How do Mormons interpret Isaiah 43:10?

Isaiah 43:10 says “Before me there was no God formed; neither shall there be after me.” This scripture is commonly used to “trick up” Mormons who claim that we humans are children of God, destined to become Gods like him. But the response to that has been adequately answered here, here, and perhaps best, here, so I’m not going to respond to it here. However, a recent commenter on this blog asked a different question about this scripture, which is this:

How do you interpret the passage where Jehovah God says to Isaiah, “Before me there was no God formed; neither shall there be after me.” (Isa 43:10) in light of the LDS teaching that Elohim was a God formed before Jesus (Jehovah, in LDS theology)?

Now that’s a good question! Not that the other isn’t, but this certainly takes it a step further…further? Farther? Whatever. Anyway, the title of this post is slightly misleading, in that due to not having much time to research what other Mormons think about this scripture, I’m just giving my own opinion, based on thinking it through and referring to some other sources that indirectly touch on this matter. Here are a few thoughts, loosely organized.

First, Mormons believe that all of us humans are “gods”, the same way that a child is a man, if by “man” you mean human. If by “man” you mean grown, male adult, then that’s a different matter. Suffice it to say, we are gods in a child-like state. We may not reach the goal God has set for us, but we are his offspring nonetheless, and therefore of the same species.

Second, Mormons believe that we all existed from all eternity to all eternity. Who we are has no beginning and no end. I don’t pretend to fully understand what that means, at least the “no beginning” part, but if we take it literally, then neither God, nor Jesus Christ, nor we were “formed” at all, that is, created out of nothing. We always existed. Therefore Elohim was not a god before Christ, that is, they were of the same species and always have been contemporary in that sense, although he became God the Father (i.e. an adult) before Christ, the same way a human father becomes an adult before his child.

Third, Jehovah doesn’t always mean Christ in the Old Testament. We believe most instances do, but not all. And really, what’s the difference? Jesus is God’s representative, they’re of one heart and mind, and in a sense they’re interchangeable. One isn’t going to deliver a message that the other wouldn’t, and vice versa.

Fourth, is this a literal statement or a manner of speech, a colloquialism familiar to the understanding of those to whom this message was originally addressed? If we were to apply the same rigor of analysis to the statement “I know everything about flowers from A to Z,”  that many people apply to passages of the Bible, what would we conclude is meant? Probably something quite different than what is truly meant, that is “I know a lot about flowers.” Could it be that God was merely saying “Look, you idol-worshippers, there’s no other God you need to recognize, got it? Get rid of your false gods and your idols, and worship the one and only God you need to worry about.” I suppose he could have added “And since I know that what I’m saying right now is going to end up in this so-called ‘Bible’ someday, and people 3,000 years from now are going to get all confused about what I’m saying, let me clarify that yes, there are other gods, but I am the only God anyone on earth needs to worry about. Also, although it may be clear that I am God, and not Jesus Christ, the people 3,000 years from now won’t have access to all the information you do, so let me clarify that this is God the Father speaking, not the Son. Not that it matters, since we both say the same things, and my Son is authorized to speak as though he were me, but again, I need to clarify for those other people. Yeah, I know this doesn’t apply to you people right now, and you’re wondering why I even bring this up because it’s all clear to you, but trust me, I need to say this for the sake of the other people 3,000 years from now, even though I’m going to send them the Book of Mormon, prophets and apostles, the Holy Ghost, and all sorts of other things so that they can figure it out on their own fairly easily.” Yes, I suppose God could have added that, but it doesn’t seem to be his way of doing things.

Comments

  1. People can be children of God through belief on the only name of under heaven that can save us, Jesus Christ, period. But we are not the literal biological children as shown in Galatians 4 below. But we can be adopted children of God through belief in His Son Jesus.

    Galatians 4:1-7:

    1Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;

    2But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.

    3Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:

    4But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

    5To redeem them that were under the law, THAT WE MIGHT RECEIVE THE ADOPTION OF SONS. 6And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.

