Getting the Facts About Mormonism From the Source

Earlier this week I mentioned the Politico post that drew attention to a local news report in Memphis in which the reporter talked to people on the street and asked, “Can you name the [presidential] candidate that’s running for president that believes that if he’s a good person in his religion he will receive his own planet?” Many people who have watched this news segment online have objected to the joking approach the reporter took in discussing Mormonism, but people are also upset because, they insist, the idea that good Mormons will get their own planets is nothing more than an invention by critics of the LDS Church. A sampling of comments left at the Politico web site includes statements like these:

“Wow, the interview was right out of the anti-Mormon playbook. That isn’t what Mormons believe. It’s what anti-Mormons say Mormons believe. And they are not the same thing.”

“Joking about planets and Eden, well, the jokes on you. Neither is a tenant of Mormonism. Rather those are distortions and smears meant to belittle the faith. Get the facts from the source next time. Obviously Ben was getting his facts from anti-Mormons. I would like to see a retraction and an apology.”

“This is why there is so much incorrect teachings on the internet about Mormonism. The idea that good Mormons get their own planet is non doctrinal and has never been taught. This philosophy came about as a way to make the church look stupid.”

“I’ve been an active Mormon for 55 years and have never heard that we get our own planet– what kind of lies are you trying to promote?”

“I have been a Mormon my whole life and I’ve never even heard about this planet thing until the musical hit Broadway. It’s not part of the doctrine of the Church and it’s definitely not in the consciousness of the membership. I’m not sure where these people get that idea.”

Mormon blogger Joanna Brooks at least recognized a valid LDS source for this doctrine when she wrote,

“Sure, it’s a distorting and sensationalistic caricature of Mormon beliefs to say that all of us believe we’re going to get our own planets. You could sit in your local Mormon Church for a month of Sundays and hear no reference to it. Even among orthodox Mormons, talk of planets (and the American location of the Garden of Eden—another matter ridiculed by Ferguson) is the subject of gentle insider humor, a nod to older strains of Mormon belief and folklore.”

The fact is, this doctrine, which states that worthy Mormons can (and will) achieve the status of Godhood and then form and populate worlds (planets), has been taught in Mormonism since the days of Brigham Young. The doctrine was clearly articulated in an LDS Student Manual as recently as 1976, and Mormon Apostle Bruce McConkie wrote about it in The Millennial Messiah, published less than 30 years ago.

Some Mormons today wonder where non-Mormons “get that idea.” Clearly, the idea has come from Mormon leaders: President Brigham Young, President Lorenzo Snow, Apostle Orson Pratt, Apostle Moses Thatcher, Apostle Melvin Ballard, President Joseph Fielding Smith, and Apostle Bruce McConkie, as well as official LDS publications, to name a few. (For the actual statements from these Mormon leaders please see “Will Exalted Mormons Get Their Own Spirit Children and Planets?” at mrm.org)

I cannot say what individual Mormons believe; but apparently many of them think this doctrine is “belittling,” “anti-Mormon,” and makes the Church “look stupid.” The questions I have for them, then, are these: Are you comfortable belonging to a church that teaches this doctrine? Will you pin your hope for eternal life on a succession of LDS Church leaders who have not only believed they will populate and rule planets, but have taught that, if you are worthy enough, you will, too? Are you willing to worship as God a man who has achieved his godhood and planets a mere generation before you? This is what Mormon leaders and the Church have taught — and Mormon members have believed — since the 1800s. Why haven’t they told you?

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
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139 Responses to Getting the Facts About Mormonism From the Source

  1. CD-Host says:

    Brother Ogden is a good Mormon, but that doesn’t mean that anything he said is “official.”

    I doubt it. I’m not sure much of anything is official. It is sort of a ridiculous distinction in my book. Mormonism has a theory of:
    a) Obedience to current leadership.
    b) Changeability of doctrine.
    c) Hatred of creeds.

    In my book given that, everything is semi-official and its more a question of degree and influence and authority. There is no official statement as to what is official.
    _______

    You are finding these things because of the information highway, just as I eventually did.

    I found out similar things about Evangelicalism before there was a web and these sorts of sites. A used book stores, is where I picked up “Fragments of a Faith Forgotten” which punched huge holes in my faith. Bultmann’s Gospel of John which taught me higher criticism came from the library, I still don’t think its online. I imagine if I was a Mormon I would have found these things more easily, Deseret books publishes the materials you are talking about.

    But I’ll agree I’m unusual in doing research.

    ____

    No talk of anyone becoming a god.

    I don’t get this. At the time what did you think “full exaltation” meant?

  2. CD-Host says:

    Why hide or whitewash things? What is the motive of that? Why hide Mormon history? What purpose does that serve? Is that of God? How can a church be trusted when they hide things?

    I don’t think they do. I’m going to do this by way of analogy. Why do Protestant churches not read and teach now discredited father’s of the reformation or controversial things. For example

    One of Luther’s works was an exorcism guide, why isn’t that studied?

    John Knox’s Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women which is an attack on women in secular leadership was a key component to the pilgrim’s rejection.

    Andreas Karlstadt and much of anything of the ties between German Reformation politics (Peasant’s war) and communism are not studied.

    I could list a 100 of these. Would it be fair for me to say that Protestants are hiding and whitewashing these things just because they don’t teach them in their churches? You would say, that’s not the focus, and I’d agree. And I think that’s what’s happening on some of these Mormon doctrines.

    Now exaltation on the other hand is the focus, which is why on that doctrine I have trouble understanding how you didn’t pick up on the theology. For example, what did you think you were doing at the temple? What did you think those rites (ordinances) were for? Why get sealed? Why rebaptize converts from religions that baptize? Why baptize the dead? What did you think patriarchal blessing did? There is no way to answer those basic questions outside the doctrine of exaltation; without imposing another theology like the RLDS/CoC does.

    Finally, many Mormon doctrines are I think mischaracterized by evangelicals; mostly be being stripped of theological context or applying an altered context.

