Mormon “Coincidences” That Are Too Exciting To Pass Up

The more I study the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints…the more I come across these little “coincidences.” Some people call them coincidences but others call them divine orchestration. As if the God of heaven had his hand in specific events in order to give those that look close enough…an extra boost of faith. It’s almost as if He says…”here, look at this. How can you deny this”?

So I thought I’d share just a few of these “coincidences” that are nothing short of mind-boggling.

mormon coincidences

 

Joseph Smith Was Born on December 23 1805

Have you ever wondered why the very first hymn in the LDS hymnbook is called “The Morning Breaks”? Skim the first verse real quick, but pay attention to the italics:

The morning breaks, the shadows flee;
Lo, Zion’s standard is unfurled!
The dawning of a brighter day,
The dawning of a brighter day
Majestic rises on the world.

The day before Joseph Smith was born was the twenty second of December. That day is called the “Winter Solstice” otherwise known as the “shortest day” of the year. Out of 365 days,  that day has the least amount of light which makes it the “darkest of days.” The dawning of the next day, which is December 23rd, marks the beginning of “brighter days!” That day is a symbol of new beginnings and greater light.

Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 10.12.11 PM

Now imagine that! Joseph Smith was born on the one corresponding day of the calendar that brought brighter days on to the earth. Out of 365 days…what are the odds that this prophet of the last dispensation would be born on that day. For him and his mission…it is the only day that makes sense. His birth marked the day a prophet was born who would later be called to “bring the Church out of obscurity and out of darkness”. But how could anyone have known that or planned that except God Himself? His mom definitely had no idea what he would become and as far as I know…they didn’t have the ability to induce birth like they have today.

If Mormonism was man-made…it would have had to begin well before Joseph Smith was born. Coincidence or divine orchestration? It has to be one of those two because there is no possible way for humans to orchestrate that kind of event. It’s too amazing to be overlooked.

Only Mormons Understand The Last Verses of The Old Testament

On April 3, 1836…Jews around the world were celebrating the Passover Seder meal. It had become a tradition among the Jews to celebrate the Passover meal two nights in a row. During these passover meals, an empty chair and a place at the table was set for Elijah with his cup filled to the top. This was done in anticipation of his return to the earth as promised in Malachi 4:5-6. In the last verse of the Old Testament, it says that Elijah would come and “turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the children to their fathers or else the earth will be smitten”. Who in the world understands that? It’s got to be pretty important right?

So while the Jews were preparing a place for Elijah at their tables for passover, Elijah came to the Kirtland temple and bestowed the “sealing keys” to turn the hearts of the children to their fathers and vice versa. On April 3rd, 1836 Elijah not only fulfilled Jewish expectation but clarified what the “turning hearts” prophesy meant. (D&C 110)

How could Joseph Smith have known enough about Jewish traditions and simultaneously come up with the only logical explanation for the last verse in the Old Testament? Now that’s an unbelievable coincidence. We won’t even get into the traditions that surround Moses accompanying Elijah upon his return…


Joseph Smith Prophesied of the Civil War Almost 30 Years Before It Took Place

What is known today as Doctrine and Covenants Section 87 was one of the most striking fulfilled prophesies ever recorded. Read through a few verses and you’ll see how each of them were fulfilled.

Keep in mind that this revelation was given in 1832 with Joseph Smith giving additional commentary on it in 1843. The Church published the revelation in 1851 and it was circulated among the missionary force. Joseph Smith never lived to see the complete fulfillment of this event, but in 1861…the Civil War began “at the rebellion of South Carolina”. At the time the prophesy was made…there was no talk of civil war. There was obvious controversy and verbal conflict but no one except a prophet could have imagined what that war would bring…and the details are right there in Section 87.

The Philadelphia Sunday Mercury might have said it best after the war began to unfold:

“We have in our possession a pamphlet, published at Liverpool, in 1851…. In view of our present troubles, this prediction seems to be in progress of fulfillment, whether Joe Smith was a humbug or not…. Have we not had a prophet among us?” (Philadelphia Sunday Mercury after the outbreak of the Civil War. Clipping in Journal History, 5 May 1861.)

Vicarious Work Was Unheard Of

Where did Joseph Smith get the idea of doing work for the dead? Why did it become one of his most important pursuits? The idea of temples and performing work for the dead was so unheard of that people thought he was nuts just for throwing it out there. But now it’s become one of those “coincidences” that are unexplainable.

The temple was central to everything God did every time he raised up a prophet in the Old Testament. Moses was immediately instructed to build a tabernacle. Other prophets were instructed to go in to high mountains that acted as temples. David was given instructions in building “Solomon’s temple”.  Interestingly enough… and “coincidentally” the veil of the temple being “rent in twain” was the first thing that took place upon the Savior taking His last breath.

If the early Christians were on the earth today…they would understand the need for a temple because they understood vicarious work for the dead. Look at what the early Christian Father Tertullian has to say about 1 Corinthians 15:29 and baptisms for the dead:

Now if some of them are “baptized for the dead,” can we not assume that they have a reason for it? Certainly he [Paul] is maintaining that they practiced this in the belief that the ordinance would be a vicarious baptism and as such be advantageous to the flesh of others, which they assumed would be resurrected, for unless this referred to a physical resurrection there would be no point in carrying out a physical baptism. Tertullian, De Resurrectione (On the Resurrection) 48, in PL 2:864.

The Dead Sea Scrolls, the New Testament, the Early Christian Fathers and logic all testify of performing vicarious work…but when Mormons bring up the subject…they are laughed to scorn. It’s coincidental that all of these things were present in ancient writings that Joseph Smith had no idea even existed.


Caesarea Philippi & The Rock of Revelation

The thing that sets the Mormon Church apart from any other church today is that it claims to receive continuous revelation from God. It claims to be a living Church. Christ was trying to teach Peter and the apostles this same lesson when he took them way up into Caesarea Philippi. Caesarea Philippi was in the northern parts of Israel and is found at the base of Mount Hermon. In Caesarea Philippi there was a huge rock face where in Jesus’s day…ran a stream from underneath that same rock. Below the rock was a cave known as the “Gate of Hades.” The water that flowed from within that rock flowed south down the Jordan into Israel and literally became the nourishment of all of Israel. It was what kept Israel alive.

When Christ told Peter that He would build His Church upon “this rock”, He wasn’t talking about Peter. (Matt 16) He was talking about the symbolism of the rock He was standing on in Caesarea Philippi. Christ is “the Rock”… and just as literal water flowed down to keep Israel physically alive, so also will revelation need to flow down from Christ to provide spiritual water in order to keep the Church alive. Without revelation…it can’t be a living Church. Christ took His apostles on a pretty arduous journey north to specifically teach them this important object lesson. The key is found within the context and the geography. Do you think Joseph Smith could have known how important revelation was to the restored Church? The same principle of revelation that kept the early Church alive, is the same principle that makes the modern Church a “living Church.”

Coincidental…don’t you think?

 

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    • Jaxon Peterson

      “The dispensation of the fullness of times will bring to light the things that have been revealed in all former dispensations; also other things that have not been before revealed. He shall send Elijah, the Prophet, &c., and restore all things in Christ.”
      (Oct. 3, 1841.) —DHC 4:424-426.

      Any thoughts as to why, five years after the Kirtland temple, Joseph was alluding to Elijah’s still awaited return?

      • David C. Maness

        Because that’s the way it is in the scriptures. They knew it had happened already.

    • ZSH

      Annie Santiago has it right above… winter Solstice in 1805 was December 21… not the 22… http://www.drikpanchang.com/seasons/season-winter-solstice-timings.html?year=1805 Not very helpful when trying to associate an act of God with just a coincidence…

      • I guess there are different sources out there yeah?… http://www.neoprogrammics.com/sun/Northern_Winter_Dates_and_Times.html

        • ZSH

          Here’s one more supporting the 21st to be the day http://m.calendar-yearly.com/1805&l=us

          Here is one that was clearly written by a member of the church who claims it to be on JS actually birthday (and not a day before) http://www.josephsmithforum.org/research/papers/what-every-mormon-should-know-about-astronomy/ (The Hebrew calendar testifies of latter day events – 3rd paragraph)

          and here is a quote from leading researcher in calendars and chronology John Pratt – “Today’s Hebrew calendar requires a few minor corrections, especially in correcting the slow drift of the calendar through the seasons, equivalent to the corrections leading to the adoption of our modern Gregorian calendar which replaced the Julian Calendar. On the Hebrew calendar in use in 1805, the day Sun 22 Dec 1805 was 1 Tebeth. On the Perpetual Hebrew Calendar, which appears to be correct throughout all time, the day Tue 24 Dec 1805 was 1 Tebeth. That day begins at 6 p.m. on the previous evening. Thus, if that is correct, then in order to fulfill the apparently intended symbolism, the prophet Joseph Smith must have been born after 6 p.m. on Mon 23 Dec 1805. I am not aware of any record of the exact time of day of his birth, so I postulate that it was after 6 p.m.”.

