Author Topic: Mormonism tl;dr?  (Read 8906 times)

Fenring

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Mormonism tl;dr?
« on: February 02, 2017, 12:12:36 PM »
This probably sounds like a funny and unspecific question, but since there are some people here knowledgeable about Mormonism, can someone please tell me basically what it's about and what distinguishes it from other kinds of Christianity? I was inspired to ask because of the brief tangent in the other thread about the trinity in various Christian denominations.

TheDrake

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Re: Mormonism tl;dr?
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2017, 12:28:16 PM »
You can get people to come to your house and do that. ;)

NobleHunter

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Re: Mormonism tl;dr?
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2017, 12:34:36 PM »
This is a less than serious response.

It's weirder than Catholicism or mainstream Protestants but less weird than Scientology. They used to be polygamists but a politically convenient revelation made them reject the practice (/cynic). The revelation bit is important because I think they believe in continual revelation, so God can still send a message about how they're supposed to achieve salvation. They've added curlicues to the sacrament of marriage and baptism (which is part of the weird stuff) that make them more consequential than for other Christians.

They used to have a pretty decent PR campaign but they kinda mucked it up with opposition to prop 8 in California and letting themselves get tarred by accusations of homophobia (probably mostly true but they're less dangerous than the evangelicals). They someone managed to squeak through Romney's campaign without any major slanders, probably because none of his opponents felt the need to spur anti-Mormon sentiment (either because they were winning [Obama] or because it wouldn't have helped [other GOP nominees]). Speaking of which, of legit Christian denominations, they have the most recent experience of being **** on by the powers that be. This tends to inculcate them towards a healthy respect for the separation of Church and State, since they know they'll be up against the wall if the theocrats take power. They're strong supporters for the GOP only because they have nowhere else to go. If the US system was set up for it, they'd probably make their own party which I think would tend towards social conservatism, financial prudence, and community-based financial assistance and support.

tl;dr? Um. They're weird and I can't shut up. Oh, and they seem to be over-represented in SFF.

You can get people to come to your house and do that. ;)

I think we only get JWs and usually when I'm not home. Though if I understand their views on salvation, I'm better off not hearing about their beliefs until I'm dead. That way I'd have less refusal to make up for.

Pete at Home

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Re: Mormonism tl;dr?
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2017, 12:35:10 PM »
Do we even have an active mormon in good standing on this forum?  If not, then I could take point, but given my current tangle with an outspoken member who has a death grip on my leg, me being spokesman might result in more heat than light.

Fenring

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Re: Mormonism tl;dr?
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2017, 12:39:08 PM »
Do we even have an active mormon in good standing on this forum?  If not, then I could take point, but given my current tangle with an outspoken member who has a death grip on my leg, me being spokesman might result in more heat than light.

You don't need to be the official spokesman to offer your knowledge about it :)

D.W.

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Re: Mormonism tl;dr?
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2017, 12:45:04 PM »
My view lines up with NH's less than serious one.  I wouldn't want to get into actual beliefs / practices as I'm not confident I would separate reality from caricature.  A lot of it sounds weird.  And this from someone who grew up being taught about conversations with flaming shrubbery by strait faced adults.

Pete at Home

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Re: Mormonism tl;dr?
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2017, 12:51:40 PM »
This probably sounds like a funny and unspecific question, but since there are some people here knowledgeable about Mormonism, can someone please tell me basically what it's about and what distinguishes it from other kinds of Christianity? I was inspired to ask because of the brief tangent in the other thread about the trinity in various Christian denominations.

In a nutshell, the LDS church rejects the Nicene Creed and instead follows what Jesus himself said about his relationship with the Father to explain the one-ness of the Godhead.
Quote
18 As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world. 19 For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.

Jesus Prays for All Believers
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity.

Pete at Home

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Re: Mormonism tl;dr?
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2017, 12:54:41 PM »
See also:

https://www.lds.org/ensign/1988/03/comparing-lds-beliefs-with-first-century-christianity?lang=eng

Quote
The Church’s first Article of Faith is “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.” This is a straightforward statement of belief that there are three members in the Godhead. However, Latter-day Saints do reject the doctrines of the Trinity as taught by most Christian churches today. For the most part, these creeds—the most famous of which is the Nicene Creed—were canonized in the fourth and fifth centuries A.D. following centuries of debate about the nature of the Godhead. Consequently, it is highly questionable whether these creeds reflect the thinking or beliefs of the New Testament church.

