Help with debating a Mormon

I’m having a friendly debate with some Mormon friends and the argument they kind of have me stumped on is their concept of continuing revelation. Obviously, as Catholics, we believe that everything we need for salvation has been revealed by the Deposit of Faith and that we don’t need ongoing revelation.

I mention the fact that Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would guide the church and they say that means the Holy Spirit would continue to provide revelation to the church and the fact that the Catholic church relies on councils to determine things proves that we don’t have the spirit revealing the truth to us.

Councils are primarily to define existing teaching and/or doctrine. Many are ecumenical, which means that the CC would like the opinion of others to find a common ground of agreement on matters of teaching, truths, and doctrines. Some Councils are to interpret
scripture and to pronounce it infallibly, as authorized by Jesus. The Councils are guided by the Holy Spirit, as promised by Jesus. Whether or not they listen to the Holy Spirit is another matter.

As for revelation, it ended with Jesus. His teaching fulfilled all prophecy. Further public revelations no longer continue. Private revelation is for the individual and may, or may not be accepted or believed by others, or the church. The LDS church is wrong in stating that revelation is continuing, for by doing so they call Jesus a liar when He said he has fulfilled the Law ( this included revelation ). The Holy Spirit does not provide continuing revelation, for doing so would negate what Jesus has said.

PAX DOMINI :signofcross:

Shalom Aleichem

You need to emphasize that as Catholics, we still believe that people have the gift of prophecy, and that many receive private revelations, as I’m sure you are aware of (Marian, Angelic, Saintly apparitions for example). Ecumenical Councils are called to deal with matters stemming from heresy. This is the same with Papal infallibility (as I’m sure you know, there are various levels of Infallibility in the Church). For example, the Assumption of Mary was formally declared in 1950 with Munificentissimus Deus/I. However, it was obviously believed in long before that, and the Eastern Catholic and Orthodox Churches have the equivalent dogma of the Dormition of Mary. Again, infallibility, whether Papal or Ecumenical Council (or the other levels) exist to clarify doctrines that have already existed. And we believe they are protected by the Holy Spirit, which is why we believe that they are infallible.

Also, Mormons typically say that traditional Christians believe that the “Heavens are closed” or “God no longer speaks”. This is very false. God speaks to all of us in many ways, especially through the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ is not only among us when two or more are gathered in His name, but He is present in a very real way in the Eucharist. Isn’t it great to just be able to walk into a Catholic (or Orthodox) parish and have those various ways to experience Jesus Christ?

Also, ask the Mormons when the last revelation was, or when the last prophecy was.

66 “The Christian economy, therefore, since it is the new and definitive Covenant, will never pass away; and no new public revelation is to be expected before the glorious manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Yet even if Revelation is already complete, it has not been made completely explicit; it remains for Christian faith gradually to grasp its full significance over the course of the centuries.
73 God has revealed himself fully by sending his own Son, in whom he has established his covenant for ever. The Son is his Father’s definitive Word; so there will be no further Revelation after him.

**+ I posted this on another thread . . . thought it might help here . . . **

remember, as Catholics, we believe that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three separate Persons. The difference is that Mormons do not believe that they are of one substance, whereas we do. Mormons believe that they are one in purpose, will, and intent, and NOT substance.

Just to clarify.

oooh, this sounds like fun.

Can I play?

There is a small problem with that statement. if Jesus’ teaching fulfilled all prophecy, we wouldn’t know anything about Him. He didn’t actually write anything Himself, y’see, unless you count a little dirt doodling, and we don’t know exactly what He wrote there.

Everything we have about Him comes from His apostles (who are prophets by definition…) What MADE them prophets is that He taught them; Jesus = God, and having God talk to you is what makes you a prophet. As well, He appeared to them after His death and resurrection. He communicated with them. He continued teaching them, and giving them instruction for the church. That is the very definition of ‘prophet.’

Of course, if you wish to point out that these men knew Him while He lived, and thus might not count, I have to point to Paul…his experience on the road to Damascus was the epitome of prophetic revelation. You can’t GET more ‘prophet’ than Paul…and he showed up a fair number of years after Jesus was crucified.

Therefore it cannot be said that Jesus was the end of it. If anything, He was the beginning of it.