          Soooooooooo… I’m gonna go with the quote by John Pratt, which seems to be the most legitimate source – for your desired symbolism to work , Joseph Smith would have had to have been born on the 25th of December. Now the debate is whether he was born on the first day of the winter solstice (any time after 6:00pm on Dec. 23-6:00pm Dec. 24) or the day before…

          • You’ve posted the same comment like 4 times…

        • zsh

          Here’s one more supporting the 21st to be the day http://m.calendar-yearly.com/1805&l=us

          Here is one that was clearly written by a member of the church who claims it to be on JS actually birthday (and not a day before) http://www.josephsmithforum.org/research/papers/what-every-mormon-should-know-about-astronomy/ (The Hebrew calendar testifies of latter day events – 3rd paragraph)

          and here is a quote from leading researcher in calendars and chronology John Pratt – “Today’s Hebrew calendar requires a few minor corrections, especially in correcting the slow drift of the calendar through the seasons, equivalent to the corrections leading to the adoption of our modern Gregorian calendar which replaced the Julian Calendar. On the Hebrew calendar in use in 1805, the day Sun 22 Dec 1805 was 1 Tebeth. On the Perpetual Hebrew Calendar, which appears to be correct throughout all time, the day Tue 24 Dec 1805 was 1 Tebeth. That day begins at 6 p.m. on the previous evening. Thus, if that is correct, then in order to fulfill the apparently intended symbolism, the prophet Joseph Smith must have been born after 6 p.m. on Mon 23 Dec 1805. I am not aware of any record of the exact time of day of his birth, so I postulate that it was after 6 p.m.”.

          Soooooooooo… I’m gonna go with the quote by John Pratt, which seems to be the most legitimate source – for your desired symbolism to work , Joseph Smith would have had to have been born on the 25th of December. Now the debate is whether he was born on the first day of the winter solstice (any time after 6:00pm on Dec. 23-6:00pm Dec. 24) or the day before…

        • ZSH

          Why don’t you allow my comment to be posted?

          Here’s one more supporting the 21st to be the day http://m.calendar-yearly.com/1805&l=us

          Here is one that was clearly written by a member of the church who claims it to be on JS actually birthday (and not a day before) http://www.josephsmithforum.org/research/papers/what-every-mormon-should-know-about-astronomy/ (The Hebrew calendar testifies of latter day events – 3rd paragraph)

          and here is a quote from leading researcher in calendars and chronology John Pratt – “Today’s Hebrew calendar requires a few minor corrections, especially in correcting the slow drift of the calendar through the seasons, equivalent to the corrections leading to the adoption of our modern Gregorian calendar which replaced the Julian Calendar. On the Hebrew calendar in use in 1805, the day Sun 22 Dec 1805 was 1 Tebeth. On the Perpetual Hebrew Calendar, which appears to be correct throughout all time, the day Tue 24 Dec 1805 was 1 Tebeth. That day begins at 6 p.m. on the previous evening. Thus, if that is correct, then in order to fulfill the apparently intended symbolism, the prophet Joseph Smith must have been born after 6 p.m. on Mon 23 Dec 1805. I am not aware of any record of the exact time of day of his birth, so I postulate that it was after 6 p.m.”.

          Soooooooooo… I’m gonna go with the quote by John Pratt, which seems to be the most legitimate source – for your desired symbolism to work , Joseph Smith would have had to have been born on the 25th of December. Now the debate is whether he was born on the first day of the winter solstice (any time after 6:00pm on Dec. 23-6:00pm Dec. 24) or the day before…

      • RobertGman

        Contrary to your claim, I clicked on the link you posted and put in New York City and it showed Dec 22 as the Winter Solstice. Greg appears to be right.

    • Brad Johnson

      Interesting post. What a difference context and the whole story makes!

    • ZSH

      Here’s one more supporting the 21st to be the day http://m.calendar-yearly.com/1805&l=us

      Here is one that was clearly written by a member of the church who claims it to be on JS actually birthday (and not a day before) http://www.josephsmithforum.org/research/papers/what-every-mormon-should-know-about-astronomy/ (The Hebrew calendar testifies of latter day events – 3rd paragraph)

      and here is a quote from leading researcher in calendars and chronology John Pratt – “Today’s Hebrew calendar requires a few minor corrections, especially in correcting the slow drift of the calendar through the seasons, equivalent to the corrections leading to the adoption of our modern Gregorian calendar which replaced the Julian Calendar. On the Hebrew calendar in use in 1805, the day Sun 22 Dec 1805 was 1 Tebeth. On the Perpetual Hebrew Calendar, which appears to be correct throughout all time, the day Tue 24 Dec 1805 was 1 Tebeth. That day begins at 6 p.m. on the previous evening. Thus, if that is correct, then in order to fulfill the apparently intended symbolism, the prophet Joseph Smith must have been born after 6 p.m. on Mon 23 Dec 1805. I am not aware of any record of the exact time of day of his birth, so I postulate that it was after 6 p.m.”.

      Soooooooooo… I’m gonna go with the quote by John Pratt, which seems to be the most legitimate source – for your desired symbolism to work , Joseph Smith would have had to have been born on the 25th of December. Now the debate is whether he was born on the first day of the winter solstice (any time after 6:00pm on Dec. 23-6:00pm Dec. 24) or the day before…

    • Shadrak

      Nice post. Here’s another factual error in your coincidences. In 1832 South Carolina was threatening to succeed due to federal tarrifs. Is it a coincidence that Joseph happened to (incorrectly) prophesy on current events then claim credit for a (non)prophecy 30 years later?

    • Shadrak

      Perhaps you missed this but there is an explanation for Malachi 4:5-6. Luke 1:17 claims that John the Baptist was an Elias who prepared the way for Jesus by preaching thus turning their hearts. A coincidence that early Christians had an answer then Joseph makes up a new one?

      • Shadrak (great name by the way) –

        Malachi was definitely referring to the second coming for sure… That is pretty widely accepted.

        J the B was definitely “an Elias” but John the Baptist is definitely not Elijah. Elijah was one of the only OT prophets that was translated which makes sense. He was to appear on the Mt. of Transfiguration to bestow keys to Peter, James, and John and then in the latter days to the prophet that would restore the gospel prior to the second coming.

        • Shadrak

          Thanks for the reply, Greg (and shout out for the name)! You posted that no one understands the last verse of the OT. I pointed out that different people at different times understood it to mean something other than your interpretation. Which, not a coincidence, is in line with Mormon folklore.

    • davedutah

      Did you know that when Jesus visited the (His) temple, it was the largest man made structure in the world? Larger even than the great pyramids of Egypt, built with some stones that dwarfed even the largest stones used in the pyramids.

    • yes! awesome!

    • Broken bose

      Greg,

      If Peter wasn’t the rock that Christ was referring to according to your blog post, then why did Christ change Simon’s name to Peter–which means rock?

      Can you also show me any other place according to your comments where Petros means ‘pebble’ or ‘small rock’ in the common Greek of Christ’s day?

