Debate With a Mormon

What follows is a discussion between a Mormon by the name of Charlie and Pastor Mark. Charlie’s words are in black, Pastor Mark’s in blue…

Hi Charlie. I apologize for the long delay in answering. I wanted to give adequate time to give a thorough answer to your interesting comment. My response is in blue and your comments are in black.

I appreciate your comments. They are intelligent, well thought out and honest. Of course I disagree with your premises and conclusions, as I shall delineate, but the clarity of your expose is refreshing. It gives a candid statement of Mormon beliefs as opposed to Christian faith. The difference between the two doctrines of salvation boils down to just this: Christians believe that they are saved by Christ’s atonement alone, whereas Mormons believe they are saved by Christ’s atonement plus works.

Two things I should mention at the outset: By “saved,” Christians mean something different than Mormons believe. Christians believe that “being saved,” means they are saved from an eternal hell of punishment and instead will enjoy an eternity of joy and bliss with Christ. I understand that Mormons, on the other hand, believe that nearly everyone ends up in one of three levels of heaven. They do not believe there is an eternal Hell to be saved from, that everyone goes to some level of heaven, even the vile and wicked, such as Adolf Hitler, after they are punished for a time in a temporary Hell, or purgatory, but that good Mormons go to the higher third plane of heaven.

The second term to define is “works.” The Bible refers to doing “good works,” or “works of the law.” In Mormon theology, “works” means obeying the commands of the Mormon hierarchy. Thus, Mormons believe they are saved by Christ plus obedience to the commands of the Mormon Church.

Now that we have our terms defined, let us consider what you have said.

Thank you for replying. I maintain, thru NT teachings, that both faith and works are necessary. I think the NT clearly teaches this. I believe the scriptures you quote and fully accept them, that our faith in Christ is necessary for our salvation. But you can’t exclude the scriptures that I offered in my prior comments that also clearly teach that our works are also necessary.

Do you accept these teachings that works are also necessary as James teaches? How much clearer can James 2:17-18 be when it states that “faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone… yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works, shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Also Matthew 7:21 teaches “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven”.

This scripture in and of itself should destroy any ideal and belief that “mouth confession” and lip service that Jesus is our Savior is simply not enough, even if that confession is sincerely heartfelt. Keeping God’s commandments (doing the will of the Father) in conjunction with faith in Christ and sincerely verbally confessing Him as our Savior is what saves us from the grasp of satan and lands us in the kingdom of Heaven.

Why are commandments from God splattered throughout the Bible? For what purpose, if all we have to do is confess and have faith? The commandments are given to us to show our works to God if we will keep His commandments.

You do make a coherent argument, but let me explain how it is in error. First of all, we can know it is not correct because it clearly contradicts Holy Scripture. “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the law.” (Romans 3:28) Furthermore, In Paul’s day there were sects, known as judaizers, who taught that you need Christ to be saved, but that you also must follow the law of Moses. Others also taught that Christ saves you, but only if you also get circumcised. But Paul taught clearly that when you add any works to salvation, you nullify the grace of God. When dealing with this false doctrine, Paul wrote, “Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all.” (Gal 5:2)

Mormonism does the exact same thing. It acknowledges Jesus’ role in salvation, but reduces it to a partial roll, claiming it is not entirely sufficient, for obedience to the Mormon Church must be added to it for it to be of any value. However, the Apostle Paul declares that Christ is of no value to anyone who puts their trust in things other than Christ alone.

The Bible says, “He has now reconciled you in his fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach.” (Col 1:22). Christians are “blameless and beyond reproach.” Or as the TLB puts it, “He has done this through the death on the cross of his own human body, and now as a result Christ has brought you into the very presence of God, and you are standing there before him with nothing left against you—nothing left that he could even chide you for.”

Since Paul’s time there has been an unending line of sects that want to diminish Christ’s perfect sufficiency by declaring it is Christ plus something: Christ plus beads, Christ plus candles, Christ plus holy underwear, Christ plus baptism, Christ plus Saturday observance, etc. Biblical theology proclaims salvation is through repentance and faith in Christ, plus nothing. As it is written, “Therefore He is able to save completely those who come to God through Him…” (Hebrews 7:25)

Concerning the Scriptures which you mentioned above, let me say that none of those adjure one to follow the commands of the Mormon Church, yet that is exactly what you are trying to defend. You believe you are saved by Christ plus obedience to Mormonism. Since Mormonism didn’t exist until the 19th century, the “works” spoken of in those passages has nothing to do with Mormon salvation theology.

