Mormonism

Talk about anything under the sun or stars - but keep it civil. This is where we really get to know each other. Everyone is welcome, and invited!
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Jebus
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Mormonism

Postby Jebus » Tue Sep 26, 2006 6:26 pm

What's it all about anyway?

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Postby Fris » Tue Sep 26, 2006 6:32 pm

No, that's how you start the Meaning of Life thread.
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Postby Jebus » Tue Sep 26, 2006 6:47 pm

A meaning of life thread? All I'd get is about fifty people telling me that it's 42.

First HGttG reference of the new forum! I'm so winning the new forum game.

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Re: Mormonism

Postby Taalcon » Wed Sep 27, 2006 8:22 am

What's it all about anyway?
God gave the clearest and most concice answer as to what His work, and by association The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, is all about:

"For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." Moses 1:39

For more detailed information, please feel free to examine http://www.mormon.org

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Postby Rei » Wed Sep 27, 2006 8:32 am

I finally got a copy of the BoM, the other day. Now I just need to find the time to read it...
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Postby hive_king » Wed Sep 27, 2006 9:22 am

It's about what just about every other religion is about: attempting to get closer to the Absolute Divine, and about post-life rewards for deeds done in this one.
The Makeout Hobo is real, and does indeed travel around the country in his van and make out with ladies... If you meet him, it is customary to greet him with a shot of whiskey and a high five (if you are a dude) or passionate makeouts (if you are a lady).

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Postby Taalcon » Wed Sep 27, 2006 10:01 am

Except I think it's more accurate to say that the doctrine of the LDS Church does not focus as much on 'reward' as it does in helping one to recognize and follow the path that leads to recognizing and accepting one's ultimate divine potential as literal children of God. This in turn will lead to achieving a fulness of Joy.

We believe that who you are in the World to Come is the same person you are here. We need to make the best of what we DO have here, and that the process of overcoming adversity in the face of temptation is one major source of our progression. It's a key purpose of our mortal lives here and now.

All of this, however, must start with Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, (the firstborn Son of God, as well as our Great Exemplar), and hearkening to His teachings that he has continually given us from the beginning of time, up to and through today.

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Postby vendor » Wed Sep 27, 2006 12:34 pm

I don't do God's will for reward (at least not all the time). I do it because I love Him and what He has done for me.

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Postby Taalcon » Wed Sep 27, 2006 12:49 pm

Exactly. We trust Him and do His will because of our love for Him, based on the knowledge of all that he has done, and wishes to do for us.

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Postby lyons24000 » Wed Sep 27, 2006 1:05 pm

Some Mormon's were supposed to be coming back to my house today at 2:00 P.M. and they haven't shown up yet. Where are they, Taal? :wink:

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Postby Taalcon » Wed Sep 27, 2006 1:14 pm

Either slacking, or their previous appointment is going longer than they expected, and are finding it difficult, or inconvenient, to leave.

Either way, my apologies on their behalf :P

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Postby Taalcon » Thu Sep 28, 2006 4:04 pm

Also, for those who may be interested, the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints will be occuring this weekend, and live broadcasts will be available on this site.

This is an opportunity to hear the leadership of the Church (Prophets, Apostles, and other General Authorities), and the specific guidance they have for us to consider for (at least) the next 6 months until the next General Conference.

If you want to know what the Church is teaching, this is a fantastic way to hear it from the leadership themselves.

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Postby Kaira » Fri Sep 29, 2006 8:47 pm

Also, for those who may be interested, the General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints will be occuring this weekend, and live broadcasts will be available on this site.

This is an opportunity to hear the leadership of the Church (Prophets, Apostles, and other General Authorities), and the specific guidance they have for us to consider for (at least) the next 6 months until the next General Conference.

If you want to know what the Church is teaching, this is a fantastic way to hear it from the leadership themselves.
Excelent advice taal! i would just like to add that if you want to know the basic outlines of the church you can look at the Articals of Faith http://www.lds.org/library/display/0,49 ... -1,00.html here. this is what Joseph Smith wrote when he was asked what the church believed
Into that world inverted
Where left is always right,
Where the shadows are really the body,
Where we stay awake all night,
Where the heavens are shallow as the sea is how deep,
And you love me.

