The notion that a Catholic theologian admired some of Joseph Smith’s religious views doesn’t change the fact that Joseph was a fraud and a liar, married other men’s wives and 14 year-old girls, conned people out of their money and made up a false religion. You see, within Catholicism you will find a much wider spectrum of ideas among scholars than you will within Mormondom. And unlike in Mormondom, when they publish books and papers that don’t necessarily jive with our church’s teachings they don’t get excommunicated.
Oh, and the fact that he called Joseph Smith ‘humble’ leads me to believe that he really didn’t know the man that well.
Laurence Hemming is one of the founders of the Temple Studies Group along with Margaret Barker and some others. (See http://www.templestudiesgroup.com3 for more information). At a temple symposium held at Utah State University he said the following comparing Mormonism and the Early Christian Church:
Because common ground that we share is one of the murkiest periods in Christian experience. It is the first 100 to 150 years of the foundation of the Christian church. I tease my friends in the Mormon Church History Department that in the origin of my form of Christianity we have icons and at the origin of yours you have photographs. But, the reality is that the origin of our common Christian heritage is those murky 150 years, which is so ill documented, which Margaret’s work has opened up. But, so much of what I know of my own tradition corroborates many things that she has taught me. But, many things that Latter-day Saints have taught me that Mormons also know, which is why I know we share a common root. And that’s why I think Mormons have been important in the unfolding of Temple Studies…
Mormonism claims their Priesthood is from God and was first given to Adam, but was taken from the earth during the Great Apostasy.
In 1834, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery claimed they receive the Aaronic Priesthood in 1829.
In 1835, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery claimed to receive Christian authority by receiving the Melchizedek Priesthood from Peter in 1831.
William McLellin wrote in his diaries before 1836 that he had never heard Joseph Smith or Cowdery talk of receiving any Priesthood from heaven until 1834. These later claims are one of the reasons William McLellin lost confidence in Joseph Smith and was excommunicated in 1838.
These claims seem to be a reaction to a book critical of Mormonism published in 1834.
Cowdery left the Mormon Church for the Methodist Church because of the Kirkland Safety Society bankruptcy and Smith’s adultery with Fannie Alger. Smith later claimed that God told him polygamy was OK. A practice never engaged in by Christians, but consistent with Smith’s behavior.
These are not the actions of men who received any authority from God.
When one considers that these stories were never heard until well after the foundation of Mormonism, and the false claims about the Book of Moses and Book of Mormon, the empirical evidence would lead a rational person to reject the claims of Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery.
“Yes, they claimed to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood from Peter, except there is no actual Melchizedek Priesthood. Melchizedek is a High Priest and King who is the example of the Messiah. What Melchizedek is in portrayal, Christ is in fact: the unique priest of all mankind.”
No response from you
“Order is to arrange like things. Melchizedek was a Priest-King without parents are children, who offers bread and wine. Melchizedek prefigured the reality of Jesus Christ; there is no other like him.
And what we say is yet more abundantly evident, if after the likeness of Melchizedek there ariseth another priest, who hath been made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life: for it is witnessed of him, Thou art a priest forever After the order of Melchizedek. - Hebrews 7:15-17
These was no such thing as a Melchizedek Priesthood. It was an invention of Joseph Smith.”
“Christ does not have a Melchizedek Priesthood authority to “restore.”
“While the biblical reality is that there is no such thing as a Melchizedek Priesthood.”
Then you ask the question that has already been answered four times claiming you want to dialogue.
“The Mormon belief in a Melchizedek Priesthood, as Mormon scripture calls it, is clearly not biblical. Whether the Bible references are read as literary (Catholic) or literal (Mormon), it is not there.”
I firmly believe that Mormonism has no defense for their claim of the existence of a Melchizedek Priesthood; therefore no restoration, and no prophets.
I thought about not responding here, but I think I will. Many things have come to my mind that I wanted to talk about.
