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Published: Monday, Aug. 26 2013 3:25 p.m. MDT

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RanchHand
Huntsville, UT

@RedShirtMIT;

Christ certainly didn't organize a church like the LDS church. He really didn't (even though you may believe it was so). He never really organized a church at all as he was a Jew and originally, Christians were just another "sect" in Judaism - until at some point Jews got fed up with the new "Jews", (i.e. Christians) not following the old traditions (circumcision, diet, etc). Tradition, TRADITION! Tradition, TRADITION! (if you can't tell, I loved Fiddler on the Roof).

@Fred Vader;

Your diagram leaves out the Mormon's side:

1) Does your neighbor follow your way? Yes: Move along to next neighbor. No: Bug them repeatedly until ... :)

@Pac_Man;

There have been many "Messiahs" in Jewish lore.

alien236
LOGAN, UT

How to know if a prophet is speaking as a prophet or just as a man: listen to the promptings of the Spirit as they speak, and/or pray about it and ask God for yourself. This Church has never expected us to take our leaders' word for it. Investigators are never expected to take the missionaries' word for it. Pray about it - it's that simple.

Chris B
Salt Lake City, UT

Fred Vadar,

Although your last post is mostly fair, I think your own church disagrees with you

"But let's presume you do believe God called that prophet, and also gave you a different answer. If I was in that situation, then I would follow the answer I believe God gave me."

It seems you are at odds with your church here are you not?

If the prophet says something(presumably from God right?) yet you think he is wrong, your recommendation is to do what you think, not what the prophet says?

Wouldn't telling people to disobey the prophet get you in trouble with your church?

moniker lewinsky
Taylorsville, UT

Christopher B.
I'm slapping my forehead on your behalf today.
When people criticize you for using logic as opposed to something "higher", I really think that's the first clue that you are wasting your time.
But still I applaud you, sir.

Christopher B
Ogden, UT

Kelly,

I appreciate the attempt, but again I don't think that is what your church really teaches is it?

"burden is upon each one of us to exercise our faith and find out if he is speaking for God or not."

So what if a LDS member decides the prophet was wrong and now God is ok with that church member not paying his 10% tithing? Or what if that person says God told him it was ok to have a few alcoholic beverages once in a while?

That doesn't seem like its left up to the individual member to me. Surely that church member would be prohibited from full participation correct?

But what if God told him. It seems Mormons are told to believe what that a prophet says come from God.

And yet you don't know(neither do the prophets themselves) if it comes from God or not.

And surely I hope you don't believe every "wrong" thing a prophet has said can be excused away as "maybe he was making a joke"

All hope ends of a rational discussion if that is your defense.

3GrandKeys
Walnut Creek, CA

FAIR is where members who believe whole heatedly in the correlated LDS teachings they've learned and testified of from their youth can go and have their world shattered. There's a reason this resource is never mentioned to the general membership by the leaders of the church. It holds an index of all things controversial yet factual about Mormonism. I'm grateful the resource was there for me because it had answers that I could trust weren't "anti", but unfortunately for me they weren't faith promoting and instead painted a picture of Mormon faith that was wildly misaligned from the origins of my faith.

Fred Vader
Oklahoma City, OK

Chris:

It doesn't get any simpler than what I and others have already explained.

If you don't believe, then for your own happiness you should move on to what you do believe in.

The Gospel is not a matter of coercion. It is an invitation to eternal happiness. Of course the prophets, other leaders, neighbors, and family continue to reach out to those who believe differently...because they want their friends and family with them in the happiness they have found.

I will not force anyone to believe as I believe. Many posters on here say, "Well what about the Budhist or Muslim or Baptist or Hindu (etc) who believe they received a different answer?" I say great for them! That is not the answer I received, but I wish them happiness in their journey.

All are invited to learn the Gospel of Christ as the LDS Church teaches. However, if you do not receive the answers I and millions of others have received, that is ok, and I wish you well.

atl134
Salt Lake City, UT

@Abeille
"Some would have you believe that this is '...not a reliable source.' Baloney. I have found quite the opposite. Is there anything more sure than when God himself reveals something to you through the Holy Ghost?"

