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Thanks for linking the two; a good comparison.

I am firmly convinced that our religion gets in the most trouble when we try to pretend we're just like our Protestant neighbors. We beggared the arguments about the "curse of Ham" from Southern Baptists trying to justify slavery, and then segregation. And we also borrow their rigid rejection of people based on their beliefs and try to shoehorn it into a Gospel family that is held together more by covenants than orthodoxy.

If an LDS is willing to live his or her covenants, then they are in as far as I'm concerned. I don't care if they think God was always the supreme being of all creation or if they think he was once a "sinful man" like us. I don't care what gender they think the Holy Ghost is, and I don't care whether they think meat or caffeine is prohibited by the Word of Wisdom. I don't care if they think that women should have the Priesthood, or if they think Joseph was a "fallen prophet." Neither do I care what they think about using government Food Stamps, or which political party they belong to.

If they are willing to commit to the cause and make a good faith effort at living their covenants, they're in. Period.

All this obsession with orthodoxy is a uniquely Protestant conceit. The sooner we LDS reject the slow creeping urge to imitate Babylon and it's artificial and unfair creeds, the better. Orthodoxy has it's place as a useful servant. But it makes a poor master for a religion. Place orthodoxy at the head of a religion and you might as well have killed it. It will sit their embalmed awaiting the slow rot of the ages. A theological dead-end awaiting irrelevancy.

Wow, Dave, I am just trying to find a parallel between a biblical apostle's viewpoint and how you just quoted this LDS apostle.

Seth, let's skip the Protestant association for a moment - bring to my mind a biblical connection where a biblical apostle suggests a moderate compromising approach to scripture historicity.

Is this true?

LDS apostles - not staking their lives on LDS foundations

biblical apostles - not staking their lives on biblical foundations

Todd, LDS have done plenty of staking their lives. But they did it for a divine calling from the Living God. Not for some notion of orthodoxy.

I would posit that neither did Peter die for orthodoxy, but rather for the living message of Christ and his own personal charge to preach that message to the world.

You take the central message of the apostles of old and boil it down. What you get is a belief in Christ's saving power. Period. Aside from this core belief (which LDS possess as a religion, and always have), all the other theological tangents can go-hang as far as I'm concerned.

When Paul was martyred, I guarantee you it wasn't for sola scriptura.

Thanks for dropping in, Todd, but I'm not quite sure what you're getting at. Biblical apostles generally pushed for a broad and inclusive church, Paul being the best example, here from 1 Cor. 9:20-22(NIV):

To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.

So what exactly is your beef with the position taken by LDS apostles?

Dave, you would say that Paul was inclusive in his theology as well as his evangelism?

My beef would be when an apostle would imply, go ahead and attend with us, tithe your money to our church, etc., and remember - it is not absolutely crucial that you believe in the historicity of the gospels or not.

I totally agree that we have no position to judge another. If we're truly Christians, we need to treat others as Christ did...he preached to the sinners and ate with the outcasts. (We just need to remember we aren't the ones who can categorize.)

Todd (7:15):

I think you misunderstand the statements presented--while I'm sure that Elder Ballard would prefer that all Mormons had a burning testimony of scriptural origins, he also understands that a lack of that testimony is more likely to be remedied in the church than outside of it.

But in the broader context, I think that historicity is not part of the essential doctrines of salvation. This may just be the anti-creedalist in me talking, but I just can't make the connection between belief that the events in the Book of Mormon actually happened and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ unto repentance. Maybe I'm being short-sighted and others can correct me.

Todd said: "My beef would be when an apostle would imply, go ahead and attend with us, tithe your money to our church, etc., and remember - it is not absolutely crucial that you believe in the historicity of the gospels or not"

My bet would be that a huge majority of Christians in the world don't believe in the historicity of the gospels the way American Evangelicals and Mormons do (yes, Mormons believe in the New Testament!).

As someone said, it's more about doing the right things for the right reason than always being 100% certain why.

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