God Himself was once as we are now

One of the most controversial and often unknown beliefs of the Mormon church is the teaching that God the Father was once a man. They believe He still rules over this world however He does it from a position which He earned in His mortal existence.

This is a belief which often the Mormon Missionaries that come to your door do not share, they are taught to share the simpler doctrines first and save ones like that till later, maybe after someone has joined the church.

This view though very much a part of Mormonism and the plan of salvation for humanity came into place in what is probably the founder of Mormonism Joseph Smiths most famous sermon, the King Follett Discourse.

In this sermon which was the funeral sermon for an Elder King Follett Joseph said this.


God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret. If the veil were rent today, and the great God who holds this world in its orbit, and who upholds all worlds and all things by his power, was to make himself visible,—I say, if you were to see him today, you would see him like a man in form—like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man; for Adam was created in the very fashion, image and likeness of God, and received instruction from, and walked, talked and conversed with him, as one man talks and communes with another. (http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/King_Follett_Discourse)

The implication of this for humanity is that they believe we have the potential to be a God too, which Joseph goes on to say in this sermon.


Here, then, is eternal life—to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all gods have done before you,3 namely, by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one; from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you attain to the resurrection of the dead, and are able to dwell in everlasting burnings, and to sit in glory, as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power. And I want you to know that God, in the last days, while certain individuals are proclaiming his name, is not trifling with you or me.

Joseph Smith first brought this teaching to the Mormon church but many have carried it on.

The Second Mormon President Brigham Young said this

“When you can thus feel, then you may begin to think that you can find out something about God, and begin to learn who he is. He is our Father—the Father of our spirits, and was once a man in mortal flesh as we are, and is now an exalted Being. How many Gods there are, I do not know. But there never was a time when there were not Gods and worlds, and when men were not passing through the same ordeals that we are now passing through. That course has been from all eternity, and it is and will be to all eternity. You cannot comprehend this; but when you can, it will be to you a matter of great consolation” (Brigham Young, October 8, 1859, Journal of Discourses 7:333).

The 4th Mormon President Wilfred Woodruf stated that God is still progressing  in knowledge.

“GOD IS INCREASING IN KNOWLEDGE. If there was a point where man in his progression could not proceed any further, the very idea would throw a gloom over every intelligent and reflecting mind. God Himself is increasing and progressing in knowledge, power, and dominion, and will do so, worlds without end” (The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, p. 3).

Another Mormon Authority said this.

“Mormonism does not tend to debase God to the level of man, but to exalt man to the perfection of God” (Charles Penrose, cited in The Gospel Through the Ages, p. 107).

And finally now what is quite a famous quote on this subject from Lorenzo Snow 5th Mormon president is this.

“As man is now, God once was; as God is now, man may be” (The Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, p. 2. Italics in original. See also The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles manual, 1979, p. 59).




There are many more quotes like this I could go on all day with many Presidents and Authorities in the Mormon church affirming that God was once a man and we can one day be a god.


You may not know but within the Mormon church the Prophet or president (same thing) speaks with the Authority of scripture, when He speaks if it counters past scripture or prophets it still stands for today, this teaching has never been denied, and many faithful Mormon members are striving to live out all the church commands in the hope of one day receiving  this Godhood.

On this subject more than every other we as Christians have a duty to respond, this teaching reduces the biblical God from being the Almighty, uncreated, creator of everything that exists, to being a sinful man promoted to godhood by his own good works who rules over some of the universe.

The Bible which is the authority for Christians and the book which the Mormon Missionaries who knock on your door will claim is in harmony with what their church teaches has a very different story to tell.

Firstly there is only one God.


Isaiah 45:5
I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me:

This contradicts the view that there are millions of Gods all over the cosmos which Mormons believe however they will say well we only follow one God, however what I have also been told before is that if we as humans get to become a god we will always be subject to our God, by implication so must our God be, however He does not seem to know about it.

Isaiah 43:10
Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.

Isaiah 44:6
Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.

Isaiah 44:8
Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.

So even if our God became a god, he is committing blasphemy according to Mormon belief by not acknowledging His own God.

However most importantly the point is that there is only one God that we see in the bible, one God that created everything, has always been God as we see in Psalm 90:2 which says from everlasting to everlasting You are God! This is something Christians should uphold out of worship to our God that He is eternal and is the great I am.

To Mormons reading this I hope you have not felt that I am trying to trash on you or whatever this is an article I put together to show that God is so much greater than you know Him to be, interestingly we also see nothing in the bible of people waiting to become gods, though please show me if I am wrong. What we see is people so caught up with the greatness of God and in love with Him, that all they want is to serve Him and spend eternity in His presence. I will end with the words of the apostle paul which reflect this.

Philippians 1:21-23
21For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
22But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I shall choose I wot not.
23For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:

Was this man seeking Godhood??

53 thoughts on “God Himself was once as we are now”

  1. Bobby,

    I have read all of your posts and want to comment on this one quickly. A couple of thoughts I have. In John 10:34, Christ is speaking to the Pharisees who accuse Him of blasphemy. He quotes Psalms 82:6, and reminds them that the Law teaches the people that “ye are gods.”

    Now a couple historical points to this scripture. Though not fully in the Bible anymore (due to removal or a determination that it was unimportant), this scripture (Psalms 82:6) refers to the an ancient temple ritual known as the Coronation of the King. In this ritual the new King of Israel was admitted into the Holy of Holies and annointed the King of Israel, both physically and spiritually. He was made to sit down next to the thrown of God and was referred to as a God, being a king and priest unto the Almighty.

