Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Mormon Professors Confuse Doctrine and Rumor
Mormon Coffee (Mormonism Research Ministry) ^ | Nov. 14, 2011 | Sharon Lindbloom

Posted on 11/15/2011 6:08:15 AM PST by Colofornian

If I want to know what Mormonism teaches about human beings becoming Gods and creating worlds, should I ask a Mormon? Last month (October 2011) New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd asked the planet question of two Mormons: Richard Bushman, the Visiting Professor in Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University, and Kent P. Jackson, associate dean of religion at Brigham Young University.

Dr. Bushman called the idea of devout Mormons having their own planets in eternity “Mormon lore” that stems from the Mormon belief that humans can become like God. He suggested that if Mormons can become like God, they might then be able to run a bit of God’s universe. Tagging the belief as “lore,” Dr. Bushman relegated the idea to the arena of mere tradition passed from person to person within the Mormon community by word of mouth.

Dr. Jackson went a step further. He said the idea of faithful Mormons being rewarded with their own planets in eternity is a “canard”; that is, “an unfounded rumor or story.” Nothing further needs to be said. End of discussion.

Maureen Dowd asked her question of two prominent Mormons in-the-know about LDS doctrine. She did exactly what most Mormons say non-Mormons need to do if they want to learn the truth about Mormonism. I’m not sure what Maureen Dowd learned the truth about, but it wasn’t the truth about Mormonism.

In a 2007 blog I provided teachings from LDS authorities on this topic (“…prophets, apostles, a Church-produced student manual and a doctrinal exposition by the First Presidency and the Twelve of the LDS Church all teaching ‘that those who attain exaltation become gods of their own planets and give birth to spirit children who pass from preexistence through corporeal life to the afterlife’”); I won’t repeat them here. Some Mormons like to apply the that-was-then-this-is-now disclaimer to that list of historic LDS teachings, but what of the current authoritative LDS teachings on the topic?

As is pointed out in an article at mrm.org, while serving as Prophet and President of the LDS Church, Spencer W. Kimball taught,

“Each one of you has it within the realm of his possibility to develop a kingdom over which you will preside as its king and god. You will need to develop yourself and grow in ability and power and worthiness, to govern such a world with all of its people.” (“’…the Matter of Marriage’” [address delivered at University of Utah Institute of Religion, 22 Oct. 1976], 2).

That was then–35 years ago. But this is now: President Kimball’s statement is quoted in three current LDS manuals. The manuals are produced by the Mormon Church for the purpose of teaching children (Chapter 4: Teaching Children: from Four to Eleven Years,” A Parent’s Guide), high schoolers (Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Seminary Teacher Resource Manual – Introduction), and college students (Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual 430 and 431, 29 [Chapter 10]).

Shortly before his death in 1901, fifth LDS Prophet and President Lorenzo Snow watched kindergarten children forming clay into spheres. President Snow turned to his companion and observed,

“…these children are now at play, making mud worlds, the time will come when some of these boys, through their faithfulness to the gospel, will progress and develop in knowledge, intelligence and power, in future eternities, until they shall be able to go out into space where there is unorganized matter and call together the necessary elements, and through their knowledge of and control over the laws and powers of nature, to organize matter into worlds on which their posterity may dwell, and over which they shall rule as gods.’” (Improvement Era, June 1919, 658–59)

That was then—110 years ago. But this is now: President Snow’s comment is included in a current LDS manual prepared by the Church Educational System to be used in teaching Mormon college students (Presidents of the Church: Student Manual Religion 345, p.90).

In his 1981 book, President Kimball Speaks Out, then-prophet Spencer W. Kimball wrote,

“Peter and John had little secular learning, being termed ignorant. But they knew the vital things of life, that God lives and that the crucified, resurrected Lord is the Son of God. They knew the path to eternal life. This they learned in a few decades of their mortal life. Their righteous lives opened the door to godhood for them and creation of worlds with eternal increase.” (91)

That was then—30 years ago. But this is now: President Kimball’s words are found quoted by Mormon Apostle Tom L. Perry in the August 2011 Ensign magazine (“The Tradition of a Balanced, Righteous Life,” 51). Additionally, though it was 14 years ago, Mr. Perry cited this same quote in his October 1997 General Conference address titled “Receive Truth” (Ensign, November 1997, 60).

So back to my original question: If I want to know what Mormonism teaches about human beings becoming Gods and creating worlds, should I ask a Mormon? Should I ask LDS professors? Or should I consult the teachings of LDS prophets and apostles? Mormon professor Kent Jackson says the doctrine is nothing but a canard — an unfounded rumor — while Mormon prophets and apostles continue to proclaim the doctrine with clarity via official Church venues and publications. Which source is the best and most trustworthy source for learning the truth about Mormonism? And just as importantly, why don’t these sources agree?


