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Author:  Master_Xan [ Tue Oct 20, 2009 7:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Redirected Mormon thread

This thread has its roots over here.

Quote:
If you hadn't thrown two years of your life down the drain following the brainwashing successors of a liar and con-man you could be a senior now, Xan.

Regardless of whether my religion is true in any way or a complete sham, I will never consider the two years of my mission as wasted time. If (and that's a big if) I were ever to leave the LDS church, it would not change anything about those I helped with very real, tangible problems during those two years. Nor would it change the fact that I grew more in those two years than I ever thought possible; while some of that growth would surely have occurred elsewhere irregardless of my location or daily activities, a great deal of the maturity and personal skills I gained could not have occurred at college or in situations I'm likely to find myself in again.

Quote:
It actually wasn't a joke. I walked away from the mormon 'church' (lower case M intentional) several years ago. I recently came to the realization that they're founded on a lie. I look at the practices that Joe Smith Jr espoused and can't help but think of him as a charlatan. I look at scholarly sources of history from the 1830s and '40s and they don't come close to matching the official history that I grew up being taught. The way I look at Mormonism the mainstreamers are nothing more than apostates. The fundamentalists are the ones following their founder. If you want to be a real Mormon you need to practice polygamy. By the same token the Bible bans the practice. So one must ask themselves, "Do I follow the Bible, or do I follow a book of "scripture" that was "translated" by looking into a hat?" Seems to me that any thinking human being would avoid the cult formed from staring into the hat.

Xan, did you know that Smith "translated" the BOM by staring at a stone in his hat? Did you know that he was marrying 15 year old girls? Are you aware that polygamy was practiced long after the Manifesto? You're a college student. Where are you going to school?

I attend Brigham Young University- Idaho, formerly Ricks College.

What you have said sounds a lot like most other anti-Mormon arguments I've heard since I started elementary school. I didn't grow up in Utah, I lived as a minority and have pretty much heard it all. My personal favorite: "Why do you belong to a church which sacrifices virgins by throwing them off the temple into the Great Salt Lake?" :lol:

My experiences with anti-Mormon people and literature have tended to follow this basic pattern: they say something, I refute it with evidence, they ignore said evidence and, unable to argue against it's validity, bring up some "new" and "startling" way to prove Mormonism wrong. It doesn't matter how many bits of garbage I prove false, the person will continue to bring up more reasons without acknowledging the lack of validity present in their previous points. It's hard to discuss something when one party refuses to accept anything the other says, even if they have no reason not to accept it.

That might have sounded very biased, like I'm calling them stubborn without accepting my own stubbornness. I'm certainly stubborn. But I also admit when I don't know something, I'm more than willing to accept that I don't know everything about my own church, and I'm well aware that other religions also contain truth. A lot of truth. Nor am I an "emotionalist"; if you knew me personally, you'd find me rather logical and not prone to emotional outbursts or basing decisions on emotion alone.

If you think you can have a civil discussion, where both sides can acknowledge when they are wrong or lack evidence to support a claim, I'd be more than happy to discuss anything about the LDS church. I love talking about religion; never had a religious conversation last more than a few minutes without my learning something new or gaining a new perspective. Just let me know and I'll be happy to dive into what you said (and I quoted above) along with anything else you'd like to discuss.

Author:  Mitth_raw_nuruodo [ Tue Oct 20, 2009 11:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Redirected Mormon thread

Master_Xan wrote:
My experiences with anti-Mormon people and literature have tended to follow this basic pattern: they say something, I refute it with evidence, they ignore said evidence and, unable to argue against it's validity, bring up some "new" and "startling" way to prove Mormonism wrong. It doesn't matter how many bits of garbage I prove false, the person will continue to bring up more reasons without acknowledging the lack of validity present in their previous points. It's hard to discuss something when one party refuses to accept anything the other says, even if they have no reason not to accept it.

Funny, that's been my experience with Mormons. I present scholarly data; they in turn don't have an answer. Their response is usually something along the lines of, "That's a great question. Do you know...?" Generally speaking if they're unsure of the answer they change the subject.

Xan, I have but one question for you to start off. Why isn't Jesus enough for a Mormon?

Author:  Master_Xan [ Wed Oct 21, 2009 1:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Redirected Mormon thread

First of all, congrats for asking a question nobody has asked me before. Secondly, I'm not entirely sure I understand the question. What is it you see us adding to Jesus, that He wouldn't be enough?

