Alpha & Omega Ministries Apologetics Blog
Evaluating Mormonism Honestly
08/31/2007 - Jeff DownsIn the latest edition of Reformation21, Issue 24 (September 2007), an article appears by James titled "Truth and Honesty in Evaluating the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints." Click here to read. The rest of the latest edition is here.
Mormonism 101: Fourth Level Statements--Final You Graduated!
08/31/2007 - James WhiteThe Encyclopedia of Mormonism
Before we conclude our examination, I would like to call one last witness to the stand. In 1992 a major publication appeared in LDS bookstores called The Encyclopedia of Mormonism. This major work represented the work of numerous LDS scholars and writers. Does it, likewise, speak of these doctrines? It most assuredly does. One of the plainest sections comes from the pen of Dr. Stephen Robinson of Brigham Young University. Speaking of God the Father, Robinson wrote:
The Father, Elohim, is called the Father because he is the literal father of the spirits of mortals (Heb. 12:9). This paternity is not allegorical. All individual human spirits were begotten (not created from nothing or made) by the Father in a premortal state, where they lived and were nurtured by Heavenly Parents. These spirit children of the Father come to earth to receive mortal bodies; there is a literal family relationship among humankind. Joseph Smith taught, "If men do not comprehend the character of God, they do not comprehend themselves" (TPJS, p. 343). Gods and humans represent a single divine lineage, the same species of being, although they and he are at different stages of progress. This doctrine is stated concisely in a well-known couplet by President Lorenzo Snow: "As man now is, God once was: as God now is, man may be" (see Godhood). . . . The important points of the doctrine for Latter-day Saints are that Gods and humans are the same species of being, but at different stages of development in a divine continuum, and that the heavenly Father and Mother are the heavenly pattern, model, and example of what mortals can become through obedience to the gospel (see Mother in Heaven).
Robinson is hesitant to affirm much about the pre-exalted state of Elohim, the Father, but his emphasis upon God being of the "same species of being" as man should not be missed. Earlier, in writing a section on "LDS Doctrine Compared with Other Christian Doctrines," Robinson wrote:
Just as God organized preexisting matter to create the universe, so he organized preexisting intelligence to create the spirits that eventually became human beings. Consequently, Latter-day Saints do not view God as the total cause of what human beings are. Human intelligence is uncreated by God, and therefore independent of his control.What about the Godhead? We read,
Unique to LDS theology in modern times is a view of the Godhead as consisting of three separate beings, two possessing bodies of flesh and bone and one possessing a spirit body. An official declaration concerning the Godhead states: "The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit" (D&C 130:22). Latter-day Saints take the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, in a literal, anthropomorphic sense, attributing to God both a human form and emotions. They accept both a "oneness" and "threeness" of the Godhead as taught in the Bible. However, they reject the traditional doctrine of the Trinity, and believe instead that the Godhead is one in mind, purpose, and testimony, but three in number.Is God a man, according to the Encyclopedia of Mormonism?
Latter-day Saints perceive the Father as an exalted Man in the most literal, anthropomorphic terms. They do not view the language of Genesis as allegorical; human beings are created in the form and image of a God who has a physical form and image (Gen. 1:26). The Prophet Joseph Smith explained, "The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit" (D&C 130:22). Thus, "God is a Spirit" (John 4:24) in the sense that the Holy Ghost, the member of the Godhead who deals most often and most directly with humans, is a God and a spirit, but God the Father and God the Son are spirits with physical, resurrected bodies. Latter-day Saints deny the abstract nature of God the Father and affirm that he is a concrete being, that he possesses a physical body, and that he is in space and time.
Such plain statements, then, complete our investigation with a modern testimony on a scholarly level to the abiding validity of the concepts announced by Joseph Smith nearly 150 years earlier.
But is the Church Backing Away from this Doctrine?
Recent comments by Mormon Prophet Gordon Hinckley have added fuel to the fires of speculation that the LDS Church is, at the very least, de-emphasizing at least part of the doctrine that we have seen has been plainly taught from the very inception of the LDS Church. Many have commented on the fact that Mormonism has been seeking a wider acceptance as a "Christian" Church while maintaining a unique identity. Recent comments by the President of the Mormon Church, Gordon Hinckley, seem to indicate that this observation has a real basis. Some point out that Hinckley worked for many years in "public relations," coordinating the LDS Church's media contacts, and hence may be more "sensitive" to the issue of "appearance" than previous (and following) Presidents of the Church. I hesitate to even address these statements, since they do not appear in any kind of official publication of the Church. Indeed, they would not qualify for our previous study, since they are not found in LDS publications, but found in non-LDS, popular media! Mormons would rightly object to the citation of these sources to define their belief. Yet, since these statements have been widely circulated, we need to briefly consider what has been said.
Shortly after the April, 1997 General Conference of the LDS Church, an article appeared in the San Fransisco Chronicle (April 13th edition). A reporter was interviewing Gordon Hinckley:
Q: There are some significant differences in your beliefs. For instance, don't Mormons believe that God was once a man?
A: I wouldn't say that. There was a little couplet coined, "As man is, God once was. As God is, man may become." Now that's more of a couplet than anything else. That gets into some pretty deep theology that we don't know very much about.
Q: So you're saying the church is still struggling to understand this?
A: Well, as God is, man may become. We believe in eternal progression. Very strongly. We believe that the glory of God is intelligence and whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the Resurrection. Knowledge, learning, is an eternal thing. And for that reason, we stress education. We're trying to do all we can to make of our people the ablest, best, brightest people that we can.
The person who has read the preceding documentation might be more than a little surprised by the statement, "That gets into some pretty deep theology that we don't know very much about." And we note that Hinckley only affirms the second half of Lorenzo Snow's couplet, that being that we can become like God. The assertion that God was once a man is left in a state of ambiguity.
A few months later a PBS program aired that again contained another interview with Hinckley. Richard Ostling is quoted:
RICHARD OSTLING: President Gordon Hinckley says the concept of God having been a man is not stressed any longer, but he does believe that human beings can become gods in the afterlife.Hinckley's words sound very much the same as in the previous statement. We are not provided with the basis, in Hinckley's own words, for Ostling's summary that "the concept of God having been a man is not stressed any longer." But we can guess on the basis of his words found in the August 4th, 1997 issue of Time Magazine. Here we are given more of a direct quotation than in the preceding sources:
PRESIDENT GORDON HINCKLEY: Well, they can achieve to a godly status, yes, of course they can, eternal progression. We believe in the progression of the human soul. Ours is a forward-looking religion. It's an upward-looking religion. We believe in the eternity and the infinity of the human soul, and its great possibilities.
And not just the converts. In an interview with TIME, President Hinckley seemed intent on downplaying his faith's distinctiveness. The church's message, he explained, "is a message of Christ. Our church is Christ-centered. He's our leader. He's our head. His name is the name of our church." At first, Hinckley seemed to qualify the idea that men could become gods, suggesting that "it's of course an ideal. It's a hope for a wishful thing," but later affirmed that "yes, of course they can." (He added that women could too, "as companions to their husbands. They can't conceive a king without a queen.") On whether his church still holds that God the Father was once a man, he sounded uncertain, "I don't know that we teach it. I don't know that we emphasize it... I understand the philosophical background behind it, but I don't know a lot about it, and I don't think others know a lot about it."
Again, I stress that these are not in any way official sources. If these words were found in the Ensign, the official LDS magazine, they would carry far more weight than they do. If Hinckley were to say he "doesn't know a lot about" God being a man in a General Conference address, we would have some real reason to wonder. But even given the sources, it is hard to avoid asking a rather simple question: how can the President of the LDS Church say that he doesn't know a lot about a doctrine that we have traced through every level of LDS teaching, and through ever era of the Church's existence? While one could hope that these scattered statements in non-LDS sources bodes a change in the direction of the Mormon Church's theology, eventually leading to a renunciation of the concept of eternal progression, such a conclusion would be very premature. Even if Gordon Hinckley were to be found less than firm in his conviction of this doctrine (a fact that would raise all sorts of questions concerning the consistency of LDS teachings, the nature of truth in Mormonism, etc.), it would take a wholesale repudiation of the authority of the previous prophets and apostles who so plainly taught eternal progression to give us a true turn-about in LDS doctrine. Such a repudiation has yet to appear.
Official Mormon teaching is clear. God and man are of the same species. The difference between them is a matter of exaltation and progression over aeons of time. God was once a man, a mortal, just as we. He lived on another planet in a condition very similar to ours, and gained exaltation on the same principles that are made available to men today. The worthy Mormon man who is sealed for time and eternity to his wife in the LDS Temple, and who continues faithful to the end in obedience to gospel ordinances and principles, will be exalted, in due time, to the status of a God. He will have "eternal increase," beget spirit children, and be worshipped as the God and creator of other worlds. In those worlds he will raise up his spirit children so that they, too, might become exalted. This is the eternal law of progression, the concept of exaltation to godhood, and as we saw over and over again, in Mormonism, this is the gospel.
 Daniel H Ludlow, ed. The Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 4 vols., (New York: Macmillan Publishing, 1992).
 Ibid., Volume 2, "God the Father," LDSCL.
 Ibid, Volume 1, "Doctrine," LDSCL.
 This article has been removed since publication from the website which hosted it.
 A transcript of the report can be found here.
 The article has been removed since publication from the website which hosted it.
Mormonism 101: Fourth Level Statements (#4)
08/29/2007 - James WhiteBruce R. McConkie
I have often commented that I'm glad I am not Bruce R. McConkie. Why? Because of all the LDS Apostles of recent memory, he is the one about whom I have heard it said most often: "Well, that was just his opinion." As far as Apostles go, he is the one that LDS missionaries like to disagree with the most. As soon as you cite something from McConkie's most famous work, Mormon Doctrine, an encyclopedic compendium on the teachings of the LDS Church, you hear, "Oh, that's just his speculation." Yet, when Ezra Taft Benson eulogized McConkie as his funeral, he saw things a bit differently:
"Often when a doctrinal question came before the First Presidency and the Twelve," he continued, "Elder McConkie was asked to quote the scripture or to comment on the matter. He could quote scripture verbatim and at great length." He "provided the entire Church with an example of gospel scholarship. He could teach the gospel with ease because he first understood the gospel."
A quick glance at the currently published LDS manuals of religion also reveals that right after Joseph Smith comes Joseph Fielding Smith and Bruce R. McConkie as the most often cited LDS authorities. While McConkie may have been more than a little irascible, when it comes to the LDS doctrine of God, I have yet to find any LDS person who was able to demonstrate that what he said was out of line with the official position of the Church.
McConkie's writings, which are quite voluminous, contain a great deal of material on our particular subject of interest. However, we will focus upon only a few of the possible citations. Apostle McConkie often placed his words in a apologetic context, always keeping an eye upon the critics of the Church, both within and without. For example, notice his definition of monotheism from Mormon Doctrine:
Monotheism is the doctrine or belief that there is but one God. If this is properly interpreted to mean that the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost--each of whom is a separate and distinct godly personage--are one God, meaning one Godhead, then true saints are monotheists.This is hardly the definition of monotheism, for then the Egyptians could be called monotheists for worshipping a triad of Gods who are simply united in purpose. But even here, McConkie is straightforward in confessing three separate and distinct godly personages. Likewise, when defining "plurality of gods" in the same work, McConkie writes:
Three separate personages-Father, Son, and Holy Ghost-comprise the Godhead. As each of these persons is a God, it is evident, from this standpoint alone, that a plurality of Gods exists. To us, speaking in the proper finite sense, these three are the only Gods we worship. But in addition there is an infinite number of holy personages, drawn from worlds without number, who have passed on to exaltation and are thus gods.Note especially the phrase, "these three are the only Gods we worship." This is a disputable phrase, for many LDS say they worship only the Father. In either case, by now we should be accustomed to hearing LDS speaking of "Gods" and we should understand exactly what is in view when we hear such words. McConkie likewise confesses that "an infinite number of holy personages" also exist, who are rightly called gods. And did he likewise believe as Joseph Smith regarding the means of exaltation to godhood? It certainly seems so:
Endowed with agency and subject to eternal laws, man began his progression and advancement in pre-existence, his ultimate goal being to attain to a state of glory, honor, and exaltation like the Father of spirits. During his earth life he gains a mortal body, receives experience in earthly things, and prepares for a future eternity after the resurrection when he will continue to gain knowledge and intelligence. (D. & C. 130:18-19) This gradually unfolding course of advancement and experience-a course that began in a past eternity and will continue in ages future-is frequently referred to as a course of eternal progression. . . . In the full sense, eternal progression is enjoyed only by those who receive the fulness of the Father; they have all power, all knowledge, and all wisdom; they gain a fulness of truth, becoming one with the Father. All other persons are assigned lesser places in the mansions that are prepared, and their progression is not eternal and unlimited but in a specified sphere. . . . Those who gain exaltation, having thus enjoyed the fulness of eternal progression, become like God.So that he can conclude:
Man and God are of the same race, and it is within the power of righteous man to become like his Father, that is to become a holy Man, a Man of Holiness.Is this not what we have seen consistently throughout the literature we have surveyed? Surely it is.
 Ensign, June 1985, p. 16.
 An example of this that also explains why he is hardly the favorite of many who teach at BYU is found in a letter he wrote to Professor Eugene England on February 19, 1981. This famous letter, in which McConkie admitted that Brigham Young contradicted himself on the matter of the "Adam-God doctrine," also contained the following enlightening paragraph:
If it is true, as I am advised, that you speak on this subject of the progression of God at firesides and elsewhere, you should cease to do so. If you give other people copies of the material you sent me, with the quotations it contains, you should cease to do so. It is not in your province to set in order the Church or to determine what its doctrines shall be. It is axiomatic among us to know that God has given apostles and prophets "for the edifying of the body of Christ," and that their ministry is to see that "we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the slight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive." (Eph. 4:11-16.) This means, among other things, that it is my province to teach to the Church what the doctrine is. You do not have a divine commission to correct me or any of the Brethren. The Lord does not operate that way. If I lead the Church astray, that is my responsibility, but the fact still remains that I am the one appointed with all the rest involved so to do. The appointment is not given to the faculty at Brigham Young University or to any of the members of the Church. The Lord's house is a house of order and those who hold the keys are appointed to proclaim the doctrines. (p. 8).
 Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 511, LDSCL.
 Ibid., pp. 576-577.
 Indeed, McConkie said the same thing in other contexts. The seeming answer to the contradiction is that there are different levels of "worship."
 A popular expression of this is found in Two Letters to a Baptist Minister:
We solemnly plead guilty to believing in many Gods. If this is a crime it is time for a new translation of the Holy Scriptures. Does not the good book say "and God said, let us make man in our own image?" What are you going to do with the words "us" and "our"' in this Scripture? Does this not prove a plurality of Gods?Scrapbook of Mormon Literature Ben. E. Rich, ed. 2 vols. (Chicago: Henry C. Etten & Co., 1913), 2:128, LDSCL.
 Ibid., pp. 238-239.
 Ibid., pp. 465-466.
Mormonism 101: Fourth Level Statements (#3)
08/25/2007 - James WhiteJames Talmage
Another leading scholar (and General Authority) of Mormonism was James Talmage. Talmage's books, Articles of Faith and Jesus the Christ, have been read so widely that they are almost quasi-canonical. Indeed, both have been published by the LDS Church itself, sometimes in leather-bound editions! They are often included in the books given to Mormon missionaries as they prepare for their mission work. I quote from Articles of Faith regarding godhood:
Those who have been born unto God through obedience to the Gospel may by valiant devotion to righteousness obtain exaltation and even reach the status of godhood. Of such we read: "Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of God" (D.&C. 76:58; compare 132:20, and contrast paragraph 17 in same section; see also paragraph 37). Yet, though they be gods they are still subject to Jesus Christ as their Father in this exalted relationship; and so we read in the paragraph following the above quotation: "and they are Christ's, and Christ is God's" (76:59).And in another of his works, The Vitality of Mormonism, Talmage commented:
If man be the spirit offspring of God, and if the possibilities of individual progression be endless, to both of which sublime truths the Scriptures bear definite testimony, then we have to admit that man may eventually attain to Divine estate. However far away it be in the eternities future, what eons may elapse before any one now mortal may reach the sanctity and glory of godhood, man nevertheless has inherited from his Divine Father the possibilities of such attainment-even as the crawling caterpillar or the corpse-like chrysalis holds the latent possibility, nay, barring destruction, the certainty, indeed, of the winged imago in all the glory of maturity.
