Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ever Wondered Why You Can't Remember the 'Pre-existences'?

by Rocky Hulse


     Mormonism teaches that we all lived in a pre-existent life before we were born on this earth.  Is this doctrine taught in the Bible?  NO! So this whole concept is outside the teachings of Christianity – it is in fact, anti-Christian!
     For those who have been to our seminar, find the “Mormon Plan of Eternal Progression” chart that we handed out and review the left hand side.  In the top left corner the chart begins with a globe labeled “Intelligences-Eternal Matter.”  Mormon doctrine believes that everyone who ever lived, or will ever live on this earth, always existed as ‘pure intelligence’.
     On the chart, the globe directly below “Intelligences-Eternal Matter” is labeled “Spirit World” and in between the two globes is inserted the statement: “Spirit Children born of God & Wife.”  The Mormon belief is that God has celestial sexual relations with his wife(s) and when she (they) become celestially pregnant, through a cosmic phenomena, some of the eternally existing ‘pure intelligence’ becomes the spirit that is carried  by the celestial wife of God, and nine months later is born as an infant spirit into the “Spirit World.”
     If we lived before, as the Mormon doctrine claims, why don’t we remember it?  Well, the Mormon Church has a rather bizarre explanation as to why we cannot remember our pre-existence.  Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt provided this explanation from a speech recorded in the “Journal of Discourses” and from his book “The Seer.”

(1)  “A great many people have supposed that the spirit which exists in the tabernacle [human body], for instance, of an infant, is of the same size as the infant tabernacle [human body] when it enters therein; No one will dispute that it is of the same size when it is enclosed therein; but how large was the spirit before it entered the tabernacle?  Was it a full grown male or female spirit, or was it a little infant spirit in its pre-existent state? We have no account that I know of, in any revelation which God has given, of any infant spirit coming from the eternal worlds to take infant bodies; but we have an opposite account in the revelations which God has given; for if we turn to the Book of Ether [Book of Mormon] we shall find that the Lord Jesus, who was one of these spirits, and the first-born of the whole family, was a personage like unto a man, without flesh, blood or bones, but a full-grown spirit, thousands of years before he came to take his infant tabernacle…When all these spirits were sent forth from the eternal worlds, they were, no doubt, not infants; but when they entered the infant tabernacle, they were under the necessity, the same as our Lord and Savior, of being compressed, or diminished in size so that their spirits could be enclosed in infant tabernacles. If their bodies die in infancy, do their spirits remain infants in stature between death and the resurrection of the body? I think not.” (Journal of Discourses, Vol 16, pp 333-335)(brackets mine)

     So, we have seen thus far that Mormonism believes we all existed in the pre-existent ‘Spirit World’ as adult sized spirits.  When we were born into this world, we had to be compressed to fit into our infant bodies.  Now, let’s see Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt’s explanation as to why we can’t remember our pre-mortal state:

(2)  “When Jesus was born into our world, his previous knowledge was taken from Him: this was occasioned by His spiritual body being compressed into a smaller volume than it originally occupied.  In His previous existence, His spirit, as the Scriptures testify, [Mormon scriptures] was of the size and form of man; when this spirit was compressed, so as to be wholly enclosed in an infant tabernacle, it had a tendency to suspend the memory; and the wisdom and knowledge, formerly enjoyed, were forgotten. …So it is with man.  When he enters a body of flesh, his spirit is so compressed and contracted in infancy that he forgets his former existence, and has to commence, as Jesus did, at the lowest principles of knowledge, and ascend by degrees from one principle of intelligence to another. Thus he regains his former knowledge; and by showing himself approved through every degree of intelligence, he is counted worthy to receive more and more, until he is perfected and glorified in truth, and made like his elder brother, possessing all things. (The Seer, p. 21)(brackets mine)

     Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt, who would have been the fourth Prophet of the Church had he lived long enough, says the reason we cannot remember the ‘Pre-existence’ is because our adult sized spirits could not fit into our infant bodies at birth and when our adult spirits were compressed to infant size, we forgot: “When he enters a body of flesh, his spirit is so compressed and contracted in infancy that he forgets his former existence..”

     Folks, there is no Biblical support for ‘Pre-existence’, it is anti-Christian.  It is purely a Mormon unique doctrine; just one of many.  There is no fundamental or historical Christian support for this doctrine.  All Christian doctrines come from the Bible, God’s inerrant word.  To advocate that humans do not recall their ‘pre-existent state’ because their adult sized spirit had to be compressed to fit into an infant body, and that compression caused memory loss, is simply ludicrous!



© Copyright 2002 Mormon Missions Midwest Outreach, Inc. All Rights Reserved. —Permission is granted to reproduce, provided content is not changed and this copyright notice

112 comments:

  1. So what they're saying is, my soul is like a zip file? haha

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  2. Rocky, do you have a reference from official LDS Church doctrine stating precisely to the fullest extent that God literally had "sexual relations with his wife(s)" in order to create the pre-existent spirits that would, according to LDS beliefs, inhabit fleshly tabernacles?

    Probably more than anything else, including the "compression" of spirits when entering mortality, is the doctrine of the "veil of forgetfulness" wherein the spirits who were once with God pass through the veil and into their fleshly tabernacles. St. Paul spoke of this veil as "seeing through a glass darkly" according to 1 Cor. 13:12.

    You have stated, quite clearly that "there is no fundamental or historical Christian support for" the doctrine of the preexistence. But what of Clement, who when commenting on the text of Jeremiah 1:5 said:

    "…the Logos is not to be despised as something new, for even in Jeremiah the Lord says, 'Say not;I am too young,' for before I formed thee in the womb I knew thee, and before thou camest forth from thy mother I sanctified thee.' It is possible that in speaking these things the prophet is referring to us, as being known to God as faithful before the foundation of the world."

    What then, of Origen? According to Allen Wyatt:

    "Writing in the third century, he stated a belief that differences evident among men on earth were attributable to differences in rank and glory attained by premortal angels. According to Origen, God could not be viewed as "no respecter of persons" without such a premortal existence. In fact, if the differences of men on earth were not related in some way to our premortal condition, then God could be viewed as arbitrary, capricious, and unjust. Origen felt that just as there would a judgment after this life, that a sort of judgment had already taken place based on our premortal merit, with the result being the station to which we were appointed in this life. As an example of this concept supported in the bible, Origen referred to the Old Testament story of Jacob being preferred over Esau. Why was this so? According to Origen, because "we believe that he was even then chosen by God because of merits acquired before this life."

    "Belief in a premortal life was not confined to various early church fathers. In the course of his writings the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus wrote about the beliefs of the Essenes. He reported they believed "that the souls are immortal, and continue for ever." He further related that the Essenes believed that the souls of men "are united to their bodies as in prisons" and that when the spirits are set free they are "released from a long bondage" and ascend heavenward with great rejoicing. Josephus' description of Essene doctrine has surely taken on greater validity in light of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls at Qumran. Together these records provide primary evidence that contemporaries of Christ and the apostles had a belief in a premortal life-a belief which is validated by the bible itself..."

    I find it interesting Rocky, that you've made no attempt whatsoever to engage LDS teachings on the pre-existence rooted in the Bible, and cited most often by LDS missionaries.

    Consider the following:

    John 9:1-3, Jude 1:6, Job 38:1-7, Eccl. 12:7, Zech. 12:1, Num. 16:22, 27:16. Rom. 8:29, Eph. 1:4.

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  3. Hi Tyler, I'm going to answer your question with some latter-day saint quotes. Now, I'm not going to get into a discussion on what you think Mormon Doctrine is, because I'm sure your interpretation is different then mine. Needless to say, there is plenty of evidence that Rocky is absolutely correct in his article about 'celestial sex', and that it was taught by the authorities of the Mormon Church.

    Take for example, this question & answer sent in to the 'Liahona, The Elders Journal, in 1908. Brigham Young, of course had been teaching for years that Adam came into the Garden a resurrected man, and brought Eve (one of his many wives with him). Some say that this doctrine (known as Adam-god) was never taught, or misunderstood, or was Young's opinion, and that it was only taught to a 'limited' number of LDS.

    The following quote shows you how wrong this is, because the doctrine is still being bandied about as late as 1908, as seen by the following question:

    Q. As Adam was an immortal being when placed here on earth and commanded to multiply, would not his offspring have been immortal but for the fall? M.P.F. Logan, Utah

    “Yes. But they would have had SPIRITUAL BODIES ONLY, and not bodies of flesh, blood and bone. When Adam and Eve were first placed in the Garden THEY HAD RESURRECTED BODIES, in which there was no blood. Consequently, they had not power to beget children WITH TABERNACLES OF FLESH, such as human beings possess. The fall caused a change in their bodies, which, while it rendered them mortal, AT THE SAME TIME GAVE THEM POWER TO CREATE MORTAL BODIES OF FLESH, blood and bone for their offspring. This is a very brief explanation of a very important subject.” -Samuel O. Bennion, Liahona, The Elders Journal, Vol. 6, pg. 33 (June 27, 1908)

    You are getting the drift of this, are you not Tyler? Bennion went on to become a member of the First Council of the Seventy.

    Then we have Young's teachings as recorded by L. John Nuttall:

    "We have heard a great deal about Adam and Eve. . . Well, he was made of the dust of the earth, but not this earth. He was made just the same way you and I are made but on another earth. Adam was an immortal being when he came on this earth. He had lived on an earth similar to ours. He had received the Priesthood and the keys thereof. And had been faithful in all things and gained his resurrection and his exaltation and was crowned with glory, immortality and eternal lives and was numbered among the Gods, for such he became through his faithfulness. And had BEGOTTEN ALL THE SPIRITS that was to come to this earth. And Eve our common Mother, who is the mother of all living, BORE THOSE SPIRITS in the celestial world… Adam and Eve had the privilege to continue the work of Progression. . . I felt myself much blessed in being permitted to associate with such men and hear such instruction as they savored of life to me.” -Diary of John Nuttall, pg. 119-121-

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  4. Pretty plain and easy to understand, right? But if you need a little more:

    “We say”. . . that Father Adam came here and helped to make the earth. Who is he? He is Michael, a great prince, and it was said to him by Eloheim, "Go ye and make an earth." . . . Adam came here and got it up in a shape that would suit him to commence business . . . . Father Adam came here, and then they brought his wife. "Well," says one, "Why was Adam called Adam?" He was the first man on the earth, and its framer and maker. He with the help of his brethren, brought it into existence. Then he said, "I want my children who are in the spirit world to come and live here. I once dwelt upon an earth something like this, in a mortal state. I was faithful, I received my crown and exaltation. I have the privilege of extending my work, and to its increase there will be no end. I want my children THAT WERE BORN TO ME in the spirit world to come here and take tabernacles of flesh, that their spirits may have a house, a tabernacle or a dwelling place as mine has…” (Young, - Discourse, June 8, 1873)

    April 9, 1852: Part of remarks of Brigham Young: "I will now preach you a sermon. There is one great Master and Head in all kingdoms and government. So with our Father in Heaven. He is a tabernacle. He created us in the likeness of His own image. The Son has also a tabernacle like to the Fathers and the Holy Ghost is a minister to the people but not a tabernacle who begot the Son of God. Infidels say that Jesus was a bastard but let me tell you the truth concerning that matter. Our Father begot all the spirits that were before any tabernacle was made. When our Father CAME INTO THE GARDEN, He came with his celestial body and brought one of his wives with him and ATE OF THE FRUIT of the garden UNTIL He could beget a tabernacle. AND ADAM IS MICHAEL OR GOD AND ALL THE GOD WE HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH. They ate of this fruit and formed the first tabernacle that was formed. And when the Virgin Mary was begotten with child, it was by the Father and in no other way ONLY AS WE WERE BEGOTTEN. I WILL TELL YOU THE TRUTH OF IT AS IN GOD. The world doesn't know that Jesus Christ our Elder Brother was begotten by our Father in Heaven.

    Handle it as you please. It will either seal the damnation or salvation of man. He was begotten by the FATHER and not by the Holy Ghost. When you go to preach and believe that Jesus Christ was begotten by the Holy Ghost, don't lay hands upon the heads of females for the reception of the Holy Ghost lest it beget her with child. And you be accused. I have told you nothing in this thing hut what you have read in the Bible. I do not frame it." (Woodruff Journal, entry for that date)

    Only as we were begotten. Can't get more specific than that. Young also said:

    "After men have . . . become Gods," he said, "they have the power then of propagating their species IN SPIRIT . . . and then commence the organization of tabernacles. . . How can they do it? HAVE THEY TO GO TO THAT EARTH? Yes, an Adam will have to go there, and he cannot do without Eve; he must have Eve to commence the work of generation, and they will go into the garden, and continue to eat and drink of the fruits of the corporal world, until his grosser matter is diffused sufficiently through their celestial bodies to enable them, according to the established laws, TO PRODUCE MORTAL TABERNACLES FOR THEIR SPIRIT CHILDREN. August 28, 1852 discourse, reported in JD 6:274-75; also found in DN, September 18, 1852.

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  5. Young again:

    “But let us turn our attention to the God with which we have to do. I tell you simply, he is our father; the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the father of our spirits. Can that be possible? Yes it is possible, he is the father of all the spirits of the human family. . . I tell you more, ADAM was IS THE FATHER OF OUR SPIRITS. He live upon an earth; he did abide his creation, and did honor to his calling and preisthood [sic], and obeyed his master or Lord, and probably many of his wives did -aise (the same) and they lived, and died upon an earth, and [then] were resurrected again to immortality and eternal life

    . . . I will tell you what I think about it [i.e., the identity of the Savior], (and what the revelations say) as the say I rekon, and as the Yankys say I guess; but I will tell you what I reakon. I reakon that father Adam was a resurrected being, with his wives and posterity, and in the Celestial kingdom they were crowned with glory and immortality and eternal lives, with throwns principalities and powers: and it was said to him it is your right to organise the elements; and to your creations and posterity there shall be no end . . . . Adam then was a resurrected being; and I reakon, OUR SPIRITS and the spirits of all the human family WERE BEGOTTEN BY ADAM, AND BORN OF EVE.

    "How are we going to know this?" Young asked his audience:. "I reakon it . . . ." I reakon that Father Adam, and mother Eve had the children of the human family prepared to come here and take bodies; and when they come to take bodies, they enter into the bodies prepared for them; and that body gets an exaltation with the spirit, when they are prepared to be crowned in fathers kingdom.

    What, into ADAM’S kingdom? Yes.

    . . . I tell you, when you see your father Adam in the heavens, you will see Adam; When you see your Mother that BEAR YOUR SPIRIT, you will see mother EVE .

    . . .I commenced with father Adam in his resurrected state, noticed our spiritual state, then our temporal or mortal state, [and] traveled until I got back to father Adam again . . .. Discourse, October 8, 1854, Brigham Young Papers, LDS Archives. Young followed his "text" (paraphrased from the Bible, I Corinthians viii, 5-6) with some remarks about his disbelief in the biblical story of Adam's creation, which became clearer from some remarks made one year later when Young stated that he had "not read the Bible for many years," partly due to a professed lack of time. After citing a passage from the Bible, Young said:

    "I feel inclined here to make a little scripture. . . . [W]ere I under the necessity of making scripture extensively I should get Bro. Heber C. Kimball to make it, and then I would quote it. I have seen him do this when any of the Elders have been pressed by their opponents, and were a little at a loss; he would make a scripture for them to suite the case, that never was in the bible, though none the less true, and make their opponents swallow it as the words of an apostle, or [one] of the prophets. The Elder would then say, 'Please turn to that scripture, (gentlemen) and read it for yourselves.' No, they could not turn to it but they recollected it like the devil for fear of being caught. I will venture to make a little." (Discourse,
    October 8, 1854, Brigham Young Collection, LDS Archives)

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  6. It is noteworthy that this sermon constituted one of Young's most forceful statements on Adam-God. As Young explained, what mattered was that his words were given by the power of Holy Ghost. Again, this was a frequent theme during his administration as president of the church.

    The gist of Young's speech is also to be found in the John Pulsipher Papers, October 8, 1854, LDS Archives.

    Concerning the above sermon (the one with I rekon) Woodruff said this in his diary:

    "I believe that He preach[ed] the greatest sermon that was ever delivered to the Latter Day Saints since they have been a People." - WWJ, October 8, 1854. Woodruff noted that J. D. Watt and himself recorded the conference minutes. Young's preliminary remarks suggest that this speech was given in response to Orson
    Pratt's objections to the Adam-god doctrine.
    Once again, to be clear, Young said:

    ADAM was an immortal being when he came on this earth; HE HAD LIVED ON AN EARTH SIMILAR TO OURS; he had received the Priesthood and the keys thereof, and had been faithful in all things and GAINED HIS RESURRECTION AND EXALTATION, and was crowned with glory, immortality and eternal lives, and was NUMBERED WITH THE GODS, for such he became through his faithfulness, and had BEGOTTEN ALL THE SPIRIT that was to come to this earth. And EVE our common Mother who is the mother of all living BORE THOSE SPIRITS IN THE CELESTIAL WORLD. (Nuttall Diary, source quoted above).

    So, Resurrected beings have spirit babies in the same way we have babies here, but the same process. This is all very cut and dry, and easy to understand, unless you are purposefully trying to evade the issue. _johnny


    P.S. Can you give the references for Origen & Clement? You did not give any. Please provide them, and I will deal with the DSS, Early Church Fathers and the Bible on the Pre-existence. Thanks.

