The LDS Gospel according to Sen. Orrin Hatch

(To see Cal Grondahl’s cartoon that goes with this post, click here.) The title of this blog may perhaps be a bit flip. It’s a book-sized testimony of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by one of its more prominent members, Utah’s senior-citizen senator, Sen. Orrin Hatch. Published by a small bookseller, Cedar Fort Publishing, Hatch acknowledges that it’s a “short primer” designed for investigators, new converts, missionaries, young people and persons interested in learning about his faith’s history.

While it’s likely destined for a longer shelf life at Deseret Industries than Deseret Book, there is a certain sweetness and sincerity in Hatch’s “An American, a Mormon and a Christian — My Basic Beliefs.” (my review copy is titled “… What I Believe“) It’s his testimony of his faith expanded to 50,000-plus words. Hatch is an old man, and I’ve noticed that very old LDS men, if they have strong beliefs and faith, seem compelled to share that faith more than their peers a generation or two younger do. Perhaps it’s the Mormon admonition of “every member a missionary,” coupled with the concern that life is nearing its close and one must spread the Gospel to as many persons as possible. Secularists may chuckle at this obsession, but it is part of being a Mormon. My father, 81, expends energy several times a year explaining LDS doctrine and bearing his testimony as addenda to the family letter that he has regularly written — on a monthly basis – for a quarter century. The testimonies are sent regularly to our family members in the Southern United States who are not LDS; more recently these testimonies are also, I’m sure, hopefully directed to grandchildren who are no longer active in the Mormon faith.

When you read Hatch’s testimony, it’s easy to picture him as the white-haired elderly, post-75 high priest in the ward who, eyes twinkling, with a big smile on his face, never misses a chance to bear his testimony on Fast Sunday. Indeed, Hatch has been a bishop and a high councilman and is a returned missionary; the book includes anecdotes from his mission.

The book does a thorough job of including chapters on Mormon theology. It starts with “Our Life Before Birth” and ends with “Eternal Marriage” and a last, personal testimony from the author. Hatch has accumulated a vast amount of scriptures from the Bible, and other LDS scriptures, to back more controversial LDS beliefs, such as the pre-existence, a distinct Godhead, Joseph Smith, latter-day prophets, the need for priesthood authority, eternal marriage, etc. I was impressed by Hatch’s “scripture-chasing” abilities. He’s found more biblical quotes than I can muster on defending many elements of my faith’s doctrines. The book would be an ideal help for missionaries who regularly encounter skeptics.

Occasionally there will be a more combative tone. Hatch is contemptuous of the traditional belief that Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three different ingredients of the same substance. He writes, “Some churches teach that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are one being, essence, or substance, like water steam, and ice — three different aspects of the same thing. They also teach that God is a spirit without body, parts, or passions. Are these teachings biblically correct? No!”

To defrost some of the dryness of doctrine and constant scripture chasing, Hatch includes a healthy amount of spiritual anecdotes from his life, particularly his mission. One of the better recollections involves Hatch and his companion reassuring a tormented, guilt-riden investigator, whose past included an abortion, that she remained worthy of God’s love and inclusion into His Gospel.

Cedar Fort plans to release the book in September. It will be available on both BarnesandNoble.com and Amazon.com. It’s not completely unfair to be skeptical of the book’s release timing, just before an election, but it’s a sincere effort. The senator likely hopes that those who respect him for his public service will take the time to learn about his private, religious beliefs, and hopefully choose to join him in a religion he clearly takes very seriously. In that wish he’s no different than millions of his LDS peers.

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28 Responses to The LDS Gospel according to Sen. Orrin Hatch

  1. Myth Buster says:

    Well Orrin, 1 John 5:7 and John 1:1 say Jesus, the Father, the Holy Ghost and the Word are “One”. John 1:14 declares the Word was made Flesh and Dwelt among us. Hebrews 9:27 says “It is appointed unto man once to die but after this is judgment”
    Sorry, your version of theology has no foundation in the Word of God.
    Stick with spending borrowed money, you are quite good at that

    • manaen says:

      So, if this were to be taken literally, what are to make of Christ’s intercessory prayer in the Garden when he prayed, as recorded in John 17,

      20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
      21 THAT THEY ALL MAY BE ONE; AS THOU, FATHER, ARE IN ME, AND I IN THEE, THAT THEY ALSO MAY BE ONE IN US: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
      22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; THAT THEY MAY BE ONE ONE, EVEN AS WE ARE ONE:
      23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

      By your Trinitarian lights, Christ is saying here that not only are the Father and the Son one but all the believers will be rolled-up into this divine Oneness. What do you call this future expansion of the Trinity? The Omnity?

      • Myth Buster says:

        Father, Son, Holy Ghost and Word are 4 elements. Paul answered your question in Gal 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus”
        No need to make this difficult or invent new words

        • kittytranquil says:

          I think it’s hilarious when you Nicaea followers start quoting the Bible to those who believe in and follow the Bible and then apply your ridiculous man-made, under the threat of banishment by Constantine, illogical false doctrine made up 300 years after Christ died and you act like it’s somehow Gospel.

