“To Seal the Testimony”— Truths about the Godhead

Have you ever questioned the LDS belief that God’s “eternal spirit is housed in a tangible body of flesh and bones”? When I was LDS I never questioned this belief—it seemed that the Bible clearly supported it. After the Holy Spirit brought me to faith, I discovered that this doctrine was unique to Mormonism.

The Christian churches I started attending taught things about God’s nature I didn’t understand. To clear up the confusion in my head I dug into scripture. I promised my Savior to test anything I was taught with God’s Word. My hearts desire was to be like the Berean’s, of whom the Apostle Paul testified:

“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:11)

Underlying the LDS belief that God has a body of flesh and bones is the doctrine that God was once a sinful man, subservient to an earlier god. LDS prophet Joseph Smith claimed:

God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret. If the veil were rent today, and the great God who holds this world in its orbit, and who upholds all worlds and all things by his power, was to make himself visible,

—I say, if you were to see him today, you would see him like a man in form—like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man; for Adam was created in the very fashion, image and likeness of God, and received instruction from, and walked, talked and conversed with him, as one man talks and communes with another” (Doctrine and Covenants and Church History: Gospel Doctrine Lesson 32: “To Seal the Testimony”, p. 186)

Searching scripture I quickly discovered that these words were false. Heavenly Father’s prophet—the Prophet Isaiah testified:

“Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.”
“Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.” (Isaiah 43:10, 44:6)

Learning that God could never have been a man still didn’t explain to me what God was. I wondered what He looked like. I read all the passages referenced in the LDS Topical Guide about God’s body to see if any had been misinterpreted. To my surprise, they hadn’t. These passages clearly taught that God had the physical characteristics of a man. They attributed God as having a face, mouth, voice, fingers, hands and feet.

Wanting to learn more, I started doing word studies. When I found another passage saying that God had a hand as well as ears, I wondered why this passage hadn’t been listed in the LDS Topical Guide. Reading in context answered my question and led me to a surprising discovery! Not only did God have ears, He had wings and feathers:

“I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech. Shew thy marvellous lovingkindness, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them. Keep me as the apple of thy eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings” (Psalm 17:6-8).

“He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.” (Psalm 91:1-4)

From this study I learned that while scripture often attributes human characteristics to God, it also uses non-human characteristics to describe Him. Mormons can no more claim that God is a glorified man than someone could say He is an enormous bird. While Jesus taught that God is a spirit, (John 4:24) He is all powerful and can take on any form He chooses.

Scripture often uses word pictures to give us a glimpse of what God is like because He is so unlike humans:

“And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” (1 Timothy 3:16)

Scripture reveals that our Savior has always been God! He was not (as LDS prophets claim) “the first spirit born to our heavenly parents”—parents who began their lives as spirit children:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God… 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:1, 14)

Jesus took on human flesh and became a man “to make reconciliation for the sins of the people” (Hebrews 2:14-18). Even though He was God, He “took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” (Philippians 2:5-8)

In the end, it is not the form of God that matters, it is what He accomplished. Death is a consequence of sin but Jesus had no sins of His own! He died on the cross because He wanted to die—for you. It was His mission: His very purpose for coming to earth was to take our sins upon Himself, as if they were His own:

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Your sins have been covered and forgiven; in exchange, you have been credited with Christ’s righteousness. Believe it and receive it, then trust in Him: “How excellent is thy loving kindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings.” Psalms 36:7

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“Sealed … for Time and for All Eternity”

This months Gospel Doctrine lesson testifies: “Eternal marriage is essential in Heavenly Father’s plan.” (Doctrine and Covenants and Church History: Gospel Doctrine Lesson 31: “Sealed … for Time and for All Eternity” p. 177)

If eternal marriage truly was essential, wouldn’t Jesus know about Heavenly Father’s plan? Because Jesus surely didn’t mention this in any of His teachings. In fact, His testimony disagrees with this false LDS belief:

“And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore err, because ye know not the scriptures, neither the power of God? For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven. (Mark 12:23-25)

Christ explains further regarding marriage on earth:
“His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.” (Matthew 19:10-12)

Just think of some of these men Jesus was talking about who never married; like the prophets Daniel, Elijah, Elisha and John the Baptist. These men of God “made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake.” Of John the Baptist, Jesus testifies:

“For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” (Luke 7:28)

According to the LDS belief regarding eternal marriage, John the Baptist is not “assured of exaltation in the presence of our Heavenly Father”:

“President Boyd K. Packer of the Quorum of the Twelve taught: “The ultimate purpose of all we teach is to unite parents and children in faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, that they are happy at home, sealed in an eternal marriage, linked to their generations, and assured of exaltation in the presence of our Heavenly Father”. (Doctrine and Covenants and Church History: Gospel Doctrine Lesson 31: “Sealed … for Time and for All Eternity” p. 177)

But the Apostle Paul never married, as he explains:

“For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that. I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I. But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.”

