The Law

One significant difference between biblical teaching and Mormonism has to do with the nature of God’s Law. LDS leaders teach that salvation/exaltation is gained through faith plus works. To achieve the celestial kingdom (to spend eternity in the presence of God) one must believe in Christ and also keep the commandments embodied in the Law.

“It [the Book of Mormon] promises each of us that ‘all who will come unto [the Savior] and obey the laws and ordinances of his gospel may be saved’ (Robert D. Hales, “Holy Scriptures: The Power of God unto Our Salvation,” Ensign, 11/2006, 24)

Indeed, according to a seasoned BYU Professor of Theology, God Himself is subject to the Law:

“Many traditional theologies conceive of God as some type of divine power, the ‘first cause’ or ‘prime mover’ of the universe, the self-creating, self-motivating source of all creation and progression. Many theologians claim that nothing existed before him, and that all things derive from him. Latter-day Saints, on the other hand, assert that God progressed to his present state of perfection and glory by strict adherence to eternal law. In Mormon theology, law is the first cause and prime mover of the universe, and by adherence to it, people may become like God” [which is to say, people may become Gods] (Victor L. Ludlow, Principles and Practices of the Restored Gospel, Deseret Book Co., 382. Brackets mine. ).

However, the Bible teaches something quite different. Rather than God being subject to the Law (i.e., the Law is above God), God created and gave human beings His Law for His sovereign purposes. In Galatians Paul provides both the reason and the goal of the Law:

“Why then the law? It was added because of transgressions, until the offspring should come to whom the promise had been made, and it was put in place through angels by an intermediary” (Galatians 3:19).

“But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a guardian [the Law], for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith” (Galatians 3:25-26).

Tabletalk magazine explains:

“In describing the Law’s purpose in justification, Paul must also give us the Law’s purpose in the history of redemption, which he does in [Galatians 3] verses 19-29. Given the priority of the Abrahamic covenant, which bestows salvation on those who trust in God’s promise (vv. 15-18), it is clear that the Lord never intended His Law, which grants righteousness to those who keep its precepts flawlessly, to be used by sinners to effect their own salvation. Even the structure of the Mosaic law denies that fallen people can justify themselves by their works of obedience. Our Creator gave the Law after He redeemed the Israelites from slavery (Ex. 20:1-17), expecting them to obey it in gratitude for a redemption He accomplished, not to earn their own righteousness. The Law’s sacrifices for atonement presuppose that the people would continue to miss the mark.

“Knowing the fall made us stubborn enough to believe we can get right with Him by doing enough good works to ‘outweigh’ our bad ones, God gave the Mosaic law to Israel in order to refute this belief. The Law ‘was added because of transgressions’ (Gal. 3:19) to imprison ‘everything under sin’ (v. 22). It reveals wrongdoing as a transgression of the divine will (Rom. 7:7-25) to show Israel the depth of sin and her need for the righteousness of another. Augustine writes on 3:22 ‘Transgression of the law was needed to break the pride of those who…boasted of having a sort of natural righteousness’ (Ancient Christian Commentary, NT vol. 8, p. 47). Martin Luther echoes this in his Galatians commentary, explaining how the Law prepares a person for faith as ‘a mirror that shows…he is a sinner, guilty of death, and worthy of God’s indignation and wrath.’ Rightly used, the Law spurred Israel to look to God for salvation.” (Tabletalk, February 2009, vol. 33, no. 2, page 45)

So the Law was given because of transgressions — because of evil (Genesis 6:5) — to:

  • Restrain the ungodly and unholy (1 Timothy 1:8-10)
  • Reflect (as in a mirror) the depth of our sin (Romans 7:7)
  • Enslave us in order that we recognize our inability to save ourselves (Galatians 3:23)
  • Lead us to Christ “that we might be justified by faith” (Galatians 3:25); and finally,
  • Reveal God’s perfect will, to define a holy life, that we may know how to honor and serve the God we love as we seek to please Him (Psalm 119:105)

Again from Tabletalk:

“Remember that our Savior pleased the Father by keeping His Law perfectly, by seeing the will of God as His ‘food’ (John 4:34). If the imitation of Jesus makes us grow spiritually (1 Cor. 11:1), and if Jesus followed the commandments of His Father to please Him, then it follows that we will please God if we keep His Law. We cannot keep it perfectly, and we cannot make Him love us or accept us through our obedience. However, we can bring Him pleasure in doing good. Freed from the curse of the Law through the cross, we can now keep these holy statutes by the power of His Spirit (Rom. 8:1-4).” (Tabletalk, February 2009, vol. 33, no. 2, page 53)

The Bible says the Law was given by God to lead us Christ; believers strive to obey God’s Law out of gratitude and as an expression of our love for Him.

Dr. Ludlow, after decades of research, Church callings, and teaching for the LDS Church, believes Mormonism says the Law is the “first cause” and “prime mover of the universe”; that God the Father–and every other human being–is required to obey it in order to prove themselves worthy and exalt themselves to Godhood.

See the difference?


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.
This entry was posted in Christianity, Salvation, Worthiness and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

109 Responses to The Law

  1. subgenius says:

    If we assume the Law was put in place to ‘lead’ us to the Christ, then its purpose is as stated in the Thread intro.
    How can this Law lead us to Jesus if we do not first and foremost try to fulfill that Law?
    One can not simply resign the Law and say “well, the Law was only to get me to Jesus, and since i am there, i do not need the Law”.
    The Law in its every way promotes the Gospel, and so how can it be contrary to the Gospel? How can it be that the Law is not, in fact, the only way to discover the Promise? The Law is the standard of Duty.
    Jesus did keep this Law, and that is what pleased the Father. What purpose did this obedience serve? Do we believe that Jesus was keeping a Law that He was not bound to have to keep? A Law that had no jurisdiction over Himself?…not likely.
    How could the Law possibly have jurisdiction over the divinity of Jesus?

    The Law was in place from the begining, otherwise Adam would not have been punished for his sin…nor would have Cain…the Law existed before Moses.

