Sunday, November 15, 2009

Is The Heart Really That Desparately Wicked?


9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? Jer 17:9
This is the poster child verse used by critics and anti-Mormons of the promise to receive a spiritual witness of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon or other truths.

The two main verses uniquely used by Latter-day Saints to push us to seek the Spirit and revelation in our lives are probably as follows:

Moro 10:3-5
3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.
D&C 9:7-9
7 Behold, you have not understood; you have supposed that I would give it unto you, when you took no thought save it was to ask me.
8 But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.
9 But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong; therefore, you cannot write that which is sacred save it be given you from me.
Now, lest the anti's think the Mormons are the only ones who think the witness of the Spirit is something physical, here is an excerpt from Netbible's commentary for Rom 8:16:
"In sum, Rom 8:16 seems to be secure as a text in which the believer’s assurance of salvation is based on the inner witness of the Spirit. The implications of this for one’s soteriology are profound: The objective data, as helpful as they are, cannot by themselves provide assurance of salvation; the believer also needs (and receives) an existential, ongoing encounter with God’s Spirit in order to gain that familial comfort.”" Here is the entire citation.

What is so controversial they spend a paragraph carefully explaining the grammar?
The Spirit himself bears witness to [fn 1] our spirit that we are God’s children.(Rom 8:16)
I have previously written elsewhere fairly extensively on this subject. It is simply an absurdity to claim the Bible does not teach that the normal manner of God to communicate with his children is something other than tangible feelings communicated to men, typically described as the heart.

We have the citation of Romans 8:16 above with comments by the non-LDS translator explaining that the witness described there is an existential. That means something they actually experience, something which exists.

But let's turn to the Bible, and specifically to Jeremiah. Jeremiah uses the word "heart" 52 times. So here comes something not shocking to anyone who has actually read Jeremiah: He almost always uses it in a positive context (such as turning from an evil heart to a good heart, or having a good heart, or talking about God's heart), but there are 16 instances where the heart is described as evil. That this is about people who are of evil intentions and not the state of all humans is pretty obvious:
Jer 29:13
13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
Jer 24:7
7 And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.
Jer 15:16
16 Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.
What about that whole "burning heart" thing in Luke? Check Jeremiah first:
Jer 20:9
9 Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay.
What about elsewhere in the Bible, how is an open mind received, or how does God communicate to people?
2 Chr 34:27
27 Because thine heart was tender, and thou didst humble thyself before God, when thou heardest his words against this place, and against the inhabitants thereof, and humbledst thyself before me, and didst rend thy clothes, and weep before me; I have even heard thee also, saith the LORD.
Ps 119:11
11 ¶ Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
Ps 119:58
58 ¶ I intreated thy favour with [my] whole heart: be merciful unto me according to thy word.
Prov 23:12
12 ¶ Apply thine heart unto instruction, and thine ears to the words of knowledge.

Of course, it is worth asking who gave Solomon his wisdom, and where was it communicated to him?
2 Chr 9:23
23 And all the kings of the earth sought the presence of Solomon, to hear his wisdom, that God had put in his heart.
So let's start to wrap this up, as it is obvious that God does speak to our heart, and it is not always a false or deceptive spirit talking to us, though we can deceive ourselves.
Mal 2:2
2 If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart.
Luke 24:32
32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
The footnote in the Netbible says of Luke 24:32
87 tn This is a collective singular use of the term καρδία (kardia), so each of their hearts were burning, a reference itself to the intense emotion of their response.
1 Cor 2:14
14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
How are the things of God discerned? Spiritually. So what does discerned mean? Judge by investigation. How does one spiritually "judge by investigation"? Here are multiple translations:
NET Bible 1Cor 2:14 The unbeliever does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him. And he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.
NIV 1Co 2:14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.
NASB 1Co 2:14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.
NLT 1Co 2:14 But people who aren’t Christians can’t understand these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them because only those who have the Spirit can understand what the Spirit means.
MSG 1Co 2:14 The unspiritual self, just as it is by nature, can't receive the gifts of God's Spirit. There's no capacity for them. They seem like so much silliness. Spirit can be known only by spirit--God's Spirit and our spirits in open communion.
BBE 1Co 2:14 For the natural man is not able to take in the things of the Spirit of God: for they seem foolish to him, and he is not able to have knowledge of them, because such knowledge comes only through the Spirit.
NRSV 1Co 2:14 Those who are unspiritual do not receive the gifts of God’s Spirit, for they are foolishness to them, and they are unable to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.
NKJV 1Co 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them , because they are spiritually discerned.
So...is there anyone unclear on how the things of God are understood? If it was just a matter, as Shawn McCraney represents, of looking at physical evidence and determining it is true, anyone could do that. Paul says that is not the case. Spirit to spirit revelation is how one comes to know of spiritual things.
1 Cor 12:3 ...no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
If not by spirit to spirit communication, then what is the way which is not understood by those without the Spirit?

In the end, we find out that the heart of the unrepentant, wicked and proud people are in fact incapable of understanding the Spirit, but it is not because EVERYONE is beyond experiencing the things of the Spirit.
Eph 4:17-23
17 ¶ This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
20 But ye have not so learned Christ; 21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; 23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
Saying that all are in possession of desperately wicked hearts and that God does not communicate through the medium of feelings is thoroughly refuted by even a cursory examination of the Bible, and is embarrassingly so for those who actually study the context of passages such as the constantly perverted passage out of Jeremiah.

Of course, bringing this up is almost a vanity blog, since the most vocal critics are the least likely to receive by the Spirit the witness contained in the passages mentioned here.

79 comments:

Walker said...

I really liked the Jeremiah "burning" one. Nice.

chad said...

Hey Bob,

Thanks for sharing that post. Take care Bob.

therealmormontruth.blogspot.com

Bob the Anti-Anti said...

I am going to make a rather gloating comment. Even though I did not go through all of the dozens of proof texts in the Bible, and by Christian scholars commenting on the Bible, it is obvious that the Bible teaches real truth is communicated by, and actually ONLY by, the Spirit. All other mediums of factual discovery are by their nature provisional, subject to later discoveries or modifications.

When I wrote about the beauty of LDS testimony worship of Christ, the comments flowed like a blizzard that we are not Christian. That was because it is about subjective matters in terms of acceptance of truth. But when Anonymous threw down Jer 17:9 as proof that a burning in the bosom is a false and unreliable teaching, and we respond with clear and overwhelming evidence from the Bible that such a position is unscriptural and false, we don't hear a peep.

Here is the deeper issue. Anonymous was taught and apparently embraced a completely false position about the Bible. We all are limited by the research we do, and we all believe in some true and some false things. But the issue is these "leaders" teaching such false doctrines and attacking the LDS position are the definition of the blind leading the blind. Where there is no vision, the people perish.

Because they deny direct revelation to people today, they ARE spiritually blind. For no one can know they are saved, nor can they know Jesus is the Christ, without direct revelation from the Spirit to our spirit. Thus "those professors" are "all corrupt; that: “they draw near to" God "with their lips, but their hearts are far from" Him, "they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”

BTW, the "power" of God, is referenced in Luke 24:49. It is the Holy Spirit. It is that same Spirit by which Jesus "will give you the words" you should say in defense of the faith (Luke 12:11-12, Luke 21:12-15). This is the Evangelical definition of scriptural inerrancy, other than those words are not published in the Bible. The anti-LDS prove from their own words they are NOT fully Christian, since they pick and choose their beliefs without the benefit of revelation to guide them.

Anonymous, sadly, fulfills exactly the statement which God Himself delivered to Joseph Smith in 1820. This is by definition NOT an attack on other faiths or denominations; it is a statement of the condition of the world. Saying it is an attack on other faiths is like objecting to the weather report for observing there is snow in Fairbanks. A statement of fact is not an attack. God did not command Joseph Smith to attack other churches, but rather to build up God's Church. If you read statements by Rob Sivulka or Aaron Shaf, their point is to get people to leave the LDS Church and prove it false. If they actually shared the Gospel with people, such an attitude would be completely unnecessary, since they could lead people to the truth. It is always easier to lead pulling on a rope then pushing on a rope.

I think this will be the next article. The silence in response to revelation as your guide, coupled with study, is deafening. And the relationship to the statements at the First Vision is powerful.

Just an observation.

even_more_anonymous said...

Bob,
Great work as usual, I found the silence odd as well, and I know that they'll tell us that we're "ignorant" and "prideful" and that we don't listen to what they're saying. But that's all heresay, because they can't convince unless the Spirit touches, and the Spirit only speaks truth, so it makes it tough.
A few blogs a go, there was a flurry of comments concerning LDS and Christians, which had a lot of imput from other people, all of who thought they were "winning" the argument. When looking back on it, they were very "crafty" with their words, but then again, Obama being a great speaker doesn't automatically make him the best candidate to lead the country. They were very great with their words, but when one takes the time to study, and see those that are using references from other sources, that's what a debate is all about. In any competition, one would get shattered if it had not quotes or sources of reference to back "opinion" which is what they were giving.
Anyways Bob, Walker, all those defending who we are, I thank you for your efforts, and I enjoy the study that the blogs and comments bring me, and how it does draw me closer to Our Heavenly Father. It's been a great study tool for myself, and even though, being from Canada, I don't know all the people that you're refering to, nor do I watch HOTM, but I do thank you for the opportunity to study with those that have a greater knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, so thank you all, even the Christians that come to attack, I find it all educational.

Walker said...

An astute observation, Bob. One I hadn't quite made myself.

I have an agnostic friend for whom I am writing blog entries. They are the most convincing evidences for me of the truthfulness of the LDS Church. My first two posts deal solely with revelation, seeing that it is the most important. I've only completed those two. Others (the Witnesses, the Translation, etc.) will come later.

The first one is about personal testimony received by divine revelation. I explain why this is the most important as well as reasonable.

http://walkstar.blogspot.com/2009/09/for-sean-personal-testimony.html

The second is about the specific nature of the LDS revelation i.e. praying about the Book of Mormon. This makes our spiritual manifestation unique.

http://walkstar.blogspot.com/2009/11/for-sean-moronis-promise.html

boyd said...

Jesus said to the thief on the cross who repented "Today (Present tense) you will be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:43). This thief was neither baptized nor partook of the Lords supper he believed and was promised to be with Jesus.
If an exception was made in this case, He (God) must make an exception in every case. I believe this is not the case. I believe faith alone (true heartfelt faith) is sufficient and not works. My reference above is to show one of the ideologies of the "faith is sufficient" doctrines.
I also appreciate your use of the Bible for reference. These verses must be some of the references that are "translated" correctly.
I refuse to believe that the Urim and Thummim being used to translate reformed Egyptian into English. That would be discernment and false doctrine.
I don't bash and hate like some, and I would never cause a person to lose their job for having an opposing viewpoint. i have lost 2 jobs for disagreeing with Mormons on the job and have been terminated for such. It cant be proved but when the owner asks if your LDS and the next day he fires you for no cause says a lot. I don't harbor ill will about it. If I have truly lost my job for my faith in Christ, than so be it.
Thy will be done.

boyd said...

Any response is welcome.

boyd said...

