Mormons are a religious group that embrace concepts of Christianity as well as revelations made by their founder, Joseph Smith. They primarily belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, or LDS, which is headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, and has more than 16 million members worldwide. Another Mormon denomination, the Community of Christ, is centered in Independence, Missouri, and has about 250,000 members. The religion was officially founded in 1830 when The Book of Mormon was published.
Today, the LDS church is most prevalent in the United States, Latin America, Canada, Europe, the Philippines, Africa and parts of Oceania. While Mormons embrace many Christian beliefs, they have their own distinct set of philosophies, values and practices.
- Mormons consider themselves Christians, but many Christians don’t recognize Mormonism as an official denomination.
- Mormons believe in the crucifixion, resurrection and divinity of Jesus Christ. Followers claim that God sent more prophets after Jesus’s death. They say that the original church has been restored in modern times.
- Mormons embrace four different texts: The Christian Bible, The Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and The Pearl of Great Price.
- According to the LDS church, Adam and Eve lived in Daviess County, Missouri after being driven from the Garden of Eden.
- There are three levels of heaven—celestial, terrestrial and telestial—in Mormonism. Only those in the celestial kingdom will live in God’s presence.
- Followers don’t recognize the Christian concept of the trinity (God existing in three persons). Instead, they believe the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are three separate gods.
- The The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints considers Joseph Smith, who founded Mormonism, a prophet.
- Mormons follow a strict healthy lifestyle that doesn’t allow them to consume alcohol, tobacco, coffee or tea.
- Family life, good deeds, respect for authority and missionary work are important values in Mormonism.
- Mormons practice clothing rituals that include wearing special undergarments that have religious significance. Known as the “temple garment,” the attire is worn by adult members who make sacred promises to God.
- Not all Mormon churches accept the label “Mormon,” because the term has at times been used in a derogatory manner, and it does not allow for the variety of beliefs that exist among churches that follow the Book of Mormon and the teachings of Joseph Smith.
Joseph Smith Jr. was born in Vermont on December 23, 1805. When Smith was 14, he said he received a vision from God and Jesus that told him not to join any Christian denominational churches.
Three years later, Smith claimed that an angel named Moroni appeared to him. Moroni revealed that Smith had been selected to translate the Book of Mormon, a sacred text that was written around the 4th century and named after Moroni’s father, Mormon.
According to Moroni, this spiritual book contained information about the ancient people who inhabited the Americas. He revealed that the book was inscribed on golden plates near Palmyra, New York, which was close to where Smith lived at the time.
Although the plates were first revealed to him on September 22, 1823, Smith said he was not allowed to retrieve them until September 1827. The Book of Mormon was translated and published in 1830.
Smith also asserted that John the Baptist appeared to him while he was translating the Book of Mormon and instructed him to restore the church by preaching the true gospel.
Is Mormonism a cult?
Yes, Mormonism is a non-christian cult. Mormonism denies the doctrines that make Christianity what it is, and it substitutes their new and different doctrines that are not taught in the Bible. For example, the Bible says there’s only one God in all existence (Isaiah 43:10; 44:6; 45:5), but Mormonism says there are many gods, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 163). See also, “And they (the Gods) said: Let there be light: and there was light,” (Book of Abraham 4:3).1
Furthermore, Mormonism teaches that the Trinity is three separate gods (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage page 35) and that salvation is attained through obedience to the law and doing good works (Miracle of Forgiveness, Spencer W Kimball, page 206). In fact, in their book Doctrines of Salvation, vol. 1, page 188, it says there is no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith as a prophet of God. Joseph Smith, of course, is the founder of Mormonism.
Mormonism also called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), teaches the following non-Christian, non-biblical doctrines. (Note that all the documentation is taken from Mormon writers and Mormon scriptures).
- God used to be a man on another planet, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 321; Joseph Smith, Times and Seasons, vol. 5, p. 613-614; Orson Pratt, Journal of Discourses, vol. 2, p. 345; Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, vol. 7, p. 333).
- God resides near a star called Kolob, (Pearl of Great Price, p. 34-35; Mormon Doctrine, p. 428).
- “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s…” (Doctrines and Covenants 130:22).
- God is in the form of a man, (Joseph Smith, Journal of Discourses, vol. 6, p. 3).
- “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens!!! . . . We have imagined that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea and take away the veil, so that you may see,” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345).
- After you become a good Mormon, you have the potential of becoming a god, (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345-347, 354).
- There is a mother goddess, (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 443).
- God is married to his goddess wife and has spirit children, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 516).
- The Trinity is three separate Gods: The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. “That these three are separate individuals, physically distinct from each other, is demonstrated by the accepted records of divine dealings with man,” (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 35).
In contrast to these teachings, the Bible teaches that God has always been God and was never a man (Psalm 90:2). The Bible nowhere says he lives near another star, or that the Father has a body of flesh and bones – which Christ contradicted in John 4:24 and Luke 24:39. We do not have the potential of becoming gods because there are no gods formed (Isaiah 43:10; 44:6, 8; 45:5). The Trinity is one God (Deut. 6:4) – not three.
In addition, Mormonism teaches that the forgiveness of sins is obtained by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Mormon church. Now, I stated this above but it needs to be reiterated here because this is another teaching that makes Mormonism non-Christian. Please consider the following.
- “As these sins are the result of individual acts it is just that forgiveness for them should be conditioned on individual compliance with prescribed requirements – ‘obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel,’” (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 79).
- “One of the most fallacious doctrines originated by Satan and propounded by man is that man is saved alone by the grace of God; that belief in Jesus Christ alone is all that is needed for salvation,” (Miracle of Forgiveness, Spencer W. Kimball, p. 206).
- Good works are necessary for salvation (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 92).
- “We know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do,” (2 Nephi 25:23).
In contrast to the works-righteousness teachings of Mormonism, the Bible tells us that our forgiveness of sins is accomplished by faith alone in Christ alone because it is Jesus who did everything necessary for our salvation. This is why we have the following verses.
- Romans 3:28, “For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.”
- Romans 4:5, “But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness,”
- Galatians 2:21, “I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness comes through the Law, then Christ died needlessly.”
So, Mormonism teaches doctrines that are in direct contradiction to the essentials of the Christian faith. it denies the true nature of God, the true nature of Christ, and the true nature of salvation. In fact, if you want to know what the Bible says are the essential doctrines, then check out the article “essential doctrines of Christianity.” that article lists out the Scriptures that tell us what the essentials of the faith are. Mormonism clearly contradicts those essentials.
The Mormons will claim they are Christians because they say they follow the Jesus of the Bible, in reality, they are following a false Christ. Jesus is not the brother of the devil as Mormonism teaches. Jesus is the second person of the Trinity. Jesus did not atone for our sins in the garden of Gethsemane as Mormonism teaches, 2 Instead, he did it on the cross (1 Peter 2:24).
Finally, we do not hate the Mormons, and we pray for their repentance, that they would stop believing in false gods. We want them to believe in the true God and the true Christ and the true gospel. But, unfortunately, Mormonism has deceived millions of people and it is most definitely not Christian. Mormonism is a non-Christian cult.
- These quotes are from Mormon authorities and scriptures.
- Laurel Rohlfing, “Sharing Time: The Atonement,” Friend, Mar. 1989, p. 39
Reference: history.com / Matt Slick – carm.org