21 QUESTIONS ANSWERED ABOUT MORMON FAITH: Part 2

Q8: Does the Mormon Church believe Jesus appeared in North America after his crucifixion and resurrection?

A: The appearance of Jesus in the Western Hemisphere shortly after his resurrection is described in the Book of Mormon. Mormons believe that when Christ told his disciples in the Bible He had other ‘sheep’ who should receive his message he was referring to those people in the Western Hemisphere.

This answer is accurate.

Q9: If so, when did this happen? And under what circumstances?

A: The appearance of Jesus in the Western Hemisphere shortly after his resurrection is described in the Book of Mormon. Mormons believe that when Christ told his disciples in the Bible He had other ‘sheep’ who should receive his message he was referring to those people in the Western Hemisphere.

This answer is accurate.

Q10: Does the Mormon Church believe its followers can become “gods and goddesses” after death?

A: We believe that the apostle Peter’s biblical reference to partaking of the divine nature and the apostle Paul’s reference to being ‘joint heirs with Christ’ reflect the intent that children of God should strive to emulate their Heavenly Father in every way. Throughout the eternities, Mormons believe, they will reverence and worship God the Father and Jesus Christ. The goal is not to equal them or to achieve parity with them but to imitate and someday acquire their perfect goodness, love and other divine attributes.

There is a whole lot more to this answer that the LDS Church does not provide. The official LDS Church manual, Achieving a Celestial Marriage gives a wonderfully clear explanation of the Mormon world view and addresses this very question in sections 1-18 and 1-19 on page 132.

(1-18) Celestial Marriage Makes Women Queens and Priestesses unto
Their Husbands

“If righteous men have power through the gospel and its crowning
ordinance of celestial marriage to become kings and priests to rule in
exaltation forever, it follows that the women by their side (without whom they cannot attain exaltation) will be queens and priestesses. ( Rev. 1: 6; 5:10.) Exaltation grows out of the eternal union of a man and his wife. Of those whose marriage endures in eternity, the Lord says, ‘Then shall they be gods’ (D. & C. 132:20); that is, each of them, the man and the woman, will be a god. As such they will rule over their dominions forever.” (McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p.613.)

(1-19) Celestial Marriage Makes It Possible for Us to Claim Our Mortal
Children in Eternity As Well As to Propagate Ourselves Throughout Eternity

“Parents will have eternal claim upon their posterity and will have the gift of eternal increase, if they obtain the exaltation. This is the crowning glory in the kingdom of God, and they will have no end. When the Lord says they will have no end, he means that all who attain to this glory will have the blessing of the continuation of the ‘seeds’ forever. Those who fail to obtain this blessing come to the ‘deaths,’ which means that they will have no in crease, forever. All who obtain this exaltation will have the privilege of completing the full measure of their existence, and they will have a posterity that will be as innumerable as the stars of heaven…”

“The Father has promised us that through our faithfulness we shall be blessed with the fulness (sic) of his kingdom. In other words we will have the privilege of becoming like him. To become like him we must have all the powers of godhood; thus a man and his wife when glorified will have spirit children who eventually will go on an earth like this one we are on and pass through the same kind of experiences, being subject
to mortal conditions, and if faithful, then they also will receive the fulness (sic) of exaltation and partake of the same blessings. There is no end to this development; it will go on forever. We will become gods and have jurisdiction over worlds, and these worlds will be peopled by our own offspring. We will have an endless eternity for this.” (Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 2:43-44, 48.)

When the LDS Church continuously and purposely fails to give forth-right and clear explanation of its doctrine, I am reminded of the first question in this Fox News article.

Q11: Does the Mormon Church believe that women can only gain access to heaven with a special pass or codewords?

A: No.

This question is ambiguous since Mormonism teaches that all but the sons of perdition will attain to one of three levels of heaven. If the question is referring to the necessity of using a special pass or codeword to enter into God’s presence, then the answer is unequivocally, Yes!, but this applies to both men and women. The following quote appears in a number of official LDS Church teaching manuals.

