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Hello!
I'm a young protestant that really enjoys Studio C if any of you know what that is. I was reading about Stacey Harkey which brought me here. (Him being controversially gay to be exact) I'm interested to learn about Mormonism and why and how they believe what they do but it's like there are a billion different websites and rules and doctrines that I really don't understand.  I would appreciate it if someone would be willing to tell me essentially what the beliefs are in a way that's understood by me...not using a whole lot of big words.  Pretend I know absolutely nothing.  Disclaimer though...I will probably argue with you, not because I want to argue and such, but because I am trying to like piece together the logic and truth in my head and I am REALLY bad at asking questions without sounding like I am arguing.  There are also very few doctrinal paper that I wouldn't trust so if you plan on quoting anything, it probably needs to be proven as true before quoted.

 

Hopefully someone has interest in this:)

Edited by Maytoday
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2 hours ago, Maytoday said:

Hello!
I'm a young protestant that really enjoys Studio C if any of you know what that is. I was reading about Stacey Harkey which brought me here. (Him being controversially gay to be exact) I'm interested to learn about Mormonism and why and how they believe what they do but it's like there are a billion different websites and rules and doctrines that I really don't understand.  I would appreciate it if someone would be willing to tell me essentially what the beliefs are in a way that's understood by me...not using a whole lot of big words.  Pretend I know absolutely nothing.  Disclaimer though...I will probably argue with you, not because I want to argue and such, but because I am trying to like piece together the logic and truth in my head and I am REALLY bad at asking questions without sounding like I am arguing.  There are also very few doctrinal paper that I wouldn't trust so if you plan on quoting anything, it probably needs to be proven as true before quoted.

 

Hopefully someone has interest in this:)

Welcome to the forum.  To start, I don't accept the conditions you placed on responses.  That said:

I'm not really interested in arguing, but I'll answer any questions you have.   We're Christians as well.  Christ restored His Church on Earth via the Prophet Joseph Smith.  We believe In God, His son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost.  Accept the New Testament, Old Testament, Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price as scripture.   We believe families are eternal.  We believe the truth can be found in the Book of Mormon, and if you want to know more start reading it and schedule a lesson with your local missionaries.

 

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7 minutes ago, Grunt said:

We're Christians as well.

Yes this was the part I was confused about. Most mormons say they are Christians, but everyone else I talked to says they are not. I'm not say who is or isn't right I'm trying to figure that out.

 

I hadn't realized I placed conditions on responses but knowing me I probably did accidentally. Very sorry about that. Unfortunately I don't have a way to contact a missionary. Thank for responding though.

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Welcome, @Maytoday!

Only one website matters, the Church's official one.  Whatever you find elsewhere may or may not be correct or consistent with what the Church teaches.

The 13 Articles of Faith might be a good place to start with what we believe - they were written by Joseph Smith, through whom the Church of Jesus Christ was restored.

As @Grunt said, the Book of Mormon is another good starting point (and, there's an app for that :D ).

3 hours ago, Maytoday said:

Disclaimer though...I will probably argue with you, not because I want to argue and such, but because I am trying to like piece together the logic and truth in my head and I am REALLY bad at asking questions without sounding like I am arguing.

What's to argue?  We believe what we believe.  We believe it because it is revealed by God through prophets and apostles.  Whether you understand it or see reason or logic in it won't matter - we believe what we believe.  People have been trying since the 1800s to "argue" us out of our beliefs - doesn't work.  So what is there to argue about?  If you don't understand what we're saying, OK, we'll try to explain it in different terms.  If you don't believe the things we believe, that's your right and choice, but there's still nothing to argue about.

3 hours ago, Maytoday said:

There are also very few doctrinal paper that I wouldn't trust so if you plan on quoting anything, it probably needs to be proven as true before quoted.

How exactly is a religious document "proven true"?  How do you prove that Jesus Christ is the son of God?  How do you prove that he atoned for our sins and was resurrected?  How do you prove that God is real?  You can find our beliefs in our scriptures.  Every April and October, the leaders of our Church expound on what you find in said scriptures - helping us to apply these things in our lives - in a meeting we call "General Conference".  But you're not going to find us citing a creed or whatever.

If you want to take a deep dive into early Church history, you could try the Joseph Smith Papers website.

Other than all that, it might be best if you just start with whatever simple question you might have, and we'll have a go at answering. :)

I will say that in my experience, this Third Hour forum is the one place on the internet where you will find faithful members of the Church who support the leaders of the Church (as opposed to many other forums where you'll find a mixture of that, wolves in sheep's clothing, people who want to destroy the Church, and heaven knows who else).

Finally, perhaps @prisonchaplain can give you some tips on engaging with latter-day saints. :)  (Should he have time and notice this.)

