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Gospel Topics Chapter 12 Kline/Steenblik Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
July 4, 2021 9:55 pm

Gospel Topics Chapter 12 Kline/Steenblik Part 1

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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July 4, 2021 9:55 pm

In the final week of this 11-week series, Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson take a closer look at the chapter written by Caroline Kline and Rachel Hunt Steenblik in the book The LDS Gospel Topics Series. For a look at the entire series and articles written on each of the Gospel Topics essays, visit


101 for teams is a valuable resource for anyone wanting a simplified view of the Mormon religion from a Christian perspective woman is 101 for teams is available at the Utah lighthouse bookstore in Salt Lake City or .1 examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective viewpoint. One more minute 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 who is the spoken truth of Mormonism. Welcome to this edition of viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry and with me today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at MRM we continue looking at the book the LDS gospel topics series a scholarly engagement. Today we are going to be looking at chapter 12 mother in heaven. A feminist perspective.

This chapter is written by Carolyn Klein and Rachel Hunt steam black. According to the biography in the back. Rachel Hunt steam black is a PhD student in philosophy of religion at Claremont graduate University and has a BA in philosophy from Brigham Young University and an MS in Library and information science from Simmons College Carolyn Klein earned her PhD in religion at Claremont graduate University in her areas of interest revolve around the intersections of Mormon and feminist theology in the study of contemporary Mormon women's community so we can see that this chapter is going to lean quite heavily towards their feminist perspective and I'm not surprised based on the topic matter of this chapter. But let's look at what they have to say in the first paragraph that starts on page 303 the doctrine of heavenly mother holds enormous potential for LDS women. Though this potential has been largely unrealized.

Unlike most other Christian traditions which affirm a genderless amorphous deity. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints posits a sext embodied heavenly mother and father. Right there because when they talk about an embodied heavenly mother and father naturally. That takes us to section 130 verse 22 in the doctrine and covenants where Joseph Smith clearly states that God has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's. I appreciate that they're making a distinction between what the position is of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, as opposed to what Christians have historically believed, because Christians have not historically believe that God has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's they continue the existence of this embodied female deity is crucial for LDS women since she and she is capitalized as the pronouns are throughout the article she stands as the eternal exemplar of LDS women's own divine destiny's let me stop you there Eric because when they say the existence of this embodied female deity is crucial for LDS women. I find it a bit difficult for me to try and rebut that statement. This is certainly a position that the authors hold, but how do we really know it's crucial for LDS women. I'm sure it's crucial for LDS women who are of the mindset of a Carolyn Klein in a Rachel Hunt steam black but I have to be quite honest in talking with LDS women. I can't recall ever bringing the subject up in the course of the discussion because quite frankly I I want to get right to what I think really matters most, and that is where they are in light of eternity.

Not so much whether or not a heavenly mother exists but then I would also argue that I haven't seen a lot of articles on this subject in official publications and I think these two would argue will that's because they basically been censored for having a position like that. So is it really crucial for LDS women. I don't know how to argue against that. It could be.

I guess it maybe it isn't. And this is only speaking of the position that these two authors have.

We don't normally run across Mormon feminist spent a couple of years ago I did there was a group of LDS women out at the BYU football game outside and they were handing out some different materials.

I had a chance to talk to one of them, and for her.

This is a very big issue, but I suggest is your I think intimating here bill that most LDS women are probably not thinking this is the most important issue for them in their theology and their belief in the LDS church a minute think that perhaps we don't have any back us up, but most LDS women.

This is not the top issue that they're going to be so concerned with as our client and steam black will and I think one of the reasons why is because as we get into this chapter, it becomes very apparent that these two authors really don't care with the current leadership says about this subject.

I don't think that's a position most LDS women have.

I don't really think that's a position that most LDS members have they look to their leadership with a very high amount of respect and duty in believing what they are being told by these men that are in authority in the church.

I don't get that from this chapter from these two authors Klein and steam black so if that is a big issue. It's kind of hard for us to know. I'm sure that the circles that these two authors trade-in. Probably that's what they talk about all the time and maybe they think that is a big issue. I don't know I just found the word crucial in that sentence to stand out for me.

They continue if heavenly mother exists her human daughters will have the potential to exist as female deities in the eternities. However, despite the ennobling potential of heavenly mother teachings within the LDS church. She has been largely ignored and LDS liturgy rhetoric and worship. Let me stop you again. They start off in this this sentence if heavenly mother exists now I don't think for a minute that they're using the word if as if there's any doubt in their mind whether or not a heavenly mother does exist. I think these two authors are very firm in their commitment and belief that yes heavenly father is married to a heavenly mother they're not at all.

