Are You “Scared” or “Weak-Minded” Over the Father Having a Father? Joseph Smith Has a Word For You

On June 16, 1844—just 11 days before his death—Joseph preached just east of the Nauvoo temple in a grove probably very near (or even the same place as?) where he gave his sermon at King Follett’s funeral. Many people think of the King Follett Discourse as Joseph Smith’s last great sermon, and indeed, some have even mistaken it as his very last sermon. But it certainly was not his last.

I’d encourage everyone to become familiar with Joseph Smith’s sermon on the Godhead and the plurality of gods as printed in History of the Church, vol. 6, p. 473-479. Ask yourself: What would Joseph Smith have said on Larry King?

“If Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and John discovered that God the Father of Jesus Christ had a Father, you may suppose that He had a Father also. Where was there ever a son without a father? And where was there ever a father without first being a son? Whenever did a tree or anything spring into existence without a progenitor? And everything comes in this way. Paul says that which is earthly is in the likeness of that which is heavenly, Hence if Jesus had a Father, can we not believe that He had a Father also? I despise the idea of being scared to death at such a doctrine, for the Bible is full of it.” (>>)

Joseph went on to write:

“I want to stick to my text, to show that when men open their lips against these truths they do not injure me, but injure themselves. To the law and to the testimony, for these principles are poured out all over the scriptures. When things that are of the greatest importance are passed over by weak-minded men without even a thought, I want to see truth in all its bearings and hug it to my bosom. I believe all that God ever revealed, and I never hear of a man being damned for believing too much; but they are damned for unbelief.”

Discussion Questions

  • Joseph Smith the Bible is “full” of the doctrine the Father having a Father. What Biblical support is there for this doctrine, if any? What does the Bible say that would preclude this from even being a possibility?
  • What would Joseph Smith say on Larry King in contrast to Gordon B. Hinckley?
  • Do you think Joseph Smith thought he was merely speculating?
  • Why do you think the notion of the Father having a Father is so offensive to Christians? Most importantly, do you think it is offensive to God himself?

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94 Responses to Are You “Scared” or “Weak-Minded” Over the Father Having a Father? Joseph Smith Has a Word For You

  1. Falcon says:

    Really in ancient Israel, God’s people did not evolve from being polytheist to a belief in one God. True, there was a great deal of conflict with the people getting involved with pegan gods. Moses goes up on the mountain to talk with God and the people get themselves a golden calf. The prophets continually told the people to forsake the pagan gods and turn to Yahweh. So many “gods” might have been worshiped, but not sanctioned or accepted. This all points up God’s jealousy and lack of tolerance for other gods. He is God. There aren’t a bunch of Him(s).

  2. jeff says:

    Amanda, the BoM actually supports many biblical views (there being only one God. No man is to have more than one Wife) These are all things that have been referenced in past topics. So by us quoting the BoM, it would actually help our views, more than support the un-biblical views that come from your Prophet’s mouths. The biggest contradiction with the BoM though is that there is no evidence supporting anything it talks about, and as mentioned before, there is plenty of stuff out there that supports the things written about in the Bible.

    So naturally, we quote from things like D&C, Pearl of Great Price, JoD, etc.. that explain the “modern revelations” the LDS church has/is received/receiving. That’s where the offensive and contradictory material comes into view.

  3. Rick B says:

    Seth, you and Amanda sure are something Else.

    Seth said First off Rick, I’ll tell you plainly that I don’t know for sure. Neither can anyone know for sure until all things have been revealed to us by God Himself.

    Funny how you can say no one can know, Yet JS said he knew.

    Seth said There simply is no potential for one god overruling another.

    Yet the D and C teaches otherwise.

    Amanda said Follow the admonition given in James- pray for yourself–and many of you claim to have genuinely taken this seriously-

    2 things here, 1. It say ASK for wisdom, it does not say pray about Truth.

    2. If you READ THE ENTIRE BOOK OF JAMES, Not one verse, it speaks about Demonic Wisdom, and wordly wisdom, Yet I suspect it is not an option that JS fell under those choices.

    Amanda said Anyway, I do find it interesting that none seem to quote the BoM on this site in any context–since Joseph Smiths’ validity as a prophet hinges on the content/message found in the BoM-

    Lots of us have quoted the BoM, and either the LDS ignore what we point out, or you say were incorrect, but give no verses to support why. Rick b

  4. Mike seemed to be doing rather well I thought. Are you saying he got deleted simply because he was bringing up “liberal” theories of Biblical composition that happen to support parts of Mormonism’s stance on the Bible – the text of which was directly in contention here?

    No, we’ve had this brought up before in blog comments. It would have been fine if Mike was willing to get back on topic, answer a direct question, and demonstrate he wasn’t simply trying to repeatedly hi-jack the thread.

  5. Seth R. says:

    “Yet the D and C teaches otherwise.”

