Skip to comments.whom do mormons worship?
Posted on 10/05/2011 8:26:50 AM PDT by Colofornian
I pose this, not as a trick question, but sincerely. To me, a non-Mormon, there are a couple of things that just dont add up. The one is that Mormonism teaches that the Father and Son are separate Beings. It interprets their oneness that the Bible talks about as a unity of purpose or something similar, but never as a unity of being. But what trips me up is a LDS Scripture like D&C 20:19. And gave unto them commandments that they should love and serve him, the only living and true God, and that he should be the only being that they should worship.
The things that strikes me are the singulars (only God. . .only being). Who is the only being that this verse refers to? Who is the only being that should be worshipped? Does this refer to Heavenly Father or Jesus? It seems pretty clear to me that this scripture states that only one God is to be worshipped and, according to Mormonism, one God and one being cant refer both to Heavenly Father and Jesus. Therefore my question: whom do Mormons worship?
Or more pointedly, would it be accurate to say that Mormonism does not teach worship of Jesus? The brief article on worship in the manual, True to the Faith, at the very least, causes one to ask that question. It quotes Moses 1:15: Worship God, for him only shalt thou serve. In the next paragraph it specifically mentions that prayer is one way to worship the Father. A little bit later it says: As you reverently partake of the sacrament and attend the temple, you remember and worship your Heavenly Father and express your gratitude for His Son, Jesus Christ. Again, as a non-Mormon, I find that distinction between Heavenly Father and Jesus quite striking.
The bottom line is that D&C 20:19 states that only one being is to be worshipped. In light of that, I think it is only fair to ask, whom do Mormons worship?
Q1 Do Mormons worship Jesus?
A It depends upon which Mormon and which Mormon leaders you talk to. Lds "apostle" Bruce McConkie advised Lds STRONGLY in 1982 to not worship Jesus.
McConkie must have seized upon the Mormon "scripture" of D&C 20:17-19 as the key verse that would guide his pattern of worship once & for all: and that he should be the ONLY BEING whom they should worship ... as he quoted it to BYU students. (See Our relationship with the Lord)
Christians worship this Messiah, just like God told the angels to do in Hebrews 1:6. And I challenge grassroots Mormons to defy their leaders -- like Lds "apostle" McConkie when they tell them NOT to directly worship Jesus (see Mormon 7:7; 2 Nephi 25:29; 4 Nephi 4:37; 3 Nephi 11:17; 3 Nephi 17:10).
I DIRECTLY pray to this Jesus as Stephen did in Acts (7:59) -- and even as the supposed Book of Mormon disciple characters DIRECTLY and repeatedly did to Jesus in 3 Nephi 19: 6-26...again -- a Mormon "scripture" de-emphasized & ignored by Mormon leaders).
Q2 If some Mormons do worship Jesus -- and if they deem Jesus a "separate" god than Heavenly Father, doesn't that mean they worship more than one god?
To show you the extent of confusion this has caused even among Mormon leaders, look at "apostle" McConkie's book, Mormon Doctrine:
"Three separate personages--the Father, Son and Holy Ghost--comprise the Godhead...To us, speaking in the proper finite sense, these three are the only gods we worship." (Mormon Doctrine, pp. 567-577, 1966 edition)
Q3 Wait a minute. Didn't you just get done telling us that McConkie advised BYU students NOT to worship Jesus in 1982?
A Indeed, he did, after saying the above in 1966! But McConkie was so confused, he would say "3" then "2" in the same book...and then eventually settled on "1" by 1982!
McConkie, on p. 848 of Mormon Doctrine, emphasized worshiping two gods: "The Father and the Son are the objects of all true worship....No one can worship the Father without also worshiping the Son....It is proper to worship the Father, in the name of the Son, and also to worship the Son" (McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p. 848).
Q4 Doesn't the Book of Mormon contradict even the two-god worship theory of McConkie's?
A Yes. Mormon 7:7 reads: 7And he hath brought to pass the redemption of the bworld, whereby he that is found guiltless before him at the judgment day hath it given unto him to ddwell in the presence of God in his kingdom, to sing ceaseless praises with the choirs above, unto the Father, and unto the Son, and unto the Holy Ghost, which are one God, in a state of happiness which hath no end.