Edited by zil2
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3 hours ago, Maytoday said:

There are also very few doctrinal paper that I wouldn't trust so if you plan on quoting anything, it probably needs to be proven as true before quoted.

Hello @Maytoday welcome to the forum. We could do with a few more non Latter-Day Saints here, its good to have a diversity of opinions.

I'm not sure what you mean by proven to be true, and I suspect that what constitutes proof will vary widely. Every day in courts of law across the world judges and jurors will listen to exactly the same evidence/information and come to different conclusions as to whether a particular fact has or has not been proven. 

For me, the only things that have been proven and that I can know for sure are my own existence and those things which have been confirmed personally and directly to me by the Holy Ghost. Everything else, absolutely everything else, including the theories of gravity and relativity and the idea that the sky often appears to be blue during the daytime when there are no clouds around, is usually a good working hypothesis but definitely not something I or anybody else knows. 

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4 hours ago, Maytoday said:

Hello!
I'm a young protestant that really enjoys Studio C if any of you know what that is. I was reading about Stacey Harkey which brought me here. (Him being controversially gay to be exact) I'm interested to learn about Mormonism and why and how they believe what they do but it's like there are a billion different websites and rules and doctrines that I really don't understand.  I would appreciate it if someone would be willing to tell me essentially what the beliefs are in a way that's understood by me...not using a whole lot of big words. 

Well, we'd be happy to share our beliefs.  But if you really don't know much about our faith, it would be inevitable that we will use terminology that you're not familiar with.  So, that would pretty much be impossible.  For some concepts, there really are no other words without using several paragraphs and examples to explain things.  But if you have a question and you need a definition, just ask.

4 hours ago, Maytoday said:

I am trying to like piece together the logic and truth in my head

This is completely normal.  But there is a weakness with this process.  And this would be true if I were trying to learn about your beliefs as well.  If you want proof of something, say, in  a court of law, that would be the way we go about things.  But with philosophy or religion, that process is extremely limiting.  For one thing, what do you consider as valid "evidence" of anything?  Belief systems tend to be self-supporting and limiting.

We arrive at truth by abiding by the source of truth: God.  When we're talking about divine truth, He is the source of truth.  And if we're to "believe" someone else's faith, we need to be "willing" to consider that some of our beliefs are incorrect or need modifying.  If we're not willing to do that, then of course we're not going to believe something that contradicts what we already believe.  That's completely normal.

It is the exceptional person, indeed, who is able to just lay aside some of their own belief system to even possibly consider another belief system.

4 hours ago, Maytoday said:

There are also very few doctrinal paper that I wouldn't trust so if you plan on quoting anything, it probably needs to be proven as true before quoted.

Unfortunately, this is a bit like asking a scientist at the time of Galileo, "Prove to me that your scientific findings are true without resorting to your experiments and data you've collected."

That said:

1. We are a Christian faith in that we believe

  • in God the Father, His Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. 
  • Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer.  That salvation comes in and through His atoning blood and in no other way.  Through His Atonement, all mankind may be saved as we accept Him as our Savior and follow His teachings.
  • We differ from trinitarians in that we believe they are three distinct beings who act as one mind and one heart.

2. We believe in the following principles and ordinances as the physical manifestations of our following His path:

  • Faith is much more than just an idea in our minds or a feeling in our hearts.  It is the motivating principle of action.  If we are fully capable of doing something the Lord requires of us, but we choose otherwise, our faith wasn't sufficient to motivate the proper choice.  Thus faith in Christ becomes something we work on throughout our entire lives.
  • Repentance is the turning our hearts, minds, and actions away from the sin and turning toward Christ.
  • Baptism is the first physical ordinance we perform which signifies our dedication to follow Christ.
  • Laying on of hands is required to receive the Holy Ghost.
  • Higher ordinances are also required as we continue.
  • We must endure to the end.  (Faith in Christ is something we work on all our lives)
    • We don't believe: once saved = always saved.

3. Authority

  • We believe that proper authority to act in the name of God, must come from God to man by prophecy (direct contact with the Divine/ visions/visitations) not simply by studying the word alone.  Then those who have such authority can be authorized by God to give some authority to other men via the laying-on-of-hands.
  • Part of that authority is to create an organization and system of running the Church (The Kingdom of God on Earth).  And that system/structure has been provided by God to administer His will on earth.
  • We are separate from some "charismatic Christians", but we tend to believe in miracles and gifts of the spirit as they do.

