Senate Mormonism

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Darkside_Spirit, Jan 12, 2002.

  1. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    More than that, there is a very big difference between the doctrine of eternal families and temple sealings, and the practice of plural marriage. The doctrine allows families to continue beyond the grave.

    Those doctrinal underpinnings have not changed. A man can still be sealed to more than one woman. However, the Church prohibits the practice of allowing a man to be sealed to more than one living woman at the same time. (It also prohibits the practice of allowing a man to be legally married to more than one woman at the same time, where such practice is legal.)

    If you go back and read Official Declaration 1, it repeatedly and specifically refers to polygamy/plural marriage as a practice, not a doctrine. It is the practice which changed, not the doctrines behind that practice.

    Kimball Kinnison
  2. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5

    And if you go back and read statements from the prophets previous to that they said the practice would never change. Also it was not legal at any point it was practiced, hence the constant lying about it from Joseph Smith on down. The church up until that point and even after did not abide by the law, is that the same church as this church? If it wasn't legal when it was practiced, and they stopped the practice because it wasn't legal, was the practice wrong then, or is there any reason to stop the practice now?

    You could say that the prophets can't lead the church astray, but it seems like Abinadi had to go against the current church leadership. How would that process work?
  3. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    It's easy to take a single comment out of context.

    What specifically was the antecedent of "it" in Pres. Hinckley's comment? Was it the practice of plural marriage in general, or is it the specific manner in which modern groups practice polygamy? If you read the full transcript, it's pretty clear that Pres. Hinckley was referring to the modern practice of splinter groups. The full context:
  4. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    I think the Mormon apologist stance on what is and isn't doctrine is going to have a fascinating change on the church, because the idea that Prophets speaking in General Conference are just mere suggestions is so vastly different from what is actually taught in chapels that it will have rather interesting implications. And I don't just mean chapels full of girls with multiple ear piercings, but by your own standard coffee, tea, and beer, and the rest of the WoW being commandment required for entering the temple doesn't seem to be doctrine, nor does tithing being income rather than increase as that is subject to interpretation. If what the so called prophets say is actually never doctrine unless ratified as scripture, that raises all sorts of interesting questions. If the ban of the priesthood wasn't doctrine, how is it that God allowed such a non-doctrinal practice that limited the gospel from so many people during 150 years to continue?
  5. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Go back and read a Conference Ensign. Even when the Prophet is speaking, they rely heavily on citations from the Scriptures.

    Why? Because the purpose of General Conference talks is to help explain the doctrine. Everything that they say, they try to back up from the established doctrine of the Church. The talks are to help individuals apply the doctrine, not to reveal new doctrine. That is because in order for it to become official doctrine of the Church, it is required to be accepted by the Church by common consent.

    This isn't anything new. It's been that way since well before our parents were born.

    Kimball Kinnison
  6. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5

    "Difficulties in summarizing Mormon Doctrine"

    My point is that if you are going to limit Mormon Doctrine to only those official statements, that is really problematic for the future of the organization in its current form because it really gives the power to members to throw out the window the vast majority of teachings. "When the Prophet speaks the thinking is done" and D%C 1:38 "whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants*, it is the same" *- Just kidding, you need a committee of my servants to issue a written official statement before something is actually doctrine.

    I suppose the view gives you intellectual backing to be fine with whatever reverses or changes come down in the future, but if these so called prophets haven't issued anything other than a suggestion that any of us could have come up with via back issues of the Ensign and a quad since the last official proclamation, what exactly are they revealing?

    And considering what you can be excommunicated for, the doctrines you aren't allowed to public oppose the church on seem to be wider than what you consider "official."

    You and I both know that plenty of people in the church treat the statements of prophets much differently. The wards in politically well connected and affluent Northern VA are much more intellectual than the general membership. This Chapel Mormon vs. Internet Mormon divide is what I'm getting at.

