Mormon (LDS): Chess Forum Defense of the Gospel, p. 3

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>>>While I think present day prophets and apostles have their place, I think their primary job is for the edification of the church, not to dictate their perceptions or interpretations of biblical dogma. Why do I say this? Because even the bible says of itself that it is of no private interpretation.

I agree that the Bible must be interpreted through the spirit and not just according to our own beliefs. However, the verses you referred to state that the Bible is of no private interpretation because inspired men wrote it.

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. 2 Peter 1: 20,21

I believe that just as the scriptures were written by inspired prophets, they should be interpreted by inspired prophets. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t also be inspired as we read the scriptures, we should, but that we should also have inspired, living prophets, as the people living in the New Testament times had, to give us inspired meanings to the scriptures.

>>>So how do we get the closest interpretations?

Easy. This, according to Jesus, is the job of the Holy Spirit which he left us. He said the Holy Spirit would lead us into all truths. If the Holy Spirit is leading a person, then this leaves little doubt in the truth of what the Holy Spirit teaches that person.

>>>This is the expected way we are to study the written word and it leaves little doubt to misinterpretation if this model is followed.

I agree in principle that that is how it should be done, but in actual practice it is different. You study the scriptures, praying for inspiration, and you believe you are inspired in your interpretations of the words. Likewise, I study the scriptures, praying for inspiration, and I believe I’m inspired in my interpretations. The person down the street believes she is inspired. And Christianity is one big happy camp in which we all believe the same and are all united in Christ…. The people in the New Testament times had the same problem, and the living apostles and prophets at that time traveled and wrote letters to try and bring the people together. I believe it should be the same today.

>>>So, do you believe that Christ IS come in the flesh?

From the context of the preceding paragraph, I think you’re referring to Christ’s first coming. If so, then ‘Yes, I believe that Christ is come in the flesh.’ If you’re referring to his second coming then ‘Not yet.’

>>>Finally, as further curiosity, where do you stand on the Creation/Evolution issue?

I believe that God created the universe, the world, etc. and that He did it through natural law by organizing existing elements. The following is from my chapter on our pre-earth life.

God Organized Our World

We discussed earlier in this chapter that we as God’s spirit children sang for joy as we watched our Heavenly Father create this earth. Some people say that God created the earth from nothing, while others say that he organized the earth from existing materials. Let us clarify this question by studying the context of the words that denote the creation of the earth. The following variations of the word creation are used in the Bible: create, created, createth, Creator, and creation. Let us look at the Hebrew and Greek meanings to those words to determine the context in which the words are used. The following table gives the words and their Hebrew and Greek meanings:

Book English Hebrew Greek Meaning
OT create bârâ to make
OT created bârâ ”
OT createth bârâ ”
OT Creator bârâ ”
NT created ktizo to fabricate, to found, to make
NT Creator ktizoo ”
— — ktistes a founder
NT creation ktisis [act of] building

Notice that, in all cases, the context is one of building or fabricating, implying that building materials were used.

Through modern revelation to Joseph Smith, the Lord confirmed that he did organize the universe and that the elements from which the universe was made are eternal.

And then the Lord said: Let us go down. And they went down at the beginning, and they, that is the Gods, organized and formed the heavens and the earth. (Abraham 4:1, emphasis added)

For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fulness of joy; (D & C 93:33, emphasis added)

The words organized and formed imply that elements were used in the creation of the earth. Because these elements are eternal, they would have been available for use in the creation of our world.

I have essays about science and religion and evolution that you might enjoy reading. Keep in mind that they are just my speculation on things.

One Mormon’s View of the Science — Religion Debate


>>>Does not Hebrews says that Jesus is the one who has Melchizedek Priesthood? Maybe your understanding of Melchizedek Priesthood is different from mine and I hope you can clarify it, but from what I can see is that there is only one to have Melchizedek Priesthood, and he is Jesus Himself:

The following is from my chapter on the ancient church.