4. Scriptures: We believe in the following volumes as sources of scripture.

  • Bible (While we generally use the KJV as a standard and common translation, there is nothing wrong with using other translations).
  • Book of Mormon
  • Doctrine & Covenants
  • Pearl of Great Price
  • Continuing Revelation

5. Civic Behavior:

  • We believe in obeying the law.  We also encourage participating in the political process.
  • We believe in freedom of religion.  No one can FORCE another to believe something religiously.  But we have the right to practice our own religion per our own conscience.

6. In the most generic sense, we tend to have a value system that is common to Catholics and the more organized Protestant sects like Methodists, Lutherans, & Pentecostals, with some differences.

  • 10 commandments (modern interpretations).
  • Law of Chastity:
    • No sex before marriage and absolute fidelity within marriage.
    • No homosexual marriage.
    • None of the "lesser stuff" that much of society seems to accept nowadays, like pornography.
  • Word of Wisdom:  No alcohol, tobacco, coffee/tea, drugs, gluttony, etc.  Take care of yourself.  Your body is a temple.

7. Family is a high priority.  We believe that family bonds can continue throughout eternity.  That is through a process we call "sealing."

Edited by Carborendum
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Just for the sake of clarity, which translation of the Bible are you using? 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints uses the KJV as the standard English-language translation, so I would recommend locating a parallel Bible if your regular version is not the KJV. Otherwise, you can reference the scriptures off of the church's website - https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures?lang=eng&platform=web - during the conversation. 

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3 hours ago, Maytoday said:

Yes this was the part I was confused about. Most mormons say they are Christians, but everyone else I talked to says they are not. I'm not say who is or isn't right I'm trying to figure that out.

 

I hadn't realized I placed conditions on responses but knowing me I probably did accidentally. Very sorry about that. Unfortunately I don't have a way to contact a missionary. Thank for responding though.

If you go to this website, you can request to have missionaries contact you.  https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/comeuntochrist

 

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This is probably going to be a long post and I'm sorry about that.

5 hours ago, zil2 said:

People have been trying since the 1800s to "argue" us out of our beliefs - doesn't work.  So what is there to argue about?  If you don't understand what we're saying, OK, we'll try to explain it in different terms.  If you don't believe the things we believe, that's your right and choice, but there's still nothing to argue about.

Well yes, I've found that the only thing that really brings most people to a faith is a personally testimony and considering you already believe in God I'm  not sure what use is in that.  Perhaps if I rephrase it...I am asking questions out of curiosity and a desire to learn about your faith, I'm just REALLY bad at wording things so if it sounds like an argument please tell me and I will attempt to rephrase.

5 hours ago, zil2 said:

How exactly is a religious document "proven true"?  How do you prove that Jesus Christ is the son of God?

This is a good point. I suppose its less of, I need statistics and data and more of a this is the most logical outcome.  Look at the world, so finely tuned. Most logical outcome, it was designed. How a religious document is proven true? I'm now questioning that myself.

 

5 hours ago, zil2 said:

Finally, perhaps @prisonchaplain can give you some tips on engaging with latter-day saints.

Oh yes if he has time it would be very much appreciated.

 

4 hours ago, Carborendum said:

He is the source of truth.  And if we're to "believe" someone else's faith, we need to be "willing" to consider that some of our beliefs are incorrect or need modifying.  If we're not willing to do that, then of course we're not going to believe something that contradicts what we already believe.  That's completely normal.

He is the source of truth.  My goal is not to force you to turn against your religion. Moreover, my goal is to find the truth of the matter and I cannot find the truth without looking at all sides.  Everything I believe I believe until I find the truth, if that makes any sense.

 

4 hours ago, Ironhold said:

Just for the sake of clarity, which translation of the Bible are you using? 

I mainly use NIV or ESV, only because I am unable to understand the wording in KJV.  (if you get a theme here I'm very good with whats in my brain but getting it there and out is difficult)

4 hours ago, Carborendum said:

We differ from trinitarians in that we believe they are three distinct beings who act as one mind and one heart.

This is always something that I have been on the fence about and not really sure of the trinitarian belief, and this makes sense.

4 hours ago, Carborendum said:

and follow His teachings.

What does this mean?  Do you have to do this to be saved? If I mess up, does it mean I'm not?  

4 hours ago, Carborendum said:

Faith is much more than just an idea in our minds or a feeling in our hearts.  It is the motivating principle of action.  If we are fully capable of doing something the Lord requires of us, but we choose otherwise, our faith wasn't sufficient to motivate the proper choice.  Thus faith in Christ becomes something we work on throughout our entire lives.

Honestly, I've never thought about this. Faith has always just been faith to me.  This makes more sense.  I've always heard that the Holy Spirit was the motivating principle. If it is faith, what does the Holy Spirit do? Or are they the same?

4 hours ago, Carborendum said:

Laying on of hands is required to receive the Holy Ghost.

