Saturday, June 10

More quotes from Bruce R. McConkie

I've been talking a lot today about the article "Our Relationship with the Lord". Even though I quoted much of his article in my previous posts, this one is my very favorite quote of all from the article:

Now I sincerely hope that no one will imagine that I have in the slightest degree downgraded the Lord Jesus in the scheme of things. I have not done so. As far as I know there is not a man on earth who thinks more highly of him than I do. It just may be that I have preached more sermons, taught more doctrine, and written more words about the Lord Jesus Christ than any other man now living. I have ten large volumes in print, seven of which deal almost entirely with Christ, and the other three with him and his doctrines.

His humility astounds me. It's amazing how many fun quotes you can find from this man if you just do a little research:

Bruce McConkie states that the conception and birth of Jesus was completely natural.

"And Christ was born into the world as the literal Son of this Holy Being; he was born in the same personal, real, and literal sense that any mortal son is born to a mortal father. There is nothing figurative about his paternity; he was begotten, conceived and born in the normal and natural course of events,...Christ is the Son of Man, meaning that his Father (the Eternal God!) is a Holy Man." (Mormon Doctrine, by Bruce McConkie, page 742.)

"As far as this life is concerned, [Jesus] was born of Mary and of Elohim; he came here as an offspring of that Holy Man who is literally our Father in heaven. He was born in mortality in the literal and full sense as the Son of God. He is the Son of his Father in the same sense that all mortals are the sons and daughters of their fathers" (Bruce McConkie, Mortal Messiah 1:330).

"The Father had a Son, a natural Son, his own literal Seed, the Offspring of his body" (Bruce McConkie, The Promised Messiah, pg.355).

"There is no need to spiritualize away the plain meaning of the scriptures. There is nothing figurative or hidden or beyond comprehension in our Lord's coming into mortality. He is the Son of God in the same sense and way that we are the sons of mortal fathers. It is just that simple" (The Promised Messiah, pg.468).

Bruce McConkie states that God became a God by being saved by obedience to laws

“The Father is a glorified, perfected, resurrected, exalted man who worked out his salvation by obedience to the same laws he has given to us so that we may do the same.” (McConkie, Bruce R. A New Witness for the Articles of Faith. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1985. p. 64)

“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.” (Mormon Doctrine, pp. 465-466)

“This Holy Man, the Father of us all, who reigns supreme and is a saved being , ordained and established a plan of salvation so that his Firstborn and all his spirit children might advance and progress, become like him, have all power, know all things, live in the family unit, having eternal increase of their own – or in other words, that they might gain for themselves immortality and eternal life.” (A New Witness, p. 704

Interesting Antecdote

I knew a man, now deceased, not a member of the Church, who was a degenerate old reprobate who found pleasure, as he supposed, in living after the manner of the world. A cigarette dangled from his lips, alcohol stretched his breath, mind profane and bawdy stories defiled his lips. His moral status left much to be desired.

His wife was a member of the Church, as faithful as she could be under the circumstances. One day she said to him, "You know the Church is true; why won't you be baptized?" He replied,

    "Of course I know the Church is true, but I have no intention of changing my habits in order to join it. I prefer to live the way I do. But that doesn't worry me in the slightest. I know that as soon as I die, you will have someone go to the temple and do the work for me and everything will come out all right in the end anyway."

from “The Seven Deadly Heresies,” in Speeches of the Year, 1980, Provo, Utah: Brigham Young University, 1981, pp. 78–79


At 6:48 PM, Blogger lma said...

First of all, thanks to you for preparing these posts. They have been very intersting and informative.

It is just amazing to me, the things that those just converting to the Mormon church, as I did when I was 16 years old (lo, those many years ago), don't tell you before the commitment to baptism is made. I think this "milk before meat" thing just stinks to high heaven. It's like the thing about African Americans not being allowed to hold the priesthood. I was baptized before that was changed, but no one ever breathed a word about it to me. I found out that such was the case after I had to find out why people kept asking me, "How come you are a racist?" after they discovered I was a Mormon. Not being a racist, so far as I am aware, that was fairly upsetting to me.

Anyway, this quote struck me particularly:

"This Holy Man, the Father of us all, who reigns supreme and is a saved being, ordained and established a plan of salvation so that his Firstborn and all his spirit children might advance and progress, become like him, have all power, know all things, live in the family unit, having eternal increase of their own - or in other wooords, that they might gain for themselves immortality and eternal life."

Several things come to mind from this passage. First of all, is this an admission that the Mormons don't worship God, but merely a Man who happens to have passed all the tests and fulfilled all the requirements for being promoted to the position of "God"...sort of like doing all his requirements to be an Eagle Scout?

Second, I might have misunderstood in my Sunday School classes and in Seminary, but I was always under the impression that according to Mormon teaching, it was Christ who came up with "The Plan" of salvation, in competition with his brother (who threw a temper tantrum because his plan wasn't chosen, caused a whole war in heaven, took a third of the preexistent spirits with him, and became the Evil One). That's what we were taught, anyway.

Third, does this passage mean, as it seems to, that other "Eternal Fathers" can come up with their own plans for their own spirit children to follow for their "Eternal Progression", and that what we were taught was The Only Way to Salvation, is merely the plan that happened to be adopted in some huge corporate meeting?

I apologize if any of this sounds flippant or disrespectful to anyone's beliefs, but those are the impressions that immediately came to me when I read that passage.

At 10:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for these these posts. They do begin to answer my earlier question about what is is not revealed in early missionary encounters.
I encourage you to sometimes respond to comments that might extend understanding (as to Ima's) IF you have the time.
Thanks. Very enlightening. Jim McCullough, DRE, Our Lady of Grace, Greensboro, NC

At 11:18 AM, Blogger clouse_01 said...

I have found these and other doctorines of the LDS Church to be interesting as well. I am a member of the LDS Church. I would just like to add a comment that has helped me through these "qoutes" and "revelations".

The ways of the Lord are complicated and one must have a solid foudation to work off of. This is, in my opinion, why missionaries when first introducing one to baptism, may not mention the deeper doctorines of the church. In the same manner you do not introduce a first grader into a college course. He will be completely lost and think everyone there is nuts.

The most important challenge given by missionaries is that of asking God which church is true and following the answer that you receive. In my opinion God loves us enough to lead us in the right direction. Hense, "Knock and ye shall receive". All other doctorines and priciples should be added to the basic foundation of faith, baptism, repentance, and the gift of the holy ghost, as taught by missionaries. Prayer and scripture study are some tools one can use to begin understanding the deeper doctorines of the church. (Although not necessary for salvation) But you must have a solid foudation to work off of.


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