Correspondence With a Mormon

1.  Is it true you will need Joseph Smith's consent in order to enter the Celestial Kingdom of God?

"Only in the same sense that the ancient Apostles will judge the house of Israel (Matt 19:28)."
This has nothing to do with needing the ancient Apostles consent in order to enter the Celestial Kingdom of God.  This means they will judge the nation of Israel for rejecting their Messiah.

"The same could be said of Noah and Moses.  Those who did not follow Noah's counsel were 'not saved' and were cast into 'spirit prison (1 Pet 3:20)".

This again has nothing to do with getting their consent.  The only way any of us are going to enter the Celestial Kingdom (heaven) is by believing in the Biblical Jesus Christ (not the one Joseph Smith revealed).  We don't need anyone else's consent, not the ancient apostles, not Noah's or Moses', nor Joseph Smith's, only Jesus.

In an address that Brigham Young delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake, October 9, 1859, he said the following, "... no man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith.  From the day that the Priesthood was taken from the earth to the winding-up scene of all things, every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith, junior, as a passport to their entrance into the mansion where God and Christ are – I with you and you with me.  I cannot go there without his consent." (Journal of Discourses, Vol. 7, page 289).  Even Brigham Young, the 2nd Prophet of the Mormon Church, said he can't go to be where God and Christ are without Joseph Smith's consent.   

I have never read anything like this in the Bible about the apostles, or about Noah or Moses, or about anyone else, have you?

(By the way, this quote from the Journal of Discourses was also in the Relief Society Manual, 1987,  making it "official" as I knew the Church wouldn't be teaching their women false doctrine).

2.  If God was once a man, who made Him?

"Although the idea that God the Father was once a man has never been an official doctrine [of] the LDS Church, it is widely believed by most Mormons..."  

You said this wasn't official church doctrine.  If it isn't, then Joseph Smith was a false prophet as he is the one that said it.  Even if he was talking "just as a man", he still couldn't say that God was once a man if he were a real Christian, let alone a prophet, because only an unregenerate man could accuse God of being a mere man before He became God.  God was always God.

I know someone who was a convert to the Church and was only a Mormon a few months and already believed that God was once a man and that the Father God had a Father, and that his Father had a Father, and that his Father had a Father, etc.  Brigham Young also believed this.  How long has this Mormon you are communicating with been a Mormon if he doesn't even know yet what my friend was taught when she became a Mormon?

Joseph Smith said:

"God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! ... 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...he was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on the earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did and I will show it from the Bible - but then he doesn't give any Biblical reference."   (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pages 345, 346)

I know the reference most Mormons give is Jn 5:19, when Jesus said that he could do nothing but what He saw the Father do.  But this in no way means what Mormons try to make it mean.

It means Jesus never acted independently but did the same works He saw His Father do.  And He said He would show them even greater works than these, that they may marvel.  This showed them that He was equal to the Father because no one can give us life, only God, and Jesus said he could raise the dead and quickeneth them (which means He could bring them back to life even as His Father did).  And then He said that they should honour the Son even as they honour the Father, again making Himself equal with God.  We must always take the scriptures in context (Jn 5:19-21).

"In LDS soterioloy, it is not an issue."

Soteriology (spiritual salvation through Christ) is a BIG issue to a Christian.

"As far as I'm concerned, the Father is the only one I recognize and worship."

The Bible teaches we are to worship the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as they are equally God.

3 a.  Is it true we pre-existed?
"Yes.  As spirits (see Jeremiah 1:5 and Eccles 12:7)"

Jeremiah 1:5  - Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

God knew this because he has foreknowledge and knows EVERYTHING - past, present and future, but a  Mormon has to show me a scripture that says Jeremiah KNEW God BEFORE he was formed in the belly which would show he pre-existed.  He won't find one because the Bible does not teach that man pre-existed.

Eccles. 12:7 - Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
True, but when did He give us our spirit?  The Bible says that God formed the spirit of man (which is God's image) WITHIN him (Zech 12:1).   When He formed man's spirit, He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul (Gen 2:7).  Our spirit did not come down from heaven, as Mormons teach, but it was formed within our body and will return to God who gave it (because it is our spirit and soul that is made in God's image and cannot die) and our bodies, which are dust and can die, will return to the earth.  
3 b.  If so, why does the Bible say that only Christ pre-existed?

I am not aware that the Bible teaches that *only* Jesus pre-existed.  Perhaps you could         point to a verse that says just that.

Please look up the following verses in God's Word - Jn 8:23; 3:31; 6:33, 38. Man has always been of the earth, earthy; the second man (Jesus Christ) is the Lord from heaven. (I Cor 15:47).

4.  If God went through everything we go through, does that mean he sinned, too?

No. Mormons don't teach that.  We don't know anything about God's history.  The Bible is silent on the subject.  So is modern scripture.

However, your missionaries were taught this because they are the ones who said it.  Also, the Stake President in Orange was asked him if God went through everything we went through, does that mean God sinned also and he said, "You could say that." Unbelievable!  And a couple of years later two other Mormon missionaries were asked if this meant God sinned too and without a second's hesitation, they replied, "Yes."  So I found out Mormons really believe that God went through EVERYTHING we have gone through, including sinning.  However, maybe you were just not aware of what your faith teaches.

By the way, the Bible isn't silent about this.  In Heb. 7:26, it says, "For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners (Jesus, whom the Bible says is God in the flesh, did not have a sin nature). It would be blasphemous to accuse God of sinning!

5.  What must we do in order to become like God?  

Become His disciple and suffer with Him (Romans 8:17) We have to 'overcome' (Rev. 3:21).  We also have to partake of His divine nature' (2 Peter 1-whole chapter). Let's look at these three scriptures and see if they are talking about "becoming like God."

"Become His disciple and suffer with Him (Romans 8;17)

This scripture says we are joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.  We will be Christ-like but will never be like God who never was once a sinner (like true Christians were at one time).  As man, he became the second Adam, a perfect man that never sinned.  That's what he did for us so we can become a perfect man again, through Him, even better than what Adam ever was. When God made us in His image, we had a pure spirit that could communicate with God with nothing in-between.  When we fell we lost that communion, though we still remained in God's image. Our spirit died.  That is why we must be born again. Jesus shed His blood to pay the price for our sins. If we accept his sacrifice, we are born again and given eternal life as a gift because when we have Him, we have eternal life.  He IS the Holy Spirit who has eternal life. What a wonderful Savior!

We have to 'overcome' (Rev. 3:21).

This scripture again doesn't say we will be like God.  It says Jesus will grant us to sit with Him in His throne which means we will enjoy the privilege and authority that Christ enjoys as we reign with Him.

All true believers are overcomers (1 Jn 5:4, 5). These verses say that everyone that has been born of God and believes that Jesus is the Son of God overcomes the world.

Mormons say that they believe Jesus is the Son of God but they are taught many unbiblical things about Him (such as He is the spirit-brother of Lucifer, that He was begotten by an immortal Father in the same way as mortal men are begotten by mortal father, that there are some sins that his blood does not cleanse from, etc.) making him a different Jesus.  Gordon B. Hinckley, the present Prophet of the LDS Church, admits that he does not believe in the traditional Christ and Bernard P. Brockbank, who was one of the 70's in the Mormon Church, also said that "it is true that Christians worship a different Jesus Christ than the Mormons or the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."  By their own admission, this shows they have "another Jesus" (See 2 Cor 11:4).

We also have to 'partake of His divine nature' (2 Peter 1 - whole chapter).

We partake of His divine nature when we are born-again.  This doesn't mean we become like God in his perfection as He alone is God, but we no longer enjoy our sinful nature for now He dwells within us and we partake of His divine nature by possession of His eternal life.  We are now clothed in His righteousness and are new creatures in Christ Jesus.  And when we die, we will go to live with Him, but not as a  perfect God, but as a perfect man.  He will always be the only God and we will always be man, however, now a perfect man, as Adam was before he sinned and as Jesus was when He emptied Himself of His glory and became man.  He was called  "the last Adam."  (1 Cor 15:45)   Also, we will never become a God.