Response to Article about closed cannon of scripture “The Canon of Scripture (Wayne Grudem)” from https://www.biblicaltraining.org/library/canon-scripture-wayne-grudem as well as a few other questions about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and their doctrine.
See also other compilations of mine on the subject: Continuing Revelation from God at https://richardsonstudies.wordpress.com/category/continuing-revelation-from-god/ ; and see The Only True Church at https://richardsonstudies.wordpress.com/category/the-only-true-church/
-saying the sticks in Ezek. 37 is a mere analogy is your opinion, it’s doesn’t say that such is merely an analogy. Nothing says it couldn’t be books, the text even seems to say that. If you don’t agree, so be it. I think no less of you. As for minimizing God and what he does, I know he is blessing Israel and gathering them, and I praise him daily for that. Let’s not accuse each other of doubting God’s majesty and blessings just because we both interpret a passage differently.
-you say the only possible explanation for 3 God’s being one is the trinity. It is POSSIBLE that the word one is to be translated in the way the passage about a man leaving his mother and father and they being one flesh. Certainly the husband and wife aren’t to morph into one body! That’s just unnatural. In fact, there are 2 ways to write the word “one” in Greek and Hebrew, one of them means one thing, the other way means being united in purpose and desire. The latter way is what is used in the passage about the man leaving father and mother to be one with his wife. The latter is also the one used when speaking of father son and HG.
Another example on this point: Jesus wanted his Apostles to become one with him as he and his father are one. Did he want them to morph together into one entity? Osbert!
Another example: What did Jesus mean when he said not mine, but thy will be done?
What did Jesus mean when he said I go to my God and to your God?
These are only a few of a plethora of examples showing that indeed, it’s quite possible for them to be separate people.
-grace alone isn’t expressed by the writer of the book of James, just to use one example (many protestant biblical scholars say book of James doesn’t belong in the bible for this reason). Also, Paul speaks of getting your calling and election made sure, pressing toward that mark, and lists requirements of that which include righteous behaviors. He said not even he had reached it yet at the time of writing that. 2 pet. 1:10 says give diligence to make your calling and election sure. cf. 2 Pet. 1:4-9 for a list of things one must do. Also see Philip 3:8-10, 12-14 ‘press toward the mark’. also see Philip 2:12.
Hence what of the passages saying that not my works but by faith we are saved? works to Paul mean the law of Moses, i.e. circumcision. This won’t save you, the new law of Christ is here. Faith to Paul must include good works, else why would he say he was pressing toward the prize, etc.? Also Jesus says in the parable of the sheep on the right and goats on the left, that the reason for that separation was those on the right did charitable deeds. Also he says, ‘well done’, this means they had to do something. Like the good Samaritan parable. Or the parable of the talents. or when the rich prince said what for salvation he wouldn’t sell all and follow Christ, although he recognized Jesus as Lord and kept the ten commandments, he didn’t pass his Abraham-like trial of giving his all, and hence we have no record of that man getting the blessings of Abraham. In summary, it is by Christ alone that we can be saved, but it’s not to say that the traditional scenario of “get saved then shoot people and get to go to heaven” is reasonable. In other words, I think this is a misunderstanding; you and I both believe that Christ saves us, and we both believe that we can’t be involved in gross sins and still make it to heaven.
-as for offending you in guessing responses, I’m merely using the arguments that most protestants give me. I’ve had this conversation many times. I don’t mean to offend you and will let you answer for yourself in the future.
-I will look at Wayne Grudem and try to get my hands on “From God to Us” by Norman Geisler. Also “New Evidence that Demands a Verdict” by Josh McDowell. I’m open to reading about both sides of the story, which I have been doing for quite some time now.
-indeed, the bible is quite accurate. But to say it’s impossible for it to have been meddled with is problematic, since it can’t be proven that it was not meddled with. The fact stands that although we have manuscripts, no one claims to have the exact ones written by the Apostles themselves. Many passages beg a more correct translation, like the 2 ways Judas Iscariot died, or the passage of Satan forcing Jesus onto a mountaintop, or the passage of God repenting that he created people when he saw the evil of Noah’s day (God never repents he is perfect). Or when Jesus says “I never knew you” in one of the parables speaking of an evil person. I believe Jesus knows everyone, evil or no. The JST renders this “You never knew me.” There are other examples.
