Mormon (LDS): My-Forum Defense of the Gospel, p. 4

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>>>(Doctrine and Covenants 131:1-4.)
1 In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees;2 And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage];
3 And if he does not, he cannot obtain it.
4 He may enter into the other, but that is the end of his kingdom; he cannot have an increase.

>>>THE FOLLOWING SCRIPTURE HAS ALWAYS PUZZLED ME:
(Doctrine and Covenants 88:29.)

29 Ye who are quickened by a portion of the celestial glory shall then receive of the same, even a fulness.

>>>If “even a fulness” refers to the highest degree within the Celestial Glory, it would seem to contradict DC 131:1-4. However, could the words “even a fulness” refer to the word PORTION. If so, that would mean a fulness of the PORTION of the Celestial Glory (that they were willing to receive).

>>>DC 88 uses the terms “portion” and “even a fulness” with the Terrestrial and Telestial Glories also. I have always thought that the other two kingdoms of glory had various degrees within them.

>>>Any thoughts?

D&C 131 speaks about the Glories that we will receive after the final judgment.

D&C 88 is speaking about the Resurrection. You are comparing events that will be a thousand plus years apart.

D&C 88 clarifies that when we are resurrected we will be resurrected into that form of body that will contain the glory we have attained to in faith. Some will be resurrected as Telestial bodies, some as Terrestrial bodies and some as Celestial bodies. It seems to me from these passages that we will display that glory from that day forward. I understand the passages in section 88 to be saying that the “spirit” or power source that will reside then in and empower our bodies will be different from Telestial to terrestrial to celestial. It will not be the blood that is now coursing through our veins but an entirely different substance. I believe that it is saying that a “portion” or quantity of that material will be entered into our bodies and that will produce in us the full desired glory of that particular sphere of glory.

D&C 131 is then saying that at some later time, presumably after the millennium that we will then be given the reward of our kingdoms and we will actually then be allowed to pass into that particular kingdom.

We will have no difficulty then enduring the power manifest in that particular kingdom as we will have previously been resurrected with that same energy and power or at least a portion thereof coursing through our very veins.

>>>Ether 15:29-31-How could this possibly happen?
31 And it came to pass that after he had smitten off the head of Shiz, that Shiz raised up on his hands and fell; and after that he had struggled for breath, he died.

When I was a kid, my folks raised a few chickens. When we wanted one for dinner, my job was to cut off their heads and remove the feathers. I would hold the chicken by its legs and wack its head off with an ax. Then I would let the chicken go and watch the headless body would flop around the ground for several seconds.

I’ve never observed a beheading of a person, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the headless body flopped around for a few seconds.

Moroni, in abridging the 24 gold plates, said that Shiz (after he had been beheaded) struggled for breath and then died. I’m sure that with out a head, it was a real struggle for breath Getting serious, I’ve learned in my years not to be real nit picky with the words people use, since most persons don’t express their thoughts clearly. I don’t know what Moroni meant when he said Shiz “struggled for breath”, but I’m not too concerned about it since that knowledge isn’t necessary for my salvation.

>>>”Come on! ye prosecutors! ye false swearers! All hell, boil over! Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! for I will come out on top at last. I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep  a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet…When they can get rid of me, the devil will also go.” (History of the Church, Vol. 6, p. 408, 409)

>>>Joseph smith said this. Doesn’t it seem strange for a prophet to make himself seem as if he is better than Christ.

I don’t think Joseph Smith was trying to make himself seem as if he is better than Christ. That talk was given in May of 1846 at a conference held in Dresden, Tennessee. During the conference a mob, headed by some of the leading men of the county, interrupted the meetings. Joseph Smith had been plagued by mobs for years, and he was trying to tell the mobbers that they wouldn’t be able to destroy the church.

Moses brought the Israelites out of Egypt and the people fell into apostasy. Various prophets in the Old Testament called the people to repentance, and the people still lived in apostasy. In this land, the Nephite prophets preached to the people, but the people went into apostasy and were eventually destroyed as a nation. The Savior established his church, and the people killed his Apostles who were the foundation of the church (see discussions in the Apostasy thread), and the church went into apostasy. Joseph wasn’t trying to build himself up. He was trying to tell the mobbers that, this time, they wouldn’t be able to destroy the church, because this is the last dispensation, the dispensation of the fullness of times.

>>>What are your comments on the white salamander letter?

The letter was a forgery by Mark Hofmann. It’s interesting that one of the first persons to suspect that the letter was a forgery was Jerald Tanner of the Utah Lighthouse Ministry, a former Mormon who is very critical of the LDS church.

