Mormons are Christians
Debate Rounds (5)
As you can tell there is very little that should not be considered "fair play".
Being a Christian, my primary source of information will inevitably come from the Bible, and I will do my best to focus on the contradictions between the Bible and Book of Mormon.
In short, the opposing party will do their best to convince me that, the Mormon religion, theology, key players, and Book is true and that the claim to be Christians is true and I will do my best to counter that.
In this round I hope it was made clear my intentions for this debate, and I would like the opposing party to begin with an opening argument, and in the next round I will do my best to retort, and we will go from there.
In this I know there will be times that our colors may shine too brightly, but the ultimate goal of this debate it to shed some light onto Truth for not only my opponent but those looking in. I don't want our emotions to get too involved, and I hope we can have a good wholesome conversation.
I look forward, for whats to come.
Mormons believe in Jesus Christ. They believe He died for all of mankind, and that because of Him, all man have the opportunity to live with God again. To put it simply, they fall perfectly within the definition of the word.
If I understand the Mormon theology correctly, it is that, they believe Jesus to be a god but not the One True God, also known to be the Father. He is the god of this earth.
A quick blanket search on Google will define a Christian as, "a person who has received Christian baptism or is a believer in Jesus Christ and his teachings". https://www.google.com...
Jesus Christ teaches something very profound in Matthew 4:10 when being tempted in the wilderness. Context real quick, He has been out in the wilderness being tempted by Satan and Satan says, "Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me". Basically, 'Bow down and worship me, and I will give you all that you can see.
Now its also my understanding Mormons believe the KJV of the Bible is the "closest" to accurate so I will use that version to share Jesus' response in Matthew 4:10; "Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve"
Jesus has some strong conviction over this statement, being that He is using it in defense to the Devil himself. In this moment, to those who do not believe that Jesus is God, and is separate from God the Father they might say that Jesus is referring to the Father only in this moment. 'You are to worship and serve the Lord your God, only'. If that was the case, why then does Jesus allow people during His ministry to fall to His feet and worship Him, or why do people feel so inclined to do it before His ministry?
We see one early example of this in again in Matthew 2:11 "And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh." Key word is worship there. Lets say that He was just a baby and couldn't do anything to stop such blaspheme. Lets move down further in his life.
Matthew 14:33 "Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God."
Matthew 28:9 "And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him."
John 9:35-38 "Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God? He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him? And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him."
As seen clearly, Jesus thinks more of Himself then some demi god, sent by the Father. This is one of the many flaws in the Mormon faith, that creates a vast separation between the Christian faith and I am very interested in your response on that statement.
The first answer is to simply go back to your first question. Are Mormons Christians? Nothing you have mentioned refutes the fact that Mormons believe in Jesus Christ and His teachings. It seems, in fact, that you have accepted that fact and are more interested in Mormons' beliefs in the NATURE of Christ and God. This is too is a wonderful question! However, I feel the initial debate has been satisfactorily answered.
Perhaps a better question would be: Do Mormons believe that Jesus Christ is a god alike and equal to God? (I'm simply posing a hypothetical question)
My second answer will be addressed more towards that question and more to where I think you'd prefer this conversation to go. You have used wonderful examples from the Bible to present a perplexing conundrum about the nature of God. Why do people worship both the Father and the Son?
Mormons believe that the godhead consists of 3 separate beings: God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. The 2 former have bodies of flesh and bones and the Holy Ghost is a spirit. Mormons also believe that Christ is the god of the Old Testament. Thus when Moses, Elijah, Jeremiah, and many of the other prophets communicate with the "Lord", this is in fact Christ himself. Moses and the children of Israel proclaim in Exodus 15:2, "The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him." I would hardly consider this worship of a "demi-god"! But rather, this is worship of their savior and redeemer, of which Mormons happily participate in.
In the Book of Mormon, Christ appears to the ancient inhabitants of America. While here, the people also worshiped Him as their Lord and Savior. 3 Nephi 19:18 states, "And behold, they began to pray; and they did pray unto Jesus, calling him their Lord and their God." This too is a wonderful example when the people prayed and worshiped directly to Christ himself!
