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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Revelations in the LDS church

Revelation and the LDS Church

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints claims to be an church that receives direct revelation from God. However, the question arises when was the last revelation? Most of Brigham Young's discourses are pretty much dead doctrines in the LDS church and are dismissed as merely his own personal opinion and not necessarily revelation from God. Mormon fundamentalists have a point there that they are the only ones that treat his discourses as scripture as originally intended. Are any of the most recent statements by the church considered to be revelations?

Official Church Statements

The Official Declaration 1, the basis for ceasing the practice of polygamy was not originally published as a revelation. It is a press release to the United States government. Nowhere does it say "thus sayeth the lord", it says "to whom it may concern" not even meant to be geared towards church members. Wilford Woodruff didn't call or refer to the manifesto as a revelation until a year later in 1891 at a stake conference in Logan, Utah. It is more likely that the manifesto was simply a response to the Edmunds-Tucker Act of 1887.

Official Declaration 2 is not a revelation. Once again, it is not written in 1st person from the Lord like Joseph Smith's revelations as contained in the Doctrine and Covenants. The specific wording simply refers to a revelation that the prophet and president of the church at the time received a revelation to allow blacks of any descent. The declaration reads "a revelation had been received by President Spencer W. Kimball extending priesthood and temple blessings to all worthy male members of the Church". However, as I said the declaration simply refers to a revelation that was received, and explains the details of the revelation, but the actual revelation has not been recorded.

If we are to believe that God is at the head of the church, one would expect the church to be ahead of the rest of the world, not behind it. This revelation occurred 24 years after the civil rights movement. It seems to me that the idea that the prophets are directed by God simply makes the church more stubborn, entrenched and more reluctant to make changes, even if these are good changes. It draws the question if the church is run from top down, or from bottom up, or maybe a combination.

Are we to consider "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" and "The Living Christ The Testimony of the Apostles" as revelations? They both sound like declarations of beliefs.

Modern Revelation

Does the church still believe in receiving revelations from God? Not everything said from every prophet or apostle is to be considered doctrine. The prophets and apostles are able to voice their own opinions even when occasionally they are considered false doctrine by subsequent church leaders. If there is revelation given to the church leaders, is it given to them through feelings and perhaps not angelic messengers?

Book of Mormon and Angels

According to the Book of Mormon, if angels cease to appear and miracles cease to occur, it is due to apostasy and lack of faith.

Moroni 7:35-38


And now, my beloved brethren, if this be the case that these things are true which I have spoken unto you, and God will show unto you, with power and great glory at the last day, that they are true, and if they are true has the day of miracles ceased? Or have angels ceased to appear unto the children of men? Or has he withheld the power of the Holy Ghost from them? Or will he, so long as time shall last, or the earth shall stand, or there shall be one man upon the face thereof to be saved? Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain. For no man can be saved, according to the words of Christ, save they shall have faith in his name; wherefore, if these things have ceased, then has faith ceased also; and awful is the state of man, for they are as though there had been no redemption made.
The question is asked if the LDS church is a church based on continual revelation, where are the revelations?

Disillusioned Mormon

278 comments:

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tatabug said...

Sorry about posting this comment in the wrong place. I just wasn't even paying attention.

BR,

Regarding EJ, you said: "His motives are not bad either. He wishes to forewarn passive readers of this blog that may be considering joining the LDS church, not to join based on the whitewashed view they receive from missionaries and members. He believes the LDS church is a cult and wants everyone to hear his views."

Yes, you're right. This is all he is trying to do. The problem is that he wants to prove his point so badly that he doesn't care if he is spreading lies in his effort to simply reveal "the truth" as he sees it. I've already exposed at least one lie of his recently on this post, which he never recanted nor apologized for. But of course I'm sure he feels it's perfectly justified to lie about the church, because after all, the church has lied too, right?

He also doesn't mind overlooking violence and murder perpetrated against early church members, even if those members were likely the innocent-type that EJ loves so much. Why? Because the church deserved it. He will tell you all about the "mafia-like" actions taken by the church, but will fail to tell you that those actions were mostly as a result of the horrific violence which was inflicted upon them, simply because of their beliefs. He acts as though the actions of the mob were perfectly justifiable, and he probably doesn't mind the fact that the governor of Missouri at the time made it legal to hunt and kill Mormons. Unbelievable!

He also unfairly reports on a lot of things and twists things to sound far worse than they truly are.

And let's not forget that in nearly every comment he makes, there is a comparison of church leaders (even current leaders) to Warren Jeffs, and I couldn't tell you how many times he's asked me if I would allow my teenage daughter to marry an old man in a polygamous relationship, sex included. Right now I'm waiting for him to tell us one more time that this isn't fast and testimony meeting, as if we didn't hear him the first two times. I'm just really tired of all of this.

So while there may be grains of truth to what EJ says, there is also a lot of untruth mixed in. You may say that since he is leaving out facts rather than outright lying (although there are some outright lies) that it isn't really lying, but that would be hypocritical since the church has been accused of lying since they don't reveal the whole truth (although they really have).

And of course it doesn't make sense to you as to why I get offended by EJ's inflamatory comments, because not only do you probably agree with them for the most part, but you probably have the same feelings of animosity towards church leaders, past and present.

For me, however, I have a great deal of respect, admiration, and love for those men, and to have them be trashed with abandon ellicits a reaction similar to what I would feel if one of my own family members were trashed, unfairly or not. I don't know if you understand that feeling, but an attack on one's religion is almost always taken personally, and should be done tactfully.

Anyway, I haven't asked for an apology from EJ. I've had enough of apologies from EJ because they don't mean anything. He says he's sorry, but then he continues to do the same things over and over. Apologies are empty if they are not followed by action that demonstrates that one is truly apologetic. I tried just ignoring most of his comments for a long time there, but he's just gotten worse and I can't ignore it anymore. You may not see what all the big deal is about, but I think the fact that more people than me (and besides MH too) are bothered by EJ's comments should clue you in to the fact that there is a problem.

I too would like to move on and be done with this. I'm short on time today, but I will try to address some real topics later on if I get the chance.

tatabug said...

Careful BR. You've twisted MH's words and meanings too. And I think MH has an excellent point, even if he was mistaken on the theological argument part. The only reason that no one else picked up on it was because I wasn't sharp enough to catch it, and no one else here would call you out on it if they did catch it, IMO.

Mormon Heretic said...

BR,

"I really don't think you are that stupid, but when you continue to screw up the meaning of every damn comment made here, I have to wonder. I'm sorry, I just can't have a dialogue with you."

I share this sentiment with you. Good riddance.

tatabug said...

Since the topic of "dark and loathsome" vs. "white abd delightsome" came up, I've wanted to add my two cents to the discussion, but haven't had the time to do so. BR, I know the question wasn't directed at me, so I hope you don't mind. I was very suprised that MH so quickly dismissed it as a bigotted view, because I don't believe it is that simple. I'm not even sure it qualifies as bigotted at all.

First off, I have a quote by Hugh Nibley. His quote lays everything out well and includes numerous scriptural references, but it is quite long:

But if we are to take the Book of Mormon to task for its ethnological teachings, it might be well at first to learn what those teachings are. They turn out on investigation to be surprisingly complicated. There is no mention in the Book of Mormon of red skins versus white; indeed, there is no mention of red skin at all. What we find is a more or less steady process over long periods of time of mixing and separating of many closely related but not identical ethnic groups. The Book of Mormon is careful to specify that the terms Lamanite and Nephite are used in a loose and general sense to designate not racial but political (e.g., Mormon 1:9), military (Alma 43:4), religious (4 Nephi 1:38), and cultural (Alma 53:10, 15; 3:10-11) divisions and groupings of people. The Lamanite and Nephite division was tribal rather than racial, each of the main groups representing an amalgamation of tribes that retained their identity (Alma 43:13; 4 Nephi 1:36-37). Our text frequently goes out of its way to specify that such and such a group is only called Nephite or Lamanite (2 Nephi 5:14; Jacob 1:2; Mosiah 25:12; Alma 3:10; 30:59; Helaman 3:16; 3 Nephi 3:24; 10:18; 4 Nephi 1:36-38, 43; Mormon 1:9). For the situation was often very mobile, with large numbers of Nephites going over to the Lamanites (Words of Mormon 1:16; 4 Nephi 1:20; Mormon 6:15; Alma 47:35-36), or Lamanites to the Nephites (Alma 27:27; Mosiah 25:12; Alma 55:4), or members of the mixed Mulekite people, such as their Zoramite offshoot, going over either to the Lamanites (Alma 43:4) or to the Nephites (Alma 35:9--not really to the Nephites, but to the Ammonites who were Lamanites who had earlier become Nephites!); or at times the Lamanites and Nephites would freely intermingle (Helaman 6:7-8), while at other times the Nephite society would be heavily infiltrated by Lamanites and by robbers of dubious background (Mormon 2:8). Such robbers were fond of kidnapping Nephite women and children (Helaman 11:33).

The dark skin is mentioned as the mark of a general way of life; it is a Gypsy or Bedouin type of darkness, "black" and "white" being used in their Oriental sense (as in Egyptian), black and loathsome being contrasted to white and delightsome (2 Nephi 5:21-22). We are told that when "their scales of darkness shall begin to fall from their eyes" they shall become ... "a pure and delightsome people" (2 Nephi 30:6 [the word "pure" was once printed as "white" but was corrected by Joseph Smith in the 1840 Book of Mormon to be "pure," though later printings missed the correction until 1981]), and at the same time the Jews "shall also become a delightsome people" (2 Nephi 30:7). Darkness and filthiness go together as part of a way of life (Jacob 3:5,9); we never hear of the Lamanites becoming whiter, no matter how righteous they were, except when they adopted the Nephite way of life (3 Nephi 2:14-15), while the Lamanites could, by becoming more savage in their ways than their brother Lamanites, actually become darker, "a dark, filthy, and a loathsome people, beyond the description of that which ever hath been . . . among the Lamanites" (Mormon 5:15). The dark skin is but one of the marks that God places upon the Lamanites, and these marks go together; people who joined the Lamanites were marked like them (Alma 3:10); they were naked and their skins were dark (Alma 3:5-6); when "they set the mark upon themselves; . . . the Amlicites knew not that they were fulfilling the words of God," when he said, "I will set a mark on them. . . . I will set a mark upon him that mingleth his seed with thy brethren. . . . I will set a mark upon him that fighteth against thee [Nephi] and thy seed" (Alma 3:13-18). "Even so," says Alma, "doth every man that is cursed bring upon himself his own condemnation" (Alma 3:19). By their own deliberate act they both marked their foreheads and turned their bodies dark. Though ever alert to miraculous manifestations, the authors of the Book of Mormon never refer to the transformation of Lamanites into "white and delightsome" Nephites or Nephites into "dark and loathsome" Lamanites as in any way miraculous or marvelous. When they became savage "because of their cursing" (2 Nephi 5:24), their skins became dark and they also became "loathsome" to the Nephites (2 Nephi 5:21-22). But there is nothing loathsome about dark skin, which most people consider very attractive: the darkness, like the loathsomeness, was part of the general picture (Jacob 3:9); Mormon prays "that they may once again be a delightsome people" (Words of Mormon 1:8; Mormon 5:17), but then the Jews are also to become "a delightsome people" (2 Nephi 30:7)--are they black?

At the time of the Lord's visit, there were "neither . . . Lamanites, nor any manner of -ites," (4 Nephi 1:17; see also 3 Nephi 2:14) so that when the old titles of Lamanite and Nephite were later revived by parties deliberately seeking to stir up old hatreds, they designated religious affiliation rather than race (4 Nephi 1:38-39). From this it would seem that at that time it was impossible to distinguish a person of Nephite blood from one of Lamanite blood by appearance. Moreover, there were no pure-blooded Lamanites or Nephites after the early period, for Nephi, Jacob, Joseph, and Sam were all promised that their seed would survive mingled with that of their elder brethren (2 Nephi 3:2, 23; 9:53; 10:10, 19-20; 29:13; 3 Nephi 26:8; Mormon 7:1). Since the Nephites were always aware of that mingling, which they could nearly always perceive in the steady flow of Nephite dissenters to one side and Lamanite converts to the other, it is understandable why they do not think of the terms Nephite and Lamanite as indicating race. The Mulekites, who outnumbered the Nephites better than two to one (Mosiah 25:2-4), were a mixed Near Eastern rabble who had brought no written records with them and had never observed the Law of Moses and did not speak Nephite (Omni 1:18); yet after Mosiah became their king, they "were numbered with the Nephites, and this because the kingdom had been conferred upon none but those who were descendants of Nephi" (Mosiah 25:13). From time to time large numbers of people disappear beyond the Book of Mormon frontiers to vanish in the wilderness or on the sea, taking their traditions and even written records with them (Helaman 3:3-13). What shall we call these people--Nephites or Lamanites?


Now, whether or not you believe in the Bible, I think it instructive to look at some instances in which its authors used the terms black and white in symbollic ways, because both the Bible and the Book of Mormon come from people who lived during the same time period and, at one time, shared the same culture and language. Here are some examples:

"And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed (Daniel 11:35)."

"Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand (Daniel 12:10)."

"For the punishment of the iniquity of the daughter of my people is greater than the punishment of the sin of Sodom, that was overthrown as in a moment, and no hands stayed on her.
Her Nazarites were purer than snow, they were whiter than milk, they were more ruddy in body than rubies, their polishing was of sapphire:
Their visage is blacker than a coal; they are not known in the streets: their skin cleaveth to their bones; it is withered, it is become like a stick (Lamentations 4:6-8)."

"For the hurt of the daughter of my people am I hurt; I am black; astonishment hath taken hold on me (Jeremiah 8:21)."

In both of the Danel passages, the meaning of white was obviously "pure." It is interesting to note tht when Joseph Smith first translated the Book of Mormon, he gave the literal translation of "white" for the passage in 2 Nephi 30:6, but then in the 1840 edition he changed it to pure in order to better reflect the true meaning.

In the verses from Lamentations, it appears that whiteness is equated with goodness (prior to a moral fall) and a black appearance is equated with sin.

And then in Jeremiah, "black" refers to an emotional state.

Here also is another interesting tidbit. D.C. Pyle notes that the Amorite people, according to Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible, I:84, were "depicted ... with fair skins, light (also black) hair, and blue eyes" on Egyptian monuments. Yet, the Sumerians said they were "dark" savages (William F. Albright, From Stone Age to Christianity, p. 166, as cited by D.C. Pyle).

And finally, an observation by Jeff Lindsay: "On the other hand, it is possible or even likely that the Laman and Lemuel's group intermarried with darker-skinned natives in the Americas and through simple genetics became a people that could be characterized as darker-skinned than the Nephites for some period of time (both groups may have eventually experienced a lot of blending of genes due to intermarriage). Intermarriage with pagans was strictly contrary to Old Testament law and would be viewed as bringing a curse upon the Lamanites. The extent and nature of such a curse would be open to debate (spiritual only or genetic), but appears to have played a significant role in the attitudes of the Nephites toward the Lamanites."

Elder Joseph said...

EJ,

Tata your comments in " "


”And just because I tell you that your mother is fat, and it turns out to be true, doesn't mean that it is okay for me to say it. I could say a lot of mean things about you which may be true, but I don't say them out of respect.”

# tata you seem to be twisting things here . Calling someone Fat or ugly or black or white is different from violent threatening criminal behaviour … What you are suggesting is that we can’t call someone a thief even they happen to be one ?

"You words, regardless of if they are true or not, are mean, unkind, judgemental, and show a great lack of understanding and lack of respect for the feelings and beliefs of others."

# That’s how it is. My experience of two years in My Local ward was exactly that, a constant belittling of other churches week in, week out.Maybe this is where I learned it all, amongst the superior High Priests of the ward who would constantly slag off Gays as deficient in some way , slag of the celibate Catholic priesthood as the cause of child abuse despite the fact that even married Temple Recommend Stake Presidents and Bishops have been arrested for the same thing.They would slag off every other church's rituals as without any authority....

You must be in a different LDS church to the one I experienced.




"If what I'm saying is true then its true." The conclusions you come to are not facts, they are your opinions based on what you've read and experienced, just as a lot of what I say is my opinion based on what I've seen and read and experienced. That is why it is not appropriate to make such biggoted and inflamatory comments, because we are all dealing with our own personal beliefs and opinions here. In any event, regardless of who is right and who is wrong, it is not Christ-like to condemn others, act like bigots, treat each other unkindly and with a lack of respect. But it appears that you feel perfectly justified in your words. Well...so did the mob.”

# Ok here are some quotes :

JD 4:220, Brigham Young, February 8, 1857
I have known a great many men who have left this Church for whom there is no chance whatever for exaltation, but if their blood had been spilled, it would have been better for them. The wickedness and ignorance of the nations forbid this principle’s being in full force, but the time will come when the law of God will be in full force. This is loving our neighbour as ourselves; if he needs help, help him; and if he wants salvation and it is necessary to spill his blood on the earth in order that he may be saved, spill it. Any of you who understand the principles of eternity, if you have sinned a sin requiring the shedding of blood, except the sin unto death, would not be satisfied nor rest until your blood should be spilled, that you might gain that salvation you desire. That is the way to love mankind.

JD 3:247, Brigham Young, March 16, 1856
There is not a man or woman, who violates the covenants made with their God, that will not be required to pay the debt. The blood of Christ will never wipe that out, your own blood must atone for it; and the judgments of the Almighty will come, sooner or later, and every man and woman will have to atone for breaking their covenants.

My comment - What Covenants ??




Heber C Kimball - Judas’s bowels were kicked out by the other apostles ?

JD 6:125 − p.126, Heber C. Kimball, December 13, 1857
Jesus said to his disciples, "Ye are the salt of the earth; and if the salt loses its saving principle, it is then good for nothing but to be cast out." Instead of reading it just as it is, almost all of you read it just as it is not. Jesus meant to say, "If you have lost the saving principles, you Twelve Apostles, and you that believe in myservants the Twelve, you shall be like unto the salt that has lost its saving principles: it is henceforth good for nothing but to be cast out and trodden under foot of men." Judas lost that saving principle, and they took him and killed him. It is said in the Bible that his bowels gushed out; BUT THEY ACTUALLY KICKED HIM UNTIL HIS BOWELSCAME OUT………………..
I know the day is right at hand when men will forfeit their Priesthood and turn against us and against the covenants they have made, AND THEY WILL BE DESTROYED AS JUDAS WAS.

My comments - Destoyed ? What is he threatening here to members who had thoughts of leaving this church and maybe even warning others about it ?

Her is one of sheer stupidity and typical of Brigham Youngs nonsense.


JD 13:271, Brigham Young, July 24, 1870
I WILL TELL YOU WHO THE REAL FANATICS ARE: THEY ARE THEY WHO ADOPT FALSE PRINCIPLES AND IDEAS AS FACTS, AND TRY TO ESTABLISH A SUPERSTRUCTURE UPON A FALSE FOUNDATION. They are the fanatics; and however ardent and zealous they may be, they may reason or argue on false premises till doomsday, and the result will be false. If our religion is of this character we want to know it; we would like to find a philosopher who can prove it to us. We are called ignorant; so we are: but what of it? Are not all ignorant? I rather think so. Who can tell us of the inhabitants of this little planet that shines of an evening, called the moon? When we view its face we may see what is termed "the man in the moon," and what some philosophers declare are the shadows of mountains. But these sayings are very vague, and amount to nothing; AND WHEN YOU INQUIRE ABOUT THE INHABITANTS OF THAT SPHERE YOU FIND THAT THE MOST LEARNED ARE AS IGNORANT IN REGARD TO THEM AS THE MOST IGNORANT OF THEIR FELLOWS. SO IT IS WITH REGARD TO THE INHABITANTS OF THE SUN. DO YOU THINK IT IS INHABITED? I RATHER THINK IT IS. DO YOU THINK THERE IS ANY LIFE THERE? NO QUESTION OF IT; IT WAS NOT MADE IN VAIN. IT WAS MADE TO GIVE LIGHT TO THOSE WHO DWELL UPON IT, AND TO OTHER PLANETS; AND SO WILL THIS EARTH WHEN IT IS CELESTIALIZED.

My Comment - Did you read what Brigham Young just said about fanatics adopting false principles and ideas as facts ??? So who was the fanatic adopting FALSE ideas and Principles ??

Had I opposed him as nutcase at the time what would have happened to me ?? Bowels kicked out of me /Danites /Blood Atonement ??

About the DANITES :

Book of Mormon witness John Whitmer

"Joseph Smith, Jr., S. Rigdon, and Hyrum Smith moved their families to this place, Far West, in the spring of 1838. As soon as they came here, they began to enforce their new organized plan, which caused dissensions and difficulties, threatenings and even murders. Smith called a council of the leaders together, in which council he stated that any person who said a word against the heads of the Church, should be driven over these prairies as a chased deer by a pack of hounds, having an illusion to the Gideonites, as they were termed, to justify themselves in their wicked designs. Thus on the 19th of June, 1838, they preached a sermon called the salt sermon, in which these Gideonites understood that they should drive the dissenters, as they termed those who believed not in their secret bands, in fornication, adultery or midnight machinations.... They had threatened us, to kill us, if we did not make restitutions to them, by upholding them in their wicked purposes and designs.... to our great astonishment, when we were on the way home from Liberty, Clay County, we met the families of Oliver Cowdery and L.E. Johnson, whom they had driven from their homes, and robbed them of all their goods, save clothing, bedding, etc.

"While we were gone Jo. and Rigdon and their band of Gadiatons kept up a guard, and watched our houses, and abused our families, and threatened them, if they were not gone by morning, they would be drove out, and threatened our lives, if they ever saw us in Far West." (John Whitmer's History, page 22)

Book of Mormon witness David Whitmer:

"If you believe my testimony to the Book of Mormon; if you believe that God spake to us three witnesses by his own voice, then I tell you that in June, 1838, God spake to me again by his own voice from the heavens, and told me to 'separate myself from among the Latter Day Saints, for as they sought to do unto me, so should it be done unto them.' In the spring of 1838, the heads of the church and many of the members had gone deep into error and blindness. I had been striving with them for a long time to show them the errors into which they were drifting, and for my labors I received only persecutions. In June, 1838, at Far West, Mo., a secret organization was formed, Doctor Avard being put in as the leader of the band; a certain oath was to be administered to all the brethren to bind them to support the heads of the church in everything they should teach. All who refused to take this oath were considered dissenters from the church, and certain things were to be done concerning these dissenters, by Dr. Avard's secret band. I make no farther statements now; but suffice it to say that my persecutions, for trying to show them their errors, became of such a nature that I had to leave the Latter Day Saints; and, as I rode on horseback out of Far West, in June, 1838, the voice of God from heaven spake to me as I have stated above[.]" (An Address to All Believers in Christ, by David Whitmer, pages 27-28)



”Do you have any idea what is meant by the phrase "like a lamb to the slaughter?" Anyone who works on a farm or in a slaughterhouse knows that sheep do not go willingly to the slaughter.”
ISAIH 53: 7He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
This is where I refer to Lamb To The Slaughter , the same manner as the saviour was treated….Joseph Smith on the other hand was quick to open his mouth and deceive openly in public to save himself including Violently destroying a printing press … Now this behaviour is factually more appropriate to Mafia style behaviour …. Ok lets reword it The Mafia behaved more like Joseph Smith and associates.. then you can interprete that how you like….
And why does MH get upset over my Mafia comments .Is he suggesting the Mafia are bad ?? They uphold family values and loyalty in the same way the early LDS leaders were doing it through Intimidation and threats.

“They kick and buck, bleat, scream, and make every attempt to escape their fate. The term "lamb to the slaughter" simply refers to the inevitability of the final outcome. “

So ISAIAH was wrong in his description of the saviour ??

