Continued discussion from the Atheism board...

Aaron32

Well-known member
To avoid any possible conflict with Forum rules, I'm moving this to the Mormonism board.

The reason I asked is because I'm not all that familiar with the Mormon perspective
That's ok. IMO There's a lot of Mormons that don't understand their own religion either LOL :)

and the typical Christian concept of the "Holy Spirit" doesn't hold water. Either it is ineffectual or many who believe they have received the spirit are wrong.
Mormons believe in free agency. We are led to the truth, and we receive a promise for the Holy Ghost to be always with us via the laying of hands, but we still have to choose to be guided. (See 2 Ne 32:1-6)

I am not a Christian. I advocate for the gospel preached by Jesus.

John 14
15“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. 16“And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; 17that is the Spirit of truth....
21“He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”
23Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. 24“He who does not love Me does not keep My words...
You've pretty much nailed it.
"Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit."

Note that Jesus calls it the "spirit of truth".
That's primarily why I choose to remain Mormon, and would have a hard time converting traditional Christianity, though many will say I take more of a Protestant view on Salvation than many of my fellow mormons.

“Mormonism is truth; and every man who embraces it feels himself at liberty to embrace every truth: consequently the shackles of superstition, bigotry, ignorance, and priestcraft, fall at once from his neck; and his eyes are opened to see the truth, and truth greatly prevails over priestcraft. …
“… Mormonism is truth, in other words the doctrine of the Latter-day Saints, is truth. … The first and fundamental principle of our holy religion is, that we believe that we have a right to embrace all, and every item of truth, without limitation or without being circumscribed or prohibited by the creeds or superstitious notions of men, or by the dominations of one another, when that truth is clearly demonstrated to our minds, and we have the highest degree of evidence of the same.” (Joseph Smith, Times and Seasons, Feb. 1840, pp. 53–54;)

"We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may." (11th Article of Faith)

I've also received a powerful witness to the principles of Zen Buddhism.

Also note that Jesus makes it clear that only those who keep His commandments have "the spirit of truth" / God / Jesus abide in them. It is conditional on keeping His commandments. Of course, those who commit sin do not actually keep His commandments.
Yep, and that's often a point of confusion when discussing salvation with other Christians because we're accused of legalism, thinking we "earn" salvation, and therefore, not "Christian".

Salvation is two parts: justification (past sins), sanctification (present).
A person receives justification when they witness their acceptance of Christ by repentance and baptism.
A person becomes sanctified by being led by the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end in faith. (See D&C 20:29-33)

Obviously, no one can be perfectly obedient. We renew our baptismal covenants every week, and always strive to be better.
 

Algernon

Active member
To avoid any possible conflict with Forum rules, I'm moving this to the Mormonism board.

That's ok. IMO There's a lot of Mormons that don't understand their own religion either LOL :)

Mormons believe in free agency. We are led to the truth, and we receive a promise for the Holy Ghost to be always with us via the laying of hands, but we still have to choose to be guided. (See 2 Ne 32:1-6)

That's primarily why I choose to remain Mormon, and would have a hard time converting traditional Christianity, though many will say I take more of a Protestant view on Salvation than many of my fellow mormons.

“Mormonism is truth; and every man who embraces it feels himself at liberty to embrace every truth: consequently the shackles of superstition, bigotry, ignorance, and priestcraft, fall at once from his neck; and his eyes are opened to see the truth, and truth greatly prevails over priestcraft. …
“… Mormonism is truth, in other words the doctrine of the Latter-day Saints, is truth. … The first and fundamental principle of our holy religion is, that we believe that we have a right to embrace all, and every item of truth, without limitation or without being circumscribed or prohibited by the creeds or superstitious notions of men, or by the dominations of one another, when that truth is clearly demonstrated to our minds, and we have the highest degree of evidence of the same.” (Joseph Smith, Times and Seasons, Feb. 1840, pp. 53–54;)

"We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may." (11th Article of Faith)

I've also received a powerful witness to the principles of Zen Buddhism.
Appreciate the background. Not sure what to make of the links and quotes, but perhaps in time...

You've pretty much nailed it.
"Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit."
The following verses are the most telling: A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

It's a strict dichotomy. One is either a "good tree" OR a "corrupt tree". Either ALL ones fruit is good or ALL ones fruit is evil. EVERY tree that is corrupt is hewn down and cast into the fire.