“The exact theological definition of the doctrine of the Trinity,” notes J. R. Dummelow, “was the result of a long process of development, which was not complete until the fifth century, or maybe even later.” 1 As Bill Forrest remarks, “To insist that a belief in the Trinity is requisite to being Christian, is to acknowledge that for centuries after the New Testament was completed thousands of Jesus’ followers were in fact not really ‘Christian.’” ....

Is it true that because Latter-day Saints believe that human beings can eventually become like God, they are not Christian?

As even a cursory glance at early Christian thought reveals, the idea that man might become as God—known in Greek as theosis or theopoiesis—may be found virtually everywhere, from the New Testament through the writings of the first four centuries. Church members take seriously such passages as Psalm 82:6 [Ps. 82:6], John 10:33–36, and Philippians 2:5–6 [Philip. 2:5–6], in which a plurality of gods and the idea of becoming like God are mentioned.

The notion of theosis is characteristic of church fathers Irenaeus (second century A.D.), Clement of Alexandria (third century A.D.), and Athanasius (fourth century A.D.). Indeed, so pervasive was the doctrine in the fourth century that Athanasius’s archenemies, the Arians, also held the belief 3 and the Origenist monks at Jerusalem heatedly debated “whether all men would finally become like Christ or whether Christ was really a different creature.” 4

According to an ancient formula, “God became man that man might become God.” Early Christians “were invited to ‘study’ to become gods” (note the plural). 5

Though the idea of human deification waned in the Western church in the Middle Ages, it remained very much alive in the Eastern Orthodox faith, which includes such Christian sects today as the Greek Orthodox and Russian Orthodox churches. 6 Jaroslav Pelikan notes, “The chief idea of St. Maximus, as of all Eastern theology, [was] the idea of deification.” 7

Is the subject of deification truly a closed question? After all, echoes of man becoming like God are still found in the work of later and modern writers in the West. For instance, C. S. Lewis’s writings are full of the language of human deification. 8 Even Martin Luther was capable of speaking of the “deification of human nature,” although in what sense it is not clear. 9

Related to the claim that Latter-day Saints are not Christians because of their belief in deification is the assertion that if they hold to some kind of belief in deification then it must be that Church members do not view Jesus as uniquely divine. Such an assertion is totally erroneous. The phrase “Only Begotten Son” occurs with its variants at least ten times in the Book of Mormon, fourteen times in the Doctrine and Covenants, and nineteen times in the Pearl of Great Price. Basic to Latter-day Saint theology is the uniqueness of Jesus Christ as the Only Begotten Son of the Father in the flesh.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2017, 12:56:50 PM by Pete at Home »

Fenring

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Re: Mormonism tl;dr?
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2017, 02:53:28 PM »
I suppose I should ask, since the theory appears to be that man can become godlike, whether the LDS believe this has occurred since their inception. Or maybe we can broaden it and ask whether it's ever occurred at all since the time of Christ. Or is this a 'very far in the future' kind of thing?

Pete at Home

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Re: Mormonism tl;dr?
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2017, 03:13:17 PM »
I suppose I should ask, since the theory appears to be that man can become godlike, whether the LDS believe this has occurred since their inception. Or maybe we can broaden it and ask whether it's ever occurred at all since the time of Christ. Or is this a 'very far in the future' kind of thing?

Joseph Smith claimed Adam had "created worlds" but that's speculative stuff never recognized by the church as doctrine.  (Smith himself set up the rules by which a prophet's words were scrutinized to decide whether they were canon, and that bit about Adam did not make the cut).

We don't know whether "become godlike" means creating or administering worlds.  The context in John 17 suggests that it's a matter of degrees, receiving grace for grace as spoken of Christ in the book of Luke.  (although of course Jesus is the only begotten of the father so the parallel isn't complete.)

Paul in Corinthians suggests a step-system where first we seek to be filled with God's love, which he calls charity.  Then knowledge follows, obtained by what he calls "prophesy."  So I'd reckon that it's something that happens by degrees.
2 Corinthians 3:18 "Therefore we all, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord with uncovered face, are transformed from glory to glory into the same likeness"

1 Corinthians 13:12 "For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known."

The scriptures describe it alternately as being "gods" (Psalm 82:6, quoted by Jesus in the New Testament), or being One with God.  If by humility and love we can become one in heart with God, prophesy kicks in and we can become one in mind with God as well.  That's as far as I've heard of it ever going in this life. 

