I spent much of the General Conference weekend downtown doing video interviews for my GodNeverSinned.com project. At one point I shot some video of the missionaries trying to neutralize (“hymn-slam”?) one of the jeerers outside the Conference Center.
I added annotations to the video as a way of sharing and advertising. One Mormon responded:
Some of the little “bubbles” displayed randomly during this singing are not true of our beliefs. But, that’s how satan teaches – by giving half-truths.
Hail to the Prophet Joseph Smith!
I asked for specifics, and what follows is the conversation that ensued. She wrote:
Actually, I just watched it again and all of the bubbles contain misinformation. The Book of Mormon outdated? Still contains the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is the foundation of the church. We also believe in continued revelation. Ruling over planets? No, we don’t believe that. We believe we can become LIKE God – eternal and perfect. Not “gods” of our own planets. That especially is not doctrine. Maybe people assume that, but it is not doctrine.
God, angels, demons and humans all being the same “species”… well, in a sense, yes I guess, (except God our Father is on a whole different ‘plane’ than we are or will ever be.) God our Father created us ALL, and us “humans” in His image. There are different types of angels – spirits who have not come to earth, those who have come here and have been resurrected, those who have come to earth but not resurrected. Demons, I assume, satan’s followers – will never gain a body and were all created as spirit children of God. Just like the rest of us. They chose to follow Lucifer and were cast out along with him and will never live on this earth.
God being a sinner? I would like to see where you come up with that? We have NEVER taught that as doctrine, EVER. God is perfect, all knowing and all loving. We know the true nature of God – meaning He is a being. Where His beginning began? We don’t know. For us, He has always existed. We do not believe that, that is an absolute flat out lie. See how all these little bubbles contain mixed up truth? And even lies?? Come on. Who do you think the creator of all that IS?
Certainly not the Lord.
Whether the Book of Mormon of 1830 represents contemporary doctrine of Mormonism in 2009 is a matter of opinion. On this issue I recommend this article by a respected Mormon historian.
I live in Utah, and know lots of Mormons. If you would ever like to have lunch with us, I’ll pay for your food. My Mormon friends are very up front about the future exaltation and ruling over planets as gods. Notice on this point how I appeal to “traditional Mormonism”. I chose that language as to not stereotype Mormons.
Your point about God and demons is compatible with my bubble. They are equivalent in species but varied in states and stages of development. My bubble chose careful language on this point.
On the God-as-former-sinner issue, I invite you to see a preview of my video project on that at GodNeverSinned.com. Regardless of it not being an explicit doctrine specifically promoted from the leadership, it is a mainstream (but not uniform) belief according to my research. I chose my language carefully on this, and said “many Mormons”, not “all Mormons” or “institutional Mormonism explicitly teaches”, etc.
Please tell me what you think of the GodNeverSinned.com project. It is entirely made up of video interviews with real Mormons (most of the video work so far was done this past General Conference weekend).
Take care, I look forward to your reply,
I do not wish to go back and forth with you. While your Mormon friends may talk about ‘being gods” and ruling over their own planet, it is still an assumption. There is no doctrine stating that, anywhere. Again, many things you point out ARE just assumptions. Not doctrine. No matter. I am sure you are very passionate in your beliefs and that is wonderful. I know the gospel is true. This knowledge has come from the Holy Ghost who testifies of truth. Have a lovely day.
I responded anyway (maybe I shouldn’t have?):
I didn’t say it was formal doctrine. On many of those things I said things like, “Many Mormons believe”. You failed to distinguish between formal doctrine and actual mainstream beliefs, conflating the two, but when I pointed out that many Mormons actually believe thus stuff, you started distinguishing the two. Does that make sense?
Take care and best wishes,
We are free, of course, to form our own opinions… which is where you are getting your “information” it seems – from other Mormon’s opinions… and those are not doctrine. It is just interesting to me that this is how people like you like to discredit or bad-mouth the church… not focusing on the REAL doctrine, but from assumptions and opinions of members. Giving half-truths and misconceptions. I know the difference between what Mormons assume and what is doctrine, but others do not. They will read your misconceptions and take that as our “doctrine”… that is where confusion sets in. Oh well. All I can do is share my testimony of the gospel. Satan will continue to try to confuse and mislead people until Christ returns.
I know the gospel is true and that Joseph Smith was his prophet in this last dispensation, and that he restored the fullness of the gospel to the earth. I know the Book of Mormon is scripture, and that Joseph translated those ancient plates through the power and gift of Almighty God. I know Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer and through Him, all things are possible.
Have a great day.
Thanks for writing back.
If a majority of church members believe something bad, and it happens to be fostered or implied by the rest of the traditional Mormon worldview, the LDS Church leadership still has a responsibility not to acquiesce to it. Otherwise they are complicit to a degree in the continuance of the belief among lay members, all the while having the ability to reverse the popular belief.
Also, what matters to outsiders like me is not merely abstract official doctrine (whichever of the varying standards you use to define that; Mormons themselves simply disagree over what constitutes official doctrine), but also what beliefs are actually held among members. I know it is embarrassing that many Mormon members believe that God the Father could have been a sinner, but the Mormon worldview and historic leadership have something to account for that. They are not off the hook just because they haven’t put it in a recent First Presidency statement, etc.,
Well, you are free to form your own opinions, that’s fine of course.
I have never been embarrased by what others assume – even in the LDS church. They are also free to do so. I know the doctrine and THAT, the doctrine, IS what matters. It actually doesn’t matter what other members speculate about… because it is just that, speculation.
No matter. The gospel is true.
Have a great day.