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LostintheEcho1498
Posts: 234
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7/29/2014 12:33:50 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
I actually got this idea from PotBelliedGeek and give him credit for the idea. I expect the same standards being that I want only serious questions that expect a serious answer. As for qualifications, I have none save that I am in the office of a Teacher in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I also have grown up in the Church and went to a christian school where I learned of the Bible. I still hope to answer any questions you have as best and truthfully as I can.
Ask away!
Kerfluffer
Posts: 123
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7/29/2014 6:17:58 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Why do Mormons identify themselves as Christians even though their beliefs are drastically different from pretty much every other Christian denomination?

I would say that even Jehova's Witnesses are more "Christian" than Mormons. I would go as far as to claim that Muslims are, in essence, even more "Christian" than Mormons.

The only ties to Christianity are very superficial ones.

Is it not true that:
- Mormons believe that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost are three very distinct Gods.
- Mormons believe that God the Father used to be a man who ascended into godhood after living a very righteous life. He currently resides in a physical body, which has flesh and bones.
- Mormons believe it's possible for humans to live a completely righteous life.
- Mormons believe it's possible for humans to become Gods that are as powerful as the Father.
- Mormons do not believe in the authority of the Bible, but instead believe that the leaders of the church can make up pretty much anything and still be correct - even if it blatantly disagrees with previous "revelations".

This greatly diminishes the power and authority of God from that of every other Abrahamic religion. It's a completely new religion that simply used common phrases of Christianity and gave them different meanings.
TrueScotsman
Posts: 515
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7/29/2014 8:29:12 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/29/2014 12:33:50 AM, LostintheEcho1498 wrote:
I actually got this idea from PotBelliedGeek and give him credit for the idea. I expect the same standards being that I want only serious questions that expect a serious answer. As for qualifications, I have none save that I am in the office of a Teacher in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I also have grown up in the Church and went to a christian school where I learned of the Bible. I still hope to answer any questions you have as best and truthfully as I can.
Ask away!

Your profile says that you're 16, how come you're still a teacher and not a priest?
TrueScotsman
Posts: 515
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7/29/2014 8:34:06 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/29/2014 12:33:50 AM, LostintheEcho1498 wrote:
I actually got this idea from PotBelliedGeek and give him credit for the idea. I expect the same standards being that I want only serious questions that expect a serious answer. As for qualifications, I have none save that I am in the office of a Teacher in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I also have grown up in the Church and went to a christian school where I learned of the Bible. I still hope to answer any questions you have as best and truthfully as I can.
Ask away!

What do you do with the comments by some of the early prophets concerning black people?

For instance:

"Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 10, p. 110)

Or, what do you do with the perceived inconsistencies and changes that Joesph Smith made to his stories, such as the first vision?
LostintheEcho1498
Posts: 234
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7/29/2014 4:12:52 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/29/2014 6:17:58 AM, Kerfluffer wrote:
Why do Mormons identify themselves as Christians even though their beliefs are drastically different from pretty much every other Christian denomination?

I would say that even Jehova's Witnesses are more "Christian" than Mormons. I would go as far as to claim that Muslims are, in essence, even more "Christian" than Mormons.

The only ties to Christianity are very superficial ones.

Is it not true that:
- Mormons believe that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost are three very distinct Gods.
- Mormons believe that God the Father used to be a man who ascended into godhood after living a very righteous life. He currently resides in a physical body, which has flesh and bones.
- Mormons believe it's possible for humans to live a completely righteous life.
- Mormons believe it's possible for humans to become Gods that are as powerful as the Father.
- Mormons do not believe in the authority of the Bible, but instead believe that the leaders of the church can make up pretty much anything and still be correct - even if it blatantly disagrees with previous "revelations".

This greatly diminishes the power and authority of God from that of every other Abrahamic religion. It's a completely new religion that simply used common phrases of Christianity and gave them different meanings.