    Does it?

    Pray, do tell.

  6. I’m going to repeat my question, which so far I haven’t seen directly answered:

    It was Joseph Smith who said the Bible was “full” of the teaching that God the Father has a Father. Was he wrong? If he was right, you should be able to demonstrate the teaching from the Bible.

  7. Falcon says:

    Does God the Father have a father? I’ve never run across that in the Bible neither in the Old or New Testement. I think it was “revealed” to Joseph Smith, which I’m guessing is on par with the Bible within the LDS church. I’m not being sarcastic here. I’m thinking that this “principle” could be reversed in time by another prophet if there is enough motivation to do so. From reading the posts on this site by LDS members it appears to me that “revelation”, both to individuals and to the living prophet, can move doctrine in any direction.

  8. David says:

    “Show me some quotes. I’d rather you not pull a Blake Ostler on us ;-).”

    The whole “back it up” issue is still unresolved for Blake and myself. Can we let it cool off or get resolved before we stick a poker into that fire?

    Can anyone in this blog tell me if you have ever played this game in your mind (or maybe I am just weird). I call it “If I were” or “If I were not”.

    “If I were not” a Christian I would be a Satanist (Levay variety). “If I were Jewish” I would be Kabaalic.

    So what kind of whatever would you all be (if you were picking religions like desserts)? I bring this up because . . . If I were a Mormon, I would be a Fundamentalist Mormon (probably of the TLC variety). I would get the shock value of having “wives” and I would get shock value out of the Adam-God doctine.

    Not only is the Adam-God doctrine shocking, it is consistent. In Mormonism, if Elohim is god the grandfather a whole lot seems to fit together. If men can become gods then Adam being our god is not that far-fetched. D&C calls him the “Ancient of Days” which has been a term used for The Almighty. If the father can have a father, then why can’t our father be Adam? If we really did “fall up” in the garden then can’t the whole Bible just be a record of Adam’s/Man’s evolution (singular) and Mankind’s evolution (corporate). Or maybe I am just weird.

  9. lillym says:

    Seth said: “You must study the word, test it in your life, and pray about it extensively for a confirmation of whether it is true or not, and how you are meant to apply it in your own life situation”

    #1.) the verse I referred to in Timothy said that ALL scripture was profitable for “training, teaching, reproof,” etc. Again I ask: how is that possible if the scriptures are not accurate?

    #2.) Nowhere do we find this instruction to “pray about scripture really hard, for a long time, to know if it’s even true or not”
    That makes no sense. Why do we need to beg God for the “thumbs up” on the scriptures, when He says repeatedly that they are God-breathed and to be used for training in righteousness?

    #3.) If the scriptures are not accurate because God only “inspired” them, then what can we say about all of the presidents of the Mormons? All of them were “inspired” to give their prohpecies, and yet so many of them contradict each other or have been proven false. (also thinking of JS’s several different versions of his story on how he got those plates)

    Again, none of this makes any sense.

  10. megan says:

    Okay, I think I found the parts in the Bible Aaron wanted someone to find (about God not having a father, etc.) I believe they are “God is not a man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should repent. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfil it?” (Num. 23:19). There is almost an identical version of this verse found in 1 Sam. 15:29 “He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a man, that he should change his mind.”
    I’m interested to see how LDS posters will wiggle out of this one. I know they will; the question is how? I guess they can use the “but God hasn’t revealed all his truth yet” excuse.

  11. megan says:

    okay, so maybe the verses aren’t identical. I’m really tired! The first one shows that God is not a man and is not a son of man (hence, no father); the second just refers to God not being a man. I know we’re not supposed to do back-to-back posts, but I couldn’t let my error stand.

  12. Megan, I wouldn’t fret too much about your back-to-back posts if you’re not trying to abuse the word limit on posts. We’re not huge sticklers on that unless someone is trying to work around it.

    And yeah, I would think those are good verses for the Christian view, but not the Mormon view where God, man, and demons are all of the same species and nature!

  13. Seth R. says:

    “I’m interested to see how LDS posters will wiggle out of this one.”

    Oh that’s cute of you Megan. Set it up so that no matter what answer I give, it looks like I’m being dishonest or sneaky.

    Are you interested in discussion, or are you just looking for a place where you can self-righteously pat yourself on the back? Is this a dialogue forum or a place for evangelical groupthink?

    Aaron,

    As to your question about where in the Bible it provides evidence that God has a father… I have no idea what Joseph Smith was referring to. I don’t see clear-cut evidence myself. So I can’t help you there.

    lillym,

    A passage does not need to be inerrant or 100% accurate historically to be useful. Farmers plant crops every year based off of last years estimates. I respect and revere the Bible a great deal actually. But I don’t expect inerrancy from it. You’re not one of those people who reject a play the moment they find one thing wrong with one of the actors are you? Why reject the Bible just because it contains possible mistakes?

