Skip to comments.Is Mormonism Christian?: A Comparison of Mormonism and Historic Christianity
Posted on 12/26/2010 5:29:46 PM PST by Colofornian
Is Mormonism Christian? This may seem like a puzzling question to many Mormons as well as to some Christians. Mormons will note that they include the Bible among the four books which they recognize as Scripture, and that belief in Jesus Christ is central to their faith, as evidenced by their official name, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Furthermore, many Christians have heard the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing Christian hymns and are favorably impressed with the Mormon commitment to high moral standards and strong families. Doesnt it follow that Mormonism is Christian?
"To fairly and accurately resolve this question we need to carefully compare the basic doctrines of the Mormon religion with the basic doctrines of historic, biblical Christianity."
To fairly and accurately resolve this question we need to carefully compare the basic doctrines of the Mormon religion with the basic doctrines of historic, biblical Christianity. To represent the Mormon position we have relied on the following well-known Mormon doctrinal books, the first three of which are published by the Mormon Church: Gospel Principles (1997), Achieving a Celestial Marriage (1976), and A Study of the Articles of Faith (1979) by Mormon Apostle James E. Talmage, as well as Doctrines of Salvation (3 vols.) by the tenth Mormon President and prophet Joseph Fielding Smith, Mormon Doctrine (2nd ed., 1979) by Mormon apostle Bruce R. McConkie and Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith.
1. Is There More Than One True God?
The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed that there is only one True and Living God and apart from Him there are no other Gods (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 43:10,11; 44:6,8; 45:21,22; 46:9; Mark 12:29-34).
By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that there are many Gods (Book of Abraham 4:3ff), and that we can become gods and goddesses in the celestial kingdom (Doctrine and Covenants 132:19-20; Gospel Principles, p. 245; Achieving a Celestial Marriage, p. 130). It also teaches that those who achieve godhood will have spirit children who will worship and pray to them, just as we worship and pray to God the Father (Gospel Principles, p. 302).
2. Was God Once a Man Like Us?
The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed that God is Spirit (John 4:24; 1 Timothy 6:15,16), He is not a man (Numbers 23:19; Hosea 11:9; Romans 1:22, 23), and has always (eternally) existed as God all powerful, all knowing, and everywhere present (Psalm 90:2; 139:7-10; Isaiah 40:28; Luke 1:37).
By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that God the Father was once a man like us who progressed to become a God and has a body of flesh and bone (Doctrine and Covenants 130:22; "God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!" from Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp. 345-347; Gospel Principles, p. 9; Articles of Faith, p. 430; Mormon Doctrine, p. 321). Indeed, the Mormon Church teaches that God himself has a father, and a grandfather, ad infinitum (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 373; Mormon Doctrine, p. 577).
3. Are Jesus and Satan Spirit Brothers?
The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed that Jesus is the unique Son of God; he has always existed as God, and is co-eternal and co-equal with the Father (John 1:1, 14; 10:30; 14:9; Colossians 2:9). While never less than God, at the appointed time He laid aside the glory He shared with the Father (John 17:4, 5; Philippians 2:6-11) and was made flesh for our salvation; His incarnation was accomplished through being conceived supernaturally by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin (Matthew 1:18-23; Luke 1:34-35).
By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that Jesus Christ is our elder brother who progressed to godhood, having first been procreated as a spirit child by Heavenly Father and a heavenly mother; He was later conceived physically through intercourse between Heavenly Father and the virgin Mary (D&C 93:21; Journal of Discourses, 1:50-51; Gospel Principles, p. 11-13; Achieving a Celestial Marriage, p. 129; Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, pp. 546-547; 742; Ezra Taft Benson, Come unto Christ, p. 4; Robert L. Millet, The Mormon Faith: Understanding Restored Christianity, p. 31). Mormon doctrine affirms that Jesus, all angels, Lucifer, all demons, and all human beings are originally spirit brothers and sisters (Abraham 3:22-27; Moses 4:1-2; Gospel Principles, pp. 17-18; Mormon Doctrine, p. 192).
