Keeping Up with the Mormons

In the Mormon Coffee discussion regarding recent changes to Gospel Principles, one commenter wrote,

” The Church started out and was against something, and in a few years, they were for the thing they were against, a few years later they were against it again, and now the are sort of, kind of, celestially for it – polygamy. Is God the author of confusion? 1 Cor 14:33.

The LDS Church has dealt with polygamy and other issues over the years somewhat capriciously. Church leaders teach one thing, and a few years later the tides turn and the teaching changes course. Sometimes the issues are important (like plural marriage being required/not required for exaltation), and sometimes they are relatively inconsequential. But the thread that runs through them all is the idea that God has his own hand on the rudder of the ship and directs Church leaders directly.

One fairly inconsequential issue that demonstrates the chameleon-like nature of LDS leadership is its attitude toward the word “Mormon.”

A few months ago the LDS Church launched a new, official radio station: Mormon Channel. The Mormon Channel web site includes links for other LDS sites, such as “Mormon Identity,” “Mormon Messages,” and “Mormon.org.”

It wasn’t that long ago that the LDS Church eschewed the use of the nickname “Mormon,” but apparently the nickname is now back in vogue.

“Mormon” was first used as a pejorative in reference to followers of Joseph Smith and his new religion. In 1830, “Mormon” was bad.

But in 1843 Joseph Smith stated,

“We say from the Saxon, ‘good’; the Dane, ‘god’; the Goth, ‘goda’; the German, ‘gut’; the Dutch, ‘goed’; the Latin, ‘bonus’; the Greek, ‘kalos’; the Hebrew, ‘tob’; that the Egyptian, ‘mon.’ Hence, with the addition of ‘more,’ or the contraction, ‘mor,’ we have the word ‘mormon’; which means, literally, ‘more good.'” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 300)

In 1843, “Mormon” was good.

Almost 140 years later LDS public relations pressured the media to stop using the word “Mormon” and replace it with “LDS Church” or “Latter-day Saints.” In 1982 “Mormon” was bad. Again.

At the April 1990 General Conference LDS Apostle Russell M. Nelson upheld and reiterated the non-use of the word “Mormon,” but that position was soon softened. At the next General Conference Gordon B. Hinckley, then First Counselor in the First Presidency, taught:

“[Joseph Smith’s] statement intrigued me — Mormon means ‘more good.’ I knew, of course, that ‘more good’ was not a derivative of the word Mormon. I had studied both Latin and Greek, and I knew that English is derived in some measure from those two languages and that the words more good are not a cognate of the word Mormon. But this was a positive attitude based on an interesting perception.” (“Mormon Should Mean More Good,” Ensign, November 1990, 52)

So Joseph said “Mormon” means “more good.” Gordon B. Hinckley said “Mormon” should mean “more good,” but it doesn’t. Regardless, in 1990 “Mormon” was good, and though use of the nickname didn’t carry the blessing of the Church, it was at least okay that it was used by non-members.

It didn’t stay that way for long. Just over a decade later, as the Church took a public stance to move away from the nickname “Mormon Church” and “LDS Church” to the different nickname of “The Church of Jesus Christ,” LDS Apostle Dallin Oaks said,

“This decision [to change the nickname] is right-oriented, not result-oriented. We’re only trying to do what the Lord wants us to do.” (Gustav Niebuhr, “Adapting ‘Mormon’ to Emphasize Christianity,” February 19, 2001)

In 2001, use of the nickname “Mormon” was bad.

But in 2009 the use of “Mormon” is back in full swing and happily endorsed by the LDS Church.

Over the 179 years that the Mormon Church has been in existence, it has changed its position on this five times, with several of the about-faces articulated by leaders of the Church in their official capacities as apostles. To be fair, according to Dallin Oaks they are only trying to do what they understand the Lord wants them to do. The question is, where is all the confusion over this issue coming from?

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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141 Responses to Keeping Up with the Mormons

  1. HankSaint says:

    Falcon,

    Please enlighten me, I have known about the rock in the hat for a long, long time, why not bring up something new?

    The Prophet showed no sign of wavering when exposed to the scorn of Palmyra’s rationalist editors and to the criticism of Campbell himself. Joseph told of the visits of angels, of direct inspiration, of a voice in the chamber of Father Whitmer, without embarrassment. He prized the Urim and Thummim and the seerstone, never repudiating them even when the major charge against him was that he used magic to find buried money. His world was not created by Enlightenment rationalism with its deathly aversion to superstition. Reference, Bushman, Beginnings, 184.

    Your problem Falcon is that it so much easier for you to criticize the method as faulty, yet you completely ignore the message. So it’s more like, ” doctor what is the problem, do the physical examination, and then give me your diagnose. Ignoring the message is only a detriment to your own spiritual health and well being, Falcon, you can criticize the means, but you have not proven the results are anything less then the truth. Problematic for you, and a blessing for those who do not claim the Heavens are closed and God has nothing more to reveal. Interesting.

    Richard.

  2. setfree says:

    Hanksaint,

    If you know that your doctor doesn’t have a real degree, practices bad medicine, or is in any other way untrustworthy with your health, you certainly had better ignore any message he gives you, and go find a real doctor!

    It’s an old and overused and dishonest thing to say that evs think the Heavens are closed and God has nothing more to reveal. He reveals things all the time, from His Word.

    But He certainly does NOT say things like “well, I used to be the only God, but now there are many, thanks for helping out Joe Smith” or “I sent my Son to ransom you, but now I think you ought to do the work yourself” or “Gee, I used to hate it when people divine, but now I think, hey, I’ll act like a demonic familiar spirit too!”

