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Featured Is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 'Christian'.

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Sonny, Jan 31, 2017.

  1. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    It's interesting how vastly different the meaning of something is depending upon the creative use of ellipses, something that Sonny finds quite convenient in telling the world about Mormonism. He says that on the preface page of the Journal of Discourses, it says that they are "part of the standard works of the LDS Church." Of course, it doesn't actually say that at all. In the preface of the 8th volume of 26 (!) volumes, George Q. Cannon (who never did hold the position of President of the Church and who was therefore never in a position to authoritatively state what is and what is not doctrine), wrote, "The Journal of Discourses deservedly ranks as one of the standard works of the Church." Apparently he thought highly-enough of that collection of sermons that he stated what he believed they "deserved" to be thought of by others. However, it is worth noting that the words "standard works" are not capitalized. Whenever we see those words capitalized (i.e. "Standard Works"), we are speaking of four specific books that are actually part of the LDS canon.

    A good way to look at this is the way Christians, including Mormons, look at the word "God" as opposed to the word "god." For example, in 1 Corinthians 8:5-6, we read Paul's words: "For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) but to us there is but one God..." In these verses, he uses the word "gods" to refer to beings that may be called such, and "God" when referring to our God. When not capitalized, the word is essentially a generic description of "a superhuman being or spirit worshiped as having power over nature or human fortunes." When capitalized, the meaning is, at least for those of the Abrahamic faiths, drastically changed. It is referring to a very specific individual, the Almighty God that we worship. Likewise, Joseph Smith once said that our hymnal would "be a standard work." By that, he meant that it was a worthwhile reference book. He did not mean that it was canonized scripture. Finally, the Journal of Discourses was never, ever published by the Church, but privately published by Brigham Young's stenographer! Sonny can go off on as many anti-Mormon rants as he wants, but it changes none of the facts, which are as you and I have stated them.
     
    #161 Katzpur, Feb 4, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2017
  2. Scott C.

    Scott C. Just one guy

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    I'm giving my two cents on why my church is Christian. I'm not responding to any particular posts in this thread other than the general question "Are Mormons Christians, why or why not?".

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints teaches that:

    God the Father and Jesus Christ visited Joseph Smith in a grove of trees in 1820.

    The angel Moroni visited Joseph Smith many times and gave him the historical plates from which he translated the Book of Mormon.

    This same angel appeared to the Three Witnesses to also show them the plates.

    John the Baptist from the NT appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, laid his hands on their heads and conferred the Aaronic Priesthood, which includes the authority to baptize. They saw him, heard his voice, and felt his physical hands laid on their heads.

    Peter, James, and John of the NT appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery, laid their hands on their heads and conferred the Higher (Melchizedek) Priesthood, which included authority to administer the ordinances of the gospel and lead the church.

    After the first LDS temple in Kirtland, OH was dedicated, Jesus Christ, Moses, Elias, and Elijah appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery. Moses gave them the "keys" for the gathering of Israel in the last days. Elias gave them the keys of the gospel of Abraham. Elijah gave them the keys "to seal", to bind ordinances of the gospel in heaven and on earth.

    Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon. The BOM teaches on nearly every page that Jesus Christ of the NT is the Son of God and Redeemer of the world. It teaches that Jesus visited the BOM people after his resurrection as recorded in the NT.

    The church is named The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, because we believe it is indeed the Church of of Jesus Christ. It was set up by God in these Latter-days.

    When the Father and Son appeared to JS, it was clear that they are two separate and distinct beings with bodily form.

    1. How do I as a Latter-day Saint perceive the Christianity of my church?

    Since I believe that all of the above happened, I'm passionate that my church is Christian. In fact, since Christ established and commissioned this church in this way, that makes it the most Christian of any church.

    2. How do other Christians perceive the Christianity of my church?

    I suppose if you are a Christian and know what my church claims (see above) and do not believe that any of those events actually transpired, you can decide for yourself if my church is Christian, by your definition. You may say that JS was a false prophet, but the LDS believe in Christ and practice a Christian life so they are Christians. Or, you may say that since the LDS believe that Jesus visited JS, they must not be Christians, since JS was a false prophet. It's up to you. Decide whatever you like.

    3. How do non-Christians perceive the Christianity of my church?

    I would assume that non-Christians who know what my church believes, would see my church as Christian. Since they see Christians as people who believe in a false Bible story, I don't know why they would care that Mormons also believe a false BOM story. I don't think they care that my concept of the Godhead is different from the traditional Trinity.

    4. How do Mormons perceive the Christianity of other churches?

    I can only speak for myself. I could lay out many doctrines and practices from traditional Christianity which I believe are non-biblical. I could conclude that if a church thinks they follow the Bible, but in reality are off that mark, they are not Christian. I could believe that any Trinitarian church is non-Christian because the Trinity is not Biblical. But if people use the Bible to the best of their understanding and teach that Jesus is Lord and try to be Christlike, that's good enough for me to consider them Christians. I overlook the doctrinal errors in this consideration.