So too with the verses from John 14 I quoted. Either one KEEPS his commandments or one does not. Only those who actually KEEP his commandments receive "the spirit of truth" and have God / Jesus abide in them. Those who commit sin do not keep His commandments. They produce "evil fruit" and therefore are hewn down and cast into the fire

Yep, and that's often a point of confusion when discussing salvation with other Christians because we're accused of legalism, thinking we "earn" salvation, and therefore, not "Christian".

Salvation is two parts: justification (past sins), sanctification (present).
A person receives justification when they witness their acceptance of Christ by repentance and baptism.
A person becomes sanctified by being led by the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end in faith. (See D&C 20:29-33)

Obviously, no one can be perfectly obedient. We renew our baptismal covenants every week, and always strive to be better.
Legalism? I get accused of that quite a bit too. But then I don't identify as Christian.

Not sure what you have in mind after that.

Can you expound on what you believe "repentance" entails and what you mean by "enduring to the end in faith" and "Obviously, no one can be perfectly obedient"?
 
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Aaron32

Well-known member
It's a strict dichotomy. One is either a "good tree" OR a "corrupt tree". Either ALL ones fruit is good or ALL ones fruit is evil. EVERY tree that is corrupt is hewn down and cast into the fire.

So too with the verses from John 14 I quoted. Either one KEEPS his commandments or one does not. Only those who actually KEEP his commandments receive "the spirit of truth" and have God / Jesus abide in them. Those who commit sin do not keep His commandments. They produce "evil fruit" and therefore are hewn down and cast into the fire
So are you saying this like an either/or scenario?

To clarify what I'm saying, we our judged based on two criteria, our hands (actions) and our hearts (desires). Though, despite our hearts are changed upon receiving Christ, we will still sin, either due to ignorance, (because we can't comprehend God's holiness) or because the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak - our hands become dirty. Through continual repentance, and renewing our covenants by partaking of Christ's flesh and blood (the sacrament), by the grace of God our hands can become clean again.

If we fail to continue to repent, and linger in sin, and stop living our covenants, we can lose the purity of our hearts, and probably be in a worse place than when we started. (2 Pet 2:20)

Yet, if we are faithful in our godly walk, being led by the Holy Ghost, over time, we develop a divine nature. (2 Per 1:3-7). And the stain of sin no longer becomes a part of our inherent nature. It's a progression.

“As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever."
(1 Chronicles 28:9)


Can you expound on what you believe "repentance" entails
Repentance is the realization of our imperfection and lost and fallen nature. We can know what righteousness is because of what is written in the scriptures, and by promptings of the Holy Ghost (the word of God). We come to him, confessing our sins, in a contrite spirit (a willingness to give up our sins) and sacrifice our "broken heart" and he gives us a new heart, where we have no desire to do evil, but to do good continually.

Ezekiel 11:19 And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh

and what you mean by "enduring to the end in faith"
That's why I linked to 2 Ne 31 & 32. It gives a pretty clear explanation IMO.

At baptism, we signify that we are laying down our lives, and become a "new man" as a disciple of Christ. We are no longer seeking our will, but the will of our Father in Heaven, being led by the Holy Ghost until the end of our lives.

and "Obviously, no one can be perfectly obedient"?
1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
I'm not sure what else to say on this, it seems like common sense to me.
 

Algernon

Active member
So are you saying this like an either/or scenario?

To clarify what I'm saying, we our judged based on two criteria, our hands (actions) and our hearts (desires). Though, despite our hearts are changed upon receiving Christ, we will still sin, either due to ignorance, (because we can't comprehend God's holiness) or because the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak - our hands become dirty. Through continual repentance, and renewing our covenants by partaking of Christ's flesh and blood (the sacrament), by the grace of God our hands can become clean again.

If we fail to continue to repent, and linger in sin, and stop living our covenants, we can lose the purity of our hearts, and probably be in a worse place than when we started. (2 Pet 2:20)

Yet, if we are faithful in our godly walk, being led by the Holy Ghost, over time, we develop a divine nature. (2 Per 1:3-7). And the stain of sin no longer becomes a part of our inherent nature. It's a progression.

“As for you, my son Solomon, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts, and understands every intent of the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever."
(1 Chronicles 28:9)



Repentance is the realization of our imperfection and lost and fallen nature. We can know what righteousness is because of what is written in the scriptures, and by promptings of the Holy Ghost (the word of God). We come to him, confessing our sins, in a contrite spirit (a willingness to give up our sins) and sacrifice our "broken heart" and he gives us a new heart, where we have no desire to do evil, but to do good continually.

