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Becoming Like God, Pt. 3 (Gospel Topics Essay Series)

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July 11, 2021 1:10 pm

Becoming Like God, Pt. 3 (Gospel Topics Essay Series)

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July 11, 2021 1:10 pm

Hey Fireflies! Welcome to this bonus episode of Outer Brightness: From Mormon to Jesus. The Apostate Paul here. I’m recording a new intro for this episode, because since Matthew the Nuclear Calvinist and I recorded this episode on July 1, the state of affairs has changed. So in this intro, I’m going to provide a quick timeline.

In 2012 or 2013, the LDS Church began publishing Gospel Topics Essays designed to allow church members to learn about difficult topics in LDS Church history and doctrine directly from the Church’s official website, rather than other online sources. These essays have the imprimatur of the First Presidency of the LDS Church and acknowledge the reliance on the work of scholars in crafting the essays.

In the early 2000’s, when I was in the midst of my period of deep questioning and wrestling with my Mormon beliefs—what many call a faith crisis—there were many online apologetics resources, FAIR, SHIELDS, Ask Gramps. I remember that in the discussion boards, if someone posted an article from one of those resources in response to a question, it was often lamented that LDS Church leadership did not put their stamp of approval on those answers. Struggling members wondered if they could trust the apologetic resources. Many surmise that The Gospel Topics Essays were designed to do just that—to inoculate church members against difficult topics.

The relationship of the LDS Church to the essays, however, has been thorny. The essays are not easy to find on the website, and you won’t stumble on them unless you know what you’re looking for. Many who have left over the past 7-8 years have cited the essays as sources that caused them to question their beliefs and noted that when they spoke with local ecclesiastical leaders about the essays and the questions they caused, many local leaders were not even aware of their existence.

On June 23, Fred Anson shared with us that one of the Gospel Topics Essays—the one titled “Becoming Like God”—had disappeared from the LDS Church’s website, but was still available in the Gospel Library app available for mobile devices. Matthew and I had already discussed doing a series of episodes on the essays, so we fast tracked this one. We recorded this episode on July 1st.

At that time, the link for the “Becoming Like God” essay was still on the website: churchofjesuschrist.org, but it redirected to a different essay titled “Are Mormons Christian?” The disappearance of the “Becoming Like God” essay was widely noted in online ex-Mormon communities, and many were speculating that maybe the LDS Church was seeking to distance itself from the doctrines discussed therein—doctrines which perhaps more than any other LDS doctrines place Mormonism outside the mainstream of orthodox Christian beliefs. The fact that the link redirected to an essay aimed at answering the question “are Mormons Christian?” furthered that speculation.

On Tik-Tok, an ex-Mormon named “Exmo Lex” noted that the Frequently Asked Questions section of the Newsroom section of the LDS Church website expressly denies that Latter-day Saint scripture or doctrine teaches that exalted Mormons will get their own planets, even though LDS leaders have taught that as doctrine for almost two centuries and as recently as 2018, when current LDS prophet and president, Russell M. Nelson taught the traditional LDS doctrine on this point when he said,

"A fourth gift from our Savior is actually a promise—a promise of life everlasting. This does not mean simply living for a really, really, really long time. Everyone will live forever after death, regardless of the kingdom or glory for which they may qualify. Everyone will be resurrected and experience immortality, but eternal life is so much more than a designation of time. Eternal life is the kind and quality of life that Heavenly Father and his beloved Son live. When the Father offers us everlasting life he is saying in essence, “If you choose to follow my Son, if your desire is really to become more like him, then in time you may live as we live and preside over worlds and kingdoms as we do."

It seemed odd that the LDS Church would seemingly be distancing itself from this doctrine, but the LDS Church has repudiated core doctrine and practice before.

Over the weekend of July 3 and 4th, the essay in the mobile app began to disappear for those users whose apps had completed content refreshes. On the website no longer rerouted. It simply became circular, such that if you clicked the link for “Becoming Like God” you landed on another page with a link to “Becoming Like God.” It’s almost as if the LDS Church was trolling and the link became like the “eternity mirrors” in the sealing rooms of their temples.

Then on July 7th, the essay appeared back online. I used archive.org’s Wayback Machine to pull a version from May 18th and compared it to the July 7th version to see if edits had been made. The only change was the removal of the original publication date of February 2014.

So for now we close this odd bit of Mormon History still unsure why the essay disappeared for a couple weeks and which declaration of the LDS Church should be taken as doctrine: that made by the LDS Newsroom staff or that made by the current prophet and president of the church.

Even so, Matthew and I read each section of the essay in this episode and discuss it.

