Tag Archives: Heavenly Father

Do Mormons believe in a Plurality of Gods?

Do Mormons believe in a plurality of Gods?Among the doctrines taught in the realm of Christianity, none seem to divide “mainstream” Christianity from the LDS faith more than the doctrine of the Godhead, or “Trinity.” No doctrine of mainstream Christianity is more confusing than the Nicene Creed which makes the statement that Jesus Christ is “of one substance with the Father.” This is a concept which is not only difficult to wrap your head around, but it is not supported by the Bible.

The most confusing part of this doctrine for most of the Christian world, comes as Jesus repeatedly tells us that He and His Father are “one.” What does that mean? To the Christian world at-large, it means they are the same being, able to break the laws of physics and occupy different areas of space simultaneously, in different states of matter (spirit (gas?) and solid (mortal body)). The Bible does not agree with this concept and it is easy to understand what Jesus was really talking about by an examination of a few scriptures. This is only a sampling. There are many that could be used.

Jesus denied being the Father

Matthew 20
23 And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.

Mark 10
17 And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
18 And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.

Luke 10
21 In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.
22 All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him.

John 5
19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

John 14
28 Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

Even as a resurrected, glorified being, Jesus told Mary that he was not God or the Father. He worshiped the Father just as He instructed us to do.

John 20
17 Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.

Paul the apostle wrote to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 15:28, clearly identifying that the Son would be subject to the Father. A person cannot be subject to himself…

28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

Paul also wrote to the Philippians that Christ was not God.

Philip. 2:5-6

5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

Manifestations that members of the Godhead are separate beings

Matthew 3
16 And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him:
17 And lo a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

Matthew 16
5 While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them [Peter, James, John, and Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration]: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.

Acts 7
55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

But Jesus said, “I and my Father are one”?

One charge from those who believe in the Trinity concept is that Jesus told Philip the following, indicating that he was the Father.

John 14
9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

Paul specifically addresses this by pointing out that the Father and the Son are in the express image of each other. They look alike, just as Adam and Seth his son looked alike (Genesis 5:3).

Hebrews 1:3
3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:

Another charge is that Jesus said He and His Father were one.

John 10:29-30
29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
30 I and my Father are one.

This is easily understood by Jesus’ prayer for his disciples and those they would teach, that they might see eye-to-eye, have a common purpose and vision, and ultimately function as a whole.

John 17:20-23
20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Which is the more Biblically sound concept? That God the Father, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three separate beings with a common purpose? Or that these three beings are actually the same being? Clearly, the Bible teaches that they are separate beings, united in purpose, with a desire for us to be united with them. Not to become some amalgamation of metaphysical substance, but to have the same desires to serve and love our fellow man. This was the reason Jesus came down to show us by his life what the Father would do if he were here. We have to be like the Father to go where he is. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life to lead us back home.

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, a modern day apostle, explains further here:

Who is God?

Who is God?

Who is God?In 1820 an event took place that forever changed the modern-day understanding of who God is. The darkness and confusion of centuries of unenlightened thinking in the absence of a prophet of God dissolved when God again chose a prophet on earth to begin a latter-day restoration of His gospel.

A young boy of 14 by the name of Joseph Smith was confused at the many religions who were vying for converts. Living in Palmyra, New York, he had attended many meetings and wondered which of all the churches was true. His family was religious and regularly read from the Bible so he knew that “…God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints” (1 Cor 14:33).

In his history he records one day reading in the book of James and having a powerful experience that these words were true. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5).

He went into a nearby wooded area where he could be alone and prayed to God seeking an answer as to which church he should join. His question wasn’t how to create a new church, it was just to get an answer as to which of the existing churches was true so that he could join the right one. He knew from the Bible that there was “One Lord, one faith, one baptism” (Eph 4:5), so he knew that all the churches couldn’t be true, especially with core conflicting doctrines.

In answer to his prayer, God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ appeared to him and called him to be a prophet in these last days so that God again could do a work on earth the same as he had done in ages past. We read in Amos 3:7, “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” From this event and later revelation, Joseph learned the true nature of the Godhead just as prophets in ages past who saw heavenly visions and spoke with God face to face. God Himself answered the question “who is God?” by appearing to young Joseph and calling him to a great work.

Have others seen God?

