Jonah

Not believing in the traditional Christ

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2 hours ago, Fether said:

... I can’t twll you how many times someone says “show me in the Bible where God says *insert Latter-day Saint unique teaching*” ... It doesn’t, and it doesn’t need to. But that has to be understood before we can tackle the “exciting” topics.

Part of this particular confusion is that traditional Christians tend to lump/confuse LDS with Jehovah's Witnesses. That group also has many unique teachings, but no continuing revelation. So, they will limit interfaith discussions to Bible-back-and-forth, and they do not mind the type of rigorous discussion that strikes many LDS as contention. (At least this was my experience with them during my younger days).

Edited by prisonchaplain

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26 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

Part of this particular confusion is that traditional Christians tend to lump/confuse LDS with Jehovah's Witnesses. That group also has many unique teachings, but no continuing revelation. So, they will limit interfaith discussions to Bible-back-and-forth, and they do not mind the type of rigorous discussion that strikes many LDS as contention. (At least this was my experience with them during my younger days).

That’s interesting, but makes sense. I met with a finance guy a while back and I told him I was a Latter-day Saint. His next response was “I have. Buddy out east who had his house built by you guys” I then let him know he was mistaking us with the Mennonites. He was really embarrassed haha. I guess it is really easy to lump all weird religious denominations together.

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On 11/21/2019 at 7:26 AM, Fether said:

It’s incredible how many little stones of doctrine there are that we take for granted, but aren’t even concepts in traditional Christianity.

They want to have in depth conversations about God once being a man, but before we can even touch that, you have to break down pre earth life, agency, our concept of grace, and the biggest one that we don’t base our teachings on the Bible. I can’t tell you how many times someone says “show me in the Bible where God says *insert Latter-day Saint unique teaching*” ... It doesn’t, and it doesn’t need to. But that has to be understood before we can tackle the “exciting” topics.

Thing is, LDS teachings are Biblical, and quite plain, if you understand them through modern revelation.   The King Follett sermon is a prime example.  The introduction to the sermon by Joseph Smith says:

Quote

Open your ears and hear, all ye ends of the earth, for I am going to prove it to you by the Bible, and to tell you the designs of God in relation to the human race, and why He interferes with the affairs of man

The teaching of Joseph Smith are as plain in the Bible as any traditional belief, if understood through revelation.  Smith didn't teach three heavens from the Book of Mormon or the Doctrine and Covenants, but from 1 Corinthians 15, but with a revealed understanding.  The nature of the spirit world is from 2 Peter.  Eternal marriage and temple ordinances from Genesis, etc. etc.  Some "plain and precious" truths were lost over time, but I believe Smith fully believed in the truthfulness of the Bible, and that our "odd" teachings are plainly taught there. 

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On 11/21/2019 at 10:13 AM, prisonchaplain said:

Part of this particular confusion is that traditional Christians tend to lump/confuse LDS with Jehovah's Witnesses. That group also has many unique teachings, but no continuing revelation. So, they will limit interfaith discussions to Bible-back-and-forth, and they do not mind the type of rigorous discussion that strikes many LDS as contention. (At least this was my experience with them during my younger days).

I would (and still occasionally) have Jehovah Witnesses come by as there is a church just up the road.  One time they came with a message about Adam and Eve, and the creation story.  I listened and we chatted about it quite a while, and I gave my understanding, which was of course the LDS viewpoint, and one woman was just fascinated by my understanding and interpretation.   She asked "How did you figure all of this out?" and I said, "oh, I believe in modern day prophets who give more light to the topic."

 

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8 hours ago, bytebear said:

Thing is, LDS teachings are Biblical, and quite plain, if you understand them through modern revelation

This is what I’m getting at. Yes our bible as inklings if truths in them unknown to traditional Christians, but the Bible does not contain the fullness of the gospel on its own. Specifically truths concerning the word of wisdom as we understand them today. If you tell a Christian that you don’t drink alcohol at all and that you think it is a sin to, many would be impressed, but many others would challenge you on where it is found in the Bible. 

