50 Questions: Prophets, part 1

26 Mar

On another blog Tim has been writing answers to a series of questions asked by a Latter Day Saint named Greg Trimble. The list was titled 51 Questions That Might Lead You To Mormonism. So far Tim has posts 5 parts in his series, and I don’t know how many more it will take to answer all 51. However, in part 4 he mentions another list of questions that was made back in 2001. This was titled 50 Questions to Ask Mormons. So, I have decided to follow Tim’s example and make a short series to answer these 50 questions.

I will answer the questions in the order they are given and in the categories they are sorted into. Each post will be less than 1000 words, so only a few questions will be answered in each.

 

QUESTIONS 1-3

  1. Why does the Mormon Church still teach that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God after he made a false prophecy about a temple being built in Missouri in his generation (Doctrine and Covenants 84:1-5)?

There was no failed prophecy.

  1. Verily this is the word of the Lord, that the city New Jerusalem shall be built by the gathering of the saints, beginning at this place, even the place of the temple, which temple shall be reared in this generation.

  2. For verily this generation shall not all pass away until an house shall be built unto the Lord, and a cloud shall rest upon it, which cloud shall be even the glory of the Lord, which shall fill the house.

In verse 4 we read a command to build the temple, not a prophecy that it would be. The prophecy is in verse 5, which states only that a temple would be built, without specifying where, and that the glory of the Lord would fill it. This happened four years later when the Kirtland Temple was dedicated in 1836.

 

 

  1. Since the time when Brigham Young taught that both the moon and the sun were inhabited by people, has the Mormon Church ever found scientific evidence of that to be true (Journal of Discourses, 1870, v.13, p.271)?

Here is the quote in question.

Who can tell us of the inhabitants of this little planet that shines of an evening, called the moon? When we view its face we may see what is termed “the man in the moon,” and what some philosophers declare are the shadows of mountains. But these sayings are very vague, and amount to nothing; and when you inquire about the inhabitants of that sphere you find that the most learned are as ignorant in regard to them as the most ignorant of their fellows. So it is with regard to the inhabitants of the sun. Do you think it is inhabited? I rather think it is. Do you think there is any life there? No question of it; it was not made in vain.

What is really being said? Notice that Brigham Young says he thinks there is life on the sun, and thus we take this to be a personal opinion. What is that opinion based on? The doctrine that “it was not created in vain.” This means that everything was created to serve a specific function, and in Brigham Young’s opinion that function is to give light, both to those that live on it and other planets. The same reasoning is readily applied to his comments regarding to the moon. Thus we have no problem with this.

We could also mention that speculation as to life on the Moon was not uncommon in the days of Brigham Young, and that his opinions on this would have very naturally extended to the sun.

On a final note, if we read farther in Brigham’s words we read the following.

It was made to give light to those who dwell upon it, and to other planets; and so will this earth when it is celestialized. Every planet in its first rude, organic state receives not the glory of God upon it, but is opaque; but when celestialized, every planet that God brings into existence is a body of light, but not till then.

 So, it would appear that Brigham Young believed that Sun is a Celestialized planet, and thus its inhabitants would be Celestial beings. As such there would be no way to scientifically detect them, any more than one can scientifically detect God.

 

  1. Why did Brigham Young teach that Adam is “our Father and our God” when both the Bible and the Book of Mormon (Mormon 9:12) say that Adam is a creation of God (Journal of Discourses, Apr. 9, 1852, vol.1, p.50)?

Because Adam is our father; he is the first of the human family, and thus is the great mortal father of all those born on the Earth. In this he also stands as the presiding authority over this Earth, and thus is the one that all on this Earth are directly under in authority. Christ is over all creation. Adam, under Christ, is over this Earth.

However, Adam was created by God the Father, the Most High God, who is over Christ. None of this is contradictory.

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