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Postby pooka » Sat Sep 30, 2006 7:50 am

I read something odd in Doctrine and Covenants 45 (verse 18 ish?) about how the apostles would count the separation of their spirit from their body to be a bondage. I had just finished reading Magic Street and this struck me with a particularly odd notion I had gleaned from my studies with the Jehovah's witnesses (I met with then semi-montly for 2 years when I lived in Utah.) They are very insistent that when we die, our thoughts perish, which it does say in ecclesiastes but in reference to the princes of men. Since then I have wondered if we will have brains in the afterlife, or if we will only have capacity insofar as we have become a child of the mind of Christ. I saw some interesting information on this in Romans 8 recently.

But I know from an interactive CD I played with at the Nauvoo Visitors center (a building, not nauvoo.org) that the church teaches our spirits have our memories, feelings, and beliefs. I have to wonder if that will be true of all or just the ones who are in paradise with the Lord. How else can a spirit be imprisoned, why would they embrace the truth unless they somehow lacked the capacity to embrace it, like what Oberon had done?

P.S. So yeah, not thoughts that would be readily recognizable to a mormon more than anyone else. do you have a question, Jebus?

I will say this, that we believe the Gospel is a system of events involving 4 principles, though what they are depends on the angle you are observing it from. In the articles of faith, it talks about Faith, Repentance, Baptism, and the Holy Ghost. From the event perspective, there is Creation, Fall, Atonement, and Resurrection. From another perspective, there is Birth, Agency, Death, and Redemption. From yet another, there is Justice, Mercy, Love, and Eternal Increase. This last one kind of goes with the model of the universe in which masses of intelligence create gravitational pulls that govern other intelligence, all revolving around God. Maybe.

We do teach that the physical creation is a reflection of spiritual creation. So from there you can view it as a universe of Newtonian Laws (your basic do what is right, get a reward). Theory of relativity (God is Love). Quantum Theory (We can't comprehend God, what the Pope was saying about Muslims) and String Theory. So, I guess in some sense, the 4 perspectives I listed in my last paragraph could correlate with those.

My view on string theory is that quantum theory is just relativity happening very small and in high speed. At least, that's what viewing The Elegant Universe suggested to me. Their map of a boiling and seemingly chaotic quantum level was suggestive of the curves in timespace that large gravitational bodies create. There's probably some very simple fact I'm overlooking that shoots this view to heck.

I think the weak and strong forces can overcome gravity because there's so dang many of them, while gravity is big but comes from only one thing.

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Postby hive_king » Sat Sep 30, 2006 6:22 pm

You do what's right, you get a reward (and by proxy, if something bad happened, it's because of something bad you did)? Doesn't that fly in the face of common sense of anyone who's ever looked at the world? Kitty Gennevissi [sp] comes to mind.
The Makeout Hobo is real, and does indeed travel around the country in his van and make out with ladies... If you meet him, it is customary to greet him with a shot of whiskey and a high five (if you are a dude) or passionate makeouts (if you are a lady).

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Postby pooka » Sat Sep 30, 2006 6:24 pm

Do what's right = get a reward would be the aristotelian physics, where an orange falls faster than a grape.

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Postby hive_king » Sat Sep 30, 2006 6:38 pm

So the mormons do or do not belive "Do what's right = get a reward"
The Makeout Hobo is real, and does indeed travel around the country in his van and make out with ladies... If you meet him, it is customary to greet him with a shot of whiskey and a high five (if you are a dude) or passionate makeouts (if you are a lady).

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Postby Hegemon » Sat Sep 30, 2006 7:25 pm

i guess that the idea is that the reward is not something you get during this lifetime. It is something that you get later on.

Furthermore, I think that it is seen as, "doing good is its own reward."

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Postby pooka » Sat Sep 30, 2006 7:54 pm

It depends on the Mormon. My view is that doing something good to get a reward is carnally minded (or being acted upon, which is captivity and death in scripture) even if that reward is not of this world. Though it is a common phrase, I don't think we can "gain" eternal life. We become eternal life, as it were, through coming to know God and Jesus Christ. "For this is life eternal, to know thee the only true God and Jesus Christ whom thou has sent."

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Postby hive_king » Sat Sep 30, 2006 8:00 pm

But there are people who do tons of good deeds in their lives, have nothing but bad luck, and then when they die, are punished for not believing in God. I fail to see the reward. Even in most christian belief systems, good deeds aren't rewarded so much as faith is rewarded.
The Makeout Hobo is real, and does indeed travel around the country in his van and make out with ladies... If you meet him, it is customary to greet him with a shot of whiskey and a high five (if you are a dude) or passionate makeouts (if you are a lady).

