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5 years ago  ::  Nov 10, 2009 - 4:12PM #1
Idenitycrisis
Posts: 351

Does the "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" recoginze any of the other branches that claim descent from Joseph Smith or, "can there be only one?"

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5 years ago  ::  Nov 10, 2009 - 7:12PM #2
Ironhold
Posts: 11,555

Most of the offshoots want nothing to do with the main body, and the feeling is largely mutual.


 


The Bickertonites, RLDS, and a few of the early separatist groups broke off over claims to succession. A few broke off while Joseph was alive (the basic argument for each was little more than "God called me as the new prophet because Joseph isn't cutting it), with the other early groups breaking off in the wake of Joseph's death.


The FLDS and its many spin-offs broke off in the wake of Official Declaration 2, wherein the church stated that it would no longer permit new polygamous marriages.

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5 years ago  ::  Nov 10, 2009 - 10:05PM #3
withwonderingawe
Posts: 5,301

"can there be only one?"


 


Yes, the Lord only gives one prophet to lead his Church. There cannot be two different voices teaching different things.

Wise men still seek him.
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 11, 2009 - 7:18PM #4
Onetruthseeker
Posts: 7

Yes, the Lord only gives one prophet to lead his Church. There cannot be two different voices teaching different things


-----------------------


This is an honest question.  Please don't take this the wrong way. 


Traditional Christianity has had the Bible for centuries.  Jesus often referenced the Old testament while he walked the earth.  He never questioned it but often used it when making a point.  The religious leaders of the day added a lot of laws and requirements to the Jewish community and really loaded people down.  Jesus said He did not come to do away with the law but to fulfull it.  That is because humans are not able to keep the law.  All have fallen short.  He taught that if you keep the entire law but violate it in one small area, you're guilty of breaking the entire law. 


It's my understanding that in the LDS thinking the LDS prophet may make decrees that override or replace earlier pronouncements by earlier prophets.  This is not the pattern seen in the time tested Bible.  The Bible is very consistent throughout.  If the new collection of books sanctioned by LDS are truly inspired they would continue in the pattern of the time tested Old and New Testaments.  The Bible, I understand, is accepted by LDS as inspired and truthful.


One part of the 66 book Bible has never canceled out another principle in another part of the Bible. 


Now, maybe I don't have my facts correct, but it's my understanding the LDS president is the recognized prophet.  Are there instances where a latter prophet has overruled a former prophet?  I think there are cases of this.  If so, I'm not sure how to absorb this.  The church of one era looks to this guy as the true prophet, trusts his leadership, but down the road his oracle is overridden by a downstream president.  How can this happen?


I have also learned that one of the presidents had fallen ill, both mentally and physically, and he was not able to perform as expected.  I think his name was Ezra Benson (but I'm not entirely sure).  I read an article by his grandson who described how other leaders collectively mislead the populace by trying to prop Benson up as though he still had capacity to lead.  This, if true, is deception.  Not truthful or even ethical.  Truth does not have have to be propped up.  Truth will stand....alone....by itself and it will stand the test of time.  Just like the Holy Bible is the Anvil that has worn out many hammers.


If god gives only 1 prophet to lead his church and Benson was in limbo, I'm not sure how to understand this 'one prophet only' concept.  Maybe there are periods where a vacancy or a vacuum in leadership is allowed?  Did this go on for years or months or was it just a few days?


If a prophet is incapacitated, why wouldn't the other ordained, trusted and inspired leaders let the truth be known rather than engage in deceptiveness?  I would expect this kind of behavior by politicians but not the entire body of what LDS members would consider to be holy leadership.


Thanks for any feedback you can offer on this.


Bruce


 

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5 years ago  ::  Nov 12, 2009 - 6:19AM #5
Ironhold
Posts: 11,555

Let's take this one bit at a time, shall we?


Traditional Christianity has had the Bible for centuries. 


