Mitt Romney Brings Mormonism into the Public Square

A recent interview with Mitt Romney is the occasion for this post, but this is not a political post. It’s theological. In an interview with Mike Wallace on the CBS program “60 Minutes,” Romney explains why he affirms traditional marriage and opposes same-sex “marriage.”

“This isn’t just some temporary convenience here on Earth, but we’re people that are designed to live together as male and female and we’re gonna have families . . . What’s at the heart of my faith is a belief that there’s a creator, that we’re all children of the same God, and that fundamentally the relationship you have with your spouse is important and eternal” (source).

The religious underpinnings of Romney’s remarks are probably intended as an appeal to evangelical Christian voters who are still skeptical about Romney. Ironically, Romney’s attempted outreach actually turns out to be anti-evangelical in its substance. Romney’s answer is thoroughly Mormon, but it is also thoroughly anti-Christian.

When Romney says that marriage is “eternal,” he directly contradicts Christ’s teaching. Jesus clearly teaches that marriage is a temporary institution that does not exist in the resurrection. In Matthew 22, the Sadducees challenged Jesus on this very point. They presented him with the hypothetical situation in which a woman was widowed seven times by seven different brothers. They asked Jesus, “In the resurrection therefore whose wife of the seven shall she be? For they all had her.”

Jesus’ answer was direct, “You are mistaken, not understanding the Scriptures, or the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven” (Matthew 22:28-30). Jesus shows that God intends for marriage to be a temporary institution. In this age, marriage is to be an illustration of Christ’s marriage to His bride, the Church. Marriage symbolizes the glory of Christ and His Church (Ephesians 5:31-32). Thus marriage is not ultimate, but it points to something that is ultimate, Christ’s covenant love for His bride. Once the wedding of Christ to His church is consummated (Revelation 19:7-10), the symbol gives way to the reality, and marriage as we know it ceases. That is why Jesus teaches that marriage will be no more in the resurrection (Matthew 22:28-30).

Mormons have an aberrant eschatology. Mormons believe that one of the rewards for being a faithful Mormon is that in the “afterlife” one can become like God and have a planet to populate with one’s own sons and daughters. This eschatological expectation requires men and women to be married and to be having children in the afterlife. You can see why Mormon theology needs marriage in the resurrection.

So Mormonism holds to beliefs that directly contradict Jesus’ teaching as it is revealed in Scripture. Evangelicals who know and cherish the teachings of the biblical Jesus will not be very impressed by Romney on this score.

For more on the biblical teaching on marriage and the temporary nature of it, see John Piper’s recent sermons on marriage. Among other things, Piper says this:

“The purpose of human marriage is temporary. But it points to something eternal, namely, Christ and the church. And when this age is over, it will vanish into the superior reality to which it points.

“Jesus said in Matthew 22:30, “In the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.” This is why my father, Bill Piper, will not be a bigamist in the resurrection. Both my mother and my step mother have died. My father had a thirty-six-year marriage with my mother and, after her death, a twenty-five-year marriage with my stepmother. But in the resurrection, the shadow gives way to the reality. Marriage is a pointer toward the glory of Christ and the church. But in the resurrection the pointer vanishes into the perfection of that glory.”
–”Marriage: Forgiving and Forebearing” – by John Piper

16 Responses to Mitt Romney Brings Mormonism into the Public Square

  1. Alex Chediak May 14, 2007 at 6:14 am #

    Denny,

    Yah, I saw the 60 minutes interview and was a little surprised at how forthright he was with his Mormon theology.

  2. Paul May 14, 2007 at 7:28 am #

    why?

    Remember, you’re talking about a country that claims to be 88% Christian — but only 30% of those people go to church regularly. And only 30% of THOSE people do anything at or with church beyond Sunday mornings.

    So, to most of those people, they heard something really nice and touching (that you’re going to be with your spouse forever), and it doesn’t matter that it’s wrong. It sounds like it could be right. And in the era of soundbite politics, that’s all you need. To sound right. Sure, Denny might catch it, but how many people read this blog?

  3. dennyrburk May 14, 2007 at 7:37 am #

    I’m afraid you’re right, Paul. Many people won’t know any better.

  4. Phil May 14, 2007 at 8:22 am #

    More interesting to me than this comment of Romney’s on marriage was his comment about polygamy last week. Then he said something to the effect that he couldn’t think of anything worse than polygamy. The problem with that being, if he’s truly a good LDS, he believes will have many wives when he attains godhood. Are we to assume he views that as a regrettable but necessary aspect of divinity?

