Written by John Carson
Mormons believe that all of us existed prior to our earthly life, and that we can progress to become like God.
Is the teaching of progression Biblical? We will compare the following sources from the LDS church, which Mormons call "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints", with what the Bible teaches.
God is a glorified Man who reorganized eternal matter:
“To understand the doctrine of pre-existence two great truths must be accepted: 1. That God is a
personal Being in whose image man is created, an exalted, perfected, and glorified Man of Holiness (Moses 6:57), and not a spirit essence that fills the immensity
of space; and 2. That matter or element is self-existent and eternal in nature, creation being merely the organization
and reorganization of that substance which "was not created or made, neither indeed can be.”" (Mormon Doctrine, page 589)
None of us were created, but procreated in a pre-existence as spirit children:
“Every person is literally
a son or a daughter of God, having been born as a spirit to Heavenly Parents before being born to mortal parents on the earth.” (LDS Bible Dictionary, Guide to the Scriptures - Spirit, page 776)
“All lived in the spirit before we were born in the
flesh.“ (A Marvelous Work And A Wonder, page 39)
Jesus, Lucifer and all the evil spirits are our spirit brothers and sister:
“Christ, the Firstborn, was the mightiest of all the spirit
children of the Father.” (Mormon Doctrine, page 590. See also D&C
"Satan, also called the adversary or the devil, is the enemy of all righteousness and of those who seek to follow God. He is a spirit son of God
who was once an angel “in authority in the presence of God.”” (LDS Bible Dictionary -
rebelled against the Only Begotten Son whom the Father loved and who was in the bosom of the Father, was thrust down
from the presence of God and the Son.” (D&C 76:25)
“Devils are the spirit beings who followed Lucifer . . . They were cast down to earth,
and have been forever denied physical bodies.” (Mormon Doctrine, pages 195-196)
The Gods formed man from the dust of the ground. If we are obedient to the LDS laws and ordinances here, we can progress to become gods and procreate spirit children of our
“It was then explained that his spirit children would go down to earth, gain bodies of flesh and blood, be tried and tested in all things, and have opportunity by obedience to come
back to the Eternal Presence.” (Mormon Doctrine, page 164)
“And the Gods formed man from the dust of the ground, and took his spirit (that is, the man’s spirit), and put it into him.” (Abraham 5:7)
“If the First Born or oldest brother
has received a fulness, we see no impropriety in believing that the younger brethren may also receive the same fulness.“
(The Seer, page 117)
“ALL HUMAN BEINGS—male and female—are created in the image of God . . . and, as such, each has a divine nature and destiny.” (President Gordon B. Hinckley, September 23, 1995, THE FAMILY - A PROCLAMATION TO THE WORLD)
“Who shall set any bounds to this upward tendency of spirit ? Who
shall prescribe limits to its progression ? If it abide the laws and conditions of its several states of existence, who shall say it will not progress until it
shall gain the very summit of perfection, and exist in all the glorious beauty of the image of God ?” (The Seer, pages 102-103)
“In the future eternity, spirit children will be born to
exalted, perfected couples.” (Mormon Doctrine, page 751)
“Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from
everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have
all power, and the angels are subject unto them.” (D&C 132:20)
The Bible Teaches:
There never was a time when God was not God. He is the eternal God:
“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting
to everlasting, thou art God.“ (Psalm 90:2)
things were created. Matter is not eternal:
saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else.“
”Thus saith the Lord, thy redeemer, and he that
formed thee from the womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself.” (Isaiah 44:24)
We were all created. We were not born to Heavenly Parents:
”Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him
for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.” (Isaiah 43:7)
”Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man
against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?” (Malachi 2:10)
Christ was not a spirit child of the Father. He is the Creator of all things. This includes the spirit beings. Therefore Lucifer was created, not born as a spirit brother:
”For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible,
whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” (Colossians 1:16-17)
The “Gods” did not put man's spirit into him. The only true God, who is God alone,
created man and then created man's spirit within him. Man did not exist before he was created on earth:
“The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, saith the Lord, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth
the spirit of man within him.” (Zechariah 12:1)
“Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.” (1 Corinthians 15:46)
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man
became a living soul.” (Genesis 2:7)
As finite creatures
we will never become infinite gods. Praise belongs to Him alone. We will never progress to be like the Father because there will not be any God formed after Him:
“Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me,
and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.” (Isaiah 43:10)
“For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death.” (Psalm
“I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations:
therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever.” (Psalm 45:17)
- God is a glorified man who merely reorganized eternal matter.
- All of us were therefore not created, but were procreated prior to our existence on earth.
- Jesus, Lucifer and all evil spirits are our spirit brothers and sisters.
- We can progress
to become gods and procreate spirit-children of our own.
The Bible Teaches:
- God has always been God. He created all things.
- We were not procreated in a pre-existence. We were created
in our mothers' wombs.
- Jesus is the
Creator. He is not our spirit brother. All things, including spiritual beings were created by Him and for Him.
- There is, has been, and always will be only one eternal God to Whom all praise belong. We will not become gods.
See also Race and Mormonism
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