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The uniqueness of the LDS Church


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I have a question about this Ensign article.

The uniqueness of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rests upon 
several basic principles and ordinances that the world has long forsaken in 
whole or in part. These unique features are taught in the Bible, but through
misinterpretation and misunderstanding they have been gradually deleted from 
the tenets of modern Christianity.

The most important principle, of course, is acceptance of Jesus Christ as the 
literal Son of God and the Savior of the world.

Since this teaching (referred to as the "most important principle") is found in 
the Bible, how does the Book of Mormon explain the phrase "literal Son of God" 
differently than how non-LDS churches believe Jesus is the Only Begotten of the 
Father?  Or is the different understanding of "literal Son of God" also missing 
from the Book of Mormon?

Jim

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I'd have to do a search of the BoM but I don't recall the phrase "literal son of God" appearing. I could be wrong.

I think there could be some disagreement about what "literal" means. I think most denominations would state that Jesus is the literal son of God but might define "literal" in different ways and probably depends a little on how a denomination defines "begotten".

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8 minutes ago, theplains said:

I have a question about this Ensign article.

The uniqueness of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rests upon 
several basic principles and ordinances that the world has long forsaken in 
whole or in part. These unique features are taught in the Bible, but through
misinterpretation and misunderstanding they have been gradually deleted from 
the tenets of modern Christianity.

The most important principle, of course, is acceptance of Jesus Christ as the 
literal Son of God and the Savior of the world.

Since this teaching (referred to as the "most important principle") is found in 
the Bible, how does the Book of Mormon explain the phrase "literal Son of God" 
differently than how non-LDS churches believe Jesus is the Only Begotten of the 
Father?  Or is the different understanding of "literal Son of God" also missing 
from the Book of Mormon?

Jim

The difference is not necessarily what is in the Bible vs the Book of Mormon, but rather interpretations by different faiths for what it means that Christ is the Son of God. Both books are pretty clear that Christ is the son of God.

The obvious being that we believe the two are completely separate beings, that Christ is not a manifestation of our Heavenly Father, but rather is literal only begotten son. Things get a little more confusing when you learn that Jehovah is the pre-mortal a Christ. Then it gets one step further into the confusion when you ask “What does God, our Heavenly Father, even do?”

from what I have found, Heavenly Father does three things. (1) introduces Christ, (2) receives our prayers, and (3) delegates the work of salvation.

Mosiah 15, in the Book of Mormon, is a somewhat confusing chapter for traditional Christian’s to understand that l explains how Christ is both the father and the son. You can check it outbid you would like. 

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36 minutes ago, theplains said:

I have a question about this Ensign article.

The uniqueness of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rests upon 
several basic principles and ordinances that the world has long forsaken in 
whole or in part. These unique features are taught in the Bible, but through
misinterpretation and misunderstanding they have been gradually deleted from 
the tenets of modern Christianity.

The most important principle, of course, is acceptance of Jesus Christ as the 
literal Son of God and the Savior of the world.

Since this teaching (referred to as the "most important principle") is found in 
the Bible, how does the Book of Mormon explain the phrase "literal Son of God" 
differently than how non-LDS churches believe Jesus is the Only Begotten of the 
Father?  Or is the different understanding of "literal Son of God" also missing 
from the Book of Mormon?

Jim

The Book of Mormon uses the phrase, "mine Only Begotten Son," which the Bible does not (see Alma 12). The Father revealed His plan in the beginning, using these words, either directly or by divine investiture of authority. This minor difference is enough to establish that the Father, by His own admission and dictate, is the literal Father of Jesus Christ in the flesh, additional details concerning which are to be found in other parts of the Book of Mormon.

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17 hours ago, theplains said:

I have a question about this Ensign article.

The uniqueness of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints rests upon 
several basic principles and ordinances that the world has long forsaken in 
whole or in part. These unique features are taught in the Bible, but through
misinterpretation and misunderstanding they have been gradually deleted from 
the tenets of modern Christianity.

The most important principle, of course, is acceptance of Jesus Christ as the 
literal Son of God and the Savior of the world.

Since this teaching (referred to as the "most important principle") is found in 
the Bible, how does the Book of Mormon explain the phrase "literal Son of God" 
differently than how non-LDS churches believe Jesus is the Only Begotten of the 
Father?  Or is the different understanding of "literal Son of God" also missing 
from the Book of Mormon?

Jim

Everyone else uses Yahweh/Jehovah to refer to the Father or the Trinity instead of the Son and thus they are all going to hell.

I may or may not be serious.

