Although Mormons profess to be Christians and say they believe the Word of God, there are many of their beliefs that contradict Christianity. In fact, Mormonism can be referred to as a cult, which can be defined as “a religious group that denies one or more of the fundamentals of biblical truth.” Mormons say they are Christians, but because they reject foundational truths from God’s Word, they are not.
Joseph Smith, who referred to himself as “The Prophet,” founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the mid-1800s. He claimed to have seen a vision of God the Father and God the Son, in which they denounced modern Christianity and appointed Smith to reveal and restore “true” Christianity (Articles of Faith, p. 182–185). Three years later, Smith alleged that the angel Moroni told him about some golden plates on which the Book of Mormon was written. In spite of Smith’s questionable background and proclivity toward bending the truth (see The Origin, Rise, and Progress of Mormonism, New York, 1861; and Mormonism Unveiled, Painesville, Ohio, 1834), many believed Smith, and a new “religion” was born. Today, the members of the Mormon Church number in the millions.
The Book of Mormon is purported to be a new revelation, one that Mormons say is part of the new covenant to Israel and “another witness” to the truth of the Bible (History of the Church 4:461, 8th Article of Faith). Aside from the many theological conflicts with the Bible and historical and archeological fact, the writing of the Book of Mormon was shrouded in mystery and false claims. For example, Joseph Smith and his associates asserted that one Professor Charles Anthon of Columbia University verified the Egyptian characters on the golden plates. However, this same professor wrote a rebuttal letter soon after, saying that he never did any such thing and had, in fact, found the characters to be a hoax. In addition, many verses in the Mormon scriptures have been changed over the years, as the church leaders attempt to cover up something embarrassing in their past and to defend themselves against criticism (see http://mit.irr.org/changes-latter-day-scripture). These facts alone are enough to cast much doubt on the veracity of the Book of Mormon.
One of the many areas in which Mormons fall short of saving faith is their belief that God is merely an exalted man who earned his position by good works (Mormon Doctrine, p. 321; Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345). This directly contradicts the Bible, which states that God has existed in His position as God of the universe from eternity past (Revelation 1:8; 1 Timothy 1:17; 6:15–16; Psalm 102:24–27). God was never a man (Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29; Hosea 11:9) and is the holy and powerful Creator of all things (Genesis 1; Psalm 24:1; Isaiah 37:16). Mormons also believe that they themselves can attain the status of gods in the afterlife through their works here on earth (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345–354). However, no man can ever become like God (1 Samuel 2:2; Isaiah 43:10–11; 44:6; 45:21–22), despite what the serpent told Eve in the garden (Genesis 3:5).
Mormons also believe that Jesus was a god, but not God Himself (Mormon Doctrine, p. 547; Articles of Faith, p. 35; Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 372). It is essential to Christian faith that Jesus is one with God and that He is God’s only begotten Son who became flesh (John 1:1, 14; John 3:16). Only Jesus’ oneness with God would have allowed Him to live a sinless, blameless life (Hebrews 7:26). And only Jesus Christ was able to pay the price for our sins by His death on the cross (Romans 4:25; Acts 4:12).
Those who follow the Mormon faith also believe that they can attain heaven through works (Doctrine and Covenants 58:42–43; 2 Nephi 9:23–24; Alma 34:30–35; Articles of Faith, p.92). While they claim faith in Christ, they also rely on following the commandments of the Mormon Church (Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, p 188; Mormon Doctrine, p. 670) and practicing good works (2 Nephi 25:23; Alma 11:37) in order to achieve salvation. The Bible is very clear on this point, stating that good works can never earn the way to heaven (Romans 11:6; Ephesians 2:8–9; Titus 3:5) and that faith in Jesus Christ alone is the only way to salvation (John 10:9; 11:25; 14:6; Acts 4:12). Salvation by grace is incompatible with salvation by human works (Romans 11:6).
Sadly, many in the Mormon Church are unaware of the religion’s shady past, amended scriptures, and even the full doctrine of their church. Many Mormons who have discovered these things have left the church and come to a true saving faith in Jesus Christ. As Christians, we must treat Mormons with love and understand that they are among those deceived by Satan himself (1 Peter 5:8). Satan’s goal is to distort the truth, produce false assurance of salvation, and extend a deceptive hope of godhood (2 Corinthians 4:4).
Other informative links regarding Mormonism from gotquestions.org and coldcasechristianity.com are:
Do Mormons Believe in the Trinity?
How Should Christians View the Book of Mormon?
Is Mormonism Properly Defined as a Cult?
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!
Nathan before we were married lived in a high Mormon community and if you find an old Book of Mormon the church will pay big money for the book to destroy it. It frustrates me when I hear Mormons call themselves Christian when they are not. This is a good, diplomatic article as to why Mormons are not Christian. Blessings to you and Peggy!
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Thanks for an informative article, Bruce. When I was a passionate but immature Christian, two Mormons came to our house and talked to me. They gave me a copy of the Book of Mormon and told me to put it to the test: Read it, and ask God to make it clear that this was His Truth … or something like that. I just remember reading a little of it, getting very sleepy, and sticking it under the bed before falling asleep. WEEKS later, as I was doing some deep cleaning, I came across the book I had “put to the test,” which I had totally forgotten about. 😉
Many years later, I spotted two Mormon “elders” coming up my driveway. By then I had learned a lot about their heresies, and that the Bible said not to let them into my home, so I went out to meet them. They asked if I had a few minutes that they could talk to me about their beliefs.
I asked, “How much time?” They said five or ten minutes. I said “I’ll give you 5-10 minutes of my time if I can have 5-10 minutes of your time to tell you about my beliefs.”
They looked at each other, said “Sure,” and being gentlemen, said “You go first.” I gave them a very short version of my testimony and the Gospel in a nutshell. (I had also been told I should give them my testimony, since they can’t argue with that – I was there!)
When I had finished, they shook my hand, said “It was nice meeting you,” and walked away.
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Good for you! I have had a few encounters myself over the years. I had a High Priest from the Mormons working at a squadron I worked at. Friendly enough, so I gave him a list of questions to answer. He never did get back to me either. If someone thinks that defending Christianity is difficult, it is actually a lot easier than defending being a Mormon. It is still hard though, when you consider them as real people who need to saved from a false gospel. Blessings Annie!
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I’ve heard that the “missionaries” have been trained to follow a certain track when talking to people, but if you can derail them …
PS One more story – a couple of young Mormon men showed up at the door just as we were gathering for a pot luck and Bible study. We invited them in, and they not only joined us for supper and Bible study, but they came back the next week!
Hi Annie, Oh you can derail them but they can and do apply different meanings to words that we commonly use, so you think they are agreeing with you but they are not. Short story is you do need to do your homework. Big on family, obedience and short on Holy Bible Scripture. This site from Utah has a lot of useful info including other resources: https://mscbc.org/index.htm It’s pretty insidious when you get into it. Highly disturbing. Blessings!
There is some concern the LDS is involved in child traffic.
I have no knowledge of that Beverly.
Excellent summary of the main points Bruce. I had some encounters with Mormons when I lived in Stockton On Tees some years ago, which prompted me to do some research. Little known facts that modern Mormons would like to forget is their belief in Heaven as a planet called Kolob. Along with this went their distinctly racist doctrine, which has been hidden and tidied up in the 20th Century. The Mormon Church (Cult) is very much a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Hi Alan, I know, they have quit a history that they don’t like being dug into. “Kingdom of the Cults” by Dr Walter Martin has an excellent study on Mormonism. Heartily agree about clearly a wolf in sheep’s clothing. What is scary is how many Christians are not aware. Blessings brother.
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Alan, here is a link for the PDF for “Kingdom of the Cults” in case you don’t have it. http://hygradaran.weebly.com/uploads/1/1/8/6/11869782/kingdom_of_cults.pdf
Bruce, thanks for this good summary of Mormonism. We live only 20 miles from Palmyra and Hill Cumorah and, being a history nerd, I studied Mormonism extensively back in the late-70s and early 80s. So many historical facts that undermine the claims of Mormonism, yet it continues to roll along, picking up thousands of deceived converts every year.
Hi Tom, I spent a good year going over it myself a few years ago. Sure would not want to be someone who defends it because it quickly can become a can of worms. Their whole theology about the Priesthood and the 144,000 is an eye opener. I mentioned to Alan, what is scary is how many Christians are not aware. If you’re wondering why I posted this now, it’s prep work for something I think will be coming down the road later, I could be wrong but doesn’t hurt to get the prep work out of the way. Blessings Tom, can’t help but feel that we are brothers in arms.
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Yep, Bruce, we definitely share some views.
Don’t know if you’re interested, but I dug up the posts below from five years ago that expound upon the glaring proofs against Mormonism.
Excellent! Thank you. Check our my comments to Alan, I gave him a link to the PDF for “Kingdom of the Cults” by Dr Walter Martin in case you don’t have it.
May God use this
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