Is the Mormon religion first century Christianity?

When LDS Apostle M. Russell Ballard encouraged LDS Church members to “[Share] the Gospel Using the Internet,” he said,

“I love my present calling, which allows me opportunities to share the message of the Restoration of the gospel to the world and to testify that God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith in 1820. Through Joseph, the gospel that Jesus established in New Testament times was brought back. It had been lost with the deaths of the Apostles of old. I can share with the world the knowledge that priesthood authority, the doctrine, and the ordinances of the New Testament Church are once again on the earth. (Ensign, July 2008)

He was, of course, referring to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the restoration of the true church established by Jesus Christ in the first century. The LDS book Gospel Principles supports Mr. Ballard’s claims:

“The Church of Jesus Christ today teaches the same principles and performs the same ordinances as were performed in the days of Jesus.” (“Chapter 17: The Church of Jesus Christ Today”)

One of our online friends who participates in our conversations here at Mormon Coffee wrote on another thread:

“Mormons believe that this quest for sinless perfection and godhood is the original Christianity of the Apostles. That’s what we really should be spending our time discussing: Is the Mormon religion first century Christianity?”

That’s a good question. According to the LDS Church, it is. According to non-Mormons, it isn’t.

So, is the Mormon religion identical to first century Christianity? Talk about it.

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.

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96 Responses to Is the Mormon religion first century Christianity?

  1. GRCluff says:

    Arthur said:
    “Yet oddly there is no command to baptize people for the dead, no record of the aposptles baptizing for the dead and no theological basis for baptism for the dead in the New Testament. ”

    Hugh Nibley address this issue in his book “Mormonism and Early Christianity”
    by quoting a conversion that the apostle Peter had with the historian Clement:

    “One of the first questions that Clement, the ardent investigator, puts to Peter is, “shall those be wholly deprived of the kingdom of heaven who died before Christ’s coming?” To this the apostle gives a most significant answer: he assures Clement that the people in question are not damned and never will be, and explains that provision has been made for their salvation, but this, he says, is “as far as we are allowed to declare these things,” excusing himself from telling more: “you compel me, O Clement, to touch upon things which we are forbidden to discuss”
    Clementine Recognitions I, 52, in PG 1:1236.

    Why was Peter forbidden to discuss salvation for the dead with an investigator? If this text is called in question, we need only point to the New Testament, where on a number of occasions Peter and other apostles are forbidden to talk about certain things. (still quoting Hugh Nibley)

    Intentionally omiting the doctrine makes sense, because why get baptised now if it can be done after death? It removes the incentive and real reason to get baptized. We need to repent.

    The philosopher Celsus, making fun of the strange doctrine, asks Origen: “Don’t you people actually tell about him, that when he had failed to convert the people on this earth he went down to the underworld to try to convert the people down there?” It is significant that Origen answers the question, for all its mocking tone, in the affirmative: “We assert that Jesus not only converted no small number of persons while he was in the body . . . but also, that when he became a spirit… Nibley find another source for the same doctrine.

  2. Berean says:

    Cluff:

    That’s nice of you to “come clean” and admit to your wilfull attempt at being sly and not forthcoming. Why must you do this? This is not the first time. Each and every time you do this you lose more credibility. Do you just want to be ignored and just talk to yourself? Must I be the blog police to keep you in check by following your LDS “rabbit trails”? If so, I will until the moderators lost their patience with you. Why do you think my screen name is “Berean”? Do some research on them and see what they were all about. I am going to test and check everything you say.

    Why does it surprise you that I would read Nibley’s work? I have many LDS resources in my study. I learn Mormonism from Mormons. If you want to learn about Christianity you need to learn it from Christians not from FAIR, FARMS or what is told to you at the wards.

    Yeah, you got busted and it made you look bad on here. I don’t want to embarrass you, but there are many people that read this blog and when you deliberately mislead you are giving Mormons a bad name. Do you want that?

    No, you did not reference the original source and you know it. As much as you want to offset Falcon, you can’t use LDS sources that are not authoritative of the Church’s position no matter how desperate you are in your rebuttal.

    Your quote from Augustine, which you got from the FAIR website, failed to mention this part of the quote:

    “For instance, it is well known that many Old Testament figures practiced plural marriage, but after Paul directed that bishops and deacons, at least, should be the ‘husbands of one wife.’ (1 Tim 3:2,12).”

    There were Jews that became followers of Christ who had plural wives. Paul was talking to them in 1 Timothy. That is why plural wives fizzled out by the 2nd century – the Jews/Christ converts followed the instructions of Paul!The New Testament is clear: one wife. Do you want to live under Old Testament law? I doubt it. Mormon law is hard enough, don’t you think?

  3. Ralph says:

    Quoting Berean “If you want to learn about Christianity you need to learn it from Christians not from FAIR, FARMS or what is told to you at the wards.”

    Now where have I heard something like this before? I know, a few blogs ago an LDS member suggested the same thing but about the LDS faith and got chewed out for saying it. But if we want to go along Berean’s line of logic/thinking – if you want to learn about the LDS ask them, don’t go to websites like Saints Alive, Utah Lighthouse Ministry or MRM/Mormon Coffee.

    Now that’s out of my system, have a good weekend everyone. Its wet and wild here at the moment with no respite in sight.

    Arthur, I know the quote I gave does not support the LDS view of baptisms for the dead being performed at that time in the Christian community, I even said as much and left it in the quote. What you missed is the point I made that the scripture referenced is neither for nor against the practise – whereas some one keeps saying that it is speaking against the practise, so their interpretation of that scritpure is wrong in that aspect. Under the title ‘Baptism for the dead” Wikipedia suggests that there was a group of Christians practising it back then – But wiki can be unreliable sometimes. So is the practise unbiblical? There is no answer on that either way, especially from that verse.

  4. Berean says:

    Ralph,

    I can’t speak for the others, but I am not here to learn about Mormonism. I am here to witness to Mormons AFTER I learned from Mormon sources. What are those sources? The LDS websites, reading & studying institute and seminary manuals and LDS scriptures, going to wards and attending the Gospel Essentials & Gospel Doctrines classes, studying conference talks, studying the writings of your prophets and apostles, learning Mormon history, reading the monthly issue of the Ensign magazine and most importantly, talking with Mormons for years.

    When I read posts on here from Mormons that are word-for-word answers taken directly from the FAIR, FARMS, BYU and Neal Maxwell Institute websites (like I caught Cluff doing on the other thread) on answers involving Christianity, then that is why I say what I did. I learned Mormonism from Mormons and their sources. Mormons have learned about Christianity from Mormon sources. That is the problem.

    Have you attended a Christian church, gone to classes or studied Christian systematic theology? I don’t see any Mormons at my church wanting to investigate or learn about Christianity and the town where I live is filled with Mormons. We have a temple here.

