Brigham Young was a 19th century American whose racial attitudes reflect views
that were not uncommon for his times. I offer that not as a justification, but
as an explanation.
Tyler D,For what it is worth, I have "came and seen" for a
quarter of a century (I am married to an active LDS woman), and frankly, your
observations ring truer than the claims of the apologists on here.
Thanks Twin Lights…@donn - and thank you for reminding me
(actually reading that entire section in JoD did the trick nicely) of not only
what scares me about organized religion, but the totalitarian tendencies
inherent in people who claim to know the “mind of God.” Frankly, I wasn’t quite sure if I was reading the Discourse or an
excerpt from Mein Kampf.
Donn, I have now read in the Journal of Discourses what you quoted to us about
converting a Jew. Of course my first reaction to your post was that we do not
profess to convert a man, that is the work of the Holy Ghost and is subject to
the willingness of the man to be receive truth. But I went ahead and read to be
sure what you were talking about. I now recommend that you continue to read for
a few lines beyond where you found the quote you gave to us, and you will see
that Brigham Young was not saying what could be inferred with just that snippet
of his lecture.Again I invent you, Come and See.
Tyler D,Thank you. I hope that someday you give us a sincere look.
You might like some of the writings by Neal A. Maxwell (an LDS apostle who
passed a few years ago).I suppose the part of church that gets most
toward real individual prayer and meditation is the sacrament (the Lord’s
Supper). Other churches I have attended play music or sing during this time.
In the LDS faith it is quiet (or as quiet as our youngest will allow). It is a
time for real introspection.My favorite story about learning is from
Sister Hinckley – the wife of President Gordon B. Hinckley. Pres.
Hinckley was then 88 years old. Previously he had been a counselor to other
presidents of the church for 14 years and for another 30 years prior to that as
an apostle. Sister Hinckley remarked how much he had changed in the three years
he had been the prophet. I was stunned (I still am). If he was learning and
growing at 88 with that kind of a background, I suppose I could too.
RE: GFuller, I would invite you to come and see. Come and experience for
yourself. We could tell you what we experience in our Church meetings, but
perhaps few of us experience or receive exactly the same. You may not find
anything for you in the meetings on a given Sunday, but on another Sunday you
may receive a full and rich spiritual experience..(JoD V. 2 p.
142)Can you make a Christian of a Jew? I tell you Nay, If a Jew comes into this
church ,and the blood honestly professes to be a Saint, a follower of Christ,
and if the blood of Judah is in his veins, he will apostatize.
TylerD, I know LDS folks are in church a bit longer than most denominations
– is the whole time on Sunday spent in formal church (I assume with
lessons on doctrine, morals, etc.), or is there any time set aside for prayer
groups (real prayer, and not the “God, please help me win the big
game” kind of prayer)?I would invite you to come and see. Come
and experience for yourself. We could tell you what we experience in our Church
meetings, but perhaps few of us experience or receive exactly the same. You may
not find anything for you in the meetings on a given Sunday, but on another
Sunday you may receive a full and rich spiritual experience. I do not identify
anything such as what you describe as "prayer groups" with "real
prayer", but you will on most Sundays, at least in our ward, hear people
testifying of their experiences with personal prayer, prayer with their
families, and/or urging other in the congregation to spend time in communication
with God through prayer and study of the Scriptures. Please, come
and see for yourself.
@Twin Lights – “As to how deep? I am not sure I see the
end…”If I were to ever convert to an organized religion
it would be in part because of dialogue with folks like you. I mean that
sincerely…As to your quote above, I’ve always been drawn
to the writings of the mystics found in all traditions, and Christianity does
have its fair share. The spiritual depths seem very deep indeed and some of the
descriptions of the “kingdom within” sound like your reading about
heaven itself… good stuff. I know LDS folks are in church a
bit longer than most denominations – is the whole time on Sunday spent in
formal church (I assume with lessons on doctrine, morals, etc.), or is there any
time set aside for prayer groups (real prayer, and not the “God, please
help me win the big game” kind of prayer)?
Tyler D,I would disagree. I think that personal transformation is
at the very core. As to how deep? I am not sure I see the end (and I have been
at this for over 35 years). As to Jesus wanting to transform people?
Absolutely and completely so. The Joseph Smith Translation, Luke 4:2 reads
“And after forty days, the devil came unto him, to tempt him” such
that the fasting and tempting were not the same thing in LDS theology but were
sequential events. Conformity as an end is ridiculous but it can be
of help to take cues and learn from those more practiced than ourselves.I have had some minor involvement in Church organization. All of my
experience has been leaders begging and pleading with people to open their
scriptures, get on their knees, and form a personal and powerful bond with God.
Craig Clark: Open Minded is correct in that the Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter Day Saints is the only true and living church of Jesus Christ. It makes
perfect sense that the Lord's Church would encompass all and not just
Christianity. This way there would be no way to mistake the Lord's Church.
The Lord Jesus Christ after his resurrection visited numerous people after his
resurrection. This is completely verified and complete with the coming forth of
the Book of Mormon. It reveals that not only did the Lord visit the American
Hemishere but many others who had never heard or seen of the son. What a
glorious thing it is to have knowledge of such a kind and gracious Heavenly
"....What better way to rectify Judahism, Christianity and Islam than by
having All truth, gathered together into one great whole."______________________________Isn't it the dream of every
religion to become the consummation of all other religions? That doesn’t
make much allowance for learning to accept and respect differences. Maybe the
better way for the world is coming to see God as having cast a much wider net
than just any single religion.
