MORMONISM (LATTER DAY SAINTS)
At a Glance: Mormonism is a cultic religion that places self-proclaimed prophets such as Joseph Smith above Christ and above the Bible. The Book of Mormon, though full of errors, Biblical contradictions, and historical inaccuracies, is considered by Mormon leaders as equal with or more important than the Bible, as are revelations from modern day prophets. As such, the Mormon faith, riddled with contradictions and an ever-evolving doctrinal foundation, is an incubator for zeal without knowledge.
Key Literature: For a complete look at Mormonism read our tract: Bible vs. Mormonism (PDF). The following are excerpts from this work.
LIE #1: YOU MUST WORK FOR SALVATION
Mormon doctrine teaches (Articles of Faith 1:3) that mankind is saved “by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.”
To understand how the quote above is interpreted by most Mormons, one must understand that Mormons believe in two different salvations. The first salvation, which is often referred to as “general salvation,” is the salvation which Mormons believe all men receive by grace alone, however, this salvation only means that the dead are resurrected.
"All men are saved by grace alone without any act on their part, meaning they are resurrected" (Bruce McConkie, What Mormons Think of Christ, LDS tract, pg. 28).
The second Mormon salvation, commonly called “individual salvation” or “exaltation,” is what allegedly establishes an individual’s home in heaven and this salvation is based on works. Such works include water baptism and membership in a Mormon church, good deeds, temple rituals, etc.
Spencer W. Kimball, who was the Mormon prophet from 1973 to 1985, made the following comment: "living all the commandments guarantees total forgiveness of sins and assures one of exaltation...trying is not sufficient. Nor is repentence when one merely tries to abandon sin" (The Miracle of Forgiveness, pg. 164-165, 354-355).
“And, if you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God.” (Mormon Doctrines and Covenants, 14:7)
Joseph Fielding Smith, prophet from 1970-1972, wrote: "In order to obtain the exaltation we must accept the gospel and all its covenants; and take upon us the obligations which the Lord has offered; and walk in the light and understanding of the truth; and 'live by every word that proceedeth forth from the mouth of God' " (Doctrines of Salvation, 2:43).
This belief is in direct contradiction to the Bible which teaches that salvation by grace through faith alone is what grants individuals forgiveness of sins, eternal life, and a home in heaven. Furthermore, any man who is trusting in his obedience to the law or in works for salvation is not truly born again.
Eph. 2:8-9 "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."
Gal. 2:21 "I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain."
Romans 3:24-28 "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law."
John 3:15 "That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life."
Isaiah 64:6 "But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags…"
According to the Bible, the very best actions that man can do are nothing more than dirty rags in the eyes of God in respect to salvation. Faith is the requirement for eternal salvation, not the following of laws and the performing of works as Mormonism teaches.
LIE #2: WATER BAPTISM WASHES SINS AWAY AND BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD IS BIBLICAL
Mormon scriptures and prophets teach baptism by immersion for the remission of sins (Articles of Faith 1:4). The Bible, however, is quite clear that only through faith in the blood of Christ comes remission of sin and that there is no physical act or work that can take away sin. Only the spiritual baptism of the Holy Ghost, that comes at t
Col. 1:14 “In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”
Eph. 2:8-9 "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."
Heb. 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
According to the Bible, we are saved by faith, and faith involves things that cannot be seen. How then could being baptized have anything to do with salvation? You can see a baptismal pool.
The apostle Peter explains to us in the verse below that water baptism does NOT put away the filth of the flesh, so Mormons are in complete contradiction with the Bible to state that water baptism is for the remission of sins.
I Pet. 3:21 "The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ:"
The thief on the cross received salvation simply by believing that he was a sinner worthy of punishment and that Jesus Christ was the perfect son of God. He was not baptized by water, yet received salvation anyway.
Hebrews 9:22 “…without shedding of blood is no remission.”
Only belief in what Christ did on the cross is required for the remission of sins.
Mormons often cling to John 3:5 “…Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit” as proof that water baptism is needed for salvation. This belief is absurd when the verse is read in context. The water birth spoken of in this chapter is clearly speaking of the actual birth of a person into this world. Jesus is teaching that people must be born twice, once from the mother’s womb and the other of the spiritual nature.
