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Byron

Clearing up misconceptions: Jesus' brother

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The reason this question gets so much traction is because of the different understanding of God between the LDS Godhead and the Christian Trinity.

 

To be incredibly simplistic, Trinitarian believe that God(Father, Son and Holy Spirit) is fundamentally unique, he can't (or will not) create more like himself.  The LDS belief is creating more like himself is the whole point.

 

So when an Trinatarin hears "Satan is Jesus's brother" they hear "Satan is a partaker of the fundamentally unique nature of god"  or more simply "Satan is God"  Which understandably causes some heart burn.

 

Whereas for the LDS the idea is really a non starter.  For LDS Jesus, you, me Satan, are all members of God the Father's family so we are all Brothers and Sisters.  Jesus already became one with the Father and is willing to help us all do the same.  Satan rejected this and failed... the rest of us are still pending

 

 

Why?  What did you figure out about the positions?

What estradling75 said basically.

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What estradling75 said basically.

 

Yeah, that is a very good explanation. It does seem to say that Satan is "cut from the same cloth" as Christ- which would offend Evangelicals. We Evangelicals want to be like God, but tend to get huffy when anyone suggests they can "be gods". To us it seems to dishonor God. But, to the LDS, it speaks of eternal promise.

Edited by Irishcolleen

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Out of curiosity, do the LDS distinguish between being a creator and a father? In my Baptist experience, I would say the Father created Satan, an angel who fell because of rebellion. And I would say Christ is the Father's begotton son- He calls Him Son, He was given a body like ours,etc...

 

Kinda like, I created a crocheted sweater, but it is a creation, not a child.  Not a perfect analogy, but best I can come up with.

 

 

Yes but not the way you describe...   As stated prior we believe all humans are sons and daughters of God.  Even those that rebelled and don't get a mortal body (like satan).  Everything else (the world, animals, etc) are creations for use by God and his children.

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Yes but not the way you describe...   As stated prior we believe all humans are sons and daughters of God.  Even those that rebelled and don't get a mortal body (like satan).  Everything else (the world, animals, etc) are creations for use by God and his children.

 

Like I said, it was an imperfect analogy.  Your explanation explains your belief well- Satan is a creation intended to have a body, but didn't get one because of rebellion. We'll have to discuss angels at a different time.  It is interesting to learn about the differences and similarities.

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Like I said, it was an imperfect analogy.  Your explanation explains your belief well- Satan is a creation intended to have a body, but didn't get one because of rebellion. We'll have to discuss angels at a different time.  It is interesting to learn about the differences and similarities.

 

Satan as a creation is your faith tradition ... for LDS Satan is a Son and brother ...although he has rebelled and rejected everything the Father could have given him.

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Satan as a creation is your faith tradition ... for LDS Satan is a Son and brother ...although he has rebelled and rejected everything the Father could have given him.

Which, for both of us is sad.  If anyone knew what God has given them they would embrace and not reject Him. Today I needed encouragement for a job interview.  While I was praying for God for assurance, I got a wonderful answer to prayer.  The sunlight hit the diamond in my engagement ring and it reflected a perfect heart right by me in the car. (the stone is heart shaped) I have only seen the reflection being distorted.  It was like God was telling me He loved me. How can people reject Him???

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Which, for both of us is sad.  If anyone knew what God has given them they would embrace and not reject Him. Today I needed encouragement for a job interview.  While I was praying for God for assurance, I got a wonderful answer to prayer.  The sunlight hit the diamond in my engagement ring and it reflected a perfect heart right by me in the car. (the stone is heart shaped) I have only seen the reflection being distorted.  It was like God was telling me He loved me. How can people reject Him???

 

 

It is sad... very sad...  But there comes a time when God has/will render judgement and we all hope to be on the right side of that when it happens.

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That makes them wrong. It doesn't make the point-blank question in the OP wrong. There is no way of getting around that Mormons do, indeed, believe this simple fact to be true. Yes -- it takes some explaining because the theology is based on a whole different paradigm -- but it's still a true statement.