The fullness of our understanding of the plan of salvation is not found purely in the Bible either. Sure, you can find traces of it I’m the Bible, but one would need the Book of Mormon and Modern Revelation in order to truly I understand it. 

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On 11/21/2019 at 11:13 AM, prisonchaplain said:

Part of this particular confusion is that traditional Christians tend to lump/confuse LDS with Jehovah's Witnesses. That group also has many unique teachings, but no continuing revelation. So, they will limit interfaith discussions to Bible-back-and-forth, and they do not mind the type of rigorous discussion that strikes many LDS as contention. (At least this was my experience with them during my younger days).

I have come to the conclusion that doctrine is not really the issue (at least to the extent what many think) with why religion, in so many cases, has become secular or divided into sects.   I have come to believe it is because of attempts at isolationism.   We sometimes call it "closed minded" but the reality is a refusal to see or consider another point of view.  There really is not that much diversity in determining "right" from "wrong" or good from evil.  But in discussions we tend to emphasize differences rather than similarities.   I believe that @prisonchaplain's great spiritual gift is seeing similarities and this is why he is a prison chaplain serving those of all religions.  On the other hand I think I am at the other end of the spectrum and find differences very interesting.

But sometimes when differences are realized there are attempts to isolate our religious thoughts from those of others.  For example, it seems to me that Jehovah Witnesses tend to isolate themselves through their doctrine.  For survival, my LDS ancestors physically isolated themselves from other Christians.  Unfortunately isolation tends to breed the worse kinds of prejudice.  There is a story of a little Christian boy talking with his mother and asked why G-d placed him here on earth.  Thoughtfully his mother said it was to learn to love others.  The boy thought about the answer for a while and then asked - "Why did G-d place others here?".

Nicodemus quoted scripture when he asked, "Can our law judge a person before they have had opportunity to hear them speak?"  I do not think we can judge or love others (including G-d) unless or until we are willing to listen to them speak without putting our words into their mouth.

 

The Traveler

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4 hours ago, Fether said:

This is what I’m getting at. Yes our bible as inklings if truths in them unknown to traditional Christians, but the Bible does not contain the fullness of the gospel on its own. Specifically truths concerning the word of wisdom as we understand them today. If you tell a Christian that you don’t drink alcohol at all and that you think it is a sin to, many would be impressed, but many others would challenge you on where it is found in the Bible. 

The fullness of our understanding of the plan of salvation is not found purely in the Bible either. Sure, you can find traces of it I’m the Bible, but one would need the Book of Mormon and Modern Revelation in order to truly I understand it. 

I am of the opinion that many understand the fullness of the gospel as a fullness of doctrine - I believe the fullness of the gospel has more to do with the right, powers, covenants and keys of the priesthood than doctrine.  Isaiah taught that man separates themselves (or draws near to G-d) not by doctrine but by the Law, the Ordinances and the Everlasting Covenant.  These things are brought to man through the priesthood of Christ.  The purpose of scripture is so that we can come unto Christ and be saved through his Law, Ordinances and Everlasting Covenant.

 

The Traveler

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5 hours ago, Fether said:

This is what I’m getting at. Yes our bible as inklings if truths in them unknown to traditional Christians, but the Bible does not contain the fullness of the gospel on its own. Specifically truths concerning the word of wisdom as we understand them today. If you tell a Christian that you don’t drink alcohol at all and that you think it is a sin to, many would be impressed, but many others would challenge you on where it is found in the Bible. 

The fullness of our understanding of the plan of salvation is not found purely in the Bible either. Sure, you can find traces of it I’m the Bible, but one would need the Book of Mormon and Modern Revelation in order to truly I understand it. 

I would challenge you to find it in the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, or Pearl of Great Price.

