The book of First Nephi (in the Book of Mormon) reflects four significant (and similar) additions that Joseph Smith made to the original text before the publication of the second edition in 1837. The changes are indicated by italics in the following:
1830: Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of God
Now: Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God (11:18)
1830: Behold, the Lamb of God, yea, even the Eternal Father!
Now: Behold, the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father! (11:21)
1830: yea, the everlasting God was judged of the world
Now: yea, the Son of the everlasting God was judged of the world (11:32)
1830: …the Lamb of God is the Eternal Father…
Now: …the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father… (13:40)
LDS apologists say that Joseph Smith made these “deliberate editorial insertion[s]” himself; he added the words “the Son of,” “as was his right as the translator,” in order to clarify the actual meaning of the 1 Nephi passages. The apologists conclude, “Although some have claimed that the meaning of the text was altered by these additions, a more plausible explanation is that the editorial insertions clarified to whom the verses referred.”
Though Mormons may find comfort in the idea that Joseph merely clarified these Book of Mormon verses, a thoughtful evaluation of the additions reveals that he also altered the meaning of his original English text.
Consider this. I am the mother of a particular human being called Dana, but I am not the mother of the son of Dana; I am the grandmother of the son of Dana. If official documents are altered to indicate that I am the mother of the son of Dana, I am then defined as the mother of an entirely different human being. This would not be a clarification; it would be a radical change. If, however, the original document were in error, the change would constitute both an altered meaning and a clarification (i.e., a correction that also served to clarify).
The Book of Mormon originally said the virgin is the mother of God. Now it says the virgin is the mother of the Son of God. Today’s Mormonism proclaims that the Father is God. The Son is identified as “also a God” (LDS Bible Dictionary, “God,” emphasis mine). Therefore, originally (if we take a literal approach) the passage taught that the virgin is the mother of God the Father; now it says the virgin is the mother of the Son of God the Father. It looks like Joseph Smith’s “editorial insertion” altered the meaning and clarified the subject of the passage. His original translation was in error so he corrected it. Or, as some critics of Mormonism believe, Joseph’s “clarification” became necessary because of his changing theology. They note that early Mormonism was Trinitarian, or perhaps Modalistic, but became polytheistic as Joseph developed his new religion. When one God became many Gods, more precise language was required for Mormon scripture to make sense.
A similar problem is reflected in the other three altered verses cited above. In Mormonism, remember, the Father and the Son are two different Gods. So is the Lamb of God the Eternal Father, or the Son of the Eternal Father? LDS apologists suggest that the answer is both. They say either reading (with or without “the Son of”) means the same thing because in other places in the Book of Mormon “the Eternal Father” clearly refers to Jesus Christ. If both renderings mean the same thing, then why was there a need for clarification through Joseph’s “editorial insertions”? Furthermore, if Jesus Christ is (or can be) the Eternal Father, then shouldn’t we consider the possibility that Joseph made this particular change in order to clearly define the Lamb of God as the Son of Jesus Christ?
An easier (and perhaps better) way to amend the 1 Nephi passages might have been to just use proper noun markers: “the virgin…is the mother of a God” and “the Lamb of God is an Eternal Father.”
Regardless of Joseph’s intent in placing “deliberate editorial insertions” into the Book of Mormon text–whether to alter or clarify or both–it is a curious thing. Did he initially mistranslate the passages and later receive divine instruction for fixing his mistakes? (Joseph no longer had the gold plates to check the accuracy of his initial translation.)
Or did Joseph realize, after the 1830 edition was published, that people were prone to misunderstanding those portions of the Mormon scripture and decide that he could make it easier to grasp by simply inserting words to support his own interpretation?
Or was it God Himself who determined that some parts of this inspired translation that had been accomplished “by the gift and power of God” turned out to be too ambiguous and therefore needed revision?
What seems most plausible to me is that Joseph Smith was not acting under divine guidance or inspiration when he wrote the Book of Mormon–or when he corrected his first published draft. As author of the Book of Mormon he had every right to alter and edit his text as he saw fit. And this is what he did.
To put it as succinctly as possible in the context of this discussion…
You’ve got a choice between Jesus Christ and Joseph Smith.
One or the other.
You can’t have both.
Where have all the Mormons gone? I admire you for sticking around.
