Mormonism teaches that they are the true Church of Jesus Christ. Should the Latter Day Saints be considered a part of Christianity? Are their teachings consistent with biblical Christianity? This tract reveals where the Mormon Church deviates from biblical teaching in four key areas: The doctrine of God, Jesus Christ, nature of Man, and salvation. We hope that after reading this chart, you will understand the major differences and how Mormonism is incompatible with biblical Christianity.

Doctrine of God

Attribute

Mormonism

Christianity

Mormonism: Teaches that a plurality of gods exist or Polytheism

Bible: Teaches Monotheism that there is only one God.

“… a plurality of Gods exist… there is an infinite number of holy personages, drawn from worlds without number, who have passed on to exaltation and are thus gods.” (Mormon Doctrine p. 576-577) According to that which was ordained in the midst of the council of the Eternal God of all other gods before this world was… (Doctrine and Covenants 121:32)

And they (the Gods) said: let there be light and there was light. And they (the Gods) said, … (Uses the term Gods, over 50 times in chapters 4-5 of Book of Abraham in The Pearl of Great Price.)

This is what the LORD says–Israel’s King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the first and I am the last; apart from me there is no God. Isaiah 44:6 Do not tremble, do not be afraid. Did I not proclaim this and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses. Is there any God besides me? No, there is no other Rock; I know not one.” Isaiah 44:8
Mormonism: Teaches that among the many gods in the universe, three gods compose the godhead of this earth – Tritheism

Bible: Teaches there is one God revealed in three distinct persons – Trinity

“There are three Gods – the Father, the son and the Holy Ghost. (Mormon Doctrine p. 317) Father, Son, and Holy Ghost comprise the Godhead. As each of these persons is a God… a plurality of Gods exists.” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 576-577)

Many men say there is one God; the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are only one God. I say that is a strange God anyhow – three in one and one in three. (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 372)

“Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” Deuteronomy 6:4 (Trinitarian formula) May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, … Matthew 28:20

Mormonism: God was once a man.

Bible: God has been God eternally

“God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens! … We have imagined and supposed that God was God from all eternity. I will refute that idea, and take away the veil, so that you may see. . . . he was once a man like us, yea that God himself, the Father of us all dwelt on an earth, …” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345) “He (God) lives in another world; he is in another state of existence; he has passed the ordeals we are now passing through; he has received an experience, has suffered and enjoyed, and knows all that we know regarding the toils sufferings, life and death of this mortality, for he has passed through the whole of it, and has received his crown and exaltation…” (Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, p. 30) “Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.” Psalm 90:2“Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Timothy 1:17

“You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. Isaiah 43:10

Mormonism: God is progressing.

Bible: God is perfect and does not change in nature.

“God himself is increasing and progressing in knowledge, power and dominion, and will do so worlds without end.” (Wilford Woodruff in Journal of Discourses 6:120) “We believe in a God who is Himself progressive, whose majesty is intelligence; whose perfection consists in eternal advancement — a Being who has attained His exalted state by a path which now His children are permitted to follow, whose glory it is their heritage to share.” (Apostle James Talmage, The Article of Faith, SLC: Deseret Book Co., 1987, p. 430) Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. Psalm 90:2 But you remain the same, and your years will never end. Psalm 102:27“I the LORD do not change…” Malachi 3:6

Jude 25 Isaiah 44:6; Revelation1:8; 21:6; 22:13 “Alpha and Omega”

Mormonism: God has a material body.

Bible: God is immaterial spirit.

“The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man‘s; the Son also…” (Doctrine and Covenants 130:22) According to a revelation, however, he is a personal Being, a holy and exalted Man, a glorified resurrected Personage having a tangible body of flesh and bones, an anthropomorphic Entity, the personal Father of the spirits of all men. See D&C 130:22-23, Moses 6:51, 57, Abraham 3:22-24. (Mormon Doctrine p. 250) God is spirit and His worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth… John 4:24.God is not a man that He should lie, nor a son of man that He should change His mind. Numbers 23:19

Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Timothy 1:17

Doctrine of Jesus

Attribute

Mormonism

Christianity

Jesus Created or Eternal?

Mormonism: Jesus is the first spirit child born to a heavenly mother and father.

Bible: Jesus is eternal, He has no beginning.

“Christ, the first born, as the mightiest of all the spirit children of the Father.” (Mormon Doctrine 590). “Christ was begotten by an immortal father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers.” (Mormon Doctrine p. 547) “Among the spirit children of Elohim the firstborn was and is Jehovah or Jesus Christ to whom all others are juniors.” (James Talmage, Articles of Faith p. 425). “And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6 “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1
Jesus and Man

Mormonism: Teaches that Jesus is the brother of mankind.

