Drop the Doctrine, and Back Away Slowly

We all remember Gordon B. Hinckley’s famous “I don’t know that we teach it” moment when he denied a core doctrine of Mormonism on live, national television. What’s interesting is that at the following General Conference, when he addressed members’ concerns about his remarks, he didn’t reiterate the doctrine of deification but simply told members not to be concerned:

There have been a few things we wish might have been different. I personally have been much quoted, and in a few instances misquoted and misunderstood. I think that’s to be expected. None of you need worry because you read something that was incompletely reported. You need not worry that I do not understand some matters of doctrine. I think I understand them thoroughly, and it is unfortunate that the reporting may not make this clear. I hope you will never look to the public press as the authority on the doctrines of the Church. (Ensign, Nov 1997, p.4.)

I suspect he did this because he knew that if he had reversed his earlier denial, the national press would have been all over it. Better to just tell the members they need not worry.

Obviously, a sound bite on a TV show does not constitute a binding statement of doctrine, but it does illustrate how fluid Mormon teachings are. A commenter here said yesterday, about homosexuality and the church:

American civilization may change, but the Lord does not and will not.

I’ve heard this said many times before by members of the church, and it’s almost quaint in its naivete. If the Lord doesn’t change, the church certainly does. All my life I’ve heard that policies and practices change, but doctrines don’t. It’s a nice slogan, but it’s not so.

Let’s start with an easy one. Today in the church, the doctrine is that there are three members of the Godhead: The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit (D&C 130:22). But before that, the doctrine was a two-personed Godhead, with the Holy Ghost being the shared “Mind” of the Father and Son:

There are two personages who constitute the great, matchless, governing, and supreme power over all things – by whom all things were created and made that are created and made, whether visible or invisible; whether in heaven, on earth, or in the earth, under the earth, or throughout the immensity of space. They are the Father and the Son: The Father being a personage of spirit, glory, and power, possessing all perfection and fullness. The Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, a personage of tabernacle, made or fashioned like unto man, or being in the form and likeness of man – or rather, man was formed after his likeness and in his image…. And he being the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, and having overcome, received a fullness of the glory of the Father – possessing the same mind with the Father; which Mind is the Holy Spirit, that bears record of the Father and the Son (Lectures on Faith 5:2b-2k

Another doctrinal change is the rejection of polygamy and polyandry. Of course, the church still believes in polygamy, hence a widower can be sealed to his second wife along with the first. But in the last century, prophets taught that polygamy was essential for exaltation. With the second Manifesto in 1904, the church formally abandoned all earthly practice of polygamy (well, except for some leaders up to 1940 or so). And other than Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, no other person in this “dispensation” has ever been authorized to engage in polyandry.

In 1949, the First Presidency issued a statement that the withholding of the priesthood from those of African descent was a result of “the conduct of [their] spirits in the premortal existence.” After 1978, that doctrine has been referred to as a mere folk doctrine promulgated by a few misguided members.

My commenter also wondered about temple changes. It’s a testament to the church’s skill in erasing its past that a mere eighteen years after the changes, you have active members who have never heard of such things as the penalties and the “orthodox” minister from the pre-1990 temple ceremony. And for the record, I went through the temple the first time in the early 1980s and participated in hundreds of endowments before and after 1990. I’m not going to spend any time here on direct temple content, but suffice it to say that with every sign and token in the temple, there used to an accompanying penalty. We were told, “The representation of the execution of the penalties indicates different ways in which life may be taken.” As I’ve said, these representations involved pantomiming having your throat slit and being eviscerated and disembowelled. And there was a long section involving a sectarian minister who was in the employ of Satan. For the not-faint-of-heart, you can see the changes in the endowment made in 1990 here

What I find interesting is not that the church changes and adapts to the times. A vital and prophet-led church ought to be changing and growing, line upon line. But it’s fascinating to me that some members insist that Mormonism has any lines drawn in the sand. If the church is to survive into the next century, it will adapt and change. And I suspect that, like it has in the past, the church will be a latecomer to the party, but it will eventually change to accommodate gay members. It’s changed before, and it will change again.

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37 Responses to Drop the Doctrine, and Back Away Slowly

  1. I addressed this same issue recently in two blog entries of my own. I tire of people saying that science is fickle whereas religion is eternal. I would be fine conceding that spiritual truths are eternal, but our understanding of them is fluid. But then, I could say the same thing about scientific truths. It’s not that that scientific truths change, it’s just our understanding of them.

