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God in mormonism

Discussion in 'General Debates' started by Kristoffer, May 10, 2015.

  1. BilliardsBall

    BilliardsBall Veteran Member

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    I understand. But my feelings to repay Christ for what He’s done are unequal to the amount of repayment I can possibly offer. The Bible is clear that salvation is a gift (for one example, Romans 6:23) and that’s God’s gifts cannot be revoked or recalled (for example, Romans 11:29).

    This is often cited as a one-way covenant example: God slew the first animal to cover Adam and Eve’s nakedness, a great picture of the atonement of Jesus Christ for us.

    And Cain’s offering was not regarded by the Lord—again, theologians cite this under a one-way covenant.

    As I wrote recently, Abraham and God met to perform a suzerain treaty (subject and king). However, Abraham didn’t do the covenant, he was put into a deep sleep and God gave Abraham things Abraham didn’t request for himself.

    Not to belabor the point but I know you and I can find dozens if not hundreds of verses showing that this covenant at all points was not kept by God because of the meritorious nature of the Israelites!

    Unasked for blessings would include:

    The land unto Abraham

    The land unto each tribe

    The wealth and prosperity of Solomon and David

    Etc.

    I cannot find an example of a prophet or Israelite asking God for a blessing God gave them regarding land or enemies, etc. Indeed many prophets asked for mercies of God and victories in battles based on their former unrighteousness.

    You are correct. There was no formal recognition of books that seems obviously canon until there were enough heretics active to prompt a godly council of leaders.

    For example, affirming no inter-testamental apocrypha was accepted by Jews as canon when the councils discussed this fact, and affirmed it wasn’t, still. It would have been picking and choosing to say these apocrypha were canon.

    Assessing content—no apocrypha says it is God’s Word within, it says things like “Behold the wisdom which my grandfather taught me.” It says thousands of times in the scriptures, “This is the Word of the Lord”.

    The writers of the NT were all Jews. All the early converts were Jews. Some did not believe, this is consistent with the idea in both testaments that individuals believe or not.

    I would agree with this assessment.
     
  2. Prestor John

    Prestor John Well-Known Member

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    Sorry for taking so long. Had a death in the family and other stuff. Anyways, I am going to address your comments, but I also took the opportunity to explain and expound on some latter-day scripture and doctrine at great length. I share a lot because I don’t know how much you know and I want to be as clear as possible. I hope I was not too wordy.
    This is a true principle and in the Book of Mormon a man named Benjamin, a king of the Nephites, once taught:

    “I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all the thanks and praise which your whole soul has power to possess, to that God who has created you, and has kept and preserved you, and has caused that ye should rejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another—
    I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.
    And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you.
    And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him.
    And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?
    And now I ask, can ye say aught of yourselves? I answer you, Nay. Ye cannot say that ye are even as much as the dust of the earth; yet ye were created of the dust of the earth; but behold, it belongeth to him who created you.” (Mosiah 2:20-25)

    I do not subscribe to the concept of “repaying” our Lord Jesus Christ because it is clear from the scriptures that that is impossible.

    However, I still believe myself to be obligated to do all that He has commanded me and I believe that to be essential to my becoming like Him and My Father in Heaven one day.
    I cannot agree with your interpretation of this verse because I believe that what Paul said earlier in the chapter contradicts it.

    In this chapter Paul expressed the need for followers of the Lord Jesus Christ to be baptized in order to be “raised up” and “walk in newness of life” (verse 4) and also that those who were baptized should never yield to sin because if they do then they will become “servants” to sin “unto death” (verse 16).

    Paul agreed with the idea that I shared in response to your earlier comment. It is through our obedience that we are made righteous (verse 16). He also very clearly explained that in order for a person to become a “servant of righteousness” they must obey “from the heart that form of doctrine which [had been] delivered” to them (verse 17). (i.e. baptism, obedience and righteous living)

    Paul used the word “gift” in order to contradict the word “wage”.

    “The wages of sin is death”, however, eternal life cannot be a “wage” because we cannot earn it for ourselves through our own efforts. Eternal life is a “gift” from God because He offers it to us all through His Son while we could never earn it on our own.

    No matter how hard we could try to repay the Lord we would forever be unprofitable servants, as King Benjamin explained. However, Paul is clear that we are obligated to be obedient to what the Lord has commanded us in order for us to be true “servants of God” and have our “fruit unto holiness”, the end thereof being “everlasting life” (verse 22).

    Now I want to speak more specifically about the last two verses in this chapter:

    “But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
    For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 6:22-23)

    I can only imagine how you would interpret these verses, however the LDS interpretation would be that for a person to truly be free of sin, a servant of God, holy, and be offered everlasting/eternal life – that person must be obedient to the gospel and doctrine mentioned by Paul and which had been taught by the Lord Jesus Christ.

    Even though this epistle was included in the New Testament, we have to always remember who Paul’s audience was. Who was he writing to? Who was he claiming was entitled to the promises he mentioned in these last two verses? Paul addressed this epistle to, “the called of Jesus Christ” (Romans 1:6) who he clarifies are “all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints” (Romans 1:7).

    LDS would interpret those who had been “called of Jesus Christ” as those who had taken upon themselves the name of Jesus Christ through baptism performed by His authorized servants. Also those designated as “saints” were those who had become members of the Lord’s Church through authorized baptism and confirmation (receiving the Holy Ghost).

    Therefore I am inclined to believe that not just anyone who confesses a faith in the Lord Jesus Christ are entitled to everlasting or eternal life, but it is offered only to those who have received an authorized baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost and afterward remained obedient. Although, even placing LDS doctrine aside, I cannot agree with your interpretation of this verse based on what Paul had said earlier in the chapter.

    LDS CONCEPT OF ETERNITY AND ETERNAL LIFE

    We believe that God enjoys an eternal life and that He is endless. We believe that these words are not simply descriptions of time (or lack thereof), but rather they describe a type or quality. Claiming that God is eternal is not simply stating that He had no beginning or end (even though that is true), but it describes the ultimate aspects of Himself.

    For example, when we speak about the love of God, we know that He understands and enjoys love on a level we cannot comprehend and that He extends that love to all of us. LDS would describe His expression of love as eternal love. It is love in its highest, most profound and glorious form. You and I understand love. We know what it is. But we cannot comprehend it at the same level that our Father in Heaven does because His level of love is eternal while ours is simply mortal, although we try our darndest!

