12 Things you Must Know About
Mormonism - and the Bible
How many of you have ever been visited by two bright-eyed, well-groomed young men, wearing white shirts with name badges identifying themselves as Elder so & so? They say they’re from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and are eager to talk to you about their Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Many of you have, no doubt, recognized them from seeing their happy faces on TV or hearing their radio ads that promote strong family values and clean living. Have you ever wondered who these people are, where they come from and what they believe?
Who are They? The religious group from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, better known as Mormons, had its beginnings in upstate New York in 1820. Allegedly, the group’s founder and first prophet, Joseph Smith, being confused about the strife he saw among several religious denominations, went into the woods to pray about which church to join. The story goes that as the teenage Smith knelt down to pray, God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him in a pillar of light telling him that he must “….join none of them, for they were all wrong….all their creeds were an abomination….[and their] professors were all corrupt” (The Prophet Joseph Smith’s Testimony, 1984, p.5). Several years later, as Joseph Smith was praying in his bedroom, an angel named Moroni appeared to him, telling him he had a work to do for God and about a book, written upon gold plates, which contained the fullness of the everlasting gospel. After several more visits from the angel Moroni, Smith was given the location of these gold plates and proceeded to translate them from “Reformed Egyptian” into English. The book was published in 1830 and called, The Book of Mormon.
Today, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) boasts a membership of over 10 million followers and has its headquarters in Salt Lake City, Utah. The LDS church claims that the original church, founded by Jesus Christ, went into complete apostasy, lost its authority, and utterly ceased to exist on the earth. The LDS Church teaches that it is God’s re-establishment of the one true church on earth and that one can only be saved by obediently following its laws and ordinances. Hence, “There is no salvation outside the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, p.670).
Our dispute is not with Mormon people. Many members of the Mormon Church are sincere, loving, hard-working and moral. They are devoted to their Church and family, place a high value on education and do their best to be good neighbors and to be active in their community. However, due to its questionable past and strange teachings, the LDS Church has gotten a sour name amongst many people. In order to bolster its image in recent years, the LDS Church has stealthily campaigned to portray itself as just another Christian church preaching the same gospel and principles as do contemporary evangelical denominations. Is this true? Does Mormonism really teach the same Biblical doctrines as Orthodox Christianity? Let’s find out by reviewing 12 essential teachings of Mormonism and contrasting them with the Bible.
12 Essential Mormon Teachings – and the Bible
1. Mormonism teaches Polytheism (belief in many Gods): “In the beginning, the head of the Gods called a council of the Gods; and they came together and concocted a plan to create the world and people it….In all congregations when I have preached on the subject of the Deity, it has been the plurality of the Gods.” - Joseph Smith, History of the Church, vol. 6, pp.308, 474
The Bible says: “Is there a God beside me? Yea, there is no God; I know not any.” - Isaiah 44:8 (see also Isaiah 43:10, 44:6)
2. Mormonism teaches that God is an exalted man: “God himself was once a man as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!....for I am going to tell you how God came to be God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see….He was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth, the same as Jesus Christ himself did.” - Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp.345-46
The Bible says: “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent….” and, “….even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” - Numbers 23:19; Psalm 90:2 (see also 1 Samuel 15:29)
3. Mormonism teaches that God has a physical body: “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s….” - Doctrine & Covenants 130:22.
