This is part one of my series on the interview questions asked of people before they’re baptized in the Mormon Church. The first question has two parts, one is asking them if they believe God is their “Eternal” Father and the second is about Jesus.
1. Do you believe that God is our Eternal Father?
Notice the word “eternal” in this question? Mormons believe that all of us are born children of God and that He has always been our Father, even before we were born. They believe that all of us lived in a pre-existent state as spirit children of the Father and his goddess wife/wives before we were born on earth.
In their book the Doctrine and Covenants we read-
“Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.” (D&C 93:29)
We can also read this teaching in the topics section of lds.org under God the Father.
“We are all literally children of God, spiritually begotten in the premortal life. As His children we can be assured that we have divine, eternal potential and that He will help us in our sincere efforts to reach that potential.”
This teaching runs contrary to what God has said about how we truly being children of God. John 1:12-13 reads-
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
The second part of the question asks –
Do you believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Savior and Redeemer of the world?
While it’s true Mormons believe in the very basic characteristics of Jesus it’s what they also believe about Him that’s especially appalling. For starters they believe Jesus is just one of many spirit children of God and one of his goddess wives. Mormon doctrine teaches Jesus was also first created as a spirit through a union between the Mormon god and one of his goddess wives.
Their scriptures also teach that Jesus isn’t fully God, but received “grace for grace” and slowly came into his true self.
Doctrine and Covenants 93:13-14 “And he received not the fullness at first, but continued from grace to grace, until he received a fullness; And thus he was called the Son of God, because he received not of the fullness at the first.”
Mormon doctrine ignores the very real fact the Jesus is God in the flesh, and that He has always been God. Their belief in this pre-earth life type of reincarnation robs Jesus of the glory that comes only to Him when someone repents and puts their full trust in Him for their salvation.
Being automatically born a child of God takes away the need to see ourselves as sinners in need of a savoir, and believing Jesus started off the same way we did as “spirit children” of God also robs Him of His deity.
Mormons may believe that Jesus is the Savior of the world, but salvation for those who believe this doesn’t hinge on their faith alone. No, “full salvation” comes through membership in the church.
In Doctrines of Salvation we read:
“Full salvation is attained by virtue of knowledge, truth, righteousness, and all true principles. Many conditions must exist in order to make such salvation available to men. Without the atonement, the gospel, the priesthood, and the sealing power, there would be no salvation. Without continuous revelation, the ministering of angels, the working of miracles, the prevalence of gifts of the spirit, there would be no salvation. If it had not been for Joseph Smith and the restoration, there would be no salvation. There is no salvation outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 2, pp. 1-350).
It’s true that they believe that He’s their Redeemer but they also believe they too play a critical role as redeemer of the world. The third in their Three Fold Mission of the Church is “Redeem the Dead”. This is done through vicarious work in their temples by baptizing the dead, and other “saving ordinances”. They believe these temple works are essential to one’s salvation and exaltation, and with them no one has a chance at being truly saved.
In conclusion, the more I think about the warped view of God this religion teaches it’s people to have makes me feel angry and heart-sick all at the same time. As any Mormon will tell you they believe in Jesus, they worship Him and wish to follow Him. But the Jesus they love and adore doesn’t exist, and therefore can’t save them from their sin. How I would love for them to come to know the one true God, and know the real Jesus.