I Agree with Moroni 8:18

Today across many Ministries that outreach to Mormons is I agree with Moroni 8:18 day. There is a video above by my friend Aaron Shafovaloff explaining what we mean by this but here is an explanation. Firstly lets look at this verse that comes from the Book of Mormon.

Moroni 8:18

For I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is aunchangeable from ball eternity to all eternity.

This I would hope to Christians sounds like a very sound statement, in the bible we see strong support for this.

Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

Psalm 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.

The God of the bible has always been God and does not change, interestingly the Book of Mormon here supports this, however what have Mormon Leaders and Prophets said about this over the years.

Joseph Smith

“We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see. These are incomprehensible ideas to some, but they are simple. It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God, and to know that we may converse with him as one man converses with another, and that he was once a man like us; yea, that God the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did, and I will show it from the Bible” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 345-346. Italics in original. See also Gospel Principles, 1997, p. 305).

Brigham Young, 2nd Mormon Prophet

“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).

Wilfred Woodruff, 4th mormon Prophet

“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).

Lorenzo Snow, 5th Mormon Prophet

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

Joseph Fielding Smith 10th Mormon Prophet

“Our Father in heaven, according to the Prophet, had a Father, and since there has been a condition of this kind through all eternity, each Father had a Father, until we come to a stop where we cannot go further, because of our limited capacity to understand” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation 2:47. ).

Mormonism like many worldviews has evolved in its thinking over the years, the Book of Mormon has hardly any of the distinctive doctrines of Mormonism in it, in many ways it is quite biblical which makes sense as around a third of it is copied from the King James Bible. However as Joseph Smiths thinking developed so did his notion of God, this carried on with Brigham Young teaching that Adam was God and so on, please watch the video above and leave any thoughts you have.

23 thoughts on “I Agree with Moroni 8:18”

  1. Kindly fix your grammar. Joseph Smith should not be a “His” near the end, but rather a “his”. “Ministry’s” should be “Ministries”, “explaination” should be “explanation” and so on….

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  2. I’m pasting some comments I left on your blog back in Jan 2011 on this topic:

    http://mormonisminvestigated.co.uk/2010/11/07/the-bible-vs-joseph-smith-dvd/#comment-601

    Regarding Moroni 8:18, I recently became aware of the effort at “Mormon Coffee” to push that angle upon the saints through a new website and video. Aaron Shafovaloff seems to never be lacking in energy and creativity in his mission to the Latter-day Saints.

    Moroni 8:18 comes in the midst of a discussion by the prophet Mormon about the practice of baptizing infants and little children. Mormon argues that such a practice is wrong because little children have no need of baptism because baptism is the fruit of repentance and little children have nothing to repent of. Mormon then argues that if God required little children to be baptized than God would be a “partial God, and a changeable God, and a respecter of persons” (vs 12).

    After explaining that little children are all alike in the eyes of the Lord (vs 17) Mormon than goes on to explain (vs 18) that “God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity.”

    So the context of the statement is that of God’s impartiality in saving little children. He doesn’t discriminate against little children who are not baptized, because they simply don’t need baptism in the first place. In this sense, God is not partial and does not change his mind. He is constant in his loving acceptance of little children.

    Now, there are a few ways one could choose to go from here. The first way is to keep in mind the context and the reasons why Mormon uses adjectives like “unchangeable” in his description of God. This methodology is exegetical, because we are not trying to read more into Mormon’s words than he meant. We are using the context to understand what specifically he means. We aren’t stripping the passage from its context in order satisfy an agenda. Using this method, we realize that the word “unchangeable” is in reference to God’s impartiality towards little children.

    A second way we could go is to participate in eisegesis. Instead of keeping in mind Mormon’s context and the thrust of his message, we could ignore all of that and instead introduce a different, foreign, context. We could take the passage and isolate it from the broader discussion it is found in and pretend that our modern sensibilities about God’s nature have a greater weight in how we should interpret Mormon’s words. We could momentarily forget that Mormon is a 4th century American (or an 19th century New York farmer, depending on your view) and pretend that he is a colleague of Athanasius or St. Augustine who were enamored with Hellenistic dogmas regarding God’s static nature, or his inability to learn or to grow in any way. We could pretend that this passage has anything at all to do with God’s possible history as a mortal. This method obviously comes at great sacrifice to the text itself.

    It is up to to each reader of the text to choose how they are going to interpret Moroni 8:18. I choose the first.

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    1. Hi James as you have said we have discussed this issue before so i wont go through the whole thing we went through all over again, obviously you and me have different views on this verse.

      To maybe move this discussion on I have found that other Book of Mormon verses support this position.

      Mormon 9:9 For do we not read that God is the asame byesterday, today, and forever, and in him there is no cvariableness neither shadow of changing?

      Mormon 9:19 And if there were amiracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he bchangeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles.

      3 Nephi 24:6 For I am the Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

      So firstly the book of Mormon supports in other verses that God does not and has never changed, and nowhere supports that He ever has.

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  3. Bobby, let me ask you a question. Please indulge me.

    Do *you* believe that God has never changed, in any way, ever? Do you believe that God has never, once, undergone any kind of change?

    If so, how do you reconcile that view with the fact that God came down and dwelt on the Earth in the person of Jesus Christ? With the fact that Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature? With the fact that God died on a cross, shed his mortal tabernacle, and then took it up again? Are not all of those things changes?

    It must be agreed that God has, in some way, changed. Surely you believe that.

    No doubt someone like Aaron Shafovaloff (from whom you get a large majority of your arguments) will complain that while he believes that God underwent those changes, he does not believe that God ever underwent any sort of change in his character, especially in regard to his holiness (that he never sinned).

    I, personally, would agree that the Book of Mormon basically teaches that. And I, personally, agree with that. This is an argument aimed at a particular subset of Mormons who believe that God was once a sinner. What you will find is that most Mormons will just shrug their shoulders because it doesn’t really matter to them either way. To the infinite of frustration of our Evangelical critics, that is simply the way it is in Mormonism. We don’t think it matters all that much, and it doesn’t lower God in our eyes one bit.

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    1. Hi James regarding your question no God has never changed, Jesus is God the Son, and when He came to earth He became a man and had the attributes of a man however He was still God but He has the nature of God and the nature of man this is the hypostatic union.

      This is not in any way what we are dealing with in these book of mormon verses you have nicely sidestepped, these verses like the bible say that God has always, forever, eternally been God and His nature, and power and knowledge has never changed, God the Father carried on in this position while Jesus was on the earth and in reality thats who this discussion is about.

      Do I get the majority of my arguments from Aaron….No, but hey I respect him a lot so would not have too much problem if i did.

      I do genuinely appreciate that this issue of Gods nature is not as big a deal to you as it is to us, however if this shows something of Joseph Smith making up mormon theology as he went along, i would hope that causes a problem to come of you.

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  4. Hello Bobby. As I often do I’m going to organize my thought by numbering them.

    (1) What I want to establish is that you, as an Evangelical, believe that God does in fact change. There is a sense in which you must embrace this idea. I pointed out that God changed because he came to dwell in a mortal tabernacle. You argued that this is not a “change” because of the Hypostatic Union. I’m very familiar with that unbiblical teaching. Even were I to grant you that doctrine, it doesn’t solve your problem. Jesus Christ is 100% man and 100% God according to the Hypostatic Union. Furthermore, this means that he is 100% man in his entire person, and 100% God in his entire person. He is not a conglomeration of natures, only possessing humanity in one aspect or part of his person, and divinity in another, separate, part of his person. He is 100% God, and 100% man, in his entire person.

    This means that when Jesus undergoes a change, it is a change that his entire person undergoes. God the Son came to Earth as a little baby, grew to manhood, was crucified and then resurrected to the great joy of the world. If you argue that all of those changes were only wrought in the “man” part of his Hypostatic Union you are effectively tossing out the very central idea of Christianity….that GOD atoned for mankind. The atonement of Christ was only possible because God himself accomplished it. In the very act of atoning for sin God underwent change.
    =======================================================================

    (2) Now for a different, but still related, area of discussion. We could possibly take an in depth look at each of these passages you’ve cited from the Book of Mormon. Perhaps we will get to that still. But before getting to that I want to establish what exactly it is you are arguing. I want to clearly identify why you are citing these passages and what your point is so that we can move forward. You’ve juxtaposed certain passages in order to show two things:

    (A) That the Book of Mormon agrees with the Bible, and that they both disagree with later statements from LDS leaders.
    (B) That Joseph Smith’s thought evolved over time.

    I will make some comments about (B) in a moment. Regarding (A), I think you are far from establishing that the BoM and the Bible disagree with LDS leaders. I think you are correct that the Book of Mormon and the Bible agree with each other, but I don’t think either of them contradict the later suggestions by LDS leaders that God has undergone, and can still undergo, changes. I’ll comment on that next.
    =======================================================================

    (3) Are you familiar with “Open Theism”? It is a movement within the Evangelical/Protestant community which argues that God actually can be swayed by our prayers, that he can change his mind and be affected by the dealings of man. It argues that the many instances in the Bible wherein God appears to change his mind or to learn something he didn’t know before are accurate depictions and should not be ignored. We could go round and round debating the merits of this position, but I think it is undeniable that a reasonable person can hold that position from a reading of the Bible. As Roger Olsen has noted, early Christianity was so influenced by Hellenistic notions about God being “immovable” and “static” that it formed the foundation for their philosophical dogmas about the nature of God. You of course are their spiritual descendant. There is no biblical need for God to be absolutely unchanging in every respect. There *is* a need for him to be unchanging in some respects, but not in every respect. If we get around to it, I will argue that each of the passages from the Bible and Book of Mormon that you’ve cited refer to God’s unchanging nature only in certain respects, not in every single respect.
    =======================================================================

    (4) Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. Prophets of God receive revelation, often times learning something new that they didn’t know before. Consider the example of Peter, who believed that the gospel could not be preached to Gentiles, and who believed that circumcision was a requirement for new believers. Peter, being God’s prophet, received a revelation from the Lord in which he was told that God has abandoned the notion of “clean” and “unclean” people. All people are welcome into God’s community, without need for Jewish heritage or circumcision.

    A 1st century pharisee may have understandably complained that Peter’s theology has evolved. He might accuse Peter of just making things up as he goes along in order to keep his church together. He might insinuate that Peter is a blasphemer for denying the need for circumcision, which God himself had ordained as an “eternal covenant”. If God doesn’t change, and God instituted the practice of circumcision as an “eternal covenant”, how could Peter be claiming that circumcision was no longer necessary? Apostate! False prophet! Blasphemer!

    I hope you get my point. Every now and then prophets receive a revelation that overturns our previous understandings. This isn’t to say that their revelations contradict God’s earlier pronouncements, but rather they might contradict *our fallible understandings* of God’s earlier pronouncements. It can clarify and enlighten our interpretation of God’s dealings. Paul was one who especially exhibited this principle.

    So you aren’t going to score any points with us by telling us that Joseph’s theology changed over time. Our response is, “Yes, isn’t it wonderful! God still speaks to prophets today and continues to help us understand his teachings ‘line upon line’ and ‘precept upon precept’.”

    Sorry for the length of this post, but it was necessary. Have a great weekend!

    James

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    1. Hi James I have had a good look over your comments and here are my thoughts.

      (1) I think I can see what you mean by this but in my view you are clutching at straws. Whatever Jesus
      Went through in His incarnation was by His choice and through the power of God, What the LDS church teaches is that God the Father was once a mortal finite man and had to strive and earn his way to godhood. The scenario we see with Christ is entirely different and strikes me as yet more deflection.

      However for the sake of not deflecting myself I will try and state my view on it.

      So the bible says that Christ before coming to earth was totally God, creator of all things and so on. However Philippians 2 shows that He did not grasp that equality with God and emptied Himself taking the form of you and me. He was still God but also became man. So I would be hard pressed to say He did not go through changes. His nature was still God but His form and knowledge at least at first were given the limitations of being human like you and me. We know this because it talks about Him growing in knowledge and stature etc.

      Interestingly as a total contrast to LDS we have God being God before He is man, I find that interesting.

      (2) Ok I heavily disagree but onto the next point.

      (3) I am not sure if this is a point I need to respond to however I would say God in His nature and power is totally unchangeable, however when God answers our prayers it is right to say that God did something because we asked. However God knew we were going to ask that and planned before the beginning of time that He would do what He did in light of what we asked, so did we change His mind, interesting debate and something I have been thinking about lately.

      (4) I get your point and it is a good one, however in making this point it is almost like you are accepting Joseph Smith made the book of Mormon up, as you are accepting the book of Mormon was his initial theology, and He got more later, as remember that is my assumption here.

      Bringing this back to earth obviously you are not saying that, however your point creates a further problem in that the Book of Mormon in your view is from many different sources all presumably getting inspiration from God and they are saying different things to what was said later. Who had the inspiration from God and who did not? Or did God somehow change in between.

      Regarding Peter yes you are right as He went from one covenant to another He got further revelation on Gods heart to reach gentiles, which did change. In the Old Testament gentiles were not a part of Gods people today they are, this is a change in Gods dealings with people. However what we are talking about here is Gods nature and who He is which does not change.

      (5) Regarding your 2nd comment that is indeed a very fair criticism. Christian thinkers over the years have changed views, they still do and debates go on you have my total agreement with that, however Joseph Smith totally changing what He said in this regard could only be equalled by Jesus or a bible writing apostle doing the same. Christian thinkers and theologians do not have remotely the amount of authority that LDS prophets have.

      Scripture is the authority and what that says has not changed, unless you would like to show me how it has, what Christians have said over the years about scripture is no where near as authoratative.

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  5. One more thing. In the conclusion of this blog post you noted that “Mormonism like many worldviews has evolved in its thinking over the years…”

    I assume you are saying this from a position of disapproval. You likely believe that evolution and development in thought is inherently a bad thing. I wonder how acquainted you are with the history of Christianity. Are you familiar, for example, with the fact that “faith only” soteriology developed out of the writings of Augustine, and later made popular by the reformers? This brand of soteriology was hardly seen in the earliest Christian writers. It is a distinct development, or evolution, in Christianity.

    “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”

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  6. James, Augustine and the Reformers didn’t make up “faith only” as a later development (although it is agreed that our thoughts and paradigms change in the sense of devlopning with time). Rather, they returned a doctrine that is found originally in the Bible. It is there is Exodus 19&20 and again in Romans 3, Ephesians 2, Philippians 1, Coilossians 2 and so on and so forth. I suspect the problem you have is, typically for a Mormon, in assuming that “faith only” means “no works.” That is not what the Bible teaches, nor what Augustine and the Reformers taught. They all taught a salvation by grace, through faith in Christ and a subsequent life of obedience and good works.

    Your points about God’s changing are well made – sort of, but they duck the issue because we are not talking about God saying, “circumcision didn’t seem such a good idea, maybe I should try something else.” He doesn’t make things up on the hoof but knows the end from the beginning (Is.46:10) his counsel will stand and he will accomplish all his purposes. Contingency is not a word in God’s vocabulary. The God of the Bible is unchangeable in the sense that he is unchangeable in his character – “God is not a man that he should lie, or a son of man that he should change his mind” (Numbers 23:19), and in his nature (he is now, always has been and always will be God – contrary to the teachings of Joseph Smith in his infamous King Follett Discourse and generations of Mormons. “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” (James 1:17)

    He is not a man, exalted or otherwise, nor was he ever a man, or less than God. In all these senses he is unchangeable. In this sense we agree with Moroni 8:18 which clearly declares that God is unchangeable. Bobby has referred to Mormon theology developing and I think you know he means in a negative and profoundly questionable way. So we find the unchangeable God of the Bible echoed, albeit as a shadow, in this text while the changeable God came later as Joseph Smith changed his mind about a lot of things.

    I suggest the eisegesis is on your part by taking the consistent teaching of the Bible that God is unchangeable, echoed in Moroni 8:18, and insisting that he is only unchangeable in regards to this or that minor, local issue. Hold that thought for a moment and compare the chnageable God of Mormonism with the consistent, eternal God of the Bible. You are being sold short and the Bible is as clear on this as on anything you can think of.

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  7. One thing does occur to me. The 8:28 initiative is not meant to be a silver bullet in witnessing to Mormons and I am sure the minds behind it know this full well. The aim is to start a conversation and, guess what, here we are talking about God and whose going to complain about that?

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  8. Hello Bobby and Mike. I’m going to limit my comments here to the topic of God undergoing change and “becoming” God in LDS thought.

    Bobby said,

    Whatever Jesus went through in His incarnation was by His choice and through the power of God, What the LDS church teaches is that God the Father was once a mortal finite man and had to strive and earn his way to godhood.

    And Mike said,

    The God of the Bible is unchangeable in the sense that he is unchangeable in his character – “God is not a man that he should lie, or a son of man that he should change his mind” (Numbers 23:19), and in his nature (he is now, always has been and always will be God – contrary to the teachings of Joseph Smith in his infamous King Follett Discourse and generations of Mormons.

    Sort of. Joseph Smith did teach something like that, but we must be careful in interpreting exactly what we mean when we say that God had to “earn” his way to godhood. Many LDS, perhaps most, believe that God the Father dwelt on an Earth as a mortal in the same way that Christ did. They believe that God the Father never sinned, and that he was already “God” before his mortality, during his mortality, and after his mortality.

    Consider this. I believe that Jesus Christ was already “God” long before coming to Earth. And yet, through his mortal experience, he still underwent changes that caused him to increase in glory and power. He acquired a glorious and immortal body of flesh and bones. He redeemed mankind. He avoided sin and temptation. In essence, he became a greater “god” than he was before his mortal sojourn. So in this case I think we have more than one definition of God being tossed around which is leading to confusion:

    (A) God = the creator, father, teacher, and redeemer of mankind.

    (B) God = a person who has experienced mortality, death, resurrection, and received more glory because of it.

    So while I believe that Jesus Christ was already God before coming to Earth (definition “A”), I also believe that there is another sense in which he became God as a result of his mortal experience (definition “B”). The challenge here is the varying meanings of the word “God”.

    I believe that this is what Joseph Smith is teaching when he compares Christ’s mortal experience to the Father’s mortal experience:

    What did Jesus do? Why, I do the things I saw my Father do when worlds came rolling into existence. I saw my Father work out his kingdom with fear and trembling, and I must do the same; and when I get my kingdom I shall present it to my Father so that he obtains kingdom upon kingdom, and it will exalt his glory. And so Jesus treads in his tracks to inherit what God did before.

    Christ was already “God” in one sense before his mortality (A”), and yet he still worked out his kingdom. Joseph Smith apparently believed that this is analogous to what God the Father did. There is no conflict in believing that God was always God, and yet that he also became God, so long as we keep straight what we mean by the word “God”.

    Mike said the following:

    He is not a man, exalted or otherwise, nor was he ever a man, or less than God. In all these senses he is unchangeable.

    I once asked a group of Christians in the CARM chatroom what the theological implications would be if God the Father had an immortal body of flesh and bones just like Christ now does. While they adamantly denied that God the Father had a body of flesh and bones, they couldn’t think of any serious issues it would cause to their theology if God did. God would still be just as powerful, just as glorious, and just as loving. God would still be able to create and redeem mankind. There is nothing at stake here in the fact that God has a physical body of flesh and bones (a “man”) except for our preferred reading of the scriptures. Latter-day Saints don’t believe that becoming a man lessens God, just as it did not lessen Christ. Man and God are not incompatible. Rather, a “God” is a type of man. Godhood is the full maturity of manhood. We are but gods in embryo.

    So what do we do with Moroni 8:18, and similar passages in LDS scriptures? I believe them. I believe that God is unchangeable. However, as has been addressed already, God is unchangeable only in certain aspects. I can fully agree with you that it is in regard to God’s nature as a sinless, perfect, loving, and all-powerful person. Those attributes of God have never changed, nor will they ever change.

    I don’t believe that the Book of Mormon prophets knew anything about God’s past as a mortal. I believe that that teaching was basically taught (at least openly) for the first time on Earth by Joseph Smith. So I don’t think Moroni or Mormon have this in mind at all. They are not addressing this issue. When they speak of God being “unchanging” they have nothing in mind about God progressing from being incorporeal to corporeal. Without that context, they simply are not addressing that at all. When they describe God as being “unchanging” they have in mind only his character and his love. They are not addressing 19th century Mormonism and trying to tell us that God was never a mortal who underwent change. It is gross presentism to assume as much.

    The Book of Mormon teaches that God is unchanging in his character, love, and power. It has nothing to say about his progression through mortality.

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    1. Well I had that comment all nicely formatted, with the quotes indented, but the formatting apparently didn’t go through. Darn. I hope my message isn’t muddled by the formatting.

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    2. Hi there James, I think there are 3 main points that you raise here, each are individually worth a lot of discussion but heres what I have picked up from what you said.

      1 That if God the Father does have a body of flesh and bones it does not really make a difference.

      2 That Jesus was a god before He came to earth but was much more exalted after what He did as the saviour.

      3 That the Prophets in the Book of Mormon did not know about Gods nature in the book of Mormon hence the statements made.

      I will go through these to a limited degree one by one and lay a foundation of further discussion on this, and see where we go.

      1 Ok I will lay aside for the sake of discussion here that I do not believe He has a body of flesh and bones, I wont even quote the verses I feel support the case that He does not, however I will look at the implications of if God the Father has a body of flesh and bone, and what that would mean.

      So Firstly it would have to mean He was once a man, a finite man who gained this body while going through His mortal probation, some debates I have heard between an atheist and a Christian have raised a question in my mind recently that I kind of know you wont have the answer to, and I am not worried about the direct answer as such but here we go.

      Was there a first God who started it all? Or is there an infinite ongoing amount of Gods? I appreciate if there is a first you might not know anything about that god, but what are your views on the matter?

      This question is further fuelled by these quotes

      “If Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and John discovered that God the Father of Jesus Christ had a Father, you may suppose that He had a Father also. Where was there ever a son without a father? And where was there ever a father without first being a son? Whenever
      did a tree or anything spring into existence without a progenitor?
      And everything comes in this way. Paul says that which is earthly is in the likeness of that which is heavenly, Hence if Jesus had a Father, can we not believe that He had a Father also?” (Teachings
      of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 373.)

      “Our Father in heaven, according to the Prophet, had a Father, and since there has been a condition of this kind through all eternity, each Father had a Father, until we come to a stop where we cannot go further, because of our limited capacity to understand” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation 2:47.

      Secondly the LDS defined implications of God the Father having a body are here.


      “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s” (Doctrine and Covenants 130:22).

      “Some would have us believe that God is present everywhere. It is not so. He is no more every where present in person than the Father and Son are one in person” (Discourses of Brigham Young, pp. 23-24. See also Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, p. 29).

      “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 reflect-ing mind. God Himself is increasing and progressing in knowl-edge, power, and dominion, and will do so, worlds without end” (The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, p. 3).

      God the Father is brought down from the omnipresent, all knowing, all powerful being that He is to an elevated human, these quotes very much support this idea, I appreciate the woodruff one is probably not accepted today however as far as I know the others still hold water.

      Biblically, God is everywhere and can do anything.

      Jeremiah 23:23-24

      23Am I a God at hand, saith the LORD, and not a God afar off?

      24Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the LORD. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the LORD.

      He is everywhere, the notion of Him having a body places a restriction on Him which is not biblical, as well as the notion of Him having this body in the first place not being biblical.

      Ok point 2
      , Jesus being promoted despite His already divine qualities.

      I can see where you draw support from on this one, as I think in Hebrews it talks about Jesus being elevated by the Father, here it is

      Hebrews 1:8-12

      English Standard Version (ESV)

      8But of the Son he says,

      “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,
      the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.
      9You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you
      with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”

      I don’t think this is the only verse that says something like this so I think your view combined with Mormon thinking is understandable here, however this is missing the greater context for two reasons.

      1, We see Here that Jesus throne is forever and ever, that tells us He had it before He came to earth, as I showed before in Philippians 2. We see that Jesus emptied Himself of His position, I would see this verse as a restoration of what was already there.

      2, John 17:5 clears this up And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.

      Jesus talks about the glory He already had, not any new glory which comes as an exaltation for the good things He did. Jesus is as glorious now as He has ever been, however our recognition and love for Him as humanity is greater since He came no doubt, however His status as God remains unchanged.

      Point 3.

      Ok you said this:

      So what do we do with Moroni 8:18, and similar passages in LDS scriptures? I believe them. I believe that God is unchangeable. However, as has been addressed already, God is unchangeable only in certain aspects. I can fully agree with you that it is in regard to God’s nature as a sinless, perfect, loving, and all-powerful person. Those attributes of God have never changed, nor will they ever change.

      I don’t believe that the Book of Mormon prophets knew anything about God’s past as a mortal. I believe that that teaching was basically taught (at least openly) for the first time on Earth by Joseph Smith. So I don’t think Moroni or Mormon have this in mind at all. They are not addressing this issue. When they speak of God being “unchanging” they have nothing in mind about God progressing from being incorporeal to corporeal. Without that context, they simply are not addressing that at all. When they describe God as being “unchanging” they have in mind only his character and his love. They are not addressing 19th century Mormonism and trying to tell us that God was never a mortal who underwent change. It is gross presentism to assume as much.

      Ok you are kind of playing it both ways here, you agree with the verse but you don’t, its right but its wrong and also giving a reason for it being wrong despite you saying you think its right.

      I think in reality we both know that you do not believe this verse in the sense that the bible teaches it, and I would say in the sense that the book of Mormon teaches it.

      However you saying that these guys got it wrong as they said something about God that they did not really know about surely makes the book of Mormon unreliable as scripture? In which case 2 Timothy 3:16 in your eyes surely could not apply here if they were saying something unreliable?

      If you are not saying this then I still look forward to you addressing the other book of Mormon verses I have quoted showing God to be unchangeable in His nature and glory.

      Like

  9. Bobby, our discussion is quickly becoming very far-ranging in scope. We are attempting to address a plethora of issues all at the same time, which is completely useless. I’m going to be very busy this coming week, but I’m sure I’ll find a chance to write a quick response to your latest comments.

    I wonder if perhaps we should move this to a private email exchange, as we’ve done before, and focus on one issue at a time. I’d even be open to a Skype or Gmail chat.

    Like

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