World ReligionsThe Gospel and Friendship in a Pluralistic Suburb
What Do You Know?  1.                          What  2.   Do you have any personal experience with Mormonism?  3.         ...
Our “Mars Hill” Methodology      • A basic introduction to the faith’s worldview 1.      • Areas of agreement between that...
MormonismSaints Living in the Latter Days
Nazarenes     What’s in a Name?Evangelicals    NiceneChristianity Mormonism
The Birth of Mormonism: America 19th Century                         Joseph Smith, Jr.  America:        Choice Paralysis  ...
The Birth of Mormonism: Revelations          Canon          Canon          Closed         Open
The Book of Mormon
The Birth of Mormonism: Westward        Utah       Brigham               Missouri             Pennsylvania        Young   ...
Branches of Mormonism Today       • Largest         denomination                               Latter Day       • Followed...
Mormon Scriptures: The Standard Works                     Doctrines           Book of                Pearl of  Bible      ...
Mormonism: The Church with Authority?
Mormonism: The Church with Authority?              Aaronic                           Melchizedek             (Levitical)  ...
Mormonism: The Church with Authority?                    Prophet                           Council of             Councilo...
Mormonism: All in the Family
God in Mormonism          God the Heavenly Father         Created                    Birthed                  Physical   D...
Humans in Mormonism  We pre-exist as Intelligences                         Birthed as Spiritual Children  Exact nature and...
Jesus in Mormonism     Heavenly Mother         Heavenly Father                   JesusLucifer                You          ...
Mormonism: Together Forever                          Celestial            TerrestrialTelestial
Other Mormon Practices  Dietary Restrictions  Mission  Baptism for the Dead  Marriage  Temple Garments
Building Bridges to MormonismWe both value a relationship with God               We both love Jesus! We have a common sacr...
Where Christianity and Mormonism Disagree      Is God Trinity?
Where Christianity and Mormonism Disagree                          Son              Father                       Ghost    ...
Making           vs.            Begetting                                        Father               SonGod/Father       ...
Where Christianity and Mormonism Disagree               Christianity: God became Human                    Mormonism: Human...
Where Christianity and Mormonism Disagree             Is God Trinity?              Is Jesus God?
Father         GodSpirit            Son                        •Jesus is God   Incarnation           in flesh.
Where Christianity and Mormonism Disagree                Is God Trinity?               Is Jesus God?            The Gender...
Where Christianity and Mormonism Disagree                Male               Female
Where Christianity and Mormonism Disagree                 Is God Trinity?                Is Jesus God?           The Gende...
Where Christianity and Mormonism DisagreeThe King James Version                      A Closed Canon* Based on recentmanusc...
Where Christianity and Mormonism Disagree                  Is God Trinity?                 Is Jesus God?           The Gen...
Where Christianity and Mormonism Disagree                         Authority        Authority                       mediate...
Where Christianity and Mormonism Disagree                  Is God Trinity?                 Is Jesus God?           The Gen...
How Not to Build a FriendshipDon’t argue over who’s really Christian  Don’t call Latter Day Saints a cult             Avoi...
How to Be a Perfect Stranger            Worship is on Sundays   Similar to Protestant worship        Open Table Sacrament ...
Got Questions?   • jrforasteros@gmail.com   • @jrforasteros   • facebook.com/jrforasteros         Submit Questions
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World Religions - Mormonism - JR. Forasteros

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Is Mormonism a branch of Christianity? Is it another religion? What're the differences? And how much do they matter?

Podcast available at www.jrforasteros.com/world-religions-podcast

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  • Break into groups. Discuss!
  • Mormonism is the most confusing because Mormons claim to follow Jesus, and claim to be Christians. So the question posed is: what makes us Christian? How do you decide if a group
  • This is America the new nation, in the throes of Westward Expansion. This is the rise of the Industrial Age, the steady march toward the new human golden age!The spirit of American innovation couples with the revivalist movement to create dozens of new denominations and churches. Many just aren’t sure where they should turn.Joseph Smith, Jr., at age 14, is trying to determine which denomination has it right. He receives a revelation from God that none of them are.
  • Ongoing Divine Revelation is a key assumption of Mormonism.In 1823, the angel Moroni visits 21-year-old Joseph Smith, Jr. and leads him to a collection of golden plates. They preserve a record of a lost tribe of Israel that had settled in North America and who had been visited by Jesus after his resurrection. The writings were compiled by an ancient named Mormon. Over the next several years, God enabled Joseph Smith to translate the plates, and he and some compatriots finished and published what is now the Book of Mormon in 1830. After Joseph Smith was finished, Moroni took the plates back.In order to verify their authenticity, Joseph Smith had 11 men sign testimony that they’d seen the plates (eight of them held them).God also ordained Joseph Smith to priesthood (more on this later).
