The LDS (Mormon) Church, Part 2: God and Jesus

While following the conversations going on in my comments section after my last LDS post, it became clear to me that a discussion about God and Jesus is in order. Who is he? What is his nature? Why did he come to earth? The LDS church has some unique teachings in this area, so let's take a look.

Before I begin, I'd like to say that it's so very difficult to separate this discussion into different "chunks" or topics. Why did God create us? What's Heaven like? How do we get to Heaven (how are we "saved")? are but a few of the questions that I kept wanting to get into as I worked on this topic. They are touched on in this post, but I didn't go into depth. I'll do separate posts for those topics.

If you are new to this blog series and you'd like to get caught up, please go read some older posts:

1. Introduction & intent of these posts
2. Format of these posts
3. The LDS Church, Part 1: Joseph Smith



Section 1: What the LDS (Mormon) Church teaches about God and Jesus

"The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's." (Doctrine & Covenants 130:22)


"God has a body that looks like yours, though His body is immortal, perfected, and has a glory beyond description." (from Mormon.org website)

Jesus is a literal spirit child of God (as are humans and Lucifer - we are all "brothers"). Jesus came to earth to "pay for our sins and to teach us how to return to our Heavenly Father." (Gospel Principles at LDS.org)

Jesus is the Son of God, and is a separate being from God. Jesus created earth by God's direction. (Mormon.org)

"And I, Jesus Christ, your Lord and your God..." (Doctrine & Covenants 17:9)

"Which Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one God, infinite and eternal, without end. Amen." (Doctrine & Covenants 20:28)

"The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints proclaims that Jesus Chris is the Son of God in the most literal sense. The body in which he performed His mission in the flesh was sired by that same Holy Being we worship as God, our Eternal Father. Jesus was not the son of Joseph, nor was He begotten by the Holy Ghost." (Ezra Taft Benson, "The Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson", 1988, p.7)

"We (men on earth) were begotten by our father in heaven: the person of our Father in Heaven was begotten on a previous heavenly world by his father; and again, He was begotten by a still more ancient father; and so on." (Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt, "Orson Pratt, The Seer" p. 23)

God never changes. (Doctrine & Covenants 74:1-4)

God used to be a man, and it is possible for men to become like God.“As man now is, God once was; as God is now man may be.” ( The Teachings of Lorenzo Snow, ed. Clyde J. Williams [1984], 1.)

"And after this manner shall ye baptize in my name; for behold, verily I say unto you, that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one; and I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one." (Book of Mormon, 3 Nephi 11:27)

"Through the Atonement performed by Jesus Christ with His suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane and by His suffering and the voluntary surrender of His life on the cross–He saves you from your sins as you sincerely repent and follow Him." (Mormon.org)

“There are certain eternal laws by which the Gods in the eternal worlds are governed and which they cannot violate, and do not want to violate. These eternal principles must be kept, and one principle is that no unclean thing can enter into the kingdom of God.” ( The Gospel Kingdom, sel. G. Homer Durham [1943], 19.)

“The minute a man stops supplicating God for His Spirit and direction, just so soon he starts out to become a stranger to Him and His works. When men stop praying for God's Spirit, they place confidence in their own unaided reason, and they gradually lose the Spirit of God.” ( “Some Sentence Sermons,” Improvement Era, Aug. 1944, 481.)

"When you can thus feel, then you may begin to think that you can find out something about God, and begin to learn who he is. He is our Father-the Father of our spirits, and was once a man in mortal flesh as we are, and is now an exalted Being.

"How many Gods there are, I do not know. But there never was a time when there were not Gods and worlds, and when men were not passing through the same ordeals that we are now passing through. That course has been from all eternity, and it is and will be to all eternity. You cannot comprehend this; but when you can, it will be to you a matter of great consolation." (Journals of Discourses, 7:331 "Progress in Knowledge", President Brigham Young, October 8, 1859)

"The Lord created you and me for the purpose of becoming Gods like Himself; when we have been proved in our present capacity, and been faithful with all things He puts into our possession. We are created, we are born for the express purpose of growing up from the low estate of manhood, to become Gods like unto our Father in heaven." (Journals of Discourses 3:80, "The Gospel of Salvation etc., President Brigham Young, August 8, 1852)


