by Rob Lundberg
Digging back into my counter cult ministry toolbox, this post is going to summarize the major problems with the teachings of the Mormon Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located in Salt Lake City, Utah, United States. Why am I posting an article like this?
It is because the Latter Day Saints are celebrating their bicentennial, in commemorating their false prophet, Joseph Smith’s finding the alleged revelation and digging of some golden tablets, that were pointed out to him by an uncertain number of visitors, at an uncertain age for Joseph, during their appearance at an uncertain location. Why all these uncertainties? It is because there are different stories about this account that the LDS are celebrating.
Another reason for a post like this is because they are being more an more aggressive in pushing out their message that they are “a Christian church” and that they are the “only true Christian church.” If you go to their website they present a clean image, and they do not tell you what they really believe until you get into the church and become a baptized member.
When you speak to a Mormon, you will need to ask them one by one what they believe. But bear in mind that that what they say, may or may not agree with what their church teaches. So what this post is going to present is what their church teaches, and what biblical Christianity has to say about their teachings. Let’s start out with two basic premises:
Why Mormonism is not Christian is summarized in the following two major reasons:
The Mormon Church teaches another “Jesus” as the Apostle Paul warns in 2 Corinthians 11:3-4.
The Mormon Church teaches another “gospel” as the Apostle Paul warns in Galatians 1:8-9.
I will demonstrate these claims in what follows. As you read this post, please note that I am not just giving Bible references. I am also quoting their sources to support what I am presenting. Mormons, in the past have asked me, who gives me the authority to critique Mormonism. My answer is quite simple. My answer comes from the Word of God and their Prophet Brigham Young.
WHAT IS A CHRISTIAN?
Since the elders that come knocking on our doors like to tell their listeners that they are a Christian church because they have Jesus’ name in the title of their church, let’s start out with defining what a Christian truly is, in light of the authority of the Bible. Let’s answer this question by asking some questions.
1) If I said a Christian was one who believed in Jesus Christ and then pointed to a fence post and said, “I want you to meet my Jesus Christ.” Am I a real Christian?”
2) If I said a Christian was one who believed in Jesus Christ and then said, “I carry my Jesus Christ around in this little bottle and when I rub the bottle he will come out and do anything I want.” Am I a real Christian?
3) Am I a Christian if I rejected the Bible’s New Testament as God’s standard for living our lives?
Would you give me change (assuming you had it) for what looked like a twenty dollar bill (it has all the markings of a genuine twenty)? Suppose it was on the wrong paper? It says it is a twenty on both sides. How about if it was just the wrong color? How about if it was only the wrong size? I doubt you would. Why? Because only one wrong major attribute is enough to declare it a counterfeit no matter what it claims to be. A claim is not enough, all the major attributes must also be present and align with the genuine article.
The first thing we need to remember is that using the right vocabulary, saying the “right” words, is not enough. Having God’s name correct and most but not all of the major attributes of God correct is not enough. Why? Because there is more to being a Christian than saying the name “Jesus Christ” and having some of God’s major attributes correct.
The devils believe (James 2:19). A Christian is more than calling Jesus Lord, more than casting out demons in His name, more than doing deeds in His name (Matt 7:21-23; Lk 6:46). A Christian is a person who has in their heart the biblical Jesus Christ not only as their Savior but as their Lord. They have confessed Him with their mouth and believe in their hearts (Eph 3:19, Rom 10:9-11). They then with His help started to live the kind of life He wants them to live (Eph 2:10; Phil 1:6, 2:13; John 15:5; Heb 13:20-21).
So if this is the case, what does the Mormon Church really teach?
The Mormon Church teaches the following:
1) There are many gods and that people (some of us for example) can progress to become Gods and Goddesses. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, by Joseph Fielding Smith, pp. 349, 370, 373; Gospel Principles, by the Mormon Church, 1986 and older editions, pp.190-191; Achieving A Celestial Marriage, by the Mormon Church, pp.129-132; History of the Church, 6:306 (Vol 6, page 306); Teachings of the Prophet Spencer W. Kimball, pp. 28, 51-53.)
2) Those who become Gods will each have his own world and with his wife (wives?) procreate spirits who will be raised to maturity and go into bodies on the new world. These new people will worship those who procreated their spirits, in the same way we worship God the Father. (Gospel Principles, by the Mormon Church, 1986 and older editions, pp. 9, 190-191.)
3) God the Father has a father. He was once a man like us who died and was resurrected as part of his progressing to godhood. He has a body of flesh and bones. The Father, Son and Holy Ghost are three separate Gods. (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, by Joseph Fielding Smith, pp. 345-347, 370; Mormon Doctrine, by Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, pp. 321, 576-577, 589; Doctrine and Covenants 130:22; “The Restoration of Major Doctrines Through Joseph Smith,” The Ensign, January 1989, p. 28; Doctrines of the Gospel, Student Manual, Religion 231 and 232, p. 7.)
4) Jesus Christ is our elder brother, the first spirit born to God the Father and Mother in Heaven. His physical body was conceived physically by the Father and his earthly mother, Mary, just as ours was by our parents. This was part of Jesus Christ’s progression to become a God. Mormon doctrine also teaches that Jesus Christ and Lucifer are spirit brothers, both were born of God the Father and Mother in Heaven and raised to maturity in a pre-mortal pre-existence. (Gospel Principles, by the Mormon Church, 1986 and older editions, pp.15-16; Mormon Doctrine, by Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, pp. 192, 546-547, 589-590, 742; Gospel Through The Ages, Milton R. Hunter, p. 15; “The Restoration of Major Doctrines Through Joseph Smith,” The Ensign, January 1989, p. 28-29; “Whom Say Ye That I Am”, Family Home Evening Manual, published by the Mormon Church, 1972, pp. 125-126.)
5) The Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit, and as the Father and Son, is not omnipresent (all places at one time). (Gospel Principles, by the Mormon Church, 1986 and older editions, p. 34; Doctrines of Salvation, by Joseph Fielding Smith, 1:38, 49-50; Doctrines of the Gospel, Student Manual, Religion 231 and 232, pp. 8, 11; Doctrine and Covenants 130:22.)
6) Jesus Christ atoned for the sins of mankind in the Garden of Gethsemane, not on the cross alone. (Gospel Principles, by the Mormon Church, 1986 and older editions, p. 58.)
7) The grace of God and attaining exaltation in the highest level of the Celestial Kingdom only comes by works, not as a free gift from God (as in Ephesians 2:8-9). (2 Nephi 9:23, 25;23; Moroni 10:32; #3 Articles of Faith; Gospel Principles, by the Mormon Church, 1986 and older editions, p. 291-292; Mormon Doctrine, by Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, pp. 339-671.)
8) The Bible has been tampered with, parts removed and parts changed, so it is not reliable, as a result additional Scriptures are needed. (Doctrines of Salvation, by Joseph Fielding Smith, 3:190-191; 1 Nephi 13:26-29; 2 Nephi 29:2-3, 6-8; Church News, June 20, 1992, p. 3, a letter from the first presidency of May 22, 1992; The Ensign, January 1992, p. 5.)
9) There was a great and total apostasy of the Church established by our Lord Jesus Christ shortly after he died and that truths lost needed to be restored, as done through Joseph Smith. (Gospel Principles, by the Mormon Church, 1986 and older editions, p. 100-101; Mormon Doctrine, by Apostle Bruce R. McConkie, p. 44; Doctrines of Salvation, by Joseph Fielding Smith, 3:265-291.)
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT THE ABOVE MORMON TEACHINGS?
None of the above teachings by the Mormon Church are biblical, hence are not Christian. Oneof the things that need to be kept in the back of our minds though is that the Bible the LDS Church uses has taken things out and added things in that are not biblical but are from the direct teachings of the LDS church to make it look like the real thing to unsuspecting Christians. The Bible has the following to say about the above teachings of the Mormon Church.
The Bible is very clear that there is only one God and that he is the God of all creation, not just of this world:
A. “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” 1 Timothy 2:5
B. “Ye are my witnesses, saith the LORD, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.” Isaiah 43:10
The King James version of the Old Testament, as others, follows the tradition that the Hebrew word “Yahweh” (YHWH), frequently given as Jehovah, is shown as LORD, in small capital letters (The Holy Bible, New Revised Standard Version, Holman Bible Publishers, 1989, in the preface called “To The Reader,” p. 3).
Mormon teachings say this is the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ, the Lord before he came to earth (The Holy Bible, published by the Mormon Church, at the back is the Bible Dictionary, p. 710-711 under “Jehovah” and Mormon Doctrine, p. 392 under “Jehovah”). This should be kept in mind as you read the Old Testament verses. For example, LDS should view items #B., C. and E. as follows:
Here we have the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ, who would not lie to us and knows everything, saying he does not know of any another God, before him or after him. This also means the LORD is saying he knows nothing about his father, grandfather, great grandfather and so on.
