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668 weeks ago @ Mormon Coffee - Progression to Godhood... · 0 replies · +1 points

Post script correction;

Before I get too distracted by the history of the LDS movement, my present concern is that "newbies' might be joining the LDS church with one set of expectations, but the "veterans" know that its all very different.

So, possibly there are two churches; the 'public' church that says "we believe in Jesus" and the 'secret' church that operates behind closed doors.

My question to SteveH is about where he stands in the progression from one to the other.

668 weeks ago @ Mormon Coffee - Progression to Godhood... · 1 reply · +1 points


In terms of the history of the overall movement, the Utah Branch of the LDS tradition certainly has started with one gospel and ended with another. I don't see any current teaching that polygamy is mandatory for exaltation, or that blacks cannot become priests, or communal possession of goods, or the Adam-God theory, or frontier expansionism, or the magic world-view, or the literalness of the Book of Abraham, to name a few.

I will accept that one idea that has continued from the start is the LDS faith in their prophets (which is utterly misplaced, IMO).

My concern is that the average guy in the pew has no clear idea about where the LDS movement is headed. There's only this vague idea that Jesus started the whole enterprise going, which is demonstrably untrue.

I might know more than you think. My father is a Freemason, and I know something of the Temple Rites that LDS have copied from Freemasonry.

Steve can I ask you a question? What temple rites have you been through, and why did you do them? What rites of passage, or initations have you completed?

668 weeks ago @ Mormon Coffee - Progression to Godhood... · 3 replies · +1 points

Hi Gloria,

Here's a question I've been wanting to ask of someone who's been on the 'inside', and it sort of follows from your observations;

It seems to me that there are actually two LDS churches. The question is, are there?

The first LDS church comprises the rank and file, who broadly see themselves as trying to follow Christ under the direction of the prophets. They are the ones who get surprised when other churches (Evs, for example) react with hostility to the LDS movement. They might have gone through some of the Temple rites, but they're probably thinking that the weirder stuff is not core to their faith. Their reading of the Bible might be rudimentary, but its not all that wacky. They are probably a little embarrassed at some of the teachings that they see as non-core, such as the after-death marriage thing, and they probably hope to muddle through because they've got these wonderful prophets to guide them.

The second church is where they are heading. This is realm of JS's actual teaching. This church comprises the 'survivors' of the rites and missions (those who have stayed with the church after sacrificing so much for it). They are the one's who have 'levelled up' on the various rituals and they are destined for church leadership. Their mission is to promote the temple by drawing in the rank and file. They've got so accustomed to promoting the church's doctrine, that they have long since ceased to question whether it aligns with Christ's at all. Though they put forward an amicable face, they actually loath being scrutinized. To them, Christ is the vehicle through which they achieve the various states that are required to make themselves into gods.

So, it seems to me that LDS start with one gospel, and end with another.

668 weeks ago @ Mormon Coffee - Progression to Godhood... · 0 replies · +1 points

If the law made God god, then god is not God because the law is God. By this logic, should we be worshipping the law, not God?

668 weeks ago @ Mormon Coffee - The Main Claim of Morm... · 0 replies · +1 points

DOF wrote "The point is He didn't need to somehow prove who He was."

Yup, they should have known better. But Jesus took everyone by surprise. Who would have thought that his coronation would involve a crown of thorns, and his enthronement would involve getting nailed to a cross?

Even so, his patience in explaining himself to his critics is one of the distinctives of his mission. For example, in Luke 7:19-23, you'll notice that Jesus takes no offense at the challenge of John's disciples but he seems to welcome the opportunity to point them to the evidence.

When I read the Gospels, I see the notion of public scrutiny indelibly stamped into the life of the Kingdom. The most confronting image is of a God who gets nailed, spreadeagled and naked to a cross in full view of his critics.

When I look at the LDS movement, I see secret (quasi-masonic) rituals, the privatization of religion and the shirking of any responsibility to explain anything to anyone.

What happened to Peter's commendation to "be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you" (1 Peter 3:15)?

Hey, this Bible stuff is hard work, but its fun isn't it? Lets talk about it some more.

668 weeks ago @ Mormon Coffee - The Main Claim of Morm... · 0 replies · +1 points


Thanks for going to the trouble of reading my incredibly long post. Its kind of embarrassing to put down so many words, but where there has been so much mindless vandalism done to the Gospel, much needs to be done to restore it.

In hindsight, I might need to correct myself though; don't Cheetah hunt Thompson Gazelle, not Springbok?

668 weeks ago @ Mormon Coffee - The Main Claim of Morm... · 1 reply · +1 points

By his work at the cross, Christ has done all that was needed to inaugurate the New Covenant and he has done all that us needed to implement or apply it. He has done it when the best of us failed. He is the Great High Priest who has gone into the heavens, and when we are in him we enter with him into the presence of God himself. The curtain is now torn, the way is now open, we are now fully and perfectly reconciled to God. What’s more is that in Christ, God’s people truly fulfil their vocation as a royal priesthood and a holy nation (1 Peter 2:9). Our mission differs from Christ’s only in this respect; he brings mercy and we benefit by receiving it. Too often, the idea of priesthood has been used to claim that only one ‘ordained’ or anointed class has the right to mediate between man and God, whereas the NT view is that priesthood is all about being a living demonstration of God’s mercy.

The LDS view does in fact run contrary to this notion. Given that so much LDS theology is garnished from orthodox sources (albeit by a ‘pick and mix’ method), the only distinctive of the “restoration” was the restoration of the priesthood. Fundamentally, this says that the Gospel cannot function without an earthly priesthood and the earthly priesthood does not exist unless it can trace its mandate to Joseph Smith jnr. The explicit LDS position is that there is no access to God other than through this “restored” priesthood; we cannot enter into an LDS temple without the intervention of the LDS priesthood. If we can’t get into the temple, we can’t get to God.

Its as if the curtain were sewn up again.

To re-introduce priest and temple in the sense of the LDS restoration is to undo Christ’s unique mission. It is to fall into the error that the writer to the Hebrews warned his audience against.

(End ... finally)

668 weeks ago @ Mormon Coffee - The Main Claim of Morm... · 1 reply · +1 points

This idea was sealed upon the minds of the early Christians by the sacking of Jerusalem and its temple in 70AD. To them, God had rolled up the former things like an old cloak that had served its purpose. The old system of priest and temple was spent; its job was finished, like an old wineskin (Matt 9:17).

The priestly ministry of Christ is worked out at Calvary, in which he had taken the blood of the new Covenant into the true Holy of Holies and “obtained an eternal redemption for us” (Heb 9:12). If the OT priests and temple were a kind of ‘dress rehearsal’, then this was the real deal. There’s no longer any need to repeat the rehearsals, which is why Christians no longer practice animal sacrifice.

Prior to getting married, you’d probably do a wedding rehearsal. Having done the wedding proper, you don’t go back to the rehearsals again and again. If you did, people might think that you’re constantly getting out of the covenant you’ve made with your spouse and they would quite rightly question whether your arrangements had anything to do with marriage at all.

668 weeks ago @ Mormon Coffee - The Main Claim of Morm... · 1 reply · +1 points

The problem was that the law didn’t deliver. It wasn’t a case of optimizing the people’s observance of the law – the Temple that Jesus visited was a well-oiled machine that was the product of generation upon generation of devoted effort. The Gospels record Jesus’ acknowledgement of the success of the Pharisees in applying the law to the tiniest detail (Matt 23:23). Despite this fantastic enterprise, and despite the fact that it was ordained by God, its failure was apparent in several outcomes; there was no Davidic King (1 Kings 9:5), Israel was under occupation and still in a kind of exile (Ex 6:6-8), the land was not healed because it was full of demons (2 Chron 7:14), the physical cloud of God’s glory was not present in the temple (2 Chron 7:1), the corrupt behavior of the priesthood demonstrated that God’s law was not written on their hearts (Jer 31:33). All of these were promises derived from God’s covenant with Abraham, but none were a reality in NT times. In short, God was not present among his people as promised (2 Sam 7:25-26).

So, the question behind the NT was this; if the system had failed, what was it all about? The answer, according to the NT was that law was not an end in itself, but it foreshadowed the real deal (Heb 10:1), the mission of Christ. Thus Paul writes that the law testifies about Christ (Romans 3:23), it brings us (specifically the believing Jews) to Christ (Gal 3:24) and that Christ is the end of the law (Romans 10:4). In other words, the purposes and intents of scripture, priest and temple are brought to a climactic conclusion in the life and ministry of Christ himself. (ctd...)

668 weeks ago @ Mormon Coffee - The Main Claim of Morm... · 1 reply · +1 points


I like your style.

The Priesthood of Christ is one of those big-ticket themes of the Bible that’s easy to miss if we’re not careful to read scripture from the viewpoint of those who wrote it. Releasing the Bible back into its native environment is hard work for us, not least because we don’t see Priest and Temple operating as they did in Biblical Times. We’d rather keep the Bible as a domesticated pet. But its rather like keeping a Cheetah on a chain in the back yard; we’ll never really appreciate what it truly is until we see it sprinting after Springbok on an African plain.

The writer of Hebrews tackles this particular subject head-on. His principal concern is to persuade Jewish believers not to lose confidence in Christ by reverting to a reliance on the law. He argues that the law points to Christ because his audience was in danger of getting it the wrong way round.

The term ‘the law’ is the subject of some debate among theologians. My conviction is that it is short-hand for ‘the law and the prophets’, or the system of religion including scripture, priest and temple. To the NT Jews like Paul, ‘the law’ was both something that they did and it was something that was done to them. For example, Paul claims that he was a product of the law and he supported and promoted it, as did all the good Pharisees of his day (ctd...)