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Is The Spirit In 1 Kings 22:19-23 Embodied Or Incorporeal?


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DaddyG,

I can only guess that this is aimed in some fashion at me, but what is the specific instance you have in mind? Are you defending Vance's claim that IRR's reference to the LDS Church teaching that the Holy Ghost is a spirit son of the Father is a misrepresentation? If so, please answer the question Vance won't: Did the Encyclopedia of Mormonism also misrepresent Mormon doctrine? What core doctrine do you claim IRR's website deemphasizes, and what false impression about the LDS Church do you think that the website (and the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, if the above issue is the point) gives?

IRR without doubt misrepresents Mormonism. Here is a typical article from IRR:

Is Mormonism Christian?:

A Comparison of Mormonism and Historic Christianity

To fairly and accurately resolve this question we need to carefully compare the basic doctrines of the Mormon religion with the basic doctrines of historic, biblical Christianity. To represent the Mormon position we have relied on the following well-known Mormon doctrinal books, the first three of which are published by the Mormon Church: Gospel Principles (1997), Achieving a Celestial Marriage(1976), and A Study of the Articles of Faith (1979) by Mormon Apostle James E. Talmage, as well as Doctrines of Salvation (3 vols.) by the tenth Mormon President and prophet Joseph Fielding Smith, Mormon Doctrine (2nd ed., 1979) by Mormon apostle Bruce R. McConkie and Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith.

1. Is There More Than One True God?

The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed that there is only one True and Living God and apart from Him there are no other Gods(Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 43:10,11; 44:6,8; 45:21,22; 46:9; Mark 12:29-34).

By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that there are many Gods (Book of Abraham 4:3ff), and that we can become gods and goddesses in the celestial kingdom(Doctrine and Covenants 132:19-20; Gospel Principles, p. 245; Achieving a Celestial Marriage, p. 130). It also teaches that those who achieve godhood will have spirit children who will worship and pray to them, just as we worship and pray to God the Father (Gospel Principles, p. 302).

2. Was God Once a Man Like Us?

The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed that God is Spirit (John 4:24; 1 Timothy 6:15,16), He is not a man (Numbers 23:19; Hosea 11:9; Romans 1:22, 23), and has always (eternally) existed as God — all powerful, all knowing, and everywhere present (Psalm 90:2; 139:7-10; Isaiah 40:28; Luke 1:37).

By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that God the Father was once a man like us who progressed to become a God and has a body of flesh and bone (Doctrine and Covenants 130:22; "God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!" from Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 345-347; Gospel Principles, p. 9; Articles of Faith, p. 430; Mormon Doctrine, p. 321). Indeed, the Mormon Church teaches that God himself has a father, and a grandfather, ad infinitum (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 373; Mormon Doctrine, p. 577).

3. Are Jesus and Satan Spirit Brothers?

The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed that Jesus is the unique Son of God; he has always existed as God, and is co-eternal and co-equal with the Father (John 1:1, 14; 10:30; 14:9; Colossians 2:9). While never less than God, at the appointed time He laid aside the glory He shared with the Father (John 17:4, 5; Philippians 2:6-11) and was made flesh for our salvation; His incarnation was accomplished through being conceived supernaturally by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin (Matthew 1:18-23; Luke 1:34-35).

By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that Jesus Christ is our elder brother who progressed to godhood, having first been procreated as a spirit child by Heavenly Father and a heavenly mother; He was later conceived physically through intercourse between Heavenly Father and the virgin Mary (D&C 93:21; Journal of Discourses, 1:50-51; Gospel Principles, p. 11-13; Achieving a Celestial Marriage, p. 129; Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, pp. 546-547; 742; Ezra Taft Benson, Come unto Christ, p. 4; Robert L. Millet, The Mormon Faith: Understanding Restored Christianity, p. 31). Mormon doctrine affirms that Jesus, all angels, Lucifer, all demons, and all human beings are originally spirit brothers and sisters (Abraham 3:22-27; Moses 4:1-2; Gospel Principles, pp. 17-18; Mormon Doctrine, p. 192).

4. Is God a Trinity?

The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost are not separate Gods or separate beings, but are distinct Persons within the one Triune Godhead. Throughout the New Testament the Son and the Holy Spirit, as well as the Father are separately identified as and act as God (Son: Mark 2:5-12; John 20:28; Philippians 2:10,11; Holy Spirit: Acts 5:3,4; 2 Corinthians 3:17,18; 13:14); yet at the same time the Bible teaches that these three are only one God (see point 1).

By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three separate Gods (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 370; Mormon Doctrine, pp. 576-577), and that the Son and Holy Ghost are the literal offspring of Heavenly Father and a celestial wife (Joseph Fielding McConkie, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, vol. 2, p. 649).

5. Was The Sin Of Adam and Eve a Great Evil Or a Great Blessing?

The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed that the disobedience of our first parents Adam and Eve was a great evil. Through their fall sin entered the world, bringing all human beings under condemnation and death. Thus we are born with a sinful nature, and will be judged for the sins we commit as individuals. (Ezekiel 18:1-20; Romans 5:12-21).

By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that Adam’s sin was "a necessary step in the plan of life and a great blessing to all of us" (Gospel Principles, p. 33; Book of Mormon — 2 Nephi 2:25; Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, pp. 114-115).

6. Can We Make Ourselves Worthy Before God?

The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed that apart from the saving work of Jesus Christ on the cross we are spiritually "dead in trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1,5) and are powerless to save ourselves. By grace alone, apart from self-righteous works, God forgives our sins and makes us worthy to live in His presence (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-6). Our part is only to cling to Christ in heartfelt faith. (However, it is certainly true that without the evidence of changed conduct, a person’s testimony of faith in Christ must be questioned; salvation by grace alone through faith, does not mean we can live as we please — Romans 6:1-4).

By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that eternal life in the presence of God (which it terms "exaltation in the celestial kingdom") must be earned through obedience to all the commands of the Mormon Church, including exclusive Mormon temple rituals. Works are a requirement for salvation (entrance into the "celestial kingdom") — Gospel Principles, p. 303-304; Pearl of Great Price — Third Article of Faith; Mormon Doctrine, pp. 339, 671; Book of Mormon — 2 Nephi 25:23).

7. Does Christ's Atoning Death Benefit Those Who Reject Him?

The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed that the purpose of the atoning work of Christ on the cross was to provide the complete solution for humankind’s sin problem. However, those who reject God’s grace in this life will have no part in this salvation but are under the judgment of God for eternity (John 3:36; Hebrews 9:27; 1 John 5:11-12).

By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that the purpose of the atonement was to bring resurrection and immortality to all people, regardless of whether they receive Christ by faith. Christ’s atonement is only a partial basis for worthiness and eternal life, which also requires obedience to all the commands of the Mormon church, including exclusive Mormon temple rituals (Gospel Principles, pp. 74-75; Mormon Doctrine, p. 669).

8. Is The Bible The Unique and Final Word of God?

The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed that the Bible is the unique, final and infallible Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 1:1,2; 2 Peter 1:21) and that it will stand forever (1 Peter 1:23-25). God’s providential preservation of the text of the Bible was marvelously illustrated in the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that the Bible has been corrupted, is missing many "plain and precious parts" and does not contain the fullness of the Gospel (Book of Mormon — 1 Nephi 13:26-29; Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 3, pp. 190-191).

9. Did The Early Church Fall Into Total Apostasy?

The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed that the true Church was divinely established by Jesus and could never and will never disappear from the earth (Matthew 16:18; John 15:16; 17:11). Christians acknowledge that there have been times of corruption and apostasy within the Church, but believe there has always been a remnant that held fast to the biblical essentials.

By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that there was a great and total apostasy of the Church as established by Jesus Christ; this state of apostasy "still prevails except among those who have come to a knowledge of the restored gospel" of the Mormon Church (Gospel Principles, pp. 105-106; Mormon Doctrine, p. 44).

Conclusion: The above points in italics constitute the common gospel believed by all orthodox Christians through the ages regardless of denominational labels. On the other hand, some new religions such as Mormonism claim to be Christian, but accept as Scripture writings outside of the Bible, teach doctrines that contradict the Bible, and hold to beliefs completely foreign to the teachings of Jesus and His apostles.

Mormons share with orthodox Christians some important moral precepts from the Bible. However, the above points are examples of the many fundamental and irreconcilable differences between historic, biblical Christianity and Mormonism. While these differences do not keep us from being friendly with Mormons, we cannot consider them brothers and sisters in Christ. The Bible specifically warns of false prophets who will teach "another gospel" centered around "another Jesus," and witnessed to by "another spirit" (2 Corinthians 11:4,13-15; Galatians 1:6-9). Based on the evidence presented above, we believe Mormonism represents just such a counterfeit gospel.

It has been pointed out that if one claimed to be a Mormon but denied all the basic tenets of Mormonism — that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, that the Book of Mormon is true and divinely inspired, that god was once a man who progressed to godhood through keeping the laws and ordinances of the Mormon Church, and that the Mormon Church was divinely established — the Mormon Church would reject such a person’s claim to being a Latter-day Saint. One cannot fairly call oneself a Mormon if one does not believe the fundamental doctrines taught by the Mormon Church. By the same token, if the Mormon Church does not hold to even the basic biblical truths believed by the greater Christian community down through the ages, how can Christians reasonably be expected to accept Mormonism as authentic Christianity?

If the Mormon Church believes it is the only true Christian Church, it should not attempt to publicly present itself as a part of a broader Christian community. Instead it should tell the world openly that those who claim to be orthodox Christians are not really Christians at all, and that the Mormon Church is the only true Christian Church. This in fact is what it teaches privately, but not publicly.

Every one of those points, including the introduction and the conclusion, is a misrepresentation. It will take too long for me to try to analyse them all, and give a detailed answer to all of them; but here are some highlights:

To fairly and accurately resolve this question we need to carefully compare the basic doctrines of the Mormon religion with the basic doctrines of historic, biblical Christianity.

This takes for granted a false premise, that "historic" Christianity is "biblical". That is a fundamentally false assumption. "Historic" Christianity is Apostate, and most definitely not "biblical". Then it makes this comment:

To represent the Mormon position we have relied on the following well-known Mormon doctrinal books, the first three of which are published by the Mormon Church: Gospel Principles (1997), Achieving a Celestial Marriage(1976), and A Study of the Articles of Faith (1979) by Mormon Apostle James E. Talmage, as well as Doctrines of Salvation (3 vols.) by the tenth Mormon President and prophet Joseph Fielding Smith, Mormon Doctrine (2nd ed., 1979) by Mormon apostle Bruce R. McConkie and Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith.

Another cheap attempt at misrepresentation. Numerous Church leaders have repeatedly asserted that the ultimate source of LDS doctrine is the standard works; nothing else comes close.

1. Is There More Than One True God?

The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed that there is only one True and Living God and apart from Him there are no other Gods(Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 43:10,11; 44:6,8; 45:21,22; 46:9; Mark 12:29-34).

By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that there are many Gods (Book of Abraham 4:3ff), and that we can become gods and goddesses in the celestial kingdom(Doctrine and Covenants 132:19-20; Gospel Principles, p. 245; Achieving a Celestial Marriage, p. 130). It also teaches that those who achieve godhood will have spirit children who will worship and pray to them, just as we worship and pray to God the Father (Gospel Principles, p. 302).

Wrong! This may be a doctrine of Apostate Christianity, but not the doctrine of the Bible nor the doctrine of the early Church Fathers. The Old Testament teaches the plurality of gods, Jesus teaches the plurality of gods, and the ECFs teach the plurality of gods.

2. Was God Once a Man Like Us?

The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed that God is Spirit (John 4:24; 1 Timothy 6:15,16), He is not a man (Numbers 23:19; Hosea 11:9; Romans 1:22, 23), and has always (eternally) existed as God — all powerful, all knowing, and everywhere present (Psalm 90:2; 139:7-10; Isaiah 40:28; Luke 1:37).

By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that God the Father was once a man like us who progressed to become a God and has a body of flesh and bone (Doctrine and Covenants 130:22; "God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!" from Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 345-347; Gospel Principles, p. 9; Articles of Faith, p. 430; Mormon Doctrine, p. 321). Indeed, the Mormon Church teaches that God himself has a father, and a grandfather, ad infinitum (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 373; Mormon Doctrine, p. 577).

Wrong! Mormonism does not teach that God was once a man like us. No such doctrine is found in the standard works, and Gordon B Hinckley specifically taught that it is not a doctrine of the Church.

3. Are Jesus and Satan Spirit Brothers?

The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed that Jesus is the unique Son of God; he has always existed as God, and is co-eternal and co-equal with the Father (John 1:1, 14; 10:30; 14:9; Colossians 2:9). While never less than God, at the appointed time He laid aside the glory He shared with the Father (John 17:4, 5; Philippians 2:6-11) and was made flesh for our salvation; His incarnation was accomplished through being conceived supernaturally by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin (Matthew 1:18-23; Luke 1:34-35).

By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that Jesus Christ is our elder brother who progressed to godhood, having first been procreated as a spirit child by Heavenly Father and a heavenly mother; He was later conceived physically through intercourse between Heavenly Father and the virgin Mary (D&C 93:21; Journal of Discourses, 1:50-51; Gospel Principles, p. 11-13; Achieving a Celestial Marriage, p. 129; Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, pp. 546-547; 742; Ezra Taft Benson, Come unto Christ, p. 4; Robert L. Millet, The Mormon Faith: Understanding Restored Christianity, p. 31). Mormon doctrine affirms that Jesus, all angels, Lucifer, all demons, and all human beings are originally spirit brothers and sisters (Abraham 3:22-27; Moses 4:1-2; Gospel Principles, pp. 17-18; Mormon Doctrine, p. 192).

Again a malicious misrepresentation. The Bible teaches that Jesus was the Son of God, and it also teaches that Satan was a son of God. It also teaches that we are all sons of God, and that Jesus and us are brethren. However, since Satan has rejected God, he is now the "brother" of nobody except the evil spirits that followed him.

4. Is God a Trinity?

The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost are not separate Gods or separate beings, but are distinct Persons within the one Triune Godhead. Throughout the New Testament the Son and the Holy Spirit, as well as the Father are separately identified as and act as God (Son: Mark 2:5-12; John 20:28; Philippians 2:10,11; Holy Spirit: Acts 5:3,4; 2 Corinthians 3:17,18; 13:14); yet at the same time the Bible teaches that these three are only one God (see point 1).

By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three separate Gods (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 370; Mormon Doctrine, pp. 576-577), and that the Son and Holy Ghost are the literal offspring of Heavenly Father and a celestial wife (Joseph Fielding McConkie, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, vol. 2, p. 649).

Mormonism teaches that God is a Trinity; but the Trinity of the Bible, not the distorted Trinity of post-Apostate Christendom.

5. Was The Sin Of Adam and Eve a Great Evil Or a Great Blessing?

The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed that the disobedience of our first parents Adam and Eve was a great evil. Through their fall sin entered the world, bringing all human beings under condemnation and death. Thus we are born with a sinful nature, and will be judged for the sins we commit as individuals. (Ezekiel 18:1-20; Romans 5:12-21).

By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that Adam’s sin was "a necessary step in the plan of life and a great blessing to all of us" (Gospel Principles, p. 33; Book of Mormon — 2 Nephi 2:25; Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, pp. 114-115).

Mormonism teaches that the Fall was a sin that was foreseen by God, and therefore part of His divine plan to frustrate the work of Satan and bring about the salvation and exaltation of man. You haven't answered the question of why God would want to put the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden in the first place, and allow Satan to tempt them, If he never intended them to partake of the fruit; and what is wrong with knowing good and evil in any case?

6. Can We Make Ourselves Worthy Before God?

The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed that apart from the saving work of Jesus Christ on the cross we are spiritually "dead in trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1,5) and are powerless to save ourselves. By grace alone, apart from self-righteous works, God forgives our sins and makes us worthy to live in His presence (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-6). Our part is only to cling to Christ in heartfelt faith. (However, it is certainly true that without the evidence of changed conduct, a person’s testimony of faith in Christ must be questioned; salvation by grace alone through faith, does not mean we can live as we please — Romans 6:1-4).

By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that eternal life in the presence of God (which it terms "exaltation in the celestial kingdom") must be earned through obedience to all the commands of the Mormon Church, including exclusive Mormon temple rituals. Works are a requirement for salvation (entrance into the "celestial kingdom") — Gospel Principles, p. 303-304; Pearl of Great Price — Third Article of Faith; Mormon Doctrine, pp. 339, 671; Book of Mormon — 2 Nephi 25:23).

Mormonism teaches along with the Bible that you need to keep the commandments of God to be saved. It is Apostate Christianity and notably corrupt Protestantism that teaches otherwise.

7. Does Christ's Atoning Death Benefit Those Who Reject Him?

The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed that the purpose of the atoning work of Christ on the cross was to provide the complete solution for humankind’s sin problem. However, those who reject God’s grace in this life will have no part in this salvation but are under the judgment of God for eternity (John 3:36; Hebrews 9:27; 1 John 5:11-12).

By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that the purpose of the atonement was to bring resurrection and immortality to all people, regardless of whether they receive Christ by faith. Christ’s atonement is only a partial basis for worthiness and eternal life, which also requires obedience to all the commands of the Mormon church, including exclusive Mormon temple rituals (Gospel Principles, pp. 74-75; Mormon Doctrine, p. 669).

Mormonism teaches along with the Bible that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ ALL will rise from the dead, and that ALL will be judged according to their WORKS. They that have done GOOD unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done EVIL unto the resurrection of damnation. The Bible makes no exceptions, and neither does Mormonism. Only Apostate Protestantism does.

8. Is The Bible The Unique and Final Word of God?

The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed that the Bible is the unique, final and infallible Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 1:1,2; 2 Peter 1:21) and that it will stand forever (1 Peter 1:23-25). God’s providential preservation of the text of the Bible was marvelously illustrated in the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that the Bible has been corrupted, is missing many "plain and precious parts" and does not contain the fullness of the Gospel (Book of Mormon — 1 Nephi 13:26-29; Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 3, pp. 190-191).

That is your doctrine, not the doctrine of the Bible. The Bible doesn't teach any such doctrine. It teaches the opposite. It teaches that God is unchanging, and therefore if He spoke to them before according to their faith, He will do so again.

9. Did The Early Church Fall Into Total Apostasy?

The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed that the true Church was divinely established by Jesus and could never and will never disappear from the earth (Matthew 16:18; John 15:16; 17:11). Christians acknowledge that there have been times of corruption and apostasy within the Church, but believe there has always been a remnant that held fast to the biblical essentials.

By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that there was a great and total apostasy of the Church as established by Jesus Christ; this state of apostasy "still prevails except among those who have come to a knowledge of the restored gospel" of the Mormon Church (Gospel Principles, pp. 105-106; Mormon Doctrine, p. 44).

Undoubtedly it did, otherwise you guys wouldn't be teaching so many false doctrines, and opposing God's one and only true Church on earth today.

If the Mormon Church believes it is the only true Christian Church, it should not attempt to publicly present itself as a part of a broader Christian community. Instead it should tell the world openly that those who claim to be orthodox Christians are not really Christians at all, and that the Mormon Church is the only true Christian Church. This in fact is what it teaches privately, but not publicly.

Mormonism is the only true Christian Church; and it does not "attempt to publicly present itself as a part of a broader Christian community." It does, however, recognize that many in the "broader Christian community" share its ideals of Christian virtue and faith in God, therefore it is willing to support them in those ideals.

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zerinus,

I'm not going to respond point by point to your post here, for three reasons. (1) The article in question is twelve years old and is in the process of being revised. (2) Your criticisms for the most part do not have to do with "misrepresentations," true or imagined, but with differences between LDS and evangelical beliefs. In some cases your objections pertain to long-standing arguments over the actual teaching of the LDS Church (e.g., whether it teaches that God was once a man) and I don't see the value in rehashing such arguments here. (3) If you're serious about wanting to show that I, the person who is involved in this forum, is misrepresenting Mormon beliefs, you should tackle articles that I have written, most notably the Gospel Principles Scripture Study Guide. Up to now, everyone who has wanted to find fault with IRR's website has focused on its oldest articles, written long before I joined the staff at IRR. No one seems at all interested in talking about the many articles (in the hundreds of pages) that I have written!

In addition to these three observations, I do have a concern here. I was and am open to Mormons in this forum pointing me to statements on IRR's website that they think are erroneous. However, if we're going to have extended discussions about whole articles on IRR's website, there is a concern about whether this violates the spirit of the moderators' decision not to allow links to that site. If you support that decision, then to be consistent it seems that you should simply ignore the website and not quote large portions of it in an attempt (vain, so far) to demonstrate that the website deliberately misrepresents LDS beliefs.

Everything I have said here also applies to your lengthy post in the other thread.

Edited by Rob Bowman
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Another cheap attempt at misrepresentation. Numerous Church leaders have repeatedly asserted that the ultimate source of LDS doctrine is the standard works; nothing else comes close.

As John Taylor would often quote in Theological debate, and both the the BOM and Bible affirm:

Isaiah 8:20

20 To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

2 Nephi 18:20

20 To the law and to the testimony; and if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.

But perhaps we should continue this discussion on the other thread as to keep the record together.

http://www.mormondialogue.org/topic/55688-more-misrepresentations-of-mormonism-by-the-irr/page__st__20

Edited by Zakuska
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Did Joseph Fielding McConkie misrepresent or distort the teachings of the LDS Church when he wrote, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that the Holy Ghost is a spirit man, a spirit son of God the Father" (Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 2:649)?

In case no one has posted this yet, a relevant quote:

“He [the Holy Ghost] is the Comforter, Testator, Revelator, Sanctifier, Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit of Promise, Spirit of Truth, Spirit of the Lord, and Messenger of the Father and the Son, and his companionship is the greatest gift that mortal man can enjoy. His mission is to perform all of the functions appertaining to the various name-titles which he bears. Because he is a Spirit Personage, he has power—according to the eternal laws ordained by the Father—to perform essential and unique functions for men. In this dispensation, at least, nothing has been revealed as to his origin or destiny; expressions on these matters are both speculative and fruitless” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 359).

I'll see your Joseph Fielding and raise you a Bruce. ;)

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calmoriah,

You just know what howls would be heard if I were to cite McConkie's Mormon Doctrine as evidence of anything concerning, well, Mormon doctrine.

Please.

In any case, the issue (to repeat myself) is whether saying that the LDS Church teaches that the Holy Ghost is a spirit son of God the Father can be fairly criticized as a deliberate misrepresentation or distortion if Joseph Fielding McConkie could say the exact same thing in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism.

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calmoriah,

You just know what howls would be heard if I were to cite McConkie's Mormon Doctrine as evidence of anything concerning, well, Mormon doctrine.

Please.

Please indeed. One nondoctrinal source is as good as another and Mormon Doctrine has quite a bit more traditional backing than JF McKonkie's work even if sometimes the tradition is wrong.

You apparently missed my point but that is likely because you are ignoring what people are saying about the sources of our doctrine and teachings. The critical issue is whether or not something is seen more than once or twice in Church Distribution manuals/magazines. If not, it's most likely an opinion or speculation. It's not that hard of a concept and has been pointed out to you at least once with the quote from LDS.org

In any case, the issue (to repeat myself) is whether saying that the LDS Church teaches that the Holy Ghost is a spirit son of God the Father can be fairly criticized as a deliberate misrepresentation or distortion if Joseph Fielding McConkie could say the exact same thing in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism.

The Encyclopedia is not a teaching manual. It is a collection of articles that were made by a variety of people with some oversight, but not complete. It did not go through correlation. It would most accurate not to make a claim that the LDS Church teaches this concept UNLESS you can find it in a teaching manual or in general conference or cited multiple times in magazines by church leaders (as opposed to the articles by the general membership).

Again just to be clear, if you want to make a claim that the LDS Church teaches something you should be able to demonstrate such by finding it in the scriptures (though please allow us to interpret it for ourselves), teaching manuals, general conference issues and the leadership messages of the church magazines because those are the sources for what is taught. Pretty simple. This is what teachers are taught to teach from in addition to the scriptures, I can testify to that from over 35 years as a teacher and a librarian. I have never once used the EoM in a class or had a teacher ask me to get material from the EoM in a class.

I have never even heard of the concept that the Holy Ghost was the Father's spirit son before this thread, though I can see how someone might infer that.

Edited by calmoriah
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Now, that we have chased the red herrings for a while longer, can we get back to the fact that Bowmans original argument (OP) has been shredded?

Sorry. It just seems like such a straightforward concept---where do you look for what is taught? Teaching manuals anyone?

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Sorry. It just seems like such a straightforward concept---where do you look for what is taught? Teaching manuals anyone?

Of course it is straight forward. And any person wanting to know what is really being taught will go to a reliable and authoritative source, which obviously does NOT include irr. And any person or organization wanting to honestly represent what is really being taught will also go to a reliable and authoritative source. But that, again, isn't irr.

Bowman is simply using this as a distraction from the fact that his argument has been shredded, which, at this point, should be the main point of discussion in this thread.

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calmoriah,

You wrote:

Please indeed. One nondoctrinal source is as good as another and Mormon Doctrine has quite a bit more traditional backing than JF McKonkie's work even if sometimes the tradition is wrong.

Your statement illustrates my experience that one can find Mormons arguing every side of an issue depending on their own opinion and often depending on which side is helpful to their polemical interests. If I had cited Bruce it would almost certainly be the case that someone would fault me for that. To hear some Mormons talk, Mormon Doctrine is one of the worst Mormon publications ever published. The fact is that Mormons got so tired of their critics quoting it (due to its characteristic straight talk and its ease of reference) that for years Mormons have been telling me that we have no business citing it at all.

You wrote:

You apparently missed my point but that is likely because you are ignoring what people are saying about the sources of our doctrine and teachings.

No, you are missing the point. I fully understand that the Encyclopedia of Mormonism is not an official publication of the LDS Church. Vance's criticism was not that IRR's web article was merely inaccurate. His criticism was that the article had deliberately misrepresented Mormon doctrine. My point was simply that this makes no sense unless one wishes to say that the Encyclopedia of Mormonism also deliberately misrepresents Mormon doctrine.

You wrote:

It would [be] most accurate not to make a claim that the LDS Church teaches this concept UNLESS you can find it in a teaching manual or in general conference or cited multiple times in magazines by church leaders (as opposed to the articles by the general membership).

The fact is that even when I have provided numerous such quotations from those sorts of publications to document that something was LDS doctrine, Mormons on this forum have fiercely and contemptuously claimed that I was misrepresenting LDS doctrine. So while I agree with your standard, the reality is that if a Mormon doesn't like what a critic says about the LDS Church's teachings that Mormon will denounce the critic no matter what documentation is provided.

You wrote:

Again just to be clear, if you want to make a claim that the LDS Church teaches something you should be able to demonstrate such by finding it in the scriptures (though please allow us to interpret it for ourselves), teaching manuals, general conference issues and the leadership messages of the church magazines because those are the sources for what is taught. Pretty simple.

Fine. Strange, isn't it, that Joseph Fielding McConkie apparently didn't do so? If this is "pretty simple," how could the son of Bruce McConkie make such a mistake?

I can testify to that from over 35 years as a teacher and a librarian.... I have never even heard of the concept that the Holy Ghost was the Father's spirit son before this thread, though I can see how someone might infer that.

Amazing. I've heard it for many years, and I am an outsider and don't have a hundredth of your experience.

Edited by Rob Bowman
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Mr. Bowman, this is off topic, if you wish me to clarify how you are misunderstanding my comments and misrepresenting LDS teachings, feel free to start another thread as I intend to respect the request to focus on the topic.

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calmoriah,

You just know what howls would be heard if I were to cite McConkie's Mormon Doctrine as evidence of anything concerning, well, Mormon doctrine.

Please.

In any case, the issue (to repeat myself) is whether saying that the LDS Church teaches that the Holy Ghost is a spirit son of God the Father can be fairly criticized as a deliberate misrepresentation or distortion if Joseph Fielding McConkie could say the exact same thing in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism.

I think the issue is understanding who speaks for the Church and who doesn't.

Bruce McConkie never did speak for the Church, even though he was ordained and set apart by the Lord as one of his apostles.

Joseph Fielding Smith (not McConkie) actually did speak for the Church when he was the President, though, and you seem to be glossing over what he said in favor of what Bruce said for no good reason.

Edited by Ahab
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Ahab,

One of us is confused. What is it that Joseph Fielding Smith is supposed to have said that you think I am ignoring? And the fact is that I didn't cite Bruce McConkie in support of anything; it was calmoriah who cited Bruce McConkie. I cited Joseph Fielding McConkie, not because I thought he spoke for the LDS Church, but because I thought that he showed that the statement made on IRR's website was not an anti-Mormon misrepresentation or distortion of LDS belief.

I think the issue is understanding who speaks for the Church and who doesn't.

Bruce McConkie never did speak for the Church, even though he was ordained and set apart by the Lord as one of his apostles.

Joseph Fielding Smith (not McConkie) actually did speak for the Church when he was the President, though, and you seem to be glossing over what he said in favor of what Bruce said for no good reason.

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Speaking as one who has enjoyed very much this very "spirited" discourse, I am yet again amazed at how the Prophet Joseph was able to bring so much enlightenment to the world in such an incredibly short period of time. Here we are...after all these years, discussing the restored gospel over the internet where people of all persuasions, and yes..agenda's...can "have at it". Reading over these several threads which have been initiated by Mr. Bowman, have strengthened my faith exponentially in the calling of Joseph Smith, the BoM...and in this Gospel which we LDS espouse, and most especially in my Savior. It truly is a "Pearl of Great Price".

My thanks to everyone who has participated thus far on these various topics. Keep up the good work!

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Let's recap each of the arguments and counter-arguments made thus far. Rob summarized his first argument this way:

1.

The LORD is said to have been seated on his throne (v. 19), but the reader has learned earlier that the LORD is an immense and/or transcendent being who cannot be contained even within the highest of the heavens (1 Kings 8:27).

There are at least two counters to this argument. First, since we may all agree that the Bible, and the books in the Bible, are not either all figurative or all literal, then interpreting figuratively one passage in 1st Kings does not necessitate interpreting figuratively all other passages in 1st Kings.

Second, there are two ways to interpret literally 1st Kings 8:27 consistently with 1st Kings 22:19-23: a) God's body is literally larger than the earth and the heavens above the earth; b) it is the spirit light emanating from God's body, and not God's body, which the earth and heaven cannot contain.

So, in regards to Rob's first argument, it is now evident that while one may reasonably interpret figuratively 1st Kings 22:19-23, others may reasonably interpret that passage literally . Exegetically, t can be interpreted in context either way.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

Edited by wenglund
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Here is how Rob summarizes his second argument:

The reference to the spirit beings in the LORD’s presence as the “host of heaven” uses language that normally refers to the stars and other astronomical bodies, which cannot be the literal reference or meaning here. Furthermore, these spirits are depicted as the heavenly host or army, gathered in military formation on either side of the King’s throne, even though no literal battle involving these spirits is envisioned in the passage.

There are multiple counters to this argument. First, the biblical phrase "host of heaven" doesn't just literally refer to astronomical bodies. It also literally refers to the armies in heaven as well as large numbers of heavenly things, like spirits.

Second, even if one figures that the biblical phrase "host of heaven" is being used figuratively in relation to the spirits standing before God's throne, this does not mean the entire passage must be interpreted figuratively.

Third, since the biblical phrase "host of heaven" doesn't necessarily mean "army," one may reasonably interpret the passage in question in a non-military sense, such as a gathering of spirits in a heavenly council.

Fourth, even if one interprets the passage as a military gathering, such may be done in times of peace as well as war, and so the supposed lack of war is immaterial. Beside, one may reasonably presume that there is an on-going war between good and evil.

So, Rob's second argument, as with his first, while allowing for a figurative interpretation of 1 Kings 22:19-23, does not necessitate a figurative interpretation. Exegetically, one may reasonably interpret this passage in context as literal. This holds true even if one combines Rob's 1st and 2nd arguments.

Thanks, -Wade Englund-

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I think the issue is understanding who speaks for the Church and who doesn't.

As well as when someone is speaking for the Church.

Joseph Fielding Smith (not McConkie) actually did speak for the Church when he was the President, though, and you seem to be glossing over what he said in favor of what Bruce said for no good reason.

The article in the EoM was written by Joseph Fielding McConkie who is the son of BRM and a former BYU prof and prolific writer, but not a GA. He did not give a reference for his claim so there is no way of knowing where he got nit from or if it was just his personal speculation he added to the topic (the EoM was not put through the correlation process nor was it given any official stamp of approval for each and every entry...or any of them for that matter, it is an encyclopedia after all, not an official teaching manual.)

http://en.wikipedia....elding_McConkie

EoM: http://lib.byu.edu/digital/Macmillan/

“Those who have written and edited [the Encyclopedia of Mormonism] have only tried to explain their understanding of Church history, doctrines, and procedures; their statements and opinions remain their own. The Encyclopedia of Mormonism is a joint product of Brigham Young University and Macmillan Publishing Company, and its contents do not necessarily represent the official position of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” - Daniel H. Ludlow

And please if you need to discuss this more start a new thread as I find it almost impossible not to respond.

Edited by calmoriah
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This is a great example of how an oft used tactic of anti-mormons can be effective.

Present a non-doctrinal, speculative or even un-agreed upon concept as a main tennant of our religion and use it to portray us as fringe or non-Christian.

It would be like us taking a story from a Christian writer about their uncle Fred's near death experience to prove that Christians really believe we will be floating around in a bright light with Grandma instead of meeting Christ, therefore decalaring them unchristian.

Totally disingenuous but "technically correct".

It is better to let people tell their own story. A position of respect that many anti-mormons will not offer us.

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DaddyG,

Sigh. Is there anyone on the Mormon side here who is willing to address the actual point I made? So far, not one has done so. I'm beginning to feel more and more confident that it is unanswerable.

This is a great example of how an oft used tactic of anti-mormons can be effective.

Present a non-doctrinal, speculative or even un-agreed upon concept as a main tennant of our religion and use it to portray us as fringe or non-Christian.

It would be like us taking a story from a Christian writer about their uncle Fred's near death experience to prove that Christians really believe we will be floating around in a bright light with Grandma instead of meeting Christ, therefore decalaring them unchristian.

Totally disingenuous but "technically correct".

It is better to let people tell their own story. A position of respect that many anti-mormons will not offer us.

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DaddyG,

Sigh. Is there anyone on the Mormon side here who is willing to address the actual point I made? So far, not one has done so. I'm beginning to feel more and more confident that it is unanswerable.

It has been answered several times over. You just don't like the answers so you dismiss them.

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DaddyG,

Sigh. Is there anyone on the Mormon side here who is willing to address the actual point I made? So far, not one has done so. I'm beginning to feel more and more confident that it is unanswerable.

:rofl:

Don't you just love it?

Now how do you all feel about the time you put into Rob Bowman?

Edited by mfbukowski
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Sigh. Is there anyone on the Mormon side here who is willing to address the actual point I made? So far, not one has done so. I'm beginning to feel more and more confident that it is unanswerable.

Your "point" was answered by me long ago, even if not by anyone else.

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:rofl:

Don't you just love it?

Now how do you all feel about the time you put into Rob Bowman?

You will note that my investment in correcting misconceptions shared by Mr. Bowman has significantly decreased over time.

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