We dive deeper into the nature of God as described in the Lectures on Faith and corroborated by the rest of the scriptures, and discuss how we got D&C 130 which contradicts all these scriptural witnesses. How many personages comprise the Godhead? How many have bodies of flesh and bone? Is the Holy Ghost a personage? All these questions and more are addressed in this episode.
I liked this episode. I agree with most of what was said, if not all of it. I was surprised that the scripture that Joseph used to support God being a man in the King Follett Discourse wasn’t addressed.
Here it is for reference:
Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
In the King Follett Sermon, Joseph is alleged to have used an interesting interpretation of the following passage in John 5:19:
“The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.”
Here is the interpretation of the above passage that is given:
“.. the Father of us all dwelt on an earth the same as Jesus Christ himself did, and I will show it from the Bible. I wish I had the trump of a arch angel, I could tell the story in such a manner that persecution would cease forever; what did Jesus say? (mark it elder Rigdon;) Jesus said, as the Father hat power in himself, even so hath the Son power; to do what? why what the Father did, that answer is obvious; in a manner to lay down his body and take it up again. Jesus what are you going to do? To lay down my life, as my Father did, and take it up again.—-”
The interpretation that was given in the discourse suggests that since Christ could not do anything that he had not previously seen His Father do, his Father must have previously done everything Christ did when he came to this earth. He laid down his body and took it up again.
That would mean that the Father had created, suffered for, and atoned for a world prior to Christ’s ministry on this earth. That is supposedly how Christ knew how to do the work of salvation.
In evaluating how inspired that interpretation is, we might first ask if the obvious doctrinal ramifications of such an interpretation are consistent with revealed truths in scripture.
The first problem we encounter is the revealed truth that the Father is an unchanging God. He has always been a personage of glory and spirit. He has never been a personage of tabernacle. The reason he created the Son as a personage of tabernacle was so that he could lay down his life and take it up again.
For that reason alone we know that the Father had not previously acted as a Savior of another world.
That contradiction seems to show that something is very wrong with the alleged interpretation of John 5.19
Secondly, the interpretation seems to imply that each world was created by and atoned for by a separate savior. That is inconsistent with passages proclaiming that Christ created all of the worlds under the Father’s direction.
It was very probably this heretical sermon based on John 5:19 that is at the root of a secret heretical doctrine that has been taught in the church by some of its leaders, claiming that each of us that become gods will need to create and populate an earth and then suffer and hang on a cross to atone for the inhabitants. .
Here is what Brigham Young taught as recorded by Wilford Woodruff:
May 12, 1867: At Fillmore public meetings President Young said-
“there never was any world created and peopled nor never would be but what would be redeemed by the shedding of the blood of the Savior of that world. If we are ever
exalted and crowned in the presence of God, we shall become saviors of a world
which we shall create and people”
Thank goodness that is one of the Brigham Young heresies that has been expunged from church teachings.
The book of Moses informs us that the Father created ALL of the worlds through his Son Jesus Christ. That breaks the pattern being suggested in the interpretation of John 5:19.
Christ did not need to see the Father create a world before Christ created all of them, so the principle being promoted in the interpretation is contrary to the revealed word.
Why would the Fathers Son create all of the worlds yet His Father would atone for one of them and He would atone for another one, and apparently countless other gods atone for all of the other ones.
The pattern being suggested within the heretical interpretation is put to rest when we use the standard of what has previously been revealed and accepted as the word of God.
An even bigger problem with the interpretation of John 5:19 that is proffered in the King Follet Sermon, is that after having the vision recorded in Section 76, Joseph wrote a poemic version of what Sidney had written down which revealed that Christ is the Saviour for all of the worlds!
In that poem a clarification was made to reveal that all of the people upon all of God’s creations have the same Savior, even Jesus Christ. This is why the scriptures refer to the atonement as an infinite and eternal atonement.