In Hebrews we read of the authority of God and the manner in which it is given to man. In chapter 4, Paul talks about Christ as our great High Priest. In chapter 5 he uses Christ as a type and talks of the responsibilities of men who hold the authority of God.

For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins:

Who can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity.

And by reason hereof he ought, as for the people, so also for himself, to offer for sins. (Hebrews 5:1-3)

Just as Christ offered himself a sacrifice for sin, so should we sacrifice for sin through service to others. Just as Christ had compassion on the ignorant, so should we. Then, in verse 4 we are told people can not assume the authority of God. People only receive that authority by the same procedure through which it was given to Aaron.

And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. (Hebrews 5:4)

Verse 5 explains that even Jesus did not assume the authority but received it from his Father.

So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him. Thou are my Son, to day have I begotten thee. (Hebrews 5:5)

Let us read from the Old Testament the method by which Aaron received the authority of God.

And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may minister unto me in the priest’s office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons. (Exodus 28:1)

Aaron did not receive his calling directly from God but received it by way of Moses who already had the authority. Thus, the pattern described in Hebrews 5:4 is that men receive the authority of God by being called to the ministry by persons who have the authority. Now we can see the importance of the scriptures cited earlier in this chapter that describe Jesus giving the authority to the Apostles and they in turn giving it to others. It is significant that the Apostles laid their hands on the seven men, Barnabas, and Paul when they gave them authority. We can see from the Old Testament that this pattern was used when Joshua was called by the Lord.

And the LORD said unto Moses, Take thee Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the spirit, and lay thine hand upon him:

And set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation: and give him a charge in their sight.

And Moses did as the Lord commanded him: and he took Joshua, and set him before Eleazar the priest, and before all the congregation:

And he laid his hands upon him, and gave him a charge, as the LORD commanded by the hand of Moses. (Numbers 27:18-19,22-23, emphasis added)

Some people say, “Well, that method pertained to the Old Testament, to the Law of Moses. It doesn’t apply to the New Testament and to the Gospel of Christ”. In reply, I say, “It does apply to the New Testament and to the Gospel of Christ, because it was the method used by Jesus and by the Apostles throughout the New Testament era, and it is the method referred to in Hebrews 5:4 which states And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron.

Yes, Christ was our great High Priest and had the Melchizedek priesthood. I believe that when he ordained the Apostles, he gave the Melchizedek priesthood to them. For example, Phillip baptized with water, but the apostles had to come to give the Holy Ghost. The apostles had higher authority than Phillip.


>>>You skip some questions asked by other people

That’s true, I do. Many people consider forums as places of argument and debate. Since I don’t want to argue, I use forums in a different way. I’ve made postings in this forum in attempts to help people understand what I believe. I read postings by others to understand what they have to say. When I think I’ve explained my beliefs sufficiently that people should be able to understand them, I stop, even if there are unanswered questions. I expect people to go back and answer their own questions by re-reading what I’ve posted.

I do try, to avoid argument, to not go through more than two or three responses to questions. Someone asks a question. I answer it. They ask a clarification question and I answer that. That is two responses, and usually I try to stop at that point to avoid the discussion evolving into argument. Even if the person asks a 3rd-response question, I may not answer it if I think the answer is found in my previous comments. I realize that by stopping this way, people may think I’m evading questions, but this procedure does keep arguments from occurring.

As I mentioned, my purpose is to help others understand my viewpoint. I have no interest in trying to convince them of my position. Thus, there is no need of going on in endless questions & answers.


>>>Yes, I was referring to Christ’s first coming. The core of the issue being whether one believes in the deity of Christ. Even many of the leaders of our biggest and most popular churches doesn’t believe in Christ’s deity.

Yes, I’m always surprised when I hear ministers of Christian churches express disbelief in the Savior’s divinity. I believe very strongly that Jesus is the Christ, that he is the divine Son of God, that he did take all of our sins upon Himself and that His blood cleanses us from sin if we come to him in faith, repentance, baptism (ops… I just opened a new topic of discussion about baptism, here and here if you’re interested in the Mormon position on it). I’m grateful for His love, for His example how I should live. I know that He is the divine Son of God.