Well I see several misinterpretations here. To start, yes, we are very much Christian. We believe in Christ, his atonement, and that he payed for our sins. The church is named the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Most people, though, think we are not Christian because we do not believe in the trinity being that we do not believe that Jesus, Heavenly Father, and the Holy Ghost are the same. We believe them to be separate beings as you say above. We do not believe they are all God but they are part of the Godhead. To make this distinction it is like management. There is the head honcho, big guy, etc. who runs everything which is God. Then we have his right-hand man who makes sure everything happens which would be Christ. Then we have Human Resources who sees how everyone is doing and tries to help which would be the Holy Ghost. All three work together but are not the same person. Big distinction. Now to the other parts:
1. Answered above.
2. As for God the Father having lived as a mortal already we do not know. That is only speculation. We do know, however, that he does have a body which is one of the biggest reasons we came to Earth was to get a body.
3. No, no one can live completely righteous. I have listened to President Thomas S. Monson and he tells about some of the mistakes he has made in life. So no, not even the head of the church is entirely perfect. We all are to do out best but reaching perfect is something no human aside from Christ has yet to achieve.
4. This is a more tricky question so let me answer it as best I can. We believe in Heaven as this. There are three levels of glory. The Telestial, the Terrestrial, and the Celestial in order of least to greatest glory.They are often referred to as the kingdoms of the Stars, Moon, and Sun because of the easy comparison in how they differ. Now to the question, we believe that those who can reach the Celestial Kingdom will help God and Christ in the creating of planets, species, etc. but whether we are the ones actually doing the creating I am unsure.
5. We do believe in using the Bible. It is one of the greatest sources of spiritual guidance. We use the King James Version of the Bible and we use it as much if not more as the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price. The difference is that we believe that the Bible has been translated, changed, and translated again and so some things have been lost in translation. The book of Mormon was translated once. The Pearl of Great Price was written down and still unchanged. The Doctrine and Covenants the same as Pearl of Great Price. These doctrine are in their purest form and have not been changed or altered. Therefore, we give more weight and trust in these writings. As for the church leaders, let me say this. There has yet to be a single contradiction between Bible and Book of Mormon. The reason I give the Book of Mormon so much credit is that it was written by a man who had a 3rd grade education, made a story that interconnects, has no inner contradictions, and does not contradict with the Bible. Now go talk to a 3rd grader and see if they can write a book as well made as the Book of Mormon in the whole of sixty-five days. Yeah, not happening. Also with the revelation comment, we believe in modern day revelation. The revelation has to do with stewardship, though. A man can receive revelation for his family, but not for the city for he does not have stewardship for it. The Elders Quorum President can receive revelation for his Quorum and the men in it but not for the High Priests. The goes on and on until we reach the Prophet who has stewardship for the whole world and so receives Revelation for all.
6. We do not diminish the power of God at all. We have total belief in that he is omnipotent and omniscient. We say so in our songs as well. How Firm a Foundation verse 3:
Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I"ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.
LostintheEcho1498
Posts: 234
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7/29/2014 5:24:47 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/29/2014 8:29:12 AM, TrueScotsman wrote:
At 7/29/2014 12:33:50 AM, LostintheEcho1498 wrote:
I actually got this idea from PotBelliedGeek and give him credit for the idea. I expect the same standards being that I want only serious questions that expect a serious answer. As for qualifications, I have none save that I am in the office of a Teacher in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I also have grown up in the Church and went to a christian school where I learned of the Bible. I still hope to answer any questions you have as best and truthfully as I can.
Ask away!

Your profile says that you're 16, how come you're still a teacher and not a priest?

I will be a priest in 2 weeks. I have to be ordained.
TrueScotsman
Posts: 515
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7/29/2014 5:28:58 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/29/2014 4:12:52 PM, LostintheEcho1498 wrote:

Well I see several misinterpretations here. To start, yes, we are very much Christian. We believe in Christ, his atonement, and that he payed for our sins.

When you put it like that, it sounds very similar to what Christians have historically believed. We could go into the differences between the Mormon representation of Jesus and the Historical Christian representation (which generally does not change even between Protestants and Catholics), but even with the atonement there are big differences. For instance, Mormons believe that the atonement was chiefly accomplished in the Garden of Gethsemane.

