Tag Archives: Marriage

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.

Little Known Propaganda: 6 – Plural Marriage in Heaven

9 Mar

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

 

FACT #6. Mormons consider Polygamy a righteous principle which will be practiced in heaven.

Although there is nothing in the Bible that will support this thinking, current Mormon Scripture has this to say: “. . .if any man espouse a virgin, and desire to espouse another, and the first give her consent, and if he espouse the second, and they are virgins, and have vowed to no other man, then is he justified; he cannot commit adultery . . . . And if he have TEN VIRGINS given unto him by this law, he cannot commit adultery.” (Doctrine and Covenants 132:61, 62)

 

Well, before we continue, let us clarify the language. We refer to this doctrine as Plural Marriage, not polygamy. As it was never a practice for a woman to have multiple husbands, the appropriate term would be polygany. However, as the practice was, and should be, highly regulated, the doctrine of Plural Marriage is more restrictive than either of these terms suggest.

 

There are also other clarifications that need to be made regarding this doctrine. First is that it is not, nor was it ever a requirement for a man to have plural wives in order to attain exaltation. It is not a mandatory practice, but an acceptable practice. True, if God gives a man a direct command to take plural wives than that man in obligated to obey. But it is not a common commandment given to the general membership.

The author quotes from D&C 132, which is the most direct and complete explanation of this doctrine currently had. Little has been said regarding the doctrine since it was withdrawn from the saints in 1890. The leadership has simply focused on those things that actually matter in terms of our salvation. As it is not currently practiced there is no need for anyone to currently understand all the nuances and details of the doctrine.

However, there are a few things that should be noted in what we do know. First, as is quoted in D&C 132, for a man to take additional wives he must have the permission of his first wife. Truly, he must have the permission of all his current wives before he marries another.

It is also true that Plural Marriage is not the standing law. It is a law that God reserves for specific times and occasions. Thus, He can issue the command and retract the command as He chooses. This is made clear in the Book of Mormon where Jacob teaches if God “will…raise up seed unto [himself, He] will command” but we are to remain monogamous unless the command is given (Jacob 2: 30).

 

Now, let us look at what the Bible says. Of course, since no one else believes that marriage in any form will exist in heaven it is no surprise that they would not believe plural marriages exist. However, the claim that nothing in the Bible supports this is false. The real truth is that it all depends on how you interpret the Bible. If you interpret it the way most Christian do than you would never see this doctrine in the Bible. However, we do not interpret it as most Christians do, so we can see it all through the Bible. Granted many members seem to feel the need to deny the doctrine and will thus not see it in the Bible, but let me show you what I see.

First, I see a number of the greatest prophets to have ever lived living this practice. Abraham married Hagar when he was still married to Sarah (Genesis 16: 1-3), and then later married Keturah (25: 1) after the other two had died. Jacob had four wives (Genesis 29: 28; 30: 4, 9). Moses had two. How is it that such great men took many wives without God ever once chastising them for it?

Second, I see God revealing laws regarding the practice. For instance, if a man took a second wife he was still obligated to fulfill his duties to his first wife (Exodus 21: 10). Also, the rights of inheritance had to honored in the case of plural wives and their children (Deuteronomy 21: 15-17). Now, why would God give these laws if the practice was so horrible?

Of course, these show nothing regarding heaven, which is why I turn to my third observation; that God makes things for eternity. We read that “whatsoever God doeth, it shall be forever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it” (Ecclesiastes 3: 14) and that what God hath joined let no man put asunder (Matthew 19: 6; Mark 10: 9). We also read that what is bound on earth by proper authority is also bound in heaven (Matthew 16: 19; 18: 18). Paul tells us that “neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 11: 11) Finally, Peter tells us that the husband and wife are “heirs together of the grace of life” (1 Peter 3: 7).

 

While I could site even more this is sufficient to show a clear Biblical doctrine. All of this testifies quite clearly that marriage is eternal; that as long as it is done through the proper authority it will stand forever. Since Plural marriage is an acceptable form of marriage, it too will stand when bound by the proper authority of God.