    Therefore, receiving eternal life, according to the LDS, would be receiving the same quality of life that our Father enjoys. Also if a person were to receive an eternal or endless punishment that would mean that that person would receive the highest form of punishment there is. It is God’s level of punishment. The Lord clarifies this in modern-day revelation,

    “And surely every man must repent or suffer, for I, God, am endless.
    Wherefore, I revoke not the judgments which I shall pass, but woes shall go forth, weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth, yea, to those who are found on my left hand.
    Nevertheless, it is not written that there shall be no end to this torment, but it is written endless torment.
    Again, it is written eternal damnation; wherefore it is more express than other scriptures, that it might work upon the hearts of the children of men, altogether for my name’s glory.
    Wherefore, I will explain unto you this mystery, for it is meet unto you to know even as mine apostles.
    I speak unto you that are chosen in this thing, even as one, that you may enter into my rest.
    For, behold, the mystery of godliness, how great is it! For, behold, I am endless, and the punishment which is given from my hand is endless punishment, for Endless is my name. Wherefore—
    Eternal punishment is God’s punishment.
    Endless punishment is God’s punishment.
    Wherefore, I command you to repent, and keep the commandments which you have received by the hand of my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., in my name;
    And it is by my almighty power that you have received them;
    Therefore I command you to repent—repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not.” (Doctrine and Covenants 19:4-15)

    I mention this to explain that according to the LDS someone receiving salvation is not necessarily the same as someone receiving eternal life. It is possible for a person to receive forgiveness of sin and be saved from death, but not inherit an eternal life or glory. Someone can be saved in God’s Kingdom, but not receive the same quality or station as the Lord Jesus Christ and our Father. Everyone (except those who commit the unpardonable sin) will eventually be saved from sin and death, but only those who are obedient to the Gospel of Jesus Christ can receive eternal life.

    These concepts lead us into the LDS concepts of the Spirit World and the Degrees of Glory within God’s Kingdom.
     
  3. Prestor John

    Prestor John Well-Known Member

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    LDS CONCEPT OF PHYSICAL DEATH AND THE SPIRIT WORLD
    LDS believe that at physical death our spirits become separated from our physical bodies and the spirits of all men and women enter into the Spirit World where they wait until the time of their Resurrection which precedes the Final Judgment. This state of the spirits of men is temporary and each spirit will be given a time to regain their physical bodies once more.

    How a person performed in this life will dictate where they will go in the Spirit World, or rather, what quality of existence they will enjoy while there. Before the death of the Lord Jesus Christ the LDS believe that there were only two realms in the Spirit World: Paradise and Hell (aka Outer Darkness). We believe that the Lord spoke of the Spirit World and the separation between Paradise and Hell:

    “There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
    And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
    And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
    And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried;
    And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
    And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
    But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
    And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.” (Luke 16:19-26)

    The prophet Alma in the Book of Mormon (who lived before the Lord entered our mortal world) spoke a little bit about the Spirit World:

    “Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection—Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life.
    And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care, and sorrow.
    And then shall it come to pass, that the spirits of the wicked, yea, who are evil—for behold, they have no part nor portion of the Spirit of the Lord; for behold, they chose evil works rather than good; therefore the spirit of the devil did enter into them, and take possession of their house—and these shall be cast out into outer darkness; there shall be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth, and this because of their own iniquity, being led captive by the will of the devil.
    Now this is the state of the souls of the wicked, yea, in darkness, and a state of awful, fearful looking for the fiery indignation of the wrath of God upon them; thus they remain in this state, as well as the righteous in paradise, until the time of their resurrection.” (Alma 40:11-14)

    This understanding of the Spirit World by Alma agrees with what is found in the Bible:

    The spirits of men return to God - “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” - (Ecclesiastes 12:7)

    The state of the spirits of men in the Spirit can be one of comfort or torment (aka Paradise or Hell (Outer Darkness)) – (Luke 16:19-26 as mentioned above)

    A spirit can enter into Paradise upon death – “And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” - (Luke 23:43)

    The state of Hell is temporary – “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” ( Psalms 16:10) (Also Peter speaks on this concept in greater detail and makes sure that people know that David had not yet ascended to Heaven or received a Resurrection Acts 2:24-31)

    I want to talk about this briefly. I’m certain that many people try to use the story of the thief developing faith in Christ on the cross and the Lord’s promise that he should enter Paradise with Him as proof that there is no need for obedience or righteous living in this life in order to enter into Heaven, but I want to make it clear (according to LDS doctrine) that this is not the case. Paradise and Hell are temporary states of the spirit. That thief did not receive a one-way ticket to Heaven. He merely was allowed to enter into Paradise, rather than Hell, to wait for the time of His Resurrection.

    The spirits of men eventually leave Hell at the time of their Final Judgment – “And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.” (Revelation 20:13)

    Jacob, the younger brother of Nephi, spoke on this topic:

    “And this death of which I have spoken, which is the spiritual death, shall deliver up its dead; which spiritual death is hell; wherefore, death and hell must deliver up their dead, and hell must deliver up its captive spirits, and the grave must deliver up its captive bodies, and the bodies and the spirits of men will be restored one to the other; and it is by the power of the resurrection of the Holy One of Israel.
    O how great the plan of our God! For on the other hand, the paradise of God must deliver up the spirits of the righteous, and the grave deliver up the body of the righteous; and the spirit and the body is restored to itself again, and all men become incorruptible, and immortal, and they are living souls, having a perfect knowledge like unto us in the flesh, save it be that our knowledge shall be perfect.” (2 Nephi 9:12-13)

    According to LDS doctrine, upon mortal death, all people will enter into the Spirit World. Before the death of Christ there was a “great gulf” in the Spirit World that separated the spirits in Paradise from the spirits in Hell.

    We believe that while the Lord’s body rested in the tomb that His spirit entered into the Spirit World where He was received by the righteous in Paradise. It was then that the Lord organized and prepared those righteous spirits to preach to those spirits who would listen in Hell. We believe that 1 Peter 3:18-20 and 4:6 allude to this fact:

    “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit:
    By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;
    Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.”

    “For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.”

