Mormon Authority Quote of the Week, Exalting Man!

Joseph Fielding Smith

“We should fully and sincerely comprehend the fact that no requirement, request, or commandment made of man by the Father or the Son is given except for the purpose of advancing man on the path of eternal perfection.” (Doctrines of Salvation p.155)

11 thoughts on “Mormon Authority Quote of the Week, Exalting Man!”

  1. This quote blows me away, in the bible we see a glorious God, jealous for the world to see His glory bringing people to Himself so that His name might be proclaimed. It seems in Mormonism we have the conveyer belt system of gods, each just seeking to glorify their children so that they may become gods themselves….

    Jeremiah 13:11

    For as the waistband clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole household of Israel and the whole household of Judah cling to Me,’ declares the LORD, ‘that they might be for Me a people, for renown, for praise and for glory; but they did not listen.’

    We are created by God to be a people glorifying Him. God is not there to glorify us.

    Like

  2. Bobby, the one question I have for you regarding this quote is: “why not?” I’m sure you can quote countless scriptures in such a context as to make your viewpoint the “correct” one, but can you think, for yourself, “why not?”

    Like

    1. Dane to say i am not thinking for myself is silly. I came across this quote because i am reading the book i quoted then i used my own brain to find quotes from the bible that show mormonism is saying something that is contradictory to the bible. It seems that many people i am coming across that are leaving the church are thinking for themselves too.

      -original message- Subject: [Mormonism Investigated UK] Comment: “Mormon Authority of the Week, Exalting Man!”

      Like

      1. Finding your own biblical evidence isn’t what I’m referring to. I’m asking you to engage, if you wish to, in thought about “why” it would (or wouldn’t) be bad for God to make us like him. Finding a quote is all fine and dandy, but it’s not real (i.e. deep or intense) thinking. I’ve been largely avoiding this blog lately because it’s ceased to be about investigating anything, rather than regurgitating the “party line” of a Christian majority. If you agree with them, that’s fine, but for my time, it’s not worthwhile to read about “that” you agree with them (which includes the realm of endless Bible quotes “proving” a point–despite how many people “prove” the opposite using the same quotes/books). I’d be much more interested in learning about “why” such a thing might be so (or not so), based on your own reasoning. I hope you’re not taking this as an attack, because I don’t mean it that way.

        You’re obviously free and welcome to write whatever you want (especially since this IS your blog…), but in such a state, it’s not worth reading to someone (like myself) who prefers to truly dissect the “why” of God’s saying or doing (or not saying or doing) something, rather than the ever-boring “what” he has said or done. As I’ve pointed out, I rarely have energy to do any such dissecting where others are concerned, but when I do have it, I’d like to find people who are willing to give “outside-the-box” thinking a try–such as would really give my own thoughts a good, wholesome bend. If you’re not interested (i.e. know what you care to believe and have no interest in questioning it/wrangling with its thought processes), then that’s fine. I just thought I’d offer my thoughts to you on this before I take my leave, bearing hopes of greener pastures.

        I hope I haven’t upset you by saying any of this; I respect you, and wouldn’t bother with this attempt if I didn’t.

        –Dane

        Like

      2. Dane you have upset me but not in the way that you have offended me but because you simply do not want to know or deal with what God has said, to say to me i am focusing too much on what God has said is actually the ultimate compliment. However in what you are saying you are actually agreeing that you do not accept what God has said which is why you somehow feel you need to go deeper than that and look into the why. Then you are changing the word of God from being His authority to just a take it or leave it guide. This is wrong and is the pathway to nowhere. God and what He says judges us. We do not judge Him. I am happy to accept His ways are higher than my ways and i will carry on lifting Him up.

        -original message- Subject: [Mormonism Investigated UK] Comment: “Mormon Authority of the Week, Exalting Man!”

        Like

  3. Bobby, that isn’t my meaning at all. I’m saying that depending on your own perspective when you read the Bible, you’ll interpret those writings very differently than you would if you saw things from a different angle. This is (essentially) why there are hundreds of different and largely contradictory Christian sects out there. I agree that the Bible is the word of God. What I’m saying is not contrary to that, but an exhortation to figure out why he said such things, so that we can understand their meanings as HE intended them, rather than as we, with all our own unique psychologies, blocks, and sensibilities, interpret them.