-as for personal interpretation, if it’s possible to know the correct meaning of the bible by merely studying the entire text of the bible. why isn’t the entire Christian world, whom claim the entire bible text as their source of doctrine, flocking to one set of beliefs rather than making splinter groups based on their own interpretations of what they sincerely believe the bible says?
-as for the other sheep I have which are not of this fold, he doesn’t ever say who those other sheep are, so we can’t claim one way or the other. But you can speculate that it’s the Gentiles, and I can speculate that it’s Americans. I believe Jesus Christ has come out and said that indeed, it’s the American’s. I have this belief based on the book of Mormon which I hold as sacred like the bible.
-you say 66 of them are reliable, but others disagree with you. Who is correct? The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has an official position on the matter because a modern prophet received a revelation from Jesus Christ on the matter, but as for all else, how do they know? How does your church/fellow believers and all of the other churches/groups of belief make these kind of decisions? By vote?
-why did Nephi kill Laban? As for Laban being sufficiently warned, the BFM says that there were many prophets like Jeremiah and Lehi and others whom the people were rejecting. They even tried to kill Lehi it says. Exo. 21:12-14 entirely excuses the behavior of Nephi killing Laban; a defense attorney or Priest in the days in which they took place under the law of Moses would have CLEARLY justified Nephi in what he did. Read the text carefully, you will see Laban had 3-4 offenses against Nephi, the law of Moses condemned him to death and this was in Jerusalem at 600BC, they lived the law of Moses!
One of God’s prophets, Lehi, was commanded to get those plates. Laban stood in the way of the will of God, and was eliminated. Is this so strange?
-as for Creatio ex nihilo, I can quote you several bible scholars (non-Mormon scholars) saying it’s not a biblical doctrine. One issue of this doctrine is that since God created everything, he must have created evil, and hence he is responsible for our suffering. On the other hand, if evil is simply something that has always been around, God is not responsible for it- it’s merely something we have to fight through to reach the status that God has already reached. Naturally we need help of Christ to do this.
-Same with the trinity, the scholars say this doctrine evolved from Greek influence rather than Apostolic text. I have those quotes too (from non-Mormon scholars). Nowhere in the bible does it come out and say, ‘god created everything out of nothing’. Also the following passages suggest the contrary: Heb 12:9, prov. 8:22-31, acts 17:26, Heb 11:3 (Jesus the word is pre-mortal and created earth cf. Heb 1), john 1:1, 3, 14; 1 Pet 1:20, Isa 14:12, rev 12:7-9, rev 12:4, Heb. 1:6, job 38:4, 7; the word was made flesh must mean that the word (Jesus Christ) existed before his mortal birth.
-do you believe with many protestants that the majority of the human race are going to hell forever because of not hearing about Jesus Christ during their lives?
-do you believe with many protestants death bed repentance?
-where do you say spirits go between death and the resurrection?
-as for the link you sent me by Wayne Grudem on Cannon of Scripture: indeed this is not something to truffle with. Indeed, man should not add to the scriptures, only as he is writing the word of God. God indeed authorizes adding to the word of God by his prophets. As for scripture attesting to something being scripture, the BFM and D&C say they are true. Indeed, the first 5 books of the bible don’t always speak of more writings to come. Neither did Moses say a guy named Paul etc. would come along to add to the scriptures, but they did, and God and God sanctioned it. This is an eternal principal. Who are we to tell God to not allow more to be written? Indeed the phrase quoted “until there should come a prophet to tell what to do with them”. I don’t rely on scholars to tell me what is and is not scripture, not even Josephus, I rely on prophets commissioned of God. I don’t rely on the bible alone for doctrine, but from living prophets. Amos 3:7 God always uses prophets. What Jerome and Josephus and Eusebius say are nice, but not authorized by God himself. That is the point of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: God has authorized people in this day by the laying on of hands from Peter James John and John the Baptist to have authority to be modern day Apostles who officiate officially for the Church and regulate its affairs in order to maintain unity there in see Heb. 5:4 and Thes. about unity in the faith and the perfecting of the Saints. Scholars are helpful but not authoritative. It’s quite possible for scholars to be incorrect, Jesus calls and ordains people to lead his Church, he doesn’t leave the administrations and regulations thereof to scholars or not even well-meaning individuals. One may argue that it’s hard to believe that Joseph Smith said what he says he saw (God Jesus angels and being ordained by them etc), but it’s also hard to believe that Jesus Christ atoned for my sins. Nevertheless, by the power of the Holy Ghost, I can know all truth: the truth that Jesus Christ atoned for my sins, as well as the truth that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and was called of God to re-establish the only true Church of Jesus Christ on the earth in these latter-days, indeed, one Lord, one faith, one baptism. Indeed, the times of refreshing sent from the presence of the Lord. Indeed, the “falling away first” preceding the Second Coming of Christ (as enumerated in the New Testament that it must come) has occurred, and not the glorious restoration of the fullness of the gospel has come. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints whom have learned this glorious truth go all around the world, preaching to all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, bringing them into the fold of Christ. We love everyone, and call ever person who believes in Christ a brother/sister. We invite everyone to bring what truths they have and come receive more, building on the foundation of Christ. The Protestant Reformation was nice, but it never claimed to have the true church restored, it only claimed that the true church had fallen away, and they were trying to find the truth, teaching each other from the bible, looking for truth. Many Protestant reformers never intended to start their own church, but to merely be awaiting the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ, the organization sanctioned of God with his authority. Many Protestants today believe that whoever wants to has the Priesthood and authority to officiate in the Church of Christ, but that would lead to chaos, all contending for their own ways. It wasn’t my idea to start a church and call it the only true church- no, but the Holy Ghost revealed to me that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true and I cannot deny it any more than I would deny that Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten Son of God, come to redeem the world from sin, the key figure in all history of humankind, the intergalactic Redeemer prepared from the foundation of the earth. Indeed, in the latter days, the Lord is pouring his spirit out upon handmaidens etc., lowly people like myself, blessing them with revelation pertaining to eternal truth. I am not called to receive revelation for the Church policy, but I am entitled to receive revelation or myself and things pertaining to my eternal salvation as well as that of my family which I preside over.
This document says that the apocrypha are what caused the Catholic Church to say that salvation requires something from us as well as Christ, but I have shown earlier in this letter that the New Testament itself is very supportive of this.
Your document says, “Protestants have held that the church cannot make something to be Scripture, but can only recognize what God has already caused to be written as his own words”. This is all well except for the fact that God can speak to each generation, and such can be recorded by a prophet. Isn’t that the way he has operated for the past thousands of years? There was an apostasy, when the world at large rejected the prophets, and there were no prophets for about 1700 years, but then in 1820 beginning with Joseph Smith, the restoration of the Church has come, and prophets are being accepted in our day. The preaching to this generation by those prophets is being recorded in sacred text, just as sacred as any text ever was.
The analogy of a policeman only accepting real currency was used. Indeed, but who are the policemen in the world today? The prophets called of God by the laying on of hands in a direct line of authority in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Who creates the legal tender? The same. In ancient days, so it was with them. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not a reformation of the Catholic Church, it is a restoration of the ancient Church as seen to be operating in the bible, New and Old Testament.
The article says, “Christians today should have no worry that anything needed has been left out or that anything that is not God’s words has been included.”; But who gave the author of this article authority to declare that? It doesn’t say that in the bible, if that’s what he is thinking.
We have the new testament because people were going astray, and they needed more prophets to guide them. Who would argue that the world today is not going astray? If any time ever needed prophets among them, it would be our day. The earth today is as wicked as the days of Noah, and is about to be baptized by fire, like it was baptized by water in the days of Noah. Wouldn’t God, in his great mercy, send living witnesses of Christ to our day? People who have seen him and can witness that he lives! People who can help the people of the Lord prepare for the return of Jesus Christ in the glory of the clouds at his mighty Second Coming- yes, we should have a modern-day leader who can speak with God face to face as was the case with Moses Peter etc. The “falling away” has occurred, now Israel is being restored, is being gathered to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We love people who don’t join with us, but are nevertheless firm in our convictions, the Holy Ghost having revealed to us the truthfulness of this doctrine.
Your article says, “apostles who are given the ability from the Holy Spirit to recall accurately the words and deeds of Jesus and to interpret them rightly for subsequent generations.” I ask, if they gave the right interpretation for all subsequent generations, why is there dispute today between Christian churches as to which doctrine is correct? Surely, we need more instruction. There are many ways to interpret the bible. Let God tell us how to do it, not man! God will continue working in the same way he always has, by authorized representatives, called and ordained by him, by the laying on of hands by his servants. Joseph Smith was ordained to the Apostleship in the Priesthood by resurrected beings, Peter James and John. Joseph Smith has spoken with Jesus Christ personally face to face on many occasions. The authority and line of communication Joseph Smith held with God have been passed down to the current Prophet Thomas S Monson and the current Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. They speak every April and October in General Conferences, as well as other times, if you are interested in hearing their global messages of instruction, reproof, etc. The bible says that is why God gave prophets and apostles, for the perfection of the saints, the unity of the faith, the work of the ministry of the Kingdom of God.