  • In 1823, the angel Moroni visits 21-year-old Joseph Smith, Jr. and leads him to a collection of golden plates. They preserve a record of a lost tribe of Israel that had settled in North America and who had been visited by Jesus after his resurrection. The writings were compiled by an ancient prophet named Mormon. Over the next several years, God enabled Joseph Smith to translate the plates, and he and some compatriots finished and published what is now the Book of Mormon in 1830. After Joseph Smith was finished, Moroni took the plates back.In order to verify their authenticity, Joseph Smith had 11 men sign testimony that they’d seen the plates (eight of them held them).God also ordained Joseph Smith to priesthood (more on this later).
  • Some of Smith’s earliest followers converted a Disciples of Christ congregation in Kirtland, OH (Cleveland). Smith made this his early base.He sent one of his followers to find the new Zion. It was located in Independence, Missouri (outside Kansas City). After a bank failure in Ohio, and with tensions between the two centers running high, Smith and his followers relocated to Missouri.They were met with a lot of hostility. Smith was jailed and nearly lynched in Liberty, MO. After the “1838 Mormon War”, Mormons were expelled from MO. Smith escaped custody and he and his followers found refuge in IL.During this period, the “number 2 spot” in the Mormon leadership was in flux. By the migration to IL, Brigham Young had assumed the position.The IL government allowed Smith to establish the city of Navoo (Heb: “beautiful”).Navoo was essentially a theocracy. Despite the refuge, the MO government still wanted Smith for treason. In 1844, after Smith shut down a newspaper critiquing his government, the city revolted. Smith declared martial law, provoking the IL government to step in. They jailed Smith, and he was killed by a mob that attacked the jail.
  • After Joseph Smith’s death, the movement scattered. Two major branches emerged (and several smaller):The Latter Day Saints followed Brigham Young to Utah and established Salt Lake City. This is the largest group. Their main Temple is here.The Reorganized Latter Day Saints followed Joseph Smith, III and eventually settled in Independence, MO. Their main Temple is here.
  • King James VersonBook of MormonDoctrines and Covenants (open and updated)More writings from Joseph Smith
  • Another key assumption of the Mormon church is the sole keeper of God’s authority on earth (priestly authority).
  • All men enter the Aaronic priesthood at 12. This is, like the Levitical priesthood, primarily an office of serving within the ChurchEntering the Melchizedek priesthood at 18 is based on desire and calling. From Bishop and higher, it is a position only filled by “Revelation”, which means a person is called by those higher.
  • Today the Latter Day Saints are organized from the prophet down. Priestly authority is distributed to all men.The Prophet, his two councilors and the council of 12 Apostles make up the First Presidency. They hold the “keys of Administration” and are called “Prophet, Seers and Revelators”.The next level of administration are the 7 quorums of 70sBelow them are Stakes (referring to the “Stakes of the Tabernacle” or Zion)Stakes are over Bishops, who preside over local congregations
  • The Family is the core Mormon value. The nuclear family is the lens through which Mormon theology makes the most sense. It’s also a key hallmark of Mormonism.
  • God was once a human, probably. But this isn’t clear and isn’t a large part of everyday Mormon theology.
  • God was once a human (sort of. It’s unclear and hasn’t been revealed fully to the prophets. Theologians speculate on this, but it’s not an essential aspect of daily LDS practice and worship.)
  • Jesus is God’s literal son (Jesus was made, not begotten). Jesus is the eldest of all God’s spiritual children, which includes Lucifer, the Holy Spirit Ghost and all of us.
  • After death, our souls and bodies are separated. The soul goes to the Spirit World (sort of purgatory) to await the Last Day. On the last day, our bodies are resurrected, reunited with our Spirits and we enter into a level of Glory based on our earthly lives.1. Hell is reserved for a very few who are almost purely evil. They’ll be cast out with Satan.2. The Telestial level of Heaven is for pagans who did not accept Jesus at all.3. The Terrestrial level is for those who follow Jesus, but are not fully part of the true Church. That’s us.4. The Celestial level is the highest, where humans become like God. Those who’ve been sealed in marriage in a Temple will enjoy “the kind of life God lives”. Most take this to mean that humans can become gods of their own universes, and many speculate that this is the same sort of journey God himself went on to become able to create our universe.