“Your endowment is to receive all those ordinances in theHouse of the Lord, which are necessary for you, after you have departed this life, to enable you to walk back to the presence of the Father, passing the angels who stand as sentinels, being enabled to give them the key words, the signs and tokens, pertaining to the Holy Priesthood, and gain your eternal exaltation in spite of earth and hell. (Brigham Young, Discourses of Brigham Young, selected and arranged by John A. Widtsoe [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1954], 416.)

Part of the Mormon temple ceremony is to learn special words, names and handshakes.

Q12: Does the Mormon Church believe that women must serve men on both Earth and in heaven?

A: Absolutely not. Mormons believe that women and men are complete equals before God and in relation to the blessings available in the Church.

This is an interesting answer in light of the following comments by Elder Erastus Snow.

“Are all the families of Israel and every woman striving herself to play well her part and reverence her husband as her lord; for he is her lord. Will she ever have another? No, never; and if she ever expects to have another, she has not learned “Mormonism” aright. She may tear herself loose from him and attach another, but she may have a worse one: she ought to have a worse one. If she cannot learn to honour him, the next one she gets, if she is permitted to have another, ought to be a worse one. How shall women honour their husbands? Just as we honour brother Brigham in his place, and the authorities of the Wards in their places; because upon him is laid the responsibility of that family, and he cannot get rid of it. He is in duty bound to purge them of their follies, and they are in duty bound to listen to his reproofs and honour him and pray for him, that he may be led aright.

Do the women, when they pray, remember their husbands? Do you pray for brother Brigham? Yes, you should always pray for him. But when you pray for him, do you pray also for your own husband, that he may have the inspiration of the Almighty to lead and govern his family as the lord? Do you uphold your husband before God as your lord? “What!—my husband to be my lord?” I ask, Can you get into the celestial kingdom without him? Have any of you been there? You will remember that you never got into the celestial kingdom without the aid of your husband. If you did, it was because your husband was away, and some one had to act proxy for him. No woman will get into the celestial kingdom, except her husband receives her, if she is
worthy to have a husband; and if not, somebody will receive her as a servant.”
(Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854-1886], 5: 291.)

To be fair, I must say that neither Mormon men nor women will be allowed into the Celestial Kingdom without each other. While this may have the appearance of equality, this does not take into consideration the necessity of polygamy in order to receive the fullness of salvation. Even though the LDS Church has temporarily ceased this practice since 1890, it still is a requirement for those who desire to live in the presence of God.

Doctrine and Covenants section 132: 1-4 states,

“Verily, thus saith the Lord unto you my servant Joseph, that inasmuch as you
have inquired of my hand to know and understand wherein I, the Lord, justified
my servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as also Moses, David and Solomon, my
servants, as touching the principle and doctrine of their having many wives and
concubines—

2 Behold, and lo, I am the Lord thy God, and will answer thee as touching this matter.

3 Therefore, prepare thy heart to receive and obey the instructions which I am about to give unto you; for all those who have this law revealed unto them must obey the same.

4 For behold, I reveal unto you a new and an everlasting covenant; and if ye abide
not that covenant, then are ye damned; for no one can reject this covenant and
be permitted to enter into my glory.

Speaking about the above revelation, Brigham Young said, “Now, we as Christians desire to be saved in the kingdom of God. We desire to attain to the possession of all the blessings there are for the most faithful man or people that ever lived upon the face of the earth, even him who is said to be the father of the faithful, Abraham of old. We wish to obtain all that father Abraham obtained. I wish here to say to the Elders of Israel, and to all the members of this Church and kingdom, that it is in the hearts of many of them to wish that the doctrine of polygamy was not taught and practiced by us. It may be hard for many, and especially for the ladies, yet it is no harder for them than it is for the gentlemen. It is the word of the Lord, and I wish to say to you, and all the world, that if you desire with all your hearts to obtain the blessings which Abraham obtained, you will be polygamists at lest in your faith, or you will come short of enjoying the salvation and the glory which Abraham has obtained. This is as true as that God lives. You who wish that there were no such thing in existence, if you have in your hearts to say: “We will pass along in the Church without obeying or submitting to it in our faith or believing this order, because, for aught that we know, this community may be broken up yet, and we may have lucrative offices offered to us; we will not, therefore, be polygamists lest we should fail in obtaining some earthly honor, character and office, etc,”—the man that has that in his heart, and will continue to persist in pursuing that policy, will come short of dwelling in the presence of the Father and the Son, in celestial glory. The only men who become Gods, even the Sons of God, are those who enter into polygamy. Others attain unto a glory and may even be permitted to come into the presence of the Father and the Son; but they cannot reign as kings in glory, because they had blessings offered unto them, and they refused to accept them. The Lord gave a revelation through Joseph Smith, His servant; and we have believed and practiced it.”
(Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 26 vols. [London: Latter-day Saints’ Book Depot, 1854-1886], 11: 269.)