    7Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

    As Joshua knows, I believe that there are so many differences between what the Bible teaches and what the LDS church teaches and I believe they both can't be right and the above example is one more clear example.

    I will still another example in a follow up post.

    • Clear? I don't see anything in this passage from Galatians that says we are not literally children of God, nor anything else that contradicts LDS doctrine. Kent, I think this another case of your personal interpretation of scripture overshadowing the true meaning. But if you're willing to give your interpretation I would like to hear it, because I can't even guess as to what it is or why you cited this scripture.

      • I actually think these verses bring up some great questions about mormon belief. To call us “adopted” sons and daughters literally means “not biological”. If I say that I adopted a child, I am inferring that they didn’t come from my own body, but nevertheless have gained the title of “son or daughter” because of the choice I made to treat them as such and take responsibility for them. Also the phrase, “no more a servant, but a son” suggests that there was a starting point to sonship. I am Catholic and agree whole-heartedly that the Bible can’t be privately interpreted and is easily misinterpreted, but there still needs to be a solid answer as to what these phrases mean that doesn’t just sweep them under the rug. So specifically, why might the Biblical author have used the words “adoption of sons” if we were really his children in the strict biological/reproductive sense? Also, why does Genisis speak specifically of God “forming” Adam and Eve on the 6th day of creation AND giving them a name at that point, if in reality they were never created because they always existed?

  2. As I said, still another difference between the Bible and the LDS church.

    Matthew 22:25-35:

    25Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother:

    26Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh.

    27And last of all the woman died also.

    28Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.

    29Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.

    30For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, BUT ARE AS THE ANGELS OF GOD IN HEAVEN.

    So no we can't progress to become gods because if we believe in the true Jesus of the Bible, after we die we become as the angels are, who are also created beings who worship God for enternity but who don't become gods themselves.

    • “As the angels” is referring to the fact that we wont’ marry or reproduce in heaven as is the case with angels, not that we will become angels. We won’t stop being human in heaven, but will be glorified humans that share in Christ’s divinity. I am Catholic (convert from protestant) and can say that the idea that we will be divinized in heaven is an ancient Christian belief going back 2000 years. The difference between Mormon belief and Catholic belief is that Mormons seem to say that we will achieve our OWN divinity, distinct from Jesus’s, whereas traditional Christian belief has affirmed that there is only one divinity to be had because there is only one God. We will never be his equal, but we WILL share in HIS divine nature in a way that makes us true covenant family with Him. I know this isn’t a Catholic belief page, but I have enjoyed reading about Mormonism and noting some of the finer distinctions between beliefs.

  3. Joshua, in my first post on this thread I was responding to what you said below about us being the same species as God is per what you said here below. I was showing from Galatians 4 that believers in Christ are adopted sons but not literal sons. Maybe I shouldn't have used the term biological sons but I think this post clarifies what I was saying.

    "First, Mormons believe that all of us humans are “gods”, the same way that a child is a man, if by “man” you mean human. If by “man” you mean grown, male adult, then that’s a different matter. Suffice it to say, we are gods in a child-like state. We may not reach the goal God has set for us, but we are his offspring nonetheless, and therefore of the same species."

    • The adopted sonship spoken of is a symbolic one. It is not a statement about our divine heritage or lack thereof. If I interpret this scripture correctly, it is actually talking about the difference in relationships with God under the law of Moses vs under Christ. It is certainly not a statement regarding biology.

  4. Joshua, from reading your post again about us being the same species as God is, I think my saying we are not the biological children of God was appropriate as by you saying we are the same species as God sounds like you are saying we are the biological children of Him.

    But God isn't a species as He is God and He created all species of life.

    But, as I said, we can be adopted children by belief in Christ and we can become heirs that way.