Baptism for the dead?
Mormons believe that only those who are baptized by Mormon authorities receive salvation. However, to compensate for the fact that this belief sounds pretty narrow and exclusive, Joseph Smith contended that baptism by proxy, or baptism for the dead, could grant salvation to friends and relatives who were already deceased.
The Bible, in all of its 66 books, references the term baptizing for the dead only once, yet this is a major doctrine of the Mormon Church. In, I Cor. 15:29, Paul uses this phrase only in the context of making the point that there is no use to take the place and join the cause of martyred Christians if there is no resurrection of the dead (I Cor. 15:13).
The Bible is quite clear that as soon as a person dies they go immediately to heaven or hell. There is no in-between location where people can wait for some brainwashed Mormon to be baptized in their name.
Luke 16:22b-23 "...the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments..."
When the rich man died he went straight to hell. Note: this passage in Luke 16 cannot be speaking of a parable because none of the parables of Jesus ever reference actual people, yet this passage mentions three (Abraham, Lazarus, and Moses).
Hebrews 9:27 "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:"
II Cor. 5:8 "We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord."
Furthermore, if all that is needed for non-believing friends and relatives to receive eternal life is for someone to be baptized in their name, then the need for individuals to have the personal faith and belief in Christ talked about in the Bible is pointless.
John 3:14-16 “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
The Bible does not say whosoever is baptized for shall have everlasting life, it says whosoever believes.
LIE #3: HELL IS NOT A PLACE OF ACTUAL FIRE AND ETERNAL PAIN.
Mormonism teaches that hell is a place of temporary suffering and guilt. Furthermore, most Mormons believe that hell is not a place of literal fire and physical pain (despite what Luke 16 teaches). Both of these beliefs are in opposition to the Bible.
Rev. 20:15 "And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
Matthew 25:41 "Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels"
Psalm 9:17 "The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God."
Mark. 9:43 "And if thy hand offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter into life maimed, than having two hands to go into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:"
Rev. 20:10 "And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever."
LIE #4: GOD THE FATHER HAS FLESH AND BONES AND HAD PHYSICAL RELATIONS WITH MARY
“The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man's” (Mormon Doctrine and Covenants 130:22)
Another mainstream Mormon doctrine is that God the Father has a body of flesh and bones. This belief does not line up with what the Bible teaches.
John 4:24 “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.”
And what is a spirit according to the Bible?
Luke 24:39 “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.”
Interestingly enough, Mormon scriptures contradict each other on this topic as the Book of Mormon in Alma 18:2-5, 24-28, and 22:9-11 declares God is a spirit.
Furthermore, it is clear that God the father could never have been a human that turned into a spirit because the Bible states that God has never changed. Yet, despite what the Bible says, there are numerous quotes by Mormon leaders explaining how God is an exalted man.
This quote is from Joseph Smith:
"God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted Man, and sits enthroned in yonder heavens. That is the great secret... It is the first principle of the Gospel to know for a certainty the character of God and to know...that he was once a man like us. Here, then, is eternal life--to know that only wise and true God, and you have got to learn how to become Gods yourselves, and to be kings and priests to God, the same as all Gods have done before you. .. God himself, the father of us all dwelt on an earth the same as Jesus Christ." (Journal of Discourses 6:3-4)
Along with Joseph Smith, the prophets and apostles Orson Pratt, Brigham Young, and Bruce McConkie, also taught that God the father was once a mere man like you and I. Today many Mormon leaders attempt to deny the teachings of past prophets on this matter, but their attempts are futile because of the plethora of quotes available. There is no getting around it, Mormons have taught that God was once a man—which completely contradicts what the Bible says. To believe in Mormonism one must choose to believe the prophets or the Bible because it is clearly impossible to believe both.
Psalms 90:2 “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.”
Rev. 22:13 “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.”
Malachi 3:6 “For I am the LORD, I change not…”
God the Father actually had sex with Mary?
Although most Mormons attempt to deny this as a church doctrine, it is well documented that Brigham Young, who served as the prophet from 1947 to 1977 and is revered as the second most important figure in Church history, taught God the Father had sexual relations with Mary.
