Mormon Theism

Christianity is a monotheistic religion, but what is Mormonism? Mormonism has been called monotheistic, polytheistic, henotheistic, tri-theistic, and more recently, monolatristic. I don’t know if there is a defined theistic category that fits Mormonism, but let’s look at what these five are, and see which seems best suited for the LDS belief system.

I checked three sources for definitions; they all said essentially the same thing. Provided below are the definitions as found in the Dictionary of -Ologies & -Isms at the Free Online Dictionary (also see The American Heritage Dictionary at the same url and the Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry Dictionary of Theology). These definitions are simplistic, but they are adequate for our purpose here.

  • Monotheism: the doctrine of or belief in only one God.
  • Polytheism: a belief in, or worship of, many gods.
  • Henotheism: a belief in one supreme or specially venerated god who is not the only god.
  • Tri-theism: 1) the heretical belief that the Trinity consists of three distinct gods; 2) any polytheistic religion having three gods.
  • Monolatry: the worship of one god without excluding belief in others.


In June of 1844 Joseph Smith preached a discourse that has been sub-titled “Plurality of Gods.” He said,

“I believe those Gods that God reveals as Gods to be sons of God, and all can cry, ‘Abba, Father!’ Sons of God who exalt themselves to be Gods, even from before the foundation of the world, and are the only Gods I have a reverence for” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 375).

Mr. Smith also said that humans must “learn how to be Gods…the same as all Gods have done before” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 346), and claimed that whenever he preached on the subject of Deity, “it has always been the plurality of Gods” (ibid, 370).

If we accept the definition of “polytheism” as “a belief in, or worship of, many gods,” according to the teachings of Joseph Smith, Mormonism is polytheistic. But polytheism is a broad classification comprised of narrower sub-categories, including (but not limited to) henotheism, tri-theism and monolatry.


Early LDS apostle Orson Hyde taught,

“There are Lords many, and Gods many, for they are called Gods to whom the word of God comes, and the word of God comes to all these kings and priests. But to our branch of the kingdom there is but one God, to whom we all owe the most perfect submission and loyalty; yet our God is just as subject to still higher intelligences, as we should be to him” (Orson Hyde, “A Diagram of the Kingdom of God.” Millennial Star 9 [15 January 1847]: 23, 24, as quoted in The Words of Joseph Smith, 299).

This does sound like the definition of “henotheism,” a belief in one supreme God who is venerated or worshiped above all other Gods. Yet we should also consider the teaching of a later LDS apostle:

“Three separate personages – Father, Son, and Holy Ghost – comprise the Godhead. As each of these persons is a God, it is evident, from this standpoint alone, that a plurality of Gods exists. To us, speaking in the proper finite sense, these three are the only Gods we worship. But in addition there is an infinite number of holy personages, drawn from worlds without number, who have passed on to exaltation and are thus gods” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 576).


Perhaps Mr. McConkie’s statement quoted above would fit here as well. Tri-theism defines the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as three Gods. Joseph Smith’s teaching agreed with Mr. McConkie’s:

“I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and that the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 370; emphasis mine).


Monolatry is defined as the worship of only one God, though there are others that exist. As we have seen above, Bruce McConkie taught that Mormons believe in untold numbers of true Gods, but they worship only the three Gods that pertain to this world. On another occasion Mr. McConkie said,

“We worship the Father and him only and no one else. We do not worship the Son and we do not worship the Holy Ghost. I know perfectly well what the scriptures say about worshipping Christ and Jehovah, but they are speaking in an entirely different sense–the sense of standing in awe and being reverentially grateful to Him who has redeemed us. Worship in the true and saving sense is reserved for God the first, the Creator” (Sermons and Writings of Bruce R. McConkie, 60).

Indeed, the Book of Mormon instructs people to worship Christ (e.g., see 2 Nephi 25:29 and 3 Nephi 11:17), and some LDS leaders have agreed (e.g., Gordon B. Hinckley, Ensign 11/1998, 70). Nevertheless, sixth LDS Prophet and President Joseph F. Smith taught the contrary,

“And yet, while we give the honor and glory unto the Lord God Almighty for the accomplishment of his purposes, let us not altogether despise the instrument that he chooses to accomplish the work by. We do not worship him; we worship God, and we call upon his holy name, as we have been directed in the gospel, in the name of his Son. We call for mercy in the name of Jesus; we ask for blessings in the name of Jesus” (Gospel Doctrine, 139).

Where do we put Mormonism in this array of isms? LDS author Rodney Turner wrote, “Mormonism is simultaneously monotheistic, tri-theistic, and polytheistic. There is but one God, yet there is a Godhead of three, and beyond them, ‘gods many, and lords many’ (1 Cor. 8:5).” (Pearl of Great Price: Revelations from God, H. Donl Peterson and Charles D. Tate, Jr., eds., “The Doctrine of the Firstborn and Only Begotten”).

What do you think? Is it unreasonable to call Mormonism “polytheistic,” as Latter-day Saints often assert? Is the designation “monolatry” a better fit? Because of the lack of consistency in LDS teachings it may be impossible to figure out where Mormonism really belongs. We might, therefore, invent a new term: Mormontheism. But I rather like Aaron’s conclusion. He said, “Whatever they want to call it, it’s spelled i-d-o-l-a-t-r-y.”


Comments within the parameters of 1 Peter 3:15 are invited.


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.
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147 Responses to Mormon Theism

  1. Olson,

    There is alot to unpack here. First, I am not 100% sure that the Father did forsake the Son on the cross? Jesus is quoting the 22 Psalm. In that Psalm, God is praised because He delivered David’s forefathers when they were in trouble. So, it is possible that Jesus is expressing a theologically incorrect thought (He feels like the Father has forsaken Him, but He has not), He is expressing a theologically correct one (God has or will deliver Him), or that He expressed a correct idea that God has forsaken Him (but by extension it would seem that it also means God forsook David too).

    As far as the Trinity goes it is just not an “Ev” thing. Christianity 101 starts with the nature of God. He is triune; He exists in a trinity. Christians distinguish between “Being” and “Person”. There is one Being who exists in three persons. The Father is not the Son and the Son is not the Father (same goes for the Spirit too). Modalism is a heresy condemned long ago but still keeps showing up. The song Holy, Holy, Holy expresses this idea as close to perfect as one can get.

    Honestly Jim, I appreciate your honesty. However (and this may sound like a shot but it is not), this is not some hidden, esoteric belief. You should have at least touched on this subject somewhere in one of your western civ classes. Books upon books have been written on this subject and then there is that repository of information known as the “internet”.

    That “abominable” Council of Nicea dealt with this subject and the Trinitarian/Arian controversies that were around before, during, and after that council makes up much of what J. Smith was supposed to be condemning (kind of hard to condemn something you are not knowledgeable about).

  2. Ralph says:

    So Setfree,

    How then can you reconcile the Bible saying that a husband and wife are ONE FLESH (ie connotates one being) when you say that they are separate beings? Can this be what the Bible and BoM mean when it says they are one God?


    The term polytheist does not make me go hide and cry. There are, as pointed out many times, lurkers on this site. Some of these people know nothing about the LDS church. All I am asking is a truer representation like Henotheism or Monolatrism as polytheism tends to mean that one worships all, not one.


    The thing with research is one has to look at both sides and then make up their mind as to which view they will support by the results of their own work. I can give you many examples of findings that are true but against current scientific dogma. My previous boss found something that totally contradicted all previous publishings. He had a difficult time trying to get it published. About 3 years after, he was proven correct and now it is common knowledge.

    My current boss changes his mind about things all the time and its so frustrating (even when I have written it down) I am trying to get my own research money to do what I want.

    BTW Been on holidays the past 2 weeks which is why I have been on here a bit – not doing much ‘work’, and spending as much time with the kids as possible.

  3. Ralph,

    I am going to go out on a limb and take a stab at what you wrote for setfree. Upon Eve taking here first breath she (along with every other woman at least metaphorically) was one flesh with the man because she was created from his flesh. Yet, she (women) is still a separate person and a separate being. Marriages can end through death or divorce but unity in the Godhead can never be undone.

    This “one flesh” principle is one that is interesting and I believe one contrary to Mormonism. For us marriage is temporal, and for you guys families are supposed to be forever. If marriage is temporal, then clearly couples are not “one” in the same way God is “one”.