First, Horton, you are in error. I asked when the Catholic Church will allow folks in same sex marriages to partake of the Eucharist BECAUSE there is no presumption that they are in mortal sin any longer? Your answer “Never. The church is very clear on this. Sexual activity outside a valid marriage, which is between a man & woman, is condemned for all not just those with SSA.” You have not been paying attention. Pope Francis has ALREADY encouraged the exception to the rule you offer. Those who are not in “valid marriages” because it is their second marriage and who are having sexual relations were ONCE presumed to be unable to partake of the Eucharist. Now, they are not “presumed” to be unable to partake of the Eucharist. This has already changed with Amoris Laetitia and the Argentine Bishops Letter. This is a change and it is a change because society has drifted (based on the much celebrated book by Buttiglione).
Now, you asked me two questions and the answer to both of them is, “I do not know.”
Not that it will change how much I am hated here, but I will put out my thoughts on a lot of this.
LDS thought has always had a pragmatic streak to it. The United Order is wonderful, but the people cannot live it so we …. I have celebrated this “pragmatic streak” in the past. Catholic bioethics have a very specific teaching concerning “ectopic pregnancy.” My position has always been that if the baby will die no matter what (and it will), it matters not if you act upon the fallopian tube or upon the baby, so do what is healthiest for the mother (act on the baby).
Unlike the Catholic Church, the CoJCoLDS began to drift on “birth control” long ago. I have argued that LDS couples are in practice superior to Catholic couples, but that doesn’t change the fact that birth control is certainly not spoken against by my church with any great clarity. Again, this is a pragmatic position and it takes a fair amount of thinking to define the difference between “artificial birth control” and “rhythm” or “LAM.”
Catholic Answers taught me Catholicism over a decade ago. There was Tradition and unchanging truth. Vatican II was a valid council that was called by some the Newman Council.
The SSPX and Sedavacantists couldn’t be right because there was SO MUCH development to get to Vatican II, they just didn’t know how important development was. That being said there were things that were not changing. The divorced and remarried could live as brother and sister. Homosexual marriage is not sanctioned by God. The Catholic priest stood in Persona Christi and must be male. Ten years ago there were already parishes that didn’t teach these truths either practically (turning a blind eye) or overtly (saying they welcomed folks in homosexual and/or second marriages). But, that didn’t change the fact that this was not Catholicism.
The Catholic Church and the CoJCoLDS worked together to defeat Prop. 8 in California (for all the good it did). When that was happening, I was a supporter of my church, but not because I could see the mistake that was same sex marriage. I was a child of my culture. I watched primetime TV, entertained by sex. I bought shampoo, sold to me by sex. I knew there was something wrong, but it was not quite as clear as it should be. One of the big changes for me came as I listened to Catholic radio and read Rabbi Sacks talk at the Vatican. Sex was unitive and procreative. The answer to same sex marriage was that society left behind what sex was long ago. I could recognize this and then all of it made so much more sense.
Unfortunately, the pragmatism I celebrated in my church appears in some cases to be an infection. As society moves, it becomes the pragmatic position to fight the battles you can win and cede others. LDS once taught against artificial birth control, but seldom do now. So when you ask if the CoJCoLDS will allow same sex marriage or female priests, I think it is possible sometime in the future. Ten years ago, I think I thought it was possible sometime in the future then too. It is because society is moving and while the CoJCoLDS does a good job of standing with God against society, I see a pragmatic streak in my church.
Ten years ago, if I wanted to be in a church that would not embrace same sex marriage and that was my only criteria, I would be a Catholic. I cannot say that today. Cardinal Cupich and Father Martin have already changed their position (if they ever held what I was taught was the Catholic faith). Amoris Laetitia, the Argentine Bishops Letter and Buttiglione’s scholarly defense have already marked out the pathway for the Vatican to go from ten years ago to the acceptance of same sex marriage as an “irregular situation” that does not necessarily result in mortal sin.