Author:  Mitth_raw_nuruodo [ Wed Oct 21, 2009 9:45 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Redirected Mormon thread

As I see it, Mormons pay a lot of 'lip service' to Jesus, especially when talking about faith. When you start looking at the religion He seems to be nothing more than a footnote.

Does this make any sense or do I need to try again?

Author:  Master_Xan [ Wed Oct 21, 2009 11:05 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Redirected Mormon thread

Are you talking about the faith vs. works argument? Or something else?

If you are intending faith vs. works, my first comment is to agree with you. In general, members of the LDS church stress works more than we do faith. That isn't the doctrine we teach, but it tends to be how we act. I'll explain how it is doctrinally in a second, but I definitely have seen that many LDS do not appear to grasp the doctrine fully, instead only focusing on parts of it without a greater understanding of the whole. This shouldn't affect any one person's view of the Church, just a failing perhaps of the some member to always grasp the Church's teachings.

Doctrinally speaking, it works something like the classic analogy. Seven year old kid wants a bicycle. Dad says he can have one in a month, but he has to buy it himself. Seven year old saves all his allowance, sells lemonade, whatever; at the end of the month, the Dad takes his kid shopping. The kid realizes that the few dollars he has will not even get close to buying a bicycle, and as he realizes this he becomes sad. The father then steps in, takes what money his son has and makes up the difference so the kid can have a bicycle.

It isn't a perfect analogy, but it works at most levels. God has commanded us to be perfect (Matt 5:48; see also 3 Nephi 12:48). We only have a short time here in mortality to attain perfection. No matter how talented we are, none of us is even remotely capable of becoming perfect in this mortal life. Yet it still stands as truth: no unclean thing can dwell in the presence of God (1 Nephi 15:34, also 1 Cor. 16-17 and Rom. 3:23). As a loving Father, God sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to atone for our sins, thus providing a way for us to be perfectly clean, even though we ourselves have not managed to do so alone. But there are conditions set before the atonement can take effect in our lives.

The most basic condition is we must want it. We must have faith in Jesus Christ and desire for Him to help us. Some Christians stop there, declaring that to be the only requirement (see Rom. 3:28, though there are better scriptures to illustrate their point). Such a view is short-sighted; throughout the scriptures (Bible and Book of Mormon), it is plainly taught that part of true faith is obeying Christ; depending on your interpretation, it is either impossible to be saved without working, or else it is impossible to have true faith without that faith being manifested by your actions. Rom. 6:14-16:
Quote:
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?

(Side note: most of the scriptures referencing "the law" refer to the law of Moses, which by the apostolic period had been fulfilled; in that context, the above quotation may seem inapplicable, hence my other quotations.)

And of course James, who thoroughly denounces any idea of faith alone (James 2:19-20):
Quote:
Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt though know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

And John 14:12:
Quote:
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

Other references include John 10:27, 14:12-24

So, doctrinally, we do the best we can, and Jesus makes up the rest (perfectly summed up in 2 Nephi 25:23). Without Jesus, no amount of work will get you into heaven. But without at least trying to keep His commandments, you aren't going to get there either; we are saved by grace, but grace will not be applied unless we have worked first.

Again, I think some members of the LDS church tend to focus too much on what we have to do, without devoting enough time to studies on grace. In fact, if you asked what the requirements to get into heaven are, I imagine a great many members of the Church will start into a list of things like baptism, without first mentioning faith. That does not however change the Church's doctrine, nor does it change the belief of most LDS that it is by faith, not works, that we are saved. It simply shows what they focus on (despite the occasional attempt from the Apostles to remind them to focus on the whole picture, not just a corner of it).

If that isn't what your question was really addressing, I apologize. If you restated a third time, perhaps I'd get it right?

Author:  Mitth_raw_nuruodo [ Thu Oct 22, 2009 11:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Redirected Mormon thread

That was a really nice monologue. It isn't entirely factual, but it reads nicely.

I feel the need to go back to the beginning. I will not look at BOM, D&C, or POGP quotes as valid. If we start this discussion on the assumption that any one of those three books are divinely inspired scripture then the only logical conclusion is that Mormon Fundamentalism is the only true religion. I'm not going to start from that standpoint. I want to have this discussion, but if you need to use LDS 'scripture' to defend your side it isn't worth my time. I think we can both agree the Bible to be scripture. We may disagree on translations, but I can live with that. I personally see Christianity as my "religion," and will draw from Catholic philosopher/theologians, as well as secular sources. I will cite my sources. Based on your previous post I expect you will continue to cite yours. If you don't, I'll just disregard the argument until it has been cited.

