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Saints: The Standard of Truth Part 23: Heavenly Mother

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
March 3, 2020 8:14 pm

Saints: The Standard of Truth Part 23: Heavenly Mother

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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March 3, 2020 8:14 pm

This is the 5th week of shows covering the 2018 LDS Church book Saints: The Standard of Truth. Today Bill and Eric consider the origination of the doctrine of Heavenly Mother.


Point is to examine the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a viewpoint when Mormonism is sponsored by Mormonism research ministry since 1979 Mormonism research ministry has been dedicated to equipping the body of Christ with answers regarding the Christian faith in a manner that expresses gentleness and respect.

And now, your host for today's viewpoint on Mormonism welcome this to addition a viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM we continue looking at a book titled Saints the standard of truth.

It is a history book published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 2018 and one of the reasons why we felt to go through this book is because even though it's not as detailed as a documentary history of the church and even the comprehensive history of the church. It does seem to be a bit more transparent in some of the early history of the Mormon movement. Unfortunately, the narrative style. I think does not help in understanding a lot of the intricacies of the LVS movement in those early years, it does tend to bring out. I think you would agree. Eric a lot of the sufferings and the hardships that the saints went through in those early years, which of course the Mormon church has often played up on the emotional aspects of his history and this is one of the ways that the well I hate to say it but keep their people in the fold. I think one of the hardest things for somebody who is in the church and has been since are the beginning of their lives and their ancestors go back is the pioneers in all that they had to go through and so for somebody who's a great great-great-grandson, daughter of somebody who was around when Joseph Smith was around and to leave.

This is not only leave leaving your faith but your leaving your heritage and that's how it's considered oftentimes by families all never forget a conversation I had with the young man down the streets of man tie during one of the Mormon miracle pageants and he told me that whenever he starts to doubt his Mormon faith. His mother sends him downtown to go see some of the films that hopefully will encourage them to hang on even though he may have a lot of doubts in yesterday show. We were talking about how the saints now eventually moved to commerce Illinois which was later called Nauvoo, Illinois, and there was malaria outbreak and the book gives the impression that Joseph Smith was of course going around touching people and healing them on page 402, it says that he went with Wilford Woodruff, Wilford Woodruff would later become the fourth president of the LDS church and it says all morning. They had been moving from house to house tempted tent taking the sick by the hand and healing them.

I commended the church for not stopping with giving the impression that Smith was able to heal everybody that he touched.

We talked about this in yesterday show and I don't want to spend a lot of time going over that again but on page 403. It does say that Joseph's efforts to bless and heal the sick, did not in the spread of disease in commerce and Montrose which was a town across the Mississippi River from Nauvoo and it says as more people died 18-year-old line a Huntington worried that her mother would succumb to the illness as well. In the story goes on to say that her mother did die and this is what leads us to the topic of today show.

It said when her mother died designer was overcome with grief knowing the family suffering. Joseph continued to attend them. Page 404, it says during one of Joseph's visits sign asked him will I know my mother is my mother when I get over on the other side more than that. He said you will meet and become acquainted with your eternal mother, the wife of your father in heaven. Have I then a mother in heaven sign asked you assuredly have said Joseph. How could a father claim his title unless there were also a mother to share that parenthood.

And this brings us to a very unique teaching in LDS theology that not only is there a father in heaven, which is certainly something that Christians have historically shared but this father in heaven is married to one they call heavenly mother or a mother in heaven. That's the phrase it's used here on page 404, the LDS church has not gone away from that teaching.

In fact, they could say they double down on that when they came out with a gospel topics essay that addresses that very issue. But notice Joseph Smith uses this as a way of comforting designer saying as it says here more than that. He said not only will you know your mother. He said, but you will meet and become acquainted with your eternal mother, the wife of your father in heaven now Christians have never believed this. They've never felt that an omnipotent God would need to have a physical spouse in order to create spiritual offspring.

And that's the way it's understood in Mormon theology.

This is certainly a unique teaching to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints must be very clear about it though.

It's not a teaching that is found anywhere in the four standard works of the church. In fact Joseph Fielding Smith the 10th president of Mormonism said in his book answers to gospel questions, volume 3, page 142. The fact that there is no reference to a mother in heaven either in the Bible book of Mormon doctrine and covenants is not sufficient proof that no such thing as a mother did exist there if we had a father which we did for all of these records speak of him, then, does not good common sense tell us that we must have had a mother there also. And so it seems like many of the leaders who do talk about it.

What we have when we look back 5060 70 years. It seems like the words of logic and reason that this seems to be natural, it seems to be an assumption that latter-day St. leaders have made, but they have no scriptural backing for I want to add on to what you just cited there from Joseph Fielding Smith Joseph Fielding Smith son-in-law who was Bruce McConkie Mormon apostle in the Mormon church. He died the mid-1980s. He and his book Mormon doctrine. This is the 1966 edition, page 516 concurred with what his father-in-law had to say. Implicit in the Christian verity that all men are the spirit children of an eternal father is a usually unspoken truth that they are also the offspring of an eternal mother and exalted and glorified man of holiness. Moses 657 from the pearl of great price could not be a father unless a woman of light, glory, perfection and holiness was associated with him as a mother. The beginning of children makes a man a father and a woman, a mother, whether we are dealing with man in his mortal or immortal state. Here it is again another admission that it's an unspoken truth. It's an argument from silence, but as you mentioned earlier Eric. They are assuming that because it takes a man and a woman to have offspring that is also important for even God the father to have a woman in order to produce offspring. And of course in Mormonism. They teach that all of humankind or the literal offspring of God the father and a heavenly parent that during the polygamy era in the mid-19th century. This was kind of expanded that not only did God have a heavenly wife, but he also had heavenly wives and just as you mentioned that this subject of a heavenly mother is not something you often hear, especially in places like Gen. conference. You certainly don't hear any Mormon leaders today talking about God the father or heavenly father. The one they call Elohim having a polygamist relationship with numerous heavenly mother's now Orson Pratt was mentioned in this book quite prominently Saints he as a mathematician, felt it was imperative that God have numerous heavenly wives, otherwise it would be mathematically impossible to create all those bodies for those spirit children awaiting to take on human form here on earth, but the point were trying to make here is this is in fact a teaching in the LDS church to this very day. It's not one that they have abandoned. Now here's what I find fascinating. Eric it was that same Joseph Fielding Smith, the father-in-law to Bruce McConkie who also said in this can be found in volume 3 of the book answers to gospel questions page 144 where it makes a reference to Genesis 126 and 27 as somehow implying that God is in fact married to a heavenly mother would Joseph Fielding Smith say they're in Genesis we read and God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness. So God created man in his own image in the image of God created he him, male and female created he them. Genesis 126 and 27. Is it not feasible to believe that female spirits were created in the image of a mother in heaven. The reason I wanted to bring this citation is because they take Genesis 126 and 27 as somehow implying that this can refer to a heavenly mother but that's not what Joseph Smith said about this passage after the Joseph Smith translation was finished. According to Smith in 1833. Smith explained that that reference let us make man in our image was speaking of God the father and Jesus Christ. There's no implication that it's talking about a heavenly mother at all. He said it was the father and the son that were engaged in this conversation. So what Joseph Fielding Smith is doing and what I think a lot of Latter Day Saints do with Genesis 126 and 27 is they I suggest the passage, making it say something it doesn't say at all. Now I want to bring out before we move on, that if Joseph Smith was saying that this is a conversation between God the father in Jesus Latter Day Saints you're listening to me right now.

Ask yourself did Jesus have a physical body. At that time the conversation was taking place know he did not even in Mormonism. He does not take on human flesh, until the incarnation so to assume that this somehow also means that God has a body of flesh and bones is a bitterness of a stretch because Jesus at that time the one they called Jehovah the pre-incarnate Christ did not have a body of flesh and bones at that time.

So to assume that this is talking about a God who has a body of flesh and bones would certainly be erroneous upon that was written by Eliza Roxie Snow one of Joseph Smith's plural wives is still sung today in LDS chapels is called all my father in the third stanza says this I had learned a call the father through my spirit from on high, but until the key of knowledge was restored.

I knew not why in the heavens are parent single know the thought makes reason. Stair truth is reason, truth, eternal, tells me I have a mother there, and that's found on a plaque even at the Pioneer memorial monument which is at 140 E. 1st Ave., just east of the church administration building. If you walk up first Avenue. It's not that long of a walk on the south side of the street is the Pioneer memorial monument. There is a wrought iron fence that goes around it and this is where Brigham Young is buried, along with Eliza Roxie Snow and several others that were very close to Brigham Young and you will see, if you walk into that monument turned to the left you will see this large granite fixture with a I guess it's a bronze plaque showing the image of Eliza Roxie Snow's face and on that granite marker or the words to this song that you just read the words from. I'd encourage you to go see that if you're in the Salt Lake City area and you will see that the Mormon church still very prominently is proclaiming to the world that they do believe that there is such thing as a heavenly mother. And yet, as we read from apostle Bruce R. McConkie this what he calls and usually unspoken truth. It has no pedigree going back to any of the Scriptures.

I just think that's problematic to have such an important doctrine and not to have it mention at all in any of the Scripture, that sounds odd to me. Thank you for listening. If you would like more information regarding his research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you join us again as we look at another viewpoint is

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