>>>I understand it, however there were several questions when people asked specific questions on evolving and changing position of Mormons on several topic and I would love to hear your opinion on those.
Should I bring those questions back to life?

Yes, if you would do that, it would be helpful. List them in one post so I or other Mormons can easily find them. Thanks!


>>>I’m find myself intrigued now, as to your thoughts on other hotly contested matters like, say, Noah and the flood?

To understand this posting, people need to read my essay on Science and Religion if they haven’t already done so. http://www.shire.net/mormon/science.html Also, this posting pertains to my personal beliefs and has nothing to do with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I accept the Biblical stories, such as the flood, on faith even though there isn’t any direct evidence for them. Creationists say there is evidence, but the things they cite are parallel evidences. As I discussed in my essay on evidences http://www.shire.net/mormon/evidence.html
parallel evidences don’t prove anything. At best, parallel evidences might increase the probability of something being true.

As I explained in my Science & Religion essay, I consider the scriptural descriptions of our physical world as a model or simplified description of what really happened. I also consider scientific theories, such as the creation and evolution, as models. We have two models that are different, but that is ok because models aren’t intended to be the complete description of something. Models give a description according to our present knowledge and are modified as we get more information.

If I’m discussing the scriptures with someone, I feel very much at home discussing the scriptural model of, for example, the flood. In discussing the scriptures, I’m focusing on the spiritual aspects, and the scriptural model of our physical world is fine for that.

If I’m discussing our physical world from the viewpoint of science, I feel at home using the scientific model of our world, because I’m not focusing on the spiritual, and the scientific model is appropriate.

This type of thinking fits in with my left-brained thinking and allows me to enjoy the company of both religionists and scientists without worrying about conflicts between the two paradigms.

Behind all of this is my firm belief that however the world was created, however the flood and Noah actually occurred, God is in charge of it and what ever happened is under His control. Eventually, He will bring Science and Religion together into one paradigm, because truth can’t contradict itself.

I do believe Noah was a real person and that something happened to cause the story of the flood to be handed down in the Hebrew literature. I have a mental picture of the next life in which there is a big building full of conference rooms and videos being shown to show what really happened. One of the first rooms I’d like to visit is that of the creation of the earth….


Thanks for posting the 7 questions. I’ll give my answers in several postings so it will be easier for people to read. I won’t be answering the questions in the order you gave them.


>>>How many times did Jesus clean the Temple?

Unless I’ve misunderstood this question, it appears to be a Biblical question and not directly related to Mormonism, so I’ll let you give us the answer


>>>Is Jesus Christ the one and true Jehovah God? Is there no others before Him? Or is Jesus a prophet like Joseph Smith, Elijah, Moses?

Yes, Jesus Christ is the one and true Jehovah. His Father, our Father in Heaven, was before him because Jesus is His only begotten Son. Jesus is not a prophet like Joseph Smith, Elijah, or Moses. He is the divine Son of God, the Messiah, our Redeemer and Savior!


Ops… I forgot to give links to my chapters on The Nature of God and Jesus as Jehovah for those who would like to read in more detail my thoughts about this.

>>>Do you pray to any other than Jesus? Or YHWH? Or Jehovah?

We follow the example the Savior gave in the Lord’s prayer and pray to our Father in Heaven. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ.

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. John 15:16


>>>What about the many wives in heaven issue? I know the church is not publicly practicing polygamy today, but there is the history of it.

We believe that a man and his wife who are married in a Mormon temple and live righteously thereafter will be married in the life to come. We refer to this as Eternal Marriage, and it is one of the things that gives us hope, and we look forward to. To read more about this go to http://www.shire.net/mormon/marriage.html
where I give Biblical verses that support this belief.

If, for example, a man’s wife died and he married a second wife, both marriages in the Temple, and if the three of them lived righteously, then both marriages would, in our belief, be for Eternity and he would have both wives in the life to come. Keep in mind that such an eternal relationship would be something the three of them would want; it would not be forced on any of them, for God does not force us, he gives us our agency to choose.