Ezekiel 11:19 And I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you; and I will take the stony heart out of their flesh, and will give them an heart of flesh


That's why I linked to 2 Ne 31 & 32. It gives a pretty clear explanation IMO.

At baptism, we signify that we are laying down our lives, and become a "new man" as a disciple of Christ. We are no longer seeking our will, but the will of our Father in Heaven, being led by the Holy Ghost until the end of our lives.


1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
I'm not sure what else to say on this, it seems like common sense to me.
Thanks for the clarification on "repentance", "enduring" and "obedience". For all intents and purposes, the underlying concepts seem to be the same as what most Christians believe. Even going so far so as to take 1 John 1:8 out of context in order to assign it a meaning that it doesn't have. Try reading 1 John 1:5-10 as a whole.
BTW unless I missed it, you cited 2 Ne 32:1-6. Not " 2 Ne 31 & 32"

Matthew 7
16Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

With 7:17 Jesus leaves some ambiguity. A tree that produces mostly good fruit could be considered a good tree.
But with 7:18, Jesus removes any ambiguity. Jesus even goes out of His way to do so. A good tree produces good fruit and only good fruit. It "cannot" produce evil fruit. Similarly a corrupt tree produces evil fruit and only evil fruit.
It's a strict dichotomy. Or as you put it, it is "either/or". This flies in the face of what you seemed to be explaining to me. Which seems to indicate a tree that produces mostly good fruit.

Thoughts?
 

Aaron32

Well-known member
For all intents and purposes, the underlying concepts seem to be the same as what most Christians believe. Even going so far so as to take 1 John 1:8 out of context in order to assign it a meaning that it doesn't have. Try reading 1 John 1:5-10 as a whole.
Hmmm...ok. I'll highlight how I interpret the verses in blue

5 This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
If we have fellowship with God, we walk in light, and Jesus Christ cleanses us of our sins.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
We should recognize we all have sin. We should confess them to be cleansed of them.

Sorry. Still not seeing another interpretation. No where do I see where this promises we will never sin again.
Here's a good break down the book as a whole:

BTW unless I missed it, you cited 2 Ne 32:1-6. Not " 2 Ne 31 & 32"
Ummm...ok. And?

Matthew 7
16Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

With 7:17 Jesus leaves some ambiguity. A tree that produces mostly good fruit could be considered a good tree.
But with 7:18, Jesus removes any ambiguity. Jesus even goes out of His way to do so. A good tree produces good fruit and only good fruit. It "cannot" produce evil fruit. Similarly a corrupt tree produces evil fruit and only evil fruit.
Well, keep in mind, Jesus is talking about false prophets, not the disciples themselves, equating them to ravenous wolves. So the "fruits" being referred to are teachings, not keeping commandments.
Previous to that, he talked about the straight and narrow path.
After he talks about doing the will of the Father. Cross that with John 7:17 "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself."

Thus, the main message is if we do the Father's will. In the Book of Mormon, Jesus is very specific to what his will is:
3 Nephi 11:
31 Behold, verily, verily, I say unto you, I will declare unto you my doctrine.
32 And this is my doctrine, and it is the doctrine which the Father hath given unto me; and I bear record of the Father, and the Father beareth record of me, and the Holy Ghost beareth record of the Father and me; and I bear record that the Father commandeth all men, everywhere, to repent and believe in me.
33 And whoso believeth in me, and is baptized, the same shall be saved; and they are they who shall inherit the kingdom of God.
34 And whoso believeth not in me, and is not baptized, shall be damned.
35 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and I bear record of it from the Father; and whoso believeth in me believeth in the Father also; and unto him will the Father bear record of me, for he will visit him with fire and with the Holy Ghost.
36 And thus will the Father bear record of me, and the Holy Ghost will bear record unto him of the Father and me; for the Father, and I, and the Holy Ghost are one.
37 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and become as a little child, and be baptized in my name, or ye can in nowise receive these things.
38 And again I say unto you, ye must repent, and be baptized in my name, and become as a little child, or ye can in nowise inherit the kingdom of God.
39 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them.
40 And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, and is not built upon my rock; but he buildeth upon a sandy foundation, and the gates of hell stand open to receive such when the floods come and the winds beat upon them."

It's a strict dichotomy. Or as you put it, it is "either/or". This flies in the face of what you seemed to be explaining to me. Which seems to indicate a tree that produces mostly good fruit.
By emphasizing the strict dichotomy, and making fruits "works" instead of "teachings" in this particular passage, it creates somewhat of a strawman - easy to beat down because we know the nature of man.

