Lesson 2 "Behold I Am Jesus Christ

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deacon blues
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Lesson 2 "Behold I Am Jesus Christ

Post by deacon blues » Wed Jan 04, 2017 8:39 pm

Three things about the upcoming lesson. I have a teacher's manual I am referencing from.

1. The atonement is admittedly hard to comprehend, but the lesson points out: "Through the Atonement, the Savior gained perfect empathy for us in all our sorrows, pains, and afflictions." This makes sense to me, for God to have empathy for us, God had to share a mortal experience.

2. The manual quotes Joseph Smith/Lectures On Faith saying to exercise faith in God we must have "a correct idea of his character, perfections, and attributes." (Lecture 3:4) The lesson does not mention that Lecture 5:2 Tells us that "There are two personages who constitute the great, matchless, governing,and supreme power over all things.......the Father being a personage of spirit, glory, and power, possessing all perfection and fullness ,the Son, who was in the bosom of the Father , a personage of tabernacle." The obvious question, but use it gently and with discretion--How long did they teach the Father was a personage of spirit?

3. The lesson references D&C 19:16-19 about Jesus bleeding from every pore. It does not mention 19:7 which tells us that Jesus uses hyperbole, and even exaggeration to-- 'scare' seems accurate-- people to heaven. Again use tact if you have an opportunity to bring this up.

The point I'm trying to make is: don't embarrass anyone, but humbly point to, and discuss concerns
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Corsair
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Re: Lesson 2 "Behold I Am Jesus Christ

Post by Corsair » Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:35 am

I was expecting that this lesson would reference the First Vision, but it is refreshingly all about Jesus Christ. That would next week in Lesson 3: “I Had Seen a Vision”.
deacon blues wrote:1. The atonement is admittedly hard to comprehend, but the lesson points out: "Through the Atonement, the Savior gained perfect empathy for us in all our sorrows, pains, and afflictions." This makes sense to me, for God to have empathy for us, God had to share a mortal experience.
This implies that Jesus Christ was not at all omniscient since he had to learn something. This is a clear departure from the vast majority of Christianity which holds that Jesus Christ was both fully man and fully God. I wonder if the literalness of this idea is a distinctly LDS idea. Frankly, I would have been happy viewing this as simply more of an object lesson for humans and not that a divine Jesus was somehow surprised at seeing the travails of mortality.
deacon blues wrote:2. The manual quotes Joseph Smith/Lectures On Faith saying to exercise faith in God we must have "a correct idea of his character, perfections, and attributes." (Lecture 3:4) The lesson does not mention that Lecture 5:2 Tells us that "There are two personages who constitute the great, matchless, governing,and supreme power over all things.......the Father being a personage of spirit, glory, and power, possessing all perfection and fullness ,the Son, who was in the bosom of the Father , a personage of tabernacle." The obvious question, but use it gently and with discretion--How long did they teach the Father was a personage of spirit?
James E. Talmage wrote the seminal LDS book "Jesus the Christ" to codify LDS teachings on this matter. Mormons since that book have largely lined up behind Talmage's ideas. Mormons who came of age before that book would have said, "That's nice, but that's your opinion". The Lectures on Faith were canon until 1921. As difficult as it is to officially define LDS doctrine today, it was probably harder to nail down when the Lectures on Faith were in the scriptures and the Word of Wisdom was still a suggestion.
deacon blues wrote:3. The lesson references D&C 19:16-19 about Jesus bleeding from every pore. It does not mention 19:7 which tells us that Jesus uses hyperbole, and even exaggeration to-- 'scare' seems accurate-- people to heaven. Again use tact if you have an opportunity to bring this up.
This is a good point that will probably be lost on the average member in GD class. Bleeding from every pore is largely an LDS concern since it is widely considered an early mistranslation. Joseph Smith certainly doubled down on this issue.
deacon blues wrote:The point I'm trying to make is: don't embarrass anyone, but humbly point to, and discuss concerns
This is the attitude that got me into trouble in the first place...

