What Do Mormons Believe About God?
|In the book Lectures on Faith, the Prophet Joseph Smith outlines three things that a person needs to know to have faith in God, the first is the fact that God actually exists. It is important to establish that belief in God is the first and foremost element of Mormon belief. The first Article of Faith states, “We believe in God, the Eternal Father.”1 It is no coincidence that this is the message of the first Article of Faith. Mormon faith is deeply rooted in the fact that there is a God. The second point needed to have faith in God is a correct idea of God’s character and attributes. The Prophet Joseph Smith taught, “it is the first principle of the gospel to know for a certainty the character of God.”2 God’s character and attributes according to Mormon belief include many things, but some of the more important characteristics are explained and listed here.Mormon doctrine teaches that God is the father of our spirits. We lived in a spiritual realm with God the Father before we were born on earth with physical bodies. All mankind are the spiritual offspring of God; He loves us as a perfect father; He oversaw the creation of earth as a place where we could obtain physical bodies, be tested, learn compassion, and develop faith in Jesus Christ.The scriptures attest to this idea, “we are the offspring of God,3 and “ye are of God, little children.”4In Genesis we are able to read the account of the creation of the earth. One passage states, “God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.”5 To Mormons this means that we look like God. Some critics of Mormonism say that the fact that Mormons believe they look like God is demeaning to God, but members of the Mormon Church instead believe that knowing that they are created in the image of God makes them more appreciative of their bodies. This passage in Genesis also bears record of the fact that God has a body, as Joseph Smith recorded in Doctrine and Covenants, “a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s.”6 Mormons do not believe in the trinity, but instead believe that God, Christ and the Holy Ghost are three separate and distinct beings, who are one in purpose. Mormons believe that God’s body is different from ours. His body is resurrected, immortal, glorious beyond description, and perfect, while ours are mortal and subject to illness.God does not change. He is a God of truth, who cannot lie. When God makes a promise, He does not break it. Promises between man and God can only be broken by man. God is no respecter of persons; salvation and mercy are extended to all men. God is omniscient, and omnipotent. In the Book of Mormon it states, “o how great the holiness of our God! For he knoweth all things.”7 God is just and will always do what is right or fair. God is love. These attributes of justice and love are why we have the atonement and why God gave his son Jesus Christ as a ransom for us. As it states in the Bible, “for God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son.”8 His judgments will be executed when the time is right.
1 Articles of Faith 1:1
2 History of the Church, 6:305
3 Acts 17: 29. King James Version of the Bible
4 1 Jn. 4:4. King James Version of the Bible
5 Genesis 1:26. King James Version of the Bible.
6 Section 130:22 Doctrine and Covenants
7 2 Nephi 9:20. Book of Mormon
8 John 3:16. King James Version of the Bible
Go to the next article in the Beliefs section: God’s Words Never Cease.