    Romans 2:12
    The conscience is the is by this witness that we choose good over evil…to choose evil is to show contempt for the good….to be “like us” is to know good and evil….and further to show contempt for evil…as God shows and is, for evil can not be with Him…..who is the most perfect in the Law?
    How would you speak to the nature of God without the Law?…now that would be different

  2. setfree says:

    it occurs to me over and over, sub, that Jesus has not yet given you “ears to hear”. The irony is that you try to use 1 Corinthians 2:14 about evs. You know why it’s ironic? Because the evs out here are the ones who are believing the whole Bible. You, on the other hand, reject or accept whatever parts you want.

    In other words, how can you, who does not believe the whole Bible, dare take a Bible verse and use it to hold yourself superior to people who actually do believe the whole Bible?

    If that verse had originated with a Mormon book, then that would be different. See what I’m saying?

    liv4jc… again, thanks for letting us into your life. Even the Left Behind part sounded so much like my deal. What you wrote above was beautiful. 🙂

    grindael, lots of work goes into digging that stuff out of all the literature. I appreciate you finding it and posting it. boy oh boy, does it ever feel good to be out of that mess, and just a-standin’ in the Light, on the Rock…

  3. subgenius says:

    Mike R
    inference is the modus operandi with so many here, so whatever you are predisposed to infer, my answer will have little effect on.

    Hebrews 10:36 Romans 2:7 1 John 2:25

    ahhh, eternal life, the one thing that was withheld as Eden was closed to us. For Adam came to know the “Law” (good and evil) and haste was made to prevent eternal life….that must be earned…earned by….

    thanks, if you ever have a question for me, just ask.

    nice posting of information…did you forget to provide evidence in refute of any of it, or should i assume you are finally coming to agreement? 🙂

  4. grindael says:


    You are welcome. There is nothing like the truth & it is in Mormon Leaders statements and teachings.

  5. liv4jc says:

    Sub, it’s not too much to ask, but I don’t want to take your bait and be led away from the topic at hand.

    Setfree, those are just short glimpses of my life before Christ. I could fill volumes. And so could everyone else here. I wonder if our LDS counterparts will ever admit the depths of their depravity. That is the purpose of the Law. To crush us under it’s weight so we cry for mercy. Those who have ears to hear will hear. The Holy Spirit will convict them of sin, judgment and righteousness. I will never say my Lord owes me anything for my obedience. I owe Him everything for His grace.

    Did anyone watch that Hells Best Kept Secret video. It’s an hour that may change your life. Especially you lurkers.

  6. grindael says:


    Your comments about the law miss the point of Sharon’s post. Does Law Pre-date God & is He subject to It or does It come from HIM? (in the case of Mormons ANY god).

    I disagree with that premise. The quotes are to show it is taught & believed in the Mormon Church and IS doctrine.

    I thought I made that clear when I posted above that Sharon had made her point when I posted the earlier quotes.

  7. Mike R says:


    You seemed to have inadvertently turned this
    around.The question concerned what you believe,
    not what I infer you believe.

    You don’t have to try and explain it, but if
    you could just plainly tell me , then that
    would alleviate the need for any inferrence
    on my part.

  8. subgenius says:

    The Law…sin and evil, right?
    God may control evil but He does not nor can He intiaite any evil. It does not dwell in Him nor is it OF Him.
    Genesis 1:31
    This is at the heart of what LDS considers “free-agency”. The Law came to us through Him. …and no, i am not going to debate the linguistics of Isaiah 45:7 at this point.

  9. grindael says:


    But where did the law, and good and evil come from then? Hey, it’s the Mormon Leadership that chooses to ‘elaborate’ on these matters. I’m only quoting them.

  10. falcon says:

    Your rap on the trinity was a confused mess. Is this what Mormonism produces in its adherents? My guess is that you were either trying to sound intelligent or clever but you came across as neither. But a favorite tactic of Mormonism is to sow as much confusion as possible. But actually you don’t sound that much different than what’s been posted regarding what the prophets have proclaimed. Just more doctrinal dodgeball.

  11. subgenius commented

    Now, perhaps one will ‘attempt’ the argument that God “planned” for His own sorrow…for His own regret, and personally i would like to see such an argument made.

    Interesting question, but why is it a problem?

    If, as I believe, God is love by nature (and cannot be anything else), then how does He express that love?

    Well, I guess, He could create some beings that are capable of “knowing” Him (made in His image), who are capable of a degree of free agency (how else can they appreciate the total freedom that God has?), who are capable of rejecting Him (sin), whose actions require the ultimate sanction (death), and then to pay that ransom Himself in an act of indisputable, demonstrable, selfless, unadulterated love.

    So, did God plan His own “sorrow”? Perhaps He did, but it was on our behalf and for our undeserved benefit, so that we might have the tiniest glimpse of what it means to exist in a state of pure, selfless love as He does.

    Sub, I think its going to take you a very long time to get to grips with this because you are trapped in the paradigm that tells you that the Christian revelation is all about a program of self-improvement. It’s not.

    If it were about self-improvement, then Jesus committed the ultimate sin by getting himself executed on a cross. It’s the least self-improving strategy I can think of.

    The Christian revelation is all about Christ (see Rev 1:1). But as we behold Him as He truly is, we see ourselves as we truly are, and as we truly should be.

    As far as “sorrow” is concerned, Isaiah describes the expected Messiah as “…a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief…” (Isaiah 53:3, also quoted unforgettably in Handel’s “Messiah”).

    Now, why would God choose such a state?

  12. Subgenius also commented

    How would you speak to the nature of God without the Law?

    I think the question you are asking is something like “What came first; God, or the Law?”

    This gives me a rather thin excuse…err reason to expand on what I wrote to Ralph earlier, namely the law is “good” because God is good, not the other way around.

    The “other way around” is to say that God is good because He complies with a “good” law and/or He is “good” at complying with the law.

    This would suggest that God is subject to a higher “law”. Therefore, for example, the fact that God does not lie is counted as “good” because he is judged by a “good” law that says “do not lie”.