The church is named the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Most people, though, think we are not Christian because we do not believe in the trinity being that we do not believe that Jesus, Heavenly Father, and the Holy Ghost are the same. We believe them to be separate beings as you say above. We do not believe they are all God but they are part of the Godhead.

Well Joesph Smith wrote some confusing things about this actually.

Which Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one God, infinite and eternal, without end. Amen. D&C 20:28

This is arguably stronger than anything found in the NT in regards to denoting the Trinity. Mormons will then use Semantics for it being "One in Purpose," yet this is no where actually stated, but rather inferred by their teachers onto the texts.

Or you also have Alma 11:35

Now Zeezrom said unto the people: See that ye remember these things; for he said there is but one God; yet he saith that the Son of God shall come, but he shall not save his people"as though he had authority to command God.

To make this distinction it is like management. There is the head honcho, big guy, etc. who runs everything which is God. Then we have his right-hand man who makes sure everything happens which would be Christ. Then we have Human Resources who sees how everyone is doing and tries to help which would be the Holy Ghost. All three work together but are not the same person. Big distinction. Now to the other parts:

A good description of Henotheism, which has been rejected by Christians since the first Century. Where there are many gods, but only one God to be honored by Mormons as truly being God.

2. As for God the Father having lived as a mortal already we do not know. That is only speculation. We do know, however, that he does have a body which is one of the biggest reasons we came to Earth was to get a body.

You don't really know? Do you not regard Joesph Smith as a prophet?

"We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see. These are incomprehensible ideas to some, but they are simple. It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God, and to know that we may converse with him as one man converses with another, and that he was once a man like us; yea, that God the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did, and I will show it from the Bible" - Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, page 345-346.

3. No, no one can live completely righteous. I have listened to President Thomas S. Monson and he tells about some of the mistakes he has made in life. So no, not even the head of the church is entirely perfect. We all are to do out best but reaching perfect is something no human aside from Christ has yet to achieve.

For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do. 2 Nephi 25:23

You do all you can, then Jesus makes up the rest is basically it in a nut shell. No such thing is found in the NT.

4. This is a more tricky question so let me answer it as best I can. We believe in Heaven as this. There are three levels of glory. The Telestial, the Terrestrial, and the Celestial in order of least to greatest glory.They are often referred to as the kingdoms of the Stars, Moon, and Sun because of the easy comparison in how they differ. Now to the question, we believe that those who can reach the Celestial Kingdom will help God and Christ in the creating of planets, species, etc. but whether we are the ones actually doing the creating I am unsure.

So many teachings from the prophets of Mormonism are regarded as mere opinion now, though when they were spoken at the time, they were imagining it was authoritative.

"As man now is, God once was; as God is now man may be." - The Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, ed. Clyde J. Williams [1984], 1.

That seems pretty clear to me, men will become like God is in the future

5. We do believe in using the Bible. It is one of the greatest sources of spiritual guidance. We use the King James Version of the Bible and we use it as much if not more as the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price. The difference is that we believe that the Bible has been translated, changed, and translated again and so some things have been lost in translation. The book of Mormon was translated once. The Pearl of Great Price was written down and still unchanged. The Doctrine and Covenants the same as Pearl of Great Price. These doctrine are in their purest form and have not been changed or altered. Therefore, we give more weight and trust in these writings. As for the church leaders, let me say this. There has yet to be a single contradiction between Bible and Book of Mormon. The reason I give the Book of Mormon so much credit is that it was written by a man who had a 3rd grade education, made a story that interconnects, has no inner contradictions, and does not contradict with the Bible. Now go talk to a 3rd grader and see if they can write a book as well made as the Book of Mormon in the whole of sixty-five days. Yeah, not happening. Also with the revelation comment, we believe in modern day revelation. The revelation has to do with stewardship, though. A man can receive revelation for his family, but not for the city for he does not have stewardship for it. The Elders Quorum President can receive revelation for his Quorum and the men in it but not for the High Priests. The goes on and on until we reach the Prophet who has stewardship for the whole world and so receives Revelation for all.

