Mosiah 15 and D&C 93: Divine Investiture or Swedenborgian?

In my post on Book of Mormon Doctrine of Deity, Divine Investiture, Representational Modalism, I mentioned the idea that some people hold up Mosiah 15:1-5 as proof that Joseph Smith (as supposed author of the Book of Mormon) originally wrote the Book of Mormon to support a Swedenborgian view of God (aka Serial Modalism) where The Father is a spirit that took on a body called Jesus.

In my opinion, this point of view ignores a lot of facts or at least force fits them. For example, the Book of Mormon also presents both the Spirit of the Lord as being a person as well as the premortal Jesus. It also presents the premortal Jesus as talking from Heaven as a personality separate from the Father.

But there is a bigger problem I have with the assumption that Mosiah 15:1-5 can only be historically read as Swedenborgian and thus (we are told) we must assume Joseph Smith meant it that way.

It’s D&C 93.

Do Joseph Smith’s own writings count as counter evidence if he explicitly tells us what he means? Continue reading

The Lynchpin: The Doctrine of Divine Investiture

A while back, KC Kern gave an explanation of the Mormon concept of Trinity.  To summarize, Mormons often use the word “God” to refer collectively of the entire Godhead which can be thought of as an entity different but not fully distinct from each individual person in the Godhead. He likened “God” to a corporation, which is legally different from, but not fully distinct from the people that make up the corporation.

I think KC Kern’s explanation of the Mormon concept of Trinity is correct, but is missing (but hints at) one very important point which I wish to expand upon in the next few posts.

Included in the Mormon concept of deity is a doctrine called “Divine Investiture.” A summary of this doctrine is that each person in the Godhead fully represents the entire Godhead to the point of representing and even speaking for the others. [1]

Unfortunately Divine Investiture just doesn’t get the due it deserves. It is usually only trotted out to explain certain scriptures and then not mentioned again until we come to the next scripture that requires it. As such, some people have entirely discounted it as part of the doctrines of the LDS Church. They see it merely as an excuse to ignore or “figure-atize” scriptures that just don’t play well with Mormon’s (supposedly) otherwise Tritheistic doctrines. [2] Continue reading

Guest Post: Nations, kindreds, tongues and people. Part 1

Best known for Flooding the Earth with the Book of Mormon, which is not only the name for Bookslinger’s popular LDS blog, but something he does very well and often!  M* is pleased to present the following guest post from Bookslinger.

The scriptures have many references to various combinations and forms of “nations, kindreds, tongues and people.”

From Isaiah 66: 18-20 :
18 For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory.
19 And I will set a sign among them, and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles.
20 And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the Lord, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord.

Continue reading

One Eternal God – The Oneness of God in The Book of Mormon

Christian Scripture has always had to deal with what on the surface might seem like two contradictory propositions. On the one hand we have the idea that there is one Lord and God.

Deut 6:4:

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: [1]

On the other hand we have the idea that Jesus and the Father are two different persons or beings of some sort that are individual and distinct from each other.

For example, John 14:28:

Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I ago unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

Thus we are presented with two simultaneous positions:
1) There is one God
2) That one God is made up of multiple persons/beings/individuals Continue reading

The Book of Mormon’s Doctrine of Deity

Note: This is a reprint of a post I did on Mormon Matters and then later on Jr. Ganymede. I have to repeat it again because if I ever want to finish my thoughts on Mormon Doctrine of Deity, this is my starting point.

I am fascinated by the Book of Mormon’s teachings (i.e. doctrines) about deity. I am almost equally fascinated with the many scholarly attempts to force fit it into pre-existing categories to make it seem safe. [1] Continue reading