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Mississippi Farm Boy Claims a Revelation from God: LDS Church is Apostate

June 18, 2009

I have a hypothetical scenario I want to run by you.  What would happen if a 14-yr-old LDS kid from Mississippi suddenly showed up on the scene claiming he had received personal revelation from God that the LDS church became apostate after the death of Joseph Smith?  This young boy (we’ll call him Joe) claims God revealed to him that the King Follett Discourse never happened the way the history books have it.  Rather, after the death of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and others changed many historical documents to try to make it appear like Joseph Smith taught polygamy and polytheism.  Joe says Joseph Smith never believed in a plurality of gods; rather, he believed in and taught the Trinity as evidenced by the Book of Mormon.  Joe claims Brigham Young edited the D&C and PofGP to add the teachings on polygamy and plurality of gods. Joe starts admonishing LDS that God views the current teachings of the modern-day LDS church as an abomination.

Question:  How would you decide whether the 14-yr-old was trustworthy and believable?

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163 Comments leave one →
  1. June 18, 2009 11:01 am

    I would have to seek my own personal revelation.

  2. Brad permalink
    June 18, 2009 1:11 pm

    Which means, Eric, that your basis for truth isn’t common, rather it’s only what YOU believe to be true. It’s like a moving dartboard – truth is now relative. One of the most dangerous things.

  3. June 18, 2009 1:19 pm

    Yup. Relativism.

    Things that keep all right-wing Christian Republicans up at night.

    How will you ever survive Brad, in a world where you have to live with uncertainty?

  4. inhimdependent_lds permalink
    June 18, 2009 2:49 pm

    Why is it so darn hard for Ev. Christians to believe that God can actually speak and reveal himself directly to individuals? What could be more plain, pure and simple than God interacting with us in this way?

    From much of what i read at this site it seems like Ev. Christians just dont believe that God is actually that good or willing or able enough to communicate with us in such a simple, pure and effective way. This strikes me as very sad.

  5. June 18, 2009 3:22 pm

    I very much believe in personal revelation. I think we have to balance objectivity with subjectivity. I’ve had some very personal spiritual experiences that are highly subjective and I have to weigh them with a certain amount of objective reality so I don’t go off the deep end. 🙂 I think too much objectivity can be as dangerous as too much subjectivity. There has to be a balance, wouldn’t you agree? So, what would be some objective and subjective evidences that might help us in an evaluation of a claim of personal revelation such as the hypothetical one here?

  6. June 18, 2009 3:23 pm

    “Why is it so darn hard for Ev. Christians to believe that God can actually speak and reveal himself directly to individuals? What could be more plain, pure and simple than God interacting with us in this way?”

    You are misunderstanding our position. I have no problem with God speaking personally with people – in fact, I believe it happens all the time. What I do have a problem with, is the idea of God telling us something today which contradicts what He has said in the past. This cannot and does not happen. Truth is truth and God’s word is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Contrary to what society teaches today, truth (about God, as well as ALL truth in general) IS NOT relative. If something is true, it is true for all people, in all places, at all times. In fact, the idea of relative truth is self-defeating and self-contradictory.

    Darrell

  7. June 18, 2009 3:25 pm

    Jessica, to answer your final question. I guess I’d have to see what else the kid produced in order to judge whether or not he’s onto something.

    I find the DOCTRINES of the Restored Gospel to be quite powerful and correct on their own merits. This includes the King Follett Sermon. The boy would have to produce his own doctrinal corrections, and they would have to resonate with me, before I really took him too seriously.

  8. June 18, 2009 3:27 pm

    “Truth is truth and God’s word is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.”

    Yup.

    Problem is – human interpretation and receptivity of his word changes from year-to-year and decade-to-decade.

    My experience is that much of what modern conservative Evangelicals declare to be God’s “unchanging word” is really nothing more than the latest interpretive fad.

  9. June 18, 2009 3:46 pm

    “My experience is that much of what modern conservative Evangelicals declare to be God’s “unchanging word” is really nothing more than the latest interpretive fad.”

    Unfortunately, your opinion is not backed up by reality on this point. JS (and the numerous OTHER false prophets who have come and gone) was the one who came up with the latest theological fad by contradicting The Bible and nearly 2000 years of theological thought. While there are always people on the fringe of Christian thought, the basics of Christianity – The Nature of God, nature of Christ, and the method of salvation – have been by and large the same for nearly 2000 years.

    Darrell

  10. June 18, 2009 3:53 pm

    “Yup. Relativism.

    Things that keep all right-wing Christian Republicans up at night.

    How will you ever survive Brad, in a world where you have to live with uncertainty?”

    Seth, your comment above to Brad and then your comment to me about truth being truth appear to be contradicting one another. In your opinion, is truth relative, as you appear to be telling Brad, or not?

    Darrell

  11. inhimdependent_lds permalink
    June 18, 2009 4:03 pm

    I am not completely naive of the Ev. position on the matter. I was after all, an evangelical christian for most of my life.

    Nobody sees the world as it is- rather each of it sees the world as we are. As we draw closer to Christ and closer to God we increasingly see things the way He sees them. “Being” like Christ is a way of “knowing” truth. Christ is after all the way the TRUTH and the life. We receive this knowledge and light directly from God, through His Spirit.

    Whenever i hear evangelicals bang the drum about truth being “objective” and verifiable what it REALLY sounds like is a call to FIRST accept an external philosophical construct from which to work backwards from to fit everything else into. And it sounds like that because, well, that is exactly what it is.

    Sectarian Christianity gets its sense of security from having these external philosophical constructs very well defined and intact in their mind. This is why it is so unsettling for them whenever there is any “blurring of the lines” regarding doctrine between different forms of believers. In my opinion this is because their sense of security comes from the outside in and not the inside out.

  12. Ethan permalink
    June 18, 2009 4:06 pm

    I’ve been away from my computer for a while, sorry for the delay. The interent seems very staccato.

    A good question Jessica, but we’ve already had this kind of event happen countless times thoughout history some false some true. Even among LDS there are splinters. Luther was a splinter. Jesus was a splinter, Moses was a splinter, each flying in the face of history. What does it prove or disprove? I think Jesus said that by their fruits ye shall know them, that’s the key and for that reason I remain on the good ship Zion where the fruits are ridiculously, unequivocally good.

    I see truth coming in waves and ebbs and flows.

    Darrell said:
    “What I do have a problem with, is the idea of God telling us something today which contradicts what He has said in the past. This cannot and does not happen. Truth is truth and God’s word is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.”

    I could not disagree more. The OT to NT rift itself is massive. Truth was often introduced and then removed, then brought back again or altogether remodeled. This is a comment the pharisees would have relished throwing in the face of Jesus and his new band of rag tag upstarts who defied their traditions. According to you they would have been correct.

    While fundamental truth never changes, It appears in the Bible that various slices of it are delivered in a myriad of ways and through a myriad of vehicles, each one different. The Word given to Abraham was not sufficient for Jacob, and the Word given to Jacob was not sufficient for Isaac and the Word given to Isaac was not sufficient for Moses. New truths reflecting current events. Contrary to what many Protestants believe, this pattern continued well afterChrist was gone via the acts and letters (wentworth anyone) of the apostles, indicating no break with the Bible’s ancient way of dispensing truth.

    New truths keep the Bible fun because in every era there are some new truths revealed. Some eras had little truth at all, such as the 500 years before Christ we have no record for. The bottom line is that in every age the new “vehicle” of God’s truth was not only going against the old grain, but typically they were and eventually killed for daring to upset the status qou.

    Enter Joseph Smith, a 14 year old kid who I’m sure enjoyed a fun life of misery, suffering and premature death. Who does that? We say that in the end times the fullness of truth has been restored, encapsulating all previous truth which is now circumscribed into one great whole. LDS is the highest definition TV we’ve yet had in this view. Whether you agree or not does not change the fact that truth and its appearance is very dynamic.

  13. inhimdependent_lds permalink
    June 18, 2009 4:07 pm

    Jessica,

    What you have described in your last comment as “personal revelation” that you have to “balance out” does not sound like personal revelation through the Spirit at all to me. What you have described sounds more like hunch, intuition or following your gut.

    That is all something completely different than what i am referring to.

  14. June 18, 2009 4:43 pm

    “Whenever i hear evangelicals bang the drum about truth being “objective” and verifiable what it REALLY sounds like is a call to FIRST accept an external philosophical construct from which to work backwards from to fit everything else into. And it sounds like that because, well, that is exactly what it is.”

    Indpendent,

    I am former LDS who has become a Christian. I find your position interesting because I actually find the converse to be true. As Christians, we START WITH The Bible and then build our world view and theological positions around it. LDS on the other hand, START WITH the premise that Mormonism is true and then build everything from that. They approach The Bible with an a priori position and will force a meaning into the text. We just had a lengthy discussion about Adam and Eve and The Fall where this manifested itself VERY clearly. Despite the fact The Bible teaches the fall and Adam and Eve disobeyed God, LDS still hold the fall was a GOOD THING and was INTENDED BY GOD. How can God tell them NOT TO DO SOMETHING yet really and truly WANT THEM to do it. This idea IS NOT SUPPORTED by The Bible yet LDS believe it… why?… because they approach The Bible with their minds already made up.

    Further to this point, think about how missionaries teach investigators. They, typically within the first 2 discussions, gett investigators to pray to know if the church is true. They do not DEMONSTRATE that the Church’s teachings are true by The Bible. They get them to BELIEVE the Church is true, tell them what the church believes and then proof text The Bible to back it up. Unfortunately, proof texting can be used to support all kinds of crazy things WHICH ARE NOT TRUE.

    Ethan

    I understand what you are talking about regarding the Old vs. New Testamant; however, there is no contradiction between the two. The New FULFILLS the Old – it does not contradict it. The LDS teachings, on the other hand, fulfill NOTHING. Many are in outright contradiction to what God has already told us.

    While God may reveal previously UNKNOWN truths to us (I have no problem with this thought), these truths will never contradict PREVIOUSLY revealed truths… for again, truth is truth for everyone, everywhere at ALL times. To say otherwise is self-defeating and self-contradictory.

    Darrell

  15. June 18, 2009 4:50 pm

    “Enter Joseph Smith, a 14 year old kid who I’m sure enjoyed a fun life of misery, suffering and premature death.”

    I can think of MANY, MANY people who suffer and die for lies. A few people who few planes into the twin towers a few years ago comes to mind.

    And, BTW, JS got a lot of benefits out of his lies – power, control, other men’s wives, etc.

    Darrell

  16. Brad permalink
    June 18, 2009 5:02 pm

    Yup. Relativism.

    Things that keep all right-wing Christian Republicans up at night.

    How will you ever survive Brad, in a world where you have to live with uncertainty?

    I sleep quite well at night, thank you. Perhaps it doesn’t bother me at all…

    Uncertainty and relative are 2 different concepts. I’m uncertain as to whether it will rain next Tuesday, b/c Tuesday hasn’t happened yet, and I don’t have perfect knowledge. However, when Tuesday comes, and supposing it rains, then it is certainly raining – even if others don’t want it to be, or don’t think it is. The rain wouldn’t be relative, it would be absolute, and at that point, would be certain.

  17. inhimdependent_lds permalink
    June 18, 2009 5:08 pm

    Evangelical Christians do not start with the Bible. They start with a philosophical construct about the Bible.

  18. June 18, 2009 5:10 pm

    “As Christians, we START WITH The Bible and then build our world view and theological positions around it.”

    Ooooh. Impressive. Too bad it’s also a load of rubbish.

    And yes, I’m aware that what I say isn’t backed up by your reality. But that’s your problem, not mine.

    “Sectarian Christianity gets its sense of security from having these external philosophical constructs very well defined and intact in their mind. This is why it is so unsettling for them whenever there is any “blurring of the lines” regarding doctrine between different forms of believers. In my opinion this is because their sense of security comes from the outside in and not the inside out.”

    I wholeheartedly agree. Nothing seems to bug right-wing Christians more than attempting to introduce nuance into their black-and-white little world.

  19. June 18, 2009 5:12 pm

    “This is a comment the pharisees would have relished throwing in the face of Jesus and his new band of rag tag upstarts who defied their traditions. According to you they would have been correct.”

    Ethan,

    Thought I would point something out to you. The Pharisees MADE UP many, many rules and law which were not part of The Law or The Prophets. They then sought to enforce those rules and laws for living as if they were part of scripture. Your criticism of them seems to imply otherwise – you appear to be saying they were sticking to SCRI{PTURE and previously revealed truth which then prevented them from recoginizing Christ for who He was. I have heard this line of reasoning and it is simply not true.

    In addition, how did Christ rebuke the Pharisees? What did He always appeal to when rebuking them? Think about it.

    Darrell

  20. June 18, 2009 5:12 pm

    Jessica,

    What you have described in your last comment as “personal revelation” that you have to “balance out” does not sound like personal revelation through the Spirit at all to me. What you have described sounds more like hunch, intuition or following your gut.

    That is all something completely different than what i am referring to.

    No, I wouldn’t describe it as a hunch or intuition or following my gut at all. I’m supposed to be working so I’ll have to explain more later what I’m referring to.

  21. June 18, 2009 5:13 pm

    And there is no contradiction Darrell.

    God’s truth is unchanging.

    Brad’s is. And so is yours. And so is mine.

  22. June 18, 2009 5:15 pm

    “The Pharisees MADE UP many, many rules and law which were not part of The Law or The Prophets.”

    Which, I have to say, sounds all too familiar Darrell. I get that same feeling every time I hear Evangelicals push theological boundaries.

  23. inhimdependent_lds permalink
    June 18, 2009 5:17 pm

    “Being” like Christ is the ultimate way of coming to truth.

    LDS Christians recognize this as more important than maintaining an abstract philosophical construct about Christ. “Being” like Him as one acquires more light via His Spirit in ever increasing ways is the way to know truth. This is an inside out approach.

    Evangelicals on the other hand insist that understanding Christ in correct abstract philosophical terms is a prerequisite to being able to come unto Him at all. One must first have the correct philosophical construct about Him before you come unto Him. This approach is an outside/in approach.

    LDS Christians experience their relationship to God as a family relationship.

    Evangelicals recognize their relationship to God as maintaining lock step with a correct philosophical way of understanding Him.

  24. June 18, 2009 5:22 pm

    “Evangelical Christians do not start with the Bible. They start with a philosophical construct about the Bible.”

    This is a commonly believed by the cults but, fortunately, is not entirely true. I am reading a book right now, and, if you want to learn more on this subject, I would recommend checking it out. “God and Philosophy” by Ettiene Gilson

    We ALL have philosophical constructs about the world – even Mormons. Those will play into how you view everything, even The Bible. However, Christians do not start with a Philosophical Construct ABOUT THE BIBLE. Instead, Christians read The Bible (God’s Specific Revelation) and study creation (God’s General Revelation) – from combining the two we can come up with what God is telling us.

    Check Gilson out – he lays out how Christian Theology progressed and the role philosophy played in it. Hint – it did not happen the way the cults believe.

    Darrell

  25. Ethan permalink
    June 18, 2009 5:24 pm

    Darrell:
    “While God may reveal previously UNKNOWN truths to us (I have no problem with this thought), these truths will never contradict PREVIOUSLY revealed truths…”

    The Jews, who were still offering up animal sacrifice (which was commanded by God as a true ordinance) nearly had a melt down when Christ came and CONTRADICTED this teaching by saying that it was no longer vaild and that a new ordinance was required to manifest the underlying truth.

    I could go on about other laws of God in the OT, not suggestions, cold hard commandments, that were completely reveresed. There is more than enough precedent in the Bible for these shifts.

    You are using the written man-made records of the historical events of Israel as your only source. Can you provide one example of when a biblical people ever only referred to a history book to present a new truth?

  26. June 18, 2009 5:28 pm

    “The Pharisees MADE UP many, many rules and law which were not part of The Law or The Prophets.”

    “Which, I have to say, sounds all too familiar Darrell. I get that same feeling every time I hear Evangelicals push theological boundaries.”

    Yeah, I know, all those “Temple Interviews” where we require Ev’s to state their loyalty to the “prophet”, the “bishop”, the “stake president”, the “area authorities”, and where we require them to tell us if they have abstained from “tea and coffee”. Oh, and let’s not forget the death oaths we make them take in those temples. We really have gone beyond The Bible and really are legalistic aren’t we. 🙂

    Darrell

  27. June 18, 2009 5:42 pm

    “The Jews, who were still offering up animal sacrifice (which was commanded by God as a true ordinance) nearly had a melt down when Christ came and CONTRADICTED this teaching by saying that it was no longer vaild and that a new ordinance was required to manifest the underlying truth.”

