I understand that Mormons respect and revere Joseph Smith. I get that. I really do. Yet sometimes the way he’s talked about, even in an official sense, seems a bit over the top. In the February 2009 Ensign magazine former Seventy F. Burton Howard wrote,
“If Joseph saw what he claimed to have seen, and I testify that he did, then in sharing his [First] vision he did more than any man who has ever lived to reveal the nature, character, and mission of the Lord Jesus Christ to the world.” (Hearing and Heeding the Message from the Grove, Ensign, February 2009, page 12)
As the official First Vision story goes (Joseph Smith—History 1:16-20), when Joseph came out of the sacred grove and told his story, this is what he revealed about “the nature, character, and mission of Jesus Christ to the world”:
- He is a personage whose brightness and glory defies all description
- He is a separate Being from God the Father
- He is the beloved Son of God the Father
- He condemned all churches, all creeds, and all who believe those creeds
That’s it. That is what Joseph sharing his vision contributed to the world’s understanding of Jesus Christ. Has any man who has ever lived ever revealed more?
Consider the teachings of the apostle John. In the first chapter of his Gospel account he revealed,
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:1-4)
A few verses later he revealed,
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14)
Further on John revealed,
The next day [John the Baptizer] saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’ I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.” And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.” (John 1:29-34)
Then later the apostle John revealed,
And [Jesus] said to [Nathanael], “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.” (John 1:51)
John wrote twenty additional chapters in his Gospel account alone, all filled with majestic revelation of “the nature, character, and mission of Jesus Christ to the world.” In sharing his vision, did Joseph Smith really reveal more? Do Mormons actually think he did?
Let me give Mr. Howard the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps his claim was taking the First Vision story as merely a starting point, much as did LDS Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley who said that once one had a belief that the First Vision story was true, “All else that follows would be true.” In that case, it could be said that Joseph Smith taught far more about Jesus Christ than the four points coming from his First Vision story. Nevertheless, even apart from my firm affirmation that much of what Joseph “revealed” about Jesus was false, to say that he revealed more on the subject than any man who ever lived is preposterous.
Joseph Smith may have done some impressive things during his lifetime; however, we would do well to keep excessive adulation at bay.
Did Joseph Smith also emerge from the grove with his self-imposed “authority” to say these things?
Never mind. I see it was May 15, 1829 that he was given “authority.” The boasting of Joseph Smith and LDS is not Christ-like at all. I have to admit though that JS was a genious at incorporating enough “faith” rhetoric into his teachings to get millions of intelligent people to follow his cult tactics.
Wow, and here I thought that distinction belonged to Jesus.
I really would like to know what is wrong with honoring a man for all he did for the world. After all, people honor all the ancient prophets. Why can’t we honor ours? Also, Joseph Smith is not the one we honor the most. He is simply the one that is closest to us, so we talk of him the most. Adam and Noah have a greater honor than Joseph.
Now, as to the quote by Brother Burton, I would point out that he “did” more to reveal it, not necessarily that he actually revealed more. Also, I do believe this was the starting point. If he had not shared the vision it is likely he would not have continued to received further visions and revelations. So in sharing the vision he did more to reveal God.
However, even with only these four general points he revealed more than was known at the time. The Godhead being separate beings, God having a physical body, the false religions of the day. This quite abit.
On a final note, this is the last dispensation. Though many men have seen our times in vision, it is rare to find one that explains the actual purpose and mission of Christ concerning this time, at least not in any detail. As he was the head of this dispensation, Joseph Smith had to prepare the people of this time for that mission. Therefore he would have told a great deal more as it was now necessary for it to be revealed to the world. He also revealed much of what happened int the past, and how it is all connected. Ancient prophets had less of the past to reveal, and only revealed the far future in symbols and hidden meaning.
Shem: Honor, to a point, but veneration, no.
As the chief prophet, priest, and king, Jesus is the head of the final dispensation, and it was set up that way so he got all the attention. Introducing another dispensation and putting Joseph Smith at the head of it sidelines Jesus, no matter how much one is able to integrate the phrase “Jesus Christ” into a prayer or service.
The fullness of time was 2000 years ago, not 175 years ago. As Paul said in Ephesians 1:
The mystery hidden for ages and ages was not waiting for Joseph Smith to be revealed. Consider how Paul spoke in Colossians 1:
It’s all about Jesus. Time centers around him. Dispensations and priesthoods culminate in him. Temples and sacrifices end with him. He is the new temple. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” (John 2:19) And so he did.