    • It's true that we are not children of God in a physical/temporal sense. That distinction is reserved for Christ alone, who was he offspring of God, in a physical/temporal sense, along with his mother Mary. But God is the literal father of our spirits, which is of substantially greater import than our physical, mortal bodies. When we are resurrected we shall receive bodies that are identical in form and function to that of God. The only question is whether we shall continue progressing until we are like him, or if we shall be dammed (stopped) due to our rejection of the complete truth he wants to give us.

  5. Joshua, I didn’t post the information again about whether people are married in heaven or not to talk about marriage but to show that we are like the angels in heaven who worship God for eternity, created beings, hence we cannot become gods and you implied in one of your posts that we are like little gods who need to grow up (progress) by what we do and not what Jesus did for us on the cross, to become gods in our own right.

    Matthew 22:29-30

    29Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
    “FOR IN THE RESURRECTION they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but ARE AS THE ANGELS OF GOD IN HEAVEN.”
    I am also posting the passage from Luke below that shows that when we die we go to either heaven (not a certain level of heaven) or hell (outer darkness) and we don’t have another chance to believe in the true Jesus Christ of the Bible. Neither man, the rich man or the beggar, had the chance to progress to a higher level as the reaped what they sowed in their lifetime.

    Luke 16:19-31:

    “There was a certain rich man, which was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day:
    20And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, which was laid at his gate, full of sores,
    21And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man's table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.
    22And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom: THE RICH MAN ALSO DIED, AND WAS BURIED;
    23AND IN HELL HE LIFT UP HIS EYES, BEING IN TORMENTS, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.
    24And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.
    25But Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented.
    26And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they which would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.
    27Then he said, I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father's house:
    28For I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.
    29Abraham saith unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.”
    30And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent.
    31And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead.

    I am not posting things to trick Mormons up but because I care about them and I am concerned that they are following a different gospel warned about in Galatians and I don't want them to be accursed.

  6. Kent, unfortunately with regards to Matthew 22:25-35 you are in the same camp as those who questioned Jesus, and the same answer applies "Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God."

    The reason "they…are as the angels" is because those referred to in that scripture were not sealed. They were married the same way anyone who gets married outside an LDS temple is married–until death do you part. Those who are not sealed by the power and authority of God cannot become gods, and are "as the angels."

    Like you, those who questioned Jesus evidently did not know about the sealing power, nor did they understand the scriptures, otherwise they would not have asked the question in the first place.

    You also misunderstand Luke 16:19-31. To give some background, after we die there is what you might call a "temporary" or preliminary judgment. Those who have accepted the gospel and gone through the ordinances in this life go to a paradisaical type of place, or existence. Those who did not receive the gospel in this life go to a place of confusion and fear we often call "spirit prison" although it's known by other names. Those who are in paradise are sent to spirit prison to teach them the gospel, and those who receive the gospel can leave spirit prison and enter paradise.

    After a time, all those who dwell in both places will be resurrected, and will go to the final judgment, after which they will be separated into three kingdoms of glory, or confined to outer darkness.

    Although these plain truths were either lost from the Bible due to mistranslation, copying errors, or outright bad intentions, once you understand how things really are then you can see patterns and references in the Bible that confirm them, such as 1 Corinthians 15:40-41:

    40. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.

    41. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.

    Unfortunately, because these truths were lost, there is much misinformation in the world. The words "heaven" and "hell" are indeed sometimes used to refer to paradise and spirit prison, as well as the Celestial Kingdom and outer darkness, but without the complete truth paradise has gotten mixed up with the Celestial Kingdom and spirit prison with the final and permanent outer darkness. This confusion is perfectly understandable, given the limited information available prior to the restoration of Christ's church.

    What Luke 16:19-31 is referring to is not the Celestial Kingdom and the final outer darkness, but the temporary paradise and spirit prison. You see, prior to Christ's atonement, there was no way for those in spirit prison (hell/purgatory) to receive the gospel. Those in paradise could not go teach them. This is the "gulf" referred to. However, when Christ performed the atonement, this gulf was bridged, and thus the righteous can pass forth to those in spirit prison to teach them the gospel, and those in spirit prison can receive the gospel and leave spirit prison.

