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June 20, 2020 10:43 am
Point is to examine the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints viewpoint when Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect. And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism welcome to this edition of the viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM Jesus the Christ.
A book written by James E.
Talmage of Mormon apostle published in September 1915 and given away as a Christmas gift by the first presidency in 1983 and again in 2009 given to various church employees as well as lower general authorities in the church we been looking at this book over the past few days. Specifically talking about his comment regarding the great apostasy and how he described the great apostasy as mankind had ceased to know God and also so that the true and the living God was no longer believed to exist were challenging that assumption based on what Joseph Smith put in section 7 of the doctrine and covenants when he speaks of the apostle John been promised by Jesus himself to remain alive to preach the gospel and we would assume since it's found in the doctrine and covenants that this gospel would be the gospel that Mormons believe what's known as the restored gospel. We began also looking at a portion of the book of Mormon taken from third Nephi chapter 28 were Jesus after his resurrection he allegedly comes to the New World and he has another set of 12 followers, though they are not called apostle, specifically in the book of Mormon, but they are disciples and the he chooses three of the 12 and tells them that because he knew their thoughts that they desired. The thing which John, my beloved, who was with me in my ministry and what was it that John the beloved wanted to remain alive and to bring souls to Christ, and according to page 739 of Jesus the Christ. It says that Jesus tells these disciples more blessed are ye, for you shall never taste of death, but you shall live to behold all the doings of the father unto the children of men, even until all things shall be fulfilled.
According to the will of the father, when I shall come in my glory with the powers of heaven and you shall never endure the pains of death, when I shall come in my glory, you shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye for mortality to immortality and then shall you be blessed in the kingdom of my father. The question were raising is if you've got the apostle John running around with the proper Melchizedek authority that Mormons believe you must have and he is also allegedly preaching the true gospel as well as these three neophytes that were allowed to remain. Also to remain until Jesus returns. Where do we find this complete apostasy that is such a major part of the Mormon movement.
We didn't talk about this earlier bill this week when we were talking about doctrine and covenants section 7, and John, but it's obvious to me that this passage in third Nephi chapter 28 is a ripoff of what we see from D&C seven, but really goes back to John chapter 21 in the gospel of John, written by John himself, and I want to read the last few verses of chapter 21 because I think the answer to this whole thing has been already determined by what John wrote because this is after Peter saw John and he said to Jesus, what about this man in verse 22 chapter 21 Jesus said unto him, if I will that he Terry till I come. What is that the follow thou me the same language that were seen in doctrine and covenants section 7 verse 23 then went this saying abroad among the brethren that that disciples should not die. Yet Jesus said, not on day him he shall not die, but if I will that he Terry till I come. What is that to the and then verse 24 John says the disciple which just testified that these things and wrote these things and we know that his testimony is true. So what John says is this was a rumor that had gone around and apparently Joseph Smith did not get the memo and includes that in doctrine and covenants section 7 and then continues this because now I got the Americas. We need someone on the Western Hemisphere that is not going to pass away, so let's go ahead and insert this into the book of Mormon. Why do you think Joseph Smith included the stories as we were talking off here. It seems like these stories contradict this whole idea of a complete apostasy which we know now is a major part of the Mormon narrative but yet D&C section 7 Supposedly Took Pl. in 1829 the book of Mormon could not of taken place any time after 1830 when it was published. It makes you think that at that time. By inserting these two stories. Joseph Smith hadn't even contemplated what Mormons now believed to be the great apostasy could this possibly be a legend that built itself up because when we talk about the first vision the first vision was not something that was understood in 1830 and it was announced and understood until much later.
The official version does not come out until the 1840s. So is that the story kinda gets built up as time goes on, and it needs to be incorporated to continue with the storyline that Joseph Smith has created lots of questions, that's for sure, but let's look at page 739. In Jesus the Christ how James Talmage describes what he had just cited from third Nephi chapter 28 verses six through eight. The blessed three were assured that in the course of their prolonged life, they should be immune to pain and should no sorrow only as a grieve for the sins of the world. Let me stop you there Eric because when it says that they should be immune to pain. Now it does say in there that they shall never endure the pains of death but I don't really see in the passage that they will never feel any type of physical pain at all. It makes me wonder if these three neophytes were walking around and let's say one of them stepped improperly and broke their leg. Normally, a person who breaks their legs sits down, gets off the leg because if they were to continue walking on a broken leg. It could make the injury even worse. Let's say a compound fracture with the bone actually sticks through the skin, would they not feel that I think that Talmage is taking more out of this than what the passage says. It says you shall never endure the pains of death. I don't see pain just general paint and we have to understand pain is actually a good thing. CS Lewis said that pain is a megaphone that rouses a deaf world. A person who doesn't have any pain ON the New Testament we call them lepers. They did not have the ability to fill any pain and so that their skin would just completely fall apart because they weren't taking care of it. Let's say for instance one of the three got too close to a campfire and started sizzling.