“That’s my Jesus.”
AARON; that is one EXCELLENT post. I liked this quote esp.
putting Joseph Smith at the head of it sidelines Jesus, no matter how much one is able to integrate the phrase “Jesus Christ” into a prayer or service.
for many LDS, they may not realize fully just how “sidelined” Jesus was until they get out…..then the “aha” moment
again, very good work
PS: if you see Blake O. give him a hug for me, he seems kind of cranky lately
Pingback: Who Is the Head of This Last Dispensation? « I Love Mormons
When asked what my favorite book of the Bible is, I answer the one I am reading now. I am working my way through John’s Gospel so I might be biased but I would have to vote for John over Joseph Smith.
OK, for the 1 or 2% of you who do not believe it is, let’s look at this from the perspective that the LDS church is the true church.
John wrote his gospel a few decades after the Crucifixion. He wrote as both an eye witness and a narrator of other eye witnesses. What we have of his writings are ambiguous in some areas, hence the many denominations that believe in the NT and Jesus but have differing doctrine about Him and God. These ambiguities may be because of how John wrote his gospel, OR it could be from others placing errors in the text whether accidentally or purposefully does not matter for now. So yes, although John did write many things about God and Jesus and their nature, character and mission, we do not know how to interpret his words properly or if we can take them at face value.
What did JS do? He prayed to God and received a vision of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. He then went and testified of this. God, through JS, restored the true church to the earth containing the only true gospel. JS debunked almost 2000 years of apostate/heretical teachings about the nature, character and mission of God and Jesus because of this first vision.
John did not do anything like this. It was Jesus that came and debunked the centuries of apostate/heretical teachings of the Jewish faith at the time, not John. John was just an eyewitness to the event.
So, from the perspective that the LDS church is correct, JS did do more than any other man (except Jesus of course), including John, in testifying and teaching of the true nature, character and mission of God and Jesus.
If the LDS church is not true (and I am saying ‘IF’ for those 1 – 2% that do not believe it is), then JS has done nothing to add to the true gospel so the answer there is ‘NO’ he did not do more than any one else.
1-2% of who? Readers at Mormon Coffee? I would say there’s a much larger percent that do not believe LDS teachings are true. And since when have teachings of the Jewish faith been apostate and heretical? and for centuries? God’s chosen people who over and over again celebrate remembrances of the one true God and what He has done for them. What an unbelievable slap in the face to their faith and heritage.
JS’s boastful nature makes me ill.
Ralph wrote “So yes, although John did write many things about God and Jesus and their nature, character and mission, we do not know how to interpret his words properly or if we can take them at face value”
I don’t think anyone here is disputing the need to work hard at interpreting the words of John, or any other book in the Bible. However, you imply that any comprehensible interpretation is impossible, which defies credibility. By the same measure the words of Joseph Smith would be incomprehensible to everyone, and I’m pretty sure you’re not advancing that argument.
If God was behind the Bible, as your creed (sorry, Articles of Faith) says so, then why bother to get it written at all when its message can’t be interpreted?
Come to think of it, why bother with the incarnation at all?
Surely the mission of Christ was to reveal God to the world. Consider the song of Simeon in Luke 2:30-31;
“For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people”
Simeon did not need Joseph Smith to “interpret” Christ for him; neither did John, neither do I and neither do you.
This subject must scare TBM to no end. Four comments on this subject but hundreds about the HBO show.What gives?
Only four comments on this subject! I figured TBM’s would all over this one. But no,but hundreds about an HBO story that not that many people saw,I know I didn’t. I don’t even care. But this subject just jumps out at me and I would have liked to see some back and forth.
Wow, are you one of the few non-LDS on this site with a persecution complex?
And as far as the Jews, are you meaning to tell me that they believe in the true God and that they are saved and going to heaven at judgement day? If not, then they must be at least apostate from the true religion. Expecially when Jesus spent most of His time correcting the wrong beliefs of the Jewish religious leaders.
It was the purpose and calling af all the prophets from the OT to present, not just Jesus Christ, to reveal God to the people. That is what the scriptures are all about. And it says in the scriptures that they are not for personal interpretation but they were written by holy men when they were come upon by the Holy Spirit. Meaning that the only way to interpret the scriptures is by the power/influence of the Holy Ghost, and I also believe that it means that it must be through a holy man (ie prophet) as well. So although you disagree with it, I still believe that we need prophets today and JS was one of them.
