Mormonism: For Those Who Like a Little Sci-Fi With Their Religion

Cover of "The Pearl of Great Price"

Where sci-fi legends are made.

I used to think that Mormonism wasn’t much different from Christianity–Mormons had their polygamy, but other than that it seemed, to my then-uninformed self, that they were pretty much like Christians. As I’ve done more digging, though, I’ve learned that not only are Mormons not Christians, but Mormon doctrine is like a science fiction tale.

My journey with this particular aspect of Mormonism began with a question I had: Mormons say that god was once a man like you or I before exalting himself to godhood—so who and what came before god? It seemed ridiculous to me not only that their god was once a fallible man, but also that, as was obvious to me, there had to have been another god who created their god, so who was this other god? And why don’t Mormons follow that god instead?

The answers I found are, well, interesting. Turns out that all of us, including the Mormon god, were spirit beings in the celestial kingdom (Mormons love the word celestial, by the way) before we became physical beings, and before we were spirit beings we were each an eternal, self-existing intelligence somewhere in the universe. In the case of the Mormon god, we’re never given his human name, but he lived on another planet, and fared so well at living life that a bunch of gods who ruled other planets decided that he, too, was worthy of becoming a god and having his own little fiefdom to rule—the planet Earth, which this group of gods created.

According to James C. Brewster, founder of a breakaway Mormon sect known as the Brewsterites in the mid-1800s, “The Pearl of Great Price makes it very clear that a council of gods helped organize, or create, this earth (Abraham 4, 5). In this council, however, was ‘the Eternal God of all other gods,’ or the Father to whom we should give our obedience (D&C 121:32).”

So Mormons, as it turns out, aren’t monotheistic but polytheistic, and the god they worship isn’t the head honcho—not even close. There are also numerous other inhabited planets, each with its own “subgod,” and you too can become your own god and rule your own planet.

So … other planets, other peoples, other gods, and an “Eternal God of all other gods” (whom, contrary to what Brewster said, is not given his due by Mormons). And that’s not even the half of it. There’s the magic rock (“seerstone”) Smith used to “receive” The Book of Mormon (turns out there weren’t any gold plates involved). There are also, according to Mormonism founder Joseph Smith, people living on the moon, who are dressed like Quakers and live for 1,000 years. And let’s not forget the magic underwear.

Sounds like Joseph Smith was L. Ron Hubbard before there was L. Ron Hubbard.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: The Question Obama Doesn’t Want Us to Ask « David's Commonplace Book

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