I wasn't asking about faith vs. works. I'll get to that at a later date. I want to know why Mormon's need a tangible, readily visible High Priest. Jesus is my High Priest. There is only supposed to be one at a time. From the time of Moses the Jews had one HP at any given time. Jesus was made HP by God (Hebrews 5:1-10). Chapter four of Hebrews talks about the Resurrected Christ as the current HP. In contrast to Christianity Mormons have many High Priests, thereby replacing Him.

Author:  Bruja [ Fri Oct 23, 2009 12:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Redirected Mormon thread

Mitth_raw_nuruodo wrote:
That was a really nice monologue. ...


Oh my love ... you are rude.

Point being:

1. The question wasn't about faith and works, it was about the fact that faith in Jesus isn't enough. (Going off the temple recommend quesions) you have to believe JS was a true prophet, that Monson is a true prophet, and everyone in between (as well as ALL the general authorities). You have to believe the lds church is the only true and living church, that the standard works are the word of God, believe in the restoration of the gospel, you must renounce all groups that disagree with church teachings, etc. If you reject any of these requirements you are denied entrance to the temple, which brings me to point 2 ...

2. As far as faith and works goes, you need to do works to get into the temple (tithing, word of wisdom, law of chastity, wear your garments, etc), and you have to be endowed & sealed in the temple to live with God and progress to godhood yourself. Ergo, faith in Jesus is not enough for salvation.

Author:  Mitth_raw_nuruodo [ Fri Oct 23, 2009 12:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Redirected Mormon thread

Xan, meet Bruja. Bruja, meet Xan. Xan, this is my fiancee.

Author:  Lord_La_forge [ Fri Oct 23, 2009 10:47 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Redirected Mormon thread

Go on guys, I'm interested in the 'result'

Author:  Mitth_raw_nuruodo [ Fri Oct 23, 2009 12:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Redirected Mormon thread

At this point Bruja and I are just waiting for a rebuttal.

Author:  Master_Xan [ Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Redirected Mormon thread

Hi Bruja!
Mitth_raw_nuruodo wrote:
That was a really nice monologue. It isn't entirely factual, but it reads nicely.

Sorry, as you may have noticed from other posts on the forums I'm not particularly good at being concise. Always afraid of being misunderstood. I'll try to keep it shorter.

I'd rather not "defend" anything. I'm not here to convert anyone, or prove anything to anyone. I enjoy religious discussions and am happy to answer questions or explain things, as I also enjoy asking questions of others. If this comes down to attack/defend, I will excuse myself. As such, I will use LDS scripture, as you can't discuss LDS doctrine without referring to what LDS prophets have said. I will continue to use Biblical verses (as I did above); if you feel you cannot even look at a Book of Mormon verse to see what point I'm trying to make, that is your prerogative. But because I'm not trying to prove my religion is right, I don't see anything wrong with using LDS scripture to explain LDS doctrine.
Lord_La_forge wrote:
Go on guys, I'm interested in the 'result'

I hope you will take away what you will, independent of any of us. Feel free to participate too!
Bruja wrote:
1. (Going off the temple recommend quesions)

Matthew 6:7 wrote:
Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

We believe the things taught in the temple include some of the most sacred doctrines God has ever imparted to man. We limit those who can enter the temple to those who are prepared spiritually and have the experience necessary to understand what goes on in the temple. The recommend questions reflect our desire to keep sacred principles with those willing and able to keep them sacred. For those who don't believe those principles to be truth, it shouldn't matter what requirements we place upon entry. As stated above, if you have true faith in Christ, you will follow His teachings and commandments; likewise, if you believe Jesus has called prophets in latter days, you will have no problem following said prophets. From our perspective, if you can't enter the temple because of the recommend questions, then you aren't ready for what is taught within. As faith develops further and a testimony of God's prophets is obtained, the recommend questions become the basic expectations of acting upon said faith.
Bruja wrote:
...you need to do works to get into the temple... and you have to be endowed & sealed in the temple to live with God and progress to godhood yourself.