Since that's directed to me by reference, I would reiterate that many people claim many different answers from that very same source, so there's a lot of people who are getting it wrong it would seem. There's no objective standard to determine whether or not the LDS are getting the right answers, or the Catholics, or the evangelicals, and so on. So yes, when it comes to objective discussion, it is not a reliable source because a lot of people go in different directions with what they think is the same source.

It's not rare for someone to take Moroni's challenge and get a no for an answer. Frequently they're then told they weren't sincere. Or maybe... just maybe... you're the ones getting it wrong. Is there an objective way to determine that? I would say no, how do we prove who is right with the Spirit? That's not simple.

RedShirtMIT
Cambridge, MA

To "RanchHand" what do you mean he didn't organize his church like the LDS church is currently organized?

The Bible is clear that he had 12 apostles, we have those.

We have Pastors (Bishops), Priests, and Teachers.

Name one organization that the New Testament mentions that the LDS church does not have.

If Christ didn't organize a church, then why would Paul write to the Ephesians and say "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;"? That sure sounds like the titles used in an organized structure.

Abeille
West Haven, Utah

@atl134 -

Let's think this through. It appears that the crux of your statement boils down to the question 'why would people get different answers to the same question'? There are many reasons why one might sincerely ask a question and get a different response. One example: most people don't want to become Mormon. Becoming a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints morally obligates you to certain restrictions that most don't want to take upon themselves. So, if we accept as fact that all of humanity are his spirit sons and daughters, what would a loving father suggest for a son/daughter who asked whether they should join the Mormon church, but were utterly unprepared (or unwilling) to live its precepts? Getting a 'yes' answer would do the person more harm than good. Think of your own children, if you have any. Would you give the exact same advice to each one of them on all subjects? I submit that you wouldn't - not if you loved them. You'd give them advice based on their situation and abilities.

But the difference in advice given doesn't mean the source is unreliable.

3GrandKeys
Walnut Creek, CA

Redshirt MIT:
Just a minor detail, but the LDS organization has 15 (12+3) apostles.

Can anyone throw me a bone on what the origins of the prophet (president) selection process is? Does the sequential assignment of the most senior surviving apostle have a scriptural basis? Is there a modern revelation associated with this process? Given that the only man with the authority to speak for God on Earth is selected via this process every time its origins ought to be clearly defined, but I have had a real hard time pinning it down. Couldn't even find anything about it by FAIR.

@look_to_god
in flux, UT

I know many have tried to answer the questions posed and I also got the clue that those questioning don't actually want the answer, but I'd thought I'd add my two cents worth anyway.

The first requirement to knowing whether someone's words represent God's will is by living in harmony with God's ways. This is evidenced by knowing and recognizing the workings of the Spirit in your life. Without that, no answer given will ever suffice to lay the question to rest.

To truly have faith and the Spirit, you must have a true understanding of God's character. You can find many of many faiths who recognize His nature, but Spiritual discernment is required. The scriptures are an ideal source to help you recognize the patterns.

With that basis, you can learn to discern the truth, partial truth, or falsehood of what is spoken by ANYONE. Without it, you can only debate, argue, and criticize.

A prophet is not there to do your thinking for you. He is a man like any other who must also learn, grow, and self-correct at times. But a true prophet will lead you right.

sharrona
layton, UT

RE: kvnsmnsn. (Mt 28:19 NIV) “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations=(ethnic, black or white) baptizing them in the NAME of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit”. The Trinity, there are three persons, but one name, one God . See Heb 11:3, Greek Hypostasis( same /substance).

RE: Twin Lights, Paul likely spoke it (Greek). True,
Paul “I will Destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prude”(1 Cor 1:19 KJV). He quotes from the Greek Septuagint Is 29:14.

Where, God denounces the policy of the Wise in Judah seeking an alliance with Egypt against Assyria. Fulfilled ultimately the Jews reject Jesus, Not about the BoM. I.e..

A Marvelous Work and Wonder, a Modern Translation. (Is 29:14 LB.)Therefore I will take awesome vengeance on these hypocrites, and make their wisest counselors as fools.

@Christ almost certainly never spoke (Greek). True, Christ is a title(not his second name) from the Hebrew “Mashiach’ or “Anointed one” which is translated into the Greek “Christos” later anglicized to Christ.