  5. ken May 14, 2007 at 1:38 pm #

    OH STOP IT!

    Almost always, if one needs a better understanding of the gospel of Jesus Christ, he/she needs to look at its TOTALITY; not isolated misinterpreted and/or out of context verses.

    In the LDS doctrine, there are two kinds of marriages, civil (or temporary) and temple (permanent and not “until death do us part”) marriages. Though the former is sanctioned by the LDS Church, it is considered an anomaly from the more eternal nature of its marriage dogma. You see, the authority of God (priesthood) is eternal and whenever that priesthood/authority is exercised, permanence and eternity are invoked. It is the same authority that Jesus spoke about in Matthew 16:19: “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” Keys here refer to authority. It is the same truth that, again, the Savior speaks of in Matthew 19:6 in the discussion of marriage: “Wherefore they [husband and wife] are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Here, the Bible reiterates that the real marriage performed under/by God’s authority, is permanent and eternal, and no civil and/or man-made authority should abrogate it. Now, back to the oft-quoted scripture used by mainstream Christians to justify the temporary (mortality only) nature of marriage – the reason that the woman will not be given to marriage in the resurrection is because the marriage was never performed and sealed by proper divine priesthood authority. Incidently, the authority by which civil marriages/weddings that you are used to are not of God, but of the civil institution/government. Note the familiar invocation of civil authority in this phrase: “”By the power vested in me by the State of _______, I now pronounce you husband and wife” Yes, most marriages are performed by a priest or minister BUT the authority is granted by the STATE (or province); in other words, it’s still a civil union, which ends at death (“until death do us part”) In fact there is almost nothing religious about a civil marriage/wedding ceremony. This is the type of marriage the brothers and the woman had – in effect ONLY in mortality. The familiar phrase, “Marriage is ordained of God”, therefore, refers only to the LDS temple marriage. “And again, verily I say unto you, that whoso forbiddeth to marry is not ordained of God, for marriage is ordained of God unto man” ~ Doctrine & Covenants 49: 15. This is completely in line and in harmony with the totality of the gospel of Jesus Christ in the Bible!

    A little knowledge is dangerous, a little gospel knowledge is fatal!

  6. Jim Sweeney May 15, 2007 at 3:48 pm #

    ken,

    So until Joseph Smith came along, “marriage ordained by God” did not exist, and the only reason Jesus said that the hypothetical woman would not be married in heaven was because the Sadducees had never heard of Mormonism. Wow. I’ve heard of “reading between the lines”, but it sounds like you’ve curled up between the lines with a good book the size of Moby Dick!

  7. ken May 15, 2007 at 5:32 pm #

    Jim:

    The LDS Church is the RESTORED gospel. “Restore” means to bring back something that had existed before. The primitive Church was established and founded by Christ himself (re: Ephesians) and some of the doctrines, tenets, etc., included marriage by divine priesthood authority (re:Matt.: 16:19). By the way, the Sadducees were not part of the believers of the gospel of Christ, hence their ignorance.

    So what would be your interpretation of Matthew 19:6 :

    “Wherefore they [husband and wife] are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”?

    Does it suggest a ‘til death, or eternal union? Easy question; I’m curious as to what your “take” is on this one.

  8. Jim Sweeney May 15, 2007 at 6:14 pm #

    Ken,

    We must look at Matthew19:6 in context. Jesus is being asked about the legality of divorce right here on Earth. He is not addressing the notion of celestial marriage, but marriage between an earthbound man and woman. To answer the Pharisees’ question with a statement about celestial marriage would have been a non-sequitur unless you think the Pharisees were asking Jesus whether divorce is lawful in heaven. Moreover, the verse is further informed by Jesus’ later statement in Matthew 22. That Jesus was discussing earthly marriage is made clear by his later statement that in the afterlife, people “neither marry nor are given in marriage”. Jesus did not contradict himself. Jesus never mentioned celestial marriage.

    “The LDS Church is the RESTORED gospel. ‘Restore’ means to bring back something that had existed before. The primitive Church was established and founded by Christ himself”

    Ah, then my statement should be corrected to say: ‘So until Jesus came along, “marriage ordained by God” did not exist’. Equally preposterous and unsupportable, but at least you’ve restored a few years worth of marriages between Christ’s founding of the church and its alleged falling into apostasy.