    And of course I like that scripture that says "If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." because the dead have risen. The angel Moroni who lived around 400 BC appeared to Joseph Smith and assisted in bringing the Book of Mormon to us, and many other "dead" persons also appeared to Joseph Smith and others. Those who "heard" Moses and the prophets of the Bible have been ready and waiting and readily accept the additional truths God has sent to us. But those who persist in misunderstanding Moses and the other prophets of the Bible are still not persuaded, though many have risen from the dead.

    • You say the truths were lost. Do you realize how impossible that would have been? Think about it: 1) the Jews would have lost it, 2) the early Christians would have lost it, too. The Jews were amazing record keepers, and so the early Christians were mostly former Jews. We have 25,000 copies of manuscripts from about AD 70 – 200. NONE of those have the “missing” Sacred Writ you refer to. Joseph Smith came up with all of this. And considering he lied repeatedly to Emma and others, why in the world would you accept his teachings over that of the Bible?

  7. "Kent, unfortunately with regards to Matthew 22:25-35 you are in the same camp as those who questioned Jesus, and the same answer applies “Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.”

    The reason “they…are as the angels” is because those referred to in that scripture were not sealed. They were married the same way anyone who gets married outside an LDS temple is married–until death do you part. Those who are not sealed by the power and authority of God cannot become gods, and are “as the angels.”"

    Folks, nowhere in the Bible does it say we can become gods as yes, it does say in Matthew 22 that believers become as the angels who, as I said, worship God for enternity but don't become gods themselves and the Bible does say that people are not married or given in marriage in the resurrection (after we physically die).

    So we either believe the teachings of the Bible or all of the extra stuff added on by the LDS church. People, you have to choose one or the other as no, they are not the same.

    What we need to do is acknowledge we are sinners who cannot save ourselves and repent of our sins and believe and trust in what Jesus Christ did in our place on the cross, that he died and rose again on the third day, and confess that Jesus is Lord

    Matthew 10:9-10:

    That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

    For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

    John 6:28-29:

    Then said they unto him, WHAT SHALL WE DO, THAT WE MIGHT WORK THE WORKS OF GOD?

    Jesus answered and said unto them, THIS IS THE WORK OF GOD, THAT YE BELIEVE ON HIM WHOM HE HATH SENT.

    LDS members, do you truly know you are forgiven for your sins? Because Heavenly Father cannot have sin in His presence and if you, apart from believing on the only name under heaven that can save you, Jesus Christ and put on His righteousness and not your own, and you have not kept the whole law in its entirety, then you cannot ever be in the presence of Heavenly Father.

    However, you can be with Heavnely Father for enternity by doing the works of God, believing on Him whom He (Heavenly Father) has sent (see the passage from John 6 above).

    The difference between what I am pointing out here and the teachings of the LDS church is that the Bible does teach that we only have this lifetime to truly believe on Jesus Christ as our Savior so why take a chance of ending up in Outer Darkness?

  8. This is regarding my question that I posed to Joshua directly that follows and his response to it.

    “So Joshua wouldn’t you agree that if I just go by the Bible and someone goes by only what the LDS church deems accurate in the Bible plus the LDS scriptures and also what LDS church leaders, past and present, teach that the teachings are very different?”

    Joshua responded:

    "There’s no such thing as “just going by the Bible.” We each go by our individual interpretations of the Bible, and there are as many or more interpretations of the Bible as there are people who have read it. So, depending on your interpretation of the Bible, you may find differences between that interpretation and that of the LDS Church. But the question is not whether they are different, but rather, as you say, which interpretation is correct.

    YES, IF YOU ARE CORRECT, THEN MORMONS ARE WRONG, AND VICE VERSA. THERE’S NO DEBATE THERE. The question is, how does one discover which interpretation is correct? My argument is that the Bible cannot prove itself to be true. An external source of knowledge is required."

