|Christian, Mormon doctrinal differences
By Tal Davis
Dec 6, 2007
EDITOR'S NOTE: The following information is adapted from the North American Mission Board's www.4truth.net apolgetics website.
ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)--The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon church) professes to be a Christian church. However, a
careful comparison of basic doctrinal positions of that church to those of historical, biblical Christianity reveal many radical differences. This
comparison utilizes Mormon doctrines as stated in LDS authoritative primary sources and those of historic Christianity as derived solely from the
THE DOCTRINE OF GOD:
The one God is a Spirit who is the personal, eternal, infinite Creator of all that exists. He is the only God and necessary for all other things to exist. He
exists eternally as a Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. (see Deut. 6:4; Isa. 43:10; 44:6-8; Matt. 28:19; John 4:24; 17:3)
God (Heavenly Father) is an exalted man with a physical body of flesh and bone. LDS founder Joseph Smith said, "If the veil were rent today, and the
great God who holds this world in its orbit, and who upholds all worlds and all things by his power, was to make himself visible -- I say, if you were to
see him today, you would see him like a man in form" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345). The trinity is denied with the Father, the
Son, and the Holy Ghost seen as three separate entities. "The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's; the Son also; but the Holy
Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit. Were it not so, the Holy Ghost could not dwell in us" (Doctrine and
Covenants [D&C] 130:22).
THE DOCTRINE OF JESUS CHRIST:
Jesus Christ was the virgin born God incarnate who existed in all time with the Father and Holy Spirit in the eternal Trinity. As a man He possessed
two natures -- human and divine. He lived a sinless life and willingly died on the cross as a sacrifice for the sin of all humanity. (see John 1:1-18;
8:56-59; Phil. 2:6-11; Col. 1:13-22; Heb.1:3; 13:8)
Jesus was the spiritual "first born" Son of God in the preexistence. "Every person who was ever born on earth was our spirit brother or sister in
heaven. The first spirit born to our heavenly parents was Jesus Christ, so he is literally our elder brother" (Gospel Principles [GP], p. 11)."And now,
verily I say unto you, I was in the beginning with the Father, and am the Firstborn" (D&C 93:21). He is also the "only begotten" physical
offspring of God by procreation on earth. "Jesus is the only person on earth to be born of a mortal mother and an immortal father. That is why he is
called the Only Begotten Son" (GP, p. 64). His atonement (death and resurrection) provides immortality for all people regardless of their faith. "Christ
thus overcame physical death. Because of his atonement, everyone born on this earth will be resurrected ... This condition is called immortality. All
people who ever lived will be resurrected, 'both old and young, both bond and free, both male and female, both the wicked and the righteous' (The
Book of Mormon [BOM], Alma 11:44)" (GP, p. 74). (See GP, pp. 11, 17-19, 61-77.)
THE DOCTRINE OF SCRIPTURES AND AUTHORITY:
The Bible (Old and New Testaments) is the unique, revealed, and inspired Word of God. It is the sole authority for faith and practice for Christians.
(see 2 Tim. 3:15-17; 2 Pet. 1:19-21)
Recognizes the LDS Four Standard Works as authoritative. These include the Bible "as far as it is translated correctly" (Articles of Faith 1:8). It also
includes The Book of Mormon (BOM) which Joseph Smith declared is "the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a
man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book" (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 194).
The church also regards The Doctrine and Covenants (D&C) as Scripture. It "is a collection of modern revelations ... regarding The Church of
Jesus Christ as it has been restored in these last days" (GP, p. 54).
The Pearl of the Great Price (PGP) is the fourth book believed to be inspired.
"It clarifies doctrines and teachings that were lost from the Bible and gives added information concerning the creation of the earth" (GP, p. 54).
The church's president is regarded as "a seer, a revelator, a translator, and a prophet" (D&C 107:91-92).