This one is interesting. We actually have thousands of manuscripts with the original Koine Greek for the NT, as well as papyri and manuscripts from the dead sea scrolls for the OT, Sure there are variations and likely some interpolations here and there, but the issue is not translation, but rather transmission which is mostly accurate. I myself read Koine Greek and will say that modern translations have far less errors than the KJV.

In regards to issues directly with the Book of Mormon, that would be a whole discussion in and of itself.

6. We do not diminish the power of God at all. We have total belief in that he is omnipotent and omniscient. We say so in our songs as well. How Firm a Foundation verse 3:

Omniscient? I'm afraid your prophets have contradicted this too.

"If there were a point where a man in his progression could not proceed any further, the very idea would throw a gloom over every intelligent and reflecting mind. God himself is increasing in knowledge, power and dominion, and will do so, worlds without end. It is just so with us." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p. 120)

How can he be omniscient if he is increasing in knowledge?

Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I"ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.

That's because it is a Christian Hymn written before Joesph Smith was even born.
TrueScotsman
Posts: 515
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7/29/2014 5:30:44 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/29/2014 5:24:47 PM, LostintheEcho1498 wrote:
At 7/29/2014 8:29:12 AM, TrueScotsman wrote:
At 7/29/2014 12:33:50 AM, LostintheEcho1498 wrote:
I actually got this idea from PotBelliedGeek and give him credit for the idea. I expect the same standards being that I want only serious questions that expect a serious answer. As for qualifications, I have none save that I am in the office of a Teacher in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I also have grown up in the Church and went to a christian school where I learned of the Bible. I still hope to answer any questions you have as best and truthfully as I can.
Ask away!

Your profile says that you're 16, how come you're still a teacher and not a priest?

I will be a priest in 2 weeks. I have to be ordained.

I understand, I used to be in charge of the Priest Quorum... well the Bishop is technically the President of the Priest Quorum, but effectively the 1st Counselor fulfills the leadership duties.
LostintheEcho1498
Posts: 234
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7/29/2014 5:38:57 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/29/2014 8:34:06 AM, TrueScotsman wrote:
At 7/29/2014 12:33:50 AM, LostintheEcho1498 wrote:
I actually got this idea from PotBelliedGeek and give him credit for the idea. I expect the same standards being that I want only serious questions that expect a serious answer. As for qualifications, I have none save that I am in the office of a Teacher in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I also have grown up in the Church and went to a christian school where I learned of the Bible. I still hope to answer any questions you have as best and truthfully as I can.
Ask away!

What do you do with the comments by some of the early prophets concerning black people?

For instance:

"Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 10, p. 110)

Or, what do you do with the perceived inconsistencies and changes that Joesph Smith made to his stories, such as the first vision?

The Journal of Discourses is not an official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The content of the Journal of Discourses was transcribed, sometimes inaccurately, and published between 1854 and 1886 in England.
https://www.lds.org...
As for the inconsistencies let me explain. Joseph Smith actually never had any contradictions. He simply either told more or less of the story so some people got the whole story while others did not. Also, people would tell others what they had heard, and then they told people, and so on and anyone who has done the game where you sit in a line and say something to the next person and see what it is at the end it ends up very different. Same idea.
LostintheEcho1498
Posts: 234
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7/29/2014 5:40:16 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/29/2014 5:30:44 PM, TrueScotsman wrote:
At 7/29/2014 5:24:47 PM, LostintheEcho1498 wrote:
At 7/29/2014 8:29:12 AM, TrueScotsman wrote:
At 7/29/2014 12:33:50 AM, LostintheEcho1498 wrote:
I actually got this idea from PotBelliedGeek and give him credit for the idea. I expect the same standards being that I want only serious questions that expect a serious answer. As for qualifications, I have none save that I am in the office of a Teacher in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I also have grown up in the Church and went to a christian school where I learned of the Bible. I still hope to answer any questions you have as best and truthfully as I can.
Ask away!