    You need to stop taking Joseph Smith’s word for it. He’s a “quack” prophet, and his religion has given you bad diagnosis long enough.

  3. HankSaint says:

    I didn’t know you had to have a degree in theology, case in point the many Pastors, Preachers, etc . who think they need AA, BA, MA, and Ph.D or Th.D degrees to have any kind of authority to teach and preach Gods Word. So a real Doctor, hmmm, I guess that would exclude Peter, James and John. Many of the apostles, just ordinary fishermen.

    Yep, the Bible is always revealing new and more scripture, not. Your problem is that you are locked into a closed heaven by your own interpretations.

    18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the Words of the prophecy of this Book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this Book: 19 and if any man shall take away from the Words of the Book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the Book of Life, and out of the Holy City, and from the things which are written in this Book” (Revelation 22:18-19

    Of course God does council us on what He is very capable of doing:

    “many of the Gentiles shall say: A Bible! A Bible! We have got a Bible, and there cannot be any more Bible…Wherefore because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written” (Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 29:3,10).

    What more is there to say, you have THE BIBLE, and apparently it contains all the words you want God to speak, so to say He reveals things all the time, that would be impossible because according to your interpretation of the above verse, it would be a plague onto you. Interesting.

    Richard.

  4. Michael P says:

    Hank/Richard,

    Actually, if my doctor used a faulty test to give the diagnosis, I would be worried. Process matters, friend.

    And why would the church change the method that Smith used to translate? Why portray the incident differently than the way it happened? That makes no sense.

    The Nephi verse is interesting only in that it comes from the document translated using the wrong method to give the diagnosis. I’d rather start at the beginning and test it against what I know to be true.

    Evidently, you’re comfortable believing a guy who really did have a checkered past and used a questionable test to give the diagnosis. And that’s OK, but I think it’d be best if you’d be honest about it.

  5. HankSaint says:

    Why not stay on one topic at a time Michael P. you go from faulty doctor, to translation, to a checkered past. Accusations, but I see no evidence to back up any of the cool aid you must be drinking. I’m very comfortable with Joseph Smith as a Prophet of God. A perfect man, no, and neither was Moses or any of the other Prophets of God. I don’t believe that the method of translation was ever changed, even Joseph himself admitted to many things like I stated, that never embarrassed him since how could he deny the truth of it.

    Funny how all this peripheral sensationalized attacks is about all you have. I never see many who actually attack the Doctrine as we find it in our Standard Works. Maybe it might just be that the truth of the Doctrine does not match your own Creedal Beliefs that your professors and teachers use as evidence of some Christian Doctrine that is not even found in the Bible. Hmmm, six days of creation, ex nihilo, Rapture, Triune God, and the list of misunderstood doctrine just gets deeper and deeper in the cesspool of precepts and contradictions.

    I suggest you might read the Book of Mormon before you cast it off with the peripheral sensationalized garbage that make for good tabloid reading.

    r.

  6. Andy Watson says:

    Hank said that the LDS Church manuals don’t teach of a Mother in heaven. Ralph, a Mormon, and myself, a non-Mormon, give numerous references that show that Hank doesn’t have a clue on the basic teachings of the Church on this imaginative woman goddess wife of his god near Kolob who supposedly birthed him and gave him the ability to suck oxygen on this sinful planet. INTERESTING but pathetic.

    Hank thinks that Christianity doesn’t believe in revelation while Christians are waiting for prophecy in the Old and New Testament to be fulfilled. After all, the book of Revelation takes us all the way to the end of the line. What more future revelation does one want? Christians are obeying Christ’s command in Matthew 24 to look for the signs of His return. In Mormonism, Joseph Smith’s god couldn’t stop talking while Joseph Smith was alive. When Joseph Smith died the Mormon god suddenly had a muzzle put over his mouth after 1844. Brigham Young added one addition to the D&C in 1847. Joseph F. Smith added D&C 138 in 1918 and it wasn’t approved until April 1976. So, since 1844 we’ve had two revelations. Prior to that we had 136 – nothing since 1918 and look what has taken place since that time and the Mormon god doesn’t speak. When is Monson going to prophesy? Oh yeah, he did when he told people not to open their scriptures during a ward talk because the papers rustling disturb people, but the kids running up and down the aisle don’t. Revelation? When will there be D&C 139? Mormons have prohets, but they don’t speak. No 9/11 warning for the U.S.? INTERESTING but ridiculous.

    My BoM (1830) says in Mosiah 21:28: “And now Limhi was again filled with joy on learning from the mouth of Ammon that king BENJAMIN had a gift from God”. What does your say? King Mosiah? Accuracy and “the most correct book on earth”? As many times as I have read the BoM I still can’t find the LDS teaching of god being an exalted man. Alma 18 & 22 says he is the Great Spirit. INTERESTING but not reality.

  7. Michael P says:

    OK, Hank. Did Joseph translate with his head in a hat? Then, does the LDS church not publish or promote a different idea of him translating? Its not about him admitting it, its about the church presenting it.

    And why change the subject when you just tell me not to?

  8. HankSaint says:

    According to his scribe, that was the way it was explained.
    Do you have a problem with that? What would you say to someone who accused you of believing in a Book where a donkey talks back to his owner.

    Then God made the donkey talk and she said, “What did I do to you to make you hit me three times?”
    Balaam answered, “You teased me! I wish I had a sword so I could kill you.”
    The donkey said, “Aren’t I your donkey which you rode ever since I was yours? Did I ever want to ride you?”
    “Well, no,” said Balaam.