When the Philippian jailer asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved,” he was not told to believe in Jesus AND obey the apostles. He was not told to believe in Jesus PLUS do good works of any kind, and he certainly was not told to believe in Jesus PLUS obey the Mormon Church. One thing was needful. The Apostle Paul told him, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved…” (Acts 16:31). I will say it again: Salvation is via Jesus plus nothing.

Now let me bring us to the crux of the matter. Mormon theology has the cart before the horse. Christians don’t do good works to be saved, they do them because they are saved. For someone that has not experienced the new birth, who has not been born again, this may be hard to understand, but once it happens to you, it all becomes clear.

It works like this: When you repent of your sins and turn to Christ for forgiveness, a miracle happens. You are born again. The Spirit of God comes into you. You are changed. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature, the old things passed away, behold, new things have come.” (2 Co 5:17) Such a person no longer wants to sin, in fact if they do sin they immediately feel very convicted, ask forgiveness, and continue on. It’s an entirely new life, as it says in 1 John 3:9, “No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God’s seed remains in them, they cannot go on sinning, because they have been born of God.” And again in Romans 7:6, “But now we have been released from the law, for we died to it and are no longer captive to its power. Now we can serve God, not in the old way of obeying the letter of the law, but in the new way of living in the Spirit.”

You see, our works are actually God working in us, as Scripture says, “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases Him.” (Philippians 2:13) Of course the Holy Spirit uses scripture to exhort and encourage us to cooperate with the Spirit and to enlighten our minds as to right and wrong. But the works we are encouraged to do are not for salvation, but are there to help us to do what God wants, because that is also what we want now that we have been given a new nature. The scriptural appeals for good works are not for salvation, but for edification and sanctification so that we may grow more Christ-like.

In James Chapter 2 the apostle explains that real faith is accompanied by works, which is what I have been saying. If one claims to have faith but the works did not naturally follow, then their faith is dead, it is not real. The faith is not dead because there are no works, rather there are no works because the faith is dead. Works will never make faith alive. This is exactly what James argues, “I will show you my faith by my works.” Indeed, Hebrews 6:1, and 9:14 adjure us to abandon “dead works.”

Perhaps an example from my own life will help to illustrate this principle. I was raised in church and I might have said I believed or had faith, but it was just a head knowledge. I had never surrendered my heart to Christ. My faith was really dead, even if I might have said that it was not. And many religious people are in this boat. They may belong to some church, consider themselves religious, but they have never been born again and there are no good works in their life. There were none in mine. I was sneaking out at night and drinking and other things.

At 14 years of age I was told that going to church didn’t make me a Christian any more than standing in the garage would make me a car. I well remember the argument in my mind: “My dad is the pastor. I go to church. I don’t have to think about this. I’m a Christian.” But the Holy Spirit convicted me and said, “You know that you are not.” There were no works in my life, there was no evidence that I had been changed into a new creature in Christ.

This is the sort of situation that James Chapter 2 addresses. It is saying that real faith is followed by works. Works show that the faith is real, but it is not saying that works make the faith real. The works are an evidence of a deeper reality. We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone.

In my case, once I repented and asked Jesus into my heart, it all changed. I was filled up with God’s love and enjoyed doing what pleases God. I was literally given a new nature and changed from the inside out. Whereas before I hated church and thought religion was boring, I now longed to be with God’s people and loved telling others about God. I read my Bible for hours a day and loved it. I was filled with a love for other people.

Whenever I sinned, I was acutely aware of it and driven by the Spirit to repent and ask forgiveness, which is always granted, as it is written, “If anyone sins, we have advocate with the Father,” (1Jn 2:1) and “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins.” (1Jn 1:8) And so Paul writes, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Ro 8:1) And, “where sin increased, grace increased all the more.” (Ro 5:20)

This is the Gospel that Paul preached, and it was misunderstood even then and twisted by legalists who slanderously accused Paul of saying, “Let us do evil that good may come.” (Ro 3:8). It is not easy to understand the relationship between faith and works until you are born again and find it a reality in your life.

