Make~Shift Gods

:

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Make~Shift Gods
------------------------

Secrets of Mormonism ~

Creating
an Issue of lack of

Informed Consent
for

Mormon Church Converts
By Steve Redinger

To Editors and Reviewers December 2009

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

1

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Version Control Page
Make~Shift Gods: Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts Written in MS Word 2000 Working Copy For Editors and Reviewers This is an alpha version for content evaluation by reviewers December, 2009 Written and Compiled by Steve Redinger

This version contains some typographical errors—but is only intended for content review.

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

2

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Author’s Preface
The ultimate purpose of “Make-Shift Gods” is to reveal the Mormon Religion’s layered system of hidden beliefs. This creates a situation where potential converts of Mormonism do not have a fair chance to properly assess the ultimate teachings of Mormonism before deciding to join the LDS Church. In part book describes what Mormonism teaches about God(s). Yet the main purpose of the book is describe to an advanced reader as to HOW Mormonism controls, stores, and imparts to the public its religious information. The book describes how the publicly taught Mormon gospel and its ‘visitors welcome’ worship patterns appear ‘Christian’ and ‘orthodox’ to the general public. Yet amazingly, after an individual converts to the orthodox sounding gospel, he/she is powerfully carried off into an non-Christian worldview. Make-Shift Gods explains that this religion, by its inherent structure is predisposed to misrepresent its ultimate beliefs to the public and potential converts. The net effect of Mormonism’s winning converts goes against the ethics of ‘informed consent’. The proposed title “Make-Shift Gods” comes because the booklet exemplifies the Mormon Church’s public proclamation of one eternal God that is shifted into the internal secret doctrine of many gods. Makes-Shift Gods cites irrefutable facts from the Mormon sources that demonstrate that Mormonism is a system of shifting layers of information, with each layer having different rules and standards for ‘truth’. The book briefly discusses the actual belief control mechanisms involved in Mormonism through its priesthood. After studying the booklet, the reader will clearly see how Mormonism selectively administers layers of contradicting beliefs by way its organizational priesthood hierarchy, ordinances, non-verbal mechanisms, and temples. What Mormonism teachers is one thing, how it is taught, and why it is accepted by its membership is revealed by reading Make-Shift Gods! Make-Shift Gods provides insights into new kinds of Christian witnessing methods that may help some Mormons break the bonds that hold them in Mormonism. As a young Evangelical Christian, the author joined the Mormons under its public pretenses. In a miracle, after a 17 year struggle with Mormonism’s, inconsistencies the author returned to Evangelical Christianity in 1992. This is a significant written work because it shows why and how many people are mislead into Mormonism, despite the many written warnings in books and verbal warnings from the pulpits of traditional Christianity about its heretical doctrines.

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

3

Make~Shift Gods : Thank you, ---Steve Redinger

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Make~Shift Gods Table of Contents
BY STEVE REDINGER ............................................................................... 1
1- SECRETS BEYOND BELIEF .................................................................................... 9 ORIENTATION TO MORMONISM ........................................................................................ 9 RIDICULOUS IN THE EYES OF ‘THE WORLD’.................................................................... 9 ETERNAL PROGRESSION, THE GREAT SECRET ............................................................... 10 2-WOULD YOU JOIN THE MORMON CHURCH? ................................................ 13 MORMON ORTHODOXY IN THE PUBLIC SQUARE ............................................................ 13 LACK OF INFORMED CONSENT ? .................................................................................... 17 THE BOTTOM LINE ......................................................................................................... 19 INTO THE DEPTHS OF MORMONISM ................................................................................ 20 3- THE SECRET PARADOX OF THE MORMON BAPTISMAL COVENANT... 21 ONENESS, TRANSCENDENCE, AND THE TRINITY ............................................................ 21 MORMON BAPTISM ........................................................................................................ 22 JESUS CHRIST SETS TRINITARIAN TERMS FOR THE COVENANT ...................................... 25 THE BLESSING OF “MY SPIRIT” FOR KEEPING THE COVENANT ...................................... 28 THE ‘ETERNAL FATHER’ OF THE SACRAMENT PRAYERS................................................ 30 THE LDS DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS AND BAPTISM ................................................... 31 THE JOSEPH SMITH TRANSLATION OF THE BIBLE INSERTS A MONOTHEISTIC VIEW OF GOD ............................................................................................................................... 34 IMPLICATIONS OF THIS PARADOX ................................................................................... 38 4- SECRET DOUBLE MEANINGS EVERYWHERE ............................................... 41 4.1 SECRET MULTIVALENT THEOLOGIES IN MORMONISM ............................................. 41 4.2 GODS WITH SECRET MIXED IDENTITIES ................................................................... 50 4.3 MULTIPLE THEOLOGIES IN LDS CURRENT SUNDAY SCHOOL MATERIALS .............. 60 4.4 MORMONISM’S PROGRESSIVE DISCLOSURE OF SECRET INFORMATION .................... 64 4.5 INDEPENDENT SPHERES OF SECRET KNOWLEDGE .................................................... 69 4.6 MEN ARE SECRETLY GODS AND GODS ARE SECRETLY MEN .................................... 74 4.7 SPHERES OF PARADOXICAL INFORMATION HIDE SECRETS ....................................... 76 4.8 CONSEQUENCES OF SECRET DOUBLE MEANINGS..................................................... 81 5-TWO GOSPELS: MORMONISM’S BIGGEST SECRET ..................................... 83 THE SECRET OF THE LOST GOSPEL OF MOSES ............................................................... 84 Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 4

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

THE MORMON PREPARATORY GOSPEL OF TODAY ......................................................... 85 THE FULNESS OF THE GOSPEL ........................................................................................ 86 A PRIESTHOOD FOR EACH GOSPEL ................................................................................ 89 EACH GOSPEL HAS DISTINCT SOURCES OF INFORMATION ............................................. 91 EACH MORMON GOSPEL HAS A DIFFERENT PLACE OF WORSHIP, DISTINCTIVE COVENANTS, AND DIFFERENT GODS ............................................................................. 92 EACH GOSPEL PROVIDES FOR A SPECIFIC HUMAN ETERNAL DESTINY (HEAVENS) AND HAS ITS RESIDENT GOD(S). ............................................................................................ 95 THE ORDER OF THE GODS .............................................................................................. 98 6. MAKE~SHIFT GODS: MY HISTORY AS A MORMON................................... 101 PART ONE- MEET THE MORMONS! .............................................................................. 101 PART TWO- MY FIRST LDS SACRAMENT MEETINGS................................................... 104 PART THREE-THE LDS PATTERN OF KNOWLEDGE DISCOVERY .................................. 107 PART FOUR -THE FIRST PRINCIPLES OF THE GOSPEL ................................................... 109 PART FIVE—MY ANTI-MORMON NEIGHBOR .............................................................. 110 PART SIX- I WAS BAPTIZED INTO THE MORMON CHURCH .......................................... 112 PART SEVEN- MY FORMATIVE YEARS AS A MORMON ................................................. 113 PART EIGHT- MY AWAKENING : TWO GOSPELS OF MORMONISM ............................... 115 PART NINE- EXODUS ................................................................................................... 121 7- MORMON CREEDLESSNESS.............................................................................. 123 TRINITARIAN CREEDAL CHRISTIANITY ........................................................................ 123 KINDS OF CREEDS ........................................................................................................ 123 LEADERS IN MORMONISM CLAIM THAT MORMONISM IS CREEDLESS........................... 123 CURRENT MORMON LEADERSHIP ARE CRITICAL OF CREEDS ....................................... 124 MORMON WRITINGS ARE NEVERTHELESS FULL OF CREEDS!....................................... 128 RELIGIOUS INFORMATION MANAGEMENT IN MORMONISM .......................................... 129 8- THE POWERS OF THE MELCHEZEDIC PRIESTHOOD .............................. 133 BIBLICAL AUTHORITY ................................................................................................. 134 GOD’S WORD ............................................................................................................... 134 AUTHORITY BY GOD’S WORD ...................................................................................... 135 THE IMPORTANCE OF PRIESTHOOD FOR GAINING KNOWLEDGE IN MORMONISM ......... 138 EXCLUSIVE ACCESS TO KNOWLEDGE AND TRUTH THROUGH THE PRIESTHOOD .......... 140 THE PRIESTHOOD IS AS FUNDAMENTAL AS GOD’S EXISTENCE. ................................... 142 THE PRIESTHOOD FUNCTIONS AS THE SPIRIT GOD AND WORD OF GOD ...................... 143 9-EPILOGUE ................................................................................................................ 151 APPENDIX A: THE MORMON SCRIPTURES, SACRED WRITINGS AND PRIESTHOOD OFFICES............................................................................................ 155 THE BIBLE ................................................................................................................... 155 THE BOOK OF MORMON............................................................................................... 155 THE DOCTRINE AND COVENANTS ................................................................................ 155 THE PEARL OF GREAT PRICE........................................................................................ 156 JOSEPH SMITH’S HISTORY ............................................................................................ 156 Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 5

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

THE MORMON ARTICLES OF FAITH ............................................................................. 156 IMPORTANT DOCTRINAL EXPOSITIONS ........................................................................ 156 MORMON CHURCH PRIESTHOOD STRUCTURE AND LEADERSHIP HIERARCHY .............. 157 THE LDS PRIESTHOOD ORGANIZATION AND HIERARCHY ........................................... 158 APPENDIX B. IS THIS REALLY A TRIUNE GOD?.............................................. 163 THE JOHANNINE COMMA BASELINE ............................................................................ 163 TRINITARIAN COMMENTARIES IN THE BOOK OF MORMON........................................... 164 DIVINE INVESTITURE OF AUTHORITY ........................................................................... 167 WHO IS THIS “MY SPIRIT” ?.......................................................................................... 173 APPENDIX C: ONE DIMENSIONAL COMPARISON OF BIBLE TEACHINGS VS. MORMONISM ...................................................................................................... 179 CITATIONS, NOTES AND OTHER NUMBERED COMMENTS ........................ 185 1: A SECRET BEYOND BELIEF ..................................................................................... 185 2- WOULD YOU JOIN THE MORMON CHURCH? ............................................................ 190 3- THE SECRET PARADOX OF THE MORMON BAPTISMAL COVENANT .......................... 192 4.1-SECRET DOUBLE MEANINGS IN MORMONISM........................................................ 197 4.2-GODS WITH SECRET MIXED IDENTITIES ................................................................. 197 4.3-DOUBLE THEOLOGIES IN LDS CURRENT SUNDAY SCHOOL MATERIALS ............... 201 4.4- MORMONISM’S PROGRESSIVE DISCLOSURE OF SECRET INFORMATION................. 201 4.5 CITATIONS-ISOLATED SPHERES OF TRUTH ............................................................. 202 4.6 CITATIONS-4.6 WERE MEN ARE GODS AND GODS ARE MEN ................................. 202 4.7 CITATIONS - 4.7 KEEPING THINGS SECRET ............................................................ 203 5- TWO GOSPELS: MORMONISM’S GREATEST SECRET................................................ 204 6- MAKE-SHIFT GODS: MY HISTORY AS A MORMON .................................................. 210 7- MORMON CREEDLESSNESS ...................................................................................... 216 8- ON THE PRIESTHOOD(S) OF MORMONISM ............................................................... 217

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

6

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Make~ Shift Gods
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

7

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

8

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

1- Secrets Beyond Belief
Orientation to Mormonism
The Mormons are also known as members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Sometimes abbreviated as “LDS”. The Mormon Church contains a body of cultural attributes, beliefs and practices that are popularly recognized as with the following: • • • • • • • • • Was founded in America in the 1800s Is now headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah Considered to be an aberrant Christian Sect, some calling it a non-Christian “cult”- or a even modern Gnostic Mystery Religion Place a priority on family life Professes a belief in the Book of Mormon and other Extra-Biblical Scriptures Teaches it members not to smoke tobacco or drink alcoholic beverages Once practiced polygamy Have a famous Tabernacle Choir Runs the well known Brigham Young University

The Mormon Church of Salt Lake City Utah, called The Church of Jesus Christ of LatterDay Saints has been named after Jesus Christ. This Church claims to simply teach what the world would appropriately term as ‘Christianity’. Plainly the Mormon Church professes outwardly that it believes in God the Father, and His son Jesus Christ and in the Holy Ghost.

Ridiculous in the Eyes of ‘The World’
Yet on the other hand, Mormonism has an inner teaching concerning the origin of God the Father of us all as a mortal man, and the ultimate destiny of mankind as creator Gods called “Eternal Progression”. This Eternal Progression in its assertions of the origins of Deity, diverges from all things in tradition considered to be “Christian” in terms of its ideas about God, mankind, and human salvation. Regardless if a person is a Catholic, or a Protestant, Jewish or Muslim, these LDS higher teachings of God and Man, in our present world are secrets beyond belief.

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

9

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Even among Mormons this philosophy is set apart from the ideas and routines of ordinary day to day life. In 1859, Brigham Young second President of the Mormon Church said of these unusual higher order teachings: It appears ridiculous to the world, under their darkened and erroneous traditions, that God has once been a finite being; and yet we are not in such close communication with him as many have supposed. He has passed on, and is exalted far beyond what we can now comprehend…. We are not capacitated to receive them all at once; but God, by his Spirit, reveals to our spirits as we grow and become able and capacitated to comprehend, through improving upon every means of grace placed within out power, until we shall be counted worthy to receive all things. [1:1] Those that embrace this higher dimension of Mormonism believe that they are the stewards to a critically valuable teaching about Gods and Humans that is ordinarily rejected in the world we live in. In their eyes this teaching must be kept protected in order that its truths may continue on generation to generation. This being the case, as Brigham Young states above necessitated a means to gradually communicate these teachings to its membership a little bit at a time and under special conditions.

Eternal Progression, The Great Secret
Describing this teaching of Mormonism, in a brief summary or scenario is often objectionable to Mormons. I have done so based on a broad review of LDS literature on the topic known as “Eternal Progression”. The elements of each statement are numbered and have an origin in the scripture and literature of Mormon leaders who spoke out on this topic. Eternal Progression in Mormonism teaches that our God the Father used to be a mortal man who lived out a finite existence on another planet. The man developed and grew to become a god by following a specific process the laws and ordinances of still another Father- a God on another home Earth.[ 1:2] In his present God-state, our God the Father rules our planet Earth residing near a star called Kolob [1:3]. These God-beings are not transcendent, and are not all present beings but rather are bound to one place at a time [1:4] . The Heavenly Father is One God, Jesus Christ is a different God-Being, and likewise the Holy Ghost. [1:5] The specific God, The Heavenly Father of our Earthly sphere, is a corporal being, requiring a body of flesh and bones and is now in the bodily form of a man, and, according to Mormonism, he has many goddess wives [1:6]. God and his wives, engage in procreative unity to produce spirit children. These spirits grow and mature in a spiritual sphere or realm as so do other gods in a celestial
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

10

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

world beyond our Earthly reality. The first spirit born as a result was the being Jehovah who became Jesus Christ . Afterwards were born other beings such as Lucifer, all other spirit creatures such as Michael the arch angel, and every person of the entire human race, in the form of spirit children of God. [1:7] According to Eternal Progression’s themes, as ages passed in the spirit world, a counsel of Gods was gathered and agreed on a plan to create and people our Earth [1:8]. Both Jesus and Lucifer were candidates to be The Savior of this Earth [1:9]. After the spirit children are born to God the Father and his goddess wives in heaven, they entered a stage of development where in order to progress they needed to come down and enter into the bodies of human babies that are being born on Earth. This is necessary so that these gods-in-embryo could fully progress like God the Father by having corporal bodies of their own. [1:10]. Because Jesus Christ had to be the literal offspring and Son of God the Father, The Heavenly Father as a physical personage interacted reproductively with Mary on Earth to bring Jesus Christ into this world [1:11]. According to the Eternal Progression scenario, for The Heavenly Father’s children to reach godhood they all must first become a member of the ‘Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints’, become fully involved and devoted to the Mormon Church and associated Church teachings and practices. [1:12]. Upon demonstration full devotion to the Church Ward activities, he or she can enter a Mormon temple and go through secret rituals: baptism for the dead, celestial marriage, and various oaths of secrecy and commitment [1:13]. These celestial rites are for the purpose of permitting entrance into that level of heaven to become gods. We as members of the human race like the Gods who became before us, will be creators and rulers of worlds without end. Billions of these Gods populate and rule billions of different domains in the cosmos. [1:14] This view of the universe, of God, and Gods, and of mankind’s origins and destiny is the one true Christianity; there is no Salvation outside these restored teachings [1:15]. These truths were lost from the earth in ancient times, Mormonism is its modern restoration. Thus comes the name of the Mormon Church, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints”. [1:16] This teaching of Eternal Progression was termed by Mormonism’s founder as ‘the great secret’. [1:17] It should go without saying then that Mormonism has found it necessary to develop some ways and means to communicate this ‘great secret’ to its membership without looking ridicules.
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

11

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

12

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

2-Would You Join the Mormon Church?
Mormon Orthodoxy in the Public Square
If a person searches the internet to read what critics of the Mormon Church reveal about Mormonism, you might wonder why would anyone belong to such a bazaar religion. On the other hand, if you would live around Mormons, and/or attend a Mormon Ward worship for many years you may not even be aware of the Mormon higher teaching that God the Father had to be a mortal man in order to become a God. What this means is that for some reason in the everyday Church life of Mormons, much of extra ordinary teaching is pushed aside in favor of a practical down-to-Earth ordinary life style. This everyday aspect of Mormonism is its public side and a public gospel. This side of Mormonism is the non-technical and opened aspect of the religion. When a person becomes a Mormon they join based a very fundamental and traditional sounding set of teachings. People generally do not join Mormonism not based on technical theology or LDS mysteries of godliness. Rather they join under the teachings of a simple gospel designed for public consumption.

Joining the Mormon Church
Mormons and Mormon Missionaries in the public square will talk about “the Lord”, about “Jesus Christ”, about the Bible, and about the social virtues and benefits of Church going. If asked what they believe about God they will naturally and upfront repeat to you from the LDS Articles of Faith as seen below. “We Believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost”. [2:1]

Mormon Missionaries, Mormon Friends, relatives and friends will honestly tell you of their life style and day to day preoccupations; “We Worship Jesus Christ” “Our Church stands for good things.” “We teach the ‘golden rule’.” “We have family values, high morals…”
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

13

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Let me also assert that Mormons are beautiful people and good neighbors, and are decent and socially appropriate. Mormon social values are expressed in another published Article of Faith; ‘We Believe in Being Honest, True, Chaste, Benevolent, Virtuous, and in Doing Good to all Men…’ ” [2:2] Generally if you have day to day social, and business interactions and conversations with Mormons nothing about them in public will appear non-Christian, cultic, nor strange . In their day to day lives, these religious people do not emphasize the mysterious teachings of ‘Eternal Progression’ or men becoming Gods. Instead, in public, Mormons stress the Christian-like morals and ethics and the ideas of redemption through Jesus Christ. If you discuss religion with Mormons they will generally communicate the ideas of having feelings of security in this life and the next by having the one true and living God in their lives. If you decide to be officially taught by trained Mormon Church missionaries you will be taught moral principles and theological terms what you would globally and by and large hear verbalized from mainstream orthodox Catholics and Protestants. Mormon missionaries will generally teach a minimum of theological ideas, and emphasize obedience to LDS Church’s moral standards. They will emphasize general belief in God and Christ, commandment keeping, the need for faith, repentance and baptism. They will offer you a Book of Mormon, a book that includes the strong repeating themes of redemption through faith and repentance. The Book of Mormon [2:3] does not contain the deepest explicit doctrines of Mormonism’s Eternal Progression, but is basically an analog of Biblical teachings of redemption, along with Bible doctrinal elaborations and commentaries. The Book of Mormon and Mormonism application of the Bible teaches what to ordinary western eyes appear ‘orthodox” in teaching on Christianity especially in its teachings on the existence One Eternal and Almighty God. The Book of Mormon plainly reinforces the idea of One God and the divinity of Christ. For example, the Book of Mormon book of 1 Nephi Chapter 14 teaches that the LDS Scriptures used by Mormons are plain, straight forward and easy to understand for all readers: 23 Wherefore, the things which he shall write are just and true; and behold they are written in the book which thou beheld proceeding out of the mouth of the Jew; and at the time they proceeded out of the mouth of the Jew, or, at the time the book proceeded out of the mouth of the Jew, the things which were written were plain and pure, and most precious and easy to the understanding of all men.

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

14

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

The Book of Mormon directly teaches that there is One Eternal God.

Ether 2: 8- And He had sworn in His wrath unto the brother of Jared, that whoso should possess this land of promise, from that time henceforth and forever, should serve Him, the true and only God, or they should be swept off when the fullness of His wrath should come upon them. The Book of Mormon teaches of the divinity of Christ in absolute terms:

2 Nephi 26: 12 And as I spake concerning the convincing of the Jews, that Jesus is the very Christ, it must needs be that the Gentiles be convinced also that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God The Book of Mormon teaches of One God who is Triune: 2 Nephi 31: 21 And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen By the way, Mormons also believe in the Bible. And thus profess: Deuteronomy 6: 4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: Likewise as one opens the book of Mormon and reads from one of the Cover Pages, ‘The Testimony of Three Witnesses’ of the Book of Mormon. “And the honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God. Amen.” [2:4]

Reading and praying about the Book of Mormon is considered by Mormons to be the mode of investigation before joining the Mormon Church. The Book of Mormon contains a promise that claims if you read its contents, and pray about it that God will tell you that the Book of True. [2:5] This promise is found in the Book of Moroni Chapter 10 verse 3, only one page turn away from the Book of Mormon’s declaration that God is ‘unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity’ (Moroni 8:18). [2:6] The analysis of the Book of Mormon appears to be consistent with what a
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

15

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

traditional/orthodox Christian hears of God in an Evangelical, Protestant , Catholic churches and from the Bible. As the Bible says: Father is God, the Son is God (John 1:1; 20:28) and the Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4); and that they are distinct Persons in the Godhead—not to be confused with one another (Matthew 28:19; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6). There is only one true God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 43:10; 1 Corinthians 8:4). So from talking to a Mormon member or a Mormon Missionary, it may not be evident until after a person joins the LDS Church in baptism that the teachings of Eternal Progression are a serious dimension of the Mormon Religion. [2:7]

Orthodox Appearing Beliefs in Mormon Public Houses of Worship This ‘orthodox’ aspect of Mormonism can be observed as you attended ‘visitors welcome’ local Ward Sunday Meetings.(sacrament meetings). Any one can attend these public meetings, as you would any Catholic, Protestant or Evangelical Church. Many non- Mormon people attend these meetings, to share in certain social celebrations, such as a dedication and blessing of a new born, baptismal confirmation of a family member, or simply when a person is wishing to attend any Church meeting to full fundamental spiritual needs. Every Sunday Mormons renew their Baptismal Covenants I a communion service called Sacrament meeting. These meetings appear monotheistic and Trinitarian in every way. There is these Mormon public meetings you will hear the main and scriptural official LDS communion prayers which addresses God as: “O God the Eternal Father…” [2:8] Many of the Hymns sung giving praise to God in these Mormon meetings are traditional Orthodox Christian songs found in any mainstream Trinitarian Church hymnals of the English speaking world. For example, LDS Hymn number 68 written by Christian Reformer Martin Luther’s famous “ “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”. [2:9] From observations that are made under normal prudence gathered by attending the Mormon Church and reading the Book of Mormon, Mormonism appears to be just another variation of Biblical Christianity.

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

16

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Lack of Informed Consent ?
From Chapter One ‘Secrets Beyond Belief’ we see that Mormonism has one side that teaches that God the Father was required to have been a mortal man, in order to become a God among Gods. This higher teaching is contrasted to a public side of Mormonism that teaches about God in an ordinary orthodox-like manner. These contrasting teachings have the potential for spiritual, intellectual and social conflict in the life of a Mormon. It would seem then that people join the Mormons thinking that Mormonism is just a variation of traditional Christianity. People seeing the surface teachings could indeed join the LDS Church without being aware of what the LDS Church ultimately teaches.

Mormon Leadership’s Disclaimer
There are Mormon leaders in defense of ‘Eternal Progression’ claim that any criticism of God the Father having to live out a finite life as a mortal man is no different than the idea of Jesus Christ once being a man of flesh and blood. This is a huge distraction because the idea of the Son of God appearing on the Earth as a man in orthodox or traditional Christianity is obviously a completely different idea than the Mormon idea about the Father being required to be a man in order to become God. In Eternal Progression, the Father among many developing Gods in embryo was required, like all the Gods before Him, to live out a finite temporal existence in order to gain knowledge in the progress of becoming a God. In Traditional Biblical Christianity, a being whom has always been God, from transcendent realms of eternity entered into our human temporal world of time and space, to redeem the humanity He created, to returned again. These are not the same kind of religious ideas. Mormon Eternal Progression is not an elaboration or extension of the themes of the Biblical gospel . Mormon Eternal Progression is a different Gospel, with different themes and scenarios, than seen any place in the Bible.

The Testimony of Former Mormons
As the social media of the 21st century indicates many people have been offered LDS membership by baptism with a bare minimum of information about Mormonism’s ultimate teachings. As one former Mormon Missionary blogger testifies. This was in the days when the church decided that the best way to combat the idea that we weren’t Christians was to avoid talking about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon until the third discussion, which of course was the magic “baptismal challenge” discussion in our mission. The first discussion covered our faith
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

17

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

in Jesus, and the second discussed the Mormon Plan of Salvation. The result was often that even people who made it through two discussions would send us away thinking that we weren’t much different from the Catholics and Protestants. [2:10] Another Blog Commenary “jackg” on June 5th, 2009 on a cite critical to Mormon claimed: When I was a Mormon missionary, we didn’t teach about becoming gods (heresy), polygamy in the celestial kingdom (like there is a differentiation in heaven and heaven and heaven). We didn’t teach that Jesus and Satan are brothers (which is yet another heretical teaching). That’s all craziness, and the tactics of the Mormon Church are to teach this stuff after baptism, after a person has expressed their “I know” testimony. The heretical teachings are taught as “meat,” after they have received sufficient “milk.” To say that new members are taught about the temple is really a misstatement. There is a temple preparation class one can attend, but it isn’t until after an interview with the bishop to determine readiness and appropriateness; even then, the class only talks about symbolism without going into the details. [2:11]

This Author’s Testimony
A few years after I joined the Mormon Church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints), I realized that I joined an organization that ultimately taught some very objectionable things about God that it did not tell me about at first. One way of viewing this is to say Mormonism by nature and structure in several dimensions keeps significant doctrinal teachings from the world at large, potential converts, and even life long active members. Yet these conflicting doctrines can be discovered, and exposed by closely reviewing information now accessible in our information age. After I discovered these conflicting doctrines, I was torn by the positive social benefits I gained as a Mormon Church member, as opposed to the doctrinal ideas to which I had ideological objections. At one point, I rationalized that the social benefits are very tangible, while doctrinal teachings are only harmless ideas. For a number of years I mused if it were worth it to toss away my social perks as a Mormon due to mere ideas wrapped up in what were called ‘unofficial doctrines’. I was alarmed at one point when I realized that the inner doctrines of Gods actually modified the identity of God as He was traditionally understood in the Bible accounts of creation, resurrection of Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. After I was a Mormon for about 12 years, I realized that I had joined The Church under a set of covenant conditions to believe in a specific God whom had a specific nature and identity, to have those conditions change with covenants to a different set of Gods . This became starkly evident after I was initiated in the LDS Temple. The differences in covenant that involved changes in the identity of the God(s) placed me as a person in a position of a spiritual crisis. At this point I came to understand how the differences Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 18

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

in ideas could make a real difference to my life and eternal life. The eventual resolution for me after years of inquiry in to this matter was to resign from the Mormon Church and return to Evangelical Christianity. I would surmise with good reasons that there is a significant gap between what a typical Mormon thinks the LDS Church teaches, and what is actually theologically demanded and stipulated in the Mormon baptismal covenant. This gap only widens and the conflict further deepens after an LDS Church member takes on the higher covenants of the LDS Temple. It is entirely possible that after a person has joined the Mormons in good faith, has married a person of the same faith, had baptized children, has given tens of thousands of dollars in contributions, developed a network of friends, family ties, and business connections and so forth, the same person may ultimately later discover they joined an organization with a secret doctrines, ultimate goals and intents, that they eventually find objectionable in light of their original membership covenant. What I essentially found objectionable is being first converted and baptized to a Baptismal Covenant to One Eternal God, [2:12] to have several years later switched to a religion of many non-eternal Gods who were once men [2:13].

The Bottom Line
A person’s normal LDS Church guided investigation that concludes in baptismal membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints membership misrepresents the teachings on what the Church ultimately teaches about deity. This would seem to position one who joins this Church under a situation of lack of informed consent in making the decision for membership. [2:14] In other words, large numbers of people are not going realize what they are getting into at the time they decide to join the Mormon Church taking on the Mormon baptismal covenant. [2:15]

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

19

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Into the Depths of Mormonism
At this point I am going to move forward in my exposition to reveal what I see as contradictions and paradoxical teachings in Mormonism that people interested in Mormonism might like to read related to the issue of informed consent and LDS membership. First, I am going to discuss how the LDS covenant of baptism is completely inconsistent with Eternal Progression. Second, I am going to discuss how Mormonism is full of double meanings. These double meanings all lead to the discovery that Mormonism is pluralistic in its view of God, the universe, human kind and human salvation. Mormonism is here revealed as a system of two religions housed under one Church administration. Consistent data with in the body of Mormon scripture and literate related to Mormon double teachings indicate that Mormonism is a pluralistic system of at least TWO GOSPELS. Mormonism’s by self description has ‘Two Gospels”- this is a selfconfession of being a pluralistic system of beliefs. Data from Mormon scripture and literature show that each Mormon gospel has its own priesthood, place of worship, gods to worship, and eternal destiny- each eternal destiny has its own resident Gods. After the revelation of Mormonism as a pluralistic religion, I want to tell something of my past history as a Mormon. Finishing this book I conclude with two related expositions. One on how the Mormonism’s paradoxical system of ideas is Creedlessness. And a final exposition on the nature and importance of the Mormon Priesthood. Some readers may find the three appendices of interest.

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

20

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

3- The Secret Paradox of the Mormon Baptismal Covenant
Baptism and the Nature of God
Baptism is a rite that all Mormons have to undergo to join the LDS Church. As a reward for obedience to the baptismal covenant, the believer is given the Spirit of Christ, that is The Holy Ghost. The nature of the God of this covenant is thus associated with the nature of this spirit of God that the obedient has indwelling with in him or her by the covenant. In Mormonism the idea of the traditional Christian Trinitarian God is supposed to be rejected from the pulpit of Modern LDS Apostles. Nevertheless, a Trinitarian-like God is present in the theological descriptions of Mormon scriptures and the baptismal covenant. [3:1] The contrast between the scriptural God of Mormonism and the many Gods of Eternal Progression are paradoxical if not completely contradictory. This theological paradox has a practical impact in the lives of individual Mormons through the covenant of Baptism. This is because all the legalistic descriptions of God in Mormon scriptures related to Baptism are Trinitarian-like. In both Mormonism an traditional orthodox Christianity, baptism, the Gift of the Holy Ghost, spiritual communion with God are all interconnected. The importance of these doctrinal ideas to human salvation are central in the New Testament’s intercessory prayer of Jesus Christ, and are related to the oneness between His Father, Himself and His followers.[3:2]

Oneness, Transcendence, and the Trinity
The traditional Trinity basically says that God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost Holy Ghost are three separate persons, yet are the same one transcendent being, that is, one God. The Bible teaches that the Father is God, the Son is God (John 1:1; 20:28) and the Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4 Matthew 28:19; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6). The Bible also teaches that the Almighty is one God who transcends time, place and persons (Psalms 139 7 –9; Jeremiah 23:23-24; 1 Kings 8: 27; Isaiah 57:15; Joel 2:28; Mark 12: 32; John 4:21-24; 14: 10, Romans 8:9-15; Ephesians 4:6 and so forth ). [3:3] This Biblical nature of the Trinitarian God allows the believer to be directly united in Spirit to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. This direct spiritual unity is achieved when the believer has the indwelling of the Holy Spirit ( Holy Ghost, Spirit of Christ) (John 14: 16-18). In this oneness unity there is no hierarchy of organizational go-betweens between the believer and all Godhead personages.
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

21

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

This direct non-hierarchical unity between God and the believer is the great virtue of being a Christian. God and the Trinitarian Christian are positioned as best friends and adopted as immediate family members in the household of God. In a polytheistic or tri-theistic view of ruling Gods, as in Mormonism, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three separate Gods.[3:4] The Holy Ghost of Eternal Progression, is a separate God-being is positioned in a vertical organizational hierarchy, as a linking agent or go-between to Jesus Christ and who is then is vertically linked the Father God. This creates a multiple set of vertical links or steps to the highest God. That is, with a doctrine of three separate Gods, a believer does not achieve direct spiritual oneness with the Heavenly Father or Jesus Christ but has to link though several Gods first, then through Jesus to the Heavenly Father. This creates three degrees of organizational separation in a vertical hierarchical arrangement. This said, one should be aware that the nature of God and the nature of the oneness between Godhead members have an impact on the nature of the relationship a believer can have with the true and living God. Weather a person has a Trinitarian-like God or many separate Gods impacts the nature of a person’s relationship with God. A Trinitarian view of God accommodates a direct and personal relationship with God. Tritheism requires one or more links to connect the believer with the Highest God- thus the unity is neither direct nor personal. These linking and hierarchical issues on oneness and unity also have bearing on religious ideas of spiritual authority, church organization, the situation of the afterlife, and the ultimate destiny of human kind.

Mormon Baptism
From the viewpoint of a person accustomed to ordinary religious thinking in western society, the formal written stipulations of the LDS covenant of Baptism materialize in Mormon sacred records as a monotheistic and Trinitarian-like. This is a paradox to the rest of Mormon theology that teaches of many separate God –beings of the Godhead. It is a stark paradox that the new Mormon convert based on these written records is commanded with his or her Baptism to view, understand, and worship God. “…the Father, The Son and Holy Ghost are One God” ;”… the only being whom they should worship”. [3:5] This current scriptural monotheistic LDS baptismal covenant is very much intact in official Mormon Scripture. LDS Eternal Progression and overt teachings of many Gods in contemporary Mormonism have seemed to obscure the scriptural nature of its baptismal covenant. Nevertheless, according to LDS official scripture, Mormons today are still bound to a life long covenant that commands them to understand, view and worship God in a oneness just like the traditional Trinity. This Trinitarian-like covenant is scriptural, enforce and ritualistically active, in the baptisms of thousands of LDS converts each year. This same covenant is renewed each Sunday in LDS Ward Sacrament Meetings on a universal worldwide basis by millions of Church attending Mormons.
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

22

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Plain, Pure and Most Precious
The Book of Mormon is plain in its monotheistic and triune commentaries about God. The Book of Mormon itself claims to have been designed to be exoteric, and easy to understand of all men. So it says: 1 Nephi. 14: 23 Wherefore, the things which he shall write are just and true; and behold they are written in the book which thou beheld proceeding out of the mouth of the Jew; and at the time they proceeded out of the mouth of the Jew, or, at the time the book proceeded out of the mouth of the Jew, the things which were written were plain and pure, and most precious and easy to the understanding of all men. [Bold and underline added for emphasis] 1 Nephi 19: 3 And after I had made these plates by way of commandment, I, Nephi, received a commandment that the ministry and the prophecies, the more plain and precious parts of them, should be written upon these plates; and that the things which were written should be kept for the instruction of my people, who should possess the land, and also for other wise purposes, which purposes are known unto the Lord. The Book of Mormon statement on being easy for all to understand can be contrasted to LDS Eternal Progression. Eternal Progression by confession of LDS leadership is difficult to understand, sounding ‘ridiculous’ to the outside world. This plain and easy to understand claim of the Book of Mormon is worth mentioning at this point because in discussions of Book of Mormon teachings there are those who claim ordinary literal and direct readings of the Book of Mormon are not special, esoteric or ‘official’ LDS interpretations. Likewise there are those who might claim that the discussions here are worthless because the Book of Mormon is designed to only be interpreted by an inner circle of inspired Mormon prophets and not by a non-Mormon or a Mormon apostate reader. In this discussion, however I am reading the Book of Mormon not as an inner-circle Mormon, but as a person outside of Mormonism taking the book’s claim of being ‘plain and pure, and most precious and easy to the understanding of all men.” ( Also see: 1 Nephi 13: 26, 28-29, 32, 34-35, 40, 1 Nephi. 19: 3).

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

23

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Book of Mormon Baptism is a Formal Covenant
It is sometimes asked of Mormons, “What is in the Book of Mormon is key to Mormon religion, that is not in the Bible?” The simplest answer to this is that, the Book of Mormon contains the foundational and specific stipulations, and contractual conditions for baptism in the Mormon Religion. For example here is a Book of Mormon teaching related to this covenant; Mosiah 18: 8-10 8 And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light; 9 Yea, and are willing to mourn with those that mourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life— 10 Now I say unto you, if this be the desire of your hearts, what have you against being baptized in the name of the Lord, as a witness before him that ye have entered into a covenant with him, that ye will serve him and keep his commandments, that he may pour out his Spirit more abundantly upon you? [Bold and underline added for emphasis]

The Importance of Covenants in the Mormon Religion
The Mormons think of themselves as a covenant people. Everything in Mormonism hinges on covenants. The primary worship meetings each Sunday of Mormonism are called “Sacrament” meetings, which center around the renewal of the Baptismal Covenant The covenant of baptism in Mormonism is the single most important obligation a person can take in life. [3:6] Specific conditions for the LDS Baptismal Covenant is found in LDS scriptures being first dictated directly by the Book of Mormon Jesus Christ in Third Nephi. This Christ figure provides the exact theological terms for the covenant of baptism. The sacrament prayers for baptismal covenant renewal are found in the third and forth chapters of the Book of Mormon book of Moroni. Secondly Doctrine and Covenants reiterates and summarizes this baptismal covenant in its 20th section.

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

24

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Jesus Christ Sets Trinitarian Terms for the Covenant
If we closely examine 3 Nephi Chapter 11, in context with the overall teachings of the Book of Mormon, we can only conclude that Jesus Christ sets very specific Trinitarianlike terms for the covenant. He in affect commands that those being baptized view and worship God as one eternal triune being. In setting these conditions for baptism, the Book of Mormon Jesus Christ warns all not to add to or take from His Father’s doctrine.

3 Nephi 11-- the Book of Mormon Christ says—

24 And now behold, these are the words which ye shall say, calling them by name, saying: 25 Having authority given me of Jesus Christ, I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen. 26 And then shall ye immerse them in the water, and come forth again out of the water. 27 And after this manner shall ye baptize in my name; for behold, verily I say unto you, that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one; and I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one. 28 And according as I have commanded you thus shall ye baptize. And there shall be no disputations among you, as there have hitherto been; neither shall there be disputations among you concerning the points of my doctrine, as there have hitherto been. [Bold and underline added for emphasis] Further Jesus warns the initiates not to modify this doctrine.. 39 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them. 40 And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil… [ Bold and underline added for emphasis] Looking at these baptismal commands and the overall teachings of God’s nature and identity in the Book of Mormon, we can determine that Jesus Christ is commanding baptism to a triune, or a Trinitarian-like God. The Jesus Christ of the Book of Mormon in 3 Nephi 11 asserts an attachment to the meaning of being Baptized in the name(singular) of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. He asserts that it is done that way because ” I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one.”

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

25

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Verification: This Covenant is Really to a Triune Monotheistic God
The theological situation renders the foundational covenant obligation of every Mormon completely inconsistent with the rest of Mormon teachings about God and Gods. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, realizing the inconsistency has make attempts to reconcile the Baptismal Covenant with the teachings of Eternal Progression. Mormonism’s first attempts to harmonize this inconsistency revolves around claims that the oneness in 3 Nephi 11:27 only represents ‘oneness of purpose’, and not a metaphysical oneness. Even if limiting this oneness to purpose were correct, transforming this doctrine of the One God into a Tri-Theistic doctrine that labels the Godhead as “Gods” is adding to and taking from doctrine, and thus ignoring Jesus Christ’s scriptural warnings. More to the point, the oneness between the Father, Son and Holy Ghost seen in 3 Nephi 11 is much more than just oneness of purpose. This can be determined by the other thematic teachings about God’s nature through out the Book of Mormon. A survey of the Book of Mormon teachings shows that its teachings are consistently monotheistic and triune, portraying God as eternal, with other features inferring that this one God has a transcendent nature. Through and through the Book of Mormon God is Trinitarian-like by nature. The Book of Mormon teachings are plain and direct saying that there is absolutely One God.[3:7] Examples of monotheistic teachings include statements as ‘if there is no Christ there is no God’.[3:8] Book of Mormon passages directly say that the “Father, Son and Holy Ghost are One God. [3:9] Other Trinitarian-like statements of the Book of Mormon say “I am the Father and the Son”[3:10], “the Son is… the very Eternal Father”[3:11] and again “I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one..” [3:12] Ninety some years ago, LDS Church leadership in Salt Lake City, Utah attempted to construct an interpretation to harmonized the Book of Mormon Trinity with Eternal Progression’s polytheism. This interpretation scenario attempts to use the idea known as “Divine Investiture of Authority”. Its purpose is to retro-fit The Book of Mormon interpretations related to theology. [3:13]. This theory of Divine Investiture fundamentally claims that Jesus is using the Father’s authority and role as ‘Father’ and therefore He is speaking in scripture with a first person voice as if He were the Father. However, Divine Investiture fails to explain away the Trinity in the Book of Mormon because of the book’s claim to having a Biblical connection. In the Bible Jesus got His Divine authority and investiture from Jehovah, to whom Jesus shares His very being. Mormonism also agrees that Jesus is Jehovah. This means that the LDS Divine Investiture argument in no way disproves a triune theology is actually present in the book of Mormon.[3:14].

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

26

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

The overall idea of divine investiture of authority is that Christ was sent on His Earthly mission by The Father with the Father’s authority. Doctrines of divine investiture are not unique to Mormonism and is also an idea concerning Christ and His authority within traditional Biblical Christianity. Mormonism’ extension and elaboration of the concept to discredit the Trinity is however foreign to the Bible and Book of Mormon in my evaluation is ‘balderdash’ and an over blown second-rate contrivance attempting to cover up a harsh paradox and disharmony found within Mormonism. [3:15] The usage of this device of interpretation is alarming because it works in Mormonism to attract potential converts by reading an extra-Biblical scripture that looks safe and familiar, then provides a mechanism to switch theologies on those same converts after baptism. Further, to discredit this Mormon application of ‘divine investiture’ are Trinitarianconsistent descriptions of God’s in early sections of the LDS Doctrine and Covenants. I will touch upon the Doctrine and Covenants shortly, but for now back to the Book of Mormon. Now the Book of Mormon book of Mosiah contains a prime example of a “plain and easy to understand” representation of a monotheistic and transcendent being existing in the persons of Jesus Christ and the Heavenly Father.

Mosiah 15:1-5 1 And now Abinadi said unto them: I would that ye should understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people. 2 And because he dwelleth in flesh he shall be called the Son of God, and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the Son— 3 The Father, because he was conceived by the power of God; and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and Son— 4 And they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth. 5 And thus the flesh becoming subject to the Spirit, or the Son to the Father, being one God, suffereth temptation, and yieldeth not to the temptation, but suffereth himself to be mocked, and scourged, and cast out, and disowned by his people. [Underline added for emphasis]

Even if we assume a very loose and liberal interpretation of God’s nature from the Book of Mosiah, what we see is radically different from the idea of many God and the tritheistic Godhead of LDS Eternal Progression. [3:16] Remember, Eternal Progression tells us that Jesus’ Father was a separate God- being who begat Him literally as a spirit child in a pre-existence, and then again upon the Earth. In Eternal Progression, Jesus can have the title of ‘Father’ due to His role of creator and His role in adoption of the saints. Mosiah portrays how Jesus becomes the Son of God in discretely different manner of Sonship than the way represented by Eternal Progression. [3:17]
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

27

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

The Book of Mormon’s identity of Jesus Christ is further cemented to the scriptural foundations of the LDS Baptismal by another astounding fact. This fact is that nowhere in the Mormon Standard Works (scriptures) is there an explicit teaching that actually states directly that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are ‘three separate Gods or separate ‘beings’ in one Godhead’. Instead the Mormon scriptures say that the “Father, Son and Holy Ghost are One God”.[3:18] The difference between these two Godhead formulas make a difference in how a believer can be spiritually united with God or Gods when receiving the Gift of the Spirit by obedience in the waters of baptism. The implications of this paradox are significant as they are related to a person’s personal relationship with God.

