Servants of God, Defenders of the Faith.
Note: this book is not in any way endorsed or approved by the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It is an independent apologetical research project, if the reader hears or reads anything from a General Authority of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints contradictory to any of the statements made in this book, I the Author would ask that the reader trust the General Authority before trusting this book. Though nothing I say in this book is false (to the best of my knowledge) I am an imperfect human being, who is within the bounds of error. Therefore I ask that the reader not accept this book as official Church Doctrine. Introduction
I have always found it funny how people will trust their own reasoning before God. The many attacks upon the church prove the absolute idiocy that Satan is willing to stoop to in order to destroy the truth of God. It also proves the same for those professors of religion which Joseph Smith described in his account of the first vision Cult or Christian?
(Joseph Smith History 1:19).
For after reviewing the various really stupid arguments against the Church which attempt to argue how far fetched the possibility of the Church's truth, I come to the conclusion, that the possibility of the Church not being true is far fetched.
There is really not much I can say here, because whether or not Mormonism is a cult, or a Christian faith is in the eyes of the beholder. To me and all other Mormons, we are very much so Christian. However it is an undeniable fact that some of our doctrines are not in tune with mainline Christian Doctrines. To me that makes Mainline Christianity False, however to them it makes Mormons Unchristian. If they choose to view us that way, they have every right to, and I do not believe that Mormons should take offense when people call us a cult. Because if the true and living Church of Jesus Christ is a cult, in the eyes of the world, so be it. But it's our cult. Does Mormonism Attack other Faiths?
I find it interesting that many people criticize Mormonism for practicing the same exact thing that they practice. This is the idea that we Mormons believe that we are the one true church. So do most mainline conservative Protestants and Catholics. However mainline Christians, and especially Liberal Mainline Christians take several things that some of our leaders said way out of context. First the criticize Joseph Smith's account of his first vision, which states, "My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right that I might know which to join." It continues to say that, "I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong and the personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were abominations in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt," (Joseph Smith History 1:18-19)Becoming Gods
First of all let us look at the historical context of that statement. Secular history books at the time record a religious upheaval in upstate New York, where young Joseph Smith lived at the time. There was a virtual war of words between the Methodists, and the Presbyterians and other sects. Joseph's own family was torn apart by this and he was extremely confused. The bible states that there can only be one faith, "There is one body, and one spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all who is above all, and through all, and in you all." (Ephesians 4:4-6). Joseph read that verse and took it literally to mean that there can only be one true Church of Christ. Therefore if; as the bible states, there is only one true religion. If one church is true, it holds to reason that all other religions are untrue.
They also site various other quotes from various leaders of our church including Journal of Discourses which states that, "The Christian world, so-called, are heathens as to their knowledge of the salvation of God" (Journal of Discourses, 8:171) & "With regard to theology, a more ignorant people never lived than the present so-called Christian world" (JofD,8:199).
These statements are correct, mainline Christianity is ignorant of most of the saving truths of God. However they do not say that God does not love the mainline Christian world for their attempts to believe in the truth of the Lord. Remember that according to Mormons there are three Kingdoms of Heaven. The Celestial, Terrestrial, and Telestial. All righteous people who are not Latter-day Saints will inherit the Terrestrial Kingdom of Heaven. (Mormon Doctrine Bruce R. McConkie Pages 783-784.)
Most mainline Christians believe that those who are not of their faith will automatically go to hell. That sounds like more of an attack then our doctrine. Yet Mormons believe that those who are not Mormon at the time of the final judgment will go to a lower degree of heaven, may I ask which is more merciful? If I were a non-Christian I'd take the Mormon philosophy personally.