C. “Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God …Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any.” Isaiah 44:6, 8
D. “Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;” Isaiah 44:24
In the Joseph Smith translation, Isaiah 44:24 which has, based upon Mormon Church teachings, the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ saying he created the universe by himself. This contradicts the LDS temple endowment ceremony which shows three persons involved in the creation: Elohim (the Father), Jehovah (the Son) and Michael (Adam).
E. “I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else…Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me.” Isaiah 45:5-6, 21
F “For when God made promise to Abraham, because he could swear by no greater, he swear by himself,” Hebrews 6:13
G. “Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.” Nehemiah 9:6
H. “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:” Colossians 1:16
I. “Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;” Hebrews 1:2
Theology truth bomb here: The Bible is also clear that God has always existed as God, there never was a time when he was not God, he is God from all eternity to all eternity.
J. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.” Psalms 90:2
K. Thy throne is established of old: thou art from everlasting.” Psalms 93:2
L. But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting …..” Psalms 103:17
The Bible is also clear that the Father does not have a body of flesh and bones as taught by the Mormon Church:
M. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” John 4:24
N. Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.” Luke 24:39
In the following items (O- S) below we are told that the LORD (Yahweh in Hebrew, also called Jehovah) is God (Elohim in Hebrew) and God is the LORD. Elohim and Yahweh (Jehovah) are one in the same God. They are names/titles for the same one true God Almighty of the Bible, not two separate Gods as taught by the Mormon Church.
According to the Mormon Church, Yahweh (Jehovah) is the pre-incarnate Jesus Christ and Elohim is God the Father.
O. And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.” Genesis 17:1
P. Unto thee it was showed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him.” Deuteronomy 4:35
Q. Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:” Deuteronomy 6:4
Q. “Know therefore this day, and consider it in thine heart, that the LORD he is God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath: there is none else.” Deuteronomy 4:39
R. “Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations;” Deuteronomy 7:9
S. “And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.” Exodus 6:3
The following is about the Mormon teachings in item 8 and 9 in the section on what the LDS Church teaches as listed in this article. In item 8 I shared how the Mormon Church thinks the Bible has been tampered with and parts are missing or changed. The following biblical verses attest to the reliability of the Bible:
John 17:11, 20 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are…Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
From these last two verses we are assured of the Bible’s reliability. Can you imagine that the Lord’s prayer for us in John 17:20 was ignored for 1,800 years? Did the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:17 tell us to take up a defective sword? According to LDS teaching this would be the assumption.
As mentioned in above item 9, the Mormon Church claims there was a complete and full apostasy shortly after the Lord’s apostles died. To support this LDS will quote biblical verses. None of the Mormon proof text or any other verses in the Bible say there would be a COMPLETE and FULL apostasy. No Biblical verses support the LDS teachings. In reality the following verses say there would NOT be complete apostasy
Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee that thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. So if the gates of hell are not going to prevail against the church that Christ built on the message of the true gospel (and not the Mormon false gospel) there was not a complete nor partial apostasy.
Matthew 18:19-20 Again I say unto you that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
Also see: Matthew 24:35, 28:20; John 10:29
Were the Lord’s apostles, disciples and the Holy Ghost bunglers, dismal failures? If the teachings of the Mormon Church are correct about a complete apostasy they would have to be. But they were not, the Lord’s church was never lost! His words (the Bible) were never lost or corrupted.
What I have presented here in this post is what I believe a complete presentation that the Mormon Church (a.k.a. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) has a false Christ, and a false gospel. I have presented this presentation not just under the authority of the Christian Scriptures (the Bible both Old and New Testaments), but also under then challenge of the late Mormon Prophet’s admonition, to “take up the Bible, and compare the religion of the Latter Day Saints with it” to see if it stands the test. My presentation has quoted LDS authorities, and biblical authority. The LDS Church, even though it has the name of “Jesus Christ” in its name, is far from the true Jesus of the Bible.
We need to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves, and present the missionaries that come to our door with the truth that they might come to the true Jesus. What a joy it would be to hear testimonies of LDS missionaries coming home from the mission field and telling their families that they encountered the true Jesus of the Bible and have chosen to follow Him instead of a physically procreated spirit brother of Lucifer, which is a false Christ.
Thank you for indulging this post and please let me know if you have any challenges, questions or comments. I am more than happy to engage your questions by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
 Brigham Young presented the following, “Take up the Bible, compare the religion of the Latter day Saints with it, and see if it will stand the test.” (This post will show that it won’t). And then there is John’s gospel in John 1:12, 13 which states, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right (authority) to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”
 The context of Matthew is essentially a church discipline passage, but the purposes of this presentation, it also provides for us a support text for the authority of Jesus and His Word.