The Blessing of “my Spirit” for Keeping the Covenant
In Chapter 18 of 3 Nephi, the Blessing for keeping this covenant is the indwelling of the Holy Ghost. This promised blessing is stated in Trinitarian terms. 7 And this shall ye do in remembrance of my body, which I have shown unto you. And it shall be a testimony unto the Father that ye do always remember me. And if ye do always remember me ye shall have my Spirit to be with you. [3:19] [Bold and underline added for emphasis to the word “my”] Notice the description of the identity of the Holy Spirit (‘Holy Ghost’ old English) in this covenant description as “my Spirit”. This “my spirit” statement is a theological statement pointing to the identity and origin of the Holy Ghost. This Book of Mormon identity of the Holy Ghost is different than the Holy Ghost portrayed in LDS Eternal Progression. In Eternal Progression the person of the Holy Ghost is a completely separate God- being and person. In this baptismal covenant, the believer in covenant is given as a gift the Spirit of Christ- to have “Christ in you’. Jesus referring to the Holy Ghost as “ my Spirit’ in the Book of Mormon is a Trinitarian comment. This “my Spirit” has a conceptual counterparts the New Testament. The most primary insight we can gain from this “my Spirit” statement comes from the Gospel of John where Jesus says— John 20: 21 ,,, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: The Book of Mormon concept of “my Spirit” of Jesus is in New Testament terms the very spirit that is the breath of life within Jesus Christ of the New Testament. In effect Jesus in the New Testament gave His disciples “my Spirit”, by breathing on them. This is associated with the believer having the ‘Spirit of Christ’ indwell which has even been stated in the New Testament as ‘Christ in you’, and when Jesus says to His disciples
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

28

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

I ‘will come to you’, ‘I am with you alway’. (See the New Testament John 14:18, Matthew 28:20, Romans 8 10 and Colossians 1:27) When we trace the New Testament meaning of this Book of Mormon ‘my Spirit’ phrase we see that this is all about the Spirit of Christ, the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of The Father, all building into a what has been traditionally viewed as a Trinitarian construct. This ‘my Spirit’ Comment of the Book of Mormon Jesus is further verification that the covenant of LDS baptism is by design Trinitarian. [3:20]

Weekly Baptismal Covenant Renewal
Along with the details of the baptismal covenant, The Book of Mormon contains the prayers for the renewal of the baptismal covenant. These are recited verbatim each Sunday in Sacrament Meetings. Here are those prayers: Book of Mormon, Moroni Chapter 4 3 O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it; that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him, and keep his commandments which he hath given them, that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen Moroni Chapter 5 1 THE manner of administering the wine—Behold, they took the cup, and said: 2 O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee, in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this wine to the souls of all those who drink of it, that they may do it in remembrance of the blood of thy Son, which was shed for them; that they may witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they do always remember him, that they may have his Spirit to be with them. Amen. [Bold and underline added for emphasis]

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

29

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

The ‘Eternal Father’ of the Sacrament Prayers
Take notice that God is addressed in these prayers as ‘the Eternal Father” from the Book of Moroni. In this same book this God is described in Moroni 8:18 as God being “unchangable from eternity to eternity”, and in Moroni 7:14 “knowing all things, being from everlasting to everlasting”. These expressions are witnesses to a God who is able to transcend time and space in order to know all things. Such a transcendent being is basic to Trinitarian thinking, and connected to Book of Mormon expressions of a Trintarianlike God such as Mosiah 16: 15 Teach them that redemption cometh through Christ the Lord, who is the very Eternal Father. Amen [Bold and underline added for emphasis] So upon analysis these the sacrament prayers seem to be addressing a triune transcendent being called ‘the Eternal Father”. Due to the origins of the word “eternal” the prayer may as well say O God the ‘Transcendent’ Father, or O’ God the ‘Trinitarian’ Father. This is because ‘Eternal’ suggests or infers the fundamental ideas of transcendence behind Trinitarian thinking. I propose this meaning because of the historical development of the word ‘eternal’ in English Biblical texts. The word ‘Eternal’ appears to be a kind of interpretive interpolarization in the 1611 King James Version of the Bible. The word “eternal” in its various forms was invented in the 14th century A.D.. In the ancient languages of the New and Old Testaments the Hebrew used the word for vanishing point (Hebrew; ‘Olam’) and the word for ‘ages’ or ‘eons’ (Greek; ‘Aeon’) were universally replaced with the English terms “Eternal”, “Eternity”, and/or “Forever”. These words in ancient languages ordinarily denoted limited, and usually very long durations of time. The ‘eternal’ interpolarization seems to take into account other canonical passages where God’s transcendent nature beyond the ages, or beyond a vanishing point is suggested (Psalms 139 7 –9; Jeremiah 23:23-24; 1 Kings 8: 27). These transcendent ( beyond time itself) interpretations were transferred over into passages were the “ages”/ “vanishing point” words were originally written. This is thought to provide a better rendering in English and convey a fuller intended meaning to these passages over that original ancient words were able to communicate in a literal direct translation. It is just that no ancient Greek or Hebrew word existed in those ancient cultures to express the concept of ‘beyond time’, yet the context of the passage did indeed express that idea. [3:21] The English terms “Eternal”, “Eternity”, and “For Ever” are thus interpretive paraphrases of a 17th century translation of the English King James version of the Bible. And of course this is the version of the Bible used by Mormons. Oddly Mormonism has used this 14th century word “Eternal” and” Eternity” heavily in its so called ancient but restored sacred writings as the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price. This usage of the word “eternal” is anachronistic since these extraSecrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 30

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Biblical writings claim to be a restoration of ancient ideas, not ideas of a later period after the word was invented. The terms “eternity” and “eternal” were invented in a religious time and environment that was dominated with Trinitarian Creeds and it was used semantically as a conceptual interpretive device to support ideas associated with those creeds. In the final analysis term ‘eternal’ is a word that is in separately connected with the idea of transcendence ( beyond space and time). The notion of God having a nature that transcends time and space a the fundamental metaphysical idea behind the Trinity, yet contradictory to LDS Gods of Eternal Progression.[3:22] To pray in Sacrament meetings: “O’ God the Eternal Father…” is a creedal and Trinitarian nuance, a way to address the Almighty God as a transcendent being derived from Trinitarian creeds.

The LDS Doctrine and Covenants and Baptism
In Biblical and Traditional creedal views of God, the transcendence of God often emphasized. This is where the topic of Creation emphasized and God is declared as its creator, and the only possible Savior of mankind and thus the sole being worthy of worship. This view emphasizes the otherness of God and how God as creator is different than humans who are created beings. [3:23] The creeds of Christianity are framed in this manner and are sometimes recited in worship open to the public, typically using the Apostles or Nicene Creeds. The LDS Doctrine and Covenants section 20 is constructed, formatted and appears to be a Creed of the traditional category. It expresses God in terms of God as Creator, the one and only Creator being, the only being that should be worshiped. This section of the Doctrine and Covenants is directly associated with the LDS covenant and conditions of baptism. This further verifies that the Mormon Baptismal Covenant is Trinitarian-like in its nature. The following citation is taking form the introduction of the Doctrine and Covenants Section 20: 1–16, The Book of Mormon proves the divinity of the latter-day work; 17–29, The doctrines of creation, fall, atonement, and baptism are affirmed; 29–37, Laws governing repentance, justification, sanctification, and baptism are set forth; 38–67, Duties of elders, priests, teachers, and deacons are summarized; 68– 74, Duties of members, blessing of children, and mode of baptism are revealed; 75–84, Sacramental prayers and regulations governing church membership are given. [Bold and underline added] This section defines God’s nature and identity, and whom we humans are to worship as God within the Covenant of Baptism.

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

31

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

D&C 20: 17 By these things we know that there is a God in heaven, who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable God, the framer of heaven and earth, and all things which are in them; 18 And that he created man, male and female, after his own image and in his own likeness, created he them; 19 And gave unto them commandments that they should love and serve him, the only living and true God, and that he should be the only being whom they should worship. 20 But by the transgression of these holy laws man became sensual and devilish, and became fallen man. 21 Wherefore, the Almighty God gave his Only Begotten Son, as it is written in those scriptures which have been given of him. 22 He suffered temptations but gave no heed unto them. 23 He was crucified, died, and rose again the third day; 24 And ascended into heaven, to sit down on the right hand of the Father, to reign with almighty power according to the will of the Father; 25 That as many as would believe and be baptized in his holy name, and endure in faith to the end, should be saved— 26 Not only those who believed after he came in the meridian of time, in the flesh, but all those from the beginning, even as many as were before he came, who believed in the words of the holy prophets, who spake as they were inspired by the gift of the Holy Ghost, who truly testified of him in all things, should have eternal life, 27 As well as those who should come after, who should believe in the gifts and callings of God by the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of the Father and of the Son; 28 Which Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one God, infinite and eternal, without end. Amen. [Bold and underline added for emphasis] … 37 …they have received of the Spirit of Christ unto the remission of their sins, shall be received by baptism into his church. [Bold and underline added] D&C 20 which sets the stage leading to LDS Baptism says that God is the creator who is Eternal from everlasting to everlasting, the only being whom we should worship. It even says that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are One God. On top of all of this it identifies the Holy Ghost as “the Spirit of Christ”.

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

32

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

When one couples this with the Book of Mormon which D&C 20 endorses as truth we may conclude that it is the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are together a single transcendent being, the only being whom we should worship. This is revealed as the Book of Mormon prescribes both the worship of Christ and the Father. This is completely consistent with the Trinity. The worship of the Father is with full devotion, as outlined in the Bible’s Gospel of Mark Chapter 12 (KJV) 28 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? 29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. 32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: 33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. 34 And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. [Bold and underline added for emphasis]

Likewise the worship of Christ with full and complete devotion is outlined in the Book of Mormon’s 2nd Nephi Chapter 25: 29 And now behold, I say unto you that the right way is to believe in Christ, and deny him not; and Christ is the Holy One of Israel; wherefore ye must bow down before him, and worship him with all your might, mind, and strength, and your whole soul; and if ye do this ye shall in nowise be cast out. [Bold and underline added for emphasis] This the fullness of this worship is also seen in 3rd Nephi Chapter 20, in the presence of Jesus Himself: 9 Now, when the multitude had all eaten and drunk, behold, they were filled with the Spirit; and they did cry out with one voice, and gave glory to Jesus, whom they both saw and heard. 10 And it came to pass that when they had all given glory unto Jesus, he said unto them: Behold now I finish the commandment which the Father hath commanded me concerning this people, who are a remnant of the house of Israel. 11 Ye remember that I spake unto you, and said that when the words of Isaiah should be fulfilled—behold they are written, ye have them before you, therefore search them— Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 33

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

12 And verily, verily, I say unto you, that when they shall be fulfilled then is the fulfilling of the covenant which the Father hath made unto his people, O house of Israel. [Bold and underline added for emphasis] The above passages contain explicit worship of Jesus Christ with complete and full devotion. In last set of passages on the covenant, The Book of Mormon Jesus in verse 11 points to Isaiah which also contains the teachings of Jesus’ own divine identity. Isaiah Chapters 40-44 says of God's (Jesus'/Jehovah’s identity) that there is one Lord who created the Heavens and the Earth by Himself (Myself). He made everything for His Glory, He personally named the beings He created. He will not share His glory with another. He did not get advise from some other god to do it, and He knows not of any other gods. The Biblical book of Isaiah is radically monotheistic, and the Book of Mormon Jesus Christ points to this book in association to of the Mormon baptismal covenant. These are the testimonial claims of the unique God named Jehovah which can be examined in the Old Testament book of Isaiah- by chapter and verse as follows: 40:13-14; 40:26;42:8;43.7;44.8 & 44:24. Jesus worship is consistent in Mormonism only if a Trinitarian-like or modalistic understanding of God is embraced by the Mormon in consideration of with the baptismal covenant of D&C 20 –“the only being to be worshipped’ and along with 2 Nephi 25:29 worshipping Christ with all of ones might and soul. Other LDS scriptural documents also exist verifying this transcendent, Trinitarian-like view of God.

The Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible Inserts a Monotheistic view of God
Joseph Smith wrote a translation of the King James Version of the Bible, which inserted an added descriptive view of God in the form of an added textual interpolarization. 22 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from them who think they are wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes; even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight. 23 All things are delivered to me of my Father; and no man knoweth that the Son is the Father, and the Father is the Son, but him to whom the Son will reveal it. [3:24] [Bold and underline added for emphasis] This inserted interpolarization is suggestive of a God who has a Trinitarian or Modalistic God who is also transcendent in nature to time and place. Transcendent because who would be running the universe when the Son was in Mary’s womb, as an infant, a child, preoccupied in His earthly ministry, and dead in the tomb. This insertion in the JST of the Bible is completely different concept of the Tri-theistic Gods of the Godhead of Mormon Eternal Progression.
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

34

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

3 Nephi, D&C 20 and the JST of the Bible are all in harmony show the nature of the LDS Baptismal Covenant as Trinitarian-like. At baptism a person is supposed to understand the specific identity of Jesus Christ, and believe in Him. Jesus’ identity is related to why He has the power to save souls. And again no where nor no place in the Mormon scriptures does any passage actually say that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are three separate God-beings in One Godhead. Not even the first vision written in 1838 says anything else but the Father and the Son appears as separate personages, which is still consistent with a Trinitarian theophany or vision manifestation. Eternal Progression’s Three God-Beings in One Godhead teaching all comes from non-scriptural commentaries made by Mormon leaders, and are not directly from LDS scriptures. These theological facts all come with the LDS Church’s claim that one can determine its genuine truthfulness of Mormonism by a prayerful evaluation of the contents of the Book of Mormon. As retrieved from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints posted Book of Mormon internet cite:

We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost. (See Moroni 10: 3-5.) Those who gain this divine witness from the Holy Spirit will also come to know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, that Joseph Smith is his revelator and prophet in these last days, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s kingdom once again established on the earth, preparatory to the second coming of the Messiah. [3:25]

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

35

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Table of Trinitarian-like Comments
When establishing Baptism the Book of Mormon Jesus Christ says of Himself and the Father as part of the conditions of a baptismal confession for the believer: “the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one; and I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one.” [Bold and underline added for emphasis] .
Mormon Scripture 2 Nephi 11:7 3 Nephi 18:3&11 Moroni Chapter 3&4 Alma 11:29& 38 Mosiah 15:1-5 Moroni Chapter 7&8 Paraphrased Idea Conveyed If there is no Christ there is no God,.. and Christ is that God Jesus calls the Gift of the Holy Ghost “My Spirit” God is the ‘Eternal’ Father in the Sacrament Prayer There is only one God and Christ is the very Eternal Father (the Heavenly Father). The Father of Christ is the Son and the Son is the Father God is able to know all things because he is from everlasting to everlasting ( He exists in the past, present and future). A God who is ‘infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable God’ Trinitarian-like Commentary in Mormon Scriptures underlying Jesus’ Baptismal Commands A monotheistic commentary of a God who exists as several persons. Comes with the assumption that the writer also knows of the existence the Holy Ghost and the Father as separate persons A commentary that suggests that the Holy Ghost is the Spirit indwelling Christ, that is Christ’s very soul. This is a Trinitarian comment. The word “eternal” traces back to orthodox metaphysical the concepts of a transcendent God A theological statement of a monotheistic and transcendent God- who exists as more than one person A monotheistic and transcendent God- who is more than one person A transcendent God who exists across time and space who is able to be all places and see all things past , present and future. A transcendent being could exist in different times and spaces as many persons. A God who is transcendent and not dependent on the natural world.

D&C 20:17

D&C 20,: vs 28 and then 19and 37

Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one God, infinite and eternal, without end; the only being who they should worship – And the Holy Ghost as the Spirit of Christ-

Both Jesus and the Father are worshiped through out LDS Scripture, yet only one being is to be worshiped. This included the notion that The Spirit of Christ is the very Holy Ghost. This ties Jesus as the same one being as the Father, the Son and The Holy Ghost. This leads us to understand that the three Godhood members are one being. This is in harmony with a being who is transcendent. D&C 20 Sounds like, is structured like and reads like kind of Trinitarian Creed

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

36

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Mormon Scripture

Paraphrased Idea Conveyed …Jesus is the very Christ, it must needs be that the Gentiles be convinced also that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God;

Trinitarian-like Commentary in Mormon Scriptures underlying Jesus’ Baptismal Commands This says “the Eternal God”, not “an eternal god”. This appears to be a monotheistic commentary where One God exists as more than one person, who is the same one being.

2 Nephi 26:12

3 Nephi 20: 9-12

The Book of Mormon Jesus commands reading of the radically monotheistic Hebrew prophet Isaiah related to the covenant.

This reinforces the monotheistic aspects of the Baptismal Covenant as stipulated by Jesus saying that He is one with the God is Israel. Jesus is worshiped in 3 Nephi Chapter 20- this is further verification of the Trinity in the Book of Mormon.

JST of the KJV of the Bible; Luke 10:23

All things are delivered to me of my Father; and no man knoweth that the Son is the Father, and the Father is the Son, but him to whom the Son will reveal it.

A monotheistic commentary where One God exists as more than one person, who is the same one being.

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

37

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Implications of this Paradox
There is little doubt that the Baptismal Covenant a Mormon makes is to a God who is strictly Eternal from all Eternity, whom is Triune-like – consistent with a Trinitarian-like and/or modalistic God. This God of LDS baptism is not like the tri-theistic Gods of LDS Eternal Progression. This has serious implications for a person who would carefully approach Mormonism using LDS scriptural sources for investigating LDS doctrines in preparation for membership in the LDS Church. The covenant conditions for joining the Mormons are Trinitarian-consistent from the view of an outside investigator who thoroughly studies the Book of Mormon as instructed by LDS Missionaries, and pays close attention to what is prayed in LDS Sacrament covenant renewal prayers. In the typical LDS pattern of Church attendance each Sunday, attendees go back and forth between Sacrament baptismal covenant renewal meetings, and Sunday School classes. In the Sacrament meetings the covenant to the One Eternal Triune God is vowed, yet minutes away, these same persons are attendees at Sunday School classes that teach different things about Deity. This pattern of covenant making to one kind of God, doctrine classes that teach of a different kind of God and Gods are wildly contradictory. There are those who would insist that differing descriptions between kinds of Deities is not significant. This is not true by Biblical standards, which provide the true Almighty’s identity by His acts of Creation, and mode of operations. This is to say God is known to be who He is by His Works. As it is written: Jeremiah 10: 10 But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation. 11 Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens. 12 He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion.. Romans 1: 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

38

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Likewise Jesus identified Himself by doing the Father’s works (John 14:10). The Gods of Eternal Progression have a different origins of existence, organize to perform creative works in a different manner, and carry out works in the temporal world differently than the Biblical Creator God and the God portrayed in the Book of Mormon. This idea of how the Gods of Eternal Progression function differently than the Biblical God is further explored in this Book’s chapter on the Mormon Priesthood. The differences in Jehovah’s mode of operation, and the Gods of Eternal Progression, identify these other Gods as being completely different in identity and nature than the Jehovah God of the Bible and the Book of Mormon God of the Covenant of Baptism. Knowing and understanding Jesus Christ’s roots of identity is important by the very words of Jesus Christ Himself. As it is written: Joh 8: 24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. This shift from One God to many Gods makes the Mormon religion appear to be baiting potential converts with a familiar sounding Triune God, then switching to different set of many Gods—a “bait and switch” tactic now forbidden by consumer laws and universally considered to be unethical. In a consumer world the general public could look upon Mormonism as attempting to attract people to join the LDS Church by using a well known fraud tactic that is, by denying people of appropriate informed consent.

From a Biblical perspective Christians are supposed to understand and do the teachings and commands of Jesus Christ. Therefore Mormons should pay attention to what The Jesus Christ of the Book of Mormon stipulated about the conditions for viewing and worship God under the conditions of the Baptismal Covenant. After all Jesus said in the New Testament: John 12: 48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

39

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

40

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

4- Secret Double Meanings Everywhere
4.1 Secret Multivalent Theologies in Mormonism
In the first three sections of this book I point out the paradox between the LDS teaching of Eternal Progression’s many Gods and the stipulated conditions of LDS Baptism in the Book of Mormon and LDS Doctrine and Covenants. The next section is to explore the fact that Mormonism is far more bazaar than previous analysts or anti-Mormon critics have described. This assertion is that in Mormonism is a religious system of deliberate double meanings. I label this double and even triple means quality using the term ‘multivalent’. I am using the word ‘multivalent’ here in an unusual way. A ‘univalent’ or ‘monovalent’ modality would mean here that a system would have one standard way of being understood. Multivalent in my assertion means that major religious teachings, information and beliefs of Mormonism have at least two different ways of being stored, represented, communicated, and interpreted or understood. This idea is briefly explored in Sterling M. McMurrin’s Mormon classic theological book “The Theological Foundations of the Mormon Religion”. McMurrin’s parallel idea is label in his work as ‘pluralism’. McMurrin also terms ‘monism.’ the similar idea to what I have termed here as univalent/monovalent. [4.1:1] Multivalence is not universally always an incorrect attribute of religious information. Even Biblical Christianity has various mild nuances which could be noted as multivalent or pluralistic. However, in Mormonism multivalence is seen as a very profound and extremely pronounced attribute of the way it represents religious information. In Mormonism a fact of information making up a doctrine can appear contradictory to other doctrinal facts. Yet nevertheless the contradiction will be understood in Mormonism as still in harmony because the system is multivalent with alternative view points of interpretation. In the multivalent modes of Mormonism each different mode can contain facts knows as true in its own native mode domain. Yet in an alien mode this same truth can be viewed as false in the other mode domain. In Mormonism, this multivalent quality renders at least two co-existing modes of understanding the Cosmos, God, Humans, The Human Condition, the nature of human salvation, and how humans are saved. I appears that at any given time Mormonism operates somewhere between these two modes, on a sliding scale mixing elements of each of its modes to full its needs for proselytizing. Using these modes or spheres allows Mormonism to appear orthodox from one perspective, while in its other modality remains hidden. This ability to have hidden modes of truth in Mormonism is one of the things it keeps secret. The information this multivalence protects is also a great secret of Mormonism, nevertheless the double or multivalent system in itself appears to be Mormonism greatest secret of all. This multivalence
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

41

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

or plural nature of Mormonism is a powerful means used to store and control sacred religious information. When assessing Mormonism’s most fundamental ‘principles of the gospel’ of are discussed alone, Mormonism then appears to be in relative harmony with ideologies of conservative traditional Biblical Christianity. This orthodox looking side of Mormonism represents but one mode of representation of Mormonism. On the other hand when Mormonism’s ultimate teachings are examined, the religion appears completely opposed to traditional Biblical Christianity. This most unorthodox system of Mormonism is the modality, of doctrine and practices that leads to the conclusion that there are many Gods, that God the Father was once a man, and that humans are to become Gods. The tension between the lower mode and sphere of doctrine and the esoteric higher sphere of doctrine is most often represented in a compromise with construct teachings built from elements drawn from both spheres. These constructs vary over time as the needs of Mormonism change. This change is represented teachings creates an appearance that the Mormon church is changing its doctrines over time. Yet Mormonism is really only changing its presentations of what it teaches from a much larger pools of archived teachings. Mormonism is able to present itself on a long sliding scale of beliefs about God, from radical strict monotheism on into modalism, bitheism, tritheism, henotheism and even into polytheism. Mormonism’s most common expression is a mix of theologies which on its face appears to be a kind of tritheistic henotheism. Yet this most popular formulated theology is found nowhere in Mormon Scriptures.

Lower Sphere of Truth

Various Changeable, Fluid and Intermediate Hybrid Teachings

A Higher Sphere of Truth

Only One God The Only Being that should be worshiped. The Father, Son and Holy Ghost are One God (D&C 20:28, Alma 11:29, and 2 Nephi 25:29)

One God redefined to mean “One Godhead” of Three Presiding Gods. The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are Three Separate Gods (Mormon Doctrine page 576)

A large number of Gods form a counsel of Gods. (Mormon Doctrine page 163)

I am not describing the above in attempts to justify Mormon doctrinal expressions, but rather saying so to reveal Mormonism unusual structure and flexibility. For better or for worst, the traditional critical one dimensional or linear evaluations of Mormonism are of limited value due to the religion’s plural dimensions
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

42

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

(multivalence). This is because Mormonism when viewed from only one perspective does not take in to account its full and essential pluralistic nature. A view of Mormonism from only one angle is a currently the dominate inclination of current Evangelical analysts/critics and Mormon Church apologists. This singular and linear view is then compared to what the Bible teaches on various selected theological topics. I have included a univalent linear comparison in Appendix C.[4.1:2] Singular univalent evaluations of Mormonism, accounting for only LDS teachings of Eternal Progression, on one hand distorts what the majority of Mormons view and emphasize in their day to day lives, and LDS Sunday to Sunday religious outlook and practice. This does not justify the beliefs of Eternal Progression, but might help Mormonism’s doctrinal analysts better evaluate why Mormon Church leaders and members universally claim that critics of LDS religion make distorted assertions about Mormon religiosity. In revealing Mormonism as a multivalent or pluralistic religion, I will discuss the following topics: • • • • • Multiple theologies The Jehovah/Elohim double meaning of Mormonism (Mixed identities of the Heavenly Father) The evidence that double theologies have been taught in the same historical era of Mormonism, depending on the audience. The doctrine of isolated autonomous ‘spheres’ is independent truth and existence The idea that God, Gods, humans, and angels are of the same race, but the differences are due to each residing in a different sphere of existence and truth. How the LDS Church has used spheres and layers of truth to conceal or reveal secrets The possible consequence and impact of this mulitvalence upon converts and members of the LDS Church.

• •

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

43

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

44

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Secret Multiple Theologies
In my life adventures as a young adult white male Mormon, I first came to the conclusion that Mormonism contains at least two opposing theologies—that is ideas of God. One theology is outward and introductory the others inward and advanced. This is how I rectified in my own mind the stark difference between the covenant of baptism, and teachings of many Gods in Eternal Progression. I reckoned that the introductory theology is of a God who is monotheistic with a Trinitarian-like nature (or some variation of a modalistic monotheistic God). The introductory theology seems to be designed for public consumption. This public formatted theology seems to be from the viewpoint as a human being looks out into the creation to apprehend God as Almighty creator, a different kind of being than we Earth bound mortal men. The other theology I saw as advanced for the inner circle of Mormons This theology was of many non-eternal Gods. This advanced theology seems to be a view of God as if God were the same race as we humans. This is taking on an anthropomorphic view, where Gods and humans are of the same race of beings. One could perhaps say that Mormonism has even more theologies hidden deep inside its esoteric world, including the Adam-God theory, and a Joseph Smith as God theory too. But the One God verses Many Gods theology is the idea presented in this exposition.

Mormon Recognition and Worship of One Transcendent Triune God
As I covered in the precious section there is an aspect of Mormonism that worships only One God in a monotheistic manner, these can be seen is many LDS scriptural passage mandates including, D&C 20, Alma 11:29, Mosiah 15:1-5, Mark 12:28 and so forth. D&C 20 17 By these things we know that there is a God in heaven, who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting, the same unchangeable God, the framer of heaven and earth, and all things which are in them; 18 And that he created man, male and female, after his own image and in his own likeness, created he them; 19 And gave unto them commandments that they should love and serve him, the only living and true God, and that he should be the only being whom they should worship. … 28 Which Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one God, infinite and eternal, without end. Amen.
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

45

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

[caps, bold and underline added for emphasis] This worship includes Biblical and Book of Mormon teachings such as 2 Nephi 25:29; 26:12. These indicate that God is a transcendent being composed of several distinct persons.

Mormon Knowledge and Worship of Many Separate Gods
In my reading of Mormon Doctrine as a basic study aid I noticed that in some instances many Gods are worshipped in Mormonism. And Three Gods are worshipped. These teachings are found in LDS literature primarily written by LDS leadership. Mormon Doctrine page 576 says that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are three separate Gods and all three are worshiped. ” Three separate personages—Father, Son and Holy Ghost--comprise the Godhead.”… “As each of these persons is a God…” “…these three are the only Gods we worship”

Mormon Doctrine page 171 “…the true Beings whom men are commanded to worship”. [caps, bold and underline added for emphasis] Oddly in Mormon Doctrine page 848, only Two Gods are worshipped. “The Father and the Son are the objects of all true worship”. [bold and underline added for emphasis] Note: Nowhere in the Mormon Scriptures is there an explicit passage or teachings that actually says that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are three separate Gods in One Godhead. This teaching comes only in the form of interpretive commentaries of LDS leaders. Instead, Mormon Scriptures clearly and directly say that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are One God.

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

46

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Mormon Worship of the Heavenly Father Only
Much to my confusion when researching earlier Mormon a magazine called The Improvement Era, I noticed that only the Father was to be worshipped. “. . . The sole object of worship, God the Eternal Father, stands supreme and alone, and it is in the name of the Only Begotten that we thus approach Him, as Christ taught always” [4.1:3] This exclusive worship of the Father also had a more recent entry in Mormon literature, as Elder Boyd K. Packer, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, explained in one 1984 LDS General Conference. “The Father is the one true God. This thing is certain: no one will ever ascend above Him; no one will ever replace Him. Nor will anything ever change the relationship that we, His literal offspring, have with Him. He is Elohim, the Father. He is God. Of Him there is only one. We revere our Father and our God; we worship Him” [4.1:4] Worship of the Father alone is an example of polytheism with henotheism within Mormonism. This comes with the recognition of many Gods, but only one of those Gods is Worshipped. In another mode or sphere of worship in Mormonism, as in 2 Nephi 11:7; 25:29; 26:12 we clearly see teachings commanding that Christ be viewed as Eternal God, with Christ is to be worshipped with full devotion, this comes with the declaration that if there is no Christ there is No God.

Mormon Worship of Jesus/Jehovah as a Triune Godhead Member
Nevertheless in the same era of LDS History scriptural and LDS literary records say outright that Jesus Christ is to be worshipped. How can this be if only the Heavenly Father is worshiped? Spencer W. Kimball as Prophet of the Mormon Church taught in 1978: Now this comes from the doctrines we possess. The Lord has said, “I am the Almighty.” “I am Jesus Christ.” “I am Jehovah.” He is the one we worship. [4.1:5] Again this holds in the Book of Mormon— 2 Nephi 25: 29 And now behold, I say unto you that the right way is to believe in Christ, and deny him not; and Christ is the Holy One of Israel; wherefore ye must bow down before him, and worship him with all your might, mind, and strength, and Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 47

Make~Shift Gods : your whole soul;

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

And in the BibleMark 12: 29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord (Jehovah) our God is one Lord (Jehovah) : 30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. … 32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: … And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. [ Jehovah Our God is what the original “shema” of Deuteronomy 6:4 states] Take note at how D&C 20 says that God is the only being who should be worshiped. So if Christ is worshiped (2 Nephi 25:29), and the Father is also worshiped, then these two are that only being. The idea that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are the same being is a fundamental idea of the Trinity.

Praying to the Father and not Praying to Jesus
As a Mormon I was always taught to Pray to Heavenly Father. This is based on the Lord’s Prayer in the Bible. But on the other hand when reading the Bible in the late 1980s I realized that the Bible clearly shows examples of the original Christians at times prayed directly to Jesus and not to Heavenly Father. Acts 7: 59 And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. 60 And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

I Corinthians 1: 2 Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

48

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

In Mormonism, God is Eternal, but Not Eternal
Psalms of the New Testament says that God is from Everlasting to Everlasting (Psalm 90:2) The Book of Mormon says that Christ is the Eternal God (2 Nephi 26:12). God is Eternal, (Mosiah 3:5), God has been the all knowing God from all eternity to all eternity, from everlasting to everlasting.( Moroni 7:22; 8:18) Yet the King Follett Discourse says that God is really not eternal. … for I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see. [4.1:6]

Commentary
Some Mormons say that the only being worshiped in D&C 20 is the Heavenly Father a God named “Elohim”. Yet this explanation of D&C 20 does not explain 2 Nephi 25:29 or the Mark 12:28 command to exclusively worship Jehovah/Jesus with full and complete devotion. On top of this other LDS statements command the worship of the Father exclusively, while still other statements point to the full worship of Christ. Some LDS sources say God is strictly ‘eternal’ yet others say God is not really from all eternity. Worshiping the Father through Christ also does not seem to be a satisfactory explanation for the variety of worship commands in LDS literature and scripture. God’s true identity appears confused and obscured when a person studies the broad variety of LDS teachings on the topic. Oddly no LDS scripture ever directly commanded the worship and prayer to a God specifically called “Elohim” naming Him as exclusively the Heavenly Father, yet LDS leadership today teach that only the Father “Elohim” is to be prayed to through Christ/Jehovah. To clarify, LDS scriptures say to worship the Father in Jesus’ name in these commands do not identify the Father as “Elohim”, but there the Father appears to be Jehovah. Likewise the Lord’s Prayer of Jesus seems to be directed at Jehovah as the Father of Jesus, and the Apostles of Jesus even prayed to Jesus in the New Testament. When I was a Mormon Church member, as the years past and I gathered more information on the issue descriptions of different Mormon theologies, the mixture of these theologies seemed chaotically strewn about the landscape of Mormon ideas and literature. They first appear to be random contradictions. But later I began to see an order to this madness as system of introductory knowledge verses a more controlled advanced system of esoteric multivalent knowledge- the Mormon mystery of godliness. I came to the personal discovery that the Gods that Mormon Church leaders declared from their pulpits was not the Deity found in the Mormon Scriptures at all.
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

49

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

4.2 Gods with Secret Mixed Identities
The Jehovah/Elohim Double Meaning of Mormonism
I was socialized and taught that in the Mormon world of the many Gods and ’Godhood’ theology says that God the Father is ’Elohim’ and Jesus Christ is a God uniquely named ’Jehovah’ [4.2:1] As the Bible says: Psalm 83:18 That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.

Yet there however I discovered there exists elsewhere but obscured in Mormonism a monothesitc Trinitarian-like idea that Jehovah is both the same being as the Father and the Son. This lone Book of Mormon reference is the last sentence in the Book of Mormon closing out the book of Moroni. In current LDS doctrinal expositions and explanations such as by the Mormon First Presidency of the Church, Jesus is now identified as “Jehovah” and the Heavenly Father is identified as “Elohim”. [4.2:2] Okay, now lets get this straight, as examined in the last section, in some instances Mormons worship the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (as three likeminded but separate gods). In other instances Mormon teachings claim that only the Father and the Son are worshiped ( leaving out the Holy Spirit). And we see in other LDS scriptures only one being is to be worshipped. In some places only The Son is worshipped, and in others only the Father is worshipped. Yet in other authoritative Mormon teachings leaders say not worship Jesus Christ (Jehovah) [4.2:3] only the Father (Elohim). In Catholic latin terminology, one might explain that Mormonism allows Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit the worship of reverence (dulia, proskenesis), but not the worship of adoration (latreia), a kind of worship that could be reserved for the Father alone. In Mormon theology, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit are most often described as being subordinate and inferior to Heavenly Father. Yet in reality the idea of different levels of worship does not seem to work when viewed from the Book of Mormon command to worship Christ with full and complete devotion such as in 2 Nephi 25:29 or the Bible with Mark 12:28 or Acts 24:14 and in other Bible expressions that commended Israel to only worship Jehovah “ the God of our fathers”. Mormon explanations to rectify the
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

50

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

variations between their different expressions of God and Gods simply do not work out into a single consistent idea of Deity. The variations in Mormon worship all indicate different kinds of worship for differing conditions, an indicator of multivalence.

To demonstrate the complexity of the identity of the God or Gods worshipped in a multivalent system, in original Mormonism Joseph Smith prayed to Jehovah (specifically Jesus Christ in Mormonism), as the Heavenly Father. Mormonism as a multivalent religion best explains why Joseph Smith publicly addressed the Mormon Heavenly Father as Jehovah . If we look at the public Temple dedicatory prayer in D&C 109, we can see this clearly: 42 But deliver thou, O Jehovah, we beseech thee, thy servants from their hands, and cleanse them from their blood. 43 O Lord, we delight not in the destruction of our fellow men; their souls are precious before thee; 44 But thy word must be fulfilled. Help thy servants to say, with thy grace assisting them: Thy will be done, O Lord, and not ours. 45 We know that thou hast spoken by the mouth of thy prophets terrible things concerning the wicked, in the last days—that thou wilt pour out thy judgments, without measure; 46 Therefore, O Lord, deliver thy people from the calamity of the wicked; enable thy servants to seal up the law, and bind up the testimony, that they may be prepared against the day of burning. 47 We ask thee, Holy Father, to remember those who have been driven by the inhabitants of Jackson county, Missouri, from the lands of their inheritance, and break off, O Lord, this yoke of affliction that has been put upon them [ bold and underline added] If Mormonism were a singular univalent system, Joseph Smith would have to break two LDS theological rules. 1) Jehovah is not the Heavenly Father and 2) Mormons are not Pray to Jesus/Jehovah directly. Again because this is important. Nowhere in the LDS scriptures is the Father actually or directly named and identified as “Elohim” or prayed to as “Elohim” in the text, He is only named and prayed to as “Jehovah” in LDS Scriptures. In my personal studies as a Mormon, I was wondering what is going on in Mormonism to warrant this variability of theology, prayer and worship. I wondered if Mormonism changed over time, or are there different Gods for different worship at different times and places or conditions? Different Gods for different conditions becomes the answer according to the data when one studies the history of Jehovah worship in Mormonism.

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

51

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Historically Concurrent Multiple Theologies
The act of Joseph Smith praying to Jehovah as the Heavenly Father at the Kirkland Temple Dedication of March 1836 was a huge curiosity to me back in the late 1980s. Joseph Smith claimed that the prayer was given to him by revelation from God. So his prayer was no opinion or mistake of theology. [4.2:4] For a long time many critics of Mormonism have claimed that the Mormon doctrine of God over time evolved from One God that of many Gods. And that when Gods replaced the One God, the One God was abandoned and ignored completely. [4.2:5] Yet we can see that Mormonism overall in its scripture, historical documents, and from the pulpit teaches more than one doctrine of Deity. The doctrine taught depends on the audience present and what the conditions warrant. This is what we would expect to see happening in a multivalent system of esoteric information and doctrine. For example there is evidence that suggests that inside the secret Kirkland Temple ceremony that Joseph Smith taught that there were three separate Gods in the Godhead. This means that Joseph Smith seems to have been teaching that the Father was Jehovah in public, but teaching that the Father was a different God-being called ‘Elohim’ in the Temple. This would explain why Joseph Smith prayed to Jehovah as the Father in the public temple dedication as seen in the D&C 109 of the year 1836, while inside the Temple the Father was a different being named “Elohim”. This secret Godhead doctrine of the Temple is revealed by a close examination the journals of Mormon leaders of the time, saying that there were three Gods involved in the creation enactment of the Mormon Temple Ceremony. These Three Gods were designated in Joseph's temple endowment ceremony as Elohim, Jehovah, and Michael. These three separate temple Gods are mentioned in Heber C. Kimball's journal in an entry dated 13 December 1845. These three separate gods of the Temple ceremony are recorded to be those the same as had been communicated by Joseph himself to the brethren, including Brigham Young for the Kirkland Temple Ceremony. [4.2:6] The private teaching within the 1836 Temple of three Gods is an indicator that a tritheistic Eternal Progression religion existed in the LDS Temple long before it was declared in public with the King Follett Discourse of 1844 or the Nauvoo era of Mormonism.[ 4.2:7] At the beginning of the Kirkland Temple era, the public version of the ‘First Vision’ only only spoke of Christ appearing to Joseph Smith in the sacred grove, and did not mention The Father and the Son together.
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

52

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

But a short season after 1838 and the Temple teachings were a couple of years old, the First vision was revised to include both the Father and the Son. [8] This would align with what a growing number of LDS members would be exposed to when being introduced to the theology of the Temple. Nevertheless, the public teachings and declarations of Mormonism still identified Jehovah as the Heavenly Father ( instead of Elohim). For many decades to come the Mormon Church still taught to uninitiated audiences that the Heavenly Father was named Jehovah, referring to the Godhead as ‘the Trinity’ still inferring in public a belief in one monotheistic God. 1841: "We believe in God the Father, who is the Great Jehovah and head of all things, and that Christ is the Son of God, co-eternal with the Father" – [4.2:9] 1893 Prophet Willford Woodruff preached Jehovah was the Heavenly Father, yet is known to support the view that Elohim was instead the Heavenly Father in the Temple ceremony and Jehovah was some other god-being. [4.2:10] In LDS Church Archive records Edward Stephenson in 1896 one of the LDS Church’s Presidents of the Sevenity records that the Gods of the Mormon Temple were in a tiered hierarchy. The ranking of these Gods were with Heloheim the first, Jehovah the second, Michael-Adam the third with Jesus Christ our Elder Brother the forth. [4.2:11] In this Temple scenario Jesus was either Elohim nor Jehovah but had another identity. In this scenario Jesus Christ was not in a role as creator. This theology is often referred to in Mormonism as the ‘Adam-God’ theory of the Mormon Temple. Even though this theology existed in the Temple, at the same time, Mormon Church President John Taylor wrote a hymn worshiping Jehovah as the Father, published in 1891 As in the heavens they all agree The record's given there by three,… Jehovah, God the Father's one, Another His Eternal Son, The Spirit does with them agree, The witnesses in heaven are three [4.2:12] Other LDS Church archive records have been showed to reveal that high officials in the Church up through 1916 preached Jehovah was the Heavenly Father in public, yet in LDS Temple worshipped according to the Adam-God theology ( where Heavenly Father was Elohim, and Jehovah was some other God, yet not the Son) and defended that temple worship theology. [4.2:13] Although Jesus Christ seemed to have no creative role in the older versions of the
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

53

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Temple Adam-God theology of the era, the Prophet John Taylor can still be seen to publicly propose the idea that Jesus Christ was creator, even referring to Christ as a “Trinity” member. John Taylor, writes, using the term orthodox term “The Trinity” to denote the Godhead, and Jesus as Creator, departing from what was currently taught in the LDS Temple. ”THE PRESIDENCY OF THE TRINITY.-Truly Jesus Christ created the worlds, and is Lord of Lords...” [4.2:14] It is apparent from LDS historical records that for many decades, the LDS Gods taught in the LDS Temple is not the same God taught in public by the same LDS Leaders. LDS leadership was teaching one kind of theology in the Temple that was nonTrinitarian, yet teaching some other theology in public, and even referring to this public Godhead as “The Trinity”. J. Reuben Clark Jr. Second Counselor to the LDS First Presidency speaking to a diversified audience in the mid 1940s speaks of God in terms of the TrinityGod has revealed to us that he is the Father of all, and that he loves and cares for the righteous everywhere, and seeks ever to bring back the wayward to his ways. He has made known that Jesus is the Christ, the Only Begotten of the Father, the Redeemer of the World, the First Fruits of the Resurrection. He has shown to us that as Jesus died, lay in the tomb, and was resurrected, so shall it be with every son and daughter of God. He has manifested to us that he is a person, that Christ is another person, and that the Holy Ghost is a third person, and that these make the Trinity of the Godhead. He has taught us the immortality of the human soul, itself a trinity of intelligence, of spiritual body, and of mortal body, and that after the resurrection, our trinity reunited, we become perfected beings. [4.2:15] [bold and underline added]

It appears that the term “Trinity” was being used in Mormonism in public discourse to describe Mormonism’s beliefs in God from the 1830s into the late 1970s [4.2:16] The degree of difference between an orthodox Trinity and the LDS Trinity was clarified to the audience seems to vary depending upon the nature of the audience present. An earlier example shows a Mormon owned news paper “The Evening And The Morning Star” in 1831 mentions the LDS Church’s public teachings on the ‘Doctrine of the Trinity”. The Scriptures discover not only matters of importance, but of the greatest depth and mysteriousness. There are many wonderful things in the law of God, things we may admire, but are never able to comprehend. Such are the eternal purposes and decrees of God, the doctrine of the Trinity, the incarnation of the Son Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 54

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

of God, and the manner of the operation of the Spirit of God upon the souls of men, which are all things of great weight and moment for us to understand and believe that they are, and yet may be unsearchable to our reason, as to the particular manner of them. [4.2:17] [bold and underline added]

Even though “The Trinity” is consistent in Mormon public declarations of God through the late 1970s. Many other signs of a radically non-Trinitarian coexisting secondary theology is present upon close analysis of the early Mormon Doctrine and Covenants (D&C) since the early 1830s. When one understands the ideas behind the theology of Mormon Eternal Progression these D&C ‘revelations’ become evidence that two coexisting yet radically different theologies have been present through out Mormonism’s history. The classical orthodox idea of “The Trinity” is an overall idea that the three Godhead members are forever and eternally uniquely by nature God in essence, transcendence and origin as co-eternal. In traditional Trinitarian thought humans are not co-eternal, with God are of a different race, and nature, being creatures. Eternal Progression departs from this idea claiming that God is not transcendent, yet all humans are co-eternal with God, also developing to become Gods being of the same race as God. For example, Section 76 of the Doctrine and Covenants, Said to be a revelation of February 1832, tells of the heirs of the celestial kingdom "as gods, even the sons of God . . . " [4.2:18] Of the same year, Section 88, said to be revealed in December 1832, says that men came be made equal with God, stating: "the saints shall be filled with his glory, and receive their inheritance and be made equal with him" [4.2:19] These early LDS teachings show that a developing higher and esoteric teaching associated with Eternal Progression existed at least 12 years before the King Follett Discourse was revealed in public.

A careful examination of the LDS Doctrine and Covenants reveal that the critical elements of Eternal Progression were present very early in Mormonism. For example Section 93, of May 1833, teaches vital elements of this esoteric religion by saying that: "Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can it be". [4.2:20]
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

55

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

So we can see that certain sections of the Doctrine and Covenants (76, 88 and 93) provide teachings alluding to the ideas of a layered, pluralistic and multivalent universe, containing alternative truths existed early on in Mormonism. One layer teaching One God with a redemption gospel, with a theology publicly referred to as “The Trinity”. Still at least one other layer with a second Gospel teaching of many Gods, and men co-eternal with God, being of the same race as God, on a path of development to become Gods. Each of these differing theologies has an influence upon the expressed orientation and outlook of the nature of human salvation, the origin of humans, meaning of the human Earthly experience and ultimate destiny of the human soul. The variability of each of these attributes can be seen in various discourses, suggesting that at least two differing theologies were present in Mormonism at a very early date. As seen years later in July 1839, themes of monotheistic redemption, as Joseph Smith instructed the LDS Apostles on how to preach to the world seeming to also echo the redemption themes of Book of Job, saying, "What art thou O man but dust and from whom dost thou receive thy power and blessing but from God," [4.2:21] This book of Job public theme reflects the redemption ideals of a different religion that that of Joseph’s higher layer of esoteric teachings (Eternal Progression and Temple) of a soul co-eternal with God, with humans being the spirit children of Elohim the Heavenly Father. Likewise in February 1840 seems to reference including several religious layers of knowledge saying “ We teach nothing but what the Bible teaches”… "I believe in the fall of man, as recorded in the Bible; . . . I believe in the Divinity of Jesus Christ, and that He died for the sins of all men, who in Adam had fallen[;] . Yet in the very same discourse taught “I believe that the soul is eternal; and had no beginning; it can have no end." [4.2:22] If one carefully and systematically connects traditional doctrines of atonement, the idea of a human soul that is co-eternal with God is usually very difficult to blend with the notion of humans originating with the dust. The co-eternal human soul is an element of Eternal Progression, also being consistent with the King Follet Discourse.

In November of 1841 to Joseph Smith was still saying that the Book of Mormon is “the most correct book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book” [4.2:23] The Book of Mormon not only teaches that there is only One God, but also that there is only one heaven, not being consistent with 76th, 88th and 93rd sections of the D&C of the 1830s. In January 1841, Joseph Smith made commentary on the Fifth Chapter of the Gospel of John specifically citing verse 26: Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 56

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

John 5:26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; [4.2:24] This passage was given by Joseph Smith in a redemption based, traditional Christian treatment. As it is written it would not denote the co-eternal nature of the human soul: 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. 25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. 26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;

This is the John 5 verse was converted by Joseph Smith to be used as the key verse introduce that God was once a Man and Men can become gods in the 1844 King Follett Sermon The scriptures inform us that 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. Do you believe it? If you do not believe it you do not believe the Bible. The scriptures say it, and I defy all the learning and wisdom and all the combined powers of earth and hell together to refute it. Here, then, is eternal life—to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be gods yourselves, .[ 4.2:25] These examples give evidence to that at the same time and era that Joseph Smith was teaching on one hand Trinitarian-like doctrine of God with a redemption gospel in one sphere, yet, at the same time in another arena he was still promoting an esoteric message of men being co-eternal with God, with an ultimate destiny of Godhood among many other Gods. These different gospels to different audiences of Joseph Smith is further evident because in 1841 of the same month, Joseph Smith in the D&C is seen charging William Law to Publish the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible ( D&C 124:89) which clearly says to know God is to know that Jesus is The Father (in the JST Luke 10:23 interpolarization). 23 All things are delivered to me of my Father; and no man knoweth that the Son is the Father, and the Father is the Son, but him to whom the Son will reveal it. [ bold and underline added} Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 57

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

The modification to Luke 10 into a Trinitarian-modalistic construct [4.2:26] and its promotion into the public by Joseph Smith indicated He was promoting different theologies to different audiences at the same time. [4.2:27] Yet in 1839 two years before the promotion of the Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible, with its added Trinitarian-like interpolarization, the 121 Section of Doctrine and Covenants introduced the plurality of Gods: 28 A time to come in the which nothing shall be withheld, whether there be one God or many gods, they shall be manifest. Joseph Smith in 1844 said that for 15 years he has taught plurality of ( that is since 1830): I will preach on the plurality of Gods. I have selected this text for that express purpose. I wish to declare I have always and in all congregations when I have preach on the subject of the Deity, it has been the plurality of Gods. It has been preached by the Elders for fifteen years. I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and that the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods. If this is in accordance with the New Testament, lo and behold! we have three Gods anyhow, and they are plural; and who can contradict it? [4.2:28] Along with this consider the fact Joseph never repudiated the book of Mormon’ or its theological trinity-like doctrine nor its redemptive gospel doctrines. Along with this are the Lectures on Faith published by Joseph Smith. These published lectures were included in the LDS Doctrine and Covenants until 1921. These were Joseph Smith’s Seven part series called Lectures on Faith. In section five extensive doctrines of God are discussed which are with no doubt monotheistic in nature.