    I take you at your word when it comes to your possible support of gay marriage under certain circumstances, but we both know that the church leadership wouldn't be fine with it no matter what process was used. They would fight to stop it from being legal any way that proponents tried to change the laws. But that isn't to say it couldn't change in the future. In 40 years I think there is a good chance the church will find a way for gay marriage to work. The rest of the country will just have to threaten BYU's football team and we'll get a new revelation. :p

    And I fail to
  7. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    Seriously, Espy, but do you really have anything to add to the discussion except more snarky comments?

    This thread isn't here for you to evangelize against the Church any more than it is for me to evangelize for the Church. It is simply here to explain the LDS perspective and teachings. I'm not going to sit here and debate it with you, just so you can go on complaining about the Church.

    See, this shows a fundamental misunderstanding about the purpose of prophets. Yes, prophets have the authority to reveal new doctrine if it is needed, but that doesn't mean that every prophet reveals new doctrine every time they speak. They are also called to be a spokesman for God in crying repentance to the world, and help people to live the Commandments more fully. If you look to most General Conference talks, that is where most of their energies are focused, and that's nothing new.

    Look back in the scriptures, particularly the New Testament. Most of the Epistles consist not of revealing new doctrines, but reminding the Saints of the doctrines they had already been taught. Moses may have revealed a lot of doctrine, but Joshua, Elijah, and Samuel didn't reveal that much new doctrine. Instead, they focused on keeping Israel on the straight and narrow.

    Why is that? Because revealing new doctrines is only part of the work of a prophet, and not a significantly large part at that (unless it is at the beginning of a Dispensation, as with Adam, Moses, or Joseph Smith).

    Kimball Kinnison
  8. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    Snarky attitude aside, I am asking about real issues. Again lets leave the moderation of the thread to less interested third parties, and if you don't want to debate this with me, feel free to stop.

    What is doctrine?


    Of course when they are telling people to repent or where they are building a new temple they aren't revealing doctrine. The real difficulty comes when they say something that sounds an awfully like doctrine, be it why blacks can't have the priesthood, the nature of Adam/God, whether man will land on the moon, or the Proclamation to the World. The way Joseph set forth doctrine that was accepted by the general church membership was a very different process that you are outlining now. How do you know when a prophet is only speaking as a man vs when they are speaking as a prophet? If your standard is that even if they are speaking as a prophet, their statements don't rise to "official doctrine" unless it is canonized scripture? How can one then be disciplined if they are going against the leadership's interpretation of scripture that may not be all that clear, if it turns out they were just speaking as men when times change down the line? I'm thinking if someone were to start placing a great deal of emphasis on Heavenly Mother the church might take action against them for teaching false doctrines, but then if the current and past prophets haven't been issuing doctrinal statements on the subject under what basis do they do that?

  9. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    As an outsider, I also have to comment that I don't see how this makes any sense. If one is purportedly a prophet, offering a measure delivered by God, why should popular opinion matter? After all, we know for a fact that several prophets--Jeremiah, for instance--would never have made it into any canon if it required the Israelites to first "accept his message by common consent." What is the thought behind such a provision, exactly? That is, I can see why it's palatable from an organizational standpoint, but it seems much more questionable theologically. Further, if people are declared prophets with such extensive reservations, then of what substance is the Mormon boast that they have prophets while many other Christian denominations do not? Is this not merely an exercise in semantics?
  10. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    I was reading through thisblog post (language warning) about a letter from Apostle Bruce R McKonkie and thought he had some rather interesting comments regarding Adam-God and Brigham Young, and the nature of LDS doctrine, statements from prophets.


    I edited out the commentary, but it is rather interesting as well. But basically the point is that Brigham Young can say crazy things like Adam is God, still get a free pass because he is a prophet, and if the stupid members can't figure out how wrong that is they will go to hell. If it is up to us to decide which prophet to believe, even when it is the same prophet, how exactly are we supposed to do that? How are you supposed to take anything said in General Conference as anything more than advice? Or was McKonkie way off base here? Then how does one of the most beloved LDS apostles speak so strongly on doctrinal matters, threatening everlasting damnation to someone who disagrees while he calls upon the keys he says he holds, yet be allowed to speak as a man in such a way?
  11. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    On a more light note, NPR has the soundtrack to the Book of Mormon Musical.