Yes. Stephen when being stoned to death declared this in Acts 7:

55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

How could Stephen see Jesus standing to the right of God unless they were two separate beings? We are created in their image after all. In fact, God specifically states in Genesis 1:26-27, “let US make man in OUR image.” Why the plural use? The word God in the Old Testament and specifically in Genesis 1 comes from the Hebrew word “Elohim” which is a plural word. Today’s current belief in the “Trinity” concept of 3 Gods in 1 being is both confusing and unfounded in scripture. God is not confusing but reveals Himself to prophets who then declare the truth about the nature of God.

Moses had a similar experience seeing God:

Exodus 33:11 And the LORD spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto his friend.

Obviously the disciples all saw the resurrected Lord after his death as well as did others as the scriptures record, so it is odd that some argue no one can see God when the scriptures themselves bear witness of this fact.

So who is God and what is the true Trinity?

When the Psalmist posed the question “For who is God save the LORD?” (Psalms 18:31) what was he asking? Who is God and why is there so much confusion over this in the world?

Who is God the Father?

God the Father is called such because he is the father of our spirits that live within our bodies. He is an exalted being who possesses a glorified body of flesh and bones. He sent His Son Jesus Christ to earth to show us the way, the truth, and the life, that would allow us to return and live with Him again someday. He possesses an infinite love for each one of us and desires our true happiness and joy. He is the one God we worship in and through the name of His Son Jesus Christ.

Who is God the Son?

Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten Son of God in the flesh. As a premortal Son of God, he became the “Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” (Revelation 13:8) when he took on the mission to perform an atoning sacrifice for all mankind and pay the price of sin. When he did this, we the spirit sons and daughters of God shouted for joy (Job 38:7). His sacrifice allows us to both repent of our sins that we may be clean before God, and to receive a resurrected body and thus return into God the Father’s presence when we accept Jesus as our Savior and keep the commandments.

When Adam and Eve partook of the forbidden fruit and fell from their celestial state in the garden of Eden, a separation from God occurred and Jesus became the mediator of all mankind between God the Father and His children on earth because as soon as we became sinful, we became unworthy to return to God the Father’s presence and needed someone to overcome this barrier for us. He is Jehovah of the Old Testament. Three days after his crucifixion, he rose again and obtained a resurrected immortal body of flesh and bones, the same as the Father.

Who is God the Holy Ghost?

The Holy Ghost is the third member of the Godhead. He is a personage of spirit which allows Him to dwell within us and touch our spirits to recognize truth when we are sincerely seeking to know it from God. When one prays with real intent, asking God to reveal the truth of a matter to us, and God knows we intend to believe the answer He gives us without denying the answer, the power of the Holy Ghost witnesses to us the truth of all things.

Why do the scriptures say there is one God?

Despite the fact that the scriptures talk about three separate beings and yet refer to just one God, there is much unneeded confusion over this point. Jesus prayed to the Father and told us to worship the Father. Paul also taught there was a difference between the two:

Ephesians 4:5-6
5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

1 Timothy 1:2

2 Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.

There are many verses which make it clear these three members of the Godhead are separate and distinct individuals, but they are ONE IN PURPOSE. They are completely unified and would do exactly what another member of the Godhead would do in any given situation. Jesus came to do exactly what the Father would do if he were here. The Father couldn’t come down and be born among men because he already had an immortal perfect body. The Son had to come down because he was a spirit who had yet to obtain a body. The Holy Ghost we believe will someday receive a glorified body when the work of the Father is done and His role as the Holy Ghost during this mortal experience for God’s children is complete. These three beings function in total unity.

The Savior himself taught this while praying for the 12 disciples:

John 17
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 I in them, and thou in me, [block]11[/block]; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

How could the 12 separate disciples be “one” as the Father and the Son are one, unless it’s one in purpose and not physically one being? It wouldn’t make any sense as they would have to somehow morph into one physical being. This is the true nature of God that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are three separate and distinct beings working together for a common purpose from a common framework such that they would each make the same decision in the same situation. This is our goal as well that we may become one with God and be his hands and feet on earth and perform the works he would do if he were here.

Learn more about who God is

If you would like to learn more about who God is and his dealings with modern and ancient prophets, click here to request a visit from the missionaries. Having served a mission myself, I know we’re not pushy people, we’re just looking for opportunities to share what we believe in the hope that you might consider these ideas and sincerely ask God if they are true. If you choose not to join us, we still love you and consider it time well spent sharing a conversation about God’s teachings with you. Knowing answers to the purpose of life and questions like “who is God?” can make a tremendous difference in our lives.