I also see that you have many different references from many different translations. My questions are as follows.
1. One of the LDS articles of faith is "you believe the bible only as far as it is correctly translated". Confirm or deny.
2. Why would you use so many different translations?
3. LDS believe that the KJV is the least corrupt, using so many different translations seems odd, explain the point of using them.
4. The book of Mormon was translated using Urim and Thummim, so there is no way that could be a corrupt text, right?

Bob the Anti-Anti said...

Boyd,
First, thanks for taking time to read and comment. I appreciate the effort and the thoughts, as it helps to clarify the differences or misunderstandings.

I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding of the situation of the Thief on the cross. When Jesus said "today you shall be with me in Paradise", every Jew knew exactly what was meant. In Jewish scriptures, the Garden of Eden was actually called "the Eden of Paradise" ("paradeison en Edem", Grk Septuagint Gen 2:8). The restoration of the Thief, the world where he went, was not heaven.

This is reinforced by Jesus' words when Mary Magdalene embraced Jesus on the morning of his resurrection. Scripture records,

17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. (John 20:17)

If heaven is where God is, Jesus is very, very specific in saying he has not been there yet. This is the third day after the crucifixion, so wherever the Thief was, it was not with God in heaven.

This is brought out by Peter very clearly in 1 Peter 3:18-22 and 4:1-6. Notice particularly 1 Pet 3:22,
"22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God..."

Where is Jesus now at? Heaven. Where is that? At the right hand of God. Where was Jesus in the day he died? Spirit prison or somewhere else (1 Pet 3:18-20). Actually, anyplace except heaven. This doctrine was well known as the "harrowing of hell" by which Christ overcame hell, and finds deep scriptural support in Eph 4:8-10:
8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

Again, this makes explicit that Jesus' ascension was to heaven (vs.10), in fact above all heavens, but he first went to the Spirit world, the place where spirits were held back and separate from God.

I note from your statement that if God were to make an exception in the case of the Thief, he would have to do so for everyone, that you are therefore obviously not a Calvinist. That is a good thing. I agree that Calvinism teaches God is unfair, and it is nice to hear you speak so clearly about the necessity for God to be righteous in the application of his judgments. However, God does not make an exception for the thief anymore than for any person of goodwill who seeks after him. However, IF God
"...now commandeth all men every where to repent:" Acts 17:30
AND
15 "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned." (Mark 16:15-16)

THEN, logically, all people must embrace the Gospel, repent and be baptized or they will be damned. Therefore it would be unjust for the Thief to get a pass to heaven. Moreover, because of the fact God provides for these ordinances to be performed via proxy for the deceased (1 Cor 15:29, see my previous blog on the subject: http://promormon.blogspot.com/2008/10/mormon-interpretation-of-1-cor-1529.html ), therefore God, in the LDS theological framework, is JUST and Righteous and eager to save all mankind. There is no way Jesus could be the Savior of the "whole world" (1 John 2:2) if only the living post resurrection individuals who hear the Gospel preached while alive have a shot at salvation.

So I find your question and observations valid. I just hope you actually apply them to your belief system as rigorously as you seem to apply them to comparing Mormonism to those standards of righteousness.

I will respond to your other questions in a new post.
Bob

boyd said...

I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding of the situation of the Thief on the cross. When Jesus said "today you shall be with me in Paradise", every Jew knew exactly what was meant. In Jewish scriptures, the Garden of Eden was actually called "the Eden of Paradise" ("paradeison en Edem", Grk Septuagint Gen 2:8). The restoration of the Thief, the world where he went, was not heaven.
This is reinforced by Jesus' words when Mary Magdalene embraced Jesus on the morning of his resurrection. Scripture records,

17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. (John 20:17)

If heaven is where God is, Jesus is very, very specific in saying he has not been there yet. This is the third day after the crucifixion, so wherever the Thief was, it was not with God in heaven.

This is brought out by Peter very clearly in 1 Peter 3:18-22 and 4:1-6. Notice particularly 1 Pet 3:22,
"22 Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God..."

Where is Jesus now at? Heaven. Where is that? At the right hand of God. Where was Jesus in the day he died? Spirit prison or somewhere else (1 Pet 3:18-20). Actually, anyplace except heaven. This doctrine was well known as the "harrowing of hell" by which Christ overcame hell, and finds deep scriptural support in Eph 4:8-10:
8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

Again, this makes explicit that Jesus' ascension was to heaven (vs.10), in fact above all heavens, but he first went to the Spirit world, the place where spirits were held back and separate from God.
Is not the souls of men slain under the altar, awaiting judgment?
Revelation 6:8-10.
I also take it that Heaven is not open until judgment, that having not taken place no one can be there. Same with hell.

It is kind of awkward to write out what salvation means in this manner, but I think you get the idea. Now on to baptism. I don't think it is necessary to salvation, however, I don't think it is an option either. Here is my point. Jesus commanded us to be baptized. He commanded the disciples to baptize new believers. I don't have any argument there, but I don't see it as part of the salvation process, I see it as a public stand for Christ. He mentions that more then once too:(Matthew 10:32-33 NIV) {32} "Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. {33} But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven. I think it is pretty unlikely that a person would have a true conversion experience and then refuse to be identified with Christ.

Bob the Anti-Anti said...

Boyd wrote:
"I also see that you have many different references from many different translations. My questions are as follows.
1. One of the LDS articles of faith is "you believe the bible only as far as it is correctly translated". Confirm or deny."

Confirmed. Emphatically in fact.

Boyd asked:
"2. Why would you use so many different translations?"
Answer: Because some of the translations nuance the Greek better than others. In some cases I quote different translations for the specific reason they contradict each other, so only a "correct" translation can be correct. I have never met a person who could logically defend one translation being more correct than another and still both being correct. Yet I constantly hear anti-Mormons say any good translation is good enough. If you are possessed of the Spirit and having living prophets, I would agree. Otherwise you must make HUGE assumptions which typically are rooted in your personal theological background or life experiences, and have nothing to do with Biblical context or textual analysis.

Boyd wrote:
"3. LDS believe that the KJV is the least corrupt, using so many different translations seems odd, explain the point of using them."

I respond: This is not true. We have many, many Bibles and translations into many, many languages. In English we have stayed with the King James largely because it is quoted in the Book of Mormon so closely in parts, and was used as the basis of Joseph Smith's inspired translation. But there is nothing inherently superior to the KJV as compared to say the "NET Bible", when read in context. From a 'translation theory' standpoint, the KJV is a better Bible than the NIV or NRSV on many points, but the anachronisms in the language and the relatively poor quality of the underlying Greek text (as compared to the Nestle-Aland 26 or GNT 5, which are composite texts based on a broad scholarly survey of all 5000+ known Greek manuscripts as opposed to the 5 or so texts underlying the KJV translation) mean we definitely are reading things in the KJV which were not part of the original Bible (1 John 5:7-8 is a perfect example, or the poor rendering of Phil 2:6, or the confusion in 2 Pet 3:10). In fact, the United Bible Societies publishes a companion book about the variants of the Greek text, and they list about 80 instances where the correct text of the Bible is simply unknowable because of problems with ALL of the relevant texts extant.

So I use multiple translations for the sake of clarity. Example, when the KJV says something happened "by and by", that phrase means in today's English "after some time had passed". However, the underlying Greek idiom means to happen "immediately". I prefer clarity to slavish loyalty to a translation, when the point is to clearly convey the truth of the Biblical text, not display loyalty to a translation.

BTW, just this past Sunday I forgot my English Bible, and wound up doing my own primitive translation from my Greek Bible concerning 1 Cor 13 and how "God" and "Love" or "Charity" are really made into equivalent things in 1 Cor 13, and how profoundly loving the statements about 'love' are when you change the word to "God". I didn't even think about how it would come across to those who might be reading their KJV that my translation would be very different sounding from theirs. But, and this is the important part, I think I was still true to the meaning of the text and just primarily stylistically different from the KJV.

(more below)

Bob the Anti-Anti said...

(continued)
Boyd wrote:
"4. The book of Mormon was translated using Urim and Thummim, so there is no way that could be a corrupt text, right?"

My response: The Book of Mormon itself says there may be errors in the text, since the inspiration was communicated by men from God. Likewise it was printed by men, edited by men and yes, even translated by a man. I have no problem understanding there are errors which creep into a translation even when given under inspiration, given men are involved in the process. If the errors were an issue, then no one could believe anything in the Christian world. The Dead Sea Scrolls demonstrate whole verses and tens of thousands of errors have crept into the OT. The New Testament has at least 250,000 variations (some say as many as 400,000), of which dozens impact doctrine and history. As I have similarly observed, not understanding the role of scripture would cause one to write off the Bible as Chronologically unreliable (was the Earth really created before the sun and the stars?), factually in error (did God really not know how to apply Pi to the calculation of the size of the rim of the Laver in the Temple, and so his measurement is wrong?!) or lacking basic biographical integrity of people.

So errors in the Book of Mormon, and there are some, are not relevant to it being the "most correct book". Correct is not perfect from a spelling, grammar, punctuation or even clarification standpoint. Just most correct in terms of getting a person closer to God. And that is the truth.

Thanks again,
Bob

Bob the Anti-Anti said...

Clarification: It was not this past Sunday, it was this past Fast Sunday, the first Sunday of November. I got up in Fast and Testimony meeting with my comment on 1 Cor 13. As it happened, we had both our Stake President and a member of the Seventy in our meeting, and neither one commented to me one way or the other. Since I am a stake clerk, if the Stake President had any concerns he could have easily spoken with me since the meeting at any of the meetings I have had with him. He has not. I am certain he is not endorsing my "translation" skills, since I don't either, but it did not create a fuss either.

boyd said...

I have more questions.
1. Since the Introduction to the Book of Mormon states that it contains "the fullness of the everlasting gospel" can you give me verses that teach the doctrines of pre-earth existence, plural gods with wives, temple marriage, chance to repent after you die, temple rituals for the dead, three levels of heaven, etc.?
2. Where do I find your concept of eternal marriage in the Book of Mormon?
3. If you truly believe the Book of Mormon, doctrinally, how do you accept the Doctrine and Covenants or Pearl of Great Price since these books teach different concepts?
4. Why do Mormons approach people with the Book of Mormon if it doesn't contain their most important doctrines? Why don't they give out copies of their other scriptures instead of/or in addition to the Book of Mormon?

5. What specific doctrine of Mormonism is in the Book of Mormon that isn't in the Bible?

Thanks in advance.

Walker said...

"the fullness of the everlasting gospel"

You assume that "gospel" means all those specific doctrines you mentioned. The gospel is the good news of Christ's Atonement. Christ is the center of the Book of Mormon; 3 Nephi especially. You should take note that the introduction also states that the Bible has the fullness.

"Where do I find your concept of eternal marriage in the Book of Mormon?"

I'm not aware of it being in there. But why does it matter? I think this question is based on your misunderstanding of "gospel."

"how do you accept the Doctrine and Covenants or Pearl of Great Price since these books teach different concepts?"

This this very broad and I'm willing to bet very wrong. Specifics are the key, not overgeneralizations.

"What specific doctrine of Mormonism is in the Book of Mormon that isn't in the Bible?"

That the resurrected Christ appeared to others besides those in Palestine.

Walker said...

Skipped this by accident:

"Why do Mormons approach people with the Book of Mormon if it doesn't contain their most important doctrines?"

Christ is the most important doctrine and is therefore the entire focus of the Book of Mormon.

