Does Mormonism still teach God the Father was once a man?

Joe Carter at The Gospel Coalition blog recently wrote a good article providing relevant FAQs in answer to the question, “Are Mormons Christian?” The first topic Mr. Carter addressed was, “What do Mormons believe about God?” His answer began this way:

“Mormons claim that God the Father was once a man and that he then progressed to godhood (that is, he is a now-exalted, immortal man with a flesh-and-bone body).”

This answer represents pretty straight-forward traditional Mormonism. Even so, a Mormon commenter, Francis, took issue with the statement. As part of a larger discussion that included reference to Aaron Shafovaloff’s video project, God Never Sinned, Francis wrote,

“Actually they don’t teach that he was once a mortal man, what is taught is that he has a body of flesh and bone; hence we were made in his image… I am a member of The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I have never once EVER been taught that God has ever been mortal much less a sinner. ALL my instruction has always said he is the same now as he has always been, PERFECT and because of that perfection he cannot sin, and has had no need for a mortal probation… I find it severely upsetting myself that others in my religion believe that my Father in Heaven could ever have sinned. I am also upset that the entire world seems to base their view of my religion of the actions and personal beliefs of a few, instead of researching and gaining an understanding for themselves of what we truly believe and are taught. Not to be converted, or to take anything away from any other religion or belief system, but just to be able to speak intelligently on the subject.”

I don’t know how long Francis has been a Mormon, but the doctrine that God the Father was once a mortal man had been very clearly and unapologetically taught in the LDS Church from the 1840s up until 1997 when then-president Gordon B. Hinckley began claiming ignorance of the teaching. About five or six years ago Joel Groat at Institute for Religious Research noted changes in the way Mormonism portrayed this historic LDS doctrine. No longer taught openly and clearly, it is no wonder Mormons do not know what the Mormon Church has traditionally believed about God the Father. Therefore, for the sake of Francis and others who are left in the dark on this topic, here is a brief look at the Mormon doctrine, “As man is, God once was.

First of all, the nature of God is a core doctrine that is the foundation of everything one believes. Mormon Apostle Dallin Oaks told an audience at Harvard Law School, “For us, the truth about the nature of God and our relationship to Him is the key to everything else” (“Fundamental Premises of Our Faith,” 26 February 2010).

Joseph Smith in Nauvoo by grindael

Joseph Smith would agree. This is why, early in his famous King Follett Discourse, he said,

“…it is necessary that we should understand the character and being of God, and how he came to be so; for I am going to tell you how God came to be God…These are incomprehensible ideas to some; but they are simple. It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the character of God and to know that we may converse with him as one man converses with another, and that he was once a man like us; yea, that God himself the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth the same as Jesus Christ himself did.”

Yet, 1844 was a long time ago. Looking at more recent Mormon sources we find the doctrine being taught in Church manuals:

“As shown in this chapter, our Father in heaven was once a man as we are now, capable of physical death. By obedience to eternal gospel principles, he progressed from one stage of life to another until he attained the state we call exaltation or godhood.” (Achieving a Celestial Marriage, 1976, 132)

“God Was Once a Man As We Are Now” (Search These Commandments, 1984, 151)

In 1997, about the time President Hinckley was publicly distancing the Church from the controversial doctrine, a new Melchizedek Priesthood and Relief Society manual was released. The introduction said, “This book reflects the desire of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles to deepen the doctrinal understanding of Church members and to awaken within them a greater desire to know the things of God” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, 1997, v). In Chapter 4, under “Suggestions for Study,” the manual stated,

“The doctrine that God was once a man and has progressed to become a God is unique to this Church. How do you feel, knowing that God, through His own experience, ‘knows all that we know regarding the toils [and] sufferings’ of mortality?”

In 2006 Mormon Apostle Henry B. Eyring told BYU students,

“I bear you my witness that God the Father lives, a glorified and exalted Man.” (“Gifts of the Spirit for Hard Times,” 32:18, CES Fireside, 10 September 2006)

In 2007 Mormon Apostle Dallin Oaks helped journalist and filmmaker Helen Whitney understand the “bold ideas” of Mormonism:

 “…that first revelation [Joseph Smith’s First Vision], concerning the nature of God as an embodied, glorified, resurrected Being, challenged the creeds of Christianity…

“Joseph Smith put together the significance of what he had taught about the nature of God and the nature and destiny of man. He preached a great sermon not long before he was murdered that God was a glorified Man, glorified beyond our comprehension, (still incomprehensible in many ways), but a glorified, resurrected, physical Being, and it is the destiny of His children upon this earth, upon the conditions He has proscribed [sic], to grow into that status themselves. That was a big idea, a challenging idea. It followed from the First Vision, and it was taught by Joseph Smith, and it is the explanation of many things that Mormons do — the whole theology of Mormonism.”

Then in 2009 when the Mormon Church released a new edition of the Sunday School manual Gospel Principles, the Church chose to still include this:

“Joseph Smith taught: ‘It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God. … He was once a man like us; … God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did’ (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 345–46).

“Our Heavenly Father knows our trials, our weaknesses, and our sins. He has compassion and mercy on us. He wants us to succeed even as He did.” (Gospel Principles, 2009, 279. Ellipses in the original.)

To sum up, the “whole theology of Mormonism,” affirmed by a Mormon apostle five years ago and included in a Mormon Sunday School manual updated just three years ago, is the doctrine that God the Father was once a man like us. Furthermore, he is now an exalted, glorified, resurrected Man, who has set the rules whereby human beings may grow to the same status (i.e., godhood) themselves.

If you are a Mormon and do not know this – the whole theology of Mormonism and the whole point of the Mormon Church* – it would be good to ask why. And an even more important question: What else don’t you know about Mormonism?

