What is the status of the first half of the Lorenzo Snow couplet in Mormonism?

A new article is available here. Discuss.

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9 Responses to What is the status of the first half of the Lorenzo Snow couplet in Mormonism?

  1. falcon says:

    Very good article. I was surprised when one of our Mormon friends, who writes here occasionally, expressed the view that the progression to godhood doctrine was really a minor point when considering the whole of the “restored gospel”. That left me somewhat perplexed. I thought that this particular doctrine of the nature of god and man was at the heart, the basis of, Mormon belief and motivation. To my mind, it is this doctrine that separates Mormons, most distinctively, from Christianity and makes it a different religion. For those Mormons who like being Mormons, socially and culturally, I think the wiggle room regarding this doctrine helps soothe their sensibilities. This Mormon god is a different and false god, and my guess is there are Mormons that know it in their gut and use a fall back position to stay within the Mormon Church.

  2. Megan says:

    Okay, I read the article and now I’m even more confused. Isn’t this what the LDS church teaches? And if Mormons want to eventually become gods themselves, don’t they use God as the ultimate example of a man who progressed to godhood through knowledge and righteous living?
    Your turn, LDS friends….I look forward to lively discussion on this one!

  3. dj1989 says:

    I, too, am confused. This is a generally accepted principle by most Mormons, as far as I know (and I’m a Mormon).

    It is a hard thing to swallow, though. Especially in light of the fact that the religious traditions of men haven’t considered it to be possible… and most people accept tradition as being right (including Mormons I might add… it’s just a human condition). Nevertheless, I have every reason to believe that tradition prevents this from being acceptable… I know of no scripture that leaves it as a 100% impossiblity, so I must, in turn, consider that it is a possibility.

    One thing is for sure. This is a mind-blowing doctrine if it is true. If you don’t believe it, then it appears as “heinous heresy” as Aaron suggests. If you do believe it, or if you can suspend your disbelief for a moment, then you’ve officially learned more than any theologian has ever taught about the nature of God, nor could teach you about the nature of God, because their own religious traditions have set limits to the amount of knowledge that they can gain.

  4. It’s odd that you mention “set[ting] limits to the amount of knowledge that [one] can gain” concerning God.

    Ironically, with Mormonism’s limited view of God you end up at one point in the Celestial afterlife learning everything there is to know about God. And then there’s nothing else to learn. You simply stop progressing in the knowledge of God after you’ve exhausted what there is to learn.

    On the other hand, the traditional, biblical view of God has one ever-increasingly learning about God in heaven forever! And since an increase in the true knowledge of God brings greater enjoyment and happiness, that means eternal ever-increasing joy of the best kind!

    “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

    In other words, we Christians believe in eternal progression far more than Mormons do because we’re not willing to bring God down to the nature of our own species.

  5. dj1989 says:

    Corrections need to made on 2 of those statements:

    1) It is nonsensical to say you can continue learning forever. If that is the case, then either God is continually keeping something from you (in which case you are not a co-inheritor with Christ, nor is God truly giving all that he has), or God himself doesn’t know what hasn’t been learned. Both seem unacceptable. To me, that seems to be a religious tradition that’s just been passed along. The scripture in Romans, though beautiful, doesn’t support that idea… well maybe if you use your imagination.

    2) Mormon’s do not bring God down to our level. Our view is anything but limited. Wow. It is quite the opposite. We see certain restored doctrine (like what is being disputed) as God showing that he is intent on bring us up to the highest level possible. To those of us that accept this as true, it increases our testimony about the love of God, and his desire to make every eternal gift available to those who love Him.

    But I digress back to my other post… what is it that makes this unique doctrine an impossible thing to consider? It is not conclusive doctrine from the scriptures but a “best guess” of what the scriptures mean.

  6. 1) Romans 11:33-36 supports what Christians have always believed: God has inexhaustible, infinite knowledge. No one has ever completely and comprehensively known the mind of the Lord. The idea of learning from God forever isn’t nonsensical if you believe in a God who has an infinite amount of knowledge.

