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The uniqueness of the LDS Church


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4 hours ago, marineland said:

I understand what you mean by God becoming "our" God; through some marriage with a woman
who herself became a God - they had spirit children.

No, that's not what I mean at all.  You keep misconstruing the meaning.   God offered us a plan, we accepted.  That's how God came to be our God.  We existed with him prior to that point, but he was always the greatest of all.

4 hours ago, marineland said:

But Joseph Smith generally laid out how Heavenly Father became a God before he became "our" God.

When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top
and so it is with the principles of the Gospel—you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the 
principles of exaltation. But it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil [died] before you will 
have learned them
. It is not all to be comprehended in this world; it will be a great work to learn our salvation 
and exaltation even beyond the grave.  This is the way our Heavenly Father became God.

This fake quotation has been addressed multiple times in this thread (here and here by me, and here by Calm).   The red part of the statement is not a quotation from Joseph Smith, but it's an edited quotation from Gospel Principles, chapter 47, p. 305, but made to appear as a single quotation from Joseph Smith and copied from one of two publications by Vincent Poldrugovac (here or here).

The statement "This is the way our Heavenly Father became God" is editorial commentary from the 1997 Gospel Principles manual, and it's not a statement from Joseph Smith.  And the editorial commentary doesn't give the complete picture, because the process that Joseph described can only be understood in the complete context of his King Follet Discourse.  In that discourse he described God's plan for man to advance in knowledge (as described in the "When you climb up a ladder" portion of the quotation above) and he also explained in the same sermon that God himself was "more intelligent" than the other spirits around him (just like it says in Abraham 3).   I quoted that in my prior posts (here and here), and included again below 

"The first principles of man are self-existent with God. God himself, finding he was in the midst of spirits and glory, because he was more intelligent, saw proper to institute laws whereby the rest could have a privilege to advance like himself. The relationship we have with God places us in a situation to advance in knowledge.  He has power to institute laws to instruct the weaker intelligences, that they may be exalted with himself, so that they might have one glory upon another, and all that knowledge, power, glory, and intelligence, which is requisite in order to save them in the world of spirits".

This is the part that doesn't fit with your narrative, but it is clearly an important part of what Joseph Smith was teaching that day.  

Edit to add:   In my prior post to you I asked you to provide a source where Joseph Smith ever said that God "was not God from everlasting to everlasting".  Is there such a source?  If not, then please say so.  And remember, his statement, "We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see." is not the same thing as saying he was "not God from everlasting to everlasting" (because "from everlasting" does not mean "from all eternity").

Edited by InCognitus
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On 11/16/2022 at 3:16 PM, InCognitus said:

This fake quotation has been addressed multiple times in this thread (here and here by me, and here by Calm).   The red part of the statement is not a quotation from Joseph Smith, but it's an edited quotation from Gospel Principles, chapter 47, p. 305, but made to appear as a single quotation from Joseph Smith and copied from one of two publications by Vincent Poldrugovac (here or here).

I attached the image below.  The manual is downloadable at https://archive.org/details/GospelPrinciples1997

On 11/16/2022 at 3:16 PM, InCognitus said:

Edit to add:   In my prior post to you I asked you to provide a source where Joseph Smith ever said that God "was not God from everlasting to everlasting".  Is there such a source? 

I interpret from eternity to eternity to be the same thing as from everlasting to everlasting.  Maybe you don't.

1997_gp_chp47.gif

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On 11/16/2022 at 3:16 PM, InCognitus said:

God offered us a plan, we accepted.  That's how God came to be our God.

According to what I understand from LDS teachings, Heavenly Father becomes "our God" when "we"
are born as spirit children to him and his heavenly wife (or wives).   Or maybe it should be more specific
like "Heavenly Father becomes our Father when we are spiritually born to him and a heavenly mother".
I see the two as equal.  Maybe you don't.

But you never explained if you believe Heavenly Father (your God) was once an eternal intelligence
who became a god (or God if the two are the same in the exaltation scheme of things).

The LDS Church teaches Jesus became a god in the premortal life. I'm just wondering what you believe
on how Heavenly Father became a god.

Edited by marineland
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4 minutes ago, marineland said:
On 11/16/2022 at 1:16 PM, InCognitus said:

This fake quotation has been addressed multiple times in this thread (here and here by me, and here by Calm).   The red part of the statement is not a quotation from Joseph Smith, but it's an edited quotation from Gospel Principles, chapter 47, p. 305, but made to appear as a single quotation from Joseph Smith and copied from one of two publications by Vincent Poldrugovac (here or here).

