Mormon (Latter-Day Saints)

Quick Reference Guide

Overview

The “Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”, more commonly known as Mormons or LDS, was formed by a man named Joseph Smith less than 200 years ago. He claimed to have received a personal visit from God the Father and Jesus Christ (Articles of Faith, p. 35) who told him that all churches and creeds were an abomination (1 Nephi 13:28; Pearl of Great Price, Joseph Smith – History 1:18, 19). Mormons believe they are the only true church on earth and need to restore Christianity (Mormon Doctrine, p. 670; 1 Nephi 14:10).

Mormonism is a religion that was formed from an influence of Christianity and is considered to be a cult do to its significant departure from orthodox Christian doctrine. Mormon teaching contradicts and adds to the Bible. Mormons deny the sufficiency and inerrancy of the Christian Bible and add to it by claiming that the Book of Mormon is also Scripture. Though Mormons claim to believe the Bible “as far as it is translated correctly” (8th Article of Faith), they clearly elevate their own Book of Mormon above the Bible, as Smith claimed the Book of Mormon is the “most correct book” on earth and that a person can get closer to God by following its precepts “than by any other book” (History of the Church 4:461).

At a very superficial level Mormons can appear to be Christians. They will talk about loving and serving Jesus, being saved by grace (“after everything you can do”), and reading their Bibles and participating in church services. Mormons are typically very respectful people and have a high value for family and their community. However, since Mormons do not know the true Jesus and believe in salvation through faith plus works, they are in desperate need of the clarity of the true gospel of Jesus Christ. We need to have loving and graceful conversations with our LDS neighbors and show them the Jesus of the Bible, who is the One true God that saves people by grace, through faith in him and him alone.

Core differences between Mormons and Christians

Mormons believe:

  • God has not always been the supreme being of the universe (Mormon Doctrine, p. 321) but attained it through righteous living and persistent effort (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345) and that there are many gods (Mormon Doctrine, p. 163).

  • God the Father has a “body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s” (Doctrine and Covenants 130:22).

  • Jesus is a god and that any human can also become a god (Doctrine and Covenants 132:20; Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345–354).

  • Jesus and Satan are spirit brothers and we were all born as siblings in heaven to them both, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 163).

  • the trinity is three separate Gods: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 35).

  • that there are different levels or kingdoms in the afterlife based on what they believe and do in this life (Mormon Doctrine, p. 348).

  • that God the Father had physical sexual relations with Mary to create Jesus (Journal of Discourses, vol. 8, p. 115; Mormon Doctrine, p. 547).

  • salvation can be earned by a combination of faith and good works (LDS Bible Dictionary, p. 697).

Scripture Teaches...

One God

  • Is. 43:10-11 You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. I, I am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior.

  • Is. 44:6,8 Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god. … “Is there a God besides me? There is no Rock; I know not any.”

  • Dt. 4:35 To you it was shown, that you might know that the LORD [Jehovah] is God [Elohim]; there is no other besides him.

  • 1 Kgs. 18:39 And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, “The LORD [Jehovah], he is God [Elohim]; the LORD [Jehovah], he is God [Elohim].”

Eternal God

  • Ps. 90:2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.

Jesus

  • Jn. 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

  • Col. 1:16-17 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Salvation

  • Is. 64:6 We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.

  • Eph. 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

  • 2 Cor. 5:21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

  • Gal. 2:16-17 yet we know that a person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified. But if, in our endeavor to be justified in Christ, we too were found to be sinners, is Christ then a servant of sin? Certainly not!

  • Jn. 5:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

  • Rm. 11:6 But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

Testimony

  • Jer. 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

  • Pr. 28:26 Whoever trusts in his own mind is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom will be delivered.

  • Ac. 17:11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

  • 1 Jn. 4:1 Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.