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Joseph Smith beheld the Father and the Son

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  • Joseph Smith beheld the Father and the Son

    During 2014, LDS members will be studying the latest manual published by their church, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Fielding Smith. In the very first chapter, it declares "Joseph Smith beheld the Father and the Son..."

    But scripture plainly says
    John 1:18

    New American Standard Bible (NASB)

    18 No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.
    That's what
    - She

    Without a clear-cut definition of sin, morality becomes a mere argument over the best way to train animals
    - Manya the Holy Szin (The Quintara Marathon)

    I may not be as old as dirt, but me and dirt are starting to have an awful lot in common
    Stephen R. Donaldson

  • #2
    This reminds me of a post I put up at my blog three years ago. Never did get an answer, so I'll replicate most of it here:



    In a passage presumably well-known to both Latter-day Saints and Evangelicals, God tells Moses, "Thou canst not see my face; for there shall no man see me, and live" (Exodus 33:20). Less-known by Evangelicals is a prominent LDS expansion on this story in Doctrine and Covenants 84, the revelation 'On Priesthood', which reads in part as follows:
    And this greater priesthood [i.e., the Melchizedek Priesthood] administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God. Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest. And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh; for without this [i.e., the Melchizedek Priesthood] no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live. 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 [i.e., by obtaining the required Melchizedek Priesthood]; 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. Therefore, he took Moses out of their midst, and the Holy Priesthood [i.e., the Melchizedek Priesthood] also; and the lesser priesthood continued, which priesthood holdeth the key of the ministering of angels and the preparatory gospel (D&C 84:19-26; bold is my emphasis, bracketed italics are my glosses)

    As this expansion on the account in Exodus runs, of the Israelites at that time only Moses had the Melchizedek Priesthood, which he had received from his father-in-law Jethro prior to the Exodus (D&C 84:6). This makes it odd that in Exodus 33:20, God explicitly tells Moses that Moses could not survive seeing his face, when Moses had the only thing required to see God's face. Now that I think about it, I'm curious: what then is the explanation for Exodus 33:20 in light of this priesthood revelation?

    [...]

    According to this revelation, no man can, while living in mortality, behold God the Father and live - unless that man has the Melchizedek Priesthood, which carries with it the power to directly behold the Father. An alternative reading might indicate that certain priesthood ordinances enable a person, whether or not they themselves hold the priesthood, to behold God the Father and live. As will become apparent, the same difficulty I'll be asking about would have a close analogy under that reading as well, so it makes no difference. A second alternative reading is more popular (it is espoused, for instance, by the LDS apologetics organization FAIR) and needs consideration. In this alternative, the antecedent of "this" is not the priesthood but the 'power of godliness'. There are two reasons, I think, why this won't work. First, the text clearly indicates that the 'power of godliness' cannot be manifested unto men in the flesh except through the priesthood and its ordinances. Nothing in the text allows for the claim that the power of godliness can be temporarily manifested without the priesthood but can only be permanently manifested through the priesthood. First, this seems to ascribe a very limited power to God, as though he could only protect a person with his Spirit for a brief time before tiring. And furthermore, it makes nonsense out of the remainder of the narrative, since then God could easily have given the Israelites a brief glimpse of himself by bolstering them temporarily with his Spirit. But in the narrative, the lack of the Melchizedek Priesthood is given as an explanation why the Israelites could not glimpse God's face at all. A second reason why this alternative reading is inferior is that it does not match the structure of the verse in question at all. The first portion of the verse is a statement that without A (the Melchizedek Priesthood), one cannot have B (manifestation of the power of godliness). The second half of the verse is an explanation of why that is so: "for without this [A'], no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live [B']". The structure here indicates that the manifestation of the power of godliness must be taken as inclusive of the possibility of a vision of the Father's face. And it is for that reason that the antecedent of "this" in A' must be A - the Melchizedek Priesthood. The alternative reading would work well if the "for" were an "and", since then the second half of the verse would be new additional information rather than explanation. But as an explanation of the first half (and, it seems, a constitutive explanation), the verse only seems to make sense if "this" has the Melchizedek Priesthood as its antecedent. The same sentiment also seems to be upheld in a later revelation indicating that only with the Melchizedek Priesthood can one "enjoy the communion and presence of God the Father" (D&C 107:19).

    After the apostasy which Latter-day Saints believe to have happened sometime between the apostolic period and the Constantinian Revolution, the Melchizedek Priesthood was removed entirely from the earth, as was the Aaronic Priesthood. Neither of those priesthoods was available until much later. [...] The Melchizedek Priesthood was definitely, according to the LDS understanding, completely absent from the earth from the time of the apostasy until no earlier than June 1829. And without the Melchizedek Priesthood in particular (and/or its ordinances), no one can behold God the Father face-to-face and live, according to the revelation given in D&C 84. Therefore, between the fourth century and June 1829, no mortal man could possibly have seen God the Father and survived the encounter, because the Melchizedek Priesthood - which was entirely absent during that period of time - is a necessary condition for survival under those circumstances.