    Johsua says that it is about individual interpretations of the Bible but then he contradicts what he said by agreeing that if the Bible has been translated accurately, then Mormon teachings are not only very different but also are wrong. So its teachings are different.

    LDS members if the Bible truly is the word of God then you have been following a different gospel your whole lives that is warned about in Galatians.

    I am not saying these things to 'trick up Mormons' I am sayng them because I care about them and I don't want them to be accursed.

    • The Bible is a collection of many writers. It’s a library. It’s not like it is one document written by one man. So, yes, it can establish itself. Here is why: 1) the many fulfilled prophecies it has. 2) Christ never stated the Jewish scriptures were incomplete. 3) The early Christians never stated the Jewish scriptures were incomplete, nor that they lacked the Gospel given by Christ and by Paul. 4). The Dead Sea Scrolls prove that the Jewish Scriptures were not altered by the Great and Abominable Church as the B of M claims. All of the unique Mormon views don’t even come from the B of M, they come from other sources. Most of the original 12 apostles of the Mormons left Joseph Smith and accused him of fraud. In other words, those who knew him best, did not trust him. This was not the case with Christ and Paul.

  9. "it does say in Matthew 22 that believers become as the angels"

    Not quite correct. Jesus is specifically referring to the people in the example presented to him. We do not know whether they were believers or not. What we do know is that they were not sealed/married by the power of God, and therefore they cannot attain any level higher than that of being an angel. This scripture says nothing about the state of believers in general in heaven.

    "the Bible does say that people are not married or given in marriage in the resurrection"

    This is true, and Mormons don't disagree with this scripture, that is, we agree that people are not married or given in marriage in the resurrection. See http://www.mormondna.org/bible/does-the-bible-tea….

    "So we either believe the teachings of the Bible or all of the extra stuff added on by the LDS church. People, you have to choose one or the other as no, they are not the same."

    Or, you believe the Bible and all the extra stuff added by God through the LDS Church.

    "LDS members, do you truly know you are forgiven for your sins?"

    We know that we can be if we do what Jesus and God have told us we need to do in order to be forgiven.

    "The difference between what I am pointing out here and the teachings of the LDS church is that the Bible does teach that we only have this lifetime to truly believe on Jesus Christ as our Savior"

    Where does the Bible say that those who never have a chance to hear about Christ go to hell?

    "why take a chance of ending up in Outer Darkness?"

    That's part of why I'm a Mormon.

    "Johsua says that it is about individual interpretations of the Bible but then he contradicts what he said by agreeing that if the Bible has been translated accurately, then Mormon teachings are not only very different but also are wrong. So its teachings are different."

    Now you're not only misinterpreting the words of the Bible but my words too! What I said was that there is no such thing as an objective interpretation of the Bible unless you're God. Everyone understands the words of the Bible subject to their personal interpretation.

    If one could prove that the Bible was translated/copied 100% accurately, then yes, that would present a rather serious issue for Mormons, especially since our prophet Joseph Smith claims to have "translated" certain parts of the Bible to restore them to their original form. So yes, you could say that some LDS teachings are different than what is in certain parts of the versions of the Bible we have today, although the number of these instances is quite small in comparison to the number of differences that are perceived by those of the traditional Christian persuasion.

    The problem for anti-Mormons is that they cannot prove that the versions of the Bible we have today are 100% correct, which makes it difficult to prove that the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible is false.

    Now, if someone wants to believe the Bible is 100% correct and that therefore the LDS Church is false since it claims the Bible contains errors due to mistranslation, errors in copying, etc., they're free to make that choice, but it's not a logical one.

    But yes, ultimately some choice has to be made. One cannot believe 100% in both the doctrines of traditional Christianity and Mormonism. Maybe 95%. That's what sometimes gets lost in all this, that traditional Christians and Mormons agree on most things when it comes to how we live our lives, what we think about politics, individual rights, morality, etc.

