14 comments

  1. I don’t think our scriptures tell us all that much about the Father. Does he have a resurrected body? It’s a safe bet, but not a sure one.

  2. Hi Todd,

    Thanks for reaching out to my blog for the sake of starting this discussion.

    Yes, the LDS canon of scripture does reveal that Heavenly Father does have a body of flesh:

    “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. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.” (Doctrine & Convenants 130:22)

    After all of those barbecues, nobody gave you your own copy of Doctrine & Covenants? 🙂

  3. imormon, Todd is probably aware of that passage. He isn’t asking for a passage on the Father simply having a body of flesh and bones, rather he is specifically asking for a LDS canonical reference where the Father is spoken of as having a resurrected body.

    This is yet another example of Mormonism holding onto a belief that isn’t necessarily canonical. The various Mormons who posture Mormonism as a religion of sola scriptura are misleading.

  4. From the King Follett discourse:

    “What did Jesus say?…Jesus said, ‘As the Father hath power in himself, even so hath the Son power.’ To do what? Why, what the Father did. The answer is obvious–in a manner to lay down his body and take it up again. Jesus, what are you going to do? To lay down my life as my Father did, and take it up again.(Emphasis added)

  5. Greg, that’s not a “canonical” reference.

    Personally, I’m a big fan of the King Follett discourse and wouldn’t mind seeing it canonized, but I feel duty-bound to point out that it’s not binding doctrine (whatever that word means in a Mormon context).

    I’m unaware of any LDS scripture that posits the Father havng a “resurrected” body.

    As for any General Authority statements suggesting such a thing, I would say that each individual Mormon is entitled to pray for himself or herself and determine whether they personally agree with said General Authority. I’m a “big-tent” sort myself and think that both those who think the Father was a mortal man, and those who don’t should be welcome in the Mormon fold.

  6. Aaron,

    It saddens me to see that you—or anybody—would ever believe that my comments were designed in any way to be misleading. Before and since I became a member of the Church, I have always tried to be honest in all that I do and say. I can’t imagine representing my faith as fitting into the category of sola scriptura, when Latter-day Saints embrace the Old Testament, the New Testament, another testament of Jesus Christ (The Book of Mormon), an entire book of modern-day revelations received by contemporary prophets (Doctrine and Covenants) and more revealed scripture (books of Abraham and Moses found in the Pearl of Great Price) in addition to believing that prophets and apostles walk the earth in our day and continue to receive revelation for God’s children and Christ’s Church. Sola scriptura is a Protestant point of view as far as I understand. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints isn’t a Protestant church any more than it is Catholic. We owe a great debt to the Reformers. They saw that man had erred. They were inspired by the Lord to lay the groundwork for the restoration of His Church. They founded a free nation where Christianity could flourish free of monarchs and despots. They were my ancestors and I honor them. My Father in Heaven wants me to share my testimony of His Son, but He didn’t send me here to contend with my brothers and sisters. I know that Jesus lives. I love Him. Can we agree on that? I will give these topics more attention at http://imormon.wordpress.com.

  7. If the LDS scriptures don’t state it, then Dan, I would like to understand what the living LDS prophet and apostles believe right now in 2008?

    Do they believe the LDS Father had to die in order to progress as a God?

    I get the impression from Seth that this is not really an important issue.

    But then I read Blake Ostler who writes of the importance of the Father experiencing death.

  8. Todd, I never said is was unimportant.

    But I don’t think God always gives us answers to the important issues either. Sometimes He leaves us with an utter lack of information – even on matters that are quite important.

    I think this is one area where He has not deigned to enlighten us further.

  9. We believe that God the Father has a physical body that is perfect. It is not subject to death like that of Christ. Christ’s body is in this same immortal and perfect state, a result of the resurrection.