Your profile says that you're 16, how come you're still a teacher and not a priest?

I will be a priest in 2 weeks. I have to be ordained.

I understand, I used to be in charge of the Priest Quorum... well the Bishop is technically the President of the Priest Quorum, but effectively the 1st Counselor fulfills the leadership duties.

True that. Plus the first counselor usually sits in the Bishops chair when conducting .
TrueScotsman
Posts: 515
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7/29/2014 6:04:01 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/29/2014 5:38:57 PM, LostintheEcho1498 wrote:
At 7/29/2014 8:34:06 AM, TrueScotsman wrote:
At 7/29/2014 12:33:50 AM, LostintheEcho1498 wrote:
I actually got this idea from PotBelliedGeek and give him credit for the idea. I expect the same standards being that I want only serious questions that expect a serious answer. As for qualifications, I have none save that I am in the office of a Teacher in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I also have grown up in the Church and went to a christian school where I learned of the Bible. I still hope to answer any questions you have as best and truthfully as I can.
Ask away!

What do you do with the comments by some of the early prophets concerning black people?

For instance:

"Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 10, p. 110)

Or, what do you do with the perceived inconsistencies and changes that Joesph Smith made to his stories, such as the first vision?

The Journal of Discourses is not an official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The content of the Journal of Discourses was transcribed, sometimes inaccurately, and published between 1854 and 1886 in England.
https://www.lds.org...

Well then they consistently transcribed Brigham Young as a racist bigot. I can offer several other quotes, even from other Church leaders.

Do you think Brigham Young didn't actually say that? That's an awful mischaracterization of him if not.

As for the inconsistencies let me explain. Joseph Smith actually never had any contradictions. He simply either told more or less of the story so some people got the whole story while others did not. Also, people would tell others what they had heard, and then they told people, and so on and anyone who has done the game where you sit in a line and say something to the next person and see what it is at the end it ends up very different. Same idea.

He actually did have some contradictions, would you like me to show you a few?

We have these contradictions not only from other people's accounts, but also from him. There clearly is an evolution to almost every story, from when it is first presented and then in it's canonized form. The whole story was demonstrably doctored up to be a romantic tale of the Mormon church's beginnings.
LostintheEcho1498
Posts: 234
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7/29/2014 6:08:59 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I would use reply and quote but at current its too big so I will just say this is the response to your response.
When you put it like that, it sounds very similar to what Christians have historically believed. We could go into the differences between the Mormon representation of Jesus and the Historical Christian representation (which generally does not change even between Protestants and Catholics), but even with the atonement there are big differences. For instance, Mormons believe that the atonement was chiefly accomplished in the Garden of Gethsemane.
To start here, I mainly agree. There are differences and such but we are still Christian. Here is the definition:
1 a : one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ (http://www.merriam-webster.com...)
We believe in the teachings of Christ and so, by definition, we are Christian.
Well Joesph Smith wrote some confusing things about this actually.

Which Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one God, infinite and eternal, without end. Amen. D&C 20:28

This is arguably stronger than anything found in the NT in regards to denoting the Trinity. Mormons will then use Semantics for it being "One in Purpose," yet this is no where actually stated, but rather inferred by their teachers onto the texts.

Or you also have Alma 11:35

Now Zeezrom said unto the people: See that ye remember these things; for he said there is but one God; yet he saith that the Son of God shall come, but he shall not save his people"as though he had authority to command God.

To say this simply, you said it for me. All three are referred to as God throughout the Bible and BoM. Christ is referred to as the God of Israel and Abraham. Holy Ghost is the Spirit of God. Heavenly Father is simply referred to as God the Father. They are referred to as God because they work as the Godhead. As for the Alma verse, this is not condemning at all. He actually says there is one God.
A good description of Henotheism, which has been rejected by Christians since the first Century. Where there are many gods, but only one God to be honored by Mormons as truly being God.
I do have a knack for metaphors:)
You don't really know? Do you not regard Joesph Smith as a prophet?