I've been reading about this but I am still unsure what it means.

4 hours ago, Carborendum said:

We are separate from some "charismatic Christians", but we tend to believe in miracles and gifts of the spirit as they do.

How does it separate? Though I'm protestant, I would say I am not a charismatic Christian.

4 hours ago, Carborendum said:

Bible (While we generally use the KJV as a standard and common translation, there is nothing wrong with using other translations).

Is there a reason for using KJV? I'm just curious about that. Do you also teach with the KJV to very young children?

4 hours ago, Carborendum said:
  • Book of Mormon
  • Doctrine & Covenants
  • Pearl of Great Price
  • Continuing Revelation

I've never grown up with these, but I can't say they aren't inspired by God or not scripture. I would have to look at them and see if they contradict the Bible, which I do know is God's word. 

4 hours ago, Carborendum said:

We believe that proper authority to act in the name of God, must come from God to man by prophecy (direct contact with the Divine/ visions/visitations) not simply by studying the word alone.  Then those who have such authority can be authorized by God to give some authority to other men via the laying-on-of-hands.

Well, yes. If each man interpreted the word differently then there wouldn't be a truth.  I am hesitant to trust recent time prophecy because of how easy it would be to lie, but I would cross examine it with the Bible because I know God certainly can do anything. I don't quite understand it though. If I have a question about how to act am I unable to study the Bible to find truth?  Am I unable to trust what I read because I wasn't told this by God? I feel like if I needed a vision from God before doing anything I wouldn't ever actually do anything.

4 hours ago, Carborendum said:

10 commandments (modern interpretations).

In my understanding, modern interpretations are only one commandment about coveting(the tenth), am I correct about that?

4 hours ago, Carborendum said:

Law of Chastity:

  • No sex before marriage and absolute fidelity within marriage.
  • No homosexual marriage.
  • None of the "lesser stuff" that much of society seems to accept nowadays, like pornography.

 

I agree with this...which seems to be uncommon nowadays.  This is when I sometimes wish I lived in Utah.

4 hours ago, Carborendum said:

Word of Wisdom:  No alcohol, tobacco, coffee/tea, drugs, gluttony, etc.  Take care of yourself.  Your body is a temple.

I'm never going to drink alcohol except at communion, but Jesus' first miracle was turning water into wine wasn't it? Why would he do that? Also, tea? does that include non-caffeinated tea? And what about chocolate? 

For reference, I'm using this: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/liahona/2016/06/what-do-we-know-about-life-after-death?lang=eng#title15

This all seems very complicated.  Like most afterlife ideologies, I of course have my beliefs, but I've always found it to be non-salvation, or not such a big deal it could prevent you from Heaven.  However, I am confused on this.  In John it says:

"16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

And in Romans it says:

"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

So if all have sinned and are condemned, how do the "good" nonbelievers get a kingdom?

If you've read all this way thank you very much and I will be very excited to read any responses you have!

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10 hours ago, Maytoday said:

There are also very few doctrinal paper that I wouldn't trust so if you plan on quoting anything, it probably needs to be proven as true before quoted.

Just a clarification. You mentioned that "there are very few doctrinal paper that I wouldn't trust" but my guess is that you meant to say there are very few doctrinal paper that you would trust. Is that what you meant to say? 

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14 hours ago, Maytoday said:

Yes this was the part I was confused about. Most mormons say they are Christians, but everyone else I talked to says they are not. I'm not say who is or isn't right I'm trying to figure that out.

 

I hadn't realized I placed conditions on responses but knowing me I probably did accidentally. Very sorry about that. Unfortunately I don't have a way to contact a missionary. Thank for responding though.

You absolutely have a way to contact a missionary.  Here you go!   https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/comeuntochrist  Good luck on your journey!

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7 hours ago, askandanswer said:

but my guess is that you meant to say there are very few doctrinal paper that you would trust. Is that what you meant to say? 

Sorry yes I do that all the time i'm not sure why and it's super annoying.

 

54 minutes ago, Grunt said:

You absolutely have a way to contact a missionary.

I'll look into it thanks!

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FYI, your first n posts have to be approved before we see them, so some things may appear out of sequence - in case that wasn't clear during the sign-up process....

16 hours ago, Maytoday said:

Yes this was the part I was confused about. Most mormons say they are Christians, but everyone else I talked to says they are not. I'm not say who is or isn't right I'm trying to figure that out.

Some people say we believe in "a different Jesus".  They say that if one doesn't accept the Nicene creed, then one isn't a Christian.  They say if one doesn't believe in the Trinity (which I can't even explain - @Carborendum has explained that we believe in three separate beings with one purpose), then one isn't a Christian.  In other words, it's not enough for them that we believe in God the Father, his Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost - we also have to believe in various creeds (which are not part of the Bible and were formulated by men long after the original apostles were gone).  Because we don't believe those, they say we aren't Christian.

