Have any of the Mormon scriptures been changed or taken out of the canon? How do these changes affect the doctrine and teachings of the church?
The Lectures on Faith were taken out of Mormon canon in 1921. These lectures were written in 1834-35 and in many ways they prove problematic for a traditional view of the Godhead.
While each of the lectures support a God that is a spiritual being and a Savior that has a body of flesh and bones, Lecture Five gives us the clearest view.
1 In our former lectures we treated of the being, character, perfections and attributes of God. What we mean by perfections, is, the perfections which belong to all the attributes of his nature. We shall, in this lecture speak of the Godhead: we mean the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
2 There are two personages who constitute the great matchless, governing and supreme power over all things—by whom all things were created and made, that are created and made, whether visible or invisible: whether in heaven, on earth, or in the earth, under the earth, or throughout the immensity of space—They are the Father and the Son: The Father being a personage of spirit, glory and power: possessing all perfection and fulness: The Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, a personage of tabernacle, made, or fashioned like unto man, or being in the form and likeness of man, or, rather, man was formed after his likeness, and in his image;—he is also the express image and likeness of the personage of the Father: possessing all the fulness of the Father, or, the same fulness with the Fathe[r]; being begotten of him, and was ordained from before the foundation of the world to be a propitiation for the sins of all those who should believe on his name, and is called the Son because of the flesh—and descended in suffering below that which man can suffer, or, in other words, suffered greater sufferings, and was exposed to more powerful contradictions than any man can be. But notwithstanding all this, he kept the law of God, and remained without sin: Showing thereby that it is in the power of man to keep the law and remain also without sin. And also, that by him a righteous judgment might come upon all flesh, and that all who walk not in the law of God, may justly be condemned by the law, and have no excuse for their sins. And he being the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, and having overcome, received a fulness of the glory of the Father—possessing the same mind with the Father, which mind is the Holy Spirit, that bears record of the Father and the Son, and these three are one, or in other words, these three constitute the great, matchless, governing and supreme power over all things: by whom all things were created and made, that were created and made: and these three constitute the Godhead, and are one: The Father and the Son possessing the same mind, the same wisdom, glory, power and fulness: Filling all in all—the Son being filled with the fulness of the Mind, glory and power, or, in other words, the Spirit, glory and power of the Father—possessing all knowledge and glory, and the same kingdom: sitting at the right hand of power, in the express image and likeness of the Father—a Mediator for man—being filled with the fulness of the Mind of the Father, or, in other words, the Spirit of the Father: which Spirit is shed forth upon all who believe on his name and keep his commandments: and all those who keep his commandments shall grow up from grace to grace, and become heirs of the heavenly kingdom, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ; possessing the same mind, being transformed into the same image or likeness, even the express image of him who fills all in all: being filled with the fulness of his glory, and become one in him, even as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one.
3 From the foregoing account of the Godhead, which is given in his revelations, the Saints have a sure foundation laid for the exercise of faith unto life and salvation, through the atonement and mediation of Jesus Christ, by whose blood they have a forgiveness of sins, and also, a sure reward laid up for them in heaven, even that of partaking of the fulness of the Father and the Son, through the Spirit. As the Son partakes of the fulness of the Father through the Spirit, so the saints are, by the same Spirit, to be partakers of the same fulness, to enjoy the same glory; for as the Father and the Son are one, so in like manner the saints are to be one in them, through the love of the Father, the mediation of Jesus Christ, and the gift of the Holy Spirit; they are to be heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ.
Question. Of what do the foregoing lectures treat?
Answer. Of the being, perfections and attributes of the Deity.
Q. What are we to understand by the perfections of the Deity?
A. The perfections which belong to his attributes.
Q. How many personages are there in the Godhead?
A. Two: the Father and the Son.
Q. How do you prove that there are two personages in the Godhead?
A. By the Scriptures. Gen. 1:26. Also §2. ¶6. And the Lord God said unto the Only Begotten, who was with him from the beginning, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:—and it was done. Gen. 3:22. And the Lord God said unto the Only Begotten, Behold, the man is become as one of us: to know good and evil. John, 17:5. And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was
Q. What is the Father?
A. He is a personage of glory and power.
Q. How do you prove that the Father is a personage of glory and of power?
A. Isaiah 60:19. The Sun shall be no more thy light by day, neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory. 1 Chron. 29:11. Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory. Ps. 29:3. The voice of the Lord is upon the waters: the God of glory thunders. Ps. 79:9. Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name. Romans 1:23. And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible men.
Secondly, of power. 1 Chron. 29:4. Thine, O Lord, is the greatness and the power, and the glory. Jer. 32:17. Ah! Lord God, behold thou hast made the earth and the heavens by thy great power, and stretched-out arm; and there is nothing too hard for thee. Deut. 4:37. And because he loved thy fathers therefore he chose their seed after them, and bro’t them out in his sight with his mighty power. 2. Samuel 22:33. God is my strength and power. Job 26, commenceing with the 7 verse, to the end of the chapter. He stretches out the north over the empty place, and hangs the earth upon nothing. He binds up the waters in his thick clouds; and the cloud is not rent under them. He holds back the face of his throne, and spreads his cloud upon it. He has compassed the waters with bounds, until the day and night come to an end. The pillars of heaven tremble, and are astonished at his reproof. He divides the sea with his power, and by his understanding he smites through the proud. By his Spirit he has garnished the heavens; his hand has formed the crooked serpent. Lo, these are parts of his ways: but how little a portion is heard of him? But the thunder of his power who can understand?