Your logic is so flawed I cannot believe you said what you did. Did you think before writing?
If what you said was true, Ralph said
First off, their is a 3rd choice your leaving out, The Bible tells us that people want their itching ears tickled and want to be told what they want to believe. The Bible tells us also the heart is Dectiful and Wicked, Maybe it is the matter of, People cannot correctly “interpret” the Gospel correctly because it does not line up with their beliefes.
Take Women Pastors for example, I believe Scripture is clear, Women are not to be Pastors, but some women dont care what the Scripture says, Or what About the homosexuals, Scripture is clear, that is wrong, yet many Homosexuals twist scripture to say it is ok.
Then you say, JS prayed, God gave JS a clear answer and that should settle the matter, if that is true, then how come their are many off shoot branches of LDS? We have LDS, RLDS, FLDS etc, They all claim to believe in JS as the “Head” Prophet, they claim to believe in the BoM, yet out side of that we find many differences, all the while they all claim to be the “True Church” and claim the others are off or apostate. Rick b
Ralph, you are wrong. The universal Church (this includes all denominations, non-denominations, Orthodox, Catholic, whatever) is pretty much in agreement when it comes to doctrine about God (ie, the nature of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit). One of the hallmarks of religions/cults that have grown out of Christianity (JW’s, LDS, etc.) is that their doctrine about God is completely different from the real deal.
I don’t have a persecution complex. I don’t know why you bring that up. And unlike you, I also don’t have a god-complex. I don’t know what will happen to Jews on judgement day; I don’t know what is in their hearts. The Jews were not wrong in their faith and practices; Jesus just brought a new law. Maybe when you are god of your own planet, you won’t fail as miserably as your god did at getting your word across.
Your ‘third answer’ fits in with what I said about ambiguity and different interpretations of the scripture because of this ambiguity. Its because of this ambiguity in some of the scriptures that people decide to believe in what they want to according to how they read/interpret the scriptures. This is also why we have meny offshoots of the LDS church because there are some statements from our leaders that are ambiguous, but also some people did not want to listen to the prophets so they took what they wanted and added some of their own ideas – either way they are apostate religions.
You are the only one Ev this site that I know of that believes the way you do about the Jews. All of the others opinions that I know of say that the Jews do not believe in the one true God and Jesus so they are going straight to Hell along with the LDS and Muslims and Modalist Christians and JW and SDA …
As far as your persecution complex, because I cannot see your face nor hear your voice I cannot tell if you were being sarcastic or not at my sarcastic comment about only 1-2% on this site not believing that the LDS church is true. Thus I took your earlier comment as a sarcastic remark inditcating mock offence, so I reciprocated with another sarcastic remark about you having a persecution complex. They were all jokes on my behalf.
Just remember that my original remarks state that its from the perspective that the LDS church is true. I know you believe differently, but that does not make you correct. 2000 years of tradition does not make one correct. The Jewish religion is older than Christianity and they did have the truth else we would not use the OT in Christianity. Because they are older than Christianity, does this make them more true? Of course not – so why do you think that 2000 years of tradition would make you any more true than the LDS church which is close to 200 years old? Its the source of the teachings/doctrine that makes a church correct, not age. If a church has lost the true/divine source of inspiration it has become dead and false. If it never had the true source then it was never alive and true.
Ralph, your still wrong, the Bible is the Word of God and is clear in what it says, if People decide to claim they do not believe it or change the Scripture to Fit their beliefe that is not Gods fault.
You brought up the Gospel of John. So lets do this, John 3:16 says,
Seems pretty clear to me. Lets break it down.
Bible says, For God.
Rick says, The Bible is clear, it says God, Who’s God? The Bible is Clear, Jesus is God.
Bible says, So Loved the World.
Rick Says, Seems Clear again, God Loved the world. So what did God Do? He loved the World.
Bible says, that he gave his only begotten Son
Rick says, Again, seems Clear, God so loved the World He gave His only Son. But Why did He Give His only son? Well lets read the Bible to Find out.
Bible says, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Rick says, Well Ralph, that was not Hard at all, God gave His Son so we would be saved.
Now Read Romans Chapter 1-3, it is Clear from those Scriptures that God hates the Homosexual Lifestyle, not the Person, He Died for the Person, but He hates that life Style and the Bible is clear, No Homosexual will enter the kingdom of Heaven. So if a Homosexual wants to say thats not true, then as the Bible says, that person is calling God a liar.
Ralph, if you want to say you cannot trust or believe the Bible, then thats your Choice. But I believe it. Just because LDS and Non-LDS cannot agree, like Grace verses Works debate for example Does not mean were wrong or do not understand the Bible.
Just because we do not agree on any given Subject does not mean the Bible is Vauge and cannot understand it.
It has been Shown on this Blog many times that Even TBM cannot agree, Since you and your fellow LDS cannot agree on certain Subjects among yourselves Does that mean the BoM is vauge and cannot be trusted? Since you guys cannot agree on points in the BoM, does that mean us Non-LDS should simply never ask questions again? Because if you guys cannot agree, How can I trust you to lead me into truth and lead me unto a saving knowladge of salvation? Rick b
Ifthe Bible is soo clear in what it says, why are there still disparities between all of the Christian denominations? Why do some believe in a Trinity while others in a Modalism, yet others in 3 separate beings and again others in another way, and so on? You cannot say that the Trinity is the only way to believe because I know of 4 Bible dictionaries, one backed by the World’s most prestigious Bible study group, that state quite clearly that the Doctrine of the Trinity is not found in the NT text, and we knokw the Jews do not believe in a Trinity so the OT is out as well. The Bible study group that wrote on of those Bible dictionaries have a high membership of Traditional Christians, so they most likely believe in the Trinity, but they study the linguistics of the Bible, and that is their ‘expert’ linguistic opinion. We all have the same book, but there are widely different interpretations of that book. The parables that Jesus told have many layers of meanings in them and one can only understand at their level of spirituality, this is proof enough alone that there are going to be differences of opinions on what the Bible means. Yes, some verses and teachings are clear, but some are not. For instance the baptism for the dead verses; the thief on the cross next to Jesus who was promised to be in paradise with Jesus; there are others. So its not all cut and dried as you say it is. But this discussion is now going onto the next topic that was posted today (well yesterday my time). I am at work right now but I will write something for the next blog and post it later if you can wait for it.
– so why do you think that 2000 years of tradition would make you any more true than the LDS church which is close to 200 years old?
Because the core of those traditions lines up with what has already been revealed, through the power and inspiriation of the Holy Spirity. The BofM, among others….and there are many others, does NOT. Or even come close. Thank GOD for HIS plumb line. JS was able to get around this by selling his audience the “it’s a great book, but corrupted…..and parts are missing…..but we love it , so…..” and they bought into it. Not at all unique, there have been many other groups that have done, and will do the same again.
You are right, RALPH, in your observation that old does not equal true. There are some religions MUCH older than christianity.
I read somewhere online today that author Stephen Shields (formerlly RLDS) puts the number of “mormon” groups at a conservative 60 or so. So much for the modern prophet clearing everything up.
As I have said before, Some things in the Bible that People cannot agree on, Like Can men have long Hair, or can women be Pastors, or can I have a Tattoo, these are not salvation issues. So since these things do not affect my salvation, I dont care about Arguing over them, I do not care if people say their are problems in the Bible.
If someone asks me where I stand on these Issue’s I will answer them and give the scripture I use to support my view. I believe that the Bigger questions about the trinity for example can be found in the Bible. Just because we cannot Agree does not mean the Bible is wrong.
Like I said already, You and a few other LDS on this blog have not all agreed on certain issues, Does that mean your all wrong? Or Maybe the BoM you quote from is wrong? Part of the problem is, People dont want to hear the truth and that includes Believers. Like I said, the Bible teaches Women cannot be pastors, but if you go and talk with a women pastor, I can assure you she will not want to hear that the Bible says she cannot be a pastor, Since the Pastor does not want to hear or believe it, she will do or say whatever she has to, to defend her postion. Does that make the Bible false Since she does not want to hear the truth? Rick b
Ralph, the thing I took issue with was your claim that all the denominations had different beliefs about the doctrine (nature) of God. Which is completely untrue. In fact, that’s one thing we ALL agree on. So, that was my point.