"We talk about Christianity, but it is a perfect pack of nonsense....the Devil could not invent a better engine to spread his work than the Christianity of the nineteenth century" (JofD, 6:167); "What -are Christians ignorant? Yes, as ignorant of the things of God as the brute beast" (JofD, 6:25); "What does the Christian know of God? nothing....why, so far as the things of God are concerned they are the veriest fools; they know neither God nor the Things of God" (JofD, 13:225)
Yes, Brigham Young and John Taylor did write these things, and it is true that if; at the final judgment, one is found believing in mainline Christianity he will be sent to a lesser kingdom of heaven. (Mormon Doctrine Pages 784-785) But while writing these words, these two men still understood that it is possible that a mainline Christian can be righteous, (Mormon Doctrine Page 699.). Mainline Christians are ignorant of the fullness of the truth of God, however they are not necessarily unrighteous, and it is possible for them to attain a lesser degree of Glory.
Those who criticize us for so called, "attacks" on other churches also forget one of our articles of faith as written by Joseph Smith himself which states that: "We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may." (Articles of Faith 1:11) Tolerance of other faiths is worked into the fundamental doctrines of our church. We do not attack other faiths accept to say that we believe that we are the one true faith. If that is attacking other faiths, then I guess we do attack other faiths. However, we are openly tolerant, and you will never find a good Mormon Missionary being too overbearing. If you do, he is not a good Mormon Missionary.
Mainline Christians love to attack the Mormon philosophy of exaltation in the celestial Kingdom. They claim that we believe that men can become Gods if they are valiant spirits. They are correct, we do believe this, and we even believe that is how God became a God.Plurality of Gods
First let us look to the parable of the talents in Matthew, which states, "Well done, good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee a ruler over many things, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." The mainline Christians believe that once we die, we either: immediately go to heaven, suffer purgatory, or exist in a state of sleep until we are resurrected. Either way, after the second coming of Christ, the World ceases to exist to some of them, and to others it becomes paradisiacal. But if everyone has been lifted into heaven or hell, then there is nothing left to rule. Therefore in order for that verse to be true, it has to hold to reason that we (or God) must create something to for God to make us ruler over. Just in the same way that the Father's Father made him ruler over us.
Throughout the ages, no Christian Church has been able to answer the question of what is the purpose of life. Mormonism answers that, the purpose of life is for God's children to become exalted beings. "For this is my work and my Glory, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man," (Moses 1:39)
In addition there is not a single biblical reference that directly counters Exaltation. It is impossible to find. The only possibilities are those bible verses which claim that there is only one God. These verses include Isaiah 44:6-8, Ephesians 4:6, and Exodus 20: 2-3. I go into much more specifics in the next section where I talk about the Plurality of Gods. But the simple explanation is that there is only one God of this Universe, that is God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. None of these verses ever mention the possibility of other universes.
Mormonism; contrary to popular opinion, is monotheistic. We believe in one God of this universe, we worship One God. This God is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, which are each separate entities who have achieved their own individual status as Gods, but they form one God in Purpose. They are our God.Holy Trinity or Godhead?
However, in addition to the fact that our universe has a single God at its head, the bible never mentions the possibility of other universes. Our Latter-day revelations tell us that there are in fact other universes, with different Gods at the head of them. In addition, God the Father was; like us, created by a God. He had to go through a probationary phase, just like we are, and he had to be resurrected and exalted, just like we can be.
The book of Revelations even tells us that God had a father. And he hath made us Kings and Priests unto God and his father, to him be glory and dominion ever and ever, Amen." (Revelations 1:6) So the bible even recognizes that God himself had a father. Many Mainline Christians might misinterpret this verse to suggest that the God this verse is talking about is Jesus. However whenever the bible talks about God, as a whole, it is referring to three individual persons. The father, the son, and the holy spirit. The bible only refers to these three individually, when it is directly referring to either, the Father, the Son, or the Holy Spirit.
In this context, when the verse tells us that God, as a whole, had a father. It couldn't be referring to only Jesus Christ, for his father is God the father. It couldn't be referring to only the Holy Spirit for the same reason. It must have been referring to God the Father, for it states that God had a father, not Jesus had a father, nor the Holy Ghost had a father, but God. So therefore we see that the bible recognizes that God the father had a father himself.