    I know when faced with the question/problem of Matt 22:23-32 Mormons reply, “There will be no marriage in heaven but that does not preclude saints who were already married.” However, if this is one’s reply then the original problem of the Sadducees remains. Only if marriages are not eternal does the Sadducees’ question not present a problem.

  4. Mike R says:


    Glad to hear that you’ve had a time to rest up
    and be with your kids.

    You recently asked the question:

    ” Did anyone see one of my points above?”.

    Ralph, I did. Did you happen to see my reply ?
    (both of them).

    Martin, I have no idea what I’m doing wrong with
    my browser. Sorry.

  5. falcon says:

    Google “polytheism” and see what the search brings you. It’s believing in or worshiping more than one god. You wouldn’t want the lurkers to be confused? First of all let’s just say that Mormonism is about as a confused mess as can be. Let me offer Joseph Smith’s own confusion over his “first vision”. Just track that if you want to see Smith in total free fall.

  6. subgenius says:

    Olsen Jim
    “This is a pretty neat parallel in my opinion. “
    i’ll second that….and piggyback that its also a true notion.

    David W
    “Jesus is expressing a theologically incorrect thought (He feels like the Father has forsaken Him, but He has not..”
    pure speculation. There is no evidence to support that Jesus would be unaware or confused of His Father’s presence. Forsaken is a clear term and i am sure Jesus chose His words carefully. The alignment with David is a bit off the mark.

    There is one Being who exists in three persons
    semantics, my prophecy is coming true! i would suggest that this statement is more accurate when worded thusly..3 persons in one…not one in three…a subtle, but oh so important, difference that is surely part of this infamous Christianity 101 class.

    As for the Resurrection, i believe you may be confused that the it is an event not a ‘state’. Jesus does not say that there will be no marriage in heaven, just not in the Resurrection (2 different ideas in my 101 class).
    Though there is no evidence to support the idea that individuality is lost in heaven, some ‘sects’ believe that, but i am not a member of one of those sects….but that is semantics…i am not denying that death takes all things of this world and ends all things that we know (like hope, love, etc..)..but it does leave hope, hope for something better. Perhaps this is why Mormons use the term “sealed” as opposed to “married” when speaking of “heaven”. In the LDS church ‘marry’ and ‘seal’ are different as temporal and spiritual. So you see, the Sadducees; problem is not, in fact, our problem.
    Matthew 16:19 Matthew 18:18

  7. gpark says:


    If I truly believed that Genesis 1:26 was the only possible mention of the concept of the Trinity in the Bible, I would sweat this more, but study of the Trinity in Scripture is something I’ve spent much time doing.

    This information from explains the Trinity very clearly and is consistent with my beliefs.

    “The doctrine of the Trinity is foundational to the Christian faith. It is crucial for properly understanding what God is like, how He relates to us, and how we should relate to Him. But it also raises many difficult questions. How can God be both one and three? If Jesus is God, why do the Gospels record instances where He prayed to God?

    The doctrine of the Trinity means that there is one God who eternally exists as three distinct Persons–the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Stated differently, God is one in essence and three in person. These definitions express three crucial truths: (1) The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct Persons, (2) each Person is fully God, (3) there is only one God.

    The Bible speaks of the Father as God (Phil. 1:2), Jesus as God (Titus 2:13), and the Holy Spirit as God (Acts 5:3-4). Are these just three different ways of looking at God, or simply ways of referring to three different roles that God plays? The answer must be no, because the Bible also indicates that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct Persons. For example, since the Father sent the Son into the world (John 3:16), He cannot be the same person as the Son. Likewise, after the Son returned to the Father (John 16:10), the Father and the Son sent the Holy Spirit into the world (John 14:26; Acts 2:33). Therefore, the Holy Spirit must be distinct from the Father and the Son.

    In the baptism of Jesus, we see the Father speaking from heaven and the Spirit descending from heaven in the form of a dove as Jesus comes out of the water (Mark 1:10-11). In John 1:1 it is affirmed that Jesus is God and, at the same time, that He was

  8. gpark says:

    “with God”-thereby indicating that Jesus is a distinct Person from God the Father (cf. also 1:18). And in John 16:13-15 we see that although there is a close unity between them all, the Holy Spirit is also distinct from the Father and the Son.

    The personhood of each member of the Trinity means that each Person has a distinct center of consciousness. Thus, they relate to each other personally–the Father regards Himself as “I,” while He regards the Son and Holy Spirit as “You.” Likewise the Son regards Himself as “I,” but the Father and the Holy Spirit as “You.”

    Often it is objected that “If Jesus is God, then he must have prayed to himself while he was on earth.” But the answer to this objection lies in simply applying what we have already seen. While Jesus and the Father are both God, they are different Persons. Thus, Jesus prayed to God the Father without praying to Himself. In fact, it is precisely the continuing dialog between the Father and the Son (Matthew 3:17; 17:5; John 5:19; 11:41-42; 17:1ff) which furnishes the best evidence that they are distinct Persons with distinct centers of consciousness.

    Sometimes the Personhood of the Father and Son is appreciated, but the Personhood of the Holy Spirit is neglected. But the Holy Spirit is not an it, but a He (see John 14:26; 16:7-15; Acts 8:16). The fact that the Holy Spirit is a Person, not an impersonal force (like gravity), is also shown by the fact that He speaks (Hebrews 3:7), reasons (Acts 15:28), thinks and understands (1 Corinthians 2:10-11), wills (1 Corinthians 12:11), feels (Ephesians 4:30), and gives personal fellowship (2 Corinthians 13:14). These are all qualities of personhood. In addition to these texts, the others we mentioned above make clear that the Personhood of the Holy Spirit is distinct from the Personhood of the Son and the Father. They are three real persons, not three roles God plays.

    Another serious error people have made is to think that the Father became the Son, who then

  9. gpark says:

    became the Holy Spirit. Contrary to this, the passages we have seen imply that God always was and always will be three Persons. There was never a time when one of the Persons of the Godhead did not exist. They are all eternal.

    While the three members of the Trinity are distinct, this does not mean that any is inferior to the other…they are all identical in attributes. They are equal in power, love, mercy, justice, holiness, knowledge, and [so on].

    The Trinity does not divide God into three parts. The Bible is clear that…the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all fully God…Colossians 2:9 says of Christ that “in Him all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form.” We should not think of God as like a “pie” cut into three pieces, each piece representing a Person. This would make each Person less than fully God and thus not God at all. Rather, “the being of each Person is equal to the whole being of God.”[1] The divine essence is not something that is divided between the three persons, but is fully in all three persons without being divided into “parts.”

    There is only one God. If each Person of the Trinity is distinct and yet fully God, then should we conclude that there is more than one God? Obviously we cannot, for Scripture is clear that there is only one God: “There is no other God besides me, a righteous God and a Savior; there is none besides me. Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other” (Isaiah 45:21-22; see also 44:6-8; Exodus 15:11; Deuteronomy 4:35; 6:4-5; 32:39; 1 Samuel 2:2; 1 Kings 8:60).

    Having seen that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are distinct Persons, that they are each fully God, and that there is nonetheless only one God, we must conclude that all three Persons are the same God. In other words, there is one God who exists as three distinct Persons.

    If there is one passage which most clearly brings all of this together, it is Matthew 28:19: “Go therefore and make disciples

  10. subgenius wrote

    The OT was left un-inspected by christians until Paul and Acts 17:11 ….then the discovery was made…..God associated with personal pronouns like “We” “Us” and “Our”.

    Oh my gosh, subgenius, your statement is so wrong its hard to know how to put together a reasonable response.

    Perhaps we could start with Jesus opening the scriptures (long before Paul) in Luke 4:16-19. Or Stephens defense the the Sanhedrin (before Paul) in Acts 7). Have you honestly failed to notice how much scripture is quoted and discussed in the NT long before Paul’s conversion?

    Anyhow, if it was Paul who first “opened up” the scriptures, doesn’t this present a problem to you? I recall you accusing Paul of authoring the “Great Apostasy”, yet here you are telling us that it was Paul who suddenly discovered the plurality of Gods that Mormonism promotes. Was Paul an apostate or not? Should we rely on what he wrote, or not?