    However, according to the canonical account of the First Vision, which that account places in 1820 - which falls into that span of time - Joseph Smith was confronted by not only Jesus Christ, but also by God the Father (Joseph Smith--History 1:17). Crucial to the standard LDS understanding of the First Vision is the view that Joseph Smith, at that point in history, saw God the Father with his own two eyes and lived to tell the tale. If he did not, then either the account never transpired at all - which would require either shuttling it off into the realm of myth or denouncing it as a falsehood - or else the account was a vision in which he dreamt that he saw the Father and the Son, but neither actually appeared to him bodily. What this would mean is that the First Vision itself would be relatively uncontroversial - non-LDS Christians could easily grant that Joseph Smith fell asleep and had a dream while denying that it was an inspired message of any sort - but also that the First Vision was misrepresented by Joseph (at least, it seems unlikely that he would have gotten the same sort of reaction had he claimed to have dreamt about God) and that the First Vision would have little value in supporting LDS views of divine embodiment and the lack of common essence between the Father and the Son. (Actually, even if historically true in the waking world, it would do neither, since an incorporeal God could easily manifest himself in human form for the sake of a comprehensible theophany; and nothing about distinctness of persons or even distinct physical incarnations would be contrary to the Nicene assertion that the Father and the Son are of the same essence [ousia]. But that isn't the point here.)

    So here's what's puzzling me. If we suppose that the Melchizedek Priesthood is necessary to behold God the Father while in the flesh and live; and we suppose that Joseph Smith could not have held the Melchizedek Priesthood in 1820; and we also suppose that Joseph Smith beheld God the Father while in the flesh in 1820 and lived - then it seems that we encounter a fundamental contradiction. (Note also that up to that time and afterwards, Joseph frequently lamented his sins, which may introduce an additional tension with Exodus 33:20 JST.) We could reduce it through some substitution:
    1. If x lacks A, then x cannot do B.
    2. x lacked A.
    3. x did B.

    (Obviously, x here is Joseph Smith, A is 'holds the Melchizedek Priesthood', and B is 'see God the Father while in the flesh and live'. If you're troubled by the fact that x eventually did obtain A, then feel free to mentally preface each statement with 'at t', where t is the spring of 1820, or whenever it was that Joseph Smith purportedly had his First Vision.) The contradiction seems clear, since (1) and (2) together entail ~(3): 'x did not do B'. But the problem is that it seems that faithful Latter-day Saints must be committed to all three propositions. One cannot reject (3), it seems, without rejecting LDS scripture, since (3) is contained in the Pearl of Great Price and is also part of the foundational LDS narrative. One cannot reject (2), it seems, because (2) is a part of the Church's narrative and is also bolstered by Doctrine and Covenants 27. And one cannot reject (1), it seems, because (1) is likewise contained in Doctrine and Covenants 84. So the three propositions contain an explicit contradiction; but it certainly seems that none of the three propositions can be denied without rejecting a significant portion of what Latter-day Saints regard as inspired scripture. [...] Can you see a way to resolve this issue?
    "The Jesus Christ who saves sinners is the same Christ who beckons his followers to serious use of their minds for serious explorations of the world." - Mark Noll

    "It cannot be that the people should grow in grace unless they give themselves to reading." - John Wesley

    "Wherever men are still theological, there is still some chance of their being logical." - G. K. Chesterton

    Comment


    • #3
      There are several verses that show that a man has seen God face to face:

      Gen. 32:30
      I have seen God face to face.

      Ex. 3:6
      Moses … was afraid to look upon God.

      Ex. 19:11
      Lord will come down in the sight of all the people.

      Ex. 19:21
      charge the people, lest they break through unto the Lord to gaze.

      Ex. 24:11
      nobles of the children of Israel … saw God.

      Ex. 33:11
      Lord spake unto Moses face to face.

      Ex. 33:20
      there shall no man see me, and live.

      Num. 12:8
      With him will I speak mouth to mouth.

      Deut. 34:10
      Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face.

      Judg. 13:22
      We shall surely die, because we have seen God.

      1 Kgs. 11:9
      Lord … had appeared unto him twice.

      Job 19:26; Moses 5:10
      in my flesh shall I see God.


      Isa. 6:5
      mine eyes have seen … the Lord.

      Matt. 5:8; 3 Ne. 12:8
      Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.

      Matt. 11:27
      Father … to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.

      John 1:18; John 6:46; D&C 67:11
      No man hath seen God at any time.

      John 5:37
      Ye have neither heard his voice … nor seen his shape.

      John 14:18
      not leave you comfortless I will come to you.

      John 14:21
      I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

      Acts 7:56
      I see … the Son of man standing on the right hand.

      Heb. 12:14
      holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.

      1 Jn. 3:2
      we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is.

      Rev. 1:17
      when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead.

      Rev. 22:4
      they shall see his face.

      2 Ne. 11:3
      Jacob, also has seen him as I have seen.

      Alma 19:13
      I have seen my Redeemer.

      Ether 3:13
      redeemed … therefore ye are brought back into my presence.

      Ether 3:15
      never have I showed myself unto man whom I have created.

      D&C 35:21; D&C 50:45
      hear my voice, and shall see me.

      D&C 58:3
      Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes.

      D&C 76:23
      we saw him, even on the right hand of God.

      D&C 76:117
      he grants this privilege of seeing.

      D&C 84:22
      without this no man can see the face of God … and live.

      D&C 84:23
      sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God.

      D&C 88:68
      sanctify yourselves … that you shall see him.

      D&C 93:1
      shall see my face and know that I am.

      D&C 97:16
      pure in heart … shall see God.

      D&C 110:2
      We saw the Lord standing upon the … pulpit.

      D&C 130:3
      appearing of the Father and the Son … is a personal appearance.

      Moses 1:2
      he saw God face to face, and he talked with him.

      Moses 1:5
      no man can behold all my glory, and afterwards remain in the flesh.

      Moses 1:11
      eyes have beheld God … my spiritual eyes.

