Deep Thinking About God

I thought I’d highlight two different blog posts.

The first is a reflection of God’s past in the LDS view and whether or not it’s possible God was once a sinner.  I appreciate that there is someone giving the issue some reflection.  Check it out over at Lehi’s Library.

The second is a post about a new book on the Trinity, why it matters and how it changes everything.  You can read Dr. Sanders synopsis of his book and his three steps to the doctrine. It can be found at Scriptorium Daily. If you’re wondering how and why the Trinity is so important to Evangelicals and how it impacts our faith, I can’t think of a better source than Dr. Sanders.

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70 thoughts on “Deep Thinking About God

  1. i thought Sanders’ explanation of why he believes in the Trinity quite well done, but can you understand, Tim, why that wouldn’t be very satisfying for someone who doesn’t already accept his explanation (i.e., the traditional Christian explanation) of how the Trinity works?

    The fact is that even in my days as an evangelical I couldn’t make sense of the doctrine, and I did seek to look at the Bible in its totality.

    The way I see it is this: The Bible (and the nonbiblical LDS scriptures, for that matter) clearly teaches that God is one. It also teaches clearly that God is three. The question, then, is how do you reconcile the contradiction? The idea that God is three “persons” (whatever they are) who are one in “substance” (whatever that is) seems to me to be only one way of dealing with the apparent contradiction — but that doesn’t mean it’s the only way, or even the way that makes the most sense in terms of what the Bible says.

    The interesting thing to me is that I can read the extended passages that Sanders mentions, most of them written by Paul, and see something different than what he sees. When I read about God (presumably the Father) sending his Son, or the Spirit, I see God as someone quite separate from the Son, and quite separate from the Spirit. I don’t see anything in there to suggest that the share the same “substance.” And when I read something like 1 Corinthians 8:6, to give one example, I sense that Paul sees a clear distinction between God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Time and time again, Paul talks about them as if they are separate beings. I honestly believe that if someone were to read the Bible, and the writings of Paul in particular, without any preconceptions whatsoever about the nature of God, s/he would not come up with something as convoluted as the traditional trinitarian view.

    To me, the most natural reading of Paul suggests the existence of three divine beings, each with different roles but all totally in accord. The Old Testament emphasis on there being one God does add another challenge to the interpretation, but even so the jump to the traditional trinitarian understanding seems like a huge, huge leap to make.

  2. Eric, I don’t at all have a problem if you or anyone else doesn’t understand the doctrine or is confused by it. If the LDS church decided that they believed in a Social-Trinitarianism, I could probably stomach it (actually I’d be pretty thrilled with that development).

    The real issue is what you’re rejecting the doctrine of the Trinity for and why you’re rejecting it.

    Taking everything you read in the Bible (and the Book of Mormon for that matter) you would be much LESS likely to come up with the LDS doctrine of exaltation unto godhood, a plurality of gods and a man who became God the Father than you would the doctrine of the Trinity (which I admit is not obvious on the first pass).

    You’re claiming some radically new things about God based on a First Vision that gets obviously embellished as it gets retold and a man who’s personal behavior gets more and more lascivious as he gains confidence in his self proclaimed role as Prophet. You can read all sorts of things into all of the Biblical passages, you’re not likely to read them in though if you’re not first accepting Joseph Smith to be who he said he was.

  3. Taking everything you read in the Bible (and the Book of Mormon for that matter) you would be much LESS likely to come up with the LDS doctrine of exaltation unto godhood, a plurality of gods and a man who became God the Father than you would the doctrine of the Trinity (which I admit is not obvious on the first pass).

    Well, it depends on the doctrine and the particulars. I find that the idea of exaltation — deification, if you will — is present in the writings of Paul. I think a pretty strong case can be made from the Bible alone that becoming joint-heirs with Christ, which is something Paul taught, means a lot more than living with him for eternity.

    Of course, I’ve never suggested that a reading of the Bible by itself (much less the Book of Mormon) would support all various uniquely LDS ideas (some of them doctrinal, some not). And I personally am not convinced that God at one time was a mere man (although obviously many Mormons believe that), nor am I convinced that’s what Joseph Smith was teaching in the King Follett sermon (which isn’t binding doctrine anyway). While I believe that God the Father is corporeal (just as most Christians of various stripes believe that God the Son is), I have no idea how that came about. And until it’s revealed, I won’t know.

    You’re claiming some radically new things about God based on a First Vision that gets obviously embellished as it gets retold …

    It’s not merely the First Vision, although obviously that has played a major role in LDS thought.

    … and a man who’s personal behavior gets more and more lascivious as he gains confidence in his self proclaimed role as Prophet.

    If you’re trying to get me to claim that Joseph Smith was always the paragon of virtue, you aren’t going to get very far.

    You can read all sorts of things into all of the Biblical passages, you’re not likely to read them in though if you’re not first accepting Joseph Smith to be who he said he was.

    I agree entirely, at least when it comes to certain doctrines (e.g., the three degrees of glory). And that’s kind of the flip side of my point: You’re not going to see the traditional doctrine of the Trinity, either, unless you’re predisposed to accept as valid the traditional Christian teaching on the matter. Unless you want to reduce the idea of “substance” to nothing more than the relationship among the three persons of the Trinity (as might be the case in some versions of social trinitarianism), the concept simply isn’t to be found in the Bible. It doesn’t contradict the Bible (just as many LDS ideas don’t), but neither is it taught in the Bible (just as many LDS ideas aren’t).

  4. It doesn’t contradict the Bible (just as many LDS ideas don’t), but neither is it taught in the Bible (just as many LDS ideas aren’t).

    And that’s what I was getting at in my response. It’s not that you’ve rejected the doctrine of the Trinity, it’s what you’ve rejected it for. Many LDS ideas don’t contradict the Bible, others do.

    If you’re trying to get me to claim that Joseph Smith was always the paragon of virtue, you aren’t going to get very far.

    I’m not trying to get you claim that Smith was a paragon of virtue. I’m asking you to consider why you think he was trustworthy enough to accept his teachings that contradict the Bible. Particularly those teachings that came at a time when his behaviors even contradicted his own teachings.

  5. First of all, just to be clear, I’m not aware of which of Joseph Smith’s teachings, if any, when understood in context, contradict the clear teaching of the Bible. I can say a bit more conclusively that I’m not aware of anything I believe in terms of my Christian faith, or even anything that the Church clearly teaches, that contradicts the Bible, which is also a part of my faith. If anything, my membership and participation in the Church has helped me appreciate the Bible more.

    But your more general question is still a valid one: What made Joseph Smith trustworthy enough to be believed about anything?

    It’s a legitimate question, and I’m not sure how much of an answer I give that anyone else would find satisfying. I will say, though, that there are a number of things that, in their totality, I have found compelling: The Book of Mormon, which I find difficult to explain as the outcome of a nonsupernatural process. His social conscience (which I don’t think has received the attention it deserves). His genius in development of abstract and spiritual ideas. His ability to attract so many passionate followers. The way that what he taught, and what the Church teaches, speaks to me. Any one of these factors by itself probably wouldn’t do much for me (and I could come up with arguments in the opposite direction as well as anybody), but taken as a whole (along with probably other reasons I haven’t thought of at this instant) they become powerful.