Link to “Becoming Like God” Gospel Topics Essay

https://abn.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/gospel-topics-essays/becoming-like-god?lang=eng

Link to FAQ’s # 11 & 12

https://newsroom.churchofjesuschrist.org/article/frequently-asked-questions

Link to Russell M. Nelson’s 2018 Christmas Devotional Address

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOIxEU2trOk

Link to referenced podcast episodes about Origen

https://wordandtable.simplecast.com/episodes/origen

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-first-centuries-part-07-origen/id435665417?i=1000382806203

https://historyofphilosophy.net/origen

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Your right and him and fireflies are part of a multipart episode on the LDS church is gospel topics essay titled becoming like God. If you haven't listened to parts one and two, you may wish to go back and do so in this final part will bring you the final five parts of the essay. What has been taught in the church about divine nature since Joseph Smith disbelief and exultation make Latter Day Saints polytheists. How do Latter Day Saints and vision exultation how important our teachings about exultation to Latter Day Saints police overall and the conclusion. We hope you enjoy.

Okay section is titled what has been taught in the church. But my nature, such as since that sermon in reference officer and Artie says I'll start that sermon can fall discourse, the doctrine that humans can progress exultation.

Godliness is the top of the church, Lorenzo Snow, the church is for president, coined a well-known couplet and now is, spies is gone now is the little has been revealed about the first half of this cup.

Consequently, little is taught.

When asked about this topic.

Church Pres. Gordon B.

Hinckley told reporter 97.

Quote that gets into some pretty deep theology that we don't know very much about."

When asked. When asked about the belief in humans that I potential president responded, quote well is God's man may become.

We believe in eternal progression very strong" allies are snow church leader and poet rejoiced on the dock that we are in a full and absolute sense, children of God.

Quote I had learned to call the father, through thy spirit from on high, but until the key of knowledge was restored. I knew not why school Latter Day Saints have also been moved by the knowledge that their divine heritage includes a heavenly mother as well as the father expressing a truth. Allies are still asked in the heavens are parents single and answered with a resounding no truth eternal tells me I have a mother that that knowledge plays an important role as Elder Donnay chokes of the quorum of the 12 apostles are theology begins with heavenly parents, our highest aspiration is to be like that humankind's divine nature and potential for exultation have repeatedly taught in general conference addresses tricked by disease and other church materials Latter Day Saints and women recite their theme. Each of terms I am a beloved daughter of parents the divine nature, and eternal destiny teaching on human beings divine parentage nature and potential features prominently in the family proclamation to the world divine nature and exultation are essential in beloved teachings to the church's so I talk a little bit earlier about the plaque or the my uncle Carl got my dad would turn in our house and had the first reversing great prologue on it, and how I would sit and read it as it is a teenager and really, puzzle over what it was saying about the log costs compared with what I was receiving his teachings about the nature of God and humanity from from my studies in the Latter Day Saints faith and I really struggled with with it because I could see that John one was teaching that Jesus was utterly unique in his preexistence and yet I was being taught at church that that was not the case that in fact I myself and everyone else born into humanity was also in the beginning with God in the way that John one says that the log costs was and as you noted earlier, Matthew Latter Day Saints, they have to kind of sidestep around the conclusion that if if John one says that the Lagos was in the beginning with God and was God then you have to ask the question okay if if I was also in the beginning with God.

Why is it not also appropriate to say that I was God in the beginning.

Latter Day Saints have to deal with that and their theology, but it made me uncomfortable. That placard in my home as a teenager made me uncomfortable with that teaching of Latter Day Saints theology to the point that before I was leaving on my mission. I was making a trip to Idaho where my mom is from, with my parents roosts just three of us in the car can't remove these the circumstances, why it was just the three of us in the car, but we were we were on I 15 north of the Brigham city exit heading out towards tree Mountain and you know I own a fever. Been up that far and I 15 Matthew, but the day of the mat. Yet the mountains over by Brigham city and the pastor goes over nothing but a Brigham city to to cache Valley to Logan and Preston were my cousins are from, but those mountains are beautiful and the sky out there is just big.

You know that they talk about Montana big sky you get that up there and in northern Utah, southern Idaho and it's it's just gorgeous and we were driving and I noticed soon believe on my mission. I was reading through the teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith that I'd picked up at desert book. It was one of the books that I picked up to really try to understand my faith as I was getting ready to go out and preach Mormonism to the world so and I have the book with me and my dad asked me to read the King Follett sermon which is in there and the sermon on sermon in the Grove, which is in there and I remember reading reading truth. I was reading aloud in the car to my parents that the King Follett sermon than my dad and I were having this conversation. Deep conversation with what is this all mean about the nature of humanity, the nature of God, and it was making my mom uncomfortable because she was she was a very sheet she didn't think very I don't want to sound derogatory towards my mother's is not the she didn't understand and and think about Mormon theology, she did.

She was a temple worker. She was a genealogist who did family history for lots of people so they could get their family names ready to take through the temple. She was somebody who deeply understood LDS theology, but she was somebody who didn't like the controversial aspects of Mormon theology. And so it was making her uncomfortable. I was already uncomfortable with it and I really in the early months of my mission when I was in the MTC.

I read through the King Follett sermon multiple times because I wanted to understand what it was saying about God I wanted to reconcile it with what I understood from John one and I really struggled through that and I got to the place in the study where I said to myself which I don't fully understand what Joseph Smith was teaching here.

