What do Mormons believe about God?
What do Mormons believe about God is discussed in social and political circlesIt's all over the news. The Mormons believe this about God or that. But the problem is, most of the reports are based on repeating rumors. Or on bad research.
If you want what Mormons believe, the best choice would be to talk to a member of the LDS church and ask. If that's not an option, I've gathered the basics questions people have about the LDS view of God here, along with some suggestions for great websites to check for more information.
Do Mormons believe in the same God as other Christians, Jews and Muslims?
Yes. Mormons believe that the God of the Old Testament (or Torah) is the same God who continued speaking in the New Testament and the Book of Mormon. They also believe that that same God continues speaking today, through Prophets as well as to individuals who are open to inspiration.
Do Mormons believe that God is a spirit, or that he has a body?
The LDS religion teaches that God is indeed a being with a body, although it is a glorified, perfect body that is not subject to time, disease or imperfection.
Why do Mormons refer to God as their "Heavenly Father"?
Just as all humans on earth have a father, so too do we have a father for our premortal form. The Father of all humans, according to LDS teachings, is God.
Less known, but equally a part of Mormon theology is the concept of a Mother in heaven. Unlike the Catholics who often refer to Mary as mother, the LDS concept refers to a glorified spirit mother of all human souls on earth. In the face of discrimination and misunderstanding, this element of their theology has not received wide publicity in recent years,
What is the Mormon belief about God and free will?
Mormons believe that while God is all knowing, we are placed here on earth to learn and grow, and to reach our greatest potential before returning home to heaven. A critical part of that journey is free will, so it is taught that we are given free will to choose good or evil.
Although God can intervene (and may do so to help or teach), Mormons do not believe in predetermination or that God is in control of all we do as people.
Do Mormons believe God was once a human being?
Yes, this is an element of LDS teachings. Much as Buddhists believe that people can obtain enlightenment and become a Bodhisattva, or Catholics believe that certain humans can reach such a state of purity that they become saints, the Mormon church teaches that God was once a physical being. But after obtaining perfection, this being became the God we know from the Bible and Book of Mormon.
Do Mormons believe that Jesus is also a God?
No. Although as Christians Mormons do recognize the divine role of Jesus as a favored son of God and the source of salvation for all humankind, they do not worship Jesus as a god.
In fact, since all humans are believed to share the same spirit parents as Jesus, the concept of the chosen brother is often used in the Church to describe Jesus.
Do Mormons believe God will be present in heaven?
Yes. The concept that after death we are to be in the presence of God is a core aspect of LDS teachings.
In fact the closeness or distance from the presence of God is one of the critical aspects of the afterlife in LDS beliefs, and is determined by how one used their mortal life for good or bad.
A word of caution
Whenever you're reading about a religion that's not your own, it's easy to see the beliefs as silly or strange. Such is always the case for outsiders looking in, no matter which faith is being discussed. .
This is only a brief overview of the Mormon beliefs, so it cannot explain the nuances of belief and practice. For more information, try the official church news website, or Deseret Book, the leading LDS bookstore online.