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Why Don't We Need Prophets Anymore?

Discussion in 'Religious Debates' started by Bishka, Aug 1, 2006.

  1. dawny0826

    dawny0826 Mother Heathen

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    I'm going to try to break this down, in hopes that you'll understand where I'm coming from a little better. I understand that we probably won't agree here but I would like for you to understand why I feel as I do.

    "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord..."

    I don't dispute that we should desire knowledge of God. This is just one verse out of many which references knowledge of God.

    "His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness..."

    It's possible that you and I could interpret this completely different but we're told here, by Peter that we've been given by God all things that pertain to life and godliness.

    He didn't say that we WILL BE given all things pertaining to life and godliness...he said that God HAS GIVEN to us all things that pertain to life and godliness. And I believe that all of those things are found within His Word and brought to life via His Spirit when we read the Word...when we believe the Word and strive to live by the Word.

    "...through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises..."

    Past tense.

    "But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Peter 1:5-8

    It's my belief, Kathryn, that when you live according to God...He will reveal to you all that is specific to your life and your purpose according to His Will.

    You stated that you don't understand why I wouldn't want to seek knowledge that is "out there" about God. I don't believe that knowledge of God is found "out there". I believe that true knowledge of God is revealed via the Holy Spirit, found within the Word.

    I'm not limiting myself. If I live according to God's Will, I will not lack in knowledge of Him. And I don't believe that I'm entitled to all there is to know about God. No man has even SEEN God. Great is the mystery of godliness.

    God's made His promises to us. He's clearly stated what needs to be done to be reconciled with Him. He's told us what is to become of His believers and what is to become of unbelievers. I have a hard time understanding the desire to search for more...when it's complicated and challening enough to focus on what we have in front of us.

    I think I'm seeking knowledge of God in a different way.

    I don't understand the desire to search for truths beyond Christ when Christ IS the Truth. Christ is the Word. Christ is the way. And Christ is there...within the pages of the Bible.

    How do you define prophet? And it would help me if you would quote scripture, so that I can grasp where you're coming from here.

    What clarification? What doctrine?

    You see, prior to coming to RF...I had no clue that all this doctrine and confusion exists out there.

    I didn't even know that there was a Trinity doctrine, for example. I learned that through a JW publication that was left on my doorstep and through discussion on RF.

    I didn't say that. I simply don't trust what comes out of the mouths of all who claim to be prophets.

    I don't close my mind to the idea that God speaks. He speaks to me via His Spirit. I can personally attest to the fact that God is talking.

    I believe God had a plan and that this plan has already been put into motion.

    I believe there is much about God that is and will remain a mystery until we see Him face to face.

    But I think we've been given more than enough to find our way home to Him.

    I don't view a prophet much differently. However, I believe it's totally possible to learn and grow in Christ without the guidance of a man (or woman).

    Would you mind quoting scripture? I'd like to have a look see.

    I'm cautious to seek info that's "out there".

    We interpret this one differently...and that's another story...

    But I do want to ask...can you say with confidence that God doesn't consider my Pastor a prophet?

    Point taken, Kathryn but this revelation isn't the type of revelation that makes me uneasy.
     
  2. dawny0826

    dawny0826 Mother Heathen

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    Perfection (God) needs no edification.



    Not if God didn't intend for us to know such information. Perhaps answers weren't meant to be provided for all questions.



    The Body of Christ?



    We haven't conversed much on RF but I tend to view the church differently than some do.



    I'm not quite sure I understand what you're asking. I don't necessarily need proof to either believe or disbelieve something.
     
  3. cardero

    cardero Citizen Mod

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    or
    1) Perhaps we are not asking the proper questions of our prophets
    2) one is not accepting or agreeable of some of their answers.
    I am asking for neither proof nor faith and you are correct, that as long as the possibility exists you may believe all that you can believe.