    A modern-day revelation was received on this topic by President Joseph F. Smith on October 3, 1918. He was pondering on the words of Peter I mentioned above and he claimed to have had this revelation:

    “As I pondered over these things which are written, the eyes of my understanding were opened, and the Spirit of the Lord rested upon me, and I saw the hosts of the dead, both small and great.
    And there were gathered together in one place an innumerable company of the spirits of the just, who had been faithful in the testimony of Jesus while they lived in mortality;
    And who had offered sacrifice in the similitude of the great sacrifice of the Son of God, and had suffered tribulation in their Redeemer’s name.
    All these had departed the mortal life, firm in the hope of a glorious resurrection, through the grace of God the Father and his Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
    I beheld that they were filled with joy and gladness, and were rejoicing together because the day of their deliverance was at hand.
    They were assembled awaiting the advent of the Son of God into the spirit world, to declare their redemption from the bands of death.
    Their sleeping dust was to be restored unto its perfect frame, bone to his bone, and the sinews and the flesh upon them, the spirit and the body to be united never again to be divided, that they might receive a fulness of joy.
    While this vast multitude waited and conversed, rejoicing in the hour of their deliverance from the chains of death, the Son of God appeared, declaring liberty to the captives who had been faithful;
    And there he preached to them the everlasting gospel, the doctrine of the resurrection and the redemption of mankind from the fall, and from individual sins on conditions of repentance.” (Doctrine and Covenants 138:11-19)

    It was at this time that the Lord Jesus Christ commissioned these spirits to go unto those captive spirits in Hell and preach these glad tidings, so that they might also be made partakers of salvation if they so choose. This was when the place known as Prison came into being. This Spirit Prison was where the spirits of men who would receive the Gospel message gathered. Those who would not receive it remained in Hell:

    “And as I wondered, my eyes were opened, and my understanding quickened, and I perceived that the Lord went not in person among the wicked and the disobedient who had rejected the truth, to teach them;
    But behold, from among the righteous, he organized his forces and appointed messengers, clothed with power and authority, and commissioned them to go forth and carry the light of the gospel to them that were in darkness, even to all the spirits of men; and thus was the gospel preached to the dead.
    And the chosen messengers went forth to declare the acceptable day of the Lord and proclaim liberty to the captives who were bound, even unto all who would repent of their sins and receive the gospel.
    Thus was the gospel preached to those who had died in their sins, without a knowledge of the truth, or in transgression, having rejected the prophets.
    These were taught faith in God, repentance from sin, vicarious baptism for the remission of sins, the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands,
    And all other principles of the gospel that were necessary for them to know in order to qualify themselves that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
    And so it was made known among the dead, both small and great, the unrighteous as well as the faithful, that redemption had been wrought through the sacrifice of the Son of God upon the cross.
    Thus was it made known that our Redeemer spent his time during his sojourn in the world of spirits, instructing and preparing the faithful spirits of the prophets who had testified of him in the flesh;
    That they might carry the message of redemption unto all the dead, unto whom he could not go personally, because of their rebellion and transgression, that they through the ministration of his servants might also hear his words.” (Doctrine and Covenants 138:29-37)
     
  4. Prestor John

    Prestor John Well-Known Member

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    We believe that it is possible for spirits in the Spirit World to repent of their sins, however it is more difficult to change your ways when out of the body. Those who had no opportunity to accept the Lord or those who rejected the Lord in their mortal life (yet did not commit abominable sins) will now enter into Prison, where they may receive the Lord through instruction if they desire. This is why we perform vicarious ordinances for the dead in our Temples.

    So today those who accepted the Lord Jesus Christ and repented of their sins during this life will enter into Paradise upon death. However, instead of receiving a state of “rest” where they have no care, they will be engaged in missionary efforts to their joy.

    LDS CONCEPT OF RESURRECTION AND THE DEGREES OF GLORY

    It is the LDS belief that everyone (except those who commit the unpardonable sin) will eventually be forgiven of their sins, either in this life or in the Spirit World, and overcome physical death through a bodily Resurrection. Everyone will receive salvation from sin and death. However, when people are forgiven/raised and how they will be forgiven/raised depends on their faithfulness and penitence in this life.

    As I said before, those who commit the unpardonable sin cannot receive forgiveness in this life or the next and after their Final Judgment they will be cast out of the Father’s Kingdom. LDS scripture on the topic reads:

    “Thus saith the Lord concerning all those who know my power, and have been made partakers thereof, and suffered themselves through the power of the devil to be overcome, and to deny the truth and defy my power—
    They are they who are the sons of perdition, of whom I say that it had been better for them never to have been born;
    For they are vessels of wrath, doomed to suffer the wrath of God, with the devil and his angels in eternity;
    Concerning whom I have said there is no forgiveness in this world nor in the world to come—
    Having denied the Holy Spirit after having received it, and having denied the Only Begotten Son of the Father, having crucified him unto themselves and put him to an open shame.
    These are they who shall go away into the lake of fire and brimstone, with the devil and his angels—
    And the only ones on whom the second death shall have any power;
    Yea, verily, the only ones who shall not be redeemed in the due time of the Lord, after the sufferings of his wrath.” (Doctrine and Covenants 76:31-38)

    According to LDS doctrine, everyone other than these “sons of perdition” will eventually be saved from sin and death,

    “For all the rest shall be brought forth by the resurrection of the dead, through the triumph and the glory of the Lamb, who was slain, who was in the bosom of the Father before the worlds were made.
    And this is the gospel, the glad tidings, which the voice out of the heavens bore record unto us—
    That he came into the world, even Jesus, to be crucified for the world, and to bear the sins of the world, and to sanctify the world, and to cleanse it from all unrighteousness;
    That through him all might be saved whom the Father had put into his power and made by him;
    Who glorifies the Father, and saves all the works of his hands, except those sons of perdition who deny the Son after the Father has revealed him.
    Wherefore, he saves all except them—they shall go away into everlasting punishment, which is endless punishment, which is eternal punishment, to reign with the devil and his angels in eternity, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched, which is their torment—“ (Doctrine and Covenants 76:39-44)

    Everyone else will be saved from both sin and death, but what they did in this life will affect how they will be raised from the dead. It will also affect which degree of glory, or mansion, within the Father’s Kingdom, they will inherit.

    We believe that Paul, in his first epistle to the Corinthians, when he taught about the Resurrection from the dead claimed that not all Resurrections will be the same. They will differ in glory, even though they all will be considered “spiritual bodies”. They will differ in glory just as the sun, the moon and the stars differ in glory.

    “Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.
    But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?
    Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:
    And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:
    But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.
    All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.
    There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
    There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
    So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
    It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
    It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” (1 Corinthians 15:34-44)

    We believe that the type of Resurrection that receives the most glory are those of the Celestial glory and they will be allowed to enter the Celestial Kingdom, the glory of said kingdom being comparable to that of the sun in contrast to the other heavenly bodies.