    What I suggest is to turn this paradigm on its head, completely.

    The law, I believe, is part of God’s good creation (as are all the other principalities and powers, incidentally, though they don’t always align themselves with God’s interests). It is therefore a reflection of the nature and character of God, and the Biblical authors consistently and universally regard “the Law” (however it might be constituted) as “good”.

    Let’s say, for sake of argument, that God commanded “thou shalt lie”. The act of lying, then, would therefore be regarded as “good” (we know it’s not because our corporate experience tells us that it brings disproportionate misery and suffering). Even so, under this “law” the fact that God does not lie would be regarded as “evil”, so we would have just cause to judge God as being evil.

    Then, we have a real dilemma, because God is intrinsically and immutably “good”. He is, if you like, the definition of what it means to be “good”.

    We cannot judge God by the Law, therefore God must be above the Law. The Law derives its being, like everything else in creation, from God. It follows, then, that God is NOT subject to the Law. Rather, the Law is subject to God.

    We do not lie, firstly because the law says “do not lie”, but ultimately because God is no liar.

  13. subgenius says:

    Martin of B
    indeed a thin assumes the Law is a ‘creation’.
    i agree one does not “judge” God by the Law, but rather “describes”.

    So you would assume that evil/sin came from God?…how can that be? God can not initiate, behold, or manifest evil. And if you suppose that evil is the absence of God, then would you propose that there are places God can not be? silliness.
    Evil/Sin is not something in itself an object…that is to say, it is not a ‘creation’. It is by the Law that Good is and Evil/Sin is.
    Romans 7:7
    The absolute perfection of fulfillment of the Law is God, is it not?
    Knowledge of the Law, is a divine characteristic, for it makes Man “Like Us”.
    Gensis 3:22
    Initially we were made in His image
    Genesis 1:26
    and since, at that time all that existed was “good”
    Genesis 1:31
    we, being in His image, had dominion over all “good” things.
    But upon acquiring the knowledge of good and evil Man became something else….something that now has to “achieve” eternal life in order to once again Be in God’s presence.

    As for Adam in the garden…how did he come to know Sin? God is incapable of “tempting” us….and ultimately the fruit from the tree of knowledge is what brings about Adam’s ‘transformation’. This is critical, because we have witness in the scriptures of the Law being discovered, and though surely by His witness, not by His hand
    Genesis 3:7
    …otherwise one has to build a mighty fine argument as to why the tree was “there” in the first place (as well as the tree of eternal life).

    then let us start out slowly….who came first the Father or the Son?…obviously the Father.
    So, if has been stated here by Ev, God manifests Himself into the Father and the Son, therefore the Son can not be God…because the Nature of God is eternal (no begining no end), right?….So the Son, being a non-eternal being, is in fact not God…agreed?

  14. falcon says:

    What we see is a Mormon view of their gods who are limited and subject to universal laws. It all sounds like Greek or Roman mythology. But these Mormon gods are limited because they are men in progression. They have to be subject to universal laws because they are not like “God”. They do not have the attributes of “God” that have been listed here several times.
    There is something called the “kenosis” that explains the concept of Christ, though being God, limited Himself when in human form. Philippians 2:5-11 explains this. However to understand it, it is necessary to take the whole counsel of the Word of God. Cherry picking verses and applying some erroneous interpretation to it takes a person down the path that is favored by the LDS and the JWs.
    The word “kenosis” in the Greek means “emptying”. It tells us that Christ made Himself of no reputation. Christ, while being God, humbled Himself and took on the position of a servant.

  15. falcon says:

    No not agreed! You’re making a fundamental error and that is in thinking that Jesus is not eternal and you are concluding that He is not God.
    That’s why it’s important for you to understand the Bible and use it as the standard by which all things are measured. When someone clings to “revelation” at the expense of the Bible, they’ll wander off in all sorts of error which you have done here. I should be shocked that you have concluded that Jesus is not God, but given your Mormon indoctrination, I am not (shocked).
    We don’t have to go much further than John 1:1-3, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him; and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.”
    So for you to say that Jesus is not God is denying what’s right in front of your eyes. In the Greek text of this verse, God is a predicate adjective, appearing without article and preceding “the Word”, thus emphasizing Jesus’ divinity. John could not have expressed the full divinity of Christ more completely.
    “The Word was “with” God.” “The Word “was
    God”. Also the term “Word” is “Logos” a title embodied God’s revelation of Himself to humanity. The term appears over 1200 times in the OT referring to the message of God. Jesus is the expression and communication of the Word. So Jesus is both the incarnate and the inspired Word. (source: KJV, Liberty Annotated Study Bible)
    I don’t think there is any topic that I feel more privileged to defend than that of Christ and His rightful place in the Godhead. Mormons and other cults attack Jesus and who He is with a vengeance. It’s really Satan’s way of keeping people from acknowledging and worshiping the Living God. I don’t have to stand in judgment about what someone thinks about Jesus because on that final day Jesus will judge all those who chose to accept Him and those who were foolish enough to reject Him.

  16. mobaby says:


    No one needs to create evil or sin. Evil is the absence of good or the perversion of good. Take pornography or sexual immorality – this is a perversion of what God intended for good. There is nothing that evil or sin “creates” it only perverts and destroys.