    I will form my question in another way. Let’s say that the a divine inspired prophet from the Bible requires you to accept Jesus for salvation and centuries later another divine inspired prophet (who claims that they just got done talking with GOD) proclaims that acceptance of Jesus (as well as the concept of salvation)is unnecessary. Now let us assume that you know nothing of each prophet's "fruits" (nor is there a traceable tract record), just the messages that they are both proclaiming. Who do you believe and why? Can you believe them both?
     
  4. dawny0826

    dawny0826 Mother Heathen

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    I would believe according to what the Holy Spirit confirms. And no, I couldn't believe both.
     
  5. cardero

    cardero Citizen Mod

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    Correct me if I am mistaken but what I think you are saying is you would relieve the middle man (the prophet) and go directly with/to the Source?
     
  6. dawny0826

    dawny0826 Mother Heathen

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    Pretty much. :D
     
  7. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Thank you. That's all I really want anyway.


    I'm starting to see where you're coming from, Dawny. I, too, believe that when Jesus Christ established His Church, He gave His followers "all things that pertain to life and godliness." I don't think He gave them just part of what they needed to know, with a promise that 2000 years later the rest would be revealed.

    What I suspect, however, is that you don't have a whole lot of background concerning the history of the Church during the first two or three centuries after its establishment. I'm not going to go into the details of that history at all right now, even though I have a fair amount of knowledge on the subject. I really don't want to derail Becky's thread, which is what I'm sure would happen should I start in on it. What I would like to so instead is to just ask you to think about why you prefer to worship as an Pentecostal Christian instead of as a Roman Catholic. I'm assuming that it has at least something to do with your gut feeling that the Pentecostal style of worship is more in line with the way Jesus' contemporaries worshipped. I've never heard you be critical of Catholics (I've never heard you be critical of anyone, for that matter), but I think it entirely possible that you aren't entirely comfortable with the degree of pageantry and ceremony of the Catholic mass. Maybe you don't agree with the emphasis Catholics put on Mary, or with some of the things they believe about her. Maybe you don't like the idea of venerating "Saints," or praying with Rosary beads or baptizing infants. Maybe you've never given any of these things any thought at all, in which case my theory is totally out in left field.

    Suffice it to say, the Roman Catholic Church has been around for a much longer period of time than the Pentecostal Church, and any Roman Catholic on this forum could argue that, for this reason alone, Catholic doctrines and practices (including style of worship) are much closer to those held by the ancient Christians than are yours, mine or any of the Protestant denominations. The problem is (at least from the LDS perspective), Paul prophesied of a "falling away" from the truth, and in every instance in which we see him warning of this, it appears to be an event that would affect Christianity as a whole. In other words, it would be "the Church" as a whole that would be affected, and not simply a relatively few individual Christians. He also prophesied of a "restoration" of the truths that would be lost as part of this falling away, and said that this would happen prior to the Second Coming of Christ.

    In a nutshell, I believe the following:

    (1) Christ gave the world "all things that pertain to life and godliness."
    (2) As was prophesied, the Church fell into apostasy, and some of those things were lost over time.
    (3) As was also prophesied, God has restored them to the earth today, through prophets He has personally called.

    The teachings latter-day prophets have taught us are (with very few and relatively insignificant exceptions) not "new" information, but "old" information which was lost during the first couple of hundred years after Christ's death.

    I would agree with that, as long as you approach Him with an open mind and heart.


    So do I. But the Word is Jesus Christ. It is not a book.


    Well, I suspect this is something we will have to agree to disagree on.


    I believe it's only complicated because of the many, many points on which the Bible is silent. If I can find answers to questions that are not addressed in the Bible, I'm not going to ignore them simply because they are found within the pages of a different book. God's word is God's word, regardless of where it's found. Closing one's mind to that possibility is every bit as risky as believing self-proclaimed prophet who calls you to follow him. Remember, Christ warned of "false prophets." He told us to heed the words of "true prophets."


    Yes, I think you are.


    From these statements, Dawn, it appears you think I am advocating searching for truths "beyond Christ" and that I believe He is not the only way we can be reconciled to God. Am I understanding you correctly? (If you don't answer another question in this post, I would sincerely appreciate your answering this one. I'm seriously thinking that you are misunderstanding my perspective in a big, big way.)


