Latter-day Saint scripture/Supposed contradictions/Multiple versus single creators/Further Reading

Further reading

Further reading

FAIR wiki

Characteristics of God

Unchanging

Summary: Does the Book of Mormon refute Joseph Smith on the nature of God? Critics point out that the Book of Mormon never says God was once a mortal. In fact, it teaches that God was always God. Take for instance Moroni 8:18. It says God is "unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity." Joseph Smith, however, taught, "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."

Elohim and Jehovah

Summary: It is claimed that Elohim, Jehovah, Adonai and other similar Old Testament Hebrew names for deity are simply different titles which emphasize different attributes of the "one true God." In support of this criticism, they cite Old Testament scriptures that speak of "the LORD [Jehovah] thy God [Elohim]" (e.g., Deuteronomy 4:2; 4:35; 6:4) as proof that these are different titles for the same God.

Foreknowledge

Summary: Most Latter-day Saints hold to unlimited foreknowledge. This has been the traditional view of most Christians since the post-New Testament period, and it is one doctrine that Joseph Smith didn't seem to question, as there are no revelations that address it. Indeed, it appears that most LDS leaders and scholars simply haven't questioned its veracity.

"God is a man"

Summary: Some Christians object to the Mormon belief that God has a physical body and human form by quoting scripture which says that "God is not a man" (e.g. Numbers 23:19, 1 Samuel 15:29, Hosea 11:9).

God is a Spirit?

Summary: Some Christians object to the LDS position that God has a physical body by quoting John 4:24: "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."

Lecture of Faith 5 teaches the Father is "a personage of spirit"

Summary: Lectures on Faith, which used to be part of the Doctrine and Covenants, teach that God is a spirit. Joseph Smith's later teachings contradict this. More generally, critics argue that Joseph Smith taught an essentially "trinitarian" view of the Godhead until the mid 1830s, thus proving the Joseph was "making it up" as he went along.

Joseph Smith's King Follett discourse on the nature of God

Summary: It is claimed that, in an effort to appear more "mainline" Christian, the Church is downplaying the importance of some doctrines taught late in Joseph Smith's lifetime. Prominent among these is the doctrine of human deification. To bolster their argument, critics usually quote from a 1997 Time magazine interview with President Gordon B. Hinckley: "I don't know that we teach it. I don't know that we emphasize it ... I understand the philosophical background behind it, but I don't know a lot about it, and I don't think others know a lot about it." Critics have claimed that this means that President Hinckley has admitted to altering LDS doctrine, or discarding a teaching from the past.

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Do Latter-day Saints believe in a practice called "Celestial sex"?

Summary: Some evangelical Christians claim that Latter-day Saints believe in a practice called "Celestial sex," and that this is the manner in which "spirit children" are formed.

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Dallin H. Oaks on God

Summary: Author Richard Abanes in his critical book One Nation Under Gods claims that Dallin Oaks told Mormons in 1995 "that so-called Christianity sees God as an entirely different kind of being." He cites Dallin H. Oaks, "Apostasy and Restoration ," Ensign, May 1995, 84. However, Elder Oaks made no such claim.

Does the Bible describe a racist, polygamous, psychopathic and schizophrenic God?

Summary: One critic of the Church claims that Christians believe in a "part-time racist god and a part-time polygamous god" and a "part-time psychopathic schizophrenic" god.

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Corporeality of God

Summary: One thing that sets Latter-day Saints apart from nearly all of the rest of Christianity is the doctrine that God the Father possesses a body in human form. In fact, many of our Christian brothers and sisters see this belief as positively strange, and some even question our claim to the title “Christian” because of it.

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Early teachings about God in the Book of Mormon, from Joseph Smith, and among Church members

Joseph Smith's early conception of God

Summary: It is claimed that Joseph Smith initially taught standard Nicene trinitarianism. The early documents tell a different story, however.

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Modalism in the Book of Mormon?

Summary: It is claimed that the Book of Mormon teaches the trinitarian heresy of modalism or Sabellianism. This reading misinterprets some Book of Mormon verses, and ignores Book of Mormon texts which clearly contradict this reading.

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Lecture on Faith 5 and the nature of God the Father

Summary: Lectures on Faith, which used to be part of the Doctrine and Covenants, teach that God is a spirit. Joseph Smith's later teachings contradict this. More generally, critics argue that Joseph Smith taught an essentially "trinitarian" view of the Godhead until the mid 1830s, thus proving the Joseph was "making it up" as he went along.

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Early LDS beliefs about God

Summary: Some evangelical Christians attempt to show that the LDS idea of deification is unbiblical, unchristian and untrue. They seem to think that this doctrine is the main reason why the LDS reject the Psychological Trinity.

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Repudiated concepts: Adam-God theory

Summary: Brigham Young taught that Adam, the first man, was God the Father. Since this teaching runs counter to the story told in Genesis and commonly accepted by Christians, critics accuse Brigham of being a false prophet. Also, because modern Latter-day Saints do not believe Brigham's "Adam-God" teachings, critics accuse Mormons of either changing their teachings or rejecting teachings of prophets they find uncomfortable or unsupportable.