Q. What is the Son?
A. First, he is a personage of tabernacle.
Q. How do you prove it?
A. John 14:9, 10, 11, Jesus says unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet have you not known me, Philip? He that has seen me has seen the Father; and how do you say then, Show us the Father? Do you not believe, that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwells in me, he does the works. Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me.
Secondly, and being a personage of tabernacle, was made or fashioned like unto man, or being in the form and likeness of man.
Philip. 2. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God; but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of man, and, being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Heb. 2:14, 16. Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same. For verily he took not on him the nature of angels: but he took on him the seed of Abraham.
Thirdly, he is also in the likeness of the personage of the Father.
Heb. 1:1, 2, 3. God, who at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake in time past to the fathers, by the prophets, has in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; who, being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person. Again, Philip. 2:5, 6. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus; who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.
Q. Was it by the Father and the Son that all things were created and made, that were created and made?
A. It was. Col. 1:15, 16, 17. Who is the image of the invisible God, the first born of every creature; for by him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions. principalities or powers; all things were created by him and for him; and he is before all things, and by him all things consist. Gen. 1:1. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Heb. 1:2. -[God]- Has in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.
Q. Does he possess the fulness of the Father?
A. He does. Col. 1:19. 2:9. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell. For in him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. Eph. 1:23. Which is his -[Christ’s]- body, the fulness of him that fills all in all.
Q. Why was he called the Son?
A— Because of the flesh. Luke 1:33. That holy thing which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God.—Math. 3:16, 17. And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straitway out of the water: and lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he -[John]- saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon him: and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
Q. Was he ordained of the Father, from before the foundation of the world, to be a propitiation for the sins of all those who should believe on his name?
A. He was. 1 Peter, 1:18, 19, 20. For as much as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation, received by tradition from your fathers; but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifested in these last times for you. Rev. 13:8. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, -[the beast]- whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. 1 Corin. 2:7. But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden mystery, which God ordained before the world unto our glory.
Q. Do the Father and the Son possess the same mind?
A. They do. John 5:30. I -[Christ]- can of my own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just; because I seek not my own will, but the will of the Father who sent me. John 6:38. For I -[Christ]- came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me. John 10:30. I -[Christ]- and my Father are one.
Q. What is this mind?
A. The Holy Spirit. John 15:26. But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceeds from the Father, he shall testify of me. -[Christ.]- Gal. 4:6. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts.
Q. Do the Father, Son and Holy Spirit constitute the Godhead?
A. They do.
Let the student commit this paragraph to memory.
Q. Does the believer in Christ Jesus, through the gift of the Spirit, become one with the Father and the Son, as the Father and the Son are one?
A. They do. John 17:20, 21. Neither pray I for these (the apostles) alone, but for them also who shall believe on me through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us, that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
Q. Does the foregoing account of the Godhead lay a sure foundation for the exercise of faith in him unto life and salvation?
A. It does.
Q. How do you prove it?
A. By the third paragraph of this lecture.
Let the student commit this also.
D&C 101 was published in the 1835 Doctrine and Covenants and was removed in 1843, when Joseph Smith's revelation on polygamy replaced it. The Statement on Marriage set forth that marriage was strictly between one man and one woman.
1. According to the custom of all civilized nations, marriage is regulated by laws and ceremonies: therefore we believe, that all marriages in this church of Christ of Latter Day Saints, should be solemnized in a public meeting, or feast, prepared for that purpose: and that the solemnization should be performed by a presiding high priest, high priest, bishop, elder, or priest, not even prohibiting those persons who are desirous to get married, of being married by other authority. We believe that it is not right to prohibit members of this church from marrying out of the church, if it be their determination so to do, but such persons will be considered weak in the faith of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2 Marriage should be celebrated with prayer and thanksgiving; and at the solemnization, the persons to be married, standing together, the man on the right, and the woman on the left, shall be addressed, by the person officiating, as he shall be directed by the holy Spirit; and if there be no legal objections, he shall say, calling each by their names: “You both mutually agree to be each other’s companion, husband and wife, observing the legal rights belonging to this condition; that is, keeping yourselves wholly for each other, and from all others, during your lives.” And when they have answered “Yes,” he shall pronounce them “husband and wife” in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and by virtue of the laws of the country and authority vested in him: “may God add his blessings and keep you to fulfill your covenants from henceforth and forever. Amen.”
3 The clerk of every church should keep a record of all marriages, solemnized in his branch.
4 All legal contracts of marriage made before a person is baptized into this church, should be held sacred and fulfilled. Inasmuch as this church of Christ has been reproached with the crime of fornication, and polygamy: we declare that we believe, that one man should have one wife; and one woman, but one husband, except in case of death, when either is at liberty to marry again. It is not right to persuade a woman to be baptized contrary to the will of her husband, neither is it lawful to influence her to leave her husband. All children are bound by law to obey their parents; and to influence them to embrace any religious faith, or be baptized, or leave their parents without their consent, is unlawful and unjust. We believe that all persons who exercise control over their fellow beings, and prevent them from embracing the truth, will have to answer for that sin.
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