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

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.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

139 Responses to Getting the Facts About Mormonism From the Source

  1. SR says:

    Helen/Louis —

    Your explanation of Romans 8:17 proves my understanding that Mormons are selfish and self-serving and do not look to the one true God as a God worthy of praise and glory. You quote Mormon interpretation at us, interpretation that adheres to your understanding and not what it’s actually saying. Your understanding of “heirs” is that it means you are entitled to the same glory and exaltation as Christ Jesus. It says “in order that we may also share in his glory.” My question is this: what is God’s glory?

    To a Mormon, it means becoming a god. It means the right to become a god and share not only God’s glory but in his nature and his power. That’s not what this is saying at all. What’s the glory of God? His kingdom here on earth. The gospel of Jesus Christ — that believing in Christ gives us the right to become children of God — John 1:12 — not gods. Isaiah 43:7 says that we were created FOR God’s glory. Romans 1:21-25 talks about people who don’t give glory to God.

    We share in God’s glory because we were made for his glory. His glory IS us. It is this world that he created out of nothing. It is his majesty, his might, his power. We share in his glory by becoming children of God and giving him and him alone our honor and worship and praise. His glory is meant for no other, and we share in it by giving it. As I said, we are God’s glory. We give God glory. That is how we share in His glory, by showing our faith and praise of him daily.

  2. helenlouissmith says:

    SR, what is joint heirs, did not God state clearly not only heir, but joint heirs? Joined together in obligation or ownership: joint heirs. God specifically used the word joint and heir, not just heirs.

    King James Bible Romans 8:17
    And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

    Mormons accept the evidence we are spirit children of God. What does born again refer too?
    Accepting His Gospel, the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Faith in that He is Lord and Savior to all.

    We in God form a special relationship as the “sons and daughters” of Christ (Mosiah 5:7; Gal. 4:5-7; Rom. 8:14-17; see also Born of God; Law of Adoption). Through the gospel, one becomes a joint-heir with Christ, a member of the Church of the Firstborn, and a partaker of the fulness of God’s glory.

  3. Rick B says:

    Helen said

    Was he talking about a physical state? Jesus is referred to as “the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). The scriptures state that Jesus “increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man”(Luke 2:52)
    Jesus stated, “all power is given unto Me in heaven and earth.” (Matthew 28:18)
    What, Jesus did not always have this power? If it was given, does this not mean He did not have yet all power?

    When you say stuff like this it shows you really dont understand the Bible. Jesus was God, But Jesus emptied himself of all His divinity and came as a man, He was sinless and never once sinned, But He still had to learn and grow just as we do, yet He did it all in sinless perfection. Some thing we cannot do.

    Then add to that, I love How you quote Bruce Mc. Yet agin many mormons refuse to use him, they act like he is nobody or nothing. I just love how LDS quote anyone they want when it fits what they want, but if we quote the same exact person, then LDS like you sit here and say, How can we know what they meant? Did they really mean, Ect. Why is it you know exactly what they mean when you quote from them, but when we quote from the, them your brains fall out and you have no idea what they mean or are saying? I find that rather odd. And I know you would feel that way about us if we did that.

  4. Mike R says:

    SR, that was great. Thanks.


  5. Rick B says:

    Helen said

    What does born again refer too?

    Born again means just that. When ADAM was in the garden and ate from the fruit, His spirt died, your spirit will stay dead unless it is born again. If we are not born again then we will die in our sins and go to hell.


    Mormons accept the evidence we are spirit children of God.

    Not everyone is a child of God. The Bible tells us that some our children are of the Devil and even Jesus said some people are from their father the Devil.

    1John 3:10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.

    Mormons are not loving their brothers or anyone for that matter when they leave out information, or refuse to tell us where we are going wrong. Like I keep saying, where is the Love from mormon? I say their is none and they theirfore are not children of God, but rather children of the devil.

  6. SR says:

    Thanks, Mike R.

    Helen/Louis asks: What does born again refer too?

    Rick B said it but let me expand. When we do not have the Spirit, when we have not accepted Christ into our hearts, we are dead. We become alive, become born again, when we accept Christ. We are dead in our sins but made alive in Christ Jesus.

    Rick was referring to 1 Corinthians 15:22, which says For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. Mormonism teaches that the Fall in the Garden was a good thing. It wasn’t. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Adam and Eve’s transgression in the Garden of Eden led to the death of all of us. It is only in Christ that we are made alive or, if we’re stuck on using that phrase, “born again.”

    As for being a spirit child of God, I already talked about this before. 1 Corinthians 15 talks about the physical (earthly) body and the spiritual (heavenly) body. Very clearly, it states: If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”[f]; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven.

