Monday, June 4, 2012

Mormon Church Beliefs Examined

You will find below a transcript of the YouTube video entitled MORMON CHURCH BELIEFS (only watch if you want to see truth!) which claims to be a brief summary of the beliefs of the LDS religion.  I have broken this transcript into 37 assertions and provided commentary on why these beliefs are at variance with the scriptures below each statement in red.  It is my hope that this might clarify the distinctions between biblical Christianity and the LDS religion of works-based-salvation.

1.     The church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has over 11 million members throughout the world. 

2.     The church is Christian but it is neither protestant nor Catholic. 

The claim to the title of “Christian” is false.   This is demonstrated based on the variances between Mormon Doctrine found elsewhere in this text and the teaching of scripture. 

3.     Rather, its members believe it to be a restoration of the original church that was established by Jesus Christ when he lived on the earth. 

Jesus said, “I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matt 16:18)  In contrast the Mormon faith teaches that true Christianity completely disappeared from the face of the earth, that all churches had become apostate, and that as a result it needed to be restored. 

4.     What do these people believe that makes them similar to and different from other Christians?  Their most important doctrine is a belief in God the father and in his Son Jesus Christ and in the Holy Ghost as three separate beings. 

The bible never states that the Father, Son and Holy Ghost are three separate beings.  If they were, and all were God, then there would be three Gods.  The bible is clear that that “The Lord our God is one Lord.” (Deut 6:4)  The veiled tri-theism of Mormonism distorts the testimony of scripture regarding the Godhead. 

5.     They believe that Jesus is the savior of the world, the promised Messiah, the only begotten Son of God.

Provided the terminology is correctly defined, this is an orthodox statement.  The LDS definition of “savior of the world” is universal atonement.  It is therefore incorrect.   They also believe that the Son of God was “begotten” through a sexual liason between Elohim (who has a physical body) and the virgin Mary.  Jesus taught that “God is Spirit” (John 4:24).  Moreover the Mormon teaching regarding the birth of Christ is in no sense a “virgin birth.” 

6.     They teach that he created the earth under the direction of God his father from whom he inherited his powers of Godhood and divinity.

Jesus Christ did not ”inherit his powers of Godhood and divinity.”  The bible teaches “In the beginning was the Word.  And the word was with God and the word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God.” (John 1:1-2)

7.     He was born of the Virgin Mary from whom he inherited mortality, thus becoming both fully God and fully man.

Not exactly.  Since Mary had natural relations with Elohim who has the body of a man in Mormon theology, she was not a virgin when Jesus was born.  

8.     Members of the Church of Jesus Christ believe that he suffered for our sins in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross of Calvary where he sacrificed his atoning blood and died for all humanity. 

The bible never states that Gethsemane was part of the atonement, nor does it state that Christ died for all humanity.   Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” (John 10:11) and “ye are not of my sheep.” (John 10:26)  Christ died for his people, not for all of humanity.  

9.     They believe that he was bodily resurrected after three days in the tomb and that he visited with his disciples.  

This is an orthodox statement.

10.  The belief in Jesus Christ as one’s Lord and Savior is the beginning of what are known as the first principles and ordinances of the gospel.

The bible says nothing of the “first principles and ordinances of the Gospel.”

11.  They are first – faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, second –repentance, third – baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, fourth – the laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost which constitutes confirmation to the church. 

The bible says nothing of the “first, second, third, or fourth principles and ordinances of the Gospel.”

12.  Church members believe that Jesus commands obedience of his followers to these principles and ordinances, but it is only through his mercy and grace that they can overcome this life and live with him in glory for eternity. 

It is true that Jesus commands obedience, but LDS make this obedience a prerequisite to obtaining the highest form of eternal life.  LDS is therefore a religion of works-based-salvation, not the salvation by sovereign grace taught in the Bible.

13.  The Latter Day Saints believe that the Holy Bible is God’s word to his children on earth. 

They also believe that it is horribly mistranslated to such an extent that anything they find in it that conflicts with the BoM is rejected on that basis.  This is a defacto denial of the preservation of scripture.

14.  They also believe that the book of Mormon, another testament of Jesus Christ, is God’s word as well.

This statement sounds like the Bible and the BoM are considered on the equal footing.  The truth is Mormons believe that the bible is a document so full of errors and translation flaws that it must take a back seat to the superior teachings of the BoM. 

15.  They are both used, side-by-side in church teachings. 

The BoM is used to teach the precepts of the faith.  The bible is used to deceive unsuspecting evangelicals and for serving cookies on. 