>>>Question: I have heard that the Church of the Latter Day Saints teach that men are or can become God’s. Is this true? How are they God’s or is it god’s?

I answered this before, but I’ll repost my chapter at http://www.shire.net/mormon/exalt.html for those who didn’t read it before. Please read the chapter, because I give Biblical verses that support our belief. I also give verses from Mormon scriptures because the chapter was written for a mormon audience; you can ignore those if you want and focus on the Biblical verses.

Whether it should be Gods or gods, read my chapter and decide for yourself. In my chapter, I use Gods, but you should not attach any special significance to it. People who are exalted will always consider themselves below Jesus Christ and our Father in Heaven. They will always worship them as we do now.

I believe this will complete my answers to Question 2.

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Exaltation

Because we have our Latter-day scriptures as companions to the Bible, we understand the eternal nature of our existence. We understand that we began as spirit children of our Father in Heaven. We entered this mortal life to use our freedom of choice or agency in choosing between God and Satan. After death, we will wait in the spirit world for our resurrection, and many of us will help teach the Gospel to the spirits who are there. Finally, after the judgment, we will inherit one of the many mansions of the Father. Let us now look more deeply into the scriptures to understand the “why” of all this.

Becoming Like Christ

In his glorious Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught us to improve ourselves and become more like him.

Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:

But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. (Matthew 5:27-28)

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.

But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; (Matthew 5:43-44)

For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you;

But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:14-15)

Judge not, that ye be not judged. (Matthew 7:1)

Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. (Matthew 7:12)

The reason for the Savior’s emphasis on our becoming more like him was brought out when the Savior gave us our ultimate goal.

Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (Matthew 5:48)

The Greek word for “perfect” is teleios, which means full or complete. Jesus said we should become full or complete, as our Father in Heaven is full or complete. In giving us this commandment, Jesus put into proper perspective the grand purpose of our whole existence. The Plan of Salvation can be summed up in those few words: Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. We treat others as we would be treated, and in so doing we become more like God. We do not judge others and in so doing we become more like God. We forgive others and in so doing we become more like God. As we become like God, we become full or complete, we become perfect.

Let us examine the scriptures to see if they suggest we can become like God. Paul taught we can become joint heirs with Christ.

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. (Romans 8:16-17)

Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. (Galatians 4:7)

Notice the sequence given by Paul. We are the children of God and then we become heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ. One would expect that an heir of God would inherit the things of God. Further, Peter taught that we actually partake of the divine nature of God.

Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.

According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:

Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Peter 1:2-4, emphasis added).

Partaking of the divine nature of God means sharing his attributes and becoming like Him. The Apostle John taught that those who overcometh sin through Christ will inherit all things from God.

And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. (Revelation 21:6-7)

From Psalms we learn God will withhold nothing from those who obey his commandments.

For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. (Psalms 84:11)

When the resurrected Christ visited the Nephites, he told them to become like him.

And know ye that ye shall be judges of this people, according to the judgment which I shall give unto you, which shall be just. Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am. (3 Nephi 27:27)

Jesus went on to tell the Nephites they would receive the same joy that he had and would be like him.

And for this cause ye shall have fulness of joy; and ye shall sit down in the kingdom of my Father; yea, your joy shall be full, even as the Father hath given me fulness of joy; and ye shall be even as I am, and I am even as the Father; and the Father and I are one; (3 Nephi 28:10)

Through revelation to Joseph Smith, the Lord revealed that when he (Jesus) finishes his work, those who have been faithful will be made equal with him.

And again, another angel shall sound his trump, which is the seventh angel, saying: It is finished; it is finished! The Lamb of God hath overcome and trodden the wine-press alone, even the wine-press of the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God.

And then shall the angels be crowned with the glory of his might, and the saints shall be filled with his glory, and receive their inheritance and be made equal with him. (D & C 88:106-107)

Truly, Jesus Christ is our role model!

