Answering Mormon Objections


#46

This may sound simple minded, but I have a hard time with those who come so long after Jesus and have “re-discovered” true faith, because Jesus said things like, “Lo, I am with you ALWAYS” , and that the Holy Spirit will lead you into ALL truth. How can there have been a 1500 or 1850 year gap in true belief if Jesus said these statements above? I deeply mistrust the pride that seems to lurk behind claims about how “everyone has gotten Christ’s message wrong before ME”. It seems so inconsistent with Gods character to abandon so many generations of people. There simply must have been a visible and faithful church in each generation since Jesus.


#47

An excellent link about the anti-Catholic origins of Mormonism. Also, how Joseph Smith changed the nature of God within Mormonism; how he led them into apostasy.


#48

I appreciate this distinction in modern Catholic thought. As I said above, I consider it a DEVELOPMENT from what was previously regularly said by the ECF.
I can note that LDS in our Sunday worship generally also say that we are called to become “like God.” I just further suggest that those LDS who study this issue do not place the same limits upon the final state of deified man that are commonly expressed by non-LDS who study this issue.
I can, in fact, say that when LDS discuss our progression towards God and when Catholics discuss our/their progression towards God it is very similar.
Charity, TOm


#49

Ciaphus would have said the same thing about our Lord!

I do not believe there was nothing of value to the faith of many Jews who never knew Christ (even those who lived after Christ’s atonement).
I do not believe there was nothing of value in the faith of Christians before the restoration. There was no 1500-1800 year gap in true belief (I even think there is value in the faith of modern non-LDS Christians).
But, I do believe that Christianity DEVELOPED AWAY from some truths, the most important of which is the fact that God leads His Church by delivering REVELATION (public revelation) to those who God selects to lead His Church. Without this truth, errors become crystallized and irreformable, and course corrections become reasons to reject the whole Church.
Charity, TOm


#50

2 Nephi 26:29": 29 He commandeth that there shall be no priestcrafts; for, behold priestcrafts are that men preach and set themselves up for a light unto the world, that they may get gain and praise of the
world; but they seek not the welfare of Zion.
The fact that the hierarchy of the church are proclaimed to be special through preaching as opposed to gaining the trust of the membership through their actions is the practice of priestcraft.


#51

Do you have a link for this?

I do not consider the saints gods or goddesses by grace or any manner. They are God’s but not gods, if you get my drift. Becoming “like God” doesn’t mean becoming a god (or goddess).

It means walking in His Love not just talking the talk. Turning the other cheek. Forgiving as He forgives. Being a beacon of His Light in the darkness.


#52

The relevant CCC passage was quoted in this thread - CCC #460.
In fact, its alluded to at every Mass when the priest says:
By the mystery of this water and wine
may we come to share in the divinity of Christ
who humbled himself to share in our humanity

This is the great mystery of the incarnation…God, in Christ, assumed our human nature so that we could, in turn, assume the divine nature. I say by grace for we remain humans, creatures, but participate in the divine nature. The Church is the mystical body of Christ…the mystical extension of the incarnation…we “put on Christ” at baptism, and thus participate in divinity.


#53

Joseph Smith had a large group of followers who believed he was a prophet of God. He rejoiced when the 3 witnesses and the 8 witnesses were called to share in his burden. He also taught regularly after this that revelation was to be received by EVERY member of the church not just by leaders. His actions are not the actions of someone who seeks gain and adulation. Over and over again he spread the responsibility for the restoration to others and deemphasized his uniqueness.

Today:

  1. By in large LDS leaders take a large pay cut (do not get gain) when they become LDS leaders.

  2. LDS leaders council among themselves against becoming enamored with the "praise of the world." IMO they act in ways that lessen the amount of "praise of the world" they would receive were they to act in different ways. They even act in ways that result in less praise from LDS instead of ways in which to maximize the praise of LDS.er

  3. I personally believe that LDS leaders act for the "welfare of Zion" regularly and with extraordinary (even divinely aided) fervor.

I do not believe any LDS leader has been perfect, but for the most part they are quite good folks who love God IMO.