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20 hours ago, HappyJackWagon said:

I'd have to do a search of the BoM but I don't recall the phrase "literal son of God" appearing. I could be wrong.

I think there could be some disagreement about what "literal" means. I think most denominations would state that Jesus is the literal son of God but might define "literal" in different ways and probably depends a little on how a denomination defines "begotten".

Sorry, but the notion that "literal" can be interpreted differently literally strikes me as a contradiction.

😮

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If I might be so bold, it seems to me that the only way a male child can truly be said to be the literal son of anyone is if a sperm from a father fertilizes an egg from the child’s literal mother. Therefore it boils down to this simple issue: was the body of the infant Lord created in the usual way or is he the only child ever born on earth who was somehow conceived without a sperm cell from a father?

I’ve never heard this painfully obvious issue discussed, and perhaps rightly so because the subject may very well be too sensitive and sacred. Nevertheless, if the Lord was conceived without the usual literal fertilizing agent from a literal father, how can he be considered to be the literal son of God? And if his body was indeed created without a sperm, it might also be correctly be said that half of his body has no genetic ancestry, with no paternal grandparents, no paternal great grandparents, etc.

But it’s also possible that if God knows some way to impregnate a woman without a sperm from a literal father, he has the power and authority to declare such a being to be his literal son because he was the creator who made the conception without a literal sperm cell from a father possible.

I hope this doesn’t open a can of worms, but the subject does appear to be the proverbial 900 pound gorilla in the room that no one — at least up until now —  wants to acknowledge exists.

if the mods think I’ve stepped over the line with this post, I’ll back out of the thread without making anymore comments.

Edited by teddyaware
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23 minutes ago, teddyaware said:

If I might be so bold, it seems to me that the only way a male child can truly be said to be the literal son of anyone is if a sperm from a father fertilizes an egg from the child’s literal mother. Therefore it boils down to this simple issue: was the body of the infant Lord created in the usual way or is he the only child ever born on earth who was somehow conceived without a sperm cell from a father?

I’ve never heard this painfully obvious issue discussed, and perhaps rightly so because the subject may very well be too sensitive and sacred. Nevertheless, if the Lord was conceived without the usual literal fertilizing agent from a literal father, how can he be considered to be the literal son of God? And if his body was indeed created without a sperm, it might also be correctly be said that half of his body has no genetic ancestry, with no paternal grandparents, no paternal great grandparents, etc.

But it’s also possible that if God knows some way to impregnate a woman without a sperm from a literal father, he has the power and authority to declare such a being to be his literal son because he was the creator who made the conception without a literal sperm cell from a father possible.

I hope this doesn’t open a can of worms, but the subject does appear to be the proverbial 900 pound gorilla in the room that no one — at least up until now —  wants to acknowledge exists.

if the mods think I’ve stepped over the line with this post, I’ll back out of the thread without making anymore comments.

That depends on what you're looking at.  Jesus is the firstborn spirit son of God (D&C 93) and the only begotten son of God in the flesh (JST John 1 13-14).  Adam was created from dust.   I'm comfortable not having the specifics of how Mary conceived.

Edited by BRMC
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3 hours ago, The Nehor said:

Everyone else uses Yahweh/Jehovah to refer to the Father or the Trinity instead of the Son and thus they are all going to hell.

I may or may not be serious.

We Latter-day Saints also use the name Yahweh/Jehovah to refer to the Father.

Modern LDS thought tends to limit the name Jehovah to Jesus Christ, but Joseph Smith and our scriptures apply the name Jehovah to the Father (and Jesus Christ).

 

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13 minutes ago, BRMC said:

That depends on what you're looking at.  Jesus is the firstborn spirit son of God (D&C 93) and the only begotten son of God in the flesh (JST John 1 13-14).  Adam was created from dust.   I'm comfortable not having the specifics of how Mary 

An important clue to consider in the midst of this mystery is that God the Father has a body of flesh and bone, a body that I’m sure is anatomically correct, complete, and fully functional. This being the case, the idea of literal fatherhood through, for instance, in vitro fertilization is not out of the question.

By the way, some of the early leaders of the restoration believed the saying that Adam was made from the dust of the earth is a figurative expression used to disguise the fact that Adam’s body was made just like any other body, the offspring of a father and a mother. And when you think of it, everyone of us is created from the dust from the earth, are we not? The Bible even teaches that we are dust, yet we are all born of a father and a mother.

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If I may, I would like to clarify something that is being said here. I am sure that our own Brother Smith could explain it better. The Hebrew derivative word that has become our Jehovah is used to refer specifically to Christ by all Christians, LDS and non-LDS. The idea that "Everyone else uses Yahweh/Jehovah to refer to the Father or the Trinity" is simply not true.