      You won’t find it, because Petros doesn’t mean small rock. The word ‘lithos’ does. The word ‘rock’ in Greek (petra) is a feminine noun. And to be used in reference to Peter, the noun ‘petra’ has to be transliterated to ‘Petros’ to accommodate Simon’s gender. That’s all. In light of that, please look at the verse again. In Matthew 16:18-19 it says

      “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

      Now notice that the conjuction adjoining the phrase ‘thou art Peter’ and the phrase ‘upon this rock’ is the word ‘and’. This is showing that Peter and Rock are referring to each other. It works the same way in the Greek. Peter is the Rock and it is the same rock on which Christ would build His Church–it can’t be a pebble (your reference to Caesarea Philippi also shows that). However, if Peter or ‘Petros’ was not the same rock ‘petra’ in which Christ would build His Church, then the correct conjunction would not be the word ‘and’. It would be the word ‘but’. So the sentence would read instead, “You are Peter, but upon this (other) rock I will build my Church.”

      But it doesn’t say that. Because it doesn’t mean that.

      In any case, Christ more than likely spoke Aramaic, not Greek. And in the Aramaic, the word for rock is ‘cephas’, which is gender neutral. So in Matthew, it would read, “you are ‘cephas’ and upon this ‘cephas’ I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Here, it is clearer as to what the intent of the verse is. Again, Christ is calling Peter (cephas) the Rock (cephas) on which His Church would be built and would not fail.

      Also, please note the word play occurring here in the verse. Christ asked the disciples, “but who do you say that I am?” Peter responds, “you are the Christ, the son of the living God”. Peter here is making a declaration concerning Jesus–you are the Christ. Christ in turn makes a declaration concerning Simon–you are the ‘rock’. Jesus changes Simon’s name. God also did this with Abram and Jacob. In Judaism, only God can change the names of individuals. And the new name becomes a description of that person in God’s eyes. By changing Simon’s name to Peter then, Christ is showing the significance Simon will have in Christ’s Church.

      How also do we know Peter is indeed the rock? Because Christ in Matthew 16 is actually referring to Isaiah 22:21-22.

      Every Davidic King had an ‘overseer’, or steward over the house (‘oikonomos’ in the Greek) that had the authority of the King, so that the King could leave (for war, etc.) if needed and his kingdom would be cared for and tended to.

      In Isaiah 22, when Isaiah brings a message to the chief steward (oikonomos) Shebna that he will replaced because of his unjust dealings in the kingdom (he misappropriated money to himself), he uses the same language Christ’s uses in Matthew 16:

      Verse 21
      And I will clothe him with thy robe,
      And strengthen him with thy girdle,
      And I will commit thy government into his hand:
      And he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem,
      And to the house of Judah.

      Verse 22
      And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder;
      So he shall open, and none shall shut;
      And he shall shut, and none shall open.

      Note the similar language in verse 22 to Matthew 16:18. This did not go unnoticed by the disciples. Christ was appointing Peter as His steward over the House of David, of which Christ is the new King. Every king had a royal steward. So does Jesus Christ, the new David. Still not convinced? Please see Luke 12:41:

      “Then Peter said unto him, Lord, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all? And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.”

      The word for steward that Christ uses here when answering Peter’s question is the same Greek term ‘oikonomos’ used in Isaiah. Christ is telling Peter that he is the new steward and what is expected of him in the verses following verse 41.

      Christ’s refers to the rock in which he will build his house a few chapters before, in the parable of the wise builder, in Matthew 7:24-27

      “Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.”

      In 1 Timothy 3:15, Paul calls the Church of the living God, His House.

      So if any LDS have stayed with me this far, here’s the question that I have for you: if a great Apostasy occurred in which Christ’s House fell, then doesn’t this make Christ the foolish builder in Matthew 7? Why then in Matthew 16 does He say that His Church will not fail if it really did according to LDS theology? (Before you answer, please also be aware that ‘revelation’ is not the subject of Matthew 16:18,19–the Church is. ‘Revelation’ is never mentioned. Therefore substituting the word ‘revelation’ for ‘church’ since Christ didn’t mention it, is actually inserting a meaning Christ didn’t intend.)

      Thanks for your time.

      • Thanks for posting this. I can see that it wold take some time to write all this. I’ll read it over here soon.

        • Broken bose

          Greg, you’re very kind. Thank you.

      • Dudems

        Brilliant!

      • Tim

        Broken bose, what is your thought on the references to baptism for the dead given in the article?

        • Broken bose

          Hi Tim.

          The verse from Paul:

          “Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead?” (1 Cor. 15:29)

          The LDS interpretation is a way of understanding what it means. From a Catholic point of view, of course I would disagree with that. So let me give you some reasons that support a Catholic perspective. Again, I don’t mean to step on any toes. Some of my best friends are LDS, which sounds like the most bigoted thing anybody can start a sentence with, but they have honestly helped me better understand the LDS faith and perspective, and while I disagree with them, I respect them greatly. They behave more ‘Catholic’ than many Catholics I know frankly.

          Now first, the context of the verse is ambiguous given that the rest of the epistle makes no reference to it. And the Greek does nothing more to clarify it.

          The Greek phrase rendered by the King James Version as “for the dead” is ‘huper ton nekron’. The Greek word huper, or ‘for’ is vague in the Greek. It could mean in addition to ‘for’; ‘in place of’, ‘more than’, ‘beyond’, etc. Now I agree that none of these other interpretations renders the LDS interpretation invalid. But there are some other peculiarities in the verse. One, is that when Paul refers to those who baptize for the dead, he refers to them as ‘they’–the third person. However, when he refers to Christians within the body of Christ, he refers to them as ‘we’–in the first. This makes me think, with the area of Corinth rife with heretical and pagan sects, that Paul was answering a specific question asked of him concerning why one of these sects believed there was no life after death. This was, for example, the belief held by the Sadducees (that’s why they’re, sad you see? Yes, I went there). And just as Christ answered the Sadducees from Tora Scripture (the only accepted books by the Sadducees) which contradicted the false belief of the Sadducees, I think it is possible that Paul was doing the same thing here. Now I know that contradicts settled LDS revelation on the topic.

          But the greatest evidence against the LDS understanding of the verse, is that there is simply no historical evidence to corroborate the belief. And if this was the specific way, really the quintessential way that God used to satisfy justice when it comes to those who didn’t have Christ and His ordinances presented to them in the past, in their life–which were all of them basically back then, then it would seem very strange that there is no other mention of it anywhere else in the Bible or in the historical record. Again, nothing here rules out the LDS understanding completely, but I think that in this case, absence of evidence does indeed mean evidence of absence.

          The Catholic Church does not exclude persons born without the knowledge of Christ or His Kingdom, without water baptism from being saved necessarily. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that although we are bound by the ordinances, God is not. And He is able to save in a way outside of the ordinances that we may not completely understand. It doesn’t mean again, that He necessarily will for those who don’t know Christ and His ordinances, but it remains a possibility. There’s a feast day in the Catholic Church (a memorial to a particular holy person or persons that happens each day of the liturgical calendar) when the Holy Innocents are remembered. Those were the proto-martyrs killed by Herod in Christ’s place when the Holy Family fled to Egypt. They were unbaptized children. But the Catholic Church believes that they are ‘saints’ in Heaven. Only ‘saints’ or ‘beati’ (basically saints), are placed on the liturgical calendar. And they have been on the calendar now for over a millenia.

          The good thief on the cross next to Christ during the crucifixion was promised paradise while not having been water baptised. Perhaps one could argue that he would be baptised after. But Christ doesn’t specifically make that a requirement when He spoke to him from the cross. Catholics call this the ‘baptism of desire’ specifically, and it is acceptable/valid when water baptism is impossible. The annals of the early Church testify to the belief of baptism by desire. It also testifies to the belief in the baptism by blood (during martyrdom for the faith) as well.

          Hebrews 9:27

          “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment”

          I think the implication of the above verse is that a person’s free agency ends once a person dies, and it is the life we lived on earth that we will be judged by. If all had the opportunity to accept the LDS Church after death with luminous missionaries greeting us with the LDS message in Spirit Prison, who would honestly would refuse the message then? Wouldn’t that render a judgement on the whole of our lives on earth basically moot? Our merit begins with our ability to refuse the gifts of God, I think. And I don’t honestly believe that one would, under those special circumstances. Even as a Catholic, if a couple of missionaries gave me a chance to accept the LDS faith in that situation, I would be the first to sign on the dotted line.

          But in the end, it think the idea of baptism for the dead in the LDS sense destroys the Christian narrative. For some scoundrels, knowing that I received only a better heaven for the work I accepted, is not reward enough. And knowing that they only received a lower heaven for the work they refused isn’t punishment enough. Perhaps that’s a calloused remark, but it doesn’t feel like justice if all are permitted the happiness of heaven across the board to some degree.