If we also look to Corinthians, we find that, "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 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." (1 Corinthians 8:5-6). So what we realize is that even the bible recognizes that there are many Gods. Mainline Christians commit another fallacy by interpreting this verse to mean, "So called Gods." And that Paul was not referring to actual Gods, but only false Gods which Greeks believed in. But let us look to the actual verse text, which states, "Whether in heaven or on earth." Whether in heaven, must mean that these Gods dwell in a heavenly state. No unclean thing may enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, therefore if they are in a heavenly state, and they are not really a god, but are called a god, then they are unclean, and that negates the text of the verse. So if they are actually in heaven, and they are called Gods, they must actually be Gods. So the bible does recognize the plurality of Gods.
Mainline Christians site three major passages to combat the doctrine of plurality of Gods. However if we actually look at the verse texts of these three passages, we see that they do not really combat the Plurality at all, but merely state that in this universe, there is only one God.
They site Isaiah 44:6 which states, "I am the first, and I am the last, beside me there is no God." Right, there is no God in this universe but our Father in Heaven, his son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. However, no where in the text of that verse does it even mention the possibility of other universes.
They site Isaiah 44:8 which states that, "Is there a God beside me? Yea, there is no God, I know not any." Again, there is no God other then the one God of this Universe, but the phrase, "other universes," is not even mentioned in this verse, therefore it does not make it impossible that there could be other Gods in other realms.
They site Isaiah 43:10, which states that, "before me there is no God formed, nor after me." In this universe, before God there is no other God formed. Nor after the one God of this universe. Remember the words "other universes" are not even contained, leaving the possibility open.
They site Ephesians 4:6 Which specifically states there is one God. Again, right, there is only one god, but the verse never mentions other universes. Therefore the possibility is left open.
Finally they site Exodus 20: 2-3 which states "Thou shalt have no other Gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image or any likeness of anything that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth." Of all those four verses, they site, this is my favorite, because not only does it leave open the possibility of Gods of other universes, but of other Gods period. Because it is simply God urging his people not to worship other gods, (Which Mormons Don't) It never specifically states, "There are no other Gods." At the time, God was referred to as the "God of Israel." He was not even referred to as the "God of Earth," or the "God of the Universe," which leaves the possibility of other Gods in this realm, wide open. However, there are no other Gods of this realm, we know that now.
So the explanation of the Plurality of Gods is simple, in this realm, there is only one God. God the Father, through his Son Jesus Christ, created all things. The universe is defined as all things. The universe can not be measured in terms of geography, for it is infinite on a linear scale, but God is not linear, and the possibility of other universes are not linear, therefore we as humans can not comprehend them but they do exist.
The statements of various Church leaders indicate that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believes not in the Holy Trinity. However, this is simply because of a HUGE misunderstanding. In truth there are two definitions of Holy Trinity, held by the various Christian Sects. One is that God is a Trinity of Persons, and the three are separate persons, but they each form one God. The other is that God has basically a split personality. Mormons actually agree with the first definition. Origin of God
"Though each God in the Godhead is a personage, separate and distinct from each of the others, they are 'one God' meaning that they are united as one in the attributes of perfection." (Mormon Doctrine, Page 319). That, right there, sums up what we believe concerning the Holy Trinity. Each of the members of the Godhead, has achieved their own individual Godhood, yet they all reign over this Universe and this universe alone. They all have the same purpose to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. They all have the same attributes of perfection. They are so alike in nature, that they can speak for each other, and are equal to each other.
There are, however, two different kinds of Christians, Trinitarians, and Unitarians. Unitarians believe that Jesus is the Father, The Father is Jesus, The Holy Spirit is Jesus, and the Holy Spirit is the Father. They are all three; not only one God, but one individual person. This is a false, soul destroying doctrine. Because if they were not separate entities, how could Jesus pray to the father, and have the holy spirit descend upon him. They all work together as separate entities, therefore they are separate entities, all forming one God. Mormons are Trinitarian, we believe in the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Other mainline Christians (namely Jehovah's Witnesses) believe that God is simply the Father, and Jesus Christ is not God in the flesh. The holy spirit is simply a messenger, and is not a part of God. They believe that the Son and the Holy Spirit are inferior to the Father. This is also a false soul destroying doctrine, for Jesus was the word in flesh. The word was God, (John 1:1-4). Jesus was also referred to as God, when old testament prophets spoke of the coming of the Messiah. "For unto us a child is born, for unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulders, and his name shall be called, Wonderful Councilor, the Mighty God the everlasting father, The prince of peace." (Isaiah 9:6).
