Queolby said:

Thanks, guys. I have edited the post to explain my audience a little better. And fixed some unintentional errors. I agree it's absolutely too long. I just needed to get it all out on paper as a first draft. 

I mostly needed some impute on doctrine, and interpretation of scripture.

Thanks for what you guys have done so far!  

I'm going to assume you're born and raised LDS?

Because, this write-up is not going to go well with Catholics in the same manner that anti-Mormon stuff does not go well with the LDS.  I can only speak for Catholics, of course, because I used to be one.  But then Catholics are the largest Christian denomination, so...

I'll give you an example:  Your entire section about the Apostasy has nothing on the Apostasy.  "Apostles died" and "Roman Emperors burned scriptures" is not definitive support for the Apostasy having occurred.  So the Catholic Magesterium declaring the Pauline Epistles as Biblical while the Book of Mormon non-Biblical is completely within their authority unless you first submit the argument that the authority of the Catholic Church is not valid.

Also this:  "All the scriptures that mainstream Christianity uses to prove that God is done with prophets do not hold water." does not follow because Catholics don't believe such a thing as "God is done with prophets".

Anyway, Talmage has this book, "The Great Apostasy".  That book is instrumental in my conversion.  But I would highly NOT RECOMMEND that book to Catholics.  That entire book is an attack on the history of the Catholic Church that has no bearing on it having been in Apostasy.  It would be like saying the LDS Church is not true because the 3 witnesses to the Book of Mormon left the Church.

Edited by anatess2

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4 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

I'm going to assume you're born and raised LDS?

Because, this write-up is not going to go well with Catholics in the same manner that anti-Mormon stuff does not go well with the LDS.  I can only speak for Catholics, of course, because I used to be one.

I'll give you an example:  Your entire section about the Apostasy has nothing on the Apostasy.  "Apostles died" and "Roman Emperors burned scriptures" is not definitive support for the Apostasy having occurred.  So the Catholic Magesterium declaring the Pauline Epistles as Biblical while the Book of Mormon non-Biblical is completely within their authority unless you first submit the argument that the authority of the Catholic Church is not valid.

Also this:  "All the scriptures that mainstream Christianity uses to prove that God is done with prophets do not hold water." does not follow because don't believe such a thing.

 

Is there any evidence that supports the Great Apostasy outside of what I said?

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19 minutes ago, Queolby said:

Is there any evidence that supports the Great Apostasy outside of what I said?

NONE.

The Great Apostasy is a matter of faith in the same manner that the Restoration of the Authority on Joseph Smith is a matter of faith.  

No evidence is sufficient to prove that the Apostolic Authority of Peter, who is considered the first bishop of Rome, did not get passed to Bishop Linus, the next Bishop of Rome (the 2nd Catholic Pope after Peter).  Just as there is no evidence sufficient to prove that the Apostolic Authority of Peter was passed to Joseph Smith.

All this is a matter of faith.

Any attempt at evidence-pointing beyond that is simply... Catholic-bashing.  The Catholics have a ~2,000 year history.  It has survived for that long.  The LDS Church has a ~200 year history.  Anti-Mormons have plenty of LDS history material to bash LDS with in just 200 years worth of cultural history, the majority of which is anchored in the USA.  You will have to multiply that by 10, and add the stage of the formation of the entire European continent and the drastic changes in prevalent culture for 20 centuries to match the resources anti-Catholics can use against the Catholics.

This is what I always tell everybody - you can't convince people of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and the authority of the LDS Church by showing how the other Christians are wrong.  This is the way of the Atheist which is fruitless.  The only way you can convince people of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and the authority of the LDS Church is by showing how the Book of Mormon and the LDS Church is true on its own merit.

I know this sounds like I'm raining on your parade.  This is not my intent.  I'm simply stating my opinion as a faithful LDS converted from Catholicism.

