“Our Lord’s Church is the formal, official organization of believers who have taken upon themselves the name of Christ by baptism, thus covenanting to serve God and keep his commandments. It is the congregation or assembly of saints who have forsaken the work by accepting the gospel, a formal society of converted persons and of the unorganized spiritual vagary termed the Christian Church by sectarianism.” (1)
Is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints a truly Christian church? Do they proclaim and teach orthodox Christian doctrine? Or do they only claim to be Christian while teaching doctrines completely foreign to orthodox Christianity, thereby making themselves a counterfeit Christian church?
Let’s look at some definitions. According to the dictionary, the definition of “orthodox” is holding the commonly accepted or established faith, especially in religion; correct or sound doctrine, confirming to the Christian faith, belief in correct doctrine.
Again, according to the dictionary, the definition of “counterfeit” is to make an imitation of, with intent to defraud, to copy; imitate; to practice deception; made to resemble some genuine thing with intent to deceive.
What is the correct doctrine of God that is accepted by orthodox Christians? Orthodox Christians have always believed, and still believe today, in the authority of the Bible, God’s Word, that declares:
There is one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. (Deut. 6:4, Jer. 10:6, Mark 12:32, Is. 43:10,11; 44:6,8.)
God is Spirit, without a physical body, invisible. (John 4:24, Luke 24:39, 2 Cor. 3:17; Col. 1:15, 1 Tim. 1:17.)
God is eternally God. He never became God nor was He ever anything less than completely God. Is. 63:16; Ps. 90:2, 93:2, 41:13, Deut. 33:27; Rev. 1:8.
God does fill the universe and is always everywhere present. (Jer. 23:23, 24; 2 Chr. 6:18; 1 Kings 8:27, Ps. 139; Pro. 13:3; Acts 17:27.)
God does dwell within His believers. (1 Cor. 3:16, 6:19; 2 Cor. 16:16; Ez. 36:26-27; 37:27.)
One of the central and essential doctrines of Christianity is the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ. Orthodox Christians have always believed, and still believe today, on the authority of God’s Word, the Bible, that declares Jesus Christ is God, who came to earth in the flesh. (John 1:1 and 14; 1 Tim. 3:16; Matt. 1:23; Col. 2:9; Phil. 2:6-7.)
A third established doctrine of orthodox Christianity, based on the authority of the Bible, God’s Word, is that there is a place of punishment that lasts forever, where all who do not receive the Gospel will spend eternity. This place is described by Jesus as fire (Matt. 5:22), everlasting fire (Matt. 18:8-9; 25:41), a furnace of fire (Matt. 13:24-42), and described by the Apostle John as “a lake of fire burning with brimstone” (Rev. 19:20; 20:11-15).
Mormonism claims to be “the only true church,” but they refuse to accept or teach this orthodox doctrine. For example, in the Mormon temple ceremony the narrator states to all Mormons there (doing work for the dead) that, “You must consider yourselves as if you were respectively Adam and Eve.”
Keeping this in mind, the ceremony continues thus: (2)
Adam (kneeling at an altar, hands raised up and looking toward heaven):
Oh God, hear the words of my mouth!
Oh God, hear the words of my mouth!
Oh God, hear the words of my mouth!
Lucifer (answers): I hear you. What is it you want?
Adam: Who are you?
Lucifer: I am the God of this world.
Adam: You, the God of this world?
Lucifer: Yes, what do you want?
Adam: I am waiting for messengers.
Lucifer: Oh, you want someone to preach to you. You want religion do you? I will have preachers here presently.
(A figure dressed in dark blue ministerial robe and priest’s collar walks up to Lucifer, implying that all Christian pastors are hirelings of Lucifer and expound and preach Lucifer’s doctrine.)
Good morning, Sir.
Preacher: Good morning! (Looking at those in the audience) A fine congregation.
Lucifer: Yes, they are very good people. They are concerned about religion. Are you a preacher?
Preacher: I am.
Lucifer: Have you been to college and received training for the ministry?
Preacher: Certainly! A man cannot preach unless he has been trained for the ministry?
Lucifer: Do you preach the orthodox religion?
Preacher: Yes, that is what I preach.
Lucifer: If you will preach your orthodox religion to these people and convert them, I will pay you well.
Preacher: I will do my best.
Lucifer (gestures toward Adam and Eve): Here is a man who desires religion. He is very much exercised, and seems to be sincere.
Preacher (to Adam and Eve): I understand you are inquiring after religion?
Adam: I was calling upon Father.
Preacher: I am glad to know that you were calling upon Father. Do you believe in a God who is without body, parts, and passions, who sits on the top of a topless throne; whose center is everywhere, and whose circumference is nowhere; who fills the universe, and yet is to small that he can dwell in your heart; who is surrounded by myriad’s of beings who have been saved by grace, not by any act of their, but by his good pleasure? Do you believe in this great being?