We Become Gods

We have finally reached the point in our study where we are able to understand the glorious purpose of God’s plan. We are the literal children of God. Through obedience to his commandments and repentance, we remove sin from our lives. This, however, does not remove the effects of sin from our lives. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the effects of our sins are removed by his blood, and our sins are forgiven; we become clean and become like the Savior. We become heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. We receive all the Father has to give. In doing this, we fulfil the challenge from the Savior: Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon saw the Celestial Kingdom in vision and learned that all things would be given to those who are celestialized, and those persons would become gods.

That by keeping the commandments they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands of him who is ordained and sealed unto this power;

They are they into whose hands the Father has given all things–

They are they who are priests and kings, who have received of his fulness, and of his glory;

Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of God–

Wherefore, all things are theirs, whether life or death, or things present, or things to come, all are theirs and they are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s. (D & C 76:52,55-56,58-59, emphasis added)

The Lord further elaborated on this beautiful principle when he gave the glorious revelation about the new and everlasting covenant.

Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them. (D & C 132:20, emphasis added)

We need to realize that our repentance and our obedience to God do not bring us to godhood. We can not work ourselves to perfection, no matter how hard we try. Some say that we reach perfection step by step, day by day, as we more closely live the gospel. That is not true. Through repentance and obedience, we reduce the degree of sin in our lives, although we will never completely remove sin from our lives, and we thus come unto Christ step by step, day by day. In return, he allows his atonement to enter our lives and cleanse us. Those who become perfect will become so because of the atonement, not because of their righteousness.

Plurality of Gods

We believe it is the Father’s plan that those to whom the word of God comes in the full sense become like him and are gods. This concept that we can become gods is known in the Church as the plurality of gods.

Some people say Jesus did not actually mean in Matthew 5:48 that we should become perfect; only God and Christ are perfect, they say. It is true that only God and Jesus are perfect, for all persons have sinned through use of their agency. However, Jesus was not teasing us or deceiving us; he actually said, Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. He actually meant that we should become perfect through obedience to him, through repentance of our sins, and through cleansing by his Atonement.

The Jews accused Jesus of blasphemy because he claimed to be the Son of God, and in a similar vein many Christians accuse us of blasphemy because we believe we can become gods. In accusing us, they show their narrow vision of the Father’s plan. We have seen that the scriptures teach that those who overcome sin will receive all things from the Father. Is it blasphemy to believe a child of God can become like his or her Father? Is it blasphemy to believe that those who will receive all things will in fact receive all things? Is it blasphemy to believe that if God withholds nothing, he does in fact withhold nothing? Is it blasphemy to believe that those who partake of the divine nature of God do in fact partake of that divine nature? Is it blasphemy to believe that those who become heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ do in fact become heirs? Is it blasphemy to believe that Jesus was serious when he told us to become perfect? Perhaps, the best answer we can give to those who accuse us of blasphemy is the answer Jesus gave to those who accused him of blasphemy. Jesus responded by referring to Psalms 82:6 in which persons who received the word of God were called gods.

The Jews answered him saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God.

Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?

If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken;

Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? (John 10:33-36, emphasis added)

The persons who object to the doctrine of the plurality of gods, say, “What about Isaiah 43:10 where it says there were no Gods before Jehovah and will be none after him?” That scripture, along with Isaiah 44:8, was discussed in the chapter on The Nature of God. Jehovah was trying to persuade the Israelites from worshiping the many false gods of their neighbors, and he wanted them to focus on their God, Jehovah, who is Jesus Christ. Jesus is perfectly united with our Father in Heaven and the Holy Ghost, and it is appropriate to refer to them as “one God” even though there are three distinct personages in that Godhead. The passages from Isaiah discuss the relationship between God and Israel and do not address the question of our becoming gods.

The Glory of God

The Lord revealed to Moses that his purpose and glory in creating the world and all things was that we might receive eternal life.