Q13: Is there such a thing as Mormon “underwear”? if so, are all Mormons required to wear it? What does it symbolize?

A: Like members of many religious faiths, Latter-day Saints wear religious clothing. But members of other faiths — typically those involved in permanent pastoral ministries or religious services — usually wear religious garments as outer ceremonial vestments or symbols of recognition. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, garments are worn beneath street clothing as a personal and private reminder of commitments to God.
Garments are considered sacred by Church members and are not regarded as a topic for casual conversation.

Although I agree that someone’s under wear is usually not regarded as a topic for casual conversation, I do not believe that this applies in the case of LDS garments. If a theology is going to require that wearing special undergarments is necessary to live in the presence of God, then this is a fair, if not essential topic for discussion.

To answer and the Fox News question, Yes, there are special under garments that temple worthy Mormons are expected to wear underneath their normal underwear. The average Mormon does not wear these garments because the practice is reserved for only the most faithful Mormons who have obtained a temple recommend. In order to receive a recommend Mormons must answer a series of questions about their “personal worthiness.” These questions range from whether or not they are abstaining from coffee, tea and alcohol to proving that they are paying a full 10 percent of their gross earnings to the LDS Church.

I would like to provide a scriptural reference for the LDS garments that explains their use and how they are to be worn, but there are none. Not even in the scriptures of the LDS Church.

Q14: Does the Mormon Church believe in the existence of another physical planet or planets, where Mormons will “rule” after their death and ascension?

A: No.

At first glance this answer seems to be a lie until you realize that there is an ambiguous loophole. The only reason why this answer is not a lie is because within LDS theology each God will create their own planets. In other words, if I were to become a Mormon god, the planets I will rule over are not in existence because I have yet to created them. The LDS Church just answered “No” instead of explaining the whole concept of being the God of your own planet and having your children worship you as God, just as we worship our father in heaven.

In all fairness, I do have to admit that the question is poorly worded. A better question would have been, “Does the LDS church teach that worthy members will become Gods and rule over other worlds just as the God of this planet is ruler over this earth?” A “No” answer to that question would be a bold-faced lie.

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6 Comments

  1. The last comment about “planets.” I see this all the time from critics of Mormonism, but I have yet to see an authoritative statement from an LDS source say that governing planets is part of the program. I’ve never taught it and I’ve never heard it taught in nearly 50 years as an active Mormon.I did hear J. Vernon McGee, however, on his “Through the Bible” series say that he thought he’d be creating planets in the hereafter.