    I think I might have to make another trip out to Broadway just to see it. As a former missionary to an impoverished third world nation who still looks back in fondness on many of my experiences, I just can't overstate how awesome this stuff is. And Mormons who have a sense of humor and don't take themselves too seriously will like it I think. It is vulgar, but funny.
  12. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    I'm not trying to ignore this thread, but I don't know when I will be able to respond much. My 67-year-old aunt had a brain hemorrhage about two weeks ago, and my uncle (her brother) had to leave for 10 days in Germany last week (business trip that couldn't be delayed), so I've had to act as the primary "next of kin" while she is in rehab.

    A word of advice: if you don't have a living will/advance medical directive/whatever your state calls it, create one ASAP. When I got the call about my aunt. I was the only family in town, and I was stuck with having to make the decisions about her care without any guidance or direction about what she would have wanted. It's one of the hardest and most gut wrenching experiences of my life. Please, save your families the same sort of agony.

    Kimball Kinnison
  13. LordNyax113 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2007
    star 3
    Then why did Jesus himself say there would be a separation between real Christians and people who claimed to be Christians but were not? Or that there was only one way to come to know him and receive the blessings of God's Kingdom? Not everyone or every religion who claims to be Christian is.
  14. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    That'a true. I have always felt Southern Baptists weren't real Christians. Ditto to evangelicals. Filthy buggers.

    Why yes, I did quasi-defend Mormonism in a roundabout way.

  15. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    Who are you to say who are "real Christians?" How do you know that Mormons aren't the ones following the "only one way" and every other Christian isn't.

    I still see no reason why Mormons can't lay claim to the title, even if there are significant theological differences between them and mainline Christianity. The primary reason for the discomfort for Christians wanting to deny Mormons the name is that as those newspapers and preachers of Joseph Smith's day warned, that the Mormon religion presents a case that shows how easy it is to make up a religion, and thus leads people away from Christianity by showing how all religions are man made. (Which is why so many exmormons are agnostic/atheist)

    And KK, I'm sorry to hear that. Hope things work out for you.

    I just listed to this discussion by some faithful LDS bloggers about young people in the church. It has some interesting suggestions for how the church would better be able to meet the needs for young people. One of the guys is on his second marriage and made some comments regarding the stigma of divorce and how the church is starting to realize that marriage is not a solution to every problem. Mormon Matters Podcast.
  16. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    You didn't make a point, though. You just said something that you (presumably) thought other posters would disagree. Which, they well might. But none of it demonstrates a flaw with the basic idea of having standards for group identity.

    Similarly, Michelle Bachmann calls herself a feminist. Is she? the answer to that question depends on what you think the definition of "feminism" is. Would you deride that as something silly to have a debate about? It's one thing to call someone's definition too narrow, but it's quite another to deride the whole idea of having a definition.
  17. LordNyax113 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2007
    star 3
    At what point in my post did I ever state that I lay claim to making that determination? I said that Jesus himself stated there would be real followers of his and those who claimed to be but were not.

    I can.

  18. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    You're really bad at this. First: You use Jesus to back up your own personal beliefs. Which isn't abnormal so much as it's just foolish. Jesus said there would be many who claim to be Christians but aren't. Fine. But given the Christian right in this country I'm going to say they're much more closer to what you're talking about than Mormons. Sure, their beliefs deviate from the norm, but for the most part they have the common decency to actually act...you know..Christ-like. For the most part.

    Second: You state that you can see reason why Mormons cannot be called Christians--this is also a silly notion brought upon by your own personal beliefs on the matter. So you're just using your faith as a shield for your own asinine beliefs instead of trying to actually act like a Christian. Soo...smooth move ex-lax? Yes, smooth move ex-lax.


    Yeah, and? The point was if we were going to use that lame-[face_shame_on_you] standard then those two groups really aren't Christians. And there's a 50/50 chance the OP agrees that they're Christians.

