Over the past two months I’ve had the distinct privilege and opportunity given to me by my Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, to have dialogue with a very prominent member of the LDS Church who comes from a very influential Mormon family. How we came to know each other is a story in of itself and I can only say that God has a real sense of humor in how He brings about these events. We have had some lengthy discussions on many issues relating to Mormonism and most of those have been about one subject: the nature of God. Most of these have been in written form because of the nature of his employment. He has said many things to me that surprised me when I take into account his background. For example:
“Andy, there are many things about Mormon history that bother me, there are many things about Mormon culture now that frustrate me, and there are aspects of Mormon doctrine that still perplex me. (And there are certainly many Mormons who anger and disappoint me for the way they live—or, do not live—their faith.) Unlike many Mormons, I am not comfortable saying ‘I know’ it all to be true. What I can say is that it has earned my faith and devotion.”
We have agreed to center our discussions on two topics: the nature of God and who is Jesus? The reason being that if one has the wrong concept of who God is and they are worshipping a false god that doesn’t exist, then all other issues really are a moot point. The first issue (nature of God) is a big issue to discuss and it branched off into two separate mini-issues: Mormonism’s polytheism vs. Christianity’s monotheism and specific details that describe God in the Bible. Of course, “rabbit trails” (off-topic issues/questions) would come up and were looked into and discussed, but it always came back to the nature of God. I encouraged him to closely examine in the Bible what we had talked about and see for himself what the Bible says about the one true God. He said to me:
“I’ll tell you one thing, though. Our conversation has prompted me to make a directed study of the nature of God as described in the Bible–Gen. 1 to Rev. 22. That obviously may take a while, but I can’t imagine anything more worth my time. You indicated before that you’re skeptical that I can do this without seeing things through the filter of Mormonism; I hope that’s not true. I have tried to make an honest search for Truth the hallmark of my life for sometime now. I will try to set aside the assumptions of Mormonism, Nicea, Westminster, etc.”
It soon became apparent to him that, in fact, the God of Christianity as described in the Bible is not the same god of Mormonism. He asked of me:
“When you get a minute, I would love to get your personal description of the God you worship. It’s so easy for us Mormons to thoughtlessly caricature others’ images of God; I would love to know yours.”
I told him that I would be happy to do that and listed below is what I wrote:
- God is revealed as three distinct persons, but is one God and not polytheistic. (Definition of the Trinity: within the nature of the one God are three persons: Father, Son and Holy Ghost). (Matthew 3:16; 28:19; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 2 Corinthians 13:14; Ephesians 4:4-6; Deut 6:4; Mark 12:29)
- God the Father is the first person of the Trinity. God the Son (Jesus Christ) is the second person of the Trinity. God the Holy Ghost is the third person of the Trinity.
- All persons of the Trinity are co-eternal, co-equal, co-existent and are One.
- God has always existed. He was not created, and He did not eternally progress to what He is today and has been God from all eternity and will continue to be God for all eternity.(Isaiah 43:10-12; Psalm 90:2; Malachi 3:6)
- The Father is God. (2 Peter 1:17). Jesus Christ is God. (John 1:1, 14; 8:58/Exodus 3:14; Col 2:9; and many more!). The Holy Ghost is God. (Acts 5:3-4)
- God created all things (heaven and earth – Gen 1:1) ex nihilo “out of nothing”.
- God created man from the dust of the ground and gave him life (Gen 2:7). God formed the spirit of man within him (Zechariah 12:1).
- All three persons of the Trinity were involved in the creation. The Father spoke it (Genesis 1). The Son did it (John 1:3; Colossians 1:16). The Holy Ghost moved upon it (Gen 1:2).
- This creation was singular in nature because God is One and He created all things alone (Isaiah 44:24).
- There is only one God by nature [essence] (Gal 4:8).
- There are no other gods – past, present or future (Isaiah 43:10-12).
- God is omniscient. (Isaiah 40:13, 14, 28; Psalm 147:5; 139:1-4; 50:11). God is omnipotent. (Romans 1:20; Genesis 17:1; Rev 19:6). God is omnipresent. He is not isolated to one area (Mormonism’s god who resides near Kolob) and is everywhere all the time. (Psalm 139:7-10, Isaiah 66:1; Jeremiah 23:23-24; 2 Chronicles 16:9; Hebrews 4:13). The Father, Son & Holy Ghost are all omniscient, omnipotent and omnipresent.