4. Is God a Trinity?
The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit or Holy Ghost are not separate Gods or separate beings, but are distinct Persons within the one Triune Godhead. Throughout the New Testament the Son and the Holy Spirit, as well as the Father are separately identified as and act as God (Son: Mark 2:5-12; John 20:28; Philippians 2:10,11; Holy Spirit: Acts 5:3,4; 2 Corinthians 3:17,18; 13:14); yet at the same time the Bible teaches that these three are only one God (see point 1).
By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three separate Gods (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 370; Mormon Doctrine, pp. 576-577), and that the Son and Holy Ghost are the literal offspring of Heavenly Father and a celestial wife (Joseph Fielding McConkie, Encyclopedia of Mormonism, vol. 2, p. 649).
5. Was The Sin Of Adam and Eve a Great Evil Or a Great Blessing?
The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed that the disobedience of our first parents Adam and Eve was a great evil. Through their fall sin entered the world, bringing all human beings under condemnation and death. Thus we are born with a sinful nature, and will be judged for the sins we commit as individuals. (Ezekiel 18:1-20; Romans 5:12-21).
By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that Adams sin was "a necessary step in the plan of life and a great blessing to all of us" (Gospel Principles, p. 33; Book of Mormon 2 Nephi 2:25; Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, pp. 114-115).
6. Can We Make Ourselves Worthy Before God?
The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed that apart from the saving work of Jesus Christ on the cross we are spiritually "dead in trespasses and sins" (Ephesians 2:1,5) and are powerless to save ourselves. By grace alone, apart from self-righteous works, God forgives our sins and makes us worthy to live in His presence (Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5-6). Our part is only to cling to Christ in heartfelt faith. (However, it is certainly true that without the evidence of changed conduct, a persons testimony of faith in Christ must be questioned; salvation by grace alone through faith, does not mean we can live as we please Romans 6:1-4).
By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that eternal life in the presence of God (which it terms "exaltation in the celestial kingdom") must be earned through obedience to all the commands of the Mormon Church, including exclusive Mormon temple rituals. Works are a requirement for salvation (entrance into the "celestial kingdom") Gospel Principles, p. 303-304; Pearl of Great Price Third Article of Faith; Mormon Doctrine, pp. 339, 671; Book of Mormon 2 Nephi 25:23).
7. Does Christ's Atoning Death Benefit Those Who Reject Him?
The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed that the purpose of the atoning work of Christ on the cross was to provide the complete solution for humankinds sin problem. However, those who reject Gods grace in this life will have no part in this salvation but are under the judgment of God for eternity (John 3:36; Hebrews 9:27; 1 John 5:11-12).
By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that the purpose of the atonement was to bring resurrection and immortality to all people, regardless of whether they receive Christ by faith. Christs atonement is only a partial basis for worthiness and eternal life, which also requires obedience to all the commands of the Mormon church, including exclusive Mormon temple rituals (Gospel Principles, pp. 74-75; Mormon Doctrine, p. 669).
8. Is The Bible The Unique and Final Word of God?
The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed that the Bible is the unique, final and infallible Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16; Hebrews 1:1,2; 2 Peter 1:21) and that it will stand forever (1 Peter 1:23-25). Gods providential preservation of the text of the Bible was marvelously illustrated in the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that the Bible has been corrupted, is missing many "plain and precious parts" and does not contain the fullness of the Gospel (Book of Mormon 1 Nephi 13:26-29; Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 3, pp. 190-191).
9. Did The Early Church Fall Into Total Apostasy?
The Bible teaches and orthodox Christians through the ages have believed that the true Church was divinely established by Jesus and could never and will never disappear from the earth (Matthew 16:18; John 15:16; 17:11). Christians acknowledge that there have been times of corruption and apostasy within the Church, but believe there has always been a remnant that held fast to the biblical essentials.
By contrast, the Mormon Church teaches that there was a great and total apostasy of the Church as established by Jesus Christ; this state of apostasy "still prevails except among those who have come to a knowledge of the restored gospel" of the Mormon Church (Gospel Principles, pp. 105-106; Mormon Doctrine, p. 44).
Conclusion: The above points in italics constitute the common gospel believed by all orthodox Christians through the ages regardless of denominational labels. On the other hand, some new religions such as Mormonism claim to be Christian, but accept as Scripture writings outside of the Bible, teach doctrines that contradict the Bible, and hold to beliefs completely foreign to the teachings of Jesus and His apostles.