You'll find the Word of Wisdom...but as it says...it is ONLY a Word or advice to the wise which the weakest can keep...but it's not necessarily a commandment per se of everlasting covenants anymore than we should not eat pork or shellfish.  It is something for our present time...but in how we practice the word of wisdom in reality (most remember the no alcohol, tea, or coffee or tobacco, but not the rest of it) is more of a policy we practice in the church at this time than a commandment anyone really keeps (except for those who really focus on it and try to keep it all, which are very few and far between).

Much of what we do in the Church is more of policy and traditions as well as culture more than what is deemed as commandments in the Scriptures.

That said, I'm probably more strict on many things than most members (for example, I don't drink caffeinated drinks still if I can help it, and consider ALL HOT DRINKS, including hot chocolate as a HOT drink...just as an example), but I am not under any illusion that it is because they are disobeying commandments as it is interpreted by most today.

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9 hours ago, JohnsonJones said:

I would challenge you to find it in the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, or Pearl of Great Price.

You'll find the Word of Wisdom...but as it says...it is ONLY a Word or advice to the wise which the weakest can keep...but it's not necessarily a commandment per se of everlasting covenants anymore than we should not eat pork or shellfish.  It is something for our present time...but in how we practice the word of wisdom in reality (most remember the no alcohol, tea, or coffee or tobacco, but not the rest of it) is more of a policy we practice in the church at this time than a commandment anyone really keeps (except for those who really focus on it and try to keep it all, which are very few and far between).

Much of what we do in the Church is more of policy and traditions as well as culture more than what is deemed as commandments in the Scriptures.

That said, I'm probably more strict on many things than most members (for example, I don't drink caffeinated drinks still if I can help it, and consider ALL HOT DRINKS, including hot chocolate as a HOT drink...just as an example), but I am not under any illusion that it is because they are disobeying commandments as it is interpreted by most today.

The fullness of the gospel is found in the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants AND words of modern day prophets (and personal revelation as long as that revelation conforms to the prior). And by fullness of the gospel I am referring to the doctrines, principles and applications that bring us in better standing with God.

The fullness is not found in any one book.

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53 minutes ago, Fether said:

The fullness of the gospel is found in the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants AND words of modern day prophets (and personal revelation as long as that revelation conforms to the prior). And by fullness of the gospel I am referring to the doctrines, principles and applications that bring us in better standing with God.

The fullness is not found in any one book.

I agree with what you wrote, except for the last sentence. All of the doctrines needed for our ultimate salvation, much less our exaltation, are not found in any book or collection of books on the earth today. But the fulness of the gospel is most certainly found in the Book of Mormon (and the Bible). President Benson said the following:

The Book of Mormon contains the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That does not mean it contains every teaching, every doctrine ever revealed. Rather, it means that in the Book of Mormon we will find the fulness of those doctrines required for our salvation. And they are taught plainly and simply so that even children can learn the ways of salvation and exaltation.

Note the reference to D&C 20:9, where the Lord states exactly that.

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7 hours ago, Fether said:

The fullness of the gospel is found in the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants AND words of modern day prophets (and personal revelation as long as that revelation conforms to the prior). And by fullness of the gospel I am referring to the doctrines, principles and applications that bring us in better standing with God.

The fullness is not found in any one book.

However, too often we turn like Pharisees and decree that something is an eternal principle....when in fact...it is not.

The Word of Wisdom is NOT an eternal principle enforced upon all who follow the Lord anymore than the commandments not to eat pork, shellfish, or other such things.  At times we put SOOO much importance on the trivial things that we lose the big picture of what is truly important.

I don't even watch R-Rated movies and am very strict on the Word of Wisdom, but associating claims of the fullness of the gospel as requiring the Word of Wisdom as we practice it...you aren't going to find it.  The Word of Wisdom in and of itself as we practice it is something we utilize in OUR day, but it is not an eternal commandment practiced throughout eternity, or even through this dispensation (it wasn't even enforced in the early years...and yes, that means even Joseph Smith drank alcoholic beverages).

