LDS doctrine on gathering of scattered Israel has shifted

(To see Cal Grondahl’s cartoon that goes with this post, click here.) In Sunday School class, there was some debate, and mild concern, when the teacher explained to students that there is not a specific physical transfer of the lost tribes of Israel to one location in the USA. One student, a former bishop, pointed to The Articles of Faith, number 10, which reads, “We believe in the literal gathering of Israel and in the restoration of the Ten Tribes; that Zion (the New Jerusalem) will be built upon the American continent; that Christ will reign personally upon the earth; and, that the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.”

Another elderly student pointed out that the Lord had revealed that the waters of the earth would open up and allow the gathered tribes of Israel to walk on dry land to the American continent for the final gathering.” He’s right; if one reads Doctrine and Covenants, Section 133, Verses 26 and 27, which read, “And they who are in the north countries shall come in remembrance before the Lord; and their prophets shall hear his voice, and shall no longer stay themselves; and they shall smite the rocks, and the ice shall flow down at their presence.

“And an highway shall be cast up in the midst of the great deep.”

Let me backtrack a bit now and explain a piece of Mormon lore that every active Mormon over the age of 30, as well as many others who are younger, has heard. It’s that one day, the Lord, through the prophet, will call on ALL the Saints to put aside their lives and with their families gather in Jackson County, Missouri, to await the Second Coming of Christ. In my lifetime, I have heard countless discussions about the future global migration and speculations about how many of the Saints will have the faith to follow the prophet and head to Jackson County.

In fact, I’d place the restoration of scattered Israel and the ensuing migration as one of the most appealing doctrinal beliefs of Mormonism. It provides a preview of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and specific instructions on how to receive the return of the Lord. It’s a testament to its popularity that several years after the restoration of Israel doctrine shifted in its interpretation, that many of the church’s members still adhere to the migration belief, and are unaware of, or fail to remember, an important LDS General Conference address, in 2006, by LDS Apostle Russell M. Nelson.

The discourse, titled, “The Gathering of Scattered Israel,” subtly shifts the participation in the Gathering as “A Commitment by Covenant.” Nelson explains near the end of the address:

The choice to come unto Christ is not a matter of physical location; it is a matter of individual commitment. People can be “brought to the knowledge of the Lord” without leaving their homelands. True, in the early days of the Church, conversion often meant emigration as well. But now the gathering takes place in each nation. The Lord has decreed the establishment of Zion in each realm where He has given His Saints their birth and nationality. Scripture foretells that the people ‘shall be gathered home to the lands of their inheritance, and shall be established in all their lands of promise.’ ‘Every nation is the gathering place for its own people.’ The place of gathering for Brazilian Saints is in Brazil; the place of gathering for Nigerian Saints is in Nigeria; the place of gathering for Korean Saints is in Korea; and so forth. Zion is “the pure in heart.” Zion is wherever righteous Saints are. Publications, communications, and congregations are now such that nearly all members have access to the doctrines, keys, ordinances, and blessings of the gospel, regardless of their location.

“Spiritual security will always depend upon how one lives, not where one lives. Saints in every land have equal claim upon the blessings of the Lord.

It’s interesting that Nelson uses Scriptures, including the Doctrine and Covenants and The Book of Mormon, as support for his statements. I have no problem with Nelson’s re-interpretation of the Gathering of Scattered Israel. With the international growth of the church over the past three generations or so, the migration of millions of Saints to one portion of the USA is impossible. (I also understand that many of my fellow LDS believers will argue that the doctrine has not changed, that the literal migration will occur during the Millennium, or that the literal restoration was always meant to be a spiritual one.)

That’s bunk, though. Scriptures and doctrinal revelations are meant for our religious comprehension, and often cannot be relied on for scientific or historical verification. And, in a church that claims continuous revelation, the meaning of doctrines can shift. It is a fact that the migration of the scattered tribes was taught as one that would be a a specific physical trek from across the world to the United States.