    Christ and the fulfillment of the law was prophesied about in scripture and scripture CLEARLY points to Him. The Messianic prophesies were fulfilled in Him, and, therefore, there is no contradiction.

    Using Christ’s fulfillment as a reference point to prove Mormonism can be considered true is simply a poor comparision. Please, show me the 200 plus Mormon Prophesies somewhere in the Old or New Testament. Show me the 200 plus prophecies of JS and the BOM coming forth. They aren’t there. I can however, find many, many contradictions between the teachings of The Bible and the teachings of JS.

    “Can you provide one example of when a biblical people ever only referred to a history book to present a new truth?”

    I can show you time and time again where Christ referenced the Old Testament to show how the teachings of the Pharisees (teachings they thought were inspired – much like Mormonism) were false. And, that is exactly what Christians do. We reference The Bible to show how teachings are either true or false. Thus, Mormonism falls in my book.

    Darrell

  28. Ethan permalink
    June 18, 2009 5:55 pm

    Darrell:
    “In addition, how did Christ rebuke the Pharisees? What did He always appeal to when rebuking them? Think about it.”

    It is true that Jesus frequently spoke to the Jewish priests in a language they could understand (the OT) to make his points, but if you are implying that Christ sat down, flipped open the OT and said, “hmmm, what is the truth?” then you are mistaken. Jesus, and the apostles who took up his work when he died, all spoke wholly new truths that went forth independent of the OT and often rendered it obsolete.

    As for the pharisees making up truths, it is true that Israel was in a state of apostasy (true to LDS themes of well meaning “interpreters” sliding off the rails by reading assumptions into the text), but the main underpinnings of their worship was true to the truths in the OT. They crucified Jesus not because he said they got the OT wrong per se, They weren’t debating the OT alone. They killed him because he insisted on a MASSIVE sea change that they could not swallow. Like other prophets who rocked the status quo.

    This of course mirrors the sea changes declared by the LDS faith. A Perfectly biblical model in all dispensations.

    Notice each massive shift:

    Abraham=covenant vs Moses=covenant AND Mosaic law
    Jews=covenant, mosaic law (OT) vs. Jesus = OT AND NT
    Protestants =OT & NT vs LDS = OT, NT, BOM, D&C & (POGP: abraham/moses bringing it full circle)

    The LDS Church is the only vehicle yet to incorporate ALL of the previous truths in a harmonious whole, tying everything together seamlessly. Something prophesied would happen in the end times.

  29. June 18, 2009 6:44 pm

    Ethan,

    Your theory that “Jesus, and the apostles who took up his work when he died, all spoke wholly new truths that went forth independent of the OT and often rendered it obsolete.” falls flat when you look at the preaching in the Book of Acts. Peters sermon at Pentecost is chock full of direct quotes from the Old Testament (Isaiah 32:15; 44:3; Ezekiel 36:27; Joel 2:28-32 etc.) Stephens sermon in Acts 7 is a litany of the Old Testament.

    Is Darrell implying that Christ sat down, flipped open the OT and said, “hmmm, what is the truth?” I don’t know, I cannot speak for Darrell, but Luke says that he did (Luke 24:27, 45) and he also praised the Bereans in Luke 17:11 for going to their scripture not for seeking a personal revelation.

  30. Ethan permalink
    June 18, 2009 6:45 pm

    Interestingly, when Joseph claimed he had been commanded to “restore all things” he followed exactly the method that Darrell points out about how Christ showed them the scripture prophesies that pointed to what was happening.

    Here are just a few of the many Bible verses he qouted from as early as 1820. (14 yr old farm boys don’t have this kind of understanding, folks):

    Notice the New Testament ones were prophesied AFTER Christ had come already and fulfilled the OT, so these mean something DIFFERENT.

    “And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” (Acts 3:20–21.)

    Paul called this period of time a dispensation: “Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him.” (Eph. 1:9–10.)

    Also, according to Joseph, Moroni quoted part of the third chapter of Malachi; and he quoted also the fourth or last chapter of the same prophecy. He quoted the fifth verse: “Behold, I will reveal unto you the Priesthood, by the hand of Elijah the prophet, before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.”

    he quoted the eleventh chapter of Isaiah, saying that it was about to be fulfilled. He quoted also the third chapter of Acts, verses 22 &23. He said that that prophet was Christ; but the day had not yet come when “they who would not hear his voice should be cut off from among the people,” but soon would come.

    He also quoted the second chapter of Joel beginning verse 28. He also said that this was not yet fulfilled, but was soon to be. And he further stated that the fulness of the Gentiles was soon to come in. He quoted many other passages of scripture.

  31. inhimdependent_lds permalink
    June 18, 2009 7:51 pm

    Evangelical Christians do in fact start with a philosophical construct and yes that also includes philosophical constructs ABOUT THE BIBLE as well.

    Evangelicals bring to the Bible many extra biblical assumptions ABOUT THE BIBLE long before they even begin to interpret what the Bible actually says.

    The phrase “fish discover water last” comes to mind here. In other words the philosophical constructs are so pervasive and evangelical thought is so engulfed in them many evangelicals are often the last ones to be able to see them for themselves.

    Sola sciptura adherents like to think that everything they know came from the Bible. But this is just not the case at all.

  32. Ethan permalink
    June 18, 2009 8:12 pm

    inhimdependent_lds:

    I agree completely. Many of the discussions I’ve had here have this problem. They are assuming that they have the accurate “interpretation” and that the full burden of proof is on the LDS. In fact, at best we are on equal interprative footing. We should not always be in the defensive position. There are many Evangelical positions, such as ex nihilo, that need to be questioned.

    For example, in our last posts about the Fall Darrell and I were discussing how the text ONLY states “God commanded them thou shall not eat.” That is ALL IT SAYS. Period. Any other philosophying beyond that about why or what the fruit was or how they would get knowledge was complete speculation. I agreed that they should not have eaten since that was the command. However, once I challenged points BEYOND the limited text with sound interpretive logic, he kept falling back to the text, shifting the focus of the debate to the original command that we agreed upon anyway.

    This happens because there is more than one way to read a text. Whether they want to admit it or not, they are doing the exact same thing by bringing assumptions they have to the reading and forcing them on. I love the Bible, but problems like this almost make me resent the way it can be used.

  33. inhimdependent_lds permalink
    June 18, 2009 8:35 pm

    I hear you Ethan. I think you have stated it very well.

  34. Ethan permalink
    June 18, 2009 9:03 pm

    As for Latter-day revelations and teachings and how they factor in, these should be viewed, in a sense as corroborating commentaries that reinforce the LDS position. Almost as if we have these thousands of pages of eloquent, clarifying play by play. That is the beauty of the LDS take. We approach it the same as Evangelicals, looking at the Bible and drawing logical conclusions, only we add the juggernaut genius of Latter-day scripture.

    I remember when I was studying the New Testament in Jerusalem for a semester at the BYU Center, they gave us a “New Testament Harmony” textbook that literally laid out hundreds of pages of side by side parallels between the BOM/D&C and the Bible. After that class you would be a fool to think that these texts were conflicting enemies.

    The LDS canon really comes to bat for the Bible in an age when the Bill Mahers of the world are trying to bring the Bible/Jesus down. I think it was good timing for God to bring out another Testament of Christ. Too bad people wave it off.

  35. June 18, 2009 9:45 pm

    Independent,

    You said:
    “Evangelical Christians do in fact start with a philosophical construct and yes that also includes philosophical constructs ABOUT THE BIBLE as well. Evangelicals bring to the Bible many extra biblical assumptions ABOUT THE BIBLE long before they even begin to interpret what the Bible actually says.”

    We have reached a point of he said/she said here – not sure if you are a she so don’t take that one personally – so if you want this to go any further you are going to need to provide PROOF of this. I will say, as I said before, that we do NOT bring philosophical assumptions to The Bible. Again, I recommend Ettiene’s book. Have you ever read it or are you simply garnering this information from the cult machines of FARMS and FAIR?

    Ethan,

    You said:
    “For example, in our last posts about the Fall Darrell and I were discussing how the text ONLY states “God commanded them thou shall not eat.” That is ALL IT SAYS. Period. Any other philosophying beyond that about why or what the fruit was or how they would get knowledge was complete speculation. I agreed that they should not have eaten since that was the command. However, once I challenged points BEYOND the limited text with sound interpretive logic, he kept falling back to the text, shifting the focus of the debate to the original command that we agreed upon anyway.”

    What I kept falling back on was “GOD SAID DON’T EAT” and that is very much true. Therefore, given this fact, it was NOT good for Adam and Eve to eat. Nevertheless, you still maintain the LDS position that eating the fruit was, in fact, a GOOD and NECESSARY thing. Sorry, that just doesn’t mesh with the teachings of The Bible. This is one of the examples where the teachings of Mormonism CONTRADICT what The Bible says. I don’t expect you to agree with me becuase I realize you accept Mormonism as the true Gospel based upon your subjective experience.

    You said:
    “I love the Bible, but problems like this almost make me resent the way it can be used.”

    I am glad you love The Bible… I really am. Unfortunately, the tradition of the LDS Church does not tend to agree with you. While they may say they love and believe in The Bible, they do so with SEVERE limitations and reservations. The Bible is held at in MUCH LOWER esteem as other LDS scripture. Some prophets have even go so far to say that there is not one verse of The Bible that has escaped corruption. Sad.

    You said:
    “We approach it the same as Evangelicals, looking at the Bible and drawing logical conclusions, only we add the juggernaut genius of Latter-day scripture.”

    Unfortunately, the LDS scripture that you refer to as “genius” contradicts The Bible on numerous counts – as noted above.

    Bottom line, what this really comes down to is how one is to determine truth from error. LDS say you do so by praying and getting a spiritual confirmation from God – thus, the reason they try to get “investigators” to do this within the first discussion or so. I, on the otherhand, maintain there is much more to this process. You also need to compare the teachings of those who profess the truth with The Bible, for prophecy is subject to previous prophecy. If they don’t line up, run. There are many groups outside of Christendom who maintain to be “God’s One True Church” – JW’s Mormons, Strangites, etc. Who really has the truth? Obviously they cannot ALL be God’s true church yet, all claim God has “told” them they have the truth when they prayed to Him. Logic tells us some (I would say all) are being misled by a false spirit (1 John 4:1). Thank God He has given us The Bible to be able to compare their teachings against.

    Darrell

  36. Ethan permalink
    June 18, 2009 10:07 pm

    Darrell:

    This is getting ridiculous. We both agree that God meant it when he said “do not eat.” They transgressed, no way around it. Here is where we diverge and it has EVERYTHING to do with Evangelical assumptions:

    “you still maintain the LDS position that eating the fruit was, in fact, a GOOD and NECESSARY thing”

    I hold that A&E were meant to have knowledge of good & evil or they would be intellectual infants forever. I believe a way obviously would have been provided for them to gain knowledge. THIS IS KEY FOLKS…WATCH RIGHT HERE:

    The only mention of “knowledge” in the book is the TREE which is explicitly named such. Period. There is nothing more said.

    Therefore, yes I maintain. AND BIBLICALLY SO, that the tree is the way to knowledge. Do you think it was named in error? In contrast, you imaginitively insist they either already had knowledge (?? they didn’t even know they were nude) or will get it some other way (???? flaunting the tree’s symbolic role). NEITHER OF WHICH IS MENTIONED IN THE BIBLE, so you are assuming. I have evidence in the tree’s name, you have nothing but your own guess.

  37. June 18, 2009 10:13 pm

    Ethan,

    In reference to the NT verses you claim refer to JS. Unfortunately, Acts 3 does not say anything remotely close to what you claim. Let’s look at Acts 3:17-23:

    “Now, brothers, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did your leaders. But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ would suffer. Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus. He must remain in heaven until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from among his people.’

    OK, you are saying that where it says, “Christ must remain in Heaven until God restores everything”. Have you not noticed that Christ is STILL in Heaven? This verse is talking specifically about the 2nd coming. That is when Christ will come to restore everything and He will dwell among us.

    Also, the prophet it is talking about in verses 22-23 – you believe that to be JS? So, anyone who does not believe JS will be cutoff from among God’s people? You believe Moses (notice is said MOSES SAID) prophesied of JS? I hate to tell you but that is utter blasphemy, for this verse is talking specifically about Christ. Christ is the one Moses was talking about and the only one who EVERYONE must listen to or be cutoff. JS is not Christ.

    Bear in mind, the whole point of Peter’s speech was to prove, from SCRIPTURE ( I want to emphasize that – he was not proving by getting them to pray about it. He was proving from scripture. Do you see a pattern here?), that Christ was the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophesies. He was not even remotely talking about JS.

    Darrell

  38. Ethan permalink
    June 18, 2009 10:15 pm

    Darrell said:

    “Unfortunately, the LDS scripture that you refer to as “genius” contradicts The Bible on numerous counts – as noted above.”

    We have already shown that unless you twist a verses meaning to bend to fit your assumptions you really cannot find ONE passage in the Bible that explicitly disagrees with LDS scripture. Try me and we’ll let logic and reason free from passion expose the mirky trappings of these hollow anti-Mormon claims.

  39. June 18, 2009 10:21 pm

    Ethan,

    “In contrast, you imaginitively insist they either already had knowledge”

    You assume they didn’t have knowledge… or even more to the point, that they needed knowledge of SIN to be truly intelligent. Not in The Bible.

    “(?? they didn’t even know they were nude)”

    And? Are you saying that being nude is inherently evil? Kind of funny that it was not until SIN entered the world that they were embarassed about being nude. How is being nude with one’s spouse a sin? My wife sees me nude fairly regularly.

    “or will get it some other way”

    Yes, I trust that God would have provided a way for them and us to get knowledge had we not chosen to disobey Him. You, on the otherhand, assume that God WANTED and INTENDED for us to sin in order to garner “knowledge”. Sorry, I won’t go along with the idea of a perfect and Holy God INTENDING for us to sin. The idea of Him giving us a “wink-wink” while telling us not to do something is sickening to me.

    ” I have evidence in the tree’s name, you have nothing…”

    Ah, here is where you do ‘err, I have God telling us NOT TO DO IT. I don’t need anything more. I can trust that He meant what He said. You appear to distrust what He said and instead trust in that what satan encouraged Adam and Eve to do was the RIGHT thing.

    Darrell

  40. Ethan permalink
    June 18, 2009 10:34 pm

    Darrell,

    Assumptions are your undoing. The command is irrelevant to the nature of the Tree. It really is.

    Before I gave my daughter delicious, nutritious, wholesome spaghetti, I commanded WAIT! DO NOT EAT!. Because she needed a bib on first. The spaghetti was fine. I demonstrated very well that there could be a thousand reasons why God wanted them to wait to partake, nowhere does it say the tree is bad or that they would be forever forbidden. What we DO know is the tree was KNOWLEDGE. Yet you continue to impose your made up view that knowledge came from some other unmentioned source. WHY?

    You are still ignoring the tree and it is your downfall in this debate. If the combined forces of God’s symbolic imagery and solid reasoning cannot convince you then that is between you and God. I will call knowledge what the Bible calls knowledge.

  41. Ethan permalink
    June 18, 2009 10:39 pm

    Darrel:

    “Have you not noticed that Christ is STILL in Heaven? This verse is talking specifically about the 2nd coming”

    Next to assumptions in the dictionary is a picture of an anti-Mormon.

    Assumption exhibit A:
    Nice try. You don’t now that. Christ being in Heaven means nothing, he could be in heaven before a restoration in the latter-days. Your assumption is that the verse is talking about the 2nd coming. It NEVER says that.

  42. June 18, 2009 10:53 pm

    “Before I gave my daughter delicious, nutritious, wholesome spaghetti, I commanded WAIT! DO NOT EAT!”

    Nice try, but please notice that God did not say, “wait”. He said “Don’t eat.” – just a LITTLE bit of difference there. YOU are assuming God INTENDED them to eat when ALL God said was DON’T EAT. I am not assuming anything, I am simply taking God at His word – silly me.

    The sad thing is, you keep trying to make this about “the tree” – whether it was good or bad. Quite frankly THAT DOES NOT MATTER. All that matters is what GOD tells us to do. The tree is not the point… the point is god’s command. You can’t get around the fact that disobeying God IS NOT and NEVER WILL BE a good thing. The sad fact is, Mormons believe disobeying God and listening to satan was a good thing. Sorry, try again.