Edited by anatess2

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The doctrinal issue that immediately jumped off the page for me is the incorrect notion many Latter-Day Saints have that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost of the non-LDS Christian Trinity are not understood to be three separate and distinct personages (individuals). The fact of the matter is that the Catholics, the Eastern Orthodox, and quite nearly every Protestant denomination have always believed the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are three distinct personages who communicate with one another. In fact, I’ve witnesses with my own eyes and ears mainstream Christian ministers in debate with non-mainstream Christian “modalistists” (modaliststs are the very small minority of Christians who believe in a one-personage Godhead), and marveled as the mainstream Christian representatives employed the very same verses of scripturewe Latter-Day Saints use to prove the Godhead is composed of three separate and distinct persons, not one person.

So then, in what way do the Latter-Day Saints differ from the Trinitarians with regard to the Godhead? First, the advocates of the historical Christian Trinity assert that though the Godhead is composed of three separate and distinct personages, to them it’s also true that in some mysterious and undefined way they also assert that somehow these three separate individuals comprise one God. Meanwhile, the Latter-Day Saints differ from their historical Christian counterparts because we have dared to demystify how the three separate and distinct persons within the Godhead comprise one God, and do so by asserting that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are one in heart, mind, spirit, intelligence, purpose, and in the possession of all the divine attributes of perfection.

In addition, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost also comprise one God because each member of the Godhead could not function in his specific divine office and specific duties without first being perfectly united with and supportive of the other members of the Godhead in the performance of their own individual offices and specific responsibilities. In other words, it’s impossible for God the Father to be able to function in his divine Fatherly role unless he performs he the specific duties of his office in conjunction with the Son and the Holy Ghost as they perform their own unique, specifically assigned duties. This means there can be no God who is able to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man without there being three divine individuals functioning within a presidency, each of whom have there own unique but indispensable roles to perform. Just as a man cannot become a God without first being everlasting bound to a wife who is a perfected eternal queen and priestess, so also no member of the Godhead can perform his calling without there first being a presidency of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost who each perform their own unique and specifically assigned responsibilities in perfect union.

The strange irony in the LDS Church vs historical Christian debate on the true nature of the Godhead is that the Trinitarians admit they don’t understand how three separate and distinct individuals can be one God, but the day will come when the mystery will be disclosed and they will discover the Latter-Day Saints had it right all along.

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If the target audience is mainstream Christianity (which I understand to mainly refer to Protestants) I think you'll find the essay, however complete and well-researched, will be ineffective at changing minds.    

Protestants read the Bible.  They read it a LOT.  They read it more than we do because they don't have to divide their scripture study time between it and 3 other volumes.  Many of them know it backward and forward, and a Latter-Day Saint going against a Protestant in a straight-up "here's what this means" Biblical debate over interpretation and doctrine is likely to get his butt kicked up between his shoulder blades.  They have two distinct advantages over us:

  • Protestants have 5 centuries of study and theology behind their interpretation of the Bible, as well as drawing from an additional 1500 years of (apostate) theology that supports many of their beliefs, like the Trinity for example.
  • Protestants only have to know the Bible.  We need to know the Bible as well as three other books, which reveal the truth in combination.  Their perspective is built on a worldview where those other resources are not a factor.

They have a pretty well-entrenched worldview.  Take the Godhead v Trinity example.  I've debated this one with Protestant friends and no matter how clearly the Scriptures show us that the Savior and Heavenly Father are distinct personages, even without additional scriptural sources, Protestants already have their own perspective which accounts for the way the text in the Bible discusses this.  We may find it baffling (I do, anyway) but it isn't baffling to them and they won't be persuaded.  Yes, I even pointed out that not only does Jesus pray to Heavenly Father in the Garden of Gethsemane, He outright discusses how his own desire is in conflict with Heavenly Father's plan, before submitting to His will.  To me, there's just no way that makes any sense at all if the Trinity doctrine were true, and yet that argument gained zero traction.  Like I said, centuries of scholarly writings have ways to account for this, at least to their own satisfaction.

