Little Known Propaganda: 7 – God Married

31 Aug

This is my continuing responses to the list of “little known facts” referenced at the blog Sound Doctrine. On this blog the author presents the list along with responses to each from a F.A.I.R. Mormon scholar, known only as CleanCut. In addition the author of this blog, known as Damon, gives a response to CleanCut. As I said in my introduction blog, I am writing a response to each fact in a lengthy series. I will not, however, comment on what CleanCut or Damon said.

See also Fact #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, #6

FACT #7. Mormons today believe God the Father is married and past leaders have taught both God the Father and Jesus Christ are polygamists.

Apostle Orson Pratt makes these unbelievable statements:

“…the great Messiah who was the founder of the Christian religion, was a Polygamist…the Messiah chose to take upon himself his seed; and by marrying many honorable wives himself, show to all future generations that he approbated the plurality of Wives under the Christian dispensation…God the Father had a plurality of wives…the Son followed the example of his Father…both God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ inherit their wives in eternity as well as in time…” (The Seer, p. 172)

Nowhere in the Bible does it indicate that God the Father and Jesus Christ are married or polygamists.

 

We need to clarify a few things here. The first is that the seer was never an official source of LDS doctrine, and as such we once again have the author basically lying about his sources in an attempt to make his claims credible. The seer was the personal opinions of the author and the church even had retractions printed about this very quote, as well as other things. There is no official source of church doctrine that makes any claims that God is a polygamist, or that Christ was.

Now, the doctrine of a heavenly mother is there, but it is something that we simply do not have any information on beyond her existence. Anything that anyone has ever said on the subject is personal opinion as nothing has ever been officially revealed. It must be understood that we do not worship or pray to our heavenly mother. We acknowledge her existence and nothing else. Why this is the case is not known.

As to Christ, there is no official statement that I am aware of that even says he was married. It is a logical conclusion that many draw based on other doctrine, but never stated directly.

 

Finally, let us consider the Bible on these points.

First, the Bible frequently refers to us as the children of God. For a few examples see the following verses: Numbers 16:22; Deuteronomy. 14:1; Psalms 82:6; Ecclesiastes 12:7; Hosea 1:10; Malachi 2:10; Matthew 5:48; Matthew 6:9; Acts 17:29; Romans 8:16; Ephesians 4:6; Hebrews 12:9.

So, we have a heavenly father. Does not the very title of father indicate that there is also a mother? So, if you take these verses literally than the Bible clearly indicates that there is a mother in heaven.

 

As to Christ, that is more direct, and yet more elusive. First, it was the culture of the day that Rabbis be married. There may not have been any formal law requiring it, but it would have been expected. As Christ is called Rabbi and is seen in the cultural sense of a religious teacher, it is not a stretch to say it is likely that he was married. Now, there are those who point to groups like the Essences who stayed celibate, but there is no indication that Christ was ever part of that group. It is thus speculation to associate him with groups like these and has no basis in demonstrable fact.

There is also the argument that the wedding at Cana was Christ wedding, which is why Christ’s mother went to him when the wine ran out. The fact that she is portrayed as the hostess indicates that it is at least the marriage of one of her children, as she would not have hosted the wedding of someone else child. Then, if it was the wedding of a different child (most likely a son) then she would have gone to the groom before going to Jesus. Jesus would have understood the propriety of such action and would have expected it. However, she goes to Christ first, thus indicating that he was the groom and thus the Lord of the Wedding Feast.

Now, there are those who believe he was married to Mary Magdalene. For this they turn to how Christ interacts with her, primarily the fact that he appears to her first after his resurrection. It would seem that he did so even before he went up into heaven to see Heavenly Father, for he states that he had not yet ascended to his father. Also, when she saw him he tells her ‘touch me not’ (JST says ‘hold me not’) indicating that Mary basically tried to hug him.

So, while Christ’s marital status is never directly discussed, there is amble support for a belief in his married in the Bible. As it never says he wasn’t married it becomes a matter of personal belief, and not all that important.

 

So, while it is true that it is church doctrine that there is a heavenly mother, we know nothing regarding her. As to Christ being married, it is not official church doctrine, and is left to the individual to believe or reject. However, the idea of either one being polygamists is not part of official doctrine and never has been.

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11 Responses to “Little Known Propaganda: 7 – God Married”

  1. Thomas August 31, 2016 at 9:28 pm #

    So, we have a heavenly father. Does not the very title of father indicate that there is also a mother? So, if you take these verses literally than the Bible clearly indicates that there is a mother in heaven.

    Wow, that is some faulty analysis there. Mother only logically follows if Father and Mother are required to create a child — God covers His creation very clearly in Genesis. No mother is ever referenced or required.

    Jesus sets out very clearly who His bride is in the Bible – The church.