    What I find to be the recurring problem not only here, but everywhere I go and talk to Mormons, is that they don’t even know what Mormonism teaches. Mormons haven’t done their homework. Some Mormons think I am LDS as well. I got asked again last week by a Mormon if I was LDS when I tried to talk to him about the book of Alma. He didn’t know what I was talking about, but I am an outsider. When Mormons repeatedly can’t answer to me on whether the Mormon god is an exalted man or not I see a learning/education problems at the wards. If they don’t know what their own church teaches they surely will have no clue what Christianity teaches.

  5. Jeffrey says:

    Heres the issue with the whole if you want to learn Mormonism, learn it from Mormons…

    If you want to learn about Mormonism, you need to read their authoritative works and listen to their “more important than the scriptures” prophets.

    It is foolish to try and learn Mormonism from just an average lay member. Why? Well theres a recent blog on here about that, I think it was titled “Getting Mormons to know their doctrine”. The simple fact is they can’t even agree with each other, and many don’t even know simple historical things about their faith.

    So really Ralph, you can say you’re Mormon and believe in a god who resembles a monkey, but we have to compare that belief with what your church’s actual authority says. You guys hold dear the authority of the prophets so thats where evangelicals should get their information. We take Brigham Young seriously when he says that Adam is God and that that is a doctrine. Many Mormons who learn of that deny it because it is rather embarassing.

  6. falcon says:

    I think we’ve pretty much established that the “restored gospel” of Salt Lake City Mormonism is as bogus as a three dollar bill. I’ve gone through a list (which I won’t repeat again) of doctrines and practices of original Mormonism and that of the modern day SLCM church and I never get an answer regarding evidence that they were part of the first century Church. All I hear is the tired old we have “apostles and prophets” line.
    So I guess I could start a church tomorrow, call myself seer, revelator, prophet and apostle and that would prove that whatever doctrines I come up with were what the first century Church practiced. Why not? I’ll just use the grand conspiracy theory (as Mormons do) that my doctrines and practices were left out of the Bible. I’m going to go with my off spoken of “revelation” that there is a mothership hovering over the earth in which people are being translated back and forth where the learn precious truths not included in the corrupted Biblical text. Of course they have no direct recolection of these trips but they have revelation of it. It makes as much sense as thinking that first century Christians believed that there was a father god and his multiple goddess wives who progressed from mere mortal status to become planetary king and queen(s) and who populated their celestial kingdom and planets with there once spirit babies (that they have procreated).
    The only break the progressed mortal gods get is that they can ditch the sacred underwear which I’m guessing they no longer have to wear. And of course the first century Christians wore these duds and various other costumes as they performed their throat slitting rituals in the nonexistant first century Christian temples.
    This revelation program is about as good a deal as I’ve ever encountered. You don’t have to prove anything. You can declare authoritative sources like the Bible as corrupt. And even if you blow a revelation you can just declare it blue sky speculation or get a new one.

  7. Brian says:

    Sharon,

    This is an interesting topic.

    In comparing the teachings of the LDS church to the New Testament, it seems to me that this poses an inherent difficulty for the LDS people. They have been taught that the New Testament has been tampered with; material has been removed, added, or changed. The founder of the LDS church taught:

    There are many things in the Bible which do not, as they now stand, accord with the revelations of the Holy Ghost to me.

    So if the two do not accord, perhaps this would not surprise those who believe others conspired to tamper with the Bible. It also would mean an LDS person could not conduct a study to determine if the Mormon religion is the same as first-century Christianity, since the records pertaining to the latter would be unreliable.

    There are many teachings fundamental to the LDS church which do not appear in the New Testament:

    * Human beings having an earlier existence
    * Jesus Christ is a created being, rather than Creator
    * The “families are forever” phrase
    * The infinite potential of man to become a god
    * A connection between the LDS priesthood and salvation
    * A connection between the LDS temple and salvation

    LDS speakers sometimes will say that the above is not taught in the Bible because those teachings were removed.

    However, what is interesting is that the above teachings are also not spoken of in The Book of Mormon. That would be a question an LDS person would have difficulty answering, since he could not very well say, “we believe plain and precious truths were removed.”

  8. Arthur Sido says:

    Cluff,

    “Why was Peter forbidden to discuss salvation for the dead with an investigator? If this text is called in question, we need only point to the New Testament, where on a number of occasions Peter and other apostles are forbidden to talk about certain things. (still quoting Hugh Nibley)

    Intentionally omiting the doctrine makes sense, because why get baptised now if it can be done after death? It removes the incentive and real reason to get baptized. We need to repent.”

    I love how you throw the mormon terminology in there, “investigator”! You still are ducking the question because the issue here is Scripture, and Clement was not an apostle and his works are not Scripture. People were clearly saved before the cross the same way as they are saved after the cross, by faith. Again we come to Romans 4, and see that Abraham was not saved by obedience to laws but he was justified by faith. The penalty for his sin was paid for on the cross, just like every other one of the elect. The problem with a god who is an exalted man is that unlike the God of the Bible he cannot be omniscient because he is created just like we are, but the God of the Bible is infinite and uncreated so Abraham’s was justified by his faith and his sins were paid for on the cross. This is a bit off topic, but your quote has nothing to do with baptism for the dead and needed to be addressed.

    So we come back to the crux of the issue which is that the beliefs and practices of mormonism are at odds with the Bible, and therefore mormonism cannot be first century Christianity unless you are saying that Paul, Peter and John were not Christians. You are right though that given the doctrine of baptism for the dead, why bother missionary work when we all get a second chance (except of course for the cursed fo-mo’s)

  9. GRCluff says:

    Berean asked:
    “That’s nice of you to “come clean” and admit to your wilfull attempt at being sly and not forthcoming. Why must you do this? ”

    Yes, guilty as charged, but I did reference the ORIGINAL quote as “Codex Vaticanus 3848”. That was the latin text that Nibley was translating. I just neglected to mention that I copied some of Hugh Nibley’s comentary on the matter. No, my commentary is not nearly so well witten. I would think it would be obvious.

    I am so focused on making my point that I leave out the details. I often have to trim the bottom text to fit into the 2000 character limit. Well, my reference got trimmed, along with part of the quote.

    Why must you call my research a “rabbit trail”? Do I need to remind you that the topic of this thread is “First century Christianity and Mormonism?”

    You must have been too busy searching for plagerism to notice that each of my quotes were from 1st or 2nd century historians AND pointed to teachings and practices that the first Christians did that are remarkably similar to Mormonism.

    I don’t want to embarrass you, but there are many people that read this blog and when you deliberately redirect people away from well made points and important research, you are giving Christians a bad name. Do you want that?

    You guessed right on Hugh Nibley, but I didn’t get anything from the FAIR website. I use a local search engine that references scriptures, of course, and 200 or so LDS authors called GospeLink 2001. Not the best or the most current, but it works for me.

    You mentioned early Christian polgamy. Isn’t that remarkably similar to Mormon history?

