Episode 155: D&C 55 – Section 76, Part 1

April 22, 2017


Episode 155: D&C 55 – Section 76, Part 1

What happens to us when you die? Resurrection 1 – good people. Resurrection 2 – bad people. Lucifer is bad and is now in hell. Punctuation is terrible, almost as terrible as apostacy!! Marie and Bryce will be there, drinking coffee, ruling alongside Lucifer, and wondering about why their worm is dead. The good people (men) are of the Church of the Firstborn and become (men) gods. All ur stuff r belong to Christ. Christ is middle management to God, so all ur stuff r belong to God.

Drink count – 4  (lame, do shots instead)

Read along with us at JoelAKuhn.com/dc-compare

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Drop me a line at comments@mybookofmormonpodcast.com
Podcastriarchal blessing: Julie B.
Podcastriarchal music is Our Happy Life by Maps and Transit, edited for length

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13 Comments on “Episode 155: D&C 55 – Section 76, Part 1”

  1. Angie Says:

    Luke 22:44….”and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Mormons interpret this very literally. They believe that Gethsemane is where Jesus took upon himself the sin of the world, and that the agony was so great it literally caused him to bleed from every pore. This was the beginning of the atonement for sin that was sealed and completed by his death on the cross. Christians believe it was his death on the cross that paid for sin, whereas Mormons emphasize Gethsemane. Another reason that some say Mormons are not Christians.


    • Gottfried TheHirsute Says:

      Well said, Angie. An interesting aspect to this is the Greek word “hosei” translated in the KJV as “as it were.” Hosei is normally a comparative adverb usually used in similes, so to take the concept literally is to misinterpret the meaning. The same word is used in Luke 3:22 where is says that “the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him [Jesus].” Of course, some people interpret this to mean that an actual, physical dove came and perched on Jesus… *facepalm*


    • Duke of Earl Grey Says:

      That verse is also interesting because it’s not in some of the earliest copies of Luke, and may have been added by later scribes, which seems to me like the exact opposite of Joseph Smith’s complaint (in the section heading), “it was apparent that many important points touching the salvation of man had been taken from the Bible, or lost before it was compiled.” I don’t know, it seems like real scriptural scribes were more in the habit of adding back stuff they thought should have been there in the first place, just like Joseph Smith was doing, than taking out stuff that offended their concept of proper doctrine.

      Joseph and Sidney’s Bible translation changes the simile language to “…and he sweat as it were great drops of blood…”. Instead of literal sweat being compared to blood, as in the Bible, in the JST it’s literal blood being compared to sweat. The mention of Jesus having blood coming out of every pore is strictly in Mormon scriptures, Mosiah 3:7 and D&C 19:18.

      In my believing days, these verses gave me serious doubts about the truth of the scriptures, kind of like what Marie was alluding to, “Did he bleed from every pore then take a nice shower?” Seriously, if the blood thing really happened, why did no one in the gospel narratives ask Jesus, “Dude, why are you drenched in blood?” Oh, I know, it must have been those scurrilous scribes, always taking important stuff out of the Bible…


    • Joel Kuhn Says:

      I realize I’m late to this, but interestingly that verse is widely considered an interpolation to the scripture. It is not found in many early manuscripts, and if you leave it out, Jesus is completely imperturbable throughout the rest of Luke. He never complains, he never even seems to suffer, and he calmly accepts his death saying “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit”. So the idea of Jesus being so distraught in Gethsemane that he sweat blood doesn’t fit in Lukes narrative at all.


  2. Gottfried TheHirsute Says:

    Good morning Marie and Bryce,

    So as Joseph and Sidney played their game of “I Spy with my Little (Spiritual) Eye,” the revelation was not recorded ‘live’ by a scribe, but was written down after the fact as a collaboration. This is evidenced by Dibble’s account that of the twelve other men in the room, there was “not a sound nor motion made by anyone.” The oldest extant manuscript dates from five months later (July 1832) and is in Frederick G. Williams’ handwriting, with numerous changes and emendations in Joseph’s handwriting. It obviously evolved over time, but I think we’ll get more into that aspect next week.