    EDITED PROFANITY
  19. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    I don't know enough Mormon theology to debate the point in-depth, but the standards aren't really "lame." Debates about the nature of God (more specifically, Jesus and his relationship to divinity) have always been the most hotly contested within the religion. It is, after all, one of the major substantive doctrinal issues that occasioned the break with Judaism. Further, it is pretty much the only issue mentioned in the New Testament itself as such an outrageous heresy that it can indicate whether someone is "of God" or not.

    In other words, it depends entirely what is meant by "Son of God." There are several different possible meanings, and not all are created equal. The Mormon conception of God is different than the Trinitarian, and both are again different than the Arian, all three of which are distinct from Modalist schools of thought, and all of those are miles away from the sort of things put forward by Gnostics. Is that a bad thing? No. But within the historical framework of Christianity, it is a legitimate criteria to look at for determining who is a "real" Christian or not.
  20. LordNyax113 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2007
    star 3
    Okay, maybe my posts dripping in sarcasm (the "I can") weren't exactly the best. My point is that you can't say it is not Christ-like to know and distinguish between real followers of Christ and those who claim to be but aren't To further add to the point, Jesus had no qualms about going out of his way to vocally condemn the hypocrisy of those who claimed to be something but were not (do the Pharisees and Saducees ring a bell?). But don't take my word for it:

    Matthew 7: 15-20 ?Be on the watch for the false prophets that come to YOU in sheep?s covering, but inside they are ravenous wolves. 16 By their fruits YOU will recognize them. Never do people gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles, do they? 17 Likewise every good tree produces fine fruit, but every rotten tree produces worthless fruit; 18 a good tree cannot bear worthless fruit, neither can a rotten tree produce fine fruit. 19 Every tree not producing fine fruit gets cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Really, then, by their fruits YOU will recognize those [men]"

    Here Jesus was stating that you would be able to identify those who were wolves in sheep's clothing by their fruits or works. If we were to examine some religious groups actions, a litmus test so to speak, they would clearly fail the test of whether they would be considered true followers of Christ (a discussion though for another time perhaps); Jesus was not beating around the bush here; he said there would be a distinction. But thats not all folks...lets go to verse 21...

    "21 ?Not everyone saying to me, ?Lord, Lord,? will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing the will of my Father who is in the heavens will. 22 Many will say to me in that day, ?Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works in your name?? 23 And yet then I will confess to them: I never knew YOU! Get away from me, YOU workers of lawlessness."

    How much more stronger can you get? There would be people claiming to be to his followers and claiming to be perform powerful works in his name and he basically stated he would eventually tell them to get away from him. Again, if Jesus himself called people "works of lawlessness" (a very strong insult mind you in Biblical times) and told him that they were in in effect CINO (Christian in Name Only) how is not Christlike for me to express such a notion? Jesus said there is only one right way, and everything else is the wrong way:

    "13 ?Go in through the narrow gate; because broad and spacious is the road leading off into destruction, and many are the ones going in through it; 14 whereas narrow is the gate and cramped the road leading off into life, and few are the ones finding it."

    Notice the last words; few are the ones finding it. Yet there are billions of "Christians" out there supposedly...just because yo usay you believe in him and the value of his sacrifice doesnt make you a Christian automatically. You have to exercise that faith (John 3:19) and follow his teachings and those of his Father. (John 17:3)



    Now don't get me wrong; I'm not out in public everyday telling Baptists, Protestants, etc. they aren't Christians; privately though by examining Jesus'
  21. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    Again, Jesus set the standards for who would be his followers and how to identify them. We could go over those if you'd like.

    And when people inevitably have a different opinion on those things, it is up to you to know the correct answer? Each church has a different opinion on what those standards are, yet for some reason they consider most others "Christians." Any definition more selective than "One who believes in Jesus Christ" is nothing more than an attempt on your part to discredit others beliefs based off your interpretation/opinion.

