ΑΝ ΠΕΘΑΝΕΙΣ ΠΡΙΝ ΠΕΘΑΝΕΙΣ, ΔΕ ΘΑ ΠΕΘΑΝΕΙΣ ΟΤΑΝ ΠΕΘΑΝΕΙΣ

(ΠΑΡΟΙΜΙΑ ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΩΝ ΜΟΝΑΧΩΝ)

Κυριακή, 26 Ιουλίου 2015

Mormonism / "LDS" Church & Orthodox Church - The Orthodox Church in Utah


Photo from here

"Of any group that claims to be Christian, Mormons are quite possibly the furthest removed from its historical doctrinal center" (Joel Kalvesmaki, here).

"I have often told people that if I wasn’t a Mormon I would be an Orthodox Christian" (Kent (MC), in a response here).

Ελληνικά η εισαγωγή εδώ, όπου και σχετικό αφιέρωμα. Η μετάφραση στα αγγλικά έγινε από την αγαπητή αδελφή μας Κ.Ν. Την ευχαριστούμε από καρδιάς.
 
In the present post we shall present certain points regarding the Mormon community (aka “Church of Christ of Latter-day Saints”) as seen by the Orthodox Church, in the hope that it can thus contribute – with the help of God - towards a dialogue between Mormon and Orthodox Christian brethren and hopefully thus motivate some of our Mormon brothers to take a closer look at Orthodoxy, which is the true root of Christianity.
With the term “Orthodox Church” we mean what is usually referred to as the “Eastern Orthodox Church” and not any of the numerous other religious communities that are self-styled “orthodox”, such as “orthodox protestants” or “orthodox non-Chalcedonians” (Copts, Ethiopians, Syrians, etc.), which in our opinion can be inadvertently confusing.
I would like to affectionately point out here that from the Orthodox viewpoint, Mormons are merely one of the literally thousands of religious communities that comprise the branch of Protestantism that sprouted from the formerly Christian “status quo”, which had eventually been denatured by the medieval infrastructures of the West.  The medieval West with its so-called “Catholic Church” or “Roman Catholic Church” had already excised itself from its ancient, authentic roots – which were in fact Orthodox – and had succumbed to the dominance of heresy. Luther had attempted to confront this heresy of the Papacy, but he unfortunately distanced himself even more from those ancient, authentic roots of the One Church.

During the time that Luther and Calvin were formulating the Reformation in the West, the Orthodox Christian monasteries of Eastern Europe and certain quarters in Asia and Northern Africa were hosts to hundreds of saints – both men and women.  Needless to mention that there were also the faithless, the immoral and unrepentant sinners living in those same areas (as they do in every place and every era); however, there were also millions of true Christians with the authentic faith in Christ who lived among them: countless “little” and “big” holy persons, many of which were also miracle-workers, as verified within the Book of Acts of the Apostles - as were the Disciples of Jesus Christ. 
These saints - each of them not less important than Luther or Calvin - were students and spiritual children of the saints of the preceding generation of saints, who in turn had likewise been spiritual children of the saints before them etc., thus reaching back as far as the first Apostles and their disciples, of the first century A.D..  None of them “needed” to break away from the Church in which they belonged or create a new version of Christianity, because that was the Church which had not altered its teaching or its way of life over time (as did the Papacy); it was the actual, original Church, which Jesus Christ Himself had founded, and which the Holy Spirit had thereafter undertaken to guide throughout History, by means of the holy Apostles and their disciples, i.e., the saints of the second century A.D., the third, the fourth, and so on, until this day. 
Sadly, during the time of Luther, most of those territories had come under Ottoman (Muslim) occupation; however, that did not hinder the Christians from developing spiritually within the bosom of the Church or progress in their union with Christ and amongst themselves, in the same way that they did during the centuries of Roman persecutions.
Protestants had fought against the terrible heresy of Papism; and yet, right beside them at a very small distance stood the ancient Church of the proto-Christian era – still alive and breathing, and without having ever broken the ties that link it to the original Church of the Apostles and the first Christians.

Our Mormon brethren had distanced themselves even further from the roots of Christianity, by having adopted new beliefs, some of which are reminiscent of olden-time Gnosticism – that is, the “religion of angels”, which had already been denounced by the Apostle Paul in Colossians 2:18 and Timothy 1:4, which had eventually also split up into many branches. 
Some serious points (there may be more) that Mormons and ancient Gnostics have in common:
They use a different Bible, in parallel to the proper Holy Bible, whose content they claim has been revealed to them “from above”.  This is what the Gnostics had done, thus creating the vast pseudo-literature of “apocryphal gospels”.  
They place the Christian God, but also Jesus Christ, in the context of a more general, celestial genealogy, from which they even hinge the creation of the universe and mankind (ref. 1 Timothy 1:4: “unending genealogies”) 
They also acknowledge the pre-existence of the human soul, the reincarnation and deification of man which is far different to the deification (“theosis”) taught by Christianity. 
They teach that they were guided to these “new revelations” by an angel (ref. “Colossians 2:18 – “religion of angels”).
They have embraced polygamy, an act that brings them somehow closer to the Nicolaitans, who are clearly condemned in Revelations 2:6 and 14-15, and 2 Peter 2:15, although they had not gone to the extremes that the other had.

Numerous other groups have likewise appeared on the scene and have distanced themselves immensely from Christianity by taking other, strange paths, as for example the “Jehovah’s Witnesses” and the Pentecostal groups, but nevertheless, they too merely comprise pebbles in the tangled mosaic of Protestantism. 
It is to all these distanced brethren – including the Mormons – that the Orthodox Church is inviting them to return to their home.

Mormonism - OrthodoxWiki

here

Mormonism is a heretical religion founded in 1830 by Joseph Smith, Jr. Most of its adherents comprise the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or "LDS" Church, with headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah; its second-largest sect is the Community of Christ, in Independence, Missouri. Total membership for the LDS church as of 2008 is 13,000,000,[1] with 250,000 in the Community of Christ[2] and perhaps 50,000 in several smaller sects. 

Icon from here

Brief History

Mormonism began on April 6, 1830 in Fayette, New York, as an alleged "restoration" of the original Apostolic Church. Its originator, Joseph Smith, Jr., asserted that he had seen two celestial "personages" in 1820 who claimed to be God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. These "personages" told Smith that all existing churches--including the Orthodox Church--were false, and that he had been chosen to "restore" the one true Church.

Attracting a host of converts, Smith's new religion also garnered intense persecution, necessitating moves in turn to Ohio, Missouri, and finally Illinois, where Joseph Smith was murdered in 1844. Smith's movement fragmented following his demise, with the majority eventually following Brigham Young to Utah.

