The following is his whole quote.

I say to the whole world, receive the truth, no matter who presents it to you.

Take up the Bible, compare the religion of the Latter-day Saints with it, and see if it will stand the test. (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 16, p.46)

With this challenge in view I have a lot of questions but I will only focus on one question? Joseph Smith stated, "I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see. … It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the character of God and to know...that he was once a man like us.... (“King Follett Discourse,” Journal of Discourses 6:3-4, emphasis added)

My question is why does Moroni 8:18 and D & C 20:17 refute what Smith stated? Moroni 8:18:

18 For I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity.

Doctrine and Covenants 20:17:

17 By these things we know that there is a God in heaven, who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting the same unchangeable God, the framer of heaven and earth, and all things which are in them;

Since God is unchangeable and eternal according to LDS writings how do you reconcile this with Joseph Smith stating he "Will refute that idea and will take away the veil?"

  • @RayButterworth Maybe the following will help answer the question. catholic.com/tract/the-gods-of-the-mormon-church
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Mar 13, 2022 at 23:55
  • This question would be more effective if it didn't misquote the passage from Moroni & mis-name the person who made the originally quoted statement. -1 Commented Mar 13, 2022 at 23:56
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    @HoldToTheRod I quoted from the BoM directly and I just went back to read it and I "mistakenly" left out the word "not." I assure you I did not do on purpose. Now, how about addressing the obvious contradiction. One more thing if I may, please read the following from the catholic church that I gave Ray Butterworth. And just so you know, I am not a Roman Catholic
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Mar 14, 2022 at 0:18
  • @Mr.Bond thanks. My comments would be pretty similar to the answer given by depperm Commented Mar 14, 2022 at 0:43
  • @RayButterworth Partial has several meanings, the one meant here is "biased in favor of a person". en.wiktionary.org/wiki/partial It has nothing to do with the Trinity.
    – kutschkem
    Commented Mar 14, 2022 at 15:02

2 Answers 2


(I have very little knowledge of LDS, so the following isn't meant to defend or represent that church's position. It was inspired by my own Question comment about geometric fractals.)

The apparent contradiction, explained in The Gods of the Mormon Church | Catholic Answers is:

  • God “is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity” (Moroni 8:18)
  • “God himself was once as we are now” (King Follett Discourse)

Looking at this with what I know of Biblical Christianity and Physics, I don't see that there has to be a contradiction.

Imagine the path of a Christian:

  • accepts God's holy spirit at baptism, which combines with the human spirit to become a spirit embryo of a new being.
  • lives life guided by God's spirit, and develops and improves spiritual character.
  • sheds the physical body and the developed spirit becomes immortal.
  • becomes a full child of God and a sibling of Jesus, equal in power, but following the standard family hierarchy of authority.
  • works and learns with god in this universe.
  • creates a new universe.
  • becomes the God of that universe, sharing all experiences with the Father of the previous universe.
  • creates an Earth and mankind in that universe.
  • recurse.

The dimension of time within each universe is orthogonal to the dimension of time outside it, so “forever” within a universe is independent of time without it. (See Multiple time dimensions - Wikipedia.)

In each universe, “God” is unchanging (universe time).
But “God” used to be a human before this universe and its time was created (God time).

Again, note that I'm not saying this is true, or that there is any actual denomination that believes it. I'm simply giving an example of why this apparent contradiction isn't as obvious as the Roman Church claims.

  • 1
    Please, and I don't mean this disrespectfully, your right, you do have very little knowledge of LDS theology. There is one and only one God of the Bible, period. Where as Mormons believe there are many gods and they themselves will become gods and goddesses in the afterlife and will have "spirit" children. As far as what you said about Christianity people receive the GIFT of the Holy Spirit without being baptized. Read Acts 10:44-48. No, Christians do not become gods in another universe. No, we do not become equal in power with God the Son, Jesus Christ. He created us. John 1:1-14.
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Mar 14, 2022 at 1:39
  • 2
    +1 while the some of the wording isn't what LDS might use, there are concepts that align close enough to LDS beliefs and its an nice answer
    – depperm
    Commented Mar 14, 2022 at 1:40
  • 1
    @Mr.Bond, read depperm's answer, in particular: “Ye are gods”, “we shall be like him”, “children of God”, and “joint-heirs with Christ”. Romans 8:29 says Jesus is “the firstborn among many brothers and sisters”. This concept of God's being a family (currently only 2), and that God is using mankind to enlarge that family, exists in Christian denominations that rely only on the Bible. E.g. When God Became Man so Man Could Become God | United Church of God. Commented Mar 14, 2022 at 3:10
  • 1
    @Ray Again, you are clueless regarding Lds theology. Do you really believe that the judges of Israel were actual, ontological, supernatural deities? If so, then isn't God a liar for claiming over and over to be the only true God in existence? Psalm 82:6 clearly says that these "elohiym" Judge perform the act of judgment, and do so unjustly vs2. That would make them "judges" by definition, and corrupt judges at that. Vs 3,4 are admonished these judges are judging unjustly. Jesus did not say, "you can become gods, rather, "ye are gods." Psalm 82:7 says, "you will die like the men that you are."
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Mar 14, 2022 at 13:51
  • 1
    @Mr.Bond says I am "clueless regarding LDS"? I began by saying as much myself, never claimed that what I proposed was what the LDS believes, and explicitly stated that I wasn't claiming "that there is any actual denomination that believes it". What was your point? Commented Mar 14, 2022 at 14:07

This has a question that has an answer in Answers to Gospel Questions vol 2 by Joseph Fielding Smith (if you have an account I believe you can read this online finding the section titled "As Man Is, God Once Was").

Question: Will you kindly explain these two expressions, 'We know that there is a God in heaven, who is infinite and eternal, from everlasting to everlasting,' and 'As man is, God was; as God is man may become.'

Answer: "Everlasting to everlasting" means from the eternity past to the eternity future as far as man's understanding is concerned, from the pre-existence through the temporal (mortal) life unto the eternity following the resurrection. The Savior said:

...The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. (John 5:19)

From this remark we gather that the Son was doing what the Father had done before him. However, so far as the Father is concerned, we will leave that until we receive further knowledge, when and if we become glorified in his kingdom.



Now the Father has promised us, if we are obedient to his commandments, that we also shall advance line on line and precept on precept until we also may receive the fulness and become sons f God through obedience to the gospel, then we will be like him. Then he was as we are, we may become as he is, and this is good scripture.

Let us present a few passages of scriptures which show that those who are faithful in the keeping of his commandments, shall also become sons of God...

John 10:34-36

34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods?

35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken;

36 Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?

1 John 3:1-4

1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.

2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.

3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

Romans 8:13-17

13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

17 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.

Rev 21:7

7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.

pg 127-129

transcribed by hand, any errors are my own

  • 1
    Are you telling me that Moroni at 9:18 is agreeing with Smith's understanding from a man's point of view? How can that be when God had a hand in translating the BoM and there is no mention of man's preexistence, mortal life, resurrection or even the Savior in Moroni's answer. How do you explain that?
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Mar 14, 2022 at 1:14
  • @Mr.Bond yes (8:18), there are plenty of other verses in the rest of the scriptures about preexistence, mortal life, resurrection, and the rest of the plan of salvation. You can't have all gospel truths in one single verse, that's why you have multiple scriptures.
    – depperm
    Commented Mar 14, 2022 at 1:17
  • 1
    First I purposefully (as I stated in the OP) that I am only focused on one question. It was Smith in his answer that brought up preexistence, mortal life etc. I'm specifically talking about what Moroni 8:18 states as well as the JD 6:3-4. Smith changed the subject of the point Moroni was making. Smith even brought up John 2:19 which has nothing to do with my specific question. And btw, I will gladly explain the point of John 2:19 which I know for a fact Smith is taking it out of context.
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Mar 14, 2022 at 1:28
  • @Mr.Bond I believe I addressed the question Since God is unchangeable and eternal according to LDS writings how do you reconcile this with Joseph Smith stating he "Will refute that idea and will take away the veil?" except I went on to explain what idea he is refuting. Joseph never (to my knowledge) explained his wording, I believe he was refuting the idea that God being unchanging meant God didn't progress as we can, Moroni 8:18 can be misinterpreted so he clarified/taken out of context as a whole
    – depperm
    Commented Mar 14, 2022 at 1:37
  • 1
    My focus is on one question and I'm using your own writings per Moroni 8:18 and D& C 20:17 which refutes what Smith stated here: "I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea," Refute: means: to prove wrong, deny or contradict. Your opinion is noted but the words of Smith do not need explaining because they are clearly contradictory. Something cannot mean something other than what it says. Show me your exegesis of the words that demonstrates how you can deny the obvious of what it says?
    – Mr. Bond
    Commented Mar 16, 2022 at 14:00

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