Christ states in 3 Nephi 11:36, "And thus will the Father bear record of me, and the Holy Ghost will bear record unto him of the Father and me; for the Father, and I, and the Holy Ghost are one." This doctrine proposes 2 things: the first is that they are separate, each bearing record of one another. i.e. someone can feel the Holy Ghost (a spirit) that bears record that God exists. The second is that they are one in purpose, in mind, in principle, in doctrine. Christ will never do something that the Father himself wouldn't do.
Remember too Christ's famous words to God before this world began, "Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever." (Moses 4:2 found in the Pearl of Great Price) Christ desires God to receive the glory of helping and saving His children.
So do Mormons then believe that Christ is in some way inferior to God? No they do not. They believe He is the the Only Begotten Son of God and as such, worship Him as their Savior and Redeemer. I hope this makes more clear what Mormons believe about the nature of God and Christ. I hope too that there is little, if any doubt that Mormons believe in Jesus Christ and as such, Christians.
I would have to strongly disagree that the debate has been satisfactorily answered. I would almost say that you have avoided the point being made, when I referenced Jesus being tempted in the wilderness. So I will go back to that.
Jesus says "Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve". As you have agreed upon and as I said previously, Mormons believe that Jesus is god, and the Father is god. Why is Jesus saying to worship and serve only one, and allowing "both" to be worshiped and served? Jesus made it clear, that we are to worship and serve the "Lord thy God" only (I don't mean to insult your intelligence but the definition of only is, no one or nothing more besides; solely or exclusively.), but allows Himself to be worshiped. Its worth the time to go back and look into this, and allow ourselves to be on the same page. Jesus taught this, and in order to be a "Christian by definition", following this teaching is important. It would appear to be a contradiction. In a different universe, you were to trust me, Brandon, with your life and follow my teachings, and I told you to never give anyone named Brandon money, but allowed you to give me, Brandon, money, how would that not fall in on itself? Jesus says to worship your one true God only, but allows people to worship him? He must be the ONE true God?
I don't doubt that Mormons believe in Jesus Christ, I don't believe however, that they follow His teachings. John 1:1 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." The Greek word, for "Word" in this verse is Logos, meaning a word, uttered by a living voice, embodies a conception or idea. Jesus was the embodied Word of God as John says. What was written in the Bible is the Word of God as you and I both will agree, and since it was written that Jesus was the Word, it is not inappropriate to say that the Bible is the teaching of Jesus. Old Testament and New, Jesus is there as you made clear. The Bible was not written based on the ideas of man, but off the inspiration of God himself. I'm trying to be as clear as I can be because if we are both on the same page that the Word, is Jesus, and the Word of God is found in the Bible, we can agree that me using the Bible is using the teaching of Jesus. Lets move forward to what you have stated with this thinking now in mind.
You said that the Father and Jesus "have bodies of flesh and bones". In what way am I suppose to believe this, if in John 4:10 it says "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." God is a spirit, says the Word of God, and as we can now both agree, says the teaching of Jesus.
There are many contradictions, as I said previously, to the Mormon and Christian faith. One of the many issues, is the way to salvation.
"There is no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith as a prophet of God" (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, p. 188)
Mormon apostle Bruce McConkie states: "There is no salvation outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints" (Mormon Doctrine, p.670).
Jesus' teaching would say otherwise, when it is written in Acts 4:11,12 "This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved."
Its by Jesus Christ we are saved. I understand that there is teaching of Joseph Smith that is the "word of god" but I have reason to believe that there are, by biblical definition, false prophets in the Book of Mormon and I cant take that book as the true word of God. If you wish to get into the BoM and the Prophets listed, we absolutely can but I am simply stating that the Bible teaches it's through Jesus alone, we can find salvation where as the LDS church teach differently.
Next. I understand better this time your point about Jesus in the wilderness. Thanks for clarifying again. It's important to remember the doctrine taught by Christ in John 10:30 which says, "I and my Father are one" and again in 3 Nephi 11:36, "...for the Father, and I, and the Holy Ghost are one". To worship Christ is to worship God, for they stand for exactly the same thing: they are in fact one (not one person or one entity, but one in purpose, resolve, mind, etc as I explained earlier in my previous reply). Christ says to worship the one true God for the same reason He asks us to pray to God in His name: He wants the Father to receive all the glory. Christ stated, "Father...the glory be thine forever." (Moses 4:2) However, He is not going to reprimand someone who worships Him when it is through Him that they receive salvation, for He truly loves all mankind (see 1 John 4:16).