    If the Bible settled the question, we wouldn't even be having this conversation.
  22. LordNyax113 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2007
    star 3
    The fact is as much as they want to, people can not rely on their own opinions of what standards are set, because Jesus himself set them already. Its right in the Bible, black and white, and I'd be happy to point those out. You can look at a pile of trash and call it flowers all you want but it doesn't make it so; the characteristics define the trash (and no please do not construe this as me calling churches trash). I'm not claiming that I knew the correct answer. Jesus said these people who do these things and fit this mold will be my followers; pure and simple. He said there would be those who claimed to be following him, performing powerful works in his name, but he would turn his face to them. I'm not discrediting others using my personal opinion or interpretation. I'm reading exactly what Jesus said and what was recorded in the Bible. You can not just toss out statements made by him because you don't like them. Let's go over one important identifying mark of true Christians, hmmmmm...

    -Jesus's followers would have love among themselves and for others:

    John 13: "34 I am giving YOU a new commandment, that YOU love one another; just as I have loved YOU, that YOU also love one another. 35 By this all will know that YOU are my disciples, if YOU have love among yourselves.?

    There is no interpretation; just his words. "All will know that you are my disciples, if you have love among yourselves." I don't know about you but I see Baptists and Catholics and other denominations fighting in wars and praying for wars to succeed on their respective nation's behalf; yet how is loving to go off and kill other human beings? The irony of it s that on both sides churches are praying for their side to win and supporting conflict, and the other irony is that the very person they put a bullet in may be another so called follower of Christ. How is that having love among yourselves? We are to "work what is good towards all", regardless of who they are or what nationality. (quoted words from Galations 6:10).

    Espalda (sorry your name is hard to spell, lol) I think your misinterpreting my position here. I'm not advocating my opinion; I'm asking you to take hard look at these scriptures, these actual words of Jesus, and tell me that is my "opinion". It all goes back to my original statement; not every religion or person who says they are Christian really is, in light of what Jesus himself said. Jesus founded the faith; shouldn't he have the right to say who really is part of the faith and who is not? To further elaborate on my illustration earlier, you could go out to the African jungle, find a zebra, and scream up and down that its an elephant, but it isn't. The scientific community would laugh you out of the place.

    I don't go into churches and say your not Christian. When a Baptist tells me God bless, I say thank you. I just find it funny that someone could gets all up in arms over one saying not everyone is a true Christian when Jesus himself boldly exposed the religious ones of his day who preached one thing and practiced another (I'd probably be shot if I went around calling Mormons whitewashed graves). Again not my opinion; its as simple as throwing away preconceived notions, opening your Bible, and reading. Everything I have quoted is from the Bible, not a human book, a research paper, speech, etc. Just Jesus words on who his followers would be, and what he thinks of
  23. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    I'm not a Christian, I am an atheist exmormon.

    I'm asking you to take hard look at these scriptures, these actual words of Jesus, and tell me that is my "opinion". It all goes back to my original statement; not every religion or person who says they are Christian really is, in light of what Jesus himself said.

    It is your opinion they are the actual words of Jesus (they probably aren't). Who are you to say what Jesus really said? It is your interpretation of what Jesus said. Other people have other opinions as to what Jesus said, and what those very scriptures mean for them.

    Jesus has the right to come down from on high and tell us who is and isn't a Christian. You don't.

  24. LordNyax113 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 11, 2007
    star 3
    Well then the very crux of our debate was pointless I guess, seeing as you are atheist and therefore probably see the Bible in a different light than I; for example your last statement; I could make the argument Jesus already came down to Earth (his earthly existence a couple thousand years ago) and told us who would and wouldn't be Christian. That said, I apologize for any offense; based on your earlier posts I assumed you were a religious person. Didn't mean to step on your toes. :)
  25. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    I'm not offended. I probably sound like a religious person because I was one for so long, and not believing in god doesn't just change you into a completely different person.

    My point is that you are deciding who is and isn't a "Christian" based off your interpretation of the Bible, when it isn't your call to tell other people what words they get to use to describe themselves. Yes there are significant theological differences between traditional Christianity and Mormonism. I think if you focused less on telling them they aren't Christians, and said they weren't "true Christians" or some type of qualification, you would still be allowing them to define themselves, yet expressing your personal disagreement with their self assessment.

    You want to make "Christianity" a much smaller category than it actually is.

    And frankly there are rather few people in any religion whose actions line up closely with all of their stated values. Glenn Beck's Mormonism isn't the Mormonism of my parents.