So we have a logical problem here. Obviously Jesus could not have meant that prophecy would cease with Him, because, well…it didn’t. Nor can anybody point to a scripture, or place, or time, when Jesus said 'stop. We’re done now," because there isn’t a place like that.

We CAN, we Mormons and everybody else, agree that it actually did cease eventually–at least the 'thus saith the Lord" sort that applies to the entire church. We all agree that private inspiration continued. The difference between us is what we think that cessation meant, and what caused it.

It has already been stated that Catholics believe in prophets. The prophecies of the NT are about Jesus, a testimony of Him. This Prophecy has never ended, it is a Revelation that never ceases, it is the Holy Spirit that reveals to us the knowledge and understanding of Jesus Christ.

Thank you!

Dei Verbum should be good for you to go over.

Rebecca, you are speaking here of the Holy Ghost, or the spirit of Christ…that private confirmation of the spirit that enables us to individually have a relationship with Christ. However, that is not the same thing as claiming that nobody received direct revelation from the Lord for the entire church, is it? You know…the sort of revelation that gets written down as SCRIPTURE?

Y’see, that’s the one other thing…prophets from God, when they receive revelation from Him that is meant for the world, write it down, and it becomes Holy Scripture. That is also by definition; if a man receives revelation from God, and God says 'thus saith the Lord, go and do, or this is what is true," then that is as much scripture as anything presently canonized in the bible. It IS the bible–or rather, that’s what the bible is; a collection of revelations written by prophets.

THAT is what y’all claim to have ceased with Jesus, and THAT is what I am pointing out is a logical problem; for if it ceased with Him, we wouldn’t know about Him—because what we know of Him was written by men long after His crucifixion and resurrection.


Why did it stop?

Why did it stop with Paul?

If only the apostles, as witnesses to His life, were to have written of it, why is Paul included at all? Yet he is, and what he wrote is extremely important to Christian thought.

So, if Paul…and he most certainly was a prophet in every sense there can be one…why was he the last one? WHERE DOES IT SAY THAT HE WOULD BE?

Shoot, where does it say that he was even appropriately included in the canon? What happened?

…and that right there is THE biggest problem I have with Christian thought in general (except LDS, of course…). It’s this scramble to try to explain the unexplainable; to justify the unjustifiable. Why did revelation stop?

There is no scriptural reason for it to have stopped. None. Yet…it did. nobody really disagrees with that. The question is, was that a good thing or a bad one?

Indeed, it is. You attempt to separate the reality of Jesus Christ from Revelation. This is not something that Catholics do.

Apostles, witnessing the reality of Jesus Christ.
St. Paul, witnessing the reality of Jesus Christ.

Every Catholic who professes the Faith handed down once and for all, is witnessing the reality of Jesus Christ. Especially those whose witness was written in their own blood.

We understand, know and believe, that Jesus is the Perfect Word of God. What else do you believe needs to be added to this Revelation?

The Holy Spirit was given to the world to guide people, and Christ’s Church, to the Perfect Word of God. This Revelation, Jesus Christ, never ceases, and never changes.

exactly. No more need for prophets to give us public revelation (revelation for the entire church). However we still do have prophets, clearly.

Yes, we do. Prophecy is a gift of the Holy Spirit.

To add to my previous post:

Luke 24

44 He said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and in the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures. 46 And he said to them, "Thus it is written that the Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead on the third day 47 and that repentance, for the forgiveness of sins, would be preached in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.

That which He Himself added…for instance, when He appeared to Paul. Obviously there were things that He wished to add after His death and resurrection, because, well…He added them.

Obviously it continued after Jesus’ death and resurrection, Rebecca, because we have the NT, full of the writings of apostles and prophets who tell us of Him, including Paul, who was called in a very ‘prophetic’ method, and who received revelation from Him ONLY after His death, resurrection and ascension. Therefore, you are incorrect; Jesus’ life wasn’t all there is…because He had things to say after that.

Obviously it ceased, Rebecca, or we would have scripture, the real thing, after the book of Revelation…but we don’t. Therefore you are incorrect in that, too; that which continued was NOT the revelation we are discussing.

You cannot say that direct revelation to prophets ceased after Jesus…because if it had, we wouldn’t have Paul, or the book of Revelation, or Acts…Therefore those who claim that His life and death was the culmination and end of such revelation are clearly wrong.