Here are a couple of Young’s blasphemous quotes:
"When the time came that His first-born, the Saviour, should come into the world and take a tabernacle, the Father came Himself and favoured that spirit with a tabernacle instead of letting any other man do it," (Journal of Discourses, vol. 4, pg. 218).
"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 his Father, as we were of our fathers." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 8, pg. 115)
The Bible in Matthew chapter one twice states that Mary’s unborn child was of the Holy Ghost. Young completely denied this:
"I have given you a few leading items upon this subject, but a great deal more remains to be told. Now, remember from this time forth, and for ever, that Jesus Christ was not begotten by the Holy Ghost." (Journal of Discourses, vol. 1, pg. 51)
The definition of a prophet includes inerrancy. A prophet cannot be wrong even once or he is more of a guesser than a prophet. For Mormons to say that Brigham Young was just wrong in this point is to say that Young was not a prophet at all—this would be a definite blow to Mormonism, however, considering Young’s influence on the church.
LIE #5: THERE ARE MULTIPLE GODS
Another mainstream Mormon doctrine which contradicts the Bible is the teaching of multiple gods. In fact, Mormon doctrine teaches that humans can become gods as well, and Brigham Young taught that to become a god is the purpose for which God the Father created us.
In Joseph Smith’s Pearl of Great Price, the book of Abraham uses the term “Gods” over 40 times, and teaches us in chapter 4 that “Gods” created the earth.
Joseph Smith also said the following:
"The doctrine of a plurality of Gods is prominent in the Bible. The heads of the Gods appointed our God for us..." (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 372).
And the Mormon apostle Orson Pratt added, "there are more gods than there are particles of matter" (Journal of Discourses, vol.2, pg. 345).
This is another example of a Mormon doctrine blatantly contradicting the Bible.
I Tim. 2:5 "For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;"
Eph. 4:5-6 "One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all…"
Deut. 4:35 “Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the LORD he is God; there is none else beside him.”
Isaiah 46:9 “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,”
And no… It is impossible for humans to become gods according to the Bible.
Isaiah 43:10 “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.”
Oddly enough, even the Book of Mormon contradicts the Mormon belief that there are multiple gods.
Alma 11:28-31 “Now Zeezrom said: Is there more than one God? And he answered, No. Now Zeezrom said unto him again: How knowest thou these things? And he said: An angel hath made them known unto me”
LIE #6: THE TRINITY AS TAUGHT IN I JOHN 5:7 DOESN'T EXIST
I John 5:7 “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”
This verse is probably one of the most misquoted verses in the history of the Bible. Mormons cannot help but finish the verse as “these three are one… in purpose.” The Bible does not say “in purpose” though, and to add these words is unbiblical. Mormons do this as a means to negate the fact that the Bible teaches that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are the composition of one God. Admittedly, this is a difficult concept for the human brain to grasp, yet this is no reason for Mormons to go against what the Bible says.
"I have always declared God to be a distinct personage, Jesus Christ a separate and distinct personage from God the Father, and the Holy Ghost was a distinct personage and a Spirit: and these three constitute three distinct personages and three Gods" (Teachings of Prophet Joseph Smith, pg. 370)
The Bible teaches that Jesus Christ and The everlasting Father are one. Here are just four of many verses which prove this:
Isaiah 9:6 "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace."
Col. 2:9 "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily."
John 10:30 "I and my Father are one."
Matthew 1:13 "Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us."
The very fact that Jesus is called God should be enough to convince Mormons of the Trinity because the Bible clearly states “there is one God” in I Tim. 2:5.
LIE #7: SOME PEOPLE WILL REMAIN MARRIED TO EACH OTHER IN HEAVEN
While many Mormon doctrines seem to come and go and evolve with time and as needed, one teaching that has remained constant from the founding of the church until today is that a man and woman who are married in the temple can be married to one another for eternity. The Bible explicitly contradicts this claim.
Matthew 22:30 “For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.”
Mark 12:25 “For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven.”
Luke 20:34-35 “And Jesus answering said unto them, The children of this world marry, and are given in marriage: But they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry, nor are given in marriage:”
Read More: Bible vs. Mormonism (PDF)