We view our interpretations to be more accurate because we believe the Holy Spirit helps us to understand, but that's not an argument in a debate.  

Now, if your intent is just to inform, then yeah by all means go for it, but it's hard to imagine people reading it and not wanting to present counterpoints.

 

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6 minutes ago, Jersey Boy said:

The strange irony in the LDS Church vs historical Christian debate on the true nature of the Godhead is that the Trinitarians admit they don’t understand how three separate and distinct individuals can be one God, but the day will come when the mystery will be disclosed and they will discover the Latter-Day Saints had it right all along.

Just a very slight correction.  It's a bit out of context the way you stated that Trinitarians don't understand how three separate and distinct individuals can be one God while Latter-Day Saints do.  The one small thing missing from your great explanation is that Trinitarians believe that God is One in Substance (ousia) while LDS believe that God is One in Will.  The source of the mystery is not that the Trinitarians don't understand how God is One - they understand it as One in ousia (there's really no perfect English translation for that word, substance doesn't quite cut it).  But that ousia is unknowable because there is only one entity in the universe that has it - and that is God - and since we cannot behold the physical nature of God outside of the personages of God, and there's no other entity that has that ousia, then we don't know exactly what that ousia is.  Just like the modern man may know what a T-Rex is supposed to be but nobody really knows - or can know - the exact reality of that entity as there is nobody who has ever beheld one outside of its fossilized remains so the reality of a T-Rex is a mystery.

As far as unity in Will - we all know what that is because it exists in us.  So it's not as mysterious.  The fact still remains that what a perfected body is (the body of God) in reality - is a mystery to even the LDS.

So, this divergence reverberates through the understanding of scripture especially in the understanding of Jesus prayer in Gethsemane where Jesus prayed that we may be Gods.  As a Trinitarian who believes that the ousia of God is different from the ousia of man, man becoming God does not mean man can BE God because the man-ousia is not God-ousia and it is that ousia that is God.  It is blasphemy to think otherwise.  Whereas, an LDS understanding of that prayer is more straightforward and literal because "man created in God's image and likeness" is not just spiritual characteristics but also in physical characteristics (ousia).

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1 hour ago, anatess2 said:

NONE.

The Great Apostasy is a matter of faith in the same manner that the Restoration of the Authority on Joseph Smith is a matter of faith.  

No evidence is sufficient to prove that the Apostolic Authority of Peter, who is considered the first bishop of Rome, did not get passed to Bishop Linus, the next Bishop of Rome (the 2nd Catholic Pope after Peter).  Just as there is no evidence sufficient to prove that the Apostolic Authority of Peter was passed to Joseph Smith.

All this is a matter of faith.

Any attempt at evidence-pointing beyond that is simply... Catholic-bashing.  The Catholics have a ~2,000 year history.  It has survived for that long.  The LDS Church has a ~200 year history.  Anti-Mormons have plenty of LDS history material to bash LDS with in just 200 years worth of cultural history, the majority of which is anchored in the USA.  You will have to multiply that by 10, and add the stage of the formation of the entire European continent and the drastic changes in prevalent culture for 20 centuries to match the resources anti-Catholics can use against the Catholics.

This is what I always tell everybody - you can't convince people of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and the authority of the LDS Church by showing how the other Christians are wrong.  This is the way of the Atheist which is fruitless.  The only way you can convince people of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and the authority of the LDS Church is by showing how the Book of Mormon and the LDS Church is true on its own merit.

I know this sounds like I'm raining on your parade.  This is not my intent.  I'm simply stating my opinion as a faithful LDS converted from Catholicism.

You are in error. In his epistle to the Ephesians, the  apostle Paul asserted that the inspired apostles and prophets, who then stood at the head of the Church, were intended to remain in their Church leadership roles until perfect unity had been established within the Church and each and every member had become perfected in Christ to the point that they had all attained to the “measure of the stature of the FULNESS of Christ” (apotheosis). The fact that this blessed and holy state affairs had not been achieved before there were no longer apostles and prophets at the head of the Church (because the people that mattered thought they were no longer needed) is proof positive that the Church, as established by Christ, was no longer on the earth.

