Q for Mormons (NDM) Gates of Hell


#1

The biggie for me is this:

Do Mormons believe that Christ is divine?

My understanding (correct me where I’m wrong) is that Mormons believe the Church that Christ established quickly fell into complete apostasy and needed to be re-established across the globe. If this is so, then it seems that Christ, when He said the gates of hell would never prevail against His Church, either: a) lied, or b) didn’t know what He was talking about (couldn’t really make an eternal promise). “…and, lo, I am with you always…”

How do you guys reconcile this with Mormon teaching?


#2

It looks like you are not going to get an answer so I will give you what I would have said when I was a Mormon. I would have said the gates of hell didn’t prevail because God restored the church. The gates of hell would only have prevailed if the church disappeared forever.

The almost constant mantra from Mormonism is that Catholicism plunged civilization into the Dark Ages and this is evidence of the apostasy. In that regard I’m interested in reading a book entitled “How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization” by Thomas E. Woods Jr. I suspect that rather than plunging civilization into the Dark Ages that the Catholic Church served as the bridge which kept civilization alive after the fall of the Roman Empire. To call Medieval society the “Dark Ages” is simply anti-Catholic propaganda that was no doubt the work of 17th-19th century Protestants. Mormonism just took up the propaganda of those Protestants and came up with the apostasy as a result.


#3

IMO you make a very good point. And it was the feudal world of Lords and Kings that plunged Europe into the Dark Ages - the age which was no longer illumined by education and reason. The Catholic Church, with all her monesteries was the lone light in the darkness. If it had not been for the monks meticulously preserving and copying books and histroy and running schools, it all would have been lost forever.

Thank you. (Also, I re-posted the question on NDM’s original thread.)


#4

Christianley - definitely give that book a read. It’s astonishing. Everybody knows that civilization went backwards during the “dark ages” … except actual historians who know anything about the era. And the Church actually did advance society in all areas (education, law, art, even - yes - science). It’s funny that universities were developed by Catholics for religious purposes, only to have them widely secular and critical of the same religion a handful of centuries later.

Interestingly, another good read on the subject is the first essay in the FAIR-published book Early Christians In Disarray, a rather sensationally-titled book given to help LDS better understand the apostasy. The author makes the same case, that the “dark ages” are a myth, the “Renaissance” was not a renaissance at all, and so on. The author’s point is that these popular myths (which he demonstrates to have been invented by anti-Catholics and unquestioningly accepted and propagated ever since, even by LDS leaders) do not actually point us to the apostasy, which had to have been much earlier.


#5

I concur with what I have read – as a former Mormon preparing for RCIA, I am grateful for Karl, Patrick Madrid, and other apologists who have beneficial to someone such as me, a Mormon that received his foundation from Catholicism from my late mother - we were Protestants.

I am committed to “my journey home”, if you will. I recognize that my learned Mormon friends will use scripture to show me that Catholicism should be avoided.


#6

Hi Sterryfamily,

You raise an interesting and contemporary point: the issue of reconciling belief in the Great Apostasy and the promise that the “Gates of Hades (Hell)” would not prevail against the Church.

I would be interested in knowing how anyone who believes in the Great Apostasy can reconcile the two, and still hold fast to sound biblical scholarship.

Pope Benedict XVI (then Cardinal Ratzinger) in his book Eschatologie: Tod und ewiges Leben gives great insight into this concept of death (Heb. Sheol, Sept. Hades, Vulg. Infernus), and the powers of death. He states that it is a place of simultaneous being and non-being, specifically a place of non-communication with God and man.
Now if the Church is Christ’s Body, to suggest Apostasy, that is, that the Church passes into death (even if it is only for period of time before a ‘restoration’) is to suggest that Christ’s body was incapable of communication with God. This is unthinkable, as it ascribes victory to the devil over the Church, who is said to have the “power of death” (Heb. 2:14).
To say that the Church passed into death is to suggest that the devil managed to separate the Head from the Body - the Bride from the Bridegroom.