      Moses 6:39
      fear came on all them … for he walked with God.

      Moses 7:4
      I saw the Lord and he stood before my face.

      Moses 7:59
      Enoch beheld the Son of Man ascend.

      Abr. 3:11
      Abraham, talked with the Lord, face to face.

      JS—H 1:17
      I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description.


      The following is from http://www.mormonhaven.com/priest.htm:

      1. Joseph Smith stated that without the ordinances and authority of the priesthood no man can see the face of God and live (D & C 84:21, 22). He also said that he saw God in 1820 (Joseph Smith 2:17). Joseph Smith, however, never received any priesthood until 1829 (D & C 13:). How did he see God and survive? In which was he in error: his revelation in D & C 84:21, 22 or his experience in the grove?

      A: Neither was in error. In this scripture (D & C 84:21, 22), Joseph Smith is actually repeating something that Moses said while trying to get his people, who did have access to the priesthood and ordinances, to become sanctified so they could 'behold the face of God" (See verse 23).

      Also, the Lord made it a requirement, at the time he gave this revelation, that a man must hold the priesthood and have received its ordinances in order to see God. The Lord said: "this revelation...is in force from this very hour upon all the world..."(D&C 84:75). This would mean that prior to this revelation, neither the priesthood nor its ordinances were necessary for a man to see the face of God and live. When Joseph Smith went into the grove to pray, he had not been ordained to the priesthood by someone on the earth, neither had he received any of the ordinances. When the two personages appeared they forgave him of his sins, making it possible for Joseph to see the face of God and live.

      In 1966 Joseph Fielding Smith had this to say:

      If you will look at the date of this revelation, you will discover that it was given in September 1832, which was two years after the organization of the Church and several years after the appearance of the Father and the Son to the Prophet Joseph Smith. Therefore, permit me to emphasize this fact: There is no law or commandment which declares that the Father could not appear to a man in person when the Holy Priesthood was not among men on the earth. In this day when the divine authority is here and men are appointed to officiate in its ordinances, there is no occasion for the Father to come to any man who has no divine authority. At a time when the priesthood is conferred, and there are authorized servants who bear divine authority, there could hardly arise a time when the Father and the Son should have occasion to appear to any man who was without that authority.

      There are also other scriptural passages which indicate a person must have qualities other than the priesthood to see God. The Doctrine & Covenants states: "No man hath seen God at any time in the flesh, except quickened by the Spirit of God" After all is said and done, we find several aspects to the subject of seeing God. No doubt today men must hold the priesthood to see God, but prior to the restoration of the Priesthood, this was not necessarily so. At the time of the First Vision, what was required to see God was humility, faith, and the spirit of God.


      The above shows that during the time Moses took the children of Israel into the wilderness he sought to prepare them to see the face of God. At this time Moses held the Melchizedek priesthood and it was at that time upon the face of the earth and the ordinances of the priesthood also. During times when it has been instituted on the earth, it becomes law that a man must have this priesthood before he can behold the face of God. But when Joseph Smith went to the sacred grove to pray, no priesthood existed on the earth at that time. During such a time, God, if it be his will, will manifest himself unto such as he pleases. Evidently, in D&C 84, the law was set as it was in the days of Moses and was then put into force according to verse 75.
      Last edited by onefour1; 01-18-2014, 01:07 PM.

      Comment


      • #4
        "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

        Comment


        • #5
          The initial set of miscellaneous half-quoted prooftexts is inconsequential until much more carefully explicated, so I'll turn my attention instead to the selection introduced from the anonymous Mormon apologist.

          First, mere supposition will hardly do here. As the anonymous Mormon apologist concedes, there was a law in effect during the time of Moses (as per D&C 84:21-22) that the Melchizedek Priesthood was a necessity to behold God in the flesh. As the anonymous Mormon apologist concedes, such a law is currently in effect (also as per D&C 84:21-22). But where, precisely, is the passage from the LDS canon that expressly teaches that this law ceased to be in effect during the alleged universal Great Apostasy? Certainly, one can speculate such a gulf in order to smooth over the difficulty - but where is it stated? Further argument must be made to show that D&C 84:21-22 intends to allow for such a gap. Moreover, this on-again, off-again approach to divine mandates is quite troubling, though admittedly this is not the only case of this problem cropping up in LDS teaching. Unless a much more careful treatment is given to the rationale behind such whimsical switches, this seems to portray an eminently changeable God in precisely the way that Moroni 8:18 undeniably disclaims.

          What we have in the relevant portion of D&C 84 appears to be this point: In the divine plan, possession of the Melchizedek Priesthood is an essential prerequisite for receiving some of the loftiest blessings, including viewing God's face while yet in mortality (hereinafter 'the mortal-view blessing', for the sake of convenience of reference). During the time of Moses, the Melchizedek Priesthood was on the earth (D&C 84:6), and hence Moses was able to experience the mortal-view blessing (cf. Exodus 33:20). The intent was that all Israelite men would receive the Melchizedek Priesthood and thus be able to experience the mortal-view blessing (D&C 84:23). However, because the same people were intractable, they were prevented from receiving the Melchizedek Priesthood in their day (D&C 84:25) and had to be content merely with the Aaronic Priesthood (D&C 84:26), which was more limited (D&C 84:28) and did not permit the manifestation of the "power of godliness" that would enable the mortal-view blessing.