    The first blog entry is where I introduced the above argument. I was asked some questions and I elaborated in the second.

    http://jinxidoru.blogspot.com/2008/06/eternal-truths.html
    http://jinxidoru.blogspot.com/2008/07/eternal-truths-continued.html

  2. ditchu says:

    What is incorrect about the statment?
    I don’t know if we teach Deification. If it is as important a Docturine as you have suggested then maybe we LDS need to make a better effort in teaching it. As of yet I have not heard anything official about this in the last 5 to 10 years.

    It seems that put on the spot he answered truthfully and direct, if there is no consentrated effort put forth in the church to teach something then there is reasonable unassurance as if the church teaches about it or not.

    What percentage of LDS as a church body do you think teach this Docturine?

    -D

  3. runtu says:

    ditchu,

    You have got to be kidding. OF course deification is taught. It’s in the canon (sec. 132) and in the lesson manuals. Let me quote from the current Gospel Principles manual:

    The Prophet Joseph Smith taught: “When you climb up a ladder, you must begin at the bottom, and ascend step by step, until you arrive at the top; and so it is with the principles of the Gospel—you must begin with the first, and go on until you learn all the principles of exaltation. But it will be a great while after you have passed through the veil [died] before you will have learned them. It is not all to be comprehended in this world; it will be a great work to learn our salvation and exaltation even beyond the grave” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 348).

    This is the way our Heavenly Father became God. Joseph Smith taught: “It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the character of God. … He was once a man like us; … God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 345–46).

    Our Heavenly Father knows our trials, our weaknesses, and our sins. He has compassion and mercy on us. He wants us to succeed even as he did.

    Imagine what joy each of us will have when we return to our Heavenly Father if we can say: “Father, I did what you wanted me to do. I have been faithful and have kept your commandments. I am happy to be home again.” Then we will hear him say, “Well done; … thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matthew 25:23).

  4. Hellmut says:

    By the way, there is no prohibition of gay marriage anywhere in the scriptures. It’s a cultural prejudice that can be just as easily abandoned when we have a less prejudiced prophet.

  5. Hellmut says:

    . . . just as easily as the priesthood ban, I meant to say. My apologies.

  6. Capt Jack says:

    Ditchu;

    Are you sure you’re not some anti-Mormon on a crazy ‘false-flag’ operation whose purpose is to make believers look foolish?

    Quoting from the “Preach My Gospel” manual:

    “Exaltation: Eternal life in God’s presence; to become like our Father in Heaven and live in His presence. The greatest of all the gifts of God. Exaltation comes through the Atonement of Christ and through obedience to all the laws and ordinances of the gospel.”

    http://tinyurl.com/4oa577

    From “Gospel Principles”, the manual for newly baptized members:

    “What Is Exaltation?

    Exaltation is eternal life, the kind of life God lives. He lives in great glory. He is perfect. He possesses all knowledge and all wisdom. He is the Father of spirit children. He is a creator. We can become like our Heavenly Father. This is exaltation.

    If we prove faithful to the Lord, we will live in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom of heaven. We will become exalted, just like our Heavenly Father. Exaltation is the greatest gift that Heavenly Father can give his children.

    Blessings of Exaltation

    Our Heavenly Father is perfect. However, he is not jealous of his wisdom and perfection. He glories in the fact that it is possible for his children to become like him. He has said, “This is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man” (Moses 1:39).

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

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

    2. They will become gods.

    3. They will have their righteous family members with them and will be able to have spirit children also. These spirit children will have the same relationship to them as we do to our Heavenly Father. They will be an eternal family.

    4. They will receive a fulness of joy.

    5. They will have everything that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have—all power, glory, dominion, and knowledge. President Joseph Fielding Smith wrote: “The Father has promised through the Son that all that he has shall be given to those who are obedient to his commandments. They shall increase in knowledge, wisdom, and power, going from grace to grace, until the fulness of the perfect day shall burst upon them” (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:36).”

    http://tinyurl.com/3vqz56

    From the Sunday School teacher’s manual on the Doctrine and Covenants, Lesson 20:

    “What blessing is available only to those who are exalted in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom? (See D&C 131:4; 132:19–20. You may need to explain that the phrases “an increase” and “a continuation of the seeds forever and ever” mean that those who abide in the covenant and are exalted in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom will have spirit children in the eternities.)”

    http://tinyurl.com/4mdnyq

    From the PH/Relief Society Joseph F. Smith manual:
    “… We must become like [God]; peradventure to sit upon thrones, to have dominion, power, and eternal increase. God designed this in the beginning. … This is the object of our existence in the world.”

    http://tinyurl.com/4hffv7

    So, Ditchu, if you haven’t heard about “deification” or as most LDS would call it, exaltation, recently it’s because you haven’t been paying attention. Shame on you.

