Our plan for this week was to continue to challenge them on the Godhead. We hoped they would see how their beliefs contradict the Bible. The key issue is Mormonism is polytheistic (belief in more than one god) and Christianity has always been monotheistic. The Bible clearly teaches there is only one God. In addition LDS church teaches God Father was once a man, who worked his way up to being a god. This needed to be challenged.
Week 11: Elder Davidson and Baker met with Dylan and me. We reviewed our homework assignments form the previous week. Our assignment was to continue to defend the doctrine of the Trinity. Baker and Davidson were to read Isaiah 43-48 and look at all the verses that teach there is only one God. They said they didn’t do their homework; they were too busy.
Both of them still struggled with the idea Jesus was God and how there could only be one God. I asked them to imagine one God and three centers of consciousness (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit). Elder Davidson brought up that all three were present at the baptism of Jesus. There was the Father speaking from heaven, the appearance of a dove representing the Holy Spirit, and Jesus in the water. I explained the Trinity believes in three distinct persons and the baptism shows all three involved. I said the Father and the Holy Spirit are spirit beings and could be there with Jesus. I said part of their confusion was they believe God the Father has a physical body. The Father and the Son with bodies, at the baptism, makes it difficult to grasp the idea of one God.
I asked them, don’t you believe the Father was once a man and then reached the highest level of heaven and became a god. They said they weren’t sure. They see God the Father as eternal, without a beginning. I pointed out the body of the Father is tied to the belief he was once a human and ascended to godhood. They both said that makes sense. Interesting was the fact they didn’t know what they believed. At times I found myself teaching them their theology. I said through study of the internet and their web site the LDS church teaches god the father was once a man and lived a perfect life and later became god of this earth. I said you need to look this up because I could be wrong. They said they would.
Elder Davidson said we believe the Father has a body because we are made in his image and we have a body. I said you know I’ve been trying hard to clean up my image. Everybody laughed at that comment. I made the point that image could have to do with character qualities and not physical appearance. Romans 8:29 (KJV) “For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.” I asked according to this verse, are we supposed look like Jesus physically. They both agreed it was talking about becoming more like Jesus in our moral life.
So what does Genesis 1 mean when it says we were created in God’s image? I said we know love because of God has put love into our souls. We know justice and righteous anger, plus we are rational beings because we are made in the image of God. I asked does that make sense and they said yes. I also said when the Bible speaks of Jesus at the right hand of God. Here the writer is speaking of power and authority. Similar to saying Dylan is my right hand man. That doesn’t mean Dylan is always at my right hand but that he is a very important person. This is called anthropomorphic language (describing God in human terms).
I said John 4 teaches God is spirit, which means he cannot have a physical body. Next week I will make a case for why I don’t believe God the Father had a physical body. They acknowledged Joseph Smith taught this and looked forward to what counter evidence I had.
When we parted we both had assignments; mine was to prove God the Father doesn’t have a body and theirs was to read the one God passages in Isaiah and to figure out if God the Father was once a man and became a god.
Unfortunately, this was the last time we heard from them. I tried calling multiple times to see if we were going to meet but they would not answer their phone. It could be they were advised to stop meeting with us. The tip off may have been we knew more about their beliefs than they did. Dylan and I were sad. However, we felt good about a seed of God’s truth was planted in their hearts and minds. Hopefully, they won’t forget what they learned from us.
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