God Doesn’t Sing Amazing Grace; He Never Was a Wretch Like Me

Ralph, a Mormon, writes,

To say that the LDS God was a sinner would be like an LDS saying that the Traditional Christian God cannot forgive sins and make men perfect.

We all know from the Bible that God has promised that those who believe in Him will have their sins forgiven and He will remember them no more. That through the blood of Jesus all our garments, although they be as scarlet will be washed white as pure as snow. I could possibly find a few more but these make the point. We are perfected and our sins are removed never to be remembered as if they never happened – in fact according to God they never did happen (that is the point of NOT REMEMBERING). In this respect any person who achieves heaven (ie the presence of God whether LDS or Traditional Christian) for eternity are perfect and sinless.

Now we don’t teach nor spend much time discussing our Heavenly Father’s life before He gained His potential, but if He was like us instead of a Saviour of His world, then any wrong He did has been forgiven and forgotten and He was perfected and made sinless. So no He never was a sinner nor did He commit sin. That is the role of the Saviour – to completely remove sin from the person being saved because He paid the price and we have been freed.

I just heard this explicated five days ago by another Mormon as well:

“More than could have been a sinner; I believe that God the Father was a sinner. But He completely repented of His sins, and therefore lives His life as if He had never sinned.”

I’ve heard this from a lot of Mormons: that if God the Father was a sinner he has had his sins cleansed by another atonement, so now it is “as though he never sinned.” I wish that the Mormons who believe God the Father was a part of a royal line of sinless saviors would acknowledge the existence of such fellow Mormons, instead of pretending they don’t exist. Often such an obstinate denial will persist in a discussion thread where both Mormon positions are clearly articulated.

Anyways, I deal with this in the Q&A of GodNeverSinned.com. I answer the question, “Shouldn’t we respect the power of the atonement by overlooking God’s putative sins?”, with, “The whole beauty and power and value of the atonement is based on the fact that it was accomplished by a God who never, ever sinned.”

I have even talked to one Mormon who said that God (and his own God above him) literally and actually and non-figuratively forgot that sin was ever committed. As a theist who doesn’t believe God literally “forgets” anything, I believe the language of not remembering my sins means that he will never hold my sins against me, even though he can, in a manner of speaking, recall in his memory that I did sin. I find that very important, because I believe I will be, in a manner of speaking, singing Amazing Grace for all eternity. It’s hard to eternally thank God for his grace if both he and I literally forget that I ever sinned.

God, however, doesn’t sing Amazing Grace to his own God. He never was a wretch like me.

Ralph, if I could put all my cards on the table face-up: You need to repent of believing that God the Father could have been a wretch like you, and stop justifying it by saying that an atonement would have rendered it as though he never sinned. God the Father never needed an atonement, ever. Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come.

Grace and peace in Christ for those who freely receive eternal life,


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101 Responses to God Doesn’t Sing Amazing Grace; He Never Was a Wretch Like Me

  1. fourpointer says:


    Your assertions that “‘Christians’ don’t teach that Christ sinned, but from their doctrine there are people who believe this. It is the same thing, and yet you refuse to address this” and “Given the fact that Christians believe Christ could have sinned, could not this same thing be applied to the Christian faiths?” are really moot questions. A TRUE Christian, who believes Jesus to have been God in the flesh, would think it reprehensible to imagine that Jesus sinned. There may be some who CLAIM to be Christian, who like to fancy themselves as being “saved”, who think Jesus sinned. But for a true Christian, who holds the Bible to be the word of God–believing such a thing is patently absurd.

    Especially when we consider that in the Bible we read that, “We do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, YET WITHOUT SIN” (Hebrews 4:15). Peter wrote the following: “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: ‘WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH'” (1st Peter 2:21-22).

  2. Mike R says:

    The references I cited are pretty clear. You’re well aware I’m sure that Jesus ” attained Godhood”, in pre-existence, according to LDS belief. However HF’s path is your path. He traveled it on another planet and you are traveling it here. You are not perfect (like all of us) you stumble and seek to stay worthy by repenting. The laws that you are striving to keep are the SAME laws HF strove to keep.
    Jesus doesn’t factor in to this exact scenario. You are not the child of an Immortal Father and a mortal mother. HF became perfect as you hope to.
    Just a thought..since you said,”we are also taught that Jesus walked the same path…..”
    Since you said that you are TAUGHT this where is the scripture references that TEACH Jesus obeyed the law of celestial marriage and that He received His Temple endowments? This is the same path, correct?
    God bless you Shem as you seek Him.

  3. Ralph says:


    When you say ‘blog post’ do you mean just one of these usual articles, not an online discussion? And what will it be about as we have covered at least 2 topics? If you don’t want to give anything away to the group before Monday you can email/Skype me the answers if you want.