    “Nice try. You don’t now that. Christ being in Heaven means nothing, he could be in heaven before a restoration in the latter-days. Your assumption is that the verse is talking about the 2nd coming. It NEVER says that.”

    Yeah, I know, how stupid of me to read the verse in context. How ridiculous of me to look around and go, “You know, Christ is not here yet.” I guess I would be better off just taking the LDS spin machine’s word for it that the verse is talking about the “LDS restoration”. Problem is, Christ isn’t here and that does matter.

    In addition, please show me how verses 22-23 when read in context of the entire chapter are even remotely talking about JS being the one who ALL must listen to or be damned. This even goes against your own church’s teachings.

    Darrell

  43. Ethan permalink
    June 18, 2009 11:11 pm

    “Sorry, try again”

    OK, here it goes:
    The tree was the only way to gain knowledge that the Bible teaches. Really this debate isn’t even about the command, it’s about how do they get the knowledge. I agree with you that the command meant “don’t eat.” I go with the Bible on knowledge and you don’t.

    As for the verse. It does not say anything about the second coming. That’s what you are taught so you apply that take. It says Christ will be in heaven until the restoration of all things. That was true and then the first vision happened beginning the restoration of all things. If the church was so peachy after this verse why would a “restoration” be needed?

    Verses 22-23 is Moses (WAY before) referring to Christ, since He was the one who was just referenced in the previous section. Those verses actually have nothing to do with the restoration. They are commentary on the greatness of Christ, who would stay in heaven until the restoration. Stop trying to change the context of this passage.

  44. Ethan permalink
    June 18, 2009 11:15 pm

    22For Moses said, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own people; you must listen to everything he tells you. 23Anyone who does not listen to him will be completely cut off from among his people.’

    Actually, Darrell, I just re-read this passage and this most certainly COULD be referring to JS. Give me one good reason why it can’t if Joseph’s story is true?

  45. Ethan permalink
    June 18, 2009 11:16 pm

    Furthermore, If this is true you are going to be cut off. This verse is clearly referring to a prophet WHO HAD NOT COME by this time in Acts. Do you have any guesses? Luther (dont make me laugh)..

  46. June 18, 2009 11:32 pm

    Seth, you said much earlier up the thread, “The boy would have to produce his own doctrinal corrections, and they would have to resonate with me, before I really took him too seriously.”

    When you say you have to “resonate” with the doctrines in order to determine if they are true, how do you determine what is God’s truth (which can sometimes be hard) vs. what “tickles the ears”?

  47. June 18, 2009 11:36 pm

    Ethan, you said, “I think Jesus said that by their fruits ye shall know them,”

    On this we really agree… Now if we could only agree on what constitutes good vs. bad fruit…. Hmmm…

  48. psychochemiker permalink
    June 18, 2009 11:37 pm

    Darrel,
    Calling members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints cult members, is just so blaise, overdone, rude, and hypocritical.

    It’s just an ad hominem argument.

  49. Ethan permalink
    June 18, 2009 11:40 pm

    Now if we could only agree on what constitutes good vs. bad fruit…. Hmmm…

    One word: “ZION” baby!

    Read a book called Approaching Zion by Hugh Nibley. It was very controversial. Not really a doctrinal or belief book, sheer societal and when I first read it my hed exploded.

    I can’t live without it now that I understand.

  50. June 18, 2009 11:44 pm

    Hmm… can you give me a quick summary / reasons I should read it / relevance to this topic? I do love to read, but I have sooo many books on my “To Read” list it isn’t even funny…

  51. inhimdependent_lds permalink
    June 18, 2009 11:47 pm

    For those interested… a portion of the ideas that prop up some of the philosophical constructs that Evangelicals bring to the Bible are highlighted by the following facts.

    -Nowhere in the Bible does it teach that the 66 books contained in what we call the protestant Bible today are the only scripture ever given to man.

    -Nowhere in the Bible does it teach that there will never be any more scripture given to man from God other than the 66 books contained in the protestant Bible.

    While others could be cited these two extra biblical ideas alone play a significant role in creating the philosophical lens that Evangelicals bring to the Bible.

    How can evangelicals who cry “sola sciptura” insist on maintaining these extra biblical ideas? The reason for this is of course that as much as they like to cry sola scriptura in “theory” the reality in “practice” is that they start with philosophical constructs about the Bible and then work back to biblical interpretation.

    This to me seems like the tail of human reasoning wagging the dog of scripture.

    Fish discover water last.

  52. June 19, 2009 12:14 am

    Ethan,

    Is it your claim that Acts 3:22 is referring to Joseph Smith?

    If you are looking for just one reason to reject this interpretation I would have you look at Acts 3:26 where Peter explains that “God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first…”, the is mre plain in the AV that you use, notice the past tense, the prophet in verse 22 has already come by the time Peter delivers his Pentecost sermon.

    Clearly this verse is referring to Jesus Christ and not Joseph Smith, in its historical context shortly after Pentecost you would have us beleive that Peter decides to tell go to the temple in Jerusalem mount Solomon’s Portico and predict that Joseph Smith was coming? Is this is a demonstration of your hermeneutic ability or are you just trying to make a point?

  53. June 19, 2009 12:56 am

    Jessica, it’s more than just what tickles my ears, as I’ve explained numerous times before. Did you forget?

  54. Ethan permalink
    June 19, 2009 1:08 am

    Jessica:
    If “Approaching Zion” sounds mysterious it is because I would not attempt to “sum” up the concepts. Too daunting. You’ll just have to read it. Here were the latest reviews on Amazon:

    “This book is a collection of talks that circulated underground at BYU, and were finally solidified into this terrible tome. Terrible in that you get shaken to the core, and forced to stare at your crass nakedness. The book discusses the distinctions between Zion and Babylon, and why the two will never mix.”

    “Non-LDS readers will seee the Latter-day Saints at theri best and worst–the best dreams, ideals, and hoped that come from their religion are elaborated. This book is a gateway into the soul of what Latter-day Saints are trying to do and trying to be.

    “Latter-day Saints will have the perceptions of their religion burnt, melted down, and recast. You will never hold Family Home Evening again in the same way. Your sights will be lifted and your hearty renewed and set like flint back to heaven.”

    “I agree with the above sentiments that this is a trans-denominational text (though it obviously focuses on the LDS–a.k.a “Mormons”), and, quite frankly, this book altered my view of my world as radically as “7 Habits” did; after 27 years, I finally begin to have a much more clear cut idea of what my beliefs entail– and a real desire to follow through with those beliefs.”

    ” Challenging LDS Writing, May 4, 2009
    By Brain Doctor 26 (Raleigh, NC) – See all my reviews

    I am not LDS, but I heard great things about this book and decided to listen to it on CD. I was really surprised by what Nibley had to say! I loved this book and I think LDS Christians and other Christian denominations should make it a must-read.It is so unlike most LDS thought in print right now. Nibley challenged me on many fronts- but esp. on money and its place in Zion. He is a strong believer in the law of consecration ”

    ” As a non-Mormon who was once a 20 yr temple going Mormon I have to say that it is funny that with all the truthsayers doing reviews and writing mormon books, after 8 years being outside the LDS Church and what do I do? I come full circle back to one of my favorite all time books: Approaching Zion! It’s relavancy to the current state of our world economy which is based on a Monetary system that actually entices us to choose unwisely, creating further socio-economic problems for every human being (not just mormons) is the cause of the root problems we live under now. The Law of Consecration, if actually lived by the Mormons, would have kept me in the church”

    “The writings here bear careful reading and re-reading and then meditation. You will have to change your life if you take them seriously. And that is unsettling and that is what we ask teachers to do: to shake up our lives. “

  55. Ethan permalink
    June 19, 2009 1:25 am

    Gundek,
    I actually don’t have a firm position either way. I don’t know what the official LDS stance is on the verse. The fact that it’s paraphrasing Moses makes the past tense irrelevant also. Moses spoke long before Christ and JS.

    As I said earlier, whether it is JS, a different prophet or Jesus it is the same regarding whether this chapter in Acts is speaking about the Restoration. My point was that Darrell claimed it was the 2nd coming, it simply does not say that. I argue that it refers to the LDS Restoration.

  56. June 19, 2009 1:38 am

    Ethan,

    When I read this passage in context from Acts 3:17-26 I do not see any ambiguity that Peter is referring to Jesus Christ. You don’t see that?

  57. June 19, 2009 1:41 am

    inhimdependent_lds,

    Getting back to you about your earlier comment re: definition of personal revelation. I said I would explain my views on this further, but I’ve already written a pretty lengthy comment about this here. The only thing I would add is that I think sometimes I have perhaps overemphasized the role of objective truth when talking with LDS. The reasons for this are obvious. We have reached opposite conclusions based on our own personal revelations. It becomes important, then, when having these kinds of discussions that we examine both subjective and objective evidences for truth.

    Sorry, Seth, if I forgot an earlier discussion we had on that point. It kind of reminds me of the time you said I was an ex-mormon, remember? 😉 It’s a challenge trying to keep all these blogging conversations straight!

  58. June 19, 2009 1:52 am

    “-Nowhere in the Bible does it teach that the 66 books contained in what we call the protestant Bible today are the only scripture ever given to man.

    -Nowhere in the Bible does it teach that there will never be any more scripture given to man from God other than the 66 books contained in the protestant Bible.”

    Independent,

    This may surprise you; but, I do not hold to either of these positions. The idea of there being further scripture out there does not bother me at all. However, I believe if further scripture exists or is provided by God it:

    1. Would have to agree with and not contradict God’s already revealed Word.

    2. Be written by and about real people who actually existed somewhere within the space/time continuum.

    Given that Mormon scripture violates both of these counts, I don’t believe it’s “scripture” is true.

    Darrell

  59. June 19, 2009 2:19 am

    “As for the verse. It does not say anything about the second coming. That’s what you are taught so you apply that take. It says Christ will be in heaven until the restoration of all things. That was true and then the first vision happened beginning the restoration of all things. If the church was so peachy after this verse why would a “restoration” be needed?”

    Ethan,

    While I can understand why you believe this verse refers to JS’s supposed restoration, there is simply nothing within the entire context of the entire chapter or the one proceeding it which lends itself to your interpretation. When looking at the surrounding verses it is easy to see Peter’s goal. He talks about Christ’s first coming in an effort to persuade the people as to Christ’s real identity as the Messiah (vs 12-17). He also references how past prophets have prophesied His coming (vs. 18). He then talks about what we need to do today to prepare for his SECOND coming (vs 19 – 21). This make perfect logical sense and flows with Peters talk. They did not need to repent to prepare for JS’s coming. That would be illogical.

    As to verse 22 talking about JS, I don’t know what to tell you. Gundeck made a great point above. Let me just say this, the idea that Peter suddenly jumps from trying to prove Christ’s identity to talking about JS and his supposed “restoration” is just plain illogical. It does not even fit into the flow of Peter’s speech. What makes better sense and fits into the context of the entire speech is that Peter was still trying to hammer home who Christ was and how PAST prophets had prophesied His coming. From Moses (vs 22) to all the prophets from Samuel (vs 24) on who had foretold THESE days (the days of Christ not the days of JS).

    Going back to the idea that Peter was talking about JS’s restoration rather than Christ’s second coming. One of the things that makes no sense to me is how JS’s supposed restoration was truly a restoration of “all things.” Satan is still loose, there is still evil in the world, man is still sinful, pain, suffering, and anguish still exist – how is this a restoration of ALL things? It is not, plain and simple. What fits better wih the flow of Peter’s speech is that he was talking about a TRUE restoration of ALL things – a returning to the pre-fall peace man was intended to have – no pain, suffering or anguish, evil no longer existing and us living in beautiful harmony with our great God. That to me is truly something to look forward to and is a true restoration of ALL THINGS.

    Hope that helps.

    Darrell

  60. June 19, 2009 2:43 am

    One more thing which makes the idea of vs 21 referring to JS’s restoration illogical- vs 20 talks about the people of Peter’s day, the people he was talking to, needing to repent in preparation for Christ coming to “restore all things” (vs 22). However, according to LDS, they had the fullness of the Gospel while Peter was saying this, so why would they need to repent in preparation for the restoration? They were not yet in need of a restoration, as the Great Apostasy had not yet occurred.

    What makes better sense is Peter telling them to repent in preparation for Christ’s 2nd coming to restore all things – again, “all things” being judgement and the restoring of the pre-fall peace we are supposed to have with God.

    God Bless and I am going to bed!

    Darrell

  61. inhimdependent_lds permalink
    June 19, 2009 3:25 am

    Regardless of whether one subscribes to Evangelical Christianity or to Darrellism the original point is now made clearer than ever. Evangelical christianity starts with philosophical constructs about the Bible that it works backwards from.

    I for one am very grateful for and in awe of the beautiful harmony we see throughout all of the scripture God has seen fit to reveal in both ancient and modern days.

    If scripture that exists outside of the Bible happens to be out of harmony with Darrellism that is a consequence i think we can live with.

  62. NChristine permalink
    June 19, 2009 3:45 am

    Hi Ethan,

    JS fulfills Moses’ prophecy of a Prophet? Jesus said, “For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me” (John 5:46). Where did Moses write of Jesus? Jesus’ statements (in the context of John 5) show that He was referring to the “Prophet” prediction in Deuteronomy 18:15-19:

    Jesus: “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge” (30)
    Deuteronomy: “he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him” (18)

    Jesus: “And the Father Himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.” (37)
    Deuteronomy: “According to all that thou desiredst of the LORD thy God in Horeb in the day of the assembly, saying, Let me not hear again the voice of the LORD my God, neither let me see this great fire any more, that I die not.” (16)

    Jesus: “I am come in my Father’s name…if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” (43)
    Deuteronomy: “my words which he shall speak in my [the LORD’s] name” (19)

    Jesus: “ye receive me not…And do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses” (43, 45)
    Deuteronomy: “whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him” (19)

    It seems clear to me that Jesus was claiming the “Prophet” prediction for Himself. Read and compare Deuteronomy 18:15-19 and John 5:19-47 (esp. verses 36-46) for yourself. Stephen’s use of Deuteronomy 18 in Acts 7:37, when read in context, is also clearly referring to Jesus. It is my understanding that the “Prophet” prophecy has been claimed by Muslims as a prophecy of Muhammad. Seems to be a popular prophecy. 🙂 I think Jesus and the apostles were very clear in appropriating it for Him. (BTW, as far as I know, JS was not Jewish, so the qualifications for this Prophet–“from among your brethren”–don’t seem to apply to him.)

  63. June 19, 2009 8:18 am

    The bible is clear. It is ALL about Jesus. It dose’s not need another testament.

  64. June 19, 2009 10:57 am

    “(BTW, as far as I know, JS was not Jewish, so the qualifications for this Prophet–”from among your brethren”–don’t seem to apply to him.)”

    Great point, Christine!

    InHim,

    You said:
    “Regardless of whether one subscribes to Evangelical Christianity or to Darrellism the original point is now made clearer than ever. Evangelical christianity starts with philosophical constructs about the Bible that it works backwards from.”

    I am not sure why you think anything I (or any other Ev) have said qualifies as a philosophical construct from OUTSIDE of The Bible. Can you point to something specific so we can discuss it?

    My position is LDS are the ones who approach The Bible with an a priori position, for they believe, without The Bible supporting it, that JS was a prophet and the Mormon Church is true. What is your position on this thought?

    Darrell

  65. Brad permalink
    June 19, 2009 1:07 pm

    God’s truth is unchanging.

    Brad’s is. And so is yours. And so is mine.

    Seth, please explain, I’m not sure I understand what you’re getting at.

  66. June 19, 2009 1:38 pm

    InHim,

    Let me clarify:

    I am asking you to point to something we have said which qualifies as a philosophical construct ABOUT The Bible from OUTSIDE The Bible. The reason I am asking for this is because you say the point is now made “clearer than ever”. What have we said or what has been demonstrated on this post to make your point now “clearer than ever?”

    I believe it is very clear that LDS maintian extra-biblical positions and then bring those positions to bear upon The Bible. This is despite the fact The Bible does not support them and in many cases contradicts them. I don’t see that with Ev’s.

    Let me give an example of how Ev’s approach this. Just three weeks ago my Pastor was giving a sermon and at the beginning of it he stopped to make a point. Here is what he said: “I do my best each and every Sunday to share messages from The Bible. I always strive to teach what this book (holding up The Bible) teaches. However, I am a man and do make mistakes. If you ever see me stray from the teachings of The Bible or ever find I teach something which contradicts what it says, I ask you to approach me and point it out. If I am found to be in error, I will gladly amend myself.” It is important to point out that in saying this he was being EXTREMELY sincere. This was not a “I know more than you” type of comment. It was very apparant that he meant it sincerely. He makes these types of comments ALL the time.