    “There were Mormons that became followers of Brigham Young who had plural wives. Wilford Woodruff was talking to them in the manifesto. That is why plural wives fizzled out in the first 50 years- the Mormon converts followed the instructions of the apostles! The Book of Mormon is clear: one wife.” (Jacob 2:27)

    All I have to do is copy your quote!

  10. Andrea says:

    Cluff,

    The difference is that the Jews/Christians took plural wives contrary to God’s law and Paul was admonishing them. In your scenario, the early LDS took plural wives because of a commandment to do so. Two totally opposite things here, so no, it’s not as similar to Mormon history as you think.

  11. falcon says:

    Hay CLUFF,
    Please don’t ever go away. You are the perfect foil for what I see as the mission of the Christian contributors here. That is, I believe the mission is to bring the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to Mormon seekers who are questioning Mormonism and visit here, read and learn but do not post. You’ve been caught with your hand in the cookie jar by BEREAN and that reflects very poorly on your level of scholarship. I see that you have drunk lustily from the fountain of scholarship and Mormon apologetics of Hugh Nibley. Bill McKeever at the Mormon Research Ministry site has an excellent review of the book “Leaving the Saints” by Martha Beck, Hugh Nibley’s daughter. I think she’s a couple bubbles off of plumb on several things, but Bill’s review includes a quote from her book regarding a colleague’s view of Nibley’s scholarship. If what is said in the book is true, there is a theme I see in Mormon apologetics that points to very weak scholarship. But then I certainly wouldn’t want to have to defend Mormonism especially as it relates to the topic at hand on this thread. When BEREAN talks about chasing down rabbit trails, it’s a Mormon technique meant to muddy the waters and get people wasting their time scouring for the original sources of the quotes. Invariably, as BEREAN has pointed out, we end up with half quotes and conclusions at odds with reality. This is Mormon apologetics. Nothing can be proven so what we get is some very lame explanations like the conspiracy theory of things left out of the Bible that would actually prove that Mormonism was practiced by first century Christians. That in it’s self is so preposterous that it is down right embarrassing.
    But stick around. It’s good to expose what you’re up to and it’s especially good to know that Mormon questioners can compare and contrast Mormon thought and reasoning with that of those defending Biblical Christianity.

  12. germit says:

    Cluff and others: Cluff, if it was up to me, I’d give you 6 or 7 posts, daily, when your LDS team goes into hiding like they have this past week. You’ve like a sharecropper during an Indian summer, and I commend you for your research and historical efforts. On the down side: your efforts have not gotten you very far into my short list of ‘to-do’s’ , and no one wants to touch ALL baptisms done by those with proper priesthood authority ONLY (I think AARON was leaning on that point). I can’t fault or blame you, you have to defend (it seems to me) ideas that just wafted into a young Joseph Smith’s head from who knows what source or origin. He was writing a screenplay, and now you get to defend it (and you’ve done better than most). So far we’ve heard that SOME people, claiming to be Christian perhaps, practiced baptism for the dead. No explicit teaching strongly for this from either the Bible, or any of the church fathers. So far, we have the God-Mother of all conspiracies, unless you plan on (maybe with FOF’s help) unleashing the typhoons of evidence that you’ve kept for Sat. and Sun. I’m starting to think, “probably not…” I’m not trying to mock you or gloat, I’m pointing this out plainly for the purpose of those who lurk and listen in: OUR GOD IS A GOD OF SPACE, TIME, HISTORY, AND TRUTH: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A TRUTH THAT IS ONLY OR MERELY INTERNAL. Any God that is limited to the ‘internal witness of the Holy Spirit’ ALONE or even PREDOMINATELY, is a weak, puny, ineffective can’t-get-the-fire-lit at Mt.Carmel kind of God, and not worth following, much less worshipping.
    This thread will close in a day or two or three: join in LDS defenders: show us what your GOD has done in the real world, with footprints (from scripture or antiquity) to show for it.
    TrthSkr: your post is going up on my bathroom mirror so I’m reminded that in ALL labor there is profit. I’m giving thanks for you daily. GERMIT

  13. LDSSTITANIC says:

    Germit…couldn’t agree more…praise God for those who have been introduced to the real Savior!! Whether they have left the church or not even.

    Cluff…I seem to be in the habit of pasting giant links on here but I ran across this article on Sandra Tanner’s website. This is an article by a Th.D. at a Utah seminary. Seems he has alot of problems with the “scholarship” of Hugh Nibley. He even references his writing on early Christianity. Might be worth a look…or be good to put you to sleep…either or…Blessings!

    http://www.utlm.org/newsletters/no110.htm#p9

  14. JessicaJoy says:

    Hello everyone, just checking back in to see if we have any more historical evidence from the 1st or 2nd century from our LDS friends…

    But, where are our LDS friends on this thread?

    OH, there’s one!

    Hi Cluff! Say, where are the 17 other sources you mentioned? Are you more cautious to present your “sources” now? You said the one you selected was picked “at random.” When I am trying to make an argument, I usually don’t pick the weakest quote.

    Well, personally, I’m convinced by falcon’s post and am ready to sail off on the mothership. I would prefer to follow him than the man who said “I have the truth, and am at the defiance of the world to contradict me if they can…I am learned, and know more than all the world put together” (Joseph Smith, King Follet Discourse)

    How can anyone not see that JS was prideful, unscriptural, and blasphemous? He didn’t portray the fruit of the Holy Spirit or the humility of Christ and he was seriously confused in his understanding of the scriptures.

    How could someone who couldn’t tell the difference between the voice of God and the voice of the devil be trusted when he said he was called of God to restore Christianity?

  15. BornagainMormon says:

    It is interesting to me that people can provide such in depth information about so many things, but can’t provide convincing evidence that a doctrine as basic to Christianity as baptism has been revoked. Your knowledge is impressive, but somewhat dampened by this fact. I know, I know, baptism is good but not necessary. What did you say the scriptural reference for that quote was. It keeps slipping my mind- probably because there isn’t one. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the first century Christian church because it provides the ordinances that compliment our faith in Christ. For those of you who want the extensive list of scriptural evidence for this, I would be happy to provide some upon receipt of some real scriptural evidence about how the commandment to be baptized has been repealed. Oh yeah, I forgot, it’s just not necessary because you say so.

  16. Berean says:

    Cluff:

    Why must you make this more worse than it already is? You got caught. You said you are guilty. You are embarrassed, upset and humiliated. Quit digging yourself a bigger hole and burying yourself in it. You are making yourself look ridiculous and silly as a Mormon with your stated education level. Just “lick your wounds” and move on. You violated Articles of Faith #13 for not being “honest and true”. Do what you have to do in Mormon repentance if you feel like you must.

    I appreciate your quoting me in your posts because you are reinforcing my statements twice and saving me posts, but you are burning up your space on your allowed posts. When you quote me and then requote again and replace certain words that I said with your words, you are not making a significant impact to the discussion. What are you accomplishing?

