15
Oct
08

Becoming gods

 

     I have just returned from a five-day trip to the Midwest where I had the opportunity to speak with hundreds of people about witnessing to Mormons.  (By the way, that’s why I haven’t been on the blog for the last five days.)  More than once people expressed confusion whether or not Mormonism teaches that people can become gods. 

     That confusion is understandable.  Many Mormons have told their Christian friends that Mormonism doesn’t teach that.   I have had many LDS members say that very thing to me.  And maybe they honestly don’t know that is what Mormonism teaches.  I have also had the experience that when I pointed that teaching out in D&C 132 and other sources some who denied that Mormonism taught that, reluctantly admitted that it did.

     There is no question that Mormonism teaches that people can become gods.  D&C 132: 20  “Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject to them.  Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.”

     Presently Mormons are studying the manual about Joseph Smith in their series,  Teachings of the Presidents of the Church.  On p. 221-22 of this manual which was copyrighted in 2007 it quotes Joseph Smith:  “you have got to learn to be gods yourselves. . .To inherit the same power, the same glory and the same exaltation, until you arrive at the station of a god, and ascend the throne of eternal power, the same as those who have gone before.”

     Even though it is not as prominent as it once was, the old Mormon couplet coined by President Snow is still official LDS teaching.

              “As man now is, God once was

               As God now is, man may be.”

    That this is still good solid Mormonism is seen in the fact that it is quoted in the official manual, The Life and Teachings of Jesus & His Apostles. 

    With these and numerous other proofs why do so many Mormons not know or deny that Mormonism teaches that people can become gods? 

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43 Responses to “Becoming gods”


  1. October 15, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    I honestly don’t know Mark.

    I agree with you that Mormonism most certainly teaches this. I’ve read the quotes you’re talking about in the current Joseph Smith manual. I’ve read D&C 132. It seems clear enough.

    So why do Mormons say otherwise?

    Few possibilities:

    1. Ignorance. You can find a lot of lay Baptists who are modalists. That doesn’t make modalism an orthodox Christian teaching. Likewise, some Mormons may not really be aware of this doctrine. You’d probably be surprised at how few Mormons actually read the Doctrine and Covenants (and actually pay attention). Just as I imagine you’d be surprised at how few Evangelicals actually read the Bible.

    2. Confusion. They are trying to convey the sense that we don’t become some sort of “god” that trumps or competes with God the Father and it comes out garbled because they aren’t used to talking about it. Or the evangelical listeners may be mis-reporting what they heard. I’ve also known counter-cult ministry folk to ask the questions in as offensive and misleading a manner as they can – leading the witness, if you will. In such confrontational situations, it’s easy to mistake what the other is asking or responding to.

    3. Evasiveness or Misleading. I’m not willing to rule out the possibility that some Mormons out there deliberately conceal this doctrine when talking with other Christians. I’ve heard some Christians report such practices and I have no reason to doubt what they say. Since I do not believe that being a Mormon automatically makes you honest, I have to admit the possibility that some Mormons are outright lying or misleading. It’s possible.

  2. 2 Darrell
    October 15, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    Seth,

    I agree with your possibilities. I think that many mormons are ignorant and confused about there own doctrine. Unfortunately, you do have the Milletts of the LDS Church that fall into category 3… seeking to be evasive and misleading… giving milk before meat… answering the question that “SHOULD HAVE BEEN ASKED”.

    Darrell

  3. October 15, 2008 at 8:42 pm

    Millett’s view of the Church is fully compatible with Mormon scripture and compatible with a consistent trend of modern prophetic utterance as far as I understand it. I see no reason to believe that Millett is being deceptive whatsoever.

    Again, I find it very, very, interesting how threatening you seem to find Millett.

  4. 4 Darrell
    October 15, 2008 at 9:25 pm

    Not threatening… just not fully truthful. His tactics remind me of a used car salesman… only tell the people what YOU WANT THEM TO KNOW.

    Darrell

  5. October 16, 2008 at 12:54 am

    Darrell, what sort of evidence do you have for asserting that he is dishonest?

    Or are you just parroting what you’ve heard from other counter-Mormons?

  6. 6 Darrell
    October 16, 2008 at 12:56 am

    Yeah, Seth I am parroting. Nice try.

    I have listened to him speak and have read some of his writings. I have witnessed him say things that are dishonest.

    Darrell

  7. 7 Darrell
    October 16, 2008 at 1:37 am

    Here is one example of him being less than honest. In an interview on NPR’s Speaking of Faith in January of this year he was addressing why Mormon’s seek to convert Christians of other faiths over to mormonism. This was what he said word for word…

    “Now, people will frequently ask us, ‘But why do you go to Christians who already have a church, who already have a belief?’ And, ‘Why don’t you just go to the heathen, you know?’ And there’s a practical answer for that. And that is — I’ve had pastors ask me this, and I’ve said to them, ‘How large is your congregation?’ ‘Well, about 700.’ ‘When you look out at that congregation, can you literally tell at one glance who of all those people have truly been converted? Who of all those people have had a personal conversion experience? Who of all those people have been born again? Who of all those people have, in your language, accepted Jesus as their savior? Do you know in each case?’ And he said, ‘Well, no, of course not.’ I said, ‘Neither do we.’ And so we approach everyone.”

    Mormon’s seek to convert others because they DO NOT KNOW WHO HAS ACCEPTED JESUS? That is a lie!! Plain and simple!! Mormons do NOT CARE IF SOMEONE IN ANOTHER CHURCH HAS ACCEPTED JESUS. Mormons seek to convert others over to mormonism because THEY BELIEVE MORMONISM IS THE ONLY TRUE CHURCH ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH. Period!!