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  7. Grindael-

    You've posted several quotations dealing with the "begetting" of Spirits in the pre-existence. Yet none of these quotes, not one, explicitly specifies that an actual sexual union takes place between the Creator(s). The specification for "how" the begetting took place as being regarded as a sexual union to the fullest extent that it is in mortality is to say the least, speculatory in nature. I also asked for official Church statements (i.e. First Presidency letters) clarifying what the Church's actual stance was. Each General Authority is entitled to their own opinions, which have at times been conflicting, something demonstrably understandable in such instances as the disputes between Peter and Paul. Brigham Young may well have been trying to introduce a new doctrine, yet never clarified in the fullest sense, what the Adam-God statements meant. Thus, in the long run it was Orson Pratt's view that won the day. The fact that it was never accepted by the Church as an official doctrine does not make the statements binding on my faith whatsoever.

    How can we have spirit babies in precisely the same way we have babies in mortality when spirit babies don't have bodies of tabernacle? I don't dispute that spirits are born of Heavenly parents. However, I do dispute the noting that somehow that implies that these spirits are born as a result of a sexual union between two Resurrected personages.

    Until you answer these issues, I see no reason to provide the references to Origen and Clement, as it would only bog down the text and overcomplicate the statements themselves.

    And I'd like to hear from Rocky, who more than anyone is accountable for what he publishes here.

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  8. Since common sense goes out the window with some, suit yourself, Tyler. As for the references, cutting and pasting has it's drawbacks. It's all right though, if you don't know...just say so.

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  9. Grindael, "common sense" didn't go out the window. If you want to resort to ad hominem instead of answering my questions I'd posted directly in the first place, just remember that it "has its drawbacks" too. Clement's quote comes from Patrologiae… Graeca, 8:321. Origen's, from Patrologiae… Graeca 9:230–231.

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  10. Tyler, do you believe that Ezra Taft Benson was a "Prophet" of God? As a Mormon, of course you do. He taught the following: "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints proclaims that Jesus Christ is the Son of God in the most literal sense. The body in which He performed His mission in the flesh was sired by that same Holy Being we worship as God, our Eternal Father. Jesus was not the son of Joseph, nor was He begotten by the Holy Ghost. He is the Son of the Eternal Father." (Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, pg 7)

    Tyler, words mean things, and this Mormon "Prophet" used the word "sired" in reference to the means in which Jesus was physically created.

    Now let's lay that alongside Brigham Young, teaching in the Tabernacle in SLC, as the "Prophet" of the Church, 2/8/1857, recorded in J of D, vol 4, pg 218: "When the time came that His first-born, the Saviour, should come into the world and take a tabernacle, the Father came Himself and favoured that spirit with a tabernacle instead of letting any other man do it. The Saviour was begotten by the Father of His spirit, by the same Being who is the Father of our spirits, and that is all the organic difference between Jesus Christ and you and me."

    Words mean things. Why did Brigham Young say "the Father came Himself and favoured that spirit with a tabernacle instead of letting any other man do it." Now as a mortal man, how other than physical intercourse can I produce a child? The wording by Brigham says God had to come to earth to do it rather than let any other man do it. If Jesus was created in some spiritual miracle, why did God have to come here and do that? God could have commanded a spiritual event from his abode on high; however, Brigham says God had to come here and be physically present, that can only be because he had to "physically" act and his "physical" presence was required. Brigham also said the only "organic" difference between Jesus Christ and you and me was who supplied the fertilization for the egg.

    President Ezra Taft Benson clearly contradicts the Bible and says the Holy Ghost was not involved.

    Let's see, two Mormon "Prophets" use words that cannot be construed to mean anything other than sexual intercourse. Are you calling them false prophets or false teachers?

    What is your position in the "Church" that I should believe you over two Mormon Prophets?

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  11. Rocky-

    Just as you have in the past, you've sought to minimize those who disagree with your assertions by placing a fundamentalist interpretation on the words of previous LDS Church leaders.

    The term "sire" literally means "father" or "forefather." It is still used to describe a "Lord" in a monarchy as a substance provider and authoritative leader. Do Latter-day Saints believe that Christ was born of a literal Father in Heaven and Mary? Absolutely. Is it Latter-day Saint doctrine that the precise means of Christ's miraculous conception was an act of sexual intercourse? Absolutely not.

    At the time you were launching your diatribe against the Romney campaign, and shortly after the publication of your book, Church officials sat down with Fox News in order to clarify the facts concerning the claims against Mormonism raised by various fundamentalist Protestant groups such as your own. Concerning the doctrine of the Virgin Birth, Church leaders confirmed the notion that Christ was the literal Son of God, however had this to say about the conception of Christ:

    "The Church does not claim to know how Jesus was conceived but believes the Bible and Book of Mormon references to Jesus being born of the Virgin Mary." http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,317272,00.html

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  12. If we must include President Benson's statements on the matter, consider the following, also from President Benson:

    "He was the Only Begotten Son of our Heavenly Father in the flesh—the only child whose mortal body was begotten by our Heavenly Father. His mortal mother, Mary, was called a virgin, both before and after she gave birth." http://library.lds.org/nxt/gateway.dll/Magazines/Ensign/1986.htm/ensign%20march%201986%20.htm/first%20presidency%20message%20joy%20in%20christ.htm?fn=document-frameset.htm$f=templates$3.0

    As a point of reference to this statement, President Benson cites 1 Nephi 11, which among other things, states this:

    "And he said unto me: Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh. And it came to pass that I beheld that she was carried away in the Spirit; and after she had been carried away in the Spirit for the space of a time the angel spake unto me, saying: Look! And I looked and beheld the virgin again, bearing a child in her arms." (1 Nephi 11:18-20).

    You insist that President Benson "contradicts" the Bible because you claim he didn't believe the Holy Ghost was involved in the conception of Christ. Read 1 Nephi 11 (the reference Benson cited) and retract your statement.

    Elder Bruce R. McConkie also stated:

    "Our Lord is the only mortal person ever born to a virgin, because he is the only person who ever had an immortal Father. Mary, his mother, "was carried away in the Spirit" (1 Ne. 11:13-21), was "overshadowed" by the Holy Ghost, and the conception which took place "by the power of the Holy Ghost" resulted in the bringing forth of the literal and personal Son of God the Father. (Alma 7:10; 2 Ne. 17:14; Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38.) Christ is not the Son of the Holy Ghost, but of the Father. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, pp. 18-20.) Modernistic teachings denying the virgin birth are utterly and completely apostate and false." (Mormon Doctrine, 822)

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  13. Finally, did the Father literally (in the same sense as it has always been understood) have sexual intercourse with Mary in order to conceive the Christchild? The specious claims you place on LDS Church leader’s statements are grossly distorted and misunderstood.

    From President Harold B. Lee:

    “We are very much concerned that some of our Church teachers seem to be obsessed of the idea of teaching doctrine which cannot be substantiated and making comments beyond what the Lord has actually said.
    You asked about the birth of the Savior. Never have I talked about sexual intercourse between Deity and the mother of the Savior. If teachers were wise in speaking of this matter about which the Lord has said but very little, they would rest their discussion on this subject with merely the words which are recorded on this subject in Luke 1:34-35: "Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God."
    Remember that the being who was brought about by [Mary's] conception was a divine personage. We need not question His method to accomplish His purposes. Perhaps we would do well to remember the words of Isaiah 55:8-9: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
    Let the Lord rest His case with this declaration and wait until He sees fit to tell us more.” (Teachings of Harold B. Lee, 14)

    Concerning the statements of previous Church leaders that may appear out of harmony with current LDS doctrines, the Church released this statement in 2007:

    Not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. A single statement made by a single leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, but is not meant to be officially binding for the whole Church. With divine inspiration, the First Presidency...and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles...counsel together to establish doctrine that is consistently proclaimed in official Church publications. This doctrine resides in the four “standard works” of scripture (the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price), official declarations and proclamations, and the Articles of Faith. Isolated statements are often taken out of context, leaving their original meaning distorted.
    —LDS Newsroom, "Approaching Mormon Doctrine," lds.org (4 May 2007)

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  14. “God the Father came down in his tabernacle of FLESH AND BONE and had ASSOCIATION with Mary, and MADE HER PREGNANT with Jesus." - Apostle Franklin D. Richards (July 21, 1887)

    "The birth of our Savior was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of NATURAL ACTION. He partook of FLESH AND BLOOD--was begotten of his father, AS WE WERE of our fathers." ( Brigham Young - JoD, vol. 8, p. 115).

    "Our Lord is the only mortal person ever born to a virgin, because he is the only person who ever had an immortal Father." (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed., p. 822)

    "The Father came down and begat him, THE SAME AS WE DO NOW..." (The Complete Discourses of Brigham Young, vol. 1, p. 321; February 16, 1849, Salt Lake City)

    "I believe the Father came down from heaven, as the Apostles said he did, and begat the Saviour of the world; for he is the only-begotten of the Father, which could not be if the Father did not actually BEGET HIM IN PERSON." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 1, p. 238)

    "As God the Father BEGAT the fleshly body of Jesus, so He, before the world began, BEGAT HIS SPIRIT. As the body required an earthly Mother, so his spirit required a heavenly Mother. As God associated IN THE CAPACITY OF A HUSBAND with the earthly mother, so likewise he associated IN THE SAME CAPACITY with the heavenly one; EARTHLY THINGS BEING IN THE LIKES OF HEAVENLY THINGS; and that which is TEMPORAL being in the likeness of that which is ETERNAL; or, in other words, the laws of generation upon the earth are after the order of the laws of generation in heaven" (Pratt, The Seer, pp. 158-9; cf. B. H. Roberts, Defense of the Faith and the Saints, vol 2, p. 270)

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  15. "Mary told the story most beautifully when she said that an angel of the Lord came to her and told her that she had found favor in the sight of God, and had come to be worthy of the fulfilment of the promises heretofore made, to become the virgin mother of the Redeemer of the world. She afterwards, referring to the event, said: 'God hath done wonderful things unto me.' 'And the Holy Ghost came upon her,' is the story, 'and she came into the presence of the highest.' No man or woman can live in mortality and survive the presence of the Highest except by the sustaining power of the Holy Ghost. So it came upon her to prepare her for admittance into the divine presence, and the power of the Highest, who is the Father, was present, and overshadowed her, and the holy Child that was born of her was called the Son of God.

    Men who deny this, or who think that it degrades our Father, have no true conception of the sacredness of the most marvelous power with which God has endowed mortal men---THE POWER OF CREATION. Even though that power MAY BE ABUSED and may become a mere HARP OF PLEASURE to the wicked, nevertheless it is the most sacred and holy and DIVINE FUNCTION with which God has ENDOWED MAN. Made holy, IT IS RETAINED BY THE FATHER OF US ALL, and in his exercise of that great and marvelous creative power and function, HE DID NOT DEBASE HIMSELF, degrade himself, nor DEBAUCH his daughter. Thus Christ became the LITERAL Son of a divine Father, and no one else was worthy to be his father." (Sermons and Missionary Services of Melvin J. Ballard, p. 167)

    ‎"Without overstepping the bounds of propriety by saying MORE THAN IS APPROPRIATE, let us say this: God the Almighty, who once dwelt on an earth of his own and has now ascended the throne of eternal power to reign in everlasting glory; who has a glorified and exalted body, a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's; who reigns in equity and justice over the endless billions of his spirit children who inhabit the worlds without number that roll into being at his word---God the Almighty, who is infinite and eternal, elects, in his fathomless wisdom, to beget a Son, an Only Son, the Only Begotten in the flesh. God, who is infinite and immortal, condescends to step down from his throne, TO JOIN with one who is finite and mortal in bringing forth, ‘after the manner of the flesh,' the Mortal Messiah." (McConkie - The Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary, pp. 314-315)

    Why would they say, 'by saying more than is appropriate', if it is not about sexual intercourse? Of course it is, as all these quotes attest. Why would Ballard then say the Father 'did not debase himself', or debauch his daughter? Because says Ballard, even though the power may be abused and become a mere harp of pleasure to the wicked, it is a most sacred and holy and divine function of man. What is that power? 'The exercise of that great and marvelous creative power and function....

    Like I said Tyler, common sense tells one what these statements mean, and it is not about what is accepted by a vote Mormon Doctrine, since your Church has not always used that to go by. (When was the Priesthood ban voted on as ‘Mormon Doctrine’? Why did Smith practice polygamy in secret for all his life without a church vote? etc, etc. These were still doctrines in your Church.) The Mormon God had sex with Mary, and that is how ‘spirit babies’ are made in heaven as the quotes above show very clearly. Rocky IS CORRECT, as usual. _johnny

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  16. Brigham Young has an awful different view of just what 'scripture' was:

    "I feel inclined here to make a little SCRIPTURE. . . . [W]ere I under the necessity of MAKING SCRIPTURE EXTENSIVELY I should get Bro. Heber C. Kimball to make it, and then I would QUOTE it. I have seen him do this when any of the Elders have been pressed by their opponents, and were a little at a loss; he would MAKE A SCRIPTURE for them to suite the case, that NEVER WAS IN THE BIBLE, though none the less true, and make their opponents swallow it as the words of an apostle, or [one] of the prophets. The Elder would then say, 'Please turn to that scripture, (gentlemen) and read it for yourselves.' No, they could not turn to it but they recollected it like the devil for fear of being caught. I will venture to make a little." (Discourse, October 8, 1854, Brigham Young Collection, LDS Archives)

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  17. Oh, and Young called them DOCTRINES:

    “Jesus, our elder Brother, WAS BEGOTTEN IN THE FLESH by the same character that was in the garden of Eden, and WHO IS OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN. Now, let all who may hear THESE DOCTRINES, pause before they make light of them, or treat them with indifference, FOR THEY WILL PROVE THEIR SALVATION OR DAMNATION.” Journal of Discourses by Brigham Young, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, His Two Counsellors, the Twelve Apostles, and Others, 26 vols. (Liverpool: LDS Book Depot, 1855-86), vol. 1, pp 50-51

    That was after he proclaimed that Adam was God the Father.

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  18. Thank you for your comments Johnny. As we've discussed several issues in the past, I trust that you have the capability to set aside the polemical games and keep things respectful. I was looking for a response from Rocky specifically to what I'd posted, but instead you act as his proxy apologist. If that's how you want to discuss, I'll accept that.

    From your first post, you quoted several statements from previous Church leaders concerning the conception of Christ. None of these explicitly state that God had sexual intercourse with the Virgin Mary. They only serve to solidify the LDS stance that Elohim was the literal father of Christ. Speculating about the process by which that occurred, beyond what is established in Holy Writ and by Official Statements from the First Presidency are in no way binding upon my faith. As President Lee noted in my previous post, speculation on matters of which little knowledge has been revealed has the potentiality of teaching something incorrect. This more than anything is what is meant by "saying more than is appropriate."

    In my own observations, this conversation has been a textbook study of fundamentalist fallacies arising from omission of distanciation in the interpretative process.

    The power to create life is given to man as a gift of God and is not to be abused. The fact that we have a Father of our spirits is not to say that the creative process by which those spirits are begotten is the result of a sexual union between our Heavenly Parents.

    How do you believe God created your spirit Johnny?

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  19. Tyler, I found your comment insulting and typical toward Johnny, completely uncalled for all together and served no purpose whatsoever. //"instead you act as his proxy apologist."\\

    Rocky (my husband) spent hours last night addressing not only you in this article which he wrote, but several articles. There were comments to articles all over this blog going back to 2007, odd?

    Rocky, works a full-time job. He's up at 4:30am out the door before 6am and at times doesn't get home until 11-12pm. During the school year he works many Saturdays and Sundays as well, since his JROTC students do weekend drill meets, etc.

    Rocky will address your comments when time allows.

    Perhaps you haven't noticed or missed the fact this is a blog which welcomes anyone to comment.

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  20. Tyler,

    You are either confused or trying to confuse me, I really can't tell. Perhaps you can see how 'elohim' is the father of JC, but that is NOT what Young taught, not by a long shot. Believe what you will though, the quotes speak for themselves. Perhaps a careful reading of this quote may help you, but given your disingenuous stance, it probably won't:

    "As God the Father BEGAT the fleshly body of Jesus, so He, before the world began, BEGAT HIS SPIRIT. As the body required an earthly Mother, so his spirit required a heavenly Mother. As God associated IN THE CAPACITY OF A HUSBAND with the earthly mother, so likewise he associated IN THE SAME CAPACITY with the heavenly one; EARTHLY THINGS BEING IN THE LIKES OF HEAVENLY THINGS; and that which is TEMPORAL being in the likeness of that which is ETERNAL; or, in other words, the laws of generation upon the earth are after the order of the laws of generation in heaven"

    You see where they say earthly things being IN THE LIKE of heavenly things? That the laws of generation upon the EARTH are after the order of the laws of generation in HEAVEN? What do you think is meant by that Tyler? Common sense tells us EXACTLY what is meant. This is simple, easy to follow stuff. If you don't want to believe what your leaders plainly teach, ok by me. Interesting, you did not comment on Young calling Adam-god and his siring Jesus Doctrine, as he called it. That's what it is, and that's what they teach.

    As for 'proxy' apologist, where do you get that from? It's an open forum, is it not? Rocky will answer, I'm sure, when he is ready to.

    I'm not here to play 'games', but I am also not here to listen to apologetic nonsense either. I'm well versed in what Young taught and know exactly what he said, from numerous sources that you may not be familiar with. I find it sad that given the quotes, TBM's still make excuses, and believe anything but what these men were really saying.