Here is a snippet from the poem:
” And now after all of the proofs made of him, By witnesses truly, by whom he was known, This is mine, last of all, that he lives; yea he lives! And sits at the right hand of God, on his throne. And I heard a great voice, bearing record from heav’n, He’s the Saviour, and only begotten of God—
By him, of him, and through him, the worlds were all made, Even all that career in the heavens so broad, Whose inhabitants, too, from the first to the last, Are sav’d by the very same Saviour of ours”
I have come to the conclusion that the poemic snippet above is inspired and true and congruent with the other scriptures. There is only one infinite and eternal atonement that covers all of God’s creations.
Having shown that the interpretation being given is contrary to the established word of God, we can revisit the passage to see if in fact there is a more accurate way to interpret it.
I would suggest that the point being made if you read the whole narrative, is that Christ began his dialogue of justifying his work (of healing someone) on the Sabbath to his accusers.
He did this by observing that God was his Father and he was working in conjunction with his Father (the Father was indwelling within him and therefore he was only doing what the Father did with regard to healing on the Sabbath. )
“And, therefore, did the Jews persecute Jesus and sought to slay him because he had done these things on the Sabbath day. But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.”
As you can see, Christ was implying that the Father and he were working in conjunction with each other, justifying Christ in what he had done.
From that response, the criticism escalated, and the accusers now began claiming that Christ was committing blasphemy by claiming that God was his Father, making him equal with God.
“Therefore, the Jews sought the more to kill him because he had not only broken the Sabbath but said also that God was his father, making himself equal with God. Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself but what he seeth the Father do; for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For the Father loveth the Son and showeth him all things that himself doeth”
Perhaps the most confusing part of the above passage is the claim that the Father had shown Christ all that the Father had done, and that Christ could only do what he had seen the Father do.
I would suggest that the Father showed the Son things that were in the future.
To me that is the more likely intent of the statement since it does not contradict the established word of God.
We know from the New Testament narrative that Christ already knew that he was going to be crucified before it happened. He told his disciples as much even though they did not fully understand or believe what he was talking about.
How did Christ know beforehand that he would be suffering and offering up an atonement?
It is likely that the Father had shown Christ in vision what would happen during the upcoming suffering and atonement that would take place while the Father was indwelling within the Son. Hence, the Son had seen what he and the Father would do.
That may be what was being implied.
Obviously, this interpretation is just speculation on my part. I don’t know for sure what exactly Christ meant by the statement.
The only thing I feel pretty certain about is that the interpretation given in the King Follet discourse does not square with scripture, including the Lectures on Faith. The scriptural evidence against it is compelling.
Anytime I see a discrepancy between what was taught in Lectures on Faith vs. the King Follet Sermon, I go with the Lectures which represented the Doctrine portion of the Doctrine and Covenants.
Another interesting historical observation is that Joseph gave the sermon AFTER he had informed the church that he would no longer prophesy for the church. Hyrum was the sole prophet of the church at the time the sermon was given.
I had a thought when reading the comments regarding John 5:19; particularly the last few paragraphs of Watchers remarks. I have not fully explored this thought yet and is, therefore, simply speculation (and hopefully not ignorant).
Perhaps a point to consider is what we find in Moses 3: 4-6
“And now, behold, I say unto you, that these are the generations of the heaven and of the earth, when they were created, in the day that I, the Lord God, made the heaven and the earth, And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew. For I, the Lord God, created all things, of which I have spoken, spiritually, before they were naturally upon the face of the earth. For I, the Lord God, had not caused it to rain upon the face of the earth. And I, the Lord God, had created all the children of men; and not yet a man to till the ground; for in heaven created I them; and there was not yet flesh upon the earth, neither in the water, neither in the air;
But I, the Lord God, spake, and there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. And I, the Lord God, formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul, the first flesh upon the earth, the first man also; nevertheless, all things were before created; but spiritually were they created and made according to my word.”
We learn here that all things were created spiritually before they were created naturally upon the earth. A contextual reading of these scriptures also suggests that the Father is the one speaking.