In addition, in his first epistle to the Corinthians Paul most solemnly testified that no member within the Church organization of his day — that organization being established by Christ himself with apostles and prophets standing at the pinnacle of Church leadership — could say that any of the other members of the body of Christ (Paul most especially pointing, in this regard, to the indispensable apostles and prophets who then stood at the leadership helm of the Church) could say the day would come when any member of the body of Christ (the Church) was no longer needed and absolutely essential to the health and wellbeing of the Church. The fact that for centuries the post-apostasy churches have been declating that apostles and prophets are no longer needed in the Church is proof positive that the Church established by Christ, and carried on by his apostles and prophets after his ascension into heaven, was no longer on the earth. 

Edited by Jersey Boy

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44 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

Just a very slight correction.  It's a bit out of context the way you stated that Trinitarians don't understand how three separate and distinct individuals can be one God while Latter-Day Saints do.  The one small thing missing from your great explanation is that Trinitarians believe that God is One in Substance (ousia) while LDS believe that God is One in Will.  The source of the mystery is not that the Trinitarians don't understand how God is One - they understand it as One in ousia (there's really no perfect English translation for that word, substance doesn't quite cut it).  But that ousia is unknowable because there is only one entity in the universe that has it - and that is God - and since we cannot behold the physical nature of God outside of the personages of God, and there's no other entity that has that ousia, then we don't know exactly what that ousia is.  Just like the modern man may know what a T-Rex is supposed to be but nobody really knows - or can know - the exact reality of that entity as there is nobody who has ever beheld one outside of its fossilized remains so the reality of a T-Rex is a mystery.

As far as unity in Will - we all know what that is because it exists in us.  So it's not as mysterious.  The fact still remains that what a perfected body is (the body of God) in reality - is a mystery to even the LDS.

So, this divergence reverberates through the understanding of scripture especially in the understanding of Jesus prayer in Gethsemane where Jesus prayed that we may be Gods.  As a Trinitarian who believes that the ousia of God is different from the ousia of man, man becoming God does not mean man can BE God because the man-ousia is not God-ousia and it is that ousia that is God.  It is blasphemy to think otherwise.  Whereas, an LDS understanding of that prayer is more straightforward and literal because "man created in God's image and likeness" is not just spiritual characteristics but also in physical characteristics (ousia).

Very easy to resolve. Whether most members of the Church realize it or not, the LDS Godhead is also united by one substance, for the thing that enables them to be perfectly unified is that each is filled to eternal fullness with the divine substance known as the uncreated Spirit of divine intelligence, just as is asserted in the Lectures on Faith. In fact, it’s the very same uncreated Spirit of divine intelligence (D&C 93’s ‘light of truth’ that cannot be created nor destroyed) that unifies the saints, albeit, for now, to a lesser degree. So LDS theology even solves the mystery surrounding the nature of the one substance that unifies the non-LDS Christian Trinity, it’s the Spirit of Truth that is in all things (including God) and through all things, and roundabout all things. In accord with the above, the title Christ (anointed one) refers to the fact that the Savior of the world was anointed by his Father with an eternal fulness of the uncreated Spirit of Truth. And as you know, in LDS theology Spirit really is a substance,

Edited by Jersey Boy

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1 hour ago, unixknight said:

Now, if your intent is just to inform, then yeah by all means go for it, but it's hard to imagine people reading it and not wanting to present counterpoints.

My opinion (and about what you paid for it), the one thing that would improve an essay like the OP is, after presenting these arguments like the OP does, to research and anticipate at least some of these counterpoints. In the end, it may not make the essay(s) any more compelling, but it shows greater thought and effort if the essay not only presents the LDS arguments, but understands the broader Christian context of these arguments to talk about why the audience will choose to reject the arguments.