  17. falcon says:

    In the years A.D. 150-325, the Christian apologists and polemicists were facing increased persecution and heresy. This forced them to state precisely and to defend the biblical teaching regarding the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Justin Martyr said that Christ is distinct in function from the Father. Athenagorus said that Christ was without beginning. Theophilus said that the Holy Spirit is distinct from the Logos. Origin said that the Holy Spirit is coeternal with the Fther and the Son. Tertullian spoke of “trinity” and “persons” three in number, but one in substance. The whole point of the Council of Nicea in A.D.325 was to combat the arian heresy. The arians contended that only God the Father is eternal, that the Son had a beginning as the first and highest created being, that the Son is not one in essence with the Father, that Christ is subordinate to the Father and that Jesus is called “God” as an honorific title.
    Athanasius said that Christ is co-eternal with the Gather, that Christ had no beginning, that the Son and Father are of the same essence, and that Chris is not subordinate to the Father.
    The bottom line statement of the Council of Nicea in combating the Arian heresy are:
    “We believe in one Lord Jesus Christ….true God of true God, not made, of one substance with the Father.”
    What Nicea did was proclaim what the Church had always believed. This was handed down from the apostles. Now that Mormons want to follow is that which was declared heresy. Mormons embrace a view of God that was rejected and declared heretical. For Mormons, of course, this is really cool because it follows the twin errors of a corrupted Bible and a great apostasy. Doing some independent study and not accepting at face value what the heretics proclaim, clears the air and allows someone to see the clear light of God’s revelation.
    Sub, I challenge you to go outside the Mormon box and get some independent texts.
    (source:Christian Theology/Doctrine; H.W. House)

  18. Mike R says:


    You said, ” The absolute perfection of fullfill-
    ment of the law is God, is it not?”

    Are you saying that since HF did perfectly fulfill
    all the requirements of the law that then and only
    then He became Almighty God? If so ,then I believe
    the answer would be, “no”.

    But if the answer is, “yes”, then combining the
    above with how Mormon authorities teach that you
    are on the “same path” as HF was, then does this
    not reveal that if you also keep all the require-
    ments of the law then you will become a HF over
    your own heavenly kingdom one day? [D&C 109:77]

  19. mobaby says:

    Moses is rightly seen as the chief giver of the Law. God used Moses to give us the Ten Commandments and establish His moral Law which God has already written on the hearts of everyone. Almost every religion has moral law because it is written on the conscience of everyone – the Ten Commandments codified the Law.

    Jesus came to proclaim God’s forgiveness and give His life for our redemption. Repent, believe, be baptized – receive Christ, the free gift of salvation. Believe in Christ and you will be saved. The Gospel.

    Mormons turn Jesus into another Moses. Jesus came to give new Law for salvation. Added onto Moses (which still stands), Jesus gave the Law of Love of neighbor and God, Baptism is a Law for them, plus temple works including temple marriage, plus tithing, plus, plus. Jesus really is just another Law giver for the Mormon- which completely misses the Cross, the meaning of God becoming a man to accomplish what we cannot. We cannot love God and neighbor as we should – we fail. “After all we can do” amounts to ZERO – that’s what we can do. Mormons miss salvation.

  20. mobaby says:


    I think in one of your comments above you are getting it. The Law does apply to everyone! Churches are to preach the Law, we are to read the Law in Scripture and understand God’s standards. This does not save us or even give us the ability to obey – it brings conviction and repentance. We then understand that we are undone – we cannot fulfill the Law and are powerless to do so. We are sinners in need of the Savior. Jesus perfectly did what we cannot – He takes our sin on Himself on the cross, and His righteousness is imputed to us. We are declared righteous through Christ!

    The Law is also a guide for us on how to live now that we are redeemed. We don’t do it in hopes of achieving perfection or somehow partially meriting salvation. We do it out of love and obedience to our savior – knowing that He has forgiven us, we are completely clean. When we sin, the Law still brings conviction and turns our hearts back to Jesus for His continuing forgiveness.

  21. falcon says:

    You did a wonderful job of stating the purpose of the law. Do you have any idea how many times posts like this have appeared on this blog in the two years that I’ve been reading and writing here? What you say is clear, unambiguous, straight-forward and accurate. And yet Mormons don’t get it! We’ll have one of them repeat a Mormon slogan like “Well, Christians believe all they have to do is accept Jesus as their Savior and they can sin all they want.” My reaction is to think that they are either a) dense, b) spiritually blind, c) unwilling to “understand” because it blows their whole false supposition out of the water. Then where do they go? I know, off to another Mormon slogan.
    Anyway, what you have written should be posted about once a week for the new lurkers who cruise by here hopefully on their way out of Mormonism and into new life in Christ.

  22. subgenius says:

    No one needs to create evil or sin. Evil is the absence of good or the perversion of good

    Try to think a little deeper…
    If Evil is the absence of good – how can that be?
    God is good, where does He not dwell?

    The Law is the Law….it does “apply” everywhere and to everyone…its just “we” are not in a position to “judge” God by any measure.

    The Law is also a guide for us on how to live now that we are redeemed
    nonsensical…Read the Bible The Law is the only path to Redemption it is a priori to Redemption. You honestly think the Law was put in the OT because it was to be used after the NT?
    You are mistaken and veering off course.

    It is impossible to deduce that Jesus is eternal…what evidence have you…is He not a “Son
    The whole point of the Council of Nicea in A.D.325 was to combat the arian heresy
    ….and to reconcile the Bible with Greek custom/philosophy…sell it to Constantine…The Nicean Creed is not Bible Doctrine. There is NO apostolic witness of the imply otherwise is dishonest….the trintiy was not “handed down” as you say.
    You confound the definition of “Son” and would have it believed that the Son is not “of” the Father……such a new height in unfounded nonsense….there is sand benath your feet, falcon.
    The LDS does place Jesus, and His divine nature, rightfully in the Godhead…now, suddenly you have become a polytheist…just who do you actually worship?

    Mike R
    does God fulfill it or not?

  23. subgenius says:

    i realize you may have made a terrible assumption above.
    Yes, LDS does believe that the Son was with the Father at “the begining”…..the begining of creation….which is what the scriptures you reference are speaking about…which is obvious, of course, because God has no begining, just as He has no end, right?
    So obviously one could not say that anything was with Him at His begining, because His begining does not exist.

    That being said, i would love to read your evidence on how the Son can be simultaneous with and not ‘after’ the Father. You see the very definition of the words melt your logic into nonsense…First the Father then the Son…thus giving the Son a begining, something the Father does not have, right?…and if the Son has a begining He is not God.
    But the Son is divine in nature and is presided over in the Godhead.

  24. Mike R says:


    Did HF fulfill all of it in order to become
    an Almighty God or not?

  25. subgenius says:

    i do not find any evidence in the Bible that confirms that HF fulfilled all of it in order to become Almighty God.
    why do you ask?