Your article quotes “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you” (John 16:13-14). Indeed, the Spirit has led me to join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The bible speaks consistently of there being a Church, a group of leaders kept in line by the Prophets and Apostles. The bible says that they are to help with this effort of guiding the Saints etc. We can’t take one scripture and say that’s the whole answer. In other words, just because it says the Spirit will guide, that does not discount the other passages which say God will send prophets Amos 3:7, and other New Testament passages about prophets, and the “restoration of all things”. A restoration of ALL things would include that the people of God would be together as a group and be led by prophets. There would be no dispute about which doctrines are correct, the voice of the Lord would clarify and reveal doctrines to the Saints in their organized body. There are many passages in the New Testament and Old referring to an organization in the Kingdom of God. It’s not merely Tom thinks the bible means this, George thinks the bible mess that. You see, we need current prophets and apostles, not just records about what they have done in the past. We need someone whose preaching is so powerful that it pierces your soul, someone who has spoken face to face with God. Someone who is called of God by God himself, not just Jerry who thinks he should help out in the community. Sincere efforts by people to help build God’s Kingdom are always appreciated, and God builds His Kingdom with non-members of His Church as well. But for entrance into the kingdom of heaven, you need to be baptized by someone in authority into the Church which embraces the doctrines which God embraces.
Is this mean of me to say? No, it’s religion. It’s conviction to a set of doctrines. Who am I to say any what God has revealed to me is not true? I respect everyone and their beliefs- let they worship God how where or whom they may. I want the same respect from others. If my religion says you are wrong, you can respect that. If your religion says I am wrong, I can respect that. I respect everyone’s believes, but I’m not about to change mine just because it’s different from what you believe. Belief is a sacred thing, and God bless you in yours, and me in mine. God bless you in your religion, and me in mine. I eternally respect you in yours, and me in mine. I would die for you and your religions freedom to believe what you want as soon as I would die for one of my religion and their religious freedom. I want political freedom for all religions to worship as they please, and I want to serve and love you as well as I want to serve and love someone in the same religion as myself. I am as always, your friend. That is part of my religion, and I enjoy it thoroughly.
Your article rightly sights the scripture, the spirit “would guide them into “all the truth.””. Indeed, my religion is that the spirit has guided me into the great and many truths embodied in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I praise God for it!
Based on your article, the philosophy of the Protestants is that the spirit is all they need; if so, why have the bible? Why keep any of the revelations of the New Testament past the page with the quote “would guide them into “all the truth.””? That is not the last page of the bible, so why is there more? It’s because whenever God gives scripture, it’s from the spirit of God. Now please don’t accuse me of guessing how you would respond to my questions, I am merely responding to the obvious implications of the document you asked me to read.
Your article says that New Testament Apostles had same level of authority as Old Testament Apostles. I agree. Representatives of God they are. And my religion says that there are those kind of Apostles in the earth again today, glory be to God!
Your article quotes the scripture “Paul tells the Corinthians, “If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that what I am writing to you is a command of the Lord” (1 Cor. 14.37).” Indeed, I believe this scripture, and I say the same applies to modern representatives of Jesus Christ. My religion is that those representatives are to be found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Your document claims, speaking of the purpose of New Testament era Apostles, as to why they preach, write, etc.: “They do this to record, interpret, and apply to the lives of believers the great truths about the life, death, and resurrection of Christ.” Indeed I agree. Look at the world today, do all the Christian Churches/groups of people who conform to the same doctrines, believe the same thing pertaining to these matters? It doesn’t take long to find out that no, they are quite separate on many of the particulars of these matters. It’s my religion that modern day Apostles, living ones, have the same mission as the ancient Apostles: to testify of Christ, and teach the points of His doctrine in plainness and truth.