    Here is an example from just 5 months ago…there is a lady in my church who had the mormon missionaries over visiting her husband. She met with them and told them that she already had accepted Christ and did not need the LDS Church. Guess what the missionaries told her… they said, “We know you have accepted Christ but you only have PART OF THE TRUTH. We are here to GIVE YOU MORE. The LDS Church is the only church on the face of the earth that has the FULLNESS OF THE GOSPEL. Your church has PART OF THE TRUTH BUT WE ARE HERE TO GIVE YOU MORE.” Perhaps these missionaries missed what Millett said and made a mistake in telling her that? No, on second thought, I think Millett was being dishonest and the missionaries were doing what they have been told to do… CONVERT EVERYONE BECAUSE MORMONISM IS THE ONLY TRUE CHURCH ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH.

    Millett displays exactly what I dispise about the mormon church… in such an effort to be “agreeable” and “paint the church in the best light” in public he lies. Quit acting like a politician and tell the truth.

    Darrell

  8. October 16, 2008 at 2:38 am

    I see no lying there Darrell. And I do find it interesting that you are so bent out of shape over it.

    What I think bothers you about it, is that Millett represents a way of living as a Mormon that was different than the way YOU did it. You rejected Mormonism as you experienced it. The idea that there might be a different, yet perfectly legitimate (and doctrinal) way to be a Mormon is threatening to you. Because it casts doubt on your own rejection of Mormonism. Maybe you were simply profoundly wrong about what it means to be a Mormon.

    Therefore, Millett must be condemned by you in as strong language as you can muster.

    He is a threat to your view of your own rightness and your own self-justification. Which is not something you are willing to re-examine.

  9. 9 Darrell
    October 16, 2008 at 3:10 am

    Actually Seth, I believe it is the other way around. You are so intwined in your own theological bubble that anything which causes you to possibly doubt it must be cast off as “unreasonable”, “anti-mormon” or just plain “non-sense”.

    Sorry, but Millett by my judgement and others who I have spoken with, is lying in his statement. He is trying to lead non-mormons to believe that the missionaries are only trying to convert non-mormons over because they are not sure who has accepted Christ and who hasn’t. That is a lie.

    I challenge any mormon who is reading this to go and ask the missionaries serving in your ward why the try to convert members of Christian Faiths (Baptists, Methodists, etc) over to mormonism. Tell me what they say. I can guarantee you it will be something to the effect of “because they lack the fullness of the gospel”. It will by no means be anything along the lines of “because we don’t know if they have accepted Christ or not”.

    Do this on Sunday and report back to me Seth. Don’t ask them leading questions. Just ask them a straightforward question and let them answer. Prove to me I am wrong.

    Darrell

  10. October 16, 2008 at 4:32 am

    I would imagine the missionaries would say exactly what you said they would say Darrell. So would I.

    Millett was simply trying to convey a concept in terms that an Evangelical would understand. His statement was never meant to be a comprehensive description of why Mormons proselyte. Jesus often spoke in parables that only conveyed one or two Gospel concepts, but did not include others.

    Do you call Jesus dishonest for not “laying it all on the table in one place?”

    Neither do I. And I do not expect Millett in this interview to give a full explanation of why we proselyte. He was merely giving Evangelicals some food for thought in terms they would understand. He never claimed to be explaining the whole and sufficient reason.

    As a matter of fact, I just finished one of Millett’s books on Mormon-Evangelical dialogue. He clearly asserts that Evangelicals do not have a “fullness” of the Gospel.

    So it just seems silly to drag from that interview quotation the tortured interpretation that he is trying to hide from Evangelicals that we believe you guys are very wrong in some ways. Millett makes it quite clear that he believes you guys have screwed it up on some very important fundamentals. He does so in every book of his I have read – including books intended for Evangelical consumption. He may not gleefully rub your noses in it. But being tactful is a far cry from being dishonest.

    Honesty does not require being rude and obnoxious Darrell.

    As usual, you have grabbed an isolated quote, and extracted from it the most inflexible, and least charitable reading you possibly could.

    This is what comes from having a theologically brittle and inflexible outlook on life. You see the need to force absolutes everywhere – even in areas where you have no authorization from God to do so.

    The LDS Church betrayed your very inflexible and brittle religious outlook. For that you have rejected it, and almost every comment you make on the subject drips with bitterness and resentment for that believed betrayal.

  11. 11 Darrell
    October 16, 2008 at 7:34 pm

    Seth

    You honestly want to try to compare Millett to Christ. Wow, how far will you go!!

    This was not just some short snippet that he was asked about. In fact, HE brought it up and said that he is frequently asked “why do your missionaries try to convert those members of other Christian churches?” He then said that this is one of the ways he normally responds. He was not just trying to give a quick answer. This is an answer that he has obviously thought long and hard about because he uses it frequently. It is a stock “dodge and deflect” answer. You know, kind of like “answering the question they SHOULD HAVE asked”.

    He is purposely trying to mislead the public. You will say that he was just being nice, agreeable and trying not to offend. He may even believe himself that this is what he is doing. However, one can only take “not trying to offend” so far. Eventually you reach the point where you are doing it for self serving reasons and it turns into lying. That point has been reached and past by the LDS Church.

    Lying and misleading is something that the LDS Church is doing frequently and yes, it irritates me because it is wrong. I was lied to personally by the church and they are doing it to millions around the world right now.

    Darrell

  12. October 16, 2008 at 8:38 pm

    Christ invited everyone to compare themselves to him and model themselves after him Darrell, so I’m sure you will have no objections to me doing so, right?

    And if it comes to dodging questions Darrell, you have been dodging plenty of mine.

    Just answering the questions I should have asked, I suppose?

  13. 13 Darrell
    October 16, 2008 at 9:09 pm

    Likening Millett’s misleading statements to Christ’s parables is a far cry from comparing the standards we as individuals uphold to those of Christ. Nice try.