 

No. Truth is established by a correct understanding, not by using the right words. The latter can be thought of as a necessary but insufficient condition for the former, except it's not really even necessary at times.

 

When liars use true words to convey false concepts, they're still lying, even if their words parse out as technically valid.

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Satan as a creation is your faith tradition ... for LDS Satan is a Son and brother ...although he has rebelled and rejected everything the Father could have given him.

 

There's one other nuance to this discussion that we should probably take into account, and that is the question of whether spirits (including Satan's, Jesus's, or anyone else's) were actually "created" by God. 

 

As I understand it, LDS teaching on this has evolved somewhat.  Joseph Smith didn't really get into this idea much--as far as most scholars can tell, he seems to have consistently taught that all spirits had no beginning and were coeternal with God.  But starting around the 1840s with Orson Pratt and other LDS authorities, we see the introduction and development of this notion that God actually did create--or, more properly, "organize"--the spirits from pre-existing material that is generally called "intelligence".  That perspective is now the prevalent view within Mormonism.  

 

So, modern Mormonism splits the difference to suggest that while God organized us, some part of our identity is indeed eternal in nature and was not "created" in the most commonly-understood sense.  That's generally how we reconcile our theology with the scriptures that present Jesus as an eternal and/or uncreated Being.

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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As I understand it, LDS teaching on this has evolved somewhat.  Joseph Smith didn't really get into this idea much--as far as most scholars can tell, he seems to have consistently taught that all spirits had no beginning and were coeternal with God.  But starting around the 1840s with Orson Pratt and other LDS authorities, we see the introduction and development of this notion that God actually did create--or, more properly, "organize"--the spirits from pre-existing material that is generally called "intelligence".  That perspective is now the prevalent view within Mormonism.

 

This is what I call the "Joseph Fielding Smith" model of intelligence, as championed by him and his son-in-law, Elder McConkie. In their view, "intelligence" was synonymous with "spirit element", the stuff from which spirits were made.

 

I greatly prefer what I call the "B. H. Roberts" model of intelligence, which sees intelligence as the uncreated, eternal essence of a being. These were "dressed" with spirits created by our Father to create us in the spirit, much like our spirits were "dressed" with bodies created by our mortal fathers and mothers to create us in the flesh.

 

To me, the latter idea sounds much closer to what Joseph Smith taught. It also has the added (rather large, IMO) advantage that it answers the fundamental question of agency and choice:

 

If God created us -- that is, created our decision-making ability and capacity -- then God ALONE is responsible for the choices we make, just as surely as I am responsible for the operations of a computer program I write.

 

This is unavoidable unless you introduce self-contradictory absurdities such as, "True, God did create you, and he did know at the moment he created you all the bad things you would do, and he might have created you differently if he so chose, and you had absolutely no say in the matter of your initial creation. But he still gave you free choice, so it's all your fault if you're damned!"

 

Under the Roberts model, we can assume that our fundamental decision-making mechanisms and desires are a part of our uncreated self. God merely gave expression to those pre-existent, indeed eternal, characteristics.

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Out of curiosity, do the LDS distinguish between being a creator and a father? In my Baptist experience, I would say the Father created Satan, an angel who fell because of rebellion. And I would say Christ is the Father's begotton son- He calls Him Son, He was given a body like ours,etc...

 

Kinda like, I created a crocheted sweater, but it is a creation, not a child.  Not a perfect analogy, but best I can come up with.

 

Professionally, I spend a lot of time writing computer programs.  I also build machines, write papers, etc.  They do as a I design them, me working out all the details.  These are all my creations and will never be anything more.

 

My child is a completely different.  She I teach to be human, how to walk and how to love.  She has a will, personality, making choices on her own, and will one day grow to be like me, even having a child of her own.  

 

I find a key difference between Mormonism and other Christian branches, is that Mormons humanity exclusively as a the Father's children: with a will, with growth potential, and the great ability to love.  

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Which, for both of us is sad.  If anyone knew what God has given them they would embrace and not reject Him. Today I needed encouragement for a job interview.  While I was praying for God for assurance, I got a wonderful answer to prayer.  The sunlight hit the diamond in my engagement ring and it reflected a perfect heart right by me in the car. (the stone is heart shaped) I have only seen the reflection being distorted.  It was like God was telling me He loved me. How can people reject Him???

 

People reject God all the time: preferring their own "wisdom" and "it's my choice" and "it's too hard".  It is a great tragedy, but their choice.

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Problem is... how many Mormon's can explain where the fundamental difference lies in a way a Trinitarian would understand? Simply saying we believe we are all brothers and sisters is potentially even more confusing

Which you, as I knew someone would, did an excellent job of clarifying.

I wouldn't so much mind a reprimand for the failure to set context. But a "no we don't" response is still not true. ;)

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No. Truth is established by a correct understanding, not by using the right words. The latter can be thought of as a necessary but insufficient condition for the former, except it's not really even necessary at times.

When liars use true words to convey false concepts, they're still lying, even if their words parse out as technically valid.

Regardless, a statement that we do not believe Jesus and Satan are brothers is false.

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Hi there. I will be asking a series of questions and would like to insert this introduction before them all to ensure that my intent is not misconstrued.

Though I believe God tells us there is no sin greater than another, I have a particular distain for gossip. Thus I would like to take any hearsay given to me about Mormonism and put it under a spotlight and find the truth.

 

Hearsay: Mormon's believe Lucifer is Jesus' brother.

 

What is the truth here?

the truth is that LDS believe that everyone, including christ and satan were part of a family before the earth was made- and at some point satan rebelled and took all he could with him. pretty much at this point he did everything he could to separate himself from anything remotely related to god and christ.

so the quote is somewhat true.... but because it's not given in any context it tends to taken wrong.

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I guess my question to Byron about ALL of his questions is:

 

"Why are you asking?"

 

Are you asking because you are interested in joining the Church?

Or are you asking in order to start an argument?

And if you are interested in joining the Church, perhaps you'd like the Missionaries to visit?

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I don't know, I think it could be argued he has emancipated himself.

I for one will not be calling the adversary my brother, that relationship in a sense has more than shared parents involved.

Edited by jerome1232

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I honestly don't understand the taking of it wrong. It's almost like you have to be looking for a way to take it wrong.

when a non lds christian hears only a snippet of something unique to the LDS they have tendency to use their own conceptions and understanding  to fill in the blanks... things can get conflicting to say the least.

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I wouldn't so much mind a reprimand for the failure to set context. But a "no we don't" response is still not true. ;)

 

Of course, I was trying to set context in my initial questions.

 

Regardless, a statement that we do not believe Jesus and Satan are brothers is false.

 

No. It's a very true statement. Find me the scriptural verse that states that "Jesus and Satan are brothers". In the sense in which non-Latter-day Saints understand that relationship, according to the light they have been given, it's a falsehood.

 

In point of fact, there is no eternally important sense in which Christ and Satan (or you and Satan) are brothers. Jesus is the Only Begotten in the flesh, and Satan is condemned to have no physical body ever. That God created both Jesus and Satan is of no more moment than that God created both you and a warthog. That bare fact doesn't make you brothers.

 

Of course I recognize the sense in which you maintain your "yes" answer. But no one outside of the restored Gospel does. Telling a putative "truth" to someone who cannot understand it and who is sure to misinterpret it is the same as lying to them.

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No. It's a very true statement.

 

If you say so.

 

Find me the scriptural verse that states that "Jesus and Satan are brothers". 

 

Are the only teachings and/or understandings of the gospel that count are what's in the scripture? I'm not sure the, "show me in the scriptures or it's invalid" argument really works.

 

In the sense in which non-Latter-day Saints understand that relationship, according to the light they have been given, it's a falsehood.

 

Really, that's like arguing that if someone who believes the world is a turtle riding through spaces asks you if you believe the world is a big round globe that orbits the sun that saying, "Yes I do" is a falsehood because they don't understand the world the same way.