          That’s my take. Once again, I hope I didn’t offend you or anyone else with my thoughts. Let me know what your thoughts are. God bless.

          • Tim

            Thank you Broken bose … As an aside, I was born and raised LDS, having received the LDS temple endowments. I came home to Catholicism in 2009 after a pilgrimage to Medjugorje. What joy and peace to finally be home! God bless … Tim

            • Broken bose

              How interesting. I’m curious about your conversion. What was the reason that either caused you to question your faith in the LDS Church, or made you curious about the Catholic faith? I don’t know if that’s a question best left to a more private venue. Thank you, Tim.

            • Tim

              The short version is that I began to question the LDS Church during my last semester at BYU in a New Testament course reading the writings of St. Paul. Within a few years, I left the LDS faith and after attending a few bible churches began questioning Christianity altogether. I was agnostic for 25 years. In 2007, my wife, who is Catholic, persuaded me to go with her to Medjugorje. While in Medjugorje, I had a profound and authentic conversion experience. I entered the Catholic Church at Easter in 2009. The is much more to my journey but it’s not the place on this thread to elaborate. Needless to say, I am intrigued by discussions involving the interchange of Catholic and LDS perspectives.

      • RobertGman

        broken bose, to answer your question, Matthew 16:18 is one of the most misunderstood verses by all of Christendom. It does NOT mean “the Church” will not fail, but that the “gates of hell” WILL. Read it carefully, “will not prevail”. “Prevail” means to withstand, yet, the verse says it will NOT withstand/prevail and will fall. What won’t withstand? the gates of hell. A “gate” opens and closes, right? A gate “prevails” when it stays closed. But this gate isn’t meant to stay closed.

        Jesus Christ had the key to the gates. He alone could open them. He alone could give the “keys” to them. He gave those keys to Simon saying in effect, “whatsoever you let pass through the gates, it will be written (bound) in heaven.” While the Apostolic Church had these keys, it doesn’t say anywhere that they would keep the keys, or that the “church” would “prevail” (you are reading the verse wrong). The keys were only valid while apostles were on the earth. Once they were killed off, the keys were also.

        The Catholic Church could argue that “bishops” held the keys. However, none of the Early Fathers/bishops/popes claimed this “binding power”. In fact, that is exactly what the reformation was about. Even IF the Catholic church held that “binding power”, they abused it by “selling salvation” and Luther rightly called them out on it. So those “keys” were corrupted by that time.

        Today, the LDS Church is the only church that takes this verse seriously. No other church claims the authority to “bind in heaven what is bound on earth”. Sealings (marriages) and other gospel ordinances are performed on Earth and bound in heaven.

        Please be aware that although “revelation” is not mentioned by name, it is implied as to how Peter “knew” to name Jesus as “the anointed one”. If Mormons can’t use “revelation” here, then all Trinitarians must cease and desist using “trinity” because it’s not even a word found in the Bible. “Revelation” is found in the Bible, and is how Paul was taught (see Gal 1:12).

        One final note, how do you explain 2 Thes. 2:3, “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first,”? When is this supposed grand scale apostasy from the Christian church supposed to occur if it didn’t already happen? Why would you believe there won’t be any Christians left to receive Christ when he appears?

        • Broken bose

          Thanks for your reply.

          Matthew 16:18:

          “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

          The gates of hell is a Hebrew euphemism meaning, ‘Kingdom of hell”, in this case. When the enemy breaches the walls or gates of a city, then it is at that moment the city was laid waste by the opposing army. So when in Matthew 16, Christ says that the ‘gates of hell’ will not prevail, it is because the kingdom of God SHALL prevail against the opposing army. If the kingdom of hell therefore ever does prevail, then it would render the meaning in Matthew 16:18-19 false. Christ is also saying by referencing the ‘gates of hell’ that his kingdom is greater than the kingdom of hell, if the kingdom of hell shall never prevail against it. I’m sorry, but your interpretation of Matthew 16:18-19 is incorrect. What you’re doing is isogeting a meaning from Scripture that the text never intended. I’m afraid Christendom got this one right.

          Every king in the house of David had an “Asher AL Habayat,” or prime minister (‘oikonomos’ in the Greek Septuagint; see 1 Kings 4:6). By giving the keys to Peter, Christ is showing, as in Isaiah 22:22, that Peter is the new prime minister of His House.

          You said that no Pope actually claimed this binding power of the keys. This is not true. Just as Peter lifted the requirements of the Judaizers in acts 15, every Pope thereafter bound or loosed as a charism of his office given to him by Christ. One of the first recorded examples of this is when Pope Clement of Rome in his epistle to the Corinthians, circa late first century, adjures them under his leadership concerning a difficulty there regarding a problem with obedience. He sent his letter from Rome. If the Pope did not have authority over the entire Church even at this early date, then it would have been improper for a prefect from Rome to render instruction to a church in the East. Therefore the Church of Corinth was bound under the leadership of the Pope from the West.

          Another example of the binding and loosing authority of the Pope? That would be the Canon of Scripture itself.

          When did the Bible become the Bible? Was it at the time of the ancient apostles? Sure, they wrote it, but who recognized that what they wrote was actually Scripture? Remember that there were hundreds of epistles and gospels floating around the ancient world by the end of the fourth century. Gospels from Thomas, Judas, Thomas the Contender, Mary Magdalene, and epistles from Clement, Ignatius, the Shepherd of Hermis, Polycarp, etc., were all circulating then. Eusebius of Alexandria, one of the earliest Church historians noted in his History of the Church (you can get the kindle version for 99¢ on Amazon) several different canons in circulation as late as 325ad. So if the apostles didn’t determine what the Bible was since they were all dead by then, and the LDS Church only recognized an already existing Canon of Scripture called the Bible, then where did the Bible come from that we have today? Who discerned that the books we have today in the Bible actually contained the Words of God? The answer is that the Canon of the Bible came from the Councils of Rome in 382ad, and confirmed by the Councils of Hippo in 392ad, from two councils in Carthage in 396 and 419, in Florence in 1441, and finally by the general Council in Trent in 1546. What’s the thread that binds all these Councils together? They’re all Roman Catholic Councils ratified by the binding power of the Pope.

          The bottom line is that you wouldn’t have the Bible to argue your reasons against the Catholic Church if it weren’t for the Popes that gave you that resource, by their authority, in the first place.

          So if the keys were only valid when the apostles were alive, then why does the LDS Church accept the authority of the Catholic Church in determining what Scripture was after those first apostles passed away? If you don’t accept the authority of the Catholic Church–why accept its book? You might say because the LDS Church said so. Sorry, the Catholic Church beat you to it–by almost fifteen hundred years. (And no, the Catholic Church didn’t ‘sell’ salvation according to Luther in the early 16th century. But if all the Popes weren’t perfect, and some were far short of it, then it isn’t evidence that the Catholic Church was abandoned by God any more then he abandoned Peter when he denied him three times–in fact, it enhances it. If the Catholic Church were only run by saintly men, then what would that prove? But if the Church prevails even when a fox is guarding the hen house, and still can’t be destroyed, then it shows that it was never theirs to destroy in the first place. It belongs to Christ and I defy you to show me in the historical record when a complete Apostasy truly ever took place. Can you show me any official documents from the early Church that speaks to the truths that it was originally LDS?

          Which leads to your last question concerning 2 Thessalonians 2:3:

          “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first”

          Let me point you to Paul in 1 Tim 4:1 to clarify the above verse:

          “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils”

          Please note that Paul says that ‘some’ will fall away. Not all. If Paul meant all, don’t you think he should have said “all”? And if it was ultimately impossible to guard against the complete loss of faith, then why the admonition? What would it serve to tell people to be on guard if in the end the admonition was pointless?

          And in 2 Thessalonians 2:15:

          “Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.”

          Again, why tell the Thessalonians to stand fast to the traditions (‘paradosis’ in Greek, which means ‘to hand on’), whether by spoken word or written epistle if the words are ultimately wasted? (and how can they be wasted frankly if you’re able to read them in a modern Bible? Which means that a complete apostasy couldn’t have taken place, or there would be no one avaliable to recognize the words of Scripture for what they really were–the words of God.)