You ask about baptism and the like. Well, there’s something that needs to be understood from the get-go, and it is that theology is divided into three categories: dogma, doctrine, and opinion. Dogma are things one needs to believe in order to be considered a Christian. It is usually understood that the more items in this category the more legalistic the approach to Christianity. Believing in the Trinity falls into this category. Baptism can fall into either doctrine or opinion. Doctrine usually deals with denominational positions; in other words, to be a member in a church from the Baptist tradition, one will accept the doctrine of eternal security. This is just an example. The thing to remember that issues such as this or baptism are not salvation issues. This is where you get yourself into trouble. It seems that you want everything to be a salvation issue. This allows you to try and point a finger at Christian disagreements as your evidence that Christianity was in need of a restoration. You see, OJ, it’s okay to disagree on points that are not salvation issues. Generally, it will boil down to a matter of emphasis where these issues are concerned.
I don’t have the time or space to go into more detail. Hopefully, other Christians will take the baton and run a little further with what I’ve presented.
Why don’t you study the Bible and see what it says (about baptism) using the principles of Biblical interpretation I presented above; along with the witness of the Holy Ghost? Are you honestly and sincerely seeking the truth or are you just interested in supporting what you currently believe?
There is real freedom in Christ but I must by honest, Mormons are bound by religious tradition. Do what setfree says, put aside your Mormonism and read the Bible like you would any other book.
If you really want to get serious get yourself some different colored pens and some highlighters, go buy a version of the Bible that’s easy to read (I would suggest the New American Standard version for its accuracy and readability) and tear into the topic of baptism.
That’s what I do. I’ve got symbols and color codes and notes running all over my Bible. These are things I’ve developed. I don’t read the Bible as a Catholic, or Baptist or Lutheran or whatever, I read it as someone who is seeking God and His truth.
You’re not dumb, but I will say you are ignorant of God’s Word and you will remain ignorant until you are willing to let go of your religious conventions and seek God.
You’ve accepted some religious premises which are holding you back from becoming everything you could become spiritually. Until you develop an independent streak, you will be limited as to your spiritual potential in knowing and following God.
I wouldn’t let any religious organization or someone who is claiming to be a prophet have control over or dominate me.
This question about baptism is a red herring and I’m not going to mess with it.
OJ, this is about you not about what denominations teach about baptism.
Once I quit running and came to Christ, it was amazing how all of my red herrings didn’t matter any more. It became all about Jesus and my relationship with Him and how my life was being transformed.
So what’s it going to be OJ?
So I get different answers.
Martin seems to think the only options are Jesus vs. Joseph Smith- as if everybody that is Christian and does not believe Joseph Smith was a prophet agrees on all things relating to salvation.
Jack says that baptism is not a matter of salvation. What about the huge number of non-LDS people who disagree with you? Is one to believe them or you? And why?
falcon- you encourage me to read the Bible without any outisde influence- good advice. And I have done this many, many times.
I suggest you do the same thing with the BOM.
Help us out a little when you say things like “huge number of non-LDS people” be more specific. I’d like to know who these huge numbers are. See, when you say things like “huge numbers” it appears as if you are trying to gain credibility for a point of view without actually doing the work of providing some evidence. I don’t care if someone wants to offer an opinion or point-of-view or an impression, but that’s a whole different category of rhetoric and evidence really isn’t necessary. So tell us who these people are and what they base their doctrine on. I could make a case that people have to speak in tongues in order to prove that they are indwelt by the Holy Ghost. A huge number of people believe that. So what?
So OJ, on another topic, let’s say I read the BoM, what then? What’s your follow-up charge? I want to know what the second, third and forth LDS hoop is that you’d require me to jump through in order to have Mormon street cred?
Remember: Mormonism, it’s never enough!
If I may Jim, I propose that you are asking the wrong questions.
Consider this. At the opening of the Manti Miracle Pageant, a man and wife who are searching for “truth” ask
BUT WHICH CHURCH IS TRUE???
That is the wrong question.
You need to start with
WHO IS GOD?
The next of you “many” times of reading through the Bible without Mormon glasses (I don’t believe you have done this, no), stop looking for yourself. Look for HIM, and what He says of Himself. That is where you start
from Psalm 115:
“…our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.
Their idols are silver and gold, the work of men’s hands. They have mouths, but they speak not: eyes have they, but they see not: They have ears, but they hear not: noses have they, but they smell not: They have hands, but they handle not: feet have they, but they walk not: neither speak they through their throat. They that make them are like unto them; so is every one that trusteth in them…”
“For this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.” – Jesus
Unless you bow before the God of the Bible, you will not be spirit-led to a correct interpretation of the Bible.
Unless you know who the God of the Bible is, you cannot bow before Him.
His Truth is in plain sight, but while you worship a god made in your own imagination (or one made in Joe Smith’s), your eyes and ears are closed to truth.
Again. Start with WHO GOD IS. Stop looking for yourself, and search Him out in His Word- the Bible.
I don’t mean to be a snot, but I have a hard time believing you guys are serious.
Like I said before, forget I am LDS.
I never said anything about determining which church is true.
Pick any theological question or controversy.
Examples: necessity of baptism, trinity vs. modalism, faith vs. works, etc. etc.
Every individual and group with interest in these questions has opinions based on the Bible. I would guess that all feel they have the correct interpretation. And all of them base their interpretation on the words of the Bible.
This is the most fundamental question for a Christian. Please don’t pretend it is settled and agreed upon by all non-LDS Christians. People have been debating almost every theological issue for thousands of years.
Simply reading the Bible and “searching” for God doesn’t result in a consensus of opinion.
falcon- reading the BOM will inform you about the book. As of right now, you always come off as if you think you are an authority on the topic. That is the same as someone who has never read Shakespeare claiming to be an expert in Shakespearan literature.
Even if you don’t read it to learn something or actually attempt to find truth, at least you will have a little more credibility.
And as far as the huge numbers of people with different opinions- are you serious?
Take the baptism issue. I can simply point to the catholics (over a billion) as a “huge” group who claim it is necessary for salvation, and they base that opinion on the Bible.
“Every individual and group with interest in these questions has opinions based on the Bible. I would guess that all feel they have the correct interpretation. And all of them base their interpretation on the words of the Bible. “
Like I said, Jim, Christianity does not come in Cliff notes. It is personal. You may claim to know the truth, but unless you are worshiping the God of the Bible (YHWH), you won’t know the truth of the lesser topics.
“This is the most fundamental question for a Christian. Please don’t pretend it is settled and agreed upon by all non-LDS Christians. People have been debating almost every theological issue for thousands of years.”
What, please, again, is the MOST FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION?
Again, you are coming from the wrong starting point. Baptism is not the most fundamental issue. Please, Jim, again, tell us what is the most fundamental question. Let’s get that settled, please.
The most fundamental question is “how does a person determine truth…. and who is God, how do I relate to Him.”
You said “unless you are worshiping the God of the Bible…..” And how do you know that?
Yea, you are a snot, but we can handle it!
I am so happy that you brought up the Catholics. You walked into it buddy. I, as you well know, was brought up Catholic and attended Catholic school through eighth grade. I went to Mass everyday during the school year, except for Saturday. I also had rigorous training in this faith every school day. So now that I’ve established my credentials, I will tell you what I was taught in Catholic school about the doctrine of baptism.
There are three kinds of baptism; baptism by water, baptism by blood and baptism of desire. Water baptism is the traditional form. Baptism by blood is applied to someone who has come to faith in Christ, has not been water baptized and dies for his/her faith. Baptism of desire covers people who come to faith in Christ but die before being baptized. So there you have it. Did I come off sounding like an authority on the topic?
Now as to my reading the BoM. I was out mowing my rather sizeable farm house lawn and I was praying, which I do when I mow and when I’m putting on big miles on my road bike. So anyway, I said to God, “What do you think about me reading the BoM?” He replied, “Why would you want to do that? You already know the truth!” I agreed with Him, because I thought He had a good point. Then he reminded me of how the BoM was written and by whom; an occultist who put a magic rock in a hat, shoved his face in the hat, and claimed to have words magically appear to him. I got the Lord’s point. Finally He led me to consider the account in the Bible of the temptation of Christ and the cleverness of Satan right down to quoting scripture. Satan, as you remember kept challenging Jesus to do this or that. Jesus told Satan to take a hike. I don’t play games when it comes to spiritual warfare. This is serious business.
So OJ I have to follow the Lord on this one. Now as to being an expert on the BoM, if I want to know something about it, I look it up. It’s not that difficult to do. BTW, which BoM do you read? The one with the errors or one with the corrections?
As Falcon said, all this is nothing but a bunch of red herrings. Bottom line question for you: are you saved in the Kingdom of God? If you were to die today, do you know with assurity that you will be living in God’s presence? If you answer yes to these questions, how do you know it? If you can’t answer with assurity, why not? I can answer these questions: YES! YES!! How do I know? Because Jesus died for me and I am justified by my faith in Him!!! His righteousness is imputed to me, and I share in His Sonship and in His inheritance. Glory be to God in the Highest!!!
