pt. 3 Our Father (and mother and children) in heaven- the family Unit
“The important points of the doctrine for Latter-day Saints are that Gods and humans are the same species of being, but at different stages of development in a divine continuum, and that the heavenly pattern Father and Mother are the heavenly pattern, model, and example of what mortals can become through obedience to the gospel” (Encyclopedia Of Mormonism, Vol. 2, p. 549).
God's wife[s] is considered an "Eternal Mother." Apostle Bruce R. McConkie comments: “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. An exalted and glorified Man of Holiness (Moses 6:57) could not be a Father unless a Woman of like glory, perfection, and holiness was associated with him as a Mother. The begetting of children makes a man a father and a woman a mother whether we are dealing with man in his mortal or immortal state” (Mormon Doctrine Bruce R. McConkie).
Orson Pratt wrote "But if we have a heavenly Mother as well as a heavenly Father, is it not right that we should worship the Mother of our spirits as well as the Father? No; for the Father of our spirits is at the head of His household, and his wives and children are required to yield the most perfect obedience to their great Head. It is lawful for the children to worship the King of Heaven, but not the 'Queen of heaven.'... we are nowhere taught that Jesus prayed to His heavenly Mother..." (The Seer, p. 159).
Neither is it taught that Jesus had a heavenly mother or that we existed as spirits before we were conceived on earth, or that we become gods. You cannot appeal to the Bible with these other doctrines of Mormonism, the whole system is divorced from the Bible.
“After men ...have BECOME GODS, ...they have the power then of propagating [reproducing] their species in spirit” (“Prophet” Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, p. 275, 1852,)
Thus, as man is exalted to be a god of his own world he continues to have spirit offspring to repeat the process.
Orson Pratt stated “Each succeeding generation of Gods follow the example of the preceding ones: each generation have their wives, who raise up from the fruit of their loins immortal spirits: when their families become numerous, they organize new worlds for them.... [T]hey place their families upon the same....” (“Apostle” Orson Pratt, The Seer, pp. 134-135, 1853).
Apostle Bruce McConkie explains, “This doctrine that there is a Mother in Heaven was affirmed in plainness by the First Presidency of the Church... they said that 'man, as a spirit, was begotten and born of heavenly parents, and reared to maturity in the eternal mansions of the Father,' that man is the offspring of celestial parentage,' and that 'all men and women are in the similitude of the universal Father and Mother, and are literally the sons and daughters of Deity.'"(p. 516, Mormon Doctrine, Bruce McConkie 1979).
Jesus spoke of a Father in heaven, He being His only Son, emphasizing a relationship not as a literal offspring. Mormons interpret this spiritual meaning as literal and go even further:
Brigham Young stated: "Brother Kimball quoted a saying of Joseph the Prophet, that he would not worship a God who had not a Father; and I do not know that he would if he had not a mother; the one would be as absurd as the other" (Journal of Discourses, vol. 9, p.286)
Apostle Joseph Fielding Smith explains: "The fact that there is no reference to a mother in heaven either in the Bible, Book of Mormon or Doctrine and Covenants, is not sufficient proof that no such thing as a mother did exist there. . .Is it not feasible to believe that female spirits were created in the image of a 'Mother in Heaven'?" (Answers to Gospel Questions, Vol. 3, pp. 142, 144).
Prophet Joseph Smith taught the concept of an eternal mother (1839). Out of his teaching a hymn by Eliza Snow, in the HYMNAL of the Church, called “Oh My Father”: "In the heavens are parents single? No, the thought makes reason stare! Truth is reason, truth eternal Tells me I’ve a mother there... Father, Mother, may I meet you In your royal courts on high?"