    I went through a long period of study and reflection before joining the Church (and there were certainly forces pushing me in the other direction), but I became convinced that what was God wanted me to be. So as part of that, I have come to accept the prophetic ministry of Joseph Smith, even though I know he wasn’t perfect and even though I’m are of serious unanswered historical questions surrounding various issues, polygamy in particular. I don’t claim that’s a fully rational approach, but that’s where I am.

  6. Eric check out a book called veiw of the hebrews. You can look it up online. It has a similar storyline as the book of mormon. It was written only a few years before the book of Mormon. Sidney rigdon and Joseph had access to it. It is where some people believe Joseph got some of the material for the book of mormon. Check it out if you dare.

  7. No, I mean, it absolutely terrifies me. It keeps me up at night. I once actually had a nightmare about A View To The Hebrews. Nothing could be more terrifying to me than such a book. To merely look at the cover drives men mad.

  8. Oh I get it, the only scary thing about it is you might actually have to think that Joseph made up the whole religion to control people. He did it for power, money, women etc. It worked for a while. Maybe he even could have been president of the U.S. had he not been shot. But then again you guys probable know all about this stuff.

  9. If you consider Mormonism actually able to save you. That is scary. If you want to belong to one of the best and most wealthy clubs on earth. I would join the Mormon church. Great benefits, jobs, women, a support group that is willing to do almost anything for you.

    When you consider losing all this it might be scary, maybe even scary enough to stay in a religion that you may have questions about that no one is willing to answer.

    That is what kept me for years. Oh heck maybe I will go back to a religion based on a god from planet Kolob. Oh wait sorry it didn’t work for me then.

    I ask you to forgive me. I don’t know what lead me here or even to start a conversation. I know that I can’t show the love Christ put in my heart to reach others here chatting with you. I gracefully bow out. If you have questions may God actually answer them before your hearts are hardened to the point of unbelief.

  10. bob r ~ If you consider Mormonism actually able to save you. That is scary. [SNIP] Oh heck maybe I will go back to a religion based on a god from planet Kolob.

    Is it better to believe that a cosmic Jewish zombie can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him that you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree?

    Or in other words, anyone’s beliefs can be made to sound “scary” and silly. Have some perspective here.

    I know that I can’t show the love Christ put in my heart to reach others here chatting with you.

    If you want to show the love Christ put in your heart to reach others, you could start by actually being loving in your approach.

    You’re welcome to continue participating here if you want to. It might be helpful to know who’s who:

    Tim, gundek, Ms. Jack ~ Never-Mormon, Evangelical Christians. I’m married to a Mormon and have a degree from BYU.

    Whitney, katyjane, David Clark ~ Mainline-to-liberal Christians; David Clark & katyjane are ex-Mormons.

    Katie L., psychochemiker, Alex T. Valencic, Seth R., Jared C., Eric ~ Mormons, varying degrees of belief. Eric was an evangelical Christian before he became Mormon.

    Kullervo ~ Ex-Mormon, pagan, married to katyjane

    Best wishes.

  11. “Great benefits, jobs, women…”

    I never got ANY women when I was LDS. What’s up with that?

    And what are the benefits? Health care? Free dental? Paid vacation leave?

  12. Dear katyjane I waswondering the same thing just yesterday because bob r said there were women and benefits. I know a lot of benefits like the Word Of Wisdom and tithing and the Book of Mormon. But I prayed to Heavenly Father to ask him about other benefits like maybe dental. Because “I know” that Our Heavenly Father answers our prayers through the holy ghost of thy son Jesus Christ amen. katyjane I asked our hesvenly father to tell me what were the benefits and maybe if there was some kind of retirement and he sais NO there is no retirement from the Chruch of Jesus Christ of Ladder Day Saints. Theholy ghost whispered to me that we will always be doing the lord’s work even when we are spirits in spirir prison teaching the GOSPEL to the spirits in speirit proson who did not have the chance to be baptized for the dead. But the holy ghost whispered to me tat we will be strengthened by the power of thy son Jesus Chsitst intiol we don;t need a retirement to just keep on doing the work of our hevaenlty fether for Time And All Eternity. It will be glorious.

  13. Great benefits, jobs, women, a support group that is willing to do almost anything for you.

    I’m not sure what these great benefits are. Usually when someone talks about benefits, they mean health care (I have personal private insurance), dental (non-existent), vision (nada), sometimes hearing (also a blank, although both my wife and I are hard of hearing and would definitely benefit).

    Jobs? I am working two jobs that are both on-call jobs, soon to be four on-call jobs. This is after being unemployed for a couple of months. My wife is still unemployed, although she’s had a few interviews.

    Women? I have one woman. I admit, she is pretty great, though. But she’s still just one.

    A support group that is willing to do almost anything for you? Well, okay, yeah, I definitely get that from the LDS church. But, then, one of my best friends, who is a no-Mo, is a Mason, and he has the same support group. And I think ECC, where Ms. Jack is a member, is pretty sweet, too. So, while true, it certainly isn’t exclusively true for Mormonism.

  14. A support group that is willing to do almost anything for you? Well, okay, yeah, I definitely get that from the LDS church.

    If they’re willing to do almost anythign for you, why don’t you get them to give you a job, benefits, and women?

  15. The key is “almost anything” – it allows for exceptions.

    And besides, I haven’t asked because, like all good Mormons, I am too stubborn to ask for help when I need it. Much more willing to struggle and suffer like my metaphorical pioneer ancestors.

  16. bob r,

    Please don’t go! If you found the truth outside of Mormonism, how will we be able to follow without your sweet spirit and cogent reasoning.

  17. Ok sorry if i came off the wrong way. Here is some background on me. Exmormon, I believe that the bible is Gods living word. I came out of mormonism due to the fact that it was created by self made prophets that imposed their will over the people not Gods will.

    There is probably nothing that I could tell you that most of you have not already heard. If you want to know God ask him to reveal himself to you. If you think that this life is nothing more than to be born get a job have a family whatever you find in this life to fill your time and die, how sad.

    Jared just a point about the devil. Who is he? Jesus brother, heaven forbid. An angel that was cast from heaven for wanting to be God absolutly if you believe what the bible says.

    whether God lead me here believe what you will.

  18. Dear, Bob r

    I have done what you said to do when you said if you want to know god ask him to reveal himself to you I have asked god our Hevenly Father and the holy ghost of his Son Jesus christ and would you like to know what he said? he whisered Gidgiddoni, there is only One, True church on the face of the earth of the Bible and the Book of mormon and it is the Church of Jesus Christ of Ltter Day Saints. I do not know if you have ever heard that church but a lot of people call if the MORMON church. It is not a nick name I don’t think. I am not sure about that. I don’t think nick names are respectful. I would not call you a nick name I would call ypou bob r but not bob ro because that is probably not your real name. I don not think there is anyone in the Book of Mormon named bob r but if there is he is a HERO.