    Now in that idea, in Revelation 1:6 we learn that those bought by the blood of Christ will also be kings and priests unto the most High. Therefore, those who live by the true Gospel of Christ, and do those things which He has asked of us will inherit Eternal Life and live exalted lives as Kings and Priests unto the Most High God.

    Also, Paul teaches in his epistle to the Romans that because we are children of God, that we are also heirs of God, and “jointheirs with Christ” if we live by His Gospel and follow His commandments (see Revelation 8:16-17). Legally a jointheir means you inherit exactly the same things. Therefore we will inherit all that Christ has. I’ll let you decide what He has, and therefore what that means for us.

    Hope that gives you more of an idea of where that idea comes from.

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  2. Hey thanks for that appreciate you coming here, although this blog may look like its an attack on Mormon people its not, I just think there are issues that people in your church should consider, if you consider them but still decide your happy where you are then cool stuff.

    Thanks for your thoughts on this, I would be interested to know what your thoughts are on what I said. I don’t know if you want me to respond to what you said and I would be more than happy to, but to save going around in circles I would be interested to know what you actually thought of my article first.

    thanks a lot

    Bobby

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  3. “I just think there are issues that people in your church should consider,”

    All your points have been considered and answered. You ought to research the LDS position more.

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  4. “Isaiah 43:10
    Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
    Isaiah 44:6
    Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.
    Isaiah 44:8
    Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.”

    I believe I mentioned in response to a different remark of yours that the more one studies the context of the scriptures, the more untenable your interpretation of those verses becomes.

    From the Sumerian world.
    “From the mountain of sunrise to the mountain of sunset,
    There is no (other) lord in the land, you alone are king,
    Enlil, in all the lands there is no queen, your wife alone is queen.”
    -Hymn to Enlil as the Ruling Deity of the Universe. Pritchard, Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament (ANET), 3rd ed. with supplement, pg. 576.

    From the Ugaritic corpus.
    “I alone am the one who can be king over the gods,
    Who can fatten gods and men,
    Who can satisfy the multitudes of the earth!
    -Baal IV. vii 50-53.”

    To the fire god Girra in Maqlu II (76-102). He is described as the “eminent one of the gods.” The prayer then states, “You alone are my god, you alone are my lord, you alone are my judge, you alone are my aid, you alone are my champion!” (from Tzvi Abusch, “The Promise to Praise the God in Šuilla Prayers,” Biblical and Oriental Essays in Memory of William L. Moran, ed. Agustinus Gianto, Pontificium Institutum Biblicum: 2005)

    All of these are from avowedly polytheistic sources.

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  5. Ah yes, the blind, dogmatic approach. If not instead of investigating Mormonism, you ought to at least investigate your own religion. The texts I have quoted show that in the time Isaiah was written, statements such as I am the only God, or there is no other God, were not absolute declarations of monotheism. You need to show logically and rationally why we should read those verses differently. In other words, you are not letting scripture speak for itself, nor will you accept it if it goes against your protestant dogma.

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  6. Such as the teachings of Martin Luther? Indeed.

    All joking aside, it is ridiculous to deride contemporary texts, prefering to interpret scripture in the light of interpretations given it by people at over a millenium and a half remove from the time, and many cultures away. I could provide literally dozens of examples.

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  7. I think to be fair and I have not conceded this enough, (or at all) so far there are elements of the bible that heavily have to be understood in the context of the time they were wrote.

    I notice that both your and my church don’t tell women to be quiet in meetings as the bible says, also I am pretty much sure women dont have to cover their heads in your meetings too.

    And I am sure there are others, however when it comes to the nature of the eternal God, this is not a cultural thing. God is the same yesterday today and forever.

    Both the Old and New testament are in agreement there is one God.

    John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.

    1 Corinthians 8:5-6 5F
    or though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)

    6But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.
    (and before you say this one proves there are many Gods but one for us it refers to them as being “called gods” other versions say “so called gods”

    And obviously I have already shown old testament references so we know they are there. I can see we think differently and if others are reading I would love to know their thoughts, however looking at one of the quotes you mentioned.

    To the fire god Girra in Maqlu II (76-102). He is described as the “eminent one of the gods.” The prayer then states, “You alone are my god, you alone are my lord, you alone are my judge, you alone are my aid, you alone are my champion!” (from Tzvi Abusch, “The Promise to Praise the God in Šuilla Prayers,” Biblical and Oriental Essays in Memory of William L. Moran, ed. Agustinus Gianto, Pontificium Institutum Biblicum: 2005)

    Understandably you are using this to support the LDS notion that there are many gods and we just follow ours. I lookied up this quote on google and the only hits were based around Mormons using this to prove their theology.

    Interestingly God says He does not know about other Gods.

    Isaiah 44:8 “Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none.”

    It seems to me you and other lds are just using obscure unscriptural texts to justify your theology and then blaiming people for not following rules that you have made up.
    God is eternal, never changes and the words of the bible are so clear on this that any attempt to use foreign texts to prove otherwise is clearly an attempt to undermine scripture.

    However to give you the benefit of the doubt if you can show me a trustworthy source (does not have to be Christian sourced but it has to be verifiable.) To say that the Old Testament believing Jews of this time interpreted their scriptures in light of these quotes you are giving me, then we will talk about it some more. I am taking a big risk here 🙂

    Otherwise I really don’t see the point in entertaining this anymore.

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  8. “I think to be fair and I have not conceded this enough, (or at all) so far there are elements of the bible that heavily have to be understood in the context of the time they were wrote.”