Now, this could seem counter-intuitive that it is the Father speaking when declarations are made that “I, the Lord God, formed man from the dust of the ground”. We know from scripture (as addressed by Watcher) that the Son is the one who created all things. But it seems possible that this is an instance of the Father and the Son acting in their own roles or at least speaking/acting as ONE.
To my main speculative point: Perhaps the ‘confusing part’ that Watcher addresses (regarding the claim that the Father had shown Christ all that the Father had done, and that Christ could only do what he had seen the Father do) could be resolved if we consider that the Father did the work spiritually before the Son did the work naturally.
I’m undecided on the doctrines Joseph Smith put forth in the King Follett discourse, but to me it makes a lot of sense.
A few things to consider before outright rejecting the King Follett discourse.
Is it really logical that Christ’s atoning sacrifice on our earth in the meridian of time would really cover the sins on every other planet in the universe?
Since there are worlds without number, God would expect all if His children accept for the teeny tiny, amount who live on this earth to accept an atonement which was perforned on a planet they know nothing about, and from a God who never dwelt among them in the flesh? That’s asking a lot isn’t it?
God specifically told Moses that He would not reveal to him anything not pertaining to this earth. Are we to believe that on every other world, worlds without number, God does the opposite, by proclaiming to them a gospel and an atonement from another planet?
I find that to be unbelievable.
Another thought is what is meant by receiving all that the Father hath and being joint heirs with Christ?
Does an heir not receive everything that his Father has?
How can some one receive all that the Father hath without becoming like the Father is and having the glory, power, knowledge, creations, etc that He has?
Are we not children of God? Don’t all children or offspring of any species for that matter have the purpose of becoming like their parents? Why would God refer to us as His children and yet not really mean it in the fullest sense? Does he not want to bring about our immortality and eternal life?
Does eternal life and receiving all that the Father hath mean sitting on a cloud with a harp praising God for all of eternity or does it mean receiving all that the Father hath and becoming like the Father in every respect which would mean becoming a god oneself?
Do our children grow up and remain infinitely beneath us and merely sit in our presence praising us forever?
I don’t think so.
So what is the eternal destiny of man if it is not to receive all that the Father hath?
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Matthias. Here are few thoughts in response.
First of all, we need to be careful using logic to extrapolate to the nature of God and things he has not revealed to us. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.” (Isaiah 55:8). Just because it sounds logical to our thoughts does not guarantee that it is anything close to reality.
Alma 34:10 tells us Christ’s sacrifice would be “infinite and eternal”. If you believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God, then yes, Christ’s atoning sacrifice really would cover sins on every other planet in the universe. Do you have any scripture that indicates Jesus’ sacrifice was finite and ephemeral?
D&C 76:20, 23-24 says “And we beheld the glory of the Son, on the right hand of the Father, and received of his fulness; For we saw him, even on the right hand of God; and we heard the voice bearing record that he is the Only Begotten of the Father—That by him, and through him, and of him, the worlds are and were created, and the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God.” So if the WORLDS were created by Jesus, why wouldn’t the inhabitants thereof be willing to accept the sacrifice of their own Creator regardless of where that sacrifice occurs? If Jesus created these other worlds but did not atone for them, who did atone for those planets that Jesus himself created?
Despite that song we all learned as children, the scriptures have a more limited definition of the children of God. I refer you back to the D&C 20:24 verse I previously referenced – “the inhabitants thereof are begotten sons and daughters unto God” We are not begotten of God, only Christ was. We are begotten UNTO God. How do we become children of God? 1 John 3:9-10 “Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest” We become children of God by being spiritual reborn, not by physical birth. It is only through Christ that we become children of God. Jesus himself taught this in the Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” Not everyone is currently called the children of God, a select group will in the future be called the children of God.
As for what these children of God do in the afterlife once they have inherited all that the Father has, D&C 76:55-56,58-59 tells us: “They are they into whose hands the Father has given all things—They are they who are priests and kings, who have received of his fulness, and of his glory…Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of God—Wherefore, all things are theirs, whether life or death, or things present, or things to come, all are theirs and they are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.”