I don't fully understand how it fits with John one and I don't fully understand how it fits with what even the book of Mormon says about the nature of the atonement needing to be infinite and that only an infinite being could carry out an infinite atonement. If Jesus was once in it. If once intelligence like I was, according to Smith and progressed, and God the father even progressed from intelligence to mortal to immortal, exalted, being then that none of them. Neither of them are infinite beings in the sense that I understood the book of Mormon to be staying was necessary for the atonement and really wrestled with that and but I got to the point where it is going to say okay I don't understand this all.

Maybe I will. I'm I'm going to accept it is my theology, even if I don't understand it all right now and I trust that I will later.

So this this essay quotes from Gordon B. Hinckley telling a reporter in 1997, which is exactly what I was on my mission and he said this gets into some pretty deep theology that we don't know very much about. I was on my mission. I was in the third area of my mission. Sorry no I was in the fourth area of my mission in the city called said in southern Hungary and we were we were allowed to there. There was a videocassette of this interview. The present Hinckley had given I believe it was with Mike Wallace but believe us the interview that's quoted here and it was being passed around mission for missionaries to watch because he was our president and our profit and he was speaking to the press and it was important for us to see what he was saying. So we it was our turn and said where I was the district leader to watch this video came down with some of the office others and we took it over to the branch house where we had a VCR and a TV and we watched it and I remember us thinking and sick feeling in my gut when I heard present Hinckley say that justice into some pretty deep theology that we don't know much about because I have poured over this book to understand what Joseph Smith was teaching and what he intended by the words that he used and I want to quote what he says here because I don't think it's consistent with what elders are what present. Hinckley says there and I don't think it's consistent with what the essay says here. Joseph Smith says as the father hath power in himself, so half the sun power in himself to lay down his life and take it again. So he has a body of his own.

The son do with what he's have seen the father do. Then the father hath some days laid down his life and taken it again. So he has a body of his own. Each one will be in his own body and yet the sectarian world believe the body of the sun is identical with the fathers in some sense is making a critique of what he understood the Trinity to be here which is not correct is his critique emotionalism. I know him better sense of the chart, but it is what Joseph Smith was teaching there is. He sees critique emotionalism not not the actual doctrine of the Trinity, but he he says that the father had mortal probation and a note he says it not only bear but he says it in the sermon the Grove and he says in the sermon on the Grove that the father has a father and a grandfather and all the way back so when when present Hinckley kinda said that this gets into some pretty deep theology that we don't really know much about it hurt me because I had really tried to force myself to imbibe and believe this theology that Smith had taught.

Contrary to what I understood John one to be saying so I bring that up because the essay, does this to will present Hinckley did and present Hinckley at the next general conference told people that you know they did, they do not worry that young doesn't understand what latter-day St. doctrine is. He understands me kinda gave a wink and a nod, and those in the me audience kinda laughed know is if it's as if it is appropriate to not be upfront with others you're speaking to about what you theology actually is when you're being asked about it and it really made me that that made me is one of the things it really may begin to question my faith because if the prophet who was called to be the leader of the faith and the one who was called to receive revelation and ended and teach true doctrine was willing to go out and speak to a reporter and not be fully truthful about what we believe. What does that say about the teaching does it imply that the teaching is problematic that the resident and prophet of the church is not willing to stand boldly and proclaim it to the world. So we went just best that that's kind of my thoughts in a nutshell on this section with your thoughts and great stuff to share.

None, yeah, am yeah a letter to Santa I can wondered why presently did say at least something about becoming God, it's like he's pretty much said well we know we don't know much about just telling just brushed it off like you can really say something like, well, we believe that God is our father and that we to become like it really said that he basically just is not the girl you wanted to talk about so I guess I'll explain when you know you know the empty ceiling of this practice must disable another the print persons are talking to.

It also rescued*you guys are so well we can become like God father so I know that some we have presently Misty said no we don't know much about that.

I found that caliber bothersome also let you know what latter-day Saints will learn a lot, but several. We talked to in the groups they will say things like, while the key fob discourse is not official doctrine is not canonized so you don't have to leave it as latter-day state, but it's just so fundamental to everything of the astute temple work to fit ourselves for the dead, you know, to understand who God is and how we are literally children of God earlier in this essay we read quotes about how we can become like God in his fullness. Like like entirely like God in every way imaginable not have all the fullness of properties of God's website we tile this together. How can he then also say will.

God is eternally begotten become God. Like Crystal, you know I could make some sense like it the natural and like what Joseph Smith on the natural conclusion is that God must've been just like us mortal any progress to godhood and some will say while he was like Jesus. Jesus was God right knee became man and less on a single or they are in a state of that lexicographer Christ that Christ you know became man and that you can look into heaven and see a man Christ and zone on the on the throne best use document speak clearly stock father. So I think it's really been decent D deemphasized modern LDS geologist because they know is problematic and ends now that you know Christians really bring up the Bible they they see a lot of the problems and so they kind of traits you deemphasized this whole idea of God, not always been gone so I don't get it seems like no district is shifting quite a lot going away from what made it unique and different. Now it's going trying to become more Christian, but but when you do that you also got the oldest church is what makes it the LDS church and cycle kids are they just trying to become another Christian denomination now I know where the church is that it yeah they really get that said I'm with you, and I don't know where they're headed for. You seem in some of their communications to want to just be seen as is Christians, no different than than anyone else in NNI.

