Friday, April 29, 2022
Saturday, January 1, 2022
23: And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:
Monday, July 26, 2021
From Ezek. 37:15-17 Mormons claim: (1) the sticks are really scrolls; (2) the stick of Judah is the Bible; (3) the stick of Joseph is the B. of M.; and, (4) the joining of these sticks means the joining of two writings - the Bible and the B. of M.. But the Hebrew word translated "stick" means a piece of wood, not a scroll. The Lord also told Ezekial precisely what to write on the two sticks, and it was not the "Bible" and the "B. of M." He was told to write the words "for Judah" on one stick and "for Joseph" on the other. The Bible speaks of books and scrolls in many verses, such as: Is. 8:1; 34:4; Jer. 36:2; Ezek. 2:9; 3:1-3; Rev. 6:14. It also speaks of sticks in Num. 17:1-8; 15:32; I Kings 17:12. But God never interchanges these words. The people asked in Ezek. 37:18, "Wilt thou not show us what thou meanest by these?" That question is answered in the next few verses, when the Lord declared the two Kingdoms of Israel would be brought together as one nation with one King again. In fact, the entire chapter is a prophecy of the restoration of Israel to her own land after captivity. For LDS to claim a couple of verses are about the B. of M. in the middle of that message would be out of place. Furthermore, it was Ezekial who wrote on both sticks. Did Ezekial write both the Bible and the B. of M.? If not, the Mormon interpretation does not fit this text.
Mormons also claim that Is. 29:1-4 predicts the coming forth of the B. of M. Apostle LeGrand Richards says of v. 4, "Obviously, the only way a dead people could speak 'out of the ground' or 'low out of the dust' would be by the written word, and this people did through the Book of Mormon. Truly it has a familiar spirit for it contains the words of the prophet of God of Israel" (M.W. &W., p. 69). There are 15 Old Testament references to "familiar spirits," and every one of them refer to mediums in witchcraft, including Is. 29:4 (Lev. 20:6; Duet. 18:10-12). If the LDS believe the B. of M. has a "familiar spirit," they are identifying it with witchcraft! But, this text is really talking about the destruction of Ariel or Jerusalem, not about the B. of M.
LDS claim Is. 29:11-12 was fulfilled when Smith received and translated the gold plates. Martin Harris mortgaged his farm to pay for publishing the first edition of the B. of M. Harris desired to verify Smith's translation, so he took a copy of some of the "Reformed Egyptian" characters with Smith's translation to Professor Charles Anthon of Columbia University. LDS claim that Anthon pronounced the translation correct. Part of this event is recorded in the P. of G. P. J.S. History 1:63-65. But, Harris' visit to Anthon was very different from Is. 29:11-12. This text shows: (1) This is a parable and the subject is a vision, not a book. (2) The vision of the prophets of that day had become as meaningless to the people as the words of a book that was sealed. Isaiah was referring to the condition of the people at that time, and not about a book of some future time. (3) According to Harris, the professor said the translation was correct. Anthon could have said this only if he read it. But, Isaiah said the learned man could not read the book because it was sealed! The only way the professor knew the plates were "sealed" was because Harris told him they were. (4) In Isaiah the book went to the learned man first - then to the unlearned. But the Mormon story has the book of gold plates delivered first to the unlearned (Smith) who copied some of the characters with his translation on a piece of paper which was taken to the learned (Anthon). In Isaiah, the same "sealed book" was taken to both the learned man and the unlearned man. But, Anthon did not receive any book - sealed or unsealed! (5) In Isaiah, the book was delivered to the unlearned and he simply said, "I am not learned," and made no effort to read it or translate it. But, Smith claimed he did read the book, even though he was unlearned.
Apostle LeGrand Richards wrote, "Professor Anthon did not realize that he was literally fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah" (M.W. & W., p. 50). But, Anthon did not believe he was fulfilling prophecy, because in a letter to E.D. Howe, a Painsville, Ohio, newspaper editor, he relates the event as a hoax and a scheme to "cheat the farmer [Harris] of his money" (and Harris did lose his money).