HOWEVER...you CAN find the actual core reasons and ideas behind it in the Bible.  Whether you can actually understand WHY and HOW in regards to it probably depends on whether you view the Word of Wisdom as not drinking alcohol as an eternal principle, or realize that it's not necessarily the restrictions and advice on what we should do so much as the parable and relations behind things that are the true instructions on how we are to be in this life.  It is not so much about healthy living in that regards anymore than it was about healthy living with the food restrictions and other commandments to the Israelites, it concerns a more valuable consideration which IS found in the Bible AND the Book of Mormon (and also the D&C covenants as long as we are discussing the scriptures, and I believe probably also the Pearl of Great Price).

Edited by JohnsonJones

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8 hours ago, Vort said:

I agree with what you wrote, except for the last sentence. All of the doctrines needed for our ultimate salvation, much less our exaltation, are not found in any book or collection of books on the earth today. But the fulness of the gospel is most certainly found in the Book of Mormon (and the Bible). President Benson said the following:

The Book of Mormon contains the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That does not mean it contains every teaching, every doctrine ever revealed. Rather, it means that in the Book of Mormon we will find the fulness of those doctrines required for our salvation. And they are taught plainly and simply so that even children can learn the ways of salvation and exaltation.

Note the reference to D&C 20:9, where the Lord states exactly that.

You are exactly right, in writing my comment, this exact quote came to mind but I didn’t have time to go into detail of what I meant. Using the term “fullness of the gospel” probably wasn’t the best way to describe what I was saying. The root of my comment goes back to when @bytebear said that Latter-day Saint teachings are biblical. 

The point I was making is that everything we believe and do today is not found in a single book, but rather from a single source, and that source has provided many books and means of direction. The specifics of our ordinances are not found in anyone book, but found in revelation (which includes books).

The Book of Mormon provides all we need for exaltation, particularly in light of Doctrine and Covenants 82:3, Luke 12:48, and James 4:17.

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Guest Mores

I agree that we don't believe in the "Traditional Christ".  We believe in "The Living Christ".

The Traditional Christ is silent.
The Traditional Christ depends upon the consensus of fallible man's judgement.
The Traditional Christ only serves as a "guiding light".  He has no constancy.

The Living Christ speaks to living oracles as well as confirms such word through the additional witness of the Holy Ghost.
The Living Christ tells us that His word is more important than the whims of mankind driven with the wind and tossed.
The Living Christ is involved personally in the affairs of mankind.  And he is the one constant through all of life's journey.

I know that My Redeemer Lives.

Edited by Mores

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5 hours ago, Mores said:

I agree that we don't believe in the "Traditional Christ".  We believe in "The Living Christ".

The Traditional Christ is silent.
The Traditional Christ depends upon the consensus of fallible man's judgement.
The Traditional Christ only serves as a "guiding light".  He has no constancy.

Within Pentecost we sometimes speak of "dead Christianity," or even say that some churches seem to be spiritually dead. Perhaps a mild attempt at humor will explain the thinking:  How many members of the old church does it take to change a light bulb?  ANSWER: None. They don't believe in change.

So, I understand where the above is coming from. On the other hand, MY reading of scripture suggests that the traditional Christ left this earth so that the Holy Ghost could come. We sometimes even refer to him as the Spirit of Christ. The Holy Ghost is far from silent in our churches. Likewise, I heard from our elders often that we should beware "the wisdom of men." Then there is indeed the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit. Admittedly, Pentecostals and Charismatics are outliers (all 700,000,000 plus of us) in that we do accept continuing revelations, through the gifts of the Spirit. We believe in modern prophecy, words of knowledge and wisdom, in divine healing, and even in the driving out of demonic influences. So, yes, there are forms of Protestant Christianity that seem to be bound to the above commentary. However, those who embrace the continuing work of the Holy Spirit seem to have largely escaped such limitations.

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On 11/26/2019 at 11:33 AM, prisonchaplain said:

MY reading of scripture suggests that the traditional Christ left this earth so that the Holy Ghost could come.