    But bob r i want to give you a warning about the ADVERSARY. It is not good to say his name because it invites him to come in andI don’t know if you have heard about that but the ADVERSARY can do very bad things to you if you let him in. I just wantt o warn you in the name of jesus christ and the Holt ghost amen.

  19. bob r

    “If you want to know God ask him to reveal himself to you. If you think that this life is nothing more than to be born get a job have a family whatever you find in this life to fill your time and die, how sad.”

    This life isn’t just to be born and die. The glorious works of God are woven around us all! We are all connected, all subject to the Mercies of Jesus Christ! Every knee will bow, and every tongue confess, that Jesus IS the Christ, and mighty to save! Christ will reign as King of Kings, and Lord of Lords..and his kingdom will be One. If we think that everyone will become just like any one religion, then our faces will be brought low into the dust, and we will be humbled at God’s glory, and knowledge, and light. He will gather all truth and put our quarrels to rest.

    The faith we exercise during our lives…the good works we preform…will echo for eternity. This life is much more than you or I or our family and friends. It’s about the entire human race..past, present, future…and who can comprehend?? We have been influenced by the choices are great grandparents made, and they from the greater grandparents…and we will influence generations to come.

    Who will imply that Jesus Christ and the fallen angel being ‘brothers’ is bad? Would that make Christ unholy? I think it’s proof OF his holiness. For if Jesus Christ could not choose to do Father’s Will, then the sacrifice would be in vain. Jesus HAD to have the opportunity to choose…and satan’s existence is proof that a glorious being of light can still choose evil.

  20. Gidgiddoni, Jesus says he is coming back for his church, right. Ok here is the church he is coming back for. His bride, the body of Christ. True heartfelt believers in his promises. They must know him as their master and savior.

    He is not coming back for the pentecostal, lutherans, catholics, protestants per say. Sure there will be believers from these religions. To say that there is only one true church in a way is true. Let us replace the word church with people. His people.

    This is why it is so important to understand who Jesus is. The bible says there are many false prophets in the world. How do we tell then which are false and which are of God. The bible gives us a guide. Mathew Chapter 7. 2 Peter chapter 2. Deuteronomy 18;22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, If the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

    Isaac

    Read from Job where God is speaking to Job. He asks him. Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, If you have understanding. Who determined its measurement? Surely you know!
    Job chapter 38

    This tells me that Job was not there when God created the earth. So if Job was not there neither were you. Adam was created from dust remember Genesis. Eve from the rib of Adam. We were begotten from them. Jesus is the only begotten son of God. We are created, Jesus begotten of God. Jesus thought it not robbery to consider himself equal to God. John 5:18. Jesus is wholly human and wholly God. John 1 In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the word was God. Not brother to Satan but creator God to Satan.

    Mormonism and true Christianity do not coincide. They do not complement each other. Here is a quote from Allistair Begg. (“To believe two contradictory religions are both simultaneously true is foolishness. To believe all religions are equally valid is to become hopelessly entangled in self contradiction.”) I believe there is more or less one true church but it really isn’t a church at all. Only a body of people. Connected by the truth.

    Here is a scripture on good works. Isaiah 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags;

    Hear it from my mouth I am not holier than you. I am a sinner redeemed by grace through faith in the sacrifice of Jesus for my sins. If the world sees me as a good man know this there is none good but god.

    Clear as mud huh. May God open your ears and eyes to his word. Amen.

  21. Bob, r You keep aying the name of the ADVERSARy (I do not want to say it but it is “Satan”), and it makes me really, really worried about you. I “know” that is we say his name too many times it can invite him to come in to us I do not know what part of the bodty he comes in throgough It think it is probably the mouth because that is the part we use to say his name which invites him to come into us. I “know” you do not want the ADVERSART to be inside you and controlling you. Please be, more carefl.

  22. I am not unknowing of the power the adversary possesses in this world. Be encouraged Gidgiddoni for if our God be for us then who can be against us. Just because we are believers in Christ does not make us immune to hardships. On the contrary maybe we will be tested like Job. Have faith and persevere. Who is able to pluck you from the hand of God?

    I would like to introduce any who read this to a website, (Truth for Life), it has many sermons that may bring understanding of the Bible. It has been a Great encouragement to me. God Bless.

  23. To say that there is only one true church in a way is true. Let us replace the word church with people.

    Okay. “To say that there is only one true people in a way is true.” This seems to imply that there is at least one false people. Are these like the homunculi?

    This tells me that Job was not there when God created the earth. So if Job was not there neither were you.

    I am not even sure how this argument is supposed to hold up. How does Job’s presence (or lack thereof) have anything to do with the presence (or non-presence) of anyone else?

    Job was not there when X happened. If Job was not there, then neither were you. So if Job was not there when I was born, then I was not there either. Wow. Maybe I am one of those false people you were talking about!

  24. Job 38 4:7

    “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast understanding.
    5 Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it?
    6 Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof;
    7 When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?”

    Where wast thou..when the morning stars sang together, and ALL the sons of God shouted for joy? Seems to me that all the sons of God were there..and are we not promsed to be recognized as God’s sons and daughters…and perhaps why the title Father has always been used?
    Though the question is never answered, you saw fit to assume the only answer could be that Job was nonexistant at the foundations of the earth. Due to lack of information? As you read Job 38, 39, and 40, do you get the pont of what God is doing?
    “Where were you when…” Weither you were there or if you had no idea where you were…you’d be humbled by the matchless power of God. God was establishing his greatness to Job and for good reasons.

    Genesis 2:
    3 And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.
    4 ¶ These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,
    5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.
    6 But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.
    7 And the Lord God formed bman of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

    The creation story of Genesis points to a creation before the actual earth was created. Adam was ‘formed from the dust”. It clearly states how he made everything before it was in the earth. “for the Lord God had NOT caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was NOT a man to till the ground” … God breathed life into the body..in other words, God gave the body a spirit and he became a living soul (body and spirit combined).

    Christ is the Only Begotten because God the Father and Mary were his parents in the earthly sense. You cannot compare our earthly birth of a corpereal body with our spiritual body. God the Father is the Father of our spirits. Are you saying we did not exist simply because we were not born.. and when we die..are we no longer again? No…our spirit endures while our bodies rot…and wait for the day of resurrection which is only possible through the merits of Jesus Christ. So if the spirit is able to endure after death, why could it not have endured before life? Why do we assume that with the creation of a human body, a spirit is created in tandum? What is the reasoning?

    And how is our filthiness made clean? Will you deny Christ? No, that was not your intent..yet all our works ARE as filthiness unless we wash ourselves in the Blood of Christ. Through him, and only through him can the smallest act be good. Though our attempts would not satisfy justice, Christ perfects us, and perfects our works, that they add Glory and Honor to God forever and ever. We must believe and be baptised to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven…yet if we believe not, then our works are filthiness and for naught. Faith underlines everything.

  25. Bob r,

    You are reading this wrong, doesn’t verse 7 it say that

    “all the sons of God” witnessed the laying of the foundations of the world?