    For the record, I’m very careful about jettisoning biblical scripture and I actually have yet to do it for any of them in particular. But I am open to interpretation.

  14. Megan says:

    Sorry, Seth R., ad hominem attacks aren’t real answers. But for the record, I sincerely had no ulterior motive when I made the “wiggle” comment. It hadn’t even entered my head to say that in order to negate any of the LDS posters’ potential comments. I was wondering out loud what excuses I would hear not to take God at his word.
    You completely avoided discussing the verse I cited. (And you seriously wonder about my “wiggle” comment?) What do you think? I would like a real answer, because with complete sincerity I would like to know. Was God lying in the Numbers verse when he said he was not the son of man? But no, he wasn’t, because the verse clears that question up too. So the verse tells us 2 things: that God is not a man, and that God cannot lie.
    If God cannot lie (to do so would be to go against his perfect, holy nature) than why would he tell us one thing in the Bible and another in the BOM? Any answers?

  15. rick b says:

    Seth said

    “Yet the D and C teaches otherwise.”

    Does it?

    Pray, do tell.

    Your kidding correct? I already pointed out verse 6 and what it said. It said
    32 According to that which was ordained in the midst of the Council of the Eternal God of all other gods before this world was,

    If you choose not to agree, thats fine, But you said it is YOUR OPINION, You did not use any scripture to refute this. You also did not answer my other question about JS saying He does know, but you said no man can know. Do I believe you or your prophet?

    If your Prophet is wrong and you follow him, how can I trust you? Rick b

  16. amanda says:

    Jeff, your assessment of BoM teachings is a bit inaccurate. Refer to Jacob 2:26-30 (I and others have referenced this scripture quite a bit) with regards to plural marriage.

    26 Wherefore, I the Lord God will not suffer that this people shall do like unto them of old.
    27 Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none;
    28 For I, the Lord God, delight in the chastity of women. And whoredoms are an abomination before me; thus saith the Lord of Hosts.
    29 Wherefore, this people shall keep my commandments, saith the Lord of Hosts, or cursed be the land for their sakes.
    30 For if I will, saith the Lord of Hosts, raise up seed unto me, I WILL COMMAND MY PEOPLE; otherwise they shall hearken unto these things.

    (caps added for emphasis and clarity)

    RICK AND JEFF 🙂

    I stand corrected, the BoM has been quoted on this site, good, glad to hear it.

    This issue is a cart before the horse issue. I pray for “wisdom” (rick if you prefer that word, I’m fine with that) if Joseph Smith was a prophet…if I receive clarity and wisdom that he indeed was a prophet (which I have many times throughout my life)…then all that flows from him in terms of revelation, is GOD’s word, not JS’s. So you all are “offended” mostly because you assume your position as THE correct position on Gods word (without claiming authority yourself)–then try to fit the restored gospel into your mold. We shouldn’t be surprised that it doesn’t fit well. Over all, I submit to you all that we should be more concerned with what God has said, not what we think He has said–and that entails searching for His word WHEREVER he has written/revealed it- and get over this bible worshiping stuff. You essentially place the bible above God by rejecting the notion that God can reveal His word in any way He pleases and at any time- you target the messenger as “offensive” TALK ABOUT AD HOMINEM, Megan.

    Evangelicals LITERALLY shot the messenger.

  17. amanda says:

    Thomas C. Sharp, father methodist preacher
    Levi Williams, baptist minister

    and two others were acquitted of shooting the messenger, no doubt by a jury of their evangelical peers.

  18. Seth R. says:

    Brian, what does there being a “Council of the Eternal God” have to do with gods contradicting each other?

    As for whether you trust me or not Brian, I’m not sure I care anymore since I doubt there is anything I could say that would make much difference to you. You’ve made up your mind, and you seem determined to view everything I say in the least charitable light possible.

    How about you quote Gal. 1:8 again? That should be enough to prove everything in the little reality you are living in. Paul said there are “wolves in sheep’s clothing” in existence in this world. Which OBVIOUSLY conclusively proves that I am one. Congratulations. You caught me.

    Megan wrote,

    “Sorry, Seth R., ad hominem attacks aren’t real answers.”

    Then maybe you’ll think twice in the future before using them yourself.

    “It hadn’t even entered my head to say that in order to negate any of the LDS posters’ potential comments.”

    Then what on earth did you say it for? My amusement? But OK, why not address the verses you quoted…

    “God is not a man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should repent. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfil it?” (Num. 23:19).”

    And 1 Sam. 15:29 “He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a man, that he should change his mind.”

    Seems more like an Israelite writer engaging in Biblical imagery than anything else. Kind of like when the Bible talks about the “blast of His nostrils” or “his footstool” or “the arm of the Lord” when referring to God and his actions. You guys don’t believe God has a physical body right? But here, it says He’s got arms, stands on footstools and breathes air…

    So what could it all mean?