    We were created from the dust of this earth. We were never a spiritual being with God beforehand. The natural body is first, the spiritual is second, when we join God in heaven and have eternal life.

  7. falcon says:

    When I surrendered to Christ way back in April of 1972 it was after an intense year of searching spiritually. In retrospect, I really didn’t know much. But what I came to understand finally pushed me over the line. That understanding was that I was a sinner and had no hope a part from the finished work of Christ on the cross. That night I went from being spiritually dead to being spiritually alive. I was born again by the Spirit of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
    Interestingly enough there was no feeling of euphoria associated with my spiritual birth. But there was a deep sense of relief in knowing that my salvation was secure in Jesus. I went from death to life, from darkness to light and from being lost to being found all within a couple of minutes.
    It indeed was a new birth.

  8. Andy Watson says:

    Rick, you stated: “Jesus was God, But Jesus emptied himself of all His divinity and came as a man”.

    Brother, that’s not correct. Jesus did not empty himself of ANY of His divinity/deity. The text for this is the “kenosis text” in Philippians 2:5-11 with the key verse in reference to this statement being verse 7. Jesus “emptied Himself” the status and privilege that was His in heaven (John 17:5; Isa 42:8). He didn’t empty himself out of His deity because He remained “in the form of God” (v. 6). Jesus emptied himself VOLUNTARILY of the right to independently exercise His attributes of deity. He never acted as God, the Father acted through Him and by the Holy Spirit (John 5:19). His knowledge was supernaturally imparted to Him. The works that Jesus did were from the Father. He was totally dependent on the Father.

    When Jesus left heaven it was as if Jesus said to the Father and the Holy Ghost, “The right to act as deity I empty into your jurisdiction and I enter the world: true humanity and true deity. I will depend entirely on You.” Jesus took up at the resurrection what He VOLUNTARILY laid down at the Incarnation. Chris submitted to a voluntary non-use of some of His divine attributes (on some occasions) in order to accomplish His objectives. Christ could have never surrendered any of His attributes. If He had, He would have ceased to be God.

    Jesus was and is 100% God and 100% human. He is one Person with two natures. Jesus did not use His divine attributes at all times because He wanted to live among humans and be part of their limitations. Had Christ not veiled His preincarnate glory, humankind would not have been able to behold Him.

  9. helenlouissmith says:

    Rick B. Whatever Philippians 2:7 means, it can-not mean that Jesus divested himself of deity. Jesus “emptied himself’ in that he “made himself of no reputation.

    You seem to say He did not retain His Godhead, but Matt 1:23 clearly states, “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us”.

    I would say Andy got it right and you would be wise to consider re-reading and praying for understanding.

  10. helenlouissmith says:

    27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.
    Question: if God is invisible and without flesh or bone, yet he created us in His image then why do Evangelicals claim the physical body came first and then the spiritual.

    4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,

    5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the aground.

    Well it is very clear by the scriptures that at least every herb of the field were both created before it was on the earth and before it grew.

    For more clarity we need only go too Moses 3:5-9 in the Book of Abraham.

    5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew. For I, the Lord God, created all things, of which I have spoken, spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth. For I, the Lord God, had not caused it to rain upon the face of the earth. And I, the Lord God, had created all the children of men; and not yet a man to till the ground; for in heaven gcreated I them; and there was not yet flesh upon the earth, neither in the water, neither in the air;

  11. falcon says:

    Over the years I have taught many Bible studies but I’d say probably my favorite topic is, “Who is Jesus?”. This is foundational knowledge that all Christians need a firm grasp of. Knowing and understanding Jesus’ divinity and humanity “cult proofs” a believer and keeps him/her from being sucked into the black hole vortex of these aberrant and heretical groups.
    Issue 85 of Christian History has as its theme, “Debating Jesus’ Divinity: The Council of Nicaea and its bitter aftermath”. This publication gives an excellent review of what the Church went through in order to be precise in articulating Jesus’ nature. This is not small ball. It’s major league because of the implications for the Christian faith.
    “The basic problem was that Christians began as Jews, with the belief that God is one. On the basis of his teachings and miracles, the kind of person Jesus was, and because he rose from the dead, Christians said, ‘This man is not like any other man’-he is in some sense divine, or God. But how do you say that God is one when you’ve got two identifiable realities-God the Father and God the Son-and claim they’re God? That’s the problem. And it’s not an easy problem to solve.” (p.14)
    Part of the problem was that Christians had to develop a theological language with vocabulary that described Jesus in a manner that expressed the reality of who He is.
    “The charge laid against Nicaea by later theologians that the creed was more the product of philosophical influence or ‘Hellenization’ than of Scripture is misconstrued for two reasons. First, all Christian thinkers of the time-‘orthodox’ and ‘heretical’-were drawing on contemporary philosophical language in order to frame theological truths. Terms such as person, substance, essence, and many others all had a philosophical background that pre-dated Christianity…