    As far as any questions I have not answered… I apologize. What did I overlooked?

    Darrell

  14. October 16, 2008 at 11:12 pm

    Your philosophy would make Christ’s example inapplicable to anyone who was not already perfect.

    Or maybe your aim is simply to make his example inaccessible only to people you don’t like. Using Christ’s example is fine… until it is someone you disagree with. Then there is always the fool-proof taunt: “you’re no Jesus Christ.”

    Awfully convenient Darrell.

    I’m still not entirely certain whether you would be happy to see the LDS Church adopt a more correct view of salvation by grace (independent of any other changes in LDS theology), or if that would actually make you less happy since it would make the LDS faith harder to criticize.

    I also asked a question about whether you also wish to see the Eastern Orthodox religion drop its own currently held doctrine of theosis.

  15. 15 Darrell
    October 17, 2008 at 12:15 am

    Seth,

    Striving to be like Christ is great… in fact it is encouraged.

    Using Christ’s use of parables to justify telling a lie is terrible.

    It is that simple Seth… sorry if you don’t like it.

    “I’m still not entirely certain whether you would be happy to see the LDS Church adopt a more correct view of salvation by grace (independent of any other changes in LDS theology), or if that would actually make you less happy since it would make the LDS faith harder to criticize.”

    I did answer this. On post # 31 on A little work – a lot of pressure I said,

    “Would I be grateful if the mormon church’s teachings got closer to the biblical teaching of grace… well, of course. However, in the end it will not really matter because the REAL PROBLEM (Mormonism’s cancer) goes much deeper and is rooted in a wrong view of God, Man and the Bible. If you treat those issues, the issue of grace will be taken care of.”

    I don’t know how to be any clearer.

    “I also asked a question about whether you also wish to see the Eastern Orthodox religion drop its own currently held doctrine of theosis.”

    Sorry I did not address this clearly. I would like to see any false teaching about the nature of man amended. To be honest, I do not know enough about the Eastern Orthodox teaching of theosis to comment in detail. I will put that on my list of things to read up on. Thanks for the info.

    Anything else I missed?

    Darrell

  16. October 17, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    If you want to read up on the E. Orthodox doctrine of theosis, I found this short and readable article at what looked like an official website, quite useful:

    http://www.antiochian.org/node/16916

    You ought to check it out. Of course, E. Orthodox would reject the Mormon belief in ontological similarity or sameness with God. But otherwise, their beliefs on deification are almost indistinguishable from Mormon doctrine – if you believe the article.

  17. 17 Susan
    October 17, 2008 at 4:54 pm

    “I’m still not entirely certain whether you would be happy to see the LDS Church adopt a more correct view of salvation by grace (independent of any other changes in LDS theology), or if that would actually make you less happy since it would make the LDS faith harder to criticize.”

    How can there be any need to “adopt a more correct view of salvation by grace” when the claim of the LDS Church is that they have the fullness of the Everlasting Gospel. Why would something that is full/everlasting need to be corrected?

    Also, wouldn’t the “Christian’s who already have a church” be considered “heathen” from the Mormon perspective, and in need of being reached with the Fullness of the Gospel?

    Thanks for your time!

    ~Susan

  18. October 17, 2008 at 6:10 pm

    I think there is always room for improvement. Even having the “fullness” doesn’t necessarily mean you have EVERYTHING or that everything you have is perfect. When Mormons talk about fullness they typically mean a fullness of necessary ordinances.

  19. 19 Susan
    October 17, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    If everything you have comes directly from Heavenly Father through your living prophet, how can it not be perfect? How could the Mormon doctrines of salvation/grace change, when those are said to have come from Heavenly Father? Does He change?

  20. October 17, 2008 at 7:48 pm

    Yes, it comes from God.

    But it comes THROUGH flawed humans.

    Plenty of room for the radio waves to get a bit garbled there. There is also plenty of room for individual prophets and apostles to emphasize one part of God’s revealed word while possibly de-emphasizing others (possibly inappropriately). The grace vs. works issue MIGHT be one of those areas.

  21. October 17, 2008 at 7:51 pm

    That said, I generally try to keep my gripes with LDS practice at the level of what the general membership believes and practices rather than trying to second-guess the Church Priesthood authorities.

    In any case, I am not really enough well-versed in the individual utterances of present and past LDS General Authorities to really say for certain one way or the other whether they teach a correct view of grace or not. That’s my own failing, of course.

    So it is usually best to assume that my critiques and gripes are directed more at popular Mormon belief rather than official authoritative utterance.

  22. October 18, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    There are a few reasons for the duplicity of Mormons. The main reason is that Mormonism is occultic and ALL occultic groups practice duplicity and “secrets within secrets” and “groups within groups“. You have Temple Mormons (the adept and illumined) and the regular Mormons who have not yet showed themselves worthy of a TEMPLE RECOMMEND.

    When Mormon missionaries come to your home, they try very hard to appear Christian. And they will not mention and will evade any questioning about their “deeper teachings”. The Mormon missionaries are usually paired up as one Temple Mormon and one non temple Mormon. So even Mormon missionaries can be ignorant of the deeper teachings. But also temple Mormons will just out and out lie about their teachings because they face a dilemma. They need to say they are Christian, appear Christian and conceal their non Christian teachings, but,,,, they also claim to be the restored Church with the restored “Plain and precious truths” of the bible that they claim has been altered.