          Note that there is no textual basis for taking the present-tense language of D&C 84:19-22 and its link to a specific historical circumstance in D&C 84:23-25 as anything other than continuous: the former clearly carries a connotation of a perpetual fact. D&C 84:75 does not contravene this, because it is not specifically referring to a reinstitution of the law of D&C 84:19-22. There is too much textual distance there, and more to the point, D&C 84:19-22 does not institute a law but simply describes, in rather matter-of-fact terms, the way the world works; and it does so to provide needed background for understanding the chronology being sketched in the first portion of the section. There are, as I count them, three more plausible referents of "revelation" in D&C 84:75. First, it could plausibly refer to the eschatological projection of a united work of the Melchizedek and Aaronic Priesthoods. Second, it could plausibly refer to the immediately preceding oracular section reiterating the promises to the ancient apostles. Third, it could refer to the entirety of D&C 84, but - as D&C 84:75 itself indicates - with the specific emphasis on the commandments. (Is it only now "in force" that Jethro received the Melchizedek Priesthood from Caleb [D&C 84:6]?) The best reading of D&C 84, in terms of its logical flow, seems to me to favor the second of these three.

          Of course, yes, one could always perhaps plead that God's sovereignty allows implicit exceptions to the law of D&C 84:22 in case of situations where it would obviously be difficult, as during an apostasy where the condition is nowhere met. But similarly, God's sovereignty allows implicit exceptions to the obligation of baptism in case of situations where it would obviously be difficult (to say the least), as for those who by their death have already experienced that which baptism symbolizes. But the LDS religion has built a massive theological superstructure out of fastidiously denying the permissibility of any appeal to God's sovereignty in the latter case, insisting instead on the inviolability of the commandment. Hence, I would point out that this piece of LDS apologetics, while clever, provides ample LDS resource to circumvent one of the most crucial arguments underpinning the LDS faith as a logical outworking of the primitive Christian tradition.
          "The Jesus Christ who saves sinners is the same Christ who beckons his followers to serious use of their minds for serious explorations of the world." - Mark Noll

          "It cannot be that the people should grow in grace unless they give themselves to reading." - John Wesley

          "Wherever men are still theological, there is still some chance of their being logical." - G. K. Chesterton

          Comment


          • #6
            Cow Poke, I hope that popcorn is not the same popcorn you were eating over 6 months ago! Any way it is good to see you again. JB, it is a pleasure to have conversation with you again as well. It's good to have tweb again!

            Comment


            • #7
              Fresh popcorn nightly, 141. Good to see you, as well.
              "Neighbor, how long has it been since you’ve had a big, thick, steaming bowl of Wolf Brand Chili?”

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by onefour1 View Post
                Cow Poke, I hope that popcorn is not the same popcorn you were eating over 6 months ago! Any way it is good to see you again. JB, it is a pleasure to have conversation with you again as well. It's good to have tweb again!
                Wonderful to have TWeb back, to be back, and to talk to you again also! I've missed ya.
                "The Jesus Christ who saves sinners is the same Christ who beckons his followers to serious use of their minds for serious explorations of the world." - Mark Noll

                "It cannot be that the people should grow in grace unless they give themselves to reading." - John Wesley

                "Wherever men are still theological, there is still some chance of their being logical." - G. K. Chesterton

                Comment


                • #9
                  OneFour pretty much covered it, but I will give a much, much simpler post with just a couple thoughts:

                  First, we can consider that Joseph had a "vision", which may not be the same thing as beholding the "fulness" of God face or glory.


                  "Wherefore, no man can behold all my works, except he behold all my glory; and no man can behold all my dglory, and afterwards remain in the flesh on the earth." (Moses 1:5)


                  Was Joseph Smith's "vision" at the same level as the experience that Moses had where he was actually in the presence of Christ pre-incarnate? Or was it just a vision?

                  That being said, we also know that, speaking of children, "of such is the kingdom of heaven". Joseph Smith was essentially a child. Have children, or in this case the young Joseph, made the kinds of decisions in life that would exclude them from God's presence?

                  In general, the LDS teaching is clear that man kind CAN see God and endure the presence of God and see his face, because God has the power to allow it. However, in the words of Paul, it is not the "natural man" who can see God. Only the "spiritual man" can see God. This resolves the apparent Biblical contradictions and is further explained in Moses 1:

                  The words of God, which he spake unto Moses at a time when Moses was caught up into an exceedingly high mountain,

                  And he saw God face to face, and he talked with him, and the glory of God was upon Moses; therefore Moses could endure his presence. ...

                  And the presence of God withdrew from Moses, that his glory was not upon Moses; and Moses was left unto himself. And as he was left unto himself, he fell unto the earth.

                  it was for the space of many hours before Moses did again receive his natural strength like unto man; and he said unto himself: Now, for this cause I know that man is nothing, which thing I never had supposed.

                  ... for I should have withered and died in his presence; but his glory was upon me; and I beheld his face, for I was transfigured before him.


                  -7up

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    It is not that the priesthood itself is required to see God. The priesthood is the authority to act in God name. To perform the ordinances like baptism, confirmation, ect. A man can have the priesthood but be unworthy to use it. Can that man still see God simply because he has the priesthood? Of course not. When I read D&C 84 I put more of the emphasis on the "power of godliness"

                    D&C 84:19-22: "And this greater priesthood [Melchizedek Priesthood] administereth the gospel and holdeth the key of the mysteries of the kingdom, even the key of the knowledge of God. 'Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest. 'And without the ordinances thereof, and the authority of the priesthood, the power of godliness is not manifest unto men in the flesh; For without this [the power of godliness] no man can see the face of God, even the Father, and live."