    When one contrasts this with Brigham Young’s comments about how “his words were as good as scripture”, I think it becomes obvious who is going beyond The Bible and bringing philosophical and theological a priori positions upon it.

    Darrell

  67. inhimdependent_lds permalink
    June 19, 2009 1:40 pm

    Darrell,

    I have already presented 2 specific examples of ideas that prop up some of the philosophical constructs that Evangelicals bring to the Bible. Here they are again.

    -Nowhere in the Bible does it teach that the 66 books contained in what we call the protestant Bible today are the only scripture ever given to man.

    -Nowhere in the Bible does it teach that there will never be any more scripture given to man from God other than the 66 books contained in the protestant Bible.

    You stated that you personally do not hold either of these positions which has zero bearing on the point at hand as your personal claims are not something that concern me. Evangelical christianity on the other hand starts with philosophical constructs about the Bible that it works backwards from as is well supported by these 2 examples- which is of course the point of all this.

    Anything else you have presented is just what i have come to call a Darrellism.

    Fish discover water last.

  68. June 19, 2009 2:30 pm

    I simply mean Brad that even if we assume an unchanging God (which I believe we are), it doesn’t mean that ANY human being is capable of ever viewing him objectively – Bible or no Bible.

    Thus, even though there is a perfectly objective truth about God, none of us are ever going to experience it.

    Here’s the thing – I have never even tried to make the case that the LDS view or my view of God is objective. Jessica points out that I, and other Mormons approach the Bible, not objectively, but from our own experiences and paradigms.

    And this is true. I’ll freely admit it.

    What I’m pointing out is that you guys aren’t being objective either. I don’t mind if you want to call me biased. I do mind when you pompously declare yourself to be the objective one – as opposed to all the irrational Mormons you have to deal with.

    That’s pure rubbish.

  69. June 19, 2009 2:30 pm

    You stated that you personally do not hold either of these positions which has zero bearing on the point at hand as your personal claims are not something that concern me. Evangelical christianity on the other hand starts with philosophical constructs about the Bible that it works backwards from as is well supported by these 2 examples- which is of course the point of all this.

    FWIW, I also do not hold to either of these positions. I think if pressed any EV would say the same as neither position is supported by the Bible.

  70. June 19, 2009 2:49 pm

    I competely agree with you Jessica. InHim is building a straw man here. He provides no proof and instead, simply gives HIS OPINION of what Evangelical Christianity does. His opinion does not amount to proof.

    Darrell

  71. inhimdependent_lds permalink
    June 19, 2009 2:55 pm

    Jessica,

    i am glad that you say that neither of those positions are supported by the Bible because they certainly are not.

    But you are dead wrong when you say ANY evangelical would say the same. That is certainly NOT the case at all. We are constantly beat up over the issue. Trust me i know of this reality all too well.

    In practice those 2 points play a HUGE role in the way evangelicals approach the Bible. Other examples could be mentioned and we have not even mentioned the CREEDS yet. The implications of those extra biblical add ons are so huge and so pervasive in evangelical thought that it cannot be overstated.

    I realize that you and Darrell may think that it looks good for you to come out and say you personally dont subscribe to those 2 ideas. But acting like they dont play a significant part in how evangelicals come to the Bible is not something that can be taken very seriously.

  72. June 19, 2009 3:12 pm

    InHim,

    I would never profess to state what every Ev believes or does not believe. There are many, many ill informed Christians about and some believe some pretty crazy things. Same goes for Mormons. Would you be willing to profess what every Mormon believes? Of course not.

    Nevertheless, the two positions you are ascribing to Evangelical Christianity as a whole are inaccurate. It does not surprise me that you have run into some Ev’s who believe this; but, you cannot rightly say that it is an official position. I attend a Baptist Church and the Southern Baptists do in fact, publish their official positions. We are an Ev denomination – yet you will find the two points you mention in the Southern Baptist Faith and Message. Why? Because we don’t hold to it.

    Sorry, but your opinion does not an offical position make.

    Darrell

  73. June 19, 2009 3:13 pm

    “yet you will find”

    Obviously, I meant “you will NOT find.”

    Sorry!

    Darrell

  74. June 19, 2009 3:58 pm

    One of InHim’s points:

    -Nowhere in the Bible does it teach that the 66 books contained in what we call the protestant Bible today are the only scripture ever given to man.

    After thinking on this a bit, I find it absurd. It’s absurd because built into this is a condition of a particular NT author knowing IN ADVANCE what GOD was up to in gathering the 66 books , and including all that information in his book. Not that this is impossible, but to require this of GOD (or else this limit of 66 CANNOT be of GOD) in just not logical (though possible). There are other ways GOD could attest to the canonicity of the NT, HE is not just constrained to the method that InHim prefers.

    GERMIT

  75. June 19, 2009 4:18 pm

    Yeah, this is really a straw man argument. It has very little to do with why informed Evs reject LDS scripture as canonical.

  76. June 19, 2009 4:19 pm

    It has very little to do with why informed Evs reject LDS scripture as canonical.

    I should have said it has nothing to do with, not “very little”….

  77. inhimdependent_lds permalink
    June 19, 2009 4:31 pm

    We can mince all the words around it you see fit- and that is easy to do on a blog- but in reality and in practice Evangelical christianity does in fact bring to the Bible many significant philosophical constructs to the Bible.

    It is not a straw man argument.

    It is often a weird and looney world in the blogosphere. If any of you would be interested in having a REAL discussion about this issue, or any other issue, i would be delighted to talk to you about it on the phone- and on my dime!

    I find that that talking on the phone and having actual discussions about such things to be much more effective and more worthy of the time investment than the word scramble that often happens here.

    Any takers?

  78. June 19, 2009 4:45 pm

    InHim: I didn’t care for THAT particular construct, but I’m with SETH in that everyone…let me type that again, everyone, has some kind of construct/worldview that drives them before they pick up the NT, the DOC, or the funny papers. No one is exempt from that, not Monson, the Pope, or my lovely Mom. We could also add “a particular hemenuetic”, and then start to make a list of all that shapes us. All of us that is.

    One last nit picky detail, if you must hold onto “evangelicals believe…..” ( I don’t personally recommend it), then you’ll have to live with ev.s saying “All Mormons believe…..” and really you have no real complaint if it bugs the crap out of you.

  79. inhimdependent_lds permalink
    June 19, 2009 5:27 pm

    Germit,

    I would agree that we all hold a variety of philosophical constructs about things.

    But the problem is that adherents of “sola scriptura” and those that cry the Bible only! the Bible only! claim and believe that everything they believe comes from the Bible alone. They like to believe that they just study the Bible themselves and that is how they believe what they believe.

    However, the reality is that there are massive presupposed philosophical constructs that are extra biblical through which they understand the Bible. These constructs have evolved through the traditions of man and the philosophies of man. The Creeds are and excellent example of this. This is the “water” that the fish discover last.

    Evangelicals like to believe that they believe what they believe from their own personal study of the Bible- and that is what they tell others is the reason for why they believe what they do. However, in my opinion most Evangelicals believe what they believe about the Bible not from their own personal study of it- but because people that they believe understand the Bible better than they do have taught them that is what the Bible says.

    As to your last “nit picky detail” your right- it is nit picky. I am trying to address a broad issue in simple language in a limited format. Your saying “All Mormons believe…” would be the same as me saying “All Evangelicals believe…” and is what would really bug you- but i have never said that.

  80. Ethan permalink
    June 19, 2009 5:34 pm

    Darrell,

    You claim that the Acts 3 is referring to the second coming. That is ONE way to read the text. However, it is important to point out that, yet again, you cannot prove this because the text makes absolutely NO mention of the 2nd coming. At best you have to impose a context that makes sense to your philosophical construct. This is latest example of what inHim is correctly stating, btw.

    I still believe it is referring to a Latter-day restoration. The only proof you have is that the surrounded verses speak of Christ’s ministry and rejection and that He will “remain in Heaven” UNTIL this restoration. That is a flimsy case. The fact it speaks of Christ and His role does not preclude a restoration and actually is consistent with the 1st vision.

    I have other reason to believe in a restoration.

    It is clear that an apostasy was predicted by Jesus Christ and his apostles. Jesus taught that, “many shall come (2000 conflicting sects now and counting folks) in my name, saying ‘I am Christ’, and shall deceive many” (Matthew 24:5). Paul declared, “Be not soon shaken in mind, or troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, not by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by many means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first.” (2 Thessalonians 2:2-3).

    Here is the kicker: The Greek word APOSTASIA was wrongly translated as “falling away” in the KJV. Thus Paul is saying that the early Christians should not be fooled by false Christs since there would be an unmistakable apostasy before Christ’s return. Consider also the following: Matthew 24:4, 9-13, 24; John 16:2-3; Acts 20:29-30; 1 Corinthians 1:10-13; Galatians 1:6-8; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; 1 Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Timothy 3:1-9, 12-13; 4:3-4; Titus 1:10-16; 2 Peter 2:1-3; 3:3; 1 John 2:18-19; Jude 3-4; Revelation 13:4-8.

    Other Biblical verses such as Matthew 17:11; Acts 1:6-7; 3:19-21; Ephesians 1:10; and Revelation 14:6 confirm the LDS belief that a restoration of the gospel was prophesied to occur in these latter days.

    Silly me for forcing my non-biblical LDS belief on the Bible!

  81. Stephanie permalink
    June 19, 2009 8:43 pm

    InHim,

    Sorry to interrupt your conversation with the others, but I just couldn’t help but respond after reading all these posts. I have no problem addressing SPECIFIC accusations, but it is very hard to defend one’s self from vague assertions such as

    “there are massive presupposed philosophical constructs that are extra biblical through which they understand the Bible”

    “Other examples could be mentioned and we have not even mentioned the CREEDS yet. The implications of those extra biblical add ons are so huge and so pervasive in evangelical thought that it cannot be overstated.”

    I’m ready for some examples of misinterpretation and misunderstanding of the Bible so that I can assess whether or not I’m doing that. As an Evangelical I believe that we should be able to hold up our lives to the light of Scripture and make an honest assessment. Please point out to me the errors in my interpretation of Scripture. Please point out specifics though because the generalizations are difficult to nail down. 🙂

    Stephanie

  82. June 19, 2009 8:45 pm

    Ethan,

    Here it the problem with the conspiracy theory about a first or second century great apostasy. Christ is the Head of the Church (Eph 1:22-23; 4:15; 5:23), He sacrificed Himself for the Church (Eph 5:25). To assume that Christ would let the Church die or to fall into total apostasy questions the Christ’s promise to uphold, sustain and defend the Church(Eph 5:29).

    You really should read all of Matt 24 because even a cursory reading shows that Christ is speaking to the Saints of his day and the persecution that they will suffer (you would have us beleive that these martyrs are apostates) as well as looking to the time of the second advent.

    What does Ephesians 1:10 (as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth) have to do with apostasy of Christs Church. The relevance of Revelation 14:6 is beyond me as well.

    In Acts 1:6, 7 the apostles are asking when Christ will restore the Kingdom of Israel, they are still looking for a political Messiah to restore the Kingdom of David. By your own churches story line the apostasy has not happened, why would they ask about a restoration from an event that has not taken place. You might want to check out what your prophets have to say about Acts 3:19-21 (Hint his first name is Joseph).

    Did you notice the advice Paul gives after his warning in 2 Timothy 3:1-9 about difficulty in the “Last Days”?

  83. Stephanie permalink
    June 19, 2009 8:50 pm

    Hi Ethan,

    I hate to be nit picky 🙂 but please site your sources when you are quoting this extensively from FAIR. It is helpful to others who are double checking facts and sources. Further, it prevents the appearance of looking like plagiarism.

    This is what you said:

    The Greek word APOSTASIA was wrongly translated as “falling away” in the KJV. Thus Paul is saying that the early Christians should not be fooled by false Christs since there would be an unmistakable apostasy before Christ’s return. Consider also the following: Matthew 24:4, 9-13, 24; John 16:2-3; Acts 20:29-30; 1 Corinthians 1:10-13; Galatians 1:6-8; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; 1 Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Timothy 3:1-9, 12-13; 4:3-4; Titus 1:10-16; 2 Peter 2:1-3; 3:3; 1 John 2:18-19; Jude 3-4; Revelation 13:4-8.

    This is what the FAIR article says.

    We should note that the Greek word apostasia was translated as “falling away” in the KJV. Thus Paul is saying that the early Christians should not be fooled by false Christs since there would be an unmistakable apostasy before Christ’s return. Consider also the following: Matthew 24:4, 9-13, 24; John 16:2-3; Acts 20:29-30; 1 Corinthians 1:10-13; Galatians 1:6-8; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; 1 Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Timothy 3:1-9, 12-13; 4:3-4; Titus 1:10-16; 2 Peter 2:1-3; 3:3; 1 John 2:18-19; Jude 3-4; Revelation 13:4-8.

    Stephanie

  84. June 19, 2009 9:01 pm

    InHim: your post is good, worth rereading , which I will .

    the difference between saying “Evangelicals believe..”

    and “All evangelicals believe…” is thoroughly lost on the HEARER, IMO…

    I’d say precisely the same thing about “Mormons believe” and “All Mormons believe…” the target audience is not going to nuance this for you, I’m not into armstwisting, but you sacrifice credibility when you make one set of something fit everyone within a group as humungous as the big circus that is evangelicalism; MANY ev’s have not learned this lesson when talking about Mormons and mormonism…and even I lapse back into this here and there

    peace and rest on Father’s day
    GERMIT

  85. Ethan permalink
    June 19, 2009 9:57 pm

    Stephanie,

    That is a sucker punch plain and simple. It has absolutely no bearing on the facts of this presentation. It’s not like we’re writing a dissertation thesis for the Harvard Review. These are shotgun discussions. They are just narrow sound bite exchanges. Please feel free to bring out anything written by BIll McKeever or anyone else if it will help save you time and clarify your statement. I would hope you would not bog down the posts with irrelevant footnotes and sources unless you wanted me to specifically check out the original article for further reading.

    No offense, but if you have a problem with this aproach I will stop wasting my time here on a blog designed to seem friendly to LDS but which apparently has only mockery and defamation behind the veneer of friendship. Call a spade a spade and change the title of this blog to something more fitting the cultural and ethnic assassination of Latter-day Saints.

  86. Ethan permalink
    June 19, 2009 10:04 pm

    Stephanie,
    After having considered your post even further it has just occured to me that literally every issue or discussion we could possible bring up on this blog is a battle that has already played out thousands of times in blogs and publications. Sometimes ev’s seem to win, sometimes LDS seems to win.

    In my opinion there is not one criticism of the LDS Church that has not been refuted in a satisfying way. I’m sure you feel the same about your side. Everyone stop regurgitating what has been on repeat loops for decades.

    Save yourself the trouble, here is the fight. Make your own conclusion:

    fairlds.org
    farms.byu.org
    exmormon.com
    mrm.org

    There, go spend time with your children. It was nice “talking” with you.

  87. June 19, 2009 10:14 pm

    Ethan,

    I cannot understand why you would say that the AV is incorrectly tranlating “APOSTASIA”? I went to the NET Bible (with 61K translation notes) to see if there was an issue and find that they use “rebellion”. Can you explain what your point is?

  88. Stephanie permalink
    June 19, 2009 10:15 pm

    Ethan,

    I think you must have misconstrued my post. It was not an attempt assassinate the culture and ethnicity of Latter-day Saints! However, what is the purpose of blogging if we simply repost information that other people have written or said? I thought that this was a discussion of the thoughts and ideas of bloggers. However, each person has their own perception of how they want to blog and I have no problem with however anyone wants to do it! 🙂

    I, for one, DO love LDS and count many close friends among them.

    Stephanie

  89. inhimdependent_lds permalink
    June 19, 2009 10:23 pm

    Germit,

    It is impossible for me to nuance every single thing i say to fit every single person here in every possible way- and i really doubt my credibility is at stake.

    Having been an evangelical myself for decades i feel i have a pretty good sense of the broad strokes of the diverse Evangelical community. But just so you dont think i am trying to be difficult on purpose i will try to incorporate more definitive detail in the future by using words like “most”, “majority” or “some” etc. when referencing Evangelicals as a group. Im sure you will let me know if you dont think im doing a good enough job at it.

    Compared to the seemingly other keyboard warriors here i suppose i am more of a passer by. I consider dialogue in this sort of format to be one of the most low leverage forms of interactions possible when it comes to talking about our respective faiths. In most cases of what i see here it is not really dialogue at all.