"Why don't they give out copies of their other scriptures instead of/or in addition to the Book of Mormon?"

"A keystone is the central stone in an arch. It holds all the other stones in place, and if removed, the arch crumbles...[the Book of Mormon] is the keystone in our witness of Christ. It is the keystone of our doctrine. It is the keystone of testimony...Just as the arch crumbles if the keystone is removed, so does all the Church stand or fall with the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon...if the Book of Mormon be true—and millions have now testified that they have the witness of the Spirit that it is indeed true—then one must accept the claims of the Restoration and all that accompanies it." (Ezra Taft Benson, “The Keystone of Our Religion,” Ensign, Jan 1992)

boyd said...

To believe that a man with a couple of stones deciphered a language from gold tablets he was told were under a rock in the woods is ridiculous heresy. We will never be God's or a God. God does not have sex with his heavenly wife and had us as spirit children and we wait until a body becomes available to come to earth. There are no multiple levels of heaven. Christ did not appear to native Americans in North America. Your "prophet" is an elected man he is no one special. Joseph Smith was and is and false prophet and a bearer of false doctrine and deceiver. The book of mormon is a lie and you have been deceived by the devil, for it is his doctrine.
Here is a quote from your JS,
"Come on! ye prosecutors! ye false swearers! All hell, boil over! Ye burning mountains, roll down your lava! for I will come out on top at last. I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet...When they can get rid of me, the devil will also go." (History of the Church, Vol. 6, p. 408, 409)
So with that being said, coupled with his heretical teachings, he is an ANTI-Christ, and you follow false doctrine.

Revelation 18:3-5

3"For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality."

4I heard another voice from heaven, saying, "Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues;

5for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.

Walker said...

"To believe that a man with a couple of stones deciphered a language from gold tablets he was told were under a rock in the woods is ridiculous heresy."

Well, that settles that. Case closed because boyd said so.

"We will never be God's or a God."

Really? This would be news to the scriptures and early Christians. See http://walkstar.blogspot.com/2009/08/letter-to-local-pastor.html

Under "Deification of Man"

"God does not have sex with his heavenly wife and had us as spirit children and we wait until a body becomes available to come to earth."

See William G. Dever, "Did God Have a Wife?: Archaeology and Folk Religion in Ancient Israel," 2005

"There are no multiple levels of heaven."

Jews and Christians had beliefs in 3 levels, 7 levels, and even 10 levels if I remember correctly.

"Christ did not appear to native Americans in North America."

...because boyd says so

"Your "prophet" is an elected man he is no one special. Joseph Smith was and is and false prophet and a bearer of false doctrine and deceiver. The book of mormon is a lie and you have been deceived by the devil, for it is his doctrine."

...because boyd says so

"Here is a quote from your JS"

I'm willing to bet you've never read this entire sermon.

"So with that being said, coupled with his heretical teachings, he is an ANTI-Christ, and you follow false doctrine."

...because boyd says so

Nothing more authoritative than boyd's say-so.

boyd said...

First I do not have a fundamental misunderstanding of anything. On the contrary, sir. What I say that he is, is not important. The Lds view of JS and his statements stand for them self.
JS can not give forgiveness. JS did not die on the cross and shed his blood for the forgiveness for ALL mankind. JS was just a man just like your church president. So in no way is he greater in any way than Christ, get that straight.
But I certainly can empathize with your plight.Your faith is based upon JS lies and deception. And not because I said so. Try again

Walker said...

"First I do not have a fundamental misunderstanding of anything."

I doubt this, but considering my comment about you misunderstanding was specifically towards your "gospel" question. The Gospel the Good News of Christ's Atonement. Temple marriages and so on are appendages to that, made possible through it.

"JS can not give forgiveness."

Well done. Good thing I've never claimed this nor has anyone else on here.

"JS was just a man just like your church president."

And just like every prophet. They all work for the Lord, but they are never equated with the Lord. Once again, no one has said this.

"So in no way is he greater in any way than Christ, get that straight."

Don't try to talk down to me, especially since I am pretty much positive that you have never read the entire sermon that you allude to. You are only aware of that quote. If you knew what Pauline epistle the sermon was based on, you might not be so hasty in your conclusions.

"Your faith is based upon JS lies and deception. And not because I said so."

And it isn't because boyd says so because...boyd says so.

"Try again"

Try posting something of substance instead of your useless rhetoric.

Walker said...

And if your "fundamental misunderstanding" comment was towards Bob about the thief on the cross, then yes: you do have a fundamental misunderstanding. And to claim you don't without supporting your position in light of Bob's rebuttal means very little. The NET commentary on Luke 23:43 states, "In the NT, paradise is mentioned three times. Here it refers to the abode of the righteous dead."

boyd said...

Yawn. The entire Mormon doctrine is useless rhetoric.
And yes, I read the ENTIRE thing. In context, out of context, what ever. Any person that would claim to be more or better than Christ, would be Anti-Christian.
Poor Mormons, you have been blinded. Blinded so much as to not have simple skills to discern truth from falsehood. You have been shown the shortcomings of Mormon dogma, and yet you still refuse to see. To be shown that your faith is corrupt must be disheartening. I mean you have wasted all your years believing in the devils doctrine.

Bob the Anti-Anti said...

Boyd,
Did you come from some planet where baseless superiority is deemed cool? I mean, both Walker and I have been providing not just hollow rhetoric, as you have been, but actual citations to both the Bible and authorities in the fields in question.By now.

boyd said...

There is no doubt about my belief in the bible, but your faith. here are some more questions.
These deal with the "witnesses".
1. Why were the witnesses only allowed to see the plates with "spiritual eyes"?
2. If the plates were real, why would it take faith to see them? (D&C17:2) (How could he have translated without the plates, as his scribes said, if he was doing a literal translation of a physical object?)
3. Why does the church now extol the witnesses when Joseph Smith condemned them?
4. Why would most of them leave the church?
5. Why did Brigham Young say that the 3 witnesses doubted and disbelieved in their experience? "Some of the witnesses of the Book of Mormon, who handled the plates and conversed with the angels of God, were afterwards left to doubt and disbelieve that they had ever seen an angel." (JOD 7:164 1859).
6. Why were all of the witnesses (except Martin Harris) related to Joseph Smith or David Whitmer?
These are about Mormon doctrine that don't appear in the book of Mormon.
1. Why isn't the Elohim (God) being the father of Jehovah (Jesus) and being once a mortal man discussed? (In fact, God and Jesus appear to be one in the same being in the Book of Mormon--especially in the first edition).
2. What about God having a body of flesh and bones, God being married, men becoming Gods, temple participation necessary for exaltation, baptism for the dead, Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood, word of wisdom, and 3 degrees of glory?
3. Why is polygamy condemned in the Book of Mormon, but condoned in the D&C and still believed to be necessary in church doctrine for exaltation in the after-life?
4. Where are such doctrines as a man having to marry in order to be exalted, member having to wear sacred undergarments, official doctrine being voted upon by the general membership, God being the offspring of another God, etc.?
Once again the fullness of God's word is not found in the Book of Mormon, but indeed found in the rest of the books you need.
P.S. What I am impressed with is the fact you have not come with the typical Mormon knee jerk statement, i.e. "You just hate the Mormon church".


"I am amazed that you are so quickly deserting Him who called you by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel; which is really not another; only there are some who are disturbing you, and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even though we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we have preached to you, let him be accursed." Gal 1:6-8.
"Let no one keep defrauding you of your prize by delighting in self-abasement and the worship of the angels, taking his stand on visions he has seen, inflated without cause by his fleshly mind" Col 2:18.

Walker said...

"Yawn."

Oh, yes: Relieve yourself of the responsibility of actually engaging the information. How clever.

"The entire Mormon doctrine is useless rhetoric"

Oooh, good one. How original.

"I read the ENTIRE thing"

Oh, good. What Pauline epistle was it based on so we can discuss the context of the sermon?

"Poor Mormons, you have been blinded. Blinded so much as to not have simple skills to discern truth from falsehood."

The last time I checked, us poor, stupid Mormons are the ones who have answered your questions on paradise, the BoM, deification, three degrees of glory, God having a wife, etc. It is you, oh wise, educated one who has not answered these points.

"You have been shown the shortcomings of Mormon dogma"

'Boyd say-sos' don't count as "shortcomings."

"To be shown that your faith is corrupt must be disheartening. I mean you have wasted all your years believing in the devils doctrine."

Well, when you get around to showing this, it might be disheartening (and no: you haven't already shown this, just in case you were wanting to respond with "I have shown it.")

Walker said...

"here are some more questions"

Oh, yes. Move on to a different subject since you can't deal with the other ones.

"Why were the witnesses only allowed to see the plates with "spiritual eyes"?"

The three witnesses saw an angel as well. Anything of this would be considered spiritual.

"D&C 17:2"

They had to have faith and be faithful if they wanted to be witnesses. Has nothing to do with the plates being invisible and only seen by faith.

"How could he have translated without the plates"

Revelation

"Why does the church now extol the witnesses when Joseph Smith condemned them"

He condemned them for leaving the Church. Two came back.

"Why would most of them leave the church"

Various reasons, but it had nothing to do with the BoM being false. David Whitmer, for example, believed JS to be a prophet, but that he had become a fallen one. The real question is why did all of them testify of the BoM and the plates until their death (including Whitmer who never returned to the Church, but had his testimony placed on his tombstone)?

"JOD 7:164 1859"

Who cares what BY said about them? The accounts of the actual witnesses say otherwise. I suggest reading Richard Lloyd Anderson's "Investigating the Book of Mormon Witnesses."

"Why were all of the witnesses (except Martin Harris) related to Joseph Smith or David Whitmer?"

Because they were faithful. Why does it matter? How does family relation make it any less valuable?

Walker said...

I'm actually writing about the BoM Witnesses, but I'm not done with the blog entry. So, here is some of what I've written on Oliver Cowdery:

"Later disagreements over polygamy and economic issues as well as power struggles led to Cowdery's departure from the faith. Despite being excommunicated, Cowdery would continue to affirm his testimony in the Book of Mormon. One account (considered the most accurate reference to this incident) by George Q. Cannon states that "after [Oliver] left the Church he practiced law, and upon one occasion, in a court in Ohio, the opposing counsel thought he would say something that would overwhelm Oliver Cowdery" regarding his published testimony of the Book of Mormon since "Oliver Cowdery then made no profession of being a 'Mormon,' or a Latter-Day Saint; but instead of being affected...he arose in the court, and in his reply stated that, whatever his faults and weaknesses might be, the testimony which he had written, and which he had given to the world, was literally true." Brigham Young also described a situation that took place within Cowdery's law office in which Oliver testified to his inquirer, "I do not believe that the Book of Mormon is true; I am past belief on that point, for I KNOW that it is true, as well as I know that you now sit before me...as much as I see you now; and I know the Book of Mormon to be true." Reuben Miller recorded Oliver's testimony that he bore as he was returning to the main body of the Church: "I beheld with my eyes and handled with my hands the gold plates from which it was translated...That book is true...I wrote it myself as it fell from the lips of the Prophet." Cowdery was rebaptized on November 12, 1848. He died in 1850, bearing his witness of the Book of Mormon on his deathbed. His wife Elizabeth wrote, "From the hour when the glorious vision of the Holy Messenger revealed to mortal eyes the hidden prophecies which God had promised...until the moment when he passed away from earth, he always without one doubt or shadow of turning affirmed the divinity and truth of the Book of Mormon." This final testimony should speak volumes, seeing that it comes from one whom Horce Tenney called "a man of sterling integrity, sound and vigorous intellect, and every way worthy, honest and capable."

