Archive for March 2008

Strange Elements of the Old Testament

I comment on the Ensign article on Joseph Smith's journals, the Joseph Smith Papers project and the new Priesthood / Relief Society manual for 2008.I received an email asking a question about God sending lying spirits to the prophets to deceive the king. In addressing this issue, I briefly comment on several approaches to the Old Testament.

1. Rejection of the Old Testament by many early Christians.

2. Modern approach of a majority of Christians who ignore all but a few selected passages and stories from the Old Testament.

3. Another approach is that the Old Testament is a collection of ancient religious writings but not the inspired word of God.

Acknowledging the strangeness of the Old Testament is essential to understanding it.

1 Kings 21

There are a number of passages which present seemingly strange Divine characteristics. I list a few:

1 Kings 22:9-23 (causes prophets to lie);

Ezekiel 14:9 (deceives prophets);

Amos 3:6 (the cause of evil in a city);

Ezekiel 20:25-26, 31 (gave laws and judgments which were not good, including child sacrifice);

Hosea 9:15-16 (hates and curses);

Deu 20:10-11, Lev 25:44 (commands and condones slavery);

1 Sa 16:14, 18:10 (sends evil spirits to influence men);

Ex 32:14; Deu 28:68; Am 7:3, 6; Jonah 3:9, 10; Jer 26:13; 2 Sam 24:16 (changes his mind).

I read and commented on Numbers 5:11-30 - Procedure for determining a wife's faithfulness. 

Callers and Email

1. A frequent caller who paints Mormonism in the blackest fashion. He insists that the only interest of the General Authorities is in collecting money from its members. 

2. This caller has written a novel which incorporates much of this author's personal doctrinal views.

3. A frequent caller strongly criticized my view of the Old Testament.

4. A frequent caller discusses the question of whether God would deceive the prophets and questioning my doubting of the literalness of parts of the Old Testament.

5. A frequent caller condemns me for not believing the flood account literally, but insists that it is appropriate for him to discard to refuse a literal interpretation of the Genesis account of creation.

6. This caller was applying some wording from the book of Revelation to current events in America's southern states.  

Talk Show host: Van Hale, LDS

Official website: http://www.mormonmiscellaneous.com/

Podcast address: http://www.mormonmisc.podbean.com/

Talk Show Blog: mormonmiscellaneous.com/radioprogramblog

This is the 23 December 2007 episode of the Mormon Miscellaneous Worldwide Talk Show, now in its 28th year.

To listen to future Talk Shows live, go to http://www.k-talk.com/ Sunday evenings 5:00 - 7:00 pm MST.

If you have a question or comment, your participation is invited, regardless of your point of view.

Your voice will be heard around the world.

Click to visit my eStore Catalog of Digital Articles related to some of my Podcast Episodes

To make a comment, click on “Comment” below.

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God and Omniscience

Priesthood and Succession

A number of topics were raised and discussed in this episode:

  1. Discussion of the question of the extent of God's knowledge, contrasting the views found in the Lectures of Faith and those of a number of Church leaders.
  2. Fundamentalist polygamous groups.
  3. A caller alleged Brigham Young taught that Blacks were neutral in the war in heaven.
  4. A caller argued that the priesthood and keys were to exist outside of the Church.
  5. Comments on the topic of priesthood authority and succession as established by Joseph Smith and endorsed by his successors.
  6. Position of the Church regarding Blacks joining the Church prior to 1965.
  7. Position of the Church regarding Blacks in the early and modern periods.

Talk Show host: Van Hale, LDS

Official website: http://www.mormonmiscellaneous.com/

Podcast address: http://www.mormonmisc.podbean.com/

Talk Show Blog: mormonmiscellaneous.com/radioprogramblog

This is the 16 December 2007 episode of the Mormon Miscellaneous Worldwide Talk Show, now in its 28th year.

To listen to future Talk Shows live, go to http://www.k-talk.com/ Sunday evenings 5:00 - 7:00 pm MST.

If you have a question or comment, your participation is invited, regardless of your point of view.

Your voice will be heard around the world.

Click to visit my eStore Catalog of Digital Articles related to some of my Podcast Episodes

To make a comment, click on “Comment” below.

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God's Omniscience:

Diversity of Mormon Views

In this episode I discuss several differing views of LDS leaders, including Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Orson Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, B. H. Roberts, Joseph Fielding Smith and Bruce R. McConkie on the topic of God's omniscience.

Joseph Smith and Brigham Young emphatically declared that the most spiritually advanced in this life will know but little of even the basics of the plan of salvation at the time of their death. From this perspective, they established an LDS position which persists - that we have no carefully worded creed which a person must accept to be LDS. Both of them advocated searching, pondering and speculating upon concepts, even mysteries. This, of course, resulted in a religious climate among the Saints where there would naturally be a diversity of views on even some basic topics, even regarding God and the Godhead.

I discuss the differences between Orson Pratt and Brigham Young on the whether God, or the Gods, progress in knowledge. Their differences resulted in published statements of the First presidency, and the First Presidency and the Twelve, to the Saints and comments in sermons by several General Authorities in the 1860s.   More recently, Joseph Fielding Smith and Bruce R. McConkie, in the 1950s and 1960s expressed their views on the subject.

Email Participants (the phone system went down and thus there were no phone participants)

  1. Mormons are so busy chasing after other Gods that they cannot know the one God of the Bible. I comment on this position.
  2. A long email from a frequent participant denounces pursuit of our religious belief through research and study. He claims that we must turn to him; that he will tell us the truths we need to know; and that we are to pray to God, not for further knowledge, but rather, only for confirmation what this self-proclaimed prophet has declared. In my response I wandered off on to the question of, Who is Jehovah in Mormon belief in the 19th century in contrast to belief in the 20th century?
  3. Another email further argues that Mormons do not believe in the God of the Bible and cannot, therefore, be Christians. The God of the Bible is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. I, of course, respond.  

Talk Show host: Van Hale, LDS

Official website: http://www.mormonmiscellaneous.com/

Podcast address: http://www.mormonmisc.podbean.com/

Talk Show Blog: mormonmiscellaneous.com/radioprogramblog

This is the 9 December 2007 episode of the Mormon Miscellaneous Worldwide Talk Show, now in its 28th year.

To listen to future Talk Shows live, go to http://www.k-talk.com/ Sunday evenings 5:00 - 7:00 pm MST.

If you have a question or comment, your participation is invited, regardless of your point of view.

Your voice will be heard around the world.

Click to visit my eStore Catalog of Digital Articles related to some of my Podcast Episodes

To make a comment, click on “Comment” below.

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Mormon Doctrine: Mandatory and Forbidden

For various reasons many insist that there is much mandatory doctrine required of Mormons and much forbidden doctrine. Drawing from many sources and such enlightening examples as the Adam God theory and Polygamy, I demonstrate that, from its beginning, the LDS Church has had very little official doctrine and almost no mandatory or forbidden doctrine. Price: 2:50