LDS Articles of Faith, Part II
The first LDS Article of Faith says, "We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.” But those words don’t mean that Mormons believe in the triune God of Biblical Christianity. Mormonism’s founder, Joseph Smith said, “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 (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 370). The first part of the first LDS Article of Faith says, “We believe in God the Eternal Father.” But, for LDS, that does NOT mean God has always been God. The Articles of Faith is a book by LDS Apostle James Talmage explaining the thirteen LDS “Articles of Faith.” In it Talmage said, “Endless and Eternal are among His (God’s) names” (p. 146; also see Doctrine & Covenants 19:10-12). If “Eternal” is just one of God’s names, it doesn’t mean that He has always been God. Joseph Smith taught, “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…he was once a man like us…God himself, 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, p. 345-346). Smith did not show that the Bible teaches that God the Father dwelt on an earth because it is not in the Bible!
Brigham Young, the second LDS Prophet also said, “God the Father, was once a man on another planet who passed through the ordeals we are now passing through…” (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church, Brigham Young, p. 29). And the fifth LDS Prophet, Lorenzo Snow, coined the LDS couplet “As man is, God once was. As God is, man may become” (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church, Lorenzo Snow, p. 29). LDS Scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 130:22 also says, “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, The Holy Ghost could not dwell in us.” This LDS scripture says that God the Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s because LDS believe He is a resurrected, glorified man. But in Hosea 11:9 God said, “I am God and not man.”
LDS believe God the Eternal Father has always existed, first as an eternally existing intelligence and then through eternal progression He was born as a baby spirit in a premortal spirit world where He grew to adulthood; after that he was born as a mortal where lived and died and was resurrected and then exalted to Godhood. And every person "is eternal as God is; co-existent, in fact, with God" (Gospel Through The Ages, pp. 126-128). Since God is a glorified man, he has a glorified body of flesh and bones. Joseph Smith said, “We say that God is a self-existent being…Man does exist upon the same principles…The mind or the intelligence which man possesses is co-equal with God Himself…There never was a time when there were not spirits; for they are co-equal [co-eternal] with our Father in heaven” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 352-353). Doctrine and Covenants 93:23 and 29 says, “Man was in the beginning with God” (as a spirit). And verse 33 says, “Man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and the spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fullness of joy. Joseph Smith said, “The word create came from the word baurau which does not mean to create out of nothing; it just means to organize…” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.350). So, LDS don’t believe that God created anything out of nothing, he just organized the eternal elements.
Joseph Smith said God the Father was once a man like us. When he was a man did he have a “God” to worship? Smith said, “If Jesus Christ was the Son of God, and John (the Revelator) discovered that God the Father of Jesus Christ had a Father, you may suppose that he had a Father also (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 373). So, LDS believe in an endless succession of Gods throughout eternity. LDS Apostle Orson Pratt said, “If we should take a million of worlds like this and number their particles, we should find that there are more Gods than there are particles of matter in those worlds” (Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 345).
Our last article mentioned the March 1, 1842 edition of Times and Seasons that published Smith’s “Wentworth Letter. On the front page of that paper,” Smith had a picture of Facsimile No. 1 from the “Book of Abraham.” The first article in that edition of Times and Seasons was entitled “A Translation” and was the first part of Smith’s “translation” of the “Book of Abraham.” The rest of the “Book of Abraham” was published in the next issue of Times and Seasons on March 15, 1842. The “Book of Abraham” is now LDS scripture in the Pearl of Great Price. Abraham 4:1-4 says, “And then the Lord said: Let us go down. And they went down at the beginning, and they, that is the Gods, organized and formed the heavens and the earth. 2. And the earth, after it was formed, was empty and desolate, because they had not formed anything but the earth; and darkness reigned upon the face of the deep, and the Spirit of the Gods was brooding upon the face of the waters. 3. And they (the Gods) said: Let there be light; and there was light. 4. And they (the Gods) comprehended the light, for it was bright; and they divided the light, or caused it to be divided, from the darkness.” This is an exact quotation. “The Gods” are mentioned 32 times in the 31 verses of Abraham chapter four. Much of the fourth chapter of Abraham is plagiarized from the first chapter of Genesis in the King James Version of the Bible except for the words “the Gods.” In it the Gods don’t create anything, they just organize the elements which are eternal (Doctrine & Covenants 93:33; Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 350-351). The concept of “the Gods” expressed in the “Book of Abraham” is neither Christian nor Biblical. Under the title, “The Book of Abraham,” the current edition says,“Translated from the Papyrus, by Joseph Smith.” The LDS Church purchased that papyrus from Michael Chandler in 1835 when he came to Kirtland, OH where Smith was living. Smith had “facsimiles” or copies made of three of the papyri and they are now in every copy of the “Book of Abraham.” LDS lost track of the original papyri for many years, but they were found and turned over to the LDS Church on November 27, 1967. These are the only original language documents for any LDS scripture! The papyri are genuine Egyptian documents but Egyptologists who examined them say they are just common burial documents that were buried with the dead. No Egyptologist supports Smith’s translation of the “Book of Abraham” but LDS leaders still say it is inspired. Joseph Smith taught that, “The doctrine of the plurality of Gods is as prominent in the Bible as any other doctrine” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 370). A plurality of pagan gods are mentioned in the Bible, but not a plurality of “true Gods!”
We will continue our discussion of the First Article of Faith next time.