I am far more concerned about my sins than I am about same sex marriage, so part of me is an observer concerning this shift. But, I am still convinced that God meant for sex to be unitive and procreative so that His children could grow with a mother and a father. Sometimes (perhaps always) the pragmatic is bending to a depraved society, not making prudential judgments based on reality.
P.S. I believe a remotely unbiased read of history would result in Joseph Smith being viewed quite positively. It takes are strong anti-Mormon bias to see him as a first order scoundrel.
I thought I was not returning to this thread, but I will offer you a little.
Oliver and Joseph spoke of their authority as reported by a few sources before the 1834 date, but 4 years with references and acting like one has authority is a lot better then the CENTURIES evident in Catholic history.
Oliver did not have faith in Joseph’s ability to run a bank and Joseph was not a good bank manager. But, Oliver never denied his testimony of the BOM or the priesthood and he returned to the church. As I said, no perfection, just divine sanction.
The empirical evidence says nothing against the Book of Moses.
The empirical evidence does say that ALL American Indians did not come from Lehi’s group and that some early church leaders taught this. When I asked you about this you were SILENT. You just repeat the same talking points. LDS scholars and leaders (in small numbers) left behind the position you believe we must embrace long before Simon Southerton was born.
As I said, the leaders are not infallible especially when speculating upon the BOM.
BTW, it is empirical evidence concern Nahom (right time, location, …) and Cement (right time, location, presence of timber, …) and … that lead me to believe that the BOM must be an ancient text. You know this of course.
Gazalem responded that there is an “Order of Melchizedek” mentioned in the Book of Hebrews. Based on my responses to you and dialogue with you and Father David, I would think it is clear that LDS view the “Order of Melchizedek” as the “Melchizedek Priesthood” or as LDS scripture explains and as Catholics believe, “the Priesthood of the Jesus Christ.” So, you can dismiss it as the “Melchizedek Priesthood” if you like, but the LDS priesthood is properly called “Holy Priesthood, after the Order of the Son of God.” We like the author of Hebrews place this priesthood temporally back in time. The Catholic Church claims it really only began when Christ was on earth. This is a difference between literal and figurative reading of scripture. The literal reading of scripture supports the LDS view quite well. That is why Catholic apologists and priests write statements that support the LDS view. I think Father David explained himself well, but your position that the LDS view is anti-Biblical is wrong IMO.
I just think those who can read the Bible will see that my position that the “Order of Melchizedek” is a real thing mentioned in the Bible is obvious enough that I didn’t need to response. You don’t agree, but I guess if you did you would be a LDS.
P.S. I also showed your first anti-Melchizedek Priesthood response (namely that Christ’s priesthood was nontransferable) was Protestant anti-Catholic apologetics because Catholics priests claim to be priests of the Son of God (as mentioned in Hebrews). And some Catholics priests and apologists point to the “Order of Melchizedek” too because they take the scriptures more LITERALLY than they probably should.
No, the author of Hebrews does not place the Priesthood of Jesus Christ back in time. A literal reading of Hebrews is that the Priesthood of Jesus Christ is not the Melchizedek Priesthood. A literal reading says his priesthood is like or similar to Melchizedek, as I quoted Hebrews already in this thread. You have not shown from the Bible that Christ held a Melchizedek Priesthood. You did not quote the Bible one time as I have.
You can’t make the Mormon case from the Bible because it is not there. See your total lack of Bible quotes and explanations.
The Melchizedek Priesthood is an invention of Joseph Smith.
William McLellin said otherwise, prove him wrong. Not just say he was wrong but prove it. D&C supports McLellin.
Cowdery left the Mormon Church which he co-founded, and after claiming to receive authority from God. He left and submitted to the Methodist Church. Not something a man who thought he actually had authority would do. Joseph Smith committed adultery.
The empirical evidence says the Book of Moses is not what Joseph Smith claimed it to be.