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9 hours ago, Maytoday said:

This is probably going to be a long post and I'm sorry about that.

As long as it is interesting, nothing wrong with a long post. If it's boring... well...

9 hours ago, Maytoday said:

He is the source of truth.  My goal is not to force you to turn against your religion. Moreover, my goal is to find the truth of the matter and I cannot find the truth without looking at all sides.  Everything I believe I believe until I find the truth, if that makes any sense.

Respectfully, I didn't think you were forcing me into anything. 

The point I was making was about your statement.

Quote

There are also very few doctrinal paper that I wouldn't trust so if you plan on quoting anything, it probably needs to be proven as true before quoted.

When dealing with physical things, we have physical proofs and evidence. But with things of the heart, the soul, salvation, and God, we don't have physical proof very often.  And even then, there are arguments about the validity of such proofs.  So, "proving" anything for any side becomes futile.

All we can do is tell you what we believe, what our belief system teaches us and you get to consider for yourself. We may even share personal experiences.  But those are  our personal experiences, not yours.  So you need your own.

  • If you're "just curious", no problem.  No proof required.  It's just an intellectual pursuit, not a spiritual one.  Good on ya for wanting to learn new things.
  • If you're wanting proof from a religious perspective... not likely attainable through internet interactions.  But we are happy to discuss things with you as long as everyone remains polite.
9 hours ago, Maytoday said:

I mainly use NIV or ESV, only because I am unable to understand the wording in KJV.  (if you get a theme here I'm very good with whats in my brain but getting it there and out is difficult)

I'd like to refer you to the Bible hub.  It has many different translations available.  It may be useful to "translate" KJV verses into more modern words.  This is also useful if you would like to learn the archaic language of the KJV.  Read a verse in the modern translations, then read the KJV to see how the wording changes.

It would really be helpful to learn the language since the BoM tends to imitate that language.  In the interim, you can always ask for a translation.

9 hours ago, Maytoday said:

This is always something that I have been on the fence about and not really sure of the trinitarian belief, and this makes sense.

Good.  That's refreshing.

9 hours ago, Maytoday said:

What does this mean?  Do you have to do this to be saved? If I mess up, does it mean I'm not?  

This is a very common, but excellent question.  Unfortunately, the answer can become quite complex.  It is complex because of our belief in the afterlife.

Most of Christianity has the heaven/hell dichotomy.  No other options.  Catholics have the idea of purgatory (which, from your other postings, you are probably familiar with).

In our faith, there is a waiting period before final judgment.  That could be another thread in and of itself.

And there is the final state of our souls which can be divided into four levels.  This could also be another thread in and of itself.  Perhaps you could start threads covering various topics so we don't get all confused with all the topics being in one thread.

9 hours ago, Maytoday said:

Honestly, I've never thought about this. Faith has always just been faith to me.  This makes more sense.  I've always heard that the Holy Spirit was the motivating principle. If it is faith, what does the Holy Spirit do? Or are they the same?

Insightful question.

The Holy Ghost is a conscious being with thoughts and motivations and so forth just as the Father and Son have.  And faith is a principle.

The Holy Ghost has a primary mission of testifying of truth.  That truth which emanates from the Father is resonated by the Holy Ghost as His power of witness resides in us.  By that method, we have a credible claim to Divine faith to guide our actions.  And when it does, we are motivated to live according to God's law.

9 hours ago, Maytoday said:

I've been reading about this but I am still unsure what it means.

(Laying-on-of-hands)

This goes back to authority from God.  When we say "priesthood" that doesn't only refer to the organization of priests in our church.  It refers to that authority to act in the name of God for various functions.

When a man has been given the proper authority to officiate in certain ordinances, then that person can physically place his hands on the head of a certain individual and pronounce a blessing on that person.

One such ordinance is to state that this individual has performed the initial rites preparatory to receiving the Holy Ghost into his life.  Then he is commanded to "Receive the Holy Ghost."

While early in our search to commune with God, we will feel the power of the Holy Ghost to testify of truth and confirm that we are on the right path.

Once we receive the Holy Ghost (this is where doctrinal pronouncements are very vague.  But I'll share with you my personal interpretation) we have two things happen.

  • We have a spiritual relationship with the Holy Ghost as we would have with a husband or wife.  Not sexual.  But there is a bond made.  Even when the husband and wife are separated, they are still husband and wife.  There is a shared relationship that goes both ways.  Only through severe sin can that bond be broken.  That relationship gives us strength and advantages that we would not have if we were not so bonded. (Again, another thread in and of itself).
  • We are able to claim the gifts of the spirit according to that which is written in scripture.  To some it is given to have one gift.  To others, to have many.  It's all an individual thing.
9 hours ago, Maytoday said:

How does it separate? Though I'm protestant, I would say I am not a charismatic Christian.

