Different people might favor different aspects of Mormonism according to personal interest or preference. What do you believe to be the most wonderful teaching in Mormonism?
A Fantastic Claim
It seems to me that no doctrine is more exciting than the teaching that men can become Gods. How near the top would you personally list that doctrine?
A companion teaching to that concept is the idea that God was once a man and progressed to Godhood. A popular phrase states, “As man is, God once was; as God is, many may become.”
One lady told me, “I don’t see why anybody would not want to become a Mormon.” Then she explained, “Mormonism is the only religion that teaches that men can become Gods.” Indeed that is a fantastic claim!
Such a claim should surely be abundantly mentioned and documented in both the Bible and the Book of Mormon. Isn’t that a logical expectation?
Most Mormons, even leaders, believe that it is. While in a barber shop one day, I asked a Bishop for documentation from the Book of Mormon for that teaching that God was once a man, or that men can become gods. Shouldn’t it be there, since the Book of Mormon contains the fulness of the Gospel? After a few moments of thought, he replied, “I’m not a very good Scriptorian, but Mr. could provide documentation for he is a really good Scriptorian.”
The barber wrote down the question and stated, “I’ll get the answer for you. A lot of good Scriptorians come in here.” The next time I returned for a haircut, the barber told me that he was surprised at the response to that question.” I asked that question of probably 75 people,” he said, “And everyone said that they didn’t know of any passage to support the doctrine, but that they knew a Scriptorian who surely would be able to give documentation.”
On another occasion, I was talking to an Institute Professor about the same subject. Again, he could not give support from the Bible or the Book of Mormon, but stated, “It is logical that God wants us to grow up to be like Him, just as we want our children to grow up to be like us.”
Did God grow up to be a God, having begun as a man on some planet? If He did, there is hope for men today. If He did not, then such a promise is pretty empty.
Examining the Bible’s Teachings
First, let us examine some basic teachings about God as set forth in the Bible. It is essential that we be correct about the fundamental nature of God, for Jesus said, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent” (John 17:3).
God is the Creator of Everything.
“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou has created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:11).
God is Alpha, Omega, and the Almighty.
“I am the Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty” (Revelation 1:8).
God is the Highest Being in Existence.
“He [Jesus] shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest …” (Luke 1:32).
“For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he sware by himself …” (Hebrews 6:13).
God is Eternal.
“The eternal God is thy refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms …” (Deuteronomy 33:27).
“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God” (Psalm 90:2).
Examining the LDS Church’s Teachings
It was Lorenzo Snow, the fifth President of the Mormon Church who said, “As man is, God once was; as God is, many may become.” Joseph Smith said, “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens … and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves…” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, by Joseph Fielding Smith, pg. 345–346).
Can you see the conflict between Bible teaching and Mormon doctrine? Perhaps the incompatibility of the two will become more apparent s you consider the following questions:
- Since God created all things, where did He live when He was a man before He had created even one planet?
- Since He is Alpha, how could there be another God who attained Godhood first? Wouldn’t the first ancestor God be Alpha?
- Since God is the Highest, and since there is none greater, how can there be a God who has progressed further?
- Since Isaiah said, “… before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me” (Isaiah 43:10), doesn’t that rule out any ancestor Gods or descendant Gods?
The building of temples to attain Godhood becomes wasted money; and ceremonies to attain Godhood become empty rituals. Furthermore, such activities are worse than useless. They are spiritually devastating! Jesus said, “And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou has sent” (John 17:3). How can the Mormon God be the true God, that is, the eternal God of the Bible, the one who created all things?
Turning to the Truth
Since the best thing about Mormonism is really not a valid hope, can you be satisfied with it? Since your eternal destiny is at stake, are you willing to follow men who teach false doctrine?
I urge you today to study the Bible for yourself. Pray with a sincere heart for true understanding. Place your faith in the true God of the Bible, and in the Lord Jesus Christ who died and arose again to provide redemption from sin for all who come to God through Christ in sincere faith (See Acts 13:38, 39; Romans 3:19-26; Ephesians 2:8, 9; and Hebrews 7:25).