    Good luck with that though. As for God, he created everything. John 1:1-3. Take care, Tyler.

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  21. By the way Tyler, why would one of your leaders make it a point to say:

    Even though that power MAY BE ABUSED and may become a mere HARP OF PLEASURE to the wicked, nevertheless it is the most sacred and holy and DIVINE FUNCTION with which God has ENDOWED MAN. Made holy, IT IS RETAINED BY THE FATHER OF US ALL, and in his exercise of that great and marvelous creative power and function, HE DID NOT DEBASE HIMSELF, degrade himself, nor DEBAUCH his daughter.

    Do you understand what 'debauch' means?

    a : to lead away from virtue or excellence
    b : to corrupt by intemperance or sensuality

    Hmmm? How could God do this to his daughter? NOT by NOT having sex with her. This kind of language was used for a reason, because it is all about sexual intercourse. If one truly looks at the context of the quotes honestly, they will come to the same conclusion.

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  22. Also, you can think that I don't see things in their historical perspective, but if you do, you would be wrong.

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  23. Helen, if Johnny isn't responding to my questions 'unofficially' in place of Rocky (who is busy, like the rest of us) and defending his positions, then what is he doing? I'd say statements like "Rocky IS CORRECT as usual" are a testament to my previous statements and I feel no reason to retract it. I understand, its an open forum. Ultimately however, Rocky is responsible for what he posts here. I commend his efforts in attempting to do so in light of the comments of others.

    And Helen, if you're really "offended" by what I've had to say, why is it that you have continually focused on tearing down the LDS Church through polemic means for years?

    We don't want to destroy any other faith. Our missionaries preach our doctrine. They don't pass out tracts revealing the sordid pro-slavery origins of the Southern Baptist Convention, they don't show films about the sins of Renaissance popes, and they don't run any visitor centers that showcase the virulent anti-Semitism of Martin Luther.

    Even assuming that your approach accurately represents the full truth (which I deny), it would still differ from the approach taken by Latter-day Saints. You concentrate on supposed "truths" carefully marshaled to make our faith look bad and our leaders evil. Latter-day Saints, by contrast, concentrate on the positive teaching of our own beliefs.

    I cannot express how very pleased I am that my church does not take your approach. That's the point of a Restorationist church, to restore what was lost or corrupt. We don't, however, picket Catholic churches, Baptist conventions, Kingdom Halls, or otherwise go to the site of these churches and actively criticize or belittle their faith on their property, or message boards. Individuals who do so are doing so at their own risk, and their actions are not sanctioned by the Church as a whole.

    Those non-LDS Christians who have the most success at teaching the Mormons are those who teach their own beliefs, not attempt to cut down and belittle others. I have grown in understanding and faith through these generous efforts while the attack mode only leaves a nasty taste in my mouth.

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  24. Tyler,

    Here is Origen on the soul of man:

    4. And now we have to ascertain whether those beings which in the course of the discussion we have discovered to possess life and reason, were endowed with a soul along with their bodies at the time mentioned in Scripture, when God made two great lights, the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night, and the stars also, or whether their spirit was implanted in them, not at the creation of their bodies, but from without, after they had been already made. I, for my part, suspect that the spirit was implanted in them from without; but it will be worth while to prove this from Scripture: for it will seem an easy matter to make the assertion on conjectural grounds, while it is more difficult to establish it by the testimony of Scripture. Now it may be established conjecturally as follows. If the soul of a man, which is certainly inferior while it remains the soul of a man, was not formed along with his body, but is proved to have been implanted strictly from without, much more must this be the case with those living beings which are called heavenly. For, as regards man, how could the soul of him, viz., Jacob, who supplanted his brother in the womb, appear to be formed along with his body? Or how could his soul, or its images, be formed along with his body, who, while lying in his mother's womb, was filled with the Holy Ghost? I refer to John leaping in his mother's womb, and exulting because the voice of the salutation of Mary had come to the ears of his mother Elisabeth. How could his soul and its images be formed along with his body, who, before he was created in the womb, is said to be known to God, and was sanctified by Him before his birth? Some, perhaps, may think that God fills individuals with His Holy Spirit, and bestows upon them sanctification, not on grounds of justice and according to their deserts; but undeservedly. And how shall we escape that declaration: Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid! or this: Is there respect of persons with God? For such is the defence of those who maintain that souls come into existence with bodies. So far, then, as we can form an opinion from a comparison with the condition of man, I think it follows that we must hold the same to hold good with heavenly beings, which reason itself and scriptural authority show us to be the case with men. - De Principiis Book I: 5:4 (Or as per Hugh Nibley - Peri Archon,)

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  25. What is interesting is that Origen uses the example of John, leaping in his mother’s womb, being filled with the Holy Spirit… who Origen says was ‘known to God & sanctified by him before his birth? Ok, you might THINK Origen is speaking of a pre-existence of all men, but you must go deeper, and read more of him, to get at what he was really saying. Did he believe in a pre-existence like the Mormons teach? No. Here are a few other quotes to get the ‘context’ of Origen.

    We go to Commentary on the Gospel of John (Book II): 24. “John the Baptist Was Sent. From Where? His Soul Was Sent from a Higher Region.”

    Here, Origen says:

    “But our present question may, perhaps, be solved in this way, that as every man is a man of God, simply because God created him, but not every man IS CALLED a man of God, but only he who has devoted himself to God, such as Elijah and those who are called men of God in the Scriptures, thus every man might be said in ordinary language to be sent from God, but in the absolute sense no one is to be spoken of in this way who has not entered this life FOR A DIVINE MINISTRY and in the service of the salvation of mankind. WE DO NOT FIND IT SAID OF ANYONE BUT THE SAINTS that he is sent by God. It is said of Isaiah as we showed before; it is also said of Jeremiah, To whomsoever I shall send you you shall go; Jeremiah 1:7 and it is said of Ezekiel, Ezekiel 2:3 I send you to nations that are rebellious and have not believed in Me. The examples, however, do not expressly speak of a mission from the region outside life into life, and as it is a mission into life that we are enquiring about, they may seem to have little bearing on our subject. But there is nothing absurd in our transferring the argument derived from them to our question. They tell us that IT IS ONLY THE SAINTS, and we were speaking of them, whom God is said to send, and in this sense they may be applied to the case of those who are SENT into this life.”

    Origen is here saying that ONLY the saints (the righteous)… have a pre-existence. And what is that pre-existence, according to Origen? You must go to 25. Argument from the Prayer of Joseph, to Show that the Baptist May Have Been an Angel Who Became a Man.

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  26. Yup, Origen says that John & the rest were probably created angels who became men:

    “It is likely that this was really said by Jacob, and was therefore written down, and that there is also a deeper meaning in what we are told, He supplanted his brother in the womb. Consider whether the celebrated question about Jacob and Esau has a solution. We read, Romans 9:11-14 The children being not yet born, neither having done anything good or bad, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of him that calls, it was said, The elder shall serve the younger. Even as it is written: Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated. What shall we say, then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. If, then, when they were not yet born, and had not done anything either good or evil, in order that God's purpose according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calls, if at such a period this was said, how if we do not go back to the works done before this life, can it be said that there is no unrighteousness with God when the elder serves the younger and is hated (by God) before he has done anything worthy of slavery or of hatred? We have made something of a digression in introducing this story about Jacob and appealing to a writing which we cannot well treat with contempt; but it certainly adds weight to our argument about John, to the effect that as Isaiah's voice declares Isaiah 40:3 HE IS AN ANGEL WHO ASSUMED A BODY FOR THE SAKE OF BEARING WITNESS TO THE LIGHT. So much about John considered as a man.”

    I think Nibley took liberties with Origen, or cherry picked this translation: "we believe that he was even then chosen by God because of merits acquired before this life." But, even so, ‘those chosen by God’ were ONLY THE RIGHTEOUS, according to Origen, and they were ANGELS. Say what you will, but even Christians believe that the angels existed before the earth was created. This is how Origen explained the ‘pre-existence’. Nothing like Mormonism now, is it? This is not in any way a ‘mainstream’ Christian teaching. It is speculation probably based on Origen’s Platonic influences, and his (weird) interpretation of scripture. Ya gotta stop cutting and pasting from ‘fair’ and do your own research, because nine times out of ten, they’re spinnin like tops. Origen was called a heretic for good reason. http://fi.fairmormon.org/Plan_of_salvation/Premortal_existence#endnote_fn7

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  27. Tyler

    How disingenuous can you be?

    My comment about Rocky was from reading Rocky's comments. I've been here many times and even posted here.

    As for Mormons not tearing down Christianity, I guess you don't read any of your Church History.

    And when Missionaries teach their lessons day after day and say "I was told to join none of them, for their creeds are an abomination to me' means....what to you?

    It's all in the packaging I guess? You don't SEEM to be attacking other religions, but really, that is all that Mormons do, claiming to be the ONLY true Church. And what about these gems:

    "What is it that inspires professors of Christianity generally with a hope of salvation? It is that smooth, sophisticated influence of the devil, by which he deceives the whole world," (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, compiled by Joseph Fielding Smith, p. 270.)

    "We talk about Christianity, but it is a perfect pack of nonsense.... Myself and hundreds of the Elders around me have seen its pomp, parade, and glory; and what is it? It is a sounding brass and a tinkling symbol; it is as corrupt as hell; and the Devil could not invent a better engine to spread his work than the Christianity of the nineteenth century," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, 1858, p. 167).

    "Brother Taylor has just said that the religions of the day were hatched in hell. The eggs were laid in hell, hatched on its borders, and kicked on to the earth" ( B. Young, Journal of Discourses 6:176).

    "…all other churches are entirely destitute of all authority from God; and any person who receives Baptism or the Lord's supper from their hands highly offend God, for he looks upon them as the most corrupt of all people" ( Pratt, The Seer, pg. 255).

    I could go on but you get the drift. You might want to re-think EXACTLY what your Church is all about, if you don't know already.

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  28. Johnny, I’m not trying to confuse you. I’m a bit puzzled why you’ve responded by a series of tangential, peripheral issues instead of addressing the scriptures and Patristic quotations I’d provided from the beginning, but that’s up to you. Originally, I expected Rocky to provide an explanation for why Latter-day Saints are wrong in their interpretations of the scriptures I’d provided. Instead, the response was focused on my first paragraph while ignoring my five other paragraphs that focused on Rocky’s original post.

    The “same capacity” reference has to do with the rights and responsibilities of acting as a husband. The “earthly things” have to do with the binding of husband and wife on earth being binding in heaven as well, providing they are faithful. I don’t comment on Adam-God because it would only derail the thread more than it already is. There are hundreds of resources on this subject that have been published by Latter-day Saint authors much more knowledgeable and competent on the subject than I am. My areas of study focus primarily on the Ancient Near East. The fact that Brigham Young taught Adam-God has no binding effect on me because it has never been accepted by the Church as a policy or doctrine. Gary Bergera’s “Conflict in the Quorum” is a good resource on some of the reasons why this is so, as well as Todd Compton’s contributing article in “Women and Authority” also published by Signature books.

    I’m glad you can say you’re well-versed in the teachings of Brigham Young. In my opinion, he was a very complex and misunderstood individual. In examining his statements and life, we’ll never be playing with a full deck of cards (figuratively speaking). Ultimately, what Brigham Young taught about Adam-God is something only he can explain and account for fully.

    Now is there anyone willing to provide a different perspective on the scriptures I’ve cited in support of a doctrine of pre-existent spirits being taught both in the Bible, but by early Jewish and Christian writers?

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  29. Johnny-

    I never claimed Origen taught a doctrine of pre-existence precisely the same way Mormons believe it. His insistence on creation ex nihilo is a dead giveaway that this isn’t the case at all. However, Origen taught a doctrine “similar” to what Latter-day Saints believe, and thus provides an ancient context for what would become a restoration doctrine.

    It is interesting that you bring up Origen’s notion that the created angels (who were spirits) soon inhabited the bodies of the righteous including John the Baptist. Who are the righteous in a larger context than what is provided by Origen? Perhaps those that kept their first estate in accordance with Jude.

    Nibley may very well have “taken liberties” with his translation of Origen. If that’s the case, an alternate translation should be provided. This is a problem that has plagued previous critiques of Nibley’s work. If you don’t like the translation, I welcome an alternate viewpoint. I’m not “cutting and pasting” from FAIR, though I have some of the resources from whence FAIR has compiled their material. Originally FAIR was established as a sort of “stock pile” so to speak of various apologetic materials compiled by several scholars and amateurs (myself being among the latter) over the years through discussion boards, conferences, etc. Most of the material I have pre-dates FAIR’s compilations. If similar wording is found through FAIR’s website, it is because the original resources contained those materials.

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  30. Tyler,

    Don't put words in my mouth. This is what I said: //"I found your comment insulting and typical toward Johnny, completely uncalled for all together and served no purpose whatsoever.\\ YOU://"instead you act as his proxy apologist."\\.

    Instead of sticking to the topic you attack a person aka Johnny. Johnny is more than capable of handling attacks against himself. I was speaking for myself.

    Then you Tyler insult me: //"And Helen, if you're really "offended" by what I've had to say, why is it that you have continually focused on tearing down the LDS Church through polemic means for years?"\\

    Do you believe Brigham Young was a prophet of the LDS Church? It would appear you do by your comments. Then I would think this statement by Brigham Young should shame the entire LDS Church, including you as a member of said church.

    ALL NON-MORMONS CALLED ANTI-CHRIST: This quote is from Brigham Young: “…and he that confesseth not that Jesus has come in the flesh and sent Joseph Smith with the fullness of the Gospel to this generation, is not of God, but is Antichrist.” (Journal of Discourses, Vol 9 pg 312).

    Wow, Tyler The LDS Church never says anything bad about other churches or Christians. Really?

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  31. If someone lived in the time of the New Testament and denied the validity of the testimonies of Peter, James, and John, and yet claimed to be true followers of Christ....could they rightly call themselves Christians?

    President Young's statements are not to say that other faiths are void of truth all together. In fact, we have ample evidence that Brigham Young supported the building of various Christian Churches in the Salt Lake valley. Mormons in my own area have assisted in the building of Christian churches despite theological differences. As Elder Uchtdorf has said, "we do not have a monopoly on truth."

    As a missionary, I broke bread with several pastors in different areas I served in. They were (for the most part) kind and compassionate followers of Christ as they understood Him. Often, they would ask us to share our own beliefs while we would in turn, listen to their own. Even if we disagreed, they were civil about it. They did not actively protest the building of LDS temples and gatherings, nor did we their own. When one of them mentioned that he'd visited a large LDS event, he lamented at the fact that fellow "Christians" were waving large signs, shouting polemic slurs and stereotypes, and ignoring a chance to be civil and understand another faith.

    You may agree with Bob Betts that interfaith dialogue between Mormons and Evangelicals is simply "playing pattycake," but I profoundly disagree with your approach toward evangelism Mrs. Hulse. Its not hard to find like-minded people on the Internet and elsewhere who can agree with you, but that in and of itself does not make it right, or Christlike for that matter.

    Is your blog really about promoting Christianity? Or is it more about criticizing Mormonism than about affirmatively advocating whatever version of Christianity it purports to represent?

    There's one thing for sure that I'll never do Helen. You won't find me standing in front of any of your Church gatherings with signs heralding how "wrong," and "duped" you are (even if I disagree with you, which I do). You won't see me on the sidewalk passing out leaflets for why MMMO's version of Christianity is wrong, or showing any videos attacking its leaders and history and doctrine, or broadcasting attacks on it.

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  32. Hey Tyler,

    It's all about what your leaders have said. They have said they are the ONLY true church. Blanket statement like we don't have a monopoly on truth is disingenuous ... In the light that your leaders claim that Only Mormon baptisms ... gift of the H. G. are valid, etc. etc. To attain what LDS call exaltation, one must be a Mormon. That my friend is a monopoly on 'truth'.

    With all the statements that prophets can't lead the church astray, it is telling that B. Young taught acknowledged false doctrine about God, and that shows that your claim to true prophets is false.

    As far as Origen, preexistance was a fringe belief, classed as false doctrine, and it still is by modern day Christians. It is not an impressive reference by any means. (Like comparing Mormons to Gnostics as some have)

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  33. Polemic? What a convenient word to marginalize that which cannot be proven to be factually wrong. We Christian apologists, are not quoting each other, we are quoting Mormon leaders whom Mormons themselves, twice a year, sustain as "prophets, seers, and revelators."

    I find the following argument used by Mormons to distance themselves from their leadership to be fallacious: "Not every statement made by a Church leader, past or present, necessarily constitutes doctrine. A single statement made by a single leader on a single occasion often represents a personal, though well-considered, opinion, but is not meant to be officially binding for the whole Church. With divine inspiration, the First Presidency...and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles...counsel together to establish doctrine that is consistently proclaimed in official Church publications. This doctrine resides in the four “standard works” of scripture (the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price), official declarations and proclamations, and the Articles of Faith. Isolated statements are often taken out of context, leaving their original meaning distorted."

    The very argument for the existence of Mormonism is that they have living prophets and apostles - yet, if what they say isn't canonized it is just opinion. Pray tell, why then does Mormonism promote these men? Why does the Mormon Church hold semi-annual conferences, and require their people to watch it, if nothing that is said can be accounted for Church Doctrine?

    Mormonism = contradiction.