  • LDS eat meat sparingly and abstain from alcohol, tobacco and coffee/tea.Details on mission.Hence the emphasis on genealogy; makes an offer of Christ’s gospel to relatives who died before the reestablishment of the “True Church”Marriage is required for exaltation, the highest level of HeavenModest white underclothing that’s meant to remind LDS of their commitments to God. Not unlike wearing cross jewelry.
  • Be clear: this is not the same as Greek mythology. The Godhead is united in purpose, but are three separate “personages”. Jesus and the Holy Ghost are spirit children of the Heavenly Father and Mother.
  • Again, the creeds help us. The Nicene and Athanasian creeds both affirm that God is eternal and uncreated. All three persons are one god (not as Mormons would say, three personages).Christians affirm that all three persons of the Trinity are co-equal, co-eternal. None are superior, there’s no hierarchy and none created the others. And most importantly they are one God, one substance.What any one person does, the others do. This is not the same in Mormonism. Each of the three Personages accomplishes different tasks or fulfills different roles.
  • Christians believe God is separate from and therefore independent of creation. God does not need creation (this is why the doctrine of the Trinity matters!)Christianity teaches that all our words about God are inherently limited. Ultimately, God is beyond even such words as “Father” or “Trinity”. God is wholly Other.In LDS Theology, God is fundamentally like humanity. We may become exactly like God – coheirs with Christ, different only in our personage.God in LDS Theology is less transcendent. God is a literal, actual Father, who has a body and is not essentially unlike us. We are begotten, not made.
  • Jesus is not just a relative of the Father. Jesus is the Father – wholly and fully. They are completely united, and what one does, the other does.
  • 1. We hold that God is neither male nor female, and that both male and female are necessary to image God fully. LDS hold that God has a heavenly spouse.2. impacts how we talk about gender in the Church – this is why Nazarenes ordain both men and women, and why we are egalitarian when it comes to gender roles
  • 1. We hold that God is neither male nor female, and that both male and female are necessary to image God fully. LDS hold that God has a heavenly spouse.2. impacts how we talk about gender in the Church – this is why Nazarenes ordain both men and women, and why we are egalitarian when it comes to gender roles. Nazarenes believe all believers can be priests, but LDS believe priesthood is restricted to males.
  • With NT, let’s talk about:The reliability of the NTThe divergence of our sacred histories (we don’t consider JSJr to be a prophet), and we read certain texts in the NT differently.We consider Revelation to be closed
  • With NT, let’s talk about:The reliability of the NTWe consider the Canon to be closed even though Revelation is ongoing. The Scriptures guide how we interpret any additions to Church Tradition. Speaking of which…We have confidence in Church Tradition. Fundamental to the LDS story is the Great Apostasy, a loss of ecclesial and theological authority on the Earth. We do not believe that this has happened. That certainly Church history has had its highs and lows, but at no point was the authority of the Holy Spirit, the power of Jesus’ resurrection or our role as ambassadors for God’s Kingdom ever lost from the Earth.The Wesleyan Quadrilateral guides how we approach Scripture, Church History and even our own personal experiences of God. We give primary weight to Scripture (interpreted in community through the power of the Holy Spirit), but that is informed by Church Tradition, Reason and Experience.
  • The Nazarene Church believes that our authority as priests comes directly from God, and that we are called together as a Church by the Holy Spirit. We choose denominational organization because it’s useful.LDS, like Catholics, believe that God has given keys of authority to a particular human institution (theirs). They believe these human institutions have a divine mandate and infallibility.
  • To review:
  • You thin you’re right. They think they’re right. LDS consider themselves Christians just like you do. If you don’t want someone to tell you you’re not a Christian, don’t do it to them (again, Golden Rule of Evangelism)Again, that’s a hurtful word and it doesn’t actually build any bridges.As much as possible try to give your LDS friends the benefit of the doubt.Seriously. The jokes are offensive. It was practiced for a while. It hasn’t been for 100 years, and practitioners today are excommunicated.
  •  Temples are special places into which only Latter Day Saints are permitted. They are considered special houses for God and are used for special ordinances, like marriage/sealing and baptism for the dead.
  • World Religions - Mormonism - JR. Forasteros

    1. 1. World ReligionsThe Gospel and Friendship in a Pluralistic Suburb
    2. 2. What Do You Know? 1. What 2. Do you have any personal experience with Mormonism? 3. What do you know about Mormons? 4. What questions do you have about Mormonism?