Here’s a excerpt from the once-popular LDS religious book, “Prophecy and Modern Times,” by W. Cleon Skousen. The publisher was Deseret Book. The book’s forward was written by then-LDS Apostle Ezra Taft Benson, a future LDS Church president and prophet. On page 56, it reads:

Mountains, ice and a continent of water will stand between the Ten Tribes and the land of Zion when they first appear, but they will ‘smite the rocks. and the ice shall flow down at their presence.’ As they come to the great body of water, dry land will be cast up in the midst of it so that a mighty highway will spread before them.”

Footnotes for that section include Doctrine and Covenants, Section 133, Versus 26 and 27, which prophesy of the mighty highway through the seas.  In “Prophecy and Modern Times, the need for a migration to America is considered urgent. Skouson later writes on page 59:

“”… They (special ambassadors) must go into the mountains and deserts, the cities and hamlets, among caves and rocks, hunting out the Saints and warning them to gather to America.”

Mormon history, as well as its doctrine, is extremely interesting to read and write about. Perhaps one day I’ll have time to look for views –from the same time period — that publicly contested Skousen’s (and by extension, Benson’s) viewpoints of the gathering of Israel.

While Nelson, in his speech, clearly reaffirms the Gathering of Israel, the interpretation has shifted in a manner that makes its fulfillment much easier to accomplish.

 

 

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26 Responses to LDS doctrine on gathering of scattered Israel has shifted

  1. Scott Cisney says:

    There are so many things in Mormon doctrine that have,well, “not come to pass”. The second coming. The literal gathering of Israel. The gathering to Missouri. The spreading of the gospel to every nation. Preaching to every soul on Earth. These are “global things”, then there are “personal things” for me, and probably many other people. Then there are things not specific to Mormonism…the world-wide flood, a garden of Eden, a guy who dies and is resurrected. Miracles, dead people being raised, blind people seeing. Ancient civilizations who destroyed themselves. Steel in ancient America. Windows in wooden sealed boats. In the end, maybe it is just easier to accept the philosophy of Acum’s razor (spelling?)…the likely explanation is the most simple one. None of these things happened. People, wanting answers to life’s big questions, made up answers and stories. Then discovering that alot of money could be made selling the answers, they started churches. And that is how we got what we have today. Oh, I am NOT an atheist or agnostic, fyi. I just don’t believe in things I consider silly. I believe there is a purpose to our lives, and that we live again, after our physical bodies die. But what I believe does not require me to surrender my common sense. This might come across as a bit harsh, but I don’t want to offend. I just want people to actually THINK about these things, critically. I like Doug’s columns and blogs and such. He seems like a sincere and honest man, and he also seems to be struggling to believe what he was raised to believe. I understand that, I was in the same boat. Good luck Doug, and all the rest of you.

    • paladin2906 says:

      It’s spelled Ockham and I don’t think you understand what it means. Ockham’s razor isn’t a subjective test like you’re suggesting, that would just be the silliest (using your words here) theory ever to be published in philosophy. Ockham’s razor suggests that objectively speaking you look at an argument and the several ways to formulate it. The argument that takes the least steps to reach a conclusion wins. But the premises of the argument STILL have to adequately support the conclusion. In other words it’s not just a matter of looking at the shortest argument but rather, you still have to look at each premise, evaluate the truthfulness, through the scientific method, of it and then determine, through aristotelean or modern logic, whether the premises support the conclusion. In this instance, you dismiss faith and spiritual knowledge as untrue because it cannot be empirically measured. Actually a lot of your examples, rather than supporting your conclusion, show how little you’ve researched each topic. For example, even atheist scholars willingly admit that a personage of significance named “Jesus” did exist. Same for Noah’s flood, most scholars admit that a flood of worldwide magnitude must have occurred for Pangea to break up into continents. Your problem isn’t that you’re not smart, your problem is that you’re lazy. You know you’re lazy but it makes you feel better to call your laziness “Ockham’s Razor” so you have a semblance of intellectual pride remaining to massage your ego (even though you don’t actually understand the principle of Ockham’s razor).