Call Good Evil and Evil Good

18 Sep

(This is a poorly written post, and I apologize for that)

Isaiah 5: 20, 23-24

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!…Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

 

Some things have been agitating my mind in recent weeks, and I have been trying to think of how best to approach them in this blog. The other day I remembered this passage from Isaiah. Reflecting on it I have concluded that we, as a society, have become as ancient Israel. We have begun to call evil good and good evil. In the following paragraph I will speak of two ways in which we are calling evil good, and one in which good is being called evil.

 

Homosexuality and Transgender: Sixty years ago our society recognized that homosexuality was a sin against the laws of God. People who did choose to live a homosexual life did so in secret, concealing it from friends, family, and the public. To engage in such a practice was viewed with great shame and scandal and could ruin anyone’s career. Homosexuality was listed as a psychological disorder that people could seek treatment for. The concept of same-sex marriage was not even a consideration for people. Transgender was not even known as a concept to society at large.

Today the Supreme Court has declared homosexual marriage to be a right, leading the Boy Scouts to open its organization to homosexual leaders. Rather than being a thing of shame and scandal, those who openly acknowledge a homosexual preference are regarded as heroes to be admired. To even suggest that such there is anything wrong with such a lifestyle is now viewed as a shameful and scandalous attitude.

Going beyond this, the idea of transgender has not only crept in, but has also been given a place of honor. There was the story recently of a high school boy that decided he was actually a girl and demanded to be allowed to use the girl’s locker room and bathrooms. The school, rather than standing up for the actual girls, agreed. In response 150 of the students left school in protest. Public reaction was to defend the boy and demonize the other students. Then, today I read that Bruce Jenner, the Olympian, is petitioning to have his gender legally changed to female.

 

Abortion: Again, it was sixty years ago that the idea of an abortion was horrifying to the general public. Abortions were done in back rooms by under the table doctors. For a woman to have an abortion was a scandal, one that she would likely not recover from in the public’s eye. Most women who got pregnant out of wedlock went into seclusion until the child was born and then placed them up for adoption.

Then we had the court case of Roe v. Wade. Since then abortion has become normal and accepted practice. Now instead of a doctor losing their license for such a procedure, they can be sued for refusing to perform it. There is still some controversy on this issue, but it has become common in society. In fact, the controversy is no longer focused on abortion in general, but has been pushed to late term and partial birth abortions, both of which many people defend.

 

Religion and Faith: Fifty years ago it was men of faith and conviction that were held in high esteem. That is when the phrase “Under God” was added to the pledge of allegiance; a time when the vast majority of Americans accepted and held to religious beliefs. People accepted the truth of the Bible. Public prayers were practiced. The blessings of God were invoked on behalf of the nation. There were still atheists, and many who believed the theories of evolution. However, to disagree with them was not an issue. Religions enjoyed protection under the law, and law could not force anyone to act contrary to their religious convictions.

Now, anyone who accepts the truth of the Bible is branded a fanatic. Those who reject evolution are called superstitious and closed minded idiots. They are shunned in intellectual communities. Any suggestion that the atheists are wrong is mocked. I actually had a friend who stopped talking to me because I said I did not accept evolution.

Religion has come under attack on all fronts. When the boy scouts lifted the ban on homosexual leaders they left in an exception for religious based troops. This was derided and the gay activists immediately began to demand that the exception be removed. Doctors, whose religious convictions are against abortions or other procedures, can be sued. More recently, a county clerk has been jailed for refusing to issue marriage licenses after the Supreme Court ruling. Her standing by her convictions has made her a villain in the eyes of much of the country.

The United States is one of the few countries left that recognizes a religious marriage. The great majority of countries require a civil marriage for it to be legally binding. This will likely change in the next few months simply because the gay activists will sue any church that refuses to perform same-sex marriages. As a result of the Supreme Court ruling any church not wanting to perform same-sex marriages will soon have to stop performing all marriages to maintain their tax exemption status.

 

Many more examples could be given, but these are the ones that stand out to me at this time. We have truly become a society that calls evil good and good evil.

