The Bible reveals God as omniscient; that is,
“God, being infinite, is able to be aware of all things, to understand all things, and to comprehend all things. He never learns anything or acquires new knowledge. The future as well as the past and present are completely known by Him.” (R.C. Sproul, Essential Truths of the Christian Faith)
Put another way,
“God fully knows himself and all things actual and possible in one simple and eternal act…
“Here the word ‘simple’ is used in the sense of ‘not divided into parts.’ This means that God is always fully aware of everything…he always knows all things at once. He does not have to reason to conclusions or ponder carefully before he answers, for he knows the end from the beginning, and he never learns and never forgets anything…
“[‘Eternal act’] simply means that God’s knowledge never changes or grows. If he were ever to learn something new, he would not have been omniscient beforehand. Thus, from all eternity, God has known all things that would happen and all things that he would do.” (Wayne Grudem, Bible Doctrine)
Mormonism entertains conflicting views regarding God’s omniscience. Fourth LDS Prophet Wilford Woodruff, for example, taught that
“GOD IS INCREASING IN KNOWLEDGE. If there was a point where man in his progression could not proceed any further, the very idea would throw a gloom over every intelligent and reflecting mind. God Himself is increasing and progressing in knowledge, power, and dominion, and will do so, worlds without end.” (The Discourses of Wilford Woodruff, 3)
But another LDS Prophet taught,
“It seems very strange to me that members of the Church will hold to the doctrine, ‘God increases in knowledge as time goes on.’… Where has the Lord ever revealed to us that he is lacking in knowledge? That he is still learning new truth; discovering new laws that are unknown to him? I think this kind of doctrine is very dangerous.” (Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, 1:7-8)
In February (2010) the blog Mormon Matters took a poll of its readers asking “Is God Still Progressing?” Eighty-two percent of the respondents said they believe God is still learning and progressing.
The question of God’s omniscience was addressed at the LDS FAQ section of the BYU website.
“Q. How can God be all-knowing and still progress eternally?”
The supplied answer might not be as helpful as some “confused students” may hope.
“A. An article by James R. Harris [BYU Studies] explains that some students have been confused by apparently conflicting statements made by early Church leaders about God’s omniscience on the one hand and his ability to grow in knowledge and glory on the other. These leaders recognized that God could somehow grow in knowledge and at the same time experience no deficiency in his knowledge, being, in fact, a possessor of all knowledge. God’s foreknowledge spans all of man’s experience (premortal, mortal, post-mortal, and immortal) and man’s end (his final condition as an individual) is known by God, ‘from the beginning.’ This foreknowledge may have come as a result of God’s long observation of his children through premortal ages or eons, or it may come as a result of the celestial globe where God resides and where things past, present, and future are continually before the Lord. In this sense, God’s knowledge is perfect. Eternal progression, like eternal life, may represent a quality of experience and not exclusively a duration of experience. The mind of our God is in constant and perfect union with all that is divine throughout the immensity of space. Our Lord, Jesus Christ, has the character of a God and under the law of consecration, he is the possessor of all things. All that God possesses in wisdom, knowledge, and power, are his through a union of property among all Exalted Fathers. Thus, as the Lord moves to ever higher degrees of exaltation, a constant flow of knowledge and power will be called forth from what Harris calls the ‘Grand Union of Divine Minds.’ Harris suggests that while God is progressing in knowledge, there is never a practical deficiency in his knowledge because of his immediate access to the experience and knowledge of all divine beings.”
Joel Groat at Institute for Religious Research’s Facebook page observed that this BYU Studies answer
“Makes clear two things: 1. When it comes to God in Mormonism there is not just one and only one unique divine being (historic, biblical Judaism and Christianity), and 2. Unlike the God of the Bible, the God of Mormonism is dependent on other divine beings (Exalted Fathers) for his omniscience and omnipotence.”
If the answer provided by BYU is any reflection of true Mormonism, it’s pretty clear that the God of that religion is not worthy of the words of praise penned by Paul found in the Bible:
Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
“For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?”
“Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?”
For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be glory forever. Amen.
The Bible is clear, God Cannot Lie, Titus 1:2 In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began.
And it says, Hebrews 6:18 That by two immutable things, in which [it was] impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
Now if the Bible states that God is all knowing, and the Bible is the word of God, then that means God told someone to write down that He is all knowing, so if God is all knowing and cannot learn or progress, then that would make God a liar. So if God cannot lie, then Mormons are wrong.
If the Mormons are correct and God can progress, then God lied and how can I trust Him if He lies?
I wish Mormons would believe Moroni 7:22:
“For behold, God knowing all things, being from everlasting to everlasting…”
Note the Pantheistic tone of the Harris/BYU reply:
“all that is divine throughout the immensity of space”
“Grand Union of Divine Minds”
So let me get this straight. God in Himself is not all knowing but he has all knowledge available to Him by tapping into the Force, or the council of the (other) gods?