My friends, the Mormon view of the nature of God (and man) is unbiblical, and therefore unChristian. If you are shocked or offended by the teaching that God the Father was once a man “like us” who “succeeded” in attaining the status of godhood (exaltation), “Then put away the foreign gods that are among you, and incline your heart to the LORD, the God of Israel” (Joshua 24:23).

* “The Church exists to help families gain eternal blessings and exaltation.” (Gospel Principles, 2009, 211)

About Sharon Lindbloom

Sharon surrendered her life to the Lord Jesus Christ in 1979. Deeply passionate about Truth, Sharon loves serving as a full-time volunteer research associate with Mormonism Research Ministry. Sharon and her husband live in Minnesota.
This entry was posted in God the Father, King Follett Discourse, Nature of God and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

72 Responses to Does Mormonism still teach God the Father was once a man?

  1. falcon says:

    WOW Sharon,
    You’re batting a 1,000 on these last two articles. They happen to address two of my favorite topics of Mormonism.
    It all gets down to the doctrine of the nature of God when it comes to Mormonism. The different sects of Mormonism even disagree among themselves regarding who God is. Some stick to the traditional view of God that is held by Christians while others take the nefarious journey through Joseph Smith’s creative mind and come up with a whole new god.
    I’m amazed that there are Mormons who don’t know what their SLC denomination teaches about the nature of God. I’m speaking of SLC members here. And yet this isn’t unusual. I would think that something so fundamental as “Who is God?” would be emphasized especially since this is the most important doctrine of Mormonism.
    It’s through this doctrine that Mormons then believe that they too will become gods. The doctrine then spins off to include the heavenly mother deity who is in charge of procreation and peopling the father gods planetary system.
    I think one of the annoying things about Mormonism is that the father god, mother god “truth” is kept from those being sold the Mormon restored gospel.
    I’ve told the story of Andy Watson going to the Ward open house held in the church gymnasium. They had all of these stations set up so that visitors could roam about seeing what the Ward had to offer. It was all relief society, scouting and other social programs. When Andy started asking some very pointed questions he was first given to the missionary boys who stumbled and bumbled along and then like calling the Mormon 911, the bishop gallops in.
    It was obvious that these Mormons were setting up a smoke screen to disguise the religion.

  2. TJayT says:

    Great article Sharon!

    I haven’t read Mr. Carter’s article but I thought the paragraph you quoted summed up the mainstream Lds belief nicely. He seems to have even gone out of his way to avoid claiming all of us believe he was a “sinful man” at some point.

    That said I can also empathize with Francis since his view of God is strikingly similar to my own. To say the Lds church has never taught infinite regression is false, but I’m glad to see so many members moving away from it and being open to other theories.

  3. Mike R says:

    TjayT, you believe that Heavenly Father was never a man who became God ? Is that
    correct ?

  4. TJayT says:

    MikeR, correct. I belive he was God and became man, much like (though not exactly) as Jesus did.

  5. Kate says:

    I knew that God had a body of flesh and bone and that we can progress to be like him. That’s it. How I missed every single lesson on God being a man just like us and having progressed into a God and men can too, I don’t know. 40 years as LDS, brought up in the religion, I should have known this, it’s in the manuals, but like Francis, I was clueless.

    TJAYT,
    Seriously? How do you believe that? Have you ever been taught that at church, by family or friends? Or is it something that you have come up with on your own after studying something? What about things that Jesus himself says?

    John 4:24
    “God is Spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”

    Jesus didn’t say God has a body of flesh and bone. Which do you believe? Is God a Spirit or flesh and bone as taught by Joseph Smith? Once again it really is Jesus OR Joseph.

  6. Mike R says:

    TjayT, thanks for being candid about where you stand as a Mormon. I have to admit
    you’re one interesting dude . Back in the late 1950′s /early 60′s there was a western T.V.
    show whose star character was Johnny Yuma . If I remember right the theme song went :
    ” Johnny Yuma was a rebel, he roamed through the West….” You kind of remind me of
    him :)
    Seriously though, I wondering if you’ve ever talked to your local Bishop about your belief?
    Care to share ?

  7. falcon says:

    I’m always looking for clarity and so I think what Sharon’s article is getting at is what do Mormons understand their church teaches about the nature of God?
    The article really isn’t about the difference between Mormon doctrine and Christian doctrine but rather what do Mormons understand regarding this topic.
    What I’ve found over time on this blog is that we’ll always get Mormons who want to “nuance” the Mormon doctrine to the point that the line with Christianity is blurred to the point of there not seeming to be a difference.
    I clicked on the link for “Francis” above and what amazed me is how vehemently he/she was in saying that the Christians on the blog didn’t know what they were talking about. Interestingly enough, we’ve seen this same type of response from Mormons here on any number of topics.
    We can provide all of the evidence from Mormon sources regarding a topic like the Mormon doctrine of the nature of God and the Mormons will still insist that the evidence isn’t saying what it clearly is saying.
    So my response generally is that first of all these folks are in a serious state of denial regarding Mormonism. What they believe sounds more like what the Community of Christ or the Church of Christ Mormon sects teach. I suggest that they need to jump the SLC ship and get with the group that more clearly believes what they are articulating.
    So that’s what I see as the topic i.e. what do Mormons believe their Mormon sect teaches about the nature of God.

  8. falcon says:

    Mike,
    Quick, who was the actor who played Johnny Yuma? Don’t look it up!

    TJay,
    You’ve basically admitted that the Mormon prophets are a bunch of men who spin their own web of belief. I thought having a prophet who hears from the Mormon god is fundamental to the whole basis for Mormonism.
    It seems to me that you’ve gone your own way. Please be honest enough to admit that you don’t subscribe to basic SLC Mormon doctrine.
    I couldn’t belong to a religious organization with whom I disagreed on such a fundamental issue as the nature of God. My guess is that you’re hanging around the SLC sect for other reasons.
    The first thing I do when I’m looking at a religious group is to check out their statement of faith to see where they line-up on the essential beliefs of Christianity. It’s the doctrinal litmus test I use.
    I have a hunch why you’re maintaining your LDS/SLC membership.
    I couldn’t do it.