Jersey Boy and Anatess's back and forth on the Trinity I think illustrate the kind of thing I am saying. The OP's essay on the nature of God seems to assume that Trinitarianism=Modalism so, if we make good arguments against Modalism, then everyone will naturally fall into the "social trinitarianesque where man is the same ousia as God" kind of thinking that seems to describe LDS view. An essay like the OP that essentially ignores (or is seemingly unaware of) the 2000 year debates and thought processes that have led Christianity to where it is today is much less compelling (to me) than an essay that shows that the author is at least aware of the ins and outs of that 2000 year theological history.

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@MrShorty Yeah good point.  I agree that it definitely helps a lot to demonstrate that yes, you get where your audience is coming from.  If nothing else, it will at least show the author knows what he's talking about, and it's harder to dismiss him as just being ignorant of the "better" explanations.

I once read a really great book I got from the local LDS bookstore called "Understanding these Other Christians."  It does kind of the reverse of the OP's essay in that it is meant to help a Latter-Day Saint to understand the perspective Protestants are coming from, as a way of facilitating these kinds of conversations.  The part I thought was most helpful to me when talking with Protestants was the section where it has a sort of "LDS-Protestant translator" because there are a lot of terms that we share, but have different meanings for.  Trying to have a discussion without being aware of that can lead to some real frustration.

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2 hours ago, anatess2 said:

NONE.

The Great Apostasy is a matter of faith in the same manner that the Restoration of the Authority on Joseph Smith is a matter of faith.  

No evidence is sufficient to prove that the Apostolic Authority of Peter, who is considered the first bishop of Rome, did not get passed to Bishop Linus, the next Bishop of Rome (the 2nd Catholic Pope after Peter).  Just as there is no evidence sufficient to prove that the Apostolic Authority of Peter was passed to Joseph Smith.

All this is a matter of faith.

Any attempt at evidence-pointing beyond that is simply... Catholic-bashing.  The Catholics have a ~2,000 year history.  It has survived for that long.  The LDS Church has a ~200 year history.  Anti-Mormons have plenty of LDS history material to bash LDS with in just 200 years worth of cultural history, the majority of which is anchored in the USA.  You will have to multiply that by 10, and add the stage of the formation of the entire European continent and the drastic changes in prevalent culture for 20 centuries to match the resources anti-Catholics can use against the Catholics.

This is what I always tell everybody - you can't convince people of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and the authority of the LDS Church by showing how the other Christians are wrong.  This is the way of the Atheist which is fruitless.  The only way you can convince people of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and the authority of the LDS Church is by showing how the Book of Mormon and the LDS Church is true on its own merit.

I know this sounds like I'm raining on your parade.  This is not my intent.  I'm simply stating my opinion as a faithful LDS converted from Catholicism.

Well, my paper was written with mainstream Christians in mind, who have always denied Catholicism. I feel like they would be easier to convince since most denounce organized religion and the bible is filled with it. But I know nothing can convince the truthfulness of the gospel except by the Holy Ghost. 

Thanks for your input

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22 hours ago, Queolby said:

.During all this, it is easy to surmise that lots of books of scripture were lost or altered and that "the everlasting covenant" was broken. (Isaiah 24:5) 

If you look at Isaiah 24:5 you will see that apostasy takes place in 3 distinct areas:

#1. Transgressed the Law

#2. Changed the Ordinances

#3. Broken the Everlasting Covenants.

Please note that "changing doctrine" is not listed.  Many seem to think that Apostasy affects mostly Doctrine.  But these three prophetic items deal directly with priesthood authority and how that authority is used.  Lets take a quick look at the three items and apply a historical context.

Transgressed the law:  It was 1649 (The Tolerance Act) before any Christian society with power to enact and enforce law would forbid the killing of heretics.  Heretics are defined as anyone that does not believe the local flavor of Christianity in power - It would be somewhat later before any Christian society would enact and enforce a law forbidding the killing of someone that did not believe in the Traditional Trinity flavor of Christianity (such as a Jew or any other non-Christian).

