En Gedi: Finding rest in the wilderness!

  • Grab My Button!

    BWS tips button
    <a href="http://dadsdevoted.com"><img src="http://i496.photobucket.com/albums/rr323/baileytribe/blog/blckwhite_button.jpg" alt="BWS tips button" width="125" height="125" /></a><div style="border: 1px solid #DDD; margin: auto; padding: 5px 10px; background: #F8F8F8 none repeat scroll 0pt 0pt; overflow: auto; height: 100px; line-height: 1.5em;">***</div>

Posts Tagged ‘hebrews’

Holiness A Way of Life…For the Authentic Believer!

Posted by Scott on September 16, 2008

A couple of mornings in my quiet time I was reading and studying through the Heroes of the Faith in Hebrews 11:1-40 and continuing on into chapter 12 as well.  Something interesting was shining through each verse and my awareness of God’s strong calling for us men to return to a holiness the world has not seen or heard of for centuries…these men of old lived by a faith in someone that was unknown in that day and time and unseen…the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ.  These early faithful fathers considered a strange life to be worth more than all the wealth in the world.  Many were willing to sacrifice everything they had in order to follow the commands of God.  We must ask ourselves if we are willing to give up our wealth, our job, our golf game, our constant trips away from the family, our social life, and so on in order to be obedient to call of God on our lives.  Not many are willing, but some are.

All these people spoken of here were living out their faith in God and the coming Messiah at the time of their death.  They did not waiver in their faith.  They desired to be holy and not compromise their holiness for anything less than their very best for God.  Each one of them considered themselves to be strangers or aliens while on earth.  They had not conformed to the world’s way of living…they stayed the course.  These men and women understood their role as being made after the image of God. 

Any of us that are today striving to live our lives in holiness, set apart for the service and work of God our Father must ask ourselves if we are really walking in faith daily?  We live in the greatest nation on the face of the earth in the way of safety, security, freedom to worship as we please and where we please and even the ease of life.  However, conformity to the world is even easier here.  It is much easier to live as everyone else does.  It is much easier just to go along with what everyone else is doing.  Send the kids to public school that teach them to be everything but a holy Christian, so you don’t have to answer those questions that homeschool parents get asked.  Put the kids in every sport and activity known to man so they don’t have be pressured by their peers at school or church..just conform to the world’s way of life and it will be much easier.  Remember, only have two children…if you have a boy and a girl you now have the “perfect” family…I mean you must know better than God how man kids you can handle…us guys we surely know what is best for our families, God just pushes us out here and kind of lets us go in all directions and hopes we end up where He planned.  Play golf every weekend because your buddies do and they might laugh at you for being a “family man” if you did not join them.  Guys, it is much easier to just conform to the ways of our society than it is to live a holy life…we must admit this to ourselves.  Now, guys you you know all that sounds absurd, but that is how many Christians live and wonder why they have no impact for Christ.  Let’s stop and think about the early Christian’s and what they went through for the cause of Christ.  Stop and think about your life and whether it is pleasing to our heavenly Father who has told us to be “holy”.

“…others were tortured and refused to be released, so that they might gain a better resurrection. 36Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. 37They were stoned[a]; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated…”  Hebrews 11:35-37

These early Christians were our examples of how an authentic Christian should live.  The difference Christ has made in our lives should be obvious to those around us.  It could lead to beatings, ridicule, imprisonment, torture, etc., but in our society today most likely just very opinionated people lashing out is what will happen.  How may of us are willing to live in holiness with a threat hanging over our heads, because of our faith.  The Scriptures tell us that “the world was not worthy of these.”  Can this be said of you and me?  Are we living such a life that we are willing to take the jeers from others including other so called believers?  Are we willing to be an alien in this world to the point of being taken to court over it or even imprisoned for the Christ sake?  These are serious questions we all must ask ourselves.

Holiness was worth going through some of the most horrible torture the world could think of to many of the early Christians.  Moses regarded disgrace for the sake of the coming Messiah of greater value than all the treasure in all of Egypt.  Rahab was willing to risk her and her families life to assist the godly men of God.  Enoch was rewarded for being the one who pleased God and was taken away to heaven without experiencing death…holiness was evident in his obedience to God’s word.  He understood that it was impossible to please God without being obedient to Him.  Noah built the ark in holy fear of God who commanded him to build it.  Each of these people and many more were considered holy before a perfectly holy God.  They understood the risk, but also believed in the reward…God Himself!

To be disciplined by God is to be loved by God.  He must sanctify us before He uses us and He is disciplining us to experience in His holiness.  These hardships and disciplines are brought upon us to produce a holy righteousness and a peace that surpasses the masses understanding.  In this quest for holiness, God intends on training us so that we can share in His holiness.  He intends the bride of Christ (the Elect, the Sheep, the Chose ones) to be holy when He returns.

In conclusion, this life is worth living only if it is lived out for God and Him alone.  Everything we do in this life should be for the glory and honor of our most holy God.  Our holiness is important to God in pointing the way for others to an authentic faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.  We must ask ourselves a question each and everyday…what am doing today that is showing my holiness before our almighty God?

“Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.”   -Hebrews 12:14

(c) Scott Bailey 2008

Advertisements

Posted in devotion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

The distinctives of the Lord Jesus-Christ in the Koran!

Posted by Scott on June 18, 2008

What Does the Koran Say about Jesus?

 

 

1. Jesus was the only person to be born of a virgin, distinguished from all humans and prophets without any exception: “She said, How shall I have a son, whom no mortal has touched, neither have I been unchased. He said, Even so thy Lord has said: Easy is that for Me; and that We may appoint him a sign unto men and a mercy from Us. It is a thing determined.”(19) (Mary 16-24).

2. Jesus Christ alone was distinguished from all humans by being the Word of God, who is the very expression of the Self of God end His eternal Being: “The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, God’s Messenger, and His Word…” (4)The Women 171; (3)House of Imran 40).

3. Jesus Christ alone emanated from the spirit of God; for this reason He did not need a sexual, genetical birth. “The Messiah, Jesus Son of Mary, God’s Messenger, and His Word that He committed to Mary, and a Spirit from Him.” (4)The Women 169)

4. Jesus Christ alone, in exception to all humans, spoke while in the cradle (19)Mary 22-32). The Koran tells us that Christ needed no one to teach Him anything, not even how to speak. The Bible says: “Who hath directed the spirit of the Lord, or being His counselor hath taught Him knowledge and showed to Him the way of understanding.” (Isaiah 40:1,13-14). Naturally, no one can teach the One who emanated from God’s Spirit for He is the All-knowing.

5. Jesus Christ alone was distinguished from all prophets with His infallibility and was the only one to be singled out for His perfection; for all the prophets had sinned, and their sins were mentioned in the Koran. However, Christ was the only exception, for “High honored shall be in this world and the next.” (3)House of Imran 45). Also, the Arab prophet (El-Bukhari) testified for the perfection of Christ and His infallibility, saying: “Satan pokes with his finger the side of every human at birth, except Jesus, son of Mary; when he went to poke Him, he poked the curtain.”

6. Jesus Christ alone was distinguished from all others in the sense that He was the Creator: “I will create for you out of clay as the likeness of a bird; then I will breathe into it and it will be a bird.” (3)House of  Imran 42).

7. Jesus Christ alone was uniquely incomparable in knowing men’s secrets: “I will inform you too of what things you eat, and what you treasure up in your houses. Surely, in that is a sign for you if you are believers.” (3)House of Imran 48).

8. Jesus was matchless in making the miracles and the wonders which no other could make: “And I will also heal the blind and the leper…” (3)House of Imran 48).

9. Jesus Christ alone could raise the dead with the word of His blessed mouth: And I will bring life to the dead…”  (3)House of Imran 48; (5)The Table 110).

