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  #1  
Old Dec 6, '08, 4:32 pm
catholic1seeks's Avatar
catholic1seeks catholic1seeks is offline
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Default Are Mormons polytheistic?

I have read from this site and other sources that Mormons (members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) believe that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are separate gods and that all humans can become gods.

Then, when I talked to a friend of mine who is Mormon, she said "No! We only believe in one God" And that Jesus wasn't God (and I guess, obviosuly, not a god)

What do they believe?

Are there any "primary" sources (I don't know who to trust).

Also, if they are polytheistic, I don't want to just say to my friend "Yes, you do believe in more than one God." That would be kind of pointless, so what resources can I show her (Joseph Smith?)?
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  #2  
Old Dec 6, '08, 4:48 pm
PaulDupre PaulDupre is offline
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Default Re: Are Mormons polytheistic?

Here is what Joseph Smith taught at a "Meeting in the Grove, east of the Temple, June 16, 1844."

Quote:
I will preach on the plurality of Gods. I have selected this text for that express purpose. I wish to declare I have always and in all congregations when I have preached on the subject of the Deity, it has been the plurality of Gods. It has been preached by the Elders for fifteen years.

I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and that the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods. If this is in accordance with the New Testament, lo and behold! we have three Gods anyhow, and they are plural: and who can contradict it!

- Joseph Smith, History of the Church, Vol. 6, p. 473
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  #3  
Old Dec 6, '08, 6:24 pm
Snow Snow is offline
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Default Re: Are Mormons polytheistic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by catholic1seeks View Post
What do they believe?[/u][/b]
Are there any "primary" sources (I don't know who to trust).
Yep - there are primary sources from our only official source of doctrine:

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: (Deuteronomy 6:4)

And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: (Mark 12:32)

...And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen. (2 Nephi 31:21)

Now, this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but every thing shall be restored to its perfect frame, as it is now, or in the body, and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God, to be judged according to their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil. (Alma 11:44)

And I have a work for thee, Moses, my son; and thou art in the similitude of mine Only Begotten; and mine Only Begotten is and shall be the Savior, for he is full of grace and truth; but there is no God beside me, and all things are present with me, for I know them all. (Moses 1:6)
  #4  
Old Dec 6, '08, 7:29 pm
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catholic1seeks catholic1seeks is offline
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Default Re: Are Mormons polytheistic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snow View Post
Yep - there are primary sources from our only official source of doctrine:

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: (Deuteronomy 6:4)

And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: (Mark 12:32)

...And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen. (2 Nephi 31:21)

Now, this restoration shall come to all, both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous; and even there shall not so much as a hair of their heads be lost; but every thing shall be restored to its perfect frame, as it is now, or in the body, and shall be brought and be arraigned before the bar of Christ the Son, and God the Father, and the Holy Spirit, which is one Eternal God, to be judged according to their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil. (Alma 11:44)

And I have a work for thee, Moses, my son; and thou art in the similitude of mine Only Begotten; and mine Only Begotten is and shall be the Savior, for he is full of grace and truth; but there is no God beside me, and all things are present with me, for I know them all. (Moses 1:6)

SO you are Mormon and believe in one God? Yet you contradict your founder. . . . .
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  #5  
Old Dec 6, '08, 9:52 pm
Snow Snow is offline
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Default Re: Are Mormons polytheistic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by catholic1seeks View Post
SO you are Mormon and believe in one God? Yet you contradict your founder. . . . .
You mean to say, of course, that YOU think I contradict JS but since you frankly don't know much about LDS theology, you thinking it is not the same as actually contradicting it.
  #6  
Old Dec 6, '08, 11:21 pm
xixxvmcm85 xixxvmcm85 is offline
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Default Re: Are Mormons polytheistic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by catholic1seeks View Post
I have read from this site and other sources that Mormons (members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) believe that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are separate gods and that all humans can become gods.

Then, when I talked to a friend of mine who is Mormon, she said "No! We only believe in one God" And that Jesus wasn't God (and I guess, obviosuly, not a god)

What do they believe?

Are there any "primary" sources (I don't know who to trust).

Also, if they are polytheistic, I don't want to just say to my friend "Yes, you do believe in more than one God." That would be kind of pointless, so what resources can I show her (Joseph Smith?)?
Are Mormons polytheistic?

Answer: "yes", "no", "kind of", and "it depends".

Different folks seem to have different opinions on what exactly constitutes polytheism so I'm going to assume that your definition aligns with that of the dictionary, namely that polytheism is "the belief in or the worship of multiple deities".

In this case, yes the Mormons are polytheistic since they believe in the existence of multiple deities yet they only worship one.

Other's have claimed that this form of belief is properly considered henotheistic, and thus puts emphasis on the fact that no more than one deity is worshiped.

The LDS worship "God" and typically refer to him as "Heavenly Father" and do so through the Son Jesus Christ. Now the actual application of this belief becomes muddled when one goes from one Mormon circle to the next. I've met Mormons who believe that Jesus is indeed a god and since he's completed his exaltation is deemed worthy of worship by us. In this sense a Mormon would be completely polytheistic as (s)he is worshiping two different gods.

There are also a number of modern Mormons who consider "god" as almost an office or position rather than a nature. In this sense they reconcile their worshiping of two beings (Heavenly Father & Jesus Christ) in the same way that the greater LDS church reconciles their anti-trinitarianism with trinitarian verses in the Bible: By claiming that these individual beings are "one" in purpose, essence, and desire. In this sense neither one is fully "God" rather together they make up "God".

While I was raised LDS, I was always taught that Jesus is a god yet one we are not to worship. Worship is due to Heavenly Father alone and we worship him *through* Jesus Christ as our elder brother and savior. Though I haven't been to the temple in a while, I'm fairly certain that the Endowment ceremony still reinforces this belief.
  #7  
Old Dec 7, '08, 1:34 am
Snow Snow is offline
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Default Re: Are Mormons polytheistic?

A mistake that people make is that because JS spoke of other gods, that means that JS believe there were other Gods - capital G, other omnipotent, omniscient supreme rulers of universes. That needn't be the case and we don't really know what JS meant by it. We do know that JS "translated" the Book of Mormon and it is very clear that there is but one God. It seems clear enough that if JS understood that there was one and only one God, that he must have had something else in mind when he spoke of other gods - or other deities.

The Bible speaks of other gods in multiple places, yet most people believe that the Bible is generally a monotheistic tome.

Some people think that you cannot think of Christianity as monotheistic if one ascribed to Satan the kind of supernatural powers that many Christians typically ascribe to Satan. He had power to magically take or kidnap God - Christ, and take him to the top of a mountain and show him the whole earth. That doesn't that such Christians believe that there is more than one God - capital G - ruler of their universe.
  #8  
Old Dec 7, '08, 2:22 am
xixxvmcm85 xixxvmcm85 is offline
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Default Re: Are Mormons polytheistic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snow View Post
The Bible speaks of other gods in multiple places, yet most people believe that the Bible is generally a monotheistic tome.
That's because many Christians and Jews believe that such verses are referring to perceived gods, or in other words: idols.

Quote:
Some people think that you cannot think of Christianity as monotheistic if one ascribed to Satan the kind of supernatural powers that many Christians typically ascribe to Satan. He had power to magically take or kidnap God - Christ, and take him to the top of a mountain and show him the whole earth. That doesn't that such Christians believe that there is more than one God - capital G - ruler of their universe.
In that case monotheism doesn't actually exist (at least not in the faiths traditionally associated with monotheism).

Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Baha'i all believe in other creatures that have power not afforded to humans yet this power is endowed to those creatures by the one God. In all technicality Satan is nothing more than a fallen version of such a creature whose power to tempt is given him by the same single God. Ultimately speaking God precedes all such creatures.

The concept of multiple gods in Mormonism is not similar to this. The LDS doctrine of 'Eternal Progression' means that the God we worship himself has a God superior to him.
  #9  
Old Dec 7, '08, 10:02 am
Snow Snow is offline
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Default Re: Are Mormons polytheistic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by xixxvmcm85 View Post
That's because many Christians and Jews believe that such verses are referring to perceived gods, or in other words: idols.
That's the claim... that where the scriptures refer to other gods, they are referring to fake gods. So, in Deut 10 we read: "For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome,.." it really means: For the LORD your God is God of "fake" gods and Lord of l "fake" lords, the great God, mighty and awesome...

I don't think so.



In that case monotheism doesn't actually exist (at least not in the faiths traditionally associated with monotheism).

Quote:
Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Baha'i all believe in other creatures that have power not afforded to humans yet this power is endowed to those creatures by the one God. In all technicality Satan is nothing more than a fallen version of such a creature whose power to tempt is given him by the same single God. Ultimately speaking God precedes all such creatures.

The concept of multiple gods in Mormonism is not similar to this. The LDS doctrine of 'Eternal Progression' means that the God we worship himself has a God superior to him.
Using LDS doctrinal source... The Bible, The Book of Mormon, The D&C and PoGP, could you please demonstrate that Mormons believe that we God has a superior God above him.

I have to tell you that in decades of being LDS and knowing hundreds and thousands of other LDS, I have never heard/met a single people who believes that.
  #10  
Old Dec 11, '08, 9:16 am
SamTheMan SamTheMan is offline
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Default Re: Are Mormons polytheistic?

Polytheism implies the worship of more then one God, which mormons don't do. Scriptures like Deuteronomy 6:4 and Mark12:34 are teaching against polytheism (Isaiah 44:6 is also good if that's what you're into). It was a good idea for those ancient prophets to preach against polytheism because even their converts kept thinking the ancient prophets were merely trying to convince people to add Jehovah to their list of Gods, so these scriptures that say things like "I the Lord am god and there is no god besides me" is simply trying to teach these people that Jehovah isn't supposed to be added as just another god (but, obviously the one and only God). As for trying to connect mormons to polytheism, I've never seen mormons worship any God besides the one worshipped by every other christian religion.
  #11  
Old Dec 11, '08, 11:48 am
RebeccaJ RebeccaJ is offline
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Default Re: Are Mormons polytheistic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by catholic1seeks View Post
I have read from this site and other sources that Mormons (members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) believe that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are separate gods and that all humans can become gods.

Then, when I talked to a friend of mine who is Mormon, she said "No! We only believe in one God" And that Jesus wasn't God (and I guess, obviosuly, not a god)

What do they believe?

Are there any "primary" sources (I don't know who to trust).

Also, if they are polytheistic, I don't want to just say to my friend "Yes, you do believe in more than one God." That would be kind of pointless, so what resources can I show her (Joseph Smith?)?
http://www.catholic.com/library/Gods...mon_Church.asp
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