Response to CARM: Difficult questions, part 5

31 Aug

I have recently been pointed to a website called Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry as an excellent location to learn LDS doctrine. On this website they have many pages dedicated to what they call exposing the truth of Mormonism. Most of what they present is well thought out, and they use many quotes and documents to support it. When they are simply giving a list of quotes they don’t do too bad. When they try to interpret those quotes and explain doctrine they fail almost completely. So I am starting a new series in which I will address a selection of pages from that website.

This next page is titled “Difficult Questions For Mormons to Answer.” It is a series of questions that are supposed to stump members of the LDS church. There are 32 questions total. Most are followed by a few quotes that try to establish the subject in question. The first part of my response will be a comment on the quotes given, and this will be in green.

Now, since there are so many questions and responding to all of them will take a long time, I will be dividing this into many separate posts, each answering 1-3 questions.

 

 

Q. Why does DC 42:18 say that a murder will never be forgiven, yet 3 Nephi 20:2 says that he can be forgiven?

A. The two verses in question are given by the author, and I give them again here, though abbreviated.

DC 42:18, “Thou shalt not kill; and he that kills shall not have forgiveness in this world, nor in the world to come.”

3 Nephi 30:2, “Turn, all ye Gentiles, from your wicked ways; and repent of your evil doings…of your murders…and from all your wickedness…and come unto me, and be baptized in my name, that ye may receive a remission of your sins…”

At first blush these seem to contradict each other. However, there is a subtle difference that needs to be noted. D&C is speaking of the individual, but 3 Nephi is speaking of society in general.

An individual is guilty of murder when they shed innocent blood and kill another. This act of an individual can never receive a full forgiveness and those guilty of it will never inherit more than the Telestial, or lowest glory.

A society is guilty of murder when they allow individuals to escape justice and thus allow murder to occur among them. When murders can buy their way out of justice, or are excused for any reason than the society that has allowed this is guilty of murder. If the society turns from this and begins again to bring murderers to justice and uphold the laws of God, than that society can repent of the allowing of wickedness to flourish in society. For example; when the reporter and camera man were shot on public TV what was the nations reactions. Political activists starting blaming the NRA, others wanted to talk about his mental health, and simply wanted to watch the live death of others. The killer uploaded a video of the shooting to the internet and people flocked to watch it. When this is our attitude and reaction we, as a society, are guilty of murder and in need of sore repentance.

In 3 Nephi the writer is calling the gentiles, as a society, to repentance, not the individuals.

 

Q. How could the Garden of Eden be in Missouri (according to Mormonism) when the Pearl of Great Price 3:10-14 tells us it was the area of Assyria when it mentions the rivers of Eden located there?

A. The author gives five quotes. The first four are to establish that the church does, in fact, teach that the Garden of Eden was in the Americas. As this is true I do not give the quotes here. The last quote comes from the book of Moses where it describes the Garden of Eden. I give the verse here, though abbreviated.

Moses 3: 10-14 “…caused a river to go out of Eden… it was parted…into four heads…the first Pison…compasseth…Havilah…the second river was called Gihon…compasseth…Ethiopia…the third river was Hiddekel…which goeth toward…Assyria…the fourth river was the Euphrates.”

The question makes the assumption that the Assyria spoken of here is the same as the ancient empire in the Middle East. This is not based on any actual evidence. It is simply reasoned that since the description of the garden contains the name Assyria than it must be talking of the area that that ancients knew as Assyria.

However, the truth is that the Assyria spoken of in Moses was also in the American continent (though I don’t know where). Adam, after being driven from the garden, still lived in relative close proximity to it, and his faithful descendents lived in the same basic area (read Moses 6). So, Noah would have been familiar with the area and its names, as would his three sons. After the flood, when they began to spread again on the earth, it would have been natural for them to give their new surroundings the familiar names of their old home.

So, the Assyria in the middle east is named after the Assyria that was near the Garden of Eden, which was in the Americas.

 

Q. Mormonism teaches an infinite regression of Gods. But an infinite regression of gods means that there is no first god by which his subjects were exalted to godhood. If there is no first God, how can there be a second and a third and thus there be the Mormon doctrine of eternal progression?

A. No quotes are given.

There would be no first or second or third, etc. However, there would be a next God, and a next, and so on. Much like moving through the universe, we cannot move from beginning to end (as neither exist), but we can move within it.

See my response to this logical proof.

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