Mormonism in a Nutshell
The following article is used by permission from the Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry www.carm.org
Mormonism teaches that God used to be a man on another planet and that he became a god by following the laws and ordinances of his god on his home planet. In his present god-state, he rules our world. He has a body of flesh and bones and, according to Mormonism, he has a wife, a goddess wife. Since they are both exalted persons, they each possess physical bodies.
In their exalted states as deities, they have sexual relations and produces spirit children that grow and mature in the spiritual realm. The first spirit born was Jesus. Afterwards were born the devil and all other spirit creatures. After the spirit children are born to god and his goddess wife in heaven, they come down and entered into the bodies of human babies that are being born on earth. During this 'compression' into the infant state, the memories of their pre-existence is 'veiled.' All people were, according to Mormonism, born in heaven first and then on earth where they are to grow, learn, and return to god.
God the father, who is called Elohim, was concerned for the future salvation of the people on earth. In the heavenly realm, the Father had a plan for the salvation of the world. Jesus endorsed the Father's plan. Lucifer did not. Lucifer became jealous and rebelled. In his rebellion he convinced a large portion of the spirits existing in heaven to side with him and oppose god. God being more powerful then they, cursed these rebellious spirits to become demons.
The remaining spirits sided with God. Since they chose the better way, when it comes time for them to live on earth, they have the privilege of being born in races and locations that are relative to their condition and choice made in the spirit realm.1
In the Mormon plan of salvation there needed to be a savior: Jesus. But Jesus was a spirit in heaven. For him to be born on earth, Brigham Young the second prophet of the Mormon church said that instead of letting any other man do it, God the Father did it with Mary. He said that the birth of our savior was as natural as the birth of our parents. Essentially, what this means is that god the father came down and had sexual relations with Mary, his spirit daughter, to produce the body of Jesus. Jesus, then, was born, got married, and had children.2 He died on the cross and paid for sins not on the cross only, but in the garden of Gethsemane before he went to the cross.
Mormon men and women have the potential of becoming gods. A popular Mormon saying is "As god once was, man is. As God is, man may become." In order to reach this exalted state a person must first become a good Mormon and pay a full ten percent tithe to the Mormon church. Afterwards, he or she can enter a Mormon temple and go through secret rituals: baptism for the dead, celestial marriage, and various oaths of secrecy and commitment. Additionally, four secret handshakes are taught so the believing Mormon, upon entering the third level of Mormon heaven, can shake hands with god in a certain pattern. This celestial ritual is for the purpose of permitting entrance into the highest level of heaven.3 For those who achieve this highest of heavens, exaltation to godhood awaits them. Then, he or she, will be permitted to have his or her own planet and be the god of his own world and the Mormon system will be expanded to other planets.
1. page 616 of Mormon Doctrine by Bruce R. McConkie
2. Jedediah M. Grant, second Counselor to Brigham Young said so in Journal of Discourses, vol. 1, pp. 345-346.
Apostle Orson Hyde stated it in, vol. 2: 210, 328; vol. 4:259-260; vol. 13:309; Millennial Star, Vol. 15, p. 825; The Seer, page 172, 158, -- Note: These references are not official Mormon scripture and there is disagreement in acceptance of this teaching among Mormons..
3. What's Going on in There? An Exposing of the Secret Mormon Temple Rituals, by Bob Witte & Gordon H. Fraser. Gordon Fraser, Publisher.