Recently I was listening to a great preach by Mark Driscoll a church leader in Seattle and he said something that got me thinking about Mormonism.
“Do you exist to glorify God, or does God exist to glorify you” (Paraphrase)
he went on to say “Is our greatest need that we should show forth all of our glory or is our greatest true need that God would receive His glory?”
What I want to look at in this post is how does Mormonism take away Gods true place of His glory? And how is anyone missing out by not truly giving God the glory He deserves?
One thing I would say to Christians and Mormons or anyone else reading is do you know that God actually loves Himself more than He loves you? Christ died on the cross to glorify God more than He did it out of love for Humanity, God saves us to glorify Himself, He is all glorious and He knows it.
However please do not think in this post I am saying God does not love Humanity as He does more than any of us could imagine however God is the only being in existence where self seeking is actually good, as His nature and His ways are perfect if He seeks Himself He is actually seeking perfection, if you or I did that we would be seeking an imperfect sinful person.
Some people say is this not arrogance on Gods part to love Himself more than anything? The answer is no it is not, for if He held anything else above Himself He would be committing idolatry, God is glorious more than we could ever imagine and for Him to hold Himself first in His every action is actually the best thing He could so for us and satisfies our true need in life.
Lets move this to the bible. I am going to use the New American Standard version of the bible which is the one I use as it is a bit more clear, however LDS people feel free to follow along with your King James version 🙂
1But now, thus says the LORD, your Creator, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel,
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name; you are Mine!
2“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
And through the rivers, they will not overflow you
When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched,
Nor will the flame burn you.
3“For I am the LORD your God,
The Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I have given Egypt as your ransom,
Cush and Seba in your place.
4“Since you are precious in My sight,
Since you are honored and I love you,
I will give other men in your place and other peoples in exchange for your life.
5“Do not fear, for I am with you;
I will bring your offspring from the east,
And gather you from the west.
6“I will say to the north, ‘Give them up!’
And to the south, ‘Do not hold them back ‘
Bring My sons from afar
And My daughters from the ends of the earth,
7Everyone who is called by My name,
And whom I have created for My glory,
Whom I have formed, even whom I have made.”
We are precious in His sight and made for His glory!
For as the waistband clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole household of Israel and the whole household of Judah cling to Me,’ declares the LORD, ‘that they might be for Me a people, for renown, for praise and for glory; but they did not listen.’
Gods desire for the people of Israel was that they would be a people for His praise and glory, however they did not do this, so God sent His son to die for us so that all could be His people, however this goal of a people for His glory has not stopped there.
1 Peter 2:9
But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
If you are a Christian you are a part of this royal priesthood, holy nation a people for His possession so that (meaning this is why the part before is the case) you would proclaim the excellencies of Him, the new testament is littered with hints that we are saved for His glory.
Think of the classic text that Christians use to show that salvation is by grace alone and not works.
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
9not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
10For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
There is so much more in this text than just we are not saved by works, this text shows that we are saved for His glory, it says we are saved by faith and not of ourselves, meaning we dont even get credit for the faith as it is a gift of God!
Then it says so that no man may boast, this is so important as it says that no Christian can ever look at another less valiant Christian and think to themselves “I am so glad I work harder than that person, my salvation is more secure”. This is not possible as your salvation is not of yourself.
Then v10 turns it around and says you are His workmanship saved for good works! What this is saying is that you cannot take any glory for your works as they have not saved you, however God saves you as a gift by His works so you can then do good works, seems like a bit of a headbender but its all with such a great purpose, God wants us to do works out of love in order to glorify Him, not so that we are doing them in any way to earn our salvation because our salvation is His work.
This is all because we are created for His glory! We will spend eternity glorifying Him, see this picture of heaven in the book of Revelation
11Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands,
12saying with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.”
13And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying, “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”
Every living thing, it says which is in heaven will be there worshipping Christ, how many is that do you say? The Answer is everyone in heaven will be doing this, if this does not excite you then you need to be born again and come to know Christ, as when you know Him in this life then spending eternity with Him will only be an exciting thought, the Apostle Paul reflects this excellently
21For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
22But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose.
23But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better;
Paul shows here that His only desire is Christ, whether to die and be with Him or to stay in this world and produce fruit for Him, either way its all about Christ.
I hope I have shown that biblically we are created by God for God, we are created by a God who loves Himself above all so that we might love Him above all for eternity, John Piper a great Christian preacher said that “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him”. Nothing else in this world not even good religious works are a patch on truly knowing Christ and bringing Him glory. And He wants you to know Him as closely as possible so you are as satisfied in Him as you can possibly be.
So Mormons going back to the original question are you here to glorify God or is He there to glorify you? What do Mormon texts say?
In Mormon Scripture the book of Moses 1:39 it says this
In my experience this is what a Mormon believes that God is there for our good, to help us in our plan of salvation to become a god ourselves (which is what eternal life means in LDS theology) as this is what God went through Himself as a man. So God goes from being an infinite eternal God seeking His own glory to an exalted man whose purpose is to glorify us.
Spencer W Kimball a previous Mormon Prophet said “After death we continue to learn. Exaltation means godhood, creatorship. ‘As man now is, God once was: as God now is, man may be.‘” (The teachings of Spencer W Kimball p.53)
Thomas Monson Current Mormon Prophet said “It is the celestial glory (godhood) which we seek. It is in the presence of God we desire to dwell. It is a forever family in which we want membership. Such blessings must be earned”. (Thomas S. Monson, On the Lord’s Errand: The memoirs of Thomas S. Monson, 1985 p.342)
So this is basically saying we desire godhood, under God but it must be earned. This has been said time and time again and is generally accepted within Mormonism.
The Gods who dwell in the Heaven have been redeemed from the grave in a world which existed before the foundations of this earth were laid. They and the Heavenly body which they now inhabit were once in a fallen state… they were exalted also, from fallen men to Celestial Gods to inhabit their Heaven forever and ever.” (The Seer, Jan 1853, p.23 quoted in the Salt Lake City Messenger, Nov. 1994, p.6.)
So back to the original question are you there to glorify God? Or really is He there to glorify you? if you think Gods purpose is to bring to pass your eternal life then you do not know God at all, the God of the bible is glorious and seeks His own glory and has created us in such a way that this is the only thing that can truly satisfy us, not religion but a relationship with Him. Mormonism does what so many other cults and religions do, this is to minimize God and elevate man, do not stand for it any longer look to the bible and trust in this glorious God!