Mormon Dilemma 49

18 August

Does God Change?

Today we’re looking at another contradiction in Mormonism. This contradiction is between Moroni 8:18, Doctrine and Covenants 20:17, and Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young (Chapter 4, page 29). These read as follows:

Moroni 8:18; “For I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity.”

Doctrine and Covenants 20:17; “By these things we know that there is a God in heaven, who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable God, the framer of heaven and earth, and all things which are in them.”

Clearly, these verses agree with the bible in that God is an eternal unchangeable being, who has always existed, and has always been God.  As we see in the following verses. Psalm 41:13;

Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.

Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.”  Psalms 90:2

But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:”  Romans 16:26

Yet the leaders of the church have sung a very different tune when it comes to the nature of God. A few years ago the Mormon Church began producing manuals to be used during their Relief Society and Priesthood classes that had doctrinal teachings from their prophets.  In one of these manuals Brigham Young is quoted as saying:

“He lives on another world; he is in another state of existence; he has passed the ordeals we are now passing through; he has received an experience, has suffered and enjoyed, and knows all that we know regarding the toils, sufferings, life and death of this mortality, for he has passed through the whole of it, and has received his crown and exaltation and holds the keys and the power of this Kingdom; he sways his scepter, and does his will among the children of men, among Saints and among sinners, and brings forth results to suit his purpose among kingdoms and nations and empires, that all may redound to his glory and to the perfection of his work (DBY, 22).” (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, Chapter 4, page 29)

This quote goes along with one by Joseph Smith where he said:

“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. These are incomprehensible ideas to some, but they are simple. It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God, and to know that we may converse with him as one man converses with another, and that he was once a man like us; yea, that God the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did, and I will show it from the Bible” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp.345-346. Italics in original).”

So which is it? Do you agree with your own standard works that God has always been God, and is everlasting? Or do you believe that he wasn’t always God but a mortal man who had to go through a probationary period before he could become God?

In Christ,

Melissa Grimes

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One Response to “Mormon Dilemma 49”

  1. shematwater August 23, 2011 at 4:39 pm #

    The questions becomes, what is meant by Everlasting, and what does the phrase “From everlasting to everlasting” mean?

    First, let us look at the second part in question: “Everlasting to Everlasting.”

    We read in D&C 132: 20 :Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue”
    You will note that when we becomes gods we will also be from Everlasting to everlasting. the reason is because we continue. What it meant by this? We look at the end of the previous verse and read “to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fulness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.”
    So, we will be from everlasting to everlasting because we will continue, or have a continuation of seed.

    To get a better understanding, think of all eternity as a linear time line. It is separated into section: mortality and eternity. Thus, before we were born on earth we existed in an eternal phase. We were then born into mortality. We will then again exist in an eternal phase. Later our children will be mortal, and then eternal.
    So, between our mortal existence and the mortal existence of our children there is one eternity; between theirs and their children there is another eternity; and so on. God was God in previous eternity, and he will be God in the next, as well as the next, etc. Ad infinity. As such he is from all eternity to all eternity. Or, to use a synonymous phrase “From everlasting to everlasting.”

    This then answers the meaning of the word Everlasting. God is everlasting because he has a continuation of seed. He will always be everlasting and unchangeable, and so he is from Everlasting to Everlasting.

    All the references are in perfect harmony once again.

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