Christianity vs. Mormonism: Monotheism
Christianity has many defining doctrines. Monotheism is one of them. One passage that clearly defines monotheism is Deuteronomy 6:4:
Listen, Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! -NET
I like what bible.org says about this verse in an article entitled “Deuteronomy 6:4“:
This great verse has been recited countless times by Israelites down through the centuries, setting forth their distinctive belief in one great Creator God. The Jews had retained their original belief in creation, handed down from Noah, while the other nations had all allowed their primitive monotheistic creationism to degenerate into a wide variety of religions, all basically equivalent to the polytheistic evolutionism of the early Sumerians at Babel.
Jews used this passage as a cry against other religions that were popping up around them. God being one was essential for the Jews just as it is for Christians. Like the Jews of old we, as Christians, should use this verse as a call against false religions. That brings us to the question of this article: Is Mormonism monotheistic?
The answer to this question is no. Allow me to quote the Mormon apostle Bruce R. McConkie when he writes:
Monotheism is the doctrine or belief that there is but one God. If this is properly interpreted to mean that the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost–each of whom is a separate and distinct godly personage–are one God, meaning one Godhead, then true saints are monotheists. –Mormon Doctrine, p. 511, LDSCL.
For many who are not familiar with monotheism or the doctrine of the trinity this could look like an orthodox statement but this is not the case. Where McConkie goes wrong is his use of the words “separate and distinct personages”. That is not the trinity nor is it a monotheistic definition. McConkie goes on to say even more on this subject later when he writes:
Three separate personages-Father, Son, and Holy Ghost-comprise the Godhead. As each of these persons is a God, it is evident, from this standpoint alone, that a plurality of Gods exists. To us, speaking in the proper finite sense, these three are the only Gods we worship. But in addition there is an infinite number of holy personages, drawn from worlds without number, who have passed on to exaltation and are thus gods. -pp. 576-577.
If the first statement was ambiguous this statement is straight forward. McConkie doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to Mormonism’s doctrine of god. Notice what he said, “As each of these persons is a God, it is evident, from this standpoint alone, that a plurality of Gods exists.” Did you catch that? An apostle of the Mormon church said that there is a plurality of gods! Need I say more? I probably don’t, but I will. Joseph Smith is the founder of the Mormon church. He was the “prophet” that came to make god clear to the masses. In 1844 he preached a sermon entitled the “King Follett Funeral Discourse”. In that sermon he says:
God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! That is the great secret.
There you have it. God was once like you and I. The god of Mormonism is nothing more than an exalted man. This creates many theological problems but it also goes against the doctrine of monotheism. If god is just an exalted man that means we can become gods. For many this may seem like a great thing but for the Christian this is utterly disgusting. Mormonism is not a monotheistic religion. It is the most polytheistic religion in the world because the number of gods are infinite. Mormonism may try to reconcile their view with the Scriptures or historical Christianity but is impossible. God has revealed himself and has done so clearly. This has also been shown throughout history. One historical example comes from Tertullian when he writes:
There is only one God, and none other besides Him: the Creator of the world who brought forth all things out of nothing through His Word…. -The Demurrer Against the Heretics, 13:1