Now concerning the last scripture that you quoted: “Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven”. (Matthew 7:21) What is the will of the Father? What works should we do? Jesus was asked, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” John 3:18 says, “Whoever believes in Him is not condemned.” From the first century onward the Church has always affirmed that salvation is through faith alone. Joseph Smith came along one thousand eight hundred and forty-some years later and decided he wanted to change that.

I know you realize Mark that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has what we consider additional scripture that our church believes that supports the Bible. So when you mention that we have teachings that are unbiblical, that really does not affect me because though I believe and accept the NT and OT, there is additional light and knowledge not contained in the Bible that we believe come from God found in the Book of Mormon and the other scriptures that we use.

One of the most profound scriptures found in the Book of Mormon that supports what you and I are discussing states “For we labor diligently to write, to persuade our children, and also our brethren, to believe in Christ, and to be reconciled to God; for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do”. Therefore, stating that some of the Latter-day saint doctrine is unbiblical is really a moot point to Latter-day saints because all of our beliefs and practices are not found in the Bible.

Although Mormonism has beliefs that are extra-biblical, my point was that it has beliefs that are un-biblical. It is not the beliefs you have that are not found in the Bible that are of major concern, rather it is the beliefs that are contradictory to scripture. God is immutable. He does not change. He does not lie. He does not forget what he said. You said above, that you “believe and accept the NT and the OT…” If that is the case, surely you can see the incongruity of having belief’s that contradict God’s word.

Though Latter-day saints accept the Bible as the word of God, we believe the Bible was translated by some wicked men, though not all were wicked, and precious truths were either lost or corrupted during translation. In fact, the Book of Mormon states regarding the Bible, “The book that thou beholdest is a record of the Jews, which contains the covenants of the Lord, which he hath made unto the house of Israel; and it also containeth many of the prophecies of the holy prophets… Thou hast beheld that the book proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew; and when it proceeded forth from the mouth of a Jew it contained the fulness of the gospel of the Lord, of whom the twelve apostles bear record Wherefore, these things go forth from the Jews in purity unto the Gentiles, according to the truth which is in God… And after they go forth by the hand of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, from the Jews unto the Gentiles, thou seest the formation of that great and abominable church, which is most abominable above all other churches; for behold, they have taken away from the gospel of the Lamb many parts which are plain and most precious; and also many covenants of the Lord have they taken away… And all this have they done that they might pervert the right ways of the Lord, that they might blind the eyes and harden the hearts of the children of men… Wherefore, thou seest that after the book hath gone forth through the hands of the great and abominable church, that there are many plain and precious things taken away from the book, which is the book of the Lamb of God… And after these plain and precious things were taken away it goeth forth unto all the nations of the Gentiles”.

Sorry for the lengthy BOM scripture quote. Simply put, the Bible, though the word of God, has gone through many translations and some truths have been unintenionally lost or intentionally corrupted. Some Christian scholars even support this idea. Here are just a few examples: Dr. Lobegott Friedrich Konstantin Von Tischendorf, one of the most adamant conservative Christian defenders of the Trinity was himself driven to admit that: “[the New Testament had] in many passages undergone such serious modification of meaning as to leave us in painful uncertainty as to what the Apostles had actually written”.

Dr. Frederic Kenyon said: “Besides the larger discrepancies, such as these, there is scarcely a verse in which there is not some variation of phrase in some copies [of the ancient manuscripts from which the Bible has been collected]. No one can say that these additions or omissions or alterations are matters of mere indifference”. More recently Bart Ehrman, a New Testament scholar, currently the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill said: “Ehrman determined that the Bible was not free of mistakes: We have only error ridden copies, and the vast majority of these are centuries removed from the originals and different from them, evidently, in thousands of ways”.