    Personally, I have found the Lord Jesus in my church. I feel his presence in the Bible, the Book of Mormon, in my church meetings and in my life. I feel his love from the highest leaders of my church as they testify of Christ. I base my whole life, heart, and soul in my belief in Jesus Christ and in his Church. You may decide on my personal Christianity and the Christianity of my church however you please. As for me, I'm more than happy to answer to God on the judgment day regarding my life and beliefs.
     
    #162 Scott C., Feb 4, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2017
  3. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    There is a difference between something being not Biblical and being not true.
     
    #163 Katzpur, Feb 4, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2017
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  4. metis

    metis aged ecumenical anthropologist

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    Neither is the church you belong to but that certainly hasn't stopped you from going. The Bible was selected by the church and not the other way around.
     
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  5. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    What you said was "If your church doesn't teach that Jesus is Christ, you need to start looking for one that does." If that doesn't mean that Mormons aren't Christians, what, pray tell, does it mean? And why would you even post that when we have made it abundantly clear that we do believe Jesus is Christ. Why would our Church be named "The Church of Jesus Christ" if we don't believe Jesus is Christ? I mean it seriously makes no sense at all.
     
    #165 Katzpur, Feb 4, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2017
  6. Scott C.

    Scott C. Just one guy

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    Sonny, I'm trying to patiently figure out what is your point regarding the Journal of Discourses. They are most certainly discourses, hence the title. Some of what we find in those discourses is considered LDS doctrine and some is not. We would have to take every principle taught, one at a time to make that determination. I guess you're trying to say that some early church leaders put more weight on these discourses than do current leaders. That's probably true. I imagine there were a lot of church members back then who put a lot of stock in those volumes. Regardless, the JODs are not part of the official Standard Works (i.e, Canon). I guess you're trying to find strange teachings in the JODs, then say this is what Mormon's believe because a church leader in the 1800's said we should believe the JODs. It bothers you that we would correctly deny that the JOD's are part of our scripture. It also bothers you that we would acknowledge that not everything taught by Presidents of the church is doctrine. Is this what all of this is about?
     
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  7. omega2xx

    omega2xx Well-Known Member

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    Of course, but that is not the problem. When the BOM contradicts something in the Bible, both can't be right. When the rubber hits the road, you will accept the BOM and I will accept the Bible. Do you really not see a problem when these books are contradictory?
     
  8. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    If I saw them as contradictory, it would indeed be a problem. I don't, however, see them as contradictory in the slightest. You do, and it's because you interpret certain passages in the Bible differently than I do.
     
  9. DeepShadow

    DeepShadow White Crow

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    This is a circular argument. If the JOD's are part of the standard words, they have authority to say what's part of the standard works. If they are not, they have no authority to make such a declaration.

    The modern church has stated unequivocally that they are not part of the standard works.

    There are 26 volumes, and yes they are sermons, but not all sermons of any church are official statements of doctrine of that church.

    You're the one who can't get the number of volumes right, and she needs to do more research? o_O

    They were transcriptions of sermons sent overseas, but the transcription process did not have enough oversight to guarantee that they could represent our doctrine independently. Hence they are sermons, but not official statements of doctrine. It's really not that hard.

    Due to the transcription oversight issue, it is not just the right, but the responsibility of the modern church leaders to "change, alter or delete" whatever is not canonical when parts of this work are cited for modern study guides.
     
  10. omega2xx

    omega2xx Well-Known Member

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    That is only partially true.

    Acts 11:26 "And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch."


    However, the Book of Mormon claims people were known by this title as early as 73 B.C.

    Alma 46:15 "...yea, all those who were true believes in Christ took upon them, gladly, the name of Christ, or Christians as they were called, because of their belief in Christ who should come."

    The Bible teaches the Holy Spirit first came at Pentecost.
    Luke 24:49 "And, behold, I send the promise of my Father unto you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

    Yet the Book of Mormon claims that people received the gift of the Holy Ghost as early as 545 B.C.


    1. 2 Nephi 31:12-13 "...the voice of the Son came unto me, saying: He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father give the Holy Ghost, like unto me... Wherefore, my beloved brethren,... by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost;..."


    2. In the Old Testament the only ones who could be priests were the descendants of Levi, one of the twelve sons of Israel.
      Numbers 3:9-10 "And thou shalt give the Levites unto Aaron and to his sons: they are wholly given unto him out of the children of Israel. And thou shalt appoint Aaron and his sons, and they shall wait on their priest's office: and the stranger that cometh nigh shall be put to death" (See also Numbers 8:6-26).

      However, the Book of Mormon story claims that descendants of the tribe of Manasseh (Alma 10:3) were made priests.

      2 Nephi 5:26 "And it came to pass that I, Nephi, did consecrate Jacob and Joseph, that they should be priests and teachers over the land of my people."
      The Book of Mormon contradicts Itself and other inspired Mormon writings!