    If “all of the sons of God” were there, that would include you and me both, as well as Job!

    It looks like you need to go back to being an Mormon, we are the only ones that believe we were all there to witness the creation.

    Unless of course you are arguing that we are not meant to read this strange bible literally. (Heaven forbid.)

  26. Why then does Genesis describe our creation. If we, according to Mormonism were already created. Why is Jesus described as the only begotten son? Mormonism teaches that we are all literal sons of God. Not so I say. This would take the power from Jesus and place us on the same level. Just as saying that Satan and Jesus are brothers. Mormonism has robbed Jesus of his true nature. To say that satan or us are equal to Jesus is blasphemy. I can not agree with this teaching. It creates a perpetual loop with no one at the beginning.

    Go back to Job 1:6 Now there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. ( this is talking about angels. the sons of God, “angels” not man)

    Genesis 2:7. Man was created after the ground was created. He had to be if he was made from the ground. The ground was created on earth not in the spirit realm.

    Adam and Eve were created eternal beings. They would not have died if they had never disobeyed God. How did God bring Adam to life after he formed him from the dust? He breathed life into him. It does not say that God begot Adam. He made him a living soul with his breath.

    Just as we are dead in our sins it takes God to breathe life into us. His holy spirit quickens us to life.

    Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned

    Where in the Book of Mormon does it say that we were with God before the earth was formed?

    Where in the BOM does it say we will be Gods?

    This is an endless argument. What makes you believe all the things that Joseph taught. Doesn’t it seem likely that if you consider Joseph a true prophet he will pass the test the bible has laid down for us. Don’t just bare your testimony. What makes the BOM truth. So prove to me why Mormonism is the only true church. What makes the BOM more valid than the Bible. This is probably where we should start if you or I am supposed to believe one over the other.

  27. Bob r

    Genesis describes the creation for our benefit..there is a much one can glean from the account.

    Why are little children so dear to Christ?
    “..suffer the little children, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven”
    Why is that? They have just come from heaven and are the most angelic, most faith-filled on earth. They have not yet been tarnished and are innocent and holy. Verily, Christ had reason to say that it were better a millstone be hung around the neck of one who harms a little child. It would be akin to harming an Angel of God.
    Adam and Eve…isn’t it telling how mankind started out as eternal and will end up being eternal? I don’t see how God is jeopardized by our spirits existing before our bodies are created.

    Adam and Eve were married, then became mortal and then had children who were likewise mortal. Why was Jesus Christ the Only Begotten of the Father? Our parents, descended from Adam, are both mortals. Who were Jesus’s parents? Mary, and God…the Holy Ghost descending, or otherwise, Jesus claimed to be the Only Begotten Son of the Father. Thats why Jesus is called the Only Begotten…because we all have mortal fathers when Christ had God the Father as a literal father. It takes no translation..thats it. What other Biblical reason is there?

    Jesus Christ always did the will of the Father, so the Father gave unto him all power. And is God the Father diminished? No..but God the Father is glorified through Jesus Christ. Elijah was given power to command the elements, to call down fire, as if he were God…and was God diminished? No..but the actions of Elijah glorified God. If there be one good thing wrought of us, it is only through the goodness of God…and such goodness glorifies God…and we are glorified and perfected through the merits of Christ. If God glorifies ANYthing, does his glory then leave him? No. Nor is it possible to take glory or power away from Christ. Any glory or power we obtain will be given by God..and so how can one take that which can only be given?

    As for being equal to Jesus, or being on the same level..I mean..we can’t quite equate with the Savior of Mankind. Our common hope is to be perfected…sinless…Christlike… “Come follow me”…the only way to be like Christ is through Christ. Do you think he wouldn’t want that for us?

    Of course ‘man’ wasn’t there. Adam was not yet a living soul…and that’s what ‘man’ is…a body AND a spirit. God breathed into Adam the breath of life……..God gave the body he created a spirit.
    Angels…sons of God…if we have faith in Christ and follow his example, are we not considered children of God? Will we not be Angels of God, praising his name forever? If we are to ‘become’ sons and daughters of God and live for eternity, were we never NOT God’s child? Maybe Kullervo could say.

  28. If we are to ‘become’ sons and daughters of God and live for eternity, were we never NOT God’s child?

    Isaac, I hate to break this to you, but in order to “become” something, you have to start out as not-that-thing.

  29. Yes…hence the ‘ marks to capsulate the concept of ‘becoming’ as a subjective concept.

    The only way we cannot be the sons and daughters of God is if we deny Jesus Christ and seek to destroy God and his works. We became fallen sons and daughters when we sin..and in order to return to that status, we must repent and apply the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Little children who are born..live a few years..and are taken back to God are not guilty of sin….for they had not the capacity to commit it. They will be considered Sons and Daughters of God…not because they simply existed and died without sinning, and thus BECOME… but during this life, nothing occured that Christ wouldn’t cover (the resurrection, the blanket of Grace and Mercy covering the innocent) and so they REMAIN Sons and Daughters of God.
    No wonder Christ considers us to be Brothers and Sisters, Mothers and Father to each other, outside of blood…he is simply stating a truth.

  30. Notice too that us as sons and daughters before and us as Sons and Daughters afterward notes a substantial change…if we are endangered with the possibility of becoming, somehow, LESS then a child of God, then the duality of the universe would suggest that we would also have a possibility of becoming MORE than a child of God…becoming like Christ…a glorified, resurrected being of Love and Light, perfected through Christ’s Blood.

  31. If God, being eternal, would have us be a Child of God for eternity, then mustn’t we have been from the begining? Would he not have always call us his children if that was his intention? What faith, what love, what an example of Fatherhood and Leadership that he would consider us in the highest regard only until we, of our own choice, stepped down from our potential!

  32. Do you have kids Isaac? I know from experience that kids are not angels. My daughter of nine is very vengeful towards my son. My son who is five is such a perfect angel he throws tantrums the entire block can hear. Kids have a God given sense of wrong and right. We all do. It is only if they or we choose to listen to it.

    Sin entered into the world through the disobedience of Adam and Eve. It is inherited by us when we are born, thus the reason we die. Romans 5:12. But read on and find out how we are made righteous.

    I can not tell you what happens to babies if they die. But I know this for a surety. God is a just God and a merciful God. He wants all to be saved unto eternal life. He wants no one to perish. All goodness comes from him. I trust in his judgment. I think the same way that you do. I do not believe God would hold children accountable.

    As far as being sons of God read Galatians Chapter 4
    It says we can be an heir of God.

    Read also Romans chapter 8. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.

    John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

  33. I never said all children were ‘good’ angels. We all have different personalities despite our environments…before this life we had distinct personalities and after this life we will be recognized by our personality. Personalities are somewhat fixed and remain constant from babe to old man (exceptions exist).
    Children having a God given sense of right and wrong suggests that they have already received instruction.