  2. Uh, Alma, if you, quote, “have yet to see an authoritative statement from an LDS source say that governing planets is part of the program,” unquote, as you say in your post, then 1) you haven’t read this post thoroughly (I will quote the section you missed below) because this post quotes a central, official LDS Church manual that quotes Joseph (Fielding, I believe) Smith on the subject (a later Prophet of the Church, not Joseph Smith Jr, it’s founder), providing you with exactly that “authoritative statement from an LDS source” that you claim to lack, and 2) you obviously haven’t been a serious student of LDS Doctrine to have missed such a central, pivotal, defining theme with in the constructs of Mormonism.Here is the quote from above that you have apparently “missed” not only in this post, but for the last 50 years:”(1-19) Celestial Marriage Makes It Possible for Us to Claim Our Mortal Children in Eternity As Well As to Propagate Ourselves Throughout Eternity The Father has promised us that through our faithfulness . . . we will have the privilege of becoming like him . . . to have all the powers of godhood; thus a man and his wife when glorified will have spirit children who eventually will go on an earth like this one we are on and pass through the same kind of experiences, being subjectto mortal conditions, and if faithful, then they also will receive the fulness (sic) of exaltation and partake of the same blessings. There is no end to this development; it will go on forever. We will become gods and have jurisdiction over worlds, and these worlds will be peopled by our own offspring. We will have an endless eternity for this.” (Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 2:43-44, 48.) – (bold and italics mine)It is not my intent to provoke you by my forthright statements, though I understand that it can easily come across that way, and for that, I sincerely apologize. I say them anyway because I truly believe that you need to be told! My regret at having to make these statements does relieve me of my responsibility to make them.However, if you truly had missed that quote during your reading of this post, and your statement that you “have yet to see an authoritative statement from an LDS source say that governing planents is part of the program” was actually true at the time of your comment (though I really don’t see how that could be, but it is possible that I am wrong), and that you have truly “missed” that concept for 50 years, then you condemn yourself within your own faith, for as is stated in 2nd Nephi 25:23, you aren’t even close to doing “all you can do.”I’m not saying that sarcastically or even caustically. It’s not meant to provoke or ridicule you in any way, shape, or form. It’s meant to ask you the question, if you truly didn’t know this concept, what you have been doing for 50 years? 50 YEARS? It’s not hidden! It’s not a secret! And it’s mentioned in many, many other places throughout LDS doctrine!I occasionally have come across someone from the LDS Church who didn’t know about this culmination of the concept of Eternal Progression, but it’s always been someone who’s been in the LDS Church for less than five years.Honestly, to be a student of Mormonism for 50 years, whether in belief or in disbelief, and then be able to honestly make the statement, “I have yet to see an authoritative statement from an LDS source say that governing planents is part of the program” is unconscionable!Again, I don’t say those things to be mocking, provocative, sarcastic, caustic, or any other form of malice, but I do know that it will probably come across that way. It do mean my statements to be a wake-up call to you, to prod you to action to learn about the true teachings of the LDS Church. Your eternal destiny depends on your understanding of your doctrine! If the LDS Church is true, then you condemn yourself by not dedicating yourself to a deeper study of it’s doctrine (as this demonstrates an lax, laisse-faire attitude of contentment to stay ignorant of the revelations of God), and if the LDS Church is false, you condemn yourself by putting your faith in something that’s a lie. Either way, you need to act! And if you’re over 50 as you indicate, your time is running out!

  3. Alma,As James has pointed out, your question is addressed in answer number 10. When you say that you “have yet to see an authoritative statement from an LDS source say that governing planets is part of the program,” are you saying that you have seen the info in LDS sources, just not in a source you deem authoritative or are you saying you haven’t seen it in LDS sources at all?Just for the record, my quotation is from page 132 of the official LDS Church teaching manual, Achieving a Celestial Marriage.

  4. You (James and Keith) are absolutely correct and I apologize. It was late and I had just come from another website where “getting to govern your own planet” was the topic. I wrote without thinking, assuming that the same subject was being promoted here. My disagreement is with people who think Mormonism teaches that we’ll get our own planet (singular), rather than have an infinite dominion.

  5. Alma,Thanks for your apology. I must admit that I am a bit perplexed by your answer. If your “disagreement is with people who think Mormonism teaches that we’ll get our own planet (singular), rather than have an infinite dominion,” then why in your first post did you say, “I have yet to see an authoritative statement from an LDS source say that governing planets is part of the program?”You mentioned “planets” (plural)twice in your first post. Could you please clear this up?

  6. Unfortunately, I think this is now a dead thread. :(However, if it comes back to life, someone please email me at QuestionMormonism@Yahoo.com and let me know! Thanks. 🙂

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