Joseph Smith wrote: In the fly-leaf of his "version" appear these words: "The Holy Scriptures, translated and corrected by the spirit of revelation by Joseph Smith, Jr. the seer," 1927 Edition.
Doctrine of Salvation Vol.3:191
Was the Bible Completed by Joseph Smith?
Yes, in 1833 The official Church Historian, Andrew Jenson wrote: "Joseph Smith the Prophet finished the translation of the Bible."
Church Chronology, 1899, p. 9.
According to the D.H.C., Vol. I, pp. 324 and 368, and Times and Seasons, Vol. VI, p. 802, Joseph Smith completed a translation of the Bible. Those sources and Andrew Jensen's LDS Church Chronology show that the New Testament was finished February 2, 1833, and the Old Testament on July 2, 1833. In a revelation given on January 10, 1832, Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigdon are commanded to "continue the work of translation until it is finished" (D. & C. 73:4). Obviously this was not talking about the B. of M. which was published in 1830. Nor could it be talking about the Book of Abraham Papyrus which Joseph Smith saw for the first time on July 3, 1835 (D.H.C., Vol. II, p. 235). Furthermore, Joseph Smith was commanded by God in D. & C. 124:89 to "publish the new translation of my holy word unto the inhabitants of the earth" (see also D. & C. 94:10 and 104:58).
Saturday, April 3, 2021
Yes, all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious ideal;
yet now God declares us “not guilty” of offending him if we trust in Jesus Christ, who in his kindness freely takes away our sins.
For God sent Christ Jesus to take the punishment for our sins and to end all God’s anger against us. He used Christ’s blood and our faith as the means of saving us from his wrath. In this way he was being entirely fair, even though he did not punish those who sinned in former times. For he was looking forward to the time when Christ would come and take away those sins.
And now in these days also he can receive sinners in this same way because Jesus took away their sins. But isn’t this unfair for God to let criminals go free, and say that they are innocent? No, for he does it on the basis of their trust in Jesus who took away their sins.
Then what can we boast about doing to earn our salvation? Nothing at all. Why? Because our acquittal is not based on our good deeds; it is based on what Christ has done and our faith in him.
So it is that we are saved by faith in Christ and not by the good things we do.
Answers to Gospel Questions Vol. 3 pp 98-99 under Counsel given by President Charles W. Penrose
Monday, March 22, 2021
Bible Doctrine Essential Teachings of the Christian Faith Wayne Grudem
biblical evidence for creation out of nothing. The Bible clearly requires us to believe that God created the universe out of nothing. (Sometimes the Latin phrase ex nihilo, “out of nothing,” is used; it is then said that the Bible teaches creation ex nihilo.) This means that before God began to create the universe, nothing else existed except God himself. This is the implication of Genesis 1:1, which says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” The phrase “the heavens and the earth” includes the entire universe. Psalm 33 also tells us, “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all their host by the breath of his mouth. . . . For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood forth” (Ps. 33:6, 9). In the New Testament we find a universal statement at the beginning of John’s gospel: “All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made” (John 1:3). The phrase “all things” is best taken to refer to the entire universe (cf. Acts 17:24; Heb. 11:3). Paul is quite explicit in Colossians 1when he specifies all the parts of the universe, both visible and invisible things: “In him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities—all things were created through him and for him” (Col. 1:16). Hebrews 11:3 says, “By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible” (NASB). This translation (as well as the NIV) most accurately reflects the Greek text. Though the text does not quite teach the doctrine of creation out of nothing, it comes close to doing so, since it says that God did not create the universe out of anything that is visible. The somewhat strange idea that the universe might have been created out of something that was invisible is probably not in the author’s mind. He is contradicting the idea of creation out of previously existing matter, and for that purpose the verse is quite clear. nothing, no matter in the universe is eternal. All that we see—the mountains, the oceans, the stars, the earth itself—all came into existence when God created them. This reminds us that God rules over all the universe and that nothing in creation is to be worshiped instead of God or in addition to him. However, were we to deny creation out of nothing, we would have to say that some matter has always existed and that it is eternal like God. This idea would challenge God’s independence, his sovereignty, and the fact that worship is due to him alone. If matter existed apart from God, then what inherent right would God have to rule over it and use it for his glory? And what confidence could we have that every aspect of the universe will ultimately fulfill God’s purposes if some parts of it were not created by him?
