(This is the fourth and final installment in a series of posts about Mormonism, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Scroll down to earlier posts to read about Mormon history, sources of authority, and beliefs.)
Do you believe that God was once a man?
Lorenzo Snow, fifth president of the Mormon Church, said, “As man is, God once was.”
Do you believe that you can become a god?
Lorenzo Snow went on to say, “As God is, man may become.” And it says in Doctrine and Covenants 132:19-20 that if a good Mormon gets married in the temple and dies, he will be exalted and then shall they be gods.”
Do you believe that our Heavenly Father has a body of flesh and bones like you and me?
Doctrine and Covenants 130:22 says, “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as a man’s.”
Do you believe that the Heavenly Father had a sexual relationship with a heavenly mother to give birth to Jesus and to our pre-existent spirits?
Gospel Principles (1995 edition, p. 11), says, “All men and women are literally the sons and daughters of Deity . . . The first spirit born of our heavenly parents was Jesus Christ, so he is literally our elder brother.”
Do you believe that dark skin is a curse of God?
The Book of Mormon says in 2 Nephi 5:21 and Alma 3:6 that the Lamanites, the ancestors of the American Indians, were cursed with dark skin because of their wickedness. Although the Mormon church now allows Indians and Negroes into their priesthood, this curse on dark skinned people in the Book of Mormon has never been denied or rejected.
If you do not believe these things, why do you remain in an organization that teaches so many things that you do not believe?
If you do believe these things,why does the Book of Mormon not teach these things? The Book of Mormon teaches the existence of one God (Alma 11:22, 27-29; Mosiah 15:1-5). The Book of Mormon teaches God is unchanging, not an exalted man (Mormon 9:9-11; Moroni 8:18). The Book of Mormon teaches that God is a Spirit, not a body of flesh and bones (Alma 18:24-28; 22:9-11).
Something is wrong! Mormonism and the Book of Mormon do not agree.
The way to truth is by Jesus Christ (John 14:6), who died on the cross for our sins (Romans 5:8). and rose from the grave to to give us eternal life (1 Corinthians 15:1-11). This is the “gospel,” the truths about Jesus, not any particular church. If we trust in Jesus’ sacrificial death, we can be declared “not guilty” before God the Judge by His gift of grace (Romans 3:24). Salvation by grace is not a resurrection, it is a life-changing experience of spiritual renewal (2 Corinthians 5:17). When we truly receive salvation by grace, that grace gives us the motivation to live godly lives (Titus 2:11-14). Then our bodies will be raised at the end of time, and we will live forever with God in heaven (1 Corinthians 15:51-57; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-18). The Bible says that if even an angel (like Moroni) brings a latter-day gospel different from this gospel, he is to be accursed (Galatians 1:8).
If you wish to know more about a relationship with Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you still believe these things taught by the LDS church, then please explain this: Mormonism says all gods were once men. So where did the first man come from?
(This is the third installment in a series of studies on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly known as the Mormons.)
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) or Mormons, often use the same terms as orthodox Christians, but they have a different meaning. “Saved by grace” to a Mormon refers to being raised in the afterlife. “Exaltation” is the term Mormons use that is nearer to what Christians mean by “salvation.” The “gospel” is used by Mormons to mean the Mormon system of belief and practice, and “Israel” or “Zion” is often used to refer to Utah. Although Mormons are famous for polygamy, the main branch of Mormonism discontinued this practice in 1890. With this in mind, let us look at three key doctrines of the LDS church:
1) The doctrine of God. Mormons believe in the existence of many gods (Book of Abraham chapters 4 & 5). The Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three separate gods, and the Father and Son each have bodies of flesh and bone today. The illustration above of the Father and Son as separate bodies comes from Mormon literature. (Doctrine & Covenants 130:22). They believe that God was once a man and progressed to become God, and that men can also progress to become gods. Lorenzo Snow, fifth president of the LDS church, said, “As man is, God once was, and as God is, man may become.”
2) The doctrine of humanity. Mormons believe that all humans pre-existed in the spirit world, the result of a sexual relationship between our Heaven Father and a Heavenly Mother. (Doctrine & Covenants 93:23, 29-33; Gospel Principles, p. 351). They believe that men can progress to “exaltation” and become gods (Doctrine & Covenants 132:19-20). However, keep in mind that the Book of Mormon teaches that dark skin is a curse (2 Nephi 5:21).
3) Doctrine of exaltation. Joseph Smith taught that there are three levels of heaven. The highest heaven is the “celestial kingdom,” the second level is the “terrestrial kingdom,” and the lowest level is the “telestial kingdom.” (Doctrine & Covenants 76:43, 70-112). Faithful Mormons who repent, are baptized, ordained into the priesthood, go through the Mormon temple ceremonies, get married in the temple, and observe the “Word of Wisdom” (Doctrine & Covenants 89) to abstain from tobacco and strong drinks, tithe, attend weekly worship services, and are obedient, can get into the celestial kingdom and can progress in their exaltation to become gods. Only about 20% of Mormons get a “temple recommend” through faithful service, so the majority of Mormons do not attain this level, and will go to the “terrestrial kingdom,” where they also expect to see most Christians and other good moral people. Wicked people may have to endure a temporary hell (Doctrine & Covenants 19:16-18), and then will go to the “telestial kingdom.” Those who become Mormons and then leave (“denied the Holy Spirit after having received it”) will go to an eternal hell (Gospel Principles, p. 298; Doctrine & Covenants 76:28-45). See the chart below that illustrates this system of heavens.
There are many other beliefs and practices of Mormonism, including baptism by proxy for the dead, two levels of priesthood, etc., but the three major doctrines above are enough to reveal that Mormonism is a completely different religion from orthodox Christianity. The fourth and final installment of this series of studies will include a Christian reply to Mormon belief and questions for Mormons to consider.