Tough Questions Answered

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The Book of Mormon… Another Testament?

The Book Of Mormon is called “Another Testament of Jesus Christ” by the LDS Church.  The Title Page in the Book Of Mormon says specifically… “The Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ”.  I was reading some material earlier this morning and something about this title hit me hard… the word TESTAMENT.  Why do they use that word?  What does it mean? 

The word Testament literally means “Covenant”.  The Old Testament in The Bible is the recording of God’s dealings with man under the “Old Testament” or “Old  Covenant” of sacrifice.  However, when Jesus Christ came to earth He established a “New Testament” or “New Covenant” with man based upon His sacrifice.  There are several verses throughout the New Testament which speak about this switch from an Old Testament/Covenant to the New Testament/Covenant.

Luke 22:20 “…after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.””

2 Corinthians 3:6 “He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

Hebrews 8:13 “By calling this covenantnew,” he has made the first one obsolete; and what is obsolete and aging will soon disappear.”

Hebrews 9:15 “For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance—now that he has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant.”

Let me explain why this hit me so hard.  Since “Testament” literally means “Covenant”, the LDS Church is literally saying that the Book of Mormon is establishing ANOTHER “COVENANT” OF JESUS CHRIST.  Another Covenant?  Why?  Was the Covenant Christ established based upon His sacrifice not GOOD enough?  Why do we need another Covenant?  What is the basis of this New “New Covenant” established by the Book of Mormon?

This got me to thinking a little more… Joseph Smith took this very position when he established the doctrine of plural/eternal  marriage.  D&C 132:4 says:

” For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory. ”

Section 132 goes on to explain that this New and Everlasting Covenant is the Covenant of Eternal/Plural Marriage and Theosis (man can become a God).  Plural Marriage was forbidden by the LDS Church in 1890 due to political pressure.  Since that time the “New and Everlasting Covenant” now simply involves Theosis and Eternal Marriage.

The stance of the LDS Church is that the New Covenent of Jesus Christ was “upgraded” to the “New and Everlasting Covenant” through Joseph Smith.   I simply ask why?  Why do we need this?  Why was Christ’s New Covenant not good enough?  Based upon what do we need a “New and Everlasting Covenant” to replace the “New Covenant”?  Personally, I believe the New Covenant established by Christ was “Everlasting Enough” for me.  I will praise Him forever!!

Darrell


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Comments

  • http://www.nine-moons.com Seth R.

    I imagine the word is simply used here the way Joseph understood it. Testify, testimony, testament. All the same root, and I imagine that’s what was in mind when the title was given.

    Really Darrell, isn’t this a classic case of “offender for a word” you’re doing here?

  • http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/ Darrell

    Seth,

    I had that same thought cross my mind (that they were using a different -although incorrect – definition of the word). However, given that JS said that he was establishing a new and everlasting covenant I don’t think this is necssarily the case. Maybe… but we can’t be certain without the leadership clarifying. The Mormon Church does believe itself to be the establisher of a another Covenant so it makes sense that they would call the BOM – Another Testament/Covenant of Jesus Christ. I still ask the question… why? What was wrong with Christ’s New Convenant?

    Darrell

  • http://www.nine-moons.com Seth R.

    Assuming for the sake of argument that you’re right about the intended meaning…

    What is to stop us from simply stating that Jesus covenanted with the people of Palestine, and then he also made ANOTHER covenant with the people of the Book of Mormon? Not that the content had changed, but merely the location.

    If Joseph truly meant the Book of Mormon to be “another” in the sense you are suggesting, then why does the book comply so thoroughly in content with Christ’s covenant in the New Testament?

  • http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/ Darrell

    The “New and Everlasting Covenant” does not comply with the New Covenant in The Bible. There are many differences. Besides, D&C says nothing about restoring the Covenant that He made the people of Palestine. It says very clearly that He is establishing a NEW AND EVERLASTING COVENANT. Why the need for a New, New Convenant?

    Darrell

  • http://www.nine-moons.com Seth R.

    Well, you’re smuggling a second argument in here.

    You are talking about the “New and Everlasting Covenant” now.

    I thought we were talking about the Book of Mormon. The “New and Everlasting Covenant” is not laid out in the Book of Mormon.

    I mean, I’m fine with discussing either. But it would probably be less confusing if we kept the two arguments separate.

