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Quotes from the McConkie Papers

By Aaron Shafovaloff

July 20, 2021

The McConkie Papers are “various files containing personal writings of Bruce R. McConkie that have never before been available to the public.” ( They were uploaded in 2017.

“Even the fact of resurrection was earned.”

“It is in fact inherent in the whole eternal scheme, and nature itself teaches us, that all blessings come by obedience to law and that there is no such thing as an unearned blessing… In an eternal sense, even the fact of resurrection was earned because only those who were faithful and obedient in pre-existence are born into mortality.” – “By Grace Are Ye Saved“, January 1975

On “cultism”

There’s also a McConkie essay with the following title:

> “How to start a cult; or, Cultism as practiced by the so-called Church of the Firstborn of the Fulness of Times, analyzed, explained and interpreted, as also dissected, divellicated, whacked up, smithereened, mangled, and decimated. Or, An Essay showing where all good cultists go.” (


In the essay he goes after Adam-God:

“This so-called Adam-God theory is false and contrary to the whole body of revealed truth. It negates the essential features of the whole plan of salvation, belittles God, makes a mockery of the atonement of his Son, and postulates the utterly absurd notion that Christ the Son had to work out an atoning sacrifice which would bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of God the Father… At this late date, no one with any degree of spiritual discernment whatever is troubled with this old Adam-God heresy. It has been so wholly and completely discredited and disproved by abundant scriptural and other evidence that no one with good sense gives it a second serious thought… Please, can’t cultists come up with something better to contend about than this Adam-God nonsense?”

Later McConkie later admitted that Brigham Young taught Adam-God.

Mary sealed to Heavenly Father

On Heavenly Father’s bodily condescension to accomplish the redefined “virgin” birth:

“And yet this kind of a being, who is holy and exalted and has all this power and might, with his body of flesh and bones, steps down, as though you step down from all eternity, from the pinnacle of all things, to a lowly, mortal state, and what did he do? He becomes the father of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh.”

Someone asks him, “To whom would Mary be sealed?”

“President Joseph F. Smith preached a sermon that said she was sealed to the Father. Obviously that had to be so…”

“When we say that Christ was born as the Son of God, we are in the habit of using this word: we are in the habit of saying he was “literally” the Son of God. Maybe we use it and the meaning does not dawn on us as to what this actually is saying. Let me just say this much: Christ was literally the son of Mary. Now, that makes him the son of Mary in every conceivable respect that any of us are the sons of mortal women. And when we say he is literally the Son of God, we mean it. We mean it. He is the Son of God like I am the son of my father. Just as literal and as actual as it can be. Now, I have said enough of this, if you catch what I am saying. He is literally the Son of God. Why is he born of a virgin if he is literally the Son of God? Well you figure out the answer to that.” (Mortal Birth of our Lord, 1967)

Gaining forgiveness by paying the penalty of one’s own sin

Some people in a kingdom of heaven gained their own forgiveness by “paying the penalty themselves”:

“People who go to the Celestial Kingdom are forgiven by the blood of Christ. And people who go to the Telestial Kingdom are forgiven by paying the penalty themselves.” (Degrees of Glory and Hell, 1967)

The curse of Cain lifted

This one isn’t know, but it stood out to me. McConkie also recounts the 1978 “revelation” as a lifting of the curse of Cain on blacks. In other words, the curse really was on the blacks, but was since removed:

“He said that if the answer was to continue our present course of denying the priesthood to the seed of Cain, as the Lord had theretofore directed, he was prepared to defend that decision to the death. But, he said, if the long sought day had come in which the curse of the past was to be removed, he thought we might prevail upon the Lord so to indicate…

“The ancient curse is no more. The seed of Cain and Ham and Canaan and Egyptus and Pharaoh—all these now have power to rise up and bless Abraham as their father..” (The New Revelation on Priesthood)

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