    You don’t need to police me, but you can if you wish. I haven’t misquoted, misinformed or plagiarized on this blog – you did – not me. I know that Mormons are desperate in their attempts to find a link to 1st century Christianity. It’s not there so being dishonest and throwing out wild quotes by non-authoritative references that are not recognized by the LDS Church, you are only hurting your cause. If I made a case to you and used reference work by a Christian theologian from Talbot Theological Seminary would you accept it? Not in a million years. Don’t expect us to either especially if it’s from some BYU professor. Hugh Nibley was not a General Authority.

    In regards to polygamy, if Woodruff said “no more” in 1890, why did LDS prophets Lorenzo Snow and Joseph F. Smith take plural wives AFTER Official Declaration 1 was written? None of the apostles/disciples in the New Testament were polygamists. Paul was single. Is he not in the celestial kingdom since he died without a wife?

    BornAMorm:

    Baptism was dealt with in the other thread. Myself and others talked about it for days. Read again and accept or reject it.

  17. germit says:

    BornAgain: you are thoroughly stuck on this baptism thing. As long as the Enemy can keep you fixated on this ONE (very important) issue, you don’t have to confront any other. You aren’t being fair to yourself, and are only cheating yourself from useful dialogue.
    I’ll repeat something that’s been posted to death: there are AMPLE verses that talk about salvation that do NOT talk about baptism, OR ANY WORK OR ORDINANCE. Yes, there are some that DO connect ‘faith, repentence, and baptism’ in the same sentence. The orthodox solution to this is to explain the ORDER of these things happening: FAITH in Christs finished work on the cross (IN SPITE OF our ‘works’, not because of them), true repentance as a result of believing (how could we repent unless God had already given us the eyes of faith to see what to repent OF, and how,etc..); and then obedience to his commands (including BAPTISM, which ALL the christian posters here gloriously affirm, including me, we are adamant about the above order of things because we say that is the scriptural order, and we have shown that repeatedly from the word (see Eph. 2:8,9). If you want to disagree with our interpretation, OK, but don’t act like we have only made a “it’s so cuz I say it’s so” kind of argument. We have done MUCH more than that. Refute our use of scripture if you want, that’s what this blog is here for.
    The “dampening” happening here is that you don’t LIKE our many other arguments, maybe you’d rather not have to think about them, and the ‘baptism’ thing is a convenient excuse to not have to deal with anything else. If our arguments are ‘impressive’, maybe it’s because they might be TRUE. I know this is a dangerous thread to pull on, but as I said MAnY posts ago: you have some serious questions to answer, I’d say “get busy” you aren’t getting any younger. Sorry if I’ve sounded mean or harsh, but I hate to see you so stuck on one thing and lose out.
    CLUFF: Berean is rt. use your post space wisely, more proof please

  18. BornagainMormon says:

    You make it seem like I am stuck on what color of hair Paul had or something. Baptism is not just “this one thing,” but one of the most basic principles of Christianity. I know you want me to get past it because it is truly a thorn in your side. This is not so because I say so, but because the New Testament says so. Once again, I ask for some convincing scriptural evidence that the commandment to be baptized has been repealed. None of you have even come close to doing this.
    As far as your impressive knowledge, I would be much more impressed if you didn’t skip over the basics like baptism to get there. Peripheral knowledge is only impressive as it helps substantiate the basics. When the basics are sacrificed in favor of the peripheral evidences, the peripheral doctrines become more of an excuse than a support.
    “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, baptizing them (if they want to) in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.” Matt. 28:19 Oh, I see, it makes more sense when you just add your own words to it.

  19. falcon says:

    Germit,
    Another solid hit. The bottom line is that BAM’s strategy is to argue about baptism rather than discuss the topic at hand. Old Mormon trick. There is zero evidence that 19th century Mormonism is related in any way, shape or form to first century Christianity. So they want us to go chase the baptism issue down the empty rabbit trail…….again. It’s either that or they pull out the old testimony when backed into a corner or claim they’re being persecuted. Boring!

    LDSSTITANIC,
    Thank you very much for linking that article on the scholarship of Hugh Nibley. I especially like the part about Nibley having the ability to look at a printed page and see things that weren’t there. This is a time honored tradition in Mormonism starting with Joseph Smith. For example, the Book of Abraham. I’ve seen some incredable contortions by Mormons in trying to explain the bogus translation by Smith. When it comes to their religion, Mormons live in a parallel universe where the normal rules of reality do not apply. To me it appears almost pathological. That’s why Mormons get accused of lying and obfuscating and just plain making things up. That’s because in their world of “reality” different rules apply. I don’t think we can underestimate the power of the “feeling” portion of their testimony. Emotion wins over rational thought every time. That’s why you see people in distructive, disfunctional relationships go to any lengths to perserve them.

  20. LDSSTITANIC says:

    BaM…I remain confused as to your point on that issue. If we take a survey my guess would be that all of “us” Christians on here have been baptized and that all of our churches practice baptism. It is an awesome living picture of what has taken place (we have died to our old self and been raised a “new creature”). Where do you get the idea that we think it’s optional?

    Where I suppose we disagree is on what baptism does or doesn’t contribute to salvation. Find me something in Paul’s letters (he was the apostle to the Gentiles) that says baptism is an essential element for being saved. Read Romans 4 again…he goes back to Abraham and states his case that it is FAITH ALONE. David was considered a man after God’s own heart and he never got baptized and he had a man murdered! So it can’t be about anything you can or can’t do…it has to be ALL about God.

    When was the thief on the cross next to Jesus baptized? Yet he was promised to be in paradise with Jesus because he simply believed…faith!!

  21. faithoffathers says:

    I have been gone for a while.

    Regarding baptism- it is an essential ordinance.

    “Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” John 3:5

    (Jesus speaking)- “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Mark 16:16

    “Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” Acts 2:38

    “Then answered Peter, Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord.” Acts 10:46-48

    “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
    By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
    Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.
    The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 3:18-22

    Is baptism essential? According to these scriptures it is. But for those who still wonder- here is another issue that the Book of Mormon clarifies. Thank goodness we have two witnesses to answer such questions!

  22. falcon says:

    OK, so it’s baptism we must address. I sure wish some Mormon would address any of the doctrines and practices I have listed regarding 19th century Mormon restorationism and the first century Church. They don’t because they can’t.

    OK baptism. I’ve been baptized twice so I guess I’m twice as saved as the rest of you. I got baptized as an infant and once as an adult. As an adult I went right down to the river and got dunked. It was kind of cool because there were some people whopping it up having a grand time down there and when we came to do the baptisms they all got out of the water, sat on the beach and quietly observed what was going on.