Changed the Ordinances:  The example I will give is baptism.  The word or term baptism from the Greek root means "to immerse".

Broken the Everlasting Covenant: The first covenant given to Adam and Eve was to "Multiply and Replenish" the earth.  Associated with this covenant is marriage through which children are to be born under divine covenant.  This covenant of marriage was broken to no longer be everlasting but only until death and in many cases completely eliminated for a celibate clergy. 

There are many other examples of apostasy that fulfill the prophesy of Isaiah - I only gave these few as proof of Apostasy in the historical (or Traditional) Christian congregations and that Isaiah was indeed a true prophet of G-d in predicting a Great Apostasy.  

 

The Traveler

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3 hours ago, Traveler said:

If you look at Isaiah 24:5 you will see that apostasy takes place in 3 distinct areas:

#1. Transgressed the Law

#2. Changed the Ordinances

#3. Broken the Everlasting Covenants.

Please note that "changing doctrine" is not listed.  Many seem to think that Apostasy affects mostly Doctrine.  But these three prophetic items deal directly with priesthood authority and how that authority is used.  Lets take a quick look at the three items and apply a historical context.

Transgressed the law:  It was 1649 (The Tolerance Act) before any Christian society with power to enact and enforce law would forbid the killing of heretics.  Heretics are defined as anyone that does not believe the local flavor of Christianity in power - It would be somewhat later before any Christian society would enact and enforce a law forbidding the killing of someone that did not believe in the Traditional Trinity flavor of Christianity (such as a Jew or any other non-Christian).

Changed the Ordinances:  The example I will give is baptism.  The word or term baptism from the Greek root means "to immerse".

Broken the Everlasting Covenant: The first covenant given to Adam and Eve was to "Multiply and Replenish" the earth.  Associated with this covenant is marriage through which children are to be born under divine covenant.  This covenant of marriage was broken to no longer be everlasting but only until death and in many cases completely eliminated for a celibate clergy. 

There are many other examples of apostasy that fulfill the prophesy of Isaiah - I only gave these few as proof of Apostasy in the historical (or Traditional) Christian congregations and that Isaiah was indeed a true prophet of G-d in predicting a Great Apostasy.  

Interesting analysis, but I don't follow on with you how your example of Transgressed the Law fulfills that point.

Are you saying that the killing of heretics was the breaking of the Law?  Are you saying that it did not occur until 1649 that the Law was broken?

Is there not an example prior to 1649 regarding point #1?

Perhaps going back to even Constantine or earlier?

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3 hours ago, JohnsonJones said:

Interesting analysis, but I don't follow on with you how your example of Transgressed the Law fulfills that point.

Are you saying that the killing of heretics was the breaking of the Law?  Are you saying that it did not occur until 1649 that the Law was broken?

Is there not an example prior to 1649 regarding point #1?

Perhaps going back to even Constantine or earlier?

Yes - killing heretics is against the law of G-d that was given to Moses - It is also contrary to the law Jesus gave to love your enemies and to do good to those that despitefully use you.   Not only could someone be put to death for not believing the local version of traditional Christian (Protestants in Catholic societies or Catholics in Protestant societies).  It was just prior to 1649 that English speaking Catholics were massacred in St Marry's County Maryland because Protestants in the Americas did not want Catholics living beside them.  Without too much detail the massacre nearly cause a war in Europe and as a compromise to avoid war - a law was passed to prevent the murder of confiscation of property based on religion - but the law only provided for other Christians that believed in the Trinity.  It was still considered okay to murder or steal property from non-Christians that would not convert to the Trinity.

There are many historical examples of Christians murdering others for not believing their particular brand of Christianity.   My point is that it was one thousand and forty nine years after Christ before Christians were willing to pass a law against murder and stealing property.  Murder is a transgression of the Law of Moses as well as the Law given by Christ.  And the institutionalization of murder is proof of the transgression of the law which equals Apostasy as prophesied by Isaiah. 

