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What's the LDS POV when going through this part of Isaiah?


mmmcounts

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Ok, so here's my POV. Early Judaism was henotheistic to a certain extent- this is indicated by all the times when the children of Israel turned away from "the One True God" and worshiped other gods. In order for them to do this (over and over again), you must presuppose a fairly widespread belief in the existence of these gods. Which is understandable, considering the religious background from which the patriarchs were drawn. Abraham left a culture of polytheism and animism in order to follow YHWH, the One True God. YHWH always made it clear that He was a jealous God and that He wanted to be the sole recipient of worship, but apparently, the early generations of Jews weren't always crystal-clear on the concept of YHWH being the only God that actually exists.

But then that changed. In kind of a big way. YHWH did make it unmistakably, undeniably, indisputably crystal clear that not only is He the only God that His people should worship, but He is the only God that exists. When God did that, Judaism became strictly monotheistic because YHWH made it so. Ever since God did that, Jews no longer turned to other gods and worshiped them. How could they? There are no other gods to worship. They didn't always stay faithful to YHWH, but once you see them become monotheistic, you don't see them worshiping any gods apart from YHWH.

This is what I'm talking about. It comes up in several other parts of the OT, but Isaiah gives a pretty dense sampling of direct quotes from YHWH in which He say "I am the only God," "There never was and never will be anyone like me," "No god exists apart from me," "Without me no gods would exist." But enough of my paraphrasing- I'll let Isaiah do the talking.

"I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me." Isaiah 44:6

"Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none." Isaiah 44:8

"I am Yahweh, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God." Isaiah 45:5

"I am Yahweh, and there is none else." Isaiah 45:18

"Is it not I, Yahweh? And there is no other God besides Me, A righteous God and a Savior; There is none except Me." Isaiah 45:21

"I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me" Isaiah 46:9

Now, when I go through Isaiah and get to these chapters, my POV is Trinitarian and monotheistic (see also- Christian). I look at this material and say....

"Ok, so YHWH always made it clear that He wanted His people to worship only Him. But they still believed other gods existed and they would worship them sometimes, and YHWH decided to put a stop to that. So this is how He does it- he straight up tells them He's the only game in town and that no other gods exist. Period. End of story. First and the last, there are no others, never have been never will be, no one is like YHWH."

I also conclude that YHWH succeeded in what He was trying to accomplish. He wanted to make sure His chosen people were strictly monotheistic, and He succeeded admirably. Jews (and, for that matter, all of Judeo-Christianity) is strictly monotheistic because that's the way God made it happen, and chapters 44-46 of Isaiah are excellent examples of specific points in time at which we can see God doing this.

So that is my POV. But from what I understand, if you're LDS, you read the Old Testament sometimes and you may have done some kind of Bible study on this same material. But you walk away from it with a different POV on the nature of God (a henotheistic godhead) and the existence of other gods (ie., those who attain the highest state of theosis become like God). How can you walk away from the later parts of Isaiah and believe these things without contradicting what YHWH says- ie., "I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like me"?

You know what I think YHWH is doing here. You know what I think His intention is, and I think He succeeds admirably. What do you think YHWH was trying to do when He gave this kind of message to His chosen people, the Jews? It's quite clear that they became (and still are) strictly monotheistic; that is a plainly obvious matter of fact. Was God trying to do something else? If so, what was YHWH trying to do and why didn't it work?

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That doesn't explain these;

Deut. 4:35 Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the Lord he is God; there is none else beside him.

1 Sam. 2:2 There is none holy as the Lord: for there is none beside thee: neither is there any rock like our God.

2 Sam. 7:22 Wherefore thou art great, O Lord God: for there is none like thee, neither is there any God beside thee, according to all that we have heard with our ears.

Now with your intrepretation it requires that there is only one city in existence, that being Babylon.

Isa. 47:8 Therefore hear now this, thou that art given to pleasures, that dwellest carelessly, that sayest in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me; I shall not sit as a widow, neither shall I know the loss of children:

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So, either your intrepretation is erroneous and these are statements of preeminence not of exclusion, OR the Bible contradicts itself in declaring that there is only one city, that being Babylon AND Nineveh.
My interpretation is not erroneous, nor does the Bible contradict itself. I can easily demonstrate that this is so; however, the purpose of this thread is not to talk about the erroneous things that the people of Babylon and Nineveh said about themselves. The purpose of this thread is to talk about the absolutely true things that YHWH says about Himself in the late parts of Isaiah.

Can you explain your POV with regard to this passage? Let's stay on topic.

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My interpretation is not erroneous, nor does the Bible contradict itself. I can easily demonstrate that this is so; however, the purpose of this thread is not to talk about the erroneous things that the people of Babylon and Nineveh said about themselves. The purpose of this thread is to talk about the absolutely true things that YHWH says about Himself in the late parts of Isaiah.

Can you explain your POV with regard to this passage? Let's stay on topic.

How familiar are you with the current scholarly research of the Divine Council?

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My interpretation is not erroneous, nor does the Bible contradict itself.

I have shown otherwise.

I can easily demonstrate that this is so; however, the purpose of this thread is not to talk about the erroneous things that the people of Babylon and Nineveh said about themselves.

The statement these cities said about themselves is EXACTLY THE SAME as the statement YHWH says about Himself. OBVIOUSLY these cities recognized the existence of other cities and that these statements are statements of preeminence, not statements of exclusion.

The purpose of this thread is to talk about the absolutely true things that YHWH says about Himself in the late parts of Isaiah.

Exactly!!! And as I have shown the phrasology used is of preeminence, not of exclusion. Even the apostle Paul recognized the preeminence of God, not the exclusion as shown here;

1 Cor 8:5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)

6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

Can you explain your POV with regard to this passage? Let's stay on topic.

That is what I did.

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I have shown otherwise.

The statement these cities said about themselves is EXACTLY THE SAME as the statement YHWH says about Himself. OBVIOUSLY these cities recognized the existence of other cities and that these statements are statements of preeminence, not statements of exclusion.

Exactly!!! And as I have shown the phrasology used is of preeminence, not of exclusion. Even the apostle Paul recognized the preeminence of God, not the exclusion as shown here;

1 Cor 8:5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,)

6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

That is what I did.

Could you address the questions in the OP, please? Start with this one.

What do you think YHWH was trying to do when He gave this kind of message to His chosen people, the Jews?

Then this next statement might be something you want to interact with. Perhaps you disagree?

It's quite clear that they became (and still are) strictly monotheistic; that is a plainly obvious matter of fact.

And then, if you believe God was trying to do something besides cause Judaism to be monotheistic....

Was God trying to do something else? If so, what was YHWH trying to do and why didn't it work?

As a bonus question, maybe you can answer this: From your POV, why did Judaism (and Christianity after it) become monotheistic?

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A little. Does this mean you have a differing POV on when and how Jews wound up being strictly monotheistic?

Perhaps I could recommend a little more research into the Divine Council before you summarily dismiss alternate explanations out of hand because you have an already decided interpretation.

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Perhaps I could recommend a little more research into the Divine Council before you summarily dismiss alternate explanations out of hand because you have an already decided interpretation.

What post are you looking at? Where did I summarily dismiss an alternate explanation? I'm asking questions and looking for answers. Are you willing to give these answers or not?
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You asked for my POV and I gave it.

The term "monotheist", when orginally coined, meant that although there existed other gods, only the God Most High was to be worshipped. See here,http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=6147489

Your intrepretation of the term is a modern invention.

Edited to add,

Here is a better link; http://dl.dropbox.com/u/6259597/Monotheism.pdf

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Before concluding that the isaiah verse you posted is an absolute, it is worth taking a look at similar statements from the ancient world. As these come from avowed polytheistic sourcs they make for most interesting reading indeed.

From Egypt.

"THOU ART the sole one, WHO MADE [ALL] THAT IS,

[The] solitary sole [one], who made what exists,

From whose eyes mankind came forth,

And upon whose mouth the gods came into being."

-Hymn to Amon-Re, ANET pg. 366.

From the Sumerian world.

From the mountain of sunrise to the mountain of sunset,

There is no (other) lord in the land, you alone are king,

Enlil, in all the lands there is no queen, your wife alone is queen.

-Hymn to Enlil as the Ruling Deity of the Universe. Pritchard, Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament (ANET), 3rd ed. with supplement, pg. 576.

Heaven - he [Enlil] alone is its prince, earth - he alone is its great one,

The Anunna - he is their exalted god,

When in his awesomeness he decrees the fates, no god dares look at him...

-Hymn to Enlil, the All-Beneficent. ANET, pg. 575.

To the fire god Girra in Maqlu II (76-102). He is described as the "eminent one of the gods." The prayer then states, "You alone are my god, you alone are my lord, you alone are my judge, you alone are my aid, you alone are my champion!"

-Tzvi Abusch, "The Promise to Praise the God in

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Perhaps I could recommend a little more research into the Divine Council before you summarily dismiss alternate explanations out of hand because you have an already decided interpretation.

Oh, I think I see now. You must have been looking at Post #5. No, no, that wasn't me- see, that was Vance summarily dismissing my POV out of hand without really answering the questions that I posed in the OP just a few minutes ago. I did not summarily dismiss his, yours, or anyone else's POV- I just requested that he answer the questions as they are posed.
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Oh, I think I see now. You must have been looking at Post #5. No, no, that wasn't me- see, that was Vance summarily dismissing my POV out of hand without really answering the questions that I posed in the OP just a few minutes ago. I did not summarily dismiss his, yours, or anyone else's POV- I just requested that he answer the questions as they are posed.

No, I read both your original post and Vance's as well as your subsequent 'rebuttal'. Where you did not address his concerns but stated point-in-fact:

My interpretation is not erroneous, nor does the Bible contradict itself.
Thus, you leave only your interpretation as the only viable interpretation and further dismissing all subsequent discussion on the subject without the appropriate knowledge.
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And then there are these:

Deut. 10:17 For the Lord your God is God of gods, and Lord of lords, a great God, a mighty, and a terrible, which regardeth not persons, nor taketh reward:

Josh. 22:22 The Lord God of gods, the Lord God of gods, he knoweth, and Israel he shall know; if it be in rebellion, or if in transgression against the Lord, (save us not this day,)

Ps. 136:2 O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Dan. 2:47 The king answered unto Daniel, and said, Of a truth it is, that your God is a God of gods, and a Lord of kings, and a revealer of secrets, seeing thou couldest reveal this secret.

Dan. 11:36 And the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods, and shall prosper till the indignation be accomplished: for that that is determined shall be done.

These are from both before and after you supposed clear expression of "monothesim".

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Ok, so here's my POV. Early Judaism was henotheistic to a certain extent- this is indicated by all the times when the children of Israel turned away from "the One True God" and worshiped other gods. In order for them to do this (over and over again), you must presuppose a fairly widespread belief in the existence of these gods. Which is understandable, considering the religious background from which the patriarchs were drawn. Abraham left a culture of polytheism and animism in order to follow YHWH, the One True God. YHWH always made it clear that He was a jealous God and that He wanted to be the sole recipient of worship, but apparently, the early generations of Jews weren't always crystal-clear on the concept of YHWH being the only God that actually exists.

But then that changed. In kind of a big way. YHWH did make it unmistakably, undeniably, indisputably crystal clear that not only is He the only God that His people should worship, but He is the only God that exists. When God did that, Judaism became strictly monotheistic because YHWH made it so. Ever since God did that, Jews no longer turned to other gods and worshiped them. How could they? There are no other gods to worship. They didn't always stay faithful to YHWH, but once you see them become monotheistic, you don't see them worshiping any gods apart from YHWH.

This is what I'm talking about. It comes up in several other parts of the OT, but Isaiah gives a pretty dense sampling of direct quotes from YHWH in which He say "I am the only God," "There never was and never will be anyone like me," "No god exists apart from me," "Without me no gods would exist." But enough of my paraphrasing- I'll let Isaiah do the talking.

"I am the first and I am the last, And there is no God besides Me." Isaiah 44:6

"Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none." Isaiah 44:8

"I am Yahweh, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God." Isaiah 45:5

"I am Yahweh, and there is none else." Isaiah 45:18

"Is it not I, Yahweh? And there is no other God besides Me, A righteous God and a Savior; There is none except Me." Isaiah 45:21

"I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me" Isaiah 46:9

Now, when I go through Isaiah and get to these chapters, my POV is Trinitarian and monotheistic (see also- Christian). I look at this material and say....

"Ok, so YHWH always made it clear that He wanted His people to worship only Him. But they still believed other gods existed and they would worship them sometimes, and YHWH decided to put a stop to that. So this is how He does it- he straight up tells them He's the only game in town and that no other gods exist. Period. End of story. First and the last, there are no others, never have been never will be, no one is like YHWH."

I also conclude that YHWH succeeded in what He was trying to accomplish. He wanted to make sure His chosen people were strictly monotheistic, and He succeeded admirably. Jews (and, for that matter, all of Judeo-Christianity) is strictly monotheistic because that's the way God made it happen, and chapters 44-46 of Isaiah are excellent examples of specific points in time at which we can see God doing this.