  26. mobaby says:


    Take a closer look at Abraham, BY FAITH he was counted righteous (not by works). Romans 4: 1 – 8 shows our proper relationship to the Law. Abraham, David were not justified by works but by faith. We are justified by grace through faith, otherwise we have earned our salvation and must go on to fulfill all the Law (Romans 4:3 – 5) – and Christ is not necessary (however, we will never make it and be condemned in our sins).

  27. grindael says:

    Teachings of the Early Church Fathers (for those that wish to believe) history:

    “Christians trace their origin to the Lord Jesus Christ. He that came down from heaven in the Holy Spirit for the salvation of men is confessed to be the Son of the Most High God. He was born of a holy Virgin without seed of man, and took flesh without defilement; and He appeared among men so that He might recall them from the ERROR OF POLYTHEISM…they who continue to observe the righteousness which was preached by His disciples are called Christians. These are they who, above every people of the earth, have found the truth; for they acknowledge GOD, the Creator and Maker of all things, IN the only-begotten SON and IN the HOLY SPIRIT. Other than HIM, no god do they worship. They have the commandments of the Lord Jesus Christ impressed upon their hearts….” – Aristides of Athens (c. 140 A.D.) (Apology 15; Jurgens, W. A. The Faith of the Early Fathers. Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 1970, p. 49) The Apology of Aristides is the oldest extant Christian apology since only a fragment of the older apology of Quadratus exists. (ibid, 48)

    “Take care, therefore, to be confirmed in the decrees of the LORD and of the Apostles, in order that in everything you do, you may prosper in body and in soul, in faith and in love, IN SON AND IN FATHER AND IN SPIRIT, in beginning and in end, together with your most reverend bishop…” – Ignatius of Antioch (c. 110 A.D.) (Letter to the Magnesians, Jurgens, p. 19-20)

    “There is ONE Physician, who is both flesh and spirit, born AND NOT BORN, WHO IS GOD IN MAN, true life in death, both from Mary AND FROM GOD, first able to suffer and then unable to suffer, JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.” – Ignatius of Antioch, source above.

  28. grindael says:

    “…they are led by us to a place where there is water; and there they are reborn in the same kind of rebirth in which we ourselves were reborn: in the name of GOD, the Lord and Father of all, AND of our Savior, Jesus Christ, AND of the Holy Spirit, they receive the washing with water….” – Justin the Martyr (c. 100 – 165 A.D.) (First Apology, Jurgens, p. 51)

    “To the Father of all, who is unbegotten, no name is given; for anyone who has been given a name has received the name from someone older than himself. Father and God and Creator and Lord and Master are not names but appellations derived form His beneficences and works. His Son, who alone is properly called Son, who was BOTH WITH HIM AND WAS BEGOTTEN BY HIM BEFORE ANYTHING WAS CREATED, when in the beginning the Father created and put everything in order through Him — He is called Christ, from His being anointed….” – Justin, (Second Apology 6; Jurgens, p. 57)

    “The Son of God is the Word of the Father, in thought and in actuality. BY HIM AND THROUGH HIM ALL THINGS WERE MADE, the Father and the Son BEING ONE. Since the Son is IN the Father and the Father is IN the Son BY THE UNITY AND POWER OF THE SPIRIT, the Mind and Word of the Father is the Son of God. And if, in your exceedingly great wisdom, it occurs to you to inquire what is meant by ‘the Son’, I will tell you briefly: He is the First-begotten of the Father, NOT AS HAVING BEEN PRODUCED — FOR FROM THE BEGINNING GOD HAD THE WORD IN HIMSELF… Who, then, would not be astonished to hear those called atheists, who speak of GOD THE FATHER AND OF GOD THE SON AND OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, and who proclaim THEIR power in UNION and THEIR distinction in order…Just as we assert that there is a God, and a Son who is His Word, and a Holy Spirit, UNITED IN POWER — THE FATHER, THE SON, AND THE SPIRIT….” – Athenagoras of Athens (c. 180 A.D.) (Supplication for the Christians 10, 24; Jurgens, p. 70)

  29. grindael says:

    “The three days before the luminaries were created are types of the TRINITY [this is the first recorded use of the term referring to the Godhead]: GOD [the Father], HIS WORD [the Son], AND HIS WISDOM [the Holy Spirit].” – Theophilus of Antioch (c. 181 A.D.) (To Autolycus 2:22; Jurgens, p. 75-76)

    “NOTHING EXISTS except that which GOD causes to be. There is nothing, therefore, which is hated by God; nor is there anything hated BY THE WORD. BOTH ARE ONE, BOTH ARE GOD; for he says: ‘In the beginning the WORD WAS IN GOD, AND THE WORD WAS GOD’ [John 1:1].” – Clement of Alexandria (c. 150 – 216 A.D.)

    “And since He had this Word WITHIN HIMSELF, invisible to the created world, He made Him visible. First of all giving vocal utterance, and then begetting LIGHT FROM LIGHT, He sent Him forth….Thus, there appeared ANOTHER besides Himself. When I say ‘ANOTHER’, however, I DO NOT MEAN THERE ARE TWO GODS. Rather, it is as if there were LIGHT FROM LIGHT, or water from a fountain, or a ray from the sun. For there is but ONE power, which is from the All; and the Father is the All, from whom comes the Power, the Word.” – Hippolytus of Rome (c. 200 A.D.) (Against Noetus, 17; Jurgens, p. 164-165)

    “The Word was the CAUSE of those things which CAME INTO EXISTENCE, carrying out in Himself the will of Him by whom He was begotten…. Only HIS WORD IS FROM HIMSELF, AND IS THEREFORE ALSO GOD, BECOMING THE SUBSTANCE OF GOD….FOR CHRIST IS THE GOD OVER ALL [cf. Romans 9:5].” – Hippolytus of Rome (c. 200 A.D.) (Refutation of all Heresies 10:32,33,34; Jurgens, p. 173-174)