    Also, my personal opinion is that Joseph and Sidney were attempting to give this revelation (and the process of direct revelation in general) additional credence by applying the “out of the mouths of two or three witnesses shall every word be established” principle [2 Corinthians 13:1].

    Now, as to the use of the word “worm” in verse 44 – not a typo! Here, Rigdon and Smith are paraphrasing Mark 9:48, which is in turn paraphrasing Isaiah 66:24, the idea being that in hell, your carcass will be eternally eaten by worms. Yep. They will never die and they will never run out of ‘you’ to eat, just like the eternal fires of hell which will eternally burn you and never be quenched. Sorry, your lava analogy just doesn’t work here – this is HELL we’re talking about – a magical place where conventional rules don’t apply – not some plain ol’ earthly volcano. Just because you can’t conceive of something burning forever and not being consumed doesn’t mean it isn’t real. You and your rational thought! 😉


  3. Annalisa Schmaltz Says:

    As a (recently) former (still mind blown I’m saying ‘former’) Christian fundamentalist, I’ve always found Mormon views on ‘The Degrees of Glory’ fascinating. As a fundamentalist I researched this topic even before becoming interested in Mormonism. Basically what Christians believe is what Paul discusses in the New Testament: that there are ultimately two forms of bodies we can take. This really has nothing to do with heavenly glory statuses. Paul talks about this in 1 Corinthians 15 where one is the fleshly body, terrestrial and the other the heavenly body, celestial. No telestial bodies mentioned anywhere. (Even my spellcheck wants me to get rid of the word telestial.) I recommend reading the whole chapter for context (https://www.blueletterbible.org/kjv/1co/15/1/s_1077001) but here are a couple of key verses:

    1 Corinthians 15:40 (KJV)
    40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 

    The word used for terrestrial in Greek is epigeios which means existing upon the earth, earthly, …

    and celestial in Greek is epouranios meaning existing in heaven, of heavenly origin or nature.

    There is no ‘telestial’ found anywhere in any versions of the Bible.  

    Basically Paul is saying you either have a spirit body or a flesh body.

    1 Corinthians 15:42, 44, 48 (KJV)
    42  So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption …
    44  It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. …
    48  As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.

    In the second coming we all are transformed “in the twinking of an eye” from a fleshly body into a spiritual one.

    1 Corinthians 15:52-53 (KJV)
    52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 

    The end. No heavenly tiers, no separation of people in worthiness in Heaven – just two different bodies. I understand the lure of Joseph and Rigdon to do what they did. One or both of them may have sincerely believed they were actually contributing to God’s word with inspiration from God himself. That would be an AWESOME feeling, huh. To most Christians, though, this just looks like a confused, naive seance.

    – Annalisa


  4. Elder Sean Says:

    Excellent covereage of the first half of D&C 76! This was always a fascinating one for me because of the etymology of the words Celestial, Terrestrial, and Telestial… especially since the word Telestial is ENTIRELY made up, and (as far as I can find) has no reference to ever having been used before Joseph Smith.

    Where Celestial means “of (or pertaining to) the stars / Heavens”, and Terrestrial means “of the Earth”, then we can assume Telesetial is a portmanteau of “tele-” and “celestial”, inferring that it’s inhabitants are “far from heaven,” or of a glory of the brightness of the stars compared to the sun… only able to be seen if nothing else in the sky.

    Looks like someone already covered the Like 22 reference. Thanks Angie!