                    In this passage, one sees that through the ordinances and priesthood, we can receive the power of godliness which is the Holy Ghost and through the Holy Ghost we are able to see God. But is that true 100% of the time?

                    "...godliness can be permanently, individually attained only through the ordinances of the holy priesthood. Nevertheless, 'godliness' or being like God can be attained temporarily in another way - by transfiguration. If the Holy Ghost enters into our physical bodies, so that for a moment we become one with the Spirit, then have been thus 'transfigured' to godliness, we are able to see the face of God and live." (Stephen E. Robinson and H. Dean Garrett, A Commentary on the Doctrine and Covenants: Volume Three, p.32–33)

                    God makes the rules on what is required to see God and God also makes exceptions to the rules based on circumstance. Once could read the view that the requirements for the priesthood and ordinances to be sanctified by the Holy Ghost to see God was put in force once the restoration of the Priesthood occurred. So it applied in 1835 but not in 1820. We see God putting an exception with Joseph Smith receiving the Aaronic Priesthood along with Oliver Cowdery and then they are baptized. The normal function would be baptism first and then ordination. However an exception had to made because of the effects of the apostasy. Exceptions are sometimes needed to get the ball rolling but once things are started and the foundation is set, the norm is put into effect. God is not so rigid and stupid that he can not work around a problem that exists if something has to be done to further his work.
                    Last edited by carbon dioxide; 04-24-2014, 01:05 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I don't know why I never received any updates on this thread to know there were responses...

                      Will respond as time allows.
                      That's what
                      - She

                      Without a clear-cut definition of sin, morality becomes a mere argument over the best way to train animals
                      - Manya the Holy Szin (The Quintara Marathon)

                      I may not be as old as dirt, but me and dirt are starting to have an awful lot in common
                      Stephen R. Donaldson

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by onefour1 View Post
                        There are several verses that show that a man has seen God face to face:

                        Gen. 32:30
                        I have seen God face to face.
                        It's never stated that the elohim here was the Father.

                        Ex. 3:6
                        Moses … was afraid to look upon God.
                        And this elohim says His name is "I am that I am". According to LDS.org:

                        Originally posted by LDS.org
                        https://www.lds.org/manual/old-testa...dus-3?lang=eng

                        “I Am That I Am” is a form of “Jehovah,” one of the names of Jesus Christ... He testified that he was the “I Am” who spoke to Moses and other prophets (see John 8:58). This New Testament reference confirms that Jesus Christ is Jehovah, the God of the Old Testament.
                        Ex. 19:11
                        Lord will come down in the sight of all the people.
                        This is "Jehovah", who is not the Father

                        Ex. 19:21
                        charge the people, lest they break through unto the Lord to gaze.
                        Jehovah

                        Ex. 24:11
                        nobles of the children of Israel … saw God.
                        This is referencing the previous verse where they all saw "The God of Israel", which 1 Kings 8:23 explains is Jehovah.

                        Ex. 33:11
                        Lord spake unto Moses face to face.
                        Jehovah. Plus, that is a Hebrew phrase that implied intimacy and presence, not physical contact. In fact, YHWH says immediately after:

                        33:14 And he said, My paniym (the same word is thranslated "face" there and "presence" here) shall go with thee, and I will give thee rest.

                        Ex. 33:20
                        there shall no man see me, and live.
                        Refers to seeing His full glory.


                        Num. 12:8
                        With him will I speak mouth to mouth.
                        Again, a sign of intimacy, not physical description

                        Deut. 34:10
                        Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face.
                        He knew because He caused His presence to be in Moses' presence, not an actual human face.

                        Judg. 13:22
                        We shall surely die, because we have seen God.
                        They saw an angel of the Lord, not the Father.

                        1 Kgs. 11:9
                        Lord … had appeared unto him twice.
                        Jehovah

                        Job 19:26;
                        This is referring to after the resurrection.

                        19:25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth:
                        19:26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:


                        Isa. 6:5
                        mine eyes have seen … the Lord.
                        Jehovah

                        Matt. 5:8;
                        Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.
                        When they die, yes they will.

                        Matt. 11:27
                        Father … to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
                        This is KNOWING God, not SEEING Him.

                        John 1:18; John 6:46;
                        No man hath seen God at any time.
                        Jesus said so.


                        John 5:37
                        Ye have neither heard his voice … nor seen his shape.
                        This is actually an injunction against the Pharisees stating that they were not God's children, and that they did not know Him at all.

                        5:37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.
                        5:38 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not.


                        John 14:18
                        not leave you comfortless I will come to you.
                        This is the Holy Spirit, not the Father.

                        John 14:21
                        I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
                        Jesus said this. And it has nothing to do with seeing God the Father's supposed "physical form"

                        Acts 7:56
                        I see … the Son of man standing on the right hand.
                        A vision.

                        Heb. 12:14
                        holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.
                        The Lord is Jesus

                        1 Jn. 3:2
                        we shall be like him for we shall see him as he is.
                        This is referring to Jesus

                        Rev. 1:17
                        when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead.
                        Jesus

                        Rev. 22:4
                        they shall see his face.
                        Post-resurrection New Jerusalem.


                        So, from your quotes from the Bible, we have 1 vague unreferenced elohim that Jacob saw, several references to Jehovah's presence, several terribly off topic verses, a few from post-resurrection, and one vision where Stephen never says that the Father is in the likeness of a human. Additionally, if you claim that Joseph's "vision" was just a vision, and not a physical manifestation, then all of the comparisons to Moses are false comparisons, since Moses' experiences were physical in nature.