Here is what one modern day Apostle of Jesus Christ had to say about this doctrine.

What do Mormons Believe?

What do Mormons Believe?

What do Mormons believe?When thinking about joining The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (The Mormons) I needed to know what they stood for and their belief in Jesus Christ.  I wanted to know what do Mormons believe in? It was very comforting to discover that they believed in a Heavenly Father who loves us unconditionally and His Son who saved us from death by overcoming it through the Resurrection.  They also believed we can return to live with God and Jesus by obeying God’s Commandments.

I learned that The Bible testifies of Jesus and so does the  Book of Mormon. I believe that these books are the Word of God.  We can know of their truths by relying on the Holy Ghost to help us recognize them.

I  also found out  that  the gospel of Jesus  Christ was restored to the earth through a prophet of God after a falling away. Prophets are how God reveals His will to men today as He did anciently.

It was very comforting to get answers to questions such as: where did I come from?  Why am I here? Where am I going after this life?

I also learned that families can be together forever.  As we try to be more like Jesus we can become closer to Our Heavenly Father.

These are some of the reasons I joined this church over 33 years ago and have never regretted doing so.  I know this gospel is true because it makes me and my family happy. These are a few things Mormons believe.

Do Mormons Believe God was Once a Man?

Do Mormons Believe God was Once a Man?

Among the questions that have rarely been addressed by the professors of religion, but which we hunger for answers, are these:

  • Where did God come from?
  • If God has always existed, but we only just came into existence a few thousand years ago as a race, what did He do before creating us?
  • What will God do after His work with us on earth is complete?
  • What does He do today?
  • Does he just create beings to worship him? Or is there a loftier purpose?

Many people in the Christian faith’s reject the idea that God was once a man because they largely believe in a trinity concept wherein Jesus and the Father are the same being. Yet they believe Jesus was born into this world so obviously He was a man. All of Christianity believes God was once a man! The difference with the LDS faith is we do not believe the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost to be the same being, but separate beings who are one in purpose. That is what the Bible teaches. This article will explain our beliefs about the origin of God the Father. Follow this link for more information on the Godhead being separate beings.

God’s Purpose

To begin, we first need to understand God’s purpose in what his work is all about. What motivates Him? Among the scriptures that members of the LDS faith quote most is this passage in the book of Moses. Specifically verse 39. In this experience as Moses converses with the Lord, the Lord has just told him about the vastness of creation and Moses asks to see it all. The Lord answers with a declaration of why he does what he does.

Moses 1:36-39

36 And it came to pass that Moses spake unto the Lord, saying: Be merciful unto thy servant, O God, and tell me concerning this earth, and the inhabitants thereof, and also the heavens, and then thy servant will be content.
37 And the Lord God spake unto Moses, saying: The heavens, they are many, and they cannot be numbered unto man; but they are numbered unto me, for they are mine.
38 And as one earth shall pass away, and the heavens thereof even so shall another come; and there is no end to my works, neither to my words.
39 For behold, this is my work and my glory-to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

It is God’s purpose to create and exalt his creations. He wants them to have immortal bodies and enjoy the blessings of eternal life in His presence. He created us for this purpose and he labors to achieve this objective, within the bounds of eternal law.

Premortal Life

In order to better understand why we are here on earth, we need to understand that we were created by God prior to life in this mortal realm, and there existed as his spirit children. There are a number of scriptures which illustrate this.

God is the father of our spirits.

Heb 12:9
Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

In Job 38:1-7 the Lord asks Job where he was when the foundations of the earth were laid “and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” We were there. We are the children of God as Paul explained in Romans 8:16-17.

The disciples understood the doctrine of a pre-mortal life and here asked Jesus if one individual had done something there to warrant being born blind. The Savior doesn’t correct any false understanding of the notion of living before mortal birth, but instead declares the man innocent of sin before being born.

John 9:1-3

1 And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.

2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?

3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

This one very clearly illustrates that Jeremiah lived prior to this life and was in God’s presence.