  3. Rick B says:

    CD,
    You said

    Why do Protestant churches not read and teach now discredited father’s of the reformation or controversial things.

    For a while I was thinking, you just dont get it, but know I am convinced you do get it and you are just like the Bible teaches, you want to believe what you want to believe.

    Churchs dont teach about the things you asked about because, We teach the word of God, We are called as the scripture says, To contend for the faith and search the scriptures. We are not called to teach what people think about the Bible, or what people hundreds or even thousands of years later taught and said.

    The Bible tells us it is THE WORD OF GOD. These men you quote are not God or gods and I dont care what they said or taught. These men and their books are avaible if people want to read on their own time. I choose to read the Word of God over these men. You can claim what you want, but unless you can show me from the Bible where Jesus or the apostles said, Follow every man that comes in time that claims to speak for God not matter what they say, show me that and I will read Luther, Calvin and even any books you write, otherwise, I will focus on the Word of God the Bible.

    Hebrews says about the Bible,

    Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God [is] quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and [is] a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

    That is not said about any off these men you claim we should read.

  4. CD-Host says:

    Churchs dont teach about the things you asked about because, We teach the word of God,

    The Mormons claim the same thing. There is no difference. You claim your biblical interpretations are the “real”, “true”, “genuine” ones; they claim their’s are. Your theories depend crucially on ignoring some aspects of the bible. Their theories depend crucially on ignoring some aspects (though far less). You read the bible through the lens of teachers, they read the bible through the lens of teachers.

    This “I don’t rely on men” is a cop out. The Mormon church makes the same claim, they get revelation from God. There is no difference between your claims and their other than you happen to think your’s are right and your’s are mostly 2 centuries older.

    In real life: men wrote you the early versions of sections of your book, other men heavily revised them, other men reconciled these revisions, other men selected which books go in your bible and which ones stay out, men argued about how to interpret it, and finally a few men taught you how to read it through their veil. I get what you are saying, I just think it is completely ridiculous for you to deny the connection between the history leading up to Protestant biblical interpretation and your Protestant biblical interpretation. Its like denying the connection between your telephone and Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Douglas Ring…

    The comparison is apt. Rick you are not God nor Pope.

  5. Kate says:

    CD,
    Let me give you an example, from the time I was a Sunbeam (3) I was taught in church that Joseph Smith was a martyr. He did absolutely nothing wrong, he was taken by bad men to Carthage Jail where he was murdered. No mention of a gun that he shot. Mountain Meadows, the Mormon men didn’t kill anyone, they just couldn’t do that, they laid down and the Indians behind them actually shot and murdered those people. What is the truth of those two things? As far as being taught exaltation, it’s never taught openly the way you are trying to say. I never went through the temple. The temple ceremony is hush, hush. I was taught that I need to go through the temple to gain the Celestial Kingdom. If I didn’t go through, I would get a lower heaven. That’s it. Not all active Mormons are temple Mormons. In fact I would say that the number is about 50% judging by who was with me at church. What I see from you is that you are studying out things, even Mormon doctrine, and you have full disclosure. Mormons don’t get full disclosure from the LDS church. It isn’t faith promoting. I had this exact conversation with a Mormon apologist and he told me that of course the LDS church doesn’t tell the whole truth in church meetings, it isn’t faith promoting. The other thing that you aren’t considering or may be unaware of is that Mormons are taught at church not to look at things that aren’t church approved. They don’t believe that anything that isn’t “official” by the LDS church doesn’t count because it’s not church approved. This is the reason a lot of Mormons don’t study they way you and I are studying.

  6. Kate says:

    That’s why I keep telling you that it doesn’t count because it’s not “official”. Which by the way, is the argument that Mormons and Mormon apologists throw at anyone questioning Mormon doctrine, history or beliefs. Unless it’s an “official” statement made by the First Presidency, it doesn’t count. It’s only the opinion of the author or the person who said it. That works both ways. I’m not going to try to convince you of anything. Please, go to church with the Mormons. Go for a year, every week, and see for yourself. You are coming at this from an informed perspective. Most Mormons I know are just like I was, uninformed. The LDS church is not going to volunteer any of this information, which comes back to honesty. When teaching about Mormon history ( Joseph Smith’s death for example) all they have to do is tell the truth. Why whitewash it? I find it incredible that a church organization who demands honesty from it’s members, aren’t honest themselves. I’ve said before, lying by omission is still lying. You can’t possibly understand what goes on in a Mormon’s life, you haven’t lived it.

  7. Kate says:

    CD,
    One last thing, go study out Mark Hoffman. Research out just how honest and forthcoming the LDS church is.

  8. CD-Host says:

    I was taught in church that Joseph Smith was a martyr.

    I believe every word of the Joseph Smith had a pistol and shot back and also think he’s a martyr. In many ways I think his best work in the 40s was because he knew he was approaching a inflexion point he was not going to return from.

    Reynolds Cahoon snapped, “You always said if the church would stick to you, you would stick to the church, now trouble comes and you are the first to run.” Hiram Kimball chimed in and the two men called Joseph a coward, reminding him that if mobs destroyed their property they would all be homeless.

    These were cutting words. “If my life is of no value to my friends, it is of none to myself,” Joseph replied… Joseph looked at Hyrum. “What shall we do?”

    “Let’s go back and give ourselves up, and see the thing out.” Hyrum’s daughter was to be married that night, and he wanted to be there.

    Joseph stood silent for a few minutes, then looked at his older brother. “If you go back I will go with you, but we shall be butchered.”

    That sounds like a man ready to die for the church.

    As far as the church not doing an accurate history of what happened… well they do soft pedal it. They don’t deny the crucial aspects and books from Deseret press have the truth. But in their popular press, yes its less than forthcoming.

    When my wife was a little girl, she used to hear stories about how Lenin ate all his vegetables; how Lenin always listened to his teachers when was a boy; how Lenin always made his bed… Hero worship is human it’s not just Mormons. And he’s an easy man to hero-worship.

