Plan of Happiness
Review by - Earl Erskine
I agree with Elder Bowen. The LDS plan of happiness/salvation/exaltation is a modern construct. The LDS plan is certainly not in the Bible, or for that matter, in the Book of Mormon (BofM). There is no discussion in these two books about families being together forever, the need for temple ordinances and masonic handshakes/tokens/signs, that there is an Aaronic Priesthood outside of the tribe of Levi, a celestial kingdom, three degrees of glory, that men can become Gods or that Heavenly Father was once a man who progressed to Godhood.
If these doctrines or principles were so important, why didn’t Jesus, Paul or the other apostles discuss them? In fact, Paul tells us in Romans 15:19 – “…I have fully preached the gospel of Christ”. What did he preach? He tells the Corinthians in 1 Cor 15:1-4 – “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand. By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures”. (Not changed in the Joseph Smith Translation.)
Then Paul adds this warning in Galatians 1:8,9 – “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” Sounds like Paul felt he had delivered the gospel as Jesus had directed him. Any additions or changes were not acceptable. Elder Bowen’s argument falls back on determining Joseph Smith’s prophetic calling by reading and praying about the BofM. Modern prophets, including Joseph Smith, stand in stark contrast to the scripture in Hebrews 1:1,2 – “God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds.”