10. Jesus Christ alone exclusively enjoyed the prophetical title of “the Messiah”: “The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was God’s Messenger, and His Word committed to Mary…” (4)Women 169). The Old Testament made known the real identity of the Messiah, saying: “Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgement and justice in the earth… and this is the name whereby He shall be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.” (Jeremiah 23:5-6)

11. Jesus Christ alone exchanged responsibility of authority with God: “And I was a witness over them, while I remained among them; but when thou didst take me to thy self, Thou wast Thyself the watcher over them.” (5)Table 117).

12. Jesus was the only one to become a Sign unto men and Mercy from God (19)Mary 20) unto men who fell under the burden and the shackles of sin; for which, God’s justice and holiness condemned them to eternal perdition. For this reason the only Savior, who can offer eternal salvation to men came to be a Mercy from God.

13. Only Jesus Christ could give His followers high honors and assurances concerning the day of Resurrection: “I will cause thee to die, and I will raise thee to Me, and I will purify thee of those who believe not. I will set thy followers above the unbelievers till the resurrection Day,”  (3)House of Imran 55)

14. Only Jesus will be the Judge who will come to this world to judge the living and the dead; the Arab prophet (El-Bukhari) confirmed this fact, saying: “The Last Hour will not come until the Son of Mary come down as the just Judge.”

 

Who is Christ Indeed?

If you meditated on any of the Koran verses that portray the Lord Jesus Christ, you find that they are inherent attributes that are exclusively distinctive of God; and that He did not share any of them with any human at all. Moreover, you find that the Lord Jesus Christ did not enjoy only one of these attributes, but He included all of them in His blessed person, so that He may leave no doubt concerning His deity and divinity.

The New Testament recorded that the All-mighty God became a perfect man (something that was easy for Him to do) and came from heaven to our earth to save men. The Bible says: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the word was God … and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1,14). Then the Bible continues the portrayal of Christ, saying:”And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness; He who was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the spirit, Seen of angels, Preached among the nations, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.” (1 Timothy 3:16).

 

The Doctrine of the “SON OF GOD” in the Old Testament.

The Jews believe, as many of the Muslims do, that the idea of “The Son of God” was an innovation of Christianity, brought as a heresy against the faith in the One God. But if you study the Tenach, which is the Jewish Torah or Old Testament, you will find that the doctrine of God’s Son is braided, fused, and embedded in the very foundations of the Tenach. And in these few coming lines, we will present the strongest proofs that support this doctrine and prove that the Jews have rejected the very doctrine of their Holy Tenach concerning God’s Son. The second Psalm says: “Now therefore be wise, O ye kings: Be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve Jehovah with fear, And rejoice with trembling. Kiss the son, lest he be angry, and ye perish in the way, For his wrath will soon be kindled. Blessed are all they that take refuge in him.” (Psalms 2:10-12).

Who is this Son that God is admonishing the kings, the judges, and the people of the earth to give Him loyalty, honor, homage, and reverence? Which human son is worthy of having the whole world putting their trust in him? For certainty, there is no human who is worthy or capable to accept the responsibility of all humans putting their trust in him. For this reason, the wisest human that ever lived, king Solomon, made known that that Son is the Son of the Omni-potent Creator to whom nothing is impossible: “Who hath ascended up into heaven, and descended? Who hath gathered the wind in his fists? Who hath bound the waters in his garment? Who hath established all the ends of the earth? What is his name, and what is his son’s name, if thou knowest? ” (Proverbs 30:4)

Salomon excelled in proclaiming the truth when God revealed to him that that Son who became unto us wisdom from God (1 Corinthians 1:31), and who is the Word of God, was with God since the beginning, exactly as the Asharite group deducted in their argument concerning the Word or God and the eternality thereof; he said: ” The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, Before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, Before the earth was … While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, Nor the beginning of the dust of the world. When he established the heavens, I was there: When he set a circle upon the face of the deep, When he made firm the skies above, When the fountains of the deep became strong, When he gave to the sea its bound, That the waters should not transgress his commandment, When he marked out the foundations of the earth; Then I was by him, as a master workman; And I was dailhis delight… ” (Proverbs 8:22-30)

Then came Isaiah, the greatest of the Jewish prophets, to dissipate all the clouds of doubts concerning the identity of the Son of the All-mighty God, he said: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel; [which is, being interpreted, God with us.]”(Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6-7). Who is this Son who is worthy of homage, loyalty and honor as well as being entitled to be called The mighty God, the Everlasting Father? No one except the only and unique One, the Lord Jesus Christ, who was born of a virgin, in exception to all humans for genetical birth did not become to Him.

If you studied the Tenach in depth, you find that the central theme of its entirety is the Lord Jesus Christ. It also contains more than three hundred prophecies about the expected Messiah. The prophets were given the privilege of predicting the details of every aspect of His birth, life, death, and resurrection. All those prophecies were precisely fulfilled in Jesus’ birth, its time, its place, and the events that related to it; and in His forerunner, and in His life, ministry, miracles, preaching, disciples, the Jews treating Him, crucifixion, burial, the period of His staying in the grave, glorious resurrection from the dead, and ascension to heaven. All that was done so that He could prove to men that He was not an ordinary human, but the God who forged history and fashioned the events so that the prophecies could be fulfilled, to prepare men to meet the True God who loved them.

 

Why Did Christ Come?

Christ came to save us from our sins and from the eternal torment that our sins brought upon us. We are sinners by nature and by choice: “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one … They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one … For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:10-23). Moreover, we cannot save ourselves neither by our money nor by our good works, for the Lord’s salvation is by the grace of God; and there fore, it is a free gift: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Whereas God is most holy and pure, and whereas His holiness does not accept sin, our sins brought upon us the wrath of God, and we have become worthy of eternal perdition: “For the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23). Furthermore, we cannot save ourselves with self efforts, nor can we buy our eternity with a fistful of money or good works no matter how good they are. If a man condemned to death for breaking human laws cannot satisfy human justice with a fistful of money nor can he settle his debt by performing good works, how then can we expect to satisfy the absolute justice of God with a handful of money and some good works? God’s justice requires the most severe punishments, which led man to the fire of hell.

But the love of God for us is far greater than what we can imagine. Consequently, He sent His only Holy and Pure Son, to satisfy the divine justice which cannot accept other than the most severe punishment. For without the shedding of blood, there is no remission for sin. For this reason, God demanded of man to offer the sacrifices for sins; but all those sacrifices would have meant nothing, nor would they have any effect, had they not been the symbol of the precious blood that was shed on the cross upon Mount Calvary: “… the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins … Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”(Hebrews 10:11; 9:12).

“The Great Sacrifice” that was mentioned by the Koran in (The Rangers 37:109), quoting the Torah, and telling the story of Abraham, when he was about to offer his son as a sacrifice on Mount Moriah, but God stopped him and gave him a lamb to redeem his son; was but a symbol of the redemptive work of Christ on Calvary. Here, we see the Koran calling it “the Great Sacrifice”, because that lamb was not an ordinary lamb, similar to the other lambs that were offered daily; but was a unique lamb, a gift from heaven to Abraham to redeem his son who was under the judgement of a sure death. Also, because God wanted to teach us, that: what happened on Mount Moriah (which is Mount Calvary), was but a symbol; first, of man’s situation and his sins that brought God’s judgement of eternal death in the fire of hell, upon him. Secondly, of the love of God who sent the Gift of Heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ, who is: “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” (John 1:29). Then Christ died on the same spot where Abraham offered the lamb to redeem his son; symbolizing the death of Christ for man to forgive the sins of everyone that believes: “Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.” (Hebrews 10:18).

Therefore, Abraham’s “Great Sacrifice” which was offered by Christ with His own blood, to redeem man and to nullify all other sacrifices, seeing that we need them no more: “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God … For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (1 Peter 3: 18; John 3:16). And whereas Jesus Christ is the Word of God and His Spirit; i.e., His Son, He could not be held back by death in the grave; but He arose the third day from the dead with great glory, to prove His clam, and to establish His message: “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” (Romans 4:25).

 

Who is a Christian?

