Search the Handbook


Mormon Handbook
Order Book | Download
$20                $5



« God Has A Body | Kolob »
Saturday
Mar262011

Polytheism

Mormonism teaches polytheism: the belief in many gods. This belief is closer aligned with Eastern religions than with the Abrahamic faiths (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) which teach monotheism: the belief that there is only one God.

Monotheism - One God Polytheism - many gods
Judaism
Christianity
Islam
Hinduism
Buddhism
Mormonism


The Trinity is comprised of three gods

Mormonism teaches that Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three separate and distinct gods united in purpose over our planet. This cooperation is called the Godhead.
I will preach on the plurality of Gods... I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and that the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods.
Joseph Smith - Mormonism founder
History of the Church 6:474


God the Father has a father

General Authorities teach that Heavenly Father has a father.
We shall go back to our Father and God, who is connected with one who is still farther back; and this Father is connected with one still further back, and so on.
Heber C. Kimball - First Presidency Counselor
Journal of Discourses 5:19
God is an exalted man... The Prophet taught that our Father had a Father and so on.
Joseph Fielding Smith - Mormon prophet
Doctrines of Salvation, 1:10,12
God is a natural man... Where did he get his knowledge from? From his Father, just as we get knowledge from our earthly parents.
Heber C. Kimball - First Presidency Counselor
Journal of Discourses 8:211


God the Father is married to Heavenly Mother

The Mormon church teaches that Heavenly Father is married. The teaching of a Heavenly Mother permeates LDS thought today.
Sex Among the Gods. Since we have a Father who is our God, we must also have a mother, who possesses the attributes of Godhood.
John A. Widstoe - Mormon apostle
Rational Theology, p.64-65
Man, as a spirit, was begotten and born of Heavenly Parents.
Joseph F. Smith - Mormon prophet
Improvement Era 13:80
The stupendous truth of the existence of a Heavenly Mother, as well as a Heavenly Father, became established facts in Mormon theology.
Milton R. Hunter - Seventy
The Gospel Throughout The Ages, p.99
Implicit in the Christian verity that all men are the spirit children of an Eternal Father is the usually unspoken truth that they are also the offspring of an Eternal Mother.
Bruce R. McConkie - Mormon apostle
Mormon Doctrine, p.516 (1966)
See also God the Father is a polygamist


Other gods

General Authorities teach that there are many gods beyond the LDS Godhead.
Joseph Smith I will preach on the plurality of Gods (p.474)... The heads of the Gods appointed one God for us (p.476)...
Joseph Smith - Mormonism founder
History of the Church 6:474
Joseph Smith A Council of the Gods. In the beginning, the head of the Gods called a council of the Gods; and they came together and concocted a plan to create the world and people it.

Joseph Smith - Mormonism founder
Ensign, April 1971, p.13-14
If we should take a million of worlds like this and number their particles, we should find that there are more Gods than there are particles of matter in those worlds... One world has a personal God or Father, and the inhabitants thereof worship the attributes of that God, another world has another, and they worship His attributes...
Orson Pratt - Mormon apostle
Journal of Discourses 2:345
How many Gods there are, I do not know. But there never was a time when there were not Gods and worlds, and when men were not passing through the same ordeals that we are now passing through.
Brigham Young - Mormon prophet
Journal of Discourses 7:333
God, angel and similar terms denote merely intelligent beings of varying degree of development. The thought, however, that there is a plurality of gods and other beings of varying grades, is a though of fundamental truth.

John A. Widstoe - Mormon apostle
Rational Theology, p.62
Consequently every earth has its redeemer, and every earth has its tempter; and every earth, and the people thereof, in their turn and time, receive all that we receive, and pass through all the ordeals that we are passing through.

Brigham Young - Mormon prophet
Journal of Discourses 14:71-72
But if God the Father was not always God, but came to his present exalted position by degrees of progress as indicated in the teachings of the prophet, how has there been a God from all eternity? The answer is that there has been and there now exists an endless line of Gods, stretching back into the eternities, that had no beginning and will have no end. Their existence runs parallel with endless duration, and their dominions are as limitless as boundless space.