  9. Rick B says:

    CD,
    Just as Kate is telling you, the LDS keep a lot of things from the avrage members. Also I went with a friend to SLC and took a tour of the entire temple.

    A few things happened. 1. Whenever me or my friend asked questions to the MM’s giving the tour, they would take us aside from any group and not allow us to ask questions in front of other people.

    2. I asked a hard question about JS shooting 3 people, the one MM left and brought back a security member who was a huge monster of a man that was dressed all in black like an FBI agent and told me and my friend, we will be removed if we ask hard questions that cause controversy.

    3. No vidoe cameras or picture allowed in most places.

    So say what you want, but were talking from experiance, you not, you talking to people and believing what you want. You claim I am wrong, them come to my house I will show you who is wrong. Yet I know you really wont, because as much as you may say, you really dont care to hear the truth. You only care to hear what you want to hear. That is obvious by what we tell you and how you reply with we are wrong. Why bother talking to us if you dont believe us and ignore what we say?

  10. CD-Host says:

    I’m not following your answer. Did you not go to the temple and hear the ceremony? Are you saying you weren’t a temple going Mormon?
    The temple is loaded with these teaching, for example:
    I want you to eat of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, that your eyes may be opened, for that is the way Father gained his knowledge. You must eat of this fruit so as to comprehend that everything has its opposite: good and evil, virtue and vice, light and darkness, health and sickness, pleasure and pain—thus your eyes will be opened and you will have knowledge.

    Mormons don’t get full disclosure from the LDS church. It isn’t faith promoting.

    I don’t know how one can promote a faith without teaching it. That doesn’t make sense.

    The other thing that you aren’t considering or may be unaware of is that Mormons are taught at church not to look at things that aren’t church approved.

    Then how can they do missionary work? How do they answer questions?

    I’ve said before, lying by omission is still lying… . You can’t possibly understand what goes on in a Mormon’s life, you haven’t lived it.

    I don’t disagree with you. I keep raising the point though that you don’t seem to be applying the same standard to your new faith. I was a member of that dishonest lying by omission faith and find the openness of Mormonism exhilarating.

    What would happen if a conservative version of Helena Blavatsky had set up a mainstream church that grew to millions and thinks it’s part of Evangelical Christianity? A bunch of people who all think George W. Bush was a good president, citing religious ideas that Paul Tillich might think but would figure too radical to speak?

  11. Kate says:

    CD,
    Ok, one question at a time then.
    1) Not all active Mormons have been to the temple. I’d say about 50% from what I’ve seen. So those of us who never went to the temple have no clue what goes on in there or what is taught (until you study it on the internet and from ex temple going Mormons) so what you just posted, I’d never heard in 40 years of Mormonism. Non temple going Mormons are clueless because nothing that goes on inside the temple is EVER aloud to be mentioned outside of it.

    2) “I don’t know how one can promote a faith without teaching it. That doesn’t make sense.”
    Yes it does. Mormons aren’t thinkers, they’re “feelers.” They don’t care if it’s reasonable or not. All they care about is if they get a “burning in the bosom” then they KNOW it’s from God. You can tell them facts and if it isn’t what they want to believe, or they have already had a “burning” then they won’t believe a word you say. Or Archeology, or Science, or History. The feelings outweigh all that.

    3)”Then how can they do missionary work? How do they answer questions?”
    Ever had a Mormon missionary over? They “fluff” it. Never do they tell the potential convert that Mormonism teaches God was once a man, that they are striving to become gods themselves or have their own planet, or that they will have millions of spirit wives and somehow procreate spirit babies to populate their world….etc….They make it sound Christian, using familiar Christian words. Believe it or not, a lot of Missionaries don’t know all of these doctrines either. Missionaries are trained at the MTC (mission training center) before they go out on missions. They are trained there what to teach. (cont)

  12. CD-Host says:

    Not all active Mormons have been to the temple. I’d say about 50% from what I’ve seen. So those of us who never went to the temple have no clue what goes on in there or what is taught (until you study it on the internet and from ex temple going Mormons) so what you just posted, I’d never heard in 40 years of Mormonism. Non temple going Mormons are clueless because nothing that goes on inside the temple is EVER aloud to be mentioned outside of it.

    Well this is starting to explain why we’ve been talking past each other :) 100% of the Mormons I’ve been talking to are temple going Mormons, Melchizedek priesthood…. I don’t think they would have even considered someone who didn’t go to temple to be meaningfully Mormon. They would want to re-baptize most likely.

    Mormonism’s claim is that it alone offers Full salvation (exaltation) which is grace plus obedience plus the restored gospel, the priesthood, and the sealing power, the ministering of angels, the working of miracles, the prevalence of gifts of the spirit. Without temple rites I guess I’m wondering what’s the point of being Mormon at all? What did you see yourself as getting from the church when you were a member?

    As for point (3) it seems like missionaries complain they aren’t taught much. There are a whole bunch talking about why the mission to Japan was a complete failure and they blame the MTC.

  13. CD-Host says:

    Kate —

    But… I should say the missionaries did run into different ideas. Evidentially they got reassigned to the Philippines and then among Filipinos that spoke English they had to deal with different ideas about God. And that seemed to be the norm, even talking to exmormons they all agreed they had a lot of religious exposure during the mission. I’d assume if you are talking non temple Mormons then they didn’t go on missions either?

    All they care about is if they get a “burning in the bosom” then they KNOW it’s from God.

    The Westminister confession is one of the defining documents in Protestantism in English. They actually had to provide an answer to the classic question “well if you don’t accept the legitimacy of the Catholic Church how do you accept the legitimacy of the bible”. so the fifth paragraph in this very long document reads:

    We may be moved and induced by the testimony of the Church to an high and reverent esteem of the Holy Scripture.[10] And the heavenliness of the matter, the efficacy of the doctrine, the majesty of the style, the consent of all the parts, the scope of the whole (which is, to give all glory to God), the full discovery it makes of the only way of man’s salvation, the many other incomparable excellencies, and the entire perfection thereof, are arguments whereby it does abundantly evidence itself to be the Word of God: yet notwithstanding, our full persuasion and assurance of the infallible truth and divine authority thereof, is from the inward work of the Holy Spirit bearing witness by and with the Word in our hearts

    There is nothing particularly reasonable about picking the bible as your “truth of God”, its just very common in the country you live in.