  12. falcon says:

    …but were borrowed permanently for Christian purposes. Where there was obvious conflict between the Bible and Greek philosophy, the Bible took precedent for even the most erudite Christians.”
    “Second, one of the lessons learned during the ‘Arian controversy’ was that in order to achieve doctrinal orthodoxy you cannot interpret the Bible from the Bible alone. The church needed a vocabulary and a conceptual framework that stemmed from the Bible but were also outside of the Bible. Sooner or later, some means of interpreting the scriptural text would be required.”(p.27)
    What’s meant by this is that the heretics would user creative means to come to their heretical ends. The Church Fathers would appeal to “tradition” in that they would point out that what they were teaching/believing was passed down by the bishops who had learned it from the apostles who had learned in from Jesus. But there also had to be a systematic means and a vocabulary by which matters of faith could be expressed.
    “Whatever else may be said of the ancient creeds, it cannot be denied that they were deliberately constructed to be the epitome of the biblical message. When instructing new converts, Augustine taught, ‘For whatever you hear in the Creed is contained in the inspired books of Holy Scripture’ (Sermon 212.2)”
    So the Church Fathers articulated very clearly what the Church believed and did it through the means of various creeds. It was the purpose of the creeds not to merely reproduce the Bible but to act as a means to enable believers to understand the OT and NT means.
    When faced with the beliefs of the various cults, it is obvious that they reject the tenants of the Christian faith as articulated in the various creeds. That’s why Joseph Smith took dead aim at the creeds.

  13. falcon says:

    Joseph Smith couldn’t have his religion if people held to the truths of the Scriptures as outlined by the creeds. That’s also why groups such as the Mormons disparage Christians as “creedal”. It’s a means of degrading the doctrine of the faith and charging that they (doctrine) are not “inspired” or “revealed”. It’s along the lines of the charge made by cults like the Mormons that Christians “worship” the Bible.
    Haphazard revelation is seen by cultic groups like the Mormons as far more exciting and believable than “cold” creeds and “intellectually” driven study of the Scriptures.
    What the results of the free flow pronouncements known as revelation end-up with is bizarre and blasphemous teachings that god was once a man who became a god and rules, like countless other gods and their many polygamous wives, planet systems where hence they procreate spirit children who also have the potential of becoming gods.
    This is what sinful men produce and call it revelation. Clearly articulated precepts are not favored by cults because clearly articulated and Scripture supported doctrine shuts down error produced by false revelation.

  14. Rick B says:

    Andy said

    He didn’t empty himself out of His deity because He remained “in the form of God” (v. 6). Jesus emptied himself VOLUNTARILY of the right to independently exercise His attributes of deity. He never acted as God, the Father acted through Him and by the Holy Spirit (John 5:19). His knowledge was supernaturally imparted to Him. The works that Jesus did were from the Father. He was totally dependent on the Father.

    Andy, Your right, I worded it wrong and what you said is what I believe. I so could have worded it better. It’s nice that I can admited when I am wrong, and have done it before, even with Mormons. Sadly I wish they would admit when they are wrong, but in their minds they never are and as aresult of it they will never enter heaven becasue they cannot admit they have a false gospel.

  15. SR says:

    Question: if God is invisible and without flesh or bone, yet he created us in His image then why do Evangelicals claim the physical body came first and then the spiritual.

    Why does image have to be physical likeness? The image of God is one of love, compassion, justice, mercy, and grace. If your argument is that we are made in God’s physical image, why then are we all so different? Why are there races and genders and blondes, brunettes, tall, short, etc. etc.?

  16. Kate says:

    Sandi B,
    Sorry, I just read your question to me. Nope, I didn’t go through the temple. Not from lack of trying for years! My husband had a word of wisdom problem. He chewed tobacco. He quit 12 years ago, but he just never really seemed interested. From the time I was a little girl, I was going to marry a returned missionary in the temple and have 12 kids. I said it all the time. I guess God had other plans for me! I forced my poor husband to temple classes half a dozen times. What’s interesting to me now it that those lessons were supposed to “prepare” you for the temple. All I remember of them is that they were basically what the missionary lessons are. After watching Shawn McCraney and reading testimonies of ex Mormons about the temple ceremony, I’m so grateful that I didn’t go through. I would have been sick and weirded out. I know I’d have left the poor guy at the alter waiting for me! My sister in law went through a few years ago. She was so excited because she is older and it’s something she’s wanted all of her life. She decided to go without her husband because he wasn’t interested. When she stopped by a few weeks afterward I asked her how the temple was. She had a horrified look on her face and said “It was weirder than I thought.” I knew exactly what she was talking about, but out of respect for her, I didn’t say anything. Maybe we can have that conversation one day. What is interesting to me is that when people go through the temple and have that weirded out experience and feel uncomfortable, why don’t they see it as a red flag?

