50 Questions: The Bible, part 4

16 Apr

On another blog Tim has been writing answers to a series of questions asked by a Latter Day Saint named Greg Trimble. The list was titled 51 Questions That Might Lead You To Mormonism. So far Tim has posts 5 parts in his series, and I don’t know how many more it will take to answer all 51. However, in part 4 he mentions another list of questions that was made back in 2001. This was titled 50 Questions to Ask Mormons. So, I have decided to follow Tim’s example and make a short series to answer these 50 questions.

I will answer the questions in the order they are given and in the categories they are sorted into. Each post will be less than 1000 words, so only a few questions will be answered in each.

Read 50 Questions: Prophets, part 1; Prophets, part 2; Mormon Scriptures, part 1; Mormon Scriptures, part 2; Mormon Scripture, part 3; Mormon Scripture, part 4; The Bible, part 1; The Bible, part 2; The Bible, part 3

QUESTIONS 42-45

  1. Why do Mormons say the sticks in Ezekiel 37 represent the Bible and the Book of Mormon when Ezekiel 37:20-22 tells us that the sticks represent two nations, not two books?  

15-17 “The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying, Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and for all the house of Israel his companions: And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.”

The word stick here is more rightly translated as wood. Wooden writing tablets covered in wax were used in Babylon in ancient times. Multiple tablets could be joined with hinges, creating a kind of book.

In this passage Ezekiel is told to take two pieces of wood and to write on them for Judah and Joseph. This would indicate some kind of record.

18-19 “And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these? Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.”

The sticks are not the tribes themselves, but are in the hands of the tribes. They are records that are held by the tribes of Joseph and Judah.

20-22 “And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes. And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land: And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all:”

So, first God will join the records of the two tribes (one could say the two greatest tribes of Israel) and once they are joined it will facilitate the gathering of Israel in the last days, at which time Israel will be united into one nation with Christ as their king.

  1. Why does the LDS Church teach that Jesus and Lucifer are spirit brothers when both the first chapter of John and Colossians teach that Jesus is the Creator of all things, including Lucifer? 

John 1: 3

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Let us understand Colossians in light of John.

Note that John tells us that Christ made everything that was made, thus indicating that there are some things in existence that were not made, and thus Christ could not have made them.

Now, neither verse mentions Lucifer in anyway. I know of no passage from the Bible that says that Lucifer was made. Just like all of us, he was a spirit in heaven; an eternal being that was not made, nor could have been (D&C 93: 29). Thus he is not included in the list of things that Christ created.

  1. Why do worthy Mormon males hold the Aaronic priesthood since Hebrews 7:11-12 clearly teaches that it was changed and superseded by something better? 

“If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.”

Note that the Priesthood was changed. This means that the existing priesthood was not done away with, but was altered, remaining present but in a different form.

Note also that the Melchizedek priesthood, while it supersedes the Aaronic, does not destroy it in any way.

We have the Aaronic because the Aaronic is still present. It has been changed so that it is not the primary religious authority in the church, as it was from the time of Moses to the time of Christ. It was further changed so that all worthy men could be ordained to this priesthood, not just the descendants of Levi.

However, it is still present. It is also subordinate to the Melchizedek, which is known as the Higher Priesthood.

  1. If your leaders are correct about the complete falling away of the true church on earth, was Jesus in error when he said that the gates of hell would not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18)?

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

The promise that was made was that the church built on the proper foundation would stand; that the gates of hell would not prevail against it. The church left the foundation that Christ placed it on, and when it did that it lost any claim to this promise.

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