Apostle Orson Prattgives us this detailed explanation on their speculative doctrines “In the Heaven where our spirits were born there are many Gods, each one of whom has his own wife or wives, raises up a numerous family of sons and daughters... each father and mother will be in a condition to multiply forever and ever. As soon as each God has begotten many millions of male and female spirits, and his Heavenly inheritance becomes too small, to comfortably accommodate his great family, he, in connection with his sons, organizes a new world, after a similar order to the one which we now inhabit, where he sends both the male and female spirits to inhabit tabernacles of flesh and bones.... The number of the sons and daughters of God, born in Heaven before this earth was formed, is not known by us. They must have been exceedingly numerous.. The amount of population now on the globe, is estimated in round numbers at one thousand million. If we take this estimation for the average number per century, during the seven thousand years of its temporal existence it will amount to seventy thousand millions [i.e., 70 billion].... It will be seen, from this estimation, that about seventy thousand million sons and daughters were born in Heaven, and kept their first estate... If we admit that one personage was the Father of all this great family, and that they were all born of the same Mother, the period of time intervening between the birth of the oldest and the youngest spirit must have been immense. If we suppose, as an average, that only one year intervened between each birth then it would have required, over one hundred thousand millions of years for the same Mother to have given birth to this vast family.... Should the period between each birth, be one hundred times shorter than what is required in this world, (which is very improbable,) it would still require over one thousand million of years to raise up such a numerous progeny.... But... it is altogether probable that the period required for the formation of the infant spirit, is of the same length as that required in this world... If the Father of these spirits, prior to his redemption, had secured to himself, through the everlasting covenant of marriage, many wives... the period required to people a world would be shorter... if it required one hundred thousand million of years to people a world like this... it is evident that, with a hundred wives, this period would be reduced to only one thousand million years" (The Seer, March 1853, pp. 37-39).
Mormonism does seem to have their own unique teaching on spiritual evolution with an even a greater time span than what scientific evolutionists hold.
Other worlds, other gods other fathers and other Jesus’
This fictional story does not begin on earth but somewhere else, on another planet in another time eons ago. How does this work?
President Brigham Young Our father adam helped make this earth .. he brought one of his wives with him… Then he (Adam) said, “I want my children who are in the spirit world to come and live here.” (Brigham Young, Deseret News, 6/16/1873) That is, he left his other wives he had in heaven with his spirit children when he came to earth
Joseph Smith taught: “Commencing with Adam, who was the first man, who is spoken of in Daniel as being the “Ancient of Days,” or in other words, the first and oldest of all, the great, grand progenitor of whom it is said in another place he is Michael, because he was the first and father of all, not only by progeny, but the first to hold the spiritual blessings, to whom was made known the plan of ordinances for the salvation of his posterity unto the end, and to whom Christ was first revealed, and through whom Christ has been revealed from heaven, and will continue to be revealed from henceforth. Adam holds the keys of the dispensation of the fullness of times; i.e., the dispensation of all the times have been and will be revealed through him from the beginning to Christ, and from Christ to the end of all the dispensations that are revealed” (History of the Church, 4:207-208; Joseph Smith; October 5, 1840.)
[Oct. 8, 1854]...There are Lords many and there are Gods many, and the Father of our Spirits is the Father of Jesus Christ: He is the Father of Jesus Christ, Spirit and Body and he is the beginner of the bodies of all men...there have always been an Adam and an Eve - the first man and woman, and their oldest son is heir, and should be our Savior...Michael had his body from the dust of the planet he was begotten on...died and was resurrected ...When Jesus has completed his work, Adam shall have a fulness... & Eve had children in the spirit - and their children married - brother & sister - then the bodies followed...”(Journal notes by Thomas D. Brown, from Brigham Young's October 8, 1854 talk, Journal of The Southern Indian Mission, Diary of Thomas D. Brown, edited by Juanita Brooks, Utah State University Press, Western Text Society Number 4, Logan, Utah, pp. 88-89)
Yes, There are significant differences in the Bibles account written by the Holy Spirit through Moses, the prophets and the apostles of Jesus and Joseph Smith- the Book of Mormon, and their prophets and apostles writings in associated works –Journal of Discourses, Doctrines of Covenants and Pearl of Great Price that came through “their prophet[s].
