Thursday, December 06, 2007

Clarification for Mike Gallagher

[The following is in response to some comments made today by Mike Gallagher; a nationally- syndicated, radio, talk-show host]


Dear Mike,

The content of your show today with regard to LDS doctrine being "heretical," inspired the following comments:

I do not think that your comments about LDS beliefs helped at all to increase religious tolerance, therefore I have to consider them rather un-American. I am surprised you didn't recognize that 4Mormon.org is clearly an anti-Mormon website. You don't go to a Methodist website to learn about Catholics or a Democrat website to learn about Republican candidates or issues. Similarly, I wouldn't recommend going to an anti-Mormon website to learn about the LDS church.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God: You were unfortunately confusing the Doctrine and Covenants with Mormon Doctrine by Bruce R. McConkie. Despite its name, Mormon Doctrine has never been considered official LDS Doctrine. 4Mormon.org is citing Mormon Doctrine and not the Doctrine and Covenants to support its claim. And I know that the 1972 Family Home Evening manual didn't talk that explicitely. That is a manual for children; my parents taught us from that version of manual every week and it never came close to being so specific in such matters. There is no official Mormon Doctrine on this issue other than that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and not the Son of the Holy Ghost.
This doctrine of the Divine Sonship of Jesus Christ comes from Mormon scriptures, the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and the Pearl of Great Price, and this doctrine is also the theme of an oft misunderstood teaching by Brigham Young. While the Journal of Discourses speaks on this doctrinal issue, the Journal of Discourses, by itself, doesn't necessarily constitute official LDS Doctrine:

"When the Virgin Mary conceived the child Jesus, the Father had begotten him in his own likeness. He was not begotten by the Holy Ghost. And who is the Father?.... Jesus, our elder brother, was begotten in the flesh by the same character that was in the Garden of Eden, and who is our Father in Heaven.... Now, remember from this time forth, and forever, that Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost" (Journal of Discourses. vol. 1, pp. 50-51).

The "same character that was in the Garden of Eden" is not referring to Adam but God the Father. Yet anti-Mormon groups routinely use this quote from Brigham Young to errantly claim that it is somehow LDS Doctrine that either 1. Adam is the father of Jesus or 2. God had sex with Mary; neither of which are suggested or implied in this quote. The point is that it is LDS Doctrine that Jesus Christ was begotten of Heavenly Father and not the Holy Ghost making Jesus Christ the literal son of Heavenly Father. There is no talk of mechanism. We believe as did Peter that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I don't see why many Christians have such a problem with our more literal interpretation of the Bible on this doctrine.

About the Garden of Eden: It is LDS Doctrine that the garden of Eden was is Missouri. So what. How do you know it wasn't. We believe that Adam to Noah lived in North America before the flood and only after the flood were the continents divided and Noah settled in the Middle East because thats where the ark came to rest. Just because ancient Jews named rivers Euphrates and places Assyria and Ethiopia doesn't mean they represent the originals. Also, we believe the continents hadn't divided at that point. So, not knowing what the geography looked like before the flood I can't say if its right or wrong. This is not a huge important doctrine in the church other than to say that when several groups crossed the ocean from the Middle East to the America's, as recorded in the Book of Mormon, they commented that the Americas were a "Land Choice above all others" and that God had made special covenants and promises regarding those who would live here. Is it so bad to believe that America is special to God, and maybe as important as Jerusalem? This belief has always served to strengthen LDS patriotism.

Garments: Every religion has some type of clothing or accessory that they wear to remind them of their faith and values. So what if ours is our underwear. First, it represents the clothing made for Adam and Eve when they discovered their nakedness (fallen state) in the Garden of Eden. It represents the Sacrifice, Grace, and Mercy of Jesus Christ which covers our sins. Every day when I put on a fresh pair I am reminded of my faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior. Second, no one else can see them. Christ criticized those who expended the length of their phylacteries or the hem of their robes to appear pious. Last, they are modest and require modest clothing to cover them. I should tell you that I and all my friends successfully practiced abstinence before we were married, and the active LDS members have lower rates of teen pregnancy, illegitimacy, and divorce than any other church. How do the young men of your church treat women, family and their marriage commitments?