    If you got your message straightened out, we’d have less trouble believing it.

    I posted this before, and I’ll do so again; the very least one can say of the NT writers is that they extensively mined the OT in the preparation of their material. I believe the NT is much more than just a re-interpretation of the OT, but it is nothing less.

    I acknowledge that this is my particular interest, but I so wish that Mormons, Christians and “whatevers” alike will spend more time interpreting the NT in the light of the OT. Then, I firmly believe, we would have a better understanding of how to apply it to our current circumstances.

  11. subgenius says:

    Are you really telling us 1st century Jewish, Christians apostasized from polytheism to monotheism?
    no, what i am telling you is that the OT is consistent in its use of plural pronouns from God and that the NT is consistent in its absence of such. You may subscribe this to linguistic nuance, but the pattern is not coincidental…and “in context” with my Acts reference, its not coincidental. The inference is yours.

    gpark yes, 3 distinct personages are supported by the scriptures. But your other speculation is lost. The Father presides over the Godhead. There is not an outside entity that fragments into 3 pieces (a holy quad?). You propose God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. That is four..but wait, you say that the Father and the Son are actually God, so no we just have God and the HS….tha is just two (the dynamic duo?). This attempt to reconcile “trinitarianism” is interesting, because the trinity is not biblical doctrine – can you provide the apostolic witness of such?

  12. gpark says:

    of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” First, notice that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinguished as distinct Persons. We baptize into the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Second, notice that each Person must be deity because they are all placed on the same level. In fact, would Jesus have us baptize in the name of a mere creature? Surely not. Therefore each of the Persons into whose name we are to be baptized must be deity. Third, notice that although the three divine Persons are distinct, we are baptized into their name (singular), not names (plural). The three Persons are distinct, yet only constitute one name. This can only be if they share one essence.

    What does essence mean? As I said earlier, it means the same thing as being. God’s essence is His being. To be even more precise, essence is what you are…essence can be understood as [what] you “consist of.” Of course we are speaking by analogy here, for we cannot understand this in a physical way about God. “God is spirit” (John 4:24). Further, we clearly should not think of God as “consisting of” anything other than divinity. The “substance” of God is God, not a bunch of “ingredients” that taken together yield deity.

    In regards to the Trinity, we use the term “Person” differently than we generally use it in everyday life. Therefore it is often difficult to have a concrete definition of Person as we use it in regards to the Trinity. What we do not mean by Person is an “independent individual” in the sense that both I & another human are separate, independent individuals who can exist apart from one another…in regards to the Trinity, we can say that “Person” means a distinct subject which regards Himself as an “I” and the other two as a “You.”

    ” Nonetheless, these three Persons all “consist of” the same…essence.

  13. grindael says:

    Ya gotta love the word games on this blog. Being a native New Yorker and still here, I have to say that I’ve lived around and talked to a great smattering of people in my years. Having attended the school of common sense all my life, I wish more of it would show up here.

    What is the meaning behind all the blather here? Is it wrong to call Mormons polytheists? Mormons call themselves that. They do so by their ‘modern revelation’.

    We Christians claim Christ as our God. We pray to Him, worship Him, love Him, and live our lives in His Name. He is God. Believe on His Name and He will save you. That is all you need. Though men have tried to define God, they have somehow always come up short. He just IS that He IS.

    True Christians claim that the only thing binding on us is Jesus and His revealed Word. Men add to his word, but that is not binding on anyone unless they let it be. The worship of Jesus and Him alone is all there is and man can never get in the way of that. God made it simple for us because He loves us. If you know Jesus, you know God. So I know the Father because I know Jesus.

    What the Old Testament taught is not relevant or binding. God revealed Himself to us as Jesus and gave us our guidelines. Jesus fulfilled the law and gave us simplistic commandments: love God & your neighbor. Out of love flows all the things you need to do to be with God.

    Mormons teach a ‘hierarchy’ of gods: ‘gods many & lords many.’ They can claim to worship one (or two or more, depending on who you read), and that is polytheism. Call it something else, it is your opinion. Your scriptures evolved into polytheism.
    They teach it. But you Mormons have made your point: you believe in more than one god. Very good. We agree that you do. You are polytheists.

    Men can poke at Christianity, but it is so beautiful because it is so diverse. One God, One Way, One Truth. Jesus. Come to Him.

  14. grindael says:

    I’m waiting for a Mormon to show me how that system of beliefs and practices is better than just Jesus.

    I’m waiting to be shown why it is wrong to worship only Jesus. Show me why I should only pray through Him and not TO Him. His real apostles fell down and worshiped HIM. He is worthy of my prayers. He is God. I pray to GOD and He loves me and answers my prayers. He saved me. He promised me if I believe on HIS Name, I will be with HIM. I believe HIM. Show me why this is not enough.

    Show me why I should believe in many gods. Show me why this is better.

  15. liv4jc says:

    Sub, in what possible manner could you ever interpret anything gpark quoted as stating that there is God, then the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, that make four entities? Then your statement that only the Father and the Son are God, leaving the Holy Spirit out of the equation? The dynamic duo? Where do you get this stuff? Are you importing your personal belief that the Father presides over the Godhead? This is from Gpark’s first post on this subject, it is the same doctrine I quoted above, and any subsequent statements that you pull out from our writings have to be interpreted from within this framework:

    The doctrine of the Trinity means that there is one God who eternally exists as three distinct Persons–the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Stated differently, God is one in essence and three in person. These definitions express three crucial truths: (1) The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are distinct Persons, (2) each Person is fully God, (3) there is only one God. The Bible speaks of the Father as God (Phil. 1:2), Jesus as God (Titus 2:13), and the Holy Spirit as God (Acts 5:3-4).

    This is from my first post:

    the bible clearly teaches that there is but One God. It also teaches that there are three divine persons. It also teaches that the three persons are each coequal and coeternal. Only One God-Three Distinct Persons- each God Himself. The Trinity. If you want apostolic witness, go back and read Gpark’s post. There are plenty more. If you would like some quotes from anti-nicean father’s explaining the nature of the Trinity as doctrine, I’d be happy to provide that for you also. The Christians who have posted on the Trinity here are united in doctrine, have provided scriptural references to support that doctrine, and it has been explained. Even if you don’t agree with it. Stop questioning us about our doctrine. Why not tell us by quoting your GA’s what the true nature of God is. They are anything but united.

  16. Sub,

    “pure speculation”

    When did I ever state that I said that is what is going on? It is pretty clear from the context of my words that I was offering it as possible interpretation/explanation. And the alignment with David is not “off” as Jesus is quoting words that were previously found in Psalm 22.

    “In the LDS church ‘marry’ and ’seal’ are different”

    That is not semantics? I am willing to grant you the distinction (not that I agree with it just that your church teaches it) but the “problem” still remains.

    Suppose a woman were sealed to a man and he died. Then she was sealed to another man and he died too. Suppose this repeated itself a few times. Everyone involved were devout Mormons. Whose wife would she be in the afterlife?

    Even if you say that the women was unsealed then resealed to another man, then one would have to admit that she is no longer “one flesh” with the first husband. Her unity with that man either temporal, heavenly, or both has been torn asunder. This cannot happen with the Godhead and that was my point to Ralph. The “oneness” that married/sealed couples enjoy is not the same as that which the Godhead has.

    And the “Sadducee problem” is/was not a problem for the Sadducees as they did not believe in any kind of resurrection/afterlife to begin with.

  17. Sub,

    “OT is consistent in its use of plural pronouns from God”

    Where are you getting your information? Only in a few instances are the pronouns for God in the plural, and I believe all of those are in the creation narrative. Elohim is translated many different ways in the OT because the meaning of the word changes with context. The use of the word and its pronouns are far from “consistent”.

    And that is just for the word “Elohim”. The other names for God are singular and the pronouns for them are singular as well.

    Furthermore, if 1st century Jewish Christians were monotheists (and they were) then the church was “apostate” before it ever began. Do you see the problem here?