Let's move to the bodies of flesh and bone question. The casual reader of the Bible will see that Christ had a body here on the earth, and after His crucifixion, received His resurrected body. He walked among the disciples for over 40 days as a resurrected being (see Acts 1:3). Hopefully, this makes it clear that Christ does in fact have a body of flesh and bone! In Genesis 1:26 it states, "And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness..." God does have a body after which he crafted and created man. The word "our" is key to show that BOTH God and Jesus Christ have bodies. Let's quickly address John 4 verse 24 that says God is a spirit. Of course God has a spirit! All men and women have spirits (see Moses 3:5-7 and 1 Peter 3:19). This does not mean to suggest that He doesn't have a physical body as well though. Christ's point here was to say that it is not only an "outward" or "physical" display of worship that we must give to God, but that we must worship God with our hearts and our spirits. God has a spirit too and thus can communicate to His children spiritually.
All right let's address the question about Joseph Smith. There's much to explain here but I'll do my best. Here I would also like to point out that the books you have quoted are good books, but they are not canonized scripture for members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, which means that it is not declared doctrine (despite McConkie's title). However, using the quotes you have used, it is essential to define the word "salvation". Mormons have a wonderfully unique doctrine about salvation for mankind. Because of Christ, ALL men (save a select few) will receive an ETERNAL GLORY in the next life based upon how they live their lives (Doctrine and Covenants 76 talks all about this). These glories are so magnificent that they are beyond description and cannot be comprehended by man because of how great they are. With this definition, neither of the above statements are true. Even those who reject the gospel of Christ, liars, deceivers, and many bad people will receive these glories. The definition these quotes are using for salvation, however, is to live with and as God Himself and as such, these two statements would be true. It's essential to understand that to receive the highest glory that God has to offer, one must commit to certain standards that God has placed. And think about it, would it be fair for an evil murderer who repeatedly chooses to do wickedly to receive the same glory as someone who has strived their whole life to live righteously? No of course not. Thus God has set in place specific ordinances whereby man may one day live with Him again. These ordinances must be performed under appropriate authority from God. This authority was given to Joseph Smith when Christ restored His church upon the earth. As such, the authority of God is only found in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This in no way demeans what Christ did for mankind and it is ONLY through Christ that man may be saved. Joseph Smith was merely an instrument that God used to establish His church upon the earth. How can someone accept Christ as their Savior but deny that Moses was a prophet? It wouldn't make sense! Moses prophesied of Christ and was His instrument. So too was Joseph Smith. I hope this helps to clarify what Mormon beliefs are and how they are incorporated into the teachings of Christ.
"Mormons do believe in Jesus Christ and Hence: Christians" based on this thinking we can draw the conclusion that Jehovah witnesses are Christians, Muslims are Christians, most atheists are Christians. This sounds inaccurate right? It sounds inaccurate because it obviously takes more then believing in someone to be something. Believing in Jesus is the easy part, believing He is God and the one true God and following His teachings is something entirely different. How many times do we see it in the Bible, that God is not interested in the outward appearance of man but what is happening in the heart. I met up with a mormon recently who said something along with what you are saying and explained "Some people believe in sprinkling water baptisms, others believe in full immersion". Does such a thing matter if the heart is the same? We see that God isn't interested in appearance but rather the heart as it is. There are plenty of different doctrinal beliefs in the Christian community but my friend notice the irony in your comment because Mormons would have to be one of the thirty thousand.
You make an interesting point but I can't seem to be satisfied with that answer. Jesus makes himself clear on who we are to worship and it would seem that Mormons would word smith it to work for their best interest. Again I simply ask, why would Jesus say to worship the one true god only? Had he stated you are to worship God only you may have something, but he said the ONE TRUE God and him alone. That's where I will get tripped up on your resonance.