  • http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/ Darrell

    Seth,

    Not trying to try and confuse you. There is not really a second argument. I am asserting that the convenant that the LDS Church is talking about is the New and Everlasting Covenant. The coming forth of the BOM is the very thing that started the whole process of the LDS Church coming about… and the core claim of the LDS Church is that a person can go to the Temple and enter into the New and Everlasting Covenant. So, when the church claims that there is “Another Testament of Jesus Christ” the other covenent IS the New and Everlasting Covenant.

    Darrell

  • http://www.nine-moons.com Seth R.

    Yeah, but none of that stuff about temple or temple ordinances is in the Book of Mormon. So I’m still not sure how you can make the case that the Book of Mormon ITSELF was introducing or contained the “New and Everlasting Covenant.”

    I’m not sure that saying that the Book of Mormon “started it all” clarifies things either. You might as well call Bible itself the “New and Everlasting Covenant” since the Bible is where Joseph got his start that led to this whole Mormon thing.

  • http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/ Darrell

    Seth,

    A few points here:

    1. The LDS Church owns the copyright to the BOM

    2. The Church publishes the BOM

    3. The Church chose in the 80′s to add to the Title Page of the BOM… “Another Testament Of Jesus Christ”

    4. Testament means Covenant

    5. The Church claims to bring to the world a new new covenant of Jesus Christ… The New and Everlasting Covenant

    Therefore, why would it be unreasonable to assume that the other “covenant” that the church chose to add to the Title Page to the BOM is The New and Everlasting Covenant?

    If you choose not to view it this way than it really gets even more messy for the LDS Church. Because then you have to believe that Christ established 3 covenants? 1 in Palestine, 1 in America and then ANOTHER ONE in the 1800′s through JS? How powerless is Christ? Could He not get it right the first time?

    In the end it does not really matter to me how you look at it. The real problem to me is the whole idea that Christ could not get it right the first time. The idea that Christ’s covenant was not good enough and needed to be “upgraded” to the New and Everlasting Covenant strains credulity in my opinion.

    Darrell

  • http://www.nine-moons.com Seth R.

    Unless you view all installments as continuations on one single ongoing covenant structure.

  • http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/ Darrell

    I see that from the Old Testament to the New Testament. The Old Testament points forward to it’s eventual fulfillment in the New Covenant. It is spoke about very clearly in many instances in the Old Testament. Unfortunately, there is absolutely nothing that points forward to the New, New Covenant. You would think that Christ would have given some indication if there was something MORE that He was going to do 1800 years down the road. Some indication that marriages were going to be eternal, another Temple would be built, He would ordain people to the Melchezidek Priesthood, seal families together forever, enable people to become gods, intiate a new temple ceremony, etc. Instead, it comes out of thin air and we simply have to take JS’s word for it.

    Another thing… why the change in The New, New Covenant? Why did it involve polygamy and now it doesn’t? This is, afterall, the main reason for the “other” LDS Churches. They believe in the original New, New Covenant and Mormons don’t.

    Darrell

  • http://ramblingtaoist.blogspot.com The Rambling Taoist

    Whose to say your God can’t have more than two covenants? I’m sure the folks who accepted covenant #1 probably had the same reaction as you do when covenant #2 was offered. I’m sure many of them asked, Why do we need this? Why was God’s original Covenant not good enough?

  • http://www.nine-moons.com Seth R.

    Why are you bringing polygamy into this? Seems like a distraction from your original point to me.

  • http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/ Darrell

    RT,

    Simple answer… God prophesied the coming of the second (New) covenant. It is talked about throughout the Old Testament. So, when the New Covenant came along it was in fullfillment of the prophecy. The New and Everlasting Covenant of the LDS Church came out of nowhere and is spoken of only in the D&C which was written by JS. Basically, we have to take his word alone for it. It makes no sense.

    Based upon your screen name I think I know the answer to this, but are you a Mormon or just a curious inquirer?

    Darrell

  • http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/ Darrell

    Seth,

    The point is not the polygamy but the changing of the New and Everlasting Covenant. Think about this… for the LDS Church to be true we have to believe that Jesus Christ’s Covenant (the New Covenant) was not good enough and needed to be upgraded to The New and Everlasting Covenant. Then, after establishing the New and Everlasting Covenant suddenly a vital part of that covenant (polygamy) is done away with.

    Why all the changes? Why was the New Covenant not good enough? Then, why was the New and Everlasting Covenant given to include polygamy that just a few years later had to be removed? For a vital covenant from the Lord it sure seems to change a lot.