  18. falcon says:

    At the beginning of this post, jackg mentioned that it is difficult to “prove” anything from the scriptures with Mormons because they don’t have the same view/respect of the Bible (being authoritative) as Christians do. We see this on display here. The Mormon posters are coming out of left field with no apparent system of Biblical interpretation and really no scholarly discipline. It’s just a free-for-all of dubious off-the-wall statements. So, there’s no respect for the Bible and there’s no system of Biblical interpretation with Mormons.
    This is really a “make it up as you go along” process for Mormons. They have revelation, that’s it. Then they rummage through the Bible trying to find any vague reference to support their totally unBiblical beliefs. We may as well be dealing with a cult that believes the moon is made out of green cheese!

  19. falcon says:

    Every few months I list some basics of Biblical interpretation that might be helpful for the lurkers who have reached the contemplative stage. I know it’s useless for the Mormon posters here because they are living somewhere near Kolob when it comes to rightly dividing the Word of God.

    1. Remember that context rules.
    *Each verse must be considered in the light of: the surrounding verses, the book in which it if found, and the entire Word of God. A key word: “consistent”. Is the interpretation consistent with the theme, purpose, and structure of the book in which it is found. Is it consistent with other Scripture on the same subject or is there a glaring difference. Am I considering the historic and cultural context of what is being said? NEVER TAKE A SCRIPTURE OUT OF ITS CONTEXT TO MAKE IT SAY WHAT YOU WANT IT TO SAY.

    2. Always seek the “full” counsel of the Word of God. Never accept a teaching simply because someone has used one or two isolated verses to support it.

    3. Don’t base your convictions on an obscure passage of Scripture.

    4. Interpret Scripture literally taking into account such literary devices and styles such as: historical, prophetic, biographical, didactic, poetic, epistle, proverbial.
    (source: Inductive Study Bible)
    Mormons love “revelation” because it’s sounds so super sophisticated and meta spiritual. It’s an absolute road to disaster. Pick-up a copy of “Under the Banner of Heaven” and see what Mormon revelation has led to.

  20. gpark says:


    If by my having an “apostolic witness” for the Trinity you mean the words of the NT apostles confirming the doctrine of the Trinity, the answer is, ‘Yes.’ Though the word Trinity does not appear in the Bible, the concept of the Triunity of God is very clearly present in the Bible.

    First, that there is one God is clearly stated in the following Scriptures from the Old and New Testaments – Deut. 4:35 and 6:4; Isaiah 43:10, 45:21-22, and 46:9; Malachi 2:10; Mark 12:32; James 2:19; Rom. 3:30; 1 Cor. 8:16; Eph.4:6; and 1 Tim. 2:15.

    That there are three persons called God is obvious throughout Scripture.

    Please see verses in which the Father is called God, or Divine attributes are stated to apply to Him: Luke 10:21; John 4:23, 6:27, and 20:17; 1 Peter 1:2; 2 Peter 1:17; 2 Cor. 1:3; and Jude 1:1.

    Please see verses in which Jesus is called God, or Divine attributes are stated to apply to Him: Isaiah 7:14 and 9:6; Matt. 9:4 and 28:20; John 1:1, 1:3, 5:27, 17:5, and 20:28; also Col 1:16-17, Hebrews 1:3 and 1:8; Titus 2:13; and 2 Peter 1:1.

    Please see verses in which the Holy Spirit is called God, or Divine attributes are stated to apply to Him: Gen. 1:2; Job 33:4; John 3:5-8; Acts 5:3-4 and 13:2-4; 1 Cor. 2:10, 6:11, and 6:19.

    Please note that the attributes stated to apply to the Father also apply to the Son and to the Holy Spirit: omniscience of the Father (Isaiah 46:9-10; 1 John 3:19-20); omniscience of the Son (Matt. 9:4; John 21:17), omniscience of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 2:10); omnipresence of the Father (Jer. 23:23-24; Amos 9:2); omnipresence of the Son (Matt. 28:20), omnipresence of the Holy Spirit (Psalm 139:7-10;).

    Please note, also, that there are verses which denote the Triunity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Firstly, regarding Matt. 28:19, I stand by this Scripture as showing the Triunity of God, because we are baptized into the name (singular) of the Father, Son,

  21. gpark says:

    and Holy Ghost (3 persons).

    See John 14:16 – *And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—
    * “If the Holy Spirit were the same person as the Father, he would not need to intercede with himself.” (Ben Rast/ Contender Ministries/ 12-2004)

    See, also, John 15:26 – “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.

    Luke 3:21-22 – 21 When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. 22 And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.” (Jesus is baptized and prays; the Holy Spirit descends like a dove upon Jesus, and the Father speaks from Heaven – three persons, all of whom have already been identified as God and as having the same attributes.)

    Ontology is important in understanding the Trinity. Ontology is the study of “being.” As James White said, “It is vitally important that we recognize the difference between the words Being and Person….Being is what makes something what it is. Person is what makes someone who he or she is….when speaking of the Trinity, we speak of one what (the Being of God) and three whos (the three divine Persons). Most cultic rejections of the Trinity focus on blurring the distinction.” [Loving the Trinity, (Christian Research Journal, Volume 21/ Issue 4)].

    So, the only logical conclusion one may reach when recognizing that there are three Persons named in the Bible Who are called God and Who have the attributes of God, and knowing also that the Bible repeatedly makes clear that there is one God, is that this one God is triune in nature.

  22. subgenius says:

    David W
    since you are familiar with Elohim then surely you know that El is the singular.
    Now hopefully we don’t digress to the use of this word in 1 Sanuel 28:13. I also realize that Hebrew (and LDS) use of plurality(elohim) is different than one might expect (as a superlative)…but this may be a double-edged sword, because this “plurality” is the foundation for the trinty itself, as a defined by the trinitarian.
    i am unaware of an “attested” source that has elohim appearing in the NT.

    Let us let the Bible be the “source”.
    So, look at
    2 times the singular noun is used in OT
    Genesis 33:20 and Num 23:19
    The plural noun is then used about 2,500(?) times.
    I think Lord is always used in plural in the OT.

    Genesis 1:26 Genesis 3:22 Genesis 9:9 Genesis 11:7 Zech 12:10
    all plural pronoun references from God about God.
    Isaiah 6:8 actually has both singular and plural.

    do we need to explore the plural verbs and adjectives also?
    Elohim appears 66 times in the NT before Genesis 6:5 uses another word for God.

    I’m waiting for a Mormon to show me how that system of beliefs and practices is better than just Jesus. its not better but rather the same, it simply is the way of Christ…He showed you already, through His teachings and the organization of His church, for starters.

    look back at gpark’s posts. All of my words are from gpark.
    Here he creates 4 entities
    “there is one God who eternally exists as three distinct Persons” <—-modalism dressed in Greek chiton ?
    the thrust of my posts was to illustrate the irrational, unsubstantiated, and circular nature to gpark's argument about the trinity…again, a trintiy that has no basis in Biblical doctrine. Constantinople may buy it, but not me, i mean this insistence of perpetuating the compromise between Greek philosophy and the Bible is ridiculous, if not heretical.

  23. Andy Watson says:

    Sub said: “…and for the record, a graven “cross” around thy neck is idolatry.”

    And so are CTR RINGS that I see Mormons wearing on their fingers.

    I’d also like to know why in active LDS homes why is the first picture seen hanging on the wall upon opening the door is a picture of an LDS temple, Joseph Smith or the First Presidency?

    The LDS view on this vitriol of the cross is shared by their brothers and sisters in their sister non-Christian cult called the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. The JW’s hate the cross more than the Mormons. Guess what? So do the demons and those whose lives are controlled by their father – Satan (John 8:44). Demons and those being controlled by them cannot stand the sight of the cross and are repulsed in being anywhere near it. I wouldn’t want to share any commonality with that group in any area.

    Idolatry is what one worships in replacing God as the center of worship. Christians don’t worship a cross. It’s the symbol of the redemptive work that Christ did on the cross to pay the sin debt that mankind could never pay. When and if Mormons realize the significance of what was done for them on the cross (other than universal atonement or LDS “general salvation”) they would probably wear a cross too. Instead, they adorn their temples with symbols that are anything Christian related. Every symbol imaginable is on LDS architecture, but not the cross. As Hank would say, “hmmm….interesting”.

    More later on the main topic,

  24. Sub,

    What is your point? My point is that I would not look to the mere word “Elohim” to justify a plurality of gods. I think we agree that the word “Elohim” is used in a variety of ways, and so are the pronouns.