  7. ditchu says:

    When was the last time you were directlly taught this in one of the Church Meetings? It may be Docturine, but if it is not being taught often then how can one be certian that it is a topic that the Church is Teaching?

    Again, if it is such a core Docturine, maybe we LDS should devote more time to teaching it.

    How is that Kidding?

    -D

  8. GBSmith says:

    I agree with Ditchu. These things are in writing but they’re not taught. Even in conference the references to exaltation don’t say anything explicitly about deification. I taught a High Priest’s lesson last week based on Elder Nelson’s talk on salvation and exaltation and the consensus was that we really don’t know what exaltation means other than living with God the Father.

    In Richard Bushman’s book “On the Road With Joseph Smith, an Author’s Diary” pgs 60-62 he goes into detail about intelligences, progression, etc. but then goes on to say that it’s all in JS’s teaching but it’s not taught in the church today. Some may feel it’s not taught so as to make the LDS church less of a target for evangelicals but it’s hard to say.

  9. runtu says:

    GB,

    You and ditchu are proving my point: the doctrine is clear and has been taught for 180 years, but now the church is quietly backing off. Why is that?

  10. bull says:

    The reason they are backing off is the same reason they dropped they instituted the priesthood ban after ordaining blacks to the priesthood, then later dropped it, then removed elements from the revealed endowment: the teachings were no longer convenient for the church.

    When I talked with my father about the endowment changes he responded that many members had found the penalties disturbing and many converts who had previously been ministers found the portrayal of their former ministry as being in the pay of Satan. He also stated that it was felt that it wasn’t a fair portrayal of ministers of other faiths and exposed the church to criticism. Which really begs the question: Wasn’t it revealed to Joseph Smith? If it was the revealed truth, then what need to change it just because the “truth hurts” some people’s feelings.

    This is what gets me about the church. If it was led by the prophet you’d expect the church to be on the vanguard of things like giving the priesthood to all worthy members (and not just men), tolerance for homosexuals, etc. But instead you see them time and time again holding tightly to their beliefs until there is a cultural sea change that makes it so that clinging to outdated beliefs is no longer possible.

  11. GBSmith says:

    There’s a really interesting paper in the most recent Dialogue by Jacob Baker titled “The Grandest Principle of the Gospel: Christian Nihilism, Sanctified Activism, and Eternal Progression” that looks at the whole issue of eternal progression and by inference deification. What struck me was that all the writing done about was speculative and none seemed to be authoritative or actively promoted over time. In part it may be what Armand Mauss has talked about in seeing the church on one hand trying to assimilate and convince others that it’s not that strange and at the same time cling to it’s specialness. The theological speculation was pretty free wheeling in the early days to say that diefication has been taught for 180 years is not quite accurate as Ditchu and I’ve maintained. It seems that in each decade has become more conservative and “orthodox” and it will take someone way smarter than me to find reasons for that. It’s an interesting conversation.

  12. runtu says:

    I appreciate the modern effort to reinterpret doctrine, but I find it fascinating that what Joseph Smith called the first principle of the gospel and “life eternal” you guys dismiss as “speculative” and not authoritative.

    Somewhere Joseph Smith is weeping at the rejection of his teachings.

  13. GBSmith says:

    Runtu,

    Bushman was quited fond of JSs doctrine and seemed saddened that it wasn’t taught anymore. I’m not troubled by the change becuase I made my peace a while ago about what’s true and important and what’s academic and interesting. Maybe that’s why I can talk about this without investing the feeling in it that you do.

  14. runtu says:

    I too have made my peace with what is true and important. Mormonism isn’t true and is becoming less important in my life.

  15. GBSmith says:

    For me I’ve never been much of a believer and never did have the spiritual experiences with prayer, the Book of Mormon, etc. that you’ve described in your writings. A long time ago I mentioned that my shelf didn’t break, just sort of settled to the ground. In a way it makes it a lot easier for me to discuss these things as I’d didn’t experience the grief that’s seem to come your way. Anyway, thanks for the conversation.

  16. ditchu says:

    runtu,
    Where do you see the Church backing off the docturine?

    you have used a quoat that made it clear that the topic is not being taught with a consertrated effort to make it blantently obvious that Exaltation and deification are inhearently the same.

    This is not the Church taking a position on the topic, but the lack of effort on the local leadership to understand and teach this. I am sure that we are currentlly finding more important things to teach like how Jesus Christ is our example, or we may feel we need to have a firm foundation in understanding the plan of salvation before we go beyond that understanding to look closer at exaltation.

    Are we backing away from this docturine? No, (if anything) we are working to gain an firm understanding of the basis of the Docturines that deal with Exaltation.

    -D

  17. Is anyone else bothered by the fact that ditchu keeps writing doctrine as docturine? I thought for a minute that he was trying to make a joke, but I think he just doesn’t realize that he’s misspelling the word. I don’t mean to be rude; I simply can’t help pointing it out.

  18. ditchu-

    If what you are claiming is true, that the Mormon church is “…working to gain [a] firm understanding of the basis of the [doctrines] that deal with Exaltation,” then it seems that the church would be discussing those issues all the more. On the contrary, the church is slowly stepping away from that belief. This is evidenced by GBSmith’s comment earlier about the high priest group meeting he taught, “…and the consensus was that we really don’t know what exaltation means other than living with God the Father.” That comment blew my mind. It’s amazing to watch the church slowly drift away from teachings to new teachings. I would not be surprised if thirty years from now found the church speaking of deification the same way it speaks about temple blood oaths today (ie, what blood oaths?).

    I have to say that I think it’s a shame though. Deification is one of those doctrines that, for me, makes a lot of sense. I know it really sticks in the craw of evangelists. But that’s one of the joys of being an atheist, I can continue to be just as dismissive of evangelists as I was when I was TBM. 🙂

  19. ditchu says:

    Michael,
    Thank you for helping me to correct my spelling of doctrine.

    I wonder if there is too much to teach and learn, that we often focus only on the things that most can understand in any given general assembly (General Confrance, a sacrement meetings, Sunday school, ect..
    A meeting that there is likely to be some visitor or new member that has not developed their personal foundation of understanding on the subject sufficeient to allow us to progress deeper into the material is a bad place to get more involved with difficult to grasp Concepts like Deification.

    Maybe, what is needed to have several institute Classes that teach in more detail these topics.

    -D

  20. fhr51 says:

    ditchu,

    Your attempts to defend the statement “I don’t know that we teach that” are nearly as funny as they are illogical. Faced with direct quotes from the church manuals and scriptures, you still claim that it isn’t actually “taught.” How do you know? It’s in the MANUAL, for crying out loud! If it’s not being taught, does that mean nobody ANYWHERE is actually following the manual? Regardless, applying the “reasonable person” standard, and the fact that Mormons claim that lying and deception in any form (even by omission) are wrong, it strains any credibility to claim that Mormons don’t teach and believe that one can become like God. If it’s not being taught anymore, then it is a “stepping away from” that doctrine, because I was taught it when I was young (and older), in class, in the LDS church building. Otherwise, GBH was caught (and recorded) in an intentional deception. Why not just accept that fact and get on with it? After all, Mormons claim that their prophet isn’t perfect.

    fh451

  21. ditchu says:

    fhr51,

    You are confused. My point is not if the topic is taught or not. I do not know to what extent this topic is taught in the church, but in the absence of that data, I have chosen to not create an argument about the amount in which the teachings focus on Deification, but have made statments to defend the original statment from my Prophet and explained how that statment is accurate and true without any ill judgment to be placed upon the one who made the statment.

    I only know that the classes I attended did not go as far as I think they should in the teachings that build the foundation of the topic you all seem to be discussing. The limmitation in the teaching is ultimatly due to time constraints.

    You ask a good question that should be posed in general. How are we to know if the topic is being taught and to what extent it is being taught in the LDS Church? The only way I can see to get the answer to this question is a survay. To figure out the answer, we must survey each ward, even each class…
    To my knowledge this has not been done, and until it has been done we do not have the data to rely upon to desern to what extent this teaching is being taught.

    Your obvious attempts to catch me in a trap will not work because I am not going to argue to what extent it is or is not being taught, no matter how many manuals we look through we cannot gather a good referance to the ammount that some takes from the manules and inparts the information in a teaching manner. Else it can be read but that still means nothing to the extent that it is taught.

