The Scientist,Twin Lights here.Sorry I did not reply to
your 6:04 am post. It was not on screen when I last posted.How
could I not agree with your statements on judgment and being Pharisaical?
Christ was very pointed about this.Gaining a testimony is not seeing
the emperor’s new clothes. I had hardly heard of Mormons and had no
desire to know about them. But the testimony came. I know many who had similar
situations.As to youth being pressured. Some but certainly not all.
I know many parents who work very hard for their children to take the steps to
get their own testimony and not just rely on what mom or dad says.Should investigators read and pray? Of course. Should they attend church?
Absolutely (to know what they are getting into).Like Jeanie, I have
been in a very tough situation because of a member. Going to church was
incredibly tough. My spouse and I contemplated leaving but we could not because
of our testimonies. John 6:68 is very relevant to me. Our testimonies are the
only reason we are active.They were the only thing that kept us active.
Scientist -Feeling betrayed by your religion is not only reserved
for those who have "left the faith". There are those who have felt just
as betrayed but remain active.I can’t speak to your case, but I can
speak to mine.Growing up I embraced all that I was taught and tried
my best to live it. Then through no fault of mine my life was shattered, nothing
that I was taught made sense anymore or worked. It was more painful to attend
church, read scriptures and pray than not ....and none of this came from
"sin". I felt very betrayed.In time I found that the
"God" I had believed in was a small, limited one whereas as I pieced my
life together again the God I came to know was much larger and had methods to
perfect me that I had not understood (like Job). That you did not
gain a testimony does not mean that no-one has. You are not the litmus test.
However, you are right that - LDS members must put an end to the pervasive
mentality that finds fault with, judges and condemns, and ostracizes those who
do not… "gain a testimony".
A ScientistThanks for the response. I respect your knowledge and
intelligence but agree with others why so aggressive against the church that
your wife loves? BTW I too am madly in love with my wife. I cherish the
belief we can be an eternal family and you believe when life is done that is it?
Pretty easy choice for me which belief I like.
Skeptic -Twin Lights said:"My spouse and I are both LDS
but my sister has beliefs that I do not share. Still, I try to see the value in
what she believes because of my love and respect for her. I would never
characterize her beliefs as fairy tales even though I think some are
incorrect."What about this post says "It sounds like what
you feel is that you are tolerant and considerate of others feelings and
opinions so long as they agree with yours."??A/The Scientist
-Good for you for loving your spouse so much you would do things you
fundamentally disagree with. I hope however that your comments about
god-believing people are not known to your wonderful wife. Considering how much
she values her faith and how much she must love you I can't imagine how
hurtful that would be to her.
Skeptic, Twin Lights here.I said “I would never
characterize her beliefs as fairy tales even though I think some are
incorrect.” Also, “If you (or anyone) is an atheist or simply
agnostic, no problem.”I fail to understand how that can be
interpreted as are being “tolerant and considerate of others feelings and
opinions so long as they agree with [mine].”My point was
simply that, in trying to reach an understanding, conversation is more
productive than attacks.
LDS members must put an end to the pervasive mentality that finds fault with,
judges and condemns, and ostracizes those who do not "see the Emperor's
New Clothes" (I.e., "gain a testimony").Youth growing up
in the Church are pressured to "see", and until they publically confess
that they can "see" the Emperors new clothes, they are suspected of sin
and unworthiness. Investigators are encouraged to pray, fast, attend meetings,
pay tithing, and all the rest in order to "gain a testimony", but if
they honestly do NOT get a positive (or any) answer to their prayers, they are
told they have not been sincere enough, or worthy enough, or faithful enough.Such a system is fundamentally flawed. It is literally identical to the
system set up by the fraudulent tailors in the story of The Emperor's New
Clothes, and creates a judgmental, arrogant, condemning culture among LDS that
contributes to anxiety, depression (when you can't "see" and
consider yourself unworthy), and Pharisee-ism.It is not healthy. It
is not right.
Twin lights,It sounds like what you feel is that you are tolerant and
considerate of others feelings and opinions so long as they agree with yours.
Good luck with that.
A/The Scientist,So you are madly in love with a Mormon? We are a
lovable lot . . .I assume that you do not tell her that her beliefs
are fairy tales or wishful thinking. Are we then your outlet? Your escape
valve?My spouse and I are both LDS but my sister has beliefs that I
do not share. Still, I try to see the value in what she believes because of my
love and respect for her. I would never characterize her beliefs as fairy tales
even though I think some are incorrect.As to Moroni's Promise.