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Postby Jebus » Sat Sep 30, 2006 8:08 pm

Mormons believe that the good non-Mormons get to go to some lower level of heaven. Where they spend the rest of eternity all happy and smiley. But Mormons get to ascend to like another level of existence.

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Postby Hegemon » Sat Sep 30, 2006 8:10 pm

Which is actually why Mormonism makes a lot of sense to me and why I have a ton of respect for it.

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Postby hive_king » Sat Sep 30, 2006 8:13 pm

Now correct me if I'm wrong, but even Charles Manson himself, when he dies, will merely go to the lowest level of heaven, right?
The Makeout Hobo is real, and does indeed travel around the country in his van and make out with ladies... If you meet him, it is customary to greet him with a shot of whiskey and a high five (if you are a dude) or passionate makeouts (if you are a lady).

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Postby Hegemon » Sat Sep 30, 2006 8:16 pm

Well...my understanding is that it is like a scale... So instead of "heaven and hell" think of "really crappy to really nice"... You go where you deserve on the scale... Basically when you die you are far from God as you were in your real life. The lowest level of "hell" is reserved for people who know the truth, like Lucifer, but still refuse to believe and follow. So if you are really good, you go to a really good place. In Manson's case, he will be going to a really bad place.

To anyone who is a member of the LDS church, sorry if I messed that up and please correct me if I did.

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Postby hive_king » Sat Sep 30, 2006 8:27 pm

As I remember having it described (once again, correct us if we're wrong) there are three kingdoms: Celestial (heaven, more or less), Telastial (in between), and terrestrial (lowest of the three, but still alot better than earth). According to a missionary i once studied with, joseph smith once said that if a man got a view of even the lowest kingdom, he'd kill himself to go there. Sounds too good for old charley, if you ask me.
The Makeout Hobo is real, and does indeed travel around the country in his van and make out with ladies... If you meet him, it is customary to greet him with a shot of whiskey and a high five (if you are a dude) or passionate makeouts (if you are a lady).

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Postby Jebus » Sun Oct 01, 2006 5:23 am

The way I remember Tall explaining it to me a long time ago is the same as John told it. The lowest level of hell, which I guess is kinda like the fire and brimstone one, is reserved for people who knew God was real and turned away from him. Now I have to say, I think this would be a pretty small group. But I think there's also a hell for people who were very bad, but didn't think God existed.

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Postby Rei » Sun Oct 01, 2006 9:14 am

If I recall correctly, there are three levels above the utter seperation from God reserved for those who knew the full truth and turned away from it. The highest is for those who followed God as well as they could and received the ordinances as Mormons. Here they are in God's full presence, I believe. The next highest is for those who followed God as well as they could but did not receive the ordinances. People of other Christian denominations who believed and acted would go here, as well as those of other religions or without religion who also acted in love towards others. While God the Father is not present physically here, Jesus will walk with them. And the third is for everyone else who doesn't achieve the lowest state, which is basically like life is here on Earth, right now. So regarding Charles Manson, I would guess he'd go to the third level where neither God nor Jesus will be physically present, but it won't be much worse than life on Earth.

And yeah, if I'm off anywhere, feel free to correct me.
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Postby Taalcon » Mon Oct 02, 2006 7:38 am

Alright. This is the LDS view on the afterlife:

FOLLOWING DEATH

The spirit goes into what we refer to as the Spirit World. The Hebrew scriptures call this state Sheol, the greek Hades. It is, for all intents and purposes, the common grave.

There are two key divisions within. What are called "Spirit Prison" , and "Paradise". Both are temporary states of being until the Resurrection.

Spirit Prison
Spirit Prison is where the spirits reside who have not accepted the fulness of the gospel, whether because they rejected it, or because they have not been taught it. The sense of it being a prison is because, removed from one's body, repentance is incredibly difficult. Those who sinned purposefully and willfully will have much greater torment in this state than those who lived righteously based on the knowledge they had. torment is not inflicted - it comes from one's own state of being and piece of mind. It is this state which is commonly referred to as 'hell'.

For those who were truly wicked, their torment will seem as if it were like an eternal flame.

Paradise
Paradise, (also refered to as being at Abraham's Bosom - because that is where Abraham resided - Luke 16:22 ) is the abode of the righteous, who followed the commandments, and have a pure conscience before God. They are restful because of their clean conscience, and knowledge that they are right with God. Their future joy is secure, and they know it.

PRIOR TO THE ATONEMENT OF JESUS CHRIST
Prior to the death and Resurrection of Christ, there was a barrier, or chasm of sorts between the two divisions. Those from Paradise could not enter Prison, and likewise.