I wanted to say to her latter-day St. listeners II understand that sentiment from a very personal and real perspective. I married into a Southern Baptist family. My wife was a convert to the LDS faith and I know left on my mission in 1997, which is the year that though the Southern Baptist convention held a big meeting in Salt Lake and they went door-to-door and I pipe I went on splits with the missionaries in Salt Lake City in preparation for my mission. I got to hear them talk about how much he defended them that the Baptists would come to Salt Lake City and think that were not Christians.

I get all of that from a real identity perspective. I I understand what it is to have an identity as latter-day Saints. I had that and I understand what it is to feel frustrated when you're told by evangelical Christians that you're not Christian and I know what that feels like. I wrote an email to my mother-in-law on Easter the year that my wife and I married a month before he married, to encourage her to see me as a Christian because I knew that the Southern Baptist did not and you have tried to argue to her that we worship the same the same Jesus. So I understand all of that from a from a emotional and an identity perspective. Like I said what I would encourage latter-day Saints to do though is is really take a look at when you theology is teaching.

It is critical, even the book of Mormon teaches that it's critical that Jesus the son of God be unique and be God to carry out the atonement a man Cannot die for another man's sins. God had to be on the cross. And that's critical. And so when a latter-day St. reaches as as Brett did recently for the logical implication of what their theology is about human nature and, in that it makes Jesus not unique, not the unique son of God. That's that's really problematic. I really just would wish latter-day Saints to think that through. One other thought related to this last section is brings up heavenly mother like that, but that there is heavenly parents is heavenly father's heavenly mother.

I know just kind of peripherally because I see it on Facebook and I run a lot of Mormon related Facebook groups. I know that there are no and you know the like. Since Kate Kelly from your damn women movement there been others who have taken kind of up taken up the charge and end lot of women pushing for the latter, the LDS church to recognize the existence and of the heavenly mother more explicitly and end especially amongst specialist among some of the younger generation really really pushing for that is not something I really follow too closely because I'm not really interested in it very much, but I do know that it's there and I know that it's there's like a vocal owning adults in minority. It seems like it's growing vocal group within the church, even if it's not cohesive it's it's it's it's it's a movement within the LDS church to push for that and I did it I just wrote a note on the section of the essay. You know where I asked myself the question is this why this essay is being deemphasized.

Is this why this essay is being shuffled aside as it is not so much the theology document humanities potential.

But is it that about one line about that.

I heavenly mother that is problematic for those who are still in the LDS church and the LDS church's authority over them. Just a thought I had something I wondered some thoughts there. Matthew before we go on and I get stuff out of capital offenses were not important right are the sections from here shorter. So we should build a rapid pretty quickly. Next section does believe in exultation make latter-day Saints polytheists for some observers, the doctrine that human should strive for godliness. They evoke images of ancient pantheons with competing deities. Such images are incompatible with latter-day St. doctrine latter-day Saints believe that God's children will always worship him. Our progression will never change his identity as our father and our God indeed are exalted eternal relationship with him be part of the fullness of joy he desires for us latter-day Saints also believes strongly in the fundamental unity of the divine. They believe that God the father Jesus Christ the son and the Holy Ghost, though distinct beings are unified in purpose and doctrine. It is in this life at Latter Day Saints understand Jesus's prayer for his disciples through the ages that they all may be one as thou, father are in me and I am the that they also may be one in us. If humans live out with out of harmony with God's goodness they cannot grow into God's glory, Joseph Smith taught that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only except upon the principles of righteousness.

When humans abandon God's selfless purposes and standards the heavens withdraw themselves in the spirit of the Lord is grieved. Pride is incompatible with progress. Disunity is impossible between exalted beings.

Matthew thoughts on the section that a lot. We Artie brought up the idea that they don't believe a higher than the subject. God, I would recommend for in terms of how whether God is one in essence in being or whether he's one in purpose to go back to episodes on the Trinity.

We talk a lot more about that in depth, but I think it doesn't really kind of brings up there. The charge of polytheism and then kind of compares like ancient Greek and Roman mythology with ends with competing deities is what it says and says let's only believe me, not so likely get calls polytheists, but I think it is really an address to the charge of polytheism to discuss as well or not, goes crazy Romans and Greeks also like was a big deal and then it says that they're basically different gods united in purpose. That's like okay old mean, that's polytheists mean polytheism is just more than one God so I mean are you denying polytheism. Are you admitting to it does I get a clear answer that you get that there agree with that. So I highlighted a couple of phrases fundamental unity and disunity is impossible between exec exalted beings. I want to ask why that would be the case because the whole crux of LDS theology is an specifically LDS cosmology is free will write Jehovah stepped forward and presented the father's plan that contra Calvinism man would have free will and Lucifer stepped forward and presented the Calvinist plan which entails no free will, at least, at least, a mat character version of it and if that if that be the case, then, does free will cease to be a thing in the celestial kingdom are are those who are exalted to be cease to have free will. If not, then there is at least the potential for disunity. I don't think it's possible to say that disunity is impossible among exalted beings thoughts on the map you have been different answers about whether God has free will to do XYZ think I think I don't want to test out the 10 foot pole mostly and I got on my mom because anyone they want God to be typically free, but since I know it's a problem if they could say that God could send you know or that God could liar the God could say I'm not contradict himself. You don't know about this soul disunity among exalted beings. I guess I could see it in the sense of like you know they LDS see conflict is saying any kind of conflict was a has a Bible in the book of Mormon as it goads like the spirit of contention is the spirit of the devil. Basically and so they probably see that is like well since God is free, stand, and there's no there's no contention in our own so therefore you know they can't have any distinct steps. Maybe that's the kind of logical route okay that made maybe but I mean it in a mere cosmology. Lucifer stepped forward and rebelled right and Lucifer according to their cosmology was a son of the morning right so not the firstborn spirit son as Jehovah was but one of the first and one of the most well-regarded maybe how to look forward to use until he fell right until he rebelled against the plan of God. And so if that be the case and Lucifer could do that. There because free will. What would stop and exalted being what what what is about gaining a body that would stop and exalted being from rebelling. And so it did suggest that there's a claim made here but you were saying. I think they compare with the pantheon of the ancient Greek pantheons say that that's ridiculous right and there's a claim made that at the back and nothing is impossible, but there's no authoritative statement from LDS scripture cited there on that statement. This is why we think it's impossible because just God revealed XYZ to Joseph Smith about this CI slander is.

That's my only note on the section. I just wanted to briefly state to John 17 tasks of the quote.

So here's a quote the day that they right it is in this like the Latter Day Saints understand Jesus's preference disciples to the ages and the court. John 17 that they may all be one, as our father 9000 in us" I don't have a problem with the understanding that this is Jesus praying for his people to be unified in purpose and will. Just as Christ and the father are united in well enough we don't believe that Jesus was praying for them to become one in essence the father but just as just as Latter Day Saints rebut the argument that God is spirit. John 424 he noticed it wasn't for God is always wanted to hear that Jesus is saying that Jesus and the father aren't only united well enough so that that's great, really good point there like it RSO next section of this in years. I think I read tomorrow. I apologize. Don't know if you did I think I read the part about family proclamation I think are that part so I think I think America losing our brightness contrast from Micon to walk with Jesus when he does this is really a national born and raised in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, commonly referred to as the Mormon faith. All of us have left that religion and have been drawn to faith in Jesus Christ based on biblical teaching. The name of our podcast out of brightness six, John 19 calls Jesus, the true light which gives light to everyone you found life in the on Mormonism to be brighter than we were told in the light, we have is not our own doubt. Thus, our brightness purpose is to share our journeys of faith God has done in drawing us to his son. We have conversations about all aspects of the transition fears, challenges, joys, and everything in between.

Glad you found us and we hope you'll stick around.

How do Latter Day Saints vision exaltation.

Since human conceptions of reality are necessarily limited mortality, religion, struggle to adequately articulate their visions of glory as the apostle Paul wrote, quote I have not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love these limitations make it easy for images of salvation become cartoonish when represented in cobbler culture example scriptural scriptural expressions of the DEP's overwhelming joy of salvation are often reproduced in a well-known image of humans sitting on their own clouds and bring hearts. After that Latter Day Saints doctrine of exaltation is often similarly reducing media to a cartoonish image of people receiving their own planets, a cloud and harbor hardly satisfying to mistreat all joy. Although most Christians would agree that inspired music to be a tiny foretaste of the joy of eternal salvation.

Likewise well you Latter Day Saints but identify with characters adding on planet. Most would agree that the all inspired by creation. Hence, our creative potential in the eternities. Latter Day Saints tend to imagine exaltation of the glands of the sacred in mortal experience. They see the seeds of godhood and the joy of bearing and nurturing children in the intense love the feel for those children in the impulse to reach out and compassionate service to others in the moments they are caught off guard by the beauty and order of the universe in the grounding feeling of making and keeping covenants. Church members imagine exaltation blessed images of what they will get and more through the relationships they have now how those relationships are purified and elevated as a Scriptures teach quote that same sociology which exists among us here will exist unless there only will be coupled with eternal glory with Cory. We do not now enjoy."

I think that's doctrine and covenants do not pass adjustment was the site on which number is 951. It is D&C 130 verse two in the same sociology which exists among us here will exist among us there only it will be coupled with eternal glory, which glory we do not now enjoy.