No worries. I had left the faith of my parents. I looked to other Christian
faiths, non-Christian faiths, and atheism. I found my testimony in a most round
about way (while reading Jesus the Christ). It was rather inconvenient at first
(not too many LDS were I grew up) but I had promised that if I found the truth I
would follow it wherever it led.If you (or anyone) is an atheist or
simply agnostic, no problem. But please try to rein in the attacks. Cool
conversation yields more than the hot scoring of "points". Peace.
per the truth (1:15 p.m. Nov. 10, 2012)..."If you have not done
it with Faith in Christ, you have NOT followed Moroni's challenge and
it's protocols.With Faith in Christ the results are
reproducible, and have been reproduced millions of times."Ah,
Faith. The ability to believe in the intangible.
Stay the Course and Twin Lights,Thank you for asking.I
am married to a Mormon. It is important to her, so we attend regularly, pay
tithes, fast offerings, attend the temple (I golf while she does sessions), and
all the rest.Yes, I have repeatedly "asked with faith in
Christ". The complete and utter absence of an answer is what ultimately
convinced me to abandon "faith" (which seems to be more aptly described
as 'wishful thinking').
Thank you for asking.Simple answers:I am married to (and
madly in love with) a Mormon. We attend meetings, pay tithes, fast offerings,
and all the rest.And, yes, I did "ask with faith in Christ".
But that never stops the faithful from attacking me to preserve their
Another thing that atheists have in commonality is their blank stares when asked
to hypothesize where Matter, Life or Energy came from...Amazing how
only one planet could divine what specific food humans and animals needed to
thrive on. That man can create computers but not the information... That Black
Holes and Gravity still baffle astrophysicists... Oh and evolution is still a
The Scientist ( aka Vanka)I do give to you creditYou do know lds
doctrine. Still with your posting I have no idea why you attend the LDS church
as much as you say you do when your posts are so aggressive against the church
You have said you pay tithing as wellMany of us would be interested to
hear why you go wouldn't you rather watch football or something else on a
"Not a single atheist I have ever met has a contradictory, nonsensical,
inconsistent, controversial, or absurd claim about god. We all have come to a
perfect "unity of the faith" about god: there isn't one!"You can't have a "unity of faith". Faith is believing that
something is real that cannot be proven using physical evidence. A unity of
faith is people who share a similar belief of something that they have faith in
- unless you are saying that you atheists have a unifying faith (lack of
physical evidence) that there is no God, which would put you in a strange
position of sitting next to the invisible spaghetti monster with the Christian.
Ahawk89Truth is also truth whether you are willing to act on it or
not. Why did he not keep so many of Christ disciples from leaving him when he
declared he was the Son of God (John 6)? No force.Further, how are
we to know truth? From the Bible? Sure. But how do we know that is it is
true? Not an historical text but that it contains the word of God? If not by
prayer, then how?A Scientist,“It is NOT a
characteristic of atheism to ‘know beyond a shadow of a doubt that there
is no god’". But your posts sure come across as certain.“Not a single atheist I have ever met has a contradictory, nonsensical,
inconsistent, controversial, or absurd claim about god.” Perhaps not but
you continue to attend church fairly regularly though you don’t believe in
it. That strikes me as contradictory (not enough “kicks” in church
to justify going if you don’t believe any of it).Ad Rem,Look at the wiki article on Theosis. The concept was more comprehensive
than you claim.
Ahawk wrote:"please show scientific, unbiased, "proof"
that there is no God. An atheist knows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God
doesn't exist.".To illustrate the absurdity of your
question, please show scientific, unbiased 'proof' that there is NOT
an invisible, omnipotent, omniscient spaghetti monster sitting right next to you
right now.There can be no proof of the absence of a hypothetical (or
a fiction).It is NOT a characteristic of atheism to "know beyond
a shadow of a doubt that there is no god". Atheism simply means one has no
belief in god. And as "gnosis" is the esoteric "knowledge" of
god, then an agnostic is simply one who has no such knowledge. That you try to
define atheism and agnosticism as the inverse, negative of theism demonstrates a
believers bias. Faulting an atheist for not believing in a god is as absurd as
faulting a Christian for not believing in the invisible spaghetti monster and
calling them "aspaghettists" for it.The epistemic burden for
proof of god rests on those who assert he exists. Atheists need not prove his
nonexistence anymore than you must prove the non-existence of the invisible
@ the Truth,I certainly have faith in Christ, but it is not based solely
in my praying Moroni's prayer. I agree, Millions of LDS haves prayed to
receive the "truth", but please understand, millions and millions more
have prayed the same prayer with differing results. Truth is truth whether you
believe it or not. Truth does not change, truth is eternal. Truth today is truth
tomorrow. The missionaries speak with millions upon millions of people
throughput the world and yet the LDS Church continues to slow in growth. Would
you agree that the majority of those that pray Moroni's prayer do not join
the church? If the church is true, why wouldn't the Holy Spirit bring more
people to the church?
