I read in John 1:12,13 – which really had an impact.
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor or the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”
I can see how that beautiful passage would have an, effect on you – or anyone for that matter.
Exactly! You see, to a Mormon, the “power to become the sons of God” refers to the power or potential to become exalted. Latter-day Saints love to sing the song “I am a Child of God” because they believe everyone comes to earth from the pre-existence as a son or daughter of immortal heavenly parents. Mormonism teaches that every human being is born a child of God.
That’s not what the Bible teaches. We don’t inherit our sonship from God. To a Christian, verses 12 and 13, means that as many as received Jesus as their Savior – He will grant the right and privilege for the new birth. No one can attain this new birth by his or her own power, merit, or ability. Only God can grant it. It is a gift of God.
Then is says in verse 14 “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” According to The Proclamation on the Family, the LDS Church teaches that in pre-mortality, all of us, including Jesus were begotten and born as spirit children of heavenly parents. But that Jesus was the only mortal whose father was literally Heavenly Father. Thus, to a Mormon, Jesus is the Only Begotten of the Father as a mortal.
But as Christians we believe verse 14 is saying that God became incarnate by taking on a mortal body. He was “begotten of the Father” – meaning, He was uniquely qualified. Christ – the Logos – did not cease to be the Logos when He became flesh. Christ still had the fulness of the shekinah glory in Him, but that glory was veiled so he could function in the world of humanity. This is the mystery of the Incarnation: Christ – the Logos – was not part God and part man, but fully God and fully human, as it says in Colossians 2:9. Christ is the perfect expression of God in human form. (Philippians 2:5-9)
Another big verse for both the LDS and Christians is Verse 18 “No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.” Joseph Smith twisted this scripture in the Joseph Smith Translation to read “And no man hath seen God at any time, EXCEPT HE HATH BORNE RECORD OF THE SON; for except it is through him no man can be saved.”
The LDS rely on Smith’s translation to support their belief that God supposedly appeared in Joseph Smith’s First Vision. But Christians believe the King James Version as being correct in saying that “no man has seen God at any time.”
That’s because it is supported by other verses in the Bible that teach that no man has or can see God. 1 Timothy 1:17 and Hebrews 11:27 teaches that God is invisible. 1 John 4:12 clearly states “No man hath seen God at any time.” The Bible teaches that some have seen His glory, but no one has seen Him, because He is Spirit – not an immortal resurrected exalted man – like Mormonism teaches.
Even the Book of Mormon refers to God as the Great Spirit in Alma 18:24-28; Alma 19:25-27; Alma 22:9-11; Alma 31:15. There is absolutely no mention in the Book of Mormon that God has a body. Only that God was Spirit.
I think we can state the obvious here – The Jesus of Mormonism is not the Jesus of Christianity.
I arrived at this conclution after reading the first chapter of John’s gospel. LDS Church President and Prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley agrees with us as well. Let me read from the LDS Church News, June 20, 1998, p.7. The paper reports, “In bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, President Hinckley spoke of those outside the Church who say Latter-day Saints ‘do not believe in the traditional Christ,’ ‘No, I don’t. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak.”