    (This is a two-part post, to be continued...)
     
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  8. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    (This is the conclusion of a two-part post.)


    I'm not aware of anywhere in the scriptures where the word "prophet" is defined, so I'm probably going to just have to try to explain my understanding of the word, to the best of my ability. The English word "prophet" comes from the Greek "prophetes" which means "inspired teacher." In Biblical times, God called prophets to lead His people. These righteous men were His spokesmen. God communicated His will to them, and they, in turn, communicated His will to the people who looked to them for guidance. We believe that a true prophet today is a prophet in exactly the same way as Moses, Abraham and Isaiah were prophets. Does he prophesy? Yes, when God tells him to. But we definitely don't see "prophet" as a more respectable word for “clairvoyant.” As the end of December approaches, you can always expect the National Enquirer to come out with an article containing the world’s psychics’ predictions for the coming year. Noticeably absent will be the words of the
    LDS Prophet.

    The President of the Church is considered by its members to be the mouthpiece of God Himself. When He speaks as a prophet, he speaks for God and is infallible. However, in addition to being a prophet, he is also a man, a human being with human perceptions and opinions. What he states as a man – and not as a prophet – is understood to be his opinion and not the word of God. He is expected to be a role model for all members of the Church. He is not, however, expected to be perfect. But then neither were any of the Biblical prophets. The only perfect man and therefore perfect role model was Jesus Christ. Our prophet's primary role as a prophet is to make sure that we correctly understand the words of the scriptures. The scriptures, after all, are nothing more than a record of what God has said to past prophets. But, as is demonstrated every day here on RF, different people will interpret them differently -- even with the guidance of the Holy Ghost. He is there to guide us and help us understand what God wants of us. He is nothing more than a living man doing what those men who wrote the scriptures contained in the Bible did in the past.

    Well, for starters:


    1. Should infants be baptized? Is baptism actually necessary at all? What is the correct method for baptism?

    2. When we receive the Lord's Supper (i.e. Communion, Eucharist, the Sacrament, etc.) are the bread and wine/water actually changed into the body and blood of Christ, or was Christ's reference to them as His body and blood merely symbolic?

    3. What does it mean to be created in God's image? Does God even have a physical image? Is God a Trinity comprised of three persons who make us a single essence, or is He a Godhead of three distinct persons who are "one" in some way other than physical?

    4. What will happen to non-believers when they stand before God to be judged? What about those who lived their lives having never heard of Christ?

    5. Can marriages and family units be eternal in nature, or are they dissolved at death?

    6. Should Mary (Christ's mother) be an integral part of our worship? Can she intercede with God on our behalf?

    7. Is the law of tithing obsolete or is this a law God wants us to continue to live today?

    8. How should we pray? Should we address our prayers to God the Father or to His Son, Jesus Christ?

    9. What is the relationship between works and faith in Jesus Christ? Are we saved by grace, by works or by a combination of the two?

    10. What is the role of women in Christ's Church? Should they be allowed to teach the congregation? Should they be permitted to pray on behalf of the congregation as a whole? Should they be able to be ordained to the priesthood of God?

    This is only a partial list, Dawny, of the many doctrines on which Christians disagree. Now there is always the possibility that God couldn't care less whether we know the right answers to these questions or not. If He doesn't, then the answer to Becky's OP is, "We don't need prophets any more because God doesn't care what we believe, how we envision Him, how we understand our relationship to Him or anything else. If we do our best as Christians to love Him and our fellow men, that's all that matters." Personally, I believe He does care whether or not we get it right. This isn't to say that He is going to condemn us to hell if we don't. It's simply saying that He wants us to know the truth and expects us to do our best to learn it.

    That's kind of what I've gathered from things you've said.


    But it appears that you believe this doctrine. Why? Probably because it's what the Pentecostal Churches teach.


    Well, that's good to know. Believe me, neither do I!


    I couldn't agree more.

