I have dear friends who are Mormons. They, like most Mormons, are gracious socially, exceptional family people, and in general good citizens. As such they personally are objects of my regard.
Their faith, the Church of Latter Day Saints, better known as Mormonism, has been very much in the news as a result of a prominent member of their faith being a primary candidate for president. I would not deliberately misrepresent any person’s faith so I hope Mormons find the following to be a fair representation of their faith based on the teachings of their church. Each of these points comes from a document accepted by the Church of Latter Day Saints (hereafter noted as “the Church”) and is documented accordingly.
Space limits the ability to reveal the numerous ways the teachings of the Church differ from the Bible. Therefore, only a few will be considered. Members of the Church say they believe Jesus Christ is the Firstborn of God the Father. By that what do they mean?
They believe, “We are sons and daughters of God, and we lived in a premortal existence as His spirit children” (Doctrine and Covenants and Church History, [hereafter noted as “D&C”], p. 106).
“The fact that there is no reference to a mother in heaven either in the Bible, Book of Mormon or Doctrine and Covenants, is not sufficient proof that no such thing as a mother did not exist there” (Answers to Gospel Questions, Joseph Smith, Jr., p. 143).
Jesus was the “Firstborn” of the Sovereign’s offsprings. Lucifer, his brother, was the second born in the morning of pre-existence, and the rest of human beings followed in this premortal existence. “We are all the spiritual children of heavenly parents.” (Eternal Marriage Student Manual, p. 259).
“The child to be born to Mary was begotten by Elohim (God).”
This is called “celestial Sireship.” (The Life and Teachings of Jesus and His Apostles, p. 23)
The Church teaches there is an after life when righteous spirits carry the message of salvation to wicked spirits in hell and co-mingle. At this point those wicked spirits can repent and be freed. (Preparation for Exaltation, p. 36).
The Church teaches the Father in heaven was once a man as we are now, capable of physical death. He progressed through stages to reach the stage of “exaltation of godhood.” Humans have the power to reach godhood. When we become gods we will have jurisdiction over worlds that will be peopled by our offsprings. (Achieving a Celestial Marriage, p. 132).
The Church holds that “Jesus Christ was married at Cana of Galilee, that Mary, Martha, and others were his wives, and that he begat children” (Orson Hyde (apostle) The Judgments of God on the United States, (March 15, 1855) in Journal of Discourses, p. 210).
The following are two of the primary reasons some consider The Church of Latter Day Saints, Mormonism, a cult.
Joseph Smith, Jr. taught The Book of Mormon is more reliable than the Bible, (History of the Church, p. 4:461).
If it had not been for Smith and the restoration, there would be no salvation. There is no salvation outside the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, (Mormon Doctrine, p. 670).
This column is not intended to suggest how a person should vote, but that persons may know something of the faith held by a candidate for president.
Often one’s faith has little influence on how well they govern. After all, we recently had two Southern Baptists who were not paragons of their denominational faith.
Make your determination regarding Mormonism on these their own teachings compared with the Bible. I report, you decide.
Where did I hear that?
The Rev. Dr. Nelson Price is pastor emeritus of Roswell Street Baptist Church. Contact Price at firstname.lastname@example.org.