While mainstream Christianity has had the Bible for some time, it hasn't always agreed on things such as canon (some denominations retain or exclude different books) and there are disputes as to whether or not some of the Biblical entries should be regarded as worthy of having place (such as Song of Solomon, which is increasingly coming to be excluded).


Jesus often referenced the Old testament while he walked the earth. He never questioned it but often used it when making a point. 


Inaccurate.


Whenever Jesus states "ye have heard it said" or some variation thereof, he is referencing a portion of the Old Testament. By following it up with "but I say unto you," Jesus is laying that portion to rest as its time had been fulfilled.


He taught that if you keep the entire law but violate it in one small area, you're guilty of breaking the entire law. 


...but not because he was trying to condemn humanity; rather, he was trying to make a point.


It's my understanding that in the LDS thinking the LDS prophet may make decrees that override or replace earlier pronouncements by earlier prophets. This is not the pattern seen in the time tested Bible. 


Actually, it is.


To begin with, as mentioned above Jesus periodically laid to rest portions of the Old Testament that no longer passed muster. Likewise, Peter was given a vision which informed him that kosher was laid to rest as well (if you'll recall, this is the one he was given in advance of Corneilius coming to see him). And in time, circumcision and other Jewish practices were laid to rest as well.


The Bible is very consistent throughout.


If you were to make such a statement in front of athiests, you'd get dogpiled.


How can this happen?


The same way that, for example, Jesus was able to come and lay to rest portions of the Mosaic Law.


You see, each generation of people has a certain capacity to comprehend what is before them and a certain set of problems that they face.


As each generation passes and the next one rises, the level of comprehension changes and the problems likewise change.


At the time of Moses, human civilization was still rather primitive and brutal. They understood physical acts and physical retribution, but that was about it. By way of comparison, I'd recommend looking up Hammurabi's Code; it, like the Pentateuch, goes to length to explain what is and isn't legal and recommends some rather brutal punishments.


In Jesus' day, however, Greek logic and discourse had taken root in most of the Western world and was being carried forth unwittingly by Rome (although Rome conquered Greece militarily, Greece conquered Rome socially and rhetorically). Human understanding and reason were at a far higher peak than in Moses' day, and so for the first time in a while humans could actually understand such concepts as "motivation" and "intent." Thus, the Mosaic Law was obsolete; a new law was required in order to elevate matters appropriately.


I have also learned that one of the presidents had fallen ill, both mentally and physically, and he was not able to perform as expected. I think his name was Ezra Benson (but I'm not entirely sure). I read an article by his grandson who described how other leaders collectively mislead the populace by trying to prop Benson up as though he still had capacity to lead.


Source?


While it is known that Benson was ill in his final days, critics of the church have played the matter up as if an epic deception was in place. In reality, Benson was indeed functional enough to fulfill his role and merely needed some periodic assistance (think of how Moses had a speech impediment and so used Aaron to actually deliver the bulk of what God wanted Moses to pass along).


As such, if you still have that article, I'd like to read it for myself.

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5 years ago  ::  Nov 12, 2009 - 9:32AM #6
withwonderingawe
Posts: 5,301

Welcome truth seeker


Seeker said; Traditional Christianity has had the Bible for centuries. Jesus often referenced the Old testament while he walked the earth. He never questioned it but often used it when making a point.


 


He used it to support his claim to who he was and he opened up the true meaning of passages to those who would listen.


 


Seeker said; That is because humans are not able to keep the law. All have fallen short. He taught that if you keep the entire law but violate it in one small area, you're guilty of breaking the entire law.


It is true that if we have even the least bit of sin upon us we can not enter into the presences of God and in that way we may as well be guilty of all.


But Mormonism disagrees with this concept and Christ never taught it. It comes out of the idea of being born a sinful filthy creature. Our second article of faith says "We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression". A child is not a sinner until he knows the differences between good and evil and he choose to sin.


Christ came to fulfill the Law of Sacrifice which the Jews lived but he did not come to do away with the Ten Commandments. Instead he said


"Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven." Matt 5


He then expanded the Ten Commandments; Thou shall not kill became thou shalt love thy enemy.