    Now go and sell that story to a unbeliever, and tell him it came straight from the Holy Bible.

    r.

  9. Andy Watson says:

    Michael, it appears that Hank can’t or won’t answer this question about the method of translation. I think this will also be a good opportunity to bring in the supposed prophetic authority of one of their prophets on the method of translation.

    “While the statement has been made by some writers that the Prophet Joseph Smith used a seer stone part of the time in his translating of the record, and information points to the fact that he did have in his possession such a stone, yet there is no authentic statement in the history of the Church which states that the use of such a stone was made in that translation. The information is all hearsay, and personally, I do not believe that this stone was used for that purpose.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, Vol.3, pp.225-226)

    Mormon apostle Russell Nelson quotes David Whitmer, one of the three witnesses, in the Ensign, July 1993: “The details of this miraculous method of translation are still not fully known, Yet we do have a few precious insights. David Whitmer wrote: ‘Joseph Smith would put the seer stone into a hat, and put his face in the hat, drawing it closely around his face to exclude the light; and in the darkness the spiritual light would shine. A piece of something resembling parchment would appear, and on that appeared the writing. One character at a time would appear, and under it was the interpretation in English. Brother Joseph would read off the English to Oliver Cowdery, who was his principle scribe, and when it was written down and repeated to Brother Joseph to see if it was correct, then it would disappear, and another character with the interpretation would appear. Thus the Book of Mormon was translated by the gift and power of God, and not by any power of man.’ (David Whitmer, An Address to All Believers in Christ, 1887, p.12).”

    David Whitmer said this in 1887. Emma Smith said the same thing in 1879. Joseph Fielding Smith made his statement in 1956. Contradiction?

  10. Andy Watson says:

    Despite the glaring evidence that the method of translation of the BoM was brought forth by Joseph Smith’s magic rock that is acknowledged by Mormon apostle Russell Nelson in the Ensign magazine, the LDS Church continues to put forth this false image of translation repeatedly on the covers of the Ensign magazine. It portrays Joseph just sitting at a table reading from the plates like someone reading a book with a scribe sitting right in front of him. That story doesn’t even wash out. Why? Well, why isn’t he wearing the Urim and Thummim – the magic spectacles? Once again, this whole charade that is peddled to the naive and ignorant who are mesmerized by folklore the Mormon Church knows is not accurate. They peddle the golden plates theory, but know that Joseph Smith used his rock.

    A interesting word came out at me in the quote made by Nelson above in my earlier post. It’s the word DARKNESS. The Book of Mormon in 2 Nephi 26:23 – “For behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you that the Lord God worketh not in darkness.”

    Oh yeah? I guess the Mormon god changed his mind again when he decided to bring forth the BoM via Joseph Smith’s magic rock in the DARKNESS.

  11. HankSaint says:

    Andy, methinks you criticize to much. I did answer your question, what difference does it make. I as a member could care less of the method, for all I know he might have stood on his head while translating. I wasn’t there good buddy, and all we have is sketchy history of the means of translation, in a hat is fine with me.

    You see good friend, I’m concerned more about what is written, then some sensationalized tabloid hit pieces that mocks us for a method of translation when it involves the Power of God. Do your self a favor, your only embarrassing yourself with a one item hit piece because you can’t prove where the Book of Mormon really originated. What I would concern myself with is the content, and quit blundering and fumbling with sketch history. Hmmm, interesting bit of off the topic Kool Aid.

    r.

  12. Mike R says:

    Andy,

    As you pointed out it is rather pathetic how
    Hank has refused to be honest about LDS theo-
    logy,specifically his Mother in Heaven [HM].
    He never would have admitted his faultly
    reasoning if Ralph would’nt have reminded him.
    He never even answered my question on if he
    has properly thanked his HM for her love and
    care for him.Of course, when you follow a prophet
    you do as you are told.If your prophet/apostles
    counsel you to not pray to your Mom then you
    obey. When the Prophet speaks, ” The Debate is
    Over” [Ensign 8,1978 p.3].
    Our hearts ache for LDS.Long ago Jesus warned us
    to beware of false prophets/teachers.He said
    they will MISLEAD many[Matt.24:11].

  13. HankSaint says:

    Interesting, what does one have to do, even after I admitted to my error. Andy, am I do believe your so perfect, and everything you post here is 100% accurate, yes or no?

    Mother in Heaven is not a topic we teach much about, it is not completely understood or much revealed about this part of our doctrine. Eternal Progression is taught as pure doctrine, but again we find that the fulness of this principle is not fully understood. We expect either more revelation or we expect to find out more once we pass through the veil of death. If you have more then just these small bits of doctrine, please feel free to share them with us, I for one would love to hear more about families in Heaven, Heavenly Mother, Plural Gods, Creating our own Earths and God once a man. Please fill in the dots and blanks, as of yet I have found little to take home to the family. 🙂

    The one thing I guess you have going for you, is that there are no prophets to misguide you since the Heavens are closed, and you do not allow God to speak anymore. So thou Fool, read the words of God.

    6 Thou fool, that shall say: A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible. Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews?
    7 Know ye not that there are more anations than one? Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth? NEPHI CHAPTER 29:6-7

    Regards, Richard.

  14. setfree says:

    LOL!

    Seriously, why are you quoting the Book of Mormon to us, Hanksaint/Richard?

    Let’s set aside all of the “sensational” stuff, and just look at it simply.