  2. rls says:

    scott — i have experienced several things i consider to be miraculous, including my testimony of the divinity of my Savior, Jesus Christ — Jeremiah 29:13 says, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” — it took me awhile to get to that “with all your heart” part, but when i finally did, the “ye shall find me” part kicked right in — good luck, sincerely, back at you –

    • trytoseeitmyway says:

      Scott, it is not so much that you are required to surrender your common sense as it is that you are required to surrender your pride. That’s much harder, I know.

  3. D. Michael Martindale says:

    Definition of “continuing revelation”: the church’s excuse for repudiating divinely revealed doctrine that has become too stupid and embarassing to maintain.

  4. Doug Gibson says:

    I agree with Lowell Bennion, who said he looked to the Scriptures and the counsel received in General Conference and other situations, for his religious edification, and not for scientific or historical validity. Does anyone seriously belief Genesis is an accurate account of the creation of our world, for example?

    • “Does anyone seriously belief Genesis is an accurate account of the creation of our world, for example?”

      Do you realize the seriousness of that question? To call into question the account of creation in the Bible is to call into question the accuracy of the Bible as a whole. This is exactly what those who want to introduce a false religion, that has no Scriptural backing, do.

      http://downtownministries.blogspot.com/

    • Rockgod28 says:

      Yes I do believe the account in Genesis is an accurate account of the creation of our world. It is not however a scientific or historic account.

      Genesis is a general testimomy that makes the claim God created the world. How it was done exactly is unknown. Without a greater understanding of science from our point of view God said let there be light and there was light.

      Today we have mere concepts of what it would take to terraform a planet like Mars. Yet if we can conceive the idea to make a planet more ideal for life for us then why not a whole planet?

      There is a theoretical concept of the types of civilization in the universe called the Kardashev scale. The ability of being able to use the energy of planets, stars and whole galaxies. If that is possible, which it is very likely as our own civilization is on the cusp of becoming a Type 1, then the creation of a planet is not difficult to comprehend.

      How, how long it took or other details are not important as the greater question has been answered: Why?

      What was the purpose of the creation of this world? Why are we here? Where did we come from and where are we going?

      This is my work and my glory to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. Everything else is secondary to this purpose. What good does it do God to explain the details of creation if we are not prepared to handle such awesome powers of the universe?

      The sins of selfishness to accumulate power, to dominate would overwhelm us as it did Lucifer. Pride would cause us to lose our souls to be cut off from the presence of God.

      What human being would be content if they knew let’s say the cause and source of gravity that can be scientificly measured wouldn’t immediately begin on manipulating it?

      They wouldn’t. We currently smash atoms together as hard as we can thinking that if we break the box, so to speak we will be able to see what is inside. All we know is basically what we already knew. That we don’t have the first clue how the higgs, subatomic particles, atoms or matter really work.

      So yes I believe the account of Genesis and that God created this world. I also acknowledge there is a lot I don’t know about the time, process and science used to make it happen are mysteries yet to be revealed.

      I look forward to that. :-)

      Planet Creation 101: How to make your own world – Chapter 1

      Prerequisites for the class: Ethical mastery. Self-control. Righteous living mastery. Divinity mastery. Truth. Wisdom. Charity. Minimum requirements along with an endorsement and recommendation.

  5. Howard Ratcliffe says:

    “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be” Shiloh means “He whose it is”. Melchisedek means “Priest of the Most High” and “King of Jerusalem”.
    Heb 7 is clear Jesus is Melchisedek “The LORD sware and will not repent: Thou are a priest forever after the order of Melchisedec”
    The gathering of Israel will be done by Jesus Christ (Shiloh) at the 2nd Coming

  6. Rockgod28 says:

    As I read the verses of the Doctrine and Covenants it became clear that the key word that was uncommon in 1831 is technology. The word technology was created in the 17th century. It began its rise from obsurity in 1861 by a now familiar institution: M.I.T., the referred to as the industrial arts.

    By the 1930s the industrial arts became the perceived as technology to our current understanding now.

    As our understanding grows by the fullness of times that is upon us we can receive continued revelation.

    How was God to communicate to the people in the 19th century in terms of technology which would not exist for another 30 years, then popularized into common use another 70 years after that?