    Those who will receive a Celestial glory were those who entered into Spirit Paradise upon their death and did their best to be obedient to all that was commanded them of the Father through the Son. The most comprehensive latter-day revelation on this topic follows:

    “And again we bear record—for we saw and heard, and this is the testimony of the gospel of Christ concerning them who shall come forth in the resurrection of the just—
    They are they who received the testimony of Jesus, and believed on his name and were baptized after the manner of his burial, being buried in the water in his name, and this according to the commandment which he has given—
    That by keeping the commandments they might be washed and cleansed from all their sins, and receive the Holy Spirit by the laying on of the hands of him who is ordained and sealed unto this power;
    And who overcome by faith, and are sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise, which the Father sheds forth upon all those who are just and true.
    They are they who are the church of the Firstborn.
    They are they into whose hands the Father has given all things—
    They are they who are priests and kings, who have received of his fulness, and of his glory;
    And are priests of the Most High, after the order of Melchizedek, which was after the order of Enoch, which was after the order of the Only Begotten Son.
    Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of God—
    Wherefore, all things are theirs, whether life or death, or things present, or things to come, all are theirs and they are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.
    And they shall overcome all things.
    Wherefore, let no man glory in man, but rather let him glory in God, who shall subdue all enemies under his feet.
    These shall dwell in the presence of God and his Christ forever and ever.
    These are they whom he shall bring with him, when he shall come in the clouds of heaven to reign on the earth over his people.
    These are they who shall have part in the first resurrection.
    These are they who shall come forth in the resurrection of the just.
    These are they who are come unto Mount Zion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly place, the holiest of all.
    These are they who have come to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of Enoch, and of the Firstborn.
    These are they whose names are written in heaven, where God and Christ are the judge of all.
    These are they who are just men made perfect through Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, who wrought out this perfect atonement through the shedding of his own blood.
    These are they whose bodies are celestial, whose glory is that of the sun, even the glory of God, the highest of all, whose glory the sun of the firmament is written of as being typical.” (Doctrine and Covenants 76:50-70)

    We believe that all the things mentioned above were first taught to Adam in the Garden and passed down to Enoch, then Noah and even Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They knew of these things and received them and are now at this time considered “gods”, because they received the fullness of the Father. Moses was taught these things too, but Israel was not worthy of these things, so they received the lesser law.

    The Lord Jesus Christ restored these things during His mortal ministry, but after the rejection of His Apostles, these teachings fell into obscurity and the Church became apostate, filled with many false doctrines.
     
  5. Prestor John

    Prestor John Well-Known Member

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    We believe that all those who will receive a Terrestrial glory are those who eventually received the Lord Jesus Christ, either in this life or in the Spirit World. They did not commit abominable sins (murder, rape, adultery), yet they were deceived by the many falsehoods of men and decided to cling to those falsehoods in the face of the truth. The glory of the Terrestrial is comparable to the moon in contrast to the sun.

    Basically, they decided to receive part of the truth of Christ, but refused to accept the whole of it when it was presented to them, either in this life or the next:

    “And again, we saw the terrestrial world, and behold and lo, these are they who are of the terrestrial, whose glory differs from that of the church of the Firstborn who have received the fulness of the Father, even as that of the moon differs from the sun in the firmament.
    Behold, these are they who died without law;
    And also they who are the spirits of men kept in prison, whom the Son visited, and preached the gospel unto them, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh;
    Who received not the testimony of Jesus in the flesh, but afterwards received it.
    These are they who are honorable men of the earth, who were blinded by the craftiness of men.
    These are they who receive of his glory, but not of his fulness.
    These are they who receive of the presence of the Son, but not of the fulness of the Father.
    Wherefore, they are bodies terrestrial, and not bodies celestial, and differ in glory as the moon differs from the sun.
    These are they who are not valiant in the testimony of Jesus; wherefore, they obtain not the crown over the kingdom of our God.
    And now this is the end of the vision which we saw of the terrestrial, that the Lord commanded us to write while we were yet in the Spirit.” (Doctrine and Covenants 76:71-80)

    Even though those who will inherit the Terrestrial Kingdom were not as valiant as those who will inherit the Celestial Kingdom they still truly accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Master, either in this life or in the Spirit World, so they will enjoy the presence of the Son amongst them, for He suffered for them and they are His.

    Then the glory of the Telestial Kingdom has been compared to the glory of the stars, for even though each star differs in glory, none of them are as glorious as the moon or the sun. The Resurrection of those who are to inherit a Telestial glory will take place after the Millennial reign of the Lord and after Jesus Christ has conquered all things:

    “And again, we saw the glory of the telestial, which glory is that of the lesser, even as the glory of the stars differs from that of the glory of the moon in the firmament.
    These are they who received not the gospel of Christ, neither the testimony of Jesus.
    These are they who deny not the Holy Spirit.
    These are they who are thrust down to hell.
    These are they who shall not be redeemed from the devil until the last resurrection, until the Lord, even Christ the Lamb, shall have finished his work.
    These are they who receive not of his fulness in the eternal world, but of the Holy Spirit through the ministration of the terrestrial;
    And the terrestrial through the ministration of the celestial.
    And also the telestial receive it of the administering of angels who are appointed to minister for them, or who are appointed to be ministering spirits for them; for they shall be heirs of salvation.
    And thus we saw, in the heavenly vision, the glory of the telestial, which surpasses all understanding;
    And no man knows it except him to whom God has revealed it.” (Doctrine and Covenants 76:81-90)

    Those who will inherit the Telestial Kingdom will be those who entered into Hell upon death for committing serious sins or never seeking out the Lord or accepting of His Atoning Sacrifice in this life or the next. They will eventually be forgiven of their sins, however while in Hell these spirits will suffer for their own sins from the time of their physical death up until their Resurrection.

    The Lord spoke anxiously about how He desires that all men repent so that they do not need to suffer:

    “Therefore I command you to repent—repent, lest I smite you by the rod of my mouth, and by my wrath, and by my anger, and your sufferings be sore—how sore you know not, how exquisite you know not, yea, how hard to bear you know not.
    For behold, I, God, have suffered these things for all, that they might not suffer if they would repent;
    But if they would not repent they must suffer even as I;
    Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink—
    Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men.
    Wherefore, I command you again to repent, lest I humble you with my almighty power; and that you confess your sins, lest you suffer these punishments of which I have spoken, of which in the smallest, yea, even in the least degree you have tasted at the time I withdrew my Spirit.” (Doctrine and Covenants 19:15-20)

    David is a perfect example of a person who lost his inheritance in the Celestial Kingdom and will inherit a Telestial glory because he committed adultery and murder,

    “David’s wives and concubines were given unto him of me, by the hand of Nathan, my servant, and others of the prophets who had the keys of this power; and in none of these things did he sin against me save in the case of Uriah and his wife; and, therefore he hath fallen from his exaltation, and received his portion; and he shall not inherit them out of the world, for I gave them unto another, saith the Lord.” (Doctrine and Covenants 132:39)

    Bruce R. McConkie, in his work “Mormon Doctrine”, although not an official source of Church doctrine does contain much truth said,

    “Murderers are forgiven eventually but only in the sense that all sins are forgiven except the sin against the Holy Ghost; they are not forgiven in the sense that celestial salvation is made available to them. After they have paid the full penalty for their crime, they shall go on to a telestial inheritance.” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 520.)

    David would be in that category. Yes, his spirit will not remain in Hell forever and his body will eventually rise from the grave at the time of his Resurrection and Final Judgment, but he cannot receive a fullness of salvation, or exaltation.

    Well, that’s enough expounding of LDS doctrine. Sorry if it was too long or if you knew it all already and were bored.
     
  6. Prestor John

    Prestor John Well-Known Member

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    This chapter is Paul explaining that the Gentiles can now receive the same blessings that had been promised to Israel. However, their receiving these blessings is based on the condition of their faithfulness. The Lord will always extend the promised blessings to Israel and faithful Gentiles, but that does not mean that everyone will be worthy to receive them.

    I do not believe that this verse teaches what you claim because Paul clearly explained that much of Israel was cast out due to unbelief and that the Gentiles could also be cast out. Even though we can be cast out, the Lord will forever offer us the original promises, however we would need to repent of our sins and once again become a righteous and faithful people in order to receive those promises.

    The Lord may forever offer all of Mankind salvation, but we may choose to reject or accept that salvation based on what we do.

    I strongly encourage you to read the fifth chapter of the book of Jacob in the Book of Mormon because he quoted the allegory of the tame and wild olive trees in its entirety, which I believe Paul alluded to many times in this chapter.
    I agree that the animal skins used to cover Adam and Eve was a great parallel to the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, however the record shows that as soon as Adam and Eve were cast out of the Garden that they and their children begin offering sacrifices.

    Obviously, the Lord required them to do something in reciprocation of the work He had done or was doing on their behalf.

    I feel that the book of Moses showcases this perfectly,

    “And it came to pass that after I, the Lord God, had driven them out, that Adam began to till the earth, and to have dominion over all the beasts of the field, and to eat his bread by the sweat of his brow, as I the Lord had commanded him. And Eve, also, his wife, did labor with him.
    And Adam knew his wife, and she bare unto him sons and daughters, and they began to multiply and to replenish the earth.
    And from that time forth, the sons and daughters of Adam began to divide two and two in the land, and to till the land, and to tend flocks, and they also begat sons and daughters.
    And Adam and Eve, his wife, called upon the name of the Lord, and they heard the voice of the Lord from the way toward the Garden of Eden, speaking unto them, and they saw him not; for they were shut out from his presence.
    And he gave unto them commandments, that they should worship the Lord their God, and should offer the firstlings of their flocks, for an offering unto the Lord. And Adam was obedient unto the commandments of the Lord.
    And after many days an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam, saying: Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him: I know not, save the Lord commanded me.
    And then the angel spake, saying: This thing is a similitude of the sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father, which is full of grace and truth.
    Wherefore, thou shalt do all that thou doest in the name of the Son, and thou shalt repent and call upon God in the name of the Son forevermore.” (Moses 5:1-8)
    Cain’s sacrifice was not regarded by the Lord because Cain did not adhere to the revelation they had received. The Lord wanted them to offer the firstlings of their flocks, not the first fruits of the ground.

    Cain is a perfect example of many people who try to deal with the Lord on their terms and not on the Lord’s terms. It is the Lord who offers us salvation and how we are to receive it. We cannot come up with our own rules and then follow them and expect the same outcome as those who receive and follow God’s rules.
    Would you mind sharing your source for this? I am not familiar with it.

    I think that this chapter in Genesis clearly shows God making promises to Abraham on the condition that Abraham and those who follow him become circumcised.
    I disagree wholeheartedly. Go ahead and offer an example.
    This is where you and I diverge because the Genesis account is so limited.

    In the Book of Abraham, Abraham himself records how he had sought for the Lord all his days and wanted to receive the same blessings that the patriarchs had anciently,

    “In the land of the Chaldeans, at the residence of my fathers, I, Abraham, saw that it was needful for me to obtain another place of residence;
    And, finding there was greater happiness and peace and rest for me, I sought for the blessings of the fathers, and the right whereunto I should be ordained to administer the same; having been myself a follower of righteousness, desiring also to be one who possessed great knowledge, and to be a greater follower of righteousness, and to possess a greater knowledge, and to be a father of many nations, a prince of peace, and desiring to receive instructions, and to keep the commandments of God, I became a rightful heir, a High Priest, holding the right belonging to the fathers.
    It was conferred upon me from the fathers; it came down from the fathers, from the beginning of time, yea, even from the beginning, or before the foundation of the earth, down to the present time, even the right of the firstborn, or the first man, who is Adam, or first father, through the fathers unto me.
    I sought for mine appointment unto the Priesthood according to the appointment of God unto the fathers concerning the seed.” (Abraham 1:1-4)

    As to a prophet or king asking the Lord for anything, the book of Exodus records many of the promises that the Lord made with Israel where He promised that if they continued to serve Him faithfully, that He would bless them in various ways including the driving forth of their enemies out of the land.

    Later prophets and kings did not need to ask for a specific thing, usually, because they knew that the Lord would fulfill the promises He had already made with their fathers as long as they remained faithful to the covenants that were made.
    I would argue that the Lord had already provided a “godly council of leaders” when He gave the Twelve Apostles.

    These Apostles, however, were eventually rejected by the people. Slain or driven out, the fall of the Apostles led to the eventual apostasy I have mentioned. This happened as false teachers and doctrines entered into the Church and they decided to follow that which was pleasing to the carnal mind.

    I believe that the words of many who had been contemporaries of the Apostles were also rejected in this manner. The words of these men were compared to the “false truths” that had been concocted and the ignorant decided to reject anything that could not conform to the lies.

    It was the rejection of the Lord’s appointed council that led to that apostasy. It was due to the same conceited mentality that Paul mentioned in Romans 11. The people decided to come to the Lord on their own terms rather than the terms that the Lord had set.
    Why call even call it a council when they just wanted to blindly follow the Jews?
    So, by that standard, all books that do not state, “This is the Word of the Lord” should not be considered real scripture?

    The Lord Jesus Christ did not come out and plainly declare, “I am the Son of God, the Savior of the world, Redeemer of Mankind, the Holy One of Israel.”, yet He still is all of the above regardless.
    So, when you mentioned books of scripture that were “accepted by the Jews” earlier, you meant “Jews” as only the writers of the New Testament books and other early Christian converts and not all Jews?
     
  7. BilliardsBall

    BilliardsBall Veteran Member

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    Thank you for your thoughtful and well-reasoned responses. My sincere condolences to you and your family also.

    I would say that salvation is a gift but also, that sanctification requires sacrifice and effort. To prove the truth of what I’m saying, we’d need to find some verses in the Bible that say that someone can be saved not only by gifting from God, but after being a pretty lousy believer, right?

    The very phrase “by the skin of their teeth” meaning, just barely, by the very enamel of your teeth, comes from Paul’s New Testament statement on this matter.

    I appreciate your sharing this and all the above. I’m keeping my remarks brief because I just have some basic questions, so please don’t take my brevity as a sign of disrespect.

    Since the Bible says it is appointed to a person to die one time, and then be judged on time, this seems to violate that principle. For example:

    1. I die unregenerate and go to Hell. I’ve been judged unworthy of entering Paradise.

    2. I repent of my sins, and am judged to enter Prison.

    3. Etc.
    I remember that the casting out you refer to isn’t permanent, the same chapters say that Israel can enter back in [again] and also will enter back in again [11:26].

    Also, Israel’s blessings were not conditioned [entirely] upon their faithfulness. They were receiving blessing because of their fathers, who had received an immutable promise, as Romans also says. The irrevocable gift was permanently given to Israel before Israel sinned, as God foreknew they would.

    Abram did not finish making the pieces for his covenant with God.

    Re: covenants and merit:

    If we are unfaithful, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny who he is. – 2 Tim 2:13

    I agree with you that we can find hundreds of verses regarding conditional blessings, such as “Honor your parents, so that it may go well with you…” However, we know that at any given moment, Israel, like the Gentiles, like almost any people group, was a bunch of naysayers and unbelievers and a few faithful people. Thankfully, God’s promise rested immovably:

    Jeremiah 32 says,

    This is what the Lord says,

    he who appoints the sun

    to shine by day,

    who decrees the moon and stars

    to shine by night,

    who stirs up the sea

    so that its waves roar—

    the Lord Almighty is his name:

    36

    “Only if these decrees vanish from my sight,”

    declares the Lord,

    “will Israel ever cease

    being a nation before me.”

    37 This is what the Lord says:

    “Only if the heavens above can be measured

    and the foundations of the earth below be searched out

    will I reject all the descendants of Israel

    because of all they have done,”

    declares the Lord.”

    It would be harder to think of a better passage to encapsulate God’s one-way, gift promise: if the sun, moon and stars disappear, God will stop loving Israel and will reject Israel.

    I understand your perspective. My perspective is: Israel was historically, habitually, perpetually [almost] unfaithful. God not only kept loving Israel and told Israel He was wed to them, even while they were backsliding, but God restored Israel, to become a Jewish nation again, per prophecy, in 1948 CE. Over 40 prophecies were fulfilled in 1948, and many Bible prophecies have come to pass since that time.

    **

    The apocrypha contradicts God’s Word. God’s Word never contradicts itself.

    The apocrypha was rejected by both Christian Jews and non-Christian Jews, prior to the councils.
     
  8. BilliardsBall

    BilliardsBall Veteran Member

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    Follow-up:

    I thought of Ephesians 2:

    8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

    Here is a clear statement that salvation is a gift and also, that believers are urged to good works. The difference between evangelicals/fundamentalists and a number of Christian sects:

    We do works and deeds because we're grateful to have trusted Christ to have been saved, not to become saved (someday).

    Another interesting statement, from Romans:

    And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. (13:11)

    "Let's get on with works because our salvation is nearer today, not because we need to earn the possibility of salvation, someday."
     
  9. Prestor John

    Prestor John Well-Known Member

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    Thank you.
    I am going to comment on the other things you said, but I first wanted to focus on this idea because I feel that it is crucial.

    Would you mind expounding on this idea because if I am interpreting it correctly I would be inclined to agree with you here.
     
  10. BilliardsBall

    BilliardsBall Veteran Member

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    Thank you very much. Evangelicals and fundamentalists who believe in assurance (once saved, always saved) can see all those many verses about growth, obedience and sacrifice, too.

    Salvation is not a prize to be won, it is a gift to be received. Sanctification (before we pass on to the next realm) is certainly a prize to be striven for, and won.
     
  11. Prestor John

    Prestor John Well-Known Member

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    What is the difference between the two in terms of the next life?
     
  12. Prestor John

    Prestor John Well-Known Member

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    I suppose a better question would be: If salvation is already assured, why do more? What are the benefits of sanctification?
     
  13. BilliardsBall

    BilliardsBall Veteran Member

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    There is a literal millennium for believers to reign. There are rewards in Heaven. Paul says his joy and crown are those he led to Christ--his faithful witnessing was one part of his sanctification (sanctification being growth from new convert to a mature believer).

    There is also the chastisement of believers (Hebrews 12) for those who are not up to snuff. The ultimate chastisement is untimely death. A saved believer who is a horrible, backslidden witness will die young--I've seen this happen also, sadly.
     
  14. BilliardsBall

    BilliardsBall Veteran Member

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    We must ask ourselves, is salvation a gift to be received or a prize to be won? The New Testament scriptures seem clear on this matter.
     
  15. Prestor John

    Prestor John Well-Known Member

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    Of course salvation is a gift. All scripture, both ancient and modern, clearly teaches that salvation is a gift. In my long post I shared several verses from the Doctrine and Covenants that taught that salvation is a gift.

    I personally feel that you and I essentially believe in the same things, but we just interpret some stuff differently.

    I find that certain Christians tend to oversimplify what they find in the scriptures. “If you’re Good, you go to Heaven. If you’re Bad, you go to Hell”, “Jesus Saves”, “What would Jesus do?”

    I believe that these Christians also incorrectly blanket the term “salvation” to describe many different conditions without realizing it. They ignore certain concepts from the scriptures and then erroneously correlate or match others.

    For example, they read in the Bible that “confession is made unto salvation”, therefore they believe that all they need to do is confess that Jesus is the Lord then they can become “joint-heirs” with Christ and sit with Him upon His throne.

    We do not believe that to be the case.

    For Latter-Day Saints, the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ offers many things to Mankind: Redemption, Salvation, Adoption, Justification, Sanctification and eventual Exaltation.

    We do not believe that all of these terms describe the same condition. We consider them to be like the rungs in a ladder. The first should lead you to the next and the next up until you reach perfection.

    The words “redemption” and “salvation” are often used synonymously in the Church, but I personally believe them to be describing different aspects of the Atonement, even though they are similar.

    Redemption - We consider the Lord Jesus Christ to be our Redeemer because through His Atonement no one is held responsible for the Original Sin. The Fall of Adam placed the conditions of sin and death upon all Mankind. However, through the redeeming sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, He “repurchased” us, so that we are only accountable for our own sins and not Adam’s transgression. All save “Perdition” (those who commit the unpardonable sin) will overcome the effects of the Fall.

    Salvation (Spiritual)The Lord Jesus Christ is our “Savior” because through His Atonement we can overcome and be forgiven of our personal sins. The Lord suffered the punishments of our sins so that we would not have to if we repent. We can be forgiven of our sins here in this life by having faith in Him and repenting of them through baptism. Spirits in the Spirit World can also receive forgiveness by having faith in Him and repenting of their sins through vicarious baptism performed on their behalf. If we refuse to repent in this life or in the Spirit World, we would be required to suffer the penalties of our own sins before being forgiven of them.

    Salvation (Physical)As part of His infinite Atonement, the Lord Jesus Christ suffered death on our behalf. After He preached to the spirits in Paradise He regained His physical body in a glorious Resurrection, which broke the bands of death and He promises that everyone will receive their own Resurrection. Their spirit and physical bodies will be reunited to never separate again. We will receive our Resurrected bodies before the Final Judgment and we will inherit a glory comparable to the stars, the moon or the sun depending on our personal worthiness.

    AdoptionThrough the Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ anyone who is buried with Him in baptism by one who holds the proper authority will receive the spirit of Adoption. We will look to the Lord Jesus Christ as the Father of our Salvation as we become new creatures to no longer cease to do evil, but good continually. We take upon us His name and this is how He will know us, if we are on His right hand or His left. It will be by the name which we are called, which will be His name.

    JustificationAfter someone has taken upon themselves the name of the Lord Jesus Christ through baptism, they must continue to repent of their sins, living each day better than the last, following His example. Only in this way will He remember our sins no more. Only when we confess them and forsake them. If we continue to commit sin, we will not be justified and He will consider us responsible for them.

    SanctificationHopefully after we take upon us the name of Christ and strive to follow His example and continually repent of our sins, we should be compelled to learn and grow and do many things on His behalf. Everything we do will give us needful experience. Everything we learn will give us a larger capacity to serve Him. We must follow His commandments and participate in revealed ordinances. This is the process of having His image engraven upon our countenances so that when people see us, they see Him.

    ExaltationIf we have done all that we can do, we will be admitted into the presence of the Father in His Celestial Kingdom and under His guidance we will eventually become like Him.

    For Latter-Day Saints exaltation is the “fullness” of salvation and if we receive anything short of it then we did not live up to our potential as children of God.

    We do not believe that a person needs to be a member of our faith in order to be saved. As I have shared, only those who commit the unpardonable sin cannot be saved. However, we believe that in order for someone to receive the “fullness” of salvation, they must receive all that the Father has revealed through the Son.

    This would include the Book of Mormon and other scriptures, modern-day prophets, the need for priesthood authority, participation in saving ordinances, participation in Temple ordinances, being chaste, willing to sacrifice, pay tithes and give offerings, living the Word of Wisdom, be guided by the Spirit and continuous revelation and endure faithfully to the end.

    Salvation is free but how we get it and what we will inherit after depends on what we do.
     
  16. BilliardsBall

    BilliardsBall Veteran Member

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    Very interesting stuff there, thanks for sharing.

    I don't know any evangelical Christians who teach "If you’re Good, you go to Heaven. If you’re Bad, you go to Hell." I know people of other groups who teach that, but not evangelicals. Good people go to Hell all the time. Since one must be perfect to go to Heaven, only those trusting God can partake of Jesus's perfection.

    "Jesus Saves". How is this a wrong statement?

    "What would Jesus do?” Is this a wrong thing to do? To ask oneself, "Is my behavior here going to be consistent with the example life of Jesus?"

    There are over 150 NT verses with some form of "Trust Jesus for salvation." Over 90 of these statements are in John's gospel, one reason why John's gospel is often distributed on its own, in tract form. I would like to try and make a chart, so I understand. Please let me know if I misstate anything:

    Redemption: We are accountable for our sins We were slaves to sin and have been repurchased to live free from sin

    Spiritual Salvation: Jesus saved us because we repent and are baptized for ourselves or others Jesus saved us because we cannot save ourselves

    Physical Salvation: The atonement provides new bodies and glorification based on what we did here Same as above (sanctification--glorification)

    Adoption: Under an accurate baptism we receive power for living We are literally adopted and our now God's children

    Justification: If we are baptized, repent, forsake sin and live better and better we will be justified Because of the cross, God will treat me "just as if I've" never sinned

    Sanctification: We become like Jesus through repentance, growth and ordinance We become like Jesus through obedience

    Exaltation: If we've done all we can do, we become like Him All of the elect are predestined to become like Him
     
  17. Prestor John

    Prestor John Well-Known Member

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    It is hard for me to differentiate between all the denominations sometimes. That is why I said “certain” Christians say that. We would agree with what you said, however we would swap out “Heaven” for “Celestial Kingdom”.
    I did not claim that it was “wrong”. I was only claiming that “certain” Christians “oversimplify”.

    For certain Christians “Jesus Saves” is all they care to know. That is the end of the discussion because they have nothing else to offer.
    This was just another example of an oversimplification made by certain Christians.

    They can ask themselves or others that question all day long, but never have an answer outside of, “Be kind to others”.
    It is true that we need to trust Jesus for salvation, but is that the same as saying we need ONLY trust in Him? Doesn’t He want us to do other stuff too?
    When Adam fell there was no lawful reason for him to ever be saved. He knew what he did was against God’s law, but he did it anyway. His reasons for doing it don’t really matter before the law. His punishment of being booted from the Garden and entering into mortality was just.

    His Fall literally doomed us all to the same fate. Separation from God forever. Any act of salvation on our behalf is undeserved.

    Now, imagine that the Fall of Adam created an immense gulf between us and God. A gulf that is too wide for anyone to ever cross and too deep for anyone to climb up once fallen down there.

    Yet, since the Lord Jesus Christ took upon Himself the punishment of our sins He bridged over that gulf. With no strings attached. The just for the unjust. As long as you do not commit the unpardonable sin, you are going to get across that bridge. No ifs, ands or buts about it.
    Keeping with the bridge over the gulf analogy. Let’s say that the journey over that gulf caused us all to get all dirty. Now we are on the other side and looking up toward God’s mansion. We wish to go there, but we know that we are not presentable. God is clean and no unclean thing can enter into His presence.

    We want to get clean, but we have no way of doing it ourselves. We do not have what we need to become clean. This is when the Lord Jesus Christ offers us His Gospel plan with instructions for how to become clean. If we do as He says and repent of our sins through baptism we will be clean and then the Lord will consider us ready for Him to present us to the Father.

    He even asks some of us to help clean our other brothers and sisters who did not get to hear of His plan and instructions.
    Yes. How well we performed will determine what type of Resurrected body we will receive.

    If we lived our lives by Telestial Law, then we will receive a Resurrected body of a Telestial glory.