    Everything that ever prophesied of Joseph Smith and/or the Book of Mormon, CAME FROM JOSEPH SMITH!

    Don’t you see the problem with that?

    What if I said to you, Richard, I have seen a vision. God and Heavenly MOTHER and Jesus all came to see me, and I could sense that the Holy Ghost was there too. And they told me where to find some ancient writings.

    Then I took these ancient writings, translated them miraculously, and here’s the book. Look, it’s got the events of 9/11 in it! It foretells of the world wars that have happened. It even mentions that “the nation that has the flag with 50 stars will have it’s first black president after the year 2000”. Wow, this book is true!

    Also, I’ve been given the power to finish the Bible re-translation. The Bible has also not included this verse from Genesis:

    Genesis 50:39 “And there will be yet another terrific, wonderful seer who I, God, will raise up to bring forth these other writings so that all the nations will be brought to me.”

    Then, I could go find all the verses in the Bible that looked like I could use them, and say “God has shown me that I and my new church are the subject of these verses (they’re not about Jesus, are you kidding?!!).

    AND, as a bonus, I now hold the complete set of keys to eternal life, and all the secrets of Heavenly mother and everything else you wanted to know. You don’t even have to go to the temple now! You can just come by my house, give me $50, and I’ll give them to you.

    Oh, and forget that my translation of the ancient records mentioned something about computers and that I quoted the NASB. That’s not really a problem. It’s not! It’s not because I say it’s not! And I’m a prophet, so you have to believe me.

    Do you see what I’m getting at?

  15. setfree says:

    That is a great selling point by the way. It’ll be in my new “scriptures” too.

    “and behold, the people will say, A Book of Mormon, A Book of Mormon, all we need is a Book of Mormon’, but alas it came to pass that I indeed wrote another book…”

    Wouldn’t it have been great, by the way, if we could have gotten the Israel nation to split into a couple more groups? Then when God told the prophet to put two sticks (one for Judah/Benjamin and one for the other group) in his hand and hold them together, he would have actually said 4 STICKS! and we could have pretended it meant the Pearl of Great Price and the Doctrine &Covenants too!

    Dang Israel, not cooperating and all that…

  16. HankSaint says:

    Yea, I see what your getting at, what Church are you describing, I don’t recognize this religious occult.

    Vision and a Heavenly Mother?
    Were to to find some ancient writing?
    9/11 in it?
    50 stars and a black Pres.?
    50 bucks, and you get what?
    Computers?

    My, I’m so glad to belong to a Church that has the Restored Gospel and Priesthood or Authority to act in Gods name. That Joseph Smith was shown where ancient records were buried, as foretold in the Bible:

    Isaiah 29:4

    “And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.”

    That the last days are here and many things will transpire before the dreadful day of the Lord. Elijah’s appearance was in fulfillment of the prophecy made in Malachi 4:5–6:

    “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:

    “And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”

    Hmm, interesting how we differ so much from those who believe that the heaven are closed, and Authority to preach the Gospel of Christ can be given to those with College degrees in Theology. Very interesting when compared to those Fishermen who were given authority from on high. Methinks Creedal Christianity may just just that and a very good reason for its recent decline in memberships.

    Just a thought or two.

    Regards, Richard.

  17. setfree says:

    Lev 20:27
    1Sa 28:7

  18. setfree says:

    Isa 19:3, 1Ch 10:13, 2Ch 33:6

    Just what is a “familiar spirit”, Richard?

  19. Mike R says:

    Hank,

    You missing the point(again!).Andy never has
    claimed to be perfect.Anyone could make a mistake
    in their responces here, but unlike you there is
    not this consistant effort to dodge,deny,or down-
    play core beliefs.
    You keep rationalizing that just because you don’t
    here these doctrines every time you attend some
    meeting that then they don’t count.Hank, they do
    count.Whether “fully” revealed or not, they are
    clearly unscriptural,they are not “good doctrine”
    [1Tim.4:6].
    They are to be rejected.
    You are promised in LDS print that you’ll never
    be led astray by your leaders if you follow their
    counsel. This is a lie.You need take Jesus’
    warning at Matt.24:11 seriously.
    If these doctrines are a product of “latter-day”
    revelation,then I would rather have the heavens
    closed.
    God can speak to us today and He will be consistant in His truth.

  20. Andy Watson says:

    It is apparent to me now that Hank has given his mind over to a seared conscience. My intent and purpose in being here is to talk to the Mormon lurkers visiting here who have issues with their man-made religion and want answers. I am speaking to them foremost in what I write even when I address my posts to a certain person.

    We don’t have a “sketcy history of the means of translation”. We have a clear statement by many witnesses on how the BoM was brought about. You don’t have a problem with Joe, his magic rock and a hat – I do. The Bible calls it divination and it’s abomination (Deut 18:10-1). Mormon historian Richard Bushman accurately noted that:

    “Joseph Jr. never repudiated the stones or denied their power to find treasure. Remnants of the magical culture stayed with him to the end.” (Rough Stone Rolling, p.51)

    My information isn’t from “tabloid pieces”. It comes from LDS sources – all of them. I would hardly call Mormon apostle Russell Nelson’s piece in the July 1993 Ensign a “tabloid piece”. Any source of supposed “scripture” that comes via a magic rock in a hat is not from God. This is one reason why I won’t pray about this book or any book. This is a no-brainer from God that we are not supposed to. For anyone to choose to ignore God in what He has already revealed previously, then it’s your own fault. You can’t blame Joe Smith at the judgment for duping you.