    I’m sure it would be much simpler for you to conclusively believe that I’m going against the word of God, and therefore am a heathen whose opinion should be completely disregarded–as you seem to have done with the Mormon Church, as a whole–but this is an ignorant viewpoint. It takes more mental energy and finesse to wrap one’s mind around the idea that those who believe differently than you could also be correct–either in addition to, or instead of yourself. This is for the same reason that people who are “die-hard liberal” or “die-hard conservative” engage in asinine partisan maneuvering rather than considering the validity of the middle ground. Here in the US, we’re on the verge of complete economic collapse as a result of this mindset. It’s the same mindset that condoned the murder of thousands of innocents during the crusades, and the subsequent oppression of anybody who thought the earth might not be flat. These people, too, were “obeying the will of God” by stubbornly thinking that only they (and those with like minds) truly “knew” what the Bible was saying.

    “Absolutely knowing” something beyond the possibility of questioning it lies upon the path of narrow-mindedness and hatred. This is true in the Mormon Church, and equally so in the other Christian sects–and is completely unacceptable in both cases. Yes, you might find truth, and would be well-justified to hold onto it, but since YOU, YOURSELF, like me, are not omniscient, you have no verifiable method of knowing that your current beliefs are at all correct, such as would warrant such utter closed-mindedness as you have been showing lately. The best course of action–despite wherever you think you got your beliefs (which I argue are almost entirely INTERPRETATIONS of the Bible, rather than what’s strictly, literally written)–is to question then with open eyes and open ears alike, while recognizing the possibility that they might be wrong. I’m aware that many people in the Church don’t do this, and I condemn the attitude of asinine blindness/deafness there, as well. While I currently agree more with the OFFICIAL doctrines of the Mormon Church (not so much as taught by the general membership), as opposed to what you’re preaching, I’m not saying at this time that your beliefs are unequivocally wrong simply because my religious sect doesn’t entirely adhere to them.

    I hope you can see the difference between disbelieving the Bible, and disbelieving some of the most common interpretations of the Bible. If not, please just say so, and I’ll leave you alone.

    Like

    1. Hi Dane I think I see the heart behind what you are saying and I appreciate it. What I have tried to do here is take a step back and think about this a bit and then respond, for me this ministry is not about winning arguments or whatever but having meaningful dialogue that hopefully brings people much closer to Christ.

      I appreciate your point about the problems with feeling that you absolutely know things especially with that being so heavily engraved into LDS thinking and culture.

      However the problem I have is your issue of interpretation, I genuinely believe the bible is not so loosely open to interpretation as people in the LDS church often make out. There is so much clarity and direct statements in it however people often ignore them as they do not suit their preconceptions. LIke the LDS issue of the bible is true as far as it is translated correctly. Few if any LDS people have any idea what is or isnt translated correctly and the church does not particularly enlighten them, however this gives a licence to dismiss parts of the bible that do not fit in with LDS beliefs.

      This is to me is one of the cleverest but yet most dangerous things the LDS church has done to pave the way for its anti-biblical theology as the bible is so clear on so many things. Even the faith works issue is so clear in the bible.

      So moving on this does not mean that its right for me to say I am right and thats it by any means as I am a falible human being i totally accept that, the reason we have the word of God os to bring reproof correction etc to things said that might not be right (2 Timothy 3:16) which is why the Bereans turned to it when they heard Paul speak, right before they accepted Christ (Acts 17:11) God is able to speak today through the bible as much as He ever was and it stands today as much as it ever did.

      So again moving on rather than talk about interpretation all day why dont we discuss this issue at hand.

      Is Gods primary purpose and glory lifting up humanity, or lifting up Himself?

      I would argue the biblical God holds Himself in much higher regard and priority than He does us, and He has created us in such a way that we are most satisified when we are seeking His glory and uplifiting Him. We are created in such a way that when we get to know Him our only eternal goal os to glorify Him forever.

      Like

  4. Thanks for taking the time to reply thoughtfully, Bobby. I really appreciate it.

    As relates to the topic of the original post, I have to points to address. Please don’t take this as an assault on “who’s right,” but rather food for discussion that we might both benefit from (no matter any “tallying of points” that could–but should not–occur).