    We die for the sin of one man and through one man, we can live again. Romans 5:13-14 states that where there is no law, there is no sin…and that there are those who have not sinned and still die. We are destined to die at our first breath and are immediately reliant upon the Merits of Jesus Christ. But sin is not imputed upon us until we have sufficient understanding. Until that time, we remain as a Child of God. Those of us who have sinned have become unworthy of Gods presence…we are fallen. What qualifies as a child of god?
    “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God”
    “But as many as receive him(Christ).”
    The knowledge of our redemption, and active faith in our redemption restores us. The Atonement of Christ returns us back into a pure state..we are perfected and sanctified and are able to bear being in God’s presence.
    Did you get that? We were pure, became unpure, then purified by Christ.
    So we know that there are those who have not sinned, and we know that we all entered into this life individually innocent of personal sin, (though condemned to death by Adam, and hope in life through Christ’s resurrection). We are called sons and daughters of God when sin has been swept away, or is not imputed upon us. So we entered into this life as sons and daughters of God (qualified by Christ) and can only have that inheritance taken away if we sin and repent not.
    In other words,
    If impurities of soul disqualify us from being a child of God, and the sinless are automatically a child of God (they would have to acknowledge Christ at a point) then we all began as a child of God…innocent, until corrupted. After sin is committed, only the Blood of Christ can transform us back into a little child..for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.

    It IS true that anyone of normal capacity would be destined to sin..and in this way we are corrupt and fallen from birth and will remain that way unless we have faith, repent and follow Christ.

    Yes, we are made righteous by one, even Jesus Christ. In chapter 6 it starts,
    “1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
    2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?”
    It goes on to say that we must not sin if we are truly ‘born again’…that is to say, we must obey the commandments. Hmmmm…justified by grace and yet God requires us to be obedient. I think that’s a perspective that LDS relate to…I don’t ever think that one work will save me, but I’m being obedient to the commands given me. The concept of works for salvation never crossed my mind until anti’s brought it up.

    Galations 3 and 4…the Galations are focusing too much on outward performances and traditions and were using their works to justify themselves. Abraham’s works were counted unto him for righteousness because of his faith, not his work. To be children of Abraham (to follow the example of Abraham correctly) you must have faith in Jesus Christ, which the Law of Moses pointed to. So too must you have faith to become the sons of God. Since we are in a fallen state, we are no longer the sons of God and must become sons of God again, through our faith.

  34. Bob r said,

    “Where in the Book of Mormon does it say that we were with God before the earth was formed?

    Where in the BOM does it say we will be Gods?

    This is an endless argument. What makes you believe all the things that Joseph taught. Doesn’t it seem likely that if you consider Joseph a true prophet he will pass the test the bible has laid down for us. Don’t just bare your testimony. What makes the BOM truth. So prove to me why Mormonism is the only true church. What makes the BOM more valid than the Bible. This is probably where we should start if you or I am supposed to believe one over the other.”

    I don’t see the point of answering these challenges. First you want to know what the BoM says on the matter, then you want to prove that the BoM is true.
    Why did Joseph Smith reveal doctrine that wasn’t in the Book of Mormon? Amos 3:7
    Both the Book of Mormon and the Bible are replete with examples of prophets being forbidden to share their knowledge of God. How meat could not be given before the individuals were weaned off of milk. That which is most sacred is not written but passed down orally. When there is no one worthy to hear, that knowledge is lost until God restores it again.

    I will not claim that the BoM is more ‘valid’ than the Bible when they testify of each other..just as the Father testifies of the Son, and the Son the Father, and the Holy Ghost of the Father and the Son, and the Father and the Son of the Holy Ghost. Now that’s solid if weren’t solid enough individually. The BoM doesn’t make the Bible weak, as you would claim, but strengthens it. One testimony is good…two, three or more testimonies become unshakable.

    Just because we claim to be the only true Church of Jesus Christ doesn’t mean that we are the only ones with truth. All truth is encompassed within God. I believe that reincarnation could have a place in God’s eternal truth..though how it does, if it does, has not yet been revealed to us. Just because it isn’t in the Bible, doesn’t mean its not of God. That throws a wrench in some Christian belief because they can no longer solely rely upon the definition of the Bible as the ONLY Word of God but must rely on something other than tradition.

    Matthew 16:17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

    We must rely on God, not the philosophies of men, to discern truth.

  35. I don’t see the point of answering these challenges.

    Given that your religion claims exclusive truth and exclusive authority, and it aggressively proselytizes to make converts from other religions, you are obligated to respond to these–and any other–challenges.

    You can’t make that kind of claim and behave that way and then take a free pass on dealing with objections to your claims and behavior.

  36. It is ok Kullervo, it was kind of a loaded question. I challenged him to find it in the book of Mormon because I know it is not there. It is in another book. I just wondered if he had read his own book.

    Isaac

    Let’s try this approach. I have told you the harm in thinking that we are all made spirit children in a preexistance ( It makes people believe they are equal to Christ. It makes the devil equal to Christ. It also makes it impossible to understand the three distinct personages of God.)

    Tell me then, what good does it do. If we have no recollection of it. And why then do Mormons put so much emphasis on it?

  37. bob r,

    Please try to use some logic that makes sense. Saying that we were spirit children who existed in a pre-earth life does not make us equal to Christ. It does not make us equal to Satan. It does not make Satan equal to Christ. It means nothing more than we had an existence previous to the one we now know.

    There are heaps of important things that happen in our lives that we don’t remember. It doesn’t make the events non-existent or unimportant. It merely means that they are not remembered. For example, when I was about two years old, I choked on a hot dog. I nearly died. Through a series of somewhat miraculous events, I did not die. This was a very important event in my life, but I have no recollection of it. I know of it only because the members of my family have told me it happened. I don’t remember why I actually earned my Duty to God award in Cub Scouts, or when I earned the Arrow of Light, and yet I have patches on my adult leader scout uniform that signify that I received both of these very important awards. Does my non-remembrance make the events non-existent? Not at all.

    Nor does our non-remembrance of the pre-mortal existence make it non-existent. It merely makes it an event that we don’t remember.

  38. I like that, things that are most sacred are passed down Orally. We use to play this game in school or scouts. Any way you start with a message and tell the next guy in line. He tells the person next to him. and so on and so on. By the time you get to the end the message is seldom the same.

    What is the scripture reference on that?

    Please forgive me I could not help myself. Gods message was passed to the people by a prophet or seer. But I am sure that they wrote it down. That is why we have the bible.

    On Reincarnation
    Psalms 78:
    38But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not: yea, many a time turned he his anger away, and did not stir up all his wrath.

    39For he remembered that they were but flesh; a wind that passeth away, and cometh not again.

    40How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert!

    Hebrews 9:27 Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment,

    Mormonism and true Christianity do not coincide. They do not complement each other. Here is a quote from Allistair Begg. (“To believe two contradictory religions are both simultaneously true is foolishness. To believe all religions are equally valid is to become hopelessly entangled in self contradiction.”)

    I believe there is more or less one true church but it really isn’t a church at all. Only a body of people. Connected by the truth.

    Do you want to Join? All you have to do is come to a point in life where you know you can not go on without Jesus. Admit you are a sinner. Ask him to forgive you. Ask him to teach you of his church. Because contrary to a lot of peoples beliefs he is alive and at the head of his church. Hence the empty tomb.