The Bible says: “God is a Spirit….”, and, “….for a spirit hath not flesh and bones….” - John 4:24; Luke 24:39
4. Mormonism denies the Virgin Birth: “Christ was begotten by an Immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers.” - Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1979, p.547
“The fleshly body of Jesus required a Mother as well as a Father. Therefore, the Father and mother of Jesus, according to the flesh, must have been associated together in the capacity of Husband and Wife; hence the Virgin Mary must have been, for the time being, the lawful wife of God the father….” - The Seer, January, 1853, Vol. 1, No. 1, p.158, (italics in original)
The Bible says: “Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee….”, also, “Joseph….fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.” - Luke 1:34, 35; Matthew 1:20
5. Mormonism teaches that Jesus was created: “The first spirit born to our heavenly parents was Jesus Christ….” - Gospel Principles, 1978, p.9
The Bible says: Jesus is not a creation, but the Creator: “All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made”, and, “For by him were all things created….And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” - John 1:3; Colossians 1:16, 17
6. Mormonism denies the eternal Deity of Jesus: “Jesus became a God and reached His great state of understanding through consistent effort and continuous obedience to all the Gospel truths and universal laws.” - Milton R. Hunter, The Gospel Through the Ages, 1945, p.51
The Bible says: “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day and for ever”, thus proclaiming Jesus’ immutability, or unchanging nature, as being God. - Hebrews 13:8 (see also Hebrews 1:10-12; Colossians 1:17)
7. Mormonism teaches that men can become Gods: “Here, then is eternal life–to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you….To inherit the same power, the same glory and the same exaltation, until you arrive at the station of a God.” - Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp.346-47
“As man is, God once was; as God is, man may be.” (Well-known Mormon phrase) James E. Talmage, The Articles of Faith, p.430
The Bible says: “”Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD….that you may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.” - Isaiah 43:10 (see also Isaiah 44:6)
8. Mormonism teaches that mankind pre-existed in heaven: “All men and women are….literally the sons and daughters of Deity….Man, as a spirit, was begotten and born of heavenly parents, and reared to maturity in the eternal mansions of the father, prior to coming upon the earth in a temporal [physical] body.” - Joseph F. Smith, The Origin of Man, Improvement Era, Nov. 1909, pp.78, 80
The Bible Says: Man did not exist until his physical creation on earth: “And the Lord formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul”, also, “Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual” - Genesis 2:7; 1 Corinthians 15:46
9. Mormonism denies salvation by faith apart from works: “We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.” - The Articles of Faith, #3
“….for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” – The Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 25:23
The Bible says: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast”, and, “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace….” - Ephesians 2:8, 9; 2 Timothy 1:9
10. Mormonism denies the cross of Christ: “Jesus took upon himself the sins of all men when he suffered and sweat great drops of blood from every pore in Gethsemane.” - Bruce R. McConkie, The Mortal Messiah, p.224
"In the Garden of Gethsemane, Christ atoned for the sins of all mankind." - Gospel Principles, 1978, p.58, item 7
The Bible says: “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree [cross]….”, also, “For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died [not sweat] for our sins according to the scriptures.” - 1 Peter 2:24; 1 Corinthians 15:3 (see also Ephesians 2:16; Colossians 1:20)
11. Mormonism teaches that Christ’s blood is insufficient: “Many may commit certain grievous sins….that will place him beyond the reach of the atoning blood of Christ. If then he would be saved, he must make sacrifice of his own life to atone….for that sin, for the blood of Christ alone under certain circumstances will not avail.” - Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 1979, p.93
The Bible says: “….the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin….If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” - 1 John 1:7, 9
12. Mormonism teaches that Hell is not a place of everlasting punishment: "That part of the spirit world inhabited by wicked spirits who are awaiting the eventual day of resurrection is called hell....Hell will have an end" - Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual, p.165
The Bible says: “And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.” - Mark 9:47, 48 (see also Matthew 25:41, 46)
Note: Mormonism draws a distinction between hell and outer darkness. While suffering in hell, wicked and unregenerate men will have a second chance to repent and receive salvation by hearing and accepting the Mormon gospel. Outer darkness more closely resembles the Biblical hell and is reserved for the sons of perdition, including those who leave the LDS Church.
The Christian Response
As we can clearly see, the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are sharply opposed to biblical Christianity. Because of this, the LDS Church is not just another Christian denomination, but is a non-Christian cult. As sincere as Mormons are, they are sincerely misled and deceived about many essential doctrines of the Christian faith. Mormonism plainly teaches another Jesus, another spirit and another gospel than that of Biblical Christianity and keeps its followers under constant bondage to earn their own salvation and exaltation to Godhood (2 Corinthians 11:4). Looking back, Joseph Smith utterly failed to heed the Apostle Paul’s warning - “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:8). Sadly, contrary to Smith and LDS teachings, Mormons are not on the narrow way which leads to everlasting life, but on the broad way which leads to everlasting destruction (Matthew 7:13, 14). How awesome it would be if those of us who know the real Jesus share Him, and His plan of redemption, with the next set of bright-eyed, well-groomed young men who knock on our door eager to talk to us about their Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.
* All scriptures are taken from the King James Version of the Bible.
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