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"LARobert":o9330rsh wrote:
First most denied the Divinity of Christ, the existance of the Trinity, and they believed that the “True” Church had long since disappeared from the face of the earth, (Despite what Jesus promised us.) They all have a very anti-Catholic bent to them. If one holds that their teachings are the true teachings lost for centuries because the Catholic Church or some other group conspired to take power, it is easy to dismiss historical and archiological facts, and create your own counter history. Mormons and others have been taught a history different from what most reputable historians hold, and are entrusted with what they think is the sacred obligation to hold the rediscovered truth.

As I mentioned, above Mormons deny Jesus is the Second person of the Trinity. They believe that the God of this world was once a man, who has progressed to becoming a god and has populated the earth by having sexual relations with his wives. They believe that they are blood brothers of Jesus, and one of his brothers was Satan, who was not evil per-se, but upset that in their “pre-earth” life Jesus was picked over him to be the savior. So they don’t really believe in a devil who is eternal, and surmise that Satan will one day become a god himself. I’ve heard the story that Joseph Smith was shown the plates on which the BOM was written by the “Angel Moroni” There was also a document in early Mormon History called the Salamander Papers, which the Church of Mormon once accepted, but after they were proven as a forged document, now denies. I’ve never heard that they were given by a serpant, but then again, there are so many things that Mormonism has changed, that it’s hard to keep up.[/quote:o9330rsh]
We do agree that the LDS believe there was an Apostasy and they site several scriptural references to validate the anticipation that such was to occur.

I’m not sure what an “anti-Catholic Bent” is. If it references the distinctions in doctrines then I guess subject to personal opinion some would find them radically different and others would find them less so. Generally it has been my observation that this issue is less about scriptural precedent and more related to group – think bias. This is a condition of human nature that if we perceive someone is not of our team we simply discount them from that perspective alone and not for the finer points of topical discussion. This occurrs in groups in all organizations though it is a lamentable condition.

If “anti-Catholic Bent” references a bias against Catholics in general again that falls to individual maturities. Every organization has people who are less than generous with others they feel competitive with or challenged by. Typically I perceive that to be the result of lack of comfort with their own depth and belief and less about the “other guy”/” gal”. Some tend to get defensive because they really aren’t sure about somethings and don’t like the feeling that generates inside. Nonetheless as a body I have found them more generous than most with tolerating outsider review, especially when the discourse is thoughtful and considerate.

Reputable historians is a difficult thought to respond too without examples , so I’ll just leave that alone.

From the perspective of an Apostasy and then a claim of restoration one can only expect that they feel a sacred trust to assist anyone who was really interested in why they feel the restoration was a necessary event. I think we can expect that most religious minded folks regardless of denomination are similarly motivated from their perspectives.

The LDS believe that God the Father had a son. He is Jesus Christ and is considered a divine being. They believe in a third individual entity referred to as the Holy Ghost and he also is a divine being. This three are one in purpose but are three distinct individual entities. The LDS differ in the concept of trinity and that is where most of the debate occurs.

God of this world, once a man, populated this world by having sex with his wives….this is a general observation that I would prefer to see some sort of specific reference on to validate what is really being said. They do believe in a spiritual pre-existance where each person that comes to this earth exists in spirit form. They do not espouse any specifics as to how spirit bodies are formed by God the Father and his wife or wives, which ever the case may be. However each of those spirit children is born in this existence through the acts of intimacy associated with procreation.

This world is populated through that function. I suspect that details are not required…but those acts themselves that create the physical tabernacle do not involve anyone but the men and women that bear the children. The exception being they have a different perspective in God the Fathers role with Christ’s mother Mary – A view not generally shared by other religious denominations.

LDS are blood brothers of Jesus? You’ll have to provide a source for this one as it is completely untenable in its current form.

Satan – Christ’s brother, not evil, upset, will become a God, not eternal??? Wow – this one is a little bit of everything but overall a great distortion and grievous mis-statement of LDS Theology. Satan was upset, he was spiritually created by the same father that created the Savior as were the spirits of mankind – one can work with these points. Not evil, will become a God, not eternal are categorically, completely untenable as they are stated in LARoberts post.

The Gold plates, the origin of the Book of Mormon, was delivered and retrieved by Moroni.

The Salamander Letter was purchased in behalf of the church. It was never “accepted” as implied and simply represented one more of thousands of such purchases by the Church of potentially historically significant documents and memorabilia that they retain – much like the vaults of the Vatican house significant relics of Catholic history.
The timing of the find and subsequent sale are simply factors that are the way it is with antiquities. The document was purported to be genuine. The window to purchase was then and it appeared to be an artifiact of religious significance to the LDS church. It is much like the James ossuary of a few years ago, or even the Coptic papyri currently in the news. If they go up for sale and you are interested you buy while you can and hope it pans out as genuine as it is purported to be.

Changing Mormonism? This has become a mantra in recent years by anti-LDS groups, and rates rite along with “they aren’t Christian because they believe in a different Jesus and other type statements. They are designed to provide sound bites to discourage an active and intelligent effort to truly understand LDS theology by “poisoning the well” prejudicing people with group think logic that will shut down any further inquiry. Many accept them at face value without seeking further evidence. In essence LDS changes are more fluid as they accept that ongoing revelation still exists between man and God but its impact is no different than Vatican II was to the Catholic church which clarified, sharpened, and addressed issues that were required to further the cause and good of the Catholic Church.