    1) If you do a lot of extraordinary things to help and lift others to the same level as yourself, does that make you more or less great (or neither)? Would those you helped think more or less highly of you as a result? With the exceptions of some nastily conceited people, those you helped would think more highly of you, and hold you in greater respect after this, than if you had not so helped them. Does making another person great make you less great? I would argue that it only does so in the more awful work environments where you have to battle with ladder-climbers and butt-kissers for a managerial position. In heaven, such nastiness is said not to exist, and if there are, indeed, an infinite number of available “managerial” positions (i.e. becoming a god and populating worlds with your own spirit children, whom you will take care of as their own god), wherein the Almighty will still have authority over all those whom he exalts/helps to exalt, then God does not lose power by making you a god, but rather gains it. You might think of it like a pyramid scheme, minus all the scamming. The more exalted you become, the more exalted He becomes, by virtue of your increased devotion, and the additional people (your spirit children) who devote themselves to those loyal to Him. As seems to be the case in this world, your righteous actions reflect well on Him, and as a result, he is glorified. I seem to recall a parable in one (or several) of the Gospels that talks about the servant who is given the most being the most grateful to his savior.

    2) If God does, indeed, place himself and his own interests at the pinnacle of importance, how does that not make him selfish and conceited? He’s commanded us to be the opposite of those things, by putting others before ourselves (though not necessarily to the point of co-dependency and great self-detriment), and Jesus has commanded us to be like Him. If He really is so self centered and conceited as would extrapolate from your logic above, then those commandments are contradictory, and by saying that He is perfect, and commanding us to be not-conceited and not-selfish by being like Him, then he lied by doing so. Conventional wisdom in Christianity says that God can’t lie. Therefore, either he is not like that, or His words in the Bible aren’t being interpreted as intended by those who say God acts as we should. In either case, that’s catastrophically problematic from a theological standpoint–unless God isn’t actually so selfish as you’ve described.

    On another topic, you’ve stated that the Bible is very clear on some points, such as the faith/works issue. If that’s so, then why on earth would there be so many other Christian religions that vehemently claim to only follow the Bible, who–despite your assertions on that subject–positively insist that the Bible says works are more important than faith; or that works are equally important; whereas you’ve said in the past the works are a far second to faith? Are all these thousands–or maybe millions–of people just crazy or deeply deluded? If you think so, then wouldn’t that thinking be dangerously and suspiciously like the crutch used by any other (obviously) deluded fanatic who thinks only he (or his group) is right, and everybody else is mindbogglingly wrong? (Drinkers of poisoned Kool-Aide come to mind.)

    If you speak to any person who is well-versed in the Bible, and who embraces the ideal of works-over-faith, they’ll recite endless scriptures–right out of the Bible, without embellishment or changes of any kind–that appear to flatly disprove the idea that faith is supreme (“faith without works is dead” and such). A person (like yourself, it seems) who believes that faith is supreme will quote endless scriptures that appear to flatly disprove all of those other scriptures, as interpreted by those of the other camp (“saved by faith alone” and such). Unless these passages are meant to be interpreted in a way that isn’t entirely literal, then they simply can’t co-exist in the same volume (the Bible) unless at least parts of that volume are completely false, as relates to that topic. Therefore, unless the Bible is so deeply flawed as that (which I don’t believe it is), then each camp’s scriptures-of-choice must be speaking somewhat/somehow non-literally (i.e. such as their words don’t speak their intent, if taken in isolation, and without interpretation) about the same set of truths, in such a manner as is not contradictory…but in order for that to work in the least degree, an INTERPRETATION of those scriptures is absolutely needed. Otherwise, one set of scriptures literally will disprove the other, and then half the Bible is false.

    Do you see my reasoning here? I hope you realize that I’m not leaning on the crutch that LDSs commonly use (too often, I suspect) to say that only the parts of the Bible they like are true (“inasmuch as it’s translated correctly”). Likewise, I hope you can see that you’re using a completely different crutch to only pay attention to the parts that you like–by de-emphasizing or re-interpreting the parts that you don’t think agree with you in order to say what you like. The essential point I’m trying to make here is not that you’re “wrong,” but rather that no matter how you cut it, your conclusions and apparent manner of thinking absolutely REQUIRE you to interpret the literal text of the Bible into the doctrines you hold dear.

    Also note that I’m not saying that interpretation of scripture is, inherently, in any way “bad;” in fact, I firmly believe that it’s essential in order to make any sense at all out of the text therein–including, but not limited to the apparent contradictions between the various verses, chapters, and testaments. (“Thou shalt not kill” vs. war and animal sacrifices, etc. Clearly this has more sensible/less contradictory meaning when interpreted as “thou shalt not kill immorally”/”thou shalt not murder.”) Put frankly, I’m trying to convince you and get you to admit that you, I, and every person who reads the Bible with any degree of comprehension do and must INTERPRET what’s contained therein for it to have any sensible meaning across the entire volume. Depending on how the interpretation is done, this can bring great enlightenment, great confusion, or both to the reader and all those to whom he preaches.

    I’m happy to engage with you in peaceful, non-angry discussion about this or any other subject that we both find important. While I’m not able to do so often, or about everything, since you’ve once again shown that you’re willing to consider things beyond your (or probably our) current understanding, I find reading your opinions very valuable, indeed. As you may have noticed, I have very little tolerance for dogma and (mostly) mindless quoting, such as is par for almost every serious religious discussion I’ve ever seen or taken part of. I want your ideas on what you read; in my mind, a clear reference (and perhaps chapter-and-verse numbers, if needed) to something in scripture is almost always preferable to an actual quotation. (I can look it up later if I need to.) Since I’m more interested in discussing how people interpret what is written, the quotation of the text itself, while important to individual study and the occasional reference for clarification, is almost entirely without value in the midst of such a discussion, in most cases, since it will only allow each person to again interpret it as he’s already done, and assume more fervently that his interpretation is the (only) correct one. That way lies the “Dark Side” of a web discussion. 🙂

    –Dane

    Like

    1. Hi Dane thanks for that, there are some great points and questions there, I will get through them here as best as I can. Because you have made a number if points I will number each of mine, it makes discussion easier believe me. And if I miss anything please let me know.

      1, You made the point that does it not bring glory to God when we do good works and ultimately become a god like Him?
      I totally agree that our good works glorify God, when we do good works and bear fruit bringing glory to God we are living in the purpose of our salvation. I totally believe in salvation by faith alone as we are discussing however what often gets missed in this discussion is the purpose of that salvation.

      Ephesians 2:8-10 (I will carry on quoting bible verses for the sake of people reading, I will stick to KJV though)

      8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
      9Not of works, lest any man should boast.
      10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

      So while we are saved by grace and not works as I totally believer, verse 10 shows He has preordained good works that we should walk in, as James says faith displayed by works, if we do not have true faith there will be no pre ordained works for us as we will not be saved by this grace, hence people who say they are saved and do nothing.

      Back to the point though this is saying that Gods desire is for us to walk in good works, this glorifies Him and is a fruit of His work in us.

      However God does not desire and seek to make us gods, He alone has the position Isaiah 44:8 says that He knows of no other God, in verse 6 He says there is no other God. This does not sound like a God speaking who previously had a God (which He seems to never seek glory for as He should if this God is above Him) or one who is seeking to make other gods. This God of the bible is a self glory seeking God who has not made us to be gods but made us to enjoy Him.

      2, This moves nicely onto the next point where you said If God does, indeed, place himself and his own interests at the pinnacle of importance, how does that not make him selfish and conceited? He’s commanded us to be the opposite of those things, by putting others before ourselves.

      Ok if the Mormon view that we are all made of the same stuff as God was true then you could be right, however the bible shows that we are not of the same material as God. we were not once intelligences together and God the Father simply progressed first, we are created finite beings created by an uncreated limitless God.

      John 8:23 says And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world.

      We are not made of the same stuff as Jesus we are from this world He is from above, we are created He is creator.

      Interestingly I would say your view breaks the commandments much more, the first commandment is love God with all you are, love your neighbour as yourself, we are to love God more than we love any human however close they are, God does this by loving Himself more than any of us, Jesus took the form of a bondservant despite His equality with God (Phillipians 2:6) and perfectly modelled humility, yet the God of the bible in all His glory seeks His glory above all things. In doing this He is actually loving us more than we can imagine. Imagine if you put your kids desires over what you knew to be right, this would be wrong but in seeking what is right and just above all you are giving the best to your kids, as God does to Humanity by seeking and loving Himself above all.

      I would actually say if God loved us more than Himself He would be committing idolatory by placing something above God, in which case He has sinned and ceases to be God. In my view this sums up the Mormon God fairly well.

      3, The works faith issue is as clear as clear can be and if you would like to find out and discuss this with me that would be great, what I have found in 100% of discussions with LDS on this is that they love ignoring the verses that suit them and quote the works verses like James etc, I can show that actually the bible preaches a consistent message that is made up in the context of the bible as a whole not just a few choice verses that either side likes to use.

      I find the only churches that disagree with the doctrine of salvation by faith alone are those that down play how great Christ is, or those that are seeking to exercise control over their members for some kind of gain, why do I say this? Because the doctrine of salvation by faith alone lifts Him up to His rightful place of God in the flesh creator of all offering Himself for humanity so that by virtue of His sufficent glorious work on the cross nothing more is needed for our salvation, this glorifies God massively and keeps man away from having any control over salvation, whether by earning it themselves or controlling other peoples salvation, rejecting this doctrine always says what Christ did is great but you gotta do your part and follow the leaders because if they dont like what you are doing they will kick you out and you wont be saved.

      4, I guess i would be stupid to say that interpretation is never an issue however I would say it is rarely one. Mostly people pick what they like and go with it, if you can show me people that have considered the bible as a whole and still come to massively different conclusions to others that have then you have a point, mostly people just dont want to read the parts they dont like and gloss over them.

      Take calvinism and predestination for example, the bible so clearly teaches this yet so many Christians, people I would totally consider Christian disbelieve it, this is so rarely because they have studied it, it is just because they dont like it, find a verse that they think supports them and set up camp there, its annoying but happens all the time. However that is not an interpretation its just a safety blanket keeping them away from truths that do not suit them.

      Ok if I have missed anything tell me bud I love you and look forward to a response

      Like

    2. “If you do a lot of extraordinary things to help and lift others to the same level as yourself, does that make you more or less great (or neither)? Would those you helped think more or less highly of you as a result? With the exceptions of some nastily conceited people, those you helped would think more highly of you, and hold you in greater respect after this, than if you had not so helped them. Does making another person great make you less great? I would argue that it only does so in the more awful work environments where you have to battle with ladder-climbers and butt-kissers for a managerial position. In heaven, such nastiness is said not to exist, and if there are, indeed, an infinite number of available “managerial” positions (i.e. becoming a god and populating worlds with your own spirit children, whom you will take care of as their own god), wherein the Almighty will still have authority over all those whom he exalts/helps to exalt, then God does not lose power by making you a god, but rather gains it. You might think of it like a pyramid scheme, minus all the scamming. The more exalted you become, the more exalted He becomes, by virtue of your increased devotion, and the additional people (your spirit children) who devote themselves to those loyal to Him. As seems to be the case in this world, your righteous actions reflect well on Him, and as a result, he is glorified. I seem to recall a parable in one (or several) of the Gospels that talks about the servant who is given the most being the most grateful to his savior.”

      Here is the issue, Dane. The LDS belief is that God the Father was once a man.”As Man is…God once was…As God is…Man may become” thus bringing God to our level. Which would mean that He was not always Almighty, contradictory to what the Bible professes. And in turn, if this is a truth. Than you have inadvertently created yourself to equality with God Almighty. A dangerous place. Love ya bro!

      Like

  5. Mormonism is nothing but a thick, historical archive of lies, deceptions and blasphemous statements by false prophets who seek to rob God of His glory and delegate it upon themselves. They who claim they will become gods are basically polytheistic and have no place in the Heaven created by the Christian God. The only Celestial Heaven the Mormons will see is the one with burning flames, screaming sounds coming from the black abyss. Demonic spirits will be your only companions as you burn eternally in Hell. There will be no turning back, once you pass from this life. Make your decision today…whom will you follow into eternity…Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, and other so called prophets who think they will become gods; or, are you willing to turn your life over completely to Jesus Christ of Nazareth and ask Him to forgive you for your apostasy and cleanse you from all your sins with His atoning Blood?

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s