That is great that you can say you are saved. Not everything we say or believe is true. You may very well go to heaven if you died today.
But my saying I am the president of the United States does not make it so.
falcon- I have to respect the answers you have regarding the BOM. But don’t expect any degree of credibility when it comes to discussing it.
I don’t really need your affirmation regarding what I write about the BoM. It’s really not that difficult to get information about it. For example I just went out and watched a short interview with Grant Palmer author of “An Insider’s View of Mormon Origins”. This is what he says transcribed as closely as I could word for word.
“When I look at the BoM, I don’t really see an ancient text. We see a large chunk of the King James Bible in an account of a people that supposedly lived 2500 years ago in ancient America. Is it really an ancient record of an ancient people? When I look at the BoM I really don’t see an ancient text. We see an enormous amount of evangelical camp meeting fervor. The eleven main preachers in the BoM sound to me like Methodist stump preachers of that era. What you find is all of the issues that were being discussed and debated among Joseph Smith’s family and friends in his own day. It’s a 19th century record is what it is. It’s isn’t an ancient record.”
OK there you have it from a life long Mormon who just happened to get disfellowshiped for his honesty. I challenge you to tell me anything I write about the BoM isn’t accurate and factual. For example how did Joseph Smith translate it. With his seer stone in a hat. That’s accurate. The BoM was changed to reflect Smith’s changing theology of the nature of God. That’s accurate. It was changed. That’s accurate.
It’s not that difficult to know about the BoM without reading it. I know what I need to know which is, the BoM was a fabrication of Joseph Smith and doesn’t reflect an actual history of Jews in America who morphed into Indians. The idea of a the Indians being a lost tribe of Israel was a common theory during Smith’s time. It wasn’t something he learned about from golden plates he translated when they weren’t even present but instead conjured with his magic rock.
You go ahead and challenge me when I write about the BoM. I’ll put my sources up against yours any day.
You said ” your use of authoritative sources has been debunked at every turn since I’ve been posting here”. Not every one has. And just because I find something that people don’t like or agree with (eg the articles about how abusive Luther and Calvin were; or that the Urim and Thummim could have been 2 crystal stones used to derive the word of God by looking through them; or that the Israelites were originally polytheists before Moses) does not mean that they are wrong. You just choose to talk them down and try and discredit them. I do acknowledge that there are other sources saying something different, but you don’t as shown above with your comments about the Jews always being monotheists.
As far as my last comment about Germit, if you don’t remember our fellow evangelical contributor to this forum called MrGermit then that’s your bad luck. And as for the quote he gave, well it’s somewhere in the archives of Mormon Coffee. I do not have time to go looking through it all and I was hoping someone might have remembered who the quote was by. I may have it somewhere on my computer at home and if I get time I will look for it if you want me to post it up for you again. But I usually reference my work as much as possible, and the above is the only reference I can give it at the moment.
You said ” you may wish to think about how the One Spirit (Ruach, not Ruachim – “spirits”) of Gen 1:2 animates the Godhead, which would mean that He (the Holy Ghost) is always and fully God”. This verse says nothing at all about the Holy Ghost being in the Trinity – that is only your interpretation of it. The way it is written ‘the Spirit of God’ means that the Holy Ghost was sent by God like ‘the angel of God’ means the angel is sent by God, but does not mean that the angel is also God. So you are just trying to push your own meaning into this verse.
You have made the statements –
Please let me know if I understand you correctly – are you saying that YHWH/Jehovah is both Heavenly Father AND Jesus? Or that He is just Heavenly Father?
If you are trying to say that He is both then that is a stretch even for the Trinity as it states that They are both separate (ie one is not the other). Unless you want to agree with the FAIR article when it states that the Israelites were more flexible in their terminology and that YHWH/Jehovah and El/Elohim could refer to either Heavenly Father or Jesus depending on what they were talking about.
It is only now (ie modern times) that we try to strictly refer to El/Elohim as being Heavenly Father and YHWH/Jehovah as Jesus – that is what the article means by the modern revelation line. So we cannot read into the OT with the same strict ruling. That would be like a child from these days reading a book from the 1600’s using the word ‘gay’. Most children from this generation think it means a homosexual male, but in those days it meant happy/merry.
”Where have all the Mormons gone?”
