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1. The Mormon Church* Teaches—The universe is governed by a head god and his council. “The head God called together the Gods and sat in grand council to bring forth the world.”
The Bible Teaches—There is one all-knowing God who created and controls all things: “God the Lord, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth bread unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein.” He said, “I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded” (Isaiah 42:5; 45:12).
2. The Mormons—God has goddess wives. “This doctrine that there is a Mother in heaven was affirmed in all plainness by the First Presidency of the Church.”2
The Bible—There’s no marrying in heaven (Matt 22:29-30); and no mention of any wives of God.
3. The Mormons—God is limited by a physical body. “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s.”‘ “If God possesses a form, that form is of necessity of definite proportions, and therefore of limited extension and space. It is impossible for him to occupy at one time more than one space of such limits.”‘
The Bible—The one true God is infinite. Any other god is a false god (2 Chronicles 6:18; Psalm 139:4-8; Jer 23:24).
4. The Mormons—There are 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 the congregations when I have preached on the subject of the Deity, it has been the plurality of Gods.”‘
The Bible—There is only one true and living God (Deut. 6:4; 32:39; Isaiah 43:10-11; 44:6-8; 45:5-6,18-22; James 2:19).
5. The Mormons—Jesus and Satan are brothers. “The appointment of Jesus to be the Savior of the world was contested by one of the other sons of God—Lucifer. This spirit-brother of Jesus desperately tried to become the Savior of mankind. “6
The Bible—Jesus is “the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18). Satan is a created angel, not the son of God (Isaiah 14:12). Jesus created all things, and in him all the fullness of God dwells (Col 1:15-20; 2:9; Phil 2:5-11; Heb 1:1-13).
6. The Mormons– Mary was not a virgin. “Christ was begotten by an Immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers…Christ was born into the world as the literal Son of this Holy Being; he was born in the same personal, real, and literal sense that any mortal son is born to a mortal father.”7
The Bible– Jesus was begotten by the Holy Ghost. Mary was indeed a virgin (Matt 1:18-23; Luke 1:35).
7. The Mormons– Jesus was married. “Jesus was the bridegroom at the marriage of Cana of Galilee. We say it was Jesus Christ who was married, to be brought into relation whereby he could see his seed.”‘
The Bible– Jesus and his disciples were guests at Cana (John 2:2) . This Mormon doctrine is generally not taught openly today. Marriage in a Mormon temple (called celestial marriage) is mandatory to progress to becoming a god in Mormonism. To fit the theology of Mormonism, Jesus had to be married or he would only be a ministering servant to those in Mormonism’s heaven who have celestial marriage.
8. The Mormons– “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man…I say, if you were to see him today, you would see him like a man in form.. .like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man.. .He was once a man like us; yea, that God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth.” 9
The Bible– God was never a man; he created man. God is God from all eternity to all eternity (Psalm 90:2;102:25-27; Rom 1:22-23).
9. The Mormons– Man may become God. “Here then is eternal life.. .to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourself, and to be kings and priests to God, the same glory and the same exaltation, until you arrive at the station of God.”1°
The Bible– The great lie of Satan from the beginning was that man may become a god (Gen 3:1-5; Isaiah 14:12-15; Ezek 28:1-10).
10. The Mormons– Total perfection is demanded. “We also have to forsake the sin and never repeat it, not even in our minds.. .In order to remain forgiven we must never commit the sin again.” “In other words: If there is one divine law that he does not keep he is barred from participating in the [Celestial] kingdom, and figuratively guilty of all, since he is denied all.” 12
The Bible– “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.. .If any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 1:8; 2:1). “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth” (Rom 10:4). “If righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain” (Gal 2:21).
11. The Mormons– The black race is a cursed people. “Not only was Cain called upon to suffer, but because of his wickedness, he became the father of an inferior race. A curse was placed upon him and that curse has been continued through his lineage and must do so while time endures. Millions of souls have come into this world cursed with a black skin and have been denied the privilege of Priesthood and the fullness of the blessings of the gospel.” 13 (Although it became expedient for Mormons to open the Priesthood to blacks in 1978, the alleged “revelation” did not change their doctrine regarding the penalty of being black. This revelation also directly contradicted established Mormon doctrine.)
The Bible– The color of a person’s skin has no merit with God: “For there is no respect of persons with God” (Rom 2:11). All men are made in God’s image (Col 3:10-11). “Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba, Father” (Rom 8:15). That includes every Christian-black, white, red, yellow, king or slave. “For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus” Gal 3:26). “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” Gal 3:28).
12. The Mormons– The Bible is incomplete and has serious translation errors. “Ignorant translators, careless transcribers, or designing and corrupt priests have committed many errors. Many plain and precious things are deleted, in consequence of which error and falsehood poured into the various churches. One of the great heresies of modern Christendom is the unfounded assumption that the Bible contains all of the inspired teachings now extant among men.
The Bible- The Bible is God’s Word; and the Word of God will stand forever (Isaiah 40:8; 1 Pet 1:25).
13. The Mormons– Except for the Mormon Church, all churches are false. “I was answered that I must join none of them, for they are all wrong; and the personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were abomination in his sight; and those professors were all corrupt.’ “This Church is the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth.’ “There is no salvation outside the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [Mormons].” 17
The Bible– Christ is the head of the true Church which is his spiritual body consisting of all believers, not any specific organization (Eph 1:22-23; 4:11-16; 1 Cor 1:2; 12:12; Matt 16:18) .
14. The Mormons– Joseph Smith was a holy prophet. “I have more to boast of than ever any man had. I am the only man that has ever been able to keep a whole church together since the days of Adam. A large majority of the whole have stood by me. Neither Paul, John, Peter, nor Jesus ever did it. I boast that no man ever did such a work as I. The followers of Jesus ran away from him; but the Latter-day Saints never ran away from me yet. 1118
The Bible– No prophet of God ever made such a proud statement! Nebuchadnezzar’s pride was similar; and he was driven by God to live with the beasts of the field (Dan 4:28-33).
15. The Mormons– Prophets are above Scripture. “The living Prophet is more vital to us than the Standard Works (Bible, Book of Mormon, etc.). The living Prophet is more important than a dead prophet (David, Moses, Isaiah, etc.).” 19
The Bible– In these last days God speaks through his Son Heb. 1:1-2). The authority claimed by the Mormon Church is through an “Aaronic Priesthood,” which cannot be valid since Jesus abolished it when he took its place (Heb. 7:11-19; 8:6-13), and a “Melchizedek Priesthood,” which never existed as any operative “priesthood.” Jesus is our only High Priest in the likeness of Melchizedek. He alone holds this priesthood permanently (Heb. 7:15-28; 9:11-15).
16. The Mormons– Mormons are also saviors. “We are the only people that know how to save our progenitors, how to save ourselves, and how to save posterity in the celestial kingdom of God; we are the people God has chosen by whom to establish his kingdom and introduce correct principles into the world; we are in fact the saviors of the world.’
The Bible– Over 500 verses deal with death, and over 300 deal with salvation. Not one verse even hints that we can be saviors of the dead. The Bible says, “It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” Heb. 9:27). Note that this isn’t the Mormon concept, which states: “After this comes missionary lessons, a proxy baptism, and a series of Mormon ordinances that will allow you to become gods.”
17. The Mormons– Joseph Smith will be our final judge. “No man or woman in this dispensation will ever enter into the celestial kingdom of God without the consent of Joseph Smith. From the day that the Priesthood was taken from the earth to the winding up scene of all things, every man and woman must have the certificate of Joseph Smith as a passport…into the mansion where God and Christ are.””
The Bible– Jesus said we would be judged by his word; and he made no mention of Joseph Smith. “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). Paul taught that Jesus Christ would be our judge: “I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom” (2 Tim 4:1).
MORMONISM – STRANGE & BIZARRE
“As man is, God once was, and as God is, man may become.” Upon this axiom (attributed to prophet Lorenzo Snow) is based the entire theology of Mormonism. From the temple rituals for the living to those for their dead, from the teaching that “families are forever” to the pressure on parents to send their youth to the mission fields, the Mormon peopleare committed to a controlled program that maps out their entire lives as they seek their own exaltation and godhood. What are the basics of this mystery religion?
Mormonism teaches that trillions of planets scattered throughout the cosmos are ruled by countless gods who once were human like us. Long ago on one of these planets, to an unidentified god and one of his goddess wives, a spirit-child named Elohim was conceived. This spirit-child was later born to human parents who gave him a physical body. Through obedience to Mormon teaching, death, and resurrection, he proved himself worthy and was elevated to godhood as his father was before him.
Mormons believe that Elohim is their Heavenly Father. He lives with his many wives on a planet near a mysterious star called Kolob. Here the god of Mormonism and his wives, through endless celestial sex, produce billions of spirit- children. To decide their destiny, the head of the Mormon gods called a great heavenly council meeting. Both of Elohim’s eldest sons were there, Lucifer and his brother, Jesus.
A plan was presented to build planet Earth-a place where the spirit-children would be sent to take on mortal bodies and learn good from evil. Lucifer stood and made his bid for becoming savior of this new world. Wanting the glory for himself, he planned to force everyone to become gods. Opposing that idea, the Mormons’ Jesus suggested giving man freedom of choice as done on other planets. The vote that followed approved the proposal. Jesus would become savior of the planet Earth. Enraged, Lucifer cunningly convinced one-third of the spirits destined for earth to fight with him and revolt. Thus, Lucifer became the devil and his followers the demons. Sent to this world, they would forever be denied bodies of flesh and bone.