TOPICS: Apologetics; Other non-Christian; Religion & Culture; Theology
KEYWORDS: belivelyingeyes; doctrine; gods; inman; lds; mittromney; mormon; mormonism; romney; romneysreligion
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-78 next last

1 posted on 11/15/2011 6:08:17 AM PST by Colofornian
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Colofornian

Battlestar Galactica - mormons in space PLACE MARKER


2 posted on 11/15/2011 6:19:08 AM PST by svcw (God's Grace - thank you!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

this is why i question folks who are mormons, who either want to hold public office (and to a lesser extent, glenn beck).....if you cant see the contradictions historically in your faith, and there are a ton of them....how can i trust you in your decisions in the public forum???


3 posted on 11/15/2011 6:19:23 AM PST by raygunfan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: raygunfan
".if you cant see the contradictions historically in your faith, and there are a ton of them....how can i trust you in your decisions in the public forum???"

Yup!

4 posted on 11/15/2011 6:24:22 AM PST by haywoodwebb (The "Manchurian Candidate" Will Fall!! - - You Betcha!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: All; Ripliancum
From the article: Dr. Bushman called the idea of devout Mormons having their own planets in eternity “Mormon lore”...

We have our Bushman "lore" moments here on Free Republic, too -- where Mormons reduce clear Lds teachings to myths or accuse others of repeating "Evangelical...talking point[s]."

EXAMPLE

Oct. 23, 2011: A Freeper poster says about Mormonism: Well, the problem is that neither Judaism nor Catholicism thinks that we will all be gods and get our own planets... Mormons get our own planets? [post #7]

10 minutes doesn't even go by before a Mormon FREEPER scolds this poster; "Educate yourself. In my 40 plus years in the LDS church, I've never heard taught that we will all be gods of our own planets. That's a talking point of the evangelical opposition to the Church." [Post #10]

So here we have a Mormon FREEPER accusing another FREEPER of taking an "Evangelical...talking point" as factual...implying it isn't.

I later cited on that thread an Lds "prophet" -- Joseph Fielding Smith -- as teaching:

“To become like him we must have ALL the powers of godhood; thus a man and his wife when glorified will have spirit children who eventually will go on an EARTH LIKE THIS ONE WE ARE ON and pass through the same kind of experiences, being subject to mortal conditions, and if faithful, then they also will receive the fullness of exaltation and partake of the same blessings. There is no end to this development; it will go on forever. We will become gods and HAVE JURISDICTION OVER WORLDS, AND THESE WORLDS WILL BE PEOPLED BY OUR OWN OFFSPRING. WE WILL HAVE AN ENDLESS ETERNITY FOR THIS."
Source: Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 2:48, as cited by The Mormon Church’s annual Melchizedek Priesthood Personal Study Guide, 1978-79, p. 131

The author of this thread's article notes the same thing occurring re: Richard Bushman...providing even additional Lds sources where Mormons will have their own planets' teaching is still taught to Mormon children:

From the article: ...while serving as Prophet and President of the LDS Church, Spencer W. Kimball taught, “Each one of you has it within the realm of his possibility to develop a kingdom over which you will preside as its king and god. You will need to develop yourself and grow in ability and power and worthiness, to govern such a world with all of its people.” (“’…the Matter of Marriage’” [address delivered at University of Utah Institute of Religion, 22 Oct. 1976], 2). That was then–35 years ago. But this is now: President Kimball’s statement is quoted in three current LDS manuals. The manuals are produced by the Mormon Church for the purpose of teaching children (Chapter 4: Teaching Children: from Four to Eleven Years,” A Parent’s Guide), high schoolers (Doctrine and Covenants and Church History Seminary Teacher Resource Manual – Introduction), and college students (Doctrines of the Gospel Student Manual 430 and 431, 29 [Chapter 10]).

From the article: Shortly before his death in 1901, fifth LDS Prophet and President Lorenzo Snow watched kindergarten children forming clay into spheres. President Snow turned to his companion and observed, “…these children are now at play, making mud worlds, the time will come when some of these boys, through their faithfulness to the gospel, will progress and develop in knowledge, intelligence and power, in future eternities, until they shall be able to go out into space where there is unorganized matter and call together the necessary elements, and through their knowledge of and control over the laws and powers of nature, to organize matter into worlds on which their posterity may dwell, and over which they shall rule as gods.’”(Improvement Era, June 1919, 658–59)

Beware "face value" convos with Mormons when they tell you what they believe.

They duck. Accuse you falsely. Obfuscate. Redefine words. Some even prevaricate -- thinking that you only deserve "milk" as a babe and therefore are not "worthy" to eat Mormon meat.