    Where did the BoM originate from? Let’s ask Mormon apostle and Church historian B.H. Roberts in his work entitled “Studies in the Book of Mormon”. He made it pretty clear that Joseph Smith wasn’t that brilliant and gathered most of his ideas form other sources written previously and in addition to the magic rock. Mormons should listen to one of their own. It was good enough for me.

    The content of the BoM sounds and reads much like the Bible (monotheism, Jesus is God, God is Spirit, heaven or hell, Trinit). The other is filler, KJV plagiarism & fantasy.

  21. Andy Watson says:

    I give detailed references for all of my quotes and any Mormon is encouraged to check them out. That is why I do it. I am a stickler for accuracy and documentation. Mormons don’t return the courtesy and only expect it of us, but I have accepted this unbalanced of requested scholarship gladly.

    Am I perfect? Am I obeying Matthew 5:48? YES! I AM! I’m perfect because I have received imputed perfection through Jesus Christ (Hebrews 10:10, 14). Am I a sinner who sins daily either by omission or commission? YES I DO! When the Father sees Andy he sees perfection – not because of me, but because of the Father seeing the Son in me and or standing in front of me as my Advocate (1 John 2:1).

    Correct, Christianity doesn’t have prophets today. Why? Jesus Christ has replaced the need for those prophets (Hebrews 1:1-2). John the Baptist was the last prophet (Matt 11:13; Luke 16:13). I’m still waiting or wanting an answer from our Mormon friends when Thomas Monson is going to prophesy. When will D&C 139 come down? The Mormon god couldn’t stop talking when Joseph Smith was around, now he’s gone mute after Joseph Smith was pumped full of lead when he decided to get into a gun battle at Carthage Jail.

    We’ve had World War I & II; the Great Depression, Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Panama, Gulf War, 9/11, Iraq, Afghanistan, presidential assassinations, economic disasters, etc, and not a word from the prophet in Salt Lake. The Mormon god in D&C was involved in every detail of Mormon’s lives back then, but not now: D&C 124:115 – Robert Foster is instructed to build Joseph Smith a house; D&C 68:42-43 = Newel Whitney gets to keep his country store a little longer.

    If the LDS Church his going to decorate Thomas Monson up with clothes and facial make-up, put him on TV, call him a prophet, boast that they have one, then fine – tell the “OZ” to let him talk on his own and prophesy. Prophesy! Prophesy! Give us a prophecy! (Sounds sort of like 2 Nephi 29:6) D&C 139 or more – please!

  22. Michael P says:

    Yeah, Hank, you didn’t answer my question… Why does the LDS church portray the translation in another manner than what Smith even admitted to?

  23. Ralph says:

    Andy,

    Nowhere in the BoM does it state that God (The Father) is a Spirit or has a corporeal body.

    The first reference in the BoM where you say it states God is a Spirit is in Alma 18. Alma starts off asking the King of the Lamanites if he believed in God (v24). The king asked him what he meant by ‘God’ (v25), so Alma then asks if the king believed in the ‘Great Spirit’ (v26). When the king answered yes, Alma goes on to say that this ‘Great Spirit’ is God. He was using the Kings understanding to teach him about God – much like Paul used with the Greeks; Acts 17:22-23Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.” To use your interpretation of the BoM in Alma 18, we should then interpret this a Paul saying to the Greeks that the God of the Bible is just one of their pantheon, and is unknown to them at this point in time – especially since Paul says “Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship…”.

    Now let’s look at Alma 22. We find the same kind of teaching method being used here in verses 8-10. So Alma is not saying that God is a spirit as you infer, but he uses the Lamanites understanding to teach that there is a God.

    Another chapter used to say that the BoM states God is a spirit is Alma 31 when the Zoramites refer to Him as Spirit. These people were apostates and did not believe in the true God, so this easily discounts this assumption. So as I said, nowhere in the BoM does it state that God is Spirit or that He has a corporeal body. We only learn that from modern-day revelation in the D&C.

  24. HankSaint says:

    Andy Stated, “I give detailed references for all of my quotes and any Mormon is encouraged to check them out. That is why I do it. I am a stickler for accuracy and documentation. Mormons don’t return the courtesy and only expect it of us, but I have accepted this unbalanced of requested scholarship gladly”.

    Accuracy yes, manipulation, agenda, and out of context seems to be his forte. Let me give you a very insightful lesson in how Andy works his magic for the visitors and guest.

    Andy and his very accurate quote, ““Joseph Jr. never repudiated the stones or denied their power to find treasure. Remnants of the magical culture stayed with him to the end.” (Rough Stone Rolling, p.51)

    Now for the some clarity and transparency that I will quote from the same paragraph, with the Book I have right in front of me, on the same page and by the same author.

    So a little further down we read in the same paragraph the following:

    “While digging for Stowell, said Joseph Jr. told him that the “gift in seeing with a stone” was “a gift from God” but that ” ‘peeping’ was all dammed nonsense”; he had been deceived in his treasure-seeking, but he did not intend to deceive anyone else. By this time, Joseph apparently felt that “seeing” with as stone was he work of a “seer,” a religious term, while “peeping” or “glass-looking” was fraudulent.”

    So much for full transparency.

  25. setfree says:

    Ralph,
    In the “Lecture on Faith” section 5, pages 52-54, it says:
    “There are two personages who constitute the great, matchless, governing and supreme power over all things… they are the Father and the Son: The Father being a personage of spirit, glory, and power… the Son… a personage of tabernacle…”

    Joseph Smith also refers to the Holy Ghost as a personage of spirit.