For behold, this is my work and my glory–to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. (Moses 1:39)

Eternal is a name for God (D & C 19:10-12). Thus, Eternal Life is God’s life, or life with God and life as he is. Our destiny, if we allow the full effect of the Atonement to come into our lives, is to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and to be like them. Truly, life is important and has great meaning! Let us strive each day to love God, to obey his commandments, and to serve his children. Let us be examples of Christ to the world, that through our lives people may see him and come to know him.


>>>One of my favorite contradictions of doctrine in this false church is the doctrine concerning the black race. Until the 1970’s blacks where considered inferior to whites, whites having a special place within the church and blacks carried the curse of Cain. They where not allowed to participate in the priesthood…….but suddenly they where allowed in the 1970’s! what changed?

This is what changed — revelation to a modern Prophet!

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OFFICIAL DECLARATION—2
To Whom It May Concern:

On September 30, 1978, at the 148th Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the following was presented by President N. Eldon Tanner, First Counselor in the First Presidency of the Church:

In early June of this year, the First Presidency announced that a revelation had been received by President Spencer W. Kimball extending priesthood and temple blessings to all worthy male members of the Church. President Kimball has asked that I advise the conference that after he had received this revelation, which came to him after extended meditation and prayer in the sacred rooms of the holy temple, he presented it to his counselors, who accepted it and approved it. It was then presented to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who unanimously approved it, and was subsequently presented to all other General Authorities, who likewise approved it unanimously.

President Kimball has asked that I now read this letter:

June 8, 1978
To all general and local priesthood officers of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints throughout the world:

Dear Brethren:

As we have witnessed the expansion of the work of the Lord over the earth, we have been grateful that people of many nations have responded to the message of the restored gospel, and have joined the Church in ever-increasing numbers. This, in turn, has inspired us with a desire to extend to every worthy member of the Church all of the privileges and blessings which the gospel affords.

Aware of the promises made by the prophets and presidents of the Church who have preceded us that at some time, in God’s eternal plan, all of our brethren who are worthy may receive the priesthood, and witnessing the faithfulness of those from whom the priesthood has been withheld, we have pleaded long and earnestly in behalf of these, our faithful brethren, spending many hours in the Upper Room of the Temple supplicating the Lord for divine guidance.

He has heard our prayers, and by revelation has confirmed that the long-promised day has come when every faithful, worthy man in the Church may receive the holy priesthood, with power to exercise its divine authority, and enjoy with his loved ones every blessing that flows therefrom, including the blessings of the temple. Accordingly, all worthy male members of the Church may be ordained to the priesthood without regard for race or color. Priesthood leaders are instructed to follow the policy of carefully interviewing all candidates for ordination to either the Aaronic or the Melchizedek Priesthood to insure that they meet the established standards for worthiness.

We declare with soberness that the Lord has now made known his will for the blessing of all his children throughout the earth who will hearken to the voice of his authorized servants, and prepare themselves to receive every blessing of the gospel.

Sincerely yours,

SPENCER W. KIMBALL
N. ELDON TANNER
MARION G. ROMNEY

The First Presidency

Recognizing Spencer W. Kimball as the prophet, seer, and revelator, and president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it is proposed that we as a constituent assembly accept this revelation as the word and will of the Lord. All in favor please signify by raising your right hand. Any opposed by the same sign.

The vote [of the thousands in attendance at the conference] to sustain the foregoing motion was unanimous in the affirmative.


>>>which revelation by Joseph Smith is the correct version? background: Joseph Smith changed the details of the manner in which the ‘truth (i.e., book of mormon [lies]) was revealed to him throughout his life. So again I ask which version is the correct version, or should I ask which version are they currently passing off as the truth?

In order to reply to this, I’ll need specifics about the differences so I can study them. I’m not familiar, off the cuff, with what you’re referring to.


>>>Also, what was the manner and circumstances of his death? Do you know?

This is from Section 135 of the Doctrine & Covenants.