    We have broached the topic of Jesus’ marital status on another post. There is evidence external and internal to the Bible that supports both sides of the argument. The fact is no one really knows 100% that He was or was not married. I know many in the LDS church believe that He was married, but this, as far as I know, is not official doctrine. As far as the temple endowments goes, since Jesus is the priesthood I do not know if He had to receive these. Again, this is not a topic openly discussed (in fact I have never heard it discussed in 38 years in the church) nor do I know of any official stance about it. If He did receive the endowments there is a possibility it was while He was talking with Moses and Elijah on the mount of transfiguration – NOTE I said possible. And it does say at the end of the Gospel of John that Jesus did many things that are not recorded in the Bible. Since we hold temple matters sacred I would assume they did then as well, so I doubt that there would be anything written in the Bible about this matter if (NOTE if) it did occur. If we do ‘know’ anything about Jesus being married or receiving temple endowments then it would come through modern day revelation, but to the best of my knowledge, we have not received anything about these issues. If someone out there knows differently please feel free to let me know.

  4. Ralph, it (the blog post) will address the temple ceremony’s inclusion of Satan’s claim that God the Father gained his knowledge via eating the forbidden fruit, and it will of course be open for more discussion. It will also address more reasons why Mormonism inclines people to believe God the Father was a sinner instead of a sinless savior who achieved godhood prior to mortal experience.

    I’m sorry if that’s too vague, I’m not trying to be cryptic.

  5. Shem & All,

    I have been following this thread for awhile and let me assure everyone that it “jumped the shark” awhile ago. Shem are you really suggesting that the theology of Traditional Christianity lends itself to the possibility that the Almighty at one point sinned? Are you serious? If you are serious let me attempt to answer you so you will quit boasting that the issue has not been addressed. (If ancient bishops took it upon themselves to answer the madness that was Gnosticism, I guess I can answer you).

    Simply put Shem we don’t believe in eternal regression/progression and we do believe in creation out of nothing. This means that God in His existence (into eternity past) would never have had the need to sin. He is All-powerful as the name/title “Almighty” suggests. He can create out of nothing; there was never a being or force higher than Him by which he must conform to (unlike the Mormon god). Also, he has always been in the state he is in now; he never had to progress to Godhood. Pretty much basic Christianity for the past 2,000 years. Even before the advent of our Lord, the Hebrews believed in creation out of nothing and a sinless deity. The fact that you do not consider this a core issue speaks volumes.

    Shem you are essentially asking Christians here to prove a negative. There is no equivalent in our camp to the blasphemous statements that your leaders have made. Where can you find the likes of Augustine or Jerome making the statement that God “is an exalted man” (King Follett Discourse). Everyone that frequents this blog knows full and well that there is no Christian version of the Lorenzo Snow couplet. Someone here has already pointed out that – “Mormonism fosters a theology in which its adherents could even consider the idea that God ‘could have partaken of the tree of knowledge of good and evil and that is how He received His knowledge’.”

  6. Key phrase – “fosters a theology”. Let me go on record as saying that every saint from righteous Abel to only-righteous-because-of-Christ Dave flatly rejects the mere possibility, and the theological framework that could even suggest, that The Lord God Almighty ever sinned.

    He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. – II Corinthians 5:21

  7. Amen, David. If any professing Christian preacher showed up at my church teaching a theology which opened up the conceptual possibility that God could have sinned, someone would probably have to call the cops. OK, maybe not, but

    1) My wife would probably have to shop for a new dress shirt for me, since I would tear it in protest like a raving first-century Jew.

    2) I and many others would verbally shout him down, disrupting the service with vehement protestations.

    3) The sound guy would turn off the sound system, disabling any available form of audible amplification.

    4) The stage would be stormed by the elders of the church and the speaker would be escorted out of the building.

    5) He would be publicly denounced and never invited back.

    If the same speaker presented his content at an LDS Fireside, Mormons would probably glow with reports of how they “felt the Spirit”.

    Apples and oranges.

  8. Ralph says:

    Its not too cryptic Aaron – you have the basis of an idea and you are in the process of fleshing it out. I guess that’s why you can’t be more specific. What you have said sounds interesting, but also very controversial – but when has that stopped anyone here on both sides of the fence?

  9. Mike R says:

    Thanks for the reply.As I read your comments I
    noticed that you really did’nt directly address
    my post.Furthermore, as I read you comments the
    word,”vague”, came to mind:
    “I don’t know…” “…this is not offical doct-
    rine.” “This is not a topic openly discussed.”
    “…we have not received anything about these
    I will say that you appear honest about the gaps
    in Mormon theology.None of us know it all.Yet,
    I would think that since the dead prophets of
    scripture don’t mention these important things
    that perhaps having a living prophet would.
    Concerning the vital doctrine of Temple marriage
    I remember reading where Spencer W.Kimball,I believe it was,taught that the MOST important
    things that any Lds ever does in this world is
    to marry the right person,in the right place,by
    the right authority and to keep the covenants
    made with their marriage.
    Apparently this MOST IMPORTANT thing which is
    offical for us and HF, is’nt offical concerning
    Him.Perhaps He did have a different path after all.