    “If someone could be baptized by heretics, he could certainly receive also the remission of sins. If he were to receive the remission of sins, he would be sanctified. If he were sanctified, he would be made a temple of God. If he were made a temple of God — now I ask you:

  30. grindael says:

    “Of what God? Of the Creator? But that is not possible, because he does not believe in Him. Of Christ? One who denies that CHRIST IS GOD cannot become His temple. Of the Holy Spirit? SINCE THE THREE ARE ONE, how were it possible for the Holy Spirit to be reconciled to him that is an enemy of either the Son or of the Father?” – Cyprian of Carthage (c. 250 A.D.) (Letters 73:12; Jurgens, p. 238)

    “It is BLASPHEMY, [Arianism & Monarchianism] then, and not a common one BUT THE WORST, to say that THE LORD IS IN ANY WAY A [created] HANDIWORK. For if He came to be Son, then once He was not; but if, as He says Himself, He be IN the Father, and if, which you know the Divine Scripture says, Christ be Word and Wisdom and Power, and these attributes be powers of GOD, THEN HE ALWAYS EXISTED. But if the Son CAME INTO BEING, there was a time when these attributes DID NOT EXIST; and, consequently, there was a time when GOD was without them — WHICH IS UTTERLY ABSURD….”

    “Neither, then, may we divide into THREE godheads the wonderful and divine Unity; nor may we disparage the dignity and exceeding majesty of the Lord by calling Him a [created] work. Rather, we must believe in GOD, the Father Almighty; and in Christ Jesus, His Son; and in the Holy Spirit; and that the WORD IS UNITED TO THE GOD OF THE UNIVERSE. ‘For,’ says He, ‘THE FATHER AND I ARE ONE’ and ‘I AM IN THE FATHER, AND THE FATHER IN ME.’ Thus both the Divine Trinity and the sacred proclamation of the monarchy will be preserved.” – Dionysius of Rome (c. 262 A.D.) (Dionysius of Rome to Dionysius of Alexandria, Jurgens, p. 249)

    The Council of Nicaea took place in 325 A.D, & the Trinity Doctrine WAS ‘handed down’.

  31. falcon says:

    I’ll tell you what, instead of playing ping pong here, why don’t we get serious! If you want to take a systematic look at the theology and doctrine of the trinity from a Biblical and historical view, let’s continue this discussion off line. Andy Watson, who posts here, and I would be willing to spend the amount of time necessary to meet with you in whatever venue possible to answer your questions.
    The moderators can supply you with my e mail address and then I’ll get Andy on board.

  32. Ralph says:


    I thought the Bible said something different about Abraham and how he was considered righteous –

    NIV James 2:21 Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?

    ESV James 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar?

    KJV James 2:21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?

    These indicate that his works ALSO justified him and made him considered righteous. I actually like the NIV translation for this and the surrounding verses as they put faith WITH works nicely.

    James 2:20-24You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.

  33. subgenius says:

    in the interest of brevity…
    You have definitely done your best to preserve the “sacred monarchy”…but what you have NOT done is…
    1. Prove that your version of the Trintiy is Biblical Doctrine

    2. Prove that there was a “handing down” by Apostles (as falcon states above)

    3. Prove that there is an Apostolic witness to the Trinity

    4. Prove that your citations are little more than a Greek reconciliation.(just look at the majority of the sources…Greeks).

    thanks for the offer, i may well take you, and Andy, up on it.

  34. Mike R says:


    Thanks for the time and effort with the documen-


    Got you reply. I’m glad to know we can agree
    that the Bible teaches the great truth that God
    has always been God.

    I realize that you have additional scriptures.
    In your opinion, are they in harmony with the
    Bible on this doctrine?
    As I have read Mormon curriculum and sermons by
    Mormon General Authorities, I have seen how they
    have exercised their role as interpreters of the
    written Word for LDS. It is this authority, and in this role, that concerns me, since these men
    have taught that HF did work His way up to become
    an Almighty God.Furthermore, every worthy Mormon
    male can attain this exact same status [Rev.4:8].

    I hope you can appreciate, as I do, the fact that
    Jesus gave us a “heads up” concerning sincere
    false teachers misleading sincere truth seekers

  35. grindael says:


    By the same logic then, should you discount all of your leaders writings because they are all from Americans? American reconciliation?

  36. subgenius says:

    was JS trying to preserve the “sacred Congress”?
    …otherwise you are a bit off the point, but thanks….you should check out that painting with Jesus holding the Constitution.
    wait a sec…wasn’t i going to stop reading your posts?

    Mike R
    harmony with what Doctrine..trinity? the Law?, etc..
    btw, no more answers from me, until you answer my questions to you…quid pro quo as it were.

  37. Mike R says:


    Wow. You must have had a bad day!

    “What doctrine?” you asked. Re-read my post again.
    You said, “no more answers from me…” That’s up
    to you I guess.

    For the record, I asked you twice if you believed
    that you’ll become an Almighty God one day, and
    you never did directly answer that question.

    Does quid pro quo work both ways?

  38. grindael says:


    Discounting something out of hand, because a lot
    of the sources are greek is tenuous at best.

    As for Congresses, maybe the Mormon Elders riding on their white horses would better appreciate that painting you referred to.

  39. mobaby says:


    You asked a valid question as to how sin could be absence of good or perversion of good, since God is good and he is omnipresent.

    God cannot dwell where creation is sought to usurp his place. Yes, this is NOT a physical place. It is a state of the spirit or heart. Idolatry is also casting a false image of God. God obviously does not “dwell” where we seek to distort or undermine his image. All sins stem from this error of idolatry in one way or another.

    He cannot abide sin. It is our idolatry that separates us from Him.


    Romans is discussing the means of salvation. James focus is on the evidence of faith. James and Romans are reconciled by realizing that we are saved by faith, and after we are saved God gives us the desire to follow His Law out of love for Him.

    Without faith we can do nothing to please God and are powerless to do so. Good works do not grant salvation, but can be evidence of God’s saving power in our lives. These good works grow out of an existing redemptive relationship – not a striving for redemption.

