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April 20, 2021 9:30 pm
.1 examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective view .1 limited 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. Our thanks to out of roadbed for that musical introduction welcome to this additional viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson, my colleague, M. R. M. The Mormon doctrine of man becoming God, you can't really discuss this issue without bringing up the famous Lorenzo Snow couplet and Mr. Richard Sherlock who wrote chapter 2 in the book the LDS gospel topics series a scholarly engagement in his rebuttal, or I should say his critique of the gospel topics essay becoming like God. Of course, is going to get into this subject. I think it's absolutely necessary. You have to talk about the Lorenzo Snow couplet so he's going to tackle this at the top of page 60.
What is he saying Eric when it comes LDS president Lorenzo Snow's famous statement as man is God once was, as God is man may become the essay admits the first part quote God was once a man," but says almost nothing about it or its implications. Quote little has been revealed about the first half of this couplet.
Consequently, little is taught.
The essay states the essay follows this up with what I read as a misleading reference to LDS Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley's treatment of the topic. The essay accurately quotes Hinckley statement to a San Francisco Chronicle reporter quote that gets into some pretty deep theology that we don't know very much about." But the essay does not refer to Hinckley's answer to talkshow host Larry King and Hinckley celebrated and much admired interview quote I don't know that we teach that." Meaning God's having once been a man in the context of the LDS reverence for the living prophet Hinckley's dismissal strikes me as an astounding claim for the Christian tradition as a whole. The idea that God was once a man is a claim for which there is not even a verbally similar set of sources. Christians reject this picture of God because this cannot be a God in which we can have absolute trust for our salvation, Bill. I like what he says that last part there. Christians reject this picture of God because this cannot be a God in which we have absolute trust for salvation because if all he is is a later possibility of what you and I can be that he was a man who may have sinned in the previous realm then is this the God that we can trust for our salvation will those are some great questions but I like how he zeroes in on what Mormon Pres. Gordon B. Hinckley said, because when he said that a lot of us were wondering, he's the prophet of the LDS church and he doesn't seem to understand this doctrine that is been touted for much of Mormonism's history.
He can't come up with a somewhat of a logical explanation, or at least an explanation that is supported by Scripture. Apparently not. And so when Gordon B. Hinckley made those comments. It certainly caught our attention and he got criticized for it and so at a later general conference. He made light of that and said people might think that I don't know what my own religion teaches and everybody laughed because he was trying to save face. I thought by saying I do know about that. I just didn't want to talk about it at that time Mr. Sherlock goes on to say what this essay, and Hinckley wanted to avoid. Joseph Smith was not so reticent in the King Follett sermon and we discussed that earlier this week.
King Follett was the name of a man who had died in Joseph Smith preached his funeral sermon in the King Follett sermon, Smith states at the beginning that his purpose is to quote find out the character of the only wise and true God."
His announced purpose is to tell humanity about God what comes next is right out of the unit vocalists playbook quote.
If the veil were rent today and you were to see the great God, you would see him in the image and very form of a man for Adam was created in the very fashion and image of God he received instruction from and walk talked and conversed with him as one man talks and communes with another." This of course brings God down to our level rather than elevate human beings to the divine. Then he goes on a page 61. Mr. Sherlock rights to further this move, Smith states plainly that the idea that God was God from eternity is wrong.
This foundational conviction of all Western monotheism that God is the eternal creator of all that exists is here cast aside because, as Smith states quote God himself the father of us all dwelt on earth the same as Jesus Christ." If God dwelt on earth. Then he cannot be the creator of everything, including all Earth's that seems to be pretty logical and it's an argument that certainly Christians have been raising for years. It just does not make sense. I guess it could also be said of the same that in the first article of faith in the articles of faith where it talks about they believe in God the eternal father will how can Elohim the God of Mormonism be the eternal father if he was not always God if he became God at some point in time we have to assume that there was some kind of deity.
Prior to his existence, or at least his existence as what would you say Eric a human before he became God because Mormons do believe that even humans existed eternally. We just did not exist as we are right now. We were intelligences according to LDS theology, but I think Mr. Sherlock raises a good point. The fact that the God of Mormonism was not always God.
