Exaltation and Gods Who Can Fall: Some Problems for Mormon Theodicies

Carl Mosser


Many LDS thinkers claim that Mormonism’s chief philosophical strength vis-à-vis traditional theism lies in its ability to solve the problem of evil in both its logical and soteriological versions. A fair amount of energy has been invested in attempts to show that classical theism cannot solve the problem of evil whereas Mormonism can. LDS philosophers have spent far less energy reflecting on other implications that stem from the metaphysical framework that grounds Mormonism’s perceived ad- vantage with regard to evil. In this essay I will illustrate how reflection on traditional LDS teachings about preexistence, the divine nature, God’s status as God, and exaltation raise interesting questions for Mormon theodicies.  Each of the areas I will address will also show how Mormonism’s metaphysical commitments ironically provide grounds for skepticism about the actualization of the Mormon soteriological hope. If true, they may require us to reevaluate the manner in which we trust God.

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