  17. Mike R says:

    SR, there may not be a lot of teaching by Mormon leaders on what how tall their
    God is, or how much He weighs etc. But one thing is clear from Mormon prophets
    and apostles concerning what their God looks like: He does’nt have black skin !


  18. I have been a member for 28 years and am just now (the last 3 years) realizing that the Mormon church was not truthful to me. I am hurt…I no longer go to church, the church that was life and in which I raised my 5 children. I not have my own blog in which I am trying to sort my feeling out about religion period.
    Sadly it has made me highly skeptical about any religion and am now trying to find my way. I am and have always been spiritual and thankfully that is still with me…but on my own terms, not because has told me how to be. I am happy, though feel a part of me has disappeared.
    I read this post with great interest…

  19. helenlouissmith says:

    SR, so image to you must mean goodness, love, compassion, justice, grace etc. So in His image we are not like Him spiritually or invisibly but take one His character. But how did we get our canal nature? Is that also part of His Image? Truthfully I think you are pretty much stretching it. So what is your answer for every plant and herb of the earth before it was on the earth and before it grew? If it was not created spiritually first then where did it exit physically if not on the earth or before it grew?

  20. SR says:

    So what is your answer for every plant and herb of the earth before it was on the earth and before it grew? If it was not created spiritually first then where did it exit physically if not on the earth or before it grew?

    It didn’t exist anywhere! God created the heavens and the earth out of nothing. Nothing existed that God did not create by the sheer magnitude of his power and will. God said, “let there be light” and there was light! The light wasn’t anywhere else first; God brought it into being. God brought the heavens and the earth into being by the power of His word. He filled the earth, separated earth from the sky, brought forth vegetation and all animals and birds and fish. Then he took the dust of the earth — dust from the earth He created — and breathed life into it, creating man in His image. It’s all right there in Genesis. Try reading it objectively.

  21. SR says:

    Apologies for all the italics above. It should have ended the italics after “and there was light!”

  22. helenlouissmith says:

    4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,

    5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the aground.

    Not how it reads SR. Created before it was in the earth and before it grew. So again, if it was created out of nothing but before, where did God place it before he placed it in the earth. You gave a version that does not help your case in solving the before it was placed in the earth and before it grew. He stated He created this “before”.

  23. Rick B says:

    Helen, due to a limited word limit I am not posting every verse for context, go read them yourself.
    But you said things were around before God created them.

    Col tells us that God created everything.

    Col 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether [they be] thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

    No matter how you look at it He had to create something out of nothing. It say He created everything, so if something existed He would have had to create it, otherwise it did not exist.

  24. SR says:

    The same verses in the NIV:
    This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.
    Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground

    While I understand that the KJV is the version of the Bible that Mormons “approve of”, I wanted to show that it doesn’t have to mean what you assume. Yes, it says that God created every plant and herb before it was in the earth — before they grew. Like I said before, God spoke and it was created. The plants didn’t have to be anywhere beforehand. They were created in God’s mind, in his words, then grew on the earth.

    My question is: what is it you believe about plants? Are they spiritual beings? Were/are they in the pre-existence along with all other spirit-children? Is there an entire other spiritual “earth” somewhere that God pulls from? If God only pulled things onto our physical earth that existed spiritually somewhere else, who or what created that? I see that you quoted from the Book of Abraham (which I don’t accept as scripture). What do those lines in Moses do except try to explain “between-the-lines?”

    The Bible says that God created everything out of nothing, visible and invisible he created it. As Rick B pointed out with Col 1:16. God created the world out of nothing. The Bible says that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The account is of his creation of earth, including all animals, plants, and mankind. The Bible says nothing about what was created in the heavens.

  25. Rick B says:

    First off the BoA has been expoused as a fraud, JS made it up.
    Then when you try to explain the pre-existence remember, It was you who said the Bible teaches it. Then when pressed for evidence you had to admit it is not in the Bible. Then you also were told if you try and blow it off as, It’s a teaching that was simply removed by wicked men or simply lost somehow, you were told to cite your source. You were never able to do that.