So what you think about this passage I mean about that position a section so I made a couple of notes. One is I highlighted you know the use of the word cartoonish and caricature and I agree I was a Latter Day Saints. I agree that cartoonish caricatures of one another's theologies is never appropriate and never a good approach to dialoguing with one another, but the same of this is likewise well if you Latter Day Saints would identify with caricatures of having their own planet. Most would agree that the all inspired by creation. Hence, our creative potential in the eternities so on the one hand, they want to say we don't like the cartoonish nature of the God makers but we agree with the underlying premise, so yeah, I know Latter Day Saints to like when when Christians come at them and be like you believe your to be a God of your own planet but it but I think I think ultimately that and in it and I think the essay recognizes this. Ultimately that's that's the && of and resistance teachings about creation or continuation of the seeds what it means. But what that all means the way Latter Day Saints leaders have handled that end and and kind of tying that with the with procreation in this life, so I know that all makes to make Latter Day Saints squeamish but I think it is the ultimate end of of what your theology teaches and get going so I wanted to say to that. Yeah when I would ask LES about this decided by creation and you know the eternal, the eternal round as it is a car guy: I really bring up the idea like you know you like owning a whole planet because he had the think articles right in the eldest only focus on some possessions in terms of the eternal inheritance for my children and relationships going on but so I kind of try to tap into that asking them okay so if you believe that you have a similar meeting on exact similar relationship to your sculpture, your children that you have with God. Now do you look forward to your children, millions of children bowing down and worship, and some will avoid it and also don't write you a clear answer, and some will say yes no they follow the plan of salvation, just like I've called fighting. I should be kind of strange to wanting worship and on like as humans were kind of narcissistic by nature. We want to be recognized. You want to be seen as no special or ever, but to make the jump where you hope to become worshiped by your children. It is a strange thing a citizen I know anything about that.

Yeah I think it's a good point, especially in light of the newness of the criticism that I've seen Latter Day Saints levy against us as Christians.

When we present God is creating the about the left NASA question because they think Latter Day Saints theology has a ready answer for it and that Christian theology does not. So they will ask well why did God create gotcha right white it white it got even make you and they you know they think that they have this ready-made answer be visible.

There were these intelligences and is it hasn't note essay quoted earlier. God saw himself. Among these beings instead I will I want to give them the ability to put progress as I have so that's dusty Latter Day Saints answer and Latter Day Saints will will ask that question and then they'll kinda pillory any answer we did have as old God did that all for his glory really that's that's a cocky and and presumptuous. God is you know you for that, light of rhetoric that we get right just so how is that how is that different than a God who has progressed to godhood and creates eternal progeny for his glory which is Joseph Smith's teaching that his glory grows the more eternal progeny. He has how it has a different side delay sword. I think there you know I sometimes I just like to point out the areas where even if you if you approaching theology like Latter Day Saints like to do from a perspective of oh, what's better, what has the better answers right we should, as I started with Dr. Cobb" approach theology from the perspective of what has God said, but lot but often Latter Day Saints like to approach it from what what is what has the better answers right to approach theology from the perspective of which has the better answers I like to sometimes point out those areas where I think it's a wash right.

We may not be able to say why God created except that the Bible says she did it all for his glory right for her for my own glory. Have I done these things as the Bible teaches. So if if you'd if you're Latter Day Saints are going to critique that understand that when when Christians take that position are taking it on the word of God, they're not taking it from the perspective of my theologies better for taking it on the word of God and what God has revealed about himself and so you know if you if you think you know better answer. I think that's one where it's kind of a wash. But were taking it on the word of God, yeah, think, and I think it's also still valid to say that God does save his children, he does save children does adopt all humans and to become his his adopted children and redeems them and saves and glorifies them because he is a loving God because you believe God is love and so he does, he does allow us to partake of the divine nature is talking about it and to become like Christ out of his sense of loneliness and compassion and wanting to Share and in you know, in joy with other stars I like Christians are saying while working me miserable and have it on our hearts to know and and like you know God's only defense was glory and works to have to suck it up and you undercut that you know I got does he does here is you know he does share joy and happiness with us, but that's not the ultimate and highest goal know the highest goal. The most important goal for God is to glorify himself to make his his his glory known to all his creation so just want to point that out and and one final thought on continuing that that line of thinking there is that you know that the Christian theological position with regards to why did God create is that she didn't need to. She didn't need us right to the Trinitarian God had within itself. Sociality is Joseph Smith would say, and love for the various persons of the Trinity, one for the other. Perfect love, and so God did not lack God the lover did not lack a beloved in the sense that he needed to create but on on LDS theology if you'd if you take with this essay is saying about human potential to become like God create progeny like God all all of that logical all those logical steps of this essay presents from LDS theology. If I am if I am taking LDS theology is truth. I have to become exalted to have a continuation of the continuation of the seeds I have to become exalted to become everything that God is and therefore I have to do the ordinances. The return of earlier including eternal marriage and in Joseph Smith's day that included polygamous marriage, not just eternal marriage to one spouse. So there and in Latter Day Saints theology juxtaposed against Christian theology. There is actually a need for God to have progeny to be all that God is right, whereas for God on the Christian view.

She did not need to create. There was no need inherent there so there's there's a difference there. One other thought I had here in China get my mind back around to it might not get there and don't sound cocky, but was get the number of thoughts. Tying upset yeah yeah oh no I wanted to come back around to know the whole theocentric versus anthropocentric theology and where your starting point is are you starting with God. Are you starting with Humana reasoning up with Humana starting with humanity and reasoning up and also what I said earlier with regards to origin and the other church fathers and fathers and their historical context, and how important that is to understanding what they were writing what they were fighting against what they were supporting. It's important also to take into account Joseph Smith's historical context when you're thinking about what his theology was, especially as you think about the development of his theology towards this becoming like God and the crowning revelation that he has on.