Your document says certain things are scripture simply because Paul said so, namely the time that he quotes Luke’s writing and calls that scripture. I similarly believe this, and it’s my religion that whatever modern Prophets and Apostles say is scripture, likewise is scripture. It’s my religion that not only is the bible the word of God, but also The Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and The Pearl of Great Price, and other words from modern Prophets and Apostles. Your religion is that the bible is the only source of God’s word which is applicable to the entire earth. My religion is that the bible as well as modern Prophets and Apostles words are God’s word applicable to the entire earth. Protestants say nay, my interpretation is wrong. But that’s their religion. It’s based on a different interpretation. Protestants say the bible is for no private interpretation- indeed, I don’t have private interpretations, they are embraced by my entire church. We claim this is how God wants it to be said. God has told us that. It seems that each church has its own interpretation of the bible; if that were not the case, there would only be one Church. It’s further my religion that such should be the case. There should only be one Christian Church. My religion is that that church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
My religion is that religion should not be hard to understand, that Jesus said we need to be as a child to inherit the kingdom of heaven. Are not these explanations simple, and a child capable of understanding them?
-as your article says, I agree that all of the New Testament is scripture. However I disagree that all scripture is found in the Old and New Testament which we currently have. One reason why is that the Book of Mormon refers to Old Testament prophets named Zenos and Zenoch and Ezias (apart from Isaiah). My faith is that not all of the records of the prophets of the Jews are in the old testament. I know the bible has been miraculously preserved when looked at as ancient literature, most books never survive to the level the bible has, but yet like I said, and it’s ok if we disagree about this, my faith is that some of the books are gone. That being said, it’s also my faith that those lost books shall return in a future day, and they will help establish the truth of the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It’s my faith that some of these records are lost by honest error, others by evil men trying to hide the truth.
-yes, the book of Mormon is not a grace salvation alone book, neither is the bible; we all need Christ and none can make it on their own, but the entire purpose of the book of Mormon is to get people to see that unless they repent, they and their entire nations will be destroyed by God.
-Joseph Smith had a theophany just like Jesus Christ, John the Revelator, Ezekiel, Daniel, Isaiah, had are theophanies. There are patterns in these which biblical scholars have found. 1. historical prologue 2. question concern problem, a thing they are wrestling with.
3. mission (book containing a wo). 4. they are rejected when trying to share it, and killed. (they tried to kill John many times (but could not)). This is the same pattern of Joseph Smith! The Book of Mormon is a repent or be destroyed book, it has accounts of two entire nations who would not repent and were destroyed. It’s to invite our day to repent or be destroyed!
-as to the LDS faith being based on Joseph Smith being 100% correct and the possibility of him being deceived, it’s like Paul. We have part of the New Testament by Paul, what if he was deceived? Is it too dangerous to base your life off of the principals Paul taught? We get a witness from the Holy Ghost that Paul was called of God to carry on the Church of God, despite his weaknesses. It’s always been the same- God sends messengers, however imperfect, like Noah, Moses, Aaron, Peter, Paul, and I say Joseph Smith, and it’s up to us to choose whether we are going to follow that divinely appointed leader. We try to be careful to believe not only the dead leaders, but the living ones, that’s always been the hardest thing. Now if you don’t agree with this, that’s ok, I’m merely telling you about my religion.
-when it comes to deciding what is scripture, The Book of Mormon for example, I agree with the article you sent, in its debate as to whether to call Hebrews scripture, they said “ whoever its human author may have been, its ultimate author can only have been God himself.” Now who makes that call as to whether something must be from God? There is only one truth in the universe, and the Holy Ghost tells us what that is. You can’t force someone to believe in the existence of a God, you can’t prove that to someone, that’s what makes this life a good test, we have to figure it out on our own.
-in your article when it speaks of why Hebrews is in the cannon it says “The majestic glory of Christ shines forth from the pages of the epistle to the Hebrews so brightly that no believer who reads it seriously should ever want to question its place in the canon.“. That is the same way I feel about the book of Hebrews, and The Book of Mormon. I believe it’s true that God had prophets in other nations in antiquity as well , and their witnesses of Jesus Christ have blessed me in many ways giving me unshaken faith in Christ despite of my imperfections.
-I try to overcome my imperfections because I am part of the family of Christ, and I feel that God my father asks me to do things, and I want to do them to please him, and to grow up to become like him. He has been so good to me that I want to grow up to become like him. Not replace him but be one with him like Jesus said, he wants us to be one with him even as he is one with the father. I believe Jesus Christ’s atonement which he wrought out in gethsemane and Calvary is so powerful that it can enable to be become like Jesus Christ, to be one with him in desire, in power, in righteousness, in holiness (cleansed by his grace), in wisdom, etc. In almost every conceivable way except us inhabiting the same body. That would contradict many of his sayings if I lost my body (I am the resurrection and the life whoso believeth in me shall never die).
-the article you shared says if a book was written by an apostle, then it should be scripture. I agree. I merely say that there are more Apostles than the rest of Christendom thinks.