Summary of LDS beliefs about God and Jesus:
1. God has a physical body
2. God used to be a man, but has progressed to being a god
3. There are other gods besides the LDS God of this planet (or universe - unclear here).
4. Jesus is a separate being from God. Jesus is God's literal spirit child. (I'm a little unclear on this one because there is also evidence that the LDS church teaches that Jesus and God are one being). From conversations with LDS members, I believe the teaching is that Jesus and God are "one in purpose", not literally one being.
5. Jesus came to atone for humanity's sin, so that we can (a)rise from the grave and (b)have the opportunity to perfect ourselves and achieve an exalted state.
6. The Holy Ghost is a third and separate being from the Father and the Son. The Father and Son have physical bodies, but the Holy Ghost is spirit.
7. The Holy Ghost dwells in a believer. Based on a person's state of mind or behavior choices, the Holy Ghost might leave a person's presence.
8. God created humans so that we can also "progress" and become "exalted"...so that we can become gods.

Section 2: What other (non LDS) sources say about God and Jesus

"You were shown these things so that you might know that the LORD is God; besides him there is no other." Deuteronomy 4:35

"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one." Deuteronomy 6:4

"This is what the LORD says—Israel's King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God. Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one." Isaiah 44:6,8

"I and the Father are one." [Jesus speaking] John 10:30

"For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one." 1 John 5:7

" These things you have done and I kept silent; you thought I was altogether like you. But I will rebuke you and accuse you to your face." Psalm 50:21

" God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? Numbers 23:19

"Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles." Romans 1:22-23

"You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me." Isaiah 43:10

"I the LORD do not change."Malachi 3:6

"God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth." John 4:24

"Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.” Luke 24:39

"Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him?" declares the LORD. "Do not I fill heaven and earth?" declares the LORD. Jeremiah 23:24

"And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory." 1 Timothy 3:16

"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Hebrews 13:8

"I and My Father are one." [said Jesus]...The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.” John 10:30,33

"And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:20

"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?" 1 Corinthians 6:19

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him." John 3:16-17

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth." John 1:1-2,14 (emphasis added by me)

Summary of Biblical teachings about God and Jesus:
1. God does not have a physical body, except in the person of Jesus Christ. God the Father is spirit only.
2. God does not change. He has never changed. He had no beginning and no end. He is eternal...for infinity past to infinity present.
3. There is no God but the Almighty God of the Bible.
4. Jesus and God are literally one. Jesus is fully God. God the Father is also fully God. The Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost) is also fully God.
5. Jesus came to pay the full price for humanity's sin. Anyone who believes in and accepts Jesus' sacrifice for their sin is "saved" and will spend eternity in Heaven in God's presence.
6. The Holy Spirit dwells within a believer and will never leave.

Section 3: My thoughts & comments on God and Jesus

My first impression of the LDS teachings on this topic is, "huh?" It seems that there is a difference between what is taught in Mormon "Scripture" (texts) and Mormon "Doctrine" (sermons and word of mouth). This confusion is part of what I've discussed with LDS friends. It seems pretty much standard knowledge (at least among my LDS friends) that God was once a man, and that humans can achieve godhood if they do all the required stuff. Obviously, I can't properly document every conversation I've had with friends, but what I learned from them seems to correlate with the documents I found while researching this post.

Next, I notice just how different the "Jesus" of the LDS faith is from the Biblical "Jesus". I think that this is what spurred the conversation/debate in the comments of my last LDS post.

As much as I want to find common ground between the LDS faith and Biblical Christianity on their teachings of Jesus, I just can't. The Jesus taught by the LDS church is a different Jesus than is taught by the Bible.

It's sort of like saying..."I know a guy who's name is Bill. He's a great guy. He's taught me a lot. He does wonderful things for me." And someone else says, "Hey, I think I know who you're talking about! His name is Bill...he lives in Wyoming, he's 5'6, and he's married with 10 kids." I laugh and say, "We must be talking about a different Bill! The Bill I know lives in Ireland, he's 6'3", and he's never been married." All they have in common is their name. They're clearly not the same person.