Plural marriage proved a source of dissension, especially between the Utah Mormons and the smaller Community of Christ, which rejected the doctrine. Polygamy also caused trouble between the LDS church and the U.S. government, until its practice was banned in 1890. Throughout the last century, Mormons fought to project an image of wholesome, family-oriented Christianity, reaping millions of converts and emerging as a formidible presence on the world religous scene.

With the fall of communism, the LDS extended their prosletyzing efforts into traditionally Orthodox countries, including Russia, which passed a law in 1997 designed to hamper their efforts and those of other Western sects. 

Compared To Holy Orthodoxy

(This section is concerned with the organization and theology of the Utah LDS church, which contains the majority of the world's Mormons. While the Community of Christ church is similarly organized, its beliefs differ rather sharply from LDS Mormonism in many respects, as do the beliefs and organization of the smaller sects. However, all Latter Day Saint sects remain diametrically opposed to Orthodox Church teaching in most essential regards.)

Mormonism as a whole encompasses a mélange of many different religious beliefs, the vast majority of which are contrary to the teachings of the Orthodox Church. Joseph Smith gleaned inspiration from various religious movements of his time, including Campbellite, Restorationist, and Universalist. However, the foundation of Mormon belief is the acceptance of modern prophecy and revelation, and an "open canon" of Holy Scripture.
 
Mormon Organization

While Joseph Smith taught that any person with a testimony of Christ is a prophet, the LDS church remains a hierarchial organization with a President/Prophet, usually assisted by two "Counselors", who alone possesses the "keys" to all prophetic power. Most members of the LDS church believe that their current president, Thomas S. Monson (as of 2008), is the sole person authorized to speak definitively for God on the earth today. Below this "First Presidency" are twelve "Apostles," who are also considered "prophets, seers, and revelators," but who do not exercize the prerogatives held by the president. Beneath these apostles are the "Seventies," concerned with heading up Mormon missionary efforts, together with a "Presiding Bishopric" largely relegated to temporal concerns. These men are referred to as the "General Authorities" of the LDS church.[3]

A local Mormon congregation, called a "ward" (equivalent to an Orthodox parish), is headed by a "bishop" (equivalent to an Orthodox parish priest). A group of wards occupying a specific geographical area is organized into a "stake" (equivalent to an Orthodox diocese), headed by a "stake president" (equivalent to an Orthodox bishop). The disparity between Mormon and Orthodox usage of "bishop" can cause confusion for the uninitiated!

Another source of confusion is the Mormon use of the word "elder." While Orthodox Christians use "elder" to refer to a holy person who has been given a special gift of spiritual insight and direction (but who is not necessarily a priest, or even a male), Mormons use this term to refer to a specific office in the "Melchizedek Priesthood," the higher of their two "priesthoods" (the "lesser" priesthood is referred to as the "Aaronic Priesthood"). "Elder" is the lowest office in this higher priesthood, and is generally held by all male members over the age of eighteen deemed "worthy" of it (the vast majority).

"Patriarch" also has a different usage for Mormons than for Orthodox; instead of referring to the chiefest of Orthodox bishops, this term is used to describe an office in the higher Mormon priesthood mostly concerned with the giving of special "patriarchial blessings" to church members.

The "Doctrine of Eternal Progression"

A major pillar of Mormon belief is their concept of deification, which they refer to as the "Doctrine of Eternal Progression." In opposition to the Trinitarian dogmas of the First and Second Ecumenical Councils, Mormons believe that God the Father, whom they refer to as "Elohim"[4] or "Heavenly Father," was originally a flesh-and-blood human being, who was spiritually "begotten" by another "god" (and his "godess" wife) and then physically born on another planet (not Earth). "Elohim" lived a normal human life, and by embracing his world's version of Mormonism, he "progressed" to become the "god" he is today.[5]

Having attained to "godhood," this "Elohim" and his wife were enabled to create and populate their own universe--namely, ours--with spiritual offspring who, by coming to earth and taking on human flesh, embracing and fully living the Mormon religion, and "enduring to the end," could themselves acquire "godhood," where they in turn could begin this process anew. It should be noted that this LDS doctrine of "pre-existence" of spirits, by which we all are alleged to have existed "spiritually" in heaven prior to our birth on this earth, was specifically condemned by the Fifth Ecumenical Council.

For a casual observer, this may seem similar to the Church's teaching of theosis, but this is most emphatically not so: First, there is a definite distinction in the Church between God and mankind, between the Creator and His Creation. God is eternal, and existed for eternity prior to (and entirely separate from) His creation (which, unlike its Creator, is not eternal), until the incarnation of the pre-eternal Word of God, the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity, as Our Lord Jesus Christ. This was a unique union between God and His creation, which never existed before. Mormonism, on the other hand, teaches that only matter and intelligence are truly eternal (not God), and that all of their "gods" essentially "evolved" in the same fashion, from physical matter. Second, the Orthodox Church clearly teaches that the Most Holy Trinity has always existed precisely as one God: "the Trinity, One in Essence, and Undivided." Mormonism, on the other hand, teaches that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one in "purpose" only, and most emphatically not one in essence or hypostasis (as the Orthodox Church teaches). They are three "gods," say the Mormons, and not "one" in anything except a common purpose and mindset. Furthermore, say they, there are potentially billions of "gods" beyond the three they acknowledge as belonging to this world. All of this is diametrically opposed to Orthodox Christian teaching. Third, Theosis is a unification between God and mankind, not the creation of an entirely separate deity (or dieties).

Mormonism's designation by Orthodoxy as being "heretical"--instead of "heterodox," as is the case with the Roman Catholic and most major Protestant faiths--stems primarily from their spurious doctrines on the Holy Trinity and the nature of God, together with various other specious beliefs.

Mormons have a very difficult time understanding why Orthodox and other Christians deny that they are Christian. The simplest answer to this question is that the Mormon god is simply not God--at least not the God worshipped by Orthodox Christians (and other Trinitarians). This does not mean that the Mormons are necessarily immoral or wicked people, simply that they worship a god completely dissimilar from the Christian Trinity. 

Attaining to "Godhood"

While Mormonism claims to focus on salvation through the atonement of Jesus Christ, their concept of exaltation goes far beyond this. All of mankind, say the Mormons, will be saved from death through the resurrection of Christ; but it is only those whom God judges as obedient and faithful, and who receive specific saving ordinances (which will be offered to every person that has ever lived), who will be exalted to the highest of the three "degrees of glory" which comprise the Mormon heaven. Only those exalted to this "Celestial glory" will become "gods." Those in the lower two degrees,[6] while enjoying a blessed and happy state, will still be limited in their "progression" and will never have the chance to move to a higher existence.