 

The Traveler

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On 1/11/2019 at 1:29 PM, Queolby said:

Well, my paper was written with mainstream Christians in mind, who have always denied Catholicism. I feel like they would be easier to convince since most denounce organized religion and the bible is filled with it. But I know nothing can convince the truthfulness of the gospel except by the Holy Ghost. 

Thanks for your input

With Protestants, you have the same challenge.  They split off the Catholic Church due to their rejection of the Catholic Authority.  And because there's no other authority to be found except for the truthfulness of Scripture, they derive their authority on Scripture ONLY (The Holy Bible).  So the challenge remains - you can't reject the authority of the Holy Bible because that would be wrong.  So then you're going to have to present the case that there is more authority than the Holy Bible and you can't do that by attacking their interpretation of the Holy Bible (the atheist way).  The better way is for you to testify of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and the authority of Joseph Smith on its own merit.

Edited by anatess2

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On 1/11/2019 at 12:16 PM, Jersey Boy said:

Very easy to resolve. Whether most members of the Church realize it or not, the LDS Godhead is also united by one substance, for the thing that enables them to be perfectly unified is that each is filled to eternal fullness with the divine substance known as the uncreated Spirit of divine intelligence, just as is asserted in the Lectures on Faith. In fact, it’s the very same uncreated Spirit of divine intelligence (D&C 93’s ‘light of truth’ that cannot be created nor destroyed) that unifies the saints, albeit, for now, to a lesser degree. So LDS theology even solves the mystery surrounding the nature of the one substance that unifies the non-LDS Christian Trinity, it’s the Spirit of Truth that is in all things (including God) and through all things, and roundabout all things. In accord with the above, the title Christ (anointed one) refers to the fact that the Savior of the world was anointed by his Father with an eternal fulness of the uncreated Spirit of Truth. And as you know, in LDS theology Spirit really is a substance,

Not sure what you mean by "very easy to resolve".  If you're thinking that explanation will easily resolve the matter in the minds of Trinitarians, then that is wrong.  It can't resolve because the substance of God is what makes God God in Trinitarian teaching.  And that substance is unique to God (one God) and, therefore, it is not present in "all things".

There's no issue in resolving the matter in LDS Teaching.  We already believe there are Three Persons in One God and that Man may BE God through the Atonement of Christ without changing the fact that there is One God.

Edited by anatess2

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On 1/11/2019 at 11:55 AM, Jersey Boy said:

You are in error. In his epistle to the Ephesians, the  apostle Paul asserted that the inspired apostles and prophets, who then stood at the head of the Church, were intended to remain in their Church leadership roles until perfect unity had been established within the Church and each and every member had become perfected in Christ to the point that they had all attained to the “measure of the stature of the FULNESS of Christ” (apotheosis). The fact that this blessed and holy state affairs had not been achieved before there were no longer apostles and prophets at the head of the Church (because the people that mattered thought they were no longer needed) is proof positive that the Church, as established by Christ, was no longer on the earth.

In addition, in his first epistle to the Corinthians Paul most solemnly testified that no member within the Church organization of his day — that organization being established by Christ himself with apostles and prophets standing at the pinnacle of Church leadership — could say that any of the other members of the body of Christ (Paul most especially pointing, in this regard, to the indispensable apostles and prophets who then stood at the leadership helm of the Church) could say the day would come when any member of the body of Christ (the Church) was no longer needed and absolutely essential to the health and wellbeing of the Church. The fact that for centuries the post-apostasy churches have been declating that apostles and prophets are no longer needed in the Church is proof positive that the Church established by Christ, and carried on by his apostles and prophets after his ascension into heaven, was no longer on the earth. 

You are telling a Catholic, not an LDS, they are in error by telling them what they believe is in error.  It is like an anti-Mormon telling you you are in error.  That is fruitless.  It's like how it is silly for a non-Mormon to teach a Mormon what the Mormon faith is and how it is wrong, it is just as silly for a non-Catholic to teach a Catholic what the Catholic faith is and how it is wrong.  Your first challenge is to teach a Catholic the Catholic faith who more than likely knows the Catholic faith better than a Mormon.  Your next challenge is to explain why it is wrong.  2 endeavors that are fruitless.