    3. 3. Our “Mars Hill” Methodology • A basic introduction to the faith’s worldview 1. • Areas of agreement between that faith and 2. Orthodox Christian theology and practice • Areas of disagreement between that faith 3. and Orthodox Christian theology and practiceGOAL: To equip you to build a truth-seekingrelationship with someone of another faith.
    4. 4. MormonismSaints Living in the Latter Days
    5. 5. Nazarenes What’s in a Name?Evangelicals NiceneChristianity Mormonism
    6. 6. The Birth of Mormonism: America 19th Century Joseph Smith, Jr. America: Choice Paralysis Receives aFrontier Faiths revelation from God
    7. 7. The Birth of Mormonism: Revelations Canon Canon Closed Open
    8. 8. The Book of Mormon
    9. 9. The Birth of Mormonism: Westward Utah Brigham Missouri Pennsylvania Young 1838-39 Revelations Illinois Ohio 1839-44 1831-38
    10. 10. Branches of Mormonism Today • Largest denomination Latter Day • Followed Brigham Saints Young • Based in Utah • Formerly RLDS • Followed Joseph Community Smith, III of Christ • Trinitarian • Based in Missouri • Polygamist groups • Scattered across US Funda- • About 20,000 mentalism
    11. 11. Mormon Scriptures: The Standard Works Doctrines Book of Pearl of Bible & Mormon Great Price Covenants
    12. 12. Mormonism: The Church with Authority?
    13. 13. Mormonism: The Church with Authority? Aaronic Melchizedek (Levitical) All men Elder 12-18 High Priest Bishop 70
    14. 14. Mormonism: The Church with Authority? Prophet Council of Councilors 12 Apostles 7 Quorums of 70 Stakes Bishops
    15. 15. Mormonism: All in the Family
    16. 16. God in Mormonism God the Heavenly Father Created Birthed Physical Divine Our Spiritual Body Spouse Universe Children
    17. 17. Humans in Mormonism We pre-exist as Intelligences Birthed as Spiritual Children Exact nature and origin are unknown Lesser than God Encased in Bodies We desire the ability Souls given the to become like God chance to grow Learning Good/Evil Need a way to get back to God
    18. 18. Jesus in Mormonism Heavenly Mother Heavenly Father JesusLucifer You Me Holy Ghost
    19. 19. Mormonism: Together Forever Celestial TerrestrialTelestial
    20. 20. Other Mormon Practices Dietary Restrictions Mission Baptism for the Dead Marriage Temple Garments
    21. 21. Building Bridges to MormonismWe both value a relationship with God We both love Jesus! We have a common sacred history We both value Family and Tradition
    22. 22. Where Christianity and Mormonism Disagree Is God Trinity?
    23. 23. Where Christianity and Mormonism Disagree Son Father Ghost Polytheism
    24. 24. Making vs. Begetting Father SonGod/Father God Spirit Son GhostMormonism Christianity
    25. 25. Where Christianity and Mormonism Disagree Christianity: God became Human Mormonism: Humans become God
    26. 26. Where Christianity and Mormonism Disagree Is God Trinity? Is Jesus God?
    27. 27. Father GodSpirit Son •Jesus is God Incarnation in flesh.
    28. 28. Where Christianity and Mormonism Disagree Is God Trinity? Is Jesus God? The Gender of God
    29. 29. Where Christianity and Mormonism Disagree Male Female
    30. 30. Where Christianity and Mormonism Disagree Is God Trinity? Is Jesus God? The Gender of God New Testament
    31. 31. Where Christianity and Mormonism DisagreeThe King James Version A Closed Canon* Based on recentmanuscripts. Church Tradition The New Testament* Lots of translation was closed in the We have fullerrors. 400s by consensus confidence that the of the Churches Holy Spirit has* New translations under authority of preserved the Trueare very accurate. the Holy Spirit. Church.
    32. 32. Where Christianity and Mormonism Disagree Is God Trinity? Is Jesus God? The Gender of God New Testament Church Authority
    33. 33. Where Christianity and Mormonism Disagree Authority Authority mediated by mediated only Keys given to by God humanity
    34. 34. Where Christianity and Mormonism Disagree Is God Trinity? Is Jesus God? The Gender of God New Testament Church Authority
    35. 35. How Not to Build a FriendshipDon’t argue over who’s really Christian Don’t call Latter Day Saints a cult Avoid the stereotypes Polygamy
    36. 36. How to Be a Perfect Stranger Worship is on Sundays Similar to Protestant worship Open Table Sacrament Singing and Preaching Different from Temples
    37. 37. Got Questions? • jrforasteros@gmail.com • @jrforasteros • facebook.com/jrforasteros Submit Questions
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