When you say "traditional Christ" are you talking about the traditional Christian view or the church's view? My understanding of the above statement is that it is strictly an LDS view. Do traditional Christians believe that Christ left so the Holy Ghost could come?

The way the statement is made isn't really correct. It reads that one happened so the other could happen and that's not the reason or the cause. It was the Holy Ghost that told Peter that Jesus was the Christ and the Holy Ghost settled upon Christ at his baptism, so the influence of the Holy Ghost was present.

My understanding is this is the way the Holy Ghost is present for most of us. It's incidental and not nearly as life-changing as what occurred on the day of Pentecost regardless of whether or not the gift of the Holy Ghost was given.

I believe the reality of the situation is unknown. Can Jesus and the Holy Ghost be present at the same time on the earth? I believe the answer to that is a resounding yes. So, Jesus didn't have to leave for the Holy Ghost to be present. I think Jesus had to leave so the people, the apostles and his other disciples would learn to lean on the witness of the Holy Ghost. It is difficult to listen to a still small voice when a voice that is loud and clear and emanating from a visible source is present.

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On 11/26/2019 at 11:33 AM, prisonchaplain said:

Admittedly, Pentecostals and Charismatics are outliers (all 700,000,000 plus of us) in that we do accept continuing revelations, through the gifts of the Spirit.

I'm curious what you call "continuing revelation" in this context. Whatever it is you receive in this form doesn't affect the scriptures. There doesn't seem to be any new information coming by these revelations. What would be an example of such revelation and is it binding on the church or just on the individual?

There are many forms of revelation, but if the revelation is concerning truth, I think it would be binding and I think it would be scripture. I'm assuming that no one in those 700million people you mentioned can receive revelation for any of the other 700million. Correct me if I'm wrong. It seems to me that for revelation to be of any value in the church, one person should be designated to receive that revelation for it to be binding on the church. Otherwise, it seems that revelation is anyone's opinion, making it relatively useless to the church.

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5 hours ago, brotherofJared said:

When you say "traditional Christ" are you talking about the traditional Christian view or the church's view? My understanding of the above statement is that it is strictly an LDS view. Do traditional Christians believe that Christ left so the Holy Ghost could come?

Jesus said this directly. He told his disciples that he must leave so the Holy Ghost could come. Pentecostals/Charismatics have an enhanced understanding of this, but at 700 million worldwide, we do fall within the traditional camp. Further, most Protestants and Catholics would say the same, though they might question our belief in modern-day gifts--including continuing revelation.

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5 hours ago, brotherofJared said:

I'm curious what you call "continuing revelation" in this context. Whatever it is you receive in this form doesn't affect the scriptures. There doesn't seem to be any new information coming by these revelations. What would be an example of such revelation and is it binding on the church or just on the individual?

You are spot on. Our view is that a word of knowledge, a word of wisdom, an interpretation of tongues, or a prophetic word would not change scripture. It would never contradict scripture. However, it might give specific wisdom to a current group and location. So, my point was not to say that the Pentecostal view on continuing revelation matches the LDS view, but simply to say that there is a belief that God still speaks. We see it as through the Holy Spirit, who was enabled by Christ's return to the Father.

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14 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

Jesus said this directly. He told his disciples that he must leave so the Holy Ghost could come. Pentecostals/Charismatics have an enhanced understanding of this, but at 700 million worldwide, we do fall within the traditional camp. Further, most Protestants and Catholics would say the same, though they might question our belief in modern-day gifts--including continuing revelation.

Where do the scriptures say that Jesus must leave so the Holy Ghost could come? (that was the question I was trying to ask originally).

Edited by brotherofJared

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John 16:7-8: 

7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

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12 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

John 16:7-8: 

7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

LDS perspective, in case you are interested:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/new-testament-seminary-teacher-manual/introduction-to-the-gospel-according-to-st-john/lesson-76-john-16?lang=eng

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1 hour ago, Scott said:

Based on my review, I could preach the points in the teacher's manual. We have our differences--and they are significant. Nevertheless, we do indeed share much that is true.

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17 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

John 16:7-8: 

7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.

8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

Of course, this entire idea gets problematic if one believes in the Trinity, for who is the Holy Spirit but the Lord, and the Lord is God.  For they are of the same substance, even if not the same being, and thus it is the LORD who is also the comforter.

IN that light, they already HAD the comforter with them, as it was always with them, and thus verse 17 which confused them would be explained.

However, from an LDS point of view, I think theoretically, and ironically, you are correct.  When they had the Lord there with them they had no need to have what we would call the Gift of the Holy Ghost, for a more powerful knowledge is that given from the personal witness of the Lord himself (and thus he also states at the end of John 15 in verse 27 that thus they would bear witness of him, not simply due to the Holy Ghost, but due to being with the Lord from the beginning).  Only when he left was the Comforter to be sent to them.

Thus, as I understand it (and I am constantly learning more) the Holy Ghost was not with the apostles as we understand it today as a constant companion.  We know the Holy Ghost could appear and witness (as seen at the Lord's Baptism, though I'm sure there are those that try to deny the Holy Ghost was there, it is blatantly written for all to see and read) to others PRIOR to the Lord's sacrifice and atonement, but as per the verses you quoted (and more in John 14 and 15 which substantiate the verses that you quote), the Holy Ghost was not yet sent to the Apostles (for LDS, at least in the manner that we would understand in regards to the Gift of the Holy Ghost, though an LDS would believe, just like the Holy Ghost witnessed the Lord's Baptism it could also do similar actions if so desired if the Lord willed it).

In that same way, I think it could also be justified under the teaching of the Trinity, but it gets interesting when one mentions the previous and obvious manifestations of the Spirit previously (baptism, or the Mary's conception of the Lord as found in the Bible, etc.).

PS: In that way, it is possible for Peter both to have received a testimony from the Holy Spirit in some fashion (though how, we are not told. It could be that he witnessed the Lord's baptism for example and personally saw and experienced the events of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit at that time when the Lord was baptized.  It could have been some other way, we do NOT know.  We do believe he was given a testimony BY the Holy Ghost at some point) as the LDS believe, yet not have the Holy Ghost or Comforter upon him or given to him (or sent to him).

As per Matthew 16: 16-17

Quote

16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven

For as it states, it was NOT FLESH AND BLOOD that revealed it unto him.  It was the Father which is in Heaven (without Flesh and Blood) which means it must be by some other means.  The LDS thus, as it was made clear it was by no mortal creature of flesh and blood, that it was thereby via the Spirit, which we understand to be the Holy Spirit...or Holy Ghost. 

Technically some LDS also claim it is this that is revelation, and thus it is by revelation that Peter gained this (whether by spirit, or vision, it differs at time, though I am partial as I think the majority to lean that it is the Holy Spirit in this) testimony of who the Lord was.   In this essence is the belief that the ensuing verse (18-19) is speaking of revelation and the Holy Spirit rather than simply Peter himself.

Edited by JohnsonJones

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On 11/20/2019 at 6:22 PM, prisonchaplain said:

Interfaith discussions about the nature of Jesus--especially in relation to the Father--almost have to include the LDS teaching that we are all eternal beings.

In the context of you being an "eternal being", how is Jesus considered the Eternal God when he
is taught to have become a God in his pre-mortal life?

Thanks,
Jim

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5 hours ago, JohnsonJones said:

Of course, this entire idea gets problematic if one believes in the Trinity, for who is the Holy Spirit but the Lord, and the Lord is God.  For they are of the same substance, even if not the same being, and thus it is the LORD who is also the comforter.... 

There is no problem at all. Each person of the Trinity is God. Each person is distinct from the other. They are one divine God, they are Creator, Saviour and Comforter.

M.

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