D&C 76 lists what the requirements are to receive all things the Father has, and none of those requirements require doing what the King Follett discourse tells us we have to do.
And finally, in regards to your comment about spending eternity in God’s presence or going off and doing something else, I refer you to D&C 76:62 “These shall dwell in the presence of God and his Christ forever and ever.”
In order to believe the King Follett Discourse, you must disbelieve the Bible, Book of Mormon and Doctrine and Covenants. While it may sound logical to our carnal minds, we should get really nervous when our logic requires us to ignore the word of God. “I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts.” Isaiah 65:2
Thanks for the reply. You make good points.
However, is there any scripture which says that Christ’s atonement is for other planets?
Is it not just as possible for the infinite and lasting atonement to refer to this earth only and not the entire universe?
The scriptures do not say that Christ’s atonement was for other planets besides are own. At least I’m not aware of one.
33 And worlds without number have I created; and I also created them for mine own purpose; and by the Son I created them, which is mine Only Begotten.
34 And the first man of all men have I called Adam, which is many.
35 But only an account of this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, give I unto you. For behold, there are many worlds that have passed away by the word of my power. And there are many that now stand, and innumerable are they unto man; but all things are numbered unto me, for they are mine and I know them.
God told Moses that He was only telling him about this earth and only showing him this earth.
Verse 34 is interesting as it states that the first man on every planet is called Adam, thus Adam is a title. The name Adam also means like God.
Now with this knowledge in mind let’s look at these verses from 1 Corinthians 15:
45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
Adam is also a title for Christ. He is the second Adam. So is it not possible that if there is a different first Adam on every planet that there is also a different second Adam? Thus couldn’t there by a separate Only Begotten or Savior for each planet?
By the way I agree with you that the primary song I’m a Child of God is overly simplistic. Ultimately at the highest level only those who are born again and have their garments washed clean in the blood of the Lamb will ultimately be counted as the children of God and His heirs. This is the group I was referring to. However at a lower level all mankind are children of God, too. We know that as in Adam all die so in Christ shall all made alive. I don’t see any value in trying to discount anyone as a child of God. According to scripture Adam is the son of God and since we all descend from Adam we are children of God, too. As I said not all of us will be joint heirs with Christ having all that the father hath.
You accused me of having to disbelieve the standard works in order to believe the King Follett discourse.
I could say the same for you in rejecting it out of hand. What does it mean to be an heir and have all that the Father hath? Doesn’t all mean all? Or does all mean some or just to be in the presence of one who has it all?
The truth is that on the surface there on contradictions in the scriptures when we take a single passage and apply only a literal meaning to it.
If Christ can only do what He has seen the Father do then Joseph Smith had to be right in the King Follett discourse. However if this statement by Christ is not to be taken literally then how can we insist that the verses about all other worlds being created by the Only Begotten can only literally refer to a single being known to us as Jesus Christ and not to multiple beings who have the title of the Only Begotten or the Son?
I’m not definitively declaring the doctrine of plurality of the God’s as correct, but also don’t see the scriptures as a whole renouncing this doctrine. There are scriptures that support it and one’s that don’t.
These are mysteries that one can’t understand by merely a surface reading and insisting on taking a few passages strictly literally while explaining away others that support a different conclusion as not meaning what they say.
So please tell me what “all that the Father hath” means if it doesn’t mean all. And what does mean to be a joint heir with Christ? Doesn’t Christ have all that the Father has? Why wouldn’t we also be given all that the Father has if we are found worthy of being joint heirs with Christ of all that the Father has?
Here’s another thought MD.
In regards to what Joseph Smith and Sidney Rigs in saw in their vision contained in D&C 76, is there any evidence that they saw everything there was to see?
Or did they see what God wanted them to see at that time?
What does it even mean to be in the presence of God forever? Does that mean that they are in front of God all of the time on whatever planet God the Father is on?