"If that's the case, then why would the apostle Paul try to escape being tortured and killed by using his Roman credentials (Acts22:25)? Why didn't he instead just have faith that he would be freed if it was God's will? I mean, God could have supernaturally thwarted Paul's captors without Paul having to resort to legal tactics to save himself, that is if Paul reaaly did see God and was a true prophet."


I’m not aware that he claimed to be a Prophet ??? and you make some good points .. I agree with you ! Where was his faith ??



” I mean, he was already on the run, and well out of the hands of his enemies on the west side of the Mississippi River when he turned back and gave himself willingly over to authorities, knowing that he would be killed. This is not the action of a man who's only thought or concern is saving his own skin.”

He had little choice as his own followers would see how he had effectively abandoned them and left them behind to go on the run yet again …

He did his best under the circumstances to avoid being killed and even tried the Masonic call for help at the window,
'oh Lord my God is there no help for a widows son'( Bushmans book)
though what Mason would help him when he actually gave away their secret Masonic initiation rites having sworn an oath of secrecy to them.

Mormon Heretic said...

Ah, the shock jock is back; still with no apology. Good luck Tata. As you know, I take nothing he takes seriously.

tatabug said...

The following explanations do much better justice to the topic than I could ever hope to do, so I hope you will take the time to read them.

Blood Atonement:

THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS

The Council of the Twelve
47 East South Temple Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150
October 18, 1978

Mr. Thomas B. McAffee
Utah Law Review, College of Law
The University of Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah 84112

Dear Mr. McAffee:

This is in reply to your letter of September 20, 1978, to President Spencer W. Kimball of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in which you asked some questions about the so-called doctrine of blood atonement. I have been asked, by President Kimball and by the First Presidency to respond to your inquiries

You note that I and President Joseph Fielding Smith and some of our early church leaders have said and written about this doctrine and you asked if the doctrine of blood atonement is an official doctrine of the Church today.

If by blood atonement is meant the atoning sacrifice of Christ, the answer is Yes. If by blood atonement is meant the shedding of the blood of men to atone in some way for their own sins, the answer is No.

We believe that the blood of Christ, shed in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross of Calvary, cleanses all men from sin on condition of repentance. As expressed by a Book of Mormon scripture: "Salvation was, and is, and is to come, in and through the atoning blood of Christ, the Lord Omnipotent. (Mosiah 3:18.)

We do not believe that it is necessary for men in this day to shed their own blood to receive a remission of sins. This is said with a full awareness of what I and others have written and said on this subject in times past

In order to understand what Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, Charles W. Penrose and others have said, we must mention that there are some sins for which the blood of Christ alone does not cleanse a person. These include blasphemy against the Holy Ghost (as defined by the Church) and that murder which is the unlawful killing of a human being with malice. However, and this cannot be stressed too strongly, this law has not been given to the Church at any time in this dispensation. It has no application whatever to anyone now living whether he is a member or a non-member of the Church.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mr. Thomas B. McAffee
October 18, 1978
Page 2
There simply is no such thing among us as a doctrine of blood atonement that grants a remission of sins or confers any other benefit upon a person because his own blood is shed for sins. Let me say categorically and unequivocally that this doctrine can only operate in a day when there is no separation of Church and State and when the power to take life is vested in the ruling theocracy as was the case in the day of Moses. From the day of Joseph Smith to the present there has been no single instance of so-called blood atonement under any pretext.

Anything I have written or anything said by anyone else must be understood in the light of the foregoing limitation. Brigham Young and the others were speaking of a theoretical principle that operated in ages past and not in either their or our day. As I recall, Brigham Young's illustrations were taken from the day of Moses and the history of ancient Israel and could not be applied today.

There is no such a doctrine as blood atonement in the Church today nor has there been at any time. Any statements to the contrary are either idle speculation or pure fantasy. It is certainly not the current teaching of the Church and I have never in over 60 years of regular church attendance heard a single sermon on the subject or even a discussion in any church class.

You asked if the statements of our leaders of the past, including those found in the Journal of Discourses, represent the official stand of the Church. The answer, as indicated in the comments above set forth, is that they do not. The statements pertain to a theoretical principle that has been neither revealed to nor practiced by us.

If by blood atonement is meant capital punishment, then any proper analysis of the subject would call the matter by the name capital punishment and not by the name blood atonement. To use this latter term is wholly misleading and stirs up the idea that we believe in that which we most emphatically do not believe.

We believe in capital punishment. In a revelation to Joseph Smith, on February 9, 1831, the Lord said: "And now, behold, I speak unto the church. Thou shalt not kill; and he that kills shall not have forgiveness in this world, nor in the world to come. And again, I say, thou shalt not kill; but he that killeth shall die." (D. & C. 42:18-19.)

In answering some false and scurrilous charges published against the Latter-day Saints, the President of the Church, who then was Wilford Woodruff, on January 9, 1891, wrote to the



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Mr. Thomas B. McAffee
October 18, 1978
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editor of the Illustrated American. President Woodruff referred to the doctrine herein being considered as "the blood atonement fiction," and as "the false theory of blood atonement copied by the writer in the American from old newspaper fiction."

Then he recites what the doctrine of the Church is when the term blood atonement is used simply as a synonym for capital punishment.

"It is a fundamental doctrine of our creed that a murderer cannot be forgiven; that he 'hath not eternal life abiding in him'; that if a member of our Church, having received the light of the Holy Spirit, commits this capital crime, he will not receive forgiveness in this world nor in the world to come. The revelations of God to the Church abound in commandments forbidding us to shed blood."

With specific reference to capital punishment as practiced by the State and not the Church he said: "It is part of our faith that the only atonement a murdere[r] can make for his 'sin unto death' is the sheddinq of his own blood, according to the fiat of the Almighty after the flood: 'Whoso sheddeth man's blood by man shall his blood be shed.' But the law must be executed by the lawfully appointed officer. This is 'blood atonement,' so much perverted by maligners of our faith. We believe also in the atonement wrought by the shedding of Christ's blood on Calvary; that it is efficacious for all the race of Adam for the sin committed by Adam, and for the individual sins of all who believe, repent, are baptized by one having authority, and who receive the Holy Ghost by the laying on of authorized hands. Capital crime committed by such an enlightened person cannot be condoned by the Redeemer's blood. For him there is 'no more sacrifice for sin'; his life is forfeit, and he only can pay the penalty. There is no other blood atonement taught, practiced or made part of the creed of the Latter-day Saints."

I repeat: Except for the atonement of Christ, which is or should be a part of the creeds of all Christian churches; and except for the use of the term "blood atonement" as a synonym--nothing more--of "capital punishment" where "enlightened" members of the Church are concerned, there is no such a doctrine in this dispensation as blood atonement.

I have in my file a letter dated February 12, 1971, signed by Presidents Joseph Fielding Smith and Harold B. Lee as and for the First Presidency which shows that the theoretical principle of blood atonement has no application in any dispensation when there is a separation of Church and State. They refer to the death of Christ by Jewish hands as a "capital crime," and then quote the following from the third chapter of Acts:



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Mr. Thomas B. McAffee
October 18, 1978
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"And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers . . .

"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;

"And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you.":

Then they say: "From the above it is understood that this is a matter which must be left in the hands of the Lord, not for man to determine."

Now, as to your final question--whether blood atonement, "if" it is "a valid doctrine," would hale any affect on the mode of imposing the death penalty, I need only say:

1. Since there is no such thing as blood atonement, except as indicated above, the mode of execution could have no bearing on the matter of atoning for one's sins; and
2. If we are speaking simply of capital punishment (and falsely calling it blood atonement), still I can see no reason for supposing that it makes the slightest difference how an execution is accomplished.

As far as I can see there is no difference between a firing squad, an electric chair, a gas chamber, or hanging. Death is death and I would interpret the shedding of man's blood in legal executions as a figurative expression which means the taking of life. There seems to me to be no present significance as to whether an execution is by a firing squad or in some other way. I, of course, deleted my article on "hanging" from the Second Edition of Mormon Doctrine because of the reasoning here mentioned.

As far as I am concerned you are at liberty to quote from or use this letter in any way you deem proper.

Sincerely,

Bruce R. McConkie

BRM:vh

---------------------------------

BLOOD ATONEMENT

by B.H. Roberts
Compiled and edited from B.H. Roberts reporting of Miscellaneous Events from the years 1851-1857

Among the things to be regretted in connection with the "Reformation," and from which the church has suffered much, through misapprehension of her real attitude in respect of the matters involved, are certain extreme and unqualified utterances of some of the leading elders of the church on what it has become custom to call "blood atonement;" by which is meant, as commonly represented by anti-"Mormon" writers, a claimed right on the part of the church to shed the blood of men guilty of heinous crimes, such as murder, adultery, and apostasy; and which, since such acts may not be done openly, and by legal authority vested in the church, then secretly, by assassination. [1]

That there are crimes for which the law of God prescribed capital punishment; and which, under the union of the spiritual and temporal power—under the blending of civil and religious authority in the old state-theocratic government of ancient Israel existed—may not be denied. As for example, in the case of murder, the law given to Noah and his posterity was: "At the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of men. Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed." [2] This law was carried over into the Mosaic polity; and the list of crimes enlarged to include capital punishment for assault of children upon parents; for stealing men and selling them into slavery; for witchcraft; for beastiality; for idolatry; for violating the Sabbath day; for adultery. [3] Capital punishment, however, in ancient Israel, was not left to be executed by irresponsible individuals, and at their caprice. It was sternly regulated by law and executed by legally designated agencies. There are sins enumerated also in the New Testament for which it is said there is no forgiveness. "No murderer hath eternal life abiding in him," saith St. John. [4] "Who so speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come." [5] "He that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness," is the more impressive declaration of St. Mark, "but is in danger of eternal damnation." [6]

"It is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame." [7]

It is very clear that other New Testament writers recognized a "sin unto death:" "If any man," said St. John, "see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it." [8] "For," as declares the writer to the Hebrews, "if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins; but a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries. He that despised Moses' law died without mercy under two or three witnesses: Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?" [9]

It follows as logical conclusion in such cases as are here enumerated that the matter stands with them as if no atonement of the Christ had been made, and they themselves must pay the penalty of their sins. "The life of the flesh," said Moses, is in the blood; "and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul." [10]

It may, of course, be urged that reference is here made to the blood of beasts and birds appointed to be slain in sacrifice; and that their blood, typifying the blood of the Christ, which would be shed for remission of sin, was given to ancient Israel to make atonement for their souls; and it is true, as Paul said of the law, "almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without the shedding of blood is no remission." [11] But if, as seems to be the case, from the foregoing considerations, there are certain limitations to vicarious atonement, even to the vicarious atonement of the Christ, then these ancient laws proclaiming that the life of the flesh is in the blood, and that "the blood maketh an atonement for the soul," make plain what is needful for the salvation of the soul where one's sins place him beyond the reach of vicarious means of salvation—then it is the shedding of the sinners own blood that must here be referred to. [12] Paul evidently recognized such cases as these; for in referring to one who had been guilty of such sin as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, "that one should have his father's wife," he said:

"For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, to deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." [13]

Here then is the doctrine taught that by "destruction of the flesh," there is hope that "the spirit might be saved, in the day of the Lord Jesus." And no one can say that Brigham Young went beyond this when he said—and this is one of the offensive passages so frequently quoted against him by anti-"Mormon" writers:

"There are sins that men commit for which they cannot receive forgiveness in this world, or in that which is to come, and if they had their eyes open to see their true condition, they would be perfectly willing to have their blood spilt upon the ground, that the smoke thereof might ascend to heaven as an offering for their sins; and the smoking incense would atone for their sins, whereas, if such is not the case, they will stick to them and remain upon them in the spirit world.

I know, when you hear my brethren telling about cutting people off from the earth, that you consider it is strong doctrine; but it is to save them, not to destroy them. * * *

I do know that there are sins committed of such a nature that if the people did understand the doctrine of salvation, they would tremble because of their situation. And furthermore, I know that there are transgressors, who, if they knew themselves and the only condition upon which they can obtain forgiveness, would beg of their brethren to shed their blood, that the smoke thereof might ascend to God as an offering to appease the wrath that is kindled against them, and that the law might have its course. I will say further; I have had men come to me and offer their lives to atone for their sins. It is true that the blood of the Son of God was shed for sins through the fall, and those committed by men, yet men can commit sins which it can never remit." [14]

The doctrine of "blood atonement," then, is based upon the scriptural laws considered in the foregoing paragraphs. The only point at which complaint may be justly laid in the teaching of the "Reformation" period is in the unfortunate implication that the Church of the Latter-day Saints, or individuals in that church, may execute this law of retribution. [15] Fortunately, however, the suggestions seemingly made in the overzealous words of some of these leading elders were never acted upon. The church never incorporated them into her polity. Indeed, it would have been a violation of divine instruction given in the New Dispensation had the church attempted to establish such procedure. As early as 1831 the law of the Lord was given to the church as follows:

"And now, behold, I speak unto the church: Thou shalt not kill; and he that kills shall not have forgiveness in this world, nor in the world to come.

And again, I say, thou shalt not kill; but he that killeth shall die. * * * And it shall come to pass, that if any persons among you shall kill, they shall be delivered up and dealt with according to the laws of the land; for remember that he hath no forgiveness, and it shall be proven according to the laws of the land." [16]

The same disposition was directed to be made with reference to those who should rob, steal, or lie, that is, they should be delivered up to be dealt with "according to the laws of the land," [17] Those who committed adultery, and repented not, were to be cast out.

A few months later, August, 1831, the Lord said in connection with the purchase of lands in Jackson county:

"Satan putteth it into their hearts [i. e., the hearts of the Missourians] to anger against you, and to the shedding of blood; wherefore the land of Zion, shall not be obtained but by purchase or by blood, otherwise there is none inheritance for you. And if by purchase, behold you are blessed; and if by blood, as you are forbidden to shed blood, lo, your enemies are upon you, and ye shall be scourged from city to city, and from synagogue to synagogue, and but few shall stand to receive an inheritance." [18]

Moreover, in the very discourse, most frequently quoted by anti-"Mormon" writers against the church on this point—ante this chapter—Brigham Young very clearly indicates that neither the church nor individual members of it had any right to execute the law of retribution he had been discussing. He could refer to "plenty of instances where men have been righteously slain in order to atone for their sins," doubtless having in mind the many such instances named in the scriptures under the law and polity received through Moses; and the legal executions in those nations and states that give sanction to capital punishment for some of these offenses; he had "seen scores and hundreds of people for whom there would have been a chance [in the last resurrection there would be] if their lives had been taken and their blood spilled on the ground as a smoking incense to the Almighty;" he "had known a great many men who have left this church [i. e. of the Latter-day Saints] for whom there is no chance whatever for exaltation; but if their blood had been spilled, [for their crimes, not because they left the church] it would have been better for them;"—yet "the wickedness and ignorance of the nations forbid this principle's being in full force, but the time will come when the law of God will be in full force." [19]

All which is but recognition of the fact that said law of God is not now in force, and the "ignorance" of the nations now in power will not permit it to go into force. Under these circumstances, then, what is to be done? On the one hand is God's law of retribution that would destroy certain sinners in the flesh for their crimes, that "the spirit," to use the language of Paul, "might be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus;" [20] on the other hand are the "ignorant nations" who will not authorize the penalties affixed to some divine laws, nor prescribe the methods of execution that the law of God anciently ordained; and the church, as an organization, and the individuals comprising it, are forbidden to inflict the physical punishment of death, or any other physical punishment. Under these circumstances, I ask again, what is to be done? Just what Brigham Young did, issue the declaration he made in the very discourse here under consideration, the discourse of February 8th, 1857, but which declaration has never received consideration by anti-"Mormon" writers, nor allowed its place in modifying the spirit of the whole discourse quoted,—often misquoted, and always in some fashion garbled—namely:

"The time has been in Israel under the law of God * * * that if a man was found guilty of adultery, he must have his blood shed; * * * but now, I say, in the name of the Lord, that if this people will sin no more, but faithfully live their religion, their sins will be forgiven them without taking life." [21]

And that was and is the course and policy followed by the church. If there has been departure in any degree from that policy, and the positive, divine injunction to the church and its individual members—"Thou shalt not kill"—if this injunction has been violated, the responsibility for such departure rests wholly upon the guilty individuals and not upon the church.

It should be noted in this connection that in the individual cases of "blood atonement" charged, the allegations rest upon the word of men who are themselves self-confessed murderers and outlaw desperadoes; or else the charge rests upon the word of anonymous writers; or the cases specified are not such as fall under the category of so-called "blood atonement."

Of the first class the accounts of "blood atonement" are by such characters as John D. Lee, of the "Mountain Meadows" horror, [22] and of William A. Hickman, commonly known as "Bill," Hickman—a typical western desperado; [23] these, et al, loosely ascribe responsibility for their crimes to leading "Mormon" church officials, especially to alleged orders or to the veiled suggestions of President Brigham Young. It would violate all the canons of standard historical writing to consider seriously charges made by such characters. [24]

Of the second class, viz., anonymous persons, usually apostate "Mormons," who kept their identity concealed, it is alleged, through fear of assassination should they be identified with their disclosures, and whose tales of blood and cruelty and of oppression struggle out of obscurity to public attention through sensational writers. These are represented by such anonymous persons as those whose statements are admitted into the pages of Stenhouse, in his Rocky Mountain Saints; [25] by Beadle, in his Mysteries and Crimes of Mormonism; [26] by Reverend (!) C. P. Lyford, in his Mormon Problem; [27] and by many others who from one pretense or another conceal the identity of their alleged informers. And yet, as remarked in an official document signed by the first presidency of the church and the twelve apostles, in 1889, there seems to have been no danger to such characters either from open or secret church agencies. "Notwithstanding all the stories told about the killing of apostates," says the document referred to, no case of this kind has ever occurred, and of course has never been established against the church we represent. Hundreds of seceders from the church have continuously resided and now live in this territory, many of whom have amassed considerable wealth, though bitterly opposed to the "Mormon" faith and people. Even those who made it their business to fabricate the vilest falsehoods, and to render them plausible by culling isolated passages from old sermons without the explanatory context, and have suffered no opportunity to escape them of vilifying and blackening the characters of the people, have remained among those whom they have thus persistently calumniated until the present day, without receiving the slightest personal injury. [28]

Of the third class of cases, viz., those that do not properly come within the category of alleged "blood atonement" cases, such as where a father or brother personally avenges the outraged chastity of a daughter or sister; or a wronged husband slays the despoiler of his domestic peace and home. Such cases are not peculiar to communities of Latter-day Saints in the United States, they are recognized as appeals to the "unwritten law of the land;" and trial juries quite generally in the United States refuse to convict, either for manslaughter or murder those who take the law into their own hands in such cases. Granting that the severity of the denunciations against violations of chastity and the purity of the home encouraged appeals to "the unwritten law," and hence that such appeals were made more frequently in Utah than elsewhere,—if they were more frequent than elswhere in western America—it still remains to be determined whether or not that is a reproach to the community, or a tribute to the high sense of honor, the virility, the strength, and the courage of the community's manhood. [29]

But this whole question of "blood atonement," so much iterated and reiterated by anti-"Mormon" writers, is put at rest, so far as the church's relationship to it is concerned, by an official proclamation upon the subject, in addition to the divine instructions to the church already cited in this chapter. I give the title and formal introduction to the proclamation, and so much of the document as deals with the subject in hand, and the signatures:

MANIFESTO OF THE PRESIDENCY AND APOSTLES

"SALT LAKE CITY, Dec. 12th, 1889.

To Whom It May Concern:

In consequence of gross misrepresentations of the doctrines, aims and practices of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly called the 'Mormon' church, which have been promulgated for years, and have recently been revived for political purposes and to prevent all aliens, otherwise qualified, who are members of the 'Mormon' church from acquiring citizenship, we deem it proper on behalf of said church to publicly deny these calumnies and enter our protest against them.

We solemnly make the following declarations, viz.:

That this church views the shedding of human blood with the utmost abhorrence. That we regard the killing of a human being, except in conformity with the civil law, as a capital crime, which should be punished by shedding the blood of the criminal after a public trial before a legally constituted court of the land. * * *

We denounce as entirely untrue the allegation which has been made, that our church favors or believes in the killing of persons who leave the church or apostatize from its doctrines. We would view a punishment of this character for such an act with the utmost horror; it is abhorrent to us and is in direct opposition to the fundamental principles of our creed.

The revelations of God to this church make death the penalty of capital crime, and require that offenders against life and property shall be delivered up and tried by the laws of the land.

We declare that no bishop's or other court in this church claims or exercises civil or judicial functions, or the right to supercede, annul or modify a judgment of any civil court. Such courts, while established to regulate Christian conduct, are purely ecclesiastical, and their punitive powers go no further than the suspension or excommunication of members from church fellowship. * * *

[Signed]:

"WILFORD WOODRUFF, GEORGE Q. CANNON, JOSEPH F. SMITH,

Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

LORENZO SNOW, GEORGE TEASDALE,
FRANKLIN D. RICHARDS, HEBER J. GRANT,
BRIGHAM YOUNG, JOHN W. TAYLOR,
MOSES THATCHER, W. W. MERRILL,
FRANCIS M. LYMAN, A. H. LUND,
JOHN HENRY SMITH, ABRAHAM H. CANNON,

Members of the Council of the Apostles.

JOHN W. YOUNG, DANIEL H. WELLS, Counselors." [30]

-----------------------------

Regarding Heber C. Kimball's discourse in which he talked about Judas, if you would take the time to read and comprehend for understanding, rather than just jumping to conclusions, you might see that Heber is not advocating such an action. He is merely pointing out what happened, and the severity of the consequences for apostasy. He was speaking metaphorically there, not literally. He never said that the church or its leaders would engage in such acts. Have you never read the Bible and the consequences of apostasy? Have you never read the consequences for sins less serious than that? Well, B.H. Roberts gave some good examples. Perhaps you should go back and read those.

With regard to moonmen, once again reading comprehension is key here. A little understanding of the prevailing beliefs of the day might also help out. It was commonly believed, by scientists as well as common people, that the moon was inhabited. Did Brigham say that he believed the moon was inhabited? No, he didn't. He only said that when you inquired about what those inhabitants might be like, people were ignorant. They were trying to establish a "superstructure upon a false foundation." However, Brigham did say that he believed that the sun was inhabited. Who's to say that he is wrong? He speaks of the earth and how it will be celestialized just as the sun is, and that it will be the dwelling place of the inhabitants of the celestial kingdom. That is our doctrine.

Regarding the Danites, they were a rogue band that operated on their own and not under the direction of the prophet. David Whitmer was probably rightly told by the Lord to separate himself from the Saints because otherwise the Danites would've killed him.

"ISAIH [sic] 53: 7He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth."

Joseph also went quietly and peacefully to the slaughter. He gave himself up. What more do you want? He may have destroyed a printing press, but didn't also Jesus himself overturn the moneychangers tables? Was he acting in a mafia-like manner?

"So ISAIAH was wrong in his description of the saviour ??"

No, he isn't. As the verse points out, the sheep don't know what's going on until it's too late. They go willingly and peacefully, but they put up a fight once they feel threatened.

Did not Paul prophesy? What do prophets do? They prophesy. Paul may not have been the president of the church, but he was still a prophet. In the church, the titles prophets, seers, and revelators apply to all members of the first presidency and the quorum of the twelve apostles. Look it up.

