God

Creator

❮ Back

God

It almost goes without saying that the Book of Mormon advocates belief in the existence of God. While at first glance such a statement might appear to be a throwaway observation, in point of fact such a belief is no mere assumption, but is actually argued for in the text itself. The Book of Alma, in particular, provides evidence for the importance of this theme. First, this issue is raised in Amulek’s words to Zeezrom (Alma 11.24), ‘Believest thou that there is no God? I say unto you, Nay, thou knowest that there is a God, but thou lovest lucre more than him.’ Later in the book (Alma 18.22-39), Ammon carefully leads King Lamoni to faith, beginning with the question, ‘Believest thou that there is a God?’ – to which King Lamoni responds, ‘I do not know what that meaneth’ – proceeding to the question, ‘Believest thou that there is a Great Spirit?’ to which King Lamoni responds, ‘Yes’. At which point Ammon identifies the Spirit as God the creator of all things leading to King Lamoni’s conversion. A similar conversation occurs between Aaron and the father of Lamoni culminating in his prayer, ‘O God, Aaron hath told me that there is a God; and if there is a God, and if thou art God, wilt thou make thyself known unto me, and I will give away all my sins to thee, and that I may be raised from the dead, and be saved at the last day’ (Alma 22.18). In these cases the existence of God is demonstrated in God’s responses to believing hearts.

Perhaps the most important passage on this topic occurs later in Alma, when Korihor, the only individual identified in the Book of Mormon as ‘Anti-Christ’ (30.6), began to preach that there would be no Christ, no atonement, speaking against the prophecies, referring to God as ‘some unknown being, who they say is God – a being who never has been seen or known, who never was nor ever will be’ (30.28). In response to Alma’s question, do you believe there is a God, Korihor answers, ‘Nay’, and goes on to ask Alma to show him a sign that he might be convinced that there is a God, that he has power, and that Alma’s words are true (30.43). In responding to Korihor, Alma initially appeals to the testimony of all the brothers as sign enough, then to Scripture as evidence that there is indeed a God, and then to creation itself as a sign that there is a Supreme Creator. But Korihor persists in his demand for a sign, to which Alma responds indicating that Korihor’s sign will be his being struck dumb. Korihor then responds, ‘I do not deny the existence of a God, but I do not believe that there is a God; and I say also, that ye do not know that there is a God; and except ye show me a sign, I will not believe’ (30.49).[59] Ironically, the sign Korihor is given, being struck unable to speak, adds yet another evidence of God’s creation – his power, the very thing for which Korihor asked!

Source: Thomas, J. C. (2016). A Pentecostal reads The book of mormon: A literary and theological introduction. CPT Press.

❮ Back