Why Is the Polytheism of Mormonism False?

Post Author: Bill Pratt

One of the teachings of Mormonism is that God the Father is only one among a multitude of gods. While God the Father is creator and ruler of our world, there are other worlds where other Gods are creators, worlds with which our God the Father has nothing to do. In plain language, this belief is polytheism, or the belief that there exist multiple gods, as opposed to monotheism, which asserts that only one God exists.

So, why is polytheism false and monotheism true? First, Mormons claim to revere the Christian Bible, and the Bible clearly and unequivocally proclaims monotheism. Here is a sampling of passages to illustrate the point:

“In the beginning God [not gods] created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1).

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one” (Deut. 6:4).

“You shall have no other gods before me” (Ex. 20:3).

“I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God” (Isa. 44:6).

“I am the LORD, and there is no other” (Isa. 45:18).

“ ‘The most important [command],’ answered Jesus, ‘is this: “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one” ’ ” (Mark 12:29).

“We know that an idol is nothing at all in the world and that there is no God but one” (1 Cor. 8:4).

“[There is] one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all” (Eph. 4:6).

“For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5).

Theologian Norman Geisler sums up: “The text could scarcely be clearer: There is one and only one God, as opposed to more than one. The oneness of the Godhead is one of the most fundamental teachings of Scripture. A denial of this truth is a violation of the first commandment.”

Scripture, however, is not the only problem for polytheism. Philosophers and theologians have developed, over the centuries, numerous versions of cosmological arguments that demonstrate, from the existence of finite, contingent beings, the necessary existence of a First Cause of everything. The arguments all lead to a First Cause who necessarily exists, who is infinite (limitless) in being, and who is perfect (not lacking any perfection). This First Cause is God.

Why can’t there be more than one First Cause, more than one infinite and perfect being? First, there cannot be two or more infinite beings. Two or more infinite beings entails the existence of more than an infinite, which is absurd. There cannot be more than an infinite; there cannot be more than the most.

Another way to look at this is that for there to be two beings, there must be a difference between the two of them, but two infinite First Causes would be identical. Because they would be identical, there would actually only be one infinite First Cause, not two.

Second, there cannot be two perfect beings. If there were two perfect beings, then they would have to differ in some way, or else they would be the same. In order to differ, one of them would have to possess some perfection that the other lacked. As Geisler explains, “The one that lacked some perfection would not be absolutely perfect; therefore, there can be only one Being who is absolutely perfect.”

It is clear that both from Scripture and from philosophy, polytheism is false. If any of the cosmological arguments work, they all conclude that an infinite and perfect First Cause exists. There can only be one infinite and perfect First Cause, and that is who Christians call God.

If Mormons want to deny that their God the Father is the First Cause of the universe, deny that he is infinite, and deny that he is perfect, then, in effect, they have abandoned a God that is worthy of worship. Their God is finite and imperfect – hardly a God worth revering.

  • Mormons have a very logical reasons for believing that there are multiple Gods or Creators. The Hebrew word for god is el (אל) which means ‘strong leader’. God is most always, with a few exceptions, referred to as elohim (אלהים) in the Hebrew which denotes plurality. A common mistake that basic and even moderate Hebrew scholars make is they then see God as plural because of this. Going on in Gen 1 we see that God refers to ‘we’ and ‘us’ when creating mankind. There are different views on what this means and a plural God is one of them. But in Hebrew plural ending (ים) denotes both quantitative and qualitative properties. For example, “That is the biggest mountain ever!” When the plural ending of ‘elohim’ is referring to the Creator, it is denoting that He is “The greatest, most supreme God of them all!”.

    The second reason the Mormon point of view is logical is that one, echad (אחד) means ‘one’, ‘unity’, and ‘single’. Mormonism plays on the ‘unity’ aspect of this word bringing out where Jesus is always referring to Him and His Father as ‘united’ or in agreement. However, from Deut 6:5 and other places we know that ‘echad’ refers to ‘one’ because of the singular grammar used around ‘elohim’. For example, the first commandment in Ex 20 tells us, “I am the LORD your God (elohim). . .” That phrase appears multiple times in scripture to refer us back to the Exodus from Egypt.

    The reason I bring these two things out is because when reasoning with a Mormon or anyone that knows a little bit of Hebrew the logic above falls short though it would be very effective in other cases.

  • staircaseghost

    1) how many odd integers are there?

    2) how many even integers are there?

  • darrellboan

    There is a difference between a potential infinite and an actual infinite. The number of integers there are, whether odd or even, is a potential infinite. It is one that only exists in theory and not actuality. However, Mormonism’s infinite regression of Gods is an Actual Infinite, and is, therefore, a logical impossibility.

  • staircaseghost

    Of course, 1) the number of integers there ACTUALLY are is infinite, because 2) the notion that there can be no “actual infinite” is pure pseudomathematical crankery, but not only does this 3) contradict the Christian belief that Yahweh is actually infinite in a number of respects and 4) contradict the numerous biblical passages where Yahweh is depicted as morally, epistemically, militarily etc. FINITE, but more importantly 5) the polytheist need not posit that all or any gods are infinite.

    Seriously, this line of argument should just be dropped.

  • Andrew Ryan

    How many things does God know?

  • Andrew Ryan

    ” If there were two perfect beings, then they would have to differ in some way”

    Did Jesus differ from God in no way at all?

  • darrellboan

    You are missing the point, and you are equivocating on the term infinite. An actual infinite is something that *actually* insists in inifinite amount, e.g., an actually infinite number of M&M’s in a pile. In reality, no such thing *actually* exists because you can never *reach* the infinite number. It is impossible to quantify in actuality.

    A potential infinite is something that exists *in theory* but is never actually reached. We can say that it is possible to keep adding M&M’s to a pile into infinity, thus making the pile *potentially* infinite. However, it is never possible for us to reach the *actual* infinite number. An acutal infinite number does not exist.

    The LDS concept of regression of Gods, by definition, declares an *actual* infinite number of Gods in the past. This creates numerous logical contradictions, and is, as a result, impossible.
    As for God’s infinity, it is ontological in nature rather than numerical.

  • Jesus has two natures: divine and human. In his divine nature, there is no real difference between Jesus and the Father. In his human nature, there are massive differences between Jesus and the Father, as one is infinite in being, and one is finite in being.

  • Then I’m sure one could conjecture two divine perfect beings who were alike in every divine way but differing in some non-divine way. A believer could come up with an explanation that made just as much sense to them as the above does to you.

  • tribhater

    Conveniently you left out:

    “God said, Let us make man in our image” Gen. 1:26 .

    “man is become as one of us, to know good and evil” Gen. 3:22 .