KellyWSmith
Sparks, NV

Christopher,
Once a person knows by the Holy Spirit that the Prophet is God's spokesperson for our time, they don't need to continually question every thing he says. Also, that person will instantly know that if he got some "revelation" to do something against God's teachings he would know that it is not from God, but from another source. Sadly, there are those who as members followed those false revelations and got themselves in trouble. Satan thrives on deception and enslavement.

Most of the inspiration I have received in life has come as a sweet gentle spirit. Other times as a rather forceful urging that has spared my life. Many times it is as a clear thought or pure knowledge and, rarely as an actual penetrating voice of power that cannot be ignored. God's voice is unmistakable for I have heard it very clearly. It cannot be created by any other source.

You will know if a revelation is from God by following this formula: D&C 8:2-4, and also D&C 9:8-9. Please read these verses as it explains it all.

Have faith my friend. He does not prove himself to those who seek signs.

EternalPerspective
Eldersburg, MD

sharrona

The Holy Ghost can "touch" anyone for the purposes of God to enlighten their minds and help move them to belief and action in faith. However, for the Holy Ghost to "tarry" or dwell with a person as a constant companion that they may endure to the end of this life, having progressed spiritually and been sancitfied of sin and unrighteousness, the gift of the Holy Ghost given by the Priesthood ordinance and the laying on of hands is required.

Why else would those of Priesthood authority in the New Testament lay their hands upon people after Baptism as an ordinance to strengthen the spiritual communication with God through the Holy Ghost by way of covenant and commitment to be a disciple of Jesus Christ?

Would not the same ordinance be found in the restoration of Christ's Church? Many Christian faiths have some form of Baptism, but for each and every member, very few if any have the ordinance of the gift of the Holy Ghost by one having authority.

The fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the authority to build up His Church once again was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith and continues today.

joeyslaptop
VANCOUVER, WA

Christopher B,

Where in the Bible does it say that a Prophet is as perfect as Jesus Christ? There was only ever one Jesus Christ - no other prophet can take His place.

All Prophets and Apostles who speak to the church in behalf of God and Jesus Christ are mortal men - just like Moses was a prophet, but was not permitted to go to the promised land with his people; just like Jonah was rebuked by the Lord for his disobedience; just like Joseph Smith was rebuked for mishandling the plates on a few occasions.

The scriptures teach us how to differentiate a true prophet from a false prophet. They also teach us how to recognize the Spirit. Prophets direct the church organization, minister to the members of the church, and speak in the name of God. Although Prophets may not always be perfect throughout their lives, they tend to be awesome spiritual leaders and examples.

1aggie
SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Okay, so far we’ve learned:
1) that prophets don't always speak for God (despite what Brigham Young said);
2) that they don't tell us when they are (speaking for God) or not; we must figure it out ourselves.

Two questions:
1) According to Abeille above, God may deliberately give us the wrong answer, even leading us away from the Church if He does not think we can handle the truth, even if we ask sincerely. So how do we know that everybody who claims to know the truth here has not been not been given the wrong answer to their prayers because of their vanity?
2) People have repeatedly said that using the spirit you can discern the truth, partial truth, or falsehood of what is spoken. If so, then when leaders make mistakes, why does everyone still go along? I had an experience with this and it was mind-boggling.

Christopher.B
Salt Lake, UT

Kelly,

"Once a person knows by the Holy Spirit that the Prophet is God's spokesperson for our time, they don't need to continually question every thing he says"

We're back to square one then with your comment.

How do you know when the prophet is speaking for God or as a man?

Or do you need me to remind you that many prophets have been wrong before?

Christopher.B
Salt Lake, UT

joey,

Did I say a prophet was as perfect as Jesus Chris?

Nope. Where do you guys get this stuff?

All of you seem to be dancing around the issue.

Do you believe your prophets and apostles speak for God?

If yes, how do you know when they are speaking for God and when they are speaking as men?

It's really quite simple the questions I'm asking.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

In reading this thread, it would appear that generally, it is believed that....

Prophets sometimes get revelation and sometimes merely speak their opinion.

Don't you think they would know the difference?
Wouldn't it be helpful if they were differentiated between the two when speaking to the flock?

Why would they leave it up to each individual to figure out?

Sorry, but that makes so sense to me. And it would certainly appear to be confusing to many believers, as indicated by this thread.

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