An introduction to the Mormons

See below for some highlights from James White’s explanation of Mormon doctrine. Quite an eye-opener, I can promise you.

“We have the same lexicon; we’ve just changed all the meanings ... many times Christians will spend a great deal of time talking with Mormons, thinking there’s agreement ... then all of a sudden they’ll say something, and we’ll realise we’ve been missing each other all along.”

Key: “grasp hold of the central core of LDS teaching; understand what they believe about that, and that will function to translate the language, so that when you hear them speaking you’ll understand.”

“Intelligences and matter – these are the two eternal things in Mormonism ... God has not eternally been God.”

“You and I have existed as long as God has in that form [of intelligences].”

“Matter is eternal. The Mormon God cannot say, ‘Let there be, and there is’; he can only organise pre-existing matter.”

“There are Spirit Children who are born to divine beings, and they are born in the spiritual realm, and yet then they grow, they develop, they learn; they have spiritual fingers and hair and eyes ... Joseph Smith taught that the spiritual realm is very material in its essence, but it’s a more refined kind of matter, so we can’t see it with the physical eye.”

“From the spirit realm you enter into mortal probation ... that’s where you and I are now.”

“We existed as spirit children before we came here, then we entered into this life. The memory of that pre-existence is taken away from us, so we can be tested properly in this life.”

“The four fundamentals of the gospel, according to Mormonism: faith, repentance, baptism by someone holding the proper authority (which is only found in the LDS church) called the Aaronic priesthood, and laying on of hands to receive the Holy Spirit ... that authority is also only found in the LDS church – it’s called the Melchidezek Priesthood.”

“Those four things have to happen for you to enter into paradise ... the celestial kingdom, but those are the minimal things ... beyond these are continued obedience to gospel rules and principles ... the demonstration of ones worthiness.”

“One thing you’ve got to give the Mormons – they are a missionary people ... well, you don’t even get to stop being a missionary when you die ... faithful Mormons will actually come down from Paradise and preach the gospel in the spirit prison.”

“If a person in the spirit prison accepts the gospel ... you still have to do certain things. It’s possible for a spirit to repent; it’s possible for a spirit to believe; but it’s very difficult to lay hands on the head of a spirit or to baptise a spirit.”

“Baptism for the dead is one of the things that sets Mormonism apart ... they’ve done genealogical studies and found out who their ancestors are ... and they’re going into the temple to be baptised in the place of their dead ancestors, and then to have hands laid upon their head to receive the Holy Ghost in the name of these dead people.”

“Literally, they’ll be baptised for fifty people ... then they’ll go into a room, and these priesthood holders wearing their temple garments will lay their hands on their head in the name of someone who is dead, and then they’ll lift their hands and do it again.”

“This is doing the ordinances for the dead, so that if they believe in the spirit prison the four fundamentals will be fulfilled.”

“Theoretically, you could die as a non-Mormon and still receive the highest level of exaltation in the celestial kingdom.”

“For some reason, the majority of people in the spirit prison still don’t believe this Mormon gospel, despite the fact that the Mormons get to go in and out, and when you accept it you get to leave too.”

“Only apostate Mormons actually go to hell – them and Satan and the demons.”

“Adolf Hitler and whoever you want to think of will still end up at least in the telestial level of glory.”

“The consolation prize is that if you’re an apostate Mormon you will rule and reign over Satan and the demons in hell because you got farther through the law of eternal progression than they did – you got a physical body, and they did not. (That’s one of the reasons Satan and the demons want to inhabit physical bodies, but that’s a whole other story.”

"If you’re not married in the LDS temple, and you’re not sealed to your wife in the LDS temple, then you know what you become when you die? An angel.”

“You have to be sealed in the Mormon temple to gain the highest level of exaltation, because that allows you as a man to resurrect your wives and bring them with you (because you remember that Mormonism was originally a polygamous religion) and now you start your own planet. You have a body of flesh and bone (no blood, because flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven) ... you engage in natural relationships with your wives, and produce spirit children. That’s where the spirit children came from, which is where we started.”

“According to Mormonism, the God of this universe – or of this planet – is an exalted man named Elohim. (When I say planet or universe, Mormonism has had to expand things out, and thinks that there are many universes now – that really wasn’t Joseph Smith’s original idea.) This creation is ruled over by the God of this world, who is Elohim ... He was a spirit child, he went through mortal probation, through paradise, and when he died, he was exalted to the status of godhood.”

“God the Father was once a sinner. He’s a redeemed sinner.”

“He brought his wives with him, he organised this world, and his first-born spirit child (once he was exalted to the status of godhood) is Jehovah, who is Jesus.”

“Elohim and Jehovah are separate and distinct Gods. Some Mormons speculate that Jesus will have to marry and have children to become a God himself.”

“Lucifer is one of his first-born spirit children too ... so Jesus and Lucifer and spirit-brothers, just as all of us are spirit-brothers of Jesus and Lucifer, because we are all the offspring of Elohim and one of his heavenly wives.”

“He [Elohim] lives on a planet that circles a star named Kolob ... her has literally billions and billions of spiritual offspring (he’s been quite busy) and it’s his purpose to send them down so that they can enter into mortal probation and choose whether they will walk the right path, follow after him, be like him, and become Gods themselves.”

“The worthy Mormon male believes that if he follows this path, then at his death and resurrection he will become a God, and he will organise a planet, and then he will have spirit children, and he will be worshipped by his spirit children, just as the God of this world is.”

“The ultimate objective of a Mormon is to live a worthy enough life that upon his death, burial and resurrection – which includes being sealed in the temple, receiving the temple rituals, the temple priesthood, the endowment ceremonies, the whole nine yards – [he will show his] worthiness to be exalted.”

“In Mormonism, the power of God is twofold: it’s the power of the priesthood, and the power of procreation.”

“Everyone in the terrestrial and telestial kingdom – their bodies are changed so they can no longer have children. But those in the celestial kingdom have the power of eternal lives – we use the term ‘eternal life’, they say ‘eternal lives’ – in their ability to have offspring, have those spirit children.”

“In Mormonism, the reason that Jesus can be a saviour, and the reason he can take his life back after his death, is that he is immortal. Why? Because he had a physical, immortal Father, Elohim, and a mortal mother, Mary.”

“Specifically, ‘Elohim has a body of flesh and bones, as mortal as any man’s,’ Doctrine and Covenant section 130 verse 22.”

“There is truly no virgin birth, because the miracle of the ‘Virgin Birth’ is that Mary was a virgin at the time of conception – there is no ‘miracle’ of a virgin birth.”

“God the Father was literally married to one of his offspring [Mary] to create the body of Jesus, and they had a physical relationship to create the body of Jesus.”

“This is the most polytheistic system I have ever seen in my life. I have had serious Mormon apologists actually defend the idea that there an unlimited number of Gods in the universes.”

Joseph Smith: “God the Father of us all was a man who dwelled upon another planet.”

“In Mormonism, God, men and angels are all of the same species. We’re just different levels of exaltation and different levels of progression.”

“Jesus’ atonement takes away original sin, Adam’s sin, but there are certain grievous sins that we can commit which our blood must be shed to atone for, which is why back in the United States there is one state in the Union that still has the firing squad as a proper method of state execution – and it’s the state of Utah. Because only by a firing squad would you shed blood.”

“Your own blood must be shed to atone, and in LDS theology the atonement takes place primarily in the Garden of Gethsemane, and is only finished upon the cross of Calvary.”

“Jesus in Mormonism is one God among many, he is the first begotten of the Father in the flesh, he is not the Creator of all things.”

“The Bible is not the central book of LDS theology. They have a canon that includes the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.

“The Bible is the word of God as far as it is translated correctly. According to them, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price are perfect. So if you have three ‘perfect’ books and one ‘imperfect’ book, which ones are going to end up interpreting the others?”