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deacon blues
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Re: Lesson 2 "Behold I Am Jesus Christ

Post by deacon blues » Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:37 am

The most trouble I ever got into was about four years ago, just before the essays came out. The lesson was about Hyrum Page and his seer stone. I pointed out that Joseph had a seer stone too, and the teacher lost her cool. But we are still friends as long as I keep my mouth shut.
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Re: Lesson 2 "Behold I Am Jesus Christ

Post by document » Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:21 pm

This was my big struggle in the LDS church when I was a member. I had three small children and a fourth on the way and I was sitting in church learning about Jesus and God's relationship. Jesus was literally the son of God and thus God literally sent his son to be humiliated and killed. I looked at my children and thought, "What a joke. If I loved someone I would give my own life, not that of my child. That doesn't make sense".

Six months later, I found myself believing in a Trinity and keeping very quiet about it. I read the 1830 edition of the book of Mormon and was shocked to find Joseph Smith was clearly a Trinitarian. I learned about the Lectures on Faith, King Follett discourse, about Brigham's Adam-God, and finally Talmage's work and the forever change in Mormonism.

I was shocked. The narrative I was told throughout my life was that Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus and thus it was that way from the beginning. Isn't it great we have prophets? But it was in actuality more like:

1. Trinity
2. Two Gods and the Holy Spirit being their binding force
3. Multiplicity of Gods and councils of God
4. Adam-God, Elohim as Grandpa God
5. Elohim-Father, Jehovah-Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit

It was quite damaging to my testimony. The "Restoration" didn't even get the nature of God from someone who claimed to have spoken to angels and God himself face to face until 86 years after the establishment of the church. Scratch that, it was the destroying factor in my testimony.

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A New Name
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Re: Lesson 2 "Behold I Am Jesus Christ

Post by A New Name » Thu Jan 05, 2017 11:31 pm

Here is a good overview of lesson #2 over at BCC.

I like that part about adoption, and that we don't become sons and daughters of good until we accept Him. This, with JS's words in the King Follet address about God never having the power to create a human spirit really shows the JS did not believe or teach that we are literal sons and daughters of God.

I'm wondering if I'll be able to drop that in class this Sunday.

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Re: Lesson 2 "Behold I Am Jesus Christ

Post by alas » Fri Jan 06, 2017 3:16 pm

A New Name wrote:Here is a good overview of lesson #2 over at BCC.

I like that part about adoption, and that we don't become sons and daughters of good until we accept Him. This, with JS's words in the King Follet address about God never having the power to create a human spirit really shows the JS did not believe or teach that we are literal sons and daughters of God.

I'm wondering if I'll be able to drop that in class this Sunday.

I have heard this problem of "How can we be eternal beings, co-eternal with God, and still be God's children?" explained as God the Father created our spiritual bodies and housed our intelligences in them similar to how we earthlings create our children's physical bodies, so we are all three, eternal intelligences, spirit children of God, and mortal children of earthly parents.

But doesn't the KFD say that Joseph said God never had the power to create a human "spirit" and then they turn that around in the explanation and say that we were intelligences, then spirits, then mortals. So, in the church's explanation, Joseph really meant to say intelligence when he said spirit. But the difference between intelligence and spirit is never discussed nor in intelligence defined.

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Re: Lesson 2 "Behold I Am Jesus Christ

Post by moksha » Sat Jan 07, 2017 6:01 am

deacon blues wrote: 3. The lesson references D&C 19:16-19 about Jesus bleeding from every pore.
A good discussion point would be the massive cellular disruption needed to bleed from every pore. Even the Ebola virus is not that potent. Jesus had remarkable regenerative abilities to survive that ordeal.