So you can see how confusing this gets...trinitarian theology is found frequently in the Book of Mormon...including worshiping the Holy Spirit!
Q5 Doesn't it all boil down to how many gods you worship?
Thomas calls Jesus his God in John 20:28; even the Joseph Smith's concocted "Nephite disciples" called Jesus their Lord and God (3 Nephi 19:18).
And look @ what other Mormon "scriptures" say:
* The D&C says Jesus is God (19:4; 62:1; etc.) Since theres only one true God in the bible and in the LDS scriptures [for example, the Mormon "scripture" from the Pearl of Great Price says "no God besides me" (1:6)]
* All this means is that either Jesus is a false god or is the one true God. As Jesus Christ is a God to Thomas (John 20:28) -- so Thomas has two gods?
Well, Colo, as you know, if you ask one Mormon Lady Lawyer, she will tell you that she has only one Lord, Jesus Christ. If you ask a PD, it will respond that the godhead is worshipped. If you ask Delphi abuser, you will get a too long essay which will not answer your question but will suffice to obfuscate the question. So, perhaps you could write to Tommy MOnson and have him answer ... or not, since he isn’t likely to answer a gentile.
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Allow me, a life-long, active Mormon to respond. The tricky part of your question, in the mind of a Latter-Day Saint, is the word “worship”. What do you mean by that? In modern parlance the word has shades of meaning. An active Christian might say he ‘worships’ Angelina Jolie or Tom Brady, but it would be clearly understood that the term ‘worship’ in its purest sense could only refer to Jesus Christ.
We worship Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the Redeemer, The Saviour. We, however, never pray to Jesus Christ. We pray to God the Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, and by the power of the Holy Ghost.
We pray only to the Father, but we Worship The Father, AND Jesus Christ, AND the Holy Ghost (Holy Spirit, if you prefer) and we recognize them as individual beings, or one Godhead.
It may seem a bit confusing to outsiders, but it makes perfect sense to a Saint.
Actually, as of almost one year ago, Tommy Monson won't answer Mormon faithful either on such doctrinal questions.
If we went back to Oct. 24, 2010, it'd have been just weeks after the Lds faithful had gathered for one of their two key 'y'all" come meetings in Salt Lake City, which are fed via satellite around the world to Mormons who can't make the trek to SLC. You would have thought that if an earth-shaking announcement needed to be made, it would have been made there. It wasn't. Perhaps too much media glare was on the conference. Therefore, more quietly, Lds leadership sent a world-wide circular letter to all church members. Here's two sources for that:
Source 1: Quit pestering us, church leaders tell membership in letter
Source 2 -- from a Mormon columnist, Robert Kirby: Wrestling with doctrine no match for me
From the first source:
On October 24th, the LDS First Presidency (led by Prophet Thomas S. Monson) wrote several letters that were to be read in Mormon Sunday services around the world. According to examiner.com, the first letter was likely spurred by Boyd K. Packers most recent General Conference talk entitled Cleansing the Inner Vessel. Church Headquarters has been receiving an increased amount of correspondence from its members about doctrinal issues. Because of this influx of correspondence, the First Presidency reminded and encouraged LDS church members to utilize their local church authorities bishops, branch presidents, stake presidents, etc before resorting to contacting Church Headquarters. In other words, the Mormon laity was told to quit bothering their church leadership on issues related to doctrine. We can only wonder why the church is apparently receiving so many inquiries.
From the second source (Kirby): With only partial tongue in cheek, Kirby said: "According to the First Presidencys letter, members with real doctrinal concerns were to seek the counsel of our local leaders stake president, bishop, Scoutmaster, building custodian, etc."
Why? Well, per Kirby: "The letter...told/counseled rank-and-file Mormons to stop pestering church headquarters for clarification of church doctrine. Apparently some members get so stressed about the finer points of doctrine that theyll fire off a letter asking for the final word. Church HQ cant handle the demand...