    “because this “plurality” is the foundation for the trinty itself”

    Not by this Trinitarian. It is not the foundation for the belief. While the plurality of persons is allowed for by the use of plural pronouns, I would not hang my hat on that fact. One gets the Trinity from key New Testament passages. Even if I were to point to certain texts in the OT to substantiate my beliefs I would not use (or at least start with) the plural nature of the word “Elohim”.

    “Elohim appears 66 times in the NT before Genesis 6:5 uses another word for God.”

    Did you mean OT there? I would ask you to clarify on your previous post. Are you really stating that singular pronouns are used for “Elohim” in only 2 or 3 places? Are we on the same page that the other names for God use masculine & singular pronouns(and verbs, adjectives, etc.)? Again, what is the point of all of this?

  25. Mike R says:

    I have a few thoughts on this topic.

    Mormons would prefer the term,” Godhead”, instead
    of the term, “Trinity”. This is perhaps because
    Mormons do not wantto be labeled as just another
    Christian denomination. In any event,in Mormon-
    ism the Godhead consists of three Gods:

    ” Three separate personages–Father, Son, and Holy
    Ghost–comprise the Godhead. As each of these
    persons is a God, it is evident, from this
    standpoint alone,that a PLURALITY OF GODS exist.
    To us, speaking in the proper finite sense,these
    three are the only Gods we worship.”
    [ Mormon Doctrine, p.576 ].

    According to this Mormon Gen. Authority, Mormons
    believe in and worship a plurality of Gods.

    PLURALITY = many
    POLY(theism) = many

    I kinda feel that since Polytheism has a rather
    negative conotation about it, in reguards to
    the christian faith, that Mormon leaders have
    deployed a substitute term for it,i.e.”plurality”.
    Is’nt this merely a cosmetic difference?

  26. subgenius says:

    Sub said: “…and for the record, a graven “cross” around thy neck is idolatry.”

    And so are CTR RINGS that I see Mormons wearing on their fingers.”
    glad you agree with me.

    CTR Rings are definitely graven images, but not idolatry…nevertheless, the scriptures are clear about both are they not?
    Your definition of idolatry seems much more definite than the Bible’s definition.

    That being said, the 2nd commandment in my Bible does not have any exceptions, for Crosses or CTR rings…does yours? And actually, the elevated reverence that many give a graven cross seems to be much more emphatic than a mere child’s CTR ring….i mean, more of a transgression, if there was such a rating system.
    See the cross is an idol to Jesus, who is not the Father and is not ‘the’ God, so those of us who “worship” Jesus, the Son of God, do not in fact worship God…ergo idolatry.
    and, no, the trinitarian argument has yet to be cohesive or convincing.
    So, if to worship God you must worship Jesus, and you must worship the Father and you must worship the HS, then my friend, you have just become a polytheist.

    Every symbol imaginable is on LDS architecture”
    could you provide me with a few examples?
    without using Navuu or SLC temples?
    even though, back in the day and returning today (ask the catholics), sybolism was an effective tool for teaching, i would be interested in all these “imaginable” symbols.

    None of us “hate” the cross (you have evidence?) we just do not share your graven obsession with the cross.

    Every home i have ever been to i see one of two pictures frst, foremost, and most prominent…either a family portrait or a portrait of Christ….but obviously you and i visit different people, right?
    (and yes, both portraits are by definition, in violation of 2nd commandment).

  27. Sub,

    “and yes, both portraits are by definition, in violation of 2nd commandment”

    Are you seriously suggesting that a family painting or photo hanging in home is a “graven image” or idol? Do you really think making any “likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth” is prohibited in this text? So anything that is made and is like something in the sky, earth, or water is sinful? Are childrens’ toys on that list? Are you a student of the late Sayyid Qutb? Please tell me you are joking.

  28. mobaby says:


    I think it’s time for you to drop the “cross is a graven image” tactic. We have gone down this path before and you are very aware of all the places that Mormons use masonic symbols of every imaginable type – that is why you added as a after thought (without using Nauvoo or SLC temples). I am sure Masonic imagery continues to be used on modern LDS architecture – it may not be as apparent as the early temples but it’s there (I recently saw a pentagram on a new LDS library). This has been addressed before with examples. Anyway, it’s irrelevant.

    Historical Judaism and Christianity stand against a theology of multiple gods that Joseph Smith and the following Mormon “prophets” developed in the mid-1800s and after (confusing mess that it is as can be seen from the article here). The Bible does not support this theology, but as Falcon and jackg have said, Mormons have a very low view of Scripture, so low in fact that just about anything can overrule it, and does.

    Here is one for you though – a Mormon artist who painted a portrait showing Jesus holding the U.S. CONSTITUTION and NOT Scripture. Many U.S. Presidents are shown standing with Jesus… What?

  29. subgenius says:

    i have no problem with the symbology in those 2 temples…but, the statement was made about the whole of LDS arch. and “every imaginable”….is hyperbole game now? i can play that way too….obviously.
    also, the underlying theme of this thread is related to idolatry, and my position was even-handed.

    you obviously didn’t read anything about the McNaughton image, and it seems like you try to make it relative to mormon doctrine. personally the statement being made is fairly straight forward…i like the politician on his cell phone. Do i need to post any images of weird art that every evangelical paints? But hey thanks for the entertainment, style over substance when in doubt, right?

    David W
    not to divert the topic or get all fundamental, but, please, take a moment and elaborate on what the 2nd commandment “really” means.
    Actually, please share the particular insight, that yourself and many others, seem to have about when God’s commandments need a grain of salt and when they do not. The Ev often tailors the scriptures to suit the lifestyle they are “comfortable” with…this aligns with the whole “easy-believism”, right?…the slippery slope goes faster if you just lie down.
    Now, don’t misunderstand me, i know i am culpable in this transgression as well as anybody…but at what point do you tell yourself, “well i don’t have to try on that one, Jesus has got my back.”

    As an architect, i am reminded of Vitriviius’s 12 lanterns of architecture…a rather interesting work that we read in school. However, one aspect that has always stood out is when he speaks about the integrity of materials..that, in architecture, things should not be what they are not, elements should not be “faux”. If i see a column, it should be holding something up, if i see wood it should be real wood…etc..otherwise one just wishes it was real….same as the lesson of the 2nd commandment.

  30. gpark says:


    Btw, I’m a she, not a he. I think I provided this info on my initial post in December; but, just so you have a basic idea about me. I am a 50 Mom of two who helps run the family business, cares for my adult, developmentally delayed daughter, and has a son currently attending college.

    Modalism is a heresy that bears no resemblance to what I described in my former posts. The CARM website has a great basic description of modalism. (See below.)

    “Modalism is probably the most common theological error concerning the nature of God. It is a denial of the Trinity which states that God is a single person who, throughout biblical history, has revealed Himself in three modes, or forms. Thus, God is a single person who first manifested himself in the mode of the Father in Old Testament times. At the incarnation, the mode was the Son. After Jesus’ ascension, the mode is the Holy Spirit. These modes are consecutive and never simultaneous. In other words, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit never all exist at the same time, only one after another. Modalism denies the distinctiveness of the three persons in the Trinity even though it retains the divinity of Christ.” – from

    Modalism is dealt with in more detail (divided up into forms of, and periods of, modalism) at

  31. Sub,

    “Actually, please share the particular insight, that yourself and many others, seem to have about when God’s commandments need a grain of salt and when they do not”

    This is exactly how I fell with you and your challenge to Matthew’s use of παρθενος. Yes, I will take a minute to elaborate.

    The big difference is between a “graven image” and just a plain old “image”. Some translations render the Hebrew word there as “idol”. In the Ancient Near East an image, usually an animal, was to signify the presence of a god. The god rode on or was accompanied by said animal. Even today in India, cobra’s are a sign of the presence of Shiva; Shiva is often depicted with a cobra near or on him.

    This is probably what happened with the golden calf incident. It is possible that the Hebrews did not worship the calf but rather the calf signified an invisible God who stood on the calf. So yeah, God’s people are not to make idols; that is what it means.

    “The Ev often tailors the scriptures to suit the lifestyle they are “comfortable” with…this aligns with the whole “easy-believism”, right?”