  39. Ok wait maybe I misunderstood what I was taught in sunday school. I thought that Satan and Jesus were brothers. This would kind of make them equal. Since we were all born of god in heaven as spirit children the same way satan and Jesus were, doesn’t this make us all kind of equal. This is kind of Mormonism 101 right. This is why Mormons can become gods.

    God was once a man. He attained godhood by being a good person. Isn’t this taught by the prophet. So it must be true because we have already determined (god orally passes down his most sacred teachings through his prophets). Oh yeah it is written down.

    The only difference is god liked Jesus’ plan better. Now I am confused. Tell me from the beginning. I really do want to know.

  40. Mathew 16: 13When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”

    14They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

    15″But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”

    16Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ,[b] the Son of the living God.”

    17Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.

    I ask you, So who do you say he is? Emanuel (God with us) or satans brother? And who revealed this to you?

    There were many at the time of Christ who did not know him. Just as now there are many more who do not know him.

  41. Kullervo,

    No, I planned on answering the challenge..I feel I have been for quite some time as that’s what is at the core of the many (if not all) these issues. I just wanted to bring attention to his motive..asking for proof out of a book he discredits…a loaded question, as he says.

  42. Bob r,

    I wouldn’t doubt if allusions to the doctrine could be found in the BoM. But no, that’s not where it’s expressed.

    “I have told you the harm in thinking that we are all made spirit children in a preexistance ( It makes people believe they are equal to Christ.”

    Okay…you lost me right here at the beginning. The only one that is teaching this ‘you and I are equal to Christ’ is you. We don’t teach that. That concept never entered my mind and why would it? We believe in differing degrees of glory. Though we are made perfect like unto Christ, still we are not his equal. It has been established that those who follow Christ are children of God. God is our Father..Jesus Christ is the Son of the Father…that pretty much spells out “we’re brothers”…get mad at the Bible for clearly stating the obvious or go heckle the guy who fed you this equal business. Equal?? This is one of those doctrines that get stuffed in our pockets when we have nothing to do with it. “makes people believe they are equal to Christ.” please. To know that you are a Child of God gives reassurance in the love of our Heavenly Father. He always addresses us as our Father, us as his Children. I don’t understand why you would insist on taking this special relationship away from everyone.

  43. Bob r
    “Tell me then, what good does it do. If we have no recollection of it. And why then do Mormons put so much emphasis on it?”

    The emphasizing comes when others challenge our position. We emphasize what we know to be true.

    What good does it do? I suppose existing wouldn’t be a good enough reason for you, would it? Seeing as God sees things? The eternal nature we possess?
    What good does it do? If we were with God during the war against Lucifer, during the creation, during all the generations up to Christ’s birth, during the life of Christ, witnessing his triumph over sin and death, during all the many years after, up to the point of birth…then…we would know a WHOLE lot of stuff. If we remembered, faith would not have been necessary.
    2 Nephi 2:11-13 talks about the need for opposition in all things. If we remembered then it would frustrate the refinement process…if we could not be tempted, then we would never have to choose God…if we did not willfully choose God then we would never be his children and could never receive an inheritance.

  44. Bob r,

    oh yeah..the phone game. I would just throw something out there…if God were to reveal an “unspeakable mystery” to a prophet, I’m sure God could repeat the process when the time justified it. And we’re not talking about a silly phrase that we only hear once, in a low whispered tone…we are talking about the mysteries of God.
    Where in the Bible do we find allusions to words that are not written?
    Matt. 17: 3-4 …do Moses and Elias miraculously appear to chat with Christ about the weather? Peter, James and John were counseled to not reveal what occurred until later. We know that it happened, but no other details are provided. Whatever Moses and Elias had to say, it was important enough to appear face to face with Jesus Christ, and dually important that the three Apostles were there.

    Acts 1:3 Christ was with the Apostles forty days, teaching them concerning the kingdom of God…what did Christ teach them besides what he already taught them before his death? We find Jesus extensively quoted before his death, but of these forty days we have little if nothing. Does Christ just shoot the breeze and inflate his words? That was an intense forty day work shop, if you ask me.

    Rev 10:4 And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.

    Then I also have a paper I found written by one Margaret Barker, a non-LDS independent scholar…in it she gives overwhelming evidence to a lost tradition that was held amongst the Apostles.

    http://www.margaretbarker.com/Papers/SecretTradition.pdf

    As I just showed, there are things of importance that the prophets knew that were not written down. Are you familiar with the Lost Books? All those sacred books quoted by Christ and the prophets that either no longer exist or are excluded from the Bible? Surely if the Son of God or a prophet of God quoted such a book then that one quote was the only statement of value that the book contained. A foolish assumption.

    “Lost Books”: book of the Wars of the Lord (Num. 21: 14); book of Jasher (Josh. 10: 13; 2 Sam. 1: 18); book of the acts of Solomon (1 Kgs. 11: 41); book of Samuel the seer (1 Chr. 29: 29); book of Gad the seer (1 Chr. 29: 29); book of Nathan the prophet (1 Chr. 29: 29; 2 Chr. 9: 29); prophecy of Ahijah (2 Chr. 9: 29); visions of Iddo the seer (2 Chr. 9: 29; 2 Chr. 12: 15; 2 Chr. 13: 22); book of Shemaiah (2 Chr. 12: 15); book of Jehu (2 Chr. 20: 34); sayings of the seers (2 Chr. 33: 19); an epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, earlier than our present 1 Corinthians (1 Cor. 5: 9); possibly an earlier epistle to the Ephesians (Eph. 3: 3); an epistle to the Church at Laodicea (Col. 4: 16); and some prophecies of Enoch, known to Jude (Jude 1: 14).

    Reincarnation-
    Yes, I know the scripture. It has not been revealed how that doctrine (if even partially true) fits into the picture and I would be foolish to guess. My point is that we know a fraction of whats to know. Christ will reign over all…he will unite everyone. If a Buddhist and a Christian were seated before Christ, he would condemn neither of them and teach them each what they needed to know. He would clarify truth.

  45. Again with this false ‘equal’ doctrine. If through sin we become fallen, as in, no longer sons of God, then Lucifer has fallen the furthest. Satan is no longer anything remotely resembling a son of God. So in effect, Satan is no longer Jesus’s brother in the true sense of the word. That’s just a thought.
    Even if we still considered Satan our brother, his status has no bearing on mine. To say, if my brother murders someone, I’m not going to be labeled a murderer…you could not fairly ‘equate’ me with my brother. If you wish, you may continue to think of them as equals…though I don’t know what that would accomplish.
    And as I said in a prior post, the fall of Lucifer shows that you could nigh be the brightest angel in heaven and still choose to rebel. That testifies to me of the true power and love of Christ, that he was really tempted…that he really suffered…that he really had a choice and he, out of his infinite love, chose us!

