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Intro to Adam-God Doctrine (Part 3 of 8)

The Adam-God Doctrine is probably my most requested topic here at Gospel Tangents.  I admit I am not an expert on this topic, so I sat down with 2 members of Christ’s Church to learn more about this early Mormon doctrine.  David Patrick is an apostle and Benjamin Shaffer is a Seventy.  Think of this as your Adam-God 101 episode.

GT:  I believe that it was Bruce R. McConkie that called Adam-God doctrine, “a heresy.” And I also believe that even back to Orson Pratt [it was disputed.] Orson and Brigham had a big dispute over [Adam-God doctrine], and Brigham supported it and Orson did not. I do want to preface that before because I want to I want to make sure people understand that.

David:  Joseph Smith introduces this idea, wow! We can become gods. And so that means there’s a plurality of gods. But we only have one God that we have to deal with on this earth.

GT:  So the question from a Christian point of view is now your polytheistic. Right?

David:  Right.

Benjamin:  More or less. I’m not gonna shy away too much from that idea. I mean, okay, maybe we’re a little bit polytheistic. But we view our monotheism, I guess, as looking at the oneness of God, the unity of God.

GT:  And so the Adam-God doctrine is basically this. Adam was once a man just like us. He made his calling and election sure. He gained his exaltation. And then he became a god. And now it was time to people on earth. So he had spiritual children in his spirit world. And now it was time to people the earth but none of his spirit children had bodies. So he and his wife or wives came down to the earth to people it. Now he had to answer to his God. And his God was his connection in the priesthood. And he told him, “Of the garden, thou may eat of all these fruits but not of this tree.” And so there were still rules of the universe to follow. And once those rules were transgressed, then change would occur. And this is what Brigham Young had placed in the temple ordinance so people could understand the mysteries of godliness; how Adam came to be; how the children came to be. Because he said basically, once they partook of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, then their bodies were changed. It became more temporal. And they were now able to have children. And then those children are now the human race. It’s kind of that simple. But there’s much more to it than that.

GT:  So let me make sure I’m understanding that. This is my rudimentary understanding of the Adam-God doctrine. What we’re saying is the Adam is God. Is that a correct statement?

Benjamin:  Yes. But I think that doctrinally, why this is important is a fairly foundational idea. Are we the children of God? And this lecture at the veil for example, was this explanatory portion of the endowment. So that people would understand the meaning of the ceremony itself.

Now I admit there is a lot of doctrine people would find agreement in what was said, but there is also a disagreement as to whether Adam is God.  What are your thoughts about this topic?

Of course, we’ve only scratched the surface, and I’ve left a lot of our conversation out, so be sure to check out our conversation!

David Patrick & Benjamin Shaffer of Christ’s Church discuss their beliefs about the Adam-God Doctrine, which is definitely very different that the Trinity.

Don’t miss our previous conversations with David and Benjamin to learn more about their church, which is called Christ’s Church.

382: Scriptures of Christ’s Church

381: Intro to Christ’s Church

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Scriptures of Christ’s Church (Part 2 of 8)

Christ’s Church was organized in 1978.  In our next conversation with Apostle David Patrick and Seventy Benjamin Shaffer, we will learn more about their basic beliefs and find out that they have an even larger canon of scripture than the mainstream LDS Church.

GT:  So you guys believe in the Book of Mormon. It sounds like you believe in the Doctrine and Covenants.

Benjamin:  Yeah. So when it comes to the canon of Scripture, we actually have a very expansive body of Scripture that we draw from. While it’s true that we don’t actually publish our own editions, that’s a lot of work.

GT:  And a lot of money.

Benjamin:  And a lot of money. We generally, of course, use the ones printed by the LDS Church. But then on top of that, we use a lot of other materials. We’ve used the Book of Jasher, for example, or the otherMidrash. I’ve put together a little booklet for people to insert in their scriptures called the Addendum to the Doctrine & Covenants, which has eight of the uncanonized revelations, or that weren’t canonized, I guess in the mainstream LDS church, but that we also accept and use and then there’s a whole other body…

GT:  John Taylor’s revelation, is that’s one of them.?

Benjamin:  That’s one of them, John Taylor’s 1886 revelation is, of course, one of the ones that I guess was controversial for the mainstreamers, but we accept that as a revelation. It’s well established historically, at the very least.

For those of you interested in these 8 revelations, they are posted at the Church of Christ website.  We’ll also talk about claims of priesthood authority for their church.  Check out our conversation….

Christ’s Church has a larger canon of scripture than the mainstream LDS Church.

Don’t miss our previous conversation with David & Benjamin!

381: Intro to Christ’s Church

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Intro to Christ’s Church (Part 1 of 8)

I’m excited to introduce David Patrick and Benjamin Shaffer.  David is an apostle and Ben is a Seventy in Christ’s Church based in southern Utah.  We will get acquainted with them and find out more about the organization of their church and how it relates to the LDS Church.

GT:  How big is your church? How many members do you have, would you say?

Benjamin:  Just a few hundred at the most. The other thing, too, though, is this brings up the question of how do you count your church membership? We don’t count everyone who’s ever been baptized, until 120 years later, the way that mainstream church does. We really count our membership by those who actually show up to a solemn assembly, which you do need to recommend for, but it’s sort of like our General Conference. People who come to that, then that’s basically what we assume our membership actually is because these are the active members. But, you could come maybe to one and miss one, and we’d still count you, right? If we’re not counting someone as a member, it doesn’t mean we think that they’ve necessarily lost their blessings. We’re not excommunicating them. We’re not assuming that their ordinances aren’t valid. That’s all fine. So I suppose you could add a few hundred more if all those people counted who haven’t been here in a few years, but we figure it’s not exactly accurate to count them as full members if they’re not going to show up.

GT: Yeah, well, that’s fine. So is your church relatively new then? How long has it been in existence?

David:  Just over 40 years.

GT: Oh, it’s 40 years. Okay.

Benjamin:  So it’s relatively new.

GT: Oh, I should ask you this question. Are you guys Mormons?

Benjamin:  Oh, yeah. In fact, I have an “I’m a Mormon” bumper sticker.

GT:  Oh, you do?

Benjamin:  Yeah. A friend of mine who wasn’t in our church. When Nelson gave the talk, she made up some “I’m a Mormon” bumper stickers. So that we could say, “Hey, you know, if the larger, mainstream church doesn’t want to claim it, we can be the real Mormons and they can be ex-Mormons. (Chuckling)

David:  We’re very comfortable with being called a Mormon because I love the Book of Mormon. I just love it. It’s a definite part of our canon of Scripture.

Check out our conversation!

Benjamin Shaffer (left) and David Patrick (right) are members of Christ’s Church. Benjamin is a Seventy and David is an apostle.

Don’t miss our previous conversation with David!

Reflecting on 50 Years:  “Jesus Was Married”

David Patrick is an apostle for Christ’s Church. Anne Wilde is an Independent Polygamist who helped Ogden Kraut write “Jesus Was Married.”

346:  Surprising Sales at Seventies Bookstore (Patrick/Wilde)

345:  Uniquely Mormon Marriage Theology (Patrick/Wilde)

344:  “There is No Marriage in Heaven” (Patrick/Wilde)

343:  Evangelical Arguments about Marriage in Heaven (Patrick/Wilde)

342: Was Jesus the Groom at Wedding at Cana? (Patrick/Wilde)

341: Making the Case that Jesus Was Married (Patrick/Wilde)