I'm sorry I must have not made it clear. I know Jesus has a body of flesh and bone but I'm addressing the issue of the Father having flesh and bone. The Word says that Jesus is the image of the invisible God. The verse says God IS spirit. He doesn't say God has a spirit so we will worship in spirit, to worship in the same spirit he has, and truth. He says, God is Spirit.
Now let's address the Genesis 1:26 issue. The word used in the Hebrew (the original language the book was written in) for God is Elohim and that word is plural. The name Elohim is unique to Hebraic thinking: it occurs only in Hebrew and in no other ancient Semitic language. The masculine plural ending does not mean "gods" when referring to the true God of Israel, since the name is mainly used with singular verb forms and with adjectives and pronouns in the singular. What does this mean? This is the first mention of the trinity.
Let Us make man in Our image: The use of the plural (Let Us " in Our image, according to Our likeness) is consistent with the idea that there is One God in three Persons, what we know as the Trinity. Leupold does a good job showing that the plurality of let Us make cannot be merely the plurality of royalty, nor can it be God speaking with and to the angels. It is an indicator of the Trinity, though not clearly spelled out.
In Our image: An understanding of who man is begins with knowing we are made in the image of God. Man is different from every other order of created being because He has a created consistency with God. This means there is an unbridgeable gap between human life and animal life. Though we are biologically similar to certain animals, we are distinct in our moral, intellectual, and spiritual capabilities. This means there is also an unbridgeable gap between human life and angelic life. Nowhere are we told the angels are made in the image of God. Angels cannot have the same kind of relationship of love and fellowship with God we can have. This means the incarnation was truly possible. God (in the Second Person of the Trinity) could really become man, because although deity and humanity are not the same, they are compatible. This means human life has intrinsic value, quite apart from the "quality of life" experienced by any individual, because human life is made in the image of God. This means so many things but it does not mean that God the Father is in human form. Do we see any other biblical evidence to shoe God having human form? Could this be an idea from the mormon doctrine to back up the theology of God being man and being made as man is made, so that we too can become a God? If the Father is of human form and made as we are made, there is nothing to set us apart from him in that form.
My time is quickly escaping so I will have to address this next issue with some haste. Does the president of the Church not carry the weight and responsibility of a prophet? It was my understanding that if Doctrine was to be brought in, it would be through the president. So how then does what he said not doctrine?
"Even those who reject the gospel of Christ, liars, deceivers, and many bad people will receive these glories" how can you back this up with Biblical context? How often did Jesus speak of hell? After His death He went down to hell even! Where does this idea come from. For the rest of your comment it would almost appear that you would have to live a certain way to receive anything from God. Why would Jesus come and what does the cross mean if it's not by his blood we are made righteous before God? Doesn't the bible teach that? It's by His Blood we are saved, not on acts of works. A person who has committed murder their whole life, and then on their death bed feels the weight of conviction resting on their chest, after accepting Jesus as Lord, isn't thinking, "I'm so glad I was able to kill all those people and now I can go and hang out with God. If this is what was said they have not encountered God. They feel the weight of what they have done. They feel the pain of the crimes they committed but I thank God that we are made new and it is through Jesus we are counted as righteous before God. Not based on works but through Jesus and Him alone. I'm just preaching the Bible here man, the Word of a God and the teaching of Jesus.
I wish I could go into more depth but sadly my time is running out and I am at work! I hope this was enough to work with and I plan on picking peices of this during our discussion!
jladams forfeited this round.
The Book of Mormon is "another testament of Jesus Christ" where in, the introduction it states, "The book was written by many ancient prophets by the spirit of prophecy and revelation". Let's quickly break this down. The definition of a prophet is a person who is called upon by God to be Gods spokesperson. In other words this person is essentially the voice of God, on issues of the past present and future. This is an extremely delicate roll and should not be taken lightly as I'm sure you imagine, due to the weight of responsibility. Now understanding the responsibility of this role here should be some way in which we can test a prophet to be a true prophet or not, or else anyone can be running around claiming God said this, and that and taking advantage of Him. We can find such a test in Deuteronomy 18:22
"If the prophet speaks in the Lords name but his prediction does not happen or come to pass, you will know that The Lord did not give the message. That prophet has spoken without my authority and need not be feared." In the same chapter a verses earlier the Bible even talks about if a false prophet comes to you and try's to pull you away from God you have the authority to kill him. So we can draw a couple of conclusions.