    Take the Temple work, it is not from the bible at all, it is straight from freemasonry, so they have a big reason to hide the temple work from the Non-adept. My pastor was a mason for about 15 yrs. And he says that the reason the rituals (which are identical to Mormon temple ceremonies) are secret is,,,,,,, that if they would have told him upfront about what happens in those ceremonies, HE WOULD HAVE JUST STAYED HOME because it is truly shocking. The ceremonies is basically a Big play that is acted out with LUCIFER as the main character and the main theme is the light that Lucifer brings (THAT MEN CAN BECOME GODS, per Gen3:22)

    In 85 I had a near fatal car wreck. I became a Christian shortly afterwards. My Uncle is a Mormon Bishop, he and the missionaries would come over and try to convince me that I needed to become a Mormon. People at work where telling me Mormonism is a cult and that they believed God was an exalted man and that men can become Gods. I asked my uncle if it was true and he and the missionaries denied it. Then I was at my Uncles house and seen he had several copies of “Gospel Principles”. It was published by the church so I asked if I could have a copy. He said yes but apparently forgot that he gave it to me as he insisted for several more weeks that Mormons are just regular Christians with no strange teachings. So When I pulled out the GP on them. After months of lying,,,, They finally admitted that they believed than God was a Man and that man can become Gods.

    Mormons need to appear Christian,,, Yet NOT Christian at the same time. That is why they are duplicitous. If they told everyone the truth up front,,, most would run for the hills and call Mormonism as it is ,,,,,, a Pseudo-Christian CULT. Christian in name ONLY.

    I have alotta post on Mormonism on my Bog of anyone wants to take a look.

    http://how2becomeachristian.wordpress.com/

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

  23. October 19, 2008 at 5:09 am

    Damon, all Mormon missionaries have been through the temple.

    A temple recommend is a requirement for entering the Missionary Training Center – male and female.

    As one who has sat through the temple ceremonies multiple times, I can assure you that Lucifer has no larger a role in those ceremonial depictions than he does in the first few chapters of Genesis.

  24. October 19, 2008 at 7:48 am

    SETH R SAID: “I can assure you that Lucifer has no larger a role in those ceremonial depictions than he does in the first few chapters of Genesis.”

    Damon says,,,, this is why you should never trust a Mormon and should always remember that Christian terms mean different things to Mormons. Mormons even RE-define the fall of man as a good and necessary thing. Here is a link to an article about it on my blog.

    http://how2becomeachristian.wordpress.com/2008/10/11/mormonism-on-the-fall-of-man-falling-upward-by-watchmanorg/
    ============================

    TO EVERYONE, read this with an eye on doctrine and the differences between the biblical account of the fall and the account portrayed in the MORMON TEMPLE CEREMONY.
    ============================

    LUCIFER: Well, Adam, you have a new world here.
    ADAM: A new world?
    LUCIFER: Yes, a new world, patterned after the old one where you used to live.
    ADAM: I know nothing about any other world.
    LUCIFER: Oh, I see, your eyes are not yet opened. You have forgotten everything. You must eat some of the fruit of that tree.
    (Lucifer plucks fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and presents it to Adam.)
    LUCIFER: Adam, here is some of the fruit of this tree. It will make you wise.
    ADAM: I will not partake of that fruit. Father told me that in the day I should partake of it I should surely die.
    LUCIFER: You shall not surely die but shall be as the Gods, knowing good and evil.
    ADAM: I will not partake of it.
    LUCIFER: Oh you will not? Well, we shall see.
    (Lucifer goes in search of Eve and hears a lamb bleating. He turns his head and finds Eve carrying a small lamb.)
    LUCIFER: Eve, here is some of the fruit of that tree. It will make you wise. It is delicious to the taste and very desirable.
    EVE: Who are you?
    LUCIFER: I am your brother.
    EVE: You, my brother, and come here to persuade me to disobey Father?
    LUCIFER: I have said nothing about Father. I want you to eat of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, that your eyes may be opened, for that is the way Father gained his knowledge. You must eat of this fruit so as to comprehend that everything has its opposite: good and evil, virtue and vice, light and darkness, health and sickness, pleasure and pain–thus your eyes will be opened and you will have knowledge.
    EVE: Is there no other way?
    LUCIFER: There is no other way.
    EVE: Then I will partake.
    (Eve takes the fruit from Lucifer, and bites it. Lucifer approves and places the other piece in her hand.)
    LUCIFER: There, now go and get Adam to partake.
    (Eve turns, and seeks Adam, fruit in hand. She finds him kneeling by a brook dipping his hand into the water. Fish are seen swimming below the surface, and white doves fly nearby. As Eve speaks to Adam, he stands and smiles as he sees her.)
    EVE: Adam, here is some of the fruit of that tree. It is delicious to the taste and very desirable.
    ADAM: Eve, do you know what fruit that is?
    EVE: Yes, it is the fruit of the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil.
    ADAM: I cannot partake of it. Do you not know that Father commanded us not to partake of the fruit of that tree?
    EVE: Do you intend to obey all of Father’s commandments?
    ADAM: Yes, all of them.
    EVE: Do you not remember that Father commanded us to multiply and replenish the earth? I have partaken of this fruit and by so doing shall be cast out, and you will be left a lone man in the garden of Eden.
    ADAM: Eve, I see that this must be. I will partake that man may be.
    (Adam takes a bite, and Lucifer walks to their side with a look of approval.)
    LUCIFER: That is right.
    EVE: It is better for us to pass through sorrow that we may know the good from the evil.
    EVE: I know thee now. Thou art Lucifer, he who was cast out of Father’s presence for rebellion.
    LUCIFER: Yes, you are beginning to see already.
    ADAM: What is that apron you have on?
    (Lucifer draws his cloak up to reveal a black apron.)
    LUCIFER: It is an emblem of my power and Priesthoods.
    ADAM: I am looking for Father to come down to give us further instructions.
    LUCIFER: Oh, you are looking for Father to come down, are you?
    (The Gods’ voices are suddenly heard in the garden.)
    ELOHIM: Jehovah, we promised Adam and Eve that we would visit them and give them further instructions. Come, let us go down.
    JEHOVAH: We will go down, Elohim.
    ADAM: I hear their voices, they are coming.
    LUCIFER: See, you are naked. Take some fig leaves and make you aprons. Father will see your nakedness. Quick! Hide
    ADAM: Come, let us hide.
    NARRATOR: Brethren and sisters, put on your aprons.
    (The film pauses temporarily and the lights are turned up while the patrons remove their fig-leave aprons from the bundles. All patrons tie the aprons on around their waists. The lights are again turned down and the film resumes. The camera pans down and presents the Gods’ perspective as they descend. Adam hides behind foliage.)
    ELOHIM: Adam … Adam! … Adam!! Where art thou?
    ADAM: I heard thy voice and hid myself, because I was naked.
    ELOHIM: Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou partaken of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, of which we commanded thee not to partake?
    ADAM: The woman thou gavest me, and commanded that she should remain with me, she gave me of the fruit of the tree, and I did eat.
    ELOHIM: Eve, what is this that thou hast done?
    EVE: The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.
    ELOHIM: Lucifer, what hast thou been doing here?
    LUCIFER: I have been doing that which has been done in other worlds.
    ELOHIM: What is that?
    LUCIFER: I have been giving some of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil to them.
    ELOHIM: Lucifer, because thou hast done this, thou shalt be cursed above all the beasts of the field. Upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust thou shalt eat all the days of thy life.
    (As Lucifer speaks he becomes angry and a storm begins to well up and the winds blow.)
    LUCIFER: If thou cursest me for doing the same thing which has been done in other worlds, I will take the spirits that follow me, and they shall possess the bodies thou createst for Adam and Eve!
    ELOHIM: I will place enmity between thee and the seed of the woman. Thou mayest have power to bruise his heal, but he shall have power to crush thy head.
    LUCIFER: Then with that enmity I will take the treasure of the earth, and with gold and silver I will buy up armies and navies, false priests who oppress, and tyrants who destroy, and reign with blood and horror on the earth!
    ELOHIM: Depart!
    (Thunder cracks and the storm ceases as Lucifer looks defiantly at Elohim; he then turns and walks away.)
    =================================================