    The key phrase is highway in the great deep. There is a highway of information under the water that continues to be improved to fiber optic lines of near instantaneous communication. We smite rocks all the time and can create ice with ease today.

    In the 1830s it was not possible until the year of Joseph’s death in 1844. The first ice machine patents in the 1850s. Moroni saw our day, John the Revelato tried to describe machines or events that are easy today to comprehend and so did Joseph as he told the little flock they could scarcely understand the destiny of thr Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

    It is by the Holy Ghost the Scriptures are understood. Otherwise we can let speculation like highways of ice, dry land bridges or other teachings that tried to explain Scriptures yet to be fulfilled.

    We all wish the scriptures could be more plain or easy to understand for ourselves. It has been nearly two millennia since the events of the Bible have transpired. Almost six millennium since Adam and Eve walked the Earth. Thousands of years of history, scripture and communication from God.

    Now in these Latter Days we have access to apostles and prophets that can clarify revelations of the past to our current understanding now. It is a great blessing in a world that is full of the miracles of science and technology. Through that technology rocks are smitten, ice formed, highways travel the great deep and we receive the spirit of revelation which can enlighten our minds, strengthen our spirit and give us a current understanding to our hearts.

    Imagine warnings from the Lord to people of earlier centuries, even the 19th, that went like this: Beware being ensnared by social media and wasting time on the internet. Both are wonderful tools that can keep us connected to family and friends. By centering on the gospel of Jesus Christ we can enrich not only our lives, but those around us by using technology wisely as the Lord would want us to.

    Those sentences would make no sense to anyone 100 years ago let alone a thousand ot more years ago. Social media, internet, highways underwater or ice machines would not make any sense. The world was pretty much the same until the 1700s. Then it changed in the year 1776. Then again in 1820

    Joseph opened they way and today the Lord provides clarity through our current leadership of the LDS Church. As we receive continued revelation the scriptures will continue to unfold to us what we might not understand today if we can endure in faith to the end of our lives.

  7. “And, in a church that claims continuous revelation, the meaning of doctrines can shift.”

    Jesus warns about those who build their houses on sand. Mormon doctrine is always shifting (as with polygamy and allowing blacks into the priesthood). A mormon can never be sure that what they believe today will not change tomorrow. Such as their doctrine of salvation.

    Not only that, the mormon doctrine that Zion will be in America, or any other country, contradicts what the Scriptures (the Bible) states: Zion is in Israel and Jerusalem is the place where God has chosen to put His Name forever. Also, when Jesus comes back, He is coming back to Israel.

    http://downtownministries.blogspot.com/

    • trytoseeitmyway says:

      Yes, this is exactly the position of the scribes and Pharisees, updated to modern days. “We already have enough revelation, thank you, and we’ll malign and sometimes even murder anyone who tries to offer more.”

      Dave upholds the Bible, as he should, as a source of revealed truth. The Bible demonstrates a process of continuous revelation. No scripture supports the idea that the continuous revelation of the past somehow shuts off and stops being continuous any longer. One wonders how Dave imagines the books of the new Testament to have been selected for canonization, centuries after Christ, if not by a process of inspiration or revelation.

      It is guaranteed that Dave will respond to this at length with a lot of blather about how Mormon prophets aren’t true prophets. Long quotes from the Journal of Discourses – stuff like that. He’ll be wrong about that, too, but that’s a separate discussion. The point, now, is that of course God hasn’t stopped, and won’t stop, communicating His word to His children through prophets and apostles. Anyone who thinks otherwise is questioning Biblical authority (Eph. 4:11-14) and is probably in a cult or something like that.

      • Zechariah 14, “16 Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the Festival of Tabernacles. 17 If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, they will have no rain.”

        The Scriptures tell us that the peoples of the earth will go up to Jerusalem every year to worship Jesus. How then can mormonism say that Zion is in America? What Scriptures would you use from the Bible to validate this?

        • Rockgod28 says:

          Micah 4:1-2
          Isaiah 52

          How do I know? What scripture validates this idea of Zion being in America?

          Zachariah 1:

          17 Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the Lord shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem.