    Pretty easy for you to answer I’d imagine. The Biblical author is simply using a figure of speech in these instances to convey God’s power and majesty to a human audience. Perhaps a bit of poetic imagery as well. But it certainly doesn’t prove God has a body does it?

    Well, that’s my answer to you as well. The comparison of God to flawed mortal men is just one more figure of speech meant to convey that God is consistent – unlike mortal human beings. It says zero, zip, nadda about what species God is, or where He came from.

    You might want to consider the possibility that you are being very selective in which Bible verses you are choosing to take literally and which ones you are calling mere “figures of speech.”

    Not that I expect this to impress you one bit. After all, you’ve already decided I’m weaseling out of things anyway. Have a lovely day.

  19. Megan says:

    Seth R., I truly didn’t mean to offend you. I don’t know what else to say…Anyway, you’ve given me something to think about. Thankyou for a straightforward, uwiggly answer!
    Let’s look at these two statements:
    1. God is eternal, unchanging, self-existent, and perfect.
    2. God has not always been God, he changes, he is not self-existent, he is progressing to perfection.
    These are polar opposite statments. They are completely contrary. The Bible points us to the first, but Mormonism claims that the second is true. One of the statments has to be true, because they negate each other. So the continued revelation claim doesn’t work. Revelation must complement the information already at hand, not deny it. Was God lying when he claimed to be perfect and eternal? No, because to do so would be to go against his own nature. In addition, if I were a Mormon, how on earth could I trust a God who claimed one thing and then completely changed it thousands of years later?
    Do you see what I mean?

  20. Seth R. says:

    Yes I do see. And I’m sorry I got snippy with you. We simply read the Bible differently. And it does seem to be a rather fundamental difference.

    I see perfection as something that God currently IS because He participates in it. Not because He was always necessarily that way (but keep in mind that the exact way it works is a mystery for Mormons – as are many things pertaining to God). As for eternity, we are all eternal, including God. We always have existed and always will.

    I’m not asking you to agree with the LDS take on things. But I hope you can at least see how our position is not completely nonsensical. We have actually thought a bit about these issues.

  21. Ralph says:

    Here is where we have a difference in interpretation of the Bible. If you fully expect an answer, then listen to our answers and compare it to the LDS interpretation to understand. Because I already know your stance is against mine, and I know there’s going to be many Yebuts coming on. But I’ll give it a go.

    We all agree that Jesus is (a) God. We read in Rom 8:16-18 that we are children of Heavenly Father and JOINT-HEIRS with Jesus. Now if the scripture as you believe is ‘God-breathed’ then this word was meant to be in there. I have consulted with a lawyer friend and Joint-heir mean that ALL receive the SAME as each other. There are no exceptions written in that chapter so it’s not out of context. We know that Jesus inherited all power and everything The Father has from Matt 28:18 and John 16:15. So we will inherit the same. Finally in Rev 3:21 it states that if we overcome we will sit with Jesus on God’s throne. Now to me, if a king sat someone else on the throne it would mean that the king wanted others to esteem that person like a king – but not necessarily on the same level as the king. The person will still be subordinate to the king. From these verses, my understanding is that we can gain the same power as God – meaning becoming creators, etc – gods ourselves.

    So if we can become gods ourselves because God is our Father and God is referred to as Heavenly Father in the scriptures then to me it shows an eternal progression. Thus it can infer that Heavenly Father has a Father. As for scriptures in the Bible explicitly pointing this out – I don’t know of any.

    Now let’s see the Yebuts!

  22. Megan says:

    No problem Seth. Thanks for your explanation of the LDS view of God’s perfection–that was helpful. I’ll have to think about that one. But here are is a question: According to LDS theology (I think this is correct), God is still progressing in knowledge, even though he has already attained a state of perfection (or I guess participates in it.). How does that make sense? To be (or participate) in perfection, one is already perfect and does not have any more knowledge to attain, right?
    Ralph, I’ll have to get back to you on the points you raised. Those are good questions. I’m going to have to do some digging.
    Any comments or insights, anyone? (I’m paging you, Aaron).
    That’s it for me tonight.

  23. Ralph says:

    Megan,

    The LDS perspective on Heavenly Father is that He is perfect in every way, omniscient and omnipotent. There are a few who started believing that God still is ‘progressing’ and that there is something else after ‘godhood’. Elder McConkie gave a talk in 1980 about 7 heresies that various members (not all) within the LDS church have, and this was one of them. In his talk he states that when the LDS church talks about God progressing we mean that He is continuing His work, which is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. His increase/progression is in the number of His children attaining ‘godhood’ – ie His kingdoms and dominions are increasing. The full talk is found here http://www.lds-mormon.com/heresies.shtml

    As for one of your earlier questions about the scripture stating that God is not the son of man- you missed the qualifier – “that he should repent”. It says nothing about Him having or not having a father.

