All scripture is given by inspiration of God…?

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. A man may receive the Holy Ghost, and it may descend upon him and not tarry with him. (D&C 130:22–23)

This scriptural passage is probably very familiar to most of us. It is the only scriptural source that clearly teaches that the Holy Ghost is a personage. It also purports to give a reason why a member of the Godhead does not have a body of flesh and bones, in the sentence I emphasized above — so the the Holy Ghost can “dwell in us”. The problem is that the source of this teaching is not only not from a prophet, but actually contradicts the prophetic teaching that the rest of the scriptural passage is based on.

Continue reading

Nature of exaltation

One of my pet peeves is when we talk about exaltation as though it were merely a reward or merely a location. We speak about “getting into the celestial kingdom” or use “reward” analogies like Stephen Robinson’s parable of the bicycle. I do not doubt that the celestial kingdom is a location and that receiving it is a reward (or is it a gift? cf. D&C 14:7), and these analogies have value. The problem I have with them is when we imagine that these analogies comprehensively explain how salvation works (also known as the “Now I understand how it works!” reaction). These analogies are missing something very important that is articulated in the scriptures.

Continue reading