LDS Articles of Faith, part IV
Article I, God the Father, cont'd.
In our last article we mentioned LDS Prophet Brigham Young’s “Adam-God doctrine” and LDS Prophet Spencer Kimball’s rejection of it. While most LDS members know little or nothing about that doctrine, some fundamental LDS still accept it because they believe the early LDS Prophets were right and later ones have compromised true LDS teachings. In Brigham Young’s original message about Adam being the God of this world he said, “When our father Adam came into the Garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body and brought Eve, one of His wives with Him” (Journal of Discourses, vol. I, p.50). Obviously that implies that he had more than one wife! And some LDS today still believe that God has more than one wife. One of the original LDS “Twelve Apostles,” Orson Pratt said, “In the heaven where our spirits were born, there are many Gods, each one of whom has his own wife or wives which were given to him previous to his redemption, while yet in his mortal state. Each God, through his wife or wives, raises up a numerous family of sons and daughters; indeed there will be no end to the increase of his own children: for each father and mother will be in a condition to multiply forever. As soon as each God has begotten many millions of male and female spirits, and his Heavenly inheritance becomes too small to 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. Thus each God forms a world for the accommodation of his own sons and daughters who are sent forth in their times and seasons, and generations to be born into the same. The inhabitants of each world are required to reverence, adore, and worship their own personal father who dwells in the Heaven which they formerly inhabited” (The Seer, p.37). Teachings like this and Brigham Young’s Adam-God show that LDS leaders have not only taught that God is married but he may have many wives. That means there could be many Heavenly Mothers! Such teachings are not Christian or Biblical doctrines.
An official publication of the LDS Church entitled “Achieving a Celestial Marriage” is a student manual for LDS young people in LDS Seminaries or Institutes of Religion (high school and college age). On p. 129 it says, “The (LDS) gospel of Jesus Christ teaches that man is an eternal being, made in the image and likeness of God. It holds that man is a literal child of God and has the potential, if faithful to divine laws and ordinances of becoming like his heavenly parent. These truths are generally well understood by Latter-day Saints. Less well understood, however, is the fact that God is an exalted man who once lived on an earth and underwent experiences of mortality…The progression of our Father in heaven to godhood, or exaltation, was strictly in accordance with eternal principles…By definition, exaltation includes the ability to procreate the family unit throughout eternity. This our Father in heaven has power to do. His marriage partner is our mother in heaven. We are their spirit children, born to them in the bonds of celestial marriage…No matter to what heights God has attained or may attain, he does not stand alone; for by his side with him, in all her glory, a glory like unto his, stands a companion, the Mother of his children. For as we have a Father in heaven, so also we have a Mother there, a glorified, exalted, ennobled Mother.” On p. 130 it says, “Man is the child of God, formed in the divine image and endowed with divine attributes, and even as the infant son of our earthly father and mother is capable in due time of becoming a man, so the undeveloped offspring of celestial parentage is capable, by experience through the ages of aeons, of evolving into a God” (By the First Presidency, Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, and Anthon H. Lund). This information is taught to LDS young people, and older LDS adults too, but there is no hint of this doctrine in the Articles of Faith. They could easily have said, “We believe in Father and Mother Gods, and in their Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.” Why aren’t LDS beliefs stated more clearly in the Articles of Faith? Is it because beliefs like “Mother God” would not be accepted by Christians, so LDS would find it more difficult to proselyte them?
Anyone interested can go to the official LDS website and Google “LDS.org/topics.” Then scroll down to “Mother in Heaven” and the first paragraph says, “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints teaches that all human beings, male and female, are beloved spirit children of heavenly parents, a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother. This understanding is rooted in (LDS) scriptural and prophetic teachings about the nature of God, our relationship to Deity, and the godly potential of men and women. The doctrine of a Heavenly Mother is a cherished and distinctive belief among Latter-day Saints.” Mormons say they are Christians, but Christianity has beliefs based upon the Bible and belief in a “Mother God” is not a Christian belief.
In the first article of this series we said the LDS Articles of Faith is a Mormon creed. A creed is “a brief statement of the essential points of religious belief” according to dictionaries. While the LDS Articles of Faith is a brief statement of LDS beliefs, the Articles do not clarify essential LDS doctrines like the Nicene Creed does for Christians. For example, the first Article of Faith says, “We believe in God the Eternal Father…,” but that statement does not indicate that LDS also believe in a Heavenly Mother. LDS Apostle James Talmage said, “We are expressly told that God is the Father of spirits (in the pre-mortal spirit world), and to apprehend the literalness of this solemn truth we must know that a Mother of spirits is an existent personality” Articles of Faith, p. 443). And LDS Apostle Bruce R. McConkie wrote, “This doctrine that there is a Mother in Heaven is affirmed by the First Presidency of the (LDS) Church (Joseph F. Smith, John R. Winder, and Anthon H Lund) when speaking of pre-existence (pre-mortal spirit world) and the origin of man, 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’” (Mormon Doctrine p. 516). General Authority, Milton R. Hunter was commissioned to write The Gospel through the Ages for the LDS priesthood. On p. 98 he wrote, “The stupendous truth of the existence of a Heavenly Mother, as well as a Heavenly Father, became established facts in Mormon theology.” On pp. 99-100 he quoted the Mormon Hymn “O My Father.” The third verse says, “In the heavens are parents single? No; the thought makes reason stare! Truth is reason, Truth eternal, tells me I’ve a Mother there.” (That is “Mother God,” not your mortal mother who died and went to heaven). Since LDS believe God the Father has a resurrected body of flesh and bones (D. & C. 130:22), “Heavenly Mother” must also have a resurrected body of flesh and bones. So, why do they beget spirits babies instead of babies with bodies of flesh and bones? In every known living spices, the baby offspring is the same spices as the parents.
We will continue our discussion of Article I next time.