Don’t the scriptures say that this earth will be Celestialized and Celestial beings will dwell on it? Does that mean that God the Father will move here and never leave? If so what about His children on other planets? Do they never get to be in His presence or do they all come to this earth once it is Celestialized, too. Can the Father never leave to appear anywhere else other than were those who reach the Celestial kingdom dwell, because if He did these people would no longer be in His presence if he left, even for a short time?
Or is it possible that dwelling in God’s presence means a lot more than what it says on the surface?
Can being in God’s presence refer to having constant contact with Him because the veil is removed from us completely. If we are on another planet than he is, but we can always see him and comune with him would that not be considered being in His presence?
Just some thoughts, take them for what they are worth.
First of all, I did not intend to accuse you of not believing the scriptures. My intent was to point out that several elements of the King Follett discourse are incompatible with what is contained in the scriptures. I apologize for poorly wording my argument.
Undoubtedly there is more to God than what is contained in the scriptures, and at some point in the future we will learn a lot more. The problem I see is when we decide to fill in the gaps with non-scriptural speculation and then call that doctrine. Yes, we can use logic to argue multiple Christs, and multiple creators, but it leads to some contradictions that don’t exist if we stick with the scriptural account. Is it possible that Christ created all the other planets but outsourced being the savior of those planets to others? Perhaps. But all these other saviors, how could they do exactly as their Father had done if they didn’t create the planet on which they were ministering? If they did create their own planets, then our scriptures are incorrect by stating that Jesus created all the worlds under the direction of the Father. The scriptures also tell us that God himself will come down and atone for the sins of the people. Jesus was a member of the Godhead. Are these other saviors also members of the Godhead? How does that work if Jesus creates the planet as a member of the Godhead but these other people act as the savior as a member of the Godhead?
Joseph and Oliver stared into heaven for over an hour, yet the account in D&C 76 can be read in 5 minutes. They left out a lot of details! Sidney was both with Joseph in the D&C 76 vision and present at the King Follett discourse, yet despite living for more than 30 years after this discourse Sidney never taught a plurality of Gods. The people that promoted the King Follett discourse after Joseph’s death never claimed to have stood in God’s presence as Sidney did. Jeremiah 23 tells us the significance of that.
You stated: “So please tell me what ‘all that the Father hath’ means if it doesn’t mean all. And what does mean to be a joint heir with Christ?”
The Son created worlds without number BEFORE coming to this world. Creating worlds is not part of the inheritance he earned during his earthly ministry, so when we become joint heirs with him that doesn’t appear to be part of the inheritance. The scriptures tell us we inherit the kingdom of heaven (Alma 11:37, Moses 6:57) and the kingdom of God (2 Nephi 9:18, Alma 9:12, Alma 40:26, Alma 41:4, 1 Corinthians 6:9, 1 Corinthians 15:50, Mosiah 27:26, 3 Nephi 11:33,38). Those are both kingdoms that already exist and are created jointly by the Father and the Son. I can find no scripture that indicates there will be worlds not created by the Son. If you know of one, please share it.
If the King Follett discourse does contain true doctrine, why doesn’t the Book of Mormon contain this teaching? Or the Book of Abraham? Or any other canonized scripture? The Lectures on Faith teach that we must have a correct understanding of the nature of God to true exercise faith in him. Why aren’t these truths published with two or three witnesses as God promises so we can have a true understanding of his nature?
We can argue back and forth and never convince each other. Until we receive further revelation on this matter, everyone will have to decide what they choose to believe. I have chosen to stick with D&C 124:119-120, in that anything more or less than the Book of Mormon and the revelations that God has given comes of evil and will be attended with cursings and not blessings.
Regarding how God will visit all his creations, I believe D&C 88:46-41 addresses that.
In regards to the question about whether Jesus was sinless, the Lectures on Faith addresses it head on:
“But notwithstanding all this, he kept the law of God, and remained without sin: Showing thereby that it is in the power of man to keep the law and remain also without sin. And also, that by him a righteous judgment might come upon all flesh, and that all who walk not in the law of God, may justly be condemned by the law, and have no excuse for their sins.”
In a sense, Christ was the ultimate curve buster!
