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April 23, 2020 9:00 pm
Viewpoint is mainly 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 to this edition of viewpoint on Mormonism.
I'm 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 a number of books that were given away as Christmas gifts. From the first presidency to various other general authorities in the church and even some employees of the church. How many employees we do not know and how far down the chain. We are not aware that either but nonetheless the first presidency gave away several books as Christmas gifts. They were leather bound copies gold edging on the pages quite fancy books. The reason why we want to do this series is because we figure that if the first presidency wanted to give away a block to employees as well as other general authorities. I would assume out of appreciation for their service to the church than you would think that the first presidency believes what's in those books and would also want those that are receiving the books to believe the same and we find that there's a lot of jams in these books, which shows that in recent history, at least, a lot of the doctrines that some Mormons might be a little bit shy of explaining to their neighbors are taught very clearly in these books tell if anybody wants to find the 37 books that were given away. Between 1981, two, 2017 they can go to our website MRM.org/books employee gift with hyphens between that and you can see short article about this series that were doing as well as links to all of the episodes were doing in the series, and a list of those 37 books last week we were looking at the subject of godhood and showing that in these books. Certainly, there are teachings which specifically spell out the doctrine that a Mormon mail if they are obedient they can acquire godhood in the next life. Today were going to look specifically at a book that was given away as a Christmas gift in 2012, and that is the teachings of Lorenzo Snow, Lorenzo Snow was the fifth president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints what's on pages six and seven of the teachings of Lorenzo Snow. He wrote obedience and purity requirements of godhood that exalted position was made manifest to me at a very early day I had a direct revelation of this it was most perfect and complete.
If there ever was a thing revealed to man perfectly clearly so that there could be no doubt, this was revealed to me, and it came in these words as man now is God once was as God now is man may be. And of course that's known as the famous Lorenzo Snow couplet among some latter-day Saints.
You might think that that was controversial. There's been even some Christian scholars who have insisted that this is no longer a teaching in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but here it is in a book that was given away as a Christmas gift in 2012 what is Lorenzo Snow going to say and page 70 said they are to become like him they will see him as he is, they will behold his face and reign with him in his glory, becoming like onto him in every particular interesting phrase that Snow uses their Eric becoming like unto him in Paris.
Particular that almost sounds like there's going to be inequality among those that become gods with God the father but yet Mormons don't teach that they would bristle if you were to give the impression that somehow a Mormon mail. For instance, could be exalted to the level of a God. And then maybe even be the same as heavenly father or even surpass him. They don't teach that you think about the attribute of omnipotence and asked the question okay well every particular than our are we talking about two omnipotent beings that doesn't seem to make any sense because by the very meaning of the word omnipotence.
It means you have all power will which one has more power than the other and that's a good point because Spencer W. Kimball in his book the miracle of forgiveness, which by the way was another book that was given away as a Christmas gift. He says that when a Mormon does become a God that they will have the attribute of omnipotence, and like you say Eric that becomes very confusing because it seems to undermine the very meaning of that word. Here's another quote from page 3 of the teachings of Lorenzo Snow. Now we are the sons and daughters of God. He has begotten us as his own image.
He has given us faculties and powers that are capable of enlargement until his fullness is reached, which he has promised. Until we shall sit upon the thrones governing and controlling our posterity from eternity to eternity and increasing eternally and we were talking about a statement by Brigham Young.
We talked about framing Earth's. I think this is exactly what Lorenzo Snow is probably talking about this idea that once a Mormon becomes a God he is allowed to get his own earth. And then he will populate that earth just as heavenly father. They believe is populating this one.
When is the last time in general conference that you heard a general authority of any kind.
Talk about increasing eternally that you would control your posterity from eternity eternity.
This is not something that is normally said in current latter-day St. theology another quote. This is at page 5. He said man can possess the same glory as God through a continued course of progression. Our heavenly father has received exultation and glory, and he points us out. The same path, and inasmuch as he is clothed with power, authority and glory.
He says walking up and come in possession of the same glory and happiness that I possess two things that come to my mind when I read this. First of all, Isaiah 42 eight Isaiah 42, eight says I am the Lord. That is my name and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
Now some Mormons have tried argue by the mere fact that believers are glorified that somehow we share that same glory. That's not correct.
Notice in Isaiah 42 eight God himself says he's not going to share his glory with anyone else. We may be glorified. Certainly, as believers, but that does not mean that we are going to have the same glory as God the father.