    Lucifer also has a role in a section of the ceremony called THE LONE AND DREARY WORLD: THE TELESTIAL KINGDOM, Google it.

  25. 25 Susan
    October 20, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    “Yes, it comes from God.

    But it comes THROUGH flawed humans.

    Plenty of room for the radio waves to get a bit garbled there. There is also plenty of room for individual prophets and apostles to emphasize one part of God’s revealed word while possibly de-emphasizing others (possibly inappropriately). The grace vs. works issue MIGHT be one of those areas.”

    Sounds very similar to the garbled mess that Mormon’s claim the Bible to be, with all of it’s “errors” and “changes” over the past two thousand years. What kind of all powerful, sovereign God allows His Holy Words to become “garbled” through the people that He chooses to speak for Him? I certainly agree that all humans are flawed….but I don’t believe that God allows the Words that He speaks through them to become flawed. “Every word of God is flawless” Proverbs 30:5 False prophets speak flawed/garbled/innappropriate words. “The Lord said to him, ‘Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I WILL HELP YOU SPEAK AND TEACH YOU WHAT TO SAY.'” Exodus 4:11,12

  26. October 20, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    “What kind of all powerful, sovereign God allows His Holy Words to become “garbled” through the people that He chooses to speak for Him?”

    The same God who created a universe containing evil apparently.

  27. October 20, 2008 at 9:40 pm

    SETH R SAID: “The same God who created a universe containing evil apparently.”

    WAIT JUST ONE MINUTE SETH, Your FALSE MORMON GOD is nothing but an exalted man and did not create anything. The Mormon concept of God is a farce, You should be consistent in your world view.

    Here is some blogpost articles about the Mormon god.

    A logical proof that Mormonism is false! ***MUST SEE***

    Did The Early Church Believe Mormon Teac
    Mormonism on the FALL of man: FALLING UP
    Mormons Hope to Become Gods of Their Own
    Did The Early Church Believe Mormon Teac

  28. 29 Susan
    October 21, 2008 at 6:39 pm

    “The same God who created a universe containing evil apparently.”

    God created us to have free-will, so that we could choose to receive him or reject him. He allowed the opportunity to choose rebellion/evil because otherwise we would follow him out of obligation. It was the rebellion that sent the world and humanity into the chaos and evil that we see today. God’s creation was perfect, he is perfect, and when he chooses to communicate his Words and his Will through his people….he does it perfectly. And he has the power to preserve those Words and his Church through every generation.

    I realize that we are coming from totally different belief systems concerning the creation, the fall, the nature of God, the Word of God, etc.. I just thought that the confidence of the Mormon faith was in the belief that they had a living prophet who God used to communicate his will. If you can’t trust in it’s accurate transmission, then your revelations are no different than what you believe about the current condition of the Bible. It can be “garbled” and “inappropriately” communicated to the people.

  29. October 21, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    Life’s tough. Certainty may be comforting. But it’s not the way adult life is.

    I vastly prefer a universe of possibilities over one of fixed certainties.

    The reality is that there are no cheat sheets – no easy dumbed-down formulas that will reveal life, the universe and spirituality to you. Everything must be done by constant learning, re-evaluating, and making judgments from a variety of sources.

    God has not given any cheat-sheets here. No shortcuts to being right. You have to do it the hard way. Same as everyone else.

  30. 31 Darrell
    October 21, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    Seth,

    Given our view point you are certainly in the wrong religion. Mormonism teaches certainty in doctrine… after all, you are led by a prophet who speaks for “God” and “when the brethren have spoken the thinking is done”.

    It is unfortunate that the brethren are wrong.

    Darrell

  31. October 21, 2008 at 9:01 pm

    Darrell, the statement you quote originally appeared in the Improvement Era 1945. Here’s the full quote:

    “When our leaders speak, the thinking has been done. When they propose a plan–it is God’s plan. When they point the way, there is no other which is safe. When they give direction, it should mark the end of controversy. God works in no other way. To think otherwise, without immediate repentance, may cost one his faith, may destroy his testimony, and leave him a stranger to the kingdom of God.”

    Dr. J. Raymond Cope, the leader of the First Unitarian Society in Salt Lake City was quite concerned by this statement and wrote to then President George Albert Smith expressing concern and asking for clarification. President George Albert Smith responded in person thus:

    “The leaflet to which you refer, and from which you quote in your letter, was not “prepared” by “one of our leaders.” However, one or more of them inadvertently permitted the paragraph to pass uncensored. By their so doing, not a few members of the Church have been upset in their feelings, and General Authorities have been embarrassed.

    I am pleased to assure you that you are right in your attitude that the passage quoted does not express the true position of the Church. Even to imply that members of the Church are not to do their own thinking is grossly to misrepresent the true ideal of the Church, which is that every individual must obtain for himself a testimony of the truth of the Gospel, must, through the redemption of Jesus Christ, work out his own salvation, and is personally responsible to His Maker for his individual acts. The Lord Himself does not attempt coercion in His desire and effort to give peace and salvation to His children. He gives the principles of life and true progress, but leaves every person free to choose or to reject His teachings. This plan the Authorities of the Church try to follow.

    The Prophet Joseph Smith once said: “I want liberty of thinking and believing as I please.” This liberty he and his successors in the leadership of the Church have granted to every other member thereof.

    On one occasion in answer to the question by a prominent visitor how he governed his people, the Prophet answered: “I teach them correct principles, and they govern themselves.”

    Again, as recorded in the History of the Church (Volume 5, page 498 [499] Joseph Smith said further: “If I esteem mankind to be in error, shall I bear them down? No. I will lift them up, and in their own way too, if I cannot persuade them my way is better; and I will not seek to compel any man to believe as I do, only by the force of reasoning, for truth will cut its own way.”

    I cite these few quotations, from many that might be given, merely to confirm your good and true opinion that the Church gives to every man his free agency, and admonishes him always to use the reason and good judgment with which God has blessed him.

    In the advocacy of this principle leaders of the Church not only join congregations in singing but quote frequently the following:

    “Know this, that every soul is free
    To choose his life and what he’ll be,
    For this eternal truth is given
    That God will force no man to heaven.”

    Again I thank you for your manifest friendliness and for your expressed willingness to cooperate in every way to establish good will and harmony among the people with whom we are jointly laboring to bring brotherhood and tolerance.

    Faithfully yours,

    Geo. Albert Smith [signed]

    There you go Darrell. Straight from a Mormon prophet. Now you can stop misusing this old, outdated, and extremely overused canard.

  32. 33 Darrell
    October 21, 2008 at 11:10 pm

    Seth,

    Perhaps I did not make myself clear. I use that quote to show those who are reading this blog that, despite what they might think, there really is no room for debate inside the mormon religion. The LDS Church is quite clear that it’s doctrine is true and there is NO room for debate. Do they encourage you to go and figure it out for yourself… yes. However, the position is quite clear that if you come to a conclusion that differs from the brethren, YOU ARE WRONG and you BETTER NOT MAKE YOUR OPINION PUBLIC. If you do, you will be ex’ed.

    You sometimes seem to want to equivicate on this. You say that you do not hold to “scriptural inerrancy” or “prophetic infallibility”… however, Brigham Young made it quite clear that when the prophet speaks or sends something out in writing that it is good as scripture. In addition, it is regularly taught in the LDS Church that when the prophets speak in conference, their words are scripture. In addition, when the Ensign comes out it is scripture.

    So, equivicate all you want, the fact that when the prophets speak, the thinking on doctrine is done IS THE FACT OF THE LDS CHURCH. You, Seth, might not like what they say. Tough luck for you. You can continue to run to your “they are not infallible” so “I am sure they were wrong about that” position. However, that position is not how the LDS Church thinks as a whole.

    Your thinking is the minority in the LDS Church… by any chance are you voting for Obama?

    Darrell

  33. October 21, 2008 at 11:58 pm

    Nice cheap shot Darrell. Also irrelevant. If you want to bring politics into this, we might as well all go home right now.

  34. 35 Darrell
    October 22, 2008 at 12:09 am

    Seth,

    No cheap shot intended. You must have misunderstood what I was getting at.

    I asked an honest question and there is a reason for it. You seem like a very “liberal” mormon when it comes to doctrine… in fact, you are the most liberal one I have ever conversed with in 15 years. Liberalism is AN EXTREME RARITY IN THE LDS CHURCH. Based upon my years as a mormon I found that typically when one is liberal in doctrine in the LDS church it tends to carry over into the political arena as well. So, it was a serious question. If you care not to answer that is fine. Your silence will speak for itself.

    Darrell

  35. October 22, 2008 at 12:38 am

    I’m voting Obama, but I would be fine with either candidate.

    I just don’t care for pigeonholing attempts in general (whether mine or others), that’s all.

    In some ways, I’m actually more conservative than many modern Mormons. For instance, I don’t like the softpedalling on doctrinal distinctions. I don’t like the push to mainstream. So, in this way, I’m actually more conservative. But since it puts me out of step with much of the rest of conventional Mormon wisdom, I LOOK liberal.

    But then again, Mormonism has as strong a “liberal” impulse as “conservative.” It’s just that everyone has been obsessing over only one facet of Mormonism.