And that is how you reconcile the incongruity of having belief’s that contradict God’s word. You simply proclaim God’s word didn’t survive and declare the Bible is corrupt. Yet, that really doesn’t quite get you there. You cannot say you believe the Bible, while at the same time saying that it is all changed and corrupted and therefore can’t be believed. You have quoted Bible scriptures to prove your point about works for salvation, yet according to your own theology, you cannot trust any of those scriptures since they come, as you say, from a corrupt book. How do you know which scriptures are corrupted and which are not? You cannot tell. If you can’t believe some of it, then you cannot believe any of it

Jesus promised that his word would never pass away, yet you claim that it has. We are admonished by Jude to “contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.” (Jude1:3) From the time of the apostles, there have been groups that have tried to do away with or change the apostle’s teaching. As their writings were codified in Holy Scripture many cults have tried to deny the truth of the Bible, but every attack on the Bible is satanically inspired.

I am well aware that there are some supposedly learned and worldly popular theologians of dead mainline denominations who have asserted that the Bible contains mistakes. These are nothing more than professional religionists that have never been born again. They are the ones who are mistaken. The majority of experts in this field attest to the reliability of the Bible. I suggest you read Josh McDowell’s Evidence that Demands a Verdict to get the straight of things concerning the Bible. In short, you have been lied to about the reliability of the Bible. It has not been corrupted.

Many Christians do not really know what they believe and have little or no knowledge of the source of their beliefs.

I don’t know what “Christians” you have had contact with nor do I see the pertinence of the statement to our subject at hand, but since you brought it up…

We must define another term: Christians. Just because someone says they are a Christian or that they belong to a particular Christian church, that does not make them a Christian. I use the term Christian in reference to those who know who Jesus is, the one and only true God (not one of many gods), and who have repented of their sins and surrendered their lives to Jesus and have been born again. That is a Christian in my book and that is a Christian according to the Bible.  

Now to your statement: In my experience and acquaintance with many real Christians, I find that they do know what they believe, for they have experienced the reality of Christ in their hearts, as it is written, “As for you, the anointing you have received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you…” (1 Jn 2:27) And they do know the source of their beliefs; the Holy Bible, God’s written word which has not, and never shall, pass away.

If by “many Christians,” you meant the un-regenerated people who are Christian in name only and have not experienced the new birth, then I totally agree with your statement.

Since you bring the subject up about “knowledge of the source of beliefs,” I would point out that I have discovered that the Mormons I have had contact with know very little about the facts of their own history. For example, how many Mormons know that Joseph Smith actually died in a raging gun battle, killing others just before he died? Mormon Elder John Taylor, who was in jail with Joseph Smith, gives this account, which is recorded in the LDS Documentary History of the Church, Volume 7:

“(Joseph Smith) pulling the six-shooter left by Brother Wheelock from his pocket, opened the door slightly, and snapped the pistol six successive times; only three of the barrels, however, were discharged. I afterwards understood that two or three were wounded by these discharges, two of whom, I am informed, died.”

And how many Mormons know that Joseph Smith had sex with children? Of Joseph Smith’s thirty-six wives, seven were children under the age of 18. The youngest was Helen Mar Kimball, daughter of LDS apostle Heber C. Kimball, who was a 14-year old child. Nancy Winchester was either 14 or 15. Fanny Alger and Flora Ann Woodworth were both 16. Sarah Ann Whitney, Lucy Walker and Sarah Lawrence were 17. He also had marriages of mother/daughter and sister combinations. How many Mormons know this?

My numerous visits to the place where Joseph Smith was killed reaffirms that even official Mormon historical experts either don’t know Mormon history accurately, or are deliberately deceptive in relating it. I visited the Old Carthage Jail during the winter of 2007.  The Mormon guide, as on previous visits, emphasized how the prophet Joseph Smith was martyred for his faith, that he went to jail as a lamb to the slaughter, and then was ruthlessly murdered by a wild mob for no apparent reason. No mention was made that Smith was illegally armed and that he killed two men and wounded a third as his last act before leaving this world.