                        2 Ne. 11:3
                        Jacob, also has seen him as I have seen.

                        Alma 19:13
                        I have seen my Redeemer.

                        Ether 3:13
                        redeemed … therefore ye are brought back into my presence.

                        Ether 3:15
                        never have I showed myself unto man whom I have created.

                        D&C 35:21; D&C 50:45
                        hear my voice, and shall see me.

                        D&C 58:3
                        Ye cannot behold with your natural eyes.

                        D&C 76:23
                        we saw him, even on the right hand of God.

                        D&C 76:117
                        he grants this privilege of seeing.

                        D&C 84:22
                        without this no man can see the face of God … and live.

                        D&C 84:23
                        sanctify his people that they might behold the face of God.

                        D&C 88:68
                        sanctify yourselves … that you shall see him.

                        D&C 93:1
                        shall see my face and know that I am.

                        D&C 97:16
                        pure in heart … shall see God.

                        D&C 110:2
                        We saw the Lord standing upon the … pulpit.

                        D&C 130:3
                        appearing of the Father and the Son … is a personal appearance.

                        Moses 1:2
                        he saw God face to face, and he talked with him.

                        Moses 1:5
                        no man can behold all my glory, and afterwards remain in the flesh.

                        Moses 1:11
                        eyes have beheld God … my spiritual eyes.

                        Moses 6:39
                        fear came on all them … for he walked with God.

                        Moses 7:4
                        I saw the Lord and he stood before my face.

                        Moses 7:59
                        Enoch beheld the Son of Man ascend.

                        Abr. 3:11
                        Abraham, talked with the Lord, face to face.

                        JS—H 1:17
                        I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description.
                        I don't interact with made up or uninspired fictional stories.


                        The following is from http://www.mormonhaven.com/priest.htm:

                        1. Joseph Smith stated that without the ordinances and authority of the priesthood no man can see the face of God and live (D & C 84:21, 22). He also said that he saw God in 1820 (Joseph Smith 2:17). Joseph Smith, however, never received any priesthood until 1829 (D & C 13:). How did he see God and survive? In which was he in error: his revelation in D & C 84:21, 22 or his experience in the grove?

                        A: Neither was in error. In this scripture (D & C 84:21, 22), Joseph Smith is actually repeating something that Moses said while trying to get his people, who did have access to the priesthood and ordinances, to become sanctified so they could 'behold the face of God" (See verse 23).
                        Sorry, but no. The only priesthood was the Levitical Priesthood. No other priesthood was held by the other 11 tribes, nor did they hold the Levitical.


                        Also, the Lord made it a requirement, at the time he gave this revelation, that a man must hold the priesthood and have received its ordinances in order to see God. The Lord said: "this revelation...is in force from this very hour upon all the world..."(D&C 84:75). This would mean that prior to this revelation, neither the priesthood nor its ordinances were necessary for a man to see the face of God and live. When Joseph Smith went into the grove to pray, he had not been ordained to the priesthood by someone on the earth, neither had he received any of the ordinances. When the two personages appeared they forgave him of his sins, making it possible for Joseph to see the face of God and live.
                        So, God made it HARDER to "see His face"? And he claimed to see them BEFORE they spoke to him to forgive his sins.

                        In 1966 Joseph Fielding Smith had this to say:

                        If you will look at the date of this revelation, you will discover that it was given in September 1832, which was two years after the organization of the Church and several years after the appearance of the Father and the Son to the Prophet Joseph Smith. Therefore, permit me to emphasize this fact: There is no law or commandment which declares that the Father could not appear to a man in person when the Holy Priesthood was not among men on the earth.
                        So, the 3 Nephites and John didn't hold the "Holy Priesthood"? Were they hiding it from people? Witholding a great blessing from all humanity? Perhaps they were in a coccoon?

                        In this day when the divine authority is here and men are appointed to officiate in its ordinances, there is no occasion for the Father to come to any man who has no divine authority. At a time when the priesthood is conferred, and there are authorized servants who bear divine authority, there could hardly arise a time when the Father and the Son should have occasion to appear to any man who was without that authority.
                        Aside from the fictional "Melchizedek Priesthood" nonsense, the fact that the 3 Nephites, who were supposedly immortal and held these priesthoods, would mean that "divine authority" WAS there.

                        Originally posted by LDS.org
                        https://www.lds.org/scriptures/gs/th...hite-disciples

                        Christ granted the three disciples’ desire to tarry until his coming:3 Ne. 28:1–9;
                        The Lord granted to these disciples the same blessing granted to John the Beloved—that they might stay on the earth to bring souls to Christ until the Lord comes again

                        There are also other scriptural passages which indicate a person must have qualities other than the priesthood to see God. The Doctrine & Covenants states: "No man hath seen God at any time in the flesh, except quickened by the Spirit of God" After all is said and done, we find several aspects to the subject of seeing God. No doubt today men must hold the priesthood to see God, but prior to the restoration of the Priesthood, this was not necessarily so. At the time of the First Vision, what was required to see God was humility, faith, and the spirit of God.
                        Retcon by Smith.


                        The above shows that during the time Moses took the children of Israel into the wilderness he sought to prepare them to see the face of God. At this time Moses held the Melchizedek priesthood and it was at that time upon the face of the earth and the ordinances of the priesthood also.
                        Moses held NO priesthood. The Melchizedek Priesthood was reserved for the Priest/King of Jerusalem. It was for one who, as King, would offer sacrifices to God on behalf of His people. Aaron did that, not Moses, yet Aaron was not a King, so his priesthood was a lesser one.