          Perhaps you’ll answer that the free agency of man allowed Christ’s Church to fall. Then doesn’t this mean that the apostles Christ built the Church upon were just apostles of sand?

          I’ll end a long-winded response by asking the same question I asked in the first post:

          If Christ’s Church, according to 1 Tim 3:15, is His House, and it fell–then doesn’t this mean that Christ was really the foolish builder of the parable in Matthew 7:24?

          Here’s how you can find the Church Christ started. Start with the 55,000 or so Christian denominations and work backwards. When you count back enough years and there’s only one Church left, that’s the Church Christ founded. And I’ll give you three guesses as to what that Church’s name is. The first two don’t count.

    • Cas Knies

      Speaking of the so-called Civil War ‘prophecy’ as recorded in D&C 87:1-3, given the exceedingly well publicized discontent amongst the good citizens of South Carolina, anyone could have made an educated guess that at some point a rebellion was going to take place in South Carolina.

      May I remind this forum that South Carolina had been for many years prior a seething hotbed of state-rights rebellion and had made many threats regarding protecting its sovereignty over the federal government? In addition, my history book revealed that the Confederacy petitioned Great Britain and France for assistance, and were refused. As a matter of fact, the CSA was NOT recognized by any other nation. In addition, it would stretch credulity to the max to maintain that the Civil War was “poured out upon all nations”. The Civil War was bloody all right, but it was a far cry of a World War.

      I couldn’t help but wonder, if God really wanted to give Joseph Smith a truly irrefutable prophetic take on the Civil War, why didn’t he just say something like, quote: “Verily, heed well my words, my servant Joseph: In 1861 a great and terrible war will commence between the people of the Union against the Confederate States of America, which will last for four years, and more than 620,000 people will perish. The Union under my servant Lincoln will prevail. And I command thee, stay away from Carthage, Illinois, if thou cherieth thy life.”

    • KLMet

      Truths can be substantiated, but the gospel principles upon which we live our lives aren’t based on these few items, so everyone can relax. When the sun came up the day Joseph Smith was born, that’s close enough for me; it’s not a doctrinal point ever taught, it’s just a small but wonderful nugget. Anyone who SINCERELY wants to know the truth, can know it! Even those with crazy clown faces.

    • Stephanie Peterson

      I love your insight and i love the investigators who challenge you i enjoy reading your blog and for all those who add its enlightening really!!!! ♡ my son was born on the 23rd (dec) and i HAD to tell him the story of the darkest and the lightest day! Your awesome thx

      • Thanks Stephanie! You’re son must be special!

    • ABF31

      Here are some other incredible coincidences!

      -The Book of Mormon is incredibly accurate and detailed with the history of the new world from Christopher Columbus’ time up through the revolutionary war. Gadzooks!

      -After the 116 pages of original manuscript were lost/destroyed, there just happened to be another record prepared by Nephi, covering roughly the same series of events, but just in slightly different words. Amazing!

      -When some Egyptian mummies rolled into Kirtland, they just so happened to contain ancient writings of father Abraham, which Joseph Smith was able to translate very precisely and accurately. Wondrous!

      -The gold plates just so happened to be buried on a hill in Joseph Smith’s back yard. Who’d’ve thought!

      -The seer stone that Joseph Smith had been using for years to unsuccessfully search for buried treasure just so happened to work as an interpreter for the translation of the gold plates. Hallelujah!

      Brothers and sisters, I testify to you that these were no mere coincidences! They are evidence of the hand of God at work in our lives. Amen.

      • Dudems

        Too funny!!

    • Michael

      Brother Trimble! I love reading these. Thanks for always sharing your faith with me. “Spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and let it sweep the earth, as unto a flood.” Miss you and your family (Elder) Michael Boswell

      • Boswell! How are you man! Thanks a ton! We’re so grateful for all you did in our city! Good to hear from you!

    • Ed Hart

      So many comments in my head, and the arrogance stated that “Only Mormons understand Malachi…”, etc, is mind numbing…

      Addressing Joseph Smth’s prophesy of the Civil War, which by the way, was not found in the Book of Commandments, but was added later…here is the history (not CHURCH history, but ACTUAL history, from the pre-Civil War days:

      Below is an excerpt from The Joseph Smith Papers regarding D&C 87, which is a project of the church:

      On Christmas Day, 25 December 1832, JS dictated this revelation warning of the outbreak of war across all nations, beginning in South Carolina. Remarking on the context of this revelation, a later JS history states: “Appearances of troubles among the nations, became more visible, this season, than they had previously done, since the church began her journey out of the wilderness.”1 The Painesville Telegraph of 21 December 1832 highlighted some of these problems. It contained an article titled “Revenge and Magnanimity. A Tale of the Cholera” about the worldwide cholera epidemic, as well as information about a plague in India that was killing 150 to 200 people a day.2 The newspaper also included extensive coverage of the passage of a resolution by a Nullification Convention held in November in South Carolina. This resolution declared the federal tariff acts of 1828 and 1832, which levied high duties against imports, “null and void” in the state. Many South Carolina residents believed the acts were passed solely to protect northern manufacturing at the expense of the South. Not only did South Carolinians claim the right to nullify the law, they also stated their willingness to “organize a separate Government” should the federal government try to enforce the tariffs in the state. The governor called for two thousand men to form a militia “for the defence of Charleston and its dependencies.” President Andrew Jackson responded quickly to this resolution, stating, according to the Telegraph, “that the laws and the Union must be maintained, at all events.” Because Painesville, Ohio, was only about ten miles from Kirtland, Ohio, it is probable that JS saw or heard about the articles in the 21 December Telegraph within a day or so. These developments troubled JS, who saw in them the threat of the “immediate dissolution” of the United States.5 Indeed, the 25 December revelation predicted that rebellion on the part of South Carolina would lead not only to civil war and war among nations but also to slave rebellions and an uprising of remnants of the house of Israel. This violence, combined with plague and other natural disasters, would ultimately lead to the “full end of all Nations.” Using millenarian language, the revelation cast such events as portents of the return of Jesus Christ to the earth.

      It was not like he predicted the Civil War and other wars out of thin air. There were clearly signs / other news of these things at the time … and the church even admits it (“it is PROBABLE that JS saw or heard about”).

      The challenge for LDS people is that most of them are just flat out ignorant about the details of their own history and doctrine. The church knows and has been aware for decades … the church just decided to conceal it until recently because the information is now readily available.

    • Betsy Winter

      Greg – I’ve always loved your blogs when i come across them on fb…. but I just found out recently that you married into a family that i absolutely adore! I had no idea this was you! So awesome! Tell Kristin I said “Hi”!

      • Haha! Yeah they are great. I’ll tell them hi!

    • Jesus

      It doesn’t matter what day of the year Joseph was born on, some moron would find a way to relate that day with his mission on this earth. That is religion in a nutshell, find anything to support already made conclusions and avoid everything else

      • Broken bose

        Jesus! Is that really you? Wow! Thank you so much for visiting us here at the blog! We have so many questions for you.

        Here’s my question: Jesus, why do atheists come on a religious blog site to tell us what they don’t believe in? Isn’t that kind of like a wooden door salesman who canvassed a street full of log cabins before he realized that he probably wasn’t going to get a sale?

        Thanks Jesus.

        Your faithful moron.

    • Jesus

      By the way, the odds are 1 in 365

    • Broken bose

      RobertGman:

      I’m not being inconsistent here.  In order to best understand ancient Jewish texts, you should try and come at them from an ancient Jewish perspective.  The reason why I mentioned that ‘revelation’ in particular was not present in the Matthew 16 Scripture verses is because when I’ve asked several good LDS friends (both missionaries and former leaders with high callings) what those verses meant, they always told me it referred to ‘revelation’ and not the obvious answer the verses give, which is the Church.  So you’re not disagreeing with me, you’re disagreeing with them.

      And the reason why I said that the ‘gates of hell’ means the ‘kingdom of hell’ is because ‘gates of’ is an ancient Jewish turn of phrase that refers to the borders or stronghold of a kingdom.  It’s not my euphemism, as you suggested.  It’s theirs. So the verse literally means, from the perspective of an ancient Jew, that Christ’s Church will not be prevailed upon by the kingdom of hell.  It will not fall to it.