  9. Mike R says:

    Falcon, you got me with the trivia question about Johnny Yuma . Concerning what you said
    about how some Mormons are attempting to deny or dodge the Mormon doctrine of their
    Heavenly Father being some man who became Almighty God , I personally think it makes
    them uncomfortable ( embarrassing ? ) to admit this doctrine . I think that it puts these
    Mormons in a corner because their leaders have indeed taught it . How many other
    significant doctrines espoused by their leaders are also being rejected by these Mormons?
    We should see this as good news because taking this position places these Mormons one step
    closer to realizing that their prophets and apostles can’t be trusted to relay accurate spiritual
    truth , and hopefully this will result in Ex-Mormons for Jesus .

  10. falcon says:

    Mike,
    The actor was Nick Adams who later, tragically, committed suicide. I know my 50s and early 60s TV. I’ve been DVRing all of the old Perry Mason episodes on the Hallmark Channel. Part of my mis-spent youth spilling over to older adulthood.

    I would guess that Mormonism becomes a religion of convenience for many of these folks. They are somewhere between social Mormons and Jack Mormons.
    It blows-my-mind how someone can reject the very basic doctrines of Mormonism or rework them to satisfy themselves and continue being members. It would indeed follow that if a person didn’t agree with the Mormon doctrines that they logically couldn’t support the idea of the Mormon prophets speaking for the Mormon god(s).
    But when you figure how easily past Mormon prophets are questioned and their utterances tossed out………………………nah that makes it all the more confusing.
    Cognitive dissonance is part of the Mormon mind-set. They have figured out a way to make it work.

  11. Kate says:

    Mike and falcon,
    I know it’s really hard for you guys to understand but Mormonism is a culture. Especially here in Utah. I have a friend who is taking her daughter to church and helping her be active in Young Women’s for the sake of her popularity. Right or wrong, she feels she has to do this or her daughter will be an outcast. This is how it is in parts of Utah. As far as God once being a man, I didn’t know that, not in the sense that Mormon doctrine teaches. In lessons at church, it was always said that if we live righteously, we will be “like” our Heavenly Father. So I just thought “like” meant, loving, righteous, honest, etc. I had no idea that the church meant literally being a God. My “type” of Mormon doesn’t question, is a blind follower, believes the leaders when they say “when the prophet speaks the thinking has been done for you.” Honestly I don’t know any other type of Mormon personally. I’m always picking my jaw up off the floor when I read what Mormons type on this blog.
    I wasn’t aware that as a Mormon I could just pick willy nilly through LDS teachings and discard or change whatever doesn’t fit in my mind. I’m an all or nothing kind of person though.

  12. falcon says:

    Very interesting Kate.
    As I’ve pointed out previously, in the geographic area in which I live, Mormonism isn’t even a blip on the religious radar screen. So the cultural aspect of Mormonism isn’t something that I’m at all familiar with. I’ve been in heavily Mormon areas visiting and have friends who have lived in Utah while attending graduate school. So I’ve heard the stories.
    It’s too bad that in order to be in the “in” group, a teenage girl has to join the Mormon country club. As if being a teenager isn’t tough enough, that sort of religious conformity would certainly add another burden.
    My guess that these social Mormons don’t last long in the clan once they move on to college or leave home.

    It’s too bad that you didn’t know that you could pick and choose what you wanted to believe in Mormonism. It would take the pressure off I’d guess. First of all such a person doesn’t really have any fear as a motivating force. Secondly, they don’t get enamored with the rock star status of the Mormon leadership. It does take a lot of confidence and I would say the ability to go stealth and play the game. I’m sure there are people who lie through their teeth to get their temple recommend and keep peace in the family.

  13. Mike R says:

    Kate, thanks for sharing with us what it was like being a faithful Mormon. You’re right, I
    will never know how fully how a Mormon reasons or what’s like to be a part of that culture .
    I think that those Mormons who think they can reject some fundamental doctrines taught by
    their leaders are only fooling themselves . I’ve said before that if I was a Mormon that I
    could not rationalize like that . What’s at stake here : ” Any Latter-day Saint who denounces
    or opposes , whether actively or otherwise , any plan or doctrine advocated by the ‘ prophets
    Seers and revelators ‘ of the Church is cultivating the spirit of apostasy …..It should be
    remembered that Lucifer has a very cunning way of convincing unsuspecting souls that the
    General Authorities of the Church are as likely to be wrong as they are to be right . This sort
    of game is Satan’s favorite pastime …..” [ Deseret News 5-26-1945 ] .

  14. Ralph says:

    I have been taught about Heavenly Father going through a mortal period on another world like we are now many times. I don’t know why Kate hasn’t, maybe the teachers she has were too embarrassed about it or she missed church that Sunday.

    One thing that was not discussed and which is most likely why it appears that this doctrine is going missing, is what the conditions were for His world.

    We teach that Jesus’ atonement here on this earth in the Garden of Gethemane was for all of His creations (ie the whole universe) and all the peopple inhbiting those worlds, not just this world. If you read the temple transcript (which I know many of you have) you will see that Lucifer was giving Adam and Eve the fruit as was done on other worlds. So if the other worlds in Jesus’ creation were given the fruit and not commanded to refrain from partaking like Adam and Eve were, and the one most important thing in the whole existence of this creation happened on this world alone but affects all other worlds, then we do not understand or know the whole plan and what is happening on those other worlds.

    So we do not know what the exact conditions were for Heavenly Father during His mortal experience and any type pf speculation/discussion about it is discouraged because it can lead people into the paths of error. Thus it is logical to tone it down and refrain from mentioning it too much.

  15. TJayT says:

    Kate

    Always good to talk to you :)

    Are you just talking about God having a body? If so yes, I have been taught it by friends, family and the Church. If your talking about my rejection of infinite regression then no it’s not something I was taught, just something I came to after studying both the scriptures and Lds writings.

    As to John 4:24, this commentary by a non Lds author sums up my view,

    “That God is spirit is not meant as a definition of God’s being—though this is how the Stoics [a branch of Greek philosophy] would have understood it. It is a metaphor of his mode of operation, as life-giving power, and it is no more to be taken literally than 1 John 1:5, “God is light,” or Deuteronomy 4:24, “Your God is a devouring fire.” It is only those who have received this power through Christ who can offer God a real worship.” J. N. Sanders, A Commentary on the Gospel According to St. John, , edited and completed by B. A. Mastin

    This view of the scripture also ties in well with Jesus’ statements just a few verses earlier about the living water.

    Your right about Lds as a culture. My understanding is we’re kind of like Jews that way. It sounds pretty bad where you live. I live in Utah also, but it isn’t really like that here. It must be because my town is situated so close to the Colorado and Wyoming border, and the main industry here (oil and gas production) keeps a steady flow of outsiders coming through the town. The culture can be annoying sometimes, but isn’t nearly as bad as say Provo or apparently where you’re at.

  16. TJayT says:

    MikeR

    Oh come on, can’t I be James Dean? ;)

    As I told Kate earlier I have discussed it in Sunday school. I’m not sure if the Bishop was there, but usually one of the bishopric is. And nobody ran me screaming from the building, or called me in for any sort of reprimanding.

    Falcon

    I can’t believe we actually have something in common, but I LOVE Perry Mason. Both the old TV show and the made for TV movies from the 80s. Good pick.

  17. Mike R says:

    Nice try Ralph. Sorry but your opinion and 50cents will by a cup of coffee(decafe !) .
    You mentioned that people can be led into error by speculating on certain aspects of this
    doctrine . The fact of the matter is that people have already been led into error by embracing
    the Mormon doctrine of God the Father being an exalted man to begin with .

  18. falcon says:

    Is there anything in the tradition of the Christian church that teaches the Mormon doctrine of the nature of God? No!
    So where does it come from? Well, revelation of course. So where does that get a person? We’ve seen where Mormonism is a continuously evolving stream of thought by men who claim to be prophets, receiving revelation, that ignores, amends or rejects doctrines previously taught by other prophets who were also hearing from the Mormon god. Mormonism has wrought a tradition that has resulted in at least a hundred spin offs with men claiming to be prophets with revelation resulting in the establishment of their own one true church.
    Mormonism can’t keep anything straight which includes who God is.
    Mormonism is pure speculation, and not very good speculation at that. It’s filled with all sorts of conspiracy theories, plots, subplots that isn’t even good heresy. Mormonism is a playground for folks who enjoy sticking their thumbs in the eyes of Christianity.
    There is nothing is Scripture to account for the Mormon view of the nature of God. To get to what they believe, Mormons ignore the Bible, call it’s legitimacy into question and go off on flights of fancy which has spiritual death as its end.

  19. Kate says:

    TJAYT,
    This is what Francis said and you said that you also empathize with Francis since his view of God is strikingly similar to your own:

    “Actually they don’t teach that he was once a mortal man, what is taught is that he has a body of flesh and bone; hence we were made in his image….
    He goes on to say that God didn’t need a mortal probation and that he never sinned.

    They do teach that God was once a man! It’s in manuals. Poor Francis must live where only half truths are taught at church (like me). Ralph says he has been taught all of this at his church. Your quote doesn’t prove your point that God has a body of flesh and bone. Why should I believe J.N. Sanders over the very words of Christ himself?
    Shortly after the resurrection of Jesus, He appeared to his disciples and they thought they had seen a spirit, He said this to them:
    (Luke 24:39).
    “See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself; touch Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”

    Jesus plainly states that God is spirit. Where in the Bible does it say that God has a body of flesh and bones? It doesn’t. That comes from Joseph Smith’s imagination just as the pre existence and “spirit babies.” Hmmm, that gives me a question for you, do spirit babies have a body of flesh and bone before they get a mortal body? If not, then how does God and his heavenly wife/wives create babies that are spirit only, since God and his wife/wives have a body of flesh and bone?

  20. Clyde6070 says:

    Watched the movie Zero Hour with Dana Andrews as Lt. Ted Stryker. You guys might have seen the remake-Airplane. In the movie Zero Hour I didn’t hear the words “and don’t call me Shirley”. Which brings me to Shirley’s latest blog. OK it is Sharon but I did not know how to blend into the subject at hand.
    Remember knowledge should be handled carefully. You might find something out that makes you throw other things out that should be remembered.
    “Our Heavenly Father knows our trials, our weaknesses, and our sins. He has compassion and mercy on us. He wants us to succeed even as He did.” (Gospel Principles, 2009, 279. Ellipses in the original.) I like this quote. It means to me that He has been through what I am going through now. How or what the process Was for Him I don’t know. I do know that we are going through a probationary state. Key word-probation-means act of testing or state or period of such testing or trial. Another thing is the time we spend here.
    2 Peter 3:8 states: But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. This means to me that, given 25 hours in a day and dividing 1000 by 25 gets 40, we are gone from Gods’ presence about two hours-His time not ours.
    People do not think on these things. I might be able to convince a trinitarian that God has a physical body if he does not know all about the trinity and the belief.

  21. Clyde6070 says:

    If he can relate the mistake he makes then he gains knowledge and won’t repeat it. I say this because one does not give the idea of God having a physical body much thought. This is what I see.
    God has a physical body. He has been through what we have been through. Maybe a million years, a billion years or a trillion years ago but he has gone through what we have gone through. I might be wrong but I might be right about this but I have at least what might be a good idea about it.

