pt.2 The First Man who Became a god
Mormonism admits that they have more gods than even Hinduism, which has only 300 million.
Apostle Orson Pratt stated … “If we should take a million of ( ) worlds like this and number their particles, we should find there are more Gods than there are particles of matter in those worlds” (Apostle Orson Pratt Journal of Discourses vol.2 p.345)
They believe that their “restored gospel” is able to give man the full potential, giving him the answers of why he was born in heaven. That it is man’s purpose to be sent from heaven to earth to progress and become a god.Brigham Young, the Prophet that succeeded founder Joseph Smith said: “The Lord created you and me for the purpose of becoming Gods like himself” . . . to become Gods like unto our Father in heaven” (Journal of Discourses, vol.3, p.93)
By claiming this as their gospel, they fall into the category of preaching another gospel that is NOT the same as found in the Bible. Paul the apostle has told us under inspiration of the Holy Spirit “if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:9)
How is Mormonism’s gospel different? To begin with, it teaches what other polytheistic religions believe. Like Hinduism, there are millions of gods and man discovers he is able to be god. (Christianity does not teach this) 1) there are many gods (except for the fact that all other gods other than one YHWH are false gods). 2) It does not teach man will become God (who is uncreated, that always existed knowing all things and is all powerful), the true God never achieved godhood.
These differences in the nature of the creator and man are not insignificant but enormous and cannot be juxtaposed with the Bibles consistent teachings of one God, creator of all things that exist in the universe (known and unknown), and man a creature made by God that needs redemption.
The Doctrine of Exaltation
Brigham Young stated, “Some may regret that our first parents sinned. This is nonsense. If we had been there, and they had not sinned, we should have sinned. I will not blame Adam or Eve. Why? Because it was necessary that sin should enter into the world; no man could ever understand the principle of exaltation without its opposite; no one could ever receive an exaltation without being acquainted with its opposite.”
This is something still held today. Mormons see Adam and Eve’s sin as necessary for exaltation. Though they claim that the devils plan for salvation was rejected, but in practice they have adopted it (see part 1).
“It [Mormonism] is the only system of religion known in heaven or on earth that can EXALT A MAN TO THE GODHEAD, and this it will do to all those who embrace its laws and faithfully observe its precept.” (LDS “Prophet” Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 10, p. 251, 1863)
“exaltation, the highest type of immortality, the kind of life enjoyed by God himself. It is in the attainment of eternal life, which man must earn in mortality, that he reaches his full potentiality” (Marion G. Romney, of the First Presidency, at General Conference, October 1978, Ensign, November, 1978, p. 14).
The church of Jesus Christ of Latter day saints cannot say they do not teach this any longer when it is taught by their own prophets and still in their major published works. It is an essential part of their religion, of which many of them do not understand.
Jesus (nor the apostles) never offered exaltation but instead told people to humble themselves and surrender their lives to God and allow Him to be their Lord. The Bible tells us the first creature to want to become like God was Lucifer who became the Devil. It is quixotic to think that copying his way is the way God intended us to have a relationship with him.
Satan who is the present god of this world, introduced sin to mankind by his offer for man to be a god. It is he who invented the teaching of exaltation which has become a doctrine of obedience to the LDS church’s gospel. Which really is teaching them to be as Lucifer did in his fall. In their Articles of Faith book they state “We believe in a God who is Himself progressive, whose majesty is intelligence; whose perfection consists in eternal advancement -- a Being who has attained His exalted state by a path which now His children are permitted to follow, whose glory it is their heritage to share” (The Articles of Faith, p. 430).
A God who attained his position is not the same God of the Bible. In Exodus 3:15 God said His name to Moses, “I AM that I AM” [Hebrew- eyeh asher eyeh] this is my name forever. This means He is the self- existing, self- sufficient one, He is the cause of all things. Both eyeh and YHWH (Yahweh) are of the root, meaning underived existence. Jesus applies this name of God to Himself in John 8:58: “I tell you before Abraham was, I am.” In Greek -Ego emi; which is in the present indicative active form of the verb “to be,” meaning, what is true of His being before is true of Him today, that He has no change from eternity past to eternity future. He is the terenal unchanging one.
This explanation should make any Mormon pause. For if God is not progressive, if there are not numerous gods- then they are wrong and will pay dearly for ignoring what God said of himself as being the one and only God that created everything that exists according to the Bible.