    (Joseph Smith’s writings, taken in order, reflect a change from God to gods, from God being Spirit to being flesh.)

    Also,

    What is your take on the whole “…to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God” thing? (Testimony of the Three Witnesses)

    And what do you think about Mosiah 15:1-5:

    “1 And now Abinadi said unto them: I would that ye should understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people.
    2 And because he dwelleth in flesh he shall be called the Son of God, and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the Son–
    3 The Father, because he was conceived by the power of God; and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and Son–
    4 And they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth
    .
    5 And thus the flesh becoming subject to the Spirit, or the Son to the Father, being one God, suffereth temptation, and yieldeth not to the temptation, but suffereth himself to be mocked, and scourged, and cast out, and disowned by his people.

    ??

  26. HankSaint says:

    Andy states, “Where did the BoM originate from? Let’s ask Mormon apostle and Church historian B.H. Roberts in his work entitled “Studies in the Book of Mormon”. He made it pretty clear that Joseph Smith wasn’t that brilliant and gathered most of his ideas form other sources written previously and in addition to the magic rock. Mormons should listen to one of their own. It was good enough for me.

    Hmm, interesting, lets talk about quoting accurately B.H.Roberts in his later days.

    Long unseen by LDS scholars, an 847-page typescript entitled The Truth, The Way, The Life by B. H. Roberts will soon be published by BYU Studies. Roberts worked on this treatise mainly in 1927-1928, but he was still revising it in 1932, so it contains some of his last words written for publication; he died in 1933.

    Because this manuscript has long been known only for its few controversial pages on the creation, it comes as an unexpected bonus to learn that it repeatedly asserts the antiquity of the Book of Mormon. While such affirmative statements may seem perfectly unremarkable, it is precisely their routine orthodoxy that makes them so notable. Coming from one of the great intellects of the Church, whose views about the Book of Mormon supposedly became more intellectually sophisticated in his last years, these unequivocal statements will disappoint anyone who has imagined Roberts as a closet doubter or late-in-life skeptic.

    http://mi.byu.edu/publications/insights/?vol=13&num=11&id=27

  27. setfree says:

    HankSaint/Richard,
    I have sitting in front of me about 30 sworn affidavits given by Joseph Smith’s family and friends about his peepstone/treasure-looking habits.

    One of them says that Joseph Smith told him he could see (via the peepstone) a big treasure in a river, and that it was the promise of the share of the loot by which Joseph Smith talked the person into taking him (for free) to Pennsylvania to see his girlfriend.

    This is only one very brief example of his antics. I can give many more.

    Joseph Smith was a con man, a fast-talking, imaginative, manipulative storyteller…
    it’s really inconsequential what he says about himself… he’s a liar!

  28. HankSaint says:

    Triune: One God, Three Persons
    In the nature of the one God there are three centers of consciousness, which we call Persons, and these three are equal. Each human person is one who and one what; that is, there is one person per being. God is three Whos and one What; that is, there are three Persons who are one Being. A review of “God. In The Counterfeit Gospel of Mormonism” by Francis J. Beckwith Page 60.

    So Andy, does the above agree with your idea of a Triune God? Man was created in the “image and likeness” of God —Genesis 1:26—27. How then can someone teach that something as fundamental about man’s nature, image, and likeness as his personhood is completely unlike the personhood of God and still claim that their idea is biblical?

    Guest and Visitors, please ask your friendly Evangelical to explain the Triune God, and I doubt you will ever understand there definition or interpretation of the Bible.

    Richard.

  29. HankSaint says:

    Setfree,

    This is only one very brief example of his antics. I can give many more.

    Please do, and if you want to be relevant, then also give the source, author, witness, etc, etc. do the research before you make another blundering mistake.

  30. Andy Watson says:

    Ladies and gentlemen, guests and visitors:

    This evangelical Christian will be more than happy to discuss with you the nature of God and the Trinity. Let’s start by reading the article I wrote on May 21, 2009 here at Mormon Coffee entitled “Discovering the God of Christianity”. Then please read the discussion that followed. It’s 75 pages if you print it out. Next, if your questions aren’t answered there I would encourage you to email me and we can go through it point by point through Scripture (the Bible), the writings of the early church Fathers and the historical record for the first 400 years of the Christian Church. Ralph, a friend of mine on this blog and a devout Mormon, continued our discussion of this offline and knows that I am good on my offers.

    Here is the link:

    http://blog.mrm.org/2009/05/discovering-the-god-of-christianity/

    What the Mormons have been taught about the origins of the Trinity, what it means and the historical record is a lie. The information is out there. All one has to do is be willing to leave their LDS comfort zone, stop being lazy and stop allowing people that are uninformed or deliberatly dishonest in their presentation of the facts to keep shoving down your throat false information. Do some thinking and researching on your own. After all, it’s your soul on the line and where you are headed for all eternity. It doesn’t get more important than that.

  31. HankSaint says:

    Andy, just a yes or no, do you agree or not agree with the following:

    Triune: One God, Three Persons
    In the nature of the one God there are three centers of consciousness, which we call Persons, and these three are equal. Each human person is one who and one what; that is, there is one person per being. God is three Whos and one What; that is, there are three Persons who are one Being. A review of “God. In The Counterfeit Gospel of Mormonism” by Francis J. Beckwith Page 60.

    Are you in the least willing to touch the above or discount it as in error?

    Richard.

