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What’s The Difference Between Mormons and Christians?

If you ask Mormon if they are Christian, they will say yes.  If you ask a Christian if Mormons are Christian, they will overwhelmingly say no.  Why is there a discrepancy?  What are the differences between the Christians and the Mormons?  Are there any differences between what the Bible calls the current day “saints” and the new “latter day saints”?  If you are a Mormon and not open to the Bible, you may want to stop reading here.   What makes Mormons different, if they are?

Jesus The Messiah

Mormons believe that Jesus is the Son of God, and a member of the Godhead.  Not equal to the Father (more on that shortly).  Mormons say they do not believe in the Trinity but that they believe in the “godhead”.  There’s a deeper spiritual problem here.

Christians believe that Jesus is the Son of God, equal to both the Father and the Holy Spirit but different in role and responsibilities.  Just as the human is a three part being spirit, soul, and body so the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three but yet one.

Mormons believe that Jesus is the Son Of God. Sadly, they also believe that Jesus is brother of satan.  Biblically speaking, equating a fallen angel (a created being) to the same level as the Creator of the Universe is biblically indefensible and false teaching.  Mormon teaching is full of confused teaching about gods, men, and angels.

Jesus is the only way (John 14:6) to God.  Every person must know Jesus to know God.

Joseph Smith

Mormon’s believe Joseph Smith (December 23, 1805  to June 27, 1844) who died at 39, was a special prophet of God.  They believe he brought a message to mankind and founded the only ‘true church’.  Mormons are known to ‘confess’ Joseph Smith as the ‘true prophet of God’ in their monthly testimony services.

Christians see Joseph Smith as a controversial man who copied the Bible in both style and story. He wrote himself into the book of Isaiah (amongst others) from the Old Testament, which publication has ceased. He used King James English to write new materials such as the Book Of Mormon, the Doctrine of Covenants, The Pearl of Great Price and various other books lifting heavily from Biblical themes very similar to Islam as well as biblical language.  (Check out Islam Challenges When Compared to the Bible here). Smith’s books are considered by committed Mormons to be equal or greater than the Bible.  Smith made up his own history, names, and people groups.  None of which can be confirmed by any historic writing, artifacts, or alternative tradition, neither oral or written.  Whereas, the death and reports of the resurrection of Jesus Christ were reported by the early Christian, Jewish, and Greek historians.

Smith said he had seer stones in a top hat where words for the Book of Mormon where given to him as he peered into the hat.  Someone on the other side of a curtain would supposedly write down what he said.  Sounds like a time consuming way to write something down, that isn’t Morse code.  Also in the Smith story, the angel Moroni is the personality bringing the ‘revelation’ in multiple visit. The biblical challenge is that men and angels are separate beings.  An angel can never be a man, nor can a man ever become and angel.  Humans are created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26,27), not angels.

The Bible

Mormons see the Bible as the Word of God, however the caveat is that “as far it is translated correctly” (Mormon Article of Faith #8). Yet they see Joseph Smith’s books on the same level also as “the Word of God”.  Mormons use the King James Version (KJV) of the Bible which was translated 400 years ago (in 1611) but the additional books written by J Smith are also “the word of God”.  One should read a more up to date version of the Bible if the is any concern about translations.

Committed Christians recognize the Bible as the uncompromised Word of God.  English translations all originate from Hebrew (Old Testament, before Jesus Christ) and Greek the language of commerce of that day.  Christians may choose whatever translation of the Bible they like and tend to opt for the best translations for themself based on word for word accuracy, thought for thought translation, or ease of reading in their native languages.  Christians use New  King James Version (NKJV), New Living Translation (NLT), the English Standard Version (ESV), New International Version (NIV), and many other versions for their daily time with God.  Regardless of the English translation, the Bible is the Word of God.

Christians believe that the Bible is the complete Word of God.  Any new works such as the plagiarism of Joseph Smith, the Qur’an, or any other book proclaiming spiritual authority is false from the forces of hell designed to deceive, distort, and distract people from a true relationship with God.  A quick survey of the groups reported events and actual historical record is very revealing.

Baptism

Mormons baptize new members similar to Christians.  Mormons believe in baptizing new people as well as a controversial practice of ‘baptism of the dead’. Baptism of the dead is essentially baptism by proxy.  In this practice Mormons teach that a living person may be baptized in lieu of an already dead person. Thereby saving them posthumously from hell and the lake of fire at the final judgment. 

Christians believe and practice baptism as total immersion in water as the Lord Jesus was baptized by John ( Matthew 3:16).  All Christians are commanded three things- 1) Baptize new Jesus people, 2) Celebrate the Lord’s Supper or Communion. 3) Assemble regularly at a local church (Hebrews 10:24).  Baptism is essential.  However, a believer who is not baptized is accepted into God’s Kingdom just as those who are. 

Some Christians do infant baptisms via sprinkling of water.  This is acceptable as a baby dedication by parents wanting to honor God, however it is NOT baptism as there is no immersion (baptism) taking place.  In addition, Baptism is made by each person at their age of accountability  (The Age Of Accountability ) or the age when they can make decisions by themselves.

Heaven & Hell

In Mormonism, the teaching is that everyone goes to Heaven, as long as you are not a serial killer or bad person.  Heaven is for nice people is the belief.  Mormons teach that there are levels of Heaven that you achieve based on your works on Earth.  Those who get the upper levels of Heaven are said to be those who work in Mormon Temples.  Essentially there is little emphasis on hell. 

Christians see Heaven and Hell as real places.  Heaven is above and hell is in the center of the Earth.  Entrance into Heaven is based on a knowing faith in Christ Jesus.  All people are saved by grace (Ephesians 2:8,9) not works.  Christians believe that you cannot work your way into Heaven, however the Bible does teach that faith without works is dead.  Does God send people to hell? Find out here.

The Rapture

Mormons believe that they will go through the Tribulation and do not believe they will be caught up by the Lord. Jesus on His return (1 Thess 4:17).

Christians believe that they will be caught up (or raptured) by the Lord Jesus at His return as described in Thessalonians. Spirit-filled Christians typically believe that the heavenly trumpet will sound and Jesus will return for us they way that He came (Luke 24:50)

In the end times, Mormons also believe that the new Jerusalem in the Bible not be in Heaven or in Israel  but in North America (Mormon Article of Faith #10)

In conclusion, Mormonism looks very ‘Christian’ but there are some fundamental differences that those leaving the Mormon church note when they get saved.   They talk about ‘the Lord’, the ‘Holy Spirit’ and even the gift of the spirit (speaking in tongues), but this is not the same as the Bible.  A church built on works and not grace, on salvation after one is already dead, and focused on a questionable founder has a lot to work through from a Biblical perspective.   If everyone is going to Heaven without choosing Jesus now as Mormon leaders teach, why did Jesus even go to the cross and die for us?  The gods of Mormonism are not the God of the Bible. That is why it is so confused like hell where the teaching originated from. Every good lie has to have a little truth to be believable.

If you are coming out of Mormonism, do not be discouraged.  The family of God is so much bigger than any one group in Utah, Rome, or any one location for that matter.  It’s all about Jesus and making a decision for Him while you can as you live on this Earth.  You can know God personally today.

Do you know Jesus?

Do you have God’s power in your daily life?

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