Response to CARM: Difficult questions, part 1

26 Aug

I have recently been pointed to a website called Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry as an excellent location to learn LDS doctrine. On this website they have many pages dedicated to what they call exposing the truth of Mormonism. Most of what they present is well thought out, and they use many quotes and documents to support it. When they are simply giving a list of quotes they don’t do too bad. When they try to interpret those quotes and explain doctrine they fail almost completely. So I am starting a new series in which I will address a selection of pages from that website.

This next page is titled “Difficult Questions For Mormons to Answer.” It is a series of questions that are supposed to stump members of the LDS church. There are 32 questions total. Most are followed by a few quotes that try to establish the subject in question. The first part of my response will be a comment on the quotes given, and this will be in green.

Now, since there are so many questions and responding to all of them will take a long time, I will be dividing this into many separate posts, each answering 1-3 questions.

 

Q. If the principle of “progression” is eternally true, why is it that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are not gods of their own worlds?

A. Attached to this question are two quotes, but I will not be commenting on them. The question assumes that we believe all gods get their own planet, and neither of the quotes given say anything to that effect. As such the quotes are meaningless for the purpose of the question.

Now, the actual answer to this question is simple. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are the God of this Earth. Actually, they are the God of many worlds; in fact, all the worlds that the Father has created. Joseph Smith taught that “The head of the Gods called a council of the gods.” Also, in the Book of Abraham we read that the Gods (plural) planned the creation of the earth. All this shows that we do not believe that each god gets their own world, but rather work in a council to conduct their work.

Here is a great article on this very topic.

 

Q. If it is necessary to have a body in order to become a God, then how did the Holy Spirit, who does not have a body, attain the status of godhood?

A. Once again the quote provided does not support the question at hand. It restates the fact that the Holy Spirit is a spirit, but makes no mention of the need for a body to be a god. It is, again, a useless quote for question asked.

Now, I do not dispute the teaching that a body is needed to be like God. This is a well established teaching. However, there is a distinction made in the church between gods and God. Notice that one is not capitalized while the other is. The one that is not capitalized is a noun that refers to the state of existence that God enjoys. The capitalized word is a title of authority that is given to any who hold the appropriate authority over man.

At the time of the creation both words applied to the Father, for he existed in the state of godhood and had the authority of God.

Jesus, at the time of the creation, had not yet received a physical body, and thus only the title applied to Him, as he had the authority but did not live in the state of existence. After the resurrection the noun then applied as he had entered the state of existence. This is shown in how he changes the command to be perfect. Before his resurrection he says to be perfect “even as your Father, which is in heaven, is perfect.” Yet, after his resurrection he say “even as I or your Father is perfect.”

The Holy Ghost, being a spirit, does not yet enjoy the state of existence, but does have the authority and thus is rightly called God. At some time in the future the Holy Ghost will be given a physical body.

 

Q. If the angel Moroni was a devout follower of the Mormon gospel, then why is he an angel right now and not a god?

A. The author quotes D&C 132: 17 which describes those who will not gain exaltation. It has minimal applicability to the question, as it does explain what some angels are, and the question is asking why Moroni is an angel. I would point out that the verse speaks of “these angels” which would indicate that there are other angels not included in the description given.

As to why Moroni was an angel and not a god: Moroni was given the keys of the stick of Joseph, and thus still had a mission to fulfill on the earth. As far as I know he still holds those keys and still has a mission. As such he is a heavenly messenger he is a ministering angel to this earth. Now, as he is described as a glorified resurrected being it is also possible that he has already been exalted, as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are said to have received already.

*This question is answered in the response be S.H.I.E.L.D.S. I will address that in a later post, so keep an eye out for it.

 

 

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