I am still here as much as I can. Things have become more tangled and harried in my life and now most of my time is for work or my children. The only real time I have for this site is either during my lunch break or about 11:30 at night when I have finished for the day and trying to relax.
You also said
Can I point you to a couple verses in the Bible – Matt 7:21-23.
As OJ said, yes you can say that all you want and really believe what you say, but that does not necessarily make it so. How do you know you are not one of those Jesus is speaking about in these verses? Yes I know you will most likely come back with an answer to make you look good, but when these verses were discussed on MC a while ago many actually stated that OK, they were afraid that they could be standing on the wrong end of this scripture.
Bottom line is, you are only assured IF you are correct in what you believe. You may have full conviction in what you believe, but that does not make it correct. I believe that I am in God’s only path and that my faith is correct, which means that if I follow Jesus’ plan I am assured of the CK, but you won’t. Same with the JWs and Muslims, etc, they are assured ‘heaven’ from their beliefs, but you and I have no place in there.
So you can say what you want about how you are saved and better than everyone else who isn’t your brand of Christianity/religion, it does not make it so.
Perhaps it’s a matter of what was presented first.
JO, pretend for a second that you have a friend. That friend tells you a story. It’s a pretty fabulous story, so you doubt him a bit. But he holds to it, so you decide to keep listening.
After a while, some other of your friends tell you that they believe the story of your other friend. It still seems pretty “out there” but you are glad that your other friends believe, cuz now you have more to go on.
But then one day, you think, what if this guy really is lying? What should I expect?
1- If the guy IS lying, his story is bound to change. When you ask him much later what he said at the first, the details will be different. Also, when you ask around to hear what he has told other people, it’s not always the same story.
2-If this guy is lying, perhaps he has lied often in the past, lies of this nature. Do you remember many instances where this guy told long-winded tales in the past? If so, it’s not unreasonable to suspect that he would do so again. Why wouldn’t he? Why would he? Does he have motive? yes?
3-If this guy is lying, you’ll probably see some motivation behind his story. Does he have something to gain? What?
4- If this guy is lying, he’ll have to invent more lies to cover up his lie, if he continues on course with the first lie. Is he doing that? Does he sound like a person who is covering his tracks when he talks?
This is a short list off the top of my head that I think is reasonable. Is it not?
So you look at Joe Smith. He was a well-known avid story teller in his early days. His First Vision story changed. His sacred book changed to cover his changing view. His gain was both money and prestige, a following even.
That’s without even getting into the nitty-gritty of the BoM, like the plethora of “it came to pass”, the KJV quoting, the use of Greco Roman words and culture, etc.
Jim said: “The most fundamental question is “how does a person determine truth…. and who is God, how do I relate to Him.””
Jim. Dig into the Bible sans the LDS glasses, and pay close and careful attention to everytime God speaks of Himself. Start there.
That’s how you’ll know who God is. By what He said of Himself.
Next, how do I relate to Him. The answer is in the Bible. Through Jesus. There again, you must be careful to read what Jesus actually said, and take it to heart. You also ought to have, by reading the OT and searching for your grip on God, a good idea of what Jesus was supposed to look like, what He was coming to do. That’s question one and two.
From there on out, once you have submitted your will, your life, your everything to the authority of the ONE AND ONLY GOD, so that you can hear Him speak, His Spirit will direct you to the rest of His truth in the Bible, a little by little. Precept upon precept (rightfully used)
Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, He also claimed to be God, and sent from God. It is somewhat of a mystery for our little brains. But I suggest to you that your problem is not so much with what the Bible says (that there is only one God) but with Jesus Himself for claiming divinity, son-ship, unity, and division.
The name Jesus actually means “Jehovah becomes salvation”. Does that help?
And no, I absolutely do not agree with Fair that the names are interchangeable. El, Elohim, Elyon, Eloah are all words, labels that mean “god” or “powerful one” or “mighty”. Something huge and powerful, ok? Jehovah is a proper name. It means “The existing One” or “The I am”.
Get reading the OT Ralph. We’ll wait. :-}
here is a reference for you guys who don’t want to spend the time studying out the Bible’s use of el, adonai, Jehovah, etc.
There you go again. Read carefully. I remember germit but your use of that piece of information was strictly a moon shot. It made no sense. You must admit Ralph that you come up with some pretty obscure sources to try and make a case. But I classify you as a naive true believer in Mormonism. Your a decent sort, just lost in the blue smoke of a cult. I pray that God will lead you out and into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Joseph Smith and the LDS church can’t save you no matter how badly you want it to be true.