But let's look at the passage where fruit are equated to fruits:
John 15:

4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.

So, here we see all good works don't come from man at all, but by God working through man. He also repeatedly uses the word "if", also remember he is speaking to his disciples which are already converted. Which means, there's no absolutes of obedience, but that we still have our agency to choose. The more we abide in Him, the more fruitful we become.

That's my interpretation anyway.
 

Algernon

Active member
Well, keep in mind, Jesus is talking about false prophets, not the disciples themselves, equating them to ravenous wolves. So the "fruits" being referred to are teachings, not keeping commandments.
Previous to that, he talked about the straight and narrow path.
After he talks about doing the will of the Father. Cross that with John 7:17 "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself."

By emphasizing the strict dichotomy, and making fruits "works" instead of "teachings" in this particular passage, it creates somewhat of a strawman - easy to beat down because we know the nature of man.
This is interesting. When I cited the verses from John 14 where Jesus spoke of keeping His commandments, you responded to them with the following in your first post from this thread:
You've pretty much nailed it.
"Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit."


So YOU were the one who quoted those verses from Matthew 7 as if they were applicable to keeping commandments. Now you are asserting that "fruits" does not pertain to keeping commandments? Only teachings? Even worse you also accuse ME of creating "somewhat of a strawman"?

Your references to "the straight and narrow path" and "doing the will of the Father" don't help your case either.
As they both fit nicely with keeping His commandments. An individual who keeps His commandments IS walking the "straight and narrow path" and IS "doing the will of the Father". Don't know how John 7:17 is supposed to help your case either.

Plus, you still haven't really addressed the fact that Jesus spoke in strict dichotomy when speaking of "good tree" and "corrupt tree". John 15:1:10 needs to be understood in context of the verses I cited earlier from John 14 Jesus establishes the context for John 15:1-10. Once that's understood, you should be able to see how it fits with everything else I've been saying.

I'll leave 1 John 1:5-10 for a later post. Let's see if we can get Matthew 7:13-23 and John 14:15-17,21-24 squared away first.

Thoughts?
 
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Aaron32

Well-known member
This is interesting. When I cited the verses from John 14 where Jesus spoke of keeping His commandments, you responded to them with the following in your first post from this thread:
You've pretty much nailed it.
"Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit."


So YOU were the one who quoted those verses from Matthew 7 as if they were applicable to keeping commandments. Now you are asserting that "fruits" does not pertain to keeping commandments? Only teachings? Even worse you also accuse ME of creating "somewhat of a strawman"?
Yep. Agreed. I was actually thinking of John 15 in concept, but the words in Matt 7 are the words that came to mind.
Given the direction the discussion has gone, that clarification needed to be made.

Your references to "the straight and narrow path" and "doing the will of the Father" don't help your case either.
As they both fit nicely with keeping His commandments. An individual who keeps His commandments IS walking the "straight and narrow path" and IS "doing the will of the Father". Don't know how John 7:17 is supposed to help your case either.
I'm sorry. I'm a little confused. Let's take a step back. What are you claiming my case to be? How do these verses work against my case?
Since your interpretation seems to be in the minority, shouldn't you be the one proving a case?

Plus, you still haven't really addressed the fact that Jesus spoke in strict dichotomy when speaking of "good tree" and "corrupt tree".
Sure I did. If the "good"/"corrupt" tree can be a strict dichotomy since we are talking about "teachings".
Knowledge and belief can be objectively to a strict dichotomy: true or false. Behavior is more subjective, as a person can do an act with multiple motivations that could be good or evil.

John 15:1:10 needs to be understood in context of the verses I cited earlier from John 14 Jesus establishes the context for John 15:1-10. Once that's understood, you should be able to see how it fits with everything else I've been saying.
I'm failing to see it. Would you mind exegeting this for me so I can understand your view?

I'll leave 1 John 1:5-10 for a later post. Let's see if we can get Matthew 7:13-23 and John 14:15-17,21-24 squared away first.

