I'd like to say something more about religious ritual. In the regular LDS
church service, there is almost NONE of the ritual common in other Christian
faiths -- other than the administration of the sacrament (communion). Even the
saying of prayers is largely different from what I've seen in other
denominations.In the services of non-Mormon Christian denominations,
it is not uncommon to see priests with holy vestments who perform ritual
prayers which are often repeated by those in the congregation. Other
recitations with congregation response or repetition are common. Often, objects
are considered holy, something which does not correspond to anything in the LDS
Church. In the recent wave of evangelicism, churches are getting more away from
those rituals except for communion, perhaps, in my experience.My
point is that when you grow up in the LDS Church, your not so familiar with
religious ritual unless you make your way to the temple. For some, this can
seem strange, but by looking to other churches and institutions, we can see it
is not so uncommon as we might have supposed.
I'm not a Mason, but I don't think the Masons have oaths regarding
chastity or dedication to God. They're not a religious organization. When
Onlythecross referred to Masonic oaths he was probably referring to the use of
signs or tokens in relation to the covenants made. Such things are not uncommon
in society in general, such as when someone take an oath of office and places
one hand on the Bible and raises the other hand to the square and repeats the
words of the oath as given to him by the one administering the oath. Baptism is
a well-known religious ordinance that is accompanied by a physical ritual of
some sort.Joseph and Hyrum Smith were Masons, as were most of the
men of Nauvoo, I believe. There is a difference between the revelatory aspects
of the temple ceremony versus the rites associated with carrying out the
covenants. If the rites were given to Joseph Smith or whether he was tasked
with coming up with those himself, in either case, it doesn't matter to be
if he fashioned something similar to what people were familiar with -- and
extended them to women.
I was formerly a critic to Mormonism, before gaining a testimony and studying
for many years books and interviews with critics and anti-Mormon people, I could
see that there is a direct manipulation against Restored Church history , for
example here I read a comment that after 20 years it was important to the First
Vision, when the facts are accurate, this is the way that other people want to
find flaws in the Church, they manipulate the facts, if that same other
believers of other faiths use the same rigor that the Bible could be a serious
problem. Excuse my bad English, greetings from Spain
RE; Coltakashi, I loved the opportunity to ask questions if the speakers, both
during the sessions and during the breaks. So do I.Did Paul write
Hebrews? Louis Midgley “I don't speak for the other FAIR volunteers
or for the Brethren. But the answer to your question is no. “YET, Joseph Smith did not question Paul’s authorship yet made many
revisions to Hebrews (JST). i.e., Hebrews 5:7-8, “JST *footnote ,The 7th
and 8Th verses allude to Melchizedek, and not to Christ.-- I.V. MS.
“The Epistle of Paul The Apostle to the*HEBREWS”, JST (Inspired
Version) p. 1156. Same as KJV published by the LDS ChurchJS missed Hebrews 2:3
…; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed
unto us by them that heard him. The eyewitnesses chiefly the Apostles (see
2Peter 1:16; 1Jn 1:1) had vouched by the message first announced by Christ. The
author was neither an Apostle nor an eyewitness.Paul, the apostle to
the*Gentiles. Romans 11:13.Who do you believe wrote Hebrews?
There is really very little that is "fair" about the apologetic
one-sidedness of FAIR.And everybody knows it.
Brahmabull,"If you think the church is the most forthright,
honest, and truthful regarding its history I really don't believe that you
have looked into it much."______________________________I
think he meant that in contrast to the opposition and there are some poisonous
maligning materials written about the Church.Let's not fair to
single out the LDS Church too much. Every religion tries to control its own
message, especially its history. The Catholic Church which created the
Inquisition was also later blessed with the great Jesuit scholastic tradition.
Apologetics does have its valid place. It also has its limitations in measuring
up against rigorous academic criteria. That’s my main point.