-I like the part in your article that says this: “It should not surprise us that the early church should have been able to recognize Hebrews and other writings, not written by apostles, as God’s very words. Had not Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice” (John 10.27)? It should not be thought impossible or unlikely, therefore, that the early church would be able to use a combination of factors, including apostolic endorsement, consistency with the rest of Scripture, and the perception of a writing as “God-breathed” on the part of an overwhelming majority of believers, to decide that a writing was in fact God’s words (through a human author) and therefore worthy of inclusion in the canon. Nor should it be thought unlikely that the church would be able to use this process over a period of time — as writings were circulated to various parts of the early church — and finally to come to a completely correct decision, without excluding any writings that were in fact “God-breathed” and without including any that were not.“
-I want to point this out. You quoted this ““In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world” (Heb. 1:1-2).
-your article says this means God can’t add anything else to scripture, that Jesus is the end of the message so far as scripture goes. I have 2 problems with that. 1. There are more books in the New Testament that were written after Jesus The Son. 2. It never states in this passage that God can’t speak more to us in an official “more scripture” sort of way. It says that God has spoken to us by his Son, and that’s good. But I can’t see anywhere in there where it says he won’t have more messengers coming to us to continue teaching us the words of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, The Son, is the source of scripture.
-you don’t have to agree with this, but I believe Jesus Christ is Jehovah. Jesus said to the pharmacies, before Abraham was, I am. They tried to stone him because he was there claiming to be God. And who is God? Jehovah. Now why do I bring this up? To show that all scripture comes from Jesus Christ, whether it’s BC or AD. You don’t have to agree with that. You can believe whatever you want. Also recall Isaiah prophesying of Christ: Unto us a child is born a son is given, and his name shall be called. the Everlasting Father. Christ is our father in that we made covenants with him to gain salvation. Heavenly Father is our Father in that he birth life to our spirits in the pre-mortal world. The scripture says, “we are his offspring”. Created in his image.
-I don’t see how Hebrews 1 and 2 say that revelation has a time of completion. That idea would contradict Amos 3:7, where it says God does nothing except he reveals that thing to his prophets. What does that mean? It means revelation will happen as long as God is doing something. And the writings of the New Testament point to a future great work by God yet to be done.
-the article also sites Rev. 22 being at the last of the bible to say there can be no more revelation, we already talked about that. You agreed with me that it being there doesn’t mean what this author says it means. You weren’t happy that I spoke about that, that I was guessing what your argument for that would be. As we see by this article, it’s a prevalent argument. As we stated earlier, such an interpretation would conflict Amos 3:7, etc. This article says that John knew that his book “The book of Revelation” would be the last in the bible. There is no text that says he knew it would be last in the bible. So the most we can say about this is that John didn’t want anyone to mess with his book. Those whom have modified his text to make it say something other than the original message will suffer the consequences he states in Rev. 22. Wo unto them they have caused many to stumble!
-you say that God is in control of all history, and that such means the Holy Bible is all we need. I say that God lets people have their agency to rape children, or to try and alter the bible, both terrible things. But that God provides ways to overcome that; for the rape case there is healing in Christ and eternal reward and justice in heave; for the Holy Bible being modified by wicked men, God has given us the Book of Mormon to make sure we have correct doctrine.
-I like where your article says this “As we read Scripture the Holy Spirit works to convince us that the books we have in Scripture are all from God and are his words to us. “; that would apply to the Book of Mormon. To anything.
-this is sort of on topic. I want to point out that many people interpret the bible differently. At the bible teacher conference, about 700 people were there, and only half of them believed in God. The other half were atheists and thought of the bible merely as interesting literature like Shakespeare. I don’t recall the name of this conference, but I suppose you’ve seen that trend also. Scholars like to make their own interpretations of doctrine. That’s why we need modern messengers officially sent by God. The people can reject those messengers, but they do so to their own condemnation. So some people seem to be sincere yet totally misinterpreting the bible. The world deserves messengers who come onto the scene and declare with boldness that salvation is in Christ Jesus. They say come be baptized according to the command of Christ, into his Church, where his laws are upheld. For how can someone agree to obey Christ (which is what you do at baptism) if you don’t know what the laws of Christ are? There are many who disagree about that. Many who claim to be right saying Jesus is here, no he is here, and they argue with each other. And if 3 of them are right, that wouldn’t make any sense. Christ is not divided: there is one Lord one faith one baptism.