 

 

 

 

Not everyone that is labeled as a Christian is a Christian. A person might be pious, or religious, but not a real Christian; the Bible says: “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.” (Matthew 7 :21). Unfortunately, most of those who are labeled as Christian, are not even religious let alone real Christians. Moreover, in real Christianity, no nation can be considered a Christian nation, because Christianity is a personal relationship between God and the individual: “For many be called, but few chosen… Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” (Matthew 20:16; 7:13-14).

Therefore, a true Christian is a Christian neither by birth nor by heritage, nor by coercion, nor by force. But rather, he is the person who responds to God’s call and the working of the Holy Spirit in his heart, inviting him to eternal salvation. For this reason God excluded governments, states, and organizations from His salvation plan; because man always tends to abuse his powers, and then tries to justify his oppressive actions by claiming that he is acting on God’s behalf (And that is an excuse worse than the misdeed); as if God is unable to avenge. We should never forget what the almighty God said: “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” (Romans 12:19). In contrast, Christ sent his followers as lambs in the midst of wolves. However, this does not mean that kings, governors and statesmen do not have the same chance like everyone else to be saved, for they are born sinners like the rest of us, and they surely need God’s salvation: (God) Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4). Moreover, the true Christian lives the godly life, in obedience to god, so he may be a light in the midst of this world of darkness. Also, the true Christian obeys the Lord’s commandment concerning baptism. A follower of Christ would find a fundamental group of believers with whom he would have fellowship, for mutual edification.

 

 

 

Necessity of Faith!

Even though God has completed the work of salvation and offered it to us as a free gift, we cannot enjoy God’s salvation unless we repent from our sins, and accept the lord Jesus Christ as our personal Savior: “Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions… But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” (Ezekiel 18:30; Acts 3:19; John 1:12).

Here we find that the calling of God unto repentance was built upon love, compassion and mercy, with no intimidation, scare, unnerving or coercion, whatsoever. For the love of God inspires a respect to man and gives him the opportunity to make an important decision for himself. Consequently, God says: “I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life…” (Deut. 30:19-20).

The Bible stresses upon the center of faith, saying: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” (Acts 16:31). Without this faith in Christ, there is no possibility to please God, nor receive eternal salvation or eternal bliss. Therefore, the answer to the most important question that faces man concerning the place where he will spend his eternity, is based in its entirety upon the individual’s faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His redemptive work on the cross for the forgiveness of sins. The Bible says: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:9,13).

Therefore, as a sinner who desires and seeks to receive the forgiveness of your sins, eternal life, and the assurance of your eternity, [you can pray something like this]: “Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. [I know that I am a dreadful sinner condemned unclean a part from Jesus Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit.  Now I am praying asking you to forgive my sins once and for all and to give me eternal life. Thank you because you have heard [my] prayer.  In [the name above every name-Jesus Christ] I pray.  Amen.”

 

An Imperative Word

How may a guilty man have any hope from the justice of the legal code if he is brought before a judge who happened to be his opponent? The Bible confirms the fact that Christ will come as the Judge, saying: “The Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom.” (2 Tim.4:1). Islam has supported this fact as Mohammed said: “The Last Hour will not come until the son of Mary come down as the just Judge.” Then the Bible says that the Lord Jesus Christ “will judge the world in righteousness… For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son.” (Acts 17:31; John 5:22). Therefore, we see here a fact that does not allow questioning or argument; first, that “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27); secondly, that the Lord Jesus Christ will come back as the righteous Judge of the living and the dead.

Here, we have to ask what is the account that man would give before the Judge? As the Bible teaches, Christ died for our sins, to give us complete forgiveness. But what happens if we reject that forgiveness? The Bible says: “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:18). Therefore, the most serious charge that man will face before the Great Judge is the answer we will give in response to the redemptive work of Christ for you. What will your answer be to His question: “Did you accept the redemptive work that I accomplished on the cross for the forgiveness of your sins?” The Bible replies, saying: “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God, which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.” (1 John 5:7-12).

Therefore, the great case before the righteous Judge is based upon the fact whether you accepted or rejected God’s testimony concerning His son and His redemptive work on the cross. This means that if you rejected that testimony, you have discredited the testimony of God concerning His Son, and you will find yourself without excuse in the hands of an angry Judge, reaping the wrath that you have treasured for yourself against the Day of Wrath, whereon the righteous judgement of god will be given against every one that had decided not to believe the Word of God nor to accept His testimony. The prayer of my heart is that you have accepted the redemptive word of Christ on the cross for the forgiveness of your sins, and have received Christ as your personal Savior, so that you will be found among the saved and the faithful. God Bless you. Amen.

Excerpt from: The gospel of Christ Jesus according to Saint John – As reviewed by the Koran and Muslim scholars, By: Dr. Ben Malik Jamil

Prepared for the Internet by:

www.TheGrace.com

 

 

Posted in devotion, evidence | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Joseph Smith and the Kinderhook Plates…Hoax!

Posted by Scott on March 30, 2008

Joseph Smith and the Kinderhook Plates
Overview and Current Perspectives
Copyright © 2003 Institute for Religious Research

000aaa_kinderhookcolor-crop-sh.jpg

On April 23, 1843, six bell-shaped brass plates, covered with undecipherable engravings were unearthed near Kinderhook, Illinois, 70 miles south of Nauvoo. These plates have come to be known as the Kinderhook Plates.  A Latter-day Saint was present when the plates were discovered, so news traveled quickly back to the Mormon community in Nauvoo about the discovery of a new set of metal plates with writing on them. Initial LDS reactions were positive and reflected an expectation that these plates would support the ancient origin of the Book of Mormon. Soon after their discovery the Kinderhook Plates were taken to the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith so he could examine them.

On Wednesday, May 1, 1843 in the city of Nauvoo, Illinois, the editor of the Mormon Church publication TIMES AND SEASONS published an article on this discovery.

The article stated:  “Circumstances are daily transpiring which give additional testimony to the authenticity of the Book of Mormon.” 

The article went on to say:

The following letter and certificate, will perhaps have a tendency to convince the skeptical, that…even the obnoxious Book of Mormon, may be true; and…that there may have been such [gold] plates as those from which the Book of Mormon was translated.

Mr. Smith has had those [Kinderhook] plates, what his opinion concerning them is, we have not yet ascertained. The gentleman that owns them has taken them away, or we should have given a fac similie of the plates and characters in this number. We are informed however, that he purposes returning with them for translation; if so, we may be able yet to furnish our readers with it (TIMES AND SEASONS, vol. 4, pp. 185-87).

The bell-shaped plates were later returned to Joseph Smith and according to historical sources, both Mormon and non-Mormon, he began a translation of the engravings and identified the skeletal remains found with the Kinderhook Plates.   

For example, Joseph’s private secretary William Clayton, recorded the following journal entry for May 1, 1843:

I have seen 6 brass plates which were found in Adams County . . . President Joseph has translated a portion and says they contain the history of the person with whom they were found & he was a descendant of Ham through the loins of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and that he received his kingdom from the ruler of heaven & earth (An Intimate Chronicle: The Journals of William Clayton, ed. George D. Smith, Signature Books, Salt Lake City, 1991, p. 100; emphasis added).

For many years, this entry in Clayton’s journal was attributed to Joseph Smith as a first person statement.  This is because it was cited as such in the official History of the Church, May 1, 1843, which reads:

I insert fac-similes of the six brass plates found near Kinderhook, in Pike County, Illinois, on April 23, by Mr. Robert Wiley and others, while excavating a large mound. They found a skeleton about six feet from the surface of the earth, which must have stood nine feet high. The plates were found on the breast of the skeleton and were covered on both sides with ancient characters.

I have translated a portion of them, and find they contain the history of the person with whom they were found. He was a descendant of Ham, through the loins of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and that he received his kingdom from the Ruler of heaven and earth (History of the Church, vol. 5, p. 372; emphasis added).

For 130 years this statement was accepted as unquestionably accurate.  Joseph Smith claimed to have seen the Kinderhook Plates, he identified them as ancient artifacts, and translated part of them.  However, since 1980 some LDS scholars and apologists have argued that these statements did not originate with Smith, but rather Clayton himself invented them or merely recorded hearsay.

