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Jonah

Not believing in the traditional Christ

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Former LDS President Hinckley said, "As a Church we have critics, many of them. 
They say we do not believe in the traditional Christ of Christianity. There is 
some substance to what they say. Our faith, our knowledge is not based on ancient 
tradition, the creeds which came of a finite understanding and out of the almost 
infinite discussions of men trying to arrive at a definition of the risen Christ. 
Our faith, our knowledge comes of the witness of a prophet in this dispensation 
who saw before him the great God of the universe and His Beloved Son, the 
resurrected Lord Jesus Christ".

Which LDS prophet first gave the witness about Jesus being the firstborn son of 
heavenly parents?

Jonah

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48 minutes ago, Jonah said:

Former LDS President Hinckley said, "As a Church we have critics, many of them. 
They say we do not believe in the traditional Christ of Christianity. There is 
some substance to what they say. Our faith, our knowledge is not based on ancient 
tradition, the creeds which came of a finite understanding and out of the almost 
infinite discussions of men trying to arrive at a definition of the risen Christ. 
Our faith, our knowledge comes of the witness of a prophet in this dispensation 
who saw before him the great God of the universe and His Beloved Son, the 
resurrected Lord Jesus Christ".

Which LDS prophet first gave the witness about Jesus being the firstborn son of 
heavenly parents?

Jonah

I’m not sure to what degree Joseph Smith may have taught this; but Brigham Young certainly did.  

This is understood from the Bible, not only by the Latter-day Saints, but also by the Christian world. Jesus Christ, first begotten of the Father, of all the rest of the children, and of all they possess, alone is the lawful heir. This is no mystery.

—Journal of Discourses 6:307

Edited by Just_A_Guy

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Here are some study links:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/tg/jesus-christ-firstborn?lang=eng
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/scriptures/gs/firstborn?lang=eng

In Christian circles, there are interpretations on what it means to be First Born.  Apparently this pastor wants to make sure you understand that He is not a created being, and that the term is more symbolic of Him being the author of creation.

https://www.blueletterbible.org/faq/don_stewart/don_stewart_216.cfm

But I guess I want to emphasize the notion of Christ being the firstborn is not foreign to Biblical scripture or doctrine.

 

Edited by bytebear

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17 hours ago, Jonah said:

Former LDS President Hinckley said, "As a Church we have critics, many of them. 
They say we do not believe in the traditional Christ of Christianity. There is 
some substance to what they say. Our faith, our knowledge is not based on ancient 
tradition, the creeds which came of a finite understanding and out of the almost 
infinite discussions of men trying to arrive at a definition of the risen Christ. 
Our faith, our knowledge comes of the witness of a prophet in this dispensation 
who saw before him the great God of the universe and His Beloved Son, the 
resurrected Lord Jesus Christ".

Which LDS prophet first gave the witness about Jesus being the firstborn son of 
heavenly parents?

Jonah

It is interesting to me that you (as a Catholic) used the phrase LDS prophet - which means a prophet of the Latter-days.  This is because it is my understanding that Catholics do not believe in Latter-day prophets.

Let me be very clear - I follow the teaching of Isaiah that man separates themselves from G-d by: Transgressing the Law, Changing the Ordinances and Breaking the Everlasting Covenant.

To help us understand both the divine nature of G-d and his creation of his image and likeness (which is the man and the woman) we are given scripture that symbolically represent divine doctrine.  Firstborn does not mean the oldest - it means the most noble and in the case of the firstborn of G-d (the Father of our spirits) it means that individual being a spiritual son (eternal creation sired of the Father) chosen to be his heir of his Kingdom.  This means that Jesus Christ (being the only begotten son - Heir) is the example of G-d to all fallen mortal men and women.  Because we are fallen and exiled from the Father - Jesus Christ (meaning Jesus the Messiah) is the example of G-d to we that are fallen.

This understand of Jesus Christ; being the only example of G-d to fallen man can also be expressed by the doctrine among Latter-day Saints as follows:  As man is, G-d (Jesus Christ) once was - This means that the one example of G-d (Jesus Christ) once lived and walked among us in such a manner that his being was indistinguishable from other men by any empirical means.  As G-d (Jesus Christ) currently is, man may become - this means that as Jesus Christ was resurrected and sat down on the right hand of G-d the Father (as seen by Stephen) - so also can man likewise be glorified and became a joint heir of the Father and in Glory sit on the right side of the Father in the kingdom of Heaven.