    Speaking into silence in order to support a position is also pretty sketchy ground — It is like when the Jehovah’s Witness claim that Jesus is actually the Archangel Michael because the Bible does not explicitly say that they are not one and the same in those exact words.

    All the evidence points otherwise but if you want to bend over backwards you can convince yourself.

    • shematwater August 31, 2016 at 9:56 pm #

      First, I never once argued that anything in the Bible states directly that Heavenly mother exists. What I said is that if you take the title of Father literally than it is not a logical leap to accept that there is also a mother, and thus the very wording of the Bible leaves the issue open.

      Second, the creation account speaks only of the organization of this earth, not of what happened before that. It also does not attempt to explain how the creation was brought about. As such you are now arguing from silence that since a heavenly mother is not mentioned than she doesn’t exist.

      As to Christ and the church, a metaphorical comparison of their relationship being that of husband and wife does not preclude a literal marriage on the part of Christ.

      So, as there is no evidence beyond personal opinion to contradict either of these points the Bible is insufficient to establish either one in any real way. In other words, if we take just the Bible we simply can’t know because the Bible lacks sufficient information on the subject.

      • Thomas September 1, 2016 at 2:32 am #

        Genesis 1 says that God created man in His image, male and female He created them. No mother involved in He created them and no need for a female figure because He created them in His image, not anyone else’s. God is specifically described as spirit seated on the Throne not as body with god woman by his side.

        John 1 further says that all things were made by and through Jesus, there is nothing that was made that was not made through Jesus. Unless there was a really weird familial relationship involved then there was no mother involved.

        Regardless, the logic used is faulty. God calling Himself Father does not imply anything – He is God perfect and complete and implying anything is taking the picture of the creation and imprinting it on the Creator its just bad Bible. It is like saying that because I need a woman to make a baby, God needs a God woman cause He is not able to on His own – he is incomplete.

        It would also be polytheism with a God who reiterated There is no other God but me.

        As for Jesus married, the Bible tells us about his mom, dad, brothers, sisters and cousin but left out his wife or wives as claimed, how likely is that. Or when Jesus makes arrangement for Mary with John on the Cross…but wives are left to fend for themselves.

        Jesus could have traveled with a merry band of music playing monkeyed too, the Bible doesn’t specifically say that He did not.

      • shematwater September 1, 2016 at 3:33 am #

        Thomas
        The word for God in Genesis is plural. Elohim literally means ‘Gods’. As such for the Gods to have created man and woman their image does not prove that there is no heavenly mother. In fact, the very statement that man and woman are created in God’s image would support that there is, in fact, a heavenly mother.
        As to Jesus, he is the son. How can a son have a father without a mother?
        In either case, as nothing in LDS doctrine teaches that our heavenly mother was directly involved in the creation it means nothing that she is not mentioned in the account of the creation.

        And the logic is not faulty, it only goes against your understanding of God. That is not the same thing. The Bible tells us that we cannot be complete without a spouse (1 Cor. 11: 11). As we believe that we can become like God, then it follows that God is also married. To say this makes him incomplete would only be logical if you are saying that He needs a wife and doesn’t have one.

        As to polytheism, I really couldn’t care. That is an accusation that is old and tired. A belief in many divine beings is not polytheism, any more than most Christians belief in Angels is. There is only one God, or supreme ruler of Heaven and Earth, and a belief that there is another divine being who is God’s wife does not alter or detract from his supreme status.

        As to Jesus, you are now arguing from silence, claiming that since the Bible is silent on the subject than he couldn’t have been married.

        Now, as my primary point has always been that the Bible provides insufficient information to settle the question either way, it is you that seems to be on sketchy ground as you are the one who is trying to claim the Bible does establish the issue. Therefore, as you are the one trying to claim a definite position it is up to you to prove that position.

  2. Thomas September 1, 2016 at 2:37 pm #

    When you have to change the definition of polytheism to advance your argument it is a good sign that there are problems with your position.

    I am going to go tell the Hindis that they are not polytheistic they just need to say that there is a authority structure among “divine beings”.

    • shematwater September 1, 2016 at 8:04 pm #

      I have not changed the definition of the word, simply used it as it is commonly understood, which is the worship of many gods. A strict interpretation of the word makes any Christian that believes in Angels polytheistic, which most Christians would vehemently deny.

      So, if you take the strict definition that polytheism is the belief in many divine beings, than I have no problem in saying we are polytheistic, as we definitely believe in many divine beings.
      However, if you are to take the common understanding of the word, that of worshiping many gods, then no, we are not polytheistic because we only worship one.

      So I maintain that the use of the word has to be clarified to avoid a false understanding of our doctrine.

      As to the Hindus, since they actually worship many gods they are polytheistic in both senses of the word.

