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First Of A Series Of Tough Issues Tackled By Lds.org


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Are you familiar with David telling us the Lord told his Lord to sit down at his right hand until he had made his enemies his footstool?  (See Psalm 110:1, Matthew 22:44).   Do you know of any other instance where David referred to the Father of his Lord as the Lord?

 

Joseph said there were 2 persons who appeared to him and he also taught that both of them were God.

 

Slam dunk.  Next challenge, please. This problem is solved.

 

 

Sorry, travel called on the way to the basket--no points given.  In the two scriptures you referenced it's quite obvious it's referring to two different individuals.  Reread the 1832 FV account and tell me if 100 randomly chosen individuals of reasonable intelligence were to read it, how many of those do you think would believe Joseph is referring to two different beings?

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Try again.  Read Brant Gardner at the 2003 FAIR Conference here:

http://www.fairmormon.org/perspectives/fair-conferences/2003-fair-conference/2003-monotheism-messiah-and-mormons-book

 

Best,

 

Kevin Christensen

Bethel Park, PA

 

 

I don't have time to read all of Brant's presentation in depth tonight, but it sounds like he's suggesting Lehi didn't fully understand the doctrine of the Godhead himself.  If Brant's reading this, please correct me if I'm misinterpreting you.  I find it incredible that Lehi wouldn't understand something so basic and fundamental and it should raise more questions than it answers.

 

 

When we reconstruct the religious climate at the time of Lehi we find that there is no single, unified theology. In fact, what we find is multiple strands of theological thought that are in conflict, with the Deuteronomic reform elevating a particular strand of thought in contradiction to what had been acceptable though much of Israel’s history.

The theology of the Book of Mormon suggests that Lehi is not only a product of this time period, but that his theology, and therefore Nephi’s, is mostly likely an attempt to preserve some of the theology of God that was being denied in the Deuteronomic reforms. The following are elements of the pre-reform religion that we will see in the Book of Mormon text: 

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There is no way to know just what was on Joseph Smith’s mind when he made that change, but that hasn’t stopped a lot of people from trying.

 

 

I agree with Brant on this, which is why we need to look at the evidence.  Pre-1835 we have the BoM, 1832 First Vision account, inspired revisions to the Bible, and a complete lack of binitarian teachings which all indicate a trinitarian view.  That all changes with the 1835 FV account and the 1837 BoM edition showing a progression to a binitarian view.  We all have to look at the evidence and make educated decisions from it, from what I've read, this is the only logical explanation I can come to.

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Is it a false assumption or historiographical naivety to assume that a prophet of God shouldn't leave out the most important detail when describing one of the most significant events in human history?

 

Yes, actually.

 

One of the worst mistakes one can make when approaching historical issues to is practise 'shouldism'. In this case, you are basically asserting that Joseph should have understood in 1832 the nearly 2,000-year historical context of his personal experience, that he should have simultaneously understood fully its theological implications, that he should have seen his experience as radically at odds with creedal Christian teachings, that he should have been able to predict with perfect prescience all the uses to which his narrative would be applied in future as well as all of the possible controversies that would arise therefrom, and also that he should have somehow understood that 181 years after the fact you personally would have decided for him what the 'most important detail' in his experience was.

 

For almost two thousand years Christians had been taught as one of their most fundamental doctrines that The Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost are one being. In one glorious moment that all changed, yet we are led to believe that Smith didn't feel that was necessary to mention in his first known account? ... Surely we should have dozens of pre-1834 accounts from Smith and his contemporaries detailing this radical change to the foundations of Christian thinking.

 

I think the following may be more accurate: Christians had been taught that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost exist as three persons in one being. So what exactly happened in the Grove to eventuate this 'radical change' that you're positing? Stephen at his martyrdom had seen 'the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God', and yet this passage in the New Testament had not challenged 'the foundations of Christian thinking'. Why should Joseph have seen his experience as any different to Stephen's?

 

In fact, as Kevin has already pointed out, it appears that even later in life Joseph himself never used his experience in the Grove as evidence for the non-trinitarian nature of Deity.

Edited by Hamba Tuhan
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It occurs to me that at age 14, Joseph probably wasn't much into debunking centuries-old theological dogma. I'm thinking his main concern was, as the early accounts suggest, obtaining a forgiveness of his sins.

Often the full import and significance of an experience does not occur to a person until he has had opportunity to reflect upon it over time -- perhaps years in some cases -- and as subsequent events, circumstances, growth and maturity have crystallized it in his mind.

