It’s all in the way the question is asked

I was wondering when stuff like this would come up. Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and an ordained Southern Baptist minister who happens to be running for President of the United States asked of Mitt Romney’s religion, “Don’t Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers?” Mitt also happens to be campaigning for the office of the President of the United States.

The AP writer, Libby Quaid did a good job of elaborating on the question and offering an explanation. She both quoted from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism and got a quote from a church spokesperson in public affairs. I guess the Encyclopedia of Mormonism has become a semi-authoritative source, since it was published by BYU and Macmillan under contract. Apostles quote from it in General Conference.

Of course the best authoritative source for explaining Mormon doctrine is the conference report, which contains the words of the prophets and apostles, when they are speaking in an official capacity. It is certainly not from ‘Mormon Doctrine’ originally written by Elder Bruce R McConkie back in the 1950’s. It is also not the Journal of Discourses, which did not always contain accurate quotes.

“We believe, as other Christians believe and as Paul wrote, that God is the father of all,” said the spokeswoman, Kim Farah. “That means that all beings were created by God and are his spirit children. Christ, on the other hand, was the only begotten in the flesh and we worship him as the son of God and the savior of mankind. Satan is the exact opposite of who Christ is and what he stands for.” I like that explanation.

When another reporter asked Mitt Romney to answer the question he refused saying that Church leaders had already done a good job of doing so. He said, “Attacking someone’s religion is really going too far. It’s just not the American way, and I think people will reject that. I don’t believe that the people of this country are going to choose a person based on their faith and what church they go to.”

I believe Mike Huckabee’s question shows the basic tactic of a dishonest attack. It has all the elements of FUD – fear, uncertainty and doubt. If one has never considered the question before and does not understand the underlying doctrine that God created everything then it can be a shocking thing to consider. Mitt is right. The question does not belong in a presidential campaign.

What do you think? Was it a fair question? What do you think was the intent of the question?

3 thoughts on “It’s all in the way the question is asked”

  1. Do I think it was a fair question? Absolutely not. I’ve steered clear of blogging about the election until earlier today when Huckabee accused Romney of being dishonest, and then I just had to write a little something. Back to the question, as one writer said, Huckabee’s manner was “smarmy.” Great word, huh? About his intention, well, I think we all know the answer to that. By the way, another writer mentioned that the reason he didn’t know the answer to that and many other questions is because he quit seminary after one year.

  2. It was not a fair question. Of course, if you want to discredit Mormons and shock everyone, you might ask such an offensive and unjustifiable question. But the question does have an answer: NO. That’s a resounding no, that should be bolded and capitalized and underlined. In no way did the Lord ever equate Satan as his equal, nor does Satan qualify to be called his brother. Satan is a disobedient fallen angel, a rebel cast out of the Lord’s presence. You either obey the King of Kings, or you get kicked out his kingdom. Satan is an evil outcast. He is so far beneath Jesus Christ that he isn’t even worthy to lick up the dust of his feet.

    Jesus Christ is the Lord God, the Almighty One, the Lord of Hosts. If anyone is in doubt as to whether Mormons believe this, they should know that Joseph Smith addressed Jesus Christ as the Lord God of Israel and publicly prayed directly to him, calling him Father. (D&C 109) Jesus Christ is the Lord. He is our judge, he is our lawgiver, he is our king; he will save us. (Isa. 33:22)

    Jesus is God and Satan is a plebeian criminal. Just because some Mormons are a little muddle headed and walk around with slovenly minds on the subject doesn’t mean that the rest of us shouldn’t be able to answer NO, Satan is NOT Jesus’ brother.

  3. Hi, Tim. Just reading some of your older posts. Interesting post and comments.

    I guess I have some hot buttons and while I agreed with not considering Mormon Doctrine authoritative, I would disagree that we should not consider the Journal of Discourses as such. It was created at the behest of the First Presidency and while it did not employ the technological gadgets we do today to record the talks, it did use the best they had available then and I have never heard of them changing the talks after the fact as we have done today.

    I also smiled twitterpated’s comments about Joseph praying to Jesus in D&C 109. Guess I can understand how she would arrive at such a conclusion but it’s not one that I share. Also while I have heard that Lucifer is Jesus’ brother, I have never heard the same said of Satan.

    Thanks, Tim.


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