    Until, that is, it challenges your preconceptions of the Bible? I would argue that all of the bible has to be understood in historical, cultural and linguistic contexts, or important meanings are lost.

    “And I am sure there are others, however when it comes to the nature of the eternal God, this is not a cultural thing. God is the same yesterday today and forever.”

    Right, but what is written is not the same when looked at through modern spectacles. The language used is very much a cultural thing.

    “and before you say this one proves there are many Gods but one for us it refers to them as being “called gods” other versions say “so called gods”

    Try the parable of the prodigal son. Luke 15:21. “And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.” Does that mean that he wasn’t really a son but only a “so called” son? Granted, the Greek uses two different words, but in neither is there a sense of “so called”.

    “Interestingly God says He does not know about other Gods.
    Isaiah 44:8 “Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none.” ”

    Interestingly, Babylon and Nineveh are the only cities too.
    Rhetorical, bombastic devices do not declarations of absolute monotheism make.

    “I lookied up this quote on google and the only hits were based around Mormons using this to prove their theology.”

    Had you googled Tzvi Abusch, you would have seen that he, a fellow Israeli, is considered one of the world’s foremost authorities on magic and religion in the ancient Near East. Nor is monolatry a theory held by him only, but rather by the vast majority of scholars. You also might have noticed that the quote comes from an article published by the Catholic PBI, a highly respectable institute for biblical studies.
    You’ll find all three occurences were quotes from my friend Walker. two of them are in response to a blog post of mine and a MADB thread also started by myself. I’m pretty sure he got the quote from David Bokovoy, a friend of ours who is a biblical scholar and happened to be a student of Abusch’s.

    “It seems to me you and other lds are just using obscure unscriptural texts to justify your theology and then blaiming people for not following rules that you have made up.”

    “The Twelve Chairs” and “The Little Golden Calf” are obscure texts to Americans and Brits, but you’ll be hard pressed to find a Russian that doesn’t know them.
    I’ve somewhat recently moved to the US. I found a job at a large store. In the breakroom one day the conversation turned to books. Someone asked my friend what books they recommended. The answer was Ulysses by James Joyce. I was the only other person in the room who had even heard of Joyce, let alone read anything by him (the Dubliners and Portrait of the Artist). Does that make Joyce an obscure writer? The Maqlu texts and the selections I presented (which you conveniently ignored) from ANET are very well known to anyone who has spent time studying the ancient world.
    Obscure, BTW, does not mean “insignificant” or even false. You are trying to paint a portrait of ignorant Mormons clutching at dodgy straws to discredit the Bible. What I was doing was presenting additional sources which help to interpret the Bible through a lens fitting the time and place of the authors and audiences.
    Rules we made up? All quotes come from works by prominent, respected, non-LDS scholars.

    “and the words of the bible are so clear on this that any attempt to use foreign texts to prove otherwise is clearly an attempt to undermine scripture.”

    Ah yes, the favourite accusation. Attempting to undermine scripture. Undermine your fundamentalist, evangelical preconcieved notions? Absolutely. Undermine scripture? No.

    “However to give you the benefit of the doubt if you can show me a trustworthy source (does not have to be Christian sourced but it has to be verifiable.) To say that the Old Testament believing Jews of this time interpreted their scriptures in light of these quotes you are giving me, then we will talk about it some more. I am taking a big risk here”

    Do you want me to provide evidence that the Hebrew text is dependantt on these? I never made that claim. What I did claim is that in light of extremely similar terminology and usage from obviously polytheistic sources, reading the Old Testament as teaching strict monotheism is untenable. You have yet to show why I am in error beyond an appeal to dogma.

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    1. Well sadly I was right, what I mean is, if you are saying I should view the bible in the context of religious writings of the time (that teach different things) then I want to know that this is what the Jews of the time did, if they did not then why should we.

      If you cannot show this then you are simply using LDS logic to make up for the fact that what you believe is also unbiblical. otherwise we are going in circles and I can’t see the point in carrying this on.

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  9. “Well sadly I was right, what I mean is, if you are saying I should view the bible in the context of religious writings of the time (that teach different things) then I want to know that this is what the Jews of the time did, if they did not then why should we.”

    You have clumsily miscontrued what I said. I never made the claim that the Isaiah verses are dependant on, say, the Maqlu texts. Dependant means that the author of Isaiah consulted the aforementioned texts asnd formed his based on them. I never made that claim. What I did claim was that based on language usage and function, the preconcieved notion of strict monotheism cannot be supported.

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    1. Forgive me if I am getting tired of repeating myself but I will try one more time.

      I have never said I want you to show me how biblical authors consulted these texts, I have asked you to show me that the Jews of the old testament times used these texts to interpret the Old Testament. Basically if what you say is correct then the Jews should not have been monotheists as they would have been interpreting the scriptures in light of these texts you are quoting.

      As well as this if you are saying this is what we should be doing today then so should modern day Jews as they would understand the Old Testament in its cultural context better than anyone. So if you can show this to be the case we can build on that, otherwise you are making a redundant statement saying that I should consider these texts if even the people the Old Testament was originally wrote for did not use them.

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  10. Allen, can I just ask – what are you on about??!! You seem to have confused this blog with another on the argument between non-biblical and biblical texts and monotheism! I know that the author of this blog would much rather have a friendly debate about how mormonism compares to biblical christianity. In fact, I refer you back to your first post on this subject:
    Allen says:
    September 24, 2010 at 3:15 pm
    “I just think there are issues that people in your church should consider,”

    All your points have been considered and answered. You ought to research the LDS position more.
    mormonisminvestigated says:
    September 24, 2010 at 3:24 pm
    I have and I intend to more please keep an eye on future posts.

