Mormon Doctrine (part 2)

BTW I am asking all these questions of the Mormons here because my grandma, who is LDS, simply does not know enough to be able to explain this to me and I want to understand her beliefs.

Parker thanks so much for taking the time to respond to my questions. I still get hung up on the passage from Galatians because for people who believe in the Bible but not the BoM we see that passage as almost being written just for Joseph Smith. I always thought that that passage in Galatians was obviously not talking about a real angel but a demon pretending to be an angel. Please don’t think I am attacking Mormonism though, I am saying how I understand it so maybe you can expalin it differently to me.

Here are a few more questions:

Parhon made the argument that people can be married for eternity here on earth and that that does not oppose what Jesus said about marriage at the Ressurection. But in the book Gospel Principles it says people can be eternally married on earth or in Heaven. Doesn’t the or in Heaven part oppose Jesus’ teaching on marriage?

In the book Gospel Principles it says that in the Exaltation we will become gods. It does not say angels like Todd keeps trying to say it says, it says gods. How does that work in line with all the teachings about no other gods, especially from the OT?

Also the in the section entitled Exaltation it says that God the Father was once a man on an earth, not the earth, just like Jesus Christ was on this earth. Does that also imply that God the Father has a god the father just like Jesus Christ does? Isn’t this then polytheism?

Thank you so much from Pahron, Murdock, Todd, and Parker who realize I am just asking questions and not attacking them. Also thank you so much for your answers and patience in answering my questions.

Hi, again, SMAD0142,
I sincerely appreciate that your questions come from a desire to understand your grandma and her beliefs better. Those beliefs will still seem probably strange to you, but perhaps you can give her more of the 'benefit of the doubt" as you consider some responses here.

  1. Indeed, a demon “pretending to be an angel” would be a possibility–one would glean that from the Bible. Also, spiritual “signs and wonders” were warned against in the Old Testament as far as “proof” that a person trying to teach the people was doing so by having been called of God. So it boils down to needing to really seek to be aligned with the teachings of the Bible in full, plus to have the Holy Ghost oneself to confirm spiritual truths in the inner soul of the person who is reading or studying or listening to a teacher/speaker. Paul wrote about that often, particularly in 1 Corinthians 2 and 3 and also in Galatians. I can see why right off the bat, a person hears about Joseph Smith and his experiences and says, “well, that was what Galatians was talking about.”

But yet, if Elijah the prophet was promised to return to the earth (we don’t think that was fulfilled by John the Baptist, other than that he came as a preparer of the way–yet he didn’t say he was Elijah come back to earth), and if the passage I already noted in Revelation 14:6 says an angel really is going to come to the earth to preach unto them that dwell on earth, then those prophecies really are going to be fulfilled at some point in earth’s history, and if everyone says “angels can’t come” or “angels can only come to the Catholic church” then that would be limiting what God can do and limiting what prophecy can mean. So it seems to me that a person ought to not limit how God can fulfill prophecy by having preconceived expectations. (That is where many, many Jews at the time of Christ went wrong–with their preconceived expectations.)

  1. That is a very good question. You would need to tie that principle about “sealings of marriages within LDS temples, performed by proxy”, to allow those marriages to become “eternal marriages” in the spirit world. The spirit world is a real place, with the spirits of the departed living there and communicating with each other. When Christ visited there, He made it so they can “live according to God in the spirit” but yet be “judged according to men in the flesh.” (See 1 Peter 4:6 and 1 Peter 3:18-20).

The LDS belief is that Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, continuously desire the happiness of humankind, and that desire does not end after our death. Thus, people in the spirit world can repent and come unto Christ, gain the Holy Spirit to be present with them to help them become sanctified, and can have opportunities for choices that they didn’t have the opportunity to make while living on this earth as mortals. But the sealing power (to bind on earth and in heaven) is a power given to operate on this earth, so that is why LDS do temple work for deceased ancestors. It means those who were married on earth but didn’t have the opportunity to have “eternal marriage” and yet would want that as they find out about it, can indeed have that opportunity before their resurrection, if they so choose as a married couple in the spirit world together.

I’ll post this and then answer the other two questions later tonight after some family activities I’m involved with for a while.

Thanks Parker for answering my questions. Your 2nd answer raised another question. What is the point of marriage in Mormon theology? In the Catholic Church marriage is a means for propogating life and for helping one’s spouse to live a Christian life, therefore making marriage unnecessary once in Heaven.

The LDS see a unified, synergistic and supportive marriage as an ultimate condition of happiness and fulfillment for both the man and the woman. This is confirmed by the reasons why Eve was “given” to Adam as the very needful “helpmeet” for him who only she could fulfill. He needed her, and she needed him. He was incomplete without her, and she was incomplete without him. There was more “incompleteness” than just the need to be “one” physically and have children. There was emotional incompleteness, an incompleteness in understanding about human interaction and about love, and an incompleteness in being challenged to find all the imperfections hidden away that often only come out when a person is married and their spouse “helps” them see that their vision of the world needs to be adjusted–thus they gain a broader perspective, if they are good listeners.

The LDS believe that the supportive, happy marriage in this life is a precursor to even greater happiness with that same person in the eternities, but also with the memory of all the ups and downs of life through the particular life experiences that become a part of the “perfecting process” people go through within marriage and within having and raising children. (We will bring our memories with us into the eternities, in other words.)

I agree with the first paragraph you wrote.

But why do we need another person to continue all of those feelings in Heaven, when our Beloved and us shall be totally one? I mean I love my significant other but I don’t need her in Heaven to be happy, all I need is God.

Just don’t tell her that. :wink:

Mormons follow a different Jesus. They also accept the teachings of one Joseph Smith
He is responsible for creating this cult. It has changed a bit since that time.
Look up Joseph smith . :slight_smile:

God bless,

Of course we will bring our memories with us, I don’t know of any Christian of any stripe who thinks those in heaven have been mind wiped on entrance. Everyone I know is sure they will be reunited with their loved ones in Heaven and that the relationships and history had with these people will be retained. We just believe that here on earth they are imperfect and will be perfected in Heaven. I see a lot of this subtle misrepresentation of “mainstream” belief concerning heaven on MADB along side the mocking.

  1. It seems to me that a good way to begin to understand what is meant by “becoming like Christ” is to carefully read the Intercessory prayer (John 17). Perhaps it will help to read that in the KJV translation.

Christ was One with the Father before this world was created, and He came to earth as “Immanuel”, God with us, to fulfill His mission to redeem us and to set a perfect example of how to be as a person. What He prayed in the Intercessory prayer shows that we are expected to become “one” with Them. The word “one” can have different connotations for different people, but if we take that word and bring to memory other teachings such as “be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father in Heaven is perfect,” and “we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is”, and the concept of being a “joint heir” with Christ, then the connotation of the word “one” holds deep meaning about being united with Them and being like Them.

The condition of being “like Them” would not, I think, be fairly described as “polytheism”, because polytheism does not imply a Oneness of those described as “a god”. That Oneness means perfect omniscience and perfect omnipotence in unified glory and unified purpose. It means that when Christ told Peter he could walk on water and when Elijah had power to command there to be a drought, and when Christ referred to moving mountains through faith, that these were real attributes that are attainable, but only through Christ’s infinite grace and through sanctification and gaining perfect faith.

By the way, the Old Testament teaching “beside me there is no Savior” is certainly not minimized by the belief that Christ can provide humankind access to becoming like Him. Truly, beside Him there is no Savior. He is the only Savior and Redeemer, and through Him directly we gain forgiveness for sin through repentance. We should place no other resource in our path toward gaining forgiveness for sin, than Him and His atoning grace. Beside Him there is no Savior.

  1. We don’t know one way or the other doctrinally about what it means that God the Father lived on an earth, other than that He has a resurrected tangible body and that the Son, who was perfect on earth, followed His Father in how He lived, and thus it would seem the Father lived perfectly on an earth before what we describe as this “eternity” began.

See my answer to 3) about the use of the word “polytheism”. Even if our Father in Heaven has a Father, They would be One just like Heavenly Father and the Only Begotten Son are One–They All would be One. But what our Father in Heaven and the Savior want us to do is to focus on gaining the faith and obedience necessary, and repenting throughout life, to become like Them and gain a fullness of joy by doing so.

What of your goddesses? Where do they fit in this?

I simply think differently than to think “all I need is God to be happy in Heaven.”

In the first place, we have God right here, right now, at all times. He is with us as much as we desire Him to be with us. Just because we’ll see Him, does not make Him any more “with us”. What will be different is that through atoning grace, we will grow significantly from how we now are, and will no longer have such imperfect communication processes and such imperfect hopes and dreams. But even so, I look forward to having that growth and those changes from imperfection with my wife right alongside, and I know perfectly well that I would be still incomplete if she was just a “friend” and not my “wife” in the eternities.

Also, of course, the LDS belief is that a fullness of joy involves seeing future “spirit offspring” (organized from intelligences) themselves grow through gaining the progress opportunity of going to an earth, living together there, and receiving the Savior’s atoning grace in their lives also. So that is a significant aspect of eternal marriage, and can only be done within an eternal marriage–otherwise, the privilege is not granted by God to have “spirit offspring” and instead a person without marriage becomes a helper to others with much joy but not with a fullness.

The goddesses are always ignored in this whole pantheon of gods. Why is that? I find Heavenly Mother and Eternal Marriage the saddest part of LDS “theology”. Eternal marriage is quite frankly the ugliest mess of human relationships I can imagine. It only works well under “ideal” conditions and separates families for eternity under any thing less than perfect circumstances.

“Organized from intelligences” does not equate to offspring or literal children, it’s closer to “uplifting” a la Brin.

Agreed. Many “celestial divorces” appear to be the result.

I could not disagree more. In Heaven we will see Him as he is because we will no longer have (our sinful nature). It will not be about what we desire as He will give all that is desirable to us. Himself…We were created for God, specifically for Jesus.

In our perfected state, perfected through Christ our redeemer He will be our only desire because it will be His life that is love itself that will sustain us. We were created to give God thanks and praise for all of eternity. The family will follow in this order. All giving Him thanks and praise forever. This is why we were created and it is the treasure found.

RebeccaJ and SMAD0142,
I’m guessing that SMAD142 would like me to answer this question, particularly given that his grandma is part of the subject of this thread.

The Intercessory prayer was of course not only not gender specific, but encompassed all of humanity in the way the Savior included “them also which shall believe on me through their word;” (the latter two words talking about the testimony and teachings of the eleven righteous apostles) “that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” He wants the kind of love the Father has for His children to be “in them” (meaning in the people of the world). So that is the ultimate aim of sanctification–to gain the attribute of having the kind of love the Father has.

As I read the gospels I observe that Jesus is as much a nurturer as He is a “Master” among His closest associates–the apostles, Mary and Martha, and others. To say that an exalted woman (an exalted Queen in the sense of rulership on the joint throne described by John in Revelation) is going to be a perfected nurturer and a perfected counselor does not, it seems to me, demean them.

That will require a nearly infinite amount of patience, and certainly unconditional love as they allow the growth of spirits through those spirits’ own choices and those spirits’ own communication barriers and inadequacies through their inexperience. It will be far more compassionate of an exalted woman to allow growth among spirits than to force them “into line”. I think most mothers have joy in seeing their children progress and grow, while helping them learn to make good choices in their own lives. I don’t regard motherhood as some kind of second-rate position; rather, being the primary nurturer, with the kind of insight and compassion that come with that position and lead to counseling in love and understanding, seems to me to be very significant and worthwhile.

I think the roles of both fit together in a perfect way, and are completely interdependent and intertwined. The Savior showed sides of perfection that encompass both “Creative Ruler” and “Nurturing Counselor”.

Have a good day, all. May great peace be in your life always.

I used the word “offspring” in the same sense and meaning as used by Paul in his discourse to the Athenians as recorded in Acts 17:28-29.

Poetically then, the organized intelligences are not literal offspring.

  1. I appreciate what your answer was for this question but the book does not use the word like. It says become gods and to me that has a radically different meaning than become like gods.

  2. How can they all be one if it is possible to add to the number? In Catholicism our one Trinity will always be One and no other gods will ever be added, but it seems to me that gods can be added in Mormonism.

  3. What is this goddess stuff?

Thanks Parker you’ve been extremly helpful.

3. The word “like” is synonymous with the word “as”. It often means “having the same qualities and characteristics”. It makes sense to me that it means “having the same kind of existence”–particularly when one considers that Jesus spoke about entering into the “joy of thy Lord” which readily means “having the kind of life that leads to the kind of joy He has”.

  1. Jesus used the word “One” several times in the Intercessory prayer. We were included, not excluded, within that context if you read the words in their literal sense. Humankind were also included when John was inspired to write about inheriting a joint throne. There can be such a thing as Oneness that does not mean “Oneness in physical being.” It can be a quality of being completely United always and forever, completely in agreement about all issues always and forever.

  2. It’s a word I don’t use, but can understand when others use the word to focus on the specific case of what it means to be an exalted woman. It is merely to focus on gender differentiation yet still be speaking of joint heirship with Christ.

I have been taking the discussions and Investigators class for quite a while now (about 8 1/2 years). I’m trying to learn more of the LDS as my wife is LDS. I just had to comment on the become “like Gods.” In the investigator class, the teacher did not say we “become like God” she said we can become Gods, she even said that it is not become like God, but become Gods. There was no twisting or confusion in what was being taught. She further explained that it would be like a father wanting his child to become like him, but took one step further that God wanted us to be him.

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