One then has to choose between the teaching of Joseph Smith, who said “My Father worked out his kingdom with fear and trembling, and I must do the same; and when I get my kingdom, I shall present it to my Father, so that he may obtain kingdom upon kingdom, and it will exalt him in glory. He will then take a higher exaltation, and I will TAKE HIS PLACE, and thereby become EXALTED MYSELF.” (LDS “founder and Prophet” Joseph Smith, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, p. 4, 1844, emphasis mine)
How can any man take the place of god? As Mormon Apostle, Dr. John Widtsoe (1872-1952) explains: “God and man are of the same race, differing only in their degree of advancement” (Gospel Through the Ages, p.107).
Wilford Woodruff, the 4th prophet of the Mormon Church, explains “the Lord had His endowments long ago; it is thousands and millions of years since He received His blessings... He is far in advance of us” (Journal of Discourses, vol.4, p. 192)
Mormon Apostle Orson Hyde (1805-1878) stated, “Remember that God our Heavenly Father was perhaps once a child, and mortal like we are, and rose step by step in the scale of progress, in the school of advancement; has moved forward and overcome until he has arrived at the point where He now is” (Mormon Apostle Orson Hyde Gospel Through the Ages p.104).
In other words, God attained the perfections of divinity through a process of progression, this advancement took place thousands and millions of years ago. Which goes against the Bible s teaching of God, who does not change in his nature or attributes, Malachi 3:6 “I the Lord do not change.”
Orson Pratt explains: “The Gods who dwell in the Heaven . . . have been redeemed from the grave in a world which existed before the foundations of this earth were laid. They and the Heavenly body which they now inhabit were once in a fallen state . . . they were exalted also, from fallen men to Celestial Gods to inhabit their Heaven forever and ever” (The Seer, p.23)
So according to Mormonism there was a creation before the heavens and earth was made as stated in Gen.1. One cannot believe the Bible and the Mormon view at the same time; they do not have the same history.
“we will have the privilege of becoming like him. To become like him we must have all the powers of godhood” (vol.2 of Doctrines of Salvation 10th Mormon Prophet, Joseph Fielding Smith)
The LDS book-Doctrine and Covenants teaches that “then shall they be gods, because they have no end…then shall they be gods, because they have all power…” (Doctrine and Covenants 132:16-26).
This becomes the future goal of those devoted to the Mormon gospel. Indeed all power makes one God, by its sheer magnitude it would disqualify any other creature from obtaining this. Jesus was God before he came to earth and became man, he did not climb up the ladder of advancement to become a god in line with the many gods before him.
“When we lived with our Heavenly Father, he explained a plan for our progression. We could become like him, an exalted being. The plan required that we be separated from him and come to earth. This separation was necessary to prove whether we would obey our Father's commandments even though we were no longer in his presence. The plan provided that when earth life ended, we would be judged and rewarded according to the degree of our faith and obedience. We would then be assigned to the place for which we had prepared.
Mormonism believes that men came to earth so that he may become a god. The goal of the LDS church is to bring men to exaltation. The second prophet of the LDS church taught that “The faithful will become gods” (Discourses of Brigham Young, p. 98). Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, “That exaltation which the saints of all ages have so devoutly sought is godhood itself” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 321). Ezra Taft Benson declared, “We are gods in embryo” (Teachings of Ezra Taft Benson, p. 21). Elder James E. Talmage stated, “…in his mortal condition man is God in embryo. However….any individual now a mortal being may attain the rank and sanctity of godship….” (Articles of Faith, p. 529).
Without this doctrine of progression there is no LDS church as it is practiced from its inception.
What Is Exaltation?
“Exaltation is eternal life, the kind of life God lives. He
lives in great glory. He is perfect. He possesses all knowledge and all
wisdom. He is the Father of spirit children. He is a creator. We can
become like our Heavenly Father. This is exaltation.”
The Bibles answer to this teaching is found in Genesis when the serpent discussed this doctrine with Eve making her doubt Gods word and supplanted it with: “For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be open, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil (Gen.3:4 KJV). Adam and Eve only knew good, now they would know evil by their belief that they can be as gods, when they believed the devils lie they accepted the idea of polytheism, that there is more than one God.
The Old Testament condemns anyone associating with the various gods and belief in polytheism because with it came morally depraved practices (Judges 3:7;1 Kings 18) and took people away from their true worship of the only God. Since Mormonism promotes different gods on different planets, they cannot be speaking of the same god.
The process of Exaltation
These can only be sought “After a person has come to faith in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ (The restored gospel is only through Prophet Joseph Smith who founded ithe Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
“The ordinances (or sacraments) of the gospel are sacred rites or ceremonies. (Gospel Principles, p.380; Apostle B. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p548–549)
“ What is of interest here are the former, those ordinances required for exaltation: baptism, confirmation, the endowment, and marriage for time and eternity (Gospel Principles, 98–99, 303.)
Only baptism is mention in the Bible all the other requirements are strictly requirements that belong to their own religion, from their own prophets words that have absolutely nothing to do with Jesus Christ! How do we know this? Because Jesus is God, and He never taught that men could become God.
As Ezra Taft Benson, Prophet of the LDS Church explained, “Understand that temple marriage is essential to your salvation and exaltation” (Ensign, May 1988, p. 51). So it is not Jesus Christ and faith in his death to forgive our sins as the apostle Paul stated for our salvation (1 Cor.15:1-4; 1Jn.1:9) but what their church does under their own gospel.
“Our exaltation depends on marriage. . . . Heavenly Father has given us the law of eternal marriage so we can become like him. We must live this law to have spirit children. . . . We learned [in the Grand Council] that if we followed his plan, we would have all power in heaven and on earth; we would become heavenly parents and have spirit children just as he does. Lisa Ramsey Adams, “Eternal Progression,” in Jesus Christ and His Gospel: Selections from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 155; Larry E. Dahl, “Degrees of Glory,” in Jesus Christ and His Gospel: Selections from the Encyclopedia of Mormonism, 102).
The exalted Mormon men, repeat what all the Gods before Him did. By going on to populate his world (as the God of Mormonism populated this one). And receive worship of his offspring just as Elohim receives worship.
Apostle Orson Pratt explains:
"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 and ever. As soon as each God has begotten many millions of male and female spirits, and his Heavenly inheritance becomes too small, to comfortably 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)
The Nature of God according to the founder of Mormonism
The Prophet Joseph Smiths great revelation is:
“God Himself who sits enthroned in yonder heavens is a Man like unto one of yourselves—that is the great secret! . . . For I am going to tell you how God came to be God and what sort of a being He is. For we have imagined that God was God from the beginning of all eternity. I will refute that idea and take away the veil so you may see. . . . The first principle of truth and of the Gospel is to know for a certainty the character of God, and that . . . He once was a man like one of us and that God Himself, the Father of us all, once dwelled on an earth the same as Jesus Christ himself did in the flesh and like us.( “King Follett Discourse”.)
Even today, Robert Millet, who is currently going around the country with Greg Johnson a former Mormon turned Christian is trying to show us the differences are not major. Millet fails when people actually know what he teaches is echoing Joseph Smiths principles (i.e. King Follet discourse), “Eloheim [God the Father] is an exalted man, but he possesses in their fulness the attributes of Godhead. . . . Simply because God has not always been God, it need not follow that he is not now a possessor of that fulness of light, truth, and glory that constitute him as infinite.(Robert L. Millet, "Joseph Smith and Modern Mormonism: Orthodoxy, Neoorthodoxy, Tension, and Tradition," Brigham Young University Studies 29 (summer 1989): 56, 57.)
The founder said, “It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the Character of God.... (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345; HC 6:305; Journal of Discourses 6:3).
His meaning: that this god was once a man who progressed as all others did.
Stan Larson comments on Smith’s discourse “What kind of being is God? The Prophet Joseph opens the King Follett discourse by posing this question and parenthetically remarks, foreshadowing his later comments in the address, that without knowledge of the nature of God, human persons will not accurately understand their own identities. (Stan Larson, “The King Follett Discourse: A Newly Amalgamated Text,” Brigham Young University Studies 18 (winter 1978): 199.)
I agree, “that without knowledge of the nature of God “we cannot know who we are. But it necessitates for us to come to a different conclusion. Unless we understand how different we are from God, we cannot know who we are in relationship to Him. He is not God because of his power or his intelligence being greater (as Mormons propose). For even the most intelligent man must come to the conclusion they are not God (take Einstein for instance). It becomes a self- perpetuating deception to manufacture a system of progression to exaltation. There is nothing to strive for. Mormons must take into account the very words of God who states there is no other God but him, anywhere).
Brigham Young, the second prophet of the church repeated Joseph Smiths view of gods and mans exaltation”He [God] is our Father--the Father of our spirits, and was once a man in mortal flesh as we are, and is now an exalted being. It appears ridiculous to the world, under their darkened and erroneous traditions, that God has once been a finite being;” (Brigham Young, the Journal of Discourses, v. 7, p. 333)
Young is saying that we are in darkness not understand their strange unbiblical doctrine of progression.This doctrine of exaltation- where man becomes a god over his own planet by abiding in the new gospel of the Mormon church delivered to Joseph Smith.
We need to remember that Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and the other presidents /prophets afterwards are obeyed just as their president is today. Their prophets and elders writings are considered just as inspired as the prophets of the Bible (even more so as they are more up to date).