Thoughts?
Hmmm...ok.
John
14:15-17 - Keep the commandments, The Holy Ghost (the spirit of truth) will dwell with you.
21-24 - Jesus will manifest Himself to us

Matt 7
13 ¶ Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
15 ¶ Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21 ¶ Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

My interpretation:
The straight gate is baptism. (Matt 7:13-14) [see my comparison of 3 Nephi 11 in post #5]
false prophets teach falsehood, true prophets teach truth (15-20)
We can't just give lips service to God, we actually have to DO the will [ie. getting baptized] (vs 21)
Performing miracles in the name of Christ isn't evidence that you're a true disciple (22-23)

John 14 (I thought vs 18-20 were also relevant so I included them)
15 ¶ If ye love me, keep my commandments.
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

My interpretation:
We keep the commandments out of our love for the Savior (John 14:15)
The Father sends the Holy Ghost to abide with us (vs. 16) - [clarified in 14:26]
The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of truth, that only true disciples of Christ receive (vs.17)
We are made alive in Christ. That is how we gain a knowledge of the reality of Jesus. (19-20; see also Moroni 10:32)
Christ and His Father will literally manifest themselves to us if we remain faithful (21, 23-24; see D&C 130:3)
 

Algernon

Active member
Yep. Agreed. I was actually thinking of John 15 in concept, but the words in Matt 7 are the words that came to mind.
Given the direction the discussion has gone, that clarification needed to be made.


I'm sorry. I'm a little confused. Let's take a step back. What are you claiming my case to be? How do these verses work against my case?
Since your interpretation seems to be in the minority, shouldn't you be the one proving a case?


Sure I did. If the "good"/"corrupt" tree can be a strict dichotomy since we are talking about "teachings".
Knowledge and belief can be objectively to a strict dichotomy: true or false. Behavior is more subjective, as a person can do an act with multiple motivations that could be good or evil.


I'm failing to see it. Would you mind exegeting this for me so I can understand your view?


Hmmm...ok.
John
14:15-17 - Keep the commandments, The Holy Ghost (the spirit of truth) will dwell with you.
21-24 - Jesus will manifest Himself to us

Matt 7
13 ¶ Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
15 ¶ Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21 ¶ Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

My interpretation:
The straight gate is baptism. (Matt 7:13-14) [see my comparison of 3 Nephi 11 in post #5]
false prophets teach falsehood, true prophets teach truth (15-20)
We can't just give lips service to God, we actually have to DO the will [ie. getting baptized] (vs 21)
Performing miracles in the name of Christ isn't evidence that you're a true disciple (22-23)

John 14 (I thought vs 18-20 were also relevant so I included them)
15 ¶ If ye love me, keep my commandments.
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.

21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
22 Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?
23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

My interpretation:
We keep the commandments out of our love for the Savior (John 14:15)
The Father sends the Holy Ghost to abide with us (vs. 16) - [clarified in 14:26]
The Holy Ghost is the Spirit of truth, that only true disciples of Christ receive (vs.17)
We are made alive in Christ. That is how we gain a knowledge of the reality of Jesus. (19-20; see also Moroni 10:32)
Christ and His Father will literally manifest themselves to us if we remain faithful (21, 23-24; see D&C 130:3)
Sorry, but you seem to have difficulty understanding the written word. Both what I've been writing and scripture as well. It's as if you only understand the half of what's been said. You especially seem to have trouble with context. That and keeping track of what's being said. That said, not sure how we can move forward. It's as if you haven't been putting very much thought into understanding either what I've been writing or with scripture. Do you think you can do better if you were to "buckle down"?
 
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Aaron32

Well-known member
Sorry, but you seem to have difficulty understanding the written word. Both what I've been writing and scripture as well. It's as if you only understand the half of what's been said. You especially seem to have trouble with context. That and keeping track of what's being said. That said, not sure how we can move forward. It's as if you haven't been putting very much thought into understanding either what I've been writing or with scripture. Do you think you can do better if you were to "buckle down"?
Forgive me if I'm having a hard time following your logic. All I was asking was for you to restate your case, because you started off making the case of that sin wasn't an option for a disciple of Christ, and then you subtly moved the goal posts by posting scriptures of the necessity to obey the commandments. Two things can be true at once: 1) We need to obey the commandments, and 2) We can still fall short of perfection.

Those scriptures you referenced did nothing to prove my belief wrong, nor prove your belief right. It simply remains a matter of interpretation, which is why the discussion has become stagnant.

Therefore, I asked you to exegete them. But, instead embracing the subject matter, you resort to an ad hom, which lends credence that you really can't defend your argument.

So, if you'd like the discussion forward it's quite simple: prove your case outside of your interpretation of a few verses, or prove my interpretation wrong. If you can't do that, simply don't respond. But elaborating on imagined shortcomings of your opponent is never a valid debate tactic.
 

Algernon

Active member
Forgive me if I'm having a hard time following your logic. All I was asking was for you to restate your case, because you started off making the case of that sin wasn't an option for a disciple of Christ, and then you subtly moved the goal posts by posting scriptures of the necessity to obey the commandments. Two things can be true at once: 1) We need to obey the commandments, and 2) We can still fall short of perfection.