One more angle to consider is the verb tense:
Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
Jesus does not say he does the things he saw the Father did eons ago before God was God. He uses the present tense, he does the things the Father DOES. As already pointed out, this comment is made in reference to the healing that had just occurred. There are several places where the scribes and Pharisees are stumped because they know Jesus is performing miracles but they also believe that only a man of God can perform miracles. Jesus is leveraging this belief to show how he is doing his Father’s will…there is no indication that he is talking about what the King Follett discourse claims it is referring to.
This has been the most disappointing of your series. All three of you seem to have fallen into the same trap that you constantly warn about, of proof-texting the scriptures. I can buy into section 130 being a questionable source, but what about all the scriptures that reference believers of Christ becoming one with Christ and the Father. How does this interplay with the Nature of God, or becoming joint heirs with Christ, or section 93 , of Christ going from grace to grace before He came to this earth.
I felt like I was back on my mission listening to a Baptist preacher who only used select scriptures while ignoring so many others. To get to the truth, we need to ensure that all the word of God supports it.
“..what about all the scriptures that reference believers of Christ becoming one with Christ and the Father. How does this interplay with the Nature of God, or becoming joint heirs with Christ, or section 93 , of Christ going from grace to grace before He came to this earth…”
It actually fits in perfectly with the nature of the Godhead. We did not discuss it because that was not the topic of the Podcast.
In this episode we only had time to discuss the topic that the podcast was about.
You are referring to a different but related topic having to do with mans relationship with the Godhead in mortality and after mortality.
Section 121 informs us that there is an “Eternal God of all other gods”
The relationship between the Eternal God[head] and mortals as well as the relationship between the Eternal God[head] and His creations that become gods is a great topic that will be addressed in a separate podcast.
After one begins to deeply understand how the Father and the Son mystically dwell within each other and share the same mind, while being able to separate when necessary, the principle of how God can indwell within his creatures become much more meaningful.
The doctrine of oneness as described by Christ in his intercessory prayer in John 17 as well as Section 93 and the doctrine of the fulness of the father as contained in section the Lectures all fit perfectly with what was discussed in this podcast.
One of these times we will devote a podcast to discuss that topic and how the “indwelling of God” extends beyond the relationship between the Father and Son to their creatures.
I am sorry you were disappointed. No refunds are being given at this time 🙂
You are right that we could argue these points back forth forever and never convince each other. It’s not my goal to convince you of anything. As the saying goes “a man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.”
My point is that there are scriptures that fully support the King Follett discourse. So this would not be adding to or taking away from the standard works.
36 For he that receiveth my servants receiveth me;
37 And he that receiveth me receiveth my Father;
38 And he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father’s kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath shall be given unto him
Referring to the Telestial Kingdom…
112 And they shall be servants of the Most High; but where God and Christ dwell they cannot come, worlds without end.
3 Nephi 28
10 And for this cause ye shall have fulness of joy; and ye shall sit down in the kingdom of my Father; yea, your joy shall be full, even as the Father hath given me fulness of joy; and ye shall be even as I am, and I am even as the Father; and the Father and I are one.
These scriptures are from the D&C and BOM.
The only way we can continue to have this debate is by ignoring the scriptures as contained in the Lectures on Faith. Because these plain and precious truths have been taken out of the book, it causes an exceedingly great many to stumble. Eventually, additional scriptures will come forth to convince all that the Lamb of God is the Eternal Father.
It’s interesting to ponder that God doesn’t have a body tangible like ours and yet we’re made in his image and likeness. That he would require us to gain a body to have experience, even for his only begotten son in the flesh to do the same before coming back to him.
How can one be begotten in the flesh by a spirit father who has no flesh?
These are all questions that I have.
However, going along with the LoF as they read, it could be made that God is a spirit and Lucifer seeing that God was a spirit proposed to dethrone God in the premortal realm realizing that he didn’t need to have a physical body to be like God.