    Darrell

  • http://ramblingtaoist.blogspot.com Trey Smith

    I am a philosophical Taoist. I don’t believe in the concept of God.

  • http://www.nine-moons.com Seth R.

    Who says it was an upgrade Darrell?

    Most Mormons I know view it as more of a continuation of God’s ongoing covenant.

  • http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/ Darrell

    It is very hard for me to see it as a continuation. First of all it’s name almost paints a picture of an “upgrade”…

    New Covenant versus New and Everlasting Covenant

    So Christ’s original Covenant was not everlasting enough?

    Second, the Old Covenant pointed forward to the New Covenant. We were told something else was coming. It was prophesied. However, the New and Everlasting Covenant popped up out of nowhere. In addition, it does not fit in anywhere… Polygamy, Eternal Marriage, Sealings… where did all that stuff come from? Why is there nothing pointing forward to it? If it was all so important then one would imagine that God would have given some prophecy about it… much as He did the New Covenant. Yet the Bible is silent about a New, New Covenant coming on the seen.

    Darrell

  • http://ramblingtaoist.blogspot.com The Rambling Taoist

    If it was all so important then one would imagine that God would have given some prophecy about it.

    Why? One thing a lot of Christians tell me again and again is that we humans don’t always understand God’s ways. So, arguing that he talked of a second covenant, but not a third, doesn’t amount to a hill of beans. In essence, you’re suggesting replacing God’s reasoning with man’s.

    I’m not posing this because I believe in the 3rd covenant anymore than I believe in the first two. However, if you ascribe to the belief that the Christian God is all powerful, all knowing and does things of his own supreme consciousness, then you can’t concurrently argue that this omnipotent being is doing something that a mere mortal (such as yourself) finds illogical.

    If you completely and absolutely understand every action God takes, then you would be he.

  • http://www.nine-moons.com Seth R.

    I don’t really have the memory to go into a full blown explanation of how LDS themes are continuations on an ongoing master theme that is laced throughout study of ancient Israel and early Christianity. If Yellow Dart were here, I imagine he could pop off a few examples.

    But I do know that I have read articles from various LDS scholars drawing from Bible scholarship of NON-LDS sources showing a great deal of continuity. I’m afraid I don’t have the memory, nor did I read and re-read the sources enough to shoot it off from memory here. But it’s enough for me.

    I think these themes actually are not unprecedented.

  • http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/ Darrell

    RT,

    My argument is not about logical possibilities, it is that Mormons need to explain why the works of JS (The bringing forth of the BOM and The New and Everlasting Covenant) are not foreshadowed at all in The Bible. The OT does prophesy the events of the NT and the bringing forth of The New Covenant. There is incredible linkage between the two. We don’t find any hint of the NT prophesying about the events described in the BOM. Christians believe The Bible to be the Word of God to man. Based upon that belief we look to it as a authoritative source. The Bible warns about false prophets, false Messiahs, angels delivering false gospels, etc… Mormonism, IMO, falls into that catergory.

    Darrell

  • http://ramblingtaoist.blogspot.com The Rambling Taoist

    My argument is not about logical possibilities, it is that Mormons need to explain why the works of JS (The bringing forth of the BOM and The New and Everlasting Covenant) are not foreshadowed at all in The Bible.

    Again, the above statement only makes sense IF you are arguing that God’s logic must be the same as humankind’s. If you grant that God moves in mysterious ways (ways that humans don’t always understand), then it’s just as plausible that he decided not to foreshadow covenant #3.

    The OT does prophesy the events of the NT and the bringing forth of The New Covenant.

    Christians believe that the New Testament is the second covenant, but Jews don’t. I have always found this fact to be extremely interesting.

    What we have here is a disagreement about what is what. One set of believers believes the second covenant has come to pass, while the other set of believers hold that it is yet to come. You, of course, believe the former are wrong, but they just as strongly believe that you are wrong.

    Both Christians and Mormons (who consider themselves Christians) agree on the idea that the life of Jesus was the fulfillment of the prophesy of the second covenant, but these two groups diverge on acceptance of the 3rd covenant.

    Who is right and who is wrong? Each group believes their interpretation is the correct one and each can marshal numerous source materials to back up their claims.

    In the end, each adherent simply chooses the explanation that makes the most sense to her/him using human abilities of reasoning.

