New Mormon manual promotes doctrine that “has no functioning place” in present day Mormonism

What Gordon B. Hinckley said is “just a couplet”…
     What BYU professors say is a thing of the past…
          What Richard Mouw says we should apologize over…

Is what the new 2012 Melchizedek Priesthood and Relief Society Sunday Curriculum manual promotes.

We believe that we are here because we kept our first estate and earned the privilege of coming to this earth. We believe that our very existence is a reward for our faithfulness before we came here, and that we are enjoying on earth the fruits of our efforts in the spirit world. We also believe that we are sowing the seed today of a harvest that we will reap when we go from here. Eternal life is to us the sum of pre-existence, present existence, and the continuation of life in immortality, holding out to us the power of endless progression and increase. With that feeling and that assurance, we believe that “As man is, God once was, and as God is, man may become.” [See Lorenzo Snow, “The Grand Destiny of Man,” Deseret Evening News, July 20, 1901, 22.] Being created in the image of God, we believe that it is not improper, that it is not unrighteous, for us to hope that we may be permitted to partake of the attributes of deity and, if we are faithful, to become like unto God;… (Teaching of Presidents of the Church: George Albert Smith, 70-71)

For more information please see “Are ‘we evangelicals’ guilty of bearing false witness when it comes to explaining Mormon doctrine?

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17 Responses to New Mormon manual promotes doctrine that “has no functioning place” in present day Mormonism

  1. Mike R says:

    I can see how this classic Mormon doctrine ( Mormon males becoming Gods ) though embraced
    would be uncomfortable to admit to the public . On the other hand I don’t understand how some
    Mormons would say that it is only a “thing of the past” and that it does’nt really matter today etc.
    It seems that if Church curriculum teaches it then that should settle the matter and that the
    place to look for what is Mormon doctrine is not some “apologist” or BYU prof who are perhaps
    trying to down-play this doctrine , but Church manuals and teaching from Church apostles .

  2. falcon says:

    I found this statement quite revealing:
    “……….holding out to us the power of endless progression and increase.”

    We’ve had some interesting discussions in the past with Mormon posters regarding the difference between the Mormon god and God and whether or not their god is progressing.
    I know I’ve found it intriguing that Mormons would acknowledge, worship and adore a god who isn’t as far along in power, knowledge and authority as the other gods in the Mormon pantheon of gods.
    Mormonism really is a multi-level marketing organization with gods at various levels of achievement. In reality, Mormons are sort of stuck with their immediate up-line god and his goddess wife or wives. They after all were the ones who gave spiritual birth to them in the pre-existence and who now are helping them along to reach their goal of becoming a god.
    Becoming a god is what Mormonism is all about. Without it, Salt Lake City Mormonism becomes the Community of Christ Mormon sect. In fact I’d advise any Mormon who is uncomfortable with the men to gods scenario to check out the CoC, that is if they want to remain Mormons.
    Better yet I’d say come to the realization of who God really is and in so doing enter into a personal relationship with him. False gods are false gods regardless of how they are portrayed. Finding joy, peace and contentment with God through His Son Jesus Christ provides, through faith, the means of access to the Father; who is the One, only and eternal God.

  3. Mike R says:

    Aaron writes , ” New Mormon Manual promotes doctrine that ” has no functioning place ”
    in present day Mormonism “. Is this what many present day Mormons feel the need to do
    with a doctrine that has been espoused by numerous General Authorities since the early
    days of their Church ? Why? If this is how many Mormons feel about the doctrine summed
    up in , ” As man is , God once was, as God is , man may become ” ; do these Mormons feel
    that this is now false doctrine ? Perhaps when Mormons think this doctrine through they see
    that it infers that Heavenly Father was once a ordinary man that like all other men who made
    mistakes , sinned , as they “progress” into becoming Almighty Gods . Perhaps these Mormons
    see the error of embracing teachings that are foreign to the Bible ( and BofM ) , and are slowly
    moving towards a true concept of God . Whatever the reason I hope that these Mormons can
    one day soon declare their sole allegiance to God’s Word and worship the True God , rather than
    to allegiance to their prophets and apostles who have introduced false teaching about God. One
    can bring life, the other can lead to spiritual endangerment — 2Pt 2:1