    Well, to an extent, so do I. You've obviously done a pretty good job of it so far. But, I guess it gets back to the ten questions I posed a few paragraphs back. If you think the answers to those questions don't matter, then you can totally get along without a prophet. If you think that they do, you might want to rethink your position.


    Amos 3:7 is the one I was quoting.


    Yes, I realize that? Why are you cautious if you don't think the Holy Ghost will allow you to be mislead? If you seek, ponder and pray, He's not going to lead you astray. But you have to be willing to at least be open to the possibility that you don't know everything God has made available to you.


    I can only state my opinion, Dawny, and that is that God would not have one of His prophets teaching certain doctrines and another of His prophets teaching different doctrines. So, the answer to that question is "no." I don't believe God considers your pastor to be a prophet in the biblical sense of the word. Please understand that I am not coming from a judgmental perspective. I just believe that any prophet God calls has to have been ordained by someone with the authority to do so and that a degree from a theological seminary or divinity school is not the same thing as receiving the power and authority Jesus gave Peter.


    I'm enjoying this conversation, Dawny, and appreciate your continued input. I just want you to know that I have a great deal of respect for you and believe you to be a wonderful example of a Christian. Please don't ever think I believe otherwise.
     
  9. lunamoth

    lunamoth Will to love

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    Hi Kat, I hope you don't mind if I interject here. You are really pressing Dawny to the wall here, and while I know she is perfectly capable of fending for herself (and has been doing an admirable job), I feel compelled to make an observation.

    You do realize that there are other Prophets in the past couple of centuries who also uphold Christ as "Son of God," also believe that the Bible is the Word of God (or at least the red words of the Gospels are), also believe that Christiany has been corrupted and fallen away from the original teachings of Christ, also negates many of the doctrines of the Catholic Church as 'man-made,' and in short, pretty much holds up the exact same argument as you do above for listening to a new Prophet, even though parts of the message conflict with doctrines like the Trinity and Incarnation, and sacraments like the Eucharist and Baptism.

    Why do you reject these Prophets in favor of the LDS? These Prophets give very clear and explicit detailed answers to your list of doctrine questions, and they are all pretty nice answers, even if they differ from those of the Catholic Church, Pentacostals, Episcopalians, and LDS.

    Why do you reject the Baha'i Faith? Have you investigated it in your search for truth? Why or why not?

    You don't have to answer those questions unless you want to. I just wanted to point out that the questions you expect Dawny to answer above are pretty much of the exact same nature as this.

    lunamoth
     
  10. dawny0826

    dawny0826 Mother Heathen

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    You're right. I don't. And I'm going to be totally honest with you...the history of the church truly isn't of the greatest importance to me. If it's sinful of me to say this, then I apologize to my Lord and Savior with a sincere heart but it's true...I know little about the history of the church because it's never been a focus in any religious denomination that I've been a part of. Whether I'm a creature of habit or just historically ignorant...I'm completely content having what little knowledge I have.

    I believe that authority isn't only found within the church...I believe that the believer holds authority because of Christ within them.

    I was raised by an incredibly conservative Protestant mother and a father who left the Catholic church. My mother took us to a Southern Baptist church almost every Sunday. I rebelled from the get go and several years ago, I didn't think I'd ever join a church because I didn't believe then that church was even necessary to establish a relationship with Christ. No one told me this or suggested this to me...this is a belief that I've held since my teenage years.

    I enrolled my daughter in Living Word Academy last fall and fully devoted my life to Christ and we started to attend the church and I felt home the moment I walked through the doors. I had never heard anyone speak in tongues before. I had never heard sermons that just made total sense to me. I had never left a service before...looking forward to getting back into my Bible as soon as I could.



    I don't know if it's more in line or not. It just feels right to me.



    I've always been incredibly intrigued by Catholicism. There's much that Victor and Scott have said on these forums that have kind of raised my brow. I wouldn't be uncomfortable with their ceremony and tradition at all. It's just not anything that I've experienced before.

    Lutherans still carry about a lot of the Catholic traditions. I LOVE taking communion at my mother's church. It's such a beautiful experience...going up to the alter and kneeling. Their services are absolutely beautiful. I can only imagine how lovely a Catholic service would be.