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Deification of man

It is claimed that the doctrine of human deification is unbiblical, false, and arrogant. Related claims include: 1) Mormons believe they will 'supplant God', 2) Belief in theosis, or human deification, implies more than one "god," which means Mormons are "polytheists," 3) The Mormon concept of "human deification" is a pagan belief derived from Greek philosophy.

Is the doctrine of deification of Man unbiblical, false, and arrogant?

Summary: Some Christians claim that the doctrine of human deification is unbiblical, false, and arrogant because they think that Mormons believe they will 'supplant God'.

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The Holy Trinity

A collection of articles that address the Latter-day Saint view of the concept of the Trinity.

Early beliefs

Summary: Critics attempt to show that the LDS idea of deification is unbiblical, unchristian and untrue. They seem to think that this doctrine is the main reason why the LDS reject the Psychological Trinity, however, "the historic church's concept of the Trinity" does not exist.

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Nicene creed

Summary: It is claimed members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are not Christian because they do not accept the Nicene Creed's statement about the Trinity. Since the Nicene Creed was first adopted in A.D. 325, it seems clear that there were many Christians in the first centuries following the resurrection of Christ who did not use it. Those who oppose calling the Latter-day Saints "Christians" need to explain whether Peter and Paul are "Christians," since they lived and practiced Christianity at a time when there was no Nicene Creed, and no Trinitarianism in the current sense.

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Latter-day Saint views of Jesus Christ

How do Mormons view our savior Jesus Christ?

Brother of Satan?

Summary: It is claimed that the LDS consider Jesus and Satan to be "brothers," thus lowering the stature of Christ, or elevating Satan. Some go so far as to imply that the LDS "really" worship or revere Satan, and are thus not true "Christians."

Conception

Summary: It is claimed that Latter-day Saints reject the "Evangelical belief" that "Christ was born of the virgin Mary, who, when the Holy Ghost came upon her, miraculously conceived the promised messiah."

Divine sonship

Summary: Though the Church does not embrace Nicene trinitarianism, they still believe that there is "One God," despite seeing the Father and Son as distinct personages. How do Latter-day Saints understand Jesus' divine Sonship?

Gordon B. Hinckley states that Latter-day Saints don't believe in the "traditional" Christ

Summary: President Gordon B. Hinckley, responding to a question regarding whether Latter-day Saints believe in the “traditional Christ,” stated: "No I don't. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this the dispensation of the fullness of times."

Worship a "different Jesus"?

Summary: It is claimed that members of the Church worship "a different Jesus" than the Jesus worshiped by Christians.

Latter-day Saints aren't Christians?

Summary: It is claimed that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are not "Christian." A related claim is that the Church has only recently begun to portray itself as "Christian" in order to gain adherents.

Lord of the Universe

Summary: It is claimed that the LDS view of God is provincial or limited, with God simply being a ruler over "this planet."

Relationship to Quetzalcoatl

Summary: It is claimed that LDS scholars believe that Quetzalcoatl was Jesus Christ. However, since Quetzalcoatl's association with a "feathered serpent" constitutes "snake worship," some claim that this association is therefore inconsistent with worship of Jesus Christ.

Savior of other worlds?

Summary: It would appear that there is one savior — Jesus — and that his sacrifice was the ultimate sacrifice for all of the worlds created and populated by the Father. Some critics have used the idea of each world having its own Savior against us. Is there anything written or published on either concept?

The "Mormon" vs. the "Christian" Jesus

Summary: It is claimed that Latter-day Saints believe in a "different" Jesus that "mainstream" Christians.

Was Jesus married?

Summary: Do Latter-day Saints believe Jesus Christ was married?

One of many saviors?

Summary: It is claimed that the "Jesus of Mormonism is but one of many saviors."

Praying to

Summary: Latter-day Saints are criticized for not praying directly to Jesus Christ.

April 6th as the date of birth of Jesus Christ

Summary: Do Latter-day Saints believe Jesus was born 1830 years before the Church's organization on 6 April 1830?

Alpha and Omega

Summary: What does the term "Alpha and Omega" mean, beside the beginning and the end, when referring to the Savior? What does it mean to the restored church?


The Atonement of Jesus Christ

Critics seriously understate the position of the Church of Jesus Christ with respect to the atonement. Many of the quotations used by critics regarding the LDS view of the atonement have been taken out of context, or the further comments of the speaker have been ignored. This is an implied a form of "bearing false witness," which is completely against the Gospel that the Savior taught during His earthly ministry. Critics, such as the authors of Mormonism 101, show very little evidence of having "studied the [Latter-day Saint] movement for the greater part of their lives" as they claim. In fact, if one takes up the authors' challenge to check their sources, one finds that in every case they are found wanting, often seriously so. In their "witnessing tip" regarding the Book of Mormon the authors conclude their imaginary dialogue by asking: "If Smith was misleading in this statement, how can I trust his other statements?"