Many thought they might be standing on the wrong end of Mat. 7:21-23? Who said that? I don’t remember anyone saying that. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is simple and straight forward. Jesus was talking about folks that belong to cults like Mormonism. Thinking they have a true prophet when in reality, he’s a bad dude.
Ralph, you’re not going to the CK because it doesn’t exist. There’s no support for it any where in God’s Word. It’s Joseph Smith’s fantasy. Get into the Bible Ralph and find God and reject that morphed man you think is god.
What we as Christians believe is verified plainly in the Bible. That’s what it’s all about. If you’ve missed it, it’s because you’ve given yourself over to a deceiving spirit. You’ve hardened your heart against God.
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men…There was a man sent from God, whose name was John…. John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.”
Ralph, who is the “he/him” in this passage? You’re right. It’s Jesus.
What did Jesus do? He made everything. That’s what it says, huh? Jesus made everything.
Now check this out. It is Jehovah speaking in the OT.
Isaiah 44:24 “Thus saith JEHOVAH, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am JEHOVAH that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself
What does Jehovah claim here? Sole makership of everything. See that? He did it, alone, by Himself.
How do we reconcile this? One of two ways. Jesus was lying, or Jesus is Jehovah.
Ok, Jesus is Jehovah.
Now what have we got Jehovah saying besides that? All the many many times that He says He is the only God.
So Jesus is Jehovah, the only God.
Now there is the Father and Son issue. But Jesus tried to make your flocking to Joseph Smith for an explanation unnecessary. He tried to explain it for you. He said:
“If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him. Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?” (John 14:7)
Why did He pray to the Father?
“And Jesus… said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me” (John 11:41-2)
You listened to a video of Grant Palmer talking about the BOM- that satisfies your curiosity about the BOM? That says all that needs to be said about falcon and his knowledge of the BOM. Falcon is satisfied following others- blind faith and trusting in the arm of flesh.
setfree- why do you keep talking about LDS issues? I asked a very simple question and you cannot answer it- how do you know whose view of the Bible is correct?
You keep saying in essence- just pay attention to what God says in the Bible- what a novel idea. I really never thought of that, and I doubt anybody else who has a different interpretation than you has thought of that.
Seriously, my friend- there have been thousands of really smart, well-trained scholars as well as untrained saints who have studied the scriptures their whole lives yet are worlds apart in their views of the Bible.
Are you guys understanding my point and question? Because based on your answers, it doesn’t appear that you do.
If I had no religious background and my only exposure to the Bible was listening to you guys, it would seem like a fairy-tale supported only by circular logic.
Broad sweeping strokes with no evidence again, JO.
I’m trying to tell you how to GET a correct view of the Bible. Why lean on someone else? Thus far, that has NOT WORKED for you. DO IT YOURSELF.
How will you know when you are right? When you stop being the center of your universe, and YHWH is. Not sure I can be any plainer than that.
Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge:…”
What does it feel like to stand in the presence of One so great He cannot be described? One who created everything by speaking it, the One to whom everything owes it’s continued existence, who can bring to life or kill at will, according to His purposes? The only One like Him there has ever been? You have yet to find out. When you do, you will fear Him.
That is the beginning of knowing Him, and whatever else He wants you to know.
Stop asking for Cliff notes, until you prostrate yourself before God Almighty, and surrender yourself to His Will. Ask Him to lead you to the truth. He will.
Stop relying on an intermediary, except for Jesus. And not Joseph’s Jesus. The Bible’s Jesus.
That’s where you’ll get it all straightened out.
Right, so you are saying that YHWH is just Heavenly Father. That’s fine. I was just trying to figure out exactly what you were saying.
“You must admit Ralph that you come up with some pretty obscure sources to try and make a case.” Well, from what you have been saying on this blog, you are getting your information about the BoM second hand, from other’s opinions. Can I say that that is hearsay? So how does that go to your credibility when you state your opinion about the BoM?
What if someone did that with the Bible? They knew nothing about it because they lived in outback Tibet where there is no internet or Christian missionaries and they hear about a book called the Bible and that it is full of magic and devil worship. Because of this they decide not to read it at all but go on and tell others what they have heard about it. Does this make the claims about the Bible made by the two people true? That is what you are doing. You are taking someone else’s opinion and using as your own. And yes, it is their opinion. There are many people with the opinion that the BoM is false, and there are many with the opinion that it is true.