Or He is just taking some highly educated guesses?
“This foreknowledge may have come as a result of God’s long observation of his children through premortal ages or eons”
Too many words like “may” and “or” in that answer to be an actual answer.
Well the bottom line is that the gods of Mormonism are not God. The God of the Bible is One. There is no other. The gods of Mormonism are many and the idea of progressive revelation on on-going progression is what the man to god program is all about. This is an idea that Smith came up with as he continually progressed as a religious leader. It’s the same thing with his first vision testimony which went through progressive change corresponding to how much of a crisis of leadership he was in at any given time.
Mormons are fond of saying that Joseph Smith restored first century Christianity. Only someone totally ignorant of the Scriptures and Church history would make such a preposterous claim. The sad thing is that all of the information is present to debunk Mormonism and its claims but desire to believe and total ignorance keeps Mormons in bondage. In Mormonism we have a mythology of men becoming gods and ruling their own planetary system with their goddess wive(s), procreating spirit beings into eternity. Can’t find any of that in the Bible? That’s the beauty of Mormon revelation. It can be whatever it wants to be at any point and be dismissed if it doesn’t fit the current Mormon narrative or is a disadvantage politically and socially.
The God of Christianity is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. Only He can provide individuals with eternal life. Not knowing Him results in eternal separation. I’ll depend on God. Mormons are stuck with Joseph Smith.
If my memory serves me correctly, it was a
former BYU prof.by the name of W. Cleon
Skousen, in his book, “The First 2000 years”,
where he stated that God knew everything that
was going on in the Universe because His angels/
messengers, told Him so. He also said that these
“intelligences” support God, and if they would
withdraw their support of Him, then His power
would disintegrate etc.
Kind of sad don’t you think?
So then, why do Mormons choose this inferior pantheon of gods, over God. Well it’s pretty easy to figure out since they believe they’re going to become a god also just like all of their other gods. It a process that they themselves control since it’s all about self-improvement and a whole lot of doing. Becoming a god must be within their grasp so a lower view of who the Mormon god is, gives them some hope. After all he was just a guy like they are now. So it’s a difficult, but not impossible task in Mormonism to become like one of these gods. And don’t forget the all important Mormon concept of agency. If it’s going to be it’s up to me a Mormon might say.
Not knowing who God is leads to men creating a god that is more in line with their own desires. I can’t think of anything more tragic then dieing without knowing God. Lost for eternity. No going back. No second chance. Separation from God forever.
Well, Mormons can’t say someone didn’t tell them.
Firstly (and I know this is being a little pedantic), when was that quote from Pres Woodruff made? If it was before 1889 then it was his opinion only as he was not prophet before then. If it was after, then it still could still be his opinion only, but then things would be a little more complex as he was the prophet. But that’s an aside.
We find in D&C 130 that the earth will become like a Urim and Thummim where the inhabitants will be able to see all things past, present and future of lower kingdoms to the one they are assigned to in the eternities. This is the same as the place where Heavenly Father resides. So He can see and know all things past, present and future of any kingdom lower in order to which He resides in. Since He is in the highest level of the CK, then He knows past, present and future off all things in the lower levels of the CK, the Terrestrial and Tellestial Kingdoms, Outer Darkness and all of His creations. He can also see past, present and future off the world He lived on, etc.
Now that is talking about lower kingdoms, the next part in D&C 130 says that the white stone given to those in the CK (referred to in Revelation 2:17) is again a Urim and Thummim, but will show past, present and future of all kingdoms including higher ones. This means that Heavenly Father has the knowledge of everything available to Him. He cannot not increase in knowledge if He already has it with Him.
But these are my thoughts. While I was a teen I did a lot of research into things like this and I came up with the idea that there was something more and that Heavenly Father was progressing and learning more. I found out a few years later I found the talk ‘Seven Deadly Heresies’. From this I knew that I was not alone in my thoughts, but that I was also wrong.
The big thing is that we are trying to describe an infinite thing with finite thoughts. We do know from the scriptures that He has all knowledge, but we do not understand fully what that means.
James Harris is not a GA and is definitely not a prophet and so what he states is not church policy, doctrine or anything else beholden to the LDS church, so I don’t understand why you decide to try and make your point by placing that in there. Yes there are members who believe that Heavenly Father is still progressing in knowledge and other ways, but the Prophet Joseph Fielding Smith and Bruce R McConkie have said that is not correct. I guess there would be others that have made that comment.
We need to be more ‘worried’ about the basics for our salvation and what we are doing right now than trying to figure out who Heavenly Father is, what He can and can’t do, if He is progressing, etc. All these things that we do not know nor cannot know right now are major stumbling blocks for people as they come up with an idea and if its an incorrect one it can lead them away from the truth and from Heavenly Father. This is why Joseph Fielding Smith made the comment ”I think this kind of doctrine is very dangerous.”