So that is my POV. But from what I understand, if you're LDS, you read the Old Testament sometimes and you may have done some kind of Bible study on this same material. But you walk away from it with a different POV on the nature of God (a henotheistic godhead) and the existence of other gods (ie., those who attain the highest state of theosis become like God). How can you walk away from the later parts of Isaiah and believe these things without contradicting what YHWH says- ie., "I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like me"?

You know what I think YHWH is doing here. You know what I think His intention is, and I think He succeeds admirably. What do you think YHWH was trying to do when He gave this kind of message to His chosen people, the Jews? It's quite clear that they became (and still are) strictly monotheistic; that is a plainly obvious matter of fact. Was God trying to do something else? If so, what was YHWH trying to do and why didn't it work?

Nah, actually, it isn't so clear cut. Here, let's start with a few scriptures that show why I think such:

Genesis 1:26

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

Gensis 3:22

And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know goodand evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also fo the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

First of all, I ask, why did he use plural forms, such as our and us? Who is he talking to, or with?

And what of these, from the times of the apostles?

Acts 2:33

Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and here.

Acts 7:55

But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God.

In both of these, Jesus is shown in distinction from God the Father. And yet, as we know, they are one. But how are they one? From the LDS POV, they are one in purpose, and intent, but not body.

Lastly, I would like to show you this:

John 10:34

Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?

It is Jesus quoting a section from Psalms 82, using such to justify him calling himself the Son of God.

It relates to 'The Council of the Gods' or 'The Divine Counicl' as referenced by Vex.

It is the verse, that shows, yes... there is a plurality of spirits with celestial bodies in heaven... but we only worship God - that is The Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, three separate individuals working now as one unit.

I could show you many other verses if you would like, but yes... a plurality of Gods is how it was written in the law. God isn't inherent to one person - it is a title for whom you worship. Our God, therefore, is those whom I mentioned above - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

To be quite honest, it's not all that different from Trinitarianism - it's just that we view their distinctness as individuals a bit more strongly, and that we view our goal to become like God, to be of one heart, and one mind, and dwell in righteousness, and there will be no poor among us, whether physically poor, or spiritually poor. That is our goal - Moses 7:18 - to be called Zion of the Lord through our works.

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You asked for my POV and I gave it.

The term "monotheist", when orginally coined, meant that although there existed other gods, only the God Most High was to be worshipped. See here,http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=6147489

Your intrepretation of the term is a modern invention.

Edited to add,

Here is a better link; http://dl.dropbox.co.../Monotheism.pdf

Just so we're clear, are you saying the Jews were not monotheistic at any time prior to the "modern invention" of monotheism that allows for the existence of only one God?

And by "modern invention," I'm assuming that it must be from a time later than 1830, yes? When did this "modern invention" of monotheism come about? Who (if not God) is responsible for it?

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A little. Does this mean you have a differing POV on when and how Jews wound up being strictly monotheistic?

Jews did not begin to be strictly monotheistic until the Hellenistic era, when they (like Philo) were influenced by many of the philosophers, who promoted an early form of strict monotheism.

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Just so we're clear, are you saying the Jews were not monotheistic at any time prior to the "modern invention" of monotheism that allows for the existence of only one God?

And by "modern invention," I'm assuming that it must be from a time later than 1830, yes? When did this "modern invention" of monotheism come about? Who (if not God) is responsible for it?

You didn't read the article did you?

Before you go looking for a fight, you might want to get yourself better informed.

Read the article.

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No, I read both your original post and Vance's as well as your subsequent 'rebuttal'. Where you did not address his concerns but stated point-in-fact:

Thus, you leave only your interpretation as the only viable interpretation and further dismissing all subsequent discussion on the subject without the appropriate knowledge.

Did you look at what I was responding to? Vance decided to limit me to just two options- one, I'm in error, and two, the Bible is in error. He presented a false dichotomy as if the only possible option is "mmmcounts is wrong," and I responded in a way that showed the possibility of a third option. I just didn't want to get into it so much that it derailed the thread.
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Just so we're clear, are you saying the Jews were not monotheistic at any time prior to the "modern invention" of monotheism that allows for the existence of only one God?

And by "modern invention," I'm assuming that it must be from a time later than 1830, yes? When did this "modern invention" of monotheism come about? Who (if not God) is responsible for it?

Nah, a time before 1830.

It's pretty obvious who invented it. The question is, which men allowed it to be put into their hearts that it was such?

We are monotheistic in the sense that we believe God has one purpose.

We are not monotheistic in the sense that we believe God is made of multiple souls.

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Did you look at what I was responding to? Vance decided to limit me to just two options- one, I'm in error, and two, the Bible is in error. He presented a false dichotomy as if the only possible option is "mmmcounts is wrong," and I responded in a way that showed the possibility of a third option. I just didn't want to get into it so much that it derailed the thread.

Uh huh

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mmm, you are suggesting, I believe, that the language used to describe God in the verses you refer to define Him as a uniquely existing being. However, Vance points out that identical language is used to describe cities that were not unique in existence, ie. Babylon on one occasion and Nineveh on the other (here he should quote the relevant passages) thus demonstrating that such language is not required to mean "uniquely existing", but can have the alternative meaning of "greatest" or something similar.

This is similar to what volgadon is pointing out though in the latter case he is using examples involving deity, making the usage even more closer.

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Nah, actually, it isn't so clear cut. Here, let's start with a few scriptures that show why I think such:

First of all, I ask, why did he use plural forms, such as our and us? Who is he talking to, or with?

From the Trinitarian perspective, God exists as three persons that are one in substance. Not that they have the same kind of substance, but that they are one in substance- this is the difference between homoiousios and homoousios. Nicea, 325.
And what of these, from the times of the apostles?

In both of these, Jesus is shown in distinction from God the Father. And yet, as we know, they are one. But how are they one? From the LDS POV, they are one in purpose, and intent, but not body.

Thank you for explaining this. Can you direct me to some sort of reference that is comparable to the one I made with "Nicea, 325"? Something like "D&C, page and paragraph"? Unless there's a different resource I should look at. Anything that lets me see when and where this LDS POV was formed and became official doctrine would be great. Thanks!
Lastly, I would like to show you this:

It is Jesus quoting a section from Psalms 82, using such to justify him calling himself the Son of God.

It relates to 'The Council of the Gods' or 'The Divine Counicl' as referenced by Vex.

It is the verse, that shows, yes... there is a plurality of spirits with celestial bodies in heaven... but we only worship God - that is The Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, three separate individuals working now as one unit.

Ok, thanks for that explanation.
I could show you many other verses if you would like, but yes... a plurality of Gods is how it was written in the law.
"in the law"? In Judaic terms, "the law" is synonymous with "the Torah." Is that what you meant?
God isn't inherent to one person - it is a title for whom you worship. Our God, therefore, is those whom I mentioned above - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
Long as you're not monotheistic, I can't imagine that God would be inherent to one person. Thanks for your explanation. However, in more common usage, "God" is a title for anything or anyone that you want to call "God," regardless of whether you worship it or not. Thus, if you call someone "God," our understanding is that you call him/it "God" because you believe he/it is a God. We don't care if you worship it or not- if you call it a God, you do so because you think it's a God.

If there is any kind of misunderstanding, I would suggest that you not refer to people or things as "God" if you don't really believe you're talking about something that is a "God." On the other hand, if you do believe something or someone is in fact a God, go ahead and refer to him/it as "God." Then your words will match your beliefs and everyone will know exactly what you mean.

To be quite honest, it's not all that different from Trinitarianism - it's just that we view their distinctness as individuals a bit more strongly, and that we view our goal to become like God, to be of one heart, and one mind, and dwell in righteousness, and there will be no poor among us, whether physically poor, or spiritually poor. That is our goal - Moses 7:18 - to be called Zion of the Lord through our works.
Thanks again for your explanations. I realize it's not as different from Trinitarianism as it could be, and there are a lot of descriptions of God that are quite a bit further away from what was defined at Nicea. However, I also think there are at least a half-dozen explanations that are more similar than what you've got that were formally declared as heresy, and while nothing that was exactly like the LDS idea went before any of the ecumenical councils, I don't think it would have stood a chance.
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Thank you for explaining this. Can you direct me to some sort of reference that is comparable to the one I made with "Nicea, 325"? Something like "D&C, page and paragraph"? Unless there's a different resource I should look at. Anything that lets me see when and where this LDS POV was formed and became official doctrine would be great. Thanks!

Try this: http://lds.org/new-e...-the-holy-ghost

Also this: http://lds.org/manual/gospel-principles/chapter-1-our-father-in-heaven?lang=eng

Both use scriptures to support their comments.

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