    Tasteless cheap-shot. Spade.

    So I guess toys, paintings, and CTR rings are “Haram”? And while we are at it we can cut out our eyes after seeing a racy billboard, then we can don water skis and jump a shark or two with Fonzie!

  32. falcon says:

    I actually “got” your last sentence!

    So where did Joseph Smith come up with his ideas regarding the multiplicity of gods and men progressing to gods? We know that when he started his religion he was pretty much down the line with orthodox Christian doctrine regarding the nature of God. But Joe had to have a way to cover-up his sexual proclivity which was to fulfill his lustful desires with as many women as he could convince that they and their families would get a special blessing if they would let Joe have his way with them.
    So Joe goes with men becoming gods and only able to access the highest level of the Celestial Kingdom if they practiced multiple sex. Joe was able to fulfull all his lusts; become a god and do so by having sex with a lot of women. What a guy! This is of course deep; very very deep.
    Now the spiritually discerning early Mormons figured it out and walked-out on Joe’s debauchery and mocking of God. So Joe pulled the wool over some people’s eyes by telling them they couldn’t trust the Bible, that Christianity was corrupted and he, yes the man with the magic rock, had all of the secret answers including Masonic rituals. A lot of deep wisdom and light in that organization.
    This of course was information Joe “borrowed” from any number of sources. He was a creative guy, able to meld any number of ideas into his religion.
    But in the end, he reaped what he sowed and caught a bullet while in jail.

  33. Ralph says:

    David Whitsall,

    Sub has already answered part of your question about marriage after the resurrection. I have one more comment to make – remember that the Sadducees who asked Jesus this question did not believe in a resurrection. Thus they were just heckling Him. Why ask a question about what would happen during/after the resurrection if one does not believe in a resurrection?

    As far as your other question about if a woman was sealed to her husband and he dies, then she was sealed to the next, etc – This would not happen. A woman can only be sealed to one husband. If he dies, then she cannot be sealed to another. She can remarry, but the marriage would only be for this life only. She cannot have the original sealing revoked, as far as I know.


    Yes, I saw your original responses. Your last one where you talked about the use of ‘plurality’ over ‘polytheism’ is my point.


    Yes, agreed, polytheism can and does mean a belief in more than one god – but these days it has more the meaning of worshiping all of them – not just believing. Since we LDS worship only one – Heavenly Father – as our one and only Supreme God, it is incorrect to say or infer that we worship many. Thus ‘polytheism’ as it is used today can and is incorrect for the LDS church. See MikeR’s comment. But it is exactly like you Evs not wanting us to call you ‘a-LDS’ even though it’s actual meaning is that you are against the LDS movement, in today’s usage it usually is more negative/harsher in meaning than just against a theology. Henotheism is better in that it means the worship of only one out of a pantheon, but Monolatrism is best as it means worshipping one but not excluding the exisence of others.

    And before you say anything about ‘worshipping’ Jesus – we worship Him as the Son of God and our Saviour and Redeemer. We do not worship Him as our one and only Supreme God.

  34. Ralph,

    I think all this discussion about marriages points to the fact that the “oneness” that couples enjoy is different than union of the Father to the Son. I think you answered your own question in that the religious leaders were just trying to trap Jesus. Also, I do not share your distinction between marriage and sealing but I appreciate the nice response.

  35. Andy Watson says:

    Part 1

    The Christians here are doing an excellent job of contending for the faith (Jude 3) on certain texts so I don’t want to detract from what they are saying and would like to fill in some middle pieces by listing some LDS references that might help to explain to us the LDS mindset on certain issues and then ask a few questions.

    Brigham Young takes the witness stand and says:

    “Can this people understand that Lord-that Being we call our Father, as also the GODS and all heavenly beings, lives upon the principles that pertain to eternity? It is our privilege to live as to enjoy the spirit of our religion. That is designed to restore us to the presence of the GODS. GODS EXIST, AND WE HAD BETTER STRIVE TO BE PREPARED TO BE ONE WITH THEM.” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 7:237)

    1. Who are these “Gods”?
    2. Are they higher in their progression than the exalted man who became god and is the god of the Mormons on earth?
    3. If “Gods exist”, then isn’t this polytheism?
    4. In trying “to be one with them” do you think this is what Jesus was saying in His high priestly prayer in John 17:11, 21? (Not a chance!)

    Next we have a famous LDS hymn song dedicated to Joseph Smith. The chorus to the hymn “Praise to the Man” (Joseph Smith):

    “Hail to the prophet, ascended to heaven! Traitors and tyrants now fight him in vein. Mingling with Gods, he can plan for his brethren; Death cannot conquer the hero again.”

    1. What “Gods” is Joseph Smith “mingling with”?
    2. How can he “mingle with gods” when he has not received his LDS resurrection and physical body and is still in spirit “paradise”?
    3. Is the LDS Church naive to think that outsiders read “mingling with Gods” in that line and not think polytheism?
    4. Please provide a Bible or Book of Mormon reference to support this statement that Mormons sing regularly.
    5. How can Mormons go to sacrament to worship Heavenly Father and sing this about Joseph Smith and then claim monotheism?

  36. Andy Watson says:

    Part 2

    Next, we have this from an LDS Church Manual:

    “Man has descended from God; in fact, HE IS THE SAME RACE AS THE GODS. God became God by obedience to the gospel program, which culminates in eternal marriage. If God became God by obedience to all of the gospel law with the crowning point being the celestial law of marriage, then that’s the only way I can become a god. I can be a god only if I act like God.” (Achieving a Celestial Marriage, p.4-5)

    1. “Same race” as what “gods”?
    2. Where are these gods? The LDS holy ghost doesn’t have a physical body so he or it is out of this scenario.
    3.. What race is this referring to? (Uh oh…here we go)
    4. If these gods aren’t recognized or believed in, then why are they referenced repeatedly in LDS writings?
    5. Again, doesn’t the LDS Church know that it’s only reasonable for those looking at this statement to think “polytheism”? This sounds very pagan or much like Hinduism.

    Brigham Young has decided to speak up again on the matter. Okay, Brigham, what is on your mind?

    “How many Gods there are, I do not know. But there never was a time when there were not Gods” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses v.7, p.333)

    Well, Brigham, that was disturbing and doesn’t help your church in shaking off the charge of polytheism and blatantly pagan.

    When our LDS friends say that they worship and believe in only the god who lives on/near Kolob all the while referencing other “gods” and still trying to peddle monotheism I guess they rationalize it with this statement:

    “The Fulness of Truth, dwelling in an endless succession of past generations, would produce an endless succession of personal Gods, each possessing equal wisdom, power, and glory with all the rest. In worshipping any one of these Gods we worship the whole, and in worshipping the whole, we still worship but one God; for it is the same God who dwells in them all; the personages are only His different dwelling places.” (Orson Pratt, The Seer, page 132)

  37. Andy Watson says:

    Part 3

    In my discussions with Mormons, one common line that I hear from them when I ask them why they are LDS or why they joined the LDS Church later in life is that they tell me, “Andy, the Mormon Church just makes sense. It all adds up and I can understand it.”

    That has always surprised me when it comes to this issue of the nature of God. The LDS Church’s advertisements on the internet all claim to be able to answer mankind’s questions. Many questions I ask they cannot answer, but I always reference these statements and ask them to explain them to me:

    “Our Father in heaven, according to the Prophet, had a father, and since there has been a condition of this kind through all eternity, each Father had a Father, until we come to a stop where we cannot go further, because our limited capacity to understand” (10th President Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation 2:47)

    “We were begotten by our Father in Heaven; the person of our Father in Heaven was begotten on a previously heavenly world by His Father; and again, He was begotten by a still more ancient Father; and so on, from generation to generation, from one heavenly world to another still more ancient, until our minds are wearied and lost in the multiplicity of generations and successive worlds, and as a last resort, we wonder in our minds, how far back the genealogy extends, and how the first world was formed, and the first father was begotten.” (Orson Pratt, The Seer, page 132)

    1. Who is the first god – the First Cause?
    2. What is His name?
    3. Where did He come from?
    4. How did He get here?
    5. What is the name of His wife? How did she get here?
    6. Do you understand these statements above? Do they make sense to you? Can you wrap your mind around what is said there?
    7. Allow yourself to be open to the possibility that for once you can’t explain or rationalize an Almighty God/First Cause that is beyond the scope of the “cocoa pebbles” in your skull/”jellysack” that all humans have.