    It is like asking someone: How often is “How to conduct a Baptism” taught in the church?

    -D

  22. runtu says:

    ditchu,

    The gnat-straining is pathetic. Something is either taught or it isn’t.

  23. ditchu says:

    But as you started this post the question that must be answered is how one can know what is being taught for certin in the Church, ie: each ward?

  24. runtu says:

    ditchu,

    Have you ever heard of something called Correlation? Again, your attempt to dissemble is transparent.

  25. fh451 says:

    Ditchu,

    My “obvious” attempt was not to trap you, but to encourage some acknowledgement of reality. Apparently I failed. The arguing over how much something is actually taught or not on any given Sunday is a complete red herring. Anyone in the LDS church should know that the LDS church teaches that one can become like God. It is an integral part of the plan of salvation. I was taught it growing up, I taught it on my mission, I taught it in various other classes throughout my life as a member. Either the church is no longer teaching that doctrine, and is thus “backing away” from it, or GBH dissembled on national television. I don’t see a third option. We’ve established that it is in the lesson manuals and in the scriptures. The scriptures and lesson manuals are used to teach the membership. To say that it isn’t taught shows a willful disregard for reality.

    I really don’t understand why apologists for GBH don’t simply take the tak that it’s OK to not tell the whole truth under certain circumstances. General conference talks on the value of unflinching and complete honesty not withstanding, I think most of us would agree that there are situations under which it is ethical to not tell the truth. When under physical threat from the unethical, for example, or in some cases to serve some greater good. This latter argument was given by my TBM brother, and he accepted that in GBH’s judgement it was better not to be totally forthcoming and risk alienating a large number of potential converts. You may agree or disagree with that assessment, but I think it makes a lot more sense than trying to justify that the church “doesn’t really teach that.”

    The fact that GBH stood up in conference and said that he understood the church’s doctrine perfectly well is strong evidence that what he said on 60 Minutes was causing people to wonder what was going on. It was at odds with common understanding, and while he did not admit error, I believe he intended (and did, for the most part) to sooth the faithful that he wasn’t making a big doctrinal statement on 60 Minutes. Church business goes on as usual.

    fh451

  26. ditchu says:

    451,
    When was the last time you heard that in a lesson at an LDS Church?

    The matter is not one of the docturne but on if it is being taught. unless I am mistaken about the comment in question Hinkley said that he did not know if it was being taught.

    I think my point is more of a red snapper than any kind of herring.

    -D

  27. GBSmith says:

    Ditchu is to be commended for the tone of his posts. Trying to deal with the points of argument when confronted by phrases like:

    “Your attempts to defend the statement “I don’t know that we teach that” are nearly as funny as they are illogical”

    “The gnat-straining is pathetic”

    “Have you ever heard of something called Correlation? Again, your attempt to dissemble is transparent.”

    “My “obvious” attempt was not to trap you, but to encourage some acknowledgement of reality”

    Runtu, it would seem to be safer to agree with your points that to disagree. What you say in your piece my be true but the spin you put on it, i.e. backing away from a core doctrine as evidence of the untruthfulness of the LDS Church, is worth discussing but not when the tone becomes what is is here. And I’m starting to wonder who you’re trying to convert.

  28. fh451 says:

    Ditchu said: “When was the last time you heard that in a lesson at an LDS Church?”

    If I were to say “last week,” would that satisfy you? Somehow I doubt it.

    fh451

  29. runtu says:

    I’m not trying to convert anyone. I do think ditchu is straining at gnats and dissembling. I don’t mean to be harsh, just saying what I think. But I will try to be a little kinder and gentler. I appreciate the reminder.

    And you seem to have missed my point. I don’t think that backing away from doctrine is evidence that the church isn’t true. I just find it interesting that some people believe that doctrines are eternal, hence the line about lines drawn in the sand. As I said, in a prophet-led religion, one would expect constant change. I’m just not sure why some people insist that things are set in stone.

  30. GBSmith says:

    I did miss your point. I got so tied up in talking about exaltation, etc. it went right by me. I totally agree. Organizations, “prophet” led or otherwise, generally need to realize that sooner or later they need to change or die. Having things that are unchangeable can be comforting for a time but only for awhile. The trick is how and why the change takes place but that could be the subject for a whole other conversation.

  31. ditchu says:

    451,
    Thank you for the answer, now if you would please enlighten me as to the fact of that particluar lesson: Did at any time in that lesson someone mention becoming a god?