You cannot say that direct revelation did not eventually stop…or we would have scripture written AFTER the book of Revelation; real scripture, treated as such, honored as such, and followed as such. We not only don’t have that, we have a very long history of people who were very certain that it could not happen…with no logical reason for saying so.


Where is the scripture written after the Book of Revelation, Rebecca? Why did it stop there?

WHERE, in any scripture or writings of the apostles or prophets, anywhere, is there any indication that it SHOULD stop, or was supposed to stop, or that there wasn’t any more need of it?


Indeed, Jesus fulfilled all the prophecies about Him. What has that got to do with what HE revealed to the men HE called to be apostles and prophets?

As well, please remember that Paul was not among the group He is speaking to here. yet Paul was an apostle, a witness—by direct revelation.

We just keep having to go back to that.

We aren’t talking about you and me being able to receive inspiration and confirmation of truth, Rebecca. We are talking about Paul getting knocked off his *** (oh, that’s funny…the autobot is redacting the name of the animal Paul was riding on…) on the road to Damascus, being struck blind, and being told to get his act together, personally and directly—and being told what to tell the church later, in the name of Jesus Christ.

Writing scripture.

You can’t do that. I can’t do that…and Christianity in general has made quite a point of declaring that nobody else can, either.

What did I bold and highlight in red?

As well, please remember that Paul was not among the group He is speaking to here. yet Paul was an apostle, a witness—by direct revelation.

We just keep having to go back to that.

We aren’t talking about you and me being able to receive inspiration and confirmation of truth, Rebecca. We are talking about Paul getting knocked off his *** on the road to Damascus, being struck blind, and being told to get his act together, personally and directly—and being told what to tell the church later, in the name of Jesus Christ.

Writing scripture.

You can’t do that. I can’t do that…and Christianity in general has made quite a point of declaring that nobody else can, either.

We understand God as the Holy Trinity. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit ARE ONE GOD. The revelations of the Holy Spirit to you and me or anyone else are no less significant than what happened to St. Paul. God gives to each person what they need and what is according to His Desires. I don’t know about you, but God has knocked me on my *** more than once.

The writings of St. Paul are canonized because that is where the Holy Spirit guided Christ’s Church. The same Church that preserved and taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ for centuries before there was a canon. The same Church that has been guided to teach that there is no further public Revelation than the Perfect Word of God.

The same Church that is guided by the Holy Spirit today. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are not limited. The Church has approved many people as being true prophets, including more than a few Popes. All you have to do is read one of the most controversial teachings of the Church, Humanae Vitae, to find an example of prophecy in the Catholic Church in modern times.

Modern prophecies do not add or remove anything from the Perfect Word of God. They bring us to Him, in the circumstances of our place and time, as it has been since Pentecost.

You did not answer, what is it that you think you have to add to the Perfect Word of God, revealed in Jesus Christ?

Public, biblical or scriptural revelations, as they are known, refer to the public or universal revelations experienced by the prophets, the Apostles and Christ Himself which God permitted for the establishment of the Faith. The Church teaches as de fide (of the Faith) that all that the Father desired to reveal for our salvation has been revealed in His Word, Jesus Christ. The Word communicated this Revelation to His Apostles, who either wrote it down or handed it on (traditio) in their preaching and teaching (1 Cor. 15:1-3, 2 Thes. 2:15). The deposit of the Faith, therefore, is to be found in the twin fountains of Public Revelation, Sacred Scripture and Sacred (Apostolic) Tradition. Public revelations ending with the death of the last Apostle St John therefore, must be believed by all Catholics as a matter of faith.

Private revelations however, refer to God’s revelations of Himself to individuals since the establishment of the Church. For that reason they are termed “private” and are given by God for the purpose of directing human acts. Private revelations are not considered binding on faith because everything God intended us to believe to hold the Catholic Faith has already been revealed to us in Public Revelation. St Thomas Aquinas summarizes these points by referring to Private Revelations as “not indeed for the declaration of any new doctrine of faith, but for the direction of human acts” (St Thomas Aquinas, Summas Theologica II –II q174 a6 reply 3).

(The most ironic thing DIana, is there is 1800 years of private revelations that confirm the Catholic faith. All of which is discounted by Mormonism, if it is even known about by individual Mormons at all.)

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