Many of these differences are so dramatic that if one were to open the Bible and think them through the Holy Spirit (who wrote the words of the Bible through its prophets) would have them see the contradictions to what the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints teach in contradistinction to the Biblical story. It would be as night to day.
The beginning of God becomes the undoing of Mormon doctrine, for it cannot be connected to the Judaic/Christian inspired tradition drawn from the Bible.
The Bible proclaims in Isaiah 43:10 that before God “there was no God formed, neither shall there be after [Him],” if this is true then who are these other gods that Mormons say are off spring from men?
It is from their prophets who speak for the god[s]. As the LDS church states “The WORDS OF OUR LIVING PROPHETS ARE ALSO ACCEPTED AS SCRIPTURE.” (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Gospel Principles, p. 51 - 52, 1978)
How can one accept the Jewish prophets who spoke of one God as the creator of all things made and then accept their modern Mormon prophets that speak of numerous gods, each over their own planet? These are in complete opposition to each other. When the choice is made it is always their own prophets they listen to.
This generation of gods is more similar to Greek mythology than to the God of the universe who created all things and is revealed in the Bible.Jupiter was known to the Greeks as Zeus: the ancient sky Father, or Father of the gods. . .
Mormonism teaches that Jesus was decided upon to be the savior by a council of gods. Similarly, in the Epic of Gilgamesh the flood was decided on by the council of the gods, but one god, Ea, acted against the decision.
Joseph Smith said matter and intelligence were always here. The Mormon God had to use the material that was already here to create. We find a number of similarities of Mormon teaching to the Epic of Gilgamesh “Gods are changing in power until Marduk is born, and he BECOMES eternal. He is not all-powerful. He made everything “from pre-existing matter. This applied also to Marduk for he himself was a created being.”
The Bible only talks about one earth and one God in heaven who created all the heavens and earth (Gen.1:1). The one true God says he is unaware of any other god Isaiah 45:6“I am the LORD, and there is no other” Deuteronomy 4:39: “The LORD Himself is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other.”1 Kings 8:60 “0’ that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God; there is no other”
Can a Mormon’s knowledge be greater than the true God? They claim to know of other gods, though they cannot name them, or locate them. How does a man who becomes a god not know of any god prior to him?
“God, most commonly referred to in LDS discourse as “our Heavenly Father,” is an exalted or divinized man” (Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed., 300.)
Having a doctrine of human deification is a complete 180 degree turn from what the Bible clearly states. This idea of man becoming god is exactly what Paul described as worshipping creation in Romans 1. They have exalted a creature (made by God) to be a god, and worship him. But this god of theirs is not alone but is only one of many gods; billions of gods, more than there are people on earth. How can this make any sense?
There are too many questions Mormons cannot answer. How can one who is created become what is uncreated and which always existed before creation? That is the one God the Bible describes. This change in nature is an impossibility. While God took upon himself, adding another nature, of humanity as He came from heaven to earth, man who is created, a creature cannot be changed to no longer be a creature!
How can Adam fall for the temptation to become a god if he already was one and this is his planet he is to rule over? Can any Mormon explain this enigma and the rest of the concepts attached to this? They seem to have denied "For in Adam all die" (1 Cor. 15:22). Adam is the fountainhead of sin as the progenitor to all his descendents. It is Jesus Christ we are to look to as our God and savior to remove us from being in Adam.
Mormonism has a man existent before anything made and this man became a god, repeated throughout the universe. This is part of their main theology that cannot be resolved with the Bible account.
God is self existent, He needs nothing, He exists in a perfect state, He does not progress. Man needs air, food and water to live, can a Mormon explain where these came from if in the beginning was man. Where Did Man Come From? The Bible does not teach of God as a male spirit married to a Heavenly Mother spirit. Nor does it teach that mankind were begotten as spirit children in their pre-existence before they came to earth.