At least that’s what we learn from section 76
28 And while we were yet in the Spirit, the Lord commanded us that we should write the vision; for we beheld Satan, that old serpent, even the devil, who rebelled against God, and sought to take the kingdom of our God and his Christ—
You’re asking good questions. I would encourage you to go back and question the underlying assumptions in your questions. Christ was called the Only Begotten from the beginning (i.e. long before he was born on earth), and in Moses 3:18 he is called such during the creation of man. Revelation 1:5 and Acts 13:33 both use the term “begotten” in reference to Jesus’ resurrection, not his birth. I’m not aware of any scripture that uses the word “begotten” to describe Jesus’ birth. Nor is Adam “begotten”, he is created. When used of men, begotten means physical procreation. Look at Genesis 5 – Adam is created and then all of Adam’s descendants are “begotten”. But when used spiritually the word “begotten” doesn’t mean physical procreation. So the first question to ask is, “are we using the term ‘begotten’ consistently with how the scriptures use it?”
Here’s another one to ponder. Moses 2:27 “And I, God, created man in mine own image, in the image of mine Only Begotten created I him; male and female created I them.” If the Father had a body but the pre-earth Jesus did not, how could God have created man in the image of the Only Begotten, who did not have a body yet? If God could create man in the image of a spirit-bodied Only Begotten, why could he not create man in the image of a spirit-bodied Father?
When reading the accounts of those who saw the Father at the Morley Farm, it’s interesting that they report seeing the Father’s head, hands, and feet, but that the rest of the body was obscured by his glory. So the Father seems to have a humanoid shape, and if all spirit is matter he would be spiritually tangible, just not composed of the less-refined flesh we are familiar with here.
Very true. He’s referred to as the Only Begotten before he was actually “begotten” in the way that I was reading it and you make valise points about the creation of man.
You provoked me to do a search for the word “begotten” as it refers to Christ and his resurrection.
The only one that I could find that could possibly have reference to the resurrection was Acts 13:33
33 God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee.
Do you have others that I might’ve missed?
Also while studying the topic, I came across a versed in D&C 93 that caused me to ponder.
Here’s a few of them leading up to it.
20 For if you keep my commandments you shall receive of his fulness, and be glorified in me as I am in the Father; therefore, I say unto you, you shall receive grace for grace.
21 And now, verily I say unto you, I was in the beginning with the Father, and am the Firstborn;
22And all those who are begotten through me are partakers of the glory of the same, and are the church of the Firstborn.
What did I just stumble upon?
Did Christ just reveal how he was begotten as the Firstborn?
I noticed my scriptural reference in the last comment was cut off. Revelation 1:5 says “Jesus Christ, who is…the first begotten of the dead”. I’m not arguing that the resurrection is when Jesus actually was begotten (other scriptures I provided indicate that happened long before the resurrection), I just wanted to show the Bible writers while using the begotten language in other ways never linked it to his birth.
I think 93:22 links well with Mosiah 5
7 And now, because of the covenant which ye have made ye shall be called the children of Christ, his sons, and his daughters; for behold, this day he hath spiritually begotten you; for ye say that your hearts are changed through faith on his name; therefore, ye are born of him and have become his sons and his daughters.
8 And under this head ye are made free, and there is no other head whereby ye can be made free. There is no other name given whereby salvation cometh; therefore, I would that ye should take upon you the name of Christ, all you that have entered into the covenant with God that ye should be obedient unto the end of your lives.
9 And it shall come to pass that whosoever doeth this shall be found at the right hand of God, for he shall know the name by which he is called; for he shall be called by the name of Christ.
When we are spiritually begotten of Christ, we qualify through his grace to return to the Father. 93:20 “we are glorified in [Christ] as [Christ is] in the Father”. It’s ambiguous as to whether this is referring to the process of glorification (these are the steps Christ went through, so we have to do the same) or the result of the glorification (Christ already received the glory of the Father, and as co-heirs we will receive the same glory through Christ’s gift). I lean towards the latter simply because the scriptures are consistent that we are receiving a gift that we do not merit with our own works. The only way we overcome death and return to the Father and receive of his glory is through the gift of Christ.