1. God has provided a simple way to test a prophet.
2. To wear the mantle of a prophet you will be expected to pass this test.
3. God does not look kindly to a false prophet because they claim e authority to be the word of God, thusly when speaking with that authority, and it is not e word of God it is misleading and guides people away from The Lord.
With that in mind I would like to look at a couple of the prophets in the Book of Mormon.
In the book 1 Nephi chapter 13 the introduction states "Nephi sees in a vision the church of the church of the devil set up among the Gentiles, the discovery and colonizing of America, the loss of many plain and precious parts of the Bible..". The book goes on to explain this in verse number 26.
"And after they go forth by the hand of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, from the Jews unto the Gentiles, thou seest the formation of that great and abominable church, which is most abominable above all other churches; for behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away."
Lets see if we can test this to the best of our ability. Nephi puts it quite simply. There are things in the Bible, that once it leaves the apostles hands, they will go missing. Things that were originally there, are no longer going to be there. We have in our posesion today over, 24,000 New Testament Manuscripts that are 99.5% pure.
This is one of the many resources to look at when supporting this thinking. The .5% that has changed is nothing more then puncuations, conjunctions, and things like "However" being changed into "but". On that website you will also find the evidence of the "oldest extant New Testament manuscripts compared to when they were originally penned." These are all things that we can see today, should we have the resources to get to them. Completely tangible.
There are hundreds of resources that we can use to prove that, what the new testament says in the Bible we have today, is exactly what was originally written 2,000 years ago. Completely preserved, and we have the evidence to show it.
It would appear at this moment, that Nephi has in fact made a prophecy that after being tested, showing it to be incorrect, can biblically be labeled as a false prophet.
If we look at another prophet, Alma and what he said in 7:10 "And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God."
Can we say that Alma just made a mistake? No, because since this is a "prophecy" this is the Word of God and God cannot make a mistake. You might argue that Jerusalem is only 6 miles away from Bethlehem, but it would make me wonder, why would God tell Micah the exact location, and only make things complicated for Alma? That seems to be wildly out of character for God. If you are asking any Archaeologist, they would tell you that, Bethlehem is Bethlehem and Jerusalem is Jerusalem. Based on the test that God gave us, a very simple one, we have to come to the honest conclusion that Alma, has to be labeled as a false prophet. This person as the Bible would tell us, "has spoken without my authority and need not be feared.".
Lets take one last look at the prophet, Joseph Smith.
Doctrine and Covenants 84:2-5
"2 Yea, the word of the Lord concerning his church, established in the last days for the restoration of his people, as he has spoken by the mouth of his prophets, and for the gathering of his saints to stand upon Mount Zion, which shall be the city of New Jerusalem. 3 Which city shall be built, beginning at the temple lot, which is appointed by the finger of the Lord, in the western boundaries of the State of Missouri, and dedicated by the hand of Joseph Smith, Jun., and others with whom the Lord was well pleased. 4 Verily this is the word of the Lord, that the city New Jerusalem shall be built by the gathering of the saints, beginning at this place, even the place of the temple, which temple shall be reared in this generation. 5 For verily this generation shall not all pass away until an house shall be built unto the Lord, and a cloud shall rest upon it, which cloud shall be even the glory of the Lord, which shall fill the house."
We know that this temple was to be built up in Independence Missouri.
It's very simple and easy to see that, there is no temple that is built at the exact spot that Joseph Smith said it would. Joseph Smith said that this temple would be brought up, in "this" generation and it was so clearly not. Could this be dismissed as a mistake? We cant look at it like that, based on what I previously said so we have to mark this as a prophecy that did not come to pass, and based on what the bible says, "That prophet has spoken without my authority and need not be feared.".
My friend, I do not take the Book of Mormon, as the true word of God because the evidence so clearly points the other way. I cannot claim Joseph Smith to be prophet of God because the evidence so clearly points the other way. It is so interesting that the there is nothing to back to Book of Mormon up with, in the Bible. It is suppose to be coming from the same God, but the character of Jesus in the BoM is so vastly different then the God of the Bible.
