Mormonism and the Moral Argument – ​​Moral Apologetics (2023)

Many moral apologists claim that the moral argument ultimately points beyond mere theism to the truth of Christianity in particular. Such an opinion is supported bydavid bagget, Jerry Walls, H. P. Owen, and C. S. Luis. But if that is the case, we should find that Christianity explains moral facts, facts about moral value, moral knowledge, and moral rationality better than not only secular atheistic theories, but also alternative religious explanations. Today I offer some suggestions as to why Christianity is a better explanation than Mormonism.

Some may be surprised that he makes such a clear distinction between Christianity and Mormonism. After all, isn't Mormonism just another Christian denomination? In this case it would be like saying that Methodism explains moral facts better than Catholicism. Such confusion is understandable, especially considering that the LDS Church in recent timesthe largest of many different restorative Mormon denominations, apparently trying to present itself as another Christian denomination, even officially dropping the "Mormons" moniker in 2018.[1]They now wish to be known simply as "The Church of Jesus Christ." Therefore, to clarify the distinction, it is helpful to briefly state some important facts about the Mormon religion.

Mormon theology and metaphysics

Most people know that Mormonism is a religion founded byJosé Smith, who claimed to be a prophet, seer, and revelator. Smith claims that "God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him in the woods near his parents' home in western New York state when he was about 14 years old."[2]Smith went to the woods to pray, partly to decide which church to join, frustrated by the "war of words and confusion of opinion" between Christian denominations.[3]Smith wanted to know which church was the correct one, but in the woods he found none. A few months later, Smith claims that he was visited by theAngel Moroni, which led him to some buried gold plates containing an account of "the ancient inhabitants of this continent" and "the fulness of the everlasting gospel."[4]

Later, Smith is said to have found them and translated them.golden plates, the resulting work isBook of Mormon.christian criticismBook of MormonNote that despite his unusual origins, his "theology is largely orthodox in nature."[5]However, Smith started a new religious movement that would develop and develop new doctrines, largely aided by his commitment to continuing revelation. Through constant revelations and inspired translations, Smith developed the world's most benevolent theology.Book of Mormonand would infamously contain the doctrine ofpolygamy(polygamy) among others.

I suspect that most with at least a passing knowledge of Mormonism know these basic facts, but many are unfamiliar with some of the more exotic teachings of the Prophet Joseph. In the late 1830s and 1840s, Smith produced a "translation" of some Egyptian papyri. Smith claimed that the documents he purchased from peddler Michael Chandler were actually a lost first-person account by Abraham himself of his days in Egypt.[6]Darin "book of abrahamwe learn that there are eternally existent 'intelligences' (3:18). God will dwell among them; these intelligences were "organized" before the creation of the world (3:22-23). The Book of Abraham makes it clear that all human beings are organized out of these pre-existing, eternal intelligences. Such a view raises important questions about God's relationship to these intelligences. Are they eternal, but somehow ontologically dependent on him?

Fortunately, in 1844, Joseph Smith answered this question directly in a sermon delivered shortly before his death. In his "King Follet Sermon", Smith proclaimed that "God himself was once as we are now, and he is a man exalted and enthroned in the far heavens!" And he adds that God is "in his whole person, image and form of People like you."[7]Smith goes into detail, explaining how God became God: “We imagined and assumed that God was God from eternity. I will refute that idea and remove the veil so that you can see... He was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on earth, just as Jesus Christ himself did; and I will show it in the Bible.”[8]

(Video) The Moral Argument

SOUTH scholarRichard BuschmanHe says that in this sermon Joseph taught that "God was one of the free intelligences that learned to become God." Bushman adds that this interpretation is "obvious".[9]Bushman further comments that Joseph Smith's "words evoked a hierarchy of gods, who rose to higher positions with greater glory as empires presented themselves and ascending souls ascended to godhood below them... He [God] is its teacher, not its creator." "[10]Further clarification and confirmation of this doctrine came from later Church President and prophet Lorenzo Snow, who said, "As man is, so was God once; as God is, so shall man be." Church today."[11]

The moral argument is an argument for the existence of God. The defenders of the moral argument understand that this god is the only god that exists eternally, the base of everything that exists, unique, and that there is no other like him. Many moral apologists espouse a largely Anselmic understanding of God as the greatest conceivable being, the kind of being who possesses all the great creative qualities to the fullest extent. He is all good, all powerful and all knowing. This point is crucial and not just incidental to the moral argument. God must be maximally great, and that is whyyour typeo God cannot be the explanation of morality.

The problem of the goodness of God

Plato's famous Euthyphro's Dilemma may highlight the difference between Christian monotheism and Mormon theology.[12]Plato argued that either the gods love the good, or something is good when the gods love it. If the gods love the good, then morality doesn't need gods. We can have morality without appealing to the gods. We just love good and we will be moral. But if something is good just because the gods love it, then morality is arbitrary and unreasonable. christian moral philosophersas David Baggett arguedthat theism can "split the horns" of the dilemma. The good can be identified with God, so morality depends on God but is not arbitrary. Theists may also think of moral obligations as identical to God's commandments, such that what is morally right is determined by God.

However, this option is not available to Mormons. Since the person they call "God" is an uncreated intelligence and is of the same species as all other human beings, he cannot identify with it.aGood. No finite and concrete thing like an intelligence would adequately fulfill that role. If we confront Mormons with the Euthyphro dilemma, the answer can only be that God loves the sacred. God is simply an exalted man and cannot be the basis of what is moral. Therefore, according to Mormons, objective morality would exist whether or not God existed.

Sure, the Mormon God can command us, but why should we obey them? And the Mormon God might even be good; he may have a perfect moral character, but he cannot be identical with good; he is not Anselmo's greatest conceivable being. Like Smith said, he's a great man. He is not the creator of men, but only their organizer.

In my opinion, this question of the Mormon God's relationship to goodness is the central challenge to morality in the Mormon worldview. But there are other important questions. I just want to mention two more.

The problem of moral knowledge

(Video) Apologetics 101: Lesson 4- The Moral Argument

First, there is the problem of moral knowledge. From a Christian perspective, God is omnipotent and makes the world.unexpectedly.It has meticulous control over the world and over the creation and development of our minds. Since he is good and capable, it is natural to think that he would impart moral truth to us. However, from a Mormon perspective, we always exist as "intelligences" and God's power is limited. He can mold us, but he doesn't create us. Our mind, in particular, seems to have existed as "intelligence" for centuries. So why believe that our cognitive abilities are capable of recognizing moral truths? If we are capable of knowing moral truth, one possibility seems to be that it is a crude and inexplicable fact about our condition as uncreated intelligences. Intelligences only know what is moral and that is the end of the explanation. This would not be a satisfactory explanation of how we can rationally have moral knowledge.[13]

The problem of moral rationality

Second, there is the problem of justice and the ultimate reconciliation of happiness and morality.Kant on his moral argument for theism, argues that we must assume that God exists, at least to ensure that justice is finally served. God judges, rewards the just and punishes the wicked. And he has the power to tip the scales on Judgment Day. However, the Mormon God, limited in power and subject to the eternal laws of the universe, cannot guarantee the final victory of good over evil. How it ends up being out of your control. Of course, we can concede that the Mormon God, as an exalted man, can have tremendous power in relative terms. But not all power and not all knowledge. As Joseph Smith said, God is subject to the eternal laws of the universe, including the principles of exaltation and the eternity of matter.[14]At first sight, it would seem fortuitous that God, given his limitations, could achieve the maximum harmony between morality and happiness. While obedience to the Mormon God could somehow count as fulfilling our moral obligations, it remains to be seen how the moral life can ultimately be rational.

So, in conclusion, I would like to reiterate that I intend this short essay to be merely a suggestion for exploring potential problems with the Mormon worldview as it pertains to morality. I think these three questions, relating to the goodness of God, moral knowledge, and moral rationality, probably point to, and at least give us an idea of, some serious flaws in the explanatory power of Mormonism's moral facts.prima facieReasons to believe that Christianity better explains moral facts.



(Video) Moral Argument for God



[5]Carl Mosser, „And the Saints Walk On“ enThe new Mormon challenge.

[6]However, it is very likely that the papyri had nothing to do with Abraham and were a well-known collection of texts. They have since been translated by Egyptologists and no connection to Abraham can be identified. See



[9]ricardo buschmann,rough stone rolling,534.

[10]Buschmann, 535.

(Video) The Question that Stops Christians in Their Tracks

[11]The commentary was written in 1909 but reprinted in 2002.

[12]Some LDS scholars argue that LDS doctrine is not polytheistic. They say that such a term is "pejorative, inaccurate and inappropriate". See

Note, however, that the FAIR explanation of monotheism appears to be functional rather than ontological. They are monotheists because they worship only one god. However, this would be an idiosyncratic use of the terms at best.monotheisticmipolytheistic.In fact, the article incorrectly defines "social trinitarianism" as the denial that the Trinity is a substance. They also try to argue that the Christian doctrine of theosis, which has some biblical basis, is the same as that taught by the LDS Church. That too is just plain wrong; Orthodox Christians have never taught that human beings can become God as God is God, even when they claim that there is a mystical union between a human person and the divine.

[13]There may be some other explanations for establishing moral knowledge,what am i looking at here.


Jonathan, editor-in-chief of, has been an important part of the Moral Apologetics team since its inception. He is currently an adjunct professor of philosophy at Grand Canyon University and Liberty University. Prior to these positions, he was ordained a minister and served as spiritual life director. He is the author or co-author of several articles on metaethics, theology, and history of philosophy. With an MA in Global Apologetics and a graduate of Biola's Master of Philosophy program, he is currently completing his Ph.D. in which he expands a fourfold moral argument from mere theism to a distinctly Christian view of God. Jonathan, his wife Sara, and his two children currently reside in Lynchburg, Virginia.


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