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Gospel Topics Chapter 12 Kline/Steenblik Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
July 5, 2021 9:03 pm

Gospel Topics Chapter 12 Kline/Steenblik Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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July 5, 2021 9:03 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


When one 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 so glad to be with us for this edition of viewpoint on Mormonism on your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry with you today is Eric Johnson. My colleague at M. R. M.

We are looking at chapter 12 in the book the LDS gospel topics series a scholarly engagement. This is a chapter titled mother in heaven. A feminist perspective written by two authors Carolyn Klein and Rachel Hunt steam black and I want to go back and explain why we are taking so much time going through this book is because we feel that the gospel topics essays began as quote unquote transparent as they are make for excellent material. If you want to share what we believe as Christians with what your LDS acquaintance may believe the reason being these essays have been sanctioned by the leadership of the church.

They are standing behind these essays, even though the essays themselves were written anonymously. This book is a response to those essays and certainly there are some positive comments regarding the essays as well as some negative comments regarding the essays. This chapter certainly has a lot of negative comments to make regarding the essay having to do with a unique teaching within Mormonism and that is the doctrine of a mother in heaven. So were going to continue looking at the first paragraph of that is found on page 303 referring to heavenly mother. She has been largely ignored in LDS liturgy rhetoric and worship LDS leaders model and encourage members to refer to and pray to heavenly father and heavenly mother is absent from temple rituals. The vast majority of church leaders, sermons, and almost all church curriculum Mormon scripture and in general the consciousness of most LDS members. She thus inhabits an ambiguous position as a deity, purportedly equal in holiness and glory to God the father, but overwhelmingly wrapped in a cloak of invisibility and silence will in yesterday show Eric.

I was citing Mormon apostle Bruce R. McConkie, who speaks of this doctrine as an on spoken truth. In other words folks if this portion that Eric just read. There's nothing in Mormon scripture that mentions heavenly mother so it would kind of makes sense that she's not mentioned that a lot of other things but the fact that she's not mentioned.

Don't you think that should raise at least some eyebrows. I mean I excited Bruce McConkie yesterday but Charles Harrell, who wrote a book on Mormon doctrine. He basically concurs with what Bruce McConkey said on page 516 of his book Mormon doctrine, this is what he says in his book. This is my doctrine.

The development of Mormon theology, page 138.

Harrell says the doctrine that God through a procreative act involving a heavenly mother is the literal father of our spirits expresses the most fundamental and important relationship between God and humankind in LDS theology. Surprisingly, however, nowhere is this doctrine explicitly taught in any of the standard works. Neither is it found in any of Joseph Smith's recorded teachings and that's important. There's no evidence whatsoever that Smith ever spoke publicly on this subject. Although the two authors are going to mention private conversations to women on the very next page, but on page 303.

They write since the 1970s and 1980s, LDS feminists have worked to elevate heavenly mother in the consciousness of church members.

Understanding that she and again, as was pointed out yesterday show. She is capitalized stands as a potentially powerful symbol of female empowerment and equality. Now, Eric. When I read that word empowerment and him to be quite honest with you folks. I have a real problem with that word, especially when it speaks to Christians at large. This word empowerment seems to be quite the antithesis of the humility that is taught in the New Testament. So when I hear even professing Christians he talked about feminine empowerment. You seem to be contradicting the message of the New Testament, but I want to take this a little bit further in this context, the authors just spent a number of lines in this paragraph talking about how heavenly mother is absent from very important aspects of Mormon theology, including the temple rituals. The vast majority they say of church leaders sermons and church curriculum Mormon scripture. She's not found there, and in general the consciousness of most LDS members but yet they say that heavenly mother stands as a potentially powerful symbol of female empowerment will or she hasn't been able to overcome these obstacles over all these years, what kind of empowerment.

Does she really now that she exists at all.

You mentioned that this is not an attitude that the Bible talks about Christians having or should have at least and I immediately thought of John the Baptist in John chapter 3 the gospel of John.

This is what is written and says they came to John and said to him, Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan, the one you testified about Lucky is baptizing and everyone is going to him so his disciples were little ruffled that everybody's going to Jesus and here's John the Baptist. John you're a great man. This is what John says.