    What’s sad is that Paul’s questions in Romans 11 were rhetorical, and yet Mormonism essentially answers them with, “There are potentially billions of deities in existence that comprehensively know the mind of God! And there have been potentially thousands of beings out there who taught Elohim knowledge as he progressed unto godhood!” But Christians—in the spirit of worship—ask in bewilderment, “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?” This isn’t simply overblown, hyperbolic rhetoric. Paul certainly wasn’t speaking too highly of God with some kind of inflated language!

    2) I didn’t say Mormons bring down God to the “level” of development that we’re at. Again, this is a straw man, a red herring. I said that Mormonism “bring[s] God down to the nature of our own species”. And that is simply undeniable. In Mormonism God is of the same species and nature as angels, demons, and humans here on earth. In order to make the Mormon God look generous in human deification, it has to lesson its view of deity altogether—indeed, to the degree that you see the questions of Romans 11 as hyperbolic. Whereas in Christianity God has an infinite amount of knowledge that is inexhaustible, the Mormon God has an amount of knowledge that can be fully exhausted in a finite amount of time. When you realize that it really takes the gusto out of the Mormon concept of not-so-eternal progression unto deification. In fact, it really sounds quite boring compared to ever-increasing enjoyment and knowledge of God.

    To the King of ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever (1 Timothy 1:17),


  7. dj1989 says:

    I’m sorry, but even after your clarification, your statement and the scripture don’t reconcile with each other. I can’t see how you’re getting what you’re getting out of that scripture. But, in order to learn forever, one of the following must be true:
    1) God must have uncapped knowledge himself, suggesting that there is something more that He himself is not aware of. That way, there is eternally something more for Him to teach. OR…
    2) God’s knowledge is not uncapped, but the knowledge that he is willing to teach us must be given to us in an infinite number of pieces, and thus what can be taught to us, must infinitely get smaller and smaller.

    Tell me how that makes sense. It doesn’t.

    I know what your problem is. You need to find a way to eternally keep us inferior to God. It cannot be possible to have ALL that God has (even though Paul says that is in fact what God has in store for those that love Him). At the same time, it cannot be possible for God to withhold something from those who are co-inheritors with Christ. So, theologians have created this idea that we can learn forever… though it is not scriptural.

    Here’s something that makes sense, and is 100% scriptural: God does in fact have the ability to give us ALL that he has, and is intent and doing so. That is doctrine that is unique to Mormonism, but it is 100% scriptural. While there are holes in the traditions of Christianity that can only be covered up with something that doesn’t make sense, like “infinite learning”.

    And, you’re kind of right on your second point, but your choice of words is not quite on; according to Mormonism God is not of the same species as man, but man is of the same species as God, only incredibly underdeveloped. That doctrine doesn’t lesson the view of deity at all… it increases the eternal possibilities of man. And it is scriptural.

    BTW… I try to respond to comments made, or the original topic at hand as best I can. Quit with all of the “red herring” comments

  8. Daniel says:

    DJ, please show how your premise is 100% scriptural…

  9. dj, your attempt to discredit the plain meaning of Romans 11 should probably focus on the text itself. So far you’re just attempted at approaching the issue with some informal logic, nothing else.

    And no, I don’t have a problem with God having to teach me incrementally forever. I will forever be learning from God, but at any one point in the afterlife I will be able to measure the amount of time I have been resurrected. I will exist in time. What can be taught doesn’t get infinitely small after a billion-trillion-quadrillion years. God’s infinite knowledge will always be infinite. What he can teach me doesn’t get infinitely small after a finite amount of time (however long).

    You need to find a way to eternally keep us inferior to God.

    Do you realize how utterly arrogant that sounds?

    At the same time, it cannot be possible for God to withhold something from those who are co-inheritors with Christ.

    I am indeed a co-inheritor with Christ, but I’m arguing for a much bigger inheritance than Mormonism speaks of. Contrary to Mormonism’s teachings, no amount of time in the afterlife will suffice to receive and appropriate and fully enjoy everything I have inherited with Christ. The inheritance is really that big!

    according to Mormonism God is not of the same species as man, but man is of the same species as God

    I’m not going to even respond to this semantic nonsense.

    Dj, would you like to step through Romans 11:33-36 verse by verse and tell us what it really means? Let’s focus on the text.

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