MORMONISM OR THE BIBLE: WHICH IS TRUE?
“Judge not, that you be not judged” (Matt. 7:1). This verse is invariably cited whenever a Christian says anything negative about Mormon teachings. But Jesus also warned His followers to “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits” (Matthew 7:15-16).
It is obvious that Jesus desired that we do not blindly accept new teachings and beliefs. The Apostle Paul echoed this when he said “the spiritual person judges all things” (1 Corinthians 2:15). So, in light of this, how does the Mormon faith compare with what God has told us in the Bible?
THE BELIEFS OF MORMONISM
First of all, concerning judgment, how many people are aware of what Joseph Smith claimed that God told him about Christianity and Christians? In Joseph Smith’s Testimony he asserted that both God the Father and Jesus appeared to him and denounced all Christian denominations as detestable! “I asked the Personages who stood above me in the light, which of all the sects was right and which I should join. I was answered that I must join none of them, for they were all wrong; and the Personage who addressed me said that all their creeds were an abomination in His sight. He again forbade me to join with any of them” 1 (emphasis added).
Thus the Mormon Church, from its very beginning, has declared that all of Christianity is false and that the true Gospel was lost and only restored 1800 years later by its founder and prophet, Joseph Smith. This is a belief Mormons normally do not like to discuss with non-Mormons.
So in addressing Mormon beliefs we are not attacking individuals but defending historic biblical Christianity, earnestly contending “for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3).
THE GODS OF MORMONISM
A critical Mormon teaching that most people are unaware of is their ardent polytheism, that is, they believe that many gods exist and that Mormons can become gods and rule over their own worlds after this life is over (the doctrine of “exaltation”).
Consider these quotations from Joseph Smith and Brigham Young…
In the beginning the head of the Gods called a council of the Gods and they came together and conducted a plan to create the world and populate it.2 –Joseph Smith
God Himself was once as we are now and is an exalted man.3 –Joseph Smith
When our father Adam came into the Garden of Eden, he came into it with a celestial body and brought Eve, one of his celestial wives with him…HE is our FATHER and our GOD and the only God with whom WE have to do.4 –Brigham Young
Perhaps the most blatant teaching of Mormon polytheism (belief in many gods) is found in a speech Joseph Smith gave in 1844 in Carthage, Illinois:
God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted Man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens. That is the great secret…I am going to tell you how God came to become God. We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity, I will refute that idea…God himself, the Father of us all, dwelt on an earth the same as Jesus Christ himself did….Here, then, is eternal life–to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you.5
Mormon polytheism completely separates it from biblical Christianity. From its inception the Christian faith, like Judaism, has been rigidly monotheistic. One cannot be a true Christian and believe that a pantheon of gods and goddesses exists–nor that we can become gods ourselves! The Bible is absolutely clear on this. In the shema, the foundation stone of the Jewish faith, God tells His people, “Hear, O Israel, The LORD our God, the LORD is one” (Deuteronomy 6:4). God repeats this in numerous Scriptures, with great emphasis: “‘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’” (Isaiah 43:10–emphasis added; see also Isaiah 44:6,8; 45:5,22; 1 Corinthians 8:4-6; 1 Timothy 2:5).
THE JESUS OF MORMONISM
Like Jesus, the Apostle Paul warns us “that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and teachings of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1). Elsewhere he warns of false prophets who will come and preach “a different gospel” and “another Jesus than the one we proclaimed” (2 Corinthians 11:4).
Is Jesus actually the “spirit brother of Lucifer”?6 Was Jesus really conceived by Adam coming down and having sexual relations with Mary, as Brigham Young asserted,7 contrary to the clear teachings of the Bible (see Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18 and Luke 1:34-35)? Does God the Father really have a body of flesh and bones, just as we have (see Jesus’ comments in John 4:24 and Luke 24:39)? 8 Was Jesus a polygamist married to Mary, Martha, and “the other Mary”?9 The biblical answer to each of these questions is an unequivocal “No!”
Much more could be said about false and blasphemous Mormon doctrines, but these must suffice. Christians are warned repeatedly to reject all counterfeit gospels, even if they are brought by “an angel from heaven” (Galatians 1:8-9).10 Let us love and respect all men and women, and care enough about them to share the one true and never-changing gospel of Jesus Christ with them!
Footnotes: 1Joseph Smith’s Testimony, 5-6, 2Documentary History of the Church (DHOTC), 6:308, 3DHOTC, 6:305, 4Journal of Discourses (JOD), 1:50, 5JOD, 6:3-4, 6 JOD, 13.282, et al, 7JOD, 1:50-51, 8Doctrine and Covenants, Section 130, 9JOD, 4:259, 10Joseph Smith claimed the angel Moroni told him where to look for golden plates from which came the Book of Mormon.