In Catholic tradition, Apostolic and Prophetic Authority was held by the Apostles and Prophets and passed on to their successors continuing in the manner that Apostles and Prophets were replaced as described in the Holy Bible.  Quoting the same Scripture the Catholics use to defend their Apostolic Authority to explain they are in error is not just fruitless but can be taken for enmity.

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36 minutes ago, anatess2 said:

You are telling a Catholic, not an LDS, they are in error by telling them what they believe is in error.  It is like an anti-Mormon telling you you are in error.  That is fruitless.  It's like how it is silly for a non-Mormon to teach a Mormon what the Mormon faith is and how it is wrong, it is just as silly for a non-Catholic to teach a Catholic what the Catholic faith is and how it is wrong.  Your first challenge is to teach a Catholic the Catholic faith who more than likely knows the Catholic faith better than a Mormon.  Your next challenge is to explain why it is wrong.  2 endeavors that are fruitless.

In Catholic tradition, Apostolic and Prophetic Authority was held by the Apostles and Prophets and passed on to their successors continuing in the manner that Apostles and Prophets were replaced as described in the Holy Bible.  Quoting the same Scripture the Catholics use to defend their Apostolic Authority to explain they are in error is not just fruitless but can be taken for enmity.

Giving a solid witness of truth is not fruitless - there are two reasons to give prophetic utterances of authority - The First is to call the righteous to repentance.  The Second is to warn the wicked.  The difference is that the righteous repent and the wicked remain in their sins.

But I would speak specifically to the ordinance of Apostolic succession.  In the Book of Acts (last of Chapter 1) the scriptures give a witness (mostly symbolic reference of "lots") of the ordinance of Apostolic succession.  As Isaiah prophesied the ordinance of Apostolic succession was changed by the Catholic Churches as well as the Protestants.  The Catholics (both east and west) to a process that is more in line with the method of succession used in Rome to enthrone a new emperor of Rome.  Protestants by definition protest the "change" created in Rome and Constantinople but have also changed the ordinance of Apostolic succession by doing away with it altogether.

 

The Traveler

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35 minutes ago, Traveler said:

Giving a solid witness of truth is not fruitless - there are two reasons to give prophetic utterances of authority - The First is to call the righteous to repentance.  The Second is to warn the wicked.  The difference is that the righteous repent and the wicked remain in their sins.

But I would speak specifically to the ordinance of Apostolic succession.  In the Book of Acts (last of Chapter 1) the scriptures give a witness (mostly symbolic reference of "lots") of the ordinance of Apostolic succession.  As Isaiah prophesied the ordinance of Apostolic succession was changed by the Catholic Churches as well as the Protestants.  The Catholics (both east and west) to a process that is more in line with the method of succession used in Rome to enthrone a new emperor of Rome.  Protestants by definition protest the "change" created in Rome and Constantinople but have also changed the ordinance of Apostolic succession by doing away with it altogether.

 

The Traveler

The bolded above is not what he was doing.  He wasn't giving solid witness of truth of the restored gospel.  He was trying to show the error of Catholics.  Big difference.

I will guarantee you, when someone goes up to the podium on fast and testimony meeting and bears his testimony as, "The Catholics are wrong because...", it will be a fruitless testimony even in the midst of an LDS membership.

Edited by anatess2

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1 hour ago, anatess2 said:

The bolded above is not what he was doing.  He wasn't giving solid witness of truth of the restored gospel.  He was trying to show the error of Catholics.  Big difference.

I will guarantee you, when someone goes up to the podium on fast and testimony meeting and bears his testimony as, "The Catholics are wrong because...", it will be a fruitless testimony even in the midst of an LDS membership.

I was referencing the Apostasy and any Biblical prophesy and historical fulfillment.  

 

The Traveler

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