THE DOCTRINE OF HUMANITY:
Human beings are created in God's image, meaning they have personal qualities similar to God's. Every person is a unique, precious being of dignity
and worth. (see Gen. 1:26-27)
People are the preexisted spiritual offspring of the Heavenly Father and Mother. "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, as quoted in GP, p. 11).They are
born basically good and are "gods in embryo." A commonly quoted Mormon aphorism (attributed to fifth LDS president Lorenzo Snow) says "As man
is, God once was; as God is, man may become."
THE DOCTRINE OF SIN:
Human beings have chosen to sin against God, rejecting His nature and pursing life opposed to His essential character and revealed law. (see
Rom. 3:23; 7:14-25; 1 John 1:8-10)
People sin by disobedience to God's Laws. Adam's fall, a part of Heavenly Father's plan, caused a loss of immortality, which was necessary for
mankind to advance, (see GP, pp. 31-34). As Eve declared according to LDS scripture, "Were it not for our transgression we never should have ...
known good and evil, and the joy of our redemption, and the eternal life which God giveth unto all the obedient"(PGP, Moses 5:11; see also BOM, 2
Nephi 2:22-25). Each person is responsible for his or her own sin.
THE DOCTRINE OF SALVATION:
Salvation is release from the guilt and power of sin through God's gift of grace. It is provided through Christ's atonement and received by personal
faith in Christ as Savior and Lord. (see Rom. 3:20; 10:9- 10; Eph. 2:8-10)
Jesus' atonement provided immortality for all people. Exaltation (godhood) is available only to Mormons through obedience to LDS teachings: faith,
baptism, endowments, celestial marriage, and tithing. "Wherefore, as it is written, they are gods, even the sons of God -- Wherefore, all things are
theirs" (D&C, 76:58-59).
These are some of the blessings given to exalted people:
1. They will live eternally in the presence of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ (see D&C, 76).
2. They will become gods.
3. They will have their righteous family members with them and will be able to have spirit children also. These spirit children will have the same
relationship to them as we do to our Heavenly Father. They will be an eternal family.
4. They will receive a fullness of joy.
5. They will have everything that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have -- all power, glory, dominion, and knowledge (See GP, p. 302).
Baptism for the dead provides post-mortem salvation for non-Mormons, and is "by immersion performed by a living person for one who is dead. This
ordinance is performed in temples" (GP, p. 375). (See also GP, chapters 18-23.)
THE DOCTRINE OF LIFE AFTER DEATH:
Eternal life in heaven with God for those who have trusted in Jesus Christ. Eternal separation from God's presence in hell for the unsaved. (see Matt.
5:12-30; 25:41; Rev. 20-22)
One of three levels of glory:
1. Exaltation in the Celestial Kingdom for faithful Mormons where people may become gods or angels; "Then shall they be gods" (D&C 132:20).
2. Terrestria lKingdom for righteous non-Mormons; "These are they who are honorable men of the earth, who were blinded by the craftiness of men.
These are they who receive of his glory, but not of his fullness" (D&C 76:75-76).
3. Telestial Kingdom for wicked and ungodly (not hell); "These are they who are liars, and sorcerers, and adulterers ... who suffer the wrath of God on
earth"(D&C 76:103-104). (See also D&C 76:57-119; 131:1-4.)
THE DOCTRINE OF THE CHURCH:
Christians congregate together in local bodies and along denominational lines sharing distinctive doctrinal and ecclesiastical concepts. There is no
organization or denomination that can claim exclusive designation as the "one true church." The universal church consists of all the redeemed in
Jesus Christ in all of the ages. (see Matt. 16:15-19; 1 Cor. 1:12-14; Eph. 2:19; 3:11-12)
Asserts that the LDS is the one true church on the face of the earth. Joseph Smith claimed Jesus Christ told him to join none of the existing
denominations because "they were all wrong ... that all their creeds were an abomination in his sight; that those professors were all corrupt" (PGP:
Joseph Smith-History 1:19-20). Mormons claim only the LDS possesses the divine authority of the Aaronic and Melchizedek Priesthood as restored
by God to Joseph Smith in 1829. (D&C 13; 27:8- 13; 107:1-20; PGP: Joseph Smith-History 1:68-73)
Tal Davis is the strategic mentoring manager of the North American Mission Board's evangelization group.