    Firstly, I think that the “issues that people in your church should consider” is referring to biblical issues, and not “points” that have been raised in this blog. Secondly, the reply from mormoninvestigated was surely an invitation for you to come back with your own LDS points of view, and not quotes from every other possible source.
    Also, I dont think mormoninvestigated is coming from any “preconceived notions”, he’s just using the Bible as it is.
    I wonder why you’ve deliberately tried to distract from the point of this blog? Methinks thou doth protest too much?! Yes, youve obviously studied a great deal, well done. Will your knowledge get you into heaven? No. Will it win an argument on a blog? Maybe. However, there is always someone more learned waiting around the corner. How about we just have a good old debate about mormonism and Christianity, and hopefully learn something from each other?!

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  11. “I have never said I want you to show me how biblical authors consulted these texts, I have asked you to show me that the Jews of the old testament times used these texts to interpret the Old Testament.”

    That is another argument I did not make, nor do I have to. They could never have seen any of those texts personally, yet my point still holds true. Why would they have had to use them to interpret texts written in their day? We OTOH are far removed from those times. Let me restate my argument. Many texts from obviously polytheistic sources fulfilling a similar function to the declarations in Isaiah 44 and Deuteronomy 6 and using remarkably similar language show that strict monotheism- no other divine beings exist- is not the point of those scriptures. When YHWH’s declaration is compared to Isaiah 47:8, and when one considers that Isaiah 40 is a divine council scene (which of a necessity requires the presence of other divine beings), then there is no way that the Old Testament is preaching strict monotheism. Especially not when other scriptures like Gen. 1:26, Ex 15:11, Ex 20:3, Psalm 82, and so on are taken into account.

    “Basically if what you say is correct then the Jews should not have been monotheists as they would have been interpreting the scriptures in light of these texts you are quoting.”

    They weren’t strict monotheists in the modern sense of the word.

    “As well as this if you are saying this is what we should be doing today then so should modern day Jews”

    They probably should.

    “as they would understand the Old Testament in its cultural context better than anyone.”

    Not really. The Jewish cultural context has changed many times. It is of course probably very convenient to ignore centuries of historical evolution. If we are to go down that road, let me state that in modern Hebrew even kids brag that they are the only whatever it is and know of no others. Also, the Targum Jonathan for Isaiah 44:8 is interesting, in that it softens the declaration a bit.

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    1. The fact that similar language is used means absolutely nothing, what is important here is what does scripture say, I have shown you time and time again what it says and you have tried to argue it says what you have to say, when it hasn’t you have then argued what it says, is not what it means.

      You have also proved my point that the people the Old Testament was wrote to do not use these texts, the fact you think they should sadly does not mean that much either.

      To say that because something is wrote around the time of the bible and sounds a bit like it so therefore you should read the bible in light of those texts is simply crazy. If you could show me some evidence for this other than your own logic I might be interested however now I am well and truly bored.

      However I love you and want you here so please stick around. The fact that we have a big disagreement on this issue does not mean I have any personal issue with you and you are extremely welcome at my blog (extremely as a word seems a bit out of place there but just getting my feelings across.)

      So please stick around, however I am done with this conversation.

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  12. “Allen, can I just ask – what are you on about??!!”

    What am I on about? That Bob’s arguments against Mormon teachings on the nature of God and theosis do not have a biblical leg to stand on.

    “You seem to have confused this blog with another on the argument between non-biblical and biblical texts and monotheism!”

    If anyone is confused here, I fear it is yourself. Bob posted prooftexts, I refuted them by posting ancient source material which sheds light on biblical usage. That I posted quotes from my blog might be the source of your confusion.

    “I know that the author of this blog would much rather have a friendly debate about how mormonism compares to biblical christianity.”

    For the sake of clarity, what do you mean by biblical Christianity? Do you mean the ancient church as depicted on the pages of the New Testament, or do you mean subsets of evangelicalism- which in and of itself is a relatively recent subset of protestantism- groups which use the Bible?
    If the former, I haven’t seen many topics here on that. If the latter, then the only way to have a productive and uplifting dialogue is if you don’t insist on your interpretation of the Bible as the default position.

    “Firstly, I think that the “issues that people in your church should consider” is referring to biblical issues, and not “points” that have been raised in this blog.”

    Considering that these biblical issues are the basis of most blogposts here, I fail to see the difference.

    “Secondly, the reply from mormoninvestigated was surely an invitation for you to come back with your own LDS points of view, and not quotes from every other possible source.”

    I am LDS. I backed up my refutation of Bob’s prooftexts with non-LDS sources. What is your problem with it?

    “Also, I dont think mormoninvestigated is coming from any “preconceived notions”, he’s just using the Bible as it is.”

    Yet somehow his perspective is always that of fundamental evangelicalism. He has also admitted to coming from a protestant background, as do you yourself.

    “I wonder why you’ve deliberately tried to distract from the point of this blog?”

    I would like you to consider your remark above in light of the following. “Methinks thou doth protest too much”.

    “Will your knowledge get you into heaven? No.”

    That is quite alright, as I was not counting on it to do so.

    “Will it win an argument on a blog? Maybe.”

    It already has.

    “However, there is always someone more learned waiting around the corner.”

    Excellent.

    “How about we just have a good old debate about mormonism and Christianity, and hopefully learn something from each other?!”

    You mean Mormonism and born-againism. Like Mormonism, born-againism is a denomination in Christianity.

