Monday, October 20, 2008

Study on the LDS Church - 1.3 The Format and Tone

**Make sure you've read this post first!

Still setting you up for what is to come, aren't I? I just feel that some things need to be said before getting this whole study kicked off.

First of all, I will go over the format of this study.

I will give the traditional and current (if different) teaching of the LDS church as you would hear them from an LDS source. I will demonstrate the scripture that they use to back up their stance and typical arguments you might hear from a member of the LDS faith (including the door-to-door missionaries). I plan to do this in an objective manner.

Next I will give you the traditional Biblical take on the same topic. Here I will give you scripture and reasoning that will confirm the Biblical truths. This will be both subjective and objective. How can it be both? Well, if you are not of an orthodox Christian faith, you may see this as subjective and biased, and I must admit that it will be coming from my teachings and upbringing, so you can call it one-sided if you like. However, for those of you who believe the Bible to be true and complete and read it at face value, you most likely feel that it proves itself to be true. Using a true source as the background makes it objective. So I guess that will be determined by your perspective.

Thirdly I will give you a little commentary if I deem it necessary or warranted for any reason. This may be a personal story relating to the topic discussed or just an emotional reaction to the argument at hand. If you don't want to hear my blubbering, this is the section to skip. =)

Lastly, I will give you a list of questions to pose to your local LDS friends, family members, neighbors, co-workers (okay, this could get you in trouble at careful), or visiting missionaries. They are meant to challenge the mind and faith of the member of the LDS church.

Also to note...all Biblical quotes will be in the King James Version translation. It's not my personal favorite, but this isn't about me. This is about the LDS faith, which only recognizes the KJV of the Bible. That being said, if you want to use scripture to hold your own against LDS members, you must use a format they respect or your efforts will be most likely wasted.

So...that's that.

Now I feel that we must discuss the tone of this entire conversation:

This is not "Mormon-bashing." I am not "anti-Mormon," but I admit openly that I am "anti-Mormonism." That is to say that I think a lot of really nice, hard-working, dedicated people have been fooled. I don't think that they take their faith any more lightly that I take mine. I do not think they are stupid. I do not think they are crazy. I think they have been lied to by people they trusted, many of whom did not even know they were lying, as they firmly believed in what they were teaching. I am going to now pigeon-hold them into one of three categories, not to be crude, but to try to summarize as cleanly as possible:

  1. People who have grown up in the LDS church. They have been surrounded by these teachings for their entire life and are surrounded by others who also adhere to the teaching of the LDS church. They are safe and comfortable in these beliefs that provide them with security. They often do not question their faith because they see no real need works for them.

  2. People who have grown up in and/or around the LDS church but who are not committed to its teachings. These are people who will not make it into the celestial kingdom as taught by their church (more on that later), but they will fair pretty well anyway. For whatever their personal reasons may be, they have not followed the teachings of this church or any other and coast along like many people who claim to be Christians do.

  3. People who were converted into the LDS church. These are people who encountered the teachings of the LDS church and found something in it that appealed to them. They soaked up the milk that was fed to them by the informant and were drawn in. They may be fully committed like scenario #1 or only partially so like scenario #2.
The point is, they are people too--and frankly, some of the most moral, kind, and "good" people I have ever met. I do not want to treat them disrespectfully or beat them over the head with my Bible. It doesn't work on them anymore than it would work on me.

This study, therefore, will be treated in a respectful manner. However, it will be a study of apologetics where I will be defending my faith. What does this mean? It means that I will be doing what I am called to do in Jude 3, which says, " should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints." Rudely? No. But earnestly? Yes.

Therefore, I will open the comments up to people with questions, concerns, support, arguments, and disagreements. However, I will delete any comments that are disrespectful to me, members of my faith, members of the LDS faith, and/or any other commenter. I will not tolerate rudeness here at Silencing the Stones. That is not who we are called to be by Christ. I therefore reserve the right to delete comments that are purely offensive in nature or edit them to preserve the comment, but take out any offensive material contained therein.