Would I read the Koran? Yes, if I decide to try and debunk Islam, which I have no interest in at the moment. The Bible for Devil worship? No, I have already had experience with things like this and I know to leave them alone.
“If you’ve missed it, it’s because you’ve given yourself over to a deceiving spirit. You’ve hardened your heart against God.” Can you please stop projecting onto me. Thanks 🙂
What am I supposed to be providing evidence for? I am the one who has asked the most basic of questions which you cannot answer.
It is strange that you spend so much time criticizing LDS for their beliefs when you cannot answer this one question.
Not sure why you left the church, but it obviously wasn’t for intellectual reasons.
OJ responded to me earlier with
I was pointing out that there is a mutually exclusive choice between Jesus and Joseph Smith.
Whatever options you might have before you, you’ll need to eliminate this one.
You can’t follow or believe Jesus and Joseph Smith. Why? Simply because Joseph Smith didn’t follow or believe Jesus.
It’s one of those few circumstances in which it gets really, really simple.
As has been always been true, rejecting Christ’s prophets amounts to rejecting Christ.
Rejecting Joseph Smith is the equivalent to rejecting Jesus Christ.
OJ and Ralph,
It’s truly sad that you guys don’t understand the good news of Jesus Christ. It’s sad that you don’t understand that the peace Jesus talks about is peace that comes from knowing one’s sins are forgiven and that they are redeemed. I have the blessed assurance that I am a resident of God’s Kingdom right now. I am a son of the Most High because I share in Jesus’ Sonship. My faith in Jesus justifies me. The Bible can’t be any clearer than that. I’m sorry that the teachings of JS have kept you from the truth of God’s Word. I pray you both come to know the True and Living God as revealed in the biblical text and in the Person of Jesus Christ. What JS has infused into you is nothing but false teachings. I have read, studied, and even once believed in the writings of JS. Not anymore, and I praise God and give Him the glory for redeeming me. He wants to do the same for you guys. He really does.
“Rejecting Joseph Smith is the equivalent to rejecting Jesus Christ.”
That is why these discussions about the Bible in relation to Mormonism are not productive. It all goes back to Smith & those who built on his doctrines. That is where the discussion should always be centered when it comes to Mormonism. That is where I focus, and why I do.
Again, why would one base their salvation on someone like this:
“And now come with me,” said the prophet, “and I will show you the curiosities.” So saying, he led the way to a lower room, where sat a venerable and respectable-looking lady. “This is my mother, gentlemen. The curiosities we shall see belong to her. They were purchased with her own money, at a cost of six thousand dollars;” and then, with deep feeling, were added the words, “And that woman was turned out upon the prairie in the dead of night by a mob.” There were some pine presses fixed against the wall of the room. These receptacles Smith opened, and disclosed four human bodies, shrunken and black with age. “These are mummies,” said the exhibitor. “I want you to look at that little runt of a fellow over there. He was a great man in his day. Why, that was Pharaoh Necho, King of Egypt!” Some parchments inscribed with hieroglyphics were then offered us. They were preserved under glass and handled with great respect. “That is the handwriting of Abraham, the Father of the Faithful,” said the prophet. “This is the autograph of Moses, and these lines were written by his brother Aaron. Here we have the earliest account of the creation, from which Moses composed the first book of Genesis.” The parchment last referred to showed a rude drawing of a man and woman, and a serpent walking upon a pair of legs. I ventured to doubt the propriety of providing the reptile in question with this unusual means of locomotion.”
“Why, that’s as plain as a pikestaff,” was the rejoinder. “Before the Fall snakes always went about on legs, just like chickens. They were deprived of them, in punishment for their agency in the ruin of man.” We were further assured that the prophet was the only mortal who could translate these mysterious writings, and that his power was given by direct inspiration.” – Josiah Quincy, Among the Mormons
These statements show Smith was no prophet. The BOA was proved NOT to be 4500 years old, as Smith proclaimed. Those were not the mummies of made up Pharaohs, the handwriting of Moses, Aaron and Abraham. They did not ‘autograph’ it. Thus Quincy’s observation rings true:
“If the blasphemous assumptions of Smith seemed like the ravings of a lunatic, he had, at least brought them to a market where “all the people were as mad as he.”
In Grant Palmer, I provided you with a viable source of information and his opinion regarding the BoM. Grant Palmer has the credibility, training and background as a Mormon to make an acceptable observation about the BoM. I provided it for your consideration. That you won’t accept what Grant Palmer says, is not all that surprising. I can keep this information coming all day long from legitimate sources. That you won’t accept it is your problem and one more indication of your Mormon conditioning.
The sources I use are credible. The ones you use are typically from out in left field. That’s where Mormonism lives, on the fringe.
As to my observation regarding your hardened heart, that’s what I see Ralph. I mean come-on Ralph, you’d do anything the prophet would tell you to do and you consistently reject God for a god you say once was a man and became a god. That’s a hardened heart Ralph. I call it as I see it.
You hit the nail on the head regarding the futility of discussing the Bible with Mormons. In a previous post, I mentioned how one of the Church Fathers said that dealing with heretics by quoting Scripture was unproductive because of their creativity in bending, shaping, and manipulating what the Word of God says.
Yes I would agree that Mormonism rises and falls on the claims of Joseph Smith. The claims, in and of themselves are easy to debunk as is Smith’s character. The thing with the true believers however, is their assigning of virtue to Smith’s sins. Mormonism is indeed a dysfunctional family where by the wrong doer is not only protected but whose status is elevated. Smith married women who were already married to other men. Think of that! And Mormons can come up with a rationale that totally satisfies their desires to believe in this creep. Smith was a sexual predator who used his position and power to seduce married women and adolescent girls. This is a fact and yet Mormons come up with all sorts of explanation as to why this was OK because, they say for example, the age of females marrying in those days was younger than today. All better now!
You pointed out the bogus translation of the BoA. It’s evident and proven that Smith was clueless in what he was doing in producing this work. It all comes down to the fact that if someone really wants to believe in someone or something, any explanation will do. Mormons would rather surrender their own integrity than give up the fantasy that Smith was a prophet.
“Setfree, Right, so you are saying that YHWH is just Heavenly Father. That’s fine. I was just trying to figure out exactly what you were saying.”
No, and I so cannot understand how you came up with this from what I said above.
Check out this link, it might be helpful to you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zAsKHcH9_PU
I’ve been impressed with your savy at not taking OJ’s bait. He keeps charging that you/we won’t answer his one simple question……which by the way he does himself continually avoiding any real answer in favor of wide and wild claims.
This is a game Mormons play and I’ve seen it played out here and in other real life situations. They get Christians busy researching, documenting and formulating answers with great detail and than turn their noses up at it.
These folks are satisfied with their LDS all day lollypops. It tastes good to them, gives a little energy boost and they really don’t care if it’s rotting their (spiritual) teeth. Any attempt to get them to surrender it for some solid spiritual food, results in a temper tantrum. There’s a reason it’s called a sucker.
So my hats off to you in not taking the bait. Remember the temptation of Christ. It’s the same strategy as the devil used.
Because Joseph Smith said so?
He would say that wouldn’t he!
Here’s a header for a new thread…
If Joseph Smith was a follower of Jesus Christ…;
He would have given up the peep stone.
He would have had some respect for scripture.
He would not have changed the BoM
He would not have attempted to start a bank on fraudulent claims of its venture capital (The Kirtland Bank)
He would not have coralled about 34 “wives”
He would not have invented the doctrines of God’s heavenly family and the practice of celestial marriage in order to draw a religious veil over his activities with said “wives”.
He would not have bragged about being better than Jesus.
He would not have shot 3 people at Carthage Jail, killing 2 of them before being shot himself.
How much more do you need?
“Ye shall know them by their fruits” Matt 7:16
(“I know a dead parrot when I see one” M Python)
If I said to you “I am a follower of Jesus”, and you knew I had just one adulterous affair, or if I had deliberately misled and abused just one person who put their trust in me, you would (rightly) chastise me. You might try to persuade me in private and then, when I had demonstrated my absolute refusal to repent by multiplying my sins instead of turning from them, you might take out bigger sanctions, such as excommunicating me.
You would rightly conclude that my claim to follow Jesus was a lie.
How is it possible, then, that you believe Joseph Smith.
His sins follow him around like a pack of dogs.
OJ’s comment about rejecting JS is the equivalent of rejecting Jesus Christ is part of the brainwashing that goes on in Mormonism. It builds from this premise: JS was a prophet of God; therefore, to reject JS is to reject God. It’s false syllogistic reasoning that is built upon a faulty presupposition. This kind of reasoning is common in Mormonism.
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