That is, doctrine and covenants 132 which is the revelation on plural marriage.

So if you're going to take Joseph Smith as an actual human being who was thinking and living a real human life.

He was in the midst of plural marriage from at least his earliest vanity album elder right which is an undocumented plural marriage of Joseph Smith, Oliver Calgary, his counselor end-to-end scribe for most of the translation of the book of Mormon called an affair study caught them in the barn. Fanny Alger was a young woman who lived in and was a servant and mood in the Smith household and we know that Joseph Smith married many other wives.

Some of them the wives of of men who were sent on missions. Orson Hyde was sent on a mission in and just the proposed marriage to Marinda Hyde so when you think about that context and what Joseph Smith teaches in doctrine and covenants 132.

Understand that all of this is is support for all. Everything is presented in this essay is support for ultimately his theology of plural marriage and an end and I know Latter Day Saints don't and I'm not trying to get into the squeamish areas of this but I just wanted to make make the point that it's important to think about the context of what was going on with Joseph Smith when this theology really began to develop in his in his teachings and in his writings thoughts on that method. Yeah, I think it all aggregates all intertwined. Almost got it so that brings us to the next section how important our teachings about exultation to Latter Day Saints a letter to police. Overall the teaching that human beings have a divine nature and future shapes the way Latter Day Saints view fundamental doctrine. Perhaps most significantly, belief in divine nature helps us more deeply appreciate the atonement of Jesus Christ. While many Christian theologians have expressed the magnitude of the Savior's atonement by emphasizing human depravity.

Latter Day Saints understand the magnitude of the atonement of Christ in terms of the vast human potential. It makes possible Christ atonement not only provides forgiveness from sin and victory over death.

It also redeems imperfect relationship skills the spiritual wounds that stifle growth and strengthens and enables individuals to develop the attributes of Christ Latter Day Saints believe that it is only through the atonement of Jesus Christ that we can have a sure hope of eternal glory and that the power of his atonement is fully accessed only by faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end and following the instruction.

An example of Christ. Those who thus those who become like God and enter into a fullness of his glory are described as people who have been made perfect through Jesus the mediator of the new covenant wrought out this perfect atonement, through the shedding of his own blood, and awareness of humans divine potential also influences Latter Day Saints understanding of gospel principles such as the importance of divine commandments. The role of temples in the sanctity of individual moral agency belief that human beings are actually God's children also changes Latter Day Saints behavior and attitudes. For example, even in societies where casual and premarital casual and premarital sex are considered acceptable.

Latter Day Saints retain a deep reverence for the God-given parotid procreative and bonding powers of human sexual intimacy and remain committed to a higher standard in the use of those sacred powers. Studies suggest that Latter Day Saints Pl. an exceptionally high priority on marriage and parenthood consequence in part of a strong belief in heavenly parents, and a commitment to strive for that divinity your thoughts on the sexual Matthew. A lot of what they said, at least for my was BS out of agree, but like it makes a lot of sense, since I believe that they are created in God created as little children of God start divinity and then the seas got it. That eventually killed to become a god, you got a become what God is. So you know God is chaste God is God is sinless.

That's what we were to strive toward but then it is as you as you're reading again maybe think well okay but but Christians also believe that were made in the image of God, update, literal, physical image, but were given certain faculties, intellectual, moral capacities, responsibilities that no other creation has and because of that were you know we we have analogically we represent God in the world despite just humans and ourselves unit were not know perfectly Christian, you know, we glorify God in the sense that when someone does something good are nice to you that that's kind of like a tiny glimpse of goodness, the ultimate and infinite goodness of God and so because were made in God's image, we can say don't say things God's image. We need chaste, we need to respect our bodies are great powers were given because are made in the image of God.

We should respect each other. We should place a high priority on marriage and parenthood and also on the same thing to fight us. We just don't connect becoming like you know becoming gods we connected to being made in God's image and unwanted love God and glorify God that really good point III made some notes that are to that effect.

You said it much more much better than I would have just noting the things that they say you know that Christ atonement not only provides forgiveness from sin and victory over death. So right here. They kinda seem to me to want to be saying here's what Christians traditionally believe that Christ atonement provides forgiveness from sin and victory over death. But Latter Day Saints understanding helps us know that it also redeems perfect relationship skills the spiritual wounds that stifle growth and strengthens and enables individuals to develop the attributes of Christ split that somehow there there view of exultation in human potential and human nature is already divine mix that makes LDS theology uniquely able to speak to how the atonement does these other things like I just made a note like that, they laid out as if only LDS believe that Christ atonement redeems imperfect relationships and heals the spiritual wounds that stifle growth and strengthens and enables individuals develop the attributes of Christ mesh is not true.

Christians have believed that now. For centuries that's that's the whole point is that Christians do believe that through sanctification. If you want to call it was the Eastern Orthodox term slip my mind right now.

The officers serialization Yvonne call Theo's this divinization. If you want to call it taking on the mind of Christ. As Paul would've put it. All of these things mean to Christians the same thing right that God through the Holy Spirit is sanctifying us and making us more and more like Christ, so that ultimately we will take on the divine nature. Right Latter Day Saints theology says you have a divine nature inherently from the beginning. So anyway, I would again argue that unless Christ is unique. His atonement does nothing and that the biblical teaching is that Christ is utterly unique and thank God he is a man as is her dog and also thinking about how all men were on was the thought again was integral at the systemization, my God, oh yeah so yeah what we might talk about different methods or instruments through which we become like Christ. You know like Starbucks talk about the energies and operations of God entered yeah that's how it unless the uncreated energies of God. And that's how they can become partakers of the divine nature, but they're not taking of God's divine essence because that's uniquely appropriate to God. They can't describe it that way in and in the West, we can all describe it is grace likely receive God's grace that transforms us to work Holy Spirit, suchlike we may have slightly different understandings is how this process all works yeah I agree with you that you know where were being changed, transformed, become like Christ and they tell me differently is core to that. I didn't have any other notes on the section so that brings us to the conclusion. Finally, at three hours and 20 minutes and were at the conclusion to how he thought her to get this done. I like our last week that I'm driving at the push of a okay conclusion. All human beings are children of loving parents and possess seeds of divinity within in his infinite love. God invites his children to cultivate their eternal potential by the grace of God through the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, the doctrine of humans eternal potential to become like to have a father is central to the gospel of Jesus Christ inspires love, hope and gratitude in the hearts of the faithful Latter Day Saints. All human beings are children of loving loving heavenly parents and possess the seeds of divinity within them is that is that language possess the seeds of divinity within that of that language that you were familiar with is Latter Day Saints present strike you as something maybe a newer way to try to trade casts this teaching enough I heard.

Specifically, Caesar divinity, but there is a talk by Spencer W.

Kimball and my dentist several times. Ray talks about having seeds of godhood, so he did use that phraseology and I think that might be in the presence of the traditional church teaching manual might've also set in their vaguely remember if that.

But yes I did, I did hear seeds of godhood.

Maybe a quick wrap just want to get your thoughts on is one of one of the Bible passages that often quote is and if and if heirs joint heirs with Christ in areas of everything right so what what is your thought on that, but her thoughts on the passage do you think it's teaching that Latter Day Saints what would Latter Day Saints understand that to be teaching that that they will become will become God's ourselves in the same way that that God is God. So Christ on times when it talks a Christ speaking to him and his humanity. In a sense night and so we have to understand that perspective. So Wentz is a we are co-heirs with Christ, so Christ is the God man is both God and man, and so he he is he basically is the King of King and Lord of lords of all creation is the God exalted, so there is no man is greater than in creation and so when would says it will be coheirs with him. It doesn't mean it will become God's it means that we DO when we are in glory is resurrected, glorified children of God.

We will also inherit all God's creation.

We will partake in it will be able to explore all God's creation and his goodness in our bodies will be able to experience it is as you desired us to experience it the beginning and so in NASA's military doesn't mean it will inherit all of who God is his divine nature attributes that very good. I so we began the episode tonight talking about how this essay has seemingly been deemphasized on the LDS church's own website, where the link to this epic. This essay is now redirecting to a different gospel topics essay titled our Mormons Christian. We talk a lot about the theology we talk a lot about how Matthew and I both understand emotionally, theologically what it is to be a latter-day St., and have Christians maybe make fun of your theology and make a cartoonish. We hope we haven't done that tonight we hope we've tried to. We tried to quote from relevant sources, including Joseph Smith, but we really openly got the place really talk about Pres. Hinckley deemphasizing these doctrines and how that impacted us and I have to ask the question why are these doctrines might've divided Hinckley deemphasizing. Why is the third gospel topics essay now being redirected to a different link for you not to read this particular gospel topics essay and I just cite and and refer to Romans 116. The gospel is based wholly on the unique son of God, Jesus Christ, taking on flesh to die for our sins so that we can be forgiven and we can become like him. And yes, the utterly unique Joseph Smith before his theology began to transform and we talked about the context in which it did transform in the book of Mormon taught that Jesus had to be infinite had to be an infinite atonement rut by an infinite being, and then later his theology presents a non-finite being becoming infinite so I would just cite Romans 116 for I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone the believer to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

The gospel is not something to be ashamed of screaming. Thank you Sharon thank you for tuning into this of the outer podcast we love to hear from you. Please visit the out of rightness podcast Facebook. Feel free to send us a message than with comments or questions, send a message at the time the pain appreciated the page like we also have an out of rightness and other episodes can also send this out of rightness on hear from you soon can subscribe to the out of rightness podcast on podcasts cast box cast cast the modify and stitch. Also you can check out our new YouTube channel. If you like it shortly right here is a great also connect with Michael just wind up lungs and sometimes Poland method you will music for the out of rightness podcast is graciously provided by the talented Breanna Flournoy and by Adams Road.

Learn more about Adams Road. By visiting their ministry page. It Adams Road ministry.com.

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