"For I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity."
There was a time when Mormons agreed with Moroni 8:18. As Mormon historian Thomas G. Alexander writes, "Much of the doctrine that early investigators found in Mormonism was similar to contemporary Protestant churches."1 In what was originally read to Church membership as the "Articles and Covenants of the Church", D&C 20:17 spoke of the God who was always the same unchangeable God:
"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..."
D&C 76:4 spoke of this same God:
.From eternity to eternity he is the same, and his years never fail..
In what was originally a part of Mormon scripture, Lecture 3 of the Lectures on Faith taught, "A correct idea of his character, perfections and attributes" is "necessary, in order that any rational and intelligent being may exercise faith in God unto life and salvation." It goes on to quote the word of God, Psalm 90:2, "Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, you are God." The lecture then goes on to say that "he changes not, neither is there variableness with him; but that he is the same from everlasting to everlasting, being the same yesterday to-day and forever; and that his course is one eternal round, without variation."
This echoes Moroni 7:22, which speaks of "God knowing all things, being from everlasting to everlasting..."
A chapter later we learn in Moroni 8:18 that "God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity."
The Book of Mormon was published in March of 1830. Fourteen years, Mormon theology had dramatically changed. On April 7, 1844, Joseph Smith preached his famous King Follett Discourse. In it he taught,
"God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens...
"... it is necessary that we should understand the character and being of God, and how he came to be so; for 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 will take away and do away the veil, so that you may see. These are incomprehensible ideas to some; but they are simple...
"Here, then, is eternal life--to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you..."2
Lorenzo Snow summarized the big idea that further developed as follows: "As man is God once was, and as God is man may be."
Since then, Mormonism has never been the same. Mormons now radically re-interpret verses like Moroni 8:18 and essentially reject the original teaching that God was unchangeably God from all eternity to all eternity. Mormons are now even in disarray and confusion over whether God the Father was once a sinner.3
Mormonism has apostatized from its own Book of Mormon, and now Christians who don.t even believe in the inspiration of the Book of Mormon agree with Moroni 8:18 more than Mormons do. It is a verse that we Christians profoundly wish Mormons would embrace. It is far more important than the right amount to tithe, or the correct mode of baptism, or whether Joseph Smith was a true prophet. It concerns an eternal truth of the fundamental nature of God.
Won't you please join us in agreeing with Moroni 8:18? Truly God is .unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity..
- 1. Thomas G. Alexander, .The Reconstruction of Mormon Doctrine: From Joseph Smith to Progressive Theology.. Sunstone 5:4 (July-August 1980). Available online here.
- 2. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345. Available online here. On June 16, 1844, Smith went on to teach that Heavenly Father has his own Heavenly Father (History of the Church, Vol. 6, p. 473-479). Available online here.
- 3. GodNeverSinned.com