Gospel Principles. Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1992.
McConkie, Bruce. A New Witness for the Articles of Faith. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1986.
Smith, Joseph, Jr. The Book of Mormon - Another Testament of Jesus Christ. Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1982.
Smith, Joseph, Jr. The Doctrine and Covenants. Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1982.
Smith, Joseph, Jr. History of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 7 vols. 2nd ed. rev. Edited by B.H. Roberts. Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of
Latter-day Saints, 1932-1951.
Smith, Joseph, Jr. The Pearl of Great Price. Salt Lake City: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1982.
Smith, Joseph Fielding. Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1977.
© Copyright 2007 Baptist Press
Original copy of this story can be found at http://www.bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?ID=26979
Have We Anointed An Unworthy Shepherd?
By Jan Markell
August 31, 2010
Could we say that the church has failed to wake up very many people so, by default, a Mormon -- Glenn Beck
-- has made quite a stir and has become an official spiritual leader? He rallied hundreds of thousands last
weekend with themes of faith and love of our country. Americans are desperate and fearful of what is coming
upon this land so they look to a Mormon for leadership. I am glad his Saturday event was successful for just
some of these reasons:
* Americans came to celebrate America after the highest leaders in our land have trashed her around the world.
* They focused on what was right in America and they also honored our military.
* Faith and patriotism were lifted up -- two items that the Left despises.
* Attendees were passionate -- traveling thousands of miles and, once arriving in D.C., walking for miles, even if
* Conservative Americans must gather together to fortify one another. Such events strengthen one another and
offer hope. Finding kindred spirits in a depressing age is essential.
* Whether the Left heard or not, the attendees sent a message that they are fed up. November is around the
corner and they had better look out.
In light of the positive aspects of the honoring America weekend, could there possibly be a down side? I tried to
do a fair and balanced radio program last Saturday, August 28, with Brannon Howse, former Mormon Ed
Decker, and apologetics' expert Eric Barger. We raised a few issues, and you can hear them here. I have
received some thanks for the honesty and integrity of the two hours, and a few hate e-mails and calls for the
position the panel took, which will be explained in the paragraphs below.
The theme of the Friday gathering of spiritual leaders and the Saturday rally was an encouragement to turn back
to God. The not-so-subtle theme was "many faiths, but one God."
I believe many conservative Christians would have been relieved if Glenn had not brought out Mormon doctrine
that very few are familiar with. He stated at the Saturday event that the American Indians are the "chosen
people" -- blatant Mormon doctrine. The crowd applauded in approval. You can view that here at the 4:30 mark.
He stated -- and has affirmed this on his radio and television programs -- that God is the only answer. While
much was troublesome last weekend, who else is sticking their neck out saying we have to turn back to God and
gathering hundreds of thousands in the process? It would be wonderful if Franklin Graham or even Joel
Rosenberg could attract a half-million people and deliver the true gospel. We aren't quite there yet. Again, by
default, we defer to Glenn Beck.
The weekend opened on Friday night, Augsust 27, with Glenn's "Divine Destiny" program which again, is straight
out of Mormonism. Many participants have implied, or blatantly stated, that Glenn is a "saved Mormon" or on the
way to becoming one.
Friend and frequent radio guest John McTernan, was present both days just to observe. He writes on his blog,
"There were several prayers offered at the Friday event and none were made in the name of Jesus. I was deeply
grieved after I left.
"On Saturday, I attended the rally. If it had been just political, I could accept Beck as a leader; however, it went
way beyond that. I am not questioning anything about Beck's character or motives. What I am deeply grieved
about is that this was not led by the real church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Is America in such desperate spiritual
condition that masses of Christians will follow a Mormon for spiritual revival?"
McTernan continues, "The sheep in America are desperate and fearful of what is coming, so they look to a
Mormon for leadership. A Mormon leading a meeting like this for America turning back to God should have
God-fearing pastors in America on their knees crying out to God for mercy. I am grieved, not so much with
Glenn Beck, but that the church is so pitifully weak that a Mormon can now lead God's people, and they do not
see the spiritual danger."
What are major Mormon beliefs and how do they play into this scenario? When God is the professed focus of
the August 27-28 weekend, what is the deeper meaning? And Glenn is outspoken about his Mormon faith. He
so-stated that fact many times over the weekend and in the weeks and months leading up to it. It was not subtle
or hidden. But Glenn does not bring out the bullet points below because it reads like science fiction.
Mormon theology teaches:
* God was born and raised on another planet.
* He has a harem of wives.
* They produce spirit-babies that are sent to earth; there they gain bodies and earn sainthood.
* Jesus is the brother of Lucifer.
* Jesus is the chosen/elected savior by a council of gods from other worlds.
* America is the promised land, not Israel. The holy city is Independence, Missouri, not Jerusalem. Jesus'
latter-day agenda is to return to Missouri.
* The U.S. Constitution is as sacred as the Book of Mormon. In the latter days, it will be under siege and will be
saved by Mormons. Thus, we must "reclaim America" to save the Constitution and usher in a genuine age of
Mormon leadership. They want to build a Mormon kingdom on earth, similar to modern day
Dominionists/Kingdom Now proponents within Christianity. Founder Joseph Smith had a socialistic philosophy
and wished to have a society that shared things in common.
* America's founding fathers were "spirit babies" who created a "sacred Constitution."
* Salvation is works-based and not through grace and faith.
This is what Glenn Beck believes. Is the god of this system, this faith, the one he referred to when he stated,
"Today, America turns back to God?" Is his god concept one we can turn back to?
For greater insights, visit the Web site of former Mormon and radio guest, Ed Decker. Also visit the apologetics'
site of Eric Barger.
Brannon Howse has done extensive radio programs and written cutting-edge articles on this issue for over a
Jim Garlow, a popular and influential pastor who partnered with the Mormon faithful in California to defend
traditional marriage, was quoted recently in CNN's Belief Blog, saying, "I have interviewed persons who have
talked specifically with Glenn about his personal salvation -- persons extremely well known in Christianity -- and
they have affirmed (using language evangelicals understand), 'Glenn is saved. He understands receiving Christ as
In short, Mormonism has a different holy book, father, Jesus, concept of grace, salvation, end-times,
etc. You cannot be a "saved Mormon." Evangelicals who should know better already call him a
"brother in Christ." Some of those share the Mormon "dominion" of the earth and this is their
connection. Promoting this false end-time theology of making the earth perfect seems to trump
everything else. We can't save the earth and make it perfect. Jesus Christ has to return to do that.
So, was the following the purpose? Brannon Howse has posted a story at his Worldview Weekend site that the
LDS Examiner states through Mormon writer Greg West, "As a Mormon, I have to consider an unintended
message throughout Beck's work, which has culminated in this event. That message is: 'Mormons are Christian
believers. Despite nearly two centuries of misrepresentation and religious envy by sectarian Christianity, Beck has
achieved the visibility, prominence, and has had the time day after day, week after week, to speak openly and
truly about his core beliefs. Those statements of faith have disoriented and confused those who had previously
believed the lies about Mormons."
West has proved our point. "Evangelicals and Mormons Together" will be next. Why not? A Mormon
successfully called a nation back to God.
Most who stand with Glenn, however, do not embrace this theology. Some Christian leaders are just deceived
and others think it is hip and cool to align themselves with a man who is so prominent and so pro-America.
John McTernan states, "I know Mormonism real well. There is a Mormon prophecy that America is going to be
nearly destroyed with the Constitution hanging by a thread. A Mormon savior would arrive and lead the Mormon
church to save America. I can see this coming into play real soon. Maybe the revival Beck is talking about is a
massive conversion to Mormonism."
We sincerely hope Glenn Beck will become a true brother in Christ. We can pray to that end and also that
Christian leaders will sharpen their discernment and understand the disservice they are doing to the body of Christ
by exalting an unsaved man, and allowing him to be a virtual shepherd over millions of Americans who just want
to take back America.
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