A bank teller is trained to detect a counterfeit bill from a real bill. To the untrained eye and hand, this can be a difficult task. For the bank teller, simply feeling a counterfeit bill may bring about a realization of its actual lack of value. The bank teller is trained, and he is used to dealing with this sort of thing. However, for the average Joe, this is not the case, and he may find himself duped.
When it comes to the Mormon belief system, we find a religious cult that hides under the banner of Christianity, but it is not truly Christian. Mormonism is a cult because it is a minority and has deviated from the historical teachings of Christianity.
The history of the Mormons alone should produce red flags for seekers of truth. Nevertheless, even the teachings themselves are not Christian, for they deviate from essential matters of the faith.
History of Mormonism
The Mormons were started by a man named Joseph Smith who lived in the 1800s – the man who is said to be their founding prophet. As the story goes, a time came in this man’s life when he looked out at the different Christian churches and didn’t know which one to pick. He saw the Baptists, the Presbyterians, the Methodists, etc. This brought about a sense of confusion in the heart of Joseph Smith. He then went out into an orchard and prayed to God. He asked for wisdom on this matter according to James 1:5. Smith sought the Lord and asked God which church/denomination to choose.
At this point, as the story goes, God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him in the orchard. They told him that none of the churches were the true church. Rather, he needed to start a new one. So Smith went out, and he began to write the first book of the Mormon Bible. He gained a following, and his people started a colony.
In this colony, a traveling salesman of Egyptian artifacts journeyed through. One of the items the man was selling was Egyptian hieroglyphics. Smith convinced his people that he had to have the hieroglyphics because they were sacred Scripture. The people gathered enough money together and purchased the item.
Smith retreated to his home with his hieroglyphics, and after some time, he came and informed his people that it was the lost book of Abraham and he had translated it into English. The people were amazed and found another reason to follow their prophet.
While translating Egyptian hieroglyphics was an unknown art during Smith’s time in America, the code was being cracked overseas. The Rosetta Stone was found around the same time, which is the key that unlocked the mystery behind Egyptian hieroglyphics. On the Rosetta stone, there are three different languages, one on top of the other – one of which was Egyptian hieroglyphics. Each portion of writing that was written in one language said the same thing as what was written in a different language.
On the stone were two known languages (Greek and a known Egyptian language). Therefore, this portion of the stone could be read easily, and it was also observed that these two portions said the same thing. However, there was a portion of the stone that could not be read: Egyptian hieroglyphics. Nevertheless, when the interpreters placed the two known languages against the unknown language of the hieroglyphics, they were then able to read what it said.
The documents that Smith used to write the book of Abraham have been preserved. However, Egyptologists have looked at them and say that what is recorded in the Mormon book of Abraham is not what the hieroglyphics really say. Smith did not have the ability to decode the hieroglyphics. Rather, he has led many people astray.
The question then arises: In what ways has Smith led people astray from the truth?
Differing beliefs of the Mormons
• The Christian believes:
- God has always existed throughout all eternity and has always been God.
- Jesus has always been God and was not a created being.
- The Holy Spirit is God and has always been God.
- The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three persons in one God.
- Man will never be God but will always be less than God.
- The 66 books of the Bible are the inspired Word of God.
- Salvation is by grace through faith.
- Jesus and Satan are not related, but rather the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit created Satan in the beginning as a worshipping angel.
- The gates of hell will not prevail against God’s church. There has always been a remnant of God’s church even in times of great trials.
• The Mormon believes:
- Prior to the Father being God over this creation, he used to be a man in a different life. He lived a good life and in the end was rewarded and given this creation/planet. All of his creation is his spiritual offspring.
- Jesus was not always God, but rather Jesus was born of the Father and is God’s offspring.
- The Holy Spirit has not always been God.
- The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are three different Gods rather than one God.
- There are many Gods in the world. Millions, maybe billions. If a man lives a good life and abides by the teachings of Mormonism, then he too can become a God. Just like the Father became a God, so can a man who lives a good life.
- There a number of books that Joseph Smith wrote that Mormons would say are their inspired writings. When it comes to the Bible, Mormons only read from the KJV. But when one of the Mormon books contradicts something in the KJV, the Mormons side with Smith’s revelations.
- Salvation comes by grace after all that a person is able to do. In other words, if you do your best, then grace will meet you there. It is a “Jesus plus” belief system (Jesus plus works).
- Jesus and Satan are brothers, both offspring of the Father.
- After the time of the apostles, the church of God fell into an apostate state. This means that, according to Mormonism, the entire church of God turned their backs on God. Restoration of this state of apostasy came when Smith restored the true church of God.
What do I do now?
With all of this information, it is easy to see that the Mormon believes a lot of different things about God and the Bible. They do not have the same beliefs on core matters as a Baptist or Pentecostal would, for example. A number of denominations, despite some differences, are still a part of the body of Christ and the true church. However, this is not true of Mormonism.
Mormons believe in a different Father, a different Jesus, a different Holy Spirit, and a different Gospel. This will not do as a safe path of travel to the Celestial City. Paul speaks to the Corinthian church in 2 Corinthians 11 about foolishness and the ways that Satan deceived Eve through his cunning practices. He speaks of the way this serpent leads people’s thoughts away from Christ and pure devotion to Him. Paul then tells us how this takes place: “For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might bear with him” (2 Cor. 11:4). Paul speaks of those who are easily swayed when he tells them that, “ye bear with them”.
Mormons preach and teach a different Jesus, a different Holy Spirit, and a different Gospel, just as Paul warns us will take place.
Be on guard, and be ready to defend your faith. Hold fast to the Word of God, and share the Gospel with Mormons. Love them, and let the light of Christ shine while you point them to salvation that is by grace alone.
Father, I pray that You would help me to love others. Help me to share the Gospel with those around me. Help me to know the truth of Your Word. In Jesus’ name, Amen.