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  13. “The fact that similar language is used means absolutely nothing, what is important here is what does scripture say, I have shown you time and time again what it says and you have tried to argue it says what you have to say, when it hasn’t you have then argued what it says, is not what it means.”

    Yet I have also shown you from the very same sequence of Isaiah that the language is rhetorical. Also, it is more than a case of things sounding similar, there function is also similar. Please show me WHERE the Bible says what you are trying to make it say. Your argument is circular. The Isaiah verses are not teaching that no other divine beings exists, especialy as I have provided plenty of other examples from the Bible itself which say otherwise. Biblical monotheism is not about the non-existence of other beings, but about worhsipping one of them.

    “You have also proved my point that the people the Old Testament was wrote to do not use these texts”

    Which is a preposterous point. Lets follow it to its logical conclusion. You believe that the Old Testament points to Christ and that the New Testament records his ministry.
    Well, the people for whom the Old Testament was written do not use the New Testament, and do not interpret Old Testament prophecies in light of the New Testament.

    “To say that because something is wrote around the time of the bible and sounds a bit like it so therefore you should read the bible in light of those texts is simply crazy. ”

    To reject sound evidence (which doesn’t sound “a bit like it” but almost exactly like it and fulfils a similar function) because it doesn’t fit your dogmatic, preconceived notions is simply ignorant, and, yes, crazy.

    “If you could show me some evidence for this other than your own logic I might be interested however now I am well and truly bored.”

    I could provide you with dozens of secondary literature on the topic, which you will reject because of your blind belief in protestant teachings. If I am mistaken, please show me how.

    I don’t have anything pwersonal with you, beyond frustration with your attempts to tell LDS that our beliefs are wrong, when you refuse to challenge your own beliefs.
    Israelies tend to be very blunt and forthright. We don’t dissemble terribly well.

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    1. Well luckily for us both I am not worried about winning arguments so I am going to accept that we are both bringing pre conceived ideas here. For you to say that whenever the bible says there is only one God that means the God we worship, and not there is one God in existence shows this to be the case for yourself and I know this is not worth arguing with. This blog is to educate people of the biblical and historical problems with Mormonism. The reality is many Mormons like yourself are aware of these problems and have found a way to avoid them.

      My preconceived ideas are that if the bible says God knows of no other Gods then I believe it.

      I 100% believe the bible, if you want to discuss what the bible actually says I will never get bored and will discuss that with you for as long as you like. However if I am going to show you what the bible says and your response is that I have to read it in the light of unscriptural texts then we are done.

      And I will leave it there, if you want the last word then be my guest 🙂

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    2. Allen, I have been LDS for 40 years. Do you know when I learned about our religion believing in the plurality of gods??? Well into my 30’s!!!! Why hidden? I have to admit that this did not fit into ANYTHING that I had been taught or believed up to this time. Sadly this isn’t the only thing “hidden” from me. I am so thankful to the Christian community for creating websites like this one. I have learned so much about the true nature of God! All I see here from you is the same tired, old, we are better than everyone, we know it all comments. With the LDS, no one is entitled to an opinion because when the prophet speaks, the thinking has been done for you. Isn’t that right Allen? Praise God that I have seen the “light” and am in the process of having my records removed from this cult. Sorry if that language is too harsh and not what the creator of this website was intending. I’m just adding some insight to Mormonism, as a MORMON for the past 40 years. God bless!

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    1. Interestingly though. You quoted this (and I know I said this conversation was over but I couldn’t resist looking up one of the quotes you gave)

      From the Ugaritic corpus.
      “I alone am the one who can be king over the gods,
      Who can fatten gods and men,
      Who can satisfy the multitudes of the earth!
      -Baal IV. vii 50-53.”

      I was not expecting this but the Old Testament makes reference to this “Baal”

      Judges 2:11
      11And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim:


      Deuteronomy 4:3
      You saw with your own eyes what the LORD did at Baal Peor. The LORD your God destroyed from among you everyone who followed the Baal of Peor,

      It seems that at least one of these quotes you mention refers to a god the bible refers to as a false God.

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    2. Also this one

      To the fire god Girra in Maqlu II (76-102). He is described as the “eminent one of the gods.” The prayer then states, “You alone are my god, you alone are my lord, you alone are my judge, you alone are my aid, you alone are my champion!” (from Tzvi Abusch, “The Promise to Praise the God in Šuilla Prayers,” Biblical and Oriental Essays in Memory of William L. Moran, ed. Agustinus Gianto, Pontificium Institutum Biblicum: 2005)

      is reffering to Mesopotamian witchcraft from what I found on a brief google search.

      Are you saying these are useful for interpreting the old testament?

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  14. Allen. You are trying to argue the history of the Bible when it is supposed to be part of your history as well. And yet you have no way to prove any of the history to your other Holy books. Please don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth.

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  15. Allen, I have one question for you. Is your excruciatingly convoluted argument in the standard works of the Mormon Church? Is it taught by Mormon prophets? If not then it is not Mormonism and, as others have clearly demonstrated, neither is it Christianity.

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  16. “Allen. You are trying to argue the history of the Bible when it is supposed to be part of your history as well. And yet you have no way to prove any of the history to your other Holy books. Please don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth.”

