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Elohim the Sinner

It was fifth LDS President Lorenzo Snow who coined the expression, “As man is God once was, as God is, man may be” (Articles of Faith, pg. 430). If there was ever an area of proof to show that Mormonism and biblical Christianity is incompatible, this phrase would seem to erase all doubt. Mormon leaders have stated that Elohim (God the Father), as a mortal on some distant planet similar to Earth, went through the same struggles as present-day humans in order to obtain his godhood. In the words of LDS Apostle Orson Hyde, “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” (Journal of Discourses 1:123). Consistency would demand that if the Mormon God was “mortal like we are,” he must have had the attributes that we as humans have. This would have to include a sinful nature.

According to page 132 of the 1976 LDS manual entitled “Achieving a Celestial Marriage, “… our Father in heaven was once a man as we are now, capable of physical death.” It would appear that not only was the Mormon God capable of death, he in fact did die. As LDS Apostle Bruce McConkie wrote, “The Father is a glorified, perfected resurrected, exalted man who worked out his own salvation by obedience to the same laws he has given to us so that we may do the same” (A New Witness for the Articles of Faith, pg. 64). Notice the word “resurrected” and the phrase, “worked out his salvation.” Only those who die can be resurrected, and only those who are lost need salvation. Unless McConkie is leading his readers astray, Mormons must admit that their God was a sinner for the Bible teaches that death is the wage of sin (Romans 6:23).

Some Latter-day Saints, not fully understanding the implications behind the death of the sinless Jesus, may ask how it was that Jesus died when the Bible says He “knew no sin.” Quite simply, the sins He bore were not His own! He did not have to “work out his own salvation” like the God of Mormonism for Jesus committed no wrong. He instead chose to bear the sins of man. All true believers who have come to a saving faith recognize that Christ atoned for their sins on the Cross of Calvary. Christ chose this cruel and horrible death in order to purchase our salvation. That purchase was not a partial payment to be paid off later through an individual’s merit. When Jesus said, “It is finished” (Gr. tetelestai), the work of redemption had been completed — it was paid in full.

Though I can’t speak for every Christian, I can personally say that the idea of worshipping a God who was once a sinner is repulsive, to say the least. If what LDS leaders have said is true, the God of Mormonism does not deserve the worship of any man for he is in essence no better than any of us! Mormon leaders have said that, in order for mankind to prove themselves worthy, they must follow every commandment to the letter. Tenth LDS President Joseph Fielding Smith declared, “To enter the celestial and obtain exaltation it is necessary that the whole law be kept” (Way to Perfection, pg. 206). How dare this “deity” demand of us our “complete obedience” when apparently he himself did not follow suit during his so-called “mortal probation?”

Latter-day Saints may argue that if their God did sin, he does not do so now. This is irrelevant. A God who sinned at all is not the God of the Bible for the God of the Bible has always been perfect and holy, just and pure. He is distinct from His creation. He always was God (Psalm 90:2) and never was a mortal man; therefore He could not be an exalted man. Is it any wonder that it grieves the God of the Bible to see many faithful Latter-day Saints bowing in humble reverence to an image of God “made like to corruptible man”? (Romans 1:23). How it must anger Him to see the leaders of Mormonism leading so many sincere people on a destructive course of error.

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