    So I wont let you try and play word games here, I suspect you will get put in Mod Jail as CD called it if you start your games again. So since you cannot back up the pre-existence with solid proof from the Bible, and cannot explain why it’s not their even though you at one time said it was, How will you handle this?

  26. Uh oh. Andy had to “correct” Rick… does that mean Andy is now “anti-Rick”? 😉

  27. Rick B says:

    I know your being funny and I smiled. But on a more serious side, Unlike lots of people who do not want to hear they are wrong, or pride wont allow them to speak up, I for one can admited I was wrong. I simply just wrote and knew what I was saying, just did not word it very well.

    The Bible does tell us to correct one another and then when we admit are mistakes we are then reconciled and we simply need to move on.

    As a side note, what do you think of the info I sent you? Is it helpful? I have more things to send if you want them. Rick

  28. lol. yeah, when I read it the first time, I knew you were just wording it wrong. But yes, it’s good to be able to accept instruction/correction/etc instead of getting all defensive about it.

    And I’m sorry, I meant to write you back. Yes, it’s definitely helpful. I haven’t been through all of it yet (busy family life), but from what I read, it’s certainly thorough. Thanks!

  29. CD-Host says:

    Helen —

    You are losing because you are letting them sneak in suppositions that are undermining your case.

    1) Corinthians represent the original intent of Genesis.
    2) That Genesis should be translated in a Protestant way

    Of course if you translate the bible like a Protestant you are going to get Protestant theology from the bible! Don’t let them do that to you. The bible is absolutely clear, this is not creation ex-nihilo but rather organization of disorganized matter (per Orson Pratt). The earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep. The water deep is (tehom), the sea a Babylonian deity. In verse 3 water switches the general word in Hebrew. Protestant translations break the congruence so you don’t notice that.

    Genesis in Hebrew is really strong ground for you. Do let them use Protestant bibles and you’ll be fine. Colossians especially ch 2, is a bunch of landmines for you doctrinally but definitely supportive of the idea of a Great Apostasy. So if you want unsolicited advice, stay clear, that’s strong ground for them on this topic.

    Good luck, and God bless.

  30. CD-Host says:

    Do let them use Protestant bibles

    Sorry that should have been Don’t let them use Protestant bibles

  31. Kate says:

    Oh CD,
    Don’t you know that the only Bible Mormons use is the King James? No other Bible is accepted. Helen has to use the King James and discuss from that. We Christians however, DO NOT have to accept the Book of Abraham. Which is where Helen is making some of her argument from. I find it interesting that you encourage Helen to “win”. It’s not about winning or losing. It’s about truth. God’s Truth. You either believe it or you don’t. You obviously don’t. I don’t think anyone here is engaging Helen so that they can “win” something. Mormons claim to be THE CHRISTIANITY

  32. Kate says:

    so it is up to them to prove their doctrines. Christians have a right to defend the traditional doctrines of Christianity. This blog is about truth, not winning or losing.

  33. CD-Host says:

    Mormons claim to be THE CHRISTIANITY

    The original Christianity. And in many senses, they are far close than your group. And of course I’m encouraging Helen to win. Its 4 against 1, and you all sucker punched her with that translation trick.

    And actually the doctrine regarding the KJV is not quite as strong as you are saying it is. The KJV is considered authoritative, not the only one approved. I just finished a fairly detailed discussion on KJV and Mormonism.

    As for the truth. Getting to the point where she sees the references to the ancient Sumarian legends that Genesis is responding to is the “truth”:

    When in the height heaven was not named,
    And the earth beneath did not yet bear a name,
    And the primeval Apsu (freshwater deep waters under earth), who begat them,
    And chaos, Tiamut (seawater ocean), the mother of them both
    Their waters were mingled together,
    And no field was formed, no marsh was to be seen;
    When of the gods (El) none had been called into being,
    And none bore a name, and no destinies were ordained;
    Then were created the gods in the midst of heaven,
    Lahmu (Adam) and Lahamu (Eve) were called into being…
    Ages increased,…
    Then Ansar (sky-pivot) and Kisar (earth) were created, and over them….
    Long were the days, then there came forth…..
    Anu (earthly sky) , their son,…

    You were a Mormon. The cycle of prophetic revelation, misunderstanding and apostasy from the truth and restoration by the prophets. Joseph Smith understood a story about a guy whose name is literally “the man” and a woman whose names is “water” living in a magic garden with a talking snake has some embedded symbolism unravelled via. the temple rites?

    I’ll let Helen take it from here and see where she wants to go.

  34. CD-Host says:

    I forgot to post what I originally wanted to.

