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Eight First Vision Truths Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever
The Truth Network Radio
March 23, 2020 9:01 pm

Eight First Vision Truths Part 2

Viewpoint on Mormonism / Bill McKeever

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March 23, 2020 9:01 pm

In the Spring 2020 conference happening next week, the leaders have promised that the theme will be the bicentennial of the “First Vision.” In this repeat series, Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson take a closer look at the February 2020 Ensign Magazine, considering the First Vision and if this is truly a historic event.


Prepared to engage Mormon missionaries in the knock on your door. Perhaps the book is in 101 will help someone only published by Baker at your favorite Christian bookstore point is, it examines the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a respected 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 are thanks right name for that introduction welcome to this edition of viewpoint on Mormonism. I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Eric Johnson.

My colleague at MRM yesterday. We began a series looking at an article from the February 2020 addition of an sign magazine and it's called eight truths from the first vision and Eric as we are prepping for the show. We both really came to the conclusion immediately that we didn't really need the first vision to come up with some of these conclusions, although others in this list are certainly what we would call antithetical to the biblical message and the question that we would have to ask ourselves as New Testament Christians.

Is it wise for us to believe things coming from an individual claiming to be a prophet of God who is teaching things that are contrary to what the Bible already says we would argue that's dangerous and hopefully we can get others to see the danger in listening to some of the truth claims in this would be eight of them in this article that Latter Day Saints are supposed to adhere to that.

Yesterday we looked at point number one God our father is a personal being, and men and women were made in his image. Today were going to begin with. Point number two. Jesus is a personage separate and distinct from the father and this is what Dallen Oakes, first counselor in the first presidency said underneath that point in his first vision.

Joseph Smith saw two distinct personages to beans, thus clarifying that the then prevailing beliefs concerning God and the Godhead were not true.

In contrast to the belief that God is an incomprehensible and unknowable mystery is the truth that the nature of God and our relationship to him is knowable and is the key to everything else in our doctrine. Now, I hope people understand what Oakes is implying there then prevailing beliefs concerning God in the Godhead were not true what what were the prevailing beliefs regarding God and the Godhead you have Jesus being God and you have the Trinity. Of course, so what Joseph Smith is doing here is he's introducing the concept of the Godhead quote" that early Christians never believed and that is a concept known as tritheism. Now I know in this point, they only mentioned Jesus and the father but you have to throw in the Mormon Holy Ghost as well because the Mormon Holy Ghost is also a part of the Godhead and they argue that these three are separate gods separate gods that would be three gods within one Godhead. Can anybody produce evidence from the Mormon church any other scholars that show that that was a prevailing belief of the early Christian church.

I would say no, they cannot.

They have never yet even tried as far as I know, but they certainly do not make that case but what do we do with this Eric when it says Jesus is a personage separate and distinct from the father. Christianity has always been as Judaism has always been a mono theistic religion. The point I just made that you won't find Christians believing in more than one God is accurate. You just will not find Christians believing that but Joseph Smith certainly has taught that there are three gods within the Godhead Latter Day Saints like to talk about how they believe in one God and purpose, but we as evangelical Christians believe that God is one being, in essence and we can get this out of the Bible very easily and I should head if we believe that they are one in essence, it would also make sense that they are also one and purpose of the sea that doesn't conflict with what we believe. Of course the triune God is going to be one in purpose. That's a given.

We can see that the center point in Judaism back in Jesus's day as well as today is Deuteronomy 64 known as the Shema hero, Israel, the Lord thy God, the Lord is the hottest one, and in fact in Mark chapter 12 Jesus is approached by somebody not want to read this because I think this is important to understand and is under a section titled the greatest commandment in this is verse 28 of Mark chapter 12 one of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer. He asked him of all the commandments which is the most important. Jesus didn't hesitate.

It looks like verse 29.

The most important one answer, Jesus is this here oh Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.

Then he goes on in verses 30 and 31 and says love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind with all your strength. The second is this love your neighbor as yourself.

I find it interesting that Jesus didn't get right into those other two verses 30 and 31 before you give verse 29 the importance of one God is crucial in a mono theistic faith such as Judaism and Christianity.

And it's interesting also that you would've thought that if this is really what we should believe to be true that Jesus is a personage separate and distinct from the father. In other words right there.

We have to gods, even according to the concept of Mormonism. Why didn't Joseph Smith make that alteration in his Joseph Smith translation when it comes to James chapter 2 known the Joseph Smith translation we find this in verse 19 where it says they'll believe us. There is one God thou dualist well. The devils also believe, and tremble. So if the devils believe that there's only one God.