  24. Rick, D&C 121 was written in 1839. Even given the rhetoric you have pointed out, it doesn’t seem that Joseph Smith at that time yet had a belief in the familial supremacy of other gods above God the Father. Like Mormons have to be careful not to read later theology into earlier texts, we do too.

    In principle, most Mormons reject the true doctrine of eternal progression. Christianity holds that Christians will ever-increasingly grow in the knowledge of and enjoyment of God, whereas traditional Mormon theology (which denies that the Father is still progressing in knowledge and power) holds that those in the Celestial Kingdom will learn everything there is to know about God and then plateau. Then they will only progress in the external glory of progeny, of having children that increase one’s glory in having more family.

    Christians would say that the most significant type of progression to experience—which saints will eternally and ever-increasingly experience—is the knowledge and enjoyment of God. Mormonism can’t go this route because their gods aren’t that intrinsically glorious. Indeed, Christians are “joint-heirs” with Christ, but this hardly implies that we can get to a point where we’ve appropriated, received, and enjoyed everything that is Christ’s. While Mormonism says we can get to such a point with equality with Christ (in exaltation), Christians hold that they will eternally and ever-increasingly receive, enjoy, appropriate, and learn what we have inherited. This means that we will forever increase in knowledge and power, but never be omniscient or omnipotent like God. Ironically, in its teaching of deification, Mormonism cheapens the substance of what it means to be joint-heir with Christ by making it finite and entirely attainable at a point in time.

    Let me put it this way: For Christians, the afterlife consists of forever and ever-increasingly climbing the mountain of the beauty and glory and grandeur of God. For Mormons, the mountain isn’t infinitely high, and therefore is attainable in entirety at a point in time. Traditional Mormonism teaches you can get to the top of that mountain and say, “Welp, I’ve learned all there is to know about God.” Sort of takes the umpf and excitement out of eternal life if you ask me. Indeed, in some significant ways Christians believe in deification and theosis more than Mormons do. This is because of our infinitely higher view of God.

    “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:33-36)

    When’s the last time you’ve heard a Mormon overflow that with kind of talk about their “Godhead” team of three gods?

    Yes, Bruce McConkie condemns as deadly, damnable heresy more than a few things that Brigham taught, including that God is still progressing in all of his attributes. Apostle Orson Pratt and president Brigham Young duked it out on that issue and others (like Adam-God). Except for a few issues, Orson Pratt essentially won the theological battle. As Mormon apologist Blake Ostler wrote, “I personally believe that [Brigham Young’s] theology was a disaster for the most part…” (>>) Disaster indeed. A good part of the early 20th century was spent by Mormon intellectuals like James Talmage reconstructing Mormon doctrine. It sure sounds like Brigham is a diseased tree described by Matthew 7:15-20. But the Mormon view of “continuing revelation” and “inspiration” seems to allow for their prophets publicly teaching as vital doctrine at General Conference what is later condemned by Mormon prophets and apostles as deadly, damnable heresies. But hey, it’s got a good welfare program and teaches good morals, doesn’t it, so who cares? If the spiritual Kool-Aid tastes good and feels right, go for it.

    No, my friends, truth is more important than that!

    Grace and peace in Christ,

    Aaron

  25. Ralph says:

    Aaron,

    Nice ideas. One thing I’d point out that you brought up, no where did I say we would be ‘equal’ to Jesus. I said that we would get an equal inheritance from The Father (ie everything that He has), but personally, I would never think or say that I was on par with Jesus in anything else. He is my Saviour and Redeemer, and He has done more for me than anyone could. From what He has done for me, I owe Him everything. One possible way to describe it would be like a real inheritence. Say we all receive a million dollars from our father, but its only because the first born has sacrificed his inheritence to do so. I would feel indebted to him, and I would not feel worthy enough to consider myself on his level (poor example but the only way I could think of it). So to me, Jesus will always be on a ‘higher level’ than I. So I don’t feel as though I am ‘cheapening’ what He has done for me by believing that I will be a joint-heir with Him. Just my thoughts.

    Megan,

    You gave 2 statements earlier. The LDS church believes differently to what you have written down in #2. We believe that God is eternal, unchanging and perfect. I am not sure what exactly you mean about self-existant. As Seth said we are all eternal as we have existed before this life, first as intelligences then as spirits. As for unchanging – we are called by our church “gods in embryo”. From what I have learned in biology an embryo does not change character – if its a human embryo then it will grow to be a human. Likewise the gametes do not change character. Unless severe genetic engineering is done DNA does not change character. If we succeed in this life and reach godhood, we have fulfilled our potential and thus have not changed in character. The life cycle of moths is another example – it may change shape but it will always be a moth. I have already given the evidence on perfection with Elder McConkie’s talk.