-the article speaks much of a final revelation. I never see the term final revelation in the bible.
-if the bible contains “there is nothing missing from Scripture that God thinks we need to know for obeying him and trusting him fully.” then why do so many disagree about it? Am I an idiot? Are so many people idiots?
-this article condemns ideas that are not in the bible, specifically Mormons. But I remind you that the author of this article gives some of his own ideas that are not specifically in the bible. For example he creates a word called “God-breathed”. Also the word “cannon” is not in the bible. These are little examples, but the bigger examples are things we’ve talked about etc. The doctrines he teaches. One example of your article “3:6 Jude 14-15 does cite 1 Enoch 60.8 and 1.9, and Paul at least twice quotes pagan Greek authors (see Acts 17.28; Titus 1.12), but these citations are more for purposes of illustration than proof. Never are the works introduced with a phrase like, “God says,” or “Scripture says,” or “it is written,” phrases that imply the attribution of divine authority to the words cited.” So he is saying that unless it says “thus sayeth the Lord” it’s not scripture. That idea is that of the author, it never states that rule in the bible. This is the authors creation, “but these citations are more for purposes of illustration than proof. ” he says. The main thing the article says is that the cannon of scripture must end. I think that’s an assumption he is making based on several passages that could have that meaning, but not necessarily. It’s simply one among several possible interpretations. Who has the correct interpretation of the bible? That is a matter of faith. Everyone has the right to believe what they will. I say that my group of believers (my church) and I have the right interpretation, you say you and your group of believers (your church) have the right interpretation. Can we co-exist? Pleasantly? Of course!
-a person could quote 10000 bible scholars who agree about something, and that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily true. For example the bible scholars of the day of Jesus said that God could not come down and become a man, but that is exactly what Jesus did. And they tried to stone him for it. The answers never have lied with scholars, always with God and his appointed messengers. He can even use fishermen. All God needs is someone humble enough to say “Thy will be done” when God speaks to them from the heavens. God appeared to Joseph Smith, like he did Moses and “spoke with him face to face” as the bible says Moses did. The Holy Ghost has witnessed this truth to me as I live the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Like Christ said if any man want to know whether I speak doctrine or of myself, let him do the teachings and they’ll learn if they are from God or not (John 17).
-the article says to see how you feel when you read books “perhaps with the Book of Mormon or the Qur’an. Is the spiritual effect of these writings on your life positive or negative?” I say when I read the Book of Mormon I feel like serving Jesus Christ.
-your article admits Christ has a Church, “O make thy church, dear Savior, a lamp of purest gold,
” (which Church is true? Which set of believers have it right? Who will be the people who are together to meet Christ at His Second Coming in Zion? What makes your church stand out amidst 3000 other Christian denominations? The Holy Bible?)
-why say I that there are modern prophets if you will? Among other reasons, its because someone has to orchestrate the gathering of Israel; there will be a place called Zion where Gods people will physically come together geographically to be together as a people ready for the Lord’s Second Coming. They will be sheltered from the destructions soon to come upon the whole earth. Also, there are temples where God gives his people eternal power protection promises, where covenants are made. You don’t have to agree with me on that, but I’ve been inside the dedicated temples (the temple you went inside wasn’t yet dedicated to the Lord Jesus Christ) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and felt the power inside, and MIGHTY outpourings of the Holy Ghost witnessing to me so deeply that what goes on in there is from God that I can never deny it, not even on my death bed.
-I won’t be the least offended if you choose not to believe in my religion. I believe that before we came to earth we lived with God in heaven, and there were two forces, one was Jesus Christ, the other was Satan (Lucifer). Some followed Lucifer, and never got the blessing to come to earth because of that. Those that chose to follow Jesus Christ got the blessing of coming to this earth; that means you and me; we made the correct choice up in heaven, so here we are on earth, and isn’t it wonderful? Life is wonderful. It’s hard but it’s such a wonderful learning experience, and just as there are deep sorrows, there are deep joys. So here we are on earth, and we need to once again choose Jesus Christ or the devil as our leader. We follow one or the other. Following Jesus Christ is the way to pass this test, our “second estate”. If we pass the test in this life, we win. We get eternal joy. If you want to know more about what I believe happens in heaven you can ask me, or go to mormon.org and search “The Plan of Salvation”. There are more details than I’ve told you and it’s thrilling.
