God's Omniscience: Diversity of Mormon Views
In this episode I discuss several differing views of LDS leaders, including Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Orson Pratt, Wilford Woodruff, B. H. Roberts, Joseph Fielding Smith and Bruce R. McConkie on the topic of God's omniscience.
Joseph Smith and Brigham Young emphatically declared that the most spiritually advanced in this life will know but little of even the basics of the plan of salvation at the time of their death. From this perspective, they established an LDS position which persists - that we have no carefully worded creed which a person must accept to be LDS. Both of them advocated searching, pondering and speculating upon concepts, even mysteries. This, of course, resulted in a religious climate among the Saints where there would naturally be a diversity of views on even some basic topics, even regarding God and the Godhead.
I discuss the differences between Orson Pratt and Brigham Young on the whether God, or the Gods, progress in knowledge. Their differences resulted in published statements of the First presidency, and the First Presidency and the Twelve, to the Saints and comments in sermons by several General Authorities in the 1860s. More recently, Joseph Fielding Smith and Bruce R. McConkie, in the 1950s and 1960s expressed their views on the subject.
Email Participants (the phone system went down and thus there were no phone participants)
Mormons are so busy chasing after other Gods that they cannot know the one God of the Bible. I comment on this position.
A long email from a frequent participant denounces pursuit of our religious belief through research and study. He claims that we must turn to him; that he will tell us the truths we need to know; and that we are to pray to God, not for further knowledge, but rather, only for confirmation what this self-proclaimed prophet has declared. In my response I wandered off on to the question of, Who is Jehovah in Mormon belief in the 19th century in contrast to belief in the 20th century?
Another email further argues that Mormons do not believe in the God of the Bible and cannot, therefore, be Christians. The God of the Bible is omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent. I, of course, respond.