  26. Ralph, it’s notable you didn’t deny that you can become equal to Jesus in knowledge and power. Your own church’s Gospel Principles teaches that we will become equal with God in knowledge and power, which, in the context of my comment, is exactly what I was referring to. To think that all this knowledge and power is such that you can attain it all at a point in time cheapens the value and substance of the inheritance. Being forever indebted to the one you inherited from doesn’t change that.

    In fact, is just creates more problems for your theology. If you’re going to become an “Eternal Father” like God the Father, but are still indebted or inferior to another god, then that makes you less worthy of worship than the ones above you. This also opens the door for our God the Father still being indebted to the god(s) above him and being in some way inferior to them (inferior, that is, in the way you have described: “I would feel indebted to him, and I would not feel worthy enough to consider myself on his level”). Not only have you cheapened the value of the inheritance by making it all attainable at a point in time, you’ve also cheapened the glory of your God. I want you to read very closely the passage I already quoted:

    “Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:33-36)

    This is an odd statement for a god who is:

    • potentially among billions of other “Eternal Fathers”

    • potentially below an infinite patriarchy of superior Gods

    • whose ways are not inscrutable, but rather entirely known by other gods who progressed to such a knowledge at a point in time

    • whose ways and knowledge were potentially instructed and taught by superior gods

    • who is potentially indebted to superior gods for gifts that were given; indeed, God was deficient at a point in time and needed such gifts

    • who is not the origin and source of all good things, but rather is merely a conduit for things and plans and programs that are more ultimate than him, indeed, that have been more constantly and eternally what they are than God has fully been God

    I’m supposed to worship this God of yours? And when you become like him you actually expect your own subjects to worship you?

    Please, my friend, come to your senses!

  27. Jeff B says:

    You know how I wrote that in my almost 4 years of attending a ward every Sunday that I never heard of someone talk about “becoming a God”? Well it happened! My wife and I were invited to be students in the Marriage and Family class that the LDS have every year for some number of weeks. My father in-law in the first counselor of the bishopric so he was the one that invited us. We went over the Proclamation on the Family and it mentions somewhere in there about obtaining Godhood I think. So the bishop who was just sitting in commented on it, saying that “the church is criticized for that belief, but why is it such a horrible thing to want to become a God? It sounds wonderful to me!” All of a sudden, 5 separate verses from the Bible popped into my head. I wanted to recite them, and say “THATS WHY!” Oh! my wife and I got a calling also. Isn’t that funny? A non-member having a calling in the LDS Church? Anyways, we are part of the activity’s committee. They of course can’t give me a teaching calling because I’m not a member.. I actually had this same calling when we lived in Cedar City, UT. It’s pretty fun, but I dislike when meetings are scheduled that conflict with things. Anyways, theres some news for you.

  28. rick b says:

    Aaron said

    Rick, D&C 121 was written in 1839. Even given the rhetoric you have pointed out, it doesn’t seem that Joseph Smith at that time yet had a belief in the familial supremacy of other gods above God the Father. Like Mormons have to be careful not to read later theology into earlier texts, we do too.

    I don’t know Aaron, itjust tells me JS was both clueless and his doctrines changed if you are correct. If that is the case, then can we trust JS to be a true prophet of God? Rick b

  29. Of course it radically changed, and of course that’s a reason why I don’t trust him.

  30. rick b says:

    Ralph said

    I would never think or say that I was on par with Jesus in anything else. He is my Saviour and Redeemer, and He has done more for me than anyone could.

    Thats Funny, Joseph Smith said He has done more than even Jesus for us, So unless your not aware of Him saying that, I think your wrong, JS has said he has done more for you. Rick b

  31. Specifically, he boasted that he had done more than Jesus to unify the church.

    “I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from Him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet.” (History of the Church, Vol. 6, pp. 408-409)

  32. Seth R. says:

    Sounds pretty much like what Moses did when he boasted to the children of Israel that “he” had provided them with water.

    I imagine Joseph now regrets saying what he did. But Rick’s reading is utterly unfair. Joseph boasted about keeping the church together. He did not claim he had “done more for us than Jesus.” He’s not claiming that he’s greater than the Atonement.

    I think the remark was ill advised and irreverent. But please guys, try to maintain at least a semblance of fairness in your representations of what Mormon leaders did or did not say.

  33. Ralph says:

    RickB and Aaron,

    In John 14:12 Jesus said that His followers will do the same works as they saw Jesus doing and GREATER THINGS than Jesus because He was going back to the Father. Joseph Smith only boasted in keeping the church together and said that it was more than what Paul, John, Peter and Jesus did, because after they died the church went into apostasy (according to LDS belief). The church that has now been established through Joseph Smith has been given the promise by God to remain on this earth until the Second Coming. So it’s not inconceivable that Jesus’s followers could do something ‘greater’ than Him if He said that we could. But NO ONE could do anything greater than the Atonement. Jesus did the only greatest thing in the history of this world right there. But He did not do everything, He has left some of that up to us.