Question for fellow participants in your class: Do you think this remarkable regenerative ability was due to celestial nanites?
Good faith does not require evidence, but it also does not turn a blind eye to that evidence. Otherwise, it becomes misplaced faith.
-- Moksha

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nibbler
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Re: Lesson 2 "Behold I Am Jesus Christ

Post by nibbler » Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:53 am

Corsair wrote:
deacon blues wrote:1. The atonement is admittedly hard to comprehend, but the lesson points out: "Through the Atonement, the Savior gained perfect empathy for us in all our sorrows, pains, and afflictions." This makes sense to me, for God to have empathy for us, God had to share a mortal experience.
This implies that Jesus Christ was not at all omniscient since he had to learn something. This is a clear departure from the vast majority of Christianity which holds that Jesus Christ was both fully man and fully God. I wonder if the literalness of this idea is a distinctly LDS idea. Frankly, I would have been happy viewing this as simply more of an object lesson for humans and not that a divine Jesus was somehow surprised at seeing the travails of mortality.
You don't even have to extrapolate from that quote, that same point is explicitly stated in LDS canon:
Doctrine and Covenants 93:12-14 wrote:And I, John, saw that he received not of the fulness at the first, but received grace for grace;

And he received not of the fulness at first, but continued from grace to grace, until he received a fulness;

And thus he was called the Son of God, because he received not of the fulness at the first.
We see things not as they are, but as we are ourselves. - H.M. Tomlinson

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Re: Lesson 2 "Behold I Am Jesus Christ

Post by Corsair » Thu Jan 12, 2017 12:10 pm

nibbler wrote:You don't even have to extrapolate from that quote, that same point is explicitly stated in LDS canon:
Doctrine and Covenants 93:12-14 wrote:And I, John, saw that he received not of the fulness at the first, but received grace for grace;

And he received not of the fulness at first, but continued from grace to grace, until he received a fulness;

And thus he was called the Son of God, because he received not of the fulness at the first.
A faithful Mormon will say that this is God talking so we should pay attention. But I see this as Joseph Smith doing his best to proclaim philosophy that met his doctrinal requirements. The LDS doctrine of exaltation in the highest realm of the Celestial Kingdom relies on this scripture. But I'm guessing that a Protestant or Catholic theologian would call this blasphemy and carefully explain that this is yet another reason that Mormons are not really considered Christian.

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deacon blues
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Re: Lesson 2 "Behold I Am Jesus Christ

Post by deacon blues » Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:44 am

I'm not disagreeing, but I am reminded of Bruce McConkie's letter to Eugene England. McConkie quotes himself and says: "There are those who say that God is progressing in knowledge and is learning new truths. This is false-- utterly, totally, and completely. There is not one sliver of truth in it. It grows out of a twisted and incorrect view of the King Follet Sermon and and of what is meant by eternal salvation. God progresses in the sense that his kingdoms increase and his dominions multiply-- not in the sense that he learns new truths and discovers new laws. God is not a student."
The inconsistencies, and paradoxes in this view are numerous, and I do have to go. However, I will close with the thought that I have difficulty trusting those, McConkie and other church leaders, who act like they know it all, and don't. The God of Truth and Lov3e that I believe has not given them a special road to enlightenment.
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Re: Lesson 2 "Behold I Am Jesus Christ

Post by Newme » Fri May 26, 2017 4:31 pm

document wrote:
Thu Jan 05, 2017 4:21 pm
This was my big struggle in the LDS church when I was a member. I had three small children and a fourth on the way and I was sitting in church learning about Jesus and God's relationship. Jesus was literally the son of God and thus God literally sent his son to be humiliated and killed. I looked at my children and thought, "What a joke. If I loved someone I would give my own life, not that of my child. That doesn't make sense".
Yeah, once I began questioning the church, I put everything on the table to be reconsidered, including ideas of Jesus.
Long ago, I wanted so badly to understand the atonement - I mean in the back of my mind, it was my long-term goal, and I suppose, in a way, that helped me reconsider. To me, at-one-ment is about making at-one whatever I screw up, as much as possible. And I don't see God as encouraging killing/human sacrifice or scapegoating. Yet, I do believe that Jesus taught some good things and I admire that he had the courage to break away from the herd mentalities at the time - even though it cost him his life. But I don't believe he was perfect, more like an amazing prophet and a good example of being kind, forgiving, prioritizing God/Truth.

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