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Benjamin Seeker

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  1. I agree with you. I have no idea what the typical disciplinary response is for SSM right now. The official tone or attitude was softened when that policy was walked back.
  2. Fair point. There hasn’t been, as far as I know, an expression from leadership that questions the church’s stance on ssm. That could be an indicator there isn’t a change or revelation on the horizon. I don’t agree with the church’s position and hope to see a change, but I recognize the strength of what you’re saying.
  3. There was plenty of controversy within the church on the priesthood policy before the ban was lifted, and there is plenty of controversy within the church right now over ssm. This thread is one small piece of evidence for that. The poll that someone cited earlier in the thread demonstrates that, as does the many other debates on this forum and in many other places.
  4. on a tremendously, controversial subject, seems like it would be a revelation worth giving.
  5. William Clayton’s journal is a great piece of contemporary evidence that shows JS’s polygamy. If you haven’t read that, the Nauvoo portion is really interesting and full of details.
  6. One more thought. Grug, you said: Who is the other person who reveals, aka testifies of, Christ? Interestingly, this quote is also evidence for Adam acting in a role similar to the Holy Ghost.
  7. I'm going to do my best to respond to all of this, but sorry if I miss something important. If I do, please let me know! First of all, in full disclosure, I'm an exmormon at this point. I still have a deep love for Mormon history, especially the doctrinal developments and spiritual events. FWIW, this makes me less biased than some since I'm not advocating for my personal belief or faith. I don't believe either side of the argument. I'm completely open to JS having taught Adam-God as understood by Brigham Young, and in fact, that poem by William Law is definitely eye opening! He seems to understand Adam as an already exalted being, which is awesome. I think that may fit into JS's Nauvoo theology without going full Brigham-style Adam-God. More on that later. Back to our recent conversation now -- Let's first talk about the 1839 sermon on Priesthood, where JS teaches about Adam's priesthood and the gathering where Christ appears etc. I'm going to try and keep things brief, so I won't do a bunch of quotes. If anyone wants to read the full thing, here is the link again: http://boap.org/LDS/Parallel/1839/8Aug39(1).html. While this sermon does lay the groundwork for Adam-God, it clearly has Christ as superior to Adam throughout. Sermon starts out by defining the order of priesthood authority from Adam on down. Adam is first and Noah is second. Then later in the same sermon JS says Christ is the great high priest, Adam next. The straight forward interpretation of this is that Christ is higher than Adam. Grug, you argued for a possible reverse meaning of that statement, but then you run into the problem of having two competing second in commands: Christ and Noah. This conflict within the sermon only happens if you take the less obvious meaning of JS statement. In context, the striaght forward interpretation is the only one that works. Adam next means Christ is at the top, Adam is second, and Gabriel is third. This same sermon has Christ recieving Adam's stewardship, the keys of the universe. Grug, you mentioned the King Follett sermon, saying that the Father gives his kingdom to Christ, but that is actually incorrect. Here is the most pertinent quote I could find from the Follett sermon: "I saw my Father work out his kingdom with fear and trembling, and I must do the same; and when I get my kingdom I shall present it to my Father, so that he obtains kingdom upon kingdom, and it will exalt his glory, so that Jesus treads in his tracks to inherit what God did before;" This is the exact opposite. Christ gives his kindgom to the Father, and it's notably not what JS is describing in the 1839 sermon either. Also, JS set's up this meeting by describing similar gathering in previous dispensations where the prophet of the time tried to bring a gathering of Saint's into the Lord's presence but failed. JS taught that where they failed, Adam would succeed. This frames the whole meeting as a kind of salvation for the saints, rather than Adam ascending higher in exalation. The statement saying that Adam retains his place at head of the human family doesn't exactly sound like he ascended in glory either. Grug, you mentioned that it doesn't make any sense that Adam would hold the keys of the universe as anyone from God the Father. I have to admit that it is a surprisingly strong doctrine! I think it's not out of the question that a subservient to Christ would need these keys though. If Christ visits multiple worlds in JS' theology, then it's feasible that Adam runs the ministering of these many worlds as part of his subservient stewardship. I'm not sure that Adam is supposed to be the Holy Ghost in JS's theology, but it would make sense that the Holy Ghost would need to operate on multiple worlds meaning the keys of the universe need to be operating on a level underneath Christ. It also make sense that keys are all being returned in that final meeting. They all go back to Adam and then finally Christ, and as JS says in the sermon, Adam retains his standing as head of the human family but no longer holding those important universe keys. It actually all works really well together in the traditional interpretation. As far as Gabriel being Elias and the whole matrix of Elias identities, I haven't looked into it. Even if Noah/Gabriel's identity is more complex in JS' theology, you haven't made a case that he should be placed above JS or equal with him. You also mentioned the wierd phrase, they held keys first on earth and then in heaven. That phrase also sticks out to me as odd, especiallys since JS explains earlier that Adam was given the keys in the creation. Those two parts of the sermon are in direct conflict with each other. I like your question about them living on an earth before. I don't know if this phrase is supposed to suggest that because that's a crap ton of inference from a single mysterious phrase, but there are plenty of other indications that JS believed in some version of multiple mortal probations. The record we have of this sermon comes from listeners' notes, so we may not have an accurate representation of what he said or there may have been more explanation that would have helped us understand what he was saying here. A year later, in JS' dictated 1840 sermon he reemphasizes the same idea that Adam answers to Christ. Like we've discussed that sermon was dictated by revelation. I don't know why he didn't give it himself (was he not there?), but the fact that it is dictated and revelatory makes it stronger in my opinion. Most importantly, it show JS' intent/understanding in 1840, and confirms the standard interpretation of the 1839 sermon. The fact that this was changed later on doesn't matter for 1839-40, and that we can't trace the change to JS (most likely it's someone else making the change after JS died), makes the change even less relevant for what JS taught. Moving forward to the endowment, it's a great point that the endowment never states that Elohim is God the Father or that Jesus Christ is Jehovah. Here are some of the things I'm thinking about: What was the Nauvoo endowment like vs. our modern version? I'd have to go dig through those journals to see what could be learned, and someone absolutely should. I'd guess that there was never a clarification of Elohim or Jehovah's identity in the endowment though. If there had been, it seems unlikely that Brigham Young and Orson Pratt could have participated in it and come away with such different interpretations of their identities. I think Joseph Smith generally equates Jehovah with Jesus Christ. One example of JS equating the two comes in 1843 when he taught: "Christ fulfiled all righteousness in becoming obedient to the the Law which himself had given to Moses on the mount and thereby magnified it and made it honorable instead of destroying it" link: http://boap.org/LDS/Parallel/1843/29Jan43.html. A very strong example is D&C 110:3-4, "His eyes were as a flame of fire; the hair of his head was white like the pure snow; his countenance shone above the brightness of the sun; and his voice was as the sound of the rushing of great waters, even the voice of Jehovah saying: I am the first and the last; I am he who liveth, I am he who was slain; I am your advocate with the Father." The endowment shows Adam's and our own journey back to presence of God through the atonement of Jesus Christ. That is its straightforward and explicitly stated interpretation. On archangel, I'll concede that the title archangel does not rule out godhood. In fact, Adam is arguably part of council of gods even in a traditional interpretation of JS' theology. I'll just say that the title archangel strongly suggests something besides God the Father. On the King Follett Sermon and pattern of the Gods, I think your interpretation isn't complete. JS believed that God the Father was a Jesus Christ for his Heavenly Father. The King Follett sermon says Christ did what he saw the Father do JS made an even more explicit statement back in 1841: "Joseph the Seer taught the following principl that the God & and father of our Lord Jesus Christ was once the same as the Son or Holy Ghost both having redeemed a world became the eternal God of that world he had a son Jesus Christ who redeemed this earth the same as his father had a world which made them equal & the HHoly ghost would do the same in his turn & so would all the Saints who inherited a Celestial Glory so their would be Gods many & Lords many" link: http://boap.org/LDS/Parallel/1841/30Jan41.html So God the Father redeemed a world, just like Jesus did. Apparently, the Holy Ghost is up next, and eventually so will everyone who inherits the Celestial kingdom... That brings us back to multiple mortal probations, which is somehow a part of what JS was teaching. At the very least he believed that the celestial inheritors would eventually become Christs. Does that mean they would also pass through a Holy Ghost-like role? Maybe? Who knows. The endowment has Peter, James, and John giving physical signs to Adam. Given JS' contemporary teaching that only Satan would try to decieve by offering his spirit hand, there is a strong inference that Peter, James, and John are physical beings. This interpretation of the endowment aligns with ordinances done in 1846 after JS' death. ""Brigham Young laid hands on Heber C. Kimball and "Ordained him to the Godhead, and that he would act as the Savior to a world or worlds." This was part of a long prayer. Promised wives, seed without number, be full partaker with Abraham, Isaac., and Jacob. The Godhead was a different blessing from Godhood. (Some received only Godhood.) Heber C. Kimball then did the same to Brigham Young, i.e., ordained him to The Godhead. They in turn did it by proxy for Joseph and Hyrum Smith. Other saints (W.W. Phelps) were blessed to act in Trinities (or Presidencies of worlds)." link: http://mormonpolygamydocuments.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/MF0081.doc Notice the Godheads and trinities/presidencies? My guess is those trinities or presidencies are modeled after Peter, James, and John in the endowment. Heber C Kimball preached a reincarnation-like version multiple mortal probations in Nauvoo and apparently JS backed him. Finally, we've got D&C 132 talking about eternal lives and deaths. The verses on deaths parallel Heber's teaching that will experience multiple probations on this earth until we've lived a probation that qualifies us to move onto Godhoos. The D&C 132 verses are a version of the iconic verses from John, and they also recieve a parallel treatment in the King Follett sermon. JS quotes them before launching into his explanation that Christ did what the Father did, and that saints will ascend the same ladder of exalation to exalation until they reach where Christ is now. This brings us back to that poem by Law that talks about Gods bringing one of their wives to each earth, and to me, that shows that Law understood Adam as an exalted being with wives. That is another awesome evidence for JS teaching multiple mortal probations. Does that work without Adam being God the Father? Sure, in JS' theology Adam could be a celestial being working his way up the ladder of exalations, eventually becoming a Christ and then a God the Father. That's another, and more straightforward, interpretation of all of this evidence.
  8. I looked into JS use of the word archangel and didn’t come up with anything enlightening. It seems that JS uses that title just for Adam/Michael. I didn’t really find anything on JS’s use of the phrase angel of the lord, which doesn’t really inform the discussion much anyways. Really, that 1839 sermon clearly has Christ above Adam for the reasons I already said. It lays out Adam as the first one with keys given to him and Noah as second in command, leaving Christ only the superior position above Adam, which JS confirms later in that same sermon with a quote we previously mentioned: Christ is the great high priest, Adam next.
  9. On the dictated speech, see footnote one here: http://boap.org/LDS/Parallel/1840/5Oct40.html Apparently, it’s the only known dictated sermon, and its dictation was done in the form of revelation. Pretty interesting stuff. I’ll get back to you on the archangel stuff.
  10. I see what you’re saying. It’s not out of the question. I’m still going with unlikely. Even in the King Follett sermon at the end of JS’ life, in the big reveal, JS says God is a man like Adam, and Adam was created in his image. Then later JS shows how Christ is becoming like God. The sermon assumes a typical understanding of the godhead with Adam subservient to Christ or out of the picture.
  11. Actually, JS prepared the written notes for that sermon that says Adam is under the direction of Christ. It’s one of the few sermons we have written notes from JS on because he had someone else deliver it. Typically, we only have someone else’s notes they wrote while listening or after hearing JS’ sermons. That manuscript your linking too was put together in 1845 after JS’ death so he wasn’t involved with the change. It would be interesting to know what precipitated that change. On archangel, it would be interesting of JS used that title “Angel of the Lord” in his scriptures or writing, so that’s worth looking at.
  12. Also, the best precursor and a great summary of King Follett comes in early 1841: http://boap.org/LDS/Parallel/1841/30Jan41.html My point is, that all of these concepts were evolving at the same time and in this general time period. I don’t think it’s impossible that JS taught Adam-God as Brigham Young taught it, but as I’ve been trying to show, it seems unlikely. Way more likely that Brigham developed a misunderstanding of what JS had taught, maybe a combination of the endowment and that 1839 sermon on the Adam and priesthood or something similar.
  13. I don’t disagree. However, the whole discussion of Adam as the ancient of days and having the keys of the universe is 1839, a year before this quote. So this one is strong evidence that 1839 shouldn’t be interpreted as teaching Adam-God.
  14. One more relevant quote, this one from 1840: “These angels are under the direction of Michael or Adam who acts under the direction of Christ.” here’s the link: http://boap.org/LDS/Parallel/1840/5Oct40.html#N_1_ I also noticed that in that 1839 sermon I posted earlier, JS called Michael an archangel, not a title you’d expect for God the Father.
  15. I don’t have a great guess for what JS intended in terms of Adam’s relationship with the Holy Ghost. But Adam as third in command makes more sense with everything else JS taught. Make sure to check out my other post before this one. The 1st verse in the 2nd chapter of the book of Moses, points in that same direction. It’s says that God created everything through his Only Begotten. If you use that to interpret the endowment you again end up with God the Father telling Christ to go do things and Adam assisting.
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