                        During times when it has been instituted on the earth, it becomes law that a man must have this priesthood before he can behold the face of God. But when Joseph Smith went to the sacred grove to pray, no priesthood existed on the earth at that time. During such a time, God, if it be his will, will manifest himself unto such as he pleases. Evidently, in D&C 84, the law was set as it was in the days of Moses and was then put into force according to verse 75.
                        Did the 3 Nephites exist on earth at the time of Joseph Smith?

                        They will minister to the Gentiles, Jews, scattered tribes, and all nations:3 Ne. 28:27–29;
                        Last edited by Bill the Cat; 04-28-2014, 01:50 PM.
                        That's what
                        - She

                        Without a clear-cut definition of sin, morality becomes a mere argument over the best way to train animals
                        - Manya the Holy Szin (The Quintara Marathon)

                        I may not be as old as dirt, but me and dirt are starting to have an awful lot in common
                        Stephen R. Donaldson

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
                          This is "Jehovah", who is not the Father
                          So, is your argument that Jehovah/Jesus is not God or Deity in the fullest sense?

                          Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
                          Additionally, if you claim that Joseph's "vision" was just a vision, and not a physical manifestation, then all of the comparisons to Moses are false comparisons, since Moses' experiences were physical in nature.
                          The manifestations, whether by vision or actual, simply represent the same truth: Man is created in the image and likeness of God.



                          Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
                          So, the 3 Nephites and John didn't hold the "Holy Priesthood"? Were they hiding it from people? Witholding a great blessing from all humanity?
                          Was God withholding the gospel from China for so many centuries?

                          God can allow the priesthood to those He wills it ... and God's own timetable. The same is true for whom God presents the gospel according to their fore ordination (from before the foundation of the world).

                          Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
                          Aside from the fictional "Melchizedek Priesthood" nonsense, the fact that the 3 Nephites, who were supposedly immortal and held these priesthoods, would mean that "divine authority" WAS there.
                          Technically you are correct, and Latter Day Saints have acknowledged this. The apostasy, technically refers to a time when there was nobody on the Earth authorized to exercise the priesthood in forming the Church, conferring blessings, ordinations, and spiritual gifts.


                          President [J. Reuben] Clark said something that startled some folks years ago. He said, "It is my faith that the gospel plan has always been here, that his priesthood has always been here on the earth, and that it will continue to be so until the end comes" (in Conference Report, October 1953, p. 39). When that conference session was over there were many who said, "My goodness, doesn't President Clark realize that there have been periods of apostasy following each dispensation of the gospel?"

                          I walked over to the Church Office Building with President Joseph Fielding Smith and he said, "I believe there has never been a moment of time since the creation that God has abandoned the earth to Satan. There has always been someone holding the priesthood on the earth to hold Satan in check." And then I thought of Enoch's city with perhaps thousands who were taken into heaven and were translated. They must have been translated for a purpose and may have sojourned with those living on the earth ever since that time. I have thought of Elijah—and perhaps Moses; for all we know they were translated beings, as was John the Revelator. I have thought of the Three Nephites. Why were they translated and permitted to tarry? For what purpose? An answer was suggested when I heard President Smith make the above statement. Now, that doesn't mean that the kingdom of God has always been present, because these men did not have the authority to administer the saving ordinances of the gospel to the world. But these individuals were translated for a purpose known to the Lord.
                          - Teachings of Harold B. Lee


                          Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
                          Moses held NO priesthood. The Melchizedek Priesthood was reserved for the Priest/King of Jerusalem. It was for one who, as King, would offer sacrifices to God on behalf of His people. Aaron did that, not Moses, yet Aaron was not a King, so his priesthood was a lesser one.
                          From the LDS perspective, Moses DID have the priesthood and that it was on the earth since Adam received it and conferred it upon his sons Abel and Seth, and it was conferred successively upon the early biblical patriarchs. Through the Melchizedek priesthood, Enoch led his people to become so righteous and obedient that they qualified to be translated as the City of Enoch. Noah held this priesthood, as did Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It remained on earth until the time of Moses, who received it from his father-in-law, Jethro.

                          -7up

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by seven7up View Post
                            So, is your argument that Jehovah/Jesus is not God or Deity in the fullest sense?
                            No. it is that because YOUR argument is that Jesus/Jehovah is not the Father, then citing instances where Jehovah was supposed to have been "seen" as proof that "God" was seen is improper.


                            The manifestations, whether by vision or actual, simply represent the same truth: Man is created in the image and likeness of God.
                            And Pharoah was in the likeness and image of Ra. And the statues of Ba'al that were made "in his likeness" had a bull's head. Additionally, visions were not said to represent what a being actually looked like - see John's vision where Christ was an actual lamb. No one has ever beheld the physical form of the Father because He is spirit and spirit has no physical form.


                            Was God withholding the gospel from China for so many centuries?
                            Yes. But He revealed Himself in nature, so they have no excuse.

                            God can allow the priesthood to those He wills it ... and God's own timetable.
                            CAN and DID are two different things. God could have allowed Jesus to call 10,000 angels to His side, but He did not do it. God COULD have sent a gentile savior if He willed.


                            Technically you are correct, and Latter Day Saints have acknowledged this. The apostasy, technically refers to a time when there was nobody on the Earth authorized to exercise the priesthood in forming the Church, conferring blessings, ordinations, and spiritual gifts.
                            So, was John the Apostle, the one whom Jesus loved, unauthorized to exercise the priesthood that he would have had to obtain in order to be an Apostle? Did John have the Melchizedek Priesthood?


