A Logical Proof that Mormonism is True
What Makes God Just, Merciful, and Powerful
The gospel of the Jesus Christ found in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is not complicated. It is straightforward, concise, and available to everyone. The gospel stems from a Heavenly Father who is just, merciful, and powerful. These three things are central to all those who worship the Judeo-Christian God—how could we face worshiping a God whom is other than these things?
Mormonism always claims to answer the questions that other religions cannot answer in a way that is totally satisfactory. When missionaries sit down with investigators for the first time they often speak of answering the questions “Where did we come from, why are we here, and where are we going?” To most, answers to these questions would be a life-changing experience that could completely overturn all their preconceived notions of this world and their goals. To others, the answers would focus this life more tightly and bring clarity to ideas they already had.
Regardless, the gospel of any religion also sheds light on its God, and in the case of Mormonism, this is most definitely true. The gospel and doctrine of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints defines God in such a way that he is a God of justice, a God of mercy, and a God of absolute power. The questions that Mormonism answers show Him to be this way perfectly and without any contradictions in terms of Himself.
I will begin by explaining the options that would be available should the LDS gospel not be true and see if these options allow God to be the just, merciful, and powerful God that He must be to be worthy of worship.
Why are we here?
The very simple question of “why are we here?” is one that sets the groundwork for Mormonism. So much of the LDS Church stems from the answer to this question. Why are we here? What were we created in these bodies to do?
One answer I often hear from those who are not LDS is that we were created so that we might worship and glorify God for all eternity. The thought process is that we will live this life and, should we end up following God during our mortal probation, we will go to Heaven afterwards where we will spend all eternity worshiping God, singing praises to Him, bowing down to Him, and being in His presence in veneration.
This future is not an unattractive future. Though it can be difficult to envision a future composed entirely of worship and veneration without any end ever, to spend it worshiping Heavenly Father would not be laborious or painful. It would be amazing, truly a gift, and fantastic.
The question remains, though, that if we are to simply spend eternity worshiping God, why do we feel pain during this life?
There is not a single person who has passed through mortality who has not experienced pain so severe that we have to ask, “Why?” There are times where we can begin to understand Jesus when He begged, “Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.” The physical pains and frustrations of this life can occasionally be so severe that, even with an eternal perspective, we have no idea why we have to endure such horrendous things. Our bodies ache, our hearts break, and we cannot make heads or tails of what we’re enduring and why.
If our only task in life is just to worship God in the eternities then why are we forced to endure such things? Why did God do this to us?
If God’s only purpose was for us to worship Him eternally then why didn’t He just create more angels?
Revelation 12:4 speaks of how 1/3 of the stars were swept from Heaven and flung down. Knowing, thanks to Isaiah 14:12 and Revelation 9:1, that angels are like stars and fallen angels like fallen stars, it can be reasonably understood that 1/3 of the total angels that God had created to worship Him rebelled and were cast out (see also Hebrews 12:22). With that in mind, 2/3 of the angels God created stayed with Him to worship Him.
The general consensus amongst those religious, however, is that most humans will not follow God and will not end up going back to Him. Yes, many will, but most will not. If we assume that 1/3 of mankind will end up with God after this life worshiping Him for all eternity (which I believe to be a rather generous estimation), then only 1/3 of the humans that God created with the intent to worship Him will actually make it back to Him to worship Him. To me, this doesn’t make sense. If God created us so we could worship Him, why not just create more angels? He had a better track record with angels than it’s supposed He will with humans. It is almost as if He is setting His creation up to fail.
Even if this is true and God isn’t concerned about numbers, the question remains as to why we experience so much pain? If He had created more angels who lived in Heaven with Him, worshiping Him, then it stands to reason that they would not have experienced pain or suffering and God’s purpose of them worshiping Him still would have been accomplished. What, then, was the purpose of putting us here on Earth where we would hurt and feel pain? Is God sadistic, angry, gaining some sort of perverse pleasure from our suffering?
I cannot believe this. God is not a God who takes pleasure from our suffering. He is not a God that likes seeing us hurt. I believe He is a God who feels pain when we feel pain and is suffering right alongside us. What, then, is the purpose of all the pain?