I think our concept of eternity is what makes the difference. Traditional Christianity teaches that once you are dead that's it. You're bound for heaven our hell.


We see ourselves as children of a loving Father whose arms are always reaching out to us. I won't reach a state of perfection in this life but I have the millennium to work on it and then a few eons of time past that. At some point with the help of the Lord I will strip away all desire to sin, past sins will be wiped away and I will become truly one with him.


 


Seeker asked; It's my understanding that in the LDS thinking the LDS prophet may make decrees that override or replace earlier pronouncements by earlier prophets.


I think Iron gave you a good answer there. Jesus did change and expand the Law. Noah said to get on the ark but I don't need that commandment today.


I believe one of the changes you are referring to is the Law of Consecration which we do not live at this time.


Jesus also taught the people in his day to have all things in common. He was teaching that to the rich young man who sought him out and asked what more can he do. Later in Acts 2 the Christians were trying to practice that principle "And all that believed were together, and had all things common"

But we see in Acts 5 that it wasn't an easy principle to live. Where are any Christians living it today?


In Acts 2 Peter speaks of a time of a "restitution of all things" and we claim that time is now. We claim that Joseph Smith was the prophet which restored all the Holy Laws given to man through the Lord's prophets. The law of having all things in common was restored but like in the days of the early church the law proved to be to hard to live, to hard for sinful men. The law has been set aside until men can live it. The Lord does not require that we live laws which are impossible for us to keep. Instead he gives us the lesser law of tithing.


Also we don't see our prophets as totally perfect, they have struggles like the rest of us. They too can have misunderstandings and musings about certain aspects of the gospel. Their personal writings are not "Thus saith the Lord" . In fact Bruce R. McConkie one of our most prominent Apostles admitted 'upon receiving further light and knowledge, I was wrong'.


 


Seeker asked; If a prophet is incapacitated, why wouldn't the other ordained, trusted and inspired leaders let the truth be known rather than engage in deceptiveness?


Steve Benson is the one who is misleading and only he went running out of the Church. Yes it is true that at the end of his life the last few months or so President Benson was 'incapacitated' or sleeping most of the time. I knew it and I think most members understood. The Church wasn't teetering or falling apart. There is in place a plan for situations like this. While the prophet is the only man which holds all of the keys of the priesthood the 12 apostles hold them conjoined. They can lead the Church in his stead and they did. All is well.


Steve Benson misunderstood what the powers of the priesthood keys are.


I went back and looked at the April 1994 conference address given by President Hinckley


"The President of the Church holds the authority to exercise all of the keys of the priesthood at any given time. He may delegate, and in the present instance has delegated, to his Counselors and to those of the Twelve the exercise of various of those keys....President Benson is now in his ninety-fifth year. As we have previously said ...he suffers seriously from the effects of age and illness and has been unable to fulfill important duties of his sacred office. This is not a situation without precedent. Other Presidents of the Church have also been ill or unable to function fully in the closing months or years of their lives. It is possible that this will happen again in the future.


The principles and procedures which the Lord has put in place for the governance of His church make provision for any such circumstance. ....The First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles, called and ordained to hold the keys of the priesthood, have the authority and responsibility to govern the Church, to administer its ordinances, to expound its doctrine, and to establish and maintain its practices..."


No one was hiding anything!


I hope you can see that often what you read about the Church is wrong.


Wise men still seek him.
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 12, 2009 - 9:31PM #7
Onetruthseeker
Posts: 7

Withwonderingawe: Thank you for your reply.  It was friendly and easy to follow.  I'm glad you realize I don't intend to be confrontational in my questions or comments.  There are a lot of ideas flying around out there and I certainly don't want to contribute by making acusations or name calling or the like.


Jesus referenced the Old Testament: I agree with your response.  Good reply.


Entire law and guilt: I agree with your response. Good reply.


Mormon disagreement: This is also resonable.  I'm not sure I understand all you're trying to say though.  It's hard to imagine that a newborn is a "filthy sinful creature".  But I thnk a natural tendency starts to show in a battle of wills between baby and parent early on.  Are we not born with a sinful nature?