I am so confused! This doctrine you have introduced that the Father never had a mortal experience defies all logic to me. Why would I want to pray to and rely on a Father who never experienced the same (or similar) experiences I have and am experiencing right now? How would he know how to counsel me or succor me, or save me??? Jesus Christ did not come to the earth until two thousand years after Adam; therefore, the mortal experiences he had would not have qualified him (the Father) to know how to answer the prayers of His children – to know how to succor them and counsel them, to have compassion on them and empathize with them, for the eons of time prior to the life of Christ, whom you claim is the Father incarnate.
Praying to a being who doesn’t know what it’s like to be ME doesn’t elicit any degree of faith or desire to be like Him. Also, who created this God the Father you speak of, and how was he begotten and by whom? Are there other beings that never have and never will have a mortal experience, and yet qualify to be gods? And why would we need to gain a physical body to advance to the station of godhood, if that is not how the Father ascended? Or did he ascend? Or was he always God?
Up until this podcast, I have enjoyed all of your blogs and other podcasts, which have enlightened me and caused me to to deeply study the scriptures and the prophets more than I ever have. This one, I’m afraid, has become a stumbling block to my faith.
I do appreciate all you contribute, and I hope that you will address my concerns satisfactorily. I know we are all still learning, and you have stated more than once that much of what you express is speculation and “best guess” based on the information that has been provided to us, until the fullness is poured out upon the heads of the Saints.
I want to know the truth. I welcome truth. I’m trying to learn how to discern the Spirit of the Lord, so that I am not deceived. I don’t want to trust in the arm of flesh. That got me in big trouble before. I pray for the Lord to strengthen me in my quest for truth, for I desire to worship him in spirit and in truth! Thank you, brothers, for hearing me out.
Having been indoctrinated from birth in this way of thinking about God, I know it is challenging to step away from it. But consider this, if it is so logical, why has the rest of Christianity for two thousand years not made the same obvious, logical observation? If this is a fundamental principle of godhood, why isn’t this taught in the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, or Pearl of Great Price? Why was this amazing “revelation” delivered at a funeral sermon with random people taking incomplete notes, instead of received by revelation and written by a scribe as commanded in scripture and done with other revelations like D&C 76? And why has it not ever been canonized in the D&C?
If God has to experience mortality to understand us, wouldn’t that require billions of mortal experiences to really understand everyone? How can a man ever truly understand a woman? How can a white person ever truly understand being black? How can the rich ever understand what it means to be poor? How can a quadriplegic ever have faith in a God that has never been a quadriplegic himself? You can see how this “logic” never ends.
Nowhere in the scriptures are we told to have faith in God because he’s like us. Just the opposite. Lectures on Faith 2:2 “God is the only supreme governor and independent being in who all fullness and perfection dwells; who is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient; without beginning of days or end of life; and that in him every good gift, and every good principle dwells; and that he is the Father of lights. In him the principle of faith dwells independently; and he is the object in whom the faith of all other rational and accountable beings centers for life.”
Lectures on Faith 3 tells us there are three things necessary to exercise faith in God:
1 – the idea that he actually exists
2 – a correct idea of his character
3 – an actual knowledge that the life we are pursuing is according to God’s will
It goes on to list the attributes of his character. Nowhere does it mention “experience”. If a correct idea of his character is necessary to have faith in God, how did all the prophets in our scriptures have faith in him without ever teaching about his experience as a man? If a correct idea is necessary, and this was never taught until 1844, that means no one on the planet ever exercised true faith in God before the King Follet discourse. I’m guessing Enoch, Elijah, and a lot of others might disagree on that one!
Challenging our false traditions can be disorienting. If something grinds against your tradition, it might be good to back off for a while and let it marinate as you learn other things. But you will need to return to it at some point and make a decision for yourself what you’re going to believe.
Hi Chris and Taylor. I’m a newcomer but am feeling the liberation of believing the true nature of God. Is there somewhere where you list the references from each episode. I specifically wanted to start with the passages from this Nature of God episode. Thank you.