Conversion to Mormonism?

But none of it says anything about LDS temple rituals so it’s useless in showing that your temple rituals have anything with Jewish or gnostic rituals.

Yes, I have read these articles and own some of the books on the temple (including Matthew Brown’s The Gate of Heaven). Firstly, it is telling that the author of the above article references Gnostic writings, and not Jewish or Christian ancient writings. Secondly, I have always found the “handclasp” evidence to be weak for a number of reasons. Firstly, all of the references only refer to someone being taken by the right hand (which makes sense, since the use of the right hand is practically universal in all religions around the world, with the left hand sometimes being viewed as evil). Secondly, none of these references are talking about the specific LDS practice of giving “tokens”, i.e. a specific type of handshake with specific positioning of fingers. The LDS tokens find clear borrowing from Freemasonry (apparently some are exactly the same). Thus, this evidence is not evidence. What would be more interesting is if the ancient Jews were giving tokens in the ancient Temple(s). I have never seen any such evidence.

I also found it telling that the author relied on references to gnostic writings. When I was at BYU, I was taught in one of my New Testament religion classes taught by a professor of ancient scripture that the apostasy was the result of gnosticism entering and taking over the early Christian church and that the Council of Nicea was the culmination of the gnostic apostasy. It makes it all the more ironic to me that FAIR is citing gnostic writings as evidence of Former-Day Saint temple rituals when at least one BYU ancient scripture professor taught that it was gnosticism that took the Former-Day Saint church into apostasy.

So, evanfaust, which is it? Is gnosticism the true Former-Day Saint church or did it cause the Former-Day Saint church to become apostate?

I do think it would be more interesting but at the same time Mormonism doesn’t claim to be a restoration of Judaism.

Mormons like to look at the Old Testament Prophets to justify polygamy and that there were Prophet leaders, but neither of these beliefs/practices are Christian.

I kinda thought Evan woulda posted by now. I guess it is getting harder and harder to find things he can cut and paste.

I hope he addresses ALL the issues and not just the Adam/Eve stuff.

I agree with you that we should challenge shoddy scholarship. But I don’t think that Evan or anyone else will be convinced by simply stating that his sources are shoddy, instead of actively proving that they are fallacious. It doesn’t look any better when 3-4 of those debating him on this thread are ex-Mormons who have an emotional stake in this game. And I don’t deny the validity of your conversion to Catholicism, nor your, TexanKnight’s, Rebecca’s and others’ grievances against the LDS Church. That being said, I don’t know how much we gain in this when everything is reduced to ‘Your sources are useless, they don’t warrant being confronted.’

I’ve seen enough dismissals of Christian arguments for the preservation of the Bible based on the fact that many of the scholars are Christian scholars. Catholic scholars even sometimes get a pass, but Evangelical scholars are often relegated to ridicule among a lot of skeptics (completely unjustifiably, I might add). The point is if something from FAIR or FARMS or from any other pro-Mormon source is academically weak, then we should refute it by showing how that is true, not by simply dismissing it ourselves.I admit that I’ve done it myself on various occasions but ultimately it doesn’t help anyone nor does it help an opponent see your side of a debate. I obviously agree with the your and others’ analysis with regards to the fall of humanity and the Great Apostasy.

You can add verses that appear to support the LDS position the apostasy, but whether they really do is another matter. :smiley:

The first versed provided in the LDS website, Isaiah 24, doesn’t mention an apostasy but a destruction of the world. If God is destroying the world, then what is a restoration needed for? It just skips right into the end. And if he’s doing it because of the wickedness of the people, than that implies they know why they are being wicked. If the gospel is entirely lost, then how can people born in the middle of the apostasy be punished for something they do not know? The Holy Spirit has left the world. How do you reconcile this?

The support provided by LDS.org mentions Isaiah 60. But there doesn’t seem anything explicit or implicit about apostasy, only that that “darkness” covers the earth. It doesn’t state anything about a doctrinal apostasy among the faithful.

The Matthew 24 is talking about the End Times, and even there it speaks that “many” will be deceived, but did not use the word* all*, which would be essential in the text to prove a total apostasy. But instead, it talks about that those who persevere until the end will be saved" suggesting that the faith continues, not that it is entirely interrupted.

