Is the Jesus of Mormonism the Jesus of the Bible? Alma Allred Debate Notes

Mormonism is significantly different than evangelical Christianity. But our faith of Christ as savior of the world, and him resurrected, are the same.

These days we don’t talk about plurality of God’s much but it’s still there in our scripture, and it’s not off the table for discussion in Alma’s institute class.

Anciently Hebrews and Christians were not monotheist. Margaret barker “the great angel: the study of Israel’s second God”

Ancient Hebrews believed something compatible with Mormonism.

The LDS Church has dialed down the rhetoric as it is growing so much; we need to give milk not meat.
In the 1960s by David McKay the Church went more global, more broad.

Elohim and Jehovah – those terms are interchangeable. It’s an artificial distinction of convenience. Since 1914 the church designated that they speak of Elohim as Father, and Jehovah as Son.

Our view of scripture is different than other religions, we are ok with changing scripture when a prophet is inspired to.

When scripture speaks of being saved it’s generally referring to exaltation. Saved means being exalted in the celestial kingdom. So those who reject the church won’t be saved, aka won’t be exalted. They are living in sin. They will inherit one of the lower kingdoms of glory.

Note: ‘not being saved’ doesn’t mean they’ll be burning in forever torment, it means their privileges will be far less, and the regret will be severe. And for the wicked, yes it does mean burning in hell. But there’s also a chance for them to repent in the spirit world after death for cases where they were deceived in life.

LDS are under covenant to accept the standard works as doctrine, they’re not required to believe the extra canonical stuff like the King Follet discourse.

The King Follett discourse is not entirely accurate; there are four different versions of it, and the brethren have not chosen to canonize it. Alma does believe teachings from the King Follet sermon, but church member’s aren’t required to as it is not in the canon. This doesn’t mean exaltation to godhood isn’t church doctrine, it certainly is, it is repeatedly taught in canonized scriptures.

Note – James White often says that the most quoted Joseph Smith teachings are the King Follet sermon. That’s far from true. Perhaps among anti-Mormon propagandists that’s true. But in the church, the Doctrine & Covenants, which are 95% all from Joseph Smith, are all quoted very frequently. So is the Book of Mormon, another volume from Joseph Smith.

There are many concepts which are true which are not part of our canon.
Our official church doctrine is that which can be easily demonstrated by the standard works, the teachings of the temple, and the teachings of Joseph Smith. In his institute classes he does explore ideas which are reasoned from scripture, he tell them to beware, that such may not be true, that they have to decide what of what he teaches is true.

Harold B Lee taught that only the president of the church can put forth new doctrine which is agreed upon by the 12 and sustained by the church, and when someone says something not with all of these checked off which is not demonstratable by scripture, it is his opinion only.

The interpretation of the standard works is provided by the living prophets; if that interpretation is consistent with the standard works it is accepted.

Going on to make your own planet is not in the standard works, it is merely a logical extension of things that are in the standard works. It is in our standard works that a person can become a god.

Our scriptures never postulate a time when God was not God. The King Follet discourse does, but it is not canonized scripture. And nothing in our scripture ever says that Jesus Christ was not always God. But it is not consistent with reality to believe that the Son of God has always been a God. It is not reasonable or logical to call someone a son unless there is a time when he became the son.
Jesus is God from everlasting to everlasting, and you understand this with a frame of reference: as far as you can see one way to as far as you can see the other way, from eternity to all eternity.
To consider something before Jesus was a God would be outside of our understanding.

There are as many perspectives of who Christ is as there are people.
It would be surprising to sit down with two Evangelical Christians and have them give the same understanding of the trinity.

When it says that Christ created all things there is a limit to that. There are many places in scripture where “all” has a limited meaning.

Mormonism would not be any different if we did not have the Bible. This shows that what we believe is consistent.
The Bible is not the foundation for our doctrine.
Our scriptures are the foundation of our doctrine, but if you take the Bible out of that, our doctrine would not change.

Often time BYU students are not serious about their religion.

You don’t have to know a lot about God to join the church – we see at the day of Pentecost those people knew hardly anything and they were converted and joined the church.