To answer this question, we need to backtrack and look at the fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden. Traditionally viewed as a bad thing where what would have been a fantastic existence in the Garden was instead crushed and warped, I am of the belief that the Fall was something that was orchestrated by God, not done in spite of His will.
Psalms 135:6 says,
Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.
The Fall was something in accordance with the will of God. It was something that He wanted to have happened. Isaiah 46:10 further underlines this, saying:
Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure.
The things that are done are done in accordance to the will of God. The Fall was not something that happened outside of His control. Satan did not circumvent the will of God. Satan did not sneak in and foil God’s plan, or ruin things such that God had to do damage control after the Fall. No, God’s hand was in the Fall. If the Fall was a good thing, then that truly changes the perspective of this life. If the Fall was something planned by God and Adam and Eve’s choice to partake of the fruit was in accordance to His will, then mortality takes on a whole new meaning. We are not living in a world of damage or destruction like we thought we were. Instead, we are living in a world that God planned and prepared for us.
In the book The God Who Weeps: How Mormonism Makes Sense of Life, Terryl and Fiona Givens makes the following point about the Garden of Eden (emphasis mine):
…in consequence of Eve’s choice, God does three significant things: He notes they have now become ‘as one of us,’ indicating some kind of growth has been initiated. He curses the ground ‘for [their] sake’ or ‘on [their] account,’ suggesting He is facilitating rather than punishing their decision to encounter a world of trail and opposites. And He does not forbid them immortality, but defers their immortality for a period. He prevents them from eating of the Tree of Life, since that would cause them to ‘live forever,’ before the period of testing and growth had accomplished its perfection work. After this mortal stage of growth is complete, as we see in the vision of the Revelator, the righteous reenter a celestial paradise with not one, but twelve Trees of Life.
The Givenses answers the next question we have to ask: if the Fall was a good thing, then what is it accomplishing? As they note, growth has begun. If it truly was a Fall, then it was a Fall upward because Adam and Eve became “as one of the divine” (see Genesis 3:22). The consequence of their being so meant that all of their offspring held the same trait, as do all of their descendants, including us.
Just like Adam and Eve chose to partake of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge and leave the Garden, LDS know that we chose to leave something great for something greater.
Before this life, we lived with God. This doctrine of a preexistent state with God is specific to the LDS Church. No other Christian religion subscribes to this idea, though there are individuals who might believe something akin to this. We lived with God and we made the decision to come here to Earth.
In the preexistent life with God, we were presented with a choice: follow God or follow Lucifer. By making the decision to follow God, we were given a body and born on Earth. We willingly walked into a world of pain and suffering. We knew what we were giving up and what we were walking into. We were aware of the pain, the suffering, the horrors that we would experience. Despite this, we chose to come here. We made the decision.
Because of this decision, the pain no longer is a horrible thing. God is a merciful God and is not a sadistic God who pleasures in our pain. He knew we would experience pain just like we knew we would. We walked into this together and He is still pulling for us, feeling with us, hurting with us, and watching us grow because of our experiences. Knowing that we existed with God and that we chose this life means that all of the suffering, while hard to take, is also a learning experience. It is something we willingly took upon ourselves. Jesus said “take up your cross and follow me,” and that is exactly what we are doing by being in this world. We followed Him in the preexistence and we can choose to continue following Him today.
Without a knowledge of the preexistence, the pain is still confusing and hard to understand. If we did not live with God and if we did not choose to come here and experience pain and growth then forcing it upon us does make God look harsher than we could imagine. Why would He force us here, into this pain, if we didn’t have some say? But the beautiful thing is that we did have some say. We had all the say. He gave us the option and we followed Him. God is not sadistic, He is not taking pleasure from our pain. Instead, He is facilitating a way for us to grow and become like Him. We are not the human bodies that we wear—we are spirits that put on a body for a short time so that we could grow and become more like our Father.
Growth and God
The idea of us growing during our mortal probation is present in many places throughout the Bible. As Givens notes, it is present in the Garden and then continues. He values our learning and growth and wants to see us continue on towards a higher plane of knowledge.
Paul outlines this idea of growth very explicitly in more than one place. One excellent example is in Romans 5, verses 3-5:
And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
The tribulations of this life benefit us. From the trials we have our patience increases, and then our experience. From experience, we gain hope, and confidence instead of shame. There is an increase in our daily life experience thanks to the tribulations, this much is obvious.