  40. subgenius responded to my post that the law is a creation

    indeed a thin assumes the Law is a ‘creation’.

    Why not?

    Are we getting to the heart of the matter here, or are you just shooting your mouth off?

    I’m saying that God is not a created being, and the law derives its being from God. Therefore the law is a creation (as are the other principalities and powers, e.g. Col 2:10).

    You appear to say that it is the law that is not a creation and (along with the corpus of Mormon doctrine) God derives his being from it, or rather compliance with it.

    Its an important issue, because it addresses which is subject to the other.

    BTW, you’re misreading my comment on a “thin excuse”. I’m not suggesting that the reasoning behind God being “before” the law is “thin”. I was suggesting that my “reason” for writing a post on the subject was opportunistic.

  41. Grindael,

    Thanks for the heavy lifting on the Church Fathers’ views on the Trinity.


    Thanks for the complement for my thoughts on Hebrews. You’ve prompted me to pick up on another of subgenius’ previous comments.

    When I posted

    If there was some higher cosmic law of eternal progression, He would have sworn by that, but He didn’t.

    sub responded with

    any archaelogist will tell you that the absence of evidence is not evidence of absence


    This is not a case of an absence of evidence. Rather you are willfully ignoring the evidence that has been abundantly laid out before you.

    I was commenting on Hebrews 6:13-16

    When God spoke his promise to Abraham, since there was no-one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself…men swear by someone greater than themselves…”

    Firstly, the writer explicitly states “there was no-one greater” than God. That should be enough for us on its own. However, the author of Hebrews relies on the fact to make his point, and without it, this passage might as well not have been written.

    In context, the writer addresses the ancient near east customs of oath-taking. In order to make an oath binding, a person would swear by something “higher” than himself. The reason is quite simple; if I swear by some “thing” lower than myself, that “thing” is subject to me and, if I change it, the oath is extinguished. So, in good faith, I must swear by something that is not subject to my whims, but rather that I am subject to. The “highest” thing that the Biblical authors might have sworn by was God Himself, but they deferred out of fear of breaking the 3rd commandment (Ex 20:7), even unintentionally. So they used a proxy instead, like the Temple, or the Altar, or the gifts on the Altar.

    Jesus had some severe words to say about those who had found ways to use this system to their advantage in Matt 23:16-22.


  42. …ctd…

    The scenario Jesus addresses is something like this; I make an oath to you to do some obligation tomorrow, and in order to make it binding, I swear by the gifts on the Altar. You go away in good faith, relying on my promise, but when I fail to deliver you challenge me. My defense is that I swore on the Gift but, lo and behold, the Gift has been removed and with it, my obligations to my oath have disappeared.

    Basically, it’s a con trick, which is why Jesus got so angry about it.

    What’s important about this is that it illustrates the relationship between master and subject. The subject cannot change the master, so he relies on the fact to make his oath permanent.

    God, unlike us, is in a unique position because, as the writer to the Hebrews puts it “…there is no-one greater for him to swear by…”. As I commented earlier, if God had been subject to something, or ANYTHING at all, he would have sworn by that “greater” thing.

    If He was subject to a cosmic law of eternal progression, he would have sworn by it. If He had a Heavenly Father who had progressed into Godhood further than him, he would have sworn by him. If He had come into His present state by passing through a Temple, He would have sworn by that.

    But He didn’t, because He was NEVER subject to these these things

    In order to make His oath permanent, God swore by the greatest “thing” in existence, which is Himself. God MUST swear by Himself, because He is NOT subject to ANYTHING else. His only alternative is not to make an oath at all.

    Your assertion that this is unsupported by any evidence is nothing more than a jibe. All the evidence is there; you have simply chosen to ignore it because it does not support your position.

    You don’t want to believe what Hebrews says because it plainly and obviously refutes Mormon teachings on the origins of God

    So, you’ve got a choice. Either follow Mormon teaching, or listen to the Word of God. You cannot do both. You cannot serve two masters (Matt 6:24)

  43. subgenius says:

    Martin of B
    you say
    Its an important issue, because it addresses which is subject to the other.

    and i will assume you agree with the following:

    God cannot dwell where creation is sought to usurp his place

    Quite clearly God is subject to a condition…a condition brought about by the Law.

    …for without the Law there is no sin/evil and more importantly without the Law there is no redemption. For only through the Law may you find Jesus and through Him is how we succeed. Yes, again, we must adhere to both.

    Furthermore, this notion of God being “unable” to dwell in certain “conditions” is interesting. How is it that one goes about ‘moving’ God ‘out of’ the heart or elsewhere?….mmmm, i hear free agency coming down the tracks.

    Thanks for the heavy lifting on the Church Fathers’ views on the Trinity
    yes, i read it, and it was quite a load.

    If He was subject to a cosmic law of eternal progression, he would have sworn by it
    Why would He have sworn by it?…you apply, what the scripture clearly states, a man’s condition upon Him. Interesting, can we therefore rely that He follows all of man’s customs then?
    See, you would assume that the Law is a “thing” or a “someone”…but it is not.
    Hebrews 6:16 is teaching the attribute that God does not lie. This is statement to how contrary “lying” would be to the nature of God. I agree, men make covenants amongst themselves “by God”, and this is vis-a-vis God covenant with man…Abraham knows nothing greater, and, yes, there is nothing greater…but that does not mean the ‘Law’ is not a priori.
    after all, you have clearly said God can not lie….sounds like being ‘subject’ to me, what do you think? can not do both
    and i can do both, because they are not in opposition like you assume. So, in kind, i will caution you, come to know the fullness of God’s Word or fall through the cracks into apostasy.

    Revelation 14:12

  44. grindael says:


    If lying is contrary to God [as we all agree], then why did Smith lie so much? Why did he deceive and change revelations? I can document all this, as many others already have. He flat out lied that he was not practicing polygamy when he was. Why did he break the laws of the land, when God commanded him not to, and then his God pat him on the back for doing so? Is this the kind of law you say God is ‘subject’ to? Why do so many church leaders flat out lie that Brigham Young never even taught that Adam was God? Since lying is so abhorrent to God, why are the supposed leaders of his church so good at it? Did God tell Young He was Adam & then tell Spencer Kimball it was false doctrine? I don’t even want to go into their ‘lies’ of omission or ‘evasions’. It doesn’t wash & you know it.