Mosiah 15 says that as a result of his conception, Jesus became the father and the son.

In Joseph Smith’s first vision he saw two distinct individuals but he did not describe it that way every time.

Our scriptures say that God the Father with a body is the father of Jesus, but they also still say after the conception that Mary is a virgin. This is a mystery but the LDS doctrine is that God the Father is the father of Jesus in the flesh.
James Tallmadge talks about the conception of Jesus as fulfillment of natural law but expression of that law in a higher way that we do not understand.

Note – I’m fine with the simpler natural explanation advocated by Brigham Young, Bruce McConkie, Joseph Fielding Smith, etc.

The Journal of Discourses has never been published by the LDS Church.

Bruce R McConkie wrote a scathing letter to someone about a dogmatic view of Brigham’s teachings; this letter got out to the public and anti-Mormons passed it around; Eldon Watson who was appointed to help people resolve doctrinal issues contacted McConkie and said this letter is problematic, and McConkie said ‘tell anyone that asks about it that I was wrong in that letter’.
McConkie changed things in his book “Mormon Doctrine” as he came to understand things differently.
We don’t believe that the opinions of a leader can never change.

We aren’t responsible as a church for the opinion of some random missionary; you can’t pin us down to what someone somewhere said sometime.

Brigham said it is impossible for us weak groveling people to receive a perfect revelation from the Almighty, and that the revelations we have are as good as we can handle. He did not believe that his perception of doctrine was perfect.

Brigham lost his home seven different times often due to sectarian ministers, yes he was upset about those churches sometimes. Brigham did rebuke the sectarian notions of God and sin and man etc. which were false.

D&C 1:30 makes a clear statement about the Trinity – it doesn’t bash on other views of the Trinity, it just sets out the clear truth. Our job as Mormons is to not bash on other people’s views, but to declare the truth and invite them to come and join to it, bringing whatever truth they have.

Note – We respect the agency of others to accept or reject truths which are presented to them. The burden of acceptance is theirs, all we do is present the information in a nice way.

The atonement occurred twice: once In The Garden of Gethsemane and again on the cross. He paid for spiritual death and physical death, and that occurred in two places. Alma believes that Christ took care of our sins first in Gethsemane, and then for the fall of Adam and the death on the cross. And both of those were infinite in their severity. This is why we have the bread and the water, a binary nature to the sacrament.

In the New Testament we read that Christ was in agony In The Garden of Gethsemane. He bled from every pore there.
The Bible doesn’t flush this out. There are many things we believe in that are not in the bible which are beyond what the Bible says.

Lehi in the Book of Mormon talks to Jacob and says “I know that you are redeemed because of the righteousness of your redeemer” thus we see that we do not add to the sacrifice of Christ. We are required to rely on the mercy of Christ.

It is correct that exaltation requires our compliance.
Christ is the author of eternal salvation to them that obey him says the New Testament in Hebrews 5:9.
It isn’t believers who are saved, it is obedient believers.

The entire purpose of Jesus Christ atoning was the eternal life and exaltation of man, to bring us to the same position that he is in. Peter said the Lord will make us partakers of his divine nature.

D&C 38 Jesus was God before the world was created

Dealing with hypotheticals like “what if the prophet said this how would you react”, that is a waste of time; there are many things that are clearly not going to happen in the church.

Note – It is written that a dividing will happen, a cleansing. Many today are brazenly advocating acceptance of sins which are abominable to the Lord, and the church will be cleansed of these hard hearted members. God will not be mocked. The Church will remain, and the wicked will be removed from it.

The concepts taught in the King Follet discourse could also apply to Christ – that God Christ was once a man. But the typical interpretation of the King Follett sermon is that Heavenly Father was once a man on an earth like us.

We don’t know a lot about the other gods’ existence, we know about the Father the Son and the Holy Ghost. They are not equal. Christ said “my father is greater than I.” The Father supersedes the Son. If a person enters into exaltation they are always subject to their father and their God and to Christ.
Christ took a new role for us because of His atonement.

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