Countercult ministries/Tower to Truth Ministries/50 Questions to Ask Mormons/Miscellaneous, General Questions
Response to "50 Questions to Ask Mormons: Miscellaneous / General Questions"
|Questions About the Bible||
A FairMormon Analysis of: 50 Questions to Ask MormonsA work by author: Tower to Truth Ministries
|50 Questions to Ask Mormons|
- Response to claim: "46. If having a physical body is necessary to become a god, how did Jesus become a god before he had a body?"
- Response to claim: "47. Do you think the LDS Church will reconsider its teachings that the American Indians are descendants of the Jewish race now that DNA has proven that they are actually descendants of the Asian race?"
- Response to claim: "48. If polygamy was officially re-instituted by the Mormon Church, how would your wife feel about you taking another woman?"
- Response to claim: "49. Since the LDS Church teaches that there was a complete apostasy of the true church on earth, does that mean that the 3 living Nephites and the Apostle John went into apostasy also?"
- Response to claim: "50. Why are Mormon Temple ceremonies secret to the public when the Old Testament temple ceremonies were open to public knowledge?"
Response to claim: "46. If having a physical body is necessary to become a god, how did Jesus become a god before he had a body?"
Question: How did Christ achieve deification before mortality?
It was necessary that at some point Jesus receive a body, but the specific time in which He did so is not particularly important
It is claimed that Latter-day Saint doctrine, which teaches that a physical body is necessary for a fulness of glory, is inconsistent, since Jesus was God prior to his mortal birth. However, having a body is necessary for a fullness of joy (DC 93:33). The Holy Ghost is also God, but does not at present have a body in LDS doctrine.
It was necessary that at some point Jesus receive a body, but the specific time in which He did so is not particularly important. (To travel overseas, one needs both a passport and an airplane ticket. It doesn't matter in which order one gets the passport or the ticket, but one must eventually have both in order to reach one's destination.)
If a specific sequence is an absolutely requirement, then all Christians would need to explain how Christ's atonement could be efficacious to those who were born, lived, and died prior to His crucifixion. The fact that the atonement was effective should caution us against adopting an absolute requirement for sequence concerning Christ's receipt of a physical body.
Critics ignore that the gospel teaches us what we must do to fulfill God's commandments and purposes. It does not spend much time telling us what Jesus was required to do—clearly, he had many duties and abilities which far outstripped ours. That is why he was God and Savior before we came to this earth, and why we must rely upon his grace for salvation.
Response to claim: "47. Do you think the LDS Church will reconsider its teachings that the American Indians are descendants of the Jewish race now that DNA has proven that they are actually descendants of the Asian race?"
Question: What is Lehi's ancestry?
Lehi and his family are not Jews: They belong to the tribe of Manasseh
Genetic attacks on the Book of Mormon focus on the fact that Amerindian DNA seems closest to Asian DNA, and not DNA from "the Middle East" or "Jewish" DNA. However, this attack ignores several key points.
Lehi and his family are clearly not Jews. They belong to the tribe of Manasseh (Alma 10:3, 1 Nephi 5:14), and married into Ishmael's family, the tribe of Ephraim.  These tribes were carried away captive by the Assyrians, and did not contribute greatly to the current genetic mix of the Middle East.
Furthermore, the Middle East is located at the crossroads of three continents, and has seen a great deal of immigration, mixing, and intermarriage. To use modern Middle Eastern DNA as the "standard" against which to measure what Manasseh and Ephraim DNA must have been like 2600 years ago is not a scientifically sound approach.
Response to claim: "48. If polygamy was officially re-instituted by the Mormon Church, how would your wife feel about you taking another woman?"
Response to claim: "49. Since the LDS Church teaches that there was a complete apostasy of the true church on earth, does that mean that the 3 living Nephites and the Apostle John went into apostasy also?"
Question: Was the priesthood on earth during the apostasy?
It is argued by some that the LDS doctrine of the apostasy is incoherent, since the apostasy teaches that God's authority was lost. Critics then ask about John the Revelator, or the Three Nephites, and ask whether they had the priesthood. However, they fail to distinguish between someone holding the priesthood, and someone being authorized to exercise the priesthood in forming the Church, conferring blessings, ordinations, and spiritual gifts.
The apostasy refers to a lack of the latter, not the former.
The apostasy refers to the absence of the kingdom (i.e, Church) of Jesus Christ on the earth
The apostasy refers to the absence of the kingdom (i.e, Church) of Jesus Christ on the earth. This is not to say that there may not be some who hold the priesthood, but they have no authority or authorization to establish the Church or perform its ordinances.
Presidents J. Reuben Clark, Joseph Fielding Smith, Harold B. Lee went so far as to teach that the presence of such priesthood holders during periods of apostasy were, in their opinion, a necessity:
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. There is no question but what they were here.
Response to claim: "50. Why are Mormon Temple ceremonies secret to the public when the Old Testament temple ceremonies were open to public knowledge?"
- "The Prophet Joseph informed us that the record of Lehi, was contained on the 116 pages that were first translated and subsequently stolen, and of which an abridgement is given us in the first Book of Nephi, which is the record of Nephi individually, he himself being of the lineage of Manasseh; but that Ishmael was of the lineage of Ephraim, and that his sons married into Lehi's family, and Lehi's sons married Ishmael's daughters, thus fulfilling the words of Jacob upon Ephraim and Manasseh in the 48th chapter of Genesis..." - Erastus Snow, "Ephraim And Manassah, etc.," (6 May 1882) Journal of Discourses 23:184.
- Harold B. Lee, Teachings of Harold B. Lee (Salt Lake City, Utah: Bookcraft, 1996), 486. GospeLink (requires subscrip.)