The tips of their fingers. They wouldn't even know it.
Is that what were supposed to believe the what, wouldn't it charting the skin in a situation like that, no making this up. Just as we think James Talmage is making it up but still this comment that they should be immune to pain, physical pain just sounds a little bit absurd to me. Talmage continues for their desire to labor in bringing souls in the Christ as long as the world should stand.
They were promised an eventual fullness of joy even like onto that to which the Lord himself had attained Jesus touched each of the nine who were to live and die in the Lord, but the three who were to Terry till he would come in his glory.
He did not touch and then he departed a change was wrought in the bodies of the three neophytes so that while they remain in the flesh. They were exempt from the usual effects of physical vicissitudes, the heavens were opened to their gaze.
They were caught up and saw and heard unspeakable things quote and it was forbidden them that they should utter. Neither was it given onto them power that they should utter the things which they saw and heard." Though they lived and labored as men among their fellows, preaching, baptizing and conferring the Holy Ghost upon all who gave heed to their words the enemies to the truth were powerless to do them injury somewhat later than 170 years after the Lord's last visitation malignant persecution was waged against the three further zeal in the ministry. They were cast into prison, but the prisons could not hold them for they were rent in twain. They were incarcerated in underground dungeons, but they did smite the earth with the word of God, insomuch that by his power, they were delivered out of the depths of the earth and therefore they could not dig pit sufficient to hold them thrice. They were cast into a furnace of fire, but received no harm, and three times where they thrown in the dens of ravenous beasts, but quote behold they did play with the beast as a child with a suckling lamb and received no harm" Talmage goes on to say for nearly 300 years and possibly longer.
The three neophytes ministered visibly among their fellows, but as the wickedness of the people increase the special ministers were withdrawn and thereafter manifested themselves only to the righteous few folks, this is where the beginnings of the folklore in Mormonism of Latter Day Saints saying that they were visited by one or more of these three neophytes when they found themselves in a desperate situation such as a flat tire on a rainy night some mysterious stranger comes and helps them out. There's a number of stories like this that many Mormons believed to be related to the story of the three neophytes, but it seems odd to me that as wickedness of the people increases. God pulls these special ministers who you would think would be needed even more at this particular time, but know this God the gutter Mormonism decides well I'm in a pull them out of that situation.
The point that's being stressed here folks is when you look at the story of the three neophytes and you added to the story. The apostle John, remaining alive until Jesus comes a notice it sounds like Talmage has no problem with believing that through the preaching and baptizing and conferring of the Holy Ghost upon all those who gave heed to the three neophytes, words, people were being converted to what Mormons believe to be the true gospel that being the case, how can you all of a sudden assume that the message that those converts received and were commissioned to spread stopped again, it becomes another huge conspiracy theory to imagine something so great coming to an end as is taught within the circles of Mormonism.
Now again were talking from two of the unique LDS Scriptures doctrine and covenants section 7 and were talking about the book of Mormon, but the ones the last time you heard at Gen. conference a sermon from one of the general authorities that even mentions these four people or the idea that there was authority on the earth after the death of the apostles.
I don't recall ever hearing the story like this. Usually when you hear the story of the three neophytes are.
You hear something about the apostle John. It's more of a lay level and usually I find that they don't seem to understand at least in my opinion the dilemma that we are presenting. But the story seemed to stretch credulity. I mean to to think that there are four people that have not died and are somewhere around here. It doesn't seem possible.
It seems that if Joseph Smith was going to come up with an idea of a great apostasy or universal apostasy is believed by many Latter Day Saints. He probably would've been best to leave section 7 of the doctrine and covenants out of the DNC and not included the story of the three neophytes in third Nephi chapter 28 in the book of Mormon. Thank you for listening. If you would like more information regarding his research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website at www.mrm.org you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you join us again as we look at another viewpoint is