Mormons share with orthodox Christians some important moral precepts from the Bible. However, the above points are examples of the many fundamental and irreconcilable differences between historic, biblical Christianity and Mormonism. While these differences do not keep us from being friendly with Mormons, we cannot consider them brothers and sisters in Christ. The Bible specifically warns of false prophets who will teach "another gospel" centered around "another Jesus," and witnessed to by "another spirit" (2 Corinthians 11:4,13-15; Galatians 1:6-9). Based on the evidence presented above, we believe Mormonism represents just such a counterfeit gospel.
It has been pointed out that if one claimed to be a Mormon but denied all the basic tenets of Mormonism that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, that the Book of Mormon is true and divinely inspired, that god was once a man who progressed to godhood through keeping the laws and ordinances of the Mormon Church, and that the Mormon Church was divinely established the Mormon Church would reject such a persons claim to being a Latter-day Saint. One cannot fairly call oneself a Mormon if one does not believe the fundamental doctrines taught by the Mormon Church. By the same token, if the Mormon Church does not hold to even the basic biblical truths believed by the greater Christian community down through the ages, how can Christians reasonably be expected to accept Mormonism as authentic Christianity?
If the Mormon Church believes it is the only true Christian Church, it should not attempt to publicly present itself as a part of a broader Christian community. Instead it should tell the world openly that those who claim to be orthodox Christians are not really Christians at all, and that the Mormon Church is the only true Christian Church. This in fact is what it teaches privately, but not publicly.
Statements of 5 Christian Denominations on Mormonism
Christian churches teach belief in God as an eternal, self-existent, immortal being, unfettered by corporeal limitations and unchanging in both character and nature. In recent years, several Christian denominations have made studies of Mormon teaching and come to the conclusion that there are irreconcilable differences between LDS doctrine and Christian beliefs based on the Bible.
Statement of the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod
Statement of the Presbyterian Church (USA)
Statement of the Roman Catholic Church
Statement of the Southern Baptist Convention
Statement of the United Methodist Church
2010 proved to be an interesting year in that this book was removed from the Mormon church re-publishing cycle. Although having several of its "prophets" and eventual "prophets" review -- and approve ensuing revisions of that book (starting with 1966 edition) -- it hit the dust bin in '10!
Still, 2010 saw a thread on this to be one of the Top six (or so) commented upon Lds threads. See: Mormon Doctrine (19582010), RIP.
Another "Top 10 in '10" thread reply-wise was this similar one focusing on the Lds view of God:
LDS View of God contradicts the Bible [976 replies]
For related threads about removal of McConkie's book by the Mormon church, see:
* Mormon Doctrine enjoyed a long, controversial history
* Landmark 'Mormon Doctrine' goes out of print
I believe a few of delacoert's postings around that same time of this thread constituted perhaps two of the most overlooked Lds threads of 2010:
* Contradictions in LDS Doctrines
* DOCTRINAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN MORMON DOCTRINE AND BIBLICAL DOCTRINE
Both of these threads had easily readable charts highlighting the distinctions between Christian and Mormon beliefs & doctrine...as does post #2 by greyfoxx39 found at: The Millennium Mormon
Please bookmark these three charts for future reference.
Discussing comparisons of Mormon Doctrine to Christianity was indeed a common 2010 FREEPER theme:
* Mormon (Latter Day Saints) Beliefs Differ From Orthodox Christianity [345 replies]
* Doctrine . . . Not [LDS Atheology] [336 replies]
* The Wacky World of Joseph Smith: And the un-Christianity of Mormon Theology [156 replies]
* A COMPARISON OF MORMON TEACHINGS WITH REAL CHRISTIANITY
Remember, just as you may not know who the players are without a scorecard, you may not know what Mormons mean without a definitional glossary...'cause Lds leaders have redefined countless perfectly good biblical words to suit their fancies through tye years.
See Biblical Glossary: Christian versus Mormon definitions
Please add links to any key "belief distinction"/comparison threads between Mormonism & Christianity posted in 2010 that I've missed.