5 posted on 11/15/2011 6:35:46 AM PST by Colofornian (I’ve been amazed at some of the JoPologists and McScuses that have been surfacing)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: raygunfan; haywoodwebb
this is why i question folks who are mormons, who either want to hold public office (and to a lesser extent, glenn beck).....if you cant see the contradictions historically in your faith, and there are a ton of them....how can i trust you in your decisions in the public forum???

Bingo! Contradictions galore. Discernment in conceding them: zero.

6 posted on 11/15/2011 6:38:30 AM PST by Colofornian (I’ve been amazed at some of the JoPologists and McScuses that have been surfacing)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Colofornian

How can someone hold up a book they claim to be the inspired word of God, and at the same time refer to details in that book as a “canard”???

Are they admitting that Joseph Smith was writing from his own opinion or speculation???

They cannot have it both ways.

This is why we cannot afford to have someone like Mitt Romney as president. They are simply unable to deal with common sense reality.

Compartmentalization can be costly. TOO costly given that much power.


7 posted on 11/15/2011 6:39:59 AM PST by Safrguns
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: raygunfan
If you can believe in the various contradictions, are you the person I should trust to be in charge of the greatest country in the world or the person to hold the nuclear "football?"

NO

8 posted on 11/15/2011 6:41:08 AM PST by zerosix (native sunflower)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Colofornian

Clear, concise, and to the point. Thank you. These inconsistencies are why I can’t vote for Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman. If they refuse to clearly look at these serious problems within their religion, why would I expect them to “rightly divide” issues for this nation? I would respect them more if they simply said, “Yes, I think one day I’ll be god-like and rule a planet.”

This business of then-and-now cannot be trusted. The Bible says Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow. (Heb. 13:8) Any religion claiming to be Christian, as Mormonism claims, should be in line with Jesus. Again in James 1:17 the Bible says God does not change. Truth is TRUTH — it does not do then and now.

Anyone who cannot recognize the absolute nature of truth as it originates from God cannot be trusted to hold public office. That is what we have now in the Presidency.


9 posted on 11/15/2011 6:42:32 AM PST by daisy mae for the usa
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Colofornian
Dr. Bushman [Richard Bushman, the Visiting Professor in Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University] called the idea of devout Mormons having their own planets in eternity “Mormon lore” that stems from the Mormon belief that humans can become like God. He suggested that if Mormons can become like God, they might then be able to run a bit of God’s universe. Tagging the belief as “lore,” Dr. Bushman relegated the idea to the arena of mere tradition passed from person to person within the Mormon community by word of mouth.

Dr. Jackson [Kent P. Jackson, associate dean of religion at Brigham Young University] went a step further. He said the idea of faithful Mormons being rewarded with their own planets in eternity is a “canard”; that is, “an unfounded rumor or story.” Nothing further needs to be said. End of discussion....

....If I want to know what Mormonism teaches about human beings becoming Gods and creating worlds, should I ask a Mormon? Should I ask LDS professors? Or should I consult the teachings of LDS prophets and apostles? Mormon professor Kent Jackson says the doctrine is nothing but a canard — an unfounded rumor — while Mormon prophets and apostles continue to proclaim the doctrine with clarity via official Church venues and publications. Which source is the best and most trustworthy source for learning the truth about Mormonism? And just as importantly, why don’t these sources agree?

Which source is authoritative? Which source claims to speak with authority? Mormonism trumpets the claim that, because they don't have paid clergy, their clergy can be trusted. I take that to mean, from a Mormon point of view, that a paid and tenured university professor cannot be trusted.

Twelve Apostates

10 posted on 11/15/2011 7:05:31 AM PST by Alex Murphy (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/religion/2703506/posts?page=518#518)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Safrguns
"Are they admitting that Joseph Smith was writing from his own opinion or speculation???..."

Actually, from JS's "book" and later talks and writings, even he disagreed with what he had said earlier,....errrrr what God had told him to say differed from what God had told him to say - before.

11 posted on 11/15/2011 7:12:17 AM PST by zerosix (native sunflower)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Alex Murphy

Should I believe Mitt...or my own lying eyes?


12 posted on 11/15/2011 7:14:46 AM PST by greyfoxx39 (If other churches were dead dunking mormons to save them mormons would be furious.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: Colofornian
Thanks for posting. According to the LDS professors in the article, there is no substance to some of the beliefs that Church leaders & Prophets clearly taught and continue to teach. What is particularly disturbing to me is the attempt by current LDS leaders and professors to publicly distort and deny their own teachings while attacking others who simply document those teachings. In a lot of ways it is similar to how Muslims apologists react when one points out the truth about Islam not being the “religion of peace” they maintain it is. Instead of acknowledging Islam's record both in the past and present, they accuse others of being “Islamophobes”. Likewise, those who tell the facts about Mormon teachings are “anti-Mormons”. Never-mind what the truth is.