To attain to "Celestial glory," one must be baptized as a Mormon by "true authority" (meaning a regularly-ordained member of their church), "confirmed" by the same, and receive certain "sacred" or "higher" ordinances that can only be had within a Mormon temple. While Orthodox Christians often tend to use the term "temple" to refer to any Orthodox Church building, Mormons use it only for specific structures specially dedicated as such.[7]

Within these structures, Mormons practice (for themselves, or on behalf of others) certain esoteric rituals: Baptism for the Dead, where living proxies act on behalf of deceased persons who are then "baptized" into the LDS church; names are obtained from geneological research, for which the Mormons are world-famous. This practice was rejected by the Council of Hippo and the Third Council of Carthage, and St. John Chrysostom associated it with the heretical Marcionites. St. Clement of Alexandria indicated that Baptism for the Dead was a doctrine also particular to the Gnostics. The so-called "Endowment," where initiates are taught the "fullness" of Mormon doctrine on such subjects as the "plurality of Gods," the Mormon version of creation, and the process by which one may "progress to godhood." Additionally, participants take a solemn oath never to reveal anything that goes on in the temple, as well as oaths to faithfully abide by all Mormon teachings. This ritual is essentially a "contract" between the Mormon "god" and his adherents, by which they promise to obey his laws and earthly leadership, and he in turn promises to advance them to "godhood" upon their resurrection. Many elements of this rite were stolen from the heretical Freemasons, and Joseph Smith (who had been a Master Mason himself) was expelled from that fraternity as a result. Marriage for Eternity, where participants, upon receiving their "Endowment," are married "for time and all eternity." This is seen as an indespensible requirement for "godhood."[8] The Orthodox Church has traditionally rejected this concept.

The Mormon hell, by the way, is limited to those few who have apostasized from the Mormon religion, broken their oath of secrecy about the Temple rituals, committed murder after becoming a Mormon, or are guilty of other very serious offenses--together with the devil and his fallen angels. 
 
Photo from here

Alleged "brotherhood" of Christ and Satan

In the Pearl of Great Price, "Book of Moses" 4:1-4 and "Book of Abraham" 3:27, Mormonism's god explains that in the "preexistence," he asked for a volunteer to serve as the savior of humankind. Two of his "spirit-sons," Jesus and Lucifer, obliged. Lucifer wanted to compel all humans to follow God, while Jesus insisted on the right of each person to choose for themselves. When "Elohim" chose Jesus over Lucifer, say the Mormons, Lucifer rebelled and was cast out of heaven with his followers. They were deprived of all chance to receive a fleshly body, and thus barred from any chance at "godhood."

The June 1986 Ensign, official magazine of the LDS Church, affirmed the teaching that Christ and Satan are, indeed, "spirit brothers"--albeit diametrically opposed "brothers."[9]

All of these teachings, needless to say, are emphatically rejected by the Orthodox Church. 

The Mormon Concept of Angels

In contrast to Orthodoxy, which views angels (whether righteous or fallen) as a separate class of beings created by God prior to--and separate from--humanity, Mormonism sees angels as being either pre-existent spirits of human beings not yet physically born, or the spirits of departed "righteous" men, such as characters from the Bible and the Book of Mormon. "Moroni," the alleged "angel" who showed the golden plates of the Book of Mormon to Joseph Smith (see below), was supposed to have been an ancient American prophet who figures prominently in the final portions of that book.

While the Orthodox Church traditionally admonishes her children to mistrust any spiritual manifestations they might see (even the saints have sometimes been deceived by demons, such as St. Nikita the Venerable of Novgorod, for instance!), Joseph Smith offered his followers a novel test by which he claimed to be able to discern true angels of God from demons. This task, which involved asking to shake the "angel's" hand (Smith said one would not feel the "angel's" hand, if it were a demon), may be found in LDS Doctrine and Covenants Section 129.[10] However, the life of St. Martin of Tours illustrates that the demons are quite capable of affecting human sensory perceptions--including the human sense of touch--contrary to Joseph Smith's assertion.[11]
 
"The Great Apostasy" and Apostolic Succession

Like many Restorationist heresies, Mormons believe that the Church entered an age of opprobrium several years after its founding.[12] In doing so, say they, it lost all right to perform sacraments, consecrate priests, or otherwise act in God's name. And from that moment until 1830, say the Mormons, there was no true Church anywhere on the earth. While Mormons offer no specific date for this alleged catastrophe, they tend to believe that it had occurred by the era of St. Constantine the Great and the First Ecumenical Council in A.D. 325. The Orthodox Church, which traces her unbroken succession to the Apostles themselves and alone teaches the fullness of their doctrine, is ergo in apostasy (with all other non-LDS churches) according to the Mormons.

Mormons point to New Testament scriptures[13] that they assert as speaking of a complete apostasy of the entire Church, as proof of their claims. While Orthodox Christians would agree that these passages did indeed speak of apostates to come--such as Arius, Nestorius and Paul of Samosata, for instance--they emphatically reject the Mormon interpretation (advanced to varying degrees by nearly all Protestants) that the entire Apostolic Church would fall into heresy. In St. Matthew 16:18, our Lord clearly states that the "gates of hell shall not prevail" against the Church He had founded--a Church which the Mormons agree existed, but which they claim to have been subsequently "lost", in violation of our Lord's words.

Mormons believe ardently in the necessity of Apostolic Succession, which they refer to as "Priesthood succession" or "Priesthood lineage." However, since they recognize no valid church between the alleged "Great Apostasy" and the establishment of their own in 1830, they trace their succession to one of four "exalted beings,"[14] who purportedly visited Joseph Smith on two separate occasions in the 1820's, just prior to their church's founding. 

Gethsamene and Golgotha

Utah Mormons generally reject all usage of the Holy Cross as a Christian symbol. The Mormon church teaches that the atonement of Christ took place, not primarily on the Cross, but rather in the Garden of Gethsamene the night before His crucifixion. The LDS Bible Dictionary entry for "Atonement" speaks of the shedding of Our Lord's blood as having taken place there; His subsequent death on the Cross the following day is relegated to a seemingly secondary place. There is no entry for "Cross" in the LDS Bible Dictionary, and its cursory article on "crucifixion" makes no mention whatsoever of this salvific event having any role in His Atonement. The Mormonwiki article on "Atonement of Jesus Christ" contains a section entitled "Gethsamene and Golgotha," which emphasizes the time our Lord spent in the Garden of Gethsamene, alleging that it was here that the genuine "shedding of blood" took place to effect our salvation.