B. H. Roberts - Mormon apostle and LDS church historian
A New Witnesses for God 1:476 [Google - 7MB PDF]


Evolving Doctrine

Skeptics claim that Joseph Smith's views evolved over time into polytheism. Joseph's earliest works and statements (including the Book of Mormon and his translation of the Bible) reflect Monotheism.
  • Genesis first rewritten to reinforce monotheism, then later to reinforce polytheism
    Comparing the Book of Moses to the Book of Abraham:
    Book of Moses, Chapter 2 (1833) Book of Abraham, Chapter 4 (1842)
    2 And the earth was without form, and void; and I caused darkness to come up upon the face of the deep; and my Spirit moved upon the face of the water; for I am God. 2 And the earth, after it was formed, was empty and desolate, because they had not formed anything but the earth; and darkness reigned upon the face of the deep, and the Spirit of the Gods was brooding upon the face of the waters.
    3 And I, God, said: Let there be light; and there was light. 3 And they (the Gods) said: Let there be light; and there was light.
    4 And I, God, saw the light; and that light was good. And I, God, divided the light from the darkness. 4 And they (the Gods) comprehended the light, for it was bright; and they divided the light, or caused it to be divided, from the darkness.
    5 And I, God, called the light Day; and the darkness, I called Night; and this I did by the word of my power, and it was done as I spake; and the evening and the morning were the first day. 5 And the Gods called the light Day, and the darkness they called Night. And it came to pass that from the evening until morning they called night; and from the morning until the evening they called day; and this was the first, or the beginning, of that which they called day and night.
    Note: the Book of Moses is part of the LDS Canon Pearl of Great Price. It is an extract from the Inspired Version, Joseph Smith's translation of the Bible, in particular the book of Genesis.

  • Changes to the Book of Mormon
    Important theological changes were made in the book of Mormon to separate God the Father and Jesus Christ.
    Book of Mormon, Original Edition (1830) Book of Mormon, modern editions
    1 Nephi 11:18 And he said unto me: Behold, the virgin which thou seest is the mother of God after the manner of the flesh. And he said unto me: Behold, the virgin whom thou seest is the mother of the Son of God, after the manner of the flesh.
    1 Nephi 11:21 And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Eternal Father. And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father!
    1 Nephi 11:32 ... And I looked and beheld the Lamb of God, that he was taken by the people, yea, the everlasting God was judged of the world. ... And I looked and beheld the Lamb of God, that he was taken by the people; yea, the Son of the everlasting God was judged of the world.
    1 Nephi 13:40 ...that the Lamb of God is the Eternal Father and the Savior of the world... ...that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world...


Christianity

  • Only One God
    • The prophets and apostles of Biblical times taught that there is only one God.
      Then he said, "Tomorrow." So he said, "May it be according to your word, that you may know that there is no one like the LORD our God.
      —Exodus 8:10

      To you it was shown that you might know that the LORD, He is God; there is no other besides Him.
      —Deuteronomy 4:35

      Know therefore today, and take it to your heart, that the LORD, He is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other.
      —Deuteronomy 4:39

      Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!
      —Deuteronomy 6:4, cf. Mark 12:29

      See now that I, I am He, and there is no god besides Me ...
      —Deuteronomy 32:39

      There is no one holy like the LORD, indeed, there is no one besides You, nor is there any rock like our God.
      —1 Samuel 2:2

      ... O Lord GOD; for there is none like You, and there is no God besides You ...
      —2 Samuel 7:22

      O LORD, there is none like You, nor is there any God besides You...
      —1 Chronicles 17:20

      You alone are the LORD, You have made the heavens, the heaven of heavens with all their host...
      —Nehemiah 9:6

      ... So that you may know and believe Me and understand that I am He, before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me.
      —Isaiah 43:10

      Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: 'I am the first and I am the last, and there is no God besides Me.'
      —Isaiah 44:6

      ... Is there any God besides Me, Or is there any other Rock? I know of none.
      —Isaiah 44:8

      I am the LORD, and there is no other; Besides Me there is no God ...
      —Isaiah 45:5

      For thus says the LORD, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, but formed it to be inhabited), "I am the LORD, and there is none else."
      —Isaiah 45:18

      ... And there is no other God besides Me, A righteous God and a Savior; There is none except Me. "Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other.
      —Isaiah 45:21-22

      Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me.
      —Isaiah 46:9

      There is none like You, O LORD; You are great, and great is Your name in might.
      —Jeremiah 10:6

      And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he.
      —Mark 12:32 KJV

      Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.
      —Romans 3:30 KJV

      Therefore concerning the eating of things sacrificed to idols, we know that there is no such thing as an idol in the world, and that there is no God but one.
      —I Corinthians 8:4

      Now a mediator is not for one party only;
      whereas God is only one.
      —Galatians 3:20

      You believe that God is one
      You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.
      —James 2:19
    • The Book of Mormon does not teach the modern LDS doctrine but reflects Christian monotheism.
      And Zeezrom said unto him:
      Thou sayest there is a true and living God?
      And Amulek said: Yea, there is a true and living God.
      Now Zeezrom said: Is there more than one God?
      And he answered, No.

      Alma 11:26-29

      ...See that ye remember these things; for he said there is but one God...
      Alma 11:35

      And the people ... also testified that there was but one God ...
      Alma 14:5

      And the honor be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, which is one God. Amen.
      Testimony of Three Witnesses

  • Jesus Christ is the One God manifest in the flesh
    • The Apostles of biblical times taught that God became a man.
      Great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh
      —1 Timothy 3:16

      In Christ all the fullness of Deity dwells in bodily form
      —Colossians 2:9

      God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself
      —2 Corinthians 5:19

      "He who has seen Me has seen the Father"
      —John 14:9

      There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.
      —Ephesians 4:4-6

      Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ, for in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
      —Colossians 2:8-9

      In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God... And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us.
      —John 1:1,14

      The Kenosis—God emptied himself to become a man:

      Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.
      —Philippians 2:5-8
    • The Book of Mormon does not teach the modern LDS doctrine of three Gods, but teaches that God came down and became a man. God in the flesh is called the Son. God as flesh is subordinate to the Spirit, called the Father—two titles, one God.
      ... understand that God himself shall come down among the children of men, and shall redeem his people. And because he dwelleth in flesh he shall be called the Son of God, and having subjected the flesh to the will of the Father, being the Father and the Son—The Father, because he was conceived by the power of God; and the Son, because of the flesh; thus becoming the Father and Son—And they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth. And thus the flesh becoming subject to the Spirit, or the Son to the Father, being one God ...
      Mosiah 15:1-5

      ... And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen.
      2 Nephi 31:21

      ... unto the Father, and unto the Son, and unto the Holy Ghost, which are one God, in a state of happiness which hath no end.
      Mormon 7:7

      ... Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God ...
      Alma 11:44

      For if there be no Christ there be no God; and if there be no God we are not, for there could have been no creation. But there is a God, and he is Christ, and he cometh in the fulness of his own time.
      2 Nephi 11:7
    • Joseph Smith's translation (JST) of the Bible reinforces the Christian doctrine of the Trinity: One God manifest in three persons.
      For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one.
      1 John 5:7 JST
    • Part of the LDS canon for 86 years, the Lectures on Faith were removed from the Doctrine & Covenants in 1921 as they do not teach modern LDS polytheism.
      The Father being a personage of spirit... The Son, who was in the bosom of the Father, a personage of tabernacle, made or fashioned like unto man... is called the Son because of the flesh... possessing the same mind with the Father; which Mind is the Holy Spirit... and these three are one... and these three constitute the Godhead and are one: the Father and the Son possessing the same mind... the Spirit of the Father.
      — Doctrine & Covenants: Lectures on Faith, V (removed 1921)

  • Jesus Christ is the Father
    • The Book of Mormon says that Jesus Christ is the Father.
      ...Behold, I am Jesus Christ. I am the Father and the Son...
      Ether 3:14

      Now Zeezrom saith again unto him: Is the Son of God the very Eternal Father? And Amulek said unto him:
      Yea, he is the very Eternal Father
      Alma 11:38-39

      And they are one God, yea, the very Eternal Father of heaven and of earth.
      Mosiah 15:4
    • Joseph Smith's translation of the Bible says that Jesus is the Father:
      ... no man knoweth that the Son is the Father, and the Father is the Son, but him to whom the Son will reveal it ...
      Luke 10:23 JST, cf. Luke 10:22


Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
All HTML will be escaped. Hyperlinks will be created for URLs automatically.