There ya go. Just as a Wall Street Journal writer said: "placing sharp limits on doctrinal questioning" [Many an Lds historian has commented on this as well...do your own Google search with the words "faith promoting" in quotations...add the words "historian" and "Lds" to the search for better specific results]
Methinks they worship money and themselves.
Lots of believers understand God, the father, and Jesus to be separate entities/souls. It’s not just Mormons. Jehovah’s Witnesses have them as separate beings as well. Certainly Jews see them as two different souls. In fact, of all the world’s religions, only modern Christians have the trinity doctrine. It’s not clear that the early church had that belief, either. They knew him to be the SON of God.
FWIW, worshipping Jesus is never specifically commanded in the Bible (though there are instances of people doing so). You will not find a verse that says to worship Jesus (follow, obey, etc., sure, but not worship). In Revelation, a holy angel (which may or may not be Jesus, depending on your interpretation of Revelation) corrects John when he sees himself falling down to worship the angel and says that the testimony of Jesus is to worship GOD.
“Rev.19:10 — And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.”
This will become a very common thread if Mittens is nominated.........
And in classical deflection fashion the attempt is maintained to keep it cloudy.
By "individual beings" mormon define them as separate, stand alone 'gods' - which by definition is polytheism - which by your admission IS CLASSICAL polytheism - the worship of multiple gods.
Lets further clarify matters - the mormon definition of 'godhead' is not that which is found in the Bible - but one that corrupts the biblical uses for polytheistic purposes - that is the mormon 'godhead' is nothing more than a committee.
Colofornian and MHG are quite correct in this - with the plethora of answers - I seriously doubt 'saints' understand.
This is the true Jesus:
Colossians 1:13-17 (KJV)
“Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness,
and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
In whom we have redemption through his blood,
even the forgiveness of sins:
Who is the image of the invisible God,
the firstborn of every creature:
For by him were all things created,
that are in heaven, and that are in earth,
visible and invisible,
whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers:
all things were created by him, and for him:
And he is before all things,
and by him all things consist.”
Nothing pertaining to Joe Smith’s Mormons make no sense.
He made it up as he went along.
Its a hoot to watch how today’s Mormons try to defend his ranting and ravings.
That might be behaviourly true of most Mormons today. If Mormons take the Book of Mormon as historically serious, however, they would realize that even their version of Jesus Christ invited, accepted and encouraged DIRECT prayer to Him!
Of course LDS just tend to ignore many 3 Nephi passages, including one section where the Nephite disciples pray directly and incessantly to Jesus (not just "in Jesus' name" directed at the Father):
And behold, they began to pray; and they did pray unto Jesus, calling him their Lord and God when Jesus had thus prayed unto the Father, he came unto his disciples, and behold, they did still continue, without ceasing, to pray unto him And it came to pass that Jesus blessed them as they did pray unto him And Jesus said unto them: Pray on; nevertheless they did not cease to pray. (3 Nephi 19:18, 24-26)
Stephen, in the book of Acts (Acts 7 -- at the end of the chapter), also prayed directly to Jesus!
Tell us, 47 Samurai. How long have such a disobedient disciple? -- failing to emulate both Stephen & book of mormon characters?
The One God evidences Himself in the work He is doing
The following will be 'a way' to understand the notion of the trinitarian nature of the Deity, not a strictly Biblical explanation, but one which is applicable to the teaching of the Bible. Here goes:
God The Father Almighty is greater than His creation, thus greater than dimension time and dimension space, thus we may think of The Father Almighty as beyond time and space but not prevented from touching and indeed penetrating His creation.
The universe of space and time is likened to a bubble: what is inside the bubble is in time and space. But the nature of what is inside the bubble is only partially understood in modern Physics.
The Bible relates scenes which defy our simplistic notions, but let us make the statement that God The Father Almighty is as comfortable outside the bubble of our spacetime as He is inside the bubble.
Modern Physics has discovered that the balance of forces and tensions sustaining the universe necessary for human life to arise within the universe is extremely delicate, on the order of a mathematical improbability, represented as a 'one in less than' fraction so tiny that a one over a one followed by more than one-hundred zeros [1/1x10100] defines the probability that the whole thing remains in balance! Such a delicate balancing act is but one of the continuing 'works' of the Holy Spirit of God. It is by the Spirit of God, The Word, that the universe came into existence and it is said in the Bible that by His Spirit the whole is maintained.
But the Bible also states that The Word was with God in the beginning and was God. In John's gospel we find that Jesus is The Word made flesh Who dwelt among us. So, inside the bubble Created by The Father Almighty, sustained by God The Holy Spirit, is the Word, God made flesh Who dwelt among us. The Creator does not stop being greater than His creation bubble, nor does His Spirit cease to sustain it all in balance, when Jesus comes in the flesh to dwell among us.
When one reads the Tanakh/Old Testament, one finds scenes like the fifth chapter of Daniel where a being is in one spacetime 'where/when' reaching into another 'where/when' to write on the palace party central wall of king Belshazzar. Just the forearm/hand is seen in the where/when of Belshazzar and the party folks, the rest of the being remains in 'another' where/when.
God The Father Almighty created this 'other' where/when, His Holy Spirit maintains its balance and separateness from our where/when, and Jesus has moved in and out of this other where/when: as shown when He resurrected from the tomb without rolling away the stone, just passing out of the tomb where/when, into 'another' where/when; then back into our where/when as He spoke to the women come to the sepulchre; and when He appeared in a locked and shuttered room with the disciples present; or appeared suddenly with the disciples walking on a road and broke bread with them then left our where/when to go to the 'other' where/when.
The trinitarian nature of God is shown in the Bible, even in the Tanakh. Trinity IS the nature of God as we have been given to know. Even in the Old Testament/Tanakh, we do have instruction on the Three nature of God as Creator, Sustainer, and Deliverer. God Is manifested as three yet one, seen identified by the 'work' He is doing/'action' He is taking.
With each manifestation, we are given to realize His presence simultaneously as Creator--because we exist in the realm He created, as Sustainer--because the balance is too delicate to stand alone without His sustaining the separation and interdependence, and as God with us in the person of Jesus our Lord and Savior.
Do you look forward to when your own created people will worship you as a god?
It may surprise you to find out that Muslims consider all Christians to be polytheists for the same reason,i.e; that Christians have elevated Jesus to the position of God. The God of the Bible is clearly polytheistic. Witness the baptism of Jesus... You had Jesus standing in the water, The voice of the Father coming down from the heavens declaring Him to be His Son, and the Holy Ghost descending in the form of a dove. As well as countless examples of Jesus praying to His Father and referencing the Holy Spirit.
The Mormon understanding of the personalities of the Godhead were quite commonly understood by all Christians until the 4th century, when the Catholic definition of the Trinity took over.
Indeed, even today, many evangelical Christians, based on their own studies of the Bible have come around to this point of view .... (see Jimmy Swaggart for an example)
So, since you see Father, Son, and Holy Ghost as three separate gods, you worship three gods -- in direct contradiction to D&C 20:19, which claims Mormons are to worship the "the only living and true God, and that HE SHOULD be the ONLY being that they SHOULD worship.
Tell us, 47Samurai, how long have you have problems comprehending words like...
..."HE" as singular...?
..."Being" as singular...?
So, we can safely say that you categorically reject D&C 20:19 as a true statement or prophesy -- if God is separately divided into three beings, that is.
Jesus of Kolob?
The God of the Bible is definately NOT polytheistic, despite your claims:
Consider the following verses, which indicate there is only one God:
Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him.
The LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.
See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me.
1 Kings 18:39
The LORD, he is the God; the LORD, he is the God.
I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.
I am the LORD, and there is none else ... There is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.
I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me.
There is no God else beside me ... There is none beside me.
I am God, and there is none else: I am God, and there is none like me.
The Lord our God is
There is one God; and there is none other but he.
That they might know thee the only true God.
That is why they imagine God to be so very much like themselves in every aspect.
Mormons think that they themselves shall become Gods - so with them it is even more endemic.