          Here’s an EASY one that EASILY exposes your hypocrisy and institutional double think. In the previously quoted chapter (John 17) – WHY IS JESUS PRAYING TO HIMSELF?????

          Your answer has this whole illogical and ridiculous string of justifications all because you cling to false doctrine introduced by MAN. And YOU claim to be Christian? You’ve wholly accepted perversion of the Bible simply because that’s what you’ve been told to do. Admit it, every time you study it, you have to explain to yourself how this whole silly “trinity” thing works because that’s what a bunch of self-righteous egoists decided for you 1700 years ago.

          Galatians 1:9 “if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”

          How did you miss that you are following accursed doctrine?

          Tell me again how you’re a Christian and I’m not.

          • Myth Buster says:

            “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” Lk 23:34
            “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ Ps 22 : Mat 27:46 Jesus was not praying to Himself; He was praying to God in Spirit for intercession; He was God in Flesh and now intercedes via the Holy Ghost.
            It’s not my job to Judge anyone: I’m just a simple messenger in need of Salvation.

          • kittytranquil says:

            Seriously, how do you not realize how ridiculous this notion is? Or rather how do you continue to deny it to yourself? The whole idea is ludicrous when it is put forth plainly in Scripture. You willfully and continuously alter what scripture is and what it means because you believe in a philosophy of men.

            Or, perhaps I’m completely wrong about you and your beliefs. Please, explain to me how this works for you and what your understanding is of the origin of the philosophy of the trinity.

            Please, as a messenger, explain the foundations of your message.

  2. Jae says:

    I’m no Mormon, I’m not even a Christian anymore, but even I know that John 5:7 is not something you quote in a theological debate on the Trinity!

    http://bible.org/article/textual-problem-1-john-57-8

    • Myth Buster says:

      Jae, your link is to an NIV translation which omits 1 John 5:7 and replaces it with 1 John 5:8.
      1 John 5:7KJV “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one”
      I feel it’s the most critical scripture in the New Testament when paired with John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God” and John 1:14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us…”

      Pretty straight forward: Jesus, the Father, the Holy Ghost and the Word are all One and were here at the Beginning; He is Alpha and Omega after all.

      • kittytranquil says:

        Oh the delusions you convince yourself of to follow an apostate doctrine. It clearly lays out that there are three beings and they are “one”.

        God kicks a kitten every time an evangelical or protestant reads “there are three that bear record” and then says “oh, they’re all the same guy”. Try reading it without your indoctrinated twists and fallacies.

        1 John 5:8 “and these three agree in one”

        How can you confuse or complicate this plain speech? There are three that bear record, three that bear witness and these three agree as one.

        You can ONLY get to the Trinity concept by perverting and changing that which is written.

        11)God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son

        NOT in himself, NOT in some bizarre twisting where they’re all the same – He sent His SON and He and His Son are perfectly aligned in purpose, duty and thought – they are ONE (but NOT one being).

        NOTHING in the context from the rest of this whole chapter in any way suggests that there is one being fulfilling 3 roles. It very clearly says, multiple times, that there are THREE.

        Why do you insist on corrupting the truth?

  3. Jim W says:

    Minor nit: “The title of this *blog* may perhaps be a bit flip.”

    I think you meant *book.*

  4. Jim W says:

    Or you meant “[this] post,” which would make sense. But the title of your blog, “The Political Surf,” doesn’t fit the “flip” comment.

    Too nit-picky of me. Need nap.

  5. manaen says:

    So, if this were to be taken literally, what are to make of Christ’s intercessory prayer in the Garden when he prayed, as recorded in John 17,

    20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
    21 THAT THEY ALL MAY BE ONE; AS THOU, FATHER, ARE IN ME, AND I IN THEE, THAT THEY ALSO MAY BE ONE IN US: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
    22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; THAT THEY MAY BE ONE ONE, EVEN AS WE ARE ONE:
    23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

    By your Trinitarian lights, Christ is saying here that not only are the Father and the Son one but all the believers will be rolled-up into this divine Oneness. What do you call this future expansion of the Trinity? The Omnity?

    • kittytranquil says:

      Not only does the Trinity require that Christ is praying to Himself, it also requires that when He says “that the world may believe that thou has sent me” He is praying to Himself that the world will accept a lie since He sent Himself.

      He is clearly saying that He wants the world to believe that a literal second person (the meaning of THOU) has sent Him. Yet, Trinity doctrine requires that since He sent Himself, Christ is praying to be able to deceive the world into thinking it was a second person.

      “the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.”
      Having established the first part, now the second conundrum for Trinity doctrine is that a literal second person (thou) loves ‘them’ as the literal second person loves ‘me’.
      Trinity requires that Christ is praying to Himself that the world will know that Himself loves everyone as He loves Himself.

      How does anyone justify this corruption to themselves? Then they go around saying those who don’t believe in the trinity aren’t “real Christians”. Well, since they don’t have authority over the assignment of the term “Christian”, I declare that any who corrupt plain scripture to be something they are not – are NOT Christian. Those who follow the Bible as plainly presented (including Mormons) are proper Christians while those who adhere to the doctrine of man not found in the Bible believe in some being that is not the Christ found in the Bible.

  6. Pingback: The LDS Gospel according to Sen. Orrin Hatch – StandardNet (blog)

  7. Pingback: 13 August 2012 | MormonVoices

  8. Solavei says:

    *Please note, In this interview, TIS= The Indie Spiritualist & BA= Brother Ali

  9. Baracl says:

    Why does every article about Mormons have to receive comments from Internet trolls who attack basic their basic beliefs instead of discussing the actual content of the article?
    Sarcasm and hostility are not Christian values.

  10. Bizworldusa says:

    22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; THAT THEY MAY BE ONE ONE, EVEN AS WE ARE ONE

  11. D. Michael Martindale says:

    He ought to resign his Senate seat, then he’ll have lots of time to share the gospel.

    • Tom says:

      Amen D. Michael, amen…

      • Brother Florence says:

        Mike. Gifted [Utah] Senator Hatch shares the
        Gospel regularly where within he has composed
        countless inspirational/motivational “songs of
        praise” with [Ogden] native singer/songwriter
        [Janice Kapp Perry].

        Check it out sometime.

  12. Mahonri says:

    Does he touch on Joseph using a magic peepstone to look for buried treasure – and then putting it in a hat to ‘translate’ the Book of Mormon – without even looking at the supposed Gold Plates?

    Does he mention Joseph Smith “marrying” eleven women already married – some to his fellow Apostles, church leaders and members?

    Can he find ONE city location from the Book of Mormon – which had populations numbering in multiples of millions?

    Does he really believe Horses in the Book of Mormon were really Tapirs as BYU types teach?

    He’s a politician so we know he’s a liar – this type of book is right up his alley.

    • kittytranquil says:

      Was that your whole laundry list of internet sourced anti-mormon rubbish from books that have nothing to do with LDS canon? You’re quite lazy, I could find dozens more than that with a simple Google search. Oh, lookee there – lots more debunked yet constantly repeated bunk that lazy haters believe makes them look brilliant because they can cut and paste.

      *yawn*

  13. Myth Buster says:

    1 John 5:7 is the Record in Heaven: Father, Word and Holy Ghost. 1 John 5:8 is the Record on Earth:the Spirit, the Water and the Blood. When Jesus gave up the Holy Ghost on the Tree (Cross Bar fastened to a Tree), only Water and Blood were left. The Spirit is the part of a person that is Judged by God. The way a person knows and is forgiven of his Sin is only possible through the Holy Ghost, part of the Record in Heaven with the Word.
    The Word we have on Earth has everything we need to search out the Truth, but the names in the Book of Life and the Book of one’s Works are not on Earth; they are with Jesus. The Book of Life will will be Sealed at Rev 6:14 when Heaven is rolled as a Scroll.
    In Heaven then will be the Sealed Book of Life, God in Spirit and the Holy Ghost, which will be removed from the Earth.
    This is what Freedom means to an occultist or Freemason. I hope this helps you.

  14. dkm1469 says:

    Who cares?? You people are all Loons!!! No one knows what he said! It’s all hand me down stories from an earlier generation. Good grief.

  15. Tom says:

    “While it’s likely destined for a longer shelf life at Deseret Industries than Deseret Book…..”

    Absolutely precious line! Perhaps the finest, truest and funniest ever printed in the Standard.

    Too bad the “chloroform in print” line has already been used, otherwise it might fit Borrin Orrins latest inanities…

  16. Bob Becker says:

    Not going to read it, of course, since I really don’t care about Hatch’s testament of faith [unless he makes statements about how his religious beliefs will affect his stand on policies if he is re-elected.] I don’t much care to read about anyone’s testament of faith. Hard to imagine something more personal, less public [particularly vis a vis those who do not share that testament] than that. The Faithful writing for The Faithful interests me very little.

    However, it’s coming out in the final stages of an election campaign in which numerous candidates are demeaning themselves and the Republic Jefferson, Madison, Washington, Adams and Franklin left us by running “I’m more Christianier than my opponent is, so vote for me!” is definitely, as Doug notes, suspicious. But hell, Romney began the campaign by asking people not to make his faith an issue, and last week ran a national campaign aimed at Catholics trying to convince them that his LDS faith shares more with Catholics than does Obama’s Protestant Christian faith. Seem’s Romney’s retreated to “don’t bring religion into it unless it helps me of course.” Hatch it seems with the release of his testament of faith just now is climbing on the same faith-campaign bandwagon.

    I have little respect and growing contempt for candidates who campaign on their faith, whatever brand it might be, and I’m as worried as ever about wingnuts who can justify actions and policies not on the grounds of reason, evidence, or the experience some of the Founders declared “must be our only guide,” but because they believe their particular version of god has commanded them to do whatever it is.

  17. Pingback: Mormonism down the Hatch | Mark Silk

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