There are certain faiths that are known as charismatic Christians.  They don't really want to be associated with us. PrisonChaplain is a rare exception.  We tend to like him.  But that is fine.  We don't usually use that terminology to describe ourselves anyway.  But I used it in case you may be familiar with the term so that you can understand how we believe in modern day miracles and gifts of the Spirit. We at least share this belief with them.

9 hours ago, Maytoday said:

Is there a reason for using KJV? I'm just curious about that. Do you also teach with the KJV to very young children?

We're just a very traditional church. And, yes, we read the KJV to our children.  They learn the language just as school students read Shakespeare in the Elizabethan English.  It is almost sad to me that school children are now having to read Shakespeare in a modernized tongue.  That just destroys the iambic pentameter.

9 hours ago, Maytoday said:

I've never grown up with these, but I can't say they aren't inspired by God or not scripture. I would have to look at them and see if they contradict the Bible, which I do know is God's word. 

Yes, no one else grown up with them.  This is part of what we call "the Restoration."  Again, another thread entirely.

9 hours ago, Maytoday said:

Well, yes. If each man interpreted the word differently then there wouldn't be a truth.  I am hesitant to trust recent time prophecy because of how easy it would be to lie, but I would cross examine it with the Bible because I know God certainly can do anything. I don't quite understand it though. If I have a question about how to act am I unable to study the Bible to find truth?  Am I unable to trust what I read because I wasn't told this by God? I feel like if I needed a vision from God before doing anything I wouldn't ever actually do anything.

Yup.

9 hours ago, Maytoday said:

In my understanding, modern interpretations are only one commandment about coveting(the tenth), am I correct about that?

(10 commandments)  This is actually a very good question to ask. What is our interpretation of the 10 commandments.

I have heard many people from many Christian faiths talk about what they believe about the 10 commandments.  And they provide modern interpretations. (Stick a pin in that for a moment).   But one thing we don't believe is that the 10 commandments were just for the Old Testament times. Various sects and individuals promote theories about which ones we're supposed continue to observe or not. 

We believe that the 10 commandments are still valid, and we need to obey them.  However, some ways that the Jews interpreted them are not what we'd agree with.  For instance, ask a very observant orthodox Jew about Mt Rushmore (or any statue, really).  They'd have to say, "that's an idol.  And I'm against idols."  Well, to us, there is a difference between worshiping and simply building a memorial to honor someone's contribution to our present way of life.

We still don't want idols that we worship as a deity.  This is what I meant about "modern interpretations."  That is how we obey the 10 commandments.

9 hours ago, Maytoday said:

I agree with this...which seems to be uncommon nowadays.  This is when I sometimes wish I lived in Utah.

That could be a hornet's nest.

9 hours ago, Maytoday said:

I'm never going to drink alcohol except at communion, but Jesus' first miracle was turning water into wine wasn't it? Why would he do that? Also, tea? does that include non-caffeinated tea? And what about chocolate? 

We have some specific wording in our Doctrine & Covenants as well as interpretations offered by leaders of the Church.

"Hot Drinks" is the actual wording which commonly referred to coffee and tea at the time of the revelation.  This did not refer to what we call "herbal teas" today.  Herbal teas are nothing more than the same herbs we might put into a stew or broth.  But the "tea plant" (Camellia sinensis) is what is prohibited.  We've also been advised that caffeinated soft drinks and energy drink are thing we probably want to avoid, or at least use in moderation.  But it is not prohibited.

Alcohol is prohibited.  And there is a history which changed the application throughout the last 150 years.  But that's a long story.  About Jesus using wine, again, that is a long discussion. 

But for my interpretation: alcohol was allowed because clean water was very difficult to come by.  So, the only sanitized water people could depend on was alcoholic drinks.  We saw Jesus hanging around wells a lot because He wanted to drink clean water.  But back in the day, the most common choices were either be at least a little drunk or sick.  Take your pick.  It really wasn't practical.

Basically, the prohibition is for this dispensation (era) only.

Chocolate is not prohibited.  But ask a dentist and he'll tell you differently.  For all of the rules, the one we (as a people) tend to ignore is to use the best judgment to try to eat healthy and live a healthy life.

Each Mormon is going to have slightly different ways of applying this doctrine.  So each person's mileage may vary.