However, what’s the point of the growth if we are just going to be worshiping God for all eternity and nothing more? What should it matter if we are patient or not? After all, eternity is for worship, so it doesn’t make sense that we would need to learn anything during this life if our destiny is eternal worship, right? Eternally singing and bowing down before God doesn’t require hope or confidence. It shouldn’t matter if we are ashamed or not while doing it, right? Who need experience to sing eternally? What does it matter?
Yet we have established that the trials are a good thing. They do cause an increase during our mortal life and these increases are surely for a purpose.
Romans 8:16-18 talks more about this kind of growth:
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Paul begins speaking as though the trials that we experience during this life will cause that we shall have some sort of increase in the next life. We will be glorified with Christ because of our sufferings. We will have glory and the suffering that we undergo during this life will be nothing compared to the glory we shall receive in the next.
This pain, this frustration, it leads us to something greater. The precedent was set for this by the Fall and continues today. In many ways, the Fall was a “tribulation” that will lead us to the ability to be “glorified with Christ,” something that is higher and attainable.
When Adam and Eve gave up the Garden of Eden, they weren’t doing so for something less, they were doing so for something greater. The Fall was an increase for them and for all mankind. In the Garden, they lacked nothing physically—all their temporal needs were catered to. But they weren’t able to grow. They were locked down spiritually, stuck where they were, no progress possible. With the Fall, they were given the opportunity to grow spiritually, sacrificing temporal perfection in the process.
The gospel of the LDS Church recognizes this. We recognize that the Fall was a good thing and that the pain we experience is a good thing. We recognize that our choice to be here on Earth was a good thing and that we gave up something good—a preexistent life with God—for something great—glory with God.
The Power of God
One question that plagues any who are religious is that of those who do not choose to follow God. So often the question comes up: “What happens if someone lives and dies without hearing about Jesus and has no chance to follow Him?”
The answer to that question varies depending on who you ask. Some would say that the individual will go to Hell because without hearing about and accepting Christ during this life salvation is not possible. Others might say that the individual was not destined to be saved anyway so this is not any tragic loss. A very prominent idea is that everyone has the opportunity to hear about and follow Christ no matter who or where they are.
Unfortunately, the likelihood of every last person ever born having the chance to hear about Jesus and having the opportunity to accept Him is extremely slim. There are remote villages that have not been contacted by Christian missionaries before. There are people who are born without any chance to hear the gospel. There are people who might even hear about Jesus, but because of their culture and laws and family would have absolutely no reason to seek Him out or learn anything more about Him.
This is supposing that an individual lives a full adult life without hearing about Jesus. What if an infant is born and dies three days later having not yet developed full cognitive function and understanding? Are they going to Heaven or are they doomed to Hell? What is the answer?
The LDS Church has an answer for all of these things, an answer that allows God to be just, merciful, and powerful.
The first question we must answer, though, is whether or not God actually wants everyone to be saved and come to Him. Some suggest that no, there are humans that God does not want to be saved and that He could care less about. However, I would tend to disagree, as would the Bible.
2 Peter 3:9 says,
The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
He wants all to come to repentance, not just some. 1 Timothy 2:3-4 says,
For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
He does want all to be saved. It was because God so loved the world that He sent His only Begotten Son. Since this is the desire of God, then, we have to ask ourselves: is God impotent? Is He unable to have His will accomplished? Is he a God of Power, or He is an ineffectual God incapable of what He wants?
The unfortunate reality is that not everyone is going to repent and come to God. Not all will live with God the Father after they die. Yet He desires for them to. What does that mean, then?
It means…that He gives us choice. Though it be His will, He gives us the power to decide if we will follow Him or not. We chose to be here on Earth and now we can choose whether to follow God or not. Our choice of whether to follow or fail determines our destiny, not God’s ability to make us follow.
This does not answer how those who were unable to hear of Jesus are saved. Now that we have established that it is God’s will that we all be saved, and it is also His will that we have that ability to choose, we can look to the proxy work that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints performs to answer the question of how those who didn’t hear of Christ are saved.
The Lord does not just leave it to this life for all to hear. He will make sure that everyone gets the exact same chance to follow Him and it is for this reason that He established the doctrine of salvation for the dead.
