Response to CARM: Difficult questions, part 7

3 Sep

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. How did Joseph Smith carry home the Golden plates when the weight of the plates, if they had been pure gold, would have been over 200 pounds and no supernatural help was ever said to be involved?

A. The author gives no quotes, but he does explain that some theorize that the plates could have weighed as little as 50 pounds. He leaves the question as it is however.

Now, I personally think that they weighed about 50 pounds. Then I consider the many stories of Joseph Smith’s physical strength; that he could stick pull grown men as a young man, or two men when he was an adult. Then I think of the 75 pound packs that modern soldiers are frequently required to carry for many miles, even at a run. My dad did this in the army. So, when people question that a strong, grown man can carry 50 pounds over a few miles, and even engage in a number of altercations while doing it, I think they are simply underestimating the abilities that God has granted the human race.

*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.

 

Q. In Mormonism, the father is called Elohim and Jesus is called Jehovah. But in 1 Kings 8:60 it says that “The Lord is God.” Literally in the Hebrew, it is “Jehovah is Elohim.” How do you explain this passage that says Jehovah is Elohim?

A. No quotes are given.

First of all this question assumes that Jehovah is never referred to as God in the Old Testament, and that is not the case. On many occasions Jehovah is called God in the Old Testament. (Genesis 2: 4; Genesis 28: 13, 1 Samuel 2: 30, 2 Kings 9: 6, pretty much whenever you see LORD God the scriptures are using the word Elohim to refer to Christ).

The question also assumes that the word Elohim is always used to refer to the Father. This is also not the case. Take for instance Psalms 82: 6, in which the term is simply translated as gods (or angels in some translations).

So, when we realize that Elohim, while it can be a name, or title for the Father, can also be used in its literal meaning of gods, we can start to see the meaning of 1 Kings 8: 60 and other such passages. Jesus is God, or a member of the Godhead, which can also be referred to as Elohim (meaning gods). So, this verse is affirming both Christ’s Godhead as well as his unique roll as Jehovah.

 

Q. In Mormonism, God and his wife are exalted beings from another world. We know that life forms from another planet are called aliens. Therefore, isn’t it true that Mormons worship an alien from another world who they call their god?

A. No quote is given.

This is a question that is hard to take seriously. Actually, it is impossible. It is a play on words that attempts to twist our doctrine and mock our faith and is hardly worth a response.

My first thought was “We know that life from other countries are called aliens, so isn’t the author worshiping an alien (as Jesus lived in Israel)?” Of course that sounds just as absurd as the author’s question.

So, if one wants to play with the English language to convey a meaning and connotation that was never intended than one could say God is an alien. Of course, if you are going to take the doctrine all the way we are colonizers from a different planet, and thus we are all technically aliens colonizing a foreign world.

However, if you are actually going to listen to the doctrine without the mockery than the question would never have been asked; at least not seriously.

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