V. H. Cassler and Valerie Hudson are one and the same person.
@kvnsmsn"Ernest, how does one take a scientific approach to
that?"Produce evidence for the claims that are made to the
extent that is possible (obviously evidence for whether or not Joseph had a
particular vision isn't exactly producable), something like having evidence
of the language allegedly used on the plates appearing anywhere else in North or
South America might be the most useful thing.
maclouieIf you think the church is the most forthright, honest, and
truthful regarding its history I really don't believe that you have looked
into it much.
I have attended several of the FAIR conferences and always found them to be both
intellectually forthright and presented in a spirit of love for all mankind.
Make no mistake, FAIR is designed to tackle the most complex questions raised by
critics of the.LDS Church, and it does so effectively by drawing upon the real
expertise of scholars in every academic discipline. I loved the opportunity to
ask questions if the speakers, both during the sessions and during the breaks.
It was a great opportunity to meet many of my favorite authors, such as Terryl
Givens. No one should miss the opportunity to watch.via streaming video over the
internet. It is worth taking time off from work to watch it. It us also a great
opportunity to buy books on LDS doctrine and history at a discount from the
bookstore operated at the conference.
Church member posted:=Maybe research and facts can be useful to help
investigate a church.The only relevant question is, has God chosen
the LDS Church to spread His message? How would "research and facts"
help in determining whether God has chosen the LDS Church for that purpose?=The only problem with your argument is, every religion "knows"
that they are=the true church. You "know" that God chose your
church to spread his message.=But billions of people around the world know
that their church is God's=favorite.==So maybe, just
maybe, using your emotions and feelings is not the best way to=find
truth.You seem to know a lot about "every religion," Church
member. As a Latter-day Saint I was taught that the way to find out if the LDS
Church is true is to ask God a question, completely ready for either a yes or no
answer, ready to base the whole rest of my life on whatever answer God gave me,
and wait for God's response. Is that the way each member of "every
religion" discovers whether or not her/his religion is true? Why should I
OnlytheCross,"First Vision is not mentioned anywhere in the
first 20 years of the Church's existence" - WRONG"Masonic
oaths were lifted and incorporated" - WRONG (I just looked it up)"why there is no outside, non-LDS scholarly acceptance of anything Book of
Mormon" - WRONG"false prophecies of JS" - WRONG"why
BYoung waited 20 years to hand over John D. Lee" - INACCURATE but who
cares?"why so many textual changes on the BoM" - EXPLAINEDI've studied all the above.Items like those above are
promoted by anti-Mormon websites and at best become "he said,she said"
issues. Between the two sides I find the LDS Church to be the most forthright ,
truthful, and honest compared to the anti's which promote many
untruth's. Until the other side shapes up there is no need to listen to the
anti's. If they lie about one thing, which I have seen them do on many
websites, then what else are they lying about?
Earnest T. Bass: An honest, scientific approach? Get real. Science has
limitations, imposed by the empirical method. Craig Clark talks about bias
impacting scientist's work. I would state it more strongly: some scientists
are notorious for taking a discovery of a specific empirical study and
extrapolating its results into areas where it does not even fit. Then, in a
short period of time, theories thus developed become stated facts! Fortunately,
there are scientists who recognize that conclusions can be open-ended and do
further research. But we as a general public must be wary of those spouting
"scientific truth" as if it were their religion.Yes, there are
those who exercise more faith in science--wonderful as it is--without admitting
to its limitations. And here I thought "faith" was a matter of belief in
FAIR is one of the world's all time best managed and funded propaganda
"One panel (made up of Kris Frederickson, Valerie Hudson, Neylan McBain and
Wendy Ulrich) will be devoted to the topic 'Charity Never Faileth: Healing
the Distrust among LDS Women with Different Perspectives on
Feminism.'"There's actually a fifth member of the
panel: V.H. Cassler.
To: kvnsmnsnThe only problem with your argument is, every religion
"knows" that they are the true church. You "know" that God chose
your church to spread his message. But billions of people around the world know
that their church is God's favorite.So maybe, just maybe, using
your emotions and feelings is not the best way to find truth.Maybe
research and facts can be useful to help investigate a church.
