I am listening to the Today Show with Matt Lauer. He is interviewing Mitt Romney, and Romney has just claimed that the LDS Church has “clarified” a question raised by Huckabee. Evidently Huckabee asked something along the lines of, “Don’t Mormons believe the Devil and Jesus are brothers?” NBC then indicated that LDS leaders had “denied” this assertion.

   I have documented over the past week the attempts of LDS scholars to hide the common teachings of the leaders of the Latter-day Saints, specifically, the consistent teaching of the General Authorities on the physical parentage of Jesus by the Father, Elohim. These are not even arguable points, to be honest. No one can seriously argue that this has not been the consistent teaching of the LDS Church leadership. But given that our culture does not value the concept of truth, what someone “feels” is the teaching of a group is sufficient, and the consistent teaching over time of a group can be dismissed as a relic of history.
   There is likewise little question about this topic, either. Jesus is the first begotten spirit child of the exalted Elohim, a man who lived on another planet and became a god. Lucifer was likewise one of the spirit offspring of Elohim, as are you and I. This makes us all spirit brothers of Jesus, including Lucifer. Hence, it is a true statement that Jesus and Lucifer are spirit brothers. I have not found any statements from the General Authorities “clarifying” this teaching. But I would like to offer the following as evidence of the doctrine in the teachings of the LDS Church, taken again from my book Letters to a Mormon Elder p. 207:

   With that understood, let’s get to the topic at hand. As we discussed earlier, in current Mormon theology the Father is identified as “Elohim” and the Son, Jesus Christ, is Jehovah. We have already seen that this distinction is anti-Biblical in that it is directly contradictory to what the Bible reveals about God. But it is important to keep this distinction in mind to understand the LDS concept of Christ. [I keep saying “current Mormon theology,” Steve, because originally Joseph Smith taught a different concept, and Brigham Young yet another—the “current” belief about Elohim and Jehovah did not develop until early in this century.]
   The “Mormon Jesus” is Elohim’s first-born spirit-child in the pre-existence. I have here the pamphlet you gave me when we first met entitled What the Mormons Think of Christ. On pages 6 and 7 we read:

   In this conversation our Lord boldly directed the Pharisees to consider the very heart and core of Christianity. Is he really the Son of God, as we are the sons of mortal fathers? Or was he just another religious teacher, of whom there were many among the Jews in that day? Or was he the greatest moral and spiritual teacher of all ages, though not the literal, personal offspring in the flesh of that exalted, personal being who is God our Father?…

   Their state of blind rejection of revealed truth was not of a different variety than that found among equally sincere, religious people today. Many reliable surveys have been made among present-day ministers and laymen, inquiring relative to a belief in Christ as the literal Son of God. Few have knowledge that he is such, literally, personally, actually, as other men are the sons of mortal parents.

   The pamphlet is clear in saying that Christ is the literal offspring of God the Father. We will note later the fact that this is to be taken both with reference to his pre-mortal existance as well as his physical existence. But specifically in reference to his supposed “spritual begetal,” the pamphlet goes on to say,

   Christ is the Firstborn. Obviously, he did not have this distinction as pertaining to his birth into mortality, for many millions preceded him in birth upon this earth.
   But it must not be forgotten, however little the doctrine is known and believed in the Christian world, that all men lived in a premortal estate before they were born into this world; all were born in the premortal existence as the spirit children of the Father. Christ as the firstborn spirit child; and from that day forward he has had preeminence in all things (p. 22).

   The writer goes on to cite Colossians 1:15 as evidence of this, not understanding that the term translated “firstborn” in the Greek language is not referring here to the idea of birth at all, but to the concept of rulership, preeminence, having the first place in all things. He who “created all things” (Colossians 1:16-17) is not Himself a created, or begotten, being.
   Bruce R. McConkie wrote in his book, Mormon Doctrine,
Christ is the Firstborn, meaning that he was the first Spirit Child born to God the Father in pre-existence (p. 281).
   And Joseph Fielding Smith added,

THE FIRSTBORN. Our Father in heaven is the Father of Jesus Christ, both in the spirit and in the flesh. Our Savior is the Firstborn in the spirit, the Only Begotten in the flesh (Doctrines of Salvation, 1:18).