    Seriously, have you all flunked basic reading comprehension?
    I am not trying to argue the historicity of the Bible. I don’t believe I have as much as broached that subject. What I am arguing is a particular interpretation of certain Old Testament verses. The historicity of the Books of Mormon, Moses and Abraham have no bearing on my argument either way. Of course, they probably make for convenient means of switching the topic, which is what you are trying to do.
    Let me rephrase my argument. Based on numerous internal references in the Old testament which treat the existence of other divine beings as reality, other occurences (some within subsequent chapters of Isaiah itself) of the same language that god uses in Isaiah 44, but in an obvious rhetorical setting, and external parrallels such as divine council imagery, and texts from polytheistic backgrounds fulfiling a similar function and using similar language as in Isaiah 44, the use of those verses as prooftexts to blast LDS conceptions of the history of God (and the doctrine of exaltation) hold no water. Not a single one of you has yet to take on my argument.

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    1. If you wish to show where it says in the Old Testament there are other divine beings then I will be happy to discuss that further, I am not actually aware that you have argued that yet, you have been arguing texts which I have shown to be heretical should be used to interpret scripture. Interesting how your argument has suddenly changed.

      If you are willing to submit to what the bible actually says then I will happily look at any verses you can find that you claim show there is more than one God. I will even give you the benefit of not having to view them in the context of unscriptural texts from the time that might claim there is only one God, only the bible.

      Regarding the historical issues with LDS text’s I am also going to leave those out for now, full and detailed posts on those issues will come in due course.

      And your argument about Isaiah 44 is an argument backed only by your own logic, so I have no real interest in pursuing it.

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  17. “Allen, I have one question for you. Is your excruciatingly convoluted argument in the standard works of the Mormon Church? Is it taught by Mormon prophets? If not then it is not Mormonism and, as others have clearly demonstrated, neither is it Christianity.”

    Yes, it certaily is not fundamentalist evangelicalism, thank goodness.
    Why does an analysis of a biblical text showing you misinterpretation of it have to come from LDS general authorities simply because I’m LDS? Is it so you can fling accusations at me of being a brainwashed member of the Morg?

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  18. “It seems that at least one of these quotes you mention refers to a god the bible refers to as a false God.”

    They all are false gods. So?
    Your observation is irrelevant. I have not argued that we should embrace those texts and live by them.
    I posted them because they use language which in the Bible is considered to be a statement that no other divine beings exist except YHWH. These texts all come from blatantly POLYTHEISTIC sources. Several of them even indicate other gods in the same text, such as this one. “”THOU ART the sole one, WHO MADE [ALL] THAT IS,
    [The] solitary sole [one], who made what exists,
    From whose eyes mankind came forth,
    And upon whose mouth the gods came into being.”
    -Hymn to Amon-Re, ANET pg. 366.”
    This is pretty strong indicator (to put it mildly) that being the only god doesn’t mean that none others exist. Moshe Weinfeld, in his book “The Decalogue and the Recitation of “Shema”: The Development of the Confessions”, states (pg. 130) that “there appears to be a deep connection between the definition of God as ‘one’ and the obligation to love him.” He provieds as an example “And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest…
    -Genesis 22:2.”
    Isaiah uses the same phrase he did for God in describing the boasting of Babylon. When Babylon is said to declare that there is no city apart from Babylon (when there obviously were others in the Babylonian Empire itself) what does that mean?
    For the sake of argument, based on this, if you were required to show that the Old Testament teaches that there is only one divine being, what would you use to do so?

    “Are you saying these are useful for interpreting the old testament?”

    Absolutely. The OT was not written in a vacuum.

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  19. “If you wish to show where it says in the Old Testament there are other divine beings then I will be happy to discuss that further, I am not actually aware that you have argued that yet, you have been arguing texts which I have shown to be heretical should be used to interpret scripture. Interesting how your argument has suddenly changed.”

    Interesting how you you seem not to have read what I have written. Take a look at my post from September 27, 2010 at 4:32 pm. “Let me restate my argument. Many texts from obviously polytheistic sources fulfilling a similar function to the declarations in Isaiah 44 and Deuteronomy 6 and using remarkably similar language show that strict monotheism- no other divine beings exist- is not the point of those scriptures. When YHWH’s declaration is compared to Isaiah 47:8, and when one considers that Isaiah 40 is a divine council scene (which of a necessity requires the presence of other divine beings), then there is no way that the Old Testament is preaching strict monotheism. Especially not when other scriptures like Gen. 1:26, Ex 15:11, Ex 20:3, Psalm 82, and so on are taken into account.” That is by no means an exhaustive list, yet it should suffice. PS before you respond to those I’ll save you from having to wipe the yolk from off your face, the “magistrates” argument has been soundly debunked for many years now.

    “And your argument about Isaiah 44 is an argument backed only by your own logic, so I have no real interest in pursuing it.”

    Oh, please. It is not my own, original argument, but the consensus of the scholarly world. Is it really that hard to address it logically, rationally, on historical and philological grounds?

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    1. Ok to move this on could you please give me two things and I promise to give a well thought out response.

      1. Show me some non LDS scholars that show that the texts you quote are useful for interpreting the bible and that they show there to be many gods, we just follow one etc.

      2. Present to me your theological argument from the bible old testament or new (or both) that there are many gods. Don’t just quote a few verses and say there you go, but tell me using those verses what you believe.

      The reality is it’s easy to throw cheap shots around like “egg on your face” etc and I am not interested in rising to them, but let’s together get to the bottom of what the bible says and what trusted scholars say about it regarding monotheism and the texts you quoted.

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  20. Right, so yet again you’ve dodged those verses I presented. You’ve changed the rules of engagement. Instead of you addressing those Bible verses I provided, you want ME to provide you with a theological argument. Nice way of avoiding addressing the argument I made.