  • http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/ Darrell

    RT,

    My line of reasoning does not make sense to you because you do not accept the Bible as authoritative. Therefore, any appeal I make to it will hold no water with you. The Bible teaches very clearly in the OT that a 2nd Covenant was coming. When Christ completed His mission on the cross He said “it is finished” siginifying that the Old Covenant had been fulfilled and a New Covenant was in place. There is absolutely nothing that points towards a third Covenant coming or demonstating that the New Covenant was temporary. In addition, there is no need for a New Covenant because “it is finished”. Mormons teach that a third covenant was given to JS but the only thing we have to prove this is the word of JS himself.

    I don’t expect you to understand this or agree with it… but there is a real problem with this for someone who holds to The Bible as the authoritative word of God.

    Darrell

  • http://ramblingtaoist.blogspot.com The Rambling Taoist

    Darrell,
    You’re missing my point completely. You’re focusing on my lack of belief in your religion, not the salient points I have brought up.

    You interpret the old testament one way. A Jew interprets it quite differently than you. Adherents of both religions can quote passages from the same book and arrive at completely different conclusions. To wit, you believe God’s promise was fulfilled by Jesus, while the Jews believe the prophesy has yet to be fulfilled.

    So, from the standpoint of Judaism, both mainline Christians AND Mormons are off-base. Both religions are promoting covenants that the Jews (interestingly enough, Jesus was born a Jew and died a Jew) do not accept as bona fide.

    In this same vein, your brand of Christianity does not accept the Mormon version because you believe things must flow one way, while they see things flowing another.

    In the end, it’s all rather confusing as each side believes their version is the correct one. For an outsider or someone on the fence, there’s truly no way to know who’s right and who’s wrong.

  • http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/ Darrell

    RT,

    Sorry, I was out of town for a few days.

    “You’re missing my point completely. You’re focusing on my lack of belief in your religion, not the salient points I have brought up.”

    No I am not missing your point. I am simply saying that when I explain things from my perspective you will likely not agree with me due to the fact that you do not believe The Bible to be the word of God or hold any authority.

    “You interpret the old testament one way. A Jew interprets it quite differently than you.”

    Not entirely true. We actually view the Old Testament in much the same way… with the exception that we consider Jesus to be the fullfillment of the prophecy while they are still waiting on the promised Messiah. Outside of that we view things much the same.

    As for The Mormons you are correct… they do view the Bible differently from the Jew and the Christian in one main way… they do not consider The Bible to be as authoritative as we do. It has been taught within The Mormon church for years that The Bible is unreliable… they say it has had many “plain and precious truths” removed from it. Unfortunately, they have no proof of this outside of their own claims. In fact, The New Testament has been shown to be 99.5% pure to the autographa… this is a far cry from many “truths” being removed.

    When there is a disagreement between what the Mormon Church teaches and what The Bible says most Mormons will claim the Bible is wrong and their Church is correct. This position lacks credibility because many of their modern day “prophets” have not only contradicted The Bible but they have also contradicted one another in many instances. Their “modern day revelation” has changed numerous times.

    “In the end, it’s all rather confusing as each side believes their version is the correct one. For an outsider or someone on the fence, there’s truly no way to know who’s right and who’s wrong.”

    Why would you say that? I would submit that if one is looking in the right places they absolutely can find the truth.

    Darrell

  • http://www.nine-moons.com Seth R.

    “they do not consider The Bible to be as authoritative as we do”

    Absolutely wrong.

    You know better than this Darrell. This is pure hyperbole on your part.

  • http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/ Darrell

    Seth,

    Your 8th article of faith and numerous statements by your leaders disagree with you.

    Darrell

  • http://www.nine-moons.com Seth R.

    No, you said that we do not consider the Bible “authoritative.”

    We do.

    Nothing in the Articles of Faith or anywhere in the LDS Church says otherwise.

    Authoritative.

    Choose a different word if you must. But this one was just a flat miss.

