The Book of Mormon 11/18
I had always heard that Mormons believe God has a wife, and that he and his wife had spiritual offspring. We are his offspring. We existed as spirits before we came to earth. Jesus, I had heard, was the literal firstborn of God and his wife. That meant Jesus had a beginning. He was not eternal.
But in a prophecy about Jesus, Mosiah 3:5 says:
For behold, the time cometh, and is not far distant, that with power, the Lord Omnipotent who reigneth, who was, and is from all eternity to all eternity, shall come down from heaven among the children of men, and shall dwell in a tabernacle of clay, and shall go forth amongst men, working mighty miracles, such as healing the sick, raising the dead, causing the lame to walk, and the blind to receive their sight, and the deaf to hear, and curing all manner of diseases. (Mosiah 3:5)I also asked about that on Yahoo Answers, and I learned something new. Mormons don't believe anybody had a beginning of existence. We have all existed from eternity--first as "intelligences," then as spirits, and then as flesh and blood.
That answered another question I had also. The first Mormon missionaries I talked to had told me that God had a father before him, and that father had a father before him, etc. So not even God was eternal. But God is eternal just like everybody else, even if he was once just as we are now--ordinary human beings.
But that is not the BOM view. Moroni 8:18 says, "For I know that God is not a partial God, neither a changeable being; but he is unchangeable from all eternity to all eternity." That's pretty explicit. Not only does God exist from eternity to eternity, but God is unchangeable from eternity to eternity. So he could not have been an intelligence who became a spirit who became flesh and blood who became exalted to godhood. The God described here in the BOM is worlds apart from the god Joseph Smith described in the King Follett Discourse. If the BOM really is another God-given testament of Jesus Christ, then Joseph Smith was a false prophet.
If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, 'Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,' you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. (Deuteronomy 13:1-3)Even if the BOM is an ancient American document, and even if it is the word of God, and even if Joseph Smith accurately translated it, he is still a false prophet since he preached a different God from the BOM. According to Deuteronomy 13:1-3, Joseph Smith may have given a sign or wonder by translating the BOM, but that certainly doesn't qualify him as a true prophet.