    And I never really understood the dissention between different religious groups prior to coming here. I honestly didn't think that Catholics and Protestants were really all that different. I guess I was wrong...



    I don't have a problem with any of those things, actually.

    I don't think that it's necessary to ask Mary to pray for me when the Holy Spirit is my intercessor but I don't see fault it in either. I think Roasary is lovely and would honestly love to own a Rosary to remind me of the importance of prayer. And if someone wanted to baptize their infant...I really don't see that gesture as being much different than my husband and I dedicating our children. I don't understand the whole concept of Saints but as I said...I'm historically challenged.



    I think about it every day of my life, Kathryn. I ask myself too often...am I SUPPOSED to be Catholic? Was that Christ's idea for the church?

    And Kathryn, truly...in all honesty...sometimes there are ideals that you (especially) place on the table that make me look a little harder into your faith as well.

    At the end of the day, I cling to God's promise that because I am striving to live for Christ...I'll see my Father one day. And when I focus on that...I'm able to put those questions aside for a while.



    Okay, this is totally Pentecostal here...I believe that the Church in the latter days will realize that it's not all about who is standing behind the pulpit but about who his sitting in the pews.

    What if our churches were stripped from us? What if our Bibles were burned and the structures of our religions and denominations destroyed...what remains...the BODY. What would sustain us? He who lives WITHIN.



    I don't really understand how that information could be lost when Christ was with his people after His death...after the death of his apostles.

    I guess I just don't think that the missing information changes much. To me, the most important thing is #1) My salvation and #2) Obeying the will of my Father and doing what I can so that others will be reconciled with God as well.

    Maybe I'm a moron. It just seems more simple to me. The Word of God sustained while the old information that you speak of was lost. And any information that was lost that was important to an individual during their walk with Christ...I believe that God is more than capable of revealing such truths when it's necessary.

    But then...I'm not Mormon and I don't have a clear understanding of all that was revealed to the Prophets of your faith. And I haven't given much thought on the Apostasy either.



    I view the Bible as more than a book, though. I view the Bible as living spirit. (Living Word Family Church:D )



    Christ is the Word. And where is He? He's in my heart. He's here.

    Not to knock your point of view...this is just where I'm coming from.



    I don't discount your motives, Kathryn. I'm beginning to understand where you're coming from a little better but maybe I am misunderstanding your perspective.

    You believe that your Prophets received revelations from Christ and so I'm going to assume, that the knowledge that you believe Prophets will reveal and have revealed...IS gospel.

    If I'm wrong...please do expound because I want to understand.
     
  11. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Hi, Laurie. Of course I don't mind if you contribute. I always like hearing your thoughts. I was afraid that I might be seen as "pressing Dawny to the wall." If she feels that I am, I will bow out of this debate right now. There are a lot more important things to me that proving my point. I value relationships far more than I value having the last word in a conversation. But since this is a debate forum, and since I feel so strongly about my position, it's hard for me to ignore statements that appear not to have been thought out clearly. My approach has always been just to encourage people to examine their own beliefs in light of questions they may not have considered before. If I ever start coming across as dogmatic or beligerent, I hope someone will call that to my attention. If you're saying I've already crossed that line, I will apologize right now and go on to other threads.

    Actually, no, I wasn't aware of such individuals. At least none come to mind. But if you would like to give me some more information on them, I'd be interested in pursuing the topic.

    Again, I don't know who they are, so I can't really comment. But this does sound like a fascinating topic. You might even want to start a new thread on it.