This fact must be embarrassing, because although the guides always do admit, when asked, that they know about the gun, they never volunteer that information, nor do they seem to be informed as to how many times he pulled the trigger or that he killed two men. In one visit the guide was disbelieving that Smith had shot anyone. He said that it was suspicious that they never came forward at any hearing on the matter and so he doubted such an event. I pointed out that they could not come forward by reason of the fact that they were dead. He then suggested that this was false information that came from anti-Mormon sources. He didn’t seem to be aware that these facts are recorded in the LDS Documentary History of the Church, vol.7, pp. 101-103.

On my last visit in 2012 the guide was asked by someone why Joseph Smith was jailed. She gave no information about the newspaper that was destroyed, which is the event for which he was arrested. Nothing was said about polygamy, other men’s wives, or under-age secret brides, all of which were the reason for the newspaper, that he had destroyed, which led to his undoing. Nothing was said about the guns the prisoners had, or anything about others being killed in the melee.

When the guide asked if there were questions, I inquired as to the guns and the killings by Smith that John Taylor had noted. She then admitted that this was so. I asked her to elaborate about the newspaper, since this was the causative factor in his incarceration. The guide said it was a newspaper started by people “south of Navoo” that were “enemies” of Joseph Smith and that the paper contained “vulgar lies.” She said that the newspaper press was legally destroyed by decision of the Nauvoo city council. I asked if she had read the newspaper published by this printer and she responded that she had not.

Apparently this gentle lady had been misinformed. Clearly she was unaware that the Constitution of the United States guarantees freedom of the press and that destruction of a newspaper is illegal. Furthermore, the paper was not printed by “enemies south of Nauvoo.” The paper was printed by Mormons who lived in Nauvoo. They were dedicated to the Book of Mormon and only wished that Joseph Smith would depart from his polygamy and be the godly leader they desired. The paper only contained facts that are now known to be a matter of historical record.

Apparently the Mormon guide had the newspaper in Warsaw confused with the newspaper in Nauvoo. Warsaw is directly south of Nauvoo and the Warsaw Signal was critical of Joseph Smith and a threat by the Mormons to destroy that press and kill the editor had been made. But it is the newspaper in Nauvoo that was actually destroyed. The threats to the Warsaw Signal were made after the destruction of the Nauvoo Expositor, which was owned and operated by sincere Mormons of Nauvoo who were disgruntled with the secret polygamy and adultery of Joseph Smith.

One has to wonder why so much misinformation and equivocation is disseminated by the LDS missionaries at the Carthage Jail. One would think that they would have thoroughly studied the history so as to give a historically accurate rendition of the facts. Even when they do know the pertinent facts, they do not disclose or acknowledge them unless confronted with the information. Perhaps they find the LDS theme of Joseph Smith as the righteous martyred prophet difficult to reconcile with his real actions.

At the Carthage Jail one is told that Joseph Smith was an innocent godly man. He was as a lamb led to the slaughter, martyred for his faith by a wild blood-lust crazed mob that killed him for no reason other than their unreasonable hate for a religion that was different than theirs.

The recorded indisputable historical record says this: Joseph Smith violated the constitution of the United States by destroying a newspaper and he threatened to destroy one of another city. He then evaded arrest by virtue of the Mormon Nauvoo court and the armed protection of the Mormon Nauvoo Legion.

When the governor arrived with the state militia, Smith fled across the river into Missouri, but returned at the behest of his wife. He surrendered to the authorities and was incarcerated in the Carthage jail. The would-be kidnappers came as an organized militia, marching orderly and briskly to the jail, intending to take him into more secure custody by removing him to a Missouri jail, from whence he had made prior escape. Smith, who according to John Taylor, had consumed wine earlier in the evening, responded with deadly force, killing two men and then was shot attempting to escape out the upstairs window.

I dare say, there are many facts of Mormon history that are not as they have been told to their own adherents. The scholastic dishonesty in many Mormon writings has led many to awaken to the deception.

I will end with the quote below from one of our church’s current Apostles, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: “It is not our purpose ever to demean any person’s belief or the doctrine of any religion. We extend to all the same respect for their doctrine that we ask for ours. (That too is an article of our faith.) But no less a source than the stalwart Harper’s Bible Dictionary, the gold standard in that field, records that “the formal doctrine of the Trinity as it was defined by the great church councils of the fourth and fifth centuries is not to be found [anywhere] in the [New Testament].”