"We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see. These are incomprehensible ideas to some, but they are simple. It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God, and to know that we may converse with him as one man converses with another, and that he was once a man like us; yea, that God the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did, and I will show it from the Bible" - Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, page 345-346.

This is something I did not know. Thanks for enlightening me. :)
For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do. 2 Nephi 25:23

You do all you can, then Jesus makes up the rest is basically it in a nut shell. No such thing is found in the NT.

This is very true. We are saved by grace but what others confuse is that you have to do all you can and then Christ does the rest. Christ is not just doing it for you. You have to do the work.
So many teachings from the prophets of Mormonism are regarded as mere opinion now, though when they were spoken at the time, they were imagining it was authoritative.

"As man now is, God once was; as God is now man may be." - The Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, ed. Clyde J. Williams [1984], 1.

That seems pretty clear to me, men will become like God is in the future

Again, was not sure. I did not want to say something and misrepresent.
This one is interesting. We actually have thousands of manuscripts with the original Koine Greek for the NT, as well as papyri and manuscripts from the dead sea scrolls for the OT, Sure there are variations and likely some interpolations here and there, but the issue is not translation, but rather transmission which is mostly accurate. I myself read Koine Greek and will say that modern translations have far less errors than the KJV.

In regards to issues directly with the Book of Mormon, that would be a whole discussion in and of itself.

That is interesting. I knew that in different languages it changes. The Spanish Book of Mormon says Jehovah nearly every chapter while in English it shows up somewhere around 10 times.

Omniscient? I'm afraid your prophets have contradicted this too.

"If there were a point where a man in his progression could not proceed any further, the very idea would throw a gloom over every intelligent and reflecting mind. God himself is increasing in knowledge, power and dominion, and will do so, worlds without end. It is just so with us." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p. 120)

How can he be omniscient if he is increasing in knowledge?

This is an interesting idea. He is constantly increasing in knowledge and will continue to do so without end and so does it still work as all-knowing? I guess that is opinion.

That's because it is a Christian Hymn written before Joesph Smith was even born.

It still applies regardless.
LostintheEcho1498
Posts: 234
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7/29/2014 6:10:12 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/29/2014 6:04:01 PM, TrueScotsman wrote:
At 7/29/2014 5:38:57 PM, LostintheEcho1498 wrote:
At 7/29/2014 8:34:06 AM, TrueScotsman wrote:
At 7/29/2014 12:33:50 AM, LostintheEcho1498 wrote:
I actually got this idea from PotBelliedGeek and give him credit for the idea. I expect the same standards being that I want only serious questions that expect a serious answer. As for qualifications, I have none save that I am in the office of a Teacher in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I also have grown up in the Church and went to a christian school where I learned of the Bible. I still hope to answer any questions you have as best and truthfully as I can.
Ask away!

What do you do with the comments by some of the early prophets concerning black people?

For instance:

"Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 10, p. 110)

Or, what do you do with the perceived inconsistencies and changes that Joesph Smith made to his stories, such as the first vision?

The Journal of Discourses is not an official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The content of the Journal of Discourses was transcribed, sometimes inaccurately, and published between 1854 and 1886 in England.
https://www.lds.org...

Well then they consistently transcribed Brigham Young as a racist bigot. I can offer several other quotes, even from other Church leaders.

Do you think Brigham Young didn't actually say that? That's an awful mischaracterization of him if not.

As for the inconsistencies let me explain. Joseph Smith actually never had any contradictions. He simply either told more or less of the story so some people got the whole story while others did not. Also, people would tell others what they had heard, and then they told people, and so on and anyone who has done the game where you sit in a line and say something to the next person and see what it is at the end it ends up very different. Same idea.

He actually did have some contradictions, would you like me to show you a few?

We have these contradictions not only from other people's accounts, but also from him. There clearly is an evolution to almost every story, from when it is first presented and then in it's canonized form. The whole story was demonstrably doctored up to be a romantic tale of the Mormon church's beginnings.