    I wrote a lengthy response to the whole idea regarding planets which actually address what Orson Pratt in fact said: Orson Pratt and alternative organizations of matter

  35. Kate says:

    You said: “And actually the doctrine regarding the KJV is not quite as strong as you are saying it is. The KJV is considered authoritative, not the only one approved. I just finished a fairly detailed discussion on KJV and Mormonism.”

    Please don’t make me laugh. The LDS church tells it’s members that only the KJV is approved for use. It’s considered the most correct translation. Joseph Smith used it, the LDS church has used it exclusively, it’s what is read out of during all church meetings. It’s the version the LDS church sells and gives away. It is the ONLY version used by the LDS church during general conference. All LDS I know will only listen to it. I was this same way. If you were to come up to me and tell me that the NIV (for example) says such and such, I would have told you that it is not an authorized version and therefore it isn’t correct. All Mormons I know will tell you this same thing. Just because you blogged to a lay Mormon member about why he thinks the LDS church uses the KJV, doesn’t make you or him an expert on it. Look to the LDS leadership and what it says. Blogging with a lay Mormon isn’t official and therefore doesn’t count. He pretty much told you the same thing. He told you that you would have to ask the LDS leadership. Blogging doesn’t make you an expert on Mormonism, sorry.

  36. Rick B says:

    I have spoken with many LDS who refused to talk to me unless I used the KJV of the Bible, They even refused to look at the NKJV. Like Kate told you, they only sell the KJV and only use that version. So for a guy who claims to be an Athiest and claims God does not exist, and hates religion in General, but yet defends Mormons with more passion than TBM do, you sure dont seem to know as much as you think you do.

  37. CD-Host says:

    Kate —

    I appreciate your willingness to engage in dialogue. I’m trying to respect others that have requested I don’t get involved. The Mormon church itself doesn’t say this. “We believe the Bible [the KJV] to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly.” And they question the translation aggressively. I have a KJVonlyist picking a fight with me on Better Bibles (a translation blog). KJVonlyists sound like Protestants with the Bible being the word of God, rather than a collection of translation decisions.

    Joseph Smith takes the later position. Attacking KJVonlyism. For example, The King Follet discourse includes a rant against the translation of Matthew 4:21 that starts:

    The doctors (I mean doctors of law, not of physic,) say, “If you preach anything not according to the Bible [KJV], we will cry treason.” How can we escape the damnation of hell, except God be with us and reveal to us? Men bind us with chains….

    BTW I’m cutting his rant, but he’s concerned the originals all say Jacob while the KJV says James, not knowing that James is a French (i.e. Saxon) form of Jacob.

    For example Joseph Smith’s translation for Genesis 1:1 is, “In the beginning, the head of the Gods called a council of the Gods; and they came together and concocted a plan to create the world and people it.” You can agree or disagree but that ain’t the KJV.

    My 10 bibles post is really popular with Mormons, I’ve gotten Mormon traffic for years from that one, prior to recently I never knew why. And I’m cutting loose in that post, I just don’t encounter the close minded Mormons you keep talking about.

    Maybe the internet is completely misleading. I’m thinking about dropping by the ward here in Princeton.

  38. Yeah, I have to agree with Kate. The LDS only approve of the KJV. Any kind of discussion with any other version is pointless. They don’t accept anything but KJV, and unless it’s the “inspired” version? You’re still in danger of hearing “it’s not correct”.

  39. Rick B says:

    Kate said to CD

    The LDS church tells it’s members that only the KJV is approved for use. It’s considered the most correct translation.

    In reality JS did say the German translation was the best, so I dont understand why LDS dont learn to read and speak German. But CD Next to that, in all my years of talking with LDS, In person, at their churchs, in SLC doing the temple square tour, and here online, it has always been KJV only. You might be meeting a new younger generation of Mormons who are open to different versions. I beat Ralpf or Other mormons who are Older could tell you what were saying is true also.

  40. CD-Host says:

    Well remember Mormons believe all bibles including the KJV are hopelessly corrupt. But I found a good statement:

    In various lands where The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been established, it uses a translation of the Bible in the local language. In English-speaking areas, the Church uses the King James (or Authorized) Version (KJV), mainly because it was the basic English text used by the Prophet Joseph Smith and because subsequent Church leaders have approved its use. The Church does not claim that the KJV is perfect, but it is currently the preferred English version and was used in the Church’s 1979 edition and later printings of the Bible….

    Latter-day Saints have not made extensive use of these other translations. Many feel that popularization tends to dilute the sacred nature of the Bible. They also find the ancient textual variants to be relatively insignificant, usually not changing the important messages of the Bible, most of which, in any event, are corroborated elsewhere in LDS scripture.