Craig Clark posted:=Do prejudices and biases impact their work? Of
course they do as an honest=scholar should readily admit. But their work
is submitted to a process of=criticism and peer review from a diverse
spectrum.I know why I believe in God, and I know why I believe God
has chosen the LDSChurch to take God's message to the world. I would
love to submit those reasons"to a process of criticism and peer review
from a diverse spectrum."
OnlytheCross, I put together an article that responded to everything you said,
but it ended up with 292 words, 92 over the software-imposed limit. Your topics
were:fabricated historymental gymnasticsfirst visionmasonic oathsscholarly acceptancefalse propheciesjohn d
leetextual changesThe only way to fit inside the limit is for
you to pick two or three of these and I'll post what I've written on
Re: R JOHNSON, Many LDS apologists are very fine scholars, and produce very
scholarly information.?@Defending the Faith [in JS]. The Greek word
“apologia” simply means “defense.” True,i.e.., But sanctify the “*Lord God” in your hearts: and be
ready always to give an answer=(apologia). (1 Peter 3:15 KJV).But in
your hearts revere “*Christ as Lord”. Always be prepared to give an
answer=(apologia). 1Peter 3:15 NIV,ESV,NET,NLT). ). Modern translations are
helpful VS KJV only.“ *Christ as Lord.” is widely supported by
excellent and earlier witnesses .If you declare with your mouth,
"Jesus is LORD=(YHWH)," and believe in your heart that God raised him
from the dead, you will be saved.(Romans 10:9) see Joel 2:32.RE:
..”the topic Charity(agape) Never Faileth”(1Cor 13:8 KJV).Charity,
Latin. often mis-used in KJV instead of the original Greek,agape=
"love". An accurate modern translation i.e.. (1 Corinthians
13:8 NET) “Love(agape) never ends. But if there are prophecies, they will
be set aside….” See The Love chapter,1Cor 13.
R JOHNSON,"Apologetics and scholarship aren't mutually
exclusive...."______________________________I respect your
views but must say that by strict definition, they are mutually exclusive.Both apologists and antagonists do research to support a predetermined
conclusion. Honest scholarship seeks neither to vindicate nor to debunk. It
gathers evidence and ventures no more than it can demonstrate with verifiable
facts and impeccable logic.Do prejudices and biases impact their
work? Of course they do as an honest scholar should readily admit. But their
work is submitted to a process of criticism and peer review from a diverse
E.T.B. You mean discussing why believers live longer and more satisfying lives
than unbelievers or why religious inspired self control can stop the spread of
AIDs and STDs?
Ernest Bass said:=When are they going to take an honest, scientific
approach to the real issues?The only real issue, as far as I am
concerned, is, has God chosen the LDS Church to take God'smessage to
the world? Ernest, how does one take a scientific approach to that?
Just toss out the fabricated history, the mental gymnastics and be honest,
accurate and forthright. It worked for our pioneer ancestors: Why can't
it work now?Coming up with convoluted reasons for why the First
Vision is not mentioned anywhere in the first 20 years of the Church's
existence, why Masonic oaths were lifted and incorporated, and why there is no
outside, non-LDS scholarly acceptance of anything Book of Mormon is a good place
to start. Then move to the false prophecies of JS, why BYoung waited 20 years
to hand over John D. Lee, and why so many textual changes on the BoM.That conference would be attended in spades. Period. End of FAIR's
financial concerns. Oh, and keep an open Q&A each day...
Apologetics and scholarship aren't mutually exclusive. Many LDS apologists
are very fine scholars, and produce very scholarly information.
Ernest T. Bass,"When are they going to take an honest,
scientific approach to the real issues?"______________________________Remember that it's apologetics.
As long they're up front about that, I've no quarrel with them. But
the moment they try to pass apologetics off as scholarship, they're fair
When are they going to take an honest, scientific approach to the real issues?