So in truth the only difference between the Mormon Godhead, and the Christian Trinity, is the fact that the Christians call it the Trinity, and the Mormons call it the Godhead.
Mainline Christians accuse Mormons of believing that God used to be a man from another planet. First of all their accusation is false in one respect, and true in another. God did used to be a man from another planet, however not a planet in this universe. For God created this Universe, and all the planets therein. Restoration and Apostasy
However the true origin of God is the fact that he was once a man, imperfect and sinful in nature. However by being valiant in life in that universe, he was exalted to become the God of this universe, our creator, and redeemer. The only possible attack against this is to say that he is eternal, and that because he is eternal, he could not have had a beginning. However they are mistaking the meaning of the word eternal to mean also uncreated. Eternal does not necessarily mean uncreated for it is possible for us to have eternal life if we are righteous. The exact words "eternal life" are used. (Matthew 25:46). Yet we were indeed created. Therefore this does not deny the possibility that God could have earned his eternity.
Mormon Doctrine by Bruce R. McConkie explains it logically by stating that, "Were there ever a son without a father? And where was there ever a father without first being a son." Logically if there is a father, he was once a son. The same is true in the heavenly sense of the word father, for once the father was a heavenly son of his father in heaven. Our heavenly grandfather if you will. Finally remember Revelations 1:6 which affirms the fact that God had a father.
In the early days of the Christian movement, it was loosely held together by the then fifteen apostles, and the seventies. Word was not spread using the fastest means possible back then, and one by one, the Apostles were all caught and crucified. At first, after an apostle died, there was another ordained to replace him, however, it took months before another apostle would be informed to do the job. Therefore eventually all of the apostles were killed, before they could ordain any more the take their places. With the death of the Apostles, came the death the predominant priesthood power in the world.Heavenly Mother
The world entered into a stage known as the Great Apostasy as the many fledgling churches spread all over the known world could not communicate with a general authority over doctrinal questions. With this lack of authority, they did the only thing they could do, they founded their own independent sects based upon what little information they had.
Eventually the Catholic Church became the dominant sect, and the established religion of the Roman Empire. Yet the Catholics had even less truth then the other sects, for many of their doctrines were based upon pagan traditions. They were also so oppressive that the other more true Christian Churches ceased to exist until the Protestant Reformation. Finally in 325 A.D. the Christians in the Roman Empire came together to form a unified doctrine at the infamous Nicene Conference.
This points out the fact that after the Apostles died, there was a great apostasy from truth. Because of the great persecutions occurring at the time, the apostles even predicted this apostasy, they also predicted a restoration. The Apostle Paul writes, "For that day shall not come except there be a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed the son of perdition." So what we see is that Paul predicted the apostasy. However the Book of Acts predicted the Restoration by stating, "Whom the heaven must receive until the time of restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." Before the second coming can occur there must be a restoration or restitution of truth upon the earth.
So if we harmonize those two verses we come up with the fact that in order for the second coming to occur, there must first be a great apostasy, and then there must be a restoration of the fullness of truth. Mormons believe that this occurred.
Only Latter-day revelations allude to the existence of the Mother in Heaven. She is not mentioned in the Bible, or the Book of Mormon, or even the Doctrine and Covenants or the Pearl of Great Price, yet she does exist as our spirit Mother. There have been speculation as to whether or not there are multiple wives of God, or there is only one, we refer only the one, yet she does exist, and is an exalted being. Since she is a Godess, and therefore has not the appropriate priesthood power to be called a God, she can not be another God, and therefore can not be refuted by Isaiah, Exodus, or any other scripture.Temples
The reason why she is not mentioned is because the Father is attempting to protect her from blasphemy. We all know of the much blasphemy which is spoken of against our father in heaven. Latter-day revelations tell us that the Lord did not want Heavenly Mother to face the same blasphemy. (Mormon Doctrine Page 516-517.)