                            President [J. Reuben] Clark said something that startled some folks years ago. He said, "It is my faith that the gospel plan has always been here, that his priesthood has always been here on the earth, and that it will continue to be so until the end comes" (in Conference Report, October 1953, p. 39). When that conference session was over there were many who said, "My goodness, doesn't President Clark realize that there have been periods of apostasy following each dispensation of the gospel?"

                            I walked over to the Church Office Building with President Joseph Fielding Smith and he said, "I believe there has never been a moment of time since the creation that God has abandoned the earth to Satan. There has always been someone holding the priesthood on the earth to hold Satan in check." And then I thought of Enoch's city with perhaps thousands who were taken into heaven and were translated. They must have been translated for a purpose and may have sojourned with those living on the earth ever since that time. I have thought of Elijah—and perhaps Moses; for all we know they were translated beings, as was John the Revelator. I have thought of the Three Nephites. Why were they translated and permitted to tarry? For what purpose? An answer was suggested when I heard President Smith make the above statement. Now, that doesn't mean that the kingdom of God has always been present, because these men did not have the authority to administer the saving ordinances of the gospel to the world. But these individuals were translated for a purpose known to the Lord. - Teachings of Harold B. Lee
                            Again, an Apostle directly appointed by the Lord who did not possess the authority to administer the saving ordinances of the Gospel? But the apostles that supposedly exist in your church now do? What does D&C 107:8 say?


                            From the LDS perspective, Moses DID have the priesthood and that it was on the earth since Adam received it and conferred it upon his sons Abel and Seth, and it was conferred successively upon the early biblical patriarchs. Through the Melchizedek priesthood, Enoch led his people to become so righteous and obedient that they qualified to be translated as the City of Enoch. Noah held this priesthood, as did Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It remained on earth until the time of Moses, who received it from his father-in-law, Jethro.

                            -7up
                            I know. But actual history says none of that. The Torah only lists 2 that had it and the NT lists one other. All 3 were/are King of Salem/Jerusalem and all 3 offered sacrifices to God on behalf of the citizens of Jerusalem and Israel as an extension.
                            That's what
                            - She

                            Without a clear-cut definition of sin, morality becomes a mere argument over the best way to train animals
                            - Manya the Holy Szin (The Quintara Marathon)

                            I may not be as old as dirt, but me and dirt are starting to have an awful lot in common
                            Stephen R. Donaldson

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
                              No. it is that because YOUR argument is that Jesus/Jehovah is not the Father, then citing instances where Jehovah was supposed to have been "seen" as proof that "God" was seen is improper.
                              It is not improper, because we believe that Jesus was fully Deity/God before even entering mortality. So, we see in these passages that people saw God.


                              Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
                              And Pharoah was in the likeness and image of Ra.
                              This was a distortion from the Pharoah, who claimed that ONLY the Pharoah had the image of the divine, and all the other people did not. This was a misuse of the language by false religions, because in reality all man kind has the same image.

                              Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
                              Additionally, visions were not said to represent what a being actually looked like - see John's vision where Christ was an actual lamb.
                              Depends on the vision. If there is a figurative interpretation given, well, there you go. However, if you take a passage like, Exodus 24: 9-11, it is quite straightforward:

                              "Then Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, and they saw the God of Israel; and under His feet there appeared to be a pavement of sapphire, as clear as the sky itself. Yet He did not stretch out His hand against the nobles of the sons of Israel; and they saw God, "

                              It does not make much sense to claim that they did not actually see God. Just like the Book of Mormon account from the Brother of Jared, they were likely seeing the pre-Incarnate Christ. This is an anthropomorphic account, just like the experience that Moses had. Essentially what they were seeing was the same that Peter, James and John saw at the Mount of Transfiguration, where they saw the glory of God.

                              Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
                              No one has ever beheld the physical form of the Father because He is spirit and spirit has no physical form.
                              No one has seen the Father because man kind has been separated from Him due to the Fall and sin. THAT is the reason that no man has seen the Father.

                              However, as I previously addressed from the Chapter 1 in the Book of Hebrews, Jesus is an exact copy/imprint of God the Father.


                              Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
                              So, was John the Apostle, the one whom Jesus loved, unauthorized to exercise the priesthood that he would have had to obtain in order to be an Apostle? Did John have the Melchizedek Priesthood?
                              Peter had the keys of the kingdom. John likely worked within the church like the other Apostles until he reached the age when he was going to die (and he appears to have outlasted the others). Then he would be "changed" into an immortal and glorified body "in the twinkling of an eye", rather than tasting death. We do not know what John has been doing after that, but we do not suspect that he was performing ordinances for the Church.


                              Originally posted by Bill the Cat View Post
                              I know. But actual history says none of that. The Torah only lists 2 that had it and the NT lists one other. All 3 were/are King of Salem/Jerusalem and all 3 offered sacrifices to God on behalf of the citizens of Jerusalem and Israel as an extension.

                              All we have are very limited accounts. Consider how much history must have occurred during the length of time represented by the book of Genesis. Yet we have relatively very, very little information about that time period. The first book in the Old Testament only gives minimal details of what occurred over almost two and a half thousand years. The more detailed history that we have in the Bible only begins when Moses came upon the scene. You know that.


                              -7up
                              Last edited by seven7up; 04-29-2014, 11:37 PM.

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