Individual accountability: Absolutely, each individual is accountable for his own actions and everyone has sinned.


Matt 5 Ref: Can't argue with scripture.  Ok, this is a friendly comment so don't ironclub me.  I would see Matt 5's point that one would have to be "better" than scibes and pharsees in order to enter into the kingdom of God as a familiar theme.  Of course it's not possible to exceed their righteousness.  The conditions in the whole passage are impossible to achieve.  Christ is the answer here.  The passage you refered to is Matthew 5:19&20.  Good passage.  As a little background, Jesus spoke about how He did not come to destroy the Law but to fulfill it.  He had to do this for us and the point is we cannot do it for ourselves.  He points out in verse 20 that we would have to exceed the righteousness of the religious leaders of the time which was impossible for the people he was speaking to to achieve.  Verse 21 then shifts emphasis from the mechanical rule keeping discussion which is impossible to achieve and begins to address the condition of the heart.  The religious leaders might appear to pass the test from the outside but the point is, the problem is deeper than ability to accomplish rule keeping activity and accumulating points.  The root issue refers to a heart ailment.


You did a nice job with the rest of your post.  I'll take a closer look later - out of time now.


Thanks again for your friendly post.  I think it's good to try and understand your point of view.  Seems like your not just trying to crush the opposition but that you're willing to enter a civilized dialog.


 

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5 years ago  ::  Nov 13, 2009 - 6:48PM #8
withwonderingawe
Posts: 5,301

Seeker; Mormon disagreement: ...I'm not sure I understand all you're trying to say though. It's hard to imagine that a newborn is a "filthy sinful creature".


 


One of the problems I have discussing doctrine with different Christian who call themselves "Traditional" is that they don't always believe the same thing.


There are some who I suppose are most traditional who do believe that just for being born one is a filthy rag. There are others who have realized that does not make much sense and a loving God would not create filthy rags.


The passage being referred to is Isa 64


"...we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away. And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities."


The misunderstanding comes from applying the "we" to everyone born rather than to the "we" Isaiah was referring to; the house of Israel. Israel's iniquities had taken her away.


Isaiah first says "Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember thee in thy ways"


There are those who do work righteousness and remember the Lord.


 


Seeker; Are we not born with a sinful nature?


 


Christ said the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. There is a struggle between the willing spirit which is a child of God and the weak carnal mortal flesh.


Once the spirit surrenders to the will of the flesh understanding first the difference between right and wrong then a sin has been committed.


There is also a difference between a sin and a transgression. A three year old transgress and the blood of Christ covers his transgression, see 1 John 1:12. We believe any child who dies before the age of 8 is perfect and the spirit returns directly to the Father.


The following is from our Book of Moses;


"And the Lord said unto Adam: Behold I have forgiven thee thy transgression in the Garden of Eden. Hence came the saying abroad among the people, that the Son of God hath atoned for original guilt, wherein the sins of the parents cannot be answered upon the heads of the children, for they are whole from the foundation of the world."


Compare this to Eze 18 "The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father.."


 


Seeker; Of course it's not possible to exceed their righteousness. The conditions in the whole passage are impossible to achieve.


I was always told that discouragement is the tool of the Devil.


 


"With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible." Mark 10


If one is expecting first to do it alone and second within this life span it is impossible but with God's grace nothing is impossible.


What Christ did was to take the bar and raise it a level. Don't read something into the passage which isn't there instead actually believe what he said.


He commanded; "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect." Was he lying, did he not really want us to strive diligently " to make your calling and election sure"?, see 2 Peter 1.


 


"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: . .So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them" Gen 1


The 'image' part of the passage has been achieved through the creation of our physical bodies, we are made in His image. The "likeness" part of that is His perfect righteousness. Achieving that goal is an on going process.


"But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' soap And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness." Mal 3


And then this is from the Book of Mormon.


