Mormons / LDS and Knowing God

Yesterday I mentioned that I was visited by two kind Mormon missionaries. One of the things that I appreciated about these young men, was that they allowed me the space to express some of the difficulties that I have with LDS teaching and to explore the relationship of these difficulties to the overall nature of the Bible’s message. Following is a brief sketch of my initial areas of concern:

  1. A number of the highest LDS teachers have taught that scores of gods exist – even suggesting that the Father described in the OT (Yahweh) himself has a father (i.e. someone to whom he owes his very existence). See here, here, and here for example.
  2. In the Word, it’s pretty clear that there are no other gods (or saviors) who were created before or after the LORD (Is.  43:10-11; 44:6-8).
  3. It is also clear that in the Word, God’s incredible summons to worship him is grounded in the fact that he has created everything that we have, are, and see. A number of passages that ground the necessity of worship in God’s creative acts are: Neh. 9:6; Psa. 95:6; 148; Rev. 4:9-11.
  4. Furthermore, it also evident that God is constantly insisting that his people worship no other gods (Ex. 20:3; Deut. 5:7; the universal witness of the entire Word).

In light of these realities, LDS teaching on the nature of God presents me with the following challenges:

  1. If God’s summons to worship him alone is grounded in the fact that I ultimately owe my own existence to him alone, then why doesn’t the LORD himself also have this duty towards the “One” who gave himself his own being? It’s worth noting that nowhere in Scripture is the LORD said to worship anyone. Yet, if the LORD himself owes his very existence to someone who preceded him, then why is he never said to worship?
  2. If there is indeed anyone who preceded the LORD, it is this “someone” who ought to be worshipped. Telling me to worship someone who is not the ultimate cause of my existence is like telling me to worship my Dad. Sorry my friends. My Dad is cool, but not that cool.
  3. If the LDS teaching on the “Gods” who preceded the Father is true, then how is Yahweh himself not a usurper of the worship that rightly belongs to someone else? At the end of the day, how are we not simply cosmic orphans who don’t even know the one who is ultimately responsible for world’s beauty, vindication, and salvation?
  4. Finally, if there is some “God” who preceded the LORD, then why in the world has he simply contented himself to be reduced to a mere phantom and passing idea – of whom we can have no personal knowledge? I’ve actually never met an LDS missionary who was bothered that these “super-Gods” have revealed virtually nothing about themselves. You cannot worship who you do not know, because as Ravi Zacharias once said: “Worship is the culmination and continuance of a relationship with a person, not the celebration of an idea.”[1]

LORD, you are beautiful. Thank-you for not leaving us as orphans; and for making yourself known through the beauty of Creation and Redemption (John 14:8-11). Please make yourself known to these precious LDS men so that they might find joy in knowing and worshipping you alone.

[1] Ravi Zacharias, Deliver Us From Evil: Restoring the Soul in a Disintegrating Culture (Dallas, TX: Word, 1996), 156.

I’m questioning the LDS faith. Are you questioning the LDS faith? Struggling with LDS teaching.

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About pastoralpensees

I have been happily married to my wife since 2000 and have two young sons. In 2012, I graduated from Covenant Theological Seminary with an MDiv,, and I would like to engage in pastoral ministry in a local church.
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3 Responses to Mormons / LDS and Knowing God

  1. garrettmcq says:

    I love the focus on knowing God and that being in a relationship with theGod we worship is vital. That Ravi Zacharias quote is excellent to! I have a heart for the LDS, and I’m always excited to learn more about it. Great post, clear and easy to read.

    Like

    • Garrett,
      I’m glad to hear of your heart for the LDS community. They have always been kind in my engagements with them, and I pray that the LORD would draw them to himself as they reflect on our conversation. Coming out of any group like this (whether LDS, Witness, etc…) is deeply disorienting and painful. I hope that they are able to rest as we visit – however long or short that may last.

      Like

  2. garrettmcq says:

    I love the focus on being in a relationship with the one that we focus, and that the God we serve has revealed himself to us. I have a heart for the LDS faith and am always excited to learn more about it! Great post and great thought process. I’m gonna speak about Mormonism in my next post soon!

    Like

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