9 hours ago, Maytoday said:

For reference, I'm using this: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/liahona/2016/06/what-do-we-know-about-life-after-death?lang=eng#title15

This all seems very complicated.  Like most afterlife ideologies, I of course have my beliefs, but I've always found it to be non-salvation, or not such a big deal it could prevent you from Heaven.  However, I am confused on this.  In John it says:

"16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God."

And in Romans it says:

"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

So if all have sinned and are condemned, how do the "good" nonbelievers get a kingdom?

If you've read all this way thank you very much and I will be very excited to read any responses you have!

Yes, it is a very complicated thing.  But, again, I'd encourage you to start a new thread to organize all the discussions, one at a time to avoid confusion.

Thanks for your interest.

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33 minutes ago, zil2 said:

we also have to believe in various creeds (which are not part of the Bible and were formulated by men long after the original apostles were gone).  Because we don't believe those, they say we aren't Christian.

well yeah. Christianity is Christianity. There are parts of the creeds I don't say because I don't see the biblical basis, you shouldn't have to believe exactly what the old church believed to be a Christian.

25 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

Respectfully, I didn't think you were forcing me into anything. 

The point I was making was about your statement.

Yeah I though force was a bad verb choice. Not quite what I mean but I can see that I'm not going to be able to word it correctly so...moving on then...

 

 

25 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

Perhaps you could start threads covering various topics so we don't get all confused with all the topics being in one thread

All the other things I was going to respond to would be better on another thread but I really don't know my way around the forum so I would probably mess up and put it in all the wrong places...How exact do I go about that?

 

 

25 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

They learn the language just as school students read Shakespeare in the Elizabethan English.  It is almost sad to me that school children are now having to read Shakespeare in a modernized tongue.  That just destroys the iambic pentameter.

I'm actually reading Shakespeare right now with this website that has the original verse, and on the sides it has comments and explanations and definitions, which I can see how the modern ways would ruin it.  The writing ability of this guy is really crazy.  He used like 3 different definitions of the same word in one sentence!  I hadn't thought about Bible translations like that.  I'll probably start doing that now.

 

(I tried to edit this and add the next part because I don't think it deserves a new thread but instead I seem to have created a second post so it does repeat a bit (this is my second try and I really don't understand the edit feature))

Edited by Maytoday
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26 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

However, some ways that the Jews interpreted them are not what we'd agree with.  For instance, ask a very observant orthodox Jew about Mt Rushmore (or any statue, really).  They'd have to say, "that's an idol.  And I'm against idols."  Well, to us, there is a difference between worshiping and simply building a memorial to honor someone's contribution to our present way of life.

We still don't want idols that we worship as a deity.  This is what I meant about "modern interpretations."  That is how we obey the 10 commandments.

I wasn't aware that Jews interpreted the 10 commandment differently.  My question was actually about just the actual wording. There are two different versions that I know of, similar, just slightly different and I was curious which one you use or if you have your own?

Bible Ten Commandments vs. Roman Catholic Ten Commandments

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3 minutes ago, Maytoday said:

All the other things I was going to respond to would be better on another thread but I really don't know my way around the forum so I would probably mess up and put it in all the wrong places...How exact do I go about that?

Do it exactly the way you made this thread:

1. Go to the Learn about The Church of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints forum.

2. Click the "Start new topic" button. (You can just click the link in my text there.)

3. Fill out the form and submit. :)

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11 hours ago, Maytoday said:

I mainly use NIV or ESV, only because I am unable to understand the wording in KJV.  (if you get a theme here I'm very good with whats in my brain but getting it there and out is difficult)

You might find reading our scripture difficult.  You can always use a different translation of the Bible, but the Book of Mormon is written in similar language as the KJV, but I don't think you'll find it (or the rest) as difficult to read as the KJV.  And if you're going to pick one, pick the Book of Mormon. (Also, when people quote the Bible in talks or articles, it's almost always the KJV.)

11 hours ago, Maytoday said:

I've been reading about this but I am still unsure what it means.

From the outside, it looks like what this picture shows (meant to demonstrate giving a blessing to a sick child):

default

@Carborendum has explained further.

11 hours ago, Maytoday said:

What does this mean?  Do you have to do this to be saved? If I mess up, does it mean I'm not? 

Note how often in scripture the Lord calls on people to repent.  Why repent if works don't matter?  Note all the things in Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John that the Lord told people to do (all the good works).  Why give all those sermons if works don't matter?  If works don't matter, how do you explain Matthew 7:21 (or NIV)?  Works don't save us, not in the least - Jesus Christ, by his grace, does that.  But works bring us to him.  They show that we want to follow him.  They change us into better people - the salt and leaven of the earth.  They help us to avoid certain negative, painful, even dangerous situations.  They bring a type of joy and peace that cannot be had otherwise.  Mostly, they show that we are true disciples of Christ.