The positive side of the fact that God created the universe out of nothing is that it has meaning and a purpose. God, in his wisdom, created it for something. We should try to understand that purpose and use creation in ways that fit that purpose, namely, to bring glory to God himself.1 Moreover, whenever the creation brings us joy (cf. 1 Tim. 6:17), we should give thanks to the God who made it all.
Grudem, Wayne A.. Bible Doctrine (p. 123). Zondervan Academic. Kindle Edition.
Why learned men . . . say God created the heaven and the earth out of nothing. Scholars of the history of Christian doctrine tell us that the idea of creation ex nihilo is a product of the hellenistic Christian era. Gerhard May in his work Creatio ex Nihilo: The Doctrine of 'Creation out of Nothing' in Early Christian Thought concludes that "in the second half of the second century the theological development begins which leads directly to the formulation of the church doctrine of creatio ex nihilo"; by "the beginning of the third century [it was] regarded as a fundamental tenet of Christian theology" (Creatio ex Nihilo, 148, 179). Of necessity the doctrine traces itself to Greek philosophy, having originated after traditional Christianity claims revelation to have ceased.
Baurau. The Hebrew word baurau rendered "created" in the Genesis account of the story of creation means "to form or to fashion." There is no thought in the word of the creation of something from nothing.
THE KING FOLLETT DISCOURSE
REVELATIONS OF THE RESTORATION
by Craig J. Ostler, Joseph Fielding McConkie
Incidentally, when Joseph suggests in the King Follett sermon that matter can neither be created nor destroyed, 25 he is essentially stating the law of conservation of mass-energy, a law currently and universally accepted in science but not known in his time. The Creation was an organization of preexisting matter. That this is our LDS belief—contrary to the theory of ex nihilo creation (out of nothing) of traditional Christianity and of creationism—has been clearly pointed out by numerous authors. 26
OF HEAVEN AND EARTH: RECONCILING SCIENTIFIC THOUGHT WITH LDS THEOLOGY
by David Clark
From a New Testament perspective, we can paraphrase this verse: “God the Father said to God the Son, ‘Sit at my right hand.’ ” But even without the New Testament teaching on the Trinity, it seems clear that David was aware of a plurality of persons in one God. Isaiah 63:10 says that God’s people “rebelled and grieved his Holy Spirit” (NIV), apparently suggesting both that the Holy Spirit is distinct from God himself (it is “his Holy Spirit”), and that this Holy Spirit can be “grieved,” thus suggesting emotional capabilities characteristic of a distinct person. Furthermore, several Old Testament passages about “the angel of the Lord” suggest a plurality of persons in God. The word translated “angel” (Heb. mal’ak) means simply “messenger.” If this angel of the Lord is a “messenger” of the Lord, he is then distinct from the Lord himself. Yet at some points the angel of the Lord is called “God” or “the Lord” (see Gen. 16:13; Ex. 3:2–6; 23:20–22; Num. 22:35 with 38; Judg. 2:1–2; 6:11 with 14).
At other points in the Old Testament “the angel of the Lord” simply refers to a created angel, but at least at these texts the special angel (or “messenger”) of the Lord seems to be a distinct person who is fully divine.
2. More complete revelation of the Trinity in the New Testament. When the New Testament opens, we enter the history of the coming of the Son of God to earth. It is to be expected that this great event would be accompanied by more explicit teaching about the trinitarian nature of God, and that is in fact what we find. Before looking at this in detail, we can simply list several passages where all three persons of the Trinity are named together. When Jesus was baptized, “the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him; and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased’ ” (Matt. 3:16–17).