This raises some interesting questions.

How plausible is this argument raised by some LDS writers? Was it unusual for accounts recorded by Joseph’s scribes to be entered as Joseph’s own words? Who was William Clayton? Was he in a position to accurately know and record Joseph’s words?  Was Clayton considered a reliable scribe and a dependable person?  Are there other entries in his journals that are accepted without question as the words of Joseph Smith?

Clayton: Intimate Confidante of Joseph Smith

From his conversion to the Mormon Church at age 23 in Preston, England in 1837, to his death in Salt Lake City, Utah in 1879, William Clayton is described as “never swerving in his belief in the church and its leaders” by George D. Smith, editor of An Intimate Chronicle: The Journals of William Clayton (p. xvii).  In his fifty page introduction to Clayton’s life and journals, George D. Smith includes descriptions of Clayton from close associates and family members who uniformly remember him as a serious, meticulous and dependable person. His daughter spoke of him as “methodical, always sitting in his own armchair, having a certain place at the table … his person was clean and tidy; his hands small and dimpled” (p. liii).  G.D. Smith writes:

Long after his death, Clayton was remembered as “the soul of punctuality”; his daughter remembering his “love for order, which he believed was the first law of heaven … he would not carry a watch that was not accurate” (p. xvi).

Mormon leaders recognized Clayton’s gifts and abilities early on, for after being a member of the LDS Church for less than six months he was named second counselor to the president of the British Mission (p. xvi), and later became the first branch president of Manchester (BYU Studies, 27:1, p. 47).

At Clayton’s death, Joseph F. Smith, who would become the sixth President of the LDS Church, noted Clayton’s achievements:

He was a friend and companion of the Prophet Joseph Smith, and it is to his pen to a very great extent that we are indebted for the history of the Church … during his acquaintance with him and the time he acted for him as his private secretary, in the days of Nauvoo (p. lx).

LDS scholars who have studied Clayton’s life have noted his “meticulous detail that was the hallmark of his writing” (p. xx), and also that,

Beginning early in 1842, William Clayton found himself involved in nearly every important activity of Nauvoo, but especially the private concerns of the prophet. For two and a half years, until Joseph’s death in 1844, they were in each other’s company almost daily.

[James B.] Allen [who wrote a biography of Clayton], explains that Clayton was not only Smith’s trusted employee and associate but also his personal friend and confidante. He wrote letters for the prophet, recorded his revelations, ran his errands, and helped prepare the official history of the church (pp. xxii-xxiii).

There would appear to be nothing or no one to detract from Clayton’s ability to accurately record the words of Joseph Smith, and every reason to believe he did so accurately and reliably.

Therefore, one can understand why the leaders of the LDS Church when compiling an authoritative history of the life of Joseph Smith and the Church, would accept without question the accuracy of Clayton’s journal entry for May 1, 1843 that stated:

I have seen 6 brass plates which were found in Adams County . . . President Joseph has translated a portion and says they contain the history of the person with whom they were found & he was a descendant of Ham through the loins of Pharoah king of Egypt, and that he received his kingdom from the ruler of heaven & earth (Intimate Chronicle, p. 100, emphasis added).

As LDS leaders constructed a history of Joseph’s life with words recorded by him and others, it would have been easy to justify modifying Clayton’s May 1, 1843 entry so it read as follows when incorporated into the History of the Church:

I insert fac-similes of the six brass plates found near Kinderhook, in Pike County, Illinois, on April 23, by Mr. Robert Wiley and other, while excavating a large mound. They found a skeleton about six feet from the surface of the earth, which must have stood nine feet high. The plates were found on the breast of the skeleton and were covered on both sides with ancient characters.

I have translated a portion of them, and find they contain the history of the person with whom they were found. He was a descendant of Ham, through the loins of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and that he received his kingdom from the Ruler of heaven and earth (History of the Church, vol. 5, p. 372) 

If one does not accept Clayton’s journal entry at face value, about the only alternative is to imply that Clayton did not hear Smith make these statements, but instead was willing and capable of inserting speculative and unsubstantiated ideas and falsely attributing them to Joseph Smith.  While this can be granted as a possibility, it certainly seems improbable and highly implausible given what we know of Clayton’s life and character and the high level of confidence placed in him by Joseph Smith and subsequent LDS leaders and scholars.

Corroborating Evidence

Equally important in assessing the accuracy of Clayton’s journal entry is the existence of corroborating historical evidence related to Clayton, Joseph Smith and the Kinderhook Plates. For example:

  • The Mormons  published facsimiles of the plates in a broadside titled “Discovery of the Brass Plates,” published at Nauvoo, Illinois, 24 June 1843.  This broadside stated in part:

    The contents of the Plates, together with a Fac-Simile of the same, will be published in the “Times & Seasons,” as soon as the translation is completed (LDS Archives – reproduced in Stanley B. Kimball, “Kinderhook Plates Brought to Joseph Smith Appear to be a Nineteenth-Century Hoax,” Ensign 11 [August 1981]:72). 

  • Joseph Smith hired Clayton specifically to record what he did and said, and “beginning in early 1842, William Clayton found himself involved in nearly every important activity of Nauvoo, but especially the private concerns of the prophet. For two and a half years, until Joseph’s death in 1844, they were in each other’s company almost daily” (Intimate Chronicle: The Journals of William Clayton, George D. Smith, ed., pp. xxii-xxiii). 
     

  • Clayton was with Joseph Smith on the day he records Joseph rendering his verdict on the plates (Intimate Chronicle, p. 100). 
     
  • Church Historian George A. Smith affirmed in 1858 that there was an accurate system in place so that the recorded history would be “strictly correct.”  The historians and clerks engaged in the work were “eye and ear witnesses of nearly all the transactions recorded in this history, most of which were reported as they transpired, and, where they were not personally present, they have had access to those who were” (Edward Ashment, unpublished article on file, Institute for Religious Research, Appendix A, p. 2) 
     
  • The history of Joseph Smith that contains the Kinderhook Plate statement was approved by Brigham Young, who himself was at Joseph Smith’s house and saw the plates there.   Young even includes a sketch of one of the plates he saw at Joseph’s house in his diary (Ashment, p. 2).

Thus, numerous historical sources indicate Clayton’s May 1, 1843 journal entry is accurate, and that Joseph considered the Kinderhook Plates ancient artifacts and began a translation of them. This historical evidence, coupled with a complete lack of any evidence to the contrary, was sufficiently convincing that for over 130 years no Mormon seems to have questioned or contested the authenticity of these bell-shaped brass plates.

LDS writer Stanley B. Kimball summarized the extent of LDS acceptance of the Plates as follows:

Over the decades, through the pages of the Times and Seasons, the Nauvoo Neighbor, The Prophet, missionary pamphlets, the Millennial Star, the Desert News, the University Archaeological Newsletter, the Improvement Era,  [in]  BYU Symposia  [and in Visitors’ Centers, and]  in books and unpublished reports, LDS scholars and laymen (and at least two RLDS writers) have affirmed and striven to prove the story of the Kinderhook plate incident and tried to make them vouch for the authenticity of the Book of Mormon and to defend Joseph’s alleged translation of them (Stanley B. Kimball, “New Light on the Old Kinderhook Plates Problem,” based on a paper read at the 16th annual Mormon History Meeting, Ricks College, May 1-3, 1981, p. 3).

Challenges and Mormon Defense

Due to the historical evidence and the testimony of Joseph Smith, the Mormon community accepted and defended the Kinderhook Plates as genuine artifacts of ancient origin. Non-Mormons, however, at times challenged the LDS view that the plates were ancient artifacts. One such challenge came from Wilbur Fugate who participated in the 1843 discovery of the plates. He gave testimony in an 1879 letter to James T. Cobb that he had been involved in a hoax along with two other men. He claimed that together they had cut out thin pieces of metal and etched markings on them with beeswax and acid.  Then they had aged and secretly buried the plates and faked their discovery, inviting a Mormon to be present so word would get back to Joseph Smith (Welby W. Ricks, The Improvement ERA, vol., 65, 1962, pp. 656, 658).

However, Mormon defenders rejected this testimony and even had a surviving original plate examined in June of 1953 by Stanley B. Hill and Edward Pwiiski, two non-LDS engravers, to determine whether it was etched with a sharp object, or engraved with acid.  While this testing was not conclusive, there seemed to be evidence the plate was engraved rather than etched. This led Mormon scholar Welby W. Ricks to write:

The plates are now back in their original category of genuine. What scholars may learn from this ancient record in future years or what may be translated by divine power is an exciting thought to contemplate. This much remains. Joseph Smith, Jun., stands as a true prophet and translator of ancient records by divine means and all the world is invited to investigate the truth which has sprung out of the earth not only of the Kinderhook Plates, but of the Book of Mormon as well (Ibid. p. 660).

For over 130 years, from the discovery of these bell-shaped plates in 1843, the consensus Mormon position based on historical evidence was:

1.   The Kinderhook Plates appeared to be authentic, ancient artifacts.

2.   Joseph Smith saw the plates and had facsimiles made of them.

3.   Smith accepted them as authentic, evidenced by his claim to have translated them sufficiently to have determined their origin.

A Sudden Twist in the Trail

000aaaa_kinderhookcolor-crop-sh.jpg  All this changed radically in 1980.  In that year LDS history professor, Stanley B. Kimball, secured permission from the Chicago Historical Society to do a new series of highly technical tests, including use of a scanning electron microscope and an X-ray fluorescence analysis.  These were performed by Professor D. Lynn Johnson of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Northwestern University. The tests were conclusive: this was indeed one of the original plates presented to Joseph Smith in 1843.  However, it was not of ancient origin, but rather a modern brass alloy produced in the 19th century. The Kinderhook Plates were just what Fugate had claimed in 1879, “a humbug”. (Stanley B. Kimball, “Kinderhook Plates Brought to Joseph Smith Appear to be a Nineteenth-Century Hoax,” Ensign 11 [August 1981]:69-70).

Suddenly, the Kinderhook Plates did not support Joseph Smith or the Book of Mormon, but instead raised serious questions about Joseph’s prophetic claims to be able to translate ancient languages.

LDS Scholars Revisit the Issue and Respond

LDS scholar Stanley B. Kimball, who initiated the conclusive testing on a surviving Kinderhook Plate in 1980, also provided the principle Mormon response to these results in an article he wrote for the official Mormon Church magazine, the Ensign. Kimball’s article reported the test results and then sketched out a survey of the historical evidence related to the Kinderhook Plates. Kimball’s conclusions (which have become the most common line of response given by other LDS apologists) can be summarized as follows.

  • Joseph was never fooled to begin with. The Kinderhook Plates were a frontier prank that Joseph was exposed to but he did not fall for it.
     

  • Joseph neither claimed to make a translation, nor did he even start a translation.
     

  • Joseph’s statement found in History of the Church that he had translated a portion of the Plates should be attributed to Clayton’s speculation.
     

  • Where Clayton got such an idea is unknown, but it is most likely he was reporting hearsay and then attributed it to Joseph Smith.

Stanley B. Kimball in his article for the Ensign magazine in August 1981, wrote:

Where the ideas written by William Clayton originated is unknown. However, as will be pointed out later, speculation about the plates and their possible content was apparently quite unrestrained in Nauvoo when the plates first appeared. … Whether or not he [Clayton] was present when Joseph Smith saw the plates is unknown (Ensign, August 1981, p. 67, 71).

Origination of William Clayton’s Ideas Unknown

It is notable that Kimball’s conclusions constitute a complete reversal of the previous Mormon position on the Kinderhook Plates. For over 130 years both LDS leaders and the Mormon community accepted them as authentic, ancient records, and as such they were used to support Joseph’s claims to be a true prophet, seer and translator.

Kimball’s article attempts to absolve Joseph Smith by claiming that the contemporary testimony of Clayton and others were based on “hearsay stories circulating in Nauvoo” (Ensign, August 1981, p. 73).

However, at least one other LDS historian has found serious problems with Kimball’s attempts to reinterpret Mormon history, and especially his attack on the reliability of William Clayton’s journal as a source for what Joseph Smith said.  Noted LDS scholar and writer Edward H. Ashment took exception to Kimball’s attempts to defuse the Kinderhook Plates issue.  Ashment first outlined the compelling historical evidence that closely linked Clayton to Joseph Smith and the Kinderhook Plates (cited earlier in this article).  Then, he detailed numerous serious flaws in both Kimball’s arguments and methodology as found in the Ensign article, and concluded with the following:

Kimball argues from the standpoint of argumentum ad opinabilem, in which the argument proceeds from prior belief to empirical conclusion. In this fallacy, the “prior belief” constitutes the categorical premise upon which the conclusion is based. In other words, because Kimball assumes that Smith was a prophet, Smith therefore would not have incorrectly identified and interpreted the Kinderhook Plates.  This explains his specious attempt to exculpate Smith by claiming that Clayton’s and others’ contemporary testimonies were based on “hearsay stories circulating in Nauvoo” (1981, 73).

Kimball’s article is an example of religious apologia presented as though it were history. Facts which are not congenial to increased faith in a given dogma are discredited (as Kimball has attempted to do with the 1 May 1843 entry), distorted or excised (Ashment, p. 2).

Kimball appears to impugn Clayton’s reliability to accurately record Joseph Smith’s words only when these now cast shadows on Joseph’s character and claims.

The question facing the investigator today regards the legitimacy of this post-1980 response. When we encounter objective evidence that overturns previous beliefs or at least calls them into question, is it honest or reasonable to then reassess and reinterpret the historical facts so the belief can stand, or is it time to reassess our beliefs and assumptions? The Kinderhook Plates are a known hoax.  Joseph Smith identified them as ancient artifacts and claimed to translate a portion of them. An honest wrestling with the issues seems necessary where there is a commitment to spiritual and intellectual integrity.

Glenn Evans
Joel B. Groat

Copyright © 2003 Institute for Religious Research. All rights reserved.

Posted in Mormonism or LDS | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Honest Questions for LDS!

Posted by Scott on March 27, 2008

I have just run across these different ideas, rituals, stories and such as I have been studying on the LDS Church.  Now, admittedly I can hear all kinds of answers from non-LDS members and some former LDS members, but I do not know if they are correct.  Everyone has an opinion and some make a great case, but I want to hear from LDS members and what you think about these things.  I mean they are a part of LDS, so you must have an opinion or understanding on them.  Please, answer honestly and I will post what you answer.  If a further question arises from your answers I will post in another posting, but questions may not come up. 

Here are several questions to things I just do not understand:

1. Why does the Mormon church use Satanic symbols on the Temples?  The pentagram (satanic goat head) for instance is across the top of the Temple in Illinois 6 times?  Then you have the Sun God Baal underneath it 6 times and then towards the bottom is the moon god 6 times.  What is that all about?

2. Where did the planet Kolob come from in LDS?  I have read and watched documentaries on this and what is that all about?  God and other gods coming from a planet Kolob where a counsel once met to determine which one of God’s sons would be the redeemer and Jesus was chosen which made Lucifer mad and he talked a 1/3 of the angels to go with him or their skin turned black as a curse.  I don’t know that this is the belief across the board, but I have seen it in a few video presentations and also read a couple of articles that described it similiarly.  It tells us in John that Jesus was God’s one and only Son, so I am not sure where Lucifer comes in as being Jesus brother.  I have always heard this, but could not reconcile it.  I was just wondering what this is all about.

3. What was the stone for that Joseph Smith wore around his neck and Brigham Young wore one as well…so hhas been  reported.  I cannot remember what it was called….something like a Jupiter Stone or something like that.  The stones have been said to have occultic symbols on them of course I have never seen one or heard of one to know. 