Much of this can be found in Anderson's book mentioned before.

Walker said...

As for Whitmer:

"When Mormons were being driven from their homes in Missouri, a mob threatened Whitmer and others "with instant death unless they denied the Book of Mormon and confessed it to be a fraud...David Whitmer, hereupon, lifted up his hands and bore witness that the Book of Mormon was the Word of God. The mob then let them go." When Whitmer relayed this story to Heman C. Smith, he explained that an unbeliever had been convinced of the Book of Mormon because of this testimony borne in the face of death. Unfortunately, David found himself in the same dissenter category as Oliver Cowdery and was excommunicated around around the same time. Even more tragic is that he never returned. Despite his excommunication, Dr. Anderson establishes that "during fifty years in non-Mormon society, [Whitmer] insisted with the fervor of his youth that he knew that the Book of Mormon was divinely revealed." When the agnostic John Murphy published a version of his 1880 interview with Whitmer, alluding that he had denied his testimony, the Book of Mormon witness fired back with a proclamation stating that he had done no such thing. Twenty-two distinguished professionals who had personal relationships with Whitmer (six of which were pallbearers at his funeral years later) provided an accompanying statement that described David as "a man of the highest integrity, and of undoubted truth and veracity." Hiram Parker knew Whitmer as "Uncle Davy" and stated that "I never heard a word from anyone during my ten years' acquaintance with him and those who had known him intimately for years that spoke a harsh word or uttered a doubt as to his truthfulness and general kindness." Interestingly enough, Parker could not accept Whitmer's testimony of the Book of Mormon, yet "on any other subject or statement of fact neither myslf or others could doubt." Whitmer was the most interviewed of all the witnesses. Towards the end of his life, he remarked, "Those who know me best, well know that I have always adhered to that testimony." Though some tried (and still try) to explain his testimony away as a delusion, Whitmer rejected these proposals. David had the following inscription placed on his tombstone: "The record of the Jews and the record of the Nephites are one" (such language is from the Book of Mormon itself: the "record of the Jews" is in reference to the Bible, while the "record of the Nephites" is the Book of Mormon). Whitmer's well-known honesty and intelligence should make one take his testimony of the Book of Mormon seriously. However, the question remains as to why he left the Church if his testimony was so firm. It must be recognized that he never rejected the Book of Mormon or Joseph Smith's original calling as a prophet. He strongly felt that Smith had become a fallen prophet. For one to use Whitmer's apostasy as a reason to refuse the Church, then the debate becomes whether or not Smith remained a prophet; not whether or not the gold plates were real."

Walker said...

"You just hate the Mormon church"

That much is obvious. But to use that as an argument (similar to Mormonism is a "ridculous heresy," "The book of mormon is a lie and you have been deceived by the devil, for it is his doctrine," "Your faith is based upon JS lies and deception," "Poor Mormons, you have been blinded," "I mean you have wasted all your years believing in the devils doctrine") is just silly. I'd rather deal in substance, research, information, and logic. You seem to want to leave those things aside.

Bob the Anti-Anti said...

Boyd,
Seriously, your questions exhibit someone steeped in only anti-Mormon materials. Your question about the witnesses only seeing with "spiritual eyes" is typical. It comes from a single statement by a single witness, quoted by a third party which the witness IMMEDIATELY repudiated as being a misrepresentation of what occurred.

Moreover, you need to answer the question about your "witness" of how you know the Bible is true. Tell us, how do you KNOW the Bible is the word of God? It cannot be because it stated as such in the Bible, because that is circular reasoning. It cannot be because of physical proof, because that would mean physical evidence or else EVERYONE would accept the Bible as the Word of God, and other religions would have as their basis defiance of the Bible for other spiritual dominions.

The only way to prove the Bible is true is if a party with all knowledge of all truth bears witness of such a thing, or else you are forced to acknowledge such a witness is really an opinion based on limited knowledge. So, tell us, how do you know the Bible is true?

Now for the BoM witness issues. This of course is thoroughly discussed in the www.Fairwiki.org so try to get to that and read history before telling stories.

The statement in question, "spiritual eyes", came from Martin Harris. It is wrenched out of context, and he responded to the isolated quotation as follows:

"Gentlemen, do you see that hand? Are you sure you see it? Are your eyes playing a trick or something? No. Well, as sure as you see my hand so sure did I see the angel and the plates."

From FAIRLDS: "David Whitmer helps clear up the “spiritual” vs. “natural” viewing of the plates. Responding to the interviewer who questioned Harris, Whitmer replied,

"Of course we were in the spirit when we had the view, for no man can behold the face of an angel, except in a spiritual view, but we were in the body also, and everything was as natural to us, as it is at any time.""

I can bring additional statements, showing for example that Harris held the plates for 1.5 hours on his lap while transporting them, for example. But the point is you don't know what you are talking about. And you are again a false witness, which, according to the Bible you say you know is true, will send you to hell.

Will you recant your false attacks?
Thanks,
Bob

boyd said...

I can not show anything but your deception and false doctrine to be false. All of your beliefs (BOM, D & C POGP) are false. The "revelation" of Mormonism is both contradictory to itself and to the Bible (The real truth and Word Of God). God would not say one thing and then give someone a "revelation" contrary to his word. If that was the case he would have to make exception to EVERYTHING he has said and done.

The prophet Micaiah stood against all the prophets of Ahab and said that the king would fall in battle. To explain why all the other prophets were saying the opposite, Micaiah says, “Now therefore behold, the Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these your prophets; the Lord has declared disaster for you” (1 Kings 22:23).

Similarly, God says he will punish those who try to use prophets to buttress their sin. In that situation he says, “If the prophet is deceived and speaks a word, I, the Lord, have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand against him and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel. And they shall bear their punishment—the punishment of the prophet and the punishment of the inquirer shall be alike” (Ezekiel 14:9-10).

And at the end of this age, God will ordain a “strong delusion” as part of the punishment for those who “refused to love the truth.” “The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness” (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12).

God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” (Numbers 23:19).

“The Glory of Israel will not lie” (1 Samuel 15:29).

“The word of the Lord is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness.” (Psalms 33:4).

“This God—his way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true” (2 Samuel 22:31).

“Every word of God proves true” (Proverbs 30:5).

“The words of the Lord are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times” (Psalms 12:6).

boyd said...

Romans 1:20

20For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

Psalm 19:1

1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

I have made no false attacks.

boyd said...

Once again, my faith in the bible is not being called into question, but rather the mormon faith as a whole. I have no need to answer any questions about how I can explain the basis of the mormon faith, for I do not affirm the mormon faith. Nothing that has been rebutted has any BIBLICAL basis. Just innuendo based on someone's feelings, their "testimony/witness", or your 4 books of smoke and mirrors. I still wait for your answers to my questions based on BIBLICAL reference. P.S. It can't be done.

Walker said...

How does your Romans and Psalms verses make your point?

"I can not show anything but your deception and false doctrine to be false."

I'll kindly ask you to refrain from calling me deceptive unless you can demonstrate that I am being so.

"All of your beliefs (BOM, D & C POGP) are false."

Why? Because boyd says so.

"The "revelation" of Mormonism is both contradictory to itself and to the Bible"

No examples, just boyd saying so again.

"(The real truth and Word Of God)"

Oh, the REAL truth! Gotcha...

"God would not say one thing and then give someone a "revelation" contrary to his word."

Apparently you need to read the Bible (especially the OT) better.

"If that was the case he would have to make exception to EVERYTHING he has said and done."

Nice of you to dictate what God would have to do.

What was the point of all your verses? Just throwing verses out with no explanation and a presupposition that it must refer to Mormonism is absolutely worthless.

Bob the Anti-Anti said...

Boyd buddy,
I have answered all of your questions, either directly or in previous blog postings. But I find it interesting you evade the question of how you know the Bible is true.

HOW DO YOU KNOW THE BIBLE IS TRUE?
Thanks,
Bob

Walker said...

"Once again, my faith in the bible is not being called into question, but rather the mormon faith as a whole."

Actually, the subject of the blog entry is establishing the truth by means of revelation, which is rooted in biblical teachings. You appear to reject this. You are being asked about it. Our conviction as to the Bible is rooted in the same Spirit that confirms the Book of Mormon. So, answer the question.

"I have no need to answer any questions about how I can explain the basis of the mormon faith"

Bob didn't ask you to. He asked how do you know the Bible is true.

"Nothing that has been rebutted has any BIBLICAL basis."

That is a lie.

"Just innuendo based on someone's feelings"

So is this.

"their "testimony/witness"

The only time this was the case was pertaining to the actual witnesses of the plates, which you brought up.

"or your 4 books of smoke and mirrors."

You asked about the Book of Mormon and D&C. You brought it up.

"I still wait for your answers to my questions based on BIBLICAL reference."

1. I am not bound to answer your questions on a narrow-minded "Bible only" playing field. As Methodist scholar Margaret Barker said, "it has been all too easy for sola scriptura scholars to dismiss [esoteric teachings and traditions], and then find themselves constructing theological positions which are not even biblical, because they have ignored the environing traditions which could have illuminated the meaning of the biblical texts." ("Temple and Liturgy," Lambeth Palace, June 2009)

2. Our responses have been rooted in historical documents, scholarship, and biblical passages. If you want details on a particular subject, then pick ONE subject at a time so that it can be examined thoroughly. Shotgun approaches are for those who know very little, but want to appear to know much. It is also an intellectully shallow form of debate.

"P.S. It can't be done."

It already has.

Anonymous said...

I know your not directing the question to me. But I have been reading your blog with interest. If I was asked that question. And for the record I am not well educated biblicy, But for the last 2 years as a 43 year old LDS memeber who has been told his whole life that the Bible was not reliable without modern living prophets or apostles telling me what it means or says. And that it can't be understood otherwise, I began a search for myself if the Bible was as the LDS church claims that it could NOT be trusted.
Things I belive testify of it's Truthfullness, to name just a few.

1.Fullfilled prophecy.
2.Historical accuracy.
3.Archelological discovery and that there are no archeological discoverys that have controverted a Biblical reference.
4.Arhelological discoverys have been made because of the writtings in the Bible.
5.How about that the 66 books, written by at least 40 different men, over a period of 2000 years that is consistent and flows with unity.
I'm LDS, but I do not agree with the churchs position that the Bible has been so corrupted by man that who knows if even one word can be trusted. And I find it interesting that the koran and the jehovah's witnesses bible both claim that that the Bible is corrupt and can't be trusted as well.It would seem to be important to discredit the Bible and the Word if one wanted to write his own man made scripture or add to scripture to validate his own ideas.
I feel as a LDS memeber that if one comes to the conclusion that the Bible is true then all the other arguments about LDS doctrine, church history, Joseph Smith, ect. is beside the point.
Bottom line is that if the Bible is True then the Book of Mormon and more importantly the LDS doctrines taught in the D&C can NOT be true.
I would challenge any LDS or Non LDS person to NOT take the word of anyone or any religion as to the Truthfullness of the Bible, do the research for yourself and see if you come to any other conclusion.
Thankyou,
Ken

boyd said...