-if you have a question about something a church leader has said that troubles you, I am happy to respond. Not everything that General Authorities of the Church say constitutes official Church doctrine. It must be something that has been repeatedly taught in the Church and that the Apostles are united in teaching. Members of the Church come from all kinds of backgrounds and they’re not always spot on. But the canonized books are what we base the teachings on. Those include 4 books. The Holy Bible. The Book of Mormon. The Doctrine and Covenants. The Pearl of Great Price. It’s ok to have questions, they are worth asking. They help us grow.
-I will try to get those books you wanted me to read. If you’re interested, I remind you of a book “Shared Beliefs, Honest Differences: A biblical basis for comparing the doctrines of Mormons and other Christians by Dwight E. Monson” that tells parts of where I come from. It’s a pretty short book.
-you ask why do I believe in the bible? I’ve read it and had the Holy Ghost confirm it’s truth to me. That is what I do with everything, I seek the confirmation of the Holy Ghost.
-some say that God is loving (I agree), and that a product of that love is passing down to us a perfect bible (I don’t agree). I do agree that the bible is useful and is the word of God (as far as it is translated correctly). The doctrine that the bible is the way it is supposed to be isn’t a doctrine found in the bible, it’s an idea people have. You could suggest that it is in the bible, but it’s a way to interpret the text of the bible, it never says that specifically. For example, there is no passage in the bible that says “the bible as had in 2015, KJV and other versions of your choosing, is exactly how it should be, and no one should bother considering anything else as scripture. By the way, Mormons are wrong.” You see, it’s all about how one interprets the bible. You have yours, I have mine. I say my faith is very biblical. I say my faith is the most biblical of any faith out there. I could talk to you about any one passage of scripture. You could say the scriptures condemn me, and that’s fine. I don’t agree with that interpretation. The bible says what it says, but people read into it. They say, “because x is written, y must be true”. While that can be done at times and should be, there are other times where it should not be done. Ruling out the possibility of my faith being the right one I would say is one of those times where it should not be done. But then again, you’ll say the same thing about your faith.
-of course, “no private interpretation” is a passage in the bible, no scriptures are for private interpretation. Then who interprets them? God. How does he tell us his interpretation? Yes, that public interpretation? By his Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In other words, there are 3000 about Christian denominations. How many of them are condemned for making their own private interpretations? If they agreed on doctrine, they would be “one faith one Lord one baptism”, not 3000. If I’m not mistaken you say that it doesn’t matter, the whole churches thing. I say, a church represents a set of doctrines. I also say that the bible represents a set of doctrines. I say if everyone believed the same doctrines, they would not go to separate churches which teach different doctrines. My “interpretations” of the bible are not private, go to any member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints around the world (there are more of us outside of the USA than there are inside), and they’ll give you the same response about any given doctrine- Jesus, the Fall, resurrection, God, repentance, grace, etc. God has revealed his official doctrine to his official Church. It’s the same doctrine that Adam Enoch Noah Moses Elijah Jesus Christ, Paul etc. had, and it’s been restored in it’s fullness to God’s “latter-day” church. We have official books telling what the doctrines of the Church are. One of the foremost of those is called “Gospel Principals”. We study from it regularly. If you wish to read it (fairly short), here is a link to it, and you can even download it (it’s a worldwide manual we all use in the Church): https://www.lds.org/manual/gospel-principles?lang=eng
-why do we study from more than just the bible? Because that’s a part of our faith. Why do you only study from the bible? Because that’s a part of your faith. Does the bible support both of our faiths? We both claim the bible supports our faith and not the other persons’. So what do we do? We live our religion. I mine, you yours.
-I know the Church is the people, but Jesus Christ is one of those people, and he makes the rules.
-it’s been said that people should not speak about religion or politics, because they are bound to disagree. I think it’s ok to talk about those things, it’s just that people have to decide not to terminate friendships based on those disagreements. We shouldn’t be ashamed of the gospel like Paul says. Nor of liberty.
-here is an article by a non-LDS guy who agrees with me that the cannon is not necessarily closed: http://www.reclaimingthemind.org/blog/2013/05/why-i-believe-the-canon-is-theoretically-open-and-am-fine-with-it/.
-in conclusion remember I regard all people who believe in Christ as a brother. Though we have different doctrines we can get along as friends just fine. A core part of both of our religions is to try and treat others as we would ourselves be treated; I’m sure I fall short in that here and there, and my explanations here aren’t perfect but they are sincere. I won’t be the least offended if you choose not to believe in my religion. As always, I wish you all the best, you are my siblings in Christ . -Nate Richardson.