Sunday, January 27, 2013

Examination of Another Anti-Mormon Site

The following is from a site that purports to be showing that our doctrine doesn't fit with the Bible. But let's first look at these claims and then examine them.

MORMONISM = A “Restored” Gospel
“Since the departure from the true gospel of Christ was to be universal…it would follow that a restoration would be necessary. Such a restoration is the message of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”—Apostle LeGrand Richards, A Marvelous Work And A Wonder, 1976, p. 32
Nothing less than a complete apostasy from the Christian religion would warrant the establishment of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”—History of the Church, vol. 1, p. XL
“We talk about Christianity, but it is a perfect pack of nonsense.…it is as corrupt as hell; and the Devil could not invent a better engine to spread his work than the Christianity of the nineteenth century.”—Apostle John Taylor (who would eventually become 3rd Prophet), 1858, Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p. 167
“What is it that inspires professors of Christianity generally with a hope of salvation? It is that smooth, sophisticated influence of the devil, by which he deceives the whole world.”—Joseph Smith, History of the Church, vol. 5, p. 218
“My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join.…I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt.…”—Joseph Smith—History 1:18-19
“And he said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil.…”—1 Nephi 14:10, Book of Mormon
“ ‘Will everybody be damned, but Mormons?Yes, and a great portion of them, unless they repent, and work righteousness.”—Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith, 1976, p. 119
“There is no salvation outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 2, pp. 1-350.)”—Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 670
BIBLICAL CHRISTIANITY = An everlasting Gospel which has endured for “all generations”—never to disappear from the earth. Paul warned about those who would preach another gospel (Galatians 1:6-9; 2 Corinthians 11:3-4). Jesus prophesied that the “gates of hell” wouldn’t prevail against His church, and in so doing, He ruled out complete apostasy (Matthew 16:18). Thus, the Gospel would never have to be restored (Jude 3). Ephesians 3:21 states: “to Him be the glory in the church…to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” How can an apostate church give glory to God throughout “all generations”?
GALATIANS 1:6-9: “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel.…but though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”
2 CORINTHIANS 11:3-4: “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.”
JUDE 3: “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once [for all time] delivered unto the saints.”
HEBREWS 12:28: “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.”
MATTHEW 16:18: “…I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”
EPHESIANS 3:21: “Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. A-men”
1 TIMOTHY 3:15: “…that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”

This is the first subject he rose. I'll get to others in further posts.

Firstly I should state that twice a year we have general conferences. Every member in the world has a gathering where they live. At those conferences members get to sustain what is Scripture for us all. We ALL sustain only 4 books. Those books are the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price. Anything else is merely the opinion of an individual. We don't hold every word of Apostles or Presidents of the church to be the mind and will of God, unless those particular words are sustained as such. So whether or not some of these other quotes are generally believed that doesn't make them the opinion of the church (i.e. Latter-Day Saints) unless they are supported from the Scriptures. I would be doing an injustice to other members to feel that I must explain these opinions as if all must share them.

The only Scriptural text that has been quoted is that from Nephi. If I said to a Protestant that any church which isn't the church of Christ, yet posed itself as one, was evil, the majority would agree with Nephi. I don't see any problem with that statement.

So now I will turn to what the writer terms "Biblical Christianity," and we can see if it is. Does the Bible present the ideas claimed here?

His first claim is that there is "an everlasting Gospel which has endured for 'all generations' -never to disappear from the earth." Is that the truth? All generations? The Bible doesn't say that the people at the Tower of Babel had the Gospel. A missing generation? The only time the Bible mentions that the Gospel was preached for the first 4 thousand years was to the Israelites by Moses. And it says they rejected it. Protestantism doesn't support an "all generations" Gospel.

Interestingly we are one of the few churches which supports the fact that the gospel went into hiding and was not destroyed. We know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ was always existent, from Adam onward. We know that the apostle John lived through all those years (as Christ prophesied he would) and turning up to re-establish the church organisation through Joseph Smith. John wasn't the only translated being either.

The apostle John prophesied that the "woman" (which many Protestants accept as being the church of Jesus Christ) went into hiding. Then she eventually came out of hiding (having never being destroyed by the "gates of hell" MATTHEW 16:18, JUDE 3).