   Doctrine and Covenants 93:21 teaches the same thing:

And now, verily I say unto you, I was in the beginning with the Father, and am the Firstborn.

   God the Father, Elohim, begat a son with one of his celestial wives—the spirit child’s name was Jehovah, or Jesus. You and I, supposedly, were also begotten by God the Father and one of his celestial wives (indeed, does not the LDS hymn entitled “O My Father” say in the third stanza, “In the heavens are parents single? No; the thought makes reason stare! Truth is reason, truth eternal, tells me I’ve a mother there”?) So we see that according to LDS teaching, Jesus Christ entered into spiritual existence as a spirit-child of God the Father. To make the contrast between LDS teaching and Biblical doctrine more complete, I might express it this way: Elohim, an exalted man, as a father begat a spirit son, Jehovah, by one of his celestial wives. That son was Jesus.
   Flowing from this, then, is the concept that the “Mormon Jesus” is the spirit brother of you and I, since we both would have the same “father” in heaven—Elohim. Not only this, but since the Mormon Church teaches that Lucifer was also one of the pre-mortal offspring of God the Father, then Jesus and Lucifer are spirit brothers. This is certainly a teaching that 1) is highly offensive to most Christians, and 2) is not understood or known by many LDS. I can’t tell you how often some Mormon person has said to me, “well, that shows how little you know about what we believe!” So that we have no misunderstandings, I give you the following citations:

   Thus it is shown that prior to the placing of man upon the earth, how long before we do not know, Christ and Satan, together with the hosts of the spirit-children of God, existed as intelligent individuals, possessing power and opportunity to choose the course they would pursue and the leaders whom they would follow and obey (James Talmage, Jesus the Christ, p. 8).

   The appointment of Jesus to be the Savior of the world was contested by one of the other sons of God. He was called Lucifer, son of the morning. Haughty, ambitious, and covetous of power and glory, this spirit-brother of Jesus desparately tried to become the Savior of mankind (Milton R. Hunter, The Gospel Through the Ages, p. 15—this book was “written and published under the direction of the General Priesthood Committee of the Council of the Twelve of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”).

   Comparing the following quotations from McConkie’s Mormon Doctrine brings out the same teaching:

   The devil…is a spirit son of God who was born in the morning of pre-existence (p. 192).
   Christ is the Firstborn, meaning that he was the first Spirit Child born to God the Father in pre-existence (p. 281).
   Christ, the Firstborn, was the mightiest of all the spirit children of the Father (p. 590).

   And if all of that wasn’t enough (and I’ve met a few LDS for whom it wasn’t), the Ensign magazine, an official publication of the LDS Church, ran a “Questions from Readers” in the June, 1986 edition. While this section always has a statement that reads, “Questions of a general gospel interest answered for guidance, not as official statements of Church policy,” it is clear that when it comes to doctrinal issues, the Church would not publish something out of line with its own views. In this issue the following question is asked:

   How can Jesus and Lucifer be spirit brothers when their characters and purposes are so utterly opposed?

   Part of the response is as follows:

   On first hearing, the doctrine that Lucifer and our Lord, Jesus Christ, are brothers may seem surprising to some—especially to those unacquainted with latter-day revelations. But both the scriptures and the prophets affirm that Jesus Christ and Lucifer are indeed offspring of our Heavenly Father and, therefore, spirit brothers….But as the Firstborn of the Father, Jesus was Lucifer’s older brother (p. 25).

   Now surely, Mitt Romney is not one of those “unacquainted with latter-day revelations,” but rather than openly explaining his position, he has chosen to side-step it. And once again, the massive ignorance that exists on the part of the entire culture regarding the LDS faith comes to light.

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