Wednesday, 18 March 2009

21 Questions about Mormonism - Jesus in America?

To find out what this series is about look here.

Two questions; one answer – again. Are you getting the picture? You are certainly not getting the answers you expected!

Q: Does the Mormon Church believe Jesus appeared in North America after his crucifixion and resurrection?

A: The appearance of Jesus in the Western Hemisphere shortly after his resurrection is described in the Book of Mormon. Mormons believe that when Christ told his disciples in the Bible He had other 'sheep' who should receive his message he was referring to those people in the Western Hemisphere.

Q: If so, when did this happen? And under what circumstances?

A: The appearance of Jesus in the Western Hemisphere shortly after his resurrection is described in the Book of Mormon. Mormons believe that when Christ told his disciples in the Bible He had other 'sheep' who should receive his message he was referring to those people in the Western Hemisphere.

C: Jesus declared:

“And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd (Jn.10:16)

Of course, the sheep to which Jesus had come were the people of Israel (Mt.15:24) and the “other sheep” to whom he referred and to whom he sent his apostles (Mk.16:15) are Gentiles. Mormons teach that the Book of Mormon is a record of those "other sheep". If he had meant the “lost sheep” of the Book of Mormon however they would have been included in Israel and not “other” since they are purported to be Jews. There are two folds in Scripture, Israel and Gentile, and Paul echoed Jesus’ words when he wrote to Gentiles believers in Ephesus:

“Therefore remember that at one time you Gentiles in the flesh, called "the uncircumcision" by what is called the circumcision, which is made in the flesh by hands-- remember that you were at that time separated from Christ, alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world.

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of by abolishing the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.

And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” (Eph.2:11-19)

The both that are made one are Gentiles who are “alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise” and those of “the covenant”, those who are “far off” – Gentiles – and those who “were near” – Jews.

People leave “footprints” in history and if we depended solely on evidence from the Americas there would no reason at all to believe that Jesus existed since there is no evidence of his having ever appeared in the Americas. His life in the old world on the other hand is not in dispute.

Previous Posts:

Mormonism: A Cult?

Jesus: God the Son, or the son of a god?

Kolob: Where God Lives?

God, Mary and the 'S' Word

Coming Up:

What Every Mormon Wants: godhood

Mormon Women

Secret Underwear

2 comments:

Clean Cut said...

This post(s) leaves me confused about two things:
Who is your primary audience?
What is your main goal?

Mike's 4 Tea said...

Hi Clean Cut

I never did get back to you on your own blog and for that I am sorry. A combination of time and circumstances with a propensity on my part to be disorganised, these alone account for it. Forgive me.

As to your question, my primary audience is Christians who want to understand Mormonism in the face of the Mormon Church's reluctance to be quite as ingenuous as it might. After that Mormons, many of whom appear singularly and blissfully ignorant of much of their own history and doctrine.

My main goal is simply to put the information out there that the Mormon Church has singularly failed to make available. You cannot have failed to notice that the official answers to these questions are parsimonious to the point of being almost entirely useless.

There is also an element of good natured fun about the whole thing in the face of the capacity of some "religious" people to be just a bit too serious about themselves while being a tad too irreverent about others.