      Now you said that what is written is what is meant.  So since Christ renamed Simon to Peter which means rock, would you accept that Peter is indeed the rock upon which Christ would build his Church?  That’s what it says. You also said only Christ had the keys, but in Matthew 16:18-19, Christ very clearly said that he would give the keys to Peter, which is exactly what the Davidic Kings gave to their prime ministers in the Old Testament  (please see 1 Kings 4:1; Isaiah 22:22).

      What’s was one of the first things that Christ did when he called his disciples?  He commissioned them to expel demons.

      Please take a look at Mark 3:22-27:

      “And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils.  And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan?  And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.  And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.  And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.   No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.”

      Who is the strong man in the parable Christ is using here?  It’s the devil or Satan.  Now who is the thief?  This is actually Christ and His Church.  It is Christ who binds the devil and takes his things, which are the souls of men.  Christ steals them back.  And by doing so, He destroys Satan’s kingdom. He, nor His Church, is destroyed by Satan’s Kingdom.

      Note how Jesus uses the metaphor of the devil’s house to represent Satan’s kingdom. 

      The only reasonable exegesis of Matthew 16:18 then is that the devil will never bring down the House of Christ, which is exactly what Christ was alluding to in the parable in Matthew 7:24.  He is the wise man who’s house was built upon the rock (can you see the allusion Christ is drawing upon here when just a few chapters later He renames Simon to Peter the rock?)

      But in LDS theology, the House did fall (and remember Paul calls the Church of God, Christ’s House in 1 Tim 3:15). So call the apostles what you will, robertGman, but if other men could destroy what the apostles erected, then it can only mean Christ picked the wrong builders and the wrong foundation for his Church to stand upon. That makes Christ the foolish one. The only way then to justify the existence of the LDS Church is by the initial failure of Christ’s Church on earth. Am I missing something?

      Now about your thoughts on the Church Councils.  Where do I begin.  First, the website you pulled your information from got the date wrong concerning the Schism. It was 1054. And that is the date generally agreed to by historians, but doesn’t reflect the nature of the Schism per se which really took place over the course of several hundred years.

      The Popes always ratified the Councils, or the Councils had no binding authority upon the universal Church.  They did not have to be present; legates for the Pope were often sent, but without the authority of the Pope, there was no valid council. Those are the facts.  Wikipedia entries are not the historical documents of the Church I’m afraid.  (but if you want a good quick history of the early Church, check out When the Church was Young, by Marcellino de Ambrosio. It’s an easy read, and it covers many of the early fathers and documents they produced)

      Pope Saint Sylvester I ratified the Council of Nicaea, circa 325ad in which Bishop Arius along with two other bishops, out of roughly 312, were anathematized.  Arius taught that Christ was not divine, but that He was the first born of the Father in time.  He additionally taught that the Father and Christ the Son were of two different natures, rather than by the Greek definition adopted by the council fathers in Nicaea and again ratified by the Pope.  They used the term ‘homo usios’, meaning that Christ was of the same nature as the Father, but two different persons. It’s a decision I might add that the LDS Church does not hold today.

      About your use of 1 Timothy 4:1;

      “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.”

      Here it specifically says that some fall away in ‘the latter times’.  That’s also means that in the last days prior to judgement, ‘some’ will not.  Indeed, Christ will not leave us orphans as it says in John 14:18. Now if that verse in John is true for every generation that could read it, then it could only mean that Christ’s Church will never fall, which corroborates the meaning of the verse in Matthew 16:18 that Christendom has always advocated.

      Now finally, you said that it wasn’t because of the Catholic Church that the Bible was recognized by the LDS Church. Ok. Can you explain to me then how the books of the Bible were properly discerned from the hundreds of books that claimed to be Scripture but weren’t in the early centuries? Some were obvious fakes, but some were documents that, while not biblically inspired from today’s standpoint, were from an ancient standpoint very Biblical in speech and tone. If there was no valid authority to determine what the Bible was, then how did the LDS Church get it? Why would the LDS Church receive it? Can you explain the process to me?

      RibertGman, I await your illuminated understanding with baited breath.

      • RobertGman

        Just wanted to make sure you have seen my reply above. You posted like 3 times, I only answered one. You may respond or not, God bless and good luck to you.

        • Broken bose

          Looks like I completely messed up the thread here. Robertgman, I can see you’re passionate about your faith, I appreciate that and I would like to talk to you more about where you’re coming from, but it looks like we’ve dipped below the more comments line. Would you like to dialogue via email? Thanks. God bless,

          Broken bose

    • Broken bose

      RobertGman:

      I’m not being inconsistent here. In order to best understand ancient Jewish texts, you should try and come at them from an ancient Jewish perspective. The reason why I mentioned that ‘revelation’ in particular was not present in the Matthew 16 Scripture verses is because when I’ve asked several good LDS friends (both missionaries and former leaders with high callings) what those verses meant, they’ve always told me it referred to ‘revelation’ and not the obvious answer the verses give, which is the Church. So you’re not disagreeing with me, you’re disagreeing with them.

      And the reason why I said that the ‘gates of hell’ means the ‘kingdom of hell’ is because ‘gates of’ is an ancient Jewish turn of phrase that refers to the borders or stronghold of a kingdom. It’s not my euphemism, as you suggested. It’s theirs. So the verse literally means, from the perspective of an ancient Jew, that Christ’s Church will not be prevailed upon by the kingdom of hell. It will not fall to it.

      Now you said that what is written is what is meant. So since Christ renamed Simon to Peter which means rock, would you accept that Peter is indeed the rock upon which Christ would build his Church? That’s what it says. You also said only Christ had the keys, but in Matthew 16:18-19, Christ very clearly said that he would give the keys to Peter, which is exactly what the Davidic Kings gave to their prime ministers in the Old Testament (please see 1 Kings 4:1; Isaiah 22:22).

      What’s was one of the first things that Christ did when he called his disciples? He commissioned them to expel demons.

      Please take a look at Mark 3:22-27:

      “And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils. And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan? And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end. No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.”

      Who is the strong man in the parable Christ is using here? It’s the devil or Satan. Now who is the thief? This is actually Christ and His Church. It is Christ who binds the devil and takes his things, which are the souls of men. Christ steals them back. And by doing so, He destroys Satan’s kingdom. He, nor His Church, is destroyed by Satan’s Kingdom.

      Note how Jesus uses the metaphor of the devil’s house to represent Satan’s kingdom.

      The only reasonable exegesis of Matthew 16:18 then is that the devil will never bring down the House of Christ, which is exactly what Christ was alluding to in the parable in Matthew 7:24. He is the wise man who’s house was built upon the rock (can you see the allusion Christ is drawing upon here when just a few chapters later He renames Simon to Peter the rock?)

      But in LDS theology, the House did fall (and remember Paul calls the Church of God, Christ’s House in 1 Tim 3:15). So call the apostles what you will, robertGman, but if other men could destroy what the apostles erected, then it can only mean Christ picked the wrong builders and the wrong foundation for his Church to stand upon. That makes Christ the foolish one. The only way then to justify the existence of the LDS Church is by the initial failure of Christ’s Church on earth. Am I missing something?

      Now about your thoughts on the Church Councils. Where do I begin. First, the website you pulled your information from got the date wrong concerning the Schism. It was 1054. And that is the date generally agreed to by historians, but doesn’t reflect the nature of the Schism per se which really took place over the course of several hundred years.

      The Popes always ratified the Councils, or the Councils had no binding authority upon the universal Church. They did not have to be present; legates for the Pope were often sent, but without the authority of the Pope, there was no valid council. Those are the facts. Wikipedia entries are not the historical documents of the Church I’m afraid. (but if you want a good quick history of the early Church, check out When the Church was Young, by Marcellino de Ambrosio. It’s an easy read, and it covers many of the early fathers and documents they produced)

      Pope Saint Sylvester I ratified the Council of Nicaea, circa 325ad in which Bishop Arius along with two other bishops, out of roughly 312, were anathematized. Arius taught that Christ was not divine, but that He was the first born of the Father in time. He additionally taught that the Father and Christ the Son were of two different natures, rather than by the Greek definition adopted by the council fathers in Nicaea and again ratified by the Pope. They used the term ‘homo usios’, meaning that Christ was of the same nature as the Father, but two different persons. It’s a decision I might add that the LDS Church does not hold today.