Many Mormon leaders have denounced the wearing or display of the Cross by Mormons. Some of their statements are contained in an essay entitled "Why Are There No Crosses on Mormon Churches and Temples?"[15]

On the other hand, the late Fr. Michael Pomazansky, author of Orthodox Dogmatic Theology, shows the Orthodox teaching on the Cross as both the path, power and banner of the Church. In his essay "The Cross of Christ" (printed in this same book), he gives the Orthodox teaching on the vital importance of our Lord's Cross as the indispensible weapon, not merely in the general victory against Satan and his angels won at Calvary, but equally in our own individual struggles for salvation.[16]
 
Original Sin and Infant Baptism

Similar to the ancient heresy of Pelagius, Mormons teach that all human beings are born unafflicted by the fall; and they further assert that children are incapable of sin until they reach the age of eight years.[17] The second Mormon "Article of Faith" (contained in the Pearl of Great Price) teaches: "We believe that men will be punished for their own sins, and not for Adam's transgression."[18] Accordingly, infant baptism is vehemently rejected by the Mormon church.

In contrast, Orthodoxy teaches (unlike Roman Catholics and most Protestants) that while only Adam and Eve bear the guilt for their sin in the Garden of Eden, they transmitted the consequences of that sin to their progeny. St. Anastasius the Sinaite wrote: "We became the inheritors of the curse in Adam. We were not punished as if we had disobeyed that divine commandment along with Adam; but because Adam became mortal, he transmitted sin to his posterity. We became mortal since we were born from a mortal."[19] Thus, in keeping with Holy Scripture and Apostolic Tradition, the Orthodox Church baptizes infants by triple immersion (as she does with adult converts, as well)--not to cleanse them of "original sin," but rather to give them the grace this holy sacrament imparts, together with access to the Holy Eucharist and all of the other means of grace she offers.[20]
 
Miracles and Martyrs

Mormons assert that one proof of their claims is the miracles claimed by members of their sect--and the comparative absence of these in other Christian denominations. This was emphasized during the early years of Mormonism, where their assertions of the "restoration" of the "gifts of the Spirit" contrasted sharply with Campbellite and other Protestants' assertions that such miracles had entirely ceased among Christians. Mormons insist that this cessation of such "gifts" comprises proof of their alleged "Great Apostasy" of the entire Church (see above).

Orthodoxy, however, offers an unbroken twenty-century history of wonderworkers, miracles and gifts far surpassing anything the Mormons can adduce. The twentieth century alone saw SS Nectarios of Aegina, John Maximovitch of San Francisco and John of Kronstadt, among others; each preceding century offers additional proof that the true "gifts of the Holy Spirit" never ceased in the one, true (Orthodox) Church of Christ. 
 

 
Mormonism believes in the concept of martyrdom, offering various persons who have been murdered for professing the LDS religion since its inception. While it does not pray to these people, as Orthodox do to their martyrs and saints, it does venerate their memory and uphold them as examples to other Mormons. The LDS church offers its founder, Joseph Smith, Jr., as its chief "martyr," as he was murdered by an anti-Mormon mob in Carthage, Illinois, on June 27, 1844. However, whereas a martyr has always been understood by Orthodox Christians as one who dies voluntarily for the Faith without resisting his persecutors in any way (and indeed, while praying for and forgiving them), Joseph Smith did not die in this fashion. Rather, Smith used a six-shot pistol against his attackers, wounding three of them before being killed himself.[21]

While the murder of Smith was indeed a deplorable and henious act, it cannot be described as true "martyrdom" by Orthodox standards--not only because of Smith's resistance to his killers, but equally because he died for a false religion. "The martyrdom of heretics is suicide," say the Holy Fathers.[22]

In contrast, Orthodoxy offers numerous genuine martyrs throughout her 2,000 year history, including nearly twenty-million who died during the twentieth century under Communist persecution. This list extends from the Holy Apostles themselves and their immediate disciples, right up to the present day. Fr. Alexander Men, for instance, was martyred in Semkhoz, Russia in 1990, and Priestmonk Nestor Savchuk of Zharky, Russia was martyred there in 1993. Other Orthodox Christians have been martyred in the Serbian provice of Kosovo, within the past decade.[23][24]
  
Distinctive Mormon "Scriptures"
 
The Book of Mormon

In 1823 Smith claimed to have been visited by an angel named Moroni, who told him of a chronicle of ancient history supposedly engraved in "Reformed Egyptian" on tablets of gold, and buried in a hill near Manchester, New York. Smith allegedly obtained these plates in 1827 and translated them into English via the use of two seer-stones which he called the "Urim and Thummim." These stones should not be confused with the Old Testament Urim and Thummim (the stones on the High Priest’s breastplate used to relay messages from God to the Israelites), though Mormons sometimes try to connect the two.

This translation became The Book of Mormon, which is revered as "Another Testament of Jesus Christ" by Mormons. The monikers referring to Smith's church as "the Mormon Church" and its members as "Mormons" are derivations fromThe Book of Mormon. This book purports to be a religious and secular history of the ancient inhabitants of the Americas--called Nephites, Lamanites, Mulekites, and Jaredites--from about 2200 B.C. to A.D. 421. It claims that at least some Native Americans are descended from groups of Near Eastern peoples (mostly Jews) who immigrated during pivotal periods in Israel’s history.

The Book of Mormon claims that many of these people were openly-practicing Christians, before the birth of Christ, with a functioning church organization that mirrored that later taught by Joseph Smith. According to Smith's text, the godly "Nephites" openly administered baptisms, "confirmations" and the Holy Eucharist eons before the coming of the Savior. The book even claims that our Lord came to visit these peoples Himself after His Ascension--after raining down several days of death and destruction on the evildoers among them. About four-hundred years after this alleged event, the "Nephites" were destroyed by the wicked "Lamanites," who became the primary ancestors of the Native American peoples.

Interestingly, over 3,000 changes have been noted between the Book of Mormon currently published by the LDS Church, and the original 1830 edition published by Joseph Smith. Most of these alterations were made by Smith himself, in later editions of the book printed during his own lifetime. For instance, in I Nephi 11:32, our Lord was originally referred to as "the eternal God," but is now referred to as "the son of the eternal God." In I Nephi 11:18, the Theotokos was initially referred to as "the mother of God," while today she is referred to as "the mother of the Son of God."[25]

Connections between the history and civilization portrayed in The Book of Mormon and evidence found by archaeologists in the Americas is debatable. Evidence of horses, elephants, cattle, barley, wheat, steel swords, chariots, shipbuilding, and other Old World paraphernalia has not been found to exist in the Americas until the advent of Europeans. Evidence of these people, the gold plates, or the "seer-stones" has yet to be found.[26]
  
Other Mormon "Scriptures"

Mormons also accept as Scripture the Doctrine and Covenants, containing 138 "revelations" and two "official declarations" allegedly given to Joseph Smith and his successors; together with the Pearl of Great Price, containing the "Book of Moses" (a rewriting by Joseph Smith of the first part of the Book of Genesis), the "Book of Abraham" (a purported account of the Patriarch Abraham, with references to multiple "gods" in the act of creation, rather than one God), and various other texts by Smith.