Well thought out, written, lucid remark and comment. Brav0! Making that statement and being LDS took an enormous amount of courage.

Walker said...

"Brav0!"

Well, you side with the one "not well educated biblicy" and I'll side with those who are.

Walker said...

Putting aside my suspicions due to the extreme counter-cult nature of this response, I have a few things to say to it:

"I am not well educated biblicy"

Well, that kind of makes the rest of your claims hard to take seriously.

"told his whole life that the Bible was not reliable without modern living prophets or apostles telling me what it means or says"

Never heard that before.

"LDS church claims that it could NOT be trusted"

Interesting claim, especially in light of this: "Thus one of the great purposes of continuing revelation through living prophets is to declare to the world through additional witnesses that the Bible is true. “This is written,” an ancient prophet said, speaking of the Book of Mormon, “for the intent that ye may believe that,” speaking of the Bible. In one of the earliest revelations received by Joseph Smith, the Lord said, “Behold, I do not bring [the Book of Mormon forth] to destroy [the Bible] but to build it up.” (Jeffrey R. Holland, "My Words...Never Cease," Ensign, May 2008)

"Fullfilled prophecy"

Very true.

"Historical accuracy"

Which part? This is a very vague and rather broad declaration, especially since archeologists like William G. Dever have said that there is no evidence for Moses or the Exodus.

"Arhelological discoverys"

See above.

"2000 years that is consistent and flows with unity"

Not quite.

"the Bible has been so corrupted by man that who knows if even one word can be trusted"

See Holland's quote.

"koran and the jehovah's witnesses bible both claim that that the Bible is corrupt and can't be trusted as well"

So?

"Bottom line is that if the Bible is True then the Book of Mormon and more importantly the LDS doctrines taught in the D&C can NOT be true"

Funny. I'm LDS and don't draw these conclusions. This is very bold on your part, yet lacks any substantiation. Perhaps it is because you are not well educated biblically.

"do the research for yourself and see if you come to any other conclusion"

I agree. I have and I continue to do so. Looking over the blog and the sources I've provided should tell you that.

Sorry you feel this way.

Anonymous said...

Walker,
Sir my purpose is not "counter cult" by any means. And please I am not interested in debating doctrines; there are plenty of others who love to engage in that. I know LDS doctrines well.
My desire has been and continues to be, to determine if what I have been told my whole life being raised LDS is correct with regard to the Bible and its teachings and whether it is truthful as it is written or if I can only believe in it as far as it is translated correctly, by a LDS prophet or apostle.
And as I said, I feel that if one can come to the conclusion that the Bible translated from the majoritive text is reliable then it becomes pointless to worry about all the rest.
I said I was not well educated biblically because, in all the years of sacrament meetings, elder’s quorum meetings, both listening and occasionally teaching, Sunday school meetings and home teaching one doesn’t honestly spend very much time truly studying the Bible in depth. I agree that it is discussed, but with the LDS church’s commentary as outlined in the lesson manuals and cross references to the JST. Which in many key points of doctrine are in complete opposition to each other.
I don’t read or speak Hebrew or Greek and until my journey to find out for myself whether the Bible was what it claimed to be or whether it was what the LDS church claims to be, I never knew about all the differences between what a non LDS Christian believes compared to what is taught in LDS teachings. I wasn’t aware of all the Bible study guides and concordances and commentaries that there are about the Bible. I had no knowledge of Jewish history or the nuances of Old Testament law, the michna or Talmud.
I was not taught in church the traditions and customs that influenced the Jewish people and their lives and how much that helps one understand scripture.
I never knew what a beautiful descriptive language that Hebrew is, and what a profound difference it makes to understand which Hebrew word was used in a verse to understand the intended meaning. I am only comparing my biblical knowledge to those who have literally dedicated there lives to it and the study of it.
to be continued:

Anonymous said...

continued:
Historical accuracy and Archeological discoveries? Are you serious? I could fill pages. I would suggest you buy a Bible encyclopedia or just do a little research online and check it out. Honestly that is an ignorant thing to say based on the huge amount of physical evidences.
I said: "Koran and the Jehovah’s witness’s bible both claim that that the Bible is corrupt and can't be trusted as well"
You said: So?
Well they can’t both be right, that is why it’s important. Because of the changes that are in them it changes the doctrines, just as the changes between the Bible and the JST and teachings of the LDS leaders change doctrines and meanings.
I said: "Bottom line is that if the Bible is true then the Book of Mormon and more importantly the LDS doctrines taught in the D&C can NOT be true"
You said: Funny. I'm LDS and don't draw these conclusions. This is very bold on your part, yet lacks any substantiation. Perhaps it is because you are not well educated biblically.
I draw that conclusion because of the differences in core doctrines between what the Bible teaches and what Joseph Smith and other leaders have taught and continue to teach about them.
Also as to your comment about,” never hearing things before”. I am not surprised because you look young in your picture and there are lots of teachings and doctrines that my kids are not taught about that I was taught in church. Just as there are lots of things that were taught to my parents and older relatives that I was never taught in all the years of church. I sit in church now and there are things that are never spoken of that I was taught 20 years ago. Why do you suppose that is?
What is interesting to me is that as I find out more and more about the doctrinal differences and ask my family and co-workers about them I am amazed at how little they know about these differences or that they even exist.
Well like I said I’m not interested in arguing LDS vs. Biblical doctrine. That is not the point. And like I said is pointless because of the inherent contradictions between the Bible and the Church teachings
The purpose is to find out if the Bible is reliable or not as it stands. Not whether or not it hasn’t been corrupted by man, I am under no illusion that it hasn’t. But whether I believe God when he says in Isaiah 55:11
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

Peace and God bless you. And have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Ken

Anonymous said...

continued:
I said: "I have been told my whole life that the Bible was not reliable without modern living prophets or apostles telling me what it means or says"
You said: “you have never heard that before”
Doesn’t the 8th article of faith proclaim that?
You quoted Jeffery Holland in response to my saying “LDS church claims that it could NOT be trusted”
I would say to you that I understand that a living prophet or apostle “trumps” a dead one but I would then say to you: From the beginning Joseph Smith taught “that while preserving the Bible, "Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors." (Joseph Fielding Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.327).
In 1850, LDS Apostle Orson Pratt taught: "If it be admitted that the apostles and evangelists did write the books of the New Testament, that does not prove of itself that they were divinely inspired at the time they wrote…Add all this imperfection to the uncertainty of the translation, and who, in his right mind could for one moment suppose the Bible in its present form to be a perfect guide? Who knows that even one verse of the Bible has escaped pollution, so as to convey the same sense now that it did in the original?" (Orson Pratt, Divine Authenticity of the Book of Mormon, pp. 45, 47)
How about in 1979 when the LDS Church published a new edition of the King James Bible which includes extensive footnotes as well as a seventeen-page section of excerpts from the JST, etc.
It is my opinion that the church teaches that one should use the LDS standard works in addition to what the leaders say as the standard to measure the accuracy of the Bible, but the Bible was here first, shouldn’t it be the other way around?
to be continued:

Walker said...

I guess the my response didn't post originally.

"These are about Mormon doctrine that don't appear in the book of Mormon."

Allow me to show you that you don't read very carefully.

"Why isn't the Elohim (God) being the father of Jehovah (Jesus) and being once a mortal man discussed?"

We hardly know anything about God's past. It is irrelevant to the message of the BoM. As for God being Christ's father, Jesus mentions this multiple times in 3 Nephi.

"(In fact, God and Jesus appear to be one in the same being in the Book of Mormon--especially in the first edition)."

In an exhaustively researched essay, LDS scholar Daniel C. Peterson (Ph.D., Near Eastern Languages and Cultures) notes that the divine council was "a kind of corporate deity, in which a number of gods functioned as if they were, in fact, one god.”26 In other words, “Ēl is equivalent to the entire council. The decree of Ēl is the decree of the gods.”27 Apparently, “I and My Father are one” was an ancient theology restored by Christ in the 1st century.

26. Peterson, "Ye are Gods: Psalm 82 and John 10 as Witnesses to the Divine Nature of Humankind," The Disciple as a Scholar: Essays on Scripture and the Ancient World in Honor of Richard Lloyd Anderson
27. E. Theodore Mullen, Assembly of the Gods: The Divine Council in Canaanite and early Hebrew Literature, 1980

Walker said...

"What about God having a body of flesh and bones"

Not in those exact words, but the following demonstrate the anthropomorphic nature of God:

"[Christ/God] should take upon him the image of man, and it should be the image after which man was created in the beginning." (Mosiah 7:27)

"Seest thou that ye are created after mine own image? Yea, even all men were created in the beginning after mine own image. Behold, this body, which ye now behold, is the body of my spirit; and man have I created after the body of my spirit; and even as I appear unto thee to be in the spirit will I appear unto my people in the flesh." (Ether 3:15-16)

He later did and was resurrected:

"And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands." (3 Nephi 11:15)

Obviously, Christ kept His resurrected body.

"God being married"

Not explicitly, though the Asherah tree imagery is present. See Daniel C. Peterson, "Nephi and His Asherah," Journal of Book of Mormon Studies: Volume - 9, Issue - 2

"men becoming Gods"

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

"that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure." (Moroni 7:48)

Walker said...

"Where are such doctrines as a man having to marry in order to be exalted"

The sealing powers are mentioned in Helaman, but nothing explicit about eternal marriage.

"member having to wear sacred undergarments"

Garments are mentioned many, many times.

"official doctrine being voted upon by the general membership"

Voted on? You mean sustained?

"God being the offspring of another God"

If that is even the case.

"Once again the fullness of God's word is not found in the Book of Mormon, but indeed found in the rest of the books you need."

The fullness of God's word is not found in any one book.

"P.S. What I am impressed with"

I am not impressed with your questions, your shotgun approach, or your inability to respond to prior refutations.

Walker said...

"temple participation necessary for exaltation"

Temples are built and King Benjamin's sermon is very temple heavy.

"baptism for the dead"

Not that I'm aware of, though baptism is stressed as essential.

"Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood"

Lehi's family weren't Levites and the Jaredites pre-date the Levitical Priesthood. Alma 13, however, discusses the Melchizedek Priesthood.

"word of wisdom"

Really? How anachronistic can you get?

"3 degrees of glory"

That one is in the Bible, though Ether and Enos mention the "mansions of my Father."

"Why is polygamy condemned in the Book of Mormon, but condoned in the D&C"

"For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things." (Jacob 2:30)

"still believed to be necessary in church doctrine for exaltation in the after-life?"

"Celestial marriage is essential to a fulness of glory in the world to come, as explained in the revelation concerning it; but it is not stated that plural marriage is thus essential" (First Presidency, Improvement Era, vol. 15, no. 11, September 1912)

even_more_anonymous said...

"but the Bible was here first, shouldn’t it be the other way around?"

Depends on how you look at it. If you believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and that he was called to restore the Church of Jesus Christ here on the earth, than I would argue that the Church of Jesus Christ came before the Bible.