4. I have heard two different accounts of this and I have read two different accounts.  One says that 13 witnesses actually testified to seeing the Golden Plates with their owns eyes.  Then the other account is that these 13 testified they only saw the Golden Plates spiritually..through spiritual eyes, but not physically…only Joseph Smith saw the actual Golden Plates with his own eyes.  I was just curious as to which one seems to be the actual doctrine of LDS on this.  I do not have an opinion on it…but when you hear or read two differing accounts one gets curious as to which it is.

5.  I read yesterday about the Kinbrook Plates.  These were bell shaped plates that were golden.  A group of men reportedly unearthed these plates that were stamped with symbols on them and took them to Joseph Smith.  It was told that Joseph begin to interpret these plates and symbols and when half way through found out that the plates were a hoax by these men and that the symbols meant nothing.  Do you have further information on this?  I only heard and read briefly on this, but wondered if anyone has actually seen any transcript as to what Joseph Smith was writing down as that the symbols meant?  The folks doing the documentary may not have known the truth about this either.  I was shocked to even hear about them as I had never heard about them until I was reading online about golden plates and then found a video that was talking about them as well.  Curious to know what else is known about them.

Remember, I am simply curious to know answers to these questions.  I get alot of questions about different things like this and I also want to be able to set people straight when they are misquoting as well.  If anyone can speak on some or all of these questions that would great.  If you simply do not have an answer that is understandable as well.

thanks,

Scott

Posted in Mormonism or LDS | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

LDS Members: You Have Met My Goal!

Posted by Scott on March 27, 2008

OK, you have answered the questions raised yesterday…thank you one and all.  I appreciate the great responses…some were very good responses and some just the same old stuff, but that is how it goes with any question no matter what the faith.  Some comments were somewhat harsh and I did not post them as my intent was not to create that kind of dialogue.  Any character assassins on me or my source is not allowed…sorry!  Just make the case for you personally and your faith and leave at that…I think we can all get along with that.

The overall goal was to create some dialogue here.  It seems if I ask sweet little questions in my post to the LDS they will not respond, however, when I post some questions that really are meaningless in the overall scheme of things you pounced like a cat on a flicker of light.  I would encourage you to just make your cases without all the snotty comments in between.   Some of you obviously have either had these questions before or really got to researching on it which is terrific.  We all must know why we believe what we believe and how to defend it.  I had a few that said you guys would not respond to the post and it would go no where and I thought they were crazy and you would respond and defend and you certainly have.  Great!  I am not saying here you convinced me otherwise, but that was not the goal intended.

Now, be looking for other questions in the future that really are a puzzle to me and I really do want the answers…I do not have any preconceived ideas on many of the future questions.  If I do I will tell you I do.  I would not be asking the questions if not looking for the answers.  Do not mistaken my questions as looking for truth…I am looking for some clarification on puzzling ideas, practices and questions.  I will make this very clear, I know where the truth is and it is found in my Lord Jesus Christ who is the Word, the Savior, the King of Kings and sets at the right  hand of my heavenly Father.  All the snotty remarks in the world will not change my mind about my Jesus.  I know how big my sovereign God is…far bigger than most will give Him credit for.  So, do not approach answering my questions as if to bring me into LDS…that will not happen…I want to be frank about that and it is not a slam against the LDS for me to say this.  However, I want to improve upon what I know about LDS from you…not from pamphlets and hear-say, which usually are distorted somewhat.  I have a few LDS missionaries that come over from time to time, but they really do not know very much about the deeper details of the LDS faith.  These 6 questions I asked stumped them, so I am not about to embarrass them with further questions like this….that is not my goal at all.  I care deeply for these young elders of the LDS and do not intend to embarrass them or argue with them either.

I like each of you that are civilized and even some that are spunky and I guess even those of you that did not get your comments posted, change your language and I will let you through:-)  Just realize I do not fear you or the LDS…there is nothing to fear, so I really do not understand why other Christians are so afraid of you either.  You may not think so, but it is true that I care deeply about each of you and where you will spend eternity.  In a strange way, though, I want to know everything I can about your faith.  This helps me to be able to understand where you are coming from.  If all I have are distorted ideas from what others say or what I read from those that may not know anything, then how can I understand you.  That goes both ways I know.  I will post a video I have found from time to time and ask you to help me understand what they are saying, so do not take the video as me trying to convince you of something or embarrass you…that is not the intent.  I want you to watch the same thing I am and shed some light on the content.  Many thousands of others will see the same thing.

So, do not turn your ears and eyes off, please.  I have watched more video productions, read more information (some good and some not so good), had personal conversations with Mormons, have clients that are Mormons or bel and even read a good portion of the Book of Mormon, so do not think I am clueless on everything.  Yet, I do not have an answer for many strange things you do or believe in…I say “strange” because it is too me.  Thanks for reading and listening to me and I look forward to some of you coming back to assist with answers and comments to my bizarre questions.  Just bare with any questions that may seem stupid…I do not see any questions as stupid you might ask no matter how simple.  Lets learn about each other.

Pressing on in Christ my Lord,

Scott

Galatians 1:6-9 & 2 Timothy 3:16-17  

Posted in Mormonism or LDS | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Could Joseph Smith have been a great story teller..or a true prophet?

Posted by Scott on March 26, 2008

Interesting video.  Sandra Tanner in this video is the great great grand daughter of Brigham Young.   Can you tell me your thoughts on the contents of this video?  I am not stating a support of it, just want your opinion of what it is claiming.  I mean for most people to think about someone putting their face inside a hat looking at a stone and having God’s word revealed to them is just amazing to me.  So, I just want some LDS comments on this.  Watch with openness of heart and mind.

 

Posted in Mormonism or LDS | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Free Masonry, the Occult and Joseph Smith! What are the connections?

Posted by Scott on March 26, 2008

Please watch and if you can address the issues this video raises I would greatly appreciate it.  I have read and researched most of this and it all seems to be true, but I wanted the opinion of someone from the LDS to address the issues.  I could not have presented it better than this video, so i just posted it to save time.  This is in no way condemning LDS…it just creates questions for the non-LDS person out here and we would like to know that someone from the LDS address it rather than us listening and watching and reading.

 

Posted in Mormonism or LDS | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Can Any Mormon or LDS Member Answer A Few Questions? Christian Comments Welcome!

Posted by Scott on March 26, 2008

Posted by Scott Baileyhave never found anyone within the Mormon faith that can answer these few simple questions which all raise other questions, so I pose these here to see if someone within the Mormon faith can answer them for me and everyone else…we really would like to know the answers.  For other great discussion questions go here:

1. If the American Indians were suppose to all be descendants of Lehi as is told, why was there so much diversity in the language and yet there was no indication of Hebrew in any of the Indian languages?2. Lehi as the Book of Mormon states that he found horses when he arrives in America.  Yet the horse described as well as many other domesticated animals did not even exist in America until the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadors.  So, how could Lehi have found horses several hundreds of years before they were even in America?
3. Nephi says that he had a “bow of steel”.  It is well known that Jews did not have steel at the time Nephi states this nor were there any iron or steel smelted on this continent until many hundreds of years later after the Spaniard Conquest.  How did Nephi have a “bow of steel” hundreds of years before steel was even known?

4. In The Book of Mormon we frequently see mentioned “swords and sci-meters (scimitars).”  This is interesting again because “sci-meters or scimitars” were unknown until the rise of the Muslim faith well after 600 A.D.  How could this be?

5. We know according to scholars and historians that silk did not exist in America during the pre-Colombian times.  Yet, The Book of Mormon says the Nephites possessed silk.  How did they get silk when silk was not around and was unknown during this time?

6. Joseph Smith describes in The Book of Mormon the Mayan Cliffs and high mountain peaks.  Where are these actually located?  Much of the geography of The Book of Mormon was thought by B.H. Roberts, Mormon General Authority and considered an expert on The Book of Mormon in the early 1900’s, to be alot like the landscape in and around the New England area.  B.H. Roberts began to question the authority of The Book of Mormon in his latter days to the point and I quote “Joseph Smith wrote The Book of Mormon himself and that there was no golden plates“. This comes after years of devotion to the Mormon faith and he was an apologist and expert on Mormonism besides the fact that he served on the Mormon Church’s First Council of the Seventy.  All I ask is that where are the Mayan Cliffs and other geographical places mentioned located geographically..not speaking of the only one location in New York that was an easy find?