  10. Joshua you took the 1 Corinthians 15 verses out of context. Again I implore you to stop cherry picking verses that back up Mormon claims. If you read the couple of verses before and after verses 40 and 41 you will read it being explained that all flesh is not the same flesh and all bodies not the same bodies, such as people, animals, birds, planets, stars, etc. Earthly and heavenly bodies (terrestrial and celestial bodies) which is further explained with the example of the glories of the sun, moon, stars…everything God created is different! Then in verse 42 it gets to the point of comparing the differences…in the resurrection of the dead, we will leave our earthly bodies of flesh (corruption) and be "raised in incorruption" (new spiritual bodies) which is further confirmed in verse 44. Context, context, context!

    It has nothing to do with your perceived degrees of glory! Anyone can take verses out of context and make them mean what they want. The Bible DOES have a context Joshua, it is not all "interpretation" and relativism as you suggest. Read your Bible, not just the suggested verses picked by Mormons to support their doctrines, but really READ it. In it's context.

    • "Anyone can take verses out of context and make them mean what they want."

      If anyone can do it, how do you know that I'm the one doing it as opposed to yourself?

  11. I just gave the context. Did you read the few verses in a row straight from the Bible? Here they are:

    38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. 39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. 40There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.41There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.42So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:

    43It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:

    44It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

    Do you need the definition of celestial and terrestrial? Heavenly and earthly. If you read it in context, and not to twist it to fit your beliefs, you will see it. Remember the verses were not numbered when it was written, so these aren't separate ideas, it's a written letter. Take off your Mormon Goggles (much like beer goggles, but waaay worse) and just read your Bible in context.

  12. While reading your arguments, I imagine you in the scene from the movie "Liar Liar" when Jim Carrey is trying to say out loud a pen he is holding is black, when in reality the pen is blue. He tries, and wrestles with the pen, forcefully yelling and struggling, and when he can't he say it he then tries to write the pen is black. Something inside him will not let him lie to himself. Eventually he gives up his futile efforts (sadly and unwillingly) and states the truth: the pen is blue.

    I pray for the day when you stop the resistance and twisting and just accept the truth. There is truth my friend. The pen is blue.

    And if nothing else, hopefully you got a chuckle out of it.

  13. Yes, I did get a slight chuckle :)

    The thing is that context is subject to interpretation just as much as anything else, although in the case of 1 Cor 15:38-44 the context isn't the point, at least not for matters of this discussion. The Mormon viewpoint isn't that this scripture proves anything about Mormon doctrine, but we believe Paul was making a casual reference to the three degrees of glory. Why do we believe this? Based on modern-day revelation. If you don't believe the modern-day revelation, then of course you wouldn't believe the Mormon interpretation of these scriptures to be correct, and that's fine. I'm not trying to prove to anyone that the Mormon perspective is correct, but at the same time there's no way to prove it's incorrect.

    As it so happens, and since you enjoy saying that one has to take into consideration writings of ancient Christians and Jews when it comes to the Bible, there are quite a few that are interesting light of LDS teachings about various degrees of glory.

  14. I think you may have me confused with someone else on here, I have never said you must take into consideration the writings of ancient Christians and Jews. I pretty much feel the Bible interprets itself, and that anything in the Bible can be explained by other parts of the Bible and that you don't need any outside sources to interpret it. So I think you meant that for another person…

  15. Perhaps I am in error, I thought you had made some comments on another post about how the writings of Jewish and Christian commentators helped you to know the Bible is true.

  16. Nope, not me.

    I have said that the places/dates/people/history of the Bible help me believe it's true (at least the historical accuracy) but never other commentators. I think the Bible can interpret itself. In fact I did a study of Revelation where the meaning of the book was completely explained by the rest of the Bible, such as Jesus' parables, Daniel 9, Isaiah, and Ezekiel for example.

    I am really not opposed to the idea of different levels of heaven. It's not biblical, but not a deal breaker either so whatever. I have heard the idea that there are different levels of hell from people who claim it is biblical, but I haven't taken the time to study the verses in context so I'm not sure as of yet.