    I like to share a comment and a thought or two but i am not the type to hash out long “apologetic” discourses here. For me it is simply a waste of time and generally does no good at all. I am not saying its a waste of time for everyone. I have seen a few excellent exceptions- but its difficult for me to justify the investment.

    I like to assume that people here already have a decent grasp on the LDS/Evangelical discourse- or at least the broad strokes- so when i talk about things like the creeds imposing extra-biblical philosophical ideas onto the Bible people are at least familiar with the argument even if they disagree with it. Maybe it has been my fault to make that assumption.

    On the other hand if they are not familiar with that argument maybe it is a good thing they are hearing it about it now- even if in a very brief and simplified form.

    Please know that there is nothing i love more than talking to people and having real dialogue about the gospel of Jesus Christ- and i will gladly welcome any opportunity to have those sorts of conversations with almost anyone. I just dont think its wise to kid ourselves into thinking that is what is actually happening here on this blog- at least in the vast majority of cases.

  90. germit permalink
    June 20, 2009 2:07 am

    In HIM: another very good post; really , your suggestions are all I was talking about “some” “a large number of’ “it’s not hard to find ev.’s who….” That’s exactly what I meant, and I thot as a member of a group that is often misrepresented and caricatured, I thot you’d want to avoid the same thing.

    I share your feelings quite a bit. “Discussion” and “apologetics” make for an awkward fit, a strange brew rarely found. This is not just an “ev vs. lds” thing, I think it’s more fundamental than that: it’s very hard work to really listen and care about the other guys point of view, beyond hearing enough talking points to skewer him. Your questions, internal and external, about what is a profitable use of time are ringing in my head as well. We’ll see.

    I’m pretty sure that “winning an argument” would not have made it on JESUS’ top 20. He was too busy living.

    Have a great Dad’s day weekend
    GERMIT

  91. Ethan permalink
    June 20, 2009 5:27 am

    I’m bitter now. If this offends, I apologize in advance.

    Just got back from the Manti pageant where a darling young Evangelical girl disciple of Mckeever dressed up like a polygamist got in the face of a freaked out teen girl friend of ours who came with us as we were walking in to enjoy a peaceful summer evening.

    Seriously. Where is this headed? Is anti-Mormonism the new anti-Semitism?

    I can only describe the kind of jeering disdain that we endured as hellish. Sorry to take it out on you guys, I hope to God none of you are disciples of this wack job. I think my view of Evangelicals is forever one of lameness. Sorry, compassionate boldness blows. LDS being true or not is irrelevant. Christ didn’t mock. I know many of you are decent people and would never be this lame, you better talk to these guys, I noticed you have Mormon Coffee on your blogrole.

  92. June 20, 2009 5:50 am

    This blog is a step above Mormon Coffee, thank goodness.

    You can actually have a conversation here.

    Mormon Coffee is just a tag-team dogpile.

  93. Ethan permalink
    June 20, 2009 6:40 am

    Seth,
    I just realized it is very quite here tonight. You don’t suppose they are all in McKeever’s Manti Suburban…hmmm. Please, for the love of my unborn children who will all face life with LDS identities, tell me Jessica, Jack and Stephanie do not dress up as polygamists to ridicule peaceful Latter-day Saints!

  94. June 20, 2009 7:35 am

    Ethen you said, In my opinion there is not one criticism of the LDS Church that has not been refuted in a satisfying way. Where in any bible writing’s dose it list prophet’s ahead of apostle’s.

    1Cr 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.

    Eph 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

  95. Ethan permalink
    June 20, 2009 9:16 am

    Stephanie,
    I am sure you love Mormons, even if your dubious attitudes toward LDS faith and culture is a troubling conflict of interest. I have no problems with Evangelicals either. I believe they are going directly to the Protestant Heaven to live with Jesus exactly as they imagine. Carry on, carry on.

    gundek:
    “Rebellion” was not in the original Greek. It specifically says “apostasia,” which means the same thing it does in English. It happens to mean something very different than the NIV “rebellion” or the KJV “falling away.” I am not a conspiracy theorist, but why did the NIV guys purposefully use the wrong word? Did they have Mormonism in mind?…hmmm. In any case it makes no sense. Always go with the earliest text.

    See here: http://biblos.com/2_thessalonians/2-3.htm
    Notice the word apostosia half way through the Greek verse.

    Apostasy is used in the singular here, implying one, or being absolute and church-wide. It is not saying there will be some (plural) apostasies here and there as people (plural) lose the faith. It states that an apostasy must occur after this point and before Christ returns.

    The evidence for apostasy is pretty extensive. Protestants would be better off claiming the Restoration was by Luther than claiming it never occured.

    jm:
    The problem you see really stems from terminology. It is clear from the NT that Peter, James and John held a special status among the disciples. In effect, they mirror the modern LDS First Presidency which was a biblical structure of the Christian Church. Christ Himself selected them. He told Peter, “I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven.”(authority) Matt. 16:19. Peter held the same office as the LDS President.

    Just a short time later only these three disciples were again given the unique priviledge of participating in the Transfiguration. Matt. 17:1—3. Several of Christ’s great moments were attended by just these three. The resurrected Jesus appeared to Peter before appearing to the other Apostles (Luke 24:34

    With this authority these ancient Apostles ordained Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery and gave to them the keys of presidency. D&C 27:12

    It should be noted that the words “Prophet” and “Apostle” are somewhat interchangable. LDS teach that all the apostles hold the same keys and authority as the President. Should all die except the lowest among them, he would have the same keys that Peter had.

    To my knowledge the only other Church that still follows this Bible teaching is the Catholic Church. The Papal symbol is keys. I believe this Christian tradition that Jesus began has been lost in the Evangelical Church. Can anyone clarify this?

  96. June 20, 2009 4:14 pm

    Ethan, the challenge is always to avoid comparing “your” best with “their” worst.

    If you’re being fair about things, you have to compare your best with their best.

    I imagine Evangelicals that dress up like polygamist wives and make fun of LDS teenagers are just about as common as Mormon teenagers who ridicule some Catholic girl at school for wearing “Jesus’ torture device” around her neck.

    Bigotry, unkindness, and stupidity knows no denominational boundaries.

  97. June 20, 2009 4:21 pm

    Ethan,

    I don’t speak or read Greek so I am not qualified to make a declaration of mistranslation but ἀποστασία as you pointed out is a feminine singular normative, (Dictionary of Biblical Languages) implying that the ἀποστασία is in fact general or wide spread to the subject at hand. The problem is that Paul is not describing only the Church in this verse or the passage, but the things that must take place before the second advent. To accept your view that the ἀποστασία is only a Church apostasy is to be much more restrictive in nature then the world wide events that Paul is testifying to in 2 Thessalonians. In its context any of the translations “fall away” “rebellion” or if you insist “apostasy” fit, but rebellion seems shows the complete nature and extent of the ἀποστασία that Paul is referring to. Let me explain.

    Paul’s purpose is to ensure the Thessalonians that the “Day of the Lord” has in fact not come yet, as can be seen by reading 2 Thes 2:1, 2. He goes on to explain world wide occurrences that will take place prior to that event. In this verse you have not only the ἀποστασία but also the “man of lawlessness” (or “man of sin” in the AV if you prefer) referring to the man described in Daniel 7:25, 8:25, and 11:36. The “man of lawlessness/sin” impact is and goes far beyond just Christs Church, he will stage a ἀποστασία (rebellion) against God causing that “the king shall do as he wills. He shall exalt himself and magnify himself above every god”, a rejection of all religions, true and false, and worship directed at the “man of lawlessness/sin”.

    If you are going to claim that the ἀποστασία has in fact occurred in the first century please tell us who the man of lawlessness/sin was? For your explanation to remain cogent this person must have come onto the seen at the same time the ἀποστασία happened. In fact the “man of lawlessness/sin” must have caused the ἀποστασία. As is pointed out in the “Commentary of the New Testament Use of the Old Testament” chapter on Thessalonians by Jeffery Weima, when looking at the “man of lawlessness” there is a parallel to both Psalm 88:23 and Isaiah 57:3, 4 and the language used in the LXX, the version of the Old Testament used by Paul, and the language Paul uses in 2 Thes 2:3 and 4.

    Then there is this from the New Bible Commentary (D. A, Carson) ἀποστασία, “was used in Jewish literature especially for opposition to God (1 Macc. 2:15), and the thought of a great outbreak of evil against God in the world generally was a familiar theme.

    You see far from showing that there was a Mormon conspiracy style apostasy 2 Thes chapter 2 and both books of Thessalonians shows a great desire for the second advent of Jesus Christ in the early Church. If you want to prove a Mormon conspiracy style apostasy you need to first establish that there was a Mormon style Church in the fist century and then when you have proven that you need to explain why Christ bear His testimony and promise “I am with you always…” when in fact he had every intention to abandon His Church for the next 1800 years. After that you can move on to who the man of lawlessness/sin was, remembering of course, that this is very much a preterist view eschatology and the implications that this is going to have on the the, very popular in the19th century, dispensational Mormon view of the end times, good luck.

    Hope that helps.

  98. June 20, 2009 4:22 pm

    Ethan,

    Let me also say that I disagree with your implication that we just cut and paste from apologetic websites. From my perspective is shows a disregard of the arguments and positions of the other person. When I decide to comment it is because I think I have something to add to the discussion not just to put out the arguments of popular apologists. I try to ensure that my argument fall within and are supported by my beliefs and I deliberately choose not to use the arguments of people I disagree with.

    I respect that you have a position and a belief, I am under no illusion that I will change your mind but if I am just going to dispense the positions of others then there is no reason for me to comment at all. If I cannot come up with a logical reason to reject your position by my own research in the confessions, Reformed systematic theologies, and the Bible why should I comment?

    I have to admit that I enjoy debating the meaning of particular verses more than some, but I am Biblical commentary junkie and have collected and read a number of outstanding commentaries. I also enjoy systematic theology because I believe that all doctrine need to be logically connected at some point and only by using a systematic approach can you see these logical connections. I do not have much of a use for a thematic approach to theology because it allows for logical disconnects in theology to exist.

    From the Mormon perspective the just isn’t a lot of good commentaries and there is a total lack of systematics, with maybe the exception of James Edward Talmage. He is your best theologian bar none, and I read him regularly. All of his books are available on Google books you should use them instead of FAIR his arguments, while dated, are much more thought out. Your Church needs another Talmage unfortunately Bruce McConkie’s Mormon Doctrine has influenced your theological output in a thematic direction. This is from the outside looking in so I am probably wrong anyway.

  99. June 20, 2009 4:56 pm

    I did a little research on the Greek word ἀποστασία. Want to hear it here we go. It is used only twice in the NT (Acts 21:21 and 2 Thes 2:3) it is the feminine of Strong’s GK 647 ἀποστάσιον meaning “notice of divorce (DBL # GK687)” and comes from the word ἀφίστημι meaning and usage in the following verses(Cut and pasted from my electronic copy of the DBL) cause to rebel (Ac 5:37+); 2. LN 15.51 (dep.) depart, leave (Lk 2:37; 4:13; Ac 12:10; 2Co 12:8+); 3. LN 34.26 (dep.) forsake, desert, abandon (Lk 8:13; Ac 15:38; 19:9; 22:29; Heb 3:12; 1Ti 4:1+); 4. LN 34.41 (dep.) keep away from, avoid association (Lk 13:27; Ac 5:38; 2Ti 2:19+).

  100. June 20, 2009 5:37 pm

    I just realized it is very quite here tonight. You don’t suppose they are all in McKeever’s Manti Suburban…hmmm. Please, for the love of my unborn children who will all face life with LDS identities, tell me Jessica, Jack and Stephanie do not dress up as polygamists to ridicule peaceful Latter-day Saints!

    While I can’t speak for others, I have never personally dressed up as a polygamist. I can’t speak to the effectiveness of this method as I know nothing about it and I was not there last night to judge for myself.

    However, it does bother me that the LDS church appears to cover up its polygamist history and that some (many? I don’t know) current members of the church don’t even know about it. I am assuming that is the motivation behind this attempt to share truth, not that they desire to ridicule Latter-day saints.

  101. June 20, 2009 6:04 pm

    Ethan,

    Biblos is a good site but I think you may find the NET Bible site http://net.bible.org/home.php to be better. It is my first site when looking at different translations, then I go to my Logos software.

    This link http://books.google.com/books?q=James+E.+Talmage&btnG=Search+Books is a good starting point for Talmage books. His Great Apostasy is classic, nothing better has been written including anything by Hugh Nibley. I don’t agree with much that he says but he speaks with the authority of a believer and his theology is for lack of a better term “connected”. He is not defending individual topics but is making an argument for the whole. Terrific writer his style almost reminds me of R. L. Dabney.

  102. June 20, 2009 6:43 pm

    Ethan ~ tell me Jessica, Jack and Stephanie do not dress up as polygamists to ridicule peaceful Latter-day Saints!

    It’s quiet for me because I’ve curtailed almost all of my blog commenting over the last week for personal reasons. Last night I was seeing a production of Rent in Seattle with Katie L., so no, I wasn’t anywhere near the Manti pageant dressed as a polygamist.

    Dressing as a polygamist and appearing outside an LDS event definitely isn’t something I would do—it’s just not how I work—but I’m not sure how I feel about the practice as an outreach tool. If they were being rude then of course no-donut, and arguably the practice of doing that outside of an LDS function is rude in itself, but I do believe the LDS church has been less than forthcoming about its polygamous history. Shocking Mormons into doubt with sudden revelations of what early LDS polygamy was is a proven witnessing tool. Sorry. That’s just the way it is.

    And no, I’m not a disciple of McKeever’s, though he was kind to me when I was a teenager unlike other countercult ministers, so I do have more neutral feelings toward him than I do some of his colleagues. On the other hand, I seem to butt heads with his pal Aaron from Mormon Coffee every other month, so I’m guessing we wouldn’t see eye-to-eye on how to reach Mormons, though on some of those disagreements I’m more than willing to live and let live.

    On a side-note, here is a humorous blog post about the polygamy demonstrators from last year’s Manti pageant: Polygamy and Port-a-potties.

  103. Stephanie permalink
    June 20, 2009 6:49 pm

    Ethan,

    No, I wasn’t one of the ones dressed up as a polygamist. 🙂 I’m not sure how a person dresses as a polygamist anyway…..

    However, I would like to point out, that as a great-great granddaughter of polygamists I think it is well within my rights to recognize that history. The LDS church is very fond of remembering the pioneer wagon trains and I have friends that have even taken part in some of those re-enactments. Why is it not acceptable to let ALL of history speak for itself?

    Stephanie

  104. June 20, 2009 6:54 pm

    BTW Ethan, when you say McKeever had a “Manti Surburban,” tell me, was he driving one of these?

    If so, that makes me a HUGE fan of Bill McKeever. 😉

  105. psychochemiker permalink
    June 20, 2009 7:01 pm

    LOL,
    Jack.

    That was a great link.
    I always get a kick out of the actions of (some) Evangelicals.

  106. Ethan permalink
    June 20, 2009 7:16 pm

    Seth,
    I agree that some kids and adults from both sides can be unkind. The problem I have with McKeever is that he is a prominent and respected adult figure. It would be like Millet or Welch pulling a PT Barnum to disrupt a Baptist barbecue. It’s in poor taste and a reflection of his character.

    Jessica,
    It is rare to meet a Mormon who is not aware of the history of polygamy.

    Jack,
    you would look good in a bonnet.

    Gundek,
    The link from the Biblos database has it coming up as Strong’s 646: apostasia; falling away, apostacy.

    The problem I have with assuming it was meant to be a “world-wide” rebellion of evil that attacks the Church from without, is the word apostasy itself. Here is the definition:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostasy

    That’s pretty specific. It clearly implies this is going to be an internal Church problem. That’s why I have issues with a departure from the original word, the ones they substituted are less clear.

    I would argue that the NT not only hints of this disintegration, but the theme is pervasive. There are dozens of passages that either prophesy or exhibit the apostasy. Also, it is rare to find a verse that shows successful correction of the apostasy mentioned. Here is a partial list near the bottom: http://mi.byu.edu/publications/books/?bookid=42&chapid=212

    I think the most “revealing” (no pun intended) words are John’s in Revelations where he is desperately trying to contain massive apostasy that is threatening the new Church. Starting in Rev. 2 he blasts the network of LDS style branches that have been established for allowing error in. It is easy to see an apostasy brewing here. It’s interesting that to encourage them to stay true he uses promises that exactly mirror LDS temple blessings.