  4. falcon says:

    Really, Salt Lake City Mormonism is “Mormonism Light”. If someone wants what the religion morphed into under Smith and Young, they need to join the FLDS. If they want Mormonism in its original form, then they need to join the Community of Christ. My guess is that the FLDS has the temple ceremonies with the throat cutting and bowel dissection motions still in place. The SLC bunch had to “lighten” it up a bit because of the publicity that ceremony received. Being ever PR conscious the changes were made to these ancient and sacred rituals.
    So SLC dropped polygamy which was necessary for exaltation of Mormon men to gods and it dropped portions of the ancient sacred rituals mainly for the same reason polygamy was dropped; bad press.
    Becoming a god is the central focus of Mormonism. That’s what it is about. So take that away and what is Mormonism left with? Forget a sizable portion of the temple rituals because that’s the whole point (of the rituals). I suppose they could retain forever families, the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity. I don’t know, however, what the point of the male god resurrecting his female goddess wife from the dead and spiritual procreation would be since men becoming gods would be off the table.
    Dropping men becoming gods results in a whole different doctrine of the nature of God. Suddenly the Mormon god isn’t a man who through the Mormon system became a god. Where do they go from there?

  5. setfree says:

    But has the Jello been pinned to the wall? 😉

  6. Mike R says:

    Set Free asks, ” But has the Jello been pinned to the wall ? ” Great question ! It appears that
    some of the Jello ( official Mormon doctrine ) is still on the wall but the flavor has been changed.
    If Mormons are trying to shift away from this long held tenet of their religion then that would
    be a good move. But if they are just down-playing it because it is been given to much “press” by
    non-Mormons that behavior would unfortunate . New converts to Mormonism might not see
    the unstable track record of their Leaders teachings through the years from since 1830 , but
    those members who have been in the Church for considerable time are in a better position to
    notice it . May they step forward and say enough is enough . May they turn to the simple truths
    about God that the Bible has provided for those who want to know Him — Isa.43:10; Jn.17:3 .
    May they dismiss their prophets and apostles and stand with those apostles that Jesus gave His
    saving truths to , to spread to all who would listen , their liberating message has been sufficient
    for 2000 years now and still setting people free unto eternal life—-1Jn.5:13, 20 .

  7. falcon says:

    OK, so what is the “restored gospel”? Does anyone know. I’m serious. What does a Mormon have to believe? Do they have to believe that the BoM was “revealed” from God and is an accurate history of a tribe of Jews that traveled to the Americas in magic boats and established a vast civilization here? What are the five points of the Mormon testimony?
    1. Joseph Smith is a prophet of God.
    2. The BoM ……………….what? Real, actual history or a “spiritual” book.
    3. The Mormon Church is the one true, blue church.
    4. That Thomas Monson is a living prophet.
    5. That Jesus is who……………………………………?

    So I don’t see anything there about the Word of Wisdom, the Law of Chastity, men becoming gods…….add anything else here.
    One thing that was “revealed” to me within the past six months or so on this blog is that there are a significant number of Mormons who are practicing their own form of Mormonism but have to be careful about talking about it around the ward.
    It’s interesting to watch the erosion take place once a Mormon begins to question Mormonism and find information that they were previously unaware of.
    As an example I offer this letter that was recently posted by a Mormon bishop on his blog.
    So if the Mormon church is now de-emphasizing the major doctrine of the “restored gospel” (which isn’t mentioned in the Mormon testimony) one has to wonder why. Is it just to hide what Mormonism teaches so as to not scare off potential customers? You see the mistake Mormons make is that we Christians don’t understand and haven’t had the restored gospel revealed to us. I’m asking, and I think the article is getting at, what is the restored gospel?
    It’s been revealed to me. I understand it. I reject it as a false gospel.