It is taking our minds off our focal point and putting us in a perilous position in our salvation if we try and fathom what is outside of our knowledge and scriptures.
Just a note before anyone goes off onto tangents with what I said – I just put the questions in (”who Heavenly Father is, what He can and can’t do, if He is progressing”) as examples off the top of my head. I do not mean that we cannot answer these specific ones, but there are question about God in anyone’s faith that cannot be answered with what we have in the scriptures right now. So these questions are not the issue, just some examples.
Ralph my heart just sank for you! How self centered your comment “We need to be more ‘worried’ about the basics for our salvation and what we are doing right now than trying to figure out who Heavenly Father is, what He can and can’t do, if He is progressing, etc.” I believe John 17:3 would disagree with you. To know God is eternal life! You can’t have a saving faith without truly knowing who God is and who you are. God is Holy, you are sinful. I would argue that NOT seeking to know who God has revealed himself to be in scriptures is the true stumbling block because it opens the door to lots of distractions and add ons so that your focus and dependence is never 100% on Christ righteousness. And there is the fertile womb of heresy!!
So how do Mormons know who God is? Because Joseph Smith told them. WOW, a real reliable guy to be depending on for knowledge of who God is. Smith told his followers that they couldn’t depend on the Bible so they (followers) are now prohibited from the one source of truth that would confirm for them who God really is. Smith claimed to have a steady stream of revelations and visitations by all sorts of spirit beings. He ran about the countryside with a magic rock by which he claimed to be able to see buried treasure in the ground. Yup, this is the type of guy someone can depend on to tell them who God is.
Didn’t you read my last statement? I said “Just a note before anyone goes off onto tangents with what I said – I just put the questions in (”who Heavenly Father is, what He can and can’t do, if He is progressing”) as examples off the top of my head. I do not mean that we cannot answer these specific ones, but there are question about God in anyone’s faith that cannot be answered with what we have in the scriptures right now. So these questions are not the issue, just some examples.”
I know that these answers can and are answered in most religions, but on the spur of the moment I could not think of anything else. Maybe I should have put something more like – Where did God come from/What are His origins (even if He is ‘uncreated’ this is an unanswerable question)? What did He do before He created this earth and universe? What will He do after this earth/creation has fulfilled its lifespan?
And just to let you know, we LDS teach that the basics of our salvation are having faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, not trying to discover the intimate mysteries of Heavenly Father and His life and works. But yes we also teach that we must know who Heavenly Father is.
I knew someone would put up a comment about the questions I wrote in that’s why I made the last statement in my first post. So please, read all of the post first before making a reply.
Ralph, I apologize that I jumped and didn’t finish reading but the sentiment stand in most mormon responses that the focus is on us and not on God. I’m fine with there being unanswerables what I’m not ok with is the lengths that Mormon GA’s will go to try and answer those unanswerables; hanging on the argument that well the Bible doesn’t say specifically that’s not the case so we’ll just go ahead and form a few theories on what God was doing before and see which ones ppl seem to like.
‘The basics of our salvation’ so there is more to our salvation that faith in Jesus finished work on the cross? And what would you say eternal life is?
Mormon’s take way too many theological liberties. My prayer is that mormon’s would spend all there time focusing on what’s IN the Bible instead of what isn’t.
Ralph I’ve followed your posts on here for some time and you are one of the few who remain civil (I refrain from posting often because I know that I can not be), I admire that. But civility, intelligence, even devotion to one’s religion and obeying the rules thereof will not usher you into the Kingdom. The most righteous man on earth is but a filthy worm to God.
My faith is built on NOTHING LESS than Jesus’ blood and righteousness!
When we get into these discussions regarding the limited nature of the Mormon gods and the limitless nature of God, I like to go to A.W. Tozer’s book “The Knowledge of the Holy”. Tozer does an excellent job of addressing the topic of the awesomeness of God. His work stands in stark contrast to the Mormon pantheon of gods who are individually attempting to improve themselves.
“Wrong ideas about God are not only the fountain from which the polluted waters of idolatry flow; they are themselves idolatrous. The idolater simply imagines things about God and acts as if they were true.”
When Tozer says “the polluted waters” it’s an apt description of Mormonism with its low view of God. The “imagines things about God” can be directly applied to Joseph Smith who had a very active imagination and called it revelation. It is true, as Tozer says, that “the first step down for any church is taken when it surrenders its high opinion of God”.
Not only does Mormonism surrender itself to a low opinion of God, it rejects God in the process. Mormonism replaces the all powerful, all knowing, and all present God, with a man who is a little better than the Mormon himself. Tozer says, “To think of creature and Creator as alike in essential being is to rob God of most of His attributes and reduce Him to the status of a creature. It is, for instance, to rob Him of His infinitude: there cannot be two unlimited substances in the universe, for sooner or later two completely free wills must collide. These attributes, to mention no more, require that there be but one to whom they belong.”
The Mormon pantheon of gods is not much different from the gods of Greek and Roman mythology. In fact, the Biblical overlay that Mormons attempt in trying to bring some sort of Christian cover to their blasphemy points out the diabolical nature of Satan’s ruse.
Novatian said “God has no origin.” In this simple statement what we have is a concept of no-origin which distinguishes that which is God from whatever is not God (Tozer). Things that are created have the word “origin” applied to them. When we refer to things that are created, we are not referring to God. God is self-existent. There is nothing but God that is self-caused. Everything was made by Someone who was made of none. (Tozer) “Any person or thing may be at once both caused and the cause of someone or something else; and so, back to the One who is the cause of all but is Himself caused by none.” This, is what separates the created Mormon gods, from God. Mormonism is the attempt of man to understand and relate to God as just a higher form of themselves.
“The natural man is a sinner because and only because he challenges God’s selfhood in relation to his own. In all else he may willingly accept the sovereignty of God; in his own life he rejects it. For him, God’s dominion ends where his begins. For him, self becomes Self, and in this he unconsciously imitates Lucifer, that fallen son of the morning who said in his heart, ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God….I will be like the Most High.’
Mormons of course believe in a kind of “god-escalator” where the pantheon of gods are lined-up on the various steps. While, they, and the gods before them won’t catch each other as they move up to higher levels of perfection, they will all be gods. This later idea is enough to link Mormons to Lucifer, the idea that they will become gods and have their own creatures who will give them adoration and praise supplanting the One and only God who alone deserves all honor and praise.
I love Mormon logic, Sadly you risk your eternity over things like this. Now a days if your prophet says it and you dont like it or agree, then its a matter of it’s His opinion and when you agree it the Lord.
Thats the problem with Mormonism, you can never tell if its the Persons opinion or if they were speaking for the Lord. Then this also causes a problem because we see LDS falling on both sides of the issue. Rick b
“If it would be any satisfaction to you, I would say that God has passed through all the trials and experience that we have. Jesus Christ has passed through all the trials and experience the same as we have. It would not be prudent for me to say that the Father has not the same experience that his Son had. He had quite as much as his Son had.” – Woodruff Journals, February 8, 1852
[Brigham Young] said that the doctrine taught in The Seer that God had arrived at that state whereby He could not advance any further in knowledge, power and glory was a false doctrine and not true. There never will be a time to all eternity when all the Gods of Eternity will cease advancing in power, knowledge, experience and glory. For if this were the case Eternity would cease to be and the glory of God would come to an end; but all of celestial beings will continue to advance in knowledge and power worlds without end. Joseph would always be ahead of us. We should never catch up with him in all Eternity, nor he with his leaders. Brother Pratt also thought that Adam was made of the dust of the earth; could not believe that Adam was our God or the Father of Jesus Christ. President Young said that He was, that He came from another world and made this, brought Eve with him, partook of the fruits of the earth, begat children and they were earthly and had mortal bodies. And if we were faithful, we should become Gods as He was. He told Brother Pratt to lay aside his philosophical reasoning and get revelation from God to govern him and enlighten his mind more, and it would be a great blessing to him to lay aside his books and go into the canyons as some of the rest of us were doing and it would be better for him. He said his philosophy injured him in a measure. Many good things were said by President Young–that we should grow up in revelation so that principle would govern every act of our lives. He had never found any difficulty in leading this people since Joseph’s death. – Woodruff Journals, Sept. 17, 1854.
May 6, 1855: I attended the prayer circle where I had some interesting teaching from President Young in social conversation which was not reported. The following is a key to some of the principles he advanced. Adam and Eve had lived upon another earth, and were immortal when they came here. Adam assisted in forming this earth and agreed to fall when he came here, and he fell that man might be. And to oppose the principle of good, the Devil, the serpent, was placed upon the earth that man might know the good from the evil, for without an experience in these things, man could not know the one from the other. As soon as the devil was on earth, he sowed the seeds of death in everything so as soon as they began to eat of the fruit of the earth, they received into their system the seeds of mortality and of death, so their children were mortal and subject to death, sorrow, pain and woe. Then when they partook of life, joy, ease and happiness, they would know how to prize it. Father Adam would never cease his labours to redeem his posterity and exalt them to all the glory they were capable of receiving He did not doubt but that Father Adam knew in the beginning how many of his posterity would receive a celestial glory and who they were and also a terrestrial and a telestial. Yet man had his agency to act, choose and refuse good or evil as seemed him good, and he would be rewarded according to his works. O. Pratt asks, “Will Adam or any God continue to make worlds, people them, taste of death to redeem them? Answer: I have no doubt but it is His privilege, but whether He will do it is a question in my mind. How then can his seed increase to all Eternity? Through the increase of his posterity. Many other remarks were made by the President. – Woodruff Journals
February 17, 1856: I attended prayer meeting in the evening circle. President Young asked Elder Orson Pratt what he thought of his preaching that intelligent beings would continue to learn to all eternity. O. Pratt said that he believed the Gods had a knowledge at the present time of everything that ever did exist to the endless ages of all eternity. He believed it as much as any truth that he had ever learned in or out of this Church. President Young remarked that he had never learned that principle in the Church for it was not taught in the Church, for it was not true. It was false doctrine, for the Gods and all intelligent beings would never cease to learn except it was the Sons of Perdition. They would continue to decrease until they became dissolved back into their native element and lost their identity.