    The man of lawlessness, called the son of perdition in the KJV, is likely Satan who enters into the flock as Jesus predicted in Matthew 13:24—30. Who else could it be? Personally I think Protestants would be on firmer biblical ground to concede the apostasy and claim that it was Luther, not JS, who restored things.

  107. Stephanie permalink
    June 20, 2009 7:30 pm

    Ethan,

    “It is rare to meet a Mormon who is not aware of the history of polygamy.”

    Actually, one of my close LDS friends has been in the Mormon church for almost 20 years and has served as a gospel doctrine teacher. We were talking about Brigham Young one time and she didn’t appear to know anything about his polygamy. When I asked her how many wives the LDS church claimed he had she said she didn’t know. I told her that the generally accepted number is 55. She was shocked. I know she didn’t know that because she asked me if he was married to them all at once or if there had been deaths and remarriages. I think it is possible that there is a little cover-up of the actual details. Why is Brigham Young’s Beehive house on display at temple square for tours and a museum? His much larger Lion House (where he lived when he had accumulated more wives) is a restaurant. To the average visitor to Temple Square the impression is that Brigham Young lived in a cute little house surrounded by flowers.

    Stephanie

  108. June 20, 2009 8:25 pm

    Ethan,

    The problem with using the modern definition for the word apostasy and comparing it to the ancient Greek word ἀποστασία / apostasia (Strong’s G646/ DBL 686) and then claiming that the modern word is the original meaning, is that is not the usage that Paul was familiar with when he wrote this letter. I pointed out the word ἀποστασία / apostasia (Strong’s G646/ DBL 686) has a particular connotation in the first century Jewish culture and that is rebellion against God and not specific to the Church as church is a relatively new concept for Paul. You really should read the section on apostasy in Judaism from the link you gave me it explains this better than I can.

    I did not say that the attacks on the Church would come only from without and I do not think that Paul is saying that attacks on the Church will only come from one direction. You are also missing the point of the object of the rebellion/fall away/apostasy (what ever word you like), it is not the Church it is God Himself. Paul has a much bigger view of the word ἀποστασία / apostasia (Strong’s G646/ DBL 686) this is clear.

    2 Thes 2:9 precludes the “lawless one” from being Satan himself because his coming is from the power of Satan, they must be two separate entities, besides this explanation is slipping dangerously close to preterism and away from the dispensational eschatology of your Church. Remember everything in theology is connected, one explanation cannot contradict another. The second chapter of 2 Thessalonians is an “end of times prophesy” and to make a claim that it has been fulfilled in the first century ignores the intent and scope of Paul’s prophesy.

    You can argue all you want that the Mormon conspiracy of a great apostasy is predicted in the bible but until you prove that there was a Mormon style Church or explain Jesus Christ’s own personal testimony and promise “I am with you always…” it seems pointless to me. You must establish a Mormon Church in the first Century, Talmage understood this, read him you’ll see.

  109. Ethan permalink
    June 20, 2009 8:31 pm

    Stephanie,

    That is very unusual. Strangers I have met in Europe and abroad seem to know that Mormons were polygamist. Indeed, polygamy seems to be the only impression most people have.

    To say that the Church is trying to cover up or hide its history is simply false. There is no Church in history that has been laid more bare and scrutinized by so many. Every last detail is there for those who want to learn. There is nothing the Church has erased or hidden from view. In fact, today marks the dedication of the new multi-million dollar Church History Library at Temple Square. A place where all are encouraged to enter and see it plainly. All of it.

    Both the Lion and Beehive houses are historical buildings open to the public.

    Would you prefer it if the home teachers went door to door making sure each member knew every controversial thing? That’s really not the mission of the Church.

    Daniel Peterson explained it well. He broke Church history into three views.

    View A is that the Church is perfect, everything is fantastic and the Church and it’s members can do no wrong. This view is the naive primary view.

    View B is the opposite. The Church is evil incarnate and has done nothing right. This is the view shared by many critics.

    View C is more nuanced. It understands that people are not perfect and that there have been misgivings and that Mormon history, like any (Evangelical slavery), has ugliness.

    When people who have only been exposed to “view A” get rattled by explicit “view B” stuff the only way out is to reach the best “view C.” I understand why the Church chooses not to focus on “view C” stuff, but I wish personally that every LDS was at “view C.” It makes for stronger testimonies.

  110. June 20, 2009 8:36 pm

    Gundeck, just a question out of pure curiosity and not meant to be combative or anything…

    Have you read any of B.H. Roberts or Orson Pratt? I would consider both of them to be highly influential theologians in the LDS tradition. Joseph F. Smith did a great deal of work in this area as well and is considered by some to be the inspiration for much of Bruce R. McConkie’s work. More recently, I’d say Eugene England and Sterling McMurrin are LDS writers you’d want to check out. And of course, you’d have to wade into Hugh Nibley as well. He may be a bit more scatter-shot in his approach, but it is powerful stuff that still influences a lot of people I know quite deeply (including my almost ultra-orthodox father).

    Talmage was influential and all… but to call him the only systematic theologian we’ve had seems like a bit of a stretch to me. We’ve had other thinkers.

    I keep hearing about Blake Ostler too in this regard. But I haven’t had a chance to read his three-volume comprehensive treatment of Mormon theology, so I can’t say much more. Other well-read Mormons seem to like him. But perhaps he’s still too recent to really tell if his stuff will stand the test of time or not.

  111. June 20, 2009 8:43 pm

    I remember taking a tour of the Beehive House when I was thirteen along with my parents and younger siblings. After explanations of the many rooms and references to numerous photographs, it was pretty plain that Brigham had a TON of wives and children.

    I don’t think there’s a cover-up, so much as a pragmatic desire to discuss things that are more useful and relevant to the worship life of people in the here and now. Long heated discussions of polygamy are usually seen – even by people who I know are highly knowledgeable about ALL the details – as a distraction from the work to be done now. We have a lot of work to do, and we don’t have a ton of time to spend agonizing over the past and a bunch of might-have-beens.

    I’m sure some Evangelicals would like us to be paralyzed with historical guilt at the expense of the work to be done TODAY. We’d be a lot less of a threat to you that way.

  112. June 20, 2009 9:02 pm

    Seth,

    I have read some of Pratt, none of B.H. Roberts, a little of Joseph F Smith. I will have to look at England and McMurrin. I have waded through a lot of Hugh Nibley (he is far from systematic and has the troubling tendancy to of taking pos). I am looking a Parly P Pratt now so I will hold my review but he is a little more polemical than Talmage.

  113. Ethan permalink
    June 20, 2009 9:05 pm

    Gundek,
    Here is a copy from that link to Judaism:

    “The term apostasy is also derived from Greek ἀποστάτης, meaning “political rebel,” as applied to rebellion against God, its law and the faith of Israel (in Hebrew מרד) in the Hebrew Bible.

    Other expressions for apostate as used by rabbinical scholars are “mumar” (מומר, literally “the one that is changed”) and “poshea yisrael” (פושע ישראל, literally, “transgressor of Israel”), or simply “kofer” (כופר, literally “denier” and heretic).”

    From this Jewish tradition, combined with the fact that “Apostasia” in Greek has virtually the same meaning as it’s English derivitive, makes it seem clear to me that we are talking about those within. You have to be involved within a group to then turn away and be a “denier.” At least that is what makes the most sense to me.

    As for the early Christian Church being organized similar to the LDS Church, there certainly are parallels with a 1st presidency and branches that were all under the same stewardship of the disciples in a top down format.

    Did you see the extensive scripture list of setbacks the Church faced from apostates? There is plenty of evidence for severe breakdown from within. The best evidence for this is the fact that no texts emerge from the 2nd/3rd century, as if it were a dark age. No post Jesus letters or acts, it’s an interesting question. The councils become the first time we have an attempt to reconcile the rifts.

    I’ll try to address my take on some of the sayings that Christ said about “being with the them forever,” etc in a different post.

    btw, what’s your take on who the lawless one is?

  114. June 20, 2009 9:11 pm

    Sorry Gundeck. I think you’ve got a typo in the statement about Nibley. What’s his tendency?

    I think I agree with some of what you’re saying about him though. Very scattershot and not really what you’d call an organized theology. Nibley’s main contribution was to provide a bunch of enticing leads that subsequent Mormon academics have been following up on.

    I can see Pratt being more polemical. I’ve read a few things that were certainly more combative than what you hear today from official Mormon sources. Maybe that’s both good and bad, in its way.

  115. June 20, 2009 9:24 pm

    Seth,

    I am sorry, click to fast. Nibley can take conflicting positions or argue from a position contrary to his Mormon beliefs, his article on Christian Envy of the Temple is the best example of this.

    I am a big fan of Cornelius Van Til and to have an apologetic that does not start from your beliefs is a sign of a bad apologetic.

  116. June 20, 2009 9:56 pm

    Ethan,

    Note, “rebellion against God” not “rebellion against the church” and that is the point that I am trying to make. Paul has a bigger view of ἀποστασία / apostasia (Strong’s G646/ DBL 686) than you are proposing.

    Instances of particular apostasy such as the different gospel that Paul complains about in Gal chapter 1 or individual apostates such as in 2 Tim chapter 1 are not proof of a general apostasy. You see we are reading the letters of Paul and not the letters of “Phygelus and Hermogenes” and this is sound proof that there was not a great or general apostasy.

    Your claim that “The best evidence for this is the fact that no texts emerge from the 2nd/3rd century, as if it were a dark age” is demonstrability false. Calvin College has an extensive electronic collection of the writings of the Church Fathers on their Christian Classics Ethereal Library. open your own account you can mark up the texts and take notes in them, it is free at http://www.ccel.org/fathers.html . From these writings we know that the post apostolic Church were not in any way organized like the Mormon Church. If you read Clement of Romes letters (dated 90-100 AD) you will see that If we are going to go by Church organization for truthfulness, the Eastern Orthodox probably have us all beat.

  117. June 20, 2009 10:18 pm

    Seth,

    I am not saying that Pratt being more polemical a bad thing. Calvin was undeniably polemical and combative, rightly so I think. I just have not read enough of him to give an honest appraisal of his “unity” of thought and doctrine like I have Talmage.

    I honestly think that I can read people who I totally disagree with and still appreciate their style and arguments.

  118. June 20, 2009 10:52 pm

    As far as polygamy being covered up…

    Take a look at the Priesthood/Relief Society study guide (Teachings of the Presidents) on Brigham Young from several years ago. They altered many of the quotes of Brigham Young by replacing the word WIVES with WIFE. It was pretty funny. People may say the church doesn’t cover it up, and I agree… they don’t literally try to COVER IT UP simply because they can’t. Too many people know about it and there is too much info out about it. But I would say they make a tremendous effort to at least brush it under the rug.

    Darrell

  119. June 20, 2009 11:42 pm

    Or Gundeck, perhaps it’s a sign that someone is honestly onto something? I wouldn’t feel comfortable pigeonholing Nibley as an “apologist” (though he did often fill that role in Mormonism on a few key issues). He was as much a critic of modern Mormonism as a defender. No one was quite so pointedly brutal in critiquing modern Mormonism as he was.

    I think I’d rather call him an “observer.”

    In all fairness, I really need to read Calvin’s “Institutes of the Christian Religion” sometime. Just because I disagree with him doesn’t mean he didn’t come up with an impressive theological framework. I’ve got Augustine’s “City of God” sitting on my shelf from my college days when we had some assigned reading from it at BYU. Never did read the whole thing though…

  120. June 20, 2009 11:59 pm

    Seth,

    The institutes are on the CCEL website so you don’t have to pay for them. I prefer the Battles translation but CCEL is free and unless you are going to use them a lot or want a copy that is the way I would go. Princeton Seminary is posting the Battles translation in honor of his 500th birthday but they are already on 3.11.1-4. I wonder how a man who made sure that he was buried in an unmarked grave would feel about the hoopla over his birthday.

  121. Stephanie permalink
    June 21, 2009 1:04 am

    There is nothing the Church has erased or hidden from view. In fact, today marks the dedication of the new multi-million dollar Church History Library at Temple Square. A place where all are encouraged to enter and see it plainly. All of it.

    When I visited the church history museum at Temple Square there was no mention of any of J.S.’s plural wives. Emma was a part of the museum, but none of the other wives were represented. Further, there is a statue of Emma and Joseph in the grounds of Temple Square–again none of the other wives were anywhere to be seen. Obviously the wives were important enough to Joseph Smith to receive actual revelation about them! It was such an important doctrine that it remains a part of LDS scripture.

    I wanted the “official” view of the wife count for J.S. and Brigham Young a while back so I got on lds.org. I searched for quite a while and couldn’t find anything on the plural wives of the leaders of the church. To me this strikes me as really strange. We can find information about the wives of other historical figures–why is it completely lacking from official sources? Could you please link me to an official wife count from the LDS for Brigham Young and Joseph Smith? What about bios for each of the wives? Further, if the church is so open and honest about their history why is it that this is one of the subjects that no one is allowed to talk about? Why do LDS get angry to discuss the polygamy of Brigham Young and Joseph Smith?

    Stephanie

  122. June 21, 2009 1:27 am

    Thanks Gundeck. I’ve never had much luck with online books. I tried “Thus Spake Zarathustra” a while back and bogged down after a couple chapters. But it’s good to know that’s there.

  123. Ethan permalink
    June 21, 2009 2:09 am

    The LDS Museum is by no means comprehensive. It’s been a while since I was in there but it seems like hardly a complete history of the movement. I actually don’t count polygamy to be a central LDS doctrine, not remotely. It is a much bigger deal to those who see Mormonism merely through its lense. I would count D&C 93 where Joseph Smith the farm boy profoundly answers the most perplexing philosophical questions posed by beard pulling thinkers for millenia as far more representative of the LDS legacy. But what can I say, people keep coming back to the wives.

    The LDS website is not a museum either. It’s not for history. It is a resource for current membership and simply put polygamy is a defunct relic.

    I was referring to the new library which houses scores of documents and early church materials. Everything is documented in there. Feel free to go in and research extensively on any plural wife. It’s all there. Nothing hidden.

    As for the manual Darrell, like the website it is an instructional manual with teachings designed to assist LDS in the modern world. I admit it is funny that they changed it to “wife,” but it’s understandable since the point of the manual is not to give people a Ken Burns PBS documentary lesson. Since there is no plural marraige today it would be silly to present the message in a context that is now obsolete. I wouldn’t consider that “covering up” something, as if the members somehow would never have learned about BY’s polygamy otherwise. Everyone knows about BY & JS.

    I think it’s one of those things that critics of the Church love to amplify to try and cast the Church in the worst light possible. I think they get a little too cynical about it. The fact is polygamy was not so sensationalized. Read the journals of the women, that is the most telling side of the story.

  124. Ethan permalink
    June 21, 2009 2:36 am

    Gundek,
    It’s been interesting hearing your take on these passages. I have learned a thing or two that I didn’t know before. Good stuff.

    I still find the analysis by Reynolds to be startling and revealing. He makes a strong case for the rampant disintegration that seems to be happening in the later NT. I don’t see any way around this evidence. Here it is again for review:

    http://mi.byu.edu/publications/books/?bookid=42&chapid=212

  125. Ethan permalink
    June 21, 2009 2:48 am

    Gundek.

    Here is another interesting article I found from your favorite website 🙂

    I think it is relevant because it agrees with your use of the word “apostasia” to mean rebellion. Have a look:

    http://mi.byu.edu/publications/books/?bookid=42&chapid=205

  126. Ethan permalink
    June 21, 2009 2:59 am

    “BTW Ethan, when you say McKeever had a “Manti Surburban,” tell me, was he driving one of these?

    If so, that makes me a HUGE fan of Bill McKeever. ”

    Hey Jack, I think I accidentally rented one of these for the prom. At least the Animated Stories from the BOM were handsome on the mini plasma and the ginger ale flowed freely, oh yes!

  127. June 21, 2009 3:04 am

    “In all fairness, I really need to read Calvin’s “Institutes of the Christian Religion” sometime. Just because I disagree with him doesn’t mean he didn’t come up with an impressive theological framework.”

    Seth,

    I think you might find Calvin very interesting. From what I understand he was not nearly as “Calvinist” as modern day “5 point Calvinists.” Some of his ideas have been taken farther than he intended. You might not disagree with him as much as you think.

    Darrell

  128. Stephanie permalink
    June 21, 2009 3:07 am

    The LDS website is not a museum either. It’s not for history.