I would also challenge anyone to research B.H. Roberts work he did before his death in 1933, but was not published until after his death.  A comprehensive study of these documents were published in 1985 as Studies of the Book of Mormon by the University of Illinois.  These were also edited by two Mormon scholars, Brigham Madsen and Sterling McMurrin.  Further interesting facts is that B.H. Roberts, expert in the Mormon faith he was a part of to his death, he wrote an open letter to then President Heber Grant, his counselors, the twelve apostles, and First Council of Seventy requesting an emergency meeting with them concerning these many questions.  However, upon the conclusion of this meeting they had resolved nothing, many did not take these questions serious, and most only testified to what they believed without knowing or researching any of the facts raised in these questions.  B.H. Roberts concluded Joseph Smith was merely caught up in spiritual excesses to which he imagined prophecies and manifestations.  “His revelations become merely human productions…Morbid imaginations, Morbid expression of emotions (were) likely to find there way into the knowledge of Joseph Smith and influence his conceptions of spiritual things.”  Roberts also concluded that the “golden plates” did not really exist, but were “psychological”.  Finally, Roberts was convinced that it was very clear that The Book of Mormon was taken from the ground work of Ethan Smith’s View of the Hebrews that came out prior to The Book of Mormon and was published near where Joseph Smith lived at the time…in B.H. Roberts own conclusion was that Joseph Smith was a plagiarist.

So, in conclusion, I am simply asking if anyone out there claiming to be of the true Mormon faith or The Church Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints can answer these puzzling questions for me.  If they can, we can put years of unanswered questioning to rest and thousands upon thousands of new believers will be added to the faith.

Thanks.

Scott

 

If you or someone you know would like more information on becoming a born again Christian, please, contact us via email Guys @ scott@dadsdevoted.com or Ladies @ dana@livingstones4moms.com !  We would be glad to spend time with you through email to answer any questions you may have and help you in placing your loyal trust in Jesus Christ as your savior today!  If you are only interested in debating theology, doctrine, religion or anything else, please, do that through the comment forum provided at the end of this post.

 

Researched from James R. Spencer, former Mormon Elder, from www.mazeministry.com

Update:  3-30-2010  I know many LDS members have commented here and on other sites claiming to have answered all these questions long ago. However, I have found only speculation in each answer given, nothing truthfully documented.  So, these questions still remain today as they did when first published. 

Posted in Mormonism or LDS | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments »

Listen Up Guys….Appropriate Relationships!

Posted by Scott on February 3, 2008

Appropriate Relationships

Guys, if you’re going to succeed in living a God-pleasing life, keep your distance from women apart from your wife. 

I’m not saying that you become rude to women or stand-offish. What I am saying is that we keep an appropriate distance in our relationships with the women with whom we work and associate. You know what I’m talking about. We must keep our distance emotionally, and we must keep our distance physically. And if we will do that, we’ll be just fine. 

One of the reasons a vast majority of guys don’t finish strong can be found right here. Why? Because Satan takes them out with his all-time, numero-uno, time-proven tactic for snaring men and keeping them from living successfully: sexual immorality. Be on the alert and remember, ministry begins at home. My first responsibility before God is to my wife.

–Steve Farrar

Steve Farrar is the author of ten books, including the
best-sellers Point Man and Finishing Strong.
Learn more at SteveFarrar.com

-Scott Bailey 2008

Posted in farrar | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

-Fierce Warriors in the Hands of God!

Posted by Scott on January 5, 2008

“Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth”
–Psalm 127:4

You may be thinking right now that I am crazy for using Spartan Warrior within Christianity, but read the entire piece before passing judgment.  Spartan Warriors were fierce fighters.  They would fight to the death for their family, king, and kingdom.  They were ruthless and unconventional in their process and training.  However, my research on Spartan Warriors turned up better qualities for these fighters that many of us as Christian men need to pay attention to. These warriors were trained from the very young age of 7 to be fierce in battle.  The meaning of Spartan is to be “totally devoted to one cause, self-deprived or stripped down to nothing, but the bare essentials, undoubting and courageous”.  They were trained to give their lives without hesitation.  These warriors did not think anything about danger and always expected to win or die trying to win.  These were dreaded men in battle. 

 Gentlemen, I am here to inform you that if you did not know this before now, we are in the battle of our lives and the lives of our families…time to wake-up!  I am afraid that unless we as Christian fathers do not began to train our young men to be like these Spartan Warriors, the future looks very dim.  We need to be training up our boys to be fierce when in battle and this battle takes place daily.  Young men that will not back down from authority that makes rulings in direct conflict with the scriptures.  We need young men that do not mind being ridiculed when they stand up for the under-dog or under-privileged or as they share the gospel to a neighbor or friend.  In some cases this may mean taking up arms to defend our nation and our families from the enemies abroad or even within our midst.  On a daily basis, we need to equip these young fighters with the Truth of God’s Holy Word above all else… God’s Holy Word is not found in the Koran! 

Within the pages of the Bible are many fierce warriors who fought bravely like King David as one example.  The Lord helped him fight with full control of himself and bravely.  David fought mightily with the hand of God on his life…”And David became greater and greater, for the Lord God of hosts was with him.”  2 Samuel 5:10 (NAS)  He as a warrior for the Kingdom of God and Spartan Warriors in ancient Greece were courageous and self-sacrificing.  The crusade I am speaking of today is for the minds and hearts of our young people.  Many Christians have already given up this crusade long ago and have decided to just blend in with the rest of the world in order to have peace.  They may go to church and bible study, but nothing  is different in their lives or the lives of their kids.  We have bought into the society belief that we can be immersed in the life style of the world and still maintain an effective evangelical witness. 

 Titus 2:12(NIV) says, “It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age…”  In John 15:9(NIV)  it states, “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”   

Just hoping our kids will turn out alright is not the answer.  Our adversary, Satan, would like nothing else than for parents to take this approach.  Of course by the grace of God some do turn out alright and frankly that is how we all turn out alright. However, these kids are placed in our hands for a short time for training and preparation for the future and we do not want to let them down if at all possible.  The battle for the heart and mind of our children today include homosexuality, pornography, drunkenness, illegal drug usage, over eating, moral relativism, unfaithfulness, theft, lying, and so on.  This corruptness is being taught in nearly every public forum and institution in America as being “right”.  Our children are being taught that there is no sin and there is no right or wrong.  Their cry is that we all need to be more tolerant of each other.  They are taught that Adam can marry Robert and Eve can marry Laura and it is “ok”.  The truth is that homosexuality is sin and it is not “ok”.  This sin is as forgivable as over eating, as is drunkenness and so on. Glory to God that they are forgivable, but I do not want this deviant trash taught to my children and grandchildren as being “ok”.  Pornography is down played as just a natural thing that men and women desire and it is “ok”.  Christian men are not immune to this.  Men it is not “ok” even in the privacy of your own home.  What we put in our minds has a direct impact on what comes out of our life each day.  Much of the violence against women today stems from pornography.  If this kind of trash goes into the mind then I can guarantee you that vile trash will come out in some form of your life.  Drunkenness is very accepted these days as well, although it is nothing new to the ages.  Drunkenness is mind altering and you will do and say things that will not honor God in any way and will bring shame upon your family. 

Psalm 23:33 says about too much wine, “Your eyes will see strange things, and your mind will utter perverse things.” 

God has always spoken out against drunkenness in His Word.  I said here, “drunkenness”, not a glass of wine at dinner…I just wanted to clarify that.  A trendy activity nowadays is to go to church on Sunday and raise your hands and sing in what is perceived to be praising and worshipping God.  Then the rest of the week live as you wish and on the weekend get stumbling drunk with your buddies and come to church on Sunday to be holy again.  Is this truly grace in action?  What a mockery to the glory of Jesus Christ!  Does this show a deep love for our Savior?  Does raising our hands to the “bouncy” music in the churches today that stirs up the emotions really make us spiritual and holy?  I am not attacking praise worship music entirely, but in observing the true impact of this movement that has forgotten the testimony of the hymns of old, I have witnessed people actually growing more vile in their lives rather than a closeness to the Lord as the music stirs up emotions rather than a deep seeded devotion to worshipping Christ in the music and message of the pastor. 