LDS view of the atonement

Summary: Statements regarding the LDS view of the atonement

The importance of the atonement of Jesus Christ to the Latter-day Saints

Summary: Joseph Smith, the founding prophet, stated that "the fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it." Those appendages include the gift of the Holy Ghost, power of faith, enjoyment of the spiritual gifts, restoration of the house of Israel, and the final triumph of truth. [1] The atonement of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the central fact of all LDS theological teaching.

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Was Jesus actually crucified on a cross?

Summary: In the original Greek of the New Testament, accounts of Jesus' death only say he was put to death on "a pole." Is the belief of most of Christianity on "the cross" actually misguided?

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The garden and the cross

Summary: There is evidence that other mainstream Christians considered the atonement to have at least begun in the Garden, being consummated on the cross, which is what the Latter-day Saints have taught for more than 170 years.

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The Atonement as viewed by historical Christianity

Summary: Critics seem to assume that the LDS position is a "ransom" theory of atonement, and that the mainstream Christian interpretation is one of sacrificial death on the cross. They quote some statements from Latter-day Saint leaders emphasizing the Garden of Gethsemane as being the place of the atonement. They write, "Christians have long maintained that this glorious act of sacrifice took place on Golgotha Hill… It was here that God Himself was subject to the humiliating death of a common criminal,"[2] and note that "Christians realize that salvation is a result of what Jesus did for them on the cross… To even insinuate that this took place in the Garden of Gethsemane is a foreign concept to the Christian."[3]

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Comparing the LDS and evangelical Christian views of the atonement

Summary: Critics often make comparisons of what they claim are LDS views of the atonement against evangelical Christian views in an attempt to discredit the LDS perspective.

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Extent of the atonement

Summary: Critics seem to object that the atonement is applicable to all who have ever lived. They want to restrict it to only those who lived after the Savior ("only after Christ's death" and "for the believer").

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The atonement as portrayed in Latter-day Saint hymns

Summary: We note one hymn sung frequently by the members of the Church of Jesus Christ during their worship services. It has been in the LDS hymnals since 1896, and includes the following thoughts: "Reverently and meekly now, let thy head most humbly bow, think of me, thou ransomed one; think what I for thee have done, with my blood that dripped like rain, sweat in agony of pain, with my body on the tree I have ransomed even thee. In this bread now blest for thee, emblem of my body see; in this water or this wine, emblem of my blood divine. Oh, remember what was done that the sinner might be won. On the cross of Calvary I have suffered death for thee. Bid thine heart all strife to cease; with thy brethren be at peace. Oh, forgive as thou wouldst be even forgiven now by me. In the solemn faith of prayer cast upon me all thy care, and my Spirit's grace shall be like a fountain unto thee. At the throne I intercede; for thee ever do I plead. I have loved thee as thy friend, with a love that cannot end. Be obedient, I implore, prayerful, watchful evermore, and be constant unto me, that thy Savior I may be." This hymn, penned by a Latter-day Saint, is even more significant, given that when the new edition of the LDS hymnal was reviewed by a Professor of Music at the University of Toronto, the reviewer indicated that it "would enhance a communion service in any church."[4] It does so precisely because it emphasizes the atoning sacrifice of Christ for all people. He is the Savior, who shed His blood for us. This has been the position of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from the beginning, and continues to be so.


The Holy Ghost

Anachronistic Holy Ghost in Book of Mormon?

Summary: Why is the Holy Ghost mentioned so many times in the Book of Mormon prior to the time of Christ (e.g., 1 Nephi 10:17) and yet in the Old Testament there is hardly any mention of the Holy Ghost, especially with regard to his mission of bearing witness of the truth?

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The "burning in the bosom" in Mormonism as a method of determining truth

Summary: Critics complain that the LDS appeal to "revelation" or a "burning in the bosom" is subjective, emotion-based, and thus unreliable and susceptible to self-deception. Sectarian critics also belittle appeals to spiritual experiences, comparing them to "warm fuzzies," or merely something "felt by simply watching a Hollywood movie."

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The Holy Ghost is divine but does not possess a physical body

Summary: Critics charge that since LDS doctrine teaches that a body is required for exaltation, the Holy Ghost cannot be fully God, because he does not have a physical body.

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The "office of the Holy Ghost"

Summary: I have heard a few claims about certain Church leaders saying that Joseph Smith is the Holy Ghost (or "held the office of Holy Ghost"). Are there quotes or citations supporting or alluding to this somewhere?

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Moroni's promise

Summary: Critics have made a variety of attacks Moroni's promise (Moroni 10:3–5): They claim that praying about the Book of Mormon is not an objective standard for determining if the book is true or not, and should therefore not be trusted. They claim that many people have read and prayed about the Book of Mormon and have either received no answer, or an answer from God that it is false.

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Similar experiences

Summary: Some claim that when religious experiences of people of other faiths sound similar, it calls into question LDS spiritual experiences.

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Testimony and doubt reconciliation

Summary: How can a person reaffirm their testimony when they learn disconcerting facts that may bring their testimony into doubt?

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Theodicy

This page discusses the problem of evil—can one believe in a good, just, loving God when one considers all the suffering and evil in the world?

Why would a loving God allow the death of innocents?

Summary: Would a good, just God destroy children, such as in Noah's flood or the firstborn of Egypt?

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Question: Does the Church violate the Biblical command against "graven images" by displays sculptures of Christ?

Exodus 20:3-4 does not mean that one cannot have pictures, statues, or images of earthly or heavenly things in one's home or in church

It is claimed that the Church violates the Biblical command against "graven images" because it displays sculptures of Christ, statues of the angel Moroni on the spires of our temples, or paintings showing scriptural scenes, within temples, chapels, visitors' centers, and publications. (See Exodus 20:3-4.) }

Since

  1. God is the revelator of the verses in question, and
  2. God is God, and
  3. Moses was there and heard firsthand,

one should side with God and Moses and say that Exodus 20:3 does not mean that one cannot have pictures, statues, or images of earthly or heavenly things in one's home or in church.

Instead one should stick with the unambiguous interpretation of this principle that is given in Exodus 34:17, "Thou shalt make thee no molten gods." We are commanded not to worship images, or anything else besides God, and members of the Church do not.

It is ironic that those who accuse the LDS of not being Christians then complain that the Saints use images of Christ to remind them of their worship of him.

The prohibition in Exodus 20 is not the production of graven images per se but the bowing down and serving of such images

The prohibition in Exodus 20: (see also Deuteronomy 5:) is not the production of graven images per se but the bowing down and serving of such images. We should remember that God later commanded the construction of the seraphim and cherubim for the ark (Exodus 25:17-22, Exodus 37:8-9) and temple of Solomon (1 Kings 6:23-35, 1 Kings 8:6-7), and the veneration given to the Ark of the Covenant, as well as the brass serpent (Numbers 21:6-9).

In similar fashion, Latter-day Saints do not bow down and serve/worship images of Moroni and images of past and present leaders.

One of the facts that must be reconciled with any interpretation of Exodus 20:3-4 is that the Bible states that God explicitly commanded that the Israelites make images and include them in their holiest places of worship. The text explicitly says that these images were revealed to Moses while he was on the mount (Exodus 25:40 and Exodus 26:30), meaning that they were given at the same time as the Ten Commandments and are part of the environment in which Exodus 20 must be interpreted.

For example:

  • Exodus 25:18-20: God commands that gold Cherubim be made to cover the mercy seat in the tabernacle. (Exodus 37:7-9 says that Moses made the image.)
  • Exodus 25:33: God commands that the tabernacle bowls be almond-shaped with flowers. (Exodus 37:19 says that Moses made the image.)
  • Exodus 26:1: God commands that Cherubim be fashioned on the Tabernacle curtains. (Exodus 36:8 says that Moses made the image.)
  • Exodus 28:33: God commands that pomegranates be sewn onto the hem of the high priest's robe. (Exodus 39:24-26 says that Moses made the image.)

And finally:

And Moses did look upon all the work, and, behold, they had done it as the LORD had commanded, even so had they done it: and Moses blessed them. (Exodus 39:43).

Furthermore, we have not even mentioned all the images that were used during the construction of Solomon's Temple, such as the oxen holding up the brass sea (see 1 Kings 7:25) or the lions, oxen, and cherubim on the base (see 1 Kings 7:29).

Those people who reject all images of things on earth or in heaven have an interpretation of Exodus 20:3-4 that doesn't agree with God's interpretation of those verses or with Moses' interpretation of those verses.


Heavenly Mother

Summary: Do Latter-day Saints believe in a female divine person, a "Heavenly Mother" as counterpart to God, the Heavenly Father? Are we allowed to pray to our "Heavenly Mother?" It is claimed that LDS belief in a "queen of heaven" is a pagan belief, and that the concept of a "Heavenly Mother" has no support in LDS scripture.


Multiplicity of Gods

Infinite regress of Gods

Summary: Is it true that LDS doctrine teaches a "genealogy of gods," in which God the Father had/has a God, and this God had a God, and so forth? If so, how does LDS doctrine deal with the problem of an "infinite regress" of "great-great-grandfather Gods"?

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Polytheism

Summary: Some non-LDS Christian claim that Latter-day Saints are polytheists because we don't believe the Nicene Creed. Others say Mormons are polytheists because they believe humans can become gods. Is this an accurate characterization of LDS belief?

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Divine sonship

Summary: Though the Church does not embrace Nicene trinitarianism, they still believe that there is "One God," despite seeing the Father and Son as distinct personages. How do Latter-day Saints understand Jesus' divine Sonship?

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"No God beside me"

Summary: Some Christians claim that the Mormon doctrine of the Godhead and belief in theosis are not compatible with multiple statements in Isaiah that "beside [the Lord] there is no God." These passages include Isaiah 43:10-11; Isaiah 44:6,8; Isaiah 45:5-6; Isaiah 45:21-22; and Isaiah 46:9-10.

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Man's interaction with God

No man has seen God

Summary: It is claimed that the Bible teaches that God cannot be seen by mortals, and so claims by Joseph Smith and others to have seen God the Father or Jesus Christ must be false. The most commonly used Biblical citation invoked by the critics is probably John 1:18, which reads “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.”

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The Atonement of Jesus Christ

Critics seriously understate the position of the Church of Jesus Christ with respect to the atonement. Many of the quotations used by critics regarding the LDS view of the atonement have been taken out of context, or the further comments of the speaker have been ignored. This is an implied a form of "bearing false witness," which is completely against the Gospel that the Savior taught during His earthly ministry. Critics, such as the authors of Mormonism 101, show very little evidence of having "studied the [Latter-day Saint] movement for the greater part of their lives" as they claim. In fact, if one takes up the authors' challenge to check their sources, one finds that in every case they are found wanting, often seriously so. In their "witnessing tip" regarding the Book of Mormon the authors conclude their imaginary dialogue by asking: "If Smith was misleading in this statement, how can I trust his other statements?"

LDS view of the atonement

Summary: Statements regarding the LDS view of the atonement

The importance of the atonement of Jesus Christ to the Latter-day Saints

Summary: Joseph Smith, the founding prophet, stated that "the fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it." Those appendages include the gift of the Holy Ghost, power of faith, enjoyment of the spiritual gifts, restoration of the house of Israel, and the final triumph of truth. [5] The atonement of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is the central fact of all LDS theological teaching.

Jump to Subtopic:

Was Jesus actually crucified on a cross?

Summary: In the original Greek of the New Testament, accounts of Jesus' death only say he was put to death on "a pole." Is the belief of most of Christianity on "the cross" actually misguided?

Jump to Subtopic:

The garden and the cross

Summary: There is evidence that other mainstream Christians considered the atonement to have at least begun in the Garden, being consummated on the cross, which is what the Latter-day Saints have taught for more than 170 years.

Jump to Subtopic:

The Atonement as viewed by historical Christianity

Summary: Critics seem to assume that the LDS position is a "ransom" theory of atonement, and that the mainstream Christian interpretation is one of sacrificial death on the cross. They quote some statements from Latter-day Saint leaders emphasizing the Garden of Gethsemane as being the place of the atonement. They write, "Christians have long maintained that this glorious act of sacrifice took place on Golgotha Hill… It was here that God Himself was subject to the humiliating death of a common criminal,"[6] and note that "Christians realize that salvation is a result of what Jesus did for them on the cross… To even insinuate that this took place in the Garden of Gethsemane is a foreign concept to the Christian."[7]

Jump to Subtopic:

Comparing the LDS and evangelical Christian views of the atonement

Summary: Critics often make comparisons of what they claim are LDS views of the atonement against evangelical Christian views in an attempt to discredit the LDS perspective.

Jump to Subtopic:

Extent of the atonement

Summary: Critics seem to object that the atonement is applicable to all who have ever lived. They want to restrict it to only those who lived after the Savior ("only after Christ's death" and "for the believer").

Jump to Subtopic:

The atonement as portrayed in Latter-day Saint hymns

Summary: We note one hymn sung frequently by the members of the Church of Jesus Christ during their worship services. It has been in the LDS hymnals since 1896, and includes the following thoughts: "Reverently and meekly now, let thy head most humbly bow, think of me, thou ransomed one; think what I for thee have done, with my blood that dripped like rain, sweat in agony of pain, with my body on the tree I have ransomed even thee. In this bread now blest for thee, emblem of my body see; in this water or this wine, emblem of my blood divine. Oh, remember what was done that the sinner might be won. On the cross of Calvary I have suffered death for thee. Bid thine heart all strife to cease; with thy brethren be at peace. Oh, forgive as thou wouldst be even forgiven now by me. In the solemn faith of prayer cast upon me all thy care, and my Spirit's grace shall be like a fountain unto thee. At the throne I intercede; for thee ever do I plead. I have loved thee as thy friend, with a love that cannot end. Be obedient, I implore, prayerful, watchful evermore, and be constant unto me, that thy Savior I may be." This hymn, penned by a Latter-day Saint, is even more significant, given that when the new edition of the LDS hymnal was reviewed by a Professor of Music at the University of Toronto, the reviewer indicated that it "would enhance a communion service in any church."[8] It does so precisely because it emphasizes the atoning sacrifice of Christ for all people. He is the Savior, who shed His blood for us. This has been the position of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from the beginning, and continues to be so.


Latter-day Saint views of Jesus Christ

How do Mormons view our savior Jesus Christ?

Brother of Satan?

Summary: It is claimed that the LDS consider Jesus and Satan to be "brothers," thus lowering the stature of Christ, or elevating Satan. Some go so far as to imply that the LDS "really" worship or revere Satan, and are thus not true "Christians."

Conception

Summary: It is claimed that Latter-day Saints reject the "Evangelical belief" that "Christ was born of the virgin Mary, who, when the Holy Ghost came upon her, miraculously conceived the promised messiah."

Divine sonship

Summary: Though the Church does not embrace Nicene trinitarianism, they still believe that there is "One God," despite seeing the Father and Son as distinct personages. How do Latter-day Saints understand Jesus' divine Sonship?

Gordon B. Hinckley states that Latter-day Saints don't believe in the "traditional" Christ

Summary: President Gordon B. Hinckley, responding to a question regarding whether Latter-day Saints believe in the “traditional Christ,” stated: "No I don't. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this the dispensation of the fullness of times."

Worship a "different Jesus"?

Summary: It is claimed that members of the Church worship "a different Jesus" than the Jesus worshiped by Christians.

Latter-day Saints aren't Christians?

Summary: It is claimed that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are not "Christian." A related claim is that the Church has only recently begun to portray itself as "Christian" in order to gain adherents.

Lord of the Universe

Summary: It is claimed that the LDS view of God is provincial or limited, with God simply being a ruler over "this planet."

Relationship to Quetzalcoatl

Summary: It is claimed that LDS scholars believe that Quetzalcoatl was Jesus Christ. However, since Quetzalcoatl's association with a "feathered serpent" constitutes "snake worship," some claim that this association is therefore inconsistent with worship of Jesus Christ.

Savior of other worlds?

Summary: It would appear that there is one savior — Jesus — and that his sacrifice was the ultimate sacrifice for all of the worlds created and populated by the Father. Some critics have used the idea of each world having its own Savior against us. Is there anything written or published on either concept?

The "Mormon" vs. the "Christian" Jesus

Summary: It is claimed that Latter-day Saints believe in a "different" Jesus that "mainstream" Christians.

Was Jesus married?

Summary: Do Latter-day Saints believe Jesus Christ was married?

One of many saviors?

Summary: It is claimed that the "Jesus of Mormonism is but one of many saviors."

Praying to

Summary: Latter-day Saints are criticized for not praying directly to Jesus Christ.

April 6th as the date of birth of Jesus Christ

Summary: Do Latter-day Saints believe Jesus was born 1830 years before the Church's organization on 6 April 1830?

Alpha and Omega

Summary: What does the term "Alpha and Omega" mean, beside the beginning and the end, when referring to the Savior? What does it mean to the restored church?


Are Mormons Christians?

Are Mormons Christians? Do they worship Jesus Christ? Critics use unnecessarily narrow definitions to deny that members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints worship and revere Jesus.

Evangelical arguments regarding Mormonism and Christianity

Summary: Some Christians claim that Latter-day Saints are not to be included in the family of "Christianity."

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Mormons worship Jesus Christ

Summary: It is claimed that members of the Church worship "a different Jesus" than the Jesus worshiped by Christians.

Jump to Subtopic:

Mormonism and the symbol of the cross

Summary: Some Christians claim that Latter-day Saints are not Christians, and point to the fact that the Church does not usually use the symbol or sign of the cross in decoration, personal jewelry, or architecture.

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Did Mormons only recently claim to be Christians?

Summary: From the Church's founding, both Church members and their opponents recognized that they were Christians.

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FairMormon web site

God FairMormon articles on-line
Corporeality


External links

God on-line articles
  • Donald Q. Cannon, Larry E. Dahl, and John W. Welch, "The Restoration of Major Doctrines through Joseph Smith: The Godhead, Mankind, and the Creation," Ensign 19 (January 1989), 27–33. off-site
  • Gordon B. Hinckley, "In These Three I Believe," Ensign (July 2006), 3. off-site
  • William O. Nelson, "Is the LDS View of God Consistent with the Bible?," Ensign (July 1987), 56. off-site
Corporeality
  • Jacob Neusner, "Conversation in Nauvoo about the Corporeality of God," Brigham Young University Studies 36 no. 1 (1996–97), 7–30. off-site
  • David L. Paulsen, "The Doctrine of Divine Embodiment: Restoration, Judeo-Christian, and Philosophical Perspectives," Brigham Young University Studies 35 no. 4 (1995–96), 6–94. PDF link
  • David L. Paulsen, "Divine Embodiment: The Earliest Christian Understanding of God," in Noel B. Reynolds (editor), Early Christians in Disarray: Contemporary LDS Perspectives on the Christian Apostasy (Provo, Utah: FARMS, 2005),239–293. ISBN 0934893020. off-site off-site
Infinite regress of Gods?
  • Geoff J. et al., "Yes, God the Father does have a Father," www.newcoolthang.com, blog post and discussion of 25 May 2006. off-site
    This post and subsequent discussion demonstrates a wide range of approaches to the question of whether God the Father has a God "above" Him.
  • Blake T. Ostler, "Review of The Mormon Concept of God: A Philosophical Analysis by Francis J. Beckwith and Stephen E. Parrish," FARMS Review of Books 8/2 (1996): 99–146. off-site
LDS doctrine and primary sources
  • Van Hale, "The Doctrinal Impact of the King Follett Discourse," Brigham Young University Studies 18 no. 2 (1978), 209. PDF link
  • Stan Larson, "The King Follett Discourse: A Newly Amalgamated Text"," Brigham Young University Studies 18 no. 2 (1978), 193. PDF link
  • Joseph Smith, Jr., "Sermon in the Grove," (16 June 1844): all versions available off-site
Trinitarian issues
  • Barry R. Bickmore, "Not Completely Worthless (Review of: "Christ," In The Counterfeit Gospel of Mormonism)," FARMS Review of Books 12/1 (2000): 275–302. off-site
  • Ari D. Bruening and David L. Paulsen, "The Development of the Mormon Understanding of God: Early Mormon Modalism and Other Myths (Review of: Mormonism and the Nature of God: A Theological Evolution)," FARMS Review of Books 13/2 (2001): 109–169. off-site
  • Jeffrey R. Holland, "The Only True God and Jesus Christ Whom He Hath Sent," Ensign (November 2007), 40–42. off-site (Key source)
  • Russell C. McGregor and Kerry A. Shirts, "Letters to an Anti-Mormon (Review of Letters to a Mormon Elder: Eye Opening Information for Mormons and the Christians Who Talk with Them)," FARMS Review of Books 11/1 (1999): 90–298. off-site
  • Blake T. Ostler, "Review of The Mormon Concept of God: A Philosophical Analysis by Francis J. Beckwith and Stephen E. Parrish," FARMS Review of Books 8/2 (1996): 99–146. off-site
  • David L. Paulsen and R. Dennis Potter, "How Deep the Chasm? A Reply to Owen and Mosser's Review," FARMS Review of Books 11/2 (1999): 221–264. off-site
  • Daniel C. Peterson and Stephen D. Ricks, "Comparing LDS Beliefs with First-Century Christianity" (Provo, Utah: FARMS, no date). off-site
  • Stephen E. Robinson, Are Mormons Christians? (Salt Lake City, Utah: Deseret Book Company, 1993). off-site FairMormon link

Printed material

God printed materials
Corporeality
  • Edmond LaB. Cherbonnier, "In Defense of Anthropomorphism," in Reflections on Mormonism: Judaeo-Christian Parallels, ed. Truman G. Madsen (Provo, UT: BYU Religious Studies Center, 1978), 155–173. ISBN 0884943585.
  • Carl W. Griffin and David L. Paulsen, "Augustine and the Corporeality of God," Harvard Theological Review 95/1 (2002): 97–118.
  • James L. Kugel, The God of Old: Inside the Lost World of the Bible (Free Press, 2003), xi–xii, 5–6, 104–106, 134–135.
  • David L. Paulsen, "Early Christian Belief in a Corporeal Deity: Origen and Augustine as Reluctant Witnesses," Harvard Theological Review 83/2 (1990): 105–116.
  • Daniel C. Peterson, "On the Motif of the Weeping God in Moses 7," in Revelation, Reason, and Faith: Essays in Honor of Truman G. Madsen, ed. Donald W. Parry, Daniel C. Peterson, and Stephen D. Ricks (Provo, UT: FARMS, 2002), 285–317. ISBN 0934893713.
  • Clark Pinnock, Most Moved Mover: A Theology of God’s Openness (Baker Academic, 2001), 33–34.
  • Roland J. Teske, "Divine Immutability in Saint Augustine," Modern Schoolman 63 (May 1986): 233.
LDS doctrine and primary sources
  • Blake T. Ostler, Exploring Mormon Thought Vol. 1: The Attributes of God (Salt Lake City, Utah: Greg Kofford Books, 2001). ISBN 1589580036. ISBN 978-1589580039.
  • Blake T. Ostler, Exploring Mormon Thought Vol. 2: The Problems With Theism And the Love of God (Salt Lake City, Utah: Greg Kofford Books, 2006). ISBN 1589580958. ISBN 978-1589580954.
Reviews of Beckwith and Parrish
  • James E. Faulconer, "review of The Mormon Concept of God, by Francis J. Beckwith and Stephen E. Parrish," Brigham Young University Studies 32 no. 1–2 (1992), 185–195.
  • Blake T. Ostler, "Review of The Mormon Concept of God: A Philosophical Analysis by Francis J. Beckwith and Stephen E. Parrish," FARMS Review of Books 8/2 (1996): 99–146. off-site
  • David Paulsen and Blake Ostler, “F. J. Beckwith and S. E. Parrish, The Mormon Concept of God: A Philosophical Analysis,” International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 35/2 (1994): 118–20.
  • L. Shane Hopkins, “Assessing the Arguments in The Mormon Concept of God: A Philosophical Analysis” (honors thesis, Brigham Young University, 1999).
Trinitarian issues
  • Timothy W. Bartel, "The Plight of the Relative Trinitarian," Religious Studies 24/2 (June 1988): 129–155.
  • Jean Daniélou, The Theology of Jewish Christianity, trans. John A. Baker (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1964).
  • Jean Daniélou, Gospel Message and Hellenistic Culture, trans. John A. Baker (Philadelphia: Westminster, 1973).
  • E. Feser, "Has Trinitarianism Been Shown to Be Coherent?," Faith and Philosophy 14/1 (January 1997): 87–97.
  • Adolf von Harnack, History of Dogma, trans. Neil Buchanan, 7 vols. (New York: Dover, 1961).
  • Edwin Hatch, The Influence of Greek Ideas and Usages upon the Christian Church (1914; reprint, Gloucester, Mass.: Smith, 1970).
  • James L. Kugel, The God of Old: Inside the Lost World of the Bible (Free Press, 2003), xi–xii, 5–6, 104–106, 134–135.
  • Clark Pinnock, Most Moved Mover: A Theology of God’s Openness (Baker Academic, 2001), 33–34.
  • James Shiel, Greek Thought and the Rise of Christianity (New York: Barnes and Noble, 1968).
  • Christopher Stead, Philosophy in Christian Antiquity (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994).
  • Harry A. Wolfson, The Philosophy of the Church Fathers, vol. 1, rev. 3rd ed. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1970).
  1. Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 volumes, edited by Brigham H. Roberts, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1957). Volume 3 link The passage is quoted frequently: Richard R. Hopkins, Biblical Mormonism. Responding to Evangelical Criticism of LDS Theology (Bountiful, Utah: Horizon Publishers, 1994), 123; Joseph Smith, Jr., Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, selected by Joseph Fielding Smith, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1976), 121. off-site; Larry E. Dahl and Donald Q. Cannon, eds., Encyclopedia of Joseph Smith's Teachings (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1997), 55. ISBN 1570086729. ISBN 978-1570086724.; Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, Second