Are you aware of any occasion at any time, pre-1835 or later, of Joseph teaching that the Father and the Son are of one substance?

Except this account WAS written many years later, after he had founded the church, translated the BoM, Bible and had the priesthood restored.

He wasn't some theological novice in 1832. He was 26 and 12 years after vision. By 1832 he had also dictated dozens of modern revelations.

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I don't have time to read all of Brant's presentation in depth tonight, but it sounds like he's suggesting Lehi didn't fully understand the doctrine of the Godhead himself.  If Brant's reading this, please correct me if I'm misinterpreting you.  I find it incredible that Lehi wouldn't understand something so basic and fundamental and it should raise more questions than it answers.

Read a bit more carefully. It's a matter of applying the advice in 2 Nephi 25:1-5 on learning the cultural backgrounds of the Jews at Jerusalem around 600 BCE in order to understand better what they are talking about. The issue is not Lehi's understanding based on the visions he received, but of our learning to understanding those visions the way Lehi and subsequent Book of Mormon prophets did. Once we do that, we are less likely to make the mistakes that "presentist" approaches can cause in reading the Book of Mormon. It also has the added benefit of showing how nicely First Temple theology fits with Mormonism. It provides a context for understanding why "In our current version "the Son" was added before "mother of God", "Eternal Father", "Everlasting God", and "Eternal Father". (There are other places where changes were not made.) The 19th Century readers thought they had to add the Son, and why ancient readers would have known that it made no difference to meaning to them. El Elyon was seen as the Father of Yahweh and other heavenly beings. Yahweh was seen as God and as the Father of humans through covenant, as is very clear in Benjamin's discourse. Divine titles go with divine roles. If a divine being fills a role associated with a title, the title belongs. I'm both a father and a son, and a son to both earthly and heavenly parents. For some reason, this does not cause theological trauma. Each title is merited and makes sense given a context. Brant is providing context.

FWIW

Kevin Christensen

Pittsburgh, PA

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Read a bit more carefully. It's a matter of applying the advice in 2 Nephi 25:1-5 on learning the cultural backgrounds of the Jews at Jerusalem around 600 BCE in order to understand better what they are talking about. The issue is not Lehi's understanding based on the visions he received, but of our learning to understanding those visions the way Lehi and subsequent Book of Mormon prophets did. Once we do that, we are less likely to make the mistakes that "presentist" approaches can cause in reading the Book of Mormon. It also has the added benefit of showing how nicely First Temple theology fits with Mormonism. It provides a context for understanding why "In our current version "the Son" was added before "mother of God", "Eternal Father", "Everlasting God", and "Eternal Father". (There are other places where changes were not made.) The 19th Century readers thought they had to add the Son, and why ancient readers would have known that it made no difference to meaning to them. El Elyon was seen as the Father of Yahweh and other heavenly beings. Yahweh was seen as God and as the Father of humans through covenant, as is very clear in Benjamin's discourse. Divine titles go with divine roles. If a divine being fills a role associated with a title, the title belongs. I'm both a father and a son, and a son to both earthly and heavenly parents. For some reason, this does not cause theological trauma. Each title is merited and makes sense given a context. Brant is providing context.

FWIW

Kevin Christensen

Pittsburgh, PA

Thanks for the summary. I'm taking the kids out for the night to one of those bounce houses, but I'll try to tackle the rest of the paper tomorrow.

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Read a bit more carefully. It's a matter of applying the advice in 2 Nephi 25:1-5 on learning the cultural backgrounds of the Jews at Jerusalem around 600 BCE in order to understand better what they are talking about. The issue is not Lehi's understanding based on the visions he received, but of our learning to understanding those visions the way Lehi and subsequent Book of Mormon prophets did. Once we do that, we are less likely to make the mistakes that "presentist" approaches can cause in reading the Book of Mormon. It also has the added benefit of showing how nicely First Temple theology fits with Mormonism. It provides a context for understanding why "In our current version "the Son" was added before "mother of God", "Eternal Father", "Everlasting God", and "Eternal Father". (There are other places where changes were not made.) The 19th Century readers thought they had to add the Son, and why ancient readers would have known that it made no difference to meaning to them. El Elyon was seen as the Father of Yahweh and other heavenly beings. Yahweh was seen as God and as the Father of humans through covenant, as is very clear in Benjamin's discourse. Divine titles go with divine roles. If a divine being fills a role associated with a title, the title belongs. I'm both a father and a son, and a son to both earthly and heavenly parents. For some reason, this does not cause theological trauma. Each title is merited and makes sense given a context. Brant is providing context.

FWIW

Kevin Christensen

Pittsburgh, PA

I think it's more about how divine titles have more than one meaning, like how "God" can mean or be used as a reference for:

 

(1) our Father in heaven

 

(2) any other person who is the same kind of being as our Father in heaven

 

(3) any other person who s not only the same kind of being as our Father but also as good as he is (to exclude evil persons who are the same kind of being as our Father in heaven, like Satan)

 

Nephi and other holy men of his time may have only written the word "God" but who did they have in mind when they said that?  I believe Joseph Smith made it clear so we would know he was referring to Jesus rather than the person we normally refer to as our Father in heaven.  But, yes, they are both Fathers, and both of them are also sons of a Father.

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Read a bit more carefully. It's a matter of applying the advice in 2 Nephi 25:1-5 on learning the cultural backgrounds of the Jews at Jerusalem around 600 BCE in order to understand better what they are talking about. The issue is not Lehi's understanding based on the visions he received, but of our learning to understanding those visions the way Lehi and subsequent Book of Mormon prophets did. Once we do that, we are less likely to make the mistakes that "presentist" approaches can cause in reading the Book of Mormon. It also has the added benefit of showing how nicely First Temple theology fits with Mormonism. It provides a context for understanding why "In our current version "the Son" was added before "mother of God", "Eternal Father", "Everlasting God", and "Eternal Father". (There are other places where changes were not made.) The 19th Century readers thought they had to add the Son, and why ancient readers would have known that it made no difference to meaning to them. El Elyon was seen as the Father of Yahweh and other heavenly beings. Yahweh was seen as God and as the Father of humans through covenant, as is very clear in Benjamin's discourse. Divine titles go with divine roles. If a divine being fills a role associated with a title, the title belongs. I'm both a father and a son, and a son to both earthly and heavenly parents. For some reason, this does not cause theological trauma. Each title is merited and makes sense given a context. Brant is providing context.

FWIW

Kevin Christensen

Pittsburgh, PA

 

I say this in complete sincerity, Kevin. You've been a very positive influence in completely re-positioning my perspectives on what a prophet is. It has, in large part, allowed me to accept the limitations of what they do and don't 'see.'

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Perhaps at 14, but by 1830 Joseph had translated the BoM, officially organized the church and restored the priesthood (at least the Aaronic Priesthood).  By this time he was well aware of his prophetic role of restoring lost truths, yet we don't hear about this foundational doctrine (once again, to my knowledge) until years later.

I thought the question was why he didn't immediately make known the foundational truths he would have learned in the First Vision. Again, it can take some time before one fully grasps the import of an experience as profound as the First Vision, and it can take even longer before one has occasion to impart those truths to others. It has already been established on this thread that Joseph was, by nature, guarded about how, when and with whom he shared spiritual experiences.

 

Yes!  The 1830 version of the BoM contains the following verses:

 

1 Nephi 3, p. 25* And he said unto me, Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of God, after the manner of the flesh

 

1 Nephi 3, p. 25 And the angel said unto me, behold the Lamb of God, even the Eternal Father!

 

1 Nephi 3, p. 26 And I looked and beheld the Lamb of God, that he was taken by the people; yea, the Everlasting God, was judged of the world.

 

1 Nephi 3, p. 32 These last records ... shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Eternal Father and the Savior of the world.

 

In our current version "the Son" was added before "mother of God", "Eternal Father", "Everlasting God", and "Eternal Father".

 

 

Your answer is not responsive. My question was this:

 

 

Are you aware of any occasion at any time, pre-1835 or later, of Joseph teaching that the Father and the Son are of one substance?

 

Proclaiming the divinity of Jesus Christ and applying the term "Father" to Him in certain senses, such as being Father to those who abide in His gospel or Father in the sense of divine investiture of authority -- or translating ancient scripture that refers to Jesus Christ in such senses -- is not the same as teaching that the Father and the Son are of one substance.

 

Moreover, if you are going to use the Book of Mormon for proof texting, you need to be cognizant of the entire content, not just cherry-picked verses.