Another point, though, when he talks about sharing or possessing the same glory as God doesn't sound very similar somewhat to the language Lorenzo Snow used in that other quotation that we cited from pages six and seven were it says that we become like unto him in every particular. I again that would seem to undermine if words mean anything at all.
This notion that when a Mormon becomes a God, he will never rise to being similar to God the father or heavenly father nor would he ever think that he would surpass heavenly father or God the father.
Another quote comes from page 5 and its and it says our spirit birth gave us godlike capabilities. We were born in the image of God our father, he begot us like onto himself, there is the nature of deity in the composition of our spiritual organization in our spiritual birth. Our father transmitted to us the capabilities, powers and faculties which he himself possessed as much so as a child on his mother's bosom possesses. Although in an undeveloped state the faculties powers and susceptibilities of its parent. You would think if we have the capabilities here and we have the powers in the faculties but they're just not fully formed or fully taken advantage of what would prevent a Mormon from becoming exactly the same as heavenly father or even somehow surpass him in his glory.
Now I know Mormonism kind of teaches this escalator type theology work. Heavenly father is on one step of the escalator and then several steps down the escalator. That's where the Mormon might stand in as the escalator goes up the Mormon never gets any closer to God the father, but when you see language like this, it makes you wonder what what is he trying to imply because it sounds like there is a potential there that Mormon would say living in this day and age if they were to become a God after their judgment could somehow over a period of eternity. Maybe catch up and possibly surpass God the father. On page 6 of the teaches Lorenzo Snow.
He wrote faithful husbands may become gods, I say to you sisters your husbands if they are faithful will be G gods in eternity. After we have passed through the various ordeals of life and go to the other life where our father dwells. Even the God of heaven.
The promise is that we shall be like him and that's language is very similar to the Lorenzo Snow couplet, which again has been taught in recent years.
In 2012 and 2013 and church manuals that were dedicated to George Albert Smith of Lorenzo Snow that the entire church was supposed to read the teachings of presence of the church. This couplet was given in both of those manuals and so for those who say that this is not a teaching of the church.
It certainly has been historically at least, and in recent years is still found in correlated church manuals. There's one other citation.
I want to get from Lorenzo Snow.
He said we must advance through stages to godhood as man now is God once was. Even the babe of Bethlehem advancing to childhood then step boyhood manhood, then to the Godhead.
This then is the mark of the prize of man's high calling in Christ Jesus, and the he says.
See Philippians 314 we are the offspring of God, begotten by him in the spirit world where we partook of his nature as children here partake of the likeness of their parents. There's something interesting that I see and hear the way he switches words, we must advance through stages to godhood within the next sentences as man now is God once was riches course from the Lorenzo Snow couplet. Even the babe of Bethlehem advancing to childhood things, the boyhood manhood, then to the Godhead. It's interesting he doesn't say then to godhood. He says the Godhead, but yet as we've also looked at from the a book that was given away as a Christmas gift in 2001 selections of doctrines of salvation.
Joseph Fielding Smith said that Christ worked out his own salvation and he goes on to say that our Savior was a God before he was born into this world. That's why I'm I'm curious about this switch and the word here.
He could've used the word godhood you would think. But Mormonism teaches that Jesus was already a God in the preexistence.
He wasn't totally perfect. They say, but here's what I find fascinating. If he was a God in the preexistence is Joseph Fielding Smith clearly states on selections of the doctrines of salvation. Page 23 and by the way, if you want to see this quotation and you have the three volume set of doctrines of salvation its volume 1, page 32. It says that he was a God before he was born into this world, but then were supposed to assume he didn't become a part of the Godhead until after his death and resurrection. What was he doing up there in the preexistence is a God he wasn't affiliated with the father and the Holy Ghost at this time. When exactly does the Godhead come together when did the Holy Ghost become a part of the Godhead.
That's an interesting question you're bringing up Bill and I would say that the leaders have never talked about this.
There's a whole Lotta speculation that goes on but if this is a restoration of true Christianity, you would think they were be some cunning answers to this confusing issue.
Thank you for listening. If you would like more information regarding this research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website at www.mrm.org you can request a free newsletter Mormonism research. We hope you join us again as we look at another viewpoint is looking for strategies that will help you engage in meaningful conversations with members of the Mormon church. So take a look at sharing the good news with Mormons a new book produced by harvest House publishers and handed to my Mormonism research ministries Eric Johnson and Shawn McDowell sharing the good news with Mormons includes 24 helpful essays from two dozen Christian apologist scholars and pastors pick up your copy of the Utah lighthouse bookstore order directly from MRM.org