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January 20, 2020 8:07 pm
One member is examining the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints from a biblical perspective view .1 Mormonism 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 Adam through bad for that musical introduction welcome to this additional viewpoint on Mormonism. I'm your host, Bill McKeever, founder and director Mormonism research ministry with me today is Johnson. My colleague at MRM yesterday. We read a very short article that was in the church news it's found on the church news.com headline was president Ballard opens up about one thing he wishes he could ask his grandfather and to set the stage for the context of that title to me just read again the first paragraph it says during a recent visit to New England president M. Russell Ballard, acting Pres. of the quorum of the 12 apostles spoke of his grandfather, Elder Melvin J. Ballard, and as we explained yesterday. Melvin J. Ballard also served as an apostle in the LDS church. He was born in 1873. He died in 1939 and he was ordained an apostle on January 7, 1919 under the hand of Heber J. Grant, who was the seventh president of the LDS church. Heber J. Grant became president in 1918, so he had ordained M.
Russell Ballard's grandfather to be an apostle, a year after he took over that position but brings us to this series of shows is the fact that M. Russell Ballard explained that he had a regret that he never really got to talk to his grandfather about some issues and so the one question that we are given in this article that he wishes he could've asked was I would've wanted to know more about what it meant to be an apostle and as I explained yesterday it could've been that he wasn't quite prepared to to make that statement or thought through all the things he probably could've asked his grandfather, and I thought that that was kind of a strange one to bring up because M. Russell Ballard has served as an apostle for a great many years so you would think he has a pretty good handle of what it's like to be an apostle, but I thought wait a minute you grandfather lived during a very tumultuous time in LDS history. He was, as I said, born in 1873, so he was a young teenager during the time of the manifesto when the federal government was putting pressure on the LDS church to abandon the doctrine of polygamy. He was ordained under Heber J. Grant, who was the last of the polygamist prophets.
It seems like there would be so many things that he could've wanted to ask and perhaps he's already settled in his mind what he thinks his grandfather would've set on some issues may be reading some of his sermons and such, but I thought it would be interesting to go through and look at some of the things that his grandfather believed and taught yesterday. We looked at his belief in the Lorenzo Snow couplet as man is God once was and is God is man may become infected.
His grandfather said that that was the grandest thought that is ever been brought forth to the children of men isn't that Mormon truism will today were going to look at another topic. What did M. Russell Ballard's grandfather Melvin J. Ballard believe regarding the incarnation of Christ, he said in the crusader for righteousness.
Page 144 one of the great questions that I have referred to, that the world is concerned about and is in confusion over as to whether or not his was a virgin birth. A birth wherein divine power interceded.
Joseph Smith made it perfectly clear that Jesus Christ told the absolute truth, as did those who testify concerning him, the apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ wherein he is declared to be the very son of God and of God the father is not the real father of Jesus Christ, then we are in confusion, then he is not in reality, the son of God that we declare that he is the only begotten of the father in the flesh, and I think it should be pointed out Eric that to say that he is the only begotten of the father really wouldn't be that unique of a statement in the context of Mormonism because according to Mormonism. We are all literally begotten of the father that we all existed as spirit children of God the father and his heavenly wife when they call heavenly mother, though Mormons in the 19th century would also probably argue that God the father was a practicing polygamist as well. Even though we don't hear that so much nowadays but when they use the phrase, the only begotten of the father in the flesh. Now that specifically pinpoints the incarnation of Christ. Now you need to think about this. Folks if Mormonism is true, the incarnation has a very broad application because isn't the dictionary definition of an incarnation something being made flesh, and that could be a deity or a spirit in fact was the dictionary say about that or it's as a person who embodies in the flesh, a deity spirit or abstract quality, deity, spirit, or abstract quality. Now, I've already mentioned that Mormonism teaches that all of humankind were spirit children of God the father and heavenly mother.