    -D

  32. fh451 says:

    Ditchu said: “Thank you for the answer, now if you would please enlighten me as to the fact of that particluar lesson: Did at any time in that lesson someone mention becoming a god?”

    The answer I gave earlier was hypothetical, and evoked precisely the response I was expecting. If one claimed to have participated in a lesson where this concept was taught, you would continue to parse and narrow the requirements of what it means to “teach about becoming God” to the point where you may, on some technical interpretation, say that in fact it is not taught; thus, vindicating GBH. There is no point in persuing that line of thought, because I think it is rather clear using the “reasonable person” standard that the concept was taught in the LDS church and remains a core doctrine. Also note that what you or I have experienced in the last week or even year in the church isn’t relavant to GBH’s statement – it was made over 10 years ago, at a time when I was fully active and participating in the LDS church. Just for the record, I now attend the Unitarian Universalist church, and have little interest in what is taught in LDS Sunday School these days.

    fh451

  33. ditchu says:

    I am not narrowing any “requirements” but I am seeking input as to what was taught.

    It does sadden me that you creat a hypothedical situation ot get away from the firts part of my question. You have started to create false data and I hope you recall this when asked for information again so you will have a better choice to make as to giving any data that is misleading.

    I have received many comments about how I keep dodging and moving on the issues but If one would review I am holding to my statments and not falsifying data to move away form someone’s point.

    So… 451, You really do not have anything to add to the topic until we can uncover any accual data as to what extent the Docturne is “Taught.”

    Thank you for wasting my time no further as you have stated your position and perspective that you have no further contact with the data I seek.

    Good day,
    -D

  34. fh451 says:

    Ditchu – I created a hypothetical to draw out what you were really after, and it worked. That is not “false data,” because I never offered it as data. The fact is, what happened in sunday school last week is a red herring, because, as I stated, GBH made his statement over 10 years ago. Are you telling me that you want to collect statistics of a representative set of wards in the church in 1997 to see how many times the doctrine of “becoming like God” was taught? All I can offer is that I do have relevant experience with that (as do others on this thread), and I know for certain that the doctrine was taught. You have offered no evidence whatsoever that it wasn’t taught.

    fh451

  35. fh451 says:

    OK, I’m going to make one last post here and be done with it. The reason I care at all about this topic is because of the impact of GBH’s “I dont’ know that we teach that” statement had on some people I now know pretty well. It was like a kick right in the gut. I personally did not have such a visceral reaction at the time, and simply trusted that he knew what he was doing in order to project the kind of image the Lord wanted to project. But some were extremely hurt that GBH didn’t take the opportunity in a national magazine or on national TV to come out and proclaim one of the truly unique and, we thought, empowering aspects of Mormonism. We as common members had put our time, efforts, and reputations on the line as we explained the Plan of Salvation, including becoming like God, to propsective investigators and friends. To have GBH demur in such a public setting really undermined that effort (in their view). If it’s the truth, then why not proclaim it? If we really “dont’ know about it,” then it’s a little embarrassing to have born testimony of it.

    TTFN,

    fh451

  36. ditchu says:

    451,

    If you look closely at my posts here you should easily see that I am not arguing about weather the docturn is taught or not, nor am I arguing if it is or is not docturn. What I am doing is sharing how I think you all may have taken the statment wrong and making your own “red herring” about how it means the Church is stepping away from the Docturn. What I am suggesting is a step beyond and if it is such an important Docturn maybe there should be more of an effort to teaching it.

    However, I asked a pointed question: “when was the last time you were taught about the topic. and you lied to me making up some story about last week and so I asked a question to find out how deep the discussion went and then you had to tell me that you decided to lie to me to draw out some mysterious adjenda I suppositivally had. I did not hide my reasoning from you but asked strait forward questions to collect data. You are the one that figured I had hidden some adjenda. I just want to know when the last time it was that you heard the topic taught, because If I were asked I would have to tell you that I do not know if it is taught and to what extent it is taught.

    I think I have been more than fair in this discussion.

    -D

  37. ditchu says:

    I’d rather have my Prophet be honest and truthful instead of worried about embarrasment. I think it was a point of enbarrasment that he really did not know to what extent it was being taught in the church and so he did not know if the Church as a whole taught Deification.

    But I think it is more than becoming “like God.” Else why do others have such a hard time with it, Even the Lutheran Church I grew up in taught becoming like God. That is the mission of every Christian is to follow Jesus christ to become like God.

    -D

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