Spin, Spin, Spin 101.

Recently the Mormon Newsroom site has put together something called Mormonism 101 which is an attempt to expalin Mormonism to the outside world. What I want to do is just go through a few of the FAQ’s and look at how this site responds to some of the questions often raised about Mormonism.

Ok so first question.

What do Mormons believe about God?

God is often referred to in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as our Heavenly Father because He is the Father of all human spirits and they are created in His image (see Genesis 1:27). It is an appropriate term for God who is kind and just, all wise and all powerful. God the Father, His Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost constitute the Godhead or Trinity for Mormons. Latter-day Saints believe God is embodied, though His body is perfect and glorified.

Interestingly no direct reference whatsoever to God once being a man,  which is a massive distinctive of Mormonism. What would Joseph Smith have said if he was writing this website…He would have said you have imagined and supposed God is God from all eternity but He was a man just like you and me…. The Mormon Church of today might believe this, but its not in a hurry to tell people.

On to the bible.

Do Mormons believe in the Bible?

Yes. The Church reveres the Bible as the word of God, a sacred volume of scripture. Latter-day Saints cherish its teachings and engage in a lifelong study of its divine wisdom. Moreover, during worship services the Bible is pondered and discussed. Additional books of scripture — including the Book of Mormon— strengthen and reinforce God’s teachings through additional witnesses and provide moving accounts of the personal experiences many individuals had with Jesus Christ. According to Church apostle M. Russell Ballard, “The Book of Mormon does not dilute nor diminish nor deemphasize the Bible. On the contrary, it expands, extends, and exalts it.”

Interestingly no mention of the bible being translated correctly here, just they believe the bible, whoever wrote this should have consulted the articles of faith first.

Ok here is the best part.

Do Latter-day Saints believe they can become “gods”?

Latter-day Saints believe that God wants us to become like Him. But this teaching is often misrepresented by those who caricature the faith. The Latter-day Saint belief is no different than the biblical teaching, which states, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together” (Romans 8:16-17). Through following Christ’s teachings, Latter-day Saints believe all people can become “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4).

Ok think about this, firstly nothing is used to support what is being said here apart from the bible. Think about all of the quotes from Mormon leaders over the years clearly stating the LDS position on this, not official you say what about Doctrine and Covenants 132:20 20 Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from aeverlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be bgods, because they have call power, and the angels are subject unto them.

Why didnt they quote this which clearly spells out that they believe those that live out the covenants become gods, why quote bible verses which have been taken in a totally different way by Christians for thousands of years……Simple……Spin. Wonder why right now they have done this….. (COUGH – ROMNEY).

The Mormon Church today teaches that we can become as God is, meaning we can have thw same exalted body He has, meaning we (and our wives/husbands) can carry on eternally married producing our own spirit children, Mormons please tell me I am wrong. Interestingly I asked a Mormon facebook friend about this and he removed my comment and reported me as being abusive, I simply asked if Mormons still believe we can become Gods, or has the wording just changed?

The reality is this is dishonesty at the highest level, if you read this on face value without a background knowledge of Mormonism you would conclude that they do not believe you can become gods. However Mormons reading between the lines will know that this partaking of the divine nature means becoming gods in Mormon terms.

Finally.

Do Latter-day Saints practice polygamy?

No. There are more than 14 million members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and not one of them is a polygamist. The practice of polygamy is strictly prohibited in the Church. The general standard of marriage in the Church has always been monogamy, as indicated in the Book of Mormon (see Jacob 2:27). For periods in the Bible polygamy was practiced by the patriarchs Abraham and Jacob, as well as kings David and Solomon. It was again practiced by a minority of Latter-day Saints in the early years of the Church. Polygamy was officially discontinued in 1890 — 122 years ago. Those who practice polygamy today have nothing whatsoever to do with the Church.

While this is a true statement that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints do not PRACTICE polygamy it is still doctrine.  Doctrine and Covenants 132 still is there, and this is the “revelation” initialy used to bring in Polygamy, meaning that it is still a part of their theology. Many LDS think it will be brought back one day, maybe in the afterlife or maybe if the laws of the land are relaxed about it. Either way the LDS church of today wants the world to know that they aint those crazy fundamentals.

This whole webpage shows to me that the Mormon church wants nothing more than to be accepted as normal and Christian, even if it is at the expense of honesty, my title for this page was more provocative than usual if that offends I am sorry however if you are LDS read this page and ask yourself if it honestly lays out what you believe.

6 thoughts on “Spin, Spin, Spin 101.”

  1. so shocked to hear that apparrently the lds church no longer believes that we can become Gods! I left the church only back in June 11 and didn’t know that there had been a subtle change!!!!!

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  2. Do Mormons believe in the Bible?

    As you point out “In so far as it is correctly translated” A of F

    Do Latter-day Saints believe they can become “gods”?

    Latter-day Saints believe that God wants us to become like Him. But this teaching is often misrepresented by those who caricature the faith. The Latter-day Saint belief is no different than the biblical teaching, which states, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together” (Romans 8:16-17). Through following Christ’s teachings, Latter-day Saints believe all people can become “partakers of the divine nature” (2 Peter 1:4).

    Translation from gibberish in to English = Yes.

    Do Latter-day Saints practice polygamy?

    No. (lie! Many who do not openly practice polygamy still indulge in the subtley different “Spiritual Wifery” No legal marriage takes place but a joining in the eyes of God. Also it is common doctrine to believe polygamy is the norm in heaven. To say nothing of Polyandry, which was also practiced by the prophet Joseph Smith.)

    There are more than 14 million members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
    (Only if you count in inactive members, those who have not had their names removed from the rolls, those who maybe dead but have not been confirmed to be so. Oh and those who ARE dead but have accepted baptism for the dead in the hereafter WHO, according to doctrine, DO PRACTICE POLYGAMY in the hereafter as a fulfilment of holy commandment. They are all counted as members. these include I was proudly informed by one missionary, Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, Benito Mussolini and a reformed Adolf Hitler. )

    and not one of them is a polygamist.
    (See above)
    The practice of polygamy is strictly prohibited in the Church.
    (For now but it is PROMISED to return as the norm after the return of Christ who will himself lead by example.)

    The general standard of marriage in the Church has always been monogamy,
    (LIE)
    as indicated in the Book of Mormon (see Jacob 2:27).
    (But was superseded and over ruled by the D&C)

    For periods in the Bible polygamy was practiced by the patriarchs Abraham and Jacob, as well as kings David and Solomon.
    (Irrelevance)
    It was again practised by a minority of Latter-day Saints in the early years of the Church.
    (Yes a minority if the entire church membership up until the ban is taken as a proportion of the total membership over all time. these what journalist commonly call WEASEL WORDS)

    Polygamy was officially discontinued in 1890 — 122 years ago. Those who practice polygamy today have nothing whatsoever to do with the Church.
    (They would disagree, many of the 98+ schisms all claim to be THE one true church. And again I refer back to ‘Spiritual wifery’ which is still a common place alternative.)

    It is easy to see the cold dead hand of President Hinckley still reaching out and guiding the pens of the church scribes. Hinckley was after all a public relations guru, media expert and spin doctor extraordinary.

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  3. I notice more than a little bit of bad feelings between the author of this post and the Latter-day Saint Church. I sincerely hope that none of our members have personally offended you in any way. If that is the case, I want to sincerely apologize to you. I am sure that such behavior, whatever it might have been, is not in harmony with the teachings of our Savior.
    That being said, the title of the website that you are critiquing is called “Mormonism 101.” It was designed to be an at-a-glance reference for those wanting to learn the basics of Mormonism. Each subject that it discusses could not possibly contain all that our faith believes about that particular subject. Furthermore, much of the commentary that this blog provides to critique the churches response does so by taking information from non-canonical texts (such as the King Follett Discourse). To provide more insight, I will try and give some responses to your critiques of each question asked.

    • What do Mormons believe about God?
    This is one of those subjects that has had volumes and volumes written about it. Mormonism 101 is trying to condense our beliefs into a single paragraph. There is a massive amount of information about what we believe about God that is found in the Bible and other authoritative LDS sources; however, they have done a very good job of summarizing what the LDS people believe.

    The remark that God was once a man was first taken from the King Follett Discourse, a sermon that Joseph Smith gave shortly before his martyrdom. Unfortunately, this discourse does not constitute official doctrine of the church. People who were there when this sermon was given describe how it lasted for several hours, yet all that we have from that sermon would take about twenty to thirty minutes to recite. The reason for this is because what we have as the King Follett Discourse was what several people took down as notes (by hand, of course), and later compiled. We therefore do not have a full idea of what Joseph Smith was trying to teach. Furthermore, I can honestly say that I have no memory of being taught that God was once a man like me in any LDS congregation that I have attended. I have heard that now he is an exalted man with a perfected body, as the Mormonism 101 website says. Unfortunately, one would not be scripturally safe in going any further than that. In fact, to say that God was once an imperfect man seems to contradict the Book of Mormon when it says that God was God from everlasting to everlasting (Moroni 7:22). Again, we really do not understand what Joseph Smith fully meant, and because of that, the King Follett Discourse is not taught in our Sunday Schools and in our other Sunday worship services.

    • Do Mormons believe in the Bible?
    The statement “as far as it is translated correctly” does not in any way diminish our belief in the Bible. It simply acknowledges, as the far majority of the Protestants that I have ever discussed this issue with do, that some translations of the Bible are better than others, and come closer to the author’s original meaning. President George Q. Cannon said “The clause in the Articles of Faith regarding mistakes in the translation of the Bible was never inserted to encourage us to spend our time in searching out and studying those errors, but to emphasize the idea that it is the truth and the truth only that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints accepts, no matter where it comes from” (Gospel Truth: Discourses and Writings of President George Q. Cannon, p.472.). Often, critics of the church insist that we have a negative view of the Bible. Not so.

    • Do Latter-day Saints believe they can become “gods”?
    The LDS church does believe in a process of theosis (the idea that men and women can become gods and goddesses); however, there is very little about this that has been revealed unto us. Many people over the years have tried to make more of this than what we can, given what little information we have concerning it. The scriptures cited are about all that we have to go on. Of course we have a different interoperation of some scriptures – every religion interprets some scriptures differently than others!

    However, the idea of theosis did not start with the LDS church. It was taught by early Christian theologians such as Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandrai, Athanasius, and Augistine. Their teachings continued in the early Christian church into the 5th century. Also, the members of the Eastern Orthodox faith (there are several hundred million of them) still hold to a view of theosis. Even more modern day Christian thinkers such as C.S. Lewis believed in a kind of theosis. He said:

    “God said (in the Bible) that we were “gods” and He is going to make good on his words. If we let Him – for we can prevent Him if we choose – He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or a goddess, dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdme and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly (though, of course, on a smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness (Mere Christianity).

    In short, your comment “why quote bible verses which have been taken in a totally different way by Christians for thousands of years…” is not entirely accurate. Excuse my bluntness, but your own beliefs do not fully represent every Christian person and faith has thought over thousands of years. Many Christian faiths have interpreted those scriptures in a manner similar to the LDS view therefore, the LDS Church is not as unusual in this regard as some would have you believe.

    • Do Latter-day Saints practice polygamy?
    Thank you for acknowledging that the church does not advocate polygamy and that the people who practice it today are not a part of our faith. To explain a bit further, the Book of Mormon says in Jacob 2:27-30:
    27 Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none;
    28 For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts.
    29 Wherefore, this people shall keep my commandments, saith the Lord of Hosts, or cursed be the land for their sakes.
    30 For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I will command my people; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.

    The LDS Church interprets this to mean that monogamy is the general rule. Polygamy occurs only when He commands it. Anything else is sexual sin. We believe that it was commanded for a time in the 1800’s, which is the context in which Doctrine and Covenants 132 was written. And since polygamy was practiced by Abraham, Moses, David, and other Old Testament prophets, I am sure that you can understand that just like with the idea of theosis, the idea of polygomy did not originate with the LSD Church. What Jacob says seems to be in agreement with what we know of polygamy from the Old Testament. Furthermore, there is no indication in scripture that God disapproved in those certain cases.

    You ask in your final paragraph for me to ask myself if this website, Mormonism 101, honestly lays out what I believe. Yes, it does.

    Regarding this, I would like to humbly ask you a favor.

    Let us, the LDS people, tell the world what we believe. We are the only ones who are qualified to do so, just as you are better qualified to tell the world about what your faith believes. To fail to do would be to bear false witness against our brothers.

    May the Lord bless you in your efforts to bring others to Him,

    Cory

    P.S.
    You also made a quip at the end about how you believed this page was designed to get the LDS Church to “be accepted as normal and Christian, even at the expense of honesty.” I would like to point out the fact that although I do want the world to view me and the followers of my faith as normal and Christian (just as every normal Christian would), and that I feel that we are being totally honest in our efforts to do so, that the LDS Church has in fact done very well for itself in the past 175 years. This, despite the fact that others such as yourself do not consider us as normal or Christian. Why then would we have a need sacrifice our honesty? We have shown that we do not have to be accepted as normal and Christian by the world to do well for ourselves.

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    1. Hey Cory thanks a lot for the comment, welcome to this blog its good to know there are LDS members out there willing to take the time to read and respond to what I have said.

      Firstly let me well and truly clear something up, NO ONE in the LDS church has offended me, and I am by no means running this blog and doing the things I am doing out of any resentment, anger, pride, sin etc. I simply see the Mormon Church as being as Christian as Islam, or hinduism or any other different religion. I think the teachings of Mormonism are so far removed from Biblical teachings that it sadly falls foul of the warning given in Galatians 1:8.

      But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

      Again this is not anger or offence taken on my part but rather compassion and love for you guys. You may laugh at that and certainly not believe it, but its the case. I am crazy passionate about Mormons, I love every chance I get to talk to you guys and see you as a fantastic, loving, moral, genuine set of people but I don’t believe the gospel your church teaches you will save anyone. So that’s why I do what I do.

      So on to your points.

      •What do Mormons believe about God?

      And on we go straight into the “Official” or not issue, I am sure you have heard the phrase “As man now is, God once was, as God now is man may become”. Well the teachings of Lorenzo snow is on the “official” curriculum for you next year so I guess this teaching is coming, and that line is very favourably quoted in page 83.

      Feeling that he had received “a sacred communication” that he
      should guard carefully, Lorenzo Snow did not teach the doctrine
      publicly until he knew that the Prophet Joseph Smith had taught
      it. Once he knew the doctrine was public knowledge, he testified
      of it frequently.

      A genuine question then, if you as an LDS believer do not accept this teaching. Then where did Heavenly Father get His body of flesh and bones from?

      This is by no means a fringe LDS belief, this is Orthodox Mormon belief as brought by LDS Prophets by “Modern revelation”, for the Mormonnewsroom website to not be clear and upfront about this is sadly a mass of spin.

      •Do Mormons believe in the Bible?

      This sadly is an area with so much more to it than what you are letting on, I remember meeting an LDS girl a couple of years ago and when I asked her about a Mormon teaching in light of a particular bible passage she just smiled and said “Well that’s just the Bible isn’t it?” I genuinely believe that this is not something you would necessarily say but where did she get this from? Here is a couple of ideas.

      “Many versions of the Bible are available today. Unfortunately, no original manuscripts of any portion of the Bible are available for comparison to determine the most accurate version. However, the Lord has revealed clearly the doctrines of the gospel in these latter days. The most reliable way to measure the accuracy of any biblical passage is not by comparing different texts, but by comparison with the Book of Mormon and modern-day revelations” (Presidents Ezra Taft Benson, Gordon B. Hinckley, and Thomas Monson, “Letter Reaffirms use of King James Version Bible,” Church News, June 20, 1992, p. 3).

      Does Lorenzo snow not trump the bible then if the 14 fundamentals of following the Prophet are anything to go by?

      And also:

      “What shall we say then, concerning the Bible’s being a sufficient guide? Can we rely upon it in its present known corrupted state, as being a faithful record of God’s word? We all know that but a few of the inspired writings have descended to our times, which few quote the names of some twenty other books which are lost, and it is quite certain that there were many other inspired books that even the names have not reached us. What few have come down to our day, have been mutilated, changed and corrupted, in such a shameful manner that no two manuscripts agree. Verses and even whole chapters have been added by unknown persons; and even we do not know the authors of some whole books; and we are not certain that all those which we do know, were written by inspiration. Add all this imperfection to the uncertainly of the translation, and who, in his right mind, could, for one moment suppose the Bible in its present form to be a perfect guide? Who knows that even one verse of the Bible has escaped pollution, so as to convey the same sense now that it did in the original? Who knows how many important doctrines and ordinances necessary to salvation may be buried in oblivion in some of the lost books? Who knows that even the ordinances and doctrine that seem to be set forth in the present English Bible, are anything like the original? The Catholics and Protestants do not know, because tradition is too imperfect to give this knowledge. There can be no certainty as to the contents of the inspired writings until God shall inspire some one to re-write all those books over again, as he did Esdras in ancient times. There is no possible means of arriving at certainty in any other way. No reflecting man can deny the necessity of such a new revelation” (Orson Pratt, Divine Authenticity of Book of Mormon, No. 3 (December 1, 1850), “The Bible and tradition, without further revelation, an insufficient guide,” p. 47).

      However ultimately the real question is if the translated correctly statement is so safe why leave it out here?

      •Do Latter-day Saints believe they can become “gods”?

      I would be interested to know if any past Christian leaders have said we can rule over our own kingdom with our wife one day as our Heavenly Father does now? And also remember that according to my view ALL historical Church leaders after the New Testament was put together are subject to the authority of scripture and it seems from your quote from your scripture the book of Mormon that I am actually right in my view here, yet your church teaches otherwise, this is messy. If only the LDS church would be clear, both to you and me. I hear LDS members say how great it is that they can all believe different things despite supposedly being in a church led by a guy that God clearly speaks to. I think the diversity of views is because if firstly the mass contradiction of teachings that have come from LDS Prophets and secondly the ABSOLUTE lack of clarity on these issues today.

      •Do Latter-day Saints practice polygamy?

      As you saw this is by no means my major problem here, and to really go somewhere with this requires a lot more knowledge of Mormon history than I currently have, so I am happy to leave this with what you said.

      Ok you said this:

      Let us, the LDS people, tell the world what we believe. We are the only ones who are qualified to do so, just as you are better qualified to tell the world about what your faith believes. To fail to do would be to bear false witness against our brothers.

      When you guys are consistent, and when your church is honest about your beliefs, this could be a possibility but we are a long way away from that.

      regarding your p.s I respect that whether I accept you as Christian or normal (I only used the word normal because of the publicity ads, the church would have saved a lot of money if they just thought like you) is not an issue to you, however the one thing the LDS church is not is honest about its beliefs. Consider this interview which I am sure is familiar.

      Q: There are some significant differences in your beliefs. For instance, don’t Mormons believe that God was once a man?

      A: I wouldn’t say that. There was a couplet coined, “As man is, God once was. As God is, man may become.” Now that’s more of a couplet than anything else. That gets into some pretty deep theology that we don’t know very much about.
      (President Gordon B. Hinckley with Don Lattin, the San Francisco Chronicle religion writer. The article was dated Sunday, April 13, 1997) [1]

      Q: Just another related question that comes up is the statements in the King Follet discourse by the Prophet.
      A: Yeah

      Q: … about that, God the Father was once a man as we were. This is something that Christian writers are always addressing. Is this the teaching of the church today, that God the Father was once a man like we are?

      A: I don’t know that we teach it. I don’t know that we emphasize it. I haven’t heard it discussed for a long time in public discourse. I don’t know. I don’t know all the circumstances under which that statement was made. I understand the philosophical background behind it. But I don’t know a lot about it and I don’t know that others know a lot about it.

      (Time magazine of August 4, 1997, in an article titled “Kingdom Come,” page 56) [2]

      Interestingly enough, Hinckley said the following in the 1997 October General Conference:
      “I personally have been much quoted, and in a few instances misquoted and misunderstood. I think that’s to be expected. None of you need worry because you read something that was incompletely reported. You need not worry that I do not understand some matters of doctrine. I think I understand them thoroughly, and it is unfortunate that the reporting may not make this clear. I hope you will never look to the public press as the authority on the doctrines of the Church.”

      Well they seem to know now as its in your curriculum for next year, and really Hinckley knew, but as BYU Professor Robert Millet said:

      “Whenever a person asks me an antagonistic question, I never answer that question, but rather, I answer the question they should have asked.”
      (Robert L. Millet speaking to a “Mission Prep Club” at BYU, March 2004, http://newnewsnet.byu.edu/video/18773/video.asx. Retrieved February 18, 2009.)

      Thanks for commenting, look forward to your response.

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      1. Bobby,

        Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I’m a college student and things are pretty busy for me. Just to let you know, I do not have time to go back and forth on these issues, especially since I am sure that you and I are both pretty much set in our beliefs. But for now, let me see if I can clarify a few things you brought up in your post one last time.

        First I will tackle your argument that the LDS Church is another gospel that is accursed, which you got from Galatians 1:8.

        But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

        There are several reasons why I do not find this argument moving or convincing. First, because of the subjective nature of what constitutes “any other gospel”, anyone of any particular faith can use this argument against anyone else of another faith. In fact, the first several times that I heard this scripture used in this context was not against the LDS Church but against the Catholic Church. The first time, the argument was being made against the Church of Rome by someone that I can only assume belonged to a Protestant denomination. You see, the Protestant can use this argument against the Catholic, the Evangelical against the Jehovah’s Witness, the Seventh Day Adventist against the Methodist, etc. It is, therefore, an objectively meaningless argument. I could say that youy faith represents another gospel and call your faith accursed, but for the following reasons, I would never, ever, do that. First, I do not believe that you are preaching another gospel, I believe that we have different beliefs about that gospel. Every denomination believes differently than others, that should not name us “accursed.”

        The second reason is because I find that every time I have heard this argument used (and I do not use absolutes lightly), it has been used by someone who is simultaneously bearing false witness against his or her neighbors religious beliefs. For example, when I heard the man use this argument against the Catholic Church, he spoke (yelled, really) about how the Catholic Church was a church made up entirely of perverts and how they did not believe in the divinity of Christ. Neither point is true. This man was undoubtedly bearing false witness against his neighbor. In our attempts to bring others to Christ, one must try and act like Christ, and Christ definitively would not approve of such devious and dishonest attempts to convert others to Him. We should not misrepresent others’ views in order to prove that ours is “right.” It is not a very Christian way to bring others to Christ.

        On to the Lorenzo Snow couplet. I was aware of it, and that it was in the Teachings of Lorenzo Snow manual. I was also aware of President Hinckley’s comments about it to the reporter from the San Francisco Chronicle. There are two points made in this couplet:

        • God was once a man as we are
        • We can become as God is

        The second statement, that man, through the Atonement of Christ can become a deified being, is in agreement with LDS Church doctrine. It is found in the scriptures, and it has been mentioned many times by the General Authorities and Prophets. And as I said in my previous post, many other people of many other denominations have believed in the deification of man. However, notice how after the quote in Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, then goes on to say “In this chapter, President Snow teaches the doctrine that we can become like our Heavenly Father.” And so it does. The entire chapter is dedicated not to God’s life before the beginning as an imperfect man (which we know next to nothing of), but to how we can become like Christ. There is a reason why the chapter only talks about theosis – it is all we know (and we know precious little of this as well).

        The first part of the couplet is more difficult to understand. I myself cannot find scriptural backing of it in the existing scriptures (not necessarily cause for alarm because of our belief in continuing revelation) and it has not been elaborated on by the General Authorities (that I know of, at least.) I therefore await further revelation to help clarify the meaning, if there is any. That is why President Hinckley said that he is not sure that we teach it, and “That gets into some pretty deep theology that we don’t know very much about.” This is an idea that requires further elaboration and interpretation, which God has not yet given us.

        We just don’t know what life was like before “the beginning”. One couplet and a few sentences from Joseph Smith are not nearly enough for us to understand all of that. When I prepare a Sunday school lesson, I have to fully understand everything that I prepare to teach. I cannot and will not teach a principle if I do not understand it. More revelation is needed to understand what Lorenzo Snow said about the physical nature of God. Therefore I neither accept nor reject Lorenzo Snow’s couplet and Joseph Smith’s discourses about the nature of God. It could be that further revelation will confirm and illuminate what they said; it could also mean, because we do not believe that either was perfect, that they were wrong about part of what they said. So until more is said there is little to say. I have not heard it taught in church that God was an imperfect man as you have described it. I have heard the idea discussed once or twice in the way that I have shown, and that is how I am sure it will be taught next year.

        You asked the question “Then where did Heavenly Father get His body of flesh and bones from?”

        Answer: I have no idea. As I have stated above, there is little said in the scriptures about what God was like before the beginning. Both the Bible, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Book of Mormon talk of God being God from “everlasting to everlasting,” (Psalms 103:27, D&C 61:1, Moroni 7:22). What was God like before that? Was there a “before” that? I have no idea and until more revelation is given I refuse to speculate. That is why the Mormon Newsroom website does not discuss it. We teach what we know, and we do not teach what we do not know. I suppose I could ask a creedal Trinitarian where God obtained is “homoousios” nature, but I don’t think that either question is helpful or necessary for salvation.

        One more comment I would like to make on this subject. If it were not for conversations like this one, I would rarely if ever think about the Lorenzo Snow couplet, or theosis, the King Follett Discourse, the Sermon in the Grove, or the possibility of God being an imperfect man. It is not a central doctrine to salvation in Mormonism. Critics of our church think about it, and dare I say obsess about it much more than we do. Christ is central to our teachings; Christ is what my friends and I focus our testimonies and our Sunday school lessons on.

        On to other things. I am not quite sure what you meant when you said, “However ultimately the real question is if the translated correctly statement is so safe why leave it out here?” If it is so safe (and it is), than why not leave it in? It is important not to misinterpret this statement. As I stated in my previous post, the phrase “translated correctly” is not interpreted by the LDS people to mean that the Bible is flawed or erroneous. Neither I nor the other members of my faith view the Bible as inferior. If we did we, would not spend so much time studying it. If you could see my scriptures, you would see how well the Bible and especially the New Testament is marked up. While I do not pretend to have an above-average scriptural knowledge than most LDS people or those of other faiths, I can honestly say I have devoted hundreds and hundreds of hours to studying the divine word of God in the Bible in my own study and in the Seminary and Institute classes that I have attended over the years. I do so because the Bible helps me to get closer to Jesus and to become more like Him. It helps me to feel the God’s grace more abundantly in my life. If I interpreted the “translated correctly” statement as you say that I do, I would not study the Bible any more than I do the Apocrypha or the Gospel of Thomas; that is to say, not at all.

        Continuing on, you made the statement (relating to my comment about how the LDS Church should be allowed to define our own doctrine) “If only the LDS church would be clear, both to you and me. I hear LDS members say how great it is that they can all believe different things despite supposedly being in a church led by a guy that God clearly speaks to. I think the diversity of views is because if firstly the mass contradiction of teachings that have come from LDS Prophets and secondly the ABSOLUTE lack of clarity on these issues today.”

        Bobby, I am being totally honest when I say that I feel that the LDS Church is very clear about doctrinal issues. I have no issues with a lack of clarity whatsoever. And I would point out that millions and millions of people, both LDS and non-LDS, feel the same way. The issues that you bring up that you believe are not clear are what we call “peripheral” doctrines that are not important for our salvation and that we do not spend any significant time thinking about. A single bit of poetry from Lorenzo Snow and several non-canonical sermons from the middle of the 1800’s do not confuse my mind or heart on the doctrines taught by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Neither do I see any contradictions. Christ’s divinity and role as my personal Savior is clear and not contradictory. The role of the Scriptures and the words of the living prophets in helping me to come unto Christ are clear and not contradictory. The role of the ordinances and covenants of the priesthood in helping me to come unto Christ are clear and not contradictory. I could go on and on, but this will suffice.

        When you say “When you guys are consistent, and when your church is honest about your beliefs, this could be a possibility but we are a long way away from that,” I cannot understand what you are talking about. The only example that you give is, forgive me, a very poor one; Robert L. Millet’s “I answer the question they should have asked” comment that has been making its way around youtube for a while now. Let me explain what he said.

        The purpose of our missionaries is “Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end” (Preach My Gospel). When they teach people who are investigating the LDS Church, they teach true, established doctrine that has been taught many times by all LDS General Authorities. Furthermore, I am sure that you are aware of the Biblical concept of “milk versus meat,” taught in 1 Corinthians 3:2. To fully and completely understand the LDS concept of the deification of man, one first has to understand several dozen things relating to the restoration of the Gospel. For example, they must understand the LDS view of the family and Christ’s role as our Redeemer. And there are a whole lot more that they need to understand before they can theosis; those “milk” doctrines are the things that missionaries are called to preach, not the “meat” doctrines like the deification of man. The missionaries cannot possibly teach everything in the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a few home visits, I think that even you would agree with me on that.

        So when Bob Millett tells a group of future LDS missionaries that if a semi- antagonistic person asks a question about our view on the deification of man, and Bob Millett says “answer the question that he should have asked,” he means to say that missionaries should answer the questions that this person needs to understand before they can understand the doctrine of theosis. They must understand our views of the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ before they can understand theosis. They must understand the LDS view of the family before they can understand theosis. They must understand our concepts of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end before they can understand our concept of theosis. There are many, many other things that they need to understand before they can understand theosis. Bob Millet is not trying to hide our views or be dishonest; he just understands that one can’t teach theosis in one minute on a street corner. He wants everyone to understand what we believe, but just like in math or physics or biology, you can’t just jump to the advanced stuff. You must be fed milk by the Spirit before the Spirit can feed you meat.

        As I explained at the beginning of this post, I will not be responding to any further replies. My time does not allow it and I do not think that my time would be well spent. Before I end, let me tell you why I came to this blog, why I read it, and why I have commented on it. It was not, as I have said, to go back-and-forth with you on these issues, which have been asked and answered by LDS apologists for many years now.

        I have done all of this because I know my churches doctrines, I know that one of them is to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints (Jude 1:3), and I know that my faith is being misrepresented on this blog.

        It honestly scares me, scares me, that some lost soul, looking for information about my faith, might come to a blog like this because it is clear to me that they will only be bombarded with falsehoods and untruths.

        If there is anyone like that here who is now reading this post, I ask you to go to http://www.mormon.org to learn what the LDS Church really believes. Bobby, I mean you no personal disrespect and I hope that what I say here has not offended you, for that is not my intention. But the incontrovertible fact is that an individual who comes to this blog seeking the truth about the LDS Church will not find it.

        In closing, Bobby, I encourage you to be an ambassador of your faith, and to tell the world what you and the members of your faith believe. I would wish you luck in that endeavor. But please let us have the same common courtesy; let us tell the world what we believe. We are not lying to you; we are not part of some huge conspiracy. We try to be honest, Christ-like people who follow the teachings of our Master.

        I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior. I know that He suffered and died for my sins, and rose on the third day. I know that though Jesus Christ I am able to overcome the effects of physical and spiritual death. I have felt my Savior’s love in my life, and know that my sins have been forgiven me because of His Atoning Sacrifice. I also know that the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was restored to the earth by a prophet, Joseph Smith, and that the Book of Mormon stands beside the Bible as the written Word of God. I have come closer to my Savior as a result of the teachings I have defended on this blog.

        May the Grace of God be with you, Bobby.

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      2. Thanks Cory, if your not going to respond then I wont waste my time doing so either, I could have said much in response but I hope people here can see that despite all of the typical “I know” comments you are also typically (as I have found with many, many Mormons on here, not open to discussion, thanks.

        Also you will be hearing plenty more from Lorenzo Snow and His couplet in your teaching manual next year.

        Here also is a video of interviews with a number of Mormons that helps show that many Mormons do believe that God the Father was once a sinner

        Like

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