- God the Father is not a man with a body of flesh and bones. (Isaiah 31:3)
- God the Father is Spirit as well as the Holy Ghost (John 4:24; Gen 1:2). The Father and the Holy Ghost do not have bodies of flesh and bones like the Son (Luke 24:39). The Son has a body of flesh and bones because He “was made in the likeness of men” (Philippians 2:7) for the suffering of death (Hebrews 4:13).
- The Father and the Holy Ghost are not male or female because He is [a] Spirit (John 4:24). The Son took on human flesh at the Incarnation (Matthew 1:23).
- The Father is not married to a female deity because there are no such “goddesses” mentioned in God’s Word, the Bible, that state this to be so in being in essence with God. Yes, there may be in idolatry and in paganism, but not the real God by nature (Gal 4:8). There is no Scripture to support the concept of this or the idea of the Father being married to a “mother in heaven” as viewed in Mormonism (an argument based on scriptural silence).
- God is a righteous judge (Psalm 19:9; 96:12-13; Gen 18:25).
- God is absolutely holy (Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 15:4).
- God is love/loving (John 3:16; 1 John 4:8; Romans 5:8).
- God is merciful (2 Peter 3:9; Ezekiel 18:32).
- God does not show favoritism (Romans 1:11).
- God does not lie (Hebrews 6:18).
- God has a plan for my life and it’s a good one. (Jeremiah 29:11; Romans 8:28)
- God loved and cared about me enough while I was dead in my sins (Ephesians 2:1, 5) to draw me unto Himself (John 6:44).
- God demonstrated unmerited favor upon me by dying on the cross for my sins, giving me the choice to choose Him freely and by that choice of doing so I was given eternal life – not by my unacceptable works – but by his grace. (Romans 6:23; Romans 4:5; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5; John 6:47)
- God forgives me of my sins and remembers them no more. (1 John 1:9; Hebrews 10:17)
- God sticks closer to me than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24)
- God cares enough about me that I can cast all my cares upon Him. (1 Peter 5:9).
- God will never leave me nor forsake me. (Hebrews 13:5).
- God loved the world enough to give us His Word so we can learn about Him. (Proverbs 30:5; Isaiah 40:8; Matthew 24:35; 2 Tim 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21)
- God has a plan for the outcome and finality of the earth that cannot be thwarted by the evil intentions of mankind. (Job 42:2; Psalm 135:6; Daniel 4:35; Eph 1:11).
- God speaks to me through the Holy Spirit and gives me guidance and discernment. (John 16:13)
- God utilizes the spiritual gifts of others to communicate truth or other facts to me that let’s me know that He cares about me and that I am in His will. (1 Cor 14:6).
- God can fill me with His Spirit which will empower me for service for Him. (Ephesians 5:18)
- God will discipline me when I stray away or I am in sin (Hebrews 12:6).
- God is before all things and all others in my life (Matthew 22:37).
- “Dying to self” (1 Cor 15:31) in service out of gratitude to Him and accomplishing God’s will in my life is my desire.
- Giving thanks and praise daily to God for erasing my sin debt that I could not pay by any action I could do my own gives me great joy and gratitude. (1 Thes 5:18)
- Knowing that God hears my prayers and answers them by fulfilling them according to His will is very comforting and faith building. (1 John 5:14)
I received this reply back from him:
“Thank you, too, for your personal witness about the God you love and worship. Since the nature of God is the overarching theme of our discussion, and the subject of my current cover-to-cover biblical study, I am going to hold on to your description of God as I work my way through the Bible trying to know the Father better. I have begun that study, keeping a careful journal of my findings; I am eager to see what truths I may find.”
It is my hope and prayer that our Mormon readers will do as my friend is doing in his personal study. There is a difference between the Mormon “god” and the Christian God. Both are not the same and there is only one correct, true God that can give eternal life in God’s Word – the Bible: The God of Christianity as demonstrated from Scripture. Which one will you choose?