Amy Hall – Who Is the God of Mormonism?

One thing you’ll discover as you’re talking with your Mormon (LDS) friends is that though we use the same terms, we often mean very different things. Mormons have different definitions of Gospel, repentance, salvation, grace, Hell, and nearly every term you’ll be using in your conversation. If you fail to explicitly define your terms, you could easily leave the conversation thinking you’re both in complete agreement. (Ask, “What do you mean by that?” early and often!)

The term “God” is no exception to this. In fact, it’s the most foundational difference between Christian and LDS theology.

An Exalted Man

The key to understanding the god of Mormonism is the idea that he is the same species we are; we’re just in an earlier stage of development. Here’s a quote from Joseph Smith:

God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret. If the veil were rent today, and the great God who holds this world in its orbit, and who upholds all worlds and all things by His power, was to make himself visible—I say, if you were to see him today, you would see him like a man in form—like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man; for Adam was created in the very fashion, image and likeness of God, and received instruction from, and walked, talked and conversed with Him, as one man talks and communes with another….

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…that he was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ Himself did

To continue reading Amy Hall’s article, click here.

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Kevin DeYoung – Mormonism 101

Mormonism 101

Mormonism is back in the news. And with two Mormon presidential candidates, including Mitt Romney (the front runner for the Republican nomination), there’s a good chance we will be hearing much more about Mormonism for the next twelve months. Denny Burk has a very helpful piece on whether Mormonism is a cult, and Albert Mohler has written a thoughtful article on “Mormonism, Democracy, and the Urgent Need for Evangelical Thinking.” I won’t repeat their arguments, except to reiterate Mohler’s reminder that voting for a president should include examining the candidate’s religious beliefs, but should include other considerations as well.

Presidential elections are important. But believing the truth is even more important. With that in mind, I thought it might be helpful to provide a brief overview of Mormon history and theology. I won’t try to debunk Mormonism or prove Christianity. But I hope this quick survey will show that the two are not the same.

A quick note on secondary sources: Christian materials do not always treat Mormonism fairly or go the extra mile to present Mormon ideas as a Mormon would recognize it. One book that does is Andrew Jackson’s Mormonism Explained: What Latter-day Saints Teach and Practice. I also recommend A Different Jesus? The Christ of the Latter-Day Saints by BYU professor Robert Millet. Richard Mouw concedes too much in his Foreword and Afterword, but it’s still helpful to get Mormon Christology from a Mormon himself.

Continue reading “Kevin DeYoung – Mormonism 101”

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