    Jesus Christ is One with the Father…Christ is God…but Christ always has, and always will show his submission to the Father. If through Jesus Christ we are sanctified and perfected..and if God the Father grants us the inheritance of all that he has, (as the Father has already given to the Son) we would, in our perfect loving state, always submit to Christ, as Christ submits to the Father. That eternal relationship is just that…eternal. Having God’s glory upon us does not automatically make us equal to God..though honestly, in that situation, I doubt this would come up as an item of discussion.
    Speaking of which, why IS it a topic? If the fear is we are waltzing around, thinking ourselves to be equal to God haaahaahhahahahaahaaa then I seriously think your fears can be put to rest. If you don’t want to take the promises of God literally, then that’s your choice. But no..you want to insist that we have this grand God complex. Good to point out the dangers but that one is so extreme that it hardly needs mentioning. Quite the red herring

  46. I quoted Matthew 16:17 as an answer to your “prove the BoM” challenge. Spiritual truth is to be revealed spiritually. Thought that would be pretty clear. The rest is a low attempt at ridicule.

    “There were many at the time of Christ who did not know him. Just as now there are many more who do not know him.”

    I agree. Weren’t those who represented the established tradition of the day the hardest of hearing? Change is so so difficult.

    ““To believe two contradictory religions are both simultaneously true is foolishness. To believe all religions are equally valid is to become hopelessly entangled in self contradiction.””

    To choose to only see the contradictions is foolishness. There can exist two seemingly contradictory points that are both true. Satan likes to set them up to divide us.

    “I believe there is more or less one true church but it really isn’t a church at all. Only a body of people. Connected by the truth.”

    You see, I can relate to that…but more of the angel that we are all connected by truth…but we’re missing some pieces as to how.

  47. Isaac

    We probably both agree not all religions are equal. Some may have a little truth to hold on to and so on. Any way my point is. If you only believe what you want. If you take away or add to where ever you want, you change the original message. When this happens you are no longer following what the originator of the message intended. If you want to believe that Muslims, Buddhists, or whoever have something to hold dear. Than intermix Christianity with it. If you believe that we have what we need to find Gods will, written in the old and new testament you will be at peace with Christianity.

    A Buddhist and Christian are talking the Buddhist tells the christian how to live a life of peace of acceptance in nature, to walk in peace on earth. The christian tells the Buddhist this life is the beginning. He tells him to find the one true God and the rest of his life will fall into place.

    You talk of lost books. They are referred to in Kings, Chronicles several books of the Bible. They are histories of the deeds of men. I would love to research this and see what archeology has discovered of these books. How many are actually not lost.

    As for the God complex, I am only asking if you believe what the LDS church is about. The ultimate goal is to be God of your own planet. According to my Mom, Brigham Young, Joseph Smith, the list goes on. According to you this is not taught in the LDS religion. Or you just don’t believe it yourself, which is it?

  48. Isaac

    I am sorry if I seemed condescending. I only want to know who you believe Jesus is. Is he just a man, a good teacher, satans brother, a crazy man etc.

    You have to believe he is either who he claims to be or he is not. The bible foretells him as Emanuel. Being translated God with us. He says he is equal to God. He even forgives a man of his sins. A thing only God can do. Mathew 9:2 “Son, be of good cheer; your sins are forgiven you.”

    As for me I believe he is God almighty clothed in flesh. Come to be a sacrifice for our sins. He hung on a cross and became a curse that all men who believe might be saved. He died, descended to hell and rose again the third day. He went to prepare a place in heaven for all those who believe and know he is their savior and master.

    I believe there is only one God. There was in the beginning only one God and in the end there will be only one God. Alpha and Omega. Beginning and End.

    It is important to grasp this.

    Have you ever looked around an LDS church and wondered why there are no crosses at the pulpit. My daughter did. She was seven, we were attending a funeral. She asked me dad why isn’t there a cross in this church. I told her I would explain it to her later. She said they should put on there so people would know it was a church. I was crying my eyes out. To Christians the cross is the power by which we are saved. To mormons it is a train wreck and sad.

    1 Corinthians 1

    18For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

    19For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.

    20Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

    21For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.

    22For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:

    23But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

    Mormonism and Christianity differ greatly. Choose a side. God will spit the lukewarm from his mouth. He wants us to be hot or cold.

    I say this in love that all who hear it may come to know Christ as savior and master.

  49. Bob r,

    I may not be able to respond to everything, this very moment.

    What I’m saying is, that once all is said and done, and we see God’s work spread before us, we will see where the Buddist, and the Hindu, and the Muslim fit in…and how MUCH they fit it will be astonishing to us. I don’t just willy nilly give and take what I want, but I am open to a broader view, as should we all.
    Side note-did you know that it was Ghandi reading a book about Christ’s ministry that led him to passive protesting? Before that time, he was vengeful and rebellious and the Gospel of Jesus Christ changed his heart and brought about the great miracle of India’s liberation! I just thought that was the coolest find!!

    “If you believe that we have what we need to find Gods will, written in the old and new testament you will be at peace with Christianity.”

    Hmmm…to be at peace, would you mean that if Mormons threw in the towel that all of Christianity will suddenly all believe the same doctrines in the same way? The only way to bring peace is to establish truth…but throughout history, instead of unifying, Christianity has only seen fit to divide itself. No, I think Christianity needs to make its peace with Truth…though no one can agree to what that is.

    Lost Books-Wheither they are found or not, they’re not included in the Bible which would null and void them as the Word of God per Christianities definition…as are ALLLL the other works that were laid aside at the time the Bible was compiled. Not all are the deeds of men, though, if the deeds of men cannot ever be deemed scripture then most of the Bible would be void.

  50. The difference is in the approach you take…you seem to imply that we’re just skipping along, waiting for the day when we can be our own God with our own world without anyone to tell us what to do and whatever….you imply that Christ will not still be our Saviour, that God the Father will no longer be our God. Those are incorrect assumptions.
    Do I believe in deification? Yes. I believe that Christ’s Atonement is so complete, so vast and so all powerful that we can be made perfect, and become One with Christ as Christ is One with the Father. I also believe in the promise that God has the power to give us all that he hath, that we can become co-inheriters with Christ and that if God would give us dominion over the earth and its creatures while in a mortal state, that God could reasonably give that again and a hundred fold more.
    If I were to sit here and say “Nah Nah, I’m gonna have a planet and you’re not” it would most likely not be the case. Doesn’t that make sense? So when you stick the doctrine in my face, waving it around and say “Do you believe you’ll get a planet, or not?”, can’t you see its a loaded question?? Tempt me not, I feel to say. (Thats a good point, actually…Satan tempted Christ with the things that were going to be his anyways. The sin would have been Christ laying hold of the kingdoms of the earth before the proper time.)
    Can deification be found in the Bible? We can argue semantics, but the words clearly state it without us doubling back with our interpretations. Have you read that Secret Tradition paper yet? It’s meaty but you don’t have to read every word to catch the jist.

  51. What do you think has to be revealed? I have heard from another Mormon who I love deeply. She is waiting for the rest of the Book of Mormon to be translated or a new book or something. Any how the way I see it she is waiting for a miracle to happen. She looks for a new sign to guide her to whatever new truth.