  10. shematwater says:

    First, while Christ progressed to Godhood in the pre-existance, he was not an exalted man until after his mortal life. He was a spirit. He walked the same path we did, for we all walked that path in the Pre-existance, and we all walk this path in Mortality. Christ walked both. In the first he progressed to a perfect understanding of all things, thus becoming God. In the second he walked perfectly and was exalted.

    God the Father walked the same paths we all walk, both a spiritual pre-existance and a mortal existance. He walked the same paths that Christ walked. And, since Christ tells us in the Bible that “The son can do nothing of himself save what he seeth the Father do” it is not a stretch to say that the Father was made a God in his pre-existance, and walked a perfect life in his mortal existance, just as his done.

    Now, I have never argued that the quotes given cannot be interprted in the way presented, only that this interpretation is not only logical interpretation, nor is it the most logical.

    As to what I said about the Christian doctrine, I never said it promotes the idea, but that it allows for the idea in the same way the LDS doctrine allows for what is being pushed. Now, you want to prove that Christian doctrine cannot be interpreted this way, show me where in the Bible it states that Christ lead a perfect life. That is all that is necessary. Yet you all get so angry when the idea is brought up, and you attempt to dismiss it as impossible. Explain why it is impossible. Prove it wrong. That is all I ask.

    What annoys me about this thread, and why I asked what its purpose was, it that most everyone here is presenting the idea as if it is LDS doctrine, when it isn’t. It has been admitted that it is not actually taught, but in the same sentence it was said that it is the natural conclusion of what is taught, which is a false statement.

  11. Shem,

    If the idea that god sinned is such an unnatural conclusion to Mormon theology then why do so many Mormons think that he did or that he could have? Why have Mormon leaders refused to but the brakes on such an idea. You fail to address the obvious which is why do we not see this same type of theological leaning in traditional Christianity. Poll your average Protestant church in america with the same question that Aaron did and see the differences in results; this is not a made up thing.

    You down play the enormous differences between your camp and ours – like eternal progression. Without God being of the same specie as man, without His eternal progression, the question of “did god sin” just does not “fit”. You believe god is perfect, so do we. We believe he has never changed, you do. What here is so hard to grasp?

    Lastly, you are framing the question from a Mormon viewpoint where as we (at least knowledgeable Christians) would not. We do believe in original sin, and what old school theologians called “federal headship”. Mankind’s sin is not in a vacuum; it is to a degree a collective thing, a racial thing. If this is true of humans, then it would have been true of God if the Lorenzo Snow couplet is to be consistently maintained.

    There are real differences in our theologies Shem. And you are grasping at straws to find an equivalency here. Again I ask where is the Christian version of the King Follett Discourse or the Lorenzo Snow couplet? Lastly, what part of II Corinthians 5:21 don’t you understand?

  12. setfree says:


    Fourpointer already answered this question above.

    “…in the Bible we read that,
    “We do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, YET WITHOUT SIN” (Hebrews 4:15).

    Peter wrote the following: “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: ‘WHO COMMITTED NO SIN, NOR WAS DECEIT FOUND IN HIS MOUTH’” (1st Peter 2:21-22).”

    By the way, I had never heard that before… that God and Jesus progressed to Godhood in their preexistences. When I was a (Mormon) kid, Jesus was just our first and best older spirit brother, not a god. The reason he became the savior was because He wanted to give all the glory to Heavenly Father. Lucifer wanted to keep all the glory for himself.

  13. “He walked the same path we did, for we all walked that path in the Pre-existance”

    Well, since in Mormonism he became a God in pre-mortality and then lived a sinless mortality, it is hardly the “same” path. And if God the Father achieved godhood in the pre-mortality and lived a sinless mortality as well, he was hardly on the “same” path either. All you’re left with is reducing Lorenzo Snow couplet theology to vague general parallels, whereas the couplet has traditionally drawn stronger parallels than that.

    As for whether or not something is “official doctrine”, this more often than not is an attempt at minimalism and deflection. See the newly published article on this here.

  14. shematwater says:


    You have accurately portrayed the problem that has arrisen in this thread, and yet you will never admit it.

    Yes, I approach LDS doctrine from an LDS perspective, and with that perspective the idea of God being a sinner is not the best interpretation.
    You an the other hand do as all Christians do. You take one LDS doctrine, compare it to mainstream Christian doctrine and then come to a conclusion as to what that Doctrine means. It is not a good approach.

