Mormon Polytheism vs Christian Monotheism

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The Bible. Image by Alex Grodkiewicz. Adapted for Redemption of Humanity. Used under licence.
The Book of Mormon. Image from Wikimedia Commons. Public domain.

Introduction

One of the many false teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormonism) that makes it a non-Christian cult is that it teaches the heresy of polytheism. Polytheism is the belief in and/or worship of more than one God. This is in direct opposition to the Christian doctrine of monotheism, the belief in and worship of only one God in all existence.

Mormon Polytheism

Mormonism teaches that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three separate gods rather than one God in three Persons, and teaches that these three gods make up the Godhead.¹ They are united in their “thoughts, actions, and purpose”,² rather than in their substance, in opposition to the doctrine of the Holy Trinity. Joseph Smith, the founder of the Mormon church, taught:

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. (TPJS, p. 370) ²

Mormonism also teaches that there is a Heavenly Mother; she is God the Father’s wife, and all human beings are their literal offspring, their “spirit children”.³ In addition, Mormonism teaches that God the Father was once a man who lived on another planet, and that by becoming perfect through following the rules that his god gave him, he became a god too.¹ In the King Follet Sermon, Joseph Smith said:

God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! … I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see.⁴

By following God the Father’s laws, Mormons believe that they can also be exalted to godhood and rule their own worlds like God the Father with their spouses. In the same sermon, Joseph Smith said:

Here, then, is eternal life—to know the only wise and true God; and 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 …⁴

Therefore, Mormonism isn’t just slightly polytheistic—it is probably the most polytheistic religion in the world. In Mormonism, there are millions of gods who govern their own worlds with their goddess wives, and they are each in a state of perpetual exultation.

Christian Monotheism

Christianity, however, is a strictly monotheistic religion. The Bible teaches that there is only one God in all existence. Isaiah and Moses clearly taught this, saying:

I am the LORD, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me, … (Isaiah 45:5, ESVUK)

See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand. (Deuteronomy 32:39)

God is not one of many gods, or the only God amongst many who is worthy of worship—he is the only God who exists. The Bible also teaches that there was no god formed before God, nor shall there be any after him:

You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. (Isaiah 43:10)

This successfully eliminates the Mormon teaching that God the Father was once a man on another planet who had a god, and that it is possible for us to become gods through following God’s law. There was never one moment when God never existed; he has always been God for all eternity:

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. (Psalm 90:2)

With regards to a Heavenly Mother, the Bible never once mentions her, nor does it even hint at God having a wife, so we can safely say that it is completely unbiblical. God doesn’t create us by procreating with a Goddess wife, but rather he knits us together when we are in our mothers’ wombs (Psalm 139:13–16). He also formed the first man, Adam, out of dirt, and breathed into him the breath of life (Genesis 2:7). Furthermore, in accordance with the Bible’s teaching on monotheism, the doctrine of the Holy Trinity correctly states that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three persons of the one substance—one God in three persons. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are equally, fully, and simultaneously the one God (Philippians 1:2; John 20:28–29; Acts 5:3–4), not three separate gods.

Conclusion

The polytheism of Mormonism is incompatible with the monotheism of Christianity that’s taught in the Bible. Monotheism is one of the essential doctrines of Christianity; it is so important that it cannot be denied without forfeiting the faith. God said in the first two of the Ten Commandments that whoever has any gods besides him, which includes acknowledging the existence of other gods, or makes an idol for themselves, will have iniquity visited upon them (Exodus 20:3–6). Furthermore, it is essential to know the true God for eternal life (John 17:3); the true God is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—the all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-present Creator of all things, who existed from everlasting to everlasting, and who has always been God. He is not a created and exulted man who once lived on another planet and worshipped his own god there.

Reference List

1. 2009, Mormonism: God, BBC, accessed on 11 June 2018, <http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/mormon/beliefs/god_1.shtml>

2. Dahl, Paul E., Godhead, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, accessed on 11 June 2018, <http://eom.byu.edu/index.php/Godhead>

3. Cannon, Elaine Anderson, Mother in Heaven, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, accessed on 11 June 2018,  <http://eom.byu.edu/index.php/Heavenly_Mother>

4. Smith, J, The King Follet Sermon – ensign, LDS.org, accessed on 11 June 2018, <https://www.lds.org/ensign/1971/04/the-king-follett-sermon?lang=eng>

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