You may agree with me in saying that Paul had no faith, but I disagree with your assessment. The Lord expects us to do everything humanly possible for us to do in order to help ourselves. It is only after we have done all we can do that the Lord steps in. As an example, the Lord knew the final outcome of Moses' pleas to pharoah to release the Hebrews, but he still expected Moses to do all he could to convince pharaoh. That was also an opportunity for pharoah to do the right thing (although in the end, pharoah just put the final nails in his own coffin, so to speak). God could've just cut through all the red tape and fast forwarded to the part where the Israelites were freed. He could've even just wiped out the entire Egyptian population in one fell swoop. But he didn't. Imagine the lessons and opportunities that would've been lost if he had.

"He had little choice as his own followers would see how he had effectively abandoned them and left them behind to go on the run yet again …"

There was still a choice, and he chose the path leading to his death. Like I said before, doesn't sound like the act of a man only concerned for the safety of his own skin.

'oh Lord my God is there no help for a widows son'

"Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done." (Luke 22:42)

Need I say more?

Mormon Heretic said...

Brother Zelph,

While I find your issues interesting, I probably won't be participating on your blog any more. The comments of Cr@ig, Elder Joseph, and Bishop Rick are so reckless, it is just repulsive to me. You silence is stunning to me, and I wonder if you agree with these mafia comments.

Anyway, I don't want to lump you in with them, but wanted to see why you are not more vocal in opposing these hateful words. I had enjoyed your blog, but there is too much vitriol and too little civil dialogue for my tastes. It seems a person can't disagree respectfully. It seems that in order to make a point, shock jock tactics of unsubstantiated slander are better respected, than calm well-reasoned arguments. The tactics used here have crossed over the line of good taste into anti-semitism.

While I have enjoyed some of the interactions, I regret that I have participated with this group who have no sense of respect and courtesy. Unfortunately, their methods have rubbed off on me. I apologize for my participation.

Their hatred is contagious, and I will banish myself instead of continuing to read this bigoted hogwash. As my dad used to say, "when you start slinging mud, you're both going to end up dirty." I'm going to take a bath now.

Tata, as I said before, your patience overwhelms me. You have incredibly think skin.

All, congratulations. You've succeeded in running me off. I hope the blog participants enjoy their slanderous and anti-semitic (in the mormon sense) friendship. Misery loves company, and I would prefer to enjoy my lonely happiness, than wallow in the mud that some people call "awakening for mormon stupor".

I suggest you turn your energies to solving the energy crisis. It seems that if we should somehow tap your vitriol, there would be no more need for foreign oil, and gas prices would be reasonable once again.

Once again, I apologize for any offenses I have caused. As you were.

Brother Zelph said...

MH,

Remember that this blog is perfect, but the people on it are not. ;)

But seriously I can't respond to every comment on here. It is exhausting. Are some comments over the top? Of course. However, it doesn't bother me very much. I don't know why, but I am not very bothered by it. I figure that everyone has something to say and as long as they aren't personal attacks or threats I have faith that people can work through these issues themselves without me interfering. This has worked on many occasions and I am sorry if it has not worked this time around.

As far as the Mafia comments since you mentioned them specifically, I did add my own commentary and put into my own words the way I interpreted what EJ said.

If you find comments too inflammatory, I apologize. I try not to take it too seriously.

tatabug said...

MH,

If you are still reading, I'm sad to see you go, but I do understnd. Thank you for your time and for your insightful comments.

I have to also say, like Zelph, that you can't take it all too seriously. Unfortunately, I haven't figured out how to do that with EJ yet. If anyone runs me off, it will likely be him. But in his defense, he's always been nice to me in our email correspondences. Like I've said before, it's like he's two different people, and I only wish he could be more like the guy he is in emails. We may still disagree, but at least it is more respectful.

And in defense of this site, it is one of the friendlier places I've found to express disagreement.

And in BR's defense, he is a nice guy too, but I could tell that you were frustrating him. But I couldn't tell if it was because you actually were making sense to him and he was just fighting it, or if it was because he couldn't seem to get his point across, which he seemed to be very passionate about. (Whether or not either of these things are true, imagining these possibilities and trying to understanding these guys' own individual humanness helps me cope with my own frustrations.)

I'm not sure there is any defense for Cr@ig :) I don't know him well enough. But I still think he is just bitter, no matter how much he denies it.

Maybe I'm wrong for staying here, but I learn a lot, and have grown a lot, and I feel like it is important for those members who have the stomach for it to not be afraid to tackle the tough issues that are brought against the church and present reasonable arguments for them. There needs to be some balance to it all, and though I can only contribute in a very small way, I feel like every little bit helps. Or at least I hope it helps.

Anyway, happy trails! I hope to hear from you again.

Mormon Heretic said...

Tata,

Thanks. I'd love to keep in touch. You can email me at mormon heretic at gmail dot com or visit my blog. I feel like Zelph and I have much in common, but I try to come at things from an affirming stance instead of a negative stance, and I am much less tolerant of bigoted comments than Zelph is. I'm happy to entertain different points of view, but I draw a line at anti-semitic-like comments.

I also try to look at Christianity and Judaism in general, and not just mormonism, as I feel it gives me some greater insights into how Christianity/Judaism shapes mormon thought.

Elder Joseph said...

tata ,

I have to be able to express exactly how I feel about the early church leaders.I didn't just make it all up.I read what they taught and said in JOD.

My comments against the early church leaders are not a reflection or any representation to the church I experienced in my Ward.
I miss the church as I first experienced it , I miss the lessons of the need to do help others,serve others, the praying , the fellowship ...etc

It was great being around Mormons where I knew the conversation was never going to be how much sex did we all have lately and with who or,lets get drunk ,or lets make fun of that wimp.

Mormonism really could have been what I thought was my home ..

My life was not in a mess when the missionaries first came.I wasn't unhappy.I didn't have a troubled childhood . You can say that my life has been blessed and I never really heard or knew of Joseph Smith before, except for the odd comment from conversations with members of other religions.

It doesn't help the fact that I was manipulated and deceived by a TBM mormon girl who befriended me and my family for only one purpose to get us all in the church.I never ever have had what seems such a FALSE friend in my life.

Now I'm prepared to accept that she is likely Mentally ill,very typical of some converts I have seen in church.

I hope that ordinary sane church members do not mistake friendship with religious fellowshipping.

Maybe there is some additional anger because of her.

However I don't see what the fuss is all about.

It seems to me that MH will not address the real issue of the way early Mormon leaders behaved and instead just goes on about Bigotry.

If Mormonism is true , then I am the one in Peril and not MH unless he is not meeting his covenants and obligations.

Anyone claiming that God made the early LDS leaders behave that way will not wash with me or make it acceptable.And there is no point trying to find similar attrocious behaviour in the bible to justify it.

Look at Mugabe of Zimbabwe, he too can equally claim God is behind his work and find similar examples to himself in the bible if anyone should obect to his authority.

I find people who claim God as an excuse for their abusive behaviour despicable.There are loads of criminals in Jail who said 'God told them to do it ".

and M H

you said

" BR, he's not just attacking Joseph Smith--he's attacking CURRENT CHURCH LEADERS. This is not a theology attack, it is a nuclear blast. A theology attack would try to quote some scripture tying the mafia to the LDS church. Good luck finding that one."

Thats nonsense and typical of Mormon fanatic twisting.Where is the attack ( in respect to my mafia comments) on current church leaders?

I've seen Dalin H Oaks speak in my Ward Stakehouse.It simply further confirmed to me that he was no Apostle.To me It was all more like an after dinner speech to shareholders with a few jokes thrown in.I don't link him with mafia behaviour.

Lets me set the record straight.

All my comments are against the early LDS leaders.They were exactly as they have expressed themselves in Sermon by threatening their followers with retribution and violence if they didn't obey the self proclaimed prophets and apostles and they also bullied and threatened the women into polygamy.

Now you give me the impression that you either
1 Believe that this was all Gods express will and so its OK.
2 You are ignorant as to your own early history.
3 You think I'm mistaken ? Do you want the quotes ? Have you ever read what they taught and said.

If this(early LDS )religion was around today (I believe it is - as the FLDS)and myself or close friends or family was affected by it then I wouldn't think twice to sorting these kinds of self proclaimed prophets and apostles in my own way and its not pleasant.


Now as to current church leaders let me say this :

When Gordon Hinckley died I cried watching his funeral.I spent two years in church and got to know and like this ordinary old man who was doing his best to take the lead of a religion started by Joseph Smith.

He couldn't address properly or accurately whether polygamy was ok,or whether tithe payers ever see the accounts of where their money actually is being spent, or whether God was once a man.He was always fudging and avoiding being straight with the TRUTHFUL answers.

When he said that we have to face the fact that 'Either the church is true or its false', I got the subtle hint from him.

Anonymous said...

Elder Joseph,

I don't know if MH is still reading, but did you read the paragraph right before you quoted him?

You said,

"Where is the attack ( in respect to my mafia comments) on current church leaders? "

Did you read any of MH's comments? He quoted you twice attacking current leaders.

"My whole Mafia comparison was that the Mormon Church was held together by THREATS and INTIMIDATION and thats a fact.( and still is in a subtle way from my experience in church)."

You said "and still is" [continuing with THREATS and INTIMIDATION]. Please read it again if you don't see it.

Then you said,

"This is no different from what Mafia gang members go through for their tyranny and they continue with it also."

You said "continue with it also" Who else is continuing this mafia reign?

If you did not mean to imply current leaders, what do these comments mean?

Are you really this dumb? You are certifiable. Do you read, or just skim comments to make it appear you are reading?

Bishop Rick said...

Big words from someone hiding behind an anonymous moniker.

"...and still does in a subtle way..."

Let's see, so no more blood atonement because that is not subtle, but pay tithing to be worthy of a temple recommend which you have to be in order to be with your family forever.

Seems like a subtle enough threat to me.

Fanatical Mormon said...

Bishop Rick,

I would expect nothing less from an anti-semetic apologist.

Anyone who tries to defend the LDS church must be fanatical, so you can call me the Fanatic, since you're so bigoted too.

Cr@ig said...

I’m trying to catch up…as I've been out of town, but when I read this following exchange I got PHYSICALLY SICK…

bishop rick related a time during one of his temple interviews when his stake president started to probe during the interview…

“Q: Are you striving...
A: I am trying...
At that point the whole tone of the interview changed as I was reprimanded for answering in that way. "NO" he said quite sternly. "YOU ARE DOING, NOT TRYING"
Taken quite by surprise I sat there in stunned silence. He repeated himself. "NO, YOU ARE DOING, NOT TRYING". The rest of the interview was stern and probing.“

I’m sorry, but this entire exchange sickened my stomach. What a pompous F***ing ASS!

I am sickened that during my tenure in the bishopric I participated in this process of violating the personal boundaries of my fellow ward members. Oh how I wish I could go back and tell people that they are good and loved. That the Mormon perfection quest is a recipe for depression and should be avoided at all costs. That irrespective what they are doing… god (who ever or what ever that is) loves them for who they are right now and NOT for what some body in Salt Lake City tells them they should be.

Mormonism’s perfection quest is a mission impossible and one of the main reasons for Mormon’s feelings of guilt, inadequacy and personal conflict.

The temple recommend is nothing more than one of the many tools the male Mormon leadership uses to control its empire. Something they will continue to do until someone stands up to them and says enough is enough I don’t need or want your F***ing boundary violating temple interview…you can stick it up your pompous, probing Ass.


Whew, I feel alot better now...

Fanatic said...

Nice language Cr@ig! I'm glad it made you feel better. There certainly isn't enough bigotry here, let's throw in some profanity too.

That really helps your case.

tatabug said...

Thank you "Anonymous." As soon as I read EJ's comment, I knew he was either lying or forgetting what he has actually said regarding current church leaders. You saved me the trouble of having to go back and find the exact quotes.

Nice try EJ, but you need to rethink your position and try to stick with one story. Either the current church leaders are continuing to run the church in a mafia-like way, even if it is more subtle, or they aren't. You can't have it both ways.

"I have to be able to express exactly how I feel about the early church leaders."

Why? Are you going to die if you don't? Is the world going to end as we know it if you don't? I just don't understand why you HAVE to.

"My comments against the early church leaders are not a reflection or any representation to the church I experienced in my Ward."

Yes they have been as anonymous has pointed out. Would you like me to find additional quotes from you?

"It seems to me that MH will not address the real issue of the way early Mormon leaders behaved and instead just goes on about Bigotry."

He made it very clear that he was prepared to discuss the issues with you after you apologized and changed to a more civil tone.

"Anyone claiming that God made the early LDS leaders behave that way will not wash with me..."

I don't believe we ever said anything about God making anybody do anything.

BR (and EJ),

How's this for a subtle threat: "Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." (Matthew 7:21)

Or what about this one: "And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the ccommandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had agreat possessions. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. It is easier for a camel to get through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved?...Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed thee; what shall we have therefore? And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me...shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And every one that hath forsaken houses, or...[family]..., or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit eternal life." (Matthew 19:16-29)

Wow! It wasn't good enough that the guy kept all the commandments, but now Jesus expected him to sell his stuff and give it to the poor (sounds a lot like fast offering to me, and I think this sounds like a lot more than the required 10% for tithing, or the 20% that you claim it is.). So it seems that if a person wants to inherit eternal life (i.e. be with their family forever), then they had better be making some sacrifices. And if you happen to be rich, you better be pretty generous with your charitable giving or your chances of getting to the CK are very "slim." Very subtle threat indeed, not to mention intimidating coming from a man with so much power, influence, and connections.

Oh, and here are a few not so subtle threats:

"So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, And shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew 13:49-50)

"Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal." (Matthew 25:41-46)

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

Cr@ig,

Need some Pepto Bismol?

Oh, and don't worry, you didn't come off bitter at all.

You said: "Oh how I wish I could go back and tell people that they are good and loved."

You mean you didn't do this? So if you didn't, did you tell people how evil and hated they were? I'm guessing that was the standard response you were taught to give to someone who was imperfect, right? I mean, we don't ever teach the fact that the Lord loves us unconditionally, do we? Or that forgiveness is possible. Or that feelings of worthlessness are the tools the adversary uses to discourage us from trying, because God sees the potential in all of us, because as the Savior has said, "with God all things are possible." But we wouldn't be caught dead teaching such heresies. Wow! We really are mean and pompous aren't we?

What we really should be teaching is don't even try to be perfect because it ain't gonna happen. You just can't do it. And then we should just let everyone in the temple, and teach that everyone gets a free pass into heaven. I mean, let's just remove all motivation for self-improvement by repealing all commandments and standards of any kind and opening up the doors of heaven to every Tom, Dick, and Harry. Yeah, imagine living there with the likes of Saddam Hussein, or Hitler even. Won't that be fun, not to mention fair?

Well, I guess we have one thing going for us. We don't force anyone into heaven if they don't want to go, so then no one is obligated to work toward perfection if it's too hard or depressing for them.

Cr@ig said...

Tata Said : I mean, we don't ever teach the fact that the Lord loves us unconditionally, do we? Or that forgiveness is possible.

Cr@ig’s Reply: I’m disappointed in you tata, I thought you watched and read all of your church’s conference reports…didn’t you know that the Mormon God’s love is “Conditional”? Click Here to be brought up to date on your church’s teachings

Yes the Mormon God’s love sadly IS conditional…He doesn’t love us for who we really are…to “earn” His love we must meet certain conditions…if we are merely our human selves…we will fail to be worthy of His love. Only a control-cult would teach such rubbish.
I LOVE each and every one of my children unconditionally. PERIOD. There is NOTHING they could do to lose my love. Each of them know of my unconditional love and support for them. The Mormon Church can keep their God and His conditional love for all I care.

Bishop Rick said...

Tata,

Regarding the "subtle threats" you make a good point.

Regarding your exchange with Cr@ig, I have to disagree. I think the SP handled that interview very poorly and I understand what Cr@ig is saying. The quest for perfection in the LDS worldview is unrealistic and does lead to unnecessary feelings of guilt and in some cases depression. He is spot on there. Of course there are those that don't feel or realize the pressures that this quest metes out, but I don't think those folks are in the majority. If they were, I think activity rates would be much different than they are.

Bishop Rick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tatabug said...

Cr@ig,

You must have missed the part in the talk where Elder Nelson said: "Does this mean the Lord does not love the sinner? Of course not. Divine love is infinite and universal. The Savior loves both saints and sinners. The Apostle John affirmed, “We love him, because he first loved us.” And Nephi, upon seeing in vision the Lord’s mortal ministry, declared: “The world, because of their iniquity, shall judge him to be a thing of naught; wherefore they scourge him, and he suffereth it; and they smite him, and he suffereth it. Yea, they spit upon him, and he suffereth it, because of his loving kindness and his long-suffering towards the children of men.” We know the expansiveness of the Redeemer’s love because He died that all who die might live again."

It would help to try to understand the meaning of Elder Nelson's talk before you begin to assume that God doesn't love those who aren't perfect.

It's funny how you believe that it is the Mormon God who doesn't love unconditionally, but most of the scriptures cited by Elder Nelson come from the Bible rather than LDS scriptures, so apparently it isn't only the Mormon God who's love is conditional, if you choose to see it that way.

• “If ye keep my commandments, [then] ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.”

• “If a man love me, [then] he will keep my words: and my Father will love him.” 20

• “I love them that love me; and those that seek me … shall find me.” 21

• “God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.” 22

• “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.” 24

18. John 15:10
20. John 14:23
21. Prov. 8:17.
22. Acts 10:34–35.
24. John 14:21.

I don't doubt that you love your children unconditionally. I do too, but I bet that if one of my children killed one of my other children maliciously, my feelings for that child might suffer some damage. That's not to say there wouldn't be love there still, but it would certainly be different.

BR,

I'm not saying that your SP didn't handle the interview well. I'm not even saying that there aren't many cases in which people act imperfectly in positions of leadership in the church. After all, the church is led by imperfect people at all levels. But even you said yourself that in at least one of your interviews, it was handled very well.

As far as perfection goes, it isn't a matter of being perfect, but striving to be perfect. We even know that we will never become perfect in this life, but we should be always striving to become better today than we were yesterday. And if we happen to have a bad day, then tomorrow we repent and try again. We don't give up and we don't get complacent. In one of my children's previous schools, they had the motto, "Never let it rest until your good becomes better and your better becomes best." (BTW, my son's football coach uses the same motto) Should that cause unnecessary guilt and pressure? No. It's the same kind of idea.

The real reason that this concept causes so many problems for people is because they don't understand it and they let the adversary get them down.

Cr@ig said...

tata Said: The real reason that this concept causes so many problems for people is because they don't understand it and they let the adversary get them down.

Cr@ig’s Reply: Oh GAG!!! Is the view nice from your ramiumptium? I have no fault with doing your best or striving to do better tomorrow than I did yesterday… But Mormonism’s Perfection Quest is an unattainable Merry-Go-Round with no end in sight…other than death. In Mormonism your BEST is never good enough…you can always do better. In Mormonism 10% is not enough You can always give more. In Mormonism giving all of your time, talents and “everything” which the Lord has blessed you with IS the covented standard…it’swhats expected and it’s an impossible and unattainable quest. It breeds guilt within the Mormon community and depression...tata if you have escaped it…please don’t be condescending toward those of your faith that suffer by pigeonholing them with the broad statement that it must be because they..” they don't understand it and they let the adversary get them down” Bullshit! It’s because it’s IMPOSSIBLE

fanatic said...

Cr@ig,

Did you learn your language skills from Jack the Ripper?

It certainly wasn't Shakespeare.

So, how many times did you go through the 8th grade English class? Oh, that's right, you never actually made it through.

Bishop Rick, I suppose job interviews are full of threats and intimidation too. If you don't answer correctly, you don't get the job. That's just too much to handle for most people, which explains why so many people go "postal." Of course, all these postmen are actually mormons who couldn't take the pressure of temple recommend interviews too, I suppose.

Elder Joseph learned his logic skills from Al Capone and Jimmy Hoffa. It's all starting to make sense to me now.... Or perhaps it is Oliver Stone, since he seems to imply a conspiracy in everything. Joseph, were you the 2nd gunman in the grassy knoll?

Bishop Rick said...

fanatic,

"these postmen are actually mormons who couldn't take the pressure of temple recommend interviews too, I suppose."

Those are fighting words.
Are you looking for an ass kicking?

Elder Joseph said...

Tata , Anonymous and MH

Just to clear up my Mafia points my response in CAPITALS for easy distinguishing.

ANONYMOUS QUOTED ME AS SAYING

"My whole Mafia comparison was that the Mormon Church was held together by THREATS and INTIMIDATION and thats a fact.( and still is in a subtle way from my experience in church)."

THE ORIGINAL THREATS I WAS TALKING ABOUT WAS THE EARLY CHURCH AND HOW INTIMIDATION WAS THROUGH PHYSICAL VIOLENCE AND FEAR AS WELL AS SCRIPTURAL ONES AS TATA HIGHTLIGHTED.

AND ALSO

“You said "and still is" [continuing with THREATS and INTIMIDATION]. Please read it again if you don't see it. “

I WASN'T CLEAR, SO IT SEEMS I HAVE BEEN MISUNDERSTOOD, BUT THE CURRENT THREATS FOR NOT OBEYING AND BELIEVING THE LDS CHURCH ARE NOT THE PHYSICAL THREATS OF VIOLENCE BUT HERE THEY ARE :

1 YOU WON'T END UP IN CELESTIAL KINGDOM HAVING SEX FOREVER AND EXTRA WIVES ( FOR THE MEN OF COURSE)AND ENDLESS CHILDREN AND WORLDS , INSTEAD YOU WILL BE A SEXLESS EUNUCH IN A LESSER KINGDOM IF YOU LEAVE THE CHURCH OR ARE NOT FULLY OBEDIENT ETC.

2 YOU WON'T BE WITH YOUR FAMILY IF YOU DON'T KEEP UP TITHE AND OBEDIENCE TO THE LDS CHURCH.

3 YOU CAN'T REDEEM YOUR RELATIVES IF YOU DON'T PAY TITHE AND HOLD A TEMPLE CARD.

4 YOU WILL LOOSE BLESSINGS FOR NOT BEING A MEMBER AND OBEDIENT.

5 YOU WILL BE BURNED FOR NOT PAYING TITHE.

6 SATAN HAS GOT YOU IF YOU HAVE FEELINGS THE CHURCH COULD BE BOGUS AND JOSEPH SMITH A FRAUD AFTERALL.

I COULD GO ON AND ON BUT THIS IS WHAT I EXPERIENCED .. CONSTANT THREATS AS OPPOSE TO BEING GRATEFUL FOR THE REDEMPTION.

IT'S NO SUPRISE THAT WOMEN AND YOUNG GIRLS FOUND THEMSELVES IN POLYGAMOUS MARRIAGES AGAINST THEIR OWN INHERENT WILL. WHO WOULD DARE STAND UP TO BRIGHAM YOUNG AND CO WITH WHAT THEY WERE SPOUTING OUT?

Back to ordinary small caps font

Tata

You quoted a scripture earlier on quoted Jesus and related that to a threat


Matthew 7 :
21 Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord, Lord," shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
22 Many will say to Me in that day, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?"
23 And then I will declare to them, "I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness."

Jehovah’s witnesses quote this also and to show that even Mormons will not be in the Kingdom !

I've no doubt Moonies will use this also in the same way.

Joseph Smith could easily fit this threat as he did practice Lawlessness , He also prophesised in Gods name , He also claimed many wonders etc etc

It could be talking about him as much as anyone else.

On the other hand I have never declared to do wonders in Gods name, or Prophesy.It seems that those who did are the ones being threatened here!

I tried to read your earlier copy and paste Apologetics for Blood Atonement but its so long, I’ll try again but it looks like an excuse book to me .If Brigham taught it then lets accept he taught it whether you like it or not.

And I don’t believe that the other Apostles kicked the Bowels out of Judas, that’s complete NONSENSE from Heber C. Kimball, as with a lot of what they all taught and typical of their arrogance and self importance and self declared righteousness.