Section 5 page 53 [Lec 5:2c] God is a Spirit “They are the Father and the Son: The Father being a personage of spirit, glory, and power, possessing all perfection and fullness.” Section 5 page 56 [Lec 5:2d] The Son is the only one who has a physical body “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
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

58

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

rather, man was formed after his likeness and in his image.” Section 5 page 57[Lec 5:2j-k] The Holy Spirit is the mind of the Father and the Son “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;” This lectures of Faith concept of God varies from the later more advanced version claiming the God the Father has a body of flesh and bone found in the April, 1843 D&C Section 130: 22 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. The existence of the Lectures on Faith existing in the LDS Doctrine and Covenants from 1835 until 1921 represents another example were multiple theologies existed side by side in the same volume of readings- in this case for 78 year period of time. [4.2:29]

This all verifies that on public occasions Joseph Smith taught that there was only One God. This God was taught to be eternal from all eternity as seen in the Book of Mormon. Yet at other times to other audiences Joseph Smith was at the same time teachings Eternal Progression’s plurality of Gods. Concurrently in public Joseph and other LDS leaders taught in the monotheistic mode that Jehovah was the Heavenly Father in public, yet Elohim was the Heavenly Father in esoteric tri-theistic Temple teachings. As I elaborated upon in an earlier section of this Book, the Mormon baptism remains active today in official Mormon scripture, and worship ritual, as a monotheistic Trinitarian-like covenant. Further, this double system blueprint can still be seen today many places in LDS literature as I will reveal in the next section of this book. Mormonism though officially since 1916 has had an official public declaration claiming that Jehovah is Jesus and Elohim is the Father. Nevertheless anyone who really understands the totality of Mormonism’s teachings knows that it contains multiple theologies. This has can be verified by literary works published the many Mormon scholars on the topic. As one author on this topic has commented: Today, Mormons who are aware of the various teachings of LDS scriptures and prophets are faced with a number of doctrinal possibilities. They can choose to accept the Book of Mormon theology, which varies from biblical theology, as well as from Joseph Smith's later plurality-of-gods theology. Adding to this confusion is Brigham Young's Adam-God theology with its various divine gods using the names Elohim and Jehovah interchangeably. Finally, they are left to resolve the teachings of current General Authorities who identify Jesus as Jehovah with former-day General Authorities who Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 59

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

spoke of Jehovah as the Father. While most are carelessly unaware of the diversity that abounds in the history of Mormon doctrine, many Latter-day Saints since 1916 have, despite the risk of heresy, continued to believe privately or promote publicly many of the alternative Godhead theologies from Mormonism's past. [4.2:30]

4.3 Multiple Theologies in LDS Current Sunday School Materials
We see paradoxical theologies on the same pages of LDS publications and even Sunday School manuals as if they are on display. When we look in the Bible we see certain sets of Bible verses that seem to echo similar themes that are about God’s identity and nature. By analysis the Bible is monovalent in nature, having a single layer of truth. This is opposed to Mormonism overall that has a kind of multivalence with layered truths.

Certain LDS Teachings seem to be intentionally mixing multiple theologies.

In the Mormon “Gospel Principles” official LDS published Sunday School Manual, [ 4.3:1] in Chapter 1 ‘Our Heavenly Father’, This Lesson has the Sub-titles • There is a God • God Is the Ruler of Heaven and Earth • What Kind of Being Is God? This lesson mid-way declares : “All good things come from God. Everything he does is to help his children become like him— a god”.

Under the Sub-Title “ There Is a God” the Gospel Principles Manual states: ‘Alma, a Book of Mormon prophet, wrote, “All things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator” (Alma 30:44).’

Yet when we examine the teachings of the Book of Alma in total and in-depth there
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

60

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

is a paradox between the LDS lesson’s overall message as opposed to the themes of the LDS Scriptures overall. For example:

Alma Chapter 11 26 And Zeezrom said unto him: Thou sayest there is a true and living God? 27 And Amulek said: Yea, there is a true and living God. 28 Now Zeezrom said: Is there more than one God? 29 And he answered, No

So far so good, but next pops up an oxymoron in the very next paragraph on the same page under the sub-title “What Kind of Being Is God?” “He is full of goodness…. All good things come from God. Everything he does is to help his children become like him— a god”. One may wonder it Alma says that there is only one God, then what happens when people become gods? But it all get much deeper when we consider the overall convoluted themes of Mormonism. This teaching stands as an oxymoron because the idea of becoming a god as introduced in the King Follett Discourse is based on the idea that God is not God from all eternity. … for I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see. ...[ 4.3:2] Yet Moroni the Book that contains the Book of Mormon Promise, and the Sacrament covenant prayers, along with the larger body of LDS Scripture says good things come because God is “from everlasting to everlasting”.

The Book of Mormon’s Book of Moroni says in Chapter 7 about good things: 20 And now, my brethren, how is it possible that ye can lay hold upon every good thing? 21 And now I come to that faith, of which I said I would speak; and I will tell you the way whereby ye may lay hold on every good thing. 22 For behold, God knowing all things, being from everlasting to everlasting, behold, he sent angels to minister unto the children of men, to make manifest concerning the coming of Christ; and in Christ there should come every good thing.
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

61

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

So the Gospel Principles manual tells us that God can do the good things for us because he is not from all eternity, but the Book of Mormon tells us that all good thing come from God because He is from everlasting to everlasting. Looking deeper into Mormon we see that teachings that traditionally reflected monotheistic themes are transformed into teachings of many Gods. In the Bible, like the Book of Mormon certain passages set context and tell us that God is strictly Eternal. Psalms 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. Romans 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: These two statements provide a foundation for believing that God has always been God. This knowledge is all about knowing why God is able to offer humans salvation. With this Biblical context about God being eternal, we normally see the following two statements “a” and “be” as being inconsistent or even contradictory. a) And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. ( John 17 :3) b) God was once a man…we can become Gods Notice that this is exactly what Joseph did with John 17 in the King Follett Discourse and in doing so injected an idea contrary to the Bible in order to teach Eternal Progression. Here, then, is eternal life--to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all gods have done before you“ … “…That is the great secret.” [4.3:3] [ bold. Underline, and italis added for emphasis] And of course the King Follett Discourse speaks of how ‘the Gods’ before God became a God, yet Alma says that there is absolutely one God. Yet all these diverse views and double meanings of the divine are all in immediate proximity into one simple and fundamental Mormon lesson about God’s essential existence. When a person reads the Book of Mormon teachings about knowing God—he/she would assume that the above statement is referring to the Bible’s One True God.
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

62

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

However later these seemly monotheistic statements are combined with contrary ideas to create the Mormon higher teachings knows as Eternal Progression. In this way the hidden double meanings of Book of Mormon theology are alive and at work even today in current and new Mormon Church literature.

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

63

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

4.4 Mormonism’s Progressive Disclosure of Secret Information
Outside critics of Mormonism have for decades complained that Mormonism is concealing what it really teaches in order to gain converts. The concealed information is revealed after a person is converted, baptized and made social connections. This commentary related to this situation titled Mormonism and the Question of Truth was published in the Christian Research Journal in 1992 under the subtitle of “ Truth as a Layered Reality”. TRUTH AS A LAYERED REALITY- Summary listing “truth to a Mormon is "layered" in the way that it is presented to prospective converts”. … Truth, as presented to a prospective convert to Mormonism, is layered much like plywood: the outer surface is attractive, but, like the inner layers, is incapable of sustaining much weight until bonded with the others. Missionaries are trained to present carefully structured "lessons" that are designed to force conclusions based on incorrect premises. For instance, an "investigator," or prospective member, will conclude that there was a need for the true church to be divinely restored if he or she first accepts the faulty premise that it was utterly lost from the earth in the second century A.D. The investigator is carefully guided down a specific doctrinal path and urged to commit to a baptismal date, while missionaries postpone answering questions about "hot" issues like polygamy. Other basic Mormon tenets are skimmed over -issues like the Heavenly Father's prior existence as a mortal man -- while the Book of Mormon, priesthood authority, and the church's ecclesiastical structure are stressed. The most overtly unbiblical issues are not covered until much later, after the convert is less inclined to dispute them. What an enormous contrast with the Christian life, which has no hidden doctrines or ceremonies and where access to the "mysteries" is determined only by one's personal relationship with the Mystery-Giver and His Word. [4.4:1] Mormons sometimes explain this progressive disclosure of information as being in accord with the Bible’s teachings of Line upon Line progressive teachings. This idea has to do with first giving the ‘milk’ of the gospel, then afterwards providing the ‘meat’. The following Old Testament passage is considered foundational to the Mormon practice of imparting sacred religious information. Isaiah 28: Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. 10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

64

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

The LDS handbook called, "True to the Faith", which contains summaries of the LDS faith, says this about this concept of continually revealed truth: Patiently seek God’s will. God reveals Himself “in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will” (see D&C 88:63–68). Revelation will probably come to you “line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little” (2 Nephi 28:30; see also Isaiah 28:10; D&C 98:12). Do not try to force spiritual things. Revelation does not come that way. Be patient and trust in the Lord’s timing. [4.4:2]

Here are those other LDS Scriptures that also echo this idea of the progressive disclosure of sacred religious information. 2 Nephi 28:29-31 29 Wo be unto him that shall say: We have received the word of God, and we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough! 30 For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have. 31 Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost.

D&C 98:12 12 For he will give unto the faithful line upon line, precept upon precept; and I will try you and prove you herewith.

There is little doubt that the LDS idea of what Isaiah 28 is saying is that God progressively discloses sacred information line upon line. Yet the meaning of Isaiah 28’s line upon line message is that of a different story from what Mormonism has elaborated upon with other teachings. Upon a careful examination of Isaiah 28 it appears that Mormonism has seriously overworked the milk verses meat intent of the Isaiah prophetic teaching.
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

65

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Isaiah 28 in context is predicting the demise of Ephraim. This is because of the religious teachers in Ephraim were drunkards and the Lord was going to knock them off the pedestals (verses 1-4), the Day of the Lord is coming and He will be exalted (verse 5), but those who sit in judgment in Ephraim are also drunk with wine and beer (verses 6-7), and the tables of Ephraim are covered with vomit and feces (verse 8), The King James Version: 1 Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine! 2 Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand. 3 The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet: 4 And the glorious beauty, which is on the head of the fat valley, shall be a fading flower, and as the hasty fruit before the summer; which when he that looketh upon it seeth, while it is yet in his hand he eateth it up. 5 In that day shall the LORD of hosts be for a crown of glory, and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people. 6 And for a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment, and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate. 7 But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment. 8 For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean. The Paraphrased ‘God’s Word’ Translation [4.4:3] 1 How horrible it will be for the arrogant drunks of Ephraim. Their glorious beauty is like a withered flower. They are at the entrance to a fertile valley where they lie drunk from wine. 2 The Lord has one who is strong and powerful. He is like a hailstorm, a destructive wind. He is like a thunderstorm, an overwhelming flood. He will throw them to the ground forcefully. 3 The arrogant drunks of Ephraim will be trampled underfoot. 4 Their glorious beauty is like a withered flower. They are at the entrance to a fertile valley. They will be like figs that ripened early. As soon as someone sees them, they will be taken and eaten. 5 When that day comes, the LORD of Armies will be like a glorious crown for his few remaining people. 6 He will give a spirit of justice to those who judge. He will give strength to those who defend the city gates in battle. 7 Priests and prophets stagger from wine and wobble from too much liquor. They stagger from too much liquor and become confused from too much wine. They wobble because of their liquor. They stagger when they see visions. They swerve as they judge. 8 All the tables are covered with vomit and excrement. There isn't a clean place left.

In the following verses (Isa 28: 9-13) is the explanation as to why God is placing his wrath on Ephraim. God points out that the religious leaders are drunken and completely mismanaging religious information and truths, and also mocking Isaiah's true Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 66

Make~Shift Gods : message from God.

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

The King James Version 9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. 10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: 11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. 12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. 13 But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken. The Paraphrased ‘God’s Word’ Translation 9 To whom will they make the message understood? To whom will they explain this message? To children just weaned from milk? To those just taken from their mother's breasts? 10 They speak utter nonsense. 11 The LORD will speak to these people. He will mock them by speaking in a foreign language. 12 He will say to them, "This is a place for comfort. This is a place of rest for those who are tired. This is a place for them to rest." But they weren't willing to listen. 13 The LORD speaks utter nonsense to them. That is why they will fall backwards. That is why they will be hurt, trapped, and captured. 14 So hear the word of the LORD, you foolish talkers who rule the people in Jerusalem. 15 You say, "We made a treaty with death and an agreement with the grave. When the overwhelming disaster passes by, it won't matter to us, because we have taken refuge in our lies, and falsehood is our hiding place."

Isaiah 28:13 indicated that due to the drunkenness and fallen state of Ephraim, the Lord's word will be NONSENSE to that people (i.e. Line on line, line on line, A little here, a little there") and the people, due to this, will go and stumble backward, be broken, snared and taken captive. The Hebrew contained in verses 10 and 13 that represents the "line upon line, precept upon precept" translation is: "tsav la-tsav, tsav la-tsav; qav la-qav, qav la-qav" Some commentators say this denotes the repetitive syllables are gibberish that resembles baby talk as a babbling baby and mimics what the people will hear when foreign invaders conquer the land . [4.4:4] But to what extent can the religious teachings actually found within the Bible be considered “ baby talk” or a or just watered down non-sense? At what point is teaching so watered-down that the ‘milk’ version no longer represents its original “meat” truth?
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

67

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Does this mean we can reject the very words of Jesus as only “milk” half truths As Jesus said : John 5: 39 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. 40 And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. Or John 12: 48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. The teachings of LDS prophet Brigham Young seems to indicate how far Mormonism takes this ‘baby talk” idea. Brigham Young is recorded to have said that scriptural teachings that contradicted his Adam-God theology- (the theology of Eternal Progression and many Gods) as being "baby stories" given to humanity because of their spiritual immaturity and lack of knowledge.[ 4.4:5] Brigham also taught that scriptures that would put Christ as being co-equal with God the Father, (as in the Trinity does) were given by people that did not know better, who wrote according to their best, yet very limited understanding. [4.4:6] Does this mean that the words of Jesus concerning His divine identity is only a baby story written by someone who did not know the real truth, Is the following passage on the importance of Jesus’ identity an example of a “baby story”? John 8: 24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. So when Mormonism professes to believe in the Bible, and the Book of Mormon, which part of these documents does it ultimately consider to be ‘baby stories” and what part does it actually eventually consider to be really true? Still another example of Mormonism’s controlled progressive disclosure of sacred information has to do with Temple worship. Potential converts and new members of the LDS Church are not allowed to attend the Temple, only seasoned and worthy members. The things of the Temple are not discussed in public. Does this mean that everything before going to the Temple is just part of the “baby stories” part of the religion for babies who are ‘unprepared’ to hear the ultimate truth ? As this LDS Church Leader asserts,

Our reluctance to speak of the sacred temple ordinances is not in any way an attempt to make them seem more mysteries or to encourage an improper curiosity about them. …They are kept confidential lest they be given to those who are unprepared. [4.4:7]
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

68

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Other examples of Mormon teachings to give ‘unprepared’ people the ‘milk’ before the ‘meat’ can be seen in how Mormon missionaries are instructed impart selected information to potential converts: D&C 19: 21 And I command you that you preach naught but repentance, and show not these things unto the world until it is wisdom in me. 22 For they cannot bear meat now, but milk they must receive; wherefore, they must not know these things, lest they perish. And; My instructions to the brethren were, when they arrived in England, to adhere closely to the first principles of the Gospel, and remain silent concerning the gathering, the vision, and the Book of Doctrine and Covenants, until such time as the work was fully established, and it should be clearly made manifest by the Spirit to do otherwise. [4.4:8]

Summary
An entire book could be written about this concept of “Line upon Line” and weather or not Mormonism’s view is Biblical, non-Biblical and/or anti-Biblical. However, for now and for the sake of this exploration of Mormon ideas and practices, we can conclude that Mormonism intends to reveal certain information to some people, yet not reveal it to others. It is my opinion that Mormonism’s usage of “line upon line’ progressive disclosure is ultimately non-Biblical. Part of my reason for this opinion has to do with Mormonism’s doctrines being composed of independent spheres of autonomous knowledge. These spheres of truth are used for the progressive disclosure of Mormon sacred information.

4.5 Independent Spheres of Secret Knowledge
In a discipline such as mathematics,-- laws of addition and distributive laws all can be applied to Arithmetic then upward into Algebra even higher into Geometry and
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

69

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Trigonometry and finally into multivariable Calculus. In the larger discipline of mathematics we have a line upon line progressive building of ideas. And the rules for doing math are universal. These Math rules are continually progressive and consistent. All the rules of Math transfer perfectly from the simplest arithmetic on up into calculus. But in Mormonism the rules for reckoning truth can change, as you progress from the simple gospel truths into the mysteries. What is true in Mormonism for the basics, is not always true for the higher teachings. Imagine a system of rules were there is in one sphere 1+1+1. This is composed of three ones which when combined equals three. But in another sphere 1x1x1. This is composed of three ones, when combined equals one. Each Sphere has three ones—but the combined value differs from one sphere to the next. Then imagine a system with a third dimension of rules that changed the value of one (1), there would be no telling what the combined value of three ones would be, unless you knew the codes to the one values. The keys of understanding the meaning of the ‘Ones’ in each Sphere all depends on understanding the tokens and signs represented by a ‘times’ sign (x) or a ‘plus’ sign (+). Truth is conditional in Mormonism and does not universally present itself with it ultimate meaning. Instead special keys of knowledge are required to understand what it ultimately represents.. This is what could be described as "multivalent truth". This idea about truth makes Mormonism very difficult to pin-down as far as what actual is taught in Mormonism as 'doctrine', unless you have its keys. Mormon scriptures at several places allude to a kind of multivalence of its religious truth ( D&C 76, 88 and 93). Also in Mormon commentary expositions written by LDS scholars and leaders, we see discussions about this view of truth. A key Mormon teaching clarifying this idea is found in D&C 93: 30 30 All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence. [ underline and bold added] Mormon writers have often used this passage to express ideas of differing spheres of existence where the rules for truth and the expressions of truth vary from one sphere of existence to another mode or sphere.
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

70

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Mormonism has referred to the modes as being “Spheres of Truth”. As I mentioned earlier in this book, LDS Scholar, Sterling M McMurrin, in his milestone book The Theological Foundations of the Mormon Religion (1965), seems to alludes to this idea of spheres of existence and truth, as having to do with Mormonism’s well developed ideas a universe that is a ‘multiverse’ with a “pluralist character”. [4.5:1] Mormonism thus has an amazing pluralistic alternative theory of the nature of reality. This ‘multiverse’ reality, allows Mormonism to operate even when its doctrines are not consistent with each other and even if completely contradictory.

Multiple Spheres of Existence and Truth
Spheres of existence and truth allow Mormonism to have multiple seeming contrary teaching on the same subject at a time. The subject of the topic can switch attributes all depending on the conditions of which ‘Sphere of Truth’ gives the topic context. This is similar to ideas in epistemology called “multivalent truth”. Another way to describe it is to say that Mormonism has a pluralistic universe that is divided up into alternative realities. We see various Mormon scriptures allude to this idea of multiple realities existing in different ‘spheres’. As Moses 3:9 describes: “Different spheres of existence for various plants and creatures “… for it remaineth in the sphere in which I, God created it… “ Moreover,, the LDS scripture of the Doctrine and Covenents 77 :3 speaks of: ” …classes or orders of beings in their destined order or sphere of creation .” Verse four says these beings eyes and wings represent the “knowledge and power” that differs in each order or sphere of existence. A person only has to become literate to the terms and conditions of Mormonism to understand how a person can jump from having one God to many Gods in such a “multiverse” (multiple universe) of alternative realities. So in terms of thinking that there are several realities, in one sphere or reality of existence, God is the one and absolute only God. However in some other reality, God is just one of many gods. This is an idea seen in Mormon scripture that truth is only true as it applies to certain fields, bounderies or ‘spheres’. The Mormon ‘multiverse’ (plural universe) is divided into different spheres, each with its own view of the truth. That is, an expression of truth in one sphere is not necessarily a proper expression or representation in another
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

71

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

differing sphere. Each sphere has its own terms for what is true. Under these ideas or rules for truth, there is One God in an earthly sence, but from the prespective of a sphere beyond this earth there are many Gods. A Mormon Wiki entry from an LDS Writer Even though Mormons believe in three members of the Godhead, they still view such belief as a belief in a single God. Though the existence of other gods or divine beings is acknowledged by the Church and its members, this fact is considered almost irrelevant to salvation: the other gods—which Latter-day Saints would refer to as exalted beings—have no impact on this sphere of existence, are not worshipped by members, nor is their eternal role defined. [4.5:2] [bold and underline added]

Layered, Autonomous, Separate Spheres, with Independent Laws of Truth and Perfection
The 88th section of the Doctrine and Covenents indicates that different orders, spheres, called ‘kingdoms have different rules, laws, and conditions. 21 And they who are not sanctified through the law which I have given unto you, even the law of Christ, must inherit another kingdom, even that of a terrestrial kingdom, or that of a telestial kingdom glory. . 22 For he who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial 23 And he who cannot abide the law of a terrestrial kingdom cannot abide a terrestrial glory. 24 And he who cannot abide the law of a telestial kingdom cannot abide a telestial glory; therefore he is not meet for a kingdom of glory. Therefore he must abide a kingdom which is not a kingdom of glory. 36 All kingdoms have a law given; 37 And there are many kingdoms; for there is no space in the which there is no kingdom; and there is no kingdom in which there is no space, either a greater or a lesser kingdom. 38 And unto every kingdom is given a law; and unto every law there are certain bounds also and conditions. 39 All beings who abide not in those conditions are not justified. [underline added) In LDS scriptures other realms in other spheres of existence have different laws of time and space imposed upon them, as seen in the Mormon Pearl of Great Price Book of Abraham. Abraham 3: 7 Now the set time of the lesser light is a longer time as to its reckoning than the reckoning of the time of the earth upon which though standeth. 8 And where these two facts exist, there shall be another fact above them, that is there shall be another planet whose reckoning of time shall be longer still. 9 And thus shall be the reckoning of the time of one planet above another, until thou come night unto Kolob, which Kolob is after the reckoning of the Lord’s time; which Kolob is set nigh unto the throne of God, to govern all those planets which belong Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 72

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

to the same order that upon which though standeth

One LDS Author further explains the idea of spheres of truth: The Lord, in a revelation given in 1833, explained that we have agency because we live in environments in which we are restricted by boundaries. It is paradoxical that we have freedom to choose because we are subject to limitations, but that is the case. “All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself, as all intelligence also; otherwise there is no existence. Behold, here is the agency of man, and here is the condemnation of man; because that which was from the beginning is plainly manifest unto them, and they receive not the light. (D & C 93:30-31)” In that revelation, the Lord explained that truth exists in "spheres". In creating "spheres of truth", God placed boundaries around pieces of his truth. He declared that truth is independent within those boundaries and that our agency results from bounded truth. That is, we have freedom to choose because we have limits placed on our environment and activities. If we were given all truth, we would not be able to handle that degree of freedom because we are not exalted, and we would live in chaos and would be destroyed by it. Thus, God gives us as much truth as we can handle and places limits to prevent us from accessing truth that is beyond our capabilities. [4.5:3] [ underline and bold added] A Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith in the Encyclopedia of Mormonism style titled “truth” says the following: TRUTH. Experience points to a plural universe. The highest knowledge is of things, existences, in all their varieties ("D&C 93:24"D&C 93:25 D&C 93:24-25). The revelations to Joseph Smith speak of independent spheres of existence and an array of glorious degrees ("D&C 76:1; D&C 76; cf. 88:37). Thus, any mystical thrust toward metaphysical union in which individuality is lost is abandoned. [4.5:4]

Mormon Doctrine Page 420 affirms that each of these Spheres/Orders/Kingdoms represents a different Heaven, each with its own rules which is associated with the “fullness of the gospel”. As cited in the previous section above, each sphere has its own standards for ‘perfection’. What is viewed or represented as true in one sphere is not always an expression of truth in another sphere. One sphere the truth can be that there is absolutely One God, but in some other sphere there are many Gods.
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

73

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

4.6 Men are Secretly Gods and Gods are Secretly Men
According to the deeper teachings of Mormonism, God, Gods, Humans, Angels, Demons, and Human Beings are all of the same race, but dwell in different ‘spheres of existence’, at different levels of development. A human’s the residency among these different spheres of existence determines who is a god and who is mere man, in the order of Mormonism. This indicates that Mormonism uses the term “God” as a superlative adjective for the term ‘man’. Superlative adjectives are used to define the highest degree of a noun among others of a similar class. The hierarchy of nouns of the same classification rank from Men, to Angels and to Gods In a Letter from LDS Apostle Bruce R. McConkie to Brigham Young University Professor Eugene England discusses the concept of “Spheres of Existence” and God being in the state of progressing toward still another sphere.

THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS The Council of the Twelve 47 East South Temple Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84150 February 19, 1981 Mr. Eugene England C/O Honors Program 4012 Harold B Lee Library Provo, Utah 84602 Dear Brother England: This may well be the most important letter you have or will receive. It is written in reply to an undated letter from you which came in an envelope postmarked, September 4, 1980. Your letter enclosed a 19-[Page document which you had prepared under the title, "The Perfection and Progression of God: Two Spheres of Existence and Two Modes of Discourse." … In your letter and the article enclosed with it, you set forth the thesis that although God knows all things as pertaining to our sphere of existence, there are nonetheless other spheres beyond ours in which Deity continues to advance and progress in knowledge and truth. In espousing and explaining this philosophy you suppose you are harmonizing quotations from various of the early Brethren. Some of these statements emphatically say that God knows all things and has all power and others of them say that he is advancing in knowledge and under-standing and is gaining new truths. [4.6:1] [bold and underline added]

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

74

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Related to Eugene England’s assertions, Brigham Young in his discourses writes: According to [one] theory, God can progress no further in knowledge and power; but the God that I serve is progressing eternally, and so are his children: they will increase to all eternity, if they are faithful. [4.6:2] [bold and underline added]

On this very topic, Wilford Woodruff mentioned: "If there were a point where a man in his progression could not proceed any further, the very idea would throw a gloom over every intelligent and reflecting mind. God himself is increasing in knowledge, power and dominion, and will do so, worlds without end. It is just so with us. We are in a probation, which is a school of experience." [4.6:3] [bold and underline added] Another LDS teaching says, "When we use the term perfection, it applies to man in his present condition, as well as to heavenly beings. We are now, or may be, as perfect in our sphere as God and angels are in theirs, but the greatest intelligence in existence can continually ascend to greater heights of perfection" [4.6:4] [bold and underline added] Brigham Young preached, "We are not required in our spheres to be as perfect as Gods and angels are in their spheres, yet man is the king of kings and lord of lords in embryo" [4.6:5]

LDS Apostle Parley P. Pratt wrote, God, angels, and men are all of one species, one race, one great family, widely diffused among the planetary systems as colonies, kingdoms, nations, etc...Angels are of the same race as men. They are, in fact, men who have passed from the rudimental state to the higher spheres of progressive being…They have not a single attribute that man has not. But their attributes are more matured, or more developed, than the attributes of men in this present sphere of existence" [4.6:6] [ bold and underline added]

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

75

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

As one early LDS Apostle taught: We shall pass into another sphere of existence, and shall continue upward and onward forever and forever, if we obey the high laws of eternal existence. [4.6:7] [bold and underline added]

Speaking of Joseph Smith Brigham Young said ; He reigns there as supreme a being, in his sphere, capacity, and calling, as God does in heaven. [4.6:8] [bold and underline added] Just where is this domain where Joseph Smith rules? (Clues are given in Chapter 5 notes in the citations 5:30, 5:35, and 5:36).

4.7 Spheres of Paradoxical information Hide Secrets
Joseph Smith late in his career mentioned in a letter to an associate, "by proving contraries truth is made manifest," [4.7:1]

This idea has been explained by LDS scholars as in indicator for contrary idea related to revealing higher truths as paradoxes.F The reviewer of a 1990 Mormon Theological Work “Strangers in Paradox” remarked ”In the first chapter, entitled "Cornerstones," the authors establish the basic premises and assumptions to which they will adhere in the following chapters. One of their premises, as indicated in the book's title, is that this life is a paradox. Quoting a letter from Joseph Smith to L. Daniel Rupp in 1844 in which Joseph stated that ‘by proving contraries truth is made manifest,’ the authors state their definition of paradox: ‘When we first perceive a paradox, its contrary elements seem utterly incompatible. We are tempted to think that either one or the other element is false or that both are false. It is not easy to see how both can be true. However, if we accept the truth of both propositions and change our frame of reference, the rival statements of the paradox may suddenly appear to be compatible truths which tend to validate our new found perspective. This process encourages us to sacrifice traditional concepts, to take risks, to make leaps into the dark, to reassess our assumptions.’ “ [4.7:2]
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

76

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

This is significant because through the LDS scriptures, knowledge, and power equates to truth. Thus if one is to have power, one must control truth and knowledge or be above it by being in a more advanced or higher sphere. So we see that different levels of truth, law and power can contradict from one level or sphere to another level or sphere yet can still remain as truth the LDS ‘multiverse’ (plural universe). This leads to a situation where a person, though operating in one sphere, is above that sphere, thus above the laws of the lower sphere. It creates a situation where a person is not accountable to the truth of a lower sphere. This means that the person who claims to move in the higher sphere is allowed to tell untruths in the lower sphere for the sake of the higher sphere. This appears to be the case as recorded concerning Joseph Smith in the Nauvoo Expositor June 7, 1844: . Will you, gentlemen of Hancock County, support a man like that, who claims to move in a different sphere, a sphere entirely above you; one who will trifle with the things of God, and feign converse with the Divinity, for the sake of carrying an election? [4.7:4] [bold and underline added] This idea that Joseph Smith dealt with things of a “different sphere” explains how Joseph Smith could teach a monotheistic theology in one setting under one set of conditions, claiming that such monotheism is absolute truth, yet teach many Gods in an esoteric setting as it related to another sphere of truth (as discussed in a previous section of this book). It also explains how it would be considered unacceptable by his followers for Joseph to operate above and immune from civil laws forbidding polygamy. A person only has to become literate to the terms and conditions of Mormonism’s ‘spheres of truth and existence’ to understand how a person can jump from having one God to many Gods in a plural cosmology of alternative realities (a multiverse). In higher Mormon thought, God is the one and absolute only God in some lower introductory sphere of truth. This idea of ‘spheres of truth’ is Mormonism’s greatest secret of all. This secret structure of Mormonism has serious implications for persons looking into becoming a Mormon. Especially when Mormonism’s pluralistic and internal muiltivalence is not revealed to the potential convert. A person is libel to be lead along believing that they are joining into a religion that teaches only information contained in one sphere of knowledge, that holds in store teachings that are completely contrary. Mormons wishing to see a friend converted in to their religion will sometimes even claim that actual accurate information about the fullness of the gospel that comes to a potential convert from an outside source to be untrue. Such fullness of the gospel information is tagged as being an unofficial or ‘anti-Mormon’ source, when in reality it is totally accurate. Mormons knowing that this information is actually accurate, but viewing its disclosure as now inappropriate will sometimes act as if they do not know about the information, nor where it came from. An example follows under the next heading.

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

77

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Contrary Spheres of Truth are Useful for Public Denials of Secret Doctrines
A practical real-world example of ‘Progressive Disclosure of Spheres of Religious Information’ (that is When and Where) can be seen in a couple of large media interviews with Gordon B. Hinckley. In the it can be seen in the dialog that interviews President Hinckley carefully side-steps providing explicit answers about God The Father having once been a mortal man. Excerpts from Don Lattin, the Religion Editor of the San Francisco Chronicle in 1997 with Gordon B. Hinckley, President of the Mormon Church

Q: There are some significant differences in your beliefs. For instance, don't Mormon's believe that God was once a man? A: I wouldn't say that. There is a little couplet coined, "As man is, God once was. As God is, man may become." Now that's more of a couplet than anything else. That gets into some pretty deep theology that we don't know very much about. [5] Q: Just another related question that comes up is the statements in the King Follet discourse by the Prophet. A: Yeah Q: ... about that, God the Father was once a man as we were. This is something that Christian writers are always addressing. Is this the teaching of the church today, that God the Father was once a man like we are? A: I don’t know that we teach it. I don’t know that we emphasize it. I haven’t heard it discussed for a long time in public discourse. I don’t know. I don’t know all the circumstances under which that statement was made. I understand the philosophical background behind it. But I don’t know a lot about it and I don’t know that others know a lot about it. [6] [bold and underline added] Yet three years earlier in 1994, this teaching of President Gordon B. Hickley speaking to an internal audience at general conference on the same topic. On the other hand, the whole design of the gospel is to lead us onward and upward to greater achievement, even, eventually, to godhood. This great possibility was enunciated by the Prophet Joseph Smith in the King Follett sermon and emphasized by President Lorenzo Snow. It is this grand and incomparable concept: As God now is, man may become!" [4.7:7] Gordon B. Hinckley is not revealing these higher levels of information in a public interview as mandated by Mormon Scripture ( such as D&C 19: 21-22). He is
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

78

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

formally adhering to the rules of information of the Mormon system of “spheres of truth”. There are reasons why he is following this protocol. It is believed by Mormonism that this information has to be imparted by the priesthood, and through the priesthood ordinance processes. In the Mormon culture President Hinckley is not lying, because he is abiding by the rules of imparting information. Not in the above how President Hinkley says: I haven’t heard it discussed for a long time in public discourse. [ bold and underline added] Next take note that the teaching that God the Father had to be a mortal man was still being taught in the Church that Gordon B. Hinckley presided over in 2005. Many religions teach that human beings are children of God, but often their conception of Him precludes any kind of bond resembling a parent-child relationship. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught of a much simpler and more sensible relationship: ‘God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret.’ If the veil were rent today, and the great God who holds this world in its orbit … was to make himself visible … , you would see him like a man in form—like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man; for Adam was created in the very fashion, image and likeness of God, and received instruction from, and walked, talked and conversed with Him, as one man talks and communes with another. [4.7:8] [ bold and underline added] In Mormonism, knowledge is not obtained all at once, even by revelation, but line upon line, precept upon precept [4.7:9] And these lines and precepts can exist in other spheres of reality, that is “Spheres of Truth “. Higher orders of knowledge in Mormonism can actually be contradictory, yet somehow in Mormonism still true and oddly said to be in harmony though in contradiction. This kind of situation with the meaning if knowledge radically changing is usually considered objectionable in most all of society. It is viewed as simply lying. Yet the rules of Mormon information and epistemology have in built rules to allow this to happen in Mormonism due to its ‘spheres of truth’. What a Mormon leader has said could be seen as an obvious lie by the general public, would not be considered a lie at all within the higher spheres of Mormonism. The application of ‘Spheres of Truth’ for telling lies that in Mormonism are not viewed as lies, seems to apply in many areas of Mormonism as explained in this segment of the following book by Stephen F, Cannon “ The Legacy of the Mormon Prophets.” D. Michael Quinn, a recently excommunicated, recognized Mormon historian has supplied both the LDS and the outsider with penetrating historical insight into early Mormon methodology. In an essay published in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Quinn disclosed the relative nature of truth held by Joseph Smith and other LDS Prophets:
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

79

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

“It is a commonplace saying that the first casualty when war comes is truth but amid the sectarian warfare involving Mormon polygamy, truth has often simply been a negotiable commodity. The illegality, secrecy, and self-protection of the individual and the institution all contributed toward the final complication in the history of polygamy among the Mormons: the meaning and application of ‘truth.’ In an 1833 revelation dictated by Joseph Smith, the Lord said: ‘All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it, to act for itself... .’ (D&C 93: 30). None of the official or semi-official commentaries on Joseph Smith’s revelations has pointed out the strong implication of these words that truth ultimately is relative, rather than absolute. But Joseph Smith’s own teachings in connection with polygamy in 1842 explicitly denied that there were ethical absolutes: ‘That which is wrong under one circumstance, may be, and often is, right under another. God said, “Thou shalt not kill;” at another time He said “Thou shalt utterly destroy.” This is the principle on which the government of heaven is conducted — by revelation adapted to the circumstances in which the children of the kingdom are placed. Whatever God requires is right, no matter what it is, although we may not see the reason thereof till long after the events transpire.’ Forty years later, Apostle Abraham H. Cannon gave some instructions about polygamy that indicated one dimension of this question: ‘It is good to always tell the truth, but not always to tell the whole of what we know.’ If failure of full disclosure were the only manifestation of relative truth in the history of Mormon polygamy, the problem would be comparatively simple. But the situation has been compounded by Mormons giving specialized meaning to language that has a different (if not opposite) denotation in conventional usage and by instances of emphatic statements about historical events or circumstances which can be verified as contrary to the allegations. In 1886, a Deseret Evening News editorial presented a particularly significant argument in favor of a specialized approach to truth with regard to polygamy, and B.H. Roberts further popularized the argument in a biography of John Taylor published in 1892. Stating that the secret practice of polygamy was the context, both publications argued that if apostles (and by implication, any Latter day Saints) were under a divine command or covenant of secrecy which one of the apostles violated by telling others, that those who maintained the sacred covenant of secrecy would be justified in, even obligated to, denouncing the disclosures as false.” [ 4.7:10] [ bold and underline added]

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

80

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

4.8 Consequences of Secret Double Meanings
At this point will briefly describe two possible scenarios outlining possible consequences upon both LDS and non-LDS person due to double meanings related to Mormonism’s multivalence (plural nature). If a person joins the Mormon Church under a One God Gospel Teaching mode, they would join not knowing at all what the LDS Church ultimately intends to teach to them as members. This would lead to a person joining under one set of agreed conditions, to have the conditions after membership have been established. This kind of situation in consumer protection terms would be joining the Mormons with lack of informed consent, a.k.a ‘bait and switch’. People joining the LDS religion could indeed form social ties, enter into business networks, start families, to later realized they got involved in a system that they ultimately disagree. If a person joins with good knowledge of Eternal Progression yet this person nonetheless enters membership by the terms of the Baptismal Covenant. This covenant is to a different kind of God than the Gods taught in Eternal Progression. In this situation they will have covenanted in Baptism in a way completely non-consistent with the core teachings of Eternal Progression. In effect this person will be violating their Baptismal Covenant each week as they covenant to One God in the baptismal covenant renewal in Sacrament Meeting.

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

81

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

82

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

5-Two Gospels: Mormonism’s Biggest Secret
Mormonism’s ‘Eternal Progression’, Triune Baptismal Covenant, usage of double meaning, all add up to something very unusual. These attributes are indicators of two separate religious systems housed and managed by one larger Church administration. Though it is rare for even seasoned Mormons to realize, yet hiding in close proximity to their everyday religious life are two great divisions of religious ideologies. This division of knowledge and doctrine can be primarily detected in Mormonism by an obscure yet scriptural self-description confessing that Mormonism is composed of two distinct gospels. These two gospels belong to two different spheres of truth or modalities of religion within Mormonism [5:1] Each ‘sphere truth’ is a complete autonomous modality that has its own Gospel, its own Priesthood for authority, its own source of primary sacred information, a separate place of worship, its own God(s), and its own eternal destiny, This plural nature is Mormonism’s biggest secret.

The first Gospel is called the Preparatory Gospel [5:2] , The second is the Fullness of the Gospel The ‘Preparatory Gospel’ is public information the ‘Fulness of the Gospel’ is an advanced gospel and is and various portions of it are kept confidential, and non-public. As Mormon General Authority Bruce R. McConkie wrote in the Mormon Encyclopedia he titled “Mormon Doctrine” and the Mormon Scripture verifies: “ Two true gospels are spoken of in the revelations and have been have been revealed to men as occasions have warranted: one is the fullness and the other is the preparatory gospel. (D&C 84:26-27)” The fullness of the gospel consists in the laws, doctrines ordinances, powers and authorities needed to enable men to gain the fullness of salvation.” “…the preparatory gospel is the gospel of repentance and of baptism and remission of sins and the law of carnal commandments” [5:3]

As another Mormon Apostle taught of the Preparatory Gospel verses the Fulness of the Gospel: First, that which is preparatory and administered under the authority of the Aaronic Priesthood. The 84th section of the Doctrine and Covenants states it this way: “And the lesser priesthood continued, which priesthood holdeth the key of the ministering of angels and the preparatory gospel; Which gospel is the gospel of repentance and of baptism, and the remission of sins. …”

Second, the fullness of the gospel administered by the authority of the
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

83

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Melchizedek Priesthood. The same revelation makes this statement: “And this greater priesthood administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God. [5:4] Mormonism by self declaration in using its two gospels reveals different kinds of knowledge to different people at different times, under different conditions, “ … as occasions have warranted …”. [5:5] In Mormonism much knowledge is not even verbal or written information--but rather is transmitted and preserved in priesthood ordinances. The knowledge revealed is not always consistent from one level to another. Each level is a language within itself. That is, the fullness of Mormon religious knowledge comes at various levels-- and each level has it own rules by which it is to be understood and used.

The Secret of The Lost Gospel of Moses
Mormonism has a worldview that pictures that ‘Fulness of the Gospel’ as existing in different eras (dispensations), to have fallen away in other eras over the large span of human history. This is an idea that the gospel in its ‘Fulness’, as established by Jesus, was had previously in the days of the Patriarchs Abraham, Issac and Jacob. In the fallen eras a lower level knowledge called ‘The Preparatory Gospel’. Related to this sweeping idea, Mormonism teaches that when Moses came to the children of Israel of the Exodus, the first time he came with the fullness of the Gospel. Yet God and Moses seeing the people sinned with idol worship of the golden calf withdrew the ‘Fulness’, and replaced it with the ‘Preparatory’ of carnal commandments- aka the Law of Moses. ( LDS Doctrine and Covenants Section 84 ) 23 Now this Moses plainly taught to the children of Israel in the wilderness, and sought diligently to sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God; 24 But they hardened their hearts and could not endure his presence; therefore, the Lord in his wrath, for his anger was kindled against them, swore that they should not enter into his rest while in the wilderness, which rest is the fulness of his glory. 25 Therefore, he took Moses out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood also; 26 And the lesser priesthood continued, which priesthood holdeth the key of the ministering of angels and the preparatory gospel; 27 Which gospel is the gospel of repentance and of baptism, and the remission of sins, and the law of carnal commandments, which the Lord in his wrath caused to continue with the house of Aaron among the children of Israel until John, whom God raised up, being filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother’s womb [5:6]

In the Doctrine and Covenants 84 scenario, apostasy lead to the children of Israel
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

84

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

loosing ‘The Fulness of the Gospel’ modality of religion. Israel getting a lower modality of religion ( Preparatory Gospel) that could eventually prepare them or school them for the ‘Fulness’ at some future time. In the Mormon ideal the ‘Fulness of the Gospel’ to the children of Israel would have gotten from Moses at the time of Exodus, a teaching of many Gods, exhalation of men becoming Gods, polygamy, temples, and so forth. Again, ‘Fulness of the Gospel’ in Mormonism is what was had by Abraham and the other patriarchs of old. Nevertheless, in Mormonism, the fallen children of Israel, due to worship of the golden calf, were given a monotheistic lower level modality of religious teachings and law also known as “the Preparatory Gospel’. In Mormonism this is why the Old Testament is monotheistic; due to the sins of ancient Israel. This LDS idea is coupled with the Apostle Paul’s teaching that the Law was the schoolmaster to prepare Israel for Christ. (Gal 3:24&25) [5:7]

The Mormon Preparatory Gospel of Today
Likewise Mormonism today applies a preparatory modality (The Preparatory Gospel) toward new converts and their Mormon born children as a schoolmaster in preparation for the Fulness. This is done after the pattern of the Mormon teachings about Moses’ preparatory gospel for the children of Israel as seen in their Doctrine and Covenants section 84. In this day and age applying this Preparatory Gospel to potential converts is a methodology of teaching were only the preparatory ‘milk’ is given until the person becomes a Church member and mature sufficiently in the faith to receive the fullness or the ‘meat’. [5:8] This preparatory division includes the basics of faith in One God and Christ, moral teachings, repentance from sins, and baptism. These are of course in line with the fundamental teachings of a typical traditional Christian Church. Again as Bruce R. McConkie noted “Two true gospels are spoken of in the revelations and have been have been revealed to men as occasions have warranted… “ . Therefore, depending on conditions, Mormonism may deem it appropriate to impart certain portions of the Fulness of the Gospel to its potential converts or to the public sphere. The Preparatory Gospel carries with it the church socialization tools and mechanisms necessary to move child or convert into the Fulness of the Gospel. Part of these mechanisms is the Mormon system of priesthoods discussed later. Nevertheless, the fundamental baptismal covenant and its conditions remain the same in the Preparatory Gospel that is a life long covenant, initially to a Trinitarian-like monotheistic eternal God. This initial covenant appears to be later retrospectively viewed from an advanced perspective of the fulness of the gospe,l and to be reinterpreted to harmonize with the fulness. This retrospective viewpoint tends to accommodate any otherwise perceived contradiction between the preparatory gospel and fullness of the gospel. This is to say that the ‘preparatory gospel’ is interpreted differently after the fact, later when you are a seasoned member, than it was when you first prepared to join the Church. Likewise the Book of Mormon preparatory gospel is interpreted differently by a seasoned Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 85

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Mormon than it would be by a non-Mormon person who has been socialized in traditional Christianity. By and large, a complete examination of the broad spectrum of LDS teachings suggests dualistic milk vs. the meat theology universally exists in Mormonism. Mormonism seems to view The Old Testament and New Testament revelation of monotheism in terms of the Preparatory Gospel’s ‘milk’. That is belief in only one God is a baby story for children in preparation for a higher truth of many Gods. The following would be ‘Preparatory’ maxims: The New Testament of the Bible’s New Testament: Mark 12:29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: The Book of Mormon Preparatory Gospel of One God: Alma 11: 26 And Zeezrom said unto him: Thou sayest there is a true and living God? 27 And Amulek said: Yea, there is a true and living God. 28 Now Zeezrom said: Is there more than one God? 29 And he answered, No. Conversely this worldview with the fullness modality of the ‘meat” representing Deity in a higher truth as a counsel of many united Gods. [5:8]

The Fulness of the Gospel
Mormon Doctrine page 333 says: The Fulness of the Gospel consists in those laws, doctrines, ordinances, powers, and authorities needed to enable men to gain the fullness of salvation. This Fulness of the Gospel concept, that there are ultimately many Gods, was declared in the 121 section of the Doctrine and Covenants. 28 A time to come in the which nothing shall be withheld, whether there be one God or many gods, they shall be manifest. 29 All thrones and dominions, principalities and powers, shall be revealed and set forth upon all who have endured valiantly for the gospel of Jesus Christ. 30 And also, if there be bounds set to the heavens or to the seas, or to the dry land, or to the sun, moon, or stars— 31 All the times of their revolutions, all the appointed days, months, and years, and all the days of their days, months, and years, and all their glories, laws, and set times, shall be revealed in the days of the dispensation of the fulness of times— 32 According to that which was ordained in the midst of the Council of the Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 86

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Eternal God of all other gods before this world was, that should be reserved unto the finishing and the end thereof, when every man shall enter into his eternal presence and into his immortal rest. [9] [Bold and underline added] One of the most evident modes of expression between the Two Gospels is the difference between various Mormon scriptural records of the Creation. One account is of the Preparatory Gospel Book of Moses, and the other being of the LDS Book of Abraham’s fullness of the Gospel. Moses being a prophet of the Preparatory Gospel of the Old Testament expresses strict monotheism. On the other hand a supposed record of the same creation event by Abraham claims that Many Gods were the creator.