    Yes we shouldn’t boast in our pride, and if that’s what Joseph did at that time, then he is only human. As pointed out, Moses did the same by smitting the rock to get water, when God told him to speak to it. Moses took the glory for it and paid the price by not being allowed to enter the promised land. The prophets are human and imperfect. Ultimately its Jesus who will judge us and thus we will have to answer to Him.

    And yes RickB I was aware of Joseph saying that. I have been doing research, which is how I found this blog. I am enjoying the discussions, are you?

  34. Ralph, when Christ said they would do greater things I think he was referring to the practical outworking of the spread of the kingdom of God. Christ is not “here” on earth in the same way he was in his earthly ministry. While his disciples now do the work of ministry under his authority and power, all is attributed to Christ ultimately. Jesus said in John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” That kind of thing precludes any such boasting from the mouth of Joseph Smith. The New Testament frequently speaks of the church as belonging to Christ, as being protected, guarded, built up, and added to by him.

    Yes we shouldn’t boast in our pride, and if that’s what Joseph did at that time, then he is only human.

    By “only human” do you particularly mean fallen and sinful? You seem to want one foot in, one foot out, ambivalently defending his remark, and then leaving open a back door for the possibility that he was sinning.

    If any Christian friend of my said anything remotely close to what Joseph Smith did in his boasting I would immediately, sharply, and solemnly rebuke him. Would you?

    Take care,

    Aaron

  35. By the way, we should probably get back to the topic of God the Father having a Father. But I wouldn’t mind you answering that question.

  36. Ralph says:

    Well Aaron,

    Joseph was spreading the word of God and the kingdom and that was what he was boasting about. As for my ‘one foot in, one foot out’ defence, what I am saying is that he can be and is correct with what he said, however, he most likely should have not said it because it is boasting which we are told not to do. But I wasn’t there at the time and I do not know the context behind it in an historical or spiritual sense, so I can’t judge.

    As for would I rebuke a friend – Honestly I think it would depend on the situation. If it was done in a personal setting then probably yes. If it was done in a church class and it was wrong – definately. If it was done in a public meeting – not sure. I am not that confident in public settings. (As for me writing in this blog – this is anonymous not public so its no real bother to me.)

  37. amanda says:

    I am officially rendered irrelevant- Am I turning into a bore? Where are my responses to my earlier post? I think I’ll go eat worms.

    I called into an evangelical radio show, and while I was waiting on the line, I listened to the previous caller. The discussion was leaning toward warning the caller that his catholic upbringing taught him false doctrine and that he needs to go fellowship where a pastor could teach him TRUE doctrine. Inherent in this suggestion was the idea that the pastor had authority to teach doctrine but that this caller had zero authority even though he sought Christ everyday through reading his bible. Doesn’t this radio host have to claim more authority than just syndication in order to KNOW or authorize what true doctrine is? Or which versions of the bible are correct? Which begs the question, aren’t evangelicals monopolizing interpretation and authority the same way they accuse a modern day prophet/Mormonism of doing? Joseph Smith had everything to lose, and did lose, by claiming prophetic authority. These syndicated radio evangelists and their parent network have everything to gain by claiming authority (cha-ching). Joseph Smith’s prophecies revealed the true purpose behind what we are asked to do, clarifying much of the issues reformers had with catholicism, in terms of covenants and commandments…evangelicals reasons for attending church? well, they can’t really claim anything other than its a “good idea” because it’s in the bible.. but it’s not required, right? That would be a work!! So are we paying pastor Bob so we can get together and fellowship? That seems a bit pointless, forgive the opinion. However, I see great strength and purpose in the restored gospel, and modern day revelation that teaches us that fellowshipping is SERVICE, not “service rendered under a free market system”. Bishops are called with priesthood authority to SERVE not control. Sorry, I’m sounding a lot like a pastor myself, my bad.

    But seriously, you guys are the good guys, for the most part. I don’t believe that my evangelical counterparts are evil or going to hell…and I don’t have a problem with them paying their tithing (as they are commanded in the bible to do) I just think it could do more to advance the gathering of Israel than pay pastor Gary’s mortgage.

  38. rick b says:

    Amanda said

    Joseph Smith’s prophecies revealed the true purpose behind what we are asked to do,

    his prophecies were false. rick b

  39. amanda says:

    Rick B,

    Well, the word that better describes what I meant to say is “revelations” not “prophecies”. But both words render that sentence accurate.

