Woshipping Jesus

There is one fundamental question about Mormonism that I can’t seem to find a consistent answer about.  The question is: “Do LDS worship Jesus as their God?” (as other Christians do).

I know that the LDS esteem Jesus as Saviour and Redeemer.  I know that they consider him a god, creator of the world and part of the Godhood.  I know that they view him as the only way to the Father. I know that they seek to emulate his life.  And, YES, by all means I know that his name is right there as part of your church’s name.

While I see all of those things as important and unique to Jesus, the thing that seems to seperate Christians from all other religions is that they worship and praise Jesus as God.  But LDS seem hesitant to agree or at least come to a consesus on the matter.

I’ve read an lecture by Bruce McConkie in which he makes it quite clear that worshipping any one other than Heavenly Father is inappropriate and is idolatry. http://www.zionsbest.com/relationship.html I know many LDS who disagree with him.  What is your stance? Is this a generational shift in LDS doctrine?

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23 thoughts on “Woshipping Jesus

  1. You stated it…. Jesus is a God, but the question of “Do LDS worship Jesus as their God?” We worship both God the Heavenly Father And his Son Jesus Christ.

  2. I need to be careful here as to not cause any confusion or speak in a carnal-minded fashion. My sister has been a Mormon for almost thirty years and tried to lure (I use that term intentionally) me into the church; especially right after I was born again but very young in the Lord.
    Some basics. They believe that Jesus was created and that he was once a man. This is a blatant falsehood as Jesus is from everlasting. You cannot show them this in the bible because they don’t believe that it’s all translated correctly. The parts which expose mormon doctrine are the parts which are not translated properly. The list could go on for hours, but a “point by point” analysis isn’t necessary. The 1 John chapter 4 test is sufficient. I Timothy 3:16, along with John chapter 1 also uphold the deity of Jesus. He stated “Before Abraham was, I am.” He is from everlasting to everlasting, the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the ending.
    Just like many groups, they use the proper terms, but the terms have different meanings to them. They also believe that a marriage continues on in eternity, another contradiction to scripture. In any group that teaches another gospel, the element of flesh is ultimately pandered to. Just like Jihadists are told that they will have 70 virgins, the flesh is also pandered to in Mormon doctrine. In a nutshell, if the bible is accurate, the Mormon doctrine isn’t. If the bible isn’t entirely accurate, why would you spend time in it?

  3. timbob, I know you mean well, but maybe you shouldn’t comment on what Mormon’s believe since you aren’t one and you don’t know what they believe. That is clear by what you say. And your ‘nutshell’ argument is simply false.

    No offense, but what you wrote doesn’t even come close. One must study to not only touch on the tips, but get to the root and be able to put it together. We don’t change the meanings either. I know this because I used to go to evangelical churches.

    Please read what Bruce R. McConkie said in that link and also realize that even it won’t make a complete picture, only studying the Church’s teaching over a time will help. Jesus Himself always pointed the glory and the worship toward Heavenly Father. He calls Him both His Father and His God!

    Coming from 20 years as an evangelical and then a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I know what both teach, very well. I studied as an evangelical… I can tell you all about why some speak in ‘tongues’ and some don’t. Why some believe in the ‘rapture’ and some don’t… and how the some that do, some of those believe in pre-tribulation, some post-trib and some mid-trib. I can tell you so many different conclusions all from the same scriptures taught by men. From church to church their teachings varied like every wind of doctrine.

    Since receiving a testimony of the truth of the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS and the truth of the Book of Mormon, I have studied the beliefs and can tell you this:

    The Bible became crystal clear after applying the teachings of the church and then re-reading the Bible, especially the gospels. In the light of truth, it is no longer difficult to understand. And I mostly understand what a blessing it is to have a Prophet to lead us instead of self-appointed men tickling people’s ears…

    And timbob, comparing people marrying in the Temple for time and eternity here and promising to stay together throughout eternity is SO FAR from 70 virgins in heaven, I don’t even know what to say to you. I don’t want contention, because all contention is of the devil and will get us nowhere. I only know I used to think Mormonism a cult until I listened with an open heart and PRAYED about it earnestly. It is His Church, restored to the earth because it could not be reformed as about a zillion sects testify to.

    The more time I spend studying, the more my testimony grows and my love for our Father in Heaven and my love for Jesus Christ grows. And from that grows my love for my brothers and sisters on this earth regardless of whether they are LDS or not. Although I confess I am still a huge work in progress! As we all are.

