Mormonism – Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Mormonism – Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Mormonism is a pseudo-Christian religion begun in 1830 by Joseph Smith in the New England area. The Mormon church, also known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, denies the historic Trinity (teaching three gods), says salvation is by grace and works (2 Nephi 25:23) and that people have the potential of becoming gods and goddesses. Some of its unique doctrines of the Mormon Church are that God used to be a man on another world who became a God and came to this world with one of his wives. We all are literally born in heaven as spirit brothers and sisters and then inhabit human bodies on earth. (Source)

Mormons believe that there are four sources of divinely inspired words, not just one: 1) The Bible “as far as it is translated correctly.” Which verses are considered incorrectly translated is not always made clear. 2) The Book of Mormon, which was “translated” by Smith and published in 1830. Smith claimed it is the “most correct book” on earth and that a person can get closer to God by following its precepts “than by any other book.” 3) The Doctrine and Covenants, containing a collection of modern revelations regarding the “Church of Jesus Christ as it has been restored.” 4) The Pearl of the Great Price, which is considered by Mormons to “clarify” doctrines and teachings that were lost from the Bible and adds its own information about the earth’s creation.

Fast Facts:

  • There are many gods, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 163).
  • There is a mother goddess, (Articles of Faith, by James Talmage, p. 443).
  • God used to be a man on another planet, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 321).
  • After you become a good Mormon, you have the potential of becoming a god, (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pages 345-347, 354).
  • God resides near a star called Kolob, Pearl of Great Price, pages 34-35; Mormon Doctrine, p. 428).
  • The Trinity is three separate gods, (James Talmage, Articles of Faith, p. 35).
  • God is increasing in knowledge, (Joseph Smith, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, p. 120).
  • God has the form of a man, (Joseph Smith, Journal of Discourses, Vol. 6, p. 3).
  • God the Father has a body of flesh and bones, (Doctrine and Covenants, 130:22).
  • God is married to his goddess wife and has spirit children, (Mormon Doctrine p. 516).
  • We were first begotten as spirit children in heaven and then born naturally on earth, (Journal of Discourse, Vol. 4, p. 218).
  • Jesus and Satan are spirit brothers and we were all born as siblings in heaven to them both, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 163).
  • There is no salvation without accepting Joseph Smith as a prophet of God, (Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. 1, p. 188).
  • There are three levels of heaven: telestial, terrestrial, and celestial, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 348).
  • The Holy Ghost is a male personage, (A Marvelous Work and a Wonder, p 118; Journal of Discources, Vol. 5, page 179).
  • Baptism for the dead, (Doctrines of Salvation, Vol. II, p. 141). This is a practice of baptizing each other in place of non-Mormons who are now dead. Their belief is that in the afterlife, the “newly baptized” person will be able to enter into a higher level of Mormon heaven. (Source)

According to All About Mormons:

  • Worldwide, there are over 13 million Mormons.
  • In the United States the LDS Church is the 4th largest individual denomination with over 5.5 million members, a population about equal to the number of Muslims.
  • Only 12% of all Mormons live in Utah. Most Mormons do not live in North America.
  • Aside from the United States, other regions with significant numbers of Mormons include Mexico and Asia (1 million members each), South America (3 million members), and Central America and Europe (about half a million each). The rapid growth the Church has been experiencing in Africa, where the number of Mormons already passes a quarter of a million, is particularly exciting.
  • After Catholics, the LDS Church is the largest religion by number in ten U.S. states.
FURTHER READING:

On the scriptures…

On Jesus Christ…

On basic doctrine…

Early leaders:

Helpful articles:

Websites:

Audio:

Who Really Wrote the Book of Mormon?–Craig Criddle Ph.D, is a Professor and Senior Fellow, Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University.

Books:

The Changing World of Mormonism By Jerald and Sandra Tanner

The God Makers By Ed Decker & David Hunt

Reasoning From the Scriptures With Mormons By Ron Rhodes

What the Bible says:

There is only one God (Isa. 43:1044:6,845:5); God is a Trinity of persons, not three gods; God has always been God (Psalm 90:2); God knows of no other gods (Is. 44:8); you cannot become a god (Is. 43:10); and that God is spirit (John 4:24). 

As for the “prophet” Joseph Smith:

But the prophet, which shall speak a word presumptuously in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, that same prophet shall die.  And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?  when a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken: the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously, thou shalt not be afraid of him. (Deuteronomy 18:20-22)

God’s prophets are to have a one hundred percent rate of accuracy.  Joseph Smith showed himself to be a false prophet. For instance, he predicted that Jesus’ return within 56 years. That did not happen. He predicted that a Mormon temple in Missouri would be built before all of the people living in 1832 passed away.  That did not occur either. He predicted that all Nations would be involved in the American Civil War. He was wrong about that, too. (More…)

What Mormonism says:

And he said unto me: Behold there are save two churches only; the one is the church of the Lamb of God, and the other is the church of the devil; wherefore, whoso belongeth not to the church of the Lamb of God belongeth to that great church, which is the mother of abominations; and she is the whore of all the earth. – 1 Nephi 14:10, Book of Mormon

As man now is, God once was; as God is now man may be.  – Lorenzo Snow, ed. Clyde J. Williams [1984], 1.

Views  expressed by individual authors and/or sources don’t necessarily reflect those of Marsha West