    I just cannot see in context how these passages would be referring to different levels of heaven even if I read them with the assumption that there are. It's just not in the context. It's referring to how the celestial (heavenly) bodies are different from the terrestrial (earthly) bodies, then gives the examples of how the sun, moon, stars are different ("for one star differeth from another star in glory"), and in the verses right before compares the differences in fleshly bodies and how they are different. Then goes on to explain how after the resurrection, our bodies will be different from what they are now. It's pretty straight forward in the comparisons and meanings. Even with Mormon Goggles on assuming there are 3 levels of heaven I don't see it in the context of these verses. If you honestly look at them, and take off the goggles like I asked just for a minute, you might see the context. It doesn't mean you have to stop believing in your belief of heaven, you are not going to anyway, I just don't think those verses are good for use in the argument for 3 degrees of glory. If taken in that context you'd have to say people will also live on the sun, moon, and stars since it refers to their "glory" too. It's just not in the context.

  17. I must thank you, Joshua, for challenging my faith. I found out that the words in Genesis 1:1 could indeed refer to a reforming or redesign of existing material. The Hebrew word Bara is used for created in Genesis 1:1, and it is also used in 1 Samuel 2:29 to imply making oneself fat. Likewise, the Hebrew word 'asah (made) simply means an effort put forth, with no affliliation to creation or destruction.

    However, Genesis uses a different word twice in regards to forming Adam from the dust of the ground in Genesis 2:7 and 2:8, Yatsar. It doesn't make sense that He would use a different word here if the meaning was the same – a fashioning or forming of existing material.

    Also, Revelation 3:14 uses two Greek words to describe the same event, Arché (beginning) and Ktisis (creation). These words are always used as an absolute start, ex nihilo. As God created time, He is not constrained by it's hold. Our souls are described as eternal (Aionios) in the same sense as God, but that the eternal nature has to be attained first (echõ), as is evident in Matthew 19:16.

    I believe this is simple Eisegesis (reading something into the text), rather than Exegesis (pulling the meaning out of the text and associated texts that are hermeneutically similar). Christianity has been guilty of this in many cases, often developing into other variant beliefs. I have even offended many churches based on my 'sola scriptura' (only the text) views.

    For some background on me, I am currently studying to be a missionary, and by no means claim to be authoritative on the meanings of these words. I am a scholar and seeker of information – nothing more, nothing less.

    While I disagree with your viewpoints on certain biblical topics, I do not condemn nor despise you and the LDS church for them. I believe that I will see some Mormons in heaven, as well as Catholics, Muslims, and others. I continually pray for you (collectively and sometimes for specific individuals) that you may find the Truth, and that it shall set you free. Likewise, I also include that if I am in the wrong, that God instructs me in the path that is right.

  18. Genesis 3:4-5 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye SHALL BE AS GODS, knowing good and evil. The LDS church is no different than the serpent, and the forbidden fruit is their 'message'. The result of their message will be the same. We must be HUMBLE servants of God, on earth and in heaven. How comforting, and inviting, is their message that if they do certain things on earth, then they will be a God. How is this not obvious? Everyone says and writes that Isaiah 43:10 is a problem for the LDS church, but there are so many more it is astounding.

  19. Wow!! in peoples effort to disprove the LDS faith they lose sight of every part of Christ's restored church that screams out that it is here. Does the verse from mathew when Christ said "by their fruiths ye shall know them" mean anything? After all is said and done it will remain an identifier. Look at the world wide missionary program where nearly 100,000 18-24 year olds go out for 2 years on their own dime and teach that Jesus is the Christ and his church has been restored to the earth. I ask you do they do it because they are simply doing what their parents want them to? Maybe a few can make it that way but I promise you it could not endure if the message was not true and the spirit of Jesus Christ did not carry that truth to the hearts of those teaching and those receiving. Some religions have tried to duplicate the LDS missionary format and structure with absolute failure. The reason is simple, the message is from our creator.