The beautiful thing about the Gospel of Jesus Christ is that we get to know the truth through the feelings of the Holy Ghost, because as Paul wrote in Galatians 5:23 "...against [the fruits of the Spirit] there is no law." Telling us that nothing else can make us feel the same way the Spirit does, and that is why it's important to know the Spirit and it's fruits, so that you can decifer between right and wrong.

Not everyone is knowledgeable biblically, but that is the beauty of the simplicity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is what Bob was stating in his blog, that we all have the Spirit teach us through our feelings

Walker said...

"whether it is truthful as it is written or if I can only believe in it as far as it is translated correctly, by a LDS prophet or apostle."

That last part is your own addition, though prophets and apostles are useful in interpreting scripture.

"one doesn’t honestly spend very much time truly studying the Bible in depth"

Very true. Hence, personal scripture study is always pushed.

"JST"

Keep in mind: the JST doesn't appear to be a restoration of the original text, but more so inspired commentary.

"Which in many key points of doctrine are in complete opposition to each other."

Specifics?

"I never knew..."

Whose fault is that?

"Doesn’t the 8th article of faith proclaim that?"

Let us see how the two statements compare:

- the Bible was not reliable without modern living prophets or apostles telling me what it means or says

- We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly

The two statements are very, very different. So, in answer to your question, no, the 8th AoF does not declare what you say it does.

Walker said...

As for your Bible errors quotes, stating the we have no way of knowing how many corruptions have taken place and that errors have crept in is far from synonymous with the Bible is completely and utterly unreliable. And considering the brethren were right, I don't see the problem. The core message of the New Testament may be be preserved, but to claim that it is perfect and error-free is beyond ridiculous. Which Bible is perfect? The one that has the Johannine Comma in it or the one without it? Which translation of Deut. 32:8 is correct:

"When the Most High apportioned the nations, when he divided humankind, he fixed the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of the gods" (NRSV)

"When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel." (KJV)

Joseph Smith's original claim as to biblical alterations has been proven a fact. I have no problem with facts.

"the Bible was here first, shouldn’t it be the other way around?"

Actually, I don't ever hear anything taught about "measuring the accuracy of the Bible." I hear about obtaining a spiritual witness of the Restoration, embracing the Bible, BoM, D&C, and PoGP.

And actually, scholarship is recognizing many key teachings of Joseph Smith in the biblical writings (the divine council being a major one).

Walker said...

"Historical accuracy and Archeological discoveries? Are you serious? I could fill pages."

I never said there wasn't any. I said you were very vague.

"I would suggest you buy a Bible encyclopedia or just do a little research online and check it out."

I do. As William Dever said in regards to Moses/Exodus evidence, "We have no direct archeological evidence...No one has found a text or an artifact in Egypt itself or even in the Sinai that has any direct connection. That doesn't mean it didn't happen. But I think it does mean what happened was rather more modest. And the biblical writers have enlarged the story." (Interview by Gary Glassman, "Archeology of the Hebrew Bible," NOVA, July 2007)

"Honestly that is an ignorant thing to say based on the huge amount of physical evidences."

Don't even attempt to refer to me as ignorant. I have merely pointed out that you are very vague. One of the leading Bible archeologists has declared that there is no direct evidence for Moses or the Exodus. That is one of the key events of the Bible. Big thing not to have evidence for.

"Well they can’t both be right"

They can both be right about biblical corruptions.

"I draw that conclusion because of the differences in core doctrines between what the Bible teaches and what Joseph Smith and other leaders have taught and continue to teach about them."

You basically just repeated yourself without giving any specifics.

"Why do you suppose that is?"

Without specifics, I don't know.

"I’m not interested in arguing LDS vs. Biblical doctrine."

You just want to declare that LDS doctrine conflicts with Biblical doctrine without backing it up. Ok.

"The purpose is to find out if the Bible is reliable or not as it stands."

It depends on what portion of the Bible. What book. It isn't an all-or-nothing dichotomy.

"So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."

I see: the Bible is perfect because the Bible says so. Great logic.

Anonymous said...

even_more_anonymous,
Ok, I’m just about done here but here we go. I will try to clarify and get us back to my original point, because this is going down the apologetics path and that is pointless.

I said: “It is my opinion that the church teaches that one should use the LDS standard works in addition to what the leaders say as the standard to measure the accuracy of the Bible, but the Bible was here first, shouldn’t it be the other way around?”

Even_more_anonymous said: “Depends on how you look at it. If you believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and that he was called to restore the Church of Jesus Christ here on the earth, than I would argue that the Church of Jesus Christ came before the Bible”.

It does NOT depend on how it is looked at, because if the Bible is the Word of God and infallible and God says his word will be forever, and Jesus warns us of false prophets who come in sheep’s clothing… (Matt 7:15) Along with all the other verses of scripture that are warnings to us on this matter, then the only question that MUST be answered is this, is the Bible infallible?, because everything else apologetic is pointless to argue.
And for 35 years that I been in the LDS church I have been told that the Bible can not be trusted. Because what it says is not what is meant. I’m not talking about the entire Bible verse by verse; I am talking about the key differences between LDS doctrines that are taught and believed and what the Bible and mainstream Christianity teaches.

This brings me back to my original point that we should all be asking ourselves. “Is the Bible infallible” because if one comes to the conclusion that it is, then the warnings in the Bible concerning God’s Word and false prophets should have been applied to Joseph Smith and his claims. And if you apply the Word and the teachings to JS and LDS teachings, especially to the D&C and Pearl of Great Price, then he and his claims would or should have been rejected, because he is, and the LDS church is preaching a different gospel then the Bible and Jesus Christ taught and teaches. They can’t both be right, that only works if you accept JS. And you can only accept JS if you don’t accept the Bible as infallible.
The Book of Mormon is not so much the issue, because it doesn’t contain most of the doctrines of the church.

I don’t believe most LDS members or Non LDS for that matter, have ever sat down with a non-LDS King James Version or NKJV of the Bible (both from the majority text) and with a lexicon and a concordance, Bible dictionary 2 or 3 Bible commentaries and started reading.

John says he wrote his gospel for the non believer, if you sit down with a couple of commentaries, concordance and started reading John you won’t get past the first verse with out having to decide whether the Bible is the infallible Word of God. And that it means what it says and can be trusted.
Ken

Walker said...

"It does NOT depend on how it is looked at"

Yes, it does.

"because if the Bible is the Word of God"

Which it is.

"and infallible"

Which it isn't.

"and God says his word will be forever"

And this is a fallacious and anachronistic equating of "the word" with "the Bible."

"is the Bible infallible?"

Which one? If I even have to ask that, then the answer is 'no.' This has been proven time and time again.

"I am talking about the key differences between LDS doctrines that are taught and believed and what the Bible and mainstream Christianity teaches"

Wrong. You are talking about the key differences between LDS doctrines and mainstream Christianity doctrines. Do not fallaciously equate mainstream Christianity with the Bible's teachings unless you can back it up.

"false prophets should have been applied to Joseph Smith and his claims"

And you never explain why this is. As Thomas Sowell said (or a slight variation of what he said), "Conviction is easy. Specifics are little bit harder."

"the LDS church is preaching a different gospel then the Bible and Jesus Christ taught and teaches"

Once again: no support

"I don’t believe most LDS members or Non LDS for that matter, have ever sat down with a non-LDS King James Version or NKJV of the Bible (both from the majority text) and with a lexicon and a concordance, Bible dictionary 2 or 3 Bible commentaries and started reading."

I have and do all the time. And go far beyond the KJV or NKJV.

"you won’t get past the first verse with out having to decide whether the Bible is the infallible Word of God"

What a bunch of fundamentalist nonsense.

It is probably a good thing that you are ducking out, seeing that you provide no sources and no specifics to back up your claim. Without such, no one should be obligated to take your posts seriously.

even_more_anonymous said...

Ken, I thank you for you comment, but to me, it's always going to be a perspective, because so many people try to understand the Bible in their own manner, to support their own doctrine, and that's why I believe Bob has this blog, to use other sources, quotes, and references to help clarify meanings in the Bible. I honestly believe that the aid of a prophet is important to better understand any scripture, whether it be the Book of Moromon or the Bible, being inspired men, their cousel is very appreciated on any subject. The Bible does preach the Word of God, but I don't see it preaching anything different than what is taught in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I see clarification for such writings in the Bible as important, for example, the Apostle Paul shares his testimony twice, of his experience on the road to Damascus, and in the Bible it's recorded in two different manners, at least in the KJV. One says they saw a light, but didn't hear anything and the other they didn't see anything but hear a light. I think clarification for the Bible is important if it is possible to get it from a prophet.

Bob the Anti-Anti said...

The problem I have seen in the discussions on this topic is the complete lack discussion by those critical of the LDS faith of the statements out of the Bible indicating TRUTH is in fact only obtainable when God through His Spirit reveals it to us. All other forms of 'discovery' of truth are by their nature only provisional, subject to change.

I use the example all the time of the attack on the Book of Mormon that was regularly made for 130 plus years that Alma was not a mans name among the ancient Jews. Everyone knew it. The problem was, it was not true! Through the discovery of documents in the 20th Century, we have irrefutable evidence that around the time of Lehi, men were named Alma.

This is a stark lesson to all those who profess to "know" the BoM is false due to archaeology, genetic or even theological proofs. That is evidence convincing you, not God telling you.

The fact is that some people do delude themselves into "feeling" everything they do is correct and true. That is not the standard put out by the Lord in both the Bible as well as other scripture. Humility, broad study, willingness to be taught and a desire to change your life to conform with the truth through repentance can change a deceitful, lying heart into a heart the Lord loves.

So while Boyd or others want to run after what I believe are truly secondary topics, I note Boyd vigorously refuses to actually engage in a conversation precisely about the topic of this post, namely: Knowing through revelation. His defense of not needing that is a denial of the existence of the Spirit to lead.

I think this post has proven that when it comes to trusting in God, the non-LDS responding here exercise no faith whatsoever. If they cannot prove it to themselves, it must not be real. I think that was Thomas' position (at best), as well as Agrippa's.

In the end, the "faith only" folks actually exercise none, and simply hope to be saved not knowing the God they claim to worship. Sounds a lot like Mars Hill to me.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me Boyd answered your question twice, you fail to realize or recognize that.

Since the LDS Church insists that it has restored the ancient temple rituals, how can it make changes and still claim that it is the original ceremony? Prior to 1990, everyone who went through the ceremony understood the embrace on the five points of fellowship to be an essential part of the ritual. Why has it been removed?

The type of changes made in the ritual (i.e. removal of oath of vengeance and penalties, removal of the Christian minister, shortening of the ceremony, modernizing the garment, full bath changed to symbolic touching with water, etc.) would seem to indicate that they were made to make the ceremony more acceptable to new temple attendees.

If God truly revealed these rituals would he later adjust them to make them more popular? Wouldn't people have been just as offended in Joseph Smith's day by a complete bath as by having someone reach under a sheet to touch the naked body as was done during the last seventy years? Why didn't the ceremony originally have just an anointing to the forehead, as is done today?

If the aim is to "modernize to conform with the prevailing culture" why not eliminate the Masonic emblems, handshakes and passwords? Or limit the wearing of the garment to just the temple ceremony?

One thing seems certain, the LDS Church will continue to claim that its temple ritual is the restoration of the ancient temple rite and yet will continue to make modifications.

Walker said...