    Actually, I have said on occasion that if I were ever to leave Christianity, I'd probably become a member of the Baha'i Faith. I think the primary reason why I would reject the Baha'i faith is that I really do believe that Jesus Christ is the literal Son of God, the Redeemer of mankind, and the only means by which we can be reconciled to God. While there is much about the Baha'i Faith that I admire, unless I am wrong, they do not see Jesus Christ as having the same role as I believe He had. Obviously, I don't reject their belief in prophets who followed Christ, but I see Christ as being unique among everyone who has ever lived. I see Him as divine, whereas I see all prophets as being mere mortals. I see Him as having been completely free from sin; no other person who has ever lived -- including LDS prophets and Baha'i prophets -- has lived a perfect life. I see Him as having had the power within himself to have taken up His body with renewed life after having been dead for three days and to have the power to do the same for us. If Baha'is believe these things about Him, and see Him as part of the Godhead described in the scriptures, I am not aware of that fact.

    Just to clarify the LDS Church's position on the subject of whether God speaks through people outside of our faith, let me quote from a 1978 statement given by the Presidency of the Church:

    “The great religious leaders of the world such as Mohammed, Confucius, and the Reformers, as well as philosophers including Socrates, Plato, and others, received a portion of God’s light. Moral truths were given to them by God to enlighten whole nations and to bring a higher level of understanding to individuals.”

    Another LDS Apostle had previously stated:

    “While the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is established for the instruction of men, it is ONE of God’s instrumentalities for making known the truth; yet God is not limited to that institution for such purposes, neither in time nor place. He raises up wise men and prophets here and there among all the children of men, of their own tongue and nationality, speaking to them through means that they can comprehend; not always giving a fulness of truth such as may be found in the fulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ; but always giving that measure of truth that the people are prepared to receive. Mormonism holds, then, that all the great teachers are servants of God among all nations and in all ages. They are inspired men, appointed to instruct God’s children according to the conditions in the midst of which he finds them… Whenever God finds a soul sufficiently enlightened and pure; one with whom His Spirit can communicate, lo! He makes of him a teacher of men.”

    I think this would be the position of my Church towards the prophets of the Baha'i Faith, and it would accurately explain my own thoughts about the leaders of that religion.
     
  12. dawny0826

    dawny0826 Mother Heathen

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    My definition of prophet really doesn't differ much from yours although I do think that God gives us each different gifts and talents and do think that there are genuine men and women of God who have been given the gift of prophesy on many different levels. Perhaps their gift of prophesy is to be used for self edification or for edification within their families or maybe they are truly meant to edify the church.

    But in terms of a prophet being a teacher or inspired leader...I liken the term prophet to the term apostle or disciple. And I don't feel remorse likening pastors and reverands and fathers and so on and so forth to prophets. If a man has been called to preach or teach the word...I believe they are a modern day apostle, disciple, prophet...they've been called to do a larger than average part in carrying out the great commission...which is to get the Gospel to the people.



    In my faith...the President, if there even is one...is an equal to the congregation. We look up to him for counseling...for teaching...he edifies the body through his gift of teaching.



    Basically, i think doing our best as Christians IS all that matters. If we LOVE Christ, put Him first in our lives and reach out to others...everything else follows suit...the Bible DOES state this.

    Of course God cares what we believe but I don't think when we're faced to face with our heavenly Father...He's going to be as concerned about how we answered those questions as He will be How we lived for Him...obeying the commandments which He CLEARLY stated...TWICE. And Christ taught us to LOVE. And I quoted scripture several posts back, just to give you an example where we're told if we desire virtue and knowledge and we exercise brotherly love...God's not going to leave our minds void of the truths that we need to know.

    But do we NEED a prophet to reveal these truths to us? My answer is...still no.

    I think my question is this...and I don't mean offense, Kathryn...I'm included in this too...I say this about all of Christianity...

    How much time to Christians WASTE stressing over these type of questions? How many people could we reach out to and speak of Christ's love to while we ponder over questions such as those?

    In the grand scheme of things...when we've moved on...and we're face to face with our Father...what do we think He's going to be focused on...how we envisioned Him? How we understood Him?

    I truly think that He's going to care about how much we loved Him and loved one another and lived our lives with the desire to please Him and to be righteous and holy.

    And there's no holiness in argument and unanswered questions.

    And I'm not saying we shouldn't ask questions and we shouldn't learn from each other...I'm not saying that...I'm just saying that in the long run...what will really matter? And I'm sure it's possible that each Christian would have a unique answer to that.