That’s one of the reasons I had to quit the church , I couldn’t take these men seriously. I’m not spending the rest of my life trying to justify or excuse what they plainly taught in JOD and their other worthless and utter rubbish publications, which are now being declared OPINION.

At that time it wouldn’t have been wise for an ordinary church member to challenge them , they were most likely simply believed as Apostles of The Lord and died with that rubbish in their heads.

If you disagree with me then buy yourself the boxed sets of JOD’s and Orson Pratts publication called 'The Seer' !

That very Title ‘The Seer‘ is a joke in itself considering his comments and teachings in their which have to be excused by future generations in the LDS.

How can anyone take these men seriously ???

Not me and I know without any shadow of a doubt they were not what they claimed to be.

If I'm wrong then its me who will suffer and rightly so, so why does MH especially get all upset.Let divine judgement come on me.

If I'm right then I won't have to face any creator believing and defending that he ordered the polygamous marriages of teen girls to OLD men.

tatabug said...

Cr@ig,

I disagree with you that in Mormonism, your best is never good enough. In fact, one's best is all that is expected. The Savior's atonement makes up the rest. Were you unaware of that fact? Did you maybe go to a different Mormon church?

You said: "I have no fault with doing your best or striving to do better tomorrow than I did yesterday… But Mormonism’s Perfection Quest is an unattainable Merry-Go-Round with no end in sight..."

Do you understand what you said here? You said you have no problem with doing better tomorrow than you did yesterday, but this idea implies that it is a never-ending pursuit, at least until you run out of tomorrows. It seems in your world that the idea is only a bad one if it has the Mormons attached to it, right? Then it turns into something sinister and unreasonable.

And no, Mormonism doesn't require you to give all of your time or sacrifice everything in order to live it faithfully. We've been told to "not run faster or labor more than you have strength.” (D&C 10:4) We should be generous with our time and talents and resources, but nothing unreasonable is expected. For example, our callings should not take priority over the needs of our families.

You said: "please don’t be condescending toward those of your faith that suffer by pigeonholing them with the broad statement that it must be because they..” they don't understand it and they let the adversary get them down” ********! It’s because it’s IMPOSSIBLE"

You can call it pigeonholing if you want, but if it's true, it's true. (Sound familiar?) I think that most members understand what it means to be striving for perfection, and as we've been taught, it should'nt be a cause for feelings of hopelessness. And yes, there are those who don't have a good understanding of it or are weighted down unnecessarily by (their own) unrealistic expectations.

I think it is primarily people like you who have a huge chip on their shoulder against the church and who just want to stir the pot who end up blowing the issue out of proportion from what it really is into part of the sinister plot of the Mormon Corporation to beat down and control its victims. You want to get back at the big bad meanie church that lied to you and did you so wrong for so many years. Waaaaahaha!

Perfection. Impossible? In this life, yes. By ourselves? Yes. We most definitely need the Savior. But with our best efforts, combined with the cleansing and healing power of the atonement, we can become perfect someday.

Oh, and it may not mean anything to you because you are probably one of those Bible skeptics too after having awoken from your Mormon stupor, but the New Testament contains many references to becoming perfect, and it was an admonition of the Savior as well. Just wanted to throw that in so you wouldn't think that the church just came up with the idea to torture its members unnecessarily.

Zelph,

You think you might say something to Cr@ig about his pottymouth? He is aware of your previous requests to abstain from the use of profanity, yet he has blatantly disregarded it. I'm curious to know why you appear to be overlooking it.

If you plan on keeping it clean here, I would ask that you inform Cr@ig that including one or more letters of a word and putting asterisks in place of the rest is not keeping it clean. Only someone who can't spell or is unlearned in the vocabulary of vulgarity would in any way benefit from this. I believe we are all adults here and are very familiar with what all the bad words are, so there is no mystery to what Cr@ig is trying to say.

One more thing Cr@ig: You sound like a big jerk that I am glad I don't have the displeasure of associating with. It isn't much fun "jousting" with someone who seems to take so much joy in criticizing Mormons. I tried to give you a second chance to see if maybe you just made a bad first impression, but apparently, that's just who you are. I hope all of your anger and animosity brings you much satisfaction.

tatabug said...

EJ,

1 YOU WON'T END UP IN CELESTIAL KINGDOM HAVING SEX FOREVER AND EXTRA WIVES ( FOR THE MEN OF COURSE)AND ENDLESS CHILDREN AND WORLDS , INSTEAD YOU WILL BE A SEXLESS EUNUCH IN A LESSER KINGDOM IF YOU LEAVE THE CHURCH OR ARE NOT FULLY OBEDIENT ETC.

I'm anxious to see any quotes you may have about endless celestial sex.

2 YOU WON'T BE WITH YOUR FAMILY IF YOU DON'T KEEP UP TITHE AND OBEDIENCE TO THE LDS CHURCH.

Let's see, I think I've read similar threats in the Bible. Oh yes, here they are:

Malachi 3
8 ¶ Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
9 Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.
10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the Lord of hosts. (This would seem to imply that non-payment of tithes may result in the unleashing of the devourer so that he may destroy the fruits of your ground.)

For additional scriptures which demand obedience and the paying of tithes, see my earlier comment to BR with some examples of subtle and not so subtle threats. I've got more if you want to see them.

3 YOU CAN'T REDEEM YOUR RELATIVES IF YOU DON'T PAY TITHE AND HOLD A TEMPLE CARD.

Your relatives can be redeemed, though not by you personally. But being denied entrance into the temple is not the only consequence. As even the Savior has said, you can't even get to heaven. Was Jesus acting in a mafia-like manner with such threats? You have yet to answer me on that one.

4 YOU WILL LOOSE BLESSINGS FOR NOT BEING A MEMBER AND OBEDIENT.

Same complaint as #3

5 YOU WILL BE BURNED FOR NOT PAYING TITHE.

Same. In fact #'s 2, 3, 4, and 5 are almost identical.

6 SATAN HAS GOT YOU IF YOU HAVE FEELINGS THE CHURCH COULD BE BOGUS AND JOSEPH SMITH A FRAUD AFTERALL.

This may be true. Satan has been known to deceive, even going so far as to mingle truth in with his lies. "Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made....And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat." (Genesis 3:1, 13)

"Jehovah’s witnesses quote this also and to show that even Mormons will not be in the Kingdom !

I've no doubt Moonies will use this also in the same way."

So What. You are diverting the issue away from the fact that it was Jesus who said these things. Should we ignore Jesus because he is using threats? You chastise the church for using threats and intimidation. Will you say the same of Jesus?

And in the KJV it doesn't say lawlessness, but rather iniquity, however, if you prefer lawlessness, I would say that this would refer to God's law rather than man's.

I have the JOD's, but I still disagree with you, at least when it comes to interpretation. I don't have "The Seer" but in 1865, the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, "The Seer [and other writings by Pratt] contain doctrines which we cannot sanction, and which we have felt impressed to disown, so that the Saints who now live, and who may live hereafter, may not be misled by our silence, or be left to misinterpret it. Where these objectionable works, or parts of works, are bound in volumes, or otherwise, they should be cut out and destroyed."

"polygamous marriages of teen girls to OLD men."

I don't guess any comment of yours would be complete without this or similar references, would it? The same old tired refrain--we get it already.

Bishop Rick said...

tata,

You mention that Satan deceives by mixing truth with lies.

I have to admit that I have never seen Satan. I have never heard Satan. I have never read any of his writings.

Who is this Satan that has so many powers that he can create things without actually creating things, who can say things without saying them or write things without writing them?

Who is this all powerful mystical being?

Elder Joseph said...

BR

This Satan could be the same one who gave Joseph Smith revelations ...

check this out

—An Address to All Believers in Christ, 1887, p. 31 by David Whitmer


“Joseph …received a revelation that some of the brethren should go to Toronto, Canada, and that they would sell the copy-right of the Book of Mormon… they failed entirely to sell the copy-right, returning without any money… we asked Joseph how it was that he had received a revelation…and the brethren had utterly failed in their undertaking. Joseph did not know how it was, so he enquired of the Lord about it, and behold the following revelation came through the stone: ‘Some revelations are of God: some revelations are of man: and some revelations are of the devil.’ So we see that the revelation to go to Toronto and sell the copy-right was not of God, but was of the devil or of the heart of man.”

If Joseph Smith couldn’t tell where his “revelations” were coming from, how do Mormons know which ones to believe?

Tata

I'm glad you challenge me despite The fact that I think you are like the JW's , The Moonies etc , they would say just the same as you.And with JW's I have experienced it. They are 10 times more efficient and organised at getting around door to door :))

ok your points or some of them at least

1 : Malachi 3 - This was a Theocracy the Irsaelite religion and Government were all one.It was the Law of the Land.In the same way that the devourer ( IRS ) would come get you for tax evasion.I don't believe it was from any God but man made.

And anyway there are thousands of similar things I could quote from the OT that you would not accept as binding anymore .You pick and choose to suit the LDS current belief system .

2 : You said " Your relatives can be redeemed, though not by you personally. But being denied entrance into the temple is not the only consequence. As even the Savior has said, you can't even get to heaven. Was Jesus acting in a mafia-like manner with such threats? You have yet to answer me on that one."

Jesus never created a temple Recommend System in the first place.That was Joseph Smith after being initiated into the Masons.He made an oath never to reveal the Masonic Initiation Ceremony and then blatantly used it ( identically in many places ) for his own version.Its in your own Church History.

And the church has since taken out the Masonic Five Points Of Fellowship at The Veil? Why ?

3 : you said "Satan has been known to deceive, even going so far as to mingle truth in with his lies. "Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made....And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat." (Genesis 3:1, 13)"

Why would Satan help Eve with Gods Plan to bring his Spirit kids to the earth if the LDS version is correct and influence her to choose the right thing? I thought he wasn't for CTR?

I would have thought that Satan would try to dissuade her and keep all Gods children Bodiless in Pre Existence ?

Just a side thought I had.

BTW Joseph Smith was good at mixing truth with lies and even lying outright.

4 : you said " You are diverting the issue away from the fact that it was Jesus who said these things. Should we ignore Jesus because he is using threats? You chastise the church for using threats and intimidation. Will you say the same of Jesus? "

I'm not diverting the issues. I'm just saying that those warnings are likely for false religious leaders like Joseph Smith and those who profess to prophesy and cast out demons and do many wonders in Gods name?"

Its got nothing to do with me as I don't profess any of them.I do heed Jesus warnings just in case but don't like them being used by religious organisations to somehow discredit the other rival organisations.

And practicioners of Lawlessness or Iniquity according to your definition if it as Gods Law would be all of us as Sinners.You might need to reinterperate that one.

I'll help you ... Sinners who haven't repented.( oh and To correct priesthood Authority ):))

and finally

5 : You said with ref to "polygamous marriages of teen girls to OLD men."

"I don't guess any comment of yours would be complete without this or similar references, would it? The same old tired refrain--we get it already. "

Well would you give your 14 year old or 16 year old daughter in marriage to a man claiming to be a prophet Of God like Warren Jeffs and 'calling ' her for her own Exhaltation at aged 37 yrs ( Joseph Smith with a 14 year old ) or 56 yrs( Orson Pratts case with a 16 year old )?

Or would you try to dissuade your own daughter and even take action against those men for trying to indoctrinate her with that teaching ?

I really would like to know how LDS would react to Warren Jeffs recruiting girls from the LDS church and into his church and Polygamy.

I think its fair comparison with what the early LDS leaders were doing and especially when they were denying it throughout the church newspapers and in particular the Millenial Star here in the UK whilst actively prosletising to the females here.

I can't think of a more despicable thing to do to those poor English women who were reassured 'That No such practice exists among the Latter Day Saints and never will'.

Elder Joseph said...

Tata

Another for you as you like to quote the Old Testament in support of LDS beliefs.

Exodus 20:17 you shall not covet your neighbor's wife.

How do you explain Joseph Smith marrying 11 of his neighbours wives ? ( ie his own followers wives ).

fanatic said...

Wow, I actually got Joseph to backpedal. Too bad Heretic isn't here to see it.

So, Joseph, now you're comparing spiritual threats to the mafia. I thought the mafia engaged in physical threats. Does the mafia engage in spiritual threats too? I was not aware of this. Wow, the things a person can learn on blogs....

Now, apparently Rick is a member of the mafia with this wonderful quote: "Are you looking for an ass kicking?"

So would that be a spiritual ass-kicking or a physical one? Either way, according to Joseph, you're now a card-carrying member of the mafia. Apparently spiritual threats are enough to make one Al Capone. Welcome to "the family" Rick.

Oh, and Cr@ig, are you going to kick my ass too? Is this spiritually, or physically? I need to know if I need to get a physical body guard, or a spiritual one. Perhaps it is just a verbal ass-kicking. Cr@ig has full command of profanity, and uses it without hesitation. I give up. Uncle! Uncle! You've definitely kicked my ass.

I think the 3 Amigos had better reasoning skills than you morons.

Bishop Rick said...

MH,

No one is fooled by your new fanatic moniker. MH disappears and fanatic arrives almost instantaneously spewing the same nonsense, but with a more vitriolic tone.

I merely detected fighting words in your last unprompted tirade and inquired as to your motives. There was no threat, simply a question.

"Are you looking for an ass kicking?"

On the surface, that appeared to be your motive, but one can never tell...thus the question.

My advice to you would be to continue in your juvenile playground taunting if indeed an ass kicking is what you desire. Perhaps you didn't realize this and its actually not an ass kicking you are looking for. In that case, I might change my tactics a bit. Be careful what you wish for.

Elder Joseph said...

fanatic

"Wow, I actually got Joseph to backpedal."

I was glad you highlighted what was causing the misunderstanding, I didn't realise I hadn't been clear enough ,and wondered why their was such a reaction from you and other LDS, though BR seemed to understand and work out exactly what I was saying .

The threats and intimidation are still there but they are subtle
psychological/spiritual ones.I experienced them for two years in my Ward during all the lessons and I saw how members were reacting to them.

One instance in the Bible class a female member said of Tithing quote " I always make sure I pay my tithing as I don't want to be split from my family in the CK ".

Another one in Investigators class was Tithe Payers won't be BURNED !

Another one, though less sinister was " I paid tithe and the next day I was blessed with a refund from overpayment of my Utilities " ( this one made me very concerned because whether we pay tithe or not we all get a refund on overpaid utilities).

JW's use the exact same fear based indoctrination system.I've experienced it.

Your comments come across a little juvenile and sarcastic.

If the church is true then it doesn't need you to behave this way.

Tata is a good example of what I know to be a real Mormon.Though I think she stretches some things a bit far I do appreciate her effort and she does do a good job overall to salvage certain elements of my perceptions of the church.

Though its unlikley I will ever become a member,she does create a better understanding on some things for me.

I really believe that even though she tries to justify/accept our objections to the church ,she would have liked a better cleaner and less controversial church history more reflective on todays LDS and deserves such.

My Ward High Priests/Bishop/ Bishopric Councillors should be ashamed of themselves in comparison, to just let me go over difficult issues without any effort at all.I have invited any ward member to come and try to salvage something with me .I'm not anti the ward members.One sent me the new Joseph Smith Lesson manual.I've not set it on fire in some bizarre antimormon ritual or anything and have read some of it, though I do think its fudged !

You on the other hand are a 'stumbling block' to prospective converts and dissafected members and do even more damage to the church and its reputation rather than help its cause.

fanatic said...

Rick,

"Be careful what you wish for." Is this another threat? Should I hide? What do you mean? Seems like another mafia tactic to me. Are you threatening me? Is this one of those intimidating temple recommend questions? Are you going to shake me down?

You definitely are Sherlock Holmes. You asked me to identify myself, instead of going by Anonymous, and now I'm mormon heretic? Where did you get your law enforcement training? I'm not surprised. You're great at jumping to conclusions.

Wow, you used the word vitriolic. Did you learn that from heretic? What does it mean exactly? Is it the same as ass-kicker?

Joseph,

"Your comments come across a little juvenile and sarcastic."

Oh, did they? I wonder where I learned that tactic?

"If the church is true then it doesn't need you to behave this way."

This blog doesn't need your anti-semetism either, even if the church is completely false. I'm happy to play the role of fanatic--it highlights your own fanaticism.

Joseph, I have a question. If the church continues to use mafia tactics why is it legal everywhere, and the mafia is illegal everywhere? With all this tithing = extortion, I would think it would be quite easy for law enforcement to see through the mormon scheme. Is it the fact that mormons and jews have now infiltrated the government? Can we blame everything bad on mormons and jews now? Are jews part of the mafia too? For some reason, I thought the mafia were made of italians. Stupid me.

fanatic said...

Joseph,

Sorry, I loved this quote too.

"You on the other hand are a 'stumbling block' to prospective converts and dissafected members and do even more damage to the church and its reputation rather than help its cause."

Are you helping the cause of mormonism? Is that what you're doing? Am I doing worse damage to prospective converts than you? Really? I didn't know prospective converts visited this site. I thought it was just a bunch of petty idiots trying to bash morminism.

As for the disaffected members, they're already disaffected. Do you honestly think tata or I or mormon heretic are changing your opinions? What's the big deal? We're not doing anything but show you how stupid you are. (Like you didn't know...)

Bishop Rick said...

fanatic/anonymous/MH,

Your aggressive posture does nothing for you or the church. You have nothing to offer outside of insults. If this were my blog, you would be banned (for your own protection of course), but Zelph is much more patient.

It is sad that you feel you have to sink to this level to defend your church. You have no point to make so you just spew nonsense and insults...an in a rather juvenile manner. I'm embarrassed for you.

fanatic said...

Rick,

I doubt Zelph would ban me. With anti-semitism open season here, my "aggressive" posture is quite benign.

Thanks for another threat, Mr mafia. "(for your own protection of course)".

Why do I have to make a point when yours are so, as you say, "juvenile." What wonderful points have you made lately?

Mormon Heretic said...

Fanatic,

Shut up. Fighting fire with fire merely burns down the whole forest.

tatabug said...

MH,

While I may be wrong, I strongly suspect, and have from the beginning, as have others, that you are anonymous/fanatic mormon. The fact that you posted only 2 minutes after fanatic's most recent post supports my suspicions even more. Some of it has been funny, and maybe even a bit deserved on the part of some here, and I thought maybe you were trying to make a point, and if you are, please wrap it up and end this hate-filled dialogue. I think you are taking this a little too far and it is getting annoying, even to me.

Bishop Rick said...

Fanatic,

"Be careful what you wish for." Is this another threat?

Not a threat, just friendly advice.

Should I hide?

You are hiding. Hiding behind the internet. I guarantee you would not be saying these things if you and I were in the same room.

Is this one of those intimidating temple recommend questions?

Your taking a personal story and using it to taunt is disgusting. I hope this is not one of the things tata found funny, because its not funny its disgusting and distasteful and reflects on your true person.

So please, do wrap it up.

tatabug said...

BR,

I'm not sure why you are asking me about Satan. I know you are well aware of Mormon theology, so why are you asking me these questions when you probably know as much as I do about him?

Also, it wasn't the temple recommend part that I found funny, but the spiritual vs. physical butt-kicking part and the spiritual/physical bodyguard that made me laugh out loud.

But the temple recommend part didn't offend me as it did you. It's funny how certain things offend some people and not others. Maybe that will help you have a bit more understanding of the offense that MH and I felt over some of EJ's comments.

EJ,

1. With regard to the devourer and the IRS, the devourer in the OT was not the IRS or any governmental institution. Yes there was no separation of church and state. But the government was set up by God through Moses. Because of this, Israel was bound by God to uphold the law, but tithing was not the same as taxes because it was used only for the religious aspect of the kingdom. Taxes were separate from tithing.

2. Regarding the temple and masonry, I don't know much about why the five points of fellowship were removed, other than that I understand it had lost its meaning among modern saints. I wasn't endowed until 1991, so I don't really know what it consisted of either.

But regarding the idea that Joseph just copied the temple ceremony from masonry, I have to somewhat disagree. While it may be possible that he used some of the rituals used in freemasonry to helep teach the important aspects of the endowment, I don't believe that he just copied it and that the ceremony was not inspired. While there are similarities, there are many very fundamental differences.

Joseph believed that the Masonic ritual was a corrupted version of the original priesthood, though the claim is hard to support since Masonic ties don't go back that far.

But here is some intersting information that warrants further study which connects early Christian ritual with the existing temple ceremony:

"The striking resemblance between the temple endowment and the early Christian rite of initiation is strong evidence that Joseph Smith did indeed restore the original ancient temple scheme.

The ancient Christian initiation rite appears to have been a conflation of the temple endowment with the ordinance of baptism. Non‑members were not permitted to view the rite, and in most cases it was not administered to a person until he or she had been a believer for at least one year. The rite was sometimes referred to as "the mystery," and the things involved therein were on occasion called "the mysteries."

During the rite of initiation, the candidate could be taught certain "higher teachings" which were reserved only for members who were deemed ready and worthy to receive them. Extra‑scriptural higher teachings are mentioned by several early Christian bishops and apologists. For example, Clement of Alexandria (A.D. 150‑215), a prominent theologian in the early church and head of the Christian academy in Alexandria, stated that these higher teachings were not included in Christ's public preaching but were transmitted unwritten by the apostles and were given only to church members who were qualified to receive them (MaGill 47). Clement declared that these sacred teachings were the key to entering into the "highest sphere" of heaven (MaGill 47).

The rite of initiation also included the administering of sacred signs and tokens, Garden‑of‑Eden scenes in the background, the rebuking of Satan with upraised arm, the wearing of sacred white clothing (some of which had markings identical to those on LDS temple garments), and the anointing of various parts of the body with oil."


3. Regarding Satan, it is very possible that he didn't understand the plan and was just trying to get Adam and Eve to be disobedient. It is also possible that he understood the plan fully, but knew that the only way he would ever have any power over us was if we came into mortality where he would be able to tempt us and drag us down to hell with him.

4. But I wasn't using the scriptures to discredit a rival organization. I was using it to make a point to you and BR that threats are a part of how God deals with men. It lets us know the consequences of disobedience, and we should know what they are. It needn't be considered an attempt at control or bullying, but rather an attempt at full disclosure.

Would it be fair for the government to impose law without also informing us that there are consequences for breaking the law and what those consequences are? Would it be fair for parents to not outline the consequences of disobedience as well?

5. You said, "Well would you give your 14 year old or 16 year old daughter in marriage to a man claiming to be a prophet Of God like Warren Jeffs and 'calling ' her for her own Exhaltation at aged 37 yrs ( Joseph Smith with a 14 year old ) or 56 yrs( Orson Pratts case with a 16 year old )?"

Please, please, please, in the nicest way I can ask, stop asking me this question. You have asked me this same and similar quesions many, many times. Not only is it annoying, but I have answered you before and I will not answer you again.

You can also save yourself the time and effort of repeating the Warren Jeffs comparison, and the young teen girls with old men thing too as I have heard it many times from you and am quite familiar with it, and am very tired of hearing it. Please, I respectfully request, stop.

Bishop Rick said...

tata,

I know what the LDS theology of Satan is. I'm curious if you agree with the LDS teachings or if you have come to your own conclusions. Frankly the LDS teachings (actually all Christian teachings) confuse me.

Does Satan hold some sort of priesthood power? How does he do all the magical things that he does if he doesn't hold priesthood power? How can Satan control my thoughts or even know my thoughts? How can he possibly have any influence over me? How does he do it? No one ever explains this part.

The reason the temple recommend taunt got to me is because I was relating a personal story (which I will never do again) and it was taken for the sole purpose of taunting and insulting. It wasn't personal to you. It was personal to me. That just crossed the line.