Response to CARM: Difficult questions, part 12

5 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.

 

Q. Why did the Nauvoo House not stand forever and ever? (Doctrine and Covenants 124: 56-60)

A. No quote is given, but I will here give the first verse in the citation given in the question.

And now I say unto you, as pertaining to my boarding house which I have commanded you to build for the boarding of strangers, let it be built unto my name, and let my name be named upon it, and let my servant Joseph and his house have place therein, from generation to generation.

This is not a prophecy or a promise being made by the Lord. It is a commandment to built the Nauvoo house and to give it to Joseph Smith and his family. Just previous to this the Lord tells us “when [He gives] a commandment to any of the sons of men to do a work unto [His] name, and those sons of men go with all their might and with all they have to perform that work, and cease not their diligence, and their enemies come upon them and hinder them from performing that work, behold, it behooveth me to require that work no more at the hands of those sons of men, but to accept of their offerings.” (verse 49)

The Nauvoo house did not stand forever because the enemies of the saints hindered the work and prevented the commandment from being fulfilled. As such, the saints were no longer under any obligation to build it.

This command was later fulfilled in the construction of the Hotel Utah in Salt Lake City.

*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. How did Nephi with a few men on a new continent build a temple like Solomon’s while Solomon needed 163,300 workmen and seven years to build his temple? (1 Kings 5: 13-18 and 2 Nephi 5:15-17)

A. No quote is given, but I think we need to see 2 Nephi 5: 16.

And I, Nephi, did build a temple; and I did construct it after the manner of the temple of Solomon save it were not built of so many precious things; for they were not to be found upon the land, wherefore, it could not be built like unto Solomon’s temple. But the manner of the contruction was like unto the temple of Solomon; and the workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine.”

Nephi states clearly that his temple “could not be built like unto Solomon’s” because the material was not available. However, the manner, or style of the construction was patterned off Solomon’s. So, Solomon’s temple was 60 cubits long, and Nephi’s was also 60 cubits; Solomon’s was 20 cubits broad, and so was Nephi’s; Solomon’s was 30 cubit high, and so was Nephi’s.

However, Solomon’s was constructed party using the Cedars of Lebannon, which had to be transported over great distances. This wood was not available to Nephi, so he used indigenous wood that was likely closer to the construction site (cutting down time). Solomon also used olive-wood and cypress. He also overlaid everything in gold, including the walls. These adornments may likely have been lacking when Nephi built his because he could not gain access to sufficient quantities at the time.

Finally, we are given no indication of how long it took Nephi and his people to construct their temple. From the time Lehi’s family arrived in the New World there is a space of 20 years that we are given no information as to the timeline, then another gap of ten years. It may have taken Nephi seven years, or maybe more. We simply don’t know. What we do know is that sometime after they arrived Lehi died, and shortly thereafter Nephi led the faithful members of the family away. It was after this that he built the temple. Since we don’t know how long it took, or how many people were involved, trying to make a comparison like this is impossible.

*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. Why was Joseph Smith still preaching against polygamy in October 1843, after he got his revelation in July, 1843, commanding the practice of polygamy? (Doctrine and Covenants 132, and History of the Church, vol. 6, p. 46, or Teachings of the Prophet, p. 324)

A. No quote is given, though I think quoting the section of church history would do us some good.

Gave instructions to try those persons who were preaching, teaching, or practicing the doctrine of plurality of wives: for, according to the law, I hold the keys of this power in the last days; for there is never but one on earth at a time on whom the power and its keys are conferred; and I have constantly said no man shall have but one wife at a time, unless the Lord directs otherwise.

As one can clearly see here, Joseph Smith was not preaching against the practice of Plural Marriage. He was condemning the unauthorized practice of it. As there is only one person at a time who can authorize such marriages (D&C 132: 7), as Joseph Smith rightly states in the above quote, those who are preaching, teaching, or practicing plural marriage without that person’s permission are in violation of the laws of the Lord. Thus those people are to be tried in the courts of the church and dealt with accordingly, just as Joseph Smith says.

*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.

Response to CARM: Difficult questions, part 8

4 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. Brigham Young, the second prophet of the Mormon Church, said that the birth of Jesus was “the result of natural action,” (Journal of discourses, volume 8, page 115 – given on July 8, 1860). He also said, “When the time came that His first-born, the Saviour, should come into the world and take a tabernacle, the Father came Himself and favoured that spirit with a tabernacle instead of letting any other man do it,” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 4, p. 218 – given on February 8, 1857). In light of this, how was Jesus born of the Virgin Mary?

A. No quote is given, except that which is in the question. However, I think a refresher of Isaiah 7: 14 is called for.

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

Mary was a virgin until she conceived, and that is all the prophecy says. A virgin conceived and brought forth a son. It does not say she remained a virgin, but that a virgin would be chosen as the mother of God. If you read in 1 Nephi 11 it shows that she was a virgin until the Holy Ghost rested on her.

*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 light of the previous question and Mormon doctrine saying that we are all literally the children of God, then wasn’t Brigham Young teaching that God had relations with his spirit daughter?

A. No quotes are given.

This is a difficult question to answer, and I am not going to try. The answer is something that is only for those who can learn it for themselves. It is a mystery of eternity, and it will remain such for all except those to whom God reveals the truth.

Q. According to Mormonism, Jesus was the one being married to Mary and Martha at the wedding of Cana in John 2. If this is so, then why was Jesus invited to his own wedding? Also, why was it not a temple marriage?

A. No quote is given.

Actually, the idea of Jesus marrying Mary and Martha at that wedding was the opinion of one man. That man was Orson Hyde, and his opinion is recorded in the Journal of Discourses, volume 2,  page 281. This discourse was delivered on October 6th, 1854. Now, there is some evidence that Joseph F. Smith later agreed with brother Hyde, but I have not been able to verify this. It is also true that many seem to have believed that Jesus was married to Mary and Martha. However, the question is addressing the wedding in Cana that is described in the second chapter of John, and so merely believing them married has no bearing on the issue.

Even if it is true the wording of the scripture does not necessitate Jesus being a guest. If it was an arranged marriage he would have been called to it, as the scriptures say (John 2: 2).

Lastly, at the time of this wedding there was no one on the earth who held the keys of sealing, and so what we refer to today as a temple marriage would not have been possible. These keys were restored by Elijah on the Mt. of Transfiguration (Matthew 17).

50 Questions: The Bible, part 2

14 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


QUESTIONS 32-35

  1. Why does the Mormon Church teach that we can be married in heaven when Jesus said in Matthew 22:30 that in the resurrection men neither marry, nor are they given in marriage? 

Let us look at the entire story (verses 23-32)

“The same day came to him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked him, Saying, Master, Moses said, If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother. Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: Likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. And last of all the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? for they all had her.”

There are those who have suggested that the family in question was not a hypothetical case, but an actual family that had become famous in the area because of the circumstances just described. This is strengthened by the Sadducees say “There were with us seven brethren” indicating that these brethren had lived among the Jews. It would also make the question more dangerous because it asked for a judgment of actual people and not just hypothetical situations.

With this view in mind we see Christ giving a two-part answer. Note here that the Sadducees did not believe in the resurrection, and thus had asked this question in an attempt to confound Christ and cause him to contradict himself. They were disappointed however.

First he addresses the family in question.

“Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.”

So, Christ is declaring first that the marriages in question are not binding in Heaven. Why this is the case is not explained. For whatever reason the marriages were purely temporal in nature. This is likely they were Levirate marriages, but may also be due to the fact that the sealing keys were not on the earth at the time and so no marriages were sealed, until Peter was given the keys to bind on earth and in heaven.

Christ next affirms the truth and reality of the resurrection.

“But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.”

Note also that Christ first tells them they err not knowing the scriptures (meaning the priesthood keys of sealing and how they operate) and that they do not know the power of God (meaning the power to resurrect the dead). Both part are addressed in his answer.