The following is from Jerald Tanner’s discussion of the salamander letter:

(http://www.utlm.org/onlinebooks/trackingch5.htm)

At the preliminary hearing the evidence against Mark Hofmann’s documents was finally revealed to the public. I had always felt that the best way to examine Hofmann’s documents would be to get them all together and see if there was something they shared in common that could not be found in other 19th century documents. For instance, if it could be shown that the paper or ink was exactly the same in many of Hofmann’s documents, this would certainly cast a shadow of doubt on their authenticity. At the preliminary hearing we learned that experts did, in fact, examine the documents as a group and concluded that there were features that many of the Hofmann documents exhibited which indicated they were forgeries. William Flyn, a noted forensic document expert, testified concerning the research that revealed the documents were forgeries. Mr. Flyn is the Chief Questioned Documents Examiner for the State of Arizona. He has been with “the Arizona State Lab for 14 years,” and prior to that he served as “the document examiner for the city of Philadelphia” for a period of about four and a half years. Mr. Flyn was first asked concerning his qualifications:

Q—Do you have membership or position in any particular professional associations or boards?

A—Yes.

Q—What would that be?

A—I’m on the board of directors of the American Board of Forensic Document Examiners.

Q—Can you tell us what that is?

A—Yes. There are…in the United States and Canada…currently 232 board certified examiners. The American Board of Forensic Document Examiners is an arm of the American Academy of Forensic Scientists, which board certifies forensic doctors, forensic pathologists,…around 1977-78, we began to board certify forensic document examiners.

Q—Do you have any particular duties in relationship to that certification?

A—Yes. I’m one of the ten document examiners in the United States that now administers the…one year testing process to all of the other document examiners in the United States that wish to become board certified.

Q—Have you been board certified?

A—I was in the first 25 board certified document examiners in the United States.

William Flyn claimed he examined “about 461 documents.” In his testimony he disclosed that it was the contents of the ink used on the documents and the attempt to artificially age it that produced a flaky or cracked appearance which gave the whole scam away:

Q—With respect to the ink, did you find any peculiar or abnormal characteristics associated with any of the documents?

A—Yes.

Q—Can you tell us…what that would be?

A—Yes. On many of the documents,…there appeared a microscopic cracking on the surface of the ink. These appeared on the questioned…documents that we were examining.

Q—Besides the cracking, was there any other characteristics?

A—Yes. Under ultraviolet examination, on several of the questioned documents, there was a one-directional running of the inks or a constituent part of the inks, as if they had been wet.

Q—Were you able to determine if there had been any additions on any of the documents—any additional applications of ink?

A—Yes. On several of the documents, there were inks that were not consistent with the body of the document. That is to say that data had been added to the document with a different ink.

Q—Now,…besides these characteristics, was there anything common about the documents that you found these characteristics on?

A—Yes.

Q—What was that?

A—These anomalies that I spoke of all occurred on documents that had been dealt by the defendant in the case, Mark Hofmann.

Q—Can you tell us which documents these were?

A—Yes. The documents, in particular, that we found problems with were…the Anthon transcript, the Joseph Smith III Blessing, four different white notes, the Lucy Mack Smith document…the Josiah Stowell letter of June 18th, 1825, the document we call the E.B. Grandin contract, the Martin Harris-W.W. Phelps document called the Salamander letter,…the General Smith, General Dunham (I’m sorry) -Joseph Smith letter, the David Whitmer to Walter Conrad document, the document later called the Betsy Ross letter, the Solomon Spalding-Sidney Rigdon land deed, the letter to Brigham Young from Thomas Bullock, dated June 27, 1865, a promissory note to Isaac Galland from Joseph Smith, a letter called the Maria and Sarah Lawrence letter, the Samuel Smith Bible, the Nathan Harris prayer book, the Bithel Todd-Peter and David Whitmer document, and then later there were several types of currency that were also examined.

>>>I thought it was a heresy to worship Jesus in the Mormon church and that you could only worship the Father

I have a friend who thought the same thing, so that may be a common misunderstanding about the LDS Church.

We worship all three members of the Godhead, for they are all God, although we worship them in different ways. We worship our Heavenly Father as the father of our spirits, as the father of the Messiah, as the “grand architect” of our eternal progress. We worship Jesus as the Messiah, our mediator with the Father, as Jehovah, as the Son of God, and through adoption as our father. We worship the Holy Ghost as the one who witnesses to us of the truth of all things, as the one who brings the peace of Christ into our hearts, as our constant companion as we are worthy to be in his presence.

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