What is also interesting is Jesus’ example of the wise man who built his house on rock (Matthew 7:24). Not only would this mean self-criticism on Jesus’ part (if the Apostasy were true), it also shows us Christ referring to Jewish writings about the foundation of the Solomonic Temple. The Jewish listeners would have understood this point, as with Matthew 16:18-19, that Peter as the foundation stone for the building of the new Temple - the Church - reflected the foundation stone of the Solomonic Temple: evet shetiyah (transliterations of this vary). This stone sealed off the entrance to a passage which was said to lead down to Sheol.

I would very much like to invite any Latter-Day Saints to comment upon this, and demonstrate how they percieve the two can be reconciled.

God Bless


#7

Do you honestly think you are the first one to ask that question? Everyone who comes on the board asks that question. Well I am not going to answer it, because I am sick to death of answering it. Do you know how many Catholics there are in the world? They say around a billion. So if each of them decides to ask me that silly question, do you think I am going to answer it a billion times? No way!

I will give you a short sweet answer though. The Catholic Church is not true because I happen to know that the LDS Church is; and they can’t by be. It is either us or them. And since it is not them, then it must be us. And how do I know? By the testimony of the Holy Ghost; and that is how you may know. I have read the Book of Mormon, and the Spirit of the Lord bears witness to me that it is true. That is how I know Joseph Smith was a true prophet, and the LDS Church is true.

zerinus


#8

Wow! What a dramatic oversimplification of the fall of the Roman empire! And what complete misunderstanding of the Dark Ages. The western Roman empire fell as a consequence of massive barbarian migrations triggered by the expansion of the Huns into central and western Europe. Do names like Visigoths, Ostrogoths, Vandals, Jutes, Saxons, Frisians, Germanii, have any meaning? It was not an overnight event either. It took two centuries for the western Roman empire to fall. And, guess what, folks. It was the Irish monks (prior to the Norse invasions of the ninth century AD) who preserved Christianity and spread it east back into Europe. Read Thomas Cahill’s How the Irish Saved Civilization. Ireland was not affected by the massive barbarian migrations on the continent or by the collapse of Roman civilization in Britain.

The Church had absolutely nothing to do with the collapse of the western Roman Empire. The Church had everything to do with keeping learning and culture alive in an era when whole peoples were on the move being jostled in a domino effect that started with the Huns moving west and ended when the last Norse became Christians in the 11th century. Fedualism evolved as a response to the lack of a central authority (i.e. the western Roman Empire).

Quite frankly, I am astonished. The Dark Ages were anything but dark. The Book of Kells ub.ntnu.no/formidl/utgivelser/til_opplysning/to_nr8_bilder/p6.jpg

was written and illuminated by Irish monks during this time period.

The Lindisfarne Gospels were written and illuminated by Anglo-Saxon monks during this period

http://www64.homepage.villanova.edu/rebecca.winer/lingos2.gif

Latin and Old English translation.

And then one has Carolus Magnus - Charlemagne who invited an Anglo-Saxon monk, Alcuin of York to his court. Alcuin completely reformed writing amongst a host of other things.

The concept of “Dark Ages” was out of fashion when I got my degree in History back in the 70s. It was anything but dark. It is more properly called “The Early Middle Ages”.

Quite frankly, one of my biggest problems with Mormonism is intellectual as an historian and anthropologist. No credible historian would lay the collapse of the western Roman Empire at the foot of the Catholic Church. Likewise no credible archaeologist can provide archaeological evidence that the lost tribes of Israel ended up in America.

Jesus Christ is true God and true man and a distortion of history and the archaeological record is just that - a distortion.


#9

Zerinus,

Obviously it is hard for Catholics and LDS to communicate effectively because we are operating from two separate foundations, however I have a question.

If I believe as much as you do that the Holy Spirit bears witness to me, and I also see this evidenced in the Sacred Scripture, we are at a stalemate. I believe I am right, you believe you are right. What is the “trump card” so to speak?