  32. Andy Watson says:

    Richard,

    No, the definition of the Trinity provided above by Francis Beckwith is incorrect and unscriptural on one main point: the Father and the Holy Spirit do not have human natures and are not human beings. Only the Son has a human nature (Philippians 2:7). Jesus Christ was both fully God in nature/essence and fully human in nature as well. When the Mormons say this they are incorrect:

    “There was in Palestine a couple, Joseph and Mary. She, heavy with child, traveled all that distance on mule-back, guarded and protected as one about to give birth to a half-Deity. He lived in a lowly home, the only man born to this earth half-Divine and half-mortal.” (The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles, page 10)

    Jesus Christ is no “half-deity”. He is either fully God or he is not God at all. Only a person being fully God in nature/essence would be able to be the perfect sacrifice on the cross by living the law of God the Father in the Old Testament fully to make it possible for us to have atonement with the Father. I needed someone to be fully God to die for my sins – not some “half-pint wanna-be-fully God” savior. That person simply wouldn’t cut it. Jesus Christ is both God and man – fully on both counts.

    A simple definition of the Trinity is this: Within the nature of the one God/Being there are three persons – Father, Son & Holy Ghost/Spirit. These three person are co-eternal, co-equal, co-existent and are co-Substance and are one God. Amen!

    [email protected]

  33. HankSaint says:

    If any of you visitors and guest understand what was just explained about the trinity, please reply and let me know. I have no idea of what Andy just said.

    Richard. 🙂

  34. setfree says:

    Richard/Hanksaint,

    “I have no idea of what Andy just said.”
    Consider this: 1 Corinthians 2:6-16

    “Please do, and if you want to be relevant, then also give the source, author, witness, etc, etc. do the research before you make another blundering mistake.”
    Happily:
    http://www.signaturebookslibrary.org/york/chapter1.htm

    Would you care to answer the question I posed to Ralph?

    “What is your take on the whole “…to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God” thing? (Testimony of the Three Witnesses)

    And what do you think about Mosiah 15:1-5:

    “1 And now Abinadi said unto them: I would that ye should understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people.
    2 And because he dwelleth in flesh he shall be called the Son of God, and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the Son–
    3 The Father, because he was conceived by the power of God; and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and Son–
    4 And they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth.
    5 And thus the flesh becoming subject to the Spirit, or the Son to the Father, being one God
    , suffereth temptation, and yieldeth not to the temptation, but suffereth himself to be mocked, and scourged, and cast out, and disowned by his people.

    ??”

  35. shematwater says:

    FALCON

    First, I followed every step you outlined, and I still come to the same conclusion. This is a very good process, but it is lacking one very important step.
    6: Kneel down and ask God if what you have concluded in correct. If the answer is yes, good for you. If it is no, go back to step one and start over until you get it right.

    You say we ahve no structure, but that is not entirely true. We do not have an official structure. That is, the prophets have never come out and said “this is the way to study the scriptures.” The reason for this is that not every person learns in the same way. Each person must come to the truth in their own way, and in their own time. The Leaders of the the church are their to guide us in this journey, not make it for us.

    The other really large problem I have with your method is that it assumes the Bible has no errors in it, which is a false assumption. There are errors in it, and since there are errors in it, if you aonly use the Bible to interpret the Bible you will always have error in your beliefs.
    Example: Amos 3: 6 “Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it?” Can God do evil? We are told in Matthew 5: 48 “Even as your Father, which are’t in heaven is perfect.” Can he do evil and be perfect?
    Another example: In John 1: 18 we read “No aman hath bseen God at any time; cthe only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath ddeclared him.” But we read that “the Lord spake to Moses face to face, as a man speaketh to his friend.” (EXO 33:11)

    My logic is sound, even by your method, I simply do not accept the Bible to be without error. I also do not accept it to be the only scripture in existance. These two assumptions made by Christians are not found in the Bible, and thus to reject them is not going against what the bible says.

  36. rblandjr says:

    Shem,
    You state.

    “The other really large problem I have with your method is that it assumes the Bible has no errors in it, which is a false assumption. There are errors in it, and since there are errors in it, if you aonly use the Bible to interpret the Bible you will always have error in your beliefs.”

    You then go on to say,

    “My logic is sound, even by your method, I simply do not accept the Bible to be without error.”

    Then you go own to quote four passages and compare them to prove they have errors. Thus to prove your point that the Bible is untrustworthy and corrupt.

    When you use proof text from the Bible to show that the Bible is full of errors you place your self in predicament.

    That is like drawing water from a well that has been poisoned and you are drinking from that water to prove that the water is poisoned.

    Doesn’t seem like the smartest thing to do.

    My God is not a man that he should lie.Num. 23:19; Titus 1:2; Ps.12:6;Prov. 30:5: Ps. 119:89

    What he says he will do.

    Gods word is truth itself.John 17:17.

    It is also amazing that you have come to this conclusion that the Bible is full of errors.

    You must have spent many many years studying Hebrew, Aramic and Greek. Then spent many many hours comparing the many many transcripts that we have dating from 200bc to the middle ages.

    Oviously you nor I have spent that much time studying the Bible.

    Pretty arrogant for us to state that God is a liar and he cannot be tusted to preserve his words that are as he states, “forever settled in heaven” Ps.119:89.

    But I will challenge you to compare the Bible with the BOM, just using archaelogical and historical evidences. Also their manuscript evidence to prove which is the most accurate and reliable.
    ” Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God”.

  37. shematwater says:

    RBLANDJR

    First, I do not have to compare all the ancient texts to know the Bible has errors. If this is the wording of the ancient texts then they are also in error.

    I agree that God does not lie, but that does not change the fact that in one scripture we read one thing, and in another we read the oposite.