  22. falcon says:

    I really can’t understand why Mormons believe in the men they call prophets.
    To me they are fools. They never get it right. Not only have Mormon prophets not foretold anything that was to happen, they can’t even get it right by chance.
    Mormon prophets don’t even know who God is.
    GBH is the most infamous for his proclamation on national television that he didn’t even know if progression to godhood was or is taught by the religion he was supposedly the prophet for.
    They are fools!
    They run one way with their doctrine and practice and then flip-flop and change directions. Mormons would be better off believing nothing than to follow these scoundrels. At least then they could have some integrity and at the same time save themselves a lot of money.
    We have Mormons right on this blog that can’t seem to get it straight who the Mormon god is. That’s really a result of poor leadership to put it mildly.
    Believing in Joseph Smith and his supposed “visions” is beyond comprehension, however take it away and Mormonism falls. So the faithful Mormon continues to believe a fabricated story that Smith could never quite get right.
    I’ve stated before and I will again that there’s more evidence to believe in Fatima or Lourdes and the Blessed Virgin Mary than there is in Smith’s tall tales.
    Mormon prophets dig themselves into a hole, climb out and proceed to dig another hole. Why Mormons can’t see through this scam is a mystery, but not really.
    The apostle Paul made it clear that we do not war against flesh and blood but against the forces of evil in the heavenlies.
    This battle will be waged there through prayer. While we continue to give an account of the hope that is within us, we also pray in the Spirit.

  23. falcon says:

    Clyde,
    Here’s your problem with quoting Scripture to make a point. Mormonism and the Mormon doctrine regarding the nature of God, didn’t come from the Bible. Joseph Smith wasn’t reading the Bible one day and found that God had once been a man and that men can also become gods. Mormonism doesn’t even have a very high regard for the Bible seeing it as corrupt.
    Your starting with a premise regarding the nature of God and then chasing about through the Scriptures to try and find something that supports the aberrant and heretical and might I say blasphemous doctrine.
    TJay wasn’t reading the Bible one day and teased his concept of the nature of God from the Scriptures. He got his view from other sources the same as Joseph Smith did.
    Here check this out. Where do you think Joseph Smith got some of his ideas?

    http://www.sacred-texts.com/swd/index.htm

    So Clyde don’t even bother quoting the Bible. It’s insulting. Just say you had a revelation and this is what you think. Mormonism can’t be found in the Bible or in the history and traditions of the Christian faith. You can try to overlay what Mormons think on top of the Bible, you can torture the Scriptures all you want but the Bible doesn’t support Mormon notions of who God is.

  24. Clyde6070 says:

    Gee Falcon you don’t seem to have any understanding of what I am trying to say. You seem to have a storm trooper mentality with buddhist underpinnings. Repeat a lie often enough you can believe it as the truth. I know I see things in the Bible that you don’t see and I know I might be wrong in the way I explain things but I do know I should express some opposing idea because you need to see what different ideas come up.

  25. Mike R says:

    Fred, any one of us here might at times be wrong in how we try to explain a particular
    doctrine we believe in, but the issue here with you as a follower of a false prophet is
    that you’re wrong in embracing the very doctrine you’re trying to explain, in this case
    it’s that God the Father needed to succeed at being “worthy” like you are striving to .
    He is not some rank and file man who finally managed to climb to the top of some ” gospel
    ladder of requirements ” in order to become the Almighty Creator of Heaven and earth .
    You need to exchange your prophets and apostles for more trustworthy ones, the ones who
    actually heard from God and then taught those truths to us . You can read of their experiences
    in the Bible , I’m sure you carry one to Church every Sunday so we’re both blessed .

  26. Mike R says:

    Correction: That last post was to Clyde, not Fred.

  27. TJayT says:

    Kate:

    I agree that it is taught that God was once a man. I’m not sure when I first heard the doctrine, but it was before I left Mormonism and Christianity far behind, so sometime before I turned 13. Not sure why you didn’t hear about it. I made that point in both of my previous posts. I would argue that it was ever taught he was a SINFUL man, but that’s a different discussion. I also believe God was one a man, in so far as he took upon himself flesh.

    My quote wasn’t to prove that God has a body. It was to show that not everyone, even in Evangelical circles, agrees that this verse is 100% proof positive that God is only spirit. To say that I’m trying to choose between J. N. Sanders or Christ is a false premise. Sanders himself believes the “very words of Christ.” To me Jesus plainly states that it’s through God’s spirit that we communicate with and worship him. Nothing more or less. Reading the verse this way makes much more sense in the context of the entire chapter and his discussion with the women at the well. Unless you thing that God is also a giant fountain of water that we can all drink out of. God is the living water, he is Pneuma (life’s breath or spirit) and when we worship him through spirit and truth we will never thirst again.

    As to preexistent souls, in Lds theology the soul is also made of matter. Mormon cosmology doesn’t believe in anything that isn’t matter or energy (and of course thanks to E=mc^2 even those are interchangeable. Thanks Einstein!).

  28. Ralph says:

    MikeR,

    I know you dont believe in the LDS church, but you hve not proven to me that I am wrong in my belief and that you are right. So in my eyes, you are the one fallen into error by following the false interpretation of the Bible called the Trinity. You can make what ever statements you want about me and my belief being wrong as you just have, but without proof that shows 100% that my belief is wrong and yours (NOTE you must also prove yours is correct) then you have nothing really. Just remember, the majority of the Bible dictionaries that I know of, and some of them are from Christian societies, state that the Trinity is just an interpretation of the Bible, it is not doctrine written in the Bible.

    What I have found in the Bible corresponds to my belief that Heavenly Father, Jesus and the Holy Ghost are 3 separate being that together as a team make up the Godhead. It is Heavenly Father that is the supreme being/ruler over all, Jesus is His ‘right hand man’ and through Jesus all things were created, and the Holy Ghost is the witness of both of these and all truth, or a messenger of sorts for want of better words. Jesus has a physical body, and since He is in the exact image of His Father then I can believe that Heavenly Father has a physical body, especially since Jesus is perfect with a spirit clothed in a physical body which logically to me is more perfect than just a spirit body. So all from the Bible, I can support my belief, without the input of modern day prophets.

  29. Mike R says:

    Ralph, you’ve attempted to prove to us for a long time how you’ve found in the Bible
    support for important Mormon doctrines of God . I’ve no doubt that you can find “support”
    for anything you want to , but in all honesty if the apostles in Jesus’ N.T.church had clearly
    taught what Mormon apostles taught about God then you would’nt need them nor the
    other “scriptures” you embrace as Standard Works . As for Bible Dictionaries and the
    Trinity is concerned I believe it was Andy Watson who once corrected you on how you had
    attempted to use some of them , so I’m not impressed with your statement relative
    to them. If your leaders are indeed trying to slowly distance themselves from the doctrine
    that Sharon’s post has mentioned then that should trouble you , but this would’nt be the
    first time that a significant doctrine once embraced by Mormon apostles has been
    dodged , down-played , or denied by subsequent apostles. Ralph, you can dismiss these
    men from your life , you don’t need them Also, I’m glad that you can see the need to support
    your beliefs by the Bible. It’s all you need as the message of how to receive a complete salvation
    and eternal life is all there —-Jn 20:31 ; Rom 1:16 .

  30. Kate says:

    TJAYT,
    I’m not really interested in what different men “think” about a certain scripture. I am more interested in what Jesus and scripture actually says. Sometimes you have to put scripture together and cross reference things.
    Can you explain these scriptures to me?
    Phil. 2:5-8)
    This verse says Jesus was “in the form of God” and emptied himself and was born in the likeness of men having human form.

    (1 Timothy 6:16 )
    “Whom no one has seen or can see.”

    (John 6:46)
    If no one has or can see the Father, explain Joseph Smith’s claim that he saw God and God has a body of flesh and bone.

  31. Rick B says:

    Ralph,
    I know we have covered these things over and over, and I know you believe you answered them, but I will say all this again in case someone new (lurking) reads it.

    Their is ZERO, let me say again ZERO archeological evidence. Yet just one instance I stated was, 2 guys used the bible as a map and found the anchors dropped from the ship Paul was on.

    All the prophecy JS made in detail have failed and been proven false.
    Just on the birth of Jesus, how he would Die, who would do what to him, Etc their are roughly 300 in detail that have come to pass.

    You deny the trinity, I dont care if so called Christians do either. I am friends with an atheist who asked me a question, I gave here an answer, she later found a so called Christian that disagreed with me, Guess what? She agreed with Him. I then asked her why she believes a so called Christian that agrees with her over me? She never answered me on that.

    As far as the trinity goes, Jesus said HE WAS the burning Bush that spoke to Moses, The Jews knew exactly what He meant, He was saying He was/Is God. Not A God like you believe.

    In the Book of Acts, Peter told the Husband,

    Act 5:3 But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost

    Then after he said You lied to the holy ghost, he went onto say,

    Act 5: thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.

    Peter says the Holy Ghost and God are one in the same. He does not imply or say, They are two separate Gods or people.

    Then the Gospel of John says, (Cont)

  32. Rick B says:

    (cont)

    John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    If you understand your Bible, the Word is JESUS, So again we have Jesus and God being made one in the same. Theses are examples of the trinity.

    Last but not least, You simply cannot take all your prophets, have them teach something as Fact and Doctrine Given from God directly from the mouth of God, then years later have other prophets deny that it is doctrine and change it. These are just a few problems, and the results have eternal consequences.

    Jesus spoke a lot about hell and the lake of fire and how terrible it will be, He even mentioned the rich man in torment. You guys, will sadly be punished for teaching a false Gospel and leading people astray. I know you guys dont believe me, but please think about this and give serious thought because eternity is hell with out Jesus.

  33. Ralph says:

    MikeR,

    When it came to my use of the Bible dictionary, I gave a quote from it stating that the Doctrine of the Trinity was not found in the Bible. Andy provided the full quote which ended in saying that for that society (Society of Biblical Literature) which published the dictionary (Harper’s), it was what they thought was the best INTERPRETATION of the Bible. So my only fault in using the quote from the bible dictionary was that I didnt mention that they believed it to be the best interpretation. So what I said still stood – the DOCTRINE of the Trinity, according to that Bible dictionary (and 4 others I have subsequently found) and the SBL, was not found in the Bible but an interpretation only.

    I believe that we need a Prophet to be God’s mouthpiece on earth today because in the Bible Jesus taught that His house was a house of order, and that no man can serve 2 masters. So logically there must be on person that God will give His authority to to interpret God’s will, otherwise we will be getting many various opinions and people will separate from each other and call the others blasphemers and heretics and God’s true word would be lost somewhere among them. Oh, we already have that!

    Besides, 2 people in the OT tried to say that we dont need a Prophet for God’s mouthpiece and what happened to them? Read about Miriam in Number 12 and Korah and his followers in Numbers 16. They were saying that Israel was a sacred people and God spoke through and to them so a prophet is not needed, just like many Christian churches say today about the body of believers.

  34. Ralph says:

    RickB,

    The references you give in Acts does not prove that the Holy Ghost is God. We can stick ‘taxman’ in for Holy Ghost and ‘Government’ for God and read that the person lied to the taxman in one verse and to the government in the other but it doesnt mean that the taxman is the government, just that the taxman is a representative of the government – ie lying to the taxman is the same as lying to the government. So it is saying that the Holy Ghost is a representative for God because lying to Him is the same as lying to God.