Regarding EJ's "...give your daughter to polygamous sex with old men..." comments. Come on tata. EJ's comments wouldn't be the same without throwing that onto to the end. It's great. No matter what EJ is talking about, he always finds a way to throw that onto the end. I have to believe that he does it for humorous effect. It makes me laugh every time. I have to admit that I get disappointed when he doesn't do it. I now find myself looking for it....but if you find it offensive I can understand that, but I still say its not a true EJ comment without that thrown on the end of it.

vballrh said...

It has been hard to jump in here with all the back and forth but I couldn't let this slide from fanatic-

"I thought it was just a bunch of petty idiots trying to bash morminism.

As for the disaffected members, they're already disaffected. Do you honestly think tata or I or mormon heretic are changing your opinions? What's the big deal? We're not doing anything but show you how stupid you are. (Like you didn't know...)"

Besides all the name calling (because I inherently don't like being called an idiot or stupid) I will have you know that while I am disaffected I have still been trying to find a way to stay in the church and still believe, so yes, for me, there is still a chance to change my opinion. It's part of the cognitive dissonance we talk so much about.

For me personally, I would love to find a way to stay in the church, and I think that is why I started reading so much, including MH's blog (if you are the same person?) Anyway, I have had quite a few moments of back and forth on here where I think, "It can't be true" and then tata or MH would make a point and I think "Maybe"

The point is, you don't know who is reading and to make such a generalized statement like that to me is not offensive but hurtful. I am trying to find my way and I think it is wrong to mock that.

Elder Joseph said...

Once again a response to Tata as always..

Tata knows my softer side via emails which I don't display on the blog.For me the blog is my way to challenge LDS claims,two years in church and not being able to bring anything meaningful up was very difficult for me.The misinformation I got when I did sincerely ask about polygamy wasn't particularly helpful. I would have rathered I was just told up front , it could have saved a year of investigating for me during the 'cat and mouse' game over real doctrines of the church.

back to the comments

Tata You said

” but tithing was not the same as taxes because it was used only for the religious aspect of the kingdom. Taxes were separate from tithing.”

The real reason for tithing in the LDS church is because Joseph Smith said so or claimed revelation for it (D&C) .Quoting Malachi has little meaning in reality ,Those blessings and curses relating to tithe seemed to be a part of the mosaic law which is supposedly abolished.I’m no Theologian but its clear to me that all LDS beliefs come from Joseph Smith and the Bible is only used to try to give a biblical credibility.
If we look to the New Testament the method of contributing to the church/ cause seem to be donations , despite seemingly living all things in common at first ….
. 2 Cor 9:7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.

The reality of tithe in the LDS church is not a biblical thing, rather a D&C/Joseph Smith command. I am aware some Evangelical churches have introduced tithing also and the supposed blessings for paying it.
I’ve read a lot about how tithing actually makes some church members struggle and not blessed financially as LDS Apostles suggest.
If I believed in the church then I would pay tithe as a sacrifice , a sign of faith and love for Gods true church and not a means to get a Financial return/blessing as suggested in the recent General conference :

Elder Sheldon F. Child"President Heber J. Grant stated: 'I want to say to you, if you will be honest with the Lord, paying your tithing and keeping his commandments, he will not only bless you with the light and inspiration of his Holy Spirit, but you will be blessed in DOLLARS AND CENTS ; you will be enabled to pay your debts, and the Lord will pour out temporal blessings upon you in great abundance.'

I find these kind of statements like DOLLARS AND CENTS irresponsible.

“ I don't know much about why the five points of fellowship were removed, other than that I understand it had lost its meaning among modern saints.”

It could have been taken out to distance the link with Masonry.If it was inspired of God through revelation then why shouldn’t it stand today.Though I read somewhere that the church did a little survey to see what members liked disliked about the temple ceremony and The close touching of a male stranger especially for the women on the 5 points of fellowship came up,so the church ditched it.

Maybe if they ask the members anonymously what they really believe the book Of Mormon to be 'Fiction' or 'Literal History' we may see more changes to come..

”But regarding the idea that Joseph just copied the temple ceremony from masonry, I have to somewhat disagree. While it may be possible that he used some of the rituals used in freemasonry to helep teach the important aspects of the endowment, I don't believe that he just copied it and that the ceremony was not inspired. While there are similarities, there are many very fundamental differences. “

It’s a strange coincidence that two months after he went through the Masonic Initiation , it turns up as and Endowment Ceremony in the LDS church ?(History Of The Church) Zelph has done a post on this and he suggests its strikingly similar/same.I haven’t bothered too much for either version, and I can't compare from experience either.

”Joseph believed that the Masonic ritual was a corrupted version of the original priesthood, though the claim is hard to support since Masonic ties don't go back that far. “

I'm grateful you have informed us that his claim is hard to support....

Joseph Smith claimed most things were more or less corrupt until he revealed the corrected version.

The LDS church is Faith in Joseph Smith and not really The Bible and/or Historical Christianity. Whatever Joseph Smith said or claimed via revelation seems to be believed .

”But here is some intersting information that warrants further study which connects early Christian ritual with the existing temple ceremony: “

You then pasted something on The ancient Christian initiation rite , How accurate is this ? I hope its not A FARMS/FAIRS smokescreen ??

” Regarding Satan, it is very possible that he didn't understand the plan and was just trying to get Adam and Eve to be disobedient. It is also possible that he understood the plan fully, but knew that the only way he would ever have any power over us was if we came into mortality where he would be able to tempt us and drag us down to hell with him.”

Well its an interesting answer ? But he was there at the council of the Gods giving his own plan for mankind .I can’t see why he didn’t know the plan as he was arguing his own case against Jesus's one.

You said Satan knew the only way he would have power over us is if we came to mortality , but he did ok in heaven he got a third of us already supposedly….

He is supposed be so powerful that he can lead us astray from the true way.He did help to bring Gods Plan to pass even though God himself semingly tried to thwart it by warning Adam and Eve !

Its all contradictory to me.God gives Adam and Eve a command not to eat from the tree of Knowledge with warning of death and yet somehow they really did his will by disobeying ???

” But I wasn't using the scriptures to discredit a rival organization. I was using it to make a point to you and BR that threats are a part of how God deals with men. It lets us know the consequences of disobedience, and we should know what they are. It needn't be considered an attempt at control or bullying, but rather an attempt at full disclosure.”

I personally believe Joseph Smith was just a liar and made it all up and used religion for his own ends.
Will I really be punished? Can’t God see how I came to this realisation , the lying and secrecy over it , the young girls in marriage , lying to Emma , lying to investigators , having a blatant lie canonised in D&C and quoting from it . Do I really have to believe this was all Gods doing .The bible warns of Liars and their fate , yet here we have lying on a massive scale and the subsequent results from it quite devastating and destructive to many people at that time….

”Would it be fair for the government to impose law without also informing us that there are consequences for breaking the law and what those consequences are? Would it be fair for parents to not outline the consequences of disobedience as well?”

OK Good Point here !


”Please, please, please, in the nicest way I can ask, stop asking me this question. You have asked me this same and similar quesions many, many times. Not only is it annoying, but I have answered you before and I will not answer you again. “

Sorry I can’t remember what you said about it …. However it helps to understand what you think about Warren Jeffs and his claims because
this is exactly what others think about Joseph Smith /Brigham Young etc and their claims.

I personally can’t detach the two from each other.They are both equally false to me .Those FLDS women have Testimonies from the Holy Ghost just as convincing to them and me as the LDS members have.

A round up of my religious quest so far :

JW’s claim I’ll be destroyed in the coming Armageddon for not accepting Jehovahs warning ( supposedly through them).

Christadelphians claim I have turned my back on the Truth ( supposedly their version).

The local Evangelical Pentecostalist Pastor told me I could have eternal life here and now by accepting Christ in My Heart( supposedly in his church ).

On an LDS tracting session a muslim brought us in and warned us we were going to hell if we didn’t change our belief to Islam.

On a Catholic course I went on , funnily enough I wasn’t warned of anything apart from the responsibility to do the works as taught by the saviour as in ,personal morals , charity , neighbour , society etc ,the Priest said that if I felt another denomination was more appropriate then God would sincerely take that into account and not hold it against me even though he personally believed they should have stayed with the True church ( ie Catholicism).

In LDS amongst all the lessons of consequences for not being obedient , I learnt that we take our personalities, hearts ,intents and level of perfection/righteousness we have attained with us.And that a temple Recommend holder had no greater assurity of anything more than a non member and that their responsibility was even greater having a greater knowledge of things.The idea being that they will be beaten with more stripes having known better and still failed to obey.
Is my understanding correct ?

Bishop Rick said...

See tata?

Thanks to you EJ is already commenting without adding polygamous sex with old men to the end.

I'm having withdrawals.

Mormon Heretic said...

I find these opposite views so interesting.

EJ is anti-semitic--MH

"I have to believe that he does it for humorous effect. It makes me laugh every time."--BR


Bishop Rick,

Now, it seems we are both indignantly upset. Now you seem to be indignantly upset at a personal attack, and are upset by taunting.

Many have engaged in taunting behavior. (I could outline it, but I won’t.) Zelph tells us not to take it too seriously. Apparently, I have taken EJ's comments too seriously, as you consider them funny. Perhaps both points of view are correct.

I think Fanatic was making fun of intimidating church behavior that EJ and Cr@ig referenced, specifically regarding tithing and temple recommend questions, not your personal experience. However, you took the comments as a personal taunt. Perhaps both points of view are correct.

If you want to subscribe Fanatic’s comments to me, so be it. No amount of my denying that I am Fanatic will make any difference anyway. It’s all fun and games until someone gets hurt. Well, someone got hurt. I think this could have all been avoided if many people on this blog kept their passions under much more control, and were more respectful of each others’ opinions.

Previously, you excused EJ's comments with this remark. "Not once has EJ made a derogatory comment towards MH or Tata. His derogatory comments have all been towards the early leaders of the church."

But these early church leaders are now all dead, and have no chance to defend themselves. In my mind, this is a pretty tasteless attack, but you view it as funny. It is my heritage, and I take it personally. Perhaps I should not.

You’ve called me pompous, you’ve implied that I am stupid, and that I have screwed up your words and comments. I have made similar accusations with you. We have both engaged in disrespectful dialogue. I am not allergic to apologizing. I have done it before, and I’ll apologize again. I was wrong to do this.

I think that EJ, you, and Cr@ig would all speak more respectfully if these early church leaders were in the room, just as Fanatic would have spoken differently if alone with you.

I’m sure you’ll have a rebuttal; you usually do. I’ll let you have the last word, as I really won’t be responding anymore here. Perhaps I will lurk, but I will not respond.

Vballrh,

Thanks for reminding us that there are "lurkers" out there. Fanatic’s comments were disrespectful and wrong. I will never defend them.

If you are really interested in staying in the church, I would like to make some recommendations: mormonstories.org, mormonmatters.org, and Sunstone. I have an acquaintance who currently teaches lessons in priesthood meeting despite his vocal proclamations of being agnostic in his ward. He credits Sunstone specifically for helping him be an active church member. If this is really your desire, I think there are more respectful forums for discussing subjects which deal specifically with tough issues in the church and the cognitive dissonance that results. If commenters here want to be more respectful, I think Zelph has an excellent website, but at this point, I am disappointed in my behavior, and the behavior of others.

tatabug said...

BR,

Well, of course I buy LDS theology when it comes to Satan. But I really haven't spent much time on the subject either.

It is my understanding that Satan has a counterfeit priesthood. I'm not sure the extent of his poweer, or even from what source it is derived, but I know that God only permits him to execise it within certain perameters.

Satan does not know our thoughts, nor can he control them, but he can influence our thoughts. H e knows us from the pre-existence and knows our weaknesses and our vulnerabilities, which he uses to his advantage.

He and his angels can appear to people. I know this because I've had family members and people I know who have seen evil spirits.

My mother believes she was physically touched by one. I have a sister who has spirits (one of which is a child) living in her house that she has seen, although she hasn't really classified them as evil, but they scare her. I have never personally had such experiences with evil spirits (thank goodness).

I can understand about your personal experiences, and if you ever decide to share one again, I will not make light of it.

Finally, EJ's comments may not be the same, but it will be a nice refreshing change if he does stop, at least for me.

EJ,

You said: "Tata knows my softer side via emails which I don't display on the blog.For me the blog is my way to challenge LDS claims,two years in church and not being able to bring anything meaningful up was very difficult for me."

But the thing is, you can ask the same basic questions without being vitriolic. When you act like you are full of hate, people (or I more specifically) begin to think that you are.

You said: "The misinformation I got when I did sincerely ask about polygamy wasn't particularly helpful."

The thing is that most members are uninformed so of course they aren't going to be able to answer your questions in a helpful way. I think at some point you knew that, so why would you ask questions, unless your intent was to raise doubts in people's minds. Most of us don't take kindly to that.

You said: "If we look to the New Testament the method of contributing to the church/ cause seem to be donations , despite seemingly living all things in common at first …."

At first? Well if it was only ar first, then when was it done away with? During the apostasy perhaps? It sounds like the law of consecration to me. I think 10%in tithing and fast offerings sounds a little easier than "all things in common."

Look, either way you want to frame it, the early Saints of the NT church were still required to give money to the church/needy. There is precedent in the OT for a 10% tithe, but if you wwant to say that there is no set amount required, that's fine, but the NT makes it clear that we are to be VERY generous in our offerings, as I've demonstrated previously.

There is no clear evidence that the law of tithing was abolished along with the Mosaic law. It existed before the Mosaic law so it was not an exclusive feature of the Mosaic law, but rather a basic part of the gospel. The Law of Moses included many ceremonies, rituals,and symbols, to remind the people frequently of their duties and responsibilities, and a law of carnal commandments and performances, added to the basic laws of the gospel. Faith, repentance, baptism in water, and remission of sins were part of the law, as were also the Ten Commandments. The law of carnal commandments and much of the ceremonial law was fulfilled at the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but the basic laws of the gospel remained in force after Christ.

You may find it irresponsible to promise members that they will be blessed financially for paying their tithing, but if it's true, it's true (I'm really beginning to like this statement). I know personally of people who have been blessed financially in seemingly miraculous ways through faithful payment of tithes, and while my family hasn't been blessed in ways that seem spectacular to others, we have seen the benefits and they have been financial in nature.

"It’s a strange coincidence that two months after he went through the Masonic Initiation , it turns up as and Endowment Ceremony in the LDS church ?"

Perhaps it was only a coincidence. There is evdence from scriptures as well as Joseph's own words that the ordinances of the temple had in large part already been revealed to Joseph. D&C 124 which was revealed over one year before Joseph became a Mason, includes many key elements of the temple ordinances. These include:

-baptisms for the dead (v. 32,33,39)
-washings (v. 39)
-anointings (v. 39)
-the keys of the Holy Priesthood (v. 34,95,97)
-memorials of Levitical sacrifices (v. 39)
-solemn assemblies (v. 39)
-oracles, conversations, statues and judgments (v. 39)
-ordinances that have been kept hidden (v. 40-41)
-the fullness of the priesthood (v. 28).

The Pearl of Great Price, which was translated before Joseph became involved with the Masons, also contains important themes present in the endowment. While there are no doubt similarities in the temple ceremony and the Masonic rituals, they vary greatly.

Here is a laundry list of similarities between the two brought up by a critic and commented on by Greg Kearny at FairLDS:

"All Seeing Eye
The all seeing eye is indeed used by the Masons but also by many others. It is found on the revers of the Great Seal of the United States for example.

Anointing with oil
A very old practice found in Christian, Jewish and Islamic traditions. It is not, however,found in the Masonic tradition outside of the setting of a cornerstone with wine, oil and corn.

Apron
Both groups use them. The reference comes from the Bible; the symbology is different, however. The LDS use can be traced to Gen. 3:7 "And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons." The Masonic usage refers to aprons worn by stone masons in quarries. The aprons themselves differ. The Masonic one is white lamb's skin; the LDS apron in green representing the fig leaves spoken of in the creation story.

Beehive
Found in Masonry but also found in the Book of Mormon. It is a nearly universal icon of industry.

Square and Compass
Found in both the LDS temple and among the Masons. Their symbolic use differs in each, however. The endowment does not use a physical square and compass as the Masons do.

Emblem of the clasped hands
A very old symbol of brotherly love that can be found on tombstones in New England. Found even on the graves of women who would not have been Masons.

Solemn Assembly in the Temple
This has no Masonic equivalent unless you consider a Grand Lodge meeting to be a Solemn Assembly (which Masons do not).

Five points of Fellowship
A Masonic tradition once used in the temple. Removed after 1990 as it had become meaningless to modern saints.

Special Garments applied to initiates
The temple garments worn by the Latter-day Saints the first time they attend the temple are the same as they use every day. Masons have special clothing, not undergarments, that symbolically show that they come to the lodge without any material possessions including clothing. Masons do not have symbolic clothing worn outside the lodge.

Garment Markings
Masonic ritualistic clothing have markings which are intended to provide a means of conducting the ritual. They do not carry symbolic meaning within the Masonic traditions.

Special handshakes
They are different both in form and meaning.

The phrase: "Holiness to the Lord"
The Masonic as well as the LDS usage of this phase comes from the Bible (Exodus 28:36 "And thou shalt make a plate of pure gold, and grave upon it, like the engravings of a signet, HOLINESS TO THE LORD.")

Moon symbol
Mankind have been using the symbols of the heavens long before the establishment of Masons.

New Name given
Practice is found in scripture (Saul becomes Paul, for example). The Masonic as well as LDS practice comes from the Bible.

Special Prayer circle
No such practice in Masonry.

Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood
Not found in Masonry.

Blood/death oaths of secrecy with morbid gestures and words describing penalties agreed to if secrets are revealed.
Mormons going through the temple post-1990 may not be familiar with these. See the earlier discussion of the penalties.

Location (possession of) Throne of the "Holy of Holies"
Masons make no claim to possession of such. Neither do Latter-day Saints. Both groups make a reference to in in connection to the Temple of Solomon.

Star symbols, Sun symbols
See Moon symbols.

Tabernacles, Temples
In both cases clearly a reference to the Bible usage."

In my opinion, most of the similarities that are of any significance are either also found in scripture or are not identical to the Masonic version, such as the handshakes.

Here is some interesting information I found in an article by Eugene Seaich:

"Masonic legend further tells us that God had originally revealed this knowledge to Adam and the patriarchs, and that Enoch had inscribed it against the threat of the coming Flood. When Hiram's co-workers were deprived of direction by his untimely death, they attempted to resuscitate him "upon the Five Points of Fellowship," which enabled them to learn enough to complete the Temple and to continue in their occupation as "stone-masons" (cf. Eph. 2:20-22; 2 Pet. 2:5), i.e. as co-builders of Christ's "Heavenly Temple." Yet the oldest form of this modern legend appears to have dealt not with Hiram Abiff, but with Noah, the last of the patriarchs to have heard and retained God's original revelation. Thus we read in the seventeenth century Graham Manuscript, a Masonic document rediscovered in 1936, how Shem, Ham and Japeth sought to recover their dead father's precious knowledge after the Flood. This Scottish work describes how they attempted to revive his corpse; but when they took a grip at a finger...it came away; so from joint to joint; so to the wrist; and so to the elbow. So they reared up the dead body and supported it, setting foot to foot, knee to knee, breast to breast, cheek to cheek, and hand to back, and cried out, "Help, Oh Father," as if they had said, "Oh Father in Heaven, help us now, for our earthly father cannot." So they laid the dead body down again, not knowing what else to do. Then one of them said, "There is yet marrow in this bone;" and the second said, "But a dry bone." And the third said, "It stinketh." So they agreed to give it a name, as it is known to Freemasonry to this day.

http://shields-research.org/General/Masonry.html

You said: "You then pasted something on The ancient Christian initiation rite , How accurate is this ? I hope its not A FARMS/FAIRS smokescreen ??"

The article I found was linked through fairLDS, but just because something comes from church apologists doesn't mean there isn't credibility. Here are the credentials of the author of the material I shared linking the temple ceremony to early Christianity:

Michael T. Griffith holds a Master’s degree in Theology from The Catholic Distance University, a Graduate Certificate in Ancient and Classical History from American Military University, a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from Excelsior College, and two Associate in Applied Science degrees from the Community College of the Air Force. He also holds an Advanced Certificate of Civil War Studies and a Certifcate of Civil War Studies from Carroll College. He is a graduate in Arabic and Hebrew of the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, and of the U.S. Air Force Technical Training School in San Angelo, Texas. In addition, he has completed an Advanced Hebrew program at Haifa University in Israel. He is the author of five books on Mormonism and ancient texts, including How Firm A Foundation, A Ready Reply, and One Lord, One Faith.

He appears to have used numerous reputable sources for his information.

You said: "Well its an interesting answer ? But he was there at the council of the Gods giving his own plan for mankind .I can’t see why he didn’t know the plan as he was arguing his own case against Jesus's one."

Actually, Jesus did not present a plan. He merely volunteered to carry out the plan of the Father.

But anyway, it doesn't mean he was privy to all information regarding the plan, so it is possible that he didn't know.

You said: "You said Satan knew the only way he would have power over us is if we came to mortality , but he did ok in heaven he got a third of us already supposedly…."

Yes, but he wanted more and everyone had already chosen sides. The only way he could have further success was in a mortal sphere.

You said: "Its all contradictory to me.God gives Adam and Eve a command not to eat from the tree of Knowledge with warning of death and yet somehow they really did his will by disobeying ???"

We had to "fall" into the consequences of mortality. God could not force us to make the choice to become mortal, and still be a just and loving God. In Alma 42:26, it reads, "And thus God bringeth about his great and eternal purposes, which were prepared from the foundation of the world. And thus cometh about the salvation and the redemption of men, and also their destruction and misery." God had to forbid Adam and Eve from partaking of the fruit of the tree because, although it was a necessary step, and there was a promise of redemption through Christ, He knew that for some, it would mean their destruction. He meant it when He said they would surely die. Sure, some of us would escape destruction and return to Him, but He knew some of us wouldn't, so the tree had to be forbidden for that purpose. Mortality was a good and necessary step, but it was also a risk with terrible consequences for some, and God couldn't impose such a risk. It had to be our choice.

You said: "In LDS amongst all the lessons of consequences for not being obedient , I learnt that we take our personalities, hearts ,intents and level of perfection/righteousness we have attained with us.And that......
Is my understanding correct ?"

Sounds correct to me. But exaltation is only available to those who accept the gospel either in this life or the next and receive all necessary ordinances, and if you have a good chance to accept the gospel in this life, but reject it, you likely won't get the chance in the next life.

Cr@ig said...

Oh Brother! This thread has morphed from a discussion on Mormonism's revelation claims to personal attacks on the various personalities who post here.

There are a few posters here who grate on my nerves (You know who you are) and NO I don’t think we’ll be having coffee together any time soon.

I just don't have the time nor the inclination to do a tit for tat rebuttal for each posted insinuation.

My views of Mormonism were developed from years of experience in all aspects of Mormonism from the inside.

I drank the Mormon cool-aid...

As a TBM, My views of the church were very much in sync with Tata's and MH's. I believed it ALL. I justified it all and I excused it all.

Then I discovered the lies, the whitewashed history and the false claims.

I became disillusioned and lost belief when I discovered that the emperor had no clothes…it was all smoke and mirrors…based on a fraudulent foundation.

In Zelph’s blog we debate the dots of the “i” and the crosses of the “t” … but I have yet to see one of the defenders of the faith do more than put lipstick on the Mormon pig…when all is said and done…it’s still a pig.

If Mormonism where all it claimed to be I would gladly return to it crawling on my bloodied knees. I would lay prostrate at the feet of Thomas Monson begging forgiveness for my error’s and supposed misdeeds. If Mormonism held the keys to post-life salvation…it would be worth ANY earthly sacrifice. But the sad reality is that Mormonism is just a man-made religion, built on a fairy tale history, taught as its leader wished things had happened rather than how it actually did occur.

