This is a short overview of the Mormon religion. It would take a large book to cover some of the things of Mormonism so we will touch on some of the basics in this short article. This religion was established by Joseph Smith who called himself a prophet. Joseph was a member of the Masonic lodge, his mother, Lucy, was into occult practices, and his Father Joseph, Sr. was a treasure hunter.
Joseph claimed he was visited by an angel name Moroni in 1823 and told Joseph about the book of golden plates which contained the fulness of the everlasting Gospel. It was supposedly buried at Cumorah Hill near Palmyra, New York 1400 years earlier by a man named Mormon. In 1827 Joseph supposedly dug up the plates along with a pair of spectacles which he called the Urim and Thummin. These were used for translating the hieroglyphics on the plates. Joseph translated the plates and then published the Book of Mormon in 1830. Then Joseph, his wife, his brothers Hyrum and Samuel, with Oliver Cowdery, a friend of Joseph, established the “Church of Jesus Christ", which today is Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints.
Joseph had over 25 wives at this time and they left New York and finally moved to Missouri. The governor there ran them out of the state and they moved to Nauvoo, Illinois. Then in 1844 Joseph and Hyrum were thrown in jail and a mob stormed the jail murdering both. The church now split with the Smith family going to Independence, MO and began the "Recognized Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints." The majority of the members followed Brigham Young and settled in Salt Lake City, Utah. Most of the ministry of Young was dodging the law so he could continue his practice of polygamy. When he died in 1877 he had seventeen wives and fifty six children.
The administration of the church today is by the "General Authorities". These consist of the First Presidence, the Counsel of Twelve Apostles, the First Quorum of the seventy and its presidence, the Presiding Bisyhop and the Patriarch of the Church. Mormon males that are over twelve years of age are divided into priesthoods. There is the lesser priesthood which is the Aaronic Order and the higher order called the Melchizedek Order.
The Bible gives us a warning not to add to the Word of God, Revelation 22:18. The Book of Mormon adds to the Word of God. However, the Mormons say the Book of Mormon is predicted in the Bible and the 8th Article of Faith of the Mormon Church says, "We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly . . ." Mormons use John 10:16 which says that Jesus said he has other sheep that are not of this fold. Then Matthew 15:24 says Jesus was not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then they claim that the other sheep was realized by the appearance of Christ, after His death, to the Nephites in the Book of Mormon. Nephites are a people the Mormons say lived on the American continent when Christ was on earth and afterward. We need to remember that the church was not in existence at the time Christ gave these words. The true meaning is that the other sheep are the Gentiles. At that time there were the Jews, or Israel, and all people of the other nations, called Gentiles. When the church was instituted, Paul was sent to the Jews and to the Gentiles. Today we have the Jewish people, the Gentile people, and the people of the church. The church includes all Jews that that have trusted Christ as their savior, and all Gentiles that have accepted Christ as their savior. Together these Jews and Gentiles in the church are one in Christ, Galatians 3:28.
Joseph Smith was a 33rd degree Mason, a member of the elite inner group, and carried many of the Masonic lodge beliefs, signs and symbols over into the Mormon Church. For more information on the Masonic lodge see our article on Freemasonry. This is why Freemasons are comfortable with the Mormon Chruch. It is said that the Southern Baptist Convention churches have 36 percent of their members as also being members of the Masonic lodge. This explains why many members of the Baptist churches in this convention leave and become Mormons.
Mormons teach the diety of man, that man can become God. In addition they teach that God was at one time a man. Was God really a man at one time? The Bible teaches that God is a spirit, John 4:24 and Jesus tells us in John 1:18 that no man has seen God. Genesis states that God existed in the beginning which means before man was created, Genesis 1:1. The Bible tells us that God is not a man in Numbers 23:19. One might now say that even so God could have at one time been a man. This can not be because Malachi tells us that God does not change, Malachi 3:6. One may see God in a theophany or anthropomorphism but His inner essence or nature is disclosed only in Jesus, 1 Timothy 1:17; Hebrews 11:27 .
Mormons deny the diety of Jesus, that He is God. This contradicts God's Word, the Bible. Mormons teach that Jesus was simply a man, the spirit brother of Satan, who was exalted. The Bible teaches that Jesus was God. Look at the following:
One might also note that they teach that there is no trinity. Jesus is not God but is a created spirit being, the brother of Satan. Mormonism teaches there are three separate Gods: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. They teach that these three are separate individuals that are physically distinct from each other.
From the above it should be clear that the Bible teaches a Trinity and that the teaching of the Mormon Church is false.
Mormons believe that our salvation is based on good works, baptism, good deeds, and missionary work. It is further stated in "The Articles of Faith" that justification by faith in Jesus Christ is a pernicious doctrine and has been an influence for evil. The Bible says that we are saved by grace through faith and not of works so no one can boast, Ephesians 2:8-9, which is exactly opposite of the Mormon belief. Jesus came into the world for the purpose of saving sinners, 1 Timothy 1:15. Paul says in Romans 4:5 that those who do not work but believe on Jesus their faith is counted for righteousness.
We work, for one reason, because of what Christ did for us and to do the work He has called us to do. However, we must not forget the next verse after Ephesians 2:8-9, verse 10, tells us that we were created to do good works. We do not have to work for salvation. One example is that of Abraham who it is said many times that he believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness, Romans 4:3; Galatians 3:6; James 2:23.
In 2 Corinthians 11:3-5 we are warned of those who would teach a different Christ. The Mormon Christ is not the same Christ as the Christ in the Bible. The Bible teaches that Jesus was born of a virgin, who was overshadowed by the Holy Spirit. Mormons teach that Jesus Christ is a created being and the brother of Lucifer or Satan. Speaking of Jesus Acts 4:12 says that there is no other name given under heaven whereby men must be saved. Then Jesus speaking in John 14:6 tells us that He is the way, the truth, and the life and that no one comes to the Father but by Him. Jesus is the only way to salvation. For more detailed information on the way of salvation see our article The New Birth and then the Doctrine of Imputation.
Mormons believe that hell is a temporary place for those who are disobedient in this life. Hell does have an end. The spirits in hell will be taught the gospel and sometime following their repentance they will be resurrected to whatever glory they are worthy of. If they fail to repent they will remain in hell throughout the Millennium and after that they will be resurrected to a telestial glory. Hell is also a permanent location for those who are not redeemed by the atonement of Jesus Christ. This is where Satan, his angels, and the sons of perdition will be forever. This is a teaching that is not found in God's Word. For a study of what happens when we die see our article What Happens at Death and be sure to read the entire article.
This is by no means a comprehensive study of the subject matter. If you should have further questions, please contact us throught the e-mail address provided on this site.