          MY CITIES

          Multiple cities which is clear Jerusalem and Zion are NOT the same place. Isaiah describes Zion best and Zion is not just a city only. Jerusalem will have a temple while New Jerusalem will not. Revelations 21:2 shows that Zion, the New Jerusalem will come from heaven.

          There are plenty of scriptures that validate the possibility of Zion being in America. What is known for sure is that Zion and Jerusalem are two cities not one.

          Visiting the savior in Jerusalem every year is not a problem either way. :-)

  8. Rockgod28 says:

    Words that are NOT in the Bible or other scripture yet have great significance in our lives:

    Computers
    Technology
    Movies
    Abortion
    Homosexuality
    Telephone
    Internet
    Trinity

    None of these words are in the Bible or other scripture. How are these changes to be addressed in our current understanding without continued revelation?

    The doctrines of the gospel of salvation have not changed. Mormonism teaches that there is more and greater blessings beyond salvation. It is called exaltation.

    Exaltation are the blessings God bestows upon the faithful, the obedient and who are valiant in their testimony of Jesus Christ to have a fullness of joy.

    After baptism Mormonism teaches what happens afterward. What manner of people are we to be? We are to be like Christ. Thus we are endowed with power from on high. We are to endure faithfully in adversity. We serve the Lord.

    It is evident that as we increased in charity, tolerance, hope and faith the doctrines of exaltation changed to reflect the greater capacity of the Saints.

    Traditional christianity does not have these doctrines and exaltation can only be found in Mormonism.

    Salvation is a first step. Exaltation is the fire, the process in becoming like Christ. It is a difficult discipline which requires living the Gospel, not merely accepting Jesus as Lord and savior. It is faith plus works as James said for faith without works in Christ is dead.

    Those works of exaltation are found in the temple which are then carried within the individual into the home, family and community. We can become saviors to rescue those that need more than the world has to offer. The words of eternal life. A fullness of joy.

    It is continued revelation that prepares that joy and build the kingdom of God for the return of Jesus Christ.

    • “It is faith plus works as James said for faith without works in Christ is dead.”

      James 2:17, “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

      James didn’t say faith plus works.

      Suppose a tree tells you it is an apple tree, yet produces no apples? Suppose a person tells you they have been born-again, yet works don’t follow their claim?

      That’s what James is talking about. He is not saying faith plus works will make a person a child of God…he is saying that works should follow the claim of being a child of God.

      http://downtownministries.blogspot.com/

      • laverl09 says:

        Thanks Dave for answering my question to you a couple of weeks ago about faith and works. This was very helpful in understanding your point of view.
        My point of view is similar, but I see faith as ongoing and growing just as I see works ongoing and growing.
        A ladder needs more than one rung if it’s going to provide any elevation. Twice (I Cor 3; Hebrews 5) Paul uses the analogy of feeding the babes milk first before they are ready to eat the meat of the Gospel. As our faith grows, so does our works and as our works grow, so does or faith. So, as in any repetitive sequence, it becomes pointless to try to decide which comes first the chicken or the egg.

        • Ephesians 1, “13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”
          This passage says that a person is sealed by the Holy Spirit from the moment they first believed until God comes for them. And that’s to God’s praise and glory, not ours. Salvation from judgement comes first, then it’s a matter of what we do as God’s children.

      • Rockgod28 says:

        The exact scripture says “faith without works is dead”. I was being specific that it is by faith plus works, to use a modern phrase, that we show our faith in Jesus Christ.

        What did Jesus do to the fig tree that by its leaves and branches say it was a fig tree yet had no fruit in its season? Matthew 21:19. It shows you what the savior himself would think of an apple tree with no apples or a man claiming to be born-again yet that persons actions or works does not show him to be a follower of Christ.

        They are cursed and wither away according to his word. All of James chapter 2 shows you the error of grace or faith alone doctrines which are not the teachings of Jesus Christ. It is the application of faith by works through Christ, by taking upon ourselves his name, that we are saved.