If Smith was right that "gods" will one day make and administer planets (Revelations 3:21 "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.") , it should be clear that they would do so as extensions of God, since they would be One in mind and heart with God.  Revelations 21:7 makes clear that God is still God to the deified:  "He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son."

IIRC there are seven phrases in the book of Revelations dedicated to "he that overcometh" and most if not all of them refer to some aspect of deification.





D.W.

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Re: Mormonism tl;dr?
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2017, 03:25:22 PM »
Just to clarify Pete, aren't you citing passages common to other new testament faiths?

Doesn't this avoid Fenring's question?

TheDeamon

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Re: Mormonism tl;dr?
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2017, 03:28:50 PM »
You can get people to come to your house and do that. ;)

I think we only get JWs and usually when I'm not home. Though if I understand their views on salvation, I'm better off not hearing about their beliefs until I'm dead. That way I'd have less refusal to make up for.

Which gets us into baptisms for the dead, and few of the other (more exotic Temple) rites for the dead that are also done for the living. Although it should be noted that performing "baptisms for the dead" also sees mention in the New Testament as I recall, so some of the early Christians were evidently doing so as well. (Mormon's also hold that the deceased person the rite is performed on behalf of will be given the choice to accept or reject the work done in their name)

Mormon's don't hold to the typical Christian view in regards to "original sin" and would (generally) hold that someone who dies before the age of 8 without being baptised is not in danger of eternal damnation. The reason for the age of 8 is held to be about the time that Mormon's hold children become sufficiently "spiritually cognizant" of their actions such as to be held accountable for their sins.

Another fun thing is that Mormon's also don't hold to the traditional view of "God's Angels in Heaven" in that from the LDS perspective, the Angels "are us" in the form of persons yet to be born, or the personages of "just men" (or women) who've come before us and already undergone some form of judgement already. And then of course the "fallen angels" (devils).

Speaking of the fallen angels, it follows that since the angels are us according the Mormons, that means we were all participants in the Biblical War in Heaven where Satan and his cohort were cast out of Heaven. Which is where things a little more interesting, in regards to the matter that Satan's cohort remembers your "pre-mortal existance" even if you don't. Which is where "devils" in Mormon parlance can be particularly insidious, because they know you better than you could possibly know yourself.

That said, in an Ironic twist for all of us, even if you do ultimately live a very unjust and wicked lifestyle sufficient to be cast into "Outer Darkness" (The Mormon variant of Hell, another variation, as their concept of "Hell" and "Heaven" alike differs wildly with most of Christianity) with Satan and his cohort from the War in Heaven, you would be the one "with dominion" over them due to some unique aspect of having had a (mortal) body of our own at one point in time, not the other way around. So in that respect, they(the fallen angels) have a special incentive to get their "cuts and barbs" in down here on Earth while they can. This is even before you start factoring in things like the power of the (restored) Priesthood into the mix. (It should also be mentioned that it is believed to be virtually impossible for the majority of people to actually get sent to "Outer Darkness")

Of course, having brought up "Outer Darkness" there also is the matter of the Mormon faith having "Three Degrees of Glory"  that the vast overwhelming majority of people will find themselves in. Only the highest tier of Glory gets to enjoy "eternal progression" (without meaningful limit as far as we know), which would be the "Godhood track" that has already received attention. The other two tiers are basically going to be functionaries/flunkies for the next higher tier--and that you'll go to the one you'll be "most comfortable" being in, so as far as punishment goes, it shouldn't be too bad so long as you don't mind the Glass Ceiling in Heaven. ;)

Another note of interest in regards to that highest tier of glory: Marriage is mandatory, no singles allowed. With that in mind, and given other doctrines regarding young children, there presumably is some kind of "post-mortal" option that could be exercised, but we have no clue as what shape or form it takes.

Other notes: The creation myth for the LDS Faith slightly alters Genesis, by way of the Pearl of Great Price. "In the beginning, the intelligences were organized" those intelligences being us, and after that organization had been done, the creation of the world/universe began--with our help. OSC makes an oblique reference to this aspect in the Author's Notes in Xenocide and its sequel if I recall correctly, when he started delving deeper in the concept of the Ansible.

scifibum

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Re: Mormonism tl;dr?
« Reply #12 on: February 02, 2017, 03:37:18 PM »
This probably sounds like a funny and unspecific question, but since there are some people here knowledgeable about Mormonism, can someone please tell me basically what it's about and what distinguishes it from other kinds of Christianity? I was inspired to ask because of the brief tangent in the other thread about the trinity in various Christian denominations.