Book of Moses Preparatory Gospel Creation Account "... the Lord spake unto Moses saying: Behold I reveal unto you concerning this heaven, and this earth; write the works which I speak...”

Book of Abraham Fulness of the Gospel Creation Account "And the Lord said unto me: Abraham, I show these things unto thee before ye go into Egypt, that ye may declare all these words...”

"And I God, said: Let there be light; and "And they (the Gods, said: Let there be light; there was light...” and there was light...” “And I, God, called the dry land Earth...” “And I, God, made the beasts of the earth after their kind...” “And I, the Lord God, planted a garden eastward in Eden..." (Moses 2:1, 3, 10, 25; 3:8) “And the Gods pronounced the dry land, earth...” “And the Gods organized the earth to bring forth the beasts after their kind....” “And the Gods planted a garden in Eden..." (Abraham 3:15; 4:3, 10, 25; 5:8)

This chart may serve to explain why in this book’s section 4.1 we see some LDS teachings command only to worship one God is , yet others command the various combinations of worship of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. These transformations of descriptions of God’s nature is of profound significance. In the Bible, Almighty God declares His identity and essential nature in connection with His mighty works of creation. Considering the Biblical identity of God and how it has been revealed, Mormonism in its variation of creation accounts actually changes the identity and nature of Deity. This change in Gods ripples down all other religious ideas in the Mormon doctrine of salvation. A change is God’s nature, also impacts ideas of human nature, human salvation, and relations between we humans.

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

87

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Other Major Theological differences can be easily seen by comparing The Book of Mormon to Other Mormon Teachings. The Sphere of The Preparatory Gospel in the Book of Mormon There is only one God Mosiah 15:1,5; Alma 11:28; 2 Nephi 31:21. Strict and Radical Monotheism Alma 11:44; Mosiah 15:5; 2 Nephi 31:21. God is unchanging Mormon 9:9,19; Moroni 8:18; Alma 41:8; 3 Nephi 24:6. God is Eternal Moroni Chapters 7&8 God is a Spirit Alma 18:24,28; 22:9,11. The Sphere of Fulness of the Gospel Described in Mormon Commentary Literature There are many gods. Joseph Smith, Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p. 5. There are three separate Gods who rule in One Godhead James Talmage, Articles of Faith, 1985, p. 35. God the Father is increasing in knowledge. Joseph Smith, Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p. 120. God the Father was a Finite non-Eternal being The King Follett Discourse God the Father has the form of a man. Joseph Smith, Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p. 3.

Eternal hell Hell is not eternal. Jacob 3:11; 6:10; 2 Nephi 19:16; 28:21- James Talmage, Articles of Faith, p. 55. 23. Polygamy condemned Jacob 1:15; 2:23,24,27,31;3:5; Mosiah 11:2,4; Ether 10:5,7. [5:10] Polygamy was taught and practiced. Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 3, p. 266.

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

88

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

A Priesthood for Each Gospel
Just as there are two Gospels, there are two priesthoods. Mormonism’s priesthoods serve very important functions in how Mormonism is able to manage its sacred religious information. The preparatory priesthood and gospel is about redemption. In Mormonism this is the gospel appropriate to reveal in its entirety in public. It is the gospel all can see in the Bible and in the Book of Mormon. This preparatory level is correlated with saying that there is only one God. Also that God is strictly eternal in nature. This is the one God message of Moses and the Old Testament Prophets. In the Old Testament preparatory gospel, Moses’ brother Aaron held this lower Priesthood thus Mormon lower priesthood is named the Aaronic Priesthood. The higher priesthood is called the Melchizedek priesthood. The Melchizedek priesthood manages the mysteries. One of these ‘mysteries’ is the message that there are really many Gods not just one God. The Melchezidic Priesthood is associated with Abraham’s priesthood and doctrinal teachings we see in the LDS Book of Abraham and it many Gods. [5:11]

Here are some accessible citations on these two priesthoods.
Mormon Doctrine page 595 “There are in the church two priesthoods, namely Melchizedek and Aaronic, including the Levitical Priesthood.” Mormon Doctrine page 11 “The Priesthood of Aaron ’ is called the lesser priesthood…’”--

Mormon Doctrine page 595 outlines the levels of Aaronic Priesthood offices.

…”in the Aaronic Priesthood: deacon, teacher, priest and bishop.” And “The Priesthood of Aaron ’ is called the lesser priesthood…’”--“ …faith repentance, and baptism--comprising as they do the preparatory gospel fall within its province,…”

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

89

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

As one LDS General Authority taught: “Those who hold the Aaronic Priesthood, or the preparatory priesthood, have authority to perform the ordinances that belong to that priesthood. They can baptize, bless the sacrament, and perform those services relating to the lesser priesthood. They cannot, however, confirm someone a member of the Church, for that takes a higher authority.” [5:12]

Citations about Melchizedek Priesthood and its Gospel
Mormon Doctrine page 476 “The power and authority of the higher or Melchizedek Priesthood, is to hold the keys of all the spiritual blessings of the church—To have the privilege of receiving the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven…” Mormon Doctrine page 480 “…where the Melchizedek priesthood is , there is the kingdom, the Church, and the fullness of the gospel. This higher priesthood is designed to enable men to gain exaltation in the highest heaven in eternity.” [ underline and bold added to emphasis ‘fullness of the gospel’] (Reader, take note on the distinction between the kingdom, Church and the fulness of the gospel) Mormon Doctrine page 410 “…the higher priesthood ‘holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God’ (D&C 84:19-22)” When we later look deeper into the LDS Priesthood, we see why Mormonism does not use, creeds nor closed canons—instead it is the LDS Priesthood and the processes related to LDS Priesthood ordinances that control sacred Mormon information and negotiate between the two gospel modalities. Having a multiple theologies of course would create obvious conflicts if placed side by side in a single creedal statement. Mormonism does not operate in one mode or ‘sphere’ consistently all of the time. Rather Mormonism operates in and out of the Preparatory and Fulness modes of operation, on a sliding scale or continuum. Due to Mormonism’s sliding scale mode of operation, Mormonism cannot accurately describe itself with a static creed-like statement. Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 90

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Each Gospel Has Distinct Sources of Information
The Fullness of Gospel (gospel and rites of human exaltation) is the gospel that is radically at odds with traditional orthodox Christianity (and even the religion found in the Bible, Book of Mormon, and Preparatory Gospel). It is the collection of teachings considered blasphemy to Catholics, Protestants and Evangelicals. It is usually what is identified by Orthodox and Evangelical critics as “ Mormonism”, or Mormon Doctrine. Fulness of the Gospel Information Sources Theological elements of the relationship between plural gods who exist in an organized creative working hirarchy are taught in the Temple ceremony. This is mentioned in earlier sections of this book. Other sources of Fulness of the Gospel information include: • • • • • • Certain Sunday School Manuals- [5:13] Journal of Discourses- [5:14] Conference Talks. [5:15] Later Sections of the Doctrine and Covenants [5:16] Book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price [5:17] Esoteric Interpretation of LDS Standard Works [5:18]

Preparatory Gospel Information Sources Preparatory Gospel teachings tend to come from the following information sources. • • • • • • Book of Mormon [5:19] The Bible- [5:20] Early Sections of the Doctrine and Covenants and the Book of Moses in the Pearl of Great Price [5:21] LDS Public Media [5:22] LDS Ward Sacrament Meetings- [5:23] Certain Public Events [5:24]

It is noteworthy to say that nowhere in the LDS Standard Words (actual Scriptures) is there any actual statement explicitly saying that “The Father, Son and Holy Ghost are Three Gods in One Godhead”. Instead it is explicitly said that they are One God. (D&C 20:28)

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

91

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Each Mormon Gospel Has a Different Place of Worship, Distinctive Covenants, and Different Gods
The Preparatory Gospel
The worship of the LDS Ward Sacrament meeting is that of the Preparatory Gospel. The Sacrament Meeting is presided over by a Ward Bishop. The office of Bishop is an office of the Aaronic Priesthood. And as shown above the Aaronic Priesthood’s area of responsibility is that of the Preparatory Gospel. The Preparatory Gospel is the gospel of repentance and redemption. It is the gospel that is to be preached in public according to D&C 19, while the mysteries are to be withheld. [5:25] The Sacrament prayers are original in the Book of Mormon books of 3 Nephi Chapter 20. The Book of Mormon Jesus Christ gave these. These are renewals of the Baptismal Covenant. In 3 Nephi Chapter 11 the Book of Mormon Jesus Christ commands that the covenant is stipulated in terms that Himself and the Father are to be viewed and worshipped as being One. In 3 Nephi 18 the Book of Mormon Jesus says of the conditions of this baptismal covenant39 Verily, verily, I say unto you, that this is my doctrine, and whoso buildeth upon this buildeth upon my rock, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against them. 40 And whoso shall declare more or less than this, and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil, … In 3 Nephi Chapter 20 when the sacrament was taken the Nephites bowed down and glorified this Jesus. Jesus Worship is emphasized in the Preparatory Gospel. As in 2 Nephi 25:29 29 And now behold, I say unto you that the right way is to believe in Christ, and deny him not; and Christ is the Holy One of Israel wherefore ye must bow down before him, and worship him with all your might, mind, and strength, and your whole soul; and if ye do this ye shall in nowise be cast out. This Baptismal Covenant and associated renewal Sacrament is repeated in Doctrine and Covenants Section 20, it stipulates that God should be the only being worshipped, and concludes saying: “Which Father, Son and Holy Ghost are One God.” The Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible also promotes the worship of Christ, with Christ himself being the Eternal Father/Heavenly Father. Luke 10
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

92

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

23 All things are delivered to me of my Father; and no man knoweth that the Son is the Father, and the Father is the Son, but him to whom the Son will reveal it. The specific verbatim baptismal renewal, Sacrament worship prayers are found in their worship form in the Book of Moroni Chapter 4 and 5 that call upon God as “God the Eternal Father…” The Book of Moroni chapters 7 and 8 affirm that only because God is eternal from all eternity, from everlasting to everlasting that we humans have the assurance that His promises are and other good things are enforced. From all outward standards the Mormon Baptismal Covenant is monotheistic, to a triune God who is strictly eternal, and as such demands to be recognized, glorified, and worshiped in those terms.

The Fulness of the Gospel; Worship and Covenant is of the Temple.
Note how Mormon Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith described the Fulness of the gospel as being different from the Preparatory Gospel. “By fulness of the gospel is meant all the ordinances and principles that pertain to the exaltation in the celestial kingdom” [5:26]

Joseph Fielding Smith’s description places the fulness as having more than the Bible or Book of Mormon contains. This is because it is further taught that: "All men who become heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ will have to receive the fulness of the ordinances of his kingdom; and those who will not receive all the ordinances will come short of the fulness of that glory"; without temple ordinances "we cannot obtain celestial thrones." [5:27] This about the Temple ordinances is noteworthy because the Book of Mormon does not contain the higher teachings of Mormonism. The Covenant of the Temple is found in the 132 section of the Mormon Scripture Doctrine and Covenants. This covenant is called the “new and everlasting covenant” 4 For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and be permitted to enter into my glory … 19 And again, verily I say unto you, if a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; and it shall be said unto them— Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 93

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; and if it be after the first resurrection, in the next resurrection; and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths—then shall it be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, that he shall commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, and if ye abide in my covenant, and commit no murder whereby to shed innocent blood, it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world; and they shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever. 20 Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them.

Worship of the Heavenly Father (Elohim) alone is emphasized in the Fulness of the Gospel. “. . . The sole object of worship, God the Eternal Father, stands supreme and alone, and it is in the name of the Only Begotten that we thus approach Him, as Christ taught always” [5:28]

This stands in contrast to this Preparatory gospel comment by President Spencer W. Kimball ‘This is the work of the Lord. I know it. The Lord has said, “I am the Almighty”. I am Jesus Christ”. I am Jehovah” He is the one we worship. ‘ [ 5:29]

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

94

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Each Gospel Provides for a Specific Human Eternal Destiny (Heavens) and has its Resident God(s).
The Preparatory Gospel
Book of Mormon Preparatory Gospel has One Heaven and Hell. (Jacob 3:11; 6:10; 1 Nephi 14:3, 2 Ne. 9:16;28: 21-23, Mosiah 3:25, Alma 34:35, Heleman 6:28 and 3:25,26). Jacob 6: 10 And according to the power of justice, for justice cannot be denied, ye must go away into that lake of fire and brimstone, whose flames are unquenchable, and whose smoke ascendeth up forever and ever, which lake of fire and brimstone is endless torment. 11 O then, my beloved brethren, repent ye, and enter in at the strait gate, and continue in the way which is narrow, until ye shall obtain eternal life. 12 O be wise; what can I say more?

The Book of Mormon God who rules a Heaven ruled over by one and only one eternal God. Who rules over all of the heavens—and judges all souls to but one Heaven to one forever Hell.

The Fulness
In the ‘fulness of the gospel’, however, there are three heavens or spheres. This teaching source is the LDS 88 section of the Doctrine and Covenants. D&C 88: ‘22 For he who is not able to abide the law of a celestial kingdom cannot abide a celestial glory. 23 And he who cannot abide the law of a terrestrial kingdom cannot abide a terrestrial glory. 24 And he who cannot abide the law of a telestial kingdom cannot abide a telestial glory; therefore he is not meet for a kingdom of glory. Therefore he must abide a kingdom which is not a kingdom of glory.

Different Gospels, Different Eternal Destinies, and Different Gods
Interestingly a different Godhead member presides over each separate Heavenly kingdom. This amounts to having a different God in each heaven. Those persons who do not live the celestial beliefs and laws cannot dwell in the celestial sphere of existence. They will not have the God known as Heavenly Father, rather
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

95

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

a different God, namely Jehovah/Christ will visit from time to time. This Christ/Jehovah is explained in the Fulness of the Gospel to be a separate God being than Elohim/Heavenly Father. Thus those who do not live the Fulness of the Gospel, will not have the same God as those in the Celestial World. This is expressed in the following citations:

The Celestial kingdom The celestial kingdom is the highest of the three kingdoms of glory. Those in this kingdom will dwell forever in the presence of God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. This should be your goal: to inherit celestial glory and to help others receive that great blessing as well. Such a goal is not achieved in one attempt; it is the result of a lifetime of righteousness and constancy of purpose. Note: This is consistent with celestial worship of the Heavenly Father as in the ‘fulness of the gospel’. The Terrestrial Kingdom Those who inherit terrestrial glory will receive of the presence of the Son, but not of the fulness of the Father. Note: Note: This is consistent with Jesus worship and those living the ‘Preparatory gospel’. The Telestial Kingdom Neither our Father in Heaven nor Jesus will visit those who live here. Angels will visit these people, and they will have the influence of the Holy Ghost. [5:30]

Different Domains ruled by Different Gods

Here are some Mormon citations related to this concept. Every Man who reigns in celestial glory is a god in his own domain---[5:31]

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

96

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

President Joseph Smith’s Remarks, April Conference 1844claming he is ‘a god’ this generation:

God made Aaron to be the mouth piece for the children of Israel, and He will make me be a god to you in His stead, and the Elders to be mouth for me; and if you don’t like it , you must lump it. [5:32]

President Heber C. Kimball called Joseph Smith ‘a God’: You can call us fools: but the day will be, gentlemen and ladies, whether you belong to this Church or not, when you will prize brother Joseph Smith as the Prophet of the Living God, and look upon him as a God, and also upon Brigham Young, our Governor in the Territory of Deseret. [5:33]

Brigham Young claimed Joseph Smith was ‘a God to us’: “He is the man through whom God has spoken and revealed some of the most glorious principles that ever were revealed to the children of men; yet I would not like to call him a saviour, though in a certain capacity he was a God to us, and is to the nations of the earth, and will continue to be.” [5:34] In 1864 a world Encyclopedia reported on the theological structure of Mormonism stating: Adam is the god of Jesus, Jesus is the god of Joseph Smith and Joseph Smith is the god of this generation. [5:35]

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

97

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

The Order of the Gods
The following summary of Gods is based on what has been discussed and cited in previous sections of this book. After a survey of Mormon teachings on various Gods this is the apparent sequence of how these Gods are revealed. Then a person first encounters public messages about Mormonism first he or she is likely to see that the Church declares, “There is a One God”. This is a monotheistic idea. The first Mormon Article of Faith states, “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.” This is a public message that appears consistent with the Trinity of Traditional Christianity. Upon reading the Book of Mormon, and official scriptural descriptions a person will read the following about the God of Mormonism; “Which Father, Son and Holy Ghost is One God”, as in the Mormon Doctrine and Covenants. Historically until the end of the 1970s Church Leaders in public used the term “The Trinity” to describe God. If an investigator attends weekly Sunday Mormon Sacrament Meetings, he or she will hear the Prayer, ‘O God the Eternal Father…” This sounds monotheistic, and normally seems to signify a God who has a transcendent nature, as in the Trinity. The above representations of God are of the Preparatory Gospel of Mormonism. If a person tunes into certain more technical doctrinal declarations from current Mormon General Authorities, you will begin to see the Fulness of the Gospel gradually integrated into the Preparatory Gospel. At this an investigator will note the teaching that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are Separate Beings in One Godhead as declared to the LDS Congregations. The term One God, is shifted into ‘One Godhead” As more of the Fulness is blended into the teachings a person will note the idea that men can like God is introduced. Then gradually the syntax will become that Men can become Gods. When the Fulness is more dominate than the Preparatory the following teachings have been observed: • God the Father of Jesus Christ had to live out a life as a finite mortal man in order to become a God, just like all the other Gods. • There is a counsel of Gods • There are countless Gods, and humans and Gods are of the same race of beings, at different levels of development In relative obscurity are teachings to the far extreme of the Fulness of the Gospel
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

98

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

these teachings include more than the Father, Son and Holy Ghost our Gods. These teachings include other many who are called Gods within the Celestial Sphere of existence. For example as cited earlier, Brigham Young taught the Adam-God theory, where the pre-existent Michael the Arch Angel came to Earth as Adam and also to literally be the physical Father of Jesus Christ. In this scenario we have the Heavenly Great Grandfather God, named Elohim, then the Heavenly Grandfather God Jehovah, next on the downward hierarchy is the Heavenly Father Michael and then the Son of Michael who is Jesus Christ. This teaching of Brigham is consistent with Joseph Smith’s insistence that God the Father had a Father, who had a Father. Yet this is not consistent with the current LDS public teaching that Jesus is the pre-existent Jehovah. Significantly, some Mormons try to harmonize these theological variations by saying ‘Jehovah’ and ‘Elohim’ are the sirnames of all the Gods, not a unique name for the pre-Mortal Christ or other Heavenly Gods. Some of the sources cited associated with these fulness teaching indicate that Joseph Smith is included in the hierarchy of the Gods who rule the Earth. With Adam (The Heavenly ‘Michael’ the archangel) as Jesus’ God, Jesus is then inturn Joseph Smith’s God, and Joseph is our God. These teachings are completely inconsistent on every dimension with anything taught in the Bible or Book of Mormon, and all LDS public teachings. These theological ideas may well indeed still be alive at some hidden level of Mormonism, or be long extinct all together. Along these lines Joseph Smith being a God to us, early LDS records indicate it was thought by some Mormons to be the Holy Ghost incarnate.[5:36] This would seem consistent as how Joseph Smith is placed in the first vision of 1838. Joseph Smith is this latest version of the vision is the revealer of knowledge of the Father and the Son, just as the Holy Ghost is in the New Testament. Again such ideas are completely denied by Mormons today in public. If such an idea still is alive in Mormonism, only a few, who hold it as a secret would know. Nevertheless, historical records indicate that at least some early Mormons believed Joseph Smith was the Holy Ghost in the Flesh. Another ‘fulness of the gospel’ teachings is that all men who rule in celestial glory will be gods (little “g”). So among the Gods we have the Great Grandfather, The Grandfather, The Father, The Son Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith as a God, and all other Men who make it to the celestial kingdom. So it appears that we have six tiers of Gods specifically identified Mormonism’s highest sphere of the ‘fulness of the gospel’. The following order has been suggested in a survey of early LDS literature. (Jehovah as Father, p 40) • Elohim is the Heavenly Great Grand Father God • Jehovah is the Heavenly Grand Father God • Michael is the Heavenly Father(Father of Christ) • Jesus Christ is the immediate God of Joseph Smith • Joseph Smith is the God of those who undertake the new and everlasting covenant.
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

99

Make~Shift Gods : •

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Various men who dwelt on Earth are Gods in various spheres

It should be evident to the reader that in Mormonism’s highest spheres of the “fullness of the gospel” who your God is all depends on what sphere of existence one is referencing. Even is the lower spheres of the ‘fulness’ the telestial sphere the Holy Ghost is the only God. But to a celestial person there are at least Two Gods, the Father and the Son. And it appears that in the terrestrial sphere only Jehovah is the only God. This orientation effecting the number and identity of one’s Gods help explain why Mormon literature varies in its descriptions of the identity of certain Gods, and the number of Gods from one literature reference to another. Now of course as mentioned in the Preparatory Gospel, the standard traditional Trinitarian-like Godhead still stands today on the pages of LDS scriptures, and in worship of Sacrament Meeting. As it is written, “ … which Father, Son and Holy Ghost are One God. Amen” (D&C 20:28)

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

100

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

6. Make~Shift Gods: My History as a Mormon
I was once a Mormon, joining as a convert in my youth by agreement of the LDS Church Baptismal Covenant. It was through a long discovery process that I became convinced that Mormonism has two separate religions and sets of Gods under one Church administration. After this discovery I decided to part from the Mormon Church and return to Evangelical Christianity.

Part One- Meet the Mormons!
In the year of 1972, I was 18 years old, and I was a new Born-Again Christian. I was living with my Parents at the time, in a motel room, in Walla Walla, Washington. My Father had been recently transferred with a federal government job from the Los Angles area, up to South Eastern Washington State, and we were still looking for a new house. In those days, Walla Walla was a small town with a population of 25 thousand, its primary economy being wheat and pea farming, with a large canning industry. I was somewhat displaced there in a small town, since I had grown-up in the more socially progressive southern California area. This salvation of Christianity that I recently gained came through a long process of social conditions that I had recently left behind in California. My main exposure to Christianity had not been in Churches or Church organized youth groups, but rather from street Christians. These street Christians were known in the popular culture as “the Jesus freaks.” These old friends of mine were isolated from me except my contact with them by mail, 1000 miles away, the best friend living in Malibu California. In Walla Walla I was pretty much going it on my own as a new Christian and was formally not affiliated with any denomination. I would visit various protestant Churches locally on Sunday and attend various youth activities now and again. At that time in my Christian life I did not understand the larger themes of the Bible, what the Trinity was all about, nor did I understand completely how Grace through Faith could save a person. I was a “baby” in the Christian faith. In Walla Walla I loved being 18 years old. I finished my last month of School at Walla Walla High, and in doing so met lots of new friends, many were Christians. I loved the small town society. I got my first experiences salmon fishing on the majestic Columbia River, big game hunting, rifle shooting there in the great northwest. My Father being a WWII veteran for years owned an old civilian Jeep, a CJ2a. Straight away as soon as my folks got settled in a new home, my Dad and I headed for the mountains, it was great four-wheeling. Within a few months I too acquired a Jeep from a farm sale, a CJ3a to continue to explore those amazing local mountain trails. This old Civilian Jeep was a 1951 model; it was badly worn, barely in one piece. It had an old flat head four-cylinder engine. It was one of those World War II looking flat fender Jeeps made by the Willys Overland Motor Company.
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

101

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

It was so beat that I ended up disassembling the entire vehicle to the frame for extensive repairs. The frame cleanly broken in half by a crack that completely bisected the driverside frame rail—at the middle of the frame length. The Jeeps body tub was rusted to the point that much of the floor had to be replaced with new 18-gage sheet metal. The engine and transmission also had to be overhauled. It needed new tires and brakes also. After the course of a few months, I had the frame welded together, the drive train mechanically overhauled and running, except for the wiring was still old and the lights or ignition would fail, to leave me stranded from time to time. I named my old Jeep “Eugene” after “Eugene the Jeep” the cartoon character from the Popeye comic series. I put a roll bar on Eugene and painted him a nice shiny navy blue inside and out. And of course painted the cartoon character on the driver’s side- about nine inches tall. To me this Jeep was a fourwheel drive sports car. Soon, I took Eugene with new friends up to the mountains a couple of times to find myself stalled due to electrical troubles. With persistence, I would giggle and move the connections around between battery, key switch and the ignition parts—and be lucky enough to get Eugene running to take us home safe. One day driving at the south end of the city of Walla Walla, Eugene’s electrical system shorted, the engine began to sputter and cut-put, so I pulled down a dead end street that ended in a large Church parking lot. Stopping, I lifted the hood and started in troubleshooting for ignition problems. Being the “Jesus Freak” that I was, the underside of my hood was painted with the one-foot tall words “JESUS SAVES” – which became a billboard for the Lord when the hood was lifted. And as was the popular religious expression of that day, I had a Jesus bumper sticker on Eugene’s back fender. This bumper sticker was the one that pictured a hand with its index finger pointing to heaven, with the bold letter message “ONE WAY.” Suddenly, I was startled in my concentrated efforts by a booming voice, “ can I help you?” I turned to see a large portly middle-aged fellow in tan coveralls, with a pleasant smile across his face. I realized that this must be the Church janitor or grounds keeper. He grabbed my hand up into a hand-shake saying “ Hi there, I’m brother Coffey… are you broke-down? I instantly reacted, “ Hey there, my name is Steve. And yep … the Jeep stalled.” Brother Coffey remarked, Oh yea, I know all about it, I got a Jeep too, same Jeep, same age, same engine, same problem.” He continued, “Here, Let me look…” So together we shock some wires, checked spark, checked to see if the carburetor was getting gasoline, the usual troubleshooting routine. While doing this routine, Brother Coffey mumbled the entire history of his Jeep woes to me; mud in the gas tank, clogged fuel filters, bad wiring, burnt points, flat tires, worn-out u-joints, broken leaf springs, old condenser and on and on. “Oh my heck,” he exclaimed in a aghast tone “yaw ain’t got no spark,” I glared at him and with a sarcastic attitude thought, “no kidding.” “It’s the wire to the coil,” he concluded, “So let’s go in my Janitor’s closet and get some wire.” So I followed Brother Coffey. There in front of this Church was the name “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” I had never heard of this Church, nor did I know of the Mormons. I followed him into a large lobby-, which in turn lead into large chapel full pews that could seat 3 to 5 hundred persons. This was the largest, best-kept, nicest Church building I had ever walked Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 102

Make~Shift Gods : into in my life.

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

We got the wire and hooked it up directly to the six-volt battery, cranked Eugene and Chuga Chugga—Pop, Vooomm! the engine started! “WOW” I thought to myself, “this old timer is a nice guy after all! --Me thinks I like him.” Over the noisy muffler, Brother Coffey hollered, “How far do you live? “Two miles down Riverside road” I yelled back. “ OK” says Coffey, “I think I know the place, I seen yaw Jeep a sitting there, it’s a block from my place.” “OH yea,” I replied, “it’s that yellow Jeep!” “Yes indeed” nodded Coffey, as he motioned that I could be on my way. “Wait- barked Brother Coffey, “Let me tell yaw somethin’ …Yawl be needing a ballast resistor right-a-way in that wire, else yaw burn up you coil with too much voltage.” I acknowledged my newfound friend with a nod and a word of thanks and headed Eugene home. Two days later on a Saturday afternoon, I was out in my folks’ front yard, having parked Eugene under a nice old shade oak tree. I was enjoying the weather, doing an engine rewire job. I had clear sight down the street and noticed two young men in dark pants, wearing white shirts with red neckties walking my direction. At this time I did not associate these guys with Mormons, I did not know about LDS missionaries. I assumed that they were just going to walk by, so it caught my attention as they cut up across the lawn toward where I was working. The more mature looking of the two, a young man of age 20 years approached me saying “ Hi, I’m Elder Hamel, from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, this is my mission companion Elder Payton”. I thought to myself “ Man alive! That is a mouth-full of an introduction if I ever heard one… are you guys G-Men, aliens or what?--- or is this going to be my death by a mafia hit? .” But before I could even verbally respond, Elder Payton pulled his hand out of his pocket to reveal no less than… a Jeep ignition ballast resistor! He handed it to me, as I stood with my mouth slung wide open, obviously looking stunned, confused and dumb founded. Elder Hamel intervened injecting, “ Brother Coffey sent this along for you, we were just having lunch with him down the street” I was a bit embarrassed but still delighted by the surprise, rapidly articulating, “Holy Smokes! You two had me scared for a second, I thought you were psychics of something when I first saw that ballast resistor fly out of your pocket. I could not believe it — I was just wiring my Jeep’s ignition thinking about how I was going to get down town to a parts store to find one — just now!” It was hilarious and we then all shock hands briskly while laughing our guts out. “Oh yea,” said Elder Payton, “here is something else,” as he handed me a bag of wire and connector over to me. It was a custom built wiring harness, to rebuild my entire ignition system! I was floored. Before I could say anything or even thank them, one had a screwdriver and the other had a wrench and were installing the resistor and wiring harness on Eugene’s engine. All I could do was dance from the left fender to the right fender and watch as they told me stories of ones ’57 Chevy down in Arizona, and the other’s Ford Mustang over in Orem, Utah. Since they were Missionaries, I asked them “Being on a Missionary, what do you Mormons do on your Mission?” Elder Hamel looking at me pushed up his glasses with the cleanest finger possible Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 103

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

and replied, “We tell folks about God our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ- that they are real and that they live.” I said, “so you believe in Christ!?” With a forceful voice, Elder Payton boomed, ”Yes indeed we worship Christ!” I was deeply impressed at the straightforward convictions of the Elders at this time, and the lack of hesitation that they answered as if with authority. Within minutes, Elder Payton says, “OK we got it! I’ m riding shot gun!” So we all jumped in and away we headed down Mill Creek road. About five miles up the road we came to a un maintained trail head, and Elder Hamel, said, “see that Jeep trail? That is called “Mormon Grade” [6:1] after us, we are Mormons. But guess what, Big Foot was sighted up there several times over the last year!”, I was thrilled at the idea of going to see where Big Foot had been seen, so we headed up the dirt Jeep trail to examine the spot. After a few miles of driving along the road maintained ended and I pulled aside to lock the Jeep front axle into four wheel drive. On this old Jeep it required that I actually remove six bolts from each side of the front end, and then rebolt different hubs on the outer axles. During this time I asked the Elders about their life styles. Back in the 1970s there was a social revolution and many men began rearing facial hair and grew their hair long. However, the missionaries had military haircuts and were clean shave. On my first outing and conversations with LDS Missionaries, the young Elders emphasized a number of values of the LDS Church to me such as: • • • • • • • We do not conform to the world, we follow Jesus Christ Our Church stands for family values, high morals, no sex outside of marriage We are all the Children of Heavenly Father We are tight knit and have lots of programs at Church for all ages to keep them unspotted from the world We teach the ‘Golden Rule’ We follow the commands of Jesus Christ "As our articles of faith teaches, 'We Believe in Being Honest, True, Chaste, Benevolent, Virtuous, and in Doing Good to all Men...' " (Mormon Church's public published 13th Article of Faith)

Part Two- My First LDS Sacrament Meetings
With the mellow tone of a Jeep’s tail pipe exhaust, the Elders and I headed up the trail viewing the majesty of the Pacific Northwest, mountains, forest and valleys, the land of the legendary Bigfoot. After a while we came upon the fork in the road at the well know Jeep trail called ‘Skyline Ridge.” We parked Eugene there to walk about a little to view in total the beautiful scenery and ponder it over for its spiritual meaning. Elder Payton began to talk saying, “ It was Jesus Christ as Creator what make all of this beauty for us, and planned it before the foundation of the world.” And Steve, he has
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

104

Make~Shift Gods : a plan for your life too.

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

This was dramatic and well timed by the Elder. I sat silent for a minute and told the Elders that I was not sure on all the theological details but that I believed that Jesus Christ was God. "We Believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.” (Mormon Church's public published First Article of Faith). To me at that time in my life this LDS article of faith was a mistaken verification of Biblical nature of Mormon because the LDS declaration sounded like the ancient Christian Apostles Creed [6:2] After taking in the mountain scenes and having our discussion on religion, the Elders and I headed back down the Mountain, within an hour’s drive we were back in front of Brother Coffey’s house. Elder Hamel jumped out the back of the Jeep before leaving and said “ Hey Steve we know you believe in Christ like us, so why not come to our Church tomorrow. Putting my hand on his shoulder, I looked him clean in the eye and simply said two words “ You Bet.” “ Flip-in Far-out Man” says Elder Payton-- “we meet at 11 am, you know the place, you do not have to where white threads, but pants, shirt, and maybe a tie are in the grove man.” I just smiled as they walked away, thinking how cool these two missionaries and new friends were, and was on my way. The Meeting It was clear that this was a family meeting, and I never saw so many Children in one place in a long time. As I was instructed to dress, everyone was in his or her Sunday best. Noteworthy was that all the men wore white shirts with colorful ties. As if all the males above childhood were administrators. All girls and women wore dresses, none in pants. The chapel was full on greetings with multitudes of spontaneous handshakes, “Hello, Sister So and So, Brother So and So, Hello President, and Hello Elders.” The vocal volume levels were unusual to me to be coming from the inside of a Church. Then an organ played a sound familiar to my ears, "The call to assembly,” at this sound of music everyone organized and went to their seats, yet still socializing. At the same time, about eight or ten persons headed for the raised platform area in front of the chapel and sat down. Then the man who I was later introduced to as “Bishop Stoddard” stepped up and shook the hand of each on stage as he past them, and sat down. At that moment, another man (one of three on the Bishopric a counselor) stood and faced the congregation. “Welcome to Sacrament Meeting” this man spoke from the podium. Instantly all eyes were upon him and the chapel was silent. The Speaker paused and looked around the
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

105

Make~Shift Gods : chapel with a smile on his face.

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

“We welcome our visitors this fine Sunday Morning, and recognize Bishop Stoddard who is our presiding priesthood holder with us today.” He paused - “I’m Brother Johnson and will be conducting this morning’s meeting.” He paused as he made eye contact with me briefly and continued, “We well start today’s meeting by singing from Hymn number 252 ‘Put your shoulder to the Wheel’.” Brother Johnson rose again to the podium and made some announcements, and then said “the Sacrament will be blessed and passed by our Aaronic Priesthood this morning, --we will now sing hymn number 169 in preparation of the Sacrament.” Immediately the organist began to play, as a song leader lead the congregation in song: “As now we take this sacrament, our thoughts are turned to thee- thou Son of God who Lived for us, then died on Calvary…” [6:3] As the hymn was sung, two teenage males who were members of the Aaronic priesthood in the front of the Chapel took a sheet like covering off of one side of a table, uncovering the sacred bread of the sacrament, and began breaking the bread into small pieces. Then they sat down and sang with us the remainder to the hymn. At the hymn’s end the room was silent. The two young priests fell to their knees in front of the sacred bread. We in the Congregation bowed our heads, and one of the priests prayed a formal standard Sacrament Prayer from the Mormon scriptures, “ 3 O God, the Eternal Father, we ask thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ, to bless and sanctify this bread to the souls of all those who partake of it; that they may eat in remembrance of the body of thy Son, and witness unto thee, O God, the Eternal Father, that they are willing to take upon them the name of thy Son, and always remember him, and keep his commandments which he hath given them, that they may always have his Spirit to be with them. Amen. “ [6:4] The Bread and the Cup were blessed and passed separately. Several young Aaronic priesthood deacons and teachers who were of 12 to 16 years old passed the trays with the elements. With in 20 minutes this part of the meeting concluded. Next Brother Johnson rose to the podium and said, “The Bishopric would like to thank the young men of the Aaronic Priesthood for the reverent manner that they passed the Sacrament this morning.” The chapel was silent and Brother Johnson continued, ”we will now hear from Brother Samuel Taylor, followed by Sister Angela Jones, the Bishop has assigned them the topic of keeping the Word of Wisdom and the blessings associated its obedience. Hymn number such-and-such will follow this, then we will hear from Brother and Sister Rivera on a very interesting topic related to the Church Welfare program.” I sat giving full attention to each speaker, and noticed a pattern to his or her “talks.” These were not preachers but ordinary folks. They spoke of God and Jesus, and of
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

106

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Joseph Smith, and of the current Prophet. Each person gave a short testimony saying that they knew by the power of God’s Spirit that they knew that what they said was true and that the LDS Church was True. They always closed with, “in the name of Jesus Christ.” The meeting ended with a member, being called out of the congregation spontaneously to come up to the podium and offer the closing prayer. As I walked away I was impressed that there was no preacher, only lay people giving talks, yet the meeting went so smoothly. Also they did not pass the plate for collections. I should further note that I was immediately struck with the fact that each speaker testified that they knew the Church was the One True Church, and that they testified specifically to specific religious practices. What was paramount to me was that they knew it because they test-drove and lived out the teaching in their lives, that is, were obedient to it which then gave them these truths. Around the Middle of the week my two new Elder friends stopped by the house and explained to me the various stages or phases of the meeting and their meanings. The Elders also explained to me that once a Month there was “Fast and Testimony” meeting, where each member had an opportunity to express their testimony of the gospel of Christ. I attended the Mormon Sacrament Meeting again the next week. That Sunday I scheduled to have Elder Hamel and Elder Payton teach me some formal discussions on the following Tuesday at the LDS Church Building (Ward House). [6:5]

Part Three-The LDS Pattern of Knowledge Discovery
Explanation of this LDS idea: Much of LDS thinking has to do not with the actual doctrinal in the Book of Mormon, but the patterns a person must live in order to qualify to get religious knowledge direct from God, by through personal revelations. What is presented here is from the perspective of the Mormon “Preparatory Gospel.” [6:6] It was Tuesday and I was off work at the cannery for a couple of days. The cannery was shifting over from processing asparagus, as the pea harvest was about to begin. Using my time off I had schedules a number of appointments with the Missionaries. I was having serious problems with my Jeep again; it was leaking water out of the tail pipe and steaming like a rocket when the engine ran. I figured that my Jeep had a blown head but it was a far more serious problem. When Elder Hamel heard that my Jeep was broke, he said “ Let us converse for a few minutes about the Church—and go and start to fix your Jeep, and answer any questions about the gospel that Steve might have.

But first let us pray—they Elder Payton paused and had a look on his face as if he had something on his mine. He looked at me and said, well, “Elder Hamel, lets first
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

107

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

teach Steve how to pray then He can offer the prayer and gain the associated blessings!”— Elder Hamel was in agreement because learning to pray was consistent with the first few official LDS missionary discussions. Elder Hamel said to me “ How about it man?” “Wow OK! ,” I replied and I was thrilled. Here is how you do it—as Elder Hamel showed me a page in three ring notebook that held pictures and graphics from the official LDS Missionary discussions. Elder Payton pointed to the notebook page and said, “First Address Heavenly Father, then thank Him.” Elder Payton then pointed to the next line of text and said “Then you may ask Him for anything within the bounds of the commandments, so this time ask him to bless out meeting, and pray that we could keep what ever commandments we learn from Him. And Ask of the help of His Spirit. Lastly Elder Payton said as he pointed to the last step in the pattern: “Then Close in the Name of Jesus Christ, and say ‘Amen’.” And then Elder Hamel in a soft encouraging voice said to me, ‘OK Steve, now you try-“ And so I prayed: “Heavenly Father, thanks for this day. Thank you that Elder Payton and Elder Hamel are hear to teach me today, and I pray I would be able to understand and apply what they are about to teach me. We ask that your Spirit be with us—I pray this in the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen” The Elders congratulated me on learning this method of prayer. Elder Hamel told me that I had just learned an invaluable tool in my spiritual progress - how to pray, and that this tool was a key to my further progress in knowing God. Working closely as a team, next Elder Payton said, “So you should be thinking about that and remember the things you need to do to qualify for baptism. Once you are baptized you can get the Gift of the Holy Ghost as a constant companion.” And again Elder Hamel complemented Elder Payton saying “There is a promise in the Book of Mormon, about finding truth, it is related to prayer and knowing that the Church is true. “ This really caught my attention and I gave the elders my full attention. Elder Hamel said, “We in the Church call it ’The Book of Mormon Promise.’” Elder Payton emphasized, “you now have the tools and knowledge, by knowing how to pray to find out for yourself if the Church is really true, just read the Book of Mormon, and pray about it and God will testify to your heart that the Church is true.”

The Book of Mormon Promise
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

108

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

The two missionaries encouraged me to read the Book of Mormon saying that it contained the Fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and stood, with the Bible, as an additional witness for God and Jesus Christ. They told me if I read the Book and prayed to see if it were really from God, that God would prove to me directly in a revelation that the Mormon Church was the One True Church. They instructed me that this great promise was called “The Book of Mormon Promise” This promise was found at the end of the Book of Mormon in Moroni Chapter 10. [6:7] The Book of Mormon Promise Statement reads : “We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost. (See Moroni 10: 3-5.) Those who gain this divine witness from the Holy Spirit will also come to know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, that Joseph Smith is his revelator and prophet in these last days, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s kingdom once again established on the earth, preparatory to the second coming of the Messiah.”