My family lineage is Jewish, so my family has been familar with modern jewish
customs.I have many friends and work associates who are Muslim and
HIindi, and served a LDS mission is Southeast Asia amongst Buddahists.I my experience - Mormonism is not exclusively Christian, but is a
composite of nearly every religion - modern and ancient. What better
way to rectify Judahism, Christianity and Islam than by having All truth,
gathered together into one great whole.
@Twin Lights – “I could not quite believe that these rather ordinary
suburban types were devoted to a very spiritual quest.”Good
point, and it is no doubt what many are hungry for (as opposed to doctrines and
theology). And some of the leaders of your church would seem to agree (e.g.,
David O McKay’s address titled “Consciousness of God”).Still, I think the gnostics were looking to go much deeper (more akin to
what Buddhists do) in terms of spiritual connection and self-transformation.
They saw Jesus as primarily wanting to transform people and took his 40 days in
the desert (rather than some metaphor for wrestling with the Devil) as the
initial path to this transformation. I know you’re familiar
with my gripes against many organized religions, but to me perhaps the saddest
thing I see is that most believers are so caught up in conformity, the
organization, and making sure they have the “correct” beliefs and
doctrines, that what little time they give to prayer and meditation barely
scratches the surface of what is possible in connecting to the Divine.
Tyler D,Agreed that most Christian denominations are heavily
Pauline. Almost to the exclusion of the Gospels (oddly). Not to say they
don't revere the Gospels but some of the things plainly taught therein are
set aside for less plain teachings from Paul.Reference Gnosticism.
I came to the church looking for that spiritual component. At first, I could
not quite believe that these rather ordinary suburban types were devoted to a
very spiritual quest.
"....He eventually concludes that there are three distinct sects within the
Christian movement— the Hebrew Christians, the Pauline Christians and the
Gnostics.______________________________Strange as it may
sound, early Christianity was unconventional before it became orthodox. One
doesn’t become orthodox about something until that something gets
challenged.It’s important to emphasize that the early
Christian communities that came to be labeled heresies, did not see themselves
as heresies. They were competitors in interpreting the life of Jesus. For us to
deem them heretics is to see them through the lens of the orthodox Christianity
which emerged triumphant in the struggle.We owe a lot to the Church
for preserving what knowledge we have of the early so-called heresies. That
said, those groups deserve to be studied and understood in their own right for
what information they might yield on early Christianity.
For those interested in the subject, I would recommend "Apostles and Bishops
in Early Christianity," a compilation of 1954 class notes by then novice BYU
instructor Hugh Nibley edited and completed by John F. Hall and John W. Welsh
after his death. It is amazing how current his comments are, especially in
regard to how the Bishop of Rome gained ascendency over all of the other
It's an interesting premise - that most Christian denominations are Pauline
(which is true) and Mormonism is closer to, say, the kind of Christianity the
apostle James and the author of the Gospel of Matthew wanted. I
couldn't help but feel a little sad though that the Nag Hammadi gospels
were not found by (or delivered by an angel to) a young charismatic genius who
could have spun them into a thriving religion based on the third Christian
movement. Sadly the Gnostic teachings were all but wiped out by the
Orthodox Church, and with it their primary message of self-transformation and
personal responsibility (no vicarious redemption here). And so
today, those who are drawn to that message usually turn east...
First of all, I would like to respond to Mr. antodav ofTAMPA, FL who says:The reason why other Christians don't consider Mormons to be Christians
is quite obvious: their definition of Christianity is flawed, based upon
unbiblical medieval creeds as opposed to the scriptures themselves and the words
of God's appointed prophets.I am sick and tired of hearing all
of the so called Christians in the evangelical world, etc feel so comfortable
stating Mormons are not Christian!! It is simply a false accusation that has
gained a footing in the world, being used to keep sincere followers of Christ
from looking further into the Mormon faith.We believe in God the
Eternal Father and in His Son Jesus Christ and in the Holy Ghost.God the
Father and the Son Jesus Christ have separate bodies of flesh and bone as
tangible as man's, the Holy Ghost does not have a body, or else He could
not dwell in us.Those stating WE are not Christians seem to believe
that Jesus and the Father do not have bodies --- this is the flawed definition,
my friends. Wake up!! We are true Christians.
When the headline has to say "intellectual book" Thou protest too much.
What is the definition of intellectual? Does it mean FAIR and the church will
I'm sure it makes good, interesting points, but I definitely wouldn't
pay $20 for a book like that. The reason why other Christians don't
consider Mormons to be Christians is quite obvious: their definition of
Christianity is flawed, based upon unbiblical medieval creeds as opposed to the
scriptures themselves and the words of God's appointed prophets.
RE: Hebrew Roots of Mormonism' is an intellectual book. True,Joseph Smith(HofC v 4, p 211-12, 1840)These sacrifices ,as well as every
ordinance belonging to the priesthood, will when the Temple of the Lord shall
be built ,and the sons of Levi purified, be fully restored and attended to in
all their powers ramifications, and blessings. This ever did and
will exist when the powers of the Melchisedec Priesthood are sufficiently
manifest; else how can restitution of all things spoken of by the holy prophets
be brought to pass? It is not to be understood that the law of Moses will be
established again with all it rites and variety of ceremonies; this has never
been spoken of by the Prophets; but those things which existed prior to
Moses’ day, namely Sacrifice, will be continued.
I think you will find that much of modern "Christianity" has roots in
Greek theology, and that a lot of the Hebrew theology was tossed out of the
religion by the council of Nice in 325 just as Jewish theology tossed out much
that is today considered to be in only Christian theology in their convention in
Damascus in 350. The modern world sees the two religions as very different. It
is good to see the similarities reviewed once more.
Exactly the point.