————————-

1 TO seal the testimony of this book and the Book of Mormon, we announce the martyrdom of Joseph Smith the Prophet, and Hyrum Smith the Patriarch. They were shot in Carthage jail, on the 27th of June, 1844, about five o’clock p.m., by an armed mob—painted black—of from 150 to 200 persons. Hyrum was shot first and fell calmly, exclaiming: I am a cdead man! Joseph leaped from the window, and was shot dead in the attempt, exclaiming: O Lord my God! They were both shot after they were dead, in a brutal manner, and both received four balls.

2 John Taylor and Willard Richards, two of the Twelve, were the only persons in the room at the time; the former was wounded in a savage manner with four balls, but has since recovered; the latter, through the providence of God, escaped, without even a hole in his robe.


>>>baptism by proxy…… has any of the good mormons out here heard of this little tidbit of mormonism…………they keep it fairly under wraps from most. It is the practice of baptizing individuals after their deaths…….please show where this has basis in Christianity.

The practice of vicarious baptism was known in the New Testament church, because Paul referred to it as part of his argument for the resurrection.

Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead? (1 Corinthians 15:29)

Paul did not explain the practice, implying the Corinthians were familiar with it. He did not explicitly approve or disapprove of it, but the fact that he used it as part of his argument for the resurrection implies his approval since he was quick to disapprove of practices that were not of God.


>>>Bible teaches that you have one life. And if you don’t make it right first time, there is no second chance.

I agree. How about people living in the jungles of South America who have never had visits from Christian missionaries and who die without knowing anything of Christ? Are they doomed to Hell forever?

Mormons say, “no”. We believe they will have an opportunity in the spirit world, prior to their resurrection, to hear of Christ and to decide if they want to follow him or not. We believe water baptism is necessary http://www.shire.net/mormon/baptism.html and so we do vicarious baptisms for them in our temples. After they, in the spirit, have heard of Christ, they decide if they want to accept the baptisms done in their behalf. If not, it is as though the baptisms were never done. The baptisms aren’t forced on them.

The Apostle Peter spoke of this time between death and the resurrection and explained it is a time of learning.

For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;

Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is eight souls were saved by water. (1 Peter 3:18-20)

Jesus was put to death in the flesh, and then he went to a place referred to as a “prison” and preached to the spirits of the people who had been killed by the flood during Noah’s time. In the next chapter of Peter’s epistle, he said Christ visited and taught the spirits of the dead that they might have the same gospel as do the living.

Wherein they [the Gentiles] think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you.

Who [the Gentiles] shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.

For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit. (1 Peter 4:4-6)


>>>So, if you believe yourself to grow into godhood, then please, say so outright rather than being vague.

I did say it, twice, in my previous posts.


>>>Also in 1977 Ensign magazine quoted the following from high ranking Mormon leader Bernard P. Brockbank…..” It is true taht many of the Christian churches worship a different Jesus Christ than is worshipped by the Mormons.”

If you want to read Elder Brockbank’s sermon, go to http://www.lds.org/ and search on “different jesus” in all publications.

Here is the portion of the sermon that contains the quotation from Elder Brockbank that was given in the question. It begins with a quotation from the London Times about the Mormons (given in quotes), and then Elder Brockbank explains the reporter’s remarks about a different Jesus.

———————–

“Are the Mormons Christians? Certainly they claim to be followers of Christ and hence entitled to take their place alongside other denominations as another Christian church. …

“In fact, there is good reason for regarding them as a new religion rather than as another variety of Christianity. The Christ they follow is both the Christian Messiah of the New Testament, and the Risen Christ who visited the New World after the end of His ministry in the old one. Traditional Christianity—Roman Catholic [and] Protestant … —rejects the very existence of this Christ who reappeared on earth after the Ascension, and so the Christ followed by the Mormons is not the Christ followed by traditional Christianity.” (“Alcohol, tea, and smoking banned,” The London Times, June 18, 1976, special supplement on Mormons, p. II.)

It is true that many of the Christian churches worship a different Jesus Christ than is worshipped by the Mormons or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For example, from the Church of England’s Articles of Religion, article one, I quote: “There is but one living God, everlasting, without body, parts, or passions.”

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints worships a God and a Jesus Christ with bodies, with parts, and with passions. We also believe that the trinity of the Godhead is made up of three separate personages—God, the Eternal Father; Jesus Christ, the Son of God—our Savior; and the Holy Ghost. These two concepts of the Trinity and their attributes are completely different.

The Jesus Christ of the holy scriptures has a body of flesh and bones and passions before and after his resurrection.

After his resurrection the Savior visited his apostles and said unto them: “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

“And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.” (Luke 24:39-40.)

——————————

Thus, we see that it was the author of the London Times article who said that “the Christ followed by the Mormons is not the Christ followed by traditional Christianity”. In his remarks, Elder Brockbank explained why the newspaper reporter said that.

“It is true that many of the Christian churches worship a different Jesus Christ than is worshipped by the Mormons or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For example, from the Church of England’s Articles of Religion, article one, I quote: “There is but one living God, everlasting, without body, parts, or passions.”

“The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints worships a God and a Jesus Christ with bodies, with parts, and with passions. We also believe that the trinity of the Godhead is made up of three separate personages—God, the Eternal Father; Jesus Christ, the Son of God—our Savior; and the Holy Ghost. These two concepts of the Trinity and their attributes are completely different.”

Elder Brockbank then went on to explain why the Mormons worship a God with body, parts, and passions.

“The Jesus Christ of the holy scriptures has a body of flesh and bones and passions before and after his resurrection.

“After his resurrection the Savior visited his apostles and said unto them: “Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

“’And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.” (Luke 24:39-40.)’

So, yes, the Latter-day Saints worship a different Jesus than the traditional churches. The traditional churches worship the God first defined by the Council of Nice, in 325 AD and refined by other councils later on, a God without body, parts, and passions. The Latter-day Saints worship the resurrected Jesus Christ of the Bible who appeared to the Apostles with his glorified, resurrected body; the Apostles were able to feel His body, and He ate mortal food (Luke 24). When this resurrected Christ ascended to Heaven, the people watching the ascension were told that Christ world return as they saw Him leave, i.e. with a resurrected body.

9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;

11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. (Acts 1:9-11)

I have discussed Biblical scriptures about the nature of God. If you’re interested in my thoughts about this, go to http://www.shire.net/mormon/diety.html

I haven’t located the sermon by President Hinckley, but I expect he was talking about the same thing as Elder Brockbank.


Mormons believe there is life after death, and that people who haven’t had a “full” chance to hear of Christ will have that chance as spirits after they have died.

One of the Biblical scriptures that we use to support this belief are 1 Peter 3: 18-20 I’ve discussed that scripture in my previous posting on Question 5.

The Rev. J. R. Dummelow, Queens’ College Cambridge, in his “The One Volume Commentary” has some interesting comments on 1 Peter 3:18-20
First 1 Peter 3:18-20. “The whole passage clearly means that Christ, as a spirit, preached to certain spirits, who had been disobedient to the end of their earthly life. This preaching took place between His death and resurrection, and its purpose was that, by hearing the gospel, these men might have an opportunity of repentance. St. Peter does not say that a place of repentance is still left for men after death. That is neither affirmed nor denied in NT.; but this passage makes rather against that for such a hope; for the point is that these men did receive such an opportunity because they had not heard the gosepl in their earthly life. St. Peter considered that the Jews, unlike the men of Noah’s time, had known something of Christ.” (p. 1046)

Mormons believe that this preaching of the gospel to the spirits of persons who did not fully hear of Christ during their mortal life still occurs.


>>>”This preaching took place between His death and resurrection, and its purpose was that, by hearing the gospel, these men might have an opportunity of repentance.”

>>>1 Peter 3:18-20 does not state either when this took place or that salvation was preached to them.

It’s pretty clear to me, as it was to Rev. Dummelow, that the preaching occurred after Christ was crucified.

18 For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:

19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; 1 Peter 3:18-19

He was put to death in the flesh, quickened by the Spirit, and preached to the spirits in prison. Considering that it was Christ who did the preaching, it’s a reasonable assumption that he was preaching salvation.

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