Additionally, Joseph Smith rewrote the entire Bible "by inspiration" during his lifetime, making substantial additions to the text, deleting the Song of Solomon entirely, and otherwise shaping its text to conform to his own teachings (including an alleged prophecy of his own coming). While this text was never officially adopted by the main LDS church (it was adopted, on the other hand, by the Community of Christ), portions of it appear in the Pearl of Great Price and as footnotes in the official LDS editions of the King James Version of the Bible (still the official LDS version). 
 
Mormonism and Polygamy
 
Photo from here

Plural marriage was practiced by early Mormon church leaders. Many sources say that Smith had as many as twenty to thirty wives, while Brigham Young counted fifty-two.[27] The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints practiced polygamy until 1890, when they ended it to ensure Utah’s statehood.

Today about 70% of Utah is Mormon, and around 60,000 or so are polygamous, though the mainline LDS Church excommunicates anyone advocating or practicing it. Other breakaway Mormon sects practice polygamy secretly. Despite the huge publicity campaign the LDS Church has constructed to disassociate itself from polygamy, Mormons and plural marriage are still commonly associated in contemporary culture. While it may have been renounced by the main LDS body, there is no doubt that Mormonism and its unholy practice of plural marriage remain closely entwined, especially since mainline LDS members are still required to affirm the propriety of polygamy when it was authorized by their church (prior to 1890).

The Orthodox Church condemns all forms of plural marriage as an unnatural practice. 

Citations 

"LDS Church says membership now 13 million worldwide", Salt Lake Tribune, June 25, 2007.
http://www.cofchrist.org/news/GeneralInfo.asp. This organization was known as the "Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" until 2001.
All Utah LDS priesthood offices are limited to men; the Community of Christ, on the other hand, ordains both men and women (since 1984).
LDS Bible Dictionary, Entry "God," at http://scriptures.lds.org/en/bd/g/43. This doctrine, incidentally, is vehemently rejected by the Community of Christ and most smaller Mormon sects.
Numerous quotes from Mormon leaders on this topic, past and present, may be read at http://blog.mrm.org/category/eternal-progression/. See also the Mormonwiki article on "Eternal progression" at http://www.mormonwiki.org/Eternal_progression.
These are referred to as "Terrestrial" and "Telestial," respectively, in LDS Doctrine & Covenants Section 76.
The regular Mormon meetinghouses are generally called "chapels" or "stake centers," and unlike their temples, are generally open to the public.
LDS Doctrine & Covenants, Section 131. See http://scriptures.lds.org/dc/131.
Read the entire article at http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=4a10ef960417b010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&hideNav=1.
http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Doctrine_and_Covenants/Section_129
See St. Martin's story at http://celticchristianity.org/COCQ/COCM200111.html, or in Chapter Five of Rose, Fr. Seraphim, Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future, St. Herman of Alaska Press, 1980.
Mormons tend to follow the Western error that posits Roman Catholicism, rather than Eastern Orthodoxy, as the most ancient of contemporary Christian faiths. Many are suprised to learn that Orthodoxy even exists! However, learning of Orthodoxy's existence and claims does not alter their beliefs in the slightest.
I Timothy 4:1, II Timothy 3:1-5, Acts 20:28-31, among others.
The Mormons claim these beings to have been St. John the Baptist, and the Holy Apostles SS Peter, James and John.
http://members.tripod.com/~Aarius/nocross.htm.
Pomazansky, Protopresbyter Michael, Orthodox Dogmatic Theology: A Concise Exposition; St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, 1997, pp. 326-30.
See http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=21bc9fbee98db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD&locale=0&sourceId=c2fb94859a4bb010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&hideNav=1.
http://scriptures.lds.org/a_of_f/1.
St. Anastasius the Sinaite, 19. Vide I.N. Karmirh, SUNOYIS THS DOGMATKHS THS ORQODOXOU EKKLHSIAS, s. 38. Quoted from Kalomiros, Dr. Alexandre, The River of Fire, ch. IV, found at http://www.orthodoxpress.org/parish/river_of_fire.htm.
Pomazansky, pp. 268-69.
History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Vol. 7, p. 100, 102 & 103.
http://www.orthodoxinfo.com/general/i_believe.aspx.
http://www.serfes.org/orthodox/SerbianMartyrsOfthe20thCentury.htm.
http://www.kosovo.net/default2.html.
http://www.geocities.com/swickersc/mormonbkchange.html.
See, for instance, the Smithsonian Institute's offical statement on the Book of Mormon, at http://www.irr.org/mit/smithson.html.
D. Michael Quinn, The Mormon Hierarchy: Origins of Power, Signature Books, Salt Lake City, 1994, 685 pages, ISBN 1-56085-056-6; Appendix 6, "Biographical Sketches of Officers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints, 1830-47" pp. 607-608). 

Sources and External Links
 
The Official LDS Website
Mormonwiki.com (A Mormon version of the Wikipedia)
Wikipedia: Mormonism
Community of Christ (Website for the Community of Christ, the second-largest Mormon sect)
To Those Who Are Investigating Mormonism by Richard Packham (Packham is a former member of the LDS)
HBO’s Big Love (Big Love is a television drama portraying Mormon polygamists living secretly in modern-day Utah)



