[The following is in response to some comments made today by Mike Gallagher; a nationally- syndicated, radio, talk-show host]
The content of your show today with regard to LDS doctrine being "heretical," inspired the following comments:
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.
"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 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.”