In my opinion, doubting that but I think we should talk about heavenly mother's existence since were this far into this paragraph. Where does this come from, and that's what's amazing to me because when you look at the book Mormon doctrine by Bruce R. McConkie, who was a Mormon apostle in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He makes this statement and it goes back to the question that I raised at the beginning of this program on page 516. He writes implicit in the Christian verity that all men are the spirit children of an eternal father is the usually spoken truth that they are also the offspring of an eternal mother catch that phrase folks the one spoken truth. Now these two authors have built in their opinion, a huge doctrinal platform regarding an individual that is part of what McConkie says is an un-spoken truth there is no mention of heavenly mother in Mormon scripture unique to Mormon scripture as there is no mention of a heavenly mother in either the old or the New Testament when this starts to spring up. The authors are going to argue that it goes back to Joseph Smith but this is not what we find McConkie saying he says that this doctrine that there is a heavenly mother was affirmed in plainness by the first presidency of the church in the first presidency at this time was Joseph F. Smith, the sixth president of the church. Interesting. He's got to go clear to the sixth president of the church to get a reference for the point he's trying to make Joseph F.

Smith, John R. Winder and Anthony H. One when, in speaking of preexistence and the origin of man they said that quote man as a spirit was begotten, and born of heavenly parents, and reared to maturity in the eternal mansions of the father." That man is the quote offspring of celestial parentage" and that quote all men and women are in the similitude of the universal father and mother and are literally the sons and daughters of deity" and this is a citation from the book man his origin and destiny between pages 348 and 355 while on page 351 of the book. They cite it says at the bottom all men and women are in the similitude of the universal father and mother and are literally the sons and daughters of deity.

What we see from this. As I said earlier, is a whole doctrinal platform built on something that really has no scriptural evidence. It's just something that the leadership in the church thought must be true because in order to have literal spirit children in the preexistence you have to have a father and a mother because here in mortality to have children. Physical children, you have to have a father and a mother and they assume from that that must be how it is in the spiritual realm. Well, do you notice that as you mentioned there referring to the first presidency of the six Pres. Joseph F. Smith.

Now that is a long ways off and and ignoring the first five. However, there is another citation from apostle Neal a Maxwell in his book things as they really are. Page 67 and he actually takes it back one previous president listen to what he says in other dispensations the truth given to us through modern prophets about a heavenly mother were not stressed.

So far as surviving records show, but in this dispensation. The Lord gave us this doctrinal truth through the prophet Lorenzo Snow who sister Eliza R. Snow expressed it in her poem. Oh my father. I find it interesting that okay 86, Pres. maybe is the fifth president, but nobody's making the argumentation that John Taylor or Wilford Woodruff at these other presidents ever taught it. Now these women are going to suggest that Joseph Smith did teach it, but if he taught it and the other next three don't.

That seems to be pretty strange when you mention Eliza Roxie snow which by the way, was a plural wife of Joseph Smith and the poem that she wrote oh my father was written in 1843, let me just read you from that poem in the heavens are parents single know the thought makes reasons stair truth is, reason, truth, eternal, tells me I've a mother there, so obviously she is making the case that if we have a father. We must have a mother now this is a woman, Eliza Roxie snow who is not a general authority in the church. That's not to say that she probably didn't have some convincing elements on her brother Lorenzo Snow who was the fifth president of the church, but do we see this doctrine be voted on as so many Latter Day Saints tried to wiggle her way out of some of the more confusing and silly teachings that maybe Brigham Young brought about. You know how quick they are to say. Well, Adam God, it was never voted on.

Even though you had a number of Mormon leaders verifying that they believed to be true. Why is it we don't see it with this. It's interesting whenever you bring up the idea of God, and who was his God, and who was his God and talk about as man is God once was the Lorenzo Snow couplet. If you refer to that to a latter-day St., what are they going to respond with.

That's just speculation is in essence isn't heavenly mother just speculation.

These two authors don't want to take it to that limit. They want to take it all away and their big argument is if, in fact, heavenly mother is deity and they're going to talk about that in this chapter, then why isn't she being worshiped and prayed to just as they worship and pray to heavenly father, thank you for listening you would like more information regarding his research ministry.

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