As a Catholic, I would believe that this would be the Sacred Tradition of the Catholic Church and the consistant teaching that she has held for over 2,ooo years. I would also say that we believe that the Sacred Scripture is inerrant, infallible and inspired. What say you???

Rememer that as Catholics we have a “three-legged stool” so to speak that keeps our faith solid.

  1. Sacred Scriptures. Again believing that they are inerrant, infallible and inspired.

  2. The Magisterium, or the teaching authority of the Church which by the Holy Spirit prevents the Church from teaching error in matters of faith and morals.

  3. Sacred Tradition which looks back at what the earliest fathers of the Church taught. People that were discipled by John the Apostle, Ireneaus, etc…

Also, if what the LDS teachings say are true, then that would mean that the Church of Jesus was “lost” until Joseph Smith’s revelation in the late 19th century.

I have other questions, however they may be relegated to a separate thread.

Pax Tecum.


#10

Your question isn’t much different from his question. It is the same kind of thing, couched in different words. I will only answer a part of your question:

The answer to that is given by St Paul:

1 Corinthians 3:13: “Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is”.

For “work” put “testimony,” and you will get your answer. Whatever Paul has written about “work,” is equally valid for “testimony”. The day of the Lord shall “declare it . . . of what sort it is”. I say that my testimony is of the Holy Ghost, and you say that your testimony is of the Holy Ghost—and they don’t agree. So what is the solution? The answer is that “the Lord shall declare it,” when the day of reckoning comes. In the mean time, I am happy to stick to my testimony, and I presume you do the same. Obviously not everybody thinks as you do, otherwise nobody would join our Church. But they do, in large numbers. Our message is intended for them, not for you. I look forward to see you when the day of the Lord comes; and we shall see whose testimony was of God, and whose wasn’t.

zerinus


#11

Zerinus,

I believe that as Catholics and Christians, we have to be able to allow people to freely believe what they feel is right. That is free will. At the same time, we have a responsibility to stand forth to the witness of Christ. Having said this, Please clarify my understanding of what the teachings vs. what the LDS truly teaches.

[LIST]
*]1) Jesus was the Son of God, but not God incarnate.

*]2) Christ was concieved through a literal physical union of God and Mary

*]3) Jesus and Lucifer were brothers.

*]4) God was actually at one time Adam, and through time became God.
[/LIST]
DARichards


#12

We believe that Jesus was the Son of God, and also God incarnate. In fact, the doctrine of the divinity of Christ is more comprehensively taught in the Book of Mormon than in the New Testament. Show me where in the NT you will find expressions as emphatic and categorical as these:

Mosiah 3:

5 For behold, the time cometh, and is not far distant, that with power, the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the children of men, . . .

Mosiah 15:

1 And now Abinadi said unto them: I would that ye should understand that ***God himself ***shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people.

And there are lots more. We also believe that the Father and the Son are two distinct and separate beings.

  1. Christ was concieved through a literal physical union of God and Mary

That is not the theological position of the LDS Church. The Book of Mormon teaches that Jesus was conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, and that is what the LDS Church teaches.

  1. Jesus and Lucifer were brothers.

This is a deliberate falsehood and gross misrepresentation of the facts. We believe that the spirits of all men were created by God in the pre-existence before they were born on earth. We believe that that includes the spirit of Lucifer, and all the evil spirits who followed him, who later rebelled against God and were cast out of heaven. We believe that Lucifer was once a good spirit and an angel in a high position before God, before he rebelled and became the devil, and was cast out. We believe that this is taught in the Bible (Luke 10:18). But since Satan has fallen from heaven, and cast out and disowned and rejected by God, he is no longer anybody’s brother or friend—except those of his own kind who chose to follow him.

  1. God was actually at one time Adam, and through time became God.

That is not the correct theological position of the LDS Church either. It has been mistakenly taught in the past, but it is not supported by LDS scripture, and is no longer regarded as true LDS doctrine.

zerinus


#13

Mr. Zechnus,

I have been to one of your stakes. I was in what must have been a worship service. The choir of children were singing and when the name of Jesus was mentioned, a “wind” swept through the room beginning from behind the choir across the room, and as it hit me, I felt a tingling sensation all over. It felt very much like the Holy Spirit whooshing down, and I felt just great. You could have knocked me down with a feather.