Edition (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966), 60.; also in M. Gerald Bradford and Larry E. Dahl, "Doctrine: Meaning, Source, and History of Doctrine," in Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 4 vols., edited by Daniel H. Ludlow, (New York, Macmillan Publishing, 1992), 1:393–397.; Tad Callister, The Infinite Atonement (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 2000), 3–4; Keith W. Perkins, "Insights into the Atonement from Latter-day Scriptures," Principles of the Gospel in Practice, Sperry Symposium 1985 (Salt Lake City, Utah;: Randall Book Company, 1985), 91; Bruce R. McConkie, Conference Report (April 1950), 130.; quoted in Richard G. Grant, Understanding these Other Christians. An LDS Introduction to Evangelical Christianity (self-published, 1998): 42; My Errand from the Lord. A personal study guide for Melchizedek Priesthood Quorums 1976-1977 (Salt Lake City: Corporation of the President, 1976), 92. The statement was first published in an early LDS publication, the Elder's Journal I (1832), 28-9. The frequency of appearance of this quotation in LDS literature makes one wonder why it is not to be found in Mormonism 101; indeed, the authors claim to have read the first six references cited here.
  2. Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson, Mormonism 101. Examining the Religion of the Latter-day Saints (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 2000), 145. ( Index of claims )
  3. McKeever and Johnson, Mormonism 101, 148.
  4. Joseph L. Townsend, "Reverently and Meekly Now," hymn 185; first in 1896; also in 1906 edition, hymn 331. The reviewer was Hugh McKeller, in the journal, The Hymn (April 1996), quoted in Karen Lynn Davidson, Our Latter-day Hymns, 200.
  5. Joseph Smith, History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 volumes, edited by Brigham H. Roberts, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1957). Volume 3 link The passage is quoted frequently: Richard R. Hopkins, Biblical Mormonism. Responding to Evangelical Criticism of LDS Theology (Bountiful, Utah: Horizon Publishers, 1994), 123; Joseph Smith, Jr., Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, selected by Joseph Fielding Smith, (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1976), 121. off-site; Larry E. Dahl and Donald Q. Cannon, eds., Encyclopedia of Joseph Smith's Teachings (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1997), 55. ISBN 1570086729. ISBN 978-1570086724.; Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, Second Edition (Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966), 60.; also in M. Gerald Bradford and Larry E. Dahl, "Doctrine: Meaning, Source, and History of Doctrine," in Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 4 vols., edited by Daniel H. Ludlow, (New York, Macmillan Publishing, 1992), 1:393–397.; Tad Callister, The Infinite Atonement (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 2000), 3–4; Keith W. Perkins, "Insights into the Atonement from Latter-day Scriptures," Principles of the Gospel in Practice, Sperry Symposium 1985 (Salt Lake City, Utah;: Randall Book Company, 1985), 91; Bruce R. McConkie, Conference Report (April 1950), 130.; quoted in Richard G. Grant, Understanding these Other Christians. An LDS Introduction to Evangelical Christianity (self-published, 1998): 42; My Errand from the Lord. A personal study guide for Melchizedek Priesthood Quorums 1976-1977 (Salt Lake City: Corporation of the President, 1976), 92. The statement was first published in an early LDS publication, the Elder's Journal I (1832), 28-9. The frequency of appearance of this quotation in LDS literature makes one wonder why it is not to be found in Mormonism 101; indeed, the authors claim to have read the first six references cited here.
  6. Bill McKeever and Eric Johnson, Mormonism 101. Examining the Religion of the Latter-day Saints (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Baker Books, 2000), 145. ( Index of claims )
  7. McKeever and Johnson, Mormonism 101, 148.
  8. Joseph L. Townsend, "Reverently and Meekly Now," hymn 185; first in 1896; also in 1906 edition, hymn 331. The reviewer was Hugh McKeller, in the journal, The Hymn (April 1996), quoted in Karen Lynn Davidson, Our Latter-day Hymns, 200.