  5. Duke of Earl Grey Says:

    Bryce is right that the modern LDS church likes to minimize Sidney Rigdon’s contributions to the church. In fact, a small portion of the Philo Dibble account Bryce shared, in which Rigdon is described as limp and pale during the vision, while Joseph was firm and calm, is mentioned all the time in church. And we all chuckled at Joseph’s punchline, “Sidney is not as used to it as I am.” The story is used to reinforce what a great prophet Joseph Smith was, that this sort of magnificent vision was a normal thing for him, while Sidney could apparently barely physically handle the strain of coming along for the ride this one time, because of his general suckiness.


  6. Duke of Earl Grey Says:

    You guys pointed out the sexism in the idea of only men becoming gods, but I don’t think you pointed out the sexism of women not getting to become daughters of perdition, if they want to. Nope, it’s just “sons of perdition”. I guess only the boys can attain to knowing the power of God and being made partakers thereof to such an extent that they can commit “the unpardonable sin”. And that’s all the D&C really says about the qualifications needed to become a son of perdition. Some people will say you need to have been ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood, and some will say you need to have received the temple endowment, but those concepts didn’t exist in 1832.

    Now, quite a bit later (in the April 1844 “King Follett Discourse”, which isn’t in the D&C, so it’s not a spoiler, right?), Joseph Smith clarified things a bit: “What must a man do to commit the unpardonable sin? He must receive the Holy Ghost, have the heavens opened unto him, and know God, and then sin against Him. After a man has sinned against the Holy Ghost, there is no repentance for him. He has got to say that the sun does not shine while he sees it; he has got to deny Jesus Christ when the heavens have been opened unto him, and to deny the plan of salvation with his eyes open to the truth of it; and from that time he begins to be an enemy. This is the case with many apostates of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.” (Still no mention of women.)

    Now, once upon a time, someone, somewhere, originated a bit of Mormon folk doctrine that has stuck around and is still often mentioned in the church today, that the sons of perdition are so few that they “can be counted on one hand”. Some of the more austere LDS apostles, and of course I’m talking about Joseph Fielding Smith and Bruce R McKonkie, were quick to stomp on that idea by pointing out Joseph Smith’s mention of “many apostates” being sons of perdition, undoubtedly wanting to keep members ever wary of the possibility of falling, and keep them diligent in obedience, rather than leaving them to peacefully live with a comfortable knowledge that, whatever their failings, at least they don’t have to worry about eternal Outer Darkness.

    On the other hand, another apostle and later church president, Spencer W Kimball, felt that “the sin against the Holy Ghost requires such knowledge that it is manifestly impossible for the rank and file to commit such a sin.” I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt that he meant that sentiment to be encouraging, rather than elitist-sounding. Besides, it was in the context of Kimball’s comments on sons of perdition that he retold and popularized David W Patten’s account of meeting Cain himself, Mormonism’s answer to Bigfoot, and I have to send some love Kimball’s way for that one thing alone.


    Either way, clearly not ALL apostates allegedly become sons of perdition. And that’s enough to keep many of our believing family members on civil terms with us, because they can still hold out some hope for us attaining the kingdoms of glory, even if only one of the lower ones. More on that next time, I guess.


    • Gottfried TheHirsute Says:

      Hi Duke, somehow I missed your comment until just now. I didn’t realize that you’d already covered the Sons of Perdition so well. You’ve provided a lot of nuance about the topic that I kinda glossed over in my rush to make other points.

      I remember hearing the “can be counted on one hand” concept repeated fairly often in the ’80’s in northern Utah – McConkie and J. F. Smith notwithstanding!

      My wife says she grew up with so many Bigfoot sightings circulating around Box Elder county in the ’70’s that she was sometimes scared to go outside at night on her family farm, but being rather young she says she wasn’t aware of the association with Cain then.


      • Duke of Earl Grey Says:

        Well, I seem to remember once having heard of Fielding Smith mocking the concept of counting sons of perdition on one hand, by saying something like, yes, you CAN do it, but only if you count: 5, 10, 15, 20, and so on. But he probably never said that. I’ve never found back up for it anywhere, and I also have trouble imagining JFS having ANY kind of sense of humor, especially not so cheeky as that.



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