  9. mike May 16, 2007 at 12:42 pm #

    the marriage that the Saducess were refering to WOULD have been sanctioned by the Law, under the Priesthood. All you have to do is read Leviticus, which is why they quoted it. They were trying to trap him into either contradicting the OT or admitting that he didn’t know who’s wife she would be.
    Not only that but the idea of TWO types of marriages is entirely foreign to the Bible. Even those marriages that were performed in the notoriously pagan city or Corinth long before Paul reached then were under the covenant of marriage, if it were nulled because it were not permemant, why would Paul comand that they not divorce? (1COR 2:10-17)

    Then there is the issue that your main argument for this idea comes from what the priest/preacher says “by the power vested in me….” Well then you’ve got a whole new issue, you ought to read Romans 13,verse 1 states….
    “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God”

    Verse two continues to explain that those who rebel against this authority are in reality rebeling against GOD HIMSELF! Thus the marriage performed by those preachers under the authority of the STATE are in actuallity enforcing the authority of GOD.
    Where is your civil union? Is it not, in light of truth, a union from God? Even if those who enter the convenant are unaware of it?

    You also cited Jesus’ Words to HIS DISCIPLES as the basis of eternal authority, this record is part of why we view the scriptures the way we do, as the authoritative word of GOD. This has nothing to do with marriage, i’m sorry but that fails to make your point.

    There is no where in scripture that we read that we are “all children of God,” rather we read that we are by nature of birth, “children of Wrath!” (Rom 1,2,3), and even the Pharasees who followed the law as best as they could, which was better than most, were naturally children of thier father, The DEVIL!” I hardly see how that’s possible if in reality the devil is our brother.

    Truly…
    little knowledge is dangerous, a little
    gospel knowledge is fatal!
    Leave D&C out of this, JO Smith’s Moroni was from satan, thats why Paul writes in GAL 1:8,9
    But even if we or an !!!ANGEL!!! from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let him be ETERNALLY CONDEMNED! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let him be ETERNALLY CONDEMNED!

  10. ken May 16, 2007 at 5:54 pm #

    Jim & Mike:

    A.
    It’s apparent that you two are equivocating the whole marriage issue. Lack of proper understanding often causes equivocation. Jim, seems to endorse celestial marriage – its possibility/probability. Anyway, to cut to the chase, I want you both to answer this: Based on our understanding of the Bible and the overall gospel of Jesus Christ, we all agree that marriage is sanctioned/ordained by/of God. Is the ordinance of this God-ordained marriage, therefore, limited only to this life, or does it necessarily continue beyond death – as with other things pertaining to God?

    B (esp. to Mike):
    The Galatians verse of “another angel” is a flagship scripture by anti-LDS critics to exclude those churches outside of the mainstream, most notably the LDS Church. Its interpretation is, as with most others, shallow and flawed. The crux of the scripture is the suggestion of only ONE gospel.

    The questions derived from this are 1:
    “Which gospel (or church for that matter) is this ONE Gospel?” – There are a lot of divisions within so-called mainstream Christianity itself. The Baptists believe DIFFERENTLY from Protestants, the Catholics from the Methodists, Pentecostal from Presbyterians, etc., etc., In other words they are not united in their beliefs of THE GOSPEL tenets. The question again is which one preaches THE GOSPEL as mentioned by Paul?

    2: On the subject of an “angel” as in Galatians 1:8
    “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any bother gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”
    The verse, to anti-LDS, is a convenient and tailor made scripture to attack and denounce the LDS Church, especially because of its association with the angel Moroni. The Galatians verse does not condemn the means of delivery, as much as the delivered message. Having said all that, therefore, have you read and pondered this verse in Revelations that talks about another angel that John saw with the EVERLASTING GOSPEL?

    Rev. 14: 6
    “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every enation, and kindred, and tongue, and people….”

    Hmmm….interesting, isn’t it? I wonder if that angel has come – it should have since the gospel and knowledge of Christ is already in the world, right? What is more interesting is that the ONLY Church that has such an angel in its origin and history, hence fulfilling the prophecy, is the LDS Church – the angel Moroni!…….Ponder that!

    Have a good day!….Oh, and GO ROMNEY! – He won both debates!

  11. bj May 17, 2007 at 7:05 am #

    So, Ken, what about people who never marry?