Mormonism for all it claims to be…is built on false claims. Any church claiming to be God’s one and only true church that must rely on lies to support its claims…can NOT in the end, be what it claims to be.

PS: For those of you who find offence with the occasional use of a minor swear word… grow up and stop being such sanctimonious, holier than thou, cry babies…your offence is offensive. I know that you’ve been taught by your leaders to always state your offence…that if you stand up to those ignorant souls who spice their language with such words…they will back down … well I will NOT back down…You offend me by stating your offence

Bishop Rick said...

tata,

You bring up way too many items to respond to them all, so I will only respond to the ones that stick out to me.

You mention that Satan has a counterfeit priesthood, that I assume gives him the power to perform all the things he does. The appearances, influencing our thoughts, etc. Please provide canonized references for this.

In defense of the LDS temple ceremony's similarities to Masonic ceremonies, you mention events that we know did not really happen...Adam and Eve (Garden of Eden) and Noah's Flood. If we know these things did not happen, you can't use them in your defense.

If all the ice in the world melted suddenly, it would not be enough water to cover the whole earth...not even close. The flood is impossible, plus there is no geologic record of it.

There were different races of people living all over the world before, during, and after these 2 events supposedly took place...even prior to the tower of babel myth. In fact, not only were there different races living before, there were different human species living together on the earth at the same time, for thousands of years.

We simply know that the Garden of Eden and Noah Flood (and Tower of Babel for that matter) stories are not true, yet LDS scripture and prophets claim that they do, and also claim that the earth is only 6000 years old. If these things are obviously not true, what else is not true?

Elder Joseph said...

Tata
Concerning the false answers I got when I asked about Polygamy in the early stages of Investigating

You replied

“The thing is that most members are uninformed so of course they aren't going to be able to answer your questions in a helpful way. I think at some point you knew that, so why would you ask questions, unless your intent was to raise doubts in people's minds. Most of us don't take kindly to that.”

No I didn’t know that members knew nothing or very little about their own faith. That’s the point !! I asked them because they told me to ask any questions I like about the church.I never suspected I was being told erroneus things in the beginning.

I had never seen the Internet when I first attended , I just knew a little from The Christadelphians whom I studied with ….

My intent is not to raise doubts, it’s to find out what is true and what is false. Doubts come when members realise something is wrong themselves.

There are different types of members I came to realise

Those who Know absolutely and utterly NOTHING –

1 I was appalled and shocked that many would tell me Joseph Smith only had one wife , when I happen to mention it casually during conversation .These are people of 40 years service who actually believed he only had one wife. They would accuse me of reading Anti Mormon literature .I was shocked .Even the HT who I visited together with .He is a 30 year old Barrister and he asked me .Where did you hear that because Joseph only had one wife .. Emma !!

I was horrified .It was clear to me how the church had hidden it from the Sunday School manuals and yet its even in D&C 132 and he had never looked , simply because no Manual will have had a link to it .

2 Then there are the members who thought Brigham Young only married widows to look after them .They said they were not surprised I hadn’t got baptised mistakenly thinking he had sex with other women ??

What does that tell you ?? Its shocking to hear for me. These people should not be in this church by their own reasoning.

And there are Those who KNOW but don’t want ME TO KNOW the real doctrine …. until I had got a testimony and paid tithe and devoted too many years, time and money to even think about backtracking .

They would say

1 ‘Oh we don’t know much about it ? Abraham did it !’

So its ok because Abraham did it? And whats the lie over we don’t know much about it , when it’s a key doctrine of the church and this temple Recommend man will have seen polygamous sealing in the Temple and probably invited to them. I know for a fact later on that he knew.

2’ It was to give women rights to property ‘.

Well Monogamy would have done that equally..

Not once was I ever told the real belief until the Bishop finally admitted to me after nearly two years and said quote ‘Yes we are a polygamous church, it’s the order of heaven, I will most likely have to take on more wives in the next life, we don’t practice it now because of the law, I try to discuss it with my wife and she can’t stand the thought’.

I nearly threw up in horror.

Within a few weeks I exited and never went back.

And that was only one aspect that bugged me……


On Tithe you siud

“At first? Well if it was only ar first, then when was it done away with? During the apostasy perhaps? It sounds like the law of consecration to me. I think 10%in tithing and fast offerings sounds a little easier than "all things in common."

There was no Apostasy at that time.

You said “10% in tithing and fast offerings “?

Tithing is separate from fast offerings. Tithing comes first before any fast offerings or humanitarian aid.

You said

“ You may find it irresponsible to promise members that they will be blessed financially for paying their tithing, but if it's true, it's true (I'm really beginning to like this statement). I know personally of people who have been blessed financially in seemingly miraculous ways through faithful payment of tithes, and while my family hasn't been blessed in ways that seem spectacular to others, we have seen the benefits and they have been financial in nature.”


Do you believe that NON Tithe payers will be blessed financially also? Because I know lots of non tithe payers who have been blessed financially.

I know of one tithe payer who stopped and then was suddenly better off and could manage all his bills again. When he tithed he struggled.

I can’t comment on the Temple stuff as I haven’t looked into it and was asked not to by my TBM (who I thought was a) friend.

Now I suspect that the only reason she befriended me was to fellowship me into joining so she could get her own sins forgiven .Well she’ll have to repent the usual way if she knows what it really means to repent.

tatabug said...

BR,

As far as Satan's counterfeit priesthood, the only reference to that of which I am aware comes from the endowment ceremony. I tried to find as much informaion as I could about Satan. I tried to find as much canonized as I could, and there is more, but I opted to find instances where leaders of the church used the canonized sources and expounded on them. Some of the remarks by leaders do not have canonized sources to back them up, but I thought they were illustrative which is why I included them.

Marion G. Romney--I know that there are some in the world who deny the existence of a personal satan. This denial is false, being sponsored by the father of lies himself, but there is nothing new about it. The anti-Christs, at his bidding, have denied the existence of Satan from ancient times. The fact is, however, that Lucifer is a personage of spirit, just the same as Jesus and you and I were personages of spirit before we were born. In the spirit world, he was a personage of great ability. Isaiah refers to him as a son of the morning. “O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground,” he laments. (Isa. 14:12.)...Now, we may rest assured of this: if there is no devil, there is no God. But there is a God and there is a devil, and the bringing of peace requires the elimination of Satan’s influence. Where he is, peace can never be.

The Character of Satan

“He is working under such perfect disguise that many do not recognize either him or his methods. There is no crime he would not commit, no debauchery he would not set up, no plague he would not send, no heart he would not break, no life he would not take, no soul he would not destroy. He comes as a thief in the night; he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.” (In James R. Clark, comp., Messages of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6 vols. (1965–75), 6:179.) Satan is the world’s master in the use of flattery, and he knows the great power of speech, a power his servants often employ. He has always been one of the great forces of the world. --See Jacob 7:4.

Jacob 7:4--And he [Sherem] was learned, that he had a perfect knowledge of the language of the people; wherefore, he could use much flattery, and much power of speech, according to the power of the devil.

James E. Faust--However, we need not become paralyzed with fear of Satan’s power. He can have no power over us unless we permit it. He is really a coward, and if we stand firm, he will retreat. The Apostle James counseled: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7)
He cannot know our thoughts unless we speak them.

The Prophet Joseph Smith taught: “All beings who have bodies have power over those who have not. The devil has no power over us only as we permit him. The moment we revolt at anything which comes from God, the devil takes power.” --The Words of Joseph Smith, ed. Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook (1980), 60.

He also stated, “Wicked spirits have their bounds, limits, and laws by which they are governed.” So Satan and his angels are not all-powerful. One of Satan’s approaches is to persuade a person who has transgressed that there is no hope of forgiveness. But there is always hope. Most sins, no matter how grievous, may be repented of if the desire is sincere enough. --History of the Church, 4:576.

In this war against the Saints, Satan does not hesitate to use power. “Force,” President David O. McKay has said, “emanates and comes from Lucifer himself.” (Gospel Ideals [Improvement Era publication, 1953], p. 302.) Satan often rules people through dictatorships and other forms of compulsion and force. When Satan’s power is strong in government, severe restrictions are imposed on worship, travel, communications, and other precious rights and activities. Even where more democratic governments operate he remains active in sponsoring criminal gangs, witchcraft, Satan worship, evil and secret organizations, and other groups that run counter to the principles of the gospel. These groups all attempt to use force and fear to achieve their ends.

However, if force will not achieve his ends, Satan is quick to use more subtle and enticing means. He presents his principles and arguments in the most approved style, with great charm and grace. He is very careful to integrate himself into the favor of the powerful and influential among mankind. He unites with popular movements and programs, only to use them as a means of doing that which ultimately oppresses and takes away God-given freedoms. (See Discourses of Brigham Young, [Deseret Book Co., 1954], p. 69.)

Satan will not ordinarily appear himself to do his dirty work. Rather, he will most often act through friends or acquaintances in whom we have confidence. Being disobedient themselves, they will attempt to persuade us to violate the standards of the Church and the commandments of God. Moreover, Satan will, as President Joseph Fielding Smith has written, “place thoughts in our minds and … whisper to us in unspoken impressions to entice us to satisfy our appetites or desires and in various ways he plays upon our weaknesses and desires.” (Answers to Gospel Questions [Deseret Book Co., 1972], 3:81.)

James E. Faust--Using his superior knowledge, his unique powers of persuasion, half-truths, and complete lies, the evil one uses the spirit children who followed him, plus mortal beings who have yielded to his evil ways, to wage his war against the Saints, and they will, if they can, influence us to become critical and to rebel against God. And thus he destroys the souls of men. (See D&C 10:20–22.)

D&C 10
20 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that Satan has great hold upon their hearts; he stirreth them up to iniquity against that which is good;
21 And their hearts are corrupt, and full of wickedness and abominations; and they love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil; therefore they will not ask of me.

Primary 5 Manual--Satan did not like to see the Church growing, and he worked hard to stop the growth. One of his methods was to imitate the spiritual gifts given to members of the Church by the Lord. He did this so he could deceive people and lead them away from the Church.

During the first year after the Church was organized, some people claimed to have received revelations for the Church, just as the Prophet did. Other people claimed to have seen visions or had other strange things happen to them. Parley P. Pratt observed that some people would get terrible expressions on their faces and seem to faint. Others would twist their bodies or have cramps and convulsions. Others claimed to have visions and revelations that did not agree with the teachings and spirit of the gospel.

Although some people had received revelations and visions from the Lord, Parley P. Pratt and other Church leaders felt that the strange happenings they observed were not from the Lord. They asked Joseph Smith to inquire of the Lord concerning these events. The answer Joseph received from the Lord in May 1831 is found in Doctrine and Covenants 50.

Satan's Appearances to Man

Marion G. Romney--One of Satan’s dupes, by the name of Korihor, having been stricken dumb because he repeatedly denied the existence of God, “put forth his hand and wrote, … I know that I am dumb, for I cannot speak; and I know that nothing save it were the power of God could bring this upon me; yea, and I always knew that there was a God.

“But behold, the devil hath deceived me; for he appeared unto me in the form of an angel, and said unto me: Go and reclaim this people, for they have all gone astray after an unknown God. And he said unto me: There is no God; yea, and he taught me that which I should say. And I have taught his words; and I taught them because they were pleasing unto the carnal mind; and I taught them, even until I had much success; insomuch that I verily believed that they were true; and for this cause I withstood the truth, even until I have brought this great curse upon me.” (Alma 30:52–53.)

You see, Korihor knew, right while he was denying their existence, that there was a Satan and that there was a God. Many of Korihor’s modern counterparts fulfill the prediction of Nephi, who, speaking of our times, said:

“At that day shall he [the devil] rage in the hearts of the children of men, and stir them up to anger against that which is good.

“And others will he pacify, and lull them away into carnal security, that they will say: All is well in Zion, yea, Zion prospereth, all is well—and thus the devil cheateth their souls, and leadeth them away carefully down to hell.

“And behold, others he flattereth away, and telleth them there is no hell; and he saith unto them: I am no devil, for there is none—and thus he whispereth in their ears, until he grasps them with his awful chains, from whence there is no deliverance.” (2 Ne. 28:20–22.)

James E. Faust--The devil has appeared to many people. He visited Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Again, as the Savior was beginning his ministry, Lucifer appeared to him and tried to destroy him through temptation—and failed. As a teenager Joseph Smith felt the power of Satan when he first called upon God in vocal prayer.

“I was seized upon by some power which entirely overcame me. … Thick darkness gathered around me, and it seemed to me for a time as if I were doomed to sudden destruction.” (JS—H 1:15.)

Other members of the Church have testified that they have seen Satan or have felt his awesome power.

Able enough to convince one-third of the spirit children of God, Lucifer is known to have a persuasive and compelling personality and has developed great administrative skills. (See D&C 29:36–38.) In the pre-earth life he was so important as to be “an angel of God” who “became a devil, having sought that which was evil before God.” (2 Ne. 2:17; see also D&C 76:25.)

Moses 1
12 And it came to pass that when Moses had said these words, behold, Satan came tempting him, saying: Moses, son of man, worship me.
13 And it came to pass that Moses looked upon Satan and said: Who art thou? For behold, I am a son of God, in the similitude of his Only Begotten; and where is thy glory, that I should worship thee?
14 For behold, I could not look upon God, except his glory should come upon me, and I were transfigured before him. But I can look upon thee in the natural man. Is it not so, surely?
15 Blessed be the name of my God, for his Spirit hath not altogether withdrawn from me, or else where is thy glory, for it is darkness unto me? And I can judge between thee and God; for God said unto me: Worship God, for him only shalt thou serve.
16 Get thee hence, Satan; deceive me not; for God said unto me: Thou art after the asimilitude of mine Only Begotten.
17 And he also gave me commandments when he called unto me out of the burning bush, saying: Call upon God in the name of mine Only Begotten, and worship me.
18 And again Moses said: I will not cease to call upon God, I have other things to inquire of him: for his glory has been upon me, wherefore I can judge between him and thee. Depart hence, Satan.
19 And now, when Moses had said these words, Satan cried with a loud voice, and ranted upon the earth, and commanded, saying: I am the Only Begotten, worship me.
20 And it came to pass that Moses began to fear exceedingly; and as he began to fear, he saw the bitterness of hell. Nevertheless, calling upon God, he received strength, and he commanded, saying: Depart from me, Satan, for this one God only will I worship, which is the God of glory.
21 And now Satan began to tremble, and the earth shook; and Moses received strength, and called upon God, saying: In the name of the Only Begotten, depart hence, Satan.
22 And it came to pass that Satan cried with a loud voice, with weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth; and he departed hence, even from the presence of Moses, that he beheld him not.

Satan's Counterfeits

Like I said previously, I'm don't have any canonized references regarding Satan's priesthood, but in Exodus, when during Moses's encounters with Pharoah and the plagues pronounced upon Egypt, the Pharoah's magicians were able to duplicate some of the miracles that Moses did. So, obviously Satan does have some power, though not superior to God's. Here is an example from chapter 7:

10 ¶ And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the Lord had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent.
11 Then Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers: now the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments.
12 For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents: but Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.


-----------------------------------

Regarding Adam and Eve and Noah's flood, I will of course have to disagree with you that there is evidence that there was no Adam and Eve or that there was no flood.

I will agree with you that the earth is much, much older than 6,000 years, but the church does not teach that the earth is only that old. The church does teach that the earth's history, which is different from its age, is 6,000 years. In 2 Pet. 3: 8 (Abr. 3: 4) it says that, "one day is with the Lord as a thousand years." The creation did not happen in a period of 7 days as we know it. It took at least thousands of our years, or more, to complete. Then Adam and Eve could have been in the Garden of Eden for a much longer period of time than it would seem from the scriptures.

Here is a quote by Brigham Young which shows that he seems to accept the idea of geologists abot the age of the earth:

"I am not astonished that infidelity prevails to a great extent among the inhabitants of the earth, for the religious teachers of the people advance many ideas and notions for truth which are in opposition to and contradict facts demonstrated by science, and which are generally understood. You take, for instance, our geologists, and they tell us that this earth has been in existence for thousands and millions of years. They think, and they have good reason for their faith, that their researches and investigations enable them to demonstrate that this earth has been in existence as long as they assert it has. . . . In these respects we differ from the Christian world, for our religion will not clash with or contradict the facts of science in any particular. You may take geology, for instance, and it is true science; not that I would say for a moment that all the conclusions and deductions of its professors are true, but its leading principles are; they are facts--they are eternal; and to assert that the Lord made the earth out of nothing is preposterous and impossible. . . . How long it's been organized is not for me to say, and I do not care anything about it. As to the Bible account of the creation we may say that the Lord gave it to Moses. If we understood the process of creation there would be no mystery about it, it would be all reasonable and plain, for there is no mystery except to the ignorant."
John A. Widtsoe, Discourses of Brigham Young (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1978, pp. 258-259).

Now, with regard to pre-Adamites, B.H. Roberts, with a strong background in science, apparently saw no fundamental conflict between the findings of science and the Gospel. Elder Roberts believed that "Adam represented the beginning of the Adamic Dispensation, but before him, a whole race of human beings had lived and died on earth. These 'pre-Adamites' were simply destroyed in a great cataclysm that 'cleansed' the earth before Adam, leaving only fossilized remains as the meager evidence of their presence" (Richard E. Sherlock and Jeffrey E. Keller, "'We Can See No Advantage to a Continuation of the Discussion': The Roberts/Smith/Talmage Affair," Dialogue, Vol. 13, Fall 1980, p. 63, as cited by Ash, op. cit., pp. 22-23).

The leaders of the church have stated that we have no doctrine regarding pre-Adamites, but that we also have no doctrine which would preclude such a possibility either. The doctrine of the church is that "Adam is the primal parent of our race." The Church's magazine, Improvement Era, carried this statement in April 1910:

Whether the mortal bodies of man evolved in natural processes to present perfection, thru the direction and power of God; whether the first parents or our generations, Adam and Eve, were transplanted from another sphere, with immortal tabernacles, which became corrupted thru sin and the partaking of natural foods, in the process of time; whether they were born here in mortality, as other mortals have been, are questions not fully answered in the revealed word of God. (p. 570)

In other words, there is a lot of room for a number of possibilities for the creation and the origin of man, but there is little revealation about it all. But, in reality, there isn't a great need for us to understand these things, other than to know that we, and the earth, were created by God and that Adam and Eve are our first parents.

Also, there is no reason to believe that the flood did not occur. There is nothing which says that the flood could not have been a localized flood, although covering a large portion of the earth, but not necessarily all or even most of it.

Genesis 7:19-24 says:
19 And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth; and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered.
20 Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered.
21 And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl, and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man:
22 All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died.
23 And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark.
24 And the waters prevailed upon the earth an hundred and fifty days.

While it sounds like this is talking about a global flood, it is instructive to understand that the use of similar figurative language occurs in many places in the Bible.

For example, when the author of Luke states that "there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed" (Luke 2:1), we should understand that "all the world" really meant "the world" of the Roman empire, that small fraction of "all the world" from a modern, literal perspective. To the people of the Bible, whole earth generally referred to the inhabited lands which they knew--this was their world.

Another example is found in Exodus 10:12, where we learn that the "land of Egypt" would be swarmed with locusts. But in verse 15 we read that the locusts covered "the face of the whole earth." Obviously the whole earth still referred to Egypt.

You can see this use of hyperbole in other instances in the Bible with the use of numbers and the extent of destruction. An example of this is in Exodus 9:6 where, after Pharoah refused Moses' demand to free the Israelites, God destroyed "all the cattle of Egypt." Three chapters later, we learn of Pharoah's continued refusal to let the Israelites go, and God smote "all the firstborn of cattle" belonging to Egypt (12:29). Another example is in 1 Samuel where we read that the Israelites "utterly destroyed the Amalekites." Several chapters later, the Amalekites were still causing them problems (27:8 and 30:1).

There are many other examples of this stuff, but I will spare you. I think I've made my point.

Perhaps this type of figurative language or hyperbole was a cultural thing, or it may have been as a result of the author's inability to communicate well the point that he was trying to make. Perhaps translation issues could also be to blame. Who knows for sure?

John A. Widtsoe seems to have been in support of the possibility of a localized flood, and I don't think there is any doctrine in the church which would preclude that possibility.

Anyway, a localized flood would solve some problems, but then there is still the issue of where it could have occurred and the relatively scant, though still available, evidence to support it archaeologically. I just wouldn't be too quick to dismiss Noah's flood if I were you.

tatabug said...

EJ,

I'm trying to get back to you via email, but you and BR are keeping me very busy here at the moment. Don't worry, it's coming.

You said: "I was horrified .It was clear to me how the church had hidden it from the Sunday School manuals and yet its even in D&C 132 and he had never looked , simply because no Manual will have had a link to it ."

Actually, I did a little search to see what I could find in the church's curriculum regarding plural marriage. I found a total of 6 lessons (S.S. and R.S.) which address the issue. There was even a lesson for the youth S.S. classes which addressed it as well. I found 41 Ensign articles, 3 New Era articles, and 4 Friend articles which also address the issue. You will also find it addressed in Institute and Church history classes at BYU. There were other support materials as well which spoke about plural marriage. Most importantly, the information that the practice of plural marriage existed in the church is found right there in D&C 132, and the manifesto at the end outlines the cessation of the practice.

It isn't a matter of cover-up. It is a matter of whether or not people take the time to read the scripture, the magazines and whether or not teachers choose to address the subject.

I found some interesting information regarding how uninformed most people, in general are, which might explain some things.

"It's been said that America is a nation of non-readers. We are, by and large, literate, but we are often uninformed and tend to spend less time reading than watching TV or surfing the Internet (a 2004 survey, for instance, found that the average US adult spends about 14 times more time watching TV than reading books). Studies indicate that in the past two decades about 25% fewer American adults spent time reading books. Another study, one-third of high school graduates never read another book for the rest of their lives. 58% of the US adult population never reads another book after high school. 42% of college graduates never read another book. 80% of US families did not buy or read a book in the last year. 70% of US adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years. 57% of new books are never read to completion." Shaken Faith Syndrome, by Michael R. Ash.

The fact is that the information is available for people to read if they will avail themselves of the opportunity to read it. The church is not responsible for the ignorance. If the church were to spend sufficient time to verse the members on historical issues during church time, then there wouldn't be time to teach the members of the important spiritual matters of the gospel.

You said: "There was no Apostasy at that time."

So you say. Regardless, my question was, when did "all things in common" end?

You said: "Tithing is separate from fast offerings."

I am very much aware of this. I didn't group them together to imply that they were the same.

You said: "Do you believe that NON Tithe payers will be blessed financially also?"

I believe that all men are blessed according to the good that they do, and according to their needs as God sees fit to bless them.

Certainly there are people who don't pay tithing, but who do very well financially. That doesn't necessarily mean that they've been blessed by God in that way.

There are even evil men and women who do well financially, but let's not suppose that their wealth has anything to do with being blessed by God.

You said: "I know of one tithe payer who stopped and then was suddenly better off and could manage all his bills again. When he tithed he struggled."

I can't speak to this man's specific situation, but is it possible that this man was not very wise with his money? The Lord can bless us for paying tithing, but if we expect him to pay off our unnecessary credit card and other debts, we are seriously mistaken. The Lord expects us to be wise and prudent with our money.

You said: "Now I suspect that the only reason she befriended me was to fellowship me into joining so she could get her own sins forgiven ."

Since when does being a missionary and gaining converts result in forgiveness of sins? I haven't heard of this.

tatabug said...

vballrh,

If you are truly interested in salvaging your faith, I highly recommend to you a book I am currently reading, entitled "Shaken Faith Syndrome," by Michael R. Ash.