I want to encourage you to look into what I have shared. There is a true living God and His name is Jesus. He is the same God that spoke the world into existence and He is the same God that knitted you in your mothers womb. He came down, sacrificed His life, and shed His blood with you in mind.
I can't stress enough, how desperate He is to know each one of us, and we don't get in relation with Him based on what we do but simply on accepting Him as Lord and accepting the free gift that is grace.
I hope you enjoyed this as much as I have. Thank you for taking a few days to do this with me and I hope to meet you on here again soon!
"""Wow once again there's so much to discuss! Haha I hope I can get to all of it! You make a good point from the definition I used about Christians. However, if you went up to any atheist and asked them if they follow the teachings of Jesus Christ they would say no. They do not believe he died for the sins of mankind. Muslims do not believe that either. I am not an expert on Jehovah witness doctrine but as far as I know they do believe Jehovah died for their sins (correct me if I'm wrong). The point I was trying to make is that if someone is sincerely trying to follow Jesus Christ and His teachings, then they are Christians. Although someone or others may consider their following of those teachings an incorrect interpretation, they, with their heart, are trying to live as they think Christ would want them to live. As such, I believe Mormons are Christians as well as the other 30,000 denominations. And yes you are correct that in a general study of Christianity, Mormonism is one of the 30,000. (Something else to note: World Religions classes on a college level teach that Mormonism is a sect of Christianity).
As for the proper order of baptism, yes it is crucial! Not only must it be done as Christ taught, but also with His prescribed authority given to man! "And again the Lord called others... and he gave unto them POWER to baptize. And he said unto them: On this wise shall ye baptize; AND THERE SHALL BE NO DISPUTATIONS AMONG YOU" (3 Nephi 11:22, emphasis added). God has asked that we do things in a specific way. Who are we to say that they need not be performed in the manner He has asked? Recall when Paul went up to Ephesus in Acts 19. He asked by what manner the people had been baptized and they said, well the same way that John baptized. Paul then declared the proper manner of baptism and in verse 5, "they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus." Why would it be necessary to baptize them again if they had already been baptized? This doesn't suggest that people who are baptized in other faiths are evil or aren't receiving blessings for further dedicating themselves to Christ, but it does show that God is a god of order and as such, has prescribed a specific manner in which we must do things.
As far as worshipping Christ and the Father, I feel like the doctrine is clear that they are truly one together! That to worship Christ is to worship God! I feel like the scriptures support such a claim, however, to each is entitled his opinion.
Referring once again to John 4:24, this may very well depend on which translation of the Bible we use, however, in the KJV of the Bible, it states, "God is a spirit" and in the preceding verse, Christ states, "But the hour cometh...when the true worshippers shall WORSHIP the Father IN SPIRIT and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him." Context here helps to see why Jesus would declare that God is a spirit, for we are to worship Him in spirit. But all men are spirits! To reference Moses 3 verse 5 once again it states, "For I, the Lord God, created all things, of which I have spoken, spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth..." All things have spirits as well as bodies. Why would God be beneath His creations and only have a spirit? Surely He would abide by His own laws? And of course, man is simply IN THE IMAGE of God. This does not mean to suggest that our bodies are like unto God's in perfection, merely the same image.
Going to the Hebrew roots is a wonderful way to understand better the scriptures. However, this goes back to the scripture when Christ says that He and the Father are one. Using a singular noun in no way disregards that Christ was part of the creation as a separate being, because either way, it was performed as if it were one person. I find it extremely difficult, even from scriptural evidence alone, to accept the idea of the Trinity. There are too many scriptures to suggest otherwise. I'll just mention a few examples.
1) Matthew 3:16-17 with emphasis added, "And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God DESCENDING LIKE A DOVE, and lighting upon him: And lo A VOICE FROM HEAVEN, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." All 3 members of the godhead are referenced in completely different places. How could the Holy Spirit descend upon Jesus if they were one and the same? How could a voice come from heaven when Christ is standing in the water?