  • http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/ Darrell

    Not a flat miss at all. I said “they do not consider The Bible to be as authoritative as we do”. Your church believes The Bible in many instances to be “not translated correctly”. If it is not translated correctly how can it be authoritative.? How do you know that the part you are relying on is not a “mistranslation”? Here is a specific example (recent as a matter of fact). I have a conversation going on Mark Cares blog with GB. He specifically said the other day that where Isaiah disagrees with Christ that Christ wins out. He is basically saying that what Isaiah says is false. I hope to get further clarification on this from him at some point… I am waiting on a response to some other items right now and once I get those I will address his assertion. I can cite numerous other examples of conversations I have had with LDS where they come back and say “Well, that doesn’t matter because you can’t trust The Bible anyway. It has been changed. That is why we need modern day prophets.” Be honest here Seth… you know that this happens. That is what is going to happen in a church that demeans The Bible to second class over another “scripture”.

    The Bible is not considered as authoritative to LDS as it is to Christians.

    Darrell

  • http://www.nine-moons.com Seth R.

    You know Darrell,

    I double-checked the quote before I responded to it, and it did not originally read:

    “they do not consider The Bible to be as authoritative as we do.”

    Originally, the quote read:

    “they do not consider the Bible to be authoritative as we do.”

    You’ve been editing your previous posts I think. You seem to have slipped in an “as” in there. Well, I noticed when it wasn’t there the first time.

    Glad to see that you are conceding that the Mormons consider the Bible to be “authoritative” however. We’re making progress here.

  • http://ramblingtaoist.blogspot.com/ The Rambling Taoist

    You want to know what I really think? Use the website link above to go to my blog and read the entries entitled “Dilbert Who?” and “Believing in Believing”. If you care to answer the big question at the end of the 2nd post, you can do so by leaving a comment there or handling it on your blog here or you can email me personally. Your choice.

  • http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/ Darrell

    Seth I have not added the “as” in. It was in there when I first published this post. I edited a couple of other typos within about 5 minutes of publishing. But the “as” was in there from the beginning. To be exact, check out your quote of my post when you first commented about the use of the word “authoritative”… the “as” is even in your quote of me.

    Darrell

  • http://www.nine-moons.com Seth R.

    Fine then. That’s how I originally read your statement. That’s what my comment was directed towards.

  • Tom

    The answer is simple Darrell. Mormons believe the early Christian church apostatized from what you call the “2nd covenant.” Because of the apostasy, a restoration was needed. And, yes, every other branch of Christianity will disagree with Mormons here. That’s OK. I’m fine with that. You do not believe there was an apostasy. I do. Just as you say that an apostasy cannot be proven and doesn’t make sense, I say that history is self-evident. Different interpretations. That’s perfectly fine. I just want you to understand what we believe.

    “Restoration” means “a return of something to a former, original, normal, or unimpaired condition.” So the “new and everlasting covenant” is restoring what was had previously (yes, I know, you disagree, but that is our position). Another interesting point is that “new” and “everlasting” are contradictory. How can something be everlasting (i.e. spanning all time) and at the same time be new (i.e. having recently come into existence)? It is new because it was brought BACK to the earth, so it is new as it pertains to Joseph Smith’s generation. But it is “everlasting” at the same time because it was the SAME covenant that was had in former times. Furthermore, it is everlasting in the forward sense – it will never again be taken from the earth.

    Note also that it is not a “new and different covenant.” The terms of being saved are the same – justification through Christ. Before you start writing your reply about how Mormons don’t really believe that salvation is only through justification through Christ, please read Dallin Oaks’s conference talk “Have You Been Saved?” -

    http://lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1-26-23,00.html

    Also, note that the term “salvation” can be used to refer to “justification through Christ” or more comprehensively to refer to “justification and sanctification” which includes not only being justified through Christ but becoming perfect (i.e. never committing sin, sinless). We will never be sinless until the resurrection. But we are justified the minute we accept Christ. For an EXCELLENT article on the LDS view of justification and sanctification (written by Elder D. Todd Christofferson) see:

    http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=8481759235d0c010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&hideNav=1

    Also, Stephen Robinson provides a great (albeit unofficial) discussion of these principles in his books “Believing Christ” and “Following Christ.”

    Much of the confusion on the LDS view of salvation (among both Mormons and non-Mormons) is that prophets who speak of “salvation” don’t always clarify when they are talking about justification and when they are talking about sanctification, but given the different implications of these two processes, it is not difficult to discern.

    Getting back to the “everlasting” nature of the covenant: The comments on this thread have addressed the 1st covenant (the Mosaic) the 2nd covenant (the Christian covenant) and the restoration of the 2nd covenant. The Mosaic covenant was given in ca. 1300 BC. Was everyone before Moses damned? NO! Paul taught that Abraham was justified (Rom. 4, Gal. 3).

