I Never Knew You – Part 1

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Chris

I was listening to an October 2016 General Conference address given by LDS Apostle David Bednar

Elders lets look at a talk given by Apostle David Bednar at the October 2016 General Conference.

Elder Smith

Is that the one titled, “I never knew you?” 

Chris

That’s the one.  Elder Bednar began his talk with a passage taken from the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7:21-23.  His point was to emphasize that, the Lord’s statement in the King James Version, “I never knew you,” was changed in the Joseph Smith Translation to read “Ye never knew ME.”  

Then Elder Bednar recites in the King James Bible the Parable of the Ten Virgins found in Matthew 25:1-12, where Jesus tells the foolish virgins “I know ye not.”  And again, Elder Bednar explains that the King James Version was changed in the Joseph Smith Translation to read, Ye know ME not.” 

At the end of his talk found on lds.org or ChurchofJesusChrist.org – under references – you’ll find the footnotes to these JST passages. 

Elder Young

Thats why we believe Joseph Smith to be an inspired prophet of God.

Chris

Yeah well, it’s interesting the Lord inspired Joseph Smith to revise the word of God by taking out the incorrect wording and replacing it with what should have been in there.  But Elder Bednar makes a critical mistake in using the Joseph Smith Translation to prove his point.

Elder Smith

How so?

Chris

If we turn to the Book of Mormon – which is claimed to be the “most correct book,” – we find the Sermon at the temple in Bountiful, where Jesus supposedly appeared to the Nephites following His resurrection.  Would you please read 3 Nephi 14:23?

Elder Smith

 

“And then will I profess unto them: I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”  

Chris

Notice anything there?

Elder Young

3 Nephi 14:23 is word-for-word the same as it is in the King James Version of Matthew 7:23.

Chris

Exactly, including the same phrase “I never knew you.” 

Elder Smith

Look, here in the footnote of 3 Nephi 14:23.  It cross-references another Book of Mormon passage, Mosiah 26:27 “And then I will confess unto them that I never knew them; and they shall depart into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” 

Chris

Do you see the mistake Elder Bednar made in using the Joseph Smith Translation?

Elder Young

It seems that the Book of Mormon agrees the King James Version and not the Joseph Smith Translation.  That’s confusing.

Chris

I think it’s very clear.  You not only have two verses in the King James Bible – but also two verses in the Book of Mormon – which was supposedly translated by the gift and power of God – that differ with the Joseph Smith Translation. 

Elder Smith

I wonder why – If it was good enough for the Lord to be quoted in the Bible and substantiated in the Book of Mormon – why did Joseph Smith feel it necessary to change the Lord’s words in his Inspired Version? 

Chris

And what was Elder Bednar thinking?  Why, is the footnote in Elder Bednar’s talk only referencing Matthew 7 and not, 3 Nephi 13 and Mosiah 26

Elder Young

I don’t know.

Chris

Is it because Joseph Smith copied the “Sermon at the temple” in 3 Nephi from the King James Bible “Sermon on the Mount?”

 

Look Elders – If you have a modern-day apostle telling its members in a world-wide General Conference that the Bible is wrong and the Joseph Smith Translation is inspired – in spite of what was just pointed out in the Book of Mormon – as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, what do you do with that information?  

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In a recent General Conference, President Nelson said, speaking of Jesus, “When we omit His name from His Church, we are inadvertently removing Him as the central focus of our lives.” 

The irony is that Joseph Smith used three different names for the Church in the span of eight years.  Why would Jesus instruct Joseph Smith in 1830 to call it the “Church of Christ”, then change it in 1834 to the “Church of Latter Day Saints” and, then change is once again in 1838?

Was Joseph carelessly removing Jesus as the central focus of LDS members lives during that time period?

One possible reason it took Smith eight years to settle on an official name for the Church is the fact that God wasn’t involved at all in the decision. 

President Nelson said that “For much of the world, the Lord’s Church is presently disguised as the ‘Mormon Church.’  But we as members of the Lord’s Church know who stands at its head: Jesus Christ Himself.  Unfortunately, many who hear the term Mormon may think we worship Mormon.  Not so!  We honor and respect that great ancient American prophet.  But we are not Mormon’s disciples.  We are the Lord’s disciples.”

In my entire life I’ve never heard or read of anyone having the silly idea that the LDS worship the “ancient American prophet”, Mormon.  Most people aren’t that naïve. 

President Nelson spoke of the revised style guide that should be used.  Quote: “It states“It states: ‘In the first reference, the full name of the Church is preferred:   When shortened second reference is needed, the terms ‘the Church’ or the ‘Church of Jesus Christ’ are encouraged.  The ‘restored Church of Jesus Christ’ is also accurate and encouraged.”

The Bible Jesus never mentioned what the future church would be called.  That’s because it was never intended to be a formal organization.  They were simply believers in Jesus Christ.  Those believers were known by a number of titles: like, “the Way”, “Christians”, “Nazarenes”, “Church of Christ”, “Church of God”, “Church of the Firstborn”, even by location such as the “Church of the Thessalonians”, etc. 

The term “Church” comes from the Greek word “Ekklesia” which means “a called-out assembly or congregation”.  It is a gathering of people “called-out” to follow Jesus.  What it is NOT – nor ever has been – is an institution that serves as the gatekeeper of salvation or eternal life. 

I see what President Nelson is trying to do here.  Calling the Mormon Church “The Church” or the “Church of Jesus Christ” or      ” would be an acknowledgement of Mormonism’s truth claims.  However, non-members will recognize that those are more than titles and people outside your faith should not give validation to those designations.  

It would be an admission that the “Great Apostasy” really occurred.  Thus, the need for the Church to be “restored.”  And, Christians certainly do not support that doctrinal position. 

Besides, how is it any better to call it “The Church” or “The Restored Church” if the name of Jesus is still absent?

Look!  It’s hard to break old habits and I believe the terms “Mormons” and “LDS” will be used by members and non-members till the end of time.  President Nelson has taken what seems to be his personal, opinion and used his authority as CEO to persuade others that it is God who is making this “correction” in the name of the Church. 

By declaring as Prophet that members are not to refer to themselves anymore as Mormons – He has in, essence declared all Mormons – “non-Mormons”. 

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