    I didn't learn of the Trinity in the Pentecostal church.

    It was a belief of all the churches I attended growing up...but I didn't really LEARN of it until I accepted Christ and understood within my core what it means.



    I think the answers matter but I don't think that it's imperative to have a concise answer for each of those questions. I think it's imperative to seek out Christ in all we do and act upon what we feel we're being led to do and believe.

    If the prophet is wrong...those who believed him/her are in trouble...



    I might look that up...since I really do have a BOM in my posession.;)



    I haven't been in the position where I've felt prompted to think of information outside of what I have in front of me.

    I've researched different Bible verses and themes within the Bible. I have many books but I always seem to find what I was looking for in the Bible or I have an a-ha moment when I pray.

    I may not know everything that God has made available to us. I have faith that if there's something I need to know...I'll have an A-Ha moment and it'll fall into place.



    I disagree but only because my opinions on God given authority is different. In my faith, much less emphasis and importance is placed on the authority figures in the church. I know you weren't trying to be judgemental and I understand what you're saying...we're just coming from two different lines of thinking when it comes to the church...the role of the church and authority.

    I respect you very much, Kathryn and you too are an excellent example of a Christian. I love debating and discussing with you.

    In all honesty, I always feel spiritually uplifted when discussing with you.

    I'm going out of town this weekend, so if I don't check back in...that's why. Have a beautiful weekend, if I don't get another post in.
     
  13. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Dawny, I'm going to make this brief for two reasons. First of all, it's starting to get late and I've been at this messaging far too long for one day. Secondly, Laurie has suggested that I might be coming across a bit too strong. I value her opinion and, as I've said before, I don't ever want that to be the case.

    Obviously, I can't force you to be interested in something you aren't interested in. It's just a subject I find fascinating and, in light of my beliefs, it's one that I see as significant. If Christ's Church did not survive in its pure form beyond a few short years, it seems to me that this is something every Christian would want to be aware of. And if Christ's original teachings have since been restored by true prophets, I can't conceive of any Christian not caring.

    But you know, awhile back, I posted something I'd read on another thread that, for some reason, never elicited much response. Anyway, it was a quote I read; it was not original with me, but it did express my own feelings very well. It said, "Those who believe in the spiritual realm, I think, must not only trust their own spiritual experiences -- whatever they may be -- but they must also trust and respect the spiritual experiences of others." So, what can I say? I would never suggest that anyone not follow his or her own heart. That is exactly what you are doing, and I don't for a minute condemn you for it.

    That's good to hear. I don't believe that any of us should ever stop questioning. That's when we stop learning.

    Well, since any discussion on this topic would totally take us off the subject of the need for prophets, I'm not going to go into it now. I'll simply quote one scripture that I find to be extremely significant to this discussion. I'll follow it by explaining what I believe it means. I would enjoy hearing your comments on it as well.

    Ephesians 4:11-14 "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive..."

    Jesus Christ called apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. He did so in order to (1) help His followers become perfect (i.e. "whole" or "mature") as Christians, (2) minister to them, and (3) to teach them. These callings He intended to remain in place until we all became united in the faith and in our knowledge of Jesus Christ, so that we, too, can be spiritually mature in Him. Otherwise (i.e. without this structure, this foundation of prophets and apostles, etc.), we will again be as children, tossed back and forth, hearing all variations of doctrine and not knowing which of them to believe, being subject to men whose intent it is to deceive us and lead us away from the truth.

    Thank you. I know you're not knocking my point of view. I hope you don't think I was knocking yours.

    That would be an absolutely perfect summation.

    God bless, Dawn. :hug:

    Kathryn
     
  14. dawny0826

    dawny0826 Mother Heathen

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    Kathryn,

    If you've already read my second post...I had to go back and change a couple things...because they didn't quite come out right the first time. LOL! Just wanted to let you know...

    (I'm super thankful for EDIT)
     
  15. dawny0826

    dawny0826 Mother Heathen

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    Lori and Kathryn...I love you both and care about your concern. I haven't been offended in any way or haven't felt cornered.

    You're both beautiful people to care about my feelings in that regard, though. So thanks to you both. :)
     
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  16. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Uh... Amos is in the Bible, not the Book of Mormon. ;)

    Have a fun weekend!
     
  17. dawny0826

    dawny0826 Mother Heathen

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    Are you serious? LOL!

    Well, I just discovered Nahum...so...:D
     
  18. Katzpur

    Katzpur Not your average Mormon

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    Na who? :D
     
  19. lunamoth

    lunamoth Will to love

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    Hi Kat, no I don't think you've crossed any lines. By pressing Dawny I meant not that you were being impolite, but rather that you seem to be asking her to make a rational case for some things she has already more or less said that she takes on faith. Thus my example of the Baha'i Faith. Your answer is also one based on faith, as I will elaborate below. I see that Dawny has already answered you and has taken no offense (and I am sorry if I seem to be creating an issue where there is none. I have the greatest respect for you and your faith, as I do for Dawny and hers).

    I am speaking of the Baha'i Prophets, the Bab and Baha'u'llah. I might almost have put in Muhammad, but Islam is less clear about upholding the Truth of the Bible.

    I remember you said that somewhere. The Baha'i Faith has many great teachings and is clearly influenced to a great degree by the Christ Spirit.

    A Baha'i might say that they do believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, but you are correct that what they mean by this would not be the same as you believe. If I were still a Baha'i, I would say that I agree with the rest of that first sentence as well. Since Christ has returned again in the Bab and Baha'u'llah, it remains that He/They are the only means of learning God's guidance for this day (which would be how they would express 'salvation.' Reconciliation is unnecessary in the Baha'i view.) But even if there were not these similariaties, on what grounds do you believe that your view of Christ's nature and His role as Savior are more correct than those of Baha'is? I would suggest that it is based upon your faith, the trust you put into the things you've learned about Christianity and specifically LDS. And hey! I think that accepting these things on faith is a very fine answer. It's also Dawny's answer, if I am reading her correctly.

    But their Prophets have a different understanding of the nature of Christ, just as you have a different understanding of the nature of Christ from Victor and Dawny. By what reasoning are your Prophets correct and the Baha'i Prophets wrong? You see Christ as unique, Baha'i see Christ as both unique and yet of the same nature as the other Messangers of God. Why are they wrong?

    Baha'is believe that Christ was without sin, like Baha'u'llah, and like Baha'u'llah much more than a prophet, but a Prophet. Baha'is believe that Christ was not physically resurrected, but that the resurrection was spiritual only. Baha'is believe that we are spiritually resurrected, not bodily. Yet again, all of these beliefs are consistent with their reading of the Bible (and they use the KJV, and accept all of it). Their interpretation is different than yours, but based upon the same words, read in the light of their own Scripture. So yes, you could say that these beliefs are very different from yours. But, one could also say the the beliefs of the early Christians about the Messiah were also very different from those of the Jews who did not accept Christ.

    My point in this is not that you are wrong, nor that Dawny is wrong, nor even that the Baha'is are wrong (and especially not that I am right!)! It is simply what when we start to emphasize that our beliefs and doctrines are rationally the right and logical ones, we run into all kinds of difficult questions and inconsistences. In the end it comes down to what you trust, and often there is not a easily identifiable or rational answer to that one.

    Thank you. It is much the same as I believe. I think a comparison of LDS and Baha'i would be very interesting, but I would not be the one to represent Baha'i. I was actually just using this as an example (because I know a little more about it than I do other religions) to make my point about discernment and a rational basis for accepting the words of a prophet.

    Kat, you're great and I enjoy your posts. Forgive me if I've made too much of this. I think it is a fascinating topic, though.

    lunamoth
     
  20. Bishka

    Bishka Veteran Member

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    BTW,

    Dawn and Kathryn feel free to deride my thread as much as you feel necessary.

    I can deal with you two, you two are the kindest most caring women out there and I've never had a problem with your discussions.
     
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