    The LDS website has an entire section devoted to church history. Also, for the googlers amongst us, it also has a great search function! A search of the entire website reveals 0 hits for J.S.’s first plural wife, 16-year-old Fanny Alger. Zero hits for 14-year-old Nancy Winchester. Three hits for 14-year-old Helen Mar Kimball, however none of them discuss her marriage to Joseph Smith. Lucy Walker, the 17-year-old 25th wife of Joseph Smith , is a fairly well-documented character. However, none of the sources are connected with being a wife. An article of the Ensign magazine records one aspect of her relationship with Smith this way, “On another occasion Emma and Joseph took in some of the ten Walker children when Sister Walker died. “Every privilege was accorded us,” daughter Lucy Walker recorded.” Another page reveals that she is one of the “witnesses of the prophet.” Here she is listed as the wife of Heber C. Kimball. One of her quotes is ironic, “The Prophet had seen in vision that marriage should be for eternity. It is no wonder that he so vigorously taught the Saints to love their spouses fully, to be tender and faithful. His own love for Emma and the children illustrated his firm conviction that families can be forever. Joseph’s contemporaries report that he was quick to exhort Latter-day Saint husbands to take good care of their wives and warned them that if they did not, they would not have them hereafter. Lucy Walker Kimball records:

    “The Prophet Joseph Smith often referred to the feelings that should exist between husbands and wives, that they … should be … companions, the nearest and dearest objects on earth in every sense of the word. He said men should beware how they treat their wives. … He also said many would awake on the morning of the resurrection sadly disappointed; for they, by transgression, would have neither wives nor children” (They Knew the Prophet, compiled by Hyrum L. and Helen Mae Andrus, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1974, page 139).

    polygamy is a defunct relic

    If it is defunct why is it still in the D&C? Why will it exist in the future?

  129. June 21, 2009 3:26 am

    “Everyone knows about BY & JS.”

    Something to think about on this… The members of the church are continually instructed NOT to listen to, read, or even touch “Anti-Mormon” material. However, given the fact the church does not teach how prevalent polygamy was among early members (JS, BY and others), oftentimes the only way to find out about it is through the dreaded “Anti-Mormon” material. Could this be a sign the church is trying to keep members from finding out about it simply because it knows it will create ‘testimony’ issues for some???

    I worked very closely with the youth while LDS and I found that many know NOTHING about the extent of polygamy amongst JS, BY and others. Since it is not taught, unless they talk to an “Anti” or seek the info out on their own they will likely never learn anything about it. It is really strange that the church avoids this topic so completely. If the church is true, it was obviously VERY important to “God” and JS, for God supposedly told JS He would kill him unless he instituted the practice. So why not even talk about it today? Strange and to me very telling.

    Darrell

  130. June 21, 2009 3:31 am

    “polygamy is a defunct relic”

    “If it is defunct why is it still in the D&C? Why will it exist in the future?”

    Well put!!

    The truth is they want it to be a defunct relic until it becomes “acceptable” in society. For then it won’t cause the church to lose members.

    Darrell

  131. Ethan permalink
    June 21, 2009 3:53 am

    Stephanie,
    I understand that you are angry about polygamy and want the LDS Church to make some kind of bold proclamation that it never should have happened, etc. You want to see this dealt with comprehensively right on the LDS website.

    Unfortunately, as I said, the LDS website is not an historical research facility. It is designed for two purposes, to introduce visitors to the basic tenants of the LDS Church, (of which, contrary to what you think, polygamy is not one of them), and as a resource for LDS to get info and aides. If you’re looking for the Encyclopedia Mormonica you won’t find it there.

    Go into an LDS bookstore, go online (where the first google hit for the subject brought up an LDS site dealing with the wives), read Rough Stone Rolling, Columbia University’s final word on Joseph Smith History. You will find a lot of LDS info on the subject. No cover up here.

    There is no reason to condemn the Church for having a shallow introductory history section on it’s website. That’s ridiculous, unles you are someone who is so upset over polygamy that you are dying to see the Church take lumps out of spite. None of the other history items there give much detail either.

    “If (polygamy) is defunct why is it still in the D&C? ”

    Why is the method for slaughtering animals still in the Bible? Maybe Rick Warren should petition to have it removed because his OC mega church doesn’t have an alter and PETA is not a big fan of God commanding people to mutilate innocent animals. That happens to be a felony now in Utah.

  132. Stephanie permalink
    June 21, 2009 4:08 am

    I understand that you are angry about polygamy and want the LDS Church to make some kind of bold proclamation that it never should have happened, etc.

    I’m not angry. 🙂 I just think people deserve facts from the horse’s mouth. Think of communist China. We can get all sorts of facts about human rights abuses. Google it. Talk to insiders. Visit the place and observe it. However, talk to the Chinese government and a glowing picture is presented of peace and prosperity. I don’t want the LDS church to make a bold proclamation about anything–I just want them to state the facts for all to see. Why should we expect to get the facts from google (which you suggested) instead of from the official church?

    There is no reason to condemn the Church for having a shallow introductory history section on it’s website.

    Are we talking about the same website? Shallow my eye. One hit alone pulled up a 300 page pdf file. Copies of the Ensign magazine going back to the 70s. Journals from the wagon trains. Biographies of important figures. The Church History Library and Archives which contains, “manuscripts, books, Church records, photographs, oral histories, architectural drawings, pamphlets, newspapers, periodicals, maps, microforms, and audiovisual materials.” Ethan, if that is shallow I would like to know what you consider “in depth!”

    Stephanie

  133. June 21, 2009 4:18 am

    Ethan ~ you would look good in a bonnet.

    I look much better in a Wonder Woman costume. If I could figure out some way to protest/reach out to Mormons outside an LDS event that required me to wear a Wonder Woman costume, I’d be all over that.

    Yes, most Mormons are aware that polygamy was practiced, but they aren’t aware of some of the disturbing specifics: Joseph Smith and Brigham Young’s polyandrous marriages, the ages of Smith’s wives, Smith’s practice of hiding his polygamous unions from Emma, whether Smith’s union with Fanny Alger was plural marriage or adultery, that pre-1890 leaders considered polygamy necessary for exaltation, and the fact that polygamy is expected to be practiced in the next life. There’s still plenty of Mormons who aren’t aware that Smith was a polygamist at all. You yourself didn’t seem to be aware that living men can be sealed to more than one woman but it doesn’t work the other way around. I know this stuff is disturbing because when I was honestly investigating the church, I never “got over it”—and I’m pretty well acquainted with key members of FARMS/MI and FAIR. I’ve heard all the apologetics.

    I really only see two options for the LDS church: (1) inoculate members by disseminating this information in the most faith-promoting way possible, Richard-Bushman-style; (2) recant polygamy altogether and admit that past leaders were in error in practicing it.

    Until the church does one of those things, expect evangelicals to continue to exploit LDS ignorance on the matter. Sorry. We’re as interested in converting you as you are in converting us, and we know for a fact that this information causes believing Mormons to doubt and potential converts to turn away. There’s a lot of other ways to reach out to Mormons than just sharing the dirty truth about polygamy, but it’s a start.

  134. Stephanie permalink
    June 21, 2009 4:19 am

    Why is the method for slaughtering animals still in the Bible?

    A careful study of the Bible shows that the slaughter of animals was a practice which was supposed to show the Jews the need for blood atonement for sin. “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul” (Lev 17:11). It is very important to study the Old Testament so that the New Testament “makes sense.” Why would Jesus have to die on a cross to pay for the sins of the world? If the precedent for the shedding of blood, spotless lamb, passover, etc wasn’t established by the Old Testament it wouldn’t be understandable in the New Testament.

    However, the New Testament clearly explains that the dispensation of the law is over. The author of Hebrews explains this concept best:

    1For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.

    2For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshippers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.

    3But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.

    4For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.

    5Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:

    6In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.

    7Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.

    8Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law;

    9Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.

    10By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

    11And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:

    12But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;

    13From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.

    14For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

    Jesus was the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies. The reason there is no more animal sacrifice is the same reason we don’t follow the rest of the laws of the Old Testament (and I’m forever grateful for I love synthetic fabrics). There is no inconsistency to remember the Old Testament animal sacrifices. They help us realize the magnitude of our sin problem (that blood was needed to pay for it) and to be grateful to have a Sin Bearer.

    Stephanie (still not angry)

  135. Ethan permalink
    June 21, 2009 4:35 am

    “Are we talking about the same website? Shallow my eye”

    Point granted. There are portals that lead to those sorts of publications and magazines etc. I was referring to the history section in the site, not the extended links. I actually agree with you and Jack, there should be links here to the basic info of the wives. Truly, I do not know why they would not have hits. However, it does not change my attitude that the Church is not involved in a cover up conspiracy. Like I said, the new library they opened is exhaustive. In there you will find all the stark truth. And it is Church run.

    Look, for me polygamy is an issue that I have a real hard time discussing with critics. Not because there aren’t good answers for it, merely becuase it is so difficult to wrap your head around and the context often gets skewed. It’s like pearls before swine in a sense (you’re friendly swine!) :).

    I don’t expect you to understand it but be careful whose history you read. In my experience the most qualified and academic histories on this subject have been done by LDS in professional fields, such as Richard Bushman who is an elite professor in the Columbia History Dept. If you want amatuer research with a terrible bias check out the sites of hobby anti-Mormons with axes to grind who rattle off the surface facts with little regard to the why.

    To get a sense for the why, study the women. There was something nuanced in the approach to this that always gets mangled and lost when it gets to critics. This is why I don’t even usually try to discuss this with critics apart from arguing my adamant position that the practice was indeed commanded of God in the Bible.

    Watch this brief Truman Madsen comment for a real sense of what these women thought they were doing. I would agree with this view:

    http://wellbehavedmormonwoman.blogspot.com/2009/05/truman-madsen-great-lds-theologian-dies.html

    Again, I don’t expect you to understand or approve of it. If this is the single reason that keeps you out of Mormonism, so be it. I noticed it’s a passionate topic with you guys, obviously it touches a nerve. I understand.

  136. psychochemiker permalink
    June 21, 2009 4:39 am

    I think a lot of the battle has to do with the preconceived notions of what a church should provide.

    The LDS church isn’t primarliy a history driven organization. The LDS church does not view it’s job as presenting it’s history as required by the current social trends. Some tend to feel, “This brand of history-telling was good enough for Paul, it’s good enough for us.” IMO, because current Evangelicism lacks a defined authoritative priesthood (not just a “anyone who truly believes is authoritative and holds the priesthood of all believers”) they MUST hold only to history. It’s all they’ve got. So they come to Mormonism with this hat of “only history matters”, when LDS don’t hold that as a tenant. In contrast, Mormonism is all about what it means to use today. As Jack pointed out, sometimes we even mis-interpret biblical verses because the original context doesn’t match our context today. While this is not the ideal of 20th century exegesis, it suits our purpose, to change the practice of our people today.

    If we were still practicing “living polygamy” (where a person is married to two people at the same time who are alive), we would probably focus more on that history (as the FLDS do). But, because we believe that only the Lord, through His prophet, can authorize that practice, and that the practice has been revoked, the history is essentially irrelevant except to the idosyncratic historians and bloggers, and Evangelicals hell-bent on de-converting Mormons
    by any means necessary, and the apologists who fight that.

  137. Stephanie permalink
    June 21, 2009 4:45 am

    (you’re friendly swine!)

    Thats the best compliment I’ve gotten all week.

    Thanks!!

  138. Stephanie permalink
    June 21, 2009 4:52 am

    Ethan and PC,

    I totally get what your saying. And I can totally understand that it is a difficult issue to discuss. Thank you both for both being so civil and respectful about it–I really appreciate that. I really appreciate hearing you guys’s perspective (BTW “guys’s” is a word). I think I’m just not convinced about the “cover up” issue. I just don’t see any other way to interpret that. I mean, the lds website goes so far as to identify plural wives of J.S. and B.Y. as wives of other people! Who does that except if they are trying to hide something? What I don’t understand is why can’t history be history? I could understand if they made clarification points–like specifying what is currently believed versus what was taught in the past. But the absence of anything is downright suspicious!

    Stephanie

  139. Ethan permalink
    June 21, 2009 4:54 am

    well, guess who’s giving a lesson tomorrow in Elder’s Quorum entitled “Relief Society: Divine Organization of Women?”

    Me!

    Gotta go study up on why it’s OK for women to give sermons from the pulpit in LDS meetings!

    Thanks for the insights, remember don’t hate the Church, and spend more time with your families, not on here!!!!!

  140. June 21, 2009 5:02 am

    Ethan ~ One more thing. I asked Aaron from Mormon Coffee about the current Manti evangelism; he’s with that group in Manti right now. This is what he said:

    “I am the only McKeever-related person there. All the evangelism of the Christians has been really toned down / moderate this year. No dressing up, no signs (with a few exceptions), and no initiation by street preaching with lifted voices. If we saw an evangelical girl rudely getting in a teenager’s face we’d give her a lot of grief for it. That’s not the group of people I know.

    All of the women-evangelists and a lot of the male-evangelists I know there are pretty timid and sweet (a lot of them are scared to even be doing evangelism). Among all the Christians, there are only a few feisty guys.”

  141. NChristine permalink
    June 21, 2009 5:03 am

    Hi Ethan,

    I watched a portion of the link you provided. The narrator began by telling a story of Hyram Smith asking Joseph about his [Hyram’s] then-current and deceased wives, and whether he could be married to both in eternity: “Will I have Jerusha? Will I have Mary?”

    How fascinating! This is almost an exact replica of the Sadducees’ tongue-in-cheek question to Jesus, which you previously discussed with others on this blog. Attempting to show the idea of the resurrection as ludicrous, they asked, “Whose wife [husband] shall she be of the seven [two]? for they all had her [him]” (Matthew 22:28). As you previously discussed with others, Jesus answered them with this:

    Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven (Matthew 22:29-30).

    Jesus clearly appears to be telling the Sadducees that the woman will have none of the husbands she had on earth. Then how does that work with Joseph telling his brother he would have two (plus) of the wives he had on earth? This is not resolved by defining “marriage” in the verse as a ceremony. The question is this: Will someone have their earthly spouse(s) in heaven? Jesus says no; Joseph says yes–and more than one!

  142. Stephanie permalink
    June 21, 2009 5:07 am

    I guess discussing embarrassing issues related to Mormonism brings up the embarrassing issues related to Christianity. Everyone is aware of Luther’s antisemitism. Further, he believed in consubstantiation. Those are facts that I have to keep in mind when I read his work. I am so grateful for his part in the reformation but I have to acknowledge the facts of his belief system too. I don’t study Luther’s positions on theology partly because of these reasons (well, and also because he is kind of boring).

    Another Christian character is John Calvin. I finished some grad work at a pretty strongly Calvinistic school. At the time I became quite convinced that Calvinism was true. Yet I remember it really bothered me when I learned that Calvin had people who didn’t believe the way he did KILLED. I won’t bash Calvinism because thats not really the point, but when I have gotten away from that belief system I realized that it is really important to look at the character himself that is providing the doctrine. Calvin had some great things to say. He is considered one of the most prolific writers of theology. Yet, for me, I have to take his writings with a grain of salt. After all, he was a murderer. How much else did he possibly have wrong? (please, Calvinists, don’t flame me!!)

    There are countless examples of church leaders who have fallen into various sins. Most notably are the televangelists such as Jimmy Swaggert, Jim Bakker, etc who have committed adultery.

    Yet, all of these examples pale in comparison to Joseph Smith or Brigham Young. Although influential, none of these men set themselves up as the PROPHET, SEER and REVELATOR of a church. How much more so should we examine the lives of these men to see whether or not we should believe them for doctrine?

    Stephanie

  143. June 21, 2009 5:51 am

    “Although influential, none of these men set themselves up as the PROPHET, SEER and REVELATOR of a church.”

    As much as modern Christians follow these men and allow them to mediate the Bible to them, they might as well be prophets for you guys.

    In fact, I’d say that in some ways, modern Evangelicals actually take John Calvin more seriously than modern Mormons take Joseph Smith.

  144. June 21, 2009 5:53 am

    NChristine,

    Eternal Marriage is an ordinance of the modern Restored Gospel. Not the Judaic religion of Jesus time. A marriage performed by a rabbi in that time period would, therefore, not be an eternally binding union.

    Don’t read more into this passage than you really need to.

  145. Stephanie permalink
    June 21, 2009 6:45 am

    In fact, I’d say that in some ways, modern Evangelicals actually take John Calvin more seriously than modern Mormons take Joseph Smith.