  12. Jim Sweeney May 17, 2007 at 10:52 am #

    Ken,

    I couldn’t have been less equivocal or evasive about the distinctions between Biblical marriage and the Mormon notion of celestial marriage. You asked a question about a particular text and I answered it with points based entirely on the text and informed by other words of Christ in the same book. I’m sorry you misunderstood. I don’t endorse celestial marriage any more than Jesus did. I merely allow that Mormons mistakenly attribute the idea to God and equate it with “marriage ordained by God”.

    You want us to agree that a proper answer to your questions should be “Based on our understanding” of the whole Bible/gospel. I would go further and suggest that the answers should be base on what it actually says in the text. We don’t need to walk away from the actual text, ruminate about what it all might mean, and then come back with some magically enhanced understanding. God’s word makes it clear in the text on first reading that marriage between a man and a woman is limited to this life and that other things pertaining to God are eternal.

    It is good that you recognize that Galatians 1 is an important passage to keep in mind when examining the claims of Mormonism, but it is unfortunate that you once again choose to focus only on one verse rather than the surrounding text which informs verse 8. With all due respect, this pattern of yours is the very definition of “shallow and flawed” exegesis. The phrase “another gospel” is not drawn out of thin air without explanation as you suggest. The true “gospel” as Paul clearly states, is the gospel of Jesus Christ as communicated directly to the apostles including Paul himself. The gospel is plainly communicated in the text of the New Testament and fulfills in its entirety the covenant of the Old Testament. The denominations you mention have doctrinal differences but for the most part, they don’t deny the gospel that is revealed in the text. The message of the Bible is internally consistent and complete and by holding fast to the gospel, revealed once and for all time in the Bible (the very gospel mentioned in Rev 14), it is easy to recognize gospels and messengers that are contrary to it. You on the other hand, with an incomplete knowledge of the Bible, begin by assuming that LDS scriptures are true, that celestial marriage exists and that all other churches are false. You therefore fail to recognize the many particulars of Mormon doctrine that are clearly refuted by the Bible, and that it is by definition “another gospel”. The true “gospel and knowledge of Christ” has indeed been communicated to the world by the Bible, and whether it is preached by men or angels it is recognizable as true by those who know and believe the Bible. Joseph Smith clearly did not know the Bible, but I pray that you as an intelligent person who honestly wants to be able to recognize truth from error, would diligently continue to study the Bible and see it for what it is when not viewed through the dim distorting lens of Mormonism.

  13. ken May 18, 2007 at 10:50 am #

    Jim, if you’re not equivocating, you are definitely contradicting! The latter could be worse.

    Jim:
    “God’s word makes it clear in the text on first reading that marriage between a man and a woman is limited to this life and that other things pertaining to God are eternal.”

    Ken:
    “first reading”?….Apparently you’re implying a second, third and/or fourth reading then? Could one of these additional readings suggest the eternal nature of marriage? Could your implied additional readings also contradict your claim that “We don’t need to walk away from the actual text, ruminate about what it all might mean, and then come back with some magically enhanced understanding.”?

    And why would some things pertaining to God are eternal and others not? You are definitely preaching a fickle God, a blatant contradiction to the immutable nature of God in the Bible.

    Jim:
    “The denominations you mention have doctrinal differences but for the most part, they don’t deny the gospel that is revealed in the text.”

    Ken:
    Thank you for the admission (and confession?) that there are differences in doctrine within the so-called “Christian denominations”. What else is worse than having differences in doctrine? – Organization? Policies? Finances?

    Here’s what the Bible says about such divisions and differences:

    1 Corinthians 1:10-12 (Emphasis mine)

    Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the SAME thing, and that there be NO DIVISIONS among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
    For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are CONTENTIONS among you.
    Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ DIVIDED?

    The doctrinal differences also are in opposition to the “unity of faith” in Ephesians 4:13 as the goal of the Church organizational structure based on apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, etc.,

    In your claim above, moreover, you’re dissociating doctrines from the gospel. Isn’t the gospel the total sum of its doctrines?

    Jim:
    “I would go further and suggest that the answers should be base [sic] on what it actually says in the text.”

    Ken:
    “…the answers should be base [sic] on what it actually says in the text”, you say?

    In that case, again, what does it say in this text?

    “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people….”

    Where and who is the angel? Who now preaches the everlasting gospel? Did they receive it from the angel? Speculation is accepted, by the way.

    It’s obvious that you need a LOT MORE understanding of the Bible!

    Have a good day, my friend!