My First Visit to an Orthodox Christian Church



By , Mormon Matters

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about how the familiar Mormon claim that we are the “one true Church” is as much a statement about other churches as it is about our own. And I’ve been thinking about how ignorant and uninformed I feel about other churches because I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve visited one.
So recently I decided to start visiting other churches a lot more often in hopes that I can develop some personal, first-hand knowledge about them. And it seemed fitting to start by paying my first visit to the church that claims to be the oldest “one true” Christian church: the Orthodox Christian church.
Like Mormons, Orthodox Christians explain: “We’re neither Protestant nor Roman Catholic.” An Orthodox website explains where they see themselves in relation to the various Christian denominations:
Roman Catholicism is a medieval modification of the original Orthodoxy of the Church in Western Europe, and Protestantism is a later attempt to return to the original Faith. To our way of thinking, the Reformation did not go far enough.
We respectfully differ with Roman Catholicism on the questions of papal authority, the nature of the church, and a number of other consequent issues. Historically, the Orthodox Church is both “pre-Protestant” and “pre-Roman Catholic” in the sense that many modern Roman Catholic teachings were developed much later in Christian history.
Thus, Orthodox Christians and Mormons agree that the Catholic church became corrupted, and that the Reformation did not successfully remedy the defects in the Catholic church. But while Mormons would assert that no Christian church retained the priesthood keys throughout the ages, the Orthodox Church asserts that the original Christian church’s orthodoxy and authority remained intact in the East while the Roman Catholic church apostatized in the West. Accordingly, they are commonly referred to as “Eastern Orthodox” churches.
Because the Orthodox church was brought to America via various immigrant groups from Eastern Europe, such as Russia or Greece, each Orthodox church in America usually bears the name of the particular immigrant group that established it, e.g., Russian Orthodox Church or Greek Orthodox Church. As far as Orthodox Christians are concerned, there is just one Orthodox church, and these descriptive national designations will eventually be removed. In fact, there are currently efforts to unify all the Orthodox churches in America under the same name by removing their various national designations, which can be confusing for outsiders (“Can I go to a Greek Orthodox Church if I’m not Greek?”).
There is a beautiful Greek Orthodox Church named St. Paul’s in my hometown that, despite my having lived here for 20 years, I had never set foot in until just last weekend. I wasn’t able to attend their regular “family” service because it is held at the same time as my Sacrament meeting. However, I was able to attend their “Matins” service at 9 a.m., which seemed like their equivalent of a “music and the spoken word” program held each Sunday before their regular family service.
When I arrived, I introduced myself to a woman in the parking lot and explained I was there visiting the Orthodox church for the first time. When I told her my name was Andrew, she smiled and said: “That’s quite a coincidence! Today is St. Andrew’s day and we are commemorating him in our Matins service this morning!” Of course, before that moment I had no idea it was St. Andrew’s day, but I was delighted to hear that I would be accidentally celebrating it.
After having me sign a guest book, my guide showed me into their equivalent of a chapel, which they call the “Sanctuary.” In the lobby just outside the main Sanctuary, there was a beautiful Byzantine-style painting of a saint that I did not recognize. Upon entering the lobby, my guide crossed herself and leaned over and kissed the portrait. She then walked me over to the candles and asked whether I wished to light one. I couldn’t think of any reason why not, so I lit a candle and dropped a dollar into the basket.
My guide then showed me into the main Sanctuary, which is pictured below.



As you can see in the photo above, the Sanctuary is an immense, white-walled open space whose main focal point is a beautiful mosaic of Mary, Jesus, and two angels at their sides ["N": About the Virgin Mary, Mother of our Lord, click here, here & here]. What is less visible in the photo above is that the background tiles are painted a metallic gold, which creates a beautiful and awe-inspiring impression. The Sanctuary’s enormous space makes one feel small, which is humbling and invokes a sense of reverence.
In the center of the Sanctuary above one’s head is another beautiful mosaic depicting Christ sitting upon a throne, which is pictured below.



When I arrived at the Sanctuary, the Matins was already in session. I was immediately surprised to see I was one of only about eight or nine people in attendance. My guide gave me a booklet in which was printed the Matins program for that day. As I leafed through it, I saw that it was essentially a script for the entire Matins program, consisting of prayers, scriptures, and short hymns.
My guide told me I was free to choose any pew. I thanked her and started walking down the center aisle. When I realized my guide was not accompanying me, I looked back and she had a somewhat concerned look on her face. I walked back to her and she kindly explained that normally people enter the pews from the outside aisles, rather than down the center aisle. I was disappointed that I had only been there two minutes and had already made my first rookie mistake!
I then walked down the outside aisle to a pew about six rows from the front, and took my place at the end of the row. But I did not sit. I stood. I had done a little reading on the St. Paul’s website beforehand and learned that at Orthodox services, those in attendance typically stand throughout the entire service as a sign of reverence (of course, those who are elderly or physically unable to stand need not do so).
As the eight or nine of us in attendance stood, a priest and three readers each took turns reading from the Matins script. What first caught my attention is that they were reading in a melodic half-singing, half-chanting sort of way. At first it was unfamiliar and a bit surprising. But as I read along in the Matins script as they sang/chanted, I soon became entranced by the melody and rhythm and was able to focus intently on the beautiful prayers, scriptures, and hymns that had been selected. And although I missed every cue to cross myself or repeat words back to the priest, and failed to turn to face the priest with the rest of the worshipers as he carried incense up the center aisle, I felt quite comfortable and enjoyed the Matins ceremony immensely.
I was also struck by the fact that the two priests and a couple of the readers all wore beards, which was a stark contrast to the clean-shaven Bishoprics we’re accustomed to seeing sitting on the stand at LDS services. While beards are eschewed by LDS leaders, apparently beards are regarded quite well by the Orthodox. And although both priests were men (only men can be priests in the Orthodox church), one of the black-robed readers on the stand was a woman.
As I stood listening and reading along during the Matins service, in the back of my mind I tried to think of the one or two words I would use to describe the experience. The first word that came to mind was “Beautiful”. The richly colored mosaics set against the pure white open space of the Sanctuary, and the melodic sing-chanting of the prayers, scriptures, and hymns, was in all an absolutely beautiful experience. And as I stood there, I felt a sadness that only a handful of people were even there to appreciate it. I almost wanted to go out into the streets and tell everyone what they were missing.
The other word that repeatedly came to mind was “Reverence”. There was a deep sense of reverence pervading the Matins service. The worshipers standing attentively in the pews, the absence of any musical instruments other than the voice that God gave to man, and the complete absence of any infants or toddlers made for a very reverent, serene worship experience.
And as I stood in my pew, I paused periodically to search my heart for the answer to the main question I had brought with me, which was whether or not I would be able to sense God’s presence there.
And I did.
As the priest and readers beautifully quoted passages of scripture, sang hymns, and prayed in Christ’s name, it confirmed to me the truthfulness of Christ’s promise: “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” (Matt. 18:20.) As Elder Boyd K. Packer once said: “The idea that with the Crucifixion of Christ the heavens were closed and that they opened in the First Vision is not true. The Light of Christ would be everywhere present to attend the children of God; the Holy Ghost would visit seeking souls. The prayers of the righteous would not go unanswered.” (Boyd K. Packer, “The Light of Christ,” Ensign, Apr. 2005, 11.) My visit to the Orthodox church showed me that those words are as true now as they were then.
President Hinckley said: “Be respectful of the opinions and feelings of other people. Recognize their virtues; don’t look for their faults. Look for their strengths and their virtues, and you will find strength and virtues that will be helpful in your own life.” (Sheri L. Dew, Go Forward with Faith: The Biography of Gordon B. Hinckley (1996), 536, 576.) With that in mind, here are just a few of the strengths and virtues I saw in Orthodox Christian worship that I feel could be helpful in my own spiritual life:
  • A deep sense of reverence. I feel I could greatly benefit from trying to adopt a much more reverent attitude about what is occurring in the chapel on Sundays: the prayers, the Sacrament, the sermons, etc. You really get the sense that Orthodox worshipers feel that what is taking place in their Sanctuary is a sacred, holy experience.
  • An intense focus on Christ. There is no question that the Matins service at the Orthodox church was Christ-centered. It was filled with references to Christ, scriptures about Christ, prayers invoking Christ’s name, and hymns about Christ.
  • Worship. Although this is somewhat duplicative of point #1 above, one thing that struck me about the Orthodox Matins was that it truly felt like a “worship” experience. The word “worship” is defined as reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage.” Because the service was so reverent, it also felt worshipful.
Please share any thoughts, observations, questions, knowledge, or experience you may have with Orthodox Christianity or Orthodox Christians by commenting below.