And James is saying if you believe there's one God, you're doing well or you're correct. I'm assuming he saying here then wouldn't the Mormons be incorrect in assuming that there is actually more than one God. Plus we have all those Isaiah passages, and even more fascinating to me is that in the Joseph Smith translation again Smith leaves virtually intact. All of those verses in Isaiah 43, 44, 45 that show that the God of the Bible is the only God and he knows of no other gods and that's what Isaiah 4310 says he says ye are my witnesses at the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me.

There was no God formed, neither shall there be after me and then Isaiah 44, six and eight says this is what the Lord says Israel's King and Redeemer, the Lord Almighty, I am the first and I am the last. Apart from me there is no God. Verse eight do not tremble. Do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago. You are my witnesses, is there any God besides me know.

There is no other rock. I know not one now Joseph Smith leaves the more King James English and his Joseph Smith translation up when just look at verses six and eight that you quoted it says in the Joseph Smith translation. I am the first, I am the last. And besides me there is no God.

Verse eight is there a God besides me. Yea, there is no God. I know not any. So the question I think a latter-day St. needs to answer his will, does the father know the sun does the sun know the father if they're both gods and their distinct is this point number two is trying to make them should they know each other or are these passages incorrect.

These passages that, by the way that I just cited from the Joseph Smith translation of the Bible. Point number three says Jesus Christ was declared by the father to be the son is what it says in the living Christ. The testimony of the apostles that was signed by the first presidency and the 12 apostles in the year 2000, says we bear testimony as is duly ordained apostles that Jesus is the living Christ. The immortal son of God. He is the great King Immanuel who stands today on the right hand of the father. He is the light, the life and the hope of the world his way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come. The way it's worded there evangelical reading that statement from that paragraph that you decided Eric, I don't think most people would have a problem, of course. Here again we have to know how the Mormon church define certain terms and that's where it starts to get a little bit sticky because if they're talking about Jesus Christ being the immortal son of God, and as they often described that as the son of God according to the flesh.

Now that certainly would separate us from their understanding because that phrase is always been used to justify the idea that God the father having a body of flesh and bones came down and physically impregnated Mary, which of course is New Testament Christians, we would find totally blasphemous, but what do we have in Hebrews chapter 1 verses five and six because remember the point they were making is the reason why Mormons know that Jesus Christ was declared by the father to be that his son is because of the first vision but yet the New Testament makes that claim more than once, but I think one or more powerful times, it makes that claim is Hebrews chapter 1 very powerful passage in Hebrews 1 verse five it says for to which of the angels did God ever say you are my son, today I have begotten you.

Or, again, I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son, and again when he brings the firstborn into the world.

He says let all God's angels worship him may go to verse 892 because I think this is important is is the son he says your throne of God is forever and ever, the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions. I don't know very many Christians affect I don't know of any and all who would argue that Jesus isn't the son of God. It's just how we define that would certainly be different from the way that the Mormons have defined it, but even then the first vision does not give all those kind of details that Mormon leaders have taught since this vision allegedly took place.

That's the point I'm trying to make you not going to get all these details out of the first vision itself. These are things that were added to the Mormon restored gospel.

As time went on, if you look at church history. You see that even in the first couple of hundred years before the Council of Nicaea that dealt with Arius who is a heretic he was saying that Jesus was a created being and that was debated at the Council of Nicaea. But before then we have lots of evidence to see that the early church believed that Jesus was God in the flesh was was somebody to be worshiped. I'm thinking of archaeology. For instance, there was a mosaic in a church that was discovered where prison is today and they dug that out and it called Jesus, God, and that was very common in the second and third centuries well before the Council of Nicaea. I know that many Latter Day Saints cringe at. Well, that's where all the heresy took place and when you ask a latter-day St. if they know much about it. They really don't. A lot of Mormons think that the Bible was put together and all kinds of corruption took place. That's not the case. What they were trying to figure out is what did God's word say and it was based on what earlier Christians had also believed so that was not new information in the fourth century and since we did bring up the Council of Nicaea.

I think it needs to be mentioned again. Even though the Council of Nicaea takes place in 325 A.D. you don't find anybody making any type of argument at the Council of Nicaea for a try theistic view of God that there were three gods within the Godhead that just was not raised you know why because no Christians believed that thank you for listening. If you would like more information regarding this research ministry. We encourage you to visit our website at you can request our free newsletter Mormonism research.

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