    Let me explain why. As you outlined, with sin being a collective thing, if God was of the same species that would indicate that God sinned.
    However, since we are talking about LDS doctrine, and what LDS leaders have said, we compare this all to LDS doctrine, which states that sin is not Collective. Therefore, if sin is not collective, and we know that Christ, who is also of our species, was without sin, it is not illogical to say that the Father was without sin.

    You cannot tell us that we believe something because your doctrine supports it. You cannot say that the words of our leaders means something because your doctrine supports it. You can only say that we believe something, or that our leaders meant something, when our doctrine supports it. This you have yet to do, and until you do you will never understand the LDS faith, but will continue to be spread false understanding.

  15. “The son can do nothing of himself save what he seeth the Father do”

    Shem, have you even noticed that John 5:19 uses the present tense of “see”? Do you believe Jesus was watching his yet-to-be-spirit-father perform a sinless sacrificial mortal ministry even before Jesus became the spirit-child of this particular spirit-father?

    Was he in the cosmic bleachers with popcorn watching as one among many intelligences?

  16. Mike R says:

    The quote I gave on Temple marriage was not by Spencer W. Kimball. It was by Bruce McConkie, in Mormon Doctrine page 118.
    The Bible does indeed teach that Jesus was/is perfect this is plain to see.
    Shem, you said that “All” of us get angry. I testify to you that I am not angry. When you exaggerate like that it’s a sign that the conversation sould stop. With this said I gently remind you that..
    You are a HF in embryo. You if worthy, will be a God just like HF is now. You make mistakes in your upward progression. Eons from now some of your children in your Kingdoms will be saying that their HF ( You ) was once a sinner. they would be correct.
    Now the good news:
    ..and may be found in Him not having a righteousness of my own derived from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;..
    God bless you as you seek Him.

  17. Mike R says:

    Please forgive my oversite, on my last post I failed to give the Bible reference for the Scripture I quoted. It is Philippians 3:9-10

  18. Shem,

    Again the problem is that you have a worldview that “fosters a theology” that allows for the possibility that God could have sinned. That is the issue those here have. Trust me your leaders have already made us cry “blasphemy” a hundred times over by declaring that God was a man and progressed to his godhood. Now the “possibility” has arisen that god could have sinned – adding blasphemy to blasphemy.

    You try to assert that the same situation exists in our theology – and those here promptly shot you down. Our theologies are different. And yes I understand you see things in an LDS way and you deny original sin, but remember it was you who challenged us that our theology allowed for the same blasphemy as yours does. It does not, and never has. It is your private interpretation (one that is in a minority by the way) of LDS sources that God never sinned. To us here this does –seem– (key word) to go against the Lorenzo Snow couplet, “as we are now [in sin]”.

    If you are going to deal with traditional Christians then you have to allow us to be such without trying to foist upon us a theological problem that has always been yours not ours. Again, you have yet to answer my questions even though I have answered yours. Where is the Christian equivalent of the KFD or the LSC? If the words of a living prophet – J. Smith – are not doctrine then you have a bigger problem than “god may have sinned” and that can be addressed in another thread. You ask us to state LDS official doctrine when even your camp cannot agree on what that is. I believe it is apparent to our readers your charge of misrepresentation is an attempt at deflection. Show me where I ever stated that God being is a sinner is an explicitly taught, official LDS doctrine.

  19. There’s quite the conversation going on today over this whole issue here.

  20. Michael P says:

    Shem keeps bringing up the possibility within Christian doctrine that Christ sinned. I will be bold here and state that the time between Mary losing Jesus at the Temple and his return to start his ministry is an area that must grant the unknown, and as such any possibility on his behavior. However, the bigger context precludes Christ’s sinning. Several reasons have been given already, and I won’t rehash. But taken as a whole, there is no way to conclude Christ sinned. The only way is to look at that time I just spoke of.

    And this brings me to a bigger point about studying the Bible. I personally believe it is the by far the most powerful book ever written. This power has not always been for good, and is often manipulated to fit a given goal. The people that do this look at these isolated instances and make sweeping conclusions based on these things. They do not look at its entirety, which paints a very different picture.

    I see what Shem is trying to do as akin to this trend. He is looking for an opening for which he seeks to justify his belief based on that opening. I would even argue that this is what Smith did way back when, and through time and creativity was able to creatively convince people that it is true. Mormonism is admittedly one of the more sophisticated manipulations of the Bible, but it is a manipulation nonetheless.

    I am not surprised then that he seeks to hear someone say the possibility of Christ sinning can be inferred from Christian doctrine.