16.  The church recognizes the need for divine authority to act in God’s name which is called the priesthood.

The New Testament speaks of the priesthood of believers. (I Pet 2:5-9)  The OT priesthood was abolished with the advent of the New Testament church. 

17.  Church members believe that in order to hold the priesthood a man must be called of God by prophecy. 


18.  He must be ordained by the laying on of hands through the elders who have authority from God.


19.  Divine revelation for the direction of the entire church comes from God to the president of the Church, who is regarded by Latter Day Saints as a prophet in the same sense as Abraham and Moses.

There is no office of “President” taught in the New Testament.  To call a man a prophet is one thing, to claim that he is one in the same sense as Abraham and Moses is a tall order indeed.  To date no Mormon prophet has parted the Great Salt Lake.

20.  Church members also believe that individuals can receive divine revelation for meeting personal challenges and that parents are entitled to God’s guidance in raising their families. 

What we get from God is by grace, not by entitlement.  The bible teaches that we are undeserving, not entitled.

21.  An important belief of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is expressed by the scriptural verse, “Men are that they might have joy.” 

In contrast the bible teaches, “The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.” (Prov 16:4)  Were the wicked created that they might have joy?

22.  Happiness or joy is the real object and design of our existence. 

The bible teaches that the Glory of God is the design of our existence.  “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” (I Cor 10:31)

23.  The bible says that all people are the offspring of God and they lived with him in a pre-mortal existence.

Paul said “for we are also his offspring.” (Acts 17:28)  This is in reference to the natural creation, not to spiritual Israel. 

The bible does not say that all people lived with God in a premortal existence, the BoM says this.

24.  As part of their heavenly father’s divine plan these children come to earth to receive their physical bodies, gain experience, and prove themselves worthy to return to live with him in heaven. 

Not in the bible.  Moreover, the bible teaches that none are worthy to live in heaven (Rom 3:23) and that salvation is therefore by sovereign grace.  (Eph 2:8-9)  Mormonism teaches potential salvation for all men who prove themselves worthy; Christianity teaches actual salvation for God's chosen people who were all unworthy.

25.  Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ all will be resurrected, and through his atonement all may partake of his love, mercy and forgiveness. 

The Mormon atonement is for the resurrection and potential salvation of all men.  This is universal atonement and it turns a blind eye to the accomplishment of the blood of Christ and instead posits a works based righteousness based in lieu of a successful savior.  

26.  Family unity in this life and the potential for eternal family relationships are at the core of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Jesus said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.  For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. (Matt 10:34-35)

27.  Marriages performed in the temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints do not dissolve in death.

Paul taught, “For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.” (Rom 7:2)  Jesus taught,  “ For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.” (Matt 22:30)

28.  Rather, they may continue through eternity if the couples married their live their lives worthy of that blessing.

This is more “worthy is the Mormon” doctrine.  The bible teaches “worthy is the Lamb.”

29.  The church teaches and follows the Savior’s law of strict morality.

No works based religion would be complete with out such.

30.  The church teaches honesty, integrity, obedience to law, chastity outside of marriage, and fidelity within marriage.

Fidelity within marriage is an novel concept given LDS history.

31.  The word of wisdom, a health-code revealed by God to Joseph Smith in 1833, emphasizes the positive benefits of wise eating habits and physical fitness.

32.  It cautions against using tobacco, alcoholic beverages, tea, and coffee.  

33.  The church also opposes the use of all illegal drugs and the unwise abuse of any substance. 

34.  The Latter Day Saints practice the biblical principal of tithing and faithful church members contribute one tenth of their income to the church for the work of God.  

Tithing is law.  It is nowhere taught in the New Testament nor was it ever the practice of the New Testament church.

35.  The generous offerings of the members enable the church to finance the construction of education, welfare, missionary, curricula, humanitarian, and other programs that benefit members and others. 

Many wonderful works.  (Matt 7:21)

36.  The beliefs and doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints come from the Savior of the World Himself. 

Numerous instances wherein that is clearly not the case have been documented here.

37.  They have brought peace and understanding to millions and they help members of the church to live happier and more productive lives. 

There is no true peace in believing that one’s works are involved in their eternal salvation, there is only either deception or despair.  Deception for the Pharisaical who believe their works are good enough to get them to heaven; despair for those who know better but do not know the gospel of God’s grace.  It is this latter group that the Lord Jesus Christ had in view when he said, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." (Matt 11:28)

Are you laboring under the demands of the law, or the requirements of a false religion that you know you can never live up to?  The Lord invites those who see their own inability to ever meet the requirements of salvation, to look to their substitute, the Lord Jesus Christ, who fulfilled all the requirements of the law for His people.  Knowing and believing that truth brings gospel rest into the lives of God's people.  

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