    Mathew 12
    39He answered, “A wicked and adulterous generation asks for a miraculous sign! But none will be given it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of a huge fish, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. 41The men of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it; for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and now one[e] greater than Jonah is here. 42

    I use to think much like you do. How can a loving God condemn so many good people. If we get it partly right maybe we can make it to the terrestial kingdom. Maybe we can escape from hell. My mother has told me this. “There has to be a back door from hell.” Surely God will not destroy us.

    Remember the parable of Lazarus and the Rich man. The rich man had everything his heart desired, basically. Lazarus only comfort was when the dogs licked his wounds. Both died. Lazarus went to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man to hell. The great rift prevented anyone from crossing either way. The rich man said have mercy, let Lazarus but dip his finger in water and touch my tongue. He then said send Lazarus back and tell my brothers that they might change and not have to come here. Abraham said they have Moses and the prophets let them listen to them. If they don’t hear the prophets, they won’t be persuaded by the dead though one rises from the dead.

    Isn’t this kind of the story of Moroni. He was supposedly once a warrior. A man, then an angel who made known the Golden plates. Kind of different view points, though.

    Why would Jesus (who I believe is God) tell us this parable and then exalt a man to an angel to reveal a new gospel. That contradicts much of what he already said.

  52. I understand your argument. You have to be meek to inherit the earth or Godhood. But I argue this. The book of Mormon says one God. The Bible also.

  53. John 12:9-11
    Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead.
    10 ¶ But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death;
    11 Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus

    So why would Christ teach this parable, placing ‘a’ Lazarus in it, then call Lazarus from the grave?
    “But Abraham said they won’t be persuaded by the dead though one rises from the dead.”
    It’s clear that God sends angels to minister to us. “If they don’t hear the prophets” then they/us will not receive the angelic message.
    Now I do believe Christ was describing the then current relationship between heaven and hell…there was NO bridge to enable the wicked repreve from their sin. Jesus Christ bridged the gap from death to life. Without Christ we would all be cast into hell. To insist that this parable cast’s-in-iron that there is an unbridgable divide between heaven and hell is to deny the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Something you stated earlier, that Christ descended in hell and came out again. He has authority to cross over…and whomever Jesus gives power and authority to, can as well, through the name of Jesus Christ. That applies to messangers God might send and that applies to those whom he has redeemed, mainly, those who would have accepted the gospel had they had a chance to hear it. A two way bridge…but to cross it, you must go through Jesus Christ.
    Though heaven and hell are eternal, I don’t think we are eternally cast into either until Judgement Day…so declaring eternal damnation on someone is speaking for God and passing judgement, which we have specifically been warned not to do. Hope and faith in God’s Mercy and Love are diminished.

    Going back to John 12:11 it is clear that Abraham was right for not all believed upon seeing Lazarus. What was the deciding factor? If they hear the prophets…if the truly HEARD the prophets by listening with their heart, having faith that they would hear something precious. You could have a PhD in theology and not know God when you see him if you don’t listen with your spiritual ears.

  54. Jesus Christ’s teachings were ‘new’ to the orthodoxy of his day just as the gospel is ‘new’ to a world that has not heard its fullness since shortly after the Apostles walked the earth. The way God restored the fulness through angelic messengers and prophets is consistent with past exchanges.

  55. There is only one God the Father. Because Jesus Christ and God the Father are One doesn’t mean that there are two God the Fathers. And again, Jesus Christ is One with God the Father because Jesus has submitted his Will to the Father…and as we submit our will to the Son AND the Father, we become One with them. It does not mean that I am God the Father or Jesus Christ…it means I am One with them. There is still only one God, one Will…I cannot be One with God if my will doesn’t perfectly coincide with God’s will. Therefore we are always reliant, always submisive to God the Father…just as Jesus Christ will always submit to God the Father. Now Christ IS God, for God the Father clothed him in his Glory…but if Christ were ever to boast or to not admit his submissiveness to Heavenly Father, then he would not be the Son of God. So to, we cannot ever equat ourselves to God the Father and Jesus Christ although they would raise us from off the ground and give us all they have.

  56. “What do you think has to be revealed?”

    Thats a fun question and one where I’ll need to address asap.

  57. ooooo…can we take “the meek shall inherit the earth” literally?? lol…I wonder if ‘the’could be translated as ‘an’…hahaaha…sigh. i’m just kidding..I gotta get outside

  58. Hey Isaac

    I hate to tell you this but I had a revelation. I saw the south park episode on mormonism. I agree with Cartman.

    Look Isaac all kidding aside. I hope that some of the things that I said made sense. Be a seeker of truth. Put the past Mormon prophets to the test found in the bible. If they prophesy and it doesn’t come to pass it must not be of God.

    Don’t rely on secret traditions or even known traditions to save you. I read the 24 page version of it. Don’t take this ladies word for your salvation. Find the truth yourself.

    I really do agree with Cartman.

    There is more information available to us than any other people on earth. It is literally at our fingertips.

    My wife says I have been spending too much time doing this. Sorry my family needs me. I know you can relate.

    If you ever feel the need for some truth, go to (www.truthforlife.org) Listen to the sermons. They will clue you in on what true Christians believe.

    I mean it when I say God Bless You with an understanding of his word.

    Oh yeah most importantly I will be praying for you. Not because you’re my enemy, because your not, but because I want you to find grace in Christ. The only enemy I see is death. It hunts us all.

  59. The paper illustrates that there is more to the ancient church then has been believed for a little under 2000 years. I don’t base my testimony on man’s archeological or theological studies…it is based on Faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit’s confirming witness. But it is ‘fun’ to see positive evidence build and build. But like the Word said, if you don’t believe the prophets, you wouldn’t believe an angel delivering the same message…or evidence for that matter. Faith is really at the center of it all.

    I cannot say that I’m not unbiased when it comes to…holey turds! Its RAINING!!! WOOOOT!
    ahem…when it comes to scrutinizing past prophets but I think I can be pretty rational. All of the ‘failed prophecies’ that I’ve looked at have to do with an “If, then” clause or the ever famous “It will surely come to pass in this generation” when ‘generation’ wasn’t meant to be limited to that prophets lifespan but as a broader time period, as Jesus used it.

    I thought South Park was pretty hilarious…I hold no animosity toward you or anyone else on here and I hope I convey that. I do take issue with applying false doctrines to my beliefs though, and do not wish to attack the person but to nuetralize the misconception. All negative interpretations of LDS doctrine point out the one or worst way you SHOULDN’T take the doctrine….
    Us boasting that we can become like God
    turning Christ’s conception into porn
    believing that works are the only thing that matter
    That all other Christians are an abomination
    I bet you and others are nodding there heads, or pulling out their hair because you would INSIST that this is our perception. It is not.

    Please pray! Hopefully I’ll be chosen to translate the sealed portion of the BoM! 🙂

    This IS time consuming but I hope it leads to some good. I gotta get driving…going to conference! I will be responding to a few unaddressed points as soon as I can…I’ve been on here too long as it is…and God bless you, Bob 🙂

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