Also, Amos 8 is clearly talking about the exile of the Kingdom of Israel, which had long abandoned God for idols. I don’t see where you can suggest this is proof of an apostasy in the latter-days.

With regards to the Church Fathers is that the same Fathers that are appealed to to prove that there was an apostasy (Ignatius, Irenaeus, Clement, Tertullian) - these are the same ones who emphasize the real presence in the Eucharist and apostolic succession, which are both rejected by LDS doctrine. So if these Fathers are eminent Christians sounding the alarm about this apostasy, then why do they explicitly support doctrines that the LDS reject? Certainly none of them of claimed that the Church had lost its apostolic authority. Look at Irenaeus in his* Against Heresies* (I love him, he was a giant):

Since, however, it would be very tedious, in such a volume as this, to reckon up the successions of all the Churches, we do put to confusion all those who, in whatever manner, whether by an evil self-pleasing, by vainglory, or by blindness and perverse opinion, assemble in unauthorized meetings; [we do this, I say,] by indicating that tradition derived from the apostles, of the very great, the very ancient, and universally known Church founded and organized at Rome by the two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul; as also [by pointing out] the faith preached to men, which comes down to our time by means of the successions of the bishops. For it is a matter of necessity that every Church should agree with this Church, on account of its preeminent authority, that is, the faithful everywhere, inasmuch as the tradition has been preserved continuously by those [faithful men] who exist everywhere.
newadvent.org/fathers/0103303.htm

What do you say?

You didn’t post a SINGLE scripture. bom is not scripture, lds.org is not scripture, byu is not scripture, etc. etc.

ETA: Yes, you have ignored numerous posts. Do we need to cut and paste them for you? :smiley:

Evan,

Are you reading the all of the posts? There is something odd about the posts you make in the context of the thread. :shrug:

Wow…how many times do I need to respond the same question? But, I will answer one more time.

Before I answer I want to clarify that he did not propose that Adam was a God, but that God was Adam. Mormons do not have any trouble believing that Adam, Abraham and Jacob are gods.

As I said in my previous posts…Mormons do not believe in infallibility of the Prophets and Apostles as Catholics do regarding the Pope. The Adam-God was just a theory that evolved in the mind of Brigham Young. It was not introduced as a revelation or commandment from God and it was never submitted for official consideration to the First Presidency or Quorum of the 12 Apostles or the body of the Church.

Brigham Young had to go back to the drawing board a few times and revise his theory or opinion when other leaders of the Church pointed out that his opinion was against revealed truth contained in the four standard books of revelation…Bible, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price and Book of Mormon.

In Summary, this idea, opinion or theory never have gotten any traction in the Church and it was never incorporated as doctrine in the church. Everyone is free to speculate, but in this case Brigham Young speculated too loud. Towards the end not even Brigham Young was not certain of this theory. He used words such as I recon…and the like when talking about it.

Any new proposed revelation has to be addressed to the governing body of the church and submitted to the Lord and they do expect to receive a revelation from God whether such proposal is true or not. Adam-God theory did not even get advanced for deliberation before God.

Yes, I have thought about that. We deviated from the topic of this thread. This is basically about conversion and we are jumping around too many topics. Each topic we have discussed here can be very extensive. I propose we stick to the conversion and if someone wants to talk about something else they should open a new thread. We have seen many new ideas and topics for new threads. This would avoid going into so many directions.

I will respond a couple of questions about conversion and will wait for new threads. My time is limited and that is why many questions got buried. Most of the questions here are not really related to the main idea of the thread. I agree with you. Is that what you mean?

So the Mormon Church doesn’t have Prophets at all.

That’s true. However, when LDS reference these Gnostic writings in support of the LDS temple practices, what is the point? Are they claiming that what was being done in the Jerusalem Temple(s) has been restored in the LDS temples (again, odd that they would refer to Gnostic/non-temple writings if that’s the case)?

No, that’s not what he said.

“Now hear it, O inhabitants of the earth, Jew and Gentile, Saint and sinner! When our father Adam came into the garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body, and brought Eve, one of his wives, with him. He helped to make and organize this world. He is MICHAEL, the Archangel, the ANCIENT OF DAYS! about whom holy men have written and spoken – He is our FATHER and our GOD, and the only God with whom WE have to do. Every man upon the earth, professing Christians or non-professing, must hear it, and will know it sooner or later!”

  • Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 1, p. 51

“How much unbelief exists in the minds of the Latter-day Saints in regard to one particular doctrine which I revealed to them, and which God revleaed to me – namely that Adam is our father and God – I do not know, I do not inquire, I care nothing about it. Our Father Adam helped to make this earth, it was created expressly for him, and after it was made he and his companions came here. He brought one of his wives with him, and she was called Eve, because she was the first woman upon the earth. Our Father Adam is the man who stands at the gate and holds the keys of everlasting life and salvation to all his children who have or who ever will come upon the earth. I have been found fault with by the ministers of religion because I have said that they were ignorant. But I could not find any man on the earth who cold tell me this, although it is one of the simplest things in the world, until I met and talked with Joseph Smith.”

  • Prophet Brigham Young, Deseret News, v. 22, no. 308, June 8, 1873

“You believe Adam was made of the dust of this earth. This I do not believe, though it is supposed that it is so written in the Bible; but it is not to my understanding. You can write that information to the States, if you please – that I have publicly declared that I do not believe that portion of the Bible as the Christian world do. I never did, and I never want to. What is the reason I do not? Because I have come to understanding, and banished from my mind all the baby stories my mother taught me when I was a child.”

  • Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, v. 2, p. 6

Here’s a thread I recently started:

Mormon Temples: Do Some Believe Freemasonry is Ancient?

You can respond to these two posts from this thread there, if you desire:

Well…in trying to stick to the topic I will try to answer this question.

As I said before I was looking for answers and the meaning of life. I wanted to understand more about God and wanted to know if he still communicated with his representatives on the earth like in the times of the old and the new testament.

I loved to read the new testament and felt a wonderful spirit when doing it. I was marveled at the words and the wisdom of Jesus Christ.

Mormonism was the church the mostly resembled what I read in the scriptures. I was marveled to read about the appearance of God and Jesus Christ, Moses, Elijah, Moses, Peter, James, John, John the Baptist and others in modern times.

I was told about continuous revelation, new scriptures, open cannon, apostasy, restoration, apostles, prophets, baptism for the dead, degrees of glory, pre mortal existence, potential to become gods, definition of the Deity, etc …my personal communication with God and expected revelation just for me. All of that sounded true to me and it was beautiful to know about these things.

It seems to me that some people here believe that conversion is just an intellectual experience. However, I believe that is partially true. Based on my own experience and based on what I read in the Bible conversion is a combination of knowledge, intellect and a spiritual experience. Let’s think for a moment. How did the people in ancient times get converted? Was it an intellectual experience, was it a product of studying the scriptures or other books? First of all they did not have the Bible as we have it today. Books were not that easy to come by, When we look in the new testament we see that the spirit of God acted on the people converted. When they heard Christ speak, his words made sense…It seems that most people were converted based on what they heard and felt in their hearts. To some extent they probably studied the Tanach, but Christ was preaching something higher and different to what they used to hear in the synagogues.

My conversion was a combination of my reading, study, research and mostly a spiritual manifestation that transcended all my senses, which I will not tell in detail here. As I said before, I have read several books in the first few months of my conversion and I continue reading and studying not only Mormon Books and the Bible, but also reading the critics of the Church. I felt really hungry for knowledge of God like I never felt before.

The same guys that said the Book of Mormon was about the source of ALL the American Indians also invented:
exaltation,
polygamy,
Melchizedek Priesthood,
excommunicating Apostles,
prophets leading the church,
blood atonement, and
water baptism on behalf of the dead.

None of these have ever been Christian practices or teachings. Mormonism is an invention of Joseph Smith not a restoration.

Joseph Smith, as a prophecy and recorded in Mormon scripture, said the Book of Mormon was a historical book about ALL the American Indians. Science has proven that to be false. Along with ALL the other unique Mormon beliefs and practices, Joseph Smith made it up. Mormonism is not a restoration of a Former-Day-Saint Church. It is a 19th century American invention. Once you free yourself from believing from faith along, and study Christian and Mormon history, and apply reason, you will realize that fact.

That alone, shows Smith was no prophet.

Not a prophet.

So evanfaust, do you consider the temple endowment to be doctrine? Is what is taught in the temple true LDS doctrine or revelation from God?

Did you know that at one time, the temple endowment taught Adam god theory? Does that make it a revelation then? Or is the temple endowment not a revealed truth from God?

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.