    I look to prophets for learning and for modern day revelation more than I concern myself with past prophecies. This doesn’t belittle prophecies in any way–but you have to consider the entire purpose of a mouthpiece…and much of that is to reveal Gods word and His direction to His people. One particular revelation that has directly blessed His sheep is the Word of Wisdom. Consider its’ contents and wisdom and then try to argue that Joseph Smith not only was a brilliant author and story-teller but he was a scientist or nutritionist way before his time as well. No, he was an imperfect man with a third grade education who had many flaws–but nonetheless, God revealed his direction through Him.

    Aside from Joseph Smith, there have been many who have followed him (prophets) with THEIR flaws, but yet the church continues to grow throughout the world solely based on individual service and faith. It grows based on the faith of its members who don’t need a paycheck to convince them to share fellowship and teach the gospel. The church doesn’t need to employ pastors, have evangelical-hating ministries to convince others what they have deceived themselves with. The restored gospel stands on its’ own, speaks for itself. Another interesting token is the fact that the restored gospel actually bears the name of Jesus Christ.

    NOTHING compares to His gospel, nothing even comes close.

  40. rick b says:

    Amanda, Did you not read in the OT about A guy getting Stoned for ONE FALSE PROPHICY? JS made many. Then the WoW goes aghainst what God already said, He told Peter to RISE, KILL and EAT. Peter say not so Lord, nothing Common or unclean has ever enterd my mouth. God told peter Do not Call Commen or unclean what I made clean.

    Now Jesus also said, it is not what goes into a mans mouth that defiles him, but what comes out of his mouth. Jesus drank wine, and spoke on the wine shin parable, that parable shows the Wine fermenting. So JS and his WoW are not of or from God. Sadly also many LDS do not even follow the WoW. Rick b

  41. amanda says:

    Rick,

    Are you suggesting that because the Lord was explaining the seriousness of ones words and language compared to what they eat that somehow he cannot give direction/guidance as to what to put into our mouths in this dispensation?

    And yes, you are correct Rick B…many LDS do not follow the word of wisdom…AND?? I guess since many fall short of what they are asked to do that what they are asked to do must be bologna? No.

  42. Seth R. says:

    “Sadly also many LDS do not even follow the WoW.”

    OK Rick, that was just a cheap shot. It had nothing to do with the conversation.

    What game are you playing at here?

    See-how-many-bad-things-about-Mormonism-
    I-can-cram-into-one-post-however-irrelevant-
    to-the-discussion? Is that the little game you’re playing here? Just throw random accusations at the wall until something sticks?

    At this point, you have about zero credibility with me. You are fast showing yourself to be one of those “there is no stick too ugly to beat a Mormon with” type of “Christians.”

    So some LDS don’t keep the Word of Wisdom?

    Oh horrors! Just proves Mormonism is false doesn’t it?

    I’m sure in your strange little reality you think you’ve scored some sort of point here.

    But keep in mind. People in YOUR religion sometimes have sex before they are married, lie to their bosses, and cheat on their taxes.

    So what does that say about Christians?

    Maybe it would be a useful exercise if you paused a moment to smell what you are shoveling.

  43. rick b says:

    Seth, Amanda brought up the issue of the WoW, So I gave my blog link. I did not just bring it up out of the blue, you need to read better. As to Christians Lying, having sex before they are married Etc, so do LDS, What’s your point? Rick b

  44. Sapphire says:

    I’d like to address the original discussion questions

    * Joseph Smith [said] the Bible is “full” of the doctrine the Father having a Father. What Biblical support is there for this doctrine, if any? (There is nothing whatever in the Bible to support this. Zip.) What does the Bible say that would preclude this from even being a possibility? (“Hear O Israel, the Lord or God is One God” and there’s the multitude of verses in Isaiah, most tellingly 46.9: “… for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like me.” And Isaiah 45:5: “I am the Lord, and there is no other; beside me there is no god.” And Isaiah 43:10: “…Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me.” How much more clear can it be?

    * What would Joseph Smith say on Larry King in contrast to Gordon B. Hinckley? (Not worth answering – who cares? don’t we have more than enough of his drivel?)
    * Do you think Joseph Smith thought he was merely speculating? ( I think JS was well aware most of the time that he was as much of a fraud as L. Ron Hubbard, not that he was aware of him, not being able to see into the future. Sometimes, like all pathological liars, he got lost in his own fantasies and confused truth and reality.)
    * Why do you think the notion of the Father having a Father is so offensive to Christians? (The first tenet of Christianity and Judiasm is that there is one God, the Almighty, the Creator of everything. Period. The doctrines that mere men can become “gods” and this habit of cutting God down to man-like/demigod status are repulsive and antithetical to both religions.) Most importantly, do you think it is offensive to God himself? (The God of the Bible seems to be a pretty proud, even self-proclaimed “jealous” God. So yes, I can’t help but think so. Like he said to Job who dared challenge Him: Where were you when I made the world? or in other words “Who are you, you little man, to deign to put yourself on a level with Me?”)

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