This is what the Bible classifies as idolatry, when another creature who wants to be god. And it cannot be considered true doctrine or as worship of God. Because of the fall Paul writes they “changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man” (Rom.1:22). By teaching that God was once a man “as we are now” and achieved his exalted rank, this changes the nature of God who is immutable and eternally existent and perfect in all his attributes. Then the Father was not always the Father, but became the Father.
Brigham Young stated “He [God] is our Father--the Father of our spirits” as Orson Pratt explains “We were begotten by our Father in heaven; the person of our Father in Heaven was begotten on a previous heavenly world by His Father; and again, He was begotten by a still more ancient Father, and so on from generation to generation, from one heavenly world to another still more ancient.... we wonder in our minds, how far back the genealogy extends, and how the first world was formed, and the first father was begotten”“ (LDS “Apostle” Orson Pratt, The Seer, p. 132, 1853.)
This means we have a grandfather god and a great grandfather god and it continues backwards until we arrive at the first man who became god, which goes contrary to the first words written by Moses from God- Gen.1:1 “in the Beginning God” it can then be stated in their own view “in the beginning man.” Is this logical?
But where Did Man Come From? The Bible does not teach that God is married to a Heavenly Mother nor does it teach that mankind were begotten as spirit children in the pre-existence before they came to earth.
In all of history no man has ever become a god. There is not a single Mormon who can point to a proven example of this teaching. So why believe this? Clearly this is Sophism.
How can the god[s] of Mormonism be considered the same as Christianity when we have only one God and they have millions more?
Stephen E. Robinson, in his book How Wide the Divide? A Mormon & an Evangelical in Conversation (InterVarsity Press, 1997), says on page 132 that "it would horrify the Saints to hear talk of polytheism." Mormonism can be categorized as polytheistic because they believe in many Gods. Because Mormons only worship one of those gods at a time, it does not exclude this. Of course this is limited to Mormons on this earth – but a Mormon on another planet will worship a different god than the Mormon on earth does (who is Adam). Either way, Mormons on earth worship a different god than the Christians from its inception of the restoration by Joseph Smith.
To be accurate, Mormons should be categorized as henotheistic- which is the worship of one god while still believing in the existence of many other gods. Since they are not monotheistic in its true sense, we cannot consider it part of any Christian/ Judaic historic tradition. Whenever you see the teaching of a plurality of gods you can be assured it is not Christianity (monotheism) but a form of polytheism.
The true God is calling Mormons to the truth, "Look to Me, and be saved, All you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other” (Isaiah 45:22) We are to look to the ONE and ONLY God, our creator for redemption, not our obedience to to progress to become like him.
Some may claim they do not know or care if Smith became what he said all men would become if they abide in his gospel. But it matters, because he is stating this is the revelation he got from Jesus Christ. This belief the runs through the Mormon gospel and it is their goal (by the way Women are excluded from their own planet and being worship). If he is wrong (indeed he is, God [YHVH] says so) then the whole restoration they claim is also wrong and every feeling they have that bears witness to this is also wrong.
A neglected question which answer is crucial -did Joseph Smith become a god? There is not a single Mormon, not even their current prophet president who can tell us when or where! If not, then all of Mormonism crumbles on Smiths and Young’s deadly premise that became the basis for their new Christianity.
In the end we may ask the same question we do to natural evolutionists- where did the first man come from? Can any Mormon answer this? In the end there Are MORE QUESTIONS UNSANSWERED than answered from their book that claims to restore those “plain and precious promises” missing from the Bible.
Addendum: Though some want to distance themselves from books such as Mormon Doctrine by McConkie, these books are still be used today and republished as accepted works. "Doctrines of Salvation" was re-published by Deseret Book in the late 1970s, which included "Discourses of Brigham Young", "Gospel Doctrine" by Joseph F. Smith, "Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith", "Articles of Faith" by Talmadge, "Miracle of Forgiveness."
Those who take the position the church has changed must explain why these books are still circulated Journal of Discourses, Doctrine of Covenants etc. and the statements are often times kept from the public as well as their own members.