      • Thomas September 1, 2016 at 11:01 pm #

        Let’s see polytheism – Greek roots for many and God

      • shematwater September 2, 2016 at 1:46 am #

        The root of a word does not determine its exact meaning. After all, the English word Beef has its root in the Latin Bovem, meaning cow, and yet we use it to refer only to the meat of the animal.

        Polytheism is associated not with a simple acknowledgement of many divine beings. It is associated with a belief in many identified gods that have individual personalities and powers, usually also having personal authority over certain areas or activities. Whether they were directly worshiped it was believed they could, and often did meddle in the affairs of men, and could even be entreated through various sacrifices and rituals.

        This does not describe the LDS doctrine, which merely acknowledges the existence of other divine beings but gives no explanation of their character or actions. They exist, but only one God is directly involved in the affairs of men and all others are set aside in preference to the one. In truth the worship of any other is strictly prohibited.

        Polytheism does not accurately describe the LDS doctrine, and anyone who understands the full meaning of the word would never claim that it does.

      • Thomas September 2, 2016 at 4:38 pm #

        Sorry — I hit send accidentally.

        I am sorry, but the very definition of the word conflicts with what you are saying. Here is the dictionary definition:

        belief in or worship of more than one god

        I could cite a whole bunch of more dictionaries for you as well. The addition of belief in any god in addition to one, monotheism, makes a faith polytheistic.

        And angels are not gods and the Bible never says that they are gods so no polytheism — belief or worship of more than one god.

        Even under your definition, per your prophet, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three separate gods which you worship….so worship of three separate gods even if lumped together in a version of an authority structure is still polytheism.

        Common understanding? More like redefinition.This would also apply to your use of “divine beings” , that is not the standard.

        When God says you will have no other gods but me, He was being very clear.

      • shematwater September 2, 2016 at 9:55 pm #

        Again, there is no redefinition. Rather there is an acknowledgement that the dictionary definition is not the encyclopedic understanding.

        As I said, if you want to take a very strict use of the definition then we can be considered polytheistic. However, when you take the connotations and general understanding of the word it does not accurately represent the doctrine.

        As I have no desire to repeat myself, please feel free to read this very well written Encyclopedia entry and you will see my point.
        http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Polytheism

        Of course, many also look at the doctrine of the Trinity and call it Polytheistic, as it is three Gods in one, but still three gods. Here is another fun article on this point.
        https://leewoof.org/2016/07/05/is-the-doctrine-of-the-trinity-polytheistic/

        So, if you can claim to be monotheistic based on a metaphysical contradiction in thought, you have no real standing to say we are not monotheistic based on a direct statement that there is but one God, or supreme being, though many others who exist in the same divine state as God.

  3. shematwater September 1, 2016 at 8:05 pm #

    Responses to CleanCut and Damon

    CleanCut gave the same basic response I did, so I have no real objections to what he said. My objection is that he didn’t address all that was brought up. He speaks only of the Father being married, but makes no mention of Christ and does not address the claims that the Bible has no support for the ideas presented. As such his answer is incomplete.
    He does rightly point out that Orson Pratt frequently published things that were his opinion and was censured for it.

    DAMON, on the other hand, makes claims that shows he does not understand the church and how it works.
    He says Orson Pratt “was an Apostle” and “not just a leader.” He makes the claim that because of this he should have been removed from that position if he had taught doctrines that were contrary to the gospel. However, the church has always allowed all members their right to personal opinion. It is when they try to hold their opinion up as superior to the revelations that there is a problem, and Orson Pratt never did this. When he was censured by the First Presidency he readily admitted that it was his opinion and stated that he had been in error for printing it in the first place. Had he not done this he would have faced for severe censure, but since he repudiated what he had said there was no need for it to go any further.
    Damon also misleads the reader in referring to heavenly mother as a Mother God. This is not the view of the church, nor does it logically follow from the doctrine. The concept of a Mother God is the idea of holding that mother up as the highest deity and worshiping her as such. This idea is not, nor has it ever been part of church doctrine. The belief in a Heavenly Mother is the belief that God is married, and that his wife exists in the same perfect and divine state as He does, but that we still worship only the Father.
    This misleading continues when Damon tries to equate the concept of a heavenly mother with the pagan worship of a Mother God. The concepts and beliefs found in these ancient religions have no real resemblance to the LDS doctrine of a heavenly mother, except that both believe in a divine female being.
    Of course, when it is considered the first religion to ever exist on this earth was the gospel then one can see how the truth of a Heavenly Mother devolved into the corruption that is the Mother God. Adam was taught the gospel by angels, and Noah preserved it. When men spread on the earth and began to follow the false teachings of Satan and set up idol worship and all the other corruptions of the gospel, it would have been natural for some to take the truth of a heavenly mother and begin to believe that she should be worshiped as well. This would have progressed into what we know as the Mother God.

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