Unlike the Christian view of heaven, as revealed in the Bible, Mormonism presents a number of false views relative to the hereafter. We will look at a few of these views that relate to heaven and show how they contradict the Bible.
The fifth LDS President Lorenzo Snow in June of 1840, declared, “As man is, God once was; as God is, man may become.” Besides correctly illustrating the Latter-day Saint teaching that God was once a mere mortal man, this couplet also declares that man has the potential to become God! According to LDS theology, eternal life is synonymous with Godhood. In the words of LDS Apostle Bruce McConkie, “Thus those who gain eternal life receive exaltation…. They are gods” (Mormon Doctrine, 237).
Even though some Mormons, who are ignorant of their faith, may argue Godhood is not a teaching peculiar to Mormonism, history proves that it indeed was and is. Both the Journal of Discourses and the Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith record that, on April 6, 1844, LDS Church founder Joseph Smith preached to a congregation of 20,000 saying, “Here then is eternal life – to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God the same as all Gods have done before you” (Journal of Discourses 6:4; Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith 346). Brigham Young, the second prophet and president of the Mormon Church, delivered a message in the Salt Lake Tabernacle on August 8, 1852, in which he affirmed this teaching when he said, “The Lord created you and me for the purpose of becoming Gods like Himself” (Journal of Discourses 3:93).
The Bible clearly teaches that no man will ever attain Godhood. Isaiah, speaking about God, said, “I am He; before Me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after Me.” The claim that men can become “God” is absolute blasphemy. Furthermore, the statement, “As man is, God once was….” is totally false. It implies that there was a time when God was not God. God always was God and completely God. God is and always was omnipotent (Psa. 89:8), omniscient (Rom. 8:27), omnipresent (Psa. 139:7-10), immutable (James 1:17). No man has ever or will ever possess these qualities. They belong only to the Almighty God of heaven and earth.
With regard to marriage, Mormonism teaches that there are two kinds of marriages: (1) marriage for time and (2) marriage for eternity. According to LDS theology, marriage for time ends at death. However, marriages performed in a Mormon temple are eternal marriages (sometimes called celestial marriage), and the husband and wife are sealed to each other even in the hereafter. This is a crucial doctrine of Mormonism, for unless one has entered into eternal marriage, one cannot enter the celestial kingdom. Eternal marriage is a virtual guarantee that one will enter the highest level of glory, for, according to Doctrines and Covenants 132:26-27, the only sin that can prevent someone sealed in eternal marriage from entering the celestial kingdom is the blasphemy of the Holy Ghost, which is murder. (This doctrine that blasphemy of the Holy Ghost is murder is also false.)
The Bible teaches the very opposite of this false doctrine. Jesus said, “For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven” (Mk. 12:25).
In the other accounts (Matt. 22:2333; Mk. 12:18-27; Lk. 20:27-38) Jesus was asked about the hypothetical case of a woman who had been married to seven brothers, according to the Levirate law under Judaism, “In the resurrection therefore, when they shall rise, whose wife shall she be of them? For the seven had her to wife” (Mk. 12:23). Jesus upbraided those religious leaders by saying that those who die would “neither marry nor are given in marriage.” Those religious leaders were in error because “you do not understand the Scriptures, or the power of God?” (Mark 12:24). The gift of sex and procreation are very important gifts in this life, but Jesus stated very clearly that these will not play a role in the afterlife. The joy God has prepared for the saved and redeemed is far greater than the temporary pleasure of sexual fulfillment and procreation (Rev. 21:1-4; Heb. 4:9-11; Phil. 1:21-23).
Mormonism Teaches a Person Will Be in One of Six Places in Eternity
One is destined for one of six places depending on what he has done or what he has believed. These are: outer darkness (for Satan, his demons, and extremely wicked people) or one of three “kingdoms” known as the telestial, terrestrial, or celestial kingdoms. Within the celestial kingdom are three levels, the highest being called “The Church of the Firstborn.” It is here, and only here, that Mormon males hope to achieve Godhood and rule over their own worlds throughout eternity. (Doctrines of Salvation 3:310). Once the individual is assigned to a particular “glory,” he is there permanently (Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball 50). Beloved, you cannot find anything even similar to the above teaching of the Mormon Church in the Bible.
The Bible teaches that there are only two possible destinations awaiting mankind after death: heaven or hell. Paul is crystal clear about the hereafter: “But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to every man according to his deeds: to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory and honor and peace to every man who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God” (Rom 2:5-11). To those who have obeyed the gospel heaven will be their home (Jno. 14:1-3; Phil. 3:20; Col. 1:5). To the rest who reject God’s gift of salvation offered in Jesus Christ there awaits the terrors of hell. “For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. And these will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power” (2 Thess 1:6-10). Jesus said, “And do not fear those who kill the body, but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matt 10:28-29). Beloved, please reject the false teaching of men and give your heart and soul to God through your obedience to His word – the Bible.