Tag Archives: godhood

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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50 Questions: General

16 Apr

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.

Read 50 Questions: Prophets, part 1; Prophets, part 2; Mormon Scriptures, part 1; Mormon Scriptures, part 2; Mormon Scripture, part 3; Mormon Scripture, part 4; The Bible, part 1; The Bible, part 2; The Bible, part 3; The Bible, part 4

QUESTIONS 46-50

  1. If having a physical body is necessary to become a god, how did Jesus become a god before he had a body?  

That would depend on the meaning of the word god.

The word is used to describe a being that exists in a state of Celestial perfection. To enter this form of godhood requires a physical body. Jesus was not yet in this state until after the resurrection. In Matthew, while still in mortality, Jesus says “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5: 48) Notice that He does not say that He is perfect at this time, but when He repeats this command to the Nephites, after His resurrection, He says “Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect.” (3 Nephi 12: 48) In both these verses the word perfect, in Greek, refers to being “complete, finished, fully developed.” (See footnotes in Matthew 5.) Jesus was not yet complete or fully developed until after the resurrection.

However, the term God can be used as a divine title that is applied to the members of the Godhead, denoting their authority and power in Heaven. In this sense Christ was God long before this world was created, as He has stood at His Father’s side through countless eons as the second member of the Godhead and hold all authority under His Father over all things that His Father has made.

  1. Do you think the LDS Church will reconsider its teachings that the American Indians are descendants of the Jewish race now that DNA evidence has proven that they are actually descendants of the Asian race? 

Doubtful; considering that nothing has been proven, nor can it truly be proven. There has been far too much intermarriage, cataclysmic events, and acts of God for any mortal scientist to be able to prove anything.

In fact, the church has recently published an article on this very topic that very nicely explains how DNA can neither prove nor disprove the Book of Mormon.

  1. If polygamy was officially re-instituted by the Mormon Church, how would your wife feel about you taking another woman? 

You would have to ask my wife, but I doubt she would answer you. That is a personal question of ones own faith and is between them and the Lord.

  1. Since the LDS Church teaches that there was a complete apostasy of the true church on earth, does that mean that the 3 living Nephites and the Apostle John went into apostasy also? 

I have to wonder if those asking this question have actually read the Book of Mormon.

Mormon 8: 10 “And there are none that do know the true God save it be the disciples of Jesus, who did tarry in the land until the wickedness of the people was so great that the Lord would not suffer them to remain with the people; and whether they be upon the face of the land no man knoweth.

When the apostasy had gotten such a strong hold on the people the Three Nephites were removed by God. It is likely the same happened with John.

  1. Why are Mormon Temple ceremonies secret to the public when the Old Testament temple ceremonies were open to public knowledge?

Most of the Old Testament ceremonies were ordinances of the Aaronic Priesthood. The ordinances of this lesser priesthood have always been open to the public. Even today the ordinances that are performed by the Aaronic priesthood are open to the public, such as baptism and the sacrament.

It is the ordinances of the higher or Melchizedek priesthood that are held sacred and kept from the public. These are the mysteries of the kingdom, and have always been held reserved for the righteous followers of Christ. This is why they are only eluded to in the scriptures and not openly discussed. They were not meant for the unbelieving.