Degrees of Heaven: I have met many an evangelical that are sure I am going to Hell for being LDS. In contrast, members of the LDS church believe that even you, Mike Gallagher, are going to heaven and that you will dwell with Jesus Christ forever. It is LDS Doctrine that every Christian, thanks to Christ, is going to be rewarded exactly what they feel they are promised. But, don't criticize our hope and believe in a heaven with Christ and the continued association with our wife and children. We just call the state with our families the Celestial Kingdom. If you don't desire that, fine. No one is going to force you to be with your wife and kids if you don't want to. I am sorry, but heaven without my wife just doesn't sound like much of a heaven to me.

I don't know where you get that our belief in heaven consists of “dwelling on our own world.” What we do believe is that we will assist God in the work of creation. What do you expect to be doing for eternity. We believe that God is worshipped through the labors we perform and the work we do on behalf of others of his spirit children not just by circling his thrown endlessly in some endless spiritual procession or strumming a harp on some cloud.

I don't know what Bible version you were reading from but the KJV scripture that clearly refers to the 3 states of the resurrected in heaven is 1 Cor 15:39-42:

“All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead.”

9 comments:

Jacob J said...

For Mike Gallagher to make incorrect comments about Mormonism is to be expected, but for you (Broz) to say some of the things in this letter is surprizing.

There is no official Mormon Doctrine on this issue other than the following...

To quote something from the Journal of Discourses as "official Mormon Doctrine" is beyond naive.

LDS church believe that even you, Mike Gallagher, are going to heaven and that you will dwell with Jesus Christ forever.

You are obviously trying to be tricky when you say that "every Christian, thanks to Christ, is going to be rewarded exactly what they feel they are promised." By saying it this way, you attempt to say that the telestial kindgom is what "every Christian" thinks of as heaven. However, you need to dust off your D&C when you promise Mike he will be with Christ forever:

112 And they shall be servants of the Most High; but where God and Christ dwell they cannot come, worlds without end. (D&C 76)

Anonymous said...

For Mike,

I notice that you criticize Mormon Doctrine written by a former Apostle of the LDS Church (now deceased). My question is why the LDS Church never corrected their Apostle for his writings if he was in fact in error in his statements. Another question is why the Journal of Discourses is quoted in official publications published by the LDS Church, if statements from the Journal are not accurate. Finally, you state that "the 1972 Family Home Evening manual didn't talk about sexual intercourse." My copy of that 1972 manual published by the Church says, "Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God in the flesh. Well, now for the benefit of the older ones, how are children begotten? I answer just as Jesus Christ was begotten of his father..." pp 125-126. What does this mean?

BRoz said...

Jacob,

According the the D&C, the honorable of the Earth will inherit the Terestrial Kingdom and will have access to Jesus Christ. I feel like many Christians and even some LDS members will fall into this category. Those in the Terestrial Kingdom will not have been valiant in their faith and those things they knew to be true.

Since we are judged according to our knowledge, I believe there will be a great many valiant Christians who will inherit the Celestial Kingdom and will have the necessary ordinances performed by vicarious proxy after they have died.

My comments with regard to Evangelical Christian doctrine on heaven is that it promises them a 2nd-rate heaven. But it is heaven with access to a member of the God Head. And, Why should they care if LDS Doctrine promises eternal families if they don't believe or desire that to be possible.

Those who inherit the Telestial kindom will not have access to God and Christ but only the Holy Ghost. D&C 76 is clear that this portion of heaven is reserved for liars, murderers, and adulterers who will eventual repent and accept Christ's atonement. They will be saved from Hell, but they were not considered honorable.

BRoz said...

Mike,

All I am saying is that there is no specific doctrine or comment on mechanism with regard to the interpretation of "Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God in the flesh"

I doesn't bother me either way, but I don't think its fare for anti-mormons to make inferences where no clear inferences have been given.

BRoz said...

Jacob,

Good points about citing Journal of Discourses like that. I corrected my post. I hope my comments with regard to that quote more more clearly communicates the relationship of literature like Mormon Doctrine or The Journal of Discourses to LDS Doctrine.

mondo cool said...

