What is Mormonism?
Have you ever had those guys on bicycles come to your door wearing white shirts and dark pants? Have they ever engaged you in your beliefs and tried to share their teachings and beliefs on The Church of the Latter Day Saints? Were you able to have a good conversation with them and point out some differences between Mormons and Christians? Hopefully, this post will help equip you with some basic things to share with Mormons.
Mormonism began when a young Joseph Smith claimed to have encountered God and Jesus in the wilderness and was given the “First Vision.” This vision claimed that the Christianity of Joseph’s time was corrupt and that the Lord was revealing to him the true religion. Later, Smith was visited by an angel named Moroni who gifted Smith with golden plates of which he was only able to read and translate. The Book of Mormon was first published in 1830 and the hub-church is located in Salt Lake City, Utah. The main texts of the Mormons are the Bible, The Book of Mormon, and The Pearl of Great Price.
God the Father was once a man but progressed to godhood. He has a physical body, as does his wife (The Heavenly Mother). There is not belief in the Trinity as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are considered three separate gods. Worthy members will one day become “exalted” to godhood themselves.
Responses: Genesis 1:1, John 1, Revelation 1:8
Jesus was created as a spirit child by the father and mother in heaven and is the elder brother of all men and spirit beings, including Lucifer (Satan). Mormons deny the virgin birth and believe Jesus was also married. Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross does not provide full atonement for all sin but does provide all people with resurrection.
Responses: Isaiah 7:14, John 3:16-17, 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, 1 Peter 3:18, 1 John 2:2
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is viewed as an influence or an electricity-like emanation from God.
Responses: Matthew 28:19, Romans 8:26, Titus 3:6
People are resurrected by grace but saved (exalted to godhood) by works including faithfulness to church members, Mormon baptism, tithing, ordination, marriage, and secret temple rituals. No eternal life without Mormon membership.
Responses: John 3:16, Ephesians 2:8-9
Eventually, nearly everyone goes to one of three separate heavenly kingdoms with some achieving godhood while others such as murderers and apostates go to the “outer darkness.”
Responses: Matthew 25:46
Other Beliefs of Mormons
Secret temple endowment rituals and celestial marriage are available only to members on good standing. They also have baptisms on behalf of the dead. Their book Word of Wisdom prohibits tobacco, alcohol, and caffeinated drinks. Also, they require a two-year missionary commitment that is encouraged along with tithing and door to door ministries. These are essential.
What the Bible Teaches (Dare2 Share Ministries)
God identified Himself as “I Am” (Exodus 20:2) – meaning He is the self-existent (has no beginning or end) eternal Creator of the universe.
There is one God and yet three Persons (Isaiah 45:5; Deuteronomy 6:4; James 2:19 ).
Jesus is fully God and fully man. He was placed in Mary’s womb by the Holy Spirit of God. It was not by sexual union, but by a supernatural act (Luke 1:35; John 1:1,14, 18; 10:30 ).
Salvation is by faith in Christ on the basis of His death on the cross. Good works have nothing to do with being saved (John 3:16-17, 36; 6:47; Romans 4:1-5; Ephesians 2:8-9; Titus 3:5).
The Bible alone is the word of God. It is without error. It cannot and should not be added to or subtracted from (2 Timothy 3:16-4:4; Revelation 22:18-20).
Those who trust in Christ alone as their only hope of salvation spend eternity in heaven, those who reject Christ spend an eternity in hell (John 5:24-30; Revelation 20:11-15).
Three Important Questions For Mormons (Dare2 Share Ministries)
- What do you mean by “salvation” (If a Mormon tell you that he believes in salvation)
- How do you define Jesus?
- Are you trusting in Christ alone for your salvation?
When talking to a Mormon about their faith, salvation, and Jesus make sure to understand their meaning of those things. Some may say they “have faith” or “believe in Jesus” but try to make them explain themselves. This will help in presenting Biblical truth and witnessing to them.
There are many things to remember when witnessing to Mormons. As Christians, we want to be courteous and respectful when presenting Biblical truth. There will be disagreements between Christians and Mormons for sure. We must present Christ to them in a loving way.
Please see the resources below to gain a better understanding of Mormonism and how to witness to them.
- Mormon and Christianity Comparison Chart- (NAMB)
- Testimony and Research from former Mormons now Believers in Christ- (NAMB)
- Nine Things You Should Know About Mormonism- (The Gospel Coalition)
- Witnessing to Mormons (Christian Research Institute)
- Witnessing to Mormons – What is the key? (Got Questions)
Reasoning from the Scriptures with the Mormons by Ron Rhodes
The Kingdom of the Cults by Walter Martin