I bought it primarily out of curiosity, and it has provided me with some excellent insight into the issues surrounding the church and the tactics used by anti-mormons.

I've read a great deal of apologetic work on the primary apologetic web sites, but this book has done a great job of covering additional information and insight I hadn't encountered before, at least on some subjects.

The link is www.shakenfaithsyndrome.com

Bishop Rick said...

tata,

Wow, everything you just commented on breaks down on so many levels. I don't have time to fully respond now, but I will make a few quick points and respond fully later.

The verse in Isaiah referred to by Romney is not talking about Satan. It is clearly talking about the King of Babylon. Romney, Mckay, and any other LDS leaders (or non-LDS) that refers to Satan as Lucifer is in Err. Only the KJV uses this mistranslation (lucifer) and even then it is not referring to Satan.

Regarding the flood. Water has to come to a state of equilibrium or in this case a level state. It is physically impossible for water to be level and cover mountains (plural) without being a global flood. There simply are not any isolated areas completely surrounded by mountains that would create a lake large enough for mountains to be covered, with the bordering mountains to be hidden by the horizon. The localized hyperbole does not work here.

Bishop Rick said...

Wow, where to start. A lot of items here so I may skip some due to space.

Temple Ceremony speaks of counterfeit priesthood of Satan

Well the Temple Ceremony also tells P, J and J to tell Adam to live according to the Bible and BofM...neither of which existed at the time, so probably not a literal example.

James 4:7 "He cannot know our thoughts unless we speak them"

Is Satan omnipresent? Can he hear all things spoken by all people? Does he stand over our shoulder reading what we write too? Doesn't seem plausible.

When Satan's Power in Government is strong, severe restrictions are imposed on worship.

This makes no sense because satan's plan is to corrupt the ways of the lord thus leading them down to hell. Why restrict these corruptions?

Satan unites with popular movements and programs, only to use them as a means of doing that which ultimately oppresses and takes away God given freedoms. (Discourses of Brigham Young)

Does this mean that we can now use discourses of Brigham Young in our arguments?

Satan imitated spiritual gifts because he was unhappy with the growth of the early church.

Did he give up then?

Korihor was deceived by Satan so God struck him dumb after which he puts forth his hand and writes a discourse and is ultimately killed by the Zoramites for no reason.

This story just doesn't make sense.

The BofM mentions Satan many times

Yet there was no mention of Satan (the devil) in the scriptures prior to Lehi leaving Jerusalem, and the mention of Lucifer in Isaiah was a mistranslation that referred to the King of Babylon.

Humankind was destroyed by a cataclysmic disaster prior to Adam and Eve, making them our primal parents. (BH Roberts)

We simply know this didn't happen.

I don't know tata. These things just aren't holding up.

Elder Joseph said...

Tata

Thank you for your email and your help in prayer on my behalf and further offer of contacting my TBM friend(or at least I hope she is a friend).Its most likely I will ask you to write to her some time later.Thank you for that.It helped soften the pain I am feeling.

Just a couple of points on the regular things of discussion/debate

You said

"So you say. Regardless, my question was, when did "all things in common" end?"

I simply don't know.I found the Bible to be very contradictory and unclear.I noticed this over the last 10 years and even started to doubt its Authenticity.Now I am not afraid anymore to admit it.

The next one I can answer affirmatively and I'm somewhat suprised you didn't know this.

"Since when does being a missionary and gaining converts result in forgiveness of sins? I haven't heard of this."

I have the D&C Student Manual and it was when reading through it I noticed :

Quote from page 132,Section 62
entitled

“Ye Are Blessed, for the
Testimony Ye Have Borne”

D&C 62:2–3. “Your Sins Are Forgiven You”
Missionary work has a redemptive effect for the missionary as well as the convert.The Apostle James
wrote, “He which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and
shall hide a multitude of sins” (James 5:20).Of that teaching, Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote: “By
reclaiming an erring brother,we save both him and ourselves. Our sins are hidden (remitted) because we ministered for the salvation and blessing of another member of the kingdom.In principle this special reward for Christ’s ministers applies also to those
who preach the gospel and bring souls into the kingdom.The minister is rewarded with salvation
and, of necessity, in the process, is freed from his own sins. (D. & C. 4:1–4.)” (Doctrinal New Testament Commentary, 3:279.)
D&C 62:3. Testimony Is Recorded in Heaven

tatabug said...

BR,

This is in reply to your first email. I will respond to the second one later.

Regarding "Lucifer," I have to disagree. From a literalist point of view, you are correct, but with Isaiah there is so much figurative language and numerous parallels in his writing that you have to look further to find the real meaning. While it is possible that Lucifer truly does refer to the King of Babylon, you would have to look further and see that even then, it is still a comparison to Satan, as other Biblical scriptures describe Satan similarly (see quote below for examples). Here is further information that I found helpful:

"Actually, Lucifer is first mentioned (under that name) in the writings of Origen (end of the second century) some two hundred years before Jerome puts it into his Latin text. Tertullian and others of the early fathers of the church also discuss Lucifer, so the connection between Lucifer and Satan was established some time prior to the end of the second century. Before the Latin text becomes widespread, however, the name Lucifer had a much more specific meaning. It was the name of Satan prior to his fall from glory. Origen explains that this is because prior to his fall, he was a being of light and thus it was an appropriate description of him. After his fall, Origen continues, he was no longer a being of light and became known as Satan.

"The second point is that the scholarly community almost universally rejects the being identified as helel ben shahar in Isaiah 14 as being the king of Babylon directly. There is a figure in contemporary Canaanite religion which resembles Helel in Isaiah 14. That figure is 'Athtar. At one point in Canaanite myth, 'Athtar attempts to sit in the throne of Ba'al, the king of the gods. He fails in his attempt, and instead descends to the earth to rule there. 'Athtar is known in southern Arabian inscriptions as Venus, or the Day Star. More than this though, is the account in Isaiah. The "stars of God" is a reference to the divine assembly--all of the divinities of heaven. The mount of the congregation in the sides of the north (in the original Hebrew) is equivalent to Canaanite phrases describing the dwelling place of Ba'al. So, in effect, we have in Isaiah a description of a divinity who wants to seize the throne of Ba'al and rule the heavens. Of course there are differences as well as similarities, but I find this argument to be fairly convincing myself.

"While the Web-site article you reference tends to look at the literal meaning of the words, instead of examining them as names, it completely loses the rest of the context of the narrative. There is no basis in Isaiah's charges as they would apply to the Babylonian king. It is primarily on the similarities between the Isaiah text, and text covering the Ba'al/'Athtar myth that this connection is drawn. (For bibliographic references and a description of the related scholarly arguments I recommend this article (the most recent on the subject that I am aware of): "The Mythological Provenance of Isa. XIV 12-15: A Reconsideration of the Ugaritic Material" by Michael S. Heiser, in Vetus Testamentum, 51/3 [2001], p. 354-369).

"At the same time, this concept is, interestingly enough, seen in the New Testament. Jesus claims that he saw Satan "fall like lightning from heaven" and in John and Paul we find Satan described as the "God of this world." It was these references (among others) that led the early fathers of the Christian church to conclude that Helel in Isaiah 14 was Lucifer and also Satan. The similarities between their beliefs, and what they saw in the Old Testament texts came together to form a lasting opinion. And when the Latin text named the being in Isaiah 14 as Lucifer, that tradition has been followed ever since.

"Tradition can be powerful. Current dictionaries will note that Lucifer is a name for the devil. The same can be seen in dictionaries contemporary with Joseph Smith. On some level, whether or not the identification of the being in Isaiah 14 with Satan is correct, traditionally, Lucifer has been considered a name for the devil in English since modern English came into existence. It is debatable whether or not Joseph's use of the term for the devil is based on his reading of the KJV of the Bible, or on the widespread use of the name in his time. I have dozens of early 19th century religious texts, and while Satan is by far the most popular term for the devil, Lucifer is used frequently. In view of this application, as long as Joseph was referring to the devil in his writings when he used the name Lucifer, he was conforming to a standard and accepted definition of a word. And the question of whether or not it was appropriate has to be overshadowed by the fact that everyone who read the material he produced would have had no problems at all understanding exactly what he meant. This doesn't seem to me to be a reflection of bad or improper inspiration in the D&C.

"As a final note, the mention of Lucifer in D&C Section 76 is compatible with early Christian usage where Lucifer is the angel/divinity who was in the presence of God before his fall. While not universally so, LDS usage of the term has generally followed this principle." --Ben McGuire, FairLDS

Either way, regardless of who's right, Satan's name really matters very little to the overall discussion of who Satan is, and how he operates.

Regarding the flood and the problem you raise with a localized flood, there is research going on in this and there is a promising possibility for localized flood scenario. Here is an overview of the proposal:

""Noah's Flood" has been a renewed topic of discussion also. In 1998 geophysicists William B. F. Ryan and Walter C. Pitman published a daring but heavily documented claim that they believe explains many questions about ancient life in the center of Eurasia. Building on the work of many other physical scientists and archaeologists, they have utilized sea-bottom cores and other underwater data that have allowed them to reconstruct a plausible geophysical history of the Black Sea and Mediterranean basins over many thousands of years along entirely new lines. From Ice Age times down to 5600 BC, the Black Sea basin contained a freshwater lake—400 feet lower than today's Black Sea—around which flourishing ancient cultures grew up. But due to changes involving the melting of the ice and the rising of the waters of the Mediterranean Sea, the basin was overwhelmed by torrents of saltwater that flowed in from the Mediterranean through the Bosporus (adjacent to today's Istanbul). The filling of the Black Sea basin with saltwater took only a few years.

"The impressive spectrum of physical and cultural data gathered by these two scientists and their colleagues at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University and abroad casts dramatic new light on a whole range of ancient phenomena. The heavily documented book by Ryan and Pitman that reports their fascinating discoveries and inferences, Noah's Flood: The New Scientific Discoveries about the Event That Changed History, became an immediate must-read for all students of ancient history. The two scientists think that the stories of Noah's Flood in the Bible and comparable tales in Mesopotamian tradition and elsewhere hark back to the catastrophic event they describe. The Sumerians, who inhabited Mesopotamia from about the sixth millennium BC, passed on their own version of a flood tale very much like that in the Bible about Noah." (from FairLDS--I don't remember the author or title of the article)

Now I'm not saying I necessarily buy in to the theory, but I just think that it deserves attention.

It really doesn't matter to me whether it was global or localized. I believe that it did happen, and just because science can't find evidence for it or can't comprehend it, doesn't mean that it didn't happen. There are a lot of things that God does and is capable of doing that science can't explain or comprehend, and so I am not going to stake my faith in something that has been proven wrong so many times, and which is still learning and improving upon itself, which often means replacing old theories with new ones. Science is a wonderful thing, and I love it, but it has its limitations. I just prefer to stick with the master scientist on such matters, seeing as he knows it all.

As Robert R. Bennett said, "There are some questions for which I have no answers, but rather than throw in the towel and declare myself an atheist because I can't explain how current scientific theories square with scripture, I am willing to put those questions on the shelf, as it were, until additional information is available.

"As much as I might try, I cannot explain away the events surrounding the restoration of the gospel, the coming forth of the Book of Mormon, the witnesses to the Book of Mormon, the life of Joseph Smith, or my own personal experiences with the workings of the Spirit as nothing more than fraud and wishful thinking. For example, if a single case of healing by the power of the priesthood, a visitation by spirit or resurrected beings, visions of the hereafter or any other spiritual manifestation is true and legitimate, then there are planes of existence and realities that science is incapable of penetrating or measuring. If Oliver Cowdery was telling the truth in his accounts of the visit of John the Baptist or of Peter, James, and John or of Moroni showing him the gold plates, then there is a vast world of reality that science has not discovered how to detect. Shall we be so arrogant in our knowledge and understanding that we simply dismiss anything outside of our instruments as being not only unknowable but nonexistent? Doesn't that put us into the same category as Korihor, who proudly proclaimed, "Behold, ye cannot know of things which ye do not see" (Alma 30:15)?"

tatabug said...

EJ,

You are very welcome. I am happy to help you out if I can.

Regarding missionary work and forgiveness of sins, I honestly had never heard that before. It's very interesting. I will have to learn more about that.

Bishop Rick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bishop Rick said...

tata,

That was a nice attempt, but is really just an example of FARMS/FAIRLDS practicing extreme rationalization and revisionist history. Surely they have access to what I am about to provide, but choose to ignore because it is in direct conflict with a pretty major part of LDS doctrine that if proven false proves JS merely made up the BofM using materials available during his time.

Now, in all Hebrew texts, the word that was ultimately translated into Lucifer is eill (pronounced hehlehl) which comes from the Hebrew stem ill (pronounced yah-lahl). And the meaning of this stem is HOWL.

So if we list all Hebrew texts (taken from this stem) that are used in the bible, we find that all of them are translated into one form of HOWL or another, with only one exception...Lucifer.

I will list some here, but not all due to space, but they all are translated into a form of HOWL. You tell me if Lucifer belongs in this group:

Isa. 13:6 eiliu Howl ye
Isa. 14:31 eili Howl
Isa. 15:2 iilil shall howl
Isa. 15:3 iilil shall howl
Isa. 16:7 iilil Howl
Isa. 16:7 iilil shall howl
Isa. 23:1 eililu Howl ye
Isa. 23:6 eililu Howl ye
Isa. 23:14 eililu Howl ye
Isa. 52:5 eililu make to howl
Isa. 65:14 eililu shall howl
Ezek. 30:2 eililu Howl ye
Zeph. 1:11 aililu Howl
Zech. 11:2 eililu howl
Zech. 11:2 eill howl
Isa. 14:12 eill Lucifer

This is clearly a mistranslation found only in the English Bibles that somehow found its way into the BofM and has been propogated by LDS prophets.

tatabug said...

BR,

All of the information I was able to find regarding the original Hebrew lists the word which has been translated as Lucifer, as helel ben shahar (with various spellings) but all with the same meaning, which is, morning star, son of dawn (among other similar translations).

I found the exact information you found on a Freemasonry blog (which, by the way, seems very interested in removing the Satanic connection with Freemasonry), and that is the only place that I found which suggested that eill with the interpretation of howl should be used in this place. This supposes that the many of the translators were completely ignorant. I just find this hard to believe. Are translators every wrong? Yes, but there is ample and overwhelming evidence that the translation is accurate, even with the possibility that Satan was not what Isaiah intended to imply.

However here is a link to a NON-LDS article which also supports the idea that Isaiah 14 represents Satan.

In any event, the term Lucifer, even if it wasn't originally intended by Isaiah to mean Satan, was nonetheless given the meaning by the early Christian Fathers, and Lucifer is known as Satan throughout Christianity. Therefore, it would be entirely correct for Joseph Smith to use the term since that is what the name had, after centuries, come to mean.

Anyway, I suppose the early Christian Fathers were just completley ignorant of the meaning of the scriptures. It seems that only those of us living today are educated enough to interpret the intended meaning of a language and culture we are centuries removed from. Makes sense to me.

Response to your previous comments, point by point:

"Well the Temple Ceremony also tells P, J and J to tell Adam to live according to the Bible and BofM...neither of which existed at the time, so probably not a literal example."

This is probably true, as the Adam and Eve in the temple are not only literal, but also representations of each of us.

"Is Satan omnipresent? Can he hear all things spoken by all people? Does he stand over our shoulder reading what we write too? Doesn't seem plausible."

I don't know the answer to this, as I don't know the extent of his power.

"When Satan's Power in Government is strong, severe restrictions are imposed on worship.

This makes no sense because satan's plan is to corrupt the ways of the lord thus leading them down to hell. Why restrict these corruptions?"

Not all doctrines are or were corrupt, but governments have been able to ensure the corruption of religion by controlling and institutionalizing it.

"Does this mean that we can now use discourses of Brigham Young in our arguments?"

I believe we always have. I have no problem with it, but not all of Brigham's words can be considered doctrine.

"Satan imitated spiritual gifts because he was unhappy with the growth of the early church.

Did he give up then?"

Not that I'm aware of.

"Korihor was deceived by Satan so God struck him dumb after which he puts forth his hand and writes a discourse and is ultimately killed by the Zoramites for no reason.

This story just doesn't make sense."

The Zoramites had separated themselves from the Nephites, so they were apparently not "believers". Certainly it doesn't make sense as to why they killed him, but it seems that perhaps the reason was unknown to the writer of the account.

I'm assuming this is the source of your confusion, but maybe I'm wrong.

"The BofM mentions Satan many times

Yet there was no mention of Satan (the devil) in the scriptures prior to Lehi leaving Jerusalem, and the mention of Lucifer in Isaiah was a mistranslation that referred to the King of Babylon."

Well, Satan is referred to by many different names in the scriptures, and perhaps Joseph chose to use the name Satan rather than something else to render a clear meaning. It is also possible that the term Satan was known during OT times, but disappeared from the text or existed in books not included in the OT.

"Humankind was destroyed by a cataclysmic disaster prior to Adam and Eve, making them our primal parents. (BH Roberts)

We simply know this didn't happen."

We do? Hmmm. Do we now know everything with regard to the origin of man on the earth?

These are only theories. It doesn't mean that they are perfect, but there isn't anything wrong with trying to make sense out of scientific discoveries which seem to contradict revealed scriptural doctrines.

Bishop Rick said...

tata,

I did not get my information from a masonic site. It is all over the internet. Not sure why you can't find it. The source I used for the list of texts was bible-truths.com, but there are countless articles that support that eill was mistranslated into ell which means shining one, and became Lucifer after that.

Regardless, even the mistranslated verse would not describe satan. It would have meant morning star (or Venus) comparing the King of Babylon to Venus comparing the fall Babylon to the Venus falling from the heavens.

I have no problem with JS using the term Lucifer in describing Satan in the D&C, but Lucifer does not belong in the BofM, yet there it is...screaming of plagiarism. The association didn't exist for 1000 years after the BofM was supposedly written. It is obvious that JS simply copied the KJV of the Bible. God would not have made this mistake. There is no rationalization for this.

Isaiah is not describing Satan in 14:12, and Lucifer is not even the correct translation of ell much less eill.

Incidentally, Jesus calls himself the bright and morning star in Revelation 22:16. Is Jesus Satan? Your explanation would have me believe so.

Bishop Rick said...

tata,

"Not all doctrines are or were corrupt, but governments have been able to ensure the corruption of religion by controlling and institutionalizing it."

This is like shooting a dead horse to REALLY make sure it is dead.

"I believe we always have. I have no problem with it, but not all of Brigham's words can be considered doctrine."

I suppose that only the quotes that TBMs use can be considered doctrine? Who makes this determination?

"Not that I'm aware of."

Then you are aware of spiritual gifts still being imitated within the church?

"Well, Satan is referred to by many different names in the scriptures, and perhaps Joseph chose to use the name Satan rather than something else to render a clear meaning. It is also possible that the term Satan was known during OT times, but disappeared from the text or existed in books not included in the OT."

All LDS mistakes are explained away by either, "perhaps JS chose this" or "perhaps this existed but no one knew" How about this one: "Perhaps JS made the whole thing up."

"We do? Hmmm. Do we now know everything with regard to the origin of man on the earth?"

We don't have to know everything to know there was no cataclysmic event that narrowed the DNA line to 2 people 6000 years ago.

tatabug said...

BR,

Well, I guess we will just have to disagree with what the translation really should be.

But regarding the assertion that Lucifer does not belong in the Book of Mormon, I believe that you are correct in saying that Joseph copied the KJV of Isaiah, at least in most instances. However, I don't see this as a problem. We've been over this before, I think, or at least I know I have with EJ.

Anyway, it appears that Joseph felt quite comfortable using the KJV of Isaiah, as well as other scriptural passages, so long as the translation was correct or sufficiently understandable. It is likely that just as he felt it was appropriate to use the language of the KJV in translating the Book of Mormon, because that was THE language of scripture, he also felt that the scriptures that were also found in the Bible should remain as they are found in the KJV so long as they were translated correctly, because that is what most people were familiar with.

If you look at D&C 128, you will notice that in verse 17, Joseph quotes Malachi 4:5-6 as it appears in the OT. But then in verse 18, he says, "I might have rendered a plainer translation to this, but it is sufficiently plain to suit my purpose as it stands."

So it would seem that Joseph was quite content to borrow from the KJV, as it was sufficient. However, it seems that someone in Joseph's position would be worried about "copying" the Bible so conspicuously if he truly were just making it all up. It seems that he would've been sure to not copy, and if he did feel the need to use material from the Bible, it seems that he would've tried to change it up a lot more than he did. The amount of material he "copied" from the Bible is relatively small in proportion to the rest of the Book of Mormon, so it leaves one to wonder why he would need to copy anything at all, but instead just continue to make things up. But please don't feed me the idea that Joseph just ran out of ideas for 2 Nephi but had to fill up a certain amount of space in order to make up for the lost 116 pages (which really wasn't necessary considering the story he gave about not retranslating Lehi, but rather translating from Nephi instead. Since they are two different books with non-identical content, then who's to say the length would have to be the same?). Look at everything he wrote up to that point, and then everything he wrote afterward in the PoGP and the D&C. Please don't tell me he just all of a sudden had a writer's block. Surely he could've come up with some excuse to delay the translation process as he did the first time when the plates and Urim and Thummim were taken away. He could've come up with a sin of some sort that he had committed which would require him to stop translating for a time, giving him the opportunity to come up with more material to complete his story line. I mean, he did it once with the original 116 pages. Why couldn't he do it again? He could've written the same basic story as the first time, only changing up the wording (which really should be very easy because who could rewrite from memory exactly as written the first time?), and still saying that it came from the plates of Nephi rather than from Lehi.

Regarding the bright and morning star, the description, if given correctly to Satan, would not be to describe his status currently, or even his status for a very long time. Rather, it was to describe his status at one time, way back in heaven before he rebelled. He was one of the great ones, but because of his rebellion, he lost that status and was cast out.

tatabug said...

BR,

"This is like shooting a dead horse to REALLY make sure it is dead."

Well, that's because Satan isn't satisfied until the corruption and evil have completely gotten hold of the hearts of all people. He will stop at nothing, and there is no extreme to which he will not go.

"I suppose that only the quotes that TBMs use can be considered doctrine? Who makes this determination?"

Well, the only way to really know is by comparing to accepted and canonized doctrines. Where there is no doctrine, I believe that good common sense plays a part as well as guidance by the spirit.

"Then you are aware of spiritual gifts still being imitated within the church?"

Not personally, but I have heard of instances, particularly dealing with the gift of prophecy.

"We don't have to know everything to know there was no cataclysmic event that narrowed the DNA line to 2 people 6000 years ago."

I would like to know how we know with absolute certainty, no possible doubt involved, that this is the case, as you say.

tatabug said...

BR,

Here is additional information regarding Lucifer from Rene A. Krywult (FairLDS):

"The KJV translates the passage as "Lucifer, son of the dawn".

In Greek mythology, Phosphoros, the last star to be seen in the morning, was the son of Eos, the goddess of the dawn. The Greeks would talk about him as "Phosphoros, son of Eos". Phosphoros, like Lucifer means "lightbearer".

In early Latin the morning star was called "IOBAR" (consisting of eos and bar, which is kin to ferre), in later Latin it was "LUCIFER". But since 500 B.C. the Greeks (and from them the Romans also) knew that the morning and the evening star were just one star, which they [referred] to as "Aphrodite". Rome - according to their legends - named it "Venus". In Greek mythology, Lucifer was the son of Aurora, the goddess of the dawn.