      About your use of 1 Timothy 4:1;

      “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.”

      Here it specifically says that some fall away in ‘the latter times’. That’s also means that in the last days prior to judgement, ‘some’ will not. Indeed, Christ will not leave us orphans as it says in John 14:18. Now if that verse in John is true for every generation that could read it, then it could only mean that Christ’s Church will never fall, which corroborates the meaning of the verse in Matthew 16:18 that Christendom has always held.

      Now finally, you said that it wasn’t because of the Catholic Church that the Bible was recognized by the LDS Church. Ok. Can you explain to me then how the books of the Bible were properly discerned from the hundreds of books that claimed to be Scripture but weren’t in the early centuries? Some were obvious fakes, but some were documents that, while not biblically inspired from today’s standpoint, were from an ancient standpoint very Biblical in speech and tone. If there was no valid authority to determine what the Bible was, then how did the LDS Church get it? Why would the LDS Church receive it? Can you explain the process to me?

      RobertGman, I await your illumined understanding with bated breath.

      • RobertGman

        You absolutely are being inconsistent. And, we are talking about three different issues here so let’s get them straight. The first issue; “revelation” is the “subject” in the previous verse saying, the Father “revealed” it to “you”, Simon. “You” are now Peter, and upon “this” rock I will build my church. The contention we have is what “this” was referring to. He was speaking to Simon Peter; calling him “this” is improper grammar. You don’t call someone “this” to their face. Remember, there were no “verses” in the original manuscripts, it was an ongoing statement, and “revelation” from the previous sentence is still the “subject” in the next. The only way anyone can believe otherwise is to believe the Bible is not grammatically correct.

        Second issue, you have absolutely no evidence that “gates of hell” means “kindgom”, and your appeal to false authority fallacy holds no water. Here’s a link from a non-Mormon who does a pretty good job, and wanted to point out one thing he says: “he gates of hell represent the passageway from this life to the grave.”
        http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2011/11/22/a-closer-look-at-the-gates-of-hell/

        Third issue, yes, he gave Simon Peter those keys, I’ve already said that. But, you have absolutely no evidence that those keys were passed from Peter to Linus, or from Linus to Anacletus, or from Anacletus to Clemens. There’s no record, no witnesses, nothing to go on (except faith). It’s your burden of proof to show that those keys were explicitly passed on. I’m not talking about being a leader here, I’m talking specifically about the “binding authority” to “bind in heaven” what is “bound on earth”.

        I gave evidences as to WHY that “binding authority” was lost – because of the corrupted nature of it. A “Papal Legate” is not a “Pope”, therefore their attendance at a council was not the pope’s attendance. The Nicene Creed and accompanying letters were NOT ratified by the Pope, and they used only the authority of the Synod itself under direction of Constantine as found in The Letter Of The Synod In Nicaea To The Egyptians. The pope isn’t even mentioned… so you can tell what they thought of his “authority”.

        Besides, even if the pope did ratify Synods, he’s doing so AFTER the fact. Sure, let’s argue, debate, wrangle, and wrest scripture, then “ratify” whatever comes out of it. That’s not leading… That’s not revelation…

        Additionally, while criticizing my date (the East-West Schism started in 1053 with Celarius closing the Latin churches in Constantinople), I noticed you didn’t comment on the actual “binding authority” to excommunicate entire churches over “filoque”. I noticed you didn’t comment on the “binding authority” to sell a 100-day reprievement in Purgatory during Luther’s day either (where someone rich could “buy” their way into heaven). This type of “binding” is not from God, and will NOT be “bound” in heaven.

        Also, you have this bizarre fascination with Christ being the foolish builder. You realize that Matt 7 was among his very first sermons, and Matt 16 one of his last (three years later)? The two are NOT related in any way, shape, or form. That is eisegesis in it’s worst form. I’ve already explained how Matt 16 is not Jesus speaking of building a “church”, yet you keep ignoring it. Resorting to argumentum ad nauseam doesn’t make your illustration any less false.

        Lastly, homoousios was declared anathama at three separate Councils in Antioch between 264 and 269. If the Pope Anicitus ratified those Synods, and Pope Urban ratified the Council of Nicaea, then you have two popes countermanding each other. So who’s right?

        Tertullian (from whom you derive the word “Trinity” from) wrote, “[we] declare that Two Beings are God, the Father and the Son, and, with the addition of the Holy Spirit, even Three [Beings]” (Against Praxeas Ch. 13). Origin spoke of them as Two Gods in his conference with other bishops. (see Dialogue with Heraclides) Up until 2011 your Nicene Creed read Christ was “of one Being with the Father.” So, who’s right? How can you just so easily ignore those who lived closer to the time of the Christ and His Apostles and accept those who were further distanced from them?

        • Broken bose

          RobertGman,

          Your gifts of logical deduction and grasp of history are truly breathtaking.

          So can you tell me where the Bible came from?

          I’m not speaking of the ontological truth that inspired Scripture exists. We’ll both stipulate to that. I’m talking about epistemology. How did the Bible survive a Complete Apostasy if there was no authority to validate its accuracy through the centuries? Can you explain the process to me? Your said that the LDS Church has an open Canon. OK. But the Biblical Canon is closed. So where did the Canon of Biblical scripture come from and can you vouch for its accuracy? Since the LDS Church only accepted it, but didn’t create it, they must have trusted whoever it was that provided it to them. So where did it come from?

        • Broken bose

          Matthew 16:18

          “You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

          So you agree that Peter was given the keys. We’ll start from there then.

          Where did Christ get the idea of giving keys to Peter?

          We find the reference in Isaiah 22: 21-22:

          “And I will clothe him with thy robe,
          And strengthen him with thy girdle,
          And I will commit thy government into his hand: And he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, And to the house of Judah.

          And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; So he shall open, and none shall shut; And he shall shut, and none shall open.”

          The robe and girdle, or ephod, mentioned here are priestly garments worn by the high priest. The keys represent the office of his authority over the House. In fact, the keys were worn about his neck, and were so huge, that anybody seeing him from a distance could immediately tell that the prime minister was approaching. It was also an office passed from one ‘oikonomos’ to the next.

          When Christ tells Peter that the keys are given to him, the disciples know it’s a reference to Isaiah. They know it is also an office (please see all of Isaiah 22). So the evidence that the keys are passed down from one man to another are right there in Scripture. And in fact, if those keys weren’t passed down from one ‘oikonomos’ of the House of the New David to the next, you wouldn’t have a Bible to read it from, since no authority could speak for the authenticity of the Bible throughout the history of Christendom. The validity, like it or not, of the Pope’s authority is exhibited by the mere existence of Biblical Scripture itself. If that weren’t so, then you need to explain to me where Scripture came from and how you know it’s true without a proper authority to verify it’s authenticity through time. And remember, it wasn’t the LDS Church that authorized it, they only recognized a Canon that was already authorized. So how did the LDS Church know it was trustworthy?

          That’s the question you need to answer, robertgman.

          • RobertGman

            This will be my last response to you. You have a great fascination about where the Bible came from. If you want me to thank your church for it, I will. I love the Bible. But do we also thank your church for keeping it from everyone else? Could the farmer, or merchant, or even public servants learn truth from the Bible during the Dark Ages? No, since the Vulgate was only written in Latin. Did they read the Bible during Mass? No, which was also in Latin, a language few understood.

            Do we thank your church for persecuting, torturing, and even killing those who tried to translate the Bible into common languages? John Wycliffe was persecuted all his days and his Bible’s cost a full year salary of a priest. William Tyndale was killed for his translation of the Bible into English.

            If you think the “authorization” of the Bible “collection” holds any validity with me, you are mistaken. What good is the gospel if nobody knows about it. Nobody could learn truth because it wasn’t “taught”. That would be part of the apostasy (see Amos 8:11-12). It was against the Pope’s “authorization” that we have the Bible that we do today, and I am eternally grateful to those men who sacrificed their lives, freedoms, and time to bring us the Bible that we have today.