Actually, I would prefer if you showed the contradictions with the sources.
TrueScotsman
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7/29/2014 6:28:25 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/29/2014 6:10:12 PM, LostintheEcho1498 wrote:
At 7/29/2014 6:04:01 PM, TrueScotsman wrote:
At 7/29/2014 5:38:57 PM, LostintheEcho1498 wrote:
At 7/29/2014 8:34:06 AM, TrueScotsman wrote:
At 7/29/2014 12:33:50 AM, LostintheEcho1498 wrote:
I actually got this idea from PotBelliedGeek and give him credit for the idea. I expect the same standards being that I want only serious questions that expect a serious answer. As for qualifications, I have none save that I am in the office of a Teacher in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I also have grown up in the Church and went to a christian school where I learned of the Bible. I still hope to answer any questions you have as best and truthfully as I can.
Ask away!

What do you do with the comments by some of the early prophets concerning black people?

For instance:

"Shall I tell you the law of God in regard to the African race? If the white man who belongs to the chosen seed mixes his blood with the seed of Cain, the penalty, under the law of God, is death on the spot. This will always be so." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 10, p. 110)

Or, what do you do with the perceived inconsistencies and changes that Joesph Smith made to his stories, such as the first vision?

The Journal of Discourses is not an official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The content of the Journal of Discourses was transcribed, sometimes inaccurately, and published between 1854 and 1886 in England.
https://www.lds.org...

Well then they consistently transcribed Brigham Young as a racist bigot. I can offer several other quotes, even from other Church leaders.

Do you think Brigham Young didn't actually say that? That's an awful mischaracterization of him if not.

As for the inconsistencies let me explain. Joseph Smith actually never had any contradictions. He simply either told more or less of the story so some people got the whole story while others did not. Also, people would tell others what they had heard, and then they told people, and so on and anyone who has done the game where you sit in a line and say something to the next person and see what it is at the end it ends up very different. Same idea.

He actually did have some contradictions, would you like me to show you a few?

We have these contradictions not only from other people's accounts, but also from him. There clearly is an evolution to almost every story, from when it is first presented and then in it's canonized form. The whole story was demonstrably doctored up to be a romantic tale of the Mormon church's beginnings.

Actually, I would prefer if you showed the contradictions with the sources.

I'll show you one, and we can go from there.

Joesph Smith kept changing his story on how old he was when he received his supposed first vision. He also added and changed the story drastically, but an apologist would likely just argue that he was revealing more of what happened (a story that would only be accepted by a person who wanted to believe such). History doesn't buy it though.

As to his age, he wrote about this vision first in 1832.

"and while in <the> attitude of calling upon the Lord <in the 16th year of my age> a piller of fire light above the brightness of the sun at noon day come down from above and rested upon me and I was filled with the spirit of god and the <Lord> opened the heavens upon..."
Source: http://josephsmithpapers.org...

This vision said he was 16 years old, and penned in his own hand.

The next account was given in 1835.

forgiven thee, he testifyed unto me that Jesus Christ is the son of God;70 I was about 14. years old when I received this first communication; When I was about 17 years old I saw another vision of angels, in the night season after I had retired to
Source: http://josephsmithpapers.org...

In this account, he says that he was 14.

Next, we have the Canonized version offered by Joesph Smith in 1838.

"I was at this time in my fifteenth year. My Fathers family was proselyted to the Presbyterian faith and four of them joined that Church, Namely, My Mother Lucy, My Brothers Hyrum, Samuel Harrison, and my Sister Sophonia"
Source: http://josephsmithpapers.org...

This account contradicts both of the other accounts in that he list it being his 15th year. A rather clear contradiction.

It is when we see the other differences in the First Vision's content that we really begin to see the huge changes he made. Doesn't seem like the behavior of a prophet, but rather a fraud.
TrueScotsman
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7/30/2014 8:03:03 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 7/29/2014 6:08:59 PM, LostintheEcho1498 wrote:
I would use reply and quote but at current its too big so I will just say this is the response to your response.

Totally fine!