If anything, our slightly-modified temple theology is certainly closer to early Christianity and ancient Israelite beliefs than, say, your non-existent temple theology, which is utterly unlike it.

Walker said...

Bob,

Thought you would find this interesting: At the recently held meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society, Ronn Johnson of Northwestern College presented a paper entitled “Variations on the Shema: How Multiple Yahwisms Played a Positive Role in Israelite Religion.” I haven't been able to read it (since I don't think it is availabe for free), but I did read Michael Heiser's comments on it. It seems that most of the ancient Israelites didn't have a great amount of exposure to the Torah and would therefore come up with various and often incorrect understandings of Yahweh. However, they could still be considered Yahwists because their loyalty was to Yahweh, NOT the Torah.

In light of this, I find it strange that Mormons are considered to be non-Christian (despite their devotion to Christ) because they do not hold a view of infallibility when it comes to the Bible. “Scripture itself points...away from itself and to the fact that final and true authority belongs to God himself.” (N.T. Wright, The Last Word: Beyond the Bible Wars to a New Understanding of the Authority of Scripture, 2005)

Nathan said...

"Bottom line is that if the Bible is True then the Book of Mormon and more importantly the LDS doctrines taught in the D&C can NOT be true.
I would challenge any LDS or Non LDS person to NOT take the word of anyone or any religion as to the Truthfullness of the Bible, do the research for yourself and see if you come to any other conclusion.
Thankyou,
Ken"

Very well said Ken! It is a relief to find a Latter Day Saint who can say that. I have LDS friends and they are such good people but they are so misguided and it's difficult to try and show them that.

Mireille said...

Here Boyd, let me give you some correct answers:

“Jesus said to the thief on the cross who repented "Today (Present tense) you will be with me in paradise" (Luke 23:43).”

There was some question as to where the thief on the cross went and what “paradise” Jesus was referring to. Any true Christian who studies Bible doctrine knows that he went to Abraham’s bosom. Abraham’s bosom is the “abode of the righteous who died before Christ and who were not admitted to heaven until his resurrection.” (Wikipedia)

It’s mentioned in Luke, chapters 13 and 16:

Luke 16:19-24
19 There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
20 And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
21 And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

Once Christ is resurrected, “the master is risen up,” then they go to the “kingdom of God”:

Luke 13:23-29
24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:
26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.
27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.
28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.
29 And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.

I recommend this book (Bible Doctrine):
http://www.amazon.com/Bible-Doctrine-Wayne-Grudem/dp/0310222338/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1261813602&sr=8-4

Mireille said...

“I refuse to believe that the Urim and Thummim being used to translate reformed Egyptian into English. That would be discernment and false doctrine.”

They weren’t according to David Whitmer, Martin Harris, Emma Smith and her father (utlm.org):

"Although Joseph Smith was supposed to have the Urim and Thummim, the evidence shows that he preferred to use the seer stone found in a well to translate the Book of Mormon. The Mormon historian B. H. Roberts acknowledged the use of one of Joseph Smith’s seer stones. He made the following statement in the Comprehensive History of the Church, Vol. 1, page 129:

The Seer Stone referred to here was a chocolate-colored, somewhat egg-shaped stone which the Prophet found while digging a well in the company of his brother Hyrum, for a Mr. Clark Chase, near Palmyra, N.Y. It possessed the qualities of Urim and Thummim, since by means of it — as described above — as well as by means of the Interpreters found with the Nephite record, Joseph was able to translate the characters engraven on the plates.

David Whitmer described how Joseph Smith placed the seer stone into a hat to translate the Book of Mormon:

I will now give you a description of the manner in which the Book of Mormon was translated. Joseph would put the seer stone into a hat, and put his face in the hat, drawing it closely around his face to exclude the light. A piece of something resembling parchment would appear, and on that appeared the writing. (An Address to All Believers in Christ, by David Whitmer, 1887, p.12)

David Whitmer admitted that he never did see Joseph Smith use what was later known as the Urim and Thummim (the two stones set in silver bows). This information is found in an article in the Saints’ Herald:

According to the testimony of Emma Smith and David Whitmer, the angel took the Urim and Thummim from Joseph Smith at the time of the loss of the 116 pages. This was in June 1828, one year before David became involved with the work of translation. David Whitmer could never have been present when the Urim and Thummim were used. All of this he clearly states in his testimony to Brother Traughber:

"With the sanction of David Whitmer, and by his authority, I now state he does not say that Joseph Smith ever translated in his presence by aid of Urim and Thummim, but by means of one dark colored, opaque stone called a ‘Seer Stone,’ which was placed in the crown of a hat, into which Joseph put his face, so as to exclude the external light. Then, a spiritual light would appear before Joseph, upon which was a line of characters from the plates, and under it, the translation in English; at least, so Joseph said." (Saints’ Herald, November 15, 1962, page 16)

Many years ago M. T. Lamb made some important observations regarding Joseph Smith’s strange habit of using his seer stone instead of the Urim and Thummim:

Finally, according to the testimony of Martin Harris, Mr. Smith often used the "seer stone" in place of the Urim and Thummim, even while the latter remained in his possession — using it as a mere matter of convenience."

Mireille said...

“I also appreciate your use of the Bible for reference. These verses must be some of the references that are "translated" correctly.”

If it supports LDS beliefs, then of course it is translated correctly. If it doesn’t, then it isn’t translated correctly. This is the infamous LDS double standard.


“I have lost 2 jobs for disagreeing with Mormons on the job and have been terminated for such.”

This doesn’t surprise me.


“It is kind of awkward to write out what salvation means in this manner, but I think you get the idea. Now on to baptism. I don't think it is necessary to salvation, however, I don't think it is an option either. Here is my point. Jesus commanded us to be baptized. He commanded the disciples to baptize new believers. I don't have any argument there, but I don't see it as part of the salvation process, I see it as a public stand for Christ.”

This is correct.


“Since the Introduction to the Book of Mormon states that it contains "the fullness of the everlasting gospel" can you give me verses that teach the doctrines of pre-earth existence, plural gods with wives, temple marriage, chance to repent after you die, temple rituals for the dead, three levels of heaven, etc.?”

No, because Joseph Smith didn’t think of those things until later in his ministry.


“Where do I find your concept of eternal marriage in the Book of Mormon?”

You don’t. Truman Madsen explained that Joseph Smith got the idea from the story of Adam and Eve, being that if Adam and Eve hadn’t fallen from grace, they would be married eternally in the garden.


“If you truly believe the Book of Mormon, doctrinally, how do you accept the Doctrine and Covenants or Pearl of Great Price since these books teach different concepts?”

The LDS are great rationalizers. They will twist anything until it fits their worldview, even if it appears to be internally inconsistent.


“Why do Mormons approach people with the Book of Mormon if it doesn't contain their most important doctrines? Why don't they give out copies of their other scriptures instead of/or in addition to the Book of Mormon?”

Because they wouldn’t get any converts if they did that, hence their policy of “milk before meat.”


“What specific doctrine of Mormonism is in the Book of Mormon that isn't in the Bible?”

None. It’s a plagiarism.

Anonymous said...

""JS can not give forgiveness."

Well done. Good thing I've never claimed this nor has anyone else on here. "

Maybe not but Brigham Young did so Boyd is right on that.

Mireille said...

“Why were the witnesses only allowed to see the plates with "spiritual eyes"?”

For the same reason that the only way a person can know if the BoM is true is by a “spiritual witness” and not by solid physical evidence. That reason is because there was nothing physically present to convince the “witnesses” or to prove to them that the plates actually existed and that Joseph found them.


“If the plates were real, why would it take faith to see them? (D&C17:2) (How could he have translated without the plates, as his scribes said, if he was doing a literal translation of a physical object?)”

Because he was fabricating the whole thing.

“Why does the church now extol the witnesses when Joseph Smith condemned them?”

Because the church needs something to show people to convince them that the plates actually existed and that Joseph Smith’s story was true.


“Why would most of them leave the church?”

Because of power struggle among them – Joseph Smith and the witnesses.


“Why did Brigham Young say that the 3 witnesses doubted and disbelieved in their experience? "Some of the witnesses of the Book of Mormon, who handled the plates and conversed with the angels of God, were afterwards left to doubt and disbelieve that they had ever seen an angel."”

Because they didn’t tell the truth in the first place.


“Why were all of the witnesses (except Martin Harris) related to Joseph Smith or David Whitmer?”

Because his family would naturally support him.
“Why isn't the Elohim (God) being the father of Jehovah (Jesus) and being once a mortal man discussed? (In fact, God and Jesus appear to be one in the same being in the Book of Mormon--especially in the first edition).
What about God having a body of flesh and bones, God being married, men becoming Gods, temple participation necessary for exaltation, baptism for the dead, Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood, word of wisdom, and 3 degrees of glory?
Why is polygamy condemned in the Book of Mormon, but condoned in the D&C and still believed to be necessary in church doctrine for exaltation in the after-life?
Where are such doctrines as a man having to marry in order to be exalted, member having to wear sacred undergarments, official doctrine being voted upon by the general membership, God being the offspring of another God, etc.?”

The explanation for this has to do with Joseph Smith changing his mind about what doctrine he wanted to teach later on in his life. This is why the D&C and PoGP veer completely off the Christian path and teach false doctrine.


“Once again the fullness of God's word is not found in the Book of Mormon, but indeed found in the rest of the books you need.”

Exactly.

Seb said...

"HOW DO YOU KNOW THE BIBLE IS TRUE?"

Anonymous said it well:

"1.Fullfilled prophecy.
2.Historical accuracy.
3.Archelological discovery and that there are no archeological discoverys that have controverted a Biblical reference.
4.Arhelological discoverys have been made because of the writtings in the Bible.
5.How about that the 66 books, written by at least 40 different men, over a period of 2000 years that is consistent and flows with unity."

Bob the Anti-Anti said...

Mireille wrote:
"If it supports LDS beliefs, then of course it is translated correctly. If it doesn’t, then it isn’t translated correctly. This is the infamous LDS double standard."
Well, what verses do the LDS Church state, categorically, are "mistranslated"? Answer: None. At least not in the sense of saying "ignore this translation or verse.

In fact, Joseph Smith noted the translation of Gen 1:1-2 was incorrect, rightly, as found in the KJV. Did he direct the LDS Church to note or make a change to the Bible? No. Instead, we study the Bible for two out of every four years, and not once do we list any verses as being incorrect.

And when you start talking about the list of verses wrongly changed or falsely translated, Deut 32:8-9 immediately springs to mind. Yet there is not even a footnote about the documented changes to the verse, as substantiated by the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Septuagint.

The BoM correctly changes Matt 5:22 (see 3Nep 12:22), a change recognized by virtually every modern translation of the Bible, and yet the LDS Bible simply refers one to the BoM. It doesn't mention that the KJV, using a newer text of the Bible, gets it wrong. Oh, and the BoM did it about 50 years or so before the oldest manuscripts had started circulating, leading to the correction in modern Bibles.

Anyway, an interesting note is that the Bible explicitly teaches that Baptism is essential to salvation:
"He who believes and is baptized shall be saved..."

Ring any bells? Of course belief is coupled with action. I note that after Peter no doubt spoke for some great amount of time at the gathering at the day of Pentecost, and quotes Joel "everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved", but still they asked "what shall we do?"
"Repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of your sins...save yourself..."