Jeremiah 1:4-5

4 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

Purpose of Life

If you will look back up at verses 24 and 25, you will see that the purpose of this life is to be tested to see if we will keep the commandments. In our pre-mortal state, we did not have a physical body, but our Heavenly Father did (Jesus did not until he came to earth to be born and then resurrected). We wanted to be like our Heavenly Father and enjoy the blessings that a perfect immortal body would afford us. We, as children of God, wanted to be like our loving Father (and naturally a Mother as well though she is not discussed openly in scripture).

Paul taught in Hebrews 9:23 that things on Earth are created after the pattern of heavenly things. We also know that the word “God” as used in Genesis 1:1 is the Hebrew word Elohim and the -im on the end makes it a plural word. There are a couple ways to comprehend what this means, but one is that we don’t just have a Father in Heaven. Whenever did a child exist who had a father but not a mother? God has declared us His children and we are. In Genesis 1:26-27 we see this borne out when the Lord declares, “let US make man in OUR image…after our likeness…male and female created he them.” Who is the “us” and “our” if not a Heavenly Mother to pattern Eve after?

Our purpose in coming to earth was two-fold.

First to gain a body so that it would someday be resurrected and glorified and we would physically become like our Heavenly Parents.

Second, to be tested to see if we would obey the Lord’s commandments and be able to return to His presence.

Successfully passing the test of life does not mean one is saved by works. The prophet Nephi in the Book of Mormon said it best when he declared:

2 Nephi 25:23 For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.

We know that it is only through the grace and mercy of God, wrought by the blood of Christ through his atonement, that we can have hope to be saved in the kingdom of God. We also know that declaring a belief in God without actually keeping the commandments, will not be sufficient to bring us into heaven. As Jesus declared,

Matt 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

Post-Mortal Life

There is much that could be said here about the spirit world and preparation for judgment. To save space in this post, I will direct the reader to another article I recently posted which explains our beliefs in the kingdoms of glory that await us (Do Mormons believe everyone else is going to hell?). As Jesus said,

John 14:2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

If you will read the article just referenced, you will see the scriptural case for what we term “degrees of glory.” In short, Paul makes the case that in the resurrection there are varying degrees of resurrected bodies, some as glorious as the sun, some likened to the moon, and others like the stars “for one star differeth from another star in glory” (1 Cor. 15:40-42). He also speaks of being caught up to the third heaven in 2 Cor. 12:2. We believe these kingdoms of glory are what Jesus referred to as the “many mansions,” or places where we would be comfortable living for eternity, according to the light and truth we were willing to follow in this life.  The highest degree of glory is termed the Celestial kingdom and it is the place where God dwells.

Are we God’s Children?

So now to get to the heart of the matter. Does the reader accept that we are God’s children and that we have Heavenly Parents? If not, why do we call God our Heavenly Father? How can we have a Father without a Mother? What do children do but learn and grow and move toward becoming parents? What greater joy is there for a parent in seeing their children succeed in life, marry, and produce grandchildren for them to love and nurture as part of their family. Does it diminish the parent or grandparent to see the child or grandchild attain the title of “adult”? No. Parents build an inheritance for their children and try to prepare a better world for them to inhabit. This was taught by Paul in Romans 8:16-17.

16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

18 For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

What does it mean to be an heir of God and a joint-heir with Christ? What does it mean that glory will be revealed in us? Again Paul responds in Philippians 3:13-14.

13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

What is Paul saying? Put the past behind you and push on toward our final objective. The prize to which we seek is to become perfect through Christ and arrive at the stature of a spiritual adult and attain the calling of God. To be an heir of God and inherit all things. To acquire the power of creation. This does not diminish God, it exalts Him. Recall that his work and his glory is “to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.” Immortality is living forever with a resurrected body. Eternal life is God’s life. It is to become “like” God, but never replace Him. He experiences joy in watching his children create, just as kindly parents experience joy watching their children create. He wants us to have what he has. This is what John the Revelator taught when he said in Revelation 1:5-6:

5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,

6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

What does it mean to be a king and priest unto God through Christ? It means to have our sins washed away through the atoning sacrifice of Christ, grow from grace to grace, line upon line, in this life and the next, until we become as perfect in our attributes as God himself, and he is then comfortable bestowing upon us powers and kingdoms to rule over in the same way He Himself would, with love and perfection.

When the Psalmist wrote ”I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High” (Psalms 82:6), the Lord later confirmed in John 10 when the Jews took up stones to kill him.