        Let’s do a simple example: Jane has read the bible and has decided she wants to be born-again. She acknowledges through prayer Jesus is the Christ, the son of God to forgive her of her sins. Jane feels clean and accepted by the Lord to turn her life over to him. Days pass and Jane is invited by her friends to go out for some fun. They see a movie that had inappropriate scenes. Jane does not leave
        the theater. Later Jane goes with her friends to drink and in her intoxicated state has poor judgement inviting a man to her place were again she disobedient to the commandments of God.

        Jane was not a follower of Jesus Christ that night. In the morning Jane is dropping of the man before going to work. They are in an accident. She dies from her injuries.

        Does the grace of Jesus Christ have a hold on her? Has she taken upon herself the name of Christ by her actions or her works into Christ? Did she stand with conviction when she watched immortality on the silver screen choosing Christ over her desires? Did she keep her body pure treating it like a temple by drinking alcohol until she was drunk? Or when she acted on her drunken desires committing immorality herself in her own home?

        Is that a follower of Jesus Christ?

        No. She may have had faith, but her faith was dead since she never acted on it. How can Jesus claim her his if she dies in her sins? Jane has proven herself to God before her death to be unfaithful, unfruitful and a liar. What happens to liars?

        Now Jane if she were a true follower of Jesus Christ and does not have an accident on the way to work sincerely repents would she do the same thing? No. She would treat her body like a temple of God, she would suggest another movie to her friends or stand alone with Christ if they choose immortality. Repentance is not all.

        As a follower of Jesus she would change her heart. The process takes time and requires action every day to show the faith that is in her by not just denying herself sin, but keeping the Sabbath day holy, honoring her parents, worshipping the Lord and increasing in love as a disciple of Christ day by day to the end of her life.

        By not doing those things she is committing a sin which separates her from God.

        You can never be saved on your own merits or works. Only through obedience to Jesus Christ and doing the works he has commanded us can we be saved. That is faith, repentance, baptism and the gift of the holy ghost. To keep that gift to remain faithful is to keep Jesus in remembrance of his sacrifice for us by the sacrament. Through this process we renew our covenant of baptism if and it is a big if we always keep the commandments he has given.

        It would not matter then to be baptized or take the sacrament if you break the commandments since salvation is bases upon faith in Jesus Christ which we show not by ritual, but a broken heart and contrite spirit.

        Jesus said his disciples would do greater works than he would do. Yet all our works, our faith, is made possible because of his work for us. We can do greater works because of him as he is our God abiding in his love as we keep his commandments.

        Faith without works is dead. The works or action we take is through Christ only. No other works will bring salvation to anyone.

  9. trytoseeitmyway says:

    So the truth of conversion can be tested according to whether the converted (reborn) person then lives righteously, right?

    And if he does not, then he’s not really converted, is that what you’re saying? So he has to go back and try again, I suppose.

    I don’t know if you can answer these questions because I don’t know if you ever really think through the implications of your teaching. When I was growing up in evangelical churches, I was taught very plainly that there needed to be a moment – just the single moment – in which the sinner sincerely confesses his state of sin and condemnation in the sight of God, and genuinely and sincerely prays that Jesus will come into the sinner’s heart and save him or her. That’s pretty accurate isn’t it? (I ask these questions even though I don’t expect you to give a direct answer to them, since you know that they touch on what fails to make sense within evangelical belief and lacks Biblical foundation. But your refusal to answer directly will be its own admission.) And I was taught that the salvation which occurs in that moment is fixed and permanent, regardless of any later sin the convert might later commit, and even if the convert then falls away from the church and righteous living altogether. That’s accurate too, isn’t it? Otherwise, you would be in a position of measuring the efficacy of the conversion by the converts works, and we can’t have that, right?

    There are lots of problems – Biblical problems, I’m not even talking about Mormon doctrine now – with that simplistic bit of fluff that evangelicals teach. Don’t get me wrong about that – I love the teaching that I received as a boy and young man, despite that I now find it to be incomplete even from a purely Biblical point of view. But one of the problems is that even the sinner’s prayer – that is, the act of acceptance that leads to being born again – is a “work” in the sense of something that each person must do. If we really think that we are saved unconditionally (“not of works, lest any man should boast”) then even a single condition (such as a requirement to confess sin and ask Jesus into our hearts) violates the principle of unconditionality.