In all ages men have been commanded to build temples, or places of holiness unto the Lord. In these temples the various ordinances were done which pertained to exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom. Even the Jews of old built temples. The temple of Solomon, the Temple of Herod, the portable tabernacle of Moses, etc. What the bible fails to mention is the fact that the same ordinances which are performed in Latter-day Saint temples were performed in these temples. There is no biblical reference to combat this.Prophets Today
The ordinances which occur in LDS temples are Endowments, Celestial Marriages, Baptisms for the Dead, Endowments for the Dead, and Celestial Marriages for the Dead. The ordinances for the dead were not done until Christ came and ordained them. But the ancient Jews did practice celestial marriage and endowments.
The reason why most Jews themselves don't even know about this is because after the Israelites were carried away into bondage by the Babylonians, there was a minor apostasy. Similar to the one which we experienced during the dark ages until the restoration of the true church by Joseph Smith. However this apostasy was much, much smaller.
Remember that all ordinances were done by the authority of the priesthood which was held by the Levites at the time. When the Jews returned from bondage, the Levites were still scattered, so likewise the Hebrews found themselves without any authority to turn to. While they still held the higher Melchizedek Priesthood, which would have allowed them to practice temple ordinances, most of the authority on temples was lost. Therefore the Endowments and Marriages were lost until Jesus restored them.
SEE (Mormon Doctrine Pages 779-781) (LDS Bible Dictionary Pages 780-784)
There is absolutely no biblical reference to combat the idea that there can be prophets in the modern days. To my logic the denial of that possibility shows a lack of faith. However there is a mainline Christian doctrine amongst some sects which teaches that the only sign of the divinity of Christ to the people of earth was his resurrection. After that, dreams and signs of the existence of Christ ceased to occur.Book of Mormon Vs. The Bible
I would disagree with this for two reasons. One is because there were signs well after Christ was resurrected. The Book of Acts details them quite well. Namely the one in which peter was told by an angel to eat un-couture food, and that Gentiles and Canaanites could now receive the Gospel.
Sign seeking is a sin, however because it is not right to ask God to prove his existence. We are told that we can ask God for wisdom, instruction, and comfort, but not for proof of his existence, to do so shows a lack of faith.
Also the mainline Christian theory that all signs occurred in the past raises the question of the faithfulness of the mainline Christians. I would contend that if one doesn't believe that the same miracles can and do happen today, as did in the past, then one has a lack of faith. Therefore there is absolutely no reason to assume that prophets can't exist today.
SEE (Mormon Doctrine Pages 82-83)
Mainline Christians criticize us for believing that the Book of Mormon is more correct then the bible. They site our 8th Article of faith which states that "We believe the bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; We also believe in the Book of Mormon to be the Word of God." (Articles of Faith 1:8) This is true actually, the Book of Mormon is a more perfect Book then the Bible. The reason why is because the Bible is a collection of books that were written by prophets, yet it was compiled by people who were not necessarily prophets. In addition there are various editions of the bible, namely the Catholic edition, which contains books that the protestant edition doesn't. There's apocryphal books left out of the bible which may or may not be authentic. Why are most doctrines not contained in the Book of Mormon.
There now still finding scrolls which were writings of the prophets and apostles of old. At the same time with all of this evidence, mainline Christians are willing to tell us that the Bible is the fullness of truth, the absolute word of God, containing everything we need.
In its perfect form the bible would contain every single book that was written by any apostle, prophet, or seer anywhere on earth. However the proven existence of other writings negates the contention that the bible is the fullness of doctrine. In truth the bible does not contain the fullness of the truth as even understood by the apostles.
All of the doctrines of Mormonism were practiced by the Apostles of old, and the bibles they used, were so incredibly different from the ones that we now use, it is amazing to even comprehend.