    Do the Brethren believe Heavenly Father had to die in order to progress as a God? You may be referring to the King Follett discourse or Lorenzo Snow’s famous declaration. The Church holds the account of Joseph’s sermon as an insightful piece of LDS literature, however the Brethren acknowledge the following:

    “The King Follett Sermon, one of the classics of Church literature, was given by the Prophet Joseph Smith at the April 7, 1844, conference of the Church in Nauvoo, Illinois. Some twenty thousand Saints were assembled.
    The account of the talk noted that it was the funeral sermon for Elder King Follett, a close friend of the Prophet’s who had been killed in an accident on March 9. Longhand notes of the discourse were made by Willard Richards, Wilford Woodruff, Thomas Bullock, and William Clayton. This reprint was taken from the Documentary History of the Church, vol. 6, pages 302–17. That volume notes: “This was not a stenographic report, but a carefully and skillfully prepared one made by these men who were trained in reporting and taking notes. Evidently, there are some imperfections in the report and some thoughts expressed by the Prophet which were not fully rounded out and made complete. …”

    “It should also be noted that this discourse was given two months before the death of Joseph Smith. During these months the enemies of the Church were extremely active, and the Prophet undoubtedly anticipated the coming events.
    The first part of the sermon is printed this month, with the conclusion planned for the May issue of the Ensign. In future issues of the Ensign, other significant discourses and articles from the past will be presented.” “The King Follett Sermon,” Ensign, Apr 1971, 13–14.

    The record we have of the sermon is what it is, but I would have enjoyed being present to hear the actual sermon in person. Joseph may have gone farther to describe God’s history in the sermon, but I understand why the sermon is not canonized, given the manner in which is was assembled. Doctrine and Covenants 130 is the word of God and makes it clear that He has that body. Outside the sermon memorializing the Prophet’s friend, King Follett, we don’t see much more. Only Lorenzo Snow’s statement. I do believe President Snow, yet you and I may never fully understand its significance in this life. These quotes seem to matter most to the detractors of our faith, searching for fault in the restored gospel. I hope their desire to tear down a church and my own desire to share my faith in the works of the Savior do not take us all off the path of discipleship. The consequences would be a train wreck.

    I know that last comment isn’t an answer to your question, but I feel a strong love for the gospel and regret the contention that often accompanies the matter.

    As for Blake Ostler is an intelligent commentator, not an apostle. Neither he nor I are the final word on the matter. Certainly, you will find Mormons who believe more or less than our canon of scripture and current counsel from the Brethren. If we all had it figured out and knew it all, the prophets wouldn’t have much to say.

  10. Seth, perhaps I should have said, “fundamental issue.”

    You know how much I like to dig down to the fundamentals of what you/I believe . . . and what are essential components/details about the God we each respectively believe in.

    So if LDS eternal progression is essential to LDS faith and temple practice, I don’t understand why things should be in the dark about the LDS Father.

    For me, LDS teachings about Jesus do not provide answers to divine mysteries, but generate troubling questions. Many of them.

    Like, if the Father had to die separately, does that mean there needed to be another sacrifice for sin? How was the Son one with the Father in the Father’s death? I could go on and on.

    Joseph Smith really did a number on John’s Gospel.

  11. Dan, I have lots of questions. Living and hungering for God here in the I-15 corridor, the living LDS apostles aren’t giving much public discourse and extensive thought to vital matters of doctrine about God’s nature and work. Blake does more thought than they. But chapter by chapter, I am gaining stronger and stronger faith in God and His gospel through the writings of the biblical apostles.

    And I am spell bound by the things that Jesus is teaching me this week in John 11.

  12. Hello gang. First time reader here, first time poster here.

    In his new book “Shaken Faith Syndrome” Mike Ash discusses the role of prophets and doctrine. On pg. 23 he says,
    “Not all issues fit into neat, simple, compartmentalized categories for which there are easy explanations. In life– especially with complex issues such as religion– there are amiguities; and not all difficult issues will be resolved in our lifetimes.”

    On page 25 and 26 he discusses the fact that prophets may offer speculation and even well thought out rational conclusions on issues for which revelation has not yet been given. Ash explains that D&C 18:18 teaches us that God only reveals those things which are “expedient” for us to know, “expedient” meaning those principles which will help us return to God.

    I know I am preaching to the choir here, but I think it is useful to be reminded that the particular doctrine being discussed here cannot be fit into a neat category with a definite answer, and that it probably does not fall into the list of “expedient” doctrines. It is a fascinating topic, but one that for now at least has not been deemed “expedient” for our salvation.

  13. James, I would like to hear what Mike has to say tomorrow about the “Shaken Faith Syndrome”.

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