By the Law of G-d it is the destiny of man to be glorified and an heir of the Father.  It is a transgression of the law to teach otherwise.

By the Ordinance of G-d man is cleansed of sin and a worthy heir of the Father.  It is changing G-d's ordinance to prepare man for anything else.

By the Everlasting Covenant of G-d - man is not without the woman nor is the woman without the man.  Marriage is the divine means of the covenant to bring about eternal seed (the breath of life) and is the essence of the Everlasting Covenant of G-d.  Without marriage there cannot be divine seed the breath of life nor can there be creation.  To define marriage and the creation of seed (life) as original sin breaks the Everlasting Covenant of G-d.

 

The Traveler

Edited by Traveler

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I could be wrong, but I suspect that the OP is wanting to know about the origin, within the Church, of the belief that Jesus is the literal offspring of God the Father and (again, I presume) Mother. My understanding, from my years here, is that this belief is taught and believed, but that it does not get very specific, and is not a huge day to day emphasis.

Edited by prisonchaplain

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21 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

I could be wrong, but I suspect that the OP is wanting to know about the origin, within the Church, of the belief that Jesus is the literal offspring of God the Father and (again, I presume) Mother. My understanding, from my years here, is that this belief is taught and believed, but that it does not get very specific, and is not a huge day to day emphasis.

Honestly we don't know the mechanics behind God's relationship with His children, so there's not much to say.  We know that the Son has always existed in some form, and the Father is His Father.  Likewise we know that the rest of us have always existed in some form and the Father is our Father.  Christ is special. 

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19 hours ago, Jonah said:

 Which LDS prophet first gave the witness about Jesus being the firstborn son of 
heavenly parents?

If we are to believe second hand accounts, Joseph Smith was the first to teach this.   No official first hand records exist (as far as I know), but our official Church History contains second hand accounts.

If we are to believe other second hand accounts, Zina Young (wife of Brigham Young after Joseph's death), who was the former wife of Joseph Smith said that in 1839 Joseph told her that we had two heavenly parents.

I see no reason to disbelieve the claim since that doctrine became officially taught in later years.

Birgham Young seems to be the first prophet to teach the doctrine publically.  

 

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I find it interesting that when you study the life and teachings of Joseph Smith, it's just much an understanding of existing scripture as it is a prophetic edict.  Smith didn't declare heavenly parents.  Rather, in his role as the prophet of the restoration was given knowledge that gave better understanding on phrases like "first born" and "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."

I think for Smith, it was just obvious from not just a deeper understanding of Christ, but from interactions with Him, and angels, and revelations given.  Some things are revealed in great detail in modern scripture, like the physical nature of the godhead, and others are simply understood.

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Joseph Smith would be the first Latterday prophet to do so.

However, the idea of the Lord being the Firstborn is actually found in the Bible (for example Colossians 1:15), and so obviously though this idea is brought up by Joseph Smith, he was absolutely not the first person (though perhaps the first Latterday Prophet as we understand them to be) to bring up this idea.  It has been around for a very long time that Jesus Christ was the only begotten of the Father AND the first born.  This is particularly interesting when we consider St. Luke 3:38.

In this, the scripture infers that the Lord may not have physically been the only son, but he was still the FIRST BORN son.  I suppose it depends on what one defines as being qualified as the Son of God (does a son which is created out of the dust of the Earth qualify?  I would say some may say so, but as such we all are as such, or can become, the Sons of God in that sense, though we are also not the only begotten nor the born in the same way the Lord was born into a mortal body directly as the physical son of his Father). 

I think one would find many Christians from the time of the Lord's mortal ministry to this day that would testify that Jesus Christ is the only Begotten son of his Father, that he is literally the SON of his father in the flesh as well as the spirit, and that he is also the First born of all creation, not just in creation, but also the first born of his Father as well on this Earth.

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On 11/13/2019 at 10:45 AM, mikbone said:

Joseph Smith Jr.

D&C 93:21  And now, verily I say unto you, I was in the beginning with the Father, and am the Firstborn;

Exodus 4:22 says, "And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the Lord, Israel is my son, even 
my firstborn
."

Speaking of David (verses 20), Psalm 89:27 says, "Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than 
the kings of the earth
."