Just two quick examples from familiar passages out of scores in the Bible - Psalm 23:1 "The Lord is my shepherd I shall not want." The word Lord (Adonai) was used since the Exile in the place of the Hebrew YHWH from which we get our word Jehovah (Yahweh). Who does the Psalm refer to? I know of no one who does not believe it refers prophetically to Christ. The word Lord (Adonai) is a title not a name, used in the place of the sacred YHWH. Son of man and Son of God are titles, not names.  Jesus and Immanuel are names. Adonai was used in the place of YHWH because of the sacrality of that term. All over the Bible Jehovah = Adonai or Lord = Christ.

Isaiah 10:20 refers to Jehovah as the Lord, the Holy One of Israel. Peter in his sermon in Acts 3:13 and 14 quotes this same phrase from Isaiah 10 to clearly refer to Christ. There are many distinctions and uniquenesses in the LDS faith. Understanding Jehovah (Yahweh) to often refer to Christ is not one of them.

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3 hours ago, BRMC said:

That depends on what you're looking at.  Jesus is the firstborn spirit son of God (D&C 93) and the only begotten son of God in the flesh (JST John 1 13-14).  Adam was created from dust.   I'm comfortable not having the specifics of how Mary conceived.

wow!  We agree on something!

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11 minutes ago, Teancum said:

wow!  We agree on something!

We probably agree on many things.   This forum and the discussions I have on it are a tiny slice of the pie that is me.  I think people, in general, forget that when interacting online.

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7 hours ago, MacGyver said:

We Latter-day Saints also use the name Yahweh/Jehovah to refer to the Father.

Modern LDS thought tends to limit the name Jehovah to Jesus Christ, but Joseph Smith and our scriptures apply the name Jehovah to the Father (and Jesus Christ).

 

The "royal we".

Perhaps some LDS (including you) use Yahweh/Jehovah to refer to the father, but I think you would be in the minority. Perhaps you are confused by the way Yahweh & Jehovah are referred to as the Father, but it is still Jesus in his role as father, not THE Father.

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Can anyone show where the Book of Mormon explicitly states that there are distinct Persons in the Godhead? Mosiah 15:1-4, Mosiah 16:15, and Alma 11:38-39 all seem to indicate that Jesus and the Father are the very same Person. 1 Nephi 11:26-27 and 2 Nephi 11:7 also support that theology. Furthermore, 2 Nephi 31:21 and the Testimony of 3 witnesses state that the Godhead is "one God", not three. The doctrine that the Godhead is one Person who operates in three modes is called Modalism. (See the Wikipedia article on Modalism.) Contrary to common belief among LDS, modalism is considered heresy by mainstream Bible-believing Christians. (Again, see the Wikipedia article.) It is also considered heretical by LDS. But the Book Mormon seems to support it, while failing to provide support for a three Person Godhead. On the other hand, the Bible clearly teaches that the Godhead (or Trinity as it is called by non-LDS) is composed of three distinct Persons. (It is true that many people who call themselves Christians do not study the Bible, and therefore believe in modalism out of ignorance.)

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26 minutes ago, StandForever said:

Can anyone show where the Book of Mormon explicitly states that there are distinct Persons in the Godhead? Mosiah 15:1-4, Mosiah 16:15, and Alma 11:38-39 all seem to indicate that Jesus and the Father are the very same Person. 1 Nephi 11:26-27 and 2 Nephi 11:7 also support that theology. Furthermore, 2 Nephi 31:21 and the Testimony of 3 witnesses state that the Godhead is "one God", not three. The doctrine that the Godhead is one Person who operates in three modes is called Modalism. (See the Wikipedia article on Modalism.) Contrary to common belief among LDS, modalism is considered heresy by mainstream Bible-believing Christians. (Again, see the Wikipedia article.) It is also considered heretical by LDS. But the Book Mormon seems to support it, while failing to provide support for a three Person Godhead. On the other hand, the Bible clearly teaches that the Godhead (or Trinity as it is called by non-LDS) is composed of three distinct Persons. (It is true that many people who call themselves Christians do not study the Bible, and therefore believe in modalism out of ignorance.)

In 1 Nephi 1, Lehi sees God the Father sitting on the throne of his power as he’s being worshipped by the hosts of heaven. The the preexistent Savior and his disciples then appear on the scene as the Savior gives Lehi a prophetic book to read that pronounces cursings on Jerusalem unless it’s inhabitants repent. Clearly, in Lehi’s first vision (a coincidence?) the Father and the Son are presented as two separate personages in human form. Later on in the Book of Mormon, in Alma 36, Alma also sees God the Father seated on a throne in the form of a man, not as an “immaterial” entity without body, parts and passions.