Part Four -The First Principles of The Gospel
In Mormonism The “First Principles” are a set of steps that repeats itself in a Mormon’s life patterns, by which religious truth is discovered, determined and lived out in the Mormon’s religious life. Eugene the Jeep had blown a head gasket, and I had the head shaved by a local machinist. I was in the driveway finishing the installation when the Elder arrived to give me another official discussion. While turning wrenches on my Jeep Elder Hamel and Elder Payton told me, that the Gospel was like being a mechanic, that you get things done by acting on gospel principles, when you act on a command with obedience, you can expect a certain specific result, a specific kind of blessing. This was a new and interesting idea to me and the Elder’s illustration to me was remarkable in my mind. This came across to me like a means to take control over one’s own life by doing deliberate actions. Elder Hamel continued saying that he was giving me some of the information in the second missionary discussion. He said there are five steps to remember in how the Mormon Gospel works: 1) Faith 2) Repentance 3) Baptism or any Ordinance later in my life 4) and then the Help of the Holy Ghost and 5) Enduring to the end. Elder Hamel said that these were keys to the gaining of the Knowledge of the Gospel. He said that if I had faith in Christ and that Joseph Smith was a Prophet of God, and that if I repented, that is conform to the commandments in the discussions, got baptized, and promised to endue to the end, that the Spirit would be my constant companion. He Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 109

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

further explained that as I grew in the faith, and grew in keeping the commandments that I would continue to grow in the truth. He said that it was like my Jeep that I was fixing, and that faith without works was dead, but faith with works made all the difference. Elder Payton noted, “Brother Steve there is a task of obedience we have for you, we would like you to start to give a tithe to the Church, and then pray about it. Next you will start to see the blessings come specifically related to this act of obedience.” I was amazed at this idea, so I asked the Elders, “ does this mean that I will get a better job, or somehow I will have more money or what?” Then Elder Hamel said, “it depends, let me read from the Bible about this.” “Malachi 3:10 says, "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." Elder Payton then said “According to the Bible, when we don't pay tithing we are stealing from God.” I asked Elder Payton, “how does this fit into the pattern of the ‘first principles’ of the Gospel?” Elder Payton responded, “well first, you have faith in the principle being taught, and then repent by applying the faith by setting aside the tithe money. Next, in Church, you put the tithe money in an envelope and discretely giving to the Bishop or one of his counselors- I guess that is the ordinance part. Ok then comes the Gift of the Holy Ghost part.” He continued, “ the Spirit will testify to you that you did the right thing and will reward you for obedience.” I said, “that is the part I don’t understand what kind of reward?” “Well,” said Elder Hamel, “a testimony of tithing for one thing, but probably you will start to see improvements in your financial life too, it depends.” “But,” said Elder Payton, “it will somehow be directly connected to your temporal prosperity and personal wealth in some manner.” Elder Payton then asserted, “So Steve, do we have a deal, you will start paying a tithing? Will you commit to this gospel principle?” Elder Hamel then added, “it is all for your own good, and you are guaranteed blessings from you obedience; there is nothing to loose!” So I agreed to start pay a tithe. The Elders were delighted and congratulated me, and proceeded to teach me another Missionary discussion on keeping other LDS Gospel Principles. [6:8]

Part Five—My Anti-Mormon Neighbor
In the course of taking the missionary discussions, my next-door neighbor Joel Franklin paid me a visit. Mr. Franklin was a middle-aged man who had been active in the local Lutheran Church. Mr. Franklin knew that I was a young Christian, and had concerns Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 110

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

because he had noticed that I had been visiting with the Mormon missionaries. My Mother casually informed me that she had talked to Mrs. Franklin over the garden fence one afternoon. My Mother said, “ The Franklin’s consider the Mormons to be a kind of cult, that have odd teachings about God, they teaching thing that are against the Bible.” It so happened that one Afternoon when I was working the garden that Mr. Franklin was out in his carpenter workshop when he hailed me by saying, “Mr. Steve, can I have a little talk with you about your new religion?” I was always interested in talking about religion, so I went over to his shop to chat. Mr. Franklin started in saying, “you know, the Trinity is the foundational doctrine of the Bible, but the Mormons you have been visiting reject the Trinity.” “Mr. Franklin,” I replied, “The Mormons believe in the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, did you know that?” “Yes” he said, “but what they say about each of these divine persons where the problem is, they teach different things about God.” Then Mr. Franklin began to explain to me about the Trinity citing at least 20 Biblical passages. I could not see Mr. Franklin’s point because the Book of Mormon I had been reading plainly agreed with Mr. Franklin’s Bible: Book of Mormon, Book of Alma Chapter 11 38 Now Zeezrom saith again unto him: Is the Son of God the very Eternal Father? 39 And Amulek said unto him: Yea, he is the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth, and all things which in them are; he is the beginning and the end, the first and the last; I thought Mr. Franklin was way off base and ignorant and I replied, “Mr. Franklin, I am not sure of the point, It looks to me like their God is the God in the Bible.” Mr. Franklin replied, “well I want you to know that most all of the Christian Churches in the world disagree with the Mormons view of God, and of how God saves men into heaven”. He went on saying, “ It may take someone years of Bible study to understand why, but don’t you think you should join a regular Church and become well educated in the Bible before running off to join such a controversial sect as the Mormons?” Mr. Franklin also attempted to explain to me the Biblical doctrine of ‘Salvation through Grace by Faith’, from The New Testament letters of Romans and Ephesians. He also attempted to show me how the Book of Mormon was not needed because the Bible was complete. At this time in my life I was not up to speed with this kind of reasoning and what was being said went right over my head. I could not comprehend why such things would make any difference. Nevertheless, it concerned me so I challenged the Missionaries on these topics. Soon afterward I consulted with some new LDS friends and mentioned to the Missionaries about the topics of doctrinal controversy that Mr. Franklin showed me. The all had a very interesting and consistent reply. Elder Payton acknowledged saying, “When Joseph Smith was confused about which doctrines were correct, he asked of Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 111

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

God.” Elder Hamel also emphasized that this is why having the Gift of the Holy Ghost is so important. He continued, “through the Holy Ghost the truth of all things can be known. If your Mr. Franklin would lay down trying to reason knowledge out for himself by his personal interpretations of the Bible, and become obedient to the restored gospel, then he too would come to know the truth.” Elder Payton went on to explain in length that the Prophet Joseph Smith as intelligent as he was could not figure it out by reading the Bible alone. Instead, Joseph required God’s help to determine the truth of doctrine. What they were really saying that determining the truth by intellect was the wrong path to saving knowledge about God. They were essentially saying that the Joseph Smith First Vision Story was an example to the world about how to determine religious truth. [6:9]

Part Six- I Was Baptized into The Mormon Church
Elder Payton explained the LDS Restoration of the Priesthood to me, saying, “In 1829, Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery were praying to God, they were following the guidelines of obedience under the First Principles of the Gospel.” He explained that as blessing to their obedience Joseph and Oliver were visited John the Baptist. The Baptist had been sent to them from another sphere of existence as a resurrected man, an angel. During this visit, John conferred upon Joseph and Oliver the Aaronic Priesthood. Elder Hamel, explained the Aaronic Priesthood to me. “The Aaronic Priesthood is composed of keys of authority which can be transferred to other men here on earth in the Church.” These keys include the authority or preach the Gospel, and appropriately perform the ordnances of Baptism (article of Faith) and the authority to bless and pass the sacrament. One of the offices in the Aaronic Priesthood is the office of Bishop, the authority to preside over the Ward and Sacrament Meetings. The Elders described that in year later in 1830, the Apostles of Jesus Christ, Peter, James and John appeared and laid hands on Joseph and Oliver to restore Higher or Melchizedek Priesthood to men on the earth. This priesthood holds the keys of authority of giving the Gift of the Holy Ghost and holds the higher keys of the knowledge of the mysteries of God. Elder Hamel explained that the prophet of the Mormon Church is the keeper of the priesthood keys and that a hierarchy of authority flows from Jesus in heaven, down thought the Mormon Prophet and LDS Apostles, down to the Stake President, Elders, Bishops and young 12-year-old deacons. All worthy male members of the Church can hold a priesthood office. The purpose of the Priesthood is to serve in the Church and help God. Part of this service includes performing ordinances in the Church, as baptism, giving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and blessing the sick. I was just confused on one issue that was that the Bishop was not a Melchizedek Priesthood office, yet the Bishop was in charge of the Sunday worship. Elder Payton
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

112

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

explained this to me.,”if a man could prove he is a descendent of Aaron, then he would not have to hold the Melchizedek priesthood to be a Bishop.” He continued, “ But almost all Bishops are Melchizedek Priesthood holders- Nevertheless, The office of Bishop is in the Aaronic Priesthood.” He concluded, “the ordinances of Sacrament meeting are of the Aaronic Priesthood, having to do with the weekly renewal of the baptism covenant.” The Elders assured me that my questions would be answered as I worked out my salvation in obedience within the Church. With this obedience I would have my answers revealed to me by His Spirit. So I continued reading and praying about the Book of Mormon, which gave me an emotional feeling of assurance, so I felt moved to comply and I was baptized. [6:10]

Part Seven- My Formative Years as a Mormon
On the day of my Confirmation in my new home ward, I was also ordained to the office of Priest in the Aaronic Priesthood. This allowed me to fully participate in Sacrament meetings, to prepare, bless and administer the Sacrament. This participation initiated my spiritual growth as a Mormon. In Mormonism sacred knowledge toward salvation comes to a person by the process of the rites of the priesthood, not by the exhortations of a preacher. Saving knowledge comes to the LDS by revelation after obedience to gospel principles, not by a private a private interpretation of a crafted selection of scriptural passages. I learned by participation in the preparatory gospel, as a Latter-day Saint that the blessings of the Church come through active obedience to the principles of the gospel. When I put into practice each principle that I learned, I received associated blessings, knowledge and power from the Holy Ghost. This process of obedience was viewed (by me and other Mormons) as an upward spiral of growth. As I was obedient to gospel principles, I also gained a testimony of each principle that I applied in my life. And in our lives by experiences, not logical argument, that was why the Church was true. In about one year after of membership I was advanced to the office of Elder with my ordination into the Melchizedek Priesthood, and into the ‘fullness of the gospel’. Practicing the repeating cycle seen in the first principles and ordinances of the gospel, I grew in this priesthood and testimony of Mormonism. A Mormon’s testimony is a kind of spiritual knowledge gained by living the Mormon religion. This testimony for many LDS people has such a powerful emotional affect, that its conviction supercedes most all-ordinary intellectual confidence one could logically conclude upon to answer a question of faith. [6:11] Once a month each LDS member has the opportunity of standing before their ward congregation and bearing his or her testimony of his/her knowledge of gospel principles that they have had verified by the Holy Ghost. This knowledge is not thought to have come by human intellect or by studying the scriptures alone, but by applying the principles of the gospel by living them, and only by working out your salvation. It is by the passage through these ordeals of obedience to Gospel Principles that saving knowledge is by the Holy Ghost through Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 113

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

the Priesthood. That is to say that the gaining of this knowledge and testimony in Mormonism is all about a life style of actions of obedience to one’s covenant. On occasions for participation in special blessings a priesthood leader, usually my ward Bishop would interview me for worthiness. In this interview the Bishop monitored me for my preparation or worthiness for certain Priesthood imparted blessings. One such blessing is called a Patriarchal Blessing. Through the process of getting a Patriarchal Blessing a person’s spiritual gifts and potentials are considered revealed. [6:12] With other callings and ordinations of the Church, as I advanced, I was interviewed for preparation by both the Bishop and Stake President.

Learning to Affectively Accept Many Gods
In my life I came to gospel, church and God all as extensions of each other after the motif and patterns of the ‘Principles of the Gospel…”. In my mind, the operations of heaven were all after the same pattern as what we saw in the Earthly LDS Church. The Bishopric of the ward was in my mind a model patterned after the Godhead of the heavens. In this pattern, was the same anthropomorphic Presiding Priesthood holder, with two Counselors. [6:13] This to me fit into the pattern of my mentality of the Heavenly Father, with the Son and Holy Ghost as two counselors. The Bishop is then like the Father of the Ward. All the presiding offices of the Priesthood, like the Elder’s Quorum presidency, Stake Presidency, and First Presidency of the Church were composed of a presiding officer and two counselors, just like the Godhead and the larger Counsels of Gods in Heaven of thousands of Gods. It seemed to me at the time due to this Church pattern of Priesthood, like we were being socially trained to become gods in the pattern of the presidency of the Gods, each presidency being composed of a team of three Gods. [6:14] Furthermore, in Mormonism, God is of the same species of we humans, He is a glorified man. Like we humans, each person has a separate spirit and is a separate being. Any thought of the Trinity of three persons of the same being was out of the question. After all when Jesus prayed to the Father in the Gospel of John, the believer was to become One just as Jesus was One with the Father. And believers are all separate beings. I did not understand that this prayer was for the unity of Spirit. Likewise when in the Book of Acts when Stephen saw God in Heaven, Jesus in his body was at the tangible right hand of the Father, proving to the Mormon mind that these persons are two distinct and separate God-beings, part of the same Godhead. The LDS System teaches that Scriptural passages that orthodox people think are Trinitarian are not Trinitarian at all, but rather Jesus speaking in proxy as if He were the Father, this in Mormonism is called the Divine Investiture of Authority.[6:15] How the Church insisted I view and worship God, kept me completely distracted from the reality of the requirements and conditions of my Baptismal Covenant in the Standard works.

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

114

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Part EIght- My Awakening : Two Gospels of Mormonism
By the year of 1984 I have been LDS for about ten years and I moved my family to the rural, Eastern Oregon county, Union County. I had in-laws that were LDS in the region and in the neighboring counties and we looked forward to living the LDS gospel along side of them. While teaching in the quorums I became aquatinted with the great-great-great grandson of King Follett who was a resident of Elgin, Oregon. In the history of Mormonism Joseph Smith had a close friend named King Follett who died in a construction accident in the building the grand city of Nauvoo, Illinois. [6:16] At King Follett’s funeral Joseph Smith preached one of the most significant doctrinal commentaries of Mormonism ever preached. This discourse remains today as paramount to the distinctive teachings of Mormonism; the doctrine that God the Father was once a mortal man, and that we humans are to learn to become gods. In the summer of 1984 I met Brother Follett, a 25-year-old man who came to church in attendance to the adult Gospel Doctrine class I was teaching, which numbered about 40 other adults. Elder Follett returned to his home ward from Ricks College due to a sever illness. He was a newly married man. He was well known and loved among the older Ward members who helped nurture and rear him as a child through the ranks of the Sunday school programs of the Church. Due to my position as teacher, at the front of the class, I noticed the steady declining physical conditions of this brother as the weeks passed. He lost weight, became faint, pale, and weak, and his darkening eye sockets and hollow cheeks deepened each week. He had a lovely young wife who comforted him held his hand in class—at times with looks of despair on her face—looks of concert and the body language of worry spread through out most members of the class, for all noticed this dear man’s decline. By Christmas of 1984 this young man was no longer able to attend, being cared for by his extended family at home in Elgin. I was professionally practicing nursing, and socially many close to this young man would ask me what I thought they could do for this brother. They would wish to know could he survive? - What will happen to him next? Specifically, what of his future? What should they pray? I had a number of contacts in the Stake, and the concerns for this brother and his family extended in to serious discussions of concern in that circle of leadership. This friend was on our minds often in these months, his life and the life and death of his Nauvoo ancestor. He was a brother in the small priesthood quorum, and in a short time, like every man there, we got to know him, and we were all his friends. At the time of his untimely death many in the Ward who helped raise this fine young man deeply mourned. Due to this mournful tone in the Ward, the topic of the Follett family’s historic background surfaced often in the following weeks and months. So we discussed the King Follett discourse a number of times in class, and how it related to King Follett’s descendent that the aging senior members in our Ward had reared, and come into life and past recently into death. In this I got an unusually high degree of class Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 115

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

participation, and a number of times Young Sister Follett was there in the front row-and everyone being aware of her presence made sure that what they spoke would be edifying and comforting to her. The history of pioneers of the Church was one of interest to all who attended. One of the senior members in the ward was a dominant yet kindly man of 90 years old. He was the son of the first LDS leader to found a stake in the Oregon Territory. Having descendents of King Follett and the pioneers in this small ward was part of the founding heritage, and a kind of testimony of the natural spread of the LDS kingdom. These things were strong connections with The Restoration, and added power and testimony to our faith. The membership found these historical ties a way to connect with the roots of their religion in a meaningful way. Within the attitude of interest in LDS history, I was influenced to look at the King Follett Discourse with a new eye to detail. This activity soon lead me to doctrinal difficulty with one side of the Church saying God was God from all eternity, and the other saying that God our Heavenly Father, was not always God at but once was a mortal man.[6:17]

The Crisis of My Covenants
By this time in my LDS membership, I had entered into two areas of covenants. First my Baptismal Covenant that I renewed weekly in sacrament meeting, and secondly the group of covenants associated with the new and Everlasting Covenant of the Temple. In a previous chapter’s exposition I outline the contradiction between Eternal Progression’s teaching of many gods verses the One God of the Book of Mormon Baptismal Covenant. In the following outline of my Crisis of My Covenants, I outline another dimension of the contradiction, God being Eternal in the covenant verses NOT being eternal as seen in the King Follett discourse of Joseph Smith. With the passing of my friend, the ideas in the King Follett Discourse appeared to be in great contrast to the promises of redemption signified by baptism and redemption from the grave. I was sorely affected and challenged by witnessing the stages of a disease process in an energetic young man, witnessing first hand the stages of a dramatic physical decline, to finally see him lying dead, and finally buried. Even with strong religious faith, this leaves most people asking questions about the core meaning of life, death and redemption from the grave. For me it brought attention to the scriptural promises of God related to the redemption from the grave, making the notion of becoming a God seem insignificant, almost meaningless. Redemption from the ills of this fallen world, seemed to appear during this crisis of faith to be contrary to or opposed the idea of becoming a God. My personal experience of seeing a young man decline and unfairly die of disease, soured me to the ideas of Eternal Progression. In the Spring of 1983, before the death of my friend in 1984, I had been counseling my eight-year-old daughter in preparation for her baptism.
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

116

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

In doing so I had first given special attention to teach her about the Book of Mormon promise, the baptismal covenant she would be entering and the renewal of that covenant with partaking of the weekly sacrament. This covenant’s foundation is in the book of Third Nephi, Chapter 11, is also reemphasized in the Book of Moroni. In Third Nephi it originates as directly stipulated from the very words of the Book of Mormon’s Jesus Christ. The Book of Moroni chapters four and five, reiterates these sayings of the Book of Mormon’s Jesus and this covenant of the partaking of the Sacrament. This prayer addresses God as the Eternal Father.[6:18] Wondering the meaning of the term “Eternal” in this prayer, I consulted the ‘200’ section of my local university library. In the religious section I soon discovered that this term “Eternal” was an after product spin-off idea of the Creedal Trinity, because the ideas underlying its formulation was due to a more fundamental philosophical notions of God’s transcendence and imminence. The word only because part of the vocabulary of Christianity a thousand years after the Trinity was part of Christian tradition. I became aware from the literature of the Universalistic Christian sects, that “Eternal Life” in the King James Bible was an interpolarization, and a more literal translation would have been ‘Life of the Ages”. On top of this historical etymology of the word ‘Eternal’ the context of these words in Moroni Chapter 7:22 is all about how God has the power to know all things. The reason why so indicates Moroni, is due to God’s attributes in that He is present across time and space from ‘everlasting to everlasting’. This in orthodox theology is the transcendent attribute of God that gives Him the power to be the overseer of all things in our lives as they happen through all time. This is elaborated in Moroni 8:18 where God is described as being unchangeable ‘from all eternity to all eternity’. This description gives finite humans the assurance that Eternal God is in control and empowered to fulfill His promises to we finite humans. It seems as if this unique eternal nature of God it the main thing that holds our promises and hopes of salvation together. The Book of Moroni the assurances of God’s mercy, goodness and salvation are based on the described eternal nature of God. We are exhorted to seek out if these assurances are true in the 10th chapter of Moroni, also called the Book of Mormon Promise. Moroni 10: 3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts. 4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. 5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 117

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

This promise all hinges on God being in control of all things, knowing all things, and being able to communicate this to us due to His eternal (transcendent) nature as “Eternal God”. To undermine this attribute of God would call into question all of our hopes of redemption from the grave. The Book of Moroni even tells us that God can bring Christ into the world, which is the mechanism of salvation and other good things to us because He is from everlasting to everlasting (7:22). So it seems that if God is not truly eternal, we have no hope of salvation. With this idea of ‘eternal’ sparked by interest as seen in the King Follett Discourse just over one year later when I came to know a descendent of Joseph Smith’s close friend King Follett. Facing the death of a close friend, and seeing his wife and family so deeply suffer, brought the issues of knowing God and understanding human salvation to forefront of my religious thoughts. At the same time the King Follett discourse of Joseph Smith was brought before my mind’s eye each Sunday as I meditated during the passing of the Sacrament meetings during the weeks just before and after young brother Follett’s death. In my Sacrament meeting contemplations it struck me odd that just as the Book of Moroni declared the foundational covenant of Mormonism, it is also the very image of Moroni who stands atop of LDS Temples for the entire world to see proclaiming the LDS Gospel. So I became aware of the paradox of Moroni, whose Book declares that God is Eternal from all eternity, and who also stands a top a temple - where the internal teachings deeply convey the underlying ideas of many Gods, Godhood, and that God our Father was once a mortal man. Have we been in error or in deep gullibility imagined and supposed in our baptismal covenant that God was from all eternity? As Joseph Smith preached at King Follett’s funeral: ...I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil,...[6:19] How could it be that the baptismal covenant as it is explained over and over from its foundation coming from the very words of Jesus in the Book of Mormon, along with other scriptural teachings be in error about God’s nature? Why then was the baptismal covenant to a triune God who was a single God-being of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost? My questions were further deepened as I studied the covenant as outlined in the 20th section of the Doctrine and Covenants. This teaching says “…which Father, Son and Holy Ghost are One God, Amen.” This formula is first prefaced in this LDS Scripture noting that there is “…the only being who we should worship.” If only one being is to be worshiped, and we LDS were to also worship Christ as in 2 Nephi 25:29, then how Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 118

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

could the Father and Son and the Holy Ghost be three beings? Likewise in the roots of this covenant, in the Book of Mormon, Jesus says that it is His Spirit,-the Holy Ghost, is the spirit that given to the obedient believer. This is in affect saying that the same one spirit of Christ’s being is also the Holy Ghost, a Trinitarian notion. This means that in the Book of Mormon, that Jesus speaks of Himself, in the covenant, as a transcendent being. The Holy Ghost He promises to give is not some other separate being who is a third god. This is the Holy Ghost, the Sprit of Christ we learn about in the Bible’s Romans 8: 9&10 and Colossians 1:27. This Spirit not some other third god, not some separate being apart from Jesus Christ. Rather this indwelling of the Spirit of God is called “Christ in you”. In the Book of Mormon, the root of the covenant calls Jesus Eternal God, and says if there is no Christ, there is no God (Cover Page and 2 Nephi 11:7). I became convinced that the Baptismal Covenant, to which all Mormons are dutybound is Trinitarian. I began to ask myself and others around me in Church, “Why does Joseph Smith in the King Follett discourse refute the eternal nature of God and the conditions of the Baptismal Covenant?” Soon, I began to ask the Elders , Why did Joseph Smith call God not being Eternal the great secret in his last great sermon?” I was hugely upset that we as Mormons would engage in partaking of the Sacrament in Sacrament Meeting Sunday Worship, to then all immediately rush to our Gospel Doctrine classes which oft teach things like"Mormon prophets have continuously taught the sublime truth that God the Eternal Father was once a mortal man who passed through a school of earth life similar to that through which we are now passing." [6:20] This is a clear oxymoron as opposed to God being in the role of an all-knowing God from all eternity. The whole idea of calling God ‘the Eternal Father’ presented an upsetting quandary in my mind when considering the whole idea of Eternal Progression. How could a once finite creature later become “Eternal?” It would seem either a being was eternal transcending all time and space or was mortal within a finite time and space. That which is eternal must, as far as time is concerned, have been and will always will remain eternal. As I reviewed this dilemma, I became convinced that the LDS Church had we LDS members viewing and worshiping one kind of gods, while making a covenant to a different strictly Eternal kind of god. In doing so we were violating our Baptismal Covenants. As I approached a number of LDS friends on this issue they could not believe how I could take my own interpretation so seriously. The thought me arrogant to think I could make such a determination under my own reasoning powers. One friend told me even if I were correct in my interpretations of the Book of Mormon, and the brethren in Salt Lake City are wrong, still because they declared the heresy, they not individual LDS members would be held accountable.

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

119

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Having my young friend Bro. Follett die, and seeing him dead at his funeral made this issue of contradictions significant to me. The situation called me to deal with these issues personally even when others did not take me seriously. I was deeply convicted that if God were not completely in control of the physical universe and truly strictly Eternal, then I did not think such a God could save we humans from the grave. I realized that with death so certain for us all that it would seem that we had better make sure we know the true identity of the God of our Fathers. We had better make sure we are worshiping the God of the Gospels, and Letters of the New Testament. This is who is the only true God, The Eternal One, the Great I AM, the one whose name was declared by Jesus Christ. And person had better know exactly the identity of Christ. Jesus says in John 8:24 … for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. Jesus says in John 12:48 …The word I have spoken, the same will judge in the last day. Likewise even Jesus of the Book of Mormon (3 Nephi 11:40) when commanding the doctrine of God connected with the Baptismal Covenant declaring that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are One said: …who shall declare more or less than this and establish it for my doctrine, the same cometh of evil.

As the Biblical Book of Acts, the Apostle Paul DeclaredActs 24: 14 But this I confess unto thee, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets: [ bold and underline added]

Yet the brethren who lead the LDS Church insist that we Mormons were to worship a different God. We know the true God by His Biblical acts of creation, and by His attributes. The Gods of Eternal Progression have different attributes, natures and identities than the God of the Baptismal Covenant and the God of Biblical creation. Secondly, the Gods of Eternal Progression are different by nature than the ‘God of our fathers’ declared by the ancient Apostle Paul, who is the God that all Christians should worship.

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

120

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

I discovered soon afterwards, while reading the 84th section of the Doctrine and Covenants, that Mormonism by self description was composed of two gospels. First is the Preparatory, a monotheistic gospel with God being eternal. Secondly is the Fulness of the Gospel, a gospel of many Gods who all first had to be finite mortal men. Around the same time I was disturbed to read from the Bible: Galatians 1: 6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. This whole double gospel revelation threw me for a loop. And it all began to look to me like we Mormons were trapped with in a similar situation had in ancient Israel due to the false gods of Baal and the heavenly mother goddess Asherah. This situation is written of in the Book of 1 Kings Chapter 18, a situation warned about again in the New Testament Book Hebrews which warns“…serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire.” [6:21]

Part Nine- Exodus
The experience of watching the health related decline and death of a friend, jolted me loose from the religious training I received as a Mormon. This experience drove me into a fixation into an area of religious inquiry of many of trial and a struggle. Unable to reconcile the LDS dual teachings of monotheistic redemption, verses the ideas of many Gods and Eternal Progression. I began to read the works of learned men of theology outside of Mormonism for answers. At one point I drafted a book that defended the dual Mormon theologies, Nevertheless in my investigations for that book, I came to reject the entirety of LDS extra-Biblical writings as viable scripture. I became very much involved in a personal study of the Bible and became convinced that the New and Old Testaments express reality in singular terms, expressing truth in one consistent modality, not with several layers as in done in Mormonism. To make a long story short, after a long and hard struggle with this paradox with in Mormon theology, I decided to leave the LDS Church. I believe the Spirit of God lead me through the journey and struggle to lead me back to Evangelical Christianity. He in turn sent many Christians into my life who aided me in my journey. These Christians over the years were some times harsh witnesses, but overall supported Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 121

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

and encouraged me in my struggles. I found meaning in and through my struggles as a Christian. I received Christian baptism in the company of many of other Christians, (some who were former Mormons too), one Sunday in August in 1992 at the first dam reservoir on the Logan River, Logan Utah.

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

122

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

7- Mormon Creedlessness
Mormonism’s non usage of creeds is a powerful clue to the nature of its extreme pluralistic nature, multivalence and multiple gospels. This multivaleance in Mormonism can create a condition were potential converts can join the LDS Church without an accurate understanding of Mormonism’s ultimate teachings.

Trinitarian Creedal Christianity
The Trinity of traditional Christianity which creedal statements and wording go back to the second century A.D.[7:1] teach that the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost is One God. The means of Christians expressing Biblical knowledge in terms of creeds fully developed as an informational summary or declarative device in the fifth century A.D.. The one of the most fundamental creed of Christianity is the Nicene Creed, which some claim to be the starting point of the Trinity. Creeds are one way that traditional Christianity has controlled, regulated and communicated its sacred religious information.

Kinds of Creeds
In the traditional Christian world, there are two kinds of creeds: Baptismal and conciliar. The Baptismal creed teaches the basics of the faith to new believers in preparation of baptism, and are basic confessions of faith. The conciliar creeds are larger official doctrines of a larger scope of the church as agreed at councils. The earlier creeds such as the Nicene Creed are still often recited as baptismal confessions. The Apostles Creed which is very similar to the Nicene Creed is often used in Catholic and Protestant Church services being recited in association with communion. [7:2] This these orthodox recitals are analogous and very similar in content and structure to the LDS Baptismal Covenant descriptions, and LDS Sacrament Prayers that are recited weekly in LDS Ward worship services.

Leaders in Mormonism Claim that Mormonism is Creedless
It is often the assertion of Mormon scholars and leaders that Mormonism is Creedless "Even though it is a revealed religion, Mormonism is all but creedless... While certain doctrines are enunciated in the standard works and some doctrinal issues have been addressed in formal pronouncements by the First Presidency, there is nothing in Mormonism comparable to the Westminster Confession of Faith or the Augsburg Confession. Few of the truly distinctive doctrines of Mormonism are discussed in 'official' sources. It is mainly by 'unofficial' means-Sunday School lessons, seminary, institute, and BYU religion classes, sacrament meeting talks and books by Church officials and others who ultimately speak only for Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 123

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

themselves-that the theology is passed from one generation to the next. Indeed it would seem that a significant part of Mormon theology exists primarily in the minds of the members. The absence of a formal creed means that each generation must produce a new set of gospel expositors to restate and reinterpret the doctrines of Mormonism." [7:3]

When we examine Mormonism’s sacred history we see God telling Mormonism’s founder (Joseph Smith) to reject the creeds of Christiantiy. Here is an exherp from the official History of the Church, 1:19: I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof.”’ [ underline and bold added]

Daniel C Peterson and Stephen D. Ricks in their book written for the defense of the LDS faith repeat other teachings of Joseph Smith denying creeds: “… the Latter-day Saints have no creed, but are ready to believe all true principles that exist, as they are made manifest from time to time. (HC 5:215)” [ underline added] [7:4]

With no creed as to what Mormonism ultimately intends to teach, how then do converts know what they are about to join?

Current Mormon Leadership are Critical of Creeds
When a Mormon is asked about their belief about God and Christ, Mormons will usually repeat Article One of the LDS Articles of Faith: “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost”. [7:5] If then asked about the Trinity of the ancient creeds, the Mormon will usually at that they do not believe the creeds nor the Trinity that teaches of three different persons being One God-Being. Rather most Mormons can tell you that they believe that The Father, Son and Holy Ghost are three persons and also three separate Gods or three separate divine beings that are united in one purpose. These three separate beings so say Mormons that make-up one united organization of beings called the ‘Godhead’. This rejection Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 124

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

of the Trinity, if often coupled with a mentioned rejection of traditional Christian creeds especially the formulation of the Nicene Creed. What Mormons will often tell you is usually consistent with the following I found posted on the Brigham Young University FAQ web page. Latter-day Saints believe in God the Father, in his Son, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. These three Gods form the Godhead, which holds the keys of power over the universe. [7:6] Consistent with what our LDS friends will tell us about creeds of the Trinity, Mormon high leadership has recently delivered sermons to the LDS General Membership at the Church wide LDS General Conferences, against the traditional historical Christian Nicene creed and its idea that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost is One God. These addresses are given in promotion of the teaching of the Three God-Beings in One Godhead idea. Here is a citation taken from the pulpit of an LDS General Conference, by Apostle Jeffery Holland on this topic: “In the year A.D. 325 the Roman emperor Constantine convened the Council of Nicaea to address—among other things—the growing issue of God’s alleged “trinity in unity.” What emerged from the heated contentions of churchmen, philosophers, and ecclesiastical dignitaries came to be known (after another 125 years and three more major councils) as the Nicene Creed, with later reformulations such as the Athanasian Creed. These various evolutions and iterations of creeds—and others to come over the centuries—declared the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost to be abstract, absolute, transcendent, immanent, consubstantial, coeternal, and unknowable, without body, parts, or passions and dwelling outside space and time. In such creeds all three members are separate persons, but they are a single being, the oft-noted “mystery of the trinity.” They are three distinct persons, yet not three Gods but one We agree with our critics on at least that point—that such a formulation for divinity is truly incomprehensible. With such a confusing definition of God being imposed upon the church, little wonder that a fourth-century monk cried out, “Woe is me! They have taken my God away from me, . . . and I know not whom to adore or to address.” How are we to trust, love, worship, to say nothing of strive to be like, One who is incomprehensible and unknowable? What of Jesus’s prayer to His Father in Heaven that “this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent”?” “But if one says we are not Christians because we do not hold a fourth- or fifthcentury view of the Godhead, then what of those first Christian Saints, many of whom were eyewitnesses of the living Christ, who did not hold such a view either?” “We declare it is self-evident from the scriptures that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are separate persons, three divine beings,…” [7:7] Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 125

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

With Mormonism’s leadership public messages about their beliefs about many Gods, Mormons will usually follow the example of their high leaders to tell you that the Trinity is completely non-scriptural. Then Mormons will elaborate that there are three separate god-beings is what Bible and LDS scripture really teaches. It is not uncommon these days for Mormons to lecture a traditional Christian friend on how the Trinitarian creeds of the forth and fifth Century A.D. purposefully subjugated and changed the true Church’s teachings about God causing caused the whole world to fall in to false teachings about God and a universal Apostasy. Mormons will often conclude that the scriptures and original Christian teachings about Godhead was a doctrine of three Gods. (three separate divine beings) in one united corporate Godhead. Most Mormons do not realize how far off base they are because their own Book of Mormon and other Mormon extra-Biblical Scriptures teach that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are one God, a monotheistic transcendent eternal being. Little do Mormons realize but their important and broad spread official looking published teachings about a Godhead of three God-beings is not only unbiblical, but much more. This Three Gods Godhead is NOT taught ANYWHERE in the all of the Mormon Scriptures (aka Standard Works of the LDS Church). I will say it again! NOWHERE in the Mormon Church’s Standard Works is it directly or expressly taught that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are Three Gods in a Godhead that rules the universe. To the contrary the Standard Works teach verbatim, and directly and deliberately say that the “..Father, Son and the Holy Ghost are One God” (D&C 20:28). Nevertheless, note how LDS Apostle Jeffery Holland in the above citation critical of the teachings that are found in his own scriptures. Paradoxically, with Mormonism most fundamental teachings about Many Gods not being in their own Scriptures, other Mormon leaders have declared to its members to look to the scriptures, not outward to non-scriptural ‘opinions’ for “doctrine”. You cannot accept the books written by the authorities of the Church as standards of doctrine, only in so far as they accord with the revealed word in the standard works. Every man who writes is responsible, not the Church, for what he writes. If Joseph Fielding Smith writes something which is out of harmony with the revelations, then every member of the Church is duty bound to reject it. If he writes that which is in perfect harmony with the revealed word of the Lord, then it should be accepted. [7:8] The strangeness of what should be defined as solid official Mormon “doctrine” is obviously seen in the LDS scriptures is that of a monotheistic triune God. Yet the very leaders who point to this scriptural revelations, defy its teachings, and replace it with one of many Gods. On top of this , LDS leaders are harshly critical of the formulation of the Nicene Creed, yet similar creedal dogmatic formulas are found right in their own scriptures. For example compare the 20th section of the Doctrine and Covenants to a modern rendering of The Nicene Creed.

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

126

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

D&C 20 Creed and Nicene Creed
Doctrine and Covenants, (D&C) Section 20 gives a summarized Standard Works affirmation of God Nature, The Father , Son and Holy Ghost Oneness, God as Creator, the Fall of Man, the Atonement. The Structure, tone, and purpose of D&C 20 is similar to the Nicene Creed . Both the Nicene Creed and D&C 20 say basically the same things about God. D&C 20: 17 By these things we know that there is a God in heaven, who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable God, the framer of heaven and earth, and all things which are in them; 18 And that he created man, male and female, after his own image and in his own likeness, created he them; 19 And gave unto them commandments that they should love and serve him, the only living and true God, and that he should be the only being whom they should worship. 20 But by the transgression of these holy laws man became sensual and devilish, and became fallen man. 21 Wherefore, the Almighty God gave his Only Begotten Son, as it is written in those scriptures which have been given of him. 22 He suffered temptations but gave no heed unto them. 23 He was crucified, died, and rose again the third day; 24 And ascended into heaven, to sit down on the right hand of the Father, to reign with almighty power according to the will of the Father; 25 That as many as would believe and be baptized in his holy name, and endure in faith to the end, should be saved— 26 Not only those who believed after he came in the meridian of time, in the flesh, but all those from the beginning, even as many as were before he came, who believed in the words of the holy prophets, who spake as they were inspired by the gift of the Holy Ghost, who truly testified of him in all things, should have eternal life, 27 As well as those who should come after, who should believe in the gifts and callings of God by the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of the Father and of the Son; 28 Which Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one God, infinite and eternal, without end. Amen. [Bold and underlined emphasis added.]

Modern Wording Version of The Nicene Creed We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen. We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 127

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father [and the Son]. With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. AMEN. [7:9]

Mormon Writings are Nevertheless Full of Creeds!
Over and above D&C 20 appearing to be a Creed, the creedless claims of Mormonism appears is inconsistent with a reasonable reading of Mormon Standard Works, including the Bible as an LDS Standard Work. Clearly Mormon scriptures have baptismal confessions and other theological creeds embedded in the pages of scriptural texts. As cited above, the LDS Church publishes a series of “Articles of Faith” which also are creed-like and reflect the tone of the ancient Apostle’s Creed:

1 We Believe In God, The Eternal Father, And In His Son, Jesus Christ, And In The Holy Ghost. [7:10] The Bible’s Old Testament which the LDS claim as one of the LDS Standard Works Contains Creeds. The Shema. "Hear O Israel, the Lord is our God, the Lord is One." [7:11]

LDS Creed-like statements exist in the New Testament (which of course is also LDS Scripture). Another early statement of Christian faith is "Jesus is Lord", which appears in Paul's epistle to the Romans. This creed is found in Chapter 10, verse 9. This creed confesses that Jesus is God or Jesus is Jehovah--- refering back to The Shema. For Trinitarians, the meaning and importance of this creed comes from its affirmation that in Jesus Christ the fullness of the deity of the God Other Creedal confessions can be seen, such as in Romans 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

128

Make~Shift Gods : confess to God.

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Still another confession is in 1 John 4:2 (New King James Version) 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, Still another creed defining ‘the gospel’ is found in the LDS Scripture of the New Testament’ book of 1 Corinthians chapter 15: 1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: Likewise there exist in LDS Scripture, many other Biblical Creedal statements such as Colossians 1:12-19, and Romans 10:9 and so forth. So what the rest of the religious world would consider to make-up a ‘creed’, the LDS system does not recognize as a creed. It appears that the LDS think in terms of ‘principle of the gospel’ to these confessional statements of scripture rather than using the word ‘creed’. 4 We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. [ bold and underline added] [7:12] Just as certain Church denominations recite the Apostles Creed and/or Nicene Creed before renewing covenants to God with the Sacrament of Communion, Mormons recite verbatim from the Book of Mormon, Moroni Chapters 4 and 5 in their Sacrament meetings. This Mormon practice constitutes a religious rite very similar to the recitation of creeds at communion.

Religious Information Management in Mormonism
It is clear that Mormon sacred texts and other LDS written information contains what the mainstream of Christianity would call ‘creeds’, but Mormons just do not use these creeds as canons to declare, confess, regulate or manage its religious teachings in the same way that traditional Christianity uses creeds. Instead of using creeds, the LDS Priesthood is harshly critical of using scriptural declarations and confessions as creeds. This is not just some kind of coincidence, but rather a powerful indicator about the nature of Mormonism and how it must manage its sacred information due to its Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 129

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

pluralistic nature or multivalent view of the universe (multiverse). After all with multiple truths on any one topic, how could a single creedal statement properly explain its double or triple meanings. As discussed earlier in this book, Mormonism is a religion having multi-modalities, being pluralistic, defining itself with two gospels. These two gospels are transparent to everyday Church operations and often LDS teachings draw from both of these Gospel at once creating fluid hybrid teachings. With this kind of dynamic synthesis of teachings being ongoing, a ridged creed could not work to store, represent, or communicate Mormonism’s teachings. So it would make sense that Mormonism’s pluralistic nature appears to be the real Mormonism avoids the use of creeds to define its teachings. Mormonism as a pluralistic (multivalent) religious system must use non-creedal mechanisms to store, regulate, communicate it sacred knowledge and information. Mormonism is able to have stand-alone doctrines, with each doctrine being independent in its own sphere of truth (D&C 93:30). With isolated independent autonomous truths, the informational organization and structure of Mormonism is not compatible with creeds. This is likely why Mormonism does not to date have a systematic theology. Likewise when Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie wrote and Encyclopedia of Mormon beliefs called “Mormon Doctrine”, it comes with disclaimer that it is not an official explanation of the doctrines of Mormonism. So, when a non-Mormon cites ‘Mormon Doctrine’, a LDS person hearing the citation will often claim that what the Apostle wrote is not actually ‘official doctrine’ but rather only a personal opinion. This leaves non-Mormons asking ,”why is it in Mormonism that even an Apostle is not viewed as capable of officially describing Mormon doctrines? “ Online the LDS Church publishes a Mormon Online Bible Dictionary at “http://scriptures.lds.org” This dictionary also comes with disclaimers of being nonofficial: This dictionary has been designed to provide teachers and students with a concise collection of definitions and explanations of items that are mentioned in or are otherwise associated with the Bible. It is based primarily upon the biblical text, supplemented by information from the other books of scripture accepted as standard works by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is not intended as an official or revealed endorsement by the Church of the doctrinal, historical, cultural, and other matters set forth. Many of the items have been drawn from the best available scholarship of the world and are subject to reevaluation based on new research and discoveries or on new revelation. [underline added] [7:13] Mormonism as a system being pluralistic, (multivalent) with a multi-verse instead of a simple universe, with spheres of independent truths, does not lend itself well in one single consistent encyclopedic description, or a single systematic theology, and certainly Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 130

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

not creeds. Again this is a clue to the structure and nature of Mormonism as a system of ideas and how it stores, and communicates its own information about its ideas. One other feature becomes apparent is that Mormonism does not use the usual ways of defining or classifying a religion in modern western thought in its own self-definitions. What is for sure is that Mormonism is an up and running system of religion in which managing and defining its sacred information is happening successfully. Mormonism’s creedlessness is a powerful clue to the nature of how Mormonism controls, manages and communicates its sacred knowledge and information. Mormonism has its information control mechanism within its Priesthoods, Priesthood offices, and Priesthood keys, and Priesthood ordinances. With its Priesthood it does not need creeds, doctrinal mandates, canons, nor even infallible scriptures. In Mormonism, Priesthood has everything to do with information, knowledge and the power of salvation.

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

131

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

132

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

8- The Powers of The Melchezedic Priesthood
All world religions have sacred information that must be stored, managed, safeguarded, communicated, and acted upon with religious practices. For example in traditional Evangelical Christianity, the Bible stores sacred information in its text, it is a library or a canon being defined and managed as such. The sacred text of the Bible is communicated to others by read in public and private, expounded upon in literature, and preached in Churches, summarized in creeds, its principles are acted upon as manifest in the lives of people who learn of its message. Mormonism too has religious information to store, manage communicate and act upon. Mormonism’s claim of creedlessness, plus its usage of extra-biblical scripture, and nonpublic temple ceremonies are very suggestive that its sacred information is managed differently than the ways sacred written information is managed in Christian traditions. Further in the ways Mormonism manages its sacred information, we see Mormonism is able to adjust its doctrines as conditions warrant , to express multiple meanings on any one doctrinal issues to different audiences. Again this flexibility is obviously associated with its doctrinal structure of being creedless. Mormonism however, needs to have a controlling mechanism to store, regulate, communicate and manage its sacred pool of knowledge of godliness and other doctrinal information. Mormonism has a much larger scriptural collection than that of traditional Biblical Christianity, but this is only the tip of the ice burg. Information management mechanisms, lacking due to Mormonism’s creedlessness have been replaced with other mechanisms found within its Priesthood of Melchezedic. A study of the Melchezedic Priesthood reveals why Mormonism places much emphasis on the Melchezedic Priesthood. The most apparent reason is that it is pluralitic, with no creeds nor systematic theology. Due to this the Priesthood(s) of Mormonism can be imagined to function to regulate its pluralisltic doctrines, multivalent knowledge and creedless sacred information. Looking deeper Mormonism by design was created creedless and multivalent because it gives it the ability to change it doctrines depending on the needs of the Church over time, to override what even what its own scriptures plainly teach, to nullify what its past prophets have taught, to teach doctrines in private, yet deny them in public, and even to communicate sacred information in the form of procedural knowledge, and affective learning non-verbally by the use of Priesthood ordinances. Mormonism having very complex, diverse and elaborate information to manage, has a complex and elaborate Priesthood- I have included an Appendix toward the rear of this book to show just how complex this priesthood is, listing the offices and functions of the large number of LDS priesthood offices.

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

133

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Biblical Authority
Note: This is not a comprehensive exposition on Biblical Authority- just a taste, so it can be compared to the LDS Melchezedic Priesthood. In the Bible , God and God’s word is the ultimate authority and where the buck stops. Matthew 6:13 "And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For yours is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen." Romans 13:1 Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Daniel 2:20-21 Daniel answered and said, "Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, for wisdom and power belong to him. And it is he who changes the times and the epochs; he removes kings and establishes kings; he gives wisdom to wise men, and knowledge to men of understanding."

God’s Word
Here are a few Scripture references on the Authority of God’s Word. Psalm 119:89 God’s word is eternal, it stands firm in the heavens . Proverbs 30:5-6; 1 Corinthians 4:6-7; Deuteronomy 4:2; Revelation 22:18; Ecclesiastes 12:12 Don’t add to or go beyond God’s Word. 2 Peter 1:20-21 "Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:4 "For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope." John 5:39 The Old Testament scriptures bore witness to Jesus

Matthew 26:54,56; John 2:22
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

134

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

The scriptures would be fulfilled. Luke 24:25-27 Jesus rebuked the disciples for being slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.

Authority by God’s Word
In the Bible we see authority among men divided up into several kinds of Authority. As it pertain to this discussion there are three kinds. First; Traditional Authority is that which is passed down according to family and tribe.( Patriarchal Authority) This we see with the Patriarchs of the early eras of the Old Testament. This is a kind of social tribal authority based on presidency resting on an Elder male member of the clan. Deut 6:7- Acts 2:29 [8:1] Second when Israel was a nation we see Rational/Legal Authority with the Levitical priesthood bureaucratic authority. This kind of authority is based on what is written in a constitution or sets of by laws. In the Hebrew Nation it was “The Law” Part of the Law and the Prophets. This kind of authority is based on Priests in the most technical sense. It too was past from Father to Son Third we have Charismatic Authority. This is spiritual authority direct from heaven which is acknowledged as a gift of God-the Gift of the Holy Spirit. This was the authority of John the Baptist and of Jesus Christ and many of the Old Testament Prophets, and of Spirit Filled Christians. This is, “The Prophets” part of the Law and the Prophets. Those who get Charismatic Authority become the adopted Sons and Daughters of God. Mormonism have combined, mixed, and welded these three notions of authority into the overall LDS Melchezedic Priesthood. This LDS welding of kinds of Priesthood is evident by the title of ‘Elder’ , a Grand Fatherly Authority title, being given to LDS 19 year old Missionaries. This is also evident when we see that the Prophet of the LDS Church is also a legal authority in the corporal church---though a charismatic figure—and also Grand Father icon. This mixing and welding together of different kinds of authority is also evident with a Prophet being at the legalistic head of their Israel, the LDS Church. With the Melchezedic Priesthood this LDS welding of authority and priesthood roles is needed to maintain the idea of a ONE TRUE CHURCH as a concrete, social economic kingdom for its membership. Instead of creeds and ‘the word of God” as final rules of faith, Mormonism uses Melchezedic Priesthood keys to manage and administer its sacred knowledge in a progressive flexible fashion depending on the needs of the kingdom.
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

135

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

This seems to be necessary with Mormonism due to the pluralistic nature of its information and truth structures. Conversely in a religious system that is dominantly monistic or singular in its representations of truth, one truth logically tends leads to or infer another truth so the pieces building the overall general logical truth stay together by appearent consistency manifests as self verifying, standing alone appearing rationally true. In Mormonism however, due to its pluralistic nature, some of the pieces are paradoxical, or appear contradictory, and need the mediation of ‘the Priesthood’ to hold the pieces together as a larger unit of general truth. An example of this is Mormon teachings that claim there is only One God, yet many Gods. Such a statement needs mediated with extra outside information and mediation to make sense. This is mediated by having an authorized Mormon Priesthood source add an explanation retrofitting “One God” to actually mean a ‘single united group of Gods’, or that it really means ‘one Godhead’.. This is why when a non-Mormon, analyzes to overall panorama of Mormon teachings, this non-Mormon views Mormonism as a mass of contradictions. In this manner Mormonism requires ‘the Priesthood’ properly make sense out of its sacred knowledge found written in scripture. Another reason Mormonism places emphasis on its Priesthood of ‘the Fulness of the Gospel’ is its fullness of the Gospel theology of many Gods. These Gods are to be ‘One God” due being ‘One of Purpose’. To make the connectivity of this oneness between many Gods, the Melchezedic Priesthood is the chief unifying mechanism. The Priesthood held by each Godhead member serves to join or link these separate Godbeings together in a partnership of One Godhead. This oneness principle of the Mormon Priesthood(s) also mediates oneness between its believers, and the divine. In Biblical monotheistic Trinitarian oneness, all believers and Godhead members are placed into direct imminence with God by the indwelling of the transcendent One Spirit of the One God of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Conversely in the teachings of many Gods and humans becoming Gods each God-being has his separate spirit. In this Mormon view of humans and Gods, the oneness of purpose provided by the eternal priesthood coordinates the purpose and function of all involved in the Mormon system. And again on the other hand, . the idea of oneness of in Trinitarian theology is associated with the ideas of a believer in Christ being indwelt with the same one Spirit, and the same power and authority of God due to that indwelling. This idea is communicated in the Gospel of John and in the New Testament Book of Romans. John 20: 21 Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost Romans 8: 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 136

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. 12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. 15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. In Mormonism the believer has two degrees of separation from personal oneness between the Father as a separate God, through the Son, yet first through the Holy Ghost In this Mormon configuration of oneness, God’s authority has been delegated linking down a chain of priesthood authority. Even the Mormon Gift of the Holy Ghost has two degrees of separation being delegated from the Father, through Christ then to the believer by another God called The Holy Ghost. In this Mormon idea of delegation is dominate with the mechanisms of delegation being represented in Mormon Priesthoods. In Christian religions that believe in the Trinity, the power and knowledge of God is directly accessible, because God immediately dwells in the believer directly in Spirit, connecting them directly and personally with all of God’s knowledge and powers. In this ideology the three persons of the Godhead are united in Spirit, along with all believers likewise united in and by the one same spirit. This belief is expressed by Christ in the Gospel of Matthew Chapter 10: 19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. Let me remediate again, in comparison, Mormon Priesthood leaders propose a Godhead, not even found in the Mormon Scriptures, of three independent beings united by a priesthood into one Godhead. In this system an agent of the priesthood, (who is a separate spirit from the Father) connects with the believers through a series of delegated links. Though the person may be indwelt by this spirit- God agent called the Holy Ghost, it is not the direct indwelling of the same Spirit-being of the Father. In this system knowledge and blessings is imparted by a series of links down the hierarchy of Gods. The flow of this knowledge from the Heavenly Father to the believer is, processed, step by step, link by link through the ranks and spheres of the hierarchy of Gods, being controlled by the Priesthoods of these go-between Gods. The flow of this knowledge or revelations from the top down can be regulated from one link to another by each of the Gods along the way. This is to say that a religious system’s view of God and Gods impacts the conditions of how a person connects, reacts and receives blessings from that God (those Gods).
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

137

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

This LDS kind of theology, ‘oneness’ and movement of information, and blessing in sequence of priesthood links, is consistent with Mormonism’s notion that the nature of reality and existence for humans on Earth is qualifiedly similar to that of the human premortal existence, and the hereafter spheres of existence. This view of heaven and earth of Mormonism is consistent with the notion that marriages, family relations, and all other ways of living in the hereafter are supposed to carry over and continue very much the same as they do now on Earth. This view is related to the Mormon notion that man, angels and God(s) are all of the same race at different levels of development. In the Mormon Priesthood system of Gods, religious information, knowledge and revelation management, I wish to outline several attributes and function in this Priesthood system. These include, the importance in Mormonism of gaining knowledge and revelations, Next how the Priesthood(s) of Mormonism facilitates this knowledge. Plus, idea that with out the Priesthood salvation can not be obtained. Along with this how the Mormon Priesthood facilitates certain kinds of information and knowledge for Mormons. As this develops one can see that the Mormon Priesthood acts in a role as if it is the Word of God and/or the Spirit of God. This Word of God role of the Priesthood functions to and has the capacity in the Mormon system to radically reinterpret or to supercede and even to add to or take from scripture.