Ping to post #1 re: mentions...
I was looking for a reason to put the popcorn on. ;-)
Religion is a bureaucracy and is the same within the Catholic church or the Mormon. Anyone that worships the God of the Bible, the Lord of Hosts, the Creator of the Universe, and accepts Yeshua as the Messiah, the begotten Son of God, is a Christian. All of the intricate teachings and dogma is nothing. Come to Christ as a child, believe on him and worship the Father. Anything else is added on.
Here are excerpts from that column, ensued by the commentary I offered in November:
From the commentary written by this Lds columnist: In sacrament meeting last week, the bishop got up and announced he had received a letter from the First Presidency. As he prepared to read it, the congregation perked up. Moments like this are always attention-getters for Mormons. Normally, we get direction from the top during General Conference. Occasionally something cant wait and it comes in the form of an official letter from the brethren telling us to start (or stop) doing something.This is it, my brain hollered as the bishop got ready to read. Were going back to Jackson County. I told you to change the oil in the truck. Cmon, lets go find a map!
From the column: The letter...told/counseled rank-and-file Mormons to stop pestering church headquarters for clarification of church doctrine. Apparently some members get so stressed about the finer points of doctrine that theyll fire off a letter asking for the final word. Church HQ cant handle the demand...According to the First Presidencys letter, members with real doctrinal concerns were to seek the counsel of our local leaders stake president, bishop, Scoutmaster, building custodian, etc.
Ah, the Internet is doing its job. So many questions are being raised by non-Mormons of Mormons, that the answers aren't there. Non-Mormons want answers. Grassroots Mormons are being deluged with such questions; hence, they, in turn seek answers from their authorities.
Yet when non-Mormons ask these same kind of doctrinal questions, what do some online lds apologists do? Why, they send them to lds.org and the First Presidency of the lds church.
Then what happens when the First Presidency of the church gets besieged by these doctrinal questions -- whether they come indirectly through their own members or more directly from inquirers?
Why, the First Presidency sends a Fall, 2010 missive to all their sacrament meetings around the world, telling them to stop sending their doctrinal questions to them because they can't handle most of them!
Ah, the "catch-22" of Mormonism! Ask a question. Get a redirect. Go to the redirected source. They send you back to the local level. Go to the local level. Oh, yeah, Lds keep their doors locked during the week. The bishop works his full-time job PLUS is a "bishop" during his off-hours. So he's "real" available. [/s ]
Kirby is right...maybe you'd be better off asking a Mormon custodian!
You can go back to its beginnings and see how it’s anti-Christian. But say one word to point that out and they holler “ANTI-MORMON” rhetoric. But they can come out and be anti-Christian all they want.
(Better be low on the butter if you’ve eaten the same way I have the past few days :) )
FIRST: MORMONISM REJECTS MANY ESSENTIAL CHRISTIAN DOCTRINES
I suggest you check out the article: We're Christians just like you! wherein the author presents a number of well-annotated examples.
If necessary, dozens of additional articles and illustrations can be found on this WEBSITE alone.
SECOND: THE MORMON CHURCH UNEQUIVOCALLY CONDEMNS CHRISTIANS AND CHRISTIANITY
And the angel of God said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth. And it came to pass that I looked and beheld the whore of all the earth, and she sat upon many waters; and she had dominion over all the earth, among all nations, kindreds, tongues, and people. Book of Mormon, 1 Nephi 14:10-11If still not convinced, you can find many more similar quotes of Mormon leaders slamming Christians HERE and HERE.
My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right, that I might know which to join. No sooner, therefore, did I get possession of myself, so as to be able to speak, than I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right (for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong) and which I should join. I was answered by God that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt; that: "they draw near to me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me, they teach for doctrines the commandments of men, having a form of godliness, but they deny the power thereof." He again forbade me to join with any of them Prophet Joseph Smith, Joseph Smith History 1:18-20
Christianity...is a perfect pack of nonsense...the devil could not invent a better engine to spread his work than the Christianity of the nineteenth century. Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p.167
The Christian world, so-called, are heathens as to the knowledge of the salvation of God. Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 8:171
Brother Taylor has just said that the religions of the day were hatched in hell. The eggs were laid in hell, hatched on its borders, and then kicked on to the earth." Prophet Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses 6:176
Where shall we look for the true order or authority of God? It cannot be found in any nation of Christendom. Prophet John Taylor, Journal of Discourses, 10:127
Are Christians ignorant? Yes, as ignorant of the things of God as the brute beast. Prophet John Taylor, Journal of Discourses 13:225
What does the Christian world know about God? Nothing ... Why so far as the things of God are concerned, they are the veriest fools; they know neither God nor the things of God. Prophet John Taylor, Journal of Discourses 13:225
The Book of Mormon remains secure, unchanged and unchangeable but with the Bible it was not and is not so it was once in the sole and exclusive care and custody of an abominable organization (Christianity), founded by the devil himself, likened prophetically unto a great whore, whose great aim and purpose was to destroy the souls of men in the name of religion. In these hands it ceased to be the book it once was. Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, The Joseph Smith Translation, pp. 12, 13
In bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, President Hinckley spoke of those outside the Church who say Latter-day Saints "do not believe in the traditional Christ."No, I don't. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is not the Christ of whom I speak. Prophet Gordon B. Hinckley, LDS Church News, June 20, 1998, p.7
THIRD: THE MORMON CHURCH ITSELF REJECTS CHRISTIANITY
Beginning with Joseph Smith, Mormon prophets have steadfastly proclaimed all Christian denominations were in a state of apostasy.
This raises an interesting question. A heretic is someone who rejects one or more doctrines of religion, but an apostate is someone who has rejected the religion entirely. How is it, exactly, that you can be something you have completely dismissed? How does that work?
Mormonism is a cult.
Pray for the Tea Party Congress
Ask the question that Jesus asked of Peter: “Who do YOU say I am?” An honest answer will resolve the question.
****Yeshua as the Messiah, the begotten Son of God, is a Christian****
10. In Lassa Jesus did not teach. When he finished all his studies in the temple schools he journeyed toward the West. In many villages he tarried for a time and taught.
11. At last he reached the pass, and in the Ladak city, Leh, he was received with favour by the monks, the merchants, and the men of low estate.
12. And in the monastery he abode, and taught; and then he sought the common people in the marts of trade; and there he taught.
13. Not far away a woman lived, whose infant son was sick nigh unto death. The doctors had declared, There is no hope; the child must die.
14. The woman heard that Jesus was a teacher sent from God, and she believed that he had power to heal her son.
15. And so she clasped the dying infant in her arms and ran with haste and asked to see the man of God.
16. When Jesus saw her faith he lifted up his eyes to heaven and said,
17. My Father-God, let power divine o’ershadow me, and let the Holy Breath fill full this child that it may live.
18. And in the presence of the multitude he laid his hand upon the child and said,
19. Good woman you are blest; your faith has saved your son. And then the child was well.
20. The people were astonished and they said, This surely is the Holy One made flesh, for man alone cannot a fever thus and save a child from death.
21. Then many of the people brought their sick, and Jesus spoke the Word, and they were healed.
22. Among the Ladaks Jesus tarried many days; he taught them how to heal; how sins are blotted out, and how to make on earth a heaven of joy.
Trying to get a straight answer from a Mormon is like trying to pick up mercury with rubber gloves on.
Why is this so important to some people and why does it cause so much animosity?
What they don’t preach is “Kill all the christians and jews” like the muzzies do...
The destiny of ones soul hangs in the balance.
Most of them are perfectly fine people with nice moral values but they are not Christian. Christians don’t believe in a book written by a known 19th century conman who had a multitude of wives as young as 14. Sad that so many have been deluded into thinking that his message is compatible with Christianity.
They got a great choir and are typically very nice people and make for wonderful neighbors. Not one has ever told me that orthodox Christianity is an abomination or whoredom. That may be written in the discourses, but your everyday Mormon does not spread such venom, and I doubt they even know about it.
What are the fruits that Mormons bear? Good fruit or bad? That is the real question. At least for me anyway. Its great to be aware of erroneous teaching, and to make others aware, but if a bunch of mormons moved into my neighborhood I would thank them profusely for improving my home value.