    Although the KJV was Joseph Smith’s English Bible, he did not regard it as a perfect or official translation; this is why he studied Hebrew and undertook the task of producing an inspired revision of the scriptures. He commented that he preferred some aspects of the Martin Luther translation (HC 6:307, 364), and several other nineteenth-century Church leaders stressed the need for greater accuracy and truth in Bible translations….Not all alternative translations, of course, suffer from the problems identified by President Clark. — Kelly Ogden


  41. Kate says:

    Who is Kelly Ogden and what does he/she have to do with anything? Go to an LDS church. Ask. Contact the church leadership and ask them which version of the Bible they consider acceptable and which version is used by them and members. Little snipets that you read here or there on the internet isn’t always what is taught by the LDS leadership, especially if it isn’t “official” from the LDS church.

    I didn’t know that Joseph Smith said the German version was best. I’ve never heard that. Interesting. I’m not surprised that I’ve never heard it. There are lots of Mormon things that I had never heard. I’ve never heard of any LDS using anything but the KJV. In fact, marriedamormon is right, they use the inspired version.

  42. Rick B says:

    It is more a sort of when it come to the JST. The LDS only use select part of it and fell the rest is corrput. I will email you some info on this. Married I will send you the same info.

  43. CD-Host says:

    Kate —

    For five years Brother Ogden helped prepare the LDS editions of the Scriptures, and he served on the Gospel Doctrine Writing Committee for the Church. In the 1980s, he served as president of the Jerusalem Branch in Israel. In the 1990s, he served as a branch president at the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah, as first counselor in a BYU stake presidency, and as president of the Chile Santiago East Mission. He has served on the high council of the Provo Edgemont Stake, as an ordinance worker in the Provo Temple, and as president of the Guatemala Missionary Training Center. He is now a sealer in the Provo Temple.

    which version is used by them and members

    The quad is KJV.

    . Little snipets that you read here or there on the internet isn’t always what is taught by the LDS leadership

    Oh I agree! My disagreement was me reading. Remember on this issue it was Mormons coming to me, not me coming to Mormons. I was mainly pushing things like Brown & Comfort (Tyndale) vs. the ESV Reverse Interlinear (Crossway) which is an intra-Evangelical argument. I was trying to decide whether to cover the Navarre (Catholic bible study encyclopedia made in Spain) vs. Anchor (Mainline Protestant and Catholic made in USA) in another post to broaden the audience.

    When Mormons started showing up and linking to the article to talk about Andy Gaus’ translation (one of my recommendations) other than being happy and surprised that they found it useful, I took no interest. I hadn’t read King Follet yet, I assumed Mormonism was the behavior restrictions of Fundamentalist Christianity with a theology too silly to discuss. I was friendly, but closed minded. I wasn’t searching them out.

  44. CD-Host says:

    I didn’t know that Joseph Smith said the German version was best. I’ve never heard that.

    You should really read King Follet. Its JS’ greatest sermon and you are on a Mormon blog. “I have been reading the German and find it to be the most [nearly] correct, and to correspond nearest to the revelations I have given for the last fourteen years.” and also:

    In the German, the text bears me out the same as the revelations which I have given for the last fourteen years. I have the testimony to put in their teeth; my testimony has been true all the time. You will find it in the declaration of John the Baptist [reads from the German]. John says, “I baptize you with water, but when Jesus comes, who has the power, he shall administer the baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost.” Where is now all the sectarian world? And if this testimony is true, they are all damned as clearly as anathema can do it. I know the text is true. I call upon all you Germans who know that it is true to say aye. [Loud shouts of “Aye.”]

    I assume for German he means Luther. I’d love to know for sure, there are some other fantastic bibles in German: Mendelssohn, Lelio Sozzini’s (whose theology is a bit like Joseph Smith’s), Froschauer Bible which is as pretty as middle ages bible though mass produced.

  45. Rick B says:

    It’s possible Kate never heard that about JS and the german, because the LDS hide things from the avrage LDS person and dont tell them to read things like the JoD.

  46. Kate says:

    I think the thing that you aren’t getting is that the LDS church isn’t forthcoming with it’s members. They claim “milk before meat.” Attending church all of those years, I never once heard of the King Follett Discourse. Ever. I believed that God was my Heavenly Father, separate from Jesus and that’s about it. No talk of anyone becoming a god. I had no idea what the JoD was. In some lesson manuals it was quoted out of, only the faith promoting stuff that is, but I had no clue what it was. No one that I know owns a set of the JoD. You are finding these things because of the information highway, just as I eventually did. Yes there are some members who research and study and as an apologist told me, when he finds something he never knew and it’s disturbing to him, he just finds a way to incorporate that into his testimony. My problem is, these doctrines should be taught at church. 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? Sending missionaries out with a whitewashed, covered up version to convert Christians and others? It’s dishonest. If it’s really the “one true church” why aren’t their beliefs and doctrines laid out on the table? At church, I was taught that the KJV is the ONLY version accepted. I have never heard that Joseph Smith used any other Bible other than the KJV. That is, until now. Where did I learn it? The information highway, just like you. Not from the LDS church.

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

  47. CD-Host says:

    BTW Sharon fantastic job on your JOD subsite! Really well organized and very easy to read, I like yours better than the two Mormon ones.

    It’s possible Kate never heard that about JS and the german, because the LDS hide things from the avrage LDS person and dont tell them to read things like the JoD.

    I don’t think that’s accurate. JoD sets were published for over a century by Deseret books. The online version Sharon used comes from BYU. And of course originally, these documents were collected by and distributed by the church. They make them available. No mass religion is going to be pushing a 26 volume set of notes on speeches, pieces of articles, fragments; with the exception of Judaism that does do that with Talmud.

    Literally while I was writing this message I had a Mormon write on my blog wanting to discuss Orson Pratt’s writings, and how he incorporates them into his faith. I was writing historically but for him in The Seer (Orson’s newspaper) and Absurdities of Immaterialism are guides to his relationship with God.

    It might be that the leadership has become so hesitant and paralyzed on theological issues; that the membership is returning to their 19th century leadership for religious guidance. The leadership is going to have to decide, in the 21st century does the Mormon church want to be the sort of place it was in the 19th century or the sort of place the 19th century Mormons were fleeing?

  48. CD, Aaron Shafovaloff did the JoD subsite and I agree with you–he did a fantastic job. Thanks for noticing! 🙂

  49. Kate says:

    The statement made by Rick is very accurate. It’s not talked about in church. Here is an official statement made by the LDS church:

    “The Journal of Discourses is not an official publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is a compilation of sermons and other materials from the early years of the Church, which were transcribed and then published. It includes practical advice as well as doctrinal discussion, some of which is speculative in nature and some of which is only of historical interest. … Questions have been raised about the accuracy of some transcriptions. Modern technology and processes were not available for verifying the accuracy of transcriptions, and some significant mistakes have been documented. The Journal of Discourses includes interesting and insightful teachings by early Church leaders; however, by itself it is not an authoritative source of Church doctrine.”[5]

    Why would the church use it and make it’s members aware of it? They don’t consider it an “official” publication. Only the 4 standard works….KJV Bible, BoM, D&C and Pearl of great price are scripture to the LDS. Now compare that to a statement given by Apostle George Q. Cannon in the preface of the 8th volume of the JoD:

    “The Journal of Discourses deservedly ranks as one of the standard works of the Church, and every rightminded Saint will certainly welcome with joy every Number as it comes forth from the press as an additional reflector of ‘the light that shines from Zion’s hill.'”[3]

    Why the change? Early leaders said it is one of the standard works of the church. Now the LDS leadership says it’s NOT an official publication. They don’t teach openly about the JoD at church. Go to an LDS church, attend meetings for awhile. You won’t hear this discussed.

  50. Rick B says:

    CD said

    I don’t think that’s accurate. JoD sets were published for over a century by Deseret books.

    CD, you really dont have a clue do you? Kate even told you she never read them and was never taught them in the Church. So your pretty much saying she lied if your saying that it is not possible for that to be true.

    Also I have said to Mormons many times on this blog and will say it to you, Come to my house I will have MM’s over and we will talk to them, You will be really surprised by what you hear and dont hear.

    I went on line and bought the entire 26 volume JoD, the 1958 Mormon Doctrine, The 1888 pearl, the D and C with the original Lectures bound in it, and had in my many years hundreds of MM’s pass through my house. Not one ever read these books. Yes they read the pearl and D and C but not these first edition copy’s.

    I have been to many LDS church services and they dont teach these things. You can attend a service with me, we will go together and you wont hear these things taught. Also Bill Mc has told me that he owns the original BoM first edition. He has tried opening it up and showing Mormons the changes in it, They refuse to look and dont want to know. Seriously, stop trying to tell us who have been studying Mormonism for 10 plus years or were ex-lds, that these things never happen. Because they do. And as I said, if you think I am wrong, then come visit me, I will show you Mormons that act just like I said, They refuse to look at these books and dont read them.

Leave a Reply