2) Acts 7:56 when Stephen is being stoned, "...Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God." How can Christ stand on the right hand of himself? A quick side not here is that is says HAND of God. Why would it reference a physical property of a human form if God did not, in fact, have human form?
3)1 Timothy 2:5, "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" It very clearly references Christ and God as distinctly separate: the mediator being Jesus Christ.
Okay I'll quickly talk about modern-day prophets. The president of the Church absolutely is the prophet! And absolutely does receive revelation for the church! However, he is also entitled to his opinion, as well as the apostles, and as well as any member of the church. Declared doctrine is in the canonized scripture and general conference addresses given to the church every 6 months. Books OR quotes taken outside of this context are not declared doctrine. Many are true! But even the apostles have different opinions about some things. Heck, even in the Bible the apostles disagreed on things! Hope this helped to clarify that point.
I don't have time to talk about Mormon's beliefs on the entire plan of salvation. I wish I could and perhaps we can have a separate discussion on that another time, but I promise you though that everything Mormons believe coincides perfectly with what Jesus taught! All men have been redeemed through the merits of Jesus Christ and through Christ alone as you have said. And yet, by how we live, we decide how much of that sacrifice we are willing to participate in. But to Christ, not living with God IS Hell! How would it feel to live for eternity knowing the blessing you could have had if you had simply accepted? As great as the glories are that God has prepared for man, there is a pain and torment in knowing you could have had more. Well that's all I have time for now. I look forward to the last round! Best wishes."""
That wasround 4. I'll briefly talk about the points you made in round 5.
First: you are correct in saying the translations we have today very accurately reflect what they were translated from. However, I am quite surprised you failed to mention (or perhaps weren't aware) that hundreds of records of prophets were lost. Simply reading the Old Testament will give dozens of references to books that don't exist in our bible today. (i.e. 2 Chronicles 9:29) Surely you're aware of the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD, where highly appointed religious leaders came together and voted on doctrines of God: let me repeat that: they VOTED on doctrines of God. This, to me, is in and of itself blasphemous (surely only God can say what His own doctrine is). During the council, disagreements arose, parties split, other churches formed, and have been forming for centuries. Other similar councils were conducted in Chalcedon (425 AD), Nicaea (787 AD), and Trent (1545 AD). Nephi's prophecy was so clearly true that many, many records were taken away or incorrectly interpreted by churches around the world. He wasn't referring to the monks who did the actual translation.
As for Alma's prophecy, you have to remember that these people are on the opposite side of the world in a relatively primitive society. The only thing they know of the other side of the world is that their fathers came from Jerusalem which was sacred to the Jews. They didn't know Israel's geography. Had Alma said Bethlehem, the people would have had no idea what he was talking about. For all they knew, that could be a future city in their own land. Saying Jerusalem gave them a reference point and something they could relate to.
As for the revelation given to Joseph, I'm glad you mentioned that because I hadn't thought about it that way before. However, the prophecy given that a temple will erected in Independence WILL happen. Don't forget Christ's words to the Jews in John 2:19, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." The Jews misinterpreted His prophecy and used it against Him later. I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss a prophecy simply because it doesn't occur in the way we think it should.
As for the validity of the Book of Mormon, I tell you now that it is true. I have not read a book that has brought me so close to God. I promise if you read it with the desire to know Christ, you will be so very enriched and enlightened. I will say this though. No man, book, or literature can answer the deep questions of the soul. The only way to truly know if something is true is to ask God Himself. Just as one can pray to God to know that Jesus Christ is their Lord and their Redeemer, so can one pray to God to know if the Book of Mormon is true. I have had the opportunity to do so and stand as a witness that it is true! With every fiber of my being, I testify that it is true! God has appointed a prophet on the earth once again just as He did in times of old. Christ is our Savior and has provided a way for us to live with Him again.
I'm so pleased to see your devotion to God. I believe that it's devotion like that that will save this country and save men's souls. Thanks for the wonderful discussion. God bless.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct for the forfeit but fundamentally, Con failed to to show how Mormon's weren't Christians, which was his burden. He showed that they contradict some relatively standard Christian Doctrine, but that's essentially a "no true scotsman" argument--fundametnally, Pro showed they fit the definition of the term, Con's "concerns" notwithstanding. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.
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