The book of Mormon is a group of books written, and translated, and compiled by prophets of god. Therefore, while it may have had grammatical errors to it. It has absolutely no doctrinal errors at all. It thus is a perfect witness of the divinity of Christ, and as Joseph Smith described, "The most perfect book on the face of the Earth."
Simple, the Book of Mormon was never intended to contain all of the doctrines of the true Christian Church. Instead it was to act as a perfect witness of Christ. The fullness of doctrine would come during the restoration of the Gospel by the Prophet Joseph Smith, through the Doctrine and Covenants. The Doctrine and Covenants does contain the fullness of Doctrine. That's why things such as, the three kingdoms of heaven, are not contained in the Book of Mormon.Changes in the Book of Mormon.
SEE (Mormon Doctrine Pages 97-99)
The Prophet Joseph Smith described the Book of Mormon as the most Perfect book on the face of the earth. Yet mainline Christians point out the fact that there have been over three thousand changes to it. The reason why is because they were all simple grammatical changes, or word order changes. The phrases have always been understood the way they are now, however Joseph Smith was no grammarian.The father has a body of flesh and bones.
Remember that Moses couldn't talk in public (Exodus 3:11-13), therefore Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery are afforded the right to be bad grammarians.
SEE (The Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry on Mormonism. http://www.carm.org/mormon.htm)
There is no biblical reference to combat this save it be something stating that God is everywhere, or the spirit of God, or God is Spirit. These verses and quotes are referring to either the Holy Spirit, which is the spirit of God. Or Christ, which, before he came here, did not have a body of flesh and bones, therefore he was a spirit. But our doctrine teaches that in order to attain a degree of glory in one of the three kingdoms of heaven, one must be resurrected, and replace this current body of flesh and blood with a body of flesh and bones.Plural Marriage
Remember that we believe that God went through the same eternal progression ordeal that we are going through, therefore it holds to logic; in our doctrine, that he have a perfect body of flesh and bones.
I understand that almost no other Christian sect believes that, but nowhere in the bible does it say specifically that the Father is a Spirit. It does in places say that God is a spirit, or the Spirit of God, but remember when the bible refers to God, they are referring to three individuals, one of whom is a spirit. Another who used to be a spirit.
SEE (Luke 24:39-41)
From the time of Adam, to the present, there have been fluctuations with the divine law of plural marriage. There is even controversy within the LDS church concerning the dealing with it at the moment, however right now, it is not condoned by the church and anyone practicing it will be excommunicated. "I wish to state categorically that this church has nothing whatever to do with those practicing polygamy. They are not members of this church. Most of them have never been members of this church. They are in violation of the civil law. they know they are in violation of the law. They are subject to its penalties…Not only are those so involved in direct violation of the civil law, they are in violation of the law of this Church. An article of faith is binding upon us, it states 'We believe in being subject to Kings presidents rulers and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law." (Gordon B. Hinckley, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.) Basically the church no longer practices polygamy.Pre-Existence
There was a time when the Church did in fact practice polygamy. The bible even condones the practice of polygamy. Many righteous prophets of the old testament practiced polygamy, including Abraham, (Genesis 16:1-3). Jacob, (Genesis 29:23-35.) (Genesis 30:1-7). Laws governing the Israelites in the doctrine of plural marriage were established by Moses on Mount Sinai (Exodus 21:8-10). What do these verses reveal? That at times, God has allowed; and even commanded, that his children practice plural marriage.
Yet on other occasions, the Lord has commanded that his children not practice plural marriage. Namely in the Book of Mormon, the Nephites were commanded not to practice plural marriage, (Jacob 2:27). In the present time, Latter-day Saints are commanded not to practice Plural Marriage because it is against the law of the land.
In 1890, president Wilford Woodruff issued the Manifesto, which removed plural marriage from our doctrine officially. "Inasmuch as laws have been enacted by congress forbidding plural marriages, which laws have been pronounced constitutional by the court of last resort, I hereby declare my intention to submit to those laws and use my influence with the members of the Church over which I preside to have them do likewise." (President Wilford Woodruff, Doctrine and Covenants Official Declaration One.)
In addition, unless God specifically commands a person to practice plural marriage, it is not required of him to attain exaltation in the celestial kingdom. "Plural marriage is not essential to salvation, nor exaltation. Nephi and his people were denied the power to have more than one wife and yet, they could gain every blessing in eternity that the Lord ever offered to any people in our day." (Mormon Doctrine Page 578)
Mormonism does in fact teach the doctrine of the pre-existence. As far as the bible is concerned, Mainline Christians have formed multiple opinions concerning the pre-existence in heaven. Some even agree with us, some don't. From various cluttered bible passages we can get the idea that there was a pre-existence. Namely the fact that God did create this universe, (Genesis Chapter 1). In order for him to have created this earth, he at least, must have existed before its creation.Jesus is the firstborn spirit child of God
At the time, Christ was a part of the Godhead, because Christ created the earth under the direction of the Father, (Hebrews 1:1-3). Therefore Christ was obviously in existence as Jehovah before the creation of the World. The bible also tells us of a war in heaven before the creation of the world, in which Satan was cast down to rule in hell for rebelling against God. (Revelations 12:1-9). Therefore Michael the Archangel, and Satan, and several of the hosts of both heaven and hell had to exist before the creation of the earth.
All of this eludes to a pre-mortal existence with the father. Although there is very little, and it indirectly points out the fact that we lived with the father in heaven, there is almost nothing biblically to suggest the otherwise.
The bible affirms this fact, that Jesus is the firstborn of all creations. We have been criticized for believing that Jesus is our Spirit brother, but the fact of the matter is that he is according to what the bible teaches. "Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature." (Colossians 1:15). Many Christians try to argue that Jesus is uncreated, but this verse tell us that he is God's firstborn. Therefore he must have been created, how could he have been a firstborn creation of God, and not created at the same time.Devil is Jesus' Brother
So the bible teaches that Christ is the firstborn creation of God, therefore if we are all creations of God then it holds to reason that Christ is our spirit brother, for we are all sons and daughters of the Father, and therefore brothers. If we are sons and daughters of our father, and Christ is a son of our father, then he is logically our spirit brother.
Since God created everything, he even created the Angel Lucifer, which fell from heaven, and became Satan (Revelations 12:9). Since Satan is a spirit child of God, and so is Christ (Colossians 1:15), then logically, Satan and Jesus are brothers. They are children of the same father, that makes them siblings. Plan of Salvation.
One of the things that mainline Christians fail to do is provide a reason for our existence. Mormonism does that, by telling us God's purpose, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. (Moses 1:39). That is the purpose of life, and in order to do that he set forth a plan of salvation. (Gospel Principles, Page 27).
According to this plan, mankind would be put upon the earth to undergo testing of worth, to enter God's kingdom. There are Four important events which have or must come to pass in order for this plan to be carried out. The first is the creation. In order for us to have a place of testing, it had to be created, so God created the universe,
(Genesis Chapter 1).
The next was the fall of Adam. When he was first placed in the Garden of Eden, Adam was perfect. He was free of sin, he had a perfect body of flesh and bones. However in order for man to be tested on this earth, there must be sin. Therefore Adam and Eve partook of the fruit of the tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Therefore they committed the first sin, allowing all humans to be tested for sin (Genesis Chapter 3).
The third most important event in this plan was the atonement and resurrection of Christ. The world is so incredibly sinful that there is no possible way for mankind to be saved following the law of Moses. Therefore in order for man to be cleansed of sin, there needed to be a perfect sacrifice. A lamb of God who would take upon himself the sins of the world and be punished for them. (Matthew 16:21). In doing so he cleansed us of our sins if we are willing to obey his commandments and have faith in him (1 John 1:1-7).
The final event has not yet happened. That is the second coming of Christ, which will happen (Revelations 16:15-17). The need for his return is so that he can act as our Judge and redeemer that we may enter into the Kingdom of Heaven (Revelations 20 4-5).
The greater details of the plan can be found in other writings, but there is no biblical reference against them.
SEE (Mormon Doctrine Pages 575-576)
(Continued on page 375)