  38. falcon says:

    Very good Andy.

    Our Mormon friends like Ralph want Mormonism to be something that it clearly is not. The “Ralphs” are really uncomfortable with traditional Mormonism and its clear polytheism. But being able to think Mormon, they can twist and turn and shake the information to a point where they are comfortable with it.
    Joseph Smith changed his religion and its traditional monotheism because he could. Mormons are just plain foolish, grasping at straws trying to keep the whole disjointed mess together. In order to do that, it’s necessary to think in a very illogical and irrational way. It’s like trying to glue together a broken cup and having the handle on the bottom of the base and several missing pieces leaving holes and saying, “There, it’s perfect!”
    To repeat, when people want to believe something and they’ve bought it emotionally, anything will work.

  39. mobaby says:

    I rolled over and read most of what the artist had to say. I noticed one WICKED person on there that looked like Emperor Palpatine or Darth Sidious – doesn’t Scripture indicate that evil will appear as an angel of light? The entire context of Jesus holding the constitution speaks of a idolatry of the state – Jesus is even pointing to it!! Of course Ronald Reagan is there standing with Jesus. And whats with the tree on his chest? I am a conservative politically, but this mish mash of religion and politics is just too much. Whatever you may think, Jesus does not point us to the constitution and we do not need to worship it as an idol. I find it to be a very disturbing image.

    Like I said, there are numerous examples of beehives, sun faces, pentagrams, on LDS property. Personally, I think the cross is a symbol that points us towards a true worship of Christ crucified, not all these Masonic symbols. I can provide links to all manner of engraved images on LDS property, but as I said, it’s irrelevant to the topic at had.
    How many TRUE gods are there? ONE – and He knows no others. That means God is not aware of the existence of any other gods. There are many gods, false gods, but God alone stands as the true God. The Mormon god in his never ending, ever growing pantheon simply does not exist – God has told us so. God has revealed Himself and Father,Son, and Holy Spirit – three persons, one God. Is it hard to comprehend? Yes, but remember we are talking about God, the Creator of all apart from whom nothing exists.

    Deut 6:4 “Hear oh Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord”
    1 Cor 8:4-6 “…there is none other God but one. But to us there is one God, the Father, of whom are ALL things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are ALL things, and we by him.” Notice both God the Father and Jesus are credited with being the Lord of ALL things.
    1 Thess. 1:9 “serve the living and true God.”
    Jer. 10:10 “But the Lord is the true God”

  40. mobaby says:

    Here are more Scriptures that tell us the nature of the true and living God:

    1 Tim. 1:17 “Now, unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the ONLY wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Notice the Lord is the ONLY wise God – due ALL glory and honor. He does not share it with ANY other gods.

    Acts 14:15 “you should turn from these vanities unto the LIVING God, which MADE heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein.” Notice God MADE heave, earth, the sea, EVERYTHING. He is the creator of ALL(not the organizer of this sector).

    Malachi 3:6 “For I am the Lord, I change not, …” God is not changing or progressing and neither are new gods being formed in the pantheon. God does not change.

    Exodus 3:14 “And God said unto Moses I AM THAT I AM, and he said Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM has sent me unto you.”

    John 8:15 “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” Jesus claimed to be the great I AM. And make now mistake they knew He was claiming to be the Living God that’s why they took up stones to kill Him right after He said this.

    From these Scriptures we can see that there is Only One God – and both the Father and the Son are God, both the Father and the Son are Creator – and at the baptism of Jesus we see all three Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – the One true God.

  41. Andy Watson says:

    Jim Olsen asked:

    “How is it that while hanging on the cross in his most hours of greatest need, Christ asked the Father “why has thou forsaken me?”

    First, and like many aspects of the crucifixion, it was a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy. The words of Jesus on the cross are found in Psalm 22:1. Many details listed in Psalm 22 are specific to the crucifixion. Second, the atonement of sinners to be reconciled to the Father had to be completed by a sacrifice because of what is stated in Hebrews 9:22. What is the definition of the atonement? Simply it is this: What Christ had to do to bring about the conditions necessary for mankind to have a restored relationship with the Father. This had been dissolved at the Garden of Eden.

    The animal sacrifices offered in the Old Testament were not fully acceptable to Heavenly Father/Yahweh because those sacrifices were not perfect. They are lacking in many ways: Hebrews 9:12. If they would have been satisfactory to fulfill the atonement demands of the Father, then we would not have needed a Messiah to deliver us and the blood of goats would have completed the matter. If the blood of goats and sheep were satisfactory, then Christ came here for nothing and endured the crucifixion needlessly. This would have made God contradicting Himself throughout the Old Testament through repeated prophecies of the coming Messiah to die for mankind. That was the sole objective of Christ coming here: 1 Timothy 1:15.

    If a perfect sacrifice wasn’t necessary to atone, then that means you or I or anybody could have gotten on the cross and died for mankind. Trust me, you wouldn’t nor would you want me to do that for you. I wouldn’t have and in my human nature I am a disgusting dirtball in the sight of the Father outside of the Advocate: Isaiah 64:6; 1 John 2:1.

    Christ was the perfect sacrifice because He met Heavenly Father’s expectation of living the law perfectly. Christians have imputed perfection through Christ (Heb 10:10, 14).

  42. Andy Watson says:

    It’s all about 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 especially verse 21. Background: (The Passover Lamb). At the time of the sacrifice, a hand would be laid on the unblemished sacrificial animal to symbolize a transfer of guilt (Lev. 4:4, 24, 33). Christ’s death, as the Lamb of God, was for us in the sense that it was on our behalf. Jesus was always without sin in reality and never sinned personally (Heb 4:15; 1 Pet 1:19). He was made to be sin for us because that is what was required by the Father and Jesus came here to do the Father’s will, not His. (Jesus’ agony of the impending crucifixion and wanting to avoid it – who wouldn’t, right?). Jesus was also made to be sin for us substitutionally. Jesus stood in our place and paid the sin debt in full for all eternity for those who are willing to come to Him freely and seek His forgiveness and the gift of eternal life. The whole redemptive plan is one of substitution.

    Why did Jesus sense the separation of fellowship with the Father on the cross? Jesus was fully God and fully human. He had and still does have two natures and will for all eternity. The mental and emotional agony that Jesus felt in the garden of Gethsemane was a precursor to what was coming later. Jesus, the Son of Man, in His human nature felt the sin of the world being placed on Him by the Father for the atonement to be complete. Can you imagine what that felt like? I can’t. No wonder Jesus’ heart literally burst inside Him.

    While being fully human and suffering a physical death it is totally understandable why Jesus would feel this separation, but in reality that is not what happened because God (the Father) was in Christ the entire time reconciling the world.

    2 Cor 5:19 (KJV): To wit, that GOD WAS IN CHRIST reconciling the world unto himself”. See also Romans 5:10.

    Jesus, being fully God, was then and now the same nature, substance and essence as the Father. That could never cease to happen even on the cross. More could be said but I’m out of posts.

  43. mobaby says:

    Got one scripture reference wrong above, it is:

    John 8:58 “Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.” Jesus claimed to be the great I AM. And make now mistake they knew He was claiming to be the Living God that’s why they took up stones to kill Him right after He said this.

    Also, there are more Scriptures pointing to the Holy Spirit being God:

    Matthew 28:19 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” – in the mode of baptism we see the triune nature of God spelled out.

    2 Cor. 13:14 “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.” In the closing blessing of 2 Corinthians we again see the triune nature of God invoked.

    John 15:26 “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me” The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son and testifies of Jesus Christ.

    Revelations 5:12 – 14 “Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.” We are to worship Jesus and He is worthy to receive ALL honor. How can this be if God the Father is a separate God and we are to have only one God? There is is, though in Revelations – Jesus is to be worshipped! And not just a little bit – all blessing, honor, glory and power are his for ever and ever! We are ALL to fall and worship the risen Lord!