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  34. Johnny-

    I'm perfectly aware of what Church leaders have said. Yet you're placing a fundamentalist interpretation on what being the "Only True Church" actually means. Several friends of mine have written a great deal on the subject. We're well aware of the concerns you and others have had. For even some cultural Mormons, D&C 1:30 is too much to take as being literal.

    Walker Wright has pointed out:

    One of the prominent reasons I remain Mormon is because Mormonism offers a worldview that can truly embrace all truth, even if some of its members do not. The divine insights revealed through Joseph Smith allow for an intellectually satisfying understanding of the cosmos. While I hesitate to use the word pluralistic, the concept of Mormonism equaling Truth in all spheres seems to require it. A more proper definition would be the one used by Blake Ostler: religious inclusivism. The Church should be a realm where truth (no matter where it is found) is invited, embraced, and digested, while error is purged. Joseph's "mission was to hold out for the reality of divine revelation and establish one small outpost where that principle survived." The Church isn't true because it has all truth available. It is true because it accepts all truth no matter the source (or at least that is the principle established by Joseph Smith).

    Terryl Givens further noted:

    "...my own appreciation for and understanding of the [gospel] has been enriched, and broadened, by a comparative study of the idea and its myriad appearances in the history of philosophy, theology, and literature. What I have come to appreciate is this cardinal insight: If the restoration is not yet complete, then other traditions have much to teach us. Not by way of confirming, corroborating, or verifying the truths we already have. But by way of actually adding to the body of revealed doctrine we call precious and true. The Restoration is neither full nor complete. Brigham once said, in reference to the keys of resurrection, "This is one of the ordinances we can not receive here, and there are many more." "It will be a great while after you have passed through the veil before you will have learned" all the principles of the gospel, said Joseph. What if, instead of scrambling frantically to find explanations when Joseph appears to have borrowed from the masons, or Ethan Smith, or Tom Dick, we instead see another marvelous possibility of his actually practicing what he preached: As Brigham characterized his position, "If you can find a truth in heaven, earth or hell, it belongs to our doctrine. We believe it; it is ours; we claim it." It takes real humility and generosity of spirit to be taught. Our contemporary condescension in this regard was clearly foreign to a prophet who showed the world he could translate gold plates written in Reformed Egyptian, then hired a Jewish schoolmaster to teach him Hebrew."

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  35. Tyler, the quotes of Mormon leaders that have been posted here are very explicit and specific. If like quotes were being offered to you with the specificity of the quotes here about the birth of Christ, on a non-Mormon related subject, any rational person would conclude what is obvious; however, when it comes to religion, logic and reason are not given the same weight as they are to a non-religious subject.

    Tyler you say you would never confront those whom you believe to be in error; however, didn't you claim to be a Mormon Missionary? Aren't the missionary lessons designed to prove that "all churches are in error," therefore, their error constitutes the need for Mormonism?

    I believe Jesus confronted the Pharisees, didn't He? I believe John the Baptist lost his head because he dared to tell the truth about a king, didn't he? I believe this ministry stands in good company when we confront the false teachings of Mormonism.

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  36. Tyler, your last post quoting Walker Wright and Terryl Givens may work on someone who doesn't know Mormon history or understand Mormonism. Tyler, I was raised in the Mormon Church. My G-G-G-grandfather left Nauvoo and traveled to SLC with Brigham. The new "intellectual" arguments being palmed off on the world to try and soften the image of Mormonism don't work on someone who has been there. You may fool those who have only studied Mormonism from the outside; however, I was born an raised on the inside.

    The new "inclusive" argument for Mormonism is nothing more than a clever attempt to cover the truth.

    Please explain to me the "inclusiveness" of the "First Vision." If I am not mistaken, and I'm not, Joseph Smith is quoting Jesus Christ when he says in Joseph Smith 1:18 " I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt;...."

    So, who should I believe, Walker Wright and Terryl Givens, or Jesus Christ as quoted by Joseph Smith? Maybe my English is a little weak, but I'm having a difficult time making "Inclusiveness" a synonym of "abomination."

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  37. Rocky-

    I'm fully willing to stand behind my statement that your writings are polemical in nature. This isn't a matter of marginalization, its a matter of observation.

    You also falsely claim that Christian apologists "aren't quoting each other. That's a complete lie and you know it Rocky. You've quoted extensively from fellow counter-cultists such as Richard Abanes, the Tanners, Chuck Sackett, Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson. When you don't like what Mormons have written about their history, you resort to a rehashed version by cultural or ex-Mormons.

    The fact that there are Apostles and Prophets on the earth is a wonderful. Yet we've never claimed prophetic infallibility with any of them. They're humans just like you and I Rocky. They make mistakes. The Church doesn't "require" anyone to watch General Conference. like any Church meeting, attendance is entirely voluntary. We listen to the Prophets and Apostles for their counsel and wisdom in a world full of differing opinions and divergent doctrines. Their teaching is hinged upon what is contained in Holy Writ, reiterating and promoting the study thereof, as well as how to live a clean and moral lifestyle.

    Policies established through official proclamations are read consistently in Church meetings, as are lessons established by the Lord's living oracles. We accept their counsel as the Word of God insomuch as it is in harmony with the doctrines as revealed in the scriptures and as those scriptures have been sustained as binding upon the Church, in addition to official proclamations. If a Church leader speaks independently or at odds with what has been established through scripture, Latter-day Saints do not and never have been required to accept those words as the literal mind and will and purpose of the Lord.

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  38. Rocky-
    You’ve quoted several Church leaders’ statements. That’s fine. You’ve also fallaciously assumed that because I disagree with your interpretation of many of those statements that I’m somehow “irrational” and thus fall into your blanket category of one “duped,” “deceived,” and “brainwashed” as you’ve sought to not engage anything I’ve posted (often from Church leaders and official statements) that state contrary to your fundamentalist assumptions about Mormonism. Instead, you’ve sought only to present one side of the coin, the side you repetitively characterize as negative, cultish, secretive, and dangerous.

    Your misrepresentation concerning the variegation of the ideologies of the Bible and Mormonism mirrors your refusal to acknowledge the broad semantic spectrum of various terminologies and doctrines in Latter-day Saint vernacular. As a result you’ve produced a series of fallacious and uninformed arguments that ignore what the Bible actually says but will no doubt catalyze plenty of huzzahs and backslaps from others with equally myopic perspectives on the Bible and Mormonism.

    I was a Mormon Missionary Rocky. I loved it. It was one of the best experiences of my life. Did you serve a mission or ever go through the temple? I know you served in the Navy and I thank you for your service on behalf of this great nation. Several members of my own family also served in the Navy and other branches of the military. The missionary lessons aren’t designed to “prove that all other Churches are wrong.” In fact, they’re designed to invite people to accept the restored Gospel. If people choose to accept that message, we proceed to teach them more, line upon line, precept upon precept. We don’t force anyone to accept our message. If for some reason an investigator disagrees with what we’ve taught them, we’re more than willing to work with them to resolve those issues or concerns. If they don’t want to accept the message, they don’t have to. The choice is up to them, and God will be the judge of where their heart is.

    Christ and His disciples were at times confrontational. However I don’t believe they resorted to bearing false witness about the faiths of others in order to prove their points. They did not feel the need to sensationalize statements by the scribes or rip them out of their context. Christ was the literal fulfillment and embodiment of the Word. Then, as it is now, God will be their ultimate judge.

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  39. Rocky-

    Walker Wright and Terryl Givens are only a small slice of a literal plethora of scholars who claim their membership in the LDS Church. I can confidently say that Givens has studied Mormonism and been a Mormon longer than you ever were. Latter-day Saints hold tenured positions at hundreds of prestigious universities across the country. Some of them have even commented on your work Rocky. I, like them, don’t find it incredibly compelling for a number of reasons. There have been “intellectual” arguments for the Church for years. John Taylor was at the forefront of that message for most of his ministry. Other “intellectuals” rightly include B.H. Roberts, James E. Talmage, John A. Widtsoe and Neal A. Maxwell.

    The doctrine of “inclusion” is something that has also been at the forefront of LDS teachings, particularly during the ministries of Joseph Smith (who fought for the religious freedom of other faiths) and Brigham Young (who authorized the building of several houses of worship of other faiths, as well as provided a choir for the first Catholic Mass in the Territory of Utah). If others misunderstand or misinterpret D&C 1:30, that is their problem.

    You assume that because you have a long genealogy of Church membership that it somehow gives you a unique perspective about the doctrines and history of the LDS Church. In fact it’s something you state ad nauseam when you introduce yourself. It gets a little old, and while it may be convincing for those “outside” the Church who have never been members, your genealogy is of no concern to me.

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  40. Tyler, you're my hero!!! ^.^ Seriously, although you are most likely wasting your time on these close minded idiots, you *are* spending your time trying to clear the air and correct the wrongs and falsehoods being spread here about the Mormon Church and its teachings. People who know nothing about what the LDS church really believes can read this blog/website and come to hate everything about it, without really understanding it. Thank you for not letting them get away with it without at least a little bit of disagreement.

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  41. Anonymous,

    Wow, first hero worship of Tyler.

    Seriously, would it have been possible for you as a Mormon to comment without resorting to name calling?

    Apparently not since you have neither facts nor documentation on this topic.

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  42. Tyler,

    Fundamentalist view? Hardly. It is the view that I was taught when I was 12 years old and took the missionary lessons way back in 1970. You say MY view is skewed, well - I say it is YOUR view and those of your 'friends' your quoted that does not line up with Mormonism and the way it was ALWAYS MEANT TO BE PRESENTED AND PORTRAYED.

    The problem with your generation is, is that you live in one of pre-packaged excuses. You've grown up with them... excuses and institutions instituted by many of the men I learned under at B. Y. U. The ones with integrity left the Church. The ones who stayed for financial or social reasons have a take on the 'truth' much like yours.

    Ignore or inanely explain away anything that shows the Church for the lie that it is, and invent anything (even double meanings of words) to try and rationalize away the glaring discrepancies between the Modern Mormon Church and the Church from Smith & Young's time.

    You nonchalantly mention 'conflict in the quorum' but I don't need to go to that book, I've got all of Woodruff's Journals and a host of other historical books& journals. I see your mind set, and it is intractable and rigid. You won't go beyond certain bounds, because your modern mormon traditions teach you like it's ok for prophets to go back years later and change revelations, to act like dictators, teach false doctrine, commit adultery, and a whole plethora of other things that normal people, looking at it from a normal perspective find seriously wrong.

    You go with the Hinckley flow, oh it's just little flecks of history, it was the past, a long time ago. Well hey, Tyler, I know what I know, and I know you telling me I have some kind of 'interpretation' is just a line of crap. I see the words in black and white, & understand it has shades of grey, and I judge Smith and Young by their own standards: THEIR OWN WORDS. I've read them, studied them, and if you don't like it or believe it, go peddle your crap someplace else. Really.

    You can try to gloss over the difficulties and inconsistencies in Mormonism, but having been duped by it for decades, I'm proclaiming to the world what I know, and that's my bag, and that's to counter what Mormon Missionaries do day after day: assault other religions, and try to rip people away from them with prepackaged and smooth crafted lies.

    Anonymous. I dare say you would have nothing of value to offer except name calling, because you probably have never picked up a book about Mormon History or Doctrine in your life. I guarantee I've forgotten more about Mormonism than you know. Either refute what I say, which even Tyler squirmed out of cause he can't, or go name call somewhere else.

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  43. Johnny-

    This is where we’re simply going to have to agree to disagree. What I believe doesn’t “line up with Mormonism?” That’s the first time I’ve ever heard that. I guess I’ll stop teaching Gospel Doctrine then. I guess my membership in the Church means nothing if I don’t know anything about what Mormonism teaches. Because you don’t like what I’ve said, even when it has come from official sources, you’ve “nonchalantly” brushed off everything I’ve had to say because it’s what you call a “generational problem.” Then you assume that the only people with integrity have “left the Church.” If that’s not text book ad hominem, I don’t know what is.

    I’ve met several scholars from outside the Church who would adamantly disagree with your conclusions. I haven’t “ignored” anything. I’d rather not comment on issues where I have little background, or dismiss books that I haven’t read. I never claimed that the Church of 1844 was identical with the Church of 2010, just as the Judaism of Isaiah was also different from post-exilic Judaism, or that New Testament Christendom is the same as 21st Century Protestant Fundamentalism.

    How wonderful that you have “all of Woodruff’s Journals and a host of other historical&journals.” Does the possession of these journals or books give you a particularly strong insight on what they contain? I would certainly hope so. And if there is anything that the Church is hiding from these journals, I’m sure Marlin Jensen and a host of other historians would love to hear about them. You know, Rocky makes a similar claim in his book, namely that the only “bias” that he has is that he has access to a plethora of materials dealing with the subjects he addresses that few others would. Unfortunately, there was nothing new presented in Rocky’s book, only a rehashed version of books Mormon scholars have examined for years.

    You call my responses “crap” because you didn’t want to engage them, and instead chose to make personal attacks on myself instead. For someone touting so much inside knowledge and wisdom on Mormon history and doctrine, I can’t say I’m impressed Johnny. Our discussion on Asherah went well before. I’m disappointed that you and others on this board have resorted to name calling.

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  44. Tyler,

    I know some of these comments were directed at Rock, by since I've been designated his 'proxy', I'll just step in and make a few comments.

    I DID go on a Mission, and I take the opposite view of the Missionary lessons. I memorized them in 7 days, a mission record at the time. The ex-AP who was my first companion taught me very well how to attack the Catholic Church, which was the main denomination in the area in which I served. The very first lesson taught that Smith asked God which of the Churches was true and he was answered none of them were, for they were all an abomination to God.

    We taught people that no other Church had any authority from God to be in existence and that Mormonism was the only way authorized by God and that all other religions were wrong, just like Smith said.

    Explain it away any way you want, but that is an attack on all other religions. There are plenty of statements by Mormon leaders that Christianity was hatched in hell by the devil, and even Smith said it was of the devil. All your statements that Mormonism is a kind and gentle religion that tolerates others and does not attack them go out the door once one actually reads Mormon History.

    Your statement:

    "Christ and His disciples were at times confrontational. However I don’t believe they resorted to bearing false witness about the faiths of others in order to prove their points. They did not feel the need to sensationalize statements by the scribes or rip them out of their context."

    IS YOUR OPINION. It is only your opinion that we are ripping statements out of context. I just wrote a 75 page article on Adam-god. Young taught it, believed it and said it was revealed to him by God. It's irrefutable in the light of the evidence, and I don't need to rip quotes out of context to prove it. You apply a false label to those who won't let such statements slide, and then say we are doing something unbiblical. Well, that is not the case at all:

    Many Mormons call out Christians for citing their doctrines and calling them out on them, but we do because they are false & divisive. Romans 16:17 makes it clear not only what constitutes a division, but how to treat those who cause them:

    "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them."

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  45. First, this Scripture does not say to simply mark those who cause divisions or offenses (although this is what many who will say not to judge would like us to believe). It says to mark those who cause divisions or offenses by espousing doctrine that is contrary to Scripture. This is an important distinction because it implies that there are divisions or offenses that are NOT contrary to Scripture. In fact, Scripture itself can be such a division or offense. We are told that the Word of God is a sword dividing the wheat from the chaff, both within the inner being of an individual and between individuals. (Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12; Matthew 10:34-36) Further, both the written and the incarnate Word of God are referred to as a rock of OFFENSE:

    just as it is written, "BEHOLD, I LAY IN ZION A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE, AND HE WHO BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED." (Romans 9:33)

    This precious value, then, is for you who believe; but for those who disbelieve, "THE STONE WHICH THE BUILDERS REJECTED, THIS BECAME THE VERY CORNER stone, and, "A STONE OF STUMBLING AND A ROCK OF OFFENSE"; for they stumble because they are disobedient to the WORD, and to this doom they were also appointed. (I Peter 2:7-8)

    Every Christian needs to settle in their minds that the Word of God will be considered divisive and offensive by those who rebel against God. If you have determined that you will not "judge" so as to avoid these accusations, then you have essentially chosen not to be a witness for Christ:

    "Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that HEAR thee." (I Timothy 4:16)

    In the above Scripture, we are warned to "take heed" for not only our own selves but for the DOCTRINE. In other words, God is saying to pay attention to, watch out for, take care of the doctrine. Why? Because not all doctrine is SOUND doctrine. In fact, we are told specifically that DEVILS also have DOCTRINES:
    But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons (I Timothy 4:1) See also, Revelation 2:14-15; Revelation 2:24)

    It is precisely because there are these other "gospels" that we are warned to hold fast to what was given to us originally. (II Corinthians 11:4; Galatians 1:6-7;Titus 1:9; II Peter 3:1-13; I Timothy 1:6-7; Romans 6:17; Acts 2:42; Revelation 3:3)
    Why is judging doctrine so important? Because there are doctrines that can jeopardize your faith and even your salvation:

    "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the DOCTRINE of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not THIS DOCTRINE, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed: For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds." (II John 1:9-11)

    This scripture is key to understanding why Christians should not wish well to those who teach and promote false doctrines. Their cries to ‘just leave us alone’ while they continue to send messengers door to door preaching ‘another gospel’ is reason enough to do as Jude exhorts us to, which is:

    “earnestly contend for the faith which was ONCE delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Jude 1:4-5)

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  46. Paul told the Ephesians to:

    Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather EXPOSE them. (Ephesians 5:11)

    The Bible even shows that it is sometimes necessary to specifically name those who are erring in the faith in order to protect others whom they may influence:

    "But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already: and overthrow the faith of some." (II Timothy 2:16-Also I Timothy 1:19-20; I Timothy 5:20-21; II Timothy 4:10; Galatians 2: 11-14; II Timothy 4: 14-15; III John 1:9)

    "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto ANOTHER GOSPEL: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would PERVERT the gospel of Christ."