    I’m afraid what our Mormon friend wants to believe in is called sacramentalism. That’s were folks get real focused on the rites of the Church. In Phillipians Paul talks about his life as a Pharisee where he did all of these rites and rituals, was right down the line with the Mosaic law, surpassed all of his contemporaries in terms of his zeal. He counted it all as a loss in comparison to knowing Christ. Baptism isn’t going to save anyone any more than going forward in a meeting and saying the sinner’s prayer. We are saved by faith period. Baptism is a sign of a new life.
    This whole discussion is nothing more than a Mormon red herring. Our Mormon friends don’t want to get it even if they do get it. I’ve said it and TITANIC has said it. There isn’t one denomination that doesn’t baptize. But a person who comes to Christ in faith and dies before they get baptized isn’t lost for eternity. I mean even the Catholics used to believe in “limbo”. That’s the place that babies go that have reached the age of reason without being baptized. Boy the memories are flooding back.

  23. Berean says:

    I see that our Mormon friends are violating the LDS Articles of Faith #8 and not translating the Bible correctly. Let’s examine the texts:

    John 3:5 – Look at the full text from vs.3-6. What is the context of v.4? We have two births mentioned here. The spiritual birth and the physical birth. What happens before a woman gives birth? Her water breaks, right? Verse 6 reiterates the point. Baptism isn’t even mentioned in this text so Mormons are once again assuming that it does – big mistake. I would like our LDS friends to support this view of baptism in the Book of Mormon in Mosiah 27:24-27 where it mimics John 3:3 – no mention of baptism.

    Mark 16:16 – Why doesn’t the second part of the text say, “but he that believeth not and is NOT BAPTIZED shall be damned”? It doesn’t so the LDS rebuttal is a moot point. Those that don’t believe are damned.

    Acts 2:38 – The important word in this verse is the word “for”. In the Greek this is “eis”. This can mean “because of”. Water baptism would be because they HAD BEEN saved, not in order TO BE saved. For example, I could say, “I went to Walgreens to get a Goody’s powder FOR my headache.” I had a headache already. I went to the store to get something for what I ALREADY HAD.

    Not once in the gospel of John, the traditional gospel for the salvation message, is baptism noted as a condition for salvation. People are commanded to believe (John 3:16,18,36). Jesus referred to baptism as a work of righteousness (Matt 3:15). Paul separates baptism from the gospel (1 Cor 1:17). It is the gospel that saves (Rom 1:16).

    Acts 10:44-48. Mormons need to look at this one closely. In Acts 2:38 baptism is mentioned BEFORE the gift of the Holy Ghost. In Acts 10 we have the gift of the Holy Ghost being shown in believers first and then AFTER they were baptized. Notice the order: Holy Spirit, tongues and then baptism. LDS: have you received the baptism of the Holy Ghost and spoken in tongues? If not, you have that ordinance problem too.

  24. Berean says:

    Part 2

    1 Peter 3:18-22. This was covered in the other thread. However, if Mormons want to use this verse in the context of baptism with the other verses it should be noted that Noah and his family who were dry stayed alive. The wet ones died outside the protection of the ark.

    Baptism isn’t what saves or cleanses a person spiritually. It’s “through the blood of Christ” that we have redemption and forgiveness of sins (Col 1:15; 1 John 1:7; Eph 1:17). The thief on the cross was not baptized nor performed any works. Jesus said where this man was going – “with me”. LDS: can a person who repents of their sins and accepts Christ as Savior on their death bed and then dies 20 minutes later be with the Lord like the thief on the cross? Brigham Young said “no”. Your answer?

    We are wasting a lot of time here talking about peripheral issues and going down “rabbit trails” when talking about 1st century Christianity. I think we need to focus on the “first principle of the gospel” as defined by Joseph Smith where he says that God is an exalted man (Teachings of the Prophet, pp.345-346; Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, p.40).

    Did 1st century Christianity teach that God (Heavenly Father) is an exalted man? No! The burden of proof is on the Mormons to demonstrate that it did and that the Christian Church strayed from that teaching. Determining the nature of God is the first step and I agree with Joseph Smith on that point. If you have this wrong and have the wrong god, then whatever else one talks about is meaningless because they are lost for all eternity.

    Mormons need to demonstrate from the Bible or the Book of Mormon, which is “the most correct book on earth”, that God is an exalted man – FIRST! LDS, follow Joseph Smith’s instructions. Let’s get down to business and resolve this. Did the New Testament apostles teach this doctrine? Is it anywhere in the Bible or even the Book of Mormon? D&C isn’t “the most correct book on earth”.

  25. JessicaJoy says:

    So far, the only potential evidence presented on this thread for Mormonism being 1st century Christianity was a quote from Cluff by Nibley which did not appear, upon research, to have anything to do with the argument proposed. We have received a link to an article that points out the serious flaws in Nibley’s scholarship. For more on Nibley’s scholarship I reviewed a critique of his scholarship done by Kent P. Jackson, a BYU professor, who said this about Nibley’s scholarship:

    “Nibley shows a tendency to gather sources from a variety of cultures all over the ancient world, lump them all together, and then pick and choose the bits and pieces he wants. By selectively including what suits his presuppositions and ignoring what does not, he is able to manufacture an ancient system of religion that is remarkably similar in many ways to our own–precisely what he sets out to demonstrate in the first place…The various religious communities from whose documents Nibley draws his material had mutually exclusive beliefs in many areas. By removing their ideas from their own context (thus rendering them invalid) and joining them with ideas from other communities–similarly removed from their own context–Nibley creates an artificial synthesis that never in reality existed”

    (from http://www.lds-mormon.com/nibley1.shtml)

    Berean is right about the rabbit trails on this thread. Let’s talk about what JS taught concerning the nature of God. Christians find his words blasphemous and unscriptural. Please provide the scriptural support (Bible or BOM) for his teaching that God is an exalted man.

  26. falcon says:

    I keep mulling over that line about Nibley being able to see things on the printed page that weren’t there. Classic! This goes back to Joseph Smith who before taking up religion as an occupation, was a treasure hunter. In this profession he saw things that turned out weren’t there. When the poor dupes dug and dug and wouldn’t come up with anything there was always some sort of excuse like someone spoke out of turn or some such nonsense. That comes from Grant Palmer in an audio interview available on Mormon Matters.
    That’s why we get all this goofiness about Mormonism being restored first century Christianity. The “restored” doctrines and practices of 19th century Mormonism were never a part of first century Christianity. Yet Mormons “see” it as being there even in the absence of any historical evidence. Joseph Smith and his buddies were real big into second sight spiritual seeing. Someone help me out on this but didn’t these guys go out to the hill and “see” a cave with all these gold plates stacked up. So when they “saw” the golden plates that Joseph Smith supposedly translated, they saw them with “spiritual” eyes.
    So here we are about 75 postings into this topic and zipo, nothing, zero evidence from our Mormon contributors of any of the “restored” doctrines and practices of Mormonism being part of first century Christianity. That’s because in order to be a good Mormon you have to buy into Mormon reality which has, as it’s fundamental cornerstone, the ability to see things that aren’t there.

  27. BornagainMormon says:

    Berean, Berean,
    There you go again. For you it is not what the New Testament says, but what Berean says it says. Nice try but the reality is that the Bible says, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Mark 16:16 Let’s take it for what it says- not what Berean says it says. It says if you believe and are baptized you shall be saved. It says if you don’t believe you are damned. Anything more is Berean’s opinion.
    If you’ll notice with Berean’s posts, they are 90% or more Berean’s opinion, which is fine as long as they are clarified as such.

  28. 4givn says:

    falcon,

    I don’t think that we are going to see anything posted here that will support their claims. They seem to keep pointing to baptism, which obviously Christians do believe in, which has been going since before this so called “apostacy”. I am also waiting for the proof of the ordainances, which supposedly been lost. They have no solid ground to base these on. They will find that they are just rituals that men have established as a “brotherhood” with men, not with God and man. This may be futile, to think that they can answer with any clarity, where these things are derived from. People are out there that wish to know the truth of this matter.

    fof,

    We do understand the importance of baptism. to say that Christianity is without baptism is kinda ignorant. We would like for you to show us, and the others who might be thinking of leaving the LDS, where the rituals came from that are so much an important fixture in your church. If you have that knowlegde, we would like for you to enlighten us on the origins of them, or even who instituted them.

    Dear mormon posters,

    Please pull away from the “proxy” issue. I think that the other thread was an ample opportunity to lay out your reasons for the practicing of that ritual. We(as Christains or LDS members looking for truth) would like to be informed of other rituals that the Bible doesn’t teach us about. W/LOVE

  29. GRCluff says:

    I have tried several different methods now to make a couple solid points on Christianity in the first century.

    I have:
    1. Quoted Mormon authors and 1st century historians.
    2. Tried logic and reasoning.
    3. Took vaild quotes from several of you about 1st century Christians, replaced “Christian” with “Mormon” to find the statement still correct and valid.

    I think I have vaild points on:
    1. Baptism for the dead.
    2. The nature of God.
    3. Polgamy

    I still seem to be making no progress. Maybe I am just wasting my time here. The only thing I haven’t tried is a VERY simple approach.

    Try this:
    Did early Christians in the first 50 years practice polgamy? The evidence says YES.

    Did early Mormons in the first 50 years practice polgamy? The evidence says YES.

    Did early Christians follow their leaders to abandon the practice? Yes.

    Did early Mormons follow their leaders to abandon the practice? Yes.

    So, on Polgamy. Early Christians = Early Mormons. Yes.

    It reads like the instructions on a shampoo bottle. Rinse, wash repeat. Come on you can do it.

    Did early Christians in the first 50 years practice baptism for the dead. The evidence says YES.

    Do Mormons practice baptism for the dead in exactly the same fashion? Yes.

    So, on baptism for the dead. Early Christians = Mormons Yes.

    Did ealy Christians in the first 50 years (before the Nicean Creed) believe that God had a physical body. The evidence says YES.

    Do Mormons believe that God has a physical body. Yes.

    So, on the nature of God. Early Christians = Mormons Yes.

    Does that help?

  30. 4givn says:

    Cluff,

    you seem to be trying to state that the early church practiced polygamy, which in turn supports your view of it. The fact that some of them may have, does not support what the scriptures state. There is no support for you in that sense. You seem to be saying that God instituted it, and then 1800 years later, changed his mind to make sure that Utah could become a state. Thatseem a little far fetched to me as well as some others. You don’t use the term some of them, which would be more like the truth. We are not trying to deny that there were people that where doing more than one at a time. That is one of the reasons for callng to light heresies that did not coinside with the Word of God. To say that men of this time would have “deleted” this practice out of the scriptures sounds like a struggle to justify ones actions. You need to come up with something solid to support this claim or it will be rebuked every time. As for God having a physical body, aside from Christ, you must be thinking in line with the group of gnostics who were also labeled as heretics. That thought just makes the teachings and writings of the Bible and puts a mans philosophy in its place. That is why the early church had so much to do, so that there wasn’t just anybody coming along and saying that they were doing what God had told them, “and it’s the real truth”. That is what the Bible can be used for, to be able to look upon the Word of God and determine if it was true or not. The Word of God does not lie. He doesn’t change his mind like men do. Not only do we have the Bible to judge that with, we also have physical evidences to supoort, or refute someones claims even today. There are other practices, that your church claims to be lost in those times, which I we would like to be addressed as well. Polygamy is a sin. The claim has been made that it is not practiced anymore in the LDS. Fine, move on to showing us the validity of cellestial marriage or other rituals. W/LOVE

  31. germit says:

    BornAgain: acc. to Mk 16:16, who is it that is damned?? Read that verse again, it is a GREAT verse, for our side….. I think we could talk for many hours about baptism, and our positions would remain the same, maybe it’s time to talk about anything else. Just a thot.

    Mr.Cluff: citation prison seems to agree with you, you don’t seem cranky or without your usual Mormon mo-jo, great!!
    Your “polygamy argument” has some holes: which Jessica pointed out, but you ignored. For those 1st cent. christians who practiced polygamy, was that with the support and agreement and blessing of both the NT and their current leaders?? When the practice of poly is mentioned, is it mentioned AS AN EXAMPLE TO BE FOLLOWED, or something to be put away and forsaken?? How did the current leaders handle the issue?? Answer these questions, and then crow about establishing polygamy as an ESTABLISHED,AUTHORIZED practice, similar to the LDS. And so far, unless I missed something, you haven’t come close to what I’ve lined out here. Use the same formula for baptism for the dead: I will cede that some people were into the practice: WAS IT A MANDATE FROM THE EARLY CHURCH FATHERS AND/OR THE NT??? Again, you seem to think that showing that SOME people were into it is enough….the bar is higher than that.
    As for God having a body, do you mean God the FATHER, OR GOD THE SON?? You’ve never made that clear, or I missed it. If it’s the FATHER, did you slip in an early church father quote on this that I missed ?? The mormon early church historian, doesn’t mean much to me, but if he is quoting (accurately) Polycarp, or someone, that is different story.
    I will only speak for myself, but your “word substitution” thing seems mostly silly, to me, and not proof of anything, although it is inventive and novel and weird. I’m sure it makes perfect sense to you.
    Are we going to plateau out on “baptism”?? what about all the rest of the alleged “restored gospel” ?? What about all the priesthoods?And the temple?

  32. Berean says:

    BorMorm:

    That’s right, here I go again and I will continue to keep going as long as our LDS friends are trodding all over the Word of God, the Bible, with LDS scripture twisting. The Bereans test, compare and check what is said with scripture (Acts 17:10-11). You must have missed the rules that serious students of the Bible adhere to when it comes to scripture understanding:

    1. Scripture interprets scripture
    2. Difficult scriptures need to be explained with more clearer scripture that addresses the same subject.
    3. When one’s findings or interpretation are in conflict with the more clearer scripture on that subject, then one’s findings are wrong by default.
    4. Historical context of the passage needs to be understood.
    5. The Bible is inerrant, infallible and God cannot nor will not contradict himself. If there are apparent contradictions, then the error lies within mankind’s understanding of the text – not God.