Someone riddle me this: Mormonism & Mormon Doctrine have been around for quite some time. Yet, the Mike Gallaghers and their callers still can't seem to correctly get the basics of Church praxis, history, or doctrine in their re-telling to us what we believe. For example, some Catholic priest, the other day commenting on the Romney speech, said that the visit of the angel Moroni was in 1820. What would he think if we said the Vatican was in Sicily? Another said we think JS is "higher than Jesus Christ."

Why can't they get it right? C'mom people. It's just not that difficult.

Jacob J said...

Thanks BRoz. I agree with you when you say that "there will be a great many valiant Christians who will inherit the Celestial Kingdom." Indeed, Mormon doctrine is very inclusive with respect to who can go to heaven, even the celestial kingdom. I was glad to see the softened language about the JD quote.

truthbear said...

Hello To All;

Came across your site and wanted to make a quick comment...First of all, I am not Mormon, I am a Apostolic...

Let me say this my friend, Those who are obedient unto the word of God and uphold His laws and His commandments shall enter into His kingdom...Those whom alter His word (gospel),(Deuteronomy 4:2), (Revelations 22:18-19).. If man adds to the word, God shall add to him the plagues that are written in this book..If a man takes away from the words of the book, then God shall take away his part out of the book of life..That is biblical...

God came to earth and manifested himself in the flesh and His name was called Jesus, you will find this in the book of (Isaiah 7:14), and the book of (Matthew 1: 21-23)

1) Who is the Father?

2) Who is the Son?

3) Who is the Holy Ghost?

The answer is, Jesus Christ...

They are not three separate entities as you suppose, they are one, you do not understand the scriptures...The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are merely titles of the one true God...

What is your plan of salvation? Yes, it is true, that it is freely given, however, we must be obedient unto His word because the Word will save us...

(Acts 2:38-39) This is God's plan of salvation...There is none other name in which we can be saved by, the name Jesus Christ...(acts 4:12)


You might read, (John 1:1,14)(1 Timothy 3:16) (Isaiah 43,44,45,46)...This explains that there is one God and that there is none beside Him...

Humbly:
Truthbear
truthbear@cox.net

BRoz said...

Dear TruthBear,

Thank you for your comments. I understand that it is easy to misinterpret the Bible the way you do. I would like to say that I do not consider my belief adding or subtracting in any way from God's word. Data overwellmingly supports that active Mormons have been saved from all the desolating plagues of this generation (smoking, alcoholism, AIDS, divorce, illegitimacy, etc). Active Mormons give more to charity, we pay our tithing more than other Christians, we are happier, we have bigger families, and we live longer. So, in fact, your criticism is yet proof that we are interpreting the Bible correctly and that other views like the non-Biblical Nicaean Creed Trinity doctrine (Not in the Bible) is what has added and subtracted from God's word.

I believe the Bible teaches the God Head and not the Trinity. I believe the Bible teaches of 3 beings God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. The Father and Son having perfect bodies, parts and righteous passions. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, he existed as Jehovah who spoke to Moses in the burning Bush before he was born to Mary. Jesus Christ created the Heavens and the Earth. He is the first-born spirit child of God the Father.

We interpret literally that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and we interpret figuratively that Jesus Christ is the Father (see other posts for explanation). We don't need to add or subtract anything from the Bible to support our belief. But others have to reject the Book of Mormon (Another Testament of Jesus Christ) and add the non-biblical Nicaean Creed on Trinity for theirs.

Despite similar warnings not to add or subtract to God's word in Deuteronomy, men did and have left the Bible rather ambigious on several subjects which has caused it to fail in its mission to bring us to a unity of the faith. That is why the Book of Mormon is so important to bring clarity to such important issues.

Why is it so important for people to believe dead prophets but when there are prophets who speak for God in our time, we don't listen. just like the Jews at the time of Christ. The Bible was never ment to be a sealed Book. The Book of Revelations wasn't even the last thing John wrote despite it being placed arbatrarily at the end.