March 2, 1856: Then the subject was brought up concerning Adam being made of the dust of the earth and Elder Orson Pratt pursued a course of stubbornness and unbelief in what President Young said. That will destroy him if he does not repent and turn from his evil way, for when any man crosses the track of a leader in Israel and tries to lead the prophet, he is no longer led by him but is in danger of falling. – Woodruff Journals
January 27, 1860:[Orson Pratt] preaches upon the resurrection and teaches things which are not true. I will tell you the God which you and I worship is a Being that was on an earth like this. He has been clothed in mortality the same as we have been and he has had devils to fight the same as we have had, but I do not expect they were the same devils that we have. That God says I am your God and there is none else. Let us worship Him and none else. He is the God that we have. No matter what Gods Enoch saw when the heavens were opened unto him, if the God he saw had been exalted millions of years before our God was, he also had to occupy an earth like ourselves and we shall find it out at some period and this is all the mystery there is about it. If we are faithful, we in our turn shall be exalted and become Gods and there will be no mystery about it when we understand it…
…President Young said Michael was a resurrected being and he left Eloheim and came to this earth and with an immortal body, continued so till he partook of earthly food and begot children who were mortal (keep this to yourselves); then they died.
… Every man in this room who has a particle of the spirit of God, knows that President Young is a Prophet of God and that God sustains him and he has the Holy Spirit and his doctrines are true, and that he is qualified to lead the people, and he has explained everything so plainly this evening that a child can understand it, and yet it is no evidence to you [Pratt]. – Woodruff Journals
Woodruff was Church President from 1889 to 1898 when he died.
Great job grindael.
Your post goes a long way to get at the basis for what Mormonism is all about. That is, idle speculation and the aimless babbling of men who were impressed with their own mental meanderings. That is Mormonism. If you think it, it came from “God” and it’s true. This is especially true if it makes you feel good.
Alexander of Alexandria explained the consequences of the Arian heresy when he said:
“The novelties the Arians have put forward contrary to the Scriptures are these: God was not always a Father….the Word of God was not always…(for)there was a time when he was not…neither is he like in essence to the Father; neither is he the true and natural Word of the Father; neither is he his true wisdom……And the Father cannot be described by the Son, for the Word does not know the father perfectly and accurately.”
When we compare the writings, thinking and revelations provided by the Holy Spirit to the Church Fathers with the idle babbling Mormon “prophets”……well it’s embarrassing or should be for Mormons. The Church Fathers actually had a clue what they were talking about. Mormon leaders, it is obvious, were just emptying the contents of their very limited intellects and led by their lack of Scriptural discipline and personal humility.
“Long before the controversies of the fourth and fifth centuries, the church had already been dealing with heresy for some time. Early on teachers arose who said they had special access to Jesus’ ‘real teachings’. So early on, the church had to come up with methods for discerning truth and rejecting error.” (Christian History, Issue 51)
The Gnostics claimed that they had some secret access to that original message through a succession of secret teachers. As in the early history of the Christian faith, the Church at large has claimed to be in possession of the original gospel and the true teachings of Jesus. So what was being debated in the early years of the Church and has in many ways continued through (Church) history is the authority of the Church against the claims of the heretics.
That was Joseph Smith’s game and it continues with Mormonism today. That is, the truth was lost but now through Smith and the Mormon prophets the real truth has been revealed. So Mormons must come up with convoluted conspiracy theories to make their Mormon narrative work.
Ignorance is bliss!
Falcon, you said ignorance is bliss, Not in Mormonism, According to the D and C, a man cannot be saved in ignorance. So many mormons must not be saved because no only are they ignorant of the church’s teachings, but they seem unable to even agree with each other as to who is right or wrong when it comes to Church doctrine. So I guess many LDS are not saved according to their own teachings. Rick b
Last Saturday I was tooling down the road in my 1989 Buick, dialing around looking for something to listen to on the radio. As happens quite often, I happened on a Catholic radio station. The program was hosted by what seemed to me to be a very up-beat, articulate, devout and humble woman talking about the organization she was apart of which is dedicated to the Blessed Mother. She was talking about how her organization had been given some sort of award and she was encouraging listeners to write in with their stories of how the Blessed Mother had impacted their lives. This, I’m sure could be an inspirational report on how a prayer had been answered in her name or even a miracle that had taken place through Mary.
I’m kind of interested in Our Lady of Fatima and her appearance to the three children and the shrine at Lourdes with the story of Bernadette. These things thrill many Catholics and they develop personal devotion to these apparitions and I’m sure it all makes them feel real good.
Catholics also believe in the bodily “assumption” of Mary into heaven. She died, but her body was transferred into heaven. I told a Catholic woman one time that I found that kind of hard to believe because it wasn’t in the Bible. She said “Oh?” in a very confident condescending tone. It wouldn’t matter because she wanted to believe it anyway and it made her feel good.
Aberrant and heretical teachings get started as a general rule because of someone’s misapplication of Scripture or someone’s report of a revelation or special vision. It happens all the time.
All that it takes is for someone with a lot of confidence to proclaim it and someone else who’s gullible enough to believe it.
Thus it is with Joseph Smith and his vain exposition on the nature of God. And BY’s fantasy about Adam and Eve. All it takes is someone foolish enough to believe it.
So my point is if someone wants to know who God is then it’s advisable to consult the Scripture that reveals Him as testified to by real, bonafide prophets not some amateur hacks who claim to have had a vision or a revelation. These prophet wannabees populate the religious history of the Christian faith. As it goes, one of them is as good as the next; meaning not good at all.
Any religious sect can claim special or continuous revelation. But what quality is that revelation? In the case of Mormonism, not very good at all. That’s why Mormons are stuck having to explain the goof ball pronouncements of their leaders. Just meander through the Journal of Discourses to find some real treats.
Back on 7 June in the blog entitled “First Nephi and the Son of God” we were discussing testimony from the Spirit against known evidence. You were derisive about how I referenced my statement because I could not remember the full details at the time of the reference so I did it the best way I could. Well here is the exact quote that Germit gave –
Note what I have bolded that this evangelical minister is teaching. But is that enough of a reference to satisfy you now?
I know it doesn’t fit in with this conversation but if I put it where it belongs you would miss it. If you want to comment on it we can go back to that blog.
I recently heard a Rod Rosenbladt, a Lutheran minister on a radio program called “The Whitehorse Inn,” describe the role of apologetics in conversion. Apologetics is to answer all objections and make a defense of the faith to the point the listener says “yes, I believe this to be true.” The minister should not presume to do the work of the Holy Spirit, whereby the person is given faith in Christ and their sins are forgiven. Knowing that the gospel/Bible is true does not make one a Christian, but brings one to the point where the preaching of the cross of Christ and God’s Word can create faith in the heart of a sinner and they believe the forgiveness already won for them on the cross. So yes, the Holy Spirit gives faith, with Him no one would be a Christian no matter how much they know the objective truth of the Christian faith. Faith in Christ is a gift of God which He brings about in our lives. We throw ourselves on the mercy of Christ and know that only in Him are we redeemed – and the Holy Spirit does that work in us. It’s not about us, our decision, our faith – it’s about God and His mercy – it’s about Jesus on the cross for sinners like myself.
mobaby did an excellent job of describing the work of the Holy Spirit in drawing a person to faith in Christ. Here’s the problem however for you as a Mormon. You don’t believe in the Holy Spirit of the Bible. What Mormons experience is a subjective emotional response and they think it’s the Holy Spirit. In fact, the Holy Spirit and the Holy Ghost are two different things in Mormonism. The Holy Spirit in Mormonism is a force likened to electricity. The Holy Ghost is a god who doesn’t even qualify as a god in Mormon thinking because he doesn’t have a body.
So when Christian talk about the Holy Spirit/Holy Ghost the terms are interchangeable and we are talking about the third person of the Trinity.
I’ve experienced the blessing of the Holy Spirit in a verifiable way. It wasn’t a feeling but an actual manifestation of God’s Spirit.
Know Christian is going to deny the work of the Holy Spirit in drawing us to and maintaining our faith in Christ. Those of us who are of the non-dispensational group within the Christian faith take First Corinthians 12-13 as applying today.
So I don’t know what your point is, really. Mine is that Mormonism is not of the Spirit of God. Anything that you imagine you feel comes out of a counterfeit spirit. Mormons claim a different god. In fact Mormons claim that there are millions perhaps billions of gods and that men can become gods. Anyone who subscribes to such blasphemy has rejected God and have put themselves under the influence and control of a deceitful spirit. Joseph Smith was an occultist and did not know God. He employed methods that have their home in the dark side of the spirit world.
It’s getting late and I’m getting my “no” and “know” confused but I think the reader can figure it out.
The Book of Acts is the book of the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church. I personally believe that anything in regards to God’s spirit that took place in the Book of Acts account can happen today. I believe in miracles, healings, visions, prophecy and all of the other gifts of the Holy Spirit outlined in First Corinthians 12:7-11. I also subscribe to the five fold ministry of the Holy Spirit as described in Ephesians 4:11.