  14. mike May 18, 2007 at 1:35 pm #

    Is the everlasting Gospel, a different Gospel than the one we know of? I don’t see why this adjective requires one to assume it’s a different Gospel. Biblically the Gospel is refered to as:

    gospel of the kingdom
    Matthew 4:23
    Matthew 9:35
    Matthew 24:14
    Luke 16:16

    Gospel of Jesus Christ
    Mark 1:1
    Romans 15:19
    1 Corinthians 9:12
    2 Corinthians 2:12
    2 Corinthians 9:13
    2 Corinthians 10:14
    Galatians 1:7
    Philippians 1:27
    1 Thessalonians 3:2
    2 Thessalonians 1:8

    Gospel of your Salvation
    Ephesians 1:13

    Gospel of Peace
    Ephesians 6:15

    Gospel of the Glory of Chirst
    2 Corinthians 4:4

    Gospel of God
    Mark 1:14
    Romans 1:1
    Romans 15:16
    2 Corinthians 11:7
    1 Thessalonians 2:2
    1 Thessalonians 2:8
    1 Thessalonians 2:9
    1 Timothy 1:11
    1 Peter 4:17

    Gospel of His Son
    Romans 1:9

    Gospel of the Grace of God
    Acts 20:24

    Are these all different?
    Is the Gospel of God, any less eternal than the Gospel of Christ, what about the Gospel of the Glory or God? Which of these are any more or less eternal than the Eternal Gospel? You’ll also notice, the deffinate article before each of these instances, therby indicating ONE gospel. SO unless you care to acknowledge each of these as different gospels, I’d say you’re being pretty biased to you preconcieved theology. How about we alow the text to determine our theology, instead of trying to conform scripture to a pre-decided theology.

    And it is this Gospel that ALL CHRISTIAN DENOMINATIONS agree upon, this is why Mormans are not considered Christians, they have a different Gospel. When the angel Moroni spoke with Joseph Smith he spoke a different Gospel, the Gospel of “if-you-work-hard-enough-you-can-become-a-god-just-like-satan’s-older-brother Gospel.” That my friend is not Christian.

    Furthermore, not all things that pertain to God are eternal, only those things which pertain to His CHARACTER. Rom 13:1 says that Gov’t is from God, we know that this creation is made by God. Yet, both will be done away with, there will be no democracy after the judgement, God will be our king, so does this mean that somewhere somehow, Bush Sn. is still president? OF COURSE NOT, however we know that, from scripture, God himself chose him to take that office. Futhermore, the creation is not eternal, nor immortal. There is a difference, Eternal is without begining or end, immortal means something that will never die, meaning it has a beggining but no end. Every atribute of God is just as eternal as he is, but not everything he creates even in his people, will be eternal. We both can agree that the creation will be done away with correct?

    I’m sorry but you’ve no leg to stand on, lastly I was not condemning the method of recieving of that message by Joe Smith, rather that it was a different Gospel, and therefore, in light of scripture, a false one.

    have a good day my friend

  15. Jim Sweeney May 18, 2007 at 5:24 pm #

    Ken:
    if you’re not equivocating, you are definitely contradicting! The latter could be worse.

    Jim:
    I don’t believe I have contradicted myself, but if you will show me where you think you see a contradiction, I will attempt to address it.

    Ken:
    Could one of these additional readings suggest the eternal nature of marriage? Could your implied additional readings also contradict your claim that “We don’t need to walk away from the actual text, ruminate about what it all might mean, and then come back with some magically enhanced understanding.”?

    Jim:
    You’re really grasping at straws here, Ken, but I will respectfully answer. Yes, you may read the text as many times as you like, but no, multiple readings will not change what the text says about the mortal nature of marriage. My point was that you only need to read the text once to understand what it says. Yes, you can read it multiple times and no, that won’t change the meaning. No contradiction.

    Ken:
    And why would some things pertaining to God are eternal and others not? You are definitely preaching a fickle God, a blatant contradiction to the immutable nature of God in the Bible.

    Jim:
    God is immutable, but he has established temporary covenants here on Earth; e.g. animal sacrifice. Was Jesus preaching a fickle God when he said in Matthew 9 that “I will have mercy, and not sacrifice”? Do you really deny that some of what God has created and established is temporary and some is eternal. In fact, Jesus said in Matthew 24 “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”

    Ken:
    Thank you for the admission (and confession?) that there are differences in doctrine within the so-called “Christian denominations”. What else is worse than having differences in doctrine? – Organization? Policies? Finances?