11 hours ago, Maytoday said:

I've never grown up with these, but I can't say they aren't inspired by God or not scripture. I would have to look at them and see if they contradict the Bible, which I do know is God's word. 

Some people will claim they do.  They don't.  They add more understanding and clarify - in other words, they may change your understanding of what the Bible said.

@Carborendum has answered the rest, I think.

Edited by zil2
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2 minutes ago, zil2 said:

Some people will claim they do.  They don't.  They add more understanding and clarify - in other words, they may change your understanding of what the Bible said.

Oh. That's good to know.  

 

6 minutes ago, zil2 said:

Works don't save us, not in the least - Jesus Christ, by his grace, does that.  But works bring us to him.  They show that we want to follow him.  They change us into better people - the salt and leaven of the earth.  They help us to avoid certain negative, painful, even dangerous situations.  They bring a type of joy and peace that cannot be had otherwise.

Well thanks, you just put into words my unspoken thoughts about works, they do do that don't they? I'm not sure how they can help to avoid certain circumstances though.  My coach is the greatest person ever and his life circumstances used to be really bad. 

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9 minutes ago, Maytoday said:

I wasn't aware that Jews interpreted the 10 commandment differently.  My question was actually about just the actual wording. There are two different versions that I know of, similar, just slightly different and I was curious which one you use or if you have your own?

Bible Ten Commandments vs. Roman Catholic Ten Commandments

Exodus 20:3-17:

Quote

3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:

5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;

6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

7 Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

12 ¶ Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

13 Thou shalt not kill.

14 Thou shalt not commit adultery.

15 Thou shalt not steal.

16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

verse 3 = commandment #1 - no other gods

verses 4-6 = commandment #2 - no idols

verse 7 = commandment #3 - don't take the name of God in vain

verses 8-11 = commandment #4 - keep the sabbath day holy

verse 12 = commandment #5 - honor father and mother

verse 13 = commandment #6 - don't murder

verse 14 = commandment #7 - don't commit adultery

verse 15 = commandment #8 - don't steal

verse 16 = commandment #9 - don't bear false witness

verse 17 = commandment #10 - don't covet

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2 minutes ago, Maytoday said:

I'm not sure how they can help to avoid certain circumstances though.  My coach is the greatest person ever and his life circumstances used to be really bad.

I'm not saying by any stretch that works will save us from hard times or trials - often it's the reverse (persecution of Christians in a real thing).

But, for example, if your works include honesty, you don't have to worry about getting caught and going to jail (for theft, fraud, etc.).  If your works include fidelity in marriage (and abstinence outside of marriage), you don't have to worry about getting pregnant from a one-night-stand and a failed condom; and you don't have to worry about the difficulties of divorce or getting caught cheating.  If you choose not to covet, you don't have to spend your life being miserable about what you don't have. :) Etc.  I'm sure you get the idea.  Sins often bring more than spiritual consequences - they bring physical (e.g. doing drugs, violence, etc.), emotional, and mental consequences, too.

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32 minutes ago, Maytoday said:

I wasn't aware that Jews interpreted the 10 commandment differently.  My question was actually about just the actual wording. There are two different versions that I know of, similar, just slightly different and I was curious which one you use or if you have your own?

Bible Ten Commandments vs. Roman Catholic Ten Commandments

We usually quote the words of the KJV.

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8 minutes ago, zil2 said:

verse 3 = commandment #1 - no other gods

verses 4-6 = commandment #2 - no idols

verse 7 = commandment #3 - don't take the name of God in vain

verses 8-11 = commandment #4 - keep the sabbath day holy

verse 12 = commandment #5 - honor father and mother

verse 13 = commandment #6 - don't murder

verse 14 = commandment #7 - don't commit adultery

verse 15 = commandment #8 - don't steal

verse 16 = commandment #9 - don't bear false witness

verse 17 = commandment #10 - don't covet

Got it.

2 minutes ago, zil2 said:

Sins often bring more than spiritual consequences - they bring physical (e.g. doing drugs, violence, etc.), emotional, and mental consequences, too.

Oh yeah I get it now.  It's cause and effect.

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13 hours ago, Maytoday said:

 

 

This is a good point. I suppose its less of, I need statistics and data and more of a this is the most logical outcome.  Look at the world, so finely tuned. Most logical outcome, it was designed.

I'm much the same way, which is in part what led me to this faith.  I'm an adult convert that made a post here one day asking questions.   Now here I am.   Using this logic only, what makes more sense to me?

1.  There is a vengeful God that created man to spend eternity worshipping Him?

2.  There is a premortal family existence in which a loving Father created an opportunity for us to grow, learn, and become like Him for eternity?

 

Edited by Grunt
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