Lectures on Faith: Section 5

November 24, 2018


Lectures on Faith: Section 5

If you say it three times, it’s true.


Patron bonus – Thanksgiving 2018

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2 Comments on “Lectures on Faith: Section 5”

  1. Gottfried the Hirsute Says:

    Or, to paraphrase, “I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together…” Now I understand – Jesus is The Walrus! 😀 (goo goo g’joob)

    Once we get past Rigdon’s “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit” teaching style, we discover that he has unwittingly rediscovered Binitarianism – where Jesus is equal to yet separate from God, and the Holy Ghost is not a personage, but is the divine influence or power of the Father and the Son.

    Binitarianism was an early Christian theology that attempted to resolve the paradox of “how do we worship Jesus as God without being considered Polytheists? (which was a common criticism by Romans of early Christians). It’s ironic, then, that the Council of Nicea in 325CE, in its attempt to stamp out ‘heresies’ with a strategy of “we won’t state what God is, but only all the things that He is not” actually made the proto-Othodox Christian church more susceptible to being called Polytheistic by adding the Holy Ghost to the Godhead and creating the Trinity!

    I find it fascinating that Rigdon, in his attempt to apply a basic post-Enlightenment methodology to an extremely pre-Enlightenment text – his fingers stained red from ‘cherry picking’ 😉 – arrives at the same answer as 3rd Century theologians. When you use the same source, you get the same conclusion – especially when it’s your only source and it’s inerrant! 😀

    The 1830 Book of Mormon states at least four times that Jesus is God (e.g. 1Nephi 11:18, 11:21, 11:32, and 13:40 in modern versification). For example 1 Nephi 3, p. 32 — “These last records … shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Eternal Father and the Savior of the world.” (the modern 1Nephi 13:40 changes this to “…the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father…). This is essentially a Unitarian theology.

    By 1837, the changes in the text of the Book of Mormon and other statements made by Joseph Smith show that Mormon theology had almost completely morphed into the “Social Trinitarianism” (three personages, one purpose) of the modern Church. Between these we have Rigdon’s Binitarianism of 1834. And as Bryce noted, there is a correlation between this evolving theology and the various versions of the First Vision story.

    And Rigdon wasn’t the only person reinventing the wheel at this time. As early as 1858, various schismatic groups left the Seventh Day Adventist church due to the evolving theology in Adventism and still maintain a Binitarian theology to this day despite the fact that Ellen White herself renounced Binitarianism in 1897. Splitters! (another Life of Brian reference).

    So despite assertions ad nauseum that God is eternal and unchanging, the only true constants are that religious beliefs evolve and that people will then disagree on them! 🙂

    PS: “Compass” when used as a verb means “to encircle or enclose” but is now an archaic usage. (See KJV 1 Samuel 23:26 “…Saul and his men compassed David and his men round about to take them.”)


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