To start here, I mainly agree. There are differences and such but we are still Christian. Here is the definition:
1 a : one who professes belief in the teachings of Jesus Christ (http://www.merriam-webster.com...)
We believe in the teachings of Christ and so, by definition, we are Christian.

Mormon beliefs on what the "teachings of Jesus" pertains to, is somewhat different from historical Christian churches. I won't get into that any further though.

To say this simply, you said it for me. All three are referred to as God throughout the Bible and BoM. Christ is referred to as the God of Israel and Abraham. Holy Ghost is the Spirit of God. Heavenly Father is simply referred to as God the Father. They are referred to as God because they work as the Godhead. As for the Alma verse, this is not condemning at all. He actually says there is one God.

Yes, they are three separate Gods who come from other Gods.. who come from other Gods ad infinitum.

26 And Zeezrom said unto him: Thou sayest there is a true and living God?

27 And Amulek said: Yea, there is a true and living God.

28 Now Zeezrom said: Is there more than one God?

29 And he answered, No. Alma 11:26-29

Amulek seems to answer differently than most Mormons. You see the Book of Mormon doesn't really teach anything uniquely "Mormon" in doctrine, except perhaps the doctrine of the curse of Cain, which has in part been edited out of the most recent editions of the BoM. The BoM is largely just 19th Century Protestantism with a works based salvation.

This is something I did not know. Thanks for enlightening me. :)

No problem. :)

Now is that something you hold to be authoritative, even though now the church position is basically agnosticism on the matter. The early prophets spoke much more confidently about some of the more controversial doctrines in Mormonism than they do today. Such as the doctrine of Adam God, the doctrine of the curse of Cain, the doctrine of polygamy, the doctrine of exaltation, the doctrine of Christ's natural conception (God the Father literally impregnating Mary), etc.

For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do. 2 Nephi 25:23

You do all you can, then Jesus makes up the rest is basically it in a nut shell. No such thing is found in the NT.

This is very true. We are saved by grace but what others confuse is that you have to do all you can and then Christ does the rest. Christ is not just doing it for you. You have to do the work.

he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, Titus 3:5 (ESV)

Seems quite different from the NT, where it teaches that you are saved unto good works, not after you do everything you can do. The BoM teaches that God's grace isn't really sufficient in your weakness, but rather that is sufficient after you've given everything you've got. (Moroni 8:32)

So many teachings from the prophets of Mormonism are regarded as mere opinion now, though when they were spoken at the time, they were imagining it was authoritative.

"As man now is, God once was; as God is now man may be." - The Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, ed. Clyde J. Williams [1984], 1.

That seems pretty clear to me, men will become like God is in the future

Again, was not sure. I did not want to say something and misrepresent.

I would say you are accurately presenting what currently is the normal teaching in Mormonism, and it largely ignores the teachings of the earlier prophet. You'll come to find that most Mormons who have studied the earlier prophets a bit believe in something akin to superseding revelation. That the current prophets revelation can supersede a previous prophets teaching such that it is like it never was the official teaching, rather Orwellian if you ask me. haha

This is why there have been quite a few off-shoots from the Latter Day movement, as many will disagree once the church changes their official position. For instance, that is where the FLDS church comes from.

That is interesting. I knew that in different languages it changes. The Spanish Book of Mormon says Jehovah nearly every chapter while in English it shows up somewhere around 10 times.


Jehovah is a representation of what some believe the tetragrammaton name of God should be transliterated to. A transliteration is not a translation, but rather just adapts the word in it's original language to the pertaining language. Jehovah or Yahweh comes from "YHWH" but in our modern translations as well as the Septuagint it is translated "LORD" (all caps), so as to honor God's Covenant name. Mormons often link Jehovah to Jesus and Elohim to the Father, which causes some pretty big problems.

This is an interesting idea. He is constantly increasing in knowledge and will continue to do so without end and so does it still work as all-knowing? I guess that is opinion.

Do you think he meant it to just be opinion? Many similar statements from prophets are considered as doctrine. How do you go about determining when a prophet is giving his opinion, or when he is speaking for doctrine?