Although the LDS faith claims to be talking about the Jesus of the Bible when they use the name "Jesus", when you look at the evidence...the character and the history of the Jesus taught by the LDS church...the only conclusion that can be made is that they're talking about a different Jesus.

And the same goes for God. The LDS church teaches a "God" who was created by a god before him, who was created by a god before him, etc. The LDS church teaches that "God" was once a man and "progressed" until he was exalted as a god.

That "God", although he has the same name, is not the same God of the Bible.

As a side note, I find it so interestingly...backward...to believe that man can somehow become God, but that God (Jesus) did not become man.

It seems to me that the summaries I wrote in each section above speaks for themselves. Compare them point by point...the LDS faith and Biblical Christianity are worlds apart.

I believe the Bible. I believe in an everlasting God...not a god who has been the same only since the foundation of the earth or universe...but a truly everlasting God, from eternity past to eternity future. I believe that Jesus is God come to earth. I believe that he came to earth to fully pay for humanity's sin. I believe that the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost) is also fully God. He has dwelled in me from the moment I invited him in, and he will never leave me nor forsake me. He will surely be with me always, to the very end of the age.

Section 4: Questions to think and pray about

1. Do you believe that there is more than one God?
2. Why are LDS scripture, LDS doctrine, and the Bible so vastly different?
3. Do you believe that you can become a god?
4. In John 10:30-33, Jesus says that he and the Father are one. The LDS interpretation of that statement is that Jesus and the Father are "one in purpose". However, the Jews hearing Jesus speak knew that Jesus was saying that he was God (which is why they picked up stones against him). What do you think Jesus was saying when he said "I and the Father are one"?
5. Consider the differences taught about the LDS God and Jesus versus the God and Jesus described in the Bible. They are vastly different, so both can not be true. Which do you think is the more accurate description of God and Jesus?

Anna  – (9/08/2008 10:00:00 AM)  

Good morning, Daiquiri!
The Bible isn't really a non-LDS source, you know? They have four books of scripture.
http://inchristibelieve.blogspot.com/2008/09/god-and-jesus-one-and-same.html

Good Work –   – (9/08/2008 12:16:00 PM)  

I see nothing contradictory btwn the bible and the other lds scriptures. In fact, I can find scriptures in the bible that point out that they are indeed 3 separate beings... but I'm sure you could do that too if you were honestly seeking the truth.

You also missed an important point. It's not just "believing" in Jesus Christ that saves you and gives you the Holy Spirit. One must also be baptized by someone with the proper authority (i.e. priesthood). The priesthood has been restored on the earth thru the prophet Joseph Smith.

It looks like this link explains it well: http://www.mormonwiki.com/Jesus_Christ

I hope you continue to investigate and pray about these things.

Seth R.  – (9/08/2008 12:44:00 PM)  

Oh, keep your shirt on GW.

This is actually a fair enough summary. And I don't detect any mean-spiritedness in this post. So there's no need to be questioning anyone's honesty.

But keep in mind Daiquiri, that we Mormons may not be as far off the beaten path as you think. Let's go over your summary of Mormon beliefs:

1. God has a physical body

True. But so does the God of traditional Christianity. Jesus most certainly had a body while ministering throughout the Jewish countryside. He was resurrected with a perfected body and took it with him into heaven.

Jesus is "God" for traditional Christians. Therefore, you also believe God has a physical body, at least in some sense.

2. God used to be a man, but has progressed to being a god

I should note that the modern LDS Church prefers to emphasize how we can become like God rather than how God may have once been like us. Opinions differ here.

But that said, I don't see much point in trying to evade the issue. Our Mormon Church authorities preached this idea. For me, that's a good enough reason to address it, and defend it if need be.

I would once again point out that traditional Christians also believe that "God became man" in the person of Jesus Christ. So it's not a completely outrageous idea.

3. There are other gods besides the LDS God of this planet (or universe - unclear here).

I would prefer the word "universe" to "planet." Scriptures in the Pearl of Great Price (part of the Mormon canon) make it clear that God's creations are infinite and limitless - "worlds without end." So it is simply incorrect to paint the Mormon God the Father as some "local system lord" with just one or a few planets to govern. We believe in an infinite God, not a limited one.