Jeremiah 31:9 says, "They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I 
will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not 
stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn
."
                                                                   
What does firstborn mean in the above three verses?

Thanks,
Jim

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On 11/12/2019 at 4:13 PM, Jonah said:

Former LDS President Hinckley said, "As a Church we have critics, many of them. 
They say we do not believe in the traditional Christ of Christianity. There is 
some substance to what they say. Our faith, our knowledge is not based on ancient 
tradition, the creeds which came of a finite understanding and out of the almost 
infinite discussions of men trying to arrive at a definition of the risen Christ. 
Our faith, our knowledge comes of the witness of a prophet in this dispensation 
who saw before him the great God of the universe and His Beloved Son, the 
resurrected Lord Jesus Christ".

Which LDS prophet first gave the witness about Jesus being the firstborn son of 
heavenly parents?

Jonah

Here are two quotes from Joseph Smith Jr.

If men don not comprehend the character of God, they do not comprehend themselves.  KFD

AND

My first object is, to find out the character of the only wise and true God.  KFD

 

The doctrine of the LDS Church is based upon revelation.  From the Bible, Book of Mormon, Pearl of Great Price, and the Doctrine & Covenants.  

One must recognize that Joseph Smith had a monumental part in organizing and producing the doctrine of the Church.  

 

Joseph Smith is the Latter-Day Saint Prophet that gives us the best and most complete witness of Jesus Christ.  It is probably best to assume that all other commentaries that seem to detract from Joseph Smith's testimony are just that, personal commentaries.  

 

 

Edited by mikbone

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On 11/12/2019 at 7:13 PM, Jonah said:

Former LDS President Hinckley said, "As a Church we have critics, many of them. 
They say we do not believe in the traditional Christ of Christianity. There is 
some substance to what they say. Our faith, our knowledge is not based on ancient 
tradition, the creeds which came of a finite understanding and out of the almost 
infinite discussions of men trying to arrive at a definition of the risen Christ. 
Our faith, our knowledge comes of the witness of a prophet in this dispensation 
who saw before him the great God of the universe and His Beloved Son, the 
resurrected Lord Jesus Christ".

Which LDS prophet first gave the witness about Jesus being the firstborn son of 
heavenly parents?

Jonah

I can only recall it being said that Jesus is the Firstborn Son of Heavenly Father. I understand that means Parents, but I cannot recall any prophet explicitly saying that, though I wouldn't mind that at all. The idea of a Heavenly Mother has been around, but not discussed or referenced much, during the last 200 years of the Restoration.

I think the emphasis, or what gets emphasized by the prophets and apostles, is a function of the times we live in and what the children and youth need to identify with to secure their confidence that they are fundamentally divine and loved by God. The concepts of gender, sexuality and family have been so perverted by modern philosophies and media that we may require more explicit reminders that the Eternal Family requires a man and a woman covenanting together in holy matrimony.

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On 11/12/2019 at 5:13 PM, Jonah said:

Former LDS President Hinckley said, "As a Church we have critics, many of them. 
They say we do not believe in the traditional Christ of Christianity. There is 
some substance to what they say. Our faith, our knowledge is not based on ancient 
tradition, the creeds which came of a finite understanding and out of the almost 
infinite discussions of men trying to arrive at a definition of the risen Christ. 
Our faith, our knowledge comes of the witness of a prophet in this dispensation 
who saw before him the great God of the universe and His Beloved Son, the 
resurrected Lord Jesus Christ".

Which LDS prophet first gave the witness about Jesus being the firstborn son of 
heavenly parents?

Jonah

I will add another post to this thread.  Traditional Christianity created "creeds" to define the doctrine of Jesus and The Father that created the "Trinity" doctrine.  Joseph Smith Jr. gave witness that the creeds that so defined "Traditional Christianity" were an abomination to G-d.  It is this Trinity creed that became more important to Traditional Christians than the sacred words of Apostles and Prophets - and as Paul said - that Christ spoke in his days.  For over a thousand years (almost 2000 years) Traditional Christians defined Christ and Christianity by the man made Trinity creeds putting to death anyone claiming to be Christian that believed any other interpretation of scripture contrary to Trinity doctrine.

 

The Traveler

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On 11/16/2019 at 11:25 AM, mikbone said:

Here are two quotes from Joseph Smith Jr.