Those scriptures you referenced did nothing to prove my belief wrong, nor prove your belief right. It simply remains a matter of interpretation, which is why the discussion has become stagnant.

Therefore, I asked you to exegete them. But, instead embracing the subject matter, you resort to an ad hom, which lends credence that you really can't defend your argument.

So, if you'd like the discussion forward it's quite simple: prove your case outside of your interpretation of a few verses, or prove my interpretation wrong. If you can't do that, simply don't respond. But elaborating on imagined shortcomings of your opponent is never a valid debate tactic.
I understood what you were asking me to do.

You don't seem to understand what I've been writing. It isn't "imagined". It wasn't a "debate tactic". As such, it wasn't an "ad hom". I'm simply at a loss on how to proceed given the fact that you keep getting lost in the discussion and keep missing the point. Evidently it makes you feel better by assigning the blame to me. Which is what you did with YOUR getting Matthew 7 and John 15 mixed up. You could have been up front about YOUR mistake, but instead you made out as if I were the one who mixed things up. If you don't believe it. Go back through our posts. Be honest with yourself.
 
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Aaron32

Well-known member
I understood what you were asking me to do.

You don't seem to understand what I've been writing. It isn't "imagined". It wasn't a "debate tactic". As such, it wasn't an "ad hom". I'm simply at a loss on how to proceed given the fact that you keep getting lost in the discussion and keep missing the point. Evidently it makes you feel better by assigning the blame to me. Which is what you did with YOUR getting Matthew 7 and John 15 mixed up. You could have been up front about YOUR mistake, but instead you made out as if I were the one who mixed things up. If you don't believe it. Go back through our posts. Be honest with yourself.
I acknowledged my mistake. I walked it back, and made the clarification.
 

Algernon

Active member
I acknowledged my mistake. I walked it back, and made the clarification.

Initially you wrote this:
Well, keep in mind, Jesus is talking about false prophets, not the disciples themselves, equating them to ravenous wolves. So the "fruits" being referred to are teachings, not keeping commandments.
As if I were the one who needed to keep in mind that Jesus was talking about false prophets. I knew full well that in Matthew 7, Jesus is talking about false prophets. What's more, the "good/corrupt tree" metaphor doesn't only apply to "false prophets" and "teachings". But since you brought it up in the context that you did, I assumed you understood this and rolled with it.

And this:
By emphasizing the strict dichotomy, and making fruits "works" instead of "teachings" in this particular passage, it creates somewhat of a strawman - easy to beat down because we know the nature of man.
As if I were the one who created "somewhat of a strawman".

It was only after I called you on it that you "acknowledged your mistake". And only in part at that.

Even here you aren't fully owning it.
 

Aaron32

Well-known member
Initially you wrote this:
Well, keep in mind, Jesus is talking about false prophets, not the disciples themselves, equating them to ravenous wolves. So the "fruits" being referred to are teachings, not keeping commandments.
As if I were the one who needed to keep in mind that Jesus was talking about false prophets. I knew full well that in Matthew 7, Jesus is talking about false prophets.
I'm sorry if I offended you. That wasn't my intent. I was simply adding context to the verse.
What's more, the "good/corrupt tree" metaphor doesn't only apply to "false prophets" and "teachings". But since you brought it up in the context that you did, I assumed you understood this and rolled with it.
Ok. I apologize, for the confusion. I did roll with it in the context of John 15 - meaning 'if we love God we keep His commandments'. I'll try and avoid be casual with my words going forward. Having said that - I admitted to this, and you knew that I owned this mistake in post #11. So, can we move on now?
And this:
By emphasizing the strict dichotomy, and making fruits "works" instead of "teachings" in this particular passage, it creates somewhat of a strawman - easy to beat down because we know the nature of man.
As if I were the one who created "somewhat of a strawman".
This is where I get confused and why I asked you to restate your argument.
You are the one emphasizing a strict dichotomy, no? I know that wasn't MY argument. In essence, You are the one saying a tree must be ALL good or ALL bad, and no room in between, (thus a strict dichotomy), right?
To me, that sounds like a strawman argument. Basically, that argument implies that Christians, at the day conversion, must be as perfect as Christ himself. Thus, any mistake made is evidence that either Jesus was lying, or there are no real Christians. Please clarify if I'm misunderstanding you.

It was only after I called you on it that you "acknowledged your mistake". And only in part at that.