@A ScientistIf you have not done it with Faith in Christ, you have
NOT followed Moroni's challenge and it's protocols.With
Faith in Christ the results are reproducible, and have been reproduced millions
of times.Without eternal laws, there would no wrong and there would
no right, just whatever you or any groups you surround yourself with decide it
would be. There would be nothing intrinsically wrong with any of the most
horrible things you can imagine man doing. And to call any of those things wrong
is just lip service to others or nothing.So thanks heavens there are
eternal laws, and there really is a right and wrong, and God the Father is
there to nurture us, and help us progress and fulfill our potential.Otherwise our development and progression would be utterly stopped. And no
amount scientific knowledge will change that nor ever could. You could surround
yourself with computers, dvd players, the best medicines, indoor plumbing, and
books of philosophy, and so forth, but are you individually a better person
than those who lived a hundred years ago? a thousand years ago? Or Christ who
lived two thousand years ago?.
@ A Scientist,You make a false assumption, I am not LDS and do not
subscribe to a prayer based truth. I agree with you that prayer for truth is
open to false, man generated, subjective truths. I am not attacking you
personally, I am only asking you to think about your assertions made in previous
posts. My question still exists, "please show scientific, unbiased,
"proof" that there is no God. An atheist knows, beyond a shadow of a
doubt, that God doesn't exist. An agnostic simply states that the verdict
is still out. Do you KNOW or do you just "don't think so"? I
do take a leap of faith. I look at creation and marvel at Its complexity. A
complexity unexplained by random chance. I have more faith in an intelligent,
omnipotent God and Creator that designed and spoke the universe into existence.
I, too, subscribe to the scientific process and see the benefits of it. What
happens when a hypothesis isn't proven false? It is either true or the
experiment is repeated. As far as I know, God hasn't been proven false yet.
Therefore, the verdict is still out or God is true.
Ahawk89,personal attacks against me add nothing.I, too,
have completed extensive A-B testing, strictly following the
"Moroni'sChallenge" protocols. On every trial of that Idiographic
approach, my results have been exactly opposite what you report. And I also know
many who have replicated my results.Your attempts to derive
Nomothetic conclusions, however, are undermined by a "file drawer" bias.
Those like me who get non-faith-promoting results are not allowed to
"publish" our results in DN, Church testimony or other meetings, etc.Given that bias, we would be prudent to at least tentatively conclude
that there is a non-effect for the prayer efficacy hypothesis.
@A Scientist,You mock those that have faith in God. I challenge you
to think about your position. What is your claim as an atheist? Is it not,
"Beyond a shadow of a doubt, there is no god."?How do you
"know" that there is no god? How much "faith" must you have in
science and Man to disprove God? In fact, your religion is just as faith based
as any established religion. What makes your faith in Man and science true and
faith in God false?Please enlighten us.My hypothesis is
this:You are not a true atheist. After evaluation, you will prove to be an
agnostic. You just don't know if there is a God. Your job, as a
scientist, is create a experiment to test this hypothesis.
The corollary of deification\divinization is that God also started out as "a
man".But in their gnostic attempts at theodicy, LDS apologists
make even the current "exalted" god of Mormonism into little more than a
man by rejecting "absolute creation" and "the philosophical
definition of divine omnipotence which affirms that there are no limits to what
God can do". This makes "eternal laws" more powerful than God, and
the ultimate governing power in the universe, to which God Himself is
subject.On this view, the Creator becomes a mere "assembler"
of "coeternal, self-existing parts" (intelligences assembled into spirit
bodies, then nested into physical bodies - like matryoshka dolls!). And they
deny that God can violate "eternal laws" ("natural laws"),
stating that if God were ever to violate such eternal laws, he would "cease
to be God". the unidentified man-who-became-god was able to
"earn" and "work" his way up the chain of deities to assume the
position of "God" in the Priesthood hierarchy. As such, it is ultimately
not God Mormons worship and obey, it is the "eternal laws" that are
omnipotent and provide salvation and exaltation!
As an atheist, I enjoy reading these speculative theological discussions. It
makes me laugh to see people who are so confident that they "know, beyond a
shadow of a doubt", run headlong into others who "know beyond a shadow
of a doubt" the opposite or contradictory idea about the supposed god you
all claim to worship.This is also why I get a kick out of attending
LDS Church meetings.Not a single atheist I have ever met has a
contradictory, nonsensical, inconsistent, controversial, or absurd claim about
god. We all have come to a perfect "unity of the faith" about god: there
@BrentBot - Actually, your claim that theosis and the Mormon doctrine of eternal
progression are basically the same thing is a gross misunderstanding of theosis.
In Eastern Christianity, theosis is a claim with respect to the experience and
relationship of the believer to God. It is not making an ontological claim, as
the Mormon doctrine is. Thus, they are not the same, or even similar.
Another example of the Transitive Property:Jesus says in John 4:24"God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship him in spirit and
truth."Jesus says in Luke 24:39"See my hands and my feet,
that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and
bones as you see that I have."Using the same principle Dr.
Peterson used, we must understand the following:1. God is a spirit2.
Spirits do not have bodies of flesh and bones 3. Therefore, God does not
have a body of flesh and bonesPlease show me where in the BoM that
God has a body of flesh and bones. Thank you
I wish to congratulate Daniel Petersen for another excellent article. But also
the additional comments, quotes and scriptures that have been given have added
immensely to this article. These are definitely worth retrieving for a future
talk or lesson. Thanks to all who have contributed with positive and uplifting
quotes and comments.
So "The Godmakers" book and film were right all along?...Why
all the stress and Stürm over it then? There was nothing unfactual in
either, yet the disclaimers and furry have not ceased to this day. I've
been teaching classes on Mormonism from 1990 on, 4 years after I left. There
has been so much confusion and denial on the deification subject that it is a
wonder anyone can keep it straight.Thank you, Dr. Petersen for
clarifying what Dr. Walter Martin defined 40 years ago: "Mormonism is
thoroughly polytheistic, polygamous and (pagan), vis-a-vis the Biblical
doctrines and historic Christianity."
Broken Clay,I love that couplet too.But who said
Heavenly Father was of this universe and that the universe is not His creation?
He says his creations are innumerable. Our galaxy is huge, but I don't
think that modern science would describe the worlds contained therein as
innumerable. But the universe (as we currently understand it) is that big.
From Moses 1:33-3533 And worlds without number have I created; and I
also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is
mine Only Begotten.34 And the first man of all men have I called
Adam, which is many.35 But only an account of this earth, and the
inhabitants thereof, give I unto you. For behold, there are many worlds that
have passed away by the word of my power. And there are many that now stand, and
innumerable are they unto man; but all things are numbered unto me, for they are
mine and I know them.
3. Accept science, along with the belief that the Mormon father god evolved out
of a purposeless, godless universe, sometime after the Big Bang.As
you can tell, each of these choices has its issues. Number one is hard to
choose, because the Big Bang is a well-established theory, which even Mormon
scientists accept as truth. Number two is difficult, because it
would essentially undo the Mormon church. Without the LDS conception of the
godhead, there's no reason for it to maintain that it is the only true
church out there.Number three suffers from an enormous number of
philosophical problems. Basically any charge that could be leveled at the
atheist worldview could be leveled at those who hold to choice three. Such a
system is morally bankrupt. There is no absolute foundation on which to
determine how humans should behave. In this view, the only reason god is god is
because he got there before you did. There is no more meaning in the universe
for this god than there is for you or me. Out of the three choices,
the LDS will find none satisfactory. Of course, I would recommend choice two, as
an orthodox Christian.
Now, as far as the problems with the second half of the couplet . . . As I've already touched upon, the Eastern tradition does not teach an LDS
understanding of deification. They always maintained a qualitative difference
between the eternal Creator and the finite creature.Now, if modern
science is correct that the universe began at the Big Bang, this would require
the Creator to be immaterial and timeless. He would have to exist outside of
creation and independent of it. The Mormon father is none of these things. If
God is truly an eternal and necessary being, then it is philosophically
impossible for men to become exactly like him in every way. Man is not eternal;
he could never, by definition, become eternal (you can't exist prior to the
beginning of your existence!). If man is a contingent being, he could never, by
definition, become a necessary being.Now this is all philosophical
jargon, but perhaps some of you out there understand what I'm getting at.
In light of all this, there are only three options for the Mormon:1.
Deny science, and insist that the universe is eternal.2. Accept science,
along with the orthodox conception of God.3. Or
Perhaps if one uses Mr. Peterson's formula for the transitive property of
equality then we can get to the root of the truth. Beginning with the knowledge
that a dodge is and omission that is an untruth of knowing that is a falsehood
behavior that is deceptive that all adds up to? Who has the answer.
I love Lorenzo Snow's quote: "As man is, God once was; as God is, man
may become." It sets forth the LDS teaching so clearly. And yet the LDS
nowadays are often so cryptic about the first half of the couplet; it's as
if they're ashamed to admit the teaching. Is it a political move on their
part?There are a number of devastating problems with believing that
God the Father was once a man, just like you or I. These problems are
theological, scientific, and philosophical.Theologically, see
representative passages such as Psalm 90:2; Isaiah 43:10; 44:8; 45:5.Scientifically, the entire universe came into existence at the Big Bang. This
eliminates the possibility of an infinite regression of father gods. And even if
the Mormon father god were the first god to evolve, why does that mean we have
to worship him? If he found a way to ultimate power by himself, why can we not
do the same?Philosophically, an infinite regression of father gods
is nonsensical, like saying the universe is eternal. The Mormon god also falls
to the horns of the Euthyphro dilemma. Where is this ethereal power-granting
@CougarinVegas"President Hinckley's reticence was just a
concern about putting meat before milk."Always love that excuse
for not discussing church questionable church concepts. When you can't
directly answer something ... it's obvious you're dodging something
for a reason. There's a lack of integrity when you answer questions like
Sharonna I could have predicted your reponse
@ Kevin J. Kirkham:14. 1 John 3:2 Our bodies shall be like
Christ's glorious body. God does not have a body of flesh and bones. He is
a Spirit Personage.
Exaltation means to be raised or resurrected to eternal life as the eternal sons
and eternal daughters of God the Eternal Father [JEHOVAH] to dwell eternally in
the new heaven and the new earth in a state of never ending happiness.
Exaltation does not mean Godhood and Goddesshood. It never has and never will
If God loves us as a father, why would he create us to be servants? Would any
of us do that to the children we love - create them to forever be an underclass?
I do not think so and he says that he loves us far better than we love our
children.And what would be the purpose of our creation? To forever
worship him and sing praises to him? That would be rather narcissistic and not
indicative of a God worthy of our total devotion (as he is). Further, of what
use is the struggle and learning of our mortal lives if our eternity is to be so
limited? It would make little sense.We feel our families are of
extreme importance. But why would they be if we cannot retain them in eternity?
An omniscient God would have devised another manner of raising the next
generation and to have avoided our becoming attached to beings for which our
attachment will have to end. If our memories will be dimmed, then of what
purpose is the learning we undergo as families?
@sharronaYou seem to nitpick at sciptures , but miss the big
picture.Why did God create man?Id we are his children,
what do children become when they "grow up"?Why do we need
to aspire to perfection? What is repentance for?What is the point of
our life here?Why send his only begotten son?If there is
no exhaltation, what is point of it all? What is God's
glory?What is the point of eternal life?What do we
inherit?Is eternal life a purposeless existence? Would God do that
to us? Why would God do that?No. Our "childhood" is for us
to develop and grow our divine potential to become like our father. It is
God's glory to provide way for that to happen.Just like life
here, we are children, we become fathers, and have children of our own to
raise, we are still the child of our father, and we are a father as well.It is an eternal pattern.
RE:Only Begotten(mongenes) Son. Better translation than KJV. “ For God so
loved the world that he gave his “one and only Son”, that whoever
believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.(John 3:16 NIV,NET).
“ As translated correctly.”@Kevin J. Kirkham: 1. We are
the offspring of God - Acts 17:29, Heb. 12:9. True, For in him we live and move
and have our being.’[Acts 17:28) Creation is dependent on God for its very
existence.(Ex Nihlio)3.. We are joint heirs with Christ - Rom. 8:14-17,
…(BY) “Adoption to sonship”. And by him we cry, “Abba,
Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are
God’s children .5. We shall receive a mansion=(mone/rooms) Jn.
14:2. Heaven, dwelling places.7. We will be given a crown of glory -
1 Pet. 5:4, , When the Chief Shepherd returns he will reward those who have
served as shepherds. see v 1-4.15. We will
partake((koinonoi=communion) of God's divine nature - 2 Pet. 1:4.
Christians are indwelt by the Holy Spirit
President Hinckley very nicely removed himself from the discussion. There is a
picture of the Saviour and the Father I believe in the temple that teaches in a
matter of speaking of what others have been saying. In the picture both have
their hands out as in the Christus with nail prints in both hands.The painting comes from the verse that mainly states that Christ did nothing
that he himself saw the father do. This is where the concept of God being man
at one time and then becoming God. It is also written in the scriptures that the
Earth is not the only world that has been created but many and all are numbered
to the Father. There are many who don't like this reasoning and thus it is
very much you don't talk about the meat until the milk has been given. Did
President Hinckley dodge the question.? Yes, he did just as the savior dodged
questions as well.
The doctrine of exaltation is also seen in several scriptures. Please consider
the following:1. We are the offspring of God - Acts 17:29, Heb. 12:92. We are heirs of God - Gal. 4:73. We are joint heirs with Christ -
Rom. 8:14-174. We shall inherit all things - Rev. 21:75. We shall
receive a mansion - Jn. 14:26. We shall sit on God's throne - Rev.
3:217. We will be given a crown of glory - 1 Pet. 5:4 8. We shall
receive the same glory and image as the Lord - 2 Cor. 3:189. We will
receive the same type of body as Christ - Phil. 3:2110. We will be given
power - Rev. 2:2611. We will be made rulers - Matt. 25:21,2312. We
shall judge the world and angels - 1 Cor. 6:2,313. We will bear the image
of the heavenly - 1 Cor. 15:4914. We will be like God - 1 Jn. 3:215.
We will partake of God's divine nature - 2 Pet. 1:4
Re: elchupacabrasIf you look at the full context of what Pres.
Hinckley was referring to you'll see that he was talking about the belief
that God was once a man. This is not a doctrine I hear talked about very often
at all. The doctrine of exaltation on the other hand is discussed regularly.There's a FairLDS article on the topic that will clarify this further.
sharrona,"....Origen believed in the pre-existence and
transmigration of souls. The Council of Constantinople in 453 CE posthumously
excommunicated him....."____________________All the
heresies of the early centuries CE doesn’t exactly paint a harmonious
picture of early Christianity, does it? Martin Luther regarded the Church of
Rome as a paganized corruption of the early Church. Three centuries later,
Joseph Smith would argue that there had been a great apostasy. He and Luther
were essentially saying the same thing.A view more attuned to our
times is that what happened is what we today would call cultural assimilation.
As the Hellenistic world of which Judea was but one remote corner absorbed what
began as a localized movement, both were being changed forever.
No. The presidents and other leaders and members for that matter like to
disguise the truth. He was asked a very direct question and he dodged it. It it
is a doctrine, state it as such. He wasn't asked to go into great detail,
just answer the question. It isn't that hard. Don't use the milk
before meat saying, it doesn't fly when somebody asks a direct question and
I frankly can't understand how a believer in God could believe anything
else but in the possibility of our deification. What kind of loving Father
would not want his children to have all that he has and more? Matt 7:9-11
teaches that he is a better and more loving Father than we are and that he knows
how to give good things to his children. If we as weak mortal parents want our
children to have all that we have how could we think God is a jealous Father
that does not want his children to achieve his stature? The New
Testament is filled with this teaching. Matthew 5:48, Rev 3:21, Eph 4:13 (till
we all come . . . unto a perfact man, unto the measure of the stature of the
fulness of Christ). President Hinckley's reticence was just a
concern about putting meat before milk.
The idea of man becoming a god did not originate with Joseph Smith. It was an
integral part of the religious culture of the Hellenistic world. Greek mythology
is a virtual smorgasbord of gods, goddesses, and heroes who became gods, some of
them historic figures who actually lived. Even the Galilean carpenter named
Jesus could be elevated to deity status. That was antithetical to Jewish belief
but it was precisely what happened as the rising Gentile Church was rapidly
eclipsing its Judean prototype.
RE: Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of God: James
Talmage ,’Divinely Appointed Judges[men] Called ‘gods’ In
Psalm 82:6 ,judges invested by divine appointment are called ‘gods’.
Jesus the Christ p. 501.@BrentBot, Anthanasius: "The Word
became flesh … that we, partaking of his Spirit, might be deified"
and Cyril of Alexandria: you may become partakers(koinonoi=communion) of the
divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because
of sinful desire.” (2 Peter 1:4 ) Christians are indwelt by the Holy
Spirit (John 14: 16-17). The Apostles creed: I believe in the Holy Spirit, the
Holy Catholic(universal) church, the “communion “of
saints,…They were all Trinitarians, which would eliminate them from
thinking they would be a God in the Godhead. Origen believed in the
pre-existence and transmigration of souls. The Council of Constantinople in 453
CE posthumously excommunicated him.@Northernern Lights, …(by)
“Adoption to sonship”. And by him we cry, “Abba,
Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are
God’s children (Romans 8:15-16)
Craig is correct, the facts point to speculative theology over divine
Insightful article on the nascent beginnings or an area of LDS belief that
today’s Church leaders don’t seem to want to encourage.As a skeptic of the idea of divine revelation I was raised to believe in,
I’ve since come to see the concept of speculative theology as a more
rational explanation for Mormonism’s distinctive theology. The trajectory
of Joseph’s thought processes from his earlier writings don’t seem
to veer off near as much as one might at first think in light of the Book of
Mormon and D&C passages Daniel Peterson calls our attention to.
Daniel Peterson refers to a wonderful doctrinal concept: to become joint heirs
with Christ as recorded in the Bible (Romans 8:17) and to inherit the Kingdom of
God (as taught through a parable in Luke 15:31 and also in the Book of Mormon in
2 Nephi 9:18.)The LDS Church practices those things that it believes
will allow each individual to qualify for such blessings and to gain eternal
life. As an active member, I personally haven't encountered much
discussion on what each returning to the presence of God will be doing from that
time on, other than they will be able to continue to progress as promised in
Galatians 3:26-29 and the Doctrine and Covenants Section 132). Going beyond
that just doesn't make for a very productive discussion in my opinion. I
suspect that is the reason behind President Hinckley's comment.Right now, I interact with many members are simply trying to live their
religion to the best of their abilities with a hope and a promise of blessings
in mortality and eternal blessings and opportunities still to come.
After saying that He and his Father are one, the Pharisees took up stones to
kill Jesus. He asked "Many good works have I showed you from my Father, for
which of those do you stone me?" They Jews replied, "For a good work we
stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest
thyself God. And Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye
are Gods?" (John 10:32-34) KJVThe doctrine is not new. But it
is incredibly humbling. For (as Christ taught) he who would be one with him
must make himself the basest servant and shepherd.
Origen in reference to 1 Corinthians 8:5-6 said "Now it is possible that
some may dislike what we have said representing the Father as the one true God,
but admitting other beings besides the true God, who have become gods by having
a share of God . . As, then there are many gods, but to us there is but one God
the Father, and many Lords, but to us there is one Lord, Jesus Christ.”
The Gospel of Thomas (which pre-dates the 4 Gospels, but was
considered non-canonical by the Nicene Council) quotes the Savior: "He who
will drink from my mouth will become as I am: I myself shall become he, and the
things that are hidden will be revealed to him," (Gospel of Thomas 50,
28-30, Nag Hammadi Library in English, J.M.Robinson, 1st ed 1977; 3rd ed. 1988)
Divinization, narrowing the space between God and humans, was part of Early
Christian belief. St. Athanasius of Alexandria (Eastern Orthodox) wrote,
regarding theosis, "The Son of God became man, that we might become
God." Irenaeus wrote in the late 2nd Century: "we have not been made
gods from the beginning, but at first merely men, then at length gods"
Justin Martyr in mid 2nd Century said: "all men are deemed worthy of
becoming gods,and of having power to become sons of the Highest." St. Jerome the translator of the Latin Vulgate Bible, (d. A.D. 419), wrote
that "God made man for that purpose, that from men they may become gods.
They who cease to be mere men, abandon the ways of vice, and are become perfect,
are gods and sons of the Most High"
The LDS newsroom earlier this year tried to play this down. Gordon Hinckley
attempted to do the same thing with his statement, "I don't know that
we teach that-- I don't know that we emphasize that." So what is it?