    I’ve known some Calvinists. I don’t know of any that believe what he said was inspired. I don’t know of any hymns that have been written about him. He never set himself up as the head of a church with a succession of leaders to follow. Also, I believe a lot of what Calvin believed was Biblical. His Institutes are considered, for the most part, to be excellent Biblical commentary. The reason I used Calvin, Luther and the others for an example was to show that there is no cover-up of facts. I couldn’t think of many real “Calvinists” strongholds to research but I thought Calvin College would be a good place to start–given the name and all. Here is the link from their website describing the Michael Servetus controversy. Servetus was the man that Calvin condemned to death. I have a History of Christianity textbook which also describes Calvin’s treatment of Servetus. I think it is really important for Christians to know all the facts of a particular stream of thought before deciding that is what they believe. I don’t think Calvin was 100% bad but I think that the burning at the stake of Servetus is more than just zealous religious fervor. I’m glad that I don’t have to google Calvin or talk to “anti-Calvinists” to find out these details. I can go directly to the horse’s mouth–from Calvinists themselves–and read the details myself!

  146. June 21, 2009 9:22 am

    On whether or not the LDS church covers up polygamy: take a look at http://www.JosephSmith.net, the church’s official web site on Joseph Smith, Jr. Do a search for “polygamy.” Nothing. Do a search for “plural marriage.” Nothing. Same with polyandry. Same with the names of Joseph Smith’s other 30ish wives. The only wife mentioned is Emma. Eliza R. Snow and Zina D. H. Young and a few others who are actually well-known women in LDS history on their own merits are mentioned, but their marriages to Smith aren’t.

    Seems to me that JosephSmith.net would be the perfect place for the church to put forth faith-promoting explanations of the controversial issues surrounding Joseph Smith’s polygamy that I mentioned; it could also be a great place to give these women the attention their lives deserve. But instead the subject is completely ignored.

    Now I’m pretty well known for being “fair” and even “sympathetic” to Mormon views; I’ve often had Mormons praise me for it and other evangelicals chide me for it. If there was some context or consideration I was missing here, I’d be happy to share it. But I’m being as generous as I can be, and saying that the church is “less than forthcoming about polygamy” is the best way I can put it. When evangelicals who are less sympathetic than I am accuse the church of covering up polygamy, all I can really say is, they’re not wrong.

    (My apologies to the more regular Mormon commentators who must be soooo tired of polygamy discussions by now. Seriously, after this comment I’m dropping it.)

  147. Stephanie permalink
    June 21, 2009 3:36 pm

    To respond to the conflict of polygamy and the LDS church I think a person must come to some sort of conclusion about who is wrong. These are probably not the only positions that a person could take but they seem to make the most sense to me. Obviously there is a conflict regarding the issue or polygamy would be openly practiced now without any derision. I think that one of three statements must be true.

    (1). Joseph Smith was wrong about polygamy. In this view Joseph Smith is a bit of a womanizer using his “revelation” from God as a means of obtaining extra wives. If this is correct than Joseph Smith is a morally weak individual using religion to satisfy his carnal desires.

    (2). We are wrong about polygamy. In this view polygamy was a God-ordained practice for a brief period of time. Joseph Smith is not a womanizer—God told him to take extra wives. The problem with this view is that if polygamy is sometimes righteous in certain dispensations and among certain men how can we be sure that it was not correctly practiced by Warren Jeffs or Brian David Mitchell? In this view not only is polygamy occasionally sanctioned but so also is adultery, taking another man’s wife and taking child brides.

    (3). God is wrong about polygamy. God did command Joseph Smith to marry child brides and commit adultery. In this view God is a pervert. We are seriously up a creek if this view is correct. This would mean that the God we love and adore ordered a 44-year-old married man to partake of girls as young as 14-years-old. How can the God who condemns adultery and lists it on stone in the 10 Commandments tell Joseph Smith to steal (another commandment) another mans wife? God is 100% pure. 100% holy. 100% righteous. 100% loving. God doesn’t do that.

    Obviously, I believe the first statement is correct. Does anyone have another view? Or am I completely off-base? How I’m going to church. Don’t try to stop me.

    Stephanie

  148. Stephanie permalink
    June 21, 2009 3:38 pm

    Obviously that should say now I’m going to church. Although since my hair is still wet and I’m totally not ready how would also be true.

  149. June 21, 2009 4:40 pm

    Stephanie, just concluding that Joseph was wrong about polygamy does not automatically mean his motivation was sex.

    Seriously, do you think sex is the only thing that motivates men?

  150. June 21, 2009 6:57 pm

    Seriously, do you think sex is the only thing that motivates men?

    I hope no one thinks this, because it certainly isn’t true. Once in a while, men get motivated by things like football and Steven Seagal flicks instead of sex.

  151. June 21, 2009 8:34 pm

    Right Jack. Exactly.

    I mean, how do we know that Joseph wasn’t simply recruiting women for his ninja dojo or something?

  152. June 21, 2009 8:39 pm

    Well, he did boast that he did more than Jesus, didn’t he?

    34 assassin wives of fury is certainly more impressive that a paltry 3 or 4.

  153. June 21, 2009 9:38 pm

    Seth,

    “In fact, I’d say that in some ways, modern Evangelicals actually take John Calvin more seriously than modern Mormons take Joseph Smith.”

    That is profoundly silly and demonstrates a scary combination of ignorance and dishonesty. Many Christians who cherish Calvin also recognize his faults and feel free to point them out. John Calvin being wrong about something doesn’t mean that Christianity is false or even that Calvinism is false. I just posted an entry that pointed out where Calvin was wrong: http://thesidos.blogspot.com/2009/06/when-good-theologians-do-bad-things.html and I love me some John Calvin!

    Mormons refuse to say that Joe was wrong because to do so pulls a card out of the whole house of cards that mormonism is based on. Mormonism is based on whether or not what Joe said was true. When Smith is shown to be a liar and a fraud (see the “Book of Abraham” and the papyrus) it throws the whole shooting match into disrepute.

  154. June 21, 2009 9:46 pm

    Arthur, I was speaking solely from a doctrinal standpoint.

    And yes, I’ve met Evangelicals who take Calvin more seriously from a theological standpoint than many Mormons I know take Joseph from a theological standpoint.

    So which is it? Do I amuse you or scare you? Or are you wishing you’d thrown in a few more bonus adjectives into your comment?

  155. psychochemiker permalink
    June 22, 2009 11:33 am

    Mormons must be scary.

    Jack’s scared to death of Blake.
    Art Sid is scared of Seth.
    Kullervo’s scared that the monolithic Mormon voting system comprising 2% of California’s population was able to single-handedly, on it’s own, deny gays the invented “right” to get married.

    BOOOOOOOOOO!

  156. Stephanie permalink
    June 22, 2009 8:12 pm

    BOOOOOOOOOO!

    STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    You’re scaring me!!

  157. June 22, 2009 9:14 pm

    Ethan,

    Don’t want to change the subject but, I have seen this list before and I assume that someone else has done this but since I am sitting in an airport, I will try to give you a brief explanation why none of the verses that are presented predict a general or great apostasy in the early church. But I should remind you that looking for an apostasy that removed the keys of the Mormon priesthoods system is putting the cart before the horse, you have never established a Mormon style church in the first century AD.

    Under the heading “New Testament Prophecies of the Demise of Christ’s Church”

    Matthew 13:24—30 It is necessary to understand that in most parables there is an underlying theme of judgment. The Parable of the Wheat and Tears does not show a general church wide apostasy, the key to seeing this is in Matt 13:30 “but gather the wheat into my barn.” This shows that there is wheat to be gathered and thus a true church preaching the word and administering the sacraments to grow the wheat.

    Matthew 24:5, 24 Matt 24:5 Shows that “many” not “all” will be lead astray.

    Acts 20:29—30 Paul does warn the Ephesians about false prophets but he also commends them “to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” Once again there is no prediction of a church wide apostasy but a direct call for the preaching of the Word.

    Romans 11:19—21 Paul explains that the gentiles grafted into the Kingdom of God and explains what it required to remain in the Kingdom he does not predict a demise of the Church.

    2 Thessalonians 2:3—4 We have covered this in greater detail but this is referring to man’s rebellion against God. This is an eschatological passage and for it to have taken place in the second century AD compels a preterits view of the end times.

    1 Timothy 4:1—3 1 Tim 4:1 says “some” not “all”.

    2 Timothy 3:1—9, 12; 4:3—4 Is another “last days” or eschatological statement, Paul give direction on how to preserve thru these time in 2 Tim. 3:10–4:8 “…continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings…” proper preaching of the Word.

    2 Peter 2:1—3 2 Peter 2:2 says “many” not “all”.

    Revelation 13:7 Apocalyptic writing needs to be read practically close. This is another “last days” passage with connection to 2 Thessalonians 2:3—4. In order to for this passage to predict a general Mormon conspiracy style apostasy the first beast (from the sea) would have had to exist in the second century AD. This requires a preterits or partial-preterits view of eschatology and conflicts with your dispensational view of the end times. I would also refer you to Rev 12:11 “…they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.” the martyrdom of saints in the last days does not spell defeat in fact Rev 13:10 ends; “Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints.” Remember the theme of Revelation is VICTORY.

    In conclusion, I do not see, in any of these passages, a prediction of a second century Mormon conspiracy style apostasy. Quite the contrary I see a call to remain steadfast to the orthodox faith revealed once for all by Christ and preached by His apostles.

  158. Ethan permalink
    June 23, 2009 2:01 am

    Gundek,

    Thanks for explaining your view on this. I still see not just signs of apostasy, but rampant disintegration in letter after letter from the disciples toward the later NT, culminating with John’s pleading hard line against the melt down where he promises specific LDS temple blessings to those who overcome it in Revelation.

    We’ll have to agree to disagree, but I don’t believe you can so easily dismiss the LDS viewpoint here. It is a valid take. The Bible simply does not come out and declare it either way. Like you say, either one of us can put the cart before the horse with, what inhim calls, our prior “philosophical constructs”.

    I suppose that we can both read the same text and arrive at different conclusions, hermeneutics is really just a self righteously gaudy way of saying English Lit 101. I learned text deconstruction reading Dante with Stephanie Meyer at BYU in the 90’s. Personally, I don’t see what either of our views proves about the “real” meaning. The only evidence we have is the historically disjointed unfurling of Christianity, an era most people agree to call the dark ages. Call me cynical about the ambiguities of the Bible, but that’s why I’m a Latter-day Saint and not a sola scriptura Protestant.

    We’ll have to agree to disagree.

  159. M Allen permalink
    August 4, 2009 4:38 am

    RE These two statements. “I hold that A&E were meant to have knowledge of good & evil or they would be intellectual infants forever. ”

    “why is the method of slaughtering animals still in the Bible” ethan

    OK by this rational I should perhaps check out some of the porno sites on the internet so I might have knowledge. Since I don’t even watch tv anymore and never have had cable there are undoubtedly many many perverted practices I know nothing about. Wouldn’t want to maintain any intellectual infancy on that subject now would I?

    We should use the Bible and common sense. Just because God is capable of and promises to “work all things to the good of those who love him and live according to his purposes doesn’t mean we should sin to “gain knowledge.” or as Paul states “to make God’s grace increase.”

    Common sense tells me if there was no fall they would know more about genetics and mathematics and have greater and purer philosophy, music and art. This would all be real and useful knowledge. As opposed to evil which is a hill of stench and rubbish. Think about it they could eat right off trees… all that leisure time.. they would have had a man on Pluto a thousand years ago.
    The point being of my rude statement above is we can intellectually know the essence of evil without experiencing it. Without even knowing much about the particulars. Further, evil in itself is neither knowledge nor wisdom. Vice is merely the perversion (twisting) of a virtue created by God into a direction that is away from God. For niether devils nor humans can create ex nihilo. They being only creations, can only TWIST or change what God has made. Lucifer was operating on a very philosophical level with his lies, they were VERY SLIGHT TWISTINGS for they did “become like god” when they ate the fruit– because they “created” evil, by rejecting him and removing themselves from him. I believe we were INTENDED to “be like god” in the way if IMITATING his righteousness not by partaking of the power of determining what is good or evil, which is what knowledge of good and evil implies. Read the Scripture again.

    Evil is ultimately weakness. Righteousness always triumphs because it is like unto light –which is an actual thing versus evil which is likened to darkness and is only the ABSENCE of a thing. So how can a knowledge of a things absence be much use? I know a little of the stupid things we did before we had modern medicine… Perhaps we should study what the absence of modern medicine created?? FUTILITY. God existed for all eternity without creation and was not evil and even today does not “know” evil. I speak of knowledge here as intimacy-which it is… I wouldn’t dare call him an intellectual lightweight.

    Evil is disobedience to God- because he is in essence righteous he would not command us to do wrong or avoid good. Scipture is VERY clear on what evil is. Evil is wanting to be “LIKE” god in power and glory. That was what caused Lucifer to fall. (Both covetousness and idolatry) He despised his own nature and wanted God’s. Evil is treating any created thing as a god- running to it for ultimate comfort, refuge or meaning– Idolatry. It is also misrepresenting the CHARACTER of God by giving him the image of a created thing that is usually a likeness more agreeable to us. (graven images)

    These are the principles behind the ten commandments. Avoid Idolatry and Covetousness. Jesus summed them up positively in his “Love God, Love your nieghbor statements.” God’s law does not change and will not.
    It is a VERY high standard of holiness to say you can reach it even for one hour you are a fool with no understanding of underlying principles.

    To understand Christianity you must not get lost in specifics, but you must be able to see the eternal principles and the spirit of the law and God’s covenant dealings with mankind. You will see very little has changed about His character or dealings with us. He still redeems his chosen people. Which is the Torah of old and the Torah of today.

    There really is no “massive rift” as alleged. This allegation is only made by those who cannot perceive eternal principles and get lost in misrepresented minutea.
    Gentiles are NOT required to take the yoke of Torah and NEVER have been, as Acts specifically states that we are simply forbidden to eat blood, or meat sacrificed to idols and we are forbidden from sexual immorality.

    The assumptions are the Ten commands remain so. And that the Jews may continue to keep the laws and festivals given to them if they will only recognize Jesus as their sacrifice. SO HE FULFILLS the law.

    The temple was destroyed precisely for the express purpose of God showing the Jews that JESUS was their final sacrifice. The offering of sacrifices in ANY other temple- or building on any other location is forbidden- which is why the Jews do not sacrifice today– THEY KEEP THE LAW, but do not recognize the Messiah. NO JEWS ANYWHERE BUILD TEMPLES TO OFFER SACRIFICES BECAUSE IT IS FORBIDDEN. The Jewish covenant was fulfilled with Jesus. He is the final sacrifice.

    Now blood sacrifice was instituted by Abel and approved by God. There is a continual reference to blood sacrifices and Covenants made between God and his chosen people. Do not forget that the sacrifices WERE EATEN. The chosen were told and understood from the beginning that the blessing of Abraham would be extended to all nations. God kept his word he did not change it.

    Jesus was our sacrifice and in the final passover meal he had with his disciples he showed himself to be both our pascal lamb delivering us from the bondage of sin (Egypt) and the curse of death and to be our sacrifice for sin. ALL forrunning prophets in some way pointed to Jesus. WE EAT that sacrifice in our celebration of communion. IT is NOT us who changed Scripture. We fulfilled God’s requriements. Jews CHANGED it because they made keeping the Law their salvation. IT NEVER WAS. (think of all those who came before Moses.) Blood sacrifice was made by God in the Garden of Eden and the animal skins made man a covering for the body he now despised and was ashamed of because he coveted God.

    So this takes us back to how do you determine truth. YOU DON”T God and God alone does. ThSo how do we know it? Not just by diligently searching the Scriptures, but by partaking in Christ’s blood sacrifice and knowing him. We must seek to be like Christ, we must offer ourselves up as a fragrant sacrifice to our Creator the one and only. WE must and never covet his glory or power as Lucifer did.

  160. February 14, 2013 1:27 am

    I seldom leave a response, however i did a few searching and wound up here Mississippi Farm Boy Claims a Revelation from God: LDS
    Church is Apostate | I Love Mormons. And I do have some questions for you if it’s allright. Could it be simply me or does it seem like some of these responses look as if they are coming from brain dead visitors? 😛 And, if you are posting on additional places, I’d like to keep up with everything fresh you have to post.
    Would you make a list of every one of your shared sites like your Facebook page, twitter
    feed, or linkedin profile?

  161. Seth R. permalink
    February 14, 2013 2:38 am

    Wow, now you’re even getting spam that insults you. First time I’ve seen that.

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