“He that is unmarried careth for the things that belong to the Lord, how he may please the Lord: But he that is married careth for the things that are of the world, how he may please his wife. There is difference also between a wife and a virgin. The unmarried woman careth for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit: but she that is married careth for the things of the world, how she may please her husband. And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.”

“So then he that giveth her in marriage doeth well; but he that giveth her not in marriage doeth better. (1 Corinthians 7:7-9,32-35,38)

Just because marriages don’t last beyond this earth doesn’t mean that believing husbands and wives won’t be together for eternity. It just means that their relationship will not be as a man and wife. All believers will spend eternity together, in companionship with God the Father, Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost.

Christ testified-all who believe in Him, live eternally with Heavenly Father:

“That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

Faithful, Energetic Service in the Kingdom of God, Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Lorenzo Snow

Reading Chapter 15 of the Relief Society Lesson brought many things to mind. I could really relate to the heading on page 191: “The work of the Lord is sometimes difficult, but it brings great joy.”

I love serving the Lord, especially through this blog; but I haven’t Posted for several months because of my health. “Energetic service” for my Lord has become difficult because energy is something that I don’t have. I have a rare disease that takes away my energy at the cell level which makes it especially hard to write a post. And yet my hearts desire is to share God’s truth with every Mormon in the world.

Many LDS members ask why I have created this blog. They often wonder why I spend so much energy fighting against “the Church” by witnessing my new-found faith to its members. The answer is love! God has placed such love in my heart for “my people.” I simply can’t stop myself from being a missionary to Mormons–I love doing so. I know what it is like to be LDS and worry whether you have gained forgiveness of your sins. Ever since I met my Savior it has been my hearts desire to share His message of free and full forgiveness with everyone.

I was born into a prominent LDS family. The first member of my family to join the church was John Patten, who baptized his brother David W. Patten (one of Joseph Smith’s original apostles). My father was Bishop, Stake President and Patriarch all his adult life. I was baptized at eight, married in the temple; and for many years never questioned that the LDS Church was the only true church.

Looking back, I realize that I was similar to the Apostle Paul—-in regards to being born of the right heritage, into a church led by leaders who taught false doctrines: “Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee;” (Philippians 3:5)

Like Paul, I believed what I had been taught by my church leaders–that eternal life depended upon adding my obedience to my faith; as seen in this months Relief Society Lesson:

“As they by virtue of their commission, declared with all assurance, amidst persecution and opposition, the gospel to be the power of God unto salvation to all those who believed and obeyed, so declare we.” (p. 185)

The reason that Paul left his church was because Jesus came into His life. It was then that he met his true Savior, and the Holy Spirit opened his heart to the truth. He realized that his church leaders were teaching false doctrines and that he belonged to the wrong church.

We read many times in the New Testament that he fought fiercely against the false teachers who led this church. The reason he did is because of love! Just like me, he desired to share the truth with “his people”. In fact, he was willing to be cursed in exchange for his people to be brought to Christ:

“I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: Who are Israelites” (Romans 9:9-14)

Do you notice how Paul overemphasizes his motive: “I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.?” Maybe the reason he was being so adamant is because his previous church members doubted his motive for fighting “so fiercely against” “the Church”.

The truth that Paul so wanted his people to hear is the same message that I share with you. Your leaders teach false doctrines! LDS prophets proclaim a false gospel as seen by the words of Lorenzo Snow. Here is the true message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ:

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)

Did you notice the difference in this scripture from what President Snow taught? He had to add two little words so that it would fit in with the false LDS gospel: “…the gospel to be the power of God unto salvation to all those who believed and obeyed, so declare we.”

The Lesson asks: “What does it mean to you to be an ambassador of Christ?” (p. 192)

For me, what joy it is, to know the true Gospel of Christ! This gospel grants Salvation to all who believe! The reason this can happen is because Christ took all our sins; and in exchange, gave us His righteousness. Because we are now perfect in God’s sight—we can come into God’s presence. That news, the good news of the Gospel; is why I’m an ambassador for Christ!:

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:17-21)

As Christ’s Ambassador, I beseech you: “be ye reconciled to God.” Please?