    As far as the reference in John, your interpretation only proves a binitary God, not a Trinity God because there is no mention of the Holy Ghost. But that is if these verses have been translated correctly as I have noticed that the use of the word ‘God’ is controversial. Some groups say that it is translated correctly and means as you have said. Other groups say that the Greek work should have been translated as ‘divine’ not ‘god’. Others say that the participle ‘a’ should be placed in there so it reads ‘and the Word was A God’. And yet others say that ‘the’ should be in there so it reads ‘and the Word was THE God’.

    I know which interpretation you support, but can you tell me with 100% certainty that you have the correct interpretation out of the 4 plus that are out there?

    But I have mentioned these points to you on at least one occasion prior so this is old news.

    Oh, look at that. Its almost 3:30 in the morning, I must get to bed. see you all later ;)

  35. falcon says:

    Good job Rick!
    Man this gets tedious. I was out pounding the pavement on my road bike early this morning and contemplating taking a break from MC. I keep asking myself how many times I have to plow this same ground?
    I think of our former Mormon posters who have come and gone here over the years and realize that they made it out of the clan and came to an understanding of who God is. It’s a funny thing with former Mormons. They seem to have found their way out and into a relationship with Jesus through personal study and guidance from the Holy Spirit.
    I don’t think I’ve run into a former Mormon who became a Christian because someone led them to Christ. That’s not the pattern. In fact what’s interesting is often times husbands and wives are studying and researching on their own without even sharing their journey with one another. Then one day it all comes together and “boom” they’re out.
    After I got off my bike and showered I figured I owed it to myself to travel into the little town I live outside of and have a cup or three of their strongest coffee. I’m sitting there reading my Kindle and relaxing and I notice two couples sitting near me, nicely dressed. I didn’t know them so I was speculating on why, on a Saturday morning, in a town where no one dresses up unless it’s a wedding or a funeral, what their function was.
    As they left one of the ladies comes over to me and hands me a copy of “Awake”. I thought, “Man Lord, just when I’m worn out mentally from defending the Gospel, you send this JW lady over.”
    I thought the Lord was piling on a little bit.

  36. fproy2222 says:

    (If no one has or can see the Father, explain Joseph Smith’s claim that he saw God and God has a body of flesh and bone.)

    Please explain all the verses where men saw God face to face and in other ways.

    Acts 7: 55-56
    Genesis 32:30
    Genesis 17:1
    Genesis 18:1
    Acts 7:2
    Exodus 3:6

    Exodus 19:11
    Exodus 33:11
    Numbers 12:7-8
    1 Kings 9:2
    1 Kings 11:9
    Isaiah 6:1,5

    Exodus 24:10-11
    Deuteronomy 34:10
    Deuteronomy 5:4
    Judges 13:22
    Genesis 3 :
    Hebrews 11:27

    Job 42:5
    Job 33:26
    Job 19:26
    Ezekiel 1:1
    Ezekiel 8:1-4
    Joshua 5:12-15

    Revelation 22:4

  37. Kate says:

    Ralph,

    “I believe that we need a Prophet to be God’s mouthpiece on earth today because in the Bible Jesus taught that His house was a house of order, and that no man can serve 2 masters. So logically there must be on person that God will give His authority to to interpret God’s will, otherwise we will be getting many various opinions and people will separate from each other and call the others blasphemers and heretics and God’s true word would be lost somewhere among them. Oh, we already have that!”

    You just summed up Mormonism perfectly! All those denominations claiming to be the ONE TRUE CHURCH STARTED BY JOSEPH SMITH! But tell me, where is your LDS prophet shouting the truths out to the world? Where is he to interpret God’s will to all of us who are blogging, questioning, wondering? He could put an end to all of this for his LDS people and the world if he would just get up in general conference twice a year and tell the world the will of God. He’s pretty quiet. Also, why should we follow your prophet (mouthpiece) when there are upwards of 200 other Mormon (mouthpieces) which one is actually the true “mouthpiece” of God?

  38. Rick B says:

    Well falcon, all I can say is good luck to the Mormons like Fred, Ralph and Clyde, Hope they enjoy their short time on this planet, because what awaits them is not good.

    The Bible says,

    2Thessalonians 1:8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

    2Thessalonians 1:9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;

    And I feel sorry for them.

  39. Kate says:

    Ralph,

    “Besides, 2 people in the OT tried to say that we dont need a Prophet for God’s mouthpiece and what happened to them? Read about Miriam in Number 12 and Korah and his followers in Numbers 16. They were saying that Israel was a sacred people and God spoke through and to them so a prophet is not needed, just like many Christian churches say today about the body of believers.”

    This was in the OT, God hadn’t sent His Son yet. We no longer need prophets because God speaks to us through His Son. The problem with Mormonism is that it tries to mix a lot of the OT in with the NT.

  40. Mike R says:

    Ralph, it sounds like you tried to use a Bible Dictionary in such a way as to imply it was a
    authoritative source for establishing spiritual truth when in reality it was only what someone
    thought was the best interpretation. These are not your official source for Biblical truth , nor
    are they mine. Since you want us here to believe that your apostles are the exclusive channel
    that God uses to give the correct interpretation of the scriptures , then it’s imperative for you
    to prove they have in fact taught correctly on who God is . What I found when I compared
    the teachings of Mormon apostles with the teachings of Jesus’ original apostles about God
    is that there was immense differences. Mormon apostles were VERY explicit in defining and
    then defending their teachings about God , supposedly the same God we meet in the Bible.
    Some Mormon leaders were not hesitant to use the term ” Trinity” , but much of what they
    taught about it or their ” Godhead ” was not in accord with the Biblical testimony at all .
    Therefore in accordance with the scriptural warning to reject false prophets/apostles I stick
    with the spiritual guidance the N.T. apostles have to offer . Your logic concerning the need
    for one single man to be God’s mouthpiece today is flawed . This is not the arrangement Jesus
    instituted in His church as described in the New Testament. What’s more , the Mormon way of
    doing things has hardly prevented differing opinions from existing , nor has it prevented
    “splinter groups” from forming , nor from calling others “heretics” etc. We already have that ?
    Yes, it’s called Mormonism.