    If we lived our lives by Terrestrial Law, then we will receive a Resurrected body of a Terrestrial glory.

    If we lived our lives by Celestial Law, then we will receive a Resurrected body of a Celestial glory.

    We basically receive whichever glory we are most comfortable with. If we prefer to cuss and abuse our bodies, then we would be most comfortable with other people that do those things. A glory comparable to that. If we would rather prefer to be clean and chaste, we would be most comfortable with those types of people. That type of glory.

    We will all be given what we want.
    I would say it has to be accurate and authorized. Just anyone saying the right words won’t be able to perform a baptism. Those who perform saving ordinances should be commissioned of Jesus Christ and have His Priesthood authority.

    Also, we are not being adopted by God the Father, but rather by the Lord Jesus Christ. He makes us His.
    Yes, if we truly repent then He will remember our sins no more. True repentance requires a change. We are born again as a new creature. We will not want to commit sin.
    Yes. We believe that obedience is the first law of Heaven and that the Lord Jesus Christ was the most obedient of all to the will of the Father. His will was swallowed up by the Father’s will. This submission glorified the Father, caused the Lord to conquer all things and offered salvation to us all.
    A few important things to note.

    This step does not take place in this life or in the Spirit World. This takes place after the Final Judgment and only for those who enter into the Celestial Kingdom. This is why we want to get to the Celestial Kingdom so bad. To fulfill our potential as children of God.

    Also, “all we can do” is subjective. Basically, if all I could really do, my very best, was 50%, then the Lord makes up the other 50%. If all my brother could really do, his very best, was only 1%, then the Lord will make up the other 99%. All that matters is that we did our best to remain faithful.

    He judges us based on who and what we become. He judges us on what is in our hearts. Exactly what we were able to actually accomplish is not necessarily relevant. We can believe ourselves to be total failures in this life and the Lord may still call us by name and ask us to sit with Him on His throne if we remained faithful to Him, kept His commandments and endured to the very end.

    I don’t know much about the “elect”. There are those who He considers His “noble and great ones”, but even the elect can be deceived and lose their exaltation, like David.
     
  18. BilliardsBall

    BilliardsBall Veteran Member

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    2 Cor 11:3 – “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.”

    Jesus saves people who aren’t great theologians. Jesus saves a lot of simple and simple-minded people. It’s simple to be saved, and it’s simple to grow in Jesus toward sanctification and glorification—obey the scriptures. Follow them, adhere to them, immerse your mind and self in them.

    1 Cor 1:26 – “For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble…”

    I have a Bachelor’s in Religion degree, but I’m leery of over-complex theology. However, I concede your point, believe me, I do—that many evangelicals act but don’t think.

    I think 100% of the other stuff to do is located in the scriptures. That’s why I made a chart, I’m having trouble reconciling the theology to the scriptures.

    What is the plan? If I asked you today what I’m doing as a Christian and how I need to change, what would you advise me to do?

    This is why I believe I’m a child of God. Isn’t Jesus God?

    When I trusted Christ, I was thinking about a sin or two, but not every sin area in my life—and it would take some time to read the scriptures and learn more about what sin is and how to thwart sin. Was I saved then?

    I would agree—I’d mess Heaven up today. At the Rapture, I get a new body and am made fit for the next age.

    This is the sole place I get uncomfortable. I can’t tell people Jesus is my 25% savior or someone’s 75% savior. They will ask if Jesus saves or if they save. Does that make sense?

    Thank you.
     
  19. Prestor John

    Prestor John Well-Known Member

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    I agree. Everyone can receive salvation as long as they do not commit the unpardonable sin.
    Do you consider what I have shared with you to be “complex”?
    I agree.
    How is that? Everything we have been talking about is contained in the scriptures.
    It would not be much different than what Peter said to those on the day of Pentecost,

    “Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

    Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:37-38)

    Or what Philip said to the eunuch who had gained a testimony of Jesus,

    “And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?

    And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

    And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.” (Acts 8:36-28)

    Or what Paul said to those believers who had received some but not all,

    “He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.

    And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.

    hen said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.

    When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

    And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.” (Acts 19:2-6)

    Or what Ananias counseled Paul to do after helping him receive his sight and explaining the will of the Lord concerning him,

    “And one Ananias, a devout man according to the law, having a good report of all the Jews which dwelt there,

    Came unto me, and stood, and said unto me, Brother Saul, receive thy sight. And the same hour I looked up upon him.

    And he said, The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth.

    For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard.

    And now why tarriest thou? arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.” (Acts 22:12-16)

    The only difference would be my asking if you accept the latter-day work that the Lord is performing for us today.
    We are all the spirit children of God the Father. He created our spirits.

    The Lord Jesus Christ is God the Father’s Son and we do not become adopted by Him until we repent of our sins and take upon us His name through authorized baptism and confirmation.

    Jesus Christ is our God, yes, but He is not God the Father.
    The Lord Jesus Christ saves us from sin and death.

    If you still commit sin and are still susceptible to death then you have not been saved yet.

    Salvation is a process that takes place in this life and the next.
    You and me both brother.
    The LDS Church does not believe in a Rapture event.

    We believe that people will be Resurrected at the time of Christ’s Second (aka the first Resurrection) and throughout the Millennial reign of the Lord upon the Earth and at the end of the Final Battle.

    However, we do not believe in a single “all believer” brought up into Heaven event.
    No, your question does not make sense. It seems we are doing a bit of back-pedalling.

    I thought you had finally understood that we do not believe that we can save ourselves.

    Notice that my comment about percentages was not in reference to salvation, but exaltation.

    We can only become like God the Father by first entering the Celestial Kingdom. One of the requirements for entrance into that Kingdom is perfection. However, no one will become perfect in this life (except the Lord Jesus Christ). Meaning that by the time of the Final Judgment, when we find out which Kingdom we will inherit within the Father’s Kingdom, none of us will be perfect.

    How then can any of us enter the Celestial Kingdom and eventually become like our Father?

    Although we will never become perfect in this life, if we remain faithful to the sacred covenants we made at baptism and in the temple, the Lord will make up for our imperfections and we will still be allowed entrance into the Celestial Kingdom.

    Does that make sense?
    You’re welcome.
     
  20. BilliardsBall

    BilliardsBall Veteran Member

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    Anything I cannot find in the scriptures, that coins new ideas or terms, is needlessly complex to me.

    I made a chart comparing my scriptural understanding with your scriptural understanding.

    I’m thinking of other differences. Water baptism is an ordinance, for example, but not a necessity for salvation, as I understand the scriptures.

    Sorry for confusing the issues. If Jesus is Savior, then we can exert an effort toward exaltation, but not salvation. How do you feel about the beginning of Romans 4 in this regard?
     
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