Even here you aren't fully owning it.
What other "part" of the mistake am I not acknowledging?
What else do you need for me to "fully own it" so that we can continue our discussion on the actual subject we started out on?
 

Algernon

Active member
I'm sorry if I offended you. That wasn't my intent. I was simply adding context to the verse.

Ok. I apologize, for the confusion. I did roll with it in the context of John 15 - meaning 'if we love God we keep His commandments'. I'll try and avoid be casual with my words going forward. Having said that - I admitted to this, and you knew that I owned this mistake in post #11. So, can we move on now?

This is where I get confused and why I asked you to restate your argument.
You are the one emphasizing a strict dichotomy, no? I know that wasn't MY argument. In essence, You are the one saying a tree must be ALL good or ALL bad, and no room in between, (thus a strict dichotomy), right?
To me, that sounds like a strawman argument. Basically, that argument implies that Christians, at the day conversion, must be as perfect as Christ himself. Thus, any mistake made is evidence that either Jesus was lying, or there are no real Christians. Please clarify if I'm misunderstanding you.


What other "part" of the mistake am I not acknowledging?
What else do you need for me to "fully own it" so that we can continue our discussion on the actual subject we started out on?
Sorry, but it's as if you once again completely missed the points of my post. It really is as if you only understand the half of what's been said. You especially seem to have trouble with context and keeping track of what's being said. Can you understand how that makes it difficult, if not impossible, to have a fruitful discussion?
 

Aaron32

Well-known member
Sorry, but it's as if you once again completely missed the points of my post. It really is as if you only understand the half of what's been said. You especially seem to have trouble with context and keeping track of what's being said. Can you understand how that makes it difficult, if not impossible, to have a fruitful discussion?
I'm not sure how you want to respond to this. I don't have control over your ability to convey your ideas, nor can I read your mind. At minimum you could substantiate your claims of your points I've failed to address, or context that I've failed to recognize. The fact that I have to address how an ad hom is a fallacy a second time makes me question your memory capacity and reading comprehension also.
So, if you feel that you're simply too cerebral for this simpleton - I'm ok with that. Feel free to move along.
 

Algernon

Active member
I'm not sure how you want to respond to this. I don't have control over your ability to convey your ideas, nor can I read your mind. At minimum you could substantiate your claims of your points I've failed to address, or context that I've failed to recognize. The fact that I have to address how an ad hom is a fallacy a second time makes me question your memory capacity and reading comprehension also.
So, if you feel that you're simply too cerebral for this simpleton - I'm ok with that. Feel free to move along.
I have repeatedly pointed out how you've missed my points. I've also repeatedly pointed out places where you've lost context. Your accusation is false.

Also I fully recalled and understood that you accused me of resorting to an ad hom. As I pointed out, it wasn't an ad hom then. And it wasn't an ad hom just now. Perhaps you don't really understand what an ad hom is and isn't. The following should help.

Not an Ad Hominem
Not every insult or criticism of a person is an ad hominem, or fallacious for that matter. Essentially, the distinctive factor is that, in every fallacious personal attack the criticism is irrelevant to the actual issue under discussion.
RELEVANT CRITICISM
An argument against a person is not fallacious when it’s clearly relevant to the discussion, i.e. when a person’s characteristics, credentials, skills, or such are directly related to the topic.
For example, if someone who is in a position to enforce the law has acted against the law, then pointing it out would be relevant. This, of course, also applies in a case where the actual topic is about someone’s personal attributes.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
As noted earlier, it is also relevant when to point out a clear conflict of interest; if there is reasonable evidence to believe that the arguer is predisposed to take a certain position, calling them out on it may not be fallacious.
A SIMPLE INSULT
If the attack is not being used as evidence to support the counter-argument, then it’s simply an insult, not a fallacy.
For example, if someone makes a sound counter-argument and simultaneously throws an insult at the other person, it wouldn’t be seen as fallacious (even though it would be rude and unproductive).

From <https://fallacyinlogic.com/ad-hominem-fallacy/#Not_an_Ad_Hominem>

In this case the criticisms are relevant because you seem to be lacking the skills to fully understand what's being said. You can continue to get all defensive and once again try to shift the blame on me, but the fact is people rarely seem to struggle as much as you have in understanding what I write.

Try to be honest with yourself.
 

shnarkle

Well-known member
we're accused of legalism, thinking we "earn" salvation, and therefore, not "Christian".