  14. Kate says:

    Ask Rick or falcon or anyone else who have had conversations with missionaries. I don’t think they can or do answer all questions. Mostly they just refer back to their testimonies of ” I know this church is true, JS was a prophet of God…etc…”.

    4)”I keep raising the point though that you don’t seem to be applying the same standard to your new faith.”
    You assume that you know my faith. I have absolutely no trust in men. I picked up a NKJV of the Bible and locked myself into my room for about a month. I asked God to reveal himself to me. I don’t believe in any organized religion. What I believe in is The Word Of God. I read it for myself. I follow Jesus and the New Testament. I’m not really interested in Calvin or anyone else that you have posted about. I’m strictly a Bible believing Christian. I trust what God says about himself. I have faith that what is revealed in the Bible is the way to Salvation. I follow Christ, not Joseph, Brigham, Calvin, Luther or anyone else.

    5)”I was a member of that dishonest lying by omission faith and find the openness of Mormonism exhilarating.”
    Once again, you are finding the truth about Mormonism on the internet. You are reading the same sources that I have been reading and studying for the past 4 years. Mormons will debate you on what you are finding. Take Brigham Young’s revelations for example. They throw him under the bus. He didn’t mean that or someone wrote it down wrong. You are working backwards. Why do you think so many LDS are leaving? They were taught one thing and now are learning most of it was whitewashed or an out right lie.

  15. CD-Host says:

    Never do they tell the potential convert that Mormonism teaches God was once a man, that they are striving to become gods themselves or , or ….etc…

    Then how would they answer a question like
    “you say you are the restored church. What was restored?”
    “OK the priesthood keys. What do those do?”

    As an aside the Manti video here has a good chunk of that theology in the 2 minutes right after they cut it, when Joseph Smith contrasts with what Mary and Robert were hearing. Even the part that was there is a constant negative focus on the mainstream Christian view of a “God with body parts or passions”.

    that they will have millions of spirit wives and somehow procreate spirit babies to populate their world
    Because they don’t believe that themselves nor does Mormonism teach that. Elohim has a small number of wives which is why Mormons who become lifelong friends might say they are “full spirit brothers” meaning they had the same heavenly Mother. Were there millions, that would be exceptionally rare.

    have their own planet
    That’s an Evangelical teaching about Mormonism that contradicts things both Joseph Smith and Orson Pratt wrote. That claim is one of the places where Mormons can legitimately say that Evangelicals are misrepresenting their teachings. (link to my article on this).

    Ever had a Mormon missionary over? They “fluff” it.
    Once. I lived mostly in Jehovah’s Witness country. Plenty of Harikrishnas interactions over my life. And when I lived in LA where there were lots of Mormons, I guess they don’t mission there.

    Anyway what does “fluff” it mean? (I don’t know the word).

  16. Kate says:

    CD,
    Have you checked out John Dehlin’s video on why people leave the LDS church? This may be helpful for you to understand what I am trying to tell you. John Dehlin was an active, temple going Mormon when he put out this video. I have read that he recently left the LDS church, but I’m not sure if that is accurate. Maybe someone here knows for sure. John also does podcasts on Mormonism called Mormon Stories. Check him out.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZQJc5SxnVs

  17. Kate says:

    CD,
    1)”I don’t think they would have even considered someone who didn’t go to temple to be meaningfully Mormon.”
    Not sure who you are talking to, but this is inaccurate. My family has been in Mormonism since Joseph Smith started it. I’m a generational Mormon. I was born and raised into it. To be baptized a member of the LDS church is the most meaningful thing. You ARE a member if you have been baptized. Most Mormons who have not attended the temple have a reason. Maybe a word of wisdom problem or they just can’t afford the 10% tithing. There are things you have to do before you can enter. Tithing is one of the biggest reasons faithful Mormons don’t go to the temple. I have a real problem with the tithing thing. I’ve seen very devout Mormons who can’t afford to pay it so they get no temple recommend. Does God really put a price tag on our Salvation/Exaltation?? You are trying to separate non temple going Mormons and temple going Mormons. They are all Mormons and the LDS church would like them all to go through the temple. One group isn’t thought of as less than the other. Some are just in a different “level” of understanding. Not to say that temple going Mormons don’t look down their noses and judge non temple going Mormons, because that does happen.

    2)”There is nothing particularly reasonable about picking the bible as your “truth of God”, its just very common in the country you live in.”
    This is just your opinion.

    3)”Then how would they answer a question like
    “you say you are the restored church. What was restored?”
    Please enlighten me as to what was restored. Priesthood? Isn’t Jesus our High Priest? Did the priesthood ever leave us? I don’t think so.

  18. Kate says:

    Please ask Mormons on here what was restored. We are all still waiting for an answer. They can’t or won’t tell us. They claim that all of what was “restored” can be found in the Bible, but when pressed, they can’t show us where. They backtrack quickly.

    4)”have their own planet
    That’s an Evangelical teaching about Mormonism that contradicts things both Joseph Smith and Orson Pratt wrote.”
    This has been taught at church by a Sunday School teacher. My friend who was new to Mormonism called me freaked out because he said that he couldn’t wait to die so he could be a god of his own world. Just saying.

