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Do Mormons Believe They Will Rule Over Their Own Planets?


maklelan

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Ruling over a planet is small potatoes. I'm planning on a Dyson sphere.

Well I know they are good vacuum cleaners, but are they really worth giving up a planet for? :P

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Maklelan,

You wrote in part:

Those who criticize {the doctrine of men becoming Gods over their own planets} are simply ignorant of the history of the doctrine and need to spend more time with their Bibles and less time with Bob Betts and Walter Martin.

Here's the LDS text from which I based my post:

gods_over_other_planets.jpg.jpg

Scanned copy. Achieving a Celestial Marriage, Church Education System, Department of Seminaries and Institutes of Religion, Salt Lake City, Utah 1976, 1992, pg. 132. Full page here

(Link to full page reference deleted by the author because I just remembered that no links to sites which contain the endowment are allowed.)

Where in my Bible can I find the alleged Christian doctrine that men become Gods over their own planets and populate them with their spirit-offspring born of celestial wives?

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Maklelan,

You wrote in part:

Here's the LDS text from which I based my post

Yeah, and several months ago I responded to the same exact cut and paste with the same quote from my OP. Don't waste any more of my time with this garbage Russ.

Where in my Bible can I find the alleged Christian doctrine that men become Gods over their own planets and populate them with their spirit-offspring born of celestial wives?

It's not in your Bible. Your Bible's been manipulated by millennia of myopic dogmatism and propaganda. You'd have to have the original documents to find doctrine this early.

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It's not in your Bible. Your Bible's been manipulated by millennia of myopic dogmatism and propaganda. You'd have to have the original documents to find doctrine this early.

Hi maklelan,

Please forgive me, as I am not LDS.

Are you suggesting that the " original documents " ( Sacred Scripture regarding Christ ) would support this LDS teaching ??

I had the understanding that this teaching ( Exaltation ) was rooted from the King Follet Discourse by Joseph Smith, do I have it wrong??

Thanks in advance for your patience with me.

Peace,

Ceeboo

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Yeah, and several months ago I responded to the same exact cut and paste with the same quote from my OP. Don't waste any more of my time with this garbage Russ.

It's not in your Bible. Your Bible's been manipulated by millennia of myopic dogmatism and propaganda. You'd have to have the original documents to find doctrine this early.

Ah, I see.

Since the Bible has been altered in the LDS view, I can readily discard your earlier comment:

"Those who criticize {the doctrine of men becoming Gods over their own planets} are simply ignorant of the history of the doctrine and need to spend more time with their Bibles...."

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Hi maklelan,

Please forgive me, as I am not LDS.

Are you suggesting that the " original documents " ( Sacred Scripture regarding Christ ) would support this LDS teaching ??

I'm referencing the Hebrew Bible more than the Christian Scriptures. Much of what textual criticism has been able to restore of the original form of the biblical texts is in conflict with traditional Judeo-Christian theology and ideology, but it is not particularly disharmonious with Latter-day Saint ideas. For instance, the idea of a council of gods is original to the Hebrew Bible, as is the idea that Yahweh was the son of El. There are even doctrines of deified dead hidden in the obscure corners where the earliest theologies are partially visible.

I had the understanding that this teaching ( Exaltation ) was rooted from the King Follet Discourse by Joseph Smith, do I have it wrong??

That's the modern restoration of it, but we believe it was understood and taught prior to that.

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Ceeboo:

You will probably find this interesting:

http://www.jefflindsay.com/LDSFAQ/FQ_theosis.shtml

Good evening sometime,

Yes, it was an interesting LDS perspective ( thanks for sharing it with me )

I have read other contributions from Mr. Lindsay and I do indeed admire his efforts in defense of the LDS positions. ( With respect, I simply disagree with him but do appreciate and consider his offerings ).

Thanks for the link.

Peace,

Ceeboo

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Ah, I see.

Since the Bible has been altered in the LDS view, I can readily discard your earlier comment:

"Those who criticize {the doctrine of men becoming Gods over their own planets} are simply ignorant of the history of the doctrine and need to spend more time with their Bibles...."

Of course not. The only way to better understand the original shape of the biblical texts is to spend more time with it and with the history of their early ideas. If you spent more time with it, for instance, you might know the Israelites were originally supposed to go to the temple in order to see God's face, that Yahweh was originally conceived of as El's son, and that El is the progenitor of other gods. Since you're not aware of these ideas you lean on the understanding of others who share your dogmas, and you'll respond with "Nu-uh!" because so-and-so said so, or because you just know a priori that can't be right. I'll ask you again not to waste my time with this garbage. Come up with something relevant or I'm done with this discussion.

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I'm referencing the Hebrew Bible more than the Christian Scriptures. Much of what textual criticism has been able to restore of the original form of the biblical texts is in conflict with traditional Judeo-Christian theology and ideology, but it is not particularly disharmonious with Latter-day Saint ideas. For instance, the idea of a council of gods is original to the Hebrew Bible, as is the idea that Yahweh was the son of El. There are even doctrines of deified dead hidden in the obscure corners where the earliest theologies are partially visible.

That's the modern restoration of it, but we believe it was understood and taught prior to that.

Got it !!!! :P

Thanks for taking the time for my benefit.

Peace,

Ceeboo

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Where in my Bible can I find the alleged Christian doctrine that men become Gods over their own planets and populate them with their spirit-offspring born of celestial wives?

Though not biblical, you can start here with early Christian Fathers.

Irenaeus (ca. AD 115-202)

Saint Irenaeus, who may justly be called the first Biblical theologian among the ancient Christians, was a disciple of the great Polycarp, who was a direct disciple of John the Revelator.[4] Irenaeus is not a heretic or unorthodox in traditional Christian circles, yet he shares a belief in theosis:

While man gradually advances and mounts towards perfection; that is, he approaches the eternal. The eternal is perfect; and this is God. Man has first to come into being, then to progress, and by progressing come to manhood, and having reached manhood to increase, and thus increasing to persevere, and persevering to be glorified, and thus see his Lord. [5]

Like the LDS, Irenaeus did not believe that this belief in any way displaced God, Christ, or the Holy Ghost:

there is none other called God by the Scriptures except the Father of all, and the Son, and those who possess the adoption....Since, therefore, this is sure and stedfast, that no other God or Lord was announced by the Spirit, except Him who, as God, rules over all, together with His Word, and those who receive the Spirit of adoption.[6]

Yet, Irenaeusâ??whom it is absurd to exclude from the ranks of orthodox Christiansâ??believed in theosis in terms which agree with LDS thinking on the matter:

We were not made gods at our beginning, but first we were made men, then, in the end, gods.[7]

Also:

How then will any be a god, if he has not first been made a man? How can any be perfect when he has only lately been made man? How immortal, if he has not in his mortal nature obeyed his maker? For one's duty is first to observe the discipline of man and thereafter to share in the glory of God.[8]

And:

Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God, of his boundless love, became what we are that he might make us what he himself is.â? [9]

And:

But of what gods [does he speak]? [Of those] to whom He says, "I have said, Ye are gods, and all sons of the Most High." To those, no doubt, who have received the grace of the "adoption, by which we cry, Abba Father."â? [10]

And, Irenaeus considers the doctrine clearly Biblical, just as the LDS do:

For he who holds, without pride and boasting, the true glory (opinion) regarding created things and the Creator, who is the Almighty God of all, and who has granted existence to all; [such an one, ] continuing in His love and subjection, and giving of thanks, shall also receive from Him the greater glory of promotion, looking forward to the time when he shall become like Him who died for him, for He, too, "was made in the likeness of sinful flesh," to condemn sin, and to cast it, as now a condemned thing, away beyond the flesh, but that He might call man forth into His own likeness, assigning him as [His own] imitator to God, and imposing on him His Father's law, in order that he may see God, and granting him power to receive the Father; [being] the Word of God who dwelt in man, and became the Son of man, that He might accustom man to receive God, and God to dwell in man, according to the good pleasure of the Father.[11]

Further quotes from Irenaeus available here.

Said one Protestant theologian of Irenaeus:

Participation in God was carried so far by Irenaeus as to amount to deification. 'We were not made gods in the beginning,' he says, 'but at first men, then at length gods.' This is not to be understood as mere rhetorical exaggeration on Irenaeus' part. He meant the statement to be taken literally.[12]

Clement of Alexandria (AD 150-215)

Clement, an early Christian leader in Alexandria, also taught the doctrine of deification:

yea, I say, the Word of God became a man so that you might learn from a man how to become a god.[13]

And:

...if one knows himself, he will know God, and knowing God will become like God...His is beauty, true beauty, for it is God, and that man becomes god, since God wills it. So Heraclitus was right when he said, "Men are gods, and gods are men."[14]

Those who have been perfected are given their reward and their honors. They have done with their purification, they have done with the rest of their service, though it be a holy service, with the holy; now they become pure in heart, and because of their close intimacy with the Lord there awaits them a restoration to eternal contemplation; and they have received the title of "gods" since they are destined to be enthroned with the other "gods" who are ranked next below the savior.[15]

Origen (ca. AD 185-251)

And thus the first-born of all creation, who is the first to be with God, and to attract to Himself divinity, is a being of more exalted rank than the other gods beside Him, of whom God is the God, as it is written, "The God of gods, the Lord, hath spoken and called the earth." It was by the offices of the first-born that they became gods, for He drew from God in generous measure that they should be made gods, and He communicated it to them according to His own bounty. The true God, then, is "The God," and those who are formed after Him are gods, images, as it were, of Him the prototype. [16]

The Father, then, is proclaimed as the one true God; but besides the true God are many who become gods by participating in God. [17]

Origen also defined what it means to "participate" in something:

Every one who participates in anything, is unquestionably of one essence and nature with him who is partaker of the same thing. [18]

Justin Martyr (d. ca. AD 163)

Justin the Martyr said in 150 A.D. that he wishes

to prove to you that the Holy Ghost reproaches men because they were made like God, free from suffering and death, provided that they kept His commandments, and were deemed deserving of the name of His sons... in the beginning men were made like God, free from suffering and death, and that they are thus deemed worthy of becoming gods and of having power to become sons of the highest...[19]

Also,

[by Psalm 82] it is demonstrated that all men are deemed worthy of becoming â??gods,â? and even of having power to become sons of the Highest.[20]

Hippolytus (AD 170-236)

Now in all these acts He offered up, as the first-fruits, His own manhood, in order that thou, when thou art in tribulation, mayest not be disheartened, but, confessing thyself to be a man (of like nature with the Redeemer,) mayest dwell in expectation of also receiving what the Father has granted unto this Son...The Deity (by condescension) does not diminish anything of the dignity of His divine perfection having made you even God unto his glory. [21]

Athanasius

In 347, Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria and participant in the council of Nicea, said:

the Word was made flesh in order that we might be enabled to be made gods....just as the Lord, putting on the body, became a man, so also we men are both deified through His flesh, and henceforth inherit everlasting life...[we are] sons and gods by reason of the word in us.[22]

For as Christ died and was exalted as man, so, as man, is He said to take what, as God, He ever had, that even such a grant of grace might reach to us. For the Word was not impaired in receiving a body, that He should seek to receive a grace, but rather He deified that which He put on, and more than that, gave it graciously to the race of man. [23]

He also states that Christ "became man that we might be made divine." [24]

Augustine (AD 354-430)

Augustine, considered one of the greatest Christian Fathers, said

but He himself that justifies also deifies, for by justifying He makes sons of God. For He has given them power to become the sons of God, (John 1:12). If then we have been made sons of God, we have also been made gods.[25]

Jerome (AD 340-420)

Jerome also described the deification of believers as an act of grace, which matches the LDS understanding precisely:

â??I said 'you are gods, all of you sons of the most high.â??" let Eunomius hear this, let Arius, who say that the son of God is son in the same way we are. That we are gods is not so by nature, but by grace. â??but to as many as receive Him he gave power to becoming sons of Godâ? I made man for that purpose, that from men they may become gods. We are called gods and sons!...[Christ said] "all of you sons of the Most High," it is not possible to be the son of the Most High, unless He Himself is the Most High. I said that all of you would be exalted as I am exalted.[26]

Jerome goes on to say that we should

give thanks to the God of gods. The prophet is referring to those gods of whom it is written: I said â??you are godsâ?? and again â??god arises in the divine assemblyâ?? they who cease to be mere men, abandon the ways of vice an are become perfect, are gods and the sons of the most high...[27]

Modern Christian exegesis

The Westminster Dictionary of Christian Theology describes "deification" thusly:

Deification (Greek Theosis) is for orthodoxy the goal of every Christian. Man, according to the Bible, is â??made in the image and likeness of Godâ??...it is possible for man to become like God, to become deified, to become God by grace. This doctrine is based on many passages of both O.T. and N.T. (Psalms 82: (81) .6; 2 Peter 1:4), and it is essentially the teaching both of St. Paul, though he tends to use the language of filial adoption (Rom. 8:9-17, Gal. 4:5-7) and the fourth gospel (John 17:21-23).[28]

Joseph Fitzmyer wrote:

The language of 2 Peter is taken up by St. Irenaeus, in his famous phrase, â??if the Word has been made man, it is so that men may be made gods; (adv. Haer v, pref.), And becomes the standard in Greek theology. In the fourth century St. Athanasius repeats Irenaeus almost word for word, and in the fifth century St. Cyril of Alexandria says that we shall become sons â??by participationâ?? (Greek methexis). Deification is the central idea in the spirituality of St. Maximus the confessor, for whom the doctrine is corollary of the incarnation: â??deification, briefly, is the encompassing and fulfillment of all times and agesâ??,...and St. Symeon the new theologian at the end of the tenth century writes, â??he who is God by nature converses with those whom he has made gods by grace, as a friend converses with his friends, face to face...â??

Finally, it should be noted that deification does not mean absorption into God, since the deified creature remains itself and distinct. It is the whole human being, body and soul, who is transfigured in the spirit into the likeness of the divine nature, and deification is the goal of every Christian.[29]

According to Christian scholar G.L. Prestige, the ancient Christians â??taught that the destiny of man was to become like God, and even to become deified.â?[30]

William R. Inge, Archbishop of Canterbury, wrote:

"God became man, that we might become God" was a commonplace of doctrinal theology at least until the time of Augustine, and that "deification holds a very large place in the writings of the fathers...We find it in Irenaeus as well as in Clement, in Athanasius as well in Gregory of Nysee. St. Augustine was no more afraid of deificari in Latin than Origen of apotheosis in Greek...To modern ears the word deification sounds not only strange but arrogant and shocking.[31]

Yet, these "arrogant and shocking" doctrines were clearly held by early Christians!

This view of the early Christians' doctrines is not unique to the Latter-day Saints. Many modern Christian writers have recognized the same doctrines. If the critics do not wish to embrace these ancient doctrines, that is their privilege, but they cannot logically claim that such doctrines are not "Christian." One might fairly ask why modern Christians do not believe that which the ancient Christians insisted upon?

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Ceeboo:

Hey, if we all agreed on everything, what fun would that be? ;):P

The point of the article is that Theosis did not originate with JS. Nor is it only LDS that believe in it.

Need we add C. S. Lewis into this mix? That's just not playing fair... :crazy:

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For instance, the idea of a council of gods is original to the Hebrew Bible, as is the idea that Yahweh was the son of El. There are even doctrines of deified dead hidden in the obscure corners where the earliest theologies are partially visible.

That's the modern restoration of it, but we believe it was understood and taught prior to that.

Maklelan, your statements, e.g. "a council of gods is original to the Hebrew Bible," are simply logical fallacies known as arguments from silence. Orthodox Judeo-Christianity is (and has been) staunchly monotheistic and not henotheistic.

There are no scriptural texts from any religion (sans LDSism) which teach that the "council of the Gods" convened and approved Jesus' plan over his brother Satan's. No religion on planet earth (sans LDSism) has ever taught that only married Mormons will receive eternal life. No religion on earth (sans LDSism) has ever taught that Mormon men will become Gods over their own created planets and then populate said planets with the spirit-children born of celestial, polygamous wives.

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Of course not. The only way to better understand the original shape of the biblical texts is to spend more time with it and with the history of their early ideas. If you spent more time with it, for instance, you might know the Israelites were originally supposed to go to the temple in order to see God's face, that Yahweh was originally conceived of as El's son, and that El is the progenitor of other gods. Since you're not aware of these ideas you lean on the understanding of others who share your dogmas, and you'll respond with "Nu-uh!" because so-and-so said so, or because you just know a priori that can't be right. I'll ask you again not to waste my time with this garbage. Come up with something relevant or I'm done with this discussion.

Are you saying that early ideas lend support to the LDS doctrine of men becoming Gods over their own planets?

Are you saying that early ideas lend support to the LDS doctrine that only married Mormons will receive eternal life and become Gods over their own planets?

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Sometime and Seven,

Thanks for the perspectives.

Perhaps a new thread might be in order ( A short response as to the LDS and ECF's believeing the " SAME " )

Not really, the ECF's ( and others including many of us CRAZY Catholics, Ceeboo included) believe in " partaking " in the divinity of Christ as adopted sons and daughters. Or, to say we will " SHARE " in HIS divinity by HIS Grace offered to us. This, IMHO, is a very different thing than becoming Gods equal or become part of the Divinity as the way in which the Blessed Trinity are.

Anyway, A longer response is probably in order but I do appreciate the kind manner many of you have chosen to share with me.

BTW Sevenback, your offering of ECF's ( Polycarp ) reminded me of one of my most famous posts. It was about a year ago and I was having a back and forth with a very warm and Scholarly Jewish man when I offered this: " One of the many ECF's you can read is POLYCRAP " LOL, He laughed with me about that " Ceeboo typo " for several months.

Peace,

Ceeboo

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Maklelan, your statements, e.g. "a council of gods is original to the Hebrew Bible," are simply logical fallacies known as arguments from silence. Orthodox Judeo-Christianity is (and has been) staunchly monotheistic and not henotheistic.

Flat false. Even your own Evangelical scholars recognize that, from beginning to end, there is absolutely no monotheism in the Hebrew Bible (see here). Arguing that it is an argument from silence is an uninformed and a priori attempt to dismiss it offhand. Not only is it not an argument from silence, but it's one of the most blatant and prolific ideologies of the Hebrew Bible. Other gods are referenced in a manner that recognizes their existence (and even looks favorably upon them) dozens of times in the Hebrew Bible (see, for instance, Exod 15:11; 22:28; Deut 32:8-9, 43; Ps 82:6; 95:3; 96:4), and not once is the existence of other gods denied.

You'll naively cite Isaiah, of course, despite the fact that Isaiah in no way denies the existence of other gods. What he says about YHWH vis-a-vis other gods is identical to what is said about Babylon and Moab (47:8, 10) and Nineveh (Zeph 2:15) about other cities ("I am and there is no other"). Isaiah is not asserting that Babylon, Moab, or Nineveh ire the only cities in existence. Rather he is asserting they feel all other cities are irrelevant. This is why we also read in Isa 40:17 that all other nations are "as nothing" to him. Thus in Deut 32:21 he calls Assyria, whom he will bring to afflict Israel "no nation." They are being afflicted for worshipping what is "no god." Logic would be utterly violated if one concluded that he refers to ontological non-existence when calling other gods "no god," but only relevance when calling other cities "no city." The rhetoric and the grammar don't allow the texts to be interpreted to deny the existence of other gods. To insist otherwise is simply naivety and blind dogmatism. In addition, all those texts make reference to other deities repeatedly. Deut 32, as I've already referenced, explains that El Elyon set up the other gods over the several nations (Yahweh being one of them), and in verse 43 the other gods are called upon to worship Yahweh. To summarize, the Hebrew never denies the existence of other gods and makes favorable and unfavorable reference to the unquestionable existence of other gods dozens of times.

There are no scriptural texts from any religion (sans LDSism) which teach that the "council of the Gods" convened and approved Jesus' plan over his brother Satan's.

Actually Deut 32:8-9 shows Yahweh was a son of El, and Job 1 and 2 show Satan was also a son of El. Like I said earlier, spend more time with your Bible.

No religion on planet earth (sans LDSism) has ever taught that only married Mormons will receive eternal life. No religion on earth (sans LDSism) has ever taught that Mormon men will become Gods over their own created planets and then populate said planets with the spirit-children born of celestial, polygamous wives.

No other religion restored the fullness of the gospel.

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Are you saying that early ideas lend support to the LDS doctrine of men becoming Gods over their own planets?

I shared one such idea at the beginning of the thread. You didn't respond to it. Am I to understand that you didn't read it, or only that you don't care?

Are you saying that early ideas lend support to the LDS doctrine that only married Mormons will receive eternal life and become Gods over their own planets?

I've been over the misrepresentation, and I'll not rehash it here, your ignorant assertions notwithstanding. Please stay on topic.

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Yeah, and several months ago I responded to the same exact cut and paste with the same quote from my OP. Don't waste any more of my time with this garbage Russ.

It's not in your Bible. Your Bible's been manipulated by millennia of myopic dogmatism and propaganda. You'd have to have the original documents to find doctrine this early.

Maklelan, as you'll recall, this whole thing started with me asking the question:

Does a person really need to be married and Mormon to receive eternal life?

You answered: No, but it helps.

I don't believe you've given me a straight-up answer on that.

Isn't it true that LDS theology would have us believe that only those who are married and those who are Mormon will be considered eligible to receive the kind of LDS eternal life which allows men to become Gods over their own planets?

Isn't it also true that our Bibles no nothing of this sort of thing?

Isn't it also true that no ECF, no early Jew (as you're fond of quoting) has ever believed as such?

P.S. Just as an aside, and just in case you're wondering, my avatar is a picture of a highway sign (It's kinda small and might be hard to read.) It states: Nephi/Manti One Mile.

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Isn't it true that LDS theology would have us believe that only those who are married and those who are Mormon will be considered eligible to receive the kind of LDS eternal life which allows men to become Gods over their own planets?

I don't see why you are making such a big deal out of this. Accepting the premise, for the sake of the discussion, that becoming "Gods over their own planets" is in fact what Mormonism teaches, why is it surprising that we would also believe that one must be an adherent to Mormonism in order to receive this blessing? Doesn't your own faith demand that only adherents to your faith will be the beneficiaries of God's grace? So what is the big deal?

Isn't it also true that our Bibles no nothing of this sort of thing?

I'd agree. So what? Since when is the Bible be the source for all theological truth? I must have missed that passage.

Isn't it also true that no ECF, no early Jew (as you're fond of quoting) has ever believed as such?
Duh. We're talking about revelations given to the Prophet Joseph Smith in the 19th century.
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