 

For example in 2 Nephi 31, we have an account of Nephi's vision in which he beheld the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist. Here Nephi observed the Son being baptized and heard the voice of the Father bearing record of His Son. It is clear from this they are separate and distinct individuals.

 

Futhermore, there is the post-resurrection appearance of the Jesus Christ in the new world, during which the Father introduces and bears witness of the Savior. Also on this occasion, the Savior speaks directly to the Father, calling Him "Father" (3 Nephi 17:14).

 

Later during the visit, Christ prayed to the Father using these words: "And now Father, I pray unto thee for them, and also for all those who shall believe on their words, that they may believe in me, that I may be in them as thou, Father, art in me that we may be one" (3 Nephi 19:23, emphasis added). This is essential in understanding passages such as the earlier one on this occasion, when He says, "The Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one; and I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one" (3 Nephi 11:27).

 

Christ here no more meant that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are one substance than He meant that His disciples among the Nephites should meld themselves into one substance. Rather, the unity to which He refers is a unity of purpose, understanding, will, divinity, etc.

 

In fact, the Savior's teachings on this occasion clarify other passages in the Book of Mormon about the Father and Son being one in the same way that Christ's intercessory prayer in John 17 clarifies other passages throughout the Bible about the Father and the Son being one. On that occasion also, Christ spoke of HIs disciples being one in Him even as He and the Father are one.

 

In cherry picking verses from the Book of Mormon, you are engaging in the same vain pursuit that others have tried: that is, you are attempting to superimpose upon the Book of Mormon  a frame of reference drawn from sectarian dogma. It hasn't worked before; it won't work now.

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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Except this account WAS written many years later, after he had founded the church, translated the BoM, Bible and had the priesthood restored.

He wasn't some theological novice in 1832. He was 26 and 12 years after vision. By 1832 he had also dictated dozens of modern revelations.

canard78, please see my immediate past post, wherein I responded to omni on this.

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Yes, actually.

 

One of the worst mistakes one can make when approaching historical issues to is practise 'shouldism'.

 

Couldn't any judgement of an historical figure's actions be explained away as "shouldism" or the ever-popular "presentism"?

 

 In this case, you are basically asserting that Joseph should have understood in 1832 the nearly 2,000-year historical context of his personal experience, that he should have simultaneously understood fully its theological implications, that he should have seen his experience as radically at odds with creedal Christian teachings

 

 

Yes!  Though uneducated, Joseph was an intelligent man who by this time was spiritually and theologically mature well beyond his years. He was more than capable of realizing that seeing God and Jesus were seperate beings with physical bodies went against much of creedal Christianity.

 

also that he should have somehow understood that 181 years after the fact you personally would have decided for him what the 'most important detail' in his experience was

 

 

I've heard it described multiple times in church as the most important thing Joseph learned from the FV, but even if one disagrees with assessment it is indisputable that it was important.  It would be like if God visited me and instead of being an older male, it turns out she's a young girl.  It would extremely odd for me not to mention this detail because growing up in the church we've always thought of God as an older male figure.

 

Stephen at his martyrdom had seen 'the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing on the right hand of God', and yet this passage in the New Testament had not challenged 'the foundations of Christian thinking'

 

 

I believe most traditional Christians interpret this as metaphor of Jesus supporting the Father.

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Thanks for the summary. I'm taking the kids out for the night to one of those bounce houses, but I'll try to tackle the rest of the paper tomorrow.

 

Uh..... this is not twitter.

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Couldn't any judgement of an historical figure's actions be explained away as "shouldism" or the ever-popular "presentism"?

 

Only if such judgment is warranted. It is not in every case.

I believe most traditional Christians interpret this as metaphor of Jesus supporting the Father.

 

"Most traditional Christians" are saddled with hundreds of years of Hellenistic dogma. Presumably, we as Latter-day Saints don't have that baggage to deal with.

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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CFR that Joseph, as a 14-year-old, grasped nebulous theological concepts well enough to understand this.

 

See above about Joseph's alleged understanding of complicated theological concepts.

 

Joseph writes that he had considered and realising the following significant doctrines between the age of 12 and 15 (or 14). That's some impressive deep theological thought for a 12 year old. I've underlined some of the key highlights.

 

- He is concerned about the welfare of his soul

- He has already realised the mankind had apostatised from the true and living faith and that no denomination built on the Gospel of Jesus Christ (before his vision)

- He sees the consistency and unchangeable nature of God

- He sees the heavens, earth and life upon as paying homage to their creator, and made in His likeness

- He considers God to be an Omnipotant and Omnipresent power who fills space and eternity

- He considers God to be the maker and binder of laws

- He seeks mercy and seeks to worship this being in spirit and truths and cries to him

 

At about the age of twelve years my mind become seriously imprest with regard to the all importent concerns of for the well fare of my immortal Soul which led me to searching the scriptures believeing as I was taught, that  they contained the word of God thus applying myself to them and my intimate acquaintance  with those of differant denominations led me to  marvel excedingly for I discovered that <they did not adorn> instead of  adorning their profession by a holy walk and Godly conversation agreeable to what I found contained in that sacred depository this was a grief to my Soul thus from the age of twelve years to fifteen I pondered many things in my heart  concerning the sittuation of the world of mankind  the contentions and divi[si]ons the wicke[d]ness and  abominations and the darkness which pervaded the of the minds of mankind my mind become  excedingly distressed for I become convicted of my  sins and by searching the scriptures I found  that mand <mankind> did not come unto the Lord but that  they had apostatised from the true and liveing  faith and there was no society or denomination  that built upon the gospel of Jesus Christ as  recorded in the new testament and I felt to mourn  for my own sins and for the sins of the world for I learned in the scriptures that God was the same yesterday to day and forever that he was  no respecter to persons for he was God for I  looked upon the sun the glorious luminary of the earth and also the moon rolling in their  magesty through the heavens and also the stars  shining in their courses and the earth also upon whic h I stood and the beast of the field and the fowls of heaven and the fish of the waters and also man walking  forth upon the face of the earth in magesty and in  the strength of beauty whose power and intiligence  in governing the things which are so exceding great and [p. 2]marvilous even in the likeness of him who created him <them> and when I considered upon these things my heart exclai med well hath the wise man said the <it is a> fool <that> saith in  his heart there is no God my heart exclaimed all all  these bear testimony and bespeak an omnipotant  and omnipreasant power a being who makith Laws and  decreeeth and bindeth all things in their bounds who  filleth Eternity who was and is and will be from all  Eternity to Eternity...  and when <I> considered all these things  and that <that> being seeketh such to worshep him as wors hip him in spirit and in truth therefore I cried unto  the Lord for mercy for there was none else to whom I could go and  to obtain mercy and the Lord heard my cry in the wilderne ss and while in <the> attitude of calling upon the Lord <in the 16th year of my age> a piller of  fire light above the brightness of the sun at noon day  come down from above and rested upon me and I was filled  with the spirit of god and the <Lord> opened the heavens upon  me and I saw the Lord...

 

That's not the thought process of an ordinary 12-13 year old boy. He clearly had thought long and deep about the nature of God and had already concluded that all churches were wrong before he'd even made his prayer. He also sees God as filling space and time. Omnipotent and omnipresent.

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Joseph writes that he had considered and realising the following significant doctrines between the age of 12 and 15 (or 14). That's some impressive deep theological thought for a 12 year old. I've underlined some of the key highlights.

 

- He is concerned about the welfare of his soul

- He has already realised the mankind had apostatised from the true and living faith and that no denomination built on the Gospel of Jesus Christ (before his vision)

- He sees the consistency and unchangeable nature of God

- He sees the heavens, earth and life upon as paying homage to their creator, and made in His likeness

- He considers God to be an Omnipotant and Omnipresent power who fills space and eternity

- He considers God to be the maker and binder of laws

- He seeks mercy and seeks to worship this being in spirit and truths and cries to him

 

 

That's not the thought process of an ordinary 12-13 year old boy. He clearly had thought long and deep about the nature of God and had already concluded that all churches were wrong before he'd even made his prayer. He also sees God as filling space and time. Omnipotent and omnipresent.

In your quoted passage, he speaks of these being things that he "learned from the scriptures." I don't concede that scripture study alone yields the Hellenized dogma of creedal Christianity.

 

Also, the 1820 condition Joseph described was not that of various sects being united under the same doctrinal or theological principles. On the contrary, what he described was a setting in which "the teachers of religion understood the same passages of scripture so differently as to destroy all confidence in settling the question by an appeal to the Bible" (Joseph Smith -- History 1:12).

Edited by Scott Lloyd
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Believe it or not, I do have a life outside of this board.

I think his point was that you don't need to tell us about it. 

 

I've got this image in my mind now of your kids bouncing around in some house.  Hopefully it will go away soon.

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I think it's the TMI* thing so characteristic of Twitter.

 

*Too much information.

Well, there go half my posts then.....

Edited by calmoriah
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In cherry picking verses from the Book of Mormon, you are engaging in the same vain pursuit that others have tried: that is, you are attempting to superimpose upon the Book of Mormon a frame of reference drawn from sectarian dogma. It hasn't worked before; it won't work now.

I wasn't cherry picking, you asked for an example and I gave you four. If you'd like a more comprehensive list try these:

2 Nephi 31:21

21 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the away; and there is bnone other way nor cname given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the ddoctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of theeFather, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is fone God, without end. Amen.

Mormon 7:7

And he hath brought to pass the aredemption of the bworld, whereby he that is found cguiltless before him at the judgment day hath it given unto him to ddwell in the presence of God in his kingdom, to sing ceaseless praises with the echoirs above, unto the Father, and unto the Son, and unto the Holy Ghost, which arefone God, in a state of ghappiness which hath no end.

Mosiah 15: 1-5

And now Abinadi said unto them: I would that ye should understand that aGod himself shall bcome down among the children of men, and shall credeem his people.

2 And because he adwelleth in bflesh he shall be called the cSon of God, and having subjected the flesh to the dwill of the eFather, being the Father and the Son—

3 The Father, abecause he was bconceived by the power of God; and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and Son—

4 And they are aone God, yea, the very bEternal cFather of heaven and of earth.

5 And thus the flesh becoming subject to the Spirit, or the Son to the Father, being one God, asuffereth temptation, and yieldeth not to the temptation, but suffereth himself to be mocked, andbscourged, and cast out, and disowned by his cpeople.

3 Nephi 11:27

27 And after this manner shall ye abaptize in my name; for behold, verily I say unto you, that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost are bone; and I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one.

Ether 3:14

Behold, I am he who was aprepared from the foundation of the world to bredeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am thecFather and the Son. In me shall all mankind have dlife, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name; and they shall become my esons and my daughters.

Now granted none of these explicitly state 'The Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are of one substance", however I'm not aware of any scripture that explicitly states they are not of one substance. I'm sure you can go through each one and interpret it as it being metaphorical, and that they are "one in purpose" or "Father of divine authority"--such is the nature of scripture, it is beholden to a multitude of interpretations.

This brings us to a another question, why would God inspire his prophets to use such confusing descriptions of the Godhead? One in which 99% of the Christian world disagree with.

Edited by omni
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I think his point was that you don't need to tell us about it. 

 

I've got this image in my mind now of your kids bouncing around in some house.  Hopefully it will go away soon.

 

Wow, apparently mentioning an innocuous sentence about my kids is too much for some to bare.  

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Wow, apparently mentioning an innocuous sentence about my kids is too much for some to bare.  

It's kinda funny, actually, but still it's a thought I would rather not be having right now.  I'm sensitive to thoughts, I think.

 

When someone says something I can't help but think about it and there are some things I would just rather not think about.

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    • By kiwi57
      In a now-defunct thread, I pointed out that the only evidence for the accusation that anyone had ever tried to "hide" the 1832 First Vision account was the mere fact that it hadn't been published. I argued from this that there was an implicit assumption on the part of the accusers that non-publication was always intentional, and that "hiding" was the intention that drove it.
      In reality, non-publication is rarely intentional at all; it is the default. Most written accounts never get published. But that is by the way.
      In response, my interlocutor claimed that there were all kinds of reasons why the 1832 account needed to be hidden. Now this isn't really a response to my argument. The fact that in the opinion of some person A some document might be problematic, doesn't even begin to approach evidence that some other person B either agrees, or if s/he does, finds the problems sufficient motivation to "hide" the document. It's rather like saying that since in my opinion Trump shouldn't grope women, Trump must not have actually ever done so.
      Thus, the argument as it stands is settled. The question at had is whether there is any evidence, apart from mere non-publication (and a garbled hearsay story, heavily larded with speculation, about what Joseph Fielding Smith may or may not have done with it) that anyone tried to "hide" the 1832 account; and the answer is no. Whether one person believes (or wishes) that the 1832 account creates problems for the Church's truth claims is not evidence of any kind about another person's actions.
      With that out of the way, though, the question is an interesting one: Does the 1832 account create problem for the Church's truth claims?
      I don't think it does, but I'd be interested to know what others think.
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