Point being, the Bible explicitly teaches baptism is essential to salvation. It was not about a public showing as a commitment to Jesus. We never see those words anywhere. We see it is about being "saved".
Thanks,
Bob

Mireille said...

Bob,

the whole scripture is (Mark 16:15-16):

15 "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."

Notice it says, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned" and it doesn't say, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not and is baptized not, shall be damned." If baptism was a requirement, it would say the latter but it doesn't. It says the former. It is emphasizing faith (in Christ) as our salvation, not baptism. Hence this is why the thief on the cross was saved as well.

Nice try.

Bob the Anti-Anti said...

Mireille said...

“Why were the witnesses only allowed to see the plates with "spiritual eyes"?”

For the same reason that the only way a person can know if the BoM is true is by a “spiritual witness” and not by solid physical evidence. That reason is because there was nothing physically present to convince the “witnesses” or to prove to them that the plates actually existed and that Joseph found them.

Well, first of all it is a false statement that the witness saw only with their "spiritual eyes". The 8 witness saw the plates in broad daylight, handled the plates, and individually reported it was a physical experience. The "spiritual eyes" report came from an interview with Martin Harris, which he before and afterward affirmed was about their preparation, and that he physically handled the plates. When David Whitmer was informed of the statement, he noted simply they were "Spiritually prepared", but that it was a physical experience.

What is worse, in my mind, is the horrible contortion and disparagement of dozens of witness statements to try to denigrate the testimony of the witnesses. See FAIR's website for the complete story.

As for Brigham Young's statement of the witnesses, it is a lie he said it of the Book of Mormon witnesses. He said it of those who put a witness to the original D&C, none of whom, by the way, were from the number of the BoM witnesses. Now, you could easily have learned this if you had actually tried to learn the truth of the matter. Instead, you accepted the false and misleading statements by your puppet master. I use the phrase because puppets repeat without thinking or researching what someone else teaches. That is all that was done here. Again, see the FARMS and compare their sources and citations to the false "chop shop" statements fed you. This garbage, still circulating, comes from the Tanner's butchery of Brigham Young's statement, made to look like it was some of the original witnesses who doubted. As Matt Roper points out, and quotes in full:

"They [The Tanners] then quote a statement by Brigham Young: "Some of the witnesses of the Book of Mormon, who handled the plates and conversed with the angels of God, were afterwards left to doubt and to disbelieve that they had ever seen an angel." Unfortunately the Tanners have left out the rest of the statement, giving the false impression that Brigham Young had reference to the three or eight witnesses. The full quote reads as follows:

Some of the witnesses of the Book of Mormon, who handled the plates and conversed with the angels of God, were afterwards left to doubt and to disbelieve that they had ever seen an angel. One of the Quorum of the Twelve—a young man full of faith and good works, prayed, and the vision of his mind was opened, and the angel of God came and laid the plates before him, and he saw and handled them, and saw the angel, and conversed with him as he would with one of his friends; but after all this, he was left to doubt, and plunged into apostasy, and has continued to contend against this work. There are hundreds in a similar condition.11

The Tanners would mislead their readers by using this quotation as evidence against the Book of Mormon witnesses.12 But none of the eleven were ever members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Brigham Young was referring to one of several other early Mormons who had similar experiences, but not to one of the official Book of Mormon witnesses as the Tanners clearly imply.13"

Now, if we are going to talk about trusting liars, who are you listening to these days?

Bob the Anti-Anti said...

So, let me get this straight. According to Mark, if I believe, but am not baptized, can I be saved?

I don't care if I don't believe, since if I don't believe I would not be baptized anyway. Just tell me, according to Mark, what two things are required to be saved? If one does not do both, according to Mark, can one be saved? The statement is a contingent statement, i.e., there are two things prerequisite to the obtain the result, and, structured in the manner of being joined by "and" (Greek "kai") they are of equal weight. So if you don't need to be baptized, then you could with equal weight and support (since you are ignoring the text of the Bible anyway) claim no faith could save you if you were baptized. Because you would simply ignore the next clause, and site 1 Pet 3:21 as proof that "baptism now saves". As long as we piece it together based on external philosophy, I just figure we should point out the weight of the text which is being ignored.

Happy holidays.
Bob

Anonymous said...

Bob, your argument below makes no sense. Mireille is right about baptism.

"I don't care if I don't believe, since if I don't believe I would not be baptized anyway. Just tell me, according to Mark, what two things are required to be saved? If one does not do both, according to Mark, can one be saved? The statement is a contingent statement, i.e., there are two things prerequisite to the obtain the result, and, structured in the manner of being joined by "and" (Greek "kai") they are of equal weight. So if you don't need to be baptized, then you could with equal weight and support (since you are ignoring the text of the Bible anyway) claim no faith could save you if you were baptized. Because you would simply ignore the next clause, and site 1 Pet 3:21 as proof that "baptism now saves". As long as we piece it together based on external philosophy, I just figure we should point out the weight of the text which is being ignored."

Bob the Anti-Anti said...

Nice try anonymous, but read the verse:

He who believes and is baptized shall be saved.

The second half of the verse does not apply to what is required for salvation.

So to be saved Mark explicitly teaches, quoting Jesus, that the two things necessary for salvation are:
1. Believe;
2. Baptism.

The two aspects of what it takes to be saved are grammatically of equal force. Both are required to obtain the contingent result, salvation.

So if Mireille is correct, and baptism is simply a public declaration of discipleship but not of saving force, then either Jesus doesn't know what it takes to be saved, or Mark is in error.

There is no third choice if you are reading the Bible. That is why I note that if you just want to apply your philosophy "ex scriptura", then you can conclude whatever you want.

The Bible talks about salvation in different terms at different places in different contexts. As I repeatedly remind readers Hebrew 5:8-9 makes it clear that only those who are obedient are saved. Since it mentions neither faith/belief nor baptism, we are left to come with grips what "obedience" means. It certainly means more than just believing, though that is huge.

The false application of verses like Eph 2:8-9 is exactly the type of doctrine of man taught in place of the teachings of God's Apostles. The NT letters were written with the intent the entire letter be read at a single sitting. Eph 2:8 is explained throughout the letter, explained in continued obedience and response to the Spirit, and baptism (Eph 4:1-6).

Mireille's statement:
"...it doesn't say, "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not and is baptized not, shall be damned." If baptism was a requirement, it would say the latter but it doesn't. It says the former. It is emphasizing faith (in Christ) as our salvation, not baptism. Hence this is why the thief on the cross was saved as well."

This statement is illogical. Jesus IS pointing out that without faith it is impossible to please God, to be saved. But Mireille ignores the positive, definite statement about the two elements needed for one to be saved("believe and be baptized"), and focuses instead on why people are not saved, supplies his/her own world view for interpretation, and then claims justification.

Imagine if you did this when fixing your car. "You must connect the battery and the starter to turn over the engine. Failure to attach the battery will result in the engine failing to start."

To Mireille, the second clause would validate a view that a starter is actually unnecessary to starting a car. Such reasoning is utter folly, and ignores the clear statement of the installation procedure. Yet with a verse equally clear in Mark 16:16 with identical grammatical structure, the interpretation is based on a purely extra-Biblical doctrine.

Believe and be baptized. If you don't want to be saved, just don't believe. How taking the second sentence to mean the first sentence is indefensible. Which is why I keep bringing it up. Mireille uses simple philosophy, not Bible doctrine.

Read the Bible. It makes Mormons out of believers.

Anonymous said...

Bob it doesn't explicitly say, "He who is baptized not will not be saved." So I'm sorry but she is right. And also, by your definition of salvation, the thief on the cross should not have been saved either. Sorry bud, your arguments don't work.

Anonymous said...

Or moreover, it doesn't say anywhere, "Those who believe and are not baptized, will not be saved." And this is the conclusion that you are drawing from Bible scriptures. You can't draw that conclusion, especially in light of the salvation of the thief on the cross.

Read the Bible, Bob. It makes Christians out of a Mormons. I don't know of any born again Christians who have read the Bible and become Mormon. I do, however, know of quite a few Mormons, who actually read the Bible, instead of the Book of Mormon, and then left Mormonism to become a born again Christian. The reason for this is clear. If Mormonism is true, then the Bible is false. Likewise, if the Bible is true, then Mormonism is false. There is no middle ground between the two.

Walker said...

"I don't know of any born again Christians who have read the Bible and become Mormon."

I do. Or were they not REALLY born again?

"If Mormonism is true, then the Bible is false. Likewise, if the Bible is true, then Mormonism is false. There is no middle ground between the two."

What a woefully ignorant thing to say. I do not share your hopeless fundamentalism when it comes to the biblical texts, therefore, I do not share in this utterly false dichotomy.

Anonymous said...

"Although Joseph Smith was supposed to have the Urim and Thummim, the evidence shows that he preferred to use the seer stone found in a well to translate the Book of Mormon."

Question, why would Joseph Smith need to find the golden plates with the Urim and the Thummim if all he did to translate the BoM was look at a seer stone in a hat?

Also, according to David Whitmer, it was revealed to Joseph Smith this way character by character (in RE) with the correct English written under each character and the scribes had to read the English back to him to check to see if it was correct before the next character would appear. If this was the case, and it was God revealing it to him, then how come the BoM has had over 3000 changes made to since it's original publication? Did God make the mistakes then?

This stuff is so ridiculous! I really don't understand how intelligent people can believe this nonsense.

JD said...

""If Mormonism is true, then the Bible is false. Likewise, if the Bible is true, then Mormonism is false. There is no middle ground between the two."

What a woefully ignorant thing to say. I do not share your hopeless fundamentalism when it comes to the biblical texts, therefore, I do not share in this utterly false dichotomy."

Sorry Walker, but the statement is absolutely correct. You are the one who is woefully ignorant. You choose to accept a gospel that is internally inconsistent, constantly changing, and is completely man-centered and man-made, whose fundamental faith claims have been disproved so many times. Here is a good video of Bill Maher talking on the subject (he is agnostic but he right):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKqqGX0DEMM

Walker said...

"according to David Whitmer"

David Whitmer didn't see what Joseph Smith saw, now did he? The physical manuscripts do not support Whitmer's claim. Royal Skousen has done meticulous research on the original manuscripts.

Walker said...

"Sorry Walker, but the statement is absolutely correct. You are the one who is woefully ignorant."

I know you are but what am I. Great comeback.

"fundamental faith claims have been disproved so many times"

No, it hasn't.

"Bill Maher"

After you watch that video, feel free to pick up a copy of "Religulous." See if you think he is right about that as well.

Bob the Anti-Anti said...

Anonymous or Mireille,
Please answer directly, according to Mark 16:16 what does Jesus say it takes to be saved?

Please do not tell me what it takes not to be saved. I already concede that anything done in the absence of faith won't save me. Confession won't. Obedience won't. Baptism won't. Enduring won't. That does not matter.

I want to know what Jesus says one must do TO BE SAVED, as recorded in Mark 16:16. You seem to have found a way to ignore the explicit and literal meaning of the phrase "believes and is baptized shall be saved". I am looking for you to say, as your last comment seems to say, that you don't care what Jesus says, you know that he really only meant to say believing is all that is required.

Thanks for the help.
Bob