“I read somewhere online today that author Stephen Shields (formerlly RLDS) puts the number of “mormon” groups at a conservative 60 or so. So much for the modern prophet clearing everything up.” I have heard that it is closer to 150 offshoots from the LDS church. But these offshoots are made by people who do not want to listen to the prophet, NOT by the prophet himself. So yes, while the modern prophet can clear things up, it all depends on whether people want to listen to him or go about their merry little wicked ways.
Sorry if I misunderstood your point, but still whether you wish to classify the different denominations that do not believe the same as you about God as cults or sects or whatever – the fact remains that we still have many religions/denominations out there that claim to believe in Jesus Christ, the NT and the God of the Bible and there are many disparities between them because of how they read the Bible, right down to the nature of God and Jesus. There are at least 4 different Deity systems I know of in the ‘Christian’/NT believing society (this includes JW, LDS, SDA, Christadelphian, RC, GO, Lutheran, everyone, just didn’t know how to term it for your understanding); but then there are differences of opinions on things like mode and importance of baptism; Female priests; Gay priests; Strict/Heirarchial Priesthood system (eg RC, GO) or laity (eg Pentacostal, Evangelical). All these differences come from how one interprets the Bible. As I said in one of my posts – the Bible states it is not for PERSONAL interpretation but it must be interpreted the same way it was given, which was by holy men who were given revelation by the Holy Spirit.
In the past, the different Christian denominations started out because of differences of opinion with the interpretation of the Bible. Each splinter group said that the main group it broke from was apostate or dead in their faith. For example the RC and Lutheran churches. The Lutheran church denied the RC claim to authority from God amongst other things and said that the RC church was not the true church because its doctrines and practices were apostate. The RC church, on the other hand, claimed that the Lutheran/Protestant splinters doctrines and practices were apostate and that they were not the true churches. It has only been the last few decades that these groups are getting back together again to allow all to be correct under the banner of ‘Christian’ just as long as the Trinity was their God. So who was right and who was wrong? The early RC or Protestants in that only one of the 2 systems were correct; or the system we have today?
This answers your question about our church. We allow free thinking as long as one does not teach their thoughts as doctrine. Yes, we can disagree on some issues on this site, but most are not important issues. I knew a person who did not believe that the prophets after Wilford Woodruff were true prophets and openly opposed the sustaining of the prophet during conferences. Because he believed that the LDS church was the only true church, he was still allowed to keep his membership and did so for a couple of years until he started teaching from the pulpit and in classes his ideas. He had quite a few warnings about it, but did not heed them. Ultimately he was excommunicated for teaching his beliefs as doctrine – not for opposing the prophet. We try and keep people in the church so they can learn the truth and maybe accept it in the future, as it is easier to do that than be excommunicated and rebaptised if one wanted.
But as I said, we all agree on the major doctrines and points like the nature of God and Jesus, and what they require of us. Exactly the same as how your denomination and others can decide to accept each other despite your differences in the ‘little things’. I never said that the differences make you incorrect, I just said that the Bible is open to interpretation which is why we have all these different denominations.
Ralph wrote “So although you disagree with it, I still believe that we need prophets today and JS was one of them. ”
I’m not contending with using the insights of other people to understand the Bible. Most of my learning comes from considering what others have said, including Joseph Smith (though, not in the way you would like)!
I do object, however, to the implication that a person cannot understand the Bible unless he is part of the LDS program. If I understand your logic, being not part of the LDS movement equals no Holy Ghost, which equals an unenlightened reading of the Bible.
This reasoning takes us right back to relying on Joseph Smith in order to interpret the Bible correctly. One of the reasons I quoted Simeon is that he didn’t foresee any need for Joseph Smith to be involved in the revelation of God’s salvation to all people. Why not?
I’ve been musing on how we might re-write the passage to better support these assertions. Here’s the original from Luke 2:30-31;
“For mine eyes have seen thy salvation, Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people”
Here’s the “restored” version option 1;
“For my mind’s eye foresees that this child will institute an organisation that will be the sole franchise-holder for the ways of salvation, which God will keep hidden from the public for secret revelation to the chosen prophet in due course.”
…or an alternative “restored” version option 2;
“Cute baby. I hope I live long enough to teach him the secret handshakes”
You state the following:
“Now Read Romans Chapter 1-3, it is Clear from those Scriptures that God hates the Homosexual Lifestyle, not the Person, He Died for the Person, but He hates that life Style and the Bible is clear, No Homosexual will enter the kingdom of Heaven. So if a Homosexual wants to say thats not true, then as the Bible says, that person is calling God a liar.”