No doubt what I just wrote will put me in the Mormon hater category. But that could not be farther from the truth. I have close Mormon friends whose friendships I treasure.

13 posted on 11/15/2011 7:26:44 AM PST by Nevadan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Safrguns
How can someone hold up a book they claim to be the inspired word of God, and at the same time refer to details in that book as a “canard”???

Are you talking about the Book of Mormon? Nothing in there says anything about becoming a God. Joseph Smith hadn't thought it up yet when he thought up the BOM.
14 posted on 11/15/2011 7:58:54 AM PST by GLDNGUN
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

There is no religion more consistant than Mormonism. The doctrine comes from the Bible and other standard works and from prophets when they are speaking propheticly. However, some of what some Mormons believe comes from intepretations of the standard works, and we try to differentiate between doctrine and interpretation. That man may become like God is doctrine, well established by the Bible and the Doctrine and Covenents. The questions of planets and who rules over what are interpretations, not doctrine.


15 posted on 11/15/2011 9:23:34 AM PST by webboy45
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 13 | View Replies]

To: webboy45

holy moley, not sure even where to begin on that statement....


16 posted on 11/15/2011 9:54:29 AM PST by raygunfan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: webboy45; Colofornian; ejonesie22; Elsie; greyfoxx39; SZonian
There is no religion more consistant than Mormonism.

Right - 3000+ changes to the bom all WITHOUT the benefit of either the peep stone or the gold tablets

Smith and church doctrine at the time - forbade plural marriages, all the while smith and his inner circle were marrying all sorts of women, some in their early teens and others who were still married to another man.

Consistent in that the prophet proclaimed that it was the pure word from God that polygamy would never cease - suddenly got a 'revelation' that polygamy was finished as government troops were en route to arrest him and disenfranchise the mormon church.

Same consistency that had polygamy practiced in secret by prophets and apostles - even though the 'revelation' of 'god' was to stop the practice.

The same consistency that had smith speaking for and against slavery, and the mormon church forbidding blacks from holding the priesthood until lawsuits by the dozen were crashing through the office doors of SLC. Then another 'revelation'.

That man may become like God is doctrine, well established by the Bible and the Doctrine and Covenents.

Sorry webbie, the Bible repudiates the concept and D&C is a fallible document written by the hand of man that is unreliable - after all, IF polygamy is no longer necessary to attain godhood, why is Sect 132 still present.

But then such statements directed in the "TO:" box to no one show such a bold witness.

17 posted on 11/15/2011 9:54:32 AM PST by Godzilla (3/7/77)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: webboy45
BoM - Polygamy is forbidden.

Jacob 2:27 (from the BOM) reads, "Wherefore, my brethren, hear me, and hearken to the word of the Lord: For there shall not any man among you have save it be one wife; and concubines he shall have none." And Jacob 2:24 says, “Behold, David and Solomon truly had many wives and concubines, which thing was abominable before me, saith the Lord.”

Yet, we have the D&C Sect. 132 stating that opposite. How is that consistent?

Let me guess, JS was "speaking propheticly [sic]" when he "revealed" this?

Or what about this; Why were the words "white and delightsome" in 2 Nephi 30:6 changed to "pure and delightsome" right around the same time as the Civil rights for blacks campaign was ramping up?

Or; Why does the Book of Mormon state that Jesus was born in Jerusalem (Alma 7:10) when history and the Bible state that he was born outside of Jerusalem, in Bethlehem?

If, as claimed by mormons, the BoM "contains the fullness of the everlasting gospel®", why are additional works [read temple stuff] required?

Why do you baptize for the dead when both Mosiah 3:25 and the Bible state that there is no chance of salvation after death?

If having a physical body is necessary to become a god, how did Jesus become a god before he had a body?

Why are Mormon Temple ceremonies secret [argued by mormons to be "sacred" not "secret"] to the public when the Old Testament temple ceremonies were open to public knowledge?

Many more questions here...http://www.contenderministries.org/mormonism/fairlds50questions.php

18 posted on 11/15/2011 10:19:29 AM PST by SZonian (Throwing our allegiances to political party's in the long run gave away our liberty.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: GLDNGUN

>>> Are you talking about the Book of Mormon? Nothing in there says anything about becoming a God. Joseph Smith hadn’t thought it up yet when he thought up the BOM.

Of course I’m talking about the BOM.
But I said nothing about that particular claim being in there.
There is a multitude of inconsistencies and fabrications within the BOM that illustrates my point.

And all you need to prove that God didn’t write it is ONE.


19 posted on 11/15/2011 10:19:44 AM PST by Safrguns
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Colofornian

I’m conflicted...


20 posted on 11/15/2011 11:05:53 AM PST by Vendome (Don't take life so seriously, you won't live through it anyway)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-78 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Religion
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson