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

Mormons as Modalists

Divine Investiture and Modalism

In my last post, I discussed how Divine Investiture is the lynchpin of all Mormon Doctrine of Deity and probably of all Mormon Doctrines period.  Even non-Mormon theology, if it lacks Divine Investiture, is often logically inconsistent.

An interesting fact of Divine Investiture is that it makes Mormons “Modalists,” after a fashion.

Here I pause to the storm of disaffected Mormon and anti-Mormon protest. “No, Mormons aren’t Modalists! They are the opposite of Modalists! They are Freakin’ Tritheists!”

I also pause to let the Believing Mormons protest (assuming they’ve even heard of Modalism before). “No! I am not a Modalist! That’s… a heresy! It’s worse than… than… the Trinity Doctrine!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