    5)”Anyway what does “fluff” it mean? (I don’t know the word).”
    They use Christian sounding words that actually have a very different meaning than the Christian version. They focus on reading the Book of Mormon and praying until you get the fluffy feeling, (burning in the bosom) and if you don’t get the feeling? Well just keep praying until you do. If you still don’t get the feeling, then there’s something wrong with you. In my experience with the missionaries, they basically just give their testimony of I know this church is the true church, Joseph Smith is a prophet etc….I’ve never engaged them in questioning. I’m not interested. I’ve heard it at church. I have seen the missionary lessons, they don’t teach deeper doctrines. The LDS church calls that milk before meat. They don’t get to hear the meatier doctrines until they are “ready.” Don’t you think that is deceiving? This is why converts leave. They are taught one thing by the missionaries and then when they get into the church for a few years and all the weird stuff starts coming out, they feel they were lied to. And they were.

  19. CD-Host says:

    Please ask Mormons on here what was restored. We are all still waiting for an answer. They can’t or won’t tell us. They claim that all of what was “restored” can be found in the Bible, but when pressed, they can’t show us where. They backtrack quickly.

    Let me invent a term:
    p-sacrament = sacrament under Protestant theology (used in Catholic sense)
    p-ordinance = ordinance under Protestant theology. Note that forms of Protestantism that use the term “ordinance” for their rites deny sacraments are possible.
    m-ordinance = ordinance under Mormon theology.

    Part of what makes this confusing is the theology of m-ordinances is p-sacramental. Mormons are “using the wrong word”. My guess is you don’t believe in sacraments at all, that is you believe baptism or the eucharist are p-ordinances.

    The theory is, perfectly in keeping with Catholic theology (except they use different terms) that Jesus gave to Peter keys of authority and those were passed onto the other apostles. Somewhere possibly as early as 50 but most think later, the church fell into major divisions and the priesthood authority, that is the ability of churches to perform temple rites were lost. So that around 200 or so all Christians could do was get someone wet and say a prayer but they couldn’t perform a proper baptism (that is it went from a m-ordinance to a p-ordinance). Joseph Smith via. prophetic revelation had the keys restored to him, and thus the rites were possible again. That was primarily what was restored. That’s what is meant by saying the LDS is the only restored church, the LDS lays exclusive claim on the ability to perform ordinances in the p-sacramental sense.

    As for a biblical defense of the existence of p-sacraments, no way can I do that in 300 words Dix link.

  20. Kate says:

    CD,
    Yes I know all about the return of the Priesthood. I was a Mormon remember? This is not the only thing they claim has been restored. THE FULLNESS OF THE GOSPEL was restored. The Masonic rites and rituals and polygamy for example were restored via revelation. Knowledge of the pre existence was restored. Let’s go back to the priesthood for a second. They claim that the priesthood they hold is the exact one used in the Old Testament. Really? That would mean that every man and boy ordained to the LDS priesthood is a direct descendant of Levi. That would mean that they are performing animal sacrifice in the temple right? Oh and only the High Priest is doing that right?
    Your guess about me is wrong. I do believe in baptism and sacrament. Not the LDS version of those things, but yes I do believe in it. Taking the Sacrament at my Christian Church is completely different than that at the LDS church. More meaningful. No bread and water. Mormons can’t even get the sacrament right. No the priesthood is NOT the only thing that is said to be restored in Mormonism. You still have a ways to go. Keep digging.

  21. CD-Host says:

    Here is Mormon Doctrine on fullness of the gospel

    The fulness of the gospel consists in those laws, doctrines, ordinances, powers, and authorities needed to enable men to gain the fulness of salvation. Those who have the gospel fulness do not necessarily enjoy the fulness of gospel knowledge or understand all of the doctrines of the plan of salvation. But they do have the fulness of the priesthood and sealing power by which men can be sealed up unto eternal life. The fulness of the gospel grows out of the fulness of the sealing power and not out of the fulness of gospel knowledge.

    This has been taught at church by a Sunday School teacher. My friend who was new to Mormonism called me freaked out because he said that he couldn’t wait to die so he could be a god of his own world. Just saying.

    I don’t doubt it. But here is a place where I think they can legitimately object. Also as far as I understand: “God of his own world” is correct doctrine, “planet” is not.

    You are trying to separate non temple going Mormons and temple going Mormons.
    Hey! I’m not the one who invented the doctrine of exaltation Gospel principles ch 40:

    Temples of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are special buildings dedicated to the Lord. Worthy Church members may go there to receive sacred ordinances and make covenants with God. Like baptism, these ordinances and covenants are necessary for our salvation. They must be performed in the temples of the Lord.

  22. CD-Host says:

    (continued)

    But what really burns you up is the fact, I caught it. Instead of showing any integrity, you go off on this giant tangent about don’t I know that Mormons only use the KJV, and if I had more missionaries over my house. Like that had anything to do with the fact that verse 2 uses tehom (not really translatable) and verse 6 uses the normal word for water. The Book of Abraham was right because Joseph Smith, had started studying Hebrew at the time he wrote it. Helen was absolutely right in her points, she just didn’t know why and I did.

    So lets stop pretending the issue is your common love for the bible. Stop pretending to respect the bible and actually do respect it. If you think God wrote it, then stop pretending he used an obscure word like tehom for no reason, skip over it so you can pretend the verse says the opposite of what it really does. If you really believe God is the bible’s author, that every word is holly then first question in your mind is “why would God have chosen that word for water and not the common word?” And never ever ever would you assume that God had no good reason and treat it like he used the common word.

    Which one of us is really respecting the bible, and which one of us paying it lip service while ignoring its contents?

    You want to bask the in the hypocrisy of holding her book to a standard you wouldn’t dare apply to your own. Too bad.

  23. CD-Host says:

    And finally this idea that you share bibliolatry in common lets quote Orson Pratt

    “God gave many revelations to Hebrew Prophets, in the Hebrew language. Some of these revelations have been translated by human wisdom into many other languages, and called the Bible. The same revelations have been translated many times by different authors:  but no two translations agree. They differ not only in words and style, but also in sentiment, according to the various opinions of the translators. These clashing translations are circulated among the people, as the words of God, when , in reality they are the words of translators; and words too, selected by their own human wisdom….Therefore, so far as the uninspired translators and the people are concerned, no part of the Bible can, with certainty, be known by them to be the word of God…. The Hebrew and Greek manuscripts of the Bible from which translations have been made, are evidently very much corrupted, as appears from the fact, that scarcely any two copies are alike in any chapter or verse. … This uncertainty, combined with the imperfections of uninspired translations, renders the Bibles of all languages, at the present day, emphatically the words of men, instead of the pure words of God.” [Spiritual Gifts, pages 70-71].