Men, take a hard look into your heart….is that burning desire to know Jesus and love Jesus really there?  What is your reason for going to church or reading your Bible?  Another hot trend within the world today is embracing the Muslim or Hindu or Buddhism religion as another way to heaven…that we should be tolerant.  We are told that there are many ways to God. 

 Matthew 7:13-14 speaks of those broad roads and narrow gates, “Enter by the narrow gate, for the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter by it.  For the gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it.” 

We are taught to believe they should have equal access to the minds of our children, our culture, and we should move over for their ways and embrace their teachings.  I will make this statement as clear as I can, men, NO ONE has the right to access the mind and heart of my children other than God Himself.  God gave those children to me and my wife to love, nurture, train and protect.  The liberal left does not have the right to them, the Communist left wingers do not have a right to them, the Muslims, Hindu’s, or Buddhist do not have rights to them, the homosexuals do not have rights to them or the legalist within the church today do not have the rights to them, or any other kind of evil that permeates this dark world we live in today.  If I sound a bit combative in this, I am combative.  This is no powder puff football game we are in, people. 

So, I am declaring today that we must start raising our sons ,as the Spartan Warriors of the 21st century, that will carry on these truths that are in God’s Word and do it unashamedly.  We need a crusade where young men will give their lives so that our future generations can survive without having to bow to the vile images that are so prevalent in our culture today or be subject to the horrific views and taunting by the homosexual leftist agenda.  A desire must exist for young men to train themselves to be satisfied with only the bare essentials as Spartan Warriors were disciplined to be and not raised under pampered lives like so many of the Christian and worldly kids of today.  These young men need training to buffet their bodies and keep their actions under control regarding women, children, money, alcohol, politics, and the things of this world.  Our world is groaning for young men who have a deep seeded desire to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ.

   Can we train up young men that will carry as their motto, “Give me Christ and Christ alone”?  We long for young men who are willing to die for the cause of Christ.  This does not come naturally…it comes as we battle forward immersing ourselves in God’s word and let Him develop in our hearts and minds a “biblical world view”.  God is sovereign!  He has never moved or changed His mind.  He is not surprised by the darkness that envelops the world we live in today.  He created this universe and every living or non-living being in it.  He is not bashful about war, battle, death or even love.  So, our challenge today as fathers of sons is to bring up a new generation of young men that will fit the image of God, like a warrior for truth, justice and become a loving family man.  Steve Farrar put it very plainly with this quote from his book, “Standing Tall”:

“Gentlemen, we are raising our kids in this sewer of moral relativism.

If your kids buy into this philosophy, it will ruin their lives.

Here’s the deal, guys.  Our kids won’t know anything unless they see it in our lives.  Our kids won’t know that there are moral absolutes unless they absolutely see those truths lived out in our lives.”

-Steve Farrar, “Standing Tall” 1994

 

This is what I am talking about.  The training is about walking and talking God’s truth daily.  It does not mean we are perfect, but that we are able to show our weaknesses as well as our strengths.  We need to show our kids that God creates strength from our weaknesses.  There is a loud voice trying to wake up our countries Christian fathers.  I am afraid though we have ear plugs in or are ignoring this loud call.

“The Christian world is in a deep sleep. 

Nothing but a loud voice can waken them out of it.”

-George Whitefield, 1739

 

Guys, I cannot tell you what to do or how to raise your kids.  I cannot make you do anything you are not entirely willing to do from your heart.  This is not a legalistic set of rules or point of view even though it is my opinion.  I abhor legalism in all of its form when it comes to the scriptures and the life God would have each of us live.  However, I am simply challenging you to rethink how you are training your children, especially the boys and how you are living as an example for them today.  Is it with sacrifice or from a life of pure luxury?  At the age of 7, are you training warriors to do battle for their future wives, children, countrymen, and ancestry or just over educated athletes in hopes of landing that multi-million dollar contract so they can buy more boats, larger houses, more jewelry and filthier women?  What is their view of supporting the ministries that abound in their area today?  Do they have a worldly view or a biblical world view?  Can you see a servant’s heart or a future adult that will be demanding and hard to live with?  Think about what is important in this life that enhances your eternal life and the eternal life of others.  Out of your actions and training which of those give glory to the Lord?  Does baseball, football, basketball, the finest schools, dances, an exotic vacation, or other activities like these have an eternal purpose?  They could have, but just think for a moment how it is coming across to the kids.  Does giving them every single toy they ask for prepare them for the battles ahead in life?  Does saying yes to their every plea really give them a proper outlook on the future?  Does taking their side in every argument truly help them in preparation for debating the liberal left wing of this world?  Do they see you react to a problem with prayer and digging into your Bible or do they observe you speaking harshly of that person or problem and vow your revenge? 

Men, I am not bringing this message from an attitude of having all the answers or that I always do it right, because that would be a bold face lie.  I battle the same sins and problems you do.  I battle the same pride and ego that every man fights.  But the truth is what it is, guys.  I cannot speak totally from example, but simply from God’s truth.  We need fighters, warriors, kids that grow up knowing the Bible and believing that the Bible is completely true as the inspired word of God and fall in love with their Lord Jesus Christ.  Our world can stand young men that will be devoted to their wives, children, and country and see them as a blessing upon their lives rather than a curse. 

 Today, I encourage you to pray sincerely about all that you have read here.  Reach down deep into the pit of your heart to find that which God placed in your heart years ago.  Lift up your family, co-workers, in-laws, and enemies in prayer.  Dress down spiritually and put it all on the table, guys.  Leave it with the Lord…all of it…the hurt, the pain, the tears, the stress, the financial problems, sexual problems, weaknesses, family problems…all of it.  Leave nothing behind to carry on with you.  Then take a long deep breath and set there for a while in silence to listen to hear if God will speak to you.  It may take Him days, weeks, months or years to speak, but He will speak to you.  See if He speaks, not audibly, but spiritually, through His word, through His people, and through the circumstances.  It is better to not move a muscle until you hear God speak then to do anything that would be in direct disobedience to His calling upon your life. 

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.

The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things; and the God of peace shall be with you.”    Philippians 4:8-9 (NAS)

 

Guys think on a few questions this very day:

-Would the Lord have you change anything about your life, the treatment of your wife and children and then the training of your children?

-What change can you make today that would be positively noticeable to your family when you got home from work that would inspire them to want to follow you and serve the Lord more? 

What changes would bring glory to Christ today?

-Do you have a servant’s heart like Christ or is pride and ego in the way?

-Why do you go to church, bible studies, and other “religious” functions?

-What kind of men do you hang around with everyday?

-Most importantly, do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ or are you just playing church or religion because it is the cultural thing to do? 

This is serious guys…your life and the lives of our children and grand-children depend on the decisions we make today….tomorrow may be too late.

Scott Bailey 2007 ©  

*Disclaimer:  In no way am I against sports, athletes, vacations, or money.  Joe Lewis, the late great boxer, once said that “no, money isn’t everything, but it sure ranks right up there with air…try to live without for a day.”  Each of us have a God given purpose in life and is according to what God’s desire for our lives are and we should be obedient to Him in that purpose if we want to live a successful life.  That could mean a pro baseball career for example or using your income to provide for families in need that live around you.  So, please reread this with an open heart and mind and look at it from God’s side as to what He might be seeing in us right now.  He wants us to be completely devoted to Him in all things and my heart felt belief is that we have missed this as dads on nearly all accounts…I am as convicted of this in my heart as anyone else. 

May God bless you as you go out each day to provide for your family and as you work hard to make that much needed time to spend with your wife and children.

Posted in Spartan Warriors | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »