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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Today in the City of David...

In another post about the birth of Jesus, I try to address the issue of an apparent discrepancy between the Bible and the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon prophesies that Jesus will be born "at Jerusalem," while the Bible correctly Prophesies his birth in Bethlehem.

In that post, I mention the Amarna Letters, which were tablets bearing some correspondence between a few politicians of the day. In these letters, they refer to Jerusalem not only as a city, but as a district, or region, which would have included Bethlehem.

In others words, both the Bible and the Book of Mormon are correct. Christ was born in the city of Bethlehem, in the district of Jerusalem.

In addition to the Amarna Letters, the Bible itself also supports this interpretation.

In Luke 2:11, an angel appeared to some shepherds, saying,

"For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."

Here, we have not a mere prophet, but an actual Angel of the Lord, saying that Christ will be born "in the City of David," but the City of David is Jerusalem, not Bethlehem.

So if the Bible is correct, then Bethlehem must have been included in the land which was considered "Jerusalem." If not, then the Bible makes the same mistake that the Book of Mormon does.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

2012 and the Mayan Calendar

"We have to be clear about this. There is no prophecy for 2012," said Erik Velasquez, an etchings specialist at the National Autonomous University of Mexico UNAM.L. "It's a marketing fallacy."

 The National Institute of Anthropological History in Mexico has been trying to quell the barrage of forecasters predicting the apocalypse. "The West's messianic thinking has distorted the world view of ancient civilizations like the Mayans," the institute said in a statement.

 In the Mayan calendar, the long calendar count begins in 3,114 BC and is divided into roughly 394-year periods called Baktuns. Mayans held the number 13 sacred and the 13th Baktun ends next year.

 Sven Gronemeyer, a researcher of Mayan codes from La Trobe University in Australia, who has been trying to decode the calendar, said the so-called end day reflects a transition from one era to the next in which Bolon Yokte returns.

 "Because Bolon Yokte was already present at the day of creation ... it just seemed natural for the Mayan that Bolon Yokte will again be present," he said. Of the approximately 15,000 registered glyphic texts found in different parts of what was then the Mayan empire, only two mention 2012, the Institute said.

 "The Maya did not think about humanity, global warming or predict the poles would fuse together," said Alfonso Ladena, a professor from the Complutense University of Madrid. "We project our worries on them."

Read Article Here

Friday, December 16, 2011

Death of Christopher Hitchens

English author, journalist and advocate for atheism, Christopher Hitchens, passed away on Dec. 15, 2011 of esophageal cancer at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Upon hearing the news, the New York Times halted its presses in order to include a front page obituary the following day.

Fellow atheist, Richard Dawkins, posted on Twitter, "Christopher Hitchens, finest orator of our time, fellow horseman, valiant fighter against all tyrants including God."

I have to mourn the passing of such an intellectual giant, even if I did not always agree with him. He's one of a dying breed.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Ford Motor Company - Mormon Message

Following is an interesting article written by Ford Motor Company for its employees. It was presented by the ‘Ford Interfaith’ group as a message about the LDS Church .


 * Named “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”; informal nicknames are “LDS” or “Mormon” -named after the prophet-historian
* Believes it is the Lord’s restoration of original Christianity as foretold to occur before Christ’s Second Coming.
* Core focus is that Christ and His teachings bring happiness in this life and exaltation in the next.


 * For the last 15 years, every day an average of 800+ people worldwide joined the LDS church.
* Half of the growth is in Latin America, but the rate of growth is highest in Africa and the former Soviet bloc.
* Worldwide membership just passed 12 million, a tenfold increase in 50 years.
* In 1984 a non-LDS professor estimated 265 million members by 2080; so far growth has been faster.
* As this growth has been steady, it will be the next major world religion since Islam.”

Read Full Article Here

Friday, December 9, 2011

Mormons and the Wrong Jesus

Mormons are often criticized for teaching the "wrong" Jesus, or a "false" Jesus. This claim is one of the justifications used to classify the LDS church as non-Christian and is primarily based on our rejection of several points of the Nicene Creed, especially regarding the trinity.

The first Article of Faith of the LDS church states, "We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost." However, while we do believe in the three members of the Trinity, we do not subscribe to the idea that they are one in essence. We believe that they are three separate personages, one in heart, mind, and purpose, but physically separate.

Regarding this view, Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley said,
 "As a Church we have critics, many of them. They say we do not believe in the traditional Christ of Christianity. There is some substance to what they say. Our faith, our knowledge is not based on ancient tradition, the creeds which came of a finite understanding and out of the almost infinite discussions of men trying to arrive at a definition of the risen Christ. Our faith, our knowledge comes of the witness of a prophet in this dispensation who saw before him the great God of the universe and His Beloved Son, the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ. They spoke to him. He spoke with Them. He testified openly, unequivocally, and unabashedly of that great vision. It was a vision of the Almighty and of the Redeemer of the world, glorious beyond our understanding but certain and unequivocating in the knowledge which it brought. It is out of that knowledge, rooted deep in the soil of modern revelation, that we, in the words of Nephi, 'talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that [we and] our children may know to what source [we] may look for a remission of [our] sins'" (2 Nephi 25:26).
So while the LDS church does have a different conception of Jesus, is that enough to disqualify them as Christian? After all, don't all churches have a unique view of who Christ was, even regarding the nature and attributes of the Christ?

For example, Catholics believe in a God that speaks through a Pope, Protestants do not. Logically, one of them must have a false conception of God. He can't speak and not speak through the Pope. One of their Gods must be false. Catholics believe in a God which provides Purgatory, allows prayer to Saints, and performs transubstantiation during Communion, while Protestants do not. Catholics believe that salvation comes through baptism and may be lost or regained by sin and repentance. Protestants believe salvation comes through grace and is unconditional. Logically, God can't do and not do these things. They are teaching two separate conceptions of God, one of which simply must be false.

Even among specific denominations, there are differences in how we define God. Catholics believe that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son. Orthodox holds that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father only. Christ can't be and not be the source of the Holy Ghost. They are referring to two different conceptions of Christ. One must be false.

Some churches believe God sanctified Sunday as the Sabbath, some do not. One must be false. Some churches hold that God allows female clergy, some do not. One must be false. Some churches believe in a God who uses church leaders, such as Bishops and Popes, as sources of doctrine, others do not. One must be false.

If God is the source of all truth, then any instance of conflicting truths between two denominations is an indication that those two denominations do not teach of the same God. In other words, no two churches teach the same God.

So if anyone were to tell me that I teach a different Jesus, I'd ask, "Don't we all?"

Thursday, December 8, 2011

You Can't Touch Mormon Jesus

Not an accurate representation of LDS doctrine, but hilarious nonetheless.

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