I attached the image below.  The manual is downloadable at https://archive.org/details/GospelPrinciples1997

I'm fully aware of what the manual says, but this is what you said:

On 11/16/2022 at 9:41 AM, marineland said:

But Joseph Smith generally laid out how Heavenly Father became a God before he became "our" God.

When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top
and so it is with the principles of the Gospel—you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the 
principles of exaltation. But it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil [died] before you will 
have learned them
. It is not all to be comprehended in this world; it will be a great work to learn our salvation 
and exaltation even beyond the grave.  This is the way our Heavenly Father became God.
 

You claimed (above and in your last post, and it was implied in your post here) that the entire quotation came from Joseph Smith, but it did not.  The blue portion came from the manual, and not Joseph Smith.    That's why it's a "fake quotation".   Compare what you posted above to the quote from the book by Vincent Poldrugovac (here or here), as shown on the left below, and compared to the manual image you posted:

image.jpeg.c555461633a4d0a94f5e31a6b7635fd9.jpeg1997_gp_chp47.gif

Notice that the Poldrugovac book (on the left) makes it appear that this entire quotation came from Joseph Smith just like you did in your post.  Were you copying that from the Poldrugovac book, or from the Gospel Principles manual?  If from the Gospel Principles manual, why did you make it seem like it was once long quotation and claim it was something that Joseph Smith said?  

45 minutes ago, marineland said:
On 11/16/2022 at 1:16 PM, InCognitus said:

Edit to add:   In my prior post to you I asked you to provide a source where Joseph Smith ever said that God "was not God from everlasting to everlasting".  Is there such a source? 

I interpret from eternity to eternity to be the same thing as from everlasting to everlasting.  Maybe you don't.

It's not just me, the Bible doesn't say that everlasting to everlasting means the same as from eternity to eternity.  It means "from age to age", as it says so in several translations.

As I explained previously in this thread (here and here, and here), the biblical phrase "everlasting to everlasting" doesn't mean what you think it means. The phrase does not mean always and forever (as you are trying to imply), but rather it means from a long time (age) in the past and to a long time (age) in the future.   The Youngs Literal Translation of Psalms 90:1-4 proves this: 

"[1]...Thou hast been, To us -- in generation and generation,  [2] Before mountains were brought forth, And Thou dost form the earth and the world, Even from age unto age Thou [art] God.  [3] Thou turnest man unto a bruised thing, And sayest, Turn back, ye sons of men.  [4] For a thousand years in Thine eyes [are] as yesterday, For it passeth on, yea, a watch by night."

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1 hour ago, marineland said:

According to what I understand from LDS teachings, Heavenly Father becomes "our God" when "we"
are born as spirit children to him and his heavenly wife (or wives).   Or maybe it should be more specific
like "Heavenly Father becomes our Father when we are spiritually born to him and a heavenly mother".
I see the two as equal.  Maybe you don't.

God the Father has always existed and we have always existed (spirits or intelligences have no beginning or end).  Abraham 3 teaches this, and so did Joseph Smith.  God the Father has always been greater than and more intelligent than all other spirits that have existed eternally.  Abraham 3 explains this as well.   Your version above doesn't seem to take this into account.  So that suggests to me that God has always been God in the sense that he has always been the greatest or most intelligent ("the God of all other gods before this world was" - D&C 121:32), but he "became" our God (as Joseph Smith taught) when we he showed us his plan that provides a way so that we can progress and become like him and we accepted his plan.  

1 hour ago, marineland said:

But you never explained if you believe Heavenly Father (your God) was once an eternal intelligence
who became a god (or God if the two are the same in the exaltation scheme of things).

I explained that several times, and I explained it again above.  

1 hour ago, marineland said:

The LDS Church teaches Jesus became a god in the premortal life. I'm just wondering what you believe
on how Heavenly Father became a god.

I explained that several times, and again above.

By the way, the early Christians also taught that Jesus became God in the premortal life, it's not just the LDS Church that teaches that.  For example, Origen wrote this about "IN WHAT WAY THE LOGOS IS GOD":