    We are further warned that in the last days these doctrines of devils will be more prevalent and persuasive than ever, even to the point of deceiving the elect of God - if it were possible to do so. (Matthew 10:11; Matthew 24:24; Mark 13:22; II Thessalonians 2:3; I Timothy 4:1-5; II Timothy 4:3-4)

    Lastly, I Timothy 4:16 reveals that by taking heed for and continuing in sound doctrine we will not only see salvation ourselves, but so will those to whom we witness. Conversely, as supported in II John 1:9-11, not continuing in sound doctrine results in us believing and spreading a perverted gospel that is powerless to save.

    Mormon cries of persecution and your's of bearing false witness are just a ploy for you to get others to leave the Church alone so you can continue to spread your false gospel to the world unopposed. As Christians and especially ex-Mormons, we see through this ploy and show it for what it is.

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  47. Tyler, your tactics of pointing the finger just won't work. It's ok if you can judge me and say that I have a certain 'interpretation' of Mormon doctrine, but I can't point out what I see in the way you present your version of Mormonism? Yes, I see anyone who has studied the same materials I have who have remained in the Church as lacking integrity.

    I really don't care if you line up a hundred people who disagree with me, it's only my opinion Tyler.

    As for not answering, how specifically did I not? Rehashing your interpretation of scriptures on the supposed Mormon pre-existence? We are both ex-missionaries here, and probably know what the other will say in relation to that.

    I mentioned some of the Books I read to make a point, I go to the sources, I don't need Mormon revisionists to teach me about Mormonism. Interesting that a lot of those that do publish things the church has locked up in the historian's office have either been ex-communicated or disfellowhipped. If you wish to turn a blind eye to the Church's tactics in this area, and that they do have a lot to hide by limiting access to documents, go right ahead.

    You are full of your ad hominem rhetoric, but you are the one, quite early on who said:

    You concentrate on supposed "truths" carefully marshaled to make our faith look bad and our leaders evil.

    You then coupled it with this whopper:

    Latter-day Saints, by contrast, concentrate on the positive teaching of our own beliefs.

    When presented with quote after quote of your church leaders attacking Christianity, you are strangely silent. You may forget that your church got to where it is built on their statements. I for one will never forget it.

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  48. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  49. I’m glad you “won’t forget it” Johnny. I’ve actually answered the very issues you’ve raised concerning the statements of Church leaders “attacking Christianity.” Providing a doctrinal exegesis on the LDS perspective of the apostasy is offensive to several people. These were statements made largely in LDS Church meetings to LDS audiences. You’ve also ignored most of what I’ve posted that gives a different perspective on those statements, namely that the LDS Church teaches that they do not have a monopoly on truth, and that they support the rights of worship of other faiths in spite of theological differences.

    There are a number of historians who were later excommunicated after they were given access to early Church documents and wrote controversial articles afterwards. Yet there are several historians who have also been given access to these records, evaluated them, and came away with very different perspectives. Your assumption is that any “rational” person who is given access to these records will come away with the same conclusions you have. When people don’t, you attack their character rather than the material they’ve written contrary to your own. Which “Mormon Revisionists” were you referring to? I’ve read several books written by authors such as Leonard Arrington, Davis Bitton, D. Michael Quinn, Todd Compton, Gary Bergera, Eugene Campbell and others. I enjoy their work. I can very well disagree with some of them on certain issues for various reasons. However, I don’t resort to calling someone “irrational” and “lacking integrity” simply because I disagree with them. Which authors would you recommend? Which of these authors have you reviewed? Have you submitted any of your work to academic journals who would be interested in your perspective?

    Just because I disagree with what you’ve written, you’ve become defensive and resorted to a cut-and-paste recitation of more quotes from Church leaders that you insist prove your points…when I don’t buy into it, you call me a heretic and accuse me of attacking your extra-Biblical (and counter-intuitive) definition of Christianity. Despair becomes creeping desperation when I’m unphased and unmoved by the histrionics, and when I point out- accurately- that Rocky is distorting and misrepresenting my faith. The desperation becomes far more pronounced when you and others realize that I've heard his rhetoric before, and when I point out that you’re refusing to engage in discussion (as opposed to monologues), I’m accused of attacking Rocky, of being intolerant and unwelcoming.

    When I fail to knuckle under these "withering", flailing, and increasingly shrill attacks, I get the pleas for understanding, the mea culpas and half-hearted rationalizations that Rocky was mischaracterized or misunderstood, and really, genuinely loves all those misguided, Hell-bound, and baby-eating Mormons. Of course, in this instance "understanding" means that I must surrender my principles and concede that you, Rocky, and others were right all along.

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  50. I’m glad you “won’t forget it” Johnny. I’ve actually answered the very issues you’ve raised concerning the statements of Church leaders “attacking Christianity.” Providing a doctrinal exegesis on the LDS perspective of the apostasy is offensive to several people. These were statements made largely in LDS Church meetings to LDS audiences. You’ve also ignored most of what I’ve posted that gives a different perspective on those statements, namely that the LDS Church teaches that they do not have a monopoly on truth, and that they support the rights of worship of other faiths in spite of theological differences.

    There are a number of historians who were later excommunicated after they were given access to early Church documents and wrote controversial articles afterwards. Yet there are several historians who have also been given access to these records, evaluated them, and came away with very different perspectives. Your assumption is that any “rational” person who is given access to these records will come away with the same conclusions you have. When people don’t, you attack their character rather than the material they’ve written contrary to your own. Which “Mormon Revisionists” were you referring to? I’ve read several books written by authors such as Leonard Arrington, Davis Bitton, D. Michael Quinn, Todd Compton, Gary Bergera, Eugene Campbell and others. I enjoy their work. I can very well disagree with some of them on certain issues for various reasons. However, I don’t resort to calling someone “irrational” and “lacking integrity” simply because I disagree with them. Which authors would you recommend? Which of these authors have you reviewed? Have you submitted any of your work to academic journals who would be interested in your perspective?

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  51. Just because I disagree with what you’ve written, you’ve become defensive and resorted to a cut-and-paste recitation of more quotes from Church leaders that you insist prove your points…when I don’t buy into it, you call me a heretic and accuse me of attacking your extra-Biblical (and counter-intuitive) definition of Christianity. Despair becomes creeping desperation when I’m unphased and unmoved by the histrionics, and when I point out- accurately- that Rocky is distorting and misrepresenting my faith. The desperation becomes far more pronounced when you and others realize that I've heard his rhetoric before, and when I point out that you’re refusing to engage in discussion (as opposed to monologues), I’m accused of attacking Rocky, of being intolerant and unwelcoming.

    When I fail to knuckle under these "withering", flailing, and increasingly shrill attacks, I get the pleas for understanding, the mea culpas and half-hearted rationalizations that Rocky was mischaracterized or misunderstood, and really, genuinely loves all those misguided, Hell-bound, and baby-eating Mormons. Of course, in this instance "understanding" means that I must surrender my principles and concede that you, Rocky, and others were right all along.

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  52. When this doesn't happen, I get the angry denunciations about Mormons being "sheeple", blind-followers, brain-dead cultists, and Morg- followed by you and others announcing the entire exercise as a waste of time and that Mormons are just too stupid and Satan inspired to accept the truth you have worked so hard to bring me in “love,” “tolerance,” and “respect.”

    You have sneered, you have condescended, you have lied, you have insulted, and you have mocked and denigrated my leaders, my faith, and my God. You promote a tired, trite, and capricious anti-Mormon agenda that's been rehashed a hundred times before you and will be repeated a hundred times hence.
    You may think you've discovered and are engaged in something new, fresh, and exciting- but it's the same stale crust and the same rancid intolerance that's been thrown at us a thousand times before.

    The same attacks, the same talking points, the same empty rhetoric you are attempting to marshal against the Mormons has been repeated time and time again. Joseph Smith died from it, Brigham Young founded a state in spite of it, and John Taylor died in hiding because of it. Gordon Hinckley heard it as a young missionary, and I’ve been exposed to it for years. Yet the Church has prevailed.

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  53. If you really want civil interaction, then you're going to need to be civil yourself: and that means giving Mormons a fair shake, accurately representing our doctrines and teachings, doing your own arguing and thinking, and actually considering the evidence and testimonies we offer. Do not presume to tell us what we believe- it's our faith, not yours. You claim inside knowledge about Mormonism for having been a Mormon. Yet what you produce is a caricature, a façade, a polar opposite of where history starts and where opinion begins. Do not ignore me when I correct you on a point of Mormon doctrine. It's our doctrine- not yours, not Sandra Tanners, and not Richard Abanes’. We know what we believe and why. You don't get to tell us what we believe.


    Do not arrogantly assume that you're smarter than I am, that you know what I believe better than I do, or that your interpretations of Scripture are automatically better simply because they are yours. Do not treat us like stupid and wayward children, and do not presume to lecture to us. If you can do these things, I have no problem discussing here- whether we wind up agreeing or not. Inspire civility by being civil. Inspire discussion by discussing, rather than lecturing.

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  54. Tyler, when I was LDS, it was taught that 'virgin' only meant young woman and that Jesus was the LITERAL son of God the Father and Mary, just like we are the literal children of our parents, conceived in a natural way (God had sex with Mary). Many of the above quotes were used to support that view.

    I was taught that in Sunday School, at BYU and at Institute. Your dissembling is disingenuous at best.

    Rocky's comments are accurate.

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  55. Tyler said...Do not arrogantly assume that you're smarter than I am, that you know what I believe better than I do, or that your interpretations of Scripture are automatically better simply because they are yours"....

    He doesn't need to, he has proven it.

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  56. Jen, which BYU Professors or Institute instructors ever taught you that "virgin" only meant young woman and that in order to produce Christ, Elohim literally came down and had sexual intercourse with the Virgin Mary? I ask this because it is a doctrine of the Church that Mary remained a virgin (that is, sexually undefiled) even after she bore the Christchild. That of course, is not to say that she remained a virgin throughout her marriage to Joseph.

    Whatever instructors have told you that is contrary to the doctrine of the Church established through scripture, or through policies established through official proclamations is not in any way binding on my faith, or the faith of Latter-day Saints as a whole.

    If you read President Lee's comments regarding those issues, the is made crystal clear. LDS apostles and prophets affirm the virgin conception of Mary but also make it clear that the birth of the Savior was "as natural as the births of our children" (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 8:211; see also Joseph
    Fielding Smith Jr., Religious Truths Defined, p. 44; Bruce R. McConkie Mormon Doctrine, pp. 741-742, 822). Mormons, therefore, do not believe in a miraculous birth nor that Mary remained a virgin in latter life. Luke confirms this view since Mary had to accomplish the required purification, following Mosaic law, after the opening of her womb at birth (Luke 2:22-23; see also Lev. 12:2-6). The fact that Mary later had other children is also made abundantly clear in Bible scripture (Matt. 1:25; 12:46; 13:55-56; Mark 6:3; Gal. 1:19).


    Now is there anyone after dozens of posts responding to the first paragraph of my opening statement, willing to address the scriptural and historical support for the doctrine of a pre-existence?

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  57. My Hebrew instructor, Reed Benson my BoM prof, my NT prof (don't remember his name). The excuse was that "Almah" literally means 'young woman of marriageable age' not a physical virgin. There are several quotes by LDS leaders and prophets that support this idea.

    It has NEVER been the doctrine of the LDS church that Mary remained a virgin after Jesus' birth, that is Catholic doctrine. Don't give me that crap.

    You quote Lee, what about all the other 'prophets' that teach otherwise? Or are you lying for the Lord again?

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  58. Who was your Hebrew instructor? Reed Benson taught that Elohim literally had sex with the virgin Mary in order to conceive Christ? Coming from Reed's political views and his excessive advocacy of homeschooling, such a fringe assumption would not surprise me. Once again, its still not the doctrine of the Church and is not binding on me whatsoever.

    I never claimed that Mary's virginity was perpetual after the birth of Christ. What I said was that she remained a virgin until the time she began to have children with Joseph. Go back and read what I've said.

    I'm not "lying for the Lord" about anyone. I find the various commentaries on Bob Millet's video to be grossly distorted anyway.

    The current (1981 edition) CES Instruction Manual on the Old Testament confirms the virginity of Mary upon the conception of Christ, while acknowledging that "almah" as SEVERAL Christian scholars have noted, (not just Mormons) means 'young woman.' It is very much the doctrine of the Church that Mary was a virgin upon the conception and birth of Christ. Elder Marion G. Romney notes:

    "Here is another example in which men revise the scriptures without the inspiration of the Spirit. Isaiah, in predicting the birth of Christ, said: 'Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.' (Isaiah 7:14.) When Isaiah used the word 'virgin' he was saying that A WOMAN WHO HAD NOT KNOWN A MAN would bear a son.
    "The modern translators say: 'Behold a young woman shall conceive and bear a son and call his name Immanuel.' (RSV). You see, they do not believe that Christ was divine, so it does not make any difference to them whether they say 'young woman' or a 'virgin.' (Conference Report, Tokyo Japan Area Conference 1975, p. 46).

    The quotes from other Church leaders emphasize the fact that Christ was both the spiritual and physical Son of God and that Christ's birth took place in the normal course of events. None of the above statements indicates that God had "sexual relations with Mary" as some critics so shockingly contend. Indeed, even LDS scripture refutes this false doctrine and affirms our belief in a virgin conception (1 Nephi 11:13-21).

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  59. Tyler,

    A prophet, a prophet you must blindly follow a prophets for they cannot lead you astray.

    "...Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt, who would have been the fourth Prophet of the Church had he lived long enough, says the reason we cannot remember the ‘Pre-existence’ is because our adult sized spirits could not fit into our infant bodies at birth and when our adult spirits were compressed to infant size, we forgot: “When he enters a body of flesh, his spirit is so compressed and contracted in infancy that he forgets his former existence...”

    Oh darn, maybe you forgot or you can't read.

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  60. While we do believe that Christ is the "only begotten Son" of God in the flesh (Ezra Taft Benson, Come Unto Christ, pp. 2-4, 128), speculation by LDS leaders as to how this was accomplished outside of what is contained in Holy Writ was and never has been the doctrine of the Church. On the other hand, the importance of Christ's divine Sonship as the "Only Begotten" is found throughout our scriptures and other LDS writings (John 1:14, 18; 3:16, 18; Heb. 5:5; 1 John. 4:9; Jacob 4:5, 11; Alma 12:33-34; 13:5; D&C 20:21; 29:42; 49:5; 76:13, 23-25; Moses 1:6,33; 2:1,26-27; 3:18; 4:1; 5:9; Jesus the Christ, p. 81; Mormon Doctrine, p. 546-547; Mortal Messiah, 1:313-315). The only satisfactory interpretation of Christ's Sonship is a physical one since all men may be spiritually "begotten of God" by being born again (1 John. 5:18; Mosiah 5:7). Christ alone is the only
    begotten Son of God in the flesh (John 1:14). An understanding of this concept is critical since those who are not unified in the faith and of the Son of God (Eph. 4:13) and who deny his divine Sonship will not be among those who overcome (1 John. 5:5).

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  61. Tyler,

    What position in the 'Church' do you hold?

    Are you the current Prophet/President or one of his two councils. Perhaps one of the 12 Apostles?

    If not you don't really have the right to say what the 'Church' doctrine is now do you?

    All you've given are your opinions.

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  62. I "can't read?" I've "forgotten?" I'm "blind"? You make insults on my intelligence with the cloak of anonymity. The apostle Paul said and did things like that before his conversion to a saving knowledge of Christ and Him crucified. Then a remarkable thing happened. Said Paul:

    "When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things." (1 Cor. 13:11)

    Perhaps there is something you can learn from his wise counsel.

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  63. Helen-

    I teach Gospel Doctrine in my ward and have held that position in different wards for years. You don't maintain that position by teaching false doctrine. I've held several other positions in the Church, served a mission, have regularly attended the temple since being endowed, married in the temple, and am on track to enter a Church Education System training program to eventually teach Seminary and Institute on a full-time basis on the recommendation of both my Bishopric and Stake Presidency. I'm also on track to graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree Magna Cum Laude from BYU-Idaho (the Church's second largest university) in Communications and Philosophy.

    I have had the privilege of being personally acquainted with and taught by several Church scholars, many of whom have served as members of the Church's curriculum writing committee supervised by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve.

    I've supported my statements from official and contemporary Church sources, along with my own insights as an active member of the Church for over twenty years, and a student/scholar dedicated to understanding my faith to the fullest extent. I find my faith both intellectually stimulating and invigorating, and consider scholarship to be an integral part of my faith. "The Glory of God is Intelligence."

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  64. Desperation and despair? Shrill voices? My what an imagination you have Tyler. Perhaps YOU should submit some of these timeless comments to academic circles for their evaluation. Again, what I give is only opinions, which we all have. I really don't recommend any of the men you listed, and I've read most of them. I recommend people read both sides. The only reason I would read or purchase those books is to get the source material which I would then evaluate myself. That is how I operate. You still have problems with the doctrine/speculation statements. Early Church leaders viewed doctrine as something totally different than what todays leaders promulgate. That is why so many TBM's and ex-Mormons are not on the same page. Maybe you missed the statement by McConkie which stated that Mary was a virgin because her son was born to an 'immortal' father. From what I've seen, there is a lot you miss.