Again, those with true faith will find themselves doing these things, regardless of temple requirements. Think dominoes: when the "faith" domino falls, the others fall in succession. Also remember that salvation is different in our eyes than other Christian groups;
John 14:2 wrote:
In my Father's house are many mansions:...
(see also 1 Cor 15:41; 2 Cor 12:2; D&C 76) Just because a person does not enter the temple does not mean they are condemned to Hell for eternity. Even those who never hear the name Jesus Christ may yet be saved by His mercy (1 Peter 4:6). The idea of certain ordinances being necessary should come as no surprise; Jesus Himself said
John 3:5 wrote:
...Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God
As faith develops, a person naturally wants to participate in such ordinances.
Mitth_raw_nuruodo wrote:
I want to know why Mormon's need a tangible, readily visible High Priest. Jesus is my High Priest. There is only supposed to be one at a time.

Hebrews 5:10 wrote:
Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec

Tell me, what is the order of Melchisedec? (or Melchizedek) You said there was one high priest from Moses on... when did this Melchizedek live? Who was he, that he should have an "order" named after him, an order Jesus Himself belongs to, and what is/was this order? What makes you think there should only be one high priest at any given time?

Author:  Mitth_raw_nuruodo [ Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Redirected Mormon thread

This is likely to be my only free two minutes all week. As such I will formulate a proper response when I have the time.

Author:  Master_Xan [ Mon Oct 26, 2009 11:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Redirected Mormon thread

Life comes first my friend. Take all the time you need/want.

Author:  Bruja [ Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Redirected Mormon thread

Master_Xan wrote:
Again, those with true faith will find themselves doing these things, regardless of temple requirements.


I find it ridiculous to imply that a person with true faith in Jesus Christ will automatically desire to give up coffee, tea, pop, beer, tobacco, etc. True faith in Jesus has nothing to do with any of these things, and Jesus himself told us that dietary laws are no longer relevant to God's people, saying, "It is not what enters into the mouth that defiles the man, but what proceeds out of the mouth, this defiles the man." (Mt 15:11)

Master_Xan wrote:
Tell me, what is the order of Melchisedec? (or Melchizedek) You said there was one high priest from Moses on... when did this Melchizedek live? Who was he, that he should have an "order" named after him, an order Jesus Himself belongs to, and what is/was this order? What makes you think there should only be one high priest at any given time?


You took that quote completely out of context. The author was is using the old priesthood to demonstrate the humanity of Jesus, that he, like the high priests of old, were taken from among the people. All we know about Melchizedek is that he offered bread and wine, as Jesus did at the Last Supper, and blessed Abraham. That is the priesthood of Melchizedek, as the author of Hebrews saw Melchizedek as a kind of premonition of Christ.

Author:  Master_Xan [ Mon Oct 26, 2009 11:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Redirected Mormon thread

Bruja wrote:
I find it ridiculous to imply that a person with true faith in Jesus Christ will automatically desire to give up coffee, tea, pop, beer, tobacco, etc. True faith in Jesus has nothing to do with any of these things...

First, what's wrong with pop? Anybody who says the Word of Wisdom includes pop (or caffeine) is badly mistaken. Second, when you have faith in Jesus, you follow His commandments. This leads you to follow the teachings of His prophets. If you believe in modern prophets, you will naturally follow what they say in the name of the Lord just as you would prophets in the Bible. If you don't believe in such modern prophets, of course you won't feel any desire to follow their teachings.
Bruja wrote:
You took that quote completely out of context.

My point was just how important Melchizedek was. He was a high priest. He was greater than Abraham, who was blessed by and took his offerings to Melchizedek. There certainly were high priests before Moses. Obviously no one held the same position as Jesus, as He is THE High Priest. In any dispensation with the Gospel of Christ, there have been high priests, all under the authority of the High Priest (Christ). We find it ridiculous that God would so drastically change the pattern which He has used from the beginning of biblical history (namely, the calling of prophets and others to be His direct representatives on earth). If prophets, then why would God not also fill the other positions just as was done in ancient times?

Jesus prophesied, but prophets cannot replace Jesus. Just the same, high priests cannot and do not replace THE High Priest. The question, at its root, has little to do with high priests and more to do with whether or not God still calls prophets and other servants (and bestows upon them a portion of His power). Although I could quote scriptures and use logic to say prophets are called, the only reason I know its true comes directly from my answers to prayers on the subject.

I'm still curious, what leads you to believe there was/is only one high priest at a time?

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