Hierarchy in Heaven - Kolob

Having just written a response to a thread entitled Kolob wherein the poster asked what a member of the LDS church thought about Kolob, the thread was removed. Not knowing the reason I have started a new thread and posted my response below

Joseph Smith during the course of his life learned more and more about heaven. As he read and pondered he realized that significant facts regarding man’s final state had been taken from the Bible. He says, “From sundry revelations which had been received, it was apparent that many important points touching the salvation of man had been taken from the Bible, or lost before it was compiled. It appeared self-evident from what truths were left, that if God rewarded every one according to the deeds done in the body, that term “Heaven,” as intended for the Saints’ eternal home, must include more kingdoms than one” (HC 1:245). Subsequently the Lord revealed that each man received a kingdom according to his works. Further, that there were three grand divisions in heaven, called the telestial, the terrestrial, and the celestial kingdoms. Each kingdom increased in glory until one approached the glory of the celestial kingdom where God ruled.

Toward the end of his life Joseph learned even more about the next life. He learned that there was a hierarchy of beings in heaven. The teaching in the book of Abraham began by considering the stars. If there are two stars, one will be more brilliant than another. If one was to continue to consider star after star and the brilliance of each one would eventually reach a star that was the greatest light of them all. This Abraham termed Kolob and compared this star to God who is the greatest of all. In such glory and light God dwells. This comparison of celestial bodies was setup to teach a truth. Just as the stars differ and increase in glory so also do heavenly beings. “Howbeit that he made the greater star; as, also, if there be two spirits, and one shall be more intelligent than the other… there shall be another more intelligent than they; I am the Lord thy God, I am more intelligent than they all” (Abraham 3:18, 19). Man in his resurrected state also receives a glory and is considered a part of this hierarchy. His great work is to progress along this path through the eternities.

it was apparent that many important points touching the salvation of man had been taken from the Bible, or lost before it was compiled.

How arrogant. But not dissimilar from many others who have taken it upon themselves to “correct” Scripture, claiming the rights of God for themselves.

Muhammed is probably the most famous and extensively followed one of these, and he thought and acted in the same spirit as Joseph Smith (or rather, coming later, Joseph Smith acted in the same spirit as Muhammed).

This is an important point to deal with, because this very first premise/assumption in the argument must be proven before anything else is even considered.

And yet there are many Scriptures (as well as other supporting evidences and logic) that show that J.S.'s foolish notion here couldn’t possibly be true. Such as:

Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be, which shall go forth from my mouth: it shall not return to me void, but it shall do whatsoever I please, and shall prosper in the things for which I sent it.

Numbers 23:19 God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?

Isaiah 40:8 The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever."

Isaiah 59:21 “As for me, this is my covenant with them,” says the LORD. “My Spirit, who is on you, will not depart from you, and my words that I have put in your mouth will always be on your lips, on the lips of your children and on the lips of their descendants–from this time on and forever,” says the LORD.

Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.

And then, of course, who did Jesus say would build his Church? ** Matthew 16:18** “***I {Jesus} *** will build my Church.”

To say that Jesus failed in building his own Church (his Kingdom) and let his Word (himself, the Logos), fall to ruin in the earth is to call Jesus a liar, an oathbreaker, and a failure (among other things). It is either heinous blasphemy or, if a true accusation, then Jesus is not worth following at all.

It appeared self-evident from what truths were left, that if God rewarded every one according to the deeds done in the body, that term “Heaven,” as intended for the Saints’ eternal home, must include more kingdoms than one"

Hardly “self-evident.” Much has been said and speculated about Heaven over the ages, and Smith’s inventions are hardly inarguable. So the second premise here before any of this speculative conclusions also would have to be demonstrated.

Rather than bother with that latter part of the first statement, though, I’d rather focus on the Muhammedan-Smithian claim of the failure/corruption of Jesus Christ, as the first point from which all their errors flow.

Thanks Janderich, I started the thread, and the question was what we’re LDS honest thoughts about Kolob., or words to that effect. I have no idea why it was removed, did you find it an offensive question?If so, then I apologise

I once asked a good friend, who was LDS, if he believed in all those teachings. He asked me if I believed in every literal word in the Bible. I said no. He said “well, I don’t believe in everything literally either.”

The Book of Abraham being that which was translated from Egyptian papyri which has been proven to be nothing more than a funerary text, which apparently were very common, and which has been proved to have nothing to do with Abraham.
And which were the sundry revelations that showed that parts had been removed from the Bible, and how would an Egyptian funerary text possibly shed any light on such missing texts. How can you place any credence on the Book of Abraham when it has been proved false. I did ask for honest thoughts about Kolob, what you have written is JS account, which is difficult for me to accept as I do not believe he was a prophet, nor that the BoA is anything more than a fraud.

Or one less brilliant than the first…

Mohammed or Joseph Smith? Which false religion concerns me more? A small American Sect or a world wide error which shows every sign of aggression in a number of its adherents.
Mormons are conservative, peace-loving people; a growing number of Muslims are not.
I do not wish to debate mistakes, but to spend what time I have left praising my saviour Jesus Christ within the Trinity of the One God.

OK, so if I understand you correctly, Joseph Smith believed that the Bible contained numerous errors about the nature of Heaven and man’s salvation and that, not long after he came to this conclusion, he found a book that just so happened to date all the way back to Abraham [peace be upon him]. The Book of Abraham clarified all of those mistakes and were consistent with what Joseph Smith had been teaching all along.

So what you’re telling me is that, for thousands of years, the jews and christians didn’t know about the fact that there is a pre-existance [before earthly birth], that this spirit-existence has an effect on what kind of family you’ll be born into and that God doesn’t exactly create matter in the sense of bringing it into existance – all of which the Book of Abraham clarifies. The Heavenly Father certainly took His time before giving us this mighty revelation; after 5,000 years or so, He decided it had been long enough…? :shrug:

It has not been proven by any means. The papyri Joseph had was a scroll, of which we have only a fragment. From this fragment people have come up with all sorts of suppositions to disprove the book. They may believe what they will. However, this concerns me little because, as always, the way to find out the truth of a book is to read the words it contains without judgment and find out for oneself if it enlightens understanding.

But facsimiles were made and the whole thing studied and was instantly recognised as a funeral text, so no words in it pertains to God or Abraham. So reading the book means nothing because you are reading something entirely made up.

The major problem is that you do not go far enough. We claim that Joseph Smith asked God which church to join and received a visitation from God the Eternal Father and his son Jesus Christ. Further, we claim that he saw Adam, Abraham, Elijah, Elias, along with some of the new testament apostles like Peter, James, and John. We claim he was guided by an angel to find golden plates which he translated and are now known as the Book of Mormon. Yes, he also uncovered the Book of Abram along with the Book of Moses, not to mention the Doctrine and Covenants.

The truths Joseph received were known by many up and until the death of the apostles. But people rejected the truth, and as God has done in the past, he allowed them to be lost and forgotten.

Thank you Janderich, but I don’t quite understand what you mean by not going far enough, sorry if I’ve missed something.
I know that JS asked God about which church to join, trouble is, there are several versions of that momentous event, details that would have been engraved on anyone’s mind, have changed, was it an angel, was it Jesus, was it the Father and the Son, etc. You wouldn’t think the story would change would you, but it has. The plates he ‘translated’ into King James English, and errors in that early translation also appear in the BoM. The plates that have mysteriously disappeared so no-one can see the originals. Unlike the BoA where the originals turned up unexpectedly and have been shown to be a fraud. Corrections to the BoM (the most correct book ever written) which have been undertaken without reference to
the original plates, I am no scholar, but I am sure that correcting an ancient manuscript would entail access to the originals, otherwise what would you know needed correction or amendment. JS of course needed to create the other works you mentioned because that is where we find Mormonism, not in the BoM, for which there is no evidence.

The conspiracy theory of Mormonism.

Just a couple of problem points here.

  1. If, smith had this “visitation”, and he asked which church to join, to which he was told not to join any of them, then why did he try to join the Methodist Church after that visit? Kind of problematic don’t ya think!?!

  2. Smith had at least 9 versions of that “first vision”. Which one is correct, how do you know? Also problematic.

This is from lds.org " Neither the truth of the First Vision nor the arguments against it can be proven by historical research alone"

The story of the “gold plates” is somewhat problematic as well. Nobody actually saw them. They only saw them with their spiritual eyes. They were always covered. Then there is the whole story of him running through the woods carrying the plates, trying to escape robbers. Also problematic considering he had a bum leg, and as some of the “witnesses” reported, they did have some heft/weight to them.

Also problematic is his so called translation process. Using his peep/seer stone in his hat to translate the plates. Supposedly, he would put the stone in his hat, cover his face with it, and block out all light. The characters/words would appear, and he would read them off to his scribe. Supposedly, they couldn’t proceed, until the transcription was absolutely correct. Yet there have been thousands of changes to the “most correct” book ever published.

One very noteworthy change was talking about those of black skin becoming “white” and delightsome. The newest version uses the word “pure”. Could it be because nobody’s skin was turning white? Kind of problematic.

Along with some of the typographical changes, there was at least one doctrinal change. That change had to do with the mormon view of the Trinity.

1830 version
“”… These last records … shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Eternal Father and the Savior … " (Book of Mormon, 1830 edition, page 32)"

1964 version

“… These last records … shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior …” (Book of Mormon, 1964 edition, 1 Nephi 13:40)" (emphasis mine)

Not exactly a minor correction.

His peepstone had a momentary glitch. It cleared itself up after a reboot.

Very well leave the truths contained in it alone, even though the evidence against the book is not conclusive by any means. I thought perhaps you had a sincere question since you were asking about the text itself.

Hello Janderich,

  I was recently listening to an apologist who discussed some of the unique LDS beliefs.  He pointed out some passages from the D&C which seem to say that God was giving these beliefs for the first time.  Is it now the church position  that all the unique beliefs were known before?  Does the church teach that all of the unique beliefs were known before.  The reason I ask is that on another thread Dianaiad claimed that the only source which would provide accurate information about a belief system is the church that has these beliefs.

Most of the doctrine existed anciently but perhaps there is something unique that was brought up. Do you remember what teaching it was?


You have no idea how much I needed that.

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