A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said I am not the Messiah but I am sent ahead of him. The bride belongs to the bridegroom, the friend who attends a bridegroom waits and listens for him and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom's voice that Joy is mine and it is now complete. He must become greater. I must become less the one who comes from above is above all, the one he was from the earth belongs to the earth and speaks as one from the earth, the one who comes from heaven is above all will. Isn't that the purpose of being a Christian is to bring all the glory that we might deserve. We think in our own minds, but then they handed over to God because he's the one who wants that glory. And here we have an example of John, Jesus's cousin, promoting an active humility when it comes to the person of Jesus himself, and I will get the impression from reading this chapter that these two authors really have much respect for Jesus at all because even though the leaders seem to point to Jesus as example, in the New Testament regarding who was prayed to and so forth.

These two authors don't care who cares what Jesus said, who cares what Jesus did. We want what we think Joseph said what Joseph did, they would much rather have Joseph than Jesus, especially in this context here on page 304.

They continue given heavenly mother's ambiguous position in the many fraught questions surrounding her is she truly God equal to God the father. If so, why is she so absent from our rhetoric, let alone our worship.

Why are we not encouraged to develop relationships with her, it makes sense that the institutional church composed of very brief gospel topics essay on the subject of heavenly mother entitled mother in heaven. In the fall 2015. Let's go back to a statement that is in the sentences that you just read when it says given heavenly mother's ambiguous position in the many fraught questions surrounding her than theirs, and is she truly God equal to God the father.

Did you get the impression from reading this chapter Eric that these two authors probably think that very thing. Isn't that blasphemous to think that this imaginary figure that is a huge part of Mormon theology is somehow truly God equal to God the father that I hope would be problematic for any Christian who is reading this and if that is true then what it mean that heavenly mother is greater than Jesus because in Mormonism. Heavenly father is the one that we pray to. He's the one that's to be worship you don't pray or worship Jesus. In that sense well for not giving her the due respect, she should be above Jesus thought we can move over to page 306 and this is what the authors write, spending two of its six paragraphs on historical references to heavenly mother by church leaders.

The essay explains that while we do not have hard evidence that Joseph Smith taught this doctrine, we do have compelling secondary and tertiary evidence that he told women like sign a Dianthus Huntington that they would someday meet their heavenly mother. The essay also nicely credits and quotes. Famous early LDS women like Eliza R. Snow and Susa young gates for expressing and explicating the doctrine of heavenly mother there something that we can take away from this and that is more than once. They point out the brief this of this essay the state spending two of its six paragraphs 6 paragraphs were in this essay as their bemoaning the fact that heavenly mother is kind of ambiguous and not given the credit due her even the essay itself by its length or lack of leg seems to do the same thing.

So you have to I just walk away with the idea that these two authors probably solve that as an insult as well. Now I read the quote from Harrell and he talked about.

There is what he said. Nowhere is this doctrine explicitly taught in any of the standard works. Neither is it found in any of just dismiss recorded teachings, but here they're talking about the secondary evidence where Joseph Smith supposedly told the woman designer Dianthus Huntington that they would meet their heavenly mother, but I think about okay. He told a woman named Dina who they don't mention in the essay that was one of just dismiss plural wives. That doesn't seem to me to be a very strong case because Joseph Smith said a lot of things to his potential plural wives that were not true and so was Eliza Roxie Snow.

She was a plural wife of Joseph Smith so let me see if I understand you correctly, are you hinting Eric that maybe Joseph Smith was telling these women something they wanted to hear because he wanted something from those women. Why wouldn't that be possible can we rule that out with a surety.

I don't know but it seems like that would be a question that should be raised in this whole discussion also on the bottom of page 307 it says the essay's treatment of the church's doctrine of heavenly mother is startling, brief, a mere six paragraphs.

However, despite his brevity, the essay accomplishes a number of important tests in our feminist perspective.

Namely, it affirms her existence and even capitalize her name downplays the possibility of multiple heavenly mother's affirms her somewhat equal status and steers away from focal doctrinal explanations about heavenly mother being too sacred to discuss this essay therefore lays groundwork for more inclusive LDS God rhetoric in the future. In looking at that statement when again she's complaining about the mere six paragraphs downplays the possibility of multiple heavenly mother's why with these two authors be excited that this essay seems to downplay the notion that there's a number of heavenly mother's why wouldn't that kind of play into their whole worldview. I mean they're going to be a heavenly mother on their own world are they not think that that would be kind of important to them and then what you do with all the statements from early morning leaders during the polygamist years were leaders were talking about heavenly mother's plural, and even arguing that there would have to be heavenly mothers given the fact that as some believed there was a nine month gestation period for these children to be born, and you would need multiple wives in order to populate a world that has as many people wanted at that time as it in tomorrow's show were going to continue looking at chapter 12 mother in heaven. A feminist perspective.

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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