34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?

35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?

In other words, “if the word of God calls you gods and children of the most High, why would you call me a blasphemer for saying I am the Son of God?”

To me, this is a comforting doctrine. It explains our grand purpose in life, the reason for which God created us, and gives us hope that by living by God’s word, we may in fact become like God, not to diminish Him, but to further exalt and honor Him. To reject this concept wholesale means that one would have to provide an alternate set of explanations to all the questions that could be asked. Where did God come from? What did he do before creating us? What will he do after the millennium? What did Paul mean by explaining there are 3 different types of bodies in the resurrection? How was Jeremiah ordained a prophet before he was born unless he lived prior to birth? And what does it really mean to be a child of God?

God the Father was Once a Man

With this foundation laid, the LDS doctrine is that God the Father was also once a spirit child of loving Heavenly parents who placed him in a mortal realm to be tested and tried and eventually exalted. He lived a mortal life on an earth just like this experience we are having. He was exalted to be a God and our Father is the only God whom we worship. It doesn’t take away from God that there are other Gods throughout the eternities. God the Father is the object of our adoration and love and we worship none other. We desire to be like Him. Jesus said:

John 5:19 “Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.”

What did Jesus do? He came down to earth, took upon himself a body, experienced death, was resurrected, and has received eternal glory.”

Don’t take my word for it

In my life I have heard no compelling argument to explain these scriptures away in any logical fashion contrary to what I have expressed here. On the other hand, I have a witness by the Holy Ghost that these things are true and I know that anyone who opens their heart and asks God with sincerity and real intent, can come to know these things are true as well. The key is, asking God with sincerity and intent to act on the knowledge. Let God tell you if it’s true. You don’t need my testimony or someone trying to explain these things away. Joseph Smith received his call to be prophet simply because he followed the counsel given in James 1:4-5.

5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

I do know these things are true and that anyone who asks God with an open heart to know if these things are true, can in fact come to the same knowledge that you are a literal child of God, he loves you, he created you in his image, he created this world for you, he sent his Son to die for you, that you might return and live with him forever. I will love and praise my Heavenly Father and his Son forever for what they have done for me.


Miscellaneous Quotes from LDS Prophets

“We are destined and foreordained to become like God, and unless we do become like Him we will never be permitted to dwell with Him. When we become like Him you will find that we will be presented before Him in the form in which we were created, male and female.”
Joseph F. Smith, Gospel Doctrine, p. 276, June 12, 1898

“The fact that we receive the Holy Ghost is proof that the Spirit in warring with the flesh has overcome, and by continuing in this state of victory over our sinful bodies we become the sons and daughters of God, Christ having made us free, and whoever the Son makes free is free indeed. Having fought the good fight we then shall be prepared to lay our bodies down to rest to await the morning of the resurrection when they will come forth and be reunited with the spirits, the faithful, as it is said, receiving crowns, glory, immortality and eternal lives, even a fullness with the Father, when Jesus shall present His work to the Father, saying, “Father, here is the work thou gavest me to do.” Then will they become gods, even the sons of God; then will they become eternal fathers, eternal mothers, eternal sons and eternal daughters; being eternal in their organization, they go from glory to glory, from power to power; they will never cease to increase and to multiply, worlds without end. When they receive their crowns, their dominions, they then will be prepared to frame earths like unto ours and to people them in the same manner as we have been brought forth by our parents, by our Father and God.”
-Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 18:259

“As man now is, God once was-even the babe of Bethlehem, advancing to childhood-thence to boyhood, manhood, then to the Godhead. This, then, is the “mark of the prize of mans high calling in Christ Jesus.” We are the offspring of God, begotten by Him in the spirit world, where we partook of His nature as children here partake of the likeness of their parents. Our trials and sufferings give us experience, and establish within us principles of godliness.”
-Lorenzo Snow, Journal of Discourses 26:368, January 10, 1886

“It is for the exaltation of man to a state of superior intelligence and Godhead that the mediation and atonement of Jesus Christ is instituted; and that noble being, man, made in the image of God, is rendered capable not only of being a son of man, but also a son of God, through adoption, and is rendered capable of becoming a God, possessing the power, the majesty, the exaltation and the position of a God.”
-John Taylor, The Mediation and the Atonement-John Taylor, p. 140-141

“If I improve upon what the Lord has given me, and continue to improve, I shall become like those who have gone before me; I shall be exalted in the celestial kingdom and be filled to overflowing with all the power I can wield; and all the keys of knowledge I can manage will be committed unto me. What do we want more? I shall be just like every other man-have all that I can, in my capacity, comprehend and manage.”
-Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 6:276, August 28, 1852

“You have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you, namely, by going from one small degree to another, and from a small capacity to a great one; from grace to grace, from exaltation to exaltation.”
-Joseph Smith, Jr., Times and Seasons August 15, 1844

What is the Mormon concept of the Godhead?