Let me also welcome you to correct me about any doctrine that I cover incorrectly. I understand that not all members of the LDS church adhere to perfectly identical teachings, but I will do my best to demonstrate the teachings as ordained by the church.

Here is my (hopefully not tentative) Table of Contents. If I see the necessity based on any conversation taking place in the comments, I will take a breather and have a discussion time in between sessions. Otherwise, we'll plow right through...

1.0 - The Mandatory Introduction to the Study Stuff
1.1 - Perspective
1.2 - References
1.3 - The Format and Tone (yep...that's where we are today)

2.0 - Background of the LDS Church
2.1 - Set up of the LDS Church and its members
2.2 - People of the LDS church today
2.3 - The 4 LDS Books of Scripture plus Other Documents
2.4 - The Book of Mormon -- The Basic Story
2.5 - The Book of Mormon -- Its Origin
2.6 - The Apostasy

3.0 - Core Doctrines
3.1 - The LDS Doctrine of God
3.2 - The LDS Doctrine of Jesus
3.3 - The LDS Doctrine of Man
3.4 - The LDS Doctrine of Satan/Lucifer
3.5 - The LDS Doctrine of Salvation
3.6 - The LDS Doctrine of Heaven

4.0 - Additional Teachings/Doctrine
4.1 - Endowment
4.2 - Priesthood
4.3 - Baptism of the Dead

5.0 - Previous Practices No Longer Approved
5.1 - Polygamy
5.2 - Blood Atonement
5.3 - Racial Discrimination

6.0 - Problems with the LDS Teachings
6.1 - Gold Plates
6.2 - Archaeology
6.3 - False Prophecies
6.4 - The Kinderhook Plates
6.5 - The Book of Abraham
6.6 - Contradictions within LDS Scripture/Doctrine
6.7 - Changes to the Book of Mormon
6.8 - Grammatical Errors in the Book of Mormon
6.9 - Plagiarisms in the Book of Mormon
6.10- Peculiarities in the Book of Mormon
6.11- The Eleven Witnesses
6.12- The Remaining Apostles
6.13- Emotions as Evidence

7.0 - Christian Apologetics
7.1 - How to Know/Defend the Bible is True - Part 1
7.2 - How to Know/Defend the Bible is True - Part 2

I told you it would be in depth, right? Don't let it scare you off. It's just a lot of information and I'm trying to keep each post short enough to keep you reading, but long enough to provide the meat of the information.

Okay...I think I'm done with all of the intro stuff now. Are you ready to get down to business?

Study on the LDS Church - 2.1 Structure of the LDS Church


The Maze Monster said...

One of the worst things going against LDS Church is the fact that the term "Lucifer" is a mistranslation and was actually referring to Jesus as "the morning star."

Further more, doesn't LDS demean the power of Christ as the one and only begotten son of the Lord to suddenly being just another child of god?

I think we must examine the fact that Joseph Smith was a author of fantasy and tall tales much like L. Ron Hubbard (founder of Scientology) was an author of science fiction. What's next? A church of The Da Vinci Code?

Kaye said...

Maze Monster...

Thank you for stopping by and commenting. As for the translation of Lucifer, I really don't know if I can agree with you on that one. I've heard arguments from both sides of the table and I don't know that I agree that when Lucifer was spoken of in the Bible that Jesus was actually being referred to...the pieces just don't fit to me. However, as far as their story regarding Lucifer, part of it seems to be based on scripture, but the remainder of their beliefs about Lucifer are not supported by anything I've read.

I personally do believe that the LDS belief of Jesus demeans Him as the Christ. It not only makes Him only "one of us" (or our big brother), but it completely gives Him a big slap in the face (in my opinion) regarding His death and the power contained within it. I will dive into that more later.

Once again, thank you for stopping by...I hope you continue to stop in and add any insight or comments that you feel you may have.