Question from a Site Viewer
I was just wondering if you knew what Mormons teach that is, well, “bad,” so to speak. My friend’s little sister is being taught by some Mormons and I don’t want that to hurt her chances of actually getting saved. Is Mormonism true or false? Do you know of any good websites that speak to this?
Thank you for your question on the teaching of Mormonism. Jesus taught us that there would be wolves that would come into the church in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15-23). The Apostle Paul tells us that even Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light and his servants make themselves to appear to be ministers of righteousness (2 Corinthians 11:13-15). The Apostle John tells us not to believe every spirit, but test the spirits because there are many false prophets in the world (1 John 4:1-3). The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Timothy 4:1-5 that in the latter times there will be deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons. There are many other warnings, including in the book of Galatians, Romans, 2 Peter, Jude, etc., about false teachers. I start with these warnings about the existence of false teachers because Christ teaches His church to watch out for them.
Mormonism arose in the 19th century in America. Before that time, it never existed. The teaching of Mormonism is that the truth was lost, and Joseph Smith restored the truth to the world. However, Jesus told Peter that He would build His church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18). Mormonism would say that the gates of hell prevailed for centuries and Joseph Smith restored the church. Mormonism cannot assert that people throughout the ages believed in Mormonism, because there is no evidence anyone believed in it before Joseph Smith. And in fact, Joseph Smith early on did not believe in Mormonism, but his positions evolved through his life. Thus, his early writings are much closer to historical Christianity than his later writings.
The major problem with Mormonism is its view of God. Mormons view God as a changing person, believing that the Father was once a man but then became a god. However, Scripture teaches the opposite. Moses tells us that from everlasting to everlasting, God has been God (Psalm 90:1-2). He is unchangeable (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8). They believe that men too (but not women) can become gods of their own worlds. Yet, Scripture tells us in the ages to come we will be His people and He will be our God (Revelation 21:3, 7). I find it interesting that Mormonism picks up the very first lie of Satan and adopts it – the lie that we can become like God (Genesis 3:5).
Mormons do not believe that Jesus existed eternally in the past, but that He was the physical offspring of the Heavenly Father. As such, He is separate and distinct from the Father. But Jesus said that there was only one God (Mark 12:29-31), not three. He and the Father, He said, are one (John 10:30). He told His disciples that the one who saw Jesus had seen the Father (John 14:9). The Apostle John tells us that the Word was both with God and was God (John 1:1-2). There is a mystery in the Trinity that the Mormons resolve by believing in many gods. But the Bible, if it affirms one truth, affirms this – there is only one God.
. . . the LORD Himself is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other.
Here, O Israel: The LORD our God, the Lord is one!
I, even I, am He, and there is no God besides Me.
. . . there is no God besides You.
II Samuel 7:22
Isaiah 44:6 Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God
I am the LORD, and there is no other; there is no God besides Me.
And there is no other God besides Me, a just God and a Savior; There is none besides Me. Look to Me , and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other.
Isaiah 45:21, 22
Mormons, in believing that men can become gods just like God, confirm themselves as polytheists in direct opposition to the monotheist viewpoint of Scripture. In this regard, they have more in common with pagans than with Christians.
The Mormons exploit the mystery of the Trinity and try to explain the Trinity as three separate Gods who happen to be in agreement. But, as the above Scriptures repeatedly affirm, it is not that there are several Gods in agreement. There is only ONE God! Thus, Christians are monotheists. Yet, these same Scriptures taught that there was a complexity within the one God (Genesis 1:26; 3:22; 11:7; Isaiah 6:8; 48:16; Zechariah 2:8-11). There would be a Son (Psalm 2:7, 12; Proverbs 30:4) who was made the Son by decree, not by birth (Psalm 2:7). Jesus taught us to baptize in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19; and Scripture teaches that all three are equally God. The Father is the only true God (John 17:3); Jesus is the eternally blessed God (Romans 9:5), the great God (Titus 2:13), God (Hebrews 1:8), and the true God (1 John 5:20); and the Holy Spirit is God (Acts 5:3-4). Because of these teachings, true Christians have always believed that God is one being in three persons. Mormons teach that the Trinity is three separate beings. *
Mormons respond to these and many other Scriptures by stating that the Bible has gone through so many translations and editions that errors have crept into it. The problem with this argument is that Jesus seemed to have no problems with the Scriptures of His day. He did not ever say that they were in error. In fact, He encouraged people to search the Scriptures (John 5:39). He quoted the Scriptures often, and used the Scriptures (see for instance Luke 24:27) extensively. And Paul, Peter, John, James, Jude, and other writers of Scripture quote extensively from the Scriptures without ever indicating that they thought there was error in the Scriptures they were quoting. Paul says that all Scripture is inspired by God and profitable (2 Timothy 3:16). If there was no error at that time, then when did the error creep in? And since the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Mormon problem has become a Mormon nightmare. Why? Because Christians can now go to copies of the Scriptures that are older than Jesus. The question that the Mormons must answer then is, “When was the Scripture corrupted?” Was it before Jesus or after Jesus? If it was before, then why did Jesus and the apostles trust in them? If it was after, then we can compare our Scriptures to Scriptures that existed before the time of Christ and show that there has been no change.
