While these questions are worthwhile, there are many competing answers out
there. The answers are worth discussing in the rising light of the restoration,
but they are not the meat of the gospel. The meat of the restoration is found
in private moments in deep humble and heartfelt prayer coupled with fasting and
service and the cleansing receipt of the comforter which testifies of Christ.
This is life eternal, to know God and Christ. These are the deep,
pure and still waters. This is the root of love and joy - to know God and
Christ. And to begin to see others as Jacob saw Esau after he
wrestled and received a new name.
RE: What if we were spirit individuals before we were born? What if spirit is
matter more refined, with form and recognizability?… The Natural man
first then the spiritual. e.g., “The first man Adam became a
living being”; the last Adam(Jesus), a life-giving spirit. “The
spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the
spiritual.” The first man(Adam) was of the dust of the earth; the second
man is of heaven.(1Cor 15 45-47 NIV)'Jude 1:6 NIV And the
angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their own
home… Fallen angels(devils) Nothing to with pre mortal being...Col 1:16, For in him all things( including angels) were created: things in
heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers
or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.
Sharrona, what are the "all things" that Colossians 1:16 says in Jesus
were created? Does it literally mean everything that exists? What about Jesus?
Does He exist? Did Jesus create Himself? What about His Father? Does He
exist? Did Jesus create His Father?
The writer's intent is good, but the questions are framed by a Mormon
interpretation of creation, the godhead, and the purpose of life. Harder
questions might include "What is a prophet?" "What is a prophet
supposed to be like?" "Why does God depend upon men to serve and protect
his flock when most of the hardships and threats to the flock come from
men?" Too many of the saints are afraid of questioning authority, a thing
that Joseph taught we must always do. The experiment started on such a positive
and rational foundation, but somewhere in the past 100 years we've become
afraid of asking such questions, afraid of intellectualism. How can we keep the
average member of the Church active while maintaining a balanced dialogue with
those doubters and non-believers who have the most to gain and offer from and to
the restored gospel, the highly intellectual restored gospel that Joseph taught?
The restored gospel is like a giant castle with inexhaustible rooms, stairways,
and secret passages. It is incredibly interesting to explore and ponder. What
an opportunity to ask God for wisdom! Like, what does it mean that mercy can
rob justice? What has to happen for mercy not to rob justice? The sinner is
forgiven, but what about the victim of sin? A deeper understanding of the
atonement brings adoration and awe that adds immensely to the doctrine of
forgiveness.Alexander Campbell, a religious contemporary of Joseph Smith,
sarcastically said that Joseph Smith answered all the great questions, like the
problem of evil. Indeed, Joseph did answer the questions the great Christian
thinkers failed to answer well. Knowledge of these answers makes the restored
gospel come alive. A recent book (The God Who Weeps) deals with these issues
RE: Kvnsmnsn, Sharrona, what are the "all things" that Colossians 1:16.
OK,These are the words of the Amen(Jesus), the faithful and the True
witness, the ruler of God's creation.(Rev 3:14 NIV). The Amen(Jesus) is the
Arch-itech of Creation.The beginning of Gods creation; The best
connection is to be found in the prologue to Johns Gospel (1:1-4) where the
logos(Jesus) is said to be in the beginning (arche) with God, a reference
connected to creation, and v.3 states that all things were made through him. The
connection with the original creation suggests the meaning originator for arche
here. meaning the first cause. The Uncreated creator of all else. See Aseity.Gcrobmd, The big lie ,In Genesis 3 the serpent(devil) tells Adam and Eve
"you will be like God." Mormons believe Adam,s disobedience
was necessary to introduce mortality,(Doctrines of Salvation v. p.115 VS. James
1 13-14 God tempts no one.Did God “set up” someone
(Adam) to disobey, and then die require his Son to die a horrible death to atone
for that disobedience?
This article is very enlightening. The traditional Christian Gospel emphasizes
Jesus and what He did for wretched Man. This article talks about "we",
"our", and "us" 32 times in a few short paragraphs. Only once
in the "gospel" do we hear of Jesus Christ and that only to claim he is
our eldest spirit brother and "redeem its people". "Its"
people? Jesus is God and not an "it". We will not "judge
ourselves". For if we truthfully judge ourselves, each of us, myself
included, would deserve outer darkness. The Gospel is about Jesus, not Man.
Not about what we receive, but what He did.
@ sharrona. God didn't "set up" Adam to disobey, but he does know
all things, including people's weaknesses and provided a laboatory of sorts
where people could respond to the evil that exists independent of God. As
people try out choices and strengthen their character they become people who God
can rely on, rather than the weak helpless people you see if parents sheild and
protect their children from pain or the results of their decisions. And the
beauty of this earth laboratory is Christ caring enough to provide a way out of
the bad decisions each of us inevitably make. If it were in our immortal state
we made these mistakes that man is prone to, we would be forever doomed-- to
"live forever in" our " sins". God's wise; we would sin
regardless. He just made sure it wasn't fatal.
@EasternGirl,"Bad decisions" are sins. Sin is fatal, even the BoM
teaches that sin is fatal. God does not need to "rely" on His creation,
Man. Would the pot say to the potter, "why have you made me this way?"
No because the pot is merely a creation completely at the will of the potter.
The potter does not rely on the pot.What is the "way out"?
