Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
The Spin in Salt Lake City
12/14/2007 - James WhiteI confess, I do not understand it. How a religion can play the "political correctness" game is completely beyond me. Yes, I know--in today's culture, everyone is a victim, everyone is a martyr, and now if you dare even ask let alone answer a question about someone's religious faith, you are being mean-spirited and everyone will demand an apology from you. But let's lay this out simply:
In Mormonism, God the Father, Elohim, begets children in the spiritual pre-existence.Evidently, to follow this reasoning to its final conclusion is forbidden by political correctness, well, unless you are LDS. I noted the 1986 Ensign article discussing this very issue and describing those who do not realize that Jesus and Lucifer were both spiritual offspring of Elohim (and hence spirit-brothers) as being "unacquainted with latter-day revelations" (here's the article on line). Yet, despite all of this, we find the following on the very same LDS website, dated 12/11/07:
In Mormonism, God, men, and angels, are of the same "species."
In Mormonism, Jesus is the first begotten spirit child of Elohim.
In Mormonism, angels "are chosen from among his (Elohim's) offspring and are themselves pressing forward along the course of progression and salvation, all in their respective spheres" (Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 35).
In Mormonism, Satan is a fallen angel.
Therefore, Jesus and Satan are both offspring of Elohim, and therefore....?
SALT LAKE CITY 12 December 2007 Like other Christians, we believe Jesus is the divine Son of God. Satan is a fallen angel.I do not have an ounce of respect for this kind of response, I must confess. This from a religion that proclaims it is in possession of "latter-day revelation" that clarifies so much that is allegedly unclear in non-LDS faiths? This is the religion with a living prophet and living apostles? And all it can come up with is this pure piece of spin? Let's consider this statement put out by the LDS Church.
As the Apostle Paul wrote, God is the Father of all. That means that all beings were created by God and are His spirit children. Christ, however, was the only begotten in the flesh, and we worship Him as the Son of God and the Savior of mankind.
First, what other Christian church believes Jesus is the divine Son of God in the way Mormons do? Who else teaches Elohim lives on a planet that circles a star named Kolob, and that he has a physical body of flesh and bones (no blood), and that he begets spirit children with an entire harem of heavenly wives, who likewise have physical bodies, yet give birth to spirit babies, and that Jesus was the first begotten son of this exalted man from another planet? I'd really like to know who these "other Christians" are. And which of these groups, even if they held all of those views, likewise believe that Jesus was "sired" by Elohim in a physical body, making him the only begotten of the Father "in the flesh"? I think the list is pretty small. And surely the folks in Salt Lake know this, yes? So why speak in these words? Mormonism does not teach what the historic Christian faith has taught about the divine sonship of Jesus, so why pretend otherwise?
Next, yes, Mormons believe Satan is a fallen angel. But, they likewise believe that angels are begotten by the Father, as the statement goes on to say (though, in words that non-Mormons would most likely misunderstand). You see, what is amazing about this statement is that it is actually confirming that Mormons believe Jesus and Lucifer are spirit-brothers. Missed that on first reading? You were meant to. But the statement says that...for Mormons. Mormons know Satan is an angel...one of the offspring of Elohim. Mormons, at least the well read ones, know what "only begotten of the Father in the flesh" means, too. And Mormons know that when this says that God "created" (Mormons deny creatio ex nihilo, so the more normative term in their theology is either beget, when speaking of creatures like angels, or organized, when speaking of physical objects, for the Mormon God cannot create matter, which, in their theology, is eternal) all beings that is an assertion that He is the father of them all, meaning all of mankind, Jesus, our "elder brother" in LDS parlance, and Lucifer as well.
What percentage of those reading this official statement will interpret it exactly backwards? A large percentage, to be sure, and that is what leaves me shaking my head. If you are going to claim to be a representative of God and to possess divine revelation, then show commensurate courage to openly explain, without obfuscation, what it means.
Some of the press can be forgiven---they are pagans. Pagans find theology, even grossly warped theology like Salt Lake's, difficult to follow. A few quick stabs through an online source is enough, right? So some AP reporter, evidently, managed to dig up a copy of The Encyclopedia of Mormonism and opine, "The authoritative Encyclopedia of Mormonism, published in 1992, speaks of Jesus as the son of God and of Satan as a fallen angel, which is a Biblical account." Wow, that's deep. What those words mean in Mormonism, we are not told, of course, but that's enough to make it look like Gov. Huckabee was clueless. And for the vast majority of folks, that's enough.
But others should know better. Conservative talk show host and author Hugh Hewitt, a strong Romney supporter, posted on his blog earlier this week,
Huck asks in this Sunday's New York Times Magazine, "Don't Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?"Let me see how this works. You ask a question that is based in truth: Mormons do believe Jesus and Lucifer are both offspring of Elohim, the exalted man from another planet who is God the Father of this planet. You do so in response to someone asking if you think Mormonism is Christian (it isn't). Just how does this have any bearing to asking if the Jews killed Jesus (Acts 4:27-28 seems to answer the question, so why ask it?). And while Roman Catholics do pray to Mary, they do not admit that this is worship, let alone that Mary is a "god." But to ask them this question would be to go against their own definitions, so---is Hewitt suggesting Huckabee's question was based upon falsehood? Will Hugh Hewitt openly acknowledge the truthfulness of the data that I and others have posted on this topic? My recollection was that Hewitt was, at one time, anyway, a Presbyterian elder, either PCUSA or PCA, I do not recall which. He would be doing a great service to clarify the situation, document the historic LDS teaching on this subject, and reiterate why he feels the truth about Mormonism is irrelevant to Mitt Romney's political aspirations.
No word yet on whether the former Arkansas governor asked if the Jews killed Jesus or if Catholics pray to Mary as a god.