God is a glorified being of flesh and bones


In my Easter post, I addressed the oft-asked question, “Are Mormons Christian?” I shared my witness of Jesus Christ and included a video clip from an apostle that summarized the answer. An anonymous reader left a comment disagreeing with my declaration that Mormons are indeed Christians. He kindly shared a list of six points with which he disagreed.

I responded briefly to our anonymous friend and promised to reply in greater detail to each of the points he raised. This post addresses the first point that God is a glorified being of flesh and bones. A Google search on the subject reveals several well written articles. An equally useful search on the phrase “Does God Have a Body?” delivers some of the same results and many others.

I am not a Mormon apologist nor am I experienced in apologetics. I am just your basic member of the church. My family joined when I was very young, converting from Presbyterianism. I served a mission, was married in the Temple and have been attending church all my life. I think my religious experiences are typical of a Latter-day Saint living in Southern California.

My personal views on the nature of God

I have never had a problem with the doctrine taught that God is a glorified man and that he has a body of flesh and bones. I know some object to the idea that God was once a mortal man but it has always made sense to me. I don’t pretend to understand the complexities of the universe. For example, who was taking care of things when God was going through his mortal probation?

There are a lot of questions about God that I just put up on the shelf until some future time when I trust that they will be answered. Some get confused when others talk or write about God’s father and the whole idea of eternal progression. I know some things have been taught and revealed about that subject, but frankly, I don’t think about it much. It doesn’t bother me.

I have been taught and believe that the purpose of this life is to exercise faith in Jesus Christ and prove myself obedient to His commandments revealed in scripture, both ancient and modern. I am a very simple man, really, but it makes me happy to think of a loving Heavenly Father who understands me perfectly because He has gone through the same kind of mortal experience.

Official statements from the Church

From Mormon.org: “God is your Father in Heaven (Matthew 6:9). We call God Heavenly Father because He is the Father of our spirits and we are created in His image ( Genesis 1:27). God has a body that looks like yours, though His body is immortal, perfected, and has a glory beyond description. He knows you personally and loves you more than you can comprehend.”

From True to the Faith: “God the Father is the Supreme Being in whom we believe and whom we worship. He is the ultimate Creator, Ruler, and Preserver of all things. He is perfect, has all power, and knows all things. He ‘has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s’ (D&C 130:22). Our Heavenly Father is a God of judgment and strength and knowledge and power, but He is also a God of perfect mercy, kindness, and charity.”

From Preach My Gospel: “God is our Heavenly Father. We are His children. He has a body of flesh and bone that is glorified and perfected. He loves us. He weeps with us when we suffer and rejoices when we do what is right. He wants to communicate with us, and we can communicate with Him through sincere prayer.”

Summary and Conclusion

I know this is not a deep discussion on the subject of the nature of God. There are so many more ideas that could be addressed. This post focused on one idea: God has a body of flesh and bone. Note that we do not teach that God has a body of flesh and blood as that is a condition of mortality. God is a glorified, immortal, perfected being and we are made in His image.

It is not a hard doctrine to comprehend. Man has made it difficult through uninspired creeds and interpretations of scripture that are not correct. That is why we need Apostles and Prophets to help us come to the unity of faith. I am so grateful for the Prophet Joseph Smith who bore a plain a simple testimony that he saw God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.

So is this different from what the Christian world teaches? Yes, it is. We believe in a “Restored Christianity.” Any doctrinal disagreements we have with ministers of other faiths can be summarized in one statement: We do not rely solely on the Bible for our understanding of the nature of God. Our understanding is based on knowledge revealed through modern prophets.

3 Responses

  1. On the issue of corporeal deity, I recommend the following:David L. Paulsen, “Early Christian Belief in a Corporeal Deity: Origen and Augustine as Reluctant Witnesses,” Harvard Theological Review, vol. 83, no. 2 (1990): 105–16.David L. Paulsen, “The Doctrine of Divine Embodiment: Restoration, Judeo-Christian, and Philosophical Perspectives,” BYU Studies, vol. 35, no. 4 (1996): 7–94.Or, more simply, this talk from Elder Jeffrey Holland: click here.

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  2. One of the problems with God being flesh and bone and originating from a planet orbiting the star Kolob is that it seems to violate Genesis 1 and all known current scientific knowledge. Both Gen 1 and the Big Bang Theory say that everything, time, matter, energy and space came into being at the point of creation. That means the entire universe did not exist prior to God creating it. But Mormon doctrine says he came from a planet much like ours. And since matter did not exist prior to the universe existing it seems diificult that God would be composed of matter (of course the Bible says that God is not a man but is spirit). Further if no matter or time existed before creation, where did the planet come from.

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  3. Hi F,Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a comment on my essay about the nature of God. We base our belief that God is a glorified being of flesh and bones on the testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith. He taught over and over that God has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as mans but that it is resurrected and perfected.Simple logic to me dictates that it must be so. I have a physical body and have received a wealth of knowledge as a result of this body. If God did not also have a physical body then I would have more personal knowledge than God. I can’t worship a God who doesn’t know more than me so that’s the end of that argument for me.I don’t know much about Kolob or the planet that God currently resides on. I don’t find that to be central to my salvation. I like the accounts of the creation I read in the Book of Abraham and the Book of Moses, revealed through the prophet Joseph Smith and contained in our scripture, the Pearl of Great Price. The first chapter of Genesis is missing a lot of material that has been lost over the years.I also don’t know much about the Big Bang theory and certainly don’t place much stock in all known current scientific knowledge as a basis for my faith in God. I have watched scientific theories in my lifetime come and go. What one day we call fact is the next day “proven” to be false. Thus all collected scientific knowledge of man is nothing compared to what God can reveal to us through the gift of the Holy Ghost.I invite you to increase your knowledge of the things of God by going beyond what science has to say. Seek after and obtain the gift of the Holy Ghost and you too can come to the same understanding that millions of Latter-day Saints have obtained – that God does indeed have a glorified and perfected physical body and that we are created in his image.This knowledge brings great peace and power to my life. I am confident that when I return to the presence of God after this mortal life has concluded for me that I will see and recognize him just as Joseph Smith described, for he testified that he saw him. The power comes from knowing that I can become like God when I too am resurrected and receive a body that is like his to never die again. Isn’t that powerful?

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