 

  1. How can worthy Mormon males become Gods in the afterlife when God already said that before him no God was formed, nor will there be any Gods formed after him (Isaiah 43:10)? 

This verse must be considered in proper perspective. God, as a title for the Supreme Being, is applied only to the Father. For us there is no other God. There was never one before Him, nor will there be after. We have but one, and always will. But this does not mean that others do not exist in a state of godhood, or Celestial perfection.

It is just like our earthly fathers. I have only one Father. I never had any other, and I never will have any other. So, before my father there was no father for me, and there will be no father for me after him. That does not preclude others from having their own fathers.

 

  1. If God had a father who was a God, how come Isaiah 44:8 says that he doesn’t know him? 

One must understand what God says he does not know. This goes back to question 33. There is no God for us but the Father. Our Father, who knows everything, knows of no other God for us. But, just as I said in question 33, this does not mean that there are not other gods out there, or that our Father does not have a Father.

 

  1. If God was once just a man who progressed to becoming a God, how do you explain Psalm 90:2: “…even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God”? 

Doctrine and Covenants 132: 20

“Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject to them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject to them.”

 

We to will be from everlasting to everlasting if we attain to the state of godhood. Everlasting here is describing a period of time within eternity; that is the period between one physical creation and the next. So, from one period, or one everlasting, to the next God is God. He continues, remaining the same God from one creation to the next, or from one eternal generation to the next.

50 Questions: The Bible, part 1

7 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

 

QUESTIONS 28-31

  1. If marriage is essential to achieve exaltation, why did Paul say that it is good for a man not to marry (1 Corinthians 7:1)? 

Read the chapter again.

Verse 1

Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.

Paul is not saying that is it good not to marry. The Corinthian saints had previously written to him and had said this, and now Paul is going to address this concern. We are not given the context in which the statement was made; only that it was.

Now, in verse 2 Paul does seem to agree with this, but in later verses Paul clearly states that he is writing his own opinion, which is not to be taken as a command from God. For instance, verse six “But I speak this by way of permission, and not of commandment.” In verse ten it is “not [him], but the Lord” that speaks to those already married. Then in verse 12, “To the rest [Paul speaks], not the Lord.”

It may be asked why Paul was giving his personal opinion and why it appears to contradict the gospel revealed in these last days. While we do not know the particulars, Paul does say that his advice “is good for the present distress” (verse 26). So, we can conclude that there was a particular event or situation in Corinth at this time that lead Paul to give this advice. We do not know what this was, but it is sufficient to know that there was a specific reason for the advice, which means that it does not apply to us today.

  1. Since the Word of Wisdom teaches us to abstain from alcohol, why did Paul encourage Timothy to drink wine for his stomach (1 Timothy 5:23)? 

Because it was a different time and they lived under a different health code. The Law of Moses does not forbid all alcohol, but only strong drink. Paul and the early Christians lived under a similar law. The reasons are many, and include the condition of drinking water at the time, as well as the medicinal uses of wine. This later one is alluded to in the verse in question. Today the drinking water is generally more sanitary and we have other medicines that work better.

  1. If obeying the Word of Wisdom – which tells us to abstain from caffeine, alcohol and tobacco – is important for our exaltation, why did Jesus say that there is nothing that can enter a man to make him defiled (Mark 7:15)? 

“”It is not the abstaining from harmful substances that a man becomes defiled, but in violating the commands of God.”

Continue reading in Mark 7 and you will see that Christ says the things that defile a man come from the heart. So, if God has commanded us not to drink alcohol, and yet we choose to do so, we are defiled because out of our hearts has come wickedness.

(And note that the Word of Wisdom actually never mentions Caffeine)

  1. If Jesus is the Jehovah of the Old Testament and Elohim is referred to as God in the Old Testament, can you explain Deuteronomy 6:4 to me: “Hear, O Israel: the LORD (Jehovah) our God (Elohim) is one LORD (Jehovah)? 

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).

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 for the Father, can also be used in its literal meaning of gods, we can start to see the meaning of Deuteronomy 6: 4 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.