    And since so few ever do what Dave and the evangelicals say is necessary, it makes Jesus the damner more than the Savior, since He ends up damning many, many more to eternal torment in Hell than he ever saves according to evangelical theology. And it leaves people like Dave endlessly boasting of their work in accepting Jesus and in then demonstrating their faith through their works (which is exactly Dave’s interpretation of James 2:17, as offered here.)

    Other Biblical problems are that the evangelical soteriology can’t be found in the four Gospels. Christ spoke to this issue very plainly – as plain as any scripture can be on this issue – when He said, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” Matt. 7:21. Even Paul acknowledged that his own teachings would have to be subordinate to the teachings of Christ. Gal. 1:6-12.

    It’s also remarkable that Dave and others spend so much time perpetuating falsehoods about their Mormon brothers and sisters (see Ex. 20:16) considering that every Mormon at baptism is saved according to the evangelical formulation as it was taught, over and over, to me in my youth.

  10. DougH says:

    There’s no reason why both understandings of the Gathering of Israel can’t be correct, so long as the physical Gathering isn’t understood to be ALL of the Saints and the Ten Tribes. And of the two, the spiritual Gathering wherever we may live is the most relevant because it is the one that we can take part in right now instead of looking forward to the chaos preceding the Second Coming.

  11. Kelly Knight says:

    Dave, the scripture you quote also states that if any of the people of the earth don’t go up to Jerusalem every year, they shall have no rain. I have never been to Jerusalem, but I do live in a southern state that gets a boat load of rain every year. Sometime we are to interpret scripture literally, sometimes figuratively.

  12. In Zechariah chapter 14 we find that when the Lord comes back he will reign in Jerusalem. The nations of the earth will go there to honor Him. This makes it impossible for Him to be reigning from anywhere else.

    The Mormon doctrine that Zion will be in Missouri, or any other nation, is contrary to what the Scriptures (the Bible) tell us.

    http://downtownministries.blogspot.com/

  13. Rockgod28 says:

    Then you have a major problem because both Jesus and Peter show what happens to those that return to their sins.

    We will start with the Savior. His parables clearly teach what happens to those that forsake or betray his grace.

    The parable of the Talents: Three servants were given talents which when their Lord returned would have to give an accounting of their labor. The servant with one talent buried it and returned it to his master. The Lord was displeased and cast that servant into outer darkness. He had the grace of God yet he did not use that gift in obedience to his Lord’s commands. Thus he was cut off.

    There is more. A man went before his king to repay a large debt. He could not repay and begged for mercy. The king forgave the debt. The man went to a fellow servent who owed him a debt. The fellow servant begged for mercy and the man had him cast into prision. The king found out, released the fellow servant and took everything from the man casting him into prison instead.

    It is clear that while we can be sealed by the spirit of God, if we disobey his commandments, reject his mercy, treat our neighbors badly we will be cut off from the Lord.

    As Mormonism teaches: I the Lord am bound when you do what I say, but if you do not what I say you have no promise.

    2 Peter 2:20-22 says what happens very clearly without parable to those who know Christ reject him by returning to sin. That they are a dog eating their own vomit or a swine returning back to the mire.

    Thus we see through the scriptures that the idea or precept of being able to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior then return to a life of sin will cause them to by cut off according to the Bible. They will not be his bcause they do not follow Jesus Christ.

    It is clear from the words of Jesus and Peter that those who do not follow the commandments, the will of God, are cut off what remain in their sins or return to their sins. It is clear they are not saved and not followers of Jesus Christ. If they are not followers by keeping his commandments then they do not believe and if they do not believe they do not have eternal life. James said it is well that you believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, for so do the devils know this and tremble. The difference between them and us is that we can follow him, obey his words and exercise our faith which is in us to do the works he would have us do to be saved and sealed his forever. :-)

  14. Pingback: Sunday in Outer Blogness: Doctrinal Jello Edition! » Main Street Plaza

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