The LDS church teaches that all of us are God’s children. The church doctrine says that we all have a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother and that we are all spirit children of our Heavenly Parents. They believe we are literally children of God who were conceived by God with his multiple heavenly wives. This doctrine is false doctrine and is in no way supported by the bible. When I left the Mormon church I had to completely reconstruct in my mind what it means to be a child of God. Here is what I have learned from the bible on this topic.
We BECOME a child of God:
Collossions 1:16 states that we are all God’s creation and John 3:16 tells us that God loves the world. But just because He created us and loves us doesn’t mean we are His literal children as the LDS church teaches. What the bible teaches is that not everyone is a child of God. This was news to me when I began my Christian walk with God. This truth has been one of the most life changing truths that I have learned. Yes, we are all created by God and yes, God loves us all, but the bible teaches that we only become a child of God through adoption at the moment we put our faith in Jesus Christ. “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” John 1:12 This is an important scripture because it clearly states that we become sons of God. We are not born sons of God as the Mormon church teaches.
Scriptures which state this truth:
To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” Galatians 4:5
“Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,” Ephesians 1:5
“For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” Romans 8:14
“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:26
“While you have the Light, believe in the Light, so that you may become sons of Light…” John 12:36
“…for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light” Ephesians 5:8
“And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise.” Galatians 3:29
“So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household,” Ephesians 2:19
Adopted Child of God:
Romans 8:15-17 speaks of those who invite Christ into their hearts as moving from the status of slaves to that of sons and heirs: “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” Romans 8:15-17
Galatians 4:5-9 also speaks of being redeemed from under the law and becoming adopted sons of God: “To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God. However at that time, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those which by nature are no gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? Galatians 4:5-9 This scripture states clearly that we “receive the adoption of sons”. We are not born sons of God. We only are adopted by being redeemed, and we are redeemed at the moment we put our faith in Christ and not in ourselves and our own abilities and our own good works.
In Romans 8:23, Paul writes of a future aspect of the adoption. “And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” Romans 8:23 So while those who invited Christ into their hearts currently enjoy their new standing as a child of God and are currently able to call God “Father”, the adoption will be finalized at the resurrection when we get our new bodies.
Contrast between those who are children of God and those who are not:
Philippians 2:15 speaks of the sons of God amidst a perverse generation and paints a picture of contrast between those who are children of God and those who are not: “…so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,” Philippians 2:15
Predestined unto the adoption:
Ephesians 1:5 says that the children of God were predestined to become children of God. “Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will…” Those who have accepted Christ were predestined “unto the adoption”.
Those who are NOT children of God:
I believe the numerous scriptures quoted above truly portray that we were once slaves to sin and that we were not born children of God, but through faith alone we became children of God. Now let’s explore what the bible says about those who are not children of God.
John 8:42 quotes Jesus explaining that God is not the Father of those who do not love Him, “Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.” Then a few verses later John 8:44 Jesus speaking to the Pharisees says, “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” So Jesus makes it clear in these two scriptures that God is not the Father to everyone when he says “If God were your Father…”and that those who are not children of God are of their “father, the devil”.
1 John 3:10 also makes it clear that some people are children of God and some are children of the devil: “This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.”
More scriptures about those who are not children of God:
…and said, “You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord?” Acts 13:10
“…and the field is the world; and as for the good seed, these are the sons of the kingdom; and the tares are the sons of the evil one;” Matthew 13:38
“You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44
“Jesus answered them, “Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?” John 6:70
LDS teaching crumbles:
I grew up believing that we are literally all children of God. When I say “literally” I mean that I was taught that God, our Heavenly Father, has many wives and that we all have a Heavenly Mother, meaning we are all literal spirit children of God who were conceived by a Heavenly Mother. When you are confronted with the above scriptures, this LDS teaching that we are all literal spirit children of God crumbles. The Bible clearly states, as shown above, that only those who have faith in Jesus Christ are adopted as children of God and that those who are not children of God are sons of the devil.
God loves us:
I think that we are all basically like street urchins in God’s sight compared to His glory, if you think about it. We were lowly, despicable sinners and God loved us despite our ugliness. And He chose, in His mercy and His love, to pluck us up off the street and out of our miserable sinful state, and call us to Him to become believers. The moment we believed in Christ we became a child of God, and once you are a child of God you can never be plucked out of His hand.
“This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not a child of God; nor is anyone who does not love his brother.” 1 John 3:10
Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world. But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. Galatians 4:3-7