The Importance of Priesthood for Gaining Knowledge in Mormonism
In Mormonism ‘the Priesthood’ a powerful informational and organizational mechanism related to a person gaining revealed religious knowledge primarily because as a prerequisite to getting various kinds and levels of blessings through its ‘Holy Ghost’ an LDS person has to be obedient to certain priesthood regulated processes. The Holy Ghost is of course required to get certain information (revealed knowledge). A special category of information, knowledge, or revelation is required in Mormonism for one’s salvation. In Mormonism, this saving knowledge is not ordinary knowledge that one could gain from listening to a Bible based sermon, or reading a book or scripture. Rather this knowledge only comes by complying to certain learning processes administered by the Mormon Priesthood. Part of these processes are priesthood mediated activities ending in what are referred to as ‘priesthood ordinances’. Knowledge is of course tied to ‘truth”. So in Mormonism ‘the Priesthood’ regulated methods of gaining knowledge are connected with every Mormon making the determination within Mormonism as to what is truth, this is related to a Mormon’s ‘testimony’.

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

138

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

“And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.” D&C 130:18-19 Knowledge is necessary to life and godliness. Woe unto you priests and divines who preach that knowledge is not necessary unto life and salvation. Take away Apostles, etc., take away knowledge, and you will find yourselves worthy of the damnation of hell. Knowledge is revelation. Hear, all ye brethren, this grand key: knowledge is the power of God unto salvation.” [8:2]

“Knowledge does away with darkness, suspense and doubt; for these cannot exist where knowledge is. … In knowledge there is power. God has more power than all other beings, because He has greater knowledge; and hence He knows how to subject all other beings to Him. He has power over all.” [8:3] “As far as we degenerate from God, we descend to the devil and lose knowledge, and without knowledge we cannot be saved, and while our hearts are filled with evil, and we are studying evil, there is no room in our hearts for good, or studying good. Is not God good? Then you be good; if He is faithful, then you be faithful. Add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, and seek for every good thing [see 2 Peter 1:5].

… “… A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge, for if he does not get knowledge, he will be brought into captivity by some evil power in the other world, as evil spirits will have more knowledge, and consequently more power than many men who are on the earth. Hence it needs revelation to assist us, and give us knowledge of the things of God.” [8:4] “Endowed with agency and subject to eternal laws, man began his progression and advancement in pre-existence, his ultimate goal being to attain a state of glory, honor, and exaltation like the Father of spirits. During his earth life he gains a mortal body, receives experience in earthly things, and prepares for a future eternity after the resurrection when he will continue to gain knowledge and intelligence. (D. & C. 130:18-19.) This gradually unfolding course of advancement and experience -- a course that began in a past eternity and will continue in ages future -- is frequently referred to as a course of eternal progression.” “It is important to know, however, that for the overwhelming majority of mankind, eternal progression has very definite limitations. In the full sense,
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

139

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

eternal progression is enjoyed only by those who receive exaltation. Exalted persons gain the fullness of the Father; they have all power, all knowledge, and all wisdom; they gain a fullness of truth, becoming one with the Father. All other persons are assigned lesser places in the mansions that are prepared, and their progression is not eternal and unlimited but in a specified sphere. There will be truths such persons never learn, powers they never possess. They are "ministering servants, to minister for those who are worthy of a far more, and an exceeding, and an eternal weight of glory," and they so continue "to all eternity, and ... forever and ever.” (D. & C. 132:16-17.) [8:5]

“Knowledge saves a man, and in the world of spirits a man cannot be exalted except by knowledge. “ “…but they shall be heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ. What is it? To inherit the same power, the same glory and the same exaltation, until you arrive at the station of a god, and ascend the throne of eternal power, the same as those who have gone before.” [8:6]

Exclusive Access to Knowledge and Truth Through the Priesthood
Among other things the Priesthood administers processes activities and ordinances that lead to a special king of revealed knowledge that is required for human salvation. This is verified in the following statement. Without the Melchizedek Priesthood salvation in the kingdom of God would not be available for men on earth, for the ordinances of salvation—the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost, for instance—could not be authoritatively performed, Thus, as far as all religious organizations now existing are concerned, the presence or absence of this priesthood established the divinity or falsity of a professing church. [8.6] When asked how the Church differed from the other religions of the day, Joseph Smith replied that "…we differed in mode of baptism, and the gift of the Holy Ghost…[and] that all other considerations [of differences from other churches] were contained in the gift of the Holy Ghost" [8:7] The following cluster of citations provide insight into the role of the Melchizedic priesthood in Mormonism.

“The process of gaining exaltation consists on growing in knowledge until a
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

140

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

state of godhood is reached.…A man is saved no faster than he gets knowledge.… The Holy Ghost is the revealer of saving knowledge.…In fact, the Melchizedik Priesthood is the key to the knowledge of God because it is and through that priesthood that men receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” [8:8]

In Mormonism having the Priesthood in everything so far as understanding saving religious knowledge is concerned. This is because the Priesthood controls the means by which knowledge is imparted, that is the Gift of the Holy Ghost. In Mormonism the Priesthood controls the Holy Ghost! This also means that the Priesthood controls knowledge and what is doctrine on an ongoing sliding scale, progressive disclosure basis. This is an incredible attribute of the Mormon Religion. “The Lord has told us very plainly that all our blessings are predicated upon obedience to His laws and His laws are so plain. Faith, repentance, baptism, the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost are the first principles. Then He offers other things, including Temple work, salvation for the dead and missionary work in all the world. In our great universities we have marvelous training, but I want to say that without the training of the Gospel of Jesus Christ those who graduate from the great universities of the world will be disappointed that they have not earned a place in the Celestial Kingdom” [8:9]

In the above citations the gospel is not completely understood or acted-out unless both the priesthood with its powers, keys, and processes are in place along with the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost and its continued and increasing blessings of increased knowledge are contingent upon conformity to the appropriate activities, processes and workings of the Priesthood and its ordinances. This idea is expressed in the Mormon Scripture D&C 130: 19 And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come. 20 There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated— 21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.

The bottom line on Mormonism and Scripture is that the information within it is not
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

141

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

valid, useful or properly applied unless it is administered properly through the mechanisms of the Mormon Priesthood, its proper usage of Keys, and proper use of ordinances. This situation may serve to explain how D&C 132 still commands polygamy, yet with the Priesthood keys in a state of being on hold, the practice though existing in writing, is still not a ‘doctrine’. ( More on this idea later). So again to repeat this citation from Mormon Doctrine page 411 related to the need for appropriate Priesthood protocols in order for a belief, theology, or practice to be ‘official’ doctrine. This connects the Mormon Priesthood with the role of controlling what is revealed as truth in Mormonism. This is to say that in Mormonism a religious element is never valid, true or official unless the Priesthood with proper keys of authority mediates that element or principle.

The Priesthood is as Fundamental as God’s Existence.
In Mormonism the Priesthood extends into a much broader scope than just being a church management mechanism. To Mormons the priesthood is even more fundamental than the idea of the Almighty God being able to be God. As a Modern LDS Apostle wrote: “Like God himself, the Melchizedek Priesthood is eternal and everlasting in nature.” [8:10] One early LDS Apostle explained about the Priesthood: It is recorded in the Book of Alma regarding the Priesthood, that the ordinances of the Priesthood and the calling to the Priesthood were without beginning or end. There may be a beginning to the person who is called, but that Priesthood existed before that person was called, and there was no beginning to the calling, no beginning to the ordinances of the Priesthood, (page 29) no beginning to the Priesthood itself, being handed down from all eternity, being in existence in all of the worlds that were worthy of having the Priesthood and authority from God. The reason for my making this observation is to clear up one point which
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

142

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

may perhaps trouble the minds of some of the Latter-day Saints. [8:11]

The Prophet Joseph Smith revealed that the priesthood “existed with God from eternity, and will to eternity, without beginning of days or end of years” and that Adam obtained it “in the Creation before the world was formed.” [8:12]

The Priesthood Functions as The Spirit God and Word of God
Here is an astounding teaching found in LDS Apostles Bruce R. McConkie’s book “Mormon Doctrine” about the supreme role of the Mormon Priesthood. Here are excerpts from this LDS Apostle’s teachings:

“As pertaining to eternity, priesthood is the eternal power and authority of Deity by which all things exist; by which they are created, governed and controlled; by which the universe and worlds without number have come rolling into existence;…” “As pertaining to man’s existence on this earth, priesthood is the power and authority of God delegated to man on earth to act in all things for the salvation of men. It is the power by which the gospel is preached, by which the ordinances of salvation are performed so that they will be binding on earth and in heaven, by which men are sealed up into eternal life.” [8:13] “Everything on earth is subject to the power and authority of the Melchizekek Priesthood. When He reigns who right it is , this power will manifest without restriction and all nations will bow to the gospel rod.” [8:14]

As the citations above also indicate, in Mormonism the Priesthood fills a parallel role to what is described in the Bible as “The Word of God. In Mormonism this gives the Priesthood leadership the power to rewrite scripture, to nullify scripture, to radically reinterpret earlier scriptural writings, to create new scripture, to change doctrine at will.

Comparing the above LDS teachings here is a parallel or analog Biblical teaching, where it is the ‘Word of God” not the Priesthood as the agent of creation: “Hebrews 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God…”
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

143

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Likewise in the Bible disciples of Christ had His authority by the Holy Ghost, but in Mormonism it is by the Priesthood. "The priesthood is the power and authority of God delegated to man. Priesthood keys are the right to direct the use of that power. The President of the Church holds the keys necessary for governing the entire Church. His counselors in the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles also hold the keys of the kingdom and operate under the President's direction. Stake presidents, bishops, and temple, mission, and quorum presidents are given keys to guide the Church in their jurisdictions." [8:15]

Nowhere does the Bible speak of such a function of such kind of Priesthood and Priesthood keys, rather such functions are attributed to the Word of God and The Holy Spirit of God indwelling believers. These Mormon authors are saying that the Priesthood is the Power of God delegated to Man. Yet in the New Testament, the Holy Spirit comes and indwells in the believer. This indwelling gives the believer more than just delegated divine investiture of authority. To have God’s Spirit living within you is to have God and His power and authority with you and in you. As it is written of the authority of the Apostles in the New Testament book “Acts of the Apostles”: Act of the Apostles 1 2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen: Act of the Apostles 4: 8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, Act of the Apostles 13: 4 So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus . Act of the Apostles 16: 6 Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, Act of the Apostles 20: 28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 144

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Again the above citations of scripture are acts of the Apostles who did ‘acts’ by the authority of the Holy Ghost, NOT some other Priesthood.

Another attribute of the Mormon Priesthood is that functions related to religious information, knowledge, and inspiration must be properly imparted at the right time, right place, right way and right order by the Priesthood function communicate a viable form of knowledge toward human salvation. This proper means of doing religion is what the Mormon priesthood is all about.

“Every man ordained to any degree of the priesthood has authority delegated to him.” “…this authority shall be done at the proper time and place, in the proper way and after the proper order. The power of directing these labors constitutes the keys of the priesthood.” [8:16]

This differs from the idea that a person can read or hear the Word of God, accept it and be saved. Romans 10: 8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; 9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. 14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

In the words of Jesus about the workings of the Spirit of God:
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

145

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

John 3: 8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

Again I emphasize that in Mormonism a religious element is never completely valid or a true doctrine nor can it be understood properly by a believer unless the Priesthood authority to practice it is present using its systematic protocols as cited above. This is because the Powers of the Holy Ghost to understand a religious idea cannot be administered to a believer without the Priesthood to properly mediate that specific Gospel principle ( D&C 130:19-21). This is why the LDS Fifth Article of Faith states:

We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.

These Mormon ideas and beliefs about the Priesthood seem to be a result of its idea that the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost) is a separate and independent being from the Father, and these two are separate beings from Christ. This separation created the need to organizationally link these Godhead members together through the mediation of Priesthoods. Likewise to organizationally link humans with the Gods, humans are also given Priesthood. Through the organization of the Mormon Priesthood the worlds were created. This Mormon idea of creation is analogous with the Biblical idea that through and by the Word of God and the Spirit of God all things were created. Likewise the Bible gives account where the Holy Ghost sends Christ’s followers out with authority, the Mormon analog is Priesthood authority. While Mormonism believes it has the organizational authority delegated through its Priesthoods, Biblical Christianity believes believers have the indwelling of God’s Spirit, which provides God’s authority. (See John 20:21 and Romans 8:9-16) Now Let me make a few comparisons about the Spirit of God and the Word of God as seen in the Bible, with Mormon ideas about the Priesthood. The Bible says: John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. Isaiah 40:8 The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever. Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 146

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

1 Peter 1:25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you. Yet above we seen Mormon authors say that the Priesthood has been from all eternity, and it provides the means to preach the gospel. Mormonism in some dimensions has replaced the workings of the Sprit and the Word of God with its idea of ‘the Priesthood’. The Bible says: Psalms 33:6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. Isaiah 44:24 I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself; Yet above we have seen Mormon authors say that the Priesthood was used to create all things. Again Mormonism replaced Biblical teachings about God’s sovern ability to create with His Word with the ‘the Priesthood’. The Bible says: 2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: Yet Mormonism teaches about its scripture, Holy Ghost and Priesthood “The fullness of the gospel cannot be preserved in the written word. The scriptures bear record of the gospel, but the gospel itself consists in the power of the priesthood and the possession of the gift of the Holy Ghost.” [8:17]

This LDS statement that the scriptures do not contain the gospel itself, rather it is the Priesthood that in turn controls the Holy Ghost which really has the true power of God(s) is profound. This statement also indicates that just because a Mormon scripture says something, does not require that written revelation to always be held as ‘doctrine’. Instead it is the usage of the keys of the Priesthood create valid ‘doctrine’. This explains why current LDS Prophets can deny polygamy as a Church doctrine, while is still remains alive and intact written plainly as a command on the pages of their scriptures. (D&C 132) In a Biblical-based Christianity to simply have Biblical scripture (the Word of God) and from it declare a teaching or practice with the power of the Spirit of God, makes that declared practice a ‘doctrine’. In Biblical Christianity what is New Testament doctrine is always doctrine and thus is true. In the Bible it is God's Word, and the Holy Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 147

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Spirit that have authority, In Mormonism’s ‘fulness of the gospel’, it is priesthood keys that have the final authority. In Mormonism as cited above, “As pertaining to eternity, priesthood is the eternal power and authority of Deity by which all things exist…” [8.18] Mormonism has substituted The Spirit of God and the Word of God with the power of its Priesthood(s). In Mormonism written things in scripture can exist in writing and appear to be doctrine to an outside non-Mormon. But within Mormonism nothing is doctrine unless the Priesthood keys are activated and applied to that written record. In Mormonism what authority from God is all about is different from what we see in Traditional Christianity. In Mormonism how an idea is put into play as a ‘doctrine’ or a religious practice is different from the workings of traditional Christianity. In Mormonism how saving knowledge is communicated, acquired and put to use for human salvation is different from The Way of Traditional Christianity.

The Priesthood and Changing Mormon Doctrines
In Mormonism Priesthood Keys make all the difference, and the Keys can be activated or withdrawn in the Church by the Prophet. Some keys may be withdrawn from the public sphere, yet still active elsewhere. Some Fundamentalists Mormons (FLDS)emphasize that the Priesthood and its keys extend beyond "church". This means that it may be forbidden to exercise certain practices within "church", but OK outside of the 'church'. In Mormonism "Church" is only part of the picture because the largest part of the priesthood picture includes the "Kingdom" . FLDS sometimes will tell you that the Prophet is over the Church-- but does not necessarily preside over the entire Kingdom. This Kingdom idea is part of the reason that the FLDS became an off-shoot of the LDS--because the practice of polygamy had its keys withdrawn inside of the LDS Church, but not from the Kingdom. The FLDS claim that in 1890 Pres. Taylor passed the keys of polygamy to other priesthood holders outside of the LDS Church so that the practice could still exist in the Kingdom, outside of the Church. Thus the Church became immune from the consequences imposed by the US Government. [8:19] So this is why a current LDS Prophets can deny a past LDS Prophet's teachings as doctrine. It is not a matter of absolute truth, (remember Mormon truth comes in independent spheres of truth) rather it is a matter of keys being active or inactive or even true or false. So even after you are a knowledgeable, stable Mormon, after you think you know to what kind of Church you belong, the LDS Leadership can change the doctrines of your religion.
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

148

Make~Shift Gods : A short closing note:

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

The LDS Church publishes a set of conditions for discovery for what it teaches. This is given in the Book of Mormon introductory pages. This discovery is based on a prayerful evaluation on the content of the Book of Mormon. These upon a deeper study of Mormonism, the published conditions do not reflect an accurate make-up of Mormonism nor its ultimate teachings. The Mormon Church is obviously misrepresenting itself in its quest for new converts.

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

149

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

150

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

9-Epilogue
This author returned to Biblical-Evangelical Christianity, and at the same time abandoned Mormonism. I underwent this life change essentially because I came to trust what was recorded in the Bible is much more trustworthy than what was dictated by the Mormon Priesthood. There is every good reason to believe that true Christianity is dominantly a singular univalent horizontal set of teachings. As it is written: 1 Timothy 2:3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; After Jesus Christ said that Jehovah was the Elohim of Israel, the scribe asking the question replyed in response to Jesus: Mark 12:32 … Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: When Jesus heard the reflective response of this scribe, Jesus validated the mans response saying…34… Thou art not far from the kingdom of God.

Here is the univalent, singular way to heaven as explained in the Bible: Acts 4: 10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. We are warned against false teaches Colossians 2: 2 That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; 3 In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 And this I say, lest any man should beguile you with enticing words. 8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 151

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10 And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: 11 In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ: 12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, … 18 Let no man beguile you of your reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, It is the Devil proposes layered and ‘multivalent’ information--- The serpent proposed that God told Adam and Eve a layered truth: Note the ancient apostle’s word “simplicity” in the following New Testament teachings, which is not consistent with any concept of a layered pluralistic truth. And note the serpent with a double standard or claim that there is a double meaning to God’s command to Adam and Eve.

2 Corinthians 11: 3 But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. 4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him. Genesis 3: 1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? 2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: 3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. 4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: 5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. Galatians 1: 6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 152

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Mormonism by self description in D&C 84 teaches ‘another gospel’ having the ‘preparatory gospel’ and another “fulness of the gospel”.

One Single, Simple united truth leads to human perfection , as it is written: Ephesians 4: 3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. 7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 2 Corinthians 4: 2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: Ephesians 5: 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. 13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

153

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

154

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Appendix A: The Mormon Scriptures, Sacred Writings and Priesthood Offices
Mormons recognize four main text volumes as divinely inspired and authoritative as scripture. These are called the "Standard Works" of the LDS Church.

The Bible
Mormons use the 1611 King James Old English translation.

Article Eight of the LDS 13 Articles of Faith reads:
We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God

The Book of Mormon
Since it was first published in English in 1830, the Book of Mormon has been fully translated into 72 languages, and printed copies have totaled nearly 120 million. The Book of Mormon is believed by Mormons to be a record of God's work and Christ's appearance among the ancient natives of North America. This volume is also called by the Church as “Another Testament of Jesus Christ” It is said to be a companion of the Christian Bible.
http://newsroom.lds.org/ldsnewsroom/eng/background-information/the-book-ofmormon-another-testament-of-jesus-christ

The Book of Mormon is considered to be the keystone of the Mormon Religion. Joseph Smith stated in 1841 that… . . . the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by aiding by its precepts, than by any other book. (History of the Church, 4:461)

The Doctrine and Covenants
Called the “D&C”. This volume is believed by Mormons to be a collection of revelations and inspired declarations. The volume contains 138 sections, many of which have several ‘revelations’. 135 of the sections were written by Joseph Smith from 1830 to 1844. Three later sections were added, with one each by John Taylor, Brigham Young, and Joseph F. Smith. Two "official declarations" which are more recent revelations. One was added in 1890 concerning polygamy; one was added in 1978 concerning the role of black persons in the Church.
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

155

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

The Pearl of Great Price
The Pearl of Great Price, which is composed of: Thought to contain two lost books of the Bible. These two books are, the Book of Moses and the Book of Abraham . These two books contain parallel content of the creation accounts of the Bible found in Genesis The Book of Moses is a monotheistic version of creation, while the Book of Abraham has many Gods active in creation. The Pearl of Great Price also contains a supposed corrected translation of the Gospel of Matthew

Joseph Smith’s History
This volume includes and explaination how the Book of Mormon came to be, and the ‘first vision’ theophony of Joseph Smith.

The Mormon Articles of Faith
A set of 13 creed-like statements written by Joseph Smith. These statements of beliefs are are analogous to other Church belief declarations.

Important Doctrinal Expositions
In addition to the above sacred texts, the following books are considered to contain material of great historical and spiritual significance: History of the Church: 7 volumes mostly written at the time of Joseph Smith. They document the early history of the church. Journal of Discourses: 26 volumes from past General Authorities, who were close associates of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. Lectures on Faith: 7 lectures prepared by Joseph Smith and delivered in the 'School of the Prophets.' They discuss theology, the nature of God and the principles of faith. This volume was removed from the LDS canon in 1921. The Inspired Translation of the Bible: a revision of the King James Version of the Bible by Joseph Smith. Assorted writings such as conference reports, collected writings of modern prophets, etc.

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

156

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Mormon Church Priesthood Structure and Leadership Hierarchy

Adapted from Mormon Wiki and Mormon Doctrine Mormons believe that the organizational structure the LDS Church is the same as that which the Lord Jesus Christ organized during His ministry on earth. This of course is debatable. Regardless of any charge saying that the Mormon Church Structure and Priesthood is non-Biblical, its comprehension can add a greater understanding of Mormonism’s nature as a religion. To understand the organizational structure of the Mormon Church is to also gain insights into the mechanisms Mormonism applies to communicate its sacred religious information to its members, and to understand what is “revelation” in Mormonism. In the Mormonism foundation story, Jesus Christ called a new prophet in this latter-days, a man named Joseph Smith, to whom He revealed His doctrine and gave His authority. This authority is called “the priesthood”. The entire LDS Church system is well described by the hierarchy of this priesthood idea. The Priesthood however it thought by Mormons to extend beyond just the Church and be the underlying power that created and rules the whole universe. Even more primary than godhood or the universe to Mormonism is the priesthood. In the Joseph Smith History is the story of Christ directing Joseph Smith to exercise the Priesthood given him, to organize and restore and operated Christ’s church. This is execution of Priesthood authority is called “the restoration”. The idea is that if the “Priesthood” does not exist the Church also cannot exist. Two Priesthood Orders Exist under the LDS Church President (Prophet). As the Mormon Scripture states in D&C 107 “1-There are, in the church, two priesthoods, namely, the Melchizedek and Aaronic, including the Levitical Priesthood.” A lower Priesthood called The Aaronic Priesthood The offices of this Lower Priesthood Order Deacon • Teacher • Priest • Bishop This higher Priesthood called The Melchezidec Priesthood The offices of this Higher Priesthood Order Elder • Seventy • High priest • Patriarch • Apostle

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

157

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Note some non-SLC Priesthood systems have a even higher Priesthood Order called the Patriarchal priesthood (or Abrahamic priesthood). The Patriarchal Order of priesthood is a not completely described nor understood doctrine taught by Joseph Smith in Nauvoo, Illinois. The doctrine of the Patriarchal Priesthood is often confused with the calling of the Presiding Patriarch which is an office that has not been exercised by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 1979, sometimes confused with the Stake Patriarch calling. The Patriarchal Priesthood Order is associated directly with Celestial Marriage and Polygamy.

Various offices can include different callings which are related to Church duties, or performing sacred rites and ordinances

The LDS Priesthood Organization and Hierarchy
A quorum is a group of priesthood holders ordained into the same office, or who share simular Priesthood Keys of Authority, and thus simular Church duty or function.

General Authority Quorums
There are certain quorums of the Church that are called to preside over the entire Church. These quorum members are called General Authorities. The Presidency of the Church (also termed the First Presidency) is a quorum consisting of at least one apostle (the President of the Church) and two or more high priests. In current practice, however all members of the First Presidency are apostles. The Presidency of the Church presides over the entire church. Only the President of the Church is authorized to use all priesthood keys within the church. The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is a group of twelve men, ordained to the office of apostle. They are assistants to the First Presidency. Collectively the Quorum hold all the keys of authority of the Church in a dormant state. Collectively they can impart these keys to a new Church President, upon the death or resignation of a Church President. The Presiding Bishopric of the LDS Church is a quorum consisting of three men who are called to preside over the priesthood order that governs ward congretations . This quorum consists of the Presiding Bishop and two counselors, who hold priesthood keys to direct the temporal affairs and finances of the church, in conjunction with the First Presidency and Twelve. They also hold all of the keys of the Aaronic priesthood. In current practice, these men are high priests and ordained bishops. The Quorums of the Seventy "are also called to preach the gospel, and to be especial witnesses unto the Gentiles and in all the world". These are essentially ministers over missionary work. Each Quorum of the Seventy may consist of up to seventy ordained to the office of Seventy, and is presided over by seven presidents who hold keys to direct the affairs of the quorum.

Local/Regional Priesthood Quorums
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

158

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Melchizedek Priesthood Quorums A High Priests Quorum is a local quorum organized in each stake and presided over by the local stake presidency, who holds the keys of the Melchizedek Priesthood with a stake. All Melchizedek Priesthood members who have been ordained a High Priest and live within the stake are in this Quorum. Full quorum meetings are usually held semiannually; however, each ward also has a High Priest Group Leader who leads weekly meetings within the ward house, and oversees the day-to-day aspects of the High Priest quorum within a ward. An Elders Quorum is a local quorum organized in each ward, but presided over by a president with priesthood keys, who acts under the direction and authority of the local stake presidency, and under the direction of the presiding High Priest in the ward who is typically a Bishop. Each quorum consists of up to ninety-six Elders. A Melchizedek Priesthood Group is formed in a ward or branch where there are not enough High Priests to justify a High Priest group within a ward or branch (usually less than 20). In these cases, a High Priest is called to oversee the direction of both the High Priests and Elders, and is set apart as the Melchizedek Priesthood Group leader, under the direction of the Stake President. Aaronic Priesthood Quorums A Priests Quorum is a quorum consisting of up to forty-eight members of at least sixteen years of age, ordained to the office of Priest. If there are more than forty-eight Priests in the ward, then multiple quorums are organized. Priests Quorums are organized at the ward level and presided over by the ward Bishop, with the Bishop being the president of the quorum(s) and holding the keys of the Aaronic Priesthood in the ward. The Bishop typically calls two "assistants" to oversee the day-to-day affairs of the quorum. Priests bless the sacrament and are permitted to perform the ordinance of baptism. They also are able to ordain Deacons, Teachers, and Priests and confer the Aaronic Priesthood upon others. A Teachers Quorum is a quorum consisting of up to twenty-four members of at least fourteen years of age, ordained to the office of Teacher. If there are more than twentyfour Teachers in the ward, then multiple quorums are to be organized. Teachers Quorums are organized at the ward level and act under the direction of the Aaronic Priesthood president—the ward Bishop—who calls a Teachers Quorum President who holds keys to direct the work of the quorum. Teachers are permitted to assist Priests in preparing the sacrament, usher during sacrament meeting, and perform all the duties of a Deacon. A Deacons Quorum consists of up to twelve members of at least twelve years of age,[9] ordained to the office of Deacon. Deacons Quorums are organized at the ward level and act under the direction of the ward Bishop—who is the Aaronic Priesthood president— who calls a Deacons Quorum President who holds keys to direct the work of the quorum. The Deacons' primary duties is to pass the sacrament to the members of the congregation during sacrament meeting. An Aaronic Priesthood Group is formed in a ward or branch where there are not
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

159

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

enough Aaronic priesthood holder to form multiple quorums (usually less than 10 total). In these cases, a senior Aaronic priesthood holder (a Priest if available, then a Teacher if available) is called to "assist" the Bishop to oversee the direction of Aaronic priesthood holders within the ward. This individual may be called as "Aaronic Priesthood group leader," "Aaronic Priesthood class president," or as an assistant to the bishop depending on circumstances. Bishops of the LDS Church ( Aaronic Priesthood) Central to all that we can see happening in public with Mormonism is related to the function of LDS Bishops. When we see an LDS Church House (Congregational Building called a Ward), its leader is a Bishop. Bishops preside over all the events and associated activities of the Ward Congregation. The Bishop is often called "the father of the ward” as he is the priesthood leader who is most intimately involved with individual church members. This is also because the overwhelming majority of an individual LDS member’s religious life revolves around ward activities and events overwhich the Bishop presides. In the LDS Church, bishops are called from among the members of a local congregation, known as a ward, and traditionally serve, without pay, for four to seven years (the actual length of service can vary). A bishop must be a married high priest in the Melchizedek priesthood. The person who serves as bishop is also called to act in the double role as the Presiding High Priest of the ward. A bishop is the highest office in the LDS Aaronic Priesthood and is the president of the Aaronic priesthood of the ward. In a branch, the branch president fulfills the same functions as a bishop; however, a branch president does not need to be a high priest. The immediate priesthood leader of the bishop is the stake president, who provides direction, training and counsel to the bishops of the wards within his stake boundaries; the stake president is assisted in these duties by two counselors and the Stake High Council. The calling of each bishop must be approved by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

Duties
The bishop holds the primary responsibility for everything in the ward, both spiritually and temporally. Although he can delegate specific assignments to his counselors, the ultimate responsibility falls to him. His duties include presiding over and conducting meetings and worship services; serving as president of the ward's quorum of priests; acting as a "Judge in Israel" or "common judge"; providing temporary financial relief for ward members; serving as the presiding high priest of the ward; and organizing and managing the ward's auxiliary organizations. After being called, a bishop is ordained a high priest (if he does not already hold that priesthood office) and then ordained a bishop and set apart as the bishop and presiding high priest of the ward. He is also given the priesthood "keys" which authorize him to serve as a representative for the Lord in performing his duties.

Conducting services — Each Sunday, the bishop is responsible for
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

160

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

organizing the primary worship services, called sacrament meeting. President of the Priests Quorum — The bishop is the president of the Aaronic priesthood and the Priests Quorum in the ward. The bishop is responsible to prepare each priest to worthily serve as a missionary and to prepare to receive the ordinances of the temple. He is also responsible for the spiritual and temporal learning of every young priesthood holder. As president of the Priests Quorum, he is responsible for new member baptisms and missionary work in the ward. Judge in Israel — Members are interviewed by their bishop in order to receive a temple recommend. The bishop signs the recommend to indicate that the member is following basic tenets of the church and is worthy to enter the temple Provide temporally for the members of the ward — Bishops also have the responsibility to oversee the payment of tithes and offerings in a ward, including the duty to accurately account for all money donated within his ward. Serve as the presiding high priest for the ward — As the presiding high priest, the bishop leads meetings and has the priesthood authority to issue callings, approve the performance of ordinances such as baptisms and the administration of the sacrament.

Organize and manage the other organizations in the ward — The bishop is responsible for calling the president of each auxiliary organization. These organizations are: Sunday School, Relief Society, Young Men Presidency, Young Women Presidency, Primary, Aaronic Priesthood Quorums and Young Women Class Presidencies.
According to Latter-day Saint scripture, a bishop does not need to be a high priest nor does he need counselors if he is a Levite and a direct descendant of Aaron, Moses’ brother. In the LDS Church, there has never been a bishop selected under this doctrine, and such a bishop could not fulfill all the duties enumerated above (such as serving as the presiding high priest of the ward). Everything that a local Church does seems to be related to the Aaronic Priesthood. Priesthood Quorms for Administration A Stake Presidency is a quorum consisting of three to administrate a unit of church organization called a stake. This quorum consists of the Stake President and two counselors who are each ordained to the office of high priest. The function of the Stake and its Presidency is to bring unity to the different ward units. A Stake High Council is an administrative quorum consisting of twelve called that assist in the administration of a stake. Each of the members is ordained to the office of high priest, and also belongs to the High Priests Quorum in the stake. A Bishopric is a quorum consisting of three to administrate a church congregation or ward. This quorum consists of the Bishop and two counselors. While the Bishop and his counselors are typically High Priests, counselors may hold other priesthood offices. Typically, the Bishop is also set apart as the quorum president of the Priests Quorum, and therefore the bishopric is the presidency of that quorum. A Quorum Presidency is an administrative quorum consisting of a quorum president who holds keys to direct the affairs of the quorum, and two counselors who he has selected to assist him. In most cases, the president will also select a secretary whom he will
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

161

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

delegate authority to as needed. Auxiliary presidencies and groups such as the Relief Society, Primary, Sunday School and Young Men's and Young Women's programs do not form quorums as they are auxiliary to the priesthood.

Prophets and Apostles The Priesthood of Mormonism has a hierarchy of offices in the Church. The President of the LDS Church and his two counselors are called the First Presidency and they are assisted by a Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. The calling of Prophet is held by the presiding Apostle of the Church. The Apostles together make-up a separate quorum. The Circle of Authority of these offices is World Wide. Seventies These Priesthood Officers, consist of World Wide Area Presidencies. This office primarily serve under the direction of the Apostles, to assist them with their duties in a specific geographic region, usually outside where the Seventy resides. On the other hand, stake presidents, bishops, and branch presidents serve in the local communities where they live. A Stake President holds the presiding office over a stake with two High Priest Counselors over a stake. The three form the one united in purpose presidency of the stake. A stake is an administrative unit composed of multiple local congregations each called a Ward. Stake Presidents preside over a community where they live and work. position. Just as ‘First Presidency” The stake presidency is assisted in turn by a twelve-member set of assistants, called the stake high council. The members of the stake presidency and stake high council hold the priesthood office of high priest. The stake presidency and the high council handle the administrative and judicial business of the stake. It is a lay ministry Temple Presidents A Temple president is a priesthood leadership position in The LDS Priesthood System. A temple president's primary responsibility is to supervise one of the 125 LDS temples currently in operation. Temples are not used for Sunday/Sabbath worship, but rather are a kind of appendage of the LDS Church maintained and opperated by the Priesthood. The Temple President is assisted by two counselors as well as by the wives of the president, referred to as the matron and the wives of the counselors, who are called assistants to the matron. Typically various Stake members are assigned to a specific temple .

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

162

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Appendix B. Is This Really a Triune God?
(In the Mormon Scriptures)

The Johannine Comma Baseline
1 John 5:7 has been pointed to by non-Trinitarians as being an obvious attempt to put the Trinity in the Bible through a forgery. This is the KJV text7 For

there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.

So from critics of the Trinity, we have a base-line for what an explicit Trinity formulation would look like in scripture. Considering this standard for recognizing a Trinitarian teachings what are we to say of the Theology of the Book of Mormon?

If Mormonism were a traditional biblicist protestant sect, but with the same beliefs of the Godhead (i.e. quasi-Arianist anti-trinitarian), the existence of the Johannine Comma would present a serious inconsistency. However, Mormonism’ theology is notably non biblicist. We believe in the Bible on a conditional basis— only insofar as it is translated “correctly” or is in accordance with modern revelation. If anything, the existence of the Comma does not surprise anyone familiar with Nephi’s prophecy that ‘plain and precious things’ would be taken away… [1]

This is critical to the idea that the above Book of Mormon actually does teach the Trinity because so many Book of Mormon theological commentaries are worded and structured like 1 John 5:7. In other words if 1 John 5:7 is an example of a Trinitarian statement, then so are many Book of Mormon statements. For Example 2 Nephi 31:21 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen.
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

163

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

There is no doubt according to what is viewed as a blatant Trinitarian statement, the Book of Mormon teaches of a Trinitarian God. Many who have taken the Book of Mormon seriously view it as being Trinitarian. For example the Christian restorationist Alexander Campbell (1788-1866) upon reading the Book of Mormon commented that the Book of Mormon contained,“every error and almost every truth discussed in New York for the last ten years [i.e. the 1820s]” including the “trinity.” [2] It is always noteworthy to mention that The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, now called ‘The Community of Christ’, holds the Book of Mormon as scripture, and officially professes a Triune monotheistic God, using the term “Trinity”. [3] Many Book of Mormon analysts consider the God of the Book of Mormon to be either modalistic, binitarian, or otherwise Trintarian-like. [4]

Trinitarian Commentaries in the Book of Mormon
Oddly The Keystone of the Mormon Religion is Trinitarian in its Theology.

The Testimony of Three Witnesses: Last sentence: And the honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God. Amen. (signed) Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, Martin Harris 2 Nephi 6:9 Nevertheless, the Lord has shown unto me that they should return again. And he also has shown unto me that the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, should manifest himself unto them in the flesh; and after he should manifest himself they should scourge him and crucify him, according to the words of the angel who spake it unto me. 2 Nephi 9:20-21 20 O how great the holiness of our God! For he knoweth all things, and there is not anything save he knows it. 21 And he cometh into the world that he may save all men if they will hearken unto his voice; for behold, he suffereth the pains of all men, yea, the pains of every living creature, both men, women, and children, who belong to the family of Adam. 2 Nephi 11:7 For if there be no Christ there be no God; and if there be no God we are not, for there could have been no creation. But there is a God, and he is Christ, and he cometh in the fulness of his own time.
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

164

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

2 Nephi 19:6; Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 2 Nephi 25:12 But, behold, they shall have wars, and rumors of wars; and when the day cometh that the Only Begotten of the Father, yea, even the Father of heaven and of earth, shall manifest himself unto them in the flesh, behold, they will reject him, because of their iniquities, and the hardness of their hearts, and the stiffness of their necks.

2 Nephi 26:12, 23-24 12 And as I spake concerning the convincing of the Jews, that Jesus is the very Christ, it must needs be that the Gentiles be convinced also that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God; 23 For behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you that the Lord God worketh not in darkness. 24 He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation.

Mosiah 3:5 For behold, the time cometh, and is not far distant, that with power, the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay, and shall go forth amongst men, working mighty miracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and curing all manner of diseases. Mosiah 5:15 Therefore, I would that ye should be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in good works, that Christ, the Lord God Omnipotent, may seal you his, that you may be brought to heaven, that ye may have everlasting salvation and eternal life, through the wisdom, and power, and justice, and mercy of him who created all things, in heaven and in earth, who is God above all. Amen. Mosiah 7:27 And because he said unto them that Christ was the God, the Father of all things, and said that he should take upon him the image of man, and it should be the image after which man was created in the beginning; or in other words, he said that man was created after the image of God, and that God should come down among the children of men, and take upon him flesh and blood, and go forth upon the face of the earth—
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

165

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Mosiah 13:34 Have they not said that God himself should come down among the children of men, and take upon him the form of man, and go forth in mighty power upon the face of the earth? Mosiah 15:1-5 1 And now Abinadi said unto them: I would that ye should understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people. 2 And because he dwelleth in flesh he shall be called the Son of God, and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the Son— 3 The Father, because he was conceived by the power of God; and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and Son— 4 And they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth. 5 And thus the flesh becoming subject to the Spirit, or the Son to the Father, being one God, suffereth temptation, and yieldeth not to the temptation, but suffereth himself to be mocked, and scourged, and cast out, and disowned by his people. Mosiah 17:8 For thou hast said that God himself should come down among the children of men; and now, for this cause thou shalt be put to death unless thou wilt recall all the words which thou hast spoken evil concerning me and my people. Alma 11:26-29 26 And Zeezrom said unto him: Thou sayest there is a true and living God? 27 And Amulek said: Yea, there is a true and living God. 28 Now Zeezrom said: Is there more than one God? 29 And he answered, No.

Alma 11:38-39, 44 38 Now Zeezrom saith again unto him: Is the Son of God the very Eternal Father? 39 And Amulek said unto him: Yea, he is the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth, and all things which in them are; he is the beginning and the end, the first and the last; 44 Now, this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but every thing shall be restored to its perfect frame, as it is now, or in the body, and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God, to be judged according to their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil. Alma 13:9 Thus they become high priests forever, after the order of the Son, the Only Begotten of the Father, who is without beginning of days or end of years, who is full of grace, equity, and truth. And thus it is. Amen. Alma 42:15
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

166

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

And now, the plan of mercy could not be brought about except an atonement should be made; therefore God himself atoneth for the sins of the world, to bring about the plan of mercy, to appease the demands of justice, that God might be a perfect, just God, and a merciful God also. Helaman 14:12 And also that ye might know of the coming of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and of earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and that ye might know of the signs of his coming, to the intent that ye might believe on his name. 3 Nephi 11:14 14 Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world. Ether 3:14 Behold, I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son. In me shall all mankind have life, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name; and they shall become my sons and my daughters. Moroni 8:18 For I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity. The Father, Son and Spirit…the same yesterday, today and forever 2 Nephi 27:23 For behold, I am God; and I am a God of miracles; and I will show unto the world that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and I work not among the children of men save it be according to their faith. 2 Nephi 2:4 And thou hast beheld in thy youth his glory; wherefore, thou art blessed even as they unto whom he shall minister in the flesh; for the Spirit is the same, yesterday, today, and forever. And the way is prepared from the fall of man, and salvation is free.

Divine Investiture of Authority
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

167

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Divine Investiture of Authority does not disprove the Book of Mormon, or Bible Trinity. Here is an LDS description of the idea that Divine Investiture of Authority overrides the scriptural passages that are Trinitarian, (or modalistic and/or binitarian). "[Jesus] is the Father by divine investiture of authority, meaning that the FatherElohim has placed his name upon the Son, has given him his own power and authority, and has authorized him to speak in the first person as though he were the original or primal Father." [5] The Mormon fullness of the gospel teaches that God the Father has a personal Name of Elohim in the Bible. And that Jehovah is the personal Name of the Son (Jesus Christ) in the Old Testament. Mormons teach that Jesus as the Father’s Commissioned Servant uses the Father’s Names and Titles—and In this simple statement Traditional Trinitarians agree… Yet Mormonism has extend Jesus’ Divine Investiture to mean that Jesus used the Father’s name in such a way that it has confused orthodox people into believing the Trinity—that Is falsely created the idea of the Trinitarian Godhead. Mormonism claims that Trinitarian proof texts are only falsely viewed as so due to Divine Investiture. This is to claim that Jesus is using the names of the Father as if He were the Father, but he is not the Father. The same is claimed for Trinitarian and oneness appearing texts in the Book of Mormon. The Mormons of course rejecting the Traditional Christian Trinity—And holding to the idea of Many Gods—three of which Preside as Three Separate Gods in One Corporate Godhead. Yet the Mormons are Wrong—because even though Jesus does use many of the same names and titles as God the Father—this does not detract from the reality of the Trinitarian commentaries in the Biblical and Book of Mormon texts. Because many passages in the Book of Mormon assert in the manner that these names and titles are used that Jesus also shares unique ontological features with the Father—that is Jesus shares the same being AND nature and Substance as the Father. Ether 3:14 Behold, I am he who was prepared from the foundation of the world to redeem my people. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son. In me shall all mankind have life, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name; and they shall become my sons and my daughters. Sharing a Title and Name is one thing but many scriptural examinations show the Jesus shares much More--- and this additional sharing of the same being is better explained by the Trinity. Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 168

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

In a Nutshell—When The Father Bears record of the Son—and Glorifies the Son, the One doing this for Jesus is Jehovah. In short, Jesus got his Investiture from Jehovah, not from another God named “Elohim”.

