The next time you meet a Mormon friend or missionary, ask this basic question: “How many gods are there in all of existence and reality?”
For those unacquainted with Mormon theology, and who might think Mormonism is just another kind of Christianity, this question will expose how wide is the divide between a historic, Bible-based Christianity and Mormonism. While the two religions use many of the same terms (God, Jesus, salvation), they give them very different definitions and meanings (carm has a nice page showing some of the differences here). One only has to consider the term ‘God’ to see how this is true.
When I have asked Mormon missionaries ‘How many gods are there in all of existence and reality?’ the answer is heard is not, ‘ONE,’ but, ‘I don’t know; but for us, there is one God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ After pressing in more it becomes clear that for the Mormons, the answer as to how many gods there are in all of existence is certainly more than one. It is not even 3. It is possibly in the hundreds, thousands, millions, or billions.
This is not something that is taught upfront, which I think is rather disingenuous. Because if one were to learn right away that Mormons are polytheistic, it would easier to see that Mormonism is no where close to historical orthodox Christianity. Christians have always believed there to only be only one God in all of reality and all of existence; this one God eternally exists as three persons (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit).
MONOTHEISM VS POLYTHEISM
Monotheism: Belief that there is only one God in all of reality.
Polytheism: Belief that is more than one God in all of reality.
Christianity is monotheistic. The Bible teaches there is only one God in all of reality (Deut 6:4); this one God eternally exists in three persons: the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit. There may be so called other ‘gods,’ but these are idols or false gods, and nowhere near the same level as the one self-sufficient, eternally existent LORD. There has only ever been one God—Psalm 90:2 shows that from ‘everlasting to everlasting God is God,’ He has no beginning, and no end—and there never has been any other gods on same level or plane as the LORD, nor will there be other gods (Isaiah 43:10; 44:6). God is a jealous God, and will not tolerate worship of other ‘so-called gods’ Exodus 20:5. His is a holy jealous—unlike our jealousy—and He is right to claim the worship of all creation in all of existence.
Mormonism is polytheistic. It believes there is more than one god in all of reality. First, it thinks of the God of the Bible as three gods (Heavenly Father, Jesus, Holy Spirit—not to mention the goddess wives of heavenly father). But, it also holds to the view known as “eternal progression.” This view believes that God the Father is a created being and was once merely a human. Through good works and obedience he progressed to godhood, as his god did before him. If we ourselves make it to the celestial heaven, we too might become gods as well. When did this process begin? Who set it up? How many other gods are there in the universe? No Mormon I have spoken to knows. This means there may be millions or billions of gods in the universe, and God the Father is just one of them.
Knowing this distinction helps a person be discerning, and not deceived by the false teachings of Joseph Smith and Mormonism. Jesus told us there would ‘sheep in wolves clothing’ (Matt 7:15-16), which means there will be false teachers who claim to be Christians, but are deceive others. Asking the simple question “How many gods are there in all of existence?” will help you know if a teacher is faithful to the Bible’s or teaching something contrary to it.