As to whether there are other "gods"... There are. But keep in mind that we always designate these beings in the lower-case. We worship no god but One God personified in the person of God the Father, The Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. We do not worship these other beings. Neither does the existence of such other beings detract from God the Father.

4. Jesus is a separate being from God. Jesus is God's literal spirit child. (I'm a little unclear on this one because there is also evidence that the LDS church teaches that Jesus and God are one being). From conversations with LDS members, I believe the teaching is that Jesus and God are "one in purpose", not literally one being.

The Trinity is a tricky subject, and one that lay Christians regularly screw up. So discussing this is hard. But I'll give it a shot.

St. Augustine gave perhaps the most clear explanation of the Trinity in four propositions:

Four propositions:

1. God is one substance
2. The Father is God
3. The Son is God
4. The Father is not the Son

The problem is, all four of those propositions cannot logically be true. You can pick any three of them and have a logically coherent statement. But try to add all four, and you have problems.

Let's give it a try.

Combine 1, 2, and 3

This is modalism. The idea that God is one entity that simply wears different hats when performing different tasks. Just like I am sometimes a lawyer, sometimes a father, and sometimes a blogger.

Traditional Christianity denounces modalism as a heresy. However, many lay Christians nonetheless fall into it when they try to figure out what the Trinity means.

1, 3, and 4 and 1, 2, and 4 have also been heresies the traditional Christian Church has dealt with, but they aren't really relevant to the dispute with Mormonism, so I'll skip them.

Now let's take 2, 3, and 4.

Now we have Tri-theism. Three separate and distinct Gods. Traditional Christian theology rejects this as well, since it does too much violence to Old Testament declarations of monotheism.

Many Mormons are tri-theists when you get to the bottom of what they actually believe (so are many lay traditional Christians, but anyway...). But I think this is an incorrect read of Mormon scripture. The Book of Mormon has, on occasion been accused of being almost modalist (an incorrect accusation, I think). But due to Joseph Smith's plain teaching on the separateness of the Father and the Son, tri-theism is probably more popular among lay Mormons.

This is probably a mistaken position on the part of Mormons because they haven't done the legwork to figure out what their own Book of Mormon scriptures (and the Old Testament) really demand.

The Mormon God has to be "One God." It is required by our scriptures. Tri-theism with 3 independent beings working toward the same shared goal doesn't quite get us there.

What some Mormon scholars have proposed as a solution is "Social Trinitarianism." If you want a Wikipedia entry explaining the concept, here it is:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_Trinity

Basically, the idea is that the Unity of the Trinity that makes them all One God consists in a transcendent loving relationship. Basically, they are so close in this relationship, that they literally indwell within each other in love. The technical theological term is "perichoresis" - a relationship of such unity that the Father, Son, and Spirit can be said to inhabit each other's minds.

So it's more than just a shared purpose or goal. It is an intimate relationship that binds the individuals together such that to know the mind of one, is to know the mind of the other. This is what Jesus meant when he said that anyone who had seen him had seen the Father.

This indwelling, or perichoresis, is supposed to be mirrored in the Mormon ideal of marriage - but that's another topic.

5. Jesus came to atone for humanity's sin, so that we can (a)rise from the grave and (b)have the opportunity to perfect ourselves and achieve an exalted state.

Correct. But this idea is also not unprecedented in traditional Christian thought. Look up the Eastern Orthodox doctrine of theosis sometime. The Mormon idea of deification is remarkably similar (although E. Orthodoxy maintains the ontological divide between God and man that Mormonism collapses).

There are quite a few scriptures in the New Testament that talk about how we partake in the divine nature through grace and the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Some verses even call us children of God, so it's not unprecedented.

6. The Holy Ghost is a third and separate being from the Father and the Son. The Father and Son have physical bodies, but the Holy Ghost is spirit.

True. See my remarks above about Social Trinitarianism and perichoresis.

7. The Holy Ghost dwells in a believer. Based on a person's state of mind or behavior choices, the Holy Ghost might leave a person's presence.

True. Mormons believe that God will not force Himself upon us, but that we retain a free choice of whether to accept or reject Him. So it is with the Holy Ghost. This should be distinguished from the Mormon concept of the "Light of Christ/God." This "Light" is given to all - in and out of the LDS faith. And it can move anyone. But the "Gift of the Holy Ghost" - the right to have the constant companionship of this being - can only be had upon condition of not driving it away and rejecting it.