 

In point of fact, there is no eternally important sense in which Christ and Satan (or you and Satan) are brothers.

 

Then why are we taught that Satan and his followers were in the pre-existence with us as children of God with the same potential we had, but who exercised their agency to rebel and lose their potential for exaltation? Is that concept not key to the gospel? Is it not the core of what we must understand about our own potential and agency?

 

That God created both Jesus and Satan is of no more moment than that God created both you and a warthog. That bare fact doesn't make you brothers.

 

See my above point.

 

Telling a putative "truth" to someone who cannot understand it and who is sure to misinterpret it is the same as lying to them.

 

In the context of an exclusive conversation between two individuals I certainly understand, and agree with the general idea (although I would say "the same" as lying is extreme and inaccurate...but.....I get the point). If someone I knew simply asked me the question and I said "yes" and walked away, it would be problematic and, indeed, allow them to believe things that were not true. It would behoove me to explain myself.

 

In a group discussion, as others are concurrently explaining the details (which I was well aware of), to throw out a so-called "putative" truth is not, in any regards, the same as lying.

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Guest

Amazing coincidence. "The Color of Magic" is a fun movie, and has Sean Astin, which makes it a winner to me. But anything Terry Pratchett is delightful. 

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I'm not making any accusations here, because the tone on the replies has bee good so far.  However, I want to issue a caution to the original poster and the respondants. 

 

For several years, I operated a site called the Society for the Prevention of Anti-Mormonism (S.P.A.M.) The site was not an apologetics site in the usual sense.  What we did was study anti-Mormon tactics and their methodology.  The answers to almost every gospel question, like the ones Byron posted are readily available on any number of good LDS sites.  The best site on the planet to get answers to these questions is the Church's main portal, LDS.org.

 

The posting of several topics at once like this is very similar to what we called a "shotgun attack" on the S.P.A.M. web site.  You see these all over the Internet.  There are articles like "50 Questions for Mormons" or "20 Questions Every Mormon Must Answer," etc.  It is very often the case that anti-Mormons will join a discussion forum like this and then try to dominate all the discussions asking questions that either conflict with sectarian doctrines or address esoteric doctrines not essential to salvation.  They will toss out questions, either in a list, or in rapid-fire succession so that it is unlikely that a coherent presentation can be presented.

 

The questions like, "Do Mormons believe Jesus and Satan are brothers?" or "Do Mormons believe they can become gods?" or "Does God live on planet Kolob?" fall into these two categories.  

 

I'm not saying that Byron is anti-Mormon and I'm not judging his motives. I'm just cautioning that this is a tactic that is taught to evangelical Protestants in "anti-cult" seminars hosted by their churches.  It is just exactly that: a tactic.  When they apply the tactic, it is often without sincere intent, or with the sincere intent to instill doubt and contention among faithful Mormons.  In particular, they hope the questions themselves will cause doubt to germinate in the heart of weaker LDS members.  

 

The "shotgun attack" used by anti-Mormons is one technique that Mormons should be aware of and able to identify.  Over the course of several years, we analyzed hundreds of anti-Mormon articles, books, videos, and websites and determined that anti-Mormon attacks fall into one of six tactics. I'll list them here just for information.

 

1. Use of non-authoritative sources and out-of-context quotations
2. Attack the story of the Book of Mormon's origin, not its contents
3. Distort Mormon doctrines by comparing them to the unscriptural teachings of Christian creeds
4. When all else fails, lie!
5. Use slander, personal attacks, and character assassination
6. Accuse your opponent of doing the very thing you are doing

 

Again, I'm not saying Byron is an anti-Mormon, but when I saw several topics posted by a new forum member, whose profile says "Christian," my "Spidey-senses" went active.  This has all the hallmarks of a "shotgun attack."  Hopefully, the OP will participate in respectful discussion by sincerely considering responses with an open mind.  In the end, our position is to seek truth from God, through the Holy Spirit to know the truth of anything.  

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