TEN REASONS WHY WE BELIEVE NOT
Mormons would find the above question puzzling since they regard their church to be the restoration of true New Testament Christianity and their faith as fundamentally Christian.Weacknowledge the fact that Mormons hold this view of themselves and their church. However, for any claim to adhere to a particular faith to be meaningful there must surely be some fundamentals that we accept as basic to that faith. For instance, someone claiming to be a Muslim would not seem to be making a credible claim if they denied the first of the five pillars, or fundamental tenets of Islam, “There is only one God and Mohammed is his prophet”. To claim to be a Mormon, but deny the Divine origin and authenticity of the Book of Mormon as Scripture would be equally untenable.
This is only common sense. In the case of Christianity it would be the facts surrounding Jesus Christ and what He and His immediate followers taught that would be the test. Yet, there are clear statements and teachings in the writings of the Latter-day Saints that show that, from an Evangelical perspective, as well as from the point of view of most established Christian traditions, these fundamental Biblical tenets are not in Mormonism. The following points cover what Evangelical believers would regard as fundamentals of the gospel, i.e. The person of Jesus (1&2), Authority (3), Salvation (4), The sufficiency of Scripture (5), Fulfilment of key prophecy (6), The nature of God (8), Judgement (9), and eternal rewards and punishments (10). We also look at what Mormons have had to say about themselves in relation to “Christianity” (7).
Having studied carefully the claims of Mormonism, here are our ten reasons.
1. The Jesus of Mormonism is the spirit brother of Lucifer, an angel – Teachings of Spencer W Kimball, p.33.
Christians know the Jesus of the Bible is eternal and not a created angel. – Micah 5:2. Jesus, “the Word” is the creator of “all things” – John 1:3, “things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities (a reference to angels and angelic hierarchies) – Colossians 1:16. Angels are to worship Jesus – Hebrews 1:6. Jesus created angels and is not related to them.
2. The Jesus of Mormonism was begotten naturally, just like any other man through sexual relationships. – Mormon Doctrine, Bruce McConkie, pp.546/7.
Christians know the Jesus of the Bible was begotten miraculously of the Holy Spirit – Matthew 1:20
3. Mormonism claims to have as its authority two priesthoods, the Aaronic and the Melchizedek.
Christians know that neither of these priesthoods could be restored because a) the priesthood of Aaron was temporary and superseded by the Melchizedek and b) the Melchizedek priesthood is the eternal priesthood of Jesus Christ, who Christians know is our great High Priest forever – Hebrews chapters 4 to 8. See Hebrews 7:11-25 where the Levitical (Aaronic) priesthood is clearly shown to be “set aside” (v.18) and the Melchizedek priesthood is shown to be “a permanent priesthood” belonging to Christ (v.24).
4. Mormonism declares that salvation is of works (see for instance the 3rd Article of Faith, “saved by obedience”). Salvation is on different tiers depending on how many works you have accomplished at the Temple etc.
Christian know from the Bible that salvation is by Grace alone and works follow after salvation and are what God has prepared for us. – Ephesians 2:8-10
5. Mormons show in the first paragraph of the Introduction to the Book of Mormon that the Bible contains “the fullness of the everlasting gospel.” They then go on to title the Book of Mormon as “another Testament of Jesus Christ.”
Christians know that the Bible contains the fullness of the gospel and is sufficient “to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus” – 2 Tim.3:15, and is everlasting and that anything added must be false. The Book of Mormon must therefore be “another gospel” – Galatians 1:6-9 in the sense of different to and not as well as, i.e. “Testament of Another Jesus Christ”.
6. The Book of Mormon declares that Jesus was born at Jerusalem, which is explained as being an area not the town.
Christians know the great prophetic significance the Bible gives to Bethlehem being where King David came from and being the ‘House of Bread.’ – 1 Sam. 16:1; Matt.1: 5&16; Romans 15:12. Micah also prophesied (Micah 5:2) that Jesus would be born here 700 years before the event took place and long enough before the Book of Mormon people are supposed to have left Jerusalem for them to know of the prophecy. God could not make a mistake about the birthplace of His Son, Christians don’t, and the Nephites should not have.
7. Early Mormons did not want to call themselves Christians. They were delighted to be different to Christianity and all the churches, which they thought were apostate. – Journal of Discourses, Vol.6, p.167. (John Taylor, 3rd President of the Church.)
8. Mormons teach that God was once a man and that all men if they try hard enough can become gods.( Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p.345-7)
Christians know the Bible teaches that God is eternal and had no beginning. They also know that men can never become gods but in the afterlife will be glorified human beings. (Isaiah 44:6; 43:10)
9. Mormons baptise for the dead, a practice carried on by the pagans in Corinth. This was never part of Christian salvation. NB 1 Cor.15:29-30 “Why do they baptise for the dead? As for us…”
Christians know that “man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgement” – Hebrews 9:27.
10. Mormons believe in “degrees of glory” or eternal reward and that “At the Final Judgement we will be assigned to the kingdom for which we are prepared”. Each kingdom is regarded as a “kingdom of glory” and “Even hell will not continue forever. Even [those] who have committed the greatest sins will have suffered sufficiently by the end of the Millennium” (Gospel Principles pp 292/3&297; D&C 76).
Christians know that those who trust in Christ will be saved – Romans 10:9-13, and will have part in the first resurrection to be priests of God and of Christ – Revelation 20:6. “If anyone’s name is not found written in the book of life, he [will be] thrown into the lake of fire”, which is the second death – Revelation 21:14-15. Christians know that the plight of those who reject Jesus is dreadful and urgently share the message “flee the wrath to come”. Mormonism gives a false security in teaching that “Even hell will not continue forever”.