AFTER THE ATONEMENT OF JESUS CHRIST
As part of his three day ministry following his death and prior to His resurrection, Christ dissolved the "prison doors", and among the spirits in paradise organized a missionary force to preach the gospel to those who were dead, in prison, who lived righteously based on the light they had, but who had not had the opportunity to receive the fulness of the gospel.

1 Peter 3:18-19
18 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:
19 By which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison;

1 Peter 4:6

6 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.

Upon His Resurrection, although he had previously told the sorrowful thief on the cross that this day he would be with him in paradise,

Luke 23:43

43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

he wasn't referring to the Fulness of Heaven in the presence of the Father - because, 3 days after that day, Christ told Mary that he had not yet ascended to the Father.

John 20:17

17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

The thief would be taught the gospel in the spirit world.

Part of the Lord's 40 Day Ministry following his Resurection (of which there is no New Testament account) involved the teaching of Baptism for the Dead, which the Apostles then taught to the local churches (such as Corinth - 1 Corinthians 15:29 ) to redeem those who accepted the gospel preached in the spirit world. Presumably, the thief was one for whom the ordinance was performed.

THE RESURRECTION and THREE DEGREES OF GLORY
At the End of Days, the majority of the Just and the Unjust will have been Resurrected, their spirits will be reunited forever with their now glorified spiritual bodies of Flesh and Bone (as was Christ's Luke 24:39) , and be placed in a degree of glory.

1 Corinthians 15:40-44

40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
41 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.
42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

The glory as of a distant star
The lowest kingdom of glory (which the LDS refer to as the Telestial Kingdom) is described as having the glory of the light of a distant star. It is better than life on earth, but pales in comparison to the glory above. Those who chose to reject all morality, those who were suffering in the state of hell in spirit prison, will be here. There is no room for progression, and family units will be separated. the Holy Spirit presides over this kingdom, but the Father and Son will not step foot here.

The glory as of the moon
The kingdom called the 'Terrestrial' kingdom is described as being the glory of the light of the moon. So much more glorious than that of a distant star, but pale in comparison to the sun. Those who go here are those who lived good and moral lives according to the light and knowledge they had received, but refused to accept the fulness of the restored gospel, and live the Higher Law. The Terrestrial kingdom is very similar to the general traditional Christian view of heaven - a place of glory beyond imagining, presided over by Jesus Christ, where family units and marriages do not matter. There is no additional progression.

The glory as of the Sun
The kingdom known as the Celestial Kingdom is the Kingdom of the Father, where all those who follow His will, live His higher Law, and endure to the end, will come and be accepted as "Heirs of God, and Joint Heirs with Christ". (Romans 8:17) All that the Father has will be given to them, as kings and priests to the Most High God. There is much responsibility and potential for opportunity to progress to become Like our Father in Heaven. Worthy Families sealed together in Temples will have the opportunity to be together for all eternity.

OUTER DARKNESS
And then there's the kingdom that is not a kingdom of Glory - where Satan and his angels will be, and also those Sons of Perdition - those who had a pure, 100% knowledge Testimony of the Gospel, and then chose to rebel against it. Those who, figuratively, preached that the sun was not shining while it blazed in their face. It is these who blasphemed the Holy Spirit by fighting against it once the Truth was affirmed to them. It is far beyond belief. It would be rebellion in the face of Knowledge. This is pure, 100% separation from any glory of God. One would have to specifically make the choice to come here. God would not submit someone to this who acted ignorantly. It would be against the law of Mercy.

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Postby pooka » Mon Oct 02, 2006 8:04 pm

I had a new insight on this when the Missionaries where teaching us the plan of Salvation lesson for Family Home Evening tonight. The church doctrine also includes an existence as a spirit prior to birth, and before that an existence as an uncreated intelligence (similar to the aiuas in the Speaker books).

So after death, we are a spirit again. My belief is that our freedom in the spirit afterlife will be a product of our degree of humility and willingness to lose ourselves in Christ, and through him a fullness of the Father. Then we are resurrected into a flawless version of our mortal body.

Everyone receives the resurrection. (Offset to show this is not my speculation).