Apostle John Widtsoe was another LDS leader who attempted to provide an intellectual and theological defense of the Mormon doctrine of God. In his work, A Rational Theology, he describes what he as a Mormon Apostle believes about God and exaltation. In a chapter titled "The Gods of This Earth," Widtsoe pulls no punches:
Plurality of Gods. Since innumerable intelligent beings are moving onward in development, there must be some in almost every conceivable stage of development. If intelligent beings, far transcending the understanding of man, be called gods, there may be many gods. God, angel and similar terms denote merely intelligent beings of varying degree of development. The thought, however, that there is a plurality of gods and other divine beings of varying grades, is of fundamental truth, which may be applied in every-day life, for it gives the assurance that it is possible for all, by self-effort and by gradual steps, to attain the highest conceivable power.In light of this, who, then, is God the Father?
God, the Father. God, the Father, the greatest personage concerned in our progression, is the supreme God. He is the Father of our spirits. He is the being of highest intelligence with whom we deal. To our senses and understanding he is as perfection. In his fulness he cannot be fathomed by the human mind. It is, indeed, useless for man to attempt to define in detail the great intelligent beings of the universe.
Note well what Apostle Widtsoe doesn't say. He doesn't say God the Father is the greatest personage period, but the greatest personage "concerned in our progression." God the Father is not the highest intelligence period, but the highest intelligence "with whom deal." And notice as well the use of the plural "intelligent beings of the universe." This same kind of hesitation is seen as he continues:
God, the Father, the supreme God of whom we have knowledge, is the greatest intelligence in the infinite universe, because he is infinite in all matters pertaining to us and transcends wholly our understanding in his power and wisdom. We know no greater God than the omniscient, omnipotent Father.God is the supreme God "of whom we have knowledge," and is infinite "in all matters pertaining to us." Hence, "we know no greater God," though, obviously, a greater God exists, since there had to be Gods preceding God the Father, who was once a man, and has progressed to Godhood. We may not know these other gods, but their existence is as sure in LDS teaching as the eternal law of progression itself.
 James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith, 12th ed., rev. (Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1978), p. 470, LDSCL.
 James E. Talmage, The Vitality of Mormonism, (Boston: The Gorham Press, 1919), p. 245, LDSCL.
 John A. Widtsoe, A Rational Theology As Taught by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1965), p. 66, LDSCL.
 Ibid., pp. 66-67, LDSCL.
The Bridge or the Beehive? Mormon Apologetics in a Postmodern Age (Update with Times)
08/14/2007 - James WhiteThe current CRI Journal has an article by Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson on the issue of Mormon apologetics and the situation that has arisen due to the Millet/Johnson situation in Utah, and the group "Standing Together." I was especially interested to read a number of citations that mirrored my own comments made in response to Richard Mouw's attacks upon all of us who have labored so long to minister to the LDS people. Though I simply do not have the time to keep up a lot of "inter-ministry" contact with a lot of the folks laboring in Utah (a function of the smallness of this ministry and the breadth of the topics I address, not of any lack of desire on my part for that kind of fellowship), it was very encouraging to see that I am surely not alone in my utter rejection of Mouw's "apology." (By the way, the new edition of Is the Mormon My Brother, due out any day now, contains a discussion of Mouw and his actions in defense of Mormonism). In any case, I highly recommend obtaining this article from CRI. In fact, since I write fairly regularly for the CRI Journal, you might just want to subscribe. Here is the link for this single issue, and here is the link to subscribe.
All of this to let you know that Frank Pastore of KKLA will be interviewing Bill McKeever tomorrow (Wednesday) about the article in the CRI Journal. Bill's note did not indicate the time, but the Pastore program is on from 4pm to 7pm PDT, so you can figure it out from there. Here is the audio link. I know I will do what I can to be listening, though, it may run into prayer meeting for me. I may have to set up Total Recorder to grab the program. In any case, many of you will find this interview interesting.
UPDATE: Bill informs me that they will interview Craig Hazen of Biola at 5pm, and Bill at 6pm. I'll be listening!
Mormonism 101: Fourth Level Statements (#2)
08/13/2007 - James WhiteWilford Woodruff
Wilford Woodruff became the fourth President of the LDS Church in 1889. While known to history more as the Prophet through which the Manifesto ending polygamy came to the LDS Church, he also spoke to the topic of our study in the years prior to his elevation to the Presidency, here from 1857:
If there was a point where man in his progression could not proceed any further, the very idea would throw a gloom over every intelligent and reflecting mind. God himself is increasing and progressing in knowledge, power, and dominion, and will do so, worlds without end.Woodruff's statement, while perfectly in line with what Joseph Smith said in the King Follett Discourse, is controversial today, for many LDS wish to say that God has completed His progression. This can be seen in a statement by Mormon Apostle Bruce R. McConkie:
It should be realized that God is not progressing in knowledge, truth, virtue, wisdom, or any of the attributes of godliness.
Brigham Henry Roberts is one of the two greatest scholars Mormonism has produced since its inception (I would include James Talmage as the other). Here we encounter a great mind that attempts to provide some consistency to the system created by Joseph Smith. His book, The Mormon Doctrine of Deity, is one of the first examples of LDS apologetic literature. He knew the vocabulary of Christian theology, and hence struggled to express LDS beliefs in that language. For example, in regards to how the term omniscient (having all knowledge) could be applied to the LDS God, he wrote:
So with the All-knowing attribute, Omniscience: that must be understood somewhat in the same light as the other attributes considered: not that God is Omniscient up to the point that further progress in knowledge is impossible to him; but that all knowledge that is, all that exists, God knows. He is Universal Consciousness, and Mind---he is the All-knowing One, because he knows all that is known.True omniscience becomes potential omniscience or relative omniscience. This kind of redefinition of terms is absolutely necessary in attempting to fit the anthropomorphic God (or, as some put it, the theomorphic man) of Mormonism into classical terminology. The same is true regarding omnipresence:
So the attribute Omnipresence---the Everywhere Present attribute. This must be so far limited as to be ascribed to Gods Spirit, or Influence, or Power: but not of God as a Person or Individual: for in these latter respects even God is limited by the law that one body cannot occupy two places at one and the same time. But radiating from his presence, as beams of light and warmth radiate from our sun, is Gods Spirit, penetrating and permeating space, making space and all worlds in space vibrate with his life and thought and presence: holding all forces--dynamic and static--under control, making them to subserve his will and purposes.
Omnipresence becomes a matter of God's Spirit radiating throughout creation, though, we are left to wonder if all of creation is meant, or only those worlds under this particular gods control. In either case, there was a time when this God wasn't a god, so whose influence was then felt throughout creation? These are difficult questions for the LDS position to answer. Despite Roberts interaction with historic, orthodox Christian belief, he still maintained the full LDS viewpoint regarding the plurality of gods:
A Plurality of Divine Intelligences: We have already shown that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are three separate and distinct persons, and, so far as personality is concerned, are three Gods. Their oneness consists in being possessed of the same mind; they are one, too, in wisdom, in knowledge, in will and purpose; but as individuals they are three, each separate and distinct from the other, and three is plural. Now, that is a long way on the road towards proving the plurality of Gods.Robert's classic work on the subject is titled The Mormon Doctrine of Deity. This work, which contains a dialogue and debate on the nature of God with a Catholic clergyman, Van Der Donckt, is a must read for the person looking into not only the definition of LDS theology, but the means used to defend it. But a single citation will be enough to include Roberts among all the others we have examined regarding the nature of the LDS God:
But since the premises themselves have been shown to be utterly untenable, as relating to God, as revealed in the scriptures, and in the person and nature of Jesus Christ, the conclusions are wrong; and the facts established are that while God in mind, faculties and in power is doubtless infinite, in person he is finite; and as his spirit is united to a body, he is composite, not simple; and as Jesus Christ was God manifested in the flesh, the express image of God the Fathers person, the counterpart of his nature, and yet at the same time was a man--it is neither unscriptural, nor unphilosophical to hold that God, even the Father, is also a perfected, exalted man.
 Wilford Woodruff, Journal of Discourses, 6:120, LDSCL.
 Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966), p. 239, LDSCL.
 B.H. Roberts, The Seventys Course in Theology, Fourth Year (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1911), p. 70, LDSCL.
 Ibid., pp. 70-71.
 B.H. Roberts, The Seventy's Course in Theology, Third Year (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1911), p. 193, LDSCL.
 B.H. Roberts, The Mormon Doctrine of Deity: The Roberts-Van Der Donckt Discussion to Which is Added a Discourse, Jesus Christ: The Revelation of God by B. H. Roberts, Also A Collection of Authoritative Mormon Utterances on the Being and Nature of God, (Salt Lake City: Deseret News, 1903), p. 130, LDSCL.