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-Re: “Don’t Mormons believe that Jesus and the Devil are brothers?”

by Dr. D ~ December 14th, 2007

This is the now famous question that Gov. Mike Huckabee asked during an interview.

For years I have heard different Christians make the claim that “Mormons believe that Jesus and Lucifer are ‘spirit’ brothers”. However, I have yet to find a Mormon friend or acquaintance that believes this, or a LDS leader that will own it, none of the young Mormon Elders who have ever come to my door will admit it, and the Mormon Church officially denies the teaching.

Where did this idea come from anyway?

Years ago, I heard Walter Martin on his radio program- “The Bible Answer Man”, repeatedly make this charge. Also, you can find the claim in his popular book: “The Kingdom of the Cults“. Although it may not have originated with him, more than anyone else, I believe that Walter Martin probably popularized this snappy retort against Mormonism.

He arrived at this claim by taking Mormon teaching on the ‘pre-existence’ to its extreme logical conclusion. Martin reasoned that since Mormons believe that all humans and angels are ‘spirit children’ of God who ‘pre-existed’ together in a spiritual form and realm before the present creation. Then all humanity and all the angels (both good and bad) are ‘Spirit brothers’. Therefore, it could be deduced from this teaching that, Jesus and Satan are ‘spirit brothers’.

From a Mormon perspective, they say that it is an outrageous claim that doesn’t reflect their teaching at all. In Mormon theology, Satan and Jesus are complete opposites who oppose one another. To say that they are ‘spirit brothers’ distorts the reverence that Mormons have for Jesus Christ and the disdain they also hold for Satan. The equivalence is a complete distortion from a LDS point of view.

Why Christians Should Probably Stop Using this Claim Against Mormonism

While there is considerable merit to the deduction that the Mormon teaching on the ‘Pre-Existence’ carried to its logical conclusion teaches that Jesus and Lucifer are ‘Spirit’ brothers. The actual teaching does not single out and speak of Satan and Jesus in this way. Rather it teaches that all humanity and angels were brothers and children of God at one time in a pre-existent spiritual realm.

It is probably a good idea for Christians to stop making this claim against Mormonism for the following reasons:

1. The Mormons deny the teaching.

2. There is more than enough ‘official’ doctrines and teachings of the Mormon Church to worry about.

3. It implies an equivalence between Jesus and the Devil which is foreign to Mormon beliefs.

4. It is outrageous to Mormons and is guaranteed to shut down any meaningful conversation.

5. The one who asserts this claim is considered ignorant from a Mormon perspective.

6. It is an unfair assertion since Mormons unanimously disagree with it.

Conclusion:

While this claim against Mormonism has some shock value and does have some basis in Mormon theology. Christians should concentrate on the many official teachings and doctrines that do separate Mormonism from ‘historic’ Christianity. Teachings that Mormons will recognize and own.             *Top

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3 Responses to -Re: “Don’t Mormons believe that Jesus and the Devil are brothers?”

  1. David

    I am a Latter-day Saint (in a hurry this morning, as it is), but I stumbled on this comment and wanted to thank you for your fairness in your expostulation of this concept in “Mormon” belief. I do believe dialogues between Mormons and the more traditional Christian traditions should be restricted to either the things we share or to discuss the things we agree that we see differently. Nothing is gained when one side misrepresents what the other believes. No goodwill whatsover is created when someone tries to tell me I or members of my church believe something we do not in fact believe, and I assume the same would be true if I were to try to tell you you believe something you do not. You’re right, there are enough real differences to discuss. Let us discuss them in the spirit of Christian brotherhood and sisterhood. Again, thanks.

  2. Dr. D

    Thanks David, you really did capture what I am trying to do on this blog.

    I am trying to represent different faiths fairly.

    This is difficult and many times my own biases get the best of me.

    Your comments are very helpful.

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