I wonder if the degree of freedom we enjoy as a resurrected being will be a product of how we have come unto Christ and been perfected in him. The perfected resurrected body will be like the bodies of Adam and Christ, able to walk on water, able to turn water to wine, able to call down angels lest we dash our foot against a stone. If we are truly humble, our spirit will not be at war with the resurrected body. But if we have not received of the fullness of the Father the resurrected body will not abide celestial glory. If we have not received the grace of Jesus, we cannot abide the terrestrial glory. Those who can receive the Holy Ghost (have some degree of a conscience still) will abide the Telestial glory (telestial from the greek Telos for end, I think). Those who have denied the holy Ghost, their resurrected body will be a torment to them, and just as we feel our bodies drag us down, they will feel their spirit dragging them down. Maybe. My speculation.

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Postby Taalcon » Tue Oct 03, 2006 7:42 am

For the record, what I have presented so far is Official Church Doctrine as I understand it. I'm trying to keep as much speculation out of my explanations as I can to keep things straightforward and simple for those who do not understand the basics of LDS thought.

Otherwise, [speculation][/speculation] tags would come in handy.

Also: Questions, with real intent to learn, are welcome. I'd love to address what I can, and perhaps to clear up some misconceptions.

If your Pastor/Friend told you something about Mormons that you'd actually like to confirm with a faithful, practicing member, feel free to ask. But only if you really wish to learn, and not just to try to insult and jab at someone's faith.

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Postby pooka » Wed Oct 04, 2006 11:28 am

The official doctrine is Doctrine and Covenants 76. But the new testament citations are also good to know. http://scriptures.lds.org/en/dc/76

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Postby hive_king » Wed Oct 04, 2006 2:15 pm

I just don't understand why such supposedly bedrock beliefs like baptism for the dead, the prexistance, and the Three Glories aren't spelled out in black and white in the bible. Sure, you might be able to piece together a few discordant verses to mean one thing or another, but it seems to me that Jesus would have laid out things that important in stark black and white.
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Postby Taalcon » Wed Oct 04, 2006 2:27 pm

We think he did for those who were ready.

What we don't think is that the Bible contains every discourse of Christ, every individual teachings of the Apostles, nor even all the authoritative letters of the Apostles ever written (there are some mentioned within the letters we have whose text is not currently extant).

The Doctrine of Baptism for the Dead, among other things, most logically WOULD have been taught during the 40-Day Post-Resurrection Ministry. We have but bare references to what was taught during that extensive period of time. It is, however, specifically said in the last verse of the Book of John, that, "There are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen."

There is also prescedent for holding information back sacred information from the unready public, that certainly wouldn't be spelled out in publically circulated texts. Do a search in the new testament for the term 'mystery' or 'mysteries'.

Also, in Matthew 7:6, Christ's followers were instructed to, " Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you."

The parables which ARE recorded are specifically mentioned as being presented as such for the reason for obscuring information. When asked, Christ said first, "it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.", followed by, "Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand."

Individuals are to be taught line upon line, precept upon precept, to build a foundation for a greater understanding. Arithmatic should be taught and understood before one tries to decode someone's Calculus notes. Without understanding the basics, those notes would look like jumbled chaos. Especially if the basics were taught incorrectly.

If one doesn't understand (or believe) the doctrine of the Resurrection, or in the necessity of Baptism in general, then what would be the purpose in teaching them of vicarious Baptism?

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Postby pooka » Thu Oct 05, 2006 12:02 pm

The length of a pregnancy is not spelled out in the bible in black and white because it's just one of those things that people who are adults know. They mention it as a measure of other things that happen. These are the sorts of references found in the Bible. I tend to think that is the reason. The ordinances in substance have been present since Adam, though the particulars have changed over the years, just as they have since the 1800's and even during my lifetime.

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Postby wigginboy » Fri Oct 06, 2006 5:44 pm

I have a question that seems unrelated to anything that has been discussed so far in this thread. (if it has, please tell me)(and then tell me to learn how to read)
My cousin Cindy, who is a strong practising Mormon, was talking to me about what Mormons believe the other day and she said something that struck me as odd. She said that Mormons dont believe in the Trinity as is recognized by mainstream Christianity(which isnt the odd thing). She said that Mormons dont believe that the Trinity is all on being, but that it is three beings, God and Jesus being flesh and blood, and the Holy Spirit being ethereal. This kind of struck me as odd, probably because itconflicts with everything ive ever heard about the Trinity for any other religion. And especially the part about God being flesh and blood, that made me think a little bit. My cousin is having me over for lunch in a few weeks and said her missionary friends would be more than glad to discuss Mormonism with me in depth at that time. But I am rather hung up on this issue and I couldnt wait two weeks to resolve it.


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