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  65. I don't have an imagination Johnny. I'm just a braindead TBM. But thanks for at least giving me the benefit of the doubt and allowing me to have one, since it really is only ex-Mormons who can dictate to me what I 'truly' believe. I'm totally kidding by the way ;).

    So you don't recommend Michael Quinn as a historian? That surprises me. Which historians on Mormon history would you recommend? Given the fact that there are few people outside of Mormonism interested in its history, are there any third party historians you think accurately reflect Mormon history or doctrine? Jan Shipps for instance?

    I've never claimed that early church leaders have viewed doctrine or unofficial statements in precisely the same way we do today. It is a principle of the gospel to know that the Lord reveals "line upon line, precept upon precept." Thus, what once passed muster in an early age may not do so in a latter course of events. I've seen several statements that state in essence what Elder McConkie has said. However, that is not to say that the "only" reason Mary remained a virgin was because the Christchild had an immortal father.

    I think there are a lot of reasons why believing Latter-day Saints are not on the same page with those who have become Evangelical or Fundamentalist Protestants. "Ex-Mormon" or "Anti-Mormon" is a term used too loosely to describe someone. You're not defined by the person you were, but the person you have become. While those unfamiliar with the post-Mormon movement typically assume that they go on to join other churches, the fact is that most of them leave faith all together. In this sense, I'm glad that you have found a faith which you find spiritually satisfying for you. Would it be accurate for me to evaluate your statements as meaning that the only way to 'objectively' understand Mormonism is from the outside looking in?

    I'm glad that I 'miss' things. I'll be the first to tell you that I don't know everything there is to know. That's one of the reasons why I'm continually learning. But when I'm told consistently that I'm 'spinning' things or 'braindead' simply because I have information that counters other information, I find such discussions typically lacking in substance and respect.

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  66. Tyler - this is your quote "You also falsely claim that Christian apologists "aren't quoting each other. That's a complete lie and you know it Rocky. You've quoted extensively from fellow counter-cultists such as Richard Abanes, the Tanners, Chuck Sackett, Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson. When you don't like what Mormons have written about their history, you resort to a rehashed version by cultural or ex-Mormons."

    No - you are the liar. Christian apologists quoting the Tanner's, Sackett, McKeever, and others are 99 times out of 100 using a quote from them, that is an exact quote of a Mormon prophet, apostle or other Mormon Church leader. So YOU KNOW IT that they are doing just that and if you're going to prove the Tanner's, Sackett, McKeever or me to be liars, you must prove we have falsely quoted Mormon leaders.

    My book has been out for almost 3 years now and neither you, nor any other Mormon "Persecutionist" has come forward to show that I was persecuting Mormonism by falsely misquoting Mormon leaders.

    I'm waiting. Post the misquotes right here right now Tyler. Post them or you are the liar!

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  67. ""We talk about Christianity, but it is a perfect pack of nonsense.... Myself and hundreds of the Elders around me have seen its pomp, parade, and glory; and what is it? It is a sounding brass and a tinkling symbol; it is as corrupt as hell; and the Devil could not invent a better engine to spread his work than the Christianity of the nineteenth century," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, 1858, p. 167).

    "Brother Taylor has just said that the religions of the day were hatched in hell. The eggs were laid in hell, hatched on its borders, and kicked on to the earth" ( B. Young, Journal of Discourses 6:176)."

    Two things worth considering.
    One, the mid 19th century was neither the age of elegance nor the age of tact. Rhetoric was strident, brusque, fiery, and abrasive. Preachers, both LDS and others, did not mince words.
    Second, considering that most of the enemies and opponents of the church in the early years belonged to the "christianity of the 19th century," is it any wonder that church leaders would view the faith of people who ridiculed, persecuted, abused, assaulted, raped and murdered Mormons, finally driving them from their homes, as being hatched in Hell, or as an instrument of the Devil?

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  68. "If not you don't really have the right to say what the 'Church' doctrine is now do you?"

    By the same token, neither do you, yet somehow I doubt we'll be seeing you pack up your ministry anytime soon.

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  69. "To advocate that humans do not recall their ‘pre-existent state’ because their adult sized spirit had to be compressed to fit into an infant body, and that compression caused memory loss, is simply ludicrous!"

    19th century pseudo-science is ridiculous.
    If you consider Pratt's statement as Mormon doctrine and the belief held by LDS, then equally, you believe that Jews are "truly stupid fools" and "miserable, blind, and senseless people." Indeed, your ministry probably believes that God and all the angels dance when a Jew farts, or that God forces them to lie "in violation of their own conscience." All statements made by the founder of the protestant movement, a movement you are part of.

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  70. Calba,

    How disingenuous can you get? We have every right to say what Mormon Doctrine is. As Smith wrote:

    And this is the ensample unto them, that they shall speak as they are moved upon by the Holy Ghost. And WHATSOEVER they shall speak when moved upon by the aHoly Ghost shall be scripture, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be THE VOICE OF THE LORD, and the power of God unto salvation. (D&C 68: 3-4 Given to Orson Hyde & the Church, November 1831)

    So, are you going to pick and choose which statements were not spoken with the Holy Spirit? Like those called as Apostles of Jesus Christ would have the Spirit one minute and the next minute NOT have it? It's like this discourse by the same man the above revelation was given to:

    ‎"Jesus was the bridegroom at the marriage of Cana of Galilee, and he told them what to do. Now there was actually a marriage; and if Jesus was not the bridegroom on that occasion, please tell who was. If any man can show this, and prove that it was not the Savior of the world, then I will acknowledge I am in error. We say it was Jesus Christ who was married, to be brought into the relation whereby he could see his seed, before he was crucified."- Word of the Apostle Orson Hyde, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 2, p. 82

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  71. Hyde opens his discourse with this:

    Whenever truth is manifested by revelation to the servants of G od, it never comes without a reason for it. When the light of revelation bursts upon the mind, it not only unfolds one principle, but many. For instance, to illustrate this idea, suppose this room were in total darkness, and we were seated as we now are, if a brilliant light were introduced in the midst of the room, it would enable us to see not only one person, but the whole multitude.

    So it is with the light of revelation. W hen it bursts into the human mind, it not only reveals one principle, but casts a halo of light upon all connected with it. An individual thus favored, walks in the light of Jehovah's countenance. I have a desire that in this light we may walk; and he whose eye is single, says the Savior, his whole body shall be full of light, and there is no darkness in him, nor occasion of stumbling." (Page 76)

    Then Hyde closes with these remarks:

    "I FEEL CHARGED WITH THE HOLY GHOST SENT down from heaven, and it burns in my heart like a flame, and this is the testimony I bear. If I do mingle in the streets with the crowd to engage in business as any other man, I am not always asleep, and insensible to what is passing around me. I do not profess to know a great deal, but some things I do know, and some things I do not know. I have endeavored to illustrate this subject for the benefit of the honest inquirer, I have only just touched it, endeavoring to throw out a few hints for your consideration, that you may know we are not without some reason for our faith and practice touching the subject of polygamy.

    ...I now say, in the presence of God and angels, that I have given the guilty persons warning, and my garments are clean from your blood. Take warning.... (Page 87)

    Remember:

    "And WHATSOEVER they shall speak when moved upon by the aHoly Ghost shall be SCRIPTURE, shall be the will of the Lord, shall be the mind of the Lord, shall be the word of the Lord, shall be THE VOICE OF THE LORD, and the power of God unto salvation."

    We can take it then, that Mormon SCRIPTURE is that Jesus was married and a polygamist. This is by a so called APOSTLE of JESUS, the HIGHEST authority in the Church. ALL these teachings come from them. If they could not leave their prejudices and hatred at the door, they why are they apostles? The Holy Spirit manifests LOVE, not the hate rhetoric YOU quoted above. Mormons want it all both ways, but that is not what your leaders say, nor what everyone is to judge what is Mormon Doctrine by. And if you get the chance, study up on calling and election and being taught face to face by Jesus, a REQUIREMENT of the calling of an Apostle in the Mormon Church. No, it is you who are mistaken, trying to downplay the authority of these men. _johnny

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  72. And it was Smith who started the rhetoric as you well know with his 'abomination' statement. Then with his delusions of grandeur he started a 'united order' publishing in the Book of Commandments that all the land in Missouri belonged to the the Mormon God and the Saints. When some of those 'saints' did not want to give it up, Smith started the Danites, and Rigdon announced their coming with an 'extermination' speech given long before Boggs ever thought of the word. It was Smith & his Danites that started all the problems in Missouri, for the Church under Whitmer was getting along fine with the Missourians till Smith took 'leg-bail' from Kirtland in the middle of the night to escape prosecution for his phony 'anti-bank', and fled to Missouri. Denouncing the Danites and secret societies that 'bind by oath', Smith blamed it all on Avard, but a few years later started up the secret blood oaths once again in his temple rituals. It is this man that brought all the sorrow on the 'saints', who finally got pulled down by his own megalomania in Carthage just a few years later. _johnny

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  73. Johnny, we've been down this road before. Your sources are wildly inaccurate. That is honestly the nicest I could say about them or about your understanding of them.
    Plus, your chronology is off, or are you saying that the 1838 account of the first vision is truly the earliest?

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  74. "How disingenuous can you get? We have every right to say what Mormon Doctrine is."

    How disingenious can I get? Try asking Helen about disingenuity. She declared that Tyler has no right to say what Mormon doctrine is.

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  75. Please state how my sources(which SOURCES?) are 'wildly inaccurate', I'd love to hear it. Maybe you are having a hard time comprehending what I was getting at....I wasn't dating the first vision, I was making a comment about Smith's rhetoric which STARTED with the first vision. (the first account of it was written by Smith in his letterbook in 1832.) My point is, if you haven't gotten it by now, is that Smith instigated all the animosity against him, and kept it up until a angry mob of men put an end to him in 1844. I can't get any more plain than that. Chao

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  76. I'll mention one, which you've alluded to. John C. Bennett. About as accurate and credible as the illustration of Mameluke Danites.

    What you are basically saying is that Joseph had it coming to him, and by extension, so did the rest of the saints. You are sick. You are also no kind of Christian whatsoever. I can't get any plainer than that.

    Do please look at the language of the first account of the 1st vision.

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  77. Rocky,
    How is the doctrine of pre-existence "anti-Christian"?

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  78. Where did I 'allude to' John C. Bennett? You sure seem to see a lot of things that just aren't there.

    Did Smith 'have it coming'? He sure was guilty of many crimes but if he 'had it coming'....that is not for me to say. History shows that his crimes caught up with him. Others like David Koresh, had the same thing happen to them. I don't condone it, I'm just stating the facts, but you just have to paint those that disagree with you as bad as you can, to make yourself feel good.

    You are the sick one, for connecting that Smith brought on his own troubles, with some twisted perception that I want all Mormons to suffer the same fate. What an ugly mind you have. But you are not the first or last to do this, it's an old tactic, cause you have to denigrate any person who does not hold the same opinion or see the facts the same way you do. Now that's sick.

    As for judging who is a 'Christian' because
    of how they observe history and what happened to a certain individual because of their own actions, it must be nice to be able to be that 'all knowing', but it's ok for you to make statements like:

    Indeed, your ministry probably believes that God and all the angels dance when a Jew farts, or that God forces them to lie "in violation of their own conscience."

    So Calba, what does that say about you? Wrap your all seeing mind around that one.

    You still haven't told me what sources I've used are 'wildly inaccurate', because there are none.

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  79. Calba - the Mormon Doctrine of "Pre-existence" is anti-Christian because it is not taught in the Bible. Christian Doctrine comes from the Bible and "Pre-existence" isn't found there.

    The Bible was written by the Holy Spirit; therefore, it cannot contradict itself: 2 Pet 1:21 "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost."

    Col 1:16, 17 says Jesus created all things - that would mean our spirits as well: "16. For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in the earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17. And he is before all things and by him all things consist."

    So, according to the Bible, all things were created by Jesus, both in heaven and in earth. That counters the Mormon Doctrine of "Pre-existence" which says Jesus was the created offspring of God the Father and one of his wives, and that our spirits came from God the Father and his wives as well.

    1 Cor 15:46 says that the physical is first and then the spiritual: "46. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual."

    Zechariah 12:1 teaches us that Jesus formed the spirit of man within him: "The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, saith the Lord, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him." The word formeth (yatsar) is only used twice in the OT: Amos 4:13 is the other, and is speaking about the Lord forming the mountains. The word is: "to make." It is clear in Zechariah 12:1 that the body had to exist first in order for the Lord to "formeth," "to make" the spirit in it.

    Calba - I just believe the Bible is God's Word and it does not support the Mormon Doctrine of "Pre-existence" originated by Mormon men. I trust God over man. Your belief in "Pre-existence, which is not taught in the Bible, but by Mormon men tells us in whom you trust your eternity.

    Rocky

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  80. You have failed to show how it is anti-Christian. Non-Christian and anti-Christian are not synonymous. I am glad to hear that it is mere ignorance of English on your part, and not malicious, emotive rhetoric (shock-tactics).

    When it comes to Hebrew, you (or rather your source) are equally ignorant. Yatzar in its various morphologies occurs more than twice in the OT. Jer. 1:5, Isa. 44:9, Ps. 94:20, Gen. 2:7,19, 2 K. 19:25, Isa. 45:7, Isa. 43:10, Isa. 54:17, Ps. 139:16, and Ex. 32:4, to name a few more. These don't imply creating out of nothing, but mean rather to form, or to give form to something. Look at the Genesis and Exodus verses in particular. God takes dirt and Aaron gold, each gives it the form of either man or animal. Something always existed before being given a finalised form.

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  81. Isaiah 45:6,7 says: “In order that those (people) shall know, from the east of the sun and her west, that there is nothing but Me, I am God and there is no other. Forming light and creating darkness, making peace and creating evil – I am God doing all these things.”

    God did not “create” darkness, but He created something positive, light. Subsequent to its creation, its removal is what we term darkness. In that sense, God created darkness. Similarly, hunger cannot be created, but a stomach and nerves can be created, which, when empty, will sense hunger. This explains, as Maimonides teaches, why the term “yatzar” is applied only to light and peace in our verse, for these are real creations. (See the Hebrew of the verse) But darkness and evil are termed “bara”, which does not imply positive creation, rather, a causal relationship. God is the creator of darkness, in as much as He created light with the ability for it to be diminished.


    "Bara" (created) refers to that which God created ex nihilo – from nothing. Therefore, the heavens, earth, and man's soul are referred to as "bara", created from nothing. But man's instinctual portion - "nefesh chaim" (Gen. 2:7) - and other formations are referred to as "yatzar", to mold from existing matter.

    Maimonides states (Guide, Book II chap. 30) that "bara" is used when referring to creation ex nihilo. But also – as Isaiah states – when referring to darkness. Maimonides says that darkness is the absence of something...i.e., light. Thus, bara is appropriately used to refer to the "creation" of darkness, as it too – just like ex nihilo – refers to God's creation, when He is not relating to any real existence. When God created the universe, He was not relating to anything yet in existence, just as when He "creates" darkness. Darkness is not a real existence. But when referring to God's acting upon something already in existence, the term yatzar is used, as if to further "mold" that which already exists. Thus, light is yatzar – as Maimonides teaches — as it is an accident in an already existing heavenly body. Light may be correctly viewed as color. Color is perceived by the light emanating from a surface. Thus, color and light are yatzar, as they are further actions upon an already existing body.
    __________________
    Rabbi Moshe Ben-Chaim, Founder
    Mesora.org / USAIsrael.org / The JewishTimes

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  82. Yet Abraham ibn Ezra uses the Isaiah verse to show that darkness is "the opposite of light, which did exist."

    The Rav Kook had the following to say. "The philosophers distinguished between chomer, the raw material, and tzurah, the inner form or purpose. For example, wood is a raw material (chomer) that may be used in many different functional objects. Once it is designated for use as a table, the wood also has tzurah, having acquired a particular purpose.

    At the very beginning of Creation, there was only chomer. God created many varied elements, but they were without tzurah, lacking function and purpose. This state of disorder and dissonance is referred to as darkness — "darkness on the face of the depths" (Gen 1:2). The Torah calls this unstable primeval stage Tohu and Bohu, meaning that it was chaotic and empty of form.

    Then God created the "Ohr Ha-Ganuz". This special light played a critical role in creation. Just as regular light allows us to see and relate to our surroundings, the Hidden Light enabled the different elements of creation to relate to one another. It dispelled the initial state of darkness when all objects were isolated, unable to relate and connect to each other.

    To use the terminology of the philosophers, the illumination of the first day stamped a functional tzurah on the material chomer of creation. Through this special light, the universe's myriad objects gained purpose and function, and were able to work together towards a common goal."

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  83. Genesis Rabbah (predating Maimonides by a good half millenium) posits that God created the world out of primary negative matter or chaotic elements.

    Now that creatio ex nihilo has been disposed of, can we deal with my specific examples from the OT countering rocky's claim?

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  84. Rocky, are you so sure that “99 times out of 100” when you’re quoting other Christian apologists that you’re only quoting “an exact quote” of a former LDS leader? Chapter one of your book deals with several issues that have been addressed at length by several LDS scholars. Rather than quoting directly from primary sources, you’ve preferred to quote those who agree (at least in part) with your premise. In recounting the history of the Saints in Kirtland, Ohio, you’ve relied almost solely upon the work of Richard Abanes who recounts a sensationalistic version of events surrounding the failure of the Kirtland Anti-Banking Society and who never once directly quotes an early Church leader. I’d say that’s a good example (and there are several others) where you’ve preferred to quote the rehashed version rather than the original source.

    As far as taking leaders out of context and even distorting the text to fit your prose, I’ll refer you to pages 247 and 248 of your book. Here you quote Joseph Smith as saying: “God made Aaron to be the mouthpiece of the children of Israel, and he will make me to be God to you in his stead, and the elders to be mouth for me; and if you don’t like it, you must lump it.”

    I’ve omitted your bolding and underlining of certain words in the phrase (a problem that plagues your book ad nauseam), but this is how you quoted a source that you cited as History of the Church 6:319-320. The fact is, you’ve deliberately altered the meaning of a text for a section you’ve entitled “ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY!” The quote has absolutely nothing to do with the motivations for those who carried out the Mountain Meadows Massacre, nor do you quote it correctly.

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  85. The original reads thus (in its proper context):

    “The Lord has an established law in relation to the matter: there must be a particular spot for the salvation of our dead. I verily believe there will be a place, and hence men who want to save their dead can come and bring their families, do their work by being baptized and attending to the other ordinances for their dead, and then may go back again to live and wait till they go to receive their reward. I shall leave my brethren to enlarge on this subject: it is my duty to teach the doctrine. I would teach it more fully—the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. God is not willing to let me gratify you; but I must teach the Elders, and they should teach you. God made Aaron to be the mouth piece for the children of Israel, and He will make me be god to you in His stead, and the Elders to be mouth for me; and if you don't like it, you must lump it. I have been giving Elder Adams instruction in some principles to speak to you, and if he makes a mistake, I will get up and correct him.”

    You altered this quote to make it appear that Joseph Smith viewed himself as God on earth, that he ruled the Saints with tyranny and oppression at the threat of their lives. Richard Abanes made the same claim in his hardback edition of One Nation Under Gods (pg. 171) and was forced to correct it in the paperback edition. Joseph is comparing his situation to that of Aaron, who was to be the "mouth piece for the children of Israel." He was not comparing himself to God. Your capitalization of the word "god" is both improper and misleading. I could go more in depth, but hopefully you’ll get the point. Your book promised much, but gave very little. The overwhelming majority of claims within the book have been dealt with and debunked for years. It presents nothing new, only a rehashed version of rehashed claims that have been tossed around for years. The fact that several non-Mormons found the book offensive and inaccurate is evidence enough that my thoughts are not unfounded. Thank you for your time.

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  86. Calba, the question was not creation ex-nihilo, the question was pre-existence. Anyone who examines the Mormon Doctrine of pre-existence knows that the teaching is that God the Father through marital relations with his wive/wives created the spirits of man through a "celestial pregnancy." With respect to the the scripture in Colosians 1:16-17, Jesus is creator of all things in heaven and earth, spiritual and physical, so how can Mormon pre-existent creation of spirit children by God and his wives be true?

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  87. Tyler, thanks for pointing out the capitalization error. I'll be happy to correct that in the updated version which will be coming out soon. Your analysis of the use of the quote is flawed. It wasn't that single quote it was several quotes, that one as just a part, which shows the the Mormon belief of absolute authority of their "prophet, seer, and revelator" leadership. You and I both know, that if you as Mormon had the "Prophet" of the Mormon Church tell you that he had a revelation and you were to do something, that you, as a Mormon, believe that he is God's direct mouthpiece on earth, and you would obey. You can deny it all day long, but you and I both know better!

    There are over 400 quotes in my book, that was completely written, edited and published in less than 3 months. The latest book by Turley and crew on the Mountain Meadows Massacre, was, I believe, 4 years in the making. So, bring on the misquotes, out of context, and blantant lies...I'm waiting.

    Oh, and stating that quotes have been addressed by Mormon scholars has nothing to do with answering them. Mormon scholars are masters of rationalization, not content accuracy.

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  88. With respect to Colossians 1:16-17, does the scripture teach that Christ was directly responsible for the creation and existence of all beings? Latter-day Saints certainly believe that Jesus Christ was involved in the creative process by which the earth and heavens were formed. But does this apply to the spirits of mankind? If Jesus is indeed the creator of man's spirit, how was the spirit of man created? With regard to the creation of spirits in Creedal Christianity, creation ex nihilo plays a pivotal role and is directly related to the creation of spirits in this regard. Now is there anyone here willing to provide a counter-explanation to the several scriptures quoted in support of the doctrine of pre-existence in Old Testament (and New Testament) theology? The premise from your original post Rocky, was that Mormons believe an unbiblical doctrine, yet you've failed to answer any LDS responses quoting actual scripture in support of such a doctrine.

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  89. Rocky-

    I commend you that you were able to write your book in three months. The book appears to largely consist of material you'd already published while you were the director of the NCVC. Am I mistaken in this observation? I'd be interested in seeing your updated edition. Do you plan on keeping the same publisher? Joseph Smith compared himself in the quote to the ancient Aaron. Do you believe the same "absolute authority" could be applied to the Israelites in the Exodus narrative? Did their salvation, at least in part, depend upon their heeding to the words of Jehovah as they were revealed through Moses?

    Leonard, Walker, and Turley's book took several years of intensive research to complete, as did Will Bagley's book and that of Juanita Brooks.' The differences from their books to yours are like comparing apples to oranges. Their research into the Mountain Meadows Massacre and other issues is demonstrably more professional and scholastically literate.

    You and I both know that there is hardly the space (or the time for that matter) to go through every quotation ripped out of context or misstatement concerning Mormon doctrine in your book. After all, we're talking about the "Pre-existence" here. But give it time and you'll have your response. At the same time I doubt it will change your opinions or approaches about anything, just as the case has been with other authors profiting from the genre of anti-Mormonism.

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  90. Colossians 1:16-17 is what it is.

    Let's read Colossians 1:16 again: "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in the earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:". As a non-Mormon, I'd say "all" is pretty finite. No matter how I try, I cannot make "all" equal "some". You may be able to rationalize that away; I cannot.

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  91. Tyler, say what you will about my book, I didn't make up the quotes, the Mormon Church provided them for me. If you don't like the quotes, your argument is with the source, not the reporter.

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  92. Latter-day Saints have consistently taught that under the direction of His Father, Jesus Christ created the earth. We also emphatically teach that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Savior, and Redeemer of the world. First I'm accused of being irrational for disagreeing with you....now I'm "too" rational. I must admit however; its easy to rationalize away Protestant fundamentalism. Was Christ the "Father of spirits" (Heb. 12:9)? Who then, was the divine being whom Christ called "my father" (John 8:19; 10:29-30, Matt. 18: 10,19,35, Rev. 3:21)? Who was this being to whom Christ called "my God" and "your God" (John 20:17)?

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  93. I'm not saying you "made up quotes" Rocky. If you want to beat that strawman again, you're talking to the wrong person. Yet "spinning" is your token trademark with several of those quotes...which is the reason why context means everything. Your explanations of these quotes are at times embarrassingly inaccurate, to the point that I wonder whether you really had anyone proofread it. If you don't think you're "spinning" anything, just go through your book and count the number of times you've included the quote "emphasis added." How sure are you that Mormon leaders really meant their statements in the way you explain and emphasize them? The fact is, you wanted to make Mormonism appear as offputting as possible; hence the reason why you found it necessary to bold, italicize, capitalize, and underline nearly half of the text of your book. How one can walk away without the feeling that you're literally shouting at them is beyond me. There are some things in your book that you've stated correctly; yet there are many times when I believe you're not telling "the rest of the story" as much as you (and I) loved the late radio legend Paul Harvey. Your recounting of the Mountain Meadows Massacre, the Mark Hofmann incidents, and the Reed Smoot hearings fall demonstrably short. When the text fails to provide the "punch" you've desired, you've chosen to highlight certain aspects and ignore others that discredit your prose. Not only have you misrepresented my faith, but borne false witness to those who would otherwise be indifferent. I have little problem with the "source." The human aspect of Mormon history is fascinating to me and thousands of others who would easily take several issues with what you've written. While your book may resonate well with the folk of the fringe, it was not compelling to me on the first, second, or third read-through.

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  94. @Tyler - If I wrote my book exactly emulating the style of writing of Mormon Prophet Monson, you would have just as much objection. The book was not written to you. The book is not written to Mormons; they were not/are not the target audience. The book is written to educate the American voter about the conflict that exists between Mormonism and the public trust.

    You really take exception to my position on the Mountain Meadows Massacre. So, tell me, how do you get over 60 Mormon men, who are husbands, fathers, and religious men and leaders in their church, to agree to ride into this circled wagon train that has been under siege for days, and blatantly deceive them, convincing them to lay down their arms and walk out into the open, and then brutally massacre them? How do you do that Tyler? There is no way to get family men to club and beat and point blank shoot innocent, unarmed men, women and children, with more than 2/3's of the victims being under the age of 18, without an absolute authority that they unhesitatingly believed in, commanding it. The only way these family men would have committed such an unconscionable act of brutality would be if they believed "God" ordered it. Only Brigham could issue an order that these men would have followed to commit this act. Disagree? Next Stake Conference at the "Priesthood" meeting, look around the room at the hundreds of men there and tell me that if the Stake President and the Ward Bishops stood up and said that all the Priesthood holders present had a mission to perform and then told them they were going to go and kill every man woman and child over the age of eight of a group of people that were enemies of the Church...would they do it? Absolutely not! Not on the orders of the Stake President and their Bishop. Now, if President Monson ordered it, that would be different.

    You don't buy that! Then you tell me, what motivated these Mormon men to commit the most heinous crime in pioneer history? What Tyler? What made them do it? I'm all ears, and so is the rest of the world; because to date, the Mormon Church has never offered an explanation of any substance.

    How do you get over 60 Mormon Priesthood holders and fathers to commit such an awful event - the most brutal, gruesome, evil crime of its time and even to this day in American history. Tell us Tyler, tell the whole world your educated, researched, and intellectually reasoned position that demonstrates that Mormonism had nothing to do with it. Oh, and while you're at it, tell us how "the only true and living Church upon the face of the whole earth" covered it up and only offered up one sacrifice, John D. Lee, to take the blame.

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  95. Rocky-
    You’re incorrect in your assumption that if your writing style mimicked that of President Monson, that I would somehow still object to it. The fact is, it was poorly structured, punctuated, and produced. It exhibits flawed examples of research, methodology, and exegesis in addition to the ad nauseam sensationalism, capitalization, bolding, and underlining. I don’t hate you personally Rocky. I’m simply pointing out a violation of simple standards of interpersonal communication and theory. While such grammatical techniques may be effective on a small scale, excessive use of these techniques has been demonstrably ineffective.

    I have never ever tried to justify the events of the Mountain Meadows Massacre. My exceptions have occurred largely because your assertions lack the evidence. You’ve misinterpreted several statements by Church leaders from that period as evidence of complicity in the attack, while systematically ignoring any statements or evidence suggesting otherwise. Bagley downplayed this evidence in Blood of the Prophets. You’ve taken it a step further by completely ignoring it. Men motivated by fear and misinformation can do horrible things Rocky. You’ve tried to paint the entire LDS Church as being responsible for the massacre. You couldn’t be further from the truth. Isaac Haight sent Jacob Haslam to ask Brigham Young what to do. Instead of waiting, he acted on his own. Would someone ride 300 miles in three days to deliver an order to stop the massacre unless it was pertinent? These are all issues you conveniently leave out of your “fully documented” book, and to your largely uncritical and equally prejudiced audience. It would be years before participants were willing to tell the whole story, many of whom went to their deathbeds with the deaths of the innocent on their consciences. These acts are inexcusable. I, just as you, believe that the lives of those who died on that day died in vain. It was useless and cruel. God will be the judge of those involved, no matter how much you or I stir up feelings of anger or remorse. I’m willing to go as far as the evidence stands. No matter how much you’ve tried to stretch the facts, Brigham Young had no involvement in the massacre. The fault lies solely upon those who (at odds with Priesthood leaders in Salt Lake) chose to slaughter 120 innocent men, women, and children.

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  96. I have studied the Mountain Meadows Massacre for the greater part of my life Rocky. I have read almost every book written on the subject. I have focused many of my own college studies on the subject. My university has classes completely devoted to it. In my capacity as a Latter-day Saint I have worked to bring knowledge of the massacre and its history to the minds of those who otherwise know very little.
    I am ashamed that “men of faith” would resort to such actions. I believe some Church leaders acted on misinformation years following the massacre. As evidence began to unfold, actions were taken against several involved, while only Lee received capital punishment. No earthly punishment can compare to that of God’s judgment. It would be years before a complete list of participants could be compiled, many of whom had already died. I’m grateful for the research of Juanita Brooks, and in a small part, for that of Will Bagley. They brought attention to an important issue that was (and still is) being ignored by many ordinary Americans. Ultimately the latest work by Walker, Leonard, and Turley has been monumental. I look forward to the book’s sequel to be released in the coming years.
    By spreading misinformation about the massacre, both Mormons and non-Mormons do a great disservice to those who died that day. We should honor the victims by telling their story, the whole story, without prejudice, without falsehood or speculation. I raise my voice with those who cry for justice and at the same time find it in my heart to forgive those who would trespass against the innocent. God will be their judge Rocky. Not you, not me, not anyone else but God.

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  97. Why would Brigham Young say, when viewing the monument a few years later, 'It should be… Vengeance is mine, and I have taken a little.'?

    No horror on his part (then), no words to the effect that these people were innocent, nothing. Just...those words about vengeance. That comment alone, speaks volumes to me about the culpability of Brigham Young, if not before..then after the fact.

    As to the words of John D. Lee, here is an interesting 'confirmation' of one of the incidents he related:

    In Nauvoo it was the orders from Joseph Smith and his apostles to beat, wound and castrate all Gentiles that the police could take in the act of entering or leaving a Mormon household under circumstances that led to the belief that they had been there for immoral purposes.... In Utah it was the favorite revenge of old, worn-out members of the Priesthood, who wanted young women sealed to them, and found that the girl preferred some handsome young man. The old priests generally got the girls, and many a young man was unsexed for refusing to give up his sweetheart at the request of an old and failing, but still sensual apostle or member of the Priesthood. As an illustration... Warren Snow was Bishop of the Church at Manti, San Pete County, Utah. He had several wives, but there was a fair, buxom young woman in the town that Snow wanted for a wife.... She thanked him for the honor offered, but told him she was then engaged to a young man, a member of the Church, and consequently could not marry the old priest.... He told her it was the will of God that she should marry him, and she must do so; that the young man could be got rid of, sent on a mission or dealt with in some way... that, in fact, a promise made to the young man was not binding, when she was informed that it was contrary to the wishes of the authorities.

    "The girl continued obstinate.... the authorities called on the young man and directed him to give up the young woman. This he steadfastly refused to do.... He remained true to his intended, and said he would die before he would surrender his intended wife to the embraces of another.... The young man was ordered to go on a mission to some distant locality... But the mission was refused...

    "It was then determined that the rebellious young man must be forced by harsh treatment to respect the advice and orders of the Priesthood. His fate was left to Bishop Snow for his decision. He decided that the young man should be castrated; Snow saying, 'When that is done, he will not be liable to want the girl badly, and she will listen to reason when she knows that her lover is no longer a man.'

    "It was then decided to call a meeting of the people who lived true to counsel, which was held in the school-house in Manti... The young man was there, and was again requested, ordered and threatened, to get him to surrender the young woman to Snow, but true to his plighted troth, he refused to consent to give up the girl. The lights were then put out. An attack was made on the young man. He was severely beaten, and then tied with his back down on a bench, when Bishop Snow took a bowie-knife, and performed the operation in a most brutal manner, and then took the portion severed from his victim and hung it up in the school-house on a nail, so that it could be seen by all who visited the house afterwards.

    "The party then left the young man weltering in his blood, and in a lifeless condition. During the night he succeeded in releasing himself from his confinement, and dragged himself to some hay-stacks, where he lay until the next day, when he was discovered by his friends. The young man regained his health, but has been an idiot or quite lunatic ever since....

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  98. "After this outrage old Bishop Snow took occasion to get up a meeting... When all had assembled, the old man talked to the people about their duty to the Church, and their duty to obey counsel, and the dangers of refusal, and then publicly called attention to the mangled parts of the young man, that had been severed from his person, and stated that the deed had been done to teach the people that the counsel of the Priesthood must be obeyed. To make a long story short, I will say, the young woman was soon after forced into being sealed to Bishop Snow.