    “1. Show me some non LDS scholars that show that the texts you quote are useful for interpreting the bible and that they show there to be many gods, we just follow one etc.”

    I have provided at least one. Moshe Weinfeld. Add to that Nahum Sarna, Benjamin Uffenheimer, Cyrus Gordon, J. B. Pritchard and the various contributors to ANET (Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament), Frank Moore Cross, David Noel Freedman, I could go on an on.

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    1. The last thing I am doing is dodging those verses, I’m asking you to use those verses and tell me exactly what you believe about them so there is no confusion.

      Also can you give references to those scholars thoughts on the texts.

      Thanks, let’s keep this friendly mate I have no personal issue with you at all, am enjoying the discussion, just realising that the way we approach things is as different as the conclusions we come to.

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  21. “The last thing I am doing is dodging those verses, I’m asking you to use those verses and tell me exactly what you believe about them so there is no confusion.”

    Or you could look at them and tell my why they don’t speak of other divine beings as a reality. Much simpler and far more germane to the point at hand.

    “Also can you give references to those scholars thoughts on the texts.”

    Pretty much any of their works will use that sort of thing. Anyway, I provided a Weinfeld reference, whit
    h additional aspects from it posted on my blog. Nahum Sarna has dozens of articles and books in which he uses Canaanite and Mesopotamian texts to examine the Bible. An example of him specifically using a maqlu text can be found in “Legal Terminology in Psalm 3:8”, a study included in his volume of the JPS Scholars of Distinction series.
    Benjamin Uffenheimer has an excellent article on monolatry, available for free on mikranet, but the downside for you is that it is written in Hebrew. ANET by its very title implies that the texts included are important for studying the OT. Cyrus Gordon pioneered the use of Canaanite and Mesopotamian texts.
    Frank Moore Cross also wrote extensively. “From Epic to Canon” is a great book. FMC is one of the leading scholars of the 20th century. You might also be interested in the following from him.
    “The symbolism of the council of Yahweh forms the background also of several oracles of Second Isaiah (and related material). These belong to an oracle type (Gattung) which may be described as divine directives to angelic heralds, or the closely related category, the divine proclamation delivered by a herald.

    Isa. 40:1-8 is a parade example of this literary form in Second Isaiah. The passage opens with an unusual series of active imperatives, plural: nahamu, dabberu, qiru, “comfort ye,” “speak ye,” “proclaim ye.” The problem of the identity of the subject of these imperatives has baffled commentators. Traditionally it has been held that Yahweh here directs “prophets in general,” Israel’s priests, or the remnant of the faithful to proclaim the message of consolation. That such interpretation are forced has been recognized by most moderns…..Rather, the setting is the heavenly council in which Yahweh addresses his heralds, nahamu, nahamu, ammi, “comfort ye, comfort ye my people.” That such is the dramatic background of the passage is immediately confirmed by the following verses in which herald voices (introduced qol qore or qol omer) are heard proclaiming the divine message quite as directed in verses 1 and 2. Their proclamation announces the imminence of Yahweh’s appearance in acts of redemption and, more specifically, directs preparations for a “superhighway” on which Yahweh will march through a transformed desert at the head of his people. This herald proclamation in verses 3 and 4, to level hills and raise valleys, is directed to supernatural beings, to the council of Yahweh. This is indicated in the cosmic scale of the preparations for the divine theophany and is substantiated by Malachi’s comment (3:1): “Behold I send my messenger and he shall prepare the way for me.”

    In verses 6-8 an anonymous herald addresses the prophet, announcing to him his inaugural oracle, “All flesh is grass…but the word of our God shall stand forever.” Verse 6a is to read with the versions and the new Dead Sea Isaiah (A), “A (herald) voice said, ‘Proclaim’; and I said, ‘What shall I proclaim?’” The parallel to Isa. 6:1-8 is remarkable.

    It is strange that the full force of the symbolism of Yahweh’s council in the opening verses of chapter 40 has not been recognized.”
    (“The Council of Yahweh in Second Isaiah,” Journal of Near Eastern Studies, (12) 1953, 274-277.)

    ” just realising that the way we approach things is as different as the conclusions we come to.”

    I like to understanbd the world of the Bible by using sound historical, textual and philological methods.

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    1. Ok in a way I feel like we are getting somewhere.

      I am absolutely going to look up the scholars you quoted and spend some time on this, however tommorow is the last day before I go to Utah so it is not going to be then, you will have to give me a couple of weeks on this, However I will look into it as it is good for me to understand an argument like this against the bible whether it is founded or not.

      The verses you quoted I can see to an extent where you are coming from, however the problem is even if you reach the polytheistic conclusions that I can see you are getting at I still don’t see how they fit in with LDS theology. So please tell me what you believe about these verse’s.

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    1. Wikipedia describes polytheism this way Polytheism is the belief of multiple deities also known as gods, usually assembled into a pantheon of gods and goddesses, along with their own mythologies and rituals.

      So it must mean this!!!!

      Haha only kiddin however that is how I see it however whatever terminology we use I see the bible as teaching there is only one God in existence, But please when you get a chance tell me what you believe about the verses you quoted, no rush as I will get on here to do posts on what I am doing while away but I won’t have loads of time for comments though I will try and say Hi if you have left me anything.

      take care mate

      Like

  22. “Haha only kiddin”

    Good. I would hate to think you relied on wiki at all.

    “Wikipedia describes polytheism this way Polytheism is the belief of multiple deities also known as gods, usually assembled into a pantheon of gods and goddesses, along with their own mythologies and rituals.”

