11 March 2014

According the the Book of Mormon, Jesus is his own father

Joseph Smith was a bit confused about the relationship between Jesus and his father.

He saw the two of them together in his very first vision. Here's how he described it:

I retired to a secret place in a grove and began to call upon the Lord, while fervently engaged in supplication my mind was taken away from the objects with which I was surrounded, and I was enwrapped in a heavenly vision and saw two glorious personages who exactly resembled each other in features, and likeness, surrounded with a brilliant light which eclipsed the sun at noon-day. (Times and Seasons, Volume 3, pp.706-7)

And although in this account, the identical-looking "glorious personages" were not identified by name, he named them in another account.

I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him! (Joseph Smith-History, 1:17)

Here's a picture that someone took of the event.

(I'm not sure, but I think Jesus is on the left and his dad is on right, since the guy on the right seems to be pointing at the other guy. But you should ask a Mormon, just to be sure.)

So Jesus and his father are, or at least look like, identical twins.

Or maybe they they are the same person. That's why they appear identical, just like the Book of Mormon repeatedly and clearly states.

Here are the verses that I've found so far that say that Jesus is his own father, but let me know if I missed any.

  1. He shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth. Mosiah 3:8

  2. He shall be called the Son of God ... being the Father and the Son -- The Father, because he was conceived by the power of God; and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and Son And they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth. Mosiah 15:2-4

  3. Is the Son of God the very Eternal Father? Yea, he is the very Eternal Father. Alma 11:38-39

  4. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and of earth. Helaman 14:12

  5. He be the Son of God, the Father of heaven and of earth. Helaman 16:18

  6. Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son. Ether 3:14

  7. He that will not believe me will not believe the Father who sent me. For behold, I am the Father. Ether 4:12


Unknown said...

Isn't Elohim the Master Father, and Jesus the Father of Earth? Doesn't every planet have it's own "Father", all of whom report to Elohim?

Unknown said...

Damn autocorrect: "its"

Steve Wells said...

Yeah, P Hayes, that might be right. It's hard to keep Mormon beliefs straight.

But who were the two identical-looking guys that started it all in Joseph Smith's first vision?

Stephen said...

"But who were the two identical-looking guys that started it all in Joseph Smith's first vision?"

Well, your guess (or scripture) is as good as mine, Steve, but we know Joseph Smith couldn't possibly have been seeing double. How could he have worked the Seer Stones?
Steve Weeks

Project Leader said...

I'm very much inspired by this blog. I've actually made one that aims to answer questions by theists. nonworshiper.blogspot.com

Travis Whitted said...

"I am my own grandpa."- Christ

Nathan said...

If Mary didn't contribute any genes at all, why was her involvement necessary?

Unknown said...

I grow up in a devout Mormon family but am an atheist now. Mormons are very vocal about not believing in the trinity , Mormons believe Jesus and god are separate beings .

Unknown said...

Hi Steve,

Interesting post. I just never thought this was very confusing. I’m thinking you are addressing two separate issues but are combining them in a way to make them more confusing than they really are. One is the use of the words Father and Son, as though we were talking about biology. You become a father because you have (bear) a son. But here in the Book of Mormon, which you’ve quoted, we’re giving credit to Jesus Christ for being a Father as a title. Like Ben Franklin is the ‘father’ of electricity. Henry Ford is the ‘father’ of the automobile. We use that phrase often. Like Madison is the father of the Constitution. Nobody mistakes those titles, for their being sons to their own natural fathers.

Since we believe that Jesus created the heavens and earth, he can rightfully be called the ‘Father’ of heaven and earth, without infringing on his relationship with God the Father.

Likewise, he is the author of the gospel. Or, The Father of Salvation. He wrote the ‘book’. He gets credit for that.

Further, and probably most importantly, if you give your child life, you’re his father. Jesus’ atonement will ultimately give us eternal life, ‘literally’, so he changes in his role from our brother, to our Father. He will ultimately bear us. He will ultimately give us life. That role is as literal in the eternities as our mothers who gave us mortal life.

The part about Heavenly Father and Jesus looking alike, was not just made up by Joseph Smith although I’m sure he experienced it. That concept is right out of the New Testament, long before the First Vision occurred. Hebrews 1 says:
God, … Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, … when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
The express image of his person. That seems rather clear to me that they both look exactly alike. What’s more, it’s a pretty good list of what God the Father had Jesus do.
He appointed him Heir of all things
Had him create all the worlds
Purged all our sins
Sat down on the right hand of God.

Even Isaiah refers to Jesus by several titles, made famous in the Hallelujah chorus including The Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace. Great titles. In the end, I don’t think Joseph Smith was confused at all.

Steve, you seem like a really nice guy. And bright too. I completely understand that part of your platform is to poke fun at the Church and it’s members. Goodness knows, there’s a lot to poke fun of. LDS folks are peculiar people in many ways.

But your dwindling in unbelief suggests that you once had belief. Who knows what caused it to start to erode. It just seems a little sad to see you use your substantial brain, and considerable wit, to erode the faith of others.

Ultimately, there is nothing the believer can say to dissuade the unbeliever. Nor can the unbeliever mount sufficient evidence to definitely PROVE his position to the believer. Ultimately they are on exactly equal debate footing, neither having sufficient empirical evidence to outmaneuver the other. I believe that this is because the Lord has set it up to be a trial of our faith more than a trial of our reasoning. Empirical evidence doesn’t change behavior or conviction. That’s not how we come unto Christ. We must do it spiritually. And this eludes the cynic.

These parts about Jesus being the Father and the Son, and a thousand other things in the Book of Mormon have strengthened my faith, rather than diminishing it. Learning more and more about Joseph Smith’s teachings has fortified my faith, rather than causing it to dwindle. Funny how reading many of the same things as you, has had exactly the opposite effect on my beliefs.

Thanks again for some very interesting posts.

Stephen said...

"It just seems a little sad to see you use your substantial brain, and considerable wit, to erode the faith of others."

He probably wouldn't feel the need if it weren't for some groups, not least of all mormons, who insist on proselytizing for their religion and promoting it in the public square.

Sound familiar? ;-)
Steve Weeks

Lifestyles 2012 said...

Steve - I'm not a Mormon and to be honest - am not really a knower of their beliefs. But what you are saying is that he saw Jesus and His father and they looked identical. Christians believe Jesus is basically God. Muslims will kill you if you say that but they say that at the end of days Jesus is gonna kick Satans tail so Jesus must be pretty cool. I think in the end God is giving Jesus the power to judge us. I love Jesus and maybe what Joseph Smith saw was that Jesus and God are the same. Maybe they have the same DNA. Half God - Half Mary (linage to David, Abraham, Noah, Seth, and Adam.

Mobius said...

I know I'm late to the party, but I'm an ex-Mormon who was born in the church so I may have a relevant perspective.

I think some of the quotes cited (Like saying Jesus was the "father of heaven" in Mosiah) can't really be interpreted any other way than to say he was actually God. How could you rationalize giving Jesus the title "father of heaven" otherwise?

It's a common (yet incredibly confusing) belief in Christianity that Jesus was also God (his own father). Current Mormon doctrine says that they're two separate people, but it's very clear that that's not how things always were. There were a lot of changes made to the Book of Mormon to make that the case.

How Joseph Smith "accidentally" "mistranslated" all those sections when God was telling him the answers is a complete mystery ;)