"And if men come unto me(Jesus) I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them....and I will show unto them that faith, hope and charity bringeth unto me-the fountain of all righteousness." Ether 12


In Matt 5 the bar Christ raise goes beyond the basics.


1, learn to control our anger


2, forgive trust passes


3, not to lust (this is not the God give sexual desire and love for one's spouse)


4, stay married


5, don't swear (part of anger management)


6, turn the other cheek


7, love your enemy


There are other things like envying, gossiping etc.


Again from the Book of Mormon;


"And I, Moroni, having heard these words, was comforted, and said: O Lord, thy righteous will be done, for I know that thou workest unto the children of men according to their faith.."


As our faith in Christ grows he is able to work within our hearts his grace works upon us and our ability to love grows. Our weaknesses become strengths. Nothing is impossible with God. We can learn to control our anger and our tongue. Pornography can become repulsive to us. We can begin to see each person we meet as our brother and sister and learn to love them. It won't happen all at once but the Lord can help us.


Jesus explained what our goal really is;


"I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me." John 17


We are to be one in Christ and we can not do this until we strip away the old man and replace it with the new and become " partakers of the divine nature" 2 Peter 1


I just feel we have a deeper understanding of what the purpose here is and how our faith in Christ can change our natures.

Wise men still seek him.
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5 years ago  ::  Nov 15, 2009 - 8:32AM #9
Onetruthseeker
Posts: 7

Wow WWA:  That was a lot of feedback on 11/13/09.  Thanks for all the time you spend on this.


I'm digesting it and it's going to take awhile. 


A couple of comments on just a couple of your points.


I fully appreciate your point when you said to take  look at who the passage in Isa 64 is referring to.  That is a good general idea to keep in mind whenever reading the scriptures. 


I think we agree that God does not produce "filthy rags".  Everything He has created is good, if not very good.


While thinking about the Isa. passage I was reminded of Romans 3 which describes the condition of humanity and then talks about how to attain righteousness.  There is a lot in chapter 3 and I think you could probably write a book about it.  Can you give me your take on this passage?


Also, friendly question, how was age 8 determined to be the age of accountability?  Is that a general rule or is the 8th birthday an official moment?  If a child were to die the day after the birthday for example, what would be the child's fate? 


Also, in your post of 11/13 you distinguish between sin and transgression.  I never thought about it before.  Can you define and distinguish?


One last question for today.  In the "be perfect" part.  My take is that this is telling us to be perfect nowsince it is in the present tense.  Not that we, under our own efforts or even intentions can become perfect.  This, in my opinion, would be the perfection of Jesus that He provided for us and is nothing I can accomplish.  I don't see this as a rule to do anything other than receive His gift, something He has paid for and given to whosoever will.


I'll open up a little and reveal a little about myself.  People in my community would regard me to be a pretty good guy.  And I could be described by most of the virtuous descriptions found in the Bible.  But, I happen to know me better than the rest of the public knows me and it's not all that nice.  Aside from the promises of God and the cleansing properties of the blood of Christ, what I do or am is far short of any mark.  I serve Him because I love Him.  I've already received more than enough in the form of Blessings from Him although He continues to lavish more and more on me.  I don't strive to achieve greater levels for my own consumption but simply to serve out of love and obedience.


I don't have the reference in front of me right now and I have to get going again.  I'm sure you can find it.  The heart is deceitfully wicked above all things, who can know it?


When I look at myself I could consider myself to be pretty good.  A model for others.  However, as I said, I know me and He even knows me better than I know me.  The heart verse I mentioned above is certainly something I understand.


To think that I could possibly work to better my standing before almighty God by presenting what I consider to be accomplishments worthy of recognition by Him is like presenting to Him filthy rags thinking I have added to the work that Jesus Chirst finished on the cross.


Thanks again for the time you are spending on this.


Got to go

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5 years ago  ::  Nov 15, 2009 - 3:43PM #10
Onetruthseeker
Posts: 7

Sorry about the run on sentence.  I was in a hurry...as always.

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