I don’t believe there is a homosexual ‘lifestyle’. As for Romans 1, the Christian God hates paganism, and the chapter in context is about fertility cults.
“And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
24Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.”
The start of Leviticus 18
“3 After the doings of the land of Egypt, wherein ye dwelt, shall ye not do: and after the doings of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, shall ye not do: neither shall ye walk in their ordinances.” The emphasis is on competing philosophies, the hebrew god abhores competition with other gods.
Wikipedia has an explanation on religious prostitution, its quite lengthy and technical.
Ralph, the Christadelphians are not part of the fold anymore. That is my point….that once people start believing and professing something different about the nature of God, by definition they have left the fold of Christianity. I think it was a little unfair of me to give such a short comment to your more in-depth comments. Sort of a “drive-by” comment. But what can I say, I am lazy these days with commenting on here. Meaning, I don’t put as much time and effort into responses. So, no need to respond. I have to go and get my daughter off to preschool now!
PS You are right, there are many, many disagreements in Christianity—but what I’m saying is that the nature of God is one that is not up for grabs.
Veneration: the feeling of a person who venerates; a feeling of awe, respect, etc.; reverence; an expression of this feeling
I don’t see a problem with this. I hold the men and women who died defending this country in veneration. I hold all the early christian martyrs in veneration. Why not the more recent ones? It seems to me that giving honor is much greater than giving veneration.
When I speak of honor, I mean glory and authority. Glory in heaven and authority in the eternities. God the Father has the glory of being the Father of us all, and the Authority of being the head God of the godhead. Jesus Christ has the Glory of being the God of this world, the authority of being the king of our generation, and head God of it. Adam has glory as the father of the human family on this Earth, and the authority to be the head of the is Earth (under Christ) in the eternities. Next to him in glory and authority if Noah. After Noah (though I cannot say in what order) comes Enoch, Abraham, Moses, Peter, and Joseph Smith.
This is giving honor to a man, recognizing the authority he has, and will have.
Christ is the head of all dispensations, as he is the head of the church in all ages of the world. However, each dispensation has a head that operates under the direction of Christ to restore the gospel. Adam was the first, bringing the gospel to the world. Enoch was second, restoring the gospel to those who had fallen away. Noah was third, keeping the Gospel alive. Abraham came next, as his fathers had fallen away and the covenant line was broken. After this was Moses who restored the gospel to the Isrealites. When Christ came he restored the gospel, as is the true head of that dispensation. However, as he is the head of all, Peter became the acting head of that dispensation. And in the last days Joseph Smith restored the gospel for the last time.
These are the arcangels, the seven heads of the dispensations: Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Peter, and Joseph. They all act under the direction of Christ who is the grand head of all.
Christ is not on the sidelines. He is raised to the highest honor (being second only to his Father).
The reference you give concerning the fullness of times I understand your meaning, but I do not see this scripture refering to the time of Christ as the Fullness of Times. Paul is saying that they have been told that these things will happen in the Fullness of Times, yes, but he does not say when the Fullness of Times is.
The mystery talked of in the given verses is the mystery of the Atonement, how it works and what it does. The gospel had been reserved for the covenant line from the beginning of the world, or kept secret from the heathen and gentile. With Christ this secret, or mystery, was revealed to the world as the mission to the gentiles was opened.
There has not been a time in history when the exact nature of the future was known to man (except to a select few who didn’t tell much). Adam’s children did not know the dimentions of the ark. Noah’s children did not know of the plagues of Egypt. The Isrealites at the time did not know of the Roman conquest. The saints at the time of the Apostles did not know of the Reformation. Those in the reformation did not know of the Restoration. Each time is given that which is needed for that time, and not that which is needed for a future time. they may be told concerning the general points of the future, but they are not instructed in the future. Thus, a new mystery is revealed each time.
So yes, while the modern prophet can clear things up, it all depends on whether people want to listen to him or go about their merry little wicked ways.
substitute “the Bible with the aid of the Holy Spirit” for “the modern prophet” and we are exactly at the same place. so if it’s unavoidably murky in the world at large with YOUR set-up, enough of telling me about all the denominations proving something. that’s GERMIT’s point: EITHER way there is the latitude for men to go about and believe what they will, no matter what help GOD offers them (be it modern prophet or Holy Bible, or both…..)