    The belief in and worship of many gods. That is polytheism. Henotheism recognizes the existence and validity of other gods. Monolatry recognizes their existence, but does not grant them legitimacy in worship.

    “however that is how I see it however whatever terminology we use I see the bible as teaching there is only one God in existence,”

    Despite it not using terminology which reflects that, and the presence of multiple passages indicating the existence of other divine beings?

    “But please when you get a chance tell me what you believe about the verses you quoted,”

    They indicate that the authors of the Old Testament believed that there were more gods in existence than just YHWH.

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    1. henotheism, didn’t know of that one before thanks.

      And regarding the verses you quoted I will give the same service you gave me in explaining what you think and say that they do not indicate that. I am not interested in going around in circles and that is all I will do if I engage with those verses. In my view they are very clearly not saying what you say they are saying and I think we can both predict how that discussion will go.

      And my time for our discussion is now gone for a couple of weeks take it easy mate.

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  23. The easy way out. Not your going to Utah, but “And regarding the verses you quoted I will give the same service you gave me in explaining what you think and say that they do not indicate that. I am not interested in going around in circles and that is all I will do if I engage with those verses. In my view they are very clearly not saying what you say they are saying and I think we can both predict how that discussion will go.”
    You need to show why they should not be taken at face value. When I claimed that the Isaiah verses you posted did not mean what you think they did, I at least backed up my position. You really ought to explain why a verse speaking of other gods isn’t about other gods.

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    1. No I am afraid I am done with responding to you now, what you have shown is that you will show say the bible says something, when I show it doesn’t you will then say I am reading it wrong and should be looking at heretical texts to help me interpret the bible.

      Its circular reasoning, you say look I am right the bible says this, I show it doesnt and then you say, oh well your just reading it wrong.

      I just can’t be bothered to be honest. If you have any more useful comments that’s fine, if I get more in the way of taunts like egg on face etc, I will just delete it.

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  24. I’m from Utah believe it or not. Yes, both sides of my family are Mormon. My maternal side were converts to the Church and migrated from Denmark and Sweden. My paternal side lived in New York during the beginning of the Mormon movement and 2 of my great, great, great, great aunts were sealed to Joseph Smith. Their mother was sealed to Joseph Smith Sr. ( no mention of a divorce from her legal husband) Her husband never converted to Mormonism. So I have a very long background in the religion. I was never taught in Church that Joseph Smith was a polygamist by the way. I found it out when my Grandmother gave my Father a copy of our family history. I researched it and sure enough. I had been taught that it all started with Brigham Young and the move West. I have spent the last 3 years researching my own history and am just saddened. Thanks to you and others, I pulled myself out of Atheism! Keep doing this please! You never know who you are going to plant seeds in! Thanks and God bless!

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    1. Thanks for that Kate that is a great story, and I can honestly say I LOVED it in Utah, what a place, so much more interesting than the UK. It’s great that ministries like this helped you, often it’s just a case of trusting that it’s the people who don’t comment that are getting benefit from these sites so it’s great to hear of someone who has.

      I am guessing you found this site through a certain loud mouths tv show?:) Just kidding I love Shawn it was great to meet him.

      Anyway please hang around and please feel free to be a Christian voice whenever you want on this site as there are few of us.

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  25. OK, after reading the rest of the discussion I have noticed that Allen has quoted several “non Mormon” scriptural texts. I can tell you that most if not all Mormons have no clue to what he is referring to. It’s not the intent of the discussion either. Since Allen hasn’t quoted any Mormon scripture here, I will do so. This is what Joseph Smith has to say about the Book of Mormon in the Introduction of the BoM. ” I told the brethren that the BoM was the most correct of any book on the earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by it’s precepts, than any other book.” Bearing this in mind, let’s continue. In the “Testimony of the three witnesses” ( Those swearing that they actually saw the gold plates) they end with ” And the honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is ONE GOD.” Would Joseph Smith let this be published in the book if he did not believe it. Now for an actual scripture.

    Alma 11:26-29
    26 And Zeezrom said unto him: Thou sayest there is a true and living God?
    27 And Amulek said: Yea, there is a true and living God.
    28 Now Zeezrom said: Is there more than one God?
    29 And he answered, No.

    Alma 11:38-39
    38 Now Zeezrom saith again unto him: Is the Son of God the very Eternal Father?
    39 And Amulek said unto him: Yea, he is the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth, and all things which in them are; he is the beginning and the end, the first and the last;
    Alma 11:44 Is too long and I don’t want to type it out, but it does say in it that everything will be restored to it’s perfect frame and brought to be arraigned before the bar of “Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit which is ONE ETERNAL GOD”.

    There are several scriptures throughout the BoM which say this.
    All I can say is that I believe the Bible to be the Word of God, and the most correct book on the earth. I’ve been taught all of my life that it can’t be trusted because it’s not translated correctly. Who’s translation? Mormonism’s? I’ll take my chances with the Lord instead thanks. I believe God is who he says he is and I also believe what he says in the New Testament about the latter days and who and what to look out for. Bottom line, Jesus is enough for me.

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    1. I am so glad you said all that, I just did not know where to go with that one, I have never seen anyone attempt to defend their own faith by not quoting anything from their own texts and just quote clearly heretical texts and say that I have to view the bible in light of those. That was a very new one on me.

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  26. I’m so glad that you were able to visit Utah! It is a beautiful place for sure. I have also been to England a few times. Twice to London and once to Canterbury. I’ve sailed from Dover to Calais. I love Europe! 🙂

    Like

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