    Jim:
    I was quite clear that there can be differences in doctrinal understanding between two denominations (or individuals within a single denomination) without either of them denying the one true gospel of Christ. Some orthodox Christians believe that the Bible supports capital punishment while others use the Bible to support their opposition to it. Some believe that the Bible supports pacifism while others use the Bible to support what they consider just wars. This is quite distinct from the essential gospel truth that all Christian denominations believe. All agree that we are saved by grace alone through faith. What is worse than having differences in doctrine? Espousing “another gospel” is.

    Ken:
    Here’s what the Bible says about such divisions and differences:

    1 Corinthians 1:10-12 (Emphasis mine)

    Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the SAME thing, and that there be NO DIVISIONS among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
    For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are CONTENTIONS among you.
    Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ DIVIDED?

    The doctrinal differences also are in opposition to the “unity of faith” in Ephesians 4:13 as the goal of the Church organizational structure based on apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, etc.,

    Jim:
    Amen. Total unity and harmony of church doctrine is something that we should aspire to. If all Christians were continually abiding in Christ, there would be no denominations and we would be enjoying that unity. Unfortunately however, this condition did not exist in the time of Paul, it does not exist today even in orthodox Christian denominations, and it certainly does not exist in the Mormon church. It is sad, but it is also reality. I hope you are not pretending that divisions, even serious ones, do not exist between Mormons. I have seen too many Mormon apologists arguing against “singular interpretations” when questioned about LDS scriptures.

    Ken:
    In your claim above, moreover, you’re dissociating doctrines from the gospel.

    Jim:
    Yes. The doctrines that can and do differ among Christians are distinct from the gospel that all Christians believe.

    Ken:
    Isn’t the gospel the total sum of its doctrines?

    Jim:
    In the way you’ve stated it, yes. The gospel is the total sum of ITS doctrines, not the total sum of ALL doctrines. In other statements you seem to be equating the terms doctrine and gospel. The Bible does not. The entire gospel can be expressed as doctrines, but not all doctrines are part of the gospel. They are not equivalent. If I were interested in nit-picking the semantics of your arguments, rather than their substance I might accuse you of “contradicting”, but I’m not so I won’t.

    Ken:
    “…the answers should be base [sic] on what it actually says in the text”, you say?

    In that case, again, what does it say in this text?

    “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people….”

    Where and who is the angel? Who now preaches the everlasting gospel? Did they receive it from the angel? Speculation is accepted, by the way.

    Jim:
    You are sidestepping the question of the first text concerning marriage in Matthew; presumably to move to an area where you feel you are on firmer ground. Unfortunately you have moved into the area of prophetic eschatology where very few of us will claim to be authoritative. You graciously accept speculation, but I would argue that speculation is rarely helpful in biblical exegesis. The text says that an angel has the everlasting gospel. Whether the angel will preach the gospel or hand it over for others to preach is unclear, but that distinction would not change the substance of the gospel that is preached. The gospel is to be preached to all people. If I left out anything important please tell me. The everlasting gospel is the singular and complete gospel that is communicated by Jesus and his apostles in the Bible. Who now preaches it? The text doesn’t give specifics, but the eternal gospel is self-contained, self-affirming and recognizable. It is preached by whoever preaches it. The LDS church does not. Is the angel Moroni? The text does not name him and a timeframe is not given, but knowing that much of the gospel Joseph Smith claims to have received from Moroni contradicts the eternal gospel that is communicated by the Bible as well as historical and archaeological fact, I would have to say no. Unless you will allow that Joseph Smith somehow catastrophically distorted the message given to him by Moroni, I would say that the evidence excludes Moroni as being the angel spoken of in the text.

    Ken:
    It’s obvious that you need a LOT MORE understanding of the Bible!

    Jim:
    We all could use a LOT MORE understanding of the Bible. I do not claim to know everything, but praise God, one day I will know all even as I am known! I pray that the Lord would also grant you understanding of His holy word as you honestly seek the truth.

    Ken:
    Have a good day, my friend!

    Jim:
    I hope that you do consider me a friend, Ken. I don’t think you’re a bad person, and I’m sure you probably have a correct understanding of much of what you read in the Bible (things not under discussion here). Mormons that I have gotten to know have been warm and kind, and I am sure that if we were to hang out, we could be friends in more than just the rhetorical sense. I wish you nothing but the best!

  16. Jeff Downs May 19, 2007 at 5:40 am #

    ken,

    Are you Community of Christ (Reorganized), FLDS, Restoration Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Church of Jesus Christ (Bickertonite)or perhaps Utah LDS?

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