The fact that he could not have possibly created all things would definitely tell us that we are not speaking of the same deity that I think needs to be prodded up in a conversation with her Mormon friends, don't you, I think so. I mean just the very idea that God was once a man and that we have the potential to become God's that is opposite, as he mentions of all Western monotheism. I don't care if you're talking again the Western or Eastern churches, Protestant beliefs that this is a different God and a different gospel if you will. Will Mr. Sherlock goes on in that same page essay. It may be said that the LDS church and its officials know little about how such a process happen.
Then he says the church cannot however deny that it is taught, and I think he's absolutely correct. I think what he's doing with that's little sentence right there. Eric is he showing that what Gordon B. Hinckley said years ago really should not be taken all that seriously, who cares if Gordon B. Hinckley can't explain this. The fact is, it is a doctrine of the LDS church that cannot be denied, and he's going to give several examples in this chapter, and he does it and when you talk about Hinckley not being able to well maybe he couldn't do it for the political reasons, but he certainly knows better and so for him to explain where God came from is not advantageous when he's talking to secular media, and he knows that that could be very problematic for people who might not want to join the church when they hear about a God who once was a man so he just leave that alone. You bring up a good point because in the Lorenzo Snow couplet when it says as man is God once was, now Hinckley's is we don't know a whole lot about that first part.
How many more details. Do we really need. I think that statement alone as man is God once was.
Red flags should be going off for any person who holds the Bible dear because that certainly does not fit within the theology of the Bible and what Sherlock does here is what we like to do is quote from other leaders and he gives us a whole page of quotes.
For instance, he quotes from Melvin J. Ballard, in April 1921 and Ballard said it is a Mormon truism that is current among us, and we all accepted that as man is God once wasn't as God is man may become young Brigham Young was more expansive quote.
He is our father. The father of our spirits and was once a man in mortal flesh as we are, and then George q. Cannon was equally direct. The prophet Joseph teaches us that our heavenly father was once a man, and dwelt on an earth like we do. He quotes in 1945 Milton R. Hunter, 70. He said Mormon prophets have continuously taught the sublime truth that God the eternal father was once a mortal man who passed through a school of earth 10th Mormon Pres. Joseph Fielding Smith said God is an exalted man. Some people are troubled overstatements of the prophet Joseph Smith that our father in heaven.
At one time pastoral life and death and is an exalted man and even quotes the current scholar Robert Millet retired professor of religion at LDS church owned Brigham Young University and he said this in the enzyme magazine at the time was the official church magazine, July 1996. Knowing what we know concerning our father that he is a personal being that he is a body of flesh and bones as tangible as our own, that he is an exalted and glorified and exalted, being that he was once a man, and dwelt on an earth knowing that this knowledge was had by many of the ancients, should we be surprised to find legends and myths throughout the cultures of the earth concerning gods who have divine power, but human attributes and passions will I'm going to tell you that Hinckley knew all of this. He just chose not to talk about it. I think you're right. Sometimes it becomes expedient for Mormon leader to be a bit evasive, but isn't that kind of why they had to ultimately end up putting out the gospel topics essays because they have such a history of being evasive, not being very clear when people started finding out some of these doctors from other sources other then the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints that compelled the church to have to come up with a response.
They don't want critics explaining what they believe. So what they did.
This is it all ties in together. The church came up with these gospel topics essays to explain, from an official position. Even though all the essays are anonymous. They are still considered official because the first presidency has condoned these essays and they encourage members to know what's in these essays and as we mentioned earlier, though sometimes explaining these doctrines to members can also cause even more confusion than what they may have had before. Because many Latter Day Saints and reading the essays came to the conclusion that's not what I bought into what I joined the church. Years ago I wasn't taught this now the church is admitting all this and it becomes troubling to them, and many have left as a result of this at the end of the section on page 63, he gives a personal story. He writes the results of this line of thinking were reinforced for me. In a recent conversation with a thoughtful devout latter-day St., who is Bishop of his local congregation in the conversation he willingly admitted that the Latter Day Saints believe in an infinite regress of God's which basically means that their God is the offspring of another God. Further back going clear into eternity past any finishes that by saying Christ follow the pattern laid down by his father who followed his father, ad infinitum. Thank you for listening you would like more information regarding his research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website at www.mrm.org you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you will join us again as we look at another viewpoint is sharing your faith with the Latter Day Saints. It helps to know what their church is taught in several basic topics.
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