    Look at my examples. If NO man has seen God than how did Moses speak to him FACE TO FACE? Explaim this, and then you will have grounds to tell me I am wrong.

    As to his words, the Psalmist had it right in that they are “Forever settled in Heaven.” However, the Bible is not heaven. He knows all the words he ever spoke, and they are had in the records of heaven, but they are not had in the records of the Earth.

    God allows men to do wickedly so that he may bring a righteous judgement against them. If a wicked man (or an ignorant one) had it in their heart to alter the writings of the Prophets God would allow it.

    Now, show me in the Bible where it says that God will preserve his words in the Bible. Then you will have a better argument.

  38. rblandjr says:

    Shem,

    For Christ, the words of Scripture were God’s words. For Him to say, “Have you not read?” is equivalent to saying, “Do you not know that God has said?” He used the phrase the Word of God and the word Scripture interchangeably when He quoted the Old Testament.Matt. 19:4,5 Jesus attributes the words directly to God. “He who created them…said.”
    Jesus quoted OT scriptures. John 5:39,46-47;
    Christ affirmed the inerrancy of the OT and the very words were inspired. Matt. 5:17-18 “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets: I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. For truly I say to you until heave and earth pass away, not the smalledt letter or stoke shall pass away from the Law, until all is accomplished.”
    Christ would never have put His approval upon erroneous statements and teachings. We cannot circumvent the plain fact that Christ believed that the OT words wer inspired.

    In Amos 3:6 the KJ uses the word “evil”, In the ESV this word is translated disaster. The esv has correctly captured the sense of the Hebrew word ra‘ah in this verse, a word which has a very broad range of connotations. Often translated “evil,” it is used to express everything from “moral evil” (Gen. 6:5) to “disaster” (as here and also Jonah 3:10). If there is disaster occurring, the people should not attribute it to bad luck but should take note that God is at work, in his sovereign wisdom, and they should respond accordingly to his judgment. So this is no way contradictory with Matt. 5:49 God is perfect in Justice and must punish evil.

    In Exodus 33:11 it says they met face to face, picture them talking openly as friends do. But Moses wants to see his glory and God says you can’t see my face(glory) and live so he gives him a glimpse. So V.11 and v.20 do not contradict. This is an anthropomorphic expression. To be understood only in the sense of being human expression used in order to bring the infinite within the comprehension of the finite.

  39. shematwater says:

    RBLANDJR

    I appriciate what you say, but the as we have it the Bible is still in error.

    As to Amos, what you say may be true, but I am no Hebrew scholar and could not say. However, I think that Joseph Smith did a much better job at clearing the contradiction when he translated it to say “God hath not known it” instead of “God hath not done it.”
    Also, on the same idea Isaiah 45: 7 says “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.”
    But in Amos 5: 40 it says “For I say unto you that whatsoever is agood cometh from God, and whatsoever is bevil cometh from the devil.”
    So, if God created evil how does it come from the devil?

    As to your explanation of the contradiction between Exodus and John, I think it is a poor attempt to explain it. This is simply a contradiction. Even if it wasn’t “face to face” since God doesn’t have a face, Moses still saw God.
    Again I think Joseph Smith did a great job at clearing the confusion of the contradiction.
    The JST of Exodus 33: 20, 23 says “..Thou canst not see my face at this time, lest mine anger be kindled against thee also, and I destroy thee, and thy people; … And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen as at other times.”
    Then we go to John and read in the JST “No man hath seen God at any time; except he hath borne record of the Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”

    With this there is no contradiction in the text and no need to find a symbolic meaning that is in no implied.

  40. shematwater says:

    Forgive me for preaching. I do not mean to. I really only mean that the attempts to reconcile differences in the Text of the Bible without admitting them as simple errors in need of correcting is foolish.

    Just a last comment. While Christ did sanction the Old Testiment, the Jews at that time had access to copies older than the ones we currently have. Thus Christ sactioned that which he had, not what would be had 2000 years later. As you said, or earliest record is from around 200 BC, but the entire Old Testiment was recorded before about 400 BC. Thus we do not have the original records and cannot say that what we do have is a perfect copy of them.

  41. Andy Watson says:

    Richard,

    You don’t understand what I said about the Trinity, the deity and humanity of Christ? Let me ask you, do you understand this in Mormonism because I don’t:

    “Our Father in heaven, according to the Prophet, had a father, and since there has been a condition of this kind through all eternity, each Father had a Father, until we come to a stop where we cannot go further, because our limited capacity to understand” (10th President Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation 2:47)

    God the Father is married and there is a Mother God (Answers to Gospel Questions, Joseph Fielding Smith, Vol. 3, pp. 143-144)

    “I know that God is a being with body, parts and passions…Man was born of woman; Christ, the Savior, was born of woman; and God, the father was born of woman.” (LDS President Joseph F. Smith, Deseret News, Church News, Sept.19, 1936, page 2)

    “We were begotten by our Father in Heaven; the person of our Father in Heaven was begotten on a previously heavenly world by His Father; and again, He was begotten by a still more ancient Father; and so on, from generation to generation, from one heavenly world to another still more ancient, until our minds are wearied and lost in the multiplicity of generations and successive worlds, and as a last resort, we wonder in our minds, how far back the genealogy extends, and how the first world was formed, and the first father was begotten.” (The Seer, page 132)

    God has a message for you, Richard/Hank. He said:

    Romans 11:34-35

    Isaiah 55:8-9

    Isaiah 40:13-14

    Isaiah 40:18

    Isaiah 40:28

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