One of the things that intrigued my parents into investigating the LDS church was when they heard that Mormons believed that God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, were 3 separate and distinct beings. The modern day belief of many Christian churches regarding the Godhead being one being in 3 separate forms came about at the council of Nicea.

In A.D. 325, a council of Christian bishops met to discuss a consensus on their belief in God. One problem with this council was the church of Christ had ceased to exist and had gone into apostasy, leaving a group of men to reach an uninspired consensus on the nature of God. If you will recall the letters of the disciples to the various churches throughout the New Testament region, they were always trying to correct doctrine and ensure there was a unity of the faith (Eph. 4:13) among the branches of the church. As the disciples were put to death, the church members and even leadership began to lose its bearings. There was nobody to give direction to the false doctrines that permeated a church full of converts with different backgrounds and beliefs. This apostasy, or as some term it a falling away, was well known to the disciples of Christ. When the Thessalonians were getting geared up for the second coming of Christ, Paul warned them in these words that there had to be a full apostasy first.

2 Thess 2:1-3

1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

If there was to be a falling away, the only way to restore the church of Christ was by again calling a prophet and apostle to the earth. The prophet Amos said:

Amos 3:7

Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

Peter taught this shortly after Christ’s resurrection that the people needed to focus on repentance and not the second coming. He specifically told the people that Christ would remain in the heavens until the time was right for God to again speak by the mouth of holy prophets.

Acts 3:19-21

19 Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.
20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you:
21 Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

In the Spring of 1820, a young man named Joseph Smith prayed in faith to God asking which church he should join, because he was very confused about the different churches and their contradictory doctrines. Joseph’s prayer was answered by a glorious manifestation of God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ appearing to Joseph. Forevermore, Joseph would know with a perfect knowledge that these two heavenly beings were in fact separate and distinct individuals who were one in purpose, not one in body. He was also given to know that the Holy Ghost was also a separate personage of spirit.

When the Bible says man was created in the image of God, it’s literally true. (Gen 1:26-27)

When Jesus was baptized and the people heard the voice of the Father from the heavens, it’s because the Father is a separate holy being whose magnificent son had just fulfilled a necessary covenant to show us the path home. (Matt 3:13-17)

When Stephen was being stoned and he looked up into the heavens and saw two separate beings standing together acknowledging that his work on earth was complete:

Acts 7:55-56

55 But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
56 And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.

When Jesus said, “The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise” (John 5:19), he was being literal.

When Jesus prayed to the Father and asked if there was any way the bitter cup of the crucifixion might be taken from him, it was Him praying to his Father *in* Heaven. (Matt 26:42)

When Jesus said during his ministry, “And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him” (John 8:29), on the cross he said, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matt 27:26). Moments later he said, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.” (Luke 23:46)

We know these things to be true and the Bible to be understood in this context, because God spoke to a prophet in these latter days and restored that simple truth to the earth. For more specifics on our views of each member of the Godhead, please see this post “Who is God?

Do Mormons believe everyone else is going to hell?

I love this question because it gets to the heart of the unique LDS beliefs about the afterlife. One of the wonderful things about the restored gospel is the understanding of where we came from, why we’re here, and where we are going. The answers to those three questions constitute what Mormons refer to as “the plan of salvation.”  This plan of our Heavenly Father was designed to allow us to leave a pre-mortal world and journey to earth to receive a body and be tested to prove ourselves worthy of returning to Father and inheriting a glorified, resurrected body, and an eternity of possibilities for growth. For a short video explaining this in more depth, please visit this page (plan of salvation).