Salvation for the dead is exactly like salvation for the living except that it is done by proxy in this life for those who are dead. The choice still remains for the deceased. They can accept Jesus and His ordinances of salvation or not. Being baptized for another individual does not mean that they are suddenly forced into something—this is the exact opposite of God’s wish. He is so firmly dedicated to the idea of choice and wanting to follow Him that anything breaching this would be inconceivable. The will of God is for us to choose and for us to choose Him. He wants us to come to Him and He wants us to follow Him perfectly, but if it isn’t our own choice then it doesn’t count.
In the next life, everyone will have the ability to hear the gospel and to accept it by having faith in Christ. All that remains, then, are the ordinances required by our Father to be with Him. Every last person will be given the same chance to accept or deny these ordinances. This is a central aspect to Mormonism. Choice is essential. Free will is so important to God.
By allowing for proxy work for our deceased ancestors, God can retain all of His justice, mercy, and power.
He is still a just God because people are given what they desire. Everyone will have the exact same opportunity to accept or reject Him so if someone decides not to, they can, and if someone decides to, then they will have the same chance as someone else. Each human will be given what they desire in the next life. God is just because He does not force anyone into anything. He is just because He punishes or rewards them based on how they choose. He is just because someone who didn’t have the same opportunity to follow Him during their mortal life as someone born into the gospel will have the exact same opportunity after they die.
For this same reason, He is a merciful God. An individual who sinned against God’s will their entire life deserves the punishment that God had in store. Violating the commandments of God and walking contrary to His will cannot ever be allowed. But God is merciful in that He lets everyone repent of what they did and resolve to do otherwise in the future. He forgives people of their transgressions and allows them to rededicate themselves to something greater. This holds true for those who repent while alive as well as those who repent after dying: everyone receives the exact same opportunity to either repent or not.
Lastly, God remains powerful through allowing proxy work. It is the desire of God for all to be saved but His will is that we have our own will. We can exercise that to follow Him or not. By allowing for proxy work for the deceased, there is not a single person that God can look at and say “I failed” because they weren’t given the chance to choose. His power remains truly and fully intact. He is not impotent but instead reigns as a God of power, giving unto His subjects exactly the desires of their hearts.
So far, I have danced around the idea of our destiny and the future life. The entirety of this discussion has been to question why we’re here. We have established where we came from, why we’re here, and why our life is so fraught with pain. We have discussed how everyone gets the same opportunities and that we can all achieve our destiny. The question remains, though: what is our destiny?
Already we have seen how Romans 8:16-18 takes us in the proper direction. Our God wants glory for us. He wants us to be on equal footing with His Son, Jesus Christ, whom is God. He wants for us what every righteous Earthly father wants for his children: growth into capable adults themselves.
1 Peter 5:4 states,
And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.
We already know from Romans that we shall be glorified with Christ, and now we know that our glory will never fade away.
To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
Jesus Christ overcame and was granted the ability to sit with His Father, whom is our Father, on His throne. When we overcome, we will also be given the ability to sit with Christ on His throne, which is the throne of the Father. We can be raised up to the level of God thanks to the trials and tribulations in this life.
The pain makes sense. We experience trials and tribulations so that we can experience growth and experience. This growth and experience prepares us for a higher plane of existence after our death. Adam and Eve gave up physical paradise for a time so they, and we, could have spiritual paradise. They Fell up and this was the will of God. We can choose what we want from our future and this is something that we can choose. Following God and overcoming the trials of the world will lead us to this point.
It is for this reason that we left the preexistence. Our Father presented this plan for us and gave us a chance to follow Him. He opened up the path to this Earth, and then He opened up the path back to Him. Our mortal probation was a trying and proving ground for a life above.
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
This was more than just a commandment of Christ: this was a prediction. What our Father has we can have. This is a future that our Lord wants for us. He gave us every possible way to achieve this because He adores us and knows exactly what our potential is. He does not see us in our oft-wretched state, He sees the future of what we can become and what He wants us to become.
Mormonism makes sense of life in more ways than one. Mormonism is logically true. The parameters in which a just, merciful, and powerful God exists are the parameters that Mormonism exists in. No other religion provides the doctrine and information that allows God to be this amazing and true. I know this faith is true and I know that it is the Church in which God has revealed all knowledge and power of salvation. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.