* * * * *
Some interesting facts about Orthodox Christianity:
There are some 250 million Orthodox Christians in the world.
Most Christians in Greece, Romania, Bulgaria and Serbia, Russia and Ukraine are Orthodox.
Three million Americans are Orthodox Christians
The heaviest concentrations of Orthodox in America are in Alaska, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, and Ohio.
Organized Orthodox Church life first came to America in 1794 with missionaries from old Russia who came to Alaska.
Centuries of vigorous Orthodox missionary activity across 12 times zones in northern Europe and Asia was halted by the Communists after the Soviet Revolution in 1917.
Orthodox missions are active in Central Africa, Japan Korea and many other parts of the world.
(For those interested in learning more about Orthodox Christianity, see here for helpful and informative answers to some Frequently Asked Questions.)

*******
Click here to read a dialogue between Mormons and Orthodox Christians.
 
Orthodox Missionary Fraternity

See also:

Our Faith

St. Andrew Greek Orthodox Church 
The holy Apostles (from here)

An ever-growing number of persons from various backgrounds are becoming interested in the Orthodox Church. These individuals are discovering the ancient faith and rich traditions of the Orthodox Church. They have been attracted by her mystical vision of God and His Kingdom, by the beauty of her worship, by the purity of her Christian faith, and by her continuity with the past. These are only some of the treasures of the Church, which has a history reaching back to the time of the Apostles.

In our Western Hemisphere, the Orthodox Church has been developing into a valuable presence and distinctive witness for more than two hundred years. The first Greek Orthodox Christians arrived in the New World in 1768, establishing a colony near the present city of St. Augustine, Florida. One of the original buildings in which these immigrants gathered for religious services is still standing. It has recently been transformed into St. Photius' Shrine by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese. The Shrine, named in memory of a great missionary of the Orthodox Church, honors those first Orthodox immigrants. The chapel serves as a national religious landmark, bearing witness to the presence of Orthodoxy in America from the earliest days of its history. The next group of Orthodox Christians to emerge on the American Continent were the Russian fur traders in the Aleutian Islands. They, too, made a great contribution.

The Orthodox Church in this country owes its origin to the devotion of so many immigrants from lands such as Greece, Russia, the Middle East, and the Balkans. In the great wave of immigrations in the 19th and 20th centuries, Orthodox Christians from many lands and cultures came to America in search of freedom and opportunity. Like the first Apostles, they carried with them a precious heritage and gift. To the New World they brought the ancient faith of the Orthodox Church.

Many Orthodox Christians in America proudly trace their ancestry to the lands and cultures of Europe and Asia, but the Orthodox Church in the United States can no longer be seen as an immigrant Church. While the Orthodox Church contains individuals from numerous ethnic and cultural backgrounds, the majority of her membership is composed of persons who have been born in America. In recognition of this, Orthodoxy has been formally acknowledged as one of the Four Major Faiths in the United States. Following the practice of the Early Church, Orthodoxy treasures the various cultures of its people, but it is not bound to any particular culture or people. The Orthodox Church welcomes all!

There are about 5 million Orthodox Christians in this country. They are grouped into nearly a dozen ecclesiastical jurisdictions. The largest is the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, which has about 500 parishes throughout the United States. Undoubtedly, the Primate of the Archdiocese, His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos, has been chiefly responsible for acquainting many non-Orthodox with the treasures of Orthodoxy. His selfless ministry, which has spanned more than thirty years, has been one of devotion and vision. Filled with an appreciation of his Hellenic background and guided by a spirit of ecumenism, Archbishop Iakovos has recognized the universal dimension of Orthodoxy. He has acted decisively to make this ancient faith of the Apostles and Martyrs a powerful witness in contemporary America. 


Eastern Christianity

The Orthodox Church embodies and expresses the rich spiritual treasures of Eastern Christianity. It should not be forgotten that the Gospel of Christ was first preached and the First Christian communities were established in the lands surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. It was in these eastern regions of the old Roman Empire that the Christian faith matured in its struggle against paganism and heresy. There, the great Fathers lived and taught. It was in the cities of the East that the fundamentals of our faith were proclaimed at the Seven Ecumenical Councils.

The spirit of Christianity which was nurtured in the East had a particular favor. It was distinct, though not necessarily opposed, to that which developed in the Western portion of the Roman Empire and subsequent Medieval Kingdoms in the West. While Christianity in the West developed in lands which knew the legal and moral philosophy of Ancient Rome, Eastern Christianity developed in lands which knew the Semitic and Hellenistic cultures. While the West was concerned with the Passion of Christ and the sin of man, the East emphasized the Resurrection of Christ and the deification of man. While the West leaned toward a legalistic view of religion, the East espoused a more mystical theology. Since the Early Church was not monolithic, the two great traditions existed together for more than a thousand years until the Great Schism divided the Church. Today, Roman Catholics and Protestants are heirs to the Western tradition, and the Orthodox are heirs to the Eastern tradition.
 

Orthodox

Christians of the Eastern Churches call themselves Orthodox. This description comes to us from the fifth century and has two meanings which are closely related. The first definition is "true teaching." The Orthodox Church believes that she has maintained and handed down the Christian faith, free from error and distortion, from the days of the Apostles. The second definition, which is actually the more preferred, is "true praise." To bless, praise, and glorify God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is the fundamental purpose of the Church. All her activities, even her doctrinal formulations, are directed toward this goal.