If me don not comprehend the character of God, they do not comprehend themselves.  KFD

AND

My first object is, to find out the character of the only wise and true God.  KFD

Do you disagree with anything taught in the KFD?  If yes, which?

Thanks,
Jim

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1 hour ago, theplains said:

Do you disagree with anything taught in the KFD?  If yes, which?

This is not LDS Gospel discussion. This is Jim theplains spewing his regularly scheduled crap. I have mostly given up on complaining about his less-than-worthless contributions. Why he is allowed to continue on this forum, much less post, utterly escapes me.

But enough about my ignorance. Since I don't have the headaches of moderatorship (nor would I want them if @pam were so foolish or desperate as to ask me), I'll just register this grumble and continue on my way.

PS Pam, I was kidding about the "foolish" part, but we both know I wasn't kidding about the "desperate" part.

Edited by Vort

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On 11/16/2019 at 11:25 AM, mikbone said:

If me don not comprehend the character of God, they do not comprehend themselves.  KFD

What is the KFD?

Cheers.

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On 11/16/2019 at 3:51 PM, CV75 said:

The idea of a Heavenly Mother has been around, but not discussed or referenced much, during the last 200 years of the Restoration

Based on The Family - Proclamation to the World , is the word "idea" a weak word to use?

Cheers.

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12 minutes ago, Jonah said:

What is the KFD?

Cheers.

Sorry I misquoted it.

“If men don not comprehend the character of God, they do not comprehend themselves.”

KFD - Nickname given to Joseph Smith’s final general conference talk.

Stands for King Follett Discourse.

 

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22 minutes ago, mikbone said:

KFD - Nickname given to Joseph Smith’s final general conference talk.

It was a sermon given by Joseph at the funeral of King Follet, an elder who (iirc) was crushed to death in a well cave-in.

Nope, not a cave-in. He was building the wall of the well down at the bottom, and the rope holding the rock bucket broke, dropping the rocks on his head.

Edited by Vort

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On ‎11‎/‎13‎/‎2019 at 10:14 AM, Jane_Doe said:

Honestly we don't know the mechanics behind God's relationship with His children, so there's not much to say.  We know that the Son has always existed in some form, and the Father is His Father.  Likewise we know that the rest of us have always existed in some form and the Father is our Father.  Christ is special. 

This is so important. For traditional Christians, like myself, the idea of Jesus being a literal offspring of the Father seems to mean Jesus had a start--that He was created. Of course, this is not the LDS teaching or meaning. Interfaith discussions about the nature of Jesus--especially in relation to the Father--almost have to include the LDS teaching that we are all eternal beings. Pre-mortal existence is not traditional Christian teaching, and I suspect there is a lot of misunderstanding that never gets sorted out, as a result of the two teachings not being tied together.

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6 hours ago, Vort said:

It was a sermon given by Joseph at the funeral of King Follet, an elder who (iirc) was crushed to death in a well cave-in.

Nope, not a cave-in. He was building the wall of the well down at the bottom, and the rope holding the rock bucket broke, dropping the rocks on his head.

It was not given at a funeral.  Elder King Follett had been buried a month prior to this general conference talk.

The family members asked him for some words of consolation and Joseph Smith mentioned him.  But the talk covers many more topics then Elder King Follett.

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/41eb/bf581318d7b8e2917760160a04297d19684d.pdf

 

https://byustudies.byu.edu/file/4607/download?token=Gblh_XFE

Edited by mikbone

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16 hours ago, prisonchaplain said:

This is so important. For traditional Christians, like myself, the idea of Jesus being a literal offspring of the Father seems to mean Jesus had a start--that He was created. Of course, this is not the LDS teaching or meaning. Interfaith discussions about the nature of Jesus--especially in relation to the Father--almost have to include the LDS teaching that we are all eternal beings. Pre-mortal existence is not traditional Christian teaching, and I suspect there is a lot of misunderstanding that never gets sorted out, as a result of the two teachings not being tied together.

It’s incredible how many little stones of doctrine there are that we take for granted, but aren’t even concepts in traditional Christianity.

They want to have in depth conversations about God once being a man, but before we can even touch that, you have to break down pre earth life, agency, our concept of grace, and the biggest one that we don’t base our teachings on the Bible. I can’t twll you how many times someone says “show me in the Bible where God says *insert Latter-day Saint unique teaching*” ... It doesn’t, and it doesn’t need to. But that has to be understood before we can tackle the “exciting” topics.

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