A curious subplot to the coming Presidential election is what I call the Mormon Family Factor. The positive conservative family values of that religion are well documented and are certainly a plus for Mitt Romney’s campaign among conservative Christians. What is not well understood by most people is why the family is so important in the Mormon faith. Most Christians hold the family in high esteem because God ordained it and it is a crucial institution for the care and education of children. However, evangelical Christians do not regard the family as an essential element in the salvation process. That is obtained entirely by repentance of sin and by grace through personal faith in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2: 8, 9).
Not so, however, for Mormonism. In that system full salvation in the highest level of heaven (the Celestial Kingdom) is a life-long process of a series of steps including: Faith; Repentance; Baptism by immersion in the LDS Church by the Aaronic Priesthood; the Laying on of hands by a member of the Melchizedek Priesthood to receive the Holy Ghost; ordination as an Aaronic and Melchizedek Priest (males only); receiving the Temple Endowments; Temple Works (baptism and other ordinances for the dead); observing the “Word of Wisdom” (abstaining from alcohol, tobacco, and caffeine); sustaining the Prophet; Tithing 10% of income; attending weekly Sacrament Meetings; and obedience to all church commandments.
One more essential practice for full Mormon salvation is Celestial (Temple) Marriage for time and eternity. In other words, to reach the Celestial Kingdom the Mormon must be married in a Mormon temple and have (ideally) a large and successful family. If they accomplish this requirement along with all the others they can go to the Celestial Kingdom where they may be exalted to godhood. So then, the family is not only important for the Mormon faith, it is essential and a necessary ingredient in salvation. As Bible believing Christians we commend Mormons for their valuing marriage and families so highly. However, we do not agree with their unbiblical reasons why, especially their belief that marriage is a step toward becoming a god. Nowhere in Scripture do we find it even hinted that humans may become gods (unless you believe the serpent in Genesis 3:5!). It is wrong on two points. First it denies the infinity and eternality of the One and Only True God. And second it elevates mankind to deity which is tantamount to idolatry.