But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. (Galatians 1:8-9)
Mormonism, otherwise known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (LDS Church), was founded by Joseph Smith in 1820. The religion is of rather dubious origins. Allegedly in 1823, Joseph Smith was visited by the angel Moroni and told Smith about a book of golden plates containing “the fullness of the everlasting Gospel” (see our lead verse above). Four years later, Smith discovered the golden plates along with a special set of spectacles that allowed him to translate the hieroglyphics into what we now know as The Book of Mormon. Once his translation work was done, he conveniently buried the plates again at an undisclosed location never to be seen again. More could be said about the beginnings of this cult, its founder, and its early history, but my purpose here is to point out some of the fallacious teachings of this false religion.
As I pointed out in my last post, “False Religion,” three characteristics of false religions are: (1) deny or reject the God of the Bible, (2) deny the unique deity of Christ, and (3) reject the Bible as the inerrant, infallible Word of God. The LDS Church is guilty on all three counts.
If one is not paying attention, one might think that Mormons believe in God. However, their concept of God is nothing like the God of the Bible. To be sure, the Bible makes it abundantly clear that there is only one God.
Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD (Deuteronomy 6:4)
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. I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no saviour (Isaiah 43:10-11).
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).
I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me … 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. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else (Isaiah 45:5, 21-22).
The following comes from The Kingdom of the Cults (1985) by Walter Martin. Note how the Mormon concept of “God” is polytheistic, not monotheistic as the God of the Bible.
- “In the beginning, the head of the Gods called a council of the Gods; and they came together and concocted a plan to create the world and people it” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 349).
- “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, …” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 345).
- “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s: the Son also; but the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but is a personage of Spirit…” (Doctrine and Covenants 130:22).
- “Gods exist, and we had better strive to be prepared to be one with them” (Brigham Young, Journal of Discourses, 7. p 238).
- “As man is, God once was: as God is, man may become” (Prophet Lorenzo Snow, quoted in Milton R. Hunter, The Gospel Through the Ages, pp. 105, 106).
- “Each of these God, including Jesus Christ and His Father, being in possession of not merely an organized spirit, but a glorious immortal body of flesh and bones…” (Parley P. Pratt, Key to the Science of Theology, 1965, p. 44). Martin, 202-203.
There are more, but the reader can readily see the pattern here. According to the LDS Church, “God” was once a man who was elevated to godhood, and apparently he is one among other “Gods.” Apparently, man, by following the practices prescribed by the Mormon Church, can also achieve godhood. Note here another principle of false religion: “salvation” is achieved through one’s own efforts, something the Bible rejects. “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9, emphasis added).
The LDS Church also rejects the unique deity of Christ. Note the qualifier “unique.” The Mormons do indeed believe that Jesus Christ is “a God” – one among many others. They also recognize “Elohim” as Jesus’ father, albeit in a “carnal” way, i.e., as from the union of a man and woman. Martin [p. 212] quotes Brigham Young: “When the Virgin Mary conceived the child Jesus, the Father had begotten him in his own likeness. He was not begotten by the Holy Ghost. And who was the Father? He is the first of the human family; and when he took a tabernacle [body], it was begotten by his Father in heaven, after the same manner as the tabernacles of Cain, Abel, and the rest of the sons and daughters of Adam and Eve; from the fruits of the earth, the first earthly tabernacles were originated by the Father, and so on in succession … Jesus, our elder brother was begotten in the flesh by the same character that was in the garden of Eden, and who is our Father in Heaven” (Journal of Discourses, Vol. I, pp. 50 and 51). From the Mormon perspective, the “Father” was Adam who came down from heaven with one of his wives, Eve, and populated the earth. This same “Father” begat Jesus through the Virgin Mary. Even the least studied student of the Bible can see through this fallacy. Not only is Jesus the only begotten Son of God; He is in every way the only God in human form (John 1:1; Philippians 2:5-8; Colossians 2:9; Revelation 4:11).
The LDS Church denies the inerrancy and infallibility of the Bible and elevates The Book of Mormon and other Mormon writings (as quoted above) over the Word of God. Indeed, Joseph Smith said, “…it was apparent that many important points touching the salvation of men, had been taken from the Bible, or lost before it was compiled” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 10, cited at “The Plain Truth About Mormons”). The LDS Church accepts the King James Version of the Bible as “part” of God’s Word “insofar as it is correctly translated,” but in addition to that, they give higher regard to The Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants (Brigham Young), and The Pearl of Great Price. While the Bible has never been scientifically, historically, or archeologically falsified, The Book of Mormon fails miserably on all three counts, and yet the LDS Church reveres The Book of Mormon and their other writings above the Bible. “There is a great wealth of information concerning the material contained in the Book of Mormon and the various plagiarisms, anachronisms, false prophesies and other unfortunate practices connected with it” (Martin, 186). Martin (pp. 186-187) goes on to list a series of corrections made to The Book of Mormon since it was first published in 1830. Martin comments that “…it appears that either God made a mistake when He inspired the record or Joseph [Smith] made a mistake when he translated it. Mormons will admit to neither, so they are stuck, so to speak, with the contradiction” (Martin, 186). Similar allegations have been levied against the Word of God, but none have been proven true. “The record of Scripture [the Bible] rings true. The Book of Mormon, on the other hand, is patently false in far too many places to be considered coincidence” (Martin, 187).
These are only some of the problems with the false religion of Mormonism. For a more complete study, I highly recommend The Kingdom of the Cults by Walter Martin, but here in brief I have shown that Mormonism is a false religion. It denies the God of the Bible. It denies the unique deity of Christ, and it rejects the inerrant, infallible Word of God. In addition, like all other false religions, salvation is dependent on the works of the believer. Mormonism does not even qualify as “Christian” even though “Jesus Christ” is part of their name. Do not be fooled by this false religion. Mormons are very nice people, and they live exemplary and admirable lives; but according to the Bible, they are self-deceived, and they are lost. Treat them accordingly with all due love and respect.