    What about the more than 50,000 bishops running their individual wards of 400 or more? They do this completely voluntarily without receiving a single penny for their time or efforts. Yet they still have to maintain their own family through a full time job or income outside their time as the leader of the ward. They serve for usually 5 years and then someone else in the ward is asked to serve in that position. Do you really think this is possible on such a large scale for such a long period of time if it wasn't divinely inspired?

    What about the gaps that are filled with the gospel of Jesus Christ being restored. Like what happens in Temples. The bible leaves many unanswered questions about temples. We now know what the purpose and precisely what goes on inside Temples. The mystery of how God reconciles those of his children whom never had the opportunity to learn of Jesus Christ in this life. He has provided a way for them. He truly is no respecter of persons. The same organization exists now that Christ formed anciently, open your eyes. If you don't want to accept it fine, but never say you did not have the opportunity to learn about it. When you learn it is true by the power of the Holy Ghost it will be the most exquisite experience you will cherish your entire life. At that moment you will realize why the members of the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints seem so dedicated to their religion. One last thing, please don't reply that the adversary will mimic many things to deceive. I understand he can and will; however, he will never testify of Jesus Christ nor lead you to him. The Church of Jesus Christ will only lead you truly and squarely toward Christ. Test it out and you will see if the doctrine is of Christ or not.

  20. Mac C. You give the most compelling argument on this post. I completely agree that Joshua is cherry picking verses and distorting the meaning but you with your fruit and dedication verse strikes a cord with me. As a whole Mormon's do seem to be much more dedicated and practice what they preach more often. There are devout Christians who radiate Jesus Christ in their lives but there are also a lot who are just Sunday Christians. I am not LDS, I am a born again Christian but I stumbled upon this blog because I read Isaiah 43:10 in bible study last night and my best friend is LDS so I wanted to see what Mormons had to say about it.

  21. The one thing I tell my friend is if we traditional Christians are correct you will go to hell for teaching false doctrine but if you LDS are correct then we will all get a second chance anyways. So it is much safer to believe there is only one God who ever was and believe only in his son Jesus Christ as the savior of us all. If you teach people about being their own God and second chances etc and you are wrong then you won't get a second chance and will burn in Hell or cease to exist. That being said I do realize that not one of us was around when Jesus was here or when the Bible was written so we can't prove that the Bible has not been changed or things omitted. I just pray for God to show me the truth and lead me in his will. I think everyone should pray the same and see how God reveals himself.

    • JamiV, Mormons do not believe in second chances, per se. Those who have never had the opportunity to learn and accept the gospel in this life will have that chance in the next life. This isn't a second chance, it's a first chance.

      • When you say "accept the gospel" what does that mean exactly? From what I know the gospel is the message of Jesus Christ. I recognize that I, like everyone else, was born a sinner who could not save myself, so I have accepted Jesus Christ into my life, live according to the Bible, and have been full immersion baptized. I am not a Mormon. So where does that put me?

  22. JamiV, are you asking us to commit the infraction of judgement? What does the Bible say about this?

    Now on to the real topic. If Yahweh says “No god was formed before me, and none shall be formed after”, isn’t this an admission that Yahweh himself had been “formed”, and therefore has a beginning? Or at least, a beginning as a God? I’m aware that “formed” can take on different meanings if you use the concordance, but for the purpose of this discussion, the original meanings have very little sway, one way or another, on this point.

  23. With all due respect to my Mormon friends, nowhere does the Bible teach we are born children of God, and despite that, Mormons love to claim were are all born such. In fact, John 1:12 makes it clear we are given the “power” to become such ONLY when we accept what Christ did (1 COR 15:1-5). Of course, we are all born in the image of God, but what you see in the mirror is not what you are, it is only your image. The notion that we are “gods in embryo” is utterly unconscionable to those outside the Mormon faith. The Book of Mormon and the Three Witnesses teach of ONE God, not many. For those outside of your faith, your teachings that go contrary to that are blasphemous.

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