    God word is unchangeable---"Alma 41:8 God's word can change D 56:4-5
    One God---2 Nephi 2:14 Plural gods, Book of Abraham, chap 4-5

    There are many more but you will not believe these so posting any more would be a waste of time.
     
  11. Mestemia

    Mestemia Advocatus Diaboli
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    Interesting how you completely ignore the "changes in gods word" from the OT to the NT....
     
  12. buddhist

    buddhist Well-Known Member

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    What about Christians who don't hold the books of Numbers, or your specific choice of Bible, as authoritative?
     
  13. Sonny

    Sonny Active Member

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    Please, produce some that are direct opposites for us. Take into account two things. 1. The OT and NT are different covenants to different peoples (OT=Jews; NT=all peoples) and, 2. The LDS changed their God-given commands/doctrines/beliefs only after the world grew small and spoke out against them. Then, the LDS god pronounced total destruction on America (2 prophecies) if she didn't redress the grievances of the LDS church. The US didn't then went on to become the greatest nation that has ever existed. Seems to me the LDS god couldn't stop, let alone destroy, a tiny, fledgling and insignificant nation, as the US was back then compared to an all-powerful God.

    Added later. Remember, too, that there is about 2,000 years between the OT writings and the NT. The LDS church changed their god's all-knowing doctrines within 3 hours of his time. How is that, even remotely, all-knowing?
     
    #173 Sonny, Feb 6, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2017
  14. Mestemia

    Mestemia Advocatus Diaboli
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    Seems to me that Sonny's whole argument can be boiled down to "LDS beliefs differ from mine so they are wrong".
     
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  15. Mestemia

    Mestemia Advocatus Diaboli
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    How many animal sacrifices have you made this week?
    Do you wear cotton with polyester?
     
  16. Sonny

    Sonny Active Member

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    Then they aren't Christians. I have family who are viciously liberal. They have voted to murder unborn human beings for decades, to allow homosexuals to become legitimate and legal and take God's name in vain every other word. Yet, they go to church every Saturday and think that will earn them heaven. They are dead wrong! The Bible is clear, don't kill a human without reason, taking God's name in vain has dire consequences (only Commandment that warns) and going to church does not make one a Christian- anymore than standing in a garage makes us a car.
    All of the Bible's books are Scripture. But some of it does not relate to our salvation or our walk with Jesus. Much of the OT was directed at the Jews. We need to know it to see where it all began, how and why and the OT shows us that God never changes, never lies and is always faithful- trustworthy.
     
  17. Sonny

    Sonny Active Member

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    Seems to me you misunderstand the whole point here. My opinion of the LDS church is not about right or wrong- not here at least. My point is the LDS church is not a Christian church. Regardless if Christianity is wrong and Mormonism is right (or, vice-versa) the LDS church is not a Christian church. Even the LDS taught that. That is what we are seeking to find or learn with this Thread. A church cannot teach doctrines that go against the Bible (the LDS church calls the Bible 'Scripture') and be a Christian organization. I am pointing out that the LDS church teaches doctrines/beliefs that show it is not a Christian church. Whether it is true or false is not the intent of this Thread.
     
  18. Mestemia

    Mestemia Advocatus Diaboli
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    *yawn*
    Again, what it boils down to, once all the smoke and mirrors, fluff and puff, bull ****, etc, are removed is that the LDS beliefs are different from your beliefs.

    Until you can show your beliefs are the one true way of the Christian, all you are doing is showing how Mormon belief differs from your belief.

    That you claim the Mormons are wrong in their beliefs merely reveals your arrogance.
     
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  19. buddhist

    buddhist Well-Known Member

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    If you want to go that route, are you going to go stone them, like your Bible teaches?
     
  20. Scott C.

    Scott C. Just one guy

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    Sonny, the teachings of my church leaders from JS to today have not been perfect. There are some things that were taught and generally believed in the 1800's which are not taught today. There are some things that were taught when I was in High School in the 1970's which are not taught today. There are things I heard taught in the 70's, which some church members have never heard. Some of these things were taught in my leader's personal writings, in talks at BYU, or in general conference. God does not reveal every word spoken by every church leader, be they prophet or apostle. Leaders have made some speculations, with the scriptures as the basis, and then logically extrapolated from there. Sometimes these teachings come and go quickly. Other times, they take on a life of their own and become generally accepted by many Mormons. But over time, the ideas go away. If an LDS church member believes as you do, that changing teachings is proof of false prophets, then those church members will struggle with the faith. On the other hand, if an LDS member understands that not everything they've read or heard is accurate, they can be at peace on the issue. I've been down a learning curve on this issue and am in a very good place with strong faith that my church is led by divinely called Apostles and Prophets who know the Lord and who speak for him. I have that faith, with a good view of what teachings have come and gone over the years. The canonized scriptures are critical to keeping us on track.
     
    #180 Scott C., Feb 6, 2017
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2017
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