            Isaiah 22 is strictly Messianic prophecy. Isaiah didn’t know about Peter, he was preaching of the coming Messiah 600 years later. Jesus was of King David’s royal line and would have been king (had the Jewish kingdom continued). It was another prophecy for the Jews to recognize their Messiah, and no relation to any “church” that would be handed down to Peter and the popes. You are reaching here.

            May God bless you and good luck in your studies.

            • Broken bose

              Archbishop Fulton Sheen once remarked that “many people believe they hate the Catholic Church, but not three people in the world hate it for what it truly is” and the famous convert Blessed John Cardinal Newman once said that to be “steeped in history is to cease to be Protestant”.

              Your remarks in your last post seem to prove the rule more than the exception unfortunately. Let me address a few of your misconceptions.

              Both Tyndall and Wycliff were both just bad Catholic monks. Both were disobedient to their superiors, and both produced Bibles that no one uses today because they are terrible translations full of errors. The great English martyr, Saint Thomas More even once remarked of Tyndall’s translation that finding errors in it was “like trying to search for water in the ocean”.

              Both tried to deny, as you’re trying to do, the legitimacy of the authority that gave them the Bible in the first place. And in so doing, destroyed their own reasoning that the Bible be regarded as a sole rule or sufficient authority unto itself apart from the Church that authorized it.

              So why am I harping on the Bible as you said? Because you accept it as a rule of faith.

              And just as Tyndall and Wycliff have no reason to regard Biblical Scripture as somehow a “given”, without a proper authority through the centuries that was able to identify the Bible as true, neither can you–either as a person or frankly as a Church.

              By the way, the first translation of the entire Bible in English was not the King James version in 1611, it was the Douay Rheims version published in 1589 by the Catholic Church. It’s my preferred version today.

              Your effort to impeach the Catholic Church on grounds that it somehow lost its way is misguided, not just because what your saying is really untrue, but mostly because it’s a red herring. The reason is this: if the Catholic Church was indeed the original Church of Christ, then it doesn’t matter that there were bad episodes in its history along the way, does it? Because the point is already proven. A different Church wouldn’t be the answer. The original Church–minus the bad people–is the answer. And you admitted in your last post that it was the Catholic Church that authorized the Bible by thanking me or “us” for it. You can’t authorize what you don’t have any authority from God to do. And it’s your Church that accepts the Bible. By doing that, it contradicts its claim as the original Church of Christ, and affirms my position and the position of history and Scripture.

              And just to comment on a past remark you made saying that you see absolutely no reason to think that Christ was talking about the Church in Matthew 7:24, or in these verses:

              2 Tim 2:19
              “Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure”

              Ephesians 2:20-22
              “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:”

              Matthew 16:18
              “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

              Peter is an apostle. The Church is the house of God. And in Matthew 7:24, it is the wise man who builds his house upon the rock. He gives Simon the name of Rock–and Jesus is a wise man–and you see no reason at all to think that Jesus is speaking of the same things here?

              Is this the best you can do, robertgman? Because you haven’t convinced me with that answer. I can’t honestly think you’ve convinced many LDS individuals either.

              I hope we can continue the conversation.

              God bless.

    • Broken bose

      RobertGman:

      I’m not being inconsistent here. In order to best understand ancient Jewish texts, you should try and come at them from an ancient Jewish perspective. The reason why I mentioned that ‘revelation’ in particular was not present in the Matthew 16 Scripture verses is because when I’ve asked several good LDS friends (both missionaries and former leaders with high callings) what those verses meant, they’ve always told me it referred to ‘revelation’ and not the obvious answer the verses give, which is the Church. So you’re not disagreeing with me, you’re disagreeing with them.

      And the reason why I said that the ‘gates of hell’ means the ‘kingdom of hell’ is because ‘gates of’ is an ancient Jewish turn of phrase that refers to the borders or stronghold of a kingdom. It’s not my euphemism, as you suggested. It’s theirs. So the verse literally means, from the perspective of an ancient Jew, that Christ’s Church will not be prevailed upon by the kingdom of hell. It will not fall to it.

      Now you said that what is written is what is meant. So since Christ renamed Simon to Peter which means rock, would you accept that Peter is indeed the rock upon which Christ would build his Church? That’s what it says. You also said only Christ had the keys, but in Matthew 16:18-19, Christ very clearly said that he would give the keys to Peter, which is exactly what the Davidic Kings gave to their prime ministers in the Old Testament (please see 1 Kings 4:1; Isaiah 22:22).

      What’s was one of the first things that Christ did when he called his disciples? He commissioned them to expel demons.

      Please take a look at Mark 3:22-27:

      “And the scribes which came down from Jerusalem said, He hath Beelzebub, and by the prince of the devils casteth he out devils. And he called them unto him, and said unto them in parables, How can Satan cast out Satan? And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end. No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house.”

      Who is the strong man in the parable Christ is using here? It’s the devil or Satan. Now who is the thief? This is actually Christ and His Church. It is Christ who binds the devil and takes his things, which are the souls of men. Christ steals them back. And by doing so, He destroys Satan’s kingdom. He, nor His Church, is destroyed by Satan’s Kingdom.

      Note how Jesus uses the metaphor of the devil’s house to represent Satan’s kingdom.

      The only reasonable exegesis of Matthew 16:18 then is that the devil will never bring down the House of Christ, which is exactly what Christ was alluding to in the parable in Matthew 7:24. He is the wise man who’s house was built upon the rock (can you see the allusion Christ is drawing upon here when just a few chapters later He renames Simon to Peter the rock?)

      But in LDS theology, the House did fall (and remember Paul calls the Church of God, Christ’s House in 1 Tim 3:15). So call the apostles what you will, robertGman, but if other men could destroy what the apostles erected, then it can only mean Christ picked the wrong builders and the wrong foundation for his Church to stand upon. That makes Christ the foolish one. The only way then to justify the existence of the LDS Church is by the initial failure of Christ’s Church on earth. Am I missing something?

      Now about your thoughts on the Church Councils. Where do I begin. First, the website you pulled your information from got the date wrong concerning the Schism. It was 1054. And that is the date generally agreed to by historians, but doesn’t reflect the nature of the Schism per se which really took place over the course of several hundred years.

      The Popes always ratified the Councils, or the Councils had no binding authority upon the universal Church. They did not have to be present; legates for the Pope were often sent, but without the authority of the Pope, there was no valid council. Those are the facts. Wikipedia entries are not the historical documents of the Church I’m afraid. (but if you want a good quick history of the early Church, check out When the Church was Young, by Marcellino de Ambrosio. It’s an easy read, and it covers many of the early fathers and documents they produced)

      Pope Saint Sylvester I ratified the Council of Nicaea, circa 325ad in which Bishop Arius along with two other bishops, out of roughly 312, were anathematized. Arius taught that Christ was not divine, but that He was the first born of the Father in time. He additionally taught that the Father and Christ the Son were of two different natures, rather than by the Greek definition adopted by the council fathers in Nicaea and again ratified by the Pope. They used the term ‘homo usios’, meaning that Christ was of the same nature as the Father, but two different persons. It’s a decision I might add that the LDS Church does not hold today.

      About your use of 1 Timothy 4:1;

      “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.”

      Here it specifically says that some fall away in ‘the latter times’. That’s also means that in the last days prior to judgement, ‘some’ will not. Indeed, Christ will not leave us orphans as it says in John 14:18. Now if that verse in John is true for every generation that could read it, then it could only mean that Christ’s Church will never fall, which corroborates the meaning of the verse in Matthew 16:18 that Christendom has always held.

      Now finally, you said that it wasn’t because of the Catholic Church that the Bible was recognized by the LDS Church. Ok. Can you explain to me then how the books of the Bible were properly discerned from the hundreds of books that claimed to be Scripture but weren’t in the early centuries? Some were obvious fakes, but some were documents that, while not biblically inspired from today’s standpoint, were from an ancient standpoint very Biblical in speech and tone. If there was no valid authority to determine what the Bible was, then how did the LDS Church get it? Why would the LDS Church receive it? Can you explain the process to me?

      RibertGman, I await your illumined understanding with bated breath.

      • RobertGman

        Just wanted to make sure you have seen my reply below. You posted like 3 times, I only answered one. You may respond or not, God bless and good luck to you.