Adam: I do not. I cannot comprehend such a being.
Preacher: That the beauty of it. Perhaps you do not believe in the Devil, and that great hell, the bottomless pit, where the wicked are cast, and where they are continually burning but are never consumed?
Adam: I do not believe in any such place.
Preacher: My dear friend, I am sorry for you.
Lucifer: I am sorry! Very, very sorry! What is it you want?
Adam: I am looking for messengers from my Father.
This orthodox doctrine of God and literal hell s the center of Christian belief. It s certainly not Lucifer’s doctrine! It is Christ’s! But Lucifer would have you believe that it is wrong. That is his purpose, to deceive and mislead! Adam and Eve, in the Mormon temple ceremony, represent all Mormons and they reject the orthodox doctrine presented!
Moments later three men appear, representing Peter, James and John. They are supposedly the apostles of Jesus Christ, who should have a sound knowledge of Christian doctrine, but they teach otherwise.
Peter: Good morning.
Lucifer: God morning.
Peter: What are you doing here?
Lucifer: Teaching religion.
Peter: What religion to you teach?
Lucifer (proudly and with emphasis): We teach the religion made of the philosophies of men, mingled with Scripture.
Peter: How is your religion received by this community?
Lucifer: Very well – excepting this man (indicating Adam, who is representing all Mormons in the temple ceremony). He does not seem to believe anything we preach.
Peter: Good morning. What do you think of the preaching of these gentlemen?
Adam: I cannot comprehend it.
Peter: Can you give us some idea concerning it?
Adam: They preach of a God who is without body, parts, or passions; who is so large he fills the universe, and yet so small that he can dwell in my heart; and of a hell without a bottom where the wicked are continually burning, but are never consumed. To me, it is a mass of confusion.
Peter (sympathetically): We do not wonder you cannot comprehend such doctrine. Have you any tokens or signs?
The ceremony continues with Peter, James and John teaching the Law of the Gospel, the Law of Consecration, and the Law of Sacrifice, as contained in the Book of Mormon, the Bible, and the Doctrine and Covenants. “… and cause you to receive these by covenant.” Peter invokes a death penalty on each person if they should ever reveal these tokens and covenants.
The Jesus Christ of the Bible never required tokens, oaths or covenants as a prerequisite to accepting His Gospel! It was, and still is, a free gift to all who will accept it!
If the Mormon church is a Christian church, why then are Christian beliefs of God mocked in all the Mormon temples? Why do they want to be known as Christians?
This is their own indictment that they are not Christian:
“…The Christ followed by the Mormons is not the Christ followed by traditional Christianity. It is true that many of the Christian churches worship a different Jesus Christ than is worshipped by the Mormons or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For example, from the Church of England’s Articles of Religion article one, I quote: ‘There is but one living God, Everlasting, without body, parts, or passions.’ The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints worships a god and a Jesus Christ with bodies, with parts, and with passions. These two concepts of the Trinity and their attributes are completely different.” (3)
A Welcome speech by Noel B. Reynolds, BYU Vice-President, on behalf of President Jeffery R. Holland, contained the following statement:
“There are many important elements on Mormon thought in which we (Mormons) would feel closer to the followers of Muhammed than to the contemporary Christian culture in which we have been located since our beginnings.” (4)
Be reminded that Muslims reject Jesus Christ as the Son of God! In the Quran, Surah 4:171 says that Jesus “… was only a messenger of Allah… Far is it removed from His transcendent majesty that He should have a son.” (5)
And the latest statement pronounced by a Mormon leaders is one made in Paris, France, by President Gordon B. Hinckley: “In bearing testimony of Jesus Christ, President Hinckley spoke of those outside the church who say latter-day Saints ‘do not believe in the traditional Christ. No, I don’t. The traditional Christ of whom they speak is of the Christ of whom I speak. For the Christ of whom I speak has been revealed in this the Dispensation of the Fullness of Times. He, together with His Father, appeared to the boy Joseph Smith in the year 1820, and when Joseph left the grove that day, he knew more of the nature of God than all the learned ministers of the gospel of the ages.’” (6)
Attested by their own statements, they do not believe in the Christian concept of God. Even to the point that they mock it, they believe in a Jesus Christ not followed by traditional Christianity, and they feel closer to non-Christians than to Biblical Christians. By their own admittance they nave another God and another Jesus Christ. That would add up to a counterfeit church that cannot be Christian.
Mormonism, as can be readily seen, proclaims a different God, a different Jesus, and denies the orthodox Christian concept of hell, based on the Bible.