    And all this about the ‘fullness of the gospel’ & the law: Smith claimed Adam through Jacob had the ‘higher law’ & I would assume all these ordinances… & that the law of Moses was given the ‘lower’ law because of transgression. Why is there not a hint of it in any of the writings in the Bible? Oh yeah, it was on a ‘secret’ papyrus hidden up with Abraham when he died & of course you have the old ‘elohim’ is translated ‘gods’ line of thought, which no Jewish scholar will even touch.. but no one knew of any of this for thousands of years…except Smith [& maybe the gnostics] that the early Fathers called heretics…. but..oh yeah no Mormon will believe them…Just who fell through the cracks here? I think we know.

  45. grindael says:

    “The Church, having received this preaching and this faith, although scattered throughout the whole world, yet, as if occupying but one house, carefully preserves it. She also believes these points just as if she had one soul and one and the same heart, and she proclaims them, teaches them, and hands them down with perfect harmony, as if she possessed only one mouth.” – Irenaeus of Lyons (Against Heresies I:10:2)

    Irenaeus was a disciple of Polycarp, who was a disciple of John the Revelator. He was raised in a Christian home, & was familiar intimately with the Gospel. He was one of the first to recognize the canonical character of all four Gospels. He wrote primarily against the Gnostics, [who Mormons love to find similarities with] & who John condemns.

    From this quote you see how ‘well aware’ the early Church Fathers were about keeping the integrity of God’s word, and how aware they were of the Heresies creeping into the Church. Men like Ireneaus grew up with the faith, were taught it by men who sat at the feet of the Apostles, and ‘handed down’ the doctrines of the Trinity and the Nature of God.

    The notion of a ‘great apostasy’ is false, and the denigration of the Bible by modern-day revisionists & the claim of ‘secret knowledge’ are as untrue today as there were at the time of Ireneaus.

    These men denounced polytheism, & the notion that anything was created or made before God. They understood and taught that Jesus WAS GOD, not a spirit son of a mortal man who ‘attained’ Godhood by complying with Law. We have these teachings ‘handed down’ to us, through the preserved Word of God, and like the Christians of the First and Second Centuries, don’t want, don’t need and understand the heresy of ‘secret doctrines’ taught by the Gnostics & by men like Joseph Smith. Jesus is the true Revelation, and is still guiding the world and those that believe on His Name by His Spirit. That is Modern Revelation, out in the open and there for ALL to see.

  46. grindael says:

    Irenaeus on Heresies:

    “We hold, however, the rule of truth, according to which there is ONE ALMIGHTY GOD, who formed ALL things through His Word, and fashioned and made ALL things which exist out of that which did not exist; in which regard the Scripture says: ‘For by the Word of the Lord were the heavens established, and all their strength by the Spirit of his mouth’ [Psalm 33:6]. And again, ‘All things were made through Him, and WITHOUT HIM WAS MADE NOTHING’ [John 1:3]. From ALL, however, THERE IS NO EXCEPTION [that would include the SON]; and the Father made ALL things through Him, whether visible or invisible, whether of sense or of intelligence, whether temporal and for a certain dispensation or eternal and through the ages.” (1:22:1)

    “[The Gnostic heretics] transfer the generation of the uttered word of men to the ETERNAL WORD OF GOD, attributing to HIM A BEGINNING of utterance and a COMING INTO BEING in a manner like to that of their own word. In what manner, then, would the WORD OF GOD — INDEED, THE GREAT GOD HIMSELF SINCE HE IS THE WORDdiffer from the word of men, were He to have the same order and process of generation?” (2:13:8)

    “This Father of our Lord Jesus Christ is revealed through His Word, who is His Son — through Him is He revealed and made manifest to all to whom He is revealed. For they know Him, those to whom the Son has given revelation. The Son, however, ALWAYS CO-EXISTING WITH THE FATHER, of old and from the beginning, ALWAYS reveals the Father to the Angels and Archangels and Powers and Virtues and to all to whom God wished to give revelation.” (2:30:9)

  47. grindael says:

    “Nevertheless, what cannot be said of anyone else who ever lived, that He [Jesus Christ] is Himself in HIS OWN RIGHT GOD AND LORD AND ETERNAL KING AND ONLY-BEGOTTEN AND INCARNATE WORD, proclaimed as such by all the Prophets and by the Apostles and by the SPIRIT HIMSELF” (3:19:2)

    “For WITH HIM [God the Father] ALWAYS are the Word and the Wisdom, the SON and the SPIRIT, through whom and in whom He made all things freely and spontaneously; and to whom He spoke, saying: ‘Let US make man in our image and likeness’ [Gen 1:26].” (4:20:1)

    “God is powerful in all things. He was SEEN through the SPIRIT of Prophecy, and by His own choice THROUGH THE SON. He will also be SEEN as the FATHER in the kingdom of heaven. THE SPIRIT prepares man through the SON OF GOD, the SON leads him to the FATHER, and the FATHER gives him incorruption in eternal life, which comes to everyone by the fact of his SEEING GOD.” (4:20:5)

    Who is ‘applying…a man’s condition’ on God? Who made Him into a Man like us? Who limits Him by Law? It all goes back to Smith, as always.

  48. grindael says:

    I know this is off topic, but could all join in Prayers for the people of Haiti & all the relief workers?

    Thank You.

  49. jackg says:

    This is what happens without established presuppositions. Christians presuppose the Bible is inerrant regarding salvation history, while Mormons see the Bible as a faulty source. We cannot proceed until there is an agreement on the Bible being the authoritative source for all theological thought. For that to happen, the Mormons would have to throw out their 8th AOF. But, since it’s an AOF, that just might take a while.


  50. Grindael,

    Amen to your petition about the people of Haiti.

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