1 Corinthians 8:5: Other gods

First Corinthians 8:5 says, “For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God.”

Third President John Taylor explained,

“…it may be well enough to say at the outset that Mormonism embraces a plurality of Gods–as the Apostle Paul said, there were ‘gods many, and lords many’ (I Corinthians 8:5.)”

We must consider the context. Notice the next verse:

“But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.”

It is possible to turn anything into a “god,” and it doesn’t have to be made of wood or stone. For example, we can idolize popularity, work, school, money, entertainment, sports, etc.–all of which are not wrong on their own–and create objects of worship. Even something highly valued, such as family, can become an idol if it becomes our top priority over God and it begins to consume our lives.

Other verses in the Bible certainly support this idea. For example, Galatians 4:8 says, “But then indeed, when you did not know God, you served which by nature are not gods.”  Jeremiah 2:11 states, “Has a nation changed its gods, which are not gods?” The Book of Mormon agrees in the existence of only one God, as Alma 11:26-29 says, “And Zeezrom said unto him: Thou sayest there is a true and living God? And Amulek said: Yea, there is a true and living God. Now Zeezrom said: Is there more than one God? And he answered, No.”

Other biblical verses to show the existence of only one God include: Deut. 4:35; 6:4; Is 43:10; 44:6; 44:8; 45:5; 45:6; 45:14; 45:18; 45:21; 45:22; 46:9; Mk 12:29-34; James 2:19.