8. God created humans so that we can also "progress" and become "exalted"...so that we can become gods.

See my above remarks on "theosis." This is not a new concept.

Hope that helps.

I do not dispute that Mormons are different than traditional Christianity. Possibly as different from traditional Christianity as early Christianity was from Judaism. But not quite so different as some of our opponents paint us. We are not polytheists. And like early Christians and the Old Testament, we do not consider ourselves in conflict with the Holy Bible.

Best wishes.

Amy  – (9/08/2008 02:31:00 PM)  

1. No there is no other God but God.
2. They seem to say different things to me.
3. No I don't think people can become Gods. Doesn't the bible say that God is the almighty, the alpha and the omega. I don't see people being like that, although I'm sure they'd like to be.
4. Jesus meant that he came from God, God is his father and when he went back to heaven after he had arisen he left us the holy spirit which is a part of both him and God.
5. There just seem to be too many differences between both books to me. One says one thing and the other says almost the opposite.
Anyway...that's just my two cents :-)

Daiquiri  – (9/08/2008 03:09:00 PM)  

Hey Seth -

Wow! First, thank you for backing me up a bit regarding my "attitude" toward this whole thing. I appreciate it.

Second. Wow! Have I said that already? Thank you so much for taking the time (and it must have been a lot of time unless you type about 800 words a minute) to comment here. I appreciate your knowledge and ability to articulate your beliefs.

Third. It's gonna take me a while to work through all that you said, and might not get to some of your points until a later post. Be patient with me, please :)

Daiquiri

Seth R.  – (9/08/2008 04:34:00 PM)  

Thanks.

Well, like a lot of bloggers, I have a bit of OCD, so don't let me talk your ear off.

Jason –   – (9/08/2008 04:56:00 PM)  

ok, now I'm confused.

The LDS believe that there are many gods but that they picked out the One God who is the right one to worship so the other ones only get lower case status? Who are these other gods? If you don't follow the One God of LDS, are you following one of these other gods instead? Are these other gods the men who were awesome enough here on earth as Mormons that they get to be gods when they die thus part of the Mormon god pantheon/heirarchy? I thought that there were a limited number of members in the LDS church who get to be at the highest exalted level in the afterlife. If someone who is living now beats out someone who has already attained that level in the afterlife, does that god get demoted? Seems very competitive to me. I'm not excited to participate in the "I'm a better Christian Olympics".

If I'm reading Seth's comments on theosis correctly, he is confirming that some followers become gods: "The Mormon idea of deification is remarkably similar (although E. Orthodoxy maintains the ontological divide between God and man that Mormonism collapses)."

What is the purpose of deification in the Mormon church?

Looking forward to some clarifications.

Cheers!
Jason

Seth R.  – (9/08/2008 05:33:00 PM)  

I found a really nice article summarizing the E. Orthodox concept of theosis here:

http://www.antiochian.org/node/16916

Lots of neat scripture references backing up the notion that the Bible calls on us to partake in God's nature through grace in Christ.

However, it is very important to note that the author DOES NOT support Mormonism in any way, shape or form. In fact, he would disagree with me using his article to support Mormon teachings, probably.

The key point of difference between E. Orthodox and Mormons is the ontological divide between God and humanity. Orthodox preserve it. Mormons say there isn't one. More on that later probably.

To try and clarify for Jason...

"I thought that there were a limited number of members in the LDS church who get to be at the highest exalted level in the afterlife."

This is incorrect. I think you might be confusing us with the Jehovah's Witnesses. The Celestial Glory is available to all who are willing to accept it.

"Who are these other gods? If you don't follow the One God of LDS, are you following one of these other gods instead?"

You bring up a common misconception about the idea of plural gods. You assume that if there are multiple gods, they must be in competition with each other. More power for one means less power for the others. More worshipers for one means less for the others.

Not so. This is zero sum thinking that does not apply in Heaven.

Let me respond with a question.

Do you think that by loving Jesus, you love God the Father less?