Here at one moment, we have three members of the Trinity performing three distinct activities. God the Father is speaking from heaven; God the Son is being baptized and is then spoken to from heaven by God the Father; and God the Holy Spirit is descending from heaven to rest upon and empower Jesus for his ministry. At the end of Jesus’ earthly ministry, he tells the disciples that they should go “and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19). The very names “Father” and “Son,” drawn as they are from the family, the most familiar of human institutions, indicate very strongly the distinct personhood of both the Father and the Son. When “the Holy Spirit” is put in the same expression and on the same level as the other two persons, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that the Holy Spirit is also viewed as a person and of equal standing with the Father and the Son.
Grudem, Wayne A.. Bible Doctrine (p. 104). Zondervan Academic. Kindle Edition.
Jesus also rose from the dead in a physical, human body, though one that was made perfect and was no longer subject to weakness, disease, or death. He demonstrates repeatedly to his disciples that he does have a real physical body. He says, “See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have” (Luke 24:39). He is showing them and teaching them that he has “flesh and bones” and is not merely a “spirit” without a body. Another evidence of this fact is that “they gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them” (Luke 24:42; cf. v. 30; John 20:17, 20, 27; 21:9, 13). In this same human body (though a resurrection body that was made perfect), Jesus also ascended into heaven. He said before he left, “I am leaving the world and going to the Father” (John 16:28; cf. 17:11). The way in which Jesus ascended up to heaven was calculated to demonstrate the continuity between his existence in a physical body here on earth and his continuing existence in that body in heaven. Just a few verses after Jesus had told them, “A spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have” (Luke 24:39), we read in Luke’s gospel that Jesus “led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them, and was carried up into heaven” (Luke 24:50–51). Similarly, we read in Acts, “As they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight” (Acts 1:9). All of these verses taken together show that, as far as Jesus’ human body is concerned, it was like ours in every respect before his resurrection, and after his resurrection it was still a human body with “flesh and bones,” but made perfect, the kind of body that we will have when Christ returns and we are raised from the dead as well. 2 Jesus continues to exist in that human body in heaven, as the ascension is designed to teach.
Grudem, Wayne A.. Bible Doctrine (p. 229). Zondervan Academic. Kindle Edition.
"A Marvelous Work and A Wonder" Le Grand Richards pp 19-20
Through modern revelation we learn that the universe is filled with vast numbers of intelligences, and we further learn that Elohim is God simply because all of these intelligences honor and sustain Him as such.... But since God 'acquired' the honor and sustaining influence of 'all things' it follows as a corollary that if He should ever do anything to violate the confidence or sense of justice' of these intelligences, they would promptly withdraw their support, and the 'power' of God would disintegrate.... 'He would cease to be God.' Our Heavenly Father can do only those things which the intelligences under Him are voluntarily willing to support Him in accomplishing (The First 2000 Years, pp. 355-356).
Evidence in Scripture. In Psalm 102 we find a contrast between things which we may think to be permanent such as the earth or the heavens, on the one hand, and God, on the other hand. The psalmist says: Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you endure; they will all wear out like a garment. You change them like raiment, and they pass away; but you are the same, and your years have no end. (Ps. 102:25–27).3 God existed before the heavens and earth were made, and he will exist long after they have been destroyed. God causes the universe to change, but in contrast to this change he is “the same.” Referring to his own qualities of patience, long-suffering, and mercy, God says, “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O sons of Jacob, are not consumed” (Mal. 3:6). Here God uses a general statement of his unchangeableness to refer to some specific ways in which he does not change.
As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become.
Author: Lorenzo Snow
Source: Gospel Through The Ages
"God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted Man, and sits enthroned in yonder
heavens. That is the great secret... …I am going to tell you how God came to be
God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will
refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see. … It is the
first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the character of God and
to know...that he was once a man like us.... Here, then, is eternal life - to
know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods
yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done
before you... (“King Follett Discourse,” Journal of Discourses 6:3-4, also in
Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 345-346, and History of the Church, vol.
Thursday, February 4, 2021
Rev 1:6 And unto him who loved us be glory, who washed us from our sins in his own blood and hath made us kings and priests unto God, his Father. To him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Joseph Smith Translation
He also taught the Godhead was three gods when his pre-1836 canon taught ONE GOD
Question: "May I raise a question about one of your statements? You state that in the year A.D. 325 the bishops of the church 'rejected the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and substituted the Athanasian Creed.' For me this statement needs clarification. May I inquire in what respect 'the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob' differs from the God as stated in the Athanasian Creed?"