There is No other God higher than Jehovah, to give Jehovah His Authority
The Mormon application of Divine Investiture to discredit the Trinity will not work because there is NO God above Jehovah. The God the Father (the Father of Jesus Christ) of the New Testament is Jehovah-- NOT some other being above Jehovah. We should also consider that "GOD" or "god" as a term does not describe the nature of a being. The Bible must be interpreted by the ways the term is used, looking to the many nuances that accompany the mentioning of 'God'. This being who made a covenant with ancient Hebrews-- did not call Himself "The God" but 'a God' who was to be "the Lord(Jehovah) your God". Ex 6:7 And I will take you to me for a people, and I will be to you a God: and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, which bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. This means that the name 'Jehovah' is a more critical identifier than the term 'god'. The term "GOD" in its broadest usage often leads to confusion when dealing with LDS people. It is clear in the Bible however that there is only one being alone who is Jehovah. However the term "GOD" is sometimes nebulas leading to arguments that the Hebrews were polythestic. One thing is sure-- the Hebrews and Christians are into mono-Jehovahism. This One being who is often called "God" is "Jehovah" and is called one Elohim, and it was affirmed that their is no other God in Mark ch. 12. This Jehovah says that He made the heavens alone by himself. (Isaiah 24:44) This Jehovah declares that He will not give his glory to another. (Isaiah 42:8) Jehovah made all things for his own glory, and they are His. (Isaiah 43:7) This Jehovah is called Jehovah alone (Nehemiah 9:6)( Psalm 83:18) He is called God alone (Psalm 86:10) This Jehovah is called the Most High God (Genesis 14:22) This Jehovah had to sware to Himself because there was none greater (Hebrews 6:13 ) This Jehovah is the God whom the Apostle Paul claimed to worship (Acts of the Apostles 24:14) There is no other God greater than Jehovah. Jehovah is the One worshipped in Heaven, and by Christians. Jehovah gets the glory and no one else. The mass of teachings about Jehovah in the New and Old Testaments exclude the idea that there is a God or Gods above or beside this One being called Jehovah ,
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

169

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

whom Christians are to worship. This being the case, the idea that there is a being who is a different being than Jehovah, who is above Jehovah is against the Christian and Hebrew covenants. This means the identity of the Mormon 'Heavenly Father' as some being other than the being Jehovah is in error.

Jesus’ Source of Authority
The Scriptures say that Jesus did not call Himself to ministry, nor did Jesus declare Himself as the Son, nor did Jesus Glorify Himself. Jesus says that the Father is His witness. Jesus says His Job is to declare the Name of the Father. Jesus Declares His Father’s name, to be “Jehovah”. We see this when Jesus declares His mission in Luke 4 as Jesus cites the Prophecy of Isaiah 61 by being sent by His Father (Joh 14:24). And examination shows that the one who sent Jesus turns out to be Jehovah. From the other direction, we have passages where Jehovah declares Jesus to be His Son. Jesus ontological being is in the God- Being Jehovah, and the His Father’s identity and name is also of the Same God-Being. This Biblical reality is the fundamental elemental truth of the Trinity. John 8: 13 The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true. 14 Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go. 15 Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. 16 And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. 17 It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. 18 I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me. This being so when the Father bears witness of the Son—we will be seeing the Father directly—and not a hearsay delegated authority of Investiture—but the Father directly— not delegated by Divine Investiture. This would follow Jewish Law about the direct nature of witnesses. We even see this direct witness of Jesus by the Father when Jesus is Baptized—the Father is a direct witness for Jesus— as in Matthew 3:17 We see a number of other examples of this in Scripture where the Father bears witness and the name of the Father as that specific and direct witness is declared. ( and remember part of Jesus' job was to declare the NAME of the Father.) And note, this witness is not viable as a witness in Jewish Law if the witness is delegated to the first witness. Here the Father stands witness to Jesus as the Son of God- Jesus is not allowed to declare nor call Himself the Son of God- as it is written: Hebrews 5: 4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. 5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. (also see Heb 1:5). Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 170

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

When God calls Jesus His Son- it is a situation where Jesus cannot speak with delegated authority-- it has to be the Father directly. Secondarily the passage says that Jesus was called as Aaron was called. Aaron of course was called directly by Jehovah in Exodus 4:27-28. In Psalm 2: 7 the Father acts as a witness for the Son-- and declares and glorifies the Son I will declare the decree: the LORD (Jehovah) hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. 8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession Further, the Apostle declares that Psalm 2:7 is the prophecy of God—the Father -- calling Jesus His Son.

Acts 13:30-33 30 But God raised him from the dead: 31 And he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people. 32 And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, 33 God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. Psalms 2:7 is a direct revelation of Jesus’ Father as the God-Being Jehovah. Otherwise the witness could not be a valid witness of Jesus’ Divine commission. The one giving Jesus His commission is the one and only Jehovah, as it is written: Psalm 83:18 That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.

Jesus Declared The Father’s Name
John 17:26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. The Name of the Father that Jesus Declared was Jehovah as we see in Jesus referring to the Shema in Mark 12:28 “The Lord our God is One Lord” (Jehovah our Elohim is one Jehovah)
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

171

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

This is followed by the Jewish scribe who in a reflective response back to Jesus affirming that there is One God and none but He. This all verifies the Hebrews 5:4 that Jesus was not allowed to glorify Himself. This is whole situation is well explained by the Trinity, and not with Tri-theism with Jesus speaking in the first person for the Father by Divine Investiture.

Jesus to Glorify the Father
Php 2:11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Jesus glorifed His Father’s Name during His Earthly Mission. One place He did this is through the “Lord’s Prayer”. We see this glorification and praise in the Lord’s Prayer which invocation includes the phras, “Hallowed be Thy Name…” We know historically that the Jewish Hallowed name of God was Jehovah. We know that this was the Hallowed name of the Lord’s Prayer because the Lord’s Prayer was not entirely new— Jesus patterned His Lords Prayer after Jewish pattern of prayer found in the Kaddish of the Talmud. The central theme of the Kaddish is the magnification and sanctification of God’s name . The Kaddish opens with an invocation to Jehovah, and so it appears with the Lord’s Prayer. [6]

Jesus Glorified the Father - The Father Glorified Jesus
John 17: 1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: Remember---Hebrews 5: 5 So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee

The Connections Between Jesus and The Father are Best Explained by The Trinity—
Jesus Named The Father as His Second WitnessJohn 8:18 I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me. This second witness Turns out to be Jehovah, Jesus’ Father.

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

172

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Simple Conclusion:
The idea that the Book of Mormon has a tri-theistic Godhead, appearing to be Trinitarianlike due to Divine Investiture is not a logical conclusion when the scriptures and the Book of Mormon are evaluated.

Mosiah 15:1-5 1 And now Abinadi said unto them: I would that ye should understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people. 2 And because he dwelleth in flesh he shall be called the Son of God, and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the Son— 3 The Father, because he was conceived by the power of God; and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and Son— 4 And they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth. 5 And thus the flesh becoming subject to the Spirit, or the Son to the Father, being one God, suffereth temptation, and yieldeth not to the temptation, but suffereth himself to be mocked, and scourged, and cast out, and disowned by his people. The Book of Mormon is no doubt a text that teaches of a monotheistic God who is one being, but has plural personality. Some analysts claim this Book of Mormon God is modalistic, a few analysts have suggested binitarianism. I have referred to this God as Trinitarian-like. Regardless of the analysis, and no matter what we label the God of the Book of Mormon, it is a different kind of God from the Gods of Eternal Progression. Mormonism has one kind of God described in its Standard Works ( Scriptures) and another completely different set of Gods it declares in its teachings of Eternal Progression Whether or not someone calls what is seen in the LDS Standard Works, The “Trinity” or Modelistic, binitarian, a transcendent union, or what ever, the title or label is secondary to the primary issue of having different sets and kinds of Gods in different places within the total body of Mormon teachings.

Who is this “my Spirit” ?
In Chapter 18 of 3 Nephi, the Blessing for keeping this covenant is the indwelling of the Holy Ghost. This promised blessing is stated in Trinitarian terms. 7 And this shall ye do in remembrance of my body, which I have shown unto you. And it shall be a testimony unto the Father that ye do always remember me. And if ye do always remember me ye shall have my Spirit to be with you The Book of Mormon claims to be another Testament of Christ. So let us turn to the Bible’s New Testament, the primary testament to work out the identity of ‘my Spirit’ of 3rd Nephi.
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

173

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

All indicators in the New Testament say that there is just one Spirit that indwells the believer. This is testified to in the following verses. 1Co 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. Eph 2:18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Eph 4:4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; Php 1:27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel; 1Jo 3:24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us. In seeking to know better the full identity of this “one Spirit” we also see teachings that say that this is the same ‘one spirit’ that indwells the believer that also performed the resurrection of Jesus Christ

1Co 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

2Ti 1:14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us. Rom 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. At this point by correlating the New Testament with the promised blessing of “my Spirit” in the Book of 3rd Nephi we are closing in on the actual full identity of ‘my Spirit’of the Mormon Baptismal Covenant. This is because there is only one Spirit that dwells in the believer, and this one spirit is called ‘the spirit of Christ’as seen in these passages: Ro 8:9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. 1Pe 1:11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 174

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Here is another name or identifier for this one indwelling Spirit. Take notice that this one Spirit that indwells the believer, is called by Jesus “the Spirit of your Father”. This further appears to make “my Spirit’ of 3rd Nephi appear to be a Trinitarian comment. Matt 10: 19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. 20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

Along these lines see that the Spirit of the Holy Ghost raised Jesus from the dead, And we see that the Holy Ghost is called the Spirit of the Father. This correlates with the following verses saying that the Father raised Jesus from the dead. Acts 2:32 This Jesus hath God raised up.... Acts 4:10 Jesus Christ ... whom God raised from the dead.... Acts 13:30 But God raised him from the dead. Galatians 1:1 Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;) Colossians 2:12 Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead. 1 Thessalonians 1:10 ... his Son ... whom he raised from the dead.

Now here is a clincher, the one Spirit raised Jesus from the Dead. Some places in the Bible this is the Father, other places the Holy Ghost. Yet also, Jesus says that He will raise Himself from the Dead. This means that the same One Spirit is the Spirit of the Father, the Spirit of the Holy Ghost and the Spirit of Christ. This makes ‘my Spirit’ of 3rd Nephi verifiably as a Monotheistic- Trinitarian-like statement. John 2:19-21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of his body. Coming full circle, we again return to the New Testament Apostle Paul’s assertion on the Spirit’s identity seems to say it all about the full identity of 3rd Nephi’s ‘my Spirit’ . Rom 8: 9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

175

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. 12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. 13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. Notice how this Spirit is called in vs 10 above “Christ be in you—This is part of the mystery revealed- as it is written: Col 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

176

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Citation and Notes - A: Appendix: Trinitarian?
[1]Marc A. Schindler, "The Johannine Comma: Bad Translation, Bad Theology", in: Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 29, 3 (Fall 1996). [2] Alexander Campbell, “The Mormonites,” Millennial Harbinger 2 (January 1831): 93 [3] Retrived 11/5/09 http://www.cofchrist.org/ourfaith/faith-beliefs.asp This branch of Mormonism teaches on its website, “We believe in one living God who meets us in the testimony of Israel, is revealed in Jesus Christ, and moves through all creation as the Holy Spirit. We affirm the Trinity—God who is a community of three persons. All things that exist owe their being to God: mystery beyond understanding and love beyond imagination. This God alone is worthy of our worship.” [4] Kurt Widmer. Mormonism and the Nature of God: A Theological Evolution, 1830— 1915. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2000. vi + 209 pp., Thomas G. Alexander, Mormonism in Transition: A History of the Latter-day Saints, 1890— 1930 (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1996); Melodie Moench Charles, "Book of Mormon Christology," in New Approaches to the Book of Mormon: Explorations in Critical Methodology, ed. Brent L. Metcalfe (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1993), 81—114. Clyde Forsberg Jr., "The Roots of Early Mormonism: An Exegetical Inquiry" (master's thesis, University of Calgary Department of Religious Studies, 1990); Dan Vogel,"The Earliest Mormon Concept of God," in Line upon Line: Essays on Mormon Doctrine, in. Gary J. Bergera (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1989), 17—33; Boyd Kirkland, "The Development of the Mormon Doctrine of God" and "Eternal Progression and the Second Death in the Theology of Brigham Young in Line upon Line: Essays on Mormon Doctrine, in. Gary J. Bergera (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1989), pp 35-52 Thomas G. Alexander, "The Reconstruction of Mormon Doctrine," in Line upon Line: Essays on Mormon Doctrine, in. Gary J. Bergera (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1989), pp 53-56 Boyd Kirkland, "Elohim and Jehovah in Mormonism and in the Bible," Dialogue 19/1 (1986): 77—93; Boyd Kirkland, "Jehovah as the Father," Sunstone,autumn 1984, 36—44; George B. Arbaugh, Revelation in Mormonism: Its Character and Changing Forms (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1932)

Mormons sometimes attempt to support this radical application of Divine Investiture from : Exodus 4:16 ;23:21, Isaiah 1:24, Revelation 22:8-13, Moses 1:3-7
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

177

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

[5] Bruce R. McConkie The Promised Messiah, (Deseret Book; 1978) p.64

[6] On the Kaddish, ‘(I)n Judaism, a doxology (hymn of praise to God) that is usually recited in Aramaic at the end of principal sections of all synagogue services. The nucleus of the prayer is the phrase “Glorified and sanctified be God’s great name throughout the world which He has created according to His will. May He establish His kingdom in your lifetime and during your days.” The congregation responds: “May His great name be blessed forever to all eternity.” The prayer’s main idea goes back to ancient times and is reflected in the Lord’s Prayer of Christians.’ Retrieved from the Internet 11/05/09 http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/309445/Kaddish This Kaddish invocation is a parallel to passages as Ps. 113:2 which reads: " Blessed be the name of Jehovah from this time forth and for evermore (ASV) and many other psalms and Old Testament doxologies that praise the name of Jehovah. For a study on this topic see -F.H.Chase,”The Lord's Prayer in the Early Church”, in Texts and Studies, 3d ed., (Cambridge,1891).

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

178

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Appendix C: One Dimensional Comparison of Bible Teachings Vs. Mormonism
Bible One Eternal Trinitarian God The Bible teaches that the Father is God, the Son is God (John 1:1; 20:28) and the Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4); and that they are distinct Persons in the Godhead—not to be confused with one another (Matthew 28:19; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6). There is only one true God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 43:10; 1 Corinthians 8:4). God Has Always Been God God has always been God (Genesis 21:33; Psalm 90:2; Isaiah 40:28). God is spirit, not an exalted man with flesh and bone (John 4:24; Luke 24:39; Hosea 11:9; Numbers 23:19). God does not change (Malachi 3:6), nor does he grow in knowledge (Isaiah 40:13). There is none like him, he is unique, he is the only true God (Exodus 8:10; 2 Samuel 7:22; Isaiah 43:10; 44:6-8; 45:5, 21-22; 46:9; 1 Corinthians 8:5). (Note that though Jesus, being God, did become human in His incarnation [John 1:1, 14], this is quite different from a man progressing to become a god.) God Created the Entire Universe. By the Word of God the Universe was Created Psalm 33:6; Neh 9:6 Humans Cannot Become Gods Men cannot become Gods (Isaiah 43:10). Man is a created being, unlike God—who has always been God (Genesis 21:33). God will not share His glory with another (Isaiah 42:8). Mormonism Many Gods The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three separate Gods (Mormon Doctrine 576). God the Father had a Father who is also a God. A Counsel of many Gods (other than Father, Son or Holy Ghost) governs Heaven. (Mormon Doctrine 163, and Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith 371) God, Once a Man, Progressed to Godhood Joseph Smith taught, "God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man. . . I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see. . . . [H]e was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did. . ." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 370; emphasis added- King Follet Sermon). Also see: Mormon Doctrine 163 & 321 Teachings 365 & 345; 357 & 374 Gospel Principles 14 & 305 Universe Existed before the God(s)The Gods Improved upon the Preexisting Universe that existed before God(s). Mormon Doctrine 169, Gospel Principles 81 Humans Can Become Gods Joseph Smith taught, "Here, then, is eternal life—to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith., 346).

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

179

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Bible Humans were Created by God on Earth out of the Dust of the Earth-- Humans are created, not procreated, by God (Gen. 1:26; 2:7). Our existence begins in the womb of our mothers (Ps 139:13). We cannot compare themselves to Jesus and His preexistence, for they are not deity by nature. He preexisted because he is God (Isa 9:6; Jn 1:1; 17:5; Phil 2:6-7). Jesus alone is from heaven, we are from the earth. (Jn 3:13, 31; 8:23-24) The Church Remains Forever In Matthew 16:18 Jesus declared, "I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Given that Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth, we can trust that this promise would not fail (Matthew 28:18). While there are several passages that refer to an apostasy, it is never said to be a universal or complete apostasy (e.g., Acts 20:30; 2 Thessalonians 2:3; 1 Timothy 4:1). Rather, we know that God will be glorified in the Church throughout all ages (Ephesians 3:21), and that Christians have received a kingdom that cannot be shaken (Hebrews 12:28; cf. Daniel 2:44).

Mormonism Humans were Procreated in Heaven in the Preexistence and sent to Earth--"Before the world was created, we all lived as the spirit children of our Heavenly Father [and Mother]. (Ballard, Our Search for Happiness, 70). Mormons also infer this from the preexistence of Jesus Christ. Also See Mormon Doctrine 465 & 466 Gospel Principles 14

A Complete Apostasy of the Church (Mormon Doctrine, under ‘Apostasy’) “With the loss of the gospel, the nations of the earth went into a moral eclipse called the Dark Ages. Apostasy was universal. "Darkness covereth the earth, and gross darkness the minds of the people, and all flesh has become corrupt before my face." (D. & C. 112:23.) And this darkness still prevails except among those who have come to a knowledge of the restored gospel. (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 3, pp. 265-326.)” -Doctrine and Covenants 1:30The Mormon Church is “ …the only true and living church on the face of the whole earth.” -Mormon Doctrine says “There is no Salvation outside the of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints” -page 670 Original Apostles Laid The Foundation of Living Prophets, Apostles are the Church –(forever) The Foundation of the Church Christ Himself is an Apostle but has no Resurrected John the Baptist, Peter, James, and successor. Heb. 3:1. Foundation of Church was John gave priesthood powers and Apostleship laid once by ancient Apostles of Christ (1 Cor to Joseph Smith which empowered him to 3:11, Eph 2:20). Apostles were witnesses to the restore the One True Church. Joseph then had total unfolding of Gospel events. 120 disciples the authority to pass the authority to future Prophets, Apostles (D&C 13; 27:8, 12-13; chose Matthias an Apostle by King David’s Gospel Principles-111) Prophecy (Ps 69:25) in Acts Chapter 1. Paul was chosen directly by Christ. (Acts 9: 1-19 There is no Biblical evidence for continuous and Gal 1:12) James died but was not replaced corporal church succession for the offices of (Acts 12:2). Afterwards Christians are to read Apostle, or Prophet. Based on misuse of the New Testament (written by Apostles) as a Paul’s Ephesians 2:20 without Paul’s witness of Christ (1 John 2:1-6, John 20:30clarification of 1 Corinthians 3:11 31, 2 Tim 3:15-17; 2 Peter 1:12-15)

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

180

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Bible The Bible is Reliable and Sufficient God has promised that His word, the Bible, would stand forever (Isaiah 40:3). We know that His word is true (John 17:17), contains wisdom unto salvation, and thoroughly equips God’s people for every good work (2 Timothy 3:15-17). God has given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:2).

Mormonism The Bible is Corrupted and Incomplete (Mormon Doctrine- under “Bible”) the Prophet said of the Bible…. "Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing. and corrupt priests have committed many errors." (Teachings, p. 327; Eighth Article of Faith) The Book of Mormon says of the Bible: After it had passed through the hands of "a great and abominable church, …"many plain and precious things "were deleted, … and falsehood poured into the various churches. (1 Nephi Chapter. 13) Individual Works of Righteousness are Required to Live with God Forever Mormons believe in two kinds of salvation: general salvation and individual salvation. General salvation - is by grace alone—it is not conditioned upon any individual's faith or works. This salvation allows all mankind to be physically resurrected. Individual (Conditional) Salvation - is also known as exaltation or eternal life, and can be achieved only by individual faith, repentance, and obedience to God's laws and ordinances. One is exalted based on one's worthiness. These laws include temple marriage, obeying the Word of Wisdom, proper tithing, faithful church attendance, and obeying the Mormon prophets (Gospel Principles, 289-292; Mormon Doctrine 669672) Temples are still required to perform Priesthood Ordinances and Impart Knowledge required for Human Salvation Gospel Principles 255-256, Chapter 40 Mormon Doctrine 779-781

Salvation (Living with God Forever) is Based on the Righteousness of Christ The Bible never interprets mere resurrection as salvation (John 5:29). Those who receive Jesus will have eternal life, but the wrath of God remains on those who reject him (John 3:36). While Christians are called to keep God's commandments (e.g. John 14:15), salvation is in no way based on our own righteous deeds (Ephesians 2:8-10; Titus 3:5-8). It is through the atonement of Christ that we are made perfect (Hebrews 10: 13-18). The atonement took place, not in the garden of Gethsemane but through His blood shed on the cross (Colossians 1:20; 1 Peter 2:24). Hebrews 10:14: "For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified."

Temple’s Meaning and Utility Fulfilled in Christ’s Finished Work on the Cross This involves a comprehensive study including: Ge 28:17; 28:22 Mk 15:38; 16:18. Lu 23:45; Heb 9:3-10:21; John 2:19; with 1Cor 12:27 Acts 6:13; 7:2-56; 1Cor 3:17; Eph 2:21; 1Ti 3:15; 1Pe 2:5; 4:17; Rev 21:22

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

181

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Bible The Gospel : The Good News about Jesus’ Completed Work on the Cross 1 Cor 15: 1- Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: 1 Cor 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

Bible Warns of an Angel of Light that Brings a False Gospel 2Cor 11:13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; … Gal 1: 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

Mormonism The Gospel : “ The gospel of Jesus Christ encompasses a system of laws and ordinances that leads to salvation.” Our religion is nothing more nor less than the true order of heaven— the system of laws by which the gods and the angels are governed. The Gospel of the Son of God that has been revealed is a plan or system of laws and ordinances, by strict obedience to which the people who inhabit this earth are assured that they may return again into the presence of the Father and the Son. LDS Sunday School Manual; The Gospel Defined: Lesson 235554, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young …one of the untrue doctrines found in modern Christendom is the concept that man can gain salvation by grace alone … (Mormon Doctrine, 671) Angel of Light appeared to Mormon Founders and brought a so-called “Restored Gospel” The Explanatory Introduction to the Mormon Scriptures (the Doctrine and Covenants until 1953) states very specifically that the angel, Moroni, was an “angel of light”. "...In September, 1823, and at later times, Joseph Smith received visitations from Moroni, an angel of light, who revealed the resting place of the ancient record from which The Book of Mormon was afterward translated." Mormon Doctrine verifies that an “angel of light” is the Devil- page 35

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

182

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Bible By the Name of Jesus Christ ALONE Men are Saved. Acts 4:10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. 11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. 12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

One Heaven The context of 1 Corinthians 15:40-41 is the contrast between resurrection (celestial or heavenly) and pre-resurrection (terrestrial or earthly) bodies, not heavenly kingdoms. The Bible does speak of three heavens: the atmospheric heaven, where birds fly and from which the rains fall (Genesis 7:23; 8:2); the astronomic heaven, where the stars and planets reside (Genesis 1:14, 15; 22:17); and the third heaven, the throne of God (Matthew 6:9; Revelation 4:2).

Mormonism Need Joseph Smith’s Permission to go to Heaven“…no man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith. From the day that the Priesthood was taken from the earth to the winding-up scene of all things, every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are -- I with you and you with me. I cannot go there without his consent. … He (Joseph Smith) reigns there as supreme a being in his sphere, capacity, and calling, as God does in heaven.” -(From Journal of Discourses Volume 7; 289, Remarks by President Brigham Young, delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, October 9, 1859.) Many Heavens There are three heavenly kingdoms: the celestial, terrestrial and telestial. Doctrine and Covenants Section 76 Mormons argue this belief from 1 Corinthians 15:40-41 and 2 Corinthians12:2 (where the Apostle Paul says he was caught up to the "third heaven").

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

183

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Bible Eternal Hell One's abode in hell is as eternal as one's abode in heaven (Matthew 25:46). There is no second chance after death (Hebrews 9:27). At the final judgment, men either receive the resurrection of life or the resurrection of condemnation (Daniel 12:2; John 5:29)—they are assigned either to heaven or hell.

Mormonism Temporary Hell Joseph Fielding Smith wrote, "Those who live lives of wickedness may also be heirs of salvation, that is, they too shall be redeemed from death and from hell eventually. These, however, must suffer in hell the torments of the damned until they pay the price of their sinning, for the blood of Christ will not cleanse them" (Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 2, 133-134).

The Sign of the Cross on Christian Houses of Worship is Consistent with Bible Teachings

The Sign of an Inverted Pentagram found on LDS Temples seems contrary to any Biblical Theme

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

184

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Citations, Notes and Other Numbered Comments
1: A Secret Beyond Belief
[1:1]-Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 335 (hereafter Journal of Discourses will be cited as JoDC, with volume number .[dot] page number) Retrieved from internet source http://www.journalofdiscourses.org/volume-7/, Some hardcopy versions are found in the JoDC 7.333 He is our Father—the Father of our spirits, and was once a man in mortal flesh as we are, and is now an exalted Being. How many Gods there are, I do not know. But there never was a time when there were not Gods and worlds, and when men were not passing through the same ordeals that we are now passing through. That course has been from all eternity, and it is and will be to all eternity. You cannot comprehend this; but when you can, it will be to you a matter of great consolation. It appears ridiculous to the world, under their darkened and erroneous traditions, that God has once been a finite being; and yet we are not in such close communion with him as many have supposed. He has passed on, and is exalted far beyond what we can now comprehend. [1:2]-Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, (Bookcraft, Salt Lake City, Utah, 1966) p. 321. (hereafter cited as Mormon Doctrine) God the Father, had to first be a mortal man before progressing to Godhood. Joseph Smith, Times and Seasons,( a magazine published by the Mormon Church) vol. 1-5, num. 15, (August 15, 1844) pp 613-614; Orson Pratt, JoDC 2.345; Brigham Young, JoDC 7.333. God the Father had a Father Joseph Smith, History of the Church, vol. 6, p. 476( hereafter Cited as HC with vol. And page as 6.476); Heber C. Kimball, JoDC 5.19,; Milton Hunter, First Council of the Seventy, Gospel through the Ages,( Stevens and Wallis) 1945 p. 104-105 There are many gods Mormon Doctrine, p. 163. Joseph Fielding Smith, comp Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith,( Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1965) pp 345-347, 354 ( hereafter cited as Teachings) If you remain a faithful Mormon, you have the potential of becoming a god.
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

185

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

[1:3]- Joseph Smith, Pearl of Great Price, (Desert Book Company, Salt Lake City, UT, 1946), pp. 34-35; McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 428 God resides near a star called Kolob [1:4]- LDS Apostle Parley P. Pratt , The Prophet ( a magazine of the Mormon Church) May 21, 1845, reprinted by B. H. Roberts, Mormon Doctrine of Deity - The Roberts Vander Donckt Discussion: Materiality, 1903. Horizon Publishers did an undated reprint of the 1903 version of Robert’s article. Also cited as being from directly taught by Joseph Smith, The Millennial Star, Vol. 6 by Charles McKay, Mormons or Latter-Day Saints: A Contemporary History ( London: Houlston and Wright, 1856) p. 53; Also see Mormon Doctrine. p.359 “What is God? He is a material organized intelligence, possessing both body and parts. He is in the form of a man, and is, in fact, of the same species... This being cannot occupy two distinct places at once, therefore he cannot be everywhere present. “ … “The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead. He is a Personage of Spirit, a Spirit Person, a Spirit Man, a Spirit Entity. He can be in only one place at one time, and he does not and cannot transform himself into any other form or image than that of the Man whom he is.” Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, ed. Bruce R. McConkie (Bookcraft 1954) 1:38 ( here after cited as Doctrines of Salvation ) “As a Spirit personage the Holy Ghost has size and dimensions. He does not fill the immensity of space, and cannot be everywhere present in person at the same time. He is also called the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of Truth, and the Comforter” Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, (Deseret News Press, 1919) p. 61 “The Holy Ghost as a personage of Spirit can no more be omnipresent in person than can the Father or the Son, but by his intelligence, his knowledge, his power and influence, over and through the laws of nature, he is and can be omnipresent throughout all the works of God” JoDC 6.3 God the Father has a body of flesh and bones,

Joseph Smith, The Doctrine and Covenants Section 130, verse 22. ( hereafter cited as D&C).
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

186

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

God is in the physical form of a man, having a body of flesh and bone. [1: 5]-Mormon Doctrine, p. 576 The Father, Son and Holy Ghost are three separate Gods. [1:6]- Mormon Apostle James Talmage, Articles of Faith (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1984), p. 443. ( hereafter cited as Articles of Faith). There is a Mother God Orsen Pratt, “Celestial Marriage”, The Seer (Washington DC: A Mormon Church Publication) vol.1 num. 6, 1853) p. 172 God has many Wives Mormon Doctrine p. 516 God is married to his goddess wife and has spirit children. [1:7]- Mormon Doctrine, p. 129. The first spirit to be born in heaven was Jesus Christ [1:8]- Mormon Doctrine, p. 163 The Devil a.k.a Lucifer, was born as a spirit child of Heavenly Father after Jesus

Mormon Doctrine, p. 192. Jesus and Satan are siblings, [1:8] - Mormon Doctrine p 164 and also see Teaching pp 348—349 A counsel of Gods was gathered in heaven and agreed on a plan to create and people our earth. [1:9] - Mormon Doctrine, page 193 and also see .JoDC 6.8 A plan of salvation was needed for the people of earth so Jesus offered a plan to the Heavenly Father and Satan offered a plan to The Heavenly Father. However, Jesus' plan was accepted. (the Devil proposed to the Gods to be the Savior of Mankind and to "deny men their agency and to dethrone god.") [1:10] - JoDC 4.218
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

187

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

We were first begotten as spirit children of Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother in heaven and then born naturally on Earth. [1:11]- Brigham Young, JoDC 8.115 “The birth of the Saviour was as natural as are the births of our children; it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood—was begotten of his Father, as we were of our fathers…” Brigham Young. JoDC 1.51 “Now, remember from this time forth, and for ever, that Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost…” Brigham Young, JoDC 4.218 “When the time came that His first-born, the Saviour, should come into the world and take a tabernacle, the Father came Himself and favoured that spirit with a tabernacle instead of letting any other man do it. The Saviour was begotten by the Father of His spirit, by the same Being who is the Father of our spirits, …” Joseph Fielding Smith, Religious Truths Defined (Bookcraft, 1959) p. 44 “The birth of the Savior was a natural occurrence unattended with any degree of mysticism, and the Father God was the literal parent of Jesus in the flesh as well as in the spirit.”

Mormon Doctrine, p. 547 “Christ was begotten by an Immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers, …”

Mormon Doctrine, p. 742 “And Christ was born into the world as the literal Son of this Holy Being; he was born in the same personal, real, and literal sense that any mortal son is born to a mortal father. There is nothing figurative about his paternity; he was begotten, conceived and born in the normal and natural course of events,...Christ is the Son of Man, meaning that his Father (the Eternal God!) is a Holy Man. “ Heber C. Kimball , JoDC 8.211
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

188

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

“In relation to the way in which I look upon the works of God and his creatures, I will say that I was naturally begotten; so was my father, and also my saviour Jesus Christ. According to the Scriptures, he is the first begotten of his father in the flesh, and there was nothing unnatural about it. “ Deseret News, ( a Mormon Church newspaper) October 10, 1866 “The man Joseph, the husband of Mary, did not, that we know of, have more than one wife, but Mary the wife of Joseph had another husband,…”

[1:12]-Articles of Faith, p. 92 and also see Mormon Doctrine pp. 796-799 President Joseph F. Smith cited saying, “the locality of the people of this Church shall be put to the test. By this principle it shall be known who is for the kingdom of God and who is against it. (Tithing).. “The Law of tithing is a test by which the people as individuals shall be proved.” Good works are necessary for salvation, [1:13]-Mormon Doctrine pp 779-781 Explanation of LDS Temples [1:14]- Mormon Doctrine, p. 348., Doctrine and Covenants Section 76 and 132. There are three levels of heaven: telestial, terrestrial, and celestial Teachings, page 309 & 362, and also see Mormon Doctrine p. 321 The Highest Salvation is Godhood itself [1:15] - Mormon Doctrine, p. 670 “If it had not been for Joseph Smith and the restoration, there would be no salvation. There is no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith as a prophet of God,…” Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 1, p. 188. There is no salvation (exaltation to Godhood) outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. [1:16]- Articles of Faith, , p. 182-185 The true gospel was lost from the earth. Mormonism is its restoration. [1:17]- Joseph Smith, King Follett Discourse, 7 April 1844; discourse of 16 June 1844, Teachings, pp. 369–76 The notion that God the Father used to be a mortal man, and that we human too become Gods like He , is called “the Great Secret”.
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

189

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

2- Would You Join the Mormon Church?
[2:1] Pearl of Great Price, First Article of Faith [2:2] Pearl of Great Price, 13th Article of Faith [2:3] Joseph Smith, The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ( Salt Lake City Utah, LDS Church 1982) ( here after cited as BoM) [2:4] BoM cover page; also see D&C 20: 28 The Book of Mormon and other scriptural teachings say that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost is One God. Nowhere do the Mormon Scriptures ever teach that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost comprise Three-Gods or Three separate ‘beings’ in One Godhead. The teachings that there are Three Gods come from commentaries that are often deemed as ‘non-official’ alternative explanations. See Bowman, Robert M., Jr. "'Ye Are Gods?' Orthodox and Heretical Views on the Deification of Man." Christian Research Journal (Winter/Spring 1987) Some researchers believe Mormonism abandoned its original monotheism to become poly theistic. However I believe the situation is much more complex than this abandonment theory. I disagree because Mormonism’s weekly sacrament meeting dominate the average active Mormon’s life, which covenant remains monotheistic, to One Trinitarian-like God.

[2:5]-BoM, “Book of Mormon Promise”, Cover Page In the canonized text at Moroni 10:3. 3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts. 4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. 5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things. 6 And whatsoever thing is good is just and true; wherefore, nothing that is good denieth the Christ, but acknowledgeth that he is. [2:6]-This Book of Mormon Promise is only one page turn away from a Book of Mormon declaration of Moroni 9:
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

190

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

18 For I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity.

This Promise is all related to the Introduction Page found on the Book of Mormon which reads: We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost. (See Moroni 10: 3-5.) Those who gain this divine witness from the Holy Spirit will also come to know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, that Joseph Smith is his revelator and prophet in these last days, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s kingdom once again established on the earth, preparatory to the second coming of the Messiah. [2:7] Other Scholars agree that the Book of Mormon is a Trinitarian (a Trinitarian-like) volume of Scripture. See Dan Vogal Religious Seekers and the Advent of Mormonism Signature Books; Salt Lake City, Utah© 1988 by Signature Books, Inc What is significant in the LDS founding is that there were Restorationists and as Dan Vogal documents "Seeker" wishing to bring back primitive Christiantiy. And it was a large social Movement. In the Restoration movement of Stone-Campbell used the terms "one true church' complete apostacy terms, 'restoration of the gospel' and there was a real desire to have ancient Christianity restored. Of couse you know the LDS founder and first theologian was Sidney Rigdon the Restorationist-Campbelite. And of course Alexander Campbell also had a 'first vision' in the woods and had God appear to him oneon-one. And of course these restoration believed that all Christian denominations were wrong. The Reorganized LDS Church also agrees using the Book of Mormon teaching that God is Triune that is Trinitarian-like and monotheistic. [2:8] The Sacrament Prayer of BoM Moroni Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 [2:9] Hymns of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints( Salt Lake City Utah, LDS Church, 1985)Hymn number 68 This is the official hymn book of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Published in English in 1985, and later in many other languages, it is used throughout the LDS Church. The book contains a table of contents, followed by a preface with a message from the First Presidency of the church, encouraging church members to use the hymn book at meetings and in their homes to invite the spirit and to teach doctrine. The hymn section is divided into thematic groups: Hymns follow numbered thematic groups by a system of numbering: 1-61: Restoration, 62-96: Praise and Thanksgiving, 97-168: Prayer and Supplication, 169-196: Sacrament and soforth. From Wikipedia Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 191

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hymns_of_The_Church_of_Jesus_Christ_of_Latterday_Saints_(1985_book) [2:10] Internet citation Retrieved from http://runtu.wordpress.com/category/lds/page/19/ June 5, 2009 from the LDS related blog by a former LDS Missionary when living in Provo Utah [2:11] Retrived from World Wide Web June 5th 2009 from http://blog.mrm.org/2009/05/steve-redingers-two-gospel-paradigm-for-understandingmormonism/comment-page-2/ [2:12] BoM, 3 Nephi 11:27-40, Moroni Ch 4&5, D&C 20 [2:13]-Note: The Mormon church teaches that "God is only one of many gods", because human beings can progress to become gods and godesses in the celestial kingdom (see: Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball , pp.28, 51-53). Mormon Scripture the Book of Abraham teaches: "And they (the Gods) said, 'Let there be light'...And the Gods pronounced the dry land...And the Gods organized the earth...And the Gods planted a garden in Eden" (Pearl of Great Price, Abraham 4:3,10,25; 5:8). A reference to a plurality of 'Gods' occurs over 40 times in the book of Abraham. According to certain LDS Leaders, "The doctrine of a plurality of Gods is prominent in the Bible. The heads of the Gods appointed our God for us...you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves...the same as all Gods have done before you" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.370-372, 346). Mormon Apostle and leading apologist Bruce McConkie states: "Three separate personages---Father, Son, and Holy Ghost---comprise the Godhead...As each of these persons is a God, it is evident from this standpoint alone, that a plurality of Gods exists. To us...these three are the only Gods we worship" (Mormon Doctrine, p.576-577). Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt wrote "there are more gods than there are particles of matter" (Journal of Discourses, vol.2, p.345). Mormon Prophet Brigham Young wrote: "How many Gods there are, I do not know. But there never was a time when there were not Gods" (Journal of Discourses v.7, p.333). [2:14] Informed consent is a legal condition whereby a person can be said to have given consent based upon a clear appreciation and understanding of the facts, implications and future consequences of an action. In order to give informed consent, the individual concerned must have adequate reasoning faculties and be in possession of all relevant facts at the time consent is given. Retrived from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Informed_consent [2:15] 3 Nephi 11:27

3- The Secret Paradox of the Mormon Baptismal Covenant
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

192

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

[3:1]Note, a disclaimer: As I write this I personally do not believe that the Book of Mormon is the Word of God. I do however hold a high view of Biblical Scripture. For the sake of the discussions in this book, I am treating the Book of Mormon as if it had authority because it would seem reasonable for a Mormon person to view the Book of Mormon as Scripture. When I was a Mormon many years ago I did indeed use the Book of Mormon as having authority in my LDS religion. The reasoning in this sections discussion based on the Book of Mormon indeed facilitated my leaving the Mormon Church. Another factor to consider is that I am applying a worldview that assumed that a generally literate person can read and correctly interpret the intended meaning of the Book of Mormon and Bible. Some people hold a different view that only an LDS prophet can determine truth recorded in ‘scripture’. [3:2] In John 17:21 separate individual humans are to become one with Jesus and the Father- Mormons believe that this proves that the Father and Jesus are also separate Gods- that is God-Beings- but much different idea is revealed in full context. Actually this LDS assertion is rendered differently in context within the full body of the Gospel of John and the whole of the New Testament. This John 17:21 is Jesus’ plea to the Father for His followers to be given the Gift of the Holy Ghost. Evident in context as the story of Jesus’ Atonement unfolds is that to become one with the Father happened due to the indwelling of the Spirit of God: John 14:10-18 where Jesus likens the giving of this Spirit to his disciples saying in verse 18 “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” This is Jesus’s promise of the Gift of His Spirit, the Holy Ghost. This is very similar in meaning to the 3 Nephi 18:11 “my Spirit” promise of Jesus. This gift of God’s Spirit is asked of the Father in the John 17 intercessory Prayer, then the promised gift is given in John 20:21. The John 17 intercessory prayer of Jesus is about much more than oneness of purpose, it is about oneness of the Spirit.

[3:3] A similar less common heresy says that the three are the same person in three different modes. This is called Modalism or ‘oneness theology’. Many passages in the Book of Mormon are Trinitarian-like yet technically could be labeled as modalistic. In this book the author used the term “Trinitarian-Like” which sometimes includes Modalism, ( God is one person in three modes, Father, Son and Holy Ghost) Bitarianism (only Father and Son). These expressions of divinity differ significantly from Tri-Theism of Eternal Progression. Bitarianism, Modalism and Trinitarianism are all monotheistic, while Tri-theism is polytheistic. Mormon tri-theism is sometimes called henotheism, which are the acknowledgement of many beings as Gods but the worship of only One God. [3:4]- Mormon Doctrine p. 576 [3:5]- D&C 20: 17-28
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

193

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

[3:6] Gospel Principles (SLC Utah, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 1978 and 1997) pp 95&96 [3:7]-BoM, Alma 11:29 One God [3:8] 2 Nephi 11:7 [3:9] BoM Cover Page ‘Testimony of the Three Witnesses’ (1984), and see 2 Nephi 31:21 [3:10] Ether 3:14 [3:12] Mosiah 15:1-5; Alma 11:26-29;3 Nephi 11:27 [3:13] See this Book’s Appendix “Is This Really a Triune God? James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith, pp. 470-71.) "Divine investiture is defined as that condition in which --in all His dealings with the human family Jesus the Son has represented and yet represents Elohim His Father in power and authority. ... Thus. .. Jesus Christ spoke and ministered and through the Father's name; and so far as power, authority, and Godship are concerned His words and acts were and are those of the Father.” Bruce R. McConkie The Promised Messiah, (Deseret Book; 1978) p.64 "[Jesus] is the Father by divine investiture of authority, meaning that the FatherElohim has placed his name upon the Son, has given him his own power and authority, and has authorized him to speak in the first person as though he were the original or primal Father." "The Father and the Son': A Doctrinal Exposition of the First Presidency and the Twelve," June 30, 1916. Also note these tri-theistic renderings associated with the general notion of Divine Investiture of Authority- Joseph Smith, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith [2007], 41–42 “I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and that the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods” Gordon B. Hinckley, “In These Three I Believe,”Liahona and Ensign, July 2006, 8; “They are distinct beings, but they are one in purpose and effort. They are united as one in bringing to pass the grand, divine plan for the salvation and exaltation of the children of God” Gordon B. Hinckley, “A Season for Gratitude,” Liahona and Ensign, Dec. 1997, 4 “We carry in our hearts a firm and unshakable conviction of the divine mission of the Lord Jesus Christ. He was the great Jehovah of the Old Testament, the Creator who, under the direction of His Father, made all things”

[3:14] See this Book’s Appendix “Is This Really a Triune God?”- Divine Investiture [3:15] Harry G. Frankfurt, On Bull Shit, (UK: Princeton University Press, 2005)
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

194

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

pp.5-6 aka: balderdash, humbug, claptrap, kokum, drivel. buncombe, imposture and quackery ; a deceptive misrepresentation… [3:16] LDS Apostle Jeffery Holland , The Only True God and Jesus Christ Who He Hath Sent ( BYU Archive, LDS Conference Talk Oct, 2007) retrived from http://www.lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1-775-15,00.html [3:17] An echo of Mosiah 15 is in the D&C: "I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one—the Father because he gave me of his fulness, and the Son because I was in the world" (D&C 93:3-4). This is can interpreted in different ways including Trinitarian, if viewed from Colossians 1:19 (Col. 2:9) “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;”. The key of Trinitarian interpretation comes with the notion of transcendence and immanence of God’s nature. Mormon Tri-Theistic interpretations of Mosiah 15 and D&C 93: 3-4 all depend heavily on wildly over extended and misapplied notions of Divine Investiture. Neil H. Williams, The Theology of Sonship (Jenkintown, PA: World Harvest Mission, 2002). This book is not referring to anything Mormon, and mostly discusses human sonship adoption. Nevertheless is one place to read about various sonship ideas of Christ and saints whom He has adopted. Adoption is a topic related to oneness and the Trinity. [3:18] D&C section 20:28; BoM Cover Page ‘Testimony of the Three Witnesses’ (1984), and see 2 Nephi 31:21 [3:19] 3 Nephi 18:7, 11 [3:20] See this Book’s Appendix “Is This Really a Triune God?”, Who is this “my Spirit”? [3:21] Andrew Jukes, The Second Death and The Restitution of all Things, (London: Longmans, Green and Co, 1877 ) p 65, 126 The Author discusses the use of the word “eternal” in English Bibles [3:22] Note 4 from Section 1 The Mormon Gods of Eternal Progression are bound to time and space and are not transcendent. Oddly Sterling M. McMurrin in his The Theological Foundations of the Mormon Religion gives in his book’s glossary a technical definition for the term “Eternal” to mean ” timeless or non-temporal, not subject to the limitations of time” LDS Apostle Parley P. Pratt , The Prophet ( a magazine of the Mormon Church) May 21, 1845, reprinted by B. H. Roberts, Mormon Doctrine of Deity - The Roberts - Vander Donckt Discussion: Materiality, 1903. Horizon Publishers did an undated reprint of the 1903 version of Robert’s article. Also cited as being from directly taught by Joseph Smith, The Millennial Star, Vol. 6 by Charles McKay, Mormons or Latter-Day Saints: A Contemporary History ( London: Houlston and Wright, 1856) p. 53; Also see Mormon Doctrine. p.359 Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 195

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

“What is God? He is a material organized intelligence, possessing both body and parts. He is in the form of a man, and is, in fact, of the same species... This being cannot occupy two distinct places at once, therefore he cannot be everywhere present. “ … “The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead. He is a Personage of Spirit, a Spirit Person, a Spirit Man, a Spirit Entity. He can be in only one place at one time, and he does not and cannot transform himself into any other form or image than that of the Man whom he is.” Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, ed. Bruce R. McConkie (Bookcraft 1954) 1:38 ( here after cited as Doctrines of Salvation ) “As a Spirit personage the Holy Ghost has size and dimensions. He does not fill the immensity of space, and cannot be everywhere present in person at the same time. He is also called the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirit of Truth, and the Comforter” [3:23] The New Testament Creed of Colossians first Chapter, testifies of Christ’s divinity by looking outward exoterically to creation declaring Christ as creator: 12 Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: 13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: 17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. [3:24] The Joseph Smith Translation of the Bible (JST) is called the ‘Inspired Version’ by the copyright holders, the Community of Christ Church (formally the Reformed Latter-Day Saints). It is based on the King James Version of the Bible. This Translation is not currently viewed as ‘official’ by the SLC LDS Church. My citation was retrieved from the internet at: http://www.centerplace.org/hs/iv/ on October 1, 2009. [3:35] Retrieved from the internet 12/21/2009 http://scriptures.lds.org/en/bm/introduction

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

196

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

4.1-Secret Double Meanings in Mormonism
[4.1:1]Sterling M. McMurrin, The Theological Foundations of the Mormon Religion (Salt Lake City, Utah, Signature Books, 2000) pp 8-11. [4.1:2] ( See Justaposed Comparison in Appendix C) [4.1:3] “Only One God to Worship,” Improvement Era, Apr. 1912, 484–85 [4.1:4] Conference Report, Oct. 1984, 85; or Ensign, Nov. 1984, 69). [4.1:5] Spencer W. Kimball, “The Privilege of Holding the Priesthood,” New Era, Oct 1978, 45 [4.1:6] Extract- the King Follett Discourse April 7, 1844 from; Stan Larson, "The King Follett Discourse: A Newly .Amalgamated Text," BYU Studies 18.’2 (Winter 1978)

4.2-Gods with Secret Mixed Identities
[4.2:1] Mormon Doctrine, pp. 224 & 392

4.2-[2] Mormon Apostle James Talmage, The Articles of Faith, "The Father and the Son" pp. 465ff ; also see "The Father and the Son': A Doctrinal Exposition of the First Presidency and the Twelve," June 30, 1916. [4.2:3]Bruce R McConkie,. (March 2, 1982), Our Relationship with the Lord, (Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University), retrieved I shall express the views of the Brethren [the teaching authorities of the LDS church, the Mormon "magisterium"], of the prophets and apostles of old, and of all those who understand and are in tune with the Holy Spirit.... Everyone who is sound spiritually and who has the guidance of the Holy Spirit will believe my words and follow my counsel.... We worship the Father and him only and no one else. We do not worship the Son and we do not worship the Holy Ghost. I know perfectly well what the Scriptures say about worshipping Christ and Jehovah [Mormons use the name "Jehovah" for Jesus Christ only], but they are speaking in an entirely different sense -the sense of standing in awe and being reverentially grateful to him who has redeemed us. Worship in the true and saving sense is
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

197

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

reserved for God the first [a Mormon term for the Father], the Creator … Note: The above describes multivalent worship. [4.2:4] HC 2: 420–426, Kirtland, Ohio, March 27, 1836. According to the Prophet’s written statement, this prayer was given to him by revelation. [4.2:5] George B. Arbaugh , Evolution of Mormon Doctrine, (Cambridge University Press, 1940) pp. 157-169 [4.2:6] Andrew F. Ehat, Joseph Smith's Introduction of Temple Ordinances and the 1844 Mormon Succession Question (Master's thesis, Brigham Young University, 1982), p. 255 n. 72 This is readily accessible online from the following: Boyd Kirkland (Autumn 1984). "Jehovah as the Father: The Development of the Mormon Jehovah Doctrine". Sunstone 9 (2): 36–44.; hereafter “Jehovah as the Father” Retrieved 2009-10-16 https://www.sunstonemagazine.com/issues/044.pdf Kirkland notes: “I am assuming here, in the absence of direct documentation, that the Nauvoo temple gods mentioned in Heber C. Kimball’s journal in an entry dated 13 December 1845 (the year following Joseph Smith’s death), were the same as had been given by Joseph himself. On the accuracy of Brigham Young’s transmitting the endowment to the Church as it had been given privately by Joseph Smith, see Andrew F. Ehat...” ( My interjection) How ever the ‘gods’ were named, the point is that, the God the Father of the public message (Jehovah) and the Baptismal Covenant, was of a different identity than the many Gods of the Temple. [4.2:7] Retrived from BYU FAQ site http://ldsfaq.byu.edu/viewQuestion.aspx?view=39c7d41e-07a4-4969-b804-f12ebaba0166 After being expelled from Missouri, the Latter-day Saints went into Illinois for refuge and settled in Nauvoo, where the Saints created a thriving community that eventually numbered nearly 12,000—rivaling Chicago as the largest city in Illinois. Convinced that his time was short, Joseph Smith began in Nauvoo to unfold a set of additional teachings, ordinances, and organizational patterns—many of them temple-related. He expounded doctrines, including the nature of the Godhead and the origin and destiny of the human race… On June 27, 1844, Joseph and his brother Hyrum were murdered in Carthage Jail by a mob.