  21. If the Jesus Christ of the Bible ever sinned the entire Christian worldview fatally collapses.

    If the Heavenly Father of Mormonism once sinned (before becoming Heavenly Father) then Mormons feel encouraged that they too can follow his path/example of becoming a God.

    Apples and oranges!

  22. Michael P says:

    Amen, Aaron.

    I read the responses over at your link. Very interesting. Most dismiss the possibility as null and void, and as you say, it could not be more important to our faith.

  23. By “null and void” I you mean “unimportant”.

    Very big problem. So important.

  24. Ralph says:


    Yes, I believe that it was Pres Kimball that made that comment. And yes we do teach that temple sealing (as opposed to temple marriage) is important for our eternal progression. However, there are people that do not get sealed in the temple because they do not have the opportunity, and this is not by choice but by circumstance. These people will not have their eternal progression halted because of this – and yes this is a teaching from our prophets. The only ones who will have their eternal progression halted are those who had the opportunity to be sealed in the temple but decided not to do so. As far as Jesus is concerned, because of the purpose of His life, He may not have had the chance to marry, not by choice but by circumstance. Then again, most of His life from 12 to 30 years old is not recorded. From what I understand men were traditionally married around 18 – 22 years old, which covers this period – although there was a group (sorry Berean I forgot their name) that did not marry but was accepted in the Jewish community. Jesus could have ‘belonged’ to this group because He was never challenged about not being married. If He was married He could have been a widower when He started His ministry which is why they did not record His living with a wife, or His wife knowing and understanding His mission supported Him fully in it, thus not complicating matters. It is interesting that Jesus first visited Mary Magdelene after His resurrection (Mark 16:9) BEFORE He went to Heavenly Father (John 20:17). It may have just been because He needed a messenger to tell His apostles that He was coming, but the angels did this earlier. Now I am not advocating that He was married, I don’t know and I don’t care as it has no bearing on my salvation, but I am showing how some LDS members have their ‘evidence’ for this proposal. But as I said earlier, there is no official church doctrine for or against as far as I know.

  25. setfree says:

    Could I ask you to describe the purpose and benefit of being “sealed”?

  26. Ralph says:


    I specified temple sealing as opposed to temple marriage because the temple performs marriages just for time (ie same as outside temple marriages) as well as just sealings (for those who were married first outside of the temple) or both combined in one ceremony. It is the sealing that is important. The sealing, according to the church website, is “An ordinance performed in the temple eternally uniting a husband and wife, or children and their parents”. This is why Olsen Jim was asking about the Malachi prophecy of Elijah returning and restoring keys that will turn the hearts of the father to the children and vice versa, lest the earth be smitten with a curse when Jesus comes. We believe that this is what it is all about.

    To find out more about it go to the Gospel Principles book on the LDS website and go to chapter 38. Its more in depth than I have time/space to go into on here and explains it better than I can. I know you are an ex-LDS and most likely want nothing to do with LDS publications, but if you want to find out more that’s the better way to go.

    If you give me a bit of time I could get more info together, but I have 2 grant proposals to write up now due in 3 weeks so I am a little busy to do a full and proper answer.

  27. setfree says:

    No, it’s okay. Mostly I just had two main questions in mind. One, does “being sealed” mean that if one spouse is “celestial kingdom worthy” at death, and the other is not, does the one get a ‘free pass’ because of the other one? Or parent/child, same thing? Does a bad child get to go to CK because the parent went? Like even if the child is a son of perdition or something?

    Two, what will it be to be sealed in heaven? Will it just mean that you’re still family, or will it mean you live in the same place, or what?

    Ralph, did you read my commentary on Malachi? What did you think of it?

  28. jackg says:


    Why do you separate the two? Temple marriage and sealing happen simultaneously. Why the word games? And why do you try to minimize the importance of marriage and sealing when a person who doesn’t get married and sealed here must do it after death? You are misleading those who have not experienced these. Why? Ultimately, all your explanations will go by the wayside, because there is only one marriage in heaven, and that is between Christ and His Church. And, there is only one family in heaven, and that is the family of God. The teachings of JS et al are mere fantasy and NOT based on the biblical text. What I have presented is biblical.

    Perplexed as to the word games…

  29. Mike R says:

    I understand what you shared in the first half of
    your reply,but the question I asked was:if Temple
    marriage is the MOST IMPORTANT thing that you
    Ralph can do and IF Jesus is your example,then
    why is it not an Offical doctrine of Mormonism
    that Jesus was married? Did’nt He do what He saw
    His Father do?
    You then started all over again being so vague on
    this teaching.What you offered was a ton of
    guessing/conjecture,and to cap it off you said
    “I don’t care…”That sounded all to similar to
    Apostle McConkie,after june 1978,when he was trying to offer an alibi to justify his teachings
    concerning negroes being denied the Priesthood
    which he gave before june 1978:
    Forget everything that I have said….It does’nt
    make a particle of difference what anybody ever
    said about the negro matter before…June of this
    year(1978)…” It does’nt sound like he cared either.I find puzzling that the First Presidency
    can send out formal type letters the Wards con-
    cerning advice on minor issues and yet there is
    silence on this MOST IMPORTANT issue.
    God Bless you Ralph as you seek Him.

  30. Ralph says:


    I don’t know the answer to the first part of your questions about the spouses, I have my opinion from my own study but I am not going to give it as it is my opinion. As for the children, they will be judged according to their life and placed in the kingdom where they belong – it has nothing to do with the parents. We believe that this earth will become the CK those who belong to that kingdom will reside here, most likely as we do now – parents and children with their own spouses in their own ‘homes’ (whatever form habitation exists in there), but still family. The main part of sealing is the ability to remain husband and wife and have an increase in posterity forever.


    I separated the two because they can be separated. Those who are temple worthy and were previously sealed in the temple to a spouse who is now dead can be married in the temple for time only without the sealing. Those who were married outside the temple for what ever reason (eg were not members before they were married, not worthy when they got married, etc) only get sealed in the temple, not married. Those who are members and are worthy should get married and sealed in the temple in the one ceremony, which is the way you are referring to. But yes, the sealing and marriage can be separated.


    If I don’t know something and there is no official doctrine as far as I know, then I will say it. I am not going to place my opinion on the table as doctrine. And “there is no official doctrine about it” is an answer. The only revelation that we will receive is that which pertains to our salvation, because that is the only important thing in our lives. We have to be sealed in the temple is important to our salvation, yes, but was Jesus being married important to our salvation? No. Yes He is our example, but not everything about His life is pertinant to our salvation. We have been told by a prophet to be sealed in the temple, that is enough for me.

  31. jackg says:


    I was only thinking about members and not nonmembers when I made my comment about marriage and sealing being simultaneous, so I accept your explanation and better understand where you were coming from.


  32. shematwater says:

    First, I never said the possibility of Christ sinning was a mainstream idea, only that there are people who take the doctrine they are taught and reach this conclusion.

    Yes, I agree that the Bible is explicit on this point, but it seems that some people have not read these verses, or find some way to justify the belief regardless.

    I will also admit that you have never directly said that this is an official doctrine of the LDS church, or even that it is taught. However, from the way you speak, from your words, you portray this as the most logical conclusion of LDS doctrine. What you are basically saying is that if a person accept the LDS faith they have to accept this. Now, you may not have intended it that way, but that is the way it is presented.

    Now, I have been doing some research to find a place where one of the Prophets have stated that the Father was not a sinner, and when I do I will be happy to share it with you.

  33. setfree says:

    Thank you for your answer. There are two main things that have always bugged me about “sealing”. One is, if you both (each) have to be “CK-worthy” to be in the CK, then what is the benefit of sealing, except if you think your spouse is going to leave you in the hereafter for some reason, or won’t be able to find you in all eternity, and stay with you.

    and 2) aren’t you supposed to be out populating other worlds? if so, why do you want your kids sealed? are they still “sealed” to you if they are also temple married? will the in-laws (assuming they are CK-worthy) all be living with you too? and if you are all ‘gods’ and populating worlds, what effect will being “sealed” have on that dynamic?

    I understand wanting to have a loved one back that you have lost. But I don’t understand the connection between the emotion and desire involved with loss, and the need to be “sealed”…

  34. shematwater says:


    Like Ralph, I do not want to give personal oppinion concerning the sealing of Husband and wife. If you want an answer I would direct you to D&C 132: 19, 26-27.

    Later in this same section it also indicates that the sealing is broken when one or the other commits adultery.

    Hope it helps.

  35. setfree says:

    Thanks 🙂

  36. shematwater says:

    As I said I would, I have found where Joseph Smith states that the Father was perfect. It is not stated directly, but the implication is so obvious that no one can dispute it.

    First, I believe I referenced John 5: 19 in my arguments, stating that if Christ is only doing what his Father did than the Father must have also been perfect.

    Joseph Smith puts it this way: “The Scriptures inform us that Jesus said, As the Father hath power in Himself, even so hath the Son power—to do what? Why, what the Father did. The answer is obvious—in a manner to lay down His body and take it up again. Jesus, what are you going to do? To lay down my life as my Father did, and take it up again. Do we believe it? If you do not believe it, you do not believe the Bible.”

    The implication of this statement is that the Father was the savior of his generation, that he too died for his brothers and sisters. For him to be a savior he had to have lived a perfect life. Thus, by the words of Joseph Smtih God the Father was perfect.

  37. Lautensack says:

    Care to cite the source, not that I don’t believe you, just for future reference.


  38. shematwater says:


    It is from the King Follet Discourse. You can find it here http://scriptures.byu.edu/tpjs/STPJS.pdf. The entire discourse starts on page 342, but the exact quote I give is on page 346, first paragraph under the heading Power of the Father and the Son.

  39. Doc Sarvis says:

    I’m not disclosing my own religious affiliation (not relevant for this post). I know I am difficult for you to pin down vis a vis my background or motivation – I have my reasons.

    However, a new Mormon response to this very thoughtful and provocative theological problem occurred to me today. Here it goes:
    No, God did not have to progress until his godhood.
    a.The King Follett sermon, which is the original and best-known reference upon which this claim is based, is not in the official canon of the Church. (See LDS newsroom link on the GP thread)
    b. Further, Joseph Smith stated that “a prophet was a prophet only when…acting as such” (see TPJS pg 278)
    c. The fact that many Mormons have expressed this view (and that it even has been reflected in manuals, etc. does not make it doctrine). Mormons are flawed, fallible sinners, who make mistakes.
    d. The fact that even some aspects of the temple ceremony reflect this view, does not make it doctrine. While this topic is harder to pin down, the case has been made that the temple ceremony’s covenants are the doctrinal aspect, not the narrative or other aspects. Again, historical statements to the contrary are not doctrine.
    e. There is no doctrinal source for the claim that God is progressing toward godhood.
    f. For a doctrinal definition of the Mormon view, one source would be D&C 76:1-4.


  40. Doc, you’re assuming Mormonism has something close to a sola scriptura view of “official doctrine”. This position is not sustainable given historic patterns, cultural beliefs, and institutional literature. Mormonism teeters between sola scriptura, prima scriptura, and prima ecclesia, with a special focus on prima ecclesia.


    Even the latest institutional teachings coming out of Mormonism affirm that “correlated” Church-stamped literature represents the official doctrine of the Church. And just in case someone else hasn’t already mentioned it, the currently used manual in Relief Society and Melchizedek priesthood classes has an important appeal to the King Follett discourse.

    My goodness, even Stephen E. Robinson, the icon of Mormon minimalism that oddly promotes a sola scriptura approach to the elusive idea of Mormon “doctrine”—even he considers the KFD to be quasi-canonical.

  41. shematwater says:


    One big problem with what you outline. Your point b: Further, Joseph Smith stated that “a prophet was a prophet only when…acting as such” does not really fit, because Joseph Smith states in this discourse that he is speaking as a prophet, and he was proving his presidency by his words. Thus, while this is true, he was speaking as a prophet here. (Also note that this was at a General Conference, thus making it a discourse by the Prophet, not just an opinion.)

    Another small problem is in point a, when you say it is not cannonical. While this is true, it is still scripture, as all the words of all the prophets (while speaking in their calling) are scripture. This includes the First Presidency message of each ensign addition, as well as all the Conference additions (which would also include those conferences not in the Ensigns, such as the King Follet Discourse). It also include book commissioned by the First Presidency, such as Jesus the Christ.

    Now, I will admit that many members use the arguments you give, but they are in error as to the teachings of the church.

  42. Lautensack says:

    Thanks for the reference, unfortunately the rest of the citation would have been helpful in understanding what Joseph Smith was actually referring to.
    Joseph Smith said,

    I wish I was in a suitable place to tell it, and that I had the trump of an archangel, so that I could tell the story in such a manner that persecution would cease forever. What did Jesus say? (Mark it, Elder Rigdon!) The scriptures inform us that Jesus said, as the Father hath power in himself, even so hath the Son power— to do what? Why, what the Father did. The answer is obvious—in a manner to lay down his body and take it up again. Jesus, what are you going to do? To lay down my life as my Father did, and take it up again. Do you believe it? If you do not believe it you do not believe the Bible. The scriptures say it, and I defy all the learning and wisdom and all the combined powers of earth and hell together to refute it. Here, then, is eternal life—to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all gods have done before you, namely, by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one; from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation, until you attain to the resurrection of the dead, and are able to dwell in everlasting burnings, and to sit in glory, as do those who sit enthroned in everlasting power. And I want you to know that God, in the last days, while certain individuals are proclaiming His name, is not trifling with you or me.

    If all gods learn to attain to the resurrection from the dead, god the father could have learned this in the post-mortal life only to teach Jesus it in the pre-mortal one. God the father could have been sinned and still learned tho attain to the resurrection from the dead then had a son who did not sin. In context your quote does not prove explicitly or even implicitly that god never sinned.

  43. shematwater says:


    I see your point, however, Joseph Smith never said that all gods had teh power he described. I have read the entire King Follet Discourse. What I outlined is what he meant.

    All gods have progressed as he said, but only a few have done so while still spirits, before their mortal lives. There is one in each generation that is given the power had by the Father, which power is to lay down his life and take it up again.

    We may all attain to the resurrection, but out of all the children of our Father, Christ was the only one to ever have the power to attain it by himself. We must attain it through him, or not at all.

    He was given this power because he lived a perfect life. Thus, for his Father to also have this power he must have lived a perfect life. It is a unique power, and only through perfection can one gain it.

  44. Michael P says:

    OK, then Shem, if Christ was the only to do it through his spirit life, then you’ve already failed, right?

  45. shematwater says:


    Not at all, and only one who has no real understing, or whose motives are of a low nature, would suggest such a thing.

  46. Lautensack says:

    You wrote:

    All gods have progressed as he said, but only a few have done so while still spirits, before their mortal lives. There is one in each generation that is given the power had by the Father, which power is to lay down his life and take it up again….He was given this power because he lived a perfect life. Thus, for his Father to also have this power he must have lived a perfect life. It is a unique power, and only through perfection can one gain it.

    So essentially if you obtain celestial glory and had a son attain to the resurrection of the dead in the premortal life he could never say of you, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.” Since you did not attain to the resurrection of the dead in the premortal life?


  47. Michael P says:


    Not really. If Christ achieved his status in the pre-mortal life, and has a special power because of that, since you did not make it at that point, it is logical to say you do not have that special power. If the father had the power, and the son did, this is a very logical conclusion.

    Don’t dismiss the claim before saying it is outrageous.

    I know you think you can make it, despite Christ’s special power. I know you believe that you must strive to be perfect and follow all the ordinances, etc. Fair enough, but the question I raised is a fair question.

    And Lautensack asks some important questions, too. I’d like to see a response, too.

  48. shematwater says:


    You asked if I had already failed, and that is not true, nor is it logical. I have not failed, I have simple not yet succeeded.
    It is much like school here on earth. I progress. In the premortal existance I progressed to finish high school. I am now in college, and I can still earn my degree. Thus I have not failed.
    Christ on the other hand progressed and graduated college while still in the premortal existance (much like a genius graduting college as a teenager). He already has his degree, and thus he has been given the power he has.

    As I said, only one who does not have a full understanding of the truth would suggest that anyone has already failed (except the one third of heaven that was cast out).


    I understand your question, but you asking things about the mysteries of God, and I do not have the authority to answer such questions. There is no official doctrine on the subject. There are no direct quotes that can be referenced.
    I know the truth, and what you suggest will never happen. But that is all I can say. If you read exactly what I wrote you should be able to figure out exactly what I believe, and what all the doctrine of the church truly supports.

  49. Michael P says:


    Actually, it does mean you are less than Christ, and that any effort to become his equal will fail, because you can never be the pure and natural genius he is. He is already set apart from you, and as much as you try, you cannot achieve the sme natural ability he has.

    I understand you think you can work to it and achieve the same status, and that’s fine, but Christ still has that “genius” trait that you do not.

    Now, as I am writing, I come back to the idea of how much you have to excuse, and the mental gymnastics you have to go through to reach your conclusions. This strikes me as one. Common sense would say that someone with such extraordinary abilities will succeed far more than someone without those abilities. I know it is possible to work hard and persevere to succeed, and many have done just that, but pausing a moment, Jesus is a god, and if he is a god, if he gave anything less than his full ability he would not be perfect. If he then gave his full ability, he would be far beyond where you can be given your abilities.

    This is why I said you have failed, because though you try and try hard, you cannot reach the same level of Christ because he is the genius with extraordinary abilities, and you are not.

    To say that some bloom later or something akin to that gets you back in the gymnastics. It cankeep going and twisting until the argument fits the way you like it to.

    At some point, you have to accept certain truths for what they are, and not try to work around them. Here’s the ultimate point of my claim that you have failed: Christ’s likeness is something you cannot achieve, because he is much better than you.

  50. Lautensack says:

    This is not a mystery of God thing, and you say there is no official doctrine one it yet you are trying to argue that God never sinned from a quote, though not official. Second I am not even asking what God would do in a certain situation. I am asking what your celestial son would say of you if you were to attain exaltation and set up a plan of salvation like your heavenly Father did, granted your past statements about how John 5:19 and the sermon of King Follet display that God never sinned. If you say this situation would never happen are you suggesting that you will never attain exaltation, or are you saying you will institute a different plan of salvation for your spirit children?

    Also after rereading your previous post you say Joseph Smith never said all gods have this power. The power spoken of in this passage is the resurrection of the dead, the premortal existence is never mentioned in the passage, so another question, could Jesus in his postmortal still lay down his life and take it back up again or is this only talking about when the gods are mortal? e.g. on earth?

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