Here are some things that distinguish Mormons (though they aren't all unique):

* Belief that they have a more complete version of the gospel

, including additional ordinances that are necessary for higher degrees of glory in the afterlife (bigger and better salvation, see TheDeamon's explanation of degrees of glory and outer darkness).  This was supposedly lost from the earth in the early centuries after Christ but restored through the prophet Joseph Smith in the early to mid 19th century.  The successful practice of this complete gospel requires unbroken priesthood authority from Christ which was also lost and then restored and is now unique to this church.

* Certain ordinances take place in temples to which access is limited.

Access is granted to members who are judged sufficiently obedient.  Some of the ordinances appear to be modified Masonic rituals (Joseph Smith was a Mason before he introduced them) but they tie in to church doctrine.

* Saving the dead

Mormons belief that proxy ordinances for dead people can make salvation available to those who didn't get there before they died.  These proxy ordinances happen in the temple.  It's why LDS are famous for genealogy. 

* Belief in ongoing revelation and an open canon. 

Joseph Smith "restored" the fullness of the gospel but in theory all the church presidents that followed have had the same prophetic authority and access.  None of them have contributed more than a tiny fraction of what Joseph Smith contributed to the canon, though, and it has been quite static for many decades except for a blip in 1978.  A lot of what early Presidents taught has been officially excluded from the canon.

* The church organization is hierarchy of men

with one president who is often called "the prophet", and a series of councils and areas and stakes and wards which each have their own presiding authorities.  While the authority is concentrated in men, there are auxiliary women's and "Primary" (instruction of children) organizations with their own hierarchy of women.  However, at each level they are presided over by men. 

Some women members have recently been asking for equal priesthood authority.  This change is unlikely because the orthodox and official belief is that sex-based roles are divinely established and eternal.  Some leaders of the Ordain Women movement have been excommunicated.

* Everyone is supposed to be entitled to revelation

that helps them with their church job (aka calling) or just in general.  The concept is that you can get revelation that applies to your place in the hierarchy.  An average member can't get revelation that supersedes what the church president has received, but he can get revelation for his own family (should we take the job in Nebraska?), or for the class he is assigned to teach (how can I get Timmy to listen and learn?).   However, the big caveat is that you have to be spiritually in tune, which requires obedience.  If you aren't obedient you can become "spiritually dead" meaning you can't perceive the revelation and confirmation that would otherwise be yours.

* Recruitment is really important

The church maintains a large force of missionaries, mostly young men from 18-20 and a smaller chunk of young women from 19-21.  It's also common for retired married couples to serve a mission.  They wear suits or dresses and wear badges and often ride bikes.  They knock on doors and (increasingly) also use social media and networking techniques to find people to teach.  They teach a simplified version of the history of the LDS church and the salvation that it offers and hope to baptize converts. 

They do service projects some of the time.  Their mission service is away from home and they have to stay with a companion of the same sex at all times (except married couples who just stay with each other).

* Local leaders aren't paid

General authorities and mission presidents get stipends and reimbursements that permit a comfortable standard of living with some perks.  But stake and ward leaders do not get paid even though the demands on their time are very high.  Active church members usually have a calling (or several), these are also unpaid.  It used to be common for people to claim that the LDS church had no paid clergy (sometimes this was called "priestcraft"), but this is not really accurate above the local level. 

scifibum

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Re: Mormonism tl;dr?
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2017, 03:46:34 PM »
* Family relationships can continue in the afterlife

If the family members are "sealed" (one of the temple rituals) and they are sufficiently righteous.  "Families can be together forever" is one way they put it in songs and lessons. 

---

Source: born and raised, but I no longer attend or believe in it.

Pete at Home

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Re: Mormonism tl;dr?
« Reply #14 on: February 02, 2017, 03:47:59 PM »
Just to clarify Pete, aren't you citing passages common to other new testament faiths?


Deification isn't in the Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith's teachings on it were rejected as non-Canon.  There's something on it towards the very end of the Doctrine and Covenants, but I personally find that quote suspect since it was approved after Joseph Smith's death and based on his notes.

"Doesn't this avoid Fenring's question?"

Fenring told me to present what I know.  So I'm directly answering his question.  I don't know about the second half of D&C 131, and from what I've seen, lots of people are uncomfortable with it.  Tradition says that if God wants us to believe something, he'll repeat it at least 2 or 3 times, and there's stuff in 131 that's not repeated anywhere else.

SciFi's list is accurate.

Pete at Home

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Re: Mormonism tl;dr?
« Reply #15 on: February 02, 2017, 03:51:32 PM »
Quote
That said, in an Ironic twist for all of us, even if you do ultimately live a very unjust and wicked lifestyle sufficient to be cast into "Outer Darkness"

Outer Darkness isn't for a "wicked lifestyle."  We're talking about a specific act alternately called "shedding innocent blood" or "denying the holy ghost."  In canon, the only person said to qualify for this was Cain, who personally knew God and then murdered God's messenger to him, his brother Abel.

NobleHunter

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Re: Mormonism tl;dr?
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2017, 03:56:43 PM »
Quite a few differences between Christian groups can be traced to what parts of the Bible they emphasize. Even though Mormons have their own scripture, particular attention to certain verses can distinguish them from other Christians just as much as the Book of Mormon.

For instance, they probably read the verses on marriage, divorce, and re-marriage slightly differently than Catholics (or the Methodist I did a paper on for my Master's).

TheDeamon

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Re: Mormonism tl;dr?
« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2017, 06:45:10 PM »
Quite a few differences between Christian groups can be traced to what parts of the Bible they emphasize. Even though Mormons have their own scripture, particular attention to certain verses can distinguish them from other Christians just as much as the Book of Mormon.

Not going to track down the scriptural passages, but actually a good example of this, which certain anti-Mormon ad campaigns have used in the past:

"By faith alone are ye saved"

While for the Mormons, the Book of Mormon provides "...faith without works is dead."

Which actually isn't the end of it for the Mormons. Because intent is a major component in things as well.  Basically Mormons require both faith, and actions which reflect that faith.

So in that light actions alone are not enough, and be careful of the how/why you undertake actions, because you better be either "doing the work for the work's sake" or "to glorify god."

If you're doing to it glorify yourself. By for example, donating several million dollars to a Charity, University, or Faith Group in order to have something named in your honor(or that of a loved one). That "good deed" probably won't pass muster, because the intent test is likely to fail. (Note: I said "likely to," not always.) Likewise for the person who donates a lot of time and money in a local community in order to gain "pillar of the community" status(for its own sake, or because it serves another (business) purpose). If that was their actual and only end-goal, they're likely to fail at the final judgement if that's what they're hanging their hat upon in terms of "good works." The even more "fun" aspect of the above is many LDS Members also tend to lose sight of this particular detail.

Pete at Home

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Re: Mormonism tl;dr?
« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2017, 07:17:47 PM »
Quite a few differences between Christian groups can be traced to what parts of the Bible they emphasize. Even though Mormons have their own scripture, particular attention to certain verses can distinguish them from other Christians just as much as the Book of Mormon.

Not going to track down the scriptural passages, but actually a good example of this, which certain anti-Mormon ad campaigns have used in the past:

"By faith alone are ye saved"

While for the Mormons, the Book of Mormon provides "...faith without works is dead."

Actually, that's not in the book of Mormon.  That's from the New Testament, James 2:14-26

You're right that LDS folks tend to emphasize works more than Protestants, but not more than Catholics.

In today's environment, NobleHunter is right that the LDS interpretation of the Bible is responsible for more of our core theological differences from Niceans, than anything taught in the Book of Mormon.

HOWEVER, in Joseph Smith's time, the teachings of the Book of Mormon, by rejecting hyperCalvinist teachings (through the Rameumpton scene with the Zoramites) and rejecting the damnable heresy that unbaptised children go to hell, made a very strong divide between Mormons and other Christian sects.

But since the early 1800s, most Christian churches have actually abandoned the doctrines that the Book of Mormon denounces as an abomination.  Most recently, in 1994, the Catholics actually put into the Catechism the belief ("hope") that an unbaptized child is not damned, and that was IIRC the last big holdout among the Christian sects.

Fenring

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Re: Mormonism tl;dr?
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2017, 01:39:47 AM »
You're right that LDS folks tend to emphasize works more than Protestants, but not more than Catholics.

This is correct, and afaik Catholics use the same scriptural basis for saying you need both. But the acts are needed insofar as action should come forth from true believe, and in that sense I'm not sure that it's more than confirmation of the belief's being thought about correctly.

Quote
But since the early 1800s, most Christian churches have actually abandoned the doctrines that the Book of Mormon denounces as an abomination.  Most recently, in 1994, the Catholics actually put into the Catechism the belief ("hope") that an unbaptized child is not damned, and that was IIRC the last big holdout among the Christian sects.

Previously the Catholic position was that underage children went to Limbo, a policy (and locale) they have since rescinded. It seems that now they are saved, which seems to put them in the same camp as LDS on that topic.

Pete at Home

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Re: Mormonism tl;dr?
« Reply #20 on: February 03, 2017, 02:37:11 AM »
You're right that LDS folks tend to emphasize works more than Protestants, but not more than Catholics.

This is correct, and afaik Catholics use the same scriptural basis for saying you need both. But the acts are needed insofar as action should come forth from true believe, and in that sense I'm not sure that it's more than confirmation of the belief's being thought about correctly.

If you mean works as deeds, yes, that's the official LDS position as well as the Catholic, although the majority of LDS and Catholics tend to conceptualize salvation or damnation according to picky little sins and whether something was confessed, etc.

However, Works isn't all deeds; it's also what Catholics call sacraments and what Mormons call "ordinances" or "covenants," depending on the context.  And Catholics as well as LDS are pretty firm that adult Christians need certain ceremonies.  Mormons break down "the gospel" into a series: first faith, then repentance, then baptism, then the gift of the holy ghost.  If faith is true faith, then by necessity it leads to repentance. (deeds works).  The "firstfruit" of repentance is baptism.  In other words, when faith leads you to want to change your life (repent) you should desire to start by making a covenant with God.  Baptism brings a "remission" of sins, remission in the same sense as one has a remission of cancer, meaning that sin can come back if you aren't careful to avoid it.


Quote
But since the early 1800s, most Christian churches have actually abandoned the doctrines that the Book of Mormon denounces as an abomination.  Most recently, in 1994, the Catholics actually put into the Catechism the belief ("hope") that an unbaptized child is not damned, and that was IIRC the last big holdout among the Christian sects.
Previously the Catholic position was that underage children went to Limbo, a policy (and locale) they have since rescinded. It seems that now they are saved, which seems to put them in the same camp as LDS on that topic.

Indeed the same camp, and AFAIK most Christians are now in the LDS camp on that topic.  I find it interesting that in 1994, almost immediately after this change to the Catholic catechism regarding unbaptized infants, the LDS church began donating a small but significant percentage of its tithing money to Catholic charities.  Tithing money is reserved for very few things traditionally, or at least was at that time when Mormons still had a separate building fund.  And every year in General Conference Mormons are reminded that a portion of their tithes go to Catholic Charities.  I see this as a signal to the LDS members that regardless of what Catholics think of us, that we've decided their church is worthy of disbursing part of our tithes.  2/3 of a percent isn't an overwhelming amount, but keep in mind that building maintenance etc. takes up a lot. 

Fenring

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Re: Mormonism tl;dr?
« Reply #21 on: February 03, 2017, 10:55:15 AM »
If LDS theology is that the Father is God, Jesus was a god but not God (albeit his only begotten son), and that men can become metaphysically like Jesus as 'gods', what, then, is the place for the Holy Spirit?

TheDeamon

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Re: Mormonism tl;dr?
« Reply #22 on: February 03, 2017, 11:44:46 AM »
If LDS theology is that the Father is God, Jesus was a god but not God (albeit his only begotten son), and that men can become metaphysically like Jesus as 'gods', what, then, is the place for the Holy Spirit?

Almost quite literally the odd duck. The Holy Ghost is a unique entity in that he/she/it is evidently going to be eternally non-corporeal, as having a future/past body of its own would somehow impede it from its task.

So in some respects, it's trapped in a situation not much unlike Satan and the Fallen Host of Heaven. They have no body of their own, so they have no form, and that lack of form likewise prevents them from progressing to any kind of higher level.

So in that respect, while Jesus is (likely) a god, but not God, the Holy Ghost cannot be a god as it has not taken the steps, and will never do so, needed to attain godhood. The Holy Ghost is quite simply the ultimate messenger in some respects.