Is this the “burning in the bosom” you have experienced? If so, I can see where one would be tempted to believe that this is “it”, so to speak. Very powerful. But, is it of God, and how would one know?


#14

Excuse me, Mr. Zerinus, I meant to call you. Forgive me.:o


#15

You follow that up. You read the Book of Mormon, and ask the Lord to open your eyes to see if it is true. You talk to the missionaries. You talk to the members, and attend the Church more often, and pray the Lord will reveal the truth of it to you. You study more, and try to learn as much as you can about the Church. You investigate to discover the truth. As the Lord said, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened” (Matthew 7:7-8). Or as the Book of Mormon puts it: “he that diligently seeketh shall find; and the mysteries of God shall be unfolded unto them, by the power of the Holy Ghost” (1 Nephi 10:19).

zerinus


#16

and thus we see the contradictions inherent in mormon “scripture”. When Joseph Smith first started the con he was pretty orthodox trinitatian. Later he came up with this “eternal progression” heresy that required “distinct personages”.

partially true. Brigham Young was quite explicit on the Holy Spirit NOT being involved beyond enabling Mary to be in the presence of God. He and other early LDS “prophets” made clear that Elohim physically fathered Jehovah. Nowadays this hasn’t been denounced by any official LDS statement it just isn’t discussed much any more.

now who’s guilty of falsehood? The LDS Temple endowment still teaches the fraternal relationship of Satan to Adam as well as Christ. LDS doctrine isn’t creator and created it is literal offspring and thus in LDs teaching Satan is the Son of God…of course so is amgid/zerinus.

this was tught by an LDS “prophet” and since it has been officially denounced since then it kind of makes you wonder about the credibility of the president of the LDS cororation…I mean church. How do we know Gordon Hinkley isn’t teaching false doctrine?


#17

yes I would say that is what Mormons are referring to. It is NOT a revelation from God to be Mormon. It is a subjective emotional response to simple group dynamics. You can find similar and often times more powerful experiences in evangelical services. Many people in many churches and yes even in multi-level marketing rallies experince this. How one can KNOW what comes from God is to read his scriptures handed down and preserved by the Catholic church. Learn the historical context and original meaning of the message contained in the scriptures by studying sacred tradition, once again provided to you by the Catholic church. Pray and separate fact from fiction. It is easy to be fooled by a feeling, fun or social conversion. any true study of mormon history and doctrine will easily prove to you that Joseph SMith was no differnt than David Koresh or any other womanizing con man abusing religion for personal glory. A church based on lies is not from God, A church founded by God that never kleft his people is Catholic.


#18

Yes, but Mr. Zerinus did not answer my question. What was that experience? Where did it originate from? It wasn’t the Holy Spirit, that much I am sure of. Is there some sort of mass hypnotic state that occurs? Are these Mormons dangerous? Not meaning, of course, your average low-level Mormon. But, what of the high-ranking ones?

I have investigated the Mormon religion because I am originally from the neighboring city to the original place in Palmyra, so, naturally there are many Mormons. My husband admitted to me later that he had been investigating it seriously but dropped it when they came to the part about men becoming gods of their own planets and how they become like Jesus is to the Mormons.
Even in the miserable spiritual state he was in he realized that such a thing is, at best, blasphemy, and at worst apostasy.

I still want to know what that experience was, but I can’t get any Mormon to talk about it. What would cause someone to believe such an unusual set of beliefs other than some sort of auto-suggestion? Even those of you who have the LDS faith must admit that your doctrines are a bit odd.


#19

Or it could be that you were drunk, or had been smoking pot, or naturally given to halucinations, or psycotic, or a veritable nutcase, or . . .

zerinus


#20

typical amgid. still spewing hate in melodramatic fashion without even staying close to LDS doctrines. Go back to the evangelical boards or get some counseling but you are really falling apart here.I hope you get the help you obviously need.


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