Monday, June 11, 2012

# 31 Mormonism and Christianity

What I am about to write is going to be judged by some to be intolerant, perhaps bigoted, and perhaps cruel.  I want you to know ahead of time that is not the intent.  The intent of this particular blog is really about discerning truth between two different groups.  

The religion of Mormonism claims to believe in Jesus.  The religion teaches that after Jesus rose again in Jerusalem that He visited the Americas and visited groups here.  I am not going to go into the grand details.  Mormonism also teaches that God is not one God in three persons - the persons of Father, Son, and Spirit.  I am going to list a few things here about what the Mormon Teaches about the doctrine of God. 

  1. God
    1. God used to be a man on another planet, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 321; Joseph Smith, Times and Seasons, vol. 5, p. 613-614; Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 345; Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 333).
    2. "The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s..." (D&C 130:22).
    3. God is in the form of a man, (Joseph Smith, Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p. 3).
    4. "God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!!! . . . We have imagined that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea and take away the veil, so that you may see," (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345).
    5. God the Father had a Father, (Joseph Smith, History of the Church, vol. 6, p. 476; Heber C. Kimball, Journal of Discourses, vol. 5, p. 19; Milton Hunter, First Council of the Seventy, Gospel through the Ages, p. 104-105).
    6. God resides near a star called Kolob, (Pearl of Great Price, p. 34-35; Mormon Doctrine, p. 428).
    7. God had sexual relations with Mary to make the body of Jesus, (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 4, 1857, p. 218; vol. 8, p. 115). - This one is disputed among many Mormons and not always 'officially' taught and believed.  Nevertheless, Young, the 2nd prophet of the Mormon church taught it.
    8. "Therefore we know that both the Father and the Son are in form and stature perfect men; each of them possesses a tangible body . . . of flesh and bones." (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 38).
  2. God, becoming a god
    1. After you become a good Mormon, you have the potential of becoming a god, (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345-347, 354.)
    2. "Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them," (D&C 132:20).
  3. God, many gods
    1. There are many gods, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 163).
    2. "And they (the Gods) said: Let there be light: and there was light," (Book of Abraham 4:3).
  4. God, mother goddess
    1. There is a mother god, (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 443).
    2. God is married to his goddess wife and has spirit children, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 516).
  5. God, Trinity
    1. The trinity is three separate Gods: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. "That these three are separate individuals, physically distinct from each other, is demonstrated by the accepted records of divine dealings with man," (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 3
Now, this is simply a slice of what Mormonism teaches - but I believe the central message of what I want to say lies here.  When I say, "God" the above is not what I mean.  I do not mean someone that used to exist on another planet as a man.  I do not mean someone who had intercourse with Mary.  I do not mean that I too could one day become that which is now God.  I do not mean this.  I mean that there is only one God - who exists eternally - without beginning and without end - who eternally exists as one God in three persons - the persons of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Basically, I simply confess the three apostolic creeds of the Nicene, Apostles, and Athanasian creeds.  Here below is the Nicene Creed which sums up the nature of God and His Salvific work well.

I believe in one God,
the Father Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
and of all things visible and invisible;

And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only begotten Son of God,
begotten of his Father before all worlds,
God of God, Light of Light,
very God of very God,
begotten, not made,
being of one substance with the Father;
by whom all things were made;
who for us men and for our salvation
came down from heaven,
and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost
of the Virgin Mary,
and was made man;
and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered and was buried;
and the third day he rose again
according to the Scriptures,
and ascended into heaven,
and sitteth on the right hand of the Father;
and he shall come again, with glory,
to judge both the quick and the dead;
whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost the Lord, and Giver of Life,
who proceedeth from the Father [and the Son];
who with the Father and the Son together
is worshipped and glorified;
who spake by the Prophets.
And I believe one holy Catholic and Apostolic Church;
I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins;
and I look for the resurrection of the dead,
and the life of the world to come. AMEN.

Now, can we see the difference?  The simple fact is that I mean something very different when I say the words, "I believe in Jesus Christ" than when a Mormon says, "I believe in Jesus Christ."  I mean that I believe in the 2nd person of the Triune God - who eternally co-existed with the Father as God and became a man - and now has risen from the dead.  The Mormon does not believe this.  

This is why for most of Christian history the Christian church has said that Mormonism is not Christian - even though they claim they are.  And all this gets to where I want to go in this blog.  Just because someone says they are something does not make that so.  If words have meaning then they have definitions.  And the definition of Christian is someone who believes that which the Bible teaches about the person of God - dutifully and condensely recorded in the Creed - even if they don't say the Creed they believe that which is in it. 

For example, if you know me and someone came up to you and you began talking about me and they said, "hey...I know Chris Ogne!  She's such a card!"  You would raise an eyebrow...for I am not a woman.  If you inquired further and they said, "oh know - Chris - she's about 5 foot 4 inches tall and she weighs 100 pounds...."  You would immediately know that the, "Chris Ogne" they are talking about and the Chris Ogne you are talking about are not the same person - they simply share the same name.  And that is what I am getting at here.  The Mormon can say, "I believe in Jesus."  They can vocalize J E S U S in the same fashion as the Christian - but they mean something totally different.  The Christian and the Mormon worship two totally different Gods - and only one can be right.  

It is going to be very interesting to see how many Christians compromise their faith and simply say that Mormonism is simply another denomination within Christendom this political season.  We have already seen compromise.  

This is not a blog about whether it is ok to vote for a person of a different religion than your own.  This is not about that.  I am simply interested to see how many Trinitarian Christians compromise their faith and declare that Mormons believe as we do.  It will be interesting indeed......