Quote: Robert McNiece on Polytheism in Mormonism

Quote for 3/11/16. Today’s quote is from a Presbyterian academic journal published in 1881. The author, Robert McNiece, spent 3 years living in Utah to study Mormonism and wrote the following in regard to their polytheism (i.e. the existence of many gods).

In the first place, Mormon theology is based on rank polytheism. The Mormon people are not only taught to believe in a plurality of gods, but to entertain ideas of the Divine Being which are connected with the grossest corporealism. They ridicule the idea that God is a Spirit, as Christ taught in John 4:24. One of their standard works is called a “Key to the Science of Theology.” It was written by Parley P. Pratt, who, while he lived, was one of their leading men, being one of the Twelve Apostles. This work is used as a text-book among the people; and this is what it says in confirmation of the statement that the Mormons are polytheists and have grossly corporeal ideas concerning the Deity:

“It will be recollected that the last chapter recognizes a family of Gods, or, in other words, a species of beings who have physical tabernacles of flesh and bones in the form of man, but so constructed as to be capable of eternal life.…
“A General Assembly, Quorum, or Grand Council of the Gods, with their President at their head, constitute the designing and creating power.… Wisdom inspires the Gods to multiply their species, and to lay the foundation for all the forms of life, to increase in numbers, and for each to enjoy himself in the sphere to which he is adapted.” (Chap. vi., pp. 46–47, 4th Liverpool edition).

Robert G. McNiece, “Mormonism,” The Presbyterian Review II, no. 5–8 (1881): 336.

It is a cherished practice of Mormons to say that Christians misrepresent their beliefs. You will note how McNiece quotes their own authorities in support of his research and conclusions.