LDS Articles of Faith, Part VI
Article I--Jesus Christ
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.” Our previous blogs show that the first LDS Article of Faith explains almost nothing about LDS beliefs of God the Father. Nor does it explain what LDS believe about Jesus Christ. Mormons often say that they are Christians because they believe in Jesus Christ as Savior. A Mormon who had just completed his two year mission asked, “Why don’t some Christian groups accept Mormons as Christians when we believe in Jesus Christ as Savior too?” So, I asked him if he would answer some questions about his belief in Christ. He said he would and I asked if he believed that Jesus Christ was the first spirit child born to God the Father and His wife in the pre-mortal spirit world. He said, yes. I asked if Lucifer and every person born on earth were brothers and sisters of Jesus in that pre-mortal spirit world. Again he said, yes. I asked if Jesus became a God by keeping the same laws and ordinances of the gospel that LDS now try to keep in order to become Gods, and he said, yes. I thanked him for answering my questions and told him that I didn’t question his sincerity, but the Jesus he described is not found in the Bible. And it is the Jesus of the Bible who said “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life; no man comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).” But he said, “there is only one Jesus.” I replied that Paul said in II Cor. 11:4 that some men preach another or a different Jesus. So, it is possible to believe in a false Jesus and the Jesus of Mormonism is not the Jesus of the Bible!
The LDS missionary's answers weren't his own ideas, they are LDS doctrine. On p. 278 of Mormon Doctrine LDS Apostle Bruce R. McConkie said, "God the Eternal Father, our Father in Heaven, is an exalted, perfected, and glorified Personage having a tangible body of flesh and bones (D. & C. 130:22). The designation Father is to be taken literally; it signifies that the Supreme Being is the literal Parent or Father of the spirits of all men (Heb.12:9). All men, Christ included, were born as His children in pre-existence [pre-mortal life] (D. & C. 93:21-23; Moses 1; 2; 3; 4; Abraham 3:22-28). This is the reason men are commanded to approach Deity in prayer by saying, 'Our Father which art in heaven.” McConkie also said, “Christ, destined to be the Only Begotten Son in mortality, was the first spirit offspring in pre-existence (the pre-mortal spirit world). He is the Firstborn among all the sons of God—the first begotten in the spirit, and the Only Begotten in the flesh. He is our elder brother” (Mormon Doctrine p. 84; Improvement Era, vol. 13, pp. 75-81).
Milton R. Hunter of the LDS First Council of the Seventy was commissioned by the LDS General Authorities, to write The Gospel Through the Ages for the LDS Priesthood. The following quotation is from pages 12 to 16 in that book and gives the LDS view of pre-earth life. It says, "The holy (LDS) scriptures give an account of a great council which was held in the spirit world before man was placed on the earth. This meeting, known as the Council in Heaven, was presided over by God our Eternal Father; and those in attendance were His sons and daughters [that includes all humans who were then pre-mortal spirits]…The principal purposes of the great gathering were to consider carefully the problem of the eternal progression of man and to present to the assembled throng the 'Great Plan of Salvation.' The law of growth or progression is one of the eternal laws of life. All other laws contribute to it. Our Eternal Father has attained His position of exaltation and Godhood by obedience to the great law of progression…God the Eternal Father, who was the supreme intelligence at the great council, being more intelligent and more powerful than all the rest of the group combined, desired that His spirit-children should attain the same degree of glory that was then His. Since they had filled the measure of their spirit-existence, He knew that His purposes could be accomplished only by placing them on a mortal world. After placing them there, God planned to reveal to them the Gospel and give them agency in order that they might accept or reject its eternal truths.”
“The plan proposed by God for the government of men and women in their earthly career was ‘based upon eternal laws that always have been and always will be operative’…Among the laws to which all who come to earth were to be subject are faith, repentance, baptism, confirmation, love, charity, purity, industry, honesty and many other Gospel principles, ordinances and eternal realities…Our Heavenly Father proposed as the center of the plan of salvation that one of His sons be appointed to be the Savior of the world…Only in and through His name could men be brought back into the presence of their Heavenly Parents. Thus He was to be a Divine Savior-God…In that assembled throng there was 'one like unto God.' This glorious personage volunteered to be the Savior of the world, humbly declaring 'Father, Thy will be done, and the glory be Thine forever.' Thereupon the Father accepted His offer and foreordained Him to this great mission. This individual, while acting as the mediator, was none other than Jehovah of the Old Testament, and when He lived in mortality He was Jesus Christ of the New Testament. Michael the archangel, commonly known to us as Adam, was appointed to be the first mortal man; and Eve, a spirit of comparable brilliance and faithfulness, was assigned to be his helpmate--the 'mother of all mortals.' Abraham, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Joseph Smith and others of the holy prophets were foreordained to positions of leadership in their respective dispensations, and Mary was chosen to be the mother of the Son of God.”
“The appointment of Jesus to be the Savior of the world was contested by one of the other sons of God. He was called Lucifer, son of the morning. Haughty, ambitious, and covetous of power and glory, this spirit-brother of Jesus desperately tried to become the Savior of mankind. At the great council he proposed a new plan of salvation, one which was not based on eternal truth. Regarding this event, the Lord revealed the following to Moses [in the Pearl of Great Price, Moses 4:1-4]: He [Lucifer] ‘came before me [God], saying, ‘Behold, here am I, send me, I will be Thy son, and will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor.’ But, behold, my Beloved Son, which was my Beloved and Chosen from the beginning, said unto me: ‘Father, thy will be done, and the glory be thine forever.’ Wherefore, because that Satan rebelled against me, and sought to destroy the agency of man, which I, the Lord God, had given him, and also that I should give unto him mine own power, by the power of mine Only Begotten, I caused that he should be cast down. And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and blind men.’ In contrast to Lucifer’s plan of placing mortal beings on earth and bringing them back to God through no effort of their own, Jesus sustained God’s plan—the same one which had previously been followed in other worlds—of not interfering with the rights of intelligent beings to act for themselves.” That ends the quotation from The Gospel Through the Ages. That brief summary of LDS beliefs about the pre-mortal life of Christ and mankind shows that LDS believe in a different Jesus than the Bible teaches.
We will continue to discuss the First LDS Article of Faith--Jesus next time.