  8. Mike R says:

    Falcon, you ask what is the ” restored ” gospel that Mormonism advertises ? Short answer:
    it is whatever the Mormon hierarchy decides it is . Since the Mormon gospel is an elaborate
    system of ever changing laws, ordinances, commands, requirements necessary to keep in order
    to eventually attain eternal life in God’s presence. So whenever Mormon authorities advertise
    their “restored ” gospel it is whatever these men decide it to be that day . Strong hints are then
    utilized by these men to remind their followers that to be reluctant to receive this “gospel” is to
    question God’s provisions which can invite God’s displeasure and judgement .
    All I can say is , no thanks . May the Mormon people ask God for the strength to walk away from
    this “restored” gospel constructed by their leaders. The true gospel is all about Jesus , it’s not
    elaborate —–1Cor 15:1-4 , a surrender to Him by faith brings forgiveness and a incredible new
    relationship that happens in a miraculous moment— Rom.10:9-13 ; 1Jn.5:1-13, 20

  9. MaM says:

    I’m sorry, but there’s no way I’d put my eternal fate in the hands of a man. I don’t care how far he’s “progressed”. The whole idea that we can somehow “become like God” is flirting with blasphemy. What did Satan tempt Eve with in the garden? That’s right. “Becoming like God…” And who is the father of lies? Uh-huh. This just seems to be a very old trick in the devil’s book that a whole slew of people have fallen for. If only they could see that the God of the Bible is not some man who just worked his way on up the spiritual ladder. He is GOD. The King of kings and Lord of lords. He created time and space and everything in heaven and earth. He alone is to be worshipped. He alone is God.
    If Christ appeared before us right this minute, what would our reaction be? For most Christians, I think the response would be to fall on our knees in worship. In the Mormon world, I imagine they would shake his hand, say thanks, and be on their way. Not to suggest Mormons don’t appreciate and revere Jesus, however they don’t recognize Him as God nor are they allowed to worship Him. He’s just a means to an end, which is what this excerpt from the manual is stating. “As man is, God once was, and as God is, man may become…”

  10. falcon says:

    In sales and marketing, one of the basic principles is to sell your customer what they want to buy. In-other-words, the seller positions the product to demonstrate how the features and the benefits of those features, satisfies the buyers wants, needs and desires. So how do Mormons position Mormonism? What are the features and benefits of the religion that are promoted to prospects?
    How about “You can become a god and rule over your own planetary system with your wife at your side as a goddess” ?
    Becoming a god seems like a real attractive benefit of the religion and ruling your own planetary system with your wife who will be a goddess also would seem to draw people, right?
    I guess not because it’s never mentioned by the missionaries in their discussions and it’s a topic that the Mormon church seems to want to keep tucked away in their vault in SLC.
    The Mormon excuse for keeping this “feature and benefit” quiet is that prospects and novitiates can’t really handle it. Thus we hear stories of people who are in the program for a year or more who first get wind of the man to god idea. It’s amazing that you hear stories of people who are life long Mormons and know little or nothing about this men becoming gods doctrine.
    Should Mitt Romney win the Republican nomination for president, many Mormons will be hooping it up thinking that “God” is favoring the restored gospel and it’s eventual triumph and domination in the world. Little do they know that the religion will come under more scrutiny than it ever has. My guess that the leading issue will be the Mormon belief that men can become gods. It’s a real head-snapper and attention getter and will be in the fore-front of discussions.