As Jesus said, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven…” (M’t 7:21) There are many who call themselves Christians, who are even, as the scribes and Pharisees, very learned and scholarly men, yet they are not born again and do not have Christ in their hearts. It is no surprise that such men will write abominable heresies, promote them as advanced Christian scholarship and foist their errors upon others.

The Harper’s Bible Dictionary (Now called the HarperCollins Bible Dictionary) is a compilation of articles by 193 contributors from Jewish, Catholic and Protestant faiths. Some of them are liberal theologians that deny cardinal doctrines of Christianity and their writings cannot be trusted. Your quote refers to the Harper’s Bible Dictionary as “stalwart,” and “the gold standard.” It is nothing of the sort. It is, in fact, so rare that not one public library in Arizona had it in on their shelves.

That said, I would not find it concerning if a publication such as this denied the Trinity. However, knowing that the Mormon hierarchy has a propensity for lying to its own people, I wanted to check this out more thoroughly. I finally managed to procure a copy of the dictionary, and what I suspected was in fact the case: The Harper’s Bible Dictionary does not deny that the doctrine of the Trinity is Biblical. Just before the passage you quoted there are no less than seven paragraphs supporting the Trinity.

It is a lengthy passage with Biblical quotations proving the Trinity, so I will just repeat a small portion: “Trinity: a term denoting the specifically Christian doctrine that God is a unity of three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…can be seen in the New Testament…finally, there are passages in which all three persons of the Trinity are mentioned in the same context. The most important of these are the Apostolic Benediction of 2 Cor. 13:13 (the earliest Trinitarian formula known) and the baptismal formula of Matt. 28:19.”

Immediately following is the statement you quoted, wherein is said, “The formal doctrine of the Trinity as it was defined by the great church councils of the fourth and fifth centuries is not to be found in the NT.” The key phrases here are “formal,” and “as defined in the great church councils.” In other words, the doctrine was not clearly spelled out in simple format, as it is in some of the creeds. Since the article just got done showing that the doctrine of the Trinity “can be seen in the New Testament,” clearly it is only a formal declaration as found in the creeds that the writers says is not found. That is not unusual, since many truths of Christianity are discerned only after one has “studied to show himself approved.”

The very next sentence, is left out by Mormon literature because that sentence makes it clear that the context is supportive of the Trinity. It reads, “Nevertheless, the discussion above and especially the presence of Trinitarian formulas in 2 Cor. 13:13 (which is strikingly early) and Matt. 28:19 indicate that the origin of this mode of thought may be found very early in Christian history.

It should be of concern to you that the Mormon Church deceives its own people by quoting this out of context and tries to imply that a respected Christian Bible Dictionary denies the Trinity, when in fact the case is the opposite. Incidentally, the sentence does not say “not be found anywhere in the New Testament,” as you have it, but rather reads, “not to be found in the NT.” The word “anywhere” is not there.

So we are very comfortable, frankly, in letting it be known that we do not hold a fourth- or fifth-century, pagan-influenced view of the Godhead, and neither did those first Christian Saints who were eyewitnesses of the living Christ. We are New Testament—not Nicene—Christians”.

The Nicene Christians believed the same as the first century Christians did. But since we are talking about what first century Christians believed, then let’s be clear: First century Christians believed in one God, not many gods. They did not believe God lives on a star or planet called Kolob or that God has a god above Him and so-on ad infinitum. They did not believe that these gods had many wives, with which they mated to have “spirit children.” They did not believe that they would someday become gods with many wives and have a planet of their own to be god over.

I hope that you will look at my other articles on Mormonism. Particularly this one on Mormon History:  http://www.christiananswerman.com/mormon-history/

I believe you will find it an eye-opener. I also pray that you will consider accepting Christ Jesus as who He is, Lord and God, and the only God, that you will surrender your life to him and trust in Him alone for your salvation from an eternal Hell. Dead religion and trusting in a man-made organization will never save you or give the peace that passes all understanding. Only knowing who Christ really is and surrendering your life to him will bring about the miracle of being born again, after which all things become much clearer. I also suggest you read the New Testament and ask God to reveal the truth to you.