    _____

    I want to discuss the bible I go to Better Bibles and not infrequently have to deal with conversations jumping from a dozen English to Greek to Latin to some terrific treatment in an African language that handled the verse particularly well. Or a series blog which reads commentaries. Why would I care what a group of random Protestants think a verse means? I’d rather not hear about your bible at all, except in so far as influenced Helen’s. What did Joseph Smith thought a verse meant is worth talking about.

  24. Kate says:

    CD,
    I think you misunderstood me when I said to show me exactly what was restored. I KNOW what Mormonism claims to have restored. Your quotes on what was restored, I’ve heard all my life. What I was asking you to show me is where in the Bible or any ancient text does it show these things to have been practiced. Where? We are told that the BoM contains the fullness of the gospel, where in it are the “laws, doctrines, ordinances, powers, and authorities needed to enable men to gain the fulness of salvation.” Hint: They’re not in there. So show me what exactly was practiced by the ancients that needed to be restored.

    “But what really burns you up is the fact, I caught it.”
    No, what burns me up is that you with your 7 weeks (or is it 8 now) study of Mormonism completely disregards my 4 YEAR study of the truth of Mormonism, and my 40 YEARS of living the Mormon lifestyle and culture. Tell me, have you even stepped foot inside a Mormon church? You may be reading the same Mormon material that I have been reading for the past 4 years, but you are still clueless about Mormon culture. I can tell that you haven’t watched John Dehlin yet. He backs up everything that I have told you.

    I have figured out why you are here. You could care less about the Mormons who post here. You are here to speak out against the Bible and the God who inspired it. This blog isn’t for Atheists to vent their anger, it’s to bring out the hidden stuff about Mormonism to help those struggling with truth. Do you even care what Joseph Smith taught? Or is it just more ammo?

  25. CD-Host says:

    Hi Kate (reply 1 of 1)

    I don’t know whether you’ll see this.
    “But what really burns you up is the fact, I caught it.”
    No, what burns me up is that you with your 7 weeks (or is it 8 now) study of Mormonism

    Kate, that wasn’t directed at you. About 1/2 my posts are getting through. That whole posts was part of a series directed at Mike. Sorry for the confusion.

    What I was asking you to show me is where in the Bible or any ancient text does it show these things to have been practiced.

    Well I think we talked about this with the temple decorations. That sort of symbology goes back thousands of years. That was restored. Baptism for the dead is definitely a restored rite, Nibley has a good list of cites. Multiple rebaptism is a restoration of a John the Baptist practice. Endowment (anointing) is all over the bible. Eternal marriage (sealing) / sealing of children is an Egyptian rite that we know goes back at least 5000 years, though most frequently done with slaves, we this all over the pyramids. Adoption of sons by elders (not done since 1894) was very popular Roman rite, Julius Caesar did it in both directions if you want an example. Second anointing (anointing as Osiris and Isis) we have no idea how far this goes back, as far as anyone can tell to the start of human writing. Yes, yes, yes he was restoring.

    As for caring about Joseph Smith, I rather like his later teaching we agree on a lot.

  26. Rick B says:

    Kate I agree with you, CD only hears what he wants to hear and does not care. I say that because CD said

    Well I think we talked about this with the temple decorations. That sort of symbology goes back thousands of years. That was restored.

    The Bible was very clear, The temple’s were for the Jews ONLY, the exact details of who could enter, why, why, how and all that is in the Bible. The Bible is also clear that we no longer need the temple since we have Jesus our high priest. Yet despite this, CD feels the temple was restored with the Mormons. The Mormons are not true Jews by blood. Maybe a few here and their.

    Then the things listed by the Mormons that need to be done by the Mormons to enter the temple and receive a temple recommend are not found in the bible anyplace, thats all made up by the mormons. Then CD says Baptism for the dead is restored, the Bible mentions it in one little verse, and the Mormons build an entire doctrine around that and CD says thats restored. CD not only knows nothing, but since he clearly hates God and denies he even exists, why should anyone trust what he says. If you deny God exists, then as Christians we should not take him at his word since we listen to ungodly counsel fro m someone who denys God. Then that also should apply to the Mormons, They might have the wrong god but still they want to believe, so they should not listen to someone who denies God exists.

  27. Kate says:

    CD,
    There’s just one little problem, Joseph Smith claimed that he restored original Christianity. The claim isn’t that he restored stuff from all different cultures and even pagan religions. Mormons believe that Jesus, the Apostles, and even early Christians taught these things. It just isn’t true. If you were to tell any Mormon that I know that Joseph Smith restored sealings (for example) from a pagan, Egyptian practice, they would call you a liar. They would tell you that sealings were practiced by early Christianity and it was lost during all those translations of the Bible and during the great apostasy. So the question here should be, what did Joseph Smith restore from early Christianity that was lost during Bible translations and the great apostasy? The answer is nothing. As for baptism for the dead. One only needs to read the entire chapter, not just the one verse or sentence to see that Paul was chastising the church in Corinth, teaching them about the resurrection. Basically he was asking them that if they believe in the resurrection then why are they baptizing for the dead. I believe that if Paul were here today, he would be asking Mormons the same thing. What did Jesus say about the dead? It truly is Jesus or Joseph. Mormonism in not a restoration of Christianity. As you have pointed out, it’s really a restoration of many different things, including pagan religions. That in a nutshell is Mormonism. Ideas Joseph got from many different sources that he modge podged together to form a new religion. Which is fine, but don’t call it Christianity. Don’t say the Mormon gods are the God of the Bible. Don’t stand before the world and claim that true Biblical Christians are an abomination to God.

  28. Kate says:

    I also checked out the link by Nibley, all I found it to be was a bunch of stuff taken out of context and the very first thing I noticed was this: “The views expressed in this article are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the position of the Maxwell Institute, Brigham Young University, or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” So you see, this “doesn’t count” it’s just Nibley’s opinion. Until the LDS church leadership stands up and says this stuff and assures us it is what the church believes, it’s not true, just someone’s opinion.

  29. CD-Host says:

    There’s just one little problem, Joseph Smith claimed that he restored original Christianity. The claim isn’t that he restored stuff from all different cultures and even pagan religions. Mormons believe that Jesus, the Apostles, and even early Christians taught these things. It just isn’t true.

    It might be. Maybe, maybe not. I wrote a 3 part series about this Mormonism as Hermetic Christianity. The book of Acts presents a Christianity that derived:
    Hebraic Judaism -> Jesus cult -> Jerusalem temple -> Pauline Christianity -> Catholic Christianity.
    On the other hand there is far better evidence for something like multiple sects coming together. One of those lines would be:
    Hellenistic Judaism -> Hermetic Judaism -> Hermetic proto-Christianity -> Catholic Christianity.
    And you could identify Mormonism with Hermetic proto-Christianity. Then they would lay claim to books like Mark and Hebrews which are pretty clearly Hermetic, and a proto-Christianity that dates back to about 200 BCE. That puts the great apostasy a little earlier than most Mormons are comfortable with though consistent with their more thoughtful writers. It also makes the canon more problematic. Under that circumstances, that you identify the origins of Christianity with Jews who were trying to build a Jewish/Greek/Egyptian syncretic faith yes you can make the case this is a restoration.

    It’s my opinion (as I argue in part 3) that was the direction Mormonism was heading in until the 1870s. I think Joseph Smith was naturally drawn to Hermeticism and people like Orson Pratt were quite deliberately moving the religion in that direction. Not being in apologetic mode here, I do think you can make a case that one the major ingredients for primitive Christianity would have employed those sorts of Egyptian rites. (continued)

  30. CD-Host says:

    (reply Kate part 2 of 2)

    I want to make a point clear here:
    I personally believe Hermetic Christianity was one of the original forms of Christianity.
    Mormons would be making the case that Hermetic Christianity was the one and only original form of Christianity.

    That’s far more historically accurate than any other major Christian sect. The question for Mormons is not can they make a good case that Hermeticism was the original form of Christianity? The question is do they really want to look at real 1st century religions? Protestants pay lip service to the 1st century church, but they really want a very white washed bible. Why a bird in Mark 1:10-11? What exactly was Jesus being accused of in Mark 3:21-30? Joseph Smith at the end of his life, was asking the right questions, and starting to find the right answers. But the doors that led people from pagan syncretic Judaism 2000 years ago into Christianity swing both ways. As I say in the essay “the layers of the onion are the onion,” strip off enough layers of “corruption” and there is no Christianity just proto-Christianity.

    But yes, I believe the church till 1870 was on the right track to restoration. Joseph Smith was called in that direction. And I think Joseph Smith positioned the Mormon church perfectly to catch the wave of interest in Hermeticism that hit the USA in 1848. If only JS had more education and could read Latin… or he had lived another decade till everything got translated and was readily available in English. Yes those things are ancient, yes they are pagan and yes they are a restoration of one of the very earliest Christianities.

  31. Kate says:

    CD,
    Obviously I don’t agree with anything you said, but I’m curious, what is your agenda? You say you are an atheist, yet you defend Joseph Smith (who’s church claims to be from God) with a vengeance. I’m confused. What does it matter to you what a 19th century self proclaimed prophet said? You don’t believe in God, Joseph Smith obviously did. You admire him, why? You believe he was onto something, what? I’m not being rude or trying to offend you, I’m seriously curious. What is in it for you? What’s the pay off for defending Mormonism which circulates around a God? If you don’t in fact believe there is a God? Are you just a history buff? Help me out here.

  32. CD-Host says:

    As for baptism for the dead. One only needs to read the entire chapter, not just the one verse or sentence to see that Paul was chastising the church in Corinth, teaching them about the resurrection.

    Agreed. Paul is navigating between two different groups one who thinks material things are of no importance (Gnostics) and another who believes you can manipulate spiritual things through material means (Hermetics). The whole theme of Corinthians is Paul trying to thread between either extreme and chart a middle course. But its worse than that for Hermetics, Colossians 2:8-23:
    Col 2:8, Col 2:20 manipulation of matter through spirits, secret magick rituals;
    Col 2:11 circumcision, the importance of earthly acts to control powers, Hermeticism is not gnostic “as above is below” is the core idea of magick.
    Col 2:16-17 special ritual holidays
    Col 2:18 angel worship, a truly distinctive part of Hermetic Judaism provides the strongest evidence for the identification
    Col 2:21-23 legalism, a focus on ritual purity for the laity. The opponents in Galatians, the Judaizers, with their demand for an earthly circumcision could very easily have been Hermetic proto-Christians.

    When you read that list you can see where Joseph Smith has headed with the temple. We talked about the symbolism before on the temples. If they choose to identify as Hermetic Christians; they get the early part, the restored church but they have a Paul problem.

    Mormon intellectuals realize this problem and are biting around the edges at more Hermetic works: Shepard of Hermes, 1 and 2 Enoch, Assumption of Moses (all quoted in NT), etc… This is what is fascinating about Mormons, most Christian Hermetic groups understand Paul was an opponent of Hermetic Christianity. Mormons want to have it both ways with Paul.

  33. Rick B says:

    Kate,
    Dont expect an honest answer from CD as to his agenda.
    Almost every Christian on this blog has stated they belive CD has an agenda. And like you, I asked and pointed out that why would an athiest who claims God is not real, come here and defend Mormonism with more passion than even TBM.

    My wife does not usually reply on this blog, it is really super rare, but she has read some stuff by CD and said to me, I think maybe he really is a Mormon saying he is an athiest. Never in my life have I meet an athiest who defends a religion. I have been talking with atheists on-line and in person for years, They simply deny God exists and fight against all religions, Never do they defend one over and over and do what CD is doing.

    He does have an agenda, and he can say he does not and say what he wants, But he does, and as one poster said, he attacks the Bible over and over and over.

  34. Kate says:

    Rick,
    I do think CD has an agenda, but I don’t think he is a Mormon. I thought that in the beginning, but reading through his posts (read the last one) he admits when there is a problem with Mormonism as well. Most TBM would never admit to those things. I think he has been studying a lot over the years and has come to some conclusions about religion in general. I think that from all the studying of ancient scripts and history, he has formed some opinions. Maybe some are correct, but some aren’t (in my opinion). I really don’t think he’s ever been a Mormon because he doesn’t know Mormon culture. He’s reading all the stuff out there that I’ve been reading for the past 4 years, he’s becoming knowledgeable about early Mormonism and is quoting from early LDS leaders from LDS publications. Most Mormons I know wouldn’t care to do that, they just believe in the current prophet and what he says. The biggest reason that I don’t think he’s a Mormon is that he has quoted Mormon stuff taken right out of the temple ceremony. A TBM would NEVER do that. I think he’s been angry in the past about Christianity and it’s history, he claims to have been a Christian once. I really don’t think that he believes Mormonism any more than he does Christianity. Maybe, just maybe, his agenda is to prove that all religion is false and made up by men. That seems to be what he is doing and I certainly don’t agree with him. Just my opinion.

  35. CD-Host says:

    Kate —
    You don’t believe in God, Joseph Smith obviously did. You admire him, why? You believe he was onto something, what?

    Great question. I think he was onto the solution for Protestantism. An American Christianity that could embrace, not hide from the past. A Christian Taoism. An American Catholicism. He saw how to untie the knot and create a new level for religion.

    The fact I don’t believe in God doesn’t prevent me from believing in Divine Wisdom / Wisdom of the gods / Theosophia and history of religions / genealogy of the gods / Theogonia. Theosophia is the teachings of religions and Theogonia is how you reconcile all these various Wisdoms from different religions. Esoteric Christianity, Neo-Platonism, Theosophy all of those great schools approach religion this way. Its a best of all worlds approach:
    From fundamentalism you try and take the preservation of knowledge and demand for an understanding of what was originally taught.
    From mystical faiths you try and take the direct connection the divine, revelation through experience.
    From liturgy the experience of connectedness and joy in participating ritual crossing thousands of years, dozens of countries, millions of people.
    From philosophy a life of intellect and understanding.

    Question: “what must I do to be saved”
    Ans: “you must be reborn, changed transformed”.
    The 4 objectives (puruṣārthas) of Hinduism:
    Dharma=righteousness
    Artha=wealth
    Kāma=sensual pleasure
    Mokṣa=liberation, voidnessm Buddhist Śūnyatā

    In short , he unpacked the symbol language of mythology and repack it to create a healthy religion for this nation. For me the great religious teachers are those that create Theosophia and Theogonia. Joseph Smith began to serious question how Christianity had developed (Theogonia) and thus rebuild the wisdom (Theosophia) that was lost by history.

    I really do believe he laid the groundwork for a restoration of the church. I really do believe he is America’s greatest native born prophet.

  36. Rick B says:

    Hello Kate,
    I went to CD’S blog and saw this. The name of the blog is:

    “Church Discipline”

    The this sentance was on his blog, And it talks about what this blog is about:

    This is a blog for people interested in church discipline with a focus on the mechanics and the practical impact, not the theology. It is to serve the community of people who are subject to church discipline or recovering from it, so the discussions here view discipline from a member’s not from a pastor’s perspective. Comments from pastors, people who themselves have been involved in any capacity, have information about it, or just would like to discuss discipline are all very welcome.

    I suspect since he claims he was a former Christian, maybe, just maybe he faced some sort of Church Discipline and that was why he left the church and is blaming God for everything. But this is just my thinking.

  37. Kate says:

    CD,
    “In short , he unpacked the symbol language of mythology and repack it to create a healthy religion for this nation.”

    Are you serious? A healthy religion for this nation? Please come to Utah and see for yourself. I want you to look at Warren Jeffs and the little girls he has ruined for life. He follows Joseph Smith more closely than the mainstream LDS, as do all Fundamentalist groups. They live the pure teachings of Joseph Smith. What about the young men born into these groups? They are basically thrown out as teenagers so they aren’t competing with the oldsters. These boys have been raised apart from society and you can imagine what it is like for them to suddenly be thrown into it. I’m assuming that you agree with taking other men’s wives as well. What kind of emotional distress that must be for the woman who has to keep her secret marriage from her husband. There is nothing “healthy” about this or anything Joseph taught. As I said before, he modge podged a bunch of things that he read about and called it a religion. He took the knowledge of others,weaved it together and claimed he was great. Third grade education right? If you want to know what Joseph Smith was like, take a look at Warren Jeffs.

  38. Kate says:

    CD,
    I was thinking….I wonder how long Joseph would have been able to keep this up. He had prominent men leaving the church and speaking out against the things he was teaching. I wonder if he had not been killed, would Mormonism be the way it is today? I doubt it. I think he was well on his way to running it into the ground. Even today’s Mormons don’t actually agree with all he taught. The fact that Emma (his first and legal wife) didn’t believe in what he taught speaks volumes. If she had believed, she would have followed Brigham Young or one of the other men who started up their own churches believing they were the one called of God. Or at the very least she would have helped start up the RLDS right after Joseph was killed. The fact is, she didn’t believe in some of the stuff he taught.

  39. CD-Host says:

    Kate —

    There were 2 posts including answers to this post that didn’t get through moderation. I don’t know if they are going to. Not sure what the objection was.

    Anyway short version — kidding no. Differences between Warren Jeffs and Joseph Smith.
    If he hadn’t have died — don’t know. Big difference was appeal to conservatives where most Hermetics aimed at the left.

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