  44. liv4jc says:

    Ralph said, “polytheism can and does mean a belief in more than one god – but these days it has more the meaning of worshiping all of them – not just believing. Since we LDS worship only one – Heavenly Father – as our one and only Supreme God, it is incorrect to say or infer that we worship many

    Ralph, to tag team with Andy, what is Heavenly Father’s name? Is it Elohim? Would it matter to you at all if I could prove to you from scripture that there is one God, who’s name is YHWH, and YHWH is the only God. And each of the three Persons of the Godhead can be called YHWH, as they are all identified as God. You have already conceded that your church was wrong when it said that the doctrine of the Trinity was taught prior to Nicea. If I can show you the truth of God’s name and nature, will you believe the ancient scriptures, that testify of themselves that they are God breathed (God being the Holy Spirit), or will you believe the teachings of men whose doctrines about the nature of God contradict each other? Which Heavenly Father do you worship, Ralph? Elohim, YHWH, or Adam?

  45. Mike R says:

    I’m not sure that you understood my point about “purality” of Gods versus “polytheism”. I think for all intended purposes they are virtually the same, hence Mormons could appear to be polytheists.

    As I read through the scriptures I find the prophets and apostles talking nothing like Mormon prophets and apostles do about God. In other words there is no preaching about Gods, Goddesses, God attaining His Godhood etc. Yet in Mormon sermons, cirriculum, and pronouncements these are all clearly taught.
    Ralph, scripture is clear, it’s GOD, not Gods.
    Christians worship one God.

    You stated that you worship Jesus as the Son of God, but you worship HF as the supreme God. Yet McConkie stated you should also worship The Holy Ghost, that makes three Gods.

    Everytime this topic comes up I am reminded of how your view of God is so different from how the scriptures portray Him. I think the reason that you offer Jesus a different type of “worship” than His Father is due to the fact that Jesus is only your older spirit brother who somehow attained His status as Almighty God before you will attain that same status, therefore instead of religious worship due Him you render to Him an inferior type of “worship”, perhaps merely high respect. This is not a saving worship, Ralph. Since it’s clear that in the OT believers worshipped Jehovah as the only true Almighty Supreme Creator, and since Jesus is Jehovah, it follows that the same worship is due Him. The same honor/worship that we render to the Father is due Jesus. This pleases the Father since it’s His arrangement.

    Ralph, I pray that one day soon you will come to see in Jesus our unique Almighty Creator, as such He can save you to the uttermost! [Heb. 7:25]

  46. grindael says:

    All this crap about crosses and rings being idolatry is just that: crap. It also includes all the ‘designs’ on temples, and on Ev churches. The focus of EV worship is Jesus, who we believe to be ONE God (Monotheism), and for the Mormons it is thier ‘Father’ figure, who is ONE of MANY Gods (Polytheism). Just WHO to worship in the Mormon church is sometimes a bit unclear, and thus opens the door to the “bad” connotation of polytheism.

    Does not common sense tell us that He can look into our hearts and KNOW who we worship and the focus of it? I know you are more intelligent than to use this tired argument (graven images) genius, even to make a point. Same goes for our ‘EV’ posters.

    It is using the term ‘Polythism’ in derision that is in question here. In the strict sense of the word, Christians are Monotheists because of the 3-in-1 belief, and Mormons are Polytheists because of the 3-seperate-beings belief.

    A lot of Mormons were happy with the revelation of Adam as ‘God’ because it brought God closer to them. The problem with it is that it was never agreed upon by all Mormons. BUT they have one of their ‘prophets’ teaching it as a FACT and another denouncing it as FALSE. You have some Mormons worshipping Christ also, (who to them is a separate God, [Hinkley]) and others who claim it is wrong to do so.

    All this ‘revealtion’ about other gods takes away from Jesus/God and breeds confusion: Amasa Lyman one of the twelve under Young was ex-communicated for not believing in the divinity of Jesus.

    If worshipping Jesus as GOD is wrong, why did He allow it after His resurrection?

    I know again, that genius is too smart to really believe that ‘slippery slope’ argument: we all know what we have to do. Worship is intensely personal, and we all have to account for what we do with our time here. It is what is ‘required’ & who has ‘authority’ that is in question.

  47. grindael says:

    A small addendum:

    This ‘polytheism’ comes from Smith and was ‘added upon’ by Young & others. What qualifies them to teach it and why did Young go so very wrong with it? Does it not argue to the fact that simple is better?

    The whole focus of early Mormonism was ‘modern revelation’ and the ‘grace’ question. Authority. Smith’s emphasis was that it is a basic principle of the ‘gospel’ to KNOW God. Don’t we KNOW HIM through the revealed Word of the Bible?

    It is Smith’s penchant for ‘rationalizing’ God and saying ‘my way is the ONLY way and ALL the rest of you are wrong’ that brings on these questions.

  48. HankSaint says:

    Grindael, that migtht be true if if was not for the fact it is God’s way, Gods plan, and his privelege to Choose an appoint those who will and shall speak in his name. Evangelicals choose to accept a limited God. and the limiting is done by you and all others who choose to negleget that God is in control of all his Kingdoms here and in the enternites. Since I don’t limit God, or his word then I leave open every opportunity to recieve all light an knowlege I choose to accept and verify. James 1:5

    Regareds, Richard.

  49. grindael says:

    Ralph and Genius, I am not one of those under the belief that familiarity breeds contempt, but rather opens bridges into the heart. I do not doubt the sincerity of your statements to the effect of One God Worship: your HF, (for you.)

    What is implied in worship though? How can Smith, Young and some of the early prophets call themselves ‘gods’ to their people, this implying worship to them as well & the belief they have gone on to become gods and deserve it? How does this fit in?

    The problem I have, and I think all ‘non-members’ have, is with your prophets statements. They are confusing, misleading and sometimes just plain wrong. How can you justify the line of thought, we believe A, because it is voted on, but not B, because it was not (but still claimed as truth and ‘revelation’)? Why was Young not ‘ejected’ as a prophet, since the ‘spirit of the prophets are subject to the prophets?’ Because it is all about seniority and not ‘revelation’.

    If you delve into the teachings of ALL your prophets (and you MUST take them ALL into account, not just the one living now – why – because of that ‘last dispensation’ thing) they are all just men trying to plot a course for their followers. Priesthood authority is only a way for them to say ‘we are right’ and YOU are wrong.

    In Historical context, Smith ‘evolved’ his God doctrine, (many believe to justify polygamy) and others ‘added’ to it – to the damnation of many. The track record of Christianity as a whole could conceivably justify a ‘great apostasy’, but aren’t the confusing statements of Mormon Prophets just like what has been going on for thousands of years?

    This is exactly why Smith said the restoration NEEDED to take place. Too much confusion. This is NOT Biblical. That is why the Reformation took place. Interpretation aside, Mormonism is no different in this regard than mainstream Christianity. That is why we stick to the Bible.

  50. falcon says:

    I don’t know why Mormons quote the Bible. They obviously want it both ways. That is, the Bible is corrupted and unreliable and then sending the missionary boys out clinging to Bibles. Talk about deception. And when they quote the Bible, how do they know the parts they are quoting aren’t the corrupted parts? No, it’s all a ruse, a perpetrated lie meant to confuse and muddy the waters.
    The idea that the Jews weren’t monotheists is beyond ignorant. The Hebrews were rigorously monotheistic in the past and they continue to be so today.
    “The unity of God was revealed to Israel at several different times and in various ways. The Ten Commandments, for example, begin with statement, ‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me (or besides me)’ Exodus 20:2-3
    The Hebrew translated here as ‘before me’ or ‘besides me’ is (al panai), which means literally ‘to my face.’ God demonstrated his unique reality by what he had done, and this was entitled to Israel’s exclusive worship, devotion, and obedience. There were no others who had so proven their claim to deity.” (Christian Theology; Erickson)
    When we look at the OT we see a rejection of polytheism. In the OT the superiority of God to all those who would claim to be god, is apparent. It is clearly assumed in the OT that there is one God. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. There may be idols but there are not many gods.
    In the NT the apostle Paul in First Corinthians 8:4-6 writes, “We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world, and that there is…but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.”
    There is one God. He is God alone. There are no others. Mormons reject the idea of monotheism by the acknowledgment that in their religion their is a belief that more than one god exists. There is no more serious sin.

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