The empirical evidence says the Book of Mormon is not what Joseph Smith and the Mormon Church until the 1980’s claimed it to me. As a showed by quoting Mormon leadership from the 1970’s and my personal experience in the 1970’s. You have not proven anything otherwise. I didn’t say you have to embrace Joseph Smith’s claim, I’m saying that Joseph Smith’s claim as supported by the Mormon Church was false.
Joseph Smith was false about his claims about the Book of Moses and the Book of Mormon. His claim was false about Christ having the Priesthood of Melchizedek. Him and Cowdery never acted like they received authority from heaven and never spoke of it until four years after the founding of the Mormon Church.
In the Christian faith, Christ does not “hold” any priesthood.
Instead, Christ IS THE priesthood. He is the priest. He does not hold the priesthood of anyone else, not Adam, not Melchizedek, not Aaron, not Levi, not anyone. It is His priesthood. If anything, the priesthood of Melchizedek (of which there is only one example, Melchizedek himself, not an order or a line or anything else) or that of the Old Testament (Adam, Aaron or Levi) foreshadow the One and only true priesthood of Christ.
He does not “hold” any priesthood. He IS the priesthood.
Let me see if I can help translate.
You were actually correct but said enough that Tom could add, “Pope Francis taught some stuff. The Synod of Bishops taught some stuff. The Argentine Bishops taught some stuff. Buttiglione!! The Mormon Church taught some stuff. Tom believes some stuff. Catholic Answers forum taught some stuff. The sedavacantist believe some stuff. The Society of Saint Pius X believe some stuff. Cardinal Cupich!! Therefore, Joseph Smith is swell.”
That doesn’t change the fact that you said something that was true of Catholicism under JPII, but is not true of Catholicism under Pope Francis.
It is illustrative of a point I make here.
You do not know what is happening in your own church. That is fine. Catholicism is lived during Sunday mass (or Sat evening in my most recent time). It is lived when the Eucharistic minister delivers the Eucharist to your house on a Monday afternoon or when your priest comes to dinner and visits for about 4 hours (all of which happened in the last couple of months). This is a wonderful faith/religion. I still would not trade this faith for the three to four days a week I live my LDS faith (or 7 days if you count family prayer and scripture study), but it is a lovely faith.
Neither of these faiths exist on Catholic Answers. Catholic Answers is dominated by anti-Mormon arguments from anti-Mormons here. Together with some responses from me or others. In some of those responses I point out PROBLEMS in Catholicism, but you do not understand, you do not read, you do not recognize these problems.
I on the other hand am well versed in the anti-Mormon problems and the anti-Catholic problems. I am quite convinced that Catholicism makes a weaker reason-based argument to be God’s church. You do not know this because all you see is
Your lived faith may be wonderful, and it surely is when compared to the anti-Mormonism here. But lived and criticized, I am very convinced that it is far more likely that the CoJCoLDS is God’s church on earth than that Catholicism is. And I do read and understand what is said.
Please don’t believe that the lived Catholic faith should be compared and contrasted with the Anti-Mormonism of Catholic Answer. But, by all means live your Catholic faith. It is a wonderful religion/faith and I get why you embrace it.
You have no idea who I am or what my convictions are. My disagreement with the claim of truth of the LDS started long before CAF, in fact long before CAF was possible. I knew it was a false organization when I first learned about it, the claims were ridiculous to me. Nothing I have seen or read since that time has convinced me otherwise.
You make this assumptions based on things you have read and have incorrectly interpreted.
Never. The church is very clear on this. Sexual activity outside a valid marriage, which is between a man & woman, is condemned for all not just those with SSA.
In the last 1988 years it has not happened and the Magisterium has been clear on why.
I have been pay attention. You are in error with your comment. Pope Francis did open a pathway to folks who have made a second attempt at marriage. He did NOT, however, make receiving the Eucharist by those in invalid attempts at marriage okay. Pope Francis is urging pastors to work with people in this situation to try to regularize the second attempt at marriage. What goes on is between the priest and the couple only. You asked specifically about SSA and I answered they are treat the same as any unmarried person in the Catholic Church. They must be chaste.