    These are my opinions? It’s now been all day and my fellow Christian theologians, ministers, bloggers and MRM staff have not rebuked me for mishandling the Word of God. I humbly submit myself to my brethren to correct me if I am wrong. I don’t expect the Mormons to go along with these findings because it doesn’t fit into the LDS program.

    You seem to favor Mark 16:16. Again, you missed the second part of the verse. Who is not going to be damned? What part is left out from the first part of the verse – baptism. Move on to v.17. Have you cast out devils and spoke with new tongues? Now v.18 – have you or do you drink poison and take up serpents? Have you healed the sick? If not, then by your reasoning with v.16 you don’t exhibit the signs of those that believe.

    I see that you only used litte of your post space to refute one verse, but yet offered no adjoining verses or analysis in support of your conclusion. You also didn’t answer my question about baptism being left out of the “born again” passage in Mosiah 27:24-27. Your screen name?

  33. falcon says:

    CLUFF,
    If this were the old days of elementary school, GERMIT, BEREAN, JESSICA, 4givn and just about every other Christian contributior here would be in the bluebird group and you’d be sitting with the crows. You also would not be asked to hold your picture up for everyone else to see. At the very least you would be given your assignment back and told to try again.
    What might pass muster on a Mormon website is not going to make it here. The Christian contributors mentioned above, by their presentations, have demonstrated that they actually have high standards of scholarship. You don’t even look like you care and your performance is actually insulting to the people who put thought, effort and time into their presentation. Sayin somethin like “the evidence shows” may make it in a BYU religion class, but it would get your tailfeathers singed by Professor Blowtorch at just about every other college in the country. I’m going to suggest that you drop this class and take scuba diving. There you can entertain yourself by blowing bubbles or seeing how long you can hold your breath under water.

  34. BornagainMormon says:

    Berean,
    Once again you start your post by creating you own ground rules. Your friends agree with you so you are right. That is less than an impressive argument.
    As far as Mark 16:16, you said, “Again, you missed the second part of the verse. Who is not going to be damned?” The second part of the verse doesn’t say anything about “those who are not going to be damned.” You can conjecture something into it if you like, but it is strictly a conjecture. The verse clearly says who will be saved and who will be damned, but it says nothing more.

  35. BornagainMormon says:

    It is good to see that many of you seem to accept baptism as necessary. Let me explain why it was an important part of my choice of a church. Because I believe baptism is an essential part of the Lord’s ministry, I felt that it was important to find a church which administered it properly.
    For me the Lord’s house is a house of order. As I looked at many of the other Christian religions, it began to concern me that there was no common standard for baptism. All the different churches had their own way of doing things and nobody seemed to have a problem with this. To be honest it seemed a little chaotic and disorganized.
    I know a lot of people have a problem with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints because it doesn’t accept baptisms done in other Christian churches, but for me, this was a drawing point. It seemed to me that for such an important ordinance there should be a defined process for it. Although it may be politically incorrect, it was consistent with my belief that there is a defined process for the ordinances. Taking this stance is in no way meant to demean others faith in Christ, it is simply consistent with a house of order.

  36. Michael P says:

    BornagainMormon,

    Can you show us that the Mormon faith always acts as a house of order?

    To do so, reconcile the teachings of the early leaders with those of today. Yes, Adam/God, polygamy, seed of Cain are a part of this.

    But not only that, if it is a house of order, why is there no definite theological techniques beyond the notion that “God told me”.

    Here’s the moral: a house of order shows consistency in belief. A house of order shows strength through difficult social times. A house of order can look back hundreds of years and affirm what was said back then and not deny, reject, or explain away.

    You can use baptism as an excuse for a lack of order, but ask yourself, is that the only test to determine if order exists? As an extension of that test, what is the purpose given for baptism under the differing methods? In other words, is the method what’s important or the purpose?

  37. Berean says:

    BorMorm:

    They aren’t my rules. They are the understood rules of serious students of the Bible in Christian seminaries. In Christianity, we take the Bible seriously and don’t give it the “LDS lip service” as stated in the LDS’s Articles of Faith #8. We recognize the Bible as the inerrant, infallible Word of God unlike the Mormons who consider the Bible to be missing “plain and precious truths” (1 Nephi 13:28) and those that put their trust in it completely are “fools” (2 Nephi 29:4,6).

    I see you didn’t answer any of my other questions regarding baptism being conveniently left out of the Book of Mormon’s view on being “born again” in Mosiah 27. Why the avoidance of that issue? You are talking about baptism. You took the name “born again Mormon” as your screen name. Look at the text and explain to the Christians on here why baptism is left out of Mosiah 27.

    Again, have you fulfilled the signs of a believer in Mark 16:17-18? I hardly doubt it. I’ve only met one Mormon who said he spoke in tongues (a gift that Satan can mimic I might add). I’m still looking for one that has drank poison and handled snakes along with the rest.

    Back to the topic, 1st century authenticity origin claims by the Mormons falls dead on its face when one looks at Matthew 16:18. I invite you to be a stickler on that text where it says that the gates of hell will not prevail against Christ’s church. My questions about the Apostle John were conveniently ignored by the Mormons so I imagine this text will be dismissed as well. There is no “restored gospel” as claimed by the Mormons if Jesus told the truth in Matt 16:18. Jesus told the truth because God can’t lie (Heb 6:18).

    Where did Christians believe that god is an exalted man in the 1st century? Evidence?

    We need to define our terms here. I’d like for you to state to us what the Mormons believe the word “SAVED” means. I know what it means in Mormonism & Christianity. I’ll be waiting and ready to check your answer.

  38. Arthur Sido says:

    Cluff, the fact that some people early on in Christianity strayed into heresy is hardly evidence that the practices and beliefs listed are indicative of mormonism being the true represntative of 1st century Christianity. The church fell into all sorts of heresy early on, while the apostles still lived even (thus most of the Pauline epistles). We are back to descriptive versus presecriptive yet again. Let’s try your little trick and put words into someone else’s mouth. Let’s look at a documented practice in a Christian church in the first century…

    It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. (1 Cor 5:1)

    So by your logic, that means that it would be OK to have that sort of immorality in the church today because there is a record of it in the church in the first century. According to Cluff, if your mom dies or your dad gets divorced, and then he remarries, your new step-mom is fair game!

    Do you see how that makes absolutely no sense, and yet that is what you are basing your argument on? The standard for who is or is not a Christian is the Bible, not random heresy found in the church or described practices. Whenever someone makes a claim, that claim must be compared to the Word of God. If it is found to oppose what the Bible says, it must be rejected or the examiner must abandon the pretense of being a Christian.

  39. GRCluff says:

    falcon:
    Professor Blowtorch? Are you voluteering for the job? We seem to have a major disconnect between my summary and my research posts. That’s OK, I can connect the dots.