Mormonism teaches a mystery religion. It is full of secrets. What Jesus taught, He taught openly, stating that “in secret I have said nothing” (John 18:20). In this area as well, Mormonism seems out of touch with Jesus’ teachings.
There are many other things that Mormons teach that are simply contrary to Scripture, such as marriage in heaven (see Matthew 22:30 where Jesus said that in the resurrection people do not marry); Joseph Smith taught that dark skin was a sign of inferiority, but Acts 17:26 says differently.
He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth . . . so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.
At one point the Mormon church taught that Jesus and Satan were brothers, although some now have abandoned that teaching. Nowhere does Scripture support this teaching.
The following are excellent resources for learning about Mormonism as it relates to Christianity:
These are both excellent resources. There may be more out there (I’m sure there are), and, if so, I’d be glad to add them to this list. Please let me know by sending us an email through this site.
It remains amazing to me that anyone would follow Mormonism. Joseph Smith taught many things that simply are not true. He taught there were huge, advanced civilizations in the Americas that had iron, horses, wheat, and other items that are simply not native to the Americas and never existed here until the Europeans arrived. Despite the many attempts of Mormons to find evidence to support these assertions, there is none. In contrast, the excavations in Israel and the Middle East confirm again and again the statements of the Holy Scriptures.
Mormons believe that they have a living prophet who can change what God said before, and in fact have changed their beliefs to outlaw polygamy (something Joseph Smith and the early leaders of the church practiced) and to allow dark skinned people to become priests (something rejected by the founders and most of the leaders of the Mormon church, until recent times). Scripture affirms that God’s word does not change but abides forever (1 Peter 1:23-24). I would encourage your friend’s sister to avoid Mormons. As the Apostle John taught us, we should not receive into our houses those who bring other doctrines (2 John 10). If you have a pastor or if she has a pastor, I would encourage her to talk to one of them about Mormonism. God’s church has not faltered nor disappeared since Jesus founded it. Paul taught us that people are saved when preachers are sent (Romans 10:14-15). This creates a continuous line back to Jesus for every one of His children. I came to Christ because someone taught me. They came to Christ because someone taught them, and so forth back to the apostles. This is what Scripture teaches. Mormonism, like all false religions, rejects what the church has believed and taught for 2,000 years and seeks to establish some other teaching. My question for your friend’s sister is whether she wants to believe some later day prophet, or whether she wants to believe the unbroken testimony of the church from the days of the apostles to the present. While Mormons would teach that the church has strayed into error in its teachings, we have church teachings going all of the way back to the time of the apostles. I have read their teachings. They taught the same things we teach today. Factually, Mormonism is demonstrably false on this point.
Paul taught that some may come and teach another Jesus (2 Corinthians 11:4). Irenaeus, one of the early church writers who wrote about 100 years after the time of Jesus, said that some “set forth, indeed, the name of Christ Jesus as a sort of lure.” This is what Mormonism does. They use the name of Jesus to pull people into the church. But the Jesus they teach is not the Jesus of Scripture.
Salvation is not found in the Mormon church. Salvation is found in trusting and committing one’s life to the Jesus of the Bible. It is in following this real Jesus that one can find love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, and self-control. It is in this Jesus that there is the hope of eternal life. And it is in the communion of saints that one can best grow in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
May the Lord Jesus and His Spirit guide you as seek to make a difference in the life of your friend’s sister.