Do you think that by worshiping Jesus, you do not worship the Father as well? And is giving praise to Jesus detracting from praise to the Father?

I would answer no, and so would you correct?

The truth is that Jesus and the Father are so united that to worship one is to worship the other. There is no competition. No disharmony. There is never an instance of Jesus "overruling" one of God's commandments, or vis versa.

If you do not consider the Father and the Son to be in competition with each other, why do you assume that the many gods of Mormonism would be? Why can they too not be in perfect harmony?

There is but One God for Mormons. One way in the universe. There are no other ways. We are not polytheists.

ldsneighbor  – (9/08/2008 08:56:00 PM)  

Thank you for another thought-provoking blog. I still love the fact that we can discuss this so "nicely". I said it before, I'll say it again: Daiquiri, you are a breath of fresh air, friend. Here are some of my thoughts in response to your blog today. First, and I think Anna said this too, the Bible is an LDS source; we believe the Bible to be the word of God. Secondly, I was wondering in your writeup why don't you use cannonized LDS scripture for your discussion of "what the LDS Church teaches"? It is a strawman argument to suggest that if some mormon said it, it must be absolute cannonized mormon doctrine. The Book of Mormon as well as the Bible makes it clear that we believe in One God, composed of God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, three personages perfectly unified in purpose. It is also a false construct to setup these two opposing alternatives: Mormon teachings vs. Bible teachings. That very construct is a strawman argument, which I assume you constructed unintentionally, since strawman arguments are inherently deceptive and unfair. Mormon doctrine does not contradict the Bible, it supports the Bible. The Bible is first in our cannon of scripture:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tz3rggCnhxQ

Here are my prayerful answers to your five questions:

1) I believe in and worship the One God: Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. I recognize that they are three persons, One Godhead.
2) The Bible is not different than LDS scripture; the Bible IS part of LDS scripture. The Book of Mormon does not demean or diminish the Bible (see the video above).
3) I believe that you and I are a child of God. He loves you. He is our Father, even the Bible makes that clear. Even though it is common sense that children have at least the remote potential to become like their parents, it is my personal belief that that is not possible in this eternity, and my mortal mind cannot comprehend beyond that. We will never become "equal" with God. We don't know everything about this, so it is misleading to suggest that everything that has ever been said on this topic is settled doctrine. Let's just put a pin in this one for now, and focus on the core things we do know, like The Book of Mormon.
4) Jesus is God. He is not his Father, but he is deity. When Jesus said "I and the Father are one", he did not mean he and his father were the same person. Remember at Jesus' baptism when a voice from heaven said: "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased"; Jesus is not his Father. Was Jesus praying to himself in John 17:11 when he prayed that WE (as in you and me) "all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me". That Bible verse makes it clear that the one-ness is "in purpose", not "in substance". So it is not Bible doctrine vs. Mormon doctrine; they are one.
5) It is a false choice to say LDS God and Jesus vs. Bible God and Jesus. They are not opposed. A more accurate choice could be "Nicene Creed God and Jesus" vs. "LDS/Bible God and Jesus".

Daiquiri, I really appreciate your kindness and civility. At the end of the day, we may or may not see eye to eye on everything, but I'm glad we can be friends and good neighbors. There are so many more things that unite us and bring us together than our relatively few differences. For example, I love our country with all my heart, and I'm thankful to be blessed to live in a land of liberty under the banner of the U.S. Constitution. I appreciate you. Take care.

Anna  – (9/08/2008 10:05:00 PM)  

Oh, Seth, I had an observation, a curious thought, that maybe you're a Stargate fan?

Seth R.  – (9/08/2008 10:59:00 PM)  

Hey Anna,

You probably got it from my "local system lord" remark.

I've been around the block a couple times with LDS critics. Enough to realize that some of them have taken to derisively calling the LDS view of the cosmos "local system lord cosmology."

It was this inaccurate label that I had in mind when I used the term "local system lord." Which is a Stargate term actually.

I wouldn't call myself a fan exactly, but I do like the original series and watch it on occasion. Hate Atlantis though....

Anna  – (9/09/2008 01:08:00 PM)  

Atlantis is canceled, anyway. We are big fans of SG1, at least.
I'll never think of system lords the same again!

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