  11. Mike R says:

    MaM, I too am thankful that the Creator of the universe is not some common man who climbed
    up a ladder of requirements to become God. This ladder is mentioned in Church curriculum .
    One thing about this ladder is that Mormon prophets , since 1830, change the number of rungs ,
    some are added, some are removed . If the number rungs represents the number of requirements
    necessary to attain exaltation then all Mormons , like their Heavenly Father before them, have to
    climb, and climb, and climb . I wonder if some Mormons wish they’d have an option of climbing
    up the number of rungs their Heavenly Father did, or the number that Jesus did , or the number
    that the Holy Ghost did , because it appears that each of these exalted men climbed a different
    ladder. Somehow Jesus attained the rank of Almighty Jehovah God without even coming
    to earth, then while on earth there is no evidence in scripture that He was Temple married. His
    brother the Holy Ghost is a member of the Godhead , yet without even getting a mortal body
    like His Father and brother did. I’m not sold on all these Gods and ladders so I’m sticking
    with the tried and true way to receive eternal life in Heaven with God, this way is given to us
    in the New Testament by Jesus’ true apostles — Jn 14:6; Heb 7:25; Phil 3:9; 1Jn5:20 . May the
    Mormon people exchange their ladder and their Gods for the true way and the True Creator .

  12. falcon says:

    I think one of the biggest scams is the idea of a “restored” gospel. What exactly is that? Is it that God is a former man, that there are millions perhaps billions of gods in the universe all with their own solar systems to rule, that men who follow a prescribed religious system can become gods themselves?
    If this is the heart and soul of the Mormon restored gospel, wouldn’t it follow that this is what would be preached and emphasized by Mormons? It should be, I would think, be announced to the world in a huge advertising campaign.
    Contrast the Mormon restored gospel, with the gospel of Jesus Christ as presented in the New Testament of the Bible.
    In a nutshell: Man is lost in sin and without hope. God through is benevolence, mercy and love for mankind provided a sacrifice for sin that only he could prescribe and fulfill. He did this by taking on human flesh in the person of Jesus Christ and dying on a cross to demonstrate His love. We receive the gift of eternal life when we repent of our sins and accept God’s sacrifice in faith. Jesus as God is our redeemer.
    That’s it! There is no foundation upon which men can build that will result in eternal life other than Jesus Christ.
    The notion of a restored gospel is pure fantasy. There is no record of it any where. The gospel message was revealed in Christ, protected by the Holy Spirit and preached by the apostles.
    It was never lost accept in the hearts of devious men who sought to make themselves gods.
    I would ask Mormons to show me a record any where of the false gospel they preach.

  13. falcon says:

    The “restored gospel” can’t be found in the Bible. It can’t be found in the writings of the Church Fathers. It can’t be found in the BoM. In fact, the “restored gospel” was an evolving work. It even had to be reworked when society at large objected to plural marriage and Mormons, with the exception of some, gave it up. Even the sacred, secret temple rituals that are suppose to be part of the system for turning men into gods has been changed because of bad press.
    It’s not possible to restore something to the original when there’s no evidence that the restored model ever existed in the first place. It should also be noted that there are several sects of Mormonism which could lay claim to being the purveyors of the “real” restored gospel.
    Then of course there’s the issue of “knowing” that the version of the restored gospel is the true version and the adherents are apart of the one true church. It is said by Mormons that the “knowing” is supported by a confirmed revelation. The confirmation which is supposedly a message from God is accompanied by some sort of emotional and physical feeling. Aside from the fact that thoughts can produce emotions and physical reactions and that thoughts can be “suggested”, what’s to say that any religious experience with emotions and physical reactions are confirmation of a competing truth. So if the sole basis for a conviction of a truth is emotions and physical reactions and if those sensations are felt by all sorts of people with all sorts of religious convictions, where does a person go next?
    I would suggest that doing some actual research into the history of Mormonism in general and Joseph Smith in particular might be illuminating for a Mormon.

  14. Mike R says:

    Falcon, you said, ” The ‘restored gospel’ can’t be found in the Bible. It can’t be found in the
    writings of the Church fathers. It can’t be found in the Book of Mormon. In fact the ‘ restored
    gospel’ was an evolving work. It had to be re-worked…..” Let’s look at your assertions closely.
    First off we notice that a Mormon apostle did teach that , ” ….the everlasting gospel could not
    be discovered through reading the Bible alone…” [ apostle LeGrand Richards ], so you’re right
    on that point. Next, you rightly stated that the so-called “restored gospel” is’nt taught by the
    Church Fathers. Next, although Mormon apostles would say that the BofM contains the fullness
    of the gospel , the BofM seems quite silent on several “requirements” necessary for attaining
    exaltation . Since the BofM is said to be a “second witness” to the Bible , it would only make
    sense that it would’nt contain all the requirements necessary for ” salvation in the fullness
    sense ” since the Bible does’nt either —- according to the recent Mormon apostle above. When
    you said that the Mormon ” restored gospel” evolved , it had to be re-worked , you touched on
    a important point . Despite the promise by prominent Mormons that their teachings are reliable
    and that ” Mormonism supplies a consistent and positive theology…. It speaks with no uncertain
    sound…it is definite in its revealments and doctrines…” [ apostle Charles Penrose ] , yet what we
    see as gospel truths from 1830 on by Mormon leaders is anything but stable or reliable . This
    behavior by religious leaders is nothing new, and Paul warned against such men : Eph 4:14.

  15. Mike R says:

    You also mentioned the FLDS , those Mormons who claim to have the real gospel of Jesus
    Christ These followers of the “restored gospel” of Joseph Smith are scattered over the West
    each with their own prophets . On pages 214-217 of Mormon Polygamy, by Richard Van Wagoner,
    there is the story of a woman who followed one such modern day prophet, John Bryant. Bryant
    was once a member of the LDS Church, but he found that to be true to God he should embrace
    the gospel truth of polygamy. This story of the woman who chose to follow him because she said,
    ” He was very charismatic , very convincing. He’d show certain scriptures and then quote
    something out of the journals or writings of ( nineteenth ) Mormon prophets…It did’nt seem
    like he was manipulating the situation. …it did’nt seem unreasonable that God could work thru
    Joseph Smith or John Bryant ….It’s hard for me to look back and realize that I could make these
    leaps of faith so easily… I was terrified of apostasy and ending up consigned to outer darkness
    if I showed a lack of faith. ” How sad this story is , no wonder Jesus warned of future false
    prophets—Matt7:15. Like Mormon prophets and apostles in Salt Lake City, this man John
    Bryant claimed his authority to be God’s mouthpiece so he issued ordinances and laws and
    called them the “gospel”. He proclaimed what were the ways , what was necessary , to receive
    eternal life. There are two things that are apparent when we look at the Mormon church
    1. The Mormon people a decent people striving to serve God. 2 They were/ are detoured by
    their leaders to embrace a man-made gospel–1Jn4:1

  16. falcon says:

    I would encourage Mormons to expand their horizons beyond what the Mormon church teaches. When we close off our minds from other possibilities it isn’t an expression of faith, it’s intellectual and spiritual suicide.
    I find it refreshing and mind expanding to read about how the early Church struggled to clearly define and delineate just what exactly orthodox doctrines would define the faith. Mormons are all hot on revelation without spending any time investigating who it was/is that claimed the revelation. Too many Mormons merely repeat what they are told about the Christian faith and a supposed “lost gospel” without really investigating the facts.
    The credibility of the prophet Smith begins to fall apart when his life and character are exposed for what they really were. The same thing happens when the BoM is studied for its historical value and accuracy and not just prayed about to see if a good feeling will confirm its authenticity. Many Mormons wake-up when they discover the origin of the BoA aren’t as advertised by the Mormon church.
    The Mormon church is having a hard time holding on to members, especially converts because the foundation of the religion are easily exposed as false to anyone really interested in looking at the facts.
    The faith, devotion, piety and commitment that Mormons feel for Mormonism can be applied to the authentic God of the Bible and His Christ.

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