The Bible has stories that are quite similar to other ancient stories about Lucifer (Latin translation of the Hebrew name heleyl - a name of the morning star. (Heylel is a noun which comes from a verb halal (used in Job 29:3 and other places) which means "to shine". It doesn't have anything to do with "to howl".) For the Chaldeans, the Morning Star, the son of the Dawn, was the prince of the demons who was also the seducing serpent. He brings light, but like Prometheus, another "light-bearer", is alienated from the High God. So, while there was no connection between Lucifer and Satan in Rome and Greece until Christian interpolation, surely there was that connection in the ancient middle east.

This we also see in Ezekiel 28:1-18, which uses language similar to Isaiah, but without using the name heleyl. Though this is directed to the King of Tyre, please note that he is called a "Cherub", an angel, prior to his fall. I don't say that this chapter primarily speaks about Satan/Lucifer, but rather that it uses similar imagery of an angel who has fallen because of his pride.

And finally in Rev 12:7-9 the dragon, the old serpent, which is Satan, falls.

It is this background of middle eastern mythology and OT and NT correlations that made Lucifer a name of Satan.

Christians (after the bible translation of Jerome) believed Lucifer to be the name Satan had prior to his fall.

And the name is proper, especially in the light of the Fall of Adam, since Lucifer, the serpent, brought the light of knowing good from evil, but by doing so alienated Adam and Eve from God. This is similar to the Prometheus legend. In giving Adam and Eve the light, he tried to introduce himself as the source of light and to elevate himself over God, just as he did in the Great Council in Heaven, which earned him his original fall from heaven.

It is also true that Isa 14 does not speak about Satan, but rather about Babylon. Nevertheless, we have to understand Babylon not only as a nation, but also as a concept. There is Zion, which is a hill, a city, a land, a nation and a state of mind (those of one heart,....). Babylon is the opposite. It is where the people of the world in their hubris tried to build a tower into heaven. The place, where languages were confused, and in fact, the Hebrews understood Babylon as Confusion, and it became a synonym for the state of the law- and godless. The King of the godless, of course, is Satan."

Bishop Rick said...

Ok, so we agree that JS copied verses from the Bible into the BofM. In the case of 2 Nephi, he copied considerable content. The problem we now have is that this contradicts everything we know about the translation process. What we know is that there were 2 methods used to perform the translation.
1. Urim and Thumim
2. Seer Stone
In both cases the appropriate words were given to JS which he dictated to his scribe. No where do we hear about JS stopping in the middle saying, "hey, that sounds exactly like Isaiah chapter 14. I think I'll just copy from the KJV instead, because that will be more accurate than words taken directly from God." Especially since he would still have to go thru the normal translation process to know exactly which verses to copy and when to stop copying.

But yet he clearly copied from KJV so who is lying? Someone is lying. It makes no sense to copy from the KJV when you have access to the purest form of the words...no sense at all unless you are simply making the whole thing up to begin with.

I agree that JS did not have to write 116 pages to replace the 116 pages that were lost, but when you look at his writing style, you see that he was very descriptive and would have been with the first 116 pages as well. But since he couldn't remember everything he wrote, all the minute details, he had to really limit what he wrote about. Place names, names of all the people that traveled to the new world, etc. This cut way down on the content that he had to draw from. Plus, you have already admitted that it didn't make sense why Nephi would copy Isaiah from the brass plates onto the gold plates when space was limited. They already had the brass plates. Clearly 2 Nephi was filler. As soon as JS gets through the small plates, he is back to his usual descriptive writing style.

If we break this down, why was JS in such a panic when the 116 pages were lost? Surely he could reproduce them, but he never had that thought. His first thought was all was lost. He immediately assumed someone would change his words to catch him in a lie (more likely that they would just catch him in a lie when his words didn't match). In fact he was told by heavenly messengers that this would be the case and to simply use the plates of Nephi instead. Problem here is that this never happened. If someone were going to try and defraud him (as per heavenly messengers) why did this never happen? Likely because it never was going to happen. There were no heavenly messengers telling him to switch plates. He just came up with that scheme on his own to save his deception.

Bishop Rick said...

Regarding Lucifer. You want to agree to disagree about the translation and that is fine. It doesn't matter whether the term Lucifer or howl is used here. By reading the entire chapter, it is obvious that this chapter is not about Satan. Why does the LDS church still cling to this misinterpretation then?
See: http://scriptures.lds.org/en/isa/14

Either they are covering something up or they are ignorant of the scriptures. Which is it?

All of your Greek and Roman mythology was very interesting, but all it did was set a precedence for the Bible stories to have been simply copies of existing known myths. Perhaps now you can see why I give the OT no credibility.

Plus, do you really think that the reason we have so many languages and dialects is because of the tower of Babel? Was God really worried that they might build a tower tall enough to reach him? This is a story of someone with limited understanding. It is a myth. It never happened...but again, it is mentioned in the BofM as if it had happened. Another strike against the authenticity of the BofM.

Elder Joseph said...

Tata

To BR’s comment about TBM’s picking and choosing what to believe from Brigham Young, you said :

“Well, the only way to really know is by comparing to accepted and canonized doctrines. Where there is no doctrine, I believe that good common sense plays a part as well as guidance by the spirit.”

Can the doctrine of God was once a man be found in any LDS canonised doctrines?

Is this likely to get dismissed in the future as Joseph Smith’s opinion?

Gordon Hinckley said:

1 - San Francisco Chronicle April 13, 1997

Q: There are some significant differences in your beliefs. For instance, don't Mormons believe that God was once a man?
Gordon Hinckley: I wouldn't say that. There was a little couplet coined, "As man is, God once was. As God is, man may become.'' Now that's more of a couplet than anything else.


2- Time Magazine Aug 4, 1997

Q: Just another related question that comes up is the statements in the King Follet discourse by the Prophet.
Gordon Hinckley : Yeah
Q: ... about that, God the Father was once a man as we were. This is something that Christian writers are always addressing. Is this the teaching of the church today, that God the Father was once a man like we are?
Gordon Hinckley: I don’t know that we teach it. I don’t know that we emphasize it. I haven’t heard it discussed for a long time in public discourse. I don’t know. I don’t know all the circumstances under which that statement was made. I understand the philosophical background behind it. But I don’t know a lot about it and I don’t know that others know a lot about it.

I also agree with BR about why was Joseph Smith even copying from a KJV bible at all when he was supposedly getting the Book Of Mormon text via God himself?

tatabug said...

BR,

"In both cases the appropriate words were given to JS which he dictated to his scribe. No where do we hear about JS stopping in the middle saying, "hey, that sounds exactly like Isaiah chapter 14. I think I'll just copy from the KJV instead, because that will be more accurate than words taken directly from God." Especially since he would still have to go thru the normal translation process to know exactly which verses to copy and when to stop copying."

Your assumption is that he had to have actually used a copy of the KJV from which to copy passages of scripture during the translation process.

Since we don't know the exact particulars of how the transmission of the BOM text took place, we can't say for sure how it was that Joseph copied, word for word in many instances, the KJV of Isaiah, as well as other scriptures in the Bible.

One possibility is that Joseph was able to remember the passages of scripture from having read the Bible in the past. While we know from various sources that Joseph didn't read much and that he was somewhat ignorant of certain teachings in the Bible (Jerusalem had walls for instance), it is very unlikely that he had an intimate enough knowledge of the Bible to have been able to memorize such lengthy passages of it. However, it is possible that he read enough of the Bible to recall pertinent passages, but likely not word for word.

While he likely wouldn't have been able to memorize these passages (particularly since he apparently couldn't memorize the content of the missing 116 pages which he himself, supposedly wrote) then it is highly possible that he had divine assistance to aid his memory. There are a number of scriptural passages that suggest that the memories of the righteous are enhanced when dealing with spiritual things, such as John 14:26, which says, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."

We also have the example of the revelation on plural marriage. Because Joseph had not yet committed the revelation to writing, Hyrum asked that Joseph write the revelation by means of the Urim and Thummim. There was no need to consult the Urim and Thummim, Joseph replied, for he knew the revelation perfectly from beginning to end The revelation, which Joseph dictated to his scribe William Clayton, eventually became D&C 132 (which is sixty-six verses long!). It seems reasonable to believe, that the Lord magnified Joseph’s memory when it came to spiritual things.

It is also possible that the scriptures were revealed to Joseph as written in the KJV except for the instances where changes were made, or perhaps he was able to gain a view of the KJV itself as an aid in the translation.

If you notice that in Joseph Smith--History, in verses 36 on, he is talking about the visit of Moroni and all the different verses of scripture quoted by Moroni. Most of them he says Moroni quoted verbatim as found in the Bible. He mentioned Isaiah 11, Acts 3:22-23, Joel 2:28-32, as well as many others not specifically mentioned. Only the scriptures in Malachi were quoted with some variation.

So apparently, in spite of the problems with the KJV, it is a perfectly acceptable rendering of scripture for our use and understanding, even by angels (and Christ himself when he quoted OT scripture in the NT). When there were significant issues which clouded doctrine, then a different rendering was made. The fact is that you will find scripture quoted by prophets, by angels, and by Christ, and often times it is verbatim or it may vary a bit, but it they don't quote some so-called perfect version; they quote what we are familiar with, so long as it is sufficient for our use and understanding.

You also imply that Joseph chose to copy the KJV rather than use the words given directly from God, as though they were inferior. Well, just for perspective's sake, there are 433 verses from Isaiah in the Book of Mormon. 234 of those verses were modified or changed in some way from the KJV, leaving 199 as found word for word in the KJV. That means that over half of the verses in Isaiah were changed. Apparently, Joseph did think more highly of God's revelation to him than of the KJV renderings since he implemented so many changes.

Regarding the lost 116 pages, I think you missed my point. The point I was trying to make is that Isaiah in 2 Nephi was a completely unnecessary addition if you want to assume that Joseph was just using it for filler material. Since he was not trying to reproduce the lost material, but was instead replacing it with a completely different book, there was inherently no need to add Isaiah to fill up space, because there was no set amount of space that he needed to fill. This was an entirely different book which was admittedly an abridgement of the material in the Book of Lehi. An abridgement would naturally imply that it contained only a portion of all that was contained in the original book and perhaps was significantly different in some respects. Joseph could've simply left out all of the Isaiah material and just made it the Book of Nephi instead of 1 Nephi and 2 Nephi and no one would've known the difference.

Then, the imperative that Joseph received to not try to retranslate the Book of Lehi because there was a conspiracy to try and catch Joseph in a lie, and the fact that it never came to pass, does not mean that it wouldn't have. If there truly was a conspiracy to try to prove Joseph was a fraud by changing the words in the lost 116 pages and bringing them to light once Joseph had re-translated the material, then I don't know how we could expect to know such a thing unless the perpetrators actually had the opportunity to act. Since their plan was foiled, seeing that Joseph did not retranslate the material that was lost, then do you honestly think they would come forward and say, "Here are the lost 116 pages. We made some changes to it so we could try and show that Joseph Smith was a fraud." No, of course not. They would not reveal themselves; that would be stupid. They would instead look for another way or another opportunity to try and accomplish their designs.

tatabug said...

BR,

"By reading the entire chapter, it is obvious that this chapter is not about Satan. Why does the LDS church still cling to this misinterpretation then?...Either they are covering something up or they are ignorant of the scriptures. Which is it?"

I'm not sure that it is either. It is possible that the church doesn't understand that the chapter isn't technically referring to Satan. But I'm not sure that it isn't. Like I've said previously, Isaiah often assigns multiple meanings to single things or persons, as well as parallels. Satan meets all the criteria of the King of Babylon from Isaiah 14 in LDS theology. Satan fell from heaven, he tried to exalt himself above God, he is the God, or king, of the earth, where in LDS theology, Babylon is another name for "the world." I just think it parallels nicely, and I wouldn't doubt if Isaiah had the same thing in mind.

"Plus, do you really think that the reason we have so many languages and dialects is because of the tower of Babel?"

Yes.

"Was God really worried that they might build a tower tall enough to reach him?"

No.

tatabug said...

EJ,

"Can the doctrine of God was once a man be found in any LDS canonised doctrines?

Is this likely to get dismissed in the future as Joseph Smith’s opinion?"

No, it cannot be found in any canonized doctrines. Since it is not canonized, we cannot say if it is doctrine or not. We can only know if it is Joseph Smith's opinion if we receive revelation which contradicts what he said. It is possible that it is doctrine that hasn't been revealed to us as such yet, but that is something we just cannot claim with any certainty.

Elder Joseph said...

Tata

your comments in "...."

“Since their plan was foiled, seeing that Joseph did not retranslate the material that was lost, then do you honestly think they would come forward and say, "Here are the lost 116 pages. We made some changes to it so we could try and show that Joseph Smith was a fraud." No, of course not. They would not reveal themselves; that would be stupid. They would instead look for another way or another opportunity to try and accomplish their designs.”

Yes they caught him out with the Bogus Kinderhook Plates.

William Clayton, Joseph Smith's principal and unquestionably trusted scribe recording Joseph Smith's own words:

"I have translated a portion of them, and find they contain the history of the person with whom they were found. He was a descendant of Ham, through the loins of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and that he received his kingdom from the Ruler of heaven and earth" (DHC 5:372)

The same William Clayton who recorded D&C132.

This was fully featured throughout the church Times and Seasons newspapers.

“there are 433 verses from Isaiah in the Book of Mormon. 234 of those verses were modified or changed in some way from the KJV, leaving 199 as found word for word in the KJV. That means that over half of the verses in Isaiah were changed. Apparently, Joseph did think more highly of God's revelation to him than of the KJV renderings since he implemented so many changes.”

I reckon he just threw in a little change here and there for good measure. The main point is he recorded the errors which he should have rectified if he really was getting the words from God. What good are a few cosmetic word changes when the KJV translation errors were included?

“It is possible that it is doctrine that hasn't been revealed to us as such yet, but that is something we just cannot claim with any certainty."

Is it possible then that it’s complete nonsense?

And is it also possible that God was once a mouse?

Joseph Smith did afterall get a lot of things wrong in his wild speculations.BYU say he was completely wrong on where he taught the Book Of Mormon events took place.(Hemispherical Geography).

It looks like he was completely wrong about Zelph the Lamanite warrior then.How did Zelph end up in Southern illinois thousands of miles away from the scene of battle at Hill Cumorah in Latin America somewhere(Limited Geography).

Heber C Kimball
"[i]t was made known to Joseph that he had been an officer who fell in battle, in the last destruction among the Lamanites, and his name was Zelph. This caused us to rejoice much, to think that God was so mindful of us as to show these things to his servant. Brother Joseph had enquired of the Lord and it was made known in a vision."

Reuben McBride
"His name was Zelph a war[r]ior under the Prophet Omandagus Zelph a white Laman[i]te." McBride also wrote that "an arrow was found in his Ribs…which he said he sup[p]osed oc[c]aisoned his death." McBride wrote that Zelph “was known from the atlantic to the Rocky Mountains."

Moses Martin
"Soon after this Joseph had a vision and the Lord shewed him that this man was once a mighty Prophet and many other things concerning his dead which had fal[l]en no doubt in some great bat[t]les.

Levi Hancock
"Zelf he was a white Lamanite who fought with the people of Onendagus for freedom."

But what Authority have BYU Apologists anyway who say they don't speak for the church!

So who do we trust Joseph Smith or BYU Apologists?

tatabug said...

EJ,

Regarding the Kinderhook Plates, the only evidence that links Joseph to them is the statement you gave which is actually from the journal of William Clayton. Clayton's journal entry was added to the serialized "History of Joseph Smith" printed in the Deseret News in Utah in 1856, long after the death of Joseph, though it was changed to be in the first person from Joseph's perspective: "I have translated..." instead of "President J. has translated...." It was not an uncommon practice for nineteenth century biographers to put the narrative into first person when compiling a biographical work, even if the subject of the biographical work didn't even say or write all the words attributed to him.

It is possible that this was just rumor or hearsay on the part of William Clayton as speculation about the plates and their content was unrestrained in Nauvoo when the plates first appeared, and he likely heard all kinds of things. William Clayton also said that the plates were found lying next to a nine-foot skeleton. Are we to believe that also?

It is important to note that there is no evidence that Joseph fell for the hoax since there there is no translation available, and there is no physical evidence that a translation was even attempted, and there was no attempt to purchase the Kinderhook Plates, which we would expect if Joseph indeed found them to be authentic and of value as he did with the mummies. He spent a great deal of money for the mummies and so it seems that if he felt that the Kinderhook plates were legitimate, he would've attempted to purchase them, instead of letting them leave town soon after viewing them. In addition, if Joseph Smith really fell for a hoax designed to expose him, why did Wilbur Fugate wait until Joseph Smith and all his co-conspirators were long dead to expose the prophet? The conspirators knew JS had not fallen for the hoax, so they never brought it up again, until 36 or so years later, it came to Wilbur Fugate's attention that there were second-hand reports that the Prophet had "translated" something from the plates. Therefore, he finally revealed the hoax. Lastly, there are no known original documents from Joseph Smith mentioning the Kinderhook plates, which ought to have been of great importance to him if he really thought new ancient records had been discovered.

Regarding Zelph, there is no revealed doctrine regarding Book of Mormon Geography, therefore, there is no reason to suggest that Joseph Smith got the story wrong. In any event, if Zelph was indeed a real person, he probably lived some time after the Book of Mormon narrative ended. There is irrefutable proof that Native Americans/Indians lived all over North America and that they warred among themselves, and it is entirely possible that the Native American Indians are descendants of the Lamanites (please don't start a discussion on DNA--I already have enough issues to deal with right now). It doesn't necessarily mean that the bulk of the events described in the Book of Mormon occurred in a Hemispheric Geographical setting. It is possible that most of it occured on a smaller scale, though the text opens itself to the possibility that some events occured on a larger geographic scale. A limited Geography seems most plausible and could still apply to the Zelph story, and it seemed that by 1842, Joseph Smith appeared open to the possibility of a LGM also, in spite of the Zelph story and other such ideas that seemed more likely to support a HGM.

Elder Joseph said...

Tata

”Regarding the Kinderhook Plates, the only evidence that links Joseph to them is the statement you gave which is actually from the journal of William Clayton. Clayton's journal entry was added to the serialized "History of Joseph Smith" printed in the Deseret News in Utah in 1856, long after the death of Joseph,”

”It is possible that this was just rumor or hearsay on the part of William Clayton as speculation about the plates and their content was unrestrained in Nauvoo when the plates first appeared, and he likely heard all kinds of things. William Clayton also said that the plates were found lying next to a nine-foot skeleton. Are we to believe that also?”

Well this nine foot skeleton is whom Joseph Smith described ‘ they contain the history of the person with whom they were found. He was a descendant of Ham, through the loins of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and that he received his kingdom from the Ruler of heaven and earth’

A descendant of Ham??

Why would Clayton record this or even make it all up?

Why would Parley Pratt write to a cousin and tell him of the plates and that they ‘contain the geneology of one of the ancient Jaredites back to Ham the son of Noah’
(Parley Pratt letter to John Van Cott 7th May 1843.)

Why was it published in the Nauvoo Neighbour with the accompanying statement
‘The contents of the plates, together with facsimile of the same will be published in the Times and Seasons as soon as translation is completed.’ June 24th 1843

Joseph Smith was killed 27th June 1844. He had a whole year to quash this announcement and yet he didn’t.

I believe he was reserving these plates and the possibility of using them to reveal more things as he dreamt them up.


”why did Wilbur Fugate wait until Joseph Smith and all his co-conspirators were long dead to expose the prophet? The conspirators knew JS had not fallen for the hoax, so they never brought it up again, until 36 or so years later,”

In 1855 W. P. Harris a witness who helped unearth the plates said that Bridge Whitton admitted to helping engrave them.

This is some 12 years after the event.

Yes Joseph Didn’t do a full translation but claimed to know what they were about as Clayton’s entry shows. He lived only another 12 months and never rebuked anyone for saying he knew they were about a descendant of Ham. He never even refuted the published article. I think had he lived longer then we would have had another revelatory book/writings produced from them. Maybe he would have revealed he was God himself at the rate he was going?? Just my opinion!


” In any event, if Zelph was indeed a real person, he probably lived some time after the Book of Mormon narrative ended.”

Well I agree he was a real person but he most likely was not called Zelph and neither was a white Lamanite warrior.

“ There is irrefutable proof that Native Americans/Indians lived all over North America and that they warred among themselves, “

Yes but this has nothing to do with the BofM IMO.

“and it is entirely possible that the Native American Indians are descendants of the Lamanites”

Who are these Lamanites ? The Asians/Siberians?
And why do the American Indians look like their relatives back in Asia?
If the Lamanite skin is marked dark for disobedience then why are the Asians/Siberians marked with the same skin darkness? What did they do wrong thousands of miles away?

tatabug said...

EJ,

"Why would Clayton record this or even make it all up?"

I doubt he thought he was making it up. People hear rumors and speculation all the time, and it gets passed on and twisted into something other than what it started out to be. Like I said, everyone in Nauvoo was excited about the plates and there was all kinds of speculation going on about them, and it is likely that something which started out as speculation turned into a rumor that Joseph said something, and if it came from a trusted source, Clayton may have had no reason to doubt it.

"Why would Parley Pratt write to a cousin and tell him of the plates and that they ‘contain the geneology of one of the ancient Jaredites back to Ham the son of Noah’"

I don't know. Perhaps Parley heard it from Clayton or Clayton heard it from Parley.

The important thing is that there are no quotes that can be directly linked to Joseph, he never personally recorded any information about them, he did not attempt to purchase them, and there is no evidence of a translation.

"Why was it published in the Nauvoo Neighbour with the accompanying statement
‘The contents of the plates, together with facsimile of the same will be published in the Times and Seasons as soon as translation is completed.’ June 24th 1843

Joseph Smith was killed 27th June 1844. He had a whole year to quash this announcement and yet he didn’t."

I don't know that either. But Joseph did not regulate what was written in newspapers that were published by church members, and it is quite possible that he didn't read all of them after publication either.

Anyway, maybe he had a lot of other more important things going on, like the fact that people were trying to kill him, to worry about such trivial matters. Maybe the fact that there was no translation and the he didn't have posession of the plates was statement enough.

Here is a statement, however, from the Times and Seasons, another church paper, which should've heard of the supposed statement which came from William Clayton, if indeed the prophet had made such a statement:

“Circumstances are daily transpiring which give additional testimony to the authenticity of the Book of Mormon. … The following … will, perhaps have a tendency to convince the sceptical, that such things [metal plates] have been used, and that even the obnoxious Book of Mormon, may be true.”

The editorial further reported: “Mr. Smith has had those plates, what his opinion concerning them is, we have not yet ascertained. The gentleman that owns them has taken them away, or we should have given a fac simile of the plates and characters in this number. We are informed however, that he purposes returning with them for translation; if so, we may be able yet to furnish our readers with it.” “Ancient Records,” Times and Seasons, 1 May 1843, pp. 185–87.

"I believe he was reserving these plates and the possibility of using them to reveal more things as he dreamt them up."

If he was reserving them, why did he not have possession of them? The plates left Nauvoo soon after they arrived, and not with Joseph. If he wanted to reserve them, it seems he would've tried to buy them, and I'm sure the hoaxers would've been more than happy to defraud Joseph out of money in their plot to unmask him. Heck, they might have even been willing to part with them for free, as a neighborly gesture.

"Yes Joseph Didn’t do a full translation..."

What do you mean? There wasn't even a partial translation.

"He lived only another 12 months and never rebuked anyone for saying he knew they were about a descendant of Ham."

Maybe he wasn't aware of the rumor. That particular information wasn't published until 1856. It seems like if there was anything to it, it would've been published sooner.

Jake said...

Official Declarations 1 AND 2 ARE REVELATIONS!!!!
I BELIEVE IN THEM!!!

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