Quote

[T]here are many who are sincerely concerned about religion, and who fall here into great perplexity. They are afraid that they may be proclaiming two Gods, and their fear drives them into doctrines which are false and wicked. Either they deny that the Son has a distinct nature of His own besides that of the Father, and make Him whom they call the Son to be God all but the name, or they deny the divinity of the Son, giving Him a separate existence of His own, and making His sphere of essence fall outside that of the Father, so that they are separable from each other. To such persons we have to say that God on the one hand is Very God (Autotheos, God of Himself); and so the Saviour says in His prayer to the Father, "That they may know Thee the only true God;" but that all beyond the Very God is made God by participation in His divinity, and is not to be called simply God (with the article), but rather God (without article). And thus the first-born of all creation, who is the first to be with God, and to attract to Himself divinity, is a being of more exalted rank than the other gods beside Him, of whom God is the God, as it is written, "The God of gods, the Lord, hath spoken and called the earth." It was by the offices of the first-born that they became gods, for He drew from God in generous measure that they should be made gods, and He communicated it to them according to His own bounty. The true God, then, is "The God," and those who are formed after Him are gods, images, as it were, of Him the prototype. But the archetypal image, again, of all these images is the Word of God, who was in the beginning, and who by being with God is at all times God, not possessing that of Himself, but by His being with the Father, and not continuing to be God, if we should think of this, except by remaining always in uninterrupted contemplation of the depths of the Father.  (Origen, Commentary on the Gospel of John, Book II, 2)

Maybe you don't accept the early Christian teachings?

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On 11/21/2022 at 4:34 PM, marineland said:

According to what I understand from LDS teachings, Heavenly Father becomes "our God" when "we"
are born as spirit children to him and his heavenly wife (or wives).   Or maybe it should be more specific
like "Heavenly Father becomes our Father when we are spiritually born to him and a heavenly mother".
I see the two as equal.  Maybe you don't.

But you never explained if you believe Heavenly Father (your God) was once an eternal intelligence
who became a god (or God if the two are the same in the exaltation scheme of things).

The LDS Church teaches Jesus became a god in the premortal life. I'm just wondering what you believe
on how Heavenly Father became a god.

@theplains @InCognitus

Hello gentlemen,

I'm LDS like Incognitus but I have a different understanding from him.

For the matter of semantics, I believe "from eternity to eternity" means the same thing as
"from everlasting to everlasting" in the context of God's existence.

Yes. I believe Heavenly Father was once a man who became a God.  The same thing is true for
Heavenly Mother. In the analogy Joseph Smith used, he and she started at the bottom end of
the latter and progressed upwards until they reached the top.

theplains, marineland - you make a reference to the 1997 Gospel Principles. Heavenly Father's 
plan is simplified as follows:

All good things come from God. Everything that he does is
to help his children become like him—a god. He has said,
“Behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the
immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39).

The current version removes "a god".

I believe the plan of salvation with eternal progression is the same for all gods, before
and after even Heavenly Father and Mother became exalted to Gods themselves.

One aspect of "from everlasting to everlasting" can be found in the Doctrine and Covenants.

"By these things we a know that there is a God in heaven, who is infinite and eternal, from 
everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable God, the framer of heaven and earth, and all 
things which are in them; And that he created man, male and female, after his own image and 
in his own likeness, created he them
" (section 20:17-18, given around summer 1829).

So God is "God eternally, God from everlasting to everlasting, never not God".

This is different from Joseph Smith's later teaching that God is not God from eternity to
eternity and would agree with his other teaching that Heavenly Father became a God.  The 
church continues with the same theology (that Heavenly Father was once a man like us and is
an exalted man).  While I am a man (like Jesus was a man but as God-incarnate), I am not a 
man who is God.

Doctrine and Covenants 132:20 sets another tone for "everlasting to everlasting"

"Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting 
to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are 
subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have call power, and the angels are 
subject unto them
".

This means that our "everlasting to everlasting" Godhood time only begins when we are exalted
to Godhood.  So by extension, this would also confirm that Heavenly Father is not "God from
everlasting to everlasting".  The same applies to any other men or women that hope to be
exalted in the future if our theology is correct.  If not, I would say that I am in danger
of worshipping a false God.

Forgot to mention another thing. According to Abraham 3 in the Pearl of Great Price, we are
eternal beings (existing from eternity past) but we are not "gods from eternity to eternity"
nor "gods from everlasting to everlasting" when we were born to our heavenly parents long ago.

I hope this helps you understand some theology as coming from another Latter-day Saint.

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11 minutes ago, TheTanakas said:

The current version removes "a god".

The manual removed a lot of redundancy.  Also simplified.  This is still taught in the manual, later in the manual after sufficient context has been provided imo.

https://basic.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/manual/gospel-principles/chapter-47-exaltation?lang=eng

Quote

Those who receive exaltation in the celestial kingdom through faith in Jesus Christ will receive special blessings. The Lord has promised, “All things are theirs” (D&C 76:59). These are some of the blessings given to exalted people:

They will live eternally in the presence of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ (see D&C 76:62).

They will become gods (see D&C 132:20–23).

 

Edited by Calm
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