Edited by teddyaware
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10 hours ago, teddyaware said:

If I might be so bold, it seems to me that the only way a male child can truly be said to be the literal son of anyone is if a sperm from a father fertilizes an egg from the child’s literal mother. Therefore it boils down to this simple issue: was the body of the infant Lord created in the usual way or is he the only child ever born on earth who was somehow conceived without a sperm cell from a father?

I’ve never heard this painfully obvious issue discussed, and perhaps rightly so because the subject may very well be too sensitive and sacred. Nevertheless, if the Lord was conceived without the usual literal fertilizing agent from a literal father, how can he be considered to be the literal son of God? And if his body was indeed created without a sperm, it might also be correctly be said that half of his body has no genetic ancestry, with no paternal grandparents, no paternal great grandparents, etc.

But it’s also possible that if God knows some way to impregnate a woman without a sperm from a literal father, he has the power and authority to declare such a being to be his literal son because he was the creator who made the conception without a literal sperm cell from a father possible.

I hope this doesn’t open a can of worms, but the subject does appear to be the proverbial 900 pound gorilla in the room that no one — at least up until now —  wants to acknowledge exists.

if the mods think I’ve stepped over the line with this post, I’ll back out of the thread without making anymore comments.

I have heard it discussed. It never goes well.

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10 hours ago, MacGyver said:

We Latter-day Saints also use the name Yahweh/Jehovah to refer to the Father.

Modern LDS thought tends to limit the name Jehovah to Jesus Christ, but Joseph Smith and our scriptures apply the name Jehovah to the Father (and Jesus Christ).

I know.

I was fooling around. I take the ‘Jesus is God in the Old Testament’ only to mean that the Son was the figure that generally appeared in the rare cases of people seeing God in the Old Testament and does not mean the Father was absent.

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In my experience, many people picture in their mind Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ as two separate beings with bodies that look like ours irregardless of what their religion's official doctrine says. Plenty of individuals and some religions have taught at times that Jesus is the literal son of Heavenly Father.  The early church fathers argued about it for hundreds of years and fought battles over the question.

Nothing in the Bible nor Book of Mormon specifically clarifies that Christ is literally the son of Heavenly Father as I am the son of my father.  However  with modern revelation and guidance from apostles and prophets, it seems so logical and members see all the hints as backing up this belief.  I am pretty sure you could get plenty of argument from theologians who believe otherwise about what the Bible and Book of Mormon teach.

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2 hours ago, StandForever said:

Can anyone show where the Book of Mormon explicitly states that there are distinct Persons in the Godhead? Mosiah 15:1-4, Mosiah 16:15, and Alma 11:38-39 all seem to indicate that Jesus and the Father are the very same Person. 1 Nephi 11:26-27 and 2 Nephi 11:7 also support that theology. Furthermore, 2 Nephi 31:21 and the Testimony of 3 witnesses state that the Godhead is "one God", not three. The doctrine that the Godhead is one Person who operates in three modes is called Modalism. (See the Wikipedia article on Modalism.) Contrary to common belief among LDS, modalism is considered heresy by mainstream Bible-believing Christians. (Again, see the Wikipedia article.) It is also considered heretical by LDS. But the Book Mormon seems to support it, while failing to provide support for a three Person Godhead. On the other hand, the Bible clearly teaches that the Godhead (or Trinity as it is called by non-LDS) is composed of three distinct Persons. (It is true that many people who call themselves Christians do not study the Bible, and therefore believe in modalism out of ignorance.)

The doctrine of the godhead was a developing theology.  The BoM (1830) espoused trinitarianism as the scriptures in your post show.  JS's earliest first vision account (1832) states that he saw the lord.  A few years later, in Lecture 5 of the Lectures on Faith (1835), JS stated that God the Father "is a personage of spirit". 

It wasn't until the Nauvoo period (~1840) that JS announced The plurality of Gods doctrine. Including God the Father and God the Son as embodied and God the Holy Ghost as a personage of spirit. The first vision account was changed in 1838 to include two personages, God and Jesus.

The next evolution came from BY was Brigham Young’s Adam-God view, which he taught for over twenty years, including the lecture at the vail he gave in the St. George temple in 1977.  This teaching was controversial, and many members, including some of the Q12 refused to believe it.  After BY’s death,  this teaching quietly disappeared.

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