It should be noted that just about the entirety of the above is almost entirely speculation, albeit one that is widely held within the LDS Faith with little variation. The truth of the matter as it pertains to the Holy Ghost is that we just don't know.

stilesbn

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Re: Mormonism tl;dr?
« Reply #23 on: February 03, 2017, 11:51:41 AM »
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The Holy Ghost is a unique entity in that he/she/it is evidently going to be eternally non-corporeal, as having a future/past body of its own would somehow impede it from its task.

We're in pretty heavy speculation so I don't think we can lock down any particular thing as "official" here. But I've never heard that the Holy Ghost was eternally non-corporeal. But rather that it is a spirit right now so that it can pass revelation/inspiration/good feelings to us. But sometime after the second coming of Christ it would receive a body as well.

Like Deamon said, both mine and his are in the speculation realm.

Pete at Home

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Re: Mormonism tl;dr?
« Reply #24 on: February 03, 2017, 12:27:19 PM »
If LDS theology is that the Father is God, Jesus was a god but not God (albeit his only begotten son), and that men can become metaphysically like Jesus as 'gods', what, then, is the place for the Holy Spirit?

A place of a vast but marginal debate, the sort that gets you frowny faces from the Sunday School Teacher if you bring it up.

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The Holy Ghost - Marion G. Romney - LDS.org
www.lds.org/general-conference/1974/04/the-holy-ghost?lang=eng
According to these scriptures the Holy Ghost is a person. “The Father,” said the Prophet Joseph Smith, “has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as ... when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not ... Every person who knows or has ever known that Jesus is the Christ has received that ...
Will the Holy Ghost eventually get a body? – Donny Osmond
donny.com/my_beliefs/will-the-holy-ghost-eventually-get-a-body-2/
**Question:** Dear Donny, Since the LDS Church believes that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have bodies, how is it that the Holy Ghost is God but hasn't got ...
Holy Ghost/Identity - FairMormon
en.fairmormon.org/Holy_Ghost/Identity
Jan 15, 2015 - Questions and Answers. Question: Will the Holy Ghost ever receive a physical body? We have no revelation on this topic. Because nothing has ...
Will the Holy Ghost ever gain a body? - LDS Gospel Discussion ...
https://mormonhub.com/forums/topic/42540-will-the-holy-ghost-ever-gain-a-body/
May 21, 2012 - 25 posts - ‎14 authors
As it is time for one to gain a body another spirit being steps into the rol... ... By the same logic, the Holy Ghost will eventually get a body, simply ...
Holy Ghost to Get a Body
emp.byui.edu/satterfieldb/quotes/Holy%20Ghost%20to%20Get%20a%20Body.html
The Holy Ghost is Waiting to Take to Himself a Body ... that he might take it up again & the Scripture Say those who will obey the commandments shall be heirs of ...
Will the Holy Ghost get a Body? | Small and Simple
https://smallsimple.wordpress.com/2006/03/10/will-the-holy-ghost-get-a-body/
Mar 10, 2006 - Also we have from Joseph Smith in Teachings that 'The Holy Ghost is a ... I will now guess that getting a body for the Holy Ghost will be a near ..... No one's probably ever going to see this comment, but I wanted to point out that ...


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Fenring

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Re: Mormonism tl;dr?
« Reply #25 on: February 03, 2017, 02:12:19 PM »
What about man's capabilities? Can man move towards this god-ness by his own power, or is everything done by God and man may only ask for it? I suppose an example would be some of the great prophets in the Old Testament like Moses; did they manifest those powers due to being part of the way towards being gods, or were they utterly human and God just did miracles when they needed them?

Pete at Home

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Re: Mormonism tl;dr?
« Reply #26 on: February 03, 2017, 03:08:56 PM »
What about man's capabilities? Can man move towards this god-ness by his own power

No.  Deification means becoming one with God through Christ.  See John 17.  It means God seating those who overcome on His throne (see the Revelations stuff I quoted above) -- it remains God's throne.  We aren't even capable of doing good without God.

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Other notes: The creation myth for the LDS Faith slightly alters Genesis, by way of the Pearl of Great Price. "In the beginning, the intelligences were organized" those intelligences being us, and after that organization had been done, the creation of the world/universe began--with our help. OSC makes an oblique reference to this aspect in the Author's Notes in Xenocide and its sequel if I recall correctly, when he started delving deeper in the concept of the Ansible.