Those who remained neutral in the battle were cursed to be born with black skin. The spirits that fought most valiantly against Lucifer would be born into Mormon families on planet Earth. These would be the lighter-skinned people, or “white and delightsome,” as it says in the Book of Mormon.
Early Mormon prophets taught that Elohim and one of his goddess wives came to the earth as Adam and Eve to start the human race. Thousands of years later, Elohim, in human form, once again journeyed to earth from the star-base Kolob, this time to have physical relations with the Virgin Mary in order to provide Jesus with a physical body.
Mormon apostle Orson Hyde taught that after Jesus grew to manhood, he took at least three wives: Mary, Martha, and Mary Magdalene. Through these wives, the Mormon Jesus supposedly fathered a number of children before he was crucified. Joseph Smith is supposedly one of his descendants.
According to the Book of Mormon, after his resurrection Jesus came to the Americas to preach to the Indians (who the Mormons believe are really Israelites). Thus, the Jesus of Mormonism established his Church in the Americas just as he had in Palestine. By the year AD 421, the dark-skinned Israelites, known as the Lamanites, had destroyed all the white-skinned Nephites in a number of great battles. The Nephites’ records were supposedly written on golden plates buried at Hill Cummorah by Moroni, the last living Nephite.
THE LATTER..DAY SAINTS
Fourteen hundred years later, a young treasure seeker named Joseph Smith, who was known for his “tall tales,” claimed, in 1823, to have uncovered the same gold plates near his home in upstate New York. He claimed to have had visitors from the spirit world in which he was commanded to organize the Mormon Church because “all Christian creeds were an abomination.” It was Joseph Smith who originated most of the peculiar doctrines which millions of Mormons believe today.
The Mormons claim that Joseph Smith did more for us than any other man (including Jesus Christ), that he died as a martyr, and shed his blood for us, so that we, too, may become gods.” Smith is honored by Mormons as a prophet greater than all men—even Jesus. He set up a highly structured organization focused on helping members become gods. By maintaining a rigid code of financial and moral requirements, and through performing secret temple rituals for themselves and the dead, the Latter-day Saints hope to prove their worthiness and, thus, become gods.
The Mormons teach that everyone must stand at the final judgment before Joseph Smith, the Mormon Jesus, and Elohim. Those Mormons who followed and actively participated in all Mormon teachings and were sealed in the eternal marriage ceremony (in the Temple) expect to become polygamous gods in the celestial kingdom, rule over other planets, and spawn new families throughout eternity. Mormons who have no Temple but live nominally according to Mormon theology will go to the terrestrial kingdom. People (including non-Mormons) who live by the laws they know (such as the 10 commandments) will go to the telestial kingdom.
THE TRUE GOD & THE TRUE CHRIST
The Bible teaches that there is one living and true God (Deut. 6:4); that he is infinite, eternal, immortal, invisible, and perfectly holy (1Tim 1:17; 1 Sam 2:2; Isaiah 6:3; Rev 15:4); that he is revealed to us as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit 1 John 5:7), each without distinction in being (all are God) or essence (all possess the attributes of God), or division of nature—that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one God without beginning and eternally holy is a cardinal doctrine of true Christianity.
The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is the eternal God (John 1:1-3,14;! Tim 3:16) who became a man Phil 2:5-8; Heb 2:14-17). He was born through a supernatural act of God as the Holy Spirit came upon the virgin Mary, and she conceived the Lord Jesus Christ in her womb (Matt 1:18-23; Luke 1:26-35). He lived a perfect life, being both God and man at the same time; and died a substitutionary death for sinners upon Calvary’s cross (2 Cor 5:21; 1 Pet 2:24; 3:18; Heb 10:10-14).
NO SALVATION IN MORMONISM
As is evident, Mormon doctrine bears little resemblance to anything taught in the Bible. The average Mormon has no understanding of salvation by grace.” Justification by faith is termed “a most pernicious doctrine” which “has exercised an influence for evil.”‘ It is true that Mormons can pull proof-texts out of context and fool those not well-grounded in Scripture, but when such a text is looked at in its setting, it can be proven that Mormon doctrine is not biblical. Further claims of the Mormon Church that one cannot have salvation apart from accepting Joseph Smith” and that anyone who denies he lived and died as God’s “prophet” is one of the Antichrist” likewise separates it from the biblical truth that salvation is found only in the person and work of Christ.
Mormons teach that they only have the gospel of salvation, and all other religions are false. Brigham Young said, “Will all people be damned who are not Mormons? Yes.”” Yet, true Christians believe that God will save a multitude that no man can number out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation (Rev 5:9). All will wholly trust in Jesus Christ, their Lord and Saviour, having come to him by God’s grace through repentance and faith.
While Mormons regard themselves as Christians and a number of their members display moral character and friendliness, nevertheless, their total system is certainly not New Testament Christianity. To reach them with the gospel requires patience, kindness, and love. Simple terms such as God, sin, and redemption carry such vastly different connotations to the Mormon mind that at times, communication with a Mormon is as difficult as communicating with someone who speaks a different language. But it is worth the effort, since those who find their way out of Mormonism into God’s grace and love carry with them a remarkable spirit of thankfulness to God and a deep concern for the welfare of others still locked in the Mormon mind-set.
(1) Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pp 348-49 (2) Bruce R. McConkie, Apostle, Mormon Doctrine, p516 (3) Doctrine and Covenants, 130:22 (4) James E. Talmage, Articles of Faith, p43 (5) Joseph Smith, Histog of the Church, vol 6, pp 308,474 (6) Milton R. Hunter, First Council of Seventy, The Gospel Through the Ages, p 15 (7) McConkie, Doctrine, pp 547,742 (8) Orson Hyde, Apostle, Journal of Discoveries, vol 2, p82 (9) Smith, History, vol 6, p305 (101 Ibid. p 306 (11) Discussion F, Uniform Systemfor TeachingFamdies, pp 35-36 (12) Joseph Smith, Answers to Gospel Questions, vol 3, p26 (13) Joseph Smith, The Way to Pelfection, p102 (14)McConkie, Doctrine, pp 82-83 (151 Joseph Smith, Pearl of Great Price, 2:19 (16) Doctrine and Covenants, 1:30 (17) McConkie, Doctrine, p670 (no Smith, Histog, vol 6, pp 408-409 (19) LDS prophet, President Ezra Taft Benson, address at Brigham Young University, Feb 26,1980 (20) John Taylor, Journal of Discourses, vol 6, p 163 (21) Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol 7, p 289 (22) God Makers [film], Jeremiah Films (23) See our tract entitled The Mormon Message Exposed (24) McConkie, Doctrine, pp 107,480 (25) Doctrines of Salvation, vol 1, p 189 (261 Smith, History, vol 7, p287 (27) Young, Journal, vol 1, p331
SALVATION IN CHRIST
hy did Christ come into the world? He came because of our sin problem—we do things that displease God. But why are we sinful? because Adam sinned—he disobeyed God’s will—and as a result we are born sinners, and experience the wages of sin, death and eternal condemnation (Gen 3:1-19; Rom 5:12; 3:23; John 3:18).
Because of our sinfulness, we’re separated from a holy God who cannot allow sinners into his presence. Jesus came and never sinned; he always pleased his heavenly Father; and he gave his life a sacrifice for sin. Being both God and man he could come between a holy God and sinful men (1 Tim 2:5). His blood provided an atonement, a covering, so that we could be pardoned.
The third day after his death on the cross, Jesus was raised from the dead and glorified. After appearing to many witnesses, he ascended to the right hand of the Father to make intercession for his people (Acts 1:9; Rom 8:34). He will come again gloriously to receive his own unto himself and to judge with everlasting punishment those who have not obeyed the gospel (2 Thess 1:7-10).
After his resurrection, Jesus said that repentance from sin and forgiveness of sin must be preached to all nations (Luke 24:47). Whenever men look to Jesus by faith for the forgiveness of sins, they also repent of their sins. Repentance means that a man has godly sorrow for his sins and turns from evil in order to live a righteous life (2 Cor 7:1; 1 Thess 1:9-10).
All who stop trusting in their own “works” to make themselves right with God, that is, anything they can do or perform, and look by faith to Jesus Christ as their Substitute, they are accepted of God. God doesn’t see the sins of those who believe in Christ, but sees the perfect life and work of his Son (Rom 3:22; 5:18,19). The Bible calls this “justification”—God accepting sinful people on the basis of Christ’s finished work (Rom 4:1-8).
Jesus spoke of a man who was convicted of his sins. He did not compare himself to others. He knew his best efforts could not satisfy God’s demands. Instead, he beat upon his breast, and said, “God be merciful to me a sinner.” Jesus said, “I tell you, this man went down to his house justified” (Luke 18:13-14).
In order to stand before God we must be holy. Since we are all unholy in his sight (Isaiah 64:6; Rom 3:23), we must look outside of ourselves to Jesus alone who is holy and perfect. We will all stand before God’s judgment some day. We will either stand there in our sins and be condemned, or stand before him clothed in the perfect righteousness of Christ (2 Cor 5:21; Phil 3:9).
We tend to think that God will accept us because of something we do, perhaps our good deeds outweighing our bad deeds. But its only what Christ did that God accepts, and those who are “in Christ.” We can only come to God through his Son. Have you ceased from your own works and rested your soul in the work of Christ—trusting his life, death, burial and resurrection alone for your salvation? May the Holy Spirit bring you to cry out, “God be merciful to me the sinner, for Christ’s sake. “