    Which brings me to the BIG question: Was Abraham justified through Christ or some other way? What about Adam – did he receive salvation? If so, was it through Christ? Or was Adam damned because the 1st covenant wouldn’t come along until Moses? This conundrum is why the qualification of the covenant as “everlasting” is important. Latter-day Saints affirm that Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation. There is “none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved.” (2 Ne. 31:21, http://scriptures.lds.org/en/2_ne/31/21#21 – the whole chapter is a good read). To say that Abraham or Adam were saved in some other way than through a knowledge of Christ’s mission is cognitively dissonant – for it is impossible to be saved in ignorance of Jesus Christ and His atoning blood!

    As far as I know, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only church on the face of the planet that teaches that Adam understood the doctrine of Christ and understood that animal sacrifice was in similitude of the great sacrifice of God’s own Son.

    To the rest of the Christian world, I realize the LDS Church is bordering on heresy here but that’s nothing new. It is an “everlasting covenant” – it spans all time and it is God’s plan for saving all His children who will accept Him.

    You do not have to (and probably will not) accept what I have laid out here. I merely ask that you give it some thought and accept that we DO accept it (please read the things I linked – you will understand the LDS position much better!).

  • http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/ Darrell

    Tom,

    Thanks for coming over and posting. I appreciate it. You may not know my story but I was a member of the LDS Church for several years. In fact, I remember Dallin H. Oaks’ talk that you are referencing. I remember listening to it in General Conference. I understand the LDS position on The Apostasy, Salvation, and The New and Everlasting Covenant extremely well… I taught it myself for years when I was serving as a Stake Missionary and Ward Mission Leader. Today I just happen to believe with all my heart that those positions are utterly false.

    The idea that Christ’s New Covenant was somehow lost is simply not supported by The Bible. To be exact Christ Himself told us He would establish His church and the gates of Hell would never prevail against it. To teach that Christ’s covenant was “lost” for 1800 years is to say that Christ was wrong. In addition, I do not see how one can hold to the idea that Poligamy, Eternal Marriage and Temple Worship are a part of the New Covenant. This is simply not found anywhere in The New Testamant as being part of Christ’s New Covenant. It in an unbiblical (and un-BOM) teaching.

    “Before you start writing your reply about how Mormons don’t really believe that salvation is only through justification through Christ…”

    I know this will not make me popular with you but I do believe that the Mormon Church teaches a works based salvation that is very different from what is taught in The Bible. I address this in a separate post here.

    “Was Abraham justified through Christ or some other way? What about Adam – did he receive salvation? If so, was it through Christ?”

    I recommend Hebrews Chapter 11. It addresses this question head on. I am honestly not being snarky… I say this with all the love in the world… but we don’t need the Latter Day Revelation of the Mormon Church to clear this up.

    “It is an “everlasting covenant” – it spans all time and it is God’s plan for saving all His children who will accept Him.”

    Christ’s New Covenant accomplished this. Again, I don’t see the need for Latter Day Revelation to help with this.

    Have a great night!!

    Darrell

  • Tom

    Darrell,

    Thanks for sharing. Give Elder Christofferson’s article a read sometime. It is fantastic!

    Tom

  • http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/ Darrell

    Tom,

    I have actually read it. Thanks for putting it on here. It is very interesting because even while trying to make the point that Mormonism is not works based, he actually admits that it is.

    Here is an interesting quote:

    “To be classed among the truly penitent, random acts of obedience will not be adequate. We must properly enter into the covenants and persist in keeping them to the point that our expectation of salvation is affirmed by the Holy Spirit of Promise (see D&C 132:7, 19). It is not simply the promise of obedience in our contracts with Deity that brings grace, but the performance of our promises…”

    He then goes on to quote Paul completely out of context:

    “For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified” (Rom. 2:13).”

    When Paul said this in Romans he was actually using this point to show how no one can possibly be justified by the law because no one can keep it. And here, in this article, a “supposed” Apostle of Jesus Christ is using this same quote to try and convict people that they will only be justified by keeping the law. My how times have changed.

    Wow.

    Darrell

  • Tom

    Interesting. I don’t see your interpretation of Rom. 2. Perhaps you can give me a little more detail on your reading of the passage.

    Having the expectation of salvation sealed by the Holy Spirit of Promise refers not to justification but to sanctification. One is justified through faith and thus is promised salvation in Christ, but continued obedience is necessary for sanctification.