 

Bible: Teaches Jesus is God incarnate and not man‘s brother

“There is no impropriety, therefore, in speaking of Jesus Christ as the Elder Brother to the rest of human kind. That He is by spiritual birth Brother to the rest of us is indicated in Hebrews:…” (James Talmage, Articles of Faith, p. 426) Every person who was ever born on earth was our spirit brother or sister in heaven. The first spirit born to our heavenly parents was Jesus Christ [Doctrine and Covenants 93:21] so he is literally our elder brother. (Gospel Principles p. 11) “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1″I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.” Revelation 1:8
Jesus and Satan

Mormonism: Teaches that Jesus and Satan are spirit brothers.

Bible: Teaches Jesus created all things, even the angels.

“We needed a Savior to pay for our sins and teach us how to return to our Heavenly Father. Our Father said, “Whom shall I send?” (Abraham 3:27) Two of our brothers offered to help. Our oldest brother, Jesus Christ, who was then called Jehovah, said, “Here am I, send me.” [Abraham 3:27] Satan, who was called Lucifer, also came, saying, “Behold here am I, send me…” [Moses 4:1] Gospel Principles p. 17-18“[The Father asked,] ‘Who will redeem the earth, who will go forth and make the sacrifice for the earth and all things it contains?‘ The Eldest Son said: ‘Here am I‘; and then he added ‘Send me.‘ But the second one, which was Lucifer, Son of the Morning said, ‘Lord, here am I, send me,‘” [see Abraham 3:23-28, Moses 4:1-4]. Teachings of the Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young, p. 51) “For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:15-17
Virgin Birth

Mormonism: Teaches that God the Father took on a body of flesh and had physical relations with Mary to produce the physical body of Jesus.

Bible: Teaches the Holy Spirit came upon Mary.

“Thus God the Father became the literal father of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only person on earth to be born of a mortal mother and immortal father.” (Gospel Principles, p. 64) “Christ was begotten by an immortal Father in the same way that mortal men are begotten by mortal fathers.” (Mormon Doctrine, 547) “The birth of the Savior was as natural as are the births of our children: it was the result of natural action. He partook of flesh and blood – was begotten of the Father, as we were of our fathers.” (Brigham Young in Watt ed., Journal of Discourses, 8:115) “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel.” Matthew 1:23 “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” Luke 1:35
Nature of Man

Attribute

Mormonism

Christianity

Man and Godhood

Mormonism: Teaches that man can attain godhood

Bible: Teaches that there is and will always be, only one God.

“Then they shall be gods, because they have no end…Then they shall be Gods because they have all power, and the angels are subject to them. (Doctrine and Covenants 132:20) “That exaltation which the saints of all ages have so devoutly sought godhood itself. (Mormon Doctrine p. 321)

“Man and God are of the same race, and it is within the power of righteous man to become like his Father, that is to become a holy Man, a Man of Holiness.” (Mormon Doctrine, p. 465-466).

“Here then, is eternal life–to know the only wise and true God; and you have got to learn how to be gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all gods have done before you. . . .” (Joseph Smith, Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 345-347. Also quoted in McConkie, 321).

“Because we are the spiritual children of our heavenly parents, we have inherited the potential to develop their divine qualities. If we choose to do so, we can become perfect, just as they are.‖ (Gospel Principles p. 11)

thus says the Lord… besides me there is no God.” Isaiah 44:6 You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. Isaiah 43:10
Man’s Preexistence

Mormonism: Teaches that all men were spirit children of the heavenly parents before their earthly existence.

Bible: Teaches that all people come to being at conception in the womb.

“We existed in premortal life as spirit children of God.‖ (Gospel Principles, p. 108). “All men and women are … literally the sons and daughters of Deity…. Man, as a spirit, was begotten and born of heavenly parents, and reared to maturity in the eternal mansions of the Father prior to coming upon the earth in a temporal (physical) body. (Joseph Smith, “The Origin of Man,” Improvement Era, Nov. 1909, p. 78, 80). Quoted in Gospel Principles, p. 11.

“Man as spirit was begotten and born of heavenly parents, and reared to maturity in the eternal mansions of the Father, that man is the offspring of celestial parentage and that all men and women are in the similitude of the universal father and mother, and are literally the sons and daughters of deity.” (Man: His Origin and Destiny p. 348-355.)

the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.Genesis 2:7 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. 1 Corinthians 15:45-47
Man: Eternal or a Created Being?

Mormonism: Teaches that man is an eternal being like God.

Bible: Man is a finite being, not an eternal one

“Man was also in the beginning with God. Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be.” (Doctrine and Covenants 93:29) “For man is spirit. The elements are eternal, and spirit and element, inseparably connected, receive a fullness of joy. And when separated, man cannot receive a fullness of joy. The elements are the tabernacle of God; yea, man is the tabernacle of God, …” (Doctrine and Covenants 93:33-35) the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Genesis 2:7 For you created my inmost being, you knit me together in my mother‘s womb.Psalm 139:13
Adam and Eve

Mormonism: The fall was not actually a “sin,” it was a blessing that made progression to godhood possible for man.