In regard Galatians 1:6-9; 2 Corinthians 11:3-4; These are stating that there were people in the church at the time that were trying to teach false doctrines. He is saying to stick by what they have been taught by him. So the question is, is it some Protestant church, the Catholic church or Church of Jesus Christ of LDS that is teaching what Paul originally taught? As it is us then those other churches are teaching another Gospel.

In regard Hebrews 12:28 if we read it as the writer wishes us to then I've answered that point already. However I tend to see the "kingdom" referred to here as being our inheritance in heaven rather than earth.

1 TIMOTHY 3:15 has nothing to do with supporting any of his ideas.

The question now becomes, was an apostasy and false doctrine foretold to enter into the church, in the Bible?

The writer has quoted two instances of such - Galatians 1:6-9; 2 Corinthians 11:3-4. These demonstrate that there were those changing the Gospel back then.

Also we have _

1 Corinthians 1:10-13 "Now I urge you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it has been declared to me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you says, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were you baptized in the name of Paul?"

This is demonstrating that they all were divided with different gospels at the time they had apostles among them. So how much worse would it have got when there wasn't any?

2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 "Now we urge you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together to him, that you be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there comes a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition."

So Paul is saying that they should not expect Christ to come at their time, because a falling away had to come first. Obviously it isn't talking about just some individuals, as that always happens. He is talking of an entire falling away.

Acts 20:29-30 "For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them."

So there were to come many teaching another Gospel in the church. These drew many to follow their ways.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned to fables."

Paul is saying that the time will come when the church will only have ministers and priests that teach what they want to hear.

2 Peter 3:15-16 "And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given to him has written to you; As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, to their own destruction."

Here it is speaking of those in the church that are twisting the scriptures to their own destruction. Unfortunately they pass these ideas onto others.

1 Corinthians 11:17-18 "Now in this that I declare to you I don't praise you, that you come together not for the better, but for the worse. For first of all, when you come together in the church, I hear that there are divisions among you; and I partly believe it."

More talk of divisions within the church.

Titus 1:10-11 "For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they should not, for filthy money's sake."

So this is presenting that many (mostly those who believed in circumcision) were converting entire families to false doctrines. These were doing it as paid ministers. Which, of course, rules out our missionaries, as they are not paid.

The Bible has demonstrated that an apostasy, of the church, from the Gospel would occur. And stated that it had already started.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Speculation and Deep Doctrine

First we should look at what deep doctine actually is. It is often associated with things we don't know. But its true meaning would be better defined as things that are beyond that being delivered in Gospel Doctrine classes.

We have a standard doctrine that is being taught in Gospel Doctrine classes. But many recognise the importance of developing our knowledge beyond the milk. They will attempt to get the conversation in the GD class to advance beyond where it is. But this will fail because the reason it is where it is, is because the class, as a whole, don't wish to advance beyond where they are.

The same applies to priesthood classes. As I hear the questions given and the answers I feel like someone has put 5 cents in the slot and pushed the button for answer number 49. "Why should we do Home Teaching, brethren?" "That's right, because Christ said to." That's deep. I'm glad I was there for that information.

So many in the church cry out for something better than a reply by a ventriloquist's doll.

The problem on the other hand is that so many want to become doctrinal experts so that others will hold them in a place of honor. We end up with sites dedicated to speculation: Groups will discuss the subject all presenting their personal opinion. These will be discussed backward and forward with absolutely no real conclusion. Thus people are lucky to actually learn anything; which defies the point of such discussion. But they see themselves as some doctinal expert. They miss the simplistic answer because their heads are too much up in the clouds. They have gone well beyond the mark.

So what is the answer to learning deep doctrine?

First we must have the right purpose. We plan on being able to assist the endless intelligences that wait for some God to come along and give them these opportunities. Are you willing to help out? If so then you will need to know what you are doing. Then there are those things that if you search your heart honestly you will find you want to know. You needn't hide your head in the sand and pretend you can't see them anymore. You can come out and go to God with true purpose of heart. And if you do this sincerely you will begin to get those answers.

Getting the Holy Ghost as a constant companion doesn't just come because someone placed his hands on your head with authority and says the magic words. You have to invite him in by listening to his counsel and following it. In the process he will help you learn the answers to the questions that others just wander around asking but never have an answer to.