Answer: The God of Abraham came down to visit Abraham and instruct him on several occasions, as he did likewise to others of the prophets. So Abraham became acquainted with our Heavenly Father and knew him. All I need to do to show that the God of Athanasius is not the God of Abraham is to refer to three points.
If you know Joseph Fielding Smith had taught it was Jesus who walk and talked with Abraham
And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying: Know the Lord: for all shall know me from the least of them even to the greatest, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity and I will remember their sin no more. (Jeremias 31:34. (All references for this answer are quoted from Challoner's Authorized Catholic Bible. Same references can be checked in the King James Version.))
Now this is everlasting life, that they may know thee, the only true God, and him whom thou hast sent, Jesus Christ. (John 17:3.)
The Bible and Book of Mormon are clear God is incomprehensible
Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. (Ps. 145:3)Behold, these are but the outskirts of his ways, and how small a whisper do we hear of him! But the thunder of his power who can understand? (Job 26:14)For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares 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. (Isa. 55:8–9)Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! "For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?" (Rom. 11:33–34; cf. Job 42:1–6; Ps. 139:6, 17–18; 147:5; Isa. 57:15; 1 Cor. 2:10–11; 1 Tim. 6:13–16)
SCRIPTURES ARE CLEAR ON DOCTRINE OF GODHEAD
2. The creed is at fault in stating that there are not "three Eternals" but "one Eternal," thus confounding the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, when the scriptures are definitely clear that the three members of the Godhead are separate and distinct from each other; each with a definite mission to perform. The Savior told his apostles that when he went away he would send them the Comforter, who is the Holy Ghost.
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your mind whatsoever I have said to you. (John 14:26.)
3. In the fact that the creed declares that in the Trinity, "None is greater or less than Another, but the whole Three Persons are Co-Eternal together, and Co-Equal" we find a conflict which is contrary to what is written in the scriptures. Arius, at that council, tried to establish one truth that was rejected. That is, that there never was a Son that was not younger than his Father, but the creed emphatically declares that the Son, as well as the Father, is "Uncreate."
The Creeds do tell us Jesus was inferior or subservient to the Father
And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says, And let all the angels of God adore him. (Hebrews 1:6.)
If therefore we are the offspring of God, we ought not to imagine that Divinity is like gold or silver or stone, to an image graven by human art and thought. (Acts 17:27-29.)
For God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, that those who believe in him may not perish, but have life everlasting. (John 3:16.)
You have heard me say to you, if you love me, you would indeed rejoice that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. (John 14:28.)
If anyone desires to do his will, he will know of the teachings whether it is from God, or whether I speak on my own authority. (John 7:16-17.)
And when all things are made subject to him, then the Son himself will also be made subject to him who subjected all things to him, that God may be all in all. (I Corinthians 15:25-28.)
Father, if thou art willing, remove this cup from me; yet not my will but thine be done. (Luke 22:42.)
These passages are a few which show that the Athanasian Creed was not inspired by the Father, but was man-made. On the occasion there was no revelation given; nor was one sought. To the contrary, men contended, bitterness followed, and there came a division among them. They had no prophet to speak, no divine word of the Lord was received, but merely the opinions of men who lacked inspiration.
“What do Latter-day Saints believe about grace? We believe that God’s grace is what ultimately saves us; yet it does not save us without our doing all that we can to live God’s commandments and follow Jesus Christ’s teachings. We do not believe salvation comes by simply confessing belief in Christ as our Savior. Faith, works, ordinances, and grace are all necessary” (Ensign, March 2013, p. 21).
"Man and all forms of life existed as spirit beings and entities before the foundations of this earth were laid. There were spirit men and spirit beasts, spirit fowls and spirit fishes, spirit plants and spirit trees. Every creeping thing, every herb and shrub, every amoeba and tadpole, every elephant and dinosaur—all things—existed as spirits, as spirit beings, before they were placed naturally upon the earth” (The Millennial Messiah, 642–43).