One of the most satisfying doctrines (to me at least) is the notion that when Christ said, “in my Father’s house there are many mansions” he literally meant it as “there’s a place for just about everyone.” That’s not to say that everyone gets the same reward no matter what they’ve done in life, because actions have consequences in the eternities. However, God’s great love for all of his children will allow them to have a place to dwell in which they will be comfortable.

The notion of “degrees of glory” was first expressed by the apostle Paul. In 1 Corinthians 15, he begins by talking about the resurrection of Christ and then discusses how God gave to every creation a body which will someday be “quickened” or resurrected (including the animals which have an eternal home with God as well for fulfilling the measure of their creation). Then Paul describes the human body and how there are differing degrees of glory that are as different as the sun is from the moon and the stars. He says it this way:

40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:

Later in 2 Corinthians 12, Paul says

2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.

What does Paul mean by these things? Obviously he has something very specific in mind about at least 3 heavens and 3 types or classes of resurrected bodies.

If all we had to turn to were these few verses, we would dwell in confusion. Thankfully, in our day God called the Prophet Joseph Smith to restore the gospel and the understanding of these things. Joseph received a revelation now published in a book we refer to as the Doctrine and Covenants, which contains modern day revelation just as ancient revelation and teachings were written and recorded in the Bible and Book of Mormon.

This revelation explains that a loving God established 3 degrees of glorious heavens for his children to inhabit, contrasted by a place of outer darkness which is hell. Those who inhabit these kingdoms of glory and hell differ in the following meaningful ways.

Celestial kingdom: Likened to the glory of the sun. The Father dwells here in everlasting glory but straight is the gate and narrow the way which leads to this kingdom of glory (Matt 7:14). Only the humble followers of Christ may enter here after having made covenants (promise between God and man beginning with baptism) by the proper priesthood authority which God bestows on men he calls (Hebrews 5:4). The reward of the celestial kingdom is that of eternal life, or life as God lives (Philippians 3:14).

Terrestrial kingdom: Likened to the glory of the moon. This kingdom is a place for all the good and noble people of the world who loved the Lord and tried to do their very best to live according to the light they possessed. They failed to attain the celestial kingdom by rejecting the messengers of salvation who legally and lawfully administer God’s covenants. Throughout all eternity they will be damned, or stopped in their upward progression and never attain to the presence of the Father, but they may from time to time enjoy the presence of the Son, whom they loved in life, but not enough to take his name upon them through covenants. This kingdom will also accept of the “heathen” nations those who lived a good and moral life according to the amount of light and truth God saw fit to bestow upon them.

Telestial kingdom: Likened to the glory of the stars. This kingdom is a place where the wretched and wicked of this world will eventually dwell after they pay the price of their sins through torment and suffering and finally accept the atonement of Jesus Christ. This will still be a place of glory, but as Paul declares it differs in glory as the sun does from the stars, which is obviously an incredible difference, yet to those who inhabit this place, they will be grateful and filled with the joy they are able to obtain at this level of glory. These too are damned and may not progress to any higher kingdom. In this, they will not complain but with those in the Terrestrial kingdom, may feel a longing and sorrow over their separation from their Heavenly home and parents. They will never receive the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, but may from time to time receive the presence of the Holy Ghost to comfort them.

Those in a higher kingdom may visit those in a lower kingdom, but there is no way for those in a lower to attain to a higher kingdom.

Outer darkness: This torment is reserved for those miserable souls who were once fully enlightened by the gospel, embraced the covenants of salvation which would lead them to the celestial kingdom, and then so fully rejected the light, they become as Judas, willing to see their Lord crucified and turned to persecuting their Lord and His followers. Those for whom this terrible judgment is pronounced upon will be cast out into a realm devoid of light.

To me, there is no more tolerant concept of heaven available on earth than in the LDS faith. A loving Father in Heaven desired all of his children to return and live with him, yet in order to do so, they must prove themselves willing to make sacred promises and then fulfill them, in preparation for life in a Celestial world. No one in that realm can make a promise and not keep it or they would not be worthy of such a glory. Covenants such as baptism help prove us worthy of inheriting such a place as this. God maintains his status as God because his word is always good. For every law there is an associated blessing, and rejection of the law means there is a consequence of not receiving the blessing.

To read the actual revelation Joseph Smith received on these kingdoms of glory, please visit this link (kingdoms of heaven).

If you have questions, please feel free to ask us a question and we will try to answer it for you.