Obviously, no one can be perfectly obedient. We renew our baptismal covenants every week, and always strive to be better.
Those two statements seem to contradict each other. To strive is to fail. To strive is to place one under the Old Covenant where one strived to keep the law whereas under the New Covenant, it is Grace through faith, and not of yourselves. God guarantees that those who he has foreordained as new creations in, with, and through the faith of his dear son by the power of his holy Spirit will systemically produce fruit unto righteousness as a consequence of their salvation, sanctification, etc. to the glory of God.

Under the Old Covenant, one strived to keep the law by their own will and effort. Under the New Covenant, Christ carries the load for us, and his burden is light, his yoke easy.
 

shnarkle

Well-known member
you started off making the case of that sin wasn't an option for a disciple of Christ, and then you subtly moved the goal posts by posting scriptures of the necessity to obey the commandments. Two things can be true at once: 1) We need to obey the commandments, and 2) We can still fall short of perfection.
That can only be true under the Old Covenant. The New Covenant doesn't allow for one to fall short. Hebrews 8:9,10; 9:15; 10:26. See also Jeremiah 31:31-34; Ezekiel 11:19; 36:25-27
 

Aaron32

Well-known member
I have repeatedly pointed out how you've missed my points. I've also repeatedly pointed out places where you've lost context. Your accusation is false.
Post #?
Also I fully recalled and understood that you accused me of resorting to an ad hom. As I pointed out, it wasn't an ad hom then. And it wasn't an ad hom just now. Perhaps you don't really understand what an ad hom is and isn't. The following should help.

Not an Ad Hominem
Not every insult or criticism of a person is an ad hominem, or fallacious for that matter. Essentially, the distinctive factor is that, in every fallacious personal attack the criticism is irrelevant to the actual issue under discussion.
RELEVANT CRITICISM
An argument against a person is not fallacious when it’s clearly relevant to the discussion, i.e. when a person’s characteristics, credentials, skills, or such are directly related to the topic.
For example, if someone who is in a position to enforce the law has acted against the law, then pointing it out would be relevant. This, of course, also applies in a case where the actual topic is about someone’s personal attributes.
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
As noted earlier, it is also relevant when to point out a clear conflict of interest; if there is reasonable evidence to believe that the arguer is predisposed to take a certain position, calling them out on it may not be fallacious.
A SIMPLE INSULT
If the attack is not being used as evidence to support the counter-argument, then it’s simply an insult, not a fallacy.
For example, if someone makes a sound counter-argument and simultaneously throws an insult at the other person, it wouldn’t be seen as fallacious (even though it would be rude and unproductive).

From <https://fallacyinlogic.com/ad-hominem-fallacy/#Not_an_Ad_Hominem>
See the part above highlighted in red. I am not the topic. My lack of skills has nothing to do with Matt 7, or John 14.
In this case the criticisms are relevant because you seem to be lacking the skills to fully understand what's being said.
Is Matt 7 or John 14 talking about reading comprehension or something?

You can continue to get all defensive and once again try to shift the blame on me, but the fact is people rarely seem to struggle as much as you have in understanding what I write.
I don't doubt that, nor have I had anyone comment on my lack of ability to understand. I think this is just a distraction to avoid the discussion.
I'm not hear to bicker. If your next response has nothing of substance toward the subject discussed in the OP then I'll be moving on. Have a good day!
 

Algernon

Active member
Post #?

See the part above highlighted in red. I am not the topic. My lack of skills has nothing to do with Matt 7, or John 14.

Is Matt 7 or John 14 talking about reading comprehension or something?


I don't doubt that, nor have I had anyone comment on my lack of ability to understand. I think this is just a distraction to avoid the discussion.
I'm not hear to bicker. If your next response has nothing of substance toward the subject discussed in the OP then I'll be moving on. Have a good day!
You seem to have missed the following:
"If the attack is not being used as evidence to support the counter-argument, then it’s simply an insult, not a fallacy."

Where have I used my criticisms of you "as evidence to support the counter-argument"? I haven't. It's simply a criticism of your ability to understand. So even here you've missed the point of what isn't an ad hom. You only understood the half of what's been said. Similarly you keep missing the point of what I write. It's as if you pick out what supports your POV and ignore all the rest. Clearly it's not only my writing.

It really is as if you only understand the half of what's been said. You really do especially seem to have trouble with context and keeping track of what's being said. Just own it. Try to do better. You'll never improve if you don't. The only thing getting in the way is your pride. Unless you're willing to do so, there's no point in trying to engage in a discussion with you. Not any discussion that requires some depth anyway.
 
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