    The last part about promise of obedience not being enough seems to be warning against a fall from grace. We cannot continue in the grace of Christ if we ignore His commands. Also note that he doesn’t say our promise of obedience DOESN’T bring grace (it does) – he just said that it ALONE does not guarantee us grace (which it doesn’t if we don’t keep the covenant we make!)

    Do you believe man can fall from grace? Also, what is your understanding of sanctification?

  • Tom

    Also, I feel somewhat disrespected by statements like, “Here, in this article, a ‘supposed’ Apostle of Jesus Christ” and “My how times have changed. Wow.” They came across as condescending.

    I don’t mind if you say “I don’t see how someone who is an apostle of Jesus Christ would misunderstand those passages.” Or even, “If someone were an apostle of Jesus Christ I don’t think he would misunderstand those passages.”

    I’m not asking you to accept my interpretation, but if we are to continue to have a good dialog, I ask you to be a little more considerate of when a statement may come across as condescending.

  • Tom

    One final note – the next paragraph after the one you quoted explains that we are, of course, not perfectly obedient and we must rely on our covenant relationship with Christ to have a remission of sins (i.e. to qualify to enter God’s kingdom). So he’s openly admitting that we can’t be justified by our obedience.

    You have to keep the context. It’s like taking James 2 out of context and saying works will save us (which unfortunately many Mormons misunderstand the relationship between grace and works).

    What is the importance of works in your opinoin? I believe they are important, but do not save us.

  • http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/ Darrell

    Tom,

    I am going to address my position on Romans in another post. I want to give it the time it deserves so as to make myself clear. I should have it done in the next couple of days and when I do I will post a link to it here.

    Looking back on my post I can see how it could have been received in a condescending manner. I apologize for my choice of words as it was not meant to be condescending

    Before we go any further in this discussion I think it would be helpful to me and to readers for us to define the words we are using. I suspect, based upon my experience, that we do not mean the same things by Salvation/Saved, Justification, Heaven and Sanctification.

    1. The most important point to define is what we mean by Heaven. What is your definition of Heaven? Are you talking about JUST the celestial Kingdom? Or are you referring to everything outside of Outer Darkness (Celestial, Terrestrial, and Telestial)?

    2. What do you mean by Justification? What kingdom(s) can people go to by being justified?

    3. What do you mean when you say someone has received Salvation or they are saved? Will they go to the Celestial Kingdom? Or does savlation simply allow them to avoid outer darkness?

    4. What do you mean by Sanctification?

    5. What is needed under your belief system to go to THE CELESTIAL KINGDOM? What must a person DO?

    Again, I think I know your answers to these questions but I want to make sure. Thanks as this will help us to make sure we are talking about the exact same thing and we will be able to see the REAL differences between our beliefs.

    Darrell

  • Tom

    Wow, I just read Hebrews 11 with new eyes. Why have I run into so much resistance from non-Mormons about the idea that people before Moses knew of Jesus Christ and thus were able to have faith in Him?

  • http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/ Darrell

    Tom,

    Good to hear. Hebrews Chapter 11 does show that many people were commended and declared righteous for their faith in God. It does not specifically say they knew the name of the Messiah (Jesus) but they did know that a Messiah was coming and they had faith in Him to save them. The LDS Faith unfortunately goes beyond this and teaches that they knew the name of the Messiah, etc. Hebrews does not say this and this doctrine in not supported by The Bible. It simply says they were commended for their faith in God and the trust they placed in Him based upon what He had chosen to reveal to them at that time. Pretty awesome!

    Darrell

  • http://www.toughquestionsanswered.org/ Darrell

    I did a post on Romans 2:13 here.

  • Rodney Pelles

    I accept the New Covenant Jesus instituted and reject Smith’s “other testament”, I reject also his multiple wives which is a violation of the ten commandments when God said we should not covet our neighsbor wife, singular, not wives, and I also reject his spiritual glasses that never existed, and all the other non sense he and the mormon church produced.

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  • http://www.LearnBibleProphecy.com Jeffrey R. Camino

    If I had to sum up the issue of the Book of Mormon and Latter Day Saints, it would be this: The 66 books of the Christian Bible are all that one needs. (PERIOD) I recently wrote about that issue http://learnbibleprophecy.blogspot.com/2011/01/book-of-mormon-and-latter-day-saints.html

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