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Questions about the "origin" of God in LDS theology


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It has been said by various "prophets" of the LDS Church (Brighamite Branch; the Church that followed Brigham Young) that god was not always God, that He was a man at one point who became God. In traditional Christian theology (and in the Old and New Testaments), this contradicts the belief that God the Father has always been God, that He has never had an "origin". How do Mormon scholars and theologians address this, as it appears to be a contradiction between Mormon theology and biblical theology? I in no way am trying to begin debate, simply asking an honest question so as to understand.

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It has been said by various "prophets" of the LDS Church (Brighamite Branch; the Church that followed Brigham Young) that god was not always God, that He was a man at one point who became God. In traditional Christian theology (and in the Old and New Testaments), this contradicts the belief that God the Father has always been God, that He has never had an "origin". How do Mormon scholars and theologians address this, as it appears to be a contradiction between Mormon theology and biblical theology? I in no way am trying to begin debate, simply asking an honest question so as to understand.

You are correct that the Bible teaches one God, no beginning and no end, unchangeable.  This is just one of the many differences from the "god" of our LDS friends. I too am confused as to the origin of the LDS god. I know that he once was a man....and before that an "intelligence" that was organized somehow.   Maybe there is an article out there that could explain it better for both of us?  Thanks.  

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You could also do some reading here. Specifically read the section labeled 4. God's Immutability and Timelessness.

I'll take your statement that you're simply asking an honest question and mean us no ill, but please understand you have used some terminology and writing techniques that fly in the face of your assertion. Let me help you out.

If you mean to approach us in good faith, when you refer to our prophets don't put the term in quotes. It's offensive. To us these men are genuine prophets, not bogus "prophets."

Also in the realm of quotes, don't ball-park a bible reference and surround it with quotes when that reference doesn't exactly exist. Your "quote" from the NKJV/KJV simply isn't there. If you mean to reference Isaiah 43:10, just do that. We'll understand. Some of us might point you here.

Finally, referring to us as Brighamites makes no more sense than referring to you, an Orthodox Christian, as a Roman Catholic. I've been called a lot of things in my life as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but "Brighamite" hasn't been one of them. ;)

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I don't know how true, but heard today that many LDS scholars compare our belief of man becoming God to that of the Greek Orthodox belief and state it as if they align, but apparently that isn't the case, according to this blog.  https://rogerdhansen.wordpress.com/2012/01/12/theosis-mormonism-vs-eastern-orthodoxy/  C/P below...

In Mormonism, theosis is literally the belief that humans can become gods through the process of eternal progression.  Theosis for Mormons is a process more than an event.  According to Mormon Apostle James E. Talmage in his book The Articles of Faith (p. 430):

We believe in a God who is Himself progressive, whose majesty is intelligence; whose perfection consists in eternal advancement–a Being who has attained His exalted state by a path which now His children are permitted to follow, who glory it is their heritage to share.”

With the Mormon belief in eternal progression, both God and man are progressing for the eternities.  As one Mormon critic described it:  we are, “with respect to knowledge and power on a divine escalator.”  This belief is consistent with the teachings of Joseph Smith (late in his life), and particularly Brigham Young.

Members of the Eastern Orthodox Church are uncomfortable with the Mormon concept of theosis.  Ironically, in an effort to be historically grounded, Mormon scholars use many of the same patristic (early Christian) sources to defend their version of theosis as do the Orthodox.  Mormon scholar feel that the doctrine of the divination of man (man may become a literal god) is not the exclusive teaching of the modern-day LDS Church.  Rather, it can be found in early Christian history.  For example, St. Athanasius stated “The Word was made flesh in order that we might be enabled to be made gods. . .”  According toOrthodoxWiki

Some Mormons suggest that discussions of theosis by early Church Fathers show an early belief in the Mormon concept of deification, although they disagree with much of the other theology of the same Church fathers, most notably the doctrine of the Trinity.

Richard and Joan Ostling, in their book Mormon America, examined the issue and came to the following conclusion:

It seems clear that support for the Mormon doctrines of a corporeal and limited God, eternal progress, and deification cannot be found in Eastern Orthodoxy, the early church fathers, or the twentieth-century writings of C.S. Lewis (p. 313).

Since the Ostlings (non-Mormon journalists) received generally favorable reviews on their book from both Mormons and non-Mormons, they might be considered neutral parties in this discussion.

However, Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev on the website Orthodox Christianity lists five characteristics of the Orthodox belief in theosis:

  • Deification of the human nature is possible because of the Incarnation of God
  • Human body takes full part in the process of deification and is deified along with the soul.
  • The church sacraments, baptism and the eucharist, are among the most important means for deification.
  • Deification is anticipated and begun here on earth, but is fully realized in the afterlife.
  • Deification is closely connected with a personal mystical experience with the vision of the divine uncreated light.

I don’t think Mormons would disagree with any of these five points.  The only difference is in the end result.  Mormons appear to have a more expansive view of an individual’s potential in the eternities.

If one assumes that what was given at the time of Christ was essentially what the people at that time were able to culturally grasp, then maybe it doesn’t matter if there are deep historical roots to the Mormon belief in theosis.

Edited by Tacenda
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6 hours ago, Joachim033 said:

It has been said by various "prophets" of the LDS Church (Brighamite Branch; the Church that followed Brigham Young) that god was not always God, that He was a man at one point who became God. In traditional Christian theology (and in the Old and New Testaments), this contradicts the belief that God the Father has always been God, that He has never had an "origin". How do Mormon scholars and theologians address this, as it appears to be a contradiction between Mormon theology and biblical theology? I in no way am trying to begin debate, simply asking an honest question so as to understand.

 

5 hours ago, snowflake said:

You are correct that the Bible teaches one God, no beginning and no end, unchangeable. 

Here is the flaw - the misinterpretation of the Bible.
But Social hall is not the place.  Maybe the Mods would be nice and move it to the main forum so you can discuss it without getting it locked.

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