    "Brigham Young... did nothing against Snow. He left him in charge as Bishop at Manti, and ordered the matter to be hushed up." (Confessions of John D. Lee, Photo-reprint of 1877 edition,, pages 284-286)

    This, by D. Michael Quinn:

    "In the midsummer of 1857 Brigham Young also expressed approval for an LDS bishop who had castrated a man. In May 1857 Bishop Warren S. Snow's counselor wrote that twenty-four-year-old Thomas Lewis 'has now gone crazy' after being castrated by Bishop Snow for an undisclosed sex crime. When informed of Snow's action, Young said: 'I feel to sustain him...' In July Brigham Young wrote a reassuring letter to the bishop about this castration: 'Just let the matter drop, and say no more about it,' the LDS president advised, 'and it will soon die away among the people.' " (The Mormon Hierarchy: Extensions of Power, Vol. 2, pages 250-251)

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  99. And then this, from Wilford Woodruff's Journal (I post this in it's entirety):

    June 2, 1857: I spent the day in the office. President Young called in the afternoon also George A. Smith. We conversed upon various subjects; hear done of G. A. Smith's sermons read. We conversed upon the subject of the present excitement in the states concerning Mormonism. We then went into the temple block to see the form of the first_____made of white sandstone. I then went into the president's office and spent the evening. Bishop Blackburn was present--the subject came up of some persons leaving Provo who had APOSTASIZED. Some thought that Bishop Blackburn and President Snow were to blame. Brother Joseph Young presented the thing to President Young. But when the circumstances were told, President Brigham Young SUSTAINED THE BRETHERN WHO PRESIDED AT PROVO. He said they had done (right). The subject of eunuchs came up and Joseph said that he would rather die than to be made a eunuch. Brigham said the day would come when THOUSANDS WOULD BE MADE EUNOCHS in order for them to be saved in the Kingdom of God. The subject of women and adultery came up. Joseph asked if a woman and man who were married could commit adultery. Brigham said that Joseph said they could not, yet he was satisfied they could do wrong. President Young said we cannot cleanse the platter because the people will not bear it. Joseph--I am willing to have the people cleanse the platter if they can do it in righteousness and judge righteous judgment. Brigham--This people never were half as well prepared to EXECUTE RIGHTEOUSNESS as now. I will tell you that when a man is trying to do right
    and do something THAT IS NOT EXACTLY IN ORDER, I feel to sustain him and we all should. I wish there was some people on earth who could tell us just how much sin we must sustain before we can chastise the people AND CORRECT THEIR ERRORS. The wicked may go to the states and call for troops. I don't think the people will get rich to come after us. They have got a long road to travel. We have either got to join hands with sin and sinners, or we have got to fight them.

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  100. The subject of adultery again came up. Joseph said a man cannot commit adultery with his wife, so says the revelation on patriarchal marriage. Yet a man can do wrong in having connection with his wife at times. Joseph Young said the Ancient Apostle said that a man should not put away his wife save for the cause of fornication. If he did, they would both commit adultery. Brigham Young said Joseph taught that when a woman's affections were entirely weaned from her husband, that was adultery in spirit; her affections were adulterated from his. He also said that there was no law in heaven or on earth that would compel a woman to stay with a man either in time or eternity. This I think is true (but I do not know). Then if a man that is a High Priest takes a woman and she leaves him and goes to one of a lesser office, say the lesser priesthood or member, I think in the resurrection that that High Priest can claim her. Joseph--what if she should not want to go with him? I should not want a woman under those circumstances. Brigham--I will tell you what you will find, that all those evil traditions and affections or passions that haunt the mind in this life will all be done away in the resurrection. You will find then that any man who gets a glory and exaltation will be so beautiful that any woman will be willing to have him, if it was right, and whenever it is right for the woman to go there, she will be willing to go, for all those evils will vanish to which we are subject in this life. I have told the people the truth just as it is, but others will at times get up and tell the people that they will get no heaven only what they make in this life, and that it will be in the next world as it is in this. Now they do not mean what they say. They do not explain themselves, hence the people will not understand what is said to them. Joseph said I WISH I KNEW WHAT MY LIMITS WERE. Brigham--your limits are endless and you have not got half way to the end of it yet. Now when I was an elder, I was as willing to correct an error in the brethren as I am now. But the people do not see it so. Now if you should be with the 12, or anybody, you would have a right to correct an error as well as with a member, but you could not correct them by cutting them off from the Church, because they are over you in the priesthood.”

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  101. This letter to T.B.H. Stenhouse, from an individual who was present at a meeting in Provo, Utah. The letter indicates that Bishop Blackburn wanted men castrated for not obeying their leaders:

    " 'Dear Stenhouse: I Have read carefully the accompanying statement about the "Reformation."... If you want to travel wider and show the effect in the country of the inflammatory speeches delivered in Salt Lake City at that time, you can mention the Potter and Parrish murders at Springville, the barbarous castration of a young man in San Pete, and, to cap the climax, the Mountain-Meadows massacre... Threats of personal violence or death were common in the settlements against all who dared to speak against the priesthood, or in any way protest against this "reign of terror."

    " 'I was at a Sunday meeting in the spring of 1857, in Provo, when the news of the San Pete castration was referred to by the presiding bishop -- Blackburn. Some men in Provo had rebelled against authority in some trivial matter, and Blackburn shouted in his Sunday meeting -- a mixed congregation of all ages and both sexes -- "I want the people of Provo to understand that the boys in Provo can use the knife as well as the boys in San Pete. Boys, get your knives ready, there is work for you! We must not be behind San Pete in good works." The result of this was that two citizens, named Hooper and Beauvere, both having families at Provo, left the following night... Their only offence was rebellion against the priesthood.

    " 'This man, Blackburn, was continued in office at least a year after this...

    " 'The qualifications for a bishop were a blind submission and obedience to Brigham and the authorities, and a firm, unrelented government of his subjects." (The Rocky Mountain Saints, by T. B. H. Stenhouse, 1873, pages 301-302)

    With comments like the ones Young made in the presence of Woodruff...it is no wonder these men felt they were justified in doing these things. Here is another interesting entry from Woodruff's Journals:

    September 13, 1857: In conversation with Capt. Van Vliet, Brigham Young said in part, "If the government of the United States persists in sending armies to destroy us, in the name of the Lord, we shall conquer them. If the government calls for volunteers in California and the people turn out to come to destroy
    us, they will find their own buildings in flames before they get far from home and so throughout the United States. Again if they commence the war, I SHALL NOT HOLD THE INDIANS STILL by the wrist any longer for white men to shoot at them, but I SHALL LET THEM GO AHEAD AND DO AS THEY PLEASE and I shall CARRY THE WAR INTO THEIR OWN LAND and they will want to let out the job before they get half through. Even should an army of 50,000 men get into this valley, when they got here they would find nothing but a barren waste. We should burn everything that was wood and every acre of grass that would burn, and you may tell them that they must bring with them their forage for their animals, for] they will not find anything to eat in this territory when they come. Again you may tell them they MUST STOP ALL IMMIGRATION across this continent FOR THEY CANNOT TRAVEL IN SAFETY. THE INDIANS WILL KILL ANY WHO ATTEMPT IT. You may tell Judge Douglass that when he comes here again to enter into a treaty of peace, WE SHALL DICTATE THOSE TERMS of peace and not him as he did before."

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  102. This was 2 days after the massacre, BEFORE Young supposedly ‘found out’ about it. Here is the entry from Woodruff’s Journal where he describes Lee’s arrival with the news:

    September 29, 1857: Elder John D. Lee also arrived from Harmony with an express and an awful tale of blood. A company of California emigrants of about 150 men, women and children, many of them belonged to the mob in Missouri and Illinois. They had many cattle and horses with them as they travelled along south. They went damning Brigham Young, Heber C. Kimball, and the heads of the Church, saying that Joseph Smith ought to have been shot a long time before he was. They wanted to do all the evil they could, so they poisoned the springs of water; several of the saints died. The Indians became enraged at their conduct and they surrounded them on a prairie and the emigrants formed a bulwark of the wagons and dug in entrenchment up to the hubs of the wagons, but the Indians fought them 5 days until they killed all their men about 60 in number. They then rushed into their corral and cut the throats of their women and children, except some 8 or 10 children, which they brought and sold to the whites. They stripped the men and women naked and left them stinking in the boiling sun. When Brother Lee found it out, he took some men and went and buried their bodies. It was a horrid awful job. The whole air was filled with an awful stench. Many of the men and women were rotten with the pox before they were hurt by the Indians. The Indians obtained all their cattle, horses and property and guns, etc. There was another large company of emigrants who had 1000 head of cattle who were also damning both Indians and Mormons. They were afraid of sharing the same fate. Brother Lee had to send interpreters with them to the Indians to try to save their lives while at the same time they are trying to kill us. We spent most of the day in trying to get the brethren ready to go to the mountains. Brother Brigham while speaking of the cutting of the throats of women and children with Indians down south said that it was heart-rending. That emigration must stop as he had before said. Brother Lee said that he did not think there was a drop of innocent blood in the camp for he had two of their children in his house and he could not get but one to kneel down in prayer time and the other would laugh at him for doing it and they would swear like pirates. The scene of blood has commenced and Joseph said that we should see so much of it that it would make our hearts sick.

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  103. Reading that last entry, I can’t but help thinking about how many times Joseph Smith lied about polygamy to his followers, even many close ones. And yes this does say Brigham thought the killing of the children in that fashion ‘heart-rending’, but then I keep thinking back to this entry from just a few years later:

    May 25, 1861: While on a trip to the southern settlements with Brigham Young, we visited the Mountain Meadow Monument put up at the burial place of 120 persons killed by Indians in 1857. The pile of stone was about 12 feet high, but beginning to tumble down. A wooden cross was placed on top with the following words: Vengeance is mine and I will repay saith the Lord. President Young said it should be Vengeance is mine and I have taken a little.

    And then we have this last entry from Woodruff’s journal:

    October 8, 1870: We held a council at noon at Pres. Young's office. The Presidency and all of the Twelve, by unanimous vote, cut off Isaac Haight, John D. Lee, and Wood for committing a great sin and they were not to have the privilege of returning again to the Church in this life.

    Notice the last sentence? Makes you wonder now that the Church has restored all of John D. Lee’s blessings. From the above, and what else I have read, I’m sure Young has some complicity in the events, but we may never know. But reading Woodruff’s account from Sept. 29th, it’s obvious that someone is lying. I would love to read the ‘secret journals’ that Woodruff refers to in this set of journals, or the Book of the Law of the Lord, but I’m sure the Mormon Church will never let them be published.

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  104. Wasn't the slashing of throats one of the penalties for 'revealing covenants' from the temple ceremony?

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  105. @Tyler. You said: "I raise my voice with those who cry for justice and at the same time find it in my heart to forgive those who would trespass against the innocent. God will be their judge Rocky. Not you, not me, not anyone else but God. "

    Really? You raise your voice with those who cry for justice. So, are you a supporter of "Mountain Meadows Monument Foundation"? MMMF is one of the descendant groups that is crying out for the simple ability to bury their dead kin. Yes, 153 years later, the bones of the 120+ human beings massacred there still have not received a Christian burial. Their bones still lie under piles of rocks.

    So, why can't they family descendants access the mass graves and properly bury their dead. Answer: Because the Mormon Church owns the ground and will allow access to the property only on their terms.

    Why won't the richest church in the United States turn-over a few hundred acres of ground to these family members so they can properly inter their dead? The answer is really simple. If the family members were allowed access to the remains of their own kin, the bones would be fully examined by a forensic pathologist and the true brutality and horror of this event would be out of the control of the Mormon Church; and, the Church cannot allow such publicity to happen.

    So Tyler, you say you "raise your voice." Really? Then raise it against the perpetrator of the crime that owns and controls the crime scene and controls the access from the very descendants of the victims: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." Do it at your own peril Tyler. Raise your voice high and then send me an invitation to the Stake Conference where your name will be read as having been excommunicated.

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  106. Rocky-

    I apologize for not getting back sooner. I'll respond to Johnny as I have time. At the moment, it is very late and I have a long day ahead of me tomorrow just like anyone else.

    I support the efforts of the Mountain Meadows Association presided over by Terry Fancher. I've added my signature along with several other Latter-day Saints in support of a National Historic Landmark designation. In fact, I just sent my letter to Terry yesterday. The Church has done a wonderful job at creating a monument honoring the victims. I believe a third-party ownership of the monument would do the best to serve both sides of the issue.

    The bones haven't received a "Christian burial?" Really? I thought Carelton's men and Jacob Hamblin took care of that...not to mention the Baptist funeral held when the excavation took place a decade ago and discovered the bones. What constitutes a "Christian burial" in your opinion anyway? If you'll recall, it was many of the descendants that were outraged that there was any digging going on in the first place. They wanted the graves undisturbed.

    We already know how they died Rocky. A forensic pathologist wouldn't be able to tell you which victim was killed by which Mormon or Paiute. When the latest excavation occurred, archaeologists were able to determine with ample data that the evidence agrees with the fact that the victims were unarmed and that many were shot at a short distance. Carleton's report gives preliminary data confirmed by the latest work.

    My name will be read at Stake Conference as having been excommunicated? Really? I've known a number of people who have been ex'd, yet not one of them has ever mentioned their name being read at Stake Conference. In fact, I was in the same stake and ward as a very prominent critic of the Church who was excommunicated. I attended every session of Stake Conference. I never heard his name read, or the name of any other person who has been excommunicated.

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  107. @Tyler. Once again your ignorance of topic is made clear. I didn't address MMA, nor it's president, Terry Fancher, in my response. I addressed Mountain Meadows Monument Foundation (MMMF), whose president is Phil Bolinger, and is the descendant organization that has aggressively forced the Mormon Church into at least supporting National Historic Landmark designation.

    The following statement is so far removed from reality it's amazing: "The Church has done a wonderful job at creating a monument honoring the victims."

    How absolutely nice that the murderers, after over a hundred years decided to provide a small monument to try and appease the situation yet still own and control the gravesite. The parallel would be Jeffrey Dahmer placing a headstone over the mass grave of his victims, yet owning the property and then restricting the family members from access unless he said so. Seriously!!!!!!!!!

    You also said: "I believe a third-party ownership of the monument would do the best to serve both sides of the issue." Really? Seriously? "Serve both sides of the issue?" Please tell me what "side" the murderers have of this issue? Mormonism has so blinded your mind that you actually believe the murderers have rights. You must be joking...but alas, you're not. As a Mormon, you actually believe your "Church" has a "right" to control this ground and the remains of the very victims its members murdered. Amazing! Truly amazing! Change the parties to any other two groups in the USA and you would we crying for justice; but, you are blinded to the total absurdity that the perpetrator of this crime controls the crime scene and the remains of the victims. Because the perpetrator is your "Church," everything is just hunky dory...incredible.

    A group of soldiers come across the horrid scene of mass murder where the bones are strewn across the landscape; and, doing their very best they gathered the bones and placed them in mass graves. These soldiers did give these victims as much respect as they could and did read from the Bible and pray over them. This, according you is all that these victims deserve. Any of the descendants can go anywhere in the world where there is a United States Cemetery and honor any family member who died in one of our nations war, except the Utah War of 1857. This was the first battle of the war against the United States by the Mormon Church. The remains of these first victims of the War of 1857 are controlled by the only Church to go to war against the United States and this same church will not allow access to these war dead except on their terms. This same "Church" is the richest church in the USA and the price of that ground doesn't amount to 1/1000th of 1% of its annual budget. So why haven't they turned this battlefield over to the descendants of those who died there? One reason and one reason only, they want to control what is known about Mountain Meadows Massacre. As a Naval Officer I had the privilege of laying a wreath at a ceremony honoring our WWII dead at the only US National Cemetery in Africa, the North Africa American Cemetery and Memorial, in Tunisia. Isn't it amazing, I can honor our war dead in Africa, but I can't in Utah unless the Mormon Church allows me access!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  108. @Tyler continuing:


    About the bones, once again, your ignorance of the facts is apparent. When the bones were unearthed when building the monument, they were taken to the University of Utah for examination. Shannon Novak author of "House of Mourning" was the anthropologist that examined them; and, the examination was not allowed to be completed before Mormon Governor Mike Leavitt ordered the bones to be re-interred inside the monument.

    As to excommunications being read at Stake Conference, you forget I was born and raised as an active Mormon and I well remember those names being read. You may want to read about what happened to Dennis and Rauni Higley, the directors of His Ministries, when their excommunication was read at Stake Conference...their businesses went bankrupt. http://hismin.com/

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  109. these two are close minded idiots, no wonder they attack the Church every hour of every day.

    I wonder why Helen need to know what position males hold in the Church.

    They both need to get a life and move on.

    Rocky could not cut it in the Church so attacks the Church.

    Helen was never a member of the Church so she should just keep her mouth shut and do what she does best "Nothing".

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  110. Ah, nothing speaks volumes more than someone being so coward, as to hide behind anonymous in order to do their name calling.

    Oh course I was never converted to the Mormon Church. I asked questions instead of blinding following along during my Mormon missionary lessons.

    Had I kept my mouth shut in '81 I might well have found myself one day buried with a veil over my face waiting for my Mormon husband Rocky to call me forth from the grave.

    I thank the biblical Jesus daily that He knew me before I knew Him and kept me from the outrageous lies within the Mormon Church. And broke the bondage of generations of bondage that held my husband Rocky four years later.

    Close minds call people names and put on display how ignorant they are of the 'censored' history of Mormonism.

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  111. You started the name calling madam by posting your poison.

    Yes we do hide so we we not attacked by name.

    Why do you think madam that a number of people on your facebook do not identify themselves members of the Church that way we can see what you are doing.

    I know of 16 including myself.

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  112. It's remarkable to me that when exact quotes from Mormon leaders are presented in context, it is labeled by Mormons as poison. If that is the case, isn't the source of the poison there very own cherished leaders that are believed to be "prophets, seer, and revelators?"

    Rocky

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Rocky and Helen Hulse

Rocky and Helen Hulse
Defending Christianity From Mormon Doctrine