So our coming to earth in these mortal frames. If you will, would certainly by that definition, mean that every human being is the product of an incarnation of some sort. So to say that Jesus is the only begotten of the father doesn't really make a whole lot of sense in the context of Mormonism because were all begotten of the father. According to Mormon doctrine, but when they those three words in the flesh that means something unique entirely and what it really is telling us is that God the father himself had a physical part in the incarnation of Jesus. In fact, that phrase only begotten of the father in the flesh is not unique to Melvin J. Ballard other Mormon leaders of use that expression as well. Let me give you one 10th Pres. Joseph Fielding Smith at a Gen. conference April 1921, pages 39 through 40 of conference reports said men may formulate plans and adopt theories and introduce strange works and gather and teach many particular doctrines, but this teaching is fundamental, and from it we cannot depart that all things are concentrated in and around the Lord Jesus Christ who is the Redeemer of the world. So we accept him as the only begotten of the father in the flash as explained by Pres. Penrose the only one who has dwelt in the flash who had a father who was immortal. In other words that's what makes Jesus's incarnation. Very unique and unlike the rest of humankind, but Melvin J. Ballard, in a book crusader for righteousness the same book that you decided on the same page. I might add, went on to explain what he means by the Virgin mother he wrote Mary told the story most beautifully when she said that an angel of the Lord came to her and told her that she had found favor in the sight of God and had come to be worthy of the fulfillment of the promises thereto for made to become the Virgin mother of the Redeemer of the world referring to the event. She said, quote God hath done wonderful things on to me." And" again, and the Holy Spirit came upon her." In the story and she came into the presence of the highest no man or woman can live in mortality and survived the presence of the highest except by the sustaining power of the Holy Ghost.
So it came upon her to preserve her for admittance into the divine presence and the power of the highest who is the father was present and overshadowed her and the holy child that was born of her was called the son of God. Men who deny this or think that it degrades our father have no true conception of the sacredness of the most marvelous power with which God has endowed mortal men the power of creation, even though that power may be used and may become a mere harp, a pleasure to the wicked. Nevertheless, it is the most sacred and holy and divine function with which God has endowed man made holy. It is retained by the father of assault and in his exercise of that great and marvelous creative power and function. He did not debase himself to grade himself nor debauch his daughter.
Thus Christ became the literal son of a divine father and no one else was worthy to be his father now, of course, what Mr. Ballard is expressing here in this context is a unique teaching of Mormonism that God the father himself a God who has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man physically impregnates Mary bringing putting into order, the eventual incarnation of Jesus Christ himself. And as we said what if this is true and Mary is in fact the daughter of God the father we have, we would have to conclude is an incestuous relationship between God the father and his daughter Mary and this is how the Mormon Jesus came about that when he uses the expression, a mere harp of pleasure, what would that phrase even mean if it wasn't talking about a physical act being brought upon Mary.
It wouldn't make any sense at all.
But notice he still uses the phrase Virgin mother, so it's not that they can't believe that that Jesus was the product of a virgin birth, but they have to redefine what virgin birth even means.
And I think Bruce McConkie did a pretty good job explaining that within a Mormon context. This is the promised Messiah. The first coming of Christ, page 466, he wrote for our present purposes. Suffice it to say that our Lord was born of a virgin, which is fitting and proper, and also natural since the father of the child was an immortal being.
So what McConkie is arguing here that yes Mormons feel perfectly right in claiming that Jesus's birth was the result of his mother being a virgin but it's only because she didn't have relations with a mortal man. Instead she had physical relations within mortal man and that's what allows them to use that phrase. Now there are many Latter Day Saints who may not always accept older teachings like McConkie and Ballard and others like that.
Is this still a teaching today and the answer is yes. In the 2009 gospel principles. It talks about this idea of the incarnation and after explaining what it is.
It says thus God the father became the literal father of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only person on earth to be born of a mortal mother and an immortal father. That is why he is called the only begotten son, and that's pages 52 through 53.
So ladies and gentlemen, that is still the teaching of the church today sure and let me give you another example. In this is again a statement from Mormon apostle Bruce McConkie and I might mention Bruce McConkie probably gives us more quotations on this particular topic than any other Mormon leader that I aware of but in the book of Mormon seminary student study guide which came out in the year 2000.
On page 22. You will find this to condescend as literally to go down among and of course the context is referring to God the father he condescended. McConkie goes on to say, the condescension of God lies in the fact that he only exalted being steps down from his eternal throne to become the father of a mortal son, a son born after the manner of the flesh, so there's that phrase again after the manner of the flesh which goes along with what M. Russell Ballard's grandfather taught in that book crusader for righteousness. On page 144.
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