Repentance? I have studied the LDS faith and there is one point that is
consistent throughout the standard works, correlated church manuals, and the
teachings of the the modern day leaders, that repentance, in order for it to be
complete and true, includes stopping of all sin and obeying the commandments.
Until you have stopped sinning and no longer require repentance, then your sins
graybeac: Yes, we are to question our leaders. We are then to ask our Heavenly
Father if what our leaders say is TRUE. If our prayer is with a sincere heart
with real intent then you will find that yes what our leaders say is TRUE. This
is why many faithful members of the Church continue to follow the Prophet. The
old questions, Where we came from, Why are we here, and Where are we going are
as relevant or even more relevant that what a prophet is or what a prophet looks
like. What Sharrona and many critics of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter
Day Saints miss is that all Prophets are APOSTLES of Jesus Christ first. That
many of these men have seen and talked with Jesus Christ on more than one
occassion. Though they never talk about it, I believe it to be true just as
many of my faithful saints believe it to be true.I've seen the
mantle fall on every President of the Church since President Ezra Taft Benson.
They are all prophets of our day and their words are just as releveant as the
words of Peter, James and John.
@Bill,Your reference to Moroni's prayer begs the question. If the
hard questions are not answered, such as "What is a prophet" then simply
relying on prayer to affirm a prayer isn't faith, it is sophomoric. I am
sure that you would agree that truth is truth whether you believe it or not.
Just because someone believes and affirms something doesn't make it true.
What if 2 people affirm and believe something is true? How about 100? How
about 1,000,000? 14,400,000? If simply affirming something through prayer makes
something true, anything can become true simply by stating it. According to the
Jehovah's Witnesses, there are 8,000,000 JWs that are active and another
11,000,000 that attend their meetings and services. That is 19,000,000 that
testify and affirm a false belief system. If simply praying and affirming
doesn't make something true, there must be something more. Something
outside of the individual and personal prayer. Truth is truth. What is true
for one is true for all. There is no such thing as personal or arbitrary truth.
The discussion must start at how we know what we know.
@Ahawk89 Why would a potter make a pot if he didn't intend to rely on it
for the purpose he made it for? Wouldn't he want a good pot that
wouldn't leak what he put into it, etc.? Rev. 22:3 (serve him) and Matt
25:23 (ruler over many things) give indications of the purposes he made us for,
he wants us to do those things well. Our mortal probation is set up brilliantly
to strengthen us for those purposes.On the other issue, of course
sins are fatal and cause the 'second death'. Sorry I wasn't
clear, of course the "way out" involves repentance and not continuing to
commit the sin (as all the scriptures detail) so you're right. But I was
right in that that repentance process was made possible by the grace of Christ
offering us the repentance process (made possible only by His atonement) to
change our sinful selves and cleanse ourselves from sin.
RE: Eastern girl If it were in our immortal state . Not Biblical, Adam=(man
H,120) did not come into the garden of Eden with a celestial body he had an
earthly body. … “The spiritual did not come first, but the
natural, and after that the spiritual.” The first man(Adam) was of the
dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven.(1Cor 15 45-47 NIV).Origen believed in the Platonic pre-existence and transmigration of souls. The
Council of Constantinople in 453 CE posthumously excommunicated him.Jude 1:6 NIV And the angels who did not keep their(first estate) positions of
authority but abandoned their own home… Fallen angels(devils) Nothing to
do with pre mortal being..God existed before time, implying he
created time. (2Tim 1:9 & Titus 1:2) . God gives the spirit. Ecc 12:7.RE: Bill in Nebraska, question our leaders. Be like,…The Berean
Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received
the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if
what Paul said was true(Acts 17:11 NIV)
@EasternGirl,The comment simply asks, "For what does God need from us,
His creation?" All we have has been given to us by Him. The problem lies
in the word "rely". Yes, we are to worship Him and serve Him, and love
Him. Those are things we are called to do, but God does not rely upon Man for
anything. We are all broken pots, unreliable and weak. None are strong because
all have failed through sin. God cannot rely on broken man. We already
leak!!!It is only through Jesus and what He did, as the only unbroken man,
wholly God and wholly man, without sin, that we can rely upon. That is were our
faith must rest, in Jesus. He did it because we cannot. When we stand for
judgement, we are seen not as the broken pots we are, but as the unbroken,
perfect Jesus Christ. My faith rests in Jesus and the fact that His perfection
is imputed to me, through no merit of my own. I cannot be relied upon. My
works amount to nothing because whatever I put into myself through works leaks
out of my broken self.
@Ahawk89. I'm glad you feel so strongly about your faith in Jesus Christ, I
do, too. But we do differ on the details. I notice that you skipped the verse
that talks about, "I will make you ruler over many things." Matt.
25:23. Was that an oversight, or does that concept make you uncomfortable? It
is a concept supported by Christ's command to ' be ye therefore
perfect", also the whole refiner's fire theme repeated many places (If
the end result was useless people, what is the purifying refiner's fire
about?). I'm glad God provided this earth life as an
opportunity to get stronger, more patient, kind, good etc. And I'm just as
glad that Christ was willing to make up the difference when even after all I can
do, I'm not perfect. But even though I know I will fall short I believe
God expects me to keep repenting and trying. Have a good day!