What about another essential area of doctrine, what is the gospel that Mormonism proclaims to its followers? How must we be saved, according to the teachings of Mormonism? On page 3 we have already seen the response to Adam who seeks a message from God. It says that salvation can be obtained through learning tokens and signs, and following the laws of consecration and sacrifice. In other words, Mormonism proclaims that a person must (and can only) be saved by obeying and doing all that their god requires.
In the book, “Commandments and Promises of God,” Elder Bernard P. Brockbank, emeritus member of the First Quorum of the Seventy of the LDS Church, has compiled over 4,300 entries from the Scriptures. It is a comprehensive reference source for everyone who wants to know what is required to enter heaven.
But what is the Gospel, the good news, as proclaimed by orthodox Christianity, based on the Bible? “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached to you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” (1 Cor. 15:1-4)
As explained in more detail in God’s word:
“Jesus took all sin on His shoulders.” (1 John 3:5, Heb. 9:28, 1 Peter 2:24.)
“Jesus suffered and died on the cross to take all punishment for all sin once and for all.” (John 10:11, 15, 17-18; John 15:13, Phil. 2:8; Romans 5:6; Titus 2:14.)
“Jesus is the only Savior from sin.” (Matt. 1:21; Luke 19:10; John 3:17, and Acts 4:12) “Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
“Jesus is the only righteousness God can and will accept, because only He never sinned. Jesus becomes our righteousness and then we are acceptable to God. Without Him, we can never be acceptable to God.” (Is. 64:6; Romans 10:3; Phil. 3:9; Titus 3:5.)
Notice that the focus of the LDS gospel is on all the laws, rules, ordinances, etc., that one must do.
The heart and focus of the orthodox Christian Gospel is Jesus. Since Jesus has done all, what is the only part you can do, your only work, your only response?
Believe! “… This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom He hath sent.” (John 6:29)
“…Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.’” (Acts 16:30-31)
“… whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16-17)
Receive! “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name; which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13)
“… he that receiveth Me receiveth Him that sent Me.” (John 13:20)
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock. If any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.” (Rev. 3:20)
There can be no doubt that the Gospel proclaimed by orthodox Christianity and the gospel proclaimed by Mormonism are different gospels. God’s Word speaks out about false gospels, false Christ’s, and false apostles who proclaim them.
In his letter to the Galatians, Paul states, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel… but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven (Moroni?) preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” Gal. 1:6-8.
He re-emphasizes the fact again in verse 9, “As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.”
Paul, in his second letter says to the Corinthians, 11:4, “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 well bear with him.” (This means don’t be gullible and believe anything without checking it against the word of God.) Paul is warning them about those who preach of another Jesus, and another gospel, and another spirit.
In verse 13, he says, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.”
Mark 13:22 states, “For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect.”
Matthew 24:24 says, “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.”
God’s Word even comments about those who would pervert God into an image of man: “Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things.” (Romans 1:22-23)
In Colossians 2:8, Paul warns again with this remark: “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.”
Paul makes it clear in Galatians 1:10-12 for whom and from whom the gospel is received, “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (Emphasis added)
Consider the biblical references cited before clarifying the orthodox Christian gospel. That is the gospel of God, revealed through, by, and in Jesus Christ.
Mormons, wake up and think! You are being deceived! There was no need for a restoration. What did Joseph Smith restore? He restored Old Testament law that was fulfilled once and for all in the life and death of Jesus Christ! Joseph Smith just reinforced Satan’s deception!
There is no more a need for laws and ordinances. Let’s see what God’s Word says about the law:
“Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” (Romans 3:20)
“Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” (Gal. 3:24)
“Howbeit then, when ye knew not God, ye did service unto them which by nature are no gods. But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?” (To the law) (Galatians 4:8-9)
The law was done away with in Christ. Mormons, why do you want to be under the bondage of the law again?
What does God’s Word say about ordinances:
“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross.” (Colossians 2:14)
“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.” (Hebrews 9:12)
The remission of sins comes through faith and belief in Jesus Christ.
“To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.” (Acts 10:43)
Salvation comes through belief in the name of Jesus Christ.
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
Dear Mormon friend: There is no salvation in a counterfeit gospel. Accept the Jesus of the Bible as your Savior; there is salvation in Him and in Him alone.
“Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” (Galatians 4:16)
1 – Mormon Doctrine by Bruce R. McConkie, p. 133.
2 – In April 1990 the Mormon church changed the temple ceremony to be more acceptable, by removing the Christian minister and the representation of the blood oaths, along with other changes.
3 – 147th General Conference, Bernard P. Brockbank. (See Ensign May 1977, p. 26.)
4 – Mormons and Muslims, 1983, Religious Studies Center, BYU, p. 8.
5 – So what’s the difference, by Fritz Ridenour, Regal, Ventura, CA, 1979 p. 69.
6 – Church News June 20, 1998.