    My summary point was:
    Did ealy Christians in the first 50 years (before the Nicean Creed) believe that God had a physical body. The evidence says YES.

    What evidence? (You seem to be asking)

    The evidence in my 9/2 post on this thread:
    The extent of this change(in doctrines on the nature of God) is illustrated by the Harvard Theological Review’s recent publication of a skillful article by BYU’s David Paulsen, which documents that “ordinary Christians for at least the first three centuries” after Christ believed that God had a body.
    David L. Paulsen, “Early Christian Belief in a Corporeal Deity: Origen and Augustine as Reluctant Witnesses,” Harvard Theological Review 83 (1990): 105.

    Did you read my reference? Obviously not, if you had you wouldn’t be slamming me for leaving out the evidence. Do you expect me to copy the entire publication into 2000 character segments for posting here?

    The publishers at Harvard Theological Review will have been more discerning I would think than an LDS Website, but you didn’t know what you were talking about when you were slamming my research–

    Now, do we need to have the same discussion about Hugh Nibley’s 17 different findings on baptism for the dead from early Christian historians? It was Berean who first gave up my resource on that one.

    Do you always read the thread from the bottom up?

    Now that my credibility is damaged, will I need to restate my evidence and resources in every other entry? Maybe I can just leave a little reminder for falcon at the bottom of each post:

    falcon: if you happen to read this entry, please refer to my earlier posts to see what evidence I am talking about otherwise, you could make a serious error and have egg on your face.

    Will this help?

  40. falcon says:

    The smoke screen issue of baptism is brought up here by our Mormon friend because the topic at hand cannot be addressed with any confidence. My guess is that our Mormon friend has this as a hobby horse to be ridden with vigor because it’s a topic that Christians have differing opinions about. That way a very important fundamental doctrine such as the first century view of the nature of God can be ignored. I’m wondering why someone would pick baptism as one of the most important factor in joining a religious group. Again, wouldn’t it seem more logical to examine the claims of that sect that 19th century Mormonism was the restoration of first century Christianity? As I have stated previously, there is at least one sect of Mormonism that sees Joseph Smith as a fallen prophet and rejects all of his teachings, doctrines and practices after about 1832, accepting only the BoM and the Book of Commandments. These folks at least figured out part of it. Thankfully today with the internet, those Mormons seriously questioning the Mormon narrative can access information that clearly proves the claims made by the LDS church are not only false but ridiculous. Person after person learning that they have been deceived has turned into a tidal wave of folks walking away angry that they have been so duped.

  41. GRCluff says:

    Arthur said:
    “Cluff, the fact that some people early on in Christianity strayed into heresy is hardly evidence that the practices and beliefs listed are indicative of mormonism being the true represntative of 1st century Christianity. The church fell into all sorts of heresy early on…”

    By admitting that early Christianity strayed into heresy, you are taking two steps in my direction. Maybe I can give you a little push into the light. It wasn’t just “some people” it was the entire Church. To make matters worse, it was those that had accepted heresy that made the decisions on what books would become the Bible, and how certian phrases should be translated etc.

    So much so, that the task today is to establish what exactly did early Christians believe?
    Well, the evidence I have found says:
    1. The believed that God had a physical body.
    2. They practiced Baptism for the dead.
    3. They tolerated polgamy at first, then abandoned the practice.

    All 3 lead me to believe that Mormons and early Christians had much in common.

    Your role, should you care to accept it, is like that of St. Augustine. You are fighting to convince the world that your view of God is right when the apostles and prophets have clearly shown another path.

    What is the foundation for the true church? Oh yeah. A foundation of apostles and prophets. (Not reasoning and creeds of apostate religions)

  42. faithoffathers says:

    All of these questions come down to whether the Book of Mormon is true. If it is what it claims, Joseph Smith was a prophet. Would love to discuss the Book of Mormon but the other thread was cut after my first post on the topic. Sorry to be off topic, but it all comes down to that question. Could somebody initiate such a discussion?

  43. germit says:

    To ALL WHO LISTEN IN (and thanks for doing so)

    Well, it’s as if Cluff did not, or would not read my earlier post or answer my questions. He’s decided to spend time scolding Falcon and restating his same lame statements. I’ll try again.
    CLUFF: we already know that SOME in the early church practiced baptism for the dead. Big deal. Did ANY of the leaders/apostles teach it, endorse it, or promote it LIKE YOUR CHURCH DOES. If you can’t show this, your attempts at a connection are silly string in a hurricane.

    Same with polygamy: explain ‘tolerated’ and BE SPECIFIC: did the leaders/apostles CONDONE and SUPPORT that behavior, or fight against it. Look hard, because SILENCE on the issue works in OUR favor, not yours, unless of course you want to hatch yet another conspiracy theory.

    “God had a physical body”….I’m assuming you mean God the Father, since we BOTH believe Jesus had, and still has, a physical body. Since YOU, I assume, read that scholarly piece of genius by David Paulsen, why don’t you cut to the chase and tell us which church fathers he quoted and where. I don’t think that is asking too much.
    Still nothing on ANY of the priesthoods, nothing on the temple (including Dead Sea Scroll scpecific citations), nothing on the word of wisdom or current LDS structure and hierarchy reflected in ancient history. Who would give you a very good grade for what you’ve given us so far CLUFF ?? You should be happy to get an “incomplete”. I still like your posts. GERMIT

  44. falcon says:

    I think the reason we don’t get into the BoM here too much-at least as of late-because sometime around Christmas a Mormon poster asked me directly to provide evidence that the BoM was not a historically and/or scientifically accurate. I posted several solid points that prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the BoM is bogus. The guy replies that what I provided was not real evidence because it came from man not from God.
    So what’s the point of having a discussion when Mromons are trained to basically ignore anything that might challenge their thinking? Mormons can just say God did/didn’t tell me that.
    It’s basically the same deal with this thread regarding proof that Mormonism is restored first century Christianity. There is no support for the notion. Don’t ask me why Mormons believe it. They’re either totally ignorant of early Church history or they can live with the ambiguity of Mormon revelation. The Mormon claims are easy to debunk that’s why the questioning member with easy access to the internet and a modest amount of curiosity can find the truth.

  45. 4givn says:

    Hey falcon,

    I wonder if the defenders of this church know that Smith began this whole thing with the teaching of the trinity. They even use this term in with todays movement of trying to persuade people that they believe in it also,(as long as it is defined correctly) but they don’t indulge that information on the basis of giving milk instead of meat. What do our friends give as a reason for the scriptural change. There are so many changes in the “most accurate” book. Over 3,900 of them. How can they claim that it is so precise, when it had to be changed so often. “Where’s the beef?” W/LOVE

  46. Sharon Lindbloom says:

    I think it’s time to close down the comments on this thread. The discussion is getting us nowhere in discovering the answer to the question posed in the post. Thanks to all for your input.

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