Yes; it also appears in the Gatefather conclusion to the Gate Thief trilogy, with Christ being "This One"

Also, in Lost Boys, Orson Scott Card mocks outright the pop-mormon version of deification where you become "a god" and "get your own planet."  A new member of the church talks, believing it to be doctrine, and the main character, a returned missionary knowledgeable in church doctrine,
 has a facepalm moment and tries to repair the damage.


Fenring

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Re: Mormonism tl;dr?
« Reply #27 on: February 03, 2017, 04:46:17 PM »
My follow-up question is: Do the LDS see their religion as being a natural continuation of Judaism? Other Christian groups, for instance, believe that the NT was a new revelation adding on to what was written in the OT, but not invalidating it. Whatever God said in the OT was still the case, and Jesus was supposedly the realization of prophecy, rather than a scrubbing and rewriting. Is the same true for Mormonism? Do Mormons believe that the Jews were entirely correct until such a time as Jesus came along and provided new information? If so, is Jesus considered to be 'the messiah' prophesied in the OT?

NobleHunter

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Re: Mormonism tl;dr?
« Reply #28 on: February 03, 2017, 05:44:33 PM »

A place of a vast but marginal debate, the sort that gets you frowny faces from the Sunday School Teacher if you bring it up.

You brought it up, didn't you?

Pete at Home

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Re: Mormonism tl;dr?
« Reply #29 on: February 03, 2017, 05:49:09 PM »

A place of a vast but marginal debate, the sort that gets you frowny faces from the Sunday School Teacher if you bring it up.

You brought it up, didn't you?

Indeed I did not.

Pete at Home

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Re: Mormonism tl;dr?
« Reply #30 on: February 03, 2017, 05:55:57 PM »
My follow-up question is: Do the LDS see their religion as being a natural continuation of Judaism?

The term "Judaism" is younger than Christianity. What we call Judaism today is a matured and differentiated set of sects derived from the sect which was called Phariseeism in Jesus' time. Other sects of that time, Sadducees and Essenes, are extinct.

But no, Christianity is a new covenant, and the LD in LDS stand for Latter Days, referring to a new "dispensation" of authority from God. Best analogy I can think of (though it would probably annoy most faithful LDS, would be a "Franchise."

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Re: Mormonism tl;dr?
« Reply #31 on: February 03, 2017, 06:11:58 PM »
My follow-up question is: Do the LDS see their religion as being a natural continuation of Judaism?

The term "Judaism" is younger than Christianity. What we call Judaism today is a matured and differentiated set of sects derived from the sect which was called Phariseeism in Jesus' time. Other sects of that time, Sadducees and Essenes, are extinct.

But no, Christianity is a new covenant, and the LD in LDS stand for Latter Days, referring to a new "dispensation" of authority from God. Best analogy I can think of (though it would probably annoy most faithful LDS, would be a "Franchise."


" Other Christian groups, for instance, believe that the NT was a new revelation adding on to what was written in the OT, but not invalidating it."

But revelation continued after the death of Christ, and each new revelation didn't change the dispensation which Jesus ushered in. An more importantly, a whole new covenant.  The old covenant is not cancelled but most no longer applies to Christians.

The New Testament, Paul, I believe, discusses Jesus' priestly authority as a higher priesthood than that possessed by the Jewish priests and Levites.

The LDS see themselves as the restored New covenant of Jesus Christ which was lost after the apostles were murdered. The church has apostles. 

So Christianity was first dispensation of the New Covenant. LDS a new dispensation of the Christian new covenant.

How do we know the old dispensation died out? Well, where are their apostles? Where are their new scriptures from the revelation God promised to provide his church?

Another analogy (although unflattering) is The Postman. Costner shows up in postman uniform to a town 30 years after nuclear apocalypse and says he's a representative of the US government. In the movie he's a fraud.  But Mormons think JS was given true authority by God. Costner's postman doesn't question that townspeople are "Americans" just as Mormons don't question the Christianity of other sects. But they proclaim they have sole authority. That doesn't mean Mormon leaders are always right or that other sects aren't more right about some things. Priesthood is authority to make covenants, essentially contracts, in God's name.  Most notably, the ability to seal a husband and wife for eternity, not just until death.