[4.2:8] Wesley P. Walters, "New Light on Mormon Origins from the Palmyra Revival," Dialogue 4 (Spring 1969), 66-67.

[4.2:9] Official declaration of Latter-day Saint belief regarding God the Father (Times and Seasons 30 [15 Nov. 1841]: 578.)
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

198

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

[4.2:10] (Jehovah as Father, p 40) [4.2:11] (Jehovah as the Father, p 40) [4.2:12] (Jehovah as the Father, p 39 which cites Sacred Hymns and Spiriural Songs for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1891), p 295, no 262) Kirkland notes that “In some 256 references to Elohim and Jehovah and the God of the Old Testament, in the Journal of Discourses (representing sermons of many of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve), the title Jehovah is only specifically applied to Jesus once. This occurred in 1885, when the new doctrine identifying Jesus as Jehovah was just beginning to be developed.” [4.2:13](Jehovah as Father p.40- Kirkland cites; St. George High Council Minutes, 11 June 1892; see also the Charles Walker Journal, 11 June 1892, Church Archives.; And James R. Clark, comp., Messages of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6 vols. (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-75), 3:243) [4.2:14]Taylor, John, The Presidency Of The Trinity, The Gospel Kingdom:

Selections for the Writings and Discourses of John Taylor, ed. G. Homer Durham. Salt Lake City, 1987, p.28-29
[4.2:15]James R. Clark, comp., Messages of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6 vols. (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1965-75), 6:236) Also printed in; President J. Reuben Clark Jr., Charge To President Howard S. McDonald At His Inauguration As President Of Brigham Young University (Provo, Utah, NOVEMBER 14, 1945) Pamphlet, Brigham Young University Archives, Provo, Utah; also in Improvement Era 49:14-15, 60-63, January, 1946. also retrived and accessible 10. 19. 2009 at http://education.byu.edu/edlf/archives/prophets/clark_mission_of_byu.html

[4.2:16]N. Eldon Tanner, “A Basis for Faith in the Living God,” Ensign, Nov 1978, 46 4.2-[17]THE EVENING AND THE MORNING STAR Vol. I, INDEPENDENCE, MO. JULY, 1832. No. 2. Retrived Oct 19, 2009 http://www.centerplace.org/history/ems/v1n02.htm [4.2:18] D&C 76:58 [4.2:19] D&C 88:107 [4.2:20] D&C 93:29 [4.2:21] History of the Church, p. 368 [ aka, History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints By Joseph Smith, Heman Conoman Smith, Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Edition: 6 Published by Board of Publication of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, 1897 Original from
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

199

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Harvard University Digitized Jan 30, 2008] Also see Andrew F. Ehat and Lyndon W. Cook, eds., The Words of Joseph Smith (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University, 1980) page 7; hereafter WJS [4.2:22] Documentary History of the Church 4:461. [4.2:23] Ibid 4:461 [4.2:24] WJS p. 60 [4.2:25] Extract- the King Follett Discourse April 7, 1844 from; Stan Larson, "The King Follett Discourse: A Newly .Amalgamated Text," BYU Studies 18.’2 (Winter 1978) [4.2:26]- Joseph Smith’s Bible and Book of Mormon theological descriptions and commentaries do not exactly fit any other existing traditional model of Triune, Trinitarain or modalistic concept. Some analysts claim there are several variations found in the Book of Mormon. This can be further reviewed by a study of : Barry R. Bickmore, "Does the Book of Mormon Teach Mainstream Trinitarianism or Modalism?," (Mesa, Arizona: FAIR, 30 November 2001) [4.2:27] Doctrine and Covenants (LDS )124:89 ; Doctrine and Covenants (RLDS) 107:28 "If he will do my will let him from henceforth hearken to the counsel of my servant Joseph, and with his interest support the cause of the poor and publish the new translation of my holy word unto the inhabitants of the earth." [4.2:28] History of the Church, “Meeting in the Grove, East of The Temple”, June 16, 1844 6:473-479; Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 369-376 [4.2:29] Richard S. Van Wagoner, Steven C. Walker, and Allen D. Roberts., "The 'Lectures on Faith': A Case Study in Decanonization." 20 Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 71-77 (Fall 1987). [4.2:30] “Jehovah as the Father” p. 42 also see Moving Gracefully Toward Godhood; Was The Book Of Mormon Buried With King Follett? By J. Frederic Voros, Jr. March 1987 Sunstone pp 17&18 and Van Hale, "The Doctrinal Impact of the King Follett Discourse, "BYU Studies 18, number 2 (Winter 1978) ]. Sterling M McMurrin, -The Theological Foundations of the Mormon Religion (1965).

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

200

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

4.3-Double Theologies in LDS Current Sunday School Materials
[4.3:1]Gospel Principles, (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1997), pp 8-10 retrived from the internet 10-21-09 http://www.lds.org/gospellibrary/materials/gospel/Start%20Here_01.pdf [4.3:2] (LDS President Joseph Smith, History of the Church, (LDS Collectors Library '97 CD-ROM) Vol.6, Ch.14, p.305-6, A good online or printed sourse is King Follett Discourse April 7, 1844 from; Stan Larson, "The King Follett Discourse: A Newly .Amalgamated Text," BYU Studies 18.’2 (Winter 1978) So simply accessed online at such cites as http://mldb.byu.edu/follett.htm [4.3:3] Ibid

4.4- Mormonism’s Progressive Disclosure of Secret Information
[4.4:1]Latayne C. Scott, Mormonism and the Question of Truth, Christian Research Journal, Summer ed Elliot Miller, Summer 1992, page 24 Retrived- 10/21/2009 http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/cri/cri-jrnl/web/crj0110a.html Scott’s article is insightful—here is its own summary: The Mormon concept of, and approach to, the subject of truth is radically different from that of the Bible in at least nine ways. A Mormon sees truth as (1) constantly changing, (2) as going, in culture and practice, far beyond written doctrine, (3) as determined by subjective feelings, and (4) as often divorced from its history. (5) The Mormon approach to truth is compromised by a heritage of deception as practiced by leaders from founder Joseph Smith to today's Elder Paul Dunn. In addition, (6) truth to a Mormon is "layered" in the way that it is presented to prospective converts. And (7) the Church itself routinely edits both its own history and doctrine to make it seem consistent and palatable. In practice, therefore, (8) truth often yields to what the Church views as expedient. In the final analysis, (9) the Mormon concept of truth depends upon the character of its god, who as defined by LDS doctrine is constantly changing and himself ultimately human in nature. [4.4:2]True To The Faith: A Gospel Reference, (Salt Lake City, Utah: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2004) p 143 [4.4:3] The GOD'S WORD Translation (GW) of the bible was produced by the God's Word to the Nations Bible Society (www.godsword.org) in Cleveland, Ohio (although since April 2005 the Society has relocated to the Jacksonville, FL metro area). Although many of its members were affiliated with the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

201

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

(LCMS), the Society, however, has no official ties to this specific Christian denomination. GW had its beginnings with a New Testament translation titled "The New Testament in the Language of Today: An American Translation", published in 1963 by LCMS pastor and seminary professor William F. Beck(1904–1966). [4.4:4] Retrived from an online commentary 10/21/2009 at http://uk.geocities.com/jonpartin/isaiah5.html [4.4:5]Journal of Discourses, 2:6; Culley K. Christensen, The Adam-God Maze (Scottsdale, Ariz.: Independent Publishers, 1981), pp. 275-76. Cited by Kirkland in Jehovah as the Father p 39 [4.4:6] Salt Lake School of the Prophets Minute Book, 9 June 1873, Church Archives. Cited by Kirkland in Jehovah as the Father Cited by Kirkland in Jehovah as the Father p 39 [4.4:7] Boyd K. Packer, The Holy Temple (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1980), p. 26 [4.4:8] HC, 2:492 Joseph Smith, History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, (Deseret News, SLC Utah, 1904) Events of 1837 Volume 2, page 492

4.5 Citations-Isolated Spheres of Truth
[4.5:1] Sterling M. McMurrin, The Theological Foundations of the Mormon Religion (Salt Lake City, Utah, Signature Books, 2000) pp 8-11. [4.5:2] Retrived 10/21/09 http://www.mormonwiki.com/mormonism/Godhead [4.5:3] Retrived 10/21/09 from http://www.mormonsite.org/parent.html This is on Allen Leigh’s Mormon Web Site [4.5:4] Daniel H. Ludlow, Encyclopedia of Mormonism (New York: Macmillan, 1992), 1340. This can be retrieved online at http://contentdm.lib.byu.edu/cgibin/showfile.exe?CISOROOT=/EoM&CISOPTR=4208&filename=4209.pdf

4.6 Citations-4.6 Were Men are Gods and Gods are Men
[4.6:1]Retrived from the internet on 10/22/2009 http://www.salamandersociety.com/foyer/prophets/brucermcconkie/ ; http://www.mrm.org/topics/documents-speeches/bruce-mcconkies-letter-rebukeSecrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

202

Make~Shift Gods : professor-eugene-england

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

[4.6:2] Journal of Discourses 11:286-287 [4.6:3] Journal of Discourses, 6: 120 (1857). [4.6:4]John A Widtsoe, Discourses of Brigham Young, ( Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1954) p.89; Journal of Discourses, 1:93 [4.6:5] Journal of Discourses of Brigham Young 10:223). [4.6:6] Parley P. Pratt, Key to the Science of Theology, (Deseret Book reprint, 1978) pp. 21, 69). [4.6:7] Apostle John A. Widtsoe,Temple Worship: a lecture under the auspices of the Genealogical Society of Utah at the Assembly Hall in Salt Lake City on October 12, 1920”. Retrived from the internet on 10/22/2009 : http://mi.byu.edu/publications/books/?bookid=21&chapid=108 [4.6:8] Journal of Discourses, 7:289 This is all about how each sphere is presided over by its own God.

4.7 Citations - 4.7 Keeping Things Secret
[4.7:1] A letter from Joseph Smith to L. Daniel Rupp in 1844 [4.7:2] Margaret and Paul Toscano, Strangers in Paradox: Explorations in Mormon Theology Reviewed by Brian M. Hauglid (Salt Lake City: Signature Books, 1990). p. 4 [4.7:3] Journal of Discourses, 13:59 [4.7:4] Sylvester Emmons, ed, The Nauvoo Expositor, (Nauvoo, Illinois June 7, 1844) Vol 1. No 1. [4.7:5] Don Lattin, ed “Sunday Interview -- Musings of the Main Mormon”, San Francisco Chronicle, April 13, 1997, p 3/Z1) Retrived from the internet 10/21/2009 http://www.sfgate.com/cgibin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/1997/04/13/SC36289.DTL&hw=Hinckley&sn=001&sc=1000 [4.7:6] David Van Biema, Kingdom Come, Time August 4, 1997, p.56. An interview of Gordon B. Hinckley.
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

203

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

[4.7:7] Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley, General Conference, October 1994 and as above (see Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 342-62); This can be retrived on the internet at: http://library.lds.org/nxt/gateway.dll/Magazines/Ensign/1994.htm/ensign%20november% 201994.htm/dont%20drop%20the%20ball.htm?fn=document-frame.htm$f=templates$3.0 or see, Gordon B. Hinckley, Don’t Drop the Ball, Ensign, Nov. 1994, 46

[4.7:8]Strengthening the Family: Created in the Image of God, Male and Female, The Ensign, Jan. 2005, pg. 48 [4.7:9] LDS Bible Dictionary, 1979, p 721 [4.7:10] D. Michael Quinn, “LDS Church Authority and New Plural Marriages, 18901904,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Vol. 18, No. 1, pg. 19 extracted from Deception: The Legacy Of The Mormon Prophets By Stephen F. Cannon The Quarterly Journal, Vol. 19 No. 4, Oct.-Dec. 1999.

5- Two Gospels: Mormonism’s Greatest Secret
[5:1] The Preparatory Gospel verses the Fulness of the Gospel as defined in D&C section 84 [5:2]Doctrine and Covenants Section 84 26 And the lesser priesthood continued, which priesthood holdeth the key of the ministering of angels and the preparatory gospel; 27 Which gospel is the gospel of repentance and of baptism, and the remission of sins, and the law of carnal commandments, … Fundamentalist (FLDS) teachings on the Preparatory Gospel Retrived from the WWW July 2009. In the spring of 1996, the Absalom Collection was one of the first Internet sites devoted to issues of Mormon Fundamentalism. Father Joseph Absalom published the collection as directed for three years, until August 1999, when the Lord released him from the responsibility of maintaining the collection. You are looking at an archived mirror of the original site. May God bless those who have preserved the collection, and May God bless the reader in your search for wholeness. http://www.absalom.com/mormon/home.html 6 Moroni 1 1. Now I, Moroni, conclude this first portion of the record of Mohonri Moriancumer. 2. And I would speak a few words to the gentiles who shall one day
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

204

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

receive this record through the mercy of God. 3. Know ye not, O ye gentiles, that the merciful Lord hath been exceedingly gracious unto thee inasmuch as he hath delivered unto thee that portion of his gospel which it did please him to bless thee with. 4. Yea, for I know that the promises of the Lord are sure and steadfast, and according to the word of the angel, I know that a Joseph will deliver unto thee a portion of the Lord's gospel, even a preparatory gospel. 5. And he shall convince many of the error of their ways, inasmuch as he will raise up this Joseph to deliver unto thee the first portion of this record, even that which concerns the gentiles. 6. And there lies a fullness of the preparatory gospel and the gospel after the manner of the gentiles. 7. And it has been made known unto me that this Joseph, according to the will of the Lord and faithfulness of his associates, shall seek to conform ye gentiles, even insomuch as ye might be adopted in unto the house of Israel. [ Bold and underline added]

[5:3] Mormon Doctrine p. 333 also notes“The fullness of the gospel cannot be preserved in the written word. The scriptures bear record of the gospel, but the gospel itself consists in the power of the priesthood and the possession of the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (President John Taylor Gospel Kingdom p. 88)” [5:4] Howard W. Hunter, This Is My Gospel’, Ensign, Jul 1973, 11 [5:5] Mormon Doctrine p. 333. This indicates that as social conditions change, and cultural attitudes are better accepting of Mormon Eternal Progression greater portions of the ‘Fulness of the Gospel’ are released to the public sphere. [5:6] For those who do not have the LDS Standard Works, D&C 84 Can be retrived online at http://scriptures.lds.org

[5:7]Galations Chapter 24 reads: Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. 25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. However, having one advanced group getting one Gospel over another, seems in consistent with the teaching of Paul even from Galatians . Galations Chapter 1: reads6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: 7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. 9 As Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 205

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.

[5:8] Mormon Doctrine p. 163”There were many meetings , conferences, councils, and schooling sessions, held among the Gods and their spirit offspring in the pre-existence. Among other things, at these various assemblages, plans were made for the creation and peopling of this earth…” This Fulness of the Gospel teaching stands in stark contrast to the ideology of the Preparatory Gospel’s monotheistic prophets. Such was Isaiah who wrote in Isaiah 44:24 “ Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;” [5:9] This section is dated in the year of 1839, yet Joseph Smith was certainly teaching of many Gods in the Kirkland Temple since 1836, and claimed in the 1844 Sermon in the Grove that he had been teaching of many Gods for at since 1830. [5:10] On an over all worldview of Mormonism I recommend reading: Matthews, Robert J. "The Fulness of Times." Ensign 19 (Dec. 1989):46-51. And Hunter, Milton R. The Gospel Through the Ages. (Salt Lake City, 1945). [5:11] In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Patriarchal priesthood (or Abrahamic priesthood) is one of three types (called "orders") of priesthood described by Joseph Smith, Jr., the first president of the restored Church of Christ. The other two orders are theAaronic priesthood and the Melchizedek priesthood. The Patriarchal priesthood is a seldom understood doctrine taught by Joseph Smith in Nauvoo, Illinois. The doctrine of the Patriarchal Priesthood is often confused with the calling of the Presiding Patriarch which is an office that has not been exercised by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 1979. The Patriarchal Priesthood is associated directly with Celestial Marriage. See Wiki http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celestial_Marriage [5:12] LDS Fireside talk “Ordinances” by LDS Apostle Boyd K. Packer speaking at Brigham Young University on 3 February 1980. [5:13] This can be seen in LDS Sunday School ManualsHumans are called ‘Gods in Embryo’ Achieving a Celestial Marriage, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day-Saints ( 1976) page 129 [5:14] Journal of Discourses, 2:345 Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt wrote "there are more gods than there are particles of matter"How many Gods there are, I do not know. But there never was a time when there were not Gods" (7:333) " Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 206

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

[5:15] Conference talks are recorded and communicated to LDS membership in the Ensign Magazine and can be also found online on the internet. The Only True God and Jesus Christ Whom He Hath Sent, Subtitled: “We declare it is self-evident from the scriptures that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are separate persons, three divine beings.” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, General Conference Talk, October 2007, Posted on the World Wide Web by LDS Church http://www.lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1-775-15,00.html [5:16] The LDS Doctrine and Covenants Section 132 “They will be gods” [5:17] Book of Abraham in the Pearl of Great Price. The Gods made heaven and Earth the Book of Abraham is a Abrahamic/Melchezedic Priesthood document. On the other hand Book of Moses is Aaronic Priesthood oriented in nature and strictly monotheistic. A reference to a plurality of 'Gods' occurs 43 times in The Book of Abraham. [5:18] Divine Investiture Exclusive worship of the Father (Elohim) instead of Jehovah Procedural Knowledge that comes by participation in Melchezedik Priesthood guided programs, experiences and rites of passage (Ordnances). And blessings of knowledge that come by Melchezedic Priesthood service in the magnification of Priesthood callings. [5:19] Alma 11:29, Moroni Chapters 4&5, and 7&8 [5:20] Mark 12:28 [5:21] Satements of the Creation account as opposed to the Book of Abraham Creation account with ‘the Gods…” statements. D&C 20:28 “Which Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are one God, infinite and eternal, without end. Amen.” [5:22] “We Worship Christ” Retrived WWW, 10_28_09 http://www.mormon.org/mormonorg/eng/basic-beliefs/jesuschrist-our-savior/baptism [5:23] Sacrament Prayer—‘O God the Eternal Father…’ along with Traditional Christian Hymns. [5:24] D&C 109 Procedural Knowledge that comes by participation in Aaronic Priesthood guided programs, experiences and rites of passage (Ordnances). And blessings of knowledge that come by Aaronic Priesthood service in the magnification of Priesthood callings. [5:25] D&C 19:
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

207

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

“21 And I command you that you preach naught but repentance, and show not these things unto the world until it is wisdom in me. 22 For they cannot bear meat now, but milk they must receive; wherefore, they must not know these things, lest they perish.” [5:26] Doctrines of Salvation, 1:160 [5:27] Teachings, p.. 309 also p. 362 [5:28] Improvement Era “Only One God to Worship,”, Apr. 1912, 484–85; And see Bruce R. McConkie, Our Relationship With the Lord, (BYU Devotional: March 02, 1982), p 5 [5:29] Priesthood: The Privilege of Holding the Priesthood, President Spencer W. Kinball, (Deseret Book Company. 1982) p.6 [5:30] B. Renato Maldonado, “Messages from the Doctrine and Covenants: The Three Degrees of Glory”, Ensign, Apr 2005, 62–65 LDS Bible Dictionary http://scriptures.lds.org/bd/d/26; also see Gospel Fundamentals,: Eternal Life,”, Chapter 36 ,p. 201 ; also see Gospel Principles: The Last Judgment, Chapter 46, 1996, 294 [5:31] Mormon Doctrine p. 322 ; Teachings p. 374 [5:32] Teaching, p. 363 [5:33] Journal of Discourses, 5: 88 [5:34] Journal of Discourses, 8: 321

[5:35] Chambers's encyclopædia “Mormons” (J.B. Lippincott & Co, 1864) p. 572; also see Retrived from internet: Ora J. Cannon, Short Sketch of the Life of Henry B. Jacobs, at http://www.wivesofjosephsmith.org/05-ZinaHuntingtonJacobs.htm Zina my mind never will change from Worlds without Ends, no never, the same affection is there and never can be moved I do not murmur nor complain of the handlings of God no verily, no but I feel alone and no one to speak to, to call my own. I feel like a lamb without a mother, I do not blame any person or persons, no--May the Lord our Father bless Brother Brigham and all purtains unto him forever. Tell him for me I have no feelings against him nor never had, all is right according to the Law of the Celestial Kingdom of our god Joseph [Smith]. [Bold and underline added] "God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man . I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute the idea. What did Jesus do? Why; I do Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 208

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

the things I saw my Father do when worlds came rolling into existence. My Father worked out his kingdom with fear and trembling, and I must do the same; and when I get my kingdom, I shall present it to my Father. He will then take a higher exaltation, and I will take his place, and thereby become exalted myself." (Joseph Smith Jr., Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 345-48) [Bold and underline added] [5:36] Dan Vogal, "Prophet Puzzle" Revisited , ‘A presentation by Mormon historian Dan Vogel at the 1996 Mormon History Association on Joseph Smith’[ Based on Bryan Waterman The Prophet Puzzle: Interpretive Essays on Joseph Smith, Signature Books (January 15, 1999)]. Accessed 11/10/09 http://www.lds-mormon.com/vogel.shtml Smith's savior-like role may have later escalated to pathological proportions. According to Heber C. Kimball, Smith "many times" said: "Would to God, brethren, I could tell you who I am! Would to God I could tell you what I know! But you would call it blasphemy, and there are men upon this stand who would want to take my life." Smith may have come close to revealing his secret identity when he declared in August 1842, according to the record of Franklin D. Richards, that "the Holy Ghost is now in a state of Probation which if he should perform in righteousness he may pass through the same or a similar course of things that the Son has." If Smith had reference to himself as some Mormons at the time believed, he may well have considered martyrdom as the best conclusion to his mission. What an extreme paradox it is to consider that in a one Mormon theology, Joseph Smith was the Holy Ghost in the flesh. Among the roles of the Holy Ghost in the ‘preparatory gospel’ is the idea that Jesus Christ was begotten by the Holy Ghost. This would make Joseph Smith the Father of Jesus Christ. But of course, many LDS do not support the doctrine of a virgin birth or the Christ being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost. This is an interesting inroad into Mormonism’s multivalent nature and its controversial doctrines, such as Heavenly Father having sex with Mary to sire Jesus Christ. Or being Married to Mary. ( Documentation to this is in section 1 of this book) In the Mormon Preparatory Gospel—Jesus was born in the miracle wrought by the Holy Ghost. Book of Mormon prophets( so called) also foresaw the virgin birth. Nephi described Mary as "a virgin, most beautiful and fair" and "mother of the son of God, after the manner of the flesh" (1 Ne. 11:15, 18). Alma declared that Christ "shall be born of Mary…a virgin…who shall…conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God" (Alma 7:10). The Paradox
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

209

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

In the LDS Fulness of the Gospel--- a separate teaching is given seeming to contradict the virgin birth. This is the Adam-God theory, and it all comes around and untangles itself if were to accept Joseph Smith as the Holy Ghost and Father of Jesus. This of course is on the wild side, but could be a conclusion if one tried to completely harmonize the ‘fulness of the gospel’ with the ‘preparatory gospel’. The Fulness of the Gospel contains many isolated seemingly contradictory (to the Bible and Book of Mormon teachings). This is because the Fulness of the Gospel is in another layer or isolated sphere of LDS teachings. These isolate spheres in Mormonism are part of Mormonism’s fundamental structure as a religious system—it is Mormonism’s pluralism or multivalence. This pluralism is one of Mormonism oddest attributes as a system of religion. When we read the JoDC and see some teaching that is consistent in the JoDC yet not taught on the Ward or Temple level, no matter---- it just means that on some higher level inside Mormonism it is still alive and taught—out of sight of the general membership.

Commentary: In the era of 1890 the Mormon Church Leadership were forced by persecutions to subjugate the Fulness of the Gospel practice of polygamy. Fundamentalist LDS claim that the keys of the Priesthood were taken from the sphere of the Church into the sphere of the “kingdom. In doing this ‘Church’ would no longer be responsible for polygamy. Yet the practice continues on today outside of the Church in the Kingdom among Fundamentalist LDS organizations. In 1916 the LDS Church further obscured its dual gospel nature by publishing the doctrine of Divine Investiture making the Preparatory Gospel appear transparent against the differing doctrines of Eternal Progression and the Fulness of the Gospel. This action serves to make any hints that Mormonism has an esoteric or secret dimension unintelligible. Nevertheless, to this day, plural marriage remains intact in LDS Scripture in the 132 section of the Doctrine and Covenants though claimed not to be a doctrine of “the Church”.

6- Make-Shift Gods: My History as a Mormon
Part Two-My First LDS Sacrament Meetings [6:1]Mormon grade is an actual primitive road in the foot hills of the Blue Mountains just east of Walla Walla Washington where Big Foot sightings have been reported. Goggle it and see. Some say that Mormonism is responsible for the Birth of the Big Foot Myth, Big Foot being the Biblical Cain [6:2]The Apostles’ Creed is a very early creed, and lies at the basis of most others. Though not, as the long-current legend of its origin affirmed, the direct work of the Apostles. It states: believe in God the Father Almighty; Maker of Heaven and Earth; and in Jesus Christ His only begotten Son our Lord… I believe in the Holy Ghost; … Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 210

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Mormon style proselytizing often uses this same kind of language and explanation for it ‘preparatory gospel’. This can be seen consistently in Official Mormon missionary pamphlets, on the official Mormon World Wide Web site that introduces Mormonism-See http://www.mormon.org “Most people believe in a Supreme Being,..” (This infers there is only one eternal God.) “We are commanded to love God (Matthew 22:36–38). Jesus Christ taught that we must know the only true God to have eternal life (John 17:3). As His children, we must know who He is and what He is like.” (My comment: What the LDS are pointing to in Matthew 22 is a parallel account to the earlier New Testament Book Mark Chapter 12 which states: 29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. We love Christ. We worship Christ. He is our example and our Savior Retrieved June 2007 http://www.mormon.org/learn/0,8672,802-1,00.html I was most impressed about the youth and young adult programs they described. Being young, I did not have a lot of theological knowledge. I was more interested in the moral and social issues that were associated with a Church organization. I was a long way from understand how a doctrinal idea could have any impact on a persons eternal destiny at this point in my life. [6:3] But for a few exceptions, LDS Hymns are identical to traditional Christian hymns. Hymns of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the official hymn book of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints(LDS Church). Published in English in 1985, and later in many other languages, it is used throughout the LDS Church. This article refers to the English version. The book was published on the 150th anniversary of the publication of the first LDS hymnbook, compiled by Emma Smith in 1835. Previous hymnbooks used by the church include The Manchester Hymnal (1840), The Psalmody (1889), Songs of Zion(1908), Hymns (1927), and Hymns (1948). From Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hymns_of_The_Church_of_Jesus_Christ_of_Latterday_Saints_(1985_book) [6:4] Though Mormons claim that they do not have Creeds nor recite Creeds, this prayer is verbatim from the Book of Mormon’s book of Moroni chapter 4, and given context as a Creed in D&C section 20. [6:5] My attendance to Sacrament Meeting impressed me that Mormons were ordinary Christians of some sort. I was under the impression that they believed in God the same way that I did as a born-again Christian. They prayed to God as Eternal God in sacred communion (sacrament) and looked to the atonement of Christ for salvation. At this time of my life I could see nothing that appeared out of Christian order in LDS Sacrament Meetings. Certainly I had no indications that Mormons believed God the Father was once a mortal man. Part 3- The LDS Pattern of Knowledge Discovery
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

211

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

[6:6] On the Introduction page of a Book of Mormon is an official Mormon Church statement that guarantees that if you read and pray about the Book, that a person will receive a divine witness showing that the Mormon Church is God’s kingdom on earth. The Statement may still exist posted on the internet at http://scriptures.lds.org/en/bm/introduction [6:7] The Mormons see a principle at work related to the Book of Mormon Promise and the keys God given ways about determining religious truth. This is why Mormons always asks those question or are critical of Mormonism it they have actually read and sincerely prayed about the Book of Mormon. In the Mormon world view a potential convert who prays about the book and gains a positive feeling about the Book has achieved a paramount spiritual developmental task toward eternal life. The person who engages in the Book of Mormon promise, and believes to have received a positive answer to the Book of Mormon Prayer, is considered an immediate candidate for church membership through baptism. Mormons directly connect belief in the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon with knowing if the Mormon Church is the One True Church. To a seasoned long-time Mormon Church member the truthfulness about the Book of Mormon does not seem to be directly connected with the rational content or subject matter of the Book. Rather, the truthfulness is related to the process a person experiences by the acting upon a Mormon promise in faith. Going engaging in this Book of Mormon Promise is somehow a kind of Mormon rite of passage, which invokes divine powers upon the person’s live. Part Four- The First Principles of the Gospel [6:8] The First Principles is a kind of Mormon pattern of how to determine if something is true by test-driving a religious belief or principle by having the religious initiate act-out the religious practice. It is only after acting-out or test-driving the Mormon commandment that the Mormon actually ‘knows’ that the religious practice is true. If the outcome of the test-drive experience is positive, it is considered to be a ‘gained testimony’ of that tested religious practice. Another way of seeing this is that if the Mormon gains a testimony of a certain religious practice it reinforces to the belief that “the Church is true.” Mormons hold monthly “testimony Meetings” was LDS Church Members could stand and publicly declare these ‘testimonies’ of his/her experiences with Gospel teachings, practices, beliefs and principles. These declarations are called “ bearing your testimony.” This process of gaining religious knowledge is applied in both the preparatory gospel and the Fullness of the Gospel. It would seem that the most important part of the preparatory gospel is to gain a firm understand of the ‘first principles’ over the actual content held within this first gospel. The idea that people find out if the Mormon religion is true by test-driving its principles is central in the religion. The Mormon “First Principles and ordinances of the Gospel, seems to be a pattern or set of steps in a methodology strongly connected to the ‘gaining of a testimony’. On the Mormon Temple is an inverted five point star, which some LDS have told me signifies the ‘First Principles’. Each of the five points on the star represents a step in of the Mormon First Principles of the Gospel. Explicitly, the point of the star pointing downward is said to represent the earned the revelation obtained by Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts 212

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

obedience to the other steps in the process. This is why the Missionaries had me practice praying in the LDS pattern, it is how Mormons believe revelation is obtained. This also explains why Mormons urged people to read the book of Mormon and pray about it. That is to obtain a revelation about the Book of Mormon. The exercising of “faith” in a determined controlled manner to achieve a specific stipulated spiritual outcome is in Mormon practice a means of obtaining the ‘truth’. This kind of learning outcome is not necessarily a rational outcome but it is rather an exercise associated with gaining an affective learning outcome about a practical life application. Affective learning outcomes are related attitudes, motivation, willingness to participate, valuing what is being learned, and ultimately incorporating the values of a discipline into a way of life. This kind of learning differs from rational learning that emphasizes the development and use of intellectual skills such as, comprehension, analysis or logical problem solving. The conditions of achieving these spiritual outcomes is prescribed in the Mormon Scripture, Doctrine and Covenants section 130 verses 20 and 21. 20 There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated— 21 And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated. It would appear that the Joseph Smith Story and First Vision account of Joseph Smith’s struggles to find the truth in his youth, is a kind of mythological representation of finding truth using ‘The First Principles of the Gospel…” Part Five- My Anti-Mormon Neighbor [6:9]Mr. Franklin was attempting to appeal to me in terms of the Mormon ‘Fulness of the Gospel’ a but I was still being taught the “Preparatory Gospel.” The Subject-Matter Content of the Preparatory Gospel is parallel to or an analog of what the New Testament explicitly says about God, Jesus and Human Salvation. The Fullness Gospel comes only after joining the Mormons and can be more easily contrasted with Biblical teachings. It is also true that the LDS Sacrament Meetings are patterned after the “Preparatory Gospel, with the Fullness Gospel being more consistent with LDS Temple worship, not with what happens in Mormon Ward meetings. Aside from the rational and analytical differences between the “Preparatory Gospel” and “the Fullness of the Gospel,” rational analysis of scriptural text is not the primary means of discovering ‘truth’ in Mormonism. This Mormon pattern of finding the truth is closely related to the methodology applied with the Book of Mormon Promise. Likewise this pattern is seen in the five steps found in the Mormon ‘First Principles and Ordinances of the Gospel. The big idea is that if you follow the protocols of the “First Principles” steps you have the right to receive knowledge direct form God through revelations. The Mormon Missionary discussions do not have much to say about doctrines of God and Jesus Christ. Instead the discussions declare that God and Jesus exist and propose formulas and patterns of obedience which are thought in Mormonism to bring the truth to the person practicing the formulas.
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

213

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

“The first principles and ordinances of the gospel... form a pattern for all priesthood ordinance work. We must first prepare ourselves (by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and by repentance from sin): we then participate in the ordinance: and as a result, we receive blessings of the Holy Spirit. This basic priesthood ordinance pattern is one of the ways that our Father has given us to help us acquire the "knowledge of God" and the "power of godliness" so that we will be able to return to His presence. "Principles of the Gospel,” LDS Servicemen's set 1976, page 228

The process in the ‘First Principles” for finding religious truth is the means of priority in Mormonism. It is not true to say that Mormons do no reasoning at all when it comes to religious teaching. It needs to be pointed out however that Mormonism has this unusual attribute to initially use these ‘First Principles” patterns is as the primary rite of passage by which religious truth is thought to be acquired. The First Vision experience of Joseph Smith is a prototype for the discovery of truth using this methodology. In the story when Joseph asks God on which Church is correct, God is portrayed as noting that the rational written or verbal explanations of truths called “creeds” are an abomination… ..and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: “they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, (Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith 2:16-19, 1977) This is interesting because the theme is carried out in the “First Principles” of Mormonism where rational analysis of verbal, written or creedal information is given less weight, while feeling gained by guided affective experiences and prayers are given the higher credit for means of gaining truth. The mention of ‘creeds’ and ‘drawing near with lips’ seems to represent written and verbal forms o rational and logical communication of religious information, like preachers do and how congregations do in reciting confessions of faith in religious worship.

Part Six- I Joined the Mormon Church [6:10] At this point I began my integration into of this local LDS ward, took a liking to me, the male leadership extended to me the caring and fellowship of the Ward Priesthood quorums. These men watched over and nurtured me as a young man. By their fellowship I was baptized, and under their hands I was confirmed, blessed and ordained. They encouraged me and guided me to secular education, and they equipped to seek out, find and share with other people religious knowledge. Over the period of roughly one year, I was fully active as an Elder in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Part Seven- My Formative Years as a Mormon
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

214

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

[6:11] I elaborate on this process of social learning in this book’s exposition section ‘One the Priesthood(s) of Mormonism’. [6:12]This Patriarchal Blessing is given to an LDS member by an authorized patriarch (a man ordained to the priesthood office of patriarch) whom places his hands on the head of the recipient and pronounces the blessing. The recipient must have previously received a recommend for the blessing from his/her bishop, which is only given after an interview to determine the recipient's preparation and worthiness. The purpose of a patriarchal blessing is (1) to identify the tribe of Israel to which a Latter-day Saint belongs; (2) to bless the member with knowledge and spiritual gifts; (3) to give advice or help to the individual (often this includes foretelling of possible future events, opportunities, and temptations). Within the Church, a patriarchal blessing is considered to be a revelation for the recipient, with the promises made in the blessing considered conditional upon the recipient's obedience to gospel principles. With this Patriarchal Blessing a person is informed of the tribe of Israel to which they belong. This is done to acknowledge the fulfillment of the Church doctrine that through baptism members become part of the house of Israel. Additionally, it is believed that each tribe differs slightly and a person may come to understand the unique circumstances of his or her life better by knowing to which tribe they belong. The differences between the tribes are generally acknowledged to arise from the differences in the blessings Jacob pronounced upon his sons and Joseph's sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. A patriarchal blessing is usually pronounced upon a member only once. In certain rare circumstances, a person may receive permission to receive an additional Patriarchal blessing. The Patriarchal Blessing is usually performed in the home of the Patriarch or of the person seeking the blessing. In general the only other people present are very close family members such as parents or the person's spouse. The Patriarch places his hands on the seated person's head and speaks the blessing aloud. A recording of the blessing is made at the same time. Transcribed copies of all blessings are stored in Church records and are considered by the church to be revelation. Members receive a copy of their blessing, and are advised to consult it throughout their life. Since members of the Church consider the blessings to be direct revelation from God, they are advised to treat their blessing as sacred and not share them casually with others. Any member found worthy and spiritually mature by their priesthood leader may receive a patriarchal blessing. Individuals who have been members from childhood generally ask to receive their Patriarchal blessing as adolescents. [6:13] Mormon Doctrine p.89 [6:14] Mormonism teaches that what is in this life is a direct reflection of the existence of the afterlife in the heavens. [6:15] Divine Investiture of Authority is discussed in this book in the Appendices titled, “Is This Really a Triune God in Mormon Scriptures?”
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

215

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

Part Eight- My Awakening : Two Gospels of Mormonism [6:16] King Follett who died in 1844 at Nauvoo Ill.. Joseph Smith preached at his funeral saying that God the Father was once a mortal man. King’s Son was William Alexander Follett born in Nauvoo Died in Arizona 1885 Whose Son was: Warren King Follet Jr. who was born in Elko NV and Died in Elgin Oregon in 1923 Whose Son was: Jessie King Follett;Whose Son was Claude Stuart Follett—died 1984; Whose Son was: Mark Wade Follett—an Elder’s Quorum Brother of mine. Died January 28, 1985 ( Time context: one year to the day before NASA’s Space Shuttle Challenger exploded). Info: Annie Lois Follett POB 417 Elgin, OR 97827 [6:17]Joseph Smith, The King Follett Discourse, History of the Church, 6:14, p. 3056;(hereafter The King Follett Discourse) [6:18] Moroni 4: 3

[6:19] The King Follett Discourse [6:20] Elder Milton R. Hunter, The Gospel Through the Ages, (SLC, UT, Stevens and Wallis, 1953) p. 104

[6:21] Jehovah consumed the prophets of Baal, for professing false gods. This event is recorded in 1 Kings Chapter 18 where Elijah confronts prophets of false gods. This event is revisited in Deuteronomy 4:24 For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.; also see Deuteronomy 9:3 and Hebrews 12:29 For our God is a consuming fire.

7- Mormon Creedlessness
[7:1]Tertullian, "Against Praxeas" The Ante-Nicene Fathers: Translations of the Fathers down to A.D. 325, (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1989), 598. Tertullian ca. 160 – ca. 220 A.D was the first Christian to write expositions on God in terms of the Trinity in a technical way. He coined the term trinitas describe the relation of God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. This if found in the second century work Adv. Praxean, but Tertullian also uses the term trinitas in De Pudicitia 2, and 21, and 25. Tertullian the first to use the word persona for the persons of the Trinity. [7:2]The Creeds of Christendom accessed 11/4/09 at http://64.33.81.65/index.htm [7:3]Peter Crawley. "Parley P. Pratt: Father of Mormon Pamphleteering", Dialogue, Autumn 1982, pp. 20-21. Quoted in "Speaking with Authority," Sunstone 10:3/13
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

216

Make~Shift Gods : (Mar 85)

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

[7:4] Daniel C Peterson and Stephen D. Ricks, Offenders for a Word, (Aspen Books, 1992) pp 42-48 [7:5] History Of The Church, (The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints) 4: 535—541 [7:6] Retrived from the internet 11/01/09 at http://ldsfaq.byu.edu/viewQuestion.aspx?view=808fe624-04bd-49c4-bdcb-4a0f4f177ddc (Brigham Young University FAQ Site) [7:7] Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, The Only True God and Jesus Christ Whom He Hath Sent, Subtitled: “We declare it is self-evident from the scriptures that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are separate persons, three divine beings.”, (LDS General Conference Talk, October 2007) Posted on the World Wide Web by LDS Church at http://www.lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1-775-15,00.html [7:8] Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols., (Salt
Lake City: Bookcraft, 1954–56), 3:203–204

[7:9] Retrived from the internet 11/4/09 http://www.iclnet.org/pub/resources/text/history/creed.nicene.txt; and see http://64.33.81.65/index.htm [7:10] The Articles Of Faith, Article 1, History Of The Church, (The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints) 4: 535—541 [7:11] Deut 6:4; The New Testament version is repeated by Jesus Christ in Mark 12:28 [7:12] The Articles Of Faith, Article 4, History Of The Church, (The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-Day Saints) 4: 535—541 [7:13] Online the LDS Church publishes a Mormon Online Bible Dictionary http://scriptures.lds.org/en/bd/contents This dictionary also comes with disclaimers of being non-official:

8- On The Priesthood(s) of Mormonism
[8:1] Del Birkey, “Authority and Complementarians' Role Theology, Priscilla Papers, Winter issue, 2000. Examines biblical authority and men and women’s roles. Retrived 12/19/2009 http://www.godswordtowomen.org/birkey.htm In the early biblical narrative, patriarchy (patriarches) refers specifically to the forefathers of Israel-Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and his brothers (Acts 7:8-9; Heb. 7:4), and to the
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

217

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

direct descendants of David (Acts 2:29-30). These Old Testament patriarchs were sovereign chiefs of pastoral-nomadic clans wherein they wielded great power. They were very wealthy, they owned slaves, and they were usually polygamous.

[8:2] Chapter 22: Gaining Knowledge of Eternal Truths,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, (2007),261–270 from Martha Jane Knowlton Coray, reporting a discourse given by Joseph Smith on May 21, 1843, in Nauvoo, Illinois; Martha Jane Knowlton Coray, Notebook, Church Archives. [8:3] Chapter 22: Gaining Knowledge of Eternal Truths,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, (2007),261–270 in History of the Church, 5:340 from a discourse given by Joseph Smith on Apr. 8, 1843, in Nauvoo, Illinois; reported by Willard Richards and William Clayton. [8:4] Chapter 22: Gaining Knowledge of Eternal Truths,” Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith, (2007),261–270 in History of the Church, 4:588; from a discourse given by Joseph Smith on Apr. 10, 1842, in Nauvoo, Illinois; reported by Wilford Woodruff. [8.5] Late Mormon “apostle,” Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p.239

[8:6] Joseph Smith, The King Follet Discourse [8:7] Mormon Doctrine page 479 [8:7] Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Volume 4 p.42). [8:8] Mormon Doctrine pp. 426 & 427 [8:9] George Albert Smith, Conference Report, October 1941, p.100 [8:10] Mormon Doctrine, p. 477 [8:11] Discourse by LDS Apostle Orson Pratt, The Divine Authority of the Holy Priesthood (October 10, 1880, LDS General Conference), Journal of Discourses,Volume 22, http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Journal_of_Discourses/Volume_22/The_Divine_Authority_ of_the_Holy_Priesthood,_etc. [8:12] Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1938, p. 157. cited by Boyd K. Packer, “A Tribute to Women,” Ensign, Jul 1989, 72 [8.13]Mormon Doctrine p. 594
Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

218

Make~Shift Gods :

(To Editors and Reviewers)

Steve Redinger 2009

[8.14]Mormon Doctrine p. 476 [8.15] Merrill J. Bateman, “Priesthood, Keys, and the Power to Bless,” Ensign, Nov 2003, 50 Retrived on the internet 11/5/09 http://www.lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1-401-16,00.html [8:16]Mormon Doctrine p. 411 [8:17] Mormon Doctrine p.333-334; from President John Taylor, Gospel Kingdom p. 88) [8:18] Mormon Doctrine p. 594 [8:19]Joseph Musser (1872-1954) was the first individual to publish information which described the PRIESTHOOD. In his pamphlets, Priesthood Items (1934) and A Priesthood Issue (1948), he defined in print its organization and role. Retrived from the internet 11/7/09 http://www.mormonfundamentalism.com ---------------------------------------------------------------

Secrets of Mormonism- Creating an Issue of Informed Consent for Church Converts

219

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful