MORMONISM

MORMON THEOLOGY

 

CHRISTIANITY

CHRISTIAN RESPONSE

The Church has 4 Standard Works that are authoritative:  The Bible (in so far as it is translated correctly), the Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price.  Speeches and writings of the current president of the church are also authoritative.  The Bible is far below the other standard Works because it is full of errors (wherever it disagrees with Mormon doctrine).
The only authoritative scriptures given by God are the 39 books of the Old Testament and the New Testament of the Bible.  God promised to preserve his word and to suggest that the Bible was mistranslated and corrupted would be to call God a liar.  If God were to give additional revelations they would be consistent with any prior revelations thus eliminating Mormon writings, since they stand in direct opposition to the divine revelation that has already been given in the Bible.
There are many Gods. Brigham Young-Journal of Discourses 7:333 “How many Gods there are, I do not know.  But there never was a time when there were not Gods.
There is only one God.  (Dt 6:4; 33:26-27; Isa 43:10; 45:5; 46:9; 1Ti 2:5)

God the Father is an exalted man (a man who has progressed to godhood) with a body of flesh and bones.

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 1973 ed., p. 346 – “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man…I say, if you were to see him today, you would see him like a man in a form-like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man.”

D & C 130:22  “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also.”

The Bible is most explicit in stating that God is not a man (Nu 23:19; 1Sa 15:29; Hos 11:9).  God the Father, the eternal God is Spirit (Isa 55:8-9; 6:1-5; 57:15; Pss 90:2; 113:5-6; 123:1; Jn 4:24: 8:23)  Jesus said that a spirit does not have flesh and bones (Lk 24:39)
God the Father became a God after learning truth, aggressively pursuing godhood, and being obedient to the laws of the gospel.

God the Father has always existed as such (Dt 33:27; Isa 43:10; 44:6; 45:5, 21; 46:9; Mal 3:6; 1Co 8:4; 1Ti 2:5; Rev 1:8; 21:6; 22:13).

As Psalms 90:2 and 93:2 state, God has been God “from eternity to eternity.”

God is not a uniquely eternal being.  All spirit is self-existent matter and is eternal (without beginning or end).  Such “matter (called intelligences) sometimes becomes organized into a spirit being through birth to celestial parents.  Then that spirit is born through human parents on earth.  Like all people, God took this course and eventually reached Godhood.

God would stop being God if intelligences stopped supporting him as God.

(D&C 93:29, 33; Abraham 3:18-23; Mormon Doctrine, 1977 ed. p. 751)

God is not God unless He is all-powerful, all knowing, absolutely in charge.  If God exists only as God because of support given from other intelligent forms, He is not God at all (Isa 44:6; Ro 3:4; Rev 1:8; 21:6; 22:13)

God is unchangingly omnipotent, and no purpose of His can be thwarted.  He is not overruled by anyone (Ge 17:1; Job 36:22-23; 42:2; Isa 14:26-27; 40:13-14; Jer 32:27; Mt 19:26; Lk 1:37; Ac 17:24-25; Rev 19:6)

Man was also in the beginning with God.  Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be”  (D&C 93:29)

Life, intelligence, mind, the ‘light of truth’ , or whatever name one gives to the center of the personality of man, is an uncreated, eternally existent, indestructible entity…In the first stage, man was an eternally existent being termed an intelligence…The next realm where man dwelt was the spirit world….eternally-existing intelligences were clothed with spirit bodies…numerous sons and daughters were begotten and born of heavenly parents into that eternal family in the spirit world” (The Gospel Through the ages, pp.126-127)

Man is a finite being, not an eternal one.  The first man Adam was created at a specific point in time (Ge 1:26-27; 2:7; 1Co 15:45-49).  Man did not exist in the beginning when God was creating the universe, for if he had, God’s question to Job would have made no sense (Job 38:4).  Man was created lower than the angels, so that David wondered why God is even mindful of him (Ps 8:3-5; 144:3).  Not a single verse in the Bible suggests that God has a wife, but Isaiah 44:24 explicitly says that the Lord made all things by Himself.  Moreover, several passages in Isaiah indicate that there is only one God and there is none beside Him (44:8; 45:6) or like Him (46:9).