  41. Mike R says:

    Fred, first things first. What if these verses do not teach what you are saying they do ?
    Will you admit your apostles have advocated false doctrine ? Or are you simply going
    to go to some other topic as is your m.o. ? I say this to remind that our time is important
    we don’t care to needlessly spend it on fruitless dialogue . Do you understand this ?
    Thanks.

    Ralph,

    I wont speak for Rick , he is fully capable to defend his comments to you. But in reference to
    Jn.1:1 , I doubt that he was saying the whole doctrine of the Trinity is shown in that verse.
    Furthermore, there’s an easy answer to your question on which translation of Jn1:1 is correct.
    The correct rendering of this verse comes from a very reliable source , a source that you as
    a Mormon can trust implicitly : your First Presidency !
    Their counsel on the rendering of this verse is ” In the Beginning was the Word , and the Word
    was with God, and the Word was God . ” Works for me (and I’m sure Rick would concur ) .
    So please Ralph no more rabbit trails about how we should view this verse , OK ? Thanks.

  42. fproy2222 says:

    (Fred, first things first. What if these verses do not teach what you are saying they do ?)

    You complain that I do not give examples, now you are complaining when I give examples.

    All I am asking ya’ll to do is to explain why ya’ll think there is not a conflict between the Bible verse ya’ll like and these other Bible verses that look like they conflict with your conclusions.

    fred

  43. falcon says:

    Mike,
    I like you have learned not to take the bait and chase down empty rabbit trails that some of our Mormon posters like to send us down.
    All someone has to do today to get a pretty good overview of a topic is to “google” it.
    For example, I simply “googled”; “Has anyone seen God-Christian”. A person can be kept quite busy reading the various listed responses to that simple question.
    Actually Jesus laid it all out when He said that He’s the only One who has seen the Father.
    That should pretty well end the discussion. It someone wants to examine the OT Scriptures, it’s important to use a systematic approach. Listing a whole bunch of Scripture verses only proves that the person doing so doesn’t apply any discipline to their study.
    It’s like taking the various parts of different animals from pictures, putting them together and calling the result a dog.

  44. Clyde6070 says:

    Question for you guys. Should I stop doing good at my church and go to a Christian church and do what I am good at there?

  45. Mike R says:

    Clyde, the short answer is, yes.

  46. Rick B says:

    Clyde,
    It’s not about doing good anything. Lots of “good” people are in hell, It’s about beliefe in the ONE and ONLY TRUE GOD, and His death on the Cross.

    Fred, Again, I can answer your question, I know you wont like what I’m about to say, but to bad.

    Basically I’m done with you, you refused to answer so many questions from so many of us that it’s not funny. Then I saw a reply by you and it was written in red that if you have nothing to add to the topic at hand it will not get posted. So I suspect much of what you could have said was not published. Go back, read what everyone said, come back, give honest answers and not reply’s like, Study harder. Then we will talk, until then, Good by.

  47. Rick B says:

    Mike said to Ralph,

    Jn.1:1 , I doubt that he was saying the whole doctrine of the Trinity is shown in that verse.

    You would be correct. I was just listing that as one of many verses.

    Ralph, You can say what you want about trading the terms Tax man and government, But the verse where Jesus says “I AM” is enough to tell me Jesus said He was God, not a god but thee God. The Jews even understood Him to say that and that was why they picked up stones to stone Him. You can come back and twist and twist some more the scriptures all you want to say something else. You can even say, the Greek or Hebrew says…..

    But again, I have been to Israel, The Jews their to this day will tell you if you ask them, Yes that was what Jesus meant. So say what you want, but you have a false gospel and your prophets keep moving the foot ball as Lucy does with Charlie Brown.

  48. falcon says:

    clyde,
    I don’t much care where you go to church. You Mormons are really hung up on that. In fact I don’t care if you ever darken the door of a church. It’s not about “church”. It’s all about Jesus and what you believe about who He is and what He did. That’s what you need to get straight.
    A “church” can’t add anything to what Jesus has already done. Back to the basics. The “Church” is the Mystical Body of Christ made up of all born again believers in Jesus Christ.
    So, come to an understanding of who Jesus is. That’s where you start.

  49. Clyde6070 says:

    Mystical body of Christ made up of all born again believers in Jesus Christ. How do you grow in the faith without having somebody teach you? Who teaches you? Remember what Ananias did for Paul.

  50. Andy Watson says:

    First, I would like to answer the question that Sharon’s article is entitled. Yes, Mormonism still teaches that God the Father was once a man. I’ve seen numerous LDS references listed in this article and on a few others. One that I didn’t see listed is the one I will provide here. I spent many months visiting LDS wards in 2009 here in Las Vegas and attended the “investigator’s class” along with the priesthood meeting afterwards upon invitation. The LDS Church at that time stated that the focus of curriculum teaching that year was to be on the book entitled “Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith.” This was printed by the LDS Church and has the church stamp and seal on the back cover. On page 40 of that book it quotes Joseph Smith’s sermon from the King Follet Discourse:

    “My first object is to find out the character of the only wise and true God, and what kind of being He is…God Himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!”

    I am not aware of any revisions of this book in the past two or three years. This teaching from Smith has been upheld by the LDS Church since 1844. It would seem rather unusual for the LDS Church now to distance itself from that teaching now. But then again, I wouldn’t be surprised if they did in light of the continual remolding and modifying that the LDS Church continues to go through in trying to make its former teachings more palatable for the naive to swallow before thoroughly chewing.

    Sharon, great work on all these articles! Thank you for your sacrifice and labor of love for the kingdom of God.

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