Occasionally, the word Catholic is also used to describe the Orthodox Church. This description, dating back to the second century, is embodied in the Nicene Creed, which acknowledges One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. From the Orthodox perspective, Catholic means that the Church is universal and also that she includes persons of all races and cultures. It also affirms that the Church has preserved the fullness of the Christian faith.
It is not unusual for titles such as Greek, Russian, and Antiochian to be used in describing Orthodox Churches. These appellations refer to the cultural or national roots of a particular parish, diocese, or archdiocese.
 

Diversity in Unity

The Orthodox Church is an international federation of patriarchal, autocephalous, and autonomous churches. Each church is independent in her internal organization and follows her own particular customs. However, all the churches are united in the same faith and order. The Orthodox Church acknowledges that unity does not mean uniformity. Some churches are rich in history, such as the Church of Constantinople, while others are relatively young, such as the Church of Finland. Some are large, such as the Church of Russia, while others are small, such as the Church of Sinai. Each Church is led by a synod of bishops. The president of the synod is known as the Patriarch, Archbishop, Metropolitan, or Catholicos. Among the various bishops, the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople is accorded a "place of honor" and is regarded as "first among equals." In America and Western Europe, where Orthodoxy is relatively young, there are a number of dioceses and archdioceses which are directly linked to one of these autocephalous Churches. For example, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese is under the care of the Patriarchate of Constantinople. While the Archdiocese enjoys a good measure of internal autonomy and is headed by an Archbishop, it owes its spiritual allegiance to the Church of Constantinople.

Source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America


Our Faith
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Find an Orthodox Christian Church in Utah

Holy Trinity Cathedral
Holy Trinity Cathedral (Salt Lake City, Utah) - Wikipedia
 

279 300 W
Salt Lake City, UT, United States
+1 801-328-9681


The Assumption of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church
Google+ page
 

61 S. 2nd Street, Price, UT 84501.
+1 435-637-0704
St Peter & Paul Orthodox Church

355 300 E
Salt Lake City, UT, United States
+1 801-532-5456

Holy Apostles Orthodox Mission
Google+ page

280 W Center St
Orem, UT, United States
+1 801-750-9183
 

Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church
Greek Orthodox Church of Transfiguration


674 42nd street, South Ogden Utah, 84403. 

Icon from here
Church Tel: 801-399-2231, FAX: 801-399-1932.

St. George Russian Orthodox Church, Salt Lake City, UT
St. George Russian Orthodox Church - Salt Lake City, Facebook

Greek Orthodox Mission Parish of Utah

Physical Location:
    3015 E. Creek Road Cottonwood Heights, UT
Mailing Address:
    P.O. Box 4791
    Salt Lake City, Utah 84110
Telephone:
    801-573-6800 (Parish Council President)
Greek Orthodox Mission Parish of Utah - Facebook

Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Denver. For other parishes throughout the Archdiocese of America click here 

Idaho Montana Wyoming Utah Colorado North Dakota South Dakota Nebraska Kansas New Mexico Oklahoma Missouri Texas Louisiana Imagemap of the Metropolis of Denver
 
The Metropolis of Denver covers the area illustrated in the map above, encompassing all of twelve states (those shown in green) and the western portions of two others (shown in yellow). 

Please, click:

The ancient Christian Church - About Orthodox Church in the West World...
The Stories of the Saints of North America

5 σχόλια:

Ανώνυμος είπε...

όταν νιώθω απογοητευμένος από τον εαυτό μου και από τους συμπατριώτες μου χαίρομαι να ακούω για την ορθοδοξία από τα χείλη ανθρώπων στον υπόλοιπο κόσμο! Ευτυχώς όσο εμείς εδώ βουλιάζουμε πνευματικά, δόξα τω Θεώ, αλλού ανθιζουν οι καρποί του Ευαγγελίου. Ας μας ελεήσει ο Θεός όλους για τα εγκλήματά μας

Ανώνυμος είπε...

Ίσως λίγο άσχετο. Αλλά θέλω να σου πω τον πόνο μου. Ψάχνω εδώ και μια ώρα να βρω την Καινή Διαθήκη στα νέα ελληνικά (σύγχρονα νέα ελληνικά!) σε μια επίσημη αξιόπιστη ορθόδοξη απόδοση. Να μπορώ να κάνω ένα κόπι πέϊστ ξέγνοιαστος! Και δεν βρίσκω. Στις επίσημες ιστοσελίδες της Εκκλησιας της Ελλάδος κτλ βρίσκω μόνο το αρχαίο κείμενο. Στη Μητρόπολη Θεσσαλονίκης απαγορεύουν να αναδημοσιεύσουμε και το έχουν κάνει και πρακτικά αδύνατο αυτό. Ακόμη και του Σωτήρος οι ιστοσελίδες δεν έχουν κάπου ένα κουμπάκι να βγάζει την Καινή Διαθήκη... Πες μου κατι!

ΝΕΚΡΟΣ ΓΙΑ ΤΟΝ ΚΟΣΜΟ είπε...

Εδώ θα βρείτε την Καινή Διαθήκη στα νέα ελληνικά, δηλ. σε απλή καθαρεύουσα, σε μια έγκυρη μετάφραση:
http://www.synaxarion.gr/gr/index.aspx
Είναι πολύ εύκολη στην κατανόηση. Ίσως ξέρετε ήδη αυτή τη μετάφραση.
Δεν ξέρω κάτι σε πιο σύγχρονη νεοελληνική. Αν κάποιος ξέρει, ας μας πει. Πάντως νομίζω ότι είναι καλή η γλώσσα στο σύνδεσμο που σας δίνω.
Σας ευχαριστώ. Ο Θεός μαζί σας.

Ανώνυμος είπε...

Ευχαριστώ πολύ αδελφέ για τον σύνδεσμο της Καινής Διαθήκης. Είναι αρκετά βατή νεοελληνική. Ευχαριστώ!

Κύμβαλον Αλαλάζον είπε...

Χαίρετε αδελφοί μου.
Σε αυτό το σύνδεσμο από την Αγία Μαρίνα Ανθουπόλεως Περιστερίου, http://www.ag-marina.gr/agia_grafi.html, υπάρχει απόδοση της Καινής Διαθήκης στην καθομιλουμένη νεοελληνική γλώσσα από το Νικόλαο Σωτηρόπουλο. Μου φαίνεται αξιόπιστη παρόλο που δεν έχω τις απαραίτητες γνώσεις για να κρίνω αλλά ο αγαπημένος μας αδελφός Νεκρός θα γνωρίζει σχετικά.