    Keep in mind, that my aim has never been to represent the majority of Mormon contemporary culture. My only aim has been to demonstrate that there is more than one way to be a committed and faithful Mormon and it’s more inclusive than you think.

  36. 37 Darrell
    October 22, 2008 at 12:44 am

    You don’t like the softpedalling on doctrinal distinctions and the push to mainstream yet you seem to really like Millet. That doesn’t seem to jive. Millet is one of the ones championing the push to redefine the mormon take on grace. He is also one of the ones pushing for not giving investigators “meat when milk will do”. In most appearances he is in the lead on softpedalling and mainstreaming.

    Darrell

  37. 38 Darrell
    October 22, 2008 at 1:05 am

    “But then again, Mormonism has as strong a “liberal” impulse as “conservative.””

    I would be willing to bet that a poll of the voting habits of active mormons would show otherwise. In addition, the push by the LDS Church to ban gay marriage tends to show otherwise as well.

    “My only aim has been to demonstrate that there is more than one way to be a committed and faithful Mormon and it’s more inclusive than you think.”

    The only way to hold to the position that mormonism is “inclusive” is to discount all of the “exclusive” utterances of the modern day prophets as “prophetic errancy”. The chief one of which would be Joseph Smith’s claim that God told him all other churches were wrong and that their creeds were an abomination. That sounds rather “exclusive” if you ask most people. Unfortunately, according to the teachings of your church you can’t discount what a prophet says because when a prophet speaks from the pulpit it is SCRIPTURE.

    Your viewpoints are a rarity in the LDS church. I would go so far to say that if you made some of the more extreme viewpoints you have public in might even get you in trouble with your priesthood leaders… depending upon how dogmatic your bishop and stake president are.

    It is interesting to talk with you because you are such a rarity. I disagree with your doctrine on almost all points… but it is interesting nonetheless.

    Darrell

  38. October 22, 2008 at 3:29 am

    I agree with Joseph’s statement that other churches are wrong. And I do think creeds are an “abomination.”

    But honestly, it isn’t because of the doctrinal content in those creeds – at least not always or even usually.

    As it so happens, most of the Nicene Creed is doctrinally unobjectionable from a Mormon standpoint.

    No, its the mere fact that you even have these doctrinal tests in the first place. And that you use them as a divisive instrument to determine who is in, and who is out. And the fact that they are used to limit direct communication from God. Yes, I’m afraid that is “abominable” and I’m not shy about saying so.

    When I said “liberal” I meant that there is room for a broad range of belief in the Mormon Church. I grew up in central Utah – the Mormon heartland. And I can tell you quite assuredly that there was a WIDE range of opinion on doctrinal matters in the LDS wards in that part of the country. You had the whole range – polytheism to henotheism to modalism to pantheism. Saved by grace alone views that would make any Southern Baptist proud to self-made men who believed in working their way into heaven. People who believed that God the Father was always God right alongside people who believed that he had to start out as a sinful man and then progress to being a “Savior” on his own world before becoming God. People who believed in Celestial polygamy and people opposed to it. These people take the Sacrament together, serve each other and consider each other fully “Mormon.” I think it’s great. It’s been this way in the Church for quite some time.

    You seem to have missed out on a rather wide range of private opinion among lay Mormons. As long as we don’t try to enforce our beliefs on the rest of the Church, we are allowed this wide range of personal belief. As Pres Smith’s letter quoted Joseph Smith:

    “I never thought it was right to call up a man and try him because he erred in doctrine; it looks too much like Methodism and not like Latter-day Saintism…I want the liberty of believing as I please, it feels so good not to be trammeled.”
    (Words of Joseph Smith, 183)

    I fully agree with this sentiment of Joseph’s.

    Now, is Millett really part of this “move to assimilate” into Protestantism?

    Maybe. Even if he was, that’s no reason for me to dislike his stuff in general. But I’m not entirely certain he is.

    A lot of what Evangelicals view as a deceptive movement by Mormons to make themselves more acceptable, is simply our rediscovery of the Book of Mormon. The book was not always heavily emphasized by Mormons, believe it or not. It was Pres. Ezra Taft Benson (and his predecessor Kimball) who led the way in re-emphasizing the Book of Mormon. Once we started reading that book, we discovered a powerful grace theology. We have had to wed this to our other scripture and prophetic tradition.

    But make no mistake, our new emphasis on grace really had nothing to do with courting you guys. It was an internal matter. Believe it or not, we don’t, as a people, spend a ton of time thinking about what Evangelicals think about us. Millett has found a certain calling in life, and that’s nice. But believe me that many, if not most, Mormons are completely indifferent to what you think about them. We discovered a more robust grace theology for US. Not for YOU.

    Finally, the “exclusive” prophetic utterances that you have in mind…

    How many of those are actually about orthodoxy?

    And how many of them are actually about allegiance, loyalty, and correct practice and covenant making?

    I think you’ll find that very few Mormon prophets were overly concerned about enforcing a strict orthodoxy in the LDS Church. But they were very much concerned that the saints stay loyal and true to the Restored Gospel.

    I suspect you have been reading prophetic statements with Evangelical lenses. Enforcing orthodoxy has never been exactly a burning concern of Mormonism.

  39. October 22, 2008 at 3:39 am

    If I were to preach all my viewpoints in Sacrament Meeting, it probably would get me in trouble. I agree with that Darrell. But that would be because I was misusing the pulpit as a forum to bully through my own views. This is inappropriate and the Bishop would be right to take me to task.

    “No power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned”

    Arrogantly ramrodding my own opinions through a Gospel Doctrine class on people who are at different stages of faith and doctrinal knowledge would not accomplish this.

  40. 41 Darrell
    October 22, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    “As it so happens, most of the Nicene Creed is doctrinally unobjectionable from a Mormon standpoint.”

