Saturday, May 24, 2014

No Death Under the Dome

We will first consider a few of the Church's teachings about the Creation, the Fall, and the Atonement, as explained by Elder Russell M. Nelson:

"A great council in heaven was once convened, in which it seems that all of us participated. There our Heavenly Father announced His plan.... The enabling essence of the plan is the atonement of Jesus Christ. As it is central to the plan, we should try to comprehend the meaning of the Atonement. Before we can comprehend it, though, we must understand the fall of Adam. And before we can fully appreciate the Fall, we must first comprehend the Creation. These three events—the Creation, the Fall, and the Atonement—are three preeminent pillars of God's plan, and they are doctrinally interrelated." (Ensign, Nov. 1993.)

"The plan required the Creation, and that in turn required both the Fall and the Atonement. These are the three fundamental components of the plan. The creation of a paradisiacal planet came from God. Mortality and death came into the world through the Fall of Adam. Immortality and the possibility of eternal life were provided by the Atonement of Jesus Christ. The Creation, the Fall, and the Atonement were planned long before the actual work of the Creation began....

"Eventually, 'the earth will be renewed and receive its paradisiacal glory.' At the Second Coming of the Lord, the earth will be changed once again. It will be returned to its paradisiacal state and be made new. There will be a new heaven and a new earth." (Ensign, May 2000.)

In these paragraphs, Elder Nelson teaches that the creation of earth was paradisiacal (without death) and that our understanding of the paradisiacal nature of the Creation is key to our understanding the Fall and the Atonement.

In its web article on Death before the Fall, FairMormon disagrees, referring to "overwhelming archaeological evidence of death having occurred on the earth for many millions of years" and concluding that the creation of earth was not paradisiacal.

FairMormon argues that only the Garden of Eden was paradisiacal, even though, as Elder Nelson points out, scripture says it is "the earth" that will be restored to paradisiacal glory. FairMormon acknowledges the Church's view but claims, since "there is no official doctrine on the matter," choosing between the two views is "simply an academic exercise."

Here's the problem: FairMormon's web article about Death before the Fall contradicts Elder Nelson and the following seven Church publications (click here):

    1. The LDS Bible Dictionary,

    2. The Guide to the Scriptures,

    3. The Gospel Principles manual,

    4. The missionary guide, Preach My Gospel,

    5. Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Wilford Woodruff,

    6. Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Harold B. Lee, and

    7. Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith.

Here's the solution: FairMormon should stop making up its own doctrine and accept the teachings of living apostles and prophets. Then, when FairMormon is no longer contradicting God's authorized servants, it can appropriately claim to be defending the Mormon faith.


Anonymous Atticus said...

R. Gary,
In order to limit their apologetic liability, Fair makes a distinction between "official doctrine" and everything else taught by church leaders. Are you aware of their definition of "official doctrine," and if so, what do you think of it? I think I know where you stand on this, but I'd like to see it in your own words.

5/30/2014 10:03:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Atticus: Scripture warns of the day when "they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, shall be cut off from among the people." (D&C 1:14.) Under the direction of its authorized leaders, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches there was no death on this earth before the Fall of Adam. Distinctions made by FairMormon do not change this.

5/31/2014 03:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Could it possibly be that we are mistaken? That the irrationality is because it's all made up anyways?

Problem: Everything we have as evidence shows NBF. Church says NDBF.

Solution: Church is wrong about NDBF.

6/11/2014 11:55:00 AM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Anonymous: Sadly, that is the FairMormon solution. But "Church is wrong" is NOT a "faithful answer" and FairMormon is NOT defending the Mormon faith.

6/11/2014 01:46:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

On this blog, we think about, explore, and consider various sides of many questions without looking for flaws in the Church or its leaders.

6/11/2014 07:13:00 PM  
Blogger R. Gary said...

Anonymous said, "So that means we look at one side of many questions. The church's side. Right?"

It's too bad Anonymous can't consider certain questions without criticizing the Church and its leaders.

6/12/2014 05:06:00 PM  

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