In a church with me and God only, all the sins will be a product of my sinfulness, but as soon as we leave behind the idea that such a church is God’s idea, we must be in communion with other sinners becase that is all that is available.

Charity, TOm


#54

Yet, you said


#55

Stephen168,

Hello! I didn’t say that God the Father had a Father. I do not believe this and I didn’t believe it when you asked me to prove it from the ECF.

What I do believe is that the ECF didn’t place any limits on the final state of deified man until the 4th century. I once thought there was a single quote that would undermine this bold statement, but I have not found it despite looking. Perhaps you know the ECFs and can provide me with something here.

Let me say again:

Before the fourth century there is not a single ECF who limited the final state of deified man. There are many ECF who boldly say that mankind will be made gods. There are many ECF who claim that Christ became what we are so that we might become what He is. But, when they make the BOLD claims unlike the fourth century and later writers they do not claim that the final state of men who become gods is limited.

Now, in the second century there are ECF who embrace a “starting place” for mankind (creation ex nihilo), not embraced by me. This rejection of creation ex nihilo is also present in Justin Martyr and Clement of Rome (or whoever wrote in Clement’s name in the late first or early second century). This is not a “final state” departure from what I believe and what LDS believe, it is an initial state difference that developed even earlier than the final state difference.

As I told you last time, I might have missed something, but I surely cannot find it any longer if I more than dreamed that I missed it. And I do not need the ECF to perfectly espouse LDS doctrine so … Anyway, perhaps you can show me where the ECF before the 4th century embraced “limited deification.”

Alternatively, you can continue to attack beliefs which I do not hold, and I will continue to entertain the thought that you cannot deal with beliefs I do hold.

My “admission” that a view I don’t hold is not in the ECF was an attempt to get you to engage with views I do hold, but it didn’t work then. Will this work now?

Charity, TOm


#56

The ECF are Catholic, never Mormon.


#57

Hello again Stephen168. Are you reading what I write? Why do you not respond?

I should mention that I read your comment as a proxy for the common saw that God the Father has a Father. I actually believe that God like Jesus Christ once walked around with mere mortals. I get this from Joseph Smith and from the Bible. John 5:19 says, “Then answer Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you. The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do; for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.” Joseph Smith and many LDS (including me) believe that this means the Father had a mortal experience like the Son’s. I only offer this to clarify because I do not want to be misunderstood. It is of course true that LDS do not talk about this during our worship services. We only talk about it in scholarly books and in response to critics.

Now, I stand by:

Before the fourth century there is not a single ECF who limited the final state of deified man. There are many ECF who boldly say that mankind will be made gods. There are many ECF who claim that Christ became what we are so that we might become what He is. But, when they make the BOLD claims unlike the fourth century and later writers they do not claim that the final state of men who become gods is limited.

I also very much think you need to study the ECF more.

You said:

As you probably know, I am not a Mormon. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and can be called a Latter-day Saint. I believe the ECF were Saints or if you wish to make a distinction “Former-Day Saints.”

I will also tell you that no ECF or Apostle who wrote more than a half a dozen pages evidences that he would be a Catholic. Many of them reject Catholic DOGMA and as such if they didn’t CHANGE their beliefs they could not be modern Catholics. Catholic and non-Catholic scholars are very clear about when certain DOGMAs came to be believed.

For example:

Nobody before Augustine believed in “Original Sin” and all scholars who study the matter know that Augustine’s definition of original sin relied upon a poor Biblical translation and his ignorance of the Greek original. This is not a LDS charge, this is accepted scholarship. So every ECF before Augustine (and most/all? of the Eastern Father’s after Augustine because they could read Greek perhaps) did not believe what the Council of Trent asserts, “Adam’s sin and the fact that he has transmitted to us a sin with which we are all born afflicted, a sin which is the “death of the soul.”

So, I conclude that to be a modern Catholic one must believe Catholic DOGMA. I conclude with virtually all scholars who have studied this that NONE of the ECF before Augustine believed in “original sin” as constituted within Roman Catholicism after Augustine and DOGMATICALLY declared at Trent.

The ECF were not Catholic for this and MANY other reasons!!!

Perhaps you have not read the applicable documents and/or studies, but your statement is incorrect.

Charity, TOm


#58

St. Irenaeus, Against Heresies: “But Eve was disobedient; for she did not obey when as yet she was a virgin. And even as she, having indeed a husband, Adam, but being nevertheless as yet a virgin, having become disobedient, was made the cause of death, both to herself and to the entire human race…”

Tertullian, The Soul’s Testimony: “And (the man) being given over to death on account of his sin, the entire human race, tainted in their descent from him, were made a channel for transmitting his condemnation.”

Both of these church fathers explicitly believed in original sin, and both wrote before Augustine.


#59

I would add St. Paul in his letter to the Romans.


#60

CaptainPrudeman and Stephen168,

LDS and Eastern Orthodox accept the “Fall of Adam” or “Ancestral Sin” or even “Original Sin.” What is unique and not present before Augustine is that not only did death and/or the propensity to sin transmit from Adam’s act, but culpability or guilt that MUST be removed by Baptism. Scholars credit and/or blame Augustine for this innovation AND it is recognized that he was using a poor Biblical translation specifically to develop this idea.

I have read perhaps a dozen or more different articles and books that reference what I consider to be Augustine’s mistake and its impact upon Christian doctrine. What we have after Augustine is not what was believed before.

Here are two scholars.

The first is an Eastern Orthodox scholar who explains that while he often defends Augustine against the regular criticism he sees from other Eastern Orthodox scholars, when it comes to Original Sin, he shares their horror.

David Bentley Hart:

Cont ,


#61

Now an Assemblies of God Seminary Professor who explains the difference I am highlight that Augustine introduced into Western Christianity.

James J. DeFrancisco:

Since I just came across this too here is a Baptist scholar:

I could produce more if you wish, but this is commonly accepted. There are those who soften it, there are even those who claim Catholicism is CHANGING in this area (which IMO it absolutely is). But, before Augustine the way original sin was conceived and affected all mankind was DIFFERENT than afterwards. The Eastern Church never adopted his error.

Original Sin as understood by Augustine and Catholicism is not Biblical and it is not early. It is encoded in the Council of Trent. It is also in the non-ecumenical, but influential, Council of Orange and Council of Carthage.

ECF not exposed to Augustine’s innovation would not and did not believe in what became DOGMA at Trent. They were not Catholic.

Charity, TOm


#62

No where does this Irenaeus quote state that mankind inherited the sin of Adam and Eve. Not only that, elsewhere Irenaeus states that God felt compassion toward Adam for what transpired.

Therefore at the beginning of Adam’s transgression as the scripture tells, God did not curse Adam himself but the earth that he worked. As one of the ancients says, ‘God transferred the curse to the earth so that it would not continue in man’… For God hated the one who seduced man while he felt pity for the one seduced. (Against Heresies, Book III, ch. 23:3 )


#63

Another fabulous quote from Clement of Alexandria…

It is for them to tell us how the newly born child could commit fornication or in what way the child who has never done anything at all has fallen under Adams curse. The only thing left for them to say and still be consistent, I suppose, is that birth is evil not just for the body but for the soul for which the body exist. Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis 3.16, trans. J. Ferguson (Washington, D.C., Catholic University of America Press, 1991), FC 85:319


#64

Hello Tom,
The significant part of the definition of Priestcraft as found in the BOM is above and I highlighted it in my original response. If an organization preaches that their leaders are somehow special that is Priestcraft regardless of how nice these leaders are.


#65

Unique Mormon beliefs never taught by Christians:

-barring blacks from the priesthood
-exaltation
-polygamy
-Melchizedek Priesthood
-excommunicating Apostles
-God was a man
-blood atonement
-water baptism on behalf of the dead
-God was near the star Kolob (as recorded in Mormon scripture translated by Joseph Smith from papyrus which turned out to be an Egyptian funeral text.)

The ECF were Catholic, never Mormon.


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.