“…these spirit children were organized, possessing divine, eternal, and godlike attributes, inherited from their Heavenly Father and Mother.  There in the spirit world they were reared to maturity, becoming grown spirit men and women prior to coming upon this earth” (The Gospel Through the Ages, p. 127).

“Jesus is man’s spiritual brother.  We dwelt with Him in the spirit world as members of that large society of eternal intelligences, which included our Heavenly Parents and all the personages who have become mortal beings upon this earth or who ever shall come here to dwell…Jesus was the ‘firstborn,’ and so He is our eldest brother” (Ibid., p.21)

Jesus was and is Almighty God from everlasting to everlasting.  He is the creator of all that exists and is “firstborn” over all creation in the sense that He is the preeminent originator of life and the universe (Mic 5:2; Ps 90:2; Jn 1:1-3; Ac 3:14-15; Col 1:16-17; Heb 1:2).  This meaning for the word “firstborn” can be understood by comparing Genesis 41:51-52, which states that Manasseh was Joseph’s “firstborn” son while Ephraim was the second, with Jeremiah 31:9, where God calls Ephraim the “firstborn.”  Obviously, “firstborn” does not always mean the one literally born first.
Death and sin came through the fall of Adam and Eve.  But their deed was not actually a “sin.”  It was really a blessing because it enabled man to continue progressing on toward eternal life.  “They (the Christian world) have been long taught that Adam and Eve were great transgressors…We, the children of Adam….should rejoice with them, that through their fall and the atonement of Jesus Christ, the way of eternal life has been opened up to us” (Articles of Faith, p. 476)
Rejoicing is hardly the proper response to Adam’s sin.  Because of that sin, both Adam and Eve died spiritually and their physical bodies began to deteriorate.  Eve was given pain and sorrow in child-bearing, Adam was required to work and sweat in order to eat, the entire creation was cursed, they were thrown out of the Garden forever, and the entire human race was destined to be born dead in sins and children of god’s wrath by nature.  To rejoice in the fall of man is to embrace Satan’s lie.  It was Satan who deceived Eve by convincing her that sin was good and would bring her knowledge and reward.  (Ge 3:16-24; Ro 3:23; 5:12-15, 17-19; 8:19-22 Eph 2:1-5; 1Jn 3:4)

Christ’s death on the cross (the atonement) canceled the penalty of death imposed on ALL men through Adam’s sin, thereby ensuring that all men would be redeemed – resurrected and given immortality (the reuniting of spirit with body)-as a gift.

“If there had been no atonement, temporal death would have remained forever, and there never would have remained forever, and there never would have been a resurrection.  The body would have remained forever in the grave” (Mormon Doctrine, 1977 ed., p.63)

“Redemption from death, through the sufferings of Christ, is for all men, both the righteous and the wicked” (Ibid., p. 65)

“Immortality is a free gift which comes by grace alone without works on man’s part” (Ibid., p. 377)

Not everyone is blessed through Christ’s crucifixion.  Only those who accept His sacrifice and surrender themselves to Him (Ro 10:9) will receive the benefit of Jesus’ death and resurrection, which is forgiveness of sins (Ac 10:43) and salvation (Ro 3:24).  Eternal life “in Christ,” and not just simply eternal existence through resurrection, is the gift offered by God to humanity (Ro 6:23).  This gift is obtainable only by grace through faith (Eph 2:8-10).

Jesus’ death serves to reconcile all believers to God (Ro 5:10).  In dying, Jesus broke down the wall of separation between us and God that was present through man’s disobedience to the Law (Eph 2:11-22)