Bible: Sin and death entered through the fall and made us objects of God‘s wrath.

“They have long been taught that Adam and Ever were great transgressors, and have mourned over the fact that they partook of the forbidden fruit and brought death into the world. … We, the children of Adam, have no right to bring accusations against the patriarch of the race. But rather, we should rejoice with them, that through their fall and atonement of Jesus Christ, the way of eternal life has been opened up to us.” (James Talmage, Articles of Faith, p. 429) “Some people believe Adam and Eve committed a serious sin when they ate of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. However, latter-day scriptures help us understand that their fall was a necessary step in the plan of life and a great blessing to all of us.” (Gospel Principles, p. 33) As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. Ephesians 2:1-3
Doctrine of Salvation

Attribute

Mormonism

Christianity

Salvation by works or faith alone?

Mormonism: Presents a two sided definition of salvation.

“Salvation by grace” refers to resurrection from the dead, which all humans will receive.

“Individual Salvation” or exaltation to godhood goes beyond mere resurrection and requires works.

Bible: Teaches salvation is by grace through faith. We cannot earn it, we can only receive God‘s gift given by His Son

“Salvation in its true and full meaning is synonymous with exaltation or eternal life and consists in gaining inheritance in the highest of the three heavens with the celestial kingdom… Salvation in the celestial kingdom of God, however, is not salvation by grace alone. Rather, it is salvation by grace coupled with obedience to the laws and ordinances of the gospel.” (Bruce McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 670-671) “Men will stand before me (Jesus) to be judged of their works, whether they be good or whether they be evil- … That they may be judged according to their works…. Verily verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do;…” (3 Nephi 27:14-17, 21-22)

“…for we know that it is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do.” (2 Nephi 25:23)

“If you keep not my commandments you cannot be saved in the kingdom of my Father.” (Doctrine and Covenants 18:46)

“By believing in the truths of salvation, repenting of his sins, and being baptized in water and Spirit, the seeker after salvation places himself on the strait and narrow path which leads to eternal life. Thereafter his progress upward is achieved by the performance of good works.” (Mormon Doctrine 328)

“Full salvation is attained by virtue of knowledge, truth, righteousness, and all the true principles. Many conditions must exist in order to make salvation available to men. (Mormon Doctrine p. 670)

“One of the most fallacious doctrines originated by Satan and propounded by man is that man is saved alone by the grace of God; that belief in Jesus Christ alone is all that is needed for salvation.” (Spencer Kimball, The Miracle of Forgiveness, p. 206)

“Will everyone be damned except the Latter-day Saints? Yes,” said Joseph, “and many of them unless they take a different course from what they are now taking.” Who will be saved in the celestial kingdom,, and go into the presence of the Father and Son? Those who observe the whole law, who keep the commandments of God – those who walk in newness of life, observe all his precepts and do his will.”  (Bringham Young, Journal of Discourses, 14:133)

“…a most pernicious doctrine – that of justification by belief alone.” (James Talmage, Articles of Faith, p. 97)

I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. John 5:24 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith–and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast. Ephesians 2:8-9

For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law. Romans 3:28

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Romans 5:1-2

Key Authors Cited

Presidents of the Mormon Church

Joseph Smith – Founder of the Mormon Church (1825-1844)
Bringham Young – 1844-1877
John Taylor – 1877-1887
Wilford Woodruff – 1887-1898
Lorenzo Snow – 1898-1901
Joseph F. Smith – 1901-1918
J. Grant—1918–1945
George Albert Smith—1945–1951
David O. McKay—1951–70
Joseph Fielding Smith—1970–1972
Harold B. Lee—1972–1973
Spencer W. Kimball—1973–85
Ezra Taft Benson—1985–1994
Howard W. Hunter—1994–1995
Gordon B. Hinckley—1995–present
Bruce McConkie – Theologian and Apologist of the Mormon Church
Stephen Robinson – Theologian and Apologist of the Mormon Church
James Talmage – Served as a member of the quorum of 12 Apostles (1911-1933)

Key Works Cited

The ―inspired books‖ of Mormonism: Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price. Gospel Principles. Salt Lake City, UT: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1992. Presents a general overview of LDS belief system

The Journal of Discourses
A 26 volume compilation of LDS presidents and apostles sermons, covering about 35 years. There were several men who were officially assigned by the LDS Church to record the talks. McConkie, Bruce. Mormon Doctrine, Salt Lake: Bookcraft, 1991.

Theological Dictionary of the Mormon Church
Smith, Joseph Fielding ed. The Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1976.

A collection of sermons and writings of Joseph Smith published in the days of his ministry. Talmage, James. The Articles of Faith. Salt Lake: Deseret Book Company, 1984. One of the best known theological works of the Mormon Church.