Megan: you wrote
Ralph, the thing I took issue with was your claim that all the denominations had different beliefs about the doctrine (nature) of God. Which is completely untrue. In fact, that’s one thing we ALL agree on. So, that was my point.
well…..you’re right and wrong…… right insofar as a VERY wide group of christians who represent what some would call “traditional” or “orthodox” christianity DO hold to a core of belief, the nature of GOD, the deity of Christ, the completeness of the work of Christ……BUT, it would not be hard to find groups making a loud claim to christianity that hold only some, on none, of these beliefs…..I’m guessing that Ralph has bumped into some of these groups. So in a sense, you’re BOTH right.
This becomes a matter of perspective as to how big a deal the diversity is. some would say, “oh, so varied, then NONE of you must be the true church….” but from Megan’s view, and mine, the SHARED beliefs of those groups falling within orthodoxy makes a stronger case for the one true church being NOT this one or that one, but all the born again ones in EACH of them. This does not look attractive to anyone looking for one particular ORGANISATION as being GOD”s pick. But if unity built on RELATIONSHIP to JESUS is your thing, then this starts to make sense.
I’ve said it before, but hang out at Internetmonk.com to get a flavor of a very WIDE group of Jesus loving folks from Eastern Ortho. to Pentacostal. The moderator is SBC, married to a protestant-converted-to-RomanCatholic. Sounds whacky, but read the posts and you can sense the community. That’s what the Kingdom of Heaven is all about.
Shematwater wrote ” Those in the reformation did not know of the Restoration”
Shem’s implication is that the reformers were part of a dispensational church under the headship of Christ. I don’t agree the dispensational theory, but there’s a clear internal inconsistency here with traditional LDS teaching, which holds that the Gospel had been driven from the earth from about the 3rd Century AD to the so-called restoration (see James Talmadge’s “Articles of Faith”, for example)
Shem, were the reformers guided by the Holy Ghost or not?
“Shem’s implication is that the reformers were part of a dispensational church under the headship of Christ. I don’t agree the dispensational theory, but there’s a clear internal inconsistency here with traditional LDS teaching, which holds that the Gospel had been driven from the earth from about the 3rd Century AD to the so-called restoration (see James Talmadge’s “Articles of Faith”, for example)”
First, when a dispensation opens, it includes all times that occur until the next one opens. So the first began with Adam, and ended when Enoch was called to Preach. The second began with Enoch’s calling, and ended with the calling of Noah to preach and built the ark. This pattern is followed so that the sixth began when Christ began his ministry, and ended when Joseph Smith had his first vision. Thus the reformation is part of the dispensation of Christ.
“Shem, were the reformers guided by the Holy Ghost or not?”
To clear any inconsistancies that may appear to exist I will explain. The gospel was taken from the Earth (not driven) because of wickedness. This means the authority to act in the name of God was no longer present. There was no person who held the keys of the priesthood for performing any of the saving ordinances that are the Gospel. This is what is meant when we talk of the Great Apostacy.
Now, there were many men who were touched by the Holy Spirit and inspired by God. However, they did not have this authority, therefore they did not have the Gift, or constant companionship of the Holy Spirit. They had moments of inspiration, but not the costant guidence that comes with the fulness of the gospel.
They are still under the authority of the sixth dispensation, as they were born in that time, but they did not have the gospel. Just as the Eqyptians at the time of Moses are part of that dispensation, but they did not have the Gospel.
Joseph Smith taught men how to “lust after the flesh”, which is the opposite of what Apostle Paul and Christ taught us. Brigham Young took it to the extreme and was a mass murderer. My nephew […] has been brainwashed all his life by his parents and Mormon church teachers (who were also brainwashed, yes, like I was). But I could see how Satan used J. Smith as a tool to corrupt the world in theses last days, and got out of the Mormon cult. Now those “nice” Mormons that treat you so well, label me “apostate” and treat me like dirt, including family members, especially. The Mormons send out young brainwashed missionaries to teach of “forever families”, while in fact they are destroying families the world over, one by one. They teach your own child to shun you if you dare “leave their fold” and have secret death oaths in their temples. Of course, they will then all deny it, but I speak as a former 50 year member from the INSIDE, so I know how they lie to cover up the cults corruption. They are the ONLY culture who keep family members apart for a wedding, all in the name of religion. Don’t get caught up in their lies. It is all the works of darkness to deceive as many as Satan can in theses last days.