  4. WDWBobbie (or anyone else who cares to answer)– What do you make of McConkie’s lecture? Do you consider yourself a Monotheist?

  5. After reading the words of Bruce R. McConkie I will have to say these are some lines that stood out to me.

    “I know perfectly well what the scriptures say about worshipping Christ and Jehovah, but they are speaking in an entirely different sense–the sense of standing in awe and being reverentially grateful to Him who has redeemed us”

    “Christ himself loves, serves, and worships the Father.”

    How I feel is this (and I say this very humbly):

    Children worship their older siblings. There is a sense of awe and inspiration. This is how I felt always about my brother that is older than I. I wanted to be like him, I watched him, I loved him. This is how I feel about Christ. I listen to his teachings, I hear his words and try to better my life by them, and I am eternally in awe of all he has done for us. But when it comes right down to it My Heavenly Father is the one I ultimately follow and strive to be with again.

    The Webster’s dictionary gives this definition of Worship:
    1 chiefly British : a person of importance — used as a title for various officials (as magistrates and some mayors)
    2 : reverence offered a divine being or supernatural power; also : an act of expressing such reverence
    3 : a form of religious practice with its creed and ritual
    4 : extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem

    So as you can see, there are MANY versions of Worship. But I would put no other above Heavenly Father.

  6. PS – There is NEVER a shift in LDS Doctrine. Keep in mind, the members of His Church are mortal and even some long time members have learned some false doctrines or may simply not express themselves well. That was the point of McConkie’s talk, to set them straight. So just because a Mormon tells you something, you need to read what the Prophets and Apostles teach to know what is true and false teaching. McConkie also mentioned the false doctrine of worshiping Adam.

    That is the main purpose in having a Prophet… Prophets have always spoken to the people for the Lord so they won’t go astray. When Scripture is left to mortals to interpret, they will always diverge from true doctrine.

    The only true doctrine of the LDS Church is doctrine approved by the Prophets and Apostles…

  7. Interesting comments. So you might say that you worship Christ, but not as your God? You only mean the word worship as far as it means respect or reverence?

    Can I rephrase (or restate) the question? Is Jesus your God?

    Sorry if I seem persistent with these questions, I’m just seeking clarity.

  8. I’m not trying to be brash, but I suggest a re-read of McConkie’s talk. He makes it very clear. Or maybe rephrase your question again. You seem to be singling out Jesus and leaving out our Father in Heaven and the Holy Ghost as part of the Godhead. So it makes it very difficult to answer your question and keep it in context. McConkie explains the Godhead and who we worship and why.

    It is vitally important to keep ‘whole’ teachings and not try to split things into parts that can be taken out of context. I hope that makes sense.

  9. I think that what is confusing is the different way we as LDS see the Godhead compared to ‘Evangelical’ churches. And being a convert from Evangelical TO LDS I understand the difference.

    Evangelicals tend to believe in the Godhead in the ‘Trinity’ doctrine according to the Council of Nicea. While LDS believe in the Godhead according to the actual Biblical text with further revelation from the Prophet Joseph Smith. I’m not going to argue doctrine because it is very easy to be deceived by humans that link Scriptures together that seem to make sense. Until you find another Pastor or person who links them differently. That’s one of the reasons I truly believe in the need for a Prophet.

    The following is my testimony.

    During my conversion process I must confess I read the Book of Mormon the first time simply to find fault with it. But what happened is I read it and found absolutely nothing that taught different from the Bible. I barraged the Sister missionaries with question after question and came to a place where I knew I had to simply ask God Himself. I knew that if I followed a false Prophet I would be very ashamed to face Christ in the afterlife. I also knew that if I rejected a TRUE Prophet I would be equally ashamed. So I had to pray and know for myself if the Book of Mormon was true Scripture and if the Church was indeed His Church.

    So I prayed and poured my heart out to God and let Him know I wanted the TRUTH whichever it was and would accept it. Well, I had been told over and over that the Church was a cult so I didn’t take any of this lightly and was actually somewhat mortified that the answer might be that the Church was true! It was the same way I had felt 20 years prior when I went from being an atheist to a Christian. I would never have thought it could happen to me. But when the Holy Spirit reveals truth to me, I must accept it whether or not it’s what I want to hear.

    20 years prior I had been having talks with a friend about the existence of God. I told her I could never believe and that she was basically wasting her breath. LOL But Heavenly Father apparantly decided He had heard enough of that from me and I had the most profound experience while driving in my car. I suddenly KNEW that I had a Father in Heaven and that His Son Jesus Christ had died for me. I felt like hot oil had been poured over my head and while the warmth flowed over my whole being, my body was also on fire. It’s very difficult to explain. I know also that a smile spread across my face and I had never experienced such JOY!

    20 years went by and I never felt that way prior or since until the night I prayed about the Church. I loved the Lord and sought to learn as much as possible. I even ended up taking Greek classes because I was tired of getting different teachings based on the same Scriptures from every church. But then was told by the Pastor teaching the class that none of the Scholars agreed on what the Greek meant. That was the day I prayed for the Spirit to help me figure out the Truth… There is so much to my testimony that I simply can’t type here, but not long after that 2 Sister Missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came into my shop and I started asking them questions. That led to the day I prayed about the Church.

    As soon as I asked the Lord in prayer, I received the same exact testimony in the same way as when I came to know Christ as Savior. Only amplified. Now I know that some people have a Saul of Tarsus conversion and some have a very quiet slow awakening. So I’m not saying anyone has to experience it as I did. Most will be different as we are all different. I was amazed, full of joy and startled that *I* was going to be a MORMON… one of THEM… LOL

    So from that I was baptised into the Church and have never looked back. As I said before, once you learn the truth, which won’t happen in one post here or anywhere for it must come from your heart in search for the truth, suddenly it all makes sense. I have never been more sure of anything other than Jesus Christ is Lord and the LDS Church is His Church restored to this earth by Joseph Smith, His Prophet. I bear this testimony in the name of Jesus Christ.

    A great book to read is A Marvelous Work and a Wonder by LeGrand Richards to help understand why RESTORATION, and not REFORMATION was needed.

  10. Hi Joy,

    The reason I’m singling out Jesus is because I understand the LDS view and perception of Heavenly Father (the Holy Spirit is another matter we might get into later). I don’t fully grasp how LDS view Jesus or why they differ from every other Christian church on His status as the one and only true God (along with the Father and the Spirit) and why they (at times)don’t worship him the same exact way they worship the Father.

    The reason I don’t just go back to the McConkie lecture is because I’ve heard a number of LDS refute his doctrine on this matter. I have met LDS who do think that Jesus is worthy of all the praise and glory they give to the Father. With them I agree and say “AMEN”.

    Evangelicals don’t just “tend” to see God as a Trinity, by very definition they absolutely see God as a Trinity. If they do not, they are in heresy and can’t properly be defined as Evangelical (I’m speaking institutionally not individually). This is also true of all Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox.

  11. Here is a link that may help you to understand our beliefs concerning this subject. I really prefer to defer to the actual teachings from the Prophet so I don’t perpetuate any heresy.

    http://library.lds.org/nxt/gateway.dll?f=templates$fn=default.htm$xhitlist_q=worship%20Father%20Jesus$xhitlist_x=Simple$xhitlist_s=relevance-weight$xhitlist_d=$xhitlist_hc=%5BXML%5D%5Bkwic%2C0%5D$xhitlist_xsl=xhitlist.xsl$xhitlist_vpc=first$xhitlist_sel=title%3Bpath%3Bcontent-type%3Bhome-title%3Bhit-context%3Bfield%3Azr%3Bfield%3ARef

    But as to Evangelical ‘institutionally’ I don’t believe it exsists. Evangelical is a general term and not an organized Church. And since I attended many Evangelical churches over 20 years I know for a fact they differ in their teachings and don’t even agree on the Nicene Crede version of the Trinity, not to mention many other beliefs such as the rapture, and whether or not it is pre-trib, post-trib or mid-trib. The Pastors and teachers I listened to varied as much as the wind blows.

  12. I think Joy has done a wonderful job of speaking to this topic.
    It seems to me, from other conversations I’ve had on the matter, that the biggest disconnect doesn’t come in how we view Christ, but the use of the term worship. Joy has spoken to this as well.

    We worship Christ through our actions and the thoughts and intents of our heart. We worship Him by striving to be obedient to His word and by taking His name upon us. He is the father of our salvation.

    Part of that worship and obedience is by following Christ’s instruction and ample example of praying to our Heavenly Father. We don’t separate our prayers according to the different members of the Godhead. That seems far more polytheistic than any LDS doctrine or practice.

    We praise and petition the Father who, according to Christ, is the object of all glory. We know that this existance has been delegated to Christ. We are His. He is the creator and the redeemer. All of the plan of salvation functions because of His atonement. Christ made it very clear that He did, not His own will, but the will of the Father. He did nothing but what the Father wanted done. There is no possible disputation about that. But all that is done is done through Christ.

    Perhaps you could clarify the need to make the distinction you are trying to force into the issue. We worship God. God is the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. We pray to the Father in the name of the Son through the Holy Ghost, who is the conduit for spiritual communication.

    The only issue I might see is the differing philosophy or theology of the Trinity. Is it 3 persons 1 God, or is it modalism (1 person, 3 instantiations/modes)?

  13. We worship God. God is the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.

    Facinating. Anytime LDS say that they worship God and then describe the Godhood as God, they are describing the orthodox understanding of the Trinity. If this view spreads it gives me great hope that the day is coming with Protestants, Catholics and Orthodox will welcome the LDS church into the brotherhood of orthodox Christianity. Much like what has happened recently with the Worldwide Church of God.

    If anyone uses the modalistic model to describe the Trinity, they misunderstand the doctrine. That is simply not how the Trinity has been taught throughout the history of the church. Whether you agree or disagree with the concept of the Trinity, modalism does not accurately describe it. The Trinity is a difficult concept so I understand how some people are confused, but any form of serious study of why Christians believe in the Trinity would show that Modalism is inaccurate.

  14. Joy, I’m sorry you are pointing to simply too many things to read all at once. Can you find maybe one article out of all of those you pointed me toward? Or can you find a way to say it in your own words?

  15. First I pray that the Spirit will speak to your heart as you read this and know that my intent is pure and that you are my brother and I want the very best for you.

    No, we are not describing the orthodox meaning of the Trinity. I know because I know the difference due to studying both over long periods of time.

    I would think this would be important enough to you to read all you can. Do you want to face God and explain why you rejected a living Prophet? Oh, sorry Heavenly Father, it was all just too much to read.

    I don’t mean to be brash, but this is vitally important. Jesus said if you reject His messengers/Prophets that you reject Him.

    I bore my testimony to you because I’ve been where you are and want you to know there is so much more. So much more. My heart was changed by Christ 23 years ago, but the past three since converting to the Church which is the Restored Church of Jesus Christ, my knowledge and my joy in the Gospel and understanding has grown so much. Open your heart, seek the Spirit. Don’t allow Satan to keep you from the fullness of the Gospel.

    If you look honestly at Evangelicalism and the rest you know the teachings vary with every wind of doctrine. Look at all the sects, each one a branch off from another. One apostate branch from another apostate branch. Not that you can’t come to know something of Christ and learn to love Him through those churches because they do have some truth, but the sects are due to every interpretation from MEN… You will not know His true nature or yours through those churches. There are so many sincere seekers in those churches. I was one of them and loved the Lord with all my heart. But there is so much more. I can’t say that enough. I am closer to Christ and find living His commandments is SO much easier since joining His church. The LDS Church is different because the Gospel was RESTORED… I can’t begin to explain how important this is.

    Were you ever not a Christian? If so, do you remember what it took to admit you were wrong and accept Christ? It took the power of Jesus Christ and the witness of the Holy Ghost to change my heart. It took another powerful experience to convert me to the Church. Actually this took more power because I was so against this Church. I want you to understand how powerful the witness was for me to accept that the LDS Church was indeed the Restored Church and that Joseph Smith was indeed a Prophet. You know that many of the Pastors and teachers are wrong about many things because they disagree so much… so since they are following every wind of doctrine, they realize that Jesus needed to restore His Church along with the authority that Peter and the Apostles originally had and was taken when they were killed off and rejected of that generation just as Jesus said they would be.

    Dando… don’t reject a living Prophet as so many throughout history have. If you want one thing to read… make it the Book of Mormon; which is another Testament of Jesus Christ named after the Prophet Mormon who compiled the records. Read it with an open heart and then pray according to the Scripture in Moroni 10: 4-7 which reads “4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
    5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.
    6 And whatsoever thing is good is just and true; wherefore, nothing that is good denieth the Christ, but acknowledgeth that he is.
    7 And ye may know that he is, by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore I would exhort you that ye deny not the power of God; for he worketh by power, according to the faith of the children of men, the same today and tomorrow, and forever.”

    That’s from my heart… I pray I have not offended either you or the Spirit in anything I’ve written. You are my brother and I want you to have all the promises and blessings the Fullness of the Gospel offers.

  16. Thanks Joy, I appreciate your heart. I have in fact read the Book of Mormon. As far as reading goes, I’ve probably read more Mormon literature than most Mormons (which I think says more about most Mormons than me).

    I was not at all saying I’m too lazy to read or that reading is too hard. I’m happy to read anything you send my way. But if you are trying to help some one understand something, it’s helpful to point them directly to the answer. If some one says, “Can you help me understand stock investment?” It doesn’t really help them to give them 5 college level Economics textbooks. They no doubt will find their answer if they read through them all, but the daunting task will probably encourage them to seek their answer somewhere else. Where as if you give them a satisfying short-answer they will probably continue to come to you for help (and eventually might take such an interest that they read those textbooks on their own.)

    I absolutely agree that these issues are of utmost importantance. I think you hit the nail on the head that it comes down to Joseph Smith, is he a reliable and true prophet of God?

  17. Ahhhh, see, there is almost always a hidden agenda when non-LDS are questioning us. Just as the Pharisees and Scribes were always trying to ask trick questions of Jesus so they could acuse Him, many non-LDS try the same with us. Which is why we are taught not to engage in partial teaching with non-LDS. That is why I insist on covering a topic as a whole concept and not just a splinter of something larger that is easily taken out of context. Besides I didn’t link 5 college level textbooks. :oD

    I linked one full article from the current living Prophet Gordon B. Hinkley and a set of questions and answers by an LDS member who has an excellent grasp of the teachings of Christ that pertained directly to your question. There is no short answer to what you ask. Besides, to read all of those took me part of an evening. A wondeful read and very enlightening. Well worth the time.

    My answer to you is absolutely Joseph Smith is a reliable and true Prophet of God. I received an absolute testimony from the Holy Ghost that he is. And I know beyond a shadow of any doubt that the LDS Church is Jesus’ Church restored to the earth in the latter days according to Prophesy. Was Joseph Smith infalible? Of course not, none of the Prophets ever were. They were all human and had their own frailties and made mistakes . But when the Lord speaks to them and tells them to teach us, in that they speak for the Lord as His mouthpiece. That is why we have ‘official’ teachings. Those are the ones that the Prophets have looked over and approved so that we will not be led astray in these last days.

    Unfortunately many of our own members don’t want to take the time to find what the ‘official’ teachings are. They too want a quick answer from a friend or man. Don’t settle for that.

    What I think you know and maybe why you have read so much about the LDS faith is that the Spirit keeps drawing you. And you probably have observed some of the same things I had observed about the churches I was attending. They each have some truth but also much error. They have to because they disagree so much that they keep having to splinter away. Those are the churches teaching every wind of doctrine. How is mere human interpretation avoided? Only by having a Prophet to guide us.

    Remember what he told the Disciples when He sent them out, that if the people rejected them, they were rejecting Him and His Father who sent Him. People throughout history have rejected living Prophets.

    Dando – You will not come to know the truth through looking for obvious proof. Men can and will lead you astray. A true Prophet of the Lord will not. The Gospel and belief in Christ is all about faith. And the Holy Ghost will lead you and guide you into all truth.

    I know that for me it was very important that I accepted by FAITH what the Holy Ghost testified of. After that applying the priciples taught by the Church simply strengthened my testimony. But if your testimony rests on the provable before you excersise faith, your faith will be weak and shakeable if it survives at all.

    If you have read the Book of Mormon, then take heed to what Moroni asks that you do… pray and ask God in the name of Jesus Christ whether or not these things are true. And be willing to accept the answer you get.

    I typed this quickly and I hope there aren’t too many typos. May God bless you in your search for answers.

  18. Oh there must have been a miscommunication in the link. When I clicked on it, I got every single article that had the word “worship” in it.

    Excuse my hyperbole. It was for example only.

  19. LDS doctrine shifts all the time, Joy. They try to make it look like it doesn’t, but it does.

    I don’t even need to start into the list of crazy doctrines that Brigham Young taught as a prophet that are specifically denied by the Church today.

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