    If only latter day prophets shared your opinion. Spencer W Kimball said the doctrine of the trinity is straight out of hell. I remember a discussion with my old stake president and how he belittled the nicene creed. Saying it was an abomination and it’s teachings were utter nonesense. Again, very inclusive. YOU might feel this way… but sorry the LDS Church as a whole does not think this way.

    “You had the whole range – polytheism to henotheism to modalism to pantheism.”

    Give me a break… you can only be referring to cultural mormons here. There is no rational person on the face of the earth who can believe that the official version of the first vision and the temple ceremony are true and be either a modalist or pantheist. That is ludicrous. Yeah, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost are all the same person and being, yet JS claims they appeared to him as seperate persons and the temple ceremony teaches CLEARLY that they are separate beings and persons. Talk about mental gymnastics.

    “I want the liberty of believing as I please, it feels so good not to be trammeled.””

    Well, share that viewpoint with the scholars who have spoken out about their belief on what the BOM really is (fiction) and how the church really got started. After they were kicked out of the church I am sure they thought it was very inclusive. I am sure that Grant Palmer wishes that the church really practiced this teaching.

    “We discovered a more robust grace theology for US.”

    Your church claims to have restored DOCTRINAL TRUTHS through JS… remember all of the talk about how the plain and precious TRUTHS have been removed by the whore of all the earth (again… really inclusive speaking there). So, if the plain and precious truths have been restored, why do you even have a NEED to shift to a more grace centered theology? That makes no sense.

    “Finally, the “exclusive” prophetic utterances that you have in mind…
    how many of those are actually about orthodoxy?”

    In my experience… most all of them. You know,

    1) “their creeds are an abomination”
    2) “doctrine of saved by grace alone is out of the pit of hell”
    3) “the nicene creed originated in the pit of hell”
    4) “you elders know more about God than any preacher from another church”

    Etc, etc, etc.

    “I suspect you have been reading prophetic statements with Evangelical lenses.”

    Actually, it was when I discovered the bible that I started having problems with many of the prophetic statements… it had nothing to do with Protestantism. I just realized how out of sync with what the bible teaches mormonism is.

    “Enforcing orthodoxy has never been exactly a burning concern of Mormonism.”

    Again, share this thought with those scholars who have been ex’ed. I am sure they agree with you. I was personally threatened with excommunication by my stake president earlier this year. My wife and I had decided to start attending another church and were seeking to join it. Our stake president got wind of this and called to tell us that if we joined we would have to be ex’ed. Fortunately my wife and I saved him the trouble as we had already started the process of getting our names removed.

    Darrell

  41. October 22, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    No, they were highly active Mormons.

    The views of inactive or “cultural Mormons” tend to be more bland and standardized.

    It’s in the highly active members – especially the older ones – that you find the most quirks in doctrine. Plenty of High Priest quorum meetings are literal breeding grounds for off-the-wall doctrine and beliefs.

    As for you statement from President Kimball. My experience is that most Mormons believe that traditional Christians are modalists. Basically – you believe in one being that wears different hats.

    Now, I’ve been debating online long enough to realize that this is a misconception that Mormons have about Evangelicals and other traditional Christians. Modalism is actually a heresy according to traditional Christian theologians and ministers. But that is pretty-much what most Mormons think you believe.

    It was probably modalism that Pres. Kimball was speaking so harshly against.

    You’ll also note, that I said “most” of the creed is doctrinally unobjectionable. That part about God being “one substance” most certainly IS objectionable to official Mormon doctrine. We reject that part wholeheartedly. And if you look at the statements of Mormon leaders denouncing the “creeds,” you’ll typically find that it is this PART of the Nicene Creed that they are attacking – not the other parts.

  42. 43 Susan
    October 31, 2008 at 12:48 pm

    “Life’s tough. Certainty may be comforting. But it’s not the way adult life is.

    I vastly prefer a universe of possibilities over one of fixed certainties.

    The reality is that there are no cheat sheets – no easy dumbed-down formulas that will reveal life, the universe and spirituality to you. Everything must be done by constant learning, re-evaluating, and making judgments from a variety of sources.

    God has not given any cheat-sheets here. No shortcuts to being right. You have to do it the hard way. Same as everyone else.”

    Seth,

    I haven’t been on this blog for awhile….just read your response yesterday. Since then I’ve been prayerfully considering how to respond, or if I should at all. As always, I am so grateful for these types of interchanges because they drive me to my knees in prayer and to His Word for wisdom.

    I evaluate the world through the lens of Scripture, not preference. I know that ultimately, when I meet my Maker, he’s not going to be impressed by my preferences or my effort to constantly learn, re-evaluate, and make judgements based on a “variety of sources” (worldly perspective). If those variety of sources aren’t in accord with the revealed Truth of the Bible, then they are worthless to me (it’s good to know what people are saying, but they aren’t the source of truth and understanding). I believe what Christ said about being able to know the Truth…I don’t think it’s some far-off, unreachable goal that we spend our whole life trying to get closer to. My desire is to constantly grow in my understanding of His Word (which is Truth) through the direction of His Spirit within me, and then evaluate all other things from that vantage point, Not the other way around. He has given us His Truth, as well as His Spirit to guide us in understanding that Truth and applying it to our lives.

    That may sound like a “garbled mess” but it’s the best I can do right now :) After I read your response, I went to biblegateway.com to do some searching through the Bible on various points that you brought up. Here are the keywords I entered and a few of the Scripture references that came up…if you are interested.

    Keywords: foolishness, Spirit, mystery, know the truth, revealed
    Scripture References: 1 Corinthians 2 (whole chapter), 3:18-23, 13:12
    John 8:31-32, 47; 14:26-27
    1 John 2:24-27

    Thank you for your comments.


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