When someone acknowledges a different God they are by default acknowledging a different spirit. Mormonism is not shy about proclaiming this.
God gave the Holy Spirit to the Church to safe guard the revelation of Jesus Christ. The Church is the mystical body of Christ made-up of the fellowship of believers. These are people who have been born again by the Spirit of God and the Spirit resides within the believers as they become the temple (of the Holy Spirit).
God chose us in Him before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In this way He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself according to the kind intention of His will.
Mormons and Christians are not on the same page on anything, period.
But as Christians we have the witness and testimony of the Holy Spirit as to the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Mormons, with their different god, Jesus, and spirit do not have the promise of eternal life made sure to them.
Grindael’s references are very revealing to how receptive General Authorities are to the “opinions” laid out by the prophets of early Mormonism. Woodruff, in that situation, is a prime example of how easily the GA’s could be entirely misled by the “spirit”.
Not too long ago, I put it this way to a friend of mine:
A lot of things could be cleared up if praying for an answer is a reliable method, but it’s nearly impossible to find consensus in the Mormon church itself. A lot of it gets brushed aside as opinion, but heck! Who’s to say polygamy wasn’t just an opinion? No one in the general authority would deny Smith. If they did, they’d be ousted and have their own printing press destroyed!’
From the comments made above, I understand praying for answers is likened to a spiritual experience (and it is).
But if a Mormon were to somehow convince me that it’s in any way reliable, it would only serve to strengthen the No that I repeatedly received when I first tried to get into Mormonism.
And who’s to say I received the wrong spirit?
That just demotes the entire ordeal into some 50/50 shot, which is a far cry from “knowing” the church is true.
I became a Christian 38 years ago during the Jesus Movement where there was a tremendous out pouring of the Holy Spirit. It was a true revival and an enlightenment at the same time. What I learned over the years is that Christians make all sorts of claims also regarding answers to prayers, “a word from the Lord”, guidance directly from God and so on, and sometimes, many times, frequently it’s something that is emanating from their own imaginations. We are made-up of body, soul and spirit and too often what people say is from the Holy Spirit is coming out of there own souls.
Mormonism has as it’s foundation, the world of folk magic and the occult. Mormons adorn their temples with occult symbols. Many claim to have seen and seek to see the spirits of dead people as they do the temple work for them. It’s just plain necromancy and a foray into the dark side of the spirit world. Mormons embrace all of this thinking that it’s something that it’s not. But having been seduced by these spirits, it’s really tough to dissuade them that what they’re into is not from God. Mormons mix in enough Bible and traditional evangelical Christian lingo to make it appear as if they are professing God. But they aren’t.
This is serious business but having gone down this path, the devout and committed Mormon really can’t see what they’re into.
The gift of spiritual discernment is one of the most critical gifts a Christian can have. It’s discernment that keeps a believer on track and from being taken for a ride on any wave of doctrine or revelation that might come along. In the case of dealing with Biblical interpretation, a knowledge of doctrine and Church history along with solid principles of exegesis can help sort out the true from the false. However when dealing with folks who claim to have a new revelation, a vision or a certain miraculous claim, the gift of spiritual discernment is critical.
I had a friend recently send me his on-line newsletter. In the newsletter he related a visionary experience some people he knows had. My immediate impression was that this was not a vision I’d sign on to. I asked my friend Andy Watson to read the account and tell me what he thought. He said, “These folks are misapplying the Biblical text in regards to their vision.” I agreed with Andy.
Here’s the problem with Mormons. Having bought into Joseph Smith’s false claims, they now have to buy into all of the claims of those who have followed him, along with their revelations, teachings and practices. They can’t say, “The prophet is wrong. The church is wrong.” They have to swallow what ever is served-up and not disagree with it.
The reason that I know that the Mormon revelation is wrong is because the god they claim provided it is not God. The revelation of Jesus they proclaim is not Jesus. They’re wrong on who the Holy Ghost/Spirit is. And finally their founder was an adulterer and an occultist.
In order for Mormons to buy into Mormonism they must reject Biblical Christianity and accept the word of a man who claimed to be a prophet and who rejected God, inventing his own god. Mormons must accept the Mormon narrative that after the death of the apostles there was a great falling away from the original faith and through a complex conspiracy, all of the “truth” (read Mormonism) was left out.
A reading of Christian history and the writings of the Church Fathers, blows these childish claims of Mormonism out of the water. It’s ignorance that keeps folks locked in spiritual bondage to Mormonism. A little time spent digging for the truth will save Mormons from an eternity separated from God.
Jay K ,
I agree with you that Grindael has been a great
help in showing how we can evaluate the claims
of Mormon leaders to see if they are reliable
guides in scriptural interpretation. Their
track record of dispensing spiritual truth has
been terribly inconsistant and often confusing.
The Church manual, “Gospel Principles” 
even uses Wilford Woodruff’s promise that the
LDS prophet will never lead their people astray.
( 1979 ed. says that the LDS prophet will never
teach false doctrine ! )
I think that because Mormons place such high value
on doing good things ( amen) that since their Gen.
Authorities live moral lives that, this gets them
off the hook as being false teachers. That’s an
unfortunate mind set. God says we are to “beware”
of false prophets/teachers. Since LDS prophets
and Apostles can’t be trusted to “rightly divide”
the scriptures [ 2 Tim.2:15-18 ] then sincere
Mormons are to honor God by doing the right thing
and dismiss Mormon leaders’ authority over them
as teachers. This can be the first step in being
freed to find the all sufficiency of Jesus as
the Prophet to end all prophets, and above that
the realization that He can be their personal
God and Savior in the ultimate sense [Heb7:25
1 jn.5:20 ]
Jay, thanks for your input.
Good point Mike R. regarding the dismissal of Mormon teachers and “prophets”. These are not reliable folks when it comes to determining the truth but they are perfect for Mormonism. We’ve listed the characteristics and traits of Mormonism often here and the major component of the belief system is the lack of independent thinking on the part of the Mormon faithful. They are taught to roll over and play dead when one of their leaders speak and like well trained pets, they do so. What’s the Mormon line, “Follow the leaders they will never lead you astray” and “When the prophet speaks, the thinking is over” ? Perfect cult indoctrination. Mix it with some fear and guilt and you get compliant followers who will go to any length to please the system.
The apostle Paul had a revelation of Jesus Christ. Paul’s writings reflect the orthodox Christian view of God and salvation. But even the apostle Paul, who saw Christ and had Him revealed to him, submitted his gospel to the apostles to assure that he had not been preaching in vain.
Had Joseph Smith had the humility to submit himself to reliable Christian leaders, he wouldn’t have gotten so far off track. But that wasn’t Smith’s game. Driven by ego he declared Christianity wrong and himself right. Guided by his magic rock and the use of second sight vision, he used his creativity to found an aberrant cult that has duped those who don’t bother to use spiritual discernment and their intellect to come to a knowledge of the truth.
Thankfully, most Mormons leave Mormonism either formally or informally. Unfortunately many of them give up on seeking God because of their experiences in Mormonism.
You brought up some intesting points. Concerning
the mind-set of most Mormons to “follow the
prophet”, you said:
” Mix it with some fear and guilt and you get
compliant followers who will go to any length
to please the system.”
We can’t imagine what this fear must be like, to
realize that their relationship with their family
will probably suffer because they’ve chosen
not to submit to a group of men who’ve claimed
an authority over them ; choosing instead to
trust in the strength of Jesus as their authority
Falcon, there are many Mormons who are sitting
on the fence.On one hand they know that their
leaders have proven to be unreliable guides in
scriptural interpretation,and as such they are
not to be followed. Yet, on the other hand these
precious Mormon people are scared of what a
dismisal of these leaders could bring, especially
in a predominant Mormon community.
Thanks be to God for ministries like MRM who are
there to help.
In determining if what someone is saying, revealing is true two simple things can be done. Ask two simple questions.
1. What is the character of the person proclaiming the revelation?
2. How does the revelation compare to the known standard?
What I see happening with Mormons in regards to these two questions is a need to rationalize Smith’s character and behavior and/or declare the standard of faith to which Mormonism must be compared as being wrong.
As to our current topic of discussion, it isn’t real difficult to determine that the Mormon god, is not the God of Biblical, orthodox Christianity. The Bible, God’s standard revelation, is real clear about who God is and what His attributes are. God, as revealed by His Word, is infinite, eternal and unchangeable. There are attributes of God that are “communicable” and those which are “incommunicable”. Communicable means that man can share them and incommunicable are those which man cannot share. The attributes of God that man can’t posses are:
1. His self-existence-God is the source of His own life (Exodus 3:14).
2. unchangeability/immutability-God will never be different than He has always been.
3. omnipresence-God is everywhere and nothing is beyond the bounds of His being (Psalm 139:7-10).
4. omnipotence-God is all powerful. He possesses the ability to do anything that is consistent with His own nature.
5. omniscience-God knows everything past, presence and future.
6. eternality-God is always with us. He is not limited by time (Deuteronomy 33:27, Psalm 90:1-2)
Attributes that